Wild Four Year Olds, Seashells, & Other Reasons I Took a Writing Break.

***To really put things into perspective before you read this post, I overcooked a whole chicken by 40 degrees while writing this. I forgot to set the timer because my child, who is taking her first nap in seven very busy days, distracted me when I popped the chicken in the oven. She cried hysterically because she wanted me to blow up her water wings, so she could fly like a bird on her way to nap time. When I told her no, she told me that I never let her pretend. Who am I to discourage imagination?***

This post was prompted after three people over the past month asked why I haven’t been


Add graphic design and advertising to the list of distractions.

writing, and a fellow author tweeted to me, asking why I stopped advertising my books. First of all, thanks to those people for noticing and caring. It’s easy to feel like a lost voice in the overcrowded land of online advertising, and after trying to self promote my novel and short stories for a few years, I just needed a little break from that very time consuming process. The tremendous network, support system, and friendships I created during that time have been my greatest reward.

Enter the four year olds and seashells. For those of you who do not know me well, I am a “stay at home mom”. (Whatever the hell that really means. My adventures rarely leave me at home.) I am also an independently published author and owner and designer of Ocean Inspired Design. My child has one more year of being “stuck at home” with me, and making memories with her is my number one priority before the slinging of books and seashells. I am in charge of finding other parents of four year olds, and charming them with my quick wit (awkward humor), all to ensure that they will want to play with us on a regular basis. My daughter actually collects friends at an alarming rate on her own these days, so we stay very social and always busy … and hot. Alone time is no longer part of my vocabulary.

seashellcrabWhile on one of our many beach adventures last fall, I collected a massive amount of seashells. One passerby looked at me like I was some insane shelling fanatic, which I now am, so I won’t judge him for his accurate observation. That seashell collection turned into crafting as a hobby. I showed my work to a few friends and received lots of positive feedback, so I opened up my own Etsy shop. A little bit of play money never hurts, right? Basically, I filled my free time with a new creative outlet during a discouraging writing period: Open laptop, stare blankly at screen, yell at screen, pour a glass of wine, stare at screen again, close laptop. I have never been one to force myself to write, so I took a break.

Now that I have created an arsenal of beautiful seashell wall art, wind chimes, and coastal wreaths, I plan on using my very little free time in the evenings to write a series of short stories over the summer. I also have a half written novel, coldly abandoned in Microsoft Word, which I may finish or save to a USB and watch as it melts in the fire pit. Who knows? Go ahead and add self doubt to my list of writing obstacles. As you can see, I have enough things going on to distract me from writing, but I have not given up or lost my passion. I’m just a busy woman, doing my best to make ends meet and raise a child who will hopefully become a wonderful benefit to society one day.

Thanks for reading and to those who support my work and continue to reach out to me! -Corey



Save up to $9 on high quality, handcrafted seashell artwork from Ocean Inspired Design!


Seashell Anchor Wall Decor

Good afternoon! For a limited time, Ocean Inspired Design is offering to ship selected items anywhere in the U.S. for only $2.99.

Depending on your location, that’s a $5-$9 savings on high quality, handcrafted seashell wall decor and wind chimes.

Please visit our Etsy shop for a variety of unique coastal decor. We add new seashell artwork daily, so if you ever need a gift for the beach lover in your life, you’ll love our beautiful seashell creations!


Mother’s Day Seashell Heart Wall Hanging















Enter the Spooktacular Authors Giveaway for a Chance to Win $100!!

Halloween is almost here, and there’s no better way to celebrate than winning free Paypal cash, books, and prizes. A large group of talented authors have joined together to bring you the Spooktacular Authors Giveaway, offering a number of free print and ebooks, unique prizes, and $100 to one lucky grand prize winner!

I will be giving away two bestselling short stories, guaranteed to keep you up at night. In the event that you just can’t wait to see if you win one, you can find all of my books on Amazon. My romantic thriller novel and short stories are free with Kindle Unlimited, and you can even take a free look inside to sample the first chapters.



