Take a deep breathe. Just one more day.

Fire in the Woods Revised CoverTomorrow, my debut novel FIRE IN THE WOODS officially releases in ebook. In about a month, the paperback will follow.

Yes, I’ve been published before, but they were each shorter works. Teasers, so to speak. This is different. Very different.

The blog tour is prepared. The review copies have been sent out. Everything has run seamlessly so far (Thanks to my lovely and talented publicist, Jaime, who I never want to live without. Again. Ever.)

But even though all the hard work is done, I still look at the date and say.

Huh. Tomorrow. Really?

It’s kind of strange to have worked so hard, and always see that spark of hope way off in the distance. But then that spark suddenly turns into a gigantic firework about to explode.

Well, at least I hope for a few explosions.

So now, with a touch of disbelief, I sit back and wait.

Excited? Yes. Totally.

But still somewhere, deep inside, is that unpublished wanna-be a novelist.

My only real hope is that my book makes a few people smile.

Thinking that people I have never met and who don’t know who I am might read and enjoyed a story I’ve created is the most exciting thought ever.

_JenniFer____EatoN

Woohoo! Let’s Celebrate. Enjoy a Free Ebook on me!

There’s only one week left in the countdown to September 23 and release day for FIRE IN THE WOODS!

Fire in the Woods Revised CoverI am totally excited because this is my full length novel debut.

Yes, I’ve had three novellas published (two stand alone and one in an anthology.)

But there’s something really special about that first big project.

I’m all tingly just thinking about it!

Swish Match

Now Available from Jennifer M. EatonTo help celebrate the release of FIRE IN THE WOODS, MuseItUp publishing is offering my YA novella THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW at the rock bottom price of free for the next six days.

**CLICK HERE TO ZOOM TO MuseItUp TO GET YOUR FREE EBOOK**

So while you’re waiting for all the extraterrestrial adventure coming next week, snuggle up with a little paranormal teen romance.

Enjoy!

Blurb for THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW

Maya dreams of perfect skin, beautiful hair, good grades, and Eric Brighton—the boy she’s been crushing on since elementary school. But no matter how hard she tries, these things elude her.

Until Now.

In the space of a day, her acne clears, her hair thickens, and Eric finally takes notice. As everything she wishes comes true, happiness is finally in reach—until a man posing as a college recruiter informs her that her newfound abilities come with a price. She will be expected to use them to stop a catastrophe.

Frightened of playing superhero, but thrilled that everything she desires becomes reality, Maya tests the limits of her power—until someone gets hurt.

Now terrified of her own thoughts, Maya will need to choose between having everything she wants, or returning to normalcy. With Eric’s heart and the fate of her town resting on her decision, Maya makes the hardest choice of her life.

JenniFer_EatonF

Wahoo! Time for a little fun! Here’s the Official Trailer for FIRE IN THE WOODS by @month9books

After toiling through edits and writing book two at a maddening pace, it’s time to stop, take a breather, and enjoy one of the more fun parts of book promotion.

Fire in the Woods Revised CoverThe countdown is on for the release of my debut YA novel FIRE IN THE WOODS.

Just ten more days! Yipee!

I am super excited to finally premier the official book trailer for FIRE IN THE WOODS.Yay1!

I hope you enjoy it!

JenniFer_EatonF

Is Rewarding Mediocrity Ruining Our Youth?

I will always remember a line from the movie THE INCREDIBLES. They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity!” My husband and I always laughed at this, because as the parents of three grade-school boys, we knew this to be very true.

I’m not only talking about all those graduation ceremonies for moving from the three-year-old room to the four-year-old room in daycare. I’m talking about things like getting a trophy just for participating in sports, even if you come in last place. I’m talking about that school somewhere (I can’t remember where) who decided to stop naming someone valedictorian because it makes the other kids feel bad they didn’t “win”.

Huh

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but many kids these days grow up believing they are “entitled” to what they want. I think this is the result of all the coddling they get in the early years of their lives.

Seriously… Why work your butt off, sweating in your sports game if at the end the winner is going to get exactly the same trophy as the team that ends up in last place?

This reared its ugly head for me personally this morning.  My husband called me to let me know that the middle school had called. Middle Dude had to be taken out of homeroom because he did not make the soccer team. He was devastated.

My heart broke.

The more I thought about it, the more angry I became— not at the school or the coaches, but at all the previous schools and coaches Middle Dude has encountered.

