It’s a Big Bloggy Update

I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t posted nearly enough, but I promise this is the turning point.  lol  I have written a blog post to end all blog posts, or, more accurately, to jump-start my blog again.  What you’re going to find in here is an update on the life of me in the last two months and what’s coming next.

jena sig 2015

In This Post

  • Working Full Time Update
  • Dance With the Devil Progress & My Writing/Beta Team
  • #AmWriting Project
  • What I’ve Been Watching
  • What I’ve Been Reading

 

Working Full Time Update

Business is going well.  Steady and busy.  🙂  I’ve been contracted to act as the Marketing Manager for a small press publisher specializing in fantasy, Incandescent Phoenix Books.  They’re catalog consists of five different authors, one of which is the owner of the publishing house.  If you were to compare their books, think along the lines of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Piers Anthony, etc.  🙂  It’s a good little publishing house and my duties for them are light enough that I have PLENTY of time to work with tons of other authors.

IPB Logo For Blog Posts

In addition to IPB, I’m still working with my regulars and have brought on some new clients.  T.J. Michaels and Scott Pixello are my newest long-term clients.  I got to work with Kendall Grey on her release GHOSTS, and I have some upcoming projects with Beth Dolgner (which I am SUPER-excited about) and Jennah Scott (who I’m also wicked excited about because I got to meet in person at TNEE and she was so sweet).  There are lots of other great authors I’m currently working with, too.  Like I said, things are steady.  I’m hoping to see an increase soon.  I’d like to be a bit busier than I am simply because I would rather not have as much downtime as I do, but I’m enjoying it while I have it.

One of the things I have been doing with my downtime is learning the open-source software Gimp.  If you’re not familiar, it’s a legally free software that has the same capability as Photoshop without the price tag, but it’s different software so it took some learning.  Now that I am cruising along in it, I’m going to start offering premade boo covers for sale.  It’ll give me some extra money in the bank and it’s something I enjoy doing in my downtime, so it wont feel like work.

I’ve also been using my downtime to put together my office area in my bedroom.  My bedroom is where I go to relax.  It’s like my little nerd cave, so I knew if I was going to be home working, I wanted a space I enjoy.  Plus, I have an unnatural love for office supplies, so bonus for me.

20160407_131311

For now, the only thing I have left to do is figure out what I need to hook up my second monitor.  I purchase two 21.5″ monitors so I could do an extended desktop, but I don’t have the right ports to do it.  I have one screen hooked up by SVGA cable, which my tower only has one of.  The other option for the second monitor is the issue.  The only ports I have on the monitor are SVGA (but the tower has no 2nd port) and DVI.  The tower only has HDMI (no DVI port).  I’m sure once I get around to it, I’ll be able to find some sort of converter to go from DVI to HDMI, or DVI to USB, but for right now it’s not a priority.  The one monitor has been working just fine for the time being, and the other monitor is here and ready to go for when I finally get around to it.

Eventually, my plan is to replace that desk with a bar-height desk.  I’m actually going to build it right into the wall.  That way, on real busy days, I can stand up and work.  My current desk is way too short for that.  Plus, my daughter wants my current desk real bad.  The desk I have now is one I have had for years.  I have a thing about stickers and when I first got that desk it was given to me when a friend moved.  I hated the top of it (someone has applied cheap laminate to it) so I started covering it in stickers.  There is a little bit of everything on there, from bands to movies to cars.  Now that she listens to all the same music I do, she wants the desk.  lol  Anyway, the office area is now being referred to as Mission Control or Command Central depending on my mood.  lol

 

Dance With the Devil Progress
& My Writing/Beta Team

Dance With the Devil hasn’t moved AT ALL, but this was done intentionally.  I took the last few weeks to step away from it because something in the story was feeling stale.  If I was feeling like it was getting stale, you guys definitely would hate it.  So I pushed it to the back burner and let it simmer for a few weeks while I brainstormed.  I finally figured it out and I’m diving back in.  Things are going quickly enough that I have decided on a hazy release date.  I say hazy because I haven’t picked the exact date yet, but Dance With the Devil will be published in July.  🙂  I’ll be done long before then so those who have signed up to be on the ARC list will get it before then, but I want to give myself a really good window for planning out all my promo.  I’ve got a solid title marketing plan through Pure Textuality PR that has proven successful for my clients, so I’m going to use it on my own book.  But it requires a six-week jump-start ahead of the release so I wanted to make sure I gave myself plenty of time.  🙂  If you’re a book blogger and you want to receive a review copy of Dance as soon as it’s ready, click here to sign up.

