Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Wishes

It is the time of year for sharing secrets, planning surprises, wrapping and unwrapping wishes. Tiny white lights are twinkling on my Christmas tree and illuminating my backyard. The air is cold and crisp on my daily walks, and I smile into the sunshine when it peeks out from behind a bank of clouds. There is so much to be happy about, so much to anticipate, so many friends, relatives, and traditions to enjoy.

But this year I have to pause, just for a moment, before I celebrate. This year I have to acknowledge, that while I am counting down the days until I arrive at my parents’ house, many families on the east coast are struggling to piece their lives back together. I am not a political person so my message is very simply this...

This year I will be thinking of those families who have lost so much, those whose homes and loved ones were taken away, those who endured and survived storms and attacks, and always those people who are fighting to make the world safe again.

Happy Holidays, safe travels, and best wishes for the New Year.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

So every year much like the rest of the country I try to take a moment to acknowledge those things for which I am most thankful. This year my list, my cup, my life, is full of wonderful things and people. Very simply, I am grateful for a loving family, caring friends and a great job. I know that I am fortunate to have these things and I try not to take them for granted.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be up early, hoping for some sunshine in the autumn sky as I take on my very first 5K Turkey Trot. Then I’m off to spend the day with family and friends so I wanted to share my list a little early.

This year I am thankful for:

·        My parents who have survived 35 years of not seeing eye to eye and still gave us a loving home

·        My sister who brings out the best in me, is brave when I’m afraid, and holds our mom’s hand when I’m too far away to reach

·        My brother who makes me laugh, sees the world differently than most, and reminds me to take time to relax

·        My husband who is devoted to making our life together filled with love, endless memories, and amazing experiences

·        My amazing friends and family who invite me to their table when I might otherwise be dining alone

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Final Chapter

In 2008 I read all four Twilight Saga books over the course of about a month, about a book a week. That’s pretty fast for me since I like to get lost in the words of the book I’m reading. I like to linger on the phrasing and meanings of the words the author chose. I say names aloud to hear what they sound like in the real world. And I think about great characters even after the end of the last chapter, sometimes they linger in my mind, and walk through my day with me.

The emotion that Stephanie Meyer wove into her tale between Bella and Edward captivated me. I had never read a book or seen a movie about a vampire before; it was not a genre I had an interest in until Meyer’s characters came to live inside my mind. Love them or hate them, Edward and Bella changed me as a reader, expanded my world to include lots more Young Adult fiction, especially fantasy, and regenerated my desire to read again.

But more importantly, reading Stephanie Meyer’s books revitalized the writer in me. I mean this in the very best way; her commonness reminded me that greatness was possible by anyone, including me. Her ability to pull readers into her world, to breed loyalty and ignite passion for these imagined characters inspired me to create my own characters.

After years of keeping myself busy with keeping busy I finally picked up a laptop and started writing. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, to create my own space in this vast world and live through a character or two. As a kid, I relished trips to the library with my mom, choosing a stack of different stories to take home and escape into. We were never wealthy, but my imagination was rich with colors and characters and adventures. Being a kid in Middletown Ohio, I thought I could only dream of going to the exotic places and doing the amazing things I’d only read about.
Thirty years later, I realize that I’m no Blume, Tolkien, Rowlings, Meyer or Austen but after reading their books, I’ve finished two of my own. And I’m working to wrap the third book of the trilogy. A Marked Past changed me from a dreamer to a believer, A History Renewed taught me to keep living my dream, and this third book will complete my fantasy. It will transform me from one of those people that I’ve read about to being one of those people I always admired – an author.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cupcakes and Candles

This morning I woke up early to the sound of a daschund whining, made coffee, had some breakfast, and now I am taking a few minutes to think about what I have done in 36 years of existence. My life is small compared to some; I have not saved lives or funded industry changing concepts. I have not studied to the point of PhD or sung in public for a fee but I am happy most days. I have been a joyful kid, a bossy older sister, a loving spouse, and a trusted friend.

