Gratitude

In case you didn't hear the news, Trapped In Her Dreams released last week. (I know, I know, I've been slacking in the blog post department) The response I have received thus far has been amazing! I am so happy that so many people love this series! Thank you!

Two weeks ago I finished the first draft of the final book (To be titled Purpose In Her Dreams). I'm in the thick of edits, and if all goes according to plan it will be released sometime in August. So if you're the type of person who likes to wait until a series is finished before you read, August will be your month!

This journey has been quite the ride and I'm so grateful to everyone who is riding along with me because I'm getting excited for my next project. Stay tuned for news of a 5-book series that will release in 2019!

Checking off the bucket list!

It's official! I'm a published author for real today! And MAN I am feeling the imposter syndrome in a huge way! But it's real! I've done the work and it's finally out there!

Several years ago, I had 3 big dreams I wanted in life. First, was to be a mom. It took several years and prayers but finally happened for me and my hubby in 2012 (and then again in 2014 and 2016). My second dream was to write and publish a book (March 22, 2018 will go down in history for this girl!).  And my third dream was to travel to Italy, specifically Rome to see the Colosseum. And though I thought it would come last, my parents took us and my siblings in 2011... which was pretty awesome. Thanks again Dad and Mom!

Those dreams absolutely did not come in the order I thought they would. And looking back, I wouldn't have changed a thing. 

Luckily I have many more dreams now. One book written and published was not enough! I love it too much! And I'm hoping my writing will contribute to the family finances in a big way someday hopefully soon. So here's to big dreams!!

If you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, click here and you'll get a FREE copy of First Dreams, the prequel story to In Her Dreams. 

Thanks for reading!

 

Fulfilling my dreams

I have loved to write my entire life...well since I could write obviously. It's been my dream to have a published novel since I was in the 4th grade and I won a Reflections contest for my short story. I only entered at the urging of my teacher that year and the rest is history! (Maybe I'll type it up and post it here someday!)

I dabbled here and there as I grew up (essays and research papers often overshadowed anything creative), but I have seriously been writing since about 2008. That's 10 years of practicing writing full-length novels and this is the one (In Her Dreams) that felt like it was good enough to share with the world.

And though it's not officially published yet, I am getting fantastic feedback from those who have read it. So thank you for reaching out and telling me you liked it. I feel like all of that practice and hard work may just pay off!

Here's to a great launch!! And if you're curious, a sample of In Her Dreams is being featured in two freebie promotions currently (with more to come!).  I'll post the current ones and the ones that start this week below. Check them out! There are some great titles in each of them.

NOW Until March 28th Delightful Historical Romance

NOW Until March 17th Clean YA Fiction - All Genres  (and being heavily promoted by Instafreebie itself on March 8th wahoo!) 

March 7 - 21st Speculative YA Giveaway

March 9 - April 6th History & Romance

 

Ahhh!

Who knew that clicking a little button would be so scary! My palms were sweaty. My heart was racing and I almost had the hubby do it, but it was time. I put on my big girl pants and clicked.

In Her Dreams has been officially submitted for preorder!

Yeah, I was all freaked out over clicking the preorder button!! Ugh, I'm going to be a mess next month.  When it has been approved and all that jazz I will post the pre-order link all over the website.

In other news, I have a cover for Trapped In Her Dreams! I know, I know you haven't read the first so why care about the second? But it looks amazing, guys. I'll do a cover reveal in the next day or two.

And now another button to push... and POST!

We have a launch date...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

I'm happy to announce that In Her Dreams will debut on March 22, 2018! Things are moving forward!

If you haven't subscribed yet, I am prepping a FREE gift to send to everyone on my list on launch day (and anyone who signs up after). It's a short story called First Dreams that takes place several years before In Her Dreams begins.  So sign up here!

Also...the sequel Trapped in Her Dreams is being sent off to my awesome editor tomorrow!! Yay! And my cover artist is working on a fantastic cover as we speak so, Trapped in Her Dreams will have a launch date sometime in late April.  And stay tuned for a cover reveal.

New Years Resolutions

It's January 1st and I've already reached my first goal of the year! Just moments ago I typed the last words to the sequel of In Her Dreams.

Wahoo!! 

If my baby wasn't currently sleeping I would probably dance and shout. Lucky for you, I'm writing a blog post instead. 

