Word Count Wednesday!!!
It's WCW and you know what that means! I'm going to be posting my hot, sexy, new.... Word Counts!
So what was my goal??
I only expected to write another 2k this week. I've been so busy! But.... *drumroll please*
GOAL: 2,500 WORDS
WORDCOUNT: 12,081 WORDS!!
My wordcount is so sexy I just cant contain it! lol I've been on a hot streak lately.
I have also been, seriously, incredibly busy. I've been mailing out hardcopies of Illuminous. Talking to local libraries, newspapers and the like letting them know I published. Today a woman offered me a radio interview on a local radio show in the future which will be amazing and I will totally post when that happens. I also did another round of editing in a second finished manuscript of mine. It is not the second book of Illuminous, that is still in the works *cough, see wordcount for the last 12 weeks *cough*, but it is a completed new novel that will be getting a lot of love an attention over the next few months.
Aside from all of that I have been on a writing hot streak and I am so exciting for everything I have in the works right now.
So what have I learned lately:
Marketing is hard yo! But important. So keep chugging along and make sure to have a banging street team. I just created my very own street team Yolanda's Mermaid Mafia. If you'd like to join my Mermaid Mafia click the link below and come have some fun!
Reviews are very important and needed.
If there is one thing people should know about authors, it is that we need reviews. Well, there's a lot people should know, but for today, reviews are it. They are the bomb diggity lesson of the day!
When I joined goodreads, I discovered I like reviewing books! I love talking about books. I love stories, and discovering all the backstory and history in a book, and definitely hidden easter eggs of info you don't realize the first time around. Reviewing books give me that avenue to connect with others who like to talk about books.
Before I got published I wondered how important reviews are for an author. It wasn't until I started writing query letters and looking into them did I realize they can be the life or death for an author on many levels. You publish one book, Yay! Now what? Now you want to do it again! Only, guess what, you put that you wrote a novel on your new improved query and... nobody cares. It doesn't help. Because your novel has no reviews. Outside of friends and family, no one knows it exists. You're a nobody who didn't sign with one of the top publishers so what do you have to do? Find ways for people to discover your book! Woohoo! Sounds like fun! You get to meet other authors and like minded book worms. More people read your book, but that doesn't necessarily translate into reviews. Most of us who love books have a TBR pile longer than our life spans. We have time to either read or sleep, and we usually choose read. What we don't have time for is taking that extra 5 minutes to post reviews. That's valuable reading time we are encroaching on, or it'll take up the 5 minutes a night we plan to sleep. As far as we are concerned, this isn't possible.
Guess what I recently learned? It is possible and actually fun! If you like to read you're likely a little opinionated about what you read. Those precious hours hacking through the TBR pile, soaking up new worlds that make you fall in love and break your heart, are wonderful. I found a new way to make that feeling last 5 minutes longer, reviews! Have you ever loved a series, yet still ended up throwing a book across the room in despair? (If you've read Veronica Roth, or George R. R. Martin the answer is always YES!) You feel so betrayed by this horribly talented author that you must tell someone! So, you take to social media and post your woe for the world to see. Well, guess what? You just wrote a review. Only you didn't put it where everyone who goes through the same despair can see it. Along with your vent, you can post a 1 star for your misery or 5 star for the writing that got you so emotionally invested you had to tell someone. It's that easy. Then you will definitely find others who feel the same as you and you can all grab your pitchforks and tissues and have your vengeance!
That's all well and good, right, but what if you hate a book? Or feel completely ambivalent? Worse of all, what if the book provoked nothing in you whatsoever? Maybe you really like the author and feel bad if you are honest and post a bad review.
Here's the thing, if the book is a genre you normally like and read, and you like the author, post a review. That's the best thing you can do. You don't have to lie. You don't have to be cutthroat, but you can be. Writer's learn from honest reviews. It's why most of us get unbiased beta readers before we ever get published. Not every novel we write will be the best thing ever, and that's okay. Just like with any craft, it takes time to hone it. By the time we are published, most of us have also had a bad review or two... or thirty. (I count rejection letters from agents and publishers as bad reviews. ha!) So we are hopefully used to it and can take a little negativity. The point is reviews help in almost every scenario. There are some scenarios where you should, under no circumstances, post a negative review.
#1 - You don't normally read that genre or like it.
I don't read erotica or romance. I also don't review romance novels, because I couldn't give an honest unbiased opinion that those that read the genre are looking for. That wastes the time of those who do enjoy a genre, only to find a 1 star review from someone who doesn't "get it". It's wrong. Don't do it.
