The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

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Who Wants Free Books?

I’ve got books listed in TWO multi-author e-book giveaways this month! Check ’em out below and click the banner to go to each giveaway page–and be sure to enter the gift card giveaway contest while you’re there.

Speaking of contests, here’s a link to enter to win a Kindle Fire (or a $50 gift card, if you prefer). No subscriptions or follows necessary to enter. Full disclosure–I’ll get an extra ten entries for everyone who uses that link to enter.

Now go load up on free books!

Back and There Again (Happy 2022!)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Happy first Monday of the New Year, friends!

I wrote another version of this post last week. I deleted it because I was in an introspective and melancholy mood that day, and it showed. And also because I went into WAY too much detail recapping 2021, after which it occurred to me that I had already written posts about most of those things, and y’all can just scroll back and read if you actually care.

With all that said, despite everything happening *gestures vaguely* out there, on a personal level 2021 actually turned out to be a pretty good year. It got off to a rocky start, with a brief period of unemployment and the Ice Apocalypse killing our well pump and cancelling our plans to get both an Anatolian shepherd puppy and chicks, but by March everything started coming together. We ended up getting Dixie, work started to roll in from bigger and better clients, we got our garden bed built and actually had our first successful vegetable garden, and then come fall we finally got our chicks and built them a coop from scratch. We made big strides on the homesteading front, and as far as freelance income goes, I had my best year ever. All those setbacks at the start of the year turned out to be prepping us for things to come together and work out just as they were supposed to.

With all the stuff going on, I spent the first half of the year in a bit of an existential crisis that was carried over from 2020, questioning whether I wanted to continue writing fiction and trying to make headway as an author in any way, shape or form, or if I just wanted to scrap it all and become a farmer. After a lot of prayer and soul searching, I realized that yes, I still want to write and publish novels, AND I want to be a farmer. And thanks in large part to Becca Symes and her Quitcast, I figured out what I needed to do both to get motivated to write again and to fit it back into my life. Which resulted in finally finishing my Dominion of the Damned trilogy and getting pretty darn close to finishing the romance novel I’d started in 2020.

(In my original draft of this post it took me more than 1200 words to tell you all of that. Seriously, be glad I deleted it.)

So what did I learn in 2021? A lot, actually. Too much to list here. But here are some highlights:

  • I learned a lot more about the Bible and theology, particularly around the areas of eschatology (end-times prophecy studies) and things pertaining to the Nephilim, the Tower of Babel, Enoch and all of that fun stuff. It didn’t really alter my views, but it all helped to refine and solidify my understanding of the Big Picture.
  • I went through a whole journey regarding conspiracy theories and trutherism and came out the other side feeling that it’s best to keep an eye on things with a healthy balance of open-mindedness and skepticism, testing and verifying everything to the best of your ability, and that overall my time and energy are better spent studying scripture and keeping my eyes on Jesus.
  • I learned a lot about the Thing that Shall Not Be Named, and also learned that when you find out information that’s contrary to the allowable beliefs about said thing, the only people who want to hear about it are those who already have their doubts and suspicions, and everyone else is happy to believe and go along with the sanctioned narrative and won’t appreciate you trying to educate them with facts, even if said facts could save their lives and/or long-term health. People are just gonna believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do. I tried, man. I guess I should just be glad that the officially sanctioned narrative is shifting and some of these facts are starting to be officially acknowledged and publicized–too late to help thousands, if not millions, of people make better-informed choices that could have saved lives, but whatever.
  • Relatedly, I discovered my voice this year and learned how to use it to say what I really think and believe.
  • I learned a lot about how I’m wired as a writer and what I need in order to become and remain consistently productive. And that, for me, showing up consistently to write a little each day is more effective than trying to do marathon writing sessions or cram in high daily word counts.
  • Related to that, I learned that I really am hardwired to need a lot of downtime to just think and process, and that I have to be careful not to cram so much into my schedule that I don’t have time for that. I need to spend at least as much time taking in and processing ideas and information as I do producing stories and content. Fortunately, I can get a lot of thinking done while still being productive at things like household chores and gardening, so it’s not like I have to just sit on my hinder and do nothing. But I do need to remember sometimes not to listen to podcasts while doing those things so I can give myself time to think instead.
  • Speaking of podcasts, and of learning about Nephilim and the pre-flood world, I learned that Blurry Creatures is an amazing podcast.
  • Finally, I learned that I’ve got a good life. I’ve always been plagued with a slight disassociation, a feeling of being somewhat removed from my own life, not feeling at home in my own skin, and feeling like I’m just biding my time and waiting for my real life to begin. But for the last couple of years those feelings have been steadily fading and I’ve been feeling more solidly grounded in my current life, more at peace with myself and at home in my skin, and more present and fully engaged. This last year I feel like I really turned a corner, and really felt for the first time in my almost-49 years how it feels to be truly alive and aware in the moment. There were a lot of moments this year, most of which involved being outdoors, covered in sunshine and surrounded by nature, soaked in sweat and covered in dirt and/or sawdust and/or chicken poop, many of which also involved doing a project with my husband, and just being filled with gratitude and thinking that I really, really love my life.

