The Resistance: United in Love 

This book is an outcry for equality, for change, for love. So happy to be a part of such a worthwhile project. All proceeds go to the ACLU.

#theresistance #unitedinlove


Major Holiday Sale for The Storm and the Darkness 

The Storm Sales Blitz PackageTitle: The Storm and the Darkness

Series: House of Crimson and Clover

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release: May 2015



Ana Deschanel made a terrible mistake. The only chance of protecting the other people involved is to flee New Orleans, the only home she has ever known, for the quiet solitude of Summer Island.

Summer Island, Maine (population 202) is not the tranquil escape Ana imagined. The locals are distant and cold, especially her neighbor, the reclusive veterinarian Jonathan St. Andrews. Her only lifeline is the kind but odd caretaker, Alex Whitman. Showing up at all the right moments, he warns her she is completely unprepared for a Maine winter. As the first seasonal storm approaches to whispers of an island shutdown, Ana realizes she may soon be cut off from the rest of the world.

After a surprising encounter with Jonathan’s brother, Finn, Ana finds herself braving the storm to return something to him. Unprepared for the Maine storm, she slips and falls onto the jagged rocks along the shore. The St. Andrews brothers find her in the nick of time, but she remains unconscious. As the storm worsens, the St. Andrews brothers learn there are other, more sinister forces at work closer than they ever imagined.

With no help from the outside world, they must find a way to protect themselves from both the storm, and the growing darkness that looms across the island.

Buy Links

❆ Amazon:

❆ BN:

❆ Kobo:

❆ iTunes:

❆ Google Play:

Author Bio 
Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Gothic series, The House of Crimson & Clover, born of her combined passion for New Orleans, family sagas, and the mysterious complexity of human nature. Her work has been described as rich, emotive, and highly dimensional.

An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf’s personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She’s a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Oregon, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.

Social Media links

Official Website:


Google +:





⭐️Giveaway: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card


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<a class=”embedly-card” href=””>*.¸¸*❆ *.¸¸.* WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD FOR THE</a>


Lagniappes Collection II

Banshee and A Band of Heather are my favorites! 

The House of Crimson & Clover short stories are back with , a second collection of Crimson & Clover Lagniappes (bonus stories) in the bestselling witches family saga, The House of Crimson & Clover. Readers are saying these are the best yet!

They can be enjoyed as standalone tales, or complements to the series.

★★Lagniappe Collection II★★

5 Bestselling short stories. One compelling collection.





Google Play:

The Secrets Amongst the Cypress

Amelia and Jacob must journey to the past to return to themselves.





Dive into the secret, ancient, powerful world of two New Orleans families, the Deschanels and the Sullivans…

From USA Today bestselling paranormal author Sarah M. Cradit comes The Secrets Amongst the Cypress, Volume 8 in the bestselling witches family saga, The House of Crimson & Clover. Not a standalone story, Secret’s plot makes the most sense only after having the prior volumes.

Amelia and Jacob have landed in a very familiar where. The when is a whole other matter.

Jacob’s first experience time traveling leaves him and Amelia stranded in 1861 Louisiana on the cusp of the Civil War. With no luggage and no invitation, they find themselves at the mercy of Charles and Brigitte Deschanel, who, for now, believe they are cousins visiting from abroad.

The tragic circumstances which led them to flee the present now leave them both struggling to make sense of their own individual grief. Amelia’s sorrow drives her further from Jacob, and into the strange world of an eccentric man, Victor, who knows all too much about her. Jacob’s heartache leaves him cynical and weary, losing sight of who he is and was destined to become.

As the strange and terrible dynamics of the nineteenth century Deschanel family come to light, Amelia and Jacob are each drawn into the family’s complex web in myriad ways, challenging everything they held to be true. These revelations drive a deeper wedge between the couple, placing them in grave danger, from those around them… but also from themselves.

The hands of time have taken hold, and the clock is ticking. The longer they stay, the greater the risk of losing everything.

