Emma’s Blog

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10 YA Books to Read This Year

Looking for some new YA?

Kelsie Stelting

Did you know that there are MILLIONS of books for sale on Amazon? Literally. Millions. That’s not even counting the books for sale on Nook, Apple iBooks, Google Play Books, and the downloadable PDFs hidden in the scarier – and dustier – corners of the internet. So, if you’re like me and all of these options overwhelm you, look no longer! Here are 10 books packed with action, adventure, fantasy, and characters you will fall in love with.

1 – Destiny Revealed by Cris Pasqueralle

Cris-Destiny

In the first book of the Destiny Trilogy, twins Jack and Maddie Austin have just finished celebrating their thirteenth birthday. They are given a gift by their Uncle Benny that changes their world – at least their perception of it – forever. Will their family survive? Will they defeat the magical leader of the end of the world? Will they find out that the one person…

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Posted in Author Highlights, Uncategorized, young adult

This is Me ~ A Review~

I’ll admit it. I’m a huge fan of C.E. Wilson.

This means I snatched up the chance to get an ARC of her latest book. Check out the cover:

This is me (1)

 

So… was it everything I’d hoped for? Yep. And more.

This Is Me feels a bit futuristic, but more like an alternate universe.  It has a sci-fi feel to it that I love. Speaking of love… it has some great romance in it, too. That’s right. A well-blended work  that appeals to my geeky girly side. *Insert squeal here*

This is Me Teaser 4It starts out at your typical “working girl in the big bad city” but with a twist. Chloe has an A-SIST. That is, Rogan, her custom made AI bodyguard/companion. He walks her to and from school, he fetches her coffee, and he even goes to her open mic nights with her. But when Chloe meets Niven Adams, her life begins to change. He’s adorable and a smokin’ singer. At the encouragement of her best friend, Chloe dates Niven and for a while, they have a good thing. In the background of Chloe’s life is Rogan, and he’s jealous. Can robots get jealous? Is it jealousy at all?

This is Me teaser 1All Chloe really knows is that Rogan’s different. And it confuses her. Her best friend, Monica, assures her it’s all in her head and that Niven is the man she’s been waiting for, but Rogan’s friends (yes, friends) tell her she should explore her feelings for Rogan. In the end, she has to decide for herself and ask the age-old question (well, for this world, anyway): Can robots feel?

This is Me Teaser 3If you like futuristic romance, this is for you. There are AI and even emergency lines and clinics for AI beings. Remember back when sci-fi works were optimistic and the world was a better place instead of a disaster zone? There’s no war in this novel. If you like those types of sci-fi, this is for you. Want to read a great story with an underlying theme of equality? Then this is for you. Want a fun romance with quirky characters? Rogan’s friend is a seven-inch tall ASIST with a spunky attitude. This book is for you.

 

Want to get this book for $.99? Get it here, but hurry. I don’t know how long she’s keeping it at that price.THIS IS ME PRE ORDER ICON

 

About C.E. Wilson:

C.E. Wilson is 32 years old, grew up in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and has been living in Pittsburgh since 2009. For the first few years living in Pittsburgh, she was an English teacher. Her first book, “Oath of Servitude,” was published in 2012. In 2013, she quit teaching to be a full-time author and hasn’t looked back since. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband.

Like I said, I’m a fan. I’m part of her Facebook street team. Would you like to join?

Join us!

…Or you could always sign up for her email list: http://cewilsonauthor.com/

Want other places to check out C.E. Wilson?

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

Instagram

 

 

Posted in Beasts and Savages, Blogging, Uncategorized

Don’t Marry a Feminist

My birthday was a short week ago. We won’t discuss numbers; I’m not a math person 😉

Anyhow, my mom took me out to lunch this week to celebrate. I was excited. I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like with my parents. The only consolation was that my daughter and niece went, but really that was okay. They’re about the same age and can entertain each other without much adult intervention.

