Capture the Ponies!

Some visitors to this website may not know about my first trilogy, The Flying Ponies, so I thought I would do a quick post. This is the back cover copy for Lift, the first book in the trilogy:

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Flynn, moving into the heart of the Michigan woods with her family is the biggest adventure she’s ever had. A self-proclaimed geek girl with a penchant for Sherlock Holmes, she wonders if she’ll ever have an exciting quest of her own.

But when she discovers an antique carousel tucked into the woods near her new home, her life soon spins out of control. For the ponies are so much more than their faded paint portrays. Filled with primal magic, the ponies are alive, and they have been waiting for her for a long time.

With the help of a young carousel caretaker named Black, Charlotte soon discovers that the Flying Ponies are in danger from others who want to possess them and their magic. Drawn into a battle for the carousel and ultimately the entire world while navigating her first true romance, Charlotte may have more adventure than she ever bargained for . . .

The Flying Ponies are available on Amazon, as both trade paperbacks and e-books.

SPIN HAS ARRIVED!

I have copies available directly from me. It’s also available on Amazon, along with Lift and Tilt, as a trade paperback or ebook.

All the Holiday Cheer and Catching Up, Too

Hey everyone, long time no talk, yeah? Yeah. I haven’t kept this website as updated as I’d originally planned when I started it. I’ll get right to the point: life has been rough this year. I fell and broke/dislocated my right ankle way back in February, which was not fun. Lots of rods and pins had to be installed. We’ve dealt with other medical issues all year, and as of now, my maternal grandmother’s health is failing badly, and we expect this to be our last Christmas with her.

On a brighter note, I have sent Spin, the final Flying Ponies novel, to my editor and am waiting to hear back from her. It was a difficult book for me, much more difficult than either Lift or Tilt were, but maybe the last book in a trilogy is supposed to be. There’s a lot to wrap up, a lot of expectations riding on those final words. But I think it’s good. I think it’s fitting. I guess in March or April, when Spin gets released, we’ll see if the readers think so, too.

We saw Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker yesterday, and for me, it was everything it needed to be. Talk about wrapping up a series! Wow. And we know there’s more to come from Disney. My family just subscribed to Disney+ on Saturday, so we haven’t started The Mandalorian yet, but I’ve heard good things about it. My favorite fandom will always be Star Wars; my husband is a huge comic book fan, and I’m quite fond of a number of heroes, especially in the DC universe, but for me, the saga that George Lucas started back in 1977 will always be my fandom home. Rise of Skywalker was emotional for me, and I know it will be for a lot of people, just as it should be. It’s the ending of an era, and with Disney helming the franchise now, it opens the way for a new one.

I have the first novel in my next series all done, except for the crucial editing. It’s titled Clandestine, and it’s the first in the upcoming Traitors’ War series. It is set in the fictional world of Imperium, and the first book plays out on the fictional continent of Pentallia, a place where magic, called Illumination, has been outlawed. Different characters will tell the story through the series, including (but not limited to) a princess, a prince, a Shadowliege (assassin), a Knightagent (think a sword-and-gun wielding CIA agent), and an emissary searching for her place in the world. My plan is to release Clandestine in October of 2020, but we’ll see if that is feasible. The first chapter of it will be included in the back of Spin.

My goal for 2020 with this website is to update it once a week, and to talk about not only life in general, but the writing and author life. I hope to keep telling interesting stories.

Merry Christmas, everyone, or if you prefer, happy holidays. May the season bring warmth to you and yours, and may you make wonderful memories with friends and loved ones. My husband and I always wrap presents today, on December 23rd, and watch a movie while we do it. And tomorrow night, on Christmas Eve, after the service at our church, we hang the stockings and put out the presents, and then relax with a bit of Jack or maybe some rum, mixed in with Coke or eggnog. I like our traditions, and I know you all have yours, too. I hope they include Jesus, but if they don’t, know He is always willing to meet you.

Have a wonderful day, ladies and gents.

TILT IS COMING…

Hey everyone, I know I haven’t been posting here as much lately. I tend to post more to Instagram and cross-post to my Facebook author page and my Twitter account. But there is big news afoot…

Tilt, book two in The Flying Ponies trilogy, is releasing on Saturday, March 2, 2019. I am having a book launch party at the Shelby Area District Library (where I work) on March 2, from 4-6 pm. Both Tilt and Lift, book one in the trilogy, will be available to buy. I will also sign the books.

Here is the back cover copy for Tilt:

Charlotte Flynn is on a mission. 
Betrayed by both Penumbra and her Uncle Baron, Charlotte is seeking the missing Flying Ponies in the hopes of uniting them against their wayward leader. Joined by Dreadful, a crazy cavalry horse; Black, her new boyfriend; and her family and friends, she plans to find the missing carousel horses before Penumbra and Baron do. 

But the hunt won’t be easy. An old friend of Black’s shows up, with intentions that might not be as honorable as she says. The Tyranny holds some of the Flying Ponies in their possession – and they’re not giving them up. Penumbra, determined to have all the carousel horses to himself, will stop at nothing to defeat Charlotte and Dreadful.

And if that isn’t enough, Charlotte discovers she, like her traitorous uncle, has magic flowing through her. Determined to bring the Flying Ponies back together no matter the cost, the sixteen-year-old may end up paying the ultimate price.

I look forward to seeing everyone! If you have any questions about the books, characters, the Flying Ponies, or writing in general, please feel free to ask them. I love talking about writing!

Tiltcoverfront

Round Two Down!