My review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sarah M. Cradit provides us with a fast, exciting read in the eighth novel from the House of Crimson and Clover series. The Secrets Amongst the Cypress is different (and more poignant) than any work I’ve read by this author. The book primarily follows Amelia and Jacob as they are catapulted into the antebellum South. Fans of the series will be pleased to meet characters we’ve heard about for years (Ophelie, Bridget, Charles, Jean) and introduced to newer, mysterious characters (Victor, Marius, Charlotte). 

As always, it’s Cradit’s ability to reach within her characters and pull out their emotions that makes her one of the best writers out there. One special instance is Amelia and her response to a trauma she endured several books before and the care by which Cradit handles her recovery. Also noted is the realistic way her husband responds with anger, guilt, and finally acceptance and hope to move on. Secrets is at its heart, a story about finding truth. 

This novel is best understood from the beginning of the series at The Storm and the Darkness. Recommended for anyone who enjoys intricate characters and intertwined storylines with a magic flare. 

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Sarah: 

Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Fiction series, The House of Crimson & Clover. The series was born of her combined loves of New Orleans, family dramas, and the mysterious nature of love and desire. Her books combine elements of paranormal, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance. She is always working on the next book in the series, and absolutely loves connecting with her fans.
Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest, but has traveled the world from Asia to Europe to Africa. When she isn’t working (either at her day career, or hard at work at writing), she is reading a book and discovering new authors. The great loves of her life (in order) are: her husband James, her writing, and traveling the world.

Author Interview with Jeremy Simons

I met Jeremy a few weeks ago on a North Louisiana book group. It’s always nice to find people who write in my neck of the woods. As Jeremy references below, there’s not too many opportunities in this area to connect with other authors. I haven’t read any of his books yet, but they sound like the perfect addition to my  October TBR list. Thanks, Jeremy, for telling us about your process and best of luck to you. 


1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

 My name is Jeremy Simons. I’m from Grayson, Louisiana, and am married with three daughters. I’m a horror/suspense author with Twilight Terror Press, a subdivision of Celestial Waters Publishing. Aside from my two published works with Celestial Waters, I’ve had numerous stories appear across the web and in zines and anthologies.

Buried Alive can be found here:



Barnes & Noble:


Check out the official trailer here:


My debut novel Untold Tale can be found here:




Barnes & Noble:


Check out the official trailer here:



A Dead Man Tells No Tales-Carnage Conservatory:


Beware of Hitchhikers-Aphelion:


Beware of Hitchhikers II-Aphelion:


The Man In The Hills-Voices From A Coma:


Lifeless Lane-The Horror Zine:

In Print:


White Christmas-Hellfire Crossroads Volume 4:


White Christmas-Deathlehem Revisited:


Trick or Treat-October’s End:


The Woman in Red-X3 Anthology:


Closing Time:


Five Days-Massacre Magazine:


Beware of Hitchhikers 1 & 2-Midnight Ghosts:


You can find me on Facebook:

On Twitter:

My website:

On Goodreads:

And on my Amazon author page:


2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I choose them in several different ways. Sometimes, they’re coincidental. Some, I base off of people in my life. There was even one occasion when I combined the names of three of my favorite horror actors to form the name of a serial killer. But usually, I just sift through random names until I find one that clicks.


3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

 I think I have to say yes here. I definitely imagine them in real life situations and occasionally I will refer to them as if they are real.


4.  Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Yes, although not traditional music. I usually listen to comedy tracks or parody songs while writing. Or I run on the Lex & Terry and listen to replays of their shows.

5. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing on and off since I was a kid. My mom still has a story I wrote for school when I was in third grade (I believe) about a ghostly next door neighbor. But I’ve only just recently had an interest in getting published. 

