PSA: Idiocy Alert

Well, what is a girl to do when she has a week left until the next release? She goes completely insane and makes an odd choice; release the next book on April 6 2018. So, read on all. Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination…

We’ve got a new section this time around: Life Being Rude is where I’ll give a ramble about what’s been eating into my writing time – much like Plot Bunnies, it’s all the things that are distracting me only not (yet) another story idea. As per usual, any word/title/phrase that’s blue and underlined and all cover pictures are hyperlinks, so feel free to have a click around.

KUA front coverWriting Progress Update: In exciting news, I’m making good progress on a couple of pieces and have not started any new ones. I’ve had a couple of ideas, but just made notes and moved on successfully. Keeping Up Appearances and The Stand-In (page coming soon – I’m surprised I don’t already have one [bad me]) are going well. Keeping Up Appearances even has a cover, and *gasp* there it is!! 😀 —–> Xander has been behaving himself very well, and making all the right choices. Accidentally Perfect is having a good edit (see Release Rambles below for some interesting news on that one…) and the Trouble with Hate is… is going through it’s final edit before files are all ready for release on Friday! I have a new two-in-one tablet/laptop with fancy Windows Ink expected to be delivered on Monday, so that will make the whole editing process much easier and much more fun, I think (and hope).

A Reading Update: HAHAHA! Oh, dear… Okay… So, we last left off with me and my grand plans for reading this year. I am still only something like four or five chapters through Sense and Sensibility and haven’t read anything else except my own work for editing and/or ‘where the hell was I going with this?’ purposes. I am hoping I’ll get something finished before the end of the month am accumulating a massive pile of books I’m supposed to read. But, with Trouble with Hate coming out in less than a week and my grand plans for April… I’m not sure I’ll have time to read anything other than uni materials.

TWH full cover 5.06x7.81 FUR4Release Rambles: Here’s the interesting stuff, people! So, we all know the Trouble with Hate is… is coming out on Friday! Woo! I almost can’t believe it’s already right around the corner! You can pre-order it on Amazon now if you haven’t got your copy.

And, now for the new news. *drumroll* Accidentally Perfect will be released worldwide in print and ebook on April 6 2018. That’s right, everyone; Piper and Roman are being unleashed upon the world, sent into the great unknown, available to all sorts of criticism and love. You can pre-order it on Amazon now as well, for the special pre-order price of USD$0.99 (or, for those of us not in the US, AUD$1.26)! Both are up on my Goodreads author profile with my other books, so why not add them to your to-read list? 😉

And, now for the truly idiotic part (and point) of this Public Service Announcement: this year, as research for my Masters thesis, I am going to attempt to release a book every two months and try to find the best way to approach pre-orders. That’s right. I have officially gone insane and apparently am becoming swiftly addicted to the pre-publication deadline panic. So, February sees Trouble with Hate going live. April, we’ve got Accidentally Perfect gracing you all with its adorable presence. What about June, August, October and December you ask? Well, August’s plan is Gray’s Blade – companion novel to No More Maybes (you remember it). And December’s plan is unvamped book two: doggone. I thought it would be poignant for them to be released a year after the first ones (so, you can expect unvamped book 3: dewitch December 2019). For June and October, watch this space!

Current Focus: So, with all the things happening and making interesting life choices that are guaranteed to up my stress levels, what am I actually working on? Well – editing aside – Keeping Up Appearances is keeping me busy and it’s moving along at a spectacular pace. I’ve got this wild dream that I’ll get one first draft a month finished this year. And – to be honest – when most of my WIPs are between 25,000 and 40,000 words at the moment, it’s probably not a ridiculous goal or all that impressive. Still, if I can get a few more finished and still not start anything new, then I’ll count that as a win. The Stand-In is also chuffing along nicely, so really it’s a bit of a race between those two as to which one finishes first. And, really, those are the only two I’ve really been focussing on. So, haven’t I been good? 😛

Plot Bunnies: Plot bunnies are behaving themselves so far. I get a few ideas now and then. But, they seem content to just let me get the basic, vague plan/notes out onto the page and then I can get back to actually finishing things. So, there is really very little to report in that respect – much like my reading progress…oops.

