Big Updates & B2BCYCON!

Hey everyone! It has been a few weeks since I posted here. I’ve been doing my Weekly Lives on Facebook, so if you’re looking for me – I’ve been on my social media sites 🙂 BUT, I don’t mean to leave you all hanging here – so sit back, relax and get ready for lots of EXCITING updates & this week’s theme and focus — Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo (B2BCYCON)!!

So, FIRST … Updates! Man, are there quite a few! My first newsletter launched last week (March 27th) and I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to those of you who responded and gave feedback! It looks like you all enjoyed it, and I’m so excited! As I’ve mentioned a few times, there is an Exclusive Character Contest going on right now for my newsletter subscribers. You can have a character in my upcoming novel named after YOU!! The contest is running through May 8th, so you still have time to hop on the subscriber’s list and get in on entering! The next newsletter will go out Tuesday, April 24th!

There are 2 ways to sign up for the Newsletter:

  1. Download the 1st two chapters of Protected for FREE, while also getting your name on the subscription list: http://bit.ly/2EgYs1r
  2. Already read Protected? Simply sign up for the newsletter subscription list here: http://eepurl.com/di6Zef 

In other news … the 1st draft of my current work in progress is DONE! EEK! I am so excited. I’m editing everything now and will be sending it to my writing sisters and beta readers soon. The book will officially go to my editor on June 8th. Stay tuned for an announcement on the release date! I will tell you that I am looking at a SUMMER 2018 launch! It’s almost here! 🙂 I’ll also be announcing the title of the book in the next few weeks, so make sure you’re checking in with me on social media occasionally for those updates!

See what I mean? Lots of BIG updates took place during my Weekly Live Check-In on Facebook this week! I hop on each week at 8:00 PM EST so make sure you’re joining me there!

Now, onto what I’ll be focusing on and chatting with everyone about this week — the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo … or B2BCYCON 2018!!

Cover B2BCYCON

I will be taking part in this FREE, ALL ONLINE Book Convention and Expo this week! This is going to be SO much fun! This is like a virtual tradeshow of books — there is an expo where you can browse books of ALL genres, check out excerpts from various authors, watch as authors read excerpts from their books, see different interviews, panels, etc. There is also a Cover Wars Tournament and Character Tournament! It’s going to be an incredibly fun three days online, so you can enjoy all of it from the comfort of your home, in your pajamas!!

The Ariya Adams Trilogy will be a part of the Book Expo. I also have an expert from Protected that is part of the Just Read portion of the convention.

I would love your help for one part of the convention this week. My covers, designed by the incredible Cover Me Pretty, are part of the Cover Wars in the Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy category. Starting at 9 PM on April 5th, you can log on and start voting for your favorite covers. It’s set up as a bracket style, with different rounds of voting, culminating in a winner at the end of the convention! I’d love if you stop by and have a minute to vote. I can’t take much credit for my covers, Cover Me Pretty did all the concepts and work and while I may be biased, I LOVE what she created for me!

I’ll post the direct link, but you can access the main Cover Wars link, and then select the Paranormal Romance Category starting April 5th here: http://b2bcycon.com/cover-wars/ 

You can get in on all of the amazing content of B2BCYCON here: http://b2bcycon.com! Make sure you stop by starting April 6th!!

That’s all I have for you for now!! Have a FANTASTIC week, everyone!

 

 

Advertisements

A Look into Sacrificed & an Official Announcement!

Happy Tuesday! I skipped my updates via webpage last week, and I apologize!! But I’m back, and here with my theme for this week and an official announcement. If you want more details on anything below, check out my Facebook Page for the LIVE I did last night (and that I do each week at 8 PM EST on Mondays)!!

