A personal essay about my third child’s birth was published by Sweatpants and Coffee!
When you were three days old, I knew you were on the spectrum. They told me it was just colic. That some babies cry.
When you were 18 months old, I knew you were on the spectrum. They said it was SPD.
When you were 3, I knew you were on the spectrum. They said it was inconsistent parenting.
When you were 4, I knew you were on the spectrum. They said it was just anxiety.
They said you were pretty average.
That you would out grow it.
That I worry too much.
As we drove to The Center last month you looked out the window.
“Mom, do I have Autism?”
Today you are 5. You will be six in July. Today, they said you are on the spectrum.
I can’t tell you they didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know-the testing was far too complex to say that with any degree of honesty.
I can say that there were no surprises.
There were no tears.
There was hope, and support, and advocacy- and all of the wonderful things that are waiting for you in life.
People will not welcome us to Holland, because I have been here this whole time with you, just waiting for someone to hand me the right roadmap.
I remember when I first realized I had landed here, in Holland.
When I first landed in this place, alone and confused, I called on friends, family, teachers, and specialists for guidance.
“Do they all wear wooden shoes?” Some asked.
“Well no, not all of them, not all of the time. That’s just a stereotype.”
“Then you can’t be in Holland. Perhaps you are in Italy instead.”
But we weren’t in Italy, my sweet girl. As we sat across from the man who would confirm what I already knew, I was reminded of a conversation I had last year with a dear friend.
“When did we stop trusting mothers?” I asked.
“When doctors became Gods.”
Women with Autism are often misdiagnosed. They refer to them as “The Lost Girls.” They don’t fit inside the walls of the Autism stereotype, and so they fall through the cracks.
But not you, my love.Not you.
When you were born, I promised to blaze a trail for you, and I will light the whole world on fire if that is what it takes to do so.
I love you, my wild child.
Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass Physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core. Because Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he’s not entirely human, and he’s not the only one.
Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she’s not actually normal . . . she’s not even just special.
She’s a little bit more.
As authors, readers, and shoppers transition into the digital age, our generation has seen the fall of book-selling giants like Borders. But does the world still have room for smaller, independent bookstores? I think so, and I hope you do too!
I love small, local businesses. I love books. What could be better than having those two combined? Bookstores were a place of mystery and magic as a child, and I hope to recreate the same feeling for my own kids as they grow. Here are three local bookstores you may see me at this summer:
A Good Book Café
Located in the heart of Downtown Sumner, A Good Book Café has something for everyone! Sink into nostalgia with a used book, or enjoy new releases and works of local authors. A Good Book Café has hosted Nanowrimo events, and offers a summer campfire book club. Learn more at www.agoodbookcafe.com
The Sequel Bookstore
This store is a MUST if you find yourself anywhere near Enumclaw, WA. They offer a wide variety of books, as well as a friendly, small-town atmosphere, and a great café. The Sequel often hosts local authors during street fairs. Keep an eye out for familiar faces this summer.
Click Here to follow them on Facebook
The Nearsighted Narwhal
I haven’t been to this one yet, but it is definitely on my summer to-do list. This store is a rare gem, located in Tacoma, WA. It is home to ONLY indie authors and artists and boasts a variety of unique art, clothing, books, and zines. Natives and tourists alike are sure to love it! Follow them on Facebook
What is your favorite local bookstore? Leave a link in the comments so I can check them out! And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with events I will be attending!
As you probably know, I began work on the sequel to Ring of Fire during Nanowrimo2016. Juggling #momlife with a new baby made writing a book a lot more challenging than I remember it being! All things worth doing are hard in one way or another, and I’ve been trudging along slowly over the past few months. I may even try Camp Nanowrimo for the first time this year to put a kick in my proverbial step.
Those of you who attended my most recent takeover got to hear about my recent conversation with Eoma. Not only did I learn more about her backstory. Actually we argued about it. ***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT. If you’ve yet to finish Ring of Fire come back to this later***
Most of you know that Eoma is High Priestess. (What Kala’s people know as witches…but don’t say that in front of Eoma unless you want to risk her wrath and trust me, you don’t.) What you don’t know is how that came to be. You see, most people when they read the scene where Eoma reveals Charlezon’s past to Kala assume that the little girl in the vision of him as a child is his wife, but it isn’t. It’s Eoma. She and the King were childhood sweethearts, and her selection by the Clave, in many ways, still a sore spot for her. You’ll learn more about that in the next book.
Which I suppose brings me to the reason for this post. The great unveiling of the working title for Ring of Fire’s sequel. My lovely and talented cover artist, Crystal Malta, was kind enough to put together a quick visual for my announcement. (Also it was her birthday this week! If you want to make her day, Click here and tell her how much you love the mock-up I’m about to show you.)
