NEW PROJECT: Cover Reveal and Micro Blurb

She pretends today is a day where Tiffany is up with the doctor, which she is, only she’s not alive. Those days are boring because there’s no one else to talk to once she tells Nathaniel NO. He doesn’t take it personally but he always loses interest after that. She pretends Tiffany isn’t dead, she pretends the last four days haven’t happened and she never heard her retching into her toilet or cry between mouthfuls of bile. She pretends she doesn’t know what Tiffany’s fear smells like or what her blood smells like.

She sits on her cot and pretends the bullet hole above her is the eye piece of a telescope and the ceiling is the sky of a strange, alien planet with a dozen moons. The Exile’s Moon isn’t alone or exiled anymore and her sisters, Ghost Moon–where she imagines Daddy and Tiffany live now–and Havoc’s Moon, the patron saint of troublemakers and prisoners, is always full to bursting.

So I’m working on a new thing. A new thing that isn’t so new, a story that I started in 2015 when I started dating my husband. We both love stories, we both love stories about anything monstrous and supernatural. He has whole universes of frightening and amazing characters running around setting things on fire in his brain and he was kind enough to let me play with some of them. His imaginary friends and my imaginary friends get along really well.

Regina Slaughter is a werewolf. She’s 23 years old and is–I use this term loosely–the Resident Assistant of an apartment building that her adopted father and Alpha of the Iron Wolves converted into a sanctuary for all the supernatural beasties who want to enjoy the perks of the human world, like free wi-fi and 24 hour pizza delivery, without risk of being eaten by larger predators or those members of the human race who have taken up the mantle of Hunter. Hunters kill everything that is not human without remorse or mercy.

Ever since Regina was rescued from a prison/laboratory and the Hunters who imprisoned her, she has cared for and defended her new family of wolves and any wayward soul who happens to stumble into The Bramble Tower. So when the pack Beta, her adopted uncle, is found murdered, Regina will do anything to bring his killer to justice.

Havoc’s Moon is the first book in The Slaughter Chronicles (of which I have outlined like 10 books…yeah…) and Regina is my half-feral protagonist. She is fierce and tender and slightly out of sync with reality. Her best friend is a ghost girl who lives inside her head and her pet dog looks very much like a cross between a starfish and a blender.

I’m tentatively planning to self-publish this book on Halloween this year. Usually cover reveals only happen one or two months before the official release date. (I wanted to do a marketing plan or schedule but I have no idea how to advertise or market my stuff.) But I want to share this now because I want to. I want to share my progress and my writing plans with you. Also, if I tell you that I’m going to do something I have a better chance of doing it.

Also, as the book grows into a full fledged novel (omg yes an actual novel) I want to release the prologue early, on Instafreebie, as a promotional goodie for all of you. The prologue is Regina’s backstory and I think you all would really enjoy it.

Stay posted for updates on that release.

I’m really excited to share Regina’s story with the world and I am so happy that I have the technical skills to self-publish, so all you have to wait on is me finishing the book 🙂

This amazing book cover was designed by Robin Vuchnick at mycustombookcover.com. I’ve had an absolute blast working with her on this first cover and wolf art for this series. I have her slated to design the covers for books two and three as well. I’m seriously over the moon about her work and if you are looking for someone to design your book cover you should seriously consider her 🙂

Past Life is LIVE :)

Get your copy of Past Life for 0.99

on Kindle

on Itunes

on Smashwords

My very first book ever is LIVE today! I am super excited and can’t wait to share it with you. A lot of hard work, the usual blood, sweat, and tears went into the making of this book. I’ve definitely learned a lot about self-publishing and I want to share my experience with you.

First, a bit of backstory:

A common writing prompt I have encountered is: if you could have anything you want, what would it be? Anything you want: dream job, dream life, dream lover, anything. Write it and pretend it’s real.

The first thing I want is to be able to write all day/be a full-time writer/live the most creative life I can.

I would love to be my own boss, work from home, support myself with freelance writing/editing or online teaching but I have a literal mountain of student loans from earning my BA and my MFA. I am still tied to the mortgage on my ex-husband’s house. I am paying off my car. As much as I would love to be a full-time writer I have way too much debt to abandon my day job, I don’t think I will ever be financially stable enough to abandon my day job. Right now, things are manageable because I have a good day job that pays well, well enough to take care of my financial responsibilities and support my writing/muse. But a few years ago I was seriously struggling.

