Blog Tour Wrap-Up

 Well, we're finishing up this tour. Can I take a nap now??

Anyways, it's hard to believe that this is finally over. My book is out. People have been reading it. Reviewing it. Loving it. And my life-long dream has been accomplished: I have my own book on my bookshelf.

I want to thank everyone for all your help. Pre-ordering. Reviewing. Sharing. Fangirling. Even just reading and commenting on all the posts. I hope y'all enjoy Ravin and Adi's story.

Now that this book is out, and we kinda know what we're doing, more or less, the next three books will be published in 2021. And The Pirate Hunter Chronicles will be complete.

So keep an eye out in Spring '21 for Sins, Sons, and Siren Songs.

In the meantime, a few final links.

Buy signed paperbacks HERE.

Buy ebook/paperback HERE (Amazon).

Add to Goodreads HERE.

And don't forget about the giveaway.

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I believe there are two main reasons that co-writing TPHC has been highly successful.

The first reason is simply that Sarah and I have been friends for a super long time. Not only do we know how the other person works, but we made sure early-on in the writing that we would keep open lines of communication. No secret character arcs. No "oh, btw, I did this" stuff. If one of us had an idea, if one of us didn't like something, if one of us felt like the other was overstepping an unspoken rule...we went ahead and mentioned it. That was key.

But the second reason is Google Docs. *cue evil laugh* I think we could take over the world with Google Docs. Our favorite saying is "make a doc for it."

Every draft for every PHC book has a google doc. Every outline for every book has a google doc. There's one with site links. One with the publication plan. One for the pre-order swag.

And they're all shared between us, and we can look them up on phones, iPads, and laptops.

SOOOOOOOO helpful!!! (We also have a naming system, so things are easy to find.)

We can leave comments about things that need to be changed (like for editing), and even tag someone in a to-do (so we can make sure things get done). We can see real-time while the other is editing or drafting or just updating the schedule.

Seriously, google docs is amazing.

If you are interested in reading a co-written book, be sure to check out HERE (website) or HERE (Amazon).

Also, reminder...about the *whispers* giveaway (I'm starting to consider telling y'all not to enter because I kinda want that booksleeve and stuff...)

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The Pirate Hunters Themselves

Today I have the very first ever written draft from the original...Jay Hill and the Red Wind. This was first written in a notebook, which I still have floating around in my closet.


(But before that...links to purchase can be found HERE (Amazon) and HERE (website). If you haven't bought the book yet....WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE??? GO BUY IT!!!

Wind. A lot of it. It blew against the ship in powerful gusts. With every blow, a new wave rose in the air and clashed with another one. 

Torrents of rain fell in the sea, on the deck, and against the windows. 

The ship, a three-sailed schooner with a dark brown hull, rode the waves with ease, cresting the tops of large waves, sliding down with agility. Her sails were down, and even now she sped along with the ever moving sea. 

Her captain stood at the wheel, calmly staring off into the dark sky as if it was a calm afternoon on a lake, instead of a rough storm in the middle of the Atlantic. The weather, in spite of the storm, was warm; simply a sudden summer storm in July. 

In spite of the rough weather and the darkness of night, quite a number of the ships crew were on deck, not at all phased by the storm. Some were working, checking ropes and riggings; others were simply enjoying the cooler weather of a rainy night. 

In the heart of the ship, the rest of the crew lay in hammocks, swaying back and forth in motion with the boat. Some were asleep, but a few were talking in the rolling dark. 

A large wave rolled under the ship, and with a groan, she rode it down to another. She veered to the left, until her rail was skimming the water. She corrected herself, and flew over waves towards another ship also riding out the storm. 

The new ship was struggling, her crew panicked. They ran around like bugs in a rock, unsure how to wear out the storm. It was a French passenger ship, with a hold full of fine silk and linen, and in the cabins lay sick and terrified French nobles, who'd been expecting a pleasure cruise, not a game with death. 

The smaller schooner tore though the waves, rushing with eagerness towards the French ship. Her captain stared ahead with a sly smile on his face, and then turned towards his first mate, who was standing beside him. "Justin, ready the crew. We're about to catch up. 

"You see them?" Justin squinted up into the dark night. 

"Aye. We're close." 

Justin said no more, but ran into the sleeping quarters. He ordered everyone out on the deck, and then he set out to get those outside ready. In minutes, the entire crew was on deck, silently awaiting more orders. 

The French ship was unsuspecting. It rocked with the calming waves as the storm moved past. The clouds blew away and revealed the moon, and the dark brown ship that was now beside the other. 

With a cry, the French realized that they weren't alone on that stretch of sea. They raced for weapons, but were too late; the crew of the smaller ship were already jumping over onto the other boat. 

