I think this year has made us all need an extra laugh or two, right? Much as I love Urban Fantasy and Paranormal books and dark, spooky things, I like to laugh, too. My favorite Halloween movie this year was Hubie Halloween. Hysterical! I have several funny Christmas movies already picked out including Bad Santa. I know, it's kinda juvenile humor but I still like it. We just watched The Night Before and it's another Seth Rogen bromance-party movie and yeah, even more juvenile humor, but I still laughed. There shall be no judgement on our taste in books or movies in 2020.
I've joined with a bunch of fabulous authors to give you a selection of free books, short stories, prequels and samples. If you haven't grabbed my Badass Demon Bounty Hunter series prequel, Demons Don't Do Decaf, now's your chance. Use this link and check out our goodies. https://storyoriginapp.com/to/BGyMlJ5
Happy Thanksgiving if you're in the USA and Happy Fall or Spring to you, depending on which hemisphere you live in. Remember, stay strong through all this craziness and find ways to make yourself peaceful and happy. I hope reading books is one of them and that we authors can make your day better by sharing some laughs and freebies with you. *big mwah*
Because 2020 has tricked us enough, right? I wrote a short prequel to Who Let the Demon Out and I want to share with you. It's free! Isn't that a nice treat? Follow this link
But if the email demons mess this up (and you KNOW the email demons are out there), give me a shout and I'll get your free copy to you. Have a Happy Halloween and remember, even with all that's going on, we can still have fun.
PS Do you like to read and review books? Check out Lola's Blog Tours and sign up if you want to review Who Let the Demon Out. No deadline on this so you have plenty of time to finish making that cool Halloween costume and buy more candy to replace the bag you already ate. What? Am I the only one who did that?
Come visit one of the many stops on my fabulous Bewitching Book Tour. At several interviews I share my deepest, darkest secrets. Okay, maybe not the deepest, darkest ones. I don't want to scare you so bad you run off screaming into the night. ;-) On this post I'm sharing information about my writing career, advice to new authors, and info about a tough scene I wrote in my last book. Check out my table-tipping adventure here. Want to listen to a short reading of an excerpt? Visit Bertena at Midnight Musings here. I love when Southern women say cuss words, and there's a few of them in my excerpt. ;-)
Please visit one or all of the tour hosts and enter to win a gift card. Thanks so much!
October 5 Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
October 5 Roxanne’s Realm
October 6 Jazzy Book Reviews
October 6 The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Guest Blog)
October 7 Supernatural Central (Interview)
October 7 JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder(Interview)
October 8 Simply Kelina
October 8 Midnight Musings
October 9 The Book Junkie Reads
October 9 Fang-tastic Books (Guest Blog)
October 9 Sapphyria's Books
October 12 T's Stuff (Interview)
October 12 Paranormalists (Interview)
October 12 Lisa’s World of Books
Floridians are the opposite of most of the rest of the country in that we look forward to winter with much glee. This year especially, since many of us are choosing to mostly participate in outdoor activities and dining. And gardening. Check out the video below to see my container garden. Right now it's a weed garden, but the weeds have flowers so let's say I'm growing flowers. :-) I plant cherry tomatoes and the last years I've had more success with a winter garden than a summer one. Eventually it will cool down and I can get the plants started. It's so weird gardening when most of the country is stocking up on firewood, but it's our reward for putting up with the long, fiery summers. I can't wait to get started!
I also can't wait to get started on my new book tour with Bewitching Book Tours. Details on that coming soon.
Who needs to get out of the house? *waves hand frantically* I really needed a mini-vaca so my honey and I grabbed a quick getaway and swam and kayayaked and paddleboarded this gorgeous river. I totally recommend a trip out in nature to make your brain and your soul go ahhhhh!
I recently ran a contest with a survey about what you've missed the most with the lockdown and restrictions. You guys came up with some beautiful responses and I cried when I read them. Literally, I cried. Read about them here. AND if you like to review books head over to Book Sirens and check out their review program. And of course, request Who Let the Demon Out as your first book to read and review. Thank you!
How hard can it be to send an escaped demon back to hell?
