Countdown to Squatchcon!



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Squatchcon 2023!

Tomorrow is the first day of Squatchcon 2023 in Port Angeles, WA, where I will be exhibiting as a vendor all four days (March 30th through April 2nd!), signing and selling my books, my flash fiction, and a host of other cool swag. I hope to see you all at the show: I will be at Table 18 in the Artist Alley and Market at the Vern Burton Community Center Gym. Come find me – I promise I’ll be easier to spot than the eponymous Sasquatch!

Behind the Scenes Sunday

Accepting and Learning from Critique

Let’s take a peek at the cogs inside the machine and talk about why I write and how I write on Behind the Scenes Sunday! Today I’d like to talk about one of the most important parts of being a writer – learning how to accept and grow from critique.

Writing well is a matter of practice — do it for long enough and you are bound to improve. But a big part of improving in any artistic craft is showing your work to others and listening to their feedback. Now, this is obviously easier said than done. You’ve poured your heart and soul into a book and now you’re just supposed to give it to someone and let them tear it to pieces? And you’re supposed to be grateful for that?!


A key component of learning how to accept and grow from critique is realizing that a good critique partner is not telling you what isn’t working in your piece to hurt you – they’re doing it to help you. They are on your side. They also want the story to be as good as it was in your head. Too many people think of the relationship between artist and critic as adversarial, when really it’s a partnership (or it should be).

Once you’ve accepted that the person you’ve asked to critique your work is on your side, the other important thing to remember is this: they are critiquing the work – NOT YOU. “But I am my work!” I hear you cry. “It’s a part of me!”


Repeat this a hundred times. Write it down and put it above the place where you write. YOU ARE NOT YOUR WRITING. You’re life will get so much better once you embrace this. When someone says “I just don’t know what I was supposed to get from this passage — it seemed sloppy and not very well thought out,” they are not saying “You are sloppy and not very well thought out, you should be ashamed”. They are saying the work could improve – which you knew already, that’s why you’re asking for critique!

What’s your secret for accepting critique? Do you have a ritual around critique that makes it easier to take? Or is it just the absolute worst part of the writing process for you? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

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Saturday in the Stacks

Goodreads – Pros and Cons

Saturday is the perfect time to wander through the stacks (that’s librarian-speak for “bookshelves”) and talk about books and the people who write them. Pull up a comfy chair and settle in, because today I want to chat about a particular ‘tool of the trade’ of both readers and authors alike that has become fairly well-known in the book community: the app/website Goodreads.

Goodreads bills itself as “the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. [Their] mission is to help people find and share books they love.” Basically, for the uninitiated, it is a way for readers to track what books they read, sharing their reviews of those books with others while setting yearly reading goals, interacting with readers with similar tastes, connecting with bookish friends — essentially a social media platform with a reading focus.

If you’re thinking of hopping on Goodreads for the first time (whether as a reader or an author), here are the main pros and cons of the platform I think you should be aware of:

  • PRO: Never forget the name of that book you read again!
  • CON: You shouldn’t judge a book by one bad review, no matter how tempting it may be!
  • PRO: Easily recommend books to your friends and family!
  • CON: Reviewing bombing can happen (read more about this horrendous practice here) so be wary!
  • PRO: Connect with your fellow readers and your favorite authors!
  • CON: Goodreads makes it very easy to compare your reading goals/speed with others – don’t get sucked in to this trap!
  • PRO: If you were looking for some encouragement to read more, the Goodreads Reading Challenge could be just the thing you’re looking for!

At this point, Goodreads is a standard of the industry, and as an author trying to make their mark, I don’t see myself walking away from the platform anytime soon. What about you? Are you a Goodreads user? Do you love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

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Werewolf Wednesday

Blood and Chocolate – Movie Review

Happy Werewolf Wednesday, everyone! This week I’m going to talk about a werewolf flick that perhaps rightly flew under many people’s radars (but was loosely based on a much more well received young adult novel of the same name) – Blood and Chocolate.

The movie centers on nineteen-year old Vivian, a werewolf who lives in Bucharest with her aunt Astrid and cousin Rafe after the murder of her family by werewolf hunters. When Vivian meets Aiden Galvin, a young American graphic artist living in Bucharest and currently writing a graphic novel about the fabled loup garous of the region, they fall in love. But their relationship is not meant to be because Vivian has been promised to Gabriel, the leader of the Romanian werewolf clan, and Gabriel will go to any length to separate them.

As far as a film goes, the 11% on Rotten Tomatoes speaks volumes. It’s certainly not an Academy Award winner by any stretch of the imagination, and, frankly, even if you’re looking for a mindless, fun flick on a Friday night, you might want to give this one a miss and pop in Underworld instead. The melodrama is thick, the dialogue painful at times, performances largely phoned in, and CGI — well, perhaps it’s better if we don’t talk about the CGI.

