The Monday Funday Report

Hi, friends! 

Well, Between Worlds has been on sale (at least on Kindle) for about a day now.  I’m very pleased to say it’s been selling all day and even made it to the top 50,000 Bestseller Kindle Books!  

Okay, it’s not the top 100 or anything, but hey, for having been on sale for a day, I will take it! 

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I’ve been in touch with a few reviewers and a few old connections about hopefully getting the word out a little more.  Along with continued marketing, though, I’m really excited to finally have the book out and to be able to start working on some new projects, like the first in a new series and… CEMETERY TOURS 3.  I know, they just keep coming.  Sorry.  

For now, however, I hope you enjoy Cemetery Tours and its sequel, Between Worlds!  

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Between Worlds

BETWEEN WORLDS is now available to Pre-Order on Amazon.com!

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Worlds-Cemetery-Tours-Volume/dp/0989673421/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404089964&sr=8-1&keywords=between+worlds+smith

It is also secretly available to download on Kindle two days early!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Worlds-Cemetery-Tours-Book-ebook/dp/B00LDZQ1WW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1404089964&sr=8-2&keywords=between+worlds+smith

Please, everyone, if you have read and enjoyed Cemetery Tours, go on and download it! 

Also, if you have not read and/or downloaded Cemetery Tours, it is available on Nook and Kindle, on sale for the next two days, for only $2.99!  Be sure to get it before July 2, when it will be back to $4.95!

http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Tours-Jacqueline-Smith-ebook/dp/B00F7CHQ08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383665766&sr=8-1&keywords=cemetery+tours

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cemetery-tours-jacqueline-e-smith/1117000854?ean=9780989673402&itm=1&usri=9780989673402&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3A1&r=1%2C+1

I am asking that if you would, please spread the word!  Thank you all so much!

PS – I really want to try to sell 500 copies of Cemetery Tours and/or Between Worlds in the next day or so because I really want to adopt this little guy…

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If there was ever a time to buy books… it is NOW! 

Thank you all!

Why Topanga Lawrence was One of the Best Female Role Models on TV

Tonight is the premiere of Girl Meets World, the long anticipated spin-off series to everyone’s favorite 1990s sitcom, Boy Meets World.  Like most young people my age, I grew up with Boy Meets World.  I wanted to be Cory’s sister, Mr. Turner’s favorite student, and Jack’s girlfriend.  Sorry, Shawn.  You’re cute too.  But come on, your brother is a dreamboat.

Now, I could sit here all day and talk about how much I love all the men of Boy Meets World (oh Eric, you adorable doofus, you), but tonight, I’d rather talk about my admiration and respect for Topanga Lawrence Matthews, which rises above and beyond my love for the boys.

Now, I don’t watch a whole lot of television now, but from what little I do watch, no female protagonist quite measures up to Topanga.  She was everything I wanted to be growing up.  She was smart, she was confident, she had great hair, and best of all, she knew exactly who she was and she never apologized for it or felt insecure.

Okay, there was that one incident when she cut off half of her hair, but I think all girls have had days like that.

Topanga and Cory had a beautiful love story, one that spanned throughout seven wonderful seasons of childhood, adolescence, and new adulthood.  Topanga loved Cory, but her love for him was never the center of her life.  She remained as independent and free-spirited as ever.  She also never had to lower her standards for Cory or for herself.  Girls on television these days seem to feel incomplete without a man, but not Topanga.

Along with being totally confident and proud of who she was, Topanga was also one of the smartest kids in school.  Yeah, Minkus was probably a little geekier, but Topanga really cared about her grades and her good-girl image.

She also aspired to be the first female President of the United States.  I, for one, would totally vote for her.

Finally, Topanga is just absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, but not in the conventional sense.  Today, we get so much plastic surgery and weight-loss methods shoved in our faces.  Topanga was a natural beauty with real-person curves, and she rocked them.  She was even dubbed “Queen of the Hotties” in one episode.

Let me tell you something, guys.  Some girls like salads, but most girls like burgers and pizza and chocolate and cookies.  If a woman tries to tell you otherwise, she’s probably lying.  Topanga just rocks.

