Monthly Archives: September 2017

Coming Up Roses . . .

This week has been a whirlwind of activity. It started with cataract surgery on Tuesday morning. The surgery went well, and the doctor is pleased with my progress, though my vision is still blurry. Not real sure what he’s so pleased with. But, I’m told it takes a few days. Things are definitely brighter, if not clearer, I’ll give you that. To be honest, my vision has improved a lot since the surgery. I’m optimistic on that score. I’ll be glad when the initial two weeks are over, though. I’m not supposed to bend from the waist, to avoid putting pressure on my eye. That’s a lot harder than you’d think. I’ve caught myself so many times, and yes, there have been a few oops here and there.

I did manage to wrap up one of my three unfinished short stories. I’m pretty pleased with it, as a whole. Now, I only have two more to complete, then I’ll see about editing, and getting with my publisher. There’s still time for that. I’m not rushing. I’m just happy to be moving forward.

Then, there’s the best news. I got a job offer, and was thrilled to accept. I’ll be a unit secretary/monitor tech for one of the local hospitals. I couldn’t be more tickled, especially considering the hospital is a whole two minutes from my house. Talk about save on gas! LOL After five months of being unemployed, I look forward to joining the ranks of the work force once again. I’ve worked all my life. Sitting idle doesn’t set well with me. Worrying about finances doesn’t help creativity, either.

Now, my life can get back to normal. Gainful employment and writing. My world is looking rosy once again.

Till next week,

~Madison

2nd try

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On The Road Again

I’m up. It’s early. So early, the birds aren’t even awake yet. After a night of fighting to make it to the land of nod, and sleep being that ever elusive ship that is hard to catch in harbor especially the night before hitting the road for a signing event, I’m happy to report that I did manage to set sail, landing without incident on the far reaching shores. I’m equally happy to report that I will have 2 travelling companions. YAY! *throws confetti in the air*

Penned Con in St. Louis is this weekend. It is two…well two and a half days of fun filled activity. I can hardly wait. You will happy to know, I did remember to pack clothes. 🙂 As a bonus, the large suitcase I’m using this trip, allowed for packing of my pillow and blanket. Only thing left to pack in the toiletries and face paint.

Take a gander at what is scheduled for Penned

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

Actively baffled-

A long while back…or at least it seems like a long while back, it really wasn’t, I decided that in 2017 I was going to catch up. ’16 had damn near killed me, and my drive…I wanted a do-over.

The goal: Fulfill the docket from 16, and add 17 to the mix…meaning, EIGHT releases…EIGHT releases of MY OWN. Not counting an edit for someone else, or a publishing job for the house, that would all be extra…eight Savie V. releases.

Folks said I was crazy. Heck, I said I was crazy…I was right. I was, still am.

BUT…I did it. Gravedigger releases this coming Saturday. I confirmed it with the final upload around 12:30 this morning. I’ve been sussing over it for weeks now, not happy with little pieces here or there. I was seriously debating killing my ability to do a preorder for the next year…and push it back or cancel the preorder all together. I was that irritated with pieces. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it though.

I’m glad I didn’t. Gravedigger has shown me something that I needed to see, and while it was enlightening…it has also left me actively baffled about where I’m going next.

I’ve called myself a Contemporary Vagabond for a long while now, and I think that will hold true…but, I’m seeing a few things shift as I’ve been writing this year; my tendencies narrowing, my tastes…refining perhaps, and my choices…they don’t surprise me as much as they used to. I am enjoying writing certain genres and twists more than others, and I’m harder-pressed to turn down some things than others.

The biggest shock is that a piece I wrote to stand alone…I believe is going to launch a series. I fell in love with a character who, even though the story is done and in print, won’t stop talking to me. I’ll tell you more about them soon. right now…I’m here to tell you that release #7 of the year, Gravedigger comes out this Saturday. The preorder is live for $0.99 but that price will not last. The change date is on my calendar already….don’t wait.

Release #8 of mine for the year is Veil Break. It comes out in the Haunting Savannah set on October 10th. I am thrilled to share that story in a set with other awesome writers…great all 8 stories at once…just in time for Halloween!

‘Til next time…I’m taking a day to maybe sleep normal, then packing for Penned Con in St. Louis. The writing parts may be done, but the adventure always beckons.

see you soon.

 

Moving Right Along . . .

I am thrilled to report that this past week has been a very good one. I’ve been working on my current WIP at a steady rate. Not getting a massive amount of words to the page in a day; more like managing a chapter a day, a good chapter.

I’ve also been juggling doctor appointments, so it’s hard to sit down and write without interruptions of some kind. After my eye surgery on Tuesday, the appointments should hopefully taper off.

