Obligatory Site Post

Because I believe in social media to connect with you lovely, beautiful people, rather than a site post, I often leave this site dormant.

But I figured it’s been a few months and I can’t leave the site dark, so here I am. Let’s see about some updates for you guys, shall we?

First, my book baby DECEMBER’S CHILD (or D.C. as I call it) has been doing great, and I couldn’t be happier with the feedback and reviews I’ve had on it! Thanks to everyone who has left kind words for me on Amazon, B&N and Goodreads–you guys are such wonderful souls! I’m working on finding a way to purchase right from this website, but because my Word processor is the extent of my computer knowledge, it’s slow going. EVENTUALLY it will happen. And what a glorious day that will be, am I right?

Second, some sweet news on the short story front (which was picked up for an anthology by the same publisher D.C. was picked up by!), sinEater will be available this year! And I’m hoping to do some pretty nifty swag for that, which I’m thinking comic book fans are going to dig. Super sweet stuff (see what I did there? Because it’s a superhero story? Eh? Eh?).

And last but not least…actually I got nothing else because writing is actually not that glamorous. So I made some lasagna tonight and am working on getting my laptop reset to factory because it clearly doesn’t appreciate that I am a published author now, so there ya go!

As always, I adore you guys and you’re such beautiful souls. Stay gorgeous!

Always,

D.A.

LAUNCH DAY HAS ARRIVED!

Today, this most auspicious of days, is LAUNCH DAY!

Yes ladies and gents, it is the day that I, for one, have been eager waiting for. Today is the day that I send my book baby out into the world. It’s been a long road, sometimes an incredibly bumpy road, but I’m so proud to say this book and I have made it through relatively unscathed and ready to take on the world.

img_4729

And I’ve got a big dream I’m gunning for–I’m asking for everyone’s help on this, too, because I can’t do it alone!–I’m shooting for the New York Times Best Sellers list! And I’ve always believed that you just have to ask, and so I’m asking if you feel so inclined to help one woman reach a life goal, and have anywhere from $4 to $25 bucks (and want an excellent story in return!) please buy a copy and share it with your friends! It takes 9,000 opening week sales to get to that list and I know that with your help and support it’s something we can CRUSH.

From Ebooks to paperback to hardcover, you can buy a copy and help reach a dream at http://www.thecrossoveralliance.com/decembers-child or you can find me Amazon or Barnes and Nobel!

As always, you’re all beautiful people and I couldn’t ask for a better tribe! Thanks for your support!

P.S. To see the book trailer, hop over to https://youtu.be/KuX0D5Dc1yU and let me know what you think!

-D.A.

Real underground post mine illuminated tunnel .

Digital Preorders Are OPEN!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I’m a terrible web host. I’m genuinely awful at keeping up with the site, because I’m more of a Facebooker. On top of that, I’ve been semi-dark due to birthday planning, harvesting, and of course working on THE GOD WAGER. But I do like to occasionally pop on and let you all know of the big happenings and so today I’m doing just that!

So the big news? (As if you didn’t read the headline.) You can now officially preorder your digital copy of DECEMBER’S CHILD over at thecrossoveralliance.com/decembers-child (and check out the other books they have there as well as participate in one of the many discussions on the forum.)

Real underground post mine illuminated tunnel .

As always, writers like myself so appreciate the support when someone buys our books. It puts food on the table. And this particular writer does love her foodstuffs.

Just saying.

So hop over there, buy your digital copy so you can be the first to read it on your phone or tablet (or computer, I would assume) when it drops on October 25, and feel free to drop on Facebook and leave me a comment, message or email and chat.

Stay beautiful.

-D.A.

sinEater

It’s been a while, you lovely people!

 

I have taken some time off post writing here because I’ve been toiling away at a little short story called “sinEater”. For those of you who don’t know, sin eating was a big deal in 18th century Europe. While the practice of sin eating goes against common Christian principles (salvation through Christ alone), the role of the sin eater still no doubt had a place in those times.

Sin eaters were typically social and religious outcasts. They were poor, and as a means of survival they would attend the funerals of those who had died suddenly (as happened frequently yea k then as you might imagine) and would eat bread that had been laid on the body for the purpose of absolving the unconfessed sins of the deceased. They were thought to literally eat the sins of the dead, thereby adding those sins to themselves and allowing the dead to move on sin-free. Not a fun sounding job.

Cue my short story. In a world of super heroes, Shifty Blue is a sin eater. But not all is how it seems. With a couple of good friends, Johnny “Sly” Fox and Trinity “Raven” Byrd, Shifty navigates the divine task she’s been given and struggles against the preconceptions of her gift.

image

Because it’s a superhero story, of course I had to show off my character comic book style! Artist Abraham Di did an excellent job rendering Shifty, and is working on Sly and Raven as well. I can’t wait to share this story with you all, and hope to hear your thoughts. It’ll be one heck of a ride!

