Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life

My Journey as a Self-Published Author

As most of you saw on my Facebook page, yesterday marked my fourth anniversary of self-publishing Bridget’s Journey on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Wow. It really seems like yesterday I was editing this book with a friend of Mom’s in her kitchen, pestering Sandrine to finish painting the cover and crying over how difficult it was to get the formatting just right. It seems like yesterday that I held this book in my hands for the first time. It seems like yesterday that friends and family overwhelmed me with their support and encouragement. For once, I believed in myself as much as they believed in me.

Now, four years later, I’ve sold probably about 40 (or 50? I’m not good with numbers) of paperbacks, countless Kindle editions and I even published a second novel. Four years later, my books are still up on Amazon for anyone (friend or stranger) to pick up and read the words that I wrote. Four years later, my books are in my church and public libraries. Four years later and I’ve written three and a half more novels. Four years later and I still love to write.

Continue reading “My Journey as a Self-Published Author”

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Posted in Book Reviews, For Fellow Writers

Fourth Five Books of 2015

I apologize for not posting in a while. To make up for it, I wrote a really long post! 🙂

Here are books 16-20 that I read in June of 2015. If you missed out on one of or all my first three posts, you can check out books 1-5 here, books 6-10 here and books 11-15 here.

Before I list these next five books, I’ll give you an update on my reading for 2016. So far I have read five books (two were on audio). By the end of this month I need to have read four to make up for only reading two last month. Luckily, I just finished two and am close to finishing one more already. I’m sure I will be caught up by March 1st!

Now, on with the books:

16. Cannons at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory – This book is part of the Dear America series. It centers around the lives of families following their husbands to the battle lines during the Revolutionary War. It is actually a sequel to the Dear America, The Winter of Red Snow. This book was really interesting because it showed me a different side to the Revolutionary War. For one, we don’t normally hear much after the Declaration of Independence (at least, I rarely did) and this one showed the end of the war (or the beginning of the end), which didn’t happen until the early 1780s. After they lost everything, the family decided to follow their father as he went off to become a soldier (normally a few days behind him in case a battle ensued) instead of waiting behind at home. Overall, an enjoyable read.

* 17. Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff – This book. Oh my goodness. One of my favorites I read last year. It is a companion to Lily’s Crossing which I mentioned reading in one of my earlier posts. Honestly, I don’t even remember when or where it happened, but all of a sudden, in the middle of reading it, something had changed. It went from being just a book I was reading, to a story that meant everything to me. After crossing that point, I couldn’t put it down! I liked this one even more than Lily’s Crossing, which doesn’t often happen! It did not have very many reviews on Amazon, so I gave it one shortly after finishing the book. I’ll share it here:

Beautiful Story of a Period in History We Won’t Soon Forget

This book is recommended for ages 8-12, and though I understand why, I myself am a teenager and I still thoroughly enjoyed it!
World War II is one of my favorite time periods, it is true, and this piece dedicated to that era gives a wonderful peek into what it was like to live during that time. The writing, as always, was very relate-able and the characters were endearing. I fell in love with Meggie and her family and greatly enjoyed her character development. Though this book is a companion, it works perfectly as a stand-alone as well.
*SPOILER* Although I was severely disappointed that it ended before we could find out what happened to Meggie’s brother Eddie, it just goes to show how much it meant to me to find out! I even went back to Lily’s Crossing to see if his fate had been mentioned there and I had just missed it!
I would recommend this book to anyone of any age. I commend the author, Patricia Reilly Giff, for writing a story that moved me so much. It doesn’t often happen. Thank you, Mrs. Giff, for this book.

18. Kit Saves the Day by Valerie Tripp – This is a continuation of listening to the Kit books in the car. One of my favorite children’s stories growing up! (I talked more about Kit’s books in earlier posts–links are above ^)

* 19. The Keeper by Erin Phillips – I have been looking forward to sharing my thoughts on this one! Erin Phillips is my cousin and fellow writing buddy here in North Carolina. She self-published her first novel, The Keeper, in 2015 and it is available for purchase as paperback or Kindle on CreateSpace and Amazon–check it out! For updates on special promotions for The Keeper and updates on her upcoming sequel, The Varken, check out her blog, One Word More, here.

Here is the review I put up on Amazon for her book:

“The Keeper” takes place in the fantastical world of Eviryia from the perspective of Kayleigh, the Keeper of Ailenor. After decades of trying to find the True King, distraught, Kayleigh locks herself up in Ailenor, giving up on attempting to bring a king back on the throne, thus bringing peace to the kingdom. And so begins Kayleigh’s journey as she renews her determination to save the kingdom and discovers the true meaning of her duty as Keeper of Eviryia.
This book had beautiful descriptions of the places Kayleigh visited outside of Ailenor and the character development was evident. I could hardly put it down, reading chapter after chapter, wanting to know what happens next. The ending was just right, like any good story, while still having a few twists! The endearing characters were relatable and believable, becoming your friends by the time you reached the last page, making you wish it kept going!
I hope Erin Phillips publishes a sequel! However, “The Keeper” is perfect as a stand alone. I am looking forward to reading more of her work!

20. Bridget’s Journey by Valerie Cotnoir – Heehee, yes, I read my own book. It took me a while, but after downloading Bridget’s Journey on Kindle, and after taking a break from looking at this story since I had already read it over and over a million times, I read it again and marked a few things here and there to change for future reference.

As a matter of fact, I updated these changes and published my second edition of Bridget’s Journey very recently! If you’re interested, I have two copies I’m selling for $7.00 each for those living in the Raleigh area. Otherwise, you can buy your paperback or Kindle copy on Amazon or CreateSpace! Or download it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Don’t forget to leave a review after you have finished reading!

