Blog Updated! Now Including Educational Consulting!

A brief introduction to a different side of me, the Educational Consultant side!

Hello Everyone!

I’ve finally expanded this blog to include a page detailing my educational consulting, which is an area I’ve recently been working on expanding. As a teacher with several years of experience in a high-needs school and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and assessment, I believe I’ve got the skills and knowledge necessary to support your school or education based project! You can always contact me through the form above, and we can talk about specifics. I’ve included a few of my previous projects there as well. Let your friends and family know!



Vacation Over!

I’m Back!

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long January, but I needed a break from everything. I look forward to getting back into writing and posting here for your benefit soon. I do, after all, have half a book to finish!

And now, a Quote:

“Sometimes in life, we are not who we want to be. But always, we are who we need to be.”

Happy February!

Two new chapters done!

A brief update – I’m alive!

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post briefly to let people know that a.) I’m alive and b.) I’m still typing. I finished up an entire chapter featuring everyone’s favorite bad guy/assassin/mechawolf thief. Now I’m typing up the end of a chapter introducing the newly handicapped but no less iron-willed Octavia.

By the way, the winner of the poster contest from my last couple of posts was Mrs. Judy Stone! Congrats! Your posters will be in the mail by Friday. Woo! Enjoy!

Navigating Difficult Waters

Moments in life can get you down. How I’m navigating some difficult waters.

Sometimes in life, we have those moments. Those ‘my boss just chastised me in front of everyone’ moments. Those ‘my second job is not bringing home much money, and we’ve got a ton of bills due’ moments. Those ‘my significant other just broke up with me for the mailwoman’ moments. We all have them. And you can’t help but feel down. Like, suddenly, you’re not worth it anymore, or what you’ve been doing for years isn’t what you should be doing. Sure, we all put on a good face, smile and nod while we turn on autopilot and navigate our day. And suddenly, you snap out of it, and it’s 8 pm on a Thursday and you can’t remember what you did Monday – Wednesday, much less what you did today.

We all get them. And we all wish we could get that time back. I know I have experienced that, much like my friends, family, coworkers. As a teacher, sometimes you think ‘the first day of school was how long ago?’ and realize you’re into December. As a writer, it can be even worse. You realize you haven’t written in a few days, but in reality, its been two weeks, and you have to reread what you’ve written (and, of course, half of it feels like rubbish).

Some of you may have noticed I’m posting weekly, but just once now. It’s an effort to not only give me something different to due during the week, but also allow me to schedule it and complete it early, so I can do something different. I want to be more productive. That’s my goal for the year. I find that many people turn to complaining to deal with this. I have, in the past. It makes me feel better short term, but not afterwards.

So I’ve taken a look at what does make me go into autopilot – television, computer games, ipad – and what prevents me from rising above my own concerns and fears – listening to other people complain, spending my time socializing in the lounge rather than prepping for class, reading comments about the novels on Amazon, etc. – and attempted to identify counters.

For example, television – I’ve cut back my television watching to just the news in the morning and evening. I even cut down on the number of channels I pay for to help me focus. I am going to the gym, eliminating some hours where I just sat and watched. I’ve tried to pick up more books (the library is awesome!) to help generate ideas and keep me engaged, rather than stuck on the couch. By not having a routine every night, I avoid feeling like every day is Groundhog Day.

TLDR: Sometimes we forget that the brain needs fun activities to keep it engaged. Plan some, do some, take time out of your day to do it. Don’t get caught in routine when you can avoid it.

What do you guys do for fun? Comment below or join me on the facebook page!

Copper Centurion Up for an EPIC eBook Award!

Copper Centurion is up for an EPIC award! Read more inside this blog post!


Good Morning to all my wonderful readers, and Happy Monday! At least, it’s happy for me, because I am very proud to announce that Copper Centurion is up for an Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition eBook Award. My first novel, Brass Legionnaire, won an EPIC award in the spring of 2013. I am extremely pumped for this nomination, especially as the judges are other authors and publishers.


