Tips Writing

Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about writer’s block for a while now. In an ironic twist, I’ve procrastinated writing about writer’s block due to writer’s block. My writing (or lack thereof) has been all over the place recently. Next to carpal tunnel syndrome, writer’s block is a writer’s nemesis.

So what do you do when your muse decides to take a vacation without asking for time off? All writers have those moments when it feels physically impossible to write another word or like you’re halfway through running a mental marathon when suddenly your brain switches off.  Here are some tips and tricks that I used to help me keep from beating my head against a brick wall and get back into the writing game.

  1. Reread your favorite stories

What story captured you so completely that you’ve worn down the spine from reading it over and over? A truly good book will pull you back into its world every time you crack it open. There are reasons why you love your favorite stories. Find those reasons and channel it into your own writing. Think about why that plot makes your heart race,


The Importance of Literary Heroines

I find my reasons for writing a novel have evolved lately. Sure, I write because I’m passionate about it and I want to tell entertaining stories, but my reasons have grown to encompass more than my original intentions. Last week a student at school told me she wanted to be a doctor someday, but her father told her it would be better, easier for her to be a nurse.

joThat, my friends, is one of the many reasons why I write. It’s also the reason why we need more strong, capable literary heroines—the heroines that stay with us for years after we close the book. Characters who tell young girls “Yes, you can do that.” when the world tells them “Try this instead. It’s easier.”

We give art a scary, mesmerizing power over us, and books are no exception. The heroines we meet in stories should encourage us to better, bolder versions of ourselves.



  • Hermione Granger taught me to raise my hand and speak up in class. She taught me it was okay for girls to be smart and not to settle for boys who don’t appreciate smart girls.


My Favorite Books of 2015

One of my favorite movies is Ever After starring Drew Barrymore. In the movie there’s a scene between Danielle (Barrymore’s character) and Prince Henry (Danielle’s love interest) as they are touring a library. First, props to Henry for taking a girl to a library on their first date. Take note, gentlemen. That’s how you win a lady’s heart. Second, Henry sweetens the deal by imploring Danielle to “pick one”, referring to the many books before them. Danielle eloquently replies, “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.”

That line always resonated with me. I love books so much it would be nearly impossible for me to pick just one as my favorite. Instead, I’ve complied a list of multiple books that I enjoyed reading this year and brief summaries of each one. I hope you find something that captures your interest if you are looking for a book to read in the New Year. After all, everyone should have a New Year’s resolution to read more books. Happy Reading!

  1. Edenbrooke– Julianne Donaldson


This book gives me all sorts of happy feelings.

rook book review sharon cameron

Book Review: Rook

Dear readers, I’ve been on something of a reading hiatus recently. I’ve picked some lousy books that haven’t sparked my interest. It took me a while to find one that I was actually excited about reading, much less reviewing for all of you. I’m happy to say I found the novel Rook, by Sharon Cameron, and I couldn’t put it down.

If you know me well, you know I have a serious weakness for swashbuckling tales with adventure and romance. If you know me really well, you know The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emma Orczy, is one of my favorite swashbuckling tales with adventure and romance. Rook is actually a twist on the original tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Needless to say, I was in book geek heaven when I found out about it.

Rook starts off with our vibrant heroine, Sophia Bellamy, being forced into a marriage against her will in order to save her beloved family from financial ruin. I know, I know. I’ve lost some of you with this first sentence already, haven’t I? Sounds like a cliché plot we’ve all read before in romance novels,

self publishing and editing

The Editor’s Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword

It’s difficult to turn your manuscript over to an editor. Before it gets to the editor, it’s still a baby, and not just any baby, either. It’s your baby. It’s all dewy-eyed and fresh. It hasn’t been exposed to the harsh elements of the publishing world yet. You can feel the potential seeping off the pages. You want to protect it and your fragile writer ego for as long as you possibly can. But at some point you have to work up the courage to give your beloved novel over to an editor. After all, writing is a constant process of rewriting, and you need an editor’s opinion.

