Book Release: Tales from Pocatello

Gentle readers, almost a year ago, I published To See Clearly, a labor of love and a labor of many years. As I’ve said before, Bracken was a difficult character to write. I had so many things sitting in the queue while I toiled through getting his story just right. I hoped that after I got through To See Clearly, maybe the other books would flow from the pen with minimal effort. My other characters’ stories were ready to be told.

(Don’t forget that you can buy To See Clearly here!)

But last year was a tough one. I had a lot on my plate personally, and I was stressed and exhausted. I stopped writing almost completely. I didn’t even have time to read others’ works. But fortunately, 2018 has been better. First off, I’ve finally compiled my short stories like I’d been wanting to do for a long time.

I previously published my fantasy short stories just for e-book. I like being able to offer each for only .99c, and people can just pick them up and read them whenever. But it’s hard to advertise them when you don’t have any physical copies. So I put this together!

art by Adam Ferrando, design by Rachel Giles


Tales from Pocatello collects four shorties, one fable, and a map of Pocatello. Click here for a copy!

If you read all my stories together, you might see a theme forming. You might be able to see recurring ideas and places. They can all be taken separately, as they’re all set in different times; but taken all together, they culminate in the coming together of Something Big.

And best of it, they preface what I’m currently working on. Clouds of Coal and Magic is my full length novel set in Pocatello, after the events of all these short stories. The main character of Clouds of Coal and Magic is Lieutenant Saki Matthews, a young woman raised to fight for her country in a world that seems beyond saving. I look forward to sharing more of it with you soon.

Until then, buy my short stories, either in paperback, or separately for Kindle. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Pocatello, Writing | Tagged as: , , , , ,

New Release: To See Clearly

It’s here! The third book of the Grover Cleveland Academy series is finally here! Thank you so much to everyone who has hung in with me this long. It took so many years (yes, years, I’m sorry!) because I wanted this to be the best it could be. Bracken’s a really difficult character to write, but it was important to me that you got his perspective on our superheroes’ adventures. I hope you all love it. And even if you don’t, don’t forget to leave a review!

To See Clearly is now available for all e-readers at these links!

For Kindle

For Nook

For iBooks

A year after throwing in his lot with Rahab Carmichael and her quirky super-powered friends, Bracken Carnegie is a Grover Cleveland Academy graduate. And for a guy who always considered Seeing the future as a curse, Bracken’s present looks pretty sweet. He has a decent job, an apartment stocked with Ramen noodles, and a girlfriend that’s into him, failures and all.

But Bracken is still haunted by the consequences of his past life. Almost four years ago, while attending Cornwall Preparatory, Bracken was plagued by a recurring Vision—a Vision of blood. No matter how he tried to change fate, the future only grew darker. Was Bracken doomed merely to know of every horrible thing that would happen without leaving him any power to change it?

So now, when another foreboding Vision keeps returning, Bracken is too paralyzed by fear and doubt to act on it. While Rahab, Scout, and Hawkins continue their amateur superhero adventures around Boston, Bracken can only think about the many people he’s hurt. He can’t afford to lose anyone else he cares about, even if it means ignoring his powers and forsaking his team.

But will ignoring the people he loves the most really allow Bracken to save them? Can he stand idly by and watch the future unfold, or will he find the strength to fight fate one more time?

Posted in Uncategorized

Cover Reveal: To See Clearly

Look for the third book in the Grover Cleveland Academy series at the end of April. It will be available on Amazon and for the Nook on Barnes and Noble’s website. For now, here’s the cover!


A year after throwing in his lot with Rahab Carmichael and her quirky super-powered friends, Bracken Carnegie is a Grover Cleveland Academy graduate. He has a decent job, an apartment stocked with a case of Ramen noodles, and a girlfriend that accepts his failures. Despite the ability to See the future, Bracken’s present is better than he could have foreseen.


