Monthly Archives: February 2018

Living Two Lives

When I got to the point of realizing I was actually going to publish a book, I decided to use a pen name, rather than my real name. Not for any enigmatic reason, rather a very simple one. I don’t care for my real name. Never did. My real name is very plain. To make matters worse, it’s spelled in the masculine form. Choosing Madison Granger was a decision I never regretted.

One of my closest friends has told me more than once that there’s a difference between Madison and me. He calls me by both names. I realize now there are subtle changes when in my ‘Madison’ persona.

This past week found me wishing I could be Madison all the time, living happily ever after in her world. Madison gets to write, interact with readers, and right now, is beaming with happiness from some incredible reviews on Save the Last Dance. Thank you, Kelli Smith and your Reviewer Roundup, for making that possible! Madison is in her happy place, working on the last short story to add to the anthology, To Kill a Demon. A Destiny Denied has been sent to the publisher, awaiting an April release.

The other me has to go to the day job to pay the bills. Such is life.

Till next week,

~Madison

2018 Brand

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Trying to Please Everyone

It can’t be done.

That should be the end of this week’s blog. Right? In all honesty, probably so. But, I can’t leave you hanging, wondering what’s going on in my world, can I?

I signed up once again to an online event known as The Reviewer Roundup. This is an awesome opportunity to garner much needed reviews for your books. The Roundup is split in two, first week for novellas, the second week is for novels. Readers enter, read the books, and leave honest reviews. Prizes are involved, and everyone has a great time. I love the idea. Like I said, this is not my first time at it. Kelli Smith is an awesome marketer, and I have always been thrilled with the results of her services, whether it be swag or events.

Reviewer Roundup 2018

The event has just started, and already there are reviews being posted for my novella, Save the Last Dance. So far, I’m more than pleased with them. What little criticism there is seems to be the same. The readers want more . . . more depth, more conflict, more background, more story. My initial reaction was It’s a novella! If I add all that, it will be a novel.

But I get what they’re saying. Believe me, I pay attention to those reviews. Those are the things that make me a better writer. My next work will be stronger for it. I’ll make sure there is more depth, conflict, and background. I know I can’t please everyone. Doesn’t stop me from trying.

Till next week,

~Madison

 

brand Sept 2017

 

Olympics

It’s Olympics season! Are you an Olympic Couch Athlete? What’s that you ask? It’s a person who sits watching the Olympics and thinks…”I could do that.” Many moons ago, in my younger days, I was an Olympic Couch Athlete. Nowadays, while my brain may dream of attempting the impossible, my body is saying…”don’t even think about it.” lol

I am, what I like to call…athletically challenged and not normally a sports watcher. But the Olympics is a whole different story. These athletes have worked their hineys off to get to the top of the podium. They are part of an elite group of people at the top of their game. They are bravely and boldly reaching for their dream with the eyes of the world watching them with bated breath. Whether their goal is to win the gold or achieve their personal best while representing their country, they should be watched, supported, applauded, and celebrated.

I wish reading was an Olympic sport…I could soooooo be a top contender! lol

Until next week…Good Luck to the Athletes of the World and Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

NY – kill me know

I just realized I missed posting yesterday. I spent the evening trying to wrap a WIP that’s coming due SOON. Because being left to finish my task is simply not part of the agenda around here, I spend the last of the evening fighting with the youngest about college. hooray.

I have covers to reveal yet, and things to share, but as I’m running late…here’s a little piece of the WIP. It’s unedited and I’m sorry ’bout that. Crossing my everythings that next week posting goes smoother.

love & light

From Black Guard
(the counterpoint story to Rogue)

I know it was fortunate that I was fighting alongside the king that moment. The Demspay war was well into its sixth or seventh century then.  Only Tonnemar could defend so many. He risked everything to become that day, exposing himself as a true Dragon before the entire host of opponents on the battlefield. Not only that, but in Dragon form, his mark was easily seen. He was not only a true Dragon, but he was the King. He might as well have painted a target on his back. But, even knowing the risks, he did not hesitate. As I and a handful of others watched on, he laid waste to scores of opponents, clearing a path for our escape. How many of us were saved from the killing blows that could easily have come by our compromised positions, I never stopped to count then. Today, I count one, me.

 

A Sense of Accomplishment

When I got down to the final stages to have Save the Last Dance published, and A Destiny Denied edited, I was ahead of the game. Things had worked out where I had enough time to correct any errors, take my time with the final prep work, and have them on my publisher’s desk for publication. Save the Last Dance was released three weeks ahead of schedule. I have two more months until Destiny is released. When I got my edits back, I took my time with corrections, making countless passes trying to catch everything. This week I started formatting.

