Monday, July 28, 2014

Back in Oregon -- This is Going to be a Rambling Mess...

First off, my apologies for being so neglectful! I had a giveaway which ended and was won by the beautiful Jahna (Jae). She won three copies of both My Forever & Beautifully Broken--not that she needs that many copies, LOL, but she will hopefully be sharing with friends and family! Congratulations my friend--they will be in the mail to you soon!

So, like the title says, I have made it back to Oregon. It was a long three day drive due to a few pit stops, but overall, it was one of the easier moves I've ever had to make. I don't know if that sentence made sense...but I am going with it. 

Since making it home and beginning the medication I was prescribed, I have felt more weak, more groggy, and more exhausted than before. I hope the medication kicks in soon so I am not sleeping through all my time off. I need to be productive now more than ever.

I am still having trouble sleeping more than 5-6 hours a night, but I am still extremely groggy and exhausted every day. I take a few naps throughout the day, but nothing seems to give me any sort of energy. It's really draining being tired all the time--especially when you are doing NOTHING!

On the book front, My Forever & Beautifully Broken are killing it in reviews! Both are currently sitting at 7 reviews on Amazon each. So many people who have been reviewing MF have been disappointed or upset with different aspects of the story--but it's funny to watch the same people move onto BB with little to no expectations of greatness and all of them be blown away. 

My Forever was the first book I EVER wrote. Of course it was bound to be a little rougher around the edges. I've also been told my transitions are choppy in general, and I think that is something I need to work on with all of my books. But I've always known deep down BB is a dark horse; I was just waiting for everyone else to experience the same feeling. 

It's exciting to see people who really weren't motivated to read it after MF, absolutely fall in love with Lee and Jacqueline's story and become invested. So many people have told me how much they liked Austyn and Avery and they cannot wait to read the next installment which focuses solely on them!

Even though I've had the time off, I haven't written more than one chapter. I really need to outline my stories. Because I am so exhausted on a consistent basis, it's been difficult to write flying by the seat of my pants. I've also been trying to give back by giving out some constructive criticism on Wattpad as well as reviewing other stories on Goodreads and Amazon for fellow writers. 

Pieces of Me is set to release on August 25th! I am beyond excited. It has been through a few beta readers since I edited it last and all have enjoyed the story and are looking forward to the next one. I also signed up for a release day blitz with YA Bound Book Tours, it was pretty affordable at $30 and 60-100 bloggers taking part in the release. I will let you know if it is successful or not. I am also rounding up a few of my past bloggers I have worked with and enjoyed and asked if they would participate, to which they all have agreed!

There is still a little part of me nervous about how the reaction will be for POM. So far it's either been complete love or complete hate. No middle ground. The strong opinions in the past have normally centered around Peyton having so many love interests within a 50k word novel. Unfortunately, it does happen and is realistic writing...I never said it would be pretty.

I have planned out the estimated release dates for all the novels I am currently working on and it seems as though I should be able to get POM, the Fighter, and Into the Darkness released before the end of the year. There is a very good chance I may also be able to get Against All Odds. Here's to hoping. If that takes place, I would have released 6 books within the first year I ever published. I think that's pretty bad-ass. I bought a ton of stock photos for anything else I decide to publish in the future. I'm really excited about them. I love being in complete control when it comes to the images being used on my books. I love being able to choose how I want my brand represented and my cover designer Emmy does a fantastic job. She is highly affordable too and very flexible to work with!

I came to the realization the other day that we can all do whatever we desire in life--we just have to not give up. If you fail, get back up and try again! This motto works for anything in life. It seems so simple...but giving up is easier and people succumb to it everyday. I am going to be a success story--and I am going to be one because of my hard work, dedication, and motivation.

Don't forget, if you're not doing something you love--you're not really living.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Teasers, Reviews, Giveaways, Oh My (Continued)

So, it is official--I am moving back to Oregon. It's bittersweet. It won't hit me until a few weeks settled back into my old house, my old neighborhood. It is the best thing for me right now and I do believe that I'll look back and feel the same way. I haven't had much time to write this week, but soon I will be able to sleep better and write longer--I'm excited. 

I should be packing...but I've always been a terrible procrastinator. Technically, I really don't have much. It's just going through what to keep and what to toss. I'm going to spend my entire weekend packing and taking my car to Firestone to make sure it's ready to make the long drive...honestly, I'm not sure it is.

