This is the kind of writer I want to be:

When I was a kid and teenager, I loved to read. Obviously I didn’t enjoy all the school assigned reading, but I loved to read fantasy and romance and all the seemingly unattainable things of my youth.

But getting married young, having special needs kids, and attempting to find my career path; I managed to forget that I enjoyed reading. There were WAY too many things that needed my attention and money: changing diapers, therapies, work, sleep, actual clothes (not pajamas) and the occasional date with my husband.

Then one day, in my later twenties, I picked up a book y’all may have heard of . . . Twilight. Suddenly, my mind and imagination sparked in a way it hadn’t in years, and I remembered I loved to read. How much I’d missed the magic, escape, and all the imaginary worlds beyond this one.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of writer/storyteller I want to be. Who is my ideal reader? Who do I want to focus my marketing towards? Who are the people who I want to actually read The Door Keeper?

A couple days ago, I texted with a friend who had just finished the book on her vacation, and she said something that affirmed my answer. She said, “Yea, it makes me want to keep reading too . . . I kinda fell off the reading band wagon but I’m back on . . . It’s so good for your soul.”

Jordan is mom with two kids, a husband, and a career she enjoys. She is busy juggling a lot, but on a vacation, she read The Door Keeper and it reminded her how much she enjoyed reading.

I want this series to be that kind of series. I want to be that kind of author.

I want to be that fun, easy, whimsical read that reminds you how good it feels to pick up and get lost a book. How wonderful it is to be taken on an adventure outside of your own life, and explore other worlds. I want to reignite the imagination we had when we were younger, before real life overwhelmed us with chores, obligations, and work.

That is who I want to read this story. That is who I want to write for. Do you know someone like that? Are you them? Well, then THIS was written for you.

Please share this post with your friends and if you’ve read the book already, give it to a friend to borrow who may need reminding they love to read.

Help me spark our imaginations, reengage our minds, and reignite our passion for reading, because Jordan is right: It’s good for the soul.

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Vote for The Door Keeper’s Cover!

Hey everyone! I was thrilled to learn over the weekend that The Door Keeper’s cover was entered into a cover bracket!

Thank you to M.L.S Weech for including my beautiful cover art designed by the talented Meg Brim.

Everyone go to the CONTEST and vote to send The Door Keeper to the Sweet 16!

Vote and share with your friends! (And see some of the other beautiful covers there are in the fantasy genre.)

Help me spread a story of Joy.

I should be editing this morning. BUT, I’m finding it hard to concentrate, so I figured it’d be helpful to share what I’m feeling. You guys seem to like it when I’m vulnerable.

I’m finding it increasingly hard to remain positive about the world and current events.

There is so much division, frustration, anger, fear, and harsh words, and it’s insanely easy to get caught up in it. Every status or comment I read, I feel the respective emotion boiling up in me.

I’m already tired of it. So, here’s the deal. I’m asking all of you to help me spread the Joy. A couple of years ago, I went through a program that helped me determine my life’s mission. If you dumbed down my life to one sentence…what is the point of me and my life? To bring Joy. That’s it, pure and simple. Writing has been an amazing way for me to attempt to do that.

In my opinion, I have written the best kind of story. The Door Keeper is a story where joy, peace, and hope prevail and *spoiler alert* FEAR is the villain. One thing I want us all to remember is that fear can not withstand joy, hope and peace. It crumbles under the weight of it.

So let’s crumble the fear, frustration, anger, and division for just a moment. Help me share a story of joy, hope, family, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Because, even if it only lasts the time it takes you to read the story, at least fear falls to the wayside for a moment. And in my opinion, every single moment joy winning over fear is a victory.

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The Awkwardness of Self Promotion.

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If I’m being completely honest, this part of the job is the weirdest. I’m not even going to say hardest, because it’s not especially hard, it’s just…weird.

I wrote a story and I think you might enjoy it. Unfortunately the only way for you to find out about it, is for me to tell you. So here comes the dilemma. I have to go around saying:

Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!

I’ll try to say it a bunch of different ways so you don’t get annoyed…but chances are, you will still get annoyed. And just so you know, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to.

