Week by Numbers.

Once again, I live.

  • 1, meeting with a local publishing professional.  Leading to – maybe – some movement on some of my unpublished works.  It’s why I will NOT be moving ahead to publish The Queen of England: Ascension, at the moment. And instead…
  • 30, pages out of 206.  Although I finally finished my red pen edit of Under the Rain of Light (what I consider the first draft) last week, I thought I would give it a break while I moved ahead with the Queen 3.  Instead, I’m swapping them around and am full steam on the second draft of the Louvre heist.  Whew, it’s in rough shape – so I’m guessing this will probably take me through the end of the year.
  • 1, celebrity chef met this week (Simon Rimmer, what a lad).
    • 4, pies, as part of the cooking class that I made.  Vegetarian goats cheese and beetroot, if you’re wondering.
  • 1, of 4 – other guest judges for the upcoming JLT dining awards.  I’m super excited to be involved with this!
  • 1, sort of pilot I’ll be filming next week.
  • 2, days we had a short-term foster, Pepper, from K9 Friends last week.
    • 1, steak he stole off my plate.
    • 0, barking.
  • 1, new book idea I came up with!  They usually arrive once a year, so I’m glad that another manuscript has successfully arrived from the universe.
  • 20, year high school reunion that took place last weekend in my hometown.  You’ll imagine that the commute was a bit much for me (and that technically I was in town for the original dates, before it was moved and I was already out of the country).  Am I upset to have missed the event?  Not exactly.  Would it have been fun?  Definitely.
  • 1, invitation to a property I’ve wanted to visit since we first moved here (Zighy Bay, a Six Senses resort).  We’ll be there later this month – I can’t wait! (And no flights involved).

What have you been up to recently?

YA Scavenger Hunt, Fall 2018!

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM — but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by , at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Today, I am hosting SL Beaumont on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
SL Beaumont is the author of the young adult romantic mystery saga, The Carlswick Mysteries. She lives in beautiful New Zealand with her husband, three teenage sons and an enormous fluffy cat. Her passion for travel has seen her take many long haul flights from New Zealand. Her love of history helps determine the destination and the places she visits are a constant source of inspiration for her. She is a Chartered Accountant by day, having worked in London, New York and Auckland, and an author by night.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!


How awesome is this?  Ms. Beaumont is giving away the prequel novella to her series The Carlswick Mysteries. The prequel is called Sophie’s Journal and the Bookfunnel link is (download for free, no e-mail required):

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Courtney Brandt, and more!  Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Blue Team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To enter, you should know how much I love the number 17.  It’s my birthday, and St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s always been lucky to me (hopefully it will be lucky to you as well). Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Blue team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To continue on your numerical hunt for a jackpot of books, you’ll want to check out the next author on Blue team, the marvelous Amalie Howard.

Also,  just because the Blue team is so fantastic, here’s all the books you could win!

Week by numbers.

Hello, I am officially crawling out from under my editing rock to say hello (before I crawl back again).

  • 72,240, words, in the final draft of The Queen of England: Ascension. In case you’re wondering, that’s a bit of an addition from the 68,583 words the second draft came in at.  While I did add the usual acknowledgements, and questions, the remainder are all scenes that needed more.  I’m very happy with how the trilogy is ending.  My next step is to send the book to my formatter, then send it to my Kindle, and read it for any final issues.  Oh, and pick a day to publish…
  • 1, final cover, of The Queen of England: Ascension that is also complete.  My cover artist and I had started the process earlier in the year, but took a step back, as we could not find a cover model that suited.  Now, I have a great cover (definitely worth waiting for), and some extra materials to work up some marketing.
  • 1, new foster kitty we have in our lives.  After the passing of Nubbins, I knew that we would most likely need another cat in our lives, but just wasn’t sure of the timing.  In this instance, Tig showed up to K9 Friends (where I volunteer).  She was injured, so was taken to a local vet to get stitched up and put on antibiotics.  I was able to take her for two days, and now that her new family had issues with their cats, she’s come back to us again.  Allergies aside, we’re definitely considering keeping her, as she is just a lovable little soul.
  • 1, giant book drought I’ve been in.  In nearly three weeks, I haven’t been able to get into any new book…and I’ve tried about 15 or more.  I’ve been relying on old classics, and finally last night, got into The Dreamers.
  • 1, new country visited — over Eid, Hubs and I and friends went to Sofia, Bulgaria — definitely worth a visit.
  • 1, new book I’m going to hopefully start editing from tomorrow.  It’s time to take Under the Rain of Light from rough draft to first draft.
  • 2, countries to visit in the next few weeks.  Maldives for Hubs’ birthday and fingers crossed, a press trip to Korea (it’s already been cancelled once, so I’m hoping this time around I’m able to go).

What have you been up to?

An author’s visit to London.

I was lucky enough to visit London this summer, if only for a few hours.  This was my first visit to the city after writing my Queen trilogy, and I was super excited to check out all the places I had written about over the past few years.

While I didn’t expect to be emotional, sure enough, mixed feelings of excitement and pride (?) welled up on our approach to Heathrow.  On a beautiful summer day, I saw the city how Juliette would see it from various points in my books.  As she often travels by airship, looking down on the city, I got my first glimpse into what I had only imagined.  Is this a thing only authors experience?  I looked to my husband, but how could I share what I was feeling?  He hadn’t lived the scenes in his head.  He hadn’t spent hours writing and editing, dreaming and coordinating over 200,000 words.

After dropping off our luggage at the hotel, on our first afternoon, we walked to Kensington Gardens, a property where Queen Victoria spent much of her youth.  In the park, I was able to not only get a picture of my book with a statue of her (former) majesty, but also just to soak up the experience of being in the place where my characters could have been (well, in the 1840s, at least). I didn’t expect to be (again) emotional, but after countless hours of research, faced with this iconic monarch, the weight of everything hit me.

Writing is such a solitary endeavor.  Sure, I’ve been doing it for years, but somehow, being at places where my characters went, spoke, fought, and fell in love was such a wonderful way to spend a few hours.

The following morning we went to Westminster (the location of Queen Juliette’s disastrous coronation).  As I walked the roads she was fictionally carried through, to the banks of the Thames where she was kidnapped…  Well,  I’m sure there’s a word in another language to describe the depth of my feelings, but I can’t really think of one in English.

As I move to finish the final draft of the final book of the trilogy (157 pages out of 205), I feel very fortunate to have visited many of the locations in the books.  While I might not get to all of the places, the trip in July was a special moment to walk a few kilometers in Juliette’s shoes.

Of course, after finishing The Queen of England: Ascension, I’ll start editing a more contemporary novel, and it’s my hope that return trips to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Macau and Paris are in my future.  Before Under a Rain of Light comes out I’ll do what I can to get where I can, but for now I’m content to have return visits to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Her majesty and her majesty.