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The Eva Series, the Whoa-Giveaway, and other Things

On February 17th, the Eva Series was finished with the release of Saving Eva. It took almost four years, but Eva’s story is finally complete.

While I thought that writing the first book, Leaving Eva, was the most difficult, this one was certainly the hardest to write for a number of reasons. The main character, Brynn’s, life has been heartbreaking and cruel but with every tortuous moment, also came hope. I was unsure how to leave the final book in the series, afraid that I would let the readers down and taint the beautiful stories and characters they had come to love. But early feedback and reviews of Saving Eva are good … even better than good, and some of my most beloved readers are happy with the ending, which makes me incredibly happy.

With the completion of the series, I also wanted to make it available as a collection so that you could cry your eyes out with all three of them, at once. (Major tissue alert here!) If you love ugly cry books, believe me, you’ll want to read these. I’ve had readers message me about support groups for this series, as well as how much these books made them laugh and cry. If you want books that will rip your heart out, the collection is available on Amazon and is free on Kindle Unlimited. Don’t get mad at me if your eyes are too puffy to leave the house for a week. You’ve been warned!

Since the release of Leaving Eva, much like Eva’s story, my author life has taken numerous twists and turns.  Though certainly not as violent or uncertain as Brynn’s, nonetheless it has been rocky and surprising. I began as an Indie Author in 2013, admittedly naive and totally clueless. I then joined two separate publishers and subsequently lost them. While both experiences were vastly different, one lost by choice and one not, I learned a great deal about who I wanted to be and what I wanted my writing journey to look like.

As a result, I started my own imprint, Soul Sister Press, LLC. and while I am certainly not an expert in this  creative life, I continue to learn every day. The name Soul Sister Press made sense to me because I truly believe that soul mates come to us in many forms. I’ve been fortunate to have found many of mine in the form of sisters; other professionals and creatives who understand me and share my vision and passion. I love that we get to choose one another to bring our love of books to a beautiful completion. It’s the part of this journey that I love so much.

With Eva series complete, I’ll continue to work on more beautifully broken stories throughout the remainder of the year, as well as search for ways to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. With the help of Brenda Gonet of Starbound books, who is coordinating a WHOA-Sized giveaway, we’ll be gifting signed paperbacks, ebooks, and swag to lucky winners just for being amazing! I have the most wonderful readers that I could ever imagine and I am so thankful for them every day. This WHOA-sized giveaway will give points for everything below and at the end of the month (March), Brenda will tally them up and the WINNERS will get some very nice prizes! If you want to get in on the fun, just message  Brenda Gonet on Facebook with your entries!

whoa-giveaway

I’m also anticipating the release of my first audio book for I Run to You, which is set for release on my birthday, March 15th! Christine Rauch has a wonderful voice and I think she has the perfect voice to tell the story of Alyssa Bennet.

There are so many exciting things happening in 2017 and I can only look ahead to an even more incredible year! If you’re reading this, you’ll also notice that my blog and website got a new makeover, thanks to the wonderful Brenda!

Honestly … I just don’t know what I would do without my soul sisters!

Jen’s Loves

As an author, I’m so fortunate to get to met so many unbelievably amazing people: artists, designers, editors, readers, and of course, other authors! I want to share some of these people with you because it truly feels selfish to keep them to myself!!

The first person I want to  introduce you to is Author C.D. Bradley. I had the pleasure of being her table-mate that the wonderful Rebels & Readers Author Event hosted by Amy McGlone and Tonya Nagle. I LOVED this event and meeting C.D. She was fun, kind, and during in between meeting fantastic readers, we had fun getting to know one another. She is the author of the Stark Trilogy, which features Author BT Urruela on the covers.

I asked C.D. six questions and I absolutely loved her answers. I’m sure you will too.

Q.  Dog or cat person?
A. All animal person. I live on a farm with 2 dogs ( one Australian Shepherd named Jack and an Old English Sheep Dog named Lollie. We have a rescue cat named Little John, 42 chickens, and 2 ducks. A very large bear named Samson a host of turkeys and deer and one very annoying bobcat.

Q. What are three interesting/unique/fun truths about you?
A. Eeep um well I am a terrible farmer but I am learning. Every day is an adventure here and I just laugh at my self and go on. We have recently learned that I am unable to kill anything. This does not go well if you raise livestock. We had to “cull” roosters the other day and I literally cried.
I am very ADD and usually have three or four projects going at once.. Currently I work, homeschool, write books, bake wedding cakes and love my animals ( farm creatures)

Q. What is the single most guiding principle in your, life and how does that impact your role in the publishing world?
A. Guiding principle has always been pursue your dreams as if limits to your abilities do not exist…. just go for it with out trepidation. Don’t hold back in anyway. If you think of a long jumper or a pole vaulter if they hold back in any way they will fail before they even leave the ground. Put your whole self in to what you want to achieve.

Q. What is one big thing about yourself that you would change and what have you done about it?
A. Biggest thing that I would change is that I need to be more organized. I am working now to declutter and get rid of excess so that life with five kiddos is more manageable.

Q. What do you do in the publishing world?
A. I am a writer. So far I have written two books in the Stark Trilogy and I am working on the third and final which will release New Years Eve at midnight. This series is about a military doctor who is fresh out of school and a special forces sergeant. Their journey will entrance you, and then take you places you never imagined. I have really enjoyed writing this series. This final book is bitter sweet because I have spent so much time with Stark and Kira, writing that final The End may kill me.

Q. What is one thing you want people to know about you?
A.  Something to know about me …Hmmm I really enjoy meeting all the fans at each author event.  Though I am shy so its hard for me to engage people I don’t know, I love hearing about you and your lives and what you are excited about or frustrated by.

 

 

You can click on C.D.’s picture to follow her on Facebook! You’re not going to want to miss out on this wonderful author. Click on her book images to catch her books on Amazon!

Riptides in Reality

As a writer, there’s nothing more satisfying and humbling than getting to be a part of an anthology with others who love their craft as much as you do.

We recently published an amazing anthology of sci-fi and fantasy novels, aptly named Riptides in Reality. The awesome thing about it is that you get NINE books for only 99 cents. It’s really such an amazing deal!

Thrilling, witty and heartrending sci-fi and fantasy anthology for only 99 cents! #3 Best Seller!

Once Humans by multiple award-winning Massimo Marino

A Shadow in the Flames by award-winning writer Michael G. Munz

Guild of Immortal Women by IndieFAB Book Awards-finalist David Alan Morrison

A Werewolf for God by Linda Wallace-Kurtz

Suspended Between by Travis Norwood

Last Impressions by A.J. Aalto

The Forgotten by Jennifer Sivec

Burning Down by K. Williams

Magnus Opum by Jonathan Gould

Harmony’s Shade by multiple award-winning author Sarka-Jonae Miller (bonus short story)

Hurry and grab yours before it’s too late! It’s only available for two months and then it’s gone forever!

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Six Book Marketing Tips

Hmmmm …

Disclaimer. This is a difficult subject for me this week, but I’ll attempt to tackle it anyway though I DO NOT claim to be an expert. I read somewhere that a new author should be happy to sell over one-hundred books and when I hit that mark I stopped counting. I’ve never made it onto a major bestseller list, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be there one day. But this journey has been tremendous and far more than I ever hoped for.

Selling books is not only an art,  but it’s mostly a business. Author Taylor Dawn recently shared an article written by Nicholas Sparks about the pitfalls of the book business. Book selling is not for the faint of heart yet as authors whose hearts are full of our stories, we continue to try and share them with the world despite knowing that it’s an uphill battle at times. 

I’m happy to share what I’ve learned in the past few years of doing this crazy book-thing especially if it helps someone even a tiny bit.

  1. Be grateful … for everything. Every reader, every review, every like, every connection, everything that tells you that someone chose YOU. With the millions of books in the world, I’m grateful every time someone chooses one of mine, even if they didn’t love it or didn’t connect with the story or the characters. Someone still chose my book to read and I’m constantly amazed that they would. Saying THANK YOU and participating in giveaways and supporting fellow authors with hops is a great way to show gratitude. 
  2.  It’s been said a million times but don’t spam people with your books 24/7. It’s annoying! They’ll unfollow, block, and ignore you for all of eternity. Enough said.
  3. Try new things. Some things will work and some won’t but there is value in trying. Before I try a new opportunity, I always do my research and read comments or ask questions of other authors who’ve done it. Some marketing avenues will work and give you great exposure while others will boost sales. Know your audience and know what they like. 
  4. Share the love! There is strength in numbers and supporting other authors/bloggers not only shows how awesome you are to new fans, but can introduce your readers to wonderful new people as well. It’s a win-win to get involved in giveaways, cover reveals, celebrations, and anything that can get your name out there.
  5. Be true, be you! Show your readers who you are, inside and out. They are readers and people, just like you are. Interact, listen, and respond … consistently. Every single reader is important!
  6. Do your research and don’t keep doing what doesn’t work. It’s important to ask around and take your time when making a decision. But don’t be afraid to try, although you do wanti be selective when it comes to spending marketing dollars!

It’s important to remember that this is a journey; a marathon and not a sprint. It can take time to build an audience so don’t get discouraged and don’t compare yourself to others. Marketing involves taking risks, trying new approaches, and being brave. Try all of the free stuff and be selective about what costs money because not all of it is tried and true.

If bloggers offer to help, interview, or spread the word about your books, then let them, and don’t forget to THANK them! Many of them do it just because they love books and for no other reason.

Be true, be you, and have fun while your doing it!