Pre-Order The Frost Eater…and Get Free Bookmarks!

The Frost Eater, Book 1 in The Magic Eaters Trilogy, is available for pre-order!

What’s it about? Glad you asked.

200 years ago, an apocalypse ushered in a magical era.

Krey, a royalty-hating, flying teen, is searching for his girlfriend Zeisha. Nora, a princess, insists on helping.

But Zeisha’s captors are memory stealers. She must escape soon—or she’ll lose herself forever.

I love this story. I think you will too!

Get it Today!

Pre-Order Perks

When you pre-order any version of the book, you can get 2 free signed bookmarks & a chance to win a free paperback copy of The Frost Eater! After ordering, click here to claim your Pre-Order Perks. (U.S. only.)

Add The Frost Eater to Goodreads!

Cover & Title Reveal: My Next YA Fantasy Novel!

I’ve been working hard on my new YA fantasy series, and it’s time to reveal the cover (designed by Mariah Sinclair), title, and release date!

What’s it about? I’m glad you asked.

200 years ago, an apocalypse ushered in a magical era.

Krey, a royalty-hating, flying teen, is searching for his girlfriend Zeisha. Nora, a princess, insists on helping.

But Zeisha’s captors are memory stealers. She must escape soon—or she’ll lose herself forever.

It’s a fantastic new series for fans of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, the Harbinger series by Jeff Wheeler, and The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

Coming January 28, 2020!

Enchanted Tattoos, Slashed Tires, & First Kisses…

I guess enchanted tattoos, slashed tires, and first kisses don’t have a lot in common on the surface–but they’re all topics of miniature stories in my new book, The Curio Cabinet, which launched today!

It’s a book of tiny stories, each about 50 words long. Here are a couple of samples:

Snag your own copy!

The Curio Cabinet also makes a great gift. I’m excited about this book, and I hope you’ll get your copy today!

A New Book of Short (and I Mean TINY) Stories

I’m working on my next YA fantasy series (which I’m really excited about!) In the meantime, check out my brand new book, launching July 9!


Enchanted tattoos, slashed tires, and first kisses . . .

Peek inside The Curio Cabinet for an assortment of 150 stories, each about fifty words long.

Here’s a sample:



Check out more samples here!

The Curio Cabinet launches July 9. Ready to pre-order?

Sale on signed paperbacks for Easter!

I always put books in my kids’ Easter baskets! The Sun-Blessed Trilogy, a YA Fantasy series, is on sale for Easter.

Coupon codes:
BUNNYBOOK $2 off a single book
BUNNYSERIES $5 off trilogy bundle (for a total of $9 off individual prices) or $5 off trilogy + novella bundle (for a total of $10 off individual prices)

Good ONLY on signed copies on my website. Click here!

Expires 4/23/19.

Working with Early Readers, Part 3: ARC Reviewers

This is Part 3 of a series for indie authors.
To read the series intro, click here.
To read Part 1: ALPHA READERS, click here.
To read Part 2: BETA READERS, click here.

You’ve got a manuscript that’s been through alpha reading, beta reading, and all sorts of revision rounds…and you’re ready to publish!

But wouldn’t it be great to get some early Goodreads and Amazon reviews? All those beautiful gold stars prove that someone likes my writing!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Note: I’m exclusive to Amazon with most of my e-books, so this article will be primarily from that perspective.

Here’s what I’ve learned about getting early reviews:

Pre-Orders or Soft Launch?

I suggest either setting up your book for pre-order or doing a “soft launch” followed by a public launch.

  • If you put your book up for pre-order, you can generate some buzz and early sales. Then you can ask your reviewers to review the minute the book comes out. (Some people even launch the paperback a few days early, get it linked to the e-book by contacting KDP, and then ask people to review the paperback version before the e-book is out.)
  • Another option is to put your book live on Amazon, but don’t tell anyone except your early reviewers. This is called a “soft launch.” Give them a few days to review, and then do a big “public launch,” telling the world your book is for sale.

Where I’ve found ARC reviewers:

  • I have a Street Team on Facebook. (See below.) I invite my whole newsletter to join it, and I also invite Facebook friends and people who’ve Liked my page.
  • I reach out to my friends on Twitter and invite them to review. I then send them the link to the ARC by DM and keep in touch with them via email and DM.
  • I’m also a member of a group called YA Book Stop – YABS that connects YA authors and readers. I’ve gotten some great reviewers through there and through other Facebook groups, and some have even turned into alpha and/or beta readers! (There are similar groups for other genres.)
  • I ask my newsletter subscribers to join my ARC team too.