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

 Just a few years ago. I kept all of my stories in a small filing box at my mom’s, and I was moving some stuff out of her house and came across it. By then, it had been so long since I’d written anything or even looked at them that when I read back through them it was like reading a new author. And not to toot my own horn, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. I knew then that I had to try. And when my first story, A Dead Man Tells No Tales, was published on Carnage Conservatory’s website (even though it was a small venue with no monetary pay), I knew it was meant to be.


7. Do you have a muse?

 My muse would have to be my wife. She was definitely the inspiration behind Buried Alive. She inspires me to be better and do better.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

I improve by simply reading and writing. Any critiques I receive through rejections, reviews, or editors…I incorporate those into all of my writing and not just that particular work. I do wish there were workshops and conferences in my area…I’d definitely attend.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I don’t believe I have any quirks or superstitions. I just write.

 10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress

 My current work-in-progress is about an alligator. I’ve always had a fascination with alligators, and in Louisiana, although they are commonplace, I don’t recall any attacks in my area. My job as a horror/suspense writer is to bring forth the terrifying, bring to light what you never think possible, and what better way to do that than dropping a monstrous man-eater into a river where there has never been an attack (at least not in my thirty years of existence).

 11. What book are you reading now?

 I’m currently reading Miss Crabtree’s School for Unnaturals (The Unnaturals Book 1) by Hargrove Perth. 

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?

I write mostly horror and supernatural, with some suspense thrown in; I’d like to believe I could write in any genre, but for the time being, it always seems to go dark. As far as POV, it’s whatever strikes me at that time. Most of my works are third-person POV, but love first-person because of the correlation between myself and the narrator; first-person (at least to me) seems more intimate; it’s more like I’m writing about myself than a fictitious character, and I think the emotion becomes deeper…realer.

 13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

Preparation for me is simple and minimal. I prefer to steer away from chapter outlines and just let the writing flow; you can always edit later if the chapters run on too long. I start with a few main characters (usually two or three), give them a basic profile (looks, profession if they have one, point to the plot, etc.), and just cut loose. The plot is the most important to me: beginning, conflict in the middle, end. For me, too much characterization or these meticulous outlines that you can easily get hung up on sticking to can bog down a good story before it even gets started if you’re not careful. Let the plot be the strength. Build the characters off of the plot…not the other way around. And just let the story flow.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

 Yes and no. I always start out with an ending in mind, but it seldom plays out that way. It goes back to minimal preparation I guess. The less you know about the story and characters, the more freedom you’re giving them to take the story in whatever direction it needs to go. It’s more of a surprise that way, and if the writer isn’t surprised and blown away by the story, the reader will not be either.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

I think if you look hard enough in any book, you’ll find a message, and it always be interpreted differently depending on the reader. My novella, Buried Alive, that message is clear and easy: revenge, justice, standing up for yourself, not depending on anyone but yourself. But my novel, Untold Tale, not so much; never trust the government could be an angle I guess, or maybe, taking responsibility for your actions (but it ends horribly for most involved). You be the judge. But entertainment is equally important. If I’m not entertained by the story and enjoying myself, the writing will be stale.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I guess I’d say sunflower seeds, ranch or pickle flavored.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

Reading, of course. Spending time with my wife and kids. Playing video games. Cooking. Playing basketball.

 18. What’s something interesting about you?

My intelligence. Most people look at me and think that I’m not that smart based on my appearance or accent. But I love proving them wrong.

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

Simon inched backwards, afraid to remove his view from the wreckage, oblivious to what lurked behind him. He stopped cold when his back bumped into something solid. His heart leapt in his throat as that precarious snarling started up once more. He turned, unsure if he wanted to see it coming or not, not really wanting to see it, but unable to maintain a blind eye against it.

This is a paragraph from my current work-in-progress about an alligator. It’s untitled at this point.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

 Thank you and keep reading. That’s the truth, but also to please post reviews. Don’t be shy about it. Reviews are critical to an indie author. If you follow me on social media, like and share when you see a post. Promotions are hard work and their success lies heavily on the fans. Exposure is an indie author’s best friend.


