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!

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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!

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Jen Loves Authors-JA Hensley

As I continue introducing you to my favorite creatives, I definitely wanted to make sure you got to meet this one!

The first time I ever met JA Hensley, I felt like I had known her all my life. She’s a wife, mother, professional, as well as an author and a owner/blogger at Babu’s Bookshelf. She’s funny, smart, and kind, and even though I don’t get to see her very often, she’s someone I’ve grown to admire and respect quite a bit!

JA answered my questions like a champ and I’m so happy to introduce her to you, in case you haven’t met her already.

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1. Dog or cat person?

I’m a cat person but I own a dog right now. My family is allergic to cats and that makes me really sad.

2. What are three interesting/unique/fun truths about you?

  1. I went to boarding school for my last 2 years of high school.
  2. I make all my own swag and some for other authors as well.
  3. I teach at a community college and my most popular class is Human Sexuality.

3. What is the single most guiding principle in your, life and how does that impact your role in the publishing world?

I want to always be true to myself and do what I feel is right. As far as the publishing world, I write what I want and try not to let trends or others sway what I publish or promote.

4. What is one big thing about yourself that you would change and what have you done about it?

One thing that I’ve been working hard on is to be less shy around new people.

5. What do you do in the publishing world? 
I started out as a blogger and then, with the help of my BFF, I started writing. Now I’ve published 4 Contemporary Romance novels and I’m working on something new.

6. What is one thing you want people to know about you?

I love to read and discover new books and authors. I hope people find me approachable and likable. I love talking about books too!

 

Go and check JA out at any of her links and make sure you add her to your TBR list! She’s wonderful, amazing, and you won’t regret reading and following this wonderful author!

With the holidays coming up, I’m going to skip a couple of weeks but will resume after the New Year! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year to all of my Loves. I wish you all the best!

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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.

 

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!

White Flag

Question…

When do you give up?

What is your breaking point in life? How do you know when enough is enough and that its time to say that you’ve  done all you can do but you can’t do it any longer?

Does anyone ever know? Is it when you’ve almost lost everything? Is it when someone else tells you that it’s enough?

Life is funny this way because there is never a clear answer and isn’t it different for all of us?  This journey that we’re on doesn’t come with a guidebook or a set of rules. We make them up as we go and often we’re just flying by the seat of our pants. As much as we might want to believe that we are governed and guided by the same principles in life, aren’t they different for everyone? Who gets to decide when we’ve reached our potential? Who gets to say that we will never go any further than where we are, right now? When do we face reality? When do we face our mortality? When do we raise the white flag and say that this isn’t working any longer, and that its time to give up on our dreams?

Who gets to say when we’re too old to try and that we’ve reached our full potential in life?

Are the people who tell us that we’ve done enough and that we should give up our friends or our foes? Or  are the people who are feeding our empty dreams and the belief that we can reach deeper and go farther, the real enemy? Are we sabotaging ourselves by continuing to believe in our purpose?

How do you ever know? Are we foolish and stubborn not to listen, or do we follow our hearts, and pray that we aren’t wrong?

When do we give up on it all and face reality? When do we stop believing?

Does anyone know?

 

 

We Are America 

I rarely wax politics for many reasons and I won’t in this post either, but this election has been painstakingly brutal.

Isn’t a large part of what makes America great the ability to have and speak your own opinions … Freedom? Isn’t that what this great country was built upon?

But this election and the world we have come to live in, disturbs me greatly. It has become a country where nobody can voice an opinion, and viciously attacking individuals or entire groups for having a differing one, has become accepted and even expected.

I wasn’t born in America and was naturalized when I was as three. I was born in South Korea, an unpopular girl-child left to survive on her own. Though the specific circumstances that brought me here will remain unknown, I am grateful and always have been for the journey that gave me what I have today. I have always been deeply appreciative that I was allowed to become an American. 

I became the daughter of a blue-collar union worker and a stay-at-home mother, and began working when I was fifteen years-old. I was an Asian-American who didn’t look like anyone else and was a minority in every setting, my entire life. I was ridiculed, made fun of, and called names by school-mates. I even had a great aunt who wondered if “they could fix my eyes.” 