But all of that was last year. So what about 2022?

I have a feeling things are about to get real interesting. That the last two years were just the tip of the iceberg. I would love to be wrong. I’m not going to make predictions, but with aliens and UFOs and CERN and small pox all making headlines lately, I’m thinking we’d all best buckle up. At any rate, I’ve got all those things on my 2022 bingo card.

But one of my intentions for the new year is to spend less time looking at and thinking about headlines and more time praying, studying the Word and living this pretty great life I’ve been blessed with.

My big goal for the year is to grow my publishing income to a point where it can replace my freelance writing income so I can retire from that. To that end, here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish this year:

  • Publish six new books. I’ve got a head start on this, with my romance novel nearly finished, two novellas I wrote in 2020 waiting in the queue to be edited, and another novella started and waiting to be finished. The first novella is a stand-alone horror story that I’m hoping to release in February. The other two are the start of an urban fantasy series that will live in Kindle Unlimited. And to those I want to add a follow-up to my first romance novel, and a third novella — either a romance novella for Christmas or the third installment of the urban fantasy series. If all goes well I may try to squeeze in both, but that might be getting into magical thinking. At any rate, as long as life remains stable enough to keep writing, I’m going to do my ever-lovin’ best to release a book every other month, starting in February.
  • Repackage existing books. This will include paperback versions of Dominion, and eventually a boxed set, as well as a boxed set and a paperback collection of my shorter works.
  • Substantially grow my mailing list(s), set up lengthy automated campaigns and get back to monthly newsletters for both of my pen names.
  • Learn what I need to learn to become effective at advertising on Facebook and Amazon.

I’m also playing around with my schedule to see if I can fit a second writing session into my mornings and increase my average daily word count from 500 to 1,000. If I can do that, I’ll finish my current WIP in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be able to write a novella in about a month. So far so good — this morning I was able to fit in another half-hour of writing after my morning chores and Bible study. The big question is whether I’ll be able to keep that up once freelance assignments start coming back in (the agencies I work for are still closed for the holidays), but hopefully by then it will be enough of a habit that it won’t be something I have to think about.

I spent a lot of time over the weekend examining my priorities as far as marketing efforts go, trying to determine what will get me the most results for the least amount of effort. Social media and blogging both fell pretty low on the ROI list, so those are going to get less attention this year. Not that I’m not going to do them, but they’re not something I’m going to stress myself out about fitting into my weekly schedule. I may also phase out these coffee talks. I enjoy them, but they haven’t gotten any engagement in a long time, so I may just stick to more thematic, evergreen content when I feel moved to write some, as well as book news updates. If you want to keep up with what’s doing around the ol’ homestead, you can follow my personal Instagram–at least until I get mad at Instagram/Facebook/Meta whatever and decide I’m taking my toys back to my own sandbox, or they cancel me for all my spicy opinions and sharing of unapproved facts.

(Another thing I learned is that my “Strategic” brain is always editing my plans on the fly. It’s not ADHD that makes me flip back and forth so much, it’s just my strategic thinker wiring trying to adapt to life’s twists and turns.)

