Christmas Blog Hop 2012

2012 Christmas Blog Hop

Hi Everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!!
I hope you love the hop! Make sure you visit all the participating blogs and enter their giveaways as well as mine. Have fun and remember to leave comments ūüôā I will pick a comment at the end of the tour for an EXTRA giveaway.
Here are the other participating blogs my Rafflecopter is also below!!!
18. Casey Crow

Try this link….
<a id=”rc-95c2a32″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/95c2a32/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway
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NANOWRIMO…The Making of a Novel

If you’re an author or up coming writer who has never participated in NANOWRIMO, you may be asking yourself–what’s the point? I wanted to share with you my experience and get you excited about this opportunity to come up with a new plot and push yourself to write, write, write.

Admittedly, I didn’t participate in 2011, however, I jumped in feet first in 2010.¬†¬†On Halloween day, and i¬†still had no idea what¬†I was going to write about.¬† Earlier in the day, I had skimmed over the news and seen something about a kidnapping that sparked my interest.¬† I generally write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, so I knew I’d have to give a kidnapping story a spin that would blow readers away in order to make the thirty days work for me.

I did some quick research and found information about a playground in Alabama.¬† Several children had been abducted and subsequently, their bodies were all found in this playground.¬† Morbid–I know! However, it gave me the idea for a novel that was eventually¬†released in September 2012 called Becoming Jolie.¬† I’m not a plotter by any stretch of the imagination, so¬†I made a few quick notes and decided¬†I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

Before you start making excuses, hear me out.¬†¬†I was¬†working a full-time job, taking care of my children and husband, dealing with constant migraines and doing¬†all of the things that we all do just to keep things going.¬† The only thing¬†I required of myself is that I would write at least thirty minutes a day, even if that meant staying up until everyone else was in bed.¬† This wasn’t difficult for me, because that’s pretty much the best time for me to write anyway.

Here is the great part–I almost psyched myself out in the beginning.¬†¬†I kept thinking there was no way¬†I could write 50,000 in 30 days, especially¬†with all the balls¬†I had in the air.¬† I had to¬†keep reminding myself that nothing horrible would happen if I didn’t make it.¬† A wonderful thing happened though, the more¬†I wrote, the¬†more the words flowed.¬† I finished Becoming¬†Jolie¬†and met my Nanowrimo goal in 18 days!

That book has turned out to be a fan favorite.¬† Of course, it went through changes and edits.¬† In fact, the finished product after Nanowrimo had some major point of view issues, as I was quite green when I set out to finish it.¬† My point is, you never know what will happen if you challenge yourself to participate.¬† Have fun with it and relax–no one will beat you if you don’t finish!

So I know you’re going to ask…am I going to do it this year?¬†I am currently¬†working on a novel and a short story.¬† What better way to push myself to get them completed?

Ready! Set! Go!¬† Here is the link to the site –Go ahead–Sign up – http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Interested in the novel created during Nanowrimo 2010?¬† Here’s a link, blurb¬†and the cover just for you:

   Blurb:

Jolie Bourque is trying to finish her thesis on mass hysteria and get on with her life. Enter Follette, Louisiana. The small town has been plagued by ghost sightings and a rash of missing children. She is convinced everyone in town is crazy ‚ÄĒ except Hutch Landry and his brother Tucker.

The brothers seem to be the only people willing to help when she starts asking questions. Just when
she thinks things can’t get any crazier, she begins to have dreams and visions of her own. Uncovering the town’s ties to her own life throws Jolie into a tailspin.

Can she survive the madness that is Follette, Louisiana? Who is preying on the town’s children? Can Jolie afford to fall in love while drowning in madness? If she does ‚ÄĒ how on earth will she choose between brothers?

It’s all just part of the journey to Becoming Jolie.

http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Jolie-ebook/dp/B009DHBW26/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_3

Comment and let me know if you plan to participate and are reaching your goals!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Magia Rising & Becoming Jolie

Coming soon:  Muscial Scares & Black Water Bayou

 

Becoming Jolie Huge Giveaway!

