Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Would you like a free, signed copy of my debut novel?

Everyone who is on my newsletter list between now and the time I get my first shipment of books in (around August/September), will be entered in a drawing to receive a free, signed, print copy of The Influence.

To sign up for my newsletter, click here or you can enter your info in the form in the sidebar. >

You will not be spammed and your information will not be shared. I shall guard it with every fiber of my being.

Oh, and sorry, to be fair, I have to say that family is not eligible to win.  Besides, my sisters are getting copies anyway.  Don't think I'd leave y'all out.  It is a book about sisters, after all.  :)

Peace, love, and luck,


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Into Pieces" by Pamela Caves - Excerpt

You can purchase Into Pieces on Smashwords (several formats available), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or search for it on your favorite site!

Prince Humprey Uptree and his soon-to-be father-in-law, Gordon, concoct a plan that will allow Uptree to leave his brother's kingdom to marry the woman he loves. Gordon painted an image of Uptree on a large mirror and they hoisted it atop a city wall as the king received this message, seemingly from a witch of the wicked:  
Your men have hunted me and I have eluded them. So you send your brother to kill me? To show you my power, I have trapped him in the mirror world. No spell in the world is strong enough to break the hold I have on him. I shall do this to everyone you send after me. And if you should have the courage to come after me as well, you will be met with the same fate.
As Gordon and I watched from an inconspicuous position along the east side of the wall, those on the ground below, starting their morning just like any other day, began to take notice of the “mirror me”. There were murmurs and finger pointing. My heart thumped loud in my head. My soon-to-be father-in-law placed a reassuring hand on my back. “They’re coming,” he said softly.
We had full view of the front of the castle from this angle. A full contingent was brought out front; all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men were ready to move. Marcus soon stormed out of the front and mounted his horse. From the distance, I couldn’t see the expression on his face but strictly from his demeanor, he appeared angry yet focused. We watched the entire group as they made their way down from the hill of the castle into the city of Glendore.
The timing couldn’t have been better. Just as Marcus neared, the “mirror me” was hit by a shove of wind, wavered, and then toppled over the edge of the wall. Luckily, everyone was able to move out of the way before the “mirror me” hit the cobblestone and shattered into a million tiny pieces. I could hear the collective gasps from below.
A lump formed in my throat as I watched my brother. His eyes were transfixed on the shattered mess. “No one touch anything! Do not step on him!” His eyes were full of pain as he picked up a shard and held it as if it were precious gold. My heart ached and the tears welled. There was no turning back now.
He turned and addressed his men. “If it’s the last thing we do, we WILL put him together again!”

You can purchase Into Pieces on Smashwords (several formats available), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or search for it on your favorite site!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What to do with a four-leaf clover

Last week, my son and I came across a rather big four-leaf clover in the yard. I thought it peculiar that we ran across such a thing the week before St. Patrick's Day. So we pressed the clover in a book and thought about what to do with it.

I thought it would be neat to have something we could hang up so I created a little picture on the computer, printed it on photo paper, and super glued the four-leaf clover in the middle of the heart. Then I framed it in a 5x7.  Here was the end result:

Because that's how we've made it so far... through love and luck.

Maybe this can be an idea you can use next time you happen across a four-leaf clover.

Peace, love, and luck,


Friday, March 16, 2012

I love my sister so much, I shot my niece.

 As we brainstormed for cost-effective cover ideas for The Influence, I thought about my little niece, Julia. She is the physical embodiment of the character of Bella Mae Cassler in my story. I also knew of some places around my hometown where there were large rocks (you'll get it when you read the book). The idea was to get Julia around these large rocks and photograph her for the cover of my novel.

My little sister was all for it. But that led to a string of amusing text messages.

Bethany: What kind of book is it?
Me: Contemporary science fiction. What time will you go to bed? I'm in class but I can call you and explain the story if you're not in bed later.

As a parent, I thought she might be asking in order to see how her daughter would be portrayed according to the story. But as it turned out, it wasn't actually Bethany who wanted to know. She had been telling someone about my book and they want to know what it was about.

Me: Okay. So you don't care if the baby in the story is a blood thirsty demon? LOL (Please note that this was only a test to see if she would object to such a subject. This is NOT what the story is about.)
Bethany: Nope. That will match Julia perfect sometimes! :)

Less than 5 minutes later, I got another text message that was accidentally sent to me instead of Bethany's friend.

Bethany: She just told me it's about a baby that is a blood thirsty demon.

