Monday, July 18, 2016

New YA Fiction! "Unclaimed: The Memoirs of Jane E., Friendless Orphan" by Erin McCole Cupp

Today, fellow Catholic Writers Guild member and friend, Erin McCole Cupp, presents her latest release. If you're a fan of Jane Eyre and you like dystopian fiction, don't miss "Unclaimed"! Here are editorial blurbs to whet your whistle and a purchase link is included!

"Unclaimed, the Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan, is a book set in a future world created by Erin McCole Cupp. Her imaginings may just be how our planet and its population turn out if the negative forces we see in this day and age are left unchecked. This genre of writing is something I've never read before and to be honest, I've never read the book Jane Eyre either, so for me the story line is all new. That being said, the book captivated me from the start and I was impressed by Cupp's creativity and her flair for descriptive prose. I read it in one sitting and I'm looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy." Amanda Lauer, A World Such as Heaven Intended

Most of us have a favorite story that we have re-read a few times. Perhaps we enjoy the plotline, the character development or the writing style. But no matter how many times we re-read a story, nothing will quite compare to the thrill, excitement and anticipation of that first read. Until now. Erin McCole Cupp has taken the classic, beloved tale of Jane Eyre and reawoken all those joys of reading a story for the first time. Jane is truly Jane, though now she can speak multiple languages, send encrypted messages, fight, and travel around the world with a perks ring instead of a credit card. It doesn't matter if you've read Jane Eyre a dozen times or have never once opened the cover. Unclaimed will speak to your soul and challenge you to see our present world with new eyes.” Kate Taliaferro, Daily Graces

In a style that's engaging and unputdownable, Erin McCole Cupp grabs readers, sucks them into her world, and makes Jane E a part of our hearts. Be warned: you'll finish this book and demand the next one.” Sarah Reinhard, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary

"A riveting, heart-wrenching retelling of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel, Unclaimed packs a punch that brings the timeless truth of the original Jane Eyre to Millenials, Generation Z, and beyond. Bravo! Bring on the next installment..." Antony Barone Kolenc, The Chronicles of Xan Trilogy

If you needed proof that Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a timeless classic, Unclaimed: The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan—Book 1 is it. Erin McCole Cupp expertly re-imagines Jane as among America’s least wanted in the near future: an unclaimed embryo brought to life but unloved then laboring anonymously half a world away from home. Interestingly, Jane’s hidden existence in a quasi-school/sweatshop extends beyond merely weaving textiles, but hidden messages as well. Her only solace is the companionship of the ill Aidann, whose backstory is also modernized, and the compassion of her instructor Bhenji Nealingson. Unclaimed takes the dear reader to Jane’s first encounter with her absentee employer Mr. Thorne in his fortress beneath the American desert. Jane Eyre has long been a favorite of mine, and I enjoyed the first part of this retelling immensely. While appealing to the modern reader’s ear, it remains faithful to the truth of the original, even retaining the charm and tone of Bronte’s voice. You do not, however, have to have read Jane Eyre to enjoy Jane E. Much like the character herself, chin lifted high, it can stand on its own.” Carolyn Astfalk, Stay With Me

"Unclaimed is gripping and creative. The futuristic topics are thought-provoking and compelling. With its well-developed characters, the reader connects to their stories with ease. The suspenseful events make it hard to put down. The pro-life issues it raises are currently heading society down a similar path. Brilliant and inspiring with a unique blend of genres. This book is for classic and sci-fi fans alike. It will leave the reader anxiously waiting for the next installment." Tanya Weitzel,, Contributor

"Science fiction readers will love the creative futuristic elements in 
Unclaimed by Erin McCole Cupp. At times humorous and other times heart-wrenching, this story delves into issues worth considering as society advances. Having developed a strong connection to Jane E, I found myself incredibly moved by a climactic scene where faith plays out in a natural but powerful way. Unclaimed: The Memoirs of Jane E will leave you wanting more."  Theresa Linden, The Chasing Liberty Trilogy

"Jane Eyre does not need to be updated.  It needs to be read and re-read and treasured for its timelessness.  But too often, the people of a world obsessed with progress refuse to remember the wisdom of the past.  Sometimes, an author must dress the eighteenth century in futuristic salawar kameez to remind the present day that the human story never changes.  Whether in Georgian England or the global community of a technocratic future, there will always be orphans who can teach the rest of us how to love, if we will only take the time to learn.  This is the reason we need books like Unclaimed." Karen UlloJennifer the Damned

"This dystopian spin on Jane Eyre transports the reader into a world that, disturbingly, seems just around the corner. I was captivated by Jane E's boldness and resilience as she navigated the challenging circumstances of living with a genetic defect in a designer-gene world. Erin McCole Cupp's novel is a blend of three genres I rarely read (19th-century novel, dystopian fiction and fanfic) and it's definitely a combo that works." Barbara Szyszkiewicz, Editor,
"I really enjoyed [Unclaimed] because it was quite different from anything out there right now; the setting, the voice and the story... a good addition to any library or home."  Anna delC DyeKingdom by the Sea

"Unclaimed, a remake of Jane Eyre, has all of the sophistication of the original and an intriguing, futuristic spin that makes the book hard to put down." Dawn Witzke, The Catholic Underground 

"This is a genre I'm not very familiar with, so my expectations were a blank slate when I embarked. Before I could catch my breath, I was completely absorbed into the setting, and developing a maternal love for the endearing main character, Jane. I so desperately wanted Jane to find hope, love and acceptance, and her journey towards these things resonated deeply within me. As well, the element of faith in this novel absolutely intrigued me, and I cannot wait to read more of Jane's story!" Tiffany W., Life of a Catholic Librarian

