Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Light in the Dark

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, and I apologize not only to my publisher but to my fellow Eclectic Bard Books authors and to you the readers.

I received some family news that swept the floor from under me and left me reeling and thinking…”We’ve already done this dance. The orchestra has left, my feet are tired, and the worn out dance shoes have been boxed and put away.”

To say I was lost in the dark, would be an understatement. The dark, however, doesn’t stand a chance against the light of  a child who wakes up singing, gives you unexpected hugs, or offers unprompted “I love you to the moon and back, mommy.” It’s taken a while. Though there are still splotches of charcoal clouds overhead, I am standing, once again, in the light and getting my writing back on track. This too shall pass, and we will come out all the stronger for it.

So…there are stories to tell and words to write. I had best get to it. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

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Sanity is over-rated.

It’s go time. I’ve been working for this kick off point for half of the year between other things, and honestly…I’m ready to wrap. How abysmal is that? I’m at the beginning of my victory lap and I’m too pooped to run it. lol

I will. No worries…I always rally. Right now, I’m just zoinked from the hard run marathon to reach this point.

What am I talking about?? FIVE RELEASES IN SIX WEEKS.
Yupp, you read that right. Even though one has moved dates, the lead up didn’t change…so in my mind it still counts.

Ready??
Here goes.
Tomorrow, Tuesday August 29: Imposs-i-Bella releases.

Tuesday September 12: Book of Mysteries (The Custos Series book 3) releases.
AND Rogue in Cimmerian Shade Limited Edition box set releases.

Saturday September 30: Gravedigger releases.

Tuesday October 10: Veil Break in Haunting Savannah releases.

I’m going to grin like a madman when it’s all done…but right now I could use a masseuse, a housekeeper, and a cook.

True story.

Sav

Costly Lessons…

Warning! This week’s blog is going to be a long one. I do hope you take the time to read it in its entirety, however. The story is close to my heart.

As a writer, one goes through a gamut of emotions as they maneuver through the process of writing a story to releasing it as a published work. Speaking for myself, I’ve been up, down, and all around the emotional roller coastal. There’s the joy of writing the story, the pins and needles waiting to get your manuscript back from your editor. Then, there’s the ego-deflating process of corrections, the deadline to get everything finished and the wait for the final copy to arrive in your hands. Of course, I’ve let out a few dozen other steps involved. Those aren’t relevant to this blog.

I have a very dear friend who is a creative genius when it comes to storytelling. He’s written several books in the last couple of years, but has yet to publish. I met him at a local writer’s conference and we became instant fast friends. While at this conference he met an editor from St. Martin’s Press. She was very interested in his first book and asked him to send her a copy of his manuscript. I was overjoyed for him. Here was his chance to get his book published, and by a well-known publishing house. I encouraged him to send the manuscript to her, and he did. Unfortunately, he never heard from her, even after emailing her again for any kind of response. He was understandably upset, but I encouraged him to keep moving forward. There were other ways to get his book out there.

I posted on Facebook, asking for editors to message me their rates. When I had more than a few, I sent them to my friend. In my world, self-publishing is a realistic option for writers, especially those just starting out. My friend selected an editor from the list and contacted her. Rates were discussed, money was exchanged, with a promise of the first pass being returned within two weeks. Three and a half months later, after many emails, texts, and phone calls, he finally got his manuscript back. We sat down together and went over the pages. At first, it looked like she had done a decent job of editing. Corrections were highlighted and there were quite a few passages that were marked for deletion. As he was trying to get his word count down to a manageable amount, these were expected. About two-thirds of the way through, the pages were bare of corrections. Not a single stroke or remark. It was obvious to us that the editor had not completed her job. Never mind that she had been paid in full in advance. Never mind that she had continually put him off with a wealth of excuses as to why she hadn’t completed the manuscript in the allotted time frame. This was clearly a shoddy job from a woman who claimed to be a professional editor.

I had to watch my friend as his dream disintegrated before his eyes. He’s been so upset by all the excuses and delays over the last few months that he no longer has the desire to write. Do I blame him, no? It breaks my heart, though. I feel partly responsible, because I’m the one who gave him her name and number. True, I had no idea that she wasn’t who she proclaimed to be. We all take chances with people we “meet” through social media. I spent most of yesterday with him as we explored options. I can’t let him give up on his dream. He’s too talented for that. I have another editor lined up. One who I’ve spoken to myself. She’s also the editor of a well-known author who is an acquaintance of mine.

It’s turned out to be a costly lesson. Most of us go through them at one point or another. We all strive to make our dreams become reality. Sometimes, we have to go through brutal and costly lessons to get there. Both of us are guilty of being too trusting. We’ve learned a harsh lesson. We still believe in the inherent good in people. But, we’re a lot more cautious now.

