Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CRAY-Z Weeks - Updates and Such

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Holy crow, what a nutty few weeks it's been. Today's post is just a little what-not about what's been going on and why the blog has been so everloving silent. Ready? Grab your coffee (or tea), and let's get going!

So, after my London trip, I know you've noticed things have been rather quiet around here. It's hard to get back into the groove after being bombarded on all sides by people, but that wasn't the only issue. My husband was overly stressed, and he had to travel to another state to be with his father in his last few days.

Let me tell you what, trying to concentrate on anything when you wish you were with someone you love while they're going through a hard time isn't easy. I'd just come "down" from the overseas trip, and I thought I was ready to get back on the pony, when all this started.

Sad to say, my father-in-law took his last breath on September 11. I jumped right on a plane, and just returned home Saturday. Now, I sit here, wondering if I'm going to be able to get back on my schedule. I believe I'll be tweaking it today and starting fresh tomorrow. Some things worked, and others, not so much. But you never know until you try! I did well for a month or two, but a couple of things just weren't given enough time (like my blog), and I found myself scrambling to get it done in the short time I'd allotted. If you have suggestions for new topics, drop them in here.

That all changes this week. If you've been following me a while, you'll know I have two events at the end of October. I'll TRY to post during that week I'm on the road, but I'm making no promises. Keep up with my Facebook page, because I intend to have live video happening when I do my keynote speech. Yeah, it won't be me manning my device, but I promise it'll be live--October 20 at around 9am EST. WHEEEEEEEEE!!

On another note, Utterances is about 20-25k from being complete. That story is draining as hell. Very emotional. I'm gonna try like hell to have it out before Christmas. Send me good vibes! LOL!

One upside to all of this is that my road trip is with another author, Tia Bach, so we'll probably spend a good amount of time writing in the evenings. Maybe even plot new novels together. How exciting would that be? *grin*

As for events, these are my last for a lonnnnnng time. I'm only doing Roanoke Author Invasion next year, so if you wanna see me, you'll have to either come to OIBF or GLBB this year, or RAI next year. After that, I'm giving it a rest for a while and getting back to what I do best: WRITING.

November is NaNo month, and I'm planning to get back on my serial killer novel then. Anyone else going to write all the words that month?

Drop your NaNo name in the comments, and I'll give you a friend request/follow before then. Or, you can friend me here.

Well, I've chatted your ears off long enough. Time to get to revamping my schedule! That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Great Lakes Book Bash 2017 Ticket Sale

Happy Saturday! Now, you know I wouldn't be bugging you folks on the weekend unless it was really important, right? If you're planning to attend GLBB in October of this year, you'll want to read this! Ticket prices are insanely low! Get your clicking fingers ready, and get going!

 ✬✬✬ ➡ TICKET SALE ⬅ ✬✬✬

Are you planning on attending Great Lakes Book Bash this October? Have you purchased your VIP tickets yet? Single day tickets?

Take advantage of our FINAL ticket sale of the year to save 50% off your purchase.

That makes your VIP ticket only $10!!!

VIP tickets gets you…
* A GLBB 2017 tote bag
* Admission to the event on Friday
* Admission to the informational sessions on Friday
* EARLY admission to the event on Saturday

Ticket link: http://bit.ly/GLBB2017

Discount Code: BOOK

Sale price only valid 9/2-9/4/17.

