Update for May!

Update for May!

The month of May has been NUTS so far. Between attending a great conference, meeting new readers at the library, and crazy weather here on the mountainside, May has me on the edge of my desk chair.

The first thing I want to tell you about was the amazing time I had teaching at Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs. I met some truly engaged writers and we talked project management, book distribution, writing craft, and so many other great topics that I know I’ll return to that conference to network.

I also attended Mountain of Authors last weekend and had a great time. The event lasted for one afternoon that was packed with great conversation, signing books, an amazing panel of expert authors, and seeing some of my local author friends. It was a great way to spend a Saturday and I was honored to attend.

The weather in Colorado has a knack for punking the weatherman. True to form, it’s been all over the place for the last week. A crazy storm rolled through two days ago and this chunk of pink granite slid down the mountain and landed beside the house. Another rock the size and shape of a football clunked on top of one of my tomato plants. And now it’s raining again! Holy buckets!

Audiobook Sale!

The Witcher Chime audiobook is part of a massive sale on Kobo! If you like chills and hauntings, this is a great book for you. Stephanie, the narrator, is perfect for this book. Take a listen. You’ll see what I mean. All books included in the sale will be 3 for $15 from May 1st to May 31st

Next Appearance

Western Colorado University in Gunnison Colorado from July 26 – August 2.

Did you know that May is Get Caught Reading Month? I’d love to see photos of you getting caught reading in May. Respond here or tag me on your socials!

Eldros Legacy News

Stonewhisper, by H.Y. Gregor will be released on June 13! Check out the pre-order here. And look at this amazing cover!

Lola Hopscotch News

Did you know that The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch is endorsed by the PACER Center for Anti-bullying? We also partnered with StandForTheSilent.org during our anti-bullying outreach when I wrote Book One.

Book One

Here are two fun dates coming up in May:

  • May 21 international Tea Day
  • May 23 National Drinking with Chickens Day
  • May Fun Facts!
  • May 5, 1961: Alan Shepard becomes the first American to enter space
  • May 6, 1856: Sigmund Freud is born in Freiberg, Moravia
  • May 8, 1429: Joan of Arc wins the siege at Orleans
  • May 10, 1994: Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as the president of South Africa
  • May 12, 1820: Nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale is born in Italy
  • May 20, 1932: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (I wrote a book about Amelia’s fictional sister! Check it out here.)
  • May 25, 1803: Author and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson is born
  • May 28, 1961: Amnesty International is founded

Here’s the latest bloom from one of the gardens here at Penfield. I can’t wait to see what my roses do after all this rain.

Milk Dud has been right at my side while I’m at my desk lately. We had to come to an agreement because she kept sitting on the keyboard. I told her she had to stay on the other side of the stapler. 😊

Thanks so much for being a part of my readers group! See you in June.


How I started saving $400 per month

How I started saving $400 per month

Last year I started looking for ways to simplify my life in order to retire earlier than the traditional age in the US. That started an unbelievably massive process. The word simplify brings about the image of making things smaller and more manageable, which is correct; although, it depends on just how complicated you let your life get in the beginning.

Let me explain how the subject of this post fits in with the theme of early retirement.

Saving money simplifies life in more than just the obvious way—overspending complicates things by making issues for your budget, bringing home more consumables than you actually need or consume, and complicates your plans for retirement because that money is going to the wrong place. This idea works off of this equation:

Simplification + Budget integrity = Early retirement

 For me, saving, by definition is a type of simplification. This step helped me save two important resources: Time and money. Here it is:

Shop at Costco, make a list, and stick to it.

I also eat a decent meal and fill a water bottle before I leave the house. Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. If you’re like me, you’ll buy everything that looks tasty and that makes sticking to a list really difficult.

Make the list to include everything for the household from groceries and supplies to putting gas in the car

-Three tips:

Don’t buy a list-making app. Don’t even download one. Adding unnecessary things is a complication rather than a simplification.

Plan on hitting Costco for the bulk of your needs once per month, twice at most.

Plan on hitting a smaller grocery store to pick up anything that Costco doesn’t typically stock.


To be real, you don’t have to shop at Costco to make this work. I shop at Costco because I find buying in bulk is a good way for me to save money on things I use constantly. You could shop at a different store if you don’t live close to a Costco location.

The important thing is to stick to your list. Don’t buy anything that you didn’t plan to spend resources on. 

I go to Costco every other Monday. I’ve been doing it for two months now. I added it up and I saved over $400 the first month and I’m on track to save even more this month.

I created the list by checking the cabinets, asking my partner what meals sound good, and by writing down anything that needs replenished during the two-week list-planning cycle.

Added bonus: it makes it easier to keep things stocked so we don’t run out and have to make extra trips to the store.

