Guess what? FIRE IN THE WOODS is still $.99 but you have to act fast. Prices return to normal some time tomorrow.

Woa!

To celebrate Month9Books’s birthday, all Month9Books titles on ebook were only $.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

And the price of FIRE IN THE WOODS has not increased to $3.99 yet!

 

Say_What

If you haven’t picked up FIRE IN THE WOODS yet, Now is your chance to get it for only $.99.

Fire in the Woods Cover

Awesome!

Zing to Amazon to pick it up:

http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Woods-Jennifer-M-Eaton-ebook/dp/B00MLDECDK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411521702&sr=1-1&keywords=fire+in+the+woods

Zing to Barnes and Noble to get my copy:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-in-the-woods-jennifer-m-eaton/1120148885?ean=9780692242018

JenniFer_EatonF

FIRE IN THE WOODS is $.99 Today Only! Do you have your copy yet?

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Woohoo! News flash!

Woa!

Today only, to celebrate Month9Books’s birthday, all Month9Books titles on ebook are only $.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Say_What

If you haven’t picked up FIRE IN THE WOODS yet, Now is your chance to get it for only $.99.

Fire in the Woods Cover

Awesome!

Zing to Amazon to pick it up: http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Woods-Jennifer-M-Eaton-ebook/dp/B00MLDECDK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411521702&sr=1-1&keywords=fire+in+the+woods

Zing to Barnes and Noble to get my copy: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-in-the-woods-jennifer-m-eaton/1120148885?ean=9780692242018

JenniFer_EatonF

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to Month9Books! Win a Kindle LOADED with books! (Including mine. Woohoo!)

Welcome to Month9Books Birthday Bash! We’re so excited  you’re all stopping by! This is going to be an awesome event with many tour stops  featuring our authors! The full schedule is below and make sure to stick around  for the EPIC Giveaway taking place!
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Here’s a quick note from Georgia McBride, owner of  Month9Books!
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“Month9Books is turning 2 this year and I could not be  happier. We are living proof that if you have a dream to write, create and  inspire, you should follow that dream and let nothing keep you from realizing  it. Thank you to all the readers, writers, agents, partners and friends who  have made this possible. We write for you.
 .
–Georgia McBride, Publisher and Owner of Month9Books”
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While all of the posts are from our authors that have books  out already we also want to look forward to some of the 2015 titles we can’t  wait to share with you!
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Here’s a slide show of some our 2015 books!

We have a ton of sequels coming as well as new books from  awesome debut authors and we’re so excited to share them all with you! We have  something for everyine from every genre from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Paranormal and Horror!
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Giveaway Details:
(1) New Kindle with touchscreen (US only) loaded with all  our Month9Books titles. US Only.
(1) Paperback prize pack of 5 Month9Books Titles. US ONLY.
(2) eBook Prize Packs of 5 Month9Books titles. International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Meet the Authors and amazing host Blogs!

All posts will be live on October 31st!

Jessica Arnold will be hosted by Read for your Future

Vanessa Barger will be hosted by Pretty Little Pages

Lisa M. Basso will be hosted by In Vogue with Books

Sarah Bromley will be hosted by A Book and A Latte

Steve Bryant will be hosted by Jump Into Books

Brynn Chapman will be hosted by A Backwards Story

Nicole Conway will be hosted by Two Chicks on Books

Scott Craven will be hosted by Books and Ashes

Ty Drago will be hosted by The A P Book Club

Dorothy Dreyer will be hosted by Her Book Thoughts!