Best of all, she was open-minded, forgiving, and always hilarious.  She never tried to manipulate or control Cory or her friends.  She was our ideal feminine 1990s role model, and I hope that Riley and Maya live up to her legacy on Girl Meets World.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m trying to remember that this show will not be the series that I knew and loved in my youth.  This show is to be enjoyed and appreciated as a whole new series for a whole new generation.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope the Hunter boys will make a few guest appearances.

Between Worlds Soundtrack

Every time I get an idea for a new story, one of the very first things I do is create and iTunes playlist to serve as a sort of soundtrack to listen to while I write and to inspire me.  You can find the soundtrack to Cemetery Tours here:

https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/soundtrack/

The songs that helped inspire Between Worlds are…

1. “Whataya Want From Me” by Adam Lambert ft. P!nk

2. “Remember Me This Way” by Jordan Hill

3. “Graveyard Girl” by M83

4. “Last Dance” by Camera Can’t Lie

5. “Anyone’s Ghost” by The National

6. “Demons” by Imagine Dragons

7. “Dance in the Graveyards” by Delta Rae

I also returned to several songs that I listened to while writing Cemetery Tours, such as “Haunted” by Taylor Swift, “Blink of an Eye” by Hodges, and “Paul’s Song” by Bullet.

Please note that this is an unofficial soundtrack. I am not selling these songs or benefiting from them in any way.

One Week!

Hi, friends!

Oh my goodness, everything is happening all at once.  Today, we have exactly one week until Between Worlds, the sequel to Cemetery Tours, is released!  I’ve also been busy working with some amazing film and theater students who have offered up their time and talent to film a BOOK TRAILER for Cemetery Tours!  Today was the first day of filming, and oh my gosh, I had so much fun.  They are all so fun and professional.  I can’t wait to see the final cut!

Since there is only one week to go until Between Worlds is released, I thought I’d share the first two chapters with you as sort of a preview.  I hope you enjoy it!

PS: These chapters DO include MAJOR SPOILERS for the first book, so proceed with caution.

Between Worlds Chapters 1 & 2

 

Books, Wine, and Fish Fry

Yesterday, my sister and I ventured back up to Lake Texoma.  Initially, we’d just planned to attend the Locust Community Volunteer Fire Department Fish Fry (try saying that five times fast), but then we decided, hey, it’s such a cool area, let’s just spend the day there.  She’d never been to Denison before, so I got to show her around and introduce her to the people and places that I’ve been privileged to meet this year. 

We also wandered around a few shops, including an antique store with, according to the people who work there, several ghosts! 

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The first thing I noticed was this Ouija board.  Now, I do not mess around with Ouija boards.  My friends and I used to, but then something really weird happened with what we think may have a dark entity, so that was the end of that.  Call me crazy, but I firmly believe that if you call something, if you ask it to come, it’s going to come.  To that, I say “No thank you.” 

There is a Ouija board in the new book, however.

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Then, we walked over the The Book Rack, where the ladies proudly display books written by local authors.  They are just the best! 

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I’ve got to say, seeing your book on the shelf of a real bookstore is pretty cool.  

After that, we meandered over to the local winery for more of their amazing Rose of Ivanhoe wine.  Forget California Wine.  Homestead Winery in Denison, Texas is where it’s at!  We also wanted to try something new, and since my sister isn’t old enough for a wine tasting, I took one for the team and helped myself to four samples.  Their White Zinfandel, while a little too sweet for my taste, was incredible.  It tasted like Honeysuckle!  I told the lady behind the counter that, and she said, “A lot of people say that!”  

We ended up with another bottle of Rose of Ivanhoe and a Cabernet, which is amazing.  I’m telling you, forget all the big corporations and brand names.  Small, local businesses who really love what they do and put their heart and soul into it are where it’s at.  If I do another book release party, I’m buying all my wine there.  Support your local businesses! 

After we had our wine, we headed over to the Locust Community Volunteer Fire Department Annual Fish Fry!  As a volunteer department, they don’t get paid, so they host events like this to raise money.  It’s such a worthy cause and such a fun event!  The food is amazing, you’re right there on the lake (although it’s very low this year), there’s a live band, auctions, raffles, and my sister and I each got a t-shirt!  

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All in all, a pretty good weekend.   