I just finished the second edits, the color edits, on Tilt. Next up is taking all the changes and incorporating them into the manuscript. I’m hoping to get Tilt to my editor by the middle of December.

This book has been a lot easier to work with than Lift. The story knows where it’s headed, and believe me, BIG things go down in book two! Almost all of the Flying Ponies get introduced, and you get to know Dreadful more.

I hope to release Tilt in mid-winter (Valentine’s Day would be fun, wouldn’t it?). Check back on my social media as I will be updating where I am with the publishing process.

Editing With Color

I am now on the second round of edits on Tilt, book two in The Flying Ponies trilogy. This second stage is what I refer to as my “highlighter” round. Each pertinent character and sometimes story line gets assigned a different color highlighter. As I go through the manuscript, I use those colors to mark characters. I do this so I can see how many times a character is in a scene or on a page, and to make sure they continue all the way through the book. If a certain color stops, I can make sure there’s a reason why that character or story line disappears.

This strategy works well for me, and I like flipping through all the pages of the manuscript and seeing the different colors. As a writer, it’s interesting to see which characters run the show. In Tilt, the Flying Ponies themselves are quite involved in the narrative. You will meet almost all of them in the second book; and hopefully, you will like at least some of them. Each of the 32 Flying Ponies are based on actual carousel horses – some of them are on working carousels around the United States, and others are to be found in museums. The model horse for Dreadful, for instance, is at the Frontier Museum at Cedar Point Amusement Park, in Ohio. In the middle of this month I will be visiting Cedar Point, and am excited about “meeting” the bay cavalry horse Dreadful is modeled after.

Using the different colors also appeals to me as a creative person. I love to color, and highlighting my characters is almost like coloring my novel. Who knows – maybe someday there will be a Flying Ponies coloring book! The one major story line that I assigned a color is the relationship between Black and Charlotte. I’ll admit – I think they are an adorable young couple, and I’m having fun watching their feelings for one another develop, especially since a certain older brother doesn’t like that.

I’m not quite halfway through the book with the colors; once that round of edits is done, I’ll let Tilt sit for a week or so and then go through it again, this time looking for anything that feels out-of-place. I’ve signed my book contract for it, and the book will probably go to my editor in the early winter, and then finally to my publisher. I expect Tilt to release around March-April of 2019.

If you’re a writer, the highlighter round might work for you, too – and it sure makes your manuscript pretty!

 

The Magic of the Carousel

The carousel horses in my trilogy, The Flying Ponies, are all based off real-life carousel horses. They are either aboard machines still in operation or in museums, where people can admire them. Some of them are on the carousel at the Grand Rapids Public Museum; their literary equivalents debut in Tilt, book two of the trilogy.

Two of my fans (and nieces) visited the museum with their family earlier this month and took a spin on the 1928 Spillman carousel. They also took selfies with a couple of the horses; Contessa is a palomino mare and Oriflamme is a palomino armored horse (the names belong to their counterparts in my books). I was given permission to share the pictures.

I love the beauty and majesty of antique carousels, and I love the fact that these two girls were able to ride this one and enjoy it. Carousels have charm and a certain grace, and if you are able to stand quietly next to their painted ponies, you might just hear them whispering.

Magic might not exist in a literal sense, but it can be found in life. One only has to believe and be willing to seek it out in the ordinary.

Bittersweet

I finished the first draft of book two in The Flying Ponies trilogy, Tilt, last Saturday night. As I sat there, staring at my computer screen, a little disturbed by what I had just written, I thought, Wow. I only have one more book with this crew. Then it will be on to something else. And that realization hit me quite hard.

You see, writers get attached to their characters. We live with them in our minds and hearts, day after day. Someone can read your story and think, yeah, I enjoyed that. And then they move on to something else. But writers don’t get to do that. At least, I don’t. Those people, those wooden horses that fly, are now part of me. They always will be.

And I will miss them when their story is complete, when I’m not thinking of and working with them daily. They’ll still be with me, but they will no longer be in the limelight. They’ll have to move over and make room for the next story’s characters.

That’s how it should, of course. No writer can rest on his or her last story. There’s always going to be another to tell, another to share with the world. But you still miss the last one you told.

I know I shouldn’t be waxing poetic about The Flying Ponies yet. I still have to edit and polish Tilt. It probably won’t release until spring 2019, and then I have the third and final one to write, Spin. After that, yeah. It will be time to get sentimental.

But the next story is always calling, even now, even with Tilt just starting to cool off, stored on my flash drive and laptop. Still, it’s hard not to feel some bittersweetness.

I kind of want that carousel ride to last forever.

FANS!!!

It’s true – Lift has fans! I am so excited! I had the opportunity to talk to a reader last week at the library who asked about book two and told me how much she loved Lift. And this past Saturday I received my first piece of fan art from another reader who loves my story. I am so geeked!

As a writer, I knew Lift would not be for everyone. There are millions of readers in not only our nation but the world, and no one book could make each of them happy. Still, to interact with readers who connected with the story and enjoyed it has been such a wonderful part of being an author.

I am halfway through Tilt, book two in The Flying Ponies trilogy, and I expect to publish it around April of 2019. This second book will answer questions left over from Lift and introduce more of the 32 Flying Ponies of the carousel. I am looking forward to sharing this second book with the fans!

Isn’t this fan art cool?! I’m so glad readers are enjoying the story – I’m enjoying the experience of being an author!

Lift Book Trailer!

Brought to you from Laura A. Grace from Unicorn Quester, who graciously made this for me while also reviewing Lift and interviewing me.

Enjoy!!