Life Being Rude: So, my Masters thesis is due at the end of the year and I’ve chosen to research marketing – a ‘kill two birds with one stone’ sort of concept. This means me running experiments, making extensive notes, evaluating, and trying to make the next experiment better (i.e. more profitable). Part of this involves me delving into the world of fanfiction *gasp* and short stories/novellas. Which – to a degree – is writing-related, yes. But, I’m not sure how that endeavour will go. The world of fanfiction is a scary place I’ve never been in before – that’s right, I have ever intentionally read fanfiction – but I’m diving in as best I can. You can find my author profile over at FanFiction.net.

Short stories/novellas are a bit of a laugh at the moment, if I’m quite honest. I’ve always been the sort of person who goes “oh, yeah. I’ll write this 5,000-word story, it’ll be grand” and end up with 120,000 words or something equally cumbersome and ridiculous. My going theory is that I’m going to take a WIP (think the Princess Diaries on steroids) and turn it into 4 novellas and release them as a serial. Fingers crossed for that experiment…it so far does not go well, lol.

And, that has you all caught up for this third weekend in February. I hope you’re all getting a chance to read more than me. I must go and bottle some homebrew now 😀

Read, write, and live well,

x iz

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my year as a reader

So, writing goals have been made for this year. As I stoically accept that Accidentally Perfect isn’t going to be finished today, I have come up with my reading goals for the year.

My plan is this; I’m going to try to read in rounds of three this year.

  1. A contemporary book – no set publication time but most likely something written after 1990.
  2. A classic book – here defined for my own purposes as something published prior to 1950 (I may give good old Tolkien another crack)
  3. A book by someone I know personally – a chance for me to read the books by my friends and colleagues that I’ve been intending to get around to for quite some time and just never done it.

I’m in the process of deciding if I need a list or if I’m just going to pick the next one as I go. But, for now, I’ve finished my first contemporary and am onto my first classic for the year. It’s time to lose my Sense & Sensibility virginity!

My husband gave me an absolutely beautiful set of my very own Jane Austens for our third anniversary last year and I have a bet going with that I can finished them all before our fourth anniversary – he’s still going on the boxed set of Harry Potters I got him for our first anniversary which he is attempting to get finished in the same time (Law at Uni ruined any passion for reading he had) – so they will undoubtedly fill my classics quota for a while.

As for books by people I know, I have a few ideas in mind! Keep an eye out for updates; I’ll post things up as I go.

For now, I need to find a way past the “last fifth freak out” with Accidentally Perfect and try to get it finished before work goes back next week. At least I have made word count progress this year. It might not have been all on finishing one novel, but it’s all been on the same six and I haven’t started any new ones so that’s a plus. *mould friendly thumbs up*

Happy reading, happy writing, and happy living folks,

x iz

New year, Same old me

Welcome to 2018! Well, day ten of 2018 – I’ve been in denial. It just feels weird to say that. Like, how is it 2018 already when the 90’s were only a few years ago? 😉

I have finally sorted my writing goals for the year, I spent a whole day on it and there are really only three after all that effort:

  1. I’ve culled last year’s 62 Works in Progress down to 6 current WIPs; my theory is that I’ll only work on those 6 stories until at least three of them are finished – so far so good, but we’ll see how long that lasts. HA!
  2. I have three releases set for this year that need finishing and editing; so they should really be at the top of my To Do list. Are they? Not so much.
  3. I want to beat last year’s total word count of 842,475 and round that up to 1,000,000; Probably rather too ambitious, but you’ve got to aim big!

Step one is to finish Accidentally Perfect in the next few days. I’m on about 60,000 words and the rest is all planned out – so should be a piece of cake (lol). But, the characters are talking to me and each other, creative juices are flowing, and I’ve got a good feeling about it. The fact I have legitimately not really had a new idea for at least two weeks is also a positive sign that I might get some more things finished this year.

