Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ebook Freebie and Finding Angel Giveaway

April is the month of generosity. Well, not officially, but for me it is. (And really, all months should be the month of generosity, right?)

How am I being generous? Two ways:

Protection's Prison is free on Instafreebie. No catch, no gimmicks. I'm just trying them out, so here's the link if you want to snag a free copy. No deadline, btw.

Protection's Prison

Genre: YA fantasy

Siophra's magic enables her to Protect living things from harm. But there is no way to Protect herself from the heartache she feels over her father's refusal to allow his precious Elven daughter to love a human. 

Her father's anger pushes her to make an extreme decision, until her love for him, despite his cruelty, puts her in a place where her magic becomes necessary to keep him safe--a place where her Protection becomes her prison.

**This is a companion story to the Toch Island Chronicles series and can be read either before starting the series or after. 







I'm also running a Goodreads giveaway for a signed copy of Finding Angel from now through April 28.





Goodreads Book Giveaway

Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach

Finding Angel

by Kat Heckenbach

Giveaway ends April 28, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
Click away!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Events



And....I didn't announce or take any pictures of my participation in PolyCon 2017. I mean, I got to go to a con in this building (Polytechnic University) and totally slacked:



Fortunately this cool group called Orlando Collector Deviants (OCD -- and yeah, they did that on purpose) took pictures of all the vendors, including little ole me.


If you want to see more photos from PolyCon, check out OCD's photo album HERE.

The next event I'll have a table at is The Creative Artist Gallery's Spring Fling Market on April 22nd.


Check out their website HERE. And come by to see me! I'll have my art, of course, and also my books!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Meet Willoughby and Friends

I don't do a lot of book cover reveals on here, but when you have something this adorable....

And it's a DRAGON...

Well.


Tell me that's not fabulous! I wish this book had come out when my Beasties were still little. (Not that them being teens is going to stop me from getting a copy for myself!)

And, here's the back:


CLICK HERE to visit Willoughby and Friends on Facebook.

CLICK HERE to purchase this adorable book on Amazon.

Congrats to my author friend Pam Halter and illustrator Kim Sponaugle -- wishing you and Willoughby much success!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Books for Adults: Keep Your Inner Kid (Or, Don't Be An Empty Onion)




I recently started watching a series called The Magicians...and before reaching the end of the first season I have decided to abandon it. Sorry, call me a prude, but I simply couldn't stand sitting through the sex scenes and drug abuse to get to the story, to the magic.

I've read some descriptions of this series, and as I suspected, I found a lot of "Harry Potter for adults" and "Narnia for adults."

Can we please, please, please stop saying this?

Listen, there are things that are adults-only, because they are not appropriate for younger viewers. This is why we rate movies and TV shows. We don't want someone watching something they are not emotionally developed to handle.

But something being "adults-only" is not -- I repeat, not -- the same as something being "for adults."

Folks, Harry Potter and Narnia are just as much "for adults" as they are for kids and teens.

Fantasy and fairy tales are just as much for adults as they are for kids.

There is a short story called "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros, in which the main character (an eleven year old girl) explains getting older:

"Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one."

Yes, we change and we grow as we age and mature, but that doesn't mean we abandon magic and adventure. It doesn't mean that suddenly the only things we concern ourselves with are adults-only. Shouldn't adults be more complex than that? Shouldn't we be adding and adding, not replacing? We want to be the full set of dolls, not just the outer one. We ought to be a solid tree trunk, not a hollow one, the center eaten away by the disease of aging. Imagine an onion with only the skin, no center--flimsy and flavorless.

The irony is that The Magicians really is making an attempt to combine those things--adult themes and child-like love of magic and fairy tale. The main character is a college-age guy who hits bottom emotionally when he is forced to give up his childish belief that a storybook world is real...until he finds out that it is real, and so is magic. What a concept! But more and more the onion is losing its center as the brittle skin of sex and drugs take its place.

A story can have romance and grit and deal with deep topics. It can have cussing and darkness and rage. I love stories that dig deep and get dark. I love stories that challenge me as an adult. The thing is, I end up finding more of that in middle grade and teen literature than I do in shows like The Magicians. I don't just want gratuitous adults-only content to make me feel like I'm getting something mature. I want real complexity. I want layers.

Madeleine L'Engle said, "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."

And "for children" means it goes deep, to the core of the onion, to the center tree ring, to the innermost doll. Stories like that work their way through the layers -- they don't stop at the outer skin. They keep us, as adults, filled from the inside out.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year, New Book, New Prices

2017 slipped in with little notice for me. Basically from October to mid-January, my life is a whirlwind. Necronomicon, family birthday, Thanksgiving, another birthday, Christmas and all the busyness that goes with it...and then New Year's Day, which is also my wedding anniversary. 

Advice to anyone thinking of getting married: Do NOT pick New Year's Day. It makes trying to celebrate nearly impossible. For one, your anniversary is shared with a holiday. There's not a lot to do, and traveling is crazy expensive that time of year. 

Now, it's finally time to settle in and get things back to normal. This year is starting off with a couple of things for me...

A New Book

I had to show ya'll the cool wrap-around cover. 

