Thursday, April 11, 2024


The art of branding…

It’s a blend of what makes you YOU and the persona you put forth for your business, whatever that may be. This may change as you grow and evolve your business, not to mention the changes that arise with algorithm changes and new marketing platforms. 

So—what branding ISN’T? Marketing! (But it is integral to your marketing plan! Go figure.)

What branding IS? Something that distinguishes you from the rest. Something that your viewership will scroll past and immediately know “Oh, that’s so-and-so” without even looking at the username. Something that sets you apart. 

Where do we get the term “branding” anyway? Cattle ranchers will use a metal design heated in fire to brand the hide on their cattle, some sort of design that differentiates their cattle from the neighboring ranches’ stock. That way, they can graze public lands without fear of getting Person A’s stock mixed up with Person B’s. They will also do the same with horses. Ranch horses will have a brand unique to the ranch owner’s (or sometimes multiple brands, if they are owned by multiple ranchers over their lifetime). Typically on the animal, especially cattle, will be an ear tag that provides contact information for the ranch owner should the animal go astray.

Are you starting to see how branding, the version used on ranches, can be used for your own “stock?” You want your own product/service/business to be easily identified in a crowd. Amongst other creators and entrepreneurs and freelancers, other people will be able to glance at something you’re offering (i.e. a post on Instagram) and immediately know that you posted it. They need to go to you for more information…(and you should probably have your contact info close-by so they can do just that!)

So whether you’re beginning your business or looking to grow? Here are some tips that will help you hone in your brand.

1.    What makes you YOU? Your aesthetic? Your likes and dislikes? Ask a few trusted friends for help.

For example, if you love plaid button-ups? Feature them in your pictures! Wear them, have flatlays where the plaid shirt is part of the background, talk about why you like them in a “Get to know me” post! Love a certain style of music or a particular artist? Integrate that into reels continuously. Obsessed with your favorite color? Feature something in each picture that’s that color. Have a green thumb? Include your plants! (Don’t have a green thumb but still like plants, like me? You can find fake plants that look very realistic!)  Develop your own style or aesthetic: like blurry pictures, micro-close shots of tiny details, and so forth. You don’t have to come up with something completely different from what everyone else is doing. You just have to merge your style (or public persona) with what you’re offering.

2.             What makes your business unique? How do you plan to serve others with your business?

You will likely incorporate some aspects of your personal preferences and style into things like web design, logos, and so forth. This is where you do want to stand out from the crowd a little bit. This can change with time (a “brand refresh”) but it’s important to come up with some form of continuity and follow through with it.

Secondly, how do you plan on serving others with what you’re offering? Incorporate that into your brand as well. Consider materials like tips and tricks that you offer consistently, a writing style or dynamic questions that consumers will get used to and will also use to identify you from the crowd.

3.             Where is the intersect between your personal tendencies and your business’ uniqueness? Use that.

4.             If you’re using a persona, why and how will you ensure this will be an authentic connection with others?

In this fast-paced culture we’ve built on social media, people are craving personal connection above all else. While it’s good to have some barriers, even healthy, you should still seek to create boundaries without coming off as cold or too closed-off. For me, it was realizing that I had to let people in on some of the writing process, which I began doing once a month. It’s just a quick post, but I was surprised at how many people communicate with those posts than the consumer-level “behold, a book” stuff I typically share. That connection is valuable. Find ways you’re willing and comfortable with being personable and utilize it continuously so viewers learn to anticipate or expect it from you.

5.             Brainstorm ways you can incorporate your brand into your photos, your marketing materials, captions, blog posts, etc—every run of the mill interaction folks will have with you! This doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. Throw some random ideas out on paper and run with it. You’d be surprised what you can come up with that works!


If you want more in-depth analysis of branding, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF AUTHOR BRANDING by Shayla Raquel. It’s a book I have used to death not only for my own writing, but my editing business as well. What, you aren’t an author? You can also translate those same principles to your own business! The same theories apply in a very no-nonsense manner. Another resource I would recommend is the Ministry of Marketing webinar that author Erin Phillips hosts sometimes. Follow her on Instagram and keep your eyes peeled! Both have been absolutely instrumental to my growth in the marketing realm. 