Do you like YA novels? Well here are five free ones for you!

From Sarah M. Cradit

<a href=””>Surrender</a&gt; by Sarah M. Cradit

From C.E. Wilson

<a href=””>The Boy with Words</a> by C.E. Wilson

From Erin McFadden

<a href=””>Muse</a&gt; by Erin McFadden

From Elizabeth Burgess

<a href=””>Witch Dance</a> by Elizabeth Burgess

From Felicia Tatum

<a href=””>Scornful Sadie</a> by Felicia Tatum

Interview with Dan Alatorre

A few weeks ago, I was able to snag an interview from the awesome and very interesting Dan Alatorre. Aside from having a really cool last name, Dan is the author of numerous bestsellers, host a YouTube show, Writers Off Task With Friends, and has helped several up and coming authors (myself included) learn the ropes of self-publishing.  Today’s a special day for Dan because his newest book, The Navigators released. I was privileged enough to get to read this book (review to come soon) and let me just say…thrilling. You don’t want to miss it!! But first, let’s read about Dan’s writing process. 
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

My blog is


Twitter @SavvyStories

Facebook author page is

Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads… just search for my name. I can’t remember all that stuff.


2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I’m terrible at that. Terrible! I come up with the WORST character names. Look at The Navigators. Barry… Melissa… Yawn. I have a friend who comes up with great names. I’m going to have her name my characters from now on. In Poggibonsi, I had to change the wife’s name three times because everybody hated it. Each time I changed it, my critique partners said, “Thanks. I hated that other name.” Now I just use the names of the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class, picking them at random. Honey, who’s that boy in your class with brown hair? Jimmy? Jimmy’s my next male character name. It’s still awful but at least it’s faster now.


3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

I only talk about the nonfiction characters as if they are real. Um… nonfiction… yeah, that’s right. Because they’re real. The fictional characters – I totally get that they become your “friends” and all that, but no. Mine are in my head and on paper, and not, you know, running around coming to lunch. That’s not how I roll. Not judging authors who do that. Okay, a little, because it’s freaking crazy – all due respect to authors who do that. Get help. They’re pretend.


4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

No, no music. I know LOTS of authors who do that, and I kinda wish I did, because it’s cool. They are cool for doing that, getting all up in their Pandoras and everything. I can’t. When I started writing it was because my infant daughter needed a bottle and I couldn’t fall back to sleep after feeding her. I wrote in the near-dark, at 3am and 4am, and didn’t dare make a sound for fear of waking her back up and getting even less sleep. After a few years of that, you don’t need Pandora. I usually write in my office in silence except for occasional swearing at the computer. I occasionally drag my laptop to the kitchen table and write while watching TV, as in, I’m writing and a football game or news program may be on, so I can be aware of outside world events, but also because it helps me stay awake when I’m on a roll.


5. How long have you been writing?

Not long enough, according to some readers; way too long according to others. I started writing about five years ago and published my first book Savvy Stories, a collection of humorous anecdotes about babies and childhood, about two years ago. I was very lucky it did well, and I’ve been writing ever since, only now with fewer typos. My first novel, The Navigators comes out in June 2016. It’s awesome. You can quote me on that.


6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

I’m looking forward to that day. Actually, I was always a talented writer. That’s not mean as a brag; people always told me I was good at it, naturally making even work reports interesting. It’s a gift. When I started posting humorous anecdotes on Facebook about becoming a first time dad when most of my friends were sending their kids to college or posting their kids’ wedding pictures, they enjoyed vicariously re- living the baby years through me, and encouraged me to write a book. I kept saying no, and finally broke down and wrote a chapter to show them how bad it was. Instead, they loved it and support for a book grew, and the rest is history. 17 titles later (in 12 languages), somebody likes my stuff.


