*****5 Star Review*****

Proud mommy moment right here. Timberline got its first 5 star review! If you didn’t already know, I love 4 & 5 star reviews. They make me tingly all over, so if you loved or even liked the book, please review it on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews are an authors best friend. Thank you for your support 😉 Don’t have your copy yet? Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XQXR5VR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_dp_T2_dyMuzb2160039

on June 26, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

Timberline Release Day!

It’s release daaaaayyyyyy!!!!!! I’ll keep it short, sweet and to the point. Timberline is available on Amazon.com in the e-book version 😀

Also, Timberline is ready to roll straight off Barnes and Noble if you’re more of a Nook person. Very exciting right there!

The paperback will be up hopefully by the end of May, but I’ll post when I have a firm date from my publisher.

Here are the links, I hope you enjoy.

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/skye%20mcneil

Amazon: http://a.co/0MtSEZb

Happy reading

~Skye~

Pre-Order Timberline

Exciting news! My latest book, Timberline, is available for Pre-Order through Amazon. You know what that means 😉 Get over there and purchase so the book immediately downloads to your Kindle on April 11, 2017.

http://a.co/7deEJka

More details as to paperback coming soon.

Here’s the blurb:

After leaving heartache in the Midwest, Jessamine Davis ventures to the mountains of New York City to pursue her dreams of editing best-selling novels. At the top of her game, Jessie sees no pitfalls in her future until a wedding invitation makes its way from Colorado. After her assistant mistakenly sends her RSVP, which includes a plus-one to attend her ex-fiancé and sister’s wedding, Jessie searches for a picture-perfect date to drag across the Rockies.

Asher Whitaker is in a writing slump. The words that usually flow screeched to halt a year ago. Hoping to gain inspiration, he takes a part-time job at his favorite coffee shop. Nothing could have prepared him for the unusual meeting with a gorgeous tea fanatic. Despite his reservations, Asher agrees to accompany Jessie to a week of family time on Mount Princeton.

Hilarity ensues as the two strangers attempt to pass off their faux relationship to the onslaught of her family. Torn between wanting to keep her distance from the ex-Army Ranger turned barista, Jessie begins to feel something other than repulsion for the opposite sex. Asher isn’t the typical Wall Street type, so her attraction to him startles her. With his bold tattoos and teasing demeanor, Asher mirrors everything she didn’t think she craved in a man. His dimpled smile and tall stature puts her at ease and creates havoc in her celibate mind.

Between fishing and four-wheeling, Asher’s connection to Jessie deepens along with the tall tales he spins regarding the real reason he left his mundane side job. Every hour he spends at Jessie’s side only furthers his desire to be more than a boyfriend. Yet, his secret identity holds him back from fully disclosing the truth.

Though they had ulterior motives for their hiatus, the two discover something greater in each other.

In a moment of irony, Jessie discovers who the tattooed barista truly is—a well-known author of novels that leave women weak in the knees—but more importantly, the man she was supposed to sign with her publishing house before leaving New York City.

Jessie’s time spent with Asher forces her to choose between being scorned by love or transforming her heart for the future.

 

Double Trouble

It’s finally March in Iowa. So far, the month has graced us with 76 degrees and tornado warnings and snow in the same week. Yep, sounds about right.

Since the last time we spoke, my alter ego has secured a publisher. (I’ll post the info later on.) Pop the champagne and sprinkle the confetti!!!! Wahooooooooo!

Now that the celebration is over, it’s time to get down to business. Having two publishers is a thrill and a bit scary. My book with Hartwood Publishing is set to debut in April 2017. Holy crap, that’s in a month 😮 Time flies when you’re having fun. Anyways, since going through the editing process (ugh), I came up with the sequel novel in this series. It will be epic…just like the first 😉

On the other hand, my sister pseudonym also has a new title with Crooked Cat Publishing set to debut in October/November 2017. I am very excited to get that story up and running, though I cringe when I think about professional edits. I’m certain this one will have plenty to go around. A few nights ago, my brain wouldn’t shut off in regards to the sequel to this story. So, like a good writer, I got up and wrote until my vision blurred.