To finish off, here are some reviews that other people have left for this book on Amazon:

This is a sweet story of a young girl whose world is turned upside down. After Bridget’s father dies, she goes to live in Prince Edward Island with her grandparents whom she has never met.
As Bridget struggles through a major move, and dealing with the pain of being an orphan, she slowly learns to depend on God to help get through life’s trials.
The scene where Bridget meets her grandmother for the first time brought me to tears.
I really enjoyed this book and plan to read it again.

Wonderful story to read with my two daughters. Heart-warming and well written for a first-time author. I hope she writes more soon.
Bridget’s Journey was a beautiful story about dealing with grief and friendship troubles. It captures the charm and beauty of Prince Edward Island, the main setting of the story, and the main characters were felt very real and lovable. Great story to read with kids but is very enjoyable for all ages! If you loved any of the Anne of Green Gables books, you will love this book too! I look forward to seeing what other books the author will come up with!

Only two more posts and I will be finished reviewing the books I read in 2015!

* Books that I highly recommend have a * next to them

Posted in For Fellow Writers, Words Upon Words

Leave a Review

After you are done reading Bridget’s Journey or Everlasting, I hope you will consider leaving a review for me on Amazon and/or Goodreads. I love getting feedback from my readers and your reviews can help others who don’t know me personally be persuaded to get their own copy of Bridget’s or Azalea’s story.

Click here to leave a review on Amazon.

Click here to leave a review on Goodreads.

Thank you so much!

Posted in For Fellow Writers, Words Upon Words

“Everlasting” is On Kindle!

Well, here we have it, everyone! Everlasting is finally available for purchase on Kindle!!

The Kindle version is $2.99 for a regular customer, however, if you buy the paperback copy, you get this book for just $0.99! Also, if you have Kindle Unlimited, Everlasting on Kindle is completely free. Share this good news with your friends and family and get your copy of Malachi and Azalea’s story now!

(Everlasting, Back Cover) “Long ago, the world was filled with creatures of all kinds, and divided into two kingdoms: Memiana, ruled by the humans, and Orutia, ruled by the fairies. Over time, the humans came to resent the fairies, and gradually took away more and more of their land until the fairies were relegated to a small section of the kingdom. But when Zechariah was crowned king of the land, and married Crystal, the beautiful queen of the fairies, together they vowed to restore peace.

All that changed when Queen Crystal died, not long after the birth of their daughter, Mertia. The king’s brother, Sebastian, filled with jealousy and malice, put into motion an evil plot to get rid of the king and the princess, and take over the kingdom for himself.

Years later, amid rumors that Princess Mertia might still be alive, young farmer Malachi Thatch sets out on a quest to find her and bring her back to the castle. His search results in much more than he had bargained for, and soon he joins a motley band of creatures on a mission. Together they are caught up in an exciting and dangerous adventure, as they seek to restore the rightful king to the throne and finally usher in an era of unity and peace.”

Don’t forget that Bridget’s Journey is free for Kindle Unlimited also!

Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

It’s a New Year

After a nice break visiting family in Canada, we returned home last night and I was welcomed home by my package of Everlasting copies! I am selling signed copies to anyone living in the Raleigh area who hasn’t grabbed their book yet. Two of the six have already been accounted for, so I have four left to anyone who wants one for only $10 each. Comment on this blog post or let me know on my Facebook Page if you would like to purchase one. For those of you who do not live in the Raleigh area, you can still have your copy, too! Everlasting is available for purchase NOW on Amazon, Amazon.ca and CreateSpace! The Kindle version of Everlasting should be available within the next month or so. I will let you know when it is up.

To continue this combined post of both an Everlasting announcement and my New Years resolutions, for those of you who were wondering, I did not reach my goal of reading 40 books in 2015. College work, writing for NaNoWriMo and publishing Everlasting put me behind, so in December, I adjusted my goal to 30 books–like 2014. And I reached it! On December 31st, 2015, the last book I finished reading (#30) was Fellowship of the Ring, part of the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, one of my inspirations for Everlasting. I hope to finish my posts about the books I read in 2015 soon.

Apparently the lesson I had to learn in the latter half of 2015 was about adjusting goals. I could not write 50,000 words in November, so I changed my goal to 40,000 and reached it. I could not read 40 books in 2015, so I changed my goal to 30 and reached it. I think it’s important to be flexible when “life gets in the way”, as people say. We can’t always reach our personal goals, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go halfway. We can still try!

That being said, I always make two New Years Resolutions in January for the new year. A certain amount of books to read and a certain amount of books to write. In 2013, I made a goal of reading 50 books and writing one. In the end, I wrote two books and…I don’t recall the exact number of books I read, but it wasn’t 50. 😉 I believe I read close to 43. In 2014, I made a goal of reading 30 books and writing one. In the end, I wrote one book and read 30. In 2015, I made a goal of reading 40 books and writing one (best to keep that number small). You know already how I did on that score.

In 2016, the goal is the exact same as last year. I hope to write one book (probably Bridget’s Journey the Sequel…which still doesn’t have a real title) and reading 40 books. I’m hoping that this year I will redeem myself and strive for 50 books next year! I’ll let you know in 12 months how I do.

Before I finish off this post, I have another announcement to make! Starting tomorrow, January 9, until Monday, January 11, Bridget’s Journey will be FREE to download on your Kindle or Kindle app! I will post again over the weekend to remind all of you.

It’s a New Year, folks…so, happy reading and happy writing!