Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Health News, UPON A TIME Goes on Tour, and ALL THE THINGS

Hi all!

I know it's been a lot of book news around here lately, but ALL THE THINGS have been happening at once!

There are other things I want to blog about, but I haven't had the strength to do much other than doing my best to juggle ALL THE THINGS.

My most recent painting, "Light". I don't remember if I posted it before. It's all in shades of light blue, wish the camera got them right. I haven't had a chance to pick up a brush since I painted this...

In other news, in case you didn't hear, I am going to have (major) surgery next week and after the recovery I hope to gain some of the strength back I've lost (which is vital because I am still disabled from other conditions/dealing with chronic pain from issues that can't be resolved.)

So if I'm up and down a bit right now it's because so much happy and so much sad is going on in my life at the same time. I am doing my best to focus on the happy; it's a challenge, for anyone. Add the ongoing situation with my father's declining health and Bipolar and all and it's a whole other animal.

So for today I will leave you with this: If you'd like to follow along with UPON A TIME's blog tour, here is a link to the schedule. Some posts will be excerpts, others interviews, fun stuff and I hope that you'll come along.

Thank you to everyone who is hosting a stop-- I will do my best to thank you personally on the day of your post but some may fall while I'm in the hospital. So please be patient, I will do my best to thank everyone because I am so thankful for you all!

Thanks again to all who participated in the blog launch for the book yesterday-- you are wonderful.

Happy Tuesday, everybody...

Counting down the days until spring... here's something pretty to look at:

Photo by February Grace 2015



Monday, March 2, 2015

Upon A Time Official Launch Day!

Click the photo to see a list of blogs participating in today's launch! Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who are taking part!!!

The day is finally here! The official launch day for UPON A TIME!

So pretty in print! Cover design by Greg Simanson
You can pick up a copy (eBook or print) online now or order it in print from your favorite bookstore! I will be posting a few links in the sidebar momentarily.

I also have to thank EVERYONE again who Tweeted, posted on FB and other social media, and otherwise helped to get the word out about GODSPEED's Bookbub promotion and sale last week. In case you missed it before, look what you all helped to make happen!!!

GODSPEED made it to Amazon #1 in Steampunk for the third time! And it went to #37 overall in Top 100 Nook books!

I can't believe it happened again, and I am so overwhelmed.

The best part of all is imagining all the new readers discovering the book. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart! xoxoxo

I wanted to mention too that I didn't get to post last week about a cool interview I was invited to do over at Socialbookshelves.com... so thank you, Dane, for hosting me! I hope you will all go check it out and say hello. It contains, among other things, the rarely told story of how I ended up published by Booktrope... it will probably surprise you! (I still can't believe it myself. Blessed.)

To wrap things up for today I want to mention there will be a blog tour over the next four weeks for UPON A TIME which begins tomorrow, so stay tuned: lots of fun, excerpts, and some behind the scenes info about the book will be posted around the interwebz.

Once more before I go I want to thank you, every single one of you, for your incredible support of my writing. Last week, this week, this month, the past two years... could not have happened without you and I am so thankful.

Now it's time for me to finish off this first round edit of the final manuscript for WISHING CROSS STATION. I can't wait... am so very excited about this book.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It Takes A Village...

... to help propel a book to the top of its category on Amazon.

I am truly overwhelmed, and so grateful to everyone who helped to get the word out about our Bookbub promotion and sale for GODSPEED yesterday.

This is what you all helped accomplish:

and it made it into the top 100 in Nook Books, (40 at time of photo, 38 at the time of this writing) GODSPEED even got a spot on the Sci-Fi Bestseller's page!

Again, I am amazed, humbled, awed... struggling for words to describe what it means to see so many readers finding GODSPEED.

Thank you again to everyone who Tweeted, retweeted, shared, linked, posted, and otherwise helped to get the word out about the promotion. Thank you to Bookbub, and thank you especially to Booktrope for believing in this book enough to submit it again for another promotion. This is the third time that GODSPEED has gone to #1 in Steampunk on Amazon during promotion and it still takes my breath away-- I can't believe it happened again.

Thank you most of all to those who bought the book and will read it: thank you for taking the leap to go on Abigail's journey with me.

Friends, please celebrate with me this happy moment... because trying times lie ahead of me, in many ways.

Surgery in a couple weeks... if the redraw on my blood work (which they just called me on the phone to tell me I need to do today) turns out okay. Something was off in yesterday's labs so they need to recheck it.

