Free E-book Download Days!

img_0097cAs I mentioned in last week’s post, the free e-book download days have come! From today through tomorrow (1/9 through 1/10/17 at midnight PST), the e-book version of Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror (Records of the Ohanzee Book 1) will be available for free exclusively through Amazon. Click here to go to Amazon to get your copy!

And remember–just because you don’t have a Kindle doesn’t mean you can’t read e-books from Amazon. The Kindle reading app is available for numerous devices–click here to learn more!

Happy reading!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Now seems to be the time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the coming one. Maybe its because I’m caught up in the middle of working on Dragon’s Bane, but I’m just not feeling it this year. So my official plan is to just steamroll right into 2017 without pause.

This is in part encouraged by a surprise Christmas gift from Hubby–a new desk and workstation that are perfectly suited for my writing needs. I use the term “new desk,” but really that’s something of a misnomer since the writing location it replaced is better described as “on my laptop on the couch in the living room.” Oddly, I work best with a copious amount of noise in the background (this happens after working for years in an office above a machine shop, among other things), so while working in the living room was not problematic, it was not exactly ideal either.


Now I have a real place to write (throws confetti), complete with an extra-wide monitor (which will be super helpful come editing and formatting time!), a proper keyboard (with customizable rainbow-colored back-lighting and keys that make a satisfying click with every letter typed), and a matching light up mouse pad. ❤ A perfect functional and aesthetic fit! The only place where we have room for the desk is in the (unfinished) basement, but I’ve put down a small area rug (for Sumo’s comfort, of course!) to cover the bare concrete and hung some inexpensive curtains to make my own cozy little nook. So come on 2017, we’ve got books to write. It’s time to finish the first story arc and kick off the second!

As for book-related news: look for another free promo day for Book 1 on January 9/10 and upcoming Goodreads giveaways for paperback copies of Books 1, 2, and 3 starting January 15! I’ll post reminders when the dates get closer. In the meantime, be sure to check out my Instagram feed for daily posts with book reviews/recommendations!

Happy Holidays!

Idec-18t’s that time again! The year is winding down and the holidays are kicking into full gear! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my most recent post about the manga series Kitchen Princess by Natsumi Ando. I chose to post about this series now because the title really does describe what my free time is going to be like for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry, I’m still busy working on Dragon’s Bane too! Eat, sleep, write, bake. That’s me this week. Next week that will change to eat, sleep, eat, write, eat. 😛 And after that, sleep, write, try not to think about eating, write. Such is the cycle of life.

Since this was so popular last year, I thought it would be fun to reshare my Christmas holograms video:

Now is the perfect time to suit up in your own pair of cheesy holiday hologram glasses and go out to enjoy the (enhanced) view (just now if you’re the one driving, of course!). If you want to know how to take videos or photos like the one above, check out my original post and the how-to post here: Christmas Hologram Photos: A How-to

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, I hope that it is one filled with warmth and cheer!

Wordsmithing with A.Word.A.Day

dictionaryI’ve mentioned here before that I have a fondness for words. I love finding new ones, learning their etymologies, and sneaking unique ones into my books. I suspect its a trait that many authors (and non-authors) share. Some of you may recall a previous post I made about my “pet” word tenebrous. My poor pet is so unique even the spell check dictionary on my computer wasn’t familiar with it initially.

Which brings me to the purpose of today’s post. I wanted to share one of my favorite websites for leaning new words–one I have followed for more than a decade. No, it’s not (although that is my browser’s homepage ^_-). The site is A.Word.A.Day, which offers a new word every day and includes a pronunciation guide,  definition, etymology, usage, and a quote of the day. Each week the featured words are chosen based on a theme–for example, this week’s theme is “illustrated words.”

Although none one them can compare to my dear tenebrous, here are a few of my favorite words that were featured this year:

  • pulchritude – Featured as a word that sounds ugly but isn’t, pulchritude is a synonym for beauty.
  • defenestration – Did you know there’s actual a term for the act of throwing someone or something out a window? Now you do.
  • obambulate – Featured as part of the theme “words that appear to be coined after someone–but aren’t,” obambulate is an archaic term meaning to walk around or wander.
  • torpor – This word both means and sounds exactly like how I feel when waking up on a cold, rainy winter day. If you haven’t figured it out based on context, torpor is a state of lethargy, apathy, and inactivity.
  • apricity – And this word is what will revive me from my torpor–“the warmth of the sun in winter.” I have a feeling it will require all of my willpower to keep this one from making an appearance in Dragon’s Bane, particularly because I will be longing for it the most right before the book’s release date. 😄

If you also have a fondness for words, you should definitely check out A.Word.A.Day (–bookmark it or sign up to receive their daily newsletter!


