I have had quite a bit of dental work done the past couple of weeks, including a root canal (ouch) so I've been splurging on milkshakes and ice cream almost non stop. It doesn't hurt that it has been 100 degrees in Chicago lately.

I'm also in the midst of packing up my entire apartment to make a move eight blocks north. While I'm excited about the new place, I'm not excited about moving all my stuff. However, as I have been cleaning things out and packing up boxes, I've been formulating some ideas for a giveaway blitz.

I will be releasing the second book in the Shadows Trilogy, The Rebels, in August and I'm going to be doing 5 days of promotion leading up to the release. Blog readers and fans will have a chance to win copies of my books, both paperback and kindle version, and some other fun stuff. So be on the lookout for that the first week or so of August.

I will also be creating a nice long blog about my experiences as an indie writer. Part of the process is keeping track of what works and what doesn't, so I'll be including some details of my successes an failures over the past couple of months. While I've been writing for a few years, I only recently took the plunge and put my stuff up on Amazon and I'm quickly learning that simply loading your book doesn't guarantee you fans and sales. There's a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into selling your books online and I'm just beginning to wrap my brain around it all.

So if you have read one of my books and enjoyed it, please tell your friends. And family. And pets. And neighbors. Tell everyone that will listen. I will be eternally grateful.
The fourth of July is such a great holiday. Warm weather, food, family and friends, and fireworks. But it's also a day to remember that we wouldn't be who we are today without sacrifice. This is true in the history of America and in our own personal histories. Sometimes you have to be willing to do things you don't want to do to achieve something great or important.

So I encourage people to think about the sacrifices they have made in their own lives and the sacrifices others have made for them. I also encourage you to eat something that was cooked on a grill and have a cold beer or two.

Oh and also, if you haven't picked it up yet, my first book The Shadows is free on Amazon today as my own little birthday gift. Enjoy!
Has anyone else been watching the Olympic Trials? I'm a huge sports fan in general and the Olympics in particular. I think my favorite part is how everywhere you go during the Olympics, everyone is cheering for the same team. That rarely ever happens in sports.

Another reason I haven't blogged in a while is that I had one of those crazy weeks where I barely had any free time. I had to get a root canal a couple of days ago and had a lot of work stuff going on. But the crazy part was how even after working insane hours and sitting in a dentist's chair for two hours, when I came home I still couldn't wait to start writing.

So, you may be asking, what do the two distinct thoughts above have in common. I'll tell you. The title of this post is For Love or Money and it's something I've been pondering the last few weeks. I don't love my job, but I make good money and it could certainly be worse. However I do love to write, but I barely make any money at it. Olympians all over the world dedicate years to becoming the best at their sport but only a few dozen will become famous at any Olympics. Most of the others will never make any real money doing what they love.

So is there a way to make money doing what you love? Or is it better to take the job that will pay you and just keep doing what you love in your free time? If you start to get paid for what you love, do you stop loving it because it becomes just another job?

Okay enough of the deep thinking. I recently published my first novella, a follow-up to the the first book in the Castle trilogy. It's actually a prequel, but makes more sense if you read it after CASTLE. It hopefully answers a few of the questions people had while they were reading CASTLE about the characters' back stories. I had a blast writing it.

If you don't already know, my second young adult novel is free on Amazon today and tomorrow. Please check it out.

Some writers are completely against giving away books for free. Part of me gets this. Writing is hard work, and there aren't many jobs that people would do for months without getting paid. However, the Amazon free promotion is nice because it allows newbie writers like myself to get our work into the hands of a lot of people very quickly. Then those readers can fall in love with our books and tell all their friends. It's almost the reverse of how books used to work- read a great book and then lend it to a friend for free. So I guess I don't really see the problem with letting people enjoy my work for free for a few days.

Okay, enough about that. Go get my book!

I just made my second young-adult novel, CASTLE, available for purchase on Amazon. I've mentioned it before, but I'm super excited about this book. It has a lot of stuff going on and the characters are pretty cool. Shane is personal fave of mine because she's clearly someone you don't want to mess with (I may be channeling some of myself in her character.)

An interesting thing I've been thinking about is if a writer has favorite books that they've written. CASTLE is my second book to be published, but I was writing it off and on while writing other books including The Shadows. And so far I've loved all my books equally which leads me to believe that books are just like children- you love them for different reasons, but equally.

Anyway, enough random thoughts. Thanks for humoring me. Check out CASTLE if you are so inclined. It's the beginning of a great series.

I'm not feeling well so it's 3:00 in the morning and I am wide awake. Not fun. However it is a good opportunity for me to catch up on blogging. I was MIA all of last week because I was in Mexico for a wedding. It was an amazing time, and I even got to do some celebrity watching- Michael Bay and the Old Spice Guy! It was a great time, but now I'm back into serious writing mode.

My second novel, CASTLE, is in the final stages and should become available at some point next week. I've been working on it for a few months now and I think it's really coming together nicely.

The Shadows has been available for almost a month now and has been pretty well-received so far. I have to say, it's a really cool feeling knowing that people are reading a book you wrote. And then when someone actually enjoys that book, it's very satisfying. When I'm writing, I'm mostly writing for myself honestly. I try to write something I enjoy reading so it's pretty neat to find other people that enjoy the same thing.

With the release of my new book, I'll likely be planning some fun promo stuff. Look for another free run of my first book on Amazon. I've also got some other writings in the works that will be coming soon, including the follow up to The Shadows.

Okay, I may have talked myself into some sleep so I'm signing off for now. Good night!

As much as I love to write, I think I love reading even more. Tomorrow I'm taking off for 6 days of fun in the sun and plan to conquer a pretty large reading list (in addition to finishing up my novel CASTLE.) This list I have put together covers a lot of different genres and I'm really excited about these books. I'm also open to suggestions if anyone has read a great book lately. I read both Kindle books and physical books because true addicts get their fix in any way they can.

1. Game of Thrones- George R.R. Martin (I'm already about 60% done with this one and can't wait to finish it on the plane)
2. A Night to Remember- Walter Lord (Non-Fiction- all about the Titanic)
3. The Magician King- Lev Grossman
4. Legend- Marie Lu (Young Adult)
5. A couple of John Sandford novels. Perfect beach reading.

Suggestions? I love discovering new authors. Shameless self-promotion is also acceptable.




The Kindle version of my first book, The Shadows, is listed free on Amazon today and tomorrow. What are you waiting for? Click on the book image below to go right to the Amazon page for free downloading.
I leave for my friend's wedding in Mexico in three days and I couldn't be more excited. Six whole days of laying in the sun and reading, topped off with a perfect beach wedding. To celebrate, I've finished off the cover for my second book, CASTLE. I might be a little biased, but I just love this book. I've finished about 3/4 of the book and hope to complete it while on vacation. I'm going to publish it later in June, but you can check out the cover and free sample on my "Free Stuff" page.

My first book is up on Amazon and ready to be read. I wasn't planning to publish it for a few more days but after a final read thru yesterday, I decided to go for it. I know it's not perfect, but then neither am I. But I do think it's an enjoyable read so please check it out.

I started writing the Shadows three years ago when I was between jobs and bored out of my mind. The first version was certainly "rough" but I knocked it out in about ten days. The subsequent versions took a lot longer to write, mostly because I'm now working full time and putting in an insane amount of hours at work. But it is also taking longer because I've got a lot of writing projects going on right now. I'm about halfway done with another YA novel that will be published in July and I will also be following up soon with the sequel to The Shadows so expect to hear much more from me in the coming months.

If you would like to buy The Shadows, please check it out on Amazon Buy The Shadows


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