Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, she may be found gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking (with lots of bug spray!) She is also the founder, producer, and co-host of Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards, a podcast for lovers of and writers of speculative books. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and a spoiled rotten chocolate Labrador, where she survives on copious quantities of Earl Grey, coffee, and dark chocolate-covered almonds.
Liberty is the author of The Darby Shaw Chronicles, featuring superhuman and detective, Darby Shaw.
Today, I’m pleased to help my friend, H.A. Titus, in the reveal of her debut book cover!
Downtown. Coffee shop. 2 AM.
One minute, Josh is firing off sarcastic remarks at his best friend Marc – the next, they’re running from shape-shifters. Apparently, even best friends don’t share all their secrets.
Now Josh is in danger. He can see the monsters among the humans.
When Marc is kidnapped, Josh finds himself pulled into the schemes of the fae courts, and throws in his lot with Marc’s allies: the lovely Larae, a human named David, and the fighter, Eliaster. But what began as a rescue mission becomes something much more involved…
And all Josh wants to do is get out before it’s too late.
Forged Steel is a new adult urban fantasy by H.A. Titus, releasing on July 17th. It will be available in print (Amazon) and ebook (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd) If you’d like a chance to win free books, ask questions, and hear trivia about the writing/publishing of Forged Steel, there will be a Facebook event party on July 17th from 7-9 pm eastern time on the author’s page, H.A. Titus Author.
The first five chapters are available for preview on Wattpad.
I have a big problem with what I watch on TV or Netflix: it’s almost exclusively dramas.
It’s not that I don’t like comedies.
But far too often, comedies are difficult for me to watch. I identify a little too much with a character, or maybe I don’t, but when I watch, and a character is in a sticky situation, I’m embarrassed for the character. I can feel what they’re feeling a little too much…and it’s uncomfortable.
I noticed this over a recent weekend. I was busy knitting, and needed a half hour more of TV time after binging on Marvel’s Daredevil so I could finish the row I was on. So I flipped through Netflix, decided I didn’t want to start anything long or involved, so I turned on The Andy Griffith Show. I recently started letting my kids watch it because it’s wholesome, I don’t have to worry about them hearing words I don’t want them knowing yet, or worry about the situations being too graphic. At 1 AM, probably a pretty good choice to accompany some knitting when I’m just trying to get to a stopping point.
The episode was really sweet. We’re still in the first season, and Andy & Barney were on a double date with Ellie May and Thelma Lou. The power went off for a couple minutes at Ellie May’s house, and when the power came back on, it was obvious Andy and Ellie May had taken advantage of the situation. (Get your head out of the gutter, this was the late 1950s, after all!) But Barney and his date had sat through the momentary outage with their hands in their laps.
As the episode went on, Andy teased Barney about not getting a kiss from Thelma Lou, and eventually Thelma Lou turned things on their head by trying to make Barney jealous by suggesting that Andy was after her now. Things progressed from there, but as the episode went on, I couldn’t help but feeling badly for…really, all of the characters at some point.
I don’t know if all people react to comedies like this. It could just be me. But I watch very few of them as a result. One of the few I’ve glommed onto is The Big Bang Theory. I do enjoy it, but probably because there are references to most of my fandoms throughout. And I can identify more with the characters than probably any other show on TV, at least as far as comedies go.
But still, it doesn’t make it any less painful to watch most comedies.
Maybe the old adage about laughing with someone, rather than at him, holds some truth?
It really feels as though since Emergencewas published last July, I’ve been working my keister off. Publish Emergence, only to jump into finishing Retaliationand publishing it, only to jump immediately into work on Capitulation, then the short story Pursued which is in the back of the box set. So much work, but it’s been so worth it.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy of the box set! 😀 It’s going to be so cool.
Anyway, I digress. As usual.
It’s important to take some breaks and breathers when I’m writing. I have a bit of an all-or-nothing approach, and I’m either an extreme workaholic, writing into the wee hours of the morning, or I’m procrastinating.
As in serious procrastinating.
Which reminds of a verse in the Bible, from the book of James. I’m paraphrasing here, but it says that if one knows what they’re supposed to be doing and they don’t do it, it’s a sin. That one always gets me.
I mean, I’m sure that me not writing isn’t a sin, but it does convict me a lot on things that I should be doing, on days when I’m far lazier than I’d like to admit.
Or when I’m using writing as an excuse not to do something, say, cleaning my kitchen (also not a sin, but it sure can feel like it when I get sad looks from my husband.)
Anyway, I’ve seriously taken this post in a completely off-the-wall direction, and if you’re still reading, just know this is how my mind works. 😉
Back to breathers.
I was really fortunate to get to take a short breather right before publication (at probably the worst possible time, but it was already scheduled, so there wasn’t much I could do!) My family and I adore Colorado, and we were able to go out there for a few days around my taking our son to Seattle for a follow-up on his bone marrow transplant (two years!)
