Monday, December 22, 2014

Novel Sequel (London Calling) is Now Available!

This is going to be a quick post because I have a lot of things to do in a short amount of time. Long story short: mom has shingles and I had to take her to urgent care -- and then drive her back when her supervisor was being difficult about her return to work -- so my afternoon/evening has been spent doing that and I still have other things to take care of. Anyway...

The novel sequel is now out! WHOOO! So excited! Yes, Will and Lina: London Calling is available in both print AND Kindle editions as of today. I would've posted this earlier except... well... you know. Anyway, here are the links to a couple of places where you can find them.

Print
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5165372 (it'll go live tomorrow)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Will-Lina-Calling-Melissa-Cecilia/dp/1505487404/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1 (they were temporarily out of stock but they have copies once more)

eBook
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Will-Lina-Calling-Melissa-Cecilia-ebook/dp/B00RC56PAK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419290102&sr=1-1

If you're getting the Kindle version, please note that, yes, the table of contents looks wonky because they (CreateSpace) forgot to take it out when they sent the file to Kindle. There shouldn't be any table of contents on Kindle editions (for obvious reasons). I've been told by those who have their copies that that is the only issue (which I will be taking care of tonight). Everything else is formatted correctly so don't worry about it. Just skip it and go onto the story. ;) If something looks off, let me know and I'll fix it asap; that's the beauty of Kindle, I can fix it and you'll get the corrected version automatically updated to your Kindle app/device.

And that's it for now. I'll hopefully blog again tomorrow. We'll see. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Friday, December 19, 2014

Novel Sequel: Good News and Bad News...

I'll start with the bad news first because it's good to get it out of the way.

Bad news: the novel sequel is NOT available today because of formatting issues. Siiiiiigh. I'm bummed because I was so looking forward to today but, unfortunately, these things happen. I tried my best to have everything in order on time but some of the issues were out of my control. I literally did not have anything to do with one of the issues (which involved a novel cover); it was all on the people who are helping me get the books published. I've been told that I'm not the first author to have encountered a publication date delay so that makes me feel slightly better.

Good news: New release date is only delayed until Monday, December 22nd. Hooray! Everything should be fixed and ready for a Monday release date. I am going to go bananas on their butts if any more formatting issues come up. I'm actually going to work all weekend (save for a couple of hours on Sunday; gotta keep some of the time reserved for the Lord) to make sure these issues don't happen again. Yes, I get a semi-quick confirmation (usually 15 hours or so) when things are ready to be published so... I'll let y'all know.

And that's it for now. I'm going to go back and do some more work. A self-published author's work is never done. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Will and Lina Giveaway Winners AND News

First let me just say a big "thank you" to those of you who took time out of your busy schedules to post a little something about the first novel on various websites. I was not expecting y'all to be as kind as you were in your reviews... especially you men. Y'all were not my target audience but it seems you fellas didn't hate it, so thank you. lol. That's as "brag"-y as I get, folks. You can find reviews in various places; I'm not linking them. ;) lol.

The contest closed at midnight and we have the two winners. Y'all know the expression "the early bird gets the worm"? Well, two regular blog readers (aka those who submitted their reviews in early) ended up the winners! Congrats Stephanie Z. and Stephen C.! I've already gotten touch with y'all so now we shall just wait for Amazon to release the sequel so I can send it your way. ;) For those of you who didn't win, don't worry; I'm sure I'll hold another giveaway before you know it. ;)

I have a lot to do today so I'll keep the news short and sweet: Will and Lina: When Two Worlds Collide is officially available in print! Excited panda dance time. As of now, it's only available through CreateSpace AND Amazon since they are the ones printing the physical copies of it. I was told that you will be able to get copies elsewhere in the next 3-5 days. I will link those when I get them.

As for tomorrow's release of the sequel (London Calling), yes, it's still on but I don't know the time it'll be released because it varies every time. Amazon has to upload the file, send me the notification, etc. As soon as I get word, I will make another blog post and share the link. There is a chance that it won't go "live" (aka ready to purchase) until Saturday morning (even though I'm submitting it tomorrow). Hopefully I'll get word early tomorrow. We'll see... wish me luck 'cause I had some major issues with the first one being properly formatted. :)

And that's it for now. I have a million (yes, of course that's an exaggeration) little things I need to do before I can get some sleep.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Failing This Advent

You read the blog post title correctly: I have failed at preparing during this Advent season. As my penance, I will tell you how I have failed and what I plan to do to make up for it.

