Monday, December 29, 2014

A Review

Ah Christmas. I'm both happy and sad that it's over. Happy because I was so stressed out that I caught a killer stomach flu. (I'm almost better?) Sad because I feel like I never really get to the heart of this particular holiday until it's over. I haven't even watched half of my required Christmas movies! Not even Little Women. *gasp* Anyway, the tree is still up. I'm sitting here watching the lights blink from my half lying down position and trying to forget about the past 3-4 days. 

This year has not been easy. It has been the opposite of easy. Not that I expect entire years to be incredible. Sadly, an entire year is probably not going to go by without something difficult happening. But I do hope that maybe fewer difficult things occur in 2015. So far, the new year is asking me to just trust it. I would much prefer to say to the year "hey year! This is what I'd like to happen and how I'd like it to happen. Great! Thanks!" Now, the Universe cares not about doing things my way. But in 2014, ole Universy threw me some curve balls. Cuuurvy ones. It was just a general year-long life-implosion. At times, I felt like my entire life was in shambles. However, these implosions are all leading somewhere if they haven't already. I may not know or understand the reason but I trust that there is one and that it has something to do with my personal growth.

My beloved grandmother died. She suffered a long illness and then end was very, very hard. Sometimes, when you say goodbye to someone for the last time, you know it's the last time. I'm not sure it makes a big difference. I was crying too hard to say any of the things I might have wanted to say but I knew for a fact that it was the last time. 

Friendships I thought were solid crumbled away leaving me devastated. Other more personal but really hard things happened and then 2014 was kind enough to send a horrible virus so that we'd be sure to remember her. (Don't worry dear, we will never forget). 

Fantastic and incredible things happened too. I met some new friends who mean the world to me (Hey Wenches) and I became an auntie! I got to be in the room while it happened too! I've witnessed a couple of births but I was pretty drugged up for both. And I had to do a lot of the work both of those times so it was totally different. 

Then there was the day when I sat down to check email expecting a really annoying email (it was there) but also sitting in my inbox was the email. "Dear Anna, We love your book....and we want to publish it." That wasn't a horrible day. :) Then there was the day when I got to see my name in print alongside the names of some of my favorite people ever. 

So bring it on 2015. I'm not panicking about all the change. Change is good most of the time. Let's just go bigger and better this year instead of sadder and harder. Let's just kick 2015's ass, mmmkay?

My boy <3

My girl <3

Gma B

Baby on her birthday

The BEST thing that's happened all year. By far.

Sleepy pirate.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Unwrapping Love Blog Hop!

Good morning! Christmas is right around the corner and Hanukkah is happening right now! Our menorah is patiently waiting to be lit (oops) and the tree was just decorated two days ago (although it’s been up for a month…oops again).
I suppose I should start shopping? Or maybe I’ll just give everyone a warm hug and a copy of Unwrapping Love: A Writing Wenches Anthology. I’m very proud to have been a part of this anthology. As I read and reread the twenty one holiday stories that make up this Anthology, I am constantly struck by the talent of these people I have the privilege of calling my friends. The Wenches are a source of daily inspiration, support, and lots of laughter.

My story, Miles and Mae, was so much fun to write. It was a challenge for me to write a short story. And a romance? Not something I’ve done a lot of. I like to turn tropes on their ear and was excited to try that with Miles and Mae. Instead of a good girl and a bad boy, I set out to write a story about a bad girl and a good boy. Mae is a drifter and something of a loner. Miles, a TA, brings papers and essays to grade to the bar where Mae works. He never actually expects to talk to her and they are both surprised when he does.
There is a little something for everyone in Unwrapping Love. There are sweet love stories, steamy stories, and a couple that might make you cry. 