**If I read a book outside of my normal genre and love it, you had better believe I post a positive review. That's the best kind!
#2 - You know the author personally and you just don't like them.
This should go without saying, but some people are petty so we are going to say it. Again, if you cannot give an unbiased negative review, don't give a review at all. Don't try to tarnish a person's livelihood based on something that has nothing to do with their actual work. These people also usually have not even read the book, so they have no business leaving a review anyways. Don't do it- just no.
#3 - You didn't even try to read the book.
Most would think this would be #1, but it's so obvious it really needn't be. If you did not open the book, or read any of it, do not post a negative review. Why anyone would do this is beyond me. It's petty, it's dumb, don't do it. Now if you tried to read a book and couldn't get into it. Then of course you can post a review of your experience. If you didn't even try, you have no experience so move along.
#4 - You are a fellow author of the same genre and you secretly (or openly) want to knock out the "competition".
I only recently heard this was a thing. I can't believe it. I hope it's not. If it is, don't do it. They probably haven't read the book, so refer to rule #3. If you did read it, thought it was great, but some ugly green eyed monster is leashed up inside you wanting to get loose, throw some chains on that sucker and put it away. If you just "can't", then write all your jealousy in a journal and throw away the key. Then work on your own craft and get better to where there is no competition, so your green eyed monster dissolves into what I'm sure is a confident go-getter who would be ashamed they ever thought of sabotage. You can do it! As long as you don't write biased negative reviews, you can be anything you want. Best of all you wont be a miserable cuss. Yay!
There may be more reasons one should not write a negative review that I cannot personally think of right now or fathom. If you think of one, post it in the comments, and remember it. Basically if you are going to write a negative review, do so without bias. If you question your bias or motives, don't do it.
Outside of that, start writing reviews!!
I know just where you can start as well.
If you're looking for a book to read (and now review), and cant decide which of the thousands of books just collecting dust on your TBR pile to read, I have a suggestion. Try Illuminous! I know, cheesy plug right. Well, luckily today's post wasn't about the etiquette of plugging your own book on your own blog, so here I am. **plug plug** If you're not into Young Adult Fantasy or Paranormal novels, and are still looking there are plenty of great books released by Feather Dreams Press and Bella Tulip Publishing.
If you have a book you want to read, and like Paranormal Fantasy with a bite, try my Illuminous. If you have read my book and haven't reviewed it yet, I would greatly appreciate it if you did!
From now on remember, if you read a book and want to do something nice for the author, write a review!! It's the nicest thing you can do. *Love to all of my readers and reviewers out there! You guys are clawsome!*
These last 48 hours have been crazy!
I have been showered with support and love and understanding these last couple days. I'm so beyond thankful and flattered for everyone I know and everyone who has gone out of their way to show some love. I'm overwhelmed in a good way. Lets just say when I envisioned getting published, there was a lot I didn't know, even just 48 short hours ago. It has been hectic and stressful and move amazing than I ever imagined...
A few years ago I started a list, and on this list I wrote down items that scared me. I started checking off these items one by one forcing myself to face my fears and do everything that I've always wanted to do. I call it my Ultimate Adventure List. It's a big part of my life and has taught me that sometimes you just have to dive in even if you don't quite know what you're doing and it will be epically worth it. This list has built me up to a level of outward self confidence that is nothing like what I feel inside, but doing the list has had me achieving crazy dreams that I used to think "just me" would never do. Being a published author was definitely always #1. If not for this list and these last few years, I wouldn't have known what to do with myself and all the support I've had the last couple days.
**On that note, there's a special shout out right here for Mary Duke, Rebecca Weeks, Amanda Fable, Monica & Chloe Crosson, and Jaymie Earheart!**
What I learned from my release is I have an amazing support system and its so appreciated and needed. I am so blessed with all the people in my life. Close friends, family, old friends and new, online friends and real life friends, family I haven't seen in years. I have so many people in my life that have reached out to me, you are all amazing!!!! You guys are what made this special day even more special.
Thank You All!!!
I also had a Live Illuminous Release Cocktail Party!!
This was a blast! My darling daughter (not pictured) threw me a little Illuminous themed cocktail party in honor of my book release. I was clawsome! There was a dress code, only werewolves allowed. It went off splendidly and I greatly appreciate everyone who showed up and showed support. She gave a toast that almost brought me to tears, and embarrassed me a bit lol, but what are daughters for.
Today was better than I ever could have hoped.