They dropped the ball in preparing my kid for the real world.

The truth is, the real world is not all rosy. When he graduates college, chances are he will not get the “dream job” he’s been fantasizing about. If he does get a job, he will be expected to over-preform, not under preform… and if he doesn’t do his job, no one is going to pat him on the back and say: “that’s okay, we’re going to give you a raise anyway. Don’t feel bad.”

This was a big wake-up call to me. Middle Dude had no conception of the possibility of not making the team. Up until now, everything had been handed him on a silver platter.  Probably the only people who have said “no” to him were his parents, and no matter how many times we tell our kids what “the real world” is like, they always just grin and shake their heads at us…

Because the real world gives them everything they want, and celebrates their achievement of nothing.

In their minds, we, as parents, know nothing.

It makes me sad. Really sad. It is fine for Middle Dude to be upset about not making the team. I remember in high school how I felt when I didn’t get the part in the play that I wanted. BUT I ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD THERE WAS A POSSIBILITY OF THE PART GOING TO SOMEONE ELSE.

It is a different day. I applaud many of the things that government and schools have come up with to protect our kids physically and emotionally. But there is such thing as over-protecting them.

The world has not changed. In fact, it is probably a much worse place than it was when I grew up. But my kids don’t believe that.

They are the generation of entitlement. And I am so afraid for them.

The real world entitles no one.

JenniFer_Eaton Sparkle__F

Take Away From My First Television Interview

On Monday, I had my first ever television interview. While I cannot speak to everywhere you might be interviewed, here are a few things that I took away from the experience.

1.  Bring a friend with you if you are the nervous type. You might be afraid to enter that scary little door between those two buildings. You might be even more afraid to walk down all those steps into what looks like a pit of doom. But fear not!  Big things come in small packages. A green room awaits!

2.  A green room is a place where guests wait before they are called by the producer. The room is not always green. In fact, I hear people joke about this all the time, so I don’t think any of them are green.

3.  I was told to come make-up ready. Not being much of a girly-girl, I went to a make-up salon and had someone who knows what they are doing make me look like a girl and make sure all of the colors were deep enough for television.  When I got to the television studio, I was called into make-up, and was surprised when she seemed ready to do all my make-up. The only thing she did was pile on the blush since I was already painted. I looked like I had a terrible sunburn when I left. She promised me that the lights would flood it out. I hope she’s right.

4.  Prepare, prepare, prepare.  I had a pre-interview where we discussed the questions that would be asked. I practiced them for a week before the actual interview. It helped. I didn’t have to deal with the “ummmm…” factor.

5.  Practice being interviewed facing left or right. For some reason I envisioned facing right, but when I got in there, the hosts were on my left. I did fine, but this might freak you out if you are nervous.

6.  No matter how much you prepare, the questions will probably NOT be asked in the way you anticipate, and maybe not even in the anticipated order. Be ready so that doesn’t throw you.

7.  The hosts are not subject matter experts. Listen to what they say. They might get something backwards. This I DID NOT anticipate, and I hope I handled it with grace. I think I did okay. I will have to wait for the interview to air to see for myself.

8.  Be prepared in case something goes wrong to brush it off mentally and move on. In their introduction, the hosts mentioned my novella THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW instead of FIRE IN THE WOODS. Well, it’s nice that they did their research into my past works. [Slaps hand to forehead] At least “Tomorrow” is still an active title.

9.  See number eight: If you are promoting something, and the mention of the book will only be in one spot… double check before the cameras go on. – Even if you discussed the correct book in the pre-interview.  No biggie. Like I said, NEW TOMORROW is still an active title.

10. You are in. interviewed, and you are out. When I stepped into the live studio, the make-up lady was touching up the hosts after their previous interview, while the producer put on my microphone.  I sat down, spoke randomly in circles while they took levels on my voice, and then the studio cleared out. The hosts said we would not get through all my information, and try to keep it concise. No pressure. As soon as the interview was over, I stood up and the makeup lady attacked the hosts again in preparation for the next interview. Boom! In a flash you are done, and these people are rustling in the next guest. For one day, you are the cog in a well-oiled machine.

swish swivel squiggle

All in all it was a great experience. The best advice I can give is to relax. Whatever happens, happens. I can honestly say that I forgot there were three cameras in the room. It was probably good, because that might have made me nervous. I just focused on spitting out the information as quickly as I could in the eight minutes allotted.

