Thursday, July 20, 2017

Midlife Crisis or Just a Good Idea?

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Today I'm going to talk about something I've been pondering (I've been doing a lot of that, eh?). If you'd like to join in and discuss, feel free. If not, just sit back and enjoy the inner-turmoil of a nearly forty-(what?)year-old. Grab that coffee or tea, and let's get going!

As you all may know, I'm a freak about schedules. They give me order among the chaos that's life. Since about June of last year, my schedule has been all shot to hell. I blogged about a lot of it here because I needed a way to get it out/off my shoulders. Well, now, things are starting to calm down and come back to the way they should be.

So, I made a weekly schedule to accomplish some things I've been needing to do (write, business stuff with IBGW, grow a couple of my platforms, etc...) and hit it hard.

But I did something I hadn't planned for: I changed the way I eat and added an hour a day for exercise.

Yesterday, I started to think about why I did that, and I realized I'm only a week away from my fortieth birthday. Yep, that's right, I said forty. When it hit me, I had a moment of panic. There are still so many things I want to accomplish in my life. I have books out the wazoo that I want to read, write, and publish, too.

Because I have MS, this also dragged the question of how many years do I have left to do all those things? I know I don't feel like I thought a forty-year-old woman should feel. I still have the energy of a twenty-year-old cheerleader some days.

Could this be the beginning of the end, and how long will the end really take to greet me?

Thinking about that has me contemplating where I'm going with my life. Am I going to be content working on things for others forever, or do I want to dive into my work and keep breaking down conventional walls?

Was changing my eating habits just in time, or too late to make a real difference? Am I having a midlife crisis, or was all this just the sensible thing to do?

I'm a little frustrated. Like I said, there are still so many things I want to accomplish, and I feel like every tick of the clock is robbing me of another moment.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

There goes another minute of my life.

Of course, all this may be stemming from writing Utterances. I can't say a whole lot about the book right now, but I think you'll all love it when I'm done. I'm such a sucker for anything to do with the human condition and learning/surmising what makes people do the things they do and how life occurrences change the way we think.

I'm happy to say my schedule is working out fabulously though. Just look at the blog! What you can't see is that I have a clearer head, and I feel like a million bucks. Maybe it was just a good idea.

That brings me to my question of the day:
Do you ever examine your own humanity? What are your biggest goals and/or life questions? Is there anything BIG you want to accomplish before you shuffle off this mortal coil? Do you find it difficult to get a grasp on a schedule?

Talk about it!

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


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

So Many Giveaways!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, we'll talk about some giveaways. If you're ready, get your clicking fingers warmed up, and let's get going!

If you didn't know, over on the IBGW blog, we do giveaways of the books we work on. Why? Good question! Well, we figured that you want quality reads, our work helps authors produce amazing books, and we have a chance to bring those to your door. So, the real question is: WHY NOT?

Am I right?

This week, you can win one of two ebooks:

OR a paperback:

If you'd like to join the mailing list (we only send out emails when we have a giveaway running), and you haven't already, click here.

To enter this week's giveaways, click here.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Did you enter? Didja?

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


Monday, July 17, 2017

Chapter.con London 2017 - Information and Ticket Specials

Happy Monday, everyone! I just realized it's only a month before I leave for my awesome trip to London to attend the first annual Chapter.con, and I have nothing ready. Nothing. Zilch. EEP! But it also got me thinking: WHO will I see there? So, today's post is the 411 on the conference. If I'll see you, drop me a comment below and say YES! Ready? Here we go!

 For a full schedule and to buy tickets, click here.

Authors of Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, New Adult, Young Adult, Mid-Grade, Children's, Women's Fiction, Dystopia, General.

London. Twickenham.
Friday 25th & Saturday 26th August.
Join us in the beautiful surroundings of St. Mary's University and Strawberry Hill house for an intimate 2 day reader, author and blogger conference, including a public Saturday signing event.

ALL WRITERS, AUTHORS, BLOGGERS, PUBLISHERS welcome. It's time to step up to the next level and expand your community.

Whether you are a best-selling established author, an aspiring author, a blogger, a reader, a publisher or a book seller, we would like to invite you to  Chapter.Con; one of the U.K's very first conventions of its kind designed to connect, educate and inspire.

One of the primary beliefs of Chapter.Con is inclusivity; of celebrating diversity and indviduality.

​With a series of panels hosted by some of the world's most experienced and best-selling, trail-blazing authors, two inspirational key note speakers, business consultancy workshops, mindfulness seminars, and branding analysis services,  Chapter.Con is far more than a literary festival; it's home, family and mentorship.

Chapter.Con is a chance to exchange ideas with fellow authors, giving you the time, space and forum to create a vibrant and co-operative community.

