Bullets and Bylines Sneak Peek

It’s time to hunker down and get the wheels grinding again. Y’all, I am almost done with writing books for the year! The next two books will be out before my birthday in November, which means two books in three months. Crazy? You bet, but I’m ready for this. I’ll be breaking down everything going on soon (both with books and in my regular life) but for now, I just want to share something with you. Something pretty awesome.

Sneak Peek for Bullets and Bylines

A sneak peek! In the next few weeks, you should expect to see more and more about the next two books in the Emily Burnet series – Bullets and Bylines and then Cameras and Confessions.

Related Post: Everything You Need to know about Airtime and Alibis

For now though, you can read the first sneak peek of Bullet and Bylines today!

Read the Sneak Peek Now!

Websites to Help You Grow as a Writer

Writing is a joy I’ve had in my life for over a decade now. At twenty-five, that’s a significant part of my life and over the years I’ve learned about writing as a craft and my writing. Since high school, I’ve founded a creative writing club in high school, had my first novel reviewed by a HarperCollins editor when I was a junior in high school, and my minor in college was creative writing.

So while I’ve had a lot of school learning about creative writing, I’m also big on self-learning. The internet is a fantastic way to teach yourself about subjects you want to learn about. I don’t do craft-discussions here but people always ask me for writing advice. I’m not one to give out advice like that, but today I wanted to share some websites that are dedicated to helping you learn more about the craft of writing.

Websites to Help You Grow as a Writer

Websites to Help you Grow as a Writer

1. Writerology

As someone who writes mysteries that always have a crime involved, I’ve long been interested in the psychology of committing crimes and just of people. Faye has an entire website dedicated to this kind of thing, about really focusing on the characters and the thought process of them all. If you’re looking for a website that will really make you think about your characters’ motives, this is it. Visit Writerology.net here.

2. Briana Morgan

I’ve been following Briana on Twitter for years now but I only recently started reading some of her old blog posts. Not only does she do blog posts to help you with writing, she also has a YouTube channel if that’s more your style. Visit Briana Morgan here.

3. Helping Writers Become Authors

If you want to get serious about your writing, this is a website you must check out. K.M. Weiland is an award-winning author and the topics on her blog are pretty-wide ranging. There are so many posts on here, if there is something you want to know more about, you’ll probably find it here. You can visit Helping Writers Become Authors here.

4. Jenny Bravo Books

If you want a good look at what it’s like to be an indie author, Jenny Bravo has a great series of posts that documented the lead up to her debut novel, These are the Moments. She has a ton of other great content, but These are the Moments came out just a few months before my debut novel, The Assassin, did. So these posts hold a lot of meaning to me as they gave me a glimpse of what I was about to experience. You can visit Jenny Bravo Books here.

5. well-storied

I found Kristen and her blog back when I was in college and the lady knows her stuff. She covers a wide variety of topics, from creating believable characters to different methods of handling multiple stories and drafts at the same time. If it involves writing, she’s probably discussed the topic on her blog before. She also has a great twitter chat every Wednesday night, #storysocial, that you can participate in to learn more about writing in real-time. You can visit well-storied here.

6. Little Novelist

Rhianne and I talk on a regular basis, like every week at least (I’m terrible at responding, sorry hun!). Not only does she give great writing advice, she does author interviews and book reviews, so you can also find your next great read. As a writer, youl should be a reader first, so Rhianne’s site serves you on both ends. You can visit Little Novelist here.

Honorable Metion: ginger and co.

This happens to be my other site, and I covered a  lot of topics about writing over the years. Some of my favorite posts include “Why You Should Make Your Character Do Shitty Things” and “Why I Put My Main Character in Therapy.

There are hundreds of writing websites to find information and take your craft to the next level, there’s no way to successfully list them all. These happen to be my favorites and if you start here, I promise you’ll be in good hands.


Outside of Writing

If you know me, you know I have been writing for a long time. I wrote the first draft of The Assassin when I was in eighth grade. I was thirteen at the time and I’m celebrating my twenty-sixth birthday in November. That’s literally half of my life (almost). While most of what I talk about here is book-related, there are plenty of other things I do in my life besides writing books. I have a few other interests and I’m currently doing a lot of other things in my life, so I wanted to share what I do besides writing.

Outside of Writing

1. I have a weird love for severe weather

Having grown up in tornado alley and still living in Texas to this day, I’ve seen some weird weather in my life. While I never want anyone to die because of severe weather, I love watching the coverage. If you’ve ever had a tornado near you, you’ve probably witnessed your local meteorologists interrupt TV to provide information about the storm. Watching this coverage is a bit of a pass-time for me. Whether the tornadoes are here in Texas, Alabama, or Wisconsin (they had some this past weekend), if I can find coverage, I’ll watch it. Other people binge Netflix shows, I binge tornado coverage.