Great Lakes Book Bash
October 27 & 28, 2017
Radisson Plaza Hotel
Kalamazoo, MI

For more information visit www.greatlakesbookbash.com

Attending Authors…

Abigail Grey
A.D. Saddler
Alora Kate
Amazeballs Book Addicts – 2017 OFFICIAL GLBB SPONSOR
Anjela Renee
Anna Reanult
Becca Vincenza
Bev Davis
CC Dragon
Charles Stern
Christina L. Barr
City and Book
Cover Me, Darling – 2017 OFFICIAL GLBB SPONSOR
D.B. James
Deedle Miyares
Delphina Henley
Diana Plopa
Donald Levin
Dora Badger
Elisabeth Popolow
Elizabeth Meyette
Ellie Wade
Emily Goodwin
Emma Shade
G.S. Scott
Heather Mullins
Indie Books Gone Wild
Janet Brown
Jen Cousineau
Jennifer Friess
Jimmy Leonard
✬✬✬ Jo Michaels ✬✬✬
Kacey Hammell
Kathy Coopmans
Kelsey Fox
K.L. Roth
KS Adkins
Kyleigh Castronaro
Linda K Sienkiewicz
Lindee Robinson Photography
Mark Love
Meg Farrell
Melanie Jayne
Melissa Keir
Misty Provencher
M.R. Polish – 2017 GLBB Keynote Speaker
N.J. Ember
Rachael Brownell – 2017 GLBB HOSTESS
Sanzaki Kojika
Samantha Cole
Sara Fiorenzo
Sarah Grimm
S.E. Brown
S.E. Summa
SF Benson
SJ Maylee
Skye Falcon
Stacey Rourke
Sylvia Hubbard
Sylvia Stein
Terri George
Tia Silverthorne Bach
Victoria Scott
Zoe Blake

As you can see, I'll be there! LOL! Will I see you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

99 Cent Sale - All Three Books in the SoulTracker Series

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I'm telling you all about a wonderful deal on a boxed set by a lovely lady, T. G. Ayer. Get those clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

99 cents for now! Grab it here!

About the books:

Title(s): Blood Magic, Demon Kin, and Blood Curse
Author: T. G. Ayer
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fiction
Length (print): ~668 pages
Buy Link: Amazon Kindle $0.99


If you hear a bump in the night, you'd better stay under your covers. In the DarkWorld it may not be something you'd like to meet.

Problem is, the creatures of your imagination aren't sticking to night's shadows anymore. They are everywhere; the people you work with, your teachers, even your friends. And they've been living that way for a long time.

You haven't noticed because they don't want you to.

You're much better off not asking any questions.

Unfortunately for Mel Morgan, master teleporter. She asks too many questions.

Mel Morgan is a Master Teleporter. She can move through the Veil into the otherworldly planes. A handy skill when looking for missing people. It’s a lonely job, but with her gargoyle partner she’s never minded lonely.

Until a certain super-hot Djinn walks into her life. He needs her help to find someone he loves. And Mel can never say no to someone in need. But the road to helping Saleem is fraught with secrets better left uncovered.

Can Mel and Saleem dodge demons and sorcerers long enough to save the ones they love?

When a business tycoon hires Mel Morgan to find his missing daughter, the SoulTracker is thrown headlong into twists and turns of unexpected deaths and unusual killers. But to find the girl in time to save her, she has to first understand the killer. Demonic or human killers? Mel can't decide which will be worse.

Things get a little complicated when she has to help find both a Panther Alpha's mother, and a reluctant Djinn Queen. Add to the mix an evil spirit plus her mentor Samuel sending her terrifying messages in the Ether. Save him, or else.

It's just all in a days work for a SoulTracker.

Mel's journey continues down dark paths as she is forced to find who put the curse on her. The closer she gets to the one responsible the more her health deteriorates and the worse the evil behaves.

Mel has to battle loneliness, illness and despair . . .

As well as fend of the evil dead.


What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

London, Paris, and Chapter.Con

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Wow, was it ever an amazing week. Yeah, I'm gonna talk about a "few" (haha) things that happened, but I'm also gonna share photos. Not sure I've ever walked that much in my life, and I had a ton of experiences I'll never forget. Ready? Grab your coffee or tea, and let's get going!

I apologize in advance for the long post. So much happened. Not even sure I'll be able to do all this in one day, but I'm gonna try. If it says Tuesday up top, but it's actually Wednesday, ignore, please. hahaha!

Here we go!

