Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

2016: A Year in Review

December is so close to be over, and so is 2016. And thank goodness for that—is it just me, or has year been supremely sucky for just about everyone??

For me, it seems like I've hit a new speed bump every time I thought I had caught my stride. I said goodbye to my beloved Maxie Cat, my friend I've had for half my life. Quite a few relationships have fallen apart. I'm lucky that I haven't encountered any major setbacks, but I've had a bunch of smaller inconveniences: computer problems, a stolen credit card, break ups and broken hearts, death and illnesses, apartment disasters, unexpected expenses.... You name it, I'm sure I've experienced it this year.

But that doesn't mean this year has been all bad. Two new kitties, Flynn and Anna, have adopted me. I got a new Dallas Comets book published. An amazing friend invited me to see the Pens home opener and banner raising. I've made a lot of business decisions relating to my writing career including some b…

The Grand Total

Welp, I have the final calculations for how much Home Ice Advantage has made for the Seduced by the Game cancer charity anthology and my charity of choice. Ready for the grand total?

$1,448.63
Once all the royalties get paid through, I'll be making the donation to The Mario Lemieux Foundation and of course report on that.
All I can say now is a huge THANK YOU to all who purchased Home Ice Advantage and supported the Seduced by the Game cause.

The Forgotten Holiday

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday! I have so many memories of cooking in the kitchen with my mom, helping however I could—considering I refused (and still do!) to stick my hand in that turkey to stuff it.

I'm always disappointed when the stores start playing Christmas music on November 1. I know people are excited for Christmas, but it's like we're all overlooking the wonderful, forgotten holiday of Thanksgiving.






I'm going to get a little political in this section (so you can skip it, if you want). Thanksgiving represents a time when people come together, despite their differences; they help each other and celebrate what their cooperation has reaped for them. Of course, I am thinking of the "first Thanksgiving," in which the Native Americans helped the settlers at Plymouth, which lead to a bountiful harvest. Together, the settlers and Native Americans feasted. It is so pertinent to be reminded of this during the current turbulent condition of th…

Home Ice Advantage: Series Cover Reveal

A year has passed since Home Ice Advantage was released as a part of the Seduced by the Game charity collection. It will take a couple of months to get the final totals for donation, and I'll report that number as soon as I have it.

So now it is time for me to introduce the series cover for the book, as designed by the amazing Deranged Doctor Design:


Gorgeous, isn't it?

I've been in the process of getting everything updated—from the vendor sites to my website to this very blog—so the new version should be available soon. And if you've already purchased the Seduced by the Game version, you should be able to update the book on your eReader.

Here are the links (Not all of the sites have updated yet, but hopefully will be by the end of the day):


Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Inkterra
Scribd
24symbols
Smashwords
Happy reading!
Jay

Covers Galore (and More)!

I've been doing a lot with covers recently: new cover reveals and unveiling some redesigns as well.

Those who are subscribed to my newsletter have already gotten the sneak peek of the upcoming Dallas Comets novel False Start, projected to release in 2017. Here's the public reveal:




Check it the new and improved Play the Man:




This new cover follows the redesigns of Shots on Net and Game On:




That's not all on the cover front! Soon, Home Ice Advantage will be getting a new cover to fit in with the Dallas Comets series, since its year-long run in the Seduced by the Game charity collection anthology is coming to a close on October 28. But I'm not going to reveal that to you just yet. I need to keep some secrets to keep things interesting ;)

The new cover for Home Ice Advantage will be revealed—and available for purchase—beginning November 1, so be sure to keep in touch with me to see that!



Keeping Up With the Jacobses: October 2016
All Month Long: Any Kobo readers out there wil…

Lessons Learned: First Drafts

I learned a lot over the past months as I worked on Breakout Play.

My life has been full of ups and downs so far in 2016, which has affected my writing time. And then, when I sat down to write, I struggled with getting the words out of me. Since I'm a relentless perfectionist, I wanted the first draft to be, well, perfect. I wanted every sentence to be well-crafted and full of detail. So of course I painstakingly agonized over every. single. word.

The prose didn't flow; it trickled slowly onto the page.

Once it was finished, I sent it out to my critique partner and beta readers for notes and comments. They pointed out what they thought didn't work and what worked, and I dove back into my draft to make it better. To make it the book on your eReaders today.

That's when it hit me: being a good writer isn't in writing a good first draft. No, being a good writer means being able to craft the story over the course of several drafts.

Writing a first draft is like making c…

The Party Continues!

I'm so excited! Breakout Play is finally out, and yesterday was a great release day!


The celebration continues today at Toni Anderson's iBook Club "Sweet Romance" August Party. Join me and some other great sweet romance writers! It starts at 3:00pm, and the contests will be open for 48 hours. Be sure to check it out and enter to win some iBooks.