So, ready for the Official Announcement?!? I’ll be launching my Monthly Newsletter at the end of THIS MONTH! Each month’s newsletter will contain updates and goodies for you! I won’t be spamming you, or constantly sending emails out, either! It will just be the once a month newsletter! This first edition is going to include details on how to enter an EXCLUSIVE CHARACTER CONTEST for my upcoming novel!  You can ONLY participate in this contest if you are a Newsletter Subscriber!! If you have EVER wanted to have a character named after YOU in a book, now’s your chance! It’s going to be amazing! To sign up and make sure you’re in the know … simply click here: http://eepurl.com/di6Zef

**P.S. If you haven’t read Protected, and would like to snag the first 2 chapters for FREE AND sign up for the Monthly Newsletter at the same time, then this is the link you’ll want to use: http://bit.ly/2EgYs1r. 

So, there you go on the Official Announcement!

Now, if you’ve been following me on Social Media in 2018, you know that each week I have a theme I chat about on my social media channels. Every few weeks, I focus on one of my books and we have now made it through the Ariya Adams Trilogy to Book 3, Sacrificed! For those of you who have been with me since the beginning of my writing journey, with my first novel Protected (Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy), you waited a looonnnggg time for Sacrificed to come out! Hopefully it was worth the wait, and you’ve had a chance to read it! It’s available on Amazon in e-book, paperback AND it’s part of the Kindle Unlimited Program! (Find it here!!)

Sacrificed Paperback FINAL Cover

As I have mentioned in other topics and posts, a LOT happened to me personally in between the release of Awakened and the release of Sacrificed. Not just that, but the style and way I approached Sacrificed was completely different from both Protected and Awakened. For the first two books in the trilogy, I sat down and wrote them from start to finish … no outline, no set plan, nothing!! With Sacrificed, I had the beginning written, and I had the end written. The problem was working backwards and figuring out the middle. I did not like writing that way! Haha. It was something I  learned about myself during the hiatus and my writing journey — I work much better going from beginning to end!!

But, it all worked out in the end because Sacrificed is out and the Ariya Adams Trilogy is complete. Have you had a chance to read it yet? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!!

Stay tuned this week as I’ll share more behind the scenes information on the third and final book in the Ariya Adams Trilogy. And pay close attention to my Facebook & Instagram pages on Wednesday for a giveaway announcement & opportunity!

Have a great week!!

 

Behind the Scenes: Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)

Another week is here, which means another theme and topic for us to get to dive in and chat about! I’m excited for this week! Really, I’m excited anytime I get to go behind the scenes with you guys into my books. I know as a reader, I love hearing things about books I read that I didn’t know before! Hopefully, you do too!

If you tuned into my Facebook / Instagram Pages last night, you already know this — but in case you’re catching up …

This week’s theme will be all about Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)!

Awakened-ebook sharpened

Awakened, picks up right where Protected leaves off. While Protected focused on meeting Ariya and the gang, and finding out that she’s not as safe as those before her may have been – for reasons I won’t give away because SPOILERS (P.S. anyone know what Fandom I’m referencing there? 🙂 ) – Awakened takes us more into the truth behind who and what is after Ariya.

Awakened was almost half written by the time Protected was released. I just continued writing once I finished Protected, before I knew I was going to even publish anything, so they were released very close together. Protected came out June 2013, and Awakened was released October 2013. I have to say I think that Awakened is my favorite of the three books. I had so much fun writing and it came the easiest to me. Protected took awhile, since it was my first time writing anything, but Awakened poured out of me. I was writing when I most needed a place to escape to and Ariya provided that for me. So I feel like I’ll always have a special bond with this book in particular!

This week I’m going to be sharing all things Awakened AND … if you were tuning in a few week’s back, you know that there was a GIVEAWAY when I was chatting with you about Protected. There might just be a giveaway with Awakened, too. If there were to be a giveaway, I would say you should probably keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook and Instagram pages this Wednesday (2/7) to find out what said Giveaway would be and how you would enter!

If you have already read Awakened, I’d love to hear your favorite part, what you liked, didn’t like, etc.! Send me a message and maybe I’ll share it, but I’ll definitely answer you regardless 🙂

If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a great time to snag it! It’s just $2.99 on Amazon in e-book format, available in Paperback and FREE if you are part of the Kindle Unlimited Program!