I’m the kind of person who learns by doing. As with anything, it gets easier after doing it enough times. Formatting has given me my fair share of grief. I’m not to the point where I can say I’ve got it mastered, either. But, I’m way closer than I’ve ever been. Getting the margins set is pretty easy. I simply copy from a cheat sheet I created when I formatted Eternal Embrace.

My bone of contention has always been the header and footer. To be honest, the header has been easy the last two times I did it. So, I think I can say “I’ve got this.” Not so much with the page numbers. For one, I don’t like Roman numerals on the front and back matter. I prefer the actual story to have page numbers, period. But, the page numbers can’t start on Chapter 1 . . . oh no, they have to start on the next page. So, you end up starting the book around page 12. Then, my battle begins. Each chapter is a section. Each section has to be linked to the previous one. So on, and so on. Coming home from work, I would try to format the damnable numbers. Only to have them out of order, scattered all over the place, or something else. Each night I would go back to square one, to try again the next day. I finally got a day off where I could focus solely on numbering the book. Lo and behold, the numbers lined up beautifully! Believe me, I hit save before I could lose it.

While I was on a roll, I even figured out how to increase the DPI on an image I was using. It’s been a good day! Even with all this, I’m going to go over the book a couple of more times before I send it on to my publisher. Since I have the time, I want it to be as close to perfect as it can be. If I did something wrong, I’ll still have time to fix it.

After that, I can get back to writing. Life is good.

Till next week,

~Madison

brand Sept 2017

Get Your Snippet…

This morning seems to be working out as one where it is more than obvious that I did not get nearly enough sleep, and there may not be enough caffeine in the world today to make up for the deficit. However…I did want to share a brief snippet from Breathe Me to Life. It is the story that is going to be in the fairytale boxset due to be released in May.

Breathe Me to Life (Once Upon A Twisted Time)

Kellan, Prince of the Light Court, searched the area for the reason the revelry had come to an abrupt halt. His gaze fell on the waif-like creature that had crossed through the thinned veil into Faerie. Rising to his feet, he brushed off the delicate, but annoyingly grasping hand of Devany from his arm. Without regard to her gasp of offence, or sparing her a second thought, he wove his way through the glittering throng of Fae to reach the female.

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught the sight of Prince Orin also heading towards the chit. That wouldn’t do at all. There was no way he would allow a lesser Prince, with his pale skin and equally pale hair and eyes to lay claim on a prize he had decided was his. Possessiveness had never been one of his vices. Suddenly feeling it gave him pause, but didn’t halt his steps forward or diminish his determination.

It had been a long time since a female had sparked Kellan’s interest for more than the momentary satisfaction of having his carnal needs met. He’d scratched the itch, but the desire to spend more time with the insipid females, whose sole focus was climbing their way to a seat that much closer to the throne than the one they currently occupied, was fleeting. Not even Devany, with her golden beauty, enticed him to bond with her.

She wasn’t a full blood mortal, of that he was sure. He could sense Fae blood coursing through her veins. She was shabbily dressed in a gown that had long since seen better days and would have served its purpose better as a rag. Her dark hair, with its streaks of auburn glowing in the light of the bonfire, tumbled down her back in a riot of curls, brushing the curve of her waist. She was young, by Fae and mortal standards, yet her luminescent skin, big green eyes, and high cheekbones hinted at the exquisite beauty yet to be.

He reached her just before Orin did. He swallowed a chuckle as the lesser Prince bowed and backed away, muttering his displeasure at being thwarted under his breath. He turned his attention back to the girl staring up at him in awe with her mouth slightly open. Smiling, Kellan cocked his head to the side, “And who might you be?” © Jolanthe Aleksander 2018

This story and 15 others are now available for pre-order for only $0.99. That’s right…only 99 pennies will get you fairytales with a twist.

Amazon Smart URL: http://hyperurl.co/OUATz

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

NYNE – one day at a time

Still working away on the New Year – New Everything. Some days are an exquisite disaster, and others…well, others are just exquisite. The last couple of them have been a mishmash as I’m trying to get work done on several fronts and gather all my little ducks to get the annual, early year pain called taxes accomplished and into the rear-view. One day at a time…but soon it will be over and the ‘ounce’ of pain will be assessed and done.

Today has been erratic at best. As many of you may have heard, the reader-writer community lost a bright light. Kelly Langford was the embodiment of everything that makes writers want to keep writing. As a reader, she was quick with a smile, and always laughing, even when things looked bleak. I remember meeting her years ago in New Orleans at a signing and being confused when she asked me for my favorite color. I did not know then that she was a wiz with a crochet hook. I learned fast.

