I was hoping to share this with you last week but it wasn’t ready when the previous newsletter went out. So I’m squeezing in a short blog because I wanted you to be the first to see it. I’ve been anxious to see this and I have to say I’m extremely happy with the finished results for the book trailer video for Reckless Beginnings. It delivers drama, suspense and questions for the reader, wanting them to know more. Let me know what you think.
A date has been set for the launch party/book signing at the Frazier Park Branch Library on October 13th at 3:00 pm.
Food and beverages will be served
The video trailer will be played
A reading of the prologue will be given
Everyone will receive Reckless Beginnings souvenirs
Each book purchase receives a raffle ticket
Raffle drawing prizes: Amazon Fire 7, $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, Cavey’s Pizza Gift Certificate, Gift Bags.
Questions and discussions
I hope to see you there!
That’s it for now. While I continue to promote Reckless Beginnings, book two, Better Endings is in the works and I’m pleased with its progress. I’m about 20,000 words in and I can’t wait to share it with you someday.
I thought this day would never get here. My book Reckless Beginnings was submitted for publication in July 2017. Finally, after months of editing, tweaking, and many frustrations, I am able to reveal the cover to all of you that have followed me on this journey. Getting to this stage has been a long grueling 13 months. So with no further ado; HERE IT IS! Drum roll, please 🙂
So What do you Think?
I hope you like it as much as I do. I love the soft matt colors that capture the mood of the main character Tammy mellows, who finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Struggling to recapture her identity and make sense of the chaos that surrounds her. This image shows her contemplating the decisions she has to make and whether she will make the right one.
I would love to hear your thoughts about the cover in the comments below. Did it live up to your expectations? If you saw this cover on a bookshelf, would it captivate your attention? From looking at the cover, is it a book you would purchase?
Now that the cover has been unveiled it’s time to give you some insights on other projects that have been happening during the preparation of the book launch.
I’m a Luster Lexicon Winner
A few months ago Luster Lexicon ran a contest for their Writer’s Spectacle. A place where they feature eight winning authors on their site for a month. I decided to give it a go and submitted myself as a contender. A few weeks later I received the first round of detailed questions, submitted my answers and was elated a week later when I was informed that I would be moving onto the next round. Again I answered more questions and submitted my answers. A month went by without hearing nothing. Then over the past weekend, I was told I was one of the eight winners and I would be featured on their site.
It will go live on September 10th. Having never done an interview before, this is a nail-biting event for me. Wish me luck! If I’m able to post the interview here, I will do so.
Launch Party/Book Signing
The launch party/book signing event will be held at the Frazier Park Branch library. This is also where we hold our monthly book club meetings. I meet later this week to schedule a date. We are thinking somewhere around mid-October. Once confirmed I will post on the site. I hope to make it a fun event with raffle prizes for a kindle-white, gift certificates, book giveaways along with bookmarks, bags and other fun items. I’ll plan on doing a reading and make some time for discussion and questions. If you are in the area, come, join us.
Sneak Peek at the Prolog is Coming Soon
If you read the interview on Luster Lexicon, you probably noticed there was a little excerpt from the prolog of Reckless beginnings. That is a tiny piece. I will be posting the full prolog, only for my readers in about two weeks. So be sure to open those newsletters so you don’t miss it.
Virtual Book Tour
A virtual book tour is scheduled for the month of October with Goddess Fish Promotions. I am also a host for this site which is why you see the host banner. This tour will make 8-10 stops a week on different book blog sites which will include, interviews and giveaways, plus a 30-day promotion on Twitter.
Reckless Beginnings Book Giveaway
If you are a member of my newsletter, you are automatically entered in the drawing for one of the first signed copies of Reckless Beginners. The drawing will take place on the launch day – October 4th. If you haven’t signed up yet, here is the link. Win a free copy on Reckless Beginnings.
A Big Thank you!
As the book launching day draws closer, I want to give a big thank you to all my supporters and followers who have been on board since day one. You are all amazing and I hope you enjoy my debut novel, once it reaches the stores. I hope to have some more updates in the upcoming weeks.