I actually did prepare for Advent ahead of time: I bought the Advent wreath candles weeks in advance and we've used the same Advent wreath for years so I didn't have to look for one. I had the Nativity stored next to the Advent wreath in my book room. I had a Ven. Fulton Sheen Advent booklet ready on my bookshelf. I had the links to the various Advent calendars online... and I did NONE of it until this week. I had everything ready and I failed to get started in time. Good job, Emmy.

It's not that I didn't have time. I did... and didn't. The problem is that, with the publishing deadlines coming up on Thursday (to be released on Friday), I've focused solely on that; getting what had deadlines instead of spending more time reflecting on the season. I've spent nearly a week just fixing the formatting on the first novel manuscript (yes, I've had to send it back to CreateSpace a minimum of a dozen times because something always came up wrong) and I'm now rushing through last minute edits for the sequel to meet deadlines. All of that has caused me to push back prayers and preparation. Trust me, I feel awful because this is my favorite time of year. In a way, I'm actually glad that it happened because I feel as if my prayer life has been all over the place (in a bad way) and this has forced me to really look at what I want to change in my life. So, here is my plan of attack:

Problem #1: my sleeping schedule is off in a horrible way. I go to sleep usually around 2:30 a.m. I get up at 4:30 a.m. and then take a nap until 10:30 a.m. to noon. I occasionally miss morning prayers because I'm often rushing to catch up on everything that should've been taken care of in the morning. I've tried to get up earlier (as well as go to bed earlier) but I just haven't been able to. It's hard because this is the schedule I've been used to for months. I got used to this wonky schedule when I was in the SLP program and I know it's going to take a while to get my sleeping schedule back on time.

Solution: I would like to start attending daily Mass again, especially since I won't have much to do from next week until I begin grad school (side note: no, I haven't heard from Franciscan or Christendom yet.) I used to be really good at going to daily Mass but then I got sick (low iron and low platelets make you feel exhausted at times) and then school messed up my schedule. I wanted to start attending daily Mass last week but my downstairs neighbors decided to no longer care that my mother gets up at 4:00 a.m. for work and they started making noise and slamming closet doors between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Sometimes we don't get enough sleep. I sometimes pass out and sleep through alarms from the exhaustion of not getting the sleep that I need. I know I won't get a chance to this week but next week I will try again... even if it means asking a friend to call me each morning at 7:30 a.m. to make sure I'm up.

Problem #2: my prayer life is in a pitiful state. I'm embarrassed every time my spiritual director asks me how my prayer life is because it's terrible. I used to go to the local parish and pray in front of the tabernacle on a daily (or almost daily) basis... and now? I don't even recognize myself anymore. As I said before, I don't always get my morning prayers in (though I've managed to make it through almost two weeks without missing more than one) but I do get to my nighttime prayers as well as prayer requests (I try to do this immediately after being asked.) It's not enough though. Ask me when the last time I prayed the Rosary was? Answer: I don't have a clue. It's bad, y'all... it's really, really bad. I hate to say it but I've placed so much importance on other things that "have to get done" that my prayer life has taken a back seat to everything else. Bad Emmy!

Solution: I'm scheduling my day until my busy schedule becomes more manageable. I have a Wunderlist app that usually helps but my iPod touch is on the fritz (I just sent it in to get repaired) so I'm going to set up the obnoxious alarms on my cell phone. I am going to try to set up my schedule according to the Liturgy of the Hours because I know it's do-able with my schedule, even at its craziest. This is going to be really hard for me because I've gotten so used to be "on the go" without praying much during the day (with nighttime being the exception). No one said this was going to be easy but, man, I can already anticipate me struggling with this during this week. Deadlines... ugh...

Problem #3: distractions and anxiety, my dear Watson... distractions and anxiety. I've been way too easily distracted lately. No, forget "lately" -- my attention has been taken away from prayer and God for months now. First the craziness of school (when I didn't even have time to eat or sleep at times) and then the craziness of novel deadlines and distractions in the form of all things virtual. I'm actually glad that my iPod touch decided to malfunction because I was constantly checking it; checking Twitter, FB, Instagram, emails, Google Talk, etc. I'm way too connected.

Solution: Disconnect! I uninstalled games on iPod and laptop. From today until (at least) Christmas, I'm again limiting my time on social networks. Luckily, this week's deadline will prevent me from having much interaction on social networks anyway. I'm logging myself off of Google Talk when I'm logged into gmail (except for when I do have a few minutes to chat). With my iPod being in the repair shop, I won't have notifications (either on the screen or the sound of them) to distract me. Once I get my iPod back, I'll rearrange apps, delete some, disable notifications, etc. I'm done. I really I am; I'm already stressed about deadlines and being hyper-connected does not help at all. I'm also going to ask "Santa" for the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the physical book form because I'm using my iPod to pray it and sometimes notifications pop up and distract me in the middle of prayer. No mas!

