Spring Has Sprung

Hello, friends.  I’m sorry I haven’t been updating as much as I should.  Life, as usual, is quite busy.  My sister is home for spring break so I’ve been spending as much time with her as I can.  We went to see the stage production of The Little Mermaid on Sunday and once again, I cried my eyes out because Ariel is my childhood hero.  Then yesterday, we spent the morning at the Arboretum.

It was a beautiful day and the best way to welcome spring.

As for book updates, I’m having so much fun writing the third book in the Boy Band series.  I think it’s going to be my favorite.  I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

I’m also helping my cousin (whom I only recently connected with on Facebook) publish her book of poetry/memoir.


The photo on the cover is hers as well.  It’s been a new experience.  This is the first time I will have published a book that is not my own.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to publish it so that the royalties go directly to her.  I think I’ve finally got it all sorted, but it’s been a challenge.

Of course, I’m hoping to one day get to the point where I publish a LOT of books, not just my own and my family members, and I’ve had some requests.  The thing is, I can’t work for free.  With Margaret, it’s different since she’s family.  Even still, I don’t want to be a pay-to-publish company, or a vanity press, if you will.  I want my authors to get paid.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the sort of money that would allow me to make an offer or a payment up front.  I think the best way to do it would be to publish and keep 25% of the royalties while the other 75% go to the author.  But that’s not going to happen for a while.  I’m still trying to make a name for myself as an author.  That’s my ultimate dream.

On the other hand, I am very seriously considering offering my services as a cover designer.  I have thousands of images that would work for book covers (NOT stock images) and it’s something I really and truly enjoy.

What do y’all think?

The Past Few Days

Hi, friends!  Happy Monday.

Wow, what a weekend it has been.  To be honest, I’m kind of relieved it’s the week.  Of course, this week is going to be hectic as well.  But backtracking…

On Saturday morning, I attended the Melissa Public Library writer’s group again, only this time, I went as a guest to support my friend, Paula.  I’m so thrilled for all that she’s accomplished in the few short months since she published her children’s book, Jack Learns to Grill.  The next book in the Jack Learns series, Jack Learns About Bullies, should be out next month!


Later that evening, I had the honor of being a guest author at the Colony Library’s annual meeting.  There, I won a $15 gift card to Bath and Body Works (which has already been spent).  I also learned that Jeopardy is more a test of speed and reflex than actual knowledge.

But hey, I totally got to answer The Hunger Games question.

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This weekend, my sunflowers also started to grow!  I realize I haven’t been very good at keeping y’all updated on my gardening adventures.  The sunflower, tomato, and bell pepper seedlings are all strong and healthy, but I’m a tad bit concerned about my butterfly weed.  We’ve had a lot of strong storms and they seem to be struggling a little.  If they don’t make it, however, I’ll try again in the fall in time for the monarch migration.

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In other news, my dad is well on his way to getting that hole in his retina repaired.  We spent the morning with the surgeon who will be operating tomorrow.

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The good news is that other than that hole, his eyes are in pretty good shape (granted, “pretty good” for his eyes is probably still “godawful” for a normal-sighted person, but what are you gonna do).

Since sitting around in a waiting room can get rather boring, I took some work with me…


The Lurking in the Deep anthology will be available May 7 and I could not be more excited about it!  I’m finally getting the chance to read everyone else’s stories and they are AMAZING!  I am so proud to be a part of this collection!  You can find LITD on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25396970-lurking-in-the-deep

Finally, before I go, I just have to share this.  Boy Band has been in the top 5,000 Kindle Bestsellers for the past three days and is currently in the top 2,700!  I am so, so touched and amazed and I simply cannot thank you all enough!  It is Young Adult, written for a pre-teen/teenage audience, so I understand that it’s not a book for everyone, but to everyone who has given it a chance, words cannot express my gratitude.  Thank you, thank you, thank you all and please continue to spread the word!

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Love to all.

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.

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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


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.


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

Much love, y’all!

Unexpected Happenings

Hello, friends.

I hope you all had the most pleasant of Easter/Passover weekends.  If you don’t celebrate either, I hope your weekend was just as pleasant.  My weekend, while weird in perhaps not the best possible way, still managed to be wonderful.

I spent Easter with three of my best friends.  Since none of us have kids, we hid treats for two of their dogs around their parents enormous backyard.  It was like a doggie EAster egg hunt.  I really didn’t expect to get so into it, but we all had so much fun trying to guide the puppies to treats.

