ALM: Challenge Overcome


Here’s a screen grab of some of the revision notes from my editor for Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean. While not an insurmountable challenge, addressing all of the concerns and shaping the novel to be the best it could be was certainly a hard effort.

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From just one page, not even halfway through!

Want to see the final outcome? Enter below to win one of FIVE signed copies in celebration of Valentine’s Day! Rejoice in authentic love!

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ALM: Awesome Moment


A recent awesome moment was one weekend in November when I got to have a sales booth at my parish, St. James. The Daughters of St. Paul, the dear sisters who run my publisher, Pauline Books and Media, were hosting a book fair after all Masses. I had my best sales weekend that time. I was so humbled by the support of my fellow parishioners.


Want to read my book, but don’t have a book fair coming soon to a parish near you? Win a free signed copy for Valentine’s Day by entering the raffle below!

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ALM Writing Music


To open this post, I would like to remember the dearly departed Songza, the web’s best music streaming service/app. An absolutely audio-ad FREE (theirs were just visual) source of music, this quirky, fun, amazing collection of amusingly title playlists just perfect for whatever mood, activity, genre, Songza is what got me through many long hours of writing and revising. It has fallen prey to “The Man” and sold itself out to Google Play music. While it’s great that its reach will extend further and more music can be added, you now have to pay (*shudder*) in order to not hear ads.

However, I will still use them almost exclusively over Pandora or Spotify, as the curated playlists are the best background noise and inspiration for anything I’m writing. A tense action scene in my WIP? Indie Under Pressure is my jam. A sweet romance scene? Indie Make Out makes it all the more tender. So, yes, I am a fan of indie rock/alternative musicians–especially for their lyrics. And Google Play powered by Songza just so happens to be the best source for new songs, bands, and sounds.

NO, I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. I just love it so so much.

While I was writing Gloria Jean, two songs went through my head more than any others–so much so, I got permission to include meaningful lyrics.

Mumford and Sons’ “White Blank Page” and Casting Crowns’ “Your Love is Extravagant.”

Want to see how these sentiments inspired a story of authentic love? Enter the giveaway for one of 5 signed copies of my book!

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ALM: Fan art/edit


One day, about 15 months after I was published, I received the following sweet card from a young viewer of The Gist. The sweet fan sent CatholicTV this card capturing my appearance on the show, and the lovely Bonnie Rodgers forwarded this to me. It sits on my desk to this day, reminding me of  the purpose of my mission–to share the Good News of God’s authentic love.


Speaking of God’s authentic love, why don’t we celebrate it on Valentine’s Day? With a great book! Enter the raffle for one of five signed copies!
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ALM: Comp Covers


The thing I love about my book cover is that it’s referential without being a copycat. So many book covers these days are sooo similar. I was working a shift at Barnes and Noble (oh yeah, writers have to have day jobs these days) and nearly mistook Amy Ewing’s latest book in the Jewel series for one of Kiera Cass’s Selection books.

But it is important to draw from what’s successful so your own book can have shelf appeal. Most publishers just give you the cover; others are very kind and will work with you; and if you self-publish, you can design your own. In this article, author Cynthia T. Toney examines covers. Here are a couple that have some similarities to mine–face conveying emotion, limited color, and an inverse of a successful color palette.


Want the lovely final result on your shelf? Enter the giveaway below!

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ALM Day 4: My WIP


The following pic is a screen grab of my WIP, or Work-in-Progress. Tentatively titled The Graced in an unconfirmed-number-of-books series The Seven Mansions, this speculative YA novel was drafted as one of my NaNoWriMo projects. I need to do a huge revision before submitting to my publisher, but I’m super excited about it. In the style of Legend by Marie Lu with a Catholic twist, The Graced is a high-stakes adventure set in a hopefully not-real but not-so-distant future.

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I may give a trusted follower and fellow author the chance to read a beta copy once it’s submission-ready. Stay tuned!

For now, I hope you’ll take advantage of the chance to win a signed copy of my book Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean!
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ALM: My Last 5-Star Read


Well. I don’t usually use a ranking system for books–stars, numbers, emojis, etc. –I much prefer to talk or write more holistically about a great book. Here’s the last truly great book I read, which I also wrote a post about!


Also, don’t forget about my Valentine to you, dear readers! Five of you will win a signed copy of my book! Just enter here! Celebrate authentic love!

ALM: Author Photo



Here I am! Photo credit to Marina Miller, a lovely young woman getting started in photography, who is now studying at McGill. I’m always excited to support teens and their dreams. The story behind an author photo shoot and picking a shot is a nice little one for another post. For now, I’ll just say, if you have the opportunity, get a professional photo done at least once–so much fun (for a girly girl like me, anyway) to pick out an outfit, take advantage of the samples at Sephora, spend the day at a beautiful location, and have an amazing pic for dating websites, LinkedIn, and more.


Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Five lucky winners will get a signed copy of my book for Valentine’s Day! Celebrate authentic love!

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Author Life Month and Giveaways!

Hello there! A user on Instagram has created a wonderful challenge: #authorlifemonth. Not a regular Instagram user, I may not post there, but no reason not to blog about it! Here’s the challenge:


So here’s my book, Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean.


Want to win a FREE copy? Thanks to the lovely publisher, Pauline Books and Media, I’m giving away FIVE signed copies in honor of Valentine’s Day. Celebrate authentic love!

Contest runs TODAY through 11:59 pm Saturday, February 13. You can get additional entries by either leaving a little “valentine” on my Facebook page or a blog post, but do enter via the Rafflecopter link.

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