New Discord Server!

Introducing… 

Crystal and MJ’s Reader/Writer Portal!

I now have a Discord server where you can interact with me in real-time, participate in my online events, and chat with fellow readers!   

​I’ve partnered with my friend and co-author, Crystal Crawford (okay, it was mostly her idea), to create a joint Discord server where we can host online events, chat with our readers, do workshops and info sessions with fellow writers, and more.

​Discord is unique in that it allows me to host a private (invite-only) server where I can set up “Channels” for a variety of different chat topics, do live-streams and screen-shares, host group video chats, host online events, create breakout groups for specific events or topics, post videos and links, and lots of other fun things.  It also allows for users who join — like you! — to text chat in the channels with me (and each other), message other users, and even jump in to group video calls when I set them up. 

​In short, it’s the perfect platform for me to connect with you better, and also for you to find others who have read my books and may want to chat about them, as well as connecting with fellow readers and writers who share your interests.

It also has a fun leveling system where you can Rank up by interacting and chatting in the server.  When you hit each new rank, you get access to special titles and exclusive, story-themed custom emojis… and there’s even a Leaderboard with a special reward for the Top User!

And it’s all FREE for you to join and use!

When you join as a reader (and/or a fellow writer), you’ll immediately find a post which will let you sort yourself into channels based on whether you are a reader or a writer (or both), and whether you are interested in interacting with Crystal, myself, or both of us!   You will also get access to the channels to interact with your fellow readers and/or writers who join our server.

We’re just getting things rolling in the Discord server, but plans for its use include:

Dedicated chatting channels for readers of my books, Crystal’s books, and also our cowritten work

Scheduled live-streams and/or group video sessions with myself and/or MJ (probably usually Crystal—she’s the live video dork, and I hide like the introverted cave-dweller I am!)

Scheduled character chats, book chats, etc., where you can “chat with the characters” from our books and/or find out more about particular book worlds we’ve written

Dedicated chatting channels for fellow writers, with future plans for scheduled writing chats, critique groups, brainstorming groups, and occasional writing workshops

Ask the Author sessions where Crystal and/or myself will be available for questions and discussion via group text or live video

Exclusive Beta-Reading opportunities

Early access to news and announcements

And more!

​I am SUPER excited about the chance to connect more directly with my readers, and I can’t wait for this thing to really get going!

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, join through the link below, and then just follow the prompts/instructions once you set up your account.

Join CRYSTAL & MJ’S READER/WRITER PORTAL Discord Server!

All you need is an email address!  (Discord does have an app for mobile and desktop, but you can also just use your browser.)

You’ll want to check the #welcome-and-rules channel on the left panel first when you enter, and the friendly Server-Bot will walk you through how to get into the server from there! 

…And I’ll be waiting to greet you on the other end. 

The Stars Wait Not Book Review

Ryllis Camden has a secret—she can talk to nature, and it speaks to her in return. But her gift is forbidden by the Vilarian Star Realm who controls her planet, and the penalty is death. When she’s falsely accused of treason and exiled to the Vilarian home world, hiding her power becomes even more critical. But how can she hide anything when she’s forced to toil in the home of the emperor’s youngest son?

Kresten Westermark might be a prince, but long ago he shunned a life of luxury to work as a telepath in the Vilarian Imperial Fleet. His job demands he treat his new prisoner as a slave and test his deteriorating telepathic powers on her, but the only thing on his mind is the growing attraction he feels toward the earnest young woman tending his gardens.

As the mountain winter fades, a reluctant respect between the two becomes trust, and trust soon blossoms into affection. But when the Fleet arrives to arrest Kresten for treason, Ryllis must make an impossible decision.

Save Kresten’s life—or hers.

Sometimes you want a book filled to the brim with action and adventure, high-stakes and intense relationships, and a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Other times, you want something immersive that lets you develop a relationship with the characters while they are on their own journey. It’s slow and steady, building to a conclusion that gives you peace.

For me, The Stars Wait Not by Anne Wheeler was a breath of fresh air. It was a little infusion of science fiction, a touch of sweet romance, and a storyline that kept me involved to the end. I read the book in about three days, which is a record for me since my schedule is usually packed! I loved the characters, their interactions, and how the story progresses at a pace that is reasonable while still offering little bits of surprise here and there.

An added special touch are the illustrations. How many adult books can you find with illustrations? It’s a thoughtful gesture by the author that helps draw the reader further into the story while not being so intrusive they distract from the story. While not necessarily filled with high-stakes adventure, the book is, in fact, a more realistic depiction of a prisoner’s life on an alternate world, and that is enough to make you feel genuinely connected to the protagonist.

