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=”” 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 –

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


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.

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


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


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


Monique O’Connor James

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

Coming Soon:  Becoming Jolie

Top 41 Top Bloggers and Reviewers!!!

Sorry guys I could only find 40 this time.  I hope to have 50 for you the next time I post the list.  Be sure to share the blog (bloggers) on your FB and sites so you can use the free publicity!

These bloggers are all great people and very responsive to the authors that they review, interview, etc.  Hope you enjoy!  No pictures just great info!!!

1.  Ressa Р

2.  Thamy Р

3.  Kristina Р

4. Mandy –

5. Katrina Р

6.  Leanne Р

7. Tanya –

8. Dawn –

9. Jenn –

10. Stacey –

11. Stacey –

12. Realteen Reviews Р

13. The Book Boost Р

14. Sue –

15. Cheryl –

16. Renee –

17. Bella –

18. Kim –

19. Tazzie –

20.  Lindsey Р

21. Yoly Р

22. Shelly –

23.  Wendy Р

24. Susie –

25. Belinda –

26. Mindy –

27. Andrea –

28. Brea –

29. Cheeky Reads –

30. Sheila –

31. Kristine –

32. Kyan –

33. Devyn –

34. V Saewood Tice –

35. Mindy –

36. Alaiel –

37. Amber/Sapphyria –

38. Mera –

39. Chynna –

40. Kati-

41.  Laurie Р


Monique O’Connor James

Look out for Jamais Vu coming soon from

You can currently get The Keepers at the above for $2.99 (ebook)

and The Mulligan Man for $1!!!!

15 Ways to Find New Blogging Material

If you’re like me, finding things to blog about can be a challenge.¬† I see many lists that have ideas out there, but I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and hope it helps you break through the … Continue reading

Review for Hurricane By Jenna-Lynn Duncan

I anxiously looked around, my heart palpitating, just in time to see an alligator slink into the green algae covered water that was on either side of us. I swallowed hard, and my heart raced even faster. Alligators were a different¬†type of predator‚ÄĒthe one thing I was afraid of. Now I was on my own personal swamp tour. What if my kidnappers left me in the middle of a swamp with five of
them creeping up on me? I‚Äôve had that nightmare before and‚ÄĒoh no, if my dreams really are a sign of the future‚ÄĒI couldn‚Äôt breathe now.

Adriana couldn‚Äôt decide what was worse‚ÄĒthat Hurricane Katrina was heading for
New Orleans, or that she might not survive her kidnapping to see its potential
effects. She had trusted Hayden, even fallen for him, and now he and his
brother Luke were taking her deeper and deeper into the Bayou. Why had two of
her classmates, the mysterious Boudreaux brothers, kidnapped her? Why had
Adriana’s dreams started predicting the future? Most importantly, would she
make it out of the Bayou alive…

My Thoughts:

Adriana’s mom has never been part of her life, and her father is slowly backing away.¬† Life with nothing, but a catastrophic hurricane looming down on the city she loves, allows her to yield to the opportunity to find out about another world that exists; a world she is a part of.¬† Being a lover of all things, Louisiana, made this one a no-brainer for me.¬† Jenna Lynn’s descriptions of the city of New Orleans made me long to walk the French Quarter and nostalgic for pre-Katrina days.¬† Jenna Lynn is a wonderful storyteller and you will be sucked into the new world she has created and left wanting more.

Don’t miss this one!!!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, The Mulligan Man Available @

Coming Soon:  Jamais Vu

10 Editor Nightmares

I feel like an expert on some of these!¬† The truth is, every writer¬†has stumbling blocks that require hours of editing and practice to get past.¬† I’ve listened to editors¬†and publishers complain about many of these and here is a … Continue reading

SSS – The Mulligan Man Short Story

Dakota Trace sat in Ms. Myers’ third period English class. As usual, the woman had her blonde hair stacked high on her head.¬†¬†He watched the web of hair move in one heaping mound as she crossed the room. She reminded him of Marge Simpson, and had once told his class she slept¬†with her head hanging off the edge of the bed to prevent her hair from getting matted. He imagined all the blood rushing to her face and the ensuing explosion, which would keep her out of the classroom for weeks. It had yet to happen.