I hope you find this step as useful as I did. Have a great week!


Upcoming Appearance— MileHiCon

Upcoming Appearance— MileHiCon

I love to work shows and conventions in my home state of Colorado! Thanks in advance to MileHiCon for having me. I get to see some friends I haven’t spent time with since before the pandemic. Yay!

I’ll have loads of books to check out and for the first time, I’ll be selling eBooks in person. That should be interesting. 🙂

MileHiCon 54 in 2022 will be held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center

4900 S. Syracuse St. Denver, CO

Here’s my schedule:

Marie Whittaker
● Fri 3p, Evergreen B: Writing a Good Query Letter
● Sat 11a, Conifer 3: Blind Slush Panel
● Sat 12p, Pint’s Pub Back Area: Wordfire Press Signing
● Sat 2p, Evergreen B: How to Handle Rejection
● Sat 3p, Conifer 3: Writing Flash Fiction and Short Stories
● Sat 7p, Evergreen B: Crowdfunding your Project

For SF/F and speculative fiction lovers, it’s a weekend not to be missed. The convention will feature authors, artists, speakers and programming on every aspect of the science fiction and fantasy genres.

For more information head on over to the official MileHiCon website. 

I hope to see you there!


Read on next time because the stars have finally aligned and I get to go to the Emma Crawford Races right here in Manitou Springs!

Look at this awesome animation for Embers & Ash! You can find the book on Amazon. If you pick it up, please leave a review? Thanks! (Sorry it’s ginormous. It’s the only way I could get it to stick!)



I love autumn. It’s always been my favorite time of year. Something about the temperature dropping to a chill in the mornings and the bronzing of colors on the hillsides… yep. It’s gorgeous. I’ll spare you of enduring the long list of why I love pumpkin spiced everything. 

I’m not the only one digging fall! This cutie hangs out in the trees next to Penfield where I live.

These deer put on thick coats and the bucks antlers are covered in velvet. It’s a sure sign that autumn has arrived.

I get it. I mean, I’ve been wearing a lot of sweaters lately. Although, none of them are velvet. 😉

Embracing change can be tricky. I promise, if I didn’t do yoga everyday I’d be too bunched up to get much done. Yoga helps bring down the tension a notch and I can stop and consider rather than panicking about another year going by.

I also ordered myself an undated bullet journal. This was a great decision because I can create blocks with checklists. That’s the thing with me. It’s not what I do on the daily, it’s the boxes I check off a list. Once one list is complete, I build another.

Here’s another photo of this bashful sweetheart. See the velvet draping from his horns?

I’m in love!

There aren’t that many around after it starts snowing. They’re nearly as common as red squirrels this time of the year. 



The arrival of autumn signifies another change— the kids are back to school! Here’s a link to my anti-bullying picture book series for kids. Click the green box below.

Happy Book Day to Me! Embers & Ash is Live!

Happy Book Day to Me! Embers & Ash is Live!

In 2021 I founded Eldros Legacy with four other authors who have become good friends. If they were good friends before, they’re even better friends now. Founding Eldros Legacy has been a lot of fun and a lot of work. Each minute and milestone has been a blessing. 

What is Eldros Legacy? It’s a multi-author, epic fantasy universe of sheer wonder. Each of us founders has a continent. Mine is Pyranon. If you know anything about my writing, you know I got my start in horror, and Pyranon reflects that. 

You can take the girl out of the horror, but you can’t take the horror out of the girl. 

That sounds odd and dramatic, but it’s true for me as a writer. I’ll always love gothic themes and elements. Embers & Ash, the first of the stories told on my continent on Pyranon, is dark fantasy.

So, what’s it about?



Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings in this gothic epic fantasy saga of captivating court intrigue, deadly, reigning evil, and a young queen’s determination to free an empire.

Princess Mahaela Bellagrave nearly escapes her fate as queen, but murder accelerates her ascension to the throne of Pyranon. Denying her birthright is no longer an option; she must embrace the magic she’s possessed since birth but hidden out of self-preservation.

Banu Liin, an immortal demon construct and ancient palace knight, lives on as the royal advisor. He’s ruled Pyranon through its queens and their magic for centuries. He’s hidden truths and kept the loyal kingdoms of Pyranon in the dark about life-and-death threats that imperil the mortality of every living soul on the continent.

Banu sets his trap for the new queen. He refuses to lose his long-lived and lasting power over the fiery continent of Pyranon and the reigning queen of the empire.

In a world plagued by centuries of evil possession, can a determined young queen embrace inherited magic and free Pyranon from a throne long tarnished by a deadly legacy of deceit?

You can find it here in eBook, trade paperback, and a gorgeous hardcover.

Thanks for checking it out!