December Tidings

Hello, friends!

Oh my goodness, it feels like it’s been a while since I last posted.  Probably because it has been.  This has been quite a week though, let me tell you!

First of all, I hope all my American friends had a splendid Thanksgiving full of good food and good times spent with family and friends.  My Thanksgiving was pretty excellent, although as soon as I got home from our friends’ house, my throat began to hurt and I spent the next three days on the couch with The Crud that’s going around.  Thanks, Dad.  Fortunately, I didn’t get it nearly as bad as he did.

In much more exciting news, IT IS FINALLY DECEMBER!  It’s time for snowflakes and hot chocolate and Christmas lights and movie nights by the fire and all those wonderful winter things!  Now of course, once Christmas is over, I won’t be nearly as excited about the cold, but for the next 25 days, bring on the winter chill!

Even though it’s only the first day of December, it’s already turning out to be an incredibly busy month.  I’m giving a talk tonight at a local library about NaNoWriMo and what to do after you’ve finished your manuscript.  If I can figure out how to post the Power Point presentation here, I will.

I’m also giving another talk at another library NEXT week, but I need to check in and make sure everything is still on schedule for that!

Also… BACKSTAGE WILL BE AVAILABLE IN EXACTLY ONE WEEK!  I’m so excited for y’all to read it.  I would post the first chapter here, but it contains MAJOR spoilers for the first book, so I’m afraid y’all are just going to have to wait a week!  You can, however, enter to win a signed copy of BOTH BOOKS on GoodReads.

Once Backstage is released, I’m going to take some time just to enjoy the holidays, spend time with family and friends.  But I’m also going to be investigating a few new publishing platforms as well as a few new projects.  Oh, and I’m also going to be catching up on a LOT of reading.  My goodness, I am so behind.

Happy December, everyone!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

(Except for, you know, when it’s warm and sunny).

 

Advertisements

Backstage Soundtrack

With a little less than a month until Backstage is released, I figure it’s about time to share the soundtrack that helped inspire it!  Every time I come up with a new idea for a book, one of the first things I do is make a playlist of music to listen to that serves as a soundtrack that I listen to while the book plays out in my head.

You can find the Soundtrack to Boy Band here.

Note: I do not own any of these songs, nor am I profiting from them in any way.

  1. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
  2. “Little White Lies” by One Direction
  3. “Roller Coaster” by Bleachers
  4. “Ordinary Day” by Vanessa Carlton
  5. “Something Great” by One Direction
  6. “Good Girls” by 5 Seconds of Summer
  7. “The Great Escape” by Boys Like Girls
  8. “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran
  9. “Manhattan From the Sky” by Kate Voegele
  10. “Drag Me Down” by One Direction
  11. “Headphones” by Matt Nathanson
  12. “Disconnected” by 5 Seconds of Summer
  13. “Perfect” by One Direction

Backstage will be available on December 8!  Make sure to enter my GoodReads Giveaway for a chance to win signed copies of BOTH Backstage and Boy Band!

GIVEAWAY!

Crazy-Busy, Super-Fun Weekend

Hi, friends!  I am literally just arriving home from Houston and the Texas Renaissance Festival, but I wanted to at least post a quick update before I get in to editing pictures.

First of all, thank you to all who came out to the Festival and especially thank you to all who BOUGHT BOOKS!  I hope you enjoy them and I had such a blast meeting each and every one of you! I will be posting more about the festival and sharing pictures in the coming days, but I still wanted to just say what an amazing and magical time I had!  I loved every moment!

Secondly, I’m almost TWO DAYS behind on NaNoWriMo but I’ve been out of town and in a car most of today!  But I’m going to get on that!  It’s going to happen!

Finally, the BACKSTAGE GoodReads Giveaway is officially up and running!  Enter now for a chance to win signed copies of BOTH Boy Band and Backstage!

Giveaway!

Well, I need to be off to return the rent car.  Talk to y’all soon!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/160390-backstage

Five Stars

Last night, I added Backstage, the sequel to Boy Band, to GoodReads.  And, since I like to add my books to lists and you can technically only do that if you’ve “read” them, I went ahead and gave my book a five-star rating.  Of course I’ve read it!  I’m the author!  Even though it technically may not be all the way written yet.  Regardless, of course I’m going to give it five stars.