But Bracken is still haunted by the consequences of his past life. Almost four years ago, while attending Cornwall Preparatory, Bracken was plagued by a recurring Vision—a Vision of blood. Bracken tried to fix that future, but he only succeeded in making it worse.


So now, when another foreboding Vision keeps returning, Bracken is paralyzed by fear and doubt. While Rahab, Scout, and Hawkins continue their amateur superhero adventures around Boston, Bracken can only think about the many people he’s hurt. He can’t afford to lose anyone else he cares about, even if it means ignoring his powers and forsaking his team.

Posted in Into the Flames

Tate Publishing, Defunct, Deceased, Dead

If you know anything about Tate Publishing, a small “not vanity!” press located in Mustang, Oklahoma, you’ll probably know that its owners are tangled up in more than one scandal–firing twenty-five employees, being sued by Xerox, and now failing to pay their employees in the Philippines and having to declare bankruptcy, all the while making empty promises to thousands of authors that they’ll give them quality publishing.

I can’t say that I regret having worked at Tate Publishing. For the three years I was there I learned vast quantities of valuable information about editing and the publishing process. I learned to trust in the Chicago Manual of Style, how to spot and fix plot holes, how to strengthen dialogue. I learned how to write professional emails, how to multitask within a busy company. I made a lot of good friends within the production departments.

But none of us liked who we were working for. We didn’t like the way the Tates treated us, and we didn’t like the way the Tates treated our authors. We did the best we could with what we were given, but we felt like peons in a larger structure. Some of us quit. Some of us were fired. Some of us even volunteered to get fired after this infamous staff meeting.

I was fortunate in that I chose to quit approximately one month before shit got real over there. Instead, for the past four years I’ve been blessed to work with authors on my own terms and put to use everything that I learned at Tate while also getting to homeschool my children.

I’m happy to hear that Tate Publishing is closing. I’m not happy to hear that over a thousand authors are not going to see their manuscripts published and their contracts honored. I can’t do much about it, but here’s what I can do.

If you’re a Tate author who didn’t get your manuscript to the editing phase or were unhappy with the editing that you did get, please contact me via my contact form. I’ll concept or copy edit your manuscript at my “personal friend discount” fee. I’ll make sure to give your words the attention they deserve.

I’m sorry I can’t do more. But hopefully, this will be the end of the saga that is Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC.

Posted in Editing | Tagged as: ,

A Work from Home Mom, 2016

Things have changed a lot from when I started yesterday’s post. For starters, my kids are now in Kindergarten and capable of making their own peanut butter sandwiches instead of being toddler sippy cup junkies. In case you can’t gather from this post, we homeschool. Another difference between now and then is I have a steady stream of author clients whereas two years ago I was more of a sporadic editor. I am very happy about this. Editing is something I love to do (also I love how it helps us pay for our kids’ extra curricular activities and our Netflix account).

This timeline recounts, in approximation, a day in the life of Jessie Sanders, November 2016.

7:20 The boy creeps stealthily, like a ninja (or so he thinks) into my room. I tell him to go back to bed although honestly he’s probably been playing for half an hour already, and I go back to sleep.

7:30 Sean’s alarm goes off.

7:32 I get up. Help the boy with his cereal and milk. Unload the dishwasher. Check Facebook.

7:50-8:10 Do math with the boy. As usual, he does two lessons, because he never believes me that he is only required to do two pages.

8:10-8:45 Listen to the boy stumble through four pages of Bugs and Us.

8:40 The girl wakes up and stands next to me like a spectre while I wish John would sound out “honey bee” already. I mean seriously, son, it sounds like it’s spelled! There’s no tricky dipthongs here!

8:45 Send the boy to play in his room while I help the girl with her math.

9:00 Make Sean’s lunch, make Sean get up for work, make coffee, get the girl some breakfast, tell the boy that he can’t have second breakfast.