Dorothy Dreyer will be hosted by Oops! I Read A Book Again

Jennifer M. Eaton will be hosted by Book Briefs

Kit Forbes will be hosted by Book Lovers Life

Janice Gable Bashman  will be hosted by All Things Urban Fantasy

Amanda Gray will be hosted by Aspiring Joy

Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake will be hosted by Book Geek Review

Elizabeth Holloway will be hosted by Tales of a Ravenous Reader

Missy Kalicicki and Abi Ketner will be hosted by Once Upon A Twilight

Nicola Marsh will be hosted by ReadWriteLove28

Georgia McBride will be hosted by YA Sisterhood

Jen McConnel will be hosted by A Dream Within A Dream

Jackie Morse Kessler will be hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Beck Nicholas will be hosted by The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

Michelle E. Reed will be hosted by Doodle’s Book Reviews

Heather Reid will be hosted by Bookish Things & More

A. Lynden Rolland will be hosted by Fiction State of Mind

Kristal Shaff will be hosted by Chicklit vs Fantasy

Pab Sungenis will be hosted by Classy Cat Books

Rachel Tafoya will be hosted by Jessabella Reads

Vicki L. Weavil will be hosted by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

Lesson Four from the Gold Mine Manuscript Red Line: And Then there was a Conjunction, or Was There?

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?

Yay!__Gold_Mine_Manuscript_is_back!

Originally, I was going to skip over this, because I thought it seemed a little obvious.  But then I thought, maybe not.

This publisher simply hated the idea of “and then”.  They said: “And then is not a proper conjunction.  And is a proper conjunction… use for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so which are considered “proper” conjunctions.”

I did a search in my own manuscript, and found 73 instances of “and then”.  Honestly, I was a little surprised to find so many in my story.  The more I thought about it, every instance is like a laundry list “tell sequence”.

Matt did this, and then he did that, and then he did that. (It was not quite so blatant, but you get the idea) If you think about it, it’s kind of funny.  I know when I was beta reading the manuscript for my BP, the “and then’s” did pop out here and there, but I just figured it was writing style.  I didn’t particularly like it, but I let it go.  I didn’t even realize I was doing it myself.  Now that I’m re-reading with these comments in mind, they are popping out and blaring:  No No No!

So, my advice is, do what I did:  Do a search/replace on your manuscript just for starters.  Search for “and then” and replace with “and then” (just make sure you spell it correctly)  It won’t change anything, it will just give you a count of how many times you did it.  If it’s a lot, search again and start editing!

This is an easy fix.   I’m not saying this will bother every publisher, but if it’s a pet peeve of one publisher, it will probably bother another one, or two, or three.  Personally, I’m not willing to take a chance and let them go now that I realize what I’ve done.

_Keep_Editing._Stick_to_your_guns_00000

JenniFer_EatonF

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Longest. Edit. Ever. The tediousness of overused words.

I usually edit out overused words last, but since a few beta readers pointed some out… I started fixing, and then the overused words snowballed.

I always have overused words. I think all authors do… but the quantity of words, sometimes appearing five times on the same page, astounded me.

Was it the speed I was writing? The lack of read-throughs before going to beta? (I usually read my manuscript five to ten times before going to beta)

I’m not sure, but I’m definitely not happy. What a terrible, tedious week.

Repeated words might not seem like a big deal, but they ruin the flow of a novel. They stand out, and can pull the reader from your story and remind them they are “only reading”.

Shame on me

That is NOT what I ever want to do to my readers. It is my job to help them escape for a little while. If they are reminded it is “just a book” then shame on me.

That’s why I took an entire week to tackle this before submitting to my editor. The only problem is that another beta pointed out a portion that would be more intense if I made one small point in the story a touch harder on my characters… and I agree.

So that leaves me with two weeks left to do another developmental edit/rewrite on the beginning of the story, and finish the re-write of the ending that I inadvertently started while getting rid of the repeated words in the last two paragraphs. PLUS do a complete final read-through start to finish.

Two weeks until the deadline?

Arghhh! PictureNo, this is not where I would like to be so close to the novel being due… Especially since ASHES IN THE SKY went up on Goodreads this weekend, and  I was supposed to start EMBERS IN THE SEA last Wednesday.

Tons, tons, tons of pressure… But I WILL get this manuscript in on time.

And I will try my best NOT to make sleep optional.

What words have you seen overused in novels?

Lesson Three from the Gold Mine Manuscript Red Line: Action Action, where is the Action?

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine ?