I left home but always love going back for a visit. I adore my family, whisper with my mom, laugh with my dad, and cherish my siblings. I know what I come from and respect how that has shaped who I am today. I’ve created a home of my own and love everything that lives inside those walls. I put out positive and friendly in hopes that it will come back to me. I work hard, look to the future, encourage others and always continue to dream.

I don’t have a bucket list because I want to do it all. I stand up and admire what is before me. Nature inspires me so I take moments to enjoy a deep breath of cold air in the morning, I gaze into the sky and smile at the moon, and I reach my hand into the sunlight and absorb its warmth. Honor and patriotism humble me so I work every day to support our country and armed forces. I thank veterans, and shake the hands of military retirees – they gave me freedom.

I’m not perfect but I think I’m ok with that. I am a full figured woman with a few lumps and lines here and there. I have a temper that I have to curb, a tongue that I have to bite at times, but I try to remind myself to live freely, seek happiness, and walk away from the negative in the world. I watch family movies, remember things like when a baby laughs a fairy gets her wings. I live by the words of The Hobbit “never laugh at live dragons.” I read slowly, relishing the meaning of passages and emotion in prose. I write often, nearly every day, I dream overtly, on paper, and put it out for all to see.

I chase my dreams until I stretch high enough to reach them. I am thankful for what I have, try not to be envious for what I want, and live happily. I’ve written two books, am working to finish a third and have ideas for a few more. I have a great job, great friends, an amazing family, and a husband that brings me more happiness than I could ever imagine.

Have my 36 years been perfect, nah. Would I have it any other way….never.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Apples, Pumpkins, Moons, and Stars

My favorite time of year is now. I love everything about autumn, the rush of cool air, the yellowing leaves, keeping the windows open, the smell of damp grass and the sound of leaves rustling down the sidewalk around my house. I crave apples and pumpkins and hot lattes on cool mornings. I take long walks and sit on my back steps watching the bright white moon hanging in the sky secretly wondering if I will ever see a witch silhouette cross it.
I enjoy every moment of fall, layered in sweaters and jeans, wrapped in scarves and jackets. I love the sound of rain on decaying leaves. My family teases me; they call it my catnip, and they’re right. I come to life with the dying of the foliage. I wear my hair long and dig out my argyle socks, and enjoy every moment of fall.
And today my autumnal celebration just got a little better - 5 star reviews are rolling in for A History Renewed!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Guest Blog and Free Giveaway!

I've just completed a Guest Blog for one of my devoted readers and pal Sarita L. She is an avid YA reader and reviewer. Jump over and take a look, I offered some advice on how to get published. Specifically I annotated some of the adventure, pitfalls, and excitement along the way that I experienced.
Sarita’s also hosting a giveaway for A History Renewed running until 8 September, so join in!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Mom!

It’s my mom’s birthday!! She is 54 years old today, an amazing, loving, glowing, giving, woman who makes me smile every time I talk to her. She loves unconditionally, has faith when mine runs low, and always has a place for me at her table. She manages my mood swings, celebrates my successes, and tears up when I cry. She may have been a teenager when she had me, but she has always been nothing less than an amazing mother to me.
She gave me her heart when I was born and has let me carry it around with me everywhere I go. The day I left for college was our longest day, it tested the stretch of her heart lines, it tested the strength of our bond, and the lessons she had imparted to me. But during those four years and more than a decade later her heart is still with me. It rides with me in traffic to my office, sits with me on my back steps and sips coffee on lazy mornings, it flies with me and meets her in various places around the world.
I never feel better than when I am with her, sipping, chatting, laughing, sunning, splashing, whatever the world may bring to us that day. I always enjoy it even more with my mom by my side.  

