Monday, March 20, 2017

Echoes of Silence is only 99 cents this month!

Okay, so if you haven't read my debut adult fantasy novel, there's no better time than now! Echoes of Silence, which won the Kindle Scout program and is published by Amazon's Kindle Press, is only 99 cents until April 3!

You should get a copy today. The book is also available in Kindle Unlimited.

Echoes of Silence: Her voice could unleash a war...

Twenty-three-year-old Echo del Toro doesn't know about the bride-choosing festivities the tyrannical Prince of Nyth has planned--until she's taken from her home by five armed soldiers. She's led under the cover of a magically produced storm to an opulent compound to join hundreds of girls, each vying to be chosen as the next Queen of Nyth.

As she plays the charade of falling in love with the Prince, Echo realizes three terrifying truths: He is hungry for her song-magic, he has a secret plot to dethrone his father, and he is not wholly unlikeable.

Faced with the strongest dark magician in centuries, Echo must know when to let her voice fly and when to hold her tongue, or she'll find herself caught in the lasting notes of a song that can't be unsung.

I am currently working on outlining the sequel, which I hope to release later this year!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

UNTIL WINTER BREAKS is available today!

So the second book in my Redwood Bay Romance series is out today! It's called UNTIL WINTER BREAKS, and I hope you'll get a copy!

I absolutely love this book. It features Jared Newton (Sophie's brother) and Millie Larson, his nosy, next-door neighbor as they try to navigate their way toward a happily-ever-after.

He rides into town on a motorcycle, so we've got a Bad Boy hero. And who doesn't love a girl-next-door romance? I know they're some of my favorite!

If you're looking for a great beach-side romance, you've found it in UNTIL WINTER BREAKS!

I hope you'll get a copy today, from the retailer of your choice.

And if you haven't read the first book, UNTIL SUMMER ENDS, there's no better time than now! The romances in the Redwood Bay Romance series are considered clean & wholesome. Some would say "sweet." I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

RIFT is out!

Okay, so my newest addition to the YA science fiction genre came out yesterday! I, uh, thought I'd written a blog post about it a couple of weeks ago, but well, I didn't. Ha!

RIFT has had a rough road to publication. It's had highs and lows. Been on submission in New York, been through countless revisions, and got picked up by a publisher (which announced yesterday that they're closing. RIFT would've been out with them in February 2017. Ironic that I released it on the same day they announced their closure, right?!), and then I got my rights back.

I submitted it to Kindle Scout, and they didn't take it. For a few days, I thought I'd just move on my merry way. And then I thought, No, I'll put this book out. I do love the book, and I hope readers will too!

You can get RIFT on Amazon.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Productivity Schedule

Okay, so I've been on a pretty crazy productivity schedule for several months now. The reason is because I'm releasing a new inspirational western romance every 11 weeks. And there was one point in April, where I'd just put up a pre-order and I'd only written ONE CHAPTER of the book.

One chapter.

And the book was coming out in 11 weeks. And I'd only written that chapter so I could put it in the back of the book coming out.

I started panicking a little. I mean, I write fast, but I need time to edit, let the book sit, format, etc.

And I never wanted to be that far behind again. My goal for the summer was to write enough so I could be working 6-7 months ahead of a book's publication date.

I wrote 240,000 words from the last day of school in June to the first day of school in August. And since school started, I've written 2 more books, one at 50K and one at 53K. And I just started another that I'm 20K into.

I have to do this if I want to continue publishing according to my schedule -- and in fact, I've decided to roll out my new series (starting in January) every 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS. But I'm happy to say that the book I'm writing right now doesn't come out until April. So I've achieved that 6 month cushion I wanted for myself.

I'm using Google calendar to keep track of what I should be working on. I give myself 3 weeks to write a 50K book. If I can get 3K/day for the 18 days, I can get really close. I take Sundays off, and I don't work Mondays so I can usually get closer to 5K to make up for any days I don't meet my word count goal.

I draft 2 books back-to-back. Then I take a break for formatting, marketing stuff, relaxation, releases, outlining the next 2 books, etc. That's usually 2 weeks. Then I'm back to drafting.

I feel like I'm doing pretty well at sticking to my schedule, but I also re-evaluate everything every month to prioritize things I may have overlooked, or move a book I'm not feeling like writing. But I have a productivity schedule, and I use it!

Do you do anything like that? How's it going for you?

Monday, October 3, 2016

New #YA #scifi coming to an eReader near you!

Okay, so it's been a while since I've released any YA novels. I'm still plugging away on them. I still like writing them. I just think they require so much more brain power than I sometimes have!

 But I have a duology coming: The Rift Walkers duology will be published very soon! And they got new covers!

You can get RIFT, the first installment in the series, on October 17. That's my mom's birthday, so I was pretty stoked to release a book that day.

