Goals, 2018 Edition #WriterWednesday #Goals #CleanSlateTwoOhOneEight #amwriting #IARTG

Setting.

Here we are in 2018! Honestly, there were times when I didn’t think 2017 would ever end, but here we are in a new year. And a new year means we get a whole new set of goals, and the plans to reach them.

The best part about goals is that when you have a solid and achievable end game the stops along the way can be fluid. For instance, let’s say you have a goal of living a healthier lifestyle and getting in better shape. (Don’t we all?) Your plan could be to lose 10 pounds, or eat more vegetables, or maybe train for a half marathon. Any of those plans will move you closer to your goal of being healthier, but it’s up to you to choose the best path.

I have several goals for 2018; some are writing-related, some aren’t, and I have a few for which the goal exists but the plan is still in the, uh, planning stages. Here they are, in no particular order (though the writing ones did end up first in the queue):

  1. Release the Gallowglass #3, Homecoming, and two or three tie-in short stories. Homecoming is scheduled for an early summer release.
  2. Golem, The Chronicles of Parthalan #4, will release this year. (Keep your eyes peeled for the cover reveal!) I have some housekeeping to do on that series, which means that the fifth installment, Elfsong, might get pushed back to 2019.
  3. Polish up my YA mermaid mystery and get it submission ready.
  4. Outline two other series that are currently in the idea stage.
  5. Attend as an author at least six live events. I had to scale things back A LOT toward the end of 2017, and I’m looking forward to getting out there and hanging out with readers and writers again.
  6. Complete phase 1 of Sekrit Nonfiction Project.
  7. In 2017 we had twelve new experiences with the Wonder Twins. It was such a success I’m listing that as a 2018 goal.
  8. FINALLY install my raised garden beds.
  9. Continue to prioritize wellness for myself and my family.
  10. HAVE FUN! My grandfather always said that you need to make your own fun, and he was right.

I’ll post updates throughout the year with goal progress, event and release dates, and maybe a few updates on the Sekrit Project. Next week, I’ll recap my 2017 goals—what worked, what didn’t, and what was a raging fiasco. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish!

What are your goals for 2018? Let us know in the comments, and we can cheer each other on!

2017-667 Jennifer Allis b02Walker (Gallowglass #2)

Amazon —> http://amzn.to/2AtFIsO
B&N —> https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/walker-jennifer-allis-provost/1127329683?ean=2940154604854

Who is hunting the gallowglass?

When Karina and Robert relocated from Scotland to New York, they expected things to settle down. New York is known for many things, but a hotbed of supernatural occurrences isn’t one of them. Karina returned to her life as a graduate student, and agreed to teach a class over winter break. That was when things got weird: first she and Robert encountered an angry centaur, then a fairy enrolled in her class, and Karina learned that her mentor just might be a deity. When the Seelie King started making unannounced visits to Karina’s apartment in the middle of the night and warning her and Robert to be careful, she knew things were serious.

All of these events led to a single question: Who doesn’t want the gallowglass on American soil?

Meanwhile, Chris has problems of his own. The university grudgingly restored his teaching position, his agent and publisher are hounding him for a sequel to his worldwide bestseller… and he wonders if he can teach again. Write again. Hell, he can barely even speak to a woman after what happened between him and the Seelie Queen. Then a woman—a fairy woman—comes into Chris’s life, and damn it all if he doesn’t want her to stay there.

The god plays their hand, and the Seelie King calls Robert to his side. Alone and more frightened than she’s ever been, Karina tries to solve the mystery of who is hunting the gallowglass. Will Karina find the answer in time, or will Robert be lost forever?

 

Advertisements

Writer Wednesday: Three Steps to #NaNoWriMo Success #IARTG #amwriting

Happy Wednesday, readers and writers! October is just around the corner, which means you have just over thirty days to plan your Halloween costume, and finalize your NaNoWriMo plan of attack.

Plan NaNo now, you ask? Why, it’s still September! Yes, yes it is, but believe me that in order to win NaNo–in other words, write 50,000 over the course of the 30 days in November–you need to plan, plan, and plan some more.