How my street team works:

  • My street team is a private group on Facebook.
    • I give them free digital copies of all my books before the public release.
    • I also offer them special deals on signed paperbacks.
    • I ask them to read and review and promote my work on social media.
  • When I have a book that’s ready, I distribute it through StoryOrigin.
    • I capture someone’s email address when they download, and I add them to a special group through my mailing list provider (MailerLite.)
    • Please note that YA Book Stop, the Facebook group I mentioned, doesn’t allow you to capture the reader’s email address to send them the book. I set up a separate ARC link for them that doesn’t require an email to download.
  • Throughout the ARC period, I post reminders to my ARC team on Facebook, asking them to promote the book and support me in various ways, such as:
    • Review wherever available (Goodreads and/or Amazon, etc),
    • Follow me on Goodreads and Amazon
    • Post about the book on social media.
  • I also send emails to my ARC list reminding them to review. My ARC list is made up of those people who actually downloaded the book, so I want to send them special emails. They might miss what I post in the Facebook group!
  • When the book launches, I do a big push in the Street Team group and via email, asking them to review and promote.
  • I’ve learned that I need to keep in touch with my street team, even when I’m not releasing a book! So I start fun, book-related conversations to keep them engaged, and I share successes with them (such as good ranks on Amazon.)

Update/Edit, September 2020: For my last two books, I’ve used Booksprout to run my ARC phase. I send reviewers there instead of to Bookfunnel. Booksprout communicates with reviewers. I continue to communicate with them through email too; that way, they’re getting review reminders from Booksprout and from me. I get better follow-through that way.

As with beta reading, having a successful street team/ARC team all comes down to communication! You’ve given someone a book for free. Don’t be afraid to remind them over and over to review it and promote it!

Want more step-by-step instructions and resources that will help you create a successful ARC reader team? My new book, Early Readers Catch the Worms, includes…

  • Access to a Resource Pack full of editable resources and templates to help you build early reader teams (including ARC invitations and ARC reader follow-up emails).
  • Suggestions for how to improve ARC reader follow-through.
  • A simple way to encourage your ARC readers to send you last-second typos.

Buy your copy of Early Readers Catch the Worms: How Alpha, Beta, & ARC Readers Can Help You Publish a Better Novel by clicking here!

Early Readers Catch the Worms cover

That’s the end of this series on working with alpha readers, beta readers, and ARC reviewers. I hope it helps you create great books with plenty of fantastic reviews!

Want to be notified every time I post an Author Resource?


Author Resources on my website are 100% free. But if you’d like to buy me a coffee to thank me, click the “Tip Me” button at the bottom of the page!

Author Resources on my website are 100% free. But if you’d like to buy me a coffee to thank me, click the “Tip Me” button at the bottom of the page!

Working with Early Readers, Part 2: BETA READERS

This is Part 2 of a series for indie authors.
To read the series intro, click here.
To read Part 1: ALPHA READERS, click here.

How many beta readers should you have? Some people say one or two; others say as many as you can get!

I used to be in the latter camp, but when I had over twenty beta readers for one book, I did find it a bit overwhelming. I think twenty is probably my max, but you’ll have to figure out what works for you.

I got a lot of inspiration for my beta reading system from one of my favorite authors, Michael J. Sullivan, and his wife Robin. Robin runs an amazing beta team for Michael. I’m not on that team, but in Michael’s newsletter, they’ve been kind enough to share how their beta reading process works.

Image source: pixabay.com

Let’s jump in!

Here’s are two keys to a successful beta reading round:

  • Provide betas with a manuscript that, while imperfect, is already in good reading condition. Typos, grammar issues, and plot issues will exist, but they shouldn’t be so egregious that your beta readers don’t even want to finish the book!
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Then communicate some more. People are busy. You’ve got to help them remember their commitment to beta read, and give them enough guidance to do so successfully!

Where can I find betas?

As with alpha readers, I started with people I knew! Sure, they weren’t all fans of the genre, but they were people willing to read my work. You gotta start somewhere!

  • I started a newsletter (mostly friends and family from Facebook) and asked my subscribers to apply as beta readers.
  • I asked on my personal Facebook page.
  • I started a Facebook author page (again, mostly friends and family) and asked there.
  • Once I’d been through this process on one book, I sent special requests to former betas to repeat their roles.
  • I’ve also invited people on Twitter to apply as beta readers.
  • When I request beta readers, I’m very specific, telling them about the book, how long they’ll have to give feedback, etc..