If someone (whom I know well) doesn't mind being my accountability buddy, I could use one or two to make sure I stay on track. Seriously, y'all... check in on me and get on my case if you see me slipping. Alright, that's enough of me getting on my case about failing this Advent. lol. I will try to stay on course for the rest of this season (yes, even going back to reading the past readings and Advent calendar goodies I've missed).

My eyes are tired of staring at the screen so I'm going to take a break by doing something else offline for a little while. I do have a deadline but I think I'm going to end up doing the whole Pomodoro technique because I need more breaks to refresh my eyes and mind than I actually take. Yeah, I'm going to do that now. :D

I hope y'all are having a better Advent season than I am. lol. If you have any prayer requests, please load me up!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Friday, December 12, 2014

Will and Lina Series Info and Giveaway!

I'm currently dealing with yet another formatting issue with the first novel (seriously, y'all? I've changed it twice already!) but I thought I'd take a break from that to show y'all the print covers (and Kindle covers? I am not sure how Amazon will update the covers for the Kindle version) of both the first novel (Will and Lina: When Two Worlds Collide) and the sequel (Will and Lina: London Calling).

Final cover for WTWC:


Final cover for London Calling.

Can y'all say "stinkin' excited"?! Okay, now for the info y'all are probably going to be asking for:

Where you can purchase a copy:
Paperback: You can get a copy almost anywhere. I've set it up so you can get the book from physical bookstores or Amazon or CreateSpace. I am an independent self-published author so if you want to cut the "middle man" and get the book straight from the publisher, it'll be through CreateSpace. However, y'all can choose your preferred store (physical or virtual) to get them through.
eBook: It'll be exclusively available through Amazon just as WTWC is at the moment. And, no, you don't have to own an actual Kindle to get a copy. I have a Kindle app on my iPod touch and on my laptop so I can read any Kindle books without an actual Kindle. 

How much will the novels cost:
Paperback: The price is going to be set for $9.95 USD for each of the paperback versions but, knowing Amazon, they will discount 20-30% of it so you'll pay less. That's almost the lowest price they would allow me to set it at, to be honest. I wanted a $7.99 listing price but making books is expensive. Certain venues will earn me less royalties but I don't care about that; I'm just excited that people will read the novels.
eBook: It'll be set at $3.99 for both, just as WTWC is at the moment. I will occasionally hold sales throughout the year in which it'll be 99 cents (Amazon limits the number of times I can do this) as well.

Publishing dates:
Paperbook: Because there have been formatting issues (I've been working on these for three days now!), I don't have a specific publishing date for these. However, I am told that as soon as the proofs get approved (usually less than 24 hours), they should be available within 48 hours. I am aiming to have everything done by Monday so they can be available mid to late next week. I'm aiming for  December 19th release date across the board so let's just go with that unless I get news that it'll be available either earlier or later.
eBook: As y'all know, WTWC has been available on Kindle since May 1st of this year so you can get your copy now. Also, Amazon was nice enough to allow me to update the cover (for now, at least) and how the Kindle version looks like so if you've already purchased a copy, go check it out; updates should've been automatic. London Calling will be available on December 19th through Kindle.

Links:
I will be posting the links to where you can purchase the novels next Friday. I do know the ISBNs for both books but it's no use in giving them out now because they're not available for purchase yet. ;)

Giveaway:
I will be giving away TWO novel sequel copies because I'm technically not allowed to give my novels away (it's in my contract with Amazon) but I can certainly gift them to the winners by paying for them out of my own pocket so... it's not really a giveaway if I only gift two, right? Wink. ;) As I stated in the previous blog post, to enter you must have somehow reviewed or "starred" the first novel. It could be on Amazon, Goodreads, your own blog, etc. I want an honest review because that's how I grow as a writer. As soon as you have something published, you can DM, tweet, or send me a message via the blog's FB page and you'll be automatically entered. The giveaway is on the 18th. Winners will get to choose whether they want their copy to be on Kindle or print. I already have a couple of entries from early birds (aka regular readers) so if you want a chance to win a copy of the sequel, please send me the link to your review/star-rating by midnight PST on the 18th. I might hold more giveaways in the future but, right now, I'm pretty broke so I can only do two. May the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

And that's it, I think. If you have any more questions, let me know. Leave me a comment in the blog, tweet me, FB message me, etc. :D

I hope y'all have a wonderful feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a fantastic weekend. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D