A book aesthetic is a group of pictures/photos that relate to a story or even possibly tell the story. Basically, this collage of pictures represents the aesthetic of the story you are trying to tell. But it doesn’t have to be about the entire story. You could do a collection of aesthetics, each representing a character in your story. Or maybe a scene in your book. Aesthetics are a great way to add visuals to your novel and bring aspects of your book to life, not only to yourself but also to your readers.
Ideas for Book Aesthetics
Once you begin thinking about different types of aesthetics you could create for your book, the list can be endless. Here are a few ideas.
Create one for each character in your book
A city/town where the story takes place
vehicles used in the book
Hairstyles & clothes worn by the characters
An action scene
The mood of the book
Tell the whole story in pictures (This is a fun one)
Character Aesthetic for “Reckless Beginnings”
Here is the aesthetic for my main character Tammy Mellows. I had a lot of fun with this one and I plan on posting other character aesthetics in the upcoming months, prior to launch day.
This one shows Tammy at the young innocent age of fourteen when the reader first meets her. With a strong desire to move to America, she takes on a waitress job to try and save for what she called the America Fund. Over time life becomes a roller coaster of ups and downs but one thing keeps her grounded. I tried to capture each of these emotions in the Aesthetic. I also included a quote that expresses Tammy’s life at some point in the book.
When making an aesthetic, you not only want to capture images of possible look-a-likes but also the moods. Look for facial expressions, quotes that set the mood. Even colors will set a mood.
The fun thing about these is that you can keep adding to them. When I come across images or other quotes that describe Tammy, I will add them to the collage of pictures.
How to Make a Book Aesthetic
The first thing you’ll want to do is gather pictures that reflect your story. You could use your own or use stock photos off the internet. All of the photos I use are stock photos. There are three sites I use solely for this purpose. All of them are free to use and have a great selection of photos to choose from.
Once you have your pictures saved on your computer, you’re going to want to organize them into a collage. For this I use Canva. The site is easy to use. and you can upload all your pictures on to their site. Pick the template “Picture Collage” and have fun, arranging your photos on the blank template provided. The best part is. It’s free!
When it comes to adding a quote or adding more pictures to the board, I use Pinterest. This site is a wealth of information and there are some wonderful ideas that are great for this project. Oh, and the best part is, I can link each image that I save to my Pinterest board to this site. How great is that?
So there you have it. If you are an author, I highly recommend creating some of these for your books. Give your readers visuals of your story and characters. Use Aesthetics to promote your book. People tend to remember images rather words.
Over the next month, I plan on making more aesthetics for the other characters in my book. I hope you will check back to see what I came up with.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve given any kind of updates for my debut novel RECKLESS BEGINNINGS. So here is what’s going on.
After going back and forth a few times with the publisher over corrections, the book formatting phase is finally complete.
Next week we will begin the cover design. There’s an air of excitement and anticipation while I wait to see the final product.
Finally, a release date for the book has been set. – hold your breath – drum roll, please! It’s October 4th, 2018. As I stare at my calendar, I see that it’s not too far away. Butterflies are beginning to stir.
Current tasks while the cover is being designed
While we go through the cover design process I have plenty to keep me busy. Does it ever end? The time frame for the completion of the book cover is around four weeks. During this time I plan on reaching out to other authors, and readers that are willing to review an advanced copy of the book. If this is something you’d be interested in, contact me
Location of Book launching party & signing
I met with our local library here in Frazier Park and they have agreed to host the book launching party and book signing. A date has yet to be set. I will post updates on this event as they unfold.
Other leads I will be researching are:
websites that will be willing to host a cover reveal.
websites/blogs that will have me as a guest to talk about the book.
Reviews that can be quoted on the cover of the book.
Prepare a custom press release to target specific media outlets.
Reach out to book clubs to consider reading and discussing my book. Offer to attend the discussion via skype or in person.
Seek other book signing events – bookstores, private parties, libraries.
Trust me the list will get longer but I think I have enough here to see me through the month. Phew! I’m exhausted just looking at the list. And I thought writing the book was hard.
AND let’s not forget, while I continue to promote “Reckless Beginning I am also in the beginning stages of writing book two, “Better Endings.” Currently, I am designating an hour a day to this project. I need more hours in a day!