As a way to keep jobs for Pure Textuality PR straight, I started using a great, free online project management tool called Asana.  I started using it when I started doing marketing for IPB, and I cannot sing its praises enough.  It’s made running Pure Textuality PR insanely efficient and simple.  So, I decided to make use of it for my writing.  I created a separate workspace on Asana called The Batcave and added all my beta team members.  I also opened up the writing/beta team application, so if you’re interested in joining my team, you can read the details here.  I’ve got room for a few more members and the next book up will be Dance With the Devil.  🙂

 

#AmWriting Project

I could not be more proud of this project!  The list of contributing authors is AMAZING (JEANIENE FROST IS A CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR!!!!!) and everything is running right on schedule.  I even designed and made the cover for it.  🙂  I can’t show it to you yet, but if you’d like to participate in the cover reveal on April 22nd, sign up here.  When I was close to finished with the cover, I showed it to R.A. Mizer at ShoutLines Design, the incredible talent behind my own book covers, and her words to me were “I couldn’t do much better myself.”  I cannot even begin to explain how big of a compliment that was coming from her.  🙂

AmWriting Cover Placeholder

#AmWriting Details – Click Here

I sent the project file to her and she’s going to take a look and see if there are any touches she would add.  When the book goes live, I can’t wait to see the copyright page read Cover By Pure Textuality PR and ShoutLines Design.  That’s going to be a moment of pride for me.

 

What I’ve Been Watching

In the last two months, I have binge-watched a LOT of TV while working.  I got caught up on a lot I had fallen behind on (The Walking Dead, Suits, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Supernatural, etc.), but I also watched a lot that people have been bugging me to get on board with.

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterStar Wars: The Force Awakens
I finally went to see it.  OMG.  YESSSSSSS!  Here are the thoughts I summed up on Instagram when I left the theater (click the image to make star wars igit bigger):

 

 

 

 

 

 

mockingjay 2Mocking Jay Part 2
Meh.  That was my overall thought on the ENTIRE movie.  Meh.  I’ve never read the whole series (loved The Hunger Games, DNF’d Catching Fire….I was soooo bored), so I have no clue if that’s how the book series ended, but I thought it was really anticlimactic.  I was really disappointed overall.  *shrug*  Just makes me wish Allegiant would come out, like, now.  lol

 

 

 

 

blindspotBlindspot
When I went with Heather to Las Vegas in January, one of the many awesome things I came away from that trip with was a recommendation to watch a show called Blindspot.  I’m a huge fan of The Blacklist and Heather insisted that I give Blindspot a try because the shows have a similar feel.  Well, they do, and yes, I loved it.  The show has a cool concept and keeps you guessing from moment one all the way through.  I love that.  There is nothing I find more annoying than predictable story lines.

 

 

 

lucifer-poster-fox-46aa3Lucifer
This is one I stumbled upon by accident while catching up with Blindspot on Hulu.  I reached the end of the current episodes of Blindspot and it autoplayed right into S01E01 of Lucifer.  And I LOVE it.  I have no clue who the dude is who plays Lucifer, but he’s downright hilarious.  He’s got a perfect delivery for that character, every words stuffed chuck full o’ snark.  It’s got emotional moments, but it’ll mainly keep you giggling.

 

 

 

2387320483_08d643200cGilmore Girls
This was another one I watched at must insisting from Heather.  I watched all the way through, and although I liked it, I have to say, I thought the ending was a bit of a let down.  However, I finished up just around the time that they announced the reboot to wrap up the story line.  I can get on board with that idea.

 

 

 

 

47fe510eb23bb8e4384868c26b4fd335The Last Witch Hunter
I watched it and it wasn’t horrible.  *shrug*  I read reviews of it after I saw it and they were not kind.  It’s a good action flick with a great supernatural story line.  I liked it.  A lot.  Look, no one goes into a Vin Diesel flick expecting to be blown away by an Oscar-worthy performance.  It’s Vin Diesel.  Pretty? Yes.  Good at his job as an action star? Absolutely.  The next name to take Best Actor?  Not so much.  That being said, the movie really isn’t bad and I loved the supernatural story.  It was pretty bad ass.

 

 

 

Project-Almanac-PosterProject Almanac
Okay, so, want to hear something funny?  When I’m getting ready to do a big blog post like this, I carry around a note pad for a few days making a list of everything I want to talk about.  I wrote this movie down because at the time, I had just watched it and I loved it.  However, now, I can’t really remember any details of why I loved it so much.  I know it has to do with time travel and how going back can screw things up worse than the characters ever thought, but beyond that, I cant remember anything that stood out about the movie now.  Nothing.  None of it stuck with me.  So, take from that what you will….  lol

 

 

11226311.22.63
SUCH A GREAT MINI-SERIES!!!  That being said, I watched the mini-series and held off on reading the book because I didn’t want to be disappointed.  So, I have no clue how it holds up to the book.  Now that I have had a chance to watch the film version, I’ve added 11.22.63 to my upcoming reading pile.  🙂

 

 

 

 

The InterviewThe Interview
My recent watch of the 11.22.63 combined with the article that came out on him in Rolling Stone magazine left me with a bit of a crush on James Franco as a person.  Seriously, read the article.  He’s just a straight-up amazing mind and I want to be his friend.  Anyway, after finishing 11.22.63, I decided to watch The Interview and I loved it.  All the way through.  This is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, but I totally get why it pushed the buttons it did.  lol  If you haven’t read it yet, I think you should probably give it a shot.  If herbal refreshments are your style, I imagine that would enhance your watching experience.  lol  Both James Franco and Seth Rogen are hilarious in it.