And the second and final book in the series, MEND, will be out on December 11. That's MY birthday, and I've always wanted to release a book on my birthday! So I am going to! It's going to be epic.

 I love the covers the fabulous and award-winning Steven Novak did for me. Don't you think they're amazing? (Lie to me!)

Anyway, here's a bit more about the books, with buy links if you're so inclined to pick up a copy.

About RIFT: Seventeen-year-old Saige Phillips can’t help holding on to the hope that she’ll find Chloe, her twin who went missing five years ago. After all, Saige sees echoes of Chloe sitting in the window and skipping down the stairs. Though there’s never been any sound associated with Saige’s “hallucinations,” she’s freaked out by the breathing she hears in her bedroom.

The breathing is definitely real, and it’s definitely not coming from Saige. It’s echoing through a time rift that originates in Saige’s bedroom. Then a grayed-out guy shows up, saying his name is Price and he’s from the future. He has the same blue film clinging to him that Saige has seen on Chloe, and she seizes onto the idea that her twin went through the rift.

As Saige searches for answers in her time, she’s met with secret after secret, all coming back to one source: her physicist mother.

Price lives in the year 2073 with his Time Keeper father and a whole slew of global initiatives that regulate time travel. He knows time shouldn’t be played with. What he doesn’t know is why the rift opened now, or how he can stop it.

The deeper Price digs, the harder the truth is to swallow. His father willfully violating the global time travel initiative is one thing. Stealing the rift site from Saige’s mother is quite another. And kidnapping—or worse—to cover everything up takes things too far.

When the rift begins to show signs of overuse and instability, Price is desperate to close it before it explodes while Saige will do anything to keep it open long enough to find Chloe.

 In this dangerous game with time, someone’s bound to lose.

BUY for only $2.99 on Amazon.

About MEND: The high-octane conclusion to the time travel thriller, RIFT.

With Cascade gone through the rift, Price is determined to fix everything and find her. It doesn't matter if there's somebody that could become him--steal his life--on the other side of the rift. What does matter is that he figure out how to mend it.

But he doesn't even have access to it anymore. When he wakes up to a new, different existence than what he's used to, he realizes that everything about time is fluid. And anyone with the power to walk through time can change his entire future.

Cascade knows this all too well, having lived in dozens of realities over the years. And the one she lives in now, she doesn't want. Because it still harbors secrets about her father, who her sister Saige is determined to find.

Find him they do, but no one--not Price, not Saige, not Cascade--is prepared for what they'll find on the other side of the rift...

BUY for only $2.99 on Amazon.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Get 15 #clean #romance #novels for #free!

Okay, so this week only, you can get 15 clean romance novels for FREE. That's right! I've read several of these romance novels, and they're fantastic. Yes, two of them are mine. But it's the perfect time to read some romance if you haven't for a while!

GO HERE to check out the novels, download as many as you'd like, and then enter to win a $60 gift card!

Monday, September 12, 2016

ECHOES OF SILENCE is on sale this month!

Okay, so my Amazon book, Echoes of Silence, is on sale this month for only $1.99! That's a pretty great deal for this book, as it's over 100,000 words!

This is an adult fantasy that won Kindle Scout. I have really enjoyed my publishing process with them, and I'm thrilled that it's one of Amazon's featured books this month.

And hey, if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read Echoes of Silence for free, along with a bunch of other Kindle Scout-winning books. I've organized a KU Swap Meet that you can check out here.

It's organized by genre, so you can pick up other fantasies, romance novels, science fiction books, and more. Be sure to go look at all the books that are on sale for $1.99 or 99-cents -- or FREE if you have a KU subscription.

While you're there, be sure to enter to win a $100 gift card from the 22 authors that are participating in this month's swap meet!

One book I've got my eye on is THE SPIRIT TREE by Kathryn M. Hearst. I mean: "Lifetimes of family secrets. Threats from every direction. A young woman forced to discover the truth." That sounds amazing, right? And it's a fantasy too, so if you like fantasy novels, be sure to get this one during the Swap Meet too!

What have you been reading this month?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

UNTIL SUMMER ENDS #newrelease celebration!

Okay, so it's release day for UNTIL SUMMER ENDS! I am thrilled to have this book out in the world before summer ends! It was postponed for a while, until my publisher was able to partner with Simon & Schuster Digital to distribute their books. Yay for summer romance!

So UNTIL SUMMER ENDS is a clean, contemporary romance. It is not inspirational, like my Liz Isaacson books. But again, it is clean. There's no swearing, the innuendo is mild, and there is one closed-door fade-to-black love scene. That's it.

If you like food trucks, you'll like Until Summer Ends.

If you like a beach romance, you'll like Until Summer Ends.

If you like your heroes to be tall, blonde, and an aspiring actor, you'll like Until Summer Ends.