 

Writing Process Blog Tour

Hi again, friends!  I have had the honor of being nominated by fellow writer and blogger, Callum McLaughlin (http://callummclaughlin.wordpress.com) to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour!  Thank you so much, Callum, for nominating me!

The rules are to mention and link back to the blog who nominated you, to answer these four questions, and then to nominate three fellow writers.

1. Why do I write what I do?

That’s easy.  I write what I do because they are the kind of books I enjoy and the ones that I would want to read.  I write about what interests me and I try to write it in such a way that I think others will enjoy it too and experience it in a similar way.  I hope people enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

2. How does my writing process work? 

Is it cheating if I link you back to another blog post that I wrote about my writing process? https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/answers-part-i-writing/

3. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This might sound snobbish or cliche, but I don’t really write for a genre.  I mean, I guess mine is kind of new adult, kind of general fiction, kind of paranormal, with a touch of romance and suspense.  I just write stories that I think are fun.  I try to make my characters as realistic and likable as possible.  I like to add a few twists and turns.

4. What am I working on at the moment?

I am working very hard on getting Between Worlds, the sequel to Cemetery Tours ready for publication!  I am also in the early stages of writing the third CT book as well as the first in a new series!  I am very excited and loving every minute!

I nominate…

http://heatherellisbooks.wordpress.com

http://amberjeromenorrgard.com

http://tjwiltshire.com

The Countdown is On

Hi, friends!  What’s up, what’s up?

I know I haven’t been as active here as I should be.  To be honest, my days are consumed with getting the new book ready to go IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!  AGH!

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.46.58 PM unnamed

Seriously, it does not feel like it’s that close.  I feel like I have all the time in the world when… I don’t!  I know that as an independent publisher, technically I don’t have to answer to anyone and if I wanted to postpone the release date, I could, because, let’s face it, I answer to no one. Mwa ha ha.  But the thing is, I am a professional, I want to be a professional, and a professional keeps her deadlines, especially her self-imposed deadlines.  That’s all there is to it.  I want my books to be just as high quality and on time as though they were coming from a big time publishing company.  And that means sticking to deadlines!

Unfortunately, thanks to all the computer work and reading and what not, I have developed a strain in my right eye.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my eyesight is terrible.  Like, God-awful.  Without correctional lenses, I can’t even see the giant E at the top of the letter pyramid.

My dad has a history of genetic eye diseases which I am more likely to pass on to my son than he is likely to pass on to me, but at the same time, my oldest sister has the disease so, you know, stuff happens.  The point is, I have to take good care of my eyes, and unfortunately, I’ve chosen a profession with a lot of reading and a lot of computer time.  I haven’t been posting as much or as active online as I usually am.  Trying to give my poor right eye a rest.

What else is new? Well…

My sunflowers are beginning to actually look like future sunflowers!

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Cemetery Tours is now up to 45 reviews on Amazon!  Just five shy of my goal for July 1!

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And I had the best snow cone I’ve ever had in my entire life.

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How has your week been so far?

Very Short Story at 3 AM

It’s late and I need to be asleep, but while I was browsing GoodReads instead of getting ready for bed, I noticed something.  There are a lot of zombie books out there.  The ones I’ve read are written in first person perspective and it really got me thinking.  What would life actually be like in the event of a zombie apocalypse?  What would I be like?  

It took about half a second to realize exactly what my experience in the zombie apocalypse would be, so I thought I’d write it down before I lost it.  

Enjoy.  

My Experience in the Zombie Apocalypse

Mruuuuughhhhhhhrrrrrrggghrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr grhhhhuuhhu uuuuhrrhrhrhrhgggghhhmmm hhhhhhmmmmmggggggrhrrrrrrrrr.

Translation: I’m a zombie. 

Mrruhghhghgggghhhhhh mmmmmrrrrrrgggghghgrrgr ggggrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhuuuhghr ghmruhgmrghg.  Ngummmrnnrggkkkmmm hurrmrnkrhng.  

Translation: Walking is hard. I’m dead.

Uuuuuurrrrrrrrhgghghghgmrmmmrr mrgghughrmgmgughrrrrr mmgguuuuuughrrrr mmgmmughrhrughhhhhhh mgurhhughrmmgughg ggughgmmrrrughghgmr mggmmmrruuuuuuugh.