Then I logged on to Twitter and remembered that I have this nifty little GoodReads feature that shares whenever I rate a book.  Usually, I like sharing my ratings.  Last night, however, I was thinking, “Oh great.  Now everyone is going to know I rate my own books.  And that I give all my books five stars!”

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.32.02 PM

That’s a lot of stars.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, “You know what?  It’s okay to be proud of my books.  It’s okay to think my books are worth five stars.  In fact, if I thought my books were worth anything less than five stars, I probably shouldn’t be publishing them.”

As an author, you deserve to feel proud of yourself and your work.  Do you have any idea how many people want to write a book and how few actually succeed?  It takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to get all those words out onto the page.  But it’s all worth it.  A million times over, it’s worth it.

As an author, you should think the very best of your work.  That’s not to say that everyone will.  There will more than likely be some negative ratings in there.  And that’s okay!  Even JK Rowling gets one-star ratings every now and then.  Just remember that no one else can offer what you can offer.  No one else can write your story the way that you can.  You are giving the literary world something brand new, and that’s what I love about books and writing.  It’s always changing, always evolving, always new.  And we all have something to contribute.  We’re not like other artists.  We don’t compete for the same roles or fight for the number one spot on the charts.  We get to work together.  And that’s incredible.

Love your work.  Love what you do.  And most importantly, love yourself.

And remember… It’s okay to rate your own book.  Because you know it’s worth five stars.

Backstage

Red and Blue and Green

Despite my love for reading and writing, I am truly an outdoors girl at heart.  Given the choice between staying in or going out and hiking or kayaking or simply just being in nature, I will choose outside every time.  Yesterday, I took a day off from the writer thing and spent time with two of my best friends enjoying the springtime sun and beautiful nature of the great state of Texas.

Here are some of the pictures.

19720_10205425037159013_6936776289209946041_n 1907515_10205424533946433_4905803707475392844_n 10338335_10205424541506622_3743004930159238456_n 10421201_10205424543426670_7828677788008285963_n 10464399_10205425038799054_8758950459129490538_n 10645331_10205424523306167_6952805131204488165_n 10929155_10205424519626075_257161603243709424_n 10929155_10205424524706202_4508607565152546821_n10985052_10205424518266041_8478847250628362056_n 11009996_10205425032038885_5046321919154613206_n 11039340_10205424525146213_1942694946830104831_n 11069902_10205425046439245_6529679715392830447_n 11078254_10205424521826130_3747755500247929321_n 11113629_10205425045439220_8356950065472111468_n 11133702_10205424536426495_5563457241469976074_n 11133841_10205425036478996_902934080373139440_n 11144085_10205425041759128_7336829887381884656_n 11145172_10205425036919007_2855644822029394614_n 11146255_10205425034118937_7503456376075031686_n 11146257_10205424527346268_1249999644785087712_n11146607_10205425032798904_5267405049403731223_n 11148222_10205425034798954_3883825796773962141_n 11148508_10205424540706602_1318818264712850599_n 11150513_10205424522266141_296629373137819101_n 11150982_10205424542346643_6591637175717281354_n 11151029_10205424520746103_1019988421005802818_n 11156211_10205425036078986_2284874004255510975_n 11156344_10205425044999209_339137005432585685_n 11156360_10205425042799154_8611870790687031454_n 11156419_10205424535746478_6497688771304280475_n 11161357_10205425041879131_1151318150035449094_n 11165109_10205424517306017_6345450732885354652_n

In book related news, remember there are only a few days left to enter my GoodReads Giveaway! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

11102771_10205323934391507_2828889320238777274_n

Don’t pass this up!  Spread the word!

Also, The North Texas Book Festival added pictures of all the authors at their booths.  Everyone is smiling and posing all professionally with their books.

And then there’s me.

3412877_orig

Maybe next year I’ll learn to be socially acceptable.

Much love, y’all!

One Week!