Happy Halloween & Good Luck!


Why Do Authors Give Away Free Kindle eBooks? That’s Crazy, Right?

Indieblog1People often ask why I work so hard, only to turn around and give my kindle eBooks away for free. The answer is REVIEWS! In order for an independent author to excel in an increasingly competitive market, they must occasionally offer their work for free, in hopes of receiving feedback from readers. Positive reviews encourage other readers to purchase the book, and Amazon also rewards the author by promoting titles with a significant amount of good reviews. Free advertising, anyone?

Another attractive benefit of a free book promotion is that those books often pick up a few extra sales in the days following their giveaway … sometimes. This theory has worked in the past when I had a significant amount of free downloads. However, if only 50 people take advantage of your offer, you will probably not see a boost in sales. To make the most of my KDP Select promotions, I spend hours submitting my free and discounted titles to sites that offer free advertising to authors. The time and hard work is worth the increase in downloads, so I recommend this marketing method to any author who offers a free or discounted book deal.

Here’s what I’m giving away for Labor Day 2016:

  • My highly rated romantic thriller, Shadows of Deception, will be available to download for free on Amazon Kindle September 3rd & 4th. If you love suspenseful or steamy romance, hot heroes, and terrifying villains, you will enjoy this novel.





  • Nobody’s Home is free September 5th & 6th. If you are a fan of highly rated horror, thrillers, or mysteries with an unexpected ending, you will love this short story. Or perhaps, you will despise me. We’ll find out when you leave that review!




  • The Black Shadow is available as a free ebook September 7th & 8th. This is a thrilling short story with a supernatural element that will keep you guessing until the end. The Black Shadow was also inspired by a terrifying experience I had as a young girl. The creep factor will shock you!



As always, thank you for reading. I hope you all have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. I will be hiding away from tropical storm Hermine, as it moves through my area this evening. Happy free reading! -Corey


An Open Poem to My Husband


Disclaimer: The fine gentleman above is not my husband but a perfect representation of the moment. Sorry honey!

As a writer, I often turn to a journal or my MacBook to express my feelings. One glass of wine and the right (sometimes wrong) mood, and I can bang out some banter in less than five minutes. I keep my epic stash of poetry private because my poems are deeply personal, but I thought I’d share this one. It’s fun, as opposed to the usual serious tone of my poetry, and it brought actual tears to my husband’s eyes. That’s nearly impossible people!


Resident Glue Enthusiast!



An Open Poem to My Husband

No need to thank me for bearing your child,
Just promise deep kisses and nights that are wild.
And if it appears that I might lose my shit,
That bottle of wine you must not forget.
Not often a reason to ask you for much,
But remember I love fresh flowers a bunch.
I promise to always be loyal to you,
Until the toddler coats my long hair in glue.
I’ll get in my car and go apply for a visa,
Don’t worry my love, I’ll return with a pizza.
Sometimes it feels like we’re growing apart,
But really our love is a flame in the dark.
It drives us both through burdensome days,
Our love transcends that common grave.

As always, thank you so much for visiting and reading!


You can find more of my published work here or by visiting my Amazon author page.

Enter the Red Hot Summer Author Giveaway for a Chance to Win Free Books, Prizes, or $150!!

SummerGiveawayI have once again teamed up with an amazing group of authors. This summer, readers are invited to enter the Red Hot Summer Giveaway, where you will have the chance to win free books, prizes, Amazon gift cards, or the MEGA PRIZE of $150.00 Paypal Cash! I will be giving away 2 free ebook copies of my romantic thriller novel, Shadows of Deception, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Please don’t forget to sign up for news about my own future giveaways, book promotions, and new releases HERE.


Thank You! I hope your summer is filled with fun in the sun and tons of great books!


NC Infant Dies in Hot Car: Child Safety Tips from Experts are Shocking!

childsafetyOn May 25, 2016, an 8 month old boy was forgotten in his mother’s vehicle in Wilmington, NC as she worked through the day. The baby died, most likely of a heatstroke, although officials are still investigating. The temperature that day reached 86 degrees.

