Kindle Unlimited

As an author, I’ve never been all that sure how to feel about Kindle Unlimited.  I’ve heard mixed reviews.  Some authors love it and think that the pay-off is great.  Others think it is Internet robbery and claim that their sales and royalties have taken a major hit.  I didn’t have any books enrolled in KU, so I had no idea if or how it would affect me.  I chose to keep it that way.

Then I published the Cemetery Tours Series Box Set.  The set includes the first three books in the Cemetery Tours Series: Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds, and After Death.

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I knew I was only going to post it to Kindle.  I haven’t had a whole lot of luck formatting for Nook and sales haven’t been at all good enough to make the effort worth it.  So I uploaded the box set exclusively to Kindle.

Yesterday, on a complete and total whim, I thought, “You know… I’m going to give Kindle Unlimited a shot.”  At this point in the game, I’m curious.  It will be a learning experience if nothing else.  It’s not permanent.  It’s only for six months.  If I decide I don’t like it or that it’s not worth it, then I simply won’t re-enroll.

However, for the time being, the Cemetery Tours Series box set IS available on Kindle Unlimited.  That means that if you have a subscription, you can read ALL THREE novels in the series for FREE.  It’s over 700 pages, but then again, it’s three books.  It should be a bit lengthy.

Read the Cemetery Tours Series for FREE!

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So if you have Kindle Unlimited, hop on over and download the Cemetery Tours Series.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

In other exciting news, the new Lurking Anthology, Lurking in the Shadows, has an official release date!  It will be available on June 28, 2016!  We don’t have a cover just yet, but I’m super excited about this anthology.  My contribution, An Empty Building, is by far the darkest thing I’ve ever written.  I had to write it in short increments in order to keep my own sanity.

Have a happy Thursday, y’all!  Keep reading!  Keep writing!

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A Very Haunted Weekend

Well friends, the Witching Hour is officially upon us!  All Hallows Eve is only days away!

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As I think most of you know, I’ve basically been celebrating Halloween for two straight months now.  This weekend, however, I got to kick things up a notch or two with my closest and dearest friends. It began with a Girls’ Night on Friday.

We drank some wine,

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Watched the single greatest Halloween movie of all time,

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And carved pumpkins!

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I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of my Phoenix.

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Before the night ended, my friends told me that they had an idea.  I have to admit, they are pretty spectacular.  I think I’ll keep them around.

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The next night, I went with another of my best friends to Fort Worth for a Ghost Bus Tour.  Talk about a Halloween dream come true!

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There was also wine.  It was basically perfect.

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But absolutely nothing beats a visit to an old cabin village… Or possibly capturing a few unexplained light anomalies on camera.

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To top it all off, I may have stumbled across a website that allows you to Halloween-ify yourself.

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So yeah, that was my weekend.  How was yours?

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My Halloween Essentials

Alright people.  It’s October 21.  That means we only have ten days left to celebrate one of the greatest feast days of the year: All Hallow’s Eve.

Halloween has always been a big deal in my family.  What’s not to love?  The pumpkins, the magic, the spooks, the costumes…  I think everyone becomes more of a believer in the things that can’t be explained around this time of year.

That being said, I intend to savor every second I have left of these ten days.  So, without further ado, I present

Jacqueline E. Smith’s Halloween Essentials

  • A trip to the pumpkin patch.

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  • A haunting soundtrack full of classic Halloween hits.

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  • A Halloween movie marathon. This marathon MUST include at least three separate viewings of Hocus Pocus.

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  • Candy Corns and Mellowcreme Pumpkins.
  • Scented candles.

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  • Finding your ideal costume.  If you can’t find it, make it!  One year in college when I was particularly broke, I went as The One-Eyed-One-Horned-Flying-Purple-People-Eater and I made my own wings and horn.  I looked a little deranged, but the wings looked AMAZING.

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  • Decorations galore.

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  • A unique design for your Jack-O-Lantern.  Now, I’ve been carving my own Jack-O-Lanterns for years, but scraping out all the insides and carving can be a bit tiresome, so it might not be for everyone.  Especially if you don’t like pulp under your nails.

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  • A black light bulb.  When I was little, my mom would ALWAYS light a black light on All Hallow’s Eve.  It’s simply not the Witching Hour without one.

