Book Cover Reveal for Uprooting

Book Cover Reveal for Uprooting

Hey friends,

After putting a poll out on Facebook and Twitter, our community of readers has helped select the book cover for Uprooting, due out in March 2020. I love the cover. It symbolizes everything this story is about. It accurately depicts how Harper learns to root herself in the present moment and turn to the gentleness of nature to get past her limitations and grow to her full potential as an artist, lover, and friend. This story highlights her process to learn to forgive herself and learn that life is full of opportunities to learn and grow.

Here were some of the comments from those who choose this cover design:

“The vastness of the field/flowers makes it seem like she has her whole life ahead of her.” Emily Browning Cromer

“The field of yellow snapdragons brings a sense of peace. The color yellow represents so many things from Sunshine to happiness and loyalty. The fragrance of those flowers planted in mass brings back childhood memories. I think the pollinators would love this field!” Tammy Boughter

“I love the one with the flowers… it gives the illusion of a dream world, to me.” Natalie Wetherbee

“When I think of wellness, retreat, life coach and green witch I think of serenity and nature so definitely this one.” Cheryll Jones

“Flowers represent a world of issues that can try to define us. With all the beauty around oneself, our vision can still be blurred.” Author L L Shelton

What do you think of the cover above? 

Readings, Musings, Writing and Fun

Readings, Musings, Writing and Fun

I’ve been busy for the past two weeks creating a bunch of new video and audio content. I love challenging myself to learn new things about the world. I don’t know what I’d do with mysef if I wasn’t always diving deep into learning and sharing mode. Well, below are links to the things that have been occupying my time recently.

A quick shoutout to you all for being so fabulously supportive with The Pet Boutique. Bumblebee would be so happy and beside herself with joy to know how much her character of Cashmere has meant to everyone. She was loved, and she knows it! hahaha Thanks for keeping this story afloat in the top ten on Amazon. And I can’t tell you how much the positive reviews mean to me.

FB Live Video with a Q&A on The Pet Boutique (Don’t worry – no spoilers!)

A reader sent in a thought-provoking question about Taylor and the power in a nudge. She wanted to know if I experienced such a life-changing nudge myself from friends and even strangers that set me on a new course in life.

Check it out

Writers – I did a new Live YouTube video for you!

I get a lot of questions about beta readers, what they are, how to work with them, and where the heck to find them. So, I figured, it was time to share some of that info with you.

All you need to know about beta readers

My Favorite First Kiss Scene

I love a good first kiss. I mean, who doesn’t? If you say meh, I don’t believe you! hahaha Perhaps more than experiencing that first kiss with someone special, writing about that first kiss between two people who belong together is equally as exciting. Here’s my take on that…

A Reading with a First Kiss


Rainbow Book Awards

Rainbow Book Awards

I typically fall asleep by 7 p.m. most nights because I rise at 2:30 a.m. to get in some writing and promos. Well, on December 7, the Rainbow Book Awards began announcing award winners and runner ups just as I planned to log off and try to get some shut eye.

Ever so serious about my sleep, I logged off and attempted said shut eye. I eventually dozed off after some tossing and turning, then woke at one o’clock in the morning to, well… tinkle. I made the mistake of glancing at my phone alerts. With blurry vision, I squinted and saw that Elise from the Rainbow Book Awards had mentioned me in a comment. My heart skipped.

Fiction Books - Sandcastles

Suzie Carr Rainbow Book Awards

2015 Rainbow Book Award Runner-Up for Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
2015 Rainbow Book Award Runner-Up for Best Lesbian Book

I was so humbled to learn that Sandcastles is a Runner Up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards for Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction and also for Best Lesbian Book. I’m in the company of extremely talented writers, and am incredibly honored!

About Sandcastles:

Lia is smart, successful, and best friends with Dean, a gay man who is just as neurotic as she. Life is smooth and flowing, unmarked by much more than a little family jealousy here and there, until she runs into Willow, an exciting enigma from her past.

Willow, a psychic, receives a sense that something is off kilter surrounding Lia. Should she tell her, even though Lia, the person she’s never been able to stop thinking about since childhood, might run the other way? It’s a risk she decides to take, and Lia’s curiosity surprises her.

As truths about life, love and uncertainties are unearthed, Lia and Willow, two women in love with each other, along with their friend Dean, learn to seek strength from unexpected places and people. Along their journeys, the three learn what a struggle it is to maintain their sandcastles as they embrace the parts of their lives that really matter.