But I need you to know, it’s not about the “buy.” If you find someone to lend you my book, that would be awesome, and sounds great to me.

It’s not about the “my” either. I would like this story if it were someone else’s. I think it’s a fun, entertaining story that people my age who is wrestling with being a mom and making her mark on the world, will love and relate to.

It’s simply about the “book.” It’s about The Door Keeper and Eden and Gabby. For me, it’s all about the characters and their journeys. So maybe I should change my chant to:

Read Eden’s story! Read Eden’s story! Read Eden’s story!

Important question, how can I promote this story with out you feeling like I’m self promoting? I would love to know how to better connect to you as a reader. How do you pick the stories you read? What is my best chance to get this story into your hands?

Pre-order The Door Keeper today!

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Today is the day friends! 

Starting today, you can order The Door Keeper to arrive on your Kindle (or any device connected to your Amazon account) on February 20th. *Cue dance party break*

Here is the Link: Amazon

BUT, before you click and go buy it, (and share this post with your friends so they can buy it too), make sure you take a screen shot of your purchase, because starting today I’ve opened my first giveaway!

If you email me a picture of your receipt, or a copy of it, I’ll enter you to win an amazing Launch Party gift bag. I am hosting a party for all my beta-readers after my book officially releases and will be giving them a bag of goodies themed “Eden’s favorite things.” (Almost $40 worth of stuff ranging from bookmarks, key necklaces, Caelum bath bombs, etc.) But I want to extend this fun prize to ALL my readers, hence the contest! I will pulling the winner’s name on January 24th, so you have one week to enter.

Now, don’t worry, if you are more of a hard copy reader, I’ll be doing many more giveaways including you after the official launch when you will be able to purchase a print copy. I’ll also be doing promotional giveaways on social media and other really fun stuff over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

So, click HERE, go pre-order The Door Keeper, then make sure you forward a copy of your purchase to me at steen@thedoorkeepertrilogy.com.

Good luck and thank you so much for all of your support! Don’t forget to share with your friends so they have a chance to enter the contest.

Author interview w/ The Salonniere’s Apartments

Thank you so much to Marilyn for featuring an interview with me in her “Writing Room” part of her online apartment. She has curated an interesting, and quite frankly, awesome new online environment. (At least new to me!) She has created a space for you to browse, learn, and simply enjoy reading about everything from writing, art, health, food, and her favorite subject; books.

I encourage you to check out other parts of her blog after reading our interview! The link to the interview is here!

Interview pic with Salonniere

 

“It’s Not Fair” Book Review

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Because I am a friend of Melanie’s, I got a pre-released copy of her new book It’s Not Fair, Learning to love the life you didn’t choose. And yes, she sent me a hand drawn poo emoji card. With in 50 pages of the book, I texted her: I adore you more than I already did, if that is even possible.

As I am sitting here, I am finding it difficult to find the words to put together for a traditional review for this book; because reviewing this book is more like reviewing her life! All I guess I can do is try to tell you how the book made me feel…so here goes.

Melanie warns you in the beginning that at times you might want to hug the book, or you might want to through it across the room. I never once wanted it to leave my hands. As a person who is indeed living a life I didn’t choose, Melanie says all of the things that I have thought at various times over the past decade. She says them with humor, pain, humility, and complete and utter honesty. It is 100% refreshing. This book gives any person dealing with pain and suffering in their life; not only the permission to question God while still seeking him, but the only thing any of us ever really need or want…the confirmation that we are not alone.

This book walks you through everything from stages of grief, to coping mechanisms, to important relationships, and finally, how to recover with your sanity intact and love your unexpected life. While giving practical advice on how to “How to fall apart like a boss,” or sayings to avoid in “Things you should say if you want a Good Face Punch,” Melanie makes you laugh, cry, hurt and heal all within the same chapter.

I will absolutely be buying copies and giving them away to my friends with fuzzy blankets and a good, firm, full-frontal hug. Thank you Melanie, for such a courageous book.

Follow Melanie’s blog or podcast at http://unexpected.org/. Or follow her on Twitter @UnexpectedMel