I'm so excited to officially announce the new edition of Deep Blue Secret, which includes a brand new 8-page scene in chapter 15! (Along with a few less obvious improvements)
To celebrate that it's finally complete, and because I'm really feeling in the Christmas spirit, I'm giving the new edition away for FREE on iTunes and Amazon! (And Smashwords if you have a Nook). If you don't want to miss the new chapter, now's your chance to get it free. Deep Blue Secret is already listed in the top 10 downloads list for Teen Fantasy & Romance on Amazon! Woohoo!
PS. Don't forget to tell your friends!
December 20, 2012
November 13, 2012
For those of you who are fans of Stephenie Meyer, you are well aware that Breaking Dawn part 2 is only a few days away. I'm heading to Salt Lake this Friday to see the movie with a dear friend, and I was thinking about an old blog post I wrote last August about the impact Stephenie Meyer's books had on my journey to becoming a writer. I decided to go back and read it, and the next thing I knew I was in tears. It still hurts to think about the losses I have experienced in my past, but the tears were full of joy as well. I can look back and see how far I've come since that point in my life, how much happiness I've experienced with my surviving loved ones and through writing The Water Keepers. Ms. Meyer's example gave me the confidence to begin writing in the first place, and there are so many people who have shown me an incredible amount of support and encouragement since then. Thank you! I am truly blessed. And might I just add... I'm super excited to be working on book 3 in the series! Ambrosia Shore is still in the works and should be out sometime in Spring 2013.
Some of you may have seen the original post where I shared my letter to Stephenie Meyer, so I apologize for the repeat, but for those of you who haven't, I just thought I would share it one more time in a final goodbye gesture to the Twilight Saga and a thank you to Stephenie Meyer (and of course my amazing husband who makes me feel loved every single day):
August 1, 2011
After I began writing my book, DEEP BLUE SECRET, I would often wake in the middle of the night with sudden bouts of inspiration. Usually it was an idea for a scene I was working on, but one night it was something different running through my sleepy head. It was a letter to Stephenie Meyer. At first I laughed at myself. Surely this was the product of starry-eyed dreams, hopes of becoming a world-famous author like her someday. I ignored it and went back to sleep. But after a solid week of this letter running through my mind, I decided to get the silly thing out of my head so I could finally get some rest.
I don’t know if this letter will ever reach Ms. Meyer’s eyes. As far as I know she stopped accepting fan-mail a long time ago. But I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe this letter is just meant for me. So I can look back and remind myself why I started writing in the first place. Or maybe there’s something here for you too. I don’t expect every person who reads this post to be a fan of Twilight, but I also don’t feel you have to be a fan in order to relate to the personal experiences I’ve shared in this letter. Even if there’s only one person out there who lands on this page and can relate to my journey or feel inspired by my words, then I believe it was worth it to share. So here it is:
Dear Ms. Meyer,
I’m writing to express my gratitude for the comfort your books have been in my life during times of great hardship. I hope you don’t mind me writing something so personal, but if the tables were turned it would mean a great deal to me to know I’d made a difference in someone else’s life.
My story begins with a boy, the love of my life, my soul mate—or so I thought. When I met him, we had an instant connection, the passion I’d always hoped for. After many ups and downs together, he made the decision to join the army. It was a time of peace. It would only be one weekend a month and two weeks a year, they promised. Then tragedy struck our country just two months later on September 11th. He was shipped off to the Middle East where he decided to push me out of his life. He assured me it was for my own good. He would be gone too long and for all he knew, may never return. He said I was better off without him. He was my Edward.
The difference in this story from yours…my Edward did not return. Don’t be alarmed, he came back in body, safe and sound. It was his heart that did not return to me. When I read New Moon, Bella’s torment felt like a retelling of my own suffering. That’s when I met my Jacob. He loved me and supported me, despite myself. I told him I was incapable of love because my heart had died—he stayed with me. He stayed by my side until my heart finally found a pulse once more. He is the one I want to be with until the end of time. He is my husband.
For some it is Edward and for others Jacob, and there are those who haven’t found either yet. But each of us has something in common. Struggle. Love usually isn’t easy and neither is life. My struggle did not end when I found my sweetheart, although he is the strength that sees me through all the rest. It was only six months after our marriage that my life spiraled downward once more. It was an ill-fated super bowl Sunday when I received the call. I answered the phone with cheer, only to find my mother’s sobs in reply. It was my younger brother, only twenty-five years old; he would never see twenty-six.
I never thought something so hard could happen to me or my family. But my husband’s love saw me through. My faith brought me hope. And so I went on.
But times were still tough. I’d been laid-off from my job. I suffered a head injury and was in physical therapy twice a week. Every time I spoke to my mother she cried over the loss of her son. I worried for the well-being of my family. My anxiety grew. The stress began to manifest symptoms of physical illness; debilitating headaches that lasted for hours, day after day. I’d go to bed with the pain and wake up with it in the morning. I seriously began to suffer from “why me” syndrome.
I think there comes a time in life when we believe it couldn’t possibly get any worse. I thought this was it for me. But then it came; the second dreadful call. It was my sister. She was gone too. We laid her body to rest right next to my brother’s. How could we survive this nightmare twice in one lifetime? How could I watch my family suffer such loss and survive? But we stuck together and found the will. We found help through the service of others and love by holding each other tighter. We found the strength to keep going.
