less then 10 days until launch!

i'm sitting here at my desk, sipping from a glass filled with strong black iced coffee, the fountain is trickling outside, and it feels like the warm days of summer have finally come to vermont. (which, if you've ever been up this way, you know just how brutally cold it can get)

i've spent the past weeks doing loads of work on the computer, getting ready for the launch of the second book in The Blood Race series - Worlds Beneath, which, i just realized as i sit here, drinking above mentioned iced coffee, comes out less than ten days.


i know i've said it a million times, but i am very, very, very excited to share this one with you guys. and i know every author says that about every book they've ever written, basically. but Worlds Beneath was seriously just such a journey for me in so many ways, and it changed me and helped me grow. i hope from the bottom of my heart that it does the same for you, and, if nothing else, that it siphons you away into a whole new dimension and leaves you breathless on the edge of your seat. ;)

beyond all of that though, i could never have done this without you guys supporting me, messaging me, cheering me on, reviewing, joining my blog tours, and READING. my goodness... the very fact that you are READING books i write makes me want to go sob into a pillow for joy. i would not be where i am today without you guys, and that is NO exaggeration. 

so, that said, i know some of you actually haven't had a chance to snag book 1 in the series, The Blood Race yet, so i wanted to leave THIS here. if you've been wanting to read book 1, but haven't had a chance to get it, you can start reading the series for free - i will email you the first 9 chapters of book 1. (just because i think you're cool. i mean, you're on my blog rn, so you must be a pretty rad person.)

and because i'm really excited, and because there's less than TEN DAYS left until launch, i'm going to go ahead and leave the trailer for Worlds Beneath below. I hope you'll give it a watch + a share, because that would really make my day <3 you can also pre-order your copy here.

Worlds Beneath - Official Trailer

SO have you read The Blood Race??? Are you planning on reading Worlds Beneath?? ALSO, you should seriously tell me your top 3 summer plans or "want to do this summer" things, because I would love to hear all about it! I look forward to hearing what you think of Worlds Beneath!


5 Ways Deployments Can Make You A Stronger Writer

Upon the release of my second novel, I was often asked: "How long did it take you to write Worlds  Beneath? was the process different from writing The Blood Race?"

Worlds Beneath, the second book in my urban fantasy series, The Blood Race was a therapeutic book to write. I loved it. I learned SO MUCH, but it was different than book1. There was a very distinct reason why it felt so different. 

I wrote the vast majority of that novel while my husband (then fiance) was deployed overseas. Writing this book got me through that deployment, and my writing continues to help guide me through the inevitable separations my husband and I now face as a military couple. In turn, that deployment helped shape me as a person, which helped me tune deeper into my thoughts and feelings to be able to even more thoroughly communicate the story I was trying to tell in Worlds Beneath.

However, maintaining creativity and inspiration while a loved one is deployed can be difficult. Nothing about deployment is easy - for the service member, or the spouse/significant other at home. The separations aren't easy, the lack of communication is not easy, and the worry and loneliness constantly at war with our bravery is not easy. That said, as a creative, and as someone who knows so many milso's (military significant others) who are creatives, I can attest to the fact that deployments will definitely make an impact on something as personal to you as your art.

But deployments are not all bad! There's a silver lining, for sure, no matter how bleak and endless the tunnel often seems. Here, I'll list 5 reasons why deployments can make your art even stronger.

1 Deployments can make you stronger - and more independent.

Whether you realize it or not, this is a very present reality, especially for a military spouse. Even when my husband was away on a DFT, I began to notice how much I was picking up the slack; tackling projects that I wouldn't normally, and learning new things that weren't exactly in my wheelhouse. As much as you love your spouse or significant other, and as much as it's great to be able to work as a team, it's also empowering to know that, hey, you got this. You're strong and capable, and that will only make your relationship, life, and WIP better.

I write best when I feel confident - no one wants to feel insecure about their writing, or question whether they're capable of manifesting their creative goals. So allow those lessons learned to carry over into your creative life: embrace the strong, confident vibes.

