An Update and a New Beginning

This post comes a little late, but there are reasons. I promise! I wanted to give an update on what’s been up with me and make a new commitment to my blog. I’m thinking a post like this is a great place to start.

First, let’s go back a bit to 2011, when I wrote Mind Magic and suddenly things began to change. I never thought for a million years that it would be published. No really. I never dreamed it. But I was encouraged by a fantastic group of friends to give it a go, and submitted the book to Dreamspinner Press in August of 2011. I got my first contract at the very first GRL retreat in New Orleans that October. I cried like a big old baby. Sobbed. No kidding. It was a life changing moment, and I knew it.

From then on, writing became even more of a passion. I’ve always loved to write, but now I found a focus for that passion. An energy that I didn’t know I possessed. I whipped out a few books using the fuel of the excitement over Mind Magic and the Triad series came to life.

And I kept writing. And learning. And loving every minute of it. Until early 2014, that is. Then I hit a road block. I found that I’d run out of steam, that the passion and excitement had started to disappear and it broke my heart. I tried to force myself to write, but just couldn’t.

The passion was still there, however, it just transformed into a different one. I became passionate about helping authors understand the ideas behind branding and marketing. I had a degree in it, after all, so it seemed natural to me to help fellow authors out behind the scenes. I’d been helping all along, actually, but the passion really began to shift for me.

I decided to take some time off from writing. I didn’t make a public announcement or anything, I just…stopped. I needed a breather, and in a series of very fortunate events, my breather happened to coincide with Dreamspinner deciding to add a new member to their marketing and social media teams. It was the opportunity I’d been waiting for, and I didn’t even realize it. Suddenly, everything started coming into focus again.

I’ve been working for Dreamspinner for a while now, and I can’t tell you how happy I am. Funnily enough, my self-imposed writing breather came to an end as well. I told myself I was going to take off until the beginning of 2015 to regroup. In January of 2015, I sat down and wrote the first book in a new series that began burning a hole in my brain during my sabbatical. Books two and three are also partially written.

The first book of the Holly Creek series, Dogwood Days, was just contracted for a September, 2015 release date.  In early March, I attended the Dreamspinner Author Workshop and made my first “public appearance” as Dreamspinner’s new Marketing Director. Both the new series and the new job have brought me back to where I wanted to be.

I realized something, however. I wasn’t practicing what I preached as far as author marketing was concerned. I listened and I advised, but I wasn’t doing what I needed to do either. How could I ask our authors to do things when I wasn’t doing them myself? I couldn’t, and I can’t.

So here I am, laying it all out in front of you and telling you that I am new and improved. It’s been a rough road in some ways, but mostly, it’s been a dream come true. If you’d told me in 2011 when I hit submit on that first book that I’d be here today making this post, having this job, and this many books under my belt, I’d have laughed at you. But I did it. And I’m so dang happy.

For readers, I’m promising to be around more. You’re going to get to see the silly side of me that you’ve seen in my books. You’ll see even more of me in Dogwood Days, as it’s based on a small Southern town very much like the one I grew up in.

For my author friends, you’ll be seeing me practice what I preach on marketing. I’m hoping to give you all some tips and tricks on this blog as well. Why not, right?

So thank you for reading this post! I know it was a long one, but it had been a while and I had a lot to report. I can’t wait for you guys to see what I’m cooking up for you!


Coming Soon: Soul Magic

It’s pretty crazy to think that almost one year ago, I was biting my nails in anticipation of my first book, Mind Magic. Now, a year later, the final book in that series is on the Coming Soon page at Dreamspinner Press.

Soul Magic continues the story of Simon and Gray while adding in a connection between Cormac, Simon’s vampire ancestor, and Liam, the High Moon Pack’s Beta. Here’s the official blurb: 

Blood runs soul-deep. Cormac hasn’t been the same since the night the High Moon Pack was attacked. With his magic weakened, he’s consumed by a bloodlust he hasn’t felt since he first became a vampire. His need to replenish his power makes him a danger to his last remaining family member, and his hunger makes him careless. And that’s just the beginning of his troubles. Feeding from pack beta Liam Benson was supposed to slake his appetite, not leave him craving more.

Simon Osborne and Gray Townsend are trying to fight a being history says shouldn’t exist—one with all three types of magic. The pack must use all of their resources to combat the mysterious triad, even turning to the shady Council of Mages for help. While Cormac struggles to reconcile his past failures with his current desires, Simon must attempt the impossible: an alliance between mind, body, and soul.