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Speaking of doggies, Lucas here really wants you to read Boy Band when it comes out in a few weeks!

Anyway, after that, we headed back to the apartment for an indoor spa session.  We filled the bathtub up with bubbles and soaked our feet.  Then we painted our nails and made s’mores with Nutella.  I now know what Heaven tastes like.


Finally, to end our night of Eastery festivities, we set up fish tanks so my friends could go buy some fish (because there are several other reasons why someone would bother setting up a fish tank).  Anyway, while we were emptying the bags and getting everything set up, we found this:

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Someone thinks they are either very funny or very clever.  Either way, we got a good laugh.  So I guess they would be right.

So yeah, Easter was pretty fun in a very unconventional way.

But now that it’s Monday (almost Tuesday), it’s really time to get down to business (no, not to defeat the Huns).  I’ll be attending the North Texas Book Festival in Denton this Saturday.  I’m SO excited, not only because it sounds like an AWESOME festival, but because Boy Band will be pre-released!  Agh!!!



I have a few more events lined up in the upcoming weeks and months, including, I found out just a few hours ago, a book signing at Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas!!!  It’s the same Half Price where I met Kathleen Kent and Anne Rice!  It’s my first ever personal book signing!  I’ll let you know more details as they unfold, but I am ecstatic.

Finally, in other career news, I find myself in the mindset of… rewriting Cemetery Tours 3. 

Don’t panic!  It’s still coming!  And I’m not deleting what I have.  I just find myself struggling along and trying to convince myself that I’m happy with where the characters and the story is going and I’m just… not.  I’ve been doing some brainstorming recently, though, and I’m thinking I know what I want to happen.  It’s more of a tweaking than an actual re-write.  But you know, sometimes as writers, if it’s not working, it’s not working.  And that’s okay.  I’ve discarded manuscripts and half-manuscripts before.  This is nothing new.  I just want, not only what is best for my characters, but what is best for my readers.  I want to write a book that they’ll enjoy, the kind they deserve to read.

And yes, I’m still going to write the rest of the character interviews.  Busy, busy, busy.  But in a good way!

I’ll talk to y’all soon.

Gardening Journey Part II

Well, it’s the end of another week and my tomato sprouts are thriving.

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However, after almost two weeks, I still hadn’t seen any sign of my bell peppers.  I was beginning to worry that I was over-watering them, or that maybe they weren’t getting enough sunlight.  So I turned to the infinite source of all wisdom and knowledge, Google.

The articles I read reassured me that depending on the temperature and environment, bell peppers can take longer to germinate than most seeds.  I decided no to give up on them.

Last night, my patience paid off.  I have several new bell pepper sprouts and more are popping up every hour!

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The weather has been absolutely beautiful, so if I have time this weekend, I’m going to try to get my sunflowers and milkweed in the ground!  I’m just hoping the squirrels don’t dig them up again.  Grrrr.

Weekend Photo Album

This was an awesome weekend.  As a writer, it’s not often that I find words fall short, but in this instance, I’d rather let my pictures do the talking.


First, I was honored to be a guest speaker at the Melissa Public Library’s writer’s group!

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Then I celebrated Palm Sunday.

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Then my seeds began to grow!


Finally, I got to spend a lovely day with two of my best friends and their horses!  It was so wonderful!

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Changing the Weather

I’m sure all of you are really tired of me complaining about the weather.  I know I’m tired of me complaining about the weather.  Unfortunately, the weather outside is very complaint-worthy: cold, wet, dreary, dark.  You know, horrible.  I haven’t seen the sun in over a week.  That’s not okay.  I love the sun.  I love heat.

Today, I’m writing to tell you that I have finally realized that complaining about the weather doesn’t actually change the weather.  If it did, the weather would have changed about a week and a half ago.  So, instead of falling to my knees and invoking the weather gods, I’m going to country music and spread pictures of spring.  Let’s face it, there really isn’t much more to be done about this stupid weather.

On a brighter note, however, you can totally zip on over to Danielle’s blog and read an excerpt of Cemetery Tours and its sequel, Between Worlds!


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All images Copyright © 2015 Jacqueline E. Smith.

