Newsy Bits & Progress

Guys, guess what? Y’all helped make both Restless Spirits and Kindred Spirits two of  Vinspire’s top three sellers last month! So thanks for that!

Click to vote!

I need y’all to work your magic again because Kindred Spirits is nominated for Cover of the Month for the month of August at AllAuthors.com! It just barely eked into the second round and is currently dead last. I have faith that we can do better. Click here to go vote — you will, alas, have to create an account if you don’t have one already, and I totally get that that might be a deal breaker. But if you’re willing to take a few minutes to sign up and vote for Kindred Spirits, you’ll be doing me a real solid. Okay, I’m old and terrible at slang and I’m not even sure what that means and if I used it correctly and I’m sorry. Favor. You’d be doing me a favor. And I will be so grateful. Enough to never inflict awkward slang on you again.

Finally, Bound Spirits is still steadily, albeit slowly, coming along. I’m about halfway through–the next scene is the midway turning point of the second act, so it should be downhill from here. The second half usually goes much faster. Usually. At any rate, here’s a quick peek:

“So why the rush? We’ve only been together for six months.”

“You’re right. I guess that is a little fast. But is that the only reason you’ve got cold feet?”

“I wouldn’t say they’re cold. I wouldn’t even call them lukewarm.”

“Chris.”

“I just want to be sure _he’s_ sure, you know?”

“Not this again.”

“Yes, this again. It’s a crazy life. It’s all still new and exciting to him, and he’s all jazzed whenever something crazy happens that he can put on his channel. But then something terrifying like what happened tonight happens. And he was great, but we haven’t even had time to process it yet. We’re still in the middle of it. Is he really prepared for an entire lifetime of this sort of thing? What happens when it gets old?”

“Brrr.”

“What?”

“That’s what I just heard your feet say.”

Kindred Spirits has a cover! And a release date!

Kindred Spirits by Jean Marie Bauhaus

The cover of Kindred Spirits is here, and I couldn’t be more in love with it! If you’ve read Restless Spirits, then you probably recognize that this cover features Chris Wilson (along with Miss Persnikitty), who steps more into the spotlight in this book. But if you’re a fan of Ron and Joe, don’t worry. They still have plenty to do in this story.

Kindred Spirits will release at the end of June! I’ll let you know here when it’s available to pre-order, or you can head here to subscribe to my mailing list to be sure you’ll never miss an announcement!

Squee!

Restless Spirits: Love Letter Cover Reveal!

loveletter-1400x2100

 

Here it is, for those who missed it (i.e., for those who aren’t signed up to my mailing list and who didn’t come to my virtual launch party–if you’re in those groups then this is old news): Vinspire Publishing’s brand new cover for Love Letter, the Restless Spirits mini-sequel novella!

Love Letter bridges the gap between the end of Restless Spirits and the beginning of the forthcoming full-length sequel. It’s scheduled to be released exclusively in e-book format on January 31st, 2017.

And ICYMI, here are links to all of the excerpts from Restless Spirits I’ve posted here over the last couple of months, and here is where to get your copy of Restless Spirits.

Restless Spirits Cover Reveal!

You’ve seen this already if you support me on Patreon, are subscribed to my newsletter, or are a member of my Facebook fan group. But for everybody else . . .

Here it is! The amazing new cover for the new edition of Restless Spirits, coming in October from Vinspire Publishing!

RestlessSpirits 1400x2100

Isn’t it so beautiful and shiny? They took the concept of my old cover and really took it to the next level, and I’m in love with it. The model they chose perfectly capture’s Ron’s sassiness.

In related news, I’m going to be assembling a launch team soon, so if you’re interested in that click one of those links up there in the first sentence and join up to be sure you don’t miss this opportunity!

Eeeeeee!

Ghost of a Chance is finished! Restless Spirits has a cover!

FINALLY, you guys, I just finished the first draft of GHOST OF A CHANCE, the first sequel in the RESTLESS SPIRITS series from Vinspire Publishing.