7. Do you have a muse?

Yes. For the Savvy Stories book series, it was a few of my female high school friends rolled into one composite person. For The Navigators it was a very specific person, and for the other books it’s basically that same muse. It sounds odd, but when you write to one person, or as narrow an audience as you can, you’ll do well. Write to your mom. Write to your wife. Find one person and write the book to that one person, because when you attempt to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one. In some books, I am writing to my six-year-old daughter for when she gets to be the age of the main character, subtly suggesting lessons and guidance. Shh, don’t tell.


8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

I connect with writers better than I am through a critique group and hound them mercilessly until they give in and help me. Honest. That probably won’t work for everyone but I have an honest face. I don’t read much, unless you count reading works by new authors, and then I read a LOT. I am also a critique partner for a few GREAT writers, including one New York Times bestselling author. I go to the Florida Writer’s Association conferences and will be doing a roundtable discussion at the FWA conference this fall in Orlando. If you’re in town, stop by. The EPCOT food and wine festival is going on the same time, so it’s a party.


9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

Nope. None.


10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

No, no, no. I never talk about WIPs! That’s bad luck. Okay, so I may have a few writing quirks and superstitions.


11. What book are you reading now?

I am reading two novels by friends, helping them edit. Both are very good friends so I’ll say both are very good books, but really only one is and now they have to guess which one. Actually, I am about to start editing the second book of a friend’s trilogy, and I’m in the middle of two other very good books I’m critiquing.


12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?

This is a fun one. I started in nonfiction humor and decided to write a story in each genre hoping to either find one I enjoyed or was good at. I’ve done romance, fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, children’s books, cookbooks…If I had to only write one genre for the rest of my life, it’d be romantic comedy. I love making people laugh and we all tend to find the same universal things funny if presented properly. Plus, I’m really good at it. I’ve put people on the floor. Intentionally. My fans think I’m quite the romance writer, though.


13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

None of that, really, but hear me out. Before I really start writing in earnest, I have a beginning, a middle, and an end to my story. We may not go where I think we will, because I allow myself to be completely creative when I’m writing, but we have a target and an ending. If I come up with something better, a different ending, I’ll change it and go with the better one, but at least I have one. I feel “pantsing” – the alleged art of writing by the seat of your pants – is the main reason for writer’s block and why so many books never get completed. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done; many great works are written without the use of an outline. Just not mine. Since I have the characters so deeply rooted in my head, no character profiles are needed, but I’m open to an author doing whatever they need to do to get the story out of their head and into the computer. You wanna make sure that if Barry’s nervous habit is biting his nails, he does it in chapter one, chapter 15, and chapter 36, and doesn’t stop somewhere along the way or start having an eye twitch. Unless the story is how he’s degenerating from some neurological disease. Then that’s different.


14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Yeah. Sorry, pantsers, I use a simple outline of beginning, middle, and end, so I know how the story ends before I start writing. I allow myself to have a better ending if I think of one, but I have at least one before I start out.


15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

You know, no interviewer has ever asked me that. Good for you. Bonus points. The answer is YES. Several of my stories have messages on different levels, but you can read them just for the main story and never miss anything.


16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

No, but I drink Crystal Light peach green tea by the gallon, so maybe that counts. But it’s not part of writing, it’s part of living.


17. Tell us about your other passions.

I am totally and completely devoted to my amazing daughter, so I go to all the field trips and stuff. It’s amazing to be around lots of little kids. They so smart and curious and open to ideas. It will refresh your energy while simultaneously wearing you out. I’m also very invested in helping new authors get over the numerous hurdles they face in writing, so my critiquing and blog and marketing books series address that.


