Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Wordies - Beach Edition!

This weekend my husband and I are going to the annual Sandcastle event in Galveston, Texas and I thought it’d be fun to share three beach reads for the occasion! Summer is fast approaching and we better grab our sunscreen, our shades, and our best reads of the hot and steamy summer approaching!
2. Everyone agrees that my Great Aunt Trina looks fabulous dead.

Let's add a little fun. Below are the titles of the novels above. What was more appealing? The sentences or the titles? And no, they're not in order!
2. Tipping the Scale of Suckocity.

Can I also share that this post each week helps me as much as it helps you. I've grabbed so many delicious and intriguing novels over the past few years! I hope you all have too!
So.... which one caught your attention?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Marketing Monday - Write for yourself

So often we ask advice from those amazing published authors we look up to on how they stayed in the game. They always have those key responses that you’d think we’d listen to.

Never Give Up.
Write for Yourself.
Now, when I heard these I laughed and said ‘what do you think I’m doing here? This is me not giving up… this is me writing for myself.’
Turns out I was wrong.
I was still writing for others and when someone showed interest I’d push a few chapters out before giving up because it wasn’t as effortless as I remembered.
I wouldn’t edit. I’d just let it sit in the drawer with my other half-assed projects.
I’d get a new idea and ask authors for advice again.

Never Give Up.
Write for Yourself.

Believe in Yourself.

They’d added one, believing in yourself. That seemed simple until two chapters in my characters and I weren’t getting along. From there the game of jenga started to fall apart. I still wasn’t writing for myself and I’d already given up before I’d truly begun.

I hear about writers who get into the game a lot later than those sixteen and twenty year olds. I pride myself for still being so young in the game and then I realize with that I’m not nearly as mature up as the sixteen year old writer. They got it. They understood themselves, they’re writing, and what it meant to write for yourself and never give up.

Now at twenty-six I’m finally writing for myself.

I understand what it means. Letting go of the judgment, the world, and the critiques. It’s not time for that yet. Yes, the end goal is to have people read your work but if you don’t love it why would expect others too?

You’re supposed to write what you love. Isn’t that the point of writing for one’s self.
It’s how I explain blogging to the newbies. Love what you’re doing. If you don’t find the passion step back until you do. The fire will ignite when the timing is right.

That’s how the marketing starts. When you love something chances are you’ll start sharing it and people will start growing intrigue for your work. Before the story is released you’ll have a fan base just because you showed passion and love for your own work.

Have you figured out the writing secrets yet? I’m still mastering them all.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I haven't done an interview in a very long time but today I have someone extra special who stopped by! Emily White!

She's an absolute gem! If you haven't met her, take time to visit her BLOG today!

Let's move on to the fun side of things and start asking questions!

1. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, what would you hope would be the parts that are featured? How about a title?

Oh boy, there are certainly some interesting parts, but they're funny at my expense so I don't know if I'd want the world to know! LOL! However, I think my time in the military and how I met my husband during my deployment would be pretty interesting as well. So, I guess I'd like those parts featured! And a title? Hmmm... Deadly in Pink.  Oh yeah. :P

2. If you were told to make your own hashtag for twitter, what would it be and why?

#monkeybutt --because it makes no sense, but it's hilarious!!! And it would be like this inside joke!

3. What's a genre you couldn't even think of writing a story in?

Erotica. It's for some people, but it's not for me. I blush just thinking about the nakies.

Isn't she the cutest?! I'm one who also couldn't write an erotica novel. I blush when I know the man I'm reading is about to take his shirt off! Kissing scenes even make me giggle. I'm such a teen, lol.

Stop by Amazon and pick up your copy of Elemental today!

Blog Besties: How would you have answered the questions?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Wordies

This week I didn't plan for a theme at all. In fact, I opened up Amazon searched for young adult books and looked for the most interesting title or the first cover that caught my attention. Turns out the theme created itself... ages in the first sentences! Without even trying my subconscious took me on a wild ride in age land. So, is this simply a coincidence or are there just that many books that start off with an age?

