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Interview with Jennifer M. Eaton

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Originally posted on Bookish Mom Abroad:
It’s been a very exciting past couple of months! My heart is overjoyed for so many of my author friends who are celebrating the release of their new books. I’ve gotten to know Jennifer…

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The best of the 52 books I read this year

Book Twist

Wowzers! I am blown away that I actually read 52 books this year!

That is a new record for me, that I admittedly owe to listening to audiobooks in the car. There were 18 ebooks, 28 audiobooks, and five paperbacks in the mix (plus a four that I didn’t finish)

I actually read more books than I was able to review, so I’m only going to show 41 in this year’s ranking… especially because one of the books I just finished (Illuminae by Amy Kauffman) might be the best book I’ve ever read, but since it is fresh in my mind, and I frequently think a book is the best ever after reading it, I’m going to judge that one with next year’s books.

So here we are… of the 41 books I’ve reviewed this year, my ranking from most enjoyable to “not the best for me”. Click on any book cover to read the review.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? 


If you have any questions about a book, please feel free to ask!


 2016 most enjoyed at the top. Not for me at the bottom of the list

(Note: Being at the bottom does not mean it’s bad. It just means that I didn’t enjoy it as much as something else. Sometimes it is a bad match of reader to book.) Looking over this list, There weren’t too many I didn’t like. (Those would be the last four) Ranking was really hard this year.

Seven books in contention for number one

(I kept changing these around for one reason or another. I couldn’t name one of them the best, so these are the cream of the crop)

         

And some more awesome reads this year. Most enjoyed at the top:

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Have you read any of these? What did you think? 


Books I read, but have not reviewed yet:

   22895264 6635813  17455817  498139  1222403 23395680 Lost Girls 30687917

 Catch up with me on social media!

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Get your dragon on! A review of Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Fledgeling by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This is a fantasy adventure about a hybrid boy elf/human who kinda-accidentally binds himself to a wild dragon that no one else can tame.

While this book is middle grade, it did not suffer from all the juvenile mannerisms that would annoy the adult reader. Nope, no whining and sticking out their tongues in this one (thank goodness)

Our Half-Elf is in an interesting situation. As a dragonrider, he must train to be a flying soldier in an army bent on destroying the elves. That’s kind of a pickle, but this conflict isn’t touched on in book one. I hope they delve into it further in future books.

Anyway, this book deals with the prejudice that this boy faces in the world of men for being half elf, and you also see a hint that the elves don’t care for half breeds, either. Poor kid! The only ones who seem to like him are his roommate, his trainer, and his trainer’s daughter. (Yep, dangerous ground there, and the beginnings of what might be a love interest when these characters age-up a bit)

This book deals with the struggle of a middle grade boy who just wants to fit in, while he sets off on a pretty impressive (and almost believable) adventure to save one of the few people who’d ever shown him kindness. Throw in a couple of dragons, and this reader is totally sold. I wish I’d picked this book up sooner!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play


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Is writing really a solitary endeavor? It doesn’t have to be. Maybe it shouldn’t be.

Read-hold up PKO_0016876I am running across more and more articles that talk about writing being a solitary endeavor. I see how it CAN be lonely… but really, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, to an extent you need to write on your own (Unless two or more authors write a book together, but I’m not talking about that.)

Anyway, you write on your own, but if you find yourself a great group of writing friends, they are always there to bounce ideas off of, or to rant with when the words aren’t flowing, and to celebrate with when those worlds are flying like dandelion seeds in the spring breeze.

Spread_the_love!

Also – and this is the most important and fun part for me – when you are done writing your fourth or fifth draft… after you have taken the story as far as it can possibly go… you get to hand your baby over to these trusted friends and they can tell you all the wonderful things wrong with it!

And yes, they will be wonderful things, because every comment is an opportunity to make your great manuscript even better! And then you revise, and send it to someone else, and if you are lucky enough, they find even more wrong with it.

Plot hole? Really? Bring it!

Police in rural North Carolina don’t ride on horses? I did not know that!

You can’t see the Aurora Borealis in Florida? Wow! Good catch!

Okay, I made some of that up, but my beta readers find tiny little things like that all the time. Silly little things that read perfectly fine to me, but shout “No way” to someone else. Different life experiences bring something new to the read. It’s those little tweaks that excite me!

So yes, in the end my name is on the cover of the book, but it is really a team effort.

I am nothing without my beta readers. They way I look at it, the more eyes the better.

Don’t write in a little box all by yourself.

Find yourself a team.

It’s fun!

Happy_Writing!