Gold_Mine_Manuscript

IFire-in-the-Woods-Cover 3D’ve heard contradicting opinions on this.  Some people say exposition is important.  Some people say don’t start right out with action because you don’t have a character basis of who to “root for” yet.  Personally, when I’m reading something, I want to be slapped in the face immediately with excitement and fill me in on the boring stuff later. (Anyone who has read FIRE IN THE WOODS knows what I mean by this. :-) )

So, when my BP (Beta Partner) had a story that started with tons of talking and setting, I said, “According to what I’ve read, this is okay.” But, being the good beta partner that I am, I let her “have it” and told her I was bored.  But, all the exposition stayed (with some trimming to six pages).   (I’m not saying she trimmed for me…  I believe she has five beta partners, so I’m sure there were a wealth of comments to revise from.)

 Unfortunately though, the publisher found it to be an unnecessary character study and suggested cutting the first five pages completely.  What was after these five pages, was a brief conversation of a dream that actually had relevance to the story (almost a page long) and then the action started.

The publisher’s commented that the first five pages were not engaging.  What I got out of that, was that they didn’t want to see a few kids hanging out and talking.  They wanted something to HAPPEN.  The story actually does, I must admit, start right where they suggested… The dream is a foreshadowing, and then the action that is the catalyst that changes the MC’s life forever happens right afterwards.

***Always start the story as close to the life changing event as possible***

So, what gets lost in the first five pages?  Well, the set up of the friendship between the two MC’s, which can be played out pretty quickly in the next pages, and (ouch) a lot of setting.  To me, that’s no biggie, but my BP is a big setting person.  She likes her imagery.  Now she needs to work in her sweeping mansion and grounds into the action scenes or between them.  It will be a little work.

Moral of the story:  Setting is important, but not too much up front.  Make sure something happens in the first page or so to drag your reader in.

Also see my post on how I changed (and am still changing) my first page after a contest judge didn’t find my first page exciting enough— and there was hardly any setting there at all!

Go back and make your first few pages ROCK!  If you don’t excite the reader right away, they might put your novel down and buy something else.

Gack!

Jennifer___Eaton

Lesson Two from the Gold Mine Manuscript Red Line: Do we like your main character yet?

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?

Gold_Mine_Manuscript

I wasn’t going to write about this, but someone told me once they didn’t particularly like my main character, and I tried to make him a little more endearing right up front. If I had a bad Main Character (MC) intro, and my BP (Beta Partner) did too, then some of you may have done it, also. So, yes, I am going to blog about “making your main character likable”, even if it seems like a “Duh” thing to talk about.

On page three, the publisher said that the Main Character is portrayed as spoiled and we’re not led to feel any compassion for him. Now, in the case of the manuscript in question, this was partly done on purpose. We aren’t supposed to completely love this character. It’s part of his growing experience. I understood that once my BP explained it to me after I told her I didn’t particularly like him when I read the first chapter.

Think that over. I UNDERSTOOD THAT ONCE SHE EXPLAINED THAT TO ME.

You are not going to have the chance to “explain” to the agent you are querying, or the publisher you are submitting to, or to your reader… why your main character is the way they are. Even if they are completely despicable, there needs to be something about them that makes you drawn to them to keep them reading on. Either that, or something has to happen in the plot, and QUICK, that grabs their attention and distracts them. (That’s my two-cents… not sure an agent or a publisher would agree on the plot hiding what they would consider character flaws)

So, go back and look at those all-important first few pages, and make sure that your character is lovable to someone other than you.

Not to beat a dead horse (I will be talking about cliches shortly by the way) but GET SOME BETA READERS THAT YOU DON’T KNOW. You might be too close to your story to realize that your MC isn’t likable.

Amendment:  Just read a great blog  from CB Wentworth  about an author thinking up a character and falling in love with him.   I think we all fall in love with our characters in one way or another.  We just need to make sure our readers feel that love, too.  (I’m not saying Noah isn’t likable, by the way!  I’ve never met CB’s work.)

http://cbwentworth.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/one-photograph-changed-everything/

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The huge sigh of relief after typing “The End”

“The End.” Aren’t they wonderful words?