Happy Thanksgiving!


It’s been a productive day (a few productive days actually, hence the photo from Saturday). I’m on a roll writing, and there’s only 2ish days left until Thanksgiving, so in lieu of my weekly post, I’ll be busy writing some more. I hope, dear readers, that you’ll forgive me! ^_-

I expect I’ll be partaking in copious amounts of Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee over the next few days to fuel both my writing and food preparations. My family usually opts for a non-traditional celebration by getting together for a big meal at our favorite Chinese restaurant and then follows up with snacking and desserts back at home until going out to join the shopping madness around 1am (we night owls go late to get the deals while avoiding the rush!).  I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend–regardless of how you celebrate!

Free E-book Download Today! 11/16



The ebook version of Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror (Records of the Ohanzee Book 1) is available for free today (11/16/16) on Amazon until midnight PST. You can get your copy here: or through your local Amazon site worldwide.

Also–a special note to say “thank you” to those early birds who have already gotten copies today! The response to the promotion so far has been fantastic–by 10 am, the book had already hit #1 in one category, #15 in another, and #1,589 overall. What a lovely surprise first thing in the morning! ❤

Thank you!


Is this an election year or something? I feel I’ve seen a couple posts about it recently. Does anyone know who’s running? I’m kidding, of course. You’d have to be living pretty far below ground to avoid the steady feed of politics this past year. This blog, however, is a politics-free zone! I just couldn’t resist having a little fun since today happens to be election day.

As you can tell by the title, the real purpose of this post is to talk about NaNoWriMo. ^_- If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, here’s a brief primer. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, and is open for any and all authors and aspiring authors to take part. The goal is for each person to write 50,000 words towards their novel from Nov 1-30. Reaching that word count goal means you “win” NaNoWriMo. If you want to learn more, visit the site here:

Dragon's Bane Lo Res
Reflection: Dragon’s Bane (Book 4)

When I first learned of the event last year, I was taking a break between writing Harbinger of the Phoenix and Thorn of the White Rose. This year, however, I’m right in the middle of writing Reflection: Dragon’s Bane. Even though I’m a full-time writer, I know I won’t make the 50,000 word goal. I’ve found that I work best by cycling through three phases for each chapter before moving on to the next: detailed outlining, writing, and then editing/revising. It takes more time during the writing phase to work this way–and it’s definitely not conducive to achieving 50,000 words in a single month–but it significantly reduces the amount of time I spend on final revisions after the manuscript is complete. It’s just what works for me.

Still, despite knowing that I’m not going to “win” (I’ve set a personal goal of 30,000 words), I think NaNo is a great way to connect with other writers and it serves as great motivation to write a little faster!  If you’d like to be writing buddies, you can find me under author name RachelRSmith. I’ve posted a brief excerpt from Dragon’s Bane Chapter 1 in my novel information, too. (It’s from the unproofed first draft, so please overlook any typos and grammatical errors!)

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? I’d love to hear a little about your project, your goals, and your progress in the comments! ^_^

Happy Halloween from my Favorite Does-Tricks-For-Treater!

Happy Halloween! In honor of the day, I’m digging up one of my favorite old posts to share. It’s too early in the day to have photos of this year’s costume, but I’ll have it up on Instagram tonight!

It’s Halloween. You should either be trick-or-treating or handing out candy. But since you’re clearly not doing either one, please enjoy some pictures of my favorite does-tricks-for-treater!

Sumo Angel
Treat! Angel Sumo

Sumo Lobster
Treat! Lobster Sumo

Sumo Pumpkin
Treat! Pumpkin Sumo

Sumo Shark
Treat! Shark Sumo

Santa Sumo
Trick! It’s way too early for this costume!

football sumo
Treat! Football Sumo

prince sumo
Treat! Prince Sumo

reindeer sumo
Trick! Too early for this costume too…

shark sumo
Treat! Shark Sumo version 2
Shark Halloween
Halloween 2015