9:10-10:00 Dump some brine shrimp eggs into salt water so they’ll hatch and we can look at them under a microscope the next day.  (Note: they never hatched.) Review the process of reproduction. Memory verses and reading from Adventures in Ancient Greece complete our school work for the day.

10:00-11:00 Boy and Girl get to watch Octonauts (justified because we’re supposed to be learning about the ocean this month). I copyedit a sample from a potential client/author.

11:00-11:30 Throw food at the kids.

11:30-1:00 Send the kids outside to play. I finish my second round of edits on a different manuscript, email them back to author.

1:00-3:30 Facebook, a little Netflix, a lot of breaking up fights between Boy and Girl. Mostly I’m working on the manuscript that I’ve been concept editing for over a month. 360 pages down, only 185 to go!

3:45-5:15 Go to the YMCA.

5:30-6:30 Make dinner, welcome Sean home from work, eat dinner.

6:30-9:45 Weekly date at Starbucks with my writing group. I write 2800 words on GCA3.

10:00-midnight Spurred my success at writing night, I come home and write another 4,000 words on GCA3, then stare at it for twenty minutes to wonder if I’ve really, after over two years of writing and editing, finished this stupid, stupid novel.

And now all that’s left for you, dear reader, is to wait patiently while Grover Cleveland Academy #3: To See Clearly is edited and published so you can see the fruits of my labors! Until then, catch up on the Grover Cleveland Academy series if you haven’t already.

Into the Flames for Nook, iPad, kobo, or Kindle

Diving In for Nook, iPad, kobo, or Kindle

And check out my short story series: The Soldier and Kerri, A Telling, Starcrossed, and Fire and Lightning.


Posted in Editing, Personal, Writing

A Work from Home Mom, 2014

Below is a blog post I started over two years ago. I never finished it because…well, because I was busy taking care of my toddlers. I saved it as a draft and was never able to come back to it. But today seemed a good time to brush it off and post it because it notes an important time in my life: the time when I started working on the latest draft of Grocer Cleveland Academy #3: To See Clearly. Yes, it’s been that long.

So I thought it would be fun to post this blast from the past. Tomorrow I’ll post an update so you can see how much my life has changed and stayed the same over the years. I present for your reading pleasure, a day in the life of Jessie Sanders, April 2014

7:20 I hear the boy turn on his light and start playing with his Captain America action figure. I am thankful that the boy slept past 7 am and go back to sleep.

7:30 Sean’s alarm goes off.

7:35 Sean’s alarm goes off again. The boy and the girl both start calling for me from their rooms.

7:36-7:50 Let the kids out of their rooms and make sure they use the toilet and put on clean underwear.

7:50-8:17 Make oatmeal, pour milk into sippy cups, set the kids down at the counter with said oatmeal, make Sean’s lunch, kiss Sean goodbye, sweep the kitchen, and unload the dishwasher.

8:17-8:25 Clean up breakfast, send the kids to play in the living room.

8:27 Retire to the living room with a bottled Starbucks frappucino (because I remembered to buy some yesterday but somehow forgot to buy a new bag of coffee beans), get out my laptop.

8:30 Tweak some stories, a project I started last night that could totally put off, but I would rather do this than something bigger and more involved.

8:37 First tears of the day. The boy bit the girl. The boy, upset that I make him apologize to his sister, retires to his room to play. Comes out two minutes later.

8:45 Finish my coffee. 🙁

8:48 Finish story tweaking and get on Facebook.

8:55 Decide I really must get to work on GCA3. I need to change my outline, tweak some things, and then, if I have time, start at the very beginning (again) and start rewriting.

9:00-10:33 Turn on a movie for the kids. They alternate between watching it, jumping on the couch, and wrestling. I alternate between working on my story outline and browsing the Internet.

10:34-39 Movie is over. Kids go to the bathroom and try to convince me to put in another movie. When I say no, they start playing with the books on the dining room floor.

10:40-11:00 Send the kids to play in their room so I can clean up the dining room.

