Tangibility of the written word


J. Taylor Publishing’s ONE MORE DAY young adult anthology debuts December 2, 2013, which means my short story, Dragon Flight, will be available to millions of people to read.

Millions of people.  What a mind-blowing concept. As a writer, that’s all that really matters – having my work out there for others to read and share.  Sure, I’d like to top the best-seller lists.  I mean, who wouldn’t like to be spoken of in hallowed greatness among YA fans of Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Suzanne Collins?  And while I’d like to have a theme park named after my novel, I think J.K. Rowling already cornered the market on that one.  I do envision movies, however.  Epic movies, with an all-star cast, maybe even directed by the great Peter Jackson himself, but I digress.

For now, I am thrilled knowing two of my short stories are out there and someone, somewhere is or will soon be reading them.  The Amulet of Ormisez is available in e-book and in one week, Dragon Flight will be available in paperback and e-book, which just makes me jump up and down and squeal and do the little Snoopy happy dance.  The idea of being able to hold and sign a book featuring a story of mine just blows me away.  It is the ultimate high for this author.  I’ll actually be able to give something tangible to my friends and relatives as presents this holiday season.  It’s personal.  I can write a note inside.  I can hand it to them.  There is nothing virtual about that.

I don’t know how I can explain what this means to me.  I guess the only way is like this.  We all know how great it is to Skype with our friends and loved ones.  We get to see them, talk to them, laugh and cry with them…but it will never replace actually holding each other, touching each other, laughing and crying in the same room with each other.  To give the gift of a virtual book conjures the same meaning for me.  I’m not sure I’m ready to move into a virtual world, where everything we experience is on a reader, online, and someday, in a hologram.  We’re losing our personal touch with people.  We’re losing how to interact with people face-to-face.  I think we’re becoming too tech savvy, so much so that we’re losing what’s ‘real’.  And in our eagerness to progress, move on and be ‘up-to-date’, we’re losing valuable lessons, skills and a tangible form of art.

While I see the importance of e-books and I understand all the arguments for them, they can’t replace the authenticity, the sensation of holding a real book. There is something magical in turning the pages, experiencing the freshness or age of a book.  Hiding under the covers with a flashlight as a child, so you can stay up to turn the last page of the chapter.  To pass on and share a book without needing permission.  I am in love with reading, but I’m also in love with books.  Tangible books.  Pages that will yellow with age, bindings that will crease and tear and perhaps even unbind from all the times it’s been opened and read.  That’s what I want to happen to the books containing my writings.  I want them to be well-read, loved, cherished, seen by many – not sitting in a dark reader to never be stroked, loved, needed and perhaps read only once before being cast into cyberspace.  What a heartbreaking fate for some of life’s most beautiful words.   

Dragon Flight is almost here!

Oh my gosh, I can’t control the squeals of delight!  First, I get an e-mail from my publisher that the print books of the ONE MORE DAY anthology have been approved by the distributor and the paperbacks will start showing up soon.  While I had another short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, published last year, it was only available in e-book format only (Kindle / Nook).  This year, ONE MORE DAY, and my short story, Dragon Flight, will be available in print and e-book!  I am soooo happy I can’t stand it!

Secondly, I saw the purchase link for the paperback on Amazon!

OneMoreDay-cover-pb-spine I just can’t believe it.  I’ll actually have something to sign.  Something I can touch and give to others who don’t have e-readers.  This is such a glorious thing to me.

I’m also very excited to promote this anthology because there are several authors debuting in this work and I’m so happy for them.  It is an incredible feeling knowing a publisher thought highly enough of your work to take a chance on it and publish it.  There are no words that can express how thrilled I am for these new authors. They all have intriguing stories to tell in ONE MORE DAY, and I’m honored to be appearing along with each of them.  (Psst…just to let you know, there is one author who is still in her teen years.  How awesome is that!).

I will be posting a blog tour schedule soon so you can keep up with all the shenanigans we’re all doing.  I’ve also got a great line-up starting December 1 and running through Jan. 2, 2014 of author guest posts and interviews, etc.  You’ll also find other authors I’m promoting during the month of December and I’m über excited to help them out as well.

I hope you stay tuned for all the fun, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways of ONE MORE DAY.  Share the word.  Spread the joy.  And thank you for your loyalty and friendship.  I, we, couldn’t do any of this without our readers, fans and loyal following.  You guys are the best. Thank you for everything.



“Dragon Flight” Exposed!

Squeeel!!  My publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, gave the green light to the authors of the soon-to-be-released YA anthology, ONE MORE DAY, to share the first 500 glorious words of their short stories.  That means I get to share Dragon Flight!!!!  Are you ready?  A few words of caution…keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times and don’t look down.

tulip scroll


I grip the handles of the harness and squeeze my eyes tight as the coaster tops the three-hundred foot lift.