Wednesday, April 10, 2024

 Hey everyone! So today I've got a review for Vanishing Legacy by Lynette Eason & Kate Angelo. I'm rapidly becoming an insta-buy fan of Angelo's work, so I was excited to be offered the opportunity to read an ARC of this new series, part of the Elite Guardians world that I'm already a fan of. So let's get into it!


For this Elite Guardian, protecting her client’s daughter just got personal.

Elite Guardian Alana Flores, former LAPD underwater dive detective, just wants a fresh start in Savannah, Georgia, with her son, Rocco. Hoping to repair their broken relationship, and provide a safer, more stable life, nothing could be more disastrous to her hopes than when they find a terrified, autistic child in her shed.

Oh no.

Enter Cash Thomas, a widowed trauma surgeon struggling to raise his autistic daughter, Penny. He’s put his wife’s disappearance and presumed death behind him…until someone tries to kidnap his daughter. Terrified of losing Penny to the same cartel that supposedly killed his wife, he turns to Alana and the Elite Guardians.

But is Sonia really dead? Or is she behind the kidnapping attempts? Cash and Alana must keep their children safe, uncover the truth about Sonia, and find a way to outsmart the cartel before it’s too late.

And what about the spark between them? Could this be the fresh start they both long for? Certainly not while their children are in danger. And when their worst fears happen, will they lose everything?

With heart-pounding foot chases on River Street, underwater thrills off Tybee Island, and a climactic showdown at Forsyth Fountain, Vanishing Legacy will leave you breathless.

Order it HERE!


Well, this one starts off with a bang! There's a lot to love about this book, and I've got high hopes for the series overall. The characters are dynamic and believable; the plot is one that will genuinely keep you guessing. It's not often that I find a story where I don't immediately know whodunnit, so this one had a few twists, turns, and false leads that really kept my attention. If you've read CHRISTMAS IN THE CROSSHAIRS, you've met Alana and Rocco already! It was fun to get to know these characters more. Additionally, the accurate representation of an autistic child and the various triumphs and struggles related to parenting or otherwise caring for Penny was great to read. (Angelo's disability representation is one of my favorite things about her books!) If you enjoy fast-paced romantic suspense, relatable characters, and rollercoaster plot twists, this is definitely a good one to pick up ASAP! 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.


 Hey everyone! I'm excited to share the gorgeous cover for Etania's Destiny by M.H. Elrich! Check it out below, and preorder for its May 11th release!


As civil war looms on the horizon, Etania must embrace her destiny or fall to darkness...

Before the war begins, Etania determines to stop it by any means necessary—even if it requires her to train the man who betrayed her. Then an unnatural darkness sweeps the land, testing friend and foe alike. Etania knows only her powers as a Vexli can end Damien and Narak’s evil spell. Will Etania defeat the darkness or succumb to it herself?

Find out in Etania’s Destiny, the third and final installment of Etania’s stories.

This is the third book of the Daughters of Tamnarae Series and is the continuation of Etania’s story. It's sure to be amazing!

Etania’s Destiny releases May 11th but it’s available for preorder now.  Click HERE

Now for that gorgeous cover...


Monday, April 1, 2024


Hey everyone! 

So back at the beginning of the year, I messaged several folks wondering if they'd be interested in a closed-submissions historical fantasy anthology surrounding the theme of HOPE. And I'm so excited for what these authors come up with, because I know they're an incredible group of people that I'm privileged to know and work alongside. In addition to the stories these folks are working on, I would love to see a few poetry submissions and an additional, very limited amount of short stories for the anthology too -- so from May 1st through May 31st, send in your poetry and short story submissions for consideration! You may submit a maximum of three (3) poems or one (1) short story *and* one (1) poem for consideration. 

If you received the original closed-submissions invitation? Never fear! I still want to see your submissions, and the information you received regarding short stories and poetry still stands -- this can be a reminder for when the deadline is!! 

Read on for the deets, creatives!

THEME: Changing for the better can be difficult. Downright devastating. But yet, there is hope. 

YOUR MISSION: Show us the insurmountable circumstances and then show us what it looks like to change for hope. Show us the miracle it will take to change a life, a circumstance, an internal struggle, a battle, family struggle, and more. Contemplate what hope means to you

How far will your characters go for hope? 