The Trouble with Hate is… has gone through a few betas and the first round of proofing, so we’re looking well on track for the February 23rd release. If anyone is interested in beta reading, just shoot me an email! It is also on pre-sale for Kindle now.

And now, since the plan is to actually get some writing done, I will go off and do that. Check in later!

iz x

Just keep writing…

Hey all,

It would kill the past, and when that was dead he would be free.

Well, No More Maybes has been out for almost two weeks now and going great guns! So, the post-publication stress is dead and I’m free to worry about the next project 🙂

NMM FINAL front cover 5.06x7

Aurora Daniels just wants to get through Year 12 with no distractions.

Then, Cole Fielding comes along.

She is instantly drawn to him but isn’t sure he’s the sort of guy she should fall for—he smokes, he’s unreliable, gets into fights, and just exudes bad boy.

But, Cole hides an intelligence that speaks to her.

As they get closer, so does Cole’s harrowing past. Can she believe in someone who can’t believe in himself? Maybe…

The ‘Where to Purchase’ section of the webpage is finally up to date – so click here if you’d like to know where to purchase your copy in either print or ebook. FYI, the ebook is currently free in Kindle Unlimited! As per usual, I will have author signed copies available in the next couple of days – remember, each book you buy directly from me comes with a signed bookmark!

Netherfield Prep is having a great time in Kindle Unlimited currently – also currently free in KU – so that’s lovely to see, and reviews are coming back pretty well.

5.06x7.81 front cover lighter 3.1

A modern reimagining of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

When Lily Brewer’s mum dies, she’s shipped to the other side of the world to her step-sisters’ pompous English boarding school, Netherfield.
There, she meets Austin Cooper. Arrogant as hell but with abs to die for, Austin soon becomes the bane of her existence.
His twin brother, Jax, is the complete opposite. Kind and sweet, Jax soon strikes up a thing with Lily’s roommate, Anne.
Austin, though seems keen to keep them apart.
Will pride and prejudice ruin them all?
Or, will love win the day?
 

For more details on where to get your copy if you don’t already have one click here. And, I still have author signed copies available.

My next project is hopefully going to be released in December 2017, so keep an eye out for updates on that one. But, as yet it’s hush hush 😉

In good news, I am *close* to finishing a couple of projects – but, unfortunately have started more without finishing anything; so much for my promises. My word count for the year is almost 520,000 now and I don’t even want to know how many WIPs that is. But, the end is in good sight for a couple of them. So, finger’s crossed they’ll be done soon! There’s some editing needing doing (great English usage there!) on my fae-inspired Danu Cycle stories – currently books 0.5, 1 and 2 – and hopefully I’ll be happy enough with them to release soon.

All in all, it’s busy, busy, busy; writing, day job, study. Keep an eye out for my next update which should hopefully have some new publication news.

You can also subscribe to my new mailing list – which I am tenuously navigating – by heading to my Facebook page. But, bear with me while I work out how to get it going! 🙂

x iz

Might 29 novels be too many?

So, I’m re-evaluating my writing process at present. The other day I realised my 2017 word count stood at a little over 300,000 and that got me super excited! But, then, I realised I wasn’t sure what I had to show for it; I hadn’t finished anything, and I’d just gone and started more.

At last count, I was sitting on about 29 works-in-progress, and that’s only counting the ones I’ve worked on this year. Now, while this is super useful for staving off writer’s block – because, really, there has to be something going on over that many stories – it is less conducive to getting more pieces finished. Which, you know, seems like a good idea.

I am making consistent steady progress with one new YA/Paranormal Romance novel called The Guard. It’s a fun little piece, currently blurbed:

I have to somehow make and angel, a werewolf, a vampire and a faerie stop flirting with me and not kill each other long enough to save the damned world. Why me?

The apocalypse hit in a way we never expected. The angels descended, determined to take the world back from the Shadow Denizens under the pretence of protecting humanity. War rages between the races, longer than it should have. The world was nothing but a battle groung. Good luck surviving that.