What's that? A giveaway? Why yes! Leave a comment below to be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Christine Cacciatore wrote Noah Cane’s Candy. She blogs at .
NoahCane Christine Cacciatore

Patricia D. Eddy wrote On The Eve of Love. Her website is
Patricia D Eddy Headshot1_sq

C.S. Kendall is the author of Second Chance Girl. She would love it if you would visit her at
CK Profile pic      Second Chance Girl CK
 Tami Lund is the author of The Perfect Christmas. You can find her at .
tami    tamis cover
 Misti Murphy contributed Christmas Candy. Her site is .
Misti Murphy Bio pic

Quenby Olson wrote First Position. You can visit her at .
Keisha K. Page contributed Rhythm of Love. Her website is
Keisha pic

Grace Ravel wrote Shut Up and Kiss Me. Her site is
Grace Ravel Twitter Profile Pic    CoverShutUp&KissMe Grace Ravel
 Jennifer Ray wrote Declan’s Special. You can visit her .
Headshot J Ray     Declan's Special J Ray

Jennifer Senhaji is the author of Angels in Disguise. You can find her at .
Author Pic   Angels In Disguise
Sheri Williams wrote Numb, and is sharing the blog hop from the Writing Wenches main website at
Sheri Williams Headshot PicsArt_1411957395990     Numb Sheri Williams
S.K. Wills wrote Hanley’s Secret. Her website is .
samantha's pic
Allison Winfield is the author of Stay With Me. You can find her at .
Allison Winfield Head Shot     Allison Winfield Cover
Other stories in Unwrapping Love were contributed by:

Melody Barber
Sonja Frojendal
Melina Gillies
Michael Simko
Beth Stanley
K.R. Wilburn

Don't forget about the giveaway! Comment below for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Being a Writer Has Little To Do With Writing

When I started this writing journey, I was six. I wrote a really bad story about Minnie Mouse and a very mean cat. My mother still has this story. Hopefully, it will never see the light of day. Fast forward several years (about 25 or so) and I’m back to writing as a way to cope with my child’s serious illness. My son got better and I eventually finished my book about two years later.

What did I expect after that? I think I expected for Simon and Schuster to come beating down the door. They’d surely beg me to agree to publish with them and probably offer me a $10 million advance. Not exactly.

The number 10 million did come up again. That was the number of agents and publishers I queried before I found a publisher. That’s only 999, 999 rejections! So it was almost exactly like my dream.
At some point, I realized that being in author is not all glitz, glamour, and Gatsby-style parties. It isn’t even all writing. To be successful in this day and age, you have to work. The old publishing model only works for a small fraction of people. Now you have to have a brand, a website, a logo, a blog, a healthy twitter following, a healthy facebook following, a healthy whatever the newest social media platform is following, and you have to write like a fiend. The more successful authors are pumping out six books a year. It only took me two years to write my first book and eight months to write my second (not including plotting and research) so I still have a ways to go on getting six books done every year.

Authors are now expected to do their own marketing. Some authors (me when I started) didn’t even know where to begin. I joined a couple of writing groups and met some bestselling authors and a marketing genius who taught me more than I ever knew. I’m really grateful for them! I can no longer write under the illusion that I can just sit back with my feet up while my books sell like hotcakes. Instead, every day, I take steps to build my platform.

The harsh reality is that a very small number of people can just write. I guess Stephen King can. Maybe Elizabeth Gilbert. Probably Gillian Flynn. The rest of us will continue to try and balance writing, marketing, and working day jobs.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Unwrapping Love Release Day!

Happy Cyber Monday! I'm very pleased to announce that my first short story was released today as part of a holiday anthology. All of the 21 stories were written by talented members of my writing group, the Writing Wenches. Whether you like to read naughty or nice stories, there is a little something for everyone in Unwrapping Love. You can find it on Amazon (read it for free with Kindle Unlimited)

Here's a teaser from my story, Miles and Mae: 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dawning of Light Cover Reveal

Good morning! Today, I have the great pleasure to be a part of the cover reveal for my girl Tami Lund's new book. And what a gorgeous cover it is!! Below you will find all the info you will need to pre-order the book, links to the Facebook cover reveal party, and giveaway information. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy! 