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you more than you might know, but never more than you will deserve.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A little Applause for Fellow Author: Amanda Hocking

This week has been a busy one for me, but the bright spots in my long days have been making progress on Book 3 in my own Mercer Legacy series and reading Amanda Hocking’s new book Wake. For my own books, I’ve added some more details about a new character and drafted another chapter. Every page I finish puts us all one step closer to knowing how Lyla’s journey will end, including me. J
So on to the book I’m reading. I’ve long awaited the release of Amanda Hocking’s new book series Watersong and specifically the first book Wake. To be honest, I wanted to read the book to see if I could detect changes since her contract signing. I am excited to say that I don’t see a difference. Amanda has an earthy real quality to her writing that captures her wit and personality. I saw this quality in Wake right away (think llama reference) and that made me smile.  I loved that a professional editing, marketing, and publishing staff has not changed the writer that Hocking has always been.

Amanda is one of those truly talented people in the world whose ability surpasses the masses of classmates I’ve had. I have always been very impressed with her drive, forethought to dive right into self-publishing when so many others (myself included) were sitting on the banks considering dipping a toe in the water, and her undeniable ability to create. She is a master of fantasy, pulling from zombies, faeries, mermaids, and even trolls. I’m so excited to be reading her newest series while I’m working on wrapping up mine.

Congratulations Amanda!! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


There are moments in life in which I am humbled, reminded that this self-imposed, voluntarily boarded rollercoaster that I have created for myself is but a tiny spec of what is truly important. I spend my time considering billable hours, defining processes, and dreaming up witchy tales for book 3. But someone, somewhere is sitting awake in the dark, watching the landscape while his buddy sleeps, guarding both their lives until it’s his turn to sleep.
In the past 9 days I’ve come to know one of those men. He is a 30 year old wounded war vet whose easy smile and combat tales remind me that the land that I live on was not free, and his sacrifice has kept me safe. He is genuine in a way that not even terrorism could steal, honest in a way that makes people trust him immediately, and calm when chaos sets in. He’s driven, making plans for a future that he fought to defend, and one of the most humble men I have ever met. His kind eyes watch doorways, a tattoo covers his left bicep revealing a chapter of his story, and his drive to survive brought him home despite his injuries.
While walking the halls of a quiet government building he turned to me with a gentle smile and said “so I heard you wrote a couple of books, that’s pretty amazing.”
Nodding slowly I retuned his grin humbled by his admiration, “Yeah, I guess. But I heard you served in Afghanistan and came home to tell the story, and I’d say that’s pretty amazing too.”
He gave me a solemn nod, patted his tattooed bicep and held the door for me as I stepped into the Florida sunshine. It was just another day at work, just another twirl on my rollercoaster, but this time I took the ride with a man who watched over my world while I was sleeping, and it changed me forever.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fireworks and flags and all that

It’s the 4th of July, and beyond the typical (and awesome) display of American patriotism, this day is very special to me. Today is my daddy’s birthday. It’s a day of too much sun, some lake water splashing in your face, the scent of Kentucky trees wafting through the air around you, and pineapple upside down cake. He doesn’t need frosting and candles, just a few cans of beer, some good friends, and a smooth lake glinting in the sunshine.

He had me too young and raised me when he was still too reckless. He drove fast, rode fast, worked to make everything he owned fast or faster. I watched as he and Dale pulled motors, replaced brakes, sanded fenders. I knew a world of bondo, and Lava soap, and electric sanders before I could even see over the steering wheel.

I played on my swing set as the sound of mechanics chimed in the garage, set to a soundtrack of old country music, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams. Those things linger with me. There were a million other little things that seeped from his hands, from his mind, from his mouth, that defined who I would be. I left his house with a firm grasp on the person that I was, grounded, abundant with morals, and heavy with expectation. But he made it clear to me the expectations were my own, his door would always be open for me, left ajar should I need to come home.

He took me to college, toured a new land, and left me there to thrive. He probably hated the liberal young woman I was becoming, but he never said so. He let me live, marry, move, and still come home when I need to. He is quiet when disapproval sets in, observes closely when he’s curious, and works constantly. He loves our mom, adores his kids, and has worked a lifetime to give us everything he has ever had.

Here’s to you Daddy, Happy Birthday we love you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Updated!! Paperbacks are Available!