Alas, the double trouble begins. Two authors, two publishers, two fantastic stories AND two sequels on the cusp of my fingers. Now if only I could get them moving. Having a bit of writer’s block….or should I say procrastination? Yeah, we’ll go with that one. Sounds better, I think.

Of course, I am ecstatic beyond measure that two of my stories will soon be on shelves for my readers to dive into! #Blessed 😉

For now, I’ll leave you with thoughts of springtime!

~Skye~

2017 is THE year

It’s officially a new year. Congrats, if you are just realizing this 😉 2017 has been interesting so far. At present, I’m at work, watching rain splatter in a nearly empty parking lot. It’s MLKJ day, but I’m at the office. Dreary is putting it lightly since the Court is closed and that means reviewing open cases. Boooriiiing. I was going to work on my re-write, but of course, I forgot the notebook at home. Ugh. Cue hitting head on desk until an alternative idea pops into my brain.

Update on my soon to be published novel: First round of edits are complete. They were brutal. Dear Lord, I use words that end in “ly” and the word “that” a lot. If you couldn’t tell…..review my posts 😛 But yeah, now the editor has the ‘script and I’m anxiously awaiting the next round. I’m both excited yet nervous as the impending April release date approaches. I’m sure it’s the same for other authors out there. 2017 has produced one short story. Currently, it’s unfinished, but I’ll get there.

Right now, I’m torn between wanting to edit and troll the internet. Pretty sure the trolling will win out, but my heart won’t be in it. Ever have those days? You know, you should be working on a story, yet you don’t want to and your brain desperately pulls you toward the story. It’s some subconscious yearning that drives me batty when I don’t put pen to paper. Having unfinished stories or unedited ones gives me panic attacks, but small ones that lay beneath the surface, constantly calling my name.

It’s torture, really. Writing, that is. Fascinating, compelling, thirst-quenching torture. Ah, a writer’s life is the only one for me. It hits me any time of the day, the need to write. I’ll be putting on makeup when a random quote comes to me. Granted, they’re not all gold, but I still have to write them. I need to get them out of me otherwise they play on a continuous loop until I do. If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, please do. I tend to post those random snippets on there for your amusement or heartbreak, whichever hits you.

The Dallas Cowboys lost last night. Yep, I’m a lifelong fan if you didn’t already know. And before you start to judge me, just remember, I really don’t care. I’m a fan, NOT an encyclopedia of the sport, so BOOM. Anyways, the ‘Boys aren’t going to the Superbowl this year. 🙁 Next year, next year.

Back to writing, I think it would be useful at times if I had someone slap my hand every time I got distracted when I’m supposed to be editing. No doubt, my hands would be quite red by the end of the day, but such is life. Distractions are everywhere! Especially, when I’m at my day job….hehe. Yeah, I’m on ‘break’ when I write. Duh.

My goal for 2017 is to make enough money from my books that I can afford a trip to Scotland. Hint: I’m OBSESSED with the place and not just because of Outlander. I was enthralled with the country way back in high school. There is just something about mysterious mountains and untold stories of the Highlands that gets my blood pumping. When I visit, I am 100% sure I’ll never want to leave. And why would I? The place is full of stories waiting for me to pen. It’s a public service if I live there part of the year. I mean, it’s for my fans 😉 That goal may seem a bit pretentious, but hey, might as well dream big. Am I right?

All right, I’ll go back to ‘work’ now. And by ‘work’, I mean flipping through my current stories in need of revisions and playing eenie meenie miney mo until I pick one.

Stay safe out there if you’re driving. And if you have the day off, skate around the block for me 🙂

~Skye~

Je suis prest

Hey all 🙂 Miss me? So, I’m back as promised after a short hiatus. NaNoWriMo went well. I completed my novel within the 30 day period and received that awesome blank certificate. My wrist cramped up only a bazillion times and my neck is permanently kinked, but it was worth it. Anyways, I suggest that every aspiring writer participates in this friendly competition each November. Not only did I write a new story, but I also found some fabulous writing buddies along the way. Facebook groups are awesome in case you didn’t know. Once I do a few months of editing, I’ll send the novel out to publishers.

