Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Water So Deep by Nichole Giles

I'm super excited to take part in this cover reveal for Water So Deep by Nichole Giles, who is one of my bestest writer buddies! I've gotten to see this book come to life through several different stages and love it.She has a writer's voice that is unlike any other - I love reading her stuff.

Author Bio:

Nichole Giles, the author of the Descendant trilogy, has lived in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. She loves to spend time with her husband and four children, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.   

Social Media Links: 
Here's the cover!!
Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land. No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps. Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have. When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Calling All Writers with Generous Hearts ...

This last Wednesday night, my husband and I took our kids down to the Festival of Trees. For those of you who may not know what that is, it's a fundraiser held yearly for the Primary Children's Hospital, the premiere children's hospital in the area that donates a lot of services to families who can't afford them. People donate lavishly decorated trees to this event, and people can come in and purchase them. Every single penny gathered goes straight to the hospital. They've also got a fudge shop, a candy store, a gift shop - it's awesome.

My kids had never been, and seeing as how we now live so close to the venue, we decided to head down. It was just as magical as ever. Many of the trees were donated in memory of someone who had passed on, and pictures of that person were on display with the tree. We saw many decorated in the "Frozen" theme, and of course there were superheros and Snoopy and the Grinch and all kinds of elegant trees as well.

When we ducked into the gift shop, I was touched by the hundreds of hours that went into making the items sold in there. Quilts, scarves, receiving blankets, all donated. The spirit of generosity was overwhelming, and I wanted to participate. But I don't sew. What could I do?

I can write.

Ah ... I can write.

I popped an e-mail that very night to the lady who organizes the gift store and presented my idea. She loved it, so we're full speed ahead. Wanna hear it? Wanna? Wanna?

I'm going to put together a collection of Christmas stories and publish it to be sold in the Festival of Trees gift shop.

And I'm going to need your help.

I need authors who will write the stories, and I need donated funds to purchase the copies of the books to go in the gift shop. None of this will be reimbursed--this is a donation, not an investment. I'll do all the editing, and I'll find someone who will donate the cover and the formatting.

Here's the timeline and what I'm looking for:

June 1st, 2015: All short stories to be submitted to Tristi. This gives you half a year to dust off old stories, write new ones, or obtain permission to reprint Christmas stories you have written that may have appeared in other anthologies. You will hear back by June 15th if your story has been accepted.

I'm looking for Christmas stories with an uplifting feel to them. Many of the people who support the Festival of Trees have children currently in the hospital or have recently lost one, so we want the feel of the book to be comforting and joyous. No stories over three thousand words. Christmas poetry is more than welcome. Family friendly, of course.

July 2015: I'll be editing these stories and sending them to you for revisions/corrections.

November 2015: The files will be uploaded and the books printed and shipped to Primary Children's Hospital for the Festival.

If you are an author and would like to donate a story to this anthology, I will also ask for at least a $20 donation. That will purchase roughly four books to be resold at the gift shop. If you are able to afford more, that would be fantastic.

If you aren't interested in donating a story but would like to donate money to help us purchase the copies, that would be fantastic as well. Any amount is appreciated, but again, keep in mind that each book will cost around $4 to print (the store will be able to sell them for $10.00).

If I get several interested authors, I'll do several different volumes so people can buy individual books or complete sets. That would be fun.

I'm not asking for any stories or any money at this time. What I do need, though, is to create a list of those who are interested in participating so I know how feasible this is. Please send me an e-mail at and tell me if you'd like to donate a story, if you'd like to donate money, and roughly how much money you'd like to donate. Of course, I'll be collecting both for months to come, but getting this kicked off now will tell me what to plan for.

You will get a contract clearly stating the terms for your story or money - that it's a donation, non-profit, and that I will not be pocketing anything that is brought in. In addition, you would have the chance to purchase copies at a discount to give to family and friends, with all proceeds going to the hospital.

Again, the stories are needed by June 1st. The money would be needed by November 1st

Okay!! Let the e-mails start pouring in!! Let's publish several volumes, with gobs of stories, several copies of each - what they don't sell this year, they can sell next. Books never go rancid!!

Thanks to all of you for your generosity. We can make this something amazing if we all work together.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An Open Letter to Men

Dear men,

There's so much rattling around in my head that I want to say, it's kind of hard for me to decide where to begin. So I'll just leap in.

First off, I want to say that I'm sorry about the way modern entertainment has been portraying you with greater and greater frequency over the last few decades - as armpit-scratching, beer-guzzling, cheese-for-brains idiots who can't do a single thing for themselves and need their women to make all the "smart" decisions for them. That type of portrayal just makes me cringe for the whole human race. I'm really, really sorry about that, and I hope with all my heart that people get a clue and knock it off.