While I was enjoying our conversation and my soup/salad combo, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation taking place at the booth behind ours. It was one of those conversations that’s just background noise until your ears pick up on a certain word. And then you listen to the entire thing whether you want to hear it or not.

It was a conversation that I didn’t want to hear. Why? Because it infuriated me.

A group of adult women was coaching a boy who looked to be 11 or 12 about finding a girlfriend, and later, a wife.

“Isn’t that a good thing, Emma? That women in his life are giving him relationship advice?”

On the surface, yes. But it was the advice that set me on edge. This is what they told him:

“Don’t marry a feminist. You don’t want to marry a girl that’s mean to you and pushes you around.”

“Oh, lord, please whatever you do don’t marry a feminist. No one has time for that drama.”

Mean? Drama? *Insert record scratching sound here*

Here is Merriam Webster’s definition of feminism word for word:

Full Definition of feminism

  1. 1:  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

  2. 2:  organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

I don’t see anything about being a bully nor a drama queen in this definition. But, for whatever reason, these women identify all feminists as one, the other, or both.

So, what did I do while listening to these women spew hate about feminism while taking advantage of freedoms feminists of the past fought to give us? (There was no adult male escort with them, they were wearing modern tank tops and shorts, at least one of them had to have a driver’s license, and I’m willing to bet at least one of the three was a registered voter.)

Nothing.

 

 

NotMyCircusI’m part of the “not my monkeys” camp. Too many people today feel the need to insert themselves where they aren’t invited. Sure, they were having the conversation in a public place, but that doesn’t give me the right to go to their table, barge in, and tell them why I feel they’re wrong. And last time I checked, freedom of speech was NOT directly followed by “…unless it offends someone.”

End of story then, right Emma?

Well, it would’ve been… until I listened to this podcast today:

Stuff Mom Never Told You: NOW & Then: A Feminist Movement Grows Up

This was the first podcast I’d listened to by Stuff Mom Never Told You, and while I’m certain that Cristen and Caroline are perfectly reasonable people, as I listened to them talk proudly about waving an “angry feminist” pennant, my mind flashed back to the women in the restaurant.

Now, I’m imagining that day in college when all the clubs set up booths on the quad and new students sign up for activities, jobs, whatever.

A scowling woman approaches waving a bright red pennant that reads “angry feminist” and yells, “Injustices are all around you! Come! Get ANGRY with us!”

Guaranteed I’m going to back away slowly as to not provoke her.

Now, if that same woman approaches me, smiling, and says, “Did you know that of the 28.8 million small businesses in the US (source), only 9.9 million are owned by women (source)? That’s 34%. We’re working to make that statistic closer to 50%. Would you like to join us?”

Not only would I be willing to join, I’d be willing to do my own research on the inequality of start-up lending. 

Which type of feminist do you think the women in the restaurant must have had experience with? So what are they teaching their next generation? Feminists are Drama Queen Bullies. Is that really what we want to be perceived as?

 Get to the point, Emma. You’re wasting valuable Poke-Go time.

One of the greatest compliments I ever got on Beasts and Savages was: “This reads like one of the feminist scifi books I used to read in the ’70’s.”

Guess what? I wasn’t angry when I wrote that book.

I’m not angry now. Anger leads to hurtful words and actions.

Passionate, yes. Passion can inspire people to make positive changes.

I’m a feminist, but I’m not a bully. Or a drama queen.

The only time I’ve ever pushed my hubby is during a race to our only bathroom after a longish road trip. He still won. All’s fair when you have to pee. 😉

The only drama I like is on a stage or in a movie. Re: Not My Monkeys.

So, to the boy in the restaurant:

Don’t marry a feminist. BE a feminist.

Nowhere in any dictionary does it say that a feminist has to be a female. (Pretty sure it’s not a law, either.) Do you want a wife that works just as hard as you do to be paid less (re: less houshold income) because she’s a woman? What about fair child care practices for your children? Do you want the same  educational/scholarship opportunities for your sons and daughters? Lastly, do you want the women you love to be objectified, talked down to, or denied the feeling of safety by others?