Other than that, we don’t have any big plans for the year. We’re just going to maintain the status quo, try to keep our current animals alive and healthy, expand our garden and learn some new skills. I started a 30-day diet reset today, but that’s not really a NY resolution, just needing to get things back on track and recover my health after the holidays. It’s not anything major, just avoiding sugar, alcohol and processed junk for the next thirty days to get it all out of my system and lower my chronic inflammation. Today is actually my first day in a while without any sweets. I had a pretty intense chocolate craving earlier, but I got through it. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are usually my most intense craving times, so I’ve just got one more to get through today. Usually when I do this sort of thing, by day three the cravings start to abate, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll make it.

How’s your 2022 shaping up? Do you have a word for the year? Resolutions? Goals? Intentions? Hopes? Plans? Tell meeeee!

A Gift for You

Merry Christmas! I come bearing gifts. The Gift, actually, which is my short, Christmas-themed Restless Spirits prequel, and which is now available perma-free on Amazon, Kobo and various other retailers. Click here to find all the links and download it in the format of your choice!

Okay, that’s just one gift, singular. I’m sorry. But to make it up to you, you can click here to enter to win a Kindle Fire 7 (or a $50 gift card, if that’s your preference) from My Book Cave — no purchases, follows or subscriptions necessary to enter (full disclosure — I’ll get 10 bonus entries for each person who enters using my link).

In other news, I’m going to give myself the gift of a Christmas break. I think today is going to be my last work day this week and I’m going to take a rest from all writing until the Monday after Christmas. I’m a little apprehensive about this throwing off the momentum I’ve got going on my current WIP, but I’m reasonably confident I’ll be able to get my groove back come next Monday. And I hope to be back here next week with an end-of-year wrapup, as is customary.

In the meantime, I’m going to hang with my husband and furbabies, get cozy with some hot beverages, try not to overdo the chocolate, watch some Christmas movies, and also spend a lot of time in reflection, prayer, and thinking about plans for the coming year.

I hope you and yours have a peaceful Christmas and a blessed new year.

Coffee Talk: It’s the Most Busy-full Time of the Year

Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay

Hello there, Bloglandia. It’s been a little while. I just wanted to pop in and touch base and let everyone know I’m still plugging along. There’s not a lot to report. Freelance writing has been keeping me busy, and when I get breaks between articles I’ve been trying to keep up with behind-the-scenes book marketing tasks and housework, and also rest my tired brain. We both haven’t been sleeping so great, and winter is already zapping our energy, so we’re struggling a little to keep up with everything and oh so ready for the Christmas break.

But for all of that, I’ve still been diligent to get up early every weekday morning and work a little bit on my romance novel, which is about two-thirds of the way done. I may end up having to pare it down when all is said and done. I think it’s going to end up quite a bit longer than the typical fluffy romance read. But it’s turning out to not be all that fluffy. I keep tackling some heavy stuff. Stuff like narcissistic abuse, church hurt, C-PTSD, being upset with God… so much for writing a romantic comedy. At any rate, it’s coming along.

We did manage to put out some Christmas decorations, although we had to Dixie proof everything, and we didn’t even attempt to put up the pretty fake tree we bought last year. Instead we harvested a little juniper from our property and decorated it with our unbreakable ornaments.

Also, I’ve taken up playing the recorder. I’ve tried and tried over the years to make myself into a guitar player, but the truth is that I’m a woodwinds gal. In my heart of hearts, I want to replace my long-lost saxophone, but those are too expensive. I’ve been drawn to playing the Irish tin whistle as a cheap substitute. But I’ve got this recorder that Matt bought me years ago, so I pulled that out in the hopes that by playing it he’d be more inclined to let me get a set of tin whistles. I looked into some recorder lessons on YouTube and discovered that there’s a lot more to it than I thought. I don’t have as much time to practice as I’d like, but I’m having fun with it. I still want those tin whistles, though. And a saxophone. Some day…

Today is shaping up to be pretty and mild, so we’re going to make ourselves get outside and do some neglected chores. The chicken coop and pen are sorely in need of a cleaning. The plan is to muck it all out and transport all the poopy stuff to our garden bed area, where we’ll spread it around and cover it and let it go to work conditioning the soil through the winter. And we’ve still got a million leaves to rake, and we still need to gather and cut old deadwood for our second hugelkulture bed. Probably we won’t get all that done today, but if we can get the coop cleaned out I’ll be happy. Also, if I ever start a homesteading blog, I’m going to call it “Dirt, Sweat, and Chicken Poop,” and never will there have been a more aptly named blog.