If you like clean, feel-good romances, you'll like Until Summer Ends.

There is a month-long blog tour going on to celebrate the release of my debut contemporary romance. You can enter through any of the blog tour stops, or go here to enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite. You will need to sign up for my romance-only newsletter, where you'll only get news and notifications about my contemporary romance titles under the name Elana Johnson. (If you want news and notifications, which include special sales, about my Liz Isaacson titles, GO HERE.)

Blog tour stops today:

Wishful Endings
One Day at a Time


(Available in ebook only; paperback comes out January 17, 2017.)

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fall "Under Your Spell" with a haunted romance anthology

Dude, so I've enjoyed writing shorter works and combining with other authors to make novella anthologies. I've done two in the past year, and I have another haunting, Halloween anthology coming out on September 1.

The UNDER YOUR SPELL romance anthology features 10 wickedly romantic romance novellas, including my historical paranormal romance titled THE KILLING TOUCH.

I don't normally subscribe to research, but at my back-to-school professional development last year, I read an article in Scholastic for Kids about the Peshtigo Fire. It happened on the same night as the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, but was actually much more damaging. And I instantly wanted to write a story in that era, at that place.

THE KILLING TOUCH is that story. I hope you'll pre-order the anthology, because it's only 99-cents and there are a lot of amazing stories in the collection.

Order it here!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Only a few days left to nominate RIFT!

Okay, so the Kindle Scout campaign for RIFT, my YA time travel thriller, ends this Thursday, August 4! Only 4 more days to nominate!

If you have already, thank you! You'll get a free copy of the book if it is selected for publication. If you haven't nominated yet, please consider doing so. It takes about 30 seconds and again, you'll get a free copy of the book.

Win / win!

You need an Amazon account, and it'll prompt you to login if you aren't. (I happen to be perpetually logged in, but you know. I'm in therapy for my issues. *wink*) Then all you do is CLICK THIS LINK and then click the blue "nominate me" button.

Easy as pie!

Mmm, pie. I'd like some of that. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Until Summer Ends will be out in two weeks!

Okay, so my next release, UNTIL SUMMER ENDS, a contemporary romance novel, finally has a release date!

And it's in only TWO WEEKS.

Yes, my jaw hit the floor too. But I am super-excited about this book. I loved writing it, and I hope others will love reading it.

It's my full-length contemporary romance debut, and I hope you'll order it and tell me how I did in a new genre!

A few fun facts about UNTIL SUMMER ENDS:
  • It's the first in a new series, the Redwood Bay Romance series, which will have at least 3 books.
  • It takes place in a small fictional beachside town called Redwood Bay in northern California.
  • It features a taco stand owner as the heroine. Food trucks, FTW!
  • The hero is a down-on-his-luck actor.
  • This is a clean romance -- there is no swearing and mild sexual content.
  • This is a contemporary romance -- no paranormal, no historical, nada. Just a girl, the beach, and her taco stand. Oh yeah, and that actor...
  • Until Summer Ends is the perfect beach read! I hope you'll take it on your vacation with you.

You can order UNTIL SUMMER ENDS from these retailers:

If you're interested in joining my romance newsletter, I've recently split it from my speculative fiction list. You can join the romance newsletter here, and get my beach-themed novella, OPEN FOR LOVE, for free. Then you'll get news and deals about my romances in your inbox.

UNTIL SUMMER ENDS will be released on August 9! I'm pretty stoked this book is coming out -- it's been a long three months of waiting past the original release date!    

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nominate RIFT for publication with #KindleScout

Okay, so this post is a bit of a doozy. Some of you may remember back in the fall when I announced the sale of my YA time travel thriller, RIFT.

It literally was one of the funnest posts I've written. I was so happy. Things were going so well. I finally felt like I was producing and publishing again, after a long period of stagnation, of going nowhere, of wondering if I was a "real writer" or just someone playing the writing game.

Fast forward to now. I won't go into all the details, not only because I don't think it's necessary, but because there are multiple sides to this story, and you'd only be getting mine.

The bottom line is, I own the rights to RIFT again. It will not be published by Jolly Fish Press, much as I would've liked it to be.

So. I stewed and stewed. What should I do with this book?

I still believe it's a good book. I was able to secure a literary agent with the manuscript. I was able to secure 3 offers of publication from small presses with it.

Should I just throw it away? Let it sit? Forget about it?

Well, I'm a little bit of a pit bull, and I finally decided I couldn't do that.

After a couple of months of thought--and seeing how well my adult fantasy has done with Amazon/Kindle Press--I've decided to go ahead and run a Kindle Scout campaign for RIFT. After all, the sequel is already drafted. I decided I couldn't just throw away two books.

So! If you would take a few seconds to nominate RIFT for publication with Kindle Press, I would really appreciate it! It's live today for the next 30 days, and if you nominate the book, you'll get a free copy should it get selected for publication.

