Blog Birthday Year 4!

Happy Birthday Swirl and Spark!

Swirl and Spark hit the 4 year mark last week! Hooray!!!

And I missed it. That’s right, I missed my blog’s fourth birthday. That’s so bad!! But at least remembered in the month of August so there’s that, I guess. Sorry, little blog. I still love you.

The first post on this site was on August 18, 2013. I really can’t believe it’s been four years. That’s a lot of posts and time spent here. It’s so crazy but even after all this time, I still love this site and love having a place to share my thoughts with all of you!

The site has changed so much through the years but one thing will never change as long as the site is here. It will always be a place focused on writing, and creating stories.

Thanks for the love you guys have shown me through the years. The best part of swirl and spark is definitely the great people I’ve met while spending time here! You’re all gifts to me!

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends! I’ll be back next week with a more regular posting schedule and hopefully more writing updates to share:)

Jackie ❤


Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey Everyone,

So it hit me today that summer is winding down and I’m not even sad. Sure, I love summer. I love the slower pace, the freed up calendar, the warm weather, the cute wedges and flip flops and all that. But for me, the final days in August are definitely not slower paced and the calendar is not really that free, In fact, it’s the opposite. In our house, we’re all trying to cram in (or have to cram in) as much as we can before school begins. And my goal right now is to get my kids off to a good school year start as well as I can. But even with older kids, (my son will be a high school senior and my daughter will be a college sophomore), that’s still a daunting task. There’s just a lot to do!

This year though, on top of the back to school mayhem, this book launch stuff is making me feel crazy and scattered. Let me repeat that. Crazy. And. Scattered.

For all of you already published people out there who have all of this getting a book published stuff under control…you are amazing, awesome in fact. You are…not me.

Because I am crazy and scattered.

Why? Because oh let me see? I have to read my ARC copy of Spin the Golden Light Bulb and hand in any final edits/ corrections/ comments by the end of the month. It’s my LAST CHANCE to make the book sparkle. Last. Chance. No pressure at all. And I will be getting my final round of edits on Flip the Silver Switch (Book 2) from my editor any time now and those will be due also by the end of the month. Yikes!

I have a book trailer that’s waiting for me to edit it or fix it or perfect it or whatever. But, I am not a professional book trailer maker so ohmygod!! I also have a book launch party to plan and school visit presentations to prepare so that I can, you know, do some school visit presentations! Did I mention I have a book blurb to write or that I have no idea how to market a book that’s due to be released in just over 4 months? And people are starting to read the advanced copies of my book and leave reviews on Goodreads? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!

So, why am I telling you all this?

Because I like to over-share. Because I wear my heart on my sleeve. Because this, I think, is the reality of pre-publication jitters.  I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m pretty much winging it and I’m hoping that by January 2nd, it will all be fine. FINE.

But in my pre-publication freak out, I’ve realized a few things that may just help other nervous writers out there when they are in this position too.

I am not the only one reviewing my ARC for final changes. The awesome team at Amberjack is with me on this. I can breathe and read my pretty ARC and write some notes as I go. I don’t need to spend four hours on each page. I really don’t. I don’t know why I’m stressing about my edits for the second book either. I love this story, as much as the first, so I know I’ll get it done. No big deal. I love editing, so bring it on.

As far as the book trailer goes, I’m determined to NOT obsess about that anymore either. I love my book trailer. It’s not professionally done but it IS really cute. Hopefully you guys will love it too even though I do not have a future in video or film making…but I do have amazing people who worked with me to make it memorable.

I guess my point is to let you guys know that when this happens for you, just take a deep breath. Try to enjoy the experience. Realize that your book trailer may not be perfect. Your launch party may not be perfect. Your school presentation may not be perfect at first, your book may not even be perfect. But its yours and it’s about to be read by children everywhere…and it will mean everything to one of them. And that is a very big deal.

There’s a lot to do in the months leading up to a book launch. And I won’t kid you that it’s stress-free. But it’s super exciting and I still can’t even believe it’s all happening to me. Spin the Golden Light Bulb is heading out into the world soon. Until then, I’ll just do what I can to give it it’s very best start.

Just like I do with my kids.

Have a great week everyone! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer. I’m definitely going to try:)  And now all of the sudden the font is different on this post and my computer is not letting me fix it…so I guess that means this post may not be perfect either! Oh well, such is life, right?