When I saw that writing prompt I immediately thought: I want to be debt free. And I started writing. I wrote about someone who was the same as me, someone who made bad decisions in her past and tried to make up for them. But I also wanted to write something about the ever ominous what-could-be and how bad things could get. I graduated from college in 2008, just before the recession. I still have no idea how I am going to pay off all my student loans and I often feel overwhelmed by how hopeless everything seems.

It actually took two writing prompts to make Past Life. The other one came from a writing community that started on livejournal and then wandered over to wordpress, called Brigit’s Flame. The prompt was “New Year.” So I had my character travel through time via cryostasis, deep freeze preservation, and wake up to a post-apocalyptic New Year celebration. My main character didn’t actually get to the celebration in that first draft because I had written over 1000 words of dialogue and I didn’t want to overwhelm my writing challenge compatriots.

In developing how I was going to tell Echo’s story, I was inspired by the final chapters of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and wanted to provide a simulated audio/visual record alongside the descriptive narrative of the story. The book is split up into three parts and 14 chapters. The first four chapters are available for FREE if you follow this link to my Instafreebie giveaway. Chapters 1-3 are recorded transcripts of Echo going through the debt consolidation application process. The fourth chapter details her final hours in 2195 before she goes to sleep.

When Echo wakes up she finds herself surrounded by new generations using the remnants of old technology to survive in a plague ravaged landscape. Those affected by the plague are not technically zombies because they are not dead but they have very much lost most of their humanity. You will learn more about the plague and how it happened in the sequel (yes, I am already planning a sequel). I find I am very plague obsessed in my writing. This book and my Heart of the Forest Cycle both have devastating plagues. The political climate in Past Life, during Echo’s timeline, was very unstable, very much like where I see the United States going if things don’t turn around. I wanted to give the world something to wipe out/greatly disturb humanity before we have the chance to destroy ourselves.

So please, go on an enjoy that.

Past Life, of course, ends on a cliff hanger. At first I didn’t want to use such a device, however, it felt right to close the story where I did. And the sequel, The Morning Star, is going to pick up right where Echo left off, with some differences. No spoilers here.

Thanks for reading!

Past Life: Cover Reveal and Publication Date

How would you like to live debt free?

Echo L—is up to her eyeballs in unpaid bills and, as a daughter of political activists caught on the wrong side of history, can’t get a job or government assistance. She’s willing to pay any price, even her life is fair game and that’s exactly what CryoCredit wants. CryoCredit can answer all of your financial prayers, for a price. 75 years in a deep freeze sleep cycle will pay off all of Echo’s debt. CryoCredit promises that when she wakes up, all the resources she would have used when she was asleep will pay off everything she owes. What they don’t promise is a world for her to wake up to.

While Echo slept a vicious plague swept across the world, it decimated continents and turned humans into ravenous, rage filled monsters. Some of the survivors strive for hope and improving humanity. Others want nothing more than to return to the oppressive world Echo abandoned for a clean financial slate.

When she is found by the citizens of a peaceful settlement in the ruins of her home town, Echo must choose whether or not to fight along side them for a better future or side with those who want to return to the past.

How far would you go to save the world?

The citizens of Ashur are survivors. Their founders survived The Blight and created a sustainable paradise amidst their warmongering neighbors. When a scouting party finds a Past Life, someone from the old world preserved in time by technology that no longer exists, some are suspicious, some are skeptical, and most hold little trust in the sins of the past. But Ashur didn’t survive this long by abandoning what might be useful.

When the Administrative Body of Ashur give Echo a home, she must agree to certain conditions. Firstly, become a productive member of the settlement by integrating completely into their society. This means participating in the Coupling Ritual, a ceremony that joins all able bodied citizens into reproductive union for the sake of humanity’s continued survival. The last thing Echo wants to do is die in the wasteland. The second to last thing she wants to do is get married.

What Echo does want is a purpose. In the old world she was worse than a rebel without a cause, she was a passive resister, fueled by fear after her father was killed by police at a political protest and daunted by the godlike fortitude of her mother’s quest for social justice, until she was also killed. When Echo discovers a plot to destroy all the good Ashur stands for, Echo must choose to finally fight for what she believes in or roll over and let all the evils of humanity consume her.

Past Life is my first ever, full length novella. My debut dystopian sci-fi novella and the first book in The Blighted Trilogy (probably, series name subject to change).

I started working on Past Life way back in 2013 when I was part of a writing community called Brigit’s Flame. I never found much time to participate every week but in January, I found myself drawn into the story that came out from the New Year’s Eve writing prompt. I wrote four 1000+ word vignettes set in an apocalyptic future from the perspective of a reluctant time traveler.

