Cover Sneak Peek + EXCITING NEWS

On Christmas day, I received a surprise text from my sister, Angelina, informing me that my present was in my email!!!

Yes, that’s right, the cover painting for Minstrel’s Call is complete! It still needs a few things from the graphics department (title, author name, spine text, barcode box) but the painting itself is done, and I can honestly tell you that this is my absolute favorite of all four covers! It is SOOOOO beautiful!

I’m not quite ready to do a complete cover reveal, but I am willing to share a VERY tiny sneak peek with you… just enough to drive you a little crazy. I already shared this in my newsletter last week, so some of you may have already seen it, but as my NL list is not very long yet, I wanted to make sure that all of my faithful readers got a chance to catch a glimpse. The final song….

Minstrel's Call Cover Sneak Peak (1)

 

I’m so so so excited to share this final verse with you, dear Reader!

I got the edits back from the proofreader last week, and finished making the tweaks and changes necessary. I also got the book formatted and into its finalized shape. I hope to have a release date ready for you soon. As in, ANY DAY NOW.

Now, for my BIG EXCITING news (as if a cover painting and being DONE with all the editing weren’t enough)

ARCs!

I’m ready to give out a small number of Advance Reader Copies!

What are ARCs? Well, they are copies of a book that are released to a select audience pre-release in order to generate interest and reviews on/near (but not before, please) the day of publication and release. These particular copies will be in PDF form and will NOT have the final cover attached to them, but they are in every other way the final version of Minstrel’s Call book. If you would like an Advance Reader Copy AND you are willing to post a review on or near the date of publication (which will be a few weeks out from now – I promise, I will have an actual release date for you VERY SOON – but I know this book is massive and wanted to give any advance readers time to read the book before we hit “Publish”), please fill out the form below. Quantities are limited to a first-come/first-served basis.

For those hesitant to sign up because you know this is a longer book, I do not foresee the release date of Minstrel’s Call happening before February 15, so that would give you five weeks minimum to get through the book before reviews would be needed.

~ jenelle

I Had a Dream… Once

My writing buddy Deborah @ Road of a Writer posted about her writing dreams for the new year… and I liked that she called them that. Goals and resolutions can be big and scary, and they don’t really leave room for life to happen or plans to change. Dreams, however, dreams are flexible. Dreams are sparkly and enticing, but there’s no guilt or feeling overwhelmed by not seeing them come true in a set time or manner.

So what are my writing dreams for this coming year?

I’m dreaming BIG, my friends.

First of all, I want to publish Minstrel’s Call. And I am SO CLOSE, dear Reader. “Very close now!” (said in my best Smeagol impersonation).  I have some BIG news about that coming in the very near future…

Then I have some serious writing to do. Because my HUGE goal for the year is to draft books 3-5 of the Turrim Archive. Yes, you read that correctly. I am planning on trying to write THREE ENTIRE NOVELS in a single year! Can I do it? Probably not. But that’s why they call it dreaming…

(Yes, Deborah, that’s right, I’m not just stealing your post idea, but even your gifs… but this one is just so perfect, I couldn’t resist – also, it’s one my family quotes a ton, so I figured they’d enjoy seeing it)

That’s about all I can handle as far as epic dreams.

I also hope to continue writing fun blog posts that you all enjoy, and here on the blog, I am dreaming about February is Fantasy month and the third annual Silmarillion Awards.

I’m dreaming about finally taking some time to polish up my Cinderella retelling, and get that ready for publishing.

I’m dreaming about maybe writing a couple more very short stories for my monthly newsletters.

One other thing, while I’m dreaming about the year to come, is that I really want to go to Realm Makers this year. Been talking to my husband about that one and we are going to try to make it…. there’s still a lot up in the air right now about this summer, but I’m hoping!!!!

What are some of your writing dreams for 2018?

~ jenelle

2017: A Year in Review

Farewell, 2017. The door is barely shut behind us, and already we are looking ahead to all that 2018 promises. I thought it would be fun to do a 2017 recap before we fully dive into all the plans and excitement coming in the months ahead.

First of all, how did I do on my 2017 Writing Goals?

Well, I finished editing Minstrel’s Call, though I have not yet hit the “publish” button.

I wrote the rough draft of Turrim Archive book #2.

I began outlining Turrim Archive book #3.

I didn’t even look at my Cinderella retelling… but my illustrator has been working hard on the illustrations, and that is motivating me to want to polish that up.

I wrote several short stories, and one children’s book.

