~ Awards, Reads, & Fall Update

Been a busy summer here in Roh-land.

Several visits by family meant some much-needed time away from work (both the day job and the writing job) doing some pretty fun stuff:

  • Sequoia National Park to see the Big Trees (as in 33 FEET in diameter!)
  • Horseback riding
  • Train trip to get ice cream (world-renowned ice cream!)
  • Native American festival
  • Star party by the local astronomers club (Mars and Jupiter were stunning through the high-powered telescopes)
  • Large cat sanctuary (lions and tigers and leopards, but no bears)
  • And an escape room (which was really cool!)

And somewhere in there, we fit in a Harry Potter marathon (the kids had not seen any of these movies).

All that kept us running each day from dawn until midnight. And it was a blast!

Everyone needs to take a little time out to spend with family and enjoy life. That’s what it’s supposed to be about, right?

But it’s nice to get back to the writing world, and I’ve got a few updates for you.

Mark your calendars! The Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca, CA is being held on October 13, and I’m excited to be one of their featured authors! I’m also moderating a panel, “The Many Faces of Romance” that includes fellow Yosemite Romance Writers Debra Salonen and Sandra Masters. The event is free, so be sure to come by and say “Hi!”

Award News
In a previous post, I mentioned that I’d entered Saving Magic, an unpublished YA historical fantasy, in a writing contest. The contest was sponsored by the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

Saving Magic ended up winning second place in the Young Adult category, and won FIRST PLACE in the New Adult category!  In addition, Andrea Somberg of the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency requested the full manuscript.

Needless to say, I’m pretty jazzed. Magic was originally written as a short story (it’s now a novel) for a writers group anthology which, unfortunately, never got off the ground. I’m looking forward to hearing what Ms. Somberg has to say about it. 

Recommended Reads – The Jane Yellowrock Series by Faith Hunter
I just finished reading the 12-volume series about Cherokee skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, and what a wild ride!

The series starts with Skinwalker (2009) and ends (for now) with Dark Queen (2018). Through it all, rogue vampire killer Jane kicks butt, nearly dies a few times, falls in love, and helps save the world. Set in New Orleans for most of the series, author Faith Hunter brings the story to life with vivid setting descriptions and nearly non-stop action. For urban fantasy fans, this series is a must-read.


The September edition (my third newsletter) of The Chosen Updates went out last weekend. If you missed it, and would like me to send it (or any earlier editions), please contact me. Although some of the content is posted here on my blog, there are a few features that only subscribers receive – namely, special sale notifications and excerpts from my works-in-progress. Below is a list of the typical features, though some do not appear every edition:
  • In the News – features news about vampire and urban fantasy pop cultures, such as upcoming books, movies, TV shows, etc.
  • Recommended Reads – generally features a work from urban fantasy or vampire literature along with what I’m currently reading
  • Vampire Collectibles – photos from my extensive (and rather silly) collection of vampire knick-knacks
  • Music for the Muse – spotlight on the inspirational music used by many authors (including me) in their writing
  • Behind the Scenes – background information on my stories (like strange happenings I call “Watcher Weirdness”)
  • Author Corner – news about me and my stories, such as awards, events and appearances, what I’m working on, etc.
  • The Chosen Update – exclusive excerpts from a work in progress in The Chosen series; the last two newsletters included excerpts from Monster, the prequel to Watcher
  • Sales – Announcements about periodic sales; Watcher AND Runner were both on sale over the Labor Day weekend
If you’d like to receive the newsletter and keep up with current developments in my writing world (like getting exclusive excerpts!), please subscribe to The Chosen Updates. They go out almost every month (sometimes I miss a month), but no more often than that. I hope that urban fantasy (and particularly vampire) fans find it a bit entertaining, a bit informative, and a bit different from some of the other author newsletters out there.

That’s it for now!


~ Romania remembrances

Two years ago, my hubby and I embarked upon the trip of a lifetime: a 12-day guided tour of Romania, led by Dacre Stoker and Romanian Treasures Travel. It was amazing. We traveled through Wallachia and Transylvania (the very words send delicious chills up my spine), hiked the Carpathians (another thrill), and immersed ourselves in all things Vlad Tepes, Dracula, and the beautiful country and people of Romania.

That trip was research for the upcoming Seeker: Book III of The Chosen.

Here’s the itinerary and route we took:


And from my Vampire Collectibles, here’s a little hanging sign I picked up from one the hotels in which we stayed, the Hotel Castel Dracula:


Since my plan to blog the trip at the time fell through due to our intense schedule (and my exhaustion!), I’ll be posting tidbits about it over the next several weeks, roughly parallel to where we were each day two years ago.

‘Til next time,


~ Summer Splurge Giveaway

Do you like to read? Wouldn’t it be cool to buy whatever books you’d like without spending a dime? Well, this SUMMER SPLURGE GIVEAWAY is just for you! The prize is a $240 Amazon gift card to spend however you like. All you have to do is follow the sponsoring authors on their *BookBub pages.

To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Email addresses will not be shared with the authors; instead, you just follow the authors on BookBub! That’s it! (You must follow all of the participating authors to enter the contest. If you’re already following some of them, don’t worry – those follows will still count toward your entry).

The giveaway runs from July 1 thru July 10. The winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and notified shortly thereafter.

You can enter here: Summer Splash Giveaway – Amazon $240 Gift Card

No purchase necessary. Open internationally.

*BookBub is not responsible for this giveaway.

Good luck!