You've stumbled on my Extras area. It isn't a blog but it's the place where I share big news, teasers and random fun stuff.

What the heck have I been up to?

I’m sure you’re wondering where I’ve been and what the heck I’ve been doing since I clearly haven’t been posting here!

What I just finished
Who She Was is off to the editor and starting next week, I’ll be using it to query agents. I’m looking for an agent because one of things I’ve learned in the almost two years since I first self-published (OMG – how has it not even been two years?!) is that young adult readers want physical books to hold in their hands and they (or their parents) primarily buy them through mainstream channels like Barnes and Noble and other book retailers that are really hard for a self-pubbed author to get into.

I truly believe Who She Was is a book that can make a difference for someone out there, so I want to ensure it reaches the  kids who need it as easily as possible. I believe a traditional publisher can do that for me, so that’s why I’m giving this a go. Wish me luck!

​What I’m about to start
After so much debate, I’ve decided which Bound book is next! Over the next month, as I attend two author events and plow through two grad school classes, I’ll also be rereading Bound by Prophecy to get my head back in the world and ensure I have all those open plot points down to tackle in MICAH’S STORY!

I know so many of you have fallen for Micah and I’m right there with you. When I first wrote his character I had no idea how he would evolve and the kind of man he would turn out to be. I’m so excited to write a full book in his point of view, I cannot even tell you!

I don’t have a title yet, heck, in true Muse fashion I don’t even know what the main plot of the story will be. But I know this is a continuation of the story you loved and your favorite characters will pop up. I’ll start writing in July with my eyes on a release in early 2017. Get ready!

What I’m so proud of
As I’ve been editing, I’ve also been working with my amazing designer, Toni, who has done most of the Bound covers and graphics you see. We’ve had many chats and floated tons of ideas back and forth, but we finally figured out my face to the world.

Behold!

As we talked about who I am, what I write and what I want to be known for, it became really clear that I don’t know how to tell a story that isn’t a bit complex, with layered characters who are young (18 or so) and just trying to figure out who they are in the world. They are trying to overcome, to forge friendships, to trust, to love…that’s how we landed on “captivating coming of age.”

I hope you like it and I can’t wait to share more about what I have in the hopper and what’s to come. I hope you have an amazing summer. I’ll be in my writing chair between events, class and the fun of being outside in the sunshine.

​Stormy

An update and a box set!

Picture

The last few months have been intensely reflective for me. I’ve dug deep into processes, goal-setting, visions for my future and really focusing in on the life I want to live.

It’s an insane thing to think less than two years ago I had only just finished the first draft of Bound by Duty (back then it was still titled Duty Bound!). I had no idea what you all would think of that book or if others would follow. But, you’ve blown me away with your support and you keep asking for more!

I know if you’re here, it’s because you likely already own all of the books in the box set, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. From the depths of my soul – the creative, word nerding, world-building soul I never knew I had – I am so grateful.

When I decided to make the box set of the Bound series it was for a few reasons, but one of them was simply because we are all bingers are heart. We want to wait until something is complete and then power through so we can connect and attach and love every second in that new world. The second reason was this is Amelia’s story and I told you at the end of Prophecy that it was complete.

You can look for a Bound novella toward the end of this year and a full-length Bound book in 2017. We’re getting into new characters’ heads and the Immortals will continue to manage the new world and regime they’re faced with.

Until then, please consider sharing these links with a friend you know who is also a lover of fantasy and generally a binger. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the quick catch-up, and you’ll have someone to commiserate with until I get that next book out! 😉

Much love, 
Storm


Bound Series Box Set

It’s finally time to share my super secret surprise!

I’ve been hinting at a super secret surprise for a few weeks now, and it’s finally time for the official unveiling! I’m so excited to share the pre-order links for my holiday novella, Bound Together, with you.

I’ll be honest, I had my own book hangover coming off of Bound by Prophecy and wasn’t ready to let my friends go. 😉

The official synopsis is: After weeks spent on the road tracking down Immortals still in hiding, Amelia and Aidan are finally ready for some down time. Holed up in a cabin at the base of Mt. Shasta, they prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together. 

While Aidan makes secret plans for the celebration, he and Amelia create their own holiday traditions, finding surprises around every corner as they embrace each other and their future together. 

​The novella releases Dec. 1, 2015. I hope you enjoy it!