That means I’ve left myself about 6 weeks to revise it before I have to turn it in. I really need to get a better handle on this whole writing to a contractual deadline thing.

And speaking of RESTLESS SPIRITS, the cover for the new release, coming October 31st, is ready, and it’s stunning! They took my concept and really took it to the next level. Here’s a sneak peek:

RS-cover-detail

To see the full cover, click here to sign up to my author newsletter if you haven’t already. I’ll be sending out a cover reveal to my subscribers later this week. I can’t wait to show it to everybody!

Yay! This is really happening, you guys!

New Cover Reveal, and Changes A-Comin’…

As of today I’m just short of 60,000 words along on Ghost of a Chance. I’m going to try my best to finish Act Two this week. It’s getting there…

As I start rolling toward the end of my current WIP and having a little more breathing room in my schedule, I’m turning my attention in my spare time to Dominion of the Damned, for which I have plans. Plans which include a brand spanking new book cover–and here, my pretties, is the official cover reveal for the new edition:

dotd-sample-cover

As you can see, that’s a paperback cover. Yes, that means I’ll be issuing a paperback version once again. I had pulled down the original paperback after I realized I’d made several amateurish formatting mistakes (I know a lot more about book interior formatting now, having been doing it professionally for a while now) and always intended to redo it and put it back up. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m also giving it another editing once over, which is currently in process. So far I’ve found a number of minor issues that will be fixed in the new edition.

Barring a sudden deluge of freelance work requiring me to drop everything else, I’m hoping to get the edits and e-book re-formatting done this week, and get the new edition of the e-book online by early next week at the latest. The paperback will take a bit longer. Once those are out of the way I’ll also be looking into producing an audiobook version.

As you can also see, the cover says “Book One.” That means that there WILL be a Book Two. I know I’ve been bandying about talk of a sequel for years now, but apparently this is the year of getting long-talked-about sequels written, because I am hereby officially committing to getting Book Two: Revolution (or, possibly, Uprising) published sometime next year.

Soooo… that’s happening. What else?

Oh! Yes. You can also see that I’m going with my initials on the cover instead of my full name. So that’s a branding decision I’ve made — I’m going to be publishing my lighter, cleaner, more family-friendly (and, eventually, Christian non-fiction) writing under my full name, and my darker, more PG-13 and R-rated stuff under my initials. So that’ll help you decide which of my books match up best to your sensibilities.

Also! New author photos! The fantastically talented photographer I’m married to shot new portraits of me last week, and there are so many winning shots that I’m having a hard time narrowing them down. Once I do that (and we get them processed), those will get posted here and all of my other authorish online spaces.

I’m going to be continuing to tweak my author branding in the months running up to the official launch of Restless Spirits, and that’ll probably include a website overhaul. But nobody really cares about that, do they?

So that’s some stuff to look forward to until I start putting out actual brand new fiction again — which will hopefully happen this year, once Ghost is in the can.

Midnight Snacks Release Date and Cover Reveal!

midnight-snacks-coverIt’s here! I’ve actually had this cover ready for ages, but as you may know, it’s been stuck in limbo on my non-functional laptop. I was finally able to rescue it last weekend.

This is probably one of my favorite covers so far. I’d ask what you guys think, but then I’d get twenty different opinions on the fonts and this version is locked in.

I’ve also set a release date: October 15th, which is timed to coincide with my Big Annual Halloween Book Sale, which gets a little bigger every year.

The book should also be available for pre-order pretty soon. I’ll keep you guys posted on that.

In other news, I’m now on the new social network, Ello. There’s a vast shortage of people I know over there, so if you’re on there, will you be my friend?

NaNoWriMo Prep and a Cover Reveal

shiny_web_copyI managed to accomplished two (TWO!) writing/publishing-related things last weekend: I broke through my block and figured out the main plot arc of the next book in the Damned series (and also what book three is about, and that it’s up to four books now instead of being a trilogy); and I came up with a cover for Shiny, my steampunk cyborg fairy story (previewed here), that I’m (mostly) happy with. This is probably not the final final version (I’m not 100% sold on the main font, thanks to the “y” looking too much like a “g”), but it’s close. At any rate, I’m aiming to have it ready for release in December, after Nano is out of the way.