Oh, geez. What was I thinking? I hate heights. I hate things that go fast. Not a great combo for rollercoaster riding.

My pulse thumps in my throat as the metal beast curves to the left. I squeeze my eyes so tight they hurt. Oh, no. Here we go. Here we go. The scream hangs in my throat, waiting for the drop.

It doesn’t come. The steel dragon jerks to a halt, with me in the front row and nowhere to look but out and down.

What? No, no, no. We’re not supposed to stop! I’ve watched this ride a gazillion times. It never stops. I picture the track in my mind. Up, around, down, flip, corkscrew, insanity, heart attack. One and a half minutes of terrifying scream time. No. This can’t be happening! Why? Why now? Why did I get on this ride?

The answer sits in the seat next to me. Dean McCall. Damn his tall, dark-haired good looks and jewel-blue eyes. I’ve crushed on him since sophomore year, ever since he showed up in Mr. Wilkins’ history class wearing a pair of oh-my-God-nice-butt jeans and a Halo game T-shirt. I tried then not to salivate like Pavlov’s dog, but it was useless. Not much has changed since, as I’m pretty sure I just about melted out of my skin when he cornered me by the popcorn stand and asked if I wanted to ride Dragon Flight with him. Me! Book nerd extraordinaire.

So what if he waited for Grad night to notice me ? No one’s perfect, right? I gulped, mesmerized by his hypnotic eyes and charming, spearmint smile, and uttered something intelligent like, “Uh-huh.” Of course, my insides turned all gooey, and my heart struck up a crazy fast Congo beat because I’m such a feet-on-the-ground kind of gal. My brain shouted, Speak, you dolt!   Tell him no. Tell him you’re afraid of heights. He’ll understand. Instead, I shook my head and said, “I-I … okay.”

Major face palm, but really, I had no choice. It was Dean McCall, and if I turned him down, I’d look like a moron in front of everyone who was anyone. Besides, who better to face my fears with than the cutest guy to ever walk the halls of Newbury High? Now, as I sit stranded at the top of this freaking ride, I’m beginning to question that logic.

I press my head back against the coaster’s seat. Get a grip, Amber. Breathe deep. You’re okay. You’re strapped in. You’re not going anywhere.

Clunk. Clunk.

My eyes spring open.

What was that?

I fight back the urge to scream.

The harness releases and lifts off my shoulders, its movement stopped by the belt latched to the seat. I squeak like a frightened mouse and clutch the restraint tight to my chest, my knuckles as white as the moon staring down at me. Oh, God, I’m gonna die.


So, what do think?

One More Day

by Erika BeebeMarissa HalvorsonKimberly KayJ. Keller FordL.S. MurphyDanielle E. ShipleyAnna Simpson

Release Date: December 2, 2013

Target Reader: Young Adult

Keywords: Contemporary RomanceFantasyFictionRomanticScience FictionUrban Fantasy


What if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?


What if today never ends? 

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens? 

That’s the prompt J. Taylor Publishing threw out there a few months ago when they opened up their site to submissions for their December 2013 Young Adult anthology, ONE MORE DAY.  Six short stories were chosen from six different authors, and glory be, mine was one of them!  🙂

In celebration, I’m giving away 5 signed bookmarks to five people who do the following:

Add ONE MORE DAY to your Goodreads “To Read” list?  (leave your Goodreads name for verification)

Here’s what you’ll get if you add the book:


Isn’t it pretty?  Don’t you want one?

Leave your Goodreads info in the comment sections below.  Also be sure to check out the other author websites and blog for more good giveaways and shout-outs!

L.S. Murphy

Erika Beebee

Danielle Shipley

Anna Simpson

Jonathan Lister “Crossroads” cover reveal

There’s a new author in town over at J. Taylor Publishing, and his name is Jonathan Lister.  His new book, Crossroads, will release in just a few short months.  What’s it about?  Check out below.



A Demos City Novel by Jonathan Lister

Release Date: November 4, 2013

Target Reader: Adult, Thriller/Suspense, Werewolf

Back of the Book

Werewolf. Bar bouncer. Dad. Standard traits for any self-respecting, reformed criminal, living under the radar in Demos City. For Leon Gray, normal is what he wants—for himself and his not-yet-changed teenage daughter.

Playing bodyguard to crusading reporter David Hastings would totally ruin Leon’s peace, especially since Hastings has hired killers on his trail, pros who know how he takes his espresso in the morning, and where Leon lives.