Fire in the Woods CoverAbout four months ago while polishing up my dystopian novel, I got the surprise of my life…

a contract offer for my YA Scifi FIRE IN THE WOODS.

And not just any contract, but a three-book deal.

Surprise!

Suddenly, I needed to come up with two more novels continuing a story that I had already typed “The End” on in my mind. That’s right… no planned sequels.

Yikes!

But never to be thwarted, I accepted the challenge, despite what looked like impossible-to-meet deadlines for getting the sequels out. I had a light outline of a concept, and I hit the ground running.

Now, I would be lying to say that I wasn’t pantsing ASHES IN THE SKY to begin with. I started off simply re-kindling my love for the voice and characters of FIRE IN THE WOODS, but within a few chapters I was able to scroll out a decent outline.

Here I am today, with a clean, completed rough draft of the novel. I have five weeks to edit the story, send it to beta readers, and make it sparkle before it is due in my editor’s hands.

So I am here to say: It can be done. Now I move on to editing, which is actually one of my favorite parts. Now is the time to add the little extra zing that will make my characters pop, and the explosions… well… explode.

For all you stats lovers: Here are the numbers…

Started writing June 18th

Finished CLEAN* first draft September 26th

Total time from start to finish=98 days

Total number of those days actually spent writing=60 days

One three-day weekend dedicated two writing = 10,392 words

Average words per day = 1,114, but the actual words per day ranged from 249 to 3,366

Let the editing begin!

*Clean just means that I didn’t write NANO-style. I corrected my typos and spelling as I went along, and re-read each chapter at least once and edited whatever did not work before I started the next chapter.

_JenniFer____EatoN

Lesson One from the Gold Mine Manuscript Mark-Up: Write Without Looking

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?

Gold_Mine_ManuscriptHow many times do your characters look at something?  Mine do.  All the time.  I never thought it was a problem.  I feel really bad now, because I am the
“Show Vs. Tell Barracuda”, and I absolutely missed this…

If you say your character looks at something, you are telling the reader that they “look”.  Show the reader instead.

Example:  The wind blew cold, and Magellan looked up into the trees.  The branches bent and shook over his head.

Now, I honestly would not think this was telly, because I showed you what he was seeing right afterward.  My writing partner did the same thing in her manuscript.  The publisher highlighted the “looked” and said “rather than telling us what he is doing, show us what he sees instead.”

Suggested rewrite:  The wind blew cold, and Magellan pulled his jacket closer.  The branches bent and shook over his head.

Here, I took out the offensive “looked” kept the characterization by giving Magellan something to do (pulling his jacket closer), which gives me a place to mention his name.  (In case it’s needed)   I left the “what he saw” exactly the way it was originally written.  You can assume he looked up.  The whole scene actually flows better, and all I did was take a moment to pull out the word “look”.

Even better for you word count barracudas out there… count ‘em… there is one less word in the corrected example.  Yea for me!

Here’s another easy one:  He ran down the hall and looked at the dark stone walls.  The sconces were still lit and the light danced across the ceiling.

Easy fix:  He ran down the dark stone hallway.  The sconces were still lit and their light danced across the ceiling.

Now, I’ll be honest… This is not always this easy.  I’ve growled a little over some of these.  But I am going to try my best to take all of the “looks” out of my novel, unless they are in a personal thought… but I will be looking at those pretty closely as well.

Honestly, I emailed my friend yesterday on this, and she said she’s only taken out “most” of the looks.  Once in a while, your characters will have to “look”.  I am finding the same thing.  But I am finding that a lot of them can be removed easily like the ones above.  (We also discussed that we’ve read published novels that have “looks” in them.  yes, we know they exist… I’m just letting you know there is a publisher out there that redlined it and asked for a revision.)

I am finding I am taking out all of the “looking” that is being done by a POV character, and leaving some of the looks that are not from the POV character.
For instance, if another character in the room (not the POV character)
looks over at the door, you are not going to tell what they see, because you are not in their POV.  Therefore, it might to be okay to leave that look in there.
However, I do not let the POV character look up and see that the other character is looking at the door.  Does that make sense?