Becoming Jolie is going to be FREE for download on Amazon from October 8-10.  We have set up giveaway so that you can win lots of free stuff by helping us spread the word!  Just click on the rafflecopter link below and follow directions.  Hope you enjoy!!!!

Prizes РOriginal cover Рsigned copy of Becoming Jolie Р(The one with the swing set on it), PDFS of Magia Rising, Becoming Jolie and The Watchers and a $10 Amazon Gift card are all up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Huge Giveaway – Magia Rising Launch!!!!

Come help me celebrate the debut of Magia Rising by clicking on the giveaway link below!!! You have a chance to win A $25 Amazon Gift Card, Mardi Gras Beads, and PDF Copies of Magia Rising!!!!

Have fun!!!!

Image

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Year in the Life of an Author

I started my first novel in November of 2008.¬† As most of you know by now, I’d always been a writer.¬† I still have friends tell me they used my stories to turn in for grades in school.¬† That thought scares me, because most of what I wrote back then was a little frightening!!

In April of 2011, I was going through a bit depression.¬† I can remember the day that I got my first contract from Astraea Press vividly.¬† I’d been at home suffering from a migraine and feeling sorry for myself.¬† When I opened the email and saw the contract attached tears of joy rolled down my cheeks.¬† Someone out there wanted to hear my stories!

The Keepers was published in June of 2011.¬† I can’t even begin to tell you what it feels like to see your work on Amazon or to hold your novel in your hand for the first time.¬† For me, the biggest thrill was putting that book in my Dad’s hands and saying here, this if for you and me and all we have been through together.¬† Also, this was a very personal book for me.¬† One about a main character whose mother had died of breast cancer and the damaged angel that came along to save her.¬† This tale was so close to home that I was extremely nervous about sharing it, but tickled that I had the chance.

Everything wasn’t perfect.¬† No, my first novel was quite the roller coaster ride.¬† Somehow, the edition that was originally uploaded was not the one that¬†the publishing company and I¬†had spent hours pouring over during edits.¬† I got a lot of great reviews, but then the die-hard readers started to mention editing errors and after much thought and support from Astraea, I pulled the book and it went back to editing.¬† We literally had to start over!!!

During this time, Astraea put out a call for short stories which would be published with all monies going to the Japanese Tsunami Relief.¬† This is when the Mulligan Man was born.¬† I’d had a dream one night that I was standing in my front yard screaming, “I want a Mulligan!”.¬† My son, Colton, and I jotted down ideas and characters and this fun YA Folk tale came to life.¬† It is different from anything I’ve ever written, but one of my pride and joys because my son played an integral part of developing it.

The contract for Jamais Vu with Astraea soon followed and it was published in October 2011.¬† Whirlwind right?¬† Yes!¬† And so much fun.¬† I can’t talk about Jamais Vu without either crying or beaming.¬† As though the cosmos was trying to make up for all that had gone wrong with The Keepers, everything with Jamais Vu was easy.¬† There are over 25 5 star reviews on Amazon for this book and several four star reviews.¬† Knock on wood, not one person has ever slammed it!

This book also had deeply personal meaning to me.¬† My mother was playing with a gun she thought was unloaded when I was a toddler.¬† She was shot and spent years recovering.¬† My main character, Darby, also suffers this fate in Jamais Vu.¬† I wanted to pay tribute to my mom’s story but give it a huge paranormal twist and I think this book did the job.

In February 2012, the follow-up to Jamais Vu, Deja Vu was also published by Astraea Press.  Blessings! Blessings! Blessings!  By this point not only did I have four book in the marketplace, but I also had developed wonderful friendships with readers, bloggers, reviewers, cover artists, editors and publishers.

It is such a rush.¬† There are people out there who want to read my books!¬† Before I ever considered getting published, the one thing I said was, “If I could just have a few fans who enjoy my work, I’ll be happy.”¬† I’ve far exceeded that goal, and to each and ever one of you, I am eternally grateful and humbled by your love and support.

So that brings us to the middle of 2012, back to the time where I started last year.  On July 9th, Becoming Jolie, my first Adult Paranormal novel will be published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.  Also in July, The Watchers, the sequel to The Keepers will be published by Astraea!

