Entry: June 17, 2019
On behalf of 18th Winter, I am proud to become a monthly donor to Beagle Freedom Project. It is time for animal testing to stop; it is time for the dog meat market to end; it is time for people to respect ALL living creatures. I dream about a better world for animals, & hope that someday that dream will come true. It was that dream that fueled the story of 18th Winter. To learn more about this organization, please visit: https://bfp.org/mission/
Entry: April 7, 2019
At the very core of the story within 18th Winter is a strong notion of caring for and appreciating nature. Even more so, is the notion of treating animals with love and respect. 18th Winter is a deep, passionate love story about a girl who possess a unique connection with not only her two beloved dogs, but with all creatures. They are even more precious to her than Bryce, the boy she had admired from afar for many years. Even he cannot hold the same place in her heart as the animals around her.
This story has brought readers to tears, has given them nightmares, has made them laugh, and has changed their view on things around them. 18th Winter leaves a mark upon its readers.
Entry: April 6, 2019
18th Winter is a living tribute to my beautiful girls, whose memory will live on in my heart, and in the pages of 18th Winter forever. Publishing this novel is my final gift to them – it was all for them.
Keyta and Syla’s (in 18th Winter) individual personalities, interests and behaviors are an exact match of those of my beloved girls, Goldie (Keyta) and Aspen (Syla).
Goldie: 11/11/03 – 8/28/16 Aspen: 3/20/05 – 3/31/19
Entry: March 26, 2019
18th Winter countdown deal on Amazon: ebook $1.99 through 4/2/19.
Entry: March 11, 2019
I am back from Arizona, and I am almost finished reading “Wrath of the Dragon King” – the 2nd book in the Dragonwatch series by Brandon Mull. I have one more book on my list to read before I finish writing the second book in the 18th Winter series. “The Dark Wolf” – the 1st book in The Heart of Light series by J.M. Christian.
Entry: March 1, 2019
Donating paperback copy of 18th Winter to Challis Public Library – Challis, ID and Towerpoint RV Resort Library – Mesa, AZ
Entry: February 28, 2019
Donating paperback copy of 18th Winter to Smoky Hill Library – Aurora, CO
Entry: February 15, 2019
On my upcoming trip to Arizona, I am planning to read two books: “Kingdom of Ash” – the last book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas, and “Wrath of the Dragon King” – the 2nd book in the Dragonwatch series by Brandon Mull.
Entry: February 6, 2019
18th Winter listed on Whizbuzzbooks: Click for Site
Entry: January 30, 2019
18th Winter featured in The Weekly Sun, Sun Valley, ID. 1/30/19 ed., bottom of p.4: Click for Article
Entry: January 27, 2019
18th Winter featured in Idaho State Journal, Pocatello, ID: Click for Article
Entry: January 17, 2019
A recurrent question that comes up during interview sessions revolves around the notion of “motivation.” What I have told reporters is that I had watched a movie called “Walt Before Mickey,” (I often refer to it as “Walt Before Disney”), and that is what gave me the final motivational push to complete 18th Winter. Had I not watched that movie, I am uncertain what would’ve happened. Click for Trailer
Entry: January 16, 2019
What’s most important for people to know about the creation of 18th Winter is that it is a living tribute to my beautiful girls, and the life that I’ve been blessed to share with them. Without Goldie and Aspen, the idea for 18th Winter never would have come about. It is because of them that I am able to share this story with the world.
Entry: January 11, 2019
Donating paperback copies of 18th Winter to Marshall Public Library – Pocatello, ID and Brown County Library – Green Bay, WI.
Entry: January 2, 2019
During interview sessions for 18th Winter, I was asked why I chose Sun Valley, ID as the area to base my book upon. Being an Idaho native, I spent time in that area during my childhood, and at one point, had considered moving there. The other reason is because I wanted a place that was close to Redfish Lake in Stanley, ID, as that is also a place mentioned in the story – I spent lots of happy summers there!
Entry: January 1, 2019
18th Winter was written with young adults in mind; however, the story within this novel is one that a reader of any age (16 years+) would appreciate, so I usually do not refer to it as an exclusive YA novel. The story weaves in controversial world issues, young love and mystery. I continue to receive feedback from readers, and people of all ages are diving into the legend of the Cyokiana, and loving it!
Entry: December 29, 2018
Donating paperback copies of 18th Winter to Juniper Library – Grand Lake, CO and The Community Library – Sun Valley, ID.
Entry: December 27, 2018
18th Winter featured in Sky-Hi News, Grand County, CO: Click for Article
Entry: December 22, 2018
When 18th Winter was nearing the end stages of development, I hired a “beta-reader” to simply read the book and provide me with feedback. I had asked her what her favorite part/chapter of the book was. She had said that the ending (last few chapters) was her favorite because that is when everything within the story comes together. This is a highly climatic book!
