Tag Archives: ashes in the sky

It’s Release Day for Embers in the Sea! Dork Dancing Allowed for Everyone!

embers-coverYou guys! The day is finally here! EMBERS IN THE SEA, Book 3 of my FIRE IN THE WOODS series is finally out loose in the world.

And early reviews give it 4.75 stars!

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Wahoooo!

To be honest, a few years ago I never dreamed there would be more than one book let alone three, and I’m thrilled to pieces you guys have embraced my little alien action adventure with such gusto.

 Saving the world is tough work, but don’t worry, Jess and David are up to the challenge at least one more time!


This is going to be a short note, because so much is going on right now that I can hardly keep up, but I’ll paste the blurb below if you want to check it out.


Just in case you’re new here, the first five chapters of FIRE IN THE WOODS are available to read free on Wattpad. Click here to start your race through the woods!


Book One is on sale today if you want to check it out!

Here’s the blurb and a puuurrrtttyyyy picture of EMBERS on my eReader. (Insert crazy author giggle of glee here)

embers-reveal2Alien scientist David has dealt with disappointment his entire life, but failing to breathe life into the planet Mars is his greatest regret. Out of options and in need of a new home for their people, the alien Caretakers rekindle their plan to inhabit Earth. First they will have to eliminate the human race, including Jess, the only human David holds dear.
Humanity has one final chance at survival. David needs to emulate Earth’s precipitation on Mars. But the catalyst to make it rain lies in the fathomless depths of Earth’s ocean.
The clock is ticking down to humanity’s last hours as Jess and David face a world more alien than either of them can imagine. The sea hides secrets, but some secrets don’t want to be found.

And there you have it! I really hope you love this one, guys, and thanks again for all your support!

Alien Kisses! —Jennifer


embers-coverAlien scientist David has dealt with disappointment his entire life, but failing to breathe life into the planet Mars is his greatest regret. Out of options and in need of a new home for their people, the alien Caretakers rekindle their plan to inhabit Earth. First they will have to eliminate the human race, including Jess, the only human David holds dear.

Humanity has one final chance at survival. David needs to emulate Earth’s precipitation on Mars. But the catalyst to make it rain lies in the fathomless depths of Earth’s ocean.

The clock is ticking down to humanity’s last hours as Jess and David face a world more alien than either of them can imagine. The sea hides secrets, but some secrets don’t want to be found. Embers in the Sea is part one of the heart-stopping finale to Jennifer M. Eaton’s Fire in the Woods series.


Available wherever books are sold

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |BooksAMillionKobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

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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 Book Trailer for ASHES IN THE SKY! Catch a sneak peak at chapter two of Fire in the Woods

We’re just one day away from the official release of ASHES IN THE SKY!

AshesInTheSkyCoverYes, yes, many of you who preordered paperbacks got your book a month early, but all your eReader friends still have grabby hands. To help get you through one more day, here’s the book trailer. (After the blurb)Enjoy!
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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)

Available wherever books are sold

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

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

Reviews are in! Ashes in the Sky is ROCKING IT! Alien Kisses for Everyone!

Whew! With one week down of the two week book tour of Ashes in the Sky, Here’s what reviewers are saying:

AshesInTheSkyCoverFive Enthusiastic Stars – My most anticipated read of this year! – 3…2…1….BLAST OFF! You better hold on tight, because Jennifer is going to take you on one wild ride. I loved read this book! Absolutely loved it! I was so excited to get this book in the mail, that I read it in two days! Two day, people! Read full review here

Five Stars – I GIVE THIS BOOK 5 OUT 5 STARS .. IF I COULD MORE STARS. I WOULD. OMG.. I cried at some parts =[. Read full review here

Massive Five Stars – All in all a fantastic Alien book bursting with amazing characters, world building and kick ass battles with the bad guys get the tissues at the ready this book will blow your mind. Read full review here

Four out of five stars! – 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! See full review here

Ashes in the Sky Cover 2016Five Stars – Enjoying [sequels] is a hard thing to do when the first book in a series is the one that grabs your attention, makes you fall in love with the characters, and is that all consuming first impression you can never forget. But I have to say, I love ASHES IN THE SKY, even more than Book 1. Read full review here

Four and a half stars – Ashes in the Sky is a fantastic follow-up to Fire in the Woods; it has everything I didn’t know I needed! I loved the adventure Jennifer M. Eaton continued and I am so thrilled she gave us more Jess & David. Her writing was engaging and creative. I really loved the in-depth world building, character development, and the awesomeness of space! Read full review here

3.7 out of 5 Stars –  I want to reiterate how fast paced and hilariously sharp tongued Jess is and I had no problem diving right back into the story once I got reoriented since it’s been a few years since I read the first book. The writing and pacing are great, I sat on the edge of my chair as I binge read the entire book because I couldn’t put it down. Read full review here

PKO_0001147I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty good right now.