So what else is coming?¬† I’ve written the first novel in a new series called Magia Rising.¬† I’m considering self-publishing that one in October.¬† Next year, I know for sure this book will have a follow-up as will the Jamais Vu series.¬† I’m also hoping to self publish a novel that I’m currently offering chapters of on my blog, The Awakening.

I’ve had some hard moments in the last year. Sometimes, I’ve been frustrated and overwhelmed, but mostly I’ve been filled with joy and love.¬† There is nothing like meeting one of your biggest fans for the first time, getting emails from people dying to read your next work, hearing from young authors who just want someone to talk shop.

I hope that I can continue to offer you all stories that capture your hearts and imaginations! Today, I just want to say thanks!  Every time you mention my book to a friend, share my Facebook posts or Tweets you are pumping new life into my crazy brain.

As long as you will all have me, I’ll be around!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511255176
Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/moniqueoconnorjamesauthor
Twitter:  mjames13

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming July 2012 РBecoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing & The Watchers from Astraea Press!!!!

Free Read: The Awakening – Chapters 17, 18 & 19!!!!

Chapter 17, 18 & 19

Yes, I’ve been super slow.¬† I have had major writers block and migraines for days….but I love you guys, so here is the next few chapters!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Check out my other books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man.

Coming in July:  Becoming Jolie and The Watchers

Coming in October:  Magia Rising

 

 

Free Read: The Awakening Chapters 15 and 16

Okay I owe you guys some more chapters~¬† I’ll get them posted promise…..Love you a bunch!¬† I think I also owe you some ghost stories!

Chapter 15 and 16

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming July 2012 РBecoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and The Watchers from Astraea Press

Free Read!!! The Awakening – Chapters 11 and 12

Took me long enough but here are the next chapters!¬† I’ll try to do a couple more this weekend.

Chapter 11 and 12

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, and The Mulligan Man

Coming Soon:  Becoming Jolie

Ghost Stories #8 Haunted Baton Rouge (My Home Town!!!)

Highland Road Near Lee Drive Р As a resident of Baton Rouge, I can tell you that Highland Road is beautiful.  Some wealthy residents make their homes on the bluffs and golf courses along this stretch of road.  In the months of September and October, our police stations are inundated with calls about ghostly sightings here.  Injured confederate soldiers hobble along the street during the fall months drawing much attention.  Reports say their injuries are horrific and most have missing limbs and are covered in blood.  (Nope never witnessed it!)

The Spanish Moon – At this nightclub patrons have witnessed beer taps turning on by themselves and plates and glasses flying through the air (and it wasn’t a bar fight).¬† In the 1920’s the building was used as a makeshift morgue, but it was just over thirty years ago that the place was used as a wino flop-house, and this is the era¬†from which¬†most believe the spirits originated.

The Old State Capitol – Our Old State Capitol Building looks like a castle and is one of my favorite places in the city.¬† The ghost of “Pierre”, a senator from a by-gone time who died of a heart attack during the discussion of a hot political issue.¬† Motion sensors set off the alarms in the building and nothing can be found on the security cameras.¬† He has also been seen in the room where the Senate once met.¬† Perhaps, he’s only waiting to finish his argument?

 

Old State Penitentiary РThis building now houses the headquarters of the Louisiana State Police. What was at one time the execution chamber and morgue is now offices.  Here radios turn on and off and prisoners from the past roam the hallways. (Guess their just happy to get out of their cells.)

 

 

Guaranty Income Life & Broadcasting- The morgue of Baton Rouge General Hospital was once located on the bottom floor of this building.  Now the morgue freezer serves as file storage.  It is said that at night the temperature of the first floor drops several degrees and that the elevators run unmanned.  Security guards refuse to visit the first floor because of the strange noises that can be heard at all hours of the night.

Hope you enjoyed!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

FREE READ – The Awakening – Chapters 9 & 10

Okay this is probably pretty rough because I rushed through a quick edit, but enjoy anyway!

Chapter 9 & 10

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.