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  • A black cat.  Naturally.  Where would I be without my beautiful Witch’s Familiar?

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  • A good ghost story. Of course!  And you can get Cemetery Tours on Kindle for only $2.99 for the remainder of October.

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What are your Halloween Essentials?

Happy Bookday!

It’s here!  After more than a year, After Death is finally available in Paperback AND Kindle!

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I’m so excited for the ghostly misadventures of Michael, Luke, and Kate to continue.  I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

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I want to take a little bit of time, however, to celebrate a few OTHER books being released today: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer, and of course, the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The fact that my book came out on the same day as all of these ladies is, quite frankly, a huge fangirl honor for me.  JK Rowling is Queen, as everyone knows, and I don’t know a single person whose lives she hasn’t touched with her magical world.  Stephenie Meyer, yeah, okay, it’s kind of fun to make fun of Twilight.  But I’ve got to be honest.  I still love it.  I love the story.  It’s just pure fun and fantasy, you know?  Very escapist, and I do love to escape.

Then, finally, there’s Rainbow Rowell.  I fell in love with her writing after reading the story of my life, Fangirl.  I’m serious.  I’ve never read a book that so keenly described what it feels like to love a book and, frankly, to be apprehensive of the world outside.  Oh my Heavens, do I love Fangirl.

As if I didn’t already love Rainbow Rowell enough for  bringing that story to life, I then got to meet her last May.  She is incredible, basically everything I want to be as an author and as a person.  When I found out that her new book, Carry On, inspired by the book series in Fangirl, was being released the same day as mine, I was thrilled.  And yes, I’ve already run out and bought my own copy.

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Yes, I bought Life and Death too.  I wanted to buy the new Harry Potter, but let’s face it, as an Indie Author, I barely have two dimes to rub together.  I really shouldn’t have bought these two books, but I can’t help it.  I have to support the authors and stories that I love.  And, yeah, okay, I really need to feed my addiction to YA literature.  Most importantly, though, these books serve as a reminder of why I do what I do and why I put so much time and effort into my books.  I want this world of words to be my world, too.

Happy Bookday, everyone!  Go read your favorite book!  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go pick up something new!

May I recommend a ghost story?

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My Ghost Story

In just a few short weeks, the third book in the Cemetery Tours series, After Death, will be available on Amazon and Kindle (and Nook shortly thereafter).  I can’t wait.  This is a book I’ve been working on for over a year.  I knew what I wanted for it, but for some reason, it took TWO rewrites to get it to where I wanted it to be.  It would have been easy to simple finish the first version and publish it, but I would not have been happy with it.  There was no real plot.  My characters and especially my readers deserve better than that.  So I started over from scratch.

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Two days after the release, I will also be speaking to a small group about me and about my books.  I’ve got to tell y’all, I’m not that great at talking about my books, but I’m even worse at talking about myself.  I’m just really not that interesting.  I have interesting stories.  But me as a person?  Kind of boring.

I’ve been trying my best to come up with ideas for my presentation.  I will certainly include a synopsis of the first book as well as a little bit about the next two.  But you know, the question I get asked most often is, “So what inspired you to write a ghost story?”

I know I’ve answered this question multiple times on my blog, but those posts are lost in the binary infinity that is the internet.

My love for ghost stories began at a young age.  I grew up in a house that celebrated Halloween the way most people celebrate Christmas.  My whole family just loves it.  Ghosts, witches, vampires, zombies, I could never get enough.  My mother and I were (and still are) particularly fond of all the ghost-hunting and unexplained mystery documentaries that aired around All Hallows Eve.  I remember learning about notorious haunting grounds, such as the Del Coronado Hotel.  I knew then that I wanted to have a ghost experience of my own.

It never occurred to me to actually write a ghost story until 2010, when I suffered a very sudden and unexpected loss in my family.  Long story short, I was devastated.  I’d never hurt like that before.  I actually felt my heart breaking.  I turned to my faith in God to help see me through.  But I also turned to the paranormal.

I became obsessed in proving to myself that life did continue on after death.  I visited libraries and bookstores seeking rock solid testimonies of psychics, mediums, religious figures, and those who’ve endured Near Death Experiences.  I scoured Scripture for passages that referred to death and life eternal.  Perhaps most importantly, I began tuning into ghost hunting shows, particularly one called Ghost Adventures.