"[Unclaimed] is a dystopian sci-fi take on Charlotte Bronte’s well-loved gothic/romantic novel. Jane Eyre, as a person and as a story, translates well into a new setting--a near-future cultural mélange that will make Browncoats smile while Bronte lovers nod along to the beat. Erin McCole Cupp has got something here. With barely a bump in a smoothly-written narrative, she combines faith and philosophy with a familiar-but-new story and delivers an ending that’s a pleasantly cruel tease of the gothic that will leave fans checking the release date of the next volume." Joseph Wetterling, The Baptized Imagination

"As deftly and intricately woven as the 'contracts' that the Naomi girls produce in the story, Unclaimed tells the powerful story of Jane E, an unclaimed embryo who has grown up in foster care without the love of a family.... This is a riveting story, set in the not-too-distant future, that raises many questions about the morality of reproductive technology and the effects of it on a society that does not value human life for itself, but for what it can provide for others." Amy M. Bennett, The Black Horse Campground Mysteries

"Unclaimed is a unique take on the classic Jane Eyre but it's much more than that. When I started it I kept trying to compare it to the Bronte version but instead I ended up getting swept up in the story and just going along for the ride. The settings and cultural details of this world immerse you in the story. It really doesn't matter if you are a Jane Eyre fan. If you like original science fiction then this is the book for you." Sherrie Palmer, Sherrie's Scriptorium

"What a great read! Jane E has Hollywood written all over it: strong, complex characters; rich settings, adversity, action and intrigue—it’s all here in this modern updating of Jane Eyre. I couldn’t put it down!"  Rhonda OrtizThe Virtuous Jane Austen

"A brave and thought-provoking story rich with vivid details and authentic, memorable characters." Therese HeckenkampAfter the Thaw

The amazon link:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Working for a Living

It's inevitable when you meet someone new that one of the first questions you'll be asked is, "What do you do for a living?"

I'm willing to bet that many authors who aren't in the same league as James Patterson, Stephen King, or J. K. Rowling will not respond with, "I'm a writer." I know I don't. That's because writing is not how I make my living.


Though I've had four books published in my Black Horse Campground mystery series, it's far from being "what I do for a living". I don't make enough money from my writing to make a living. Therefore, I have a full-time job and a part-time job. The full-time job--cake decorator at Walmart--is the job that pays the bills and buys groceries. The part-time job--"vino slinger" a.k.a. bar tender at Noisy Water Winery--goes into savings and pays for emergencies and for some fun stuff. What both jobs have in common is that they allow me to do the third job... writing.

That's the really fun job!

The other thing my "real" jobs (a.k.a. paying jobs) do is help me find material for my writing. Interacting and speaking with people, doing work other than sitting at a laptop, all that feeds my imagination and helps me create characters and stories. Then, after the work day is done and I can sit at my writing desk, those experiences come back and fuel my creativity and the fun job begins! Being able to create characters and tell their stories is how I have fun. It's the job I want to do regardless of what pay (if any) I receive. It's more than a hobby; it's how I want to live my life.

So while writing may not be how I "work for a living", it's how I "work for life"... the life I love to live!

Me and my "agent" enjoying the best of both worlds!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Celebrating Another Anniversary

Yes, I know it's Independence Day and a national holiday, but Paul and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary two days ago and that's what is foremost in my mind!

Anniversaries are supposed to be wildly romantic events with candlelight and roses and surprise getaways to exotic locales... at least, they are if you listen to the ads from travel agencies and read their magazine articles. Those are better pieces of fiction than I could ever write.

I'm not saying they don't occur and I'm certainly not saying that I'm opposed to celebrating an anniversary in that way. It's just that I always find myself wondering about things like... Is it going to rain? A lot? Is the restaurant's chef about to walk out because he had another fight with the head waiter? Am I going to fit into that dress I bought for the occasion two months ago? Is the car going to break down en route? You know, all those things that never happen in the pages of a romance novel.

It's said that fiction mirrors fact, but whenever I read about such stories, I seriously doubt that it's anything but an unrealistic fantasy. Maybe because my ideas about romance don't exactly mesh with that ideal. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary--indeed, just about every potentially romantic holiday or event this year--doing something we both enjoy very much. Working.

As I've mentioned before, I work part-time at Noisy Water Winery and the people in charge there know that, if Paul's available, they get a two-for-one deal whenever I work. Life, unfortunately, demands that bills be paid and that sometimes means having to work extra hours. Much as I would like to spend every waking hour with my husband in a relaxing way, I'm willing to accept that sometimes our time together involves working together.

I've discovered that when two people agree on what's important--being together vs. being someplace really cool--then every day can be a honeymoon. Oh, one of these days we'll have time and money to have our romantic getaway in some exotic locale. For now, sharing a house with three other people (who are extremely cool and fun to hang with--Amber, Fabian, and Daniel!) who are co-workers and spending two days pouring wine for hundreds of strangers in a crowded tent in 85 degree weather (with few bathroom or meal breaks!) and finishing up the day sweaty, tired, and smelling of wine wiped off on our t-shirts... yeah, I'll take that. As long as we're together.

Getting ready to sling vino at the Santa Fe Wine Festival!

Dinner at Andiamo's in Santa Fe on our actual anniversary with the wine folks!