Back in October 2017 I started a new job and the first few weeks months were very stressful. Most days I would come home crying and dread waking up in the morning (things are much better now). On a particularly dreary morning, I was up at 5 a.m. to start the early shift and I had a few extra minutes before I really had to leave. Instead of moping or dancing the brain dance of stress, I decided to free write. And that’s how Chapter 3 was born. I didn’t know it was Chapter 3 at the time but it was there. The characters I thought I had set free to fly away into the void of my mind folds came back and said: bitch, you need to chill the fuck out and write. Seriously, that’s what Echo said. So I did. And now, you can read what I wrote on…

MAY 1

Yes! I am self-publishing this beauty on Smashwords FOR FREE 🙂 You do have the option to pay whatever you want, if you want to give me 0.99 for it I will say THANK YOU VERY MUCH but you can have it FOR FREE an I will also say THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING IT 🙂

Click here to pre-order 🙂 and if it’s after May 1 when you read this, click here to get your free copy 🙂

So, without further ceremony: THE COVER REVEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I purchased this cover from thebookcoverdesigner.com. It’s a site that has thousands of pre-made covers for every genre and budget a writer could want. I think I payed around $25 for it and the designer sent me the finished product within 24 hours. I had the cover made long before I finished writing Past Life and looking at this gorgeous beauty helped keep me going when writer’s block and self-doubt tried to tear me down.

Check out betibup33’s portfolio here 🙂

Ready for your Sleep Cycle? Coming soon to a CryoCredit near YOU!

Namaste Apocalypse

Jane loves yoga. She loves it so much she risks life and limb dodging ravenous zombies and expending valuable resources like food and energy just to get to her weekly class. It helps her cope with the daily grind of post-apocalyptic Rural America and help her through the grieving process at the recent loss of her mother. Jane loves yoga so much that when an unexpected zombie finally catches her off guard, it helps her cope with life as a cog in the legion of the undead. Follow along with Jane as she transitions from yoga loving human to yoga loving brain muncher!

My short story, Namaste Apocalypse, is now available for free on instafreebie.com.

Click here to grab your copy.

All you have to do to sign up is create a username and password, it’s free to sign up and you can get oodles and oodles of awesome free stuff.

Enjoy 🙂

New Editions with New Covers

One of the cool things about self-publishing is that if you aren’t happy with your work, especially your poetry, you can change it without having to argue with an editor or another publisher.

Graveyard and Twisted Myths had been out for a few years now and one of my writing goals back in the summer of 2017 was to pick my favorite poems from both collections and write a bilingual edition with Spanish versions of those poems and call it Martyrs and Other Creatures of the Abyss. In addition to the poems from Graveyard and Twisted Myths, I would publish and translate 10-20 new poems. Well, as 2018 rolled around a lot of my prose/fiction projects were taking up a huge chunk of my writing time and those 10-20 poems just didn’t get written. And then I had the idea that I wanted to translate ALL of my poetic works into Spanish, not just pick my favorites and discard the rest.

With that came the decision that all of my work thus far needed a serious overhaul.

Some of the poems from Graveyard were written back in 2007 and I’ve definitely changed as a person and a writer since then. Also, Riverkill was my grad school thesis and has been through several extreme transformations since 2012. More than anything, I wanted to make for myself an opportunity where I could say HI to my work again and see if any of my experiences in the last decade could deepen or enhance the conversation between the writer and the poems and if new creations could be born from them.

I haven’t made a lot of changes to the content. A few words here and there, a few lines added, others taken away. The biggest changes you will find with these collections are the titles, the order of the poems, the covers, and where you can find the collections now.

1. Graveyard and Twisted Myths are now combined into one edition titled LUPERCALIA (one of my favorite poems from the collection). Riverkill is now titled THE ECHO OF SOMETHING HITTING (a line from the text).

2. The order of the poems from Graveyard and Twisted Myths has been rearranged to make a more organic flow that blooms with the tone and theme of the title poem, Lupercalia. I want you to visit the places in my poems, see their fallen gods and never forget the value of love.

3. The covers! I had a lot of fun with this. As I now have a job that gives me more expendable income, I can have people design book covers for me and pay them. I got the cover for Lupercalia from https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/ at a very reasonable price with prompt and satisfying customer service. The new cover for The Echo of Something Hitting keeps the same skeletal structure of the previous cover but the title (obviously) and color schemes are different.