As most of you know, I turned forty back at the end of July. Well, my husband and I decided we'd celebrate my birthday by running around Europe and attending Chapter.Con. Here was our itinerary:
  • Fly out at 9pm
  • Land at around 10am, check into the hotel and get settled
  • Tour Buckingham Palace and have afternoon tea at 1:30pm
  • Eat at a London farm-to-table restaurant at 5pm
  • Go on Jack the Ripper walking tour at 7pm
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by 11pm
  • Board Eurostar to Paris at 7am
  • Tour the Louvre at 11:30am
  • Explore Paris a bit
  • Dinner at Chez Francis at 6:30pm
  • Tour Eiffel tower at 9:45pm
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by midnight
  • Tour Notre Dame at 10am
  • Tour Versailles at 2pm
  • Board Eurostar to London at 9pm
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by 11pm
  • Best of London tour at 8:30am - Included St. Peter's, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham, Tower of London, Greenwich, and the London Eye
  • Have food at a local pub
  • Back to the hotel and in bed by 11pm
  • Tour Shakespeare's Globe Theater at 11am
  • Watch production of King Lear at 2pm
  • Unofficial meetup for Chapter.con attendees at the Hogarth pub at 7:30pm
  • Dinner nearby
  • Back in bed by midnight
  • Chapter.con at 8am
  • Did a little self-guided walking pub tour and had dinner at a pub
  • Film screening for the Lovely Witches Club at 7:30/8pm
  • Back in bed by midnight
  • Chapter.con at 9am
  • Public signing
  • Butterfly ball at 8pm
  • Back in bed by midnight
  • Fly out at noon
  • Land at 5pm
As you can see, we did a lot, and we saw a LOT, but it was absolutely amazing. I think we probably walked around thirty miles during our trip, but we're both in pretty decent shape now, so it wasn't too bad. Here are a few photos of our running around things (yes, we're a bit goofy sometimes):

Now, I want to talk about Chapter.con. I have so many things to say about this event, so try and be patient with me, please.

On day one, I wasn't sure what to expect. I set up my table with all the required things: books, sample booklets, swag, etc... But then, I didn't know what else to do until the keynote speaker, so my husband and I mingled and chatted with folks.

Opening the day was keynote speaker Samantha Young. She'd come all the way from Ireland, was so inspiring, and her story was so genuine. I loved when she teared up because of something a fan had said to her. It made her feel as though I could relate to her and showed her humanity in a very vulnerable way. After she spoke, we started the panels. There were so many people there that I didn't know, it was a little intimidating. I'm one of those people who will come over and shake your hand, but inside I'm totally cringing, wondering if you're going to reject me right away or listen too intently to my words and dislike me later--I have strong opinions, and I tend to voice them loudly (as you all know). It's strange being in a place where no one has heard of me or knows what I do. I get a very out-of-my-comfort-zone feeling.

But I met some of the most interesting people. Folks I'd known online for a long time, like Sophia Valentine (who arrived on day two), were there, but most of the people I'd never had much interaction with, if any. Let me tell you what, my fears were unfounded. Everyone was fabulous. There were people from all over Europe, yet I felt right at home. These folks instantly became forever friends, and we had a number of good laughs and some more serious discussions about books and publishing.

It was amazing.

Day two brought forth the fans and some of the other folks I was SO looking forward to meeting in real life. Gaynor Smith (from SASS and IBGW) and Chillie Martindale (from SASS) were there, and I had some real time to chat with the lovely ladies on Katie's Chapter.con team. Catherine Stine was the keynote speaker, and I learned several new things about her! What an interesting lady. Her bio could be 5k pages long, and it still wouldn't be enough.

By the time the Butterfly Ball rolled around, I was feeling one-hundred-percent at home and comfortable.

Even with the intimate number of people (authors, readers, etc...), there were several I didn't have a lot of time to speak with and wish I'd had more.

Then, something amazing happened, I won an award. It wasn't just any old award, and it wasn't an award for anything I'd written. No, this award was for the person who gives of themselves to the writing community, the person who goes above and beyond to help anyone in need, without expectation of anything in return but a smile. It was for the Most Inspiring Community Leader.