The French readied their weapons, but waited. If they were being attacked by pirates, it was strange pirates. There was no gunfire, no screams, and no cannon shots. Although armed, those on deck were standing quietly, as if waiting for something. Unsure what to do, the French hesitated. 

The captain of the dark ship walked calmly from one ship to the other, bowed, and said in a clear voice, "We wish to speak to your captain." 

The quiet authority in his voice urged the French sailors to leap to call their captain. He sauntered out of his cabin, lazily looked the other up and down, and said, while examining his rich belt, "Who are you and what do you want?" 

"I am here for news. That is all." 

There was a stark contrast between the two captains. The Frenchman finely dressed, in his forties, used to be in command, and rudely roused from his game of cards. The stranger on his ship was barely over twenty, and was dressed simply, but there was more than outer appearances suggested. His bright sea blue eyes blazed defiance, and his voice was sharp and stern. 

The two stared levelly at each other, until the Frenchman said, "What news are you looking for?" 

"I'm looking for a ship. A light colored ship, with light sails. A pirate ship." 

"The Captain Martin's ship?" The Frenchman stopped pretending to be interested in his belt. "Why are you looking for him? He destroys every ship he meets!" 

"He destroy's every ship he catches, you mean," was the quiet reply. "His ship, the High Dragon, is slow, but powerful. If he can catch a ship, it's a goner. But he can't chase - or run." 

"You think you can beat the man that's responsible for so many deaths in these waters?" laughed the Frenchman. "You are a bold one." 

"Have you seen or heard of him?" It was spoken quietly, not at all in anger. 

"No I have not." The answer was indifferent. "I'm glad that I have not, and even though you are not French, I hope you will not fall to the horrible death all manner of men have met by Captain Martin." He turned to look at the young man's ship and scrutinized it closely. "You have no flag," he commented. "Who do you sail under?" 

"No one," the man said, his eyes calm. "Smooth sailing, my captain." He bowed with grace, and walked away. As he strode towards his ship, he called out, "Let's go, my seamen! We sail North!" He leaped over the railings onto his own ship and ran to the wheel. Almost instantly, the dark brown ship turned and was gone in darkness. Thunder roared, and the sky clouded again. 

The Frenchman stood for a while in surprise before he ordered his men to continue on course, and walked into his cabin. His wife and two daughters looked up from their game as he closed the door. 

"What was that about?" his wife asked. 

"Some ship drew next to ours and someone jumped over and asked if we'd seen Captain Martin," he replied. 

"But the Captain is a dreaded pirate!" was the shocked reply. 

"That's what makes it stranger." He sat down and looked at the game. "Can I jump back in?" 

Sometime later, his eldest daughter asked, "What did the ship look like?" 

"You mean the ship that was here a little bit ago?" 


"Let's see. It was a dark brown schooner. Three masts, but I couldn't see the color of the sails because they were down." 

"Hmm," she looked thoughtful. "What did the captain look like?" 

"Do you think you know who these strangers are?" 

"Yes I do. I listen to all the ship hands at the docks, you know. Was the captain old or young?" 

"He was a very young man. Barely over twenty, I would think." 

"A dark ship, sails down, young captain," she ticked the facts off on her fingers. "What was the flag?" 

"There was no flag." 

"So, the stories are true!" She looked surprised. "I hear folks down at the shipyards talk about a pirate hunter on a dark brown ship." 

"Really? What do they say about this pirate hunter?" 

"That's he's the master of the sea, and is going to hunt down and kill every pirate in his waters." 

"That sounds like a bed time story, Helen." Her father laughed. 

"That's why I didn't believe it until now. He has no glad because he's under no one. He was hunting Captain Martin because he's a pirate hunter. He sails a dark brown schooner that flies like the wind even when her sails are not up. The captain is young and bold. I'm sure that it's true. And he was right on our ship!" Her eyes were alight with excitement, and her mouth was in a wide smile. 

Her father, however, wasn't to ecstatic. "That still sounds like a tall tale, my dear. But if it's a true story, we've passed out of it. I believe it's your turn." 

Helen nodded and turned back to the cards. She'd never see the ship again, so why get excited? Plus, she was winning the game. 

Cool, huh??? Anyways, hope you enjoyed that. :)


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For anyone wondering, you can now purchase Ships, Secrets, and Survivors on Amazon!!!

Website (signed paperbacks)

Amazon (paperbacks and ebooks)

Today, since it's a very special day, I'm going to talk about a very special character: Ravin.

Ravin, believe it or not, was part of the Red Wind crew from day 1 of writing the book. He just wasn't the main character (though perhaps it can be argued the Jay Hill is still the main character, even in the published work, haha).

In the beginning, Ravin was a full-on mercenary. He wasn't on the run; he was simply working as a sailor out of respect for Jay, who had beaten him in a duel.

He was bad-tempered, rude, extremely proud, and only obeyed Jay (and that barely). He did play the violin, but only sad songs. And he apparently had a family that had been murdered.

