Under Jupiter is Now in The Kindle Store

So I’ve been incredibly busy with life and getting ready for the Under Jupiter release! The good news is that Under Jupiter has finally made it up onto the Kindle store! But the BEST news is that UJ is FREE on June 20th and 21st! If you love Young Adult books, then make sure to grab your copy while you can. And please consider leaving a review when you’re finished! Click HERE to go to Amazon and download now!

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Hurrah!

JEH

What I’m Reading: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Young Adult Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer had such a fetching cover that I just had to pick it up. The image actually has a striking resemblance to the Twilight Cover, in my opinion, with the same colour palette and the bright red right in the middle. But what does that matter? What I really wanted was to read a Cinderella story set in the future.

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Cinder was probably the most refreshing fairy tale retelling I’ve read in a while. It was still recognizable as the Cinderella story, but it wasn’t weighed down with backstory I didn’t need (like some retelling’s I’ve read in the past year). The funnest part, I thought, was that instead of a glass slipper, Cinder is constantly struggling with her cyber foot, which no longer fits her. I was also very interested in the Lunars, and will read the other books in the chronicles just to find out about them. The other books, however, don’t feature Cinder as a main character, and I’m kind of glad about that, since I feel like Cinder(ella)’s story has come to an end.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Blood Ties by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

When I knew I had to go on another long, solo road trip, my first thought was about what audiobook I should listen to. I browsed the virtual shelves, and then remembered my previous experience with the Spirit Animals series. As I enjoyed the first two books in the series, so I figured why not just continue on with the third book.

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Blood Ties takes the four main characters on yet another journey to find another legendary talisman before the bad guys do!

As I’ve said with the previous audiobooks, these are quick listens and full of action, so they work well to keep me listening on the road (though perhaps not as awake as a good murder-mystery does). I still want a spirit animal, and I want to be a Green Cloak about as much as I want to go to Hogwarts (though Hogwarts is still top of the list by far). If you know young readers, let them know about these books, and if you’re young at heart, maybe you’ll enjoy them too.

4/5 Stars

JEH

A Brief Review of the Kindle Scout Program

If you’ve been following along on my self-publishing journey of my latest novel, Under Jupiter, then you already know that I submitted it to Kindle Scout. Well, the news is in and Under Jupiter was not selected for publication by Kindle Press. In all honesty, I didn’t expect it to be. Why? Because during my 30-day campaign and scout participation, I came to a firm conclusion on one thing: Kindle Press prefers highly popular fiction. And guess what, a teen novel about colonizing the solar system is not popular fiction.

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Overall, I had a good Scout experience. It was fun and addicting to follow along with my daily page views, and I liked seeing my book at the top of the Hot and Trending list. Also, I nominated books like mad during my 30 day sprint, since I was on the website anyway, and I ‘won’ three new e-books, which should be released sometime in the near future. I found Kindle Scout to be a fun website as a reader, since it takes no time at all to scan and nominate your favorite proposed titles.

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As a writer, I found Kindle Scout to be slightly beneficial to my exposure. My books had slightly more downloads while my latest work was up on Kindle Scout (which I think is partially due to more readers who don’t know me seeing my name). I’m planning to release Under Jupiter this weekend, at which time Kindle Scout will send an email out those people who nominated my book and let them know it is for sale. I’ll post an update after I’ve done this to say whether or not I get a sales boost from that feature.

As for what’s next, I’m working away on The Torc. Would I submit it to the Kindle Scout website? Probably not, because I felt Kindle Scout mostly just added a bit of a delay to my release schedule, and I’m too excited to share The Torc with the world.

What do you think? Do you like reviewing book previews on Kindle Scout?

JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #26

Something has changed with the arrival of summer, and unfortunately that appears to be the amount of time I have for blogging and writing. I’ve been doing a miserable job keeping up here, and also keeping up with my 1,000 words a day goal. It’s been off and on lately. The good news is that if I forget one day, I tend to remember and prioritize it the next. I’ve found a few hours this weekend to dedicate to a “mini-marathon” and maybe I will somehow be able to catch up on the 23,000 words I’m behind on. If I could manage to catch up, that would mean I’d almost completed the draft of The Torc, the new thing I’m working on. Here’s a look at my word count chart for the beginning of June:

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The large number on the right is my current deficit. I realized the other day that if I was caught up, I would have less than 100,000 words to write before reaching my goal! That makes me feel pretty close to achieving my target with approximately 3 months to go. Time is ticking away quickly and there is still a lot I want to get done before September 1st, when my goal will shift to rewriting, though I plan on continuing to draft a lot, since drafting makes me happier than rewrites.

My day job has kept me busy, so busy that I haven’t even had time to read much, though I was traveling so I did finish a couple audiobooks. Being busy hasn’t stopped me from buying more books to read either. Or planning to read more books. I was terribly behind on my GoodReads entries, and just paused to enter all my recent reads. The funny thing is that I feel like I’ve missed entering a book, but if I have, I don’t know which one. This is why I use GoodReads, because otherwise I forget what I’ve read! Here’s a shot of some new books in my garden. They’re so pretty.

So, after catching up on my GoodReads entries, I’m still two books ahead of my GR goals, which is awesome. I wound’t be anywhere close if I hadn’t listened to so many audiobooks this year, but listening to books at the gym has been inspiring both for my reading and writing, and also for working out. My current listen is Graceling, which i’ve just started. It will probably take me a while to get through as it is 11 hours, and I don’t have any solo road trips planned, though I do have a family trip.

Alright, so for the next week, my goal is to catch up on blogging, aim for 1,500 words a day, and just continuing enjoying books. What are your plans?

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Young Adult Book Review: The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

First off, I’m going to be honest and specify that I listened to this book on audiobook. But I loved it so much I went out an bought a hardcover copy after I finished. It isn’t often I rave about a book and say that everyone should read it, but I will with this one. The Girl Who Drank The Moon should be on everyone’s reading list, and I do mean everyone, young, old, and those in the middle.

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The Girl Who Drank The Moon is about a mottled assortment of characters (also young, old, and in between), in a fantastical world full of sorrow and magic. The book centers on the character’s inward journey’s and their interactions.

When I went to pick up my hard copy at the bookstore, i found this book shelved in Young Readers (9-12), which I think was a mistake on part of the publisher. I think this is really an all ages tale. It is beautifully written, poetic, and well themed. While there are children in the book, a lot of the story is told from Xan’s point of view, and Xan being an ancient witch, I wasn’t sure the book would have captured my attention as a young child, though Luna, also a protagonist, is 12 at the end of the story.

In all honesty, this book is hard to categorize. But that really doesn’t matter, because it is just a beautiful book. I heard about it from a woman in my writing group who raved about it, and I will say that she was definitely not wrong. If you haven’t hard about The Girl Who Drank The Moon, you should have, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should start. Now.

5/5 Stars

JEH