Chapter Con is open to Indie published, Hybrid published and traditionally published authors of all ages and stages of their individual journey. It is also open to new and established book bloggers, and readers who want to see behind the scenes of the author world.

For a full schedule and to buy tickets, click here.

Now for the information about the signing day tickets and the deal the conference is giving to those folks who bring teen readers with them!

There are still author tables available! Go to the link above to find out more.

So, will I see you there?

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


Friday, July 14, 2017

Win Free Dinner with Several Amazing Authors

Did I catch you with that heading? Happy Friday! Eeep! So much great info for you today. Let's jump right in.

If you purchase a 2 day pass ($35) to Ozarks Indie Book Fest, you'll automatically be entered in a drawing for a chance to join the VIP signing authors and keynote speakers!

Who are these authors, you ask? Right now, they're:

USA Today and NYT bestselling author Mary Ting
Christina Benjamin
B. J. Sheldon
and yours truly (me!)

There will be more, but they can't be named yet. *wink wink* I can't even begin to say how excited I am to be a part of this! I'm the Friday morning keynote speaker, and there will be a block of time after that keynote for you to meet me one-on-one and get your books signed.

Ready for a linky?

Get your entry ticket here. Remember, it's the 2 day pass!

Here's a "few" more of the amazing authors that will be at OIBF! Meet, greet, get your books signed! EEP!

Will I see you there?

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


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Utterances - Special Sneak Peek

Happy Thursday, everyone! I actually can't believe I'm here, but I made a blogging schedule, and I'm sticking to it. Expect new life from this blog and a ton of new topics. While I've been out of the blogging world for a hot minute, things are finally settling down around here, and I have a new daily schedule I'm trying to implement. Sure, there will be some hiccups along the way, but I appreciate you all sticking with me through, what I can only describe as, the most difficult year of my life.

Enough of all that for today, though. I have a super awesome surprise for you all. Even though I've been slacking on the blog, I've been doing a ton of writing (as you know, if you've seen the War and Pieces series--1/4 of 312k words is nothing to scoff at). Recently, I've been working on a novel that hits pretty close to home. If you're ready to read a bit, strap in and let's get going. I'm giving you the cover, blurb, and about 600 words of the story. Kindly remember this is the unedited version. Ha! ;)

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.

Sneak Peek:


“…and they lived happily ever after.” Simone closed the book and lifted her eyes to her mother’s still form.
Deathly white and blue.
Breathing shallow and erratic.
Tubes sprouted from her arms and neck, and the machines in the room kept up a steady beeping as though trying to create a beautiful melody amid the morbidity of the place.
Yvette was going to die. After fighting so long, the cancer eating her once vibrant body would complete its deadly feast and release her from the pain.
Simone’s eyes watered, and she stood to leave for the evening, eager to wash off the antiseptic scent clinging to her clothes and hair. Carefully, she placed the book of fairy tales in her bag, whispered a promise of something better to read next time as she kissed her mother on the forehead, and shut the door softly.