Here's the original character sheet, from waaaaaay back in the day. Enjoy. :)

Name: Raven. (Okay, so there was a tiiiiny name change here.)

Description: 24 years old. Raven has long black hair in a pony tail and light brown eyes that always look accusing. He’s tall and wiry, and he dressed in black, and a cape with red markings in it. (He’s a mercenary by profession, that has now taken up a sailors life) His sword is a nice one, handed down to him from his father, who was also a mercenary. (Um...he still has black hair, though he's now a bit shorter and has lost the cape...and a sword.)

Personality: Raven is black-hearted, having a dark childhood, and although he’s not proud, he’s willful, and doesn’t take to orders. Jay is always ‘having talks’ with him, He doesn’t talk much, and his silence is cold, not quietness. He doesn’t like strangers, and although he likes being on the Red Wind, he stays friendless, except for Justin. (Eh, yah...he and Jay actually get along, more or less. And he's not so...blackhearted and angry, tbh.)

Strengths: He fights well, and works hard. Life as a mercenary has made him tough, and hardy. (Dum de dum, yeah...)

Weaknesses: His black temper. His refusal of orders. He tends not to think before he acts, but he usually has no problem getting out. Usually. (So that's changed. He's like, not really impulsive, I think, but mostly plans things out as best as he can.)

History: Raven worked with his father as mercenaries, but when his father died, he went to his mother and kid brother. They were fatally sick, and Raven needed money now, so he got a quick job at an inn. When he demanded pay, the innkeeper called the guards and Raven was thrown into prison. He was let out a week later, after he made a nuisance of himself and they found he was innocent. When he got back home, his mom and brother were dead, and in a rage, he killed the Innkeeper. He ran, and happened to pass Justin. He was gotten safely on board, and then became a crew member. (That is 100% not Ravin's past/history now...)

Other: He’s plays a mean fiddle, though he prefers sad songs. (And this is 100% true, haha.)

Ravin was originally created with no intention of him being anything more than a side character. One of the "colorful, dangerous crew members" on the Red Wind, and nothing more.

But he's a well-loved MC.

Drop a comment below - if you've read the book, what's your favorite Ravin moment? If you haven't read the book, what do you think about assassins and/or knives?? (And don't forget about the GIVEAWAY!!!!)

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One More Day Until Publication!

The year was 2011, I believe. I was in Belarus with my Dad, celebrating the new year with some friends. When I got home, my sister pulled me aside. "We watched Pirates of the Caribbean while you were gone," she grinned. I personally hadn't known that was on the approved movie list...

We rented it again shortly afterward, and I got to watch it this time.

Long story short, I fell in love. Not necessarily with the story or the characters, but with the music and the ships and the excitement of adventure on the high seas. And, as one does, I decided I wanted to write a pirate story.

And Jay Hill was born.

I was big into RPGing at the time, and I remember asking my RPG friends for some character ideas. (To this day, I don't know who those were...I think maybe Martin and Collin...maybe Shade? I'm pretty sure Ravin and Heather were mine, and Justin Case was either from Sarah or me.)

In any case, the idea soon flopped. It revived again back in 2014 or thereabouts, when my sister and I were into RPGing in notebooks. We RPGd a pirate story for a while, but again stopped when I started working in 2015.

I tried rewriting the story again in 2016, but again, stopped after a short while. I loved the story idea - pirate hunters, a ship sailing with no sails, Jay Hill himself - but had no idea how to keep the story moving.

Then in 2018, a friend (you know who you are, haha) suggested that Sarah and I try co-writing a story together. We didn't take it super seriously, and pulled up our old, pushed-aside WIPs. And there was Jay Hill, still waiting.

We RPGd back and forth for a while, during 2018-2019. Then came NaNoWriMo 2019, and I personally had no idea what to write. All my WIPs were either in editing stages, or else "vague idea" sages.

Sarah suggested that I finish Ships, Secrets, and Survivors. There was probably enough of the plot left for 50K. I said, "okay, yeah, I don't have any better ideas" and wrote the last half of the book.

And perhaps the fact that now we had a complete book made us sit back and think...what are we going to do now?

Things escalated quickly. We spent December going over our plan, and when 2020 came around, we jumped into action. SSaS was now our main focus.

And now here we are. The book is publishing tomorrow. It's hard to believe, after all these years of writing...our book will be out in the world.

We hope y'all enjoy it.

If you are interested in getting yourself a copy of the book, you can pre-order the ebook on Amazon HERE. If you want something even cooler than that, you can pre-order the signed paperback on our website HERE (and the paperback has some super cool stuff that isn't in the ebook...).

(P.S. Don't forget about the epic giveaway! Got some awesome swag and a mug and book sleeve and an ANNOTATED paperback of Ships, Secrets, and Survivors!)

