Fiesta

After a rather busy weekend, it’s time to get back in the swing of things.  Okay, that’s kind of a lie.  Yesterday, I did nothing.  But the day before actually was busy.  Went to support a few friends at a book signing, then a girls’ night complete with wine and Mario Kart.  See, I actually do have a life!

One of the friends I went out to support, Paula Walker Baker, has a new book coming out at the end of the month!  I’m delighted to announce that I will be interviewing her here on my blog within the next week or so, so stay tuned!  In the mean time, stop by and check out her blog: https://paulawalkerbaker.wordpress.com

It’s funny.  I met Paula at my camp, the same place I met three of the most important people in my life.  I know I mention my camp a lot, but honestly, that place and those people changed my life.  And it was all because of one postcard in the mail.  One that my friend Terri, one of those people, sent!  Life is amazing.  It’s so weird to think how different my life would be without them.

Anyway, before I dissolve into a sentimental spiral of destiny and fate, let’s try to steer this blog post back to books.  Books!  Yes!  My favorite things!  Books are awesome!  That’s why I’m writing two at the same time!  That, or I’m just crazy!  It’s probably that second one.

In all seriousness though, if Sam Morneau accidentally turns up in the next Cemetery Tours book, I apologize.

Speaking of Sam and The Kind of September, please remember that my Become a Character Raffle and Giveaway is going on until the end of the month!  https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/becomeacharacter/

Finally, I’ve been promising and promising, well now I’m finally delivering!  Here’s the second Boy Band short story!  Again, it hasn’t been professionally edited because my editors are too busy with the next Cemetery Tours book.  Nevertheless, enjoy!

Fiesta

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Feeling Accomplished

As y’all may or may not know, I’m a big fan of day-planners and to-do lists.  This week, my to-do list was jammed packed of so many things that I needed to get done.  Including but not limited to: Adopt parakeets, go to the bank, mail books, take kitty to vet, finish short story, pick the new Cemetery Tours cover designs, and go grocery shopping.

I am proud to say that I managed to check off most items on my list this week!  Some items will never fully be complete, such as: keep reading, clean out stuff that I don’t use/need anymore, become better at marketing, etc…  But as for the urgent stuff, the stuff that I needed to get done this week, well, I’m feeling fairly accomplished.

After two months of thinking to myself, “I’m never going to think of a story that can fit into 3000 words in time to enter it into this contest…”  And yet, last week, inspiration struck.  Last night, I submitted  my short story, 2300 words, to the Texas Authors Short Story Contest.  I have no idea of the story is anywhere near good enough, mostly because I’m such a novelist.  I’m not all that great at short stories.  I’m too wordy and I love character development more than just about anything.  I’m really happy with my story though.  I’m not sure it will win anything or if it will even make it into the Texas Shorts anthology, but if it does, awesome and if not, I’ll share the story here on my blog!

Speaking of short stories, I’m going to try to get the next Boy Band story out next week so stay tuned. 😉

I also found out yesterday that the North Texas Book Festival is going to be participating in North Texas Giving Day in Denton.  I got to attend my first Festival this past April (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/north-texas-book-festival/) and I loved it so much!  It was one of my very favorite events to date.  So on September 17, I volunteered to help represent them, talk about the festival, and try to get donations to support literacy and libraries in North Texas!  I’m so excited!  Then the next days, September 18 and 19 are Indievengeance Day and then the next weekend, I have TWO events with the Colony Library!  September and October are both going to be CRAZY busy but it will be awesome!  I can’t wait!

As for After Death, I’m going to get working on adding it to GoodReads, but mostly, I need to focus on getting it all revised and ready for publication in October!  That and I need to start really getting ready for the next Boy Band book as well!

Okay, so I will always have a heck of a lot of stuff that I need to get done.  But you know what?  I’m okay with that.

Happy Friday, y’all!

CT BTW AD

#AmWriting

Hi, friends!

This will be a rather short post as I’ve got a pretty busy day ahead of me.  I’m driving out to my friend and fellow author Paula Walker Baker’s farm to consult her on the cover design for her new novella, The Conservative Congregant (read more about her and her books here: https://paulawalkerbaker.wordpress.com)!  Then my sister and I are going to the movies.  Then, of course, I’ve still got a boatload of writing to do, especially on After Death AKA Cemetery Tours 3.  It’s taken a bit of a turn that I did not expect and while that is always welcome, I now have NO idea what’s going to happen!  That’s kind of the way I like it though.

Due to overwhelming demand for a sequel (it’s coming, I promise!), I’ve also decided to write a few Boy Band short stories that will hopefully make up for the way I ended the first book.  These stories will all be set before the events in Boy Band take place, so there will be NO spoilers for the book.  They’re just for fun.  There isn’t really a plot.  They’re very short.  Just glimpses into moments in their lives.  It’s kind of like fanfiction for my own book.  This first story is called Senior Year.  Enjoy!

PS: I didn’t hire my professional editors for this one, so if you spot a typo, I apologize!

