On Small Wins

Dear Friends,

I went back and forth all day about whether I should post this tonight, as you and I have already had to sift through four billion messages from our bosses, government officials, teachers, and the CEO of every business we’ve ever given our email address to. (Wendy’s, you’re up next! Get up here, Wendy!)

I try to find some levity where I can, but it’s been a wild couple of weeks to say the very least. We’re all trying to find the pieces as news continues to evolve almost by the hour. For me, it’s been wading through bad connection and getting kicked offline as I Skype in for my first Ph.D class. It’s cancelled book festivals and tower of paperbacks accumulating in my living room. It’s the new colossal “unknowns” of my day job. It’s braving the grocery store for something simple like a loaf of bread and leaving with frustration.

Is any of this familiar yet? I spend a few minutes a day writing down the little ways the world is changing. It’ll be interesting to look back on it later… to see this turning point in history condensed into a few daily bullet points. I find that my mind is buzzing a little too much to get any substantial writing done, but when it calms down, I’ll be ready to pour all of this into art.

There is so little happening within our control right now, but I’m growing increasingly appreciative of small wins and simple joys:

  • A clean(ish) living room.
  • Mac n’ cheese that’s just as thick as I want it. YES.
  • Cheap projectors + butcher paper = a movie theater in my bedroom. 

It’s times like this when I really love an artistic escape. A good movie (Disney+ just released STARGIRL, which was a favorite book of mine in junior high… took me right back and I wasn’t mad about it.) Music that just cuts right into your soul. TV with all the feels. (People are telling me THIS IS US is TOO many feels and way too sad to watch in quarantine–I think it’s kinda relaxing…) A book you can really lose yourself in. (Hello, Wheel of Time series! I’m glad I loaded up on the first five to keep me busy…)

All this to say: I’m right here with you, and I hope you’re finding your escapes and little wins right now. To contribute what I can, I’m making THE CARVER free for the next five days. If it helps even one person laugh, hold their breath, or roll their eyes at me, I’ll call that a win.

Get THE CARVER for FREE!

Hang in there! We’re going to be okay, and our story will go on.

A virtual hug,

Release Day! Roses in the Dragon’s Den on Audible

Think of it as an adventure. If you see me freak out, then you have permission to freak out. But I’m Diego Rosas, and I promised your mom I’d take care of you. I don’t freak out.
Diego Rosas, approximately 10 minutes before the dragon incident…

Thank Lady Fortune! Roses in the Dragon’s Den is now available on audiobook, and you can find it on Audible and Amazon today!

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I knew within the first minute of his sample that Danny Pardo was the one true voice of the Rosas family. If he looks or sounds familiar at all, he has lent voice and acting talents to projects such as:

  • Prison Break
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • 24
  • The Call of Duty video games
  • and now, Roses in the Dragon’s Den!

The most important thing was to find somebody who could bring the Rosas family to life. When I listened to his recording, there were times when I forgot I had written the words because Danny filled them with brand new life: all the heart, humor, and thrills you could ask for in a listening experience. I hope you’ll agree.

Pick it up today and share with a reader in your life!

Synopsis:

Twelve year old siblings Karina and Charlie Rosas aren’t looking forward to vacationing with their estranged uncle. But when the Fernweh Express derails and tosses them into a wild, unrecognizable land, they trust he’ll know what to do. After all, Diego Rosas wrote the book on survival in deserts and arctic tundras. There’s nothing he can’t handle . . . until a colossal, fire-breathing dragon snatches him up and carries him away, leaving the siblings to embark on an impossible rescue mission.

With the natural elements working against them, the Rosas family adventures through the curse-infested, uncharted world in order to solve the mystery of what doomed their travels. When they meet up with a dwarf and a pirate queen who offer aid, Karina and Charlie must decide whether they can trust anyone willing to voyage into a dragon’s den. But if the siblings ever want to return home, they must trust and lean on each other, and above all, hope Uncle Diego is still alive.

Buy on Audible!

Buy on Amazon!

A Surprise Storm is Coming!

Hey all,

It’s monsoon season in Tucson, and while it hasn’t been a very active one, I decided there was no better time to tell the story of my favorite Storm, with a capital S.

If you’ve read ROSES by now, maybe you can see how it works as a sort of rabbit hole for the ORDER OF THE BELL series. And the funny thing is, I found a million other branches I wanted to follow in ROSES itself, and the Florindale universe just keeps getting bigger. So last year for NaNoWriMo, I decided to follow one of those branches, and that’s how I wrote NIRAYA STORM AND THE CRYSTAL COMPASS.

Finishing the story was one thing–deciding what to do with it was another. I wrestled with ideas for a long time, but ultimately, I’ve made the decision that instead of releasing this on Kindle or paperback right now, it’s going to have its first home on Wattpad this week.

Niraya as a character is not one for extravagant bells and whistles. She’s a little more raw. If she could produce her own book, she’d probably write it in a simple leather book and hand it over with nothing on the cover. She deserves more than that, but to go through the level of production that I used for ROSES and THE CARVER wouldn’t feel quite right. Plus, in full transparency, it gets expensive. It may be a very long time before I’m ready to start conversations with the editor, formatter, and cover artists I want to work with again, especially because I want to continue going to cons and seeing you all at festivals!

I really love this story. I didn’t want to make Niraya wait until I could afford a fancy production. By then, I may have another story or two that I can’t wait to share with you all, and that’ll be another year or two that the story will have to sit unread. And ultimately, my dream has never been to make money off these stories–only to share them with you and hope they provide some sort of escape and entertainment when you need it. If it gains some demand on Wattpad for a tangible paperback, I may take it further, but in the meantime, I simply want to make it available to you as it is.

It’s raw. It’s not perfect. It may even be a little wild. But that’s always been Niraya Storm to her core, even when she was having her first adventure on the high seas…

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When you’re ready, you’ll be able to start the story HERE this week! If you love it, leave comments on it. Niraya will want to know she was able to hold your attention. 🙂