Not only is her suicide attempt thwarted by a stranger, but when she comes back from the dead, Sable is tasked by Lucifer to find and return to hell a demon she let loose. If she doesn't, she'll be sent to the darkest level of the afterlife when she dies.
The woman Jack pulled from a running car is obviously disturbed and her story about Lucifer and demons is bullshit. But she has the name of a dead man written on her arm and Jack wants to know why.
Since it's Jack's fault she's in this mess and his skills from a background in the security business are useful, Sable recruits him for her find-the-demon mission, which turns out to be all kinds of difficult. Not only can demons inhabit human bodies, they have other nasty tricks up their sleeves, like incinerating objects and people who get in their way.
It also turns out the inhabitants of hell lie and that things on Earth are not what they appear. Nor are things in her own world, Sable discovers, as she battles to complete her mission before time runs out and it's impossible to send the demon back.
Are you slowly getting back into your normal routines? I am, kind of. Holy cow does it feel good! I am totally enjoying those things we normally take for granted, like working (I was out of work for two months and when I went back I cried I was so happy to still have a job), going out to eat, and having a drink or coffee with a friend. Which just goes to show, even an introvert like me who likes to stay home and really loves her alone-time misses the simple pleasure of being "out" and around people. I did, however, have an interesting experience doing freelance and ghostwriting work. Read more about my adventures these past months here.
I'm behind on where I want to be with book writing. My day job, which is a self-owned business, is requiring a lot of my time and energy to get back up and going. I did manage to complete book one in my new series, the Badass Demon Bounty Hunters, and it's now up for pre-order on Amazon. A little more editing and it will be ready to release, earlier than the September date I posted, I hope. Exciting!!! Wish me luck on getting book two moving along. Writing is such a wonderful escape for me and I can't wait to continue with this series, since I fell in love with Sable and Jack, the heroine and hero. And I adore all the secondary characters too, even the bad guys. Bet you will, also!
Tell me what you miss or have missed the most during this tough time and be entered to win an Amazon gift card. Visit the Survey Monkey here. Good luck! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7M2579Y
Beautiful Photo of hugging people by Helena Lopes on Unsplash
What Does a Writer Do When Her Day Job is Deemed Non-Essential? Old dog learns new tricks #lockdown#amwriting
She writes, of course, but with a different twist. I needed money and I needed it fast. After I spent a few days crying, day-drinking wine and binge-watching Netflix, I slapped myself a couple of times and said, "Girl, get your shit together. You have skills; use them." So instead of working on my awesome new fiction series like I've been doing, I did a mental adjustment, put on my freelancer hat, and got active on Upwork and Constant Content, two companies I've used on and off in the past.
To start at Upwork you take a few tests, fill out information about yourself, then scroll through the jobs that clients have listed. If you see one you like you apply for it and if the client selects you, begin a conversation via the website. Clients can also invite you to interview for jobs and you can accept or decline. You'll get an email if a client sends an invite. My experience this time around with Upwork was as positive as it's been before. I edited and added content to one fiction story, wrote another short story from scratch, did a brief online interview, and wrote three chapters of a longer book from an existing outline. I also rewrote and embellished a non-fiction article about dogs, which involved fun research. I only took on small projects as I planned to return to work at some point and I made sure the clients knew that I was short-term only.
Constant Content is looking for non-fiction articles. You set up an account with them, read through their guidelines, then write on whatever subject you like. The article may or may not get edited by staff after you upload it and if it does, make the requested changes and resubmit. Then wait. My articles on this site have been purchased immediately but some sold after months or even years. Articles will stay active forever or until you take them down. It's a good idea to noodle around the site and see what's selling and/or being requested.
This is the basic info about these two companies and there are many more details on their websites. Both websites take a bit of getting used to but are fairly easy to navigate. Both companies take a percentage of your income and I had no problem receiving payment from either.
As with any new adventure, freelance writing and ghostwriting gigs have pros and cons. One of the cons is my aching back! I'm not used to sitting for long periods and if I ever write full-time, I will be buying my little body a super-duper chair and also figure out a way to stand and write for a portion of the day. Also, I'm not used to rejection, which sucks. I know it's not personal but it often feels that way. Sending my cover letter for a job I knew I'd be perfect for and not being selected made me hit that bottle of chilled Chardonnay long before happy hour. (That's right, I like drinking wine. We all get a pass for these last few months.)