One more week to go on this review tour, and eight more days until release day!

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Ashes in the Sky is available at all these great book retailers.

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

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Catch up with me on social media!

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Read the First Chapter of Ashes in the Sky and a chance to win!

I’m soooo excited! Today we are revealing the first chapter of my new novel ASHES IN THE SKY, which releases March 15, 2016! Check out the full chapter below and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!
 
As most of you know, Fire in the Woods was meant to be a stand-alone. When approached to write a second novel, I really had to scratch my head. I mean, the story was
over, right?

Well, apparently I “left them screaming for more” as everyone always says.
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I really didn’t want to deal with the direct aftermath of book one, so I decided to fast forward a few months: to a time
when things should be settling down for poor, exhausted Jess. All she wants to  do is get her life back to normal again, and to do that, she needs to get back to school.
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Unfortunately for Jess (and maybe fortunately for us) it will be a little while before our girl has anything close to a normal life again.
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So enjoy Jess’s  first day back at school after saving the world. Here is chapter one of Ashes in the Sky: book two of Fire in the Woods.

Alien Kisses!
Jennifer M. Eaton

Find it: Amazon | B&N Goodreads

ASHES IN THE SKY
 
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 SKY is an action-packed, romantic Sci Fi adventure that will leave readers screaming for more.

 

Chapter One
Dad’s brow creased. “You don’t have to do this, Jess. We can turn around now and go home.”

His fingers rapped on the limousine’s armrest as we pulled up to the entrance of my normally quiet school. Outside, police officers and several uniformed security guards held advancing reporters and camera crews on the sidewalks.

“Relax, Major,” Elaine said, across from me. She pulled out a compact and touched up her lipstick. “Two months after single-handedly saving the world from an alien invasion, Earth’s teenage savior returns to finish high school.” She snapped the case shut. “This is the public interest story of the year.”

Dad’s nose flared. “Yes, she’s supposed to be going to school, but you’ve made it a media circus. Why’d you have to schedule a press conference in the auditorium?”

She slipped her lipstick back into her designer purse. “They would have been here anyway. The best way to calm a stalking fox is to invite him in for tea.”

“Tea? I’ll give you tea.”

I held up my hand. “Dad … ” I didn’t have to finish. I never did. Their arguments were always the same. Father protects daughter, while the publicist pushes media exposure as far as she can legally get away with—and me stuck in between.

Elaine wasn’t all that bad, as far as publicists went. Not that I’d known any other publicists, but she’d been by my side since my very first press conference, and the hundred or so more over the past two months. She could be pushy, but she understood the power of a pint of Death By Chocolate ice cream at the end of a long day, which totally earned her brownie points in my book.

Dad’s gaze returned to me. “We just got back. Do you really need to do another press conference?” The deep lines around his eyes added to the weight of my own exhaustion.

I shifted in my seat, my hands clammy against the leather interior. “If we go home, they’ll just show up here again tomorrow. Let’s get this over with. Maybe then things can get back to normal.” I grabbed his hand. “I can do this.”

Dad pressed his lips together. Of course, he knew I could do it. But knowing and wanting me to answer another set of invasive questions were two different things, and I loved every stubborn inch of him for it.

Elaine fluffed my hair and adjusted the collar of my shirt. “Show time.” She knocked twice on the window, and the Secret Service agent outside opened the door for her. She glided through the crowd with a practiced grace.

Camera-palooza erupted outside. Dang, there weren’t this many photographers when I met the president.

Dad stepped out before me, an imposing figure in his combat uniform. Having an over-protective father did have its advantages. No one was getting by this bodyguard. No one.

I closed my eyes and clutched the charm on my necklace. My mother’s strength seeped into me, giving me courage. You’ll be fine, I heard her whisper. You’re my strong little girl. Always have been.