 

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Fire in the Woods CoverYou can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

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How to create a fully realized mythical world with Nicole Conway

Ummmm… excuse me, but DRAGONS, Baby! I never met a dragon I didn’t like. Today I’m welcoming the dragon lady… wait, that’s not right, but she is the author of three dragon books. Here is Nicole Conway talking about piecing together a bran new world.

A lot goes into creating a full and functioning mythical world. When I begin, I try to start with the basics of society before I even begin to fully flesh out the characters – because characters like people should be influenced by their culture. The roles of men and women are key. Is it male dominant? Female? Or neutral in gender roles? How are children viewed and what are there expectations as they mature? How are marriages performed? What influence do religious traditions have on daily life?

It seems daunting but I’ve found it’s rather fun to sit down and ponder it out. For instance, Maldobarian culture is very much like the standard Western European Medieval culture. Males are dominant, generally. People act and dress modestly. There’s a code of chivalry that one should adhere to. The gray elves of Luntharda, however, are very different. Their culture is more gender neutral, but with family lines being traced through the mother’s bloodlines.

People bathe together as a common social interaction because that kind of nudity isn’t viewed as scandalous. I suppose you could say that they almost have a “Garden of Eden” mentality where they don’t know they should be ashamed of their nudity. Children are raised by families and villages as a whole rather than only by individual parents.

I tend to focus more on the intimate details of a culture than the historical events. That’s not to say there’s any right or wrong way to do it. This is just my preference because it makes me feel as though I’m immersed in that world rather than reading a history book.

Want to read Nicole’s mythical world? You can find all the book at the links down below. Thanks for coming to hang today, Nicole!

Goodreads

Buy Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Click here for a chance to win one of Five copies of TRAITOR! Contest ends May 27, 2016

About the author

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. TRAITOR is the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Goodreads

 

 

Making Fiction Come Alive! Using the Senses for Maximum Impact

Anything that talks to our senses feels a lot more real to us. It is through senses that we experience our entire world. We crave sensory experiences.

Click below- this is an awesome article for writers.

Source: Making Fiction Come Alive! Using the Senses for Maximum Impact

3-2-1 Blastoff! It’s Release Day for ASHES IN THE SKY! Alien Adventure Abounds!

Release day is finally here!

Omigosh, yes, I know it took forever, but here it is! Ashes in the Sky is FINALLY available in all formats at all booksellers.

Rock_On!

Here’s what early reviewers are saying on Goodreads:

85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3Ashes In The Sky is action-packed, fast-paced, and full of creative fun. It’s a book that’s out-of-this-world and will leave many with wanting more, and in a ironic twist probably craving tacos.
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I was so in love with the concept and the writing and the characters that I couldn’t put it down. This is shaping up to be one of my new favourite alien invasion stories and I cannot wait to see where the next book goes!
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After finishing this book I can safely say I’m now a huge/ massive fan of Jennifer M. Eaton’s books, boy does she know how to take you on an epic alien adventure. I absolutely adored this book and book one too it really is a no holds rip roaring ride of a book. I literally speed read this book in a few days, it’s brimming with action, heartbreak, romance and all out catastrophe.

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85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3I really devoured Ashes in the Sky, it was a wonderful sequel and this series is a breath of fresh air. If you don’t fall for Jess and David and if you don’t catch some feels then we were reading different books! Ashes in the Sky is a brilliant adventure, a perfect addition to the series
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If you enjoy young adult adventure stories (or romances) and haven’t read this series, you are missing hours of entertainment.
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I read this book in a day, ignoring all other responsibilities, 100% because the excitement started pretty early on and continued (and escalated) right to the very end. There were moments where I was sure David and Jess were goners, or at least various body parts were!
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85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3This book was breathtaking and I loved reading it. It more than fulfilled the promise of a fantastic book.
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WOW! Jennifer does it again!

I loved this sequel to Fire in the Woods so much! It is definitely on par with, if not better than, it’s predecessor. It was even more action packed and was completely out of this world, literally!

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 If you’d like to see all the Goodreads Reviews, click here.

ASHES IN THE SKY is finally available wherever books are sold

| Amazon | BookDepositoy.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | iTunes |BooksAMillion | ChaptersIndigo | IndieBound |

So what the heck  is this book about, anyway?

AshesInTheSkyCover
After inadvertently saving the world, 18-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school. But when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien spaceship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she would be crazy to turn something like that down, right?
Ashes and FireBut when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

Young adult contemporary science fiction (Because you can’t get enough contemporary or science in your fiction)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23344658-ashes-in-the-sky#other_reviews


Available wherever books are sold

Buy Links:  | Amazon | BookDepositoy.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | iTunes |

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23344658-ashes-in-the-sky#other_reviews

It’s the Blog Tour for: Ashes In The Sky (Fire In The Woods #2) by Jennifer M. Eaton

Today is day one of the blog tour for my new release ASHES IN THE SKY!