11:00-11:50 Make lunch. Eat lunch. Clean spills, refill sippy cups, wipe faces, wash dishes.

11:50-12:10 Put the boy down for a nap.

12:10-12:30 Mop and tidy the kitchen. The girl pretends the wet floor is a frozen fjord that she must cross to find Princess Anna.

12:30-1:45 The girl plays relatively quietly in the living room. I’m back to Facebooking/working on the outline. Begin to wonder wether fixing the plot is really working and if I shouldn’t go back to previous outline.

1:45 The boy stirs.

1:50-2:35 Put the kids in jackets and shoes and send them outside. Pick up toys and dirty clothes, straighten the couch cushions, play on the internet, edit a little bit on GCA3 chapter one.

2:40 Snack time!

3:00 Put the girl down for a nap.

3:10-3:35 Clean the bathrooms.

This is where I stopped writing down my day. I’m assuming the day ended with play with the kids, making dinner, watching Netflix with my family. But the details are left to time. Tomorrow, we zoom back to the present and see how I live my life now!

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized, Writing

Unpopular Book Opinions

I’m breaking my blogging hiatus to post this book list that I stole from my friend the Lady Okie. I love book lists! So here you go.

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like.

There’s probably a lot more that aren’t coming to mind, but most recently, Rick Riordan’s new series about Magnus Chase. I was hoping that it would be more like Heroes of Olympus, but it was like a rehash of Percy Jackson except with Norse gods. Like, if you lined up Percy and Magnus next to each other, I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. So, yeah. I was hoping for something different instead of more of the same.

In the same vein, Eleanor and Park. I love all of Rainbow Rowell’s books, but this one fell flat for me, so I’m mad it’s the one that’s getting turned into a movie. I’m assuming my dislike is because I never went to public school.


2. A popular book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
Everybody I know either dislikes the whole Divergent series or, if they like the first two books, hated Allegiant, and I don’t know why. I mean, it’s not Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it takes a logical turn of events and rounds out the themes started in book one. When I got to the end, I was happy.
3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with.
I can’t think of any.
4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for.
Romance. Crime/thriller/mystery.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.
Severus Snape.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
My bookstagram feed is full of Sarah J. Maas, and I haven’t felt compelled to pick any of her books up yet.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. 
A mysterious man sweeping a girl off her feet and telling her she’s the answer to everything. Or a girl who’s supposed to be super powerful but is also really dumb. Katniss, I’m looking at you.
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.
A Song of Ice and Fire. I watched five seasons of Game of Thrones and I don’t have time or desire to go back into that plot in greater detail.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or TV show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
The Hunger Games, definitely, and even the movie only brought me up to a “meh.”
A less well-known one would be John Carter of Mars.
Posted in Reading | Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

When I Grow Up

I knew I wanted to be an author when I was six years old and my aunt told me that “The White-Pawed Kitten” was one of the best stories she’d ever read. And then my mom, a much less effervescent person, told me that it was pretty good work for a six-year-old. So I knew I must actually have some potential.
When I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them. “I want to be an author!” I remember that they would laugh, but my mom always smiled like she was proud of me. I think she probably was. It made me happy to think that everybody else thought I was ridiculous but my mom knew I could do it.

My mom has always been there to make sure my dream became a reality. When I showed her something I had written, first she would attack it with her trusty red pen. Maybe for a softer hearted kid that would have discouraged them. I don’t know. It always made me feel better that my stories were good enough for my mom to take seriously. She never laughed and said they were dumb. She just told me how they could be better.


And then, when I left the story behind because I had moved on to other stories, my mom would say, “When are you going to finish that story I attacked with my red pen? It was good. I want to know what happens.”

As I got older, she kept me surrounded by lots of good books to spark my imagination and give me examples of strong writing. (Okay, that was just because she and my dad love to read.) In high school she bought me a “How to write a novel” workbook to force me to finish my first book. And it worked! That’s how I finished the first book in the Grover Cleveland Academy series (which, much to my mother’s dismay, I will never publish, because it sucks).