“I’ll try, Mom.” I opened my eyes and shuddered. You would think I’d be used to the feeding frenzy by now. This was the longest fifteen minutes of fame ever.

Steadying myself on the limo door, I stood.

“Jess, look over here.” Flash.

“Miss Martinez, how does it feel to be back at school?” Flash.

“Jessica, to your right.” Flash. Flash.

The faces and camera lenses blurred. My mind filled with the phantom sounds of alien weapons. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply to ward off memories of blinding lights and screaming voices.

It was over. The aliens had left, and I was alive. We were all still alive.

The Secret Service closed in around us as Dad placed his hand on my back, guiding me to the front entrance. With a well-rehearsed smile, I made my way forward, hoping to avoid a repeat of tabloid-gate when the worst-of-the-worst photos of me turned up on the cover of the National Daily.

Dad moved beside me as we stepped over the threshold. I slipped my fingers into his hand and squeezed. One more press conference. Just one more. I could do this.

We made our way through a throng of reporters, students, parents, and teachers to the auditorium. Hundreds of voices jumbled into one chaotic roar rebounding off the lockers.

A microphone appeared in front of my face. “Ms. Martinez, how did you—”

Dad pulled me to his chest as two Secret Service agents pounced on the guy. The reporter and the agents sunk back into the crowd, disappearing like a stone thrown into water.

“There will be question and answer time after the presentation,” Elaine called as we passed through the auditorium’s stage door.

I exhaled, rubbing my arms. That had to be the worst crowd ever.

Dad circled the area behind the curtains and checked the cracks and crevices backstage. The Secret Service agents had long since given up on trying to convince him that the government pre-secured all of my speaking engagements. I used to joke about their paranoia, until someone actually found a bomb. Those guys in ugly suits quickly became my best friends.

“Did you practice your speech?” Elaine asked.

I raised an eyebrow. “No.” You’d think she’d stop asking me that. I hadn’t memorized one yet. Why would I start now?

I pulled aside the curtain and scoped out the auditorium. A sea of smiling, wide-eyed faces filled the room. Camera crews and reporters intermingled with the student body.

Going back to high school was supposed to help me get my life back.

This fiasco was not getting my life back. But maybe if I answered everyone’s questions now, they wouldn’t keep asking later.

Hey, a girl could dream.

Elaine patted my shoulder before heading out past the curtains. Her heels clopped across the wooden stage as she passed a huge poster of National Geographic’s “The Night the World Stood Still: Special Edition.”

Steven Callup’s cover photo was one of those shots every aspiring photographer dreamed of catching: perfect lighting, engaging subject, active backdrop, and undeniable emotional tone. I wasn’t drooling over this masterpiece, though; because the photograph featured me.

The flames over my shoulder were in crisp focus and flawlessly mirrored in my dark hair. The mottled hues of a fresh sunrise blended perfectly with the devastation in the background. And my God, the expression on Dad’s face as we embraced … the love in his eyes.

That night would haunt me forever. Something incredible had happened, and it had nothing to do with an alien invasion. That cover immortalized the moment for the world to see: a year after my mother’s death, my father finally opened up and started to feel again.

I released the curtain, ready to face my peers, knowing that no one gave a rat’s ass about me or my dad.

They only wanted to know more about David.

I mean, I totally got it. An alien guy crash lands on Earth and has to escape before his people wipe out humanity. Heck, I’d be interested, too. But the clincher was that David changed his people’s minds because of me. I was the heroine in the story of the millennia, whether I liked it or not.

I cringed, thinking of how many people had contacted me for the movie rights. Ashes in the Sky, they wanted to call it. What kind of idiotic title was that? Ridiculous, all of it. The world almost ended right in front of me. I didn’t need to see it again on a big screen.

As Elaine announced my name, and the audience applauded, I wondered if anything would ever be as it was before David’s people arrived.

I took my place behind the microphone and squinted into the harsh auditorium lighting. I’d been in that audience dozens of times, but never on stage. The faces looking back at me were familiar, but distant. Awestruck.

This place was my school. My safe haven. Having the media here was wrong.

I gritted my teeth and gripped the sides of the lectern. This assembly would be the absolute last time I talked about what happened to me in public. Ever.