Stay tuned for some fun this week and as always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Balancing Act: Time Management and Life

So as many of you know by now, I had a very long, unplanned hiatus from writing … right in the middle of my debut series. It was not good for me, for readers, nobody! But it was unplanned. It was one of those life happens moments that hit me and kept on hitting me until I didn’t know how to get back up. I couldn’t find a balance and I couldn’t get back to something that had once been so important to me. I’d like to think I’ve made my way back onto two feet … maybe onto one foot with a tip-toe down of my other. But it took a lot of learning how to balance all the new things that happened in my life and I had to re-teach myself how to manage my time!

I remember a few years ago when I first started writing. I was in my mid-twenties and I remember I felt busy all the time. HA! I want to go back in time a few years and kick that girl in the butt. I want to tell her that she doesn’t know what busy is! But the thing is, we don’t realize until we are in the thick of something how busy we can truly get, right?

Now, I look at my life and think, I can’t possibly take on anymore! And I’m sure in a few years, I’ll want another time machine to come kick me in the butt and say, you don’t know what busy is! But for now, I feel so busy! I’m trying to balance being a wife, a mother of 4, working a full-time job, and writing whenever I can. So between homework, cooking (which I’m terrible at — As a side note, if you can help me out with easy recipes I’m all ears), bathing kids, bedtime stories, cleaning, time with my husband, sports, work, writing – it can be hard to keep up. I know I’m not alone, and I know I’m not the only one out there struggling.

Maybe it’s not with kids, maybe you’re working multiple jobs. Or maybe you’ve got other people or things you care for. We all feel busy! And here is where the balancing happens — the time management piece.

I am still working through how to best do it all, so please, if you are a ROCKSTAR in this area of life, please help us mere mortals who struggle! Another side note — it’s funny because in my “real” job I’m a meeting planner. So I thrive on production timelines, schedules, etc. You’d think that would carry over into my personal  life but for some reason it doesn’t always work out like that. One thing that does carry over from my work to my personal life are To-Do Lists — they are my life line. I have a planner that has EVERYTHING in it — dinners for each day, which then help me shape my shopping lists for each Sunday, my appointments, my deliverables at work, my writing goals, etc. I write everything down. It helps to have things scheduled like appointments (doesn’t always help for things like laundry, which I usually end up washing for 3 cycles before I finally move it to the dryer, but hey I’m working on it 🙂 )!

To do list

As far as writing goes specifically, one of the BIGGEST and most helpful things for me has been connecting with a support group. People I can count on to kick me into gear! This year my fantastic Writing Sisters started a group where we motivate each other and it is working for each of us to continue writing and working on our current WIPs (Work in Progress). Accountability can go a long way in Time Management and helping us prioritize the things that are important to us. Life can get crazy, but setting a goal for the important things, and scheduling time for the important things, is the only way to make it happen!

So here’s my weekly theme — TIME MANAGEMENT and creating a balance. If there is something you want to be working on, or an area that you feel isn’t getting attention – try to find some support & accountability and then schedule time for it. Make a weekly goal and stick to it, just one week at a time!

What are some of your time management tips and tricks of the trade??

Writing Inspiration: From Avid Reader to Author

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told my story about how I decided to write. It wasn’t something I thought about for ages before I started, and it wasn’t something that I’d wanted to do my whole life. It was a passion I discovered, almost by accident!

I was working at an incredible company awhile after I graduated from college with a group of gals who loved reading as much as I did. I was plowing through 3-4 books a week and rushing into work to talk about my latest read with the girls at the water cooler … well it wasn’t a water cooler. It was over a way too expensive Starbucks drink, but same idea! After a few months of that routine, I started to find myself stuck in a “what if” cycle every time I finished a new book. I’d propose new twists, or new ideas for an ending and I’d throw out ideas of how the book could have lasted longer, or gone a different direction. Eventually, one of the girls I worked with said, “well if you think you can do better, go for it!” She was teasing and we laughed about it at the time.

