Pimp A Friend Friday: George Cotronis

What do these book covers have in common?


namelessApocalyptic MontessaThey’re dark. They’re mysterious. They’re exceptionally striking. They’re also work by George Cotronis. He did the covers for my books Apocalyptic Montessa, Nameless, and the covers (yet to be revealed) for books 2 and 3 in the Bone Angel trilogy. Trust me when I say they’re killer. In fact. I bought several covers from him for books I haven’t even written yet! I just saw them and needed them deep in my soul.

George sells his covers at Ravenkult.com. He has exclusive ready-made covers, stock covers, and will also create a cover for you. Check him out.

Miss Murder Easy DIY: Easy Ice Pops For Chickens!

IMG_4731People are telling stories of something called “Autumn” and “cool weather” and “pumpkin spice.” I know these things are all lies. In Las Vegas, we’re still wearing sun hats and sunglasses. I burn my feet on the pavement at least once a week, and my hands on the steering well about as often. So we’re still concerned with keeping our chickens nice and cool.

My friend turned me onto the easiest treat for them! Delicious corn ice pops! Aren’t you so jealous?

Don’t be. That’s weird. You can eat them as well, if you wanna. My daughter does.


You’ll need a muffin tin, frozen corn, and water.


Fill the tins about 3/4 of the way full with corn, and then fill it the rest of the way with water. Stick it into the freezer and freeze for a few hours. Voila! Delicious treats that will help cool your chickens down. They’ll have to peck through the ice to get to the corn, thereby saving themselves from dying out in the extreme heat. Plus they’ll love you forever. That’s always a good sign.IMG_4730Happy summer! Er, fall. Whatever it may be in your part of the world. ;)

And for those who have been asking, I do have a novel in mind where the main character raises chickens. These little ladies have clucked their way into my heart.

Join Me at the Vegas Valley Book Festival October 15-17

VVBFOne of my favorite events here is the Vegas Valley Book Festival. Last year I attended and met B.J. Novak as well as one of my favorite writers of all time, Aimee Bender. It was a genuine pleasure, and Aimee was everything I had ever hoped she would be, and more. She’s the type of woman who waves at you from across the buffet table, and that pretty much made my life.

This year the headliners are Brad Meltzer and Colum McCann. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say. I’ll also be on a panel titled Industry Insights: The Art and Business of Blogging. Come by and say hi!

WIP Wednesday


Working hard! This week I turned in two short stories. They both need polished, but we’ll see what the respective editors have to say. It was good to see forward movement on them.

My focus this week is staring down the very Mouth of Hell in one novella, with a poor sweet boy that keeps getting more and more thrown at him. It sucks to be born nearly divine.

I’m waiting to hear on the status of one story, which may or may not fit the editor’s bill. It’s a beautiful, sad thing, and I’m quite proud of it.

Also, Crystal Lake and I have set a tentative time to publish the sequel to Nameless next year. I’m very excited to do so! More on that as it’s confirmed.

Meanwhile, I was talking to an old friend about my very first novel that I ever wrote. I also wrote a sequel to it, both which have never seen the light of day. I’m thinking of revising them, especially because they feature my favorite character ever, Ray the Vampire. He has his own short story, here. That story was one of my very first sales! <3

That’s what I’m up to! What are you working on?

Grain-Free Rosemary Almond-Flour Bread


We’ve been trying to live a grain-free, seedless, whole food lifestyle. I’m hoping it will help with the migraines and blood sugar. My husband is hoping it will help with his running. So far, he’s dropped ten pounds, gained muscle, and looks like he’s back in high school. As for me, I’m just angry and want to eat bread all of the time. ;)

But something that cheered me is this new recipe! Baking is one of my joys, and I haven’t been doing that as much lately. This gave me the joy of baking plus the pleasure of eating warm bread with butter. I couldn’t be happier.


  • 1½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 175 deg Celcius).