Dawning of Light by Tami Lund
(Lightbearer Book 2)
Publication date: December 15th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Finnegan Hennigan meets his match in spunky Cecilia Druthers, a woman he can barely stand. Cecelia’s opinion of Finn? He’s an oaf and a killjoy. But, opposites can’t resist each other in Dawning of Light by Tami Lund. You’ll love Book 2 of Tami’s hot fantasy series, Lightbearer, a saga about lightbearers and the shifters who hate to love them. 

The Lightbearers are a group of magical beings who have lived for five hundred years hidden away in their warded and protected coterie. Now that the princess of the Lightbearers is mated to a shifter, their peaceful lives have been turned upside down.

In this second installment of the Lightbearer Series, shifter Finnegan Hennigan is doing his damnedest to keep lightbearer Cecilia Druthers out of trouble. His job is made all the more difficult by the fact that Cecilia doesn't want to stay out of trouble.

Despite their mutual annoyance, sparks ignite between this odd couple. As it becomes increasingly more apparent that someone is out to get Cecilia, the flares of attraction become impossible to resist, and soon, Cecilia and Finn tumble into, well, a closet together. And then the bed. And if Finn wants to keep her there, he's going to need to keep her alive.

Which means figuring out who the hell keeps trying to kill her. 
Content Notes: Hot, Non-sexual Violence, Fantasy, Fairies, Paranormal, Shifters, Suspense

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they've overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course. 

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.

And most important, if you enjoyed one of Tami's books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?


The author is hosting a giveaway for some eBooks of Into the Light (Lightbearer Book 1) and an Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway BOOK RELEASE FACEBOOK PARTY!
Tami Lund is hosting a book release party on Facebook with author takeovers, contests and prizes, and swag, and would love for you to come!

Pre-order Dawning of Light and email Tami the receipt to be entered to win!
Pre-Order Here:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Best Books I Read in 2014

The year isn't quite over but I felt inspired to make a list of the best books I read in 2014. I read some incredible books this year and narrowing it down was almost impossible. Here goes!

No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen Hale. Ms. Hale has come under fire as of late for some questionable activities. I think we can all agree that stalking reviewers is bad. I am not at all condoning the behavior. Moving on. The book is fantastic. I think about it often and I read it almost a year ago. Give me an unreliable narrator, a grisly murder, a sweet love story between two misfits, and town full of zany characters and you have given me my heart’s desire. This book is not for everyone. Some people absolutely hated it. But I loved it and I’m quite looking forward to the sequel.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black. You might be thinking, not another vampire book, but just hold up a sec. It’s violent and dark and so so good. Imagine a world where vampires have been discovered and banished to a “coldtown,” a fenced in city where all vampires and those infected are sent. Outsiders can watch the happenings in the coldtowns via the internet. So it’s reality tv cranked up a notch. Intrigued yet? You should be.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart. Unreliable narrator? Check. One really screwed up family? Check. A gigantic plot twist? Check. It’s not the most uplifting book I’ve ever read but this book set the YA world on fire this year and for good reason.

Landline – Rainbow Rowell. I am a gigantic Rainbow fan. A fangirl even. (Ha.) This woman is talented. Landline is her first adult fiction since Attachments (which I also loved to pieces). So often, books and stories stop on the wedding day. This book examines the marriage of a stay-at-home dad and a working mom. Mom has a successful career on the edge of becoming hugely successful and the toll it takes on their marriage. A magical old rotary phone (it works, trust me) gives them another chance at love and it is beautiful. It’s both a heartbreaking story and an uplifting one. Read it right now.

The Diviners – Libba Bray. I loved everything about this book. It’s set in the 1920s and it’s full of flappers and speak easies and jazz. And it’s TERRIFYING. I cannot wait for the second one.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes. Cry cry cry cry. That was me reading this book. It’s a beautiful and sad story about a quadriplegic and his caregiver. I’m about to cry just thinking about it. Yup. Wiping away tears now.