And this tour includes [GASP] Eighteen review stops!

Eighteen!

No pressure or anything. Yik-a-roonies.

Should be a good time. Click on over to the tour stops for a chance to win.

There’s nothing like a book release to get the old blood pumping. Woohoo!

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AshesInTheSkyTour (1)

AshesInTheSkyCoverAshes In The Sky by Jennifer M. Eaton 
Fire In The Woods, #2
Month9Books
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Buy Links:

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD

Synopsis:

After inadvertently saving the world, eighteen-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school.

Though when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien space ship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she’d be crazy to turn something like that down, right?

Spending time with David on the ship has definite advantages and the two seem to pick up right where they left off. But when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

ASHES IN THE…

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Why aren’t you querying those finished novels?

A few days ago I shared a list of all my upcoming projects on social media. It looked something like this:

Here’s what’s coming down the pike:

  • Ashes in the Sky {Fire in the Woods #2} (In production Release date March 1)
  • Fire in the Woods #3 (Contracted: In developmental edits. Release date TBD)
  • YA Science Fiction (95% complete Work in Progress)
  • Adult Contemporary Science Fiction (Aliens) Mystery/Horror (First draft complete)
  • Adult Paranormal (Shifters) novel written in serial (Uncontracted: Number one complete)
  • YA Dystopian Romance (Uncontracted, Complete)
  • YA Space Opera – 8 book series (First draft complete)
  • Middle Grade Contemporary Adventure (First draft complete)
  • Hard Sci Fi Space Opera three book series (First Draft of all three books complete)

 

Outlined concepts prepped, outlined, and ready to be written:

  1. Adult/New Adult Fantasy-Medieval setting
  2. YA Contemporary Science Fiction (Aliens)
  3. Adult/YA Shifter (Dragons) First chapter written
  4. YA Time Travel (Aliens) First chapter written
  5. YA/New Adult Contemporary Science Fiction (Aliens)

 

A few people have asked why I have two complete novels, and four “First Draft complete” while it looks like I am currently working on something completely new.

Well, to be honest, I didn’t realize how many things I had partially finished until I created this list. For me, the fun of creating a story is the best part. I love starting a story, and torturing my heroes to the very end of the tale. So much fun!

Usually, by the time I finish a first draft, I’ve already outlined several new ideas that I came up with along the way. Some of these I take a few notes on, and then never go back to. But many, like the five above, get 7000-10000 word outlines, because I love the premise so much that I don’t want to lose even a single spec of the idea.

Unfortunately, I cannot type anywhere near as fast as my brain works, and that list of stories to write keeps getting longer.

Basically, when the time comes to write a new book, I just pick one from the list. Sounds easy. But sometimes there are several stories screaming at me, and even after I choose, a different story keeps me awake at night.

It all comes down to my writing process, which I love… but the business of publishing usually gets in the way of the fun part. That’s why I have so many first drafts right now.

When I finished this post, it was over 800 words long. I was going to talk about my writing process, but I’m going to leave that for my next post. I think this will explain some of the insanity of my current “too many almost-finished books” situation.

See you next time!

 

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Flames longFlames longFlames longFire in the Woods Cover

You can find Fire in the Woods at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

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Alien Lineup

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Careful

This is a great article.

This very thing happened to me just last night when my teenage son asked about the book I wrote and abandoned about three years ago because I realized I wasn’t talented enough to do the story justice.

Listening to him fanboy all over the story, and point out how he thought it was better than the NYT bestseller he just finished (I don’t know about all that) – but anyway, it really got me thinking about that story again, and wondering if I’d learned enough about writing to re-envision that epic tale.

I’m trying NOT to think about it until I get my current WIP done, but the story is very much on my mind again.

Views from a Window Seat

After years of writing without seeing a book land on shelves, I’m happy to have a new book in the world and two others on their way. But I still have work in earlier stages of progress to tend to. I love the generosity of early drafts, how they offer a place where mistakes are welcome. And I like the word-fixing of final drafts, the excitement of seeing a story head to new readers. I recently sent a book to a copy editor after some dwelling on whether it was okay to write “Ho, gluepots,” instead of “Ho, glue pots.” And making sure that the ten children in a family stuck to their proper ages during the narrative’s course of years. But those drafts in between that are good enough to show someone else, but still mistake-ridden? Well. I was just reminded of how fragile those can be.

Last month…

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