The payoff, though, would fill up Shauna’s empty college fund, and in a battle between opportunity and ordinary, money wins. He just has to keep Hastings alive long enough to cash the check.

If only he didn’t have to save his daughter, too.

As a budding wolf, she’s piqued the interest of a local pack Alpha—one Leon knows will steal Shauna right out from under him the first chance he gets.

Leon isn’t about to give up on his daughter or Hastings, and will fight for both longer than it took Demos City to see werewolves as equals to humans.

He can only hope it doesn’t take a thousand years.

Jonathan Lister

Jonathan Lister is a full-time writer with work appearing in outlets of USA Today, The Houston Chronicle and many others. A graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, he’s waited an unspeakable amount of tables en route to having the career he wants, and the ability to the tell stories he loves. Crossroads is Jonathan’s first book-length work of fiction. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area and continues to drink too much coffee.





TIED, by YA Author, Laney McMann – COVER REVEAL!!

Hey everyone.  I have a glorious surprise for you.  I’ve been holding onto this for over a month, itching for the day I can share it with you.  Please say hello to J.Taylor Publishing’s newest YA author, Laney McMann, and her debut novel, TIED, the first in the Fire Born trilogy!

TIED_Cover_blogNormal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal  of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

* * *

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.

By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.

* * *

TIED won’t be released until SEPTEMBER 09, 2013, however! you guys can click HERE to add it to your to-read shelves.

please click HERE to visit the official site for Laney McMann.  You can also find her on Twitter Facebook and Goodreads.


Dealing with negative reviews

Today I’m over at The View Outside talking to Vikki and her followers about dealing with negative reviews.  I would really appreciate it if you would pop over, say hi, and sit for a while.

If you have time, I’d love it if you would leave a comment here about how you deal with negative reviews/critiques.  Have you had a bad review of anything you had published?  Maybe that you sang, or drew, or sculpted?  How did you handle it?  Are you someone who craves approval from others or are you confident in yourself?  I would love to hear from you.

Quote of the day:

“Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Interview with the lovely author, Kelly Said

Hey, today is another Make Believe Blog Tour day and are you in for a treat.  I have the wonderfully talented Kelly Said here today to woo you with her words of wisdom.  Kelly’s short story, PETRIFIED, appears in the anthology and you can read an excerpt of this fantastical tale here.

Make Believe is not Kelly’s first anthology.  Her short story, PEARL OF PAU’MAA, also appeared in J. Taylor Publishing’s Tidal Whispers anthology, which you have to get because the stories are amazing!

Hey, Kelly!  Welcome to my blog, fellow anthology buddy!

Hi Jenny! Thank you for welcoming me, I’m excited to hang out with you for a bit 🙂

Me, too!  I love this mutual admiration society here.  🙂  So, Kelly, I always like to ask this question first. Can you tell us in one sentence why we should read your short story?

I’d like to welcome readers to a world of magic and mystery, where healers travel through time and space by whispering to the wind, where snow falls in summer, and where one woman’s love for a man threatens to destroy the world around them.

It is really, really a cool story, no pun intended, and the concept is new to me.  I can actually say I’ve never read anything quite like it. Do you have any other short stories or novels in the works?  Goals for future projects?

I prepared for National Novel Writing Month in November, working out the plot points for an idea with the hope that when November 1st hit I could let my fingers fly and get through a first draft quicker than I did last year – which took me every spare minute of every single day, hehe! Each year I’ve tried a new approach and it’s been fun discovering new methods for time management and personal writing goals. 🙂

What do you always have around you when you write?

I always have my dictionary (I like flipping through the pages to find a word vs scrolling back and forth through screens on a computer), my cup of caffeine and my dog – he likes to lean on me while he dreams his puppy dog dreams of chasing all the things, hehe!

Ahh, gotta love the pups and kitties that share our writing space.  As a published author and a NaNoWriMo survivor, do you have any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

Read. Read all the books, hehe! These are your textbooks. Just like in art where students study the masters of drawing, painting, or sculpture, read the authors in the genre you write, study what it is that engages you or what makes you skip entire sections in boredom. Then, write. Every day. No matter your word count, just get your ideas down on paper, join a critique group or find a crit partner and remember that a good CG or CP isn’t looking to hurt your feelings — their comments or constructive criticisms are merely opinions meant to help make the story better 🙂 

Excellent advice!  Stephen King is a huge proponent of authors reading anything and everything in order to hone their craft.  I think he said something along the lines of “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”  I also have to agree with you on the whole beta reader/critique group thing.  It may be scary putting your work out there to others, but it’s very, very important and another part of the learning curve.