Mythic Orbits just released. It's, as the Amazon description reads, "fourteen of the best speculative fiction stories by Christian authors, spinning science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal genres into worlds of intrigue and delight." It features a short story by Kerry Nietz, author of Amish Vampires in Space and A Star Curiously Singing.

It also earned a couple of pretty snazzy endorsements:
"A collection of brief, delightful departures--and a few welcome chills.A truly enjoyable and impressive anthology."
--Tosca Lee, New York Times Bestselling author

 "This collection presents a satisfying spectrum of storytellers, some familiar and others new on the scene. Some of the tales are unsettling and some are comforting; many are thought- provoking. Enjoy the ride."
--Kathy Tyers, author of the"Firebird"series, CrystalWitness, Shivering World, One Mind's Eye, and Star Wars: TheTruce at Bakura
Order it in print or Kindle version HERE

New Prices

To kick off 2017, I've put my entire Toch Island Chronicles trilogy on sale in Kindle format. For the month of January, and possibly beyond since I'm just now getting to posting here, you can snag each book for only $1.39. Which means, you get the trilogy for less than $5.



HERE IS THE NIFTY LINK that takes you to the series page on Amazon.

BTW--always feel free to share the links for anything you see on my blog. We indie authors survive more by word-of-mouth than anything, and every time you tell someone about our work you are doing an invaluable service that is more appreciated than you can possibly know.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Catching Up Before Thanksgiving (and a Special Offer)

I can hardly believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I'm seriously behind on posting here, as usual. Quick catch-up:

Necronomicon was AWESOME. Probably the best one yet. I was on ten panels, and got to judge the costume contest. And I dressed up in costume myself (although, of course, did not enter the contest). And for the first time I entered some of my artwork into the art show--and I sold several piecees!


Me on a panel..I forget which one. I must have been looking at my phone?

My art, both the panel and the table (left of the pink mushroom thing).


Costumes from the contest.


Me and costume contest contestant (and dear friend and fellow author) David Berger. 

There were also some very STRANGE THINGS at Necro this year. Like...the wall from Stranger Things and the one and only Dr. Paul Bearer Jr. from Creature Feature. He is, of course, not the original with whom I grew up, but I was completely star-struck nonetheless. 

RIGHT HERE. RUN. 
SQUEEEEEE!

For more pictures, visit my Facebook album HERE.

After that came Halloween. Then a trip to Universal Studios to celebrate family birthdays. If you haven't seen my bazillion previous posts with pictures from this oft-visited theme park, here's a few:

Beastie 2 and one of her heroes. 

This is in Sapphire Falls (a Universal Studios hotel we walked around).
I WANT THIS ROOM.

Obligatory dragon photo from Diagon Alley.

Having fun with monsters in the Prop Shop.

Whilst most of this was happening, I have been painting and whatnot. I have several pieces on display at Center Place, next to the Brandon Library (in, of course, Brandon, FL). If you're local, go check it out.

If you haven't seen my artwork, visit my Fine Art America page HERE. (You can also buy prints there.)

And speaking of art...I am running a special at my Etsy store. Free shipping on everything from now until Christmas day. This includes mixed media (most 6"x6"), pendants, and wands. There is also one original acrylic painting (4"x4" plus a frame). To keep things simple, the code is FREESHIPPING. Just click HERE.






Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Heading to Necronomicon 2016

Me at last year's Necro.
Yes, I know, I should have posted this before now. But I've been working on getting ready for this!

In just a few days I'll be heading to the Necronomicon, a sci-fi/fantasy/horror/gaming convention in Tampa. I've been a guest author there the last few years, and will be again this year. But this time I'm also participating in their art show, which means I'll have my paintings, mixed media, and wands on display and for sale!

If you want to see the wands and mixed media that will be there, check out my Etsy shop (which will be on vacation while I'm gone so I don't double-sell anything). Also, if you can't make it to Necro and are wanting something from my shop, might want to grab it now...Just sayin'. 

If you want to see examples of my acrylic paintings, visit my Fine Art America page. No, not all of those will be at Necro, and there are a couple paintings that will be there that aren't available as prints. But this will give you an idea of what to expect.

Another thing to expect is a lot of geeky fun, including a vendor room full of cool stuff and costumes everywhere--like these from two years ago:





And now, the details....

Necronomicon 2016

Grand Hyatt, Tampa, FL
October 28-30, 2016

Click HERE for more info and registration. 

My panel schedule:

Friday 1:00:00 PM Maintaining Mystery without Losing Your Reader
Friday 4:00:00 PM Writing for the YA Market
Friday 6:00:00 PM Point of View: Head Hopping  HOST
Friday 9:00:00 PM Plotting a Mystery
Saturday 12:00:00 PM Writing Novels: Ending it Right 
Saturday 3:00:00 PM Why I Write Short Fiction
Saturday 4:00:00 PM Characters That Aren't a Reflection of You
Saturday 6:00:00 PM The Fine Art of Exposition
Sunday 11:00:00 AM The Care and Feeding of Your Creative Process
Sunday 1:00:00 PM Seeing What Nobody Else Sees: Art in the Eye of the Artist

Hope to see you there! 

BTW--I won't have an author table, but I'll be running all over the convention area the whole weekend. Don't be afraid to hunt me down if you want signed books, or just to say hello!