Also, just a note for all you writers out there with a penchant for superheroes and Christianity, my publisher The Crossover Alliance is creating a super hero themed anthology, and has opened submissions up to the public to fill that sucker up with awesome stories! Jump on over there to check it out!

Scary World

Recent Tragedy- A Scary World

The world is becoming a scary place.

I remember very clearly being a child who could find the good in everyone. I could look upon the evils of the world with childish naïveté and try to find the reason why it all went wrong, drawing from that endless well of love that is in every child’s heart and forgive the darkest parts of humanity, chalking it up to what I always felt was a lack of love that made that person feel the need to hurt others. If only they had been loved a little more, I would think. If only someone had sat with that person who was so obviously in despair that they needed to lash out at others, the whole of humanity could have been made right.

As I went about my day, pondering and mourning over the recent tragedy in Orlando, my phone alerted me to yet another grim story–a Walmart in a town I frequently go to was in a hostage situation. A single shooter was holed up, some lost soul bent on not only self destruction but the destruction of others, and I found myself terrified of the quickly declining state of our great nation. Of the future my children will inherit. For their safety and the safety of us all. It is a scarier world now than I remember it being as a child.

As an adult, I am guilty of losing that full-hearted compassion for everyone. For those who hurt others, those evils are inexcusable. And I realize now more than ever that there is Evil, capital E, in the world. One that cannot be loved away by anyone but God, and only He can right the wrongs that those who turn away from His love freely and willingly commit. I often pray for these great evils, because clearly they know not what they do. Obviously the lies they hold so close that feeds them the cancerous desires to harm others has clouded their hearts in blackness.

This is a fallen world and evils happen in this life, and it has been our job all along to bring the changes we need to see to make it good. When we demand to know where God was when tragedy strikes, I can only imagine Him asking us the very same question. Why do WE allow these tragic events to happen, why have WE not as a society brought an end to the wasting of human life? The sole consolation is that in the next life, the infinite and eternal life beyond this one, we can reap the true fruits of the spirit and our tears will be dried up.

Today, as I hold my boys a little tighter and a little closer and consider the evils of the world and the victims of them, I pray. It is a prayer for peace, for wisdom, for forgiveness and for the very real battle that is waged between good and evil to tilt back in favor of the good. It is a scary world, and my only peace is that God is seeing it all, and the fallen will be avenged.

I used to be a child who could see the good in everyone. I am now an adult who sees the good in God, even when it is so very easy to see the evil in some.

For all of those mourning, here and there and everywhere, we pray with you and for you.

 

-D.A.

 

My will, your will, His will

Who’s will is it?

Recently, standing in line at the local grocery store, I had an interesting conversation about will power. Not will power in the traditional sense, but will power in the form of what many people refer to as “the power of positivity.”

Now, I’ll be the first to say I wholeheartedly believe in positive thought. What you give is what you get in most circumstances, in my opinion. But as I had this deep conversation, standing there with frozen garlic bread in hand, it occurred to me that most people think it’s a one size fits all, all encompassing theory. I beg to differ.

As the woman in front of me placed her assorted goodies on the conveyor belt, she turned to me and in typical small town fashion approached a friendly level of small talk. After several moments of chit-chat, she said my current good fortune was the power of positive thought! And truly, I couldn’t argue. It was mere hours after having decided I was moving on to outlining a new novel because I was convinced with every positive none in my body I’d get great news about my quest for publication that I received the offer from The Crossover Alliance.

But when I said I was blessed, she insisted it was less of a blessing by chance but a result SOLELY of the positive vibes I had sent out to the world. Which made me think–is the whole power of positive thought thing a way to try and bring about a will that’s selfishly our own?

For many, this line of thinking is used to try and bring about wealth, relationships, and worldly happiness, but I have to think that maybe sometimes the things we long for aren’t the things we need. To me, using positive thoughts is less about my will than God’s. Of course I want wealth, and for my relationships with others to be productive and healthy and caring, and to be able to enjoy life. But at the end of the day, I’m not trying to manifest that happiness against God’s will, it’s more like thanking Him for the blessings I have and for the blessings to come, even if those things aren’t what I’m specifically hoping for.

If positive thought is your thing, I think that’s great. Being happy and looking forward to good things in life makes for healthy thinking and overall a better perspective on life in general. But let’s not forget that every good thing comes from above and are not our own doing, lest we boast.

 

Some Big News!

Drum roll please…

Today I am honored beyond words to announce that I have officially been inducted into The Crossover Alliance and will be joining the ranks of their highly talented and amazingly skilled authors this fall with the publication of DECEMBER’S CHILD.

It is an absolute thrill, and to be in the company of such fantastic writers and to be published by a press whose values mirror my own is nothing short of a lifelong dream realized. To learn a bit more, visit The Crossover Alliance for the interview, and browse their current titles–you will not be disappointed.