If you’ve been following me since the day I signed the contract then you know this has been a long journey. Sometimes it has been so frustrating that I just wanted to give up and walk away. But I prevailed and stuck it out during those difficult times and I’m so happy I did. To see an idea that began over fourteen years ago, finally, reach this stage is such an amazing feeling. It has been worth all the headaches, tears of frustration and tears of joy and all the anxieties I have been carrying from the start. There’s still a long way to go and the work will never cease, but overall I’m thrilled that I will be sharing my story with you soon and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
With my debut novel moving forward and now in the page formatting stage, the question I get asked the most is: What is the book about? The easiest way to answer that is to post the synopsis of the book.This is what a potential reader will read on the back cover of the book. Another name for it is the Blurb.
The Log Line of Reckless Beginnings
What is a logline? It is a captive phase that outlines the books subject matter and stimulates interest. The logline for my book is the spouses of addicts. The silent and forgotten ones. This I can use when contacting media, possible interviews or to be a blog guest.
Reckless Beginnings is fiction based on true events. What is fiction? What is True? Well, I’m not telling 🙂 Tammy Mellows, the main character in the book, arrives in the States as a young naive seventeen-year-old teenager and makes some terrible decisions. Eventually, unbeknown to her, she becomes the spouse of an addict. The silent and forgotten one.
The drug Epidemic
Drug addiction has been a huge problem not only in the States but worldwide for decades and it continues to spiral out of control with the numbers of deaths related to drug overdoses, increasing every year.
In 2010: 1,842 people died from drug overdoses. By 2014 the numbers had quadrupled to 47,055. That is more deaths than when the AIDS epidemic peaked in 1995.
The Opioid epidemic that haunts us today is believed to be related to the sudden surge in heroin use and related deaths. Perscription drugs are far more expensive than heroin and an addict will seek cheaper methods to feed their addiction. Heroin is a tenth of the cost of opioids, thus the rise in uses and deaths.
Every news station, newspaper, and magazine run stories on the rising drug and opioid epidemic. Reporting how many lives have been lost due to drugs. They tell us the demand for rehab and safe houses are at an all-time record high and all numbers are continuing to spiral out of control. BUT what we don’t hear about are the spouses of addicts. The silent and forgotten ones. Shadowed by the addict, silenced with fear, the spouse struggles to retain their identity or have any kind of life of their own. Welcome to the life of my main character, Tammy Mellows. A woman that came to the States with high hopes only to have her life thrown into turmoil.
Have I Inspired you?
I hope I have inspired you to read the book. A publication date has not yet been set. I’m estimating around four months. In the meantime, if you sign up for the newsletter, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of the first signed copies. Enter here. and read the advantages of subscribing.
Further reading about the drug academic in the United.States.
In my debut novel Reckless Beginnings, the main character, Tammy Mellows is devastated when her older sister, Donna runs away and couldn’t be found. With no leads and nothing to go on, three years later, she’s still missing. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to read the book to see what happened to Donna. But I do want to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Day which is on May 25th and organized by OJJDP – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
When did National Missing Children’s Day Begin?
In 1983 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day on the anniversary of Etan Patz’sdisappearance. Etan was six years old when he was abducted and was the first child to be profiled with a photo on a milk carton.
Each year the U.S Department of Justice, through OJJDP recognizes individuals, organizations, and agencies that have recovered missing and abducted children and protecting children from exploitation. The department recognizes the awareness each May at the annual Missing Children’s Ceremony in Washington D.C.
The flower, Forget-me-not is the recognized emblem for this day.
Facts about missing children
In my book, Tammy Mellow’s sister Donna was a juvenile when she ran away. According to the FBI National crime Infomation Center, (NCIC) – as of December 31st, 2017 there are 88,089 active missing person’s records. 32,121 of those are juveniles under the age of eighteen.
Statistics show many of these are runaways or abducted by family members, due to family disputes and custody battles.
Common law jurisdiction – A missing person can be declared dead in absentia or legally dead after seven years. The time frame can be reduced in major battles or massive disasters. Such as the attacks on 9/11.
