Blood for blood. Life for life. Treasure for treasure.
Samantha’s life has been plagued by her sister’s illness. With her family’s finances and spirits running low, she makes a fateful decision to seek the guidance of a ghostly seer who’s rumored to frequent River Street—Savannah’s notoriously dark side of town. Desperate for answers, she approaches the soothsayer, disguised as a man to keep herself safe. His premonition surprises her and has her believing a better future awaits.
But the night isn’t done with its surprises. After being kidnapped, imprisoned on a pirate’s ship, and required to do the wicked captain’s bidding, she wonders if she’ll ever return home. She’s witness to both the brutality and the soft side of the world’s most infamous villains, and she’ll never be the same. With the help of a handsome young doctor and the captain’s wife, she realizes she must become them to escape them, and she makes a deal with the devil that just may save her sister’s life.
I'm so excited to finally share THE BUCCANEER BELLE with you all! I had a blast writing it last summer and knew it was time to release it. I intended it to be an adventurous beach read, complete with a little spook and an unexpected romance. It'd be great for any summer weekend anywhere, though!
Instead of using the typical book release social media graphics, I created these fun sharables. Feel free to copy and share if you like!
The Pirate's House in Savannah, GA is a key place in the book, and it's the source of great legend! Rumor has it that Captain Flint died there! *wink* It's a wonderful place to visit. Great food, a nice little gift shop, and be sure to take the tour and see the tunnels many a pirate scurried down.
You may have caught my post the other week when I announced that I was going to unveil my rebrand July 1st. I somehow managed to get everything ready a week early (yay!), so here we are! I took a seminar a few weeks ago that made me really focus on what I want readers and followers to feel from my posts, books, and graphics. These words stood out to me because they not only reflect my books, but they truly reflect my outlook on life and what I search for in my day to day.
beautiful, terrifying, light, words, poetic, Romantic, monsters, captivated, sense of wonder and adventure, faith, entertaining, blues, calm, peaceful, hopeful, art, travel, creativity, idealism, elegance, magic
These words bounced in my mind for a while until I realized what I'd been sharing before had been more about other people's works and journeys rather than my own. If you look at my Instagram, you'll see that I almost never share my own books. Instead, I've been sharing other people's quotes and books, and to be honest, I've loved every minute of it. And that is still important to me, which is why I'm dedicating @boundandbrewed and the "Featured" button on my personal account to the celebration of other authors and their works.
For my own accounts, though, I'm realizing the need to be more fully me. I plan to share more of my own snippets of writing, as well as being even more open and personal. I'll post more pictures of myself and my life, in hopes that people grow to know me. My deepest desire is to connect and get to know readers and other like-minded people, so I'm hoping by opening up it'll make that authentic connection more possible.
In addition to posting more about my work, thoughts, and life, I'll be focusing my media efforts to mostly Facebook and Instagram. I've been largely neglecting Twitter for several months and will probably continue to do so. It's grown to be such a negative place that I no longer enjoy it. I highly value the connections I've made there. It's been a wonderful way to meet other authors over the years. But I'm most active in other writing communities, so I no longer feel its relevance in my daily life.
There are also several changes on the website including the header, slider on the home page, bio, and other graphics. I've also simplified things a bit for easier navigation. You'll begin to notice more intentional and cohesive themes throughout my social media posts, too. Beginning today, actually. :)
What's coming in the next few months?
The rest of the year is going to be a whirlwind of writing, editing, and PUBLISHING! Yes, you read me right. I hope to publish at least 5 new works by the end of December. It's going to push me to my max, I'm sure, but it's time. I've been sitting on manuscripts for far too long, and I'm ready to change that.
Fear has been the single most reason why I haven't published more often. I feel no shame in admitting how difficult it is to release something that is up for critique everywhere. I'm no stranger to harsh reviews. No author is. But it's taken me a long while to develop the type of thick skin I need to not just survive this industry but to thrive in it. I'm not completely there yet, but I assure you that I'm far better than I once was.
Staying connected is difficult since Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites continually make it harder for authors and businesses to reach their market. Just because you "like" or "follow" doesn't mean you'll see my posts. I'd have to spend A LOT of money for all my followers to see what I post, and I simply cannot do that. If you'd like to be sure you don't miss anything on FB, hit the "Following" button under the header and tick "See first." For Instagram, click the three dots on my page in the upper right hand corner and tick "Turn on Post Notifications."
The absolute best way to stay connected is through email. I don't email often, but I let everyone know when something new is published. I also occasionally send out information when one of my books is listed in a giveaway bundle. If you'd like to be the first to know about new books, you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/2OVdj.
What's with the new tagline?
I'm so glad you asked! :) Creator of beautiful and terrifying creatures largely evolved because of my upcoming books but still describes all my works in some way. I'm a huge fan of the Romantic movement, which ranged from approximately 1800-1850. The artists in this period were highly individualistic and weren't afraid to delve into darkness to find beauty everywhere. It can be seen as idealistic, but the focus on beauty and emotion is central to the movement's character.
I graduated with a degree in Literature, but my research of authors and poets did not end there. I still love researching the past and almost every one of my books have historical literature at its roots. You're going to be see a great deal more background of my writing as this year progresses. I'm excited to share this part of my work with everyone because I feel the greats have a lot of wisdom to offer our generation.