You can find more information on Soul Magic here:
At the same time, another book popped up on the Coming Soon page with my name on it. Almost a year to the date after Mind Magic’s release, it has been translated into Italian. It really boggles the mind how much support and love has been shown to this series! 
I look back on the past year and count my blessings. They are many and varied. I’ve found the path I was meant to be on, after years of struggling to find my place. Finally, my soul is happy…I am happy. I love what I do.

So many incredible people have joined my life on this journey. I’m thankful for each and every one of them. My life is enriched by their presence and they provide the fuel for my muse that helps me keep finding worlds and characters whose stories demand to be told. 

I can’t wait for everyone to read Soul Magic and complete the circle with me. My journey is far from finished and with three more books scheduled for release in 2013, I can promise that I have plenty more for you all. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

A Week in Review

Poppy’s Grandma

Whew! What a fantastic week this has been! I made a quick trip down to Florida to visit my grandma and hand deliver a copy of Mind Magic. She wasn’t proud or anything. Nope, not one little bit. She sat down and read her copy right away. And said it was the raunchiest thing she’d ever read! Gotta love an 86 year old grandma who will read anything her granddaughter writes, even if it does have “those scary vampires and shifters”. She has requested a cowboy book. No worries, Grandma. I’ll see if I can wrangle up a hot rancher, just for you.

Friday, I posted an episode of Boxer Falls over on the M/M Romance Group at Goodreads. Are you following Boxer Falls?? If not, you should be! It’s a Gaytime Drama and is soap-tastic. No worries if you’re behind! You can catch up by checking out our “reruns” over at the Boxer Falls website.

Saturday, I had a fantastic chat over on the Dreamspinner Facebook page. Made a ton of new friends, and even had a marriage proposal! (Okay, so I swiped someone else’s proposal and pretended it was mine…but it was on my chat so I called dibs! *g*) The conversation turned to bacon, as it tends to do when I’m around.

Fast forward to Monday, and I’m over at Paranormal Paradigm’s posting about The Hulk. Yep, that Hulk…the big green guy! In Make Like the Hulk–And Shift, I gab about the importance of the little details in world building. Things like what happens to a shifters clothes when they shift! I happen to think that the Hulk wearing shredded clothes is downright sexy. There must be someone out there who agrees with me. Anyone? Anyone? *taps microphone* Is this thing working?

Monday night found me out to dinner with the fantastic folks from Mantastic Fiction. They are doing a really great challenge in preparation for the GayRomLit retreat this October in Albuquerque. The challenge is to read a book from every author attending before the retreat in October. They have it broken down by week, and last week I was on the list.

*pants for breath* Sheesh, I was busy last week, and I’m only through Monday!

On Wednesday, I was interviewed by the lovely Dawn at Dawn’s Reading Nook. She *may* have gotten me tipsy first. I can’t be blamed for any silliness!

I also had the opportunity to hang out over at Joyfully Jay! I explained a bit about the Magic in Mind Magic and how the “power of three” works in the novel. And the best part? You can ENTER TO WIN a copy of Mind Magic by leaving a comment on the post. It’s only open until Tuesday, May 8 so hop on over and leave a comment.

Well, I’m only to Wednesday and have written volume one! I suppose I’ll shut my pie hole and get back to writing. Next week, I have a ton more blog appearances lined up…and if you’ve ever wanted to hear what your favorite Poppy sounds like, tune in Wednesday, May 9 for the ParaYourNormal Radio Show. I’m their featured guest!

Do You Believe in Magic?

What a shiny happy week this is! It’s good to be me. Mind Magic released on Monday from Dreamspinner Press and is also available on Amazon. No one warned me what an absolutely totally and completely awesome feeling that would be!

I’m in the midst of a blog tour for the next few weeks so you can catch me on several blogs. This week, I’ve been over at Thorny’s Blog talking about character inspiration in a post called Somebody’s Watching You. In it, I reveal part of the super secret inspiration for Gray’s character.

Then I stopped by You Gotta Read to discuss my reactions to the “I’m Christian, Unless You’re Gay” letter from a teenager that really struck a chord with me. You can read the original letter here and my thoughts on it  in my post Getting Off the Pot.

More exciting things coming up this week. Today, I’m being interviewed over at Rom Fan Reviews. Friday, I’m blogging about the paranormal version of Gay For You over at Chicks & Dicks.

And then on Saturday, I’m having a wee little party over at the Dreamspinner Facebook page! I’ll be there from 2pm-7pm EST, so stop by and ask some questions, read an excerpt or two, and help me party like a rock star. Well, okay…maybe not a rock star…I’ll leave that to M.J. O’Shea. (Have you read Coming Home? If not, you should. It’s wonderful!)

