Cover Reveal: Crimson Forest by Christine Gabriel

Check out the cover reveal for Christine Gabriel’s debut novel, Crimson Forest. Show some love to Christine and share on your social media pages.

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Angelina Adams begs for normalcy as she has the ability to see and hear things other ‘normal’ people are unable to. The small hunting town of Buffalo, Wisconsin, famous for its eerie crimson moss covered forest, doesn’t help much as it’s rumored to be haunted by a frightening miscreation of mankind – its thirst for blood relentless as it drags terrified humans into the darkness behind it; seeking retribution for the many animals murdered by the hands of the numerous huntsmen that have invaded their habitat.

Legends begin to come to life as Angelina’s father suddenly disappears, and someone or something attempts to abduct her. Barely escaping she knows what she must do – find her father and stop whatever it is that’s behind the numerous disappearances.

Journeying into the ominous forest, she comes across a strange but handsome man by the name of Nikolai. She soon learns she must give this beautiful stranger her trust if she wants to discover the truth behind the age old stories. After many trials and tribulations she ultimately comes to the realization that the normalcy she sought out so desperately is actually for the more typical people who want to live in the comfort of being ordinary for the rest of their lives. It’s within the forest she learns that there is such a place where true love exists, and fairy tales are real – a place where past lives cross and happiness can live forever.

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With the Completion of My Third Book…

This past year has been the busiest year of my life. As I look back on the past 18 months, I’m determined to grow in all areas over the next year. Here’s a few major things I’ve been able to accomplish since the beginning of 2013:

February 2013: Finished writing The Earth Bleeds Red (2nd book, 1st novel)

April 2013: Signed my first publishing deal

July 2013: Moved from Oregon to Georgia with 4 kids, an overpacked minivan, and a one-eyed pug

September 2013: Launched a business: Name Brand Thrift

October 2013: The Earth Bleeds Red was released

August 2014: Finished writing The Lights Will Never Fade

As I look back at this timeline of accomplishments/major life events, I’m both joyful and troubled. I’m happy that I was able to achieve several goals, but disappointed that it took me so long to finish writing my next novel. If I had kept writing at my regular pace, I would have finished writing it in September 2013, and finished the next book that I’m only beginning now. It feels as though I’ve lost a year of writing.

It wasn’t because of laziness, however. I’ve been finishing up school at Oregon State and growing the business I started last year. I couldn’t believe how quickly it took off and absolutely love working from home and doing something that brings me joy.

Now that the business is where it is, I’m able to devote regular time to reading and writing again. It feels like my life has more of a balance.

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I’m trying to decide if I want to go through the query process again of trying to find a lit agent or publishing company, or if I want to self-publish and avoid the long waits and frustrations of traditional publishing.

How I Became a Professional Thrifter

A lot of things can happen when you’re preparing for a cross-country move. A year ago, I moved from Oregon to Georgia with my wife, 4 kids, a one-eyed pug, and everything that could fit into our minivan. Prior to doing so, I had to make a bunch of tough decisions. I kept the van, but had to get rid of my car. Time was running out and I wasn’t able to sell my car. I had recently begun trading after watching the TV show Barter Kings. Long story short, I traded my car for a beautiful wedding ring for my wife, cash, and a 2-hour drive back to my house from the people who bought my car.

I began trading even more because I enjoyed the hunt. I bought a massive autograph collection from a student at the University of Oregon. I stuffed them (nicely) into my van and once we arrived in Georgia, guess what we needed?

Furniture. 

I got on Craigslist and began to trade the autographs for coffee tables, trunks, a TV, and other things we needed. Then it hit me: I can make money doing this. I had bought the autographs for what turned out to be $13 each. These were signed and framed autographs of Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Larry Bird, and more just like them. So, I started selling on Ebay and used a little bit of money in my savings to buy things that would sell. I searched Ebay, Craigslist, yard sales, and thrift shops. After a couple months of buyings and selling, I found my niche.

Clothes. 

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Now, I still buy other items here and there, but of the 1,000+ items currently available in my store, the majority are clothes. The premise is simple: buy low and sell lower than the rest.

I have not only found something that I love, I’ve also found a way to earn a living doing so and provide for my family. My dad, wife, and kids all help me buy things when they are free and it’s turned into a great family business. A few months ago, I bought the domain name http://www.NameBrandThrift.com and it has helped grow the store even more.

This little business has turned into a solvent company that I’m proud to own and run. It provides a great service, allowing people to buy name brand clothes for way less than the stores. Many of the clothes I sell are new with tags (about 20%) and this business creates a trickle down effect to other sectors of the economy. I spend an average of $800 a month in shipping, spend an undisclosed amount at thrift shops & yard sales, and purchase shipping materials from other businesses.

Who would have thought that thrifting could turn into a profession and that it could contribute so much to the economy? I literally ship worldwide and have found more fulfillment with Name Brand Thrift than I ever have before. Small businesses can still be started and succeed. But, in order to be successful, you’ll need to do two things: find what you love and work harder than the rest.