Senior Year

Monday Musings

Hi, friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was very relaxing, yet still somehow kind of productive.  I say “kind of” because I never feel like I’m as productive as I want to be/need to be/could be.  But you know, for a couple of days where I’m housesitting two houses, taking care of two cats with medical needs, and writing two books, three different short stories, and designing book covers, it could have been a lot worse.  OF course, just because I feel like I kind of did stuff over the weekend doesn’t mean I can take a break or even slow down.  There is always something that can be done.

For example…

1) Reading and reviewing.  I have several books on my to-read list, and several of those I hope to review as they are written by fellow indie authors.  I finally got to review Heir to the Sun by Jennifer Allis Provost yesterday: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1290975139?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

2) Tidying up.  I am a slob, okay?  Total and complete slob.  I like to think that when I own my future beach house, I’ll keep it nice, but to be totally honest, I probably won’t.  Still, as much as I hate cleaning, I usually do feel a lot better afterward.  So who knows?  Maybe I’ll take the plunge.

3) Designing book covers.  I’m not sure if I’ve told y’all this, but I am redesigning the Cemetery Tours series’ book covers.  I plan on re-releasing the first two with the new covers at the same time as After Death on October 6.  I’ve been playing around with design ideas and having a lot of fun with it.  For those wondering why, I still absolutely love the covers as they are now.  They’re beautiful and captivating and people really like them.  But they aren’t my images.  The photographs on the covers of those books are stock photos.  I’d really like to make the books fully my own, and that means using my own images.  As the release date draws closer, I’ll be sharing the image designs and ideas to get your opinion.  The ones I’m leaning toward right now are actually really pretty, but they still need a bit of work.

4) Working on short stories, not only for submission into anthologies, but for Boy Band!  I feel bad for leaving the story on such a cliffhanger, and to apologize for making my readers wait until December to find out what happens, I’ll be publishing a few free short stories here on my blog until December rolls around!  No spoilers at all.  They’re most stories of what took place before the first book.  Just for fun.

5) Preparing for my sister’s and my trip to California NEXT WEEK!  What?! How did that sneak up on us so quickly?!  I’m not at all ready!  But at the same time… I am SO ready!

What does your Monday have in store?

Another List

Alright.  It’s Friday.  For most people, the week is winding down, they’re wrapping up projects, getting ready to relax.  But as I’m sure all the independent artists and entrepreneurs out there know, there is no such thing as a weekend when you’re in business for yourself.  There is always work to be done.  There’s no schedule.  There is work that can be done every day.  Sometimes, Saturdays and Sundays are even busier than week days.

I’ve kind of reached a point where I have so much going on that my brain has just started deleting information.  This isn’t necessarily a bad problem, because I’d much rather be busy than sitting around and doing nothing.  But at the same time, I really need to remember and stay on top of things and I can’t have my brain just selecting stuff at random and getting rid of it.  That’s just not gonna fly.

So the time has come to make another list of things I need to do and things I need to remember. Because if I don’t remember it, no one else will.

Except for my mom who, thankfully, reminded me that I have a wedding to go to tomorrow.  Thanks, Mom!

Anyway, here we go.  Yet another List of Things Jackie Needs to Remember.

* You’re going to your friends’ wedding tomorrow!

* You still need to buy a gift for aforementioned wedding.

* Write.

* Make sure you have everything you need for Comic Con.

* Don’t forget you have to set up for Comic Con on Wednesday.

* Keep Writing.

* Finish reading Paula Baker’s new book (It’s excellent. I’m really loving it!)

* Write, write, write!

Lurking in the Woods submission due May 31!

* Cemetery Tours 3!

* Stop binge-watching Ghost Adventures.  Zak Bagans is not going to fall in love with you through the television screen.  Just let it go.

* Friend’s graduation on Sunday!

* You have to look nice two days in a row.

* Stop complaining about the weather.  I know the cold and the rain are giving you a bit of an attitude.  Get over it.

* Just stay focused.  So many good things are happening for you.  Keep working.  Enjoy it.  You have so much to look forward to.  Be gracious and keep going.

* Stop forgetting your allergy meds.

* Stop forgetting your anxiety meds.

* Again, write, write, write.

Love you all.  Have a great weekend!  I’ll let you know if I make it through in one piece.

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PS: All my writer friends, remember to check out my last post if you’d like to be a part of the Lurking series presented by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing!

https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/the-lurking-series/

Lurking in the Deep Cover Reveal!

Here it is, y’all!  The cover of Lurking in the Deep, the new anthology featuring my short story, “The Water’s Edge!”

Lurking in the Deep Small

Title: Lurking in the Deep

Edited By: Jaidis Shaw

To Be Published: May 7th, 2015

Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Does the water beckon you? Your love, or fears, may become greater in this chilling anthology. From ordinary sea life to creatures of myth, our stories will make you think twice about the shadowy waters that beckon below. Follow our authors into the depths … if you dare.