 Translation: I’m going to eat you.

Uurrhrnnnnnnnnrhgggukkk.  Mmmmmghghghurrrrrkrnrhghgm nrurhrhrmmmmmmgggggghh huuuuhrhrrmrmrmngngggghk.

Translation: Yum. People are delicious. 

Urrrrrhhhhhhgmmm.

Translation: Since I am a little more than an animate, ravenous, decaying corpse, I actually do not possess the ability to form coherent thoughts or make rational decisions, or any decisions at all.  I am purely an instinct-driven, mindless body.  I don’t even know what a body is.  I only know that humans are tasty and I must eat them.  I’m not sure why though, because I’m already dead, so what?  Will I die again if I don’t consume living humans?  

Nnnnnrrrrmmkkkkhrgrrrgrghhrkkrhg mhrrhrkrnmmmmggkkkkkrhhhrrrrrr mrhuhhrmmghrkgmrughm mgurhrkkrhrhhrhrmurrrr.

Translation: Zombie existential crisis. 

Museums, Water, and the Trinity

Yesterday was Father’s Day.  I hope everyone had a wonderful day with their dads.  Dads, I hope you had a wonderful day with your children.  My family celebrated with a day at a museum and barbecue.  It was great.

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In the Episcopal Church, however, yesterday was also Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentacost.  It was the day we celebrated God the Almighty, Three in One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Over the years, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my faith.  I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  I just answer to the best of my ability, based on what I know of God and the Bible, and my own personal beliefs.  One question that has always stood out to me, and that has been asked repeatedly, is this: How do you explain a God who is Three in One?  How can God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all be one in the same Being?  To be honest, I never really knew how to answer it.  I always chalked it up to faith.  It’s just what we believe.

Then I spent three summers working as a summer camp counselor at Camp All Saints up at Lake Texoma.  I talk about my time at camp a lot, because they were three of the best summers of my life and I’m still in touch with several of my friends and coworkers.  One of the best things about camp, to me, was the opportunity to spend time in nature and to learn from new friends and advisors even more about my faith.  Furthermore, I felt a connection to God that I’d never experienced before.

One night, after the kids were all asleep, a group of us sat around on one of the porches and just talked.  About everything.  Well, to be fair, it wasn’t all that deep.  It started out with the guys teaching the girls to spit Sonic ice like real men.  As night fell, however, our discussion turned to God, to science, to the universe, to what it all meant, everything.  It was the most open and raw discussion I’ve ever had in my life, and I loved every minute of it.

Being there with friends, at the lake, really inspired my relationship with God, and the Trinity.  I’m not sure what it was, but that night, I finally figured out how to answer that question, the one about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It’s difficult to believe in anything that you can’t see or touch or hear.  It’s even more difficult given the idea that we’re supposed to believe that this all powerful being exists as one being, yet as three.  Until, that is, you think about water.

Trust me, I know it sounds cliche.  After all, water is an important element in Christianity.  We’re baptized in water.  Water bled out of Jesus’ side after He was pierced.  His first miracle was an act of turning water into wine.

Water is everywhere.  Just like God.  And just like God, water is one element, yet it exists in three forms: liquid, solid, and vapor.

The liquid form of water represents God the Father.  Water makes life, just like God makes life.  Our bodies are made of water, just as our bodies are made of God.  Water is the most powerful force on Earth, more powerful even than fire, and yet life cannot endure or exist without it.  Water is the base of all creation and existence.  Just like God.

The solid form of water, ice, represents God the Son.  Jesus, who became man and walked among us.  Jesus is the God, who humans were able to see and to hear and to feel.  Just like we are capable of holding a piece of ice in our hands, Jesus is the living and breathing form of God.  Ice is still water, Jesus is still God.

Finally, the vapor form of water represents God the Holy Spirit.  Water vapor is less seen, than it is felt.  Vapor is mist, it moves with the wind, and it travels far and vast in the form of clouds.  Just like the Holy Spirit, who moves unseen, and yet felt, through hearts and minds and actions.  Water in a different form, but still water.  God in a different form, but still God.

I’ve never been very good at conclusions, so I’ll leave you with my favorite Psalm.

“Behold now, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord; You who stand by night in the House of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord;  The Lord who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.”