So what did I learn from ALL of this? A few things-
1. Support systems can make or break you. From your family, friends, and even your Publisher.
2. Trust your gut!! If you feel something might be wrong, check it! Don't doubt yourself.
3. Double check every single detail before release day. Down to things you don't even control. Don't worry about annoying people, this is your book! You need to know every single thing is correct before release day!
4. Know what an online release party is and who is doing your takeovers before you invite young ones(*cough* or your own father *cough*), that while they may be your target audience, are NOT the target audience for a release party with takeovers by romance *err... erotic* novelists. Also get to know the authors doing takeovers, they pretty much rock!!
5. Explain what takeovers are to your friends and family who haven't read your book so they don't get confused and think you wrote a romance novel and they didn't know it. lol
6. Have a LIVE release party to celebrate your achievement with your family and friends! Its so fun and so worth it!
7. Enjoy the moment and bask in your accomplishment. At the end of the day- YOU DID IT! Make sure not to get caught up in the stress or worry, just pat yourself on the back and relax! (After doing 5 million and 1 little happy dances every time you're alone in a room lol*
ILLUMINOUS is now available on Amazon!!
I'm so excited! I've waited my entire life for this day: IM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!
My novel ILLUMINOUS is now live. I cannot express enough how incredible this day is! My heart might actually explode! Illuminous is the culmination of years of work, a lifetime of hoping, and one fantastic dream.
I don't know what to even say. I thought I would have this huge blog post to do, but in reality I have no words. This is just so amazing! So here's a thank you to all of you reading this right now! Thank you to everyone who had a hand in the making of Illuminous, either physically or by encouraging me in any and every way. Thank you to my husband who has been by my side these last 16 years and says he always knew this day would come. Thank you to Feather Dreams Press for taking the chance on me! Thank you to everyone on facebook, insta, and every other social media site who shared, liked and supported my journey. Thank you to all of my friends, family, supporters, and fans who have been so wonderfully amazing!!! Thank you to every single one of you that reads Illuminous!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!! So much love to all of you!
Today is not only release day, but Illuminous' online release party day:
So, join me this afternoon on Facebook at 3pm, for games, giveaways, prizes, and the chance to meet some other amazing authors! So if you are in the online party mood today come have some fun.
Also, tomorrow, Sunday the 21st, I am having a live Illuminous Release Cocktail Party. Hosted by my daughter, and there is a dress code. Only werewolves allowed. So any werewolves in the area stop on by for games, prizes, food, swag, a contest for the best dressed wolf, and much much more. To give you just the tiniest clue of what to expect here is one corner of the party, themed after a very specific place in the book.
I hope everyone has a howling good weekend!!! Thank You All!!! XOXOXO
My goal for this week was small. With 3 days until the release of my first officially published novel, I'm a little busy planning release parties, games, giveaways, and costumes. Something you will not want to miss. As for my wordcount for the week my goal was 2,500. I can usually crack that out in a day, but oh boy, have I mentioned how busy I've been? lol So busy.
So what's my actual wordcount? .... *drumroll please*..... 3,247!!!
Now starting next week I will be posting pictures of my word counts.
Today though, I'm just going to celebrate my wonderful tiny achievement.
*Party over here, Party over there!*
So what I'm learning this week as a brand new, almost published author:
It's hard to find the time to write!
In between release parties, deadlines, social network marketing, planning and organizing events and signings, and least I forget, REAL LIFE as well. Which for me consists of a Flock of 4 children, A husband, a workout schedule, end of the year field trips (I swear they saved them all up for the last month of school), and volunteer work. Along with hikes that were pre-planned, races I already paid for (since I'm apparently a masochist who hates running so why not pay someone money so I can be miserable for a few hours of my day), among other events and today two trips to the hospital. lol The thing is I could quit writing for a while, I could put it aside and say, "right now I don't have time." I wont though. Any more than I'll stop hiking, or hobbling through races, and not just because I'm a masochist. It's because every night when I sleep, I dream of new book ideas. Every day when I'm in the shower I think of new book ideas. Every 90 min drive to the hospital and back, I think of new book ideas. Every time I'm tortoising my way through a 5k I drift off to think of book ideas so I don't focus on the bone splitting pain in my feet and shins. Writing is who I am, it's what I do even when my hands are far from a keyboard or pen.
Even without the extra hours in a day that I desperately need, I will keep on writing.
I am writer- hear me type!
On to more celebrating!!