To say my surprise was genuine is an understatement. You see, I'd been lobbying for someone else to win that award. And I'd lobbied HARD. Why? Because she totally deserved it. Besides, I'm used to being nominated and not winning, so I wasn't gearing up for a big "holy crap, I won" type of speech. This led to me rushing up and grabbing the thing and running away like I'd been lit on fire. My words were stolen. I'm a little mortified, to be honest.

Now, I sit and look at that award, and I'm so tempted to put it in a drawer where I can't see it, so I don't give up or slow down in my efforts. I find that, oftentimes, human nature works against us, and when we win something huge, we tend to say, "Okay, that's it. I've done enough."

I sit here and tell myself, it's never enough. There's always someone out there in need of a helping hand. If I quit, will someone else step in? I'd hope so, but I'm not one to take that risk. Besides, it wouldn't be fair to expect someone to shoulder ALL of that alone.

I'm beyond humbled.

So, as I look back with fondness and tears welling in my eyes, I also have a heart filled with hope and joy for what the future will bring with all these lovely new people in my life. They're amazing individuals. If you ever have a chance to be groundbreaking and get in on something that will give you a lot of personal time with new authors, don't turn it down. Do everything in your power to make it happen. To attend years beyond the first isn't the same as being there when it all begins.

I hope you've all enjoyed my little post, and if you're new, welcome to the blog! I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better!

There are so many people I didn't mention above, but you're all in my memories and in my Facebook life! Depend on me stalking the ever-loving crap out of you!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Time Sale and Huge Giveaway - 7: The Seven Deadly Sins

OMG happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! EEK! I can't even tell you how freaking excited I am for the news I'm about to share with you. Not only do we have a first time EVER sale on 7: The Seven Deadly Sins, but we also have a huge giveaway for you! Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

Here's a bit of a bonus: IF you buy the Kindle book today at $0.99, you can then get the audio at a discounted rate! Much less than buying the audio outright. The audiobook is SO GOOD. I was blown away!

First up, a little information about the book.

Title: 7: The Seven Deadly Sins
Author(s): Casey L. Bond, Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, and N. L. Greene (the Ferocious 5)
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Length (print): 404 pages
Buy Links: Kindle  ~ Paperback  ~ Audio
This title is also in Kindle Unlimited!

Seven marks upon a wall.
Tom may rise, but he may fall.
Through five lives, no one dares mention,
of the sin for which he seeks redemption.
Fates will meet, and you will see,
what will thus become of he.

Here are some graphics you can share today, if you'd be so kind!

And last, but in no way least, here's the prize pack information and the rafflecopter entry form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

That Ah Ha! Moment When Writing and Utterances Excerpt

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Yes, I missed two days this week, but it was for good reason. I'm not only getting ready to leave for London and the awesome Chapter.Con, but I've also been writing Utterances! Today, I'm going to share the details of the book once again and a little snippet from further on. Grab your coffee (or tea), and let's get going!

PSA: This blog will be mostly silent until August 28th. I have a big surprise for you all on 8/24. Keep your eyes open for that post.

Yesterday, I had an ah ha! moment with my WIP. Here I was, struggling with the next big step in the book, and I hit upon the idea to just let the characters go with the flow of the story. I discovered they're smart and resourceful.

My characters are also pretty funny.  

Favorite quote:  "If crazies come a knockin’, guns come out a cockin’."

I started the day at 37k words, and I ended with 42.5k. Win!

Do you ever have that moment in your novel writing where you're just like I'VE GOT IT! and things flow?

Title: Utterances
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Length: TBD
Release Date: 2017

Simone spent the last two years by her cancer-ridden mother’s bedside. Taking care of her was the number one priority. When Mom suddenly goes into full remission, Simone is left bobbing in an unfamiliar ocean with a young man named Tristan. What happens next is the stuff of fairy tales—and nightmares.

Shocking, heart-wrenching, and insightful, Utterances will make you question everything you thought you knew about self-sacrifice. Award-winning author Jo Michaels pulls reality and the paranormal together in a way never before seen, intensely examining what we call the human condition by diving into the innermost workings of one young lady’s mind.


