25 April 2016

Win 1 of 4 Tarot-themed pendants from Sleepless Storyteller

The cover is here, the Amazon page is live, and my coffee cup is full. It's all coming together!

I'm so jazzed to be celebrating the upcoming release of In Irina's Cards that I'm giving away one Tarot-inspired pendant per week for the whole month, courtesy of my Etsy shop, Sleepless Storyteller.

Winners will be announced on my Facebook page on May 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd.

Why Tarot pendants? Read the blurb below for the scoop.

Reserve a copy of In Irina's Cards!

Enter to win a Tarot pendant below!


Irina Proffer leaves mundane small-town life behind when she experiences visions inspired by a strange deck of tarot cards. To get answers, she travels from her northern British Columbia home to the province’s coastal capital. She quickly discovers a world of fringe genetic science and supernatural mystery.
Working for Innoviro Industries, Irina is drawn in by a powerful first love and compelling, yet dangerous questions about the nature of the company’s business. Meeting other ‘variants’ brings Irina closer and closer to the dark truth about her origins. She finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles as she scrambles to escape her employer’s grip.
Before she leaves the city, Irina realizes she has merely scratched the surface of a frightening conspiracy on a global scale.

Four Tarot-themed Pendants from Sleepless Storyteller



Wheel of Fortune

The Lovers

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21 April 2016

Cover Reveal for In Irina's Cards!

Available for Pre-order NOW on Amazon!

It's a special mid-week post today. I'm too excited to wait for Monday. The cover for my new ndult (aka NA) sci-fi paranormal In Irina's Cards is here and I think its fabulous! This is Book 1 of a trilogy titled The Variant Conspiracy.

Things are really getting exciting now. I'll be promoting Irina left, right, and centre for the next couple of months. Until I hit the ground running with the sequel, coming out in July. And the conclusion in September.

I never dreamed I'd be releasing my first trilogy, all in one year. It's a brave new digital world and I couldn't be more pleased to dive in!

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18 April 2016

5 Visuals: A sneak peek at In Irina's Cards

In spite of how much I love words, I'm a very visual person. I love blogging with pictures, something I used to do professionally but not personally. I'd like to change that, so today's post is a visual sneak peek at settings and objects from In Irina's Cards, Book 1 of my NA (New Adult) sci-fi trilogy The Variant Conspiracy coming May 4, 2016.

The Empress hotel in Victoria / Source: freeimages.com

Victoria's Chinatown at Fisgard and Government

Tarot cards / Source: freeimages.com

Sombrio Beach on Vancouver Island

Aquakinetic eyes / Source: freeimages.com

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11 April 2016

Your life doesn't want you to write fiction

Source: freeimages.com

As the iconic Virginia Woolf once wrote, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." In contemporary society, I think this applies to men now as well, given that women work full-time outside the home and men assist with child-rearing and housework. (Debates on that dynamic are a completely different topic.)

Although Woolf also covers this point, I think the most important variable in the fiction equation is available time.

Writing fiction requires concentration and privacy - after having a solid idea to begin with. From there, the only way to bring a work of fiction to fruition is to have time to yourself.

Yet most published authors still work a day job while developing fiction evenings and weekends. In addition to that day job there are pesky little commitments like families and friends; in general, some semblance of a social life. Among the expectations of real day-to-day life, writers need to carve out and fiercely defend time for writing. Spouses and friends probably won't understand, even if they think knowing a writer is cool or interesting.

I don't want this post to sound like a list of complaints. I'm merely trying to connect to other writers to say, "It's not just you. You're not the only one." It's frustrating feeling like you have to fight to do something that seems so important, even if you're the only one for which it's important.

I wish I could quote figures as to how many books are published in a given year by authors not earning their living off books and therefore not able to give their work undivided attention daily. I'm not sure there is a reliable way of getting that information, but I can tell you the chances are extremely high that any non-celebrity author you read is working another job, which may or may not be related to writing. Some are teachers, librarians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, and many, many other professions.

Once up on a time, I was trained for a career in journalism and communications, working mostly in the latter, although I used to write journalistic articles on a freelance basis. I freelanced in connection to my day job as an employment counsellor (although the role was really half resume and job search assistance, half project coordination). I've worked as a communications specialist, blogger, SEO copywriter, content strategist, and technical writer. I've been extremely lucky to weave a thread of writing through most things I do in life. I've also been rejected countless times - both from the literary world and the corporate one.

At the moment, I am home with two small children, waiting for my older son to start kindergarten in the fall. My last maternity leave became extended into plain old unemployment when my previous employer folded. For a writer, being laid off, having a contract end, or having no job to return to after leave can actually be an opportunity in disguise. The income may be gone, but in it's place is that precious commodity - time - in which to create without having to push aside people and responsibilities that resist being moved.

It's not lucrative and it won't last forever (and with small children at home there's very little creative time anyway), but for now, I have stolen moments of nap time, early bedtimes, and the occasional captivating movie during which I can put one foot in front of the other towards new characters and new stories. I can only hope they will one day be interesting to other people too.

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04 April 2016

5 Advantages of E-Books

Source: pexels.com

I dragged my heels for years over adopting e-books. I felt they weren't 'real' books. I wanted real covers and real paper. I wanted my books to all come out in print, with e-books as an afterthought for the few outliers that might want to read them in that format.

I like to own books and I had the sense I couldn't own a digital file - not the way I could own a print book and put it on my shelf. Fellow authors will know that there's nothing quite like seeing your own name on a spine in a book store. Does it matter that nobody else in the bookstore is looking at your book? Not really. Your book baby is still beautiful.

Then, one magical day, I was offered a contract by a digital-first publisher, specifically Soul Mate Publishing. Five years had passed since the publication of my last novel Stalked. I knew the publishing world had undergone a major shift. Writers were bearing more of the marketing (and in many cases, editing) responsibilities. A number of presses popped up that were digital only and digital first. I had serious qualms about digital.

Now that I've made the switch (well, not switch as much as incorporation) to e-reader and e-book literature, I have noticed a handful of distinct benefits I think might account for the waves of readers picking up Kindles, Kobos, and other devices.

  1. Instant Access from Online

    Buy a new book from the comfort of your living room without the associated 2-week waiting period.
  2. Purchase Savings

    E-books are often given away in promotions or priced to move at between .99 cents and 2 or 3 dollars.
  3. Never Lose a Bookmark

    All you need to do to mark your spot in the book is tap the top right corner. Turning pages is just a tap of the left (backward) or right (forward) sides of the screen.
  4. Portability

    If you've packed more than 2 or 3 novels for a vacation, you've noticed how quickly you sacrifice precious suitcase real estate. My e-reader is light and slim.
  5. The 'Cool' Factor

    One of the most striking benefits I've noticed is how slick and elegant my e-reader feels in my hands. When I take it on the go, I feel like I've got an artifact from the future in my purse.

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