***UPDATE***

I fell asleep. Since I woke up, I've spent all day packing. I have all of my room packed for the most part. I'm exhausted. All that I have left is going to be my shower stuff.

I still have one more week of work, minus a day. Friday, July 18th is officially going to be my last day at T Music Entertainment Group. It's strange to think I won't have to battle the hot weather anymore or what to wear for work. 

I have edited Pieces of Me to my standards--now I am just awaiting a new round of beta readers to let me know their thoughts. It's been well received from the beginning, but I want to make sure I am staying true to the story when implementing their recommendation for changes.

I had an epiphany the other night when I decided to read Into the Darkness, all the way through, from the beginning, for the first time in forever. The story just wasn't grabbing me; I felt like an outsider looking in rather than part of the action...then it hit me. ITD is meant to be in present tense; Phoenix' voice is so much clearer and stronger and the action is undeniable. I don't know why it took me so long to realize.

Originally when I first wrote the story I wrote it in third person, knowing I planned to have multiple POV's...but after a critique made me realize first person sounded more natural I switched. I've never been a big fan of writing present tense, I'm not sure why. It's just not what comes naturally to me...but I got practice in with the flashbacks in Beautifully Broken; and to be honest, I didn't mind it so much.

My Infinite Love series was reviewed yet again! This time by Maria at Obsessed By Books! She only had kind things to say about the series; giving My Forever a rating of 3/5 stars and Beautifully Broken 4/5. And then to top it all off she even made a couple teasers for My Forever! Check it out:

I love them! First teasers for any of my books! So exciting. I can't wait till people begin to make teasers for Pieces of Me!! With my lyrics on them!! My heart races just thinking about it.

Lived One Thousand Lives reviewed Beautifully Broken for me and had a lot of kind things to say! Check out the sweet review here.

Don't forget there are a few giveaways happening. I am giving away the first two books from the Infinite Love series (paperbacks), along with bookmarks as well. Then, I will also be giving away the 'Ultimate Kira Love Package' which includes all the aforementioned as well as custom earrings and a few other surprises.

Then, over at Kookie Krysp Reads there is also be a separate giveaway for three copies of My Forever; winners choice in format. Hurry up and enter--the giveaway only runs until July 16th! It's really simple, all you do is leave a comment here with your choice of format and you will be entered to win!

I can't wait to make writing the center of my world. :)

Don't forget, if you're not doing something you love--you're not really living. 

Saturday, July 05, 2014

In the Land of the Free - Happy Fourth!

Yesterday was the Fourth of July and I had the privilege of working on the holiday. Luckily, it was a pretty awesome day at the office for me. Between a DJ, a beatboxer, dancers, and drummers we had a pretty epic day.

I had to work basically the same schedule again today and so I haven't been able to do the writing and editing I would have liked to get around to. Hopefully tomorrow; I have a few errands to run however though.

Awhile ago, I got this pretty awesome 5-star review on Pieces of Me from a total stranger and it made my heart happy. Little did I know that same stranger apparently reviewed both Pieces of Me and the Fighter on her blog (even though it isn't finished) and I just recently came across her reviews. Check out both of her reviews here.

Yesterday I came across a 4-star review I was given on Beautifully Broken by someone who had already read and rated My Forever three stars. Her review has made me so giddy because it is exactly how I want everyone to feel after reading the first two books in my Infinite Love series...

Check out her awesome review:

'I received this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. This book was more captivating than the first book in the series. Topics of bi-polar disorder, self-mutilation, AIDS, and forgiveness are all explored in this book. It was written much better than the first novel. I found myself hoping for the happy ending through the entire book, through all the ups and downs, which kept me from putting the book down. I'm really excited to read the third book in the series.'

She wants to continue on to Against All Odds! I must have done something right! 

Editing for Pieces of Me is coming along slowly, but well. I haven't had the time I would have liked to, but I have been making it work. I am about halfway done. Pieces of Me is going to exceed all my expectations again...I can feel it in my bones. I added a new scene that delves more into Peyton wanting to be a singer and I've been polishing and even changing a few of the songs. I am really excited for the final product. Pieces of Me has always been my Golden child. I hope Amazon proves nothing different.  

I can barely keep my eyes open from my hectic Fourth. I am going to go dream about becoming an Amazon .99 millionaire! :)