But then I thought … “what if?” It seemed that there must have been something inside me, tugging at me and yelling to come out. I had some sort of expectation each time I read and was being left unfulfilled. And maybe it was my own story, trying to make its way out. So after a good laugh I decided to just try. I didn’t have ANY experience in writing. My grammar isn’t the greatest, I didn’t outline, I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about. I knew I love paranormal romances and fantasy books, vampires, and that I could most easily relate to my age group (college & post college). So that’s what I went with. I sat down and started writing. In 3 months I had 45,000 words and an idea that was growing by the minute inside of me.

Toni Morrison.jpg

It was at that point that I started wondering how long a book actually was, word count wise. As a reader, I never looked at the other side of writing like that before. I decided to start researching. I learned my favorite author at the time, HP Mallory, was self published. I read her book on how to self publish and was soon immersed in the world of authors. I met my 2 Writing Sisters, who inspire me and who I think are some of the most gifted authors I’ve ever read, and I realized that I’m passionate about writing. I discovered my PASSION! It took a long time, and my passion ended up being something I had no idea I’d ever even have an interest in! But I tried something new and said “what if.” That what if led me here, to writing!

So, my point in this week’s theme is if you have even a tiny “what if” playing around in your head — GO FOR IT! What will it hurt?!  If it’s writing, sit down and see how you feel cranking out 1 page of a story, YOUR story! If it’s something else, take a small baby step towards that!

I’ll be chatting this week on Social Media about inspiration — comment below or visit me there to share what your inspiration is! I’d love to hear from you!

A Look into Protected (Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)

Happy Monday!

One of the things I have loved most about becoming an author has been the community.  When I first started writing, I met some incredible authors, book bloggers and designers. I can’t quite capture and describe how wonderful it is to be surrounded by people who share your passion. These people became friends and there are many that I am still in touch with, years later!

Surround Yourself

With Social Media it can sometimes be hard to feel real connections to people. But, since technology isn’t going anywhere, I feel like it’s so important to encourage those connections when we can!

So with that being said, I’m going to be “theming” my weeks on Social Media so that we can connect, discuss and chat about things — hopefully more often!! Each Monday I’ll be hopping on Facebook, Instagram and here on my Webpage to say hello, touch base and let you know what the weekly theme is & if there are any particular things to keep an eye out for in the upcoming week!

Since this is the first week of an official theme, I thought it was best to start with where my journey began — Protected!

Protected Quote #1.png

Protected is Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy. It’s a new adult, paranormal romance centered around Ariya Adams, a Senior at Kingsbrook College. She has led a “normal” existence so far, but that’s all about to change. Get ready to go on a journey with Ariya and her friends as she learns secrets about her past that will throw her into a dangerous new paranormal world.

Protected has both vampires AND werewolves, for those of you who like both paranormal creatures (although I will warn you I am #teamvampire, so the werewolves don’t play as big of a role).

Protected is available on Amazon in e-book and paperback formats (Click here to check it out!). I am exclusive with Amazon, so that is the only place to find my books at this time. This also means, I have enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited Program! If you don’t know what that is — check it out at Amazon! But essentially what it means for you is that you can read the entire Ariya Adams Trilogy for FREE!! YES you are reading that right! 🙂 FREE!!

A couple of other notes / reminders, in case you hadn’t heard! I got a new Pinterest account, Author Anna Applegate, so look me up there and check out some things I’m posting. Can’t wait to Follow what you post as well!!

I’ll also be doing a GIVEAWAY this Wednesday for a little #WinningWednesday action. I’ll be giving away a signed paperback version of Protected with a bookmark on both Facebook and Instagram! Stay tuned later this week (Wednesday) for how to enter that!

That’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by and I’m looking forward to chatting with you soon!