How my beta-reading process works:

  • Prospective beta readers fill out a beta reader application.
  • Just filling out the application shows a certain level of commitment! So when I first started writing, I accepted everyone who filled out the application. Eventually, I reached the point where I became selective. Now, I choose approximately 20 to 25 betas. That’s more than many people use, and you may prefer fewer.
  • Even if I communicate very well with beta readers, I’ve never had 100% follow through. Life happens!
    • When working with an entirely new group of beta readers, you can reasonably expect at least 50% follow through (betas who read part or all of the book and provide feedback) if you communicate very well with them.
    • My highest-ever follow through has been 93%! This number was high because I had so many returning betas, and they were more likely to follow through than betas I’d never worked with before.
  • Once I’ve chosen my beta team and the book is ready, I send each of them an intro e-mail. I’m very clear on their deadlines (usually four weeks for a novel and at least two weeks for a novella) and what I’m looking for. Here’s my intro email for Birth of Magic:
  • I give beta readers a feedback form with questions that will help guide my revisions. It’s so helpful to them and to me.

How I decide which feedback to incorporate:

  1. First, I go with my gut. Does the feedback feel right? If it does, I change it.
  2. If more than one person has the same feedback, I might change it, even if it didn’t initially strike me as necessary
  3. And of course I change grammar errors, typos, etc. that my betas find!

Once you’ve made revisions based on beta feedback, it’s time for final polishing. That might involve a professional editor and/or proofreader, or an additional read-through by you, the author, or even another beta round…whatever you need to get your book ready for ARC reviewers.

Want more step-by-step instructions and resources that will help you create a successful beta reader team? My new book, Early Readers Catch the Worms, includes…

  • Access to a Resource Pack full of editable resources and templates to help you build early reader teams (including the beta-invitation email, beta application, welcome email to betas, feedback form, and follow-up email).
  • Suggestions for how to improve beta follow-through.

Buy your copy of Early Readers Catch the Worms: How Alpha, Beta, & ARC Readers Can Help You Publish a Better Novel by clicking here!

Cover of Early Readers Catch the Worms

Click here for Part 3 of this series: ARC reviewers.

Want to be notified every time I post an Author Resource?


Author Resources on my website are 100% free. But if you’d like to buy me a coffee to thank me, click the “Tip Me” button at the bottom of the page!

Author Resources on my website are 100% free. But if you’d like to buy me a coffee to thank me, click the “Tip Me” button at the bottom of the page!

Working with Early Readers (Alpha, Beta & ARC): A Blog Series

Hi, fellow indie authors!

Over the course of two fiction book series, I’ve developed reliable, incredibly helpful teams of alpha, beta, and ARC readers. I’ll share these systems with you in this blog series.

Photo by Perfecto Capucine from Pexels

First, some definitions:

  • Different people use the terms alpha readers and beta readers in different ways. Here’s how I use those terms:
    • Alpha readers read my manuscript as I’m writing it, and then they give me feedback on chunks of it. Essentially they’re reading the first draft (though I do read through chapters once before moving on, so it’s more like a second draft.)
    • Beta readers read my manuscript after I’ve already done extensive revisions and polishing, and then they give me feedback.
  • ARC readers are given ARCs (Advance Review Copies) to read and review. An ARC is a completed novel, as error-free as possible, just distributed before the book is published.

Click here to go to Part 1 of this series: ALPHA READERS.

This blog series is a good start for those trying to build early reader teams. but if you’d like more step-by-step instructions and resources, check out my new book, Early Readers Catch the Worms.

Cover of Early Readers Catch the Worms

Buy your copy of Early Readers Catch the Worms: How Alpha, Beta, & ARC Readers Can Help You Publish a Better Novel by clicking here!

Want to be notified every time I post an Author Resource?


Author Resources on my website are 100% free. But if you’d like to buy me a coffee to thank me, click the “Tip Me” button at the bottom of the page!

Author Resources on my website are 100% free. But if you’d like to buy me a coffee to thank me, click the “Tip Me” button at the bottom of the page!

I had a baby! (Well, a book baby)

Birth of Magic has been birthed…and it’s free!

I love this new novella, which you can pick up as a free e-book on Amazon or at various other retailers. Or snag a signed paperback copy on my website!

Here’s the down-low on this new book:

  • It’s the prequel to the Sun-Blessed Trilogy, but the story stands on its own. Read it before or after the trilogy!
  • It’s a novella, which is a short novel (about 1/3 the length of Facing the Sun.)
  • What’s it about? A brothel’s no place for a teenager, but Kari doesn’t think she has any other options. When she finally flees, the brothel owners hunt her relentlessly. They won’t stop . . . but neither will she. You’ll love this new fantasy world with captivating magic, raw emotion, and page-turning intrigue.

I hope you’ll check it out!