Please think good thoughts for me, that my surgery will happen as scheduled. I really just need to get this all over with so I can begin to get better.

Thank you so much for all your support, thoughts, and well wishes, I appreciate them more than I can express.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Exciting Week! Bookbub, AmazonEncore, and More!

Hi all!

This is a very exciting week for me! Let's start with today, shall we?

Today GODSPEED is going to be promoted by Bookbub and is on sale for $0.99! Get your eBook at that price while you can, it hasn't been on sale for quite some time!

Banner courtesy of Majanka Verstraete, Cover Design, Greg Simanson  

In other news, yesterday this became official!

Thanks to the partnership between Booktrope and Amazon, OF STARDUST (eBook) was officially republished by AmazonEncore! This is an amazing opportunity, and I am so grateful to everyone involved in making it happen, thank you all! (The eBook is now exclusive to Amazon, however the print edition remains available from several online retailers and can be ordered from your local bookstore as well!)

Last, as I mentioned in my previous post, UPON A TIME launches on Monday, 3/2!

I hope you will enjoy reading about Charlotte, Thomas and Julien as much as you've enjoyed reading about Abigail and Quinn and Gus and Till. The characters have become dear to me, and I can't wait to share this fairy tale reimagining with as many readers as I can!

That's all for today. I will be posting soon with some other updates and things.

Thank you all for your support! I appreciate every Tweet, every mention, every way you show you care, big and small. THANK YOU!!!



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Join in the fun! Be part of the UPON A TIME Blog Blitz/Blog Tour!

Hi everyone!

My wonderful Book Manager at Booktrope, Majanka Verstraete, is putting together a blog blitz for March 2nd for the official release of UPON A TIME, and also a blog tour that starts March 3rd and will run through April 3rd.

If any of you would be interested in graciously hosting a stop on the tour or a post for the blitz, I would be so grateful! Especially grateful, since I am going to be having major surgery mid-March (I will post something about that closer to the date) and I can truly use all the help I can get in launching UPON A TIME.

You can request a certain kind of post for your blog; an interview, an excerpt, there is a list of possible choices on the sign up form which can be found HERE. 

Due to the surgery, I will try to write up some potential posts in advance that will hopefully fit what you are looking for, if not I will do my best to try to come up with something to suit as I am able.

This little book has such an important message: as the dedication says, it is meant for "every soul whose heart defies the limits of their body."

It challenges the old, damaging myths put forth in many fairy tales that beauty equals good, and those who may have been injured, damaged, even somehow disfigured are to be discarded, abused, or overlooked. This book challenges those old notions head on, and shows that every one of us is so much more than the shell that carries our soul around.

So, again, I would be very grateful for any support you can offer. Please contact Majanka through the form linked above (here it is again) and you'll be on your way.

I look forward to visiting with you all in March... can't wait!!

Thanks so much, to every one of you, for reading my stories, and for your support of my writing. It means more than I can explain...


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Taking Down the Paintings (and happy distractions)

Last weekend, it finally got to a point where I felt like I was suffocating in my small apartment. The walls were closing in, and it took me the longest time to figure out why. That answer hurt a little bit…worst of all was realizing it was my own past creative work that was smothering me.

Too many conflicting images, color schemes, and themes in the paintings on my walls... all making me feel agitated. I had a more than fleeting desire to throw them all in the industrial sized dumpster next to the maintenance building.

I think my husband would have stopped me trying, though.

In the end, I only got rid of half a dozen paintings that had never turned out the way I hoped (but were taking up storage space) and one that had been damaged, torn somehow.

Ironic that the one that was torn in two was the one I painted to depict how it felt to be in a Bipolar mixed state.

At least I have photographs of it, should I ever need them for a blog post, or the like.

I left precious few paintings up in the main space in the apartment: mostly more recent work than what had been there before. Then I put in prominent places some collages I had made over the past few years, and one brand new one.

I added accent pieces picked up on various clearance racks in craft stores, and when I was finally satisfied with the configuration (which wore me out even though I barely lifted a finger) I finally felt like I could breathe in the space again.

There is room left, now, with the old work stored away to think of creating new things.

There is a sign hanging on the wall that says “Live with Passion” which is something I definitely aspire to. Whatever I do, I want to do with my whole heart. That is the way of the Idealist temperament I suppose: perhaps most of all the way of the INFJ. 