I wanted to talk about this film though, because the book it’s based off is actually well worth the read if you are so inclined! Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause came out in 2007, at the beginning of the paranormal romance for teens craze (Twilight had burst onto the scene some 2 years previously) but is far better written, and deals with themes Twilight only skirts. It’s dark, visceral, and compelling. Plus, it deals with female werewolves — always of fascination to yours truly!

What are some other werewolf adaptions that didn’t quite live up to the original source material? I’d love to get some more book recommendations in the comments!

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Darke Passion by Rosanna Leo – Out Today!

I am so thrilled to be able to share with you the latest and greatest from fellow author Rosanna Leo! Her book Darke Passion, Darke Paranormal Investigations 1 is out TODAY — you’ve got to check it out!

Edwina Darke is one of a trio of ghost-hunting sisters who rid clients of their unwanted supernatural visitors. A badass by nature, Edwina doesn’t run from haunted houses, she runs into them. Yet no matter how many “ghosts” she debunks, she remains troubled by a demon from her own past.

Simon Teal is the co-owner of a historic B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, a town famous for its connection to the 1812 War. Simon doesn’t believe in the spirit world, but something is chasing his customers away, so he reluctantly allows the Darke sisters to investigate.

As the team uncovers the star-crossed love behind the B&B haunting, Edwina and Simon’s attraction flares. It’s the last thing either of them needs. The dedicated Edwina refuses to lose herself in another relationship, and Simon is still reeling from a terrible betrayal.

When a darker presence reveals itself, triggering their protective instincts, Edwina and Simon succumb to temptation. But the evil entity has taken an interest in them, and if they don’t solve the mystery, someone new could end up going “into the light.”

And it could be one of them.

Hooked already? Buy your copy here!

Still not sure? Here’s a brief excerpt to wet your appetite:

This was a house that had seen things.

At first, Edwina would have sworn that the King Street Bed and Breakfast was as benign as any other well-maintained historic house. With its white-painted brick exterior, clean windows and established garden, it had plenty of curb appeal.

But there was something beneath its pristine surface, something that beckoned. It was one of those houses that had its own personality. Its quirks gave it life. They drew her in and made her want to explore.

Although the original building was symmetrical, there were some modern additions around the back and side of the structure. It now boasted a couple of bay windows and what looked like a breakfast nook. In front, there was a series of older, smaller windows. These were clearly part of the original architecture, and Edwina could almost imagine the faces of long-dead inhabitants pressed up against them.

It was clear that a lot of money had been spent to keep the exterior of the building tidy and fresh. The paint on the black shutters was new, as were the roof shingles, and there was an inviting wraparound porch. In the front garden, a rainbow flag flew proudly. Several ferns hung around the porch, creating a sense of privacy and balance.

And yet, something had disturbed the equilibrium here.

Edwina knew from experience that appearances could be deceiving. Even the coziest homes could make one feel ill at ease. Conversely, she’d been inside buildings that frightened neighborhood children, and hadn’t found any evidence of spirit activity at all. She knew to keep an open mind.

She glanced around the corner at one of the additions. According to Adelaide—and her weird pal, Maria—construction projects often upset spirit people. Indeed, Edwina had often read accounts of hauntings that had occurred as the result of a renovation.

Ghosts didn’t always appreciate people coming into their spaces and changing things around. Was that the case in Simon Teal’s situation?

She doubted it. These additions weren’t brand-new and might have even been added by a previous owner.

She peeked around the side of the house. It opened into a spacious back garden, one with many healthy perennial plants, but the most striking feature of the garden was that it backed onto a wooded ravine. She imagined that one could feel somewhat intimidated standing in that green space. The massive trees provided a wide canopy, and although it was beautiful, there was something wild about it as well. The canopy blocked out any view of the nearby homes, adding a touch of primeval atmosphere.

A low ringing began in Edwina’s ears. No, a hum.

She walked back to where Susannah stood in front, but the hum didn’t go away. There was a voice-like quality to the sound, and she glanced at Susannah to see if she was making the noise. However, her sister was quietly checking out the house.

“You okay?” asked Susannah.

“Yeah.” Edwina rubbed her ear. “Just a weird ringing sensation. It started a second ago.”

“Hmm. Well, you know what they say. Someone’s talking about you.”


When Simon Teal opened the door, Edwina forgot about the clamor in her ear. She glanced up, and her breath caught in her throat.

Don’t wait another second – pick up your copy on release day to get reading now!

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