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a huge fan of NaNoWriMo. In fact, two of my currently published novels, Changing Teams and Gallowglass, were both written during NaNo. However, last year’s NaNo was an epic fail on my part, and it was all due to poor planning. I had my story idea, and I’d done a bit of outlining and research, but not nearly enough. It wasn’t long before the story had gone so far off the rails there was no way I could fix it in 30 days. You can read all about that disaster here.

But this year will be different! I’ve done my homework, and I expect that even if I don’t have a finished story by November 30, I will at least have my 50,000 words. Here are the steps I’m taking to stack the deck in my favor:

  1. Research – Then do some more research, ask a librarian for help, and maybe book a trip to visit any real-life locations. Really, you’re not going to get too much information so go all in.
  2. Outline – A nice detailed outline is key. One incorporating the classic three act structure would be ideal, but you want a strong map to follow. Think of it like you’re downloading the newest map software onto your Garmin, as opposed to using a paper map printed in 1952.
  3. Character Profiles – Who’s the protagonist? Antagonist? What do they want? What are the stakes? What will happen if they don’t get what they want? Again, you cannot have too much information.

Next week, I’ll share some of the research I’ve done for my NaNo 2017 masterpiece. Okay, pending masterpiece. In the meantime, click the links below to learn more about my two most successful NaNo projects. Happy reading!

Learn more about NaNoWriMo (and sign up!) here.

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Britt Sullivan, part time model and full time aspiring artist, is sick of living alone in the city…

Taking lame jobs just to make ends meet is leading Britt nowhere, and she knows something has to change. She needs some excitement, and when she meets blue-eyed Midwesterner Sam MacKellar at a photo shoot, she realizes he’s perfect for her in every way—well, except for the fact that he’s gay.

A devastating childhood trauma turned Sam’s whole life into a lie…

Sam came to New York City to escape an existence that had become unbearable, and when his job as a photographer’s assistant leads him to Britt, he realizes he’s finally met someone who sees him as he really is. But plagued by nightmares and trapped by his own deception, he doesn’t know how she can truly be part of his life.

Friendship leads to a passionate encounter and hidden dangers…

Britt comforts Sam though his nightmares, and they begin to explore their mutual attraction, but the tables are turned when Britt faces unwelcome attention from a manipulative art instructor and Sam must come to her defense.

Sam is terrified to reveal the source of his nightmares, sure the truth would shatter his complicated relationship with Britt, but when she suffers an unspeakable trauma of her own, only Sam can help her pick up the pieces.

When Britt learns the magnitude of Sam’s lies, will his reasons and the depth of their feelings be enough to allow her to forgive him? Does she have a future with Sam, or does his deception also include the reality of changing teams?

Free and 99 Cent Ebooks (including Gallowglass), And A Chance To Win A $25 Gift Card!

tclap-promo-2

Click the link below to enter the giveaway, and then scroll down to check out over 80 books that are either free or 99 cents! *Always check the price on Amazon before one-clicking.

Click here —> http://www.bookandblogservices.com/free-and-99-cent-ebooks-august/

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1

TRADITIONAL, INDIE, AND HYBRID, OH MY! #amwriting #publishing #MASFFA

faestock

Let’s face it, publishing is not like it used to be. Thanks to innovations in ebook and marketing technology, literally anyone can upload a book and become a published author in hours or even minutes—but not everyone wants to do that, and frankly, not everyone should.

Whether or not the relative ease of self-publishing is good for the industry is a can o’ worms for another post. What we’re going to talk about today are the three broad categories of authors that the rise in self-publishing has created: traditional, indie, and hybrid.

Disclaimer: for the purposes of this article, I’m referring to publishing a novel-length work. Practices differ for other forms, therefore I advise that the writers of such works research accordingly.