Speaking of the chickens, ours will be old enough to switch from grower to layer feed soon, and we’ve been researching cost-effective ways to feed chickens. Because let me tell ya, commercial chicken feed is ‘spensive. If any of you reading this have tackled this problem and have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Aaand it’s just about time to head out and get to work. I’m hoping to be back soon with an end-of-year update, and hopes and plans for the new year. Because it’s already getting to be that time. Can you believe it?

Oh, and ICYMI, Desolation, Book One of my now-complete Dominion trilogy, is only 99 cents!

Until next time, Bloggy friends!

Dominion of the Damned trilogy

Dominion news! New covers, and get Desolation for only 99 cents!

Hello hello!

I hope you’re all having a relaxing Thanksgiving week (those of you who celebrate it, at any rate). I’m taking it easy this week to rest up from a few weeks of keeping up with an intense freelance writing workload before I dive back in next week. But I wanted to tell you about some final tweaks I made to my Dominion of the Damned trilogy:

  • I updated the covers  (see below) — hopefully this makes it a bit clearer what readers can expect.
  • I merged the two parts of Revolution into a single volume.
  • AND I set Book One, Desolation, at only 99 cents from now until further notice.

Click here to find the complete trilogy on Amazon, and click here for links to everywhere else it’s sold.

Happy reading, and happy Thanksgiving!

REVOLUTION 2 IS HERE AND I’M TOO EXCITED CAN’T YOU TELL BY THE CAPS ABUSE

Hi guys. I know it’s been quiet around these parts lately. That’s because we’ve had our heads down finishing projects.

And one of those projects was Revolution Part Two and YOU GUYS IT’S HERE IT’S OUT IN THE WORLD AND YOU CAN GET IT AND READ IT RIGHT NOW OMG!

Please excuse my complete lack of chill. There were times these last two years when I thought this day would never come. But it did. It’s here. Dominion of the Damned is completely finished.

Currently both this new release and Revolution Part One are 99 cents. In about a month I’ll merge them into one volume and unpublish the second part, and raise the price on the complete volume. That means two things: one, you’ve got about a month to grab both halves for under $2 and save a buck or two; and two, if you leave a review, please leave it on Part One’s Amazon page, because that’s where the complete volume will live, and Part Two’s Amazon page will be going away.

And in this day of rule by algorithm, reviews are very, very much needed and appreciated.

Phew! So what else is new? We finished the chicken coop and got the chicks moved in. They’re no longer chicks, really, but adolescent chickens. They’ve about got all their feathers and they’re starting to make clucking noises. It’s still pretty darn cute. AND I’m pretty sure we’ve got a rooster in the mix, which makes me glad we didn’t order one.

Now that things are calming down I’m hoping to get back to some kind of blogging schedule soon. Until then…

Happy reading!

 

Let Me Re-Introduce You to Restless Spirits; Going Silent for NaNoWriMo (Halloween Eve Update)

It’s hard to know how to categorize my first traditionally published novel (which is why I think my publisher still doesn’t really know what to do with it). It’s one part clean romance and one part legit horror. It’s a ghost story with heart. It’s also about the everlasting bond between sisters and the power of forgiveness. It’s got all the fun, flirtatious banter and kissing of a romantic comedy and all the chills and thrills of a haunted house.

Basically, it’s like if Dean Koontz wrote a rom-com.

If you enjoy a walk on the spooky side but like your horror like you like your romance — clean, comedic and with a happy ending — then check out Restless Spirits for your next great Halloween read. Click here to learn more, or click here to see where it’s sold.


In other news…

This week was a freelance writing week, so not a lot of progress happened on either of my WIPs. I’m using today to tie up some loose ends, and tomorrow my husband and I will be having our entirely grownup Halloween celebration that entails eating junk and watching scary movies all day until we can’t keep our eyes open.

Nanowrimo (that’s short for National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated) begins Sunday. And while I’m not participating in an official capacity, I am going to be taking a break from blogging and pulling way back on social media so I can hunker down and try to finish both of my novels-in-progress in November. Can I actually do it? That remains to be seen. But I’m going to give it my best shot.

I’ll still probably pop in from time to time on Instagram (although I’m really going to do my best to curtail the time I spend in that app), but here and everywhere else, expect me to be scarce until these novels are finished.