I sat at a table with a friend, and as she recanted this story to me, she had tears in her eyes; tears for the poor child and for the mom who made a fatal mistake. “Everyone says she was an amazing mom,” she explained.

The story haunted me for the remainder of the day, and after I put my own child to bed, I decided to look for an official report. What were the circumstances? Could this happen to any of us at any given moment? I wanted to understand.

The incident itself was just as shocking as these tips offered by experts:

  • Place your cell phone or purse in the back seat, so you don’t forget your child.
  • Every time you park your car, open the back door to ensure that everyone is out safely.
  • If weather permits, crack your windows each time you exit your vehicle.
  • Download applications such as Precious Cargo or Kars4KidsSafety for your cell phone, to remind yourself to take your child out of the backseat.

In reference to these handy applications, a statement from Parents.com explains, “…they also reach us in a most reliable place — our cell phones — which most of us won’t even walk down the hall of our home without carrying.”


Place my cell phone in the back seat? Catch, Teddy! This thing is so important that when I scramble for it later, maybe I’ll see my child.

After further research, I was nauseated by these tips. Are we all so overworked, mind boggled, busy, and stressed out, that we need to walk around with a phone stuck up our asses to remind us to care for our children? If that’s the case, maybe the time has come to reconsider our priorities. Crack your windows? A person can remember to crack the windows, so their child doesn’t overheat when they leave him or her in the car, but they can’t remember the actual child?



Open the back door of the vehicle each time you park? Hell yeah! Your precious cell phone is back there somewhere with your kid!



The Point? Don’t leave your kids in the car. Not even for a few minutes. The inside of your vehicle gets much hotter than the temperature outside, and even if you do crack the windows, and it is just for a minute, you are still putting your child’s safety at risk. It doesn’t take long for a little one to suffer from a heatstroke. Read the statistics here. Please share them. If you are just so overwhelmed, by all means, I encourage you to download the apps mentioned above. An accident like this could happen to anyone. It’s hard for me to even type that sentence, but it’s true. 

Thank you for reading. If you see a child left behind in a hot vehicle, please contact the police immediately. 

Here’s a healthy way to keep your child cool during those hot summer days!




Don’t Panic! Free Resources to Battle Anxiety & Depression

anxietyAs some of you may know, I have had one hell of a battle with anxiety over the past several years. I have spent tons of time, energy, and money trying to claw my way out of what seems like a deep and hopeless well, but I refuse to give in. In the past, I have also suffered from minor depression, but that was situational and easily resolved. The point is, I understand that mental illness can be frightening and confusing, and I’d prefer not to see fellow humans suffer.

That is why, over the past year, I have spent time trying to find quality articles and helpful resources to better educate myself as well as others coping day to day with anxiety, depression, and even PTSD.

You can find a tremendous amount of resources in one convenient spot HERE!

My Most Recent Battle Against Panic:

Last week, I stayed in a huge beach house for a few days, and I was surrounded by at least fifteen people at all times. Some of those people were ages 1-5. SO. MANY. TODDLERS. On our last day there, I was nearly to the top floor to attend a brunch and BOOM; I struggled to breathe, I felt like I was going to faint, and the more I listened to the plethora of conversations going on around me, the more I panicked. This panic attack crept up without warning, and I refused to surrender.

Here’s How I Quickly Regained Control:

  • I handed my child off to my husband and sat down right away.
  • Relaxed in a chair, I closed my eyes and concentrated solely on slowing my breathing.
  • Bob Marley quietly preformed Don’t Worry in my mind. Thanks, Bob!
  • I asked for a cold glass of water.
  • Finally, a friend sat with me and created a distraction. Surprisingly, this worked well.

About fifteen minutes passed and the whole ordeal was over, and hardly anyone noticed, so I was pretty happy about that too! Several of the techniques used above were discovered through my research. You can find those resources and so much more on my Pinterest board, so please visit if you, a family member, or a friend could use the extra help.