You have to have an Amazon account and be logged in. Then it's just a matter of a single click on the blue "nominate me" button. That's it.

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Dedicated Website

Okay, so I haven't had a dedicated website for myself in years. If you typed in, the magic monkeys behind the Interwebz would redirect you to...this blog!

But, over the past couple of weeks, I've decided to buy web hosting and make some websites. This is mostly because I have two personas now, and I'm publishing a lot of books, and I feel like I need a more permanent landing page for my fans.

While I was doing all that (which is actually kind of fun for my right and left brains!), I contemplated what to do with this blog.

See, I've been here for years. Eight to be exact. I've loved interacting with all of you. I have scads and scads of (I think) helpful articles about publishing, marketing, querying, and yes, losing weight. Ha!

At first, I thought I'd migrate them all over to WordPress, one post at a time. I was actually getting on today to redirect people over to the new blog site!

But I just can't do it. I've loved this little corner of blogdom, and I don't want to leave it. I have neglected it for a few months, but hey, writing and publishing a new book every 11 weeks can cause some virtual neglect.

I am determined to get back to blogging. I love doing it, and I've been learning lots of new things. And I'm going to do it here. I'm just going to link from my new website back to this blog. I think that will actually make things easier, and things won't get lost.

But, if you want to check out my new website, please do! And if you're interested in my adult romances, you'll have to check out Liz Isaacson's website. She's me. But with a different name. :)

What have you been doing this summer? I hope it's been better than building websites while your kids swim with their friends. Just sayin'. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Writing

Okay, so I've heard some people say they don't get any writing done during the summer. But it's my most productive time of the year! I know, I know. I don't have little children at home, and the one I do dances 16 hours a week. Even if I wrote 1000 words per hour of her dance, I could write 16,000 words per week.

And still have all her free time to spend with her.

So I get it. Everyone is in a different stage of life. But I do work during the other times of the year, serve on my community's library board, and hold a demanding job in my church. I have times where I feel like I can't write too.

So how do we do it?

Some tips, garnered from the last 9 years since I started writing.

1. Make those 15 minutes count. Sometimes I literally have 15 minutes in my schedule. I tell myself I'm going to write one scene in that 15 minutes. It could be 400 - 500 words, and that's more than I had before.

Don't let those little windows of time get away from you. If you have four of them spaced throughout the day, you've written 2000 words.

2. Micromanage. Yes! Finally a way to satisfy my micromanaging tendencies. If I'm having a particularly busy day of teaching, running errands, taxi-ing people everywhere, meetings at night, etc. I learn to micromanage my time. I tell myself, "You'll have one hour from 9:00 - 10:00 pm tonight. Write 1000 words then."

Then I don't have to think about writing all day. I don't have to have this well of anxiety in my stomach that "I haven't written yet!" I don't have to be impatient with the people and situations I'm in and how they're cutting into my writing time.

Trust me, I've had all of that over the years. And it doesn't help the creative process to be under stress about trying to be creative.

3. Outline. I used to be a complete pantser. The thought of outlining gave me hives, and I thought I'd never do it. But now that I'm trying to produce more as a way of promoting my work, I find that I can't just keep pantsing my way through a book. The revision process is just too hard. And sometimes, if I can't think of anything, I'm not productive during writing time either.

But if I outline -- at least a little bit -- I find that I don't have long stretches of staring at the blank screen. My revision process is much smoother, allowing me to get to publication or submission faster -- and onto the next project faster too.

4. Schedule days off. When I first started writing, I thought I had to write everyday or I wasn't a real author. That is totally false. Some people are full-time writers, and they "go to work" everyday and write. That's great for them. Works for them. Some people are binge writers and purge all their words in a weekend or a few days each month. They're real writers too.

If you write words on a page, you're a real writer. Everyone will give you advice on how to be a real writer, but the only person who can determine that is you. Even if you don't write everyday.

I schedule my writing time by project and week. So I look at my week and I see what days I have what activities, and sometimes I just say, "I will not be writing on Thursday." And that's okay. And it's freeing. And I still make my writing goals without feeling like a failure. And the last part of that sentence is key.

Anyway, I know these tips have worked for me during my busy times (hello September, October, April and May). Using them, I've managed to keep my productivity up and still live a balanced life.

What helps you stay productive, even when you've got kids at home or other distractions? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Release Day for ECHOES OF SILENCE!

Dude, I have another book in the wild! ECHOES OF SILENCE, my adult fantasy, hits virtual shelves today! It's my debut in adult fantasy, and I'm excited to finally get this book out into the wild. It's been a long journey for this little fantasy, and I'm excited to be publishing with Kindle Press/Amazon.

ECHOES starts a new series -- the Songs of Life series -- and I'm currently plotting and scheduling the production of the second book.

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