Like it usually does when I’m focused on a particular story, one of my other stories had to nudge me, and mention a little something that needed to be changed. Could it wait? Of course, not! It had to be done now, while it was still fresh in my mind. That took up a day.

Then there’s the book covers. I have a novella coming out in December. I know I’ve mentioned it before. I’m sitting on the cover and I love it! While I was setting that one up, I went ahead and got Victoria Miller to do the cover for A Destiny Denied, the third installment of my Kindred series. It’ll be released in the Spring of 2018. I figured, why not get a jump on things? Well, I got that back this week, too. It’s amazing, and I’m going to be hard pressed to sit on it until January.

There’s that other project. Sully and Larke. My goal is to compile several short stories into a single book, chronicling their adventures. It’s not completed yet. I still have three stories that need to be finished. But, I’d seen the work of Ravenborn Book Cover Designs, and I really liked her Urban Fantasy and Paranormal covers. I emailed her, and she agreed to give it a shot. She’d do the e-book first, and give me the print cover after the book is completed, and I have a final page count. I got her first draft yesterday. A tweak here, a tweak there, and POW! Another awesome cover to sit on! It was like Christmas!

But, you know what that means, right? Yep, those other two stories—back on the shelf. Seems Sully and Larke need their stories finished. They have a cover waiting on them.

Until next week,

~Madison

2nd try

The Countdown Begins

One week….one week and I will be on my way to Penned Con in St. Louis. I haven’t begun to pack. aaaaack.

I’ve been looking forward to this event since last year. I cannot describe the incredible, positive energy I get from this signing, and truthfully…from most signings I go to. There is nothing like being surrounded by a community of people who, while they may not write the same genre as you,  have more books published, or who are a bigger name, look at you and smile in welcome as if to say…”welcome home.”

These kindred spirits are your tribe. They get the whole writing process. They understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into putting pen to paper and the weaving of words together that will pull a reader into a story.

And the readers…the wonderful, supportive readers. They are the reason we release our babies into the world. At these events, there are readers you have met and have made a connection with in the past. There are also readers who have never heard of you, but are open to taking a chance on you by buying your book/s. Sometimes you don’t know how they feel about your book once the event is over until the following year when you show up with the next book. The simple fact that they want the next book is at times the only encouragement you need to keep going.

Anyway…I need to get packing, otherwise I’ll have books and swag but no clothes with me…and trust me…nobody wants that. lol

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Tangled webs

I want to take some time today to talk through a few sticky situations. Why? Because left untended, they become monsters and the tangled webs are too strong, even for ninjas then. I’m no ninja, so venting them openly is the best I can do.

I’ve been gunning HARD lately as many of you know. It’s meant long days, short nights, an ass-ton of coffee, and raw emotions. The combination can be lethal…but I’m holding the tiger by the tail…so far. I know that’s not how we maintain control, but at this point, any grasp is better than none at all. Right?

I’ve noticed that when I’m in this odd euphoria of sleep deprivation that things jump out at me that I might not otherwise notice. Rather than poke the bears, I thought I’d offer some friendly advice without naming names…with the best of intentions and a smile on my face while the caffeine has continued dominion.

Let’s start with the person on social media who posts every hour or so about the same thing…or an update on something that will obviously not be resolved for days…or what they are doing at any given moment. Let’s face it, over-sharers exist. Most of the time, I can ignore the behavior, or there is always the ‘unfollow’ to click if it gets to be too much, but let’s talk about some self-regulation on social media. I’d like to point out to those who feel compelled to share such finite changes in your day…there is a difference between quality and quantity in sharing too. If your audience can fathom when you are ‘on the throne,’ based on your lack of posting for those 4 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Next, let us take a lesson from Yoga about breathing…there are going to be things that come up that will fluster us to no end, and when that happens…let us stop, and take a good, deep, cleansing breath before we react. The cursing, screaming, spittle-dripping tirades that some have come to favor are so unattractive…live and virtual. Personally, I think one of the rapid killers of civilized society right now is the immediate gratification of responding before having to think. What ever happened to taking a few minutes, or overnight, to process information before spitting out the first, often worst, thoughts that come to mind? We are not showing ourselves very well.

Third up on my list of ‘OhMyGoddessWhatAreWeThinking?’ is the matter of If you ask for it…guess what? I recently suggested a new writer who wanted to publish, work with an editor I know. They write outside my comfort level of what I can edit and have ability to offer good feedback for…so I referred them to someone else. I learned that they got the edits back and have ‘poo-poo’d’ the comments as being too picky, and that it isn’t fitting with their writing style. Also, that a NYT Bestselling author most of us have heard of doesn’t do it that way. Here’s the thing…One, you are not said NYT Bestselling author where you can take license with the hard rules.  Two, grammar rules ARE picky. Three, YOU ASKED FOR AN EDITOR because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong or how to remedy it…guess what? They gave you comprehensive guidance on how to fix what wasn’t working. If you didn’t want to know…you shouldn’t have asked.