Thank you for reading,


How to Trick your Toddler into Eating Fruits & Veggies Every Day!

imageWhen I received a Ninja blender for Christmas, I had no idea it would be the key to luring my toddler into eating a larger variety of fruits and vegetables … EVERY I DAY! After a rough winter of cold, after cold, after cold, I was frustrated and about to lose my mind. I became a local honey freekazoid, hoping to naturally boost my daughter’s immune system, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my picky eater to try the honey, or anything else healthy for that matter. That’s when I discovered the world of homemade smoothies.

I’ve been known to hit Tropical Smoothie several times a week in the summer, but that can get expensive. Making smoothies at home is more affordable, incredibly healthy, and the process allows your child to get in on the fun. My ninja came with a variety of smoothie recipes, but we discovered our favorites by experimenting on our own.

Each morning, I turn on our favorite music, place everything we need to make our smoothies on the counter, and I allow my 3 year old to help toss in the ingredients. (Carefully, of course.) This has become our morning ritual and something my daughter looks forward to every day; unless mommy is cooking bacon. We also love bacon!

Here’s our family favorite:

  • 2 tsp of Honey
  • 6 Baby Carrots
  • Handful of Kale or Spinach
  • 1 Banana
  • A small handful of Blueberries or Strawberries
  • 1 tsp of Flaxseed
  • 1 Single Serve Yogurt
  • 1 Cup of Orange Juice
  • Add Ice and Blend

I also found a book on Amazon with great reviews, and it includes pictures the kids will enjoy, for parents interested in getting more creative with smoothies:

Best 100 Smoothies for Kids by Deborah Harroun 

Free Alternative Advertising for Indie Authors

In the realm of advertising possibilities for independent authors, there are an overwhelming amount of options, many of which can be costly. You aren’t guaranteed success no matter how much you spend, so it’s great to find free advertising opportunities wherever you can. For most authors, free advertising is your only choice, so I would like to share this amazing experience I had at the park today. Yes, it relates to advertising your book for FREE!!

imageLook beyond those adorable, tiny readers in training, and you will see a Park Pages Little Tree Library. Citizens of all ages are encouraged to leave a book and/or take a book. You can sit and read at the park, or take the book home. I was there for two hours, and I am pleased to report that adults, teenagers, and toddlers raided this brilliant book box all morning long. In fact, the three girls pictured here quit playing and started a read-a-thon on the sidewalk that would make any parent proud.


How Can Indie Authors Benefit from Little Free Libraries?

If you can find these Little Free Libraries in your area, I urge you to put a copy of your book in all of them. Write a personal note in the front of your book, and (kindly not desperately) explain that reviews are valuable to an author. Keep it short and be genuine. Now go put your book in the box!

Imagine grabbing a book out of the box, only to discover a thoughtful, handwritten note imagefrom the author. As an avid reader myself, I’d be stoked! Leaving a personal note, asking new readers to review your work, is an excellent way to establish a connection with your reader immediately. What if the reader tells five of their friends about the amazing book they discovered at the park and leaves you a stellar review? Word of mouth is the king of free advertising! Go back every now and then to see if your book is still there. If it’s gone, leave one more … or five!!



*** WARNING: If your book cover could in any way be considered offensive or R rated, I would not recommend this avenue of advertising, as small children frequent these boxes as often as adults. The last thing you want is an angry parent leaving a bad review because you corrupted little Jonny! ***



Thank you for reading. I hope you find this avenue of advertising useful, however small it may seem.

More Free Advertising Options for Authors:

(Some request a reasonably low promotional fee to be featured.)

Bargain Books

eBook Mountain

Choosy Bookworm

Book Zio

Indie Book of the Day




Frugal Freebies

eBooks Habit

It’s Write Now


The eReader Cafe

Best eBooks Free

People Reads

Read Cheaply

Book Deal Hunter


Book Daily

Free Book Club

New Free Kindle Books

Book Lover’s Heaven

Reading Deals








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