SHORT STORIES: I'm looking for a word count between 5,000 and 10,000. 

POETRY: I'm specifically looking for ballads -- they may be focused on a character-driven plot or a piece on hope itself. If you really want to impress me, I would love to see a poem where hope is embodied as a character. 

What IS a ballad? "A poem that tells a story of adventure, of romance, or of a hero, that [...] has stanzas of four lines with a rhyme on the second and fourth lines." (Merriam-Webster definition).

This is a historical fantasy anthology, so if you're writing a character-driven poem, please make sure your setting is suitable! Romantic subplots are fine, violence/war/etc. is also fine; however, please no erotica or explicit scenes, and I will also not accept poems or short stories that glorify witchcraft.

There is no cost to submit your work. 

Submissions will be due MAY 31, 2024 and are open NOW. 

Inspiration needed? Check out this Pinterest board HERE.

Anthology theme verses: Hebrews 10:23 and James 1:6. 

There is no cost to submit your work. Authors will retain all rights and ownership over their works. 

A one-time payment will be offered to each author via PayPal, check, or cash mailed to you (U.S. only for those last two options, sorry!) and the anthology will be listed for Kindle and Paperback as close to print price as possible so no further royalties will be collected. 

Save this post, because this will be the first and last time I'm sharing about this opportunity on my blog. Ready to submit? Click HERE.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

 Hey everyone! Today's the daaaaay (if you've been following for the Legends of Lanaria books)! 

The Kingdom's True Queen is making an appearance earlier than expected: May 14, 2024 to be exact. 

So I have two things you'll need to know -- what the cover looks like, and when preorders open!

So let's get to the first order of business, the cover.

And preorders are open...NOW! Paperbacks will be available on May 14th. Click HERE for Kindle preorders! As usual, you can grab a Kindle edition for a limited-time price of $0.99, so if you want to read it, definitely snag a preorder before the price goes up ;) Shelf it on Goodreads HERE.

First time you're hearing of TKTQ? That's fine! Check out the blurb below!

Two kidnapped sisters and a secret to ruin a kingdom.

As the race to find the rest of the written prophecy continues, Asta, servant and sister to the Norvege queen, holds a grim secret.

When a Lanarian guard secretly arrives to infiltrate the castle, Asta must make a decision: betray her wounded sister, or betray the countries at risk of crumbling. Abused and broken by her sister’s rule, it should be an easy decision.

But yet another secret ruins the reality Asta once knew: the man commanding the Lanarian guard to capture and kill the Norvege queen…is their father. She is offered freedom and refuge—at the cost of her sister’s life. Will she accept the new world offered to her, or will her loyalty to her sister be her undoing?

Loosely inspired by the biblical story of Joseph, you won’t want to miss this touching story of humility, forgiveness, and healing from bitterness.
The Kingdom's True Queen is book four in the Legends of Lanaria series.

If you haven't checked out the series yet, click the titles below for more info. 

The Lady of Lanaria - Book 1
The Healer of the Brigade - Book 2
The Highlander's Victory - Book 3 


Sunday, March 10, 2024

 Hey everyone! 

So I've been working on an actually not-so-secret project (I've talked about the topic on my blog and my socia media posts so it's been right there the whole time, I just never fessed up to an upcoming release) and 'tis time to finally share. Sustain: A Thirty Day Devotional Dedicated to Remembering God's Sovereignty in Hardship is my next book baby coming at you JUNE 5, 2024. Not only is it a devotional, but it includes a five-week study guide in the back which can be completed individually or as a group. Read on for more info!


Sustain: to uphold, to nurture; patiently persevere. 

In this devotional, we'll find...

  • Ways God helps us through trials
  • The importance of using pain to grow closer to God
  • Case studies of biblical characters whose testimonies point toward a God who does incredible things through suffering
  • Why we must submit our will to God's daily
  • Ways we can find gratitude in the midst of trouble

With daily readings, Bible verses, starter prayers, and questions designed to deepen your relationship with God, this devotional shares numerous Scriptures that promise God's sustaining strength in our lives even when He feels far away, while challenging various lies the world has taught us about suffering. 

Releasing June 5, 2024.