1. I'm eighteen now, just turned eighteen last month.

2. I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body.

3. I was seven and living in Los Angeles when Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, and my first vivid memories are of how happy and excited everyone was.

Number two is one I really need to get my hands on! I've met this author and he was sweet as pie!

Any interest you?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marketing Monday - Ridding Writers Block

We’ve all had a moment where a scene isn’t working. We’re tired and the words are spilling out as we hoped. Our little ones are carrying around dirty diapers and you have to leave the chapter behind to care for them.

Writer’s block comes in many forms. There are those wonderful individuals who never have to experience it but for those who do I have some tips and my own personal solution for climbing out of the rabbit hole.
1. Choose fresh ideas. I like to be creative here. Everyone loves a good writing prompt but making the story especially weird allows me to climb out of this dreary attitude I’ve been harboring and dive into the creative juices. Keep yourself guessing.

What would happen if a child’s toy dinosaur came to life in the house? Tell the story from the mother’s perspective… chances are it’d take you completely out of your comfort zone (especially for those YA writers out there). Or how about Zeus ends up in the mortal world as a complete nerd… how would you handle people treating him with such disrespect where his trident wouldn’t work?
2. Don’t judge yourself. I know several of you have that inner critic constantly judging you but allow yourself fifteen minutes of freedom. Write whatever comes to mind… grocery list, rhymes, or just how much you hate the fifteen minutes of no judgment.

3. Inspire yourself. When writers block hits I love to read a good book. Pick up your favorite writers novel. Were they the ones who inspired you to write? Chances are twenty pages in you’ll find inspiration all over again.
4. I work out *dances to LMFAO*. These rockstars know all about writers block… hence these crazy songs that become so addictive they don’t leave your brain. Go for a walk… dance around your house… get out of your head and let the words leave your mind for an hour while you relax or sweat out all the toxins holding you back.

5. And if all else fails… eat chocolate.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Funky Friday - Adoption Edition

So I know all of you love to keep informed on how the adoption is going so I figured today was the perfect day to shed some light on the process!

The five truths about preparing for adoption with Jen...

1. Cats suck. So we needed to update our lovely cat records and in doing so this requires our Siamese to step outside his comfort zone and enjoy a peaceful car ride to the vets office, or not. Picture this: pooping, peeing, hyperventilating (and no, this isn't me), while I'm shoving him the car as he screams at me (in meows of course) of all the awful things I am. Thank you vets for your incapability of in home visits.

2. Homework. When someone tells me that buying a house is a lot of paperwork I want to give them my best Russian accent and say "you are so wrong". Why Russian? Sounds more mysterious and firm. Adoption paperwork takes the cake. I suppose it makes sense, after all you're not buying a house... your investing in a bundle of joys future. It's worth it... but it doesn't mean I wasn't overly optimistic that people were lying about the paperwork.

3. Fingerprinting. The gig is up. Soon they'll find that I enjoy wearing striped neon socks to bed, neon sports bras to work out, and that I think my Coca-cola shirt and red rimmed sun glasses on Fridays make me look so cool. I knew this day would come. When all the quirks were laid out on the table. You win fingerprint guy, you win.

4. Budget. If I had stupid money I'd have one girls room decorated and one boys room. You know... to give the birth mother options. We are that excited. I want to start buying things and yet I know it isn't smart. During nine months of pregnancy birth mothers get to watch and feel their baby grow. Mines growing inside someone else. Someone I have yet to meet. Patience has never been my thing. I'm just still impressed I haven't at least but a onesie... don't worry, it's coming.

5. Home Study. The day of judgement. An individual comes in and will ask my husband and I series of questions. Am I scared? HECK NO... I eat animal crackers for breakfast... wait... what was I saying? *bites fingernails* So my nerves are a little higher than usual. After all, no one wants to be told they'd suck as a parent when they've yet to even have a child to test out the truth behind the words.