2. Building Websites

Before I started writing novels or even taking it seriously, I had a love for building websites. In high school, I took a coding class and I wish I would have stuck with it. I still love tinkering with websites, so when you see things change around here, that’s why. Expect another change by the end of the year.

I still love creating dummy websites to design and play and test new things with. It’s a weird creative expression I don’t often get out.

3. I am a planner

I love, love, love writing things down in my planner. I use the Happy Planner, which allows you to add pages and customize your planner. I have a section designed for content and book deadlines and I’m currently working to make plans for the rest of the year to bring more content like this to my website.

4. Country Music is 80% of what I listen to

What else do I listen to? Some pop and R&B and Broadway musicals. But mostly country.

5. Reading is still my favorite thing to do in my free time

I get teased by friends because I’m always suggesting when they’re bored, they should read a book. Most just laugh at me for loving it, but my house is full of books. When it’s time to move, packing up my books is the worst part of the process.

Outside of writing, I do a lot of other things to take up my free time outside of my day job. What are some of your favorite pasttimes?

Meet Emily Burnet

Back in 2016, when I was getting ready to release Double Played, the second book in The Cassie Morgan Series, I wrote a post that introduced my main character, Cassie, to people who weren’t familiar with her story. Now that I’m preparing to release the second book in my second book series in the next month, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to my other main character – Emily Burnet.

The process of creating Emily was such a different process from creating Cassie. When I first started writing Cassie’s story, I was fourteen and didn’t know how to make characters stand on their own. Cassie gets a lot of herself from me. Emily stands out more.

Now, I’m a believer that we give a little bit of ourselves to all our main characters, and Emily is no different. We both have lived in Texas (Austin specifically) and Emily’s hometown of Anna, Texas is about thirty miles from my hometown of Flower Mound, Texas.

Emily’s a journalist at a news station here in Austin, reporting stories before she gets caught up in trying to solve them. It’s a new angle to explore for solving a crime – something more hands-off than actual law enforcement but still almost as vital. Without journalists, there would be no one to get the story out to the public.

Emily happens to be one of the sweeter characters I’ve written. While Cassie has a healthy dose of snark, Emily doesn’t. That was one big difference I struggled to really capture. While Emily is much nicer than Cassie is to people, there’s this point I feel I need to emphasize – she’s nicer, sweeter, sure, but she’s still a strong woman with flaws.

Over the past few years, I’ve realized that writing strong women that are flawed and multi-dimensional, that’s become my underlining mission – to create real women. This wasn’t always my mission with writing stories, or at least I didn’t realize it.

Emily and Cassie are both – strong, flawed, independent (to a fault – they both get that from me) but at the same time, personality-wise they’re different.

Emily Burnet is the kind of woman you’d be friends with, easily. With her job, it was important to make her likable in a way that Cassie Morgan wouldn’t be.

If you’re wanting a lighter, more fun mystery series, Emily’s series is definitely for you. The first book shows her trying to navigate an aspect of a story she hasn’t experienced before – the law enforcement side.

This second book that I’m currently working on sees Emily trying to focus on her job and just work while moving past the events of the first book. There are also timely situations in regards to #metoo and topics of the same.

This book series has come together so fast and I’ve loved getting to know Emily and I hope you will, too.

For the Love of Words: Quarter Two Recap

When I did my first writing recap for 2019, I said I wanted to do these every month to hold myself accountable. Considering I haven’t done one since then, I’d say that didn’t work. That being said, this second quarter was an odd one for writing, as it was with reading and everything else in my life.

For the Love of Words: Quarter TwoFor the Love of Words: Quarter Two

The middle of March into April saw some big changes in my life, including a new car and a new job. I’m seeing someone a regular basis, too. I’m trying to go to the gym multiple nights a week. There are a lot of changes and I’m enjoying the change in life, minus the fact I’m still trying to figure out when I write during the day.

With all these changes, I got one draft done in the second quarter – the second book in the Emily Burnet Series – Bullets and Bylines. I started the third book again a few weeks ago, in the last week of the quarter.

I’ll admit, while I love this series of short stories, I’ve really begun missing the characters from the Cassie Morgan series and I find myself looking forward to going back to the characters. I think the reason I’m missing Cassie and her stories is the snark.

If you’ve read both of my series, you’d realize that Emily Burnet is not really all that snarky. That’s all Cassie is, and I’m pretty snarky when provoked. I’ve missed having the opportunity to express that in my writing.

That being said, I’m still fully in the Emily Burnet Series. 

With Bullets and Bylines, the newest draft is about 35,000 words. Cameras and Confessions is about 30,000 words but i’m opin to make it a little big longer as Airtime and Alibis almost 40,000 words.

I’m hoping to get back into writing this upcoming quarter. While I don’t think that I’ll get all five books out, I’m pretty confident I’ll get three out this year – setting me up to get back to Cassie Morgan in 2020.


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