10 Reasons Why Cemetery Tours is the Perfect October Book

Okay, it’s officially October.  It’s definitely one of my favorite months of the year.  In fact, it might be my absolute favorite.  Last year, however, it also became my most marketable month.  That’s right.  As the author of ghost stories, I take full advantage of October and all it’s ghosts and spookiness.  Ergo (my favorite word), I have come up with this little list of reasons why October should be the month that everyone reads Cemetery Tours and/or Between Worlds.

And when I say and/or, I mean please only read Between Worlds if you’ve already read Cemetery Tours.  There are too many spoilers and you will not enjoy it and I will not enjoy you not enjoying it.

So, without further ado or crazy writer rants, I present to you…

10 Reasons Why Cemetery Tours is the Perfect October Book (Featuring Quotes from Amazon Reviews)

1.  It’s fast-paced and a pretty easy read (or so I’ve been told).  October is a month for state fairs and homecomings and celebration.  It’s a fun month.  No one wants to read a long, boring, and depressing novel that requires a lot of thought and concentration during one of the funnest months of the year.

“I still can’t get over how addicted I became to this book just needing the next fix (turn of the page) so I can see what was going to happen next or how everything connected together. ” – Amazon Reviewer Starange13

2.  It’s a great book to read in Starbucks while you drink your favorite seasonal pumpkin spiced latte.  You’ll find that the ghosts and mystery really compliment the October atmosphere.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing, the plot and the unexpected ending. I couldn’t stop reading it!” – Paula Walker Baker

3. Come on, it’s a ghost story.  Ghost stories are fun all year round, but especially in October when all the Haunted History specials are on television and you and friends are off adventuring in haunted houses.

“Grabs you by the throat and scares the hell out of you. This well-written story will keep you looking for ghosts for a long time.” – Amazon Reviewer J.C.D.

4. Furthermore, it’s a ghost story for the nonbeliever.  Me?  I’m a believer.  But several of my readers aren’t, and that’s okay.  Cemetery Tours is for everyone!

“If I believed that ghosts existed, then Jacqueline Smith’s portrayal is exactly how I would imagine them to be. Cemetery Tours is filled with a realism that merges seamlessly with the supernatural, and I obsessed over this book until I finished reading it.”  – Amazon Reviewer L

5. Michael Sinclair is the perfect October book boyfriend.  When I wrote Michael, I knew I wanted him to be dreamy, but not in the typical book hero sense.  He’s tall and skinny, a little shy, a little awkward, he has a dry sense of humor, and he loves Kate with all his heart.  Who hasn’t dreamed of a boyfriend like that?

“The hero of the novel, Michael Sinclair, isn’t dreamy, broody, or mysterious, but rather sweet, albeit a little dorky, and truly searching for his identity. Of course, everything about Michael isn’t what meets the eye, and that’s what I absolute adore about him.” – Monica Britten 

“This author has a brilliant future. I loved this story. I loved these characters.
Michael Sinclair is my new book boyfriend (sorry Jamie Fraser). 😉
Thank you Jacqueline for reminding me how much I love ghost stories.” – Kelly Mc “bookworm”

6. The second book, Between Worlds, is actually set in October, and in an old haunted mansion in Maine.

“When the wonderfully  irrepressible Luke enlists the help of Michael, Kate and Gavin for his popular ghost hunter show, they travel out to the gorgeous Stanton hall manor – Loved this location for the creepy and mysterious goings on!” – Amazon Reviewer L

7.  Along with being a ghost and a suspense story, it’s also a love story.  Perfect for those evenings you want to curl up in a blanket, in your favorite pajamas and socks, light a fire, and read.

“Spooky and heartwarming. Is such a thing possible at the same time? Definitely. And Jacqueline Smith nails it! The characters are wonderful and you can’t help but fall in love with them; no matter where they “live.”” – Amazon Customer “irishfaery” 

8.  It’s great for readers of all ages, young teens and adults alike!  Kind of like Scooby Doo, but with real ghosts and not a creeper in a mask.

“Jacqueline has successfully combined ghosts, mystery, and adventure in a book that will make you want to read till the end. The plot thickens and the roads twist in this exciting and captivating mystery.” – Author James W. Peercy

9.  My main female character, Kate, enjoys eating junk food, so you can totally chow down on as much Halloween candy as you want without thinking about how this lame female character in the book you’re reading only likes veggie burgers and tofu.