While I celebrate my WCW win for the week, I will be doing more great planning for the release party. So if you haven't already, click that super fun button above, head on over to facebook and sign up for the Illuminous release party this Saturday. There will be games and prizes and you'll get to meet a handful of other great authors! You and I both know you'll already be checking fb periodically anyways, why not have some fun and prizes!
Speaking of prizes my Publishing house and their imprints are having a huge giveaway, if you purchase Illuminous you can enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Check out my Author page on Facebook to find all the rules on how to enter.
HONORABLE MENTION BOOK #1: RITE OF ANNARII BY A. MASLO
As I have said, I do not do book reviews, but something I am doing is a series of honorable mentions on my blog. These consist only of books I'm currently reading and only in the YA genre. First in this series is A. Maslo's YA Fantasy novel Rite of Annarii.
*I had the pleasure of re-reading Rite of Annarii the other day as it's release was May 12th. I found the story of Fellwynne intriguing. I was curious to find out what happened next. The foreshadowing was light and unlike many novels I could not accurately guess what was to come. The history of The Stones was pleasantly reminiscent of the ultimate Fairy fantasy every little girl has. It was an adventure I would love to be a part of. The story seemed to end so suddenly, I definitely cant wait for the next installment. Which is why Rite of Annarii gets to be my very first Book Siren Honorable Mention.
If you would like to join in on the adventure, be sure to purchase Rite of Annarii on Amazon:
A. Maslo is also with Bella Tulip Publishing and Feather Dreams Press. As such our imprint is having a HUGE giveaway you do not want to miss out on. If you purchase both Rite of Annarii and my novel ILLUMINOUS before June 30th 2017 you can enter to win. Click on the picture below for details. Then you can click the button below that to pre-order ILLUMINOUS.
MORE ABOUT A. MASLO:
A. Maslo is a multifaceted author with many more projects and novels to come. One being The Unremembered, a fractured fairytales anthology. To learn more about A. Maslo the author you can check out this blog interview at My Books - My World (a blog I happen to love!) which you can find by clicking the link below or going to mybooks-myworld.com
**RITE OF ANNARII HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR BEST BOOK BY INKS AND SCRATCHES FOR THE SPRING BLUSH BOOK AWARDS 2017**
So quick! Go read Rite of Annarii, then head on over to Inks and Scratches on Facebook and vote for Rite of Annarii to win!!
You can click on the picture below to vote!
Happy Word Count Wednesday and Flash Fiction Friday!
I'm shaking things up for my very first WCW and FFF. I figure I made the rules, I can break them.
Yesterday I was busy so I didn't post my Word Count Wednesday, and tomorrow I'm doing a post to support another writer so I wont be able to do Flash Fiction Friday so I am doing them both today! So welcome to Mix Things Up Thursday!
WORD COUNT WEDNESDAY:
For the week of 5/2/2017- 5/9/2017 my word count was a 11,274.
My goal for the week was 17,500. Although I didn't reach it I will be working even harder this next week! I'm going to be dedicating an entire post to word counts and why they are important for my process.
FLASH FICTION FRIDAY:
Flash fiction. It is fiction that is extremely brief, generally a few hundred words or less. I have read some incredibly talented flash fiction (Go, Alicia Abrams!) and some incredibly terrible flash fiction, also known as my own. Ha! Its embarrassing how awful it is, but I'm going to be posting it here anyways. Why? Because I can. So here it is, Flash Fiction Friday #1
Everything was liquid around me. Nothing had form or meaning, my hair floated around my face in the blackness. I knew I must have drown. I remembered how the nighttime stars had looked as I’d fallen off the boat into the ocean. I remembered being pulled under, the salt burning my eyes. Struggling until I couldn’t anymore, and I remember the blackness, it hurt more than the heaving of my lungs. I didn’t notice my eyes were closed until they opened. How long had I been down here? I couldn’t feel time passing. Shafts of light break through the darkness around me shining onto a colorful sandy world below. If there was any doubt before of my death, it left me as I saw her.
There was a girl down there, far out of reach walking along the bottom of the sea. It was as if she was out for a leisurely stroll. She didn’t sway in the current. White hair danced in the water behind her as she walked. I was mesmerized, certain she must be an angel. She kept walking, slowly getting further away. I wanted to call out to the spectral, my voice wouldn’t come to me.
As if she sensed my presence, she turned suddenly. She looks right at me, her eyes glowing a brilliant blue in the dim light. She smiles, shiny white fangs flash. Gills flare out methodically. Alarmed I shudder against her alien features until her hand reaches out to me beckoning me. Finding my legs they begin to move propelling my body towards this amazing creature.