It’s 2016, and these things still happen. 

And I can ask you to join our “club” without anger, without yelling, and without waving anything in your face. I’ll even smile. Whadda ya say?

*********************************************************************

So, do you want to read my “feminist scifi” Beasts and Savages?

Beastly Book 1

You can get it on Amazon here. (Currently $.99 and part of KU)

Want to read it for free? Sign up for my newsletter and it’s yours:Join my newsletter 🙂

 

Posted in Beasts and Savages, The Beastly Series, Uncategorized

Indie Pride Day

TC-Banner-for-IndiePride-Da.jpg

Have you read an indie book lately? If you haven’t, why not?

You’ll probably give me one of the of the following reasons why you haven’t delved into the world of indies:

“I can’t find a book/author that I like enough to buy.”

What?! There are over 4 million titles on Amazon. 45% of those are indie books. (Thanks, Author Earnings Report.)

Recently, I’ve read a story about a girl who gets trapped in a world of giants, one about a town’s women getting kidnapped and left to die in a pool of ice, a historical romance about two people who raised to hate each other but fell in love anyway, and several non-fiction that range from people’s perspective on the world, to nutrition, to writing and marketing. Once (before I was an author) I read an indie book and didn’t even know it!

If the “buying” is your problem, then search for free books. Hundreds of indie authors give away ebooks for free throughout the year. In fact, I’m giving away Beasts and Savages to anyone who signs up for my mailing list. (Which you can do here.)

special delivery

 

“I only read print books.”

And? I read indie print books. There are thousands out there and I also publish my books in print. Here’s a suitcase full of my first book in paperback:bags packed

“Indie books are nothing more than terribly written stories full of typos.”

I think this one is the most uninformed and unintelligent “status quo” statements I’ve ever heard.Sure, there are self-pubbed authors who really have no idea and hit the publish button a little too soon. And ones with thin skin probably never publish another book. The remaining indie authors learn from their mistakes, and fix them, too. I’m one of the latter. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve updated my first book, and my second is on its third go-round with an editor. I’ve even gone so far as to list the editors on my Amazon page and in the copyright info. Why? Because one typo in my story means someone, somewhere will scream, “This is why I don’t read indie!”

But aren’t there terrible books from trad-publishing? These photos say there are:

 

James Patterson’s book has a 2.3-star rating on Amazon, and that last photo is making fun of Fifty Shades, just in case you didn’t know.

As for typos and formatting errors, they can happen in any book. I think it’s all about perception. Take this picture from Ally Condie’s Matched:

IMG_3513

Is that space and lack of indentation supposed to be there? I’m sure someone will say, “It’s only the style of content break the publisher chose to use.” Okay, maybe it is. I really don’t know. BUT, what would happen if I chose to use the same style in my self-published work? At least three someones would be crying, “Poor formatting! This is why I don’t read indies!”

Now that I’ve proven that “reasons” are really “excuses” for not reading indie, are you going to give an indie book a chance? Or are you going to continue to let “The Man” tell you what to read?

Posted in Uncategorized

Think You Couldn’t Possibly Lose Your Amazon Publishing Account? Think Again.

Interestingly, I just took Beasts and Savages out of KDP this week and am doing a wide relaunch the first week of July.

The Active Voice

There’s this indie author I know a little bit from the Kboards.com forum. Her name is Pauline Creeden, and she’s an ordinary midlister, like so many of us. I remember PMing her some time ago and gushing about how particularly beautiful one of her book covers is — the one for Chronicles of Steele: Raven.collection Here, I’ll include an image. Gorgeous, eh?