Four…and mercy let me slurp some coffee before I begin this one…IF you KNOW the answer, please don’t ask the question just to get attention. I’ve seen recently…seasoned authors, with a year or more under their belts, asking first book, newbie questions. Questions that I am seeing first book/newbie authors answering with ease and confidence. I am floored. That’s all I’ve got. Well…that’s not completely true, and it goes to a larger, pandemic problem that should be addressed…If you ask a question – BOTHER TO LEARN THE ANSWER. there are TONS in the Indie author community that are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist anyone…respect them enough to take in the answer and make it work, not just hear or read the words. You’ve taken their time, return the courtesy by at least trying to apply the response. If you require repeated exposure to the same information, get a notebook.

Four segued nicely into five which is ditch the excuses. LIFE HAPPENS…to all of us. We all get sick, have babies or fur babies who need us, want to take a day away from the keyboard to decompress, have parents, or play-dates, or appliance mishaps, or any other myriad things that happen…at the end…if you made a commitment – keep it. It’s that simple. your best is not the same as anyone else’s…and guess what? It’s all you’ve got to give. Don’t bungle it up with excuses about how you didn’t go as fast as someone else, or whatever…leave the excuses for the quitters. If you’re going for it – RUN!

Lastly, if you’ve just learned it, you are not qualified to teach it and CHARGE for the lesson. There is sharing and information swapping that happens all the time, but I’ve noticed a trend that makes me nervous…young authors who had a good book do well, who jump from that to the ‘teaching class about it for $50 an hour so you can do what they did.’ It reminds me a workshop I attended at RT several years ago about learning the Amazon algorithms to maximize exposure…which translated to sitting in a class waiting in pain to get to the subject, instead of how amazon was like the presenters dating life. Many of you know just how pricey RT is…so I paid for that. I can never recover those funds, not the hour and I learned NOTHING. Welll..I learned I’m not going to that presenters class again. Basically, there is a wide range of information out there and often it doesn’t have a price tag…so Buyer beware.

I’d like to say this is everything, now squarely expunged and I’m good to go…but we all know it isn’t. These are just some examples of the sticky things that are out there…the ones that are easy to get tripped up in and off-track. It’s too easy to lose our way, and get caught up in the crazy of others.

There used to be a meme on my desk that I haven’t rediscovered since moving the office that said: “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” It’s good advice.

All of these things are detractors, and false roads that take us away from the golden path to productivity…so let us now make an agreement to lift each other up, and offer positive reinforcements as we each try to grow, and to put helpful things out in the paths of others, and not to ask for things that we don’t truly need as we try to be a bit better than we were yesterday.

It’s my goal…how about you?

When It Comes Together

This past week has been one of accomplishments. It feels like a very long time since I’ve been able to say that. I’m not sure if it’s because I was able to get a few things done, or that my mindset has taken a positive turn. Either way, it’s a welcome feeling.

I imagine every writer dreads getting their manuscript back from an editor. I’m no different. How many times did I mess up with punctuation and tenses? Will there be a lot of changes? Will there be a lot of deletions? Of course, changes are always subject to the writer. We don’t have to accept them. But, speaking for me personally, those suggested changes have always been more than helpful. This time was no different. Thankfully, the edits weren’t awful. To be honest, I was pretty tickled with the whole thing. I’d like to think that I’m getting a little better, too. 😉

The next step was formatting the manuscript. Once that’s done, I can put it back on the shelf until my publisher is ready to upload and release it. That will be sometime in December, a date is yet to be set.

I admit I dreaded starting the format process. I’m still new to it, and haven’t had a lot of luck so far. So, it was with trepidation and baited breath, I began. My publisher asks for two copies of the manuscript; one unnumbered (no headers or footers), and one with page numbers and headers. The unnumbered one was relatively easy. I uploaded it to CreateSpace and launched the reviewer. It looked good to me.

On to the next one. The headers didn’t give me any grief. My name at the top of one page, the title on the opposite page, but NOT on the front and back matter. Maybe it’s because I’ve done it a few times, but it went right up without any problems. Now to the page numbers. This one has always given me grief. I have moaned and wailed over this. It took me a few tries to get it to stick, and then—what? Beautiful formatted page numbers! Got it in one! Believe me, I saved it and called it a day! LOL

Hopefully, I did it right and when I send it to my publisher, it will remain that way. I had issues with that the last time, too. What I thought was correct turned out to be all the way wrong. Formatting is not something you learn overnight. But I’m determined to get this, because it’s a part of the process of getting my book published.