If you’d like to add my book or follow me on Goodreads, I’d love it, so here’s the link: Goodreads: Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Thanks for checking in! I’ll chat with you all soon:)

Jackie ❤






Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey Guys,

Guess what? The release date of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB is less than 5 months away and it’s now available for preorder! And do you know what that means? It means my book is real and this is really happening! *Squee!!*

Here’s the link from the publisher where you can order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Soon the IndieBound link will be on their site too, but for now I’ll give you a separate link in case you’d rather order from your local bookseller. Oh my gosh, I sound like a commercial. What is even happening??

Amberjack Publishing Catalog- Spin the Golden Light Bulb

IndieBound- Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Something else really amazing happened today too. I got my first review on Goodreads, from someone that isn’t a person I know. And it was a good one, a really good one! I was so overwhelmed and blown away that this reader liked my book, that she really, really liked it…and she gave it five stars that I literally cried. Like full blown ugly tears. I couldn’t help it. I was just so taken by surprise, I guess. I didn’t even think I would care about reviews even…until I got a good one.

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. What’s the big deal with one review? There could still be many more that are not good. And I know that’s true. But for now, for me, this review means everything. It means at least one reader loved my story enough to keep turning the pages- to follow my characters on their journey. And that’s what writing is all about, isn’t is? To write stories that other people will connect with, will enjoy.

So for now I’ll bask in my good review, and cover my eyes when I see a bad one. Well maybe just one eye. Oh heck. I won’t cover my eyes at all. I know I’ll read those too!

Oh and how can I forget? Yesterday I turned in my first round of edits for Book 2…Flip the Silver Switch. And let me tell you, it is no less nerve wracking the second time around. But it is strange. I’m not even used to the idea of my first manuscript becoming a real book and I’m already talking about my second one becoming one too. I’m not complaining or anything, I’m just a little dazed that’s all and trying to find sanity in the craziness.

And that’s why I was anxious to check in with all of you today. Connecting with you feels therapeutic somehow. The only thing that would make it better is if you guys comment and let me know what you’ve been up to. It doesn’t matter if it’s book or writing related or not. My day today consisted of doing laundry, managing my kids’ school paperwork, and organizing our family files. Oh and cleaning the kitchen pantry. You know, adulating. That’s what happens to me when I’ve been in the revision cave for too long. The house falls apart and the laundry pile grows. Strange how that happens, huh?

So anyway, I’d love to hear from you if you feel like saying, “Hey!”

Until next time, have a great week my friends! Thanks for stopping by:)

Jackie <3



The Spin the Golden Light Bulb ARCs are Here!

And my copy arrived just hours after I wrote that last blog post…where I talked about it’s impending arrival! Here I am, on about four hours of sleep, giddy because I’m holding my beautiful book in my hands for the very first time!

ARC picture.png
I can’t begin to describe the feeling.
I wondered if I would scream or cry or be speechless. Well…I did not scream. I feel like all the words I had were stuck inside my stomach. Yes, my stomach because that’s what it felt like. But I did cry. Not ugly tears or sobs, but I definitely teared up. I think I was overcome that all of this is really happening—that my book is a real thing. And I wasn’t exactly speechless. If I remember correctly, all I could say was, “Isn’t it pretty?” over and over and over again.
Because it is pretty. All those words are so very pretty and the cover is just so shiny and sparkly. Is it possible to love an object that isn’t your own child this much?
So, that all happened last week. Since then, I’ve been reading it and reviewing it and making sure every single word is just like I want it to be. Talk about a big editing job! It’s nerve wracking but awesome at the same time.
And also since then, I’ve been carrying my precious ARC copy of my very own book around with me every place I go. Is this normal? I have no idea! I’ll admit, it has been fun showing it to my family and friends…all of whom are so sweet to be this excited for me!
But I also have to say that it is really weird knowing my book is out in the world being reviewed by so many people. Talk about nerve wracking!
So that’s my big news of the day. That, and that today marks 5 months until the publication day! It’s coming so fast now. I feel like Indiana Jones running away from the giant boulder!
In celebration of the ARC arrival, I’ll be hosting an ARC giveaway of Spin the Golden Light Bulb in the not- so distance future, so check back. You may get to read a copy before release day!
Have a great day, Guys! I’ll be back again before you know it:)
Jackie ❤