 

svuLaw & Order SVU
Yep, I finally did it.  I’ve been picking on my hetero soul mate Dubo’s obsession with this show for years.  Then, last week, my dad was watching it on Hulu in the chill cave I have set up down in my basement by the wood stove.  I grabbed my laptop and headed down to park myself on the couch since a laptop, coffee, and a roaring wood stove create the world’s best working environment.  😉  Yeah, a few hours and episodes later, I was HOOKED.  I get it now and last night I offered up my apologies to Dubo for the never-ending stream of shit I’ve given her for being a fan.  lol  I doubt I will ever do a full series re-watch because there are so many seasons, but I’ve watched the most recent few seasons.  🙂

 

django-unchained-final-american-movie-posterDjango Unchained & The Hateful Eight
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine made me watch Django Unchained and we followed it right up with The Hateful Eight.  Although I absolutely LOVED both movies, I don’t recommend watching them on top of one another because aspects of the story line could have been copy/pasted into the script.  One of which is the-hateful-eight-poster-2both movies start out centered around a bounty hunter who NEVER takes his bounties in alive because transporting a dead body is far easier.  That being said, it probably only stood out to me because I obsess over the writing in films.  With both being made by the same guy, Quentin Motherfuckin’ Tarantino, it kind of felt a little cheap and lazy.  BUT, they really are great movies.  🙂

 

I also started watching two other series but I DNFed them because they didn’t hold me AT ALL.  One was BBC’s Atlantis.  I restarted S01E01 three times before I finally gave up.  Every time, I never made it through the entire episode because I fell asleep.

Yes, it literally put me to sleep.  O_o

The other was Shadow Hunters.  Now, I’ve seen other people’s reactions to this show, people who have read the books (which I have not), and they LOVE it.  Since I’ve never read the books, I only have the movie to compare it to and I loved the movie (and again, most that read the book did NOT like the movie).  If the show is closer to being like the books, I wont be reading them anytime soon…

 

 

What I’ve Been Reading

11425820_10152965828798034_1622165485302447260_oFeverborn and the KMM Convo
I love Karen Marie Moning.  I have since the first time I met Jericho Barrons in the pages of Darkfever.  As a writer, she’s one of my urban fantasy idols, right at the top of the list with the likes of Amber Benson, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, and Patricia Briggs.  As a reader, OMG, she’s a rockstar.  I just love her.  I’ve been trying to work with her in some capacity for years now (I’ve requested interviews, I’ve invited her to conventions I’ve been involved in, I invited her to contribute to the #AmWriting project, etc.) to no avail.  So, of course, the first Fever book I wasn’t over the moon about, Feverborn, was what got her attention.  I had a *head desk* moment, had to publish a correction to my review due to a misquote on my part, and THAT’S the first time I have a one-on-one convo with a woman I worship as an artist.  Yeah, thanks universe.  That was a bittersweet day.  I was losing my shit over the fact that Karen Marie Moning was sending me a private message on Facebook, and then I was losing my shit because I misquoted the frikkin book.  Mortifying.  Kill me now.  You can read the full story here in my review.

 

Filthy Beautiful LiesFilthy Beautiful Lies series by Kendall Ryan
I haven’t posted my review on this yet, but I will once it’s love.  Last Sunday morning, I decided I wanted to do some reading.  I went into my Kindle library and clicked on the first book cover that caught my eye – Filthy Beautiful Lies, the first book in the series of the same name.  I read all four books in the series in less than 48 hours.  I was soooo good.  For me to say that about a contemporary romance, it’s got to be good because I’ve DNFed more contemporary romances than I can count.  Too many romance authors out there rely on the sex to sell their book and I find the story lines severely lacking.  Well, so far, Kendall Ryan has never disappointed me.  Monster Prick was really good, and I loved this series end-to-end.  I highly recommend checking it out.  🙂  It’s #FREE and I linked the book cover to the book’s Amazon page.

 

From The Ashes CoverFrom the Ashes by Amber Lynn Natusch
Earlier this week, my friend Amber Lynn Natusch released From the Ashes, the first book in her new Force of Nature series.  I posted my review on release day over on the Pure Textuality blog.  Check it out and give the book a shot.  It’s urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a very unique twist.  I really loved it.  🙂

 

 

 

 

I also recently reviewed Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews, I read Tryst by S.L. Jennings which was a DNF for me (the story fell flat for me about half way through and I totally lost interest), and I am currently reading Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs.

 

 

That’s it for the big catch up.  I now have a daily task set up to post here on the Bloggy Blog so you guys will be sick of me again before you know it.  🙂

jena sig 2015

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