Before I can get near her something heavy locks around my waist yanking me backwards away from my goal. I panic struggling against whatever has caught me. I sense something large pulling on me. It feels familiar, but my brain won’t stop to question, I just want to reach the girl. Her arm is still reaching out for me, calling me home. As if sensing my desperation, the thing pulls on me faster, yanking me upward further and further.
She becomes a spec within seconds. Cold air shocks me out of my desperation. My body’s functions take over as I try to take in a breath of the icy air, coughing and sputtering. Lights are all around me, brightening up the night. I hear a whistle blowing in the wind. The person who yanked me out of the water begins talking to me. The pain in my chest and the salty burn in my nose assaults me. All of the water is exsanguinated from my lungs. I ignore the pain and ignore the cacophony of voices yelling. Was that all real? I struggle more, releasing just enough to plunge my face back into the water, closer than before two blue orbs watch me. The kindness washed from her face she bares her pointed teeth. A clawed hand now swipes at me. As swiftly as I entered I am snatched out of the water again and heaved onto a raft. Everyone around me speaks at once, asking me questions and moving me. I cannot find my voice to warn them of the two glowing orbs rising faster and faster towards the surface.
This past week I went on vacation to the Bahamas. I was amazing, of course. A wonderful way to spend the first week of May. *Kisses my suntan that will inevitably fade back to stark white in a matter of weeks*
Now I'm back and along with being well rested and a little burnt I have a lot of catching up to do. It really is hard to miss a few days with a book release coming up. So here's a bit of advice for those looking to publish, schedule big vacations after your release. Probably long after. Haha! It's crazy how much you can miss in just a few short days when you have an awesome team of people behind the scenes working hard to keep things speeding along. *Warm and Fuzzies to all of you at BTP and FDP*
On to my great news.....
ARCS are now available for ILLUMINOUS!! *Throws Confetti!*
This is so exciting to me. My book is now an ARC! Its a thing! This is one of many milestones every author gets to go through and now I've hit it and its just super cool.
So if you're interested in doing a review whether on your blog or otherwise for Illuminous and would like to request an ARC you can email one of two ways, just click one of these two buttons and send your request there:
Now, not to sound like a cheesy salesperson, but- THATS NOT ALL! *waves cheesy salesperson banner*
Bella Tulip Publishing, and their imprints are running a Giveaway from now through JUNE 30th!
This is something you really don't want to miss. There's well over $150 worth of prizes going out.
So, let me tell you how to enter:
If you purchase ILLUMINOUS, before June 30th, (along with one other Bella Tulip imprint), you can enter to win one of these cool prizes:
* Kindle Fire
* $20 Amazon gift card
* Mystery box of goodies worth $150
* Five ebooks
* Or one of three $5 gift cards
Do not miss out on this. I'm tempted to enter myself haha! I love giveaways. For full details on how to enter and a list of other imprints you can check out, just
All of the information is pinned at the top of my Author page. Enjoy!!!
Wooo! I got a great vacation, and came home to ARCs, giveaways, and much more in the near future. Not to mention there's only 11 days until ILLUMINOUS RELEASES!!! It's getting real up in here people ha! If you need me I'll be bouncing off the walls for the next few hours...*cough*.... days keeping my countdown going. So go soak up some lovely May sunshine and don't forget to keep Illuminating May by hash tagging #IlluminateMay wherever you go and post all the things you love about May so we can continue to spread May cheer!
IT'S MAY! I love May!
May has always been my favorite month, and now there's even more to love about May... 19 days until Illuminous releases! There's more though, so much more.
May will always hold a special place in my heart. It gets warmer, finally. Our rain soaked Pacific Northwest dries up a bit. Hiking season starts for the seasonal hikers up here, so I see a friendly face now and again on some of the more well known trails. Flowers are in bloom all over. Mother's day- always a plus. It's my Father's birthday this month, he's pretty amazing and deserves to be celebrated. Finally, 12 years ago this month I married my person! Guess what day our anniversary is? May 20th, the same day as my release. I didn't choose it, but I think it's great. I will be celebrating twice as hard this year. *Yay!*
Not only does Illuminous release this month, but Feather Dreams Press is releasing another great novel by an amazing author.
Rite of Annarii by author A. Maslo releases May 12th! You can pre-order by clicking the button below.
There is so much to love about May! I want to spread May cheer all over, and illuminate the great things about this wonderful month. So if you want to, share your favorite things about May, here or anywhere on social media using #SpreadMayCheer or #IlluminateMay !!
Happy May Day All!