Je suis prest. In case you aren’t sure what that is from, prepare yourself for fandom. But seriously, it is Gaelic for “I am ready”….from Outlander…only the best Starz show in the entire existence of the channel. I could go on for hours about this show, and perhaps one of these times I will blow your kilts off in a post.

For now, I am exhilarated by this Fraser clan motto because I am ready. Ready for the new year; ready for the 3rd season of Outlander where Sam Heughan is scrumptiously Jamie Fraser (sorry, couldn’t help it); and most importantly, ready for a new book to be PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you read that right. Hartwood Publishing snatched up one of my stories. (Insert dance party) I’ll give you a hint: it was written about a special place in Colorado. I am beyond ecstatic about receiving a contract and on my birthday no less! The tentative release date is April 2017. Lots of editing and such to happen before then, so I’ll keep you updated.

As the year closes out in brilliant fashion, my heart is bursting with excitement for 2017. Obviously, I’m horrible at resolutions, so I won’t even use that curse word, but hard work is the goal. I strive to write more; stress less; and dream until I fly.

Je suis prest, mo chridhe.

~Skye~

October Skies

We made it to October! Pat yourself on the back if you can. I happen to enjoy October weather, though not as much as July. The colorful leaves, pumpkin everything, Halloween decorations, and assortment of cinnamon candles are the main reasons behind my adoration. Plus, it’s also one month until my birthday 🙂

After a tumultuous month of editing, I’m taking a break from that for a bit. The feedback in regards to one of my new books was confusing as some editors told me it was good, yet needed minor edits while another editor told me to redo the entire first chapters. Needless to say, I need a breather from narrative obstacles.

What am I doing to occupy my time, you may ask. Oh, well, you know, drinking pumpkin spice lattes, making cookies in the shape of ghouls, and, oh, yeah, PREPPING FOR NANOWRIMO!!!!! If you’re new, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month aka November. It’s where you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Pretty badass if I do say so myself. I strive to participate each year, though last year I was preoccupied with pimping my novel.

I’m quite excited for my NaNo story as it is set in Des Moines, obviously, and revolves around the legal profession. Here’s the skinny: criminal attorney assigned to a murder case. That’s all you’re getting for now, but let me assure you, it will be kickass. I find that stories involving the legal world are my forte. Hmm, I wonder if it’s because I’m in that field…..mayhap.

Anywho, I have a gosh darn good title (no spoilers) and two main characters sure to blow your socks off, especially the male MC ;-). Think tatted up rock & roll drummer with wavy brown hair, a nose piercing, eyebrow piercing, and caramel colored eyes to drown in to start. Yum. He makes a pretty good murder suspect. I won’t forget my Amazonian, independent criminal attorney that sports green eyes and a side of sass. Wow, a lot of  my women are sassy. I wonder what that says about me? 😉

Thus far, I have designed a messy web of the plot and character influence. My fingers are itching to begin writing, but I will refrain! To sum up: hunky bad boy, kick ass attorney, murder trial, oh, and did I mention the handsome cop best friend? Didn’t think so. Yep, there’s one of those sizzlers in this story.

An editor recently asked me why I write. Whew, how do I begin to explain? Here is what I told him, “Without writing I cease to be true to myself. Writing is my passion, and I am grateful to be given the opportunity to pursue my dreams.” That is the reason I don’t give up despite the horrid days that writing brings. I’m not making much money doing this, but it’s what I love. At the end of the day, I have to chase every facet of what makes me, me. I hope you can say the same too. That is why I participate in crazy competitions to further my writing career. Every little bit helps. You never know where your work will be noticed.

I may be in and out of consciousness in November, so you’ll have to excuse me if I skip while I hammer out a novel in a month.

It’s autumn! Try the pumpkin liquor. It’s awesome.

~Skye~

Rejection Paradise

September has arrived at last! So begins the pumpkin spice lattes, football parties, school, and oh, yeah, editing from hell.

August in Iowa focuses on the Iowa State Fair. If you’ve never been, you should. Just so we can add to the millions of visitors. Honestly, I don’t understand the appeal of wall-to-wall strangers, extremely obese animals, sunburn, and deep fat fried food. That being said, the fried Oreo’s are AMAZING!