One of my walls, newly arranged. Wish I could move the thermostat LOL

I love the odd little vintage-looking green metal clock I bought at a charming gift shop up north. I love the painting I did that was the very beginning of an idea in my mind that has become my novel (in editing currently) WISHING CROSS STATION, which hangs on a different wall. 

With all that is going on I needed to create breathing space for my head and heart, somewhere to rest between moments of panic over all that is going on in my life right now. I need good distractions... and boy, do I have some coming up.

I am on the cusp of some exciting things, book-wise. The partnership between my publisher, Booktrope, and Amazon has made it so that OF STARDUST will be an eBook exclusive to Amazon, and it will re-re-launch under the AmazonEncore banner on February 24th (available for pre-order now). 

It will remain available in print as before, published by Booktrope and available from many bookselling websites (and you should be able to order it from any bookstore near you as well.)

On the 25th, Bookbub will run a promotion for GODSPEED, which thrills me to the core... I hope it finds some new readers.

On March 2nd, Booktrope will officially launch UPON A TIME, which has passed 400K reads now on Wattpad.

Pretty cool stuff, if you're looking for positive distractions.

Exciting, incredible stuff that couldn’t be happening without the work and help of a lot of people. I am so grateful.

I am thankful today, despite health battles that are ongoing and the situations with my family that I can’t change, and I appreciate every reader who has brought my characters to life by reading my words… thank you for sticking with me, and for caring as you do about the characters and stories.

It means more than I could ever say.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.



P.S. I’ve reignited the spark beneath the Clockwork Conversations blog, with interviews scheduled on the next three Wednesdays with hopefully more after that as well. So please stop by on 2/18 for the reboot, and enjoy an amazing interview with author Judith Works! www.clockworksconversations.blogspot.com

Monday, February 9, 2015


I've been trying to sort out what to post... what to say... what to feel. So here is what is going on: it will tell you why I've been stunned, for the most part, into such profound silence.

I feel like I'm trying to swim through a sea of mud... endless kicking and strokes of my arms sending muck and detritus flying; I fight to the point of exhaustion, but I never make it any closer to shore.

Waiting for some kind of breakthrough: for anyone in the medical community surrounding him to figure out what is wrong with my father... as he struggles to do the smallest of tasks and can't even stand without help in a nursing facility.

Waiting on getting all my appointments and tests and work-ups scheduled for what looks like a surgery for me on the near horizon...struggling to keep my blood count up.

Waiting for something good to come of all of this struggling through air I can barely remember to breathe and nightmares that haunt my every moment, waking and sleeping.

"There's nothing you can do for him right now. You have to take care of yourself." That is what everyone -- doctors, therapists, relatives and friends alike, keep telling me.

No one is heaping the endless, crushing tons of guilt I feel for not being able to do more-- do SOMETHING-- to make my father's situation better, but me. I am my own worst enemy.

Despite the past. Despite it all. I still want to wave a magic wand and fix it for him.

I can't.

There is no wand, and I haven't figured out quite how to cope with that yet.

"I do okay in emergency, crisis situations," I told my husband last night, "it's this agonizing decline I don't know how to deal with. Nothing gets better and I can't fix it."

There was nothing he could say.

After my last blog post, someone suggested that I might try painting the memory I had of my father and my daughter dancing: and I have since tried.

For days. I have struggled with that painting like none I've known before it, and in the end, it sits there, glaring at me, an impression of a memory with one major flaw.

I can't paint my father's face.

No matter how I try, capturing his features as they should be continually eludes me; it's almost like I can't remember the way they were then.

So his face is tried and failed at and painted over again and again and at last once more until finally, throwing down the brush in sheer frustration I just left it alone. It is a blank slate; an expressionless shadow of a man, dancing with a happy little girl.

Unfinished by February Grace

I don't know if I'll ever be able to fix it.

Maybe I lack the talent. Maybe I lack the courage. Maybe I've truly lost the ability to remember him as he was; instead of thinking of him the way that he is now.

Maybe it's knowing he likely doesn't remember the event at all that keeps getting in my way, I don't know.

I only know that I am halfway across a vast, wide way and tiring fast-- that slimy, viscous sea trying with each lurching wave to suck me under.

I'm still fighting to see the sky, the sun; fighting to fight, as an old friend puts it.

I wish I could remember the face of my father as he was; but even staring at photos it's like I can't see him... any more than I believe he can now clearly see, or remember, me.

He's being erased a little at a time from this life; I don't want to forget who he was.

Love your loved ones fiercely, my friends. Every single day.

Because age will steal them away from you a memory at a time, if nothing else does before it.