And check out the Rafflecopter giveaway going on for the next month (until September 20). You can win a $100 iTunes gift card!

Finally! The News You've Been Wanting to Read...

Happy August 1st! Usually I'd be lamenting that another month has come and gone, but that will not be the case today. You see, July was a busy month, and I've set a date for Breakout Play to release! Are you ready? It'll be coming to you on... *drum roll* August 22!

That's three weeks from today!

I'm working on getting all the preorder links. Once I have them, I'll blast them all over social media. You won't be able to miss your opportunity to preorder.

Be sure to add Breakout Play to your Goodreads to-read list.

Want a chance to read Adam and Ally's story before August 22? It's possible as long as you're signed up to be a part of my ARC group. If you aren't and would like to be, find out more info and how to sign up here.

I'm also giving my newsletter subscribers a chance to read Breakout Play for FREE. Yes, that's right. I feel awful about how far back this release date has gotten pushed, so I want to make it up to my fans. If you …

Resolution Update: Midpoint Progress Report

So it's July 1st.

The first of 2016 is done and gone, and I'm in disbelief that these six months have flown by like they have.

I want to take the time to recap my three 2016 resolutions and see how well I adhered to them.


First, there was:
This is the resolution I've stuck with fairly well! My office has been redesigned, I've added shelves and compartments around my apartment for extra storage, and I still have more plans that I've yet to set into motion.
I'm pretty proud of the way I've continued to tackle this big goal by chipping away at small projects. My latest was to add a shelf to my closet. I went to Lowe's, picked a board, and had it cut to fit the measurements I'd taken. While this wasn't necessarily the hardest thing, it was definitely more involved. I'm glad to have it done, at least!

 And second on the list,
Okay, so this one I was not as consistent with. I was going well at first, but then life took away my spare time or abilit…

Holy Cow It's June, Free Stuff, and an Excerpt

I really don't know how it became June already.

Sure, I understand how time works, and I follow the days in my calendar/planner, but I still can't believe that it's June. We're almost halfway through 2016 already!

My publishing schedule has officially derailed, and I hate admitting that. I knew it would be hard, but I really didn't expect it to be as hard as it's been to meet my self-imposed deadlines.

I don't want to be a complainer; I've learned from experience that dwelling in negativity only breeds more negativity. When I complain, I focus on all the bad stuff, and I need to focus on on the good stuff instead, because that makes me happier sooner than if I had vented and fumed.

Every author has time constraints and issues that pop up that hold them up, obviously. Whether a full-time writer or part-time writer, we all have other stuff that gets in the way. For me, I work a full-time job, which can be very mentally draining, and also do some independe…

Finding the Words...

I struggle with writer's block quite a bit; that's nothing new.



But it's not very often that I want to say something but have trouble finding the words.

That's how I'm feeling right now, for the sake of my new kitties. Particularly Flynn.


When I adopted my cats from the shelter, the individual who was in charge went over their medical histories with me. I was told that Flynn had originally been adopted out but returned by his owner after one year due to aggressiveness. I could hardly believe my Flynn could be called aggressive at all! He's been nothing short of a sweet companion. The only issues I've had with him... well, I'll get to that part.

I was not told that Flynn was originally rescued from a hoarding situation. I only found out this information once I took Flynn to the shelter's clinic, when the vet recognized him.

Apparently, when cats (or any animal) are raised in a hoarding situation, the neglect they face can cause impaired immune system…

Resolution Update #3

It's been a while since I updated my blog, which is just because life has been so crazy. My Maxie has crossed the Rainbow Bridge after her struggles with chronic renal failure. That was a very devastating day for me, but the positive side is that I was able to welcome two new kitties who needed a forever home. Flynn and Anna have their very own Instagram account, because I'm a crazy cat lady who needs an outlet to share all their adorableness!

There was a lot of stressful change in March and April, but I feel like my life is slowly starting to even out again. One of my resolutions was to get three books published this year, and the past two months have definitely thrown a wrench into my writing schedule.

I was able to get a lot of writing done this weekend—enough to get the first half sent off to my critique partner. So, while it's taken a lot longer than I had planned, BREAKOUT PLAY is moving along.

Another resolution of mine was to go to the gym three times a week. I sto…

Crazy Cat Lady Is Crazy

Everyone who knows me know that I totally own being a crazy cat lady. I constantly post pictures of my beautiful diva cat, Maxie.

Well, I was constantly posting pictures of her. I haven't in a while because, well, she hasn't been well.
Background info: this tiny gray cat adopted my family when I was 16. She finagled her way into our home and has never left. She's always been my baby cat, choosing me as her cat-mom by meowing at me loudly late at night, even though no one believed me that this otherwise quiet kitty was a noisy nellie. She's been spoiled rotten from the very beginning, when my mom bought her special cat food because she turned up her nose at what the other kitties were happy to wolf down. She got special treats and special treatment.