Speaking of Nanowrimo, I had originally planned to do a series of posts throughout this month covering the whys and hows and wherefores of participation in the month-long writing marathon, but I’ve been too preoccupied and overwhelmed with getting my web design and marketing business back off the ground and, frankly, I just don’t have a lot of steam left. What little steam I do have, I should probably save for writing my novel.

The short version is, for those who still question the sanity of Nanowrimo and whether or not they should give it a try, is that I recommend doing it at least once, if you have any book-length writing ambition whatsoever. The primary reason I recommend it is because it’s basically boot camp for learning how to keep a deadline. It forces you to learn how to make yourself write when you just have a few free minutes here and there. If you’re someone who thinks you can’t possibly write unless you have a big, solid block of uninterrupted time to “get your head in the zone” and “find your inspiration,” much like I used to be, this is a valuable and necessary lesson to learn.

2013-Participant-Vertical-BannerAs for me, I still need to relearn that lesson from time to time, which is why this is going to be my seventh year (it would have been my 8th, but I took last year off). After so many attempts–some of which were successful, some of which gave me books that were eventually good enough to publish, some of which produced manuscripts that are best left forgotten at the back of my hard drive–I’ve also figured out that the way Nano works best for me is to use it to write a discovery draft, a “draft zero” that’s somewhere between an expanded outline and a full-blown manuscript. That’s why I’m not going in with a detailed outline. As mentioned above, I do have the main arc worked out, so I’ll know what direction I need to move in, but I’ll basically be pantsing it and figuring out the details as I go.

I am a little doubtful of my chances for success this year, because as I said, I’m not running on a full tank of gas and my day job is still pretty busy. But being that it’s a sequel, I already know the characters, so I don’t have to spend time figuring them out and trying to find their voices. That should help things flow more smoothly. At any rate, I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to “win.” As long as I get a good start on my next novel, regardless of whether I reach 50,000 words, I’m going to consider it time and effort well spent. And I’ll probably be working on this manuscript for the next six to 12 months, regardless of how far I get in November.

At any rate, it’s only two days away! Which means that Halloween is tomorrow! Which means that my big Halloween book sale is about to draw to a close! Which means you should totally go snag all of my books for 99 cents each before the price goes back up at the close of October 31st (or when I remember to go raise the prices back up on Friday)! So go now!

Updates on Eucha Falls and the Steampunk Cyborg Short

Eucha Falls coverGood news for anyone who has been waiting to read my pseudo-Slenderman, loosely creepypasta inspired, haunted amusement park story Eucha Falls: the wait is almost over!

The bad news is that the anthology to which it’s been under submission for the last several months politely declined its inclusion (I received a very polite rejection signed by Ellen Datlow herself. I’m cheering myself up by pretending that they’re not all signed with her name and that at least one of the slush readers thought it was worthy of her attention). So, that gamble didn’t pay off. I’m really not at all upset by the rejection. I’m much more upset that I put my initial publishing plans on hold for several months only to be told that it’s not quite what they were looking for, when it could have been out there earning me royalties and, hopefully, some fans.

This is why I self-publish, y’all.

At any rate, it’s already been thoroughly edited and beta’d, so I’m going to do my best to get it ready to release this weekend. That should be doable, as the cover (seen left) is ready, and all I have left to do is add front and back matter. But I’m having company on Saturday, and this is also the weekend of my wedding anniversary (which is actually Monday), so I’m not making any promises. Still, it should be available sometime next week.