Now, as I start a new month, I hope it’s better than the last few. Publisher wise. I’ve been trying to get one of my books under a different pseudonym published, but so far all I have is rejection. Obviously, I wasn’t expecting a home run. Ok, I lied. I totally was. Surprisingly enough, I’ve had more responses from publishers than I have for my Skye submissions. I find that intriguing and a little depressing.

As a rule, I retain all of my rejection emails. Why, you might ask? So that when I’m a big time author, I can provide a little hope for the other writers out there that want to give up when they receive that ‘Dear John’ email that’s so original I want to puke. I read somewhere that writers need to get a yearly amount of rejections so you get your name out there. The jury’s still out on that.

This week, I’ve received two rejection emails. One from a large publishing house. And holy crap, it was actually an email NOT just an automatic response that says ‘your writing sucks ass’! Between the two personalized emails, I’ve come to see that my MC isn’t ‘likable’ according to them and my timelines are fuzzy. I take their rejections and though they depress me, I learn from them. Point being, yes, my MC is a bitch, but I guess I need to make her a little more like a person if I’m going to draw readers in. To the second, I am currently re-reading and hacking where needed to make sure the times aren’t confusing.

Rejection emails are ok. It means you are getting your work out there and someone is reading it. Take the feedback, but don’t hole yourself away and cry into a Ben & Jerry’s. (Of course, I’ve never done that. That would be ‘likable’.) I realize that while I need to stay true to my writing, I also need to take the criticism too. I’m a perfectionist, so swallowing that pill is super difficult. I don’t want my characters to fall flat, but I also want my story to get across to the readers. This particular story has a LOT of me in it, so that’s why I took the rejections a little hard this time.

I know it’s no fun to get rejected especially when it’s your heart and soul they’re smashing with the key strokes. At the same time, those rejections make or break a writer. You either learn from your mistakes and succeed or you continue to ignore the subtle help the publishers are giving you. Don’t remind me of this euphoria when I receive another email from hell.

My goal is to not have those emails filter through my inbox. I only want the good ones, but taking the good with the bad is all part of the writing process. So, here’s to a fresh month, less rejection emails and more publishing offers 😉

Keep that head high and proud.

~Skye~

Here’s the thing

I survived a vacation in the Rockies. No bear attacks or anything. Believe me, it was difficult at times since I was with my family pretty much non-stop. I am adjusting back into normal life in Iowa. It sucks. I hate it. Let’s just stay on vacation forever. Yeah, that’d be great! As I haven’t won the lottery, that’s not happening. For now. It’s been muggy as hell here, thanks for that, corn. But alas, a rainbow still shines over the Des Moines metro. I feel like someone should be singing a campfire song right about now. Anyone? No one? Ok, back to business.

Today, I finished my latest story. At the moment, the title is “The Editor’s Barista”. We shall see if it stays. I gave a little run down of the plot and characters in last month’s post, so feel free to catch yourself up. After hitting that last key stroke, I began to wonder the future for my story baby. Yes, I still have to take my machete to it and edit, but after that, I want it to blossom into greatness. Here’s a little hint, it takes a publisher and/or an agent for that to happen. How am I doing on those, you may ask. Super. Just fantastic. She says while sarcasm literally drips from her forced smile. It’s difficult to get started when your feet are weighed down by reality. I hate reality. It should leave for vacation and never return.

Like many other writers, I have a daytime job. Sadly no, I am not a superhero who rips off her clothing to save the day with the written word. That’d be pretty epic, though. I’ll look into that. As I watched my newest Netflix binge show “Melissa & Joey”, I was disturbed when Mel tells Joe to “Go date a paralegal” since the normal girls he dates are bimbos and he needs to start from the bottom of the business sector. If you didn’t already know, that is the job title that currently pays my bills. I wasn’t really sure how to take that directive. Is it a bash on fellow para’s because we’re not attorneys or is it implying that we’re merely stepping stones to someone better? Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled with my job being thrown under the bus. Although, if Joey Lawrence was in my dating pool, I would not turn him down.