The Mulligan man was written for The Japan Release Anthology Project at Astraea Press.  All proceeds go to this charity.  You can purchase it at the following link:


Monique O’Connor James
Author of:¬† “The Keepers” and “The Mulligan Man”
Twitter:               mjames13

Meet Stephanie Taylor Publisher and Owner of Astraea Press!

As you may or may not know my first book “The Keepers” was published by a press which was the brain child of Stephanie Taylor.¬† Astraea also published my short story “The Mulligan Man”, and will be publishing my second … Continue reading

Marketing Hints &Tips

I don’t think any author should have to pay to find out how to market their book.¬† There are authors out there who guard what they consider secrets as though you may use their advice to sell the last book ever read.¬† The truth is the more books that sell in our genres, the better the chance we have for selling our own.¬† For this reason I think marketing should be an open discussion between writers.

I get asked a couple times a week for marketing advice.¬† At first it shocked me, because I was floundering and am still trying to develop a marketing strategy.¬† I don’t mind at all sharing what I’ve learned and I hope it helps.

These ideas are not new, patented, or earth shattering.  You may use some and think others are a waste of time.  The idea is to come up with a plan that works well for your books. 

Before I go on, I want to clarify that except for a lucky few exceptions, most authors need to have several novels available to purchase before they will see a real jump in their numbers. Having said that, the most important thing you can do is WRITE!

Cross Markets

Your first plan of action should be to identify your cross markets.¬† For instance, The Keepers is a paranormal, YA/Adult crossover Romance.¬† I never considered it spirituality/religious, but Amazon categorized it this way giving me another cross market.¬† We know we should approach the young adult market, paranormal readers, and romance lovers, but who else?¬† Well Jess in The Keepers deals with the death of her mother from breast cancer.¬† This leads us to breast cancer patients and survivors and grief and recovery readers.¬† Jess’ brother is alcoholic.¬† This allows us to approach people who’ve dealt with this addiction.¬† As you can see going through the themes and plots in your book will help you identify which cross markets you need to approach.

Good Reads/Manic Readers 

If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for Good Reads and Manic Readers on their websites.¬† Good reads of course offers you a place to put your books up and showcase your reviews.¬† It also has a comment section under your books where you can post sales, contests, or other important news about your books.¬† I’ve also found that the reviewers on this site are very responsive.

Manic Readers site is awesome. For free you get to create your own Author Page showing your books, links, an author bio, and for $5 a month you can post your contests and news. And they make it simple to request reviews from several bloggers/review sites.   They also have a monthly newsletter and large fan base on Facebook and Twitter.  So check that out for sure.

Tag your books

Both Amazon and All Romance have options at the bottom of your ¬†book info screen to tag your books with words and phrases which would show up in their search engines and recommend your book.¬† I saw on All Romance that a lot of people don’t use this feature, but anywhere you can tag – you should. (For All Romance you have to sign on to the site to tag your books.)

Friends and Family 

As we always say word of mouth is your best friend so use the people who are close to you to help you market.¬† Send a text to all your friends and ask them to share your post.¬† Don’t do it everyday, but if you do it once every couple of months they probably won’t mind and you will get some positive responses.

Contests and swag

Readers love to be included and interactive.¬† I love to be included too!¬† Even if you think no one is reading your blog, post contests.¬† You’ll be surprised once words spreads how many people respond.


I have to admit I was terrified of twitter.¬† If you haven’t started tweeting, do it now.¬† There is a huge community of readers and writers on twitter and they don’t mind retweeting your sales, contests, etc.¬† Don’t forget to post things about your life.¬† Readers want to get to know you and you don’t want to be a spam-bot.

Budget for some cover ads, etc. as soon as you can. 

Deep in the Heart of Romance, Book Boost, Kindle Blog – there are a ton of opportunities and some of them are pretty cheap keep an eye out.

Make friends with the author and reviewers on Facebook and Twitter. 

Don’t use them. Actually, make friends and support them.¬† They will reciprocate, I promise.¬† They also offer interviews, guest posts, and contests with your books.

Author Bios 

Give the reader of your book info on the novel, but share something personal too.  They want to know who you are! If there is a place for an author bio Рuse it!

One of the most important things to remember is people will always remember when you are nice to them.  Excitement is contagious.  If you are excited about your work, others will be too! 

It may take sometime to build a marketing plan, but just keep at it and in time you will find what works and what doesn’t.¬† Hope the information helps!


Monique O’Connor James
Author of:¬† “The Keepers”
Twitter:               mjames13