Anyway, today I tuned in to Kboards and noticed that Pauline had started a thread. It contained what’s surely the worst news possible for an indie author: Amazon had closed her publishing account. All her ebooks had been taken off sale. Permanently. Here’s the email she got from Amazon:

We are reaching out to you because we have detected that borrows for your books are originating from systematically generated accounts. While we support the legitimate efforts of our publishers to promote their books, attempting to manipulate…

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Posted in Author Highlights, Uncategorized

Walking Between Worlds

So, I found this really awesome deal and thought I’d share. But hurry, this sale is for today only!

Walking Between Worlds: The Complete Trilogy

Supernatural/Contemporary Fantasy, from author J.K. Norry

ONE DAY ONLY! Get the entire Walking Between Worlds trilogy for just 99 cents on June 3rd.

Click here to get your trilogy!

WBWEbookCoverDemons & Angels (Book I)

Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural…

They live normal lives on the surface, going to work, the bank and the grocery store like everyone else. All day they watch their countdown. When the moment comes, they draw their swords, don their armored overcoats, and walk between worlds. They stop demons from overwhelming people, without being seen and without asking a word of thanks. For thousands of years they have labored to save mankind from itself, quietly, one soul at a time.

When Paul is thrust into this hidden world between worlds, he must learn to keep his secrets as quickly as he must master his mysterious weapon. His new powers are amazing, and his faithful guide is there to teach him the ancient ways of the demon hunter; yet questions nag at Paul’s mind while it overflows with new information. If Heaven is not truly perfect, and Hell is his only hope, he fears that walking between them will also mean walking away from the woman of his dreams; and if he loses her, he loses everything…

Rise of the Walker King (Book II)

The ‘Walking Between Worlds’ story continues…

The way of the demon hunter is finally beginning to make sense to Paul, as is the art of walking between worlds. He is forced to shoulder the heavy burden of leading this mighty army of immortals if they are to continue their vital secret work. Just when he needs her most, his love has been torn from his grasp. Rather than turn to his trusted Guide and best friend in his time of need, Paul turns away from him. Kris is left to wonder if the fire burning inside the new king will drive him to victory or madness.

War takes the army to Hell, and pits their forces against a sea of displaced demons. Lines are crossed, lives are lost, and the battles take heavy tolls on both sides. As light looms at the end of the treacherous tunnel leading to victory, the army emerges to a shaking realization: the light is dragon fire, and the war has only just begun.

Fall of the Walker King (Book III)

An explosive end to the ‘Walking Between Worlds’ trilogy.

Heaven is in turmoil over the war being waged below. Hell is a ravaged wasteland, its beauty lost to all but ancient memory. Earth is trapped between, unaware of the army of supernaturals battling for their souls. A champion emerges to lead them, and to search for their lost king. His new student sees the timeless art of dealing with demons in an astonishingly unique way; it makes William question everything he is supposed to be teaching the warrior apprentice, while battling day and night to save the way of the Walker.

Ruling from their lofty perches, the angels have long since lost their way. They want control of everything, and will stop at nothing to get it. Barely an army, the remaining demon hunters dodge plots from above and fire from below in their hopes to secretly save the worlds they walk between once more. The dragons that reign in Hell have grown more brutal over long centuries; when one queen fell, a more fearsome dragon took her place. It will take more than one miracle to stop her from setting all the worlds aflame forever.

 

Like what you read? Get the whole trilogy for 99 cents.

Click here to get your trilogy!

About J.K. Norry

Walk between the worlds of angels and devils, explore the deeper meaning of demons, and face the beauty of the monster in all of us with author Jay Norry.

’Stumbling Backasswards Into The Light’ is an uplifting autobiography, the tale of Jay’s decision to question the answers he had been given and discover his own deeper meaning.

‘Walking Between Worlds’ is an exciting and action-packed philosophical adventure, a darkly humorous romp through heaven and hell and the deeper meaning of all of the worlds we walk between.

‘The Secret Society of Deeper Meaning’ is currently exploring the softer side of zombies, and the deeper meaning of the archetype: could Mother Nature be saving us from ourselves?