In addition to being a reflection of my work and how I think, the tagline is a reminder of PSALM 139:14. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. I really explored this thought. As a creator, how terrifying it must be to give life to something that has the potential to be cruel or evil, yet how exciting that the same creature has the ability to defeat darkness and be a true hero. When I write my characters, they are born with that same free will. Their motivations and decisions alter their actions, and they reap a destiny. Strangely, no matter who they evolve to be (hero, villain, or somewhere in-between), I still see beauty in their flaws and in their hearts because I fully understand them--know them at their deepest core. We are each beautiful and terrifying creatures.
There are wonderful things coming. I can feel it. Can you?
This time last year, I had the pleasure of meeting my childhood idol, R. L. Stine. But it almost didn’t happen. Tickets, though free, had to be reserved online within a narrow timeframe. By the time I clicked, they were all gone! Imagine my horror! I was attending the event as an author, and to know that Stine would be mere buildings away was just too much.
I didn’t lose hope, though. On the way to the event, I decided that I had to stop by our local bookstore to pick up a Stine book for him to sign just in case I got the chance to attend. I purchased A Midsummer Night’s Scream [affiliate link]. I had never heard of the book, but the cover was creepy and the blurb sounded interesting. So, I bought it. The whole way up, I hoped that someway, somehow I’d get in.
Thank goodness for great friends! By the time the event happened, a generous friend had given me a ticket. Then, while I was in line, a new friend I met while there, offered their extra VIP ticket. While I stood there with my lovely laminated VIP ticket (the girl who a day earlier had no ticket!), I went to add the book to my Goodreads to-read pile. It turns out that the book I brought him to sign was his worst rated book ever. My cheeks flushed, my heart raced. What would he think? Will me bringing this book evoke negative feelings? As an author myself, I thought it might. We all have books that are more popular than others, but I only had one chance to meet Stine and thank him for countless hours of childhood fun and terror! The last thing I wanted was to rain on his parade. What was a girl to do?
Having a VIP ticket meant that I got to sit on the first row! SO close! I hung on every word he said. He was delightfully funny and inspiring. No surprise.
Then it was time to get our books signed. Since we sat so close, we didn’t have to wait long. Within minutes, I was next. Me and THAT book. I bit my lip, wiped my sweaty palms down my jeans, and anxiously waited for him to speak when I handed him the book.
“Wow. No one ever brings this book. I love this book. It’s nasty,” he said, a smile stretching across his face. My heart warmed, and I felt a sense of pride. I had worried for nothing. My fears of disappointing my favorite childhood author immediately dissipated. I had made him smile. Like all the times his words had made me smile. And it felt great.
Riding home on a literary high, I realized there was a lesson in this. Authors fear reviews. It’s a natural part of being an artist, and sometimes we miss the mark, no matter how hard we try. But despite what other people think of our work, it doesn’t take away our own love for it. And it shouldn’t. I suspect Stine figured that out long ago. We don’t create for other people. We create because we’re compelled to understand the world better, and writing helps us do that. We’re called to it. Our books don’t always have to be “good,” but I can assure you that our intentions are. I left there that day realizing that he and I and all authors are more alike than we ever realize. We’re constantly being told how good or bad we are. It’s sometimes difficult to remember that the only thing that truly matters is that we are worthy. Our stories are worthy of being written, shared, and experienced. The verdict isn’t nearly as impactful when we live in that truth. 🖤
I found this lil piece last night while slowly making my way through boxes. I painted it last year, and at the time, I was disappointed with it. I’m always my own worst critic, but now, after some time has passed, I realize how much this encompasses my MG fantasy, RED RIBBONS. I’m looking forward to doodling more of my characters in the future. Something about putting them on paper in a visual way makes them feel even more alive. 💙
P.S. Did you catch how the little fairy is locked away in a cage? That’s from the accompanying story, which is accessible through the back of the ebook. Veddie, our beloved fairy godmother, has quite a past. ☺️
I told y'all last post about how much our new house needs the deepest clean ever, right? Well, let's just say it's been trials and mountains of errors on finding a product to help with the 12 years of dirt layers caked on all the trim, doors, and cabinets. But by some glorious revelation, I found the best product that not only cleans, degreases, and moisturizes the wood--Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap [affiliate link].
I know what you're thinking, how can dish soap be the best cleaning product for the job?! I'm just as surprised as you; although, I really shouldn't be. I've been a fan of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products for about a year and a half now, since I made the decision to start minimizing chemicals in my home. Their products smell amazing and make your skin super soft due to their use of essential oils (hence their ability to moisturize surfaces). The information on their website really explains what makes them different:
We make intelligent, responsible raw material choices, and whenever possible, obtain materials from renewable plant resources such as coconut, corn, soy or olive. At times we choose to use non-plant-derived material for reasons of efficacy, consistency and safety. Our products do not contain chlorine bleach, ammonia, petroleum distillates, parabens, phosphates or phthalates. We use concentrated, biodegradable formulas and at least 25% post-consumer plastic in our bottles. We do not test on animals.
So yeah, I'm a fan. I should add a little disclaimer here, though. I do not use their dish soap for dishes. Weird, I know. But I find it too oily and difficult to rinse, leaving a funny taste in the cups, so there you go. The good news is that it cleans everything else SO well.
We've also used it to pressure wash and clean the exterior of our previous home, which was wood sided. Worked wonderfully. And just this morning, I cleaned our stainless steel microwave, inside and out, and it didn't even leave streaks. Seriously, y'all. It rocks.
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."— Elie Wiesel