Have fun, and smooth sailing! :)

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Ships, Secrets, and Survivors Blog Tour Kickoff

Y'all. The blog tour begins on Monday. The book releases on Tuesday. I just...words fail me.

Thankfully I don't need words, as I've got pictures. In other words, super cool pictures of the items in our super cool giveaway!!

(Those can be found further below.)

But also, one final note: YOU CAN PREORDER THE EBOOK ON AMAZON.

Link is HERE so if you want the kindle/cheaper version, go for it. FYI, there are some super cool things in the paperback that are not in the kindle copy. (Hint...Mars did these super cool things...)


The blog tour will take place all next week, and we will be stopping by the following blogs:

Lia @ The Singing Writer

MK @ Sarcastic Scribblings

Clare @ Movies Meet Their Match

Ariel @ Scribes & Archers

Catherine @ The Rebelling Muse

Skye @ Ink Castles

Be sure to check out their blogs during the coming week to see their posts - we've got book reviews, Q&A's...all the cool stuff.

On to the giveaway!!

You get some really cool stuff, tbh. I'm a little jealous. All the swag from the pre-order pile (bookmarks, tea, sticker, card), PLUS a mug and a book cozy...jacket...thing. And I think you get an annotated copy of whatever of the book as well, but who cares because there's a BOOK SLEEVE.

Okay, the annotated copy of Ships, Secrets, and Survivors is pretty cool, though. Not only is it signed, but it has notes in the margins, handwritten by me and Sarah. Thoughts about favorite parts, comments on what we added in or took out, maybe even a few from Mars (who was our alpha reader and brainstorming partner).

Like, can I enter my own giveaway????

Don't miss out, y'all. Share, follow, comments, all the stuff, because YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO WIN THIS.

The giveaway will open on the 24th, so don't forget to come back here and enter!! And once again, THE BOOK IS GETTING PUBLISHED SO AHHHHHHHH

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Master Fiction Writing Class

We take a break from our weekly scheduled program (aka ranting and raving about Ships, Secrets, and Survivors, which publishes NEXT WEEK) to bring you some information about a super awesome ONLINE writing class!!

The Master Fiction Writing Class.

This is brought to you by the folks of Write2Ignite (a writer's conference that I go to and highly recommend). The Write2Ignite (W2I) Planning Team believes that God’s direction for W2I in 2020 involves making some changes in methods and programs. We believe these changes will enable W2I to continue providing Christian writers of children’s and young adult literature with the following:


Our focus is still on those who write for youth.
Our foundation is still Christ.

Our new format provides one-day Master Class workshops designed to help writers build specific skills. If taking your writing to higher levels is your goal, you will benefit from these Master Class features:

-Instruction by master authors
-Hands-on practice of new writing skills
-Immediate feedback

The first Write2Ignite Master Class for Christian Writers of Children’s and Young Adult Literature will be held Saturday, September 19, 2020 is virtual and will feature award-winning author Joyce Moyer Hostetter. The cost is just $79 USD. 

You may be thinking …

Master classes? I’m not a master. I’m not ready for a master class! Oh, yes, you are!

W2I Master Classes are focused, in-person classes taught by master authors and teachers designed to help writers who want to become masters at writing for children and young adults.

We’ve included plenty of hands-on time for practicing your new and improved skills, complete with immediate feedback. Our focus for W2I Master Classes is honing your writing skills. No marketing. No social media. No agents or editors. And only $79 for the full day.

Click HERE to Register by September 14.

Wondering what you get with your registration? Check out the schedule:

-Workshop I: “Creating Memorable Characters” with Joyce Moyer Hostetter
-Breakout Session II: “Guided Character Activities and Q & A” with Write2Ignite Team
-Workshop II: “On Writing Plot: What’s the Problem?” with Joyce Moyer Hostetter
-Breakout Session II: “Guided Plot Activities and Q & A” with Write2Ignite Team
-Workshop III: “Point of View and Dialogue” with Joyce Moyer Hostetter
-Breakout Session III: “Guided POV and Dialogue Activities and Q & A” with Write2Ignite Team

What to Expect from the Sessions:
-Creating Memorable Characters — Tried and true strategies for creating
-On Writing Plot: What’s the Problem — Structure and the power of conflict
in creating a great plot.
-View Point and Dialogue— Dialogue that works overtime and strategies for
creating an authentic narrator.

At Write2Ignite, we strive to create a constructive schedule of events that will help you increase your knowledge of writing Christian literature for children and young adults. Each of our events is created with you, the writer, in mind.

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s Master Class from the comfort of your home on Zoom. I personally would be going, except I am managing a Ride and Tie race the following week and will be crazy the week before (week of this writing class) getting the trails ready...

But hopefully others will be able to attend and benefit from it. :)