She's the queen of my castle. A total diva.

Friends of mine know that she has been dealing with chronic renal failure (CRF) for a while now. This is an all-too-common affliction for cats. She's 17 years old (at least…

List of Things I Accomplished This Week

Last week, my good friend and writing buddy Melanie Ting, in her endless efforts to support my current writing crisis, has suggested that I check out Mr. Chris Bailey, an expert in productivity. Mel is already an incredibly productive person, so if she recommends something, I sure as hell listen.

I checked out his website and was immediately drawn to his post about "10 productivity lessons I learned writing an 80,000-word book in 6 months". Seriously, doesn't that sound like the most perfect title for an article for a writer pressed for time to write?

There are a lot of great lessons from Mr. Bailey's article that I'm going to implement during this month of creative productivity (as Breakout Play begs to be written), so I recommend checking it—and the rest of his website—out for all of his imparted wisdom.

One lesson that particularly struck me was to take time to reflect on your multiple, smaller accomplishments within the larger and singular accomplishment of w…

March Madness

I had hoped to have Breakout Play published by now.

Obviously, that is not the case, and I am sad about that.


I don't know if I should admit this or not, but here's why: I haven't written it all. I've got a beginning, sections of the middle, but definitely no ending. The story's not even done, and it still has rounds of edits to go through, polishing, and proofing before I feel ready to release it for your reading pleasure.

I should also admit that I don't know how long it will take, so I don't feel comfortable putting forth another release date in case I don't make that one either.

If you're bummed by this news, please know that I am too. I'm excited about this story: I'm excited to tell it, and I'm excited to share it. Unfortunately, I'm running short on time during the day to devote to the project. I won't bother with listing excuses reasons why, because those don't really matter anyway.

Besides, it's more proactive to…

Resolution Update #2

My first resolution for 2016 was to get organized. That process is still ongoing, and I'm sure this whole project will take several months. But here is everything that I have accomplished so far:

Went through my closet and shoes to find items to donate.Threw out old, expired items from my kitchen cabinets and shelves.Took my old, broken, ginormous TV to the recycler.Rearranged my writing room so the desk faces a wall and mounted a cork board to the wall.Went through old paperwork and organized my files.Looked into buying shelving for more space to display cool stuff and to store items.


I still have a lot more to do. I need to buy some hooks so I can hang purses in my closet and utilize the space fully. And go through my purses to donate any that I don't use. Also, once I have the shelving I want/need, I can install those and organize the limited space I have.


Resolution number two was to hit the gym. Well, there was a span of two weeks in January that I didn't go the gym. S…

The Need for Self-Love (Practicing Self-Care)

February is the unofficial month of love, all thanks to that pesky Valentine's Day. I don't usually do much to celebrate the "holiday" because it never seemed like a big deal to me. (Well, except for the years I was single. Then it seemed like a big deal!) In fact, my boyfriend and I might not even see each other this Valentine's Day.

Making Progress...

A week and a half into 2016, and I've already made some great progress on some of my new years' resolutions. I'll be blogging about this as the month and year go on, as a way to hold myself accountable.



My first resolution was to GET ORGANIZED. I'm totally going to toot my own horn (toot, toot!) and say that I've made major headway in this regard. I've gone through the cabinets in my kitchen, took my old TV to the recycler, and made headway in my closet.

But I'm still not done! There's much left to do. I haven't even touched my desk yet! Eep!

I've had to change my approach to organizing: rather than tackling one project at a time, I've decided to devote a certain amount of time to organizing each day.

Part of getting my life organized includes getting better about time management.


My second resolution was to HIT THE GYM. I can happily report that I have upped my gym attendance, although not the three times a week that I had said I would. It…

Hockey New Year 2016

Happy January, my lovely readers, and happy hockey new year! Hard to believe it's 2016 already!

Part of me realizes that January 1st is an arbitrary date, in the scheme of things. How is it any different than February 1st? Or the first day of a new season?

A new year means a brand new calendar, a brand new planner, and a blank page.

It also means making New Year's Resolutions.


There are plenty of things that I need to be better about doing. I need to get better about planning meals ahead of time so I eat less junk food, especially since I've been focusing on eating a mostly paleo diet. Also, I need to make sure I'm getting enough sleep every night. But there are more important things on my mind.

I'm making my resolutions public so I'll be held accountable for achieving these very realistic goals.



First, I resolve to:
Not only in my author life, but in my personal life. I will go through my closet and get rid of the clothes I don't wear anymore. And I will or…