The amount of money I made writing was far less than I earn at the day job so I had to keep shushing my ego telling me I was working for peanuts because even peanuts add up over time. If I pursued freelance writing I would expect to eventually earn a higher rate as my skills developed and I could show a client I had experience. It takes time to acquire expertise. And like anything else, I know I would get faster and more proficient at finding the right jobs for me, at developing relationships with clients, and also at the writing in general, so I would write more words. Practice, practice, practice.
I'm damn proud of myself for earning a few dollars and stepping out of my comfort zone to write fiction and non-fiction that's not in my usual genre. I'm proud I hung with it and managed to focus on writing when my brain was a stressed-out mass of noodles. My daily inspirational calendars, yoga, a cool meditation app called Insight Timer and other uplifting material helped me through this tough time by reminding me that I'm strong, smart, and putting one foot in front of the other and doing my best is all I can do. I made mistakes, did dumb things and kicked myself more than once, (when you do yoga you can literally kick yourself) but in the end, I feel like my freelance/ghostwriting venture was a success.
Many working people, including myself, are still struggling to get businesses going and make ends meet. Please be kind and patient to everyone, shop at your local stores, if you can afford it tip your service workers generously, and let's get our economy functioning and up to speed again. Big thanks to all of you who buy books and support authors. You're the best!
Delightful image by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash
We need exercise, right? Why not dance our frustrations away at a Home Dance Party? Penny Sansevieri at Author Marketing Experts is having a dance party and wants you to join in. She put together an awesome playlist on Spotify so even if you don't enter the contest, check out a few tunes and get your groove on. If I have enough wine to drink, I might actually enter. Right now I'm sad and worried because my day job is gone, concerned for my friends and family who are out there working in public, and grateful for all those who keep going even though they're scared. But I'm also an eternal optimist, so I believe we'll come out of this soon.
Check out the dance party and have yourself a little fun! https://www.amarketingexpert.com/quarantine-life-home-dance-partycontest/
Dangerous Addictions is an intriguing adventure about select people who have developed superpowers and a sweet enemies-to-lovers love story. Grab your FREE e-book copy today. And if you want to binge on this trilogy while you're stuck at home, I've reduced the next book in the series, Dangerous Liars, to .99 and extended the sale for another month so nab that one now and also Dangerous Vengeance, the third book in the series. I hope you're safe and using any downtime you have to read a shit-ton of books, and if you have a job that puts you out there with the public, thank you and please stay safe. I hope you end your day with an escape to a good book. Take care!
PS Great link from the New York Times, How to Get Books When Bookstores and Libraries are closed https://nyti.ms/2wdAJwm
I don't know about you but I'm getting a slow start to the new year. Lots of Netflix binging and book reading here. Exercising and smoothie-making? Not so much. Are you having a hard time getting your butt in gear too?
My body wants to hibernate but my brain has been kicking ideas around. Would you please go to my website, scroll to the bottom of the page and answer the two quick questions about humor/comedy in books. Any comment you want to leave is much appreciated also.
Thanks so much!
Very cute bear photo by Parth Patel on Unsplash.
Not really me sleeping. But it could be.
Woo-eee! I've been running around like a crazy girl getting ready for the holidays and I suspect you have too. It feels really good to end the day with a book in bed, doesn't it? Join me at this fabulous Book Fair and stock up on .99 books to read all year long.
We’re Giving Away Amazon Gift Cards Dec 18-21!
If you're craving a great read but your wallet is down to pennies, check out this Holiday Book Fair. 99 books on sale for 99 cents each. All genres and heat levels of romance, plus mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and more! That’s just 99 pennies for hours of awesome fiction! Be sure to scroll down to Good Season for Justice, my holiday romantic suspense novella.
Plus, check in daily to play the scavenger hunt games for your chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card. A new hunt will be posted every day of the fair.
This will be my last post of 2019. I've enjoyed sharing the year with you and I hope you take some time out during this busy season to read, relax, and do those things that make your soul happy.
Joyous Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!
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I would love to hear from you! Drop me a line at naomibellina AT live.com