The Dance is with The Editing Team

The Dance is with The Editing Team

I’m so excited, and jumping into a bit of a happy dance because my upcoming novel, The Dance, is off to the editing team!

My fabulous group of beta readers were SO helpful, and now I can confidently rest as my editing team polishes it up. The Dance is about love and friendship, and the power of holding a deep respect for one of our planet’s most beloved, keystone species – the honeybee!

Purchase Here! 

The Process of Writing Fiction Books 

I love hands-on research, so I always start with that first. For The Dance I met up with a local, organic beekeeper and his spouse to learn all about honeybees. I experienced them firsthand. I suited up and ventured into the bee apiary. Standing among tens of thousands of honeybees opened my eyes to a whole new reality. They create wind with their wings! They buzz around happily, and if you treat them gently, they treat you with even more gentleness. I fell in love with them, and wanted to learn as much as I could about their plight.

They are in danger, and we can help. Educating ourselves on simple things we can do, like avoiding the use of insecticides and pesticides in our gardens and lawns, planting wildflowers, and writing to your representatives and asking them to vote in favor of laws protecting honeybees can have a strong impact. They are a keystone species, which means their death becomes the death of our entire ecosystem as we know it. A fascinating read I discovered through my research was Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive. Read it, devour it, and spread the word!

Once I compiled my research, I dove into writing mode, not coming up for much rest until I had written draft one, two and three! (Actually more like draft twenty!) Then, I turned it over to my trusty beta readers who then returned to me with incredible insights and feedback. Then, it goes to my editing team do their magic with it!

Background on The Dance

Genre: Literary Fiction

Release Date: January 2016

Short Synopsis:

The Dance is a dramatic story that deals with friendship, mentorship, and love. After a terrible tragedy occurs, a woman and her stepdaughter struggle to find common ground. Then, they meet a local beekeeper who introduces them to the wonderment of the honeybee world. As they spend time focusing on something outside of themselves, they learn to dance around life’s ups and downs, coming face-to-face with the many parallels between them and the honeybees they begin to nurture together.

Create and Awesome Book Title

Create and Awesome Book Title

One of the first steps I take before I write a single word of a novel is to create a working title. It keeps me excited as I journey into the new world I’m creating, and also gives the project a sense of realism. With every book I’ve written, the working title became the ultimate title. Except for this one time… Let me explain.

When I wrote my eighth novel, as typical, I began to promote it months out from it even getting into the hands of my beta readers. I had named it Picture Perfect, and touted that working title all over social media. My readers began talking about Picture Perfect on their newsfeeds, asking me questions about it, and really helping to build up buzz for its eventual release. All sounds great, right?

Critical Feedback on a Book Title

Well, here is what happened – one of my beta readers told me she didn’t like the title. I love my beta readers, and rely heavily on them for direction at the pre-editing stages. This feedback affected me in two ways.

Firstly, I cringed at the thought of having to change the title at this stage because I had marketed it so much already. I talked about Picture Perfect in interviews, blogs, on my website, and all over my newsfeeds. To rename this, and communicate this renaming, would take enormous effort.

Secondly, on a totally different tangent, I felt empowered that I could change the direction of this novel in such a dramatic way just by changing the title.

Be Flexible wiht a Book Title

A working title is just that, a title that keeps us working. I can’t say this enough – be flexible with it and be willing to change it. Also, be open to criticism on it. In fact, seek out critical feedback. Weigh it objectively. Play devil’s advocate with it. Don’t let your emotions rule your actions with something as critical as your work. You want to put your best out there, and to do that takes self-control to avoid the toxicity of self-preservation. Toss defenses to the side and listen to what people are saying. Is the feedback valid? If it is, let it sink in and do something valuable with this feedback.

The reason my beta reader didn’t like the title Picture Perfect was because it was prosaic and left no room for imagination. The title, in essence, told a story in and of itself that left no mystery. A story should have turmoil, conflict, and hold the reader captive with its lure of what might be or what might not be. The title didn’t match the story anymore. The story was not picture perfect. The characters faced tons of conflict that far dismissed any such nonsense of being ideal and perfect. The title simply didn’t live up to the story. It didn’t match the book. It didn’t grab her attention.

She painted a picture for me:

“If I were in a bookstore looking for a new book to read, and I had never heard of you or read anything by you, I would skip over your book. I wouldn’t even pull it off the shelf, because the title doesn’t say anything to me. It sounds idealistic and hopelessly romantic. It sounds like it is going to be a fluff story, not the soul-searching journey that is your story.”

