Monday, July 31, 2017

A Book that Went Askew

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. It's back to the grind today, but no worries! This post is lighthearted and fun. I'm gonna talk about some characters that pushed me around and took my story in a different direction than I'd planned. Ready? Grab your coffee or tea, and let's get going!

I spent the weekend revising the first half of Utterances (you can read an excerpt here). I'm at 30k words now, and I have about 30k more to write. I like to take a pause at this point in a novel and re-read to make sure everything is flowing as it should, details aren't regurgitated, and my timeline works. Also, I check to make sure my loose outline is moving forward as it should.

Needless to say, I found a few holes.

Once I'd gotten them filled in, I took a minute to build a timeline I'll be able to send to my editor so she can double check me. Everything was flowing smoothly, and then I whipped out my suggested chapter outline that I wrote at the beginning of May.

It was off by nearly six chapters! Several of the things I'd planned never happened, and many more have yet to happen. My characters dictated where the story was going, and they took it over, making it their own.


Because there are things I can't outline--like how a character will show who they are and what their core values (those things they refuse to bend on) are. Sometimes, a character needs a moment to overreact to something, and I hadn't planned it in advance. That's when my books take on a life of their own.

So, I threw my original plan out and jotted down a new one. Still the same ending, I'm just taking a different path to get there.

Right now, I'm figuring I'll introduce you to my MC and her supporting cast. SURPRISE! Check it out! Images are how I picture them in my head.

Name: Simone Alice Bookhart
Age: 18
Height: 5' 7"
Career: Cashier at grocery store
Great quote: “I know, and I love you for trying. But I had to be my own grownup around here, and I’ve changed in ways I can’t explain.”

Name: Tristan Joseph Cardre
Age: 22
Height: 5' 11"
Career: Runs one of the family restaurants & college student studying business management
Great quote: “I didn’t do anything! I just asked her if she wanted to order, and she went all cavewoman on me.”

These two have a lot of hurdles to leap over, but I think y'all are gonna like Tristan. He's as much of a hot mess as Simone is. Together, I think they're incredible.

What do you think? Looking forward to getting to know them?

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


Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Funday Part Four

Happy Friday, everyone! So, I used to do this awesome thing called Friday Funday. It's all about authorly word games or writing games you can play alone or with friends and family. If you'd like to check out past posts, click these links: Friday Funday, Friday Funday Part Two, Friday Funday Part Three. Keeping with the theme, I'm gonna do one today! These are all about observation to revise your work in progress. Get your brain ready, and let's get going!

Game #1 - Acting Crazy for Revisions (3+ players)
Use your phone or computer camera. Set it up so it can capture the area and hit record. Pick a scene from your work in progress, and read it aloud while the other people in the room act it out. You now have a live visual to draw description from. Pay attention to facial expressions and movements when you're revising the scene. You can also just do it for fun with a book you've read to see if other people picture it the same way you do. Costumes are optional, but fun.

Game #2 - What Happens Next? (3+ players)
Pick a scene from a book and read the first part. Players in the room act out what they think happens next. Whichever one is correct wins candy (or some other little prize). Who knows? If you're the author, you may revise the scene to make it fit what they acted out rather than what you've written. *grin*

Game #3 - Where am I? (2+ players)
Again, choose a scene (or two) and leave out any location details. Read the scene aloud, and let the other person/people guess where you might be. Have them tell you what they think the location looks like. This one can get pretty fun if you have imaginative friends.

Game #4 - Internet Meme Search (1+ players)
I find this one fun because you can do it yourself. Take a 2-4 word phrase from a book, add the words "meme" and your first name to the end, and type it in the search bar of your favorite engine. Choose image, and have fun laughing. In a group, whoever comes up with the funniest one wins a small prize.

I hope these provide you with a ton of laughs this weekend.

If you try any, come leave me a note to let me know how it goes!

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


Thursday, July 27, 2017

What's in Your Media Kit?

Happy Thursday, everyone! Look at me go with the blog. *grin* I told you, scheduling is everything. If you stick to it, right? Plus, this gives me an excellent warmup to writing. I've been like a tsunami of getting stuff done. It feels awesome. As of next week, the kiddo goes back to school, too, so I have a feeling Utterances will be done sooner than I expected. But that's not why we're here today, is it? No. You're wondering what you should put in your author (or book) media kit, right? Awesome. Let's get going.