Hello, friends!  It’s Tuesday!  This time next week, Boy Band will be available on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook!  It will also be available on BarnesAndNoble.com eventually, but I’ve discovered that it usually takes a week or two before it shows up there.

10306074_10205391962652171_7919231331381829430_n 10451852_10205391962212160_8345164920610776010_n 11102771_10205323934391507_2828889320238777274_n Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.03.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.03.14 PM 30251d8f3b1accb44c4b7a3fdf0c4b62boy band back cover

This is just your friendly reminder that I am hosting a Goodreads Giveaway.  I am giving away FIVE signed copies of Boy Band.  There are still seven days left to enter!  If you know someone who loves Young Adult fiction, Boy Bands, or both, this is the perfect read for them!  And yes, I am fully aware that I am 100% completely biased, but as I’ve said before, I would never publish a book that I did not feel 110% proud of.  I just wouldn’t.  Publishing doesn’t work that way.  Not to me, not to any independent author.  I love this book.  I want people to read it, and I really hope that they love it too. So please enter and help me to spread the word!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

Here they are!  These are the five books.  One of them could be yours!  Not signed yet because I like to personalize them.

CCkuo5fWAAA2iMC.jpg-large

Also, huge thank you to The S.M.A.R.T. Book Club Blog, who featured Boy Band in their What-To-Read-Next post! I’m honored!

http://thesmartbookclub.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-to-read-next-12.html

Keep reading, everyone!  It’s going to be a good week.

BOY BAND Fun Facts and Chapter 1!

Hello, all!

It is officially April 1.  I hope everyone has avoided being pranked and fooled and whatnot.  I’m not really even trying this year, because I feel like everyone is expecting it.  However, as it is the beginning of the month that my new Young Adult novel, Boy Band will be released, I figured I should celebrate with some useless trivia and a Chapter 1 download!

So, in no particular order, here we go!

BOY BAND TRIVIA:

Boy Band started out as a NaNoWriMo project.  I’d never participated in NaNo before and I really had no intention to.  I didn’t like the idea of being timed or of writing a novel just because it was a certain month.  But a friend of mine, Savannah (http://savannahrohleder.blogspot.com), persuaded me.  I had no idea if I would publish the story, or if I would even finish it.  But I ended up loving it.  It just goes to show that you never know until you take a chance on something.

* My sister and I both LOVE boy bands, all boy bands, and countless hours spent watching music videos on YouTube inspired me to write about them.

*You can find the music that inspired Boy Band here: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/boy-band-soundtrack/

* Sam Morneau is named after Sam Claflin.

* Jesse Scott is named after Jesse McCartney (Yes, I really love Jesse McCartney).

* My sister and I wrote all the “songs” in the book.  I’m not sure if they’re good or not.  The one she wrote is, but the rest… Well, I guess you’ll just have to let me know.

* This is the first book for which I’ve designed the cover, and I loved it!

* My sister took the picture of New York that I used for the cover image.

30251d8f3b1accb44c4b7a3fdf0c4b62 boy band back cover

* Oliver Berkley is based on our cute tour guide from Scotland.  That might be a little creepy.  Oh well.

* The cute Irish singer that Mel refers to throughout the book was inspired by Niall Horan.

* I mention Zac Hanson in the book because he was my very first musician crush.  I was 9 years old and I was obsessed with Hanson.

* I mention Meg Cabot because she is my ultimate writing inspiration.  I kind of want to be her.

* Both of my editors got really mad at me for the way the book ended.  Yes, okay, it ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger.  THERE WILL BE A SECOND BOOK!  In fact, there’s going to be a third book too.

* Mel’s middle name, Kearney, is a family name.

* The group is from the Bay Area because I think San Francisco is really cool.

* I wrote Mel to look like my sister.  Really, this book is for her.  She’s my best friend in the world and without her, the book wouldn’t exist.

* Here’s Chapter 1.  Enjoy!

CHAPTER 1 Boy Band

Boy Band will be available April 21, 2015!

Please remember to enter my GoodReads Giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

Boy Band Soundtrack.