That doesn’t mean it was easy. Despite my husband’s unfailing support, I went home feeling somewhat alone. I knew deep down my siblings were somewhere better, but I missed them. It was during this time of recovery that a friend mentioned your books. I’d already seen the first two movies in the Twilight series and was a big fan, but I didn’t do much reading, due to the headaches. My remaining sister mentioned she also loved Twilight and did a lot of her reading by listening to audio books, so I thought I’d give it a try.
When I listened to Twilight it took me away to another place. There was mystery, romance, and suspense. I listened when I had a headache. I listened when I felt lonely or in despair. I listened when I couldn’t fall asleep and it rocked me gently like a mother’s lullaby until my eyelids drooped. It took my mind off my troubles and into a story that brought comfort and relief.
Thank you for creating this comfort. I became interested in the person behind the pages and set out to learn more of your journey. I read of your dream that started it all, how you were a mother and a woman of faith. When I read your personal story, I felt a connection. You wrote while tending to children and at the expense of lost sleep. I felt if you could achieve something so great, perhaps someday I could as well.
It’s amazing how time and love can heal us. I finally came to the point where my losses only made the good in life shine brighter. There were so many blessings lighting my way. I didn’t want to live a life of self-pity any longer. I wanted to find a way to do something worthwhile; something that would make my siblings proud and smile down on me from above. I wanted to express the love in my tender heart.
Your example inspired me to write. My book, DEEP BLUE SECRET, is the result of this journey which you have inspired. Writing has become my joy. It allows me to immerse myself in a completely new world. My characters, Sadie and Rayne, experience romance and intrigue as they figure out their purpose, and I get to share it with them all along the way. I hope the story I’ve created will brighten the lives of others and bring happiness to their hearts as yours did to mine. But even if my family members are the only ones to read it, I will still feel a sense of worth for having accomplished this goal. I will forever be a stronger person who has experienced the healing power of hope and love.
June 2, 2012
Follow these links to find it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Thanks go out to all of you who have shown so much support. Finishing the book this month has been quite a challenge and a lot of hard work, especially since I am moving to Colorado in less than a week, and my husband had to move there without me over a month ago to start his new job. I still haven't finished packing! But it has been so much fun continuing the story of Sadie and Rayne, and definitely worth the effort. Once I get settled in my new place, I get to focus on writing Book 3. Woohoo!
February 14, 2012
For those of you who are fans of Deep Blue Secret, you might enjoy the new photos I posted on my website today. You can even catch a glimpse of Rayne's house! Some of us are probably even wishing we were there with him right now, celebrating Valentine's Day. What can I say, he's an amazing guy! A lot of exciting moments also take place there in the second book, Rogue Wave (maybe even some kisses...wink wink).
You can view the photos here or follow this link to my website which allows you to view larger images in the photo viewer.
|This is the tunnel which leads under Coast Hwy to Crystal Cove, the place Sadie falls off the rock and is rescued by Rayne.|
|Crystal Cove is the beach where Sadie and Rayne first meet!|
|The tide pools Sadie wanted to visit are down past the small orange umbrella at the end. There are a lot of big rocks out in the middle of the water for her to climb. (Or fall off of)|
|Sadie's rock, where she falls and hits her head. This was taken at low tide so the water level looks low, but during high tide the rock is surrounded by water. Don't slip! Unless you want to be rescued by a mysterious hot boy :)|
|This is the bench at the shuttle stop where Sadie and Rayne almost kiss!|
|That shuttle driver has terrible timing! Who knows if Sadie and Rayne will ever get to finish that kiss now. Boo hoo!|
|Rayne's house! I walked by this house every day when I stayed in Newport Beach while writing Deep Blue Secret. It became the inspiration for how I pictured Rayne's house in the story.|
|Can you see the quaint white door hidden behind all the bushes? A lot of magical moments are shared at this doorstep between Sadie and Rayne!|
|Do you wish Rayne really lived here just as much as I do? Maybe if we wait long enough, that SUV parked out front will turn into a Range Rover... ha ha|
|You can't see it, but this house even has a real intercom with a call button, just like Rayne's. Of course, Rayne's is more high-tech with all kinds of video surveillance and such, because he's just cool like that.|
|The hospital where Sadie's mom, Leena works.|
|Can you picture Rayne sneaking Sadie up to the hospital roof in the middle of the night?|
|The view from the roof of the hospital during daylight. The roof is not accessible to the public, but I have connections... tee hee hee|
|Another view from the hospital roof|
|The intersection across the street from "Inspiration Point" in Corona Del Mar, where Sadie takes Rayne so they can talk after she passes out at school.|
|The small grassy area at Inspiration Point. This was a really gray day. I hope Sadie brought her raincoat.|
|This isn't where Sadie and Rayne stopped to talk. They walked farther down the path to the lookout platform.|
|Looking down over the edge, you can now see the platform below where Rayne tells Sadie about her Watermark and she runs off down that path to the edge of the sand.|
|Poor Rayne had to run back up the ramp when he heard his car alarm. He had to chase Voss instead of following after Sadie to the beach.|
|Now we're way over on the opposite side of the beach, on the rock jetty. This was a much sunnier day! If you look in the bottom right corner, you will see the ramp leading down to the sand where Sadie ran down.|
|This was taken in the summer, so the lot is packed. But when Heather came to pick up Sadie after getting rained on, this place was practically empty.|