Chapter 1

Banging ensued as bags were carried through the door and dropped in the foyer on the threadbare mat. Yvette spun around with her arms extended, nearly knocking photos off the walls. “It’s so good to be home.”
Simone laughed. “It’s good to have you home.”
They embraced, and the woman kissed the top of her daughter’s head. “I never thought I’d see this musty old apartment again, that’s for sure.”
“Me either.”
Sniffling, Yvette let go, took a step back, and put her hands on her hips. “I forgot how dismal it is. At least you managed to keep it clean.”
“Of course I did. I’m not a slob. You raised me better than that.” Simone winked and pulled two slim, red, plastic containers out of her purse. “How about you get the movies ready while I order the pizza.”
While her mother danced and whistled her way across the living room, Simone carried the bags down the hall, put them in the master bedroom, and slipped into her own room, shutting the door behind her. Carefully, she pulled the old book out of her bag and ran her fingers over the infinity symbol’s embossed edges. She then slipped the thick tome under her pillow before picking up the phone and dialing the pizza parlor’s number.
When she made it back to the couch, twenty minutes later, dressed in yoga pants and a tank top, she was much more relaxed.
Yvette patted the cushion. “Sit by me. Did you get the pizza ordered?”
Simone nodded as she plopped down and stuck her bare feet on the coffee table.
Her mother frowned.
“Have you been putting your nasty toes on my table the whole time I’ve been gone?”
“Mom. Come on. Don’t start on me the first day you’re home.”
One side of her mouth wrinkled back into her cheek a moment before she softened and patted her daughter’s knee. “Okay. You’re right. I shou—”
A knock at the door interrupted the moment.
“I’ll get it. You pour the drinks!” Yvette was off the couch in a fluid movement, ponytail swinging as she bounced toward the entryway.
Simone sighed before pushing off the cushions and heading for the kitchen. As she filled two glasses with ice, tendrils of panic weaved their way up her spine. She checked to make sure her mother was occupied before running down the hall and shoving a hand beneath the pillow, feeling for the book’s leather-bound edges. Satisfied it was there, Simone snuck back up the hall to continue her task—her mind still attached to the feeling of the book on her fingers.

~~~~~~~~~~ End excerpt ~~~~~~~~~

What do you think?

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


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Metamorphosis of Indie and Trad Pubbed Books in 2017

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, my curious side has hold of me, and it's led me to ask of you something I've noticed myself. If you're ready for some thought-provoking, grab some coffee (or tea or whatever), and let's get going.

As you may know, I've been doing a lot of tangible book reading lately. Simply put, they were easy for me to read and not be distracted by texts or any manner of other things work related coming through. Silence is, in fact, golden. Plus, my MS crazy eyes seem to like print more than digital. Go figure.

Anyway, in preparation for that trip I went on, I moseyed into a bookstore and bought a couple of trad pubbed reads. Okay, it was a bunch, but that's neither here nor there. Now, I also snagged an Indie book while I was on my buying tear. Here's a shot of the trad pubbed books I snagged (my Indie title hadn't come in yet):

Also in my big pile was The Circle, but I bought it on the previous trip, so it wasn't pictured in my haul for that day. I read Keeper of Crows by Casey L. Bond when it first released, and I ordered Keeper of Souls from her because I was invested in the story and wanted more. First book was amazing. Second one was scheduled to be read while I was traveling. It DID come in before I left, so that was awesome.

Before I started thinking about what books I'd bring, I'd blazed through Red Queen and the little novella from that series, Cruel Crown, so I got (what I thought were) the last two in that series as well.

I took my pile of books and hit the road (yay)!

First up was Vitro. I was super interested in the premise of the story, but put it down several times because the editing was so very bad.

While waiting on the courage to pick it back up and try again, I read some of Glass Sword. I bumped into a couple of inconsistencies in that book that had me rolling my eyes, so I went back to Vitro and finished it.

Then, I moved on to Keeper of Souls (which I read in about 8 hours and ADORED).

Because I was annoyed with the Red Queen series, I went on to try The Circle. That title was abandoned for.e.ver after just fifty pages or so. Back to Glass Sword I went, and I finished it and King's Cage (laborious reading right there), and that ending had me throwing the book on the damned floor. I found out only later there's another one in the works (I mean, REALLY?).

I'm nervous to even crack the cover on The Diabolic because of the quality of the other trad pubbed books I've gotten hold of. I love the cover so much...

Anyway, all this reading caused me to stop and ponder. Why did the Indie book breeze by while I plodded and struggled through the trad pubbed options?

While on the phone with my bestie and writing/business partner, Tia, today, she mentioned that she thought trad pubbed books have declined in quality because they're rushing to press. Why? In order to keep up with the Indie market.

Indie authors are publishing books at an astronomical rate, and their quality has jumped ahead by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Meanwhile, trad pubbed books seem to be getting worse (if you MUST have an example of the kinds of things I found, I'll dig them up, but this isn't me being nitpicky, I swear).

Are Indies getting better because we've become more educated about what we should and shouldn't publish? Or, perhaps it's the rise of Indie run and Indie focused editing houses (like IBGW) that are making the difference?

This leads me to open the floor to you all.

Have you noticed the change? What book(s) did it for you? What do you think is causing the shift?

If you think I'm just crazy, feel free to tell me that, too.

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


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

War and Pieces Boxed Set Release

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I have a super amazing deal to share with you all. I've talked before about the amazingness that's the new War and Pieces ~ Frayed Fairy Tales books, but now they're available in one awesome boxed set! All ten seasons. Let's get to the details!

Title: War and Pieces ~ Frayed Fairy Tales
Authors: Ferocious 5 (Tia Silverthorne Bach, N. L. Greene, Kelly Risser, and Jo Michaels)
Genre: Upper YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 312k words
Buy Link: Amazon $9.99

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there were zombies

That’s how it all started. Authors have created a major problem with stories like Cinder, The Dark Queen, and Asleep, and it’s wreaking havoc here in Ever After. Our queens are fighting for their lives.

Rather like Mother Nature, keeper of the fine balance that’s life in your world, tales that begin with “Once upon a time” were never meant to be messed with.

Now, Ariel is underwater with all the defenses she’s been launching, Aurora hasn’t slept in weeks, and Rapunzel is tangled in… Well, I can’t even begin to tell you.

Rather than try, I’ll let you see for yourself. You and I will talk again afterward—if I survive long enough. So, as our fateful story begins:

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…


What are you waiting for? Are you excited?

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