Let me do my best /facepalm /headdesk combination. */FACEDESK*

Then came the day of the shoot. As it turned out, though, the large rocks weren't ideal for my cover. While the shape would've sufficed, they were limestone, not granite as indicated within the story. So we ended up shooting in a field next to the Fyffe High School football field. It was the perfect setting for an Alabama-based story with wild onions and puffy dandelion weeds sprouting up all over. My youngest son was along for the ride, as well, and he helped keep Julia interested in running around.

Included in this post are some of the photos from the shoot. I don't know yet if any of these will become the cover of my book, but nevertheless, we ended up with some great shots of our cutie pies.

At the end of the day, I thanked my sister for letting me shoot her daughter to which she replied, "Anytime."

And getting to spend the day with my wonderful little sister and niece... priceless. Because ultimately, that's the theme of the novel; the love sisters have for one another. I should know - I have four of them and I'm grateful for each one. We may not always get along or see eye to eye, but I hope my sisters know how much I love them and appreciate them.

Peace, love, and togetherness,


Friday, March 9, 2012

Write for free. It's not like we need food or shelter to survive, right?

I read a post yesterday that, when it was posted on Writer Beware's Facebook, immediately drew outcry:

Godin to authors: You have no right to make money anymore 

Let me interject... one rule of thumb when writing content is to make the title something that people will want to click, even if it is a little misleading. Which this is. Sorta.
"In a recent interview with Digital Book World, the writer and creator of the Domino Project — a joint publishing venture with Amazon that he recently wound up — was asked about his advice that authors should give their books away for free and that they should worry more about spreading their message and building a fan base instead of focusing on how to monetize it right away."
The key words: RIGHT AWAY.  He's not saying that you should never be paid but that you should pay your dues first, so to speak. But that message was lost in a sea of objection - as if we didn't already know that starving artists also have bills to pay and every art (yes, even writing) costs money to produce. Why shouldn't we be paid, too? 

But writing is no different than any other business out there. Yes, it is an art but if you want to make money from your art, any kind of art, you have to start from the bottom and build your way up.  It's like blogging. I don't consider myself an expert blogger, but I do know enough to give advice here and there. And I get at least three emails a month, "How do I make money from my blog?" I tell them you can't... at least not right away. You have to find a niche and build it from nothing. You cannot expect to make a ton of money right out of the gate with any venture.  Even a brick and mortar business holds to the same principle.  Establish yourself, build your following, be persistent and diligent, and then you'll start to see money trickle in.

Several critical writers also pointed out that it's easy to say such when you make a comfortable living from your art like Godin supposedly does.  Let me point out that I DON'T. I'm still at poverty level when it comes to making money from my writing. But that's okay because I'm still working at it.  It's okay because I don't expect to become rich and famous from my work. It's okay because I simply love the art itself.  My motivation isn't the money... if it was, I would've given up a long time ago.  When you're a writer, it has to be about something deeper.  It has to be about an urging inside of you that drives you to continue writing despite the obstacles.

So how can I make money from my self-published writing?

-As I mentioned above, be persistent. Only through persistence can you reach your goals. It may take you a year, two, three, or many more. But don't give up. You'll never be satisfied if you give up.

-Don't be afraid to give stuff away for free if it means you can build a bigger following. Of course, this is an author's preference and is, by no means, something all writers should do. I choose to give away short stories and promo copies of my work and have seen an increase in followers (and reviews!) when I do that. It works for me.

-Be able to take criticism. I read a post from a lady on a content site the other day who wanted to know why the editor was rejecting her piece for "grammer errors".  And as you guessed, the piece was littered with them. She asked for help, a couple of people tried to help, and the next instant, she deleted the entire thing and wanted to close her account, still insisting that she was right and knew everything about writing. I felt sorry for her at first because I know she had to be embarrassed by the whole thing... but then still insisting she was right?  She lost my sympathy when she turned her nose up at the people who were trying to help her.  If you are one of those people who can't accept constructive criticism, then writing IS NOT your thing.  If you can't handle the criticism, you WILL NOT be able to handle the reviews.  Sadly, there are a lot of "high and mighty" writers out there just like that and it's the very reason why self-pubbed authors continue to defend themselves because they are being thrust into the same category as those who really have no clue.

-Pay your dues.  By dues, I only mean that you should put in the time it takes to hone your craft.  In my personal opinion, you should NOT self publish if you haven't either already been traditionally published or you haven't put in at least 2 to 3 years of consistent traditional submitting.

-Quality over quantity. Do I really need to explain this? Take your time with your work and as one of my editors put it, "Make it Siiiiiiing!!!"  It is not okay to publish something that hasn't been read by a circle of honest beta readers.  It is not okay to publish something littered with errors you're blind to simply because you're in a hurry to get it out there.

We don't need no stinkin' money.