In 1982 Jonny Gosh was reported missing to the West Des Moines Police Department by his parents, while he was delivering newspapers. At the time there was a customary three-day waiting period before police responded to a missing persons’ report. Gosh was never found, but his case prompted new laws, resulting in missing person’s reports involving minors are given immediate attention.
Kristen Smart – A student at California Polytechnic State University, disappeared after leaving a late night party on May 25th, 1996 during Memorial Day Weekend. Campus police were unsure if she left on vacation and did not treat her disappearance as a potential crime. She was never found. The delayed response resulted in the passing of the Kristen Smart Campus Act two years later.
Amber Alert – America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. A child abduction alert system that originated in 1996. It was named after Amber Hagemania, a nine-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas. The system has saved over eight hundred children in America.
Using today’s technology to find missing juveniles
In my book, Donna ran away during the late seventies. A time when there were no cell phones or internet. If she’d had a cell phone, it could have been traced. A photo of her could have been splashed all over social media. Connections could have been made. More people would have been involved and the response would have been quicker.
Technology has aided in bringing many abducted and runaway children home to their families.
The Flip-side of Technology
Unforchantly, with the rise and popularity of social media, a world of risks and danger exists for young teens. A high number of runaways and abduction cases are because of social media interactions. Everyday juveniles are lured into meeting strangers they’ve met online.
If your child is active online, strict rules need to be enforced. Most importantly, talk to your child. Discuss the dangers and the signs to look for. Be involved with your child’s accounts. Check their friend’s lists. If they experience anything that seems suspicious, let them know its okay to talk to you about it and as a parent, make sure you follow up and report it.
Remember those still lost
On May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day I will be lighting a candle next to a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots, for all the children that are still missing and hope they will be returned to the families safe from harm. I hope you will do the same.
What comes next after the editing of a book is complete?
I never thought I’d see the day where I could finally say – I’ve finished editing my book. Oh, what a joyous feeling it is. Halleluja! I began editing my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings” in August 2017. It’s been a grueling eight months. Hours have been spent checking every word, sentences, and paragraphs. Rewrites have been done, paragraphs have been shifted or removed completely. Once I had done everything I could possibly do, I handed it over to my editor to complete the task and return it to me polished and squeaky clean. She didn’t fail me.
The Final Read
After ten days with my editor, the manuscript was now back in my hands. I needed to do one more final read before returning it to my publisher.
After weeks of rain, snow, and winds where I’ve been cooped up indoors, we finally had a weekend of glorious weather with temperatures in the seventies. I took advantage of the perfect conditions by setting up the office outside on the grass to do my final reading.
With laptop in hand, plenty of bottled water, a fresh pot of hot tea, I dug my bare toes into the cool soft grass and began the process while admiring the wonderful view of Frazier Mountain. (I love my office:) )
Six hours later, I read the last line and smiled. With very little changes, I’m thrilled how the book has turned out and hope my readers will feel the same. What started out as an idea in my head over twenty years ago is now a novel, that I created. At that moment, I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself, if I must say.
With the editing stage behind me. (Oh, how I love to say that.) It’s time to move onto the next stage, which is page formatting. Satisfied with the manuscript, I emailed it back to the publisher to begin the process.
What is page formatting? This is where my publisher will transfer the manuscript into the format of a book. Margins will be added, font size and style will be decided. Pages will be numbered and the style of the chapter headings will be chosen.
For me this is exciting! The next time I see my book, it will look much different. The publisher told me that the process will take about five weeks. At that time I will need to go through it, making sure nothing got deleted or switched around. I’m estimating the task will take a few weeks.
This has been such a learning experience. My father was an author but I never saw this side of the process. There were many times I wanted to quit and just walk away. Unable to find the right words, burned out with editing, having no motivation and fearing criticism. Tears have been shed, many late nights have been spent with explosions of frustrations. I have put my heart and soul into this book and I’m so happy I didn’t give up. Even though we still have quite a ways to go before I actually get to hold my book in my hands, I’m beginning to feel the rewards. I’m not expecting to be the next Nora Roberts. I had a story to tell and I actually sat down and wrote it and to see someone reading my book, well that feeling will be priceless.
Never give up on your dreams, keep pushing through the obstacles that may come your way and tell yourself you can do this. What have you done that you’re proud of? Was there a time where you almost gave up? I would love to hear about it.