My crazy little brother, Percy, may be creation’s only hope. I didn’t think I could keep him safe long enough. Now he has a supernatural guard who can’t agree on anything but how tasty I’d be, I have no hope.

I have no idea where the idea for this one came from; I think I was meandering through Shutterstock for potential cover images for something and saw something that triggered the beginnings of an idea. The excuse to be able to make a proper fae was enticing and I couldn’t decide what creatures I wanted to use, so I thought ALL OF THEM! No idea who she ends up with yet, but I’ve got three books to work it out.

Netherfield Prep‘s first month live went well. I’ve got great reviews and am actually making a little bit of money, which is nice. If you’re California-bound, you’ll find it at Pipe and Thimble Book Store with signed bookmarks!

Netherfield‘s sequel, Proposition Prep, is making slow progress – I think I’m a little bit panicked I’ll screw it up, but I’ll get there in the end. And, planning for the third and last instalment of the Austen Reimagined: P&P series, Wedding Prep, is chuffing along nicely; fair warning, Hunter gets a little screwed over, but it will all be good in the end.

I’m also dipping my toe into editing my Irish fae novels that came about during my thesis investigations last year. I wrote the first two books, Gryffynhall and Elfhaven, last year (although, it was one huge one to begin with), wizzing through about three drafts of 175,000 words in a little over 100 days – sorry about the bragging, but I was super pleased. They books need a good edit, but the first one should hopefully be coming out later this year.

Speaking of coming out later this year, new YA Romance No More Maybes will be out in a couple of months; we just have to get through the last lot of editing and formatting. It’s not quite the story I envisioned when I started it, but every time I read it, I’m happy with it. So, it is what it is:

Aurora Daniels just wants to get through Year 12 with no distractions.

Then, Cole Fielding comes along.

She is instantly drawn to him but isn’t sure he’s the sort of guy she should fall for – he smokes, he’s unreliable, gets into fights, and just exudes bad boy.

But, Cole hides an intelligence that speaks to her.

As they get closer, so does Cole’s harrowing past. Can she believe in someone who can’t believe in himself? Maybe…

I’m working on a version from Cole’s POV, so we’ll see how that goes.

The goal, going forward, is obviously get something finished. By the end of May, I fully intend to have one more piece finished – I know it’s possible, I just need to stop pussyfooting about. And, of course, get No More Maybes ready for publication and finish editing Gryffynhall.

I’ll keep you updated as to my progress!

x iz

NEW: Monthly Giveaways!

(to skip ramblings, jump straight to Monthly Giveaways page)

News about the monthly giveaways shortly…some rambling/introduction first 🙂

New year, new habits has worked out poorly for me so far 🙂 However, I have as wonderful excuse as you can have – my husband’s little brother (who I’ve known since he was 13) got married over the weekend and, while we were busy as, it was great to see two people I love on such a lovely occasion. Now that the festivities are over (sad face), it is onto completing my next set of writing goals.

For 2016, I am aiming to:

  • Finish the novel I started for NaNoWriMo, Valiant Valerie
  • Put all other novel ideas into some sort of coherent planning book
  • Start and finish another novel
  • Read more (between my birthday in October and Christmas, I received about 20 new books – which does not include any of the books I already owned and have not read yet)
  • Get unvamped some more exposure.

That last point is what brings me to this new idea. I’ve decided that until the first anniversary of unvamped‘s publication, I am going to be giving away ebook copies (mobi, epub or pdf formats) every month in exchange for honest reviews.

What do you have to do to win a copy?

Each month, I will put up a post when the month’s competition starts. Then, all you have to do is contact me before the end of the month. At the end of the month, I will then contact the winners for their information (email address, preferred ebook format, etc.). The number of winners will be at least five (5), but may be more depending on the number of entrants.

All I ask in return is that you tell your friends about it and post a review – even if it’s just a rating – on unvamped‘s page on Goodreads. I will take any review/rating from zero to five stars, as long as you’re honest.