18. What’s something interesting about you?

Gosh, lots of things. I went to President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. As a manager I was able to help people make more money than they’d ever made before in their entire lives. I swam with sea turtles in Hawaii and sharks in the Bahamas, rode a dolphin and came face to face with a baby humpback whale. I cracked a tooth eating a frozen Chiclet on a glacier in British Columbia and gazed in absolute awe at the beauty of the Grand Canyon. I’ve been shot at (more than once) and I rescued two girls who were about to drown in the Gulf of Mexico. I was a drummer in a rock band. I took a single engine boat to Key West in six foot swells that could have easily sunk us. I created the largest social media group in the world for a rare heart condition, helping thousands of families in dozens of countries. I’ve helped a new writer launch a bestseller and opened the eyes of other new writers as to how to make their novels terrific. I’ve fallen head over heels in love, had my heart broken, and lived to tell about both.


19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

We can be this far into an interview and you can still ask that? One paragraph, huh? Hmm. Well, how about a conversation from The Navigators?


“She cautioned me, though. She told me physical beauty does not last, and should not last. ‘A beautiful woman’s breasts will eventually sag and her hair will turn gray. What will you be married to then? If you choose wisely, you will be married to a beautiful personality and a curious mind, that loves your children and who would do anything for you.’ That is true beauty.”

“Hmmm.” Melissa closed her eyes, appearing to postulate on the idea.

“I know. Where’s the fun in that, right?”


20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

If you’re a fan, thank you; if you’re not yet a fan, don’t worry, you will be – there’s still time. And if you’re a writer, I believe everyone has a great story in them that they can tell. Get it out of your head and into the computer. It has been my great fortune to be able to make readers laugh and cry, on purpose, sometimes on the same page; to hold their breath, swoon, and/or be afraid. I play my audience like a piano – and they love it.

Thanks so much, Dan. Good luck with The Navigators. 

Things You Don’t Know When You Decide to Self-publish Your Book-Part 2

Hey y’all! Hope it’s been a good week. I’ve been working on two short stories for a few summer contests that I’m entering. But I wanted to continue with my series about things I didn’t know when I self-published. Keep in mind, y’all, I’M STILL LEARNING. I just had a conversation with another author friend (Sarah M. Cradit) today about ways to improve sales. It is a never-ending process and if you are serious about self-publishing or even writing a book, you need to read this. 

In case you missed last week’s post about stepping out of your comfort zone, you can read it here

So #2 in Things You Don’t Know….

You will need an editor. You cannot under ANY circumstances rely on your personal editing skills, your bff who is a teacher, or any self-help book on editing. Those are great resources, but TRUST ME it doesn’t replace a professional getting their hands on your manuscript. Do not be duped into thinking your readers won’t notice the errors because of your awesome story. They will and when they call you out on it, they probably won’t be nice. Hire an editor. Now, there will be someone who doesn’t  heed my advice, publishes an unedited book, and hits the NYT bestsellers, but their story is the exception, not the rule. Besides, your book is basically an extension of you. Don’t you want to put your best self out there?

With my first book, The Waiting, I seriously was days away from self-publishing without any more than a few family and friends reading the book. The errors inside that book would have made me the laughing stock of the literary community or at least those who read it. And rightfully so! I’m not for being a troll, but I appreciate it when books are easy to read and error free. Believe me, people are going to pick apart what you write anyway. I’d rather them pick apart my style and content, rather than my inability to use a word correctly or my bad habit of placing prepositional phrases awkwardly.

But Elizabeth, it cost so much…

Yep. It’s not cheap. It doesn’t have to break the bank, but if someone wants to edit your 115k manuscript for $100, then they are looking for easy money. I tell Kathy all the time paying her is like buying tampons or laundry detergent. In other words: necessity

I’m sure you can get someone who’s ‘just good at English’ to look over it and that may work for you, but I feel pretty awesome to know someone who’s worked in the book business has looked at my manuscript several times. Research your editor. Ask for credentials. Ones who are serious will give them to you without asking. 