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COVER REVEAL for a Halloween Set

Just in time for Halloween, this set of 8 Dark & Seductive Tales will emerge from the shadows of Historic Savannah, Georgia. Join us!

 

 

Haunting Savannah
8 Dark and Seductive Tales

By Lia Davis & Kerry Adrienne, Deena Remiel, Ella Jade, Evelyn Lederman, Savannah VerTE, H.R. Boldwood, Kim Carmichael, and ML Guida

Spend Halloween in Savannah with eight dark, seductive tales of ghosts, vampires, demons, witches, and warlocks.
Nine bestselling authors come together in this collection of eight BRAND NEW, Halloween themed novellas.

  • A look inside…
    Ghost in a Bottle by Lia Davis & Kerry Adrienne
    Anatoli La Croix has spent the last century cursed to exist in spirit form, locked inside a glass jar. When the beautiful and magickal Ophelia purchases the jar, he discovers he’s able to escape his con2nement for short periods.
    For the 2rst time in a century, he has hope. Could the beautiful witch be the one to break his curse? Or will she provoke the evil spirit that imprisoned him and bring dark magick’s wrath down on them both?
    Forbidden Union by Deena Remiel
    It’s Halloween in Savannah. Noah Blackman has come to Savannah, Georgia and Violet Adams’ home seeking to verify the origins of his family. Could his roots begin with a runaway slave? This trip holds many surprises for the two as their family’s pasts collide and their present charts a course for romance and lasting love.
    True Companions by Ella Jade
    Maxim and Grant have been lovers for a century. Companions in the truest sense. What happens when a human woman shares their home and their bed? Can two destined souls open their hearts to a third?
    The Ultimate Act of Love by Evelyn Lederman
    The last thing Kori Daniels expected to see on a ghost tour is an actual apparition. Although she can feel earth-bound spirits, she has never seen one. Already impacted by nightly amorous dreams since arriving in Savannah, her dream lover now has a face.
    The Haunting of Bellehaven by H.R. Boldwood
    Self-reliant Harper McKinnon arrives in Savannah to claim her inheritance, Bellehaven Plantation—a proud antebellum estate. But the estate’s handsome caretaker, Clay Montgomery, is used to doing things his way. Fireworks 9y as they are drawn ever closer, but the plantation’s ghostly secrets threaten both their love and their lives.
    The Promise by Kim Carmichael
    A mistake brought a demon to her, a promise kept them bound together. It is a thin line between desire and love and good and evil when an incubus enters Leora Desmond’s life.
    Veil Break by Savannah Verte
    Taken from the world he knows, to a place out of time, Holden Henry has a lot of questions when he is redeposited into his world, 150 years in the future. His Savannah isn’t the same anymore.
    A Pirate’s Mask by ML Guida
    Dark secrets haunt the Pirate’s House Inn in Savannah, Georgia.
    Rosalind Gill’s stepfather is the culprit. He’s forcing her to remain silent and marry his evil partner or die. Her only hope is Phearson MacFie-a vampire pirate from another time. They must work together to not only save the innocent, but save themselves and discover true love.

Procrastination… (I’ll get to it, I promise)

I am not a procrastinator. I believe if you have a project, do it and get it over with. My daughter on the other hand, is a master of waiting till the last minute to get things done. Drives me up the wall, but there’s no changing her at this point. I grit my teeth and try to ignore it.

The past couple of weeks I’ve walked in my daughter’s shoes. While I may not understand her way of thinking any better, I’ve found myself putting off something I should have been working on. Instead, I have been indulging in a guilty pleasure. Do I feel regret? A little. Am I going to put aside my pleasure and get back to work. Umm, no. Not yet, anyway.

I’ve been binge watching the Supernatural TV series. All 12 seasons. It’s a show I always wanted to watch, but because it had already started I didn’t bother with it. I hate to jump into anything midway. I want to start from the beginning and work my way through the whole thing. Enter Netflix. All 12 seasons, every single episode from start to finish. I just started season 12 last night. I figure I’ll be wrapping up my binge watching at the end of the weekend at the rate I’m going.

It’s probably a good thing because I have formatting to get started on and I have more than a few WIP’s waiting on me. There’s one story that has been knocking around in my head the last few days. I was starting on Chapter 3 when I put it aside. Now, details are becoming a little clearer, and I see what direction the story is headed. I need to get it down on paper.

I guess we all need to take a break from our routine; shake out the cobwebs and cleanse the palette, so to speak. My mental vacation is almost over, time to get back to work.

Till next week,

~Madison

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Diluting expectations

I have OCD. EXTREME OCD as a matter of fact. Ask anyone who knows me a bit. I have the horrible habit of remembering most things in detail as well…which honestly hurts my head at times. I can, in many cases, remember a conversation verbatim, where others simply don’t recall it at all. It’s a burden I’d like to unload.