I accepted that I was different at a very young age because I had no choice, but instead of allowing it to weaken me, it galvanized me. I didn’t allow it to define me, or destroy my potential for a wonderful life.  Instead, I embraced it and appreciated that I lived in a country that gave me the opportunity to thrive and work for a successful life. As much as it hurt, it didn’t matter. I was an American and that’s all that mattered.

Having children in 2016 America is a huge challenge because everyone walks around on eggshells and is afraid of the PC police. I want my children to be compassionate, kind, and strong young men, but I also want them to have a sense of humor and levity. While one of them is going to be handsome, dark, mysterious, and classically good-looking, the other will be impish, unavoidably irresistible, and adorable. But one of them looks more Asian than the other, and has already had to deal with racism and the ugliness of the human spirit. While my heart aches for him, I truly understand what he has experienced. Yet, while he has been hurt, he has also been helped by his friends who have defended and protected him, which is by far an even greater lesson and he has learned that he is beautiful.

The magic of America is that we all get to be different, have differing opinions, beliefs, religion and customs. But there are also processes, rules, laws, and accountability that come with living in our great country, and this sense of entitlement and expectation is frustrating and degrading. This lack of respect for process & procedure and for each other, is disheartening on many levels.

What truly breaks my heart is the nastiness, the name-calling, and the venomous vitriol that is spewed when there are disagreements. The violence and anger are dangerous and frightening, and encouraged by a society that doesn’t respect or appreciate that two sides can find value and common ground. There’s nothing wrong with having a different opinion, there’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree. Isn’t that what makes this such a wonderful country?

Let’s face it, there was no perfect candidate in this election! This election lacked a true leader with undeniable integrity or even a smidgen of likeabilty, which was incredibly disappointing.


But the democratic system operated regardless, and now we need to come together to figure things out to make the world better for our children and our future. Attacking friends, family, coworkers, and strangers because we aren’t happy with their opinions and views just makes us a bunch of dicks. 

We’ve become a country of A-holes who’ve been hating, unfollowing, defriending, and ridiculing the people we are supposed to love the most because they think differently than we do. We’ve become social communists. 

In truth, name-calling, bullying, and nastiness are playground tactics that will never get us anywhere. Never.
Aren’t we the ones who make America great? Aren’t we the ones who make up the fabric of this country? When we’re brutally attacking others, we are the ones muddying up and destroying our country. Now we need to stop, breathe, and realize that we have a lot of work to do. Not one side is completely right or wrong. If we can figure out how to work together, we can do this. But it has to start with us and how we treat one another daily. 

Watching the fallout of the election has been truly heartbreaking and disgusting. I hope we can look within and realize that the only people we are hurting with our vicious attacks, on both sides, is ourselves. I hope we can come together and listen to one another, appreciate and show compassion for each other like we did on 9/11.m

 We are a country that is capable and strong, but we’ve forgotten who we are, and what we can do when we stand together. I truly hope that we find ourselves again before it’s too late, before we’ve become so divided that we implode from within.

We are better than this. 

We are Americans.

My Bathroom-#AKWriting Challenge

I’ve been sorely irresponsible when it comes to this challenge, and I could make a million excuses but I won’t. Instead I’ll just jump in when I can and since I love potty humor, I figured this would be an excellent place to begin.

My bathroom is not my favorite room in the house! 

We’ve been looking at houses for about three years because our bathroom and our kitchen are often the source of much profanity in our house as our boys are on the cusp of becoming much bigger teenage, adult-sized people. Our master bathroom is the size of a closet, and even though we have two and a half baths, I would kill for a Jack and Jill sink and a beautiful big bathroom with a huge bathtub that had jets and room to read in. I would seriously never leave my house.


The trade off is that we love our home, our land, and our privacy. Even though the bathroom and kitchen is small, we STILL love our home. If we could move our home and yard, blow off the back of our house to make the kitchen and bathrooms bigger, it would be a complete win for all involved!

That’s my potty story and I’m sticking to it!