The episode last night got me thinking about my career. Yes, I’m thankful to have  a job and all that, but is it my dream job? No. Listening to people complain all day and being a babysitter and bitch to 3+ attorneys is definitely not my idea of a ‘dream job’. Naturally, my dream job is renting a little office in the hub of Des Moines and write while overlooking the skyline. Pool access would be a plus and a coffee shop nearby. Oh, and locks. Let’s not forget multiple locks. Not because it’s dangerous, ok some parts of DM are but that’s a different story, but because I’m so sick of interruptions. I literally do not get any ‘me’ time. If I’m writing at home, I have pets and family members constantly jumping into my imagination. It’s weird how that works. And at work, cough cough I don’t write at work, there’s a slew of distractions every minute of every hour. So yes, I want a peaceful little office space with quiet neighbors, preferably mega hot guys who lost their shirts in a dreadful fire. I like some distractions. Really, maybe just an office in a suite so I can have a little company, but then bar my door when I’m done. I would need like one or two funny people. Surprisingly, I’m not this witty on my own. Shocking, I know.

We can’t all be famous writers. Just like in Congress, I think some of the older authors should step down when they reach retirement age so the younger group can move in. And no, I’m never ever EVER talking politics on here. Just no. But really, if maybe a few fans wanted to hop off of the bandwagon of the famous authors and check out us small, budding writers, they wouldn’t be disappointed. Just because we’re not on billboards or commercials doesn’t mean we’re a lost cause. I can’t believe that. Not when my life orbits fantasy island on a daily basis.

So, here’s the thing, taking a chance at your dream job is scary as hell. Putting yourself out there for the entire world to ridicule and ignore is pants-wetting scary. I don’t want to be super famous and be on a first name basis with Prince Harry. Ok, who am I kidding, of course I do! It’s called a ‘dream’ job because that’s what it is for most people. Thankfully, I get to fly around in my dream every time I pick up a pen or type on my laptop. Don’t let the fear of falling hinder your flight. I don’t know who said that, but I’m sure someone famous did, so don’t think I’m plagiarizing because that’s happened a lot lately.

Keep that dream job in sight. I know I do every single day.

~Skye~

Sunshine and Mountain Streams

Summer has once again graced our Iowan lands and it’s about time! There is nothing I love more than to bask in the sun (with SPF 1000 of course) and feel a warm breeze. Along with that, comes the dreaded humidity, which on a good day, makes my curls look either like a frizzy mess or droopy strands. It’s Iowa; love it or hate it. I’m a bit caught in between that line. So, since it’s a balmy 94 today, I am greatly looking forward to splashing in a mountain creek this weekend. Yep, it’s that time again. Vacation!!! Woooo!! Yaay! OMG, so stoked! Ok, calm down there, Skye, you have to go back to work after a week.

As if anticipating my venture to the cabin on Mt. Princeton (the only Prince I’ll ever need), my subconscious graced me with a new story idea last week. The dreams strike again, and I’m glad they did. Since jotting down the dream idea, I’ve been writing almost nonstop. To put it in perspective for you, I filled one notebook in a day. Yeah, I’m going to need a new hand pretty soon here.

Back to the story, it’s a romantic comedy. One of my favorite genres! I won’t give too much away, but I will say it involves an editor that loathes romance. As irony strikes, she is the top editor for new romance authors. Enter Army Rangers veteran and all around hottie with a body, who also happens to be a writer. When the heroine inadvertently RSVPs to her sister’s mountainside wedding with a plus one, she is forced to find a date and fast. Good thing for her, she is a bit klutzy and finds the perfect patsy who also makes a horrible cup of tea.

Nope. That’s all you get! Don’t make me change the story plot (because I totally will) 😀

Suffice to say, I’m pretty darn stoked about this story. I’m still in the “fun” part of writing. You know, when you are excited about the characters instead of yanking your hair out in the editing stages. That will come eventually. Goal: to finish before vacation. Ha! That’s not happening, so I’ll cross that one off my list. Realistic goal: kick major ass and get a publisher before the end of the summer. Yeah, I reach for the sky. It’s what I do 😉

I leave you now to pack for my vacation, to write my characters into oblivion, oh, and to work. Yeah, I should probably do that too.

Find that silver lining!

~Skye~