“Michael is torn in every way shape and form, especially when his star-struck love interest goes off to dinner with Mr.Cool Hand Luke—and I’m with Michael on that one!—not Kate, but ladies and gentleman, I’m here to tell you that there is a lot of unfolding to be done in this here plot and, furthermore, these are people that you are going to want to be hanging around with, believe me! Wish it didn’t have to end so soon. You’ve really got something going there, Ms. Smith. Kate is my fave! C’mon, give it another whirl of the dice! We want more!” – Steve Lund

10.  Both books will (hopefully) keep you guessing right up until the very end, and what is October without a touch of the unknown?

“I developed a couple of theories about how it would end as I read along, but I couldn’t be sure, and it turns out none of them were quite right. The book kept me on my toes the whole time, wondering what would happen next.” – Hannah Alvarez 

Happy October, everyone!

http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Tours-Jacqueline-Smith-ebook/dp/B00F7CHQ08/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=17R3ZCF331VM00P8PXNG

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Worlds-Cemetery-Tours-Book-ebook/dp/B00LDZQ1WW/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=19HPBR72ZR1MV89SHTHS

Cemetery Tours Front EVALUATION COPY01

The Second Annual Cemetery Tours Halloween Giveaway

Tis the Season to be Spooky!

In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to do another giveaway!  This year, I am giving away two signed copies of BOTH of my books, Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds.  To enter, please visit GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

You can sign up to enter until October 21!  I’m ending it then in the hopes that the two winners will receive their books by Halloween.

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Let the festivities begin!

Happy Birthday Cemetery Tours!

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It’s been exactly one year since I first published Cemetery Tours, so I thought I’d take a little time to celebrate the book, the characters, and the readers that have come to mean the world to me.  I was a junior in college the first time I seriously considered writing a book.  This year has far exceeded anything and everything that I could have imagined in that moment and I have all of you to thank for that!

So now, for a little bit of fun, please enjoy…

The Unofficial Cemetery Tours Soundtrack: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/soundtrack/

My Dream Cast: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/dream-cast/ 

Cemetery Tours on Pinteresthttp://www.pinterest.com/windtrailpub/cemetery-tours/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18470430-cemetery-tours

Fun Facts and Trivia:

The only character who did not undergo a drastic name/personality change throughout the entire four years of developing and writing the story is Brink.

Luke Rainer was originally a character in a different story.  He was going to be the main love interest.

The Bible verse quoted in Chapter 19, Phillipians 4: 6-7, was my class’s senior verse in high school.

I use the British spelling “woah” as opposed to “whoa” throughout this entire book. I think I’ve spent too much time reading Harry Potter because I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Kate and Gavin’s parents, Terri and Rex, are named after my mom’s best friend and her husband, both of whom passed away while I was in high school.

I despise female characters who don’t eat anything except salads and veggie burgers, so I make a point in every book to show Kate eating pizza or fast food or chocolate.

My dad came up with the title Cemetery Tours before I even considered becoming a writer. We were on a day trip to San Antonio and we stopped at a Dairy Queen in a small town, right across the street from an old cemetery.  He said, “You should write a book about a group of kids who travel around to different cemeteries.  You could call it Cemetery Tours.”  The name stuck.

Cemetery Tours on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CemeteryToursSeries

Thanks for an awesome year, y’all! Here’s to you!

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!

How it Started

Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking at my first book club meeting!  I’m really excited about it, but I also wasn’t really sure what to expect, so I emailed one of the ladies hosting the event.  She said not to worry and that she had told her friends to come prepared with questions.  She did, however, mention that her guests might be interested in what inspired Cemetery Tours and how it all started.

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I think I’ve said before that I’ve always been a fan of ghost stories and that I was a little nerd who had all those scary story books and watched the true haunting shows around Halloween and that’s why I eventually decided to write a ghost story of my own.  That’s true, but mere childhood fascination with the paranormal was not the only thing that inspired me to write Cemetery Tours.

I hadn’t even planned on writing a ghost story, to be honest with you.  I was more into the chick-lit genre and was in the middle of writing a college-cenetered story when I suffered a pretty unbearable loss.  I don’t really want to go into it, because it will make me sad, but it was very unexpected and it hit me harder than anything has before.  I began questioning everything.  Out of sheer desperation, I went to the library and checked out every book I could find on the afterlife.  Reading other people’s experiences brought me a lot of comfort.  Writing, as it turned out, brought me even more.

But loss wasn’t the only factor in creating Cemetery Tours.  If it had been, it’d be a much more depressing story.