Add to this that I’m a bit of a workaholic. I run until I drop, I’ll write until I can’t see the screen or page, and I pack more into my schedule than I probably should, if I want people to believe I actually value my sanity. I’d like to find a way to ease off this too…but I know it won’t happen.

So, I’m trying to employ some breathing and meditation again. The problem is not that I can’t manage the burden I have, but that I look for when others pick up to the level of my crazy and get frustrated when they won’t, don’t, or can’t. Mostly, I’m pretty good at that and keep moving. Lately, with respect to the day job, I’m homicidal often and leaving it at the office is more difficult by the day.

I’m counting down to vacation like a condemned waiting for the chair.

When Life Steps In…

I had my blog prepared in advance, but when I woke up this morning it didn’t work for me. There was nothing wrong with what I had written. It just smacked of redundancy. The words bored me, and if they had that effect on me, there’s no way I was going to share them with you.

When I started this blog two years ago it was to be an open diary of my journey as a writer. Truth to tell, there are days, weeks even, when I don’t write. There are times when there’s nothing new happening in my world regarding books. This has been one of those times when life takes over. My granddaughter started the 5th grade this week. She attended her first school dance. I traded in my beast of an SUV for a smaller vehicle. I’ve been binge watching 12 seasons of Supernatural, and am in the middle of season 8. I relate to Dean Winchester. We’re a lot alike. 😉 That’s my reality.

I’ve got a lot of work to do before Save the Last Dance and A Destiny Denied see the light of day. The work will get done. Truth to tell, they’re a lot closer than what I would have dreamed last month. Things have a way of happening when you want it bad enough. And, I will get all the work done. Not this week, however. Besides, I need to finish Supernatural so I’m caught up when Season 13 starts.

Enjoy your life. Read a good book, watch an awesome movie or TV series. Take your kid to her first school dance in your new-to-you car. Life is short. It’s not ALL about work, you have to enjoy the simple pleasures too.

Till next week,

~ Madison

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Story Do-Si-Do

The other day, a friend asked what I was working on.

I’m actually working on two different stories at the same time. One of which was on my mental planner…the other, not so much. It’s just that right at this moment, the not planned one is the one that is talking the loudest. What’s a girl to do. If I ignore it, my Muse may quit talking to me. lol Mind you, there is a short story/novella that is also on the agenda.

Meanwhile…school is back in session and for some reason, the child is not as excited about it as I am. I cannot imagine why. lol

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe Aleksander~

Collecting Pens

I’m finding that I’ve lapped myself on the hamster wheel lately. It’s a good thing, even as I fight not to give in and let myself ride the next turn and slow down. If it wouldn’t put me severely behind, I would in an instant. But alas, it will only make the next lap harder and I find that catching up is simply not in my ability if I get too far behind.

Instead, I’ve taken to doing some long hand writing. It’s got a certain meditative quality to it that typing can never encompass. As such, I’ve also taken turns writing with the myriad pens I’ve collected over the years, or through other authors at signings…because I’m a pen whore. There, I said it. No, I don’t want a 12-step program. I happen to love my obsession. There is something about finding one that just glides for you that makes the words all the more magical.

Do you have a favorite? A favorite single you’ve never been able to replace, or is it a certain brand that works for you every time? What about the feel? I have recently discovered one that I like a lot…and then found that it came in different barrel styles. They are NOT the same, even though the ink and roller are…the feel is completely foreign and I cannot make myself pick the one up…which really bites because I bought a whole package of them.

So…what’s a girl to do?

Part of me thinks that authors, like the president, should write one word or letter and then give them away like prizes. Could that become a thing? ‘Here, I wrote with this…treasure it forever.’ Somehow, unless you’re a big shot, and it has your name on it, and maybe the title of the work it was used for, and maybe some writer’s tears on it, I don’t think so. Guess I’ll go back to the old stand-by solution…donating them to the classrooms at the local school. Somebody is always needing one, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

Meanwhile, the tried and true I’ve fallen completely in love with ones will make it into one of the multiple holders around my office and wait for rediscovery. I mean, fair is fair…gotta try them all. Don’t I?

The Fun Part Begins…

It’s done. I’ve finally finished the revisions to the third installment of my Kindred series. Manuscripts are scheduled for editing. Then, I get to do it all over again. LOL Such is the life of a writer. But, it’s a good feeling to have at least that much behind me.

I’ve got the green light from my cover artist for two new covers. Gathering my ducks together to get that off and running. I love this part, because it’s an exciting element of the whole process. Victoria Miller is an absolute genius with her artistry, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

Once I get all of these in the proper hands, it’s back to the writing cave. I have more WIP’s to finish, and I’m finally getting the urge to get back to work. That’s one itch I’m eager to scratch.

Till next week,

~Madison

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