Author note: We are overjoyed to still be in the game. It's a roller coaster ride but we are enjoying every dip and climb that comes our way. In the end we'll have a sweet baby to care for!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Wordies

Seeing as this month is International Chick Lit Month I wanted to share with you three novels that are chick lit style! I've also included a few that just so happen to be wonderful bloggers!!!

1. If I see another set of boobs, I'm going to lose it.

2. She needed a man. Preferably one with $150,000 to spare.

3. Oh my dear, dear egg, I've finally done it.

Yes, I realize I cheated on number two, but that's where it got interesting! Any catch your eye this week?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marketing Monday - Blog Hops

I figured with all the marketing tips I’ve been handing out I’d do well to have a little fun and show how it’s done.

This is a chick lit author blog hop. Since May is known as International Chick Lit Month it’s only fair to give a day to the blog on the subject! As an extra incentive to stop by and visit all the ladies participating there will be TWENTY-NINE different e-books up for grabs! That’s right! Comment below for the chance to snag some amazing reads!!! (Stop here for details!)
Instead of telling you about my writing or why I love chick lit I thought it’d be best to invite a very special guest to the blog so they could do a bit of sharing on their own. She’s what I like to call a closet chick lit lover.

Hermione Granger here!
Jen invited me back to explain why I love chick lit. Well my writer JK Rowling may have had her hand in the magical world but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like to get dressed up and go to dances. I also think the Three Broomsticks would do well to find something a little more girly than butter beer, but I don’t exactly think the bar owners were in the mood to hear my rant on the subject.

That being said, as much as I loved reading about my adventurous tales with Harry and Ron I can’t always live that life. Not that they’d ever know. They just assume that all I ever do is read books on literature, history, and religion. What they don’t know is that I take time to sit in the corner of the library and read about my favorite ladies.
Have you read the Shopaholic series? Sophie Kinsella is my absolute idol! I cannot believe how brilliant she is. There isn’t a day that goes by that I wish I could climb out the pages of this book and land right smack dab in the middle of one of her escapades. I want to wear her heels, wear her dresses.

Do you think we could do a genre hop? I’ve been working on my American accent. I agree, it’s not the best, but she doesn’t have to be great with the English accent (<--secret word *giggles*). I don’t mind. Harry and Ron would probably enjoy having me gone for a day.

So there you have it. I read girly books. They’re filled with just as much knowledge as the other reading material I have stacked up by my four poster bed. After all, it’s always good to remind myself what it’s like to be a real girly girl.

(If you were wondering… Yes, I did read Hermione’s letter in an English accent.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

I know I'm a writer when...

I decided to keep this post short and sweet today. After all, Fridays are meant for the relaxed and fun just before the weekend! I also have recently realized my husband puts up with a lot for me being a writer. The midnight conversations I have while I sleep and he so sweetly remembers so he can tell me later just in case it would be good for a story. I do love being a writer... you can get away with so much fun!

So, I know I'm a writer when...

1. I talk about eye lashes in my pancakes.

2. I make my husband catch falling stars with brown paper bags.

3. My excitement for a book expo is that of a child opening Christmas gifts.

4. My girls night out consists of cocktails and our version of boy talk – cute characters in books.

5. My diet consists of caffeine and candy.

How do you know you’re a writer (besides writing a book)?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Wordies

Instead of our typical first sentence fun what if I mixed it up? So many people aren’t sure they want to choose a book by the first sentence, but what if I gave you the description of the novel instead? Would that sway your line of thinking?
Below I’ve listed three descriptions. Let’s see if more of them catch your eye now that you’ve been invited into the books world.

1. (BOOK TITLE HERE) Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

2. (BOOK TITLE HERE) The Official Truth about dating the male human species!

Can taming a gorgeous boy really be as easy as walking a dog?

Circe Shaw is on a mission. She must transform into a fabulously sophisticated journalist and discover the amazing scientific truth about boys. Urgently.

But life is beyond complicated. Circe has to deal with a poisonous rival, her mum’s annoying ‘just friends’ men and her own Dark Past.

Can Circe’s daring investigation really teach her the facts of love?