Excerpt (unedited) Chapter 14:

When the doc finally left, he was as white as his coat and moving fast.
Simone sat on the floor and watched as the fabric billowed in the breeze.
“Alexandra, honey?”
“Yes ma’am! Coming!”
Mrs. Shandy smiled. “Oh, good. I thought you’d done gone and left me!”
“No way, no how. We have a story to finish.” Simone dropped back in the chair, opened the book to where she’d left off, and continued.
That afternoon, she left a little early, with three chapters done, and decided to go to Tristan’s house to surprise him. On her way to Shady Pines, she’d texted him, but hadn’t said she had the evening off. After checking her makeup in the mirror—a new addition to her wardrobe thanks to Mom saying how tired and old her daughter looked, she started the engine and shifted into reverse.
It was twenty minutes before she got to his house, and she started to second-guess herself on the way up the driveway. He’d been off school that day, and she hadn’t pestered him to hang out. If he found out she’d been off work…
His truck was in the driveway, so she parked behind it and got out, suddenly nervous.
As she moved toward the door, she kicked herself for being impulsive. He was sure to ask questions she didn’t have answers to. She knocked three times and waited, a cold sweat breaking out on her forehead and palms.
He opened the door, his eyes got wide, and he stepped out, keeping hold of the handle. “Hey. What are you doing here? I thought you had to work.”
“Well, I knew you were out of school and had the day off work today, so I thought I’d drop by and surprise you.” She smiled, but her hackles rose. Something about the situation wasn’t quite right, yet she couldn’t put her finger on what.
Rather than pull her into a hug, he closed the door and grabbed her arm, guiding her off the porch toward her car. “How about I come to your house in a little while?”
“Um, why can’t we hang out here?” It was getting weirder, and he was being pretty obvious about wanting her to leave.
“My, uh, mom isn’t feeling well, and I wasn’t expecting company.”
She jerked her arm out of his grasp, turned, and sprinted toward the house, throwing open the front door and rushing in, looking everywhere.
He was half a step behind her, yelling at her to stop.
A gorgeous, long-legged brunette with barely any clothes on was passed out on the couch, whisky bottle still in her hand. There was only one word to describe her: flawless.
Simone stared, her mouth dropping open. Every fiber of her being went into shock then flew into blind rage. Her world tinted blood red. She rounded on Tristan, spit at him, and bolted.
Words were being shouted at her, but all she could hear was the fury screaming at her to leave and not come back. Ever. Once in the car, she jammed the key into the ignition, turned, shoved the car in reverse, and spun around in a perfect one-eighty. Tears gathering in her eyes made the driveway blurry, but she managed, somehow, to make it to the base of the hill before she had to pull over.
There was another driveway about fifty feet up the road on the opposite side, covered with a lush growth of leafy branches that would hide her car, so she gunned the accelerator and pulled up far enough to avoid being seen. Once sure no one had followed or seen her, she shut off the engine and curled into herself, letting the tears loose. She cried, she screamed, and she beat the steering wheel with her palms until they hurt.


Uh oh. Looks like our couple is in a bit of a pickle, huh?

Hope you enjoyed that!

My fingers are crossed I find the time to give you all a post tomorrow about something I discovered while browsing Facebook. It's interesting, and it's infuriating. Ha! Way to be vague, Jo!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Readers, Sensitivity, and Mob Mentality - How Much is Too Much?

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm on yet another discussion. There are several things that have popped up over the last few weeks about right and wrong things to put in a book. Get your coffee or tea in hand, your typing fingers ready to respond, and let's get going!

We all have opinions, right? I plan to open discussion on both sides of the board with this post, and I won't be standing on either side of the fence. You all know me too well if you've been around here a while. I like to hear what you think, I'm going to try my best not to influence you with my own words, and I enjoy the verbal exchange of ideas and viewpoints.

*****That being said, please be nice when you comment. This is my blog, and I won't tolerate hatred, calling-out, or vitriol here. Got it? Okay. Let's move on.