When the host asked the last question, I glanced at the clock and it said 7:34. I figured they had a little slack on the time since they weren’t closing the interview, so I spoke quickly, and tried to get all my thoughts out.  After the two lovely hosts saying we would not get through it all, I’m happy to say we touched on all ten topics and only went over by 38 seconds. Not too shabby.

I know most of you will not be able to see this interview when it airs in October, but I will be getting a copy and posting it here so everybody can laugh at me learn from all the valuable tidbits of information on editing.

JenniFer_EatonF

You’ll never guess what I’m doing today!

About a month ago, I was contacted by a television producer who had been surfing the web and stumbled across my “Gold Mine Manuscript” series of posts from 2011.

She thought these topics would be a great addition to a television series she’s working on aimed at writers.

How_stinking_cool_is_that

And she wanted to know if I’d like to appear on her show. Isn’t that even cooler?????

So today I am practicing my breathing exercises, trying to keep myself calm, and then I’m heading out to the studio to do my first ever television interview.

Isn’t that neat?

We are taping today, but the show will be airing some time in October. That does not take the pressure off, though. The show will filmed like it is live. Any mistakes will be immortalized forever.

No___Pressure

PKO_0004442 Nervous ScaredI’m both excited and a little nervous… but probably more excited than anything else.

This is a brand new experience for me, and it sounds like so much fun!

Wish me luck!

And while you’re here, have you had any “unexpected” opportunities pop up as a result of using social media?

Sometimes life just gets in the way.

I admit I am mildly psychotic. I give myself goals, and once I see them on paper, they might as well be chiseled in stone.

I hit them.

Always.

No matter what.

It’s something that was driven into me since I was very young. I thank my father for this most of the time. Being driven has helped me get to where I am today.

But I have trouble dealing sometimes when I realize what I challenge myself with is sometimes too much.

PKO_0008514 SICK GUYLike this week, when I was thrown a little curve ball.

I got sick.

Really dern sick.

Flat out in bed, can’t move, stricken-with-a-chill sick. Then sweating-to-death can’t- turn-down-the-temperature sick. Horrible… zig zagging back and forth.

Yep, I even looked like a guy.

It’s terrible to have to take off from work, waste vacation time, and get NOTHING DONE.

Arghhh! Picture

It drove me crazy, laying there under piles of blankets, sometimes with a fifty-pound poodle on top of me for extra warmth… doing nothing when there is piles of work to be done in real life, as well as my writing world.

I couldn’t even THINK of my scenes. I couldn’t formulate a plan for when I could get out of bed. My mind was dead. Caput.

My poodle all fifty pounds of her. Isn't she cute?

My poodle – all fifty pounds of her. Isn’t she cute?

What a terrible couple of days.

I’m better now, thank goodness. But now I have to take stock.

First things first.

I just completed my immediate need: The interviews/blog posts requested by wonderful people who signed up with my marketing company to help promote FIRE IN THE WOODS.

Whew… That was a lot of work.

Today, I do something I have not done in a VERY long time.

I set the writing aside.

No aliens. No space ships. No conflicts (except a few real life kids)

The book will be there tomorrow, and I know the first thing I am going to do is look at my goal sheet (yes, I have one, with word counts for each day.)

I will see that I am now a month behind, with a deadline looming.

I will not panic. (You hear that? I WILL NOT PANIC)

Life happens. Vacations are needed. Current books need to be marketed. And hey, there’s not much you can do about getting sick.

Tomorrow I re-align my goals, and I suppose I should start lining up beta readers, because if I do manage to hit my publisher’s deadline, it is going to be close.

Deep breath. This can be done.

How do you dig out of a hole when you realize you’ve fallen far behind?

Jennifer___Eaton

Why Teal? Take a moment to think about Ovarian Cancer

This weekend Littlest Dude and I drove down the road and saw a group of girls tying teal ribbons on trees. About an hour later when we returned, the entire street was lined with teal.

“What does that mean, Mommy?” Littlest asked.

Well, I remember yellow ribbons–and pink ribbons pop up every year. But teal? That was a new one for me.

A few miles down the road we found another group tying ribbons to a fence near a nice safe place to pull over, so I safely parked the car, and I asked what the teal was for.  A very nice gentleman explained that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and they were trying to blanket the town in teal in memory of his Mom.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness 2Well, that’s certainly something I could get behind, so Littlest Dude and I drove away with our own little packet of ribbons and information.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness 1This group was from the Susan Marie Rupp Foundation, SMRFteal.org and they were full of smiles in their teal shirts with long ribbons flapping like capes around their necks… yeah, maybe super heroes in their own rights.