A mop of perky, blond curls caught my attention from the third row. My BFF Maggie beamed as she gave me a thumbs-up. Part of me relaxed, knowing I had a friend near.

Maggs was the only other person who’d known about David before the Army started chasing us. She even risked her own rear-end helping us escape. She’d talked her way out of a grounding from her father, the general, thank goodness. Damn, he must have been ticked when he found out what she’d done.

Taking one last breath to steady myself, I edged closer to the mic. “You’d have to be dead not to know what happened two months ago. So I’m just going to open it up to questions.”

Hundreds of hands shot into the air.

One of the moderators handed a microphone to a bubbly girl with a blond ponytail. “Is it true that the alien looked just like Jared Linden?”

And, it starts.

“Yes. David mimicked an advertisement and looked just like Jared Linden’s character in that movie Fire in the Woods.”

Okay, that was only half of it. The truth was far too embarrassing. David pulled Jared Linden’s features from my mind. He didn’t look exactly like Jared. Just the hotter parts. The rest was an amalgamation of other cute guys he’d yanked out of my brain. There was no way I would admit to that, though.

A tall kid in a black band tee stood. “So what really happened out there? They were going to annihilate us. How’d you get them to change their minds?”

I cleared my throat. A flash of David’s smile and the warmth of his touch sent a shiver down my spine. “Luck was totally in our favor. If David’s plane hadn’t crashed, we never would have met. It didn’t take long before he realized the human race was worth saving.”

A teacher handed a microphone to a girl wearing glasses. “How long will it take them to terraform Mars?”

Ugh. I tried to think of David’s new home like Seattle or Los Angeles, but it wasn’t. It was Mars. As in: not Earth. Talk about your long distance romance.

“I have no idea how long it will take them to make Mars livable. I do know that they are running short on supplies, so I’m hoping it will happen pretty quickly.”

A girl in a cheerleader uniform flagged down the lady with the microphone. “Everyone says you and the alien were doing it. Inquiring minds want to know. Was he any good?”

Camera flashes singed my eyes as a teacher tried to pull the mic away from the girl.

“No,” a reporter shouted. “Let’s hear the answer.”

The audience murmured, shifting like hyenas waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting foal. Beside the stage, Dad’s face became an unnatural shade of crimson.

Crap.

“Well?” the cheerleader asked.

I wiped the sweat from my palms, remembering the shockwave that raged through me when David’s lips covered mine. The tabloids had reduced our relationship to supermarket trash, and Rah-Rah Girl probably wouldn’t know a real emotional connection if it bit her.

David and I shared something so deeply intimate it transcended everything. No one could possibly understand. I wasn’t even sure I understood. All I knew was that I was in love, and I’d probably never see him again.

I blinked, realizing the room had gone quiet, awaiting my answer about doing it.

My hands fisted, but I forced a smile and rustled up the rote response Elaine had prepared for me. “I heard that rumor, too, but David and I were only friends.” A sickly gash sliced through my heart. The thought of living the rest of my life with him on another planet was akin to living in the desert without water.

Was he out there somewhere, longing for me as much as I yearned for him?

My stomach fluttered. I hated how people’s stupid questions dredged up feelings I’d worked hard to suppress. I had to get off that podium.

A kid in the back stood. “How does it feel to know that six million people died while you were out there hugging dear old dad?” He pointed over my shoulder to the huge magazine cover behind me. “How does it feel to know the death count is still rising?”

It was? “Umm—”

“When did you know they were hostile?” someone else shouted.

My heart thumped against my ribcage. “I, uh—”

A reporter snatched the microphone. “Do you honestly believe they won’t come back and finish us off?”

The rumble of voices intensified. Cameras flashed as dozens of voices drowned one another out. So much for school being my safe haven.

Elaine gripped my shoulder and pulled me from the dais. “Thank you,” she said. “That’s all the questions we have time for today.”

She scooted me past the curtains, Dad following close behind. The volume in the auditorium escalated.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “We should’ve been ready for that. Next time—”

“There’s not going to be a next time.” I thrust my chin in the air. “That was my last public appearance. I’m already behind in school, and I need to graduate this year. I just want to get back to my classes and put this all behind me.”

She grinned in that syrupy way adults do when they are about to condescend your butt. “We’ll talk about this later, honey.”

Dad’s gaze seared through her before he offered me a nod of approval.