When I was launching Emancipation, I had a company create me a media kit for the book. It looks like this (first page only):

You can see from the image what all it includes. I won't post the excerpt page here because of language, and because this blog is PG-13, but I'll put up the rest so you can see.

If I'd had editorial reviews of the book at the time, they would've included a page for those, too.

Now, an author media kit includes much of the same, but you'd want a page in there with all your social media links, any bestseller lists you've hit, and any awards you've won. It's a brag packet, and you should showcase everything that's awesome about yourself.

Why is it so hard for people to grasp that authors are a little bit vain? We have to champion ourselves at every turn, don't we? Moving on...

If you make your media kit look professional, you'll be taken much more seriously. Add it to your website for folks to download, too. Sometimes, people want to know more, and this is a great way to give them what they're after. Final document should be in PDF format.

I'll be creating one of these for myself (author media kit) and for a couple of other projects I'm working on. Why not? They're handy! I hope this post helped in some way!

Do you have a media kit for yourself or your book(s)? Planning on making one?

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


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happy UNBirthday to You! With a Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! EEK! OMG I'm totally forty-years-old today. :O Funny, but I don't feel like I'm forty; at least, I don't feel the way I thought someone who's forty should feel. Anywayyyyy, today, because I love to do this, I'm giving YOU ALL a chance at a gift.

Ready? Get your entry clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

About the prizes up for grabs today:

PAPERBACK of War and Pieces ~ Frayed Fairy Tales - Season 8

Here's the full wrap cover:


ONE lucky person will win BOTH prizes!

Here's the rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!

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


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dark Bishop Sale Blitz

Title: Dark Bishop
Author: C.L. Bond & Rachael Brownell
Genre: Dark Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
A dangerous game has begun.
Sydney. Her skin felt as soft as it looked. I shouldn’t have touched her, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been to New Orleans dozens upon dozens of times. It’s a unique city, filled with tourists and superstition. And until tonight, I’d never been superstitious.
An old fortuneteller freak stopped me on the way to the diner and said I would make a decision that would change my path. She didn’t know that I’d walked the path to this very restaurant before. It had been a few years.
Who knew that the decision to return would be blessed with a beauty—five foot six with curves in all the right mouth-watering places. Clothed in cheap polyester, stained with God only knew what, Sydney was a vision. Blonde hair to her waist. Big brown doe eyes. I could almost taste her.
In his game, everyone’s a pawn…
I didn’t miss the rumble of her stomach when I asked her to dine with us. She was hungry. Something that flashed in those eyes told me it wasn’t because she just skipped lunch today. Maybe I could meet some of her needs. Forget that. I could definitely meet her needs, but it was up to her to let me. So, I left her my business card, my number.
Girls like Sydney, they’re afraid. They never make the first move. Most never even make the second. I doubt she’d call. I’d tipped her well, not because she was the best waitress I’d ever had, not even because she was within my sites. I tipped her so that when I came back to the diner, she would remember me. She would want to serve me.
And, oh, would she ever serve me. I just have to play my cards right.
…and he’s never lost a game.
Dark Bishop is unsuitable for those under the age of eighteen due to adult language and situations.
Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction. You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Rachael Brownell is the author of both YA and NA Romance. Her titles are available on all platforms. If you would like to know more about Rachael or her work, she is active on most social media sites or you can always drop her an email. She loves to hear from readers.
Author Links:
Buy Link:  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Award-Winning Novel Going on Sale - First Time Ever

Happy Monday, everyone! :D EEK! I can't even tell you how amazing the upcoming month will be. If you've been a member of the blog for a while, you'll recall how I co-wrote a novel titled 7: The Seven Deadly Sins with the other members of the Ferocious 5. Well, strap in because we're putting it on sale for the first time EVER on August 25, 2017.

Here's what reviewers are saying:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Highly Recommend this book!
By SBurdorf on June 4, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"When I sat down to read "The Seven Deadly Sins" I did so from a preconceived idea that I knew exactly what this book was about. WRONG. I had to discard my light treatment of this book the more I delved into the complexity of the characters and the stories. Each of the collaborators are authors I have read before and their touch, had I not known their names, would still have been recognizable to me, and that is a good thing. Like a well-rehearsed quintet they take the reader on a journey that is unequaled in anything I have previously read."