Over the years since, she’s gifted me with several items that I look at now, and debate if I can bring myself to use them again. My fingerless gloves so I could type in my basement office and keep my hands warm, an adorable matching scarf so I could step out in style, and most recently an expandable produce bag for the market so I could see where the squishables were. All practical, and all in my favorite lime green. All now staring at me from the shelf, a vivid reminder that they are the last physical pieces that will arrive from her. Sad is a word that doesn’t have near enough letters or depth of meaning to convey how deeply the community will feel this loss for ages to come.

To Whitney her daughter (my bracelet is by the things mom made me) I cannot convey how treasured the memories of the two of you at events and online will become…and stay. I look forward to hearing about how you soar and become all that you’ve dreamt of. This isn’t for today, it’s for always. To Kelly’s son…make mama proud. She’s still watching.

I could go on at length, but as we all grieve, it’s too raw, too soon, and I don’t want it to be too much. I only ask for a moment of silence if you please for a soul I hope is now at peace. Fly high sweets.

On other fronts, because today’s low can’t hold the train, What’s Up and coming? There are still lots of things to reveal, and this Monday is no different. I have yet another cover for you to oooo and ahhhh over. 🙂

Coming in March will be a small, short run set called Magic Rising. In it will be the counterpoint story to Rogue, titled Black Guard. It is Ciannait’s story for the same window we walked with Asa. Once that’s out…and Rogue will be out for an additional stint in Dark Rising, coming May 1st…I’ll be releasing the continuation of the tales.

Excited? I know several of you are…you haven’t let me hear the end of it. 🙂

So, without further ado…here is the set cover for Magic Rising.

(I might be a bit partial…but how could I not? Uhhhhm Hello?? Dragon.)

My Happy Place

My five days off rotation has finally arrived. I’m now in my happy place, contentedly sitting at my desk, finishing up edits for A Destiny Denied. I think I’ve tweaked all the over-used words, tightening the story into a better one. One more pass, then an oral read, and it’s onto formatting. Once I get all that done, I can get back to writing. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to finishing what I’ve started!

My muse has lain dormant for what seems like ages, keeping silent while I coped with my hectic work schedule and the curves life keeps throwing at me. Now, she’s rousing from her nap, throwing little idea darts at me. I had to remind her that the order was out of whack. Falcon popped into my head, then a character from Heart of Stone. Sorry guys, get in line. Sully and Larke get the first round.

I have a schedule to stick to this time around. It’s going to be a busy year for me. I don’t feel that I’ve put too much on my plate, but in order to get everything done in time, I’m going to have to buckle down and get some serious writing in. It’s a personal challenge I relish. Writing soothes me, taking me to worlds of my own creation. I can leave my job and personal problems behind for a while, enjoying my characters and the lives I weave for them.

I hope you enjoy what’s coming.

Till next week,

~Madison

3 Brand cropped

Working Together

The book world is this strange and beautiful place where women and men write, talk to and about, argue with, dream about, and kill off, people who only exist in our imaginations. Some who don’t get it would say…there are meds for that. lol

Beyond the characters who live between the covers, the book world is huge. It’s a world that consists of authors, editors, beta readers, cover designers, formatters, publishers, and readers. It can be a well oiled machine working together to produce a piece of work to proudly present to the public.

Is it always pretty a pretty and harmonious place to be? Absolutely not, but then the same can be said about any group of people working together or in the same field. There will always be drama…there will always be drama llama’s…and there will always be those who pour gasoline onto the drama fire to dance gleefully around it. Protect your sanity and weed those people out. There is just not enough hours in the day, energy in the universe, or caffeine flowing through the blood vessels to deal with that. lol

At times, a group of authors will come together to put a collection of stories within a certain theme together to become either an anthology or a boxset. I’m doing a boxset due out in May and pre-order links are available if you would like to make sure you get it…hint hint.. 🙂

Not your childhood fairy tales!
A Limited Edition Adult Fairy Tale Collection
Reserve your #99cent copy of this collection now!
Once Upon a Twisted Time (Twisted Fairy Tales, #1)

Are you ready to dive into a world of *brand new & exclusive* fairy tales where your beloved stories are retold with a twist?
In this collection, new thrills are woven into the fables we know, both classic and modern. Uncover unexpected changes to old treasures, and fall in love with new adventures to explore.

From Cinderella to Rumpelstiltskin, The Mad Hatter to 12 Dancing Princesses, come find your unique favorites as these authors unleash diverse experiences of magical creatures in their wicked contemporary and paranormal romance worlds.

#iBookshttp://hyperurl.co/OUATT
#Nookhttp://bit.ly/2zythZw
#Kobohttp://bit.ly/2yqXKLs
#Goodreadshttp://bit.ly/2gkvAXU
Amazon link available soon.

(one of the authors in the boxset created this image. I love it!)

I’m off to caffeinate my brain and to put some words on the page before the getting ready for work ritual begins.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~