Here are your pre-order links:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
Nook

P.S. This Saturday (11/21), I am co-hosting a LIVE event with my friend Alys Arden. We are going to be live on camera, on Google Hangouts, for a whopping six hours. We are hosting ten authors across three panels, giving away tons of awesome prizes and talking all things bookish. Here’s the link with more details! We’d love to have you join us.

I answered fan questions – check it out!

Earlier this week I posted a Q&A on my Facebook page that was a ton of fun. I realized as I was answering questions that there were likely more readers who wanted those answers, so I’m cross posting the Q&A here for you! I did note in some answers that I’d dive deeper on video – those are to come!

If you have additional questions, or thoughts to add, please comment.

Q: I love that you only write “clean” books, why did you choose to go that way, rather than write more risque books?

A: OH! Such a good question. I’ll give you a little here and then include this in the video.

The biggest reason I chose to write clean new adult is because I truly believe that between 18 – 25 is where you find yourself. It’s the time you make a lot of dumb choices, where you experience freedom for the first time, and you start to determine the kind of person you’ll turn out to be. I wanted to write this genre and this age because I wanted 13 – 17 year olds to read it and realize what was coming.

That said, a lot of new adult books have bordered on erotica in the last few years. I’m not saying that’s bad, but it’s not great for the true YA that may find their way there. My books are about characters who are overcoming their upbringing and deciding who they want to be. They need family and friends to get there (just like we all do) and they’ll experience many firsts. Sex is one of those, but just like in life, it isn’t the most crucial element of a relationship.

Amelia is reacting to the emotional abuse from what her father went through and Aidan suffers from abandonment issues. But they are choosing their own path and not letting their past dictate their future. Those are the stories I’m trying to tell, and I don’t think I need sex to tell it. 

Wow, that’s was really long. But, you got me on a roll, sister.

Q: I wanted to ask how did you come up with the idea? As it’s quite different than what I read so far!! And I’m loving it!

A: It was partly inspired by Rachel Higginson‘s Star-Crossed series, and partly made up entirely. I didn’t really outline any of the books. I tried, but it just didn’t work. So, I went into Duty knowing the first scene and the last scene with utter clarity, and nothing in the middle. I actually rewrote 80% of the first draft I did because it was just too far off the mark (it was my first book ever, haha).

With Spells, again I tried to outline, but it didn’t work either. I knew I wanted dual POV and I knew a few major plot points, but really, that one came as I went as well.

In Prophecy, I didn’t bother trying to outline. I knew where we needed to end up and I allowed the story to just happen. I did about a 20% rewrite from draft one to two, but most of the main plot stayed the same. What changed was how I articulated it.

That doesn’t really answer your question, I know, but it is how it happened!

Q: I’d love to know what gets your creativity going, like is there a certain spot you like to write or some playlist that helps you write?

A: The longer I write, the more I draw creativity from everything around me. I see people, behaviors, emotions, locations…they all call to me on some level. For instance, I knew my next book had to be set in my town because it was a character in and of itself.

I also listen to music all the time and am constantly building playlists. I started my “next book inspiration” playlist back in May, before I was halfway done with Prophecy and before I even knew what the story was. But I knew which lyrics were driving me toward it.

Q: You know I’m always enthralled with Charlie and Onyx… Did you always know where their story was headed, or did it surprise even you?  Did you have a dog growing up?

A:  It totally surprised me! Charlie appeared out of complete nowhere as I was writing (totally typical with my Muse) and through all of Duty and Spells, and half of Prophecy, I had zero clue what he and Onyx were or where it was all going. Then, it all clicked into place perfectly. I’ve had to trust myself with this series and honestly, my Muse has not let me down! I also knew the story needed a little extra comic relief initially, and he did a great job of providing it.

As far as animals, I love them, but have always been afraid of big dogs. One attacked me when I was little so I’ve always been skittish. We had cats growing up and one little Yorkie, but that’s it until I left for college. But, one of my friends has two beautiful Great Danes and I love everything about them. Their gangly, massive bodies, their knowing eyes, and their larger than life stature. Cole had to have a big dog, and it was never a question for me that it was a Great Dane.

Q: Are you more of a linear writer (you write from start to finish) or do you write specific scenes that are stuck in your head and try to connect them later?