A Breakup Letter

Dear Winter,

I know just a few short months ago, I professed my love for you.  Well, maybe.  I might not have gone that far.  True, I do appreciate you, especially around Christmastime.  But Christmas is over, Winter.  It’s been over for a while, now.  I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I think the time has come for us to part ways.

It’s true, we did have some good times together.  We had a great Christmas, and you know, snow can be fun and all for a few hours.  I like scarves and jackets for about a month or so.  But I have needs, Winter.  I need sunlight. I need warmth.  I need flowers.  I’m a girl.  I love flowers.  I know you’re just being yourself and I can’t fault you for that, but I need more than you can give me.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, Winter.  You know a part of me will always love you.  I was born in the middle of a snow storm, after all.  We will always have a special place in each others’ lives, and I can’t forget that.  But you and I, we’re just too different.  You’re bland and cold and you really like brown and white and gray.  I like adventures and colors and blue skies.

You’ve also become kind of clingy.  I hate to call you out online like this, but I need space!  I need freedom.  Thanks to you, I have no social life.  With all your snow and freezing rain, I can’t even get out of the house to go buy groceries!  Face it, Winter, you’re smothering me.

For example, I can never dress the way I want to around you.  This is a real problem for me.  Yeah, jeans and jackets do have a certain element of style, but after Christmas, I want to wear shorts and skirts and sandals.  You know me, Winter.  I hate shoes.  And yet, you force me to wear them.

So don’t you see, Winter?  It’s not that I don’t appreciate you as a season.  It’s just that you and I, we don’t work well together longterm.  I never said I wanted a commitment, but you seem determined to hang on to a relationship that ran its course on December 26.  I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to remind me of how I’ll be pining for you and talking about how much I love you in about eight months.  But you forget, Winter, I always say that my affection for you is temporary.  I love you, but only until Christmas.  After that, I can barely tolerate you.  I’m sorry to be so harsh, but it’s how I feel.

I want you to be happy, Winter.  But I also need me to be happy, and as long as we’re together, I don’t see that happening for either one of us.  It’s time for you to leave and head on down to the southern hemisphere where you belong.  I’m sure they’ll be glad to see you down there.  In the mean time, I’ll be happily running back into the arms of Spring and Summer.



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Back to Joy

I’ve been a dreamer and a make-believer as far back as I can remember.  Honestly, I always thought I was just a late bloomer, that my mental maturity developed at a slightly slower pace than my peers.  Then, during a talk with my mother shortly before my graduation from grad school, I told her how anxious I was about being a real adult and how I was afraid I was still so behind my friends in terms of “real world achievements.”  Instead of assuring me that I was completely normal and that I had nothing to worry about, however, she told me, “Well, maybe you’re just different.  You have always marched to your own tune.”

At first, I really wasn’t sure that was a compliment, though now that I’m older, I’m pretty sure it is.  I like being me.  I like the things that I do and the way I see the world.  Somewhere along the line, though, I’m afraid a vital part of me got lost.  Even though I’ve made it a priority ever since I was a teenager to hold on to the dreams and ideas that have always brought me so much joy over the years, I can feel the harsh demands of money and status and reality striving to pull them away.  Above all, the artistic soul craves freedom, and in a world where money and power are the Alpha and Omega, true freedom is hard to come by.

Like several new adults, I’ve let the idea that “I have to do this” and “I have to do that” in order to be successful get in my head.  Guess what?  It’s made me miserable.  That’s not how it’s supposed to work, is it?

I’ve never believed that there was only “one true path” to success or happiness, though I’ve met several people who begged to differ.  I’ve decided that I’m going to take the next few months to see if I can prove them wrong.  The new book (the title of which I will hopefully be able to reveal soon) will be out on July 1.  Along with editing, formatting, and working on new manuscripts, I’m going to try to get back to what it means to be joyful, to be confident, and to live each day the way I’m meant to live it.

To be honest, I don’t really want too much out of life.  I like being outside.  I like blue skies and green fields and forests and rivers and oceans.  I want a good book to read.  I want to get healthy, in mind and in body.  I want to do good and take pictures and write.  I honestly don’t care if anyone knows my name or if I get a fancy car or designer jewelry (though a lake house would be AWESOME).  Or maybe the truth is I want everything out of life, it just doesn’t seem like all that much by today’s standards.

Regardless, I’m going to try to make it all happen.  Wish me luck!


All Photographs Copyright © Jacqueline E. Smith 2014