I gave that some thought, and agreed that if I were reading this book for the first time, the ending would likely be my favorite part as well. However, as the author, who has read and re-wrote this book so many times, my favorite chapters are 3-4, and 25. Why? You’ll have to read the book!
The manuscript is written in third person, from Collette’s point of view (POV). However, the last three chapters are each written from three different character’s POV. This is a highly unique way of writing a manuscript. But, I believe it is crucial for readers to be able to see the POV of each of these other characters at the end of the story. Let me know what you think! The Epilogue opens the stage for the next book…
Entry: December 17, 2018
MORE snippets from the book – just a teaser:
1) “I know of the legend of your family’s tribe,” the old woman said, shaking her finger in the air, her yellow nail crusted with dirt. “Aye, I know that you are the child that never should have been. And it is obvious to me that you do not yet know what you are, but the time is coming soon. Ah yes, very soon, indeed. Winter will touch the ground soon enough.”
2) Completely oblivious to the people around them, it felt as though they were dancing in their own private room, as the delicate tendrils from the ceiling tickled her shoulders like a fairy’s fingers. She didn’t even know how many songs they had danced to. Hours felt like minutes, and minutes felt like seconds. Their bodies melted together as one.
3) Jade looked back at her father and tilted his head to the side. “What’s with all the security around this place, you expecting King Kong or Godzilla? What’s the…?” Instantly, Jade froze, mid-sentence. And Collette knew exactly why, too.
Entry: December 15, 2018
18th Winter launched on Amazon in ebook and paperback. Would you like to see it available at your local bookstore, school or library? Just ask! 18th Winter will soon be available through major distribution channels who sell books to those venues.Entry: December 15, 2018
Snippets from the book – just a teaser:
1) Collette held back a sarcastic laugh. She was so darned sick of being special! What was wrong with just being plain, and not special?
2) “Do you want to explain to me what happened back there? I’ve never seen or heard of anyone being able to approach a wild animal like that, especially a moose! What is going on? No lies, Collette. No lies!”
3) “And Collette, don’t even think about asking your father these questions. Not one word about it, or you might just see things that are best to remain hidden.”
Entry: December 14, 2018
What makes 18th Winter unique from other books in the Young Adult genre?
1) The story encompasses real places, real people, real Native American Indian traditions, and real Native American Indian belief systems.
2) The manuscript was written without a mass of annoying tags, “he said,” “she said,” “he thought,” “she thought,” etc. It was written with the distinct intent of making the dialogue between characters, and the character’s thoughts as distinguishable as possible. This is a difficult writing skill that I had to learn along the way!
3) My writing style has been described as “vivid,” “passionate,” and “sensual.” These words were used because I describe everything Collette sees, feels and hears so that readers can become completely immersed within the story, and feel connected with Collette. I want readers to feel as though they are right there next to her.
4) I have a specific purpose for the way Collette’s character is in the book. I want her to be a positive role model for young girls. Additionally, I want people, of all ages, to see that even though they may be different from others around them, they can still overcome adversity! And, that there’s more to life than clothes, jewelry, fancy cars, and other materialistic notions.
5) The story within this novel demonstrates a degree of pure, unconditional love that cannot be measured, nor compared.
Entry: November 30, 2018
Tidbits of info about the evolution of this novel: over the past 5.5 years, the manuscript went through 12 major revisions, and a title change right at the last minute! I had originally titled the book as Cyokiana: Forbidden One. However, shortly before I submitted the book for the cover design and formatting, I changed it to 18th Winter.
The inspiration for the alpaca ranch chapters came very late in the development of this book. Last spring (2017), I went to an alpaca show where I was utterly overwhelmed with these adorable creatures; my heart was swelling with love. We met an alpaca rancher who talked with us for three solid hours, teaching us practically everything about them. A few hours later, that inspiration had made it’s way into my manuscript, and two new chapters had emerged!
Entry: November 28, 2018
There are many different styles of fiction writing. 18th Winter was written using a large degree of foreshadowing. The reader has to stay actively involved in the story in order to put the pieces together. This writing style allows readers to use their imaginations as they move through the story.
Likewise, there are some small things in the book that I purposefully do not explain in great detail because I want readers to develop their own conclusions. After all, this is what fiction reading is all about – IMAGINATION!
The storyline also encompasses complex, controversial world issues that may cause people to think a little differently about the world around them. While 18th Winter is a fiction novel, and is not “preachy,” it also is NOT a mindless story. It possesses an overall theme that could have an impact on the world…
But beware, this book is NOT for the faint of heart! There are very graphic, heart-wrenching scenes described in this book, some of which may even bring readers to tears. This is a story about unfathomable heartbreak, gruesome physical transformations and horrific scenes of mutilation.