Well, in case you missed it, I was hacked last week and I am squatting here on WordPress.com. I have decided to make this my permanent home, but my hosting plan is still active for several months. I am trying to figure out what else I need to get out of that database before I shut everything down. I have already successfully retrieved my newsletter subscribers (yay!) and my links (yay!) and so I may be finished.

As for plugins, I don’t think I’ll miss them. Happily, most of the things I used plugins for are simply included here at WordPress. Other things I was inspired to learn, such as the art of using div tags for layout. The only things I have not been able to replace were my newsletter system (which was powered by a plugin) and my backup system. I am not yet sure how WordPress.com handles backups. It didn’t actually do me much good to have a backup anyway, because I have no idea when the hack took place and it involved a vulnerability in my database that I needed my host provider to fix.

As for my newsletter, I went back to MailChimp.


Speaking of newsletters, I am preparing my spring issue and I thought I’d mention that I am putting a special prize pack together, consisting of:

  1. The winner’s choice of one of the following:
    * Synopsis and Query Help
    * First 30 Pages Critique
    * Extended excerpt from my next book, Magic by Midnight
  2. A surprise recommended ebook gifted from the winner’s choice of Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or one of my books if the winner chooses. I’ve even had people ask me to send the copy then won to a friend. Winner’s choice.

Also, during this next issue, I will be issuing a “street team” invitation. This is something that every struggling new writer needs, and struggling describes me perfectly. I feel kind of funny trying to organize a street team (because what if no one signs up), but if I am serious about getting Magic by Starlight out in print and onto bookstore shelves–and I am–I need to start now.

One thing you will definitely get for joining my street team is an early copy of Magic by Starlight. This is absolutely critical, for the whole point of the street team is to get people out there generating buzz, and you will need something to buzz about. I am still working on what will be in the rest of the gift pack; the details will be in the newsletter first.

You can sign up for the newsletter here. Thirty-two people already have!


Last week I had to inform my guest, Nicole Luiken, that my blog was hacked, and I took down her post until I could get everything working again. Since it was only up a few hours, I am going to repost it this week. Nicole is the author of the excellent fantasy duology, Gate to Kandrith and Soul of Kandrith. I loved them both and I was excited about having her as a guest. Too bad a hacker had to ruin it.

Also this week, I have written a post on writing descriptions, using a country music song as an example.

Plus, I have two reviews to write (at least!) so I hope to have one posted by Thursday.

Hope to see you in the comment threads!