Read the rest of this article on the MASFFA blog: https://masffa.com/2017/07/24/traditional-indie-and-hybrid-oh-my/

 

Writer Wednesday: Less Than Two Weeks Until #Gallowglass Releases! To Celebrate, Here’s An Excerpt #amwriting #PNR #fantasy #urban

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

2017-132 Jennifer Allis b01

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

 

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 3

That’s right, in less than two weeks Gallowglass will be available everywhere fine books are sold. Below are preorder links so you can reserve your copy today:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11

As promised, the excerpt is below. Be sure to let me know what you think!

<<<>>>

Robert grabbed my arm. “’Tis one o’ the fuath,” he growled.

“The who-ah?” I asked.

Foo ah,” Robert repeated, stretching out the syllables. “They are water demons that act as Nicnevin’s assassins. Like as no’, she has sent this one to collect me.”

“I thought you were her assassin.”

He ignored my comment, and said, “We must leave, lass. Fetch your brother.”

“Leave the tour?” I asked. “Can’t we just walk around to the other side of the ruin?”

“No. We must leave this place altogether.”

“We’re on an island,” I reminded him. “We have to wait for the ferry.”

“We canna,” he hissed. “’Tis no safe.”

“Um, okay.” I scanned the tour group; it was comprised of a rather harried looking guide, a gaggle of senior citizens armed with cameras and fanny packs, and my brother, the only individual under sixty. None of them looked to be likely candidates for a fairy assassin. “Where exactly is this fuath?”

“At the rear o’ that gathering.” Robert jerked his chin toward a white haired woman leaning on a cane who looked so frail, I worried the breeze would topple her.

“Are you sure?” I pressed.

“’Tis one o’ them, o’ that ye can be certain,” he insisted, his grip on my arm tightening. “The beast is wearing a glamour.”

I stared at Robert, the man I’d known for less than twenty four hours, who had claimed that I’d liberated him from centuries imprisoned within the Seelie Court. The man I had believed, until he started avoiding my questions. “You haven’t answered me. I thought you were her assassin?”

“I was but the deadliest of many,” he replied, then he spied Chris. “Come, we’ll collect Christopher and commandeer a vessel.”

“What? No!” I shook my arm free, and glared at him. “That little old lady can’t hurt anyone, and we are not stealing a boat!”

“The boat? Ye are concerned about a wee boat when a killer’s naught but twenty paces from ye?”

“This is insane,” I muttered. “Just insane.” I turned my back to him, rubbing my temples. Chris had been right; Robert was nothing but a gigolo, one who was now playing his part a bit too intensely, and I was his willing mark. I’d crossed half the world to get away from one man that had used me, only to run smack into another.

The tour group had noticed Robert’s and my argument, and a few of the old ladies were whispering about us. I smiled and waved, trying to impress upon them that everything was fine. The ladies lost interest in us, except the one Robert had labeled as an assassin. She was standing stock still, leaning on her cane and peering at me.

“Why isn’t she moving on?” I wondered. I glanced over my shoulder; Robert had stalked off toward the trees again, muttering to himself. “Robert, could you come here, please?” I called. “I think someone needs help.” All I could think of was that something of a medical nature was happening with the woman, maybe a stroke or a heart attack, and Robert—or whatever his name was—was a big guy, and could carry her if necessary. As soon as I called his name he returned to my side.

“Who is needin’ help, then?” Robert demanded. He looked past me, the blood draining from his face.

“Gallowglass,” a voice hissed. I tore my gaze from Robert and back to the old woman, who wasn’t looking so feeble any longer. Her eyes glowed red, and her mouth was packed with long, needlelike teeth, way too many teeth to be in such a small opening. I stood, mesmerized, as she kept opening her mouth, wider and wider until her jaw unhinged, her teeth growing longer and sharper with each passing second.

“Behind me,” Robert shouted as the woman sprang at us. She crossed the twenty or more paces in a single leap, landing like a cat on Robert’s chest. Then she screamed, a horrible, shrill noise that physically hurt my ears, and reared back to bite Robert’s neck.

I shrieked, certain this monster was about to take Robert’s head off, when he pitched himself forward, throwing his full weight on top of the much smaller creature and knocking them both to the ground. While the monster was still dazed, Robert leapt to his feet. He extended his arm to the side, and the claymore he’d carried the day before materialized out of thin air. Robert grasped the sword with both hands, and with a single swing he decapitated the creature.