Do I think all art should be free as suggested toward the end of the aforementioned article? Absolutely not. I think the real problem with this mindset is that too many consumers have entitlement issues.  A lot of them don't understand the creative process so it's easy to envision artists as pulling something from nothing and doing no real work.  Therefore, they don't feel as though they are hurting anyone emotionally or financially when they illegally download something they don't have a right to. This is as true with books as it is music, movies, and other creative media.

All in all, if you're really writing just for the money, you're going to be frustrated.  Frustration is not conducive to a writing career. So yeah, we do have to make a living and we have a right to make a living and charge for our work, but we have to first establish ourselves as credible.

Peace, love, and $$$$$$,


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Publication schedule for "The Influence" - Debut Novel by Pamela Caves

So right now we're working on the "next to last edits" before I go ahead and send The Influence (*contemporary science fiction) off to my beta readers. When I have enough feedback from them, we'll dig into final edits. Usually, at this stage, they would have already read it but since I wrote this novel before I started using betas, we have to backtrack a little.

We've decided we're going to dive into KDP Select first. In layman's terms, that means it will be available on Kindle via Amazon ONLY for a period of 90 days. We're shooting for an April publication date on this. During this time, I'll be doing a blog tour and begging asking for reviews. (If you're interested in me guest blogging on your blog and/or reviewing my book, shoot me an email at We're doing the Amazon thing first because it has the potential to increase exposure.

Around August, we'll have it available in print and on other sites. I'll also have copies in stock to sign and sell.

So there you have it. There's the plan. I'll start posting descriptions and maybe a couple of excerpts here and there.  We should also have cover art in the next couple of weeks. I'm very excited!!

I appreciate all my readers and supporters. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Peace, love, and editing,


*Contemporary Science Fiction - a story with science fiction elements set in modern day. If you'd like an example of a previous contemporary science fiction story I've written, see The Hand.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guest Post- Helping Young Kids "See" Their Savings

by Angie Mohr

Today, Pam Caves asked me to drop by and share some tips for helping kids learn about money. Thanks, Pam!

There are many ways to get your kids started on the path to learning good savings habits, but none is as effective and simple as starting them out with a piggy bank or even just a jar. Kids can begin to grasp basic money concepts almost as soon as they can walk and it’s never too early to let them start accumulating some coins.

Young kids can add to their savings in many ways: from their chores, from gifts from family, and even from scrounging in couch cushions. There is no such thing as “not enough money to bother with”. Help kids understand that every penny counts--literally. Allow them to pick up pennies on the sidewalk and add them to their savings. That way, they learn that all money is to be respected and cared for. People who don’t learn to care for the pennies when they’re young grow into adults who waste dollar bills...and ten dollar bills.

Let kids count their stash as often as they like. Schools often teach coin recognition in the second and third grade when they start to teach the concept of fractions but there’s no need to wait that long. Kids can learn that four quarters make a dollar and that two dimes and a nickel are the same thing as a quarter before they start kindergarten.

As soon as kids are old enough to count their money, tape a piece of paper on the outside of the jar and let them update their balance every time they count. This gives them a second way to see that their money is growing. There are (expensive) piggy banks on the market today that use coin recognition technology and keep a running balance but nothing beats a canning jar, a pencil and paper, and some basic math skills.

To see more tips for raising money smart kids, check out other stops on my March blog tour at

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It took me .02837 seconds to write this blog post.

Have you ever had a point in your life where it seems like time is moving spectacularly fast? I'm not talking about the fast pace that adulthood seems to take the minute you turn 20. I'm talking about when you're so busy that a month can go by and it feels like it hasn't even been a week.

My grandmother called me the other day and said that it had been a long while since we'd talked. She lives a few states away. She knows I try to make a point to talk to her at least every month, if not more. "Really?" I said because it didn't seem like it had been that long since I'd called her. It wasn't intentional and I'm glad (unlike a few others I won't name) that she understood and doesn't think it's some evil ploy to dismiss her from my life.

I have quite a bit going on in my life; two small children, a husband, lots of work, and a full load at school. This past weekend has been the first weekend in a few months where I've actually been able to breathe and I don't know when I'll get that chance again.

In the meantime, to my friends and family; I apologize if I don't call or see you as often as I should. I still love you very much. I hope you understand that it isn't underhanded or reflects on you in any way. (As a friendly reminder, the phone and roads go both ways!)

And to everyone else, if you have friends or family you haven't connected with in a while, try to give them the benefit of a doubt. If they have a career, school, or small children (lions and tigers and bears!), or all of the above, their sense of time is faster than the normal world. I know. Mine is on fast forward right now. It would probably make their day for you to just call, even if it's just to leave a message of well wishes and love.

Peace, love, and understanding,