This, by the way, is just my opinion.  If I submit, and get slapped for these “looks” I will let you know ASAP.

If you can, get rid of any and all looking, because this publisher emphatically flagged it.  Only look as a last resort.

Hope you found this helpful!

Related Articles:http://kristinastanley.net/2011/09/01/listening-to-your-novel/

It’s the Young Adult Scavenger Hunt! Are you ready to win a ton of signed paperbacks?

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Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. And to make it even easier here is a special “how to hunt” Link.

There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting the lovely and talented Bree Despain for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Bree Despain is the author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the Into The Dark trilogy.  Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.
 
Find out more information by checking out the Bree’s  website or find more about Bree’s book here!
 
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
 
 
So, Ms. Bree, what are we going to be looking at, here?
This is an exploratory scene I wrote when I first got the idea for THE SHADOW PRINCE way back in 2007. I was trying to figure out who my characters were and what they wanted. This scene didn’t make it into the final version of the book–mostly because a lot changed since I wrote this initial scene (like Daphne lives in her father’s mansion not at a boarding school with a roommate, and the book is written in first person instead of third). However, it was the way I FELT when I wrote this scene–and how that feeling stuck with me–that caused me to return to write this book in 2012. Now I’m thrilled that seven years after writing this little exploratory scene, the story is a shiny real novel sitting on bookstore shelves.
Awesomeness!  Let’s take a looksee!
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            Her scent was everywhere, circling Haden as he stood in her room.  It was a sweet smell, but not too sweet, like fresh fruit just on the verge of being ripe.  There was another scent also, much more bitter and distasteful to him. The roommate, he thought and shut and locked the bedroom door, afraid of being interrupted before he got what he came for.

            He bypassed the bitter smelling bed and the track trophies and went straight to the side of the room that smelled the most like her.  Her walls were bare, her drawers held nothing but clothes.  Her bed was covered in the plain green bedspread provided by the school rather than something brought from home.  He was hoping her belongings—pictures, posters, letters, anything—might give him clues about her.  Help him know her.  But her lack of belongings told him more than any picture could.  She was alone, lonely.  She didn’t belong here—just like him.

Her rumpled blankets were permeated with her scent.  Haden crouched down to breath her in, letting the tantalizing taste roll over his tongue.  His hands grew hot, his fingers burned red.  He stepped back.  He shouldn’t be here. How could he even think of inviting such pain and danger into her life?  He was about to leave when he saw something that made him pause.  A black case stuck out from under her bed.  He pulled it out and placed it on top of her blankets.  He popped the locks, sensing her hands had recently been in the same place.  He pulled out the instrument he’d seen her playing.  It had had a voice almost as beautiful as hers.  He held it in his arms the way he had seen her do it and placed his fingers on the strings.  The cool metal felt soothing to his scorched fingertips—that is until he tried to strum them the way she had.  The metal stung his burned fingers and the pain radiated up his arm and pierced his shoulder.  He almost dropped the instrument but caught it in his arms, cradling it because he knew it was important to her.  Determined, he tried to play it again.  He ignored the pain and strummed the strings and tried to pick out the song he had heard her play.  Frustrated he tried again and again.  He cursed when the notes came out sour, nothing like her music.

Most things came easy to Haden—it was his gift.  Like how it only took one turn around the campus with Dax to learn how to drive a car or how he mastered the English language in a matter of days when it took others months of practice.  But for some reason, mastering this instrument eluded him—just the way she eluded him.  He had to find a way to her. A way to make her trust him.

He heard voices in the hall.  That bitter scent wafted under the door.  Haden realized he had stayed longer than he had intended.  Classes were over now.  He carefully put the instrument away and went to the window.  As he climbed onto the sill, he saw something that could possibly help him sitting under the filmy green drapes.  Haden tucked it into his pocket and opened the window.  It was three stories down with thorny bushes directly underneath.  There was a jangling sound outside the bedroom door that sounded like keys.  Haden patted his pocket. With his prize secure he jumped lithely from the window.

Swish swivel 1

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jennifer M. Eaton, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 5Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GREEN TEAM and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Elizabeth Holloway
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