Without further delay, I’m excited to announce
Harry Potter clashes with Beauty and the Beast in T. Ariyanna’s stunning steampunk debut…
Arion was born different. After enduring years of torment at the hands of his abusive father, the arrival of his thirteenth birthday reveals a shocking secret… he has magic. Arion discovers he’s a Mage, a magical person able to craft intricate pieces of technology and do incredible things. Arion is hopeful that maybe, his newfound abilities will help him fit in for the first time in his life. Continue reading “The Mage’s Son Coming 7/17!”
One of my favorite author perks is having the opportunity to network with other authors. Often I get to take place in beta reading, reviewing ARCs, blog tours, take over parties, etc.
I love authors. I love making contact with new readers through these events.
But one of the things I don’t talk enough about is how much I crush on their cover artists! So much work goes into matching a story and cover art. A good cover brings the story to life in the mind of the reader before they have even laid eyes on the title page. As much as we like to throw around the old “Don’t judge a book by its cover” cliche, the truth is, I am definitely judging.
And this one is just exquisite.
I am so honored to be part of the cover reveal for Savages!
The cover was designed by Katherine Bogle! Incase you didn’t know, she has a design background, and has been loving making the covers for the Chronicles of Warshard!
Ten years before Queen Kadia decimated the six kingdoms of Warshard, her interest lay in the unborn child of a Seaburn savage.
Daughter of Chief Ruin, Breen is one of the most fearsome warriors in the Southern Delica Tribe, but nothing can stop the Emperor from reaping the Savage Lands for soldiers.
When her village is attacked, Breen is taken from her home and her family to the Seaburn Academy, where southern savages are broken and chained into a life of service to the Empire. Through the beatings and torture, Drakkone, one of the few Seaburn-born soldiers, brings solace to her days and gives her hope for the future.
Once freed of the Academy dungeons, Breen is sentenced to daily training between her plots for escape. But one night of unexpected passion turns into a problem bigger than either of them could have imagined.
Breen and Drakkone must risk capture and flee the city or death might be a blessing compared to eternal imprisonment.
Savages, the long awaited sequel to Haven, will be released April 4th, and is now available for pre-order!
Pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, or Barnes & Noble
Add Savages on Goodreads!
Can’t wait to start reading?
Spring break is approaching, though Spring herself seems to be rolling over, pulling the blankets over her head and declaring “Just five more minutes!”. Still, the calendar doesn’t care what the weather does, and as we approach a week off of school I am looking for ways to keep sane. Why not escape into a book?
Here are 5 YA Fantasy Must-Reads this Spring:
Happy February! It has been awhile since I’ve been on this particular corner of the internet. Shame on me for letting it go for so long, but you see, I have been quite busy.
Firstly with creating new adventures outside of writing. January was the Hike it Baby 30-my first one. We set out to complete 30 miles before the month was over. We made it almost 31!
The views were amazing, and my voice note recorder has lots of fodder for future writing.
Speaking of writing- that process has stalled a bit. I’m at the cusp of chapter 7, which is told by Kala as she and her daughter flee their home. She’s been the more evasive of my characters this time around. I suppose she doesn’t appreciate being torn from the life she’s created for herself. It can’t be helped, though.
Stay tuned for more on that, as well as an exciting announcement later this week! If you haven’t yet read Ring of Fire, the first 9 chapters are currently up on Wattpad, full version on Amazon and Smashwords, and hard copies signed by me are currently on sale and can be purchased here
Escape from the Past: The Duke’s Wrath is a YA Fantasy about a boy who travels to Mid-evil Germany via a video game his friend’s father developed.
From a formatting standpoint it felt like each page was a large wall of small text and my eyes became fatigued pretty quickly. My kiddo didn’t have this same problem.
The book starts out kind of rocky, with a character we hardly know being thrown immediately into a situation where we are supposed to care about what happens to him, and I did not feel I had enough time to get to know him before this happened.
There is in-depth description of the technology through which he is transported, as well as his surroundings, but not much believable inner dialogue. It is briefly mentioned that his mother drinks a lot, but we aren’t given much other information about his relationship until much later, when he feels guilty for behaving rudely to his mother in a situation the readers were not privy to beforehand.
Suddenly the character is thrust into the game…here I felt like his doubt of the situation may have been more believable if he had been using some sort of VR.
From there the plot develops at an acceptable pace, though there are still several examples of inconsistent personalities in the characters. There are also a few place where the author switches between first and third person.
Overall I liked the concept and I think with a little more work this could be a best seller. I handed it off to my 10-year-old after I was done with it and she absolutely loved it. The errors did not detract from the story enough to bother her, and she is anxious to continue the series. So I would say that while as an author I think the book could use further development, its intended audience may not find as much fault with it as I did. Also, despite its struggles I will be reading the next in the series.