Stories featured in this anthology include the following:

“Lauren” by Terry Alexander

“Bloodslick” by Timothy Black

“Wrath” by Liz Butcher

“Song of the Ocean” by Scott A. Butler

“Dark Waters” by Michael Cross & Emma Michaels

“Crescent’s Creature” by K.C. Finn

“The Broken Seashell” by E.M. MacCallum

“Ribbons & Bones” by Kelly Matsuura

“Tubular Hells” by Beth W. Patterson

“Rhine Maiden” by Isabelle Poldervaart

“A Senseless Eating Machine” by Jef Rouner

“Tide Flats” by Shelly Schulz

“The Reluctant Seamstress” by Jaidis Shaw

“The Water’s Edge” by Jacqueline E. Smith

“Widow’s Cut” by Andrea L. Staum

“Enticing Waters” by Gina A. Watson

Be sure to join the authors during the official Facebook launch party on May 7th starting at 6PM EST! Join the party for fun games and the chance to win several prizes including ebooks, gift cards, and more!

Link to the party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1389989944654711/

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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. 

A Very Sugary Review

Hi everyone!  Just a quick updated tonight.  It’s Friday night, which of course means I’ll be going out on the town, partying at the clubs. No, just kidding.  I’ll totally be sitting on the couch, with my blanket and my kitty, reading and writing.  Maybe I’ll get a little wild by popping open a bottle of water and watching a Disney movie.  Livin’ it up in the new year, yo.

Anyway, the real reason I’m writing this is to share my review of Heather Ellis’ latest book, The Sugary-Sherburts and the Stone Witch.

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Five Stars!

What a fun read! The Sugary-Sherburts and the Stone Witch, written by young author Heather Ellis, tells the magical and fun-filled tale of Herbert, Charlotte, Kit, and Kat Sugary-Sherburt. The family lives in the town of Thornton, a city made entirely out of chocolate (when can I move in?). As it turns out, Kit and Kat’s adventure with the Stone Witch, a dastardly and terrifying witch who lives in a castle on top of a cloud, is actually a sequel. After following this fantastic adventure, of course I’m going to have to read the first. I’m so curious to find out what happened!

Miss Ellis is a wonderful writer. Her spirited voice and whimsical vocabulary (“The wind whirled…” “The rattling rooftops”) combined with an obvious flair for story-telling and imagination creates a wonderful world that puts one in mind of the workings of Roald Dahl and the legendary Dr. Seuss. As I read, I could see everything that Miss Ellis described, from the Sugary-Sherburts’ modest, chocolatey home (with a swiss roll doorknob!) to the wicked witch, Ola, as she wreaks havoc on … well, I’m not going to tell you. You’ll just have to read it!

This book is wonderful gift, not only for young readers and lovers of fairy tales, but for aspiring young writers as well. Heather Ellis is a fantastic role model and a fine example of a young person who still believes in following her dreams. Congratulations, Heather, on the fun and fantastical world you’ve created!

You can find the book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19396808-the-sugary-sherburts-and-the-stone-witch

And on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sugary-Sherburts-Stone-Witch-Heather-Ellis-ebook/dp/B00H4JABSG/ref=la_B00CWB21BQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388798433&sr=1-3

You can also visit Heather’s blog here: http://heatherellisbooks.wordpress.com

Or her website here: http://www.heatherellisbooks.co.uk

Enjoy and support the world’s awesome young authors!

The Sugary-Sherburts

Something I like to do as a semi-active blogger is to scroll through tags that interest me, Books, Authors, Reviews, etc… If I find a blog that I like, I’ll follow.  About a month back, I was scrolling the Author tag and happened across the blog of Miss Heather Ellis (http://heatherellisbooks.wordpress.com).  She is a young author from England and she’s just published her third short story book for kids, The Sugary Sherburts and the Stone Witch.  As it turns out, Heather is a kid herself, just ten years old.

How cool is that?  I mean, seriously?  To be a published author of not one, but THREE books at ten years old?  Want me to tell you what I was doing when I was ten?  I was either running around the house, throwing my Beanie Babies across the floor so that I could pretend to save them from “tornadoes,” or dressing up like the Spice Girls and singing “Wannabe” at the top of my lungs.  That was the kind of kid I was.  

Anyway, I told Heather that I would love to read one of her books, and after a long month of waiting, the Sugary Shuerburts finally arrived in Texas!  

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This is a picture that Heather sent me… the Sugary Sherburts about to begin their journey across the pond!

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And this is shortly after their arrival in Texas! Note: This is the package, not the actual book cover. I just love the drawing!

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I just had to take a picture of the postage stamp. Europe is so cool.

 Anyway, this is the actual book!  

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 Again, how cool is this?!

I showed the book to my sister (who also plans to read and review), and she said, “That’s so cool!  It reminds me of Matilda!”  Well, it just so happens that on the back of the book, Heather lists Roald Dahl as one of her influences!  Such a great author and such a good story (my sister is a HUGE fan of the new musical adaptation).  

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This is me and the Sugary Sherburts!

I’m so excited to read not only The Stone Witch, but Heather’s other books as well.  You can find a list of them here at her Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Heather-Ellis/e/B00CWB21BQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1388696143&sr=8-1 

You can also find Heather on Twitter: heatherellisbks

And on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19396808-the-sugary-sherburts-and-the-stone-witch 

Stop by and check her out!  This kid is going places!