Other Authors that have achieved their goals and I’ve interviewed
Tammy Mellows is the main character in my debut novel “Reckless Beginnings.” Due to be launched this summer. At the young age of seventeen, she leaves her own country, England to move to the United States. Leaving the securities of her home, job, family, friends, and neighbors behind. Are you like Tammy Mellows? Did you move to another country?
While writing the story, I asked myself, why does someone move to another country? What’s so important to them, that they’re willing to leave so much behind? If you’re wondering why Tammy did? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂
The book is fiction based on actual events. Tammy Mellow’s character is based on me and yes I left England to move to America. But again you will have to read the book to find out why. 🙂
What motivates a person to make such a big move
Moving to a new country is a life-changing event. You have to be one hundred percent sure you’re making the right decision. Some of the most common reason for someone wanting to move are:
Joining a family/loved one
Cost of living
Sparked by a vacation
For those moving abroad because of a new job or attending a school, college or university, it’s probably safe to say, they’d never visited the new country before. But With the offer of a good education or a better paying job, many will sacrifice and take the plunge. Hoping they will like the country they are about to call home.
In many cases, some may have visited their new destination prior and for some reason or another fell in love with it and a desire to move was ignited. Did Tammy Mellows Visit the States before she left England? Was she trying to better her life? Again, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂
Moving to another country is no easy task
Once the decision has been made, that you’re going to take the giant leap and immigrate to a new country, it’s time to start planning for the move. You’ll want to organize the transition so everything goes smoothly. Start planning early and make an extensive list so nothing is forgotten and there are no loose ends. Sometimes a move as large as this can take up to a year to plan in advance. My character Tammy Mellows had just one week. Why only one week? You know the answer – read the book 🙂
What might be on your list will depend on your current living situations and the reason for the move but here are some things you should be considering:
Secure all important documents – Passports, birth certificate, insurance policies, tickets and visa/work permit if needed
Will you have health insurance in the new country?
Your home – If you own, will you be selling. renting or leaving vacant? What about the utilities?
Bank accounts – Will they need to be closed?
Vehicles – Are you going to sell them or have them shipped to your new destination. Consider the cost of shipping a car and buying a new/used one.
Pets – What are the laws for bringing animals into the country?
Furniture – Keep or sell?
If you have children – what are your plans for their education?
Income – How will you earn a living? Retirement? A secured job? What is the job market like in your field?
Once you arrive, where will you be living?
Make time to say goodbye to families and friends.
Was Tammy able to accomplish everything on her list? in just one week. Aah, you’ll just have to read the book. 🙂
Dealing with the emotions of moving
No matter how much you prepare for the transition to a foreign country, you can expect to experience a turmoil of emotions throughout the whole ordeal. From the stress of having everything in order to anxieties and doubts as the departing date becomes closer. You’ll probably be wondering if you’re making the right decision and at times fearful of leaving your home and loved ones behind. You’ll be flooded with memories you want to cherish and take with you as you share your last night with those close to you. How did Tammy spend her last night in England? Was she surrounded by loved ones? You know what I’m going to say – Read the book 🙂
It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially when moving so far away, not knowing when you’ll see friends and family again. Thanks to today’s technology and social media, we’re able to shorten the distance through video chat and texting. Unforchantly the internet wasn’t around when Tammy left 🙁 How did she handle it? If you want to know, I suggest you read the book. 🙂
What about you?
I would love to know if any of my readers made the brave move to another country. Why did you move and are you happy you did?
If you’ve been following my blog, you’re probably aware that I received my book “Reckless Beginning” back from the editor in September. We are now in December and I honestly can’t believe I’ve been working diligently on my edits for three months. After my normal eight-hour day job, I’ve been spending the rest of my days going through the manuscript in dept. Continue reading “Drowning in editing – A much needed break – dealing with editing blues”→
Now that my book is completed and is currently in the editing stages, this is a question that comes to mind frequently and I’m sure other authors ask the same question. So I will give you some answers on why you should have such a party. Below I have added some Tips for holding a successful book launching party without stress. Continue reading “Tips for holding a successful book launching party”→