It was during that time that I began writing a story about a guy who could see ghosts and a girl who was haunted by a spirit of a loved one.  It was a mess.  Of course, I never really intended to publish it.  It was just a story that I began writing to make myself feel better.

It didn’t really become something more until I was over at my friends’ apartment one night watching Criminal Minds.  Now, I’m a huge fangirl.  You all know this about me.  That night, I was introduced to Dr. Spencer Reid portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler and let me tell you, it was love at first sight.  Crazy?  Perhaps.  But I knew then and there that I’d found the inspiration for my main character.  He just looks like the kind of guy who would see ghosts and who would be an adorable mess trying to figure it all out.

Shortly thereafter, I realized my story was missing one key element: An enthusiastic ghost hunter.  Cue Ghost Adventures and the creation of Luke Rainer.

After that, the story naturally fell into place.  I knew going in that there would be at least two books in the series.  That soon turned to three.  Now the plan is five.  Both books are already planned out and I can’t wait to write them.  I can’t tell you a lot, but I can tell you that the fourth book is going to be set in Scotland.  It’s going to be so much fun to write I can’t even tell you.  Hopefully it will be just as much fun to read, if not more so!

Until then, I hope you enjoy After Death. And if you haven’t read the first two, I hope you’ll enjoy them as well!  Preferably before you read the third.  But you know, there’s no law that says you have to read a book series in order.  Just do me a favor and don’t tell me if you do.

Love you all!  Talk to you soon!

Character Interview: Michael Sinclair

Back when I first started writing, to get to know my characters, I would interview them.  I’d make up questions, kind of like a survey, and I’d write out responses as those characters.  This is kind of the same idea, except I thought I’d give my characters a chance to interview me for a change.  Up first, the serie’s underdog hero and reluctant medium, Michael Sinclair.

Note: This shouldn’t contain too many spoilers, but if it does, I apologize.

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Michael Sinclair (MS):  This is kind of weird.

Jackie Smith (JS):  Yeah, I know. Just go with it.

MS:  Okay. Well, I guess I’d have to start this interview off by asking… Why me?

JS:  What do you mean?

MS:  Why won’t you let me catch a break?  Why do you like to torture me?

JS:  I don’t torture you.  You’ve actually got it pretty good compared to a lot of fictional guys out there.

MS:  I see ghosts, I can’t find a job, I get kidnapped, I get tortured, my girlfriend is always ending up in the hospital…  Why can’t you write a book about me where I win the lottery or I take a romantic, ghost-free getaway with Kate to a tropical island?

JS:  Because you don’t play the lottery and neither of you could afford that. Neither could I, for that mat ter.

MS:  Am I ever going to find another job?  Let’s face it, I’m not going to be able to pay rent much longer.

JS:  I have an idea for you.  I think Luke is really going to like it.

MS:  Oh, great. Of course Luke is going to like it.  You like him so much better than me.

JS:  Not true.  If I did, then he would have ended up with Kate.

MS:  Okay then, here’s a real question.  How come I can see ghosts?

JS:  It was a story I always wanted to write, especially after I experienced a loss myself.  I didn’t really know how to characterize you, however, until I started watching Criminal Minds and discovered Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid.  You know that’s who you’re based off of, right?

MS:  Yeah, you remind me all the time.  I think you like him better than me, too.

JS:  Wait a minute, I thought you were supposed to be this super sweet, nerd of my dreams kind of guy. Where is all this sass coming from?

MS:  Don’t ask me.  You wrote me like this.  Speaking of which, did you mean to make me so two-dimensional or is that just part of the protagonist’s curse?

JS:  Why do you think you’re two-dimensional?  You’re not two-dimensional.

MS:  All anyone knows about me is that I see ghosts and I feel sorry for myself.  A lot.  Why didn’t you give me more depth?

JS:  I totally gave you depth.  Your problem is that once you discovered you were the only one seeing these spirits, your entire life began to revolve around making sure no one else figured it out.  It didn’t give you a whole lot of room to branch out, and for that, I’m sorry.