What does an editor do, you ask? Well, in the first issue of Witch Dance – which I admit, I was a little lazy with the self-edits – I used the word THAT over 600 times, not to mention several other grammatical issues. I am dsylexic and though I don’t believe it’s ever been a problem when I’ve sent a manuscript to Kathy, I’m really thankful for a set of eyes to make sure I don’t write grapped instead of grabbed

Below, I’d like to show you what editing looks like. Of course, all editors are different but if your editor isn’t teaching as she (or he) goes along, find someone else. Naturally, you should grow as a writer with each book, and your editor should be a huge part of that process. (You may need to enlarge my photos.) 

That’s the Prologue to my first book. Subtle differences, right? My voice hasn’t changed and I’m still conveying my message, but I’m doing it in a way that makes me and my story look good. 

After edits, here’s the final product: (italicized for emphasis)

Arianne Douglas stood over her son. Her dead son. Murder weapon in hand. Blood and tears running down her face. Helpless. Powerless. Paralyzed. Recalling his first steps, first words. There would be no more firsts. Her child was dead. Startled by the buzzing of her cell phone next to his body, she answered but did not speak.

“Ari?” her best friend said, “you called but didn’t leave a message. Andrew texted me about the fight between Reece and Nash. I’m on my way to you now.”



“Lesley, I need you.” Arianne sobbed into the phone. “He’s dead, he’s dead… my baby… my son… Les, he’s dead… God, please no… I’m so sorry, baby…” Her voice broke with every word.

“Arianne, I’m on my way. Are you still at the house?” Lesley Huff remembered her recurring dream, pangs of regret pelting her heart. A storm was coming.


“Have you called the police?” she asked, certain Arianne had not.

“No, only you,” she cried. “My… my son…”

“Dammit Ari, call the police. Now.”

Ending the call, Lesley pressed the accelerator, speeding down West Esplanade Avenue. Arianne hadn’t said which son she had found. Thinking of her own two little girls, she choked back tears for her dearest friend.

South Lake Drive was quiet except for Lake Pontchartrain’s choppy waters lapping over the levee rocks. Lesley wrapped one arm around her chest, her breathing stifled by the heavy Gulf wind. Sirens screeched in the distance and the night sky was filled with the blue and red glow of emergency vehicles. She was glad they were close. Parking next to Arianne’s Jeep, Lesley offered a silent prayer of thanks that Arianne’s thirteen-year-old son, Pike, was with his father and nowhere near this house tonight. So was it Nash? Or Reece. Both of their trucks were parked underneath the awning. Fearful, she opened the back door leading to a dark kitchen, and a bloody Arianne cradling the lifeless body of her son.


“Holy Mary

Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners 

Now and at the hour of our death.”

Man, I remember going through this book with Kathy and almost throwing in the towel, but I didn’t because I loved my story and I had a patient and long-suffering editor who was willing to go through the manuscript line after line, and help me make it the best it could be at that time. Of course, now both Kathy and me can see so much we’d do differently and that’s awesome. It means we’ve both grown in our craft. 

Editing is a grueling process. With The Waiting, I cut characters, passages, I even changed as few tertiary plot lines for the sake of the story. But if you have caring and patient editor, they’ll be right beside you in the trenches, helping you discern what’s best for your story. 

My editor – Kathy Lapeyre is a primarily a line editor. Here’s a bit what she does in her words: “I use a combination of line editing and copy editing on the first pass… then copy editing mixed with proofreading on the next one. If three readings are booked, I use a formula of line/copy, then copy, and finish up with a thorough proofread.” 

Every single one of my novels had something that I unconsciously picked as my error. As I said earlier with Witch Dance, it was the excessive use of THAT. Another one, it was starting too many sentences with And and But. Kathy helps me see a new way to write, correcting the problem and enhancing the final product. 

Your editor should be an encourager. The author/editor relationship is special. They should always elevate you and your work to higher standards. I consider my writing good before it goes to Kathy. When she gets done, it’s GREAT. So much so that I know if someone doesn’t like my work, it’s not because I’m a terrible writer but because they didn’t like the subject matter or my style, not because I broke every rule in the book. 

Give  your story the love and attention it deserves and hire an editor.