Will it help her finally get a boyfriend?

Or will it break her heart…?

3. (BOOK TITLE HERE) Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?(

First sentences aren’t often as exciting as their premise but descriptions are… which one caught your eye?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Marketing Monday - Characters

Marketing your novel is more than just showcasing your cover art and giving away swag. We as authors want our readers to connect not with our book but with future books.

What’s a great way to keep readers involved and talking about your latest and past reads?

One way is to make your characters more involved.

We as authors do our duties by going around the blogosphere and doing interviews. Those can be fun but after a while the questions are the same and so are the answers. You don’t want a reader getting tired of seeing your book everywhere. You want them more excited each time that cover art pops up.

So what are some secrets that help keep your book alive using the characters in them?

Treasure Hunts – Keep other bloggers excited about your books. After all, they’ll be the ones who are not only your readers but sharing about the books. Give clues for teens and adults to acquire throughout a few weeks. The end result can be a giveaway. In the end you’ve given a book away and also provided yourself mad press from the excitement.

Swag – Books, bookmarks, and tattoos aren’t the only things that can promote a book. Pins, key chains, and things that relate to your character are other great. Does she love boas? Is he a water gun enthusiast? Giving away items that relate to your character keep people excited and they can’t help but share with others around them in the real world let alone the blogging world.

Accessories and Wear – Do you believe in your book? Show them. Have shirts made, scarves, earrings, shoes, they can all be made into wearable marketing. I have what I call my ‘book shoes’. When I wear them I get a ton of compliments and it’s my segway to share about my stories.

 There are so many other ways to market in the world… what are your marketing secrets?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jolene talks Self Publishing

The fabulous Jolene stops in again to talk about the publishing world! I know it's one of our favorite topics, so here she is!!!!


Normally I’m HERE.
So, I’ve been on Unedited before, and I talked about publishing, and then I asked to come back to…well, talk about publishing…



So, I hate to admit this, but I used to be very anti-self-publish. Very.

I’d read (or half read) some really bad books, and then I read a bunch of awesome ones in a row –

Grounding Quinn by Steph Campbell
Loving Emily by Anne Pfeffer
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Because of Low by Abbi Glines

And just recently – What A Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn

(Yes, I write YA and therefore am a YA junkie)

I’ve become crit partners with both Steph and Nyrae after reading their books, and then Steph and I decided to write one together (I love collabs by the way – if you want to really stretch yourself as a writer, they’re a great way to do it).

When Steph and I finished our book, we had two choices:

1. Turn it over to my agent

2. Self publish

With my agent having three books on sub, I’m at a standstill until I either strike out, or get an offer on something. So, Steph and I were looking at 3-6 months before we could put the book on submission to editors, and then 3-8 months (yes, I have a book that’s been on submission for eight months – the first one that went out) for our book to be on sub, and then most pub houses are out 18-24 months before a publication date…

You can see where this is going.

Why self-publishing has been my favorite mode of publishing so far:

1. I’m not a patient person.

2. I write fast and have projects stacking up

3. We’ve done everything OUR way on OUR schedule.

It’s been the most relaxing, fun way to publish that I can imagine. Is it the only way I’m going to publish?

Definitely not.

Am I going to do it again?

Funny thing… once we finished our joint project, I picked out a few others that I’ve had tucked away. It’s addictive (like querying was when I was at that stage) and now I’m thinking I’ll move forward with a few more…

I’m always curious how people feel on self-publishing. For it? Against it? Not for it? For it all the way?

Just curious where y’all stand :-D

~ Jolene

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Wordies - Giveaway

Ready for three more reads?

I've chosen them out of my wide selection grabbed at TLA!

Wanna know what makes this one special?!

There's a giveaway involved!

You tell me what sentence captures you and it's yours should your name be pulled out of the random org hat!!!

1. The storm came out of nowhere.
2. What if a young woman was both a girl to the living and a portal to the dying?
3. On the last day of Hannah Armstrong's existence, things were normal for a while.

Which one captures your eyes? Check out the links to see the cover art too!