I was shaking like a leaf, staring from the body to Robert. There was blood everywhere, black stinking blood marring the lush grass, some of the foul liquid having sprayed onto Robert’s chest. I hated gore, even the fake gore in horror movies and in cheesy Halloween displays. I swayed, certain that I was going to faint, when Robert caught me.

“’Tis all right,” he murmured, his arm about my waist. “It canna hurt ye now.” I pressed myself against Robert’s side, hiding under his arm and trying not to touch the bloody parts of his shirt. All of my doubts about Robert had ceased just as surely as that creature’s life had ceased. I would never doubt him again.

“What the holy hell was that?” Chris demanded.

I looked up and saw my brother jogging towards us. Behind him, the tour group was screaming and pointing at the man with the gigantic, bloody sword, and at the body at his feet. “Robert had to,” I whispered.

“Had to?” Chris repeated. “He had to kill a little old lady?

“Not a lady,” I said, shaking my head.

“Old man, whatever—”

“Chris!” I pointed at the creature’s head. “Look at the mouth.” He did, squatting down to get a better view. I stayed where I was; I already knew more than I wanted to know about that thing.

“Crap,” Chris murmured. Being that Chris considered such language beneath a man of his stature, I inferred that he understood the gravity of our situation. He reached toward its teeth, and I looked away. Did he have to touch it? He couldn’t tell just by looking at it that it was wrong? As I tried not to lose my breakfast I noticed an official-looking man striding toward us.

“About stealing that boat,” I began, then I turned to my brother. “Chris, we are going to steal a boat.”

Chris nodded. “Good plan.”

Robert grabbed my elbow, and we raced toward the dock.

 

Writer Wednesday: So, How Do You Write A Book, Anyway? #writerwednesday #amwriting #amediting #plotholes #timeline #authorsofinstagram

I do my fair share of events, which encompass everything from book signings to me teaching creative writing.  The question I’m asked most often is how one goes about writing a book.  Therefore, for the first time ever I present photographic evidence of my writing process:

IMG_20170517_165600

Glamorous, huh?

The larger white lined page is a timeline for the fourth Parthalan book, Golem…and it goes on for five more pages. The colored circles each represent a different character and the illegible scrawl comprises the main conflict in each chapter. Add to this the three smaller notebooks (full of character details and outlines) and the barest corner of my planner (to ensure I don’t miss any deadlines), and one thing becomes apparent: in order to write a book, you need to do a lot of writing that will never make it into the book.

The moral of the story is that writers need to write lots and lots and LOTS of words before they generate the magic 80k or so that end up as a finished novel. There are no shortcuts, you can’t get “lucky” and have your first uncorrected, typo-ridden draft picked up by a Big Five publisher (at least, none of the first drafts I’ve ever seen would be picked up), and you can’t hire an editor to magically fix plot holes and continuity errors. There is no substitute for sitting in your chair and doing the work yourself.

Is any of this easy? No, it’s not. But after you’ve done the work and beaten every last plot twist and character flaw uppity punctuation mark into submission, you will have done the impossible, and made your imagination real.

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 3

Preorder here: http://amzn.to/2pXXvz3

Voting is open for the RONE Awards! @InDTaleMagazine #RONE2017 #amreading #amwriting #IARTG

Voting is open for the RONE Awards! Just click this link to cast your vote for The Virgin Queen: http://www.indtale.com/2017-rone-awards-week-three

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2

You do need to register an InD’Tale’s website in order to vote, but it’s easy peasy to do so. If you don’t want to receive their free newsletter you can unsubscribe after voting.

If you haven’t read The Virgin Queen yet, the ebook is currently on sale for 99 cents.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pxnvTF
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-virgin-queen-jennifer-allis-provost/1123877362?ean=2940154131046

Thank you in advance for the votes 🙂

Changes Series 99cOrder the Changes boxed set and get three books for 99 pennies!
Click here–> http://amzn.to/2oPgyA0