That’s all the news for now. Stay tuned for next week’s update, when there *might* be some incriminating photos of my meeting with the lovely ladies of Mantastic fiction and their book club. Mind Magic is one of the books they chose for their GRL-Albuquerque reading challenge, and I’m thrilled that I get to be there to chat about the book with them!

What’s Up Wednesday

Slight blogger fail on my part. I didn’t post a handsome fella in a suit on Sunday. I clearly need to get my priorities in check. To make up for it, I’ll let you take a gander at this fella, the inspiration for my next book.

Now if you’ll pardon me for a moment while I drool….

Okay, I’m recovered. Slightly! I wouldn’t kick him out of bed unless he wanted to do it on the floor!

Lot’s of excitement going on in Poppy’s Playground right now. I’m gearing up for the release of Mind Magic. Twelve more days…let the countdown begin!

The amazing team at Princess Promotions has put together a blog tour for me and I’m giddy with excitement.

The first stop is at Stumbling Over Chaos, where the uber-amazing Chris is giving away an ebook copy of Mind Magic. Be sure you enter to win your copy!

In the meantime, I’m in editing land for the sequel to Mind Magic featuring the delightful hunk pictured above. If you want to track my progress on my current Works-In-Progress, check out the WIP page of my blog.

And speaking of WIP’s, I’d better get back to work. Hope you’re having an awesome April and I promise to find a sexy suited hunk for your viewing pleasure on Sunday!

The Lucky 7 Meme

The lovely Laura Harner tagged me in a meme. Here are the rules:
1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines-sentences or paragraphs- and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other authors. No cheating.

Well, I suppose I could give y’all the first sneak peak of Mind Magic. What do you think? Here’s a 7 paragraph excerpt from page 7…

She nodded and relaxed against him as Simon led them out of the house, past the man in the kitchen, who was still furiously cooking. The cabinet doors stood open and food spilled out onto the counters. The children eyed him suspiciously, and one of the younger boys grabbed Simon’s free hand and clenched it tightly.
The group hurried for the woods. The other human still counted where Simon had left him. “Five hundred thirty-seven. Five hundred thirty-eight.”
Simon kept moving, ushering the children forward. He glanced back frequently to check on the kids and make sure they weren’t being followed. He tripped over a branch and stumbled, but the eldest boy grabbed his arm and steadied him. The children were nearly silent in the woods around him, their shifter magic giving them an advantage in this setting.
He adjusted the little one he held, and she snuggled close to his body heat as her trembling eased. The little boy still holding Simon’s hand let out a frustrated huff. “I want to talk to Alpha.”
The eldest nodded. “I do too. I thought we could call him when we got away from them.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll be at the car soon, and you can call him once we get away from here.” Simon tried to sound reassuring and hoped it helped.
It seemed to work, as the kids all looked at him and nodded. The eldest seemed to realize Simon was struggling in the dark and crossed over to take his arm. The others crowded close and held each other’s hands. Simon felt a gentle push against his magic, and it suddenly seemed easier to maneuver in the forest. Puzzled, Simon opened his mind and sensed the body magic in them reaching out to help him. He adapted, his movements smoother and much quieter than before. The kids smiled and seemed much more relaxed.
Well…That was a strange place for an excerpt, but I followed the rules Laura (even though my character Simon doesn’t!).

Coming Soon: Mind Magic

Well, the moment has finally arrived. I’m trying to control my excited squees, but it’s difficult. My first novel, Mind Magic, has an official cover and blurb. I wanted to share it with you all!

The Blurb:

Magical species must never mix. According to the rules, Simon Osborne should ignore the children’s cries for help. After all, they’re werewolf cubs, and he’s an apprentice mage. But for once in his life, Simon breaks the rules and rescues the cubs, saving them from a demon intent on draining them of their magic.

Of course, all actions have consequences, and Simon’s bold move earns him the displeasure of his peers and the attention of the cubs’ alpha, a man named Gray Townsend.

The last thing Gray needs is a mage in his life, but Simon did save his son. Since Simon is now a friend of the pack, Gray doesn’t have much choice about it—or the forbidden attraction that goes along with it. Unfortunately for the alpha, he needs Simon’s help to track down the demon behind the kidnappings—before it strikes again. Simon and Gray must join forces to protect the pack, even as they struggle to resist the temptation that threatens to destroy them both.

Coming in April from Dreamspinner Press.