Kindle preorders are live NOW (click HERE) and paperback and hardcovers are live NOW as well--click HERE to submit your preorders. 

Here’s why ordering this devotional is so important: 

First: All of the royalties will be given to Fire Now Ministries, a ministry local to me that is absolutely on-fire for God and dedicated to serving the community with counseling, Bible studies, evangelism, and more. The work that these folks tackle is amazing and even more, their dedication to discipleship and growing the Kingdom is incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it in our little rural blink-and-you-miss-it hometown. But I’m so grateful for their ministry and the work that they do. 

SO whether you order hardback, paperback, Kindle, or read it on Kindle Unlimited, the royalties from this devotional will be donated to their Kingdom work. And if you’d like to partner with them further (be it a donation, sharing their content, or hey, if you happen to need a pretty good revival speaker…) check them out on Facebook HERE, Instagram HERE, and sign up for their newsletter HERE

Next, the nitty-gritty: In this devotional, I’ll also be sharing some of my testimony with how God healed me of anxiety and chronic migraines, which happened at a revival service held at my church. I know some folks get worked up when I mention it…I’ve been told a lot of things by a lot of upset folks when I testify about God's grace in healing me, but my God did the impossible for me. Those chains were broken and redeemed by the power of Christ and the sacrifice He made which we will celebrate later this month. I know He can do the same for you, because I’ve woken up every morning for the last year and a half thanking God for another migraine-free day. I’ve seen Him move in friends’ lives in even more incredible ways. I know He can do the same for you too. And even if the solution isn’t coming until Heaven, there’s a whole lot we can learn about God’s character and faithfulness toward us through the tough times. How He tenderly cares for us when we’re weak. How He fights battles we don’t even see on our behalf. And how He loves us enough to turn all our struggles and that which was meant to harm us instead to good for the furtherment of His kingdom (that’s Genesis 50:20). We've just gotta allow Him control over our lives. Not only will I talk about my testimony of healing, but also of what He did through the rough patches that brought on the anxiety and migraines too. Because there’s a whole lot to learn on this road, and I hope you’re along for the ride.  

That’s why I want to share this devotional with you. I can’t sit on what God did for me and keep it to myself. It’s my prayer that someone, even just one person, would read this and be touched in such a way that their faith in God would be ignited, strengthened, and grown.

Just like Between Us was published on December 13th in honor of the day I chose to seek counseling instead of continuing my own struggle, Sustain will be released on the second anniversary of my healing. (Which is why release day is on a Wednesday, not an industry-typical Tuesday.) 

Oh, and since I have the cover on hand too and you'll see it if you check out Amazon, I guess we can share that too...


Thursday, March 7, 2024




It’s one of the most critical things we can learn as business owners, authors, editors, etc. (And if we’re being honest, networking is important for the typical 9-to-5 job, too.) But it can be daunting if you’re not sure how to go about it. Two of the biggest questions I’ve come across lately are…what IS networking, and how do you DO networking?

So let’s dig in. 

  1. What is networking? (It’s different from marketing, and branding, and all the other terms we’ve thrown around.) Essentially, networking is the process of building a community and healthy, strong relationships with others in similar fields, or in fields you may interact with during your separate work. You’ll find that networking will eventually shape up in three ways:
      1. Into close friendships: People you can trust to bounce ideas off of, people you help and can trust to help you in return, the “shirt-off-their back” type that you grow close with. These are your “ride-or-dies” that you meet thanks to the fact that you were in the industry to begin with.
      2. Into business partnerships: These are others either within the industry or related industries that you can trust to get the job done right, that you love to refer other folks to, and ones you will gladly associate your own name with. You might partner with another author to co-host or co-write a book, or you might partner with a formatter or editor, for example.
      3. Into acquaintances within the industry: You may not know this person very well, as with a close friendship, and they may not be a business partnership, but you know you can depend on them and vice versa, and they’re often within the same industry. For example, I might be acquainted with a lot of authors, and I can root for them and share their new releases and they might share mine in return, but I’m not close friends with them. 