So there you have it. These books weren’t all released in 2014. Most of them came out in 2013 but I’m usually behind on new releases. All of these books have staying power. They all stayed with me for days (or weeks or months!) and I like that in a book. They don’t all have conventional happy endings but I don’t mind that a bit. All of them have complicated characters and very real conflict. Happy reading! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Getting published is super easy...except not really.

Stephen King wrote an excellent book about writing, ON WRITING, in which he shares his own writing wisdom and his journey as a writer. He says he put a railroad spike over his desk and stuck his rejections on it. Apparently, there were quite a few rejections on the spike when he finally got an acceptance.

Many people think, “I will write a book and then people will knock my door down trying to publish it!” HA! In a way, this isn’t a bad attitude for a newbie writer to have as it helps with motivation. As soon as one has started the submission process, one will quickly get a dose of reality.

My book, MEADOW PERKINS, TRUSTY SIDEKICK, will be published next year by Soul Mate Publishing (YAYAYAYAY). Here is my journey to publication so far:

~ I finished the book in October 2013. Assumed that I’d have a publisher by Christmas. (HAAAAAAA)

~ Started querying agents in November 2013 with a bad query letter and bad formatting in my emails. I thought it didn’t matter. IT DOES MATTER.

~ Got a great many rejections.

~ Sent out a new batch of queries with a slightly less crappy query letter and formatting that was maybe 5% better.

~ A million more rejections.

~ Yet more queries and rejections. Ask me anything about queries or rejections. I am an expert in both!

~ At some point in the spring, my query letter got better and so did my formatting. Agents and publishers started requesting to read the full manuscript. I got some good feedback and more rejections. But let me just tell you, a personalized rejection instead of a form rejection feels like an acceptance.

~ Fewer “Dear Author, thank you for giving us the opportunity to review your work, unfortunately…” letters came in.

~ 9 months of querying. I got tired. I decided to submit one more time.

~ Blah blah nothing.

~ I decided to self-publish which I found terrifying. But I had to get ok with the fact that people were going to read my book. People other than my mother and bff. AND that people might not like it. Yikes.

~ As soon as I decided to self-publish (I am in no way bashing self-publishing!!! I’m just scared of it.) I got THE email.

So as you can see, it all happened in a flash. Or it took months of blood, sweat, and tears. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

10 Things About Me

Let's get to know each other, shall we? Here are ten things about me that are completely irrelevant and hopefully not too boring:

1) I read all the time and I always have. It keeps me from getting too involved in household chores which my husband would say is probably a bad thing. I have tried with little success to find a way to vacuum effectively while holding a book. I will continue to pursue this dream until someone buys me a Roomba. 

2) I have seen every episode of the old British show "Keeping up Appearances" about twenty times. Hyacinth is one of my favorite characters of all time. I don't know why everyone doesn't watch this show.

3) I gave my cat a hyphenated name. Her name is Sylvie-Hazel. Really, I think she picked out the name. Maybe I'm a nut for going along with it. I have a 30 lb cat and he is 11 years old and a prince. My other cat has googly eyes and was rescued from a bridge. He has cured me of rescuing cats.

4) I hate getting to know you games. I'm starting to question this entire exercise. 

5) I can never decide on a favorite color. I think it's blue...

6) I've been lost in several major cities at night including NYC, San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna...pretty much every one I've ever set foot in.

7) I met my husband on Halloween and we were married within 6 months. 

8) I spent a year as an au Pair in Germany and it was one of the best years of my life!

9) I lived in the Bay area for two years but never once made it to Alcatraz. 

10) I get motion sickness in cars, on planes, on trains, everywhere. Even when I'm driving. But I can ride roller coasters all day long. 

Bonus: I have moved over 20 times. I've lived in my current house for two years which is the longest I've lived anywhere since I moved out of my parents house.