This is what yours truly did. I slaved away over my manuscript, and then I naively handed my novel over for a professional edit. I knew my editor would tell me to fix stuff. I knew my editor wouldn’t like everything she read. I wasn’t completely dense.

I was foolishly all smiles when I opened my email to look at the finished edit, though. I thought, “This won’t be too bad. I’ll have to restructure a few things, but I can handle it. I wrote a freaking novel,

the paper magician review

Book Review: The Paper Magician

This book was a real treat to read, so much so I finished it in less than three hours. It was just that good. There are certain books that are so creative and original they really grab you right from the get go, and The Paper Magician is one of them!

Here it goes…

Ceony Twill, our feisty nineteen year-old heroine, has just graduated from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined in the top of her class.

Now I know what all of you Potterheads are thinking…School for the Magically Inclined? What is this ridiculousness? Is it a rip off of Hogwarts? Let me assure you, it’s not. Ceony’s story starts after she finishes school and is assigned an apprenticeship with a paper magician. The coolest thing about this novel is the way the author sets up the world of magic. Magicians in this world can only bond to one type of material (e.g. paper, fire, glass, metal, etc.), and that’s their only power for the rest of their life. There’s no switching what material you bond with.

Unfortunately, Ceony does not want to be a paper magician.


Book Review: Me Before You

If you’ve seen my personal Facebook page or my Instagram account recently, you know I raved about this book since the moment I put it down. I just can’t believe it took me so long to actually read it. What was I thinking putting off reading this little gem of a book? How foolish of me. Anyway, this book impacted me so much that I just had to write a review about it.

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes, tells a story about a quirky twenty-something year old girl named Louisa, affectionately called “Lou”, and her abrasive (I mean abrasive in the most endearing way, but he really is a jerk sometimes) employer Will Traynor. To start the story off, Lou loses her job, and knowing that her family needs the money to survive financially, goes in search of a new one.


Will Traynor happens to be a quadriplegic and is completely wheelchair bound due to a car accident. Will’s family is in search of a “caregiver” to help keep him company during the day, and Lou’s personality is so catching that she is hired almost on the spot.

Inspiration Tips Writing

Tips for Finishing That Novel You’ve Always Wanted to Write

I often hear, “How did you finish writing a novel? I don’t have time to read a novel, much less write one.” Well, finishing a novel is not the easiest endeavor that I’ve ever tried to tackle, but it’s certainly one of the most worthwhile. Like any writer, I’ve never enjoyed something and loathed something so much at the same time as I have writing. So here are some tips for those who want to try their hand at tackling that first draft…

  1. Find time to write

I know, I know. This one is obvious, but you’d be surprised at how hard it is to find time to write. We are busy people. Sometimes it’s hard to find the energy to put our pants on, much less churn out a 90,000-worded manuscript. Here’s the bad news: If you want to become serious about writing your novel, you’ve got to be intentional with your time. The key word here is intentional. There. I’ve italicized it so you will remember it. Here’s the good news: If you are writing from home, wearing pants is optional.

If you want to find time to write,

Inspiration Writing

The Wildcard Answer

I am excited to share my writing aspirations and plans for the future on this blog. I thought my first post should cover how my dream to write novels became an actual pursuit. You can also learn more about me as a person and an author on the “About” page of this blog.

When you are a kid, you often get asked what you want to be when you grow up. It’s a fairly easy question, right? Or at least it should be. Yours truly struggled with this question for many, many years.

Years ago, during one of my many meltdowns regarding my impending adulthood, my boyfriend (he’s now my wonderful husband) asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I remember sitting in my car with mascara running down my face as I cried while deliberating that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad question. After a lot of gentle prying and probing, my husband finally got my wildcard answer out of me.

I wanted to be a writer.

What’s a wildcard answer? It’s the dream you don’t dare tell too many people about for fear of having them laugh in your face.