5.0 out of 5 stars
Best read of 2016!!!
By Flower on January 11, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Author Casey Bond is the only contributor that I know. I haven't read writings from any of the other authors. But this book and the stories, freaking genius!!!"

5.0 out of 5 stars
"I loved 7: The Seven Deadly Sins. Loved. It. This book is one of the best books that I have had the pleasure of reading in a very long time, and coming from a person who reads voraciously, that is saying a great deal!" ~ Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Full review here: 

Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 4.48 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, 7: The Seven Deadly Sins is a book you don't want to miss!

We'd LOVE support for our thunderclap that's scheduled to go out day of, if you have a moment. If not, it's all good! I'll be making a post here on the blog as well, so keep your eyes open for that!

Here's a bit more about the book and a link if you'd like to check it out:

Title: 7: The Seven Deadly Sins
Authors: Casey L. Bond, Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, and N. L. Greene (The Ferocious 5)
Genre: Adult - Historical Fantasy
Length: ~ 100k words
Buy links: Amazon Kindle  ~  Audio  ~  Paperback  ~  (ALSO IN KU!)

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.

What do you think? Will you be picking it up?

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


Friday, July 21, 2017

A Free App to Help With Your Writing and Marketing Goals

Happy Friday, everyone! Ah, it's the end of the week, and you have a whole weekend of R&R to look forward to. Doesn't it feel good? To start your weekend off right, I'm going to introduce you to a tool that's A) 100% FREE and B) Amazingly helpful to get you organized (and keep you that way). Ready? Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

Allow me to introduce you to Asana. Clicking the name will take you to the website. You can sign in with your Google account. They have an iPhone app, too, so you can manage on the go!!

Here's a screenshot of my personal tasks:

This is a place where I can put all my book writing and launching information. As you can see, there's nothing on it at the moment. I'll be spending the weekend plotting timelines for my next two book launches. It will include dates to hit word counts and dates to schedule release day promotions. I'll add a project and tasks here in a few to show you how that works.

But! I also have a page for collaborative works:

We'll get to why that matters in a moment and why there are little pictures of other folks in the top, left corner. Stay with me!

Not only can you plot out your timelines, Asana will nag you via email of your incomplete tasks per your designated release date. If you want, it'll also email you when you have something coming up. It all depends on how you set up your tasks.

Let's go through one now.

As you can see, when I hover over the Add Task button, an Add Section button appears. Since I'll be scheduling two different books, I want two different sections. Click Add Section.

Fill in the relevant information.

Now, click the ellipsis in the top, right corner and select Convert to Project.

Click Convert. Pay attention to what happened on the left.

Now you can add tasks within that project with different sections like writing and marketing.
Let's do that now. First, click on the project name on the left side. Then click add section. Type in Writing, assign the task to yourself, pick a due date (completion of actually writing the book) and then click the second button that looks like a branched t with dots.

This will allow you to put in your word count goals. Be sure you set due dates and assign the tasks to yourself to get email reminders.

Fill out as many or as few as you like. I did just four so you could see what it's like.

Now, close the window and go back to the main project board. Add another section. Call it Editing and assign the task to yourself. Add all the dates you want to have edits done by (these aren't real because I haven't gotten into due dates with anyone yet... Just for show).

Keep going until you have marketing dates setup, too. You CAN overlap them with editing or writing. Don't worry. It looks like it's all truncated now, but here's where the magic happens!
Now, all your tasks are in there, and you're ready to look at the whole. Go to the top and click on My Tasks.

Boom. There's a list of everything you have coming up. If you'd like a different view, click on Calendar.

As you scroll, you'll find items you've added to your tasks in the order they're supposed to be completed. How cool is that?

Now, if you're working with other writers or people on a project of any kind, this app reallllly comes in handy. We've used it a ton with the F5 projects we've done. It helped us set due dates for everything from book trailers to marketing to writing and beyond. Each week, it also sends out a project status email that tells everyone in the group what's been done and what's left to do.

But the best part about the whole thing? IT'S FREE for up to like 10 collaborators. You can add them via email, and their photos pop up on the top left. Plus, you can sync it to your phone's calendar or export the whole thing as a CSV or print to PDF for sharing with someone else, add files to the tasks, and soooo much more. You just click the dropdown next to the project name. See?

I love it for my own stuff, and it saves trees. I hope you find it useful!

What do you think? Plan on trying it out? Let me know how it goes!

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


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!