My second source of inspiration came in the form of Criminal Minds.  I was at a friend’s apartment one night and it happened to be on TV.  That was when I first caught a glimpse of Matthew Gray Gubler.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  I’m a nerd.  I’m a fangirl.  And Spencer Reid as portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler was the cutest guy I’d ever seen in my life.  I knew after one episode (incidentally, the one where Reid ends up in the hospital with Anthrax) that he was going to be my muse for… whoever my protagonist was going to be.  I didn’t know at the time.  I just knew I wanted a cute yet kind of awkward guy who didn’t want anyone to know that he could see ghosts.

I had several early drafts of the story that fizzled out before I finished.  Something seemed off.  I wasn’t connecting with my main character (whose named changed several times before I finally found Michael Sinclair) and I couldn’t find a way that connected him to his potential love interest in a way that wasn’t stupid or cliche.  All in all, I realized there was a key component missing in the story.

Cue Luke Rainer.

It wasn’t until I made the decision to bring in a hot shot paranormal superstar that everything finally seemed to fall into place.  Luke, in all his arrogant yet charming glory, turned out to be the key.

Interestingly enough, I first discovered one of my Luke Rainer inspirations, Ghost Adventures, the day after that devastating loss.

It was October 24, 2010, and I was so depressed that I did nothing that day except sit around and watch 16 and Pregnant.  Let me tell you, I hate reality TV shows, but that day, it was all I wanted to do.  After the last episode of the day, I began flipping through channels and noticed a show called Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel.  That was pretty much all it took.

Once I brought in Luke Rainer (who was originally a character in another story), all that remained was a name for his ghost-hunting team.  It didn’t take me very long to decide on Cemetery Tours.  In fact, I didn’t even come up with it.  It was a title that my dad had come up with years earlier on a road trip to San Antonio.  We stopped at a roadside Dairy Queen across the highway from a small town cemetery and my dad goes, “You know, you should write a story about a bunch of cemeteries around Texas and call it Cemetery Tours.”

Funnily enough, a lot of people think that Cemetery Tours is a book about cemeteries.  It does make sense.  But no, it’s definitely a fictional ghost story, one that I hope people of all ages can enjoy.

http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Tours-Jacqueline-Smith-ebook/dp/B00F7CHQ08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402361581&sr=8-1&keywords=cemetery+tours

30 Days!

Okay, people of the cyber world, it is June 1.  That means the one month countdown to BETWEEN WORLDS is officially on!

Between Worlds Cover VER01

In honor of the impending release, CEMETERY TOURS is on sale from now to July 1 for only $2.99 on Nook and Kindle.  Once July 1 hits, it will go back to $4.95, so get it while it’s on sale!

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cemetery-tours-jacqueline-e-smith/1117000854?ean=9780989673402

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Tours-Jacqueline-Smith-ebook/dp/B00F7CHQ08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401672575&sr=8-1&keywords=cemetery+tours

Before Cemetery Tours release, I tried to do some kind of fun promotional thing at least once a week.  Today, I thought I’d give you a few Anti-Spoilers/Bits of Trivia about Between Worlds.

1) I have had the idea in my head for this book longer than Cemetery Tours.  I pretty much wrote Cemetery Tours so I could write this one.

2) It is set in a fictional mansion in Maine.  This mansion was inspired by too many childhood viewings of Casper.

3) Brink plays a bigger role in this book than in the first.  He actually wasn’t intended to be in the book that much.  In fact, he was just going to have a few scenes in the beginning of the book.  But as it turned out, he is everyone’s favorite character, so he ended up being promoted to one of the main characters.  The best thing about Brink being everyone’s favorite, I realize, is that no one ever has to worry about me killing him off.  He’s already dead.

4) I was afraid that this book wouldn’t be as spooky as Cemetery Tours, but there were a few scenes that, when I wrote them, I actually spooked myself.  I’m hoping that readers find them spooky too.

5) In this book, we meet the rest of the Cemetery Tours team: Gail Marsh, J.T. Sawyer, and Peter Jamison.

I can’t think of anything else that won’t reveal too many plot points, so that’s all you’re getting for now.  I will, in the weeks following, be releasing the first two chapters for download (if I remember how that is!), as well as a soundtrack list and ideal casting.  Stay tuned!  And please, check out Cemetery Tours and, if you enjoy it, leave me a review!

If you don’t like it, please don’t review it.  😉

Speaking of reviews, I found out today that you can review your own books on GoodReads.  I decided to leave Cemetery Tours a nice, modest little review.