No, Elaine. We would definitely not be talking about this later.

 




 

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA  home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
 
Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at  helping all writers be the best they can be.
 
Beyond writing and motivating others,  she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.
 
Jennifer’s perfect day includes long  hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the  fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active  imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.
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Connect with the Author:


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive an eGalley of ASHES IN THE SKY. International.

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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

Catch up with me on social media!

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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 |

Flames longFlames longFlames long

Alien Lineup

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
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Being an Author is a Full Time Job

Today I needed to sit back and come to the realization that being an author is a full time job.

When I already have a full time job, and a part time job that becomes a full time job in November and December, I need to take a deep breath and realize that something’s gotta give.

PKO_0010650 pink robe clockIf there are 168 hours in a week and I have three jobs that take 40 hours a week, plus I need to sleep eight hours a day… well, if you do the math, we come up short.

That is why I haven’t been blogging all that much, and while I love popping in and chatting here, I need to be realistic.

Now that I am a published author I have things like editorial deadlines, appearances, and marketing all on top of my daily 500-1000 words a day writing goal. (Plus, of course, the full time job and part time job that pay the bills)

 

That is an awful lot to keep up on.

PKO_0013466 sadWhen ASHES IN THE SKY was pushed back 6 months, I realized that I wasn’t writing for myself anymore. There are people out there in the world waiting to read my next book, and when it doesn’t make the original pub date, there are a lot more people than just me disappointed. So-even though the ASHES delay was out of my control, I need to make sure I make every deadline to keep my books moving on schedule.

So, as you might have guessed, blogging is one of the things that’s gotta give. But I won’t be abandoning this site. I still love it here. I just can’t commit to a schedule. While I love a challenge, adding another thing on to what I “have to do” would just be insanity.

I will be popping in to provide words of wisdom, or to laugh at my idiocy. Because hey, the therapeutic value of coming here and hanging out totally has its value too. I will try to pop in at least once a week, but if I don’t make it, blame the aliens.

Back to the trenches I go.

Now that ASHES IN THE SKY is complete, I’m working with my editor on book three of Fire in the Woods. (Yes, already. Can you believe it?)

Plus I am plugging away a scene at a time trying to finish book one in my new series.

Yes, writing is a full time job. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

An Author’s Work Is Never Done. No, Seriously… It’s not. You have NO idea.

As I squeezed out the final edits of ASHES IN THE SKY, I was ready to sit back, relax, and coast through the holidays. Wow, was I looking forward to taking a break, relaxing with my family, and maybe even finishing my new book!

But my bubble popped when less than a week after handing in the final copy of ASHES to be sent to the formatter, the developmental edit of Book Three of FIRE IN THE WOODS appeared in my email.

Seriously

I was floored. The developmental edit is usually the most time consuming, and while it is not as tedious as fine tuning, it will definitely suck up most of your life. And my due date was only forty days away.

Goodbye, Christmas break.

After a discussion with my lead editor, we decided that another month would not hurt the schedule. Where that did not leave me “off the hook”, it did certainly take some of the pressure off. Especially since some of the changes were going to be extensive.

Alien Huh CloseSo I dug in, getting about a quarter of the way into the manuscript… before the final formatting proof of ASHES IN THE SKY came back. [head hits desk]

Yep, it’s a funny business like that.

Subtract one week from that extra month of editing, because I now needed to re-read book 2 word by word to make sure there were no problems.

Thankfully, I have finished that proof as of this post. I’m not sure if I’ll have to look at it again since I did require some changes.

So, for now, I am back to those developmental edits.

PKO_0002742

 

If anyone tells you being an author is easy, let me know their name.

I will write their character into a book and Torture them a little.

Hey, it’s the least I can do. {smiles}

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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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Rekindling your writing mojo after taking an unplanned hiatus

I’m a stickler for goals. I love them.

I love achieving them more.

But sometimes life gets in the way, and goals need to be realigned.

I’m currently 70,000 words into a 50,000 words YA science fiction novel. Yup, that was right – 20,000 words over goal, and I probably need another 15-20,000 to finish.

Think GirlThis was problem #1: I carefully planned out when I needed to finish my novel before my edits came back for ASHES IN THE SKY. Yes, I achieved my 50,000 words on time… but when I got there, my story wasn’t finished. So I kept writing—Even took a writer’s weekend in hopes of finishing the book before I needed to start editing again… but even that only got me smack up against the beginning of the climax, where my main character is staring down at her worst nightmare come true.