Sign up for free ‘Zombie Zero: The First Zombie’ short stories; and find out the deeper meaning of it all in ‘Zombie Zero: The First Zombie’

Jay lives in Northern California with three of his favorite angels, an unending to-do list and a mind full of thoughts about the deeper meaning.

Jay’s books are published by Sudden Insight Publishing (www.suddeninsightpublishing.com)

Read his blog on writing and life in general at blog.jaynorry.com

Connect with the Author:

www.jaynorry.com

www.twitter.com/JayNorry

www.facebook.com/Norry.Jay

www.goodreads.com/jay_norry

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Book Towns: Part I

Not only would I love to travel to all of theses book towns, I’d love to have the adorable little town made of books on a shelf in my office.

Cafe Book Bean

ruedeesperance
A Book Town is a trend that began in the 1960’s and refers to a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores.
Along with their unique and plentiful bookstores they also host wonderful literary festivals

These book festivals attract book lovers and bibliophiles from all over the world. A number of towns are also members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.

Check out these first 6 awesome, yet quaint little book towns:

240-Montolieu-village-du-livre-Aude_focus_eventsMontolieu, France
Sometimes referred to as the “Village of Books.” Montolieu was the town that first introduced me to the concept of “Book Towns.” With a population of roughly only 747 people Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and
16540322265_089531e1a8_zantiquarian books.
Every year the town offers many workshops such as: Used and antiquarian bookshops, Working craftspeople of books and art, The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum, Bibliophilia…

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Posted in Beasts and Savages, Blogging, The Beastly Series, Uncategorized, young adult

The Evolution of an Author

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Oh you wrote a book? How fun!” since October. And yes, writing Beasts and Savages was fun. I was a naive writer playing around with characters in a world I built. Don’t get me wrong, writing is still fun, but there’s little pockets of work infused with the fun now. There’s also something else that wasn’t there before: A deep sense of passion and commitment to a way of life.

Don’t think that being a writer is a way of life? Ask an author, they’ll confirm that it is.

As an indie author, I live, sleep, and dream about writing and books. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, if I’m not thinking about writing, I’m reading. If I’m not doing any of those things, it’s because I’m researching book marketing, formatting, social networking,etc.

In a way I didn’t understand, my life changed when I hit that publish button in October. At first, the ride of putting myself out there in a world I knew nothing about was exciting and scary. Once things calmed down a bit (around December), I’d learned enough to know that I didn’t know anything.

I looked back at October Emma and thought, “Emma! What were you thinking?! Your book wasn’t ready to go to print. Just look what you’ve done! No one’s ever going to take you seriously at this rate. Now you have to go back and fix those mistakes, and search for more. This is going to take a month, or two, maybe three. And you’re supposed to be writing the sequel, young lady. Next time you’re getting an editor, I don’t care how many papers you have to proof.” … and for January and February, that’s what I did: went back and fixed mistakes.

While I was editing and re-editing, in the back of my mind was a little voice saying, “You missed out on so many marketing opportunities because you had no idea what you were doing. In a way, that’s good. Very few people saw your terrible first edition. But now you’re six months out, you don’t have a sequel yet, and no one knows who you are. No one. Stop editing for the seventh time and get writing. And find an editor!” So, I did. Writing the second book took much less time than the first, but waiting on editing is taking just as long.

After March Emma finished her second novel, I decided to stop writing for a bit and put on my marketing hat. I had a book expo at the end of April, after all. The expo will be rainbows and sunshine and hundreds of people will line up to meet the authors there. Since I haven’t become a bestseller online yet, maybe I can at least become a little know in my state. Um, no. If you haven’t read my blog posts about attending a book expo, read them here.

When I got back home and settled from the expo, I decided it was time to take a new approach. I’d gotten back Savage Revolution from my critique partner and was excited to make the changes. I still haven’t gotten my book back from the editor, but I’ve decided that I’ll go ahead and ask my formatter to  make me a copy for beta readers.