2. Deployments will force you to learn to use your time wisely - and make it pass a little faster. 

Any milso will be able to relate to this one hardcore. When your loved one is deployed, time drags. You never realized days and weeks passed this slowly until now. You find yourself wishing the days away, longing to "swim through time" as I often phrase it, to that moment of reunion: it's all you seem to think about.

But, if that's all you let yourself dwell on, unfortunately times passes atan even slower rate, and somehow you feel further away from them than ever. Of course you should keep that beautiful image of being with your loved one again at the forefront of your mind - but you also need to keep yourself busy.

Now is a good time to tackle that book! Start that project you've been talking about for ages. Find something to lose yourself in - something that may even help you lose track of time. Write, sing, draw, dance and allow your emotions, even those of longing and loneliness to fuel you forward, not backward, not down and out. Stay in control, take the reins, and make something beautiful with this block of time you have to yourself.

3. Deployments encourage creativity - in so many ways. 

When you were together, maybe you'd listen to music, or discuss a book you'd been reading (or writing!) Maybe you'd hang out in a coffee shop and talk about the day, or go for long drives to watch the sunset. Well, now there's 7,000 miles (or more) between you. 

But as a creative, the truth is, you can actually find some pretty encouraging ways to stay close and support your deployed loved one. 

One of the few, if not the only, fun part about a deployment is making and sending care packages. I would disassemble a priority mail box, coat it with card stock and decorations, reassemble it and fill it with everything that would remind him of home. While deployed, I sent my then-fiance chapters of my current WIP, giving him something to read in his free time and give me feedback on. Yep, my husband helped beta read while on deployment. There were so many little creative things I came up with to help keep both of our spirits up.

So deployments, although long and hard, can actually help fuel your creative mind, not hinder it.

4 You need to stay positive. 

This may be the the most important one on the list. There will be days, and weeks, (and this was true for me) when I did not feel like writing, or being creative, or doing much beyond just "getting through" the day. Your mind is full of worry. You cry in the shower, a lot. You cry when their call drops and you cry when it doesn't because their voice somehow feels so far away. You're lonely and tired. Why on earth would you feel like writing a book? 

Because you need to stay positive. For yourself, sure... but you also for your deployed service member. Put yourself in their shoes... they're working hard, and they're lonely too - they cannot wait to get home to you. They're trying to hold the line every bit as much as you, and typically have far more stressors to cope with. If they hear you breaking down, struggling, and getting frustrated, how's it going to make them feel? Certainly not empowered to keep going... and voicing all of that aloud isn't going to help you either.

Absolutely talk to your family or friends, have a support group - that's so helpful, (and a whole other blog post...) but don't vent to your spouse/SO while they're deployed. It's not going to help them, you, or the situation. Instead, throw yourself into your work, your book, your project, and stay as focused and positive as you can.

5 deployments will bring you closer together if you let them

This one may sound a bit strange to someone who has never had a loved one in the military, but for my husband and I, this last deployment did nothing but bring us closer together and make us stronger as a couple. It gave us such a deep appreciation for our life together. We learned new ways to express our thankfulness for each other, and it taught us that the "little things" are actually the big things: talking on the phone, or getting a simple "good morning" text... normally these things are seen as small, but when you're long distance, you begin to find that these things are SO full of joy.

Being long distance gives you new opportunities to share your art, projects, goals and dreams with each other. Talk about each other goals and aspirations, and how you see yourselves accomplishing those things. Send them pieces of your novel like I did, or pictures you drew, poetry you've written, and ask for their feedback - use your art to help keep them focused and positive, and in doing so, cultivate a deeper relationship despite the distance.


That's all i've got on this for now. If you're a military spouse working on a creative career, or if you have a loved one deployed, I hope this gave you something that might help you stay inspired and push through the months ahead. If you're not, then I hope maybe it gave you a little insight into the lives of military families so that you may better help support and cheer them on as they pursue their art, goals, dreams, and careers while their loved ones are absent.

Stay creative, stay strong, beautiful souls!

Stay stoked,
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