Secondly, I want to say thank you. I want to thank you for being the kind, compassionate men you are. I want to thank you for working hard and being examples of what it means to have a good work ethic. I want to thank you for loving your mothers and showing your kids what it means to respect their parents. I want to thank you for your steadfast determination to protect the women in your lives. I want to thank you for your commitment to doing the right thing and demonstrating integrity.

Third, I want you to know something. A lot of the time, we think that in order to be romantic, we have to make these really over-the-top gestures or spend a lot of money. But you know what? The things that make a girl's heart melt really aren't things you can buy. When you open a door for her and gently touch her back as she goes through. When you ask her to dance when her favorite song comes on. When you call her to see how a job interview went or what grade she got on a test she was stressed about taking. When she knows that you will be there for her through thick and thin. When her safety is the most important thing in the world to you. These are the types of things that will make her swoon, and they're all extensions of who you are as a person - you don't have to spend a lot of money to impress a girl. You just have to be the best version of who you really are deep inside, and hopefully you're striving for that anyway.

Fourth, a word to you men who are already married. Thank you for the time and devotion you put into your families. Thank you for playing catch with your son when you'd really rather be taking a nap. Thank you for every choice you make which strengthens those around you and makes them feel better about themselves. Thank you for remembering your wife's favorite flower and bringing it to her for no reason whatsoever except that you were thinking about her.

Men, you are amazing. Thank you for being who you are and striving to do better. Thank you for giving us women something to look up to. Please ignore all these media nonsense about how men are idiots and just continue to be who you really are. And know how much the women of the world love and appreciate a man of honor and integrity. I truly feel blessed knowing that you're out there.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Interview with Monique Bucheger, Author

Today I'm joined by Monique Bucheger, author of the Ginnie West series. Monique's a fun person and a great author, so I'm more than happy to help spread the word about her middle-grade books. They're unique because they deal with real family issues in an age-appropriate way, giving readers tools for when things might get tough in their own lives. And yes, there are horses in them.

TRISTI: What's the craziest thing you ever did as a teenager? Probably strolling through cemeteries to find unusual names. As I recall, my car had a bad habit of dying there in the middle of the night as well. One time a deputy sheriff actually stopped by to see “what the problem was.” Thank goodness he was also one of my 4-H leaders. Did you know that being in a graveyard after dark is illegal? Who knew? I sure didn’t. But if you’re  going to break the law—I guess that is a harmless way to do so.

TRISTI: What are you favorite writing snacks? Normally I don’t snack as I write—unless you count drinking ice water or Dr. Pepper. But for you, I decided to try something new—s’mores with peppermint marshmallows. YUM! They went well with a cup of peppermint hot cocoa. On a side note—I have found an easy way to make s’mores: line a cookie pan with graham crackers, add chocolate bars and marshmallows. Then place in the oven under the broiler for 2 minutes or so. Voila! Instant s’mores without smoke in your eyes!

TRISTI: What's your favorite Christmas tradition? I like adopting a family I know needs a little extra support, having my kids help me pick out and wrap gifts, then sneak over and deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve. My kids love doing a “ring and run,” then hiding where they can see the faces of the families discovering a bag of unexpected gifts. 

TRISTI: How did you get the idea for your series? It kind of emerged over the years as I wrote each book. Now that I have 4 books written and have started the 5th book, I have a clearer picture of what I want to do with my series and where I want it to head. Originally I had planned to write 7 books over a 6 year span in my characters’ lives. I have written 4 books in the space of 6 weeks of their lives. The story has dictated the time frame more than I thought it would when I began.

TRISTI: If you could meet any former president of the United States, who would it be, dead or alive? I would like to meet Abraham Lincoln for a number of reasons. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is a direct cousin of mine, so he is family. I’ve always had an affinity for the Civil War era and wonder how it would be to live in pioneer times with simpler technologies. I have a deep admiration for the early settlers and peoples who built this great nation that we live in. I especially admire that people took greater pride in keeping their word, and that a handshake and a promise was all that was needed for great and wondrous things to happen. Abraham Lincoln was a good man who made decisions unpopular at the time because he felt it was the right thing to do. Decades later, he is still held in high esteem. 

TRISTI: Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m actually both. Afternoons are what I have a hard time with. I would love to nap them away so I could be more productive, but having 12 kids makes that a little difficult. :)

TRISTI: Do you see yourself writing in other genres? Why yes I do, thanks for asking. I have two other series: a family drama and a middle-grade fantasy series.

 You can learn more about Monique's books - and order them - by clicking here.
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