A:  I write from start to finish, but the certain scenes come to me stronger than others. I don’t usually let myself write them out of order, but if it is strong enough, then I will. Especially in a fantasy series, where you do a lot of world building and small details matter, I find if I write out of order that I’ll end up screwing something up long term. Hehe. It’s safer for everyone if I stay on track!

Q: Why did you choose “doll” as the nickname Aidan gave Amelia? He calls her it almost right away, and out of all the names he could call her, it’s doll. Random, I know, but I’m curious. 

A: 
Ha! That’s a question I get a lot, actually! “Doll” is something my husband has called me since we first started dating. I would walk up and he’d say, “How you doing, doll?” and I’d pretty much melt. smile emoticon So, when I was looking for a unique term of endearment for Aidan and Amelia, it fit perfectly.

Q: What made you incorporate so much nature into your story? The beginning starts off so urban but quickly moves.. I was just always curious.

A: This is a question I love, mostly because I’ve never even considered the fact that I did that. But, I would say that though I’m not outdoorsy in the ways of camping (BLECH), I do connect very much to the elements. I’m very self-aware about my moods, my body and my overall temperament, and I am affected by the sun, the ocean, and the feeling of just being outside.

Random side note: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to be a runner simply to be outside. Haha.

I think at our core every being is tied to this planet, the elements, nature – all of it – in a direct and monumental way. It’s the reason we’re here and how we survive. I don’t know that it was possible for me to write this any other way.

Q: Do you plan on staying in this genre or will you branch out to others?

A: 
My next book will branch out. Still clean new adult, but not a fantasy. You’ll get a sneak preview in the back of Prophecy! 

I’ll address why in a blog post or video.

Bound by Prophecy Teaser

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t done a lot of teasers with Bound by Prophecy. It isn’t that I don’t have 89,000 words to choose from, it’s more that I feel like the words in this book belong together. It’s hard for me to grab bits and pieces without wanting you to have the context of what’s happening at the same time.

But, don’t despair, I have gotten over myself. A little. 🙂 This is the beginning of Chapter One. MUAH.


Amelia

He was here. As he’d promised, Aidan came for me. Just days after the ordeal in Cresthaven, we met in our forest, in the dreamscape that had kept me sane and unknowingly connected me to him while we were apart.
I had so many questions, but right now, all I could do was feel. Our magic twirled and tugged at each other playfully, and the relief of our bodies and souls being together again was more than I expected — almost more than my body could take. I had been fighting the Keeper for so long, it was all I could do to stay upright.
He smelled of citrus and woods, like always. I tucked my head under his chin, remaining quiet. I wanted the confirmation of his heart beating under my ear. I needed to hear it and feel the light thump, thump under my cheek to know this was real. He was real. I worried I had concocted this fantasy in a desperate attempt to hide from the Keeper.
When Aidan exhaled, I felt my hair lift and then float back down. The deflation in his chest created more room between us than I wanted, so I pulled him tighter to me. His hands traced up my back to grip my shoulders. He pushed me away from him slightly, then tipped my chin toward his face to look in my eyes.
“Hey, there, doll.” His voice was barely a whisper. His fingertips moved from my chin so his hand could cup my cheek. I leaned into him for a brief second, closing my eyes. I still hadn’t spoken. I didn’t trust words right now. I didn’t trust anything but the power racing between us and the tingling sensations igniting where our skin touched.
I should have been explaining. We should have been figuring out a plan. I couldn’t do any of that right now. I opened my eyes, wrapped my hands around Aidan’s neck, and pulled him down to me. His eyes widened and passion overtook his hesitation. He pulled me closer as our lips slanted across each other. The kiss began gently, an exploration of a person you knew so well, but who still felt unfamiliar. It was a confirmation that this was indeed where we should be. So much had happened in such a short time. We could have become different people and this shared moment could have been awkward and strange, but it wasn’t.
It quickly grew more heated as the fears of the past few weeks bubbled to the surface. The realization that we were here, alive and together, stoked a fire inside us. Our connection was strong, our thoughts and emotions unfiltered and shared. As soon as I needed to be closer, Aidan lifted me up. I wrapped my legs around his waist and threaded my fingers through his hair as ​his tongue swept inside my mouth. He pulled away to trail kisses along my neck. I arched my back and leaned away to give him better access. I didn’t want him to stop. I didn’t want to leave this place. “I want to stay here forever,” I murmured as he continued.
Abruptly, Aidan pulled back. His hair pointed in all directions and his breathing was ragged, but compassion filled his eyes. “You know we can’t stay here forever, Amelia,” he said softly as he touched his forehead to mine. “This is everything I’ve wanted, but there’s more at stake here than just us.”
I released my ankles and slid down his body. As I stepped back, Aidan grasped my hand, maintaining our connection. I felt stronger for having it, but I already missed his closeness.
“Amelia, talk to me,” he said, pleading and demanding all at once in the way only Aidan could. I couldn’t refuse him.
“I remember the last few days like they were a dream,” I started. “More like a nightmare, really. A place I’ve been that seemed too real at the time but so far away now.” I paused and looked out into the trees.
“Look at me.” This time, it was a demand.
I turned and his blazing blue eyes caught me off guard. “I will protect you, Amelia. I will stop it from hurting you.”