So, to recap, to win a copy of unvamped, you need to:

  1. Wait until I announce the opening of the month’s competition – it may vary, but will be about two weeks before the end of the month
  2. Contact me by the end of the month using #unvampedmonthly – any way you like, Facebook, Twitter, email, via the contact form on the homepage, in person, in the comments below, etc.
  3. If/when I contact you, let me know what format you want – epub, mobi, or pdf
  4. Read unvamped – and hopefully enjoy it 🙂
  5. Leave a review/rating on Goodreads – remember to begin the review with “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”
  6. Share the competition and tell your friends about unvamped!

Consider this month’s competition OPEN! 🙂

(I still have a lot of print copies left as well, selling for AUD$25 that I will send to you signed and with a free bookmark!)

May I do some writing this month?

It’s the start of Month 2! And very little actual writing has been achieved since the beginning of this site, so that is my first goal for May. Starting now, I will aim to write a little bit each day based on the prompts in my “A Sentence A Day” diary – I’m just going to flesh it out to at least a paragraph a day and try to get some story snippets out of it.

Two new posts have been put up under Tips & Tricks – I’m not in love with the formatting abilities still but its something to start with at least.

Tonight is time to relax, maybe have some wine and watch some movies with the husband. Work is about as un-hectic as it can be now. Just a bit more to do over the weekend and I’m finished on that task 🙂 Its then onto less stressful, easier pastures next week! Hopefully with built in writing time!!

Am off now to do my Sentence for today, have a good night/day (wherever you may be!)

x iz

Day 8 – a new week, a new me (complete with poll!)

This last week has seen some productivity, some rearranging of priorities and a settling in to more of a rhythm. I may not be any better at this blogging business, but I know what I want to acheive with this site/blog now and that makes me a bit more comfortable with my lesser abilities.

I’ve done a bit more work on Soul Wars*, I have a much better idea of where the middle is going – though I fear its going to turn into more of a saga than planned! – and have written a few more words on it. So hooray for some progress on Camp Nano! I still feel like there’s something missing from what I can see of this story. I don’t know what it is, but there seems to be a plot element I’m not seeing but that has already inserted itself into the story. Hopefully as I keep writing and planning, I shall find it! 🙂
I’m also energetically making up promotional materials I will need for an Unvamped launch in readiness for a release date (woot bookmarks!) and posters. Its probably the least productive thing I can be doing really, but it is tremendous fun! I just have to decide if I’m going to pay for the fonts the cover artist used so everything is aesthetically pleasing, or just match as best I can. What do you think?
After adding the word “poll” everywhere it is starting to look weird and wrong, so I’m going off to do something else now…
x iz
*working title

Day 7 – realisations hit

Week 1 is finally finished and with all the excitement of Unvamped getting closer to publication, I have realised that this blog is becoming more to me than just about finding a new story. I feel like I have a bit more to share than just about Soul Wars*. Especially with pre-promotion of Unvamped and some reviews to be made (now that I’ve finally finished reading Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight).

Planning for Soul Wars* has been put on semi-hold for a while with all the Unvamped excitement and some (real) work needing to be done (yay money though). I haven’t forgotten about it entirely, I’m still thinking about it, but I do think it needs a lot more thinking and planning that I have done so far. The plot I’ve been coming up with is not really the story I’ve had in my mind – although how that makes sense, I’m not sure! I sort of have this picture in my mind – a bit like a movie – of how it is supposed to be, and the plan I’m working on doesn’t seem to measure up. I’m sure it will all pan out in the end. I also have the problem that I keep envisioning some story to do with angels – though I blame Laini Taylor for that at present!

Having said that, Camp Nano is on this month, so I would really like to be able to get some work done on Soul Wars* during that time – nothing gets more words on the page than the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – you’ll find me at izziestevens) – after two years of NaNo (and no work in between) I came up with Unvamped.

I feel really positive going forward – things are becoming clearer in my head and my path seems more direct and better lit so I feel I can see my way now.

Should get back to some actual writing work now 🙂

x iz

*working title