You're probably thinking, "how can I be excited about a sequel when I haven't even read the first one?" Well...my plan is to get the second one to my editor and on a schedule shortly so that right when you've finished reading In Her Dreams...bam! the sequel Trapped in her Dreams will be uploaded and published to Amazon, ready for you to click and continue the story.

Fingers crossed that Trapped In Her Dreams will be up a month after In Her Dreams goes live.  I'll keep you posted though.

Since it is January 1st and traditionally a great day to set new goals, I wanted to share a few of my writing/publishing goals, with the hope that it will help me stick to it.  So here goes...

*blowing on fingers ala Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail*

1.  Finish and publish the trilogy of In Her Dreams in 2018 (that's right! this year you can read the entire series)

2. Plot out and start a new series getting one... or maybe two of them published this year.

Whew! Four or Five books in one year? Can I do it? (singing the theme song to Bob the Builder in my head--can you tell I have young boys?) I hope I can!!

My first Kindle

I got a Kindle for my birthday a few weeks ago. I know, I know...get with the times Joanna, right? I really always preferred the feel of a book, but for a lot of reasons I decided it was time.  Anyway, as a reward for surviving November with crazy word counts and major editing, I decided to binge the published books of my awesome critique group.

Julia Keanini has written and published many books over the past few years. She's one of my go-to people when I have questions about the publishing world. I respect and value her advice, and though we've never actually met in person, we speak regularly over social media and Skype.

 I had read several of her Skinniness is Next to Goddessness series (which are really good!), but she has another series: Second Chance Fairy Tales, that starts with a Christmas-time book entitled Merrily Ever After. Perfect for this time of year.  So I downloaded it on my brand new Kindle and read it in only a few days. It was a quick and fun read! It's clean and sweet and romantic **sigh**. I immediately downloaded the next one (Snow and the Seven Teenagers) and finished it a couple of days ago. She recently published a third one: A Royal (Fake) Engagement, that I will probably start today...and then be sad that I read them all so quickly. 

Go check them out!

Fortunately Julia isn't the only published member of my awesome critique group...so on to the next!

Frankly my dear...

I'm not a fan of profanity. In my own speech I prefer the tamer, kid-friendly words such as: oh man! dang it! oh my goodness! what the heck? (A dear childhood friend of mine says oh mylanta! I've always loved that one.) Even before I had kids, these were my go to words. And now, around my kids, I even shy away from some of those.

I've always had the opinion that someone who uses a lot of profanity in their speech lacks the vocabulary to express themselves otherwise. And writers who need excessive f-bombs, and OMG's (the actual words/phrases, not the substitutes in my examples) also either don't have the vocabulary to convey emotion, or aren't being creative enough to find ways around the words. 

On the flip side, I have also read books and seen movies that excessively use the tame words in place of profanity.  While it's great that the writer doesn't use swear words, it can be just as distracting to the reader or viewer.

That being said, some very good books and movies use profanity in context. And they use it well. Maybe the character uses profanity, or the situation (such as the war front) breeds it. I'm not saying that I agree with it or that they get a pass, but a police-chasing-criminals scene or a bombs-exploding-battle scene might not feel as authentic with a bunch of dang it's! and what the heck's! being thrown around. And there is always the choice of whether or not to read/watch it.

In my own writing I refuse to break the (3rd?) commandment. And I refuse to use the harsher words.  It's a fact of life that some people use profanity, and therefore some characters do too. Sometimes I've used a simple "he swore" to show this in writing. But how effective was the line in Gone with the Wind when Rhett Butler says, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," because the word had never been used until that point? In any film for that matter!

My books are mostly profanity-free. And while I've been undergoing my final edit (yay!) of In Her Dreams, out of curiosity I searched for the two words my characters have used. So as a disclaimer, in the entire 67,000 words that make up the novel, there are exactly 3 damn(it)s and exactly 2 hells. 

And one of the characters does apologize. (insert winking emoticon)

Short Stories

In the previous post, I talked about writer's block. One of the ways I combat that is by writing short stories, usually based on a prompt. Writing short stories allows me to try new things that I may not dare take on in a novel-length story. It also helps me get back to my WIP (work in progress) with renewed energy. Sort of like taking a break. 

And while I intend to submit some of them to magazines, I want my readers to enjoy them too. So stay tuned! I may post them here in the blog, but I'll put them all under the Extras tab on the homepage under Short Stories.