When you’re networking, the biggest thing to remember is reciprocity. You’re not only seeking out business connections for yourself, you should also be asking yourself what you can do for the people you’re networking with. Networking cannot and should not be a “what’s in it for me?” situation or mindset, because that’s not how community works, and it shouldn’t be how relationships work. If you have work done for your book with a cover designer, you want to give them a shout-out on social media for the great work they did—and maybe they’ll share your cover reveal not only because it’s part of their portfolio, but because they’re wanting to help share your work too. Which leads to…

  1. How do you network? A completely legitimate question. I know a lot of folks struggle to work on networking (like me) but it’s extremely important, and a handy skill to have. In today’s world of social media, it makes networking a lot easier—but does word of mouth still have its place? We’ll see. 

Whether you’re completely new to the networking game or someone who’s had a business for awhile, you can benefit from simply seeking out connections with people who are likeminded. The people who have similar values, the ones with similar mindsets/morals, etc. — and especially the people who do the same thing you do. Write the most original fantasy you’ve ever seen? Well, someone else out there writes fantasy with similar tropes and themes. Crochet your own mythological creatures? Someone out there is selling crochet chickens, but they love sharing rad new projects like yours. Indie music artist? There are others out there who have similar values who have also walked the path you’re on now. 

One way to get started without feeling overwhelmed is simply following other creators you appreciate. You can share their work, knowing that it might not get noticed by that person themselves (and that’s okay!) BUT if you utilize hashtags or tag them in your appreciation post, someone else who might love their work can see your posts too and give you a follow too. If you’ve got a way with words, you can share how their work inspires your own projects — and then folks who love their work will have a reason to follow you, too. You’ll also want to find and engage in groups on Instagram or Facebook dedicated to what it is you do—similar genres, similar crafts, similar services: whatever you may offer, you want to join groups dedicated to them. You’ll also want to scope the group out a little bit before joining, because you might not align with their overall governance, rules, or even morals and preferences. (Writers, you know the struggle.) Once you’ve found some groups to be part of, you want to be active, not only in promoting your own thing but in celebrating with others, offering advice, helping others out, and asking questions if you have any. 

Is it okay to outgrow those groups, or realize you don’t really “belong” there? Absolutely. It’s not a failure, it’s a learning experience. 

As time goes on, you might even consider creating one such group yourself!

If you’re looking for business partnerships, you’ll want to familiarize yourself very well with that person’s values and branding before approaching them. 

Another great way to network is getting out there to attend conferences related to your craft. It’s a wonderful way to interact with professionals in your field, get “out there” and meet others who are in different stages of business life.  

One warning, though: I definitely don’t recommend the social media equivalent of “cold calling” which is when someone messages you throwing their business opportunities at you and begging for follows or even offering to follow you if you follow them. Please don’t do that. It comes off as desperate or even scammy, and oftentimes it’s a surefire way to be blocked (NOT good for networking or building connections). At the heart of doing this, I think, is a focus sheerly on the numbers rather than seeking out connections and relationships, which is what networking is all about. 

SO with the increasing popularity of social media, how important is it to utilize word of mouth?

I would personally say that it’s still absolutely imperative. Here’s why: I can be in all the groups I want, I can market the heck out of my projects, and I can do everything on social media flawlessly. But when it comes down to it? 

“So-and-so recommended that I reach out to you about your editing services.” 

“So-and-so told me you’re a writer. What’s your new book about?”

“So-and-so sent me a post of yours and I loved it.” 

I’ve heard all those things. And while it can certainly be disheartening from a marketing standpoint (I spent nine months marketing this and nobody saw it ‘til someone told them about it?) it’s proof-positive of how critically important it is to network and build a rapport with people. Even in your negative responses, i.e. when you might have to reject a potential client, a sale, or something, or if you’ve got someone lowkey stalking your page or being obnoxious (it happens), it’s important to keep it professional and compassionate. Likewise, it’s important to be supportive and community-minded in your own networking and marketing. People are always watching, and you’ll lead by example whether you know it or not. 

When it comes down to it, your own openness will affect your networking abilities. If you’re not portraying yourself as open and caring—and living that by example—people will know. They’ll know if you’re unapproachable before you do. They’ll know you’re the real deal before you know it yourself. When you’re networking, keep that in mind right alongside the real purpose of networking: not to make a sale, not to get “out there,” but to build community.