Thank you all for your support!

The Method

Working on the new stuff…

So what’s a writer to do when the last novel is a wrap? Start a new one, naturally. And with that comes a list of to-do’s. Which means for all of you who thought writing was easy (I’m looking at you, person who asks writers when they’ll be done or says they’re going to work on their book after retiring to “relax”), you were wrong.

Every writer I know has some sort of method to the madness that ensues between the idea and the final edit, and I’m no different. Usually mine starts with telling my husband I’m working on something new, to which he rolls his eyes and let’s out a heavy sigh and rues the day I was ever introduced to the written word because it inevitably means I’m more or less mentally occupied for months at a time during what is normally “our shows” time. Such is the life of a writer’s spouse, I guess.

Once the proverbial dust settles, I grab my Zebra brand fine point steel pen, black ink only until the editing phase when I break out the blue, and a spiral notebook. Now, there are typically two camps in the writer world–the outliners and the pantsers (and for those who aren’t hip to the lingo, that’s someone who wings it from beginning to end without an outline to guide them.) I, myself, am an outliner who dabbles in pantsing. Which means I have a good outline (all handwritten with my old trusty steed…err…Zebra), but like to wing my sentences, so I have page upon page of random words I just feel the need to use–like effluvia–and half formed thoughts and partial sentences I like to go back and rearrange at different parts of the story, much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

A lot of writers out there are what I call “work writers.” They carve out specific hours to write, like a 9-5 job, place butt in chair, put pen to paper, and hack it out for that amount of time no matter what. I am no work writer. I’m a mother and a farmer’s wife first and foremost, and the nature of that beast is that schedules are non-existent and life is lived without expectations of what’s coming at any given time. I, my friends, am a serial opportunist. When the boys are napping, or eating, or are otherwise occupied sans the danger of the older trying to make a beanbag of the baby, I write. I’m blessed to have two little ones that allow moments of relative peace during the day to accomplish anything.

I say this all because like everyone else, I have a method. Maybe I’m a little neurotic, refusing to write my outlines, notes and first draft longhand in nothing but my Zebra pen. Maybe I could save time by using my laptop from the get-go instead of transferring everything by hand after the fact. And maybe I’m not as disciplined and the King’s and Koontz’s of the world, like many of my fellow authors. But I’m a firm believer that you have to find what works for you.

God made us each unique–we are far from carbon copies. So if you’re an aspiring writer (but let me say this–you don’t aspire to write, you just write and you become a writer!), don’t let someone else dictate your method. You do you as only you can. That’s how you were made. Own it.

New Christian Fiction

Don’t think it can be gritty?

It’s no big secret– Christian fiction has made a name for itself. It just so happens that name isn’t exactly synonymous with edgy, gritty fiction. If the world of the written word is the ocean, Christian fiction is the floaty-wearing kid, wading in waist-high, too afraid to even reach the first sand bar.

No doubt it’s gained traction, and for good reason. In a world that seems to be ever spiraling downwards into moral depravity, the need for writing with a message is wanted (or dare I say needed?) but the fact remains that in many ways, Christian fiction hasn’t caught up with the times, and if it’s not keeping up with what’s happening out there, it’s simply out of touch with what the world really needs to be hearing.

That’s not to say the Christian pieces on the market aren’t valuable, wanted, and relevant to some. It is. For some Christians, glazing over topics like rape, drug use, divorce…that’s sufficient. But many Christians have been left searching the secular section trying to find works with weight, that aren’t afraid of tackling complex and downright gritty material in depth. It seems to be an either/or situation– you can either have edgy, exciting pieces, or you can have Christian pieces, but you can’t have both.

Well I, for one, want to change that. I believe that Christian fiction can hold a mirror up to society without painting over the more horrific parts or fogging up the reflection. I believe that infusing God into mainstream fiction doesn’t have to be shunned, but should be celebrated. And that’s what I’ve tried to accomplish in “December’s Child” and what I’ll be striving for in all my future novels.

Is there a place for edgy Christian lit out there? I’d like to think so. Do you?

New Clothes

A New Pair of Duds…

It’s been a while since I started down this path of professional(esque) writer, taking my words to the street. Years, in fact– from concept to fleshing it out to having it edited, “December’s Child” has been literal years in the making, and no small feat. In that time not only had the novel grown, but I have as well. Only stands to reason the website should as well.

The old site was in desperate need of an overhaul– this site will be a fresh start. New look, new content, and hopefully some new insights into Christian fiction (though even if you’re more into mainstream secular books, I think you’ll enjoy it.)

So today, I’m donning a new outfit in this website. I hope you’ll be inclined to stay a while and look around, and for a first peek at the novel itself, sign up to my email list (I promise to never spam you, just give you the occasional update and of course, Chapter 1 of “December’s Child”!)

As always, thanks for your support. You’re beautiful.