It's been a really exciting week so far and it’s only Wednesday. The ebook versions of A History Renewed are up for sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Createspace, and Smashwords.

I can’t wait to read your reviews of A History Renewed, the story picks up with Lyla, Hana, Sage and the rest of the crew right where it left off in A Marked Past.

Here are the links, I hope you love it!

Paperback Version - Createspace

Paperback Version
Kindle Version

Nook Version

Smashwords - All ebook versions

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Check out my new Mercer Legacy Website!

It’s June 16th, officially mid-June and I’m excited to report A History Renewed is coming out next week! This week has been full of finishing touches, redesigns, re wording, and rethinking but I think we’re ready to release!

Ed just launched my new website, incorporating both A Marked Past and A History Renewed into one space. It’s called The Mercer Legacy page, and I think you’ll like it. Remember this design came from some design student brainiacs so I hope you like it as much as I do.

You’ll be seeing another blog this week announcing the release of A History Renewed so stay tuned, and enjoy the new site!

A History Renewed on GoodReads

Saturday, May 26, 2012

June is quickly sneaking up on me, everyday I look at the calendar and think EEK, how did it get to be so late in the year.

Today my mobile office is in Ohio on my parents' patio with my laptop, coffee, marked up proof copy of A History Renewed, and sunshine all around me...I might need to work from here more often.

For those of you who are asking....

Sneak Peek Chapters of A History Renewed are available here for download / reading:
3 Chapters of A History Renewed

A free give away of 20 books is being hosted on GoodReads:
Free Giveaway A History Renewed

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Leslie Deaton: A Marked Past Compared to House of Night Series

Leslie Deaton: A Marked Past Compared to House of Night Series: Smiling today!   A Marked Past got a write up in Voice of Youth Advocates, or (VOYA), magazine and was compared to The House of Night Seri...

A Marked Past Compared to House of Night Series

Smiling today!  A Marked Past got a write up in Voice of Youth Advocates, or (VOYA), magazine and was compared to The House of Night Series by author P. C. Cast and her daughter Kristin Cast.

“ It felt like reading the House of Night series by the Cast ladies, only with witches instead of vampires... [T]eens that are drawn to the vampire/witch genre that will appreciate these novels. The sequel, A History Renewed, will be released in 2012.”—Jonatha Basye.
Nothing like being compared to the Cast ladies and their series of work to make me smile!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Preview of Amazing Things to Come!

This week I was able to finalize the book blurb for A History Renewed!!


I'm working through the editors comments right now so keep checking back for more to come. The Cover is in the works and sample chapters are being prepped just for you!

Leslie Deaton: A Preview of Amazing Things to Come!

Leslie Deaton: A Preview of Amazing Things to Come!: This week I was able to finalize the book blurb for A History Renewed!! Enjoy! I'm working through the editors comments right now s...

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Little Magic Lingers Here Tonight

As an author writing about magic I often find myself getting lost in the fantasy behind the story. Tonight I'm surrounded by the smell of Vanilla Fields. It is a perfume that I wore in college, and one that my grandmother loved on me.

The sweet smell seems to be lingering around my house, following me from room to room. Maybe I brushed against someone out shopping earlier who was wearing the scent, maybe I came across an old handbag with the lingering aroma still inside, or maybe a tiny bit of magic lives here alongside me and we're sharing a memory or two tonight.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

News news news

Here are the details for my upcoming book signing in Dumfries Virginia.

Location: Belle Framing & Frills • 17646 Main Stret • Dumfries, VA •PHONE: 703.221.7800Date: Thursday April 19th 2012Time: 5-9 pm

I’ll be available to sign your books, chat about what’s next, and of course listen to ideas for the title of Book 3! We’ll have paperback books on sale for $12.99, free bookmarks, and a SneakPeek of Book 2 in the Mercer Legacy series, A History Renewed.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Signing in VA

Yesterday I met an amazing shop owner Monica and her framer Katherine. Together they keep the posh little frame and decor shop in Dumfries called Belle Framing and Frills running. I immediately smiled when I entered the covered porch and made my way through the double french doors, only to be greeted by a loud hello, and an offer of coffee.  The shop is in a building that looks like an old Genrnal store, but since it as been gutted and filled with tasteful decor it's got a furnished barn feel that I loved. This place is definitely a diamond in a rustic setting, shimmeringly shabby chic and the perfect place to host an A Marked Past book signing in mid April! 