Don’t forget…

Bound by Prophecy is also available on all channels for pre-order! It is at a special pre-order price of just $2.99. The price will increase to $3.99 on release day, so get it now!

Amazon
Nook
Kobo
iBooks

Bound by Prophecy cover reveal and pre-order!

Are you ready for this? I am SO ready for this! 
Without further adieu, here is the cover for Bound by Prophecy!!

I hope you love this cover as much as I do! I know the Bound series will carry on past these three books and this provides so many great opportunities for me going forward. Please comment with your thoughts!

But, that’s not all!

Bound by Prophecy is also available on all channels for pre-order! It is at a special pre-order price of just $2.99. The price will increase to $3.99 on release day, so get it now!

Amazon
Nook
Kobo
iBooks

Wait, there’s still MORE!

If you haven’t dug into this series yet, there’s still time. And, I’ve got the perfect opportunity for you! 
Bound by Duty is now FREE ON ALL CHANNELS!

Amazon
Nook
Kobo
iBooks

Please tell any friends on the fence that they can take a chance with no investment. Hopefully they love the Bound series as much as you have!

XO, 
Storm

Bound by Prophecy release date announced!

You’ve waited so patiently, and now I can finally share that Bound by Prophecy will be released on November 12, 2015! Can I get a woot, woot??

I am currently in editing madness, which translates to me spending every night in my desk chair going line by line through all 90,000 words to make sure they are as fantabulous as possible. You can rest assured that you will see all of your favorites back again in Prophecy, and you miiiight even get a peek in someone new’s head.

I am in the midst of finalizing the cover with my designer (stay tuned on September 10 for the reveal!) and cannot wait until August 22, when I had this bad boy off to my trusted beta readers. 

For those who didn’t get to see the live events, I did confirm that there will be more books in the Bound series, but Prophecy completes Aidan and Amelia’s story. I’ve left enough doors open that there is more to tell and new story lines to explore. What I can’t tell you is when you’ll see the next Bound book. Don’t fret, it will come, but this girl needs a teensy break from fantasy. I’ll be delving into a new genre with my next read. Stay tuned for details!

XO,
Storm

Buy the Bound Series Anywhere!

Coming out of UtopYA, I had a lot on my mind. I had conversations with best-selling authors about long-term strategy and how to pace myself for a marathon career and not the sprint mindset that we often get stuck in. One of the major topics we spent time on was having my books available to all of my readers, wherever they want to read them. Up until now, the Bound books have always been available exclusively on Amazon, but now – NO MORE!

If you’ve been waiting for the Bound books to appear on iBooks, Nook or Kobo – you’re in luck – they are live! And they will also be available for library e-book rental through Overdrive, you simply need to ask your librarian to order them. There are a host of other platforms stocking the Bound books, so make sure you check your favorite vendor and let me know if you don’t see it.

Here’s your direct access:
Bound by Duty
Amazon
Nook
iBooks
Kobo

Bound by Spells
Amazon
Nook
iBooks
Kobo

Keep an eye on the newsletter, next week is the first birthday of Bound by Duty and I have a lot of fun activities planned. Get the scoop on your opportunity to interact live with me next Thursday, and know that there’s more to come.

Also, Bound by Prophecy will also release to all channels, and as soon as I have a firm launch date, I will let you know! Have a great weekend, friends!

XO,
Storm