MS:  So, while you were thinking up ways to ruin my life, you never thought to maybe make my power a little more, oh, I don’t know, cool?

JS:  What does that mean?

MS:  I mean, you read all these books and watch these TV shows about mediums who can not only see dead people, but predict the future, time travel, read minds, all that stuff.  How come I can’t do that?  How come I only get the ghosts?

JS:  Because all of that would make these books a lot more complicated.

MS:  Oh, okay.  As long as it makes everything easier for you.

JS:  Seriously, are you always this snarky when I write you?  I thought I gave you a pretty good life.  Cool ghost best friend, cute girlfriend, and at least you’re not like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.  You don’t see hanging people or kids with their brains blown out.

MS:  I guess I should be thanking you for that.

JS:  You’re welcome.

MS:  I’m still not particularly thrilled with you, though.

JS:  Yeah, I’m sensing that.

MS:  So tell me, are good things ever going to happen to me?

JS:  You are far too melodramatic, you know that?  And I’m not going to tell you if good things will happen or not.  You know I can’t make you any promises.  But if it all works out the way I think it will…  You’ll just have to wait and see.

Haunted Valentines

It’s almost Valentines Day.  Even if you don’t have someone special, it’s still a great holiday.  Well, maybe it’s not that great, but there is a LOT of chocolate, and I’m a big fan of chocolate.

Unfortunately, very few people, if any, associate Valentines Day with ghost stories.  Unless, of course, you’re a Ghost Adventures fan and recall that one Valentines Day episode at the Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.  That’s one of my favorite episodes, not because that capture any spectacular evidence, but because it’s hilarious.

Anyway, all last week, I was trying to come up with some way to connect Valentines Day and Cemetery Tours.  This is what I came up with.  Yes, this is just for fun.  No, I don’t think I’m clever.

Enjoy!

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Shameless Self-Promotion Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-E.-Smith/e/B00F7BPXX6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423510266&sr=8-1

Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jacqueline-e.-smith

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7260466.Jacqueline_E_Smith

Hello, 27

Today is my 27th birthday.  As always, I love the fact that it is my birthday.  Everyone is being extra nice to me.  I get presents and food and time with my friends and family.  But 27 is a little intimidating.  Somehow, it feels a lot closer to 30 than 26 did.  Not that that’s a bad thing.  After all, 13 Going on 30 claims that your thirties are the best years of your life.  If that’s the case, bring them on! Still, I feel like I have so much of my 20s left to enjoy.  Thankfully, I have three more years!  But if the last three years are any indication, these next three are just going to fly.

I have several goals for the next three years, but my one real goal, my ultimate goal, is really the one that matters.  That goal is to become a NYT Bestselling Author by the time I turn 30.  That gives me exactly three years.  The good news is that next year is a leap year so you know, one extra day (woo-hoo!).  My other goals are more personal, but that’s the big one.  Until that happens, however, I am going to keep working as hard as I can and enjoying every minute of it.

Oh, and on that note, it’s my birthday.  Go buy my books.

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http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-E.-Smith/e/B00F7BPXX6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1421269417&sr=8-1

This Is Halloween!

Halloween is finally here!  Since I have so much I need to be doing before the witching hour begins, this shall be a very short post.

I did want to let everyone know that in honor of Halloween, aka one of my absolute favorite holidays of all time, BOTH Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds are available on Kindle for $0.99!!!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Cemetery Tours and Haunted Houses

After my presentation on Ghost Story Trivia at the Colony Public Library, I was invited along on a history tour of the Colony.  We visited an old cemetery (which, of course, I loved) and The Spencer House, which I am convinced is haunted.  I wanted to share some of the pictures I took here with you!

From the Cemetery:

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From the Spencer House:

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And a few that I photoshopped for the sake of my autumn expectations.

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Finally, I have to share my spooky experience from the trip.

At the cemetery, most of the graves are centered off in one general area of the yard.  However, I couldn’t help but notice this one tree off to the side, and the grey bricks that lay beneath it.  At first, I dismissed it, thinking it was probably nothing very interesting.  Still, I couldn’t help but feel that I needed to go over and see what it was.

When I arrived at the tree, I found that the bricks were actually broken fragments of a small grave marker. There were only three letters carved into the stone. J.E.S. My initials.

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