There are a number of books that have been released lately that have spurred some pretty serious reader blowback. To be 100% transparent, I haven't read any of them. My work has revolved around writing my own book, and it's been emotional enough.

But I've seen posts and discussions on Facebook, and I know the titles of the books under fire. No, I'm not going to share those, either. If you want to know, you'll have to do your own research. This post isn't about that.

For centuries, books have been the catalyst to change in many countries. If you don't know the history, do a quick search. There isn't enough space here to discuss them all, and you should be informed. But what I'm seeing now deals directly with what the authors write.

Incest, racism, hate.

Those are the topics under fire.

From my reading experience, either an author is trying to change your way of thinking, trying to bring to light something that's horrible that needs to have light shed on it, or they're trying to tell a story that has nothing to do with their own thoughts or beliefs (a true escape).

It's difficult to tell the difference sometimes, but that doesn't stop me from reading books I don't know what's inside of. This thing where authors have to disclaim horrifying details of their books in the blurb is unsettling.


Because the things that bother one person, won't bother another. We see this with all the reviews from all the books everywhere. Some people loved the Harry Potter series, and some folks wanted to burn all the books for promoting witchcraft.

See what I'm saying?

I can see labeling it 18 and up, but I'm talking about all the other things. It's worrisome that someone might just grab a book and "read" it only so they can trash it in the review later on and have that little verified purchase ribbon to back their words. But I'm backsliding.

Anyway, the problem here isn't just that labels are being applied, because I know at least one of the novels under fire was labeled, but that it's expected in the first place.

Who are we to know what someone else is going to feel when they read our books? How are we the authorities on how something we've written will be comprehended by the reader? 

Authors may be the worst people to add warnings to their books, but then, so might readers. What some find intense, others will merely scoff at.

Let's discuss by the three topics above then.

This isn't a new trope used in books. It goes way, wayyyyy back to novels published in the 70s even. Before you go bananas, let me say, I can see both sides of the issue here. 1) It's something that happens in real life, ergo, it can be applied to a book for real-world additions. 2) It's disturbing to read about, and the fear is there that it'll incite someone to do something they hadn't considered before. It's a touchy subject, to be sure. If an author writes about it, does that mean they're encouraging it, bringing light to an ugly, or merely writing a story?

This also isn't a new topic. I could list several books that were racist in nature, but they've become literary classics all the same. I can, again, see both sides of the issue. Do you want to see through a racist's eyes? Get their viewpoint on things? How their brains work? Maybe. Maybe not. 1) Racism is something that's real. It's a serious problem, but it can be used as a mechanism to show what might be in a racist's mind, giving others a unique insight. 2) It's bothersome to read, and it may fuel the already present racist heart of another, making them think of doing something they'd only considered before reading it. Again, what was the point of the author writing it?

This applies to genders, races, siblings, government, etc... An older than time topic. Dystopian worlds were borne from hate of a ruling class or laws. You could also say hate applies to books with rape in them. Both sides have weight. 1) Hate is a true problem in our society, and shining a spotlight on it can be used as an effective fuel for the proverbial fire in a novel plotline. 2) Reading about a character hating on people from any walk of life is hard, and it may, again, reinforce that the reader's mindset is the correct one. Do we care about the point if the book makes us uncomfortable?

Historically, we're strongly influenced by books (again with the search recommended above), but does that mean if we read about it, we're going to act on it?

Has the fine line between reality and fiction blurred, or are we just more attuned to the crossovers now? Do the disclaimers even matter at that point?

What bothers me most about all of this is the mob mentality that's taken hold of the world. When someone writes something that's not considered PC, they're attacked by backers of the antis. While I believe in having an opinion and stating it, isn't that what reviews are for? Why do we feel the need to attack the person (in public, no less) behind the words without understanding (or caring) what it was they were trying to say? Is that really the case, or is something else going on here?

Is this censorship?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter. Remember to be nice and don't name authors or books directly. This isn't a bash-fest.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!