And the cover? I love the constellations mixed with the leaves, and after reading the book, it makes so much sense. It’s simple yet beautiful.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series! If you’d like to purchase the book, you can find it here!

Why Write?

People tend to underestimate themselves. I don’t mean a little uncertainty about meeting a deadline or trying a new recipe—I mean, really, truly underestimating their purpose in life. I was one of those people for a long time, but it wasn’t something I thought about a lot. I finished school, went to college, got the obligatory gazillion degrees, got a better job when I got out of college, got married, had a kid… and then my world screeched to a total halt.

I realized once I had my child that I had no idea who I was. No clue whatsoever. My husband and I decided early in my pregnancy that I would stay home and raise our child. It was more my choice than his, but he supported my decision, which worked wonderfully when we moved from Florida to Georgia.

For a long time, I was happy just being a stay-at-home mom to an infant, but right about the time I morphed from a competent woman who had her life together into a sleep-deprived psycho who didn’t even remember what day of the week it was, I realized I needed more. Then came the guilt parade… because needing more than being a mother was selfish, right? Well, it felt that way when my daughter was only a few months old, and post-pregnancy hormones wreaked havoc on every aspect of my life, including the part that told me I was not a horrible person if I wanted more than feeding a baby, changing her diapers, and trying to decipher just what the heck she wanted when she was screaming like a banshee.

One night, I’d just had enough. The baby was like a mini-tornado for hours before she finally fell asleep for the night, my husband (a firefighter) was on shift, and I was too tired to care that the dishes were piled to the ceiling. All I wanted to do was pace. I paced and paced until I realized what I needed was to get the feelings in my head down on paper. I had never been one to journal, so trying to do that only made things worse. For Heaven’s sake, why couldn’t I just be like a normal person and write down how I felt?

Turns out, I’m not the only person who can’t do that. Lots of people can’t do it, so I thought I’d write a story to deal with all of my emotions (side note, I was also dealing with post-partum depression and grief over tragically losing a childhood friend to suicide.) What happened was a story that incorporated a lot of me, a little of several friends, and a heaping helping of regret all rolled into an account that became quite popular on Wattpad. The Yellow Note, my very first full-length novel, was a hit that amassed over 3 million reads before I removed it from the writing platform and published it.

That was a few years ago, and though I realize there were TONS of ways I could have made that book so much better, I also know that it is perfect just how it is because it was the first time I realized I had something to say. I could be more than a stay-home mom, a homemaker, a homeschool teacher, a personal chef, a maid, and all those other things we do all day every day. I could have a career that was all mine—directed, grown, designed, and crafted by me.

It was pretty wild to discover something I enjoyed so much in my late thirties. I know, I know, that’s not old, but when you are dog-tired, and your brain is too fried to even remember how many times you washed that load of laundry, discovering a new talent is fun and exciting.

So that’s it, the craziest thing I ever learned about myself (okay, maybe not the craziest, but the wildest I’m going to discuss with readers), and it just so happened to be something I could turn into a career I adore.

What is your passion? When did you discover it? What’s the craziest thing you ever learned about yourself?

If you are interested in reading The Yellow Note, the first book in The Secret Author Series, it is available at Amazon.

New Release!

The second book in The History of Goranin trilogy is here! I’m so excited to share this next installment of the story with my readers. There are so many new characters, twists and turns, and surprises you’ll need a seatbelt (and more tissues).

In case you haven’t started the series, you can find the first book, Eiagan’s Winter, at Amazon (or click the title for a link.)

Check out the blurb and bonuses below! Click on the books to redirect to the Amazon page!

When Eiagan Allurigard sacrificed herself to save her people, the Kingdom of Goranin was supposed to prosper, but now dark forces threaten to wipe the kingdom from the map permanently. The new Queen Emora continued her sister’s fight for freedom, but at what cost?

The once amiable princess has become a tyrant worse than Eiagan ever was, and the rebels are run out of The Banished Lands, forced to make a new life on the Rynkald Islands where they work to build a new army—one that can turn the tide against their once beloved rebel leader.

However, things are not what they seem in the ravaged land of Goranin. Immortals with dirty hands and hardened hearts and those who prey on the weak wait to strike, ready to take all the land for themselves. What was once a battle to save Goranin becomes a struggle to save every kingdom from the clutches of evil. Chaos abounds as our band of rebel fighters struggle to stay alive and reclaim their homeland.

The Revenant Queen is packed with adventure, unbelievable monsters, deep roots and layers of intrigue, and the strength of a family forged in pain and grief.

Want to listen to my Spotify playlist? Just click here: The Revenant Queen