A very BAD place to stop writing.

At the most important place in my novel to KEEP WRITING, I was forced to stop for a two-week marathon run of editing, which in of itself would have been fine. But then life problem #2 happened. A huge project at my day job had me working through my precious lunch breaks, and even far into the evenings, leaving my precious characters stagnant, facing horrible trauma and impending doom for an additional two weeks.

An entire month without writing something new

It was a month to the day when I finally got back to my story, and I sighed seeing where I had left my characters. So I did the only thing I really could do.

I opened up to page one, and I did an editing run.

Wait----What

 

 

You should always finish your book before editing! Yes, this is true, but after being away for so long, I needed to re-familiarize myself with the characters, the plot, the tone, and the voice (Especially since I had spent a few week’s back in Jess Martinez’s quirky head)

The deep edit on those 70,000 words took about a week, and even then, I found myself at a loss when I came to the end.

Was this book still inside me? With the kind of tension build I created over all those chapters, would I be able to deliver the goods in the climax?

I knew I had to shake it off, but instead, I kept going back to earlier chapters and revising something else.

Then, finally, I got back to the last scene that I’d written a month ago. That first sentence was the hardest sentence that I’ve ever written. It took me about an hour to type 100 words. Horrible.

Welcome back, muse!

But then the magic muse finally took hold. The characters reignited in my brain. I jumped back on the rollercoaster, ready to sprint to the finish line with them.

Yes, I am excited about this story again. I’m excited to get it out in the world.

All I had to do, was force myself through those pesky 100 words to get myself started.

Yup, feels good to be hanging out with imaginary people again.

 

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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

Catch up with me on social media!

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Newsletters. Are they really worth all the effort? Part 3

Yeah, I’m really digging in to this subject. This is part three.

Here is the link to part one

And here is the link to part two.

Quick recap:

Hay RidersI joined a massive group of authors in a newsletter subscriber promotion. I gained 65 subscribers on my own before the marketing email went out. Then I gained 200 subscribers during the promotion. Nope, I did not sell any more books during the promotion than I normally would have during a weekend. My big wins were seeing analytics for the first time, and gaining all those subscribers!

Ashes1The second newsletter I sent out was the cover reveal for Ashes in the Sky, which I sent out a full day earlier than release day as a special thanks to my fans who had signed up.

I held my breath, knowing that the letter was not only going out to my 50 Instagram fans, and my 15 previous subscribers, but also to those 200 people who had signed up for the promotion who might not be really interested in me.

I bit my fingernails and held my breath… and then partied when the numbers came in. I had a 57% open rate. (newsletter averages usually sit around 20 percent) I had a 50% click through to Goodreads. (12% is the norm) Wahoo!

And here’s the biggie…

I did not have a single “unsubscribe”.

Rock on! That means that I’d kept all 200 of those people who had subscribed during the sci-fi reader promotion. Awesomeness!

Looking at the numbers, though, I had to smack myself.

What is the first rule of marketing?

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**Make it easy to buy your book.**

I didn’t have a single link in there to buy Fire in the Woods. (Yeah, I’m an idiot)

My next newsletter went out about a month later when I made the announcement that Barnes and Noble had picked up my book for national distribution. This newsletter went out stocked with links to buy Fire in the Woods at every outlet I could think of.

Now, this is important: I didn’t scream “buy my book”. I just left the links at the bottom of the newsletter after the fun and merriment of the announcement.

Were there click throughs?

Yup. Lots. And I also could see where they went. Kobo, Smashwords, B&N, Amazon, and Book Depository. (BookDepository.com was the largest click through, if you were wondering. I have a big international audience)

So, are newsletters worth it?

I’d have to say yes. And they are kind of fun, too.  They are more personal than a blog, and I feel like I can kick back and say what’s going on in my life. And the fun thing is that people signed up and want to see what I have to say. It’s really cool.

Have you tried newsletters yet? Are they working for you?
Oh, umm, in case you were wondering…

PicturePictureClick here to sign up for my Newsletter!

Do you have any more questions about newsletters?  Let me know!

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

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

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Alien Lineup

Catch up with me on social media!

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