I did write and edit more diligently… but everything took longer than I had planned. Getting distracted by cyber-space is still an issue… but I’m working on it.

I sold 157 e-books and 23 paperbacks of my books.

2017 Reading

I read 66 books in 2017! That’s… a LOT more than I had planned. But it was fun, and I plan to do a Top Books of 2017 post in the near future.

2017 Blogging

Some notable blogging events happened here – despite quite a few months of being quiet.

I kicked off the year with February is Fantasy month and it went amazingly well. That will be returning this year, for sure!

Then there were the Silmarillion Awards in July, which were super fun. Nominees were nominated, votes were tallied, awards were presented… it was a blast. I hope to do them again this year.

It was not my best blogging year… but it was still in the top 3, which is fairly solid despite all the breaks and hiatuses… hiatusi…? I took throughout the year due to Grayden and editing and looming deadlines. Here are a few notable stats:

10,727 pages viewed.

My best month was July, with over 2,000 views. (Thank you, Silmarillion Awards)

My top post for the year was when we opened the nominations of the Silmarillion Awards

My top 10 most viewed posts for the year were:

Nominations Are Open

2nd Annual Silmarillion Awards

February is Fantasy Month Returns

Fantasy Story Challenge

Silm Awards Phase 2

Secondhand Lions

A Hobbit Birthday Party

And the Most Nefarious Villain Is…

Draven’s Light

Tolkien Celebration

However, none of these have yet knocked my #1 most viewed post of all time out of 1st place… which was: Ring Around the Rose: Beauty and the Beast

People found my blog through searches, and these are always entertaining. Some of the most interesting from this year were:

  • Tauriel
  • Rose.Writing
  • What is a pirates murdered
  • Monster Bed
  • Anne Hathaway Hair Ella Enchanted
  • Unpronounceable names of fantasy books

The top three searches that bring people to my site are:

  • Rose
  • Fairy Tales
  • Boromir

2017 Life Happenings

The most notable life-happening of the year occurred on April 2nd when Grayden Erebor was born into our family.

We bought a piece of land and have been working on house plans.

My girls took Irish dance and had a recital.

Leiana learned to swim, and Nathalie learned some of the basics of swimming, as well.

We traveled to Chicago, Nashville, and Arkansas.

Derek and I made new friends, played games, watched movies, and sat up late in the evenings discussing Turrim Archive, world-building, outlining, and marketing ventures.

All in all… it was a pretty good year.

How was your year, dear Reader? What are your hopes and dreams for 2018?

~ jenelle

Empty Nightstand

Happy New Year, dear Reader!

I hope you all had a blessed holiday, wherever in the world you happened to be. We enjoyed a week-long vacation down South… where it was no warmer than it had been at home… but that was fine with us. The kids got to play with their cousins, and we made yummy food, watched movies, played games, and just enjoyed being together. It was a lovely holiday.

As it is the first Wednesday of the New Year, it is definitely time for a Nightstand Books post. Misfortunately, I don’t have much on my nightstand at present.

Thaw Lord of Dreams

 

I started reading “Thaw: Winter’s Child” by E. Kaiser Writes while we were on vacation and so far I am enjoying it, though I’m only a few chapters in. “The Lord of Dreams” is one I’ll be reading on my computer if I have time, as it is the January book for the Fellowship of Fantasy Indie Book Club. If you want to join us, you are most welcome! You can get a copy of this month’s book for free in one of two ways:
The author has set up a coupon code via smashwords as well as a download link so you can pick up your copy for free: The code QF25X can be used at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/731424 to get it free.

https://gumroad.com/l/poTQOO/fellowshipoffantasybookclub is another way to get it free. The discount code is embedded in the link, so you don’t have to type in anything extra.

I apologize for not having a picture of the books like normal, but at the time I was writing this post, we were in the midst of unpacking and I was unable to find my camera!

Now, perhaps you have already filled your New Year’s reading plate… but in case you have not and are looking for something to place on your 2018 nightstand… let me take a moment of your time to tell you about a very exciting sale I am participating in: the Clean Fantasy Dragon Sale!!!

cleanfantasydragonreadslogo

 

There are TONS of clean fantasy books, all featuring DRAGONS in some way… come on over and check out the titles! I’ve read a few of these authors and heard of most of them… there are several here I am definitely interested in! Many thanks to Emily Sorenson for putting together this sale.

And that’s all I have for today. I have some exciting things in the works, though, so stay tuned!

What are you reading in the New Year, dear Reader?

~ jenelle