Okay, are you ready for some tough questions now?  What is your favorite quote?

Never give up, never surrender! hehehe, it makes me giggle each time I see it. That’s a line from the movie Galaxy Quest, a movie that was totally set up for a stellar sequel but has YET to happen. *taps foot impatiently* Anyways, I have a silly sense of humor and lines like that or “Nobody makes me bleed my own blood” from Dodgeball keep me snickering long after I’ve heard ’em.

Pet peeves?

Creased spines on my books. hehehe! I know, probably silly of me! I mean, I guess I could see a creased spine as a sign of a thoroughly enjoyed book. But for some reason, I’m a careful reader, keeping my spines crease free and enjoying the sight of “like new” books on my shelves. 🙂

Oh my, you would have issue with some of my books.  They’ve been read so much their spines are falling apart and pages are falling out.

Reece’s Pieces or M&M’s?

nom nom nom, mmm, both, please! and preferably sprinkled over popcorn, teehee! 🙂

Really?  Popcorn?  I’ll have to try that.  A little salty with the sweet.

What is your favorite television show of all time?

Bewitched! omgosh, back in the day as a little girl I would watch that show with my Great Aunt and pretend I was Tabitha Stephens, wiggling my fingers and pressing on my nose, trying to will my toys to float to the toy box, hehehe! Probably didn’t work because I was too young to know about the rules about magic and personal gain and all ;D

I loved Bewitched, too.  Never could wiggle my nose like Samantha, but I can assure you, it wasn’t from a lack of trying.  All I learned was how to flare my nostrils and move my nose up and down.

Well, Kelly, here comes the time we say good-bye and part.  Thank you so much for hanging out with me today and sharing a bit of yourself with my readers.  For all of you out there, you can connect with Kelly on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest

Thank you for having me on your blog, Jenny! I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ll write next! 🙂

Aww, you’re sweet.  Everyone, give Kelly a round of applause and then head over to any one of the links below to get your own copy of Kelly’s story and Make Believe, just in time for Christmas.  Heck, give a copy to your best friends, too.  They’ll thank you a lot.

Exciting Announcement!

On December 3, my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, will be published in Make Believe and released into the big wide world.  My words, no longer mine but everyone’s.  It is every author’s dream.  No matter how many times you sign that contract, a glow happens inside knowing a publisher believed in your hard work and it will be read by hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions.  How very exciting!

A few early reviews have already trickled in and I’m thrilled to say they are all positive.  Have a look below:

Rachel Morgan at Goodreads writes:  “MAKE BELIEVE is a magical collection of short stories. Just the right size for someone like me who falls into bed too late every night and doesn’t have much time (or energy) left to read!…Fantasy-lovers should definitely check this one out.”

Jen – At Random says:  “…With mystery, deceit, fate, grief, greed, romance, and action each story has its own engaging elements but all are sprinkled with a morsel of magic. Definitely a great read!”

And, an overall 5 star review on Amazon.com had this to say about my story in particular:  “There’s lots happening in this story but to say much more would reveal too much of the tale. I also enjoyed this tale…as I have not read a great deal about selkies. I would look out for other books by the author and dependent on blurb seriously consider reading them…”  She gave the story 4/5 stars!!  You can read the full review here.

There is so much more I have to share with your about the anthology.  The official Blog Tour kicks off on December 3 and all the authors appearing in Make Believe are promoting tons of giveaways and contests, so make sure you visit each of their blogs/websites to see what’s going on. On Sunday, I will post information about my blog tour, AND share a little secret about what I’ll be doing the whole month of December to celebrate the release of Make Believe.  It’ll be pretty cool.

Also, if you want to participate in launch day celebrations and enter for your chance to win an e-copy of the Make Believe anthology, make sure you leave your website/blog information in the comments section of my blog between now and November 30.

Oh, and if you can’t wait until December 3 to get your own e-copy of Make Believe, a little bird told me Amazon.com and Barnes and  Noble just might have a little treat for your Kindle or Nook at this very moment.  You should head over and check it out.  Go on. You know you want to.  Take some friends with you.  Grab some coffee while you’re at it.  Kick your shoes off.  Relax.  Who needs to work today when you can Make Believe.

Giveaway Alert!

I just received some fantastic news!  My publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, is hosting a giveaway for the MAKE BELIEVE anthology!  In case you don’t know, this e-anthology features my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ! :D

If you’re a book blogger reviewer and are interested in snagging a copy for your review stacks, please click HERE for the details on how you can enter to win a copy of the e-anthology. 8-)

You don’t want to miss this chance to read and review before everyone else.  It’s a GREAT antho. It is.  Really.   🙂