For now, I can take a breather and get back to writing.

Till next week,

~Madison

brand Sept 2017

My Pretties Arrived

Two weeks from today, I, along with some local friends, will be making the trek to St. Louis for Penned Con. This is one of my favorite events, not only for how well it’s run, but for the people and authors who attend, and for the charity, Action for Autism, the profits go to.

Aaaaaanyway……the one thing an author MUST have when attending these signings is…..BOOKS! When Irma’s direction was still in question, the organizer of Penned reminded us that one of the print distributor’s locations was in South Carolina. AAAACK! There is no way of controlling which site your books are printed at. Needless to say, I hurried home on my lunch break, placed my book order, and crossed my everythings that they would be printed and shipped before Irma hit land.

They have arriiiiiiiiiiived! My pretties are here!

The excitement of opening a box and seeing the creation you, with the help of your cover artists, beta readers, editors, and publisher, created never dims and never gets old.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Release Day exhaustion

If you’ve been following my crazy you know that today is THE DAY. Releases number TWO AND THREE of five in a six week period happened today.

Also today, I’ve just returned home from vacation after driving through Irma in 5 states…I’m wiped. BUT…I wanted to take a moment to share the latest two releases with you in case you missed them.

 

Book of Mysteries is the third book in The Custos Series
after Book of Time and Book of Change…

Twins Poppy and Bergie share everything, including an ability to read the mysterious book that Bergie gets Mardi Gras Day when the Muddy Graws debut in the Rex parade. Two potential Keepers makes double the work for the Custos guardian, who can’t be two places at once. Poppy’s book grab from its hiding place in a fit of anger potentially changes everything, and could shift the balance between light and dark.
Sebastian Winder has his hands full. The new Keeper has a twin who knows more than she should, and who is actively interacting with a member of White Diamond. 1920 can’t come fast enough. Fearing the inevitable worst, the guardian asks for an assistant. Who he gets, is Ramsby Roth, a fresh from the Farther Fields, greener than green Custos with no experience.
In this third installment, it might take every one available to keep the book from the wrong hands as the odds are stacking against them. Just when they think the end is in sight, World War I erupts, Bergie is sent to serve, and Carnival festivities in New Orleans are cancelled. What if there’s no Mardi Gras?
How can they keep the book safe now, or get it to the new Keeper?
Only the book knows.

http://www.amzn.com/B073WD599W

AND then there’s Rogue in the Cimmerian Shade Limited Edition Box set

Everyday immortal Bree Brigand gets a rude awakening as her family is slaughtered. Not only is the cursed, suicide blade of legend and lore real, but it has chosen her. She must quickly learn to fast-track a course she’s never navigated, in a world she thought only existed in campfire stories. But, only after coming to terms with the facts…her family is not her family.

Truths and lies collide in a world where the hunters and the hunted trade places faster than she can discern who is which, and everyone is an assassin. Can she find and claim her destiny? Or, will being marked by a male who is not her one true mate ruin everything, and clip this dragon’s wings before she can become all she is meant to be?

Her quest for the truth starts when she learns everything she knows is a lie.

Amazon Smart URL: http://hyperurl.co/CSPnr
If you needed a new read…here’s TWO.

In the meantime . . .

Before I get started on my ongoing journey as a writer, I want to take a minute to send my thoughts and prayers to all who are in the path of danger. Unfortunately, there are so many; survivors of Hurricane Harvey who are picking up the pieces and struggling to rebuild their lives, the many out West dealing with wildfires, and all those in the path of Hurricane Irma. It’s overwhelming trying to process it all. I’ve been through too many hurricanes to count and have been fortunate. What I do know is that it’s times like these when men and women’s best qualities shine. We care for each other, putting aside differences. People will band together, to help each other. This will be no different. Together, we’ll pick up the pieces and start anew. Because we’re resilient like that.

On my end, things are finally progressing. I finalized the cover for my novella. Now, I have to sit on it for another couple of months. Timing is everything. I also made a video trailer for the book. One more thing I have to sit on. This is the hard part for me because I’m so excited about the cover and the trailer, and I want to share them with everyone.

The manuscript itself is now with the editor. It’s pins and needles time while I wait to hear back from her. This editor and I are new to each other. I’m curious to see what she thinks of my story.

Now is the best time to get back to writing. I have three WIP’s that need to be finished. My problem . . . which one first? They’re all being so good; waiting patiently for me to get back to them. One is not speaking any louder than the others. Though, they’re all nudging me with little gems that will be a great addition to their own stories. I guess I’m going to have to choose, and quickly. They’re not going to write themselves.

Until next week,

~Madison

3 Brand cropped