The next thing on my list was to pick my last three KDP free days before my contract with Amazon is up in June, line up the marketing, and make sure my second book is ready to publish by the KDP days. And then, line up a marketing budget and sign up for promotions. I’m still working on this, but at least I have a plan this time.

IMG_3324
Planning, planning planning!

 

In addition to my marketing plan and book release, I want to get Savage City out so there’s less of a turn around this time. So I’ve given myself a 3,000 a day word goal until the book is finished. That’s about three hours a day. If all goes as planned, it should be out late June, early July.

What do all my ramblings have to do with anything? Why did I share this with you? Because I started this blog to document the ups and downs of a beginner indie author. Most of my followers are new or aspiring authors.

I love writing and I aspire to be only a full time author one day. Until then, I’ll keep working hard to make doing what I love my only full time job. After all, no one’s going to write the last three books in The Beastly Series for me, and I have three other series and two stand alones waiting to be written.

P.S. Have you signed up to win one of 10 signed paperbacks through Goodreads? You have until May 31. Go Go Go!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Beasts and Savages by Emma Woods

Beasts and Savages

by Emma Woods

Giveaway ends May 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Posted in Beasts and Savages, The Beastly Series, Uncategorized, young adult

How to Ask for a YouTube Review…

So far, I haven’t asked anyone on YouTube to review Beasts and Savages. Not that I don’t want them to, I’ve just been focused on other things. More on that tomorrow.

Anyway, as I’m a stickler for research, I searched for reviewers of teen books and began my descent down the rabbit hole. That’s where I found this gem:

 

That’s right. Self-proclaimed book worm and YouTuber Whitney Atkinson tells authors the proper way to request a review. She is pretty darn professional and the most polite I’ve every seen. For the most part, you could apply her suggestions to any type of book review request. Thank you, Whitney.

Now, here’s a few tips from an author (me, Emma Woods) who did quite a bit of research  on requesting reviews from bloggers and, after a very frustrating month of getting nothing but research done, sent out maybe ten requests for review. These things can carry on to YouTube reviews, so pay attention!

  • Read the sites review policy first. If they don’t have a policy, email them and ask what their review policy is. If they never answer, cross them off your list. *If they don’t review indie authors, I don’t follow them, sign up for email lists, etc. If they aren’t willing to acknowledge my business model as an author, they don’t need my support. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll support ANY author regardless of the way they publish, but my time and efforts are already so stretched that I don’t get to do as much as I would like for other authors. So to support someone who’ll never be willing to help a large group of people that I identify with would be counter productive. I have more on this. Maybe I should post about this at another time.

 

  • Get to know the reviewer. Whitney mentions this in her video, but I suggest watching/reading a few reviews even if you know they review your genre. Why? Well, reviewers are people, too. And they have reading moods. Maybe you found someone who reads YA urban fantasy but isn’t digging shifters right now. And the last three books with shifters got bad (or mediocre) reviews. If you wrote a book featuring shifters, you might want to skip this blogger, at least for now.

 

  • Remember that requests for book reviews are investments. For me, a paperback book review would be a $10 investment after I add the cost of the book, shipping, and packaging material. If I’m willing to spend the cash, I’m going to want to maximize my investment. Why not find reviewers in the audience you’re marketing to and spend the time to do it right?

 

As an author, I completely understand the love/hate relationship we have with reviews. We all love when we get great reviews, even though social author convention says we’re not supposed to react to reviews, good or bad. Most of us hate asking for reviews and would rather do any other type of marketing. Literally anything. And then there are those marketing resources that won’t give us a second glance until we have a certain number of reviews, mysterious vanishing reviews, and review sharks trying to lure desperate authors to purchase reviews (A HUGE NO-NO!!).

So the next time you make a review request, don’t squeeze your eyes shut and pull the trigger. Know your target, take you aim, and fire.