August is almost Fall--And a Sneak Preview!

Hello, hello, hello!

(I’m not sure if I’m channeling RuPaul or Phoebe Buffet, so you take your pick.)

August is well underway and while some of us are in the throes of the back to school schedule, we still have another week to go. And the sun has decided it’s been merciful enough because it has been HOT out there. For those of you who have been sweating all summer long, I feel your pain. This PNW girl is ready for clouds and rain, which is, in my humble opinion, the perfect writing weather.


As you know, my next book, UNCHOSEN, is slated to release this November. And I’m so excited to share a sneak preview here, for the first time!

Take a deep breath and (re)meet Neve Ruiz—and a mysterious Osterstani traveler, Rafael Rostami:

I shudder as I struggle to find the right words to describe what Rafael just interrupted.

He opens his mouth and raises his palms, as if placating a wild animal, and it’s too much. I fall over the edge as red seeps into the edge of my vision.

“And another thing. You should be so lucky to have a wife like me. I am incredible. I will be an amazing wife. I speak four languages. I know Morse code. I can cook, and I can cook well. I can sew and manage a household and I know how to endear myself to household staff and earn their respect. I can send and receive messages on a telegraph and plan a formal dinner party in five countries and I would take care of you better than anyone has ever taken care of you. I will make your mother look like a wild animal who eats her young.”

I stop, slapping a hand over my mouth. His eyes are wide with amusement but there’s something else ticking there beneath the surface. Perhaps anger? I may have gone too far.

“What about love?”

“What about it?”

“Doesn’t love have a place in marriage?”

“Not for me.”

“No?” He frowns, but his interest is piqued. “You’ve never loved?”

“I loved my mother.” My use of the past tense gives me pause, and I see a flicker of something cross his features.

“You would do all of that for a husband and never expect love in return?”

“I wouldn’t do it out of love.”


“You’re forgetting something fundamental,” I say.

“What’s that?”

“I have to survive.”


UNCHOSEN will be available wherever books are sold on November 7th, 2023. In the meantime, here’s the Pre-Order Link.


This summer has been an exercise in productivity futility.

It started strong: my kiddos were in camp and I had a wide open calendar. Then kiddo #1 was struck down with an adenovirus. Followed by kiddo #2. And naturally, this didn’t overlap. Not to make light of the misery they felt while sick, but it really threw off my productivity plans.

Of course, this isn’t my first rodeo. My youngest was in kindergarten in the 2020-21 school year. (And it was exactly as impactful as you can imagine.) And I was writing UNCHOSEN as well as the final book in my series.

How did I do that?

20 minutes at a time.

You too can write a book in 20 minutes… over several daily “payments.”

I’m not joking. I literally set a timer for 20 minutes every time I wanted to get some work done. Over the course of the year, if my kids needed something, or I received a text or phone call, I would leave everything until the timer went off. My kiddos would literally see me wearing my noise canceling headphones, and go straight to my timer to see how much longer was left, then they’d go do something else until the timer went off.

It didn’t start super smoothly. It was hard to click into that writerly headspace. But over time, and with practice, it got easier. Now, once I set a timer, it’s like my brain and my hands know what to do. It’s not always perfect, but it is work. And at the end of the day, all I can control is the work.

Have you ever tried doing timed sprints? Or are you a Pomodoro Method fan? Is this something you could see working in your own writing practice?


I had the most fun ever at this year’s Willamette Writers Conference. Were you there? If so, let me know what your favorite session was!

Attention teen writers and friends of teen writers: I’ll be speaking at the September Young Willamette Writers meeting on September 9th. It will be held at the Beaverton City Library. For details, check out the YWW Website.


I’ve donated a 3-chapter critique to the BOOKS FOR MAUI fundraiser. All proceeds go to charities directly supporting recovery from the historic wildfires. There are over 900 books, critiques, and author school visits up for grabs, so be sure to take a look.

If you’d like to bid on my critique, click here.


Before he wrote MAN O WAR (which I can’t recommend enough), Cory McCarthy wrote a YA alternate history action novel that can best be described as Top Gun meets Risk with teenagers.

Yeah. Think on that for a minute.

BREAKING SKY has so much to love. A scarily believable post-apocalyptic military society thriller. A teenager with something to prove to her unrelenting father. And all the sexy teen angst you can fit in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

It recently became available in paperback, and if you’re looking for a perfect end of the summer page-turner, look no further.

Well, that’s it folks! I just celebrated my birthday over the weekend, and if you have it in you to grant a little wish, consider reviewing one of my books on Amazon, GoodReads, The StoryGraph, or wherever you look for books. And then consider reviewing another book you loved! It’s the best—and easiest—way to support an author.

Till next time…