  • Grease a loaf pan with butter.
  • Mix flours, rosemary, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  • Add in beaten eggs, butter, and apple cider vinegar, and mix well. Spread into the pan. It will be a thick batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.


It’s a really dense, delicious bread. If you’re not used to almond flour, it might be a bit dry, but if you’ve been going grain-free for a while, you’ll definitely be able to appreciate something savory and covered in butter. I hope you enjoy. :)



Letting Go

It wasn’t something I intentionally set out to do; it’s more like I realized it after it was already happening.

Life had become far too crushing, too busy, too loud. I was drowning.

I started pulling back just a bit. Simple things, really. Unfollowing or even unfriending people who constantly upset me on Facebook. Stepping away from friends who drained my energy instead of refueling it.


This is a beautiful, restful area now! How can that BE?

My bedside table was a mountain of books, papers, and projects I would probably never get to. So I donated these books. I tossed the papers. I let the projects go. They weren’t filling me with any sort of happiness! I saw guilt when I saw these things. Today I put candles on that table, and it made me smile.

WIPI looked at my writing projects. A few brought me joy. Many brought me to tears. I hated them. They didn’t speak to me in any way. I needed to get rid of the excess. I cut some projects. I accepted ones that made me smile. I left my publishers amicably and found a new publisher for a few books. I’m taking control.

darling basket

We’re eating much cleaner. I tossed things (even shoes!) out of my closet that I haven’t worn in a year. Knickknacks are going. Things that we keep just because we’ve always had them, they’re gone. If we don’t love it, out it goes. I don’t have time to be bogged down by all this! None of us do. Life is far too short!


If you don’t love it, lose it. If it weighs you down, let it go.

Break it all. You can build everything back up after you tear out all of the refuse. Toxic friendships, killing obligations, furniture and junk in your house that sucks up your air and uses all of your living space. You really can get rid of it, and I can tell you that I’ve never felt so liberated.

Is there something in particular that is holding you back? Try releasing it and seeing what happens. :)

Best of luck to you, my friends.

Writing When You Don’t Wanna


We all have those days when we’re charged with creative energy.  We’re atomic bombs of energy, split nuclear atoms of joy!  These are the days that we call off dinner with friends because we’re writing. We stay up in the middle of the night. We blow through three chapters, call ourselves geniuses, and then drop into bed.

Then there are the other days.  I’m not talking about days where we’re merely distracted or disinterested.  I’m talking about the darker, deeper days when we’re ill.  Or nail-bitingly anxious.  Or depressed.  Taking a day off or two is no big problem, but those days could easily turn into weeks or even months.  And if you’re trying to forge ahead with your dreams, two months of no writing is going to catch up with you.  You’ll see your momentum backslide.  Worse than that, you’ll hear that nasty, negative little voice that says you aren’t good enough. You don’t take your craft seriously enough, you don’t work hard enough.  Your hair isn’t shiny enough (or is that just my negative little voice?) and your commitments are building up on you, becoming more than you can manage.  If you’re sick/depressed/stressed/otherwise incapacitated, this buildup is the last thing that you need.  The more stress, the more negativity. The more negativity, the less get-up-and-go you’ll find in yourself.  And a writer without get-up-and-go is a stalled, unhappy writer.

Yeah, I’m there.  I’m frustrated that I don’t have the energy to work as hard and as efficiently as I used to.  But throwing my arms helplessly in the air only made things worse.  Instead, I have devised a plan using my trusty timer.

15 minutes a day on a project.  That’s all.

If I want to do more than that, great.  If I get inspired, even better! If I do 15 minutes on a few different projects, I’ll laud myself as a goddess.  But 15 minutes is my minimum.  It’s short enough that I’m not overwhelmed by it, but long enough that I can get to work on something.  Getting started is the hardest part for me, and once I’m going, I’m usually going for longer than my 15.   But if I plan for 15 minutes, and give myself a mental high-five when I complete it, then life goes a lot smoother.

Do you have any motivational tricks techniques that you use to keep yourself working even when you don’t feel like it?