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AuthorFest in Denison

This will be my second post of the day, but I simply have to tell you all about my weekend in Denison.  It was incredible.  Absolutely one of the best experiences of my life.  

It started out on Friday night with a book reading at Devolli’s Italian Restaurant and Homestead Winery. 

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Simply being at a winery and Italian restaurant, I knew it was going to be a great evening.  Fettuccine Alfredo might be the best dish ever created by man and come on, I’m Episcopalian.  We love wine.  We’d probably baptize with wine if we could.  

It just so happens that this Homestead Winery has the absolute best wine I’ve ever tasted in my life.  

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Move over, California.  Texas wine is officially where it’s at.  This particular bottle is called Rose of Ivanhoe, and oh my goodness, it is delicious.  It’s a sweet red, even sweeter than Merlot.  I know some people might not like very sweet wine, but I love it.  My friend and I had originally intended to go and order food, but of course, we both ended up with bottles of wine instead.  Hey, I needed a souvenir from my first public reading, right?  

After making my purchase, we ordered our food and the book readings began.  I was so, so nervous.  Despite my history in musical theater, I’m not a very good public speaker, especially when I’m reading words that I’ve written.  Fortunately, I had Fettuccine to help calm my nerves.  

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I actually ended up doing pretty okay.  I used my “theater voice.”  It’s a lot lower and calmer than my usual tone, which pretty much sounds like a Southern version of a Valley Girl.  I’m not kidding, I have the dumbest sounding voice.  

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Right were I belong… amidst all the wine barrels.

After everyone had read, we had the opportunity to meet with readers and even sell a book or two.  I also did a book swap with one of my friends, James Peercy (also the organizer of the event) for a copy of his third book and the sequel to The Wall Outside. 

You can find James on GoodReads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5822062.James_William_Peercy?from_search=true

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More pictures of inside Devolli’s :

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And the evening outside :

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The next day was a bit busier.  We all met at 8 AM at James’ office before splitting up.  AuthorFest coincided with Free Comic Book Day and an event called Bark and Paws, for all the dogs of Denison.  

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My first destination was a sports ticket store called Box Seats, also a participant in Free Comic Book Day.  

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I was partnered up with Debbie Reece author of the incredible children’s story, The Christmas Pumpkin, so we each set up our books and waited for customers! 

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I’m thrilled to announce that I sold all my books for that designated area.  Two of my friends, however, stopped by to help me.  My dear former co-workers and friends, Terri and Shannon, stopped by, not only to buy a copy of the book, but to bring me flowers and lavender bath soap!  How sweet is that? 

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Love these ladies.

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After our time at Box Seats, we packed up and walked over the the Book Rack, and independent used bookstore, where I actually dropped off ten copies of my book for the wonderful ladies who work there to sell.  

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The Local Authors section of the Book Rack.

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Linda and Carol, two of the ladies who work/volunteer there, are just two of the kindest and sweetest souls I’ve ever met.  I feel like I’ve known both of them for ages, and I hope that Cemetery Tours will bring them some business!  

After the Book Rack, Debbie, James, and I headed over to the Denison Library to have our book readings recorded and to donate books to the drawing and the library.  That was pretty cool, though I was even more nervous reading for a camera than I was fora  live audience.  At least if I mess up in front of an audience, they’ll hopefully forget it.  Recordings don’t forget!  Fortunately, though, I think I did okay.  Of course, I didn’t see the footage, but I’m going to hope it turned out alright.  

After the reading, I was starving, so I ran down to the local coffee shop for a sandwich, a drink of water, and a strawberry smoothie for my dad who was there helping me out.  I am sad to say that that strawberry smoothie never made it back, as I tripped and fell not once, but twice, thanks to the stupid heels I so stupidly chose to wear that day.  The sandwich was the only thing that made it back in one piece, but of course, once I sad down, I dropped that too.  It was in a plastic container, and when I dropped it, I was surprised to see tan, yellowish mush leaking out of the side.  I thought, What the heck did they put on this sandwich?!  Fortunately, it turned out to be a side of applesauce.  Unfortunately, that applesauce got everywhere, including my shoes, so everyone was running around and handing me napkins and making “spill” jokes for the rest of the day.  

But hey, it makes for a good story. 

The event really wound down after that, but I ended up selling/donating all but nine of the books that I brought!  I also gave away dozens of postcards and business cards, and was even able to spread the word a little about Between Worlds!  All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience at a reading/signing event, except perhaps the applesauce on my shoes.