Did you know that 1 in 71 women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime?

Each year, 20,000 women are diagnosed,

and about 15,000 women die from ovarian cancer.

Say What?

That sure made me want to be more wary of the signs, because the survival rate is better if the cancer is found early.

The following information is from the http://smrfteal.org/ website

The symptoms include:
◾Bloating
◾Pelvic or abdominal pain
◾Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
◾Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)

The ribbon to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness on my front porch

The ribbon to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness on my front porch

Women with Ovarian Cancer report that symptoms are persistent and represent a change from normal for their bodies. The frequency and/or number of such symptoms are key factors in the diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. Several studies show that even early stage Ovarian Cancer can produce these symptoms.

Women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist. Prompt medical evaluation may lead to detection at the earliest possible stage of the disease. Early stage diagnosis is associated with an improved prognosis.

This is kinda scary stuff.  I mean, I hear about breast cancer all the time, but not ovarian cancer.  This is news that everyone should know — if not for themselves, how about to help someone they love?

The ribbon to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness on my Neighbor's tree.

The ribbon to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness on my Neighbor’s tree.

So here is my humble support for their mission. Please spread the word about Teal. Facebook, Twitter, Blog.  Talk. Letters. Choose your rallying cry. If you can find yourselves some teal ribbons. Tie them around.

And if you don’t have time to create a post, feel free to reblog this one.

Even one life saved would make it worth your while.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, or find out more about please visit http://smrfteal.org/get-involved/donate/

JenniFer_EatonF

It’s marketing time! More blog posts and interviews, less novel writing.

While I was on vacation, dreaming about getting back and leisurely finishing ASHES IN THE SKY, my publicist sent over my blog tour interviews and guest post requests.

Just_Breathe

After reviewing them (14 in all so far) I decided to write “just a little” of ASHES IN THE SKY per day to keep myself going, and bust out the marketing for FIRE IN THE WOODS as soon as I can (They are all due back by September 15th)

I cringe when I think of it, because my original goal was to finish ASHES IN THE SKY before my vacation.  Then I moved the goal day to a week after vacation when I got bogged down with the edits. Right now that deadline doesn’t look all that rosy either.

Sigh

But I will not be thwarted!  I am doing my best to write clean copy. I am hoping that all I will have to do is general insertion of emotion and setting. Hopefully there will be no huge changes or additions to be made, but I won’t know until I send this puppy out to my beta readers to be slapped around a bit.

As it stands now, I am just turning the corner into act three.  The third and final act should be a roller-coaster ride and easy plot-wise to write, but hard in the “action” department.  I probably only have about 10,000-20,000 words to go.  I can do this. I just need to keep plugging away.

JenniFer_EatonFFire in the Woods Revised Cover

When the edits are finally over… Whew!

Edits are finally done for FIRE IN THE WOODS. Part of me breathes a sigh of relief, while the other part of me cringes in horror.

This was a multi-faceted process, which would have been much easier if I was not writing book two, ASHES IN THE SKY at the same time under a very stringent deadline. I work great under pressure, but not always great under double pressure.

Book Left1Developmental Edit

Anyway, step one was the Developmental Edit. This was not all that hard. There were two minor changes… one that took a half-hour phone conversation with my editor until we worked it out… but really minor for the overall story. #1 was ramping up the father’s reaction at one point, and #2 was giving Jess a little more of a reason to be afraid of another character. Overall, easy fixes.

Book Right1General Editing

After the developmental edit we went through three rounds of general editing for flow, readability and stuff like that. Here is where I found all those words that were repeated. This was the most painstaking part for me.

Book Right1Proofreading

After this we went through three FULL READS of the novel front to back looking for typos, mis-spelled words, improper punctuation and the like. THIS is the part that scares me. I found errors each time I read it (after correcting what I found the previous time). This really stresses me out because being a perfectionist; I would like to have been able to read through front to back without finding any typos. All I can do at this point is hope and pray I found them all. (And maybe bite off a few nails)

So, I leave for vacation knowing that my work is done, and all I need to do now is worry about book two… and reapplying sun screen.

_JenniFer____EatoNcropped-fire-banner-final2.png