After receiving this feedback, my gut told me this: My first step in marketing is to grab readers’ attention, and if my title does not hook the reader, I’m not going to accomplish that.

Jump into Book Title Mode

I needed to rename my book. My first reaction – ugh. I was done writing the book. Now was the time to pour myself a glass of sangria and kick up my feet. I wanted to celebrate the end of my fun journey frolicking through the brambles of literary landscapes, not recreate one of the most vital parts of the novel.

After I moaned and groaned for a few minutes, I got serious. I set aside my sangria, planted my feet back on the ground, and jumped into creative mode.

I would not come up for air until the perfect title struck.

I decided to make a list of concepts and emotions – words, phrases, fragments – that my title should convey. My lead character was on a journey to find herself, to find her value, and to understand her place in the world. She needed to understand how she related to her lover, her former lover, her friends, her career, and most importantly her inherent desires. So some of the ideas I listed included:

Journey | Dreams | Starting somewhere | Taking the first step

Removing comfort | Banishing routine | Opting out of stability

Taking that risk | Fork in the road | Start and the journey begins

Life doesn’t happen until you let go

I stared at this list for several minutes, letting each concept filter off the page and take up flight in my subconscious mind. The theme of a journey to somewhere formed, and connected to my book’s overall theme. As if the curtains of my mind opened and allowed the bright sunshine to cast its rays onto sleepy synapses in my brain, the title popped into my mind – The Journey Somewhere. It not only carried a bit of mystery, it also invited the reader to determine for herself what that journey started out as and what it evolved into.

How to Brainstorm a Book Title

When brainstorming a book title, aim to play to potential readers’ emotions and to spark their curiosity.

A great title must at the very least reflect the story’s content, create intrigue, and elicit an emotional response.

Short and snappy titles have proven to be successful. Not only do they fit on the spine of a book without effort, but they also tend to be memorable.

Whether you’re creating your book title prior to planning out your novel or after you’ve already written it, here is a technique that will spark fresh ideas.

This is what you’ll need: A magazine and a computer.

  • For ten minutes, select a keyword or phrase from as many headlines in the magazine as you can and type them out in a column.
  • Make a second column. For ten additional minutes, repeat this exercise selecting different keywords or phrases.

Now comes the fun part.

  • Make a third column, and rearrange keywords and phrases from each column to make a unique title.

This is how I came up with my title for my third novel, Tangerine Twist.

After I planned out the story, I needed a working title. I wanted something that would represent the name of a special guitar my lead character’s grandfather had given to her at a pivotal time in her life. When I saw tangerine and twist written together it clicked. I thought, what a cool name for a guitar!

Here comes a little extra notation on this title. Later on, I went to wash my hands and realized the bottle of hand soap on my sink was named Tangerine Twist. Fate? I like to think a little bit of fate was at play (smiles).

Toss some of your book titles in the comments!

Why Book Reviews Matter

Why Book Reviews Matter

Receiving a book review from a reader is a true gift. Speaking from experience, nothing makes a writer happier than reading an honest review that either puts a huge smile on her face or helps her to learn something new that she can work on in future books. 

When you leave an honest book review, everyone benefits.

Reviews help writers to grow and learn. 

When a writer is in learning mode, she is bound to create magic. By providing feedback, you’re helping to keep that creative furnace stoked with fuel she can use.


Reviews can help authors attract new readers. 

Writers can use your honest book reviews to reach new audiences. They can post reviews to their social media networks and gain new readers by them.


Reviews can help writers connect to their readers on even deeper levels. 

When writers know what readers want, they can deliver. Leaving book reviews can communicate these wants to your favorite writers. By connecting to the wants and desires of readers, a writer can bloom and expand her literary voice with confidence.


Reviews help sell books. 

Writers spend countless hours writing their books, and one of the best feelings is when those books sell. Knowing their sacrifices have paid off and that people are actually reading their work is one of the most uplifting emotions a writer can experience.


Reviews can lift writers’ spirits. 

Who doesn’t love to make someone feel all warm and fuzzy? If a great review is deserved, go for it! Nothing gives writers greater pleasure than when people genuinely rave about their book.

Your Book Review Matters!

All of this being said, a book review is a great way to help out your favorite authors. Your opinion matters. A lot!

The most important part of writing a review is making it honest. Share the good and the bad, and how you truly felt about the book. Honest reviews are believable to readers, and digestible if presented in a polite and respectful manner.

A review doesn’t have to be long or polished. Simply just say what you think and feel about the book, then rate it.