I have always been hesitant about entering many competitions, as sometimes I doubt that it is entirely worth it. But I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I took the trip to Portland this last spring to attend the conference and learned a lot. I think such conferences are a wonderful way for self-published authors to network, learn, and share their ideas and knowledge! I heartily recommend everyone go to at least one at some point in their lives! Be sure to visit the EPIC website to learn more about their goals and mission.

Daniel Ottalini – Copper Centurion (Click here to see the full award category and Finalist listing!)



Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day Message and Brass Legionnaire Update

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’ll make today’s post brief as I plan on celebrating mother’s day with the one and only female parental unit (F.P.U. never really stuck me as a great acronym, so MOM works). I just wanted to give a brief update on Brass Legionnaire before I head out.

The print and ebook editions of the novel are being finalized as we speak. I’m getting the information from my Kickstarter pals and I’ve started sending of some Advanced Review Copies to different review websites to try and get some reviews before the novel comes back.

This is a big step for me. This is where it goes from being a hypothetical to a real thing. Will the reviewers like it? Will they treat it fairly? Does every author go through this moment? It’s like watching your child ride a bike for the first time without training wheels and without your hand on their back. Except with this, there isn’t really a do over or mom standing over you with a band-aid to patch up your scratched knee.

So as the proud parent of my first born (novel) I say to you, go forth and shine, show the readers all that you’ve got. I have written and created you and given you love and help and time to grow, but now it is time for you to run on your own. If you are a reviewer or reader out there, give my novel a good look. He (It’s definitely a he) has got plenty of character, twists and turns, a comes with a good heart.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Enjoy this day with the one person who (hopefully) loves you for all that you are and all that you are not.

My Top Ten Favorite Books

My Top Ten Favorite Books/Novels for your enjoyment!

Good evening everyone!

As an author, it is important to learn about your own likes and dislikes in literature so that you can create a product that you and your readers will enjoy. My own novel (soon to be published!) is actually fairly unique in the ‘world’ of the book category, but I believe that every author was, first, a reader. Here are my top ten favorite books.

10. In the Balance by Harry Turtledove – I love the entire series, but it blends together realistic characters and components of WWII with a distinct sci-fi alien invasion. Sounds unbelievable, but done so magnificently that you wonder if you should root for the nazis or the aliens.

9. Storm Front By Jim Butcher – Another beginning of a series type of book, but Mr. Butcher’s style and cynicism really bring urban fantasy into the forefront. It’s gritty, down to earth, not your teenage daughter’s type of zombie, vampire, and wizard novel. Mr. Butcher’s style of writing is one I admire and enjoy.

8. Conquerors’ Pride by Timothy Zahn – is an older novel that threw humanity against an alien force. An entire war breaks out because of a simple misunderstanding. Great read, realistic characters and plausible situations mean that you wonder if it could happen when/if we are faced with a first contact occurrence.

7. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – You know it, you’ve seen it, if you haven’t, I highly recommend checking the book out before the series. The series is awesome, but the book has way too many subplots to be included in the television show. He definitely rocked my world with his willingness to kill every single character I started to like!

6. Guns, Germs, and SteelBy Jared Diamond – It was required reading for me in my high school AP World History class, and became one of my favorite reference and support books. A great background book that describes why the world developed as it did, and why the Aztecs weren’t running around wielding muskets when the Spaniards landed.

5. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Iconic, lovable, our childhood in a neat little box. What more can be said?

4. Off Armageddon Reef By David Weber – An excellent series that melds 17th century technology with futuristic human-know how. Nearly made the top three, but the other one edged it out because of a week book number 3.

3. The Lost Fleet: Dauntless By Jack Campbell – Yes, another sci-fi space opera – bear with me here, it’s the last one I swear! And definitely one of the best.

2. Wheel of Time Saga by Robert Jordan – This was my first epic fantasy novel, and boy did I have to persevere. But the story has stuck with me, and I’ve reread all (now 12) books of the series again… and again.

1. Percy Jackson By Rick Riordan – Young adult totally claims the top spot against the field. Mixing mythology, growing up, and lots of action, this series and the Lost Hero ‘secondary’ series are truly my favorite books (at this time in my life, who knows where I’ll be in a year!)

There you have it folks. What are your top ten books?

%d bloggers like this: