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Jen’s Loves-JC Wing

In my last post, I featured the beautiful and amazing CD Bradley, and in this one I want to introduce to you to JC Wing.  JC is a wife, mother, author, and editor, and an overall incredible person. She’s my editor and has become a good friend and someone I consider a soul sister!  She has an amazing work ethic, is incredibly positive, is a talented storyteller, and I absolutely adore her.

I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do!!

  1. Dog or cat person? I’m both. I have a seventeen-pound cat named Mouse. He acts as the logo for my imprint, Black Cat Press. I also have two chocolate lab puppies named Phoebe and Ursula. They make sure I step away from the computer and get a little bit of exercise throughout the day.

 

  1. What are three interesting/unique/fun truths about you? Many (oh so many) years ago, I was a competitive ice skater. I got to live in Germany for two years – and absolutely loved it. I also collect baseball caps. It’s more fun to wear caps from places I’ve visited, but some of my favorites have come from places I’ve never been.

 

  1. What is the single most guiding principle in your life, and how does that impact your role in the publishing world? I try to show my family and my friends that I’m honest, and that if I say I’ll do something, I will follow through. I work hard to be dependable. I believe in showing respect for people, to try to find out who they are, what’s important to them and to act accordingly. I think these things impact my role in the publishing world a lot. I’m an author myself, so when I edit for someone, I’m only interested in making changes that will make their work grammatically sound. Every writer has their own style, their own voice, and keeping that intact is very important to me.

 

  1. What is one big thing about yourself that you would change and what have you done about it? I think I probably try to take on too much. Sometimes I think I should change this, but ultimately, I don’t think I ever will. I love being asked to do things. I’m a pro at multi-tasking, and I usually have ten different projects going on at once. I’ve heard many times that I should try to do less, but I’m very happy being busy, so I doubt I’ll try very hard to be different.

 

  1. What do you do in the publishing world? I’m an author. I’ve written and self-published four novels: The Color of Thunder, Alabama Skye, A Skye Full of Stars and Dead Beat Dates & Deities. I also own an editing company called Wing Family Editing. I work primarily with indie authors, but I’ve had the opportunity to edit content for some websites as well. I’m a blogger, and I run a writing group on Facebook called Writing Challenge Warriors.

 

  1. What is one thing you want people to know about you? I’m probably the biggest dork you’ll ever meet. I’m annoyingly optimistic and I smile and laugh a lot, but I’m serious about the things that matter.

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.-C.-Wing/e/B00AZXVS1W

Wing Family Editing website: http://jcwing.wixsite.com/wingfamilyediting

Author Blog: http://jcwingandthegoddess.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jcwing.novelist

Writing Challenge Warriors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1638083136502522/

If you haven’t already, read one of JC’s books. You’ll be so happy that you did.

 

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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

My Bookshelf 

I’ve read so many books in my lifetime that I’ve forgotten many of them.Being a voracious and fast reader, there was a time in my life when I read three or four books in a week. As I’ve grown older and my free time has dwindled with working, having babies, doing laundry, and writing, it’s become far more difficult to maintain such a pace.

My reading has shifted from novels, to articles, and from series to blogs. I’m still a constant reader but I plan my reading time around the rest of my life, knowing it won’t always be this way. One day the babies will be in college and the laundry will be less and my pace will have picked up. When I’m really lucky, I get to binge read, like I did when I first got my Kindle. I wish I could read at the pace that I did when I was younger. I read anything that was written by Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary and my fondest first memories of reading were “See Spot Run” and the adventures of Dick and Jane that my parents must’ve had tucked away from their own childhood.

As a teenager I graduated to reading VC Andrews, Sweet Valley High, and anything that intrigued me at the local library. I remember reading some of Jackie Collins’  famous stories about sex and Hollywood, which was the furthest I dared to venture into the adult section at that time. I became addicted to anything by Mary Higgins Clark; murder, mystery, and strong heroines always drew me in.

As an adult I curtailed my reading as I grew my career and social life, and eventfully got married and had babies. But being a reader and a writer has always been a part of who I am. The desire to do both had never left me, surfacing during the difficult times in my life, and comforting me like a warm blanket and an old friend.

Most recently, I read Letters in White by Kathryn Perez, which told the beautiful and sad story of a woman struggling with depression, ultimately taking her own life. Books that make you think always get to me and this one did. I still think about it even weeks later, and I love that about this book. My most recent read was Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which I loved with every fiber of my being. I sank into the story as though it were my own, because in a lot of ways it was. I became lost in every page, relating to each character as though Ms. Ng had seen into my soul and created them from within me. It’s one that I’ll probably read again and again because as an Asian-American, a woman, and at times, a lost soul, this book speaks to me.

I still have many books waiting for me on my Kindle, though I fight the urge to #oneclick daily. While I adore my Kindle, I still love paperbacks and always will. There is nothing like having a book in my hand and turning the pages. The act of turning the page, anticipating the end of the book, is both disheartening and exhilarating and nothing will ever replace that feeling for me. Unfortunately my book collection has grown anemic over the years, lost during a time when I lived out of my car or lost boxes while moving from one place to the next, until I decided to and find a home.

As life has settled down I do try and collect the older  books as I find them, C.S. Lewis’ books about love and faith, Anne Rice’s books about witches and vampires, the classics that I love so much and try and reread once every few years. I also try and collect new books a long the way telling myself that they’ll be happy on my bookshelf. Many are stored on my Kindle but I do dream about a house with many bookshelves, and books to fill them,  in the near future.




Some of my favorite books are Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and the Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I love anything my C.S.Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Shel Silverstein. My reading tastes are as eclectic as my preference in music, dependent upon my mood and my situation in life. When I read a book that I’ve read before, often it reads differently to me depending on where I am in my life and I love that about books.

I love reading and getting lost in a story or in the characters and I can’t wait to dive into my next set of books, the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer.  I know that I’m about a decade later than most when it comes to reading these books, but I do tend to run behind at times. I’ve read all of the Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins but I’ve never seen the movies. I still haven’t read every Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling, but the ones I have read, I’ve enjoyed immensely. I have yet to see the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, but I’ve read the books by E.L. James. While I’ve seen a few of the Twilight movies, I have yet to see them all, and I’m looking forward to the books, which I’ve been told are far better than the movies are.

I’m looking forward to growing my bookshelf and if you look really closely at the pictures, you’ll see the original Leaving Eva sitting on the shelf as well.  I’m beyond excited that I can put my books on a shelf with so many other amazing works and fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a writer.

Books are made of dreams and dreams are a beautiful thing to never give up on, which this author and reader never intends to.

 

The Forgotten

The writer’s mind is a weird place to reside. The twists and turns, the subtle paranoia, the dark and spirally stairwells that lead to the strangest of places. There is an inability to relax or stop thinking because the brain is constantly moving at lightning speed, even when you wish it wouldn’t.

These are all of the elements that propelled me to write The Forgotten.

Every book has a story about why it was written or what it was inspired by. My own writer’s brain, inflamed by tragedy at a certain time in my life, created this story before I even realized there was one.The two main characters, Jakob and Kell were inspired by my own two boys. The beauty and heroism of Jakob and Kell, as they save themselves and the other children is a reflection of how they’ve unknowingly saved me. Their goodness and love has made me become a better mother and a better person and without them I came to realize that I was doomed to a life of darkness. Writing The Forgotten was a story that originated from pain but evolved into something else entirely.

It’s beautiful to me how a story can grow into itself and become something even more than what it was intended to be. As I wrote The Forgotten, more beautifully strong children emerged, as well as a seemingly harmless creature called a Yashwa, who ultimately destroys the entire Balance of all things. I write a lot about the Balance in this book because I believe that balance is the center of a good and healthy life. Without it, life can go awry and become uncontrollable which is why it’s a strong theme in The Forgotten.