I think I’m still hanging on to that feeling from once I got back to Colorado. I was able to relax for the first time in what seemed forever, definitely since the fall, probably earlier. I know vacations are supposed to leave you refreshed, but this one seemed especially important this time around. I’m still feeling the result after being back home for more than a week and a half. Sure, my kids have had days where they’ve gotten on my nerves (I won’t even go into what happened yesterday!) But I’m still feeling more relaxed than I have in forever.
I don’t know if this is because of the trip, or because I’ve finally fulfilled my first goal from when I signed with Splashdown Books more than a year ago.
But I’ll say one thing:
I’m glad that I’m feeling more like myself. Hopefully that means I can be a better wife, mother, friend, and writer. Until the next time I’m able to go to Colorado at least.
The box set is available now through Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes, and several other stores thanks to Draft 2 Digital. While prices vary internationally, a US edition is $14.99 for a paperback, and $4.99 for an e-book. Keep an eye out on Facebook & Twitter as I’ll be giving away copies in the next few weeks!
Last week, I boxed up about 20-odd books, slapped a shipping label on them, and sent them on their merry way to the southeastern U.S.
All the books in the box were books I was supposed to read and review for Christian Children’s Book Review. Many of them I’ve had for two years. Sitting. Collecting dust. Some went from Kansas City to Seattle and back again with me. I feel a little sorry for the woman who will open the box this week (maybe today) and find dust on many of the covers.
I first started reviewing for CCBR when my daughter wasn’t yet a year old. The founder and managing editor I count as a friend, and we were both delighted to meet each other when I went to the Pacific Northwest two years ago for my son’s bone marrow transplant.
Since transplant, it had become increasingly obvious that the time I had for CCBR was basically nil. During transplant, my son spent 70 days of the roughly 160 days we were there in the hospital. After we returned, my time and energy was devoted to putting out the fires associated with his care, growing more determined that my books were publishable, and reestablishing a normal relationship with my daughter and husband.
But I wasn’t ready to declare defeat.
I tried putting weekly reminders on my phone to do reviews. They were ignored by yours truly, other than having a guilt trip every week, at least once.
I tried moving the books so they were accessible, only to have my husband gripe about the piles of books everywhere. (Admittedly, we live in a tiny house, and there’s just not enough room for everything.) So back to the bedroom they went, where I only really saw them when I went to bed around midnight, or later.
Until a couple weeks ago, when my editor asked me what was up, and I admitted I just couldn’t figure out how to fit CCBR in with everything else I had going on. I’ve published three books in the last eight months, with a fourth in the works, and three more in the pipeline for (hopefully) by the end of the year. I’m a homeschooling mom. And my son still sees multiple specialists and therapists, with appointments at the minimum of once a week. We both agreed that it was probably best if I passed along my books to another reviewer.
You can’t imagine the sigh of relief I had. A burden had been lifted.
I’m incredibly grateful for the time I spent with CCBR. Kristina, the founder, has helped me figure out a few nuances in grammar that I, admittedly, still screw up a lot. And she has been a truly good friend throughout the last several years. I don’t regret the time I was there in the least, although I do regret that my pride kept me from throwing in the towel much earlier.
I’m SOOOO glad I didn’t have to spend the evening at the emergency vet clinic last night. We thought Tucker, my (practically miniature) chocolate Labrador, was sick for quite a while yesterday evening after we got back from dinner. My daughter came to us and told us he was in her room, shaking, and I thought, “Oh no, he’s having a seizure.” And he just turned 7! We got him out (under his own power) but he was acting really strange, so we questioned her: did you give him anything? Was there any food in your room? She denied it. We thought Tucker was sick, so we made him go outside, where he began acting normally–playing, wanting me to chase him, etc. But when I tried to get him to come in, he flat out refused!
This went on for maybe 1/2 an hour, and he came inside a few times, only to insist on going back out. We thought he had the runs or something. I gave him fresh water, petted him, and he’d act fine outside, but go nuts inside.
Then I made him come in because I was tired of this, then went and did something else for a minute in another part of my house. When I came back, my husband said that Tucker wouldn’t go into the living room.
Well guess what was in the living room? A stupid karaoke machine which a co-worker was having Nate look at for an issue with it. My husband had turned it up so loud earlier in the evening that it had been rattling the glass in my china cabinet. No wonder Tucker was upset! I made hubby remove it to his truck to take back to work this morning, and after that, Tucker settled down and was fine!
At least I didn’t have to go to the emergency vet clinic.
I’m going to start doing some guest posts over at the AuthorCulture blog. The kind folks have invited me to join them permanently, but I’m not sure yet if that’s something I can maintain, so for the next three or four months, I’ve agreed to do some guest blogging. My first post is today! So go check it out. 🙂
Also, I probably mentioned it before, but I did a guest post last month at K.M. Weiland’s blog, Helping Writers Become Authors. My post was about how to keep writing in the midst of adversity. I kind of have a bit of experience in that area.
I’m hoping to branch out with my guest blogging in the next several months, so if anyone has any suggestions I should inquire at who are open to self-published/hybrid, mystery, or science fiction authors, please leave a note in the comments!