As an aside, I was briefly thinking about changing the title (again). There’s one element of the story that’s inspired by the creepypasta Candle Cove (which you should go read right now if you enjoy a slow build to the unsettlingly creepy). Last weekend I discovered that the author of Candle Cove, Kris Straub, has both a website and shared storyworld (though both have been on hiatus for quite some time now) that happens to go by the name of Ichor Falls, which hits a little too close to home, especially since I’m crediting one of his stories as inspiration. But I can’t really think of a more suitable title, and if he wants to take it as a shout-out (assuming he ever even discovers my story), that’s fine by me. [/aside]

As for the steampunk cyborg pixie story, which currently has the working title Special, it is very close to done. I only have time right now to write about 450 words per day, so it’s creeping along, but I’m at the climax and the denouement is outlined in detail. I originally started writing it to submit to another anthology that’s being produced by Clarkesworld,  but my experience with submitting Eucha Falls has made me decide to publish it myself rather than letting it languish in a slush pile for months on end. I posted an excerpt here last Friday, and now I’m trying to decide whether to go ahead and post the rest of it as a freebie here as well as making the e-book free. Right now I’m thinking that’s probably what I’ll do.

Also, and I know this is a long shot, but I have a very specific image in mind for the cover: a steampunk butterfly. If anyone knows of an artist or crafter or jewelry-maker who does that type of thing, who is a fan of my work (even of my old fanfic) and/or who is willing to barter for services or yarn-crafted goods or even baked goods, if you could put them in touch with me, or vice versa, that would be awesome.

Lawd Have Mercy! Also, a New Cover for Restless Spirits

Guy-friendly cover of Restless Spirits by Jean Marie BauhausProject: Radium Town, the Steampunk Weird West adventure set in my hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma at the dawn of statehood and featuring Will Rogers and Tom Mix.

Writing stage: Researching, world building & plotting

What got done: Over the weekend I did a little more research into Tom Mix, and rounded out my cast with a couple of invented characters, including my requisite genius inventor and another BDD super agent, Madeline “No Mercy” Mercier, who will act as a foil to Betty. The part of Mercy will be played in my head by Sophie Okenedo (Queen Liz X to all you Whovians). And if you’re so inclined, you can see my whole dream cast, as well as research links and inspiration for costumes and setting on my RADIUM TOWN Pinterest board.

Today I used my writing time to publish the new cover I created for Restless Spirits over the weekend, which has gotten hearty approval from the guys who’ve weighed in. Upating the cover for the e-book versions on Amazon and BN.com was simple enough, but CreateSpace was quite a bit more involved. I also made minor modifications to the books themselves, including updating the cover credits on the copyright page and adding a link to buy Dominion to the end — a simple “No duh!” selling tactic that was nevertheless lost on me until I read a tip on it somewhere last week. A natural sales person, I am not.

C25K/UFYH: You know, we had all these lovely warm days in January and February, but now that spring is actually here, it’s cold. Yesterday we even had some snow. So the C25K thing is on hold until it warms back up and stays that way. As for UFYH, I didn’t do much over the weekend, but today I bagged up all the trash and recycling and took it out to the bins, and also bagged up all of the errant shopping bags that would take me far too long to fold and put away.

And of course I gave Sasha her meds. She’s feeling a lot better since the antibiotics and vitamins have kicked in, but there’s another suspicious place on her stomach where it looks like the cancer might have spread. We’re also giving her Interferon, and the hope there is that it will boost her immune system to the point where it will be able to kill the cancer, or at least keep it in check, without draining all of her resources. Poor kitty. She’s only 10, which isn’t exactly young, but it’s not old enough to have to contemplate saying goodbye yet, either. I think she’s tough enough to get through this, though, and I still expect that she’ll be around for several more years.

Cooking: Last night I cooked up the big spaghetti squash that I picked up on Friday, and used some of it as a noodle base for a Thai-peanut stir fry that I cooked up last night using ground chicken, shredded cabbage and a frozen stir fry veggie mix. It wasn’t exactly Pad Thai, although it tasted close enough, and it was a bit Sandra Lee what with the frozen veggies, but it was delicious all the same, and with the spaghetti squash I didn’t miss the high glycemic noodles at all. When I do cook I always make a big batch, so that’ll do for dinner for the next few nights; and the leftover squash is put away to serve as a pasta noodle replacement later this week.

Later: Client stuff. I need to keep my head down and get stuff done.