Paperback books will be for sale and we'll be revealing the cover for Book 2: A History Renewed. I'm also working on some giveaways. More details to come!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ready Set Review!

Today one of the bloggers on GoodReads kicked off a read and review event called Read It & Reap for A Marked Past. She was offering 25 ebook copies of A Marked Past in exchange for reviews and her offer was filled in less than 24 hours.

I’m really looking forward to the reviews and critiques.

I got a teaser message from Ed today letting me know about a new url for the Mercer Legacy website and that I am going to really like the new design. Eek…can’t wait to see it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Random thoughts to share today…

I’ve been working long hours this week at my consulting job so I’m really looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule and maybe having a quiet weekend.

I’ve been in a zombie like state in the evenings this week, not sure if it’s the time change or too much work, but I hope it passes soon.

I’ve been making reader updates in the evenings so I only have 100 pages of edits to go for Book 2 - A History Renewed

I only have 45 days to go before I hand my manuscript off to the editor

I just discovered KickStarter and I’m fascinated by the concept…my husband has sponsored a few video game development projects in exchange for Giveaways and Schwag

I also discovered a new wine this week that I love. It’s called Middle Sister and I bought it because my sister Sarah is a middle sister and I love her. (sometimes these connections don’t pay off, but this one did!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Little Inspiration

I have exactly 48 days to hand over my completed manuscript to the editor. I’m knee deep in revisions for Book 2, and to keep me focused my husband ordered me the perfect inspiration - Lyla’s favorite pizza! A box of Lou Malnati's pizza is snuggly resting in our freezer.
The oven is getting hot and the inspiration is definitely flowing now!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A little more detail please...

Coming to the end of a great week. I am in Orlando enjoying some sun in between speaking at a conference, planning another speaking event, and working on content for my website upgrade. The weather has been beautiful, the conference audience was great to me, even asked questions after my presentation, and really seemed to enjoy the presentation. Speaking at the conference has been great; it is so rewarding to talk with other people who do what I do, and truly understand the world I work in every day. It’s also AWESOME to hear thank yous for giving such a “great” presentation and be asked for your card because they want to learn more from you about how to fix their own processes. Sometimes the consulting world can be pretty rewarding.
But now on to the exciting stuff. I had a conference call with my web design team this week. We talked through current state, expectations, themes, colors, things I like about other sites, things I hate, a million other little things. And at the end of it all I started to hear about their ideas for the new direction of my website (currently A Marked Past, to become The Mercer Legacy Site). They asked for more content, way more information, about me, about the books I read, about the characters themselves, other things I written, and what I'm currently working on. It should be amazing when they are done. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Here’s a picture of my web design team hard at work. (Thanks guys!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Web Design 101

My days are buzzing again, slipping into evenings and then into midnights, and I’m not a full time writer. I am a full time thinker, doer, consultant, planner, part time baker, and overtime dreamer. What this means is, that I am packing for an upcoming business trip and finalizing reader review markups at the same time. But, just when I think I’m slipping under the surface of the literary lake I have built for myself, a bit of sun shines through and I climb back above the water, ready to doggy paddle for a bit longer.

Today that light came in the form of a phone call from Ed. He and I are working on the design concept for Book 2. We’ve gotten an amazing photo to consider for the cover and have started kicking around ideas for a website upgrade. So, because Ed is brilliant, he throws out an idea that I love to help define the new design. He’s going to poll his art students, maybe hold a contest of sorts, to see what concepts they have for marketing a second book in a series, my book – A History Renewed!