As the story evolved, so did the need for an obvious enemy and the  Ubilez were borne, reflecting the darkest places in my mind. Black and spindly with collective, yet individual voices, oily and evil to the core I envisioned them as a monster that could reach deep into  your core and gut you from the inside out. The ugliest creatures have always been easy for me to see in my mind and I was thrilled that my children loved this awful creature almost as much as I did.

In some ways this book has been one of my favorite to write. I knew in the beginning that it would be a Fantasy novel and somewhere along the journey I realized how freeing it was to just be able to create without limits. Being able to let my imagination go, unbridled, was exhilarating and fun and I loved that I didn’t have to be tethered in reality as I wrote. I’m looking forward to continuing the series with the next two books. Writing this series has given me an entirely new appreciation for being a writer and I look forward to continuing the journey.  I hope you’ll join me on the journey to find The Forgotten in The Lost Children Series

Amazon

“I have loved everything that this author has written and this book was no different. She made the characters crawl out of the pages and come to life for me, many of them being children which was a bonus.I love that I can pass this down to my daughter to read and that it was such a interesting read. I’ve decided that I really need to read more in this genre.
Thank you Jennifer Sivec!!”-Jensi Mooney (Amazon review)

Racism-Black and White And A Little Yellow

A local news reporter said an incredibly stupid thing today on the morning broadcast, and in reading the tweets and Facebook posts, you would think she was the biggest racist on the planet. There are comments calling for her immediate termination, referring to her as a racist (or worse), and maligning her character. Maybe she is a racist, but it’s highly doubtful because by all accounts, she and her family are very good people who are not racist in any way.  Although her comment was extremely ignorant, it doesn’t appear to be malicious or intentional, yet many tweet that it doesn’t matter.

I know I may draw some negative backlash for even saying that, but this called is called “Inside Jen’s Mind” so I’ll say what I think. And what I think is that racism is a funny thing, something we are always looking for in everything. It’s not funny-haha, but funny-strange, because it’s often assumed but not always true, though it is always divisive.

First let me tell you a bit about me. I was adopted from Korea when I was around the age of two. Abandoned by my own parents, I was adopted by a Caucasian couple who couldn’t have children of their own, neither of them having a racist bone in their body. My dad taught me that racism was stupid and that people of every race could be jerks, and he was right. I remember when I would come home after someone made fun of my race and instead of getting upset, Dad would say “They make fun of you because you can take it. If they’re picking on you, then they’re leaving someone else alone.” So I made that my mantra, knowing that I was strong enough to take it, even though I was a small little girl with slanted eyes and olive skin who didn’t look like anyone else I knew.

I went to school in an era when they were integrating the schools to ensure there was diversity. It didn’t matter much to me, because I had probably met two people in my entire lifetime that even slightly resembled me. So instead of going to school five minutes from my house to go to school with kids that didn’t look like me, I was bussed thirty minutes from my house to go to school with kids who didn’t look like me. Diversity didn’t mean much to me at that time. I was as diverse as it got, neither black, white, or hispanic and there were many times when I was out-of-place and felt very alone. I would love to tell you that all of my experiences were positive ones, but they just weren’t.

People were ugly, adults and children alike. A relative who I never really knew asked my mom if I was going to have surgery to ‘have my eyes fixed,’ and most of the time people just assumed I was “Chinese.” Often-times kids would make strange ignorant noises that were supposed to resemble Asian people speaking, and the questions like “What are you?” were asked often, even into adulthood. When I was little, I used to feel my eyes beginning to slant even more when faced with those situations, unable to hide the fact that I just didn’t look like everyone else. Today they call that “bullying” but back then it was just “kids being mean” and I knew I would have to face it all of my life because there was no surgery to made my eyes ‘less slanted.’

Looking back, I think Dad saw something in me that I had yet to see in myself, because I was strong enough to take it, and I did. Aside from elementary school, those events rarely drove me to tears, and most kids chose to pick on the girl with the lisp and the unibrow instead of the girl with the slanted eyes. As I grew older, kids weren’t as mean to me, and by that time I had made enough friends that I was usually left alone.

When I was growing up my family was white, my friends were a mixture of black, white, hispanic, Asian, and my best friend from seventh grade through high school was black. My race wasn’t important and it didn’t make me special, better, or worse, than anyone else. Nobody cared that I was Korean and I found myself finally fitting in and finding my place in the world.

But the world is very different now in countless ways. It’s more hypocritical and full of hatred which I think makes it difficult for us to look beyond our outward appearance, because our differences are constantly being highlighted in the media. The social climate is uptight and unforgiving, and nobody seems to be able to laugh at themselves and we are obligated to be offended by everything that happens in the world. We assume everything is meant to be offensive, so we oblige. I realized the world was changing when it became taboo to call an Asian person ‘Oriental’ or when the term “politically correct” became gospel, rather than policy.  Instead of coming together, we push apart, expecting and waiting to be pissed off about something… anything.

So says the Asian girl.

The scars of being teased and made fun of because I was different, certainly run deep. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have someone say horrible and ugly things to you just because of how you look, unless it’s actually happened to you. As a child and even as an adult, I’ve had people of all shapes, sizes, color, race, and nationality call me names, make ignorant comments, make gestures, assumptions, and even make their eyes slanted so they would look like me. But I call that ignorance and stupidity, and I refuse to let it change my heart or make me a prisoner. If you know me, you know that I’m not above telling someone to “screw off” if the situation calls for it, and I believe racism is one of those situations that certainly calls for it.

My youngest child came home from school after being “bullied” by another child, larger and older than him. My youngest, is my mini-me and not only looks identical to me when I was younger, but is just as stubborn and just as apt stand up for himself. What really broke my heart about the situation is that the other child jumped right to calling him a “little Chinese boy” as a way to put him down and told him to “Go back to China where he came from.” It brought back flashbacks from my childhood, but it also made me incredibly angry not just because my youngest is my baby, but because this other child obviously doesn’t know my son at all. My son is laugh-out-loud funny, irreverent, inappropriate, and incredibly charming. He’s the boy who will break the girls hearts because he won’t be tied down. He loves to play games, technology, and electronics of every kind, and did I mention that he’s funny as Hell? But this other boy just saw him as that “little Chinese boy” and I thought how sad it is that the world hasn’t really changed, after all.

Instead, we live in a world where not only are we still incredibly ignorant and say stupid, stupid things. Do I think that little boy is a racist? Absolutely not. I do think he’s ignorant, and while I hope his parents set him straight, I’m also realistic and understand that he may get that from home. Yet, I’m not offended by the situation and we’ve talked about it with my son because I’m sure it’s not the last time he’ll ever hear something like that again. I’m not teaching him to be tolerant of ignorant behavior, but hopefully he’ll learn to just see things and people for what they are. Hopefully it will motivate him to be his best, regardless of the stupidity that may surround him.

I’m not naive and I know racism exists and is alive and well and toxic in our world. But I don’t believe that we live in a world where everything and everyone is racially motivated. I do believe we live in a world full of moronic, stupid, ignorant, idiots who say the most ridiculous things and I think it is important to differentiate between the two.

We are living in a world that lacks levity because we are entirely too sensitive, and all that ends up doing is dividing us and breeding contempt, and more hatred. As a society, we are always looking for a scapegoat, an answer to our problems but the easy answer isn’t always the right one. We need to stop and learn to see things for what they are. Racism isn’t always so obvious, isn’t always so black and white, and  in simplified terms I think Webster’s still gets it right.

Racism-Webster’s dictionary

noun
1.
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
2.
a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3.
hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Rodney King~”Can we all just get along?”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sONfxPCTU0

The Beatles~All You Need is Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I

Marvin Gaye~What’s Going On https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I