I’ve had a few people ask if I’m going to be compiling a list of songs that helped to inspire Boy Band.  I did this with both Cemetery Tours (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/soundtrack/) and Between Worlds (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/between-worlds-soundtrack/).  Music is such a huge part of this book and, let’s be honest, it’s primary influence, so I pretty much had to have a soundtrack!

Yes, most of these are boy band songs. What did you expect?

Note: I do not own any of these songs, nor am I profiting from them in any way.  They’re just the songs I listened to while I was writing.

1. “Steal My Girl” by One Direction

2. “Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z and Alicia Keys

3. “Because You Live” by Jesse McCartney

4. “Pop” by *NSYNC

5. “What Makes You Different” by the Backstreet Boys

6. “Beautiful Soul” by Jesse McCartney

7. “A Minute Without You” by Hanson

8. “Don’t Let Me Go” by Harry Styles

9. “Tee Shirt” by Birdy

10. “18” by One Direction

11. “Right Where You Want Me” by Jesse McCartney

12. “Umbrella” by Train

13. “Larger Than Life” by the Backstreet Boys

Boy Band will be available April 21, 2015!  Please enter to win one of five signed copies on GoodReads!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

Thanks, y’all!

30251d8f3b1accb44c4b7a3fdf0c4b62

Cover Reveal: Boy Band

I know it’s late, but I worked really hard last night on designing the back cover of my new YA novel, Boy Band! I have never designed a book cover before, so I had no idea how it was going to turn out.  Keep in mind, it still needs a little tweaking, but I wanted to share it with you so far!

30251d8f3b1accb44c4b7a3fdf0c4b62 boy band back cover

I’ve actually really enjoyed creating my own book covers.  Who knows?  Maybe cover-design is one more thing I can add to my resume!

Remember, you can enter to win one of five signed copies of Boy Band here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

Please enter and spread the word!

Also, please check out https://danielleelisemiller.wordpress.com for a chance to win eBook copies of BOTH Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds.  There will be three winners and you can choose either Nook or Kindle.

Monday Announcements

Okay folks, here’s the deal.  Apparently, Winter is getting back at me for that little breakup letter I wrote yesterday because this morning, I woke up congested, chilled, and with a killer sinus headache which I am still trying to get rid of.  I don’t know how I could have caught a sinus infection since I’ve been about as active as a slug the last few days (thank you, Winter), but I guess stranger things have happened.  The point is, even though all I want to do is lie on the couch and watch Disney movies and feel sorry for myself, I have waaaaaay too much going on this week and in the weeks to come to take a day off.  For the record, though, I am on the couch, in my PJs, and feeling very sorry for myself.  I’m just not watching movies.  Yet.

My first order of business is to tell y’all that I am totally honored to be a part of Danielle Miller’s third blogiversary celebration! Follow her, like her posts, reblog her posts, and stay tuned for lots of really awesome giveaways (including eBooks of both Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds!).  She is so awesome and I’m thrilled to be her first featured author!  Please check her out: https://danielleelisemiller.wordpress.com

Cemetery Tours Front EVALUATION COPY01 Between Worlds Cover VER01

Secondly, I’m hosting another Giveaway of my own!  My new YA book, Boy Band, will be out April 21, and in celebration, I’m giving away five signed copies!  Please enter and spread the word!  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/129034-boy-band

30251d8f3b1accb44c4b7a3fdf0c4b62

Finally, I’m back to work full force, not only on Cemetery Tours 3, but on Boy Band 2 and a new idea for a book I had just last night.  I’m not kidding you when I say I have ideas for at least twenty books in my head right now and I wish with all my heart that I could just write all of them at once.  I always kind of thought that I had to focus on one book at a time and have that be it.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, hey, I went through four years of high school and six years of higher education, and all ten of those years, I worked on dozens of different projects at the same time.  Why can’t I do that now in my professional life?  I mean, it will probably be a lot easier to buckle down and concentrate when I’m not fighting off a sinus infection, but whatever.

I think that about covers my Monday Announcements.  I might have a few more as the week progresses.  Then again, I might not.  Until then, enjoy your Monday!  I’ll be curled up in a ball with a hot wash cloth pressed against my face.  Ugh.