Of course I said YES. I love this idea! It merges so many things that are important to me, promoting A History Renewed, helping students gaining real world experience, sharing successes with young people, giving students the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents in a real setting.
College changed my life, it gave me a future that I would not have had otherwise. It didn’t change who I am, just gave me a few more rungs the same ladder. I’m so excited to be giving someone else an extra rung in their ladder, a line on their resume, and a real world experience that will benefit us both.

I’ll be sure to share news along the way!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Highway run, Into the midnight sun…

I have been asked many times in the past year when I started writing but no one ever asked why. I have a lot on my mind today so I think it’s time to share that..

I started writing because I had something to say that I knew I shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t ever say out loud. I wanted so much to get my words out, to express what I wasn’t supposed to be feeling, that, I had to find a way to give them life, so I wrote.

When I was younger, I overheard things that my parents talked about, things that I wasn’t supposed to know, things about my aunt. She was young and defiant, and slowly getting lost in a world of darkness. I was nine, and I wasn’t supposed to know about any of it, but I could see the dark circles under her eyes and the tremor in her hands.
I can remember a time when her fair skinned, freckled hands would pull my hair into pig tails and then she’d kiss my cheek. I can remember the sun shining through her auburn hair and her crooked smile greeting me, her ripped blue jeans and her blue eyeliner, and singing Journey songs on the steps of my front porch with her when I parents would go out at night. She was fun, and loving, and young, so very young. Those are the memories I carry of her with me.

But it was the dark memories, the whispers, the bad things that were happening to her, the running away, and the drugs; that made me write. She ignited a fire in me that still burns. I have put a lot of miles between me and those memories, a lot of pages filled with millions of words. And no matter how far away, or how much time has passed between us, she is still a part of what I am now – a writer.
And now, as her life hangs in the balance, I close my eyes and listen for the opening notes of Faithfully by Journey, and I remember those gentle hands, those faded blue jeans, and that blue eyeliner, and her crooked smile, but never the darkness.

Highway run
Into the midnight sun
Wheels go round and round
You're on my mind…

Journey - Faithfully

Saturday, January 7, 2012


One lucky winner will win a physical copy of "A Marked Past" and another lucky winner an will win an ebook. Thats right, this giveaway will have two winners and it's INTERNATIONAL!

There are no super complicated rules in order to enter, all you have to do is read my interview and comment on what you thought about the interview, GFC Follow, and follow Leslie Deaton on Goodreads. Thats it!

Register here for the A Marked Past Give Away

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creating Characters

I can admit when I am spoiled and after living in Northern Virginia for almost twelve years. I am spoiled. *My Ohio friends and family may want to skip over the next few lines* The temperature rarely gets below 20 here. For the most part, I can cruise around in the winter with a heavy sweater, a scarf, and some gloves, but this week it’s cold. Like in the teens cold and I am freezing. Ok, whining over, and on to book stuff.

I’ve been getting some reader questions about where the characters of A Marked Past came from so I wrote up a guest blog about them. Check it out!
Leslie Deaton Guest Post: Creating Characters

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weighing In

It’s that time of year, the new year, when we all dust off our ‘what should I try to do differently’ and pull on our ‘I’ll try to be better at’. I’m not one for resolutions, but even I find myself considering change on the first morning of 2012.

What will I do differently? I will walk more. Healthy hearts are few and far between in my gene pool and I need to work on keeping mine in shape. You can do anything for 30 minutes. Walk, run, stretch, sweat, whatever, commit 30 minutes 3x a week and just do it. I am.

What do I want our country to do differently? Look internally for solutions. Stop routing my calls off shore, route them to small towns in the South where well mannered, polite, AMERICANS can help me resolve my banking, insurance, or IT issues. Also, when we come home from a place, bring our funding too. We need it here.

What do I want the world to do differently? Live among one another. Acknowledge difference but ignore, forgive, abandon hate, whatever it takes, just let the other guy be the other guy. Also, focus on making your little world the best it can be, achieve more, fight less, unless there’s a bad guy, then ban together and take him out.

In the meantime, I'll keep working, writing, and walking. Here’s hoping we can all make a small difference in a big world.