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Alan J. Martin, Scott Morgan, Jackie Smith, Amber Norrgard, Debbie Reece, John Morgan and James Peercy. Photograph courtesy of Claudette Peercy.

 

Thank you all for everything!  I can’t wait until next year! 

 

New Reviews, New Goals, New Stories

Happy Monday, all.  I hope you all had splendid weekends.  My sister is home for spring break, so I might not be updating quite as regularly as I normally would because I want to spend as much time with her as possible.  I do want to share with you some fun updates.

First of all, the sequel to Cemetery Tours is officially in the hand of all my editors (though I may have updated that last week, I can’t quite remember) AND my graphic designer is officially on the job for the cover!  So exciting!

Speaking of Ben, he says, “Thank you for all the nice birthday wishes.”   

Second, Cemetery Tours has 34 reviews now!  Some of the new ones include…

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I also have a new goal in mind.  Right now, I’m aiming for the sequel to be out early to mid June.  By that time, I want Cemetery Tours to have at least 50 reviews on Amazon.  I don’t think that’s too unrealistic. I only need 16 more.  Anyway, if you’d like to RSVP to the awesome possum Review Party on Facebook, here’s a link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/793721513991057/

I’m excited to be able to say I’m currently in the midst of reading and reviewing a new indie book, The Amazing Crystal by Gerald Lizee.   

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He, in turn, is reading and reviewing Cemetery Tours.  I love doing book exchanges with other authors.  It’s a great way to connect with your peers and you get a cool new book!  

I’ve also almost finished the Percy Jackson series.  I just have one book to go, then I guess it’s on to the Heroes of Olympus series.  I am seriously loving these books.  I know I’ve said it over and over again, but Greek Mythology is just so cool.  I have several friends who have been revisiting their artistic days, and that plus reading all of these books is making me want to draw and paint again.  I just need to find the time!  

The little spare time I do have, I’ve been dedicating to the next book.  This will not be a Cemetery Tours book, though I am by no means finished with that series.  I figure I have at least two more books to go.  

It’s a little strange working on a new book.  I love it, especially since I get to work with new characters, a new setting, and a whole new set of circumstances.  No ghosts in this one.  It’s going to be a lot more chick lit than Cemetery Tours.  But I think it will be good and I’m excited about it.  It’s weird not to be writing Michael, Kate, and Luke though.  They’ve been with me for almost two years now.  They’ve become like friends to me.  They’re probably enjoying having a break.  Plus, I don’t want to be known just for Cemetery Tours. I have so many other ideas.  I want to have a lot of different books, several series, several stand alone novels, etc…  

Hopefully, I’m well on my way.  

Books and Chocolate

I knew when I woke up and saw that it was once again gray and muggy outside that it was going to be a bad day.  My beautiful, sunny, warm weather had abandoned me and I fully intended to take it out on the world by making everyone around me miserable.  I mustered up the worst attitude I could, went into work at my day job with a scowl on my face, and waited for someone to say or do something that would give me the opportunity to make their day a little worse.  

However, as it turns out, today hasn’t been a bad day at all.  It’s actually been a really great day!  I mean yeah, the weather is still gross and I miss the sunshine, but I hear a lot of good music today on the radio (“My Girl” anyone?), I ran into one of my best friends at the supermarket and we shopped together, we both bought ourselves enormous boxes of Russell Stover’s Valentine’s Chocolates (on sale!), Cemetery Tours is still selling, and I received my copy of Seance, the book that I reviewed for my author friend over in the UK.  

I guess God or the fates or the universe just wasn’t in the mood to deal with me being a brat.  So they sent me friends and books and chocolates!  Seriously, do I really need anything else in life?  

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So delicious… and they’re all DARK chocolate! The best!

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Yay books!

I’m always so excited to get books by fellow indie authors.  I’m in the process of setting up my office, but when I do, I want to have an entire bookshelf dedicated to works by indies.  It is so, so, so important to support each other.  The publishing world is changing, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

I’m getting very close to finishing the sequel to Cemetery Tours.  When I was writing the first one, the last few chapters were the easiest to write.  For some reason, with this one, I’m still trying to figure out just how to make everything fall into place the way it needs to.  I’m sure I will, I just don’t know how much longer it will take.  Hopefully not too long, because I am super ready to get to publishing AND to get started writing something new!  

I hope you’re all well, and if you’re not, go eat some chocolate and read a good book.  I guarantee you’ll feel better.