I hope you have a fabulous Halloween and may all of your candy be free of sharp objects and viruses. And since you probably won’t hear from me again before then, I also hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

See you on the other side!

♥ Jean

 

Writing, Publishing and Life Update – October 23, 2020

There’s not a ton to report this week. I added about 5,000 words to the romance novel, and edited a couple of chapters of Revolution Part Two. I also (re)launched The Pixie and the Professor, a 99 cent short formerly known as Shiny: A Clockwork Fairytale.

And then yesterday several freelance writing assignments came in, so those are going to dominate my schedule for the next week. I’m squeezing in novel writing sprints where I can, though.

But I produced a lot of words this week, and my brain is very tired, and I’m very glad it’s Friday. And it’s only eight more days till Halloween! I’m so excited!

Last Saturday, my husband and I had a lovely date in our own back yard, where we day camped at the back of the property and cooked hot dogs and sausages over our new camping stove and then got in a few rounds of target practice. We capped off the day with more pre-Halloween festivities, which included popcorn, candy and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Tomorrow will be our last Halloween preview before the main event. I’m not sure what we’ll be watching but I think hot dog mummies are on the menu.

I’ll leave you with this reminder that I wrote a whole series of books featuring a ghostly protagonist that is a perfect Halloween read. If you’re not familiar with Restless Spirits, now’s a great time to check it out.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGsNNC8By_D/

Here’s the picture that’s not showing up:

Have a great weekend!

Multi-Author, Multi-Genre Book Giveaway Happening Now!

Who doesn’t love a free book? Well, from now through November 12th, you can load up on multiple free books at the Midweek Madness with a Kick giveaway at StoryOrigin! This is a great chance to try out some new and new-to-you authors. And while you’re there, you can grab yourself a preview of my new romance by my new penname, Gone to the Dogs. Click here to start stocking your e-library!

And speaking of free books, today is the start of a five-day free run of Evolution: Book Two of the Dominion trilogy. Click here to get it FREE for the Kindle now through Sunday!

Happy reading!

Revolution: Dominion of the Damned by Jean Marie Bauhaus

Revolution Part one is Now Available, and Other Writing & Publishing Updates – October 16, 2020

It’s been a busy week, y’all.

First up, Revolution Part One: Survival of the Fittest is finally available on Amazon! And to celebrate, Book One in the series, Desolation, is FREE from now until Tuesday. And in case I forget to mention it when it happens, Book Two, Evolution, will be free for five days starting next Wednesday.

With that out of the way, it’s time to spill the beans. I’m actually pretty trustworthy about keeping other people secrets. But when it’s my own, especially when it’s something I’m excited about, I’m terrible at it. I’ve been blabbing all over Instagram about my new pen name, and I just told all my mailing list subscribers, so I might as well open up about it here, too, because that chicken has flown the coop.

And I happen to have experience chasing chickens and getting them back in the coop. It’s not an experience I wish to repeat.

So that thing I’ve been being all secretive and cagey about the last couple of weeks here on the blog? I’ve started writing a clean Christian romance novel, and I’ve launched a new pen name for it. That new pen name is Jeanie Nicholson.

As I’ve alluded to, the reason I (badly) attempted secrecy is because I need to keep these brands separate so Amazon’s algorithms don’t get confused if my horror fans start buying my sweet Christian romance novels, or vice versa. That sort of thing can really mess up their recommendation ‘bot. Which is why, if Christian romance isn’t your usual thing, I’m asking you NOT to sign up for any of my lists or pages or buy this new book, just to be supportive. This will also help me more accurately track and identify my target demographic.

At any rate, if Christian romance IS your thing, you can learn more about it at these links:

And with THAT out of the way, now I can also tell you that Jeanie Nicholson is participating in a multi-author, multi-genre giveaway at StoryOrigin. Head here to load up on e-book freebies from now through November 12th!

This week has mostly been focused on building and launching a platform for my new pen name so I can start building hype for this new novel. That, and launching my new Dominion book. So I haven’t done any writing or editing this week. But now that that’s all pretty much done and things are set on autopilot, after a break this weekend (which will surely involve more pre-Halloween movie watching and candy snacking), I’ll get back to business as usual.

But for now, I’m kind of wiped and ready for the weekend. I hope you have a good one.

 

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