If my mom ever doubted me, she never told me. If she ever thought that my becoming a published author was unachievable…nope, she never thought that.

And now here I am, a published author. Not famous or anything, but that was never my goal. I wanted my stories out there for other people to read, and that’s what’s happened. Did my mom one of the biggest reasons for my accomplishments? Yes. Yes she is.

All of this rambling to say, thanks, Mom, for being the best mom an author could ever have. I hope I can be as supportive of my daughter whenever she finds out what she wants to be when she grows up.


Posted in Into the Flames, Personal


In case you’ve forgotten, I have actually published a few things. Here’s the short list:

  • Grover Cleveland Academy series
    • 1: Into the Flames
    • 2: Diving In
  • Tales from Pocatello: short stories
    • 1: The Soldier and Kerri
    • 2: A Telling
    • 3: Starcrossed


(P1) The Soldier and Kerri(P2) A Telling(P3) Starcrossed

And now it’s time for the much longer list. The list of things I want to finish. All of these I’ve been sporadically writing on over the past few years. It’s a lot, and as you can see I like to waste time writing lists instead of actually writing, but I have hopes that someday they will all be published. And so you can dream with me, behold:

  • Grover Cleveland Academy series
    • 3: To See Clearly
    • 4: Flying Free
    • 5: Title Pending
  • Tales from Pocatello: short stories
    • 4: Fire and Lightning
    • 5: Title Pending
    • 6: Ground Zero
    • 7: Ausrine
  • City of Orphans (stand alone novel from Pocatello)
  • Paranormal Series
    • Lost Causes
    • The Key of St. Hubert


Posted in Writing

In Case of Tornado…

What would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island? This common question is a game, of course. What about if your house were on fire, what is the one thing you would grab? This scenario is more plausible, but it’s still really a game, isn’t it?

Well here in Oklahoma, there’s a question I ask myself every year, and it’s not really a game: What would I grab if a tornado were coming toward my house?

That’s right, gentle readers, it’s tornado season, and despite my exterior of nonchalance, I’m getting kinda antsy. It probably has something to do with the fact that I have fewer phalanges in my hands and feet than friends and family members whose houses have been affected, if not outright destroyed, by tornadoes. Even my antique typewriter is rumored to be a two-time tornado survivor.

The most frightened for my house I have ever been was two years ago. About a week after the big kahuna of tornadoes destroyed half of Moore, another big one was forming a few miles west of there. For about half an hour it looked like it was going to come right through Mustang, where we lived. I grabbed my computer, a stack of diapers, half of the laundry in the dryer, the dog, and my children, and headed to the tornado shelter.

A mere two weeks ago, another tornado was coming at our new house. I grabbed my computer, toddler underwear, the dog, and my children, and headed to the tornado shelter again. This one also missed us, but the torrential rain and hail that followed in its wake literally flooded our street. We were fortunate, but many of our neighbors were not.

So I guess my question has been answered, and the kids and clean undies win the day.

But here’s my confession. There was something else I really wanted to grab both times, but I didn’t because it would be too selfish and time consuming. (And really, really heavy.)


I know it’s stupid, but I would really regret it if something happened to these notebooks. I know that everything written in them is nothing more than a teenager’s scribbles. When I die, no one is going to look in them and go, “Wow, this this is brilliant! It should be published posthumously!” There is nothing to be salvaged here. Not a single predictable plot line, not one shallow, cliched character. No turns of phrases here that will make someone pause and think about life.

But if a tornado comes and destroys my house and these notebooks get tossed into the winds, or if a flood rises up into our bedroom and blots the words out of these pages, I will cry. A lot. And a part of me will be lost forever.

And now, to quote the Doctor:

We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?

Posted in Personal, Writing