Friday, September 22, 2017

Thank F* It's Friday (TFIF)

It's Fri-yay!

The weather has turned back to summer here in the 315. Meanwhile, hurricanes and earthquakes and all kinds of crazy weather shit go on elsewhere. Mother Nature is more than drunk. She's on a bender.

But we go on as usual here, because we don't have snow yet. This is the year you're glad to have a pool in September while you were thinking of filling it in with cement in July.

Welcome to CNY.

So what's new?

A lot.

UPCOMING RELEASE of the THIRD Book of The Amped Series 

Book Three is being published a bit differently, and I hope you'll like the result. If all goes well, I'll have even more control, and be able to publish my work a lot faster from here on out.

Book Three is the conclusion of A&A's story...for now. I'm letting you guys catch your breath. 

No cliffhanger this time.

But in order to get there, you've gotta be patient. Because this book is over 450 pages.

I promise you, you're going to love it. 

It's fast paced. It's emotional. It's funny. 

Our characters are experiencing the ride of all rides.

The title and cover reveal are coming SOON, and the book will be available for pre-order before official release date.

Also, with the release of this last book, I'm giving a shout out to someone - a very special long-distance mentor whom I absolutely adore, and without whom I'd never have gotten this far. She's an amazing author with thousands of fans, she's a USA Today Bestseller and Amazon top ranking author, and her books are also selling like hotcakes internationally. Like, in SEVERAL languages. 

And (in my opinion), she's about to become a household name, at least in those households where any romance reading is going on.

She's written a book featured in the Misadventures Series headlined by NYT Bestselling Authors, and I just know people are going to absolutely LOVE it. Her writing style is unique, and HOT, and she and I have a lot of weird shit in common, hence our author friendship. 

As it happens, as I was writing Book Three, I realized my hero is friendly with some of her characters...so her characters just might have an honorable mention in Book Three of The Amped Series, with their creator's kind permission.

If you want to know more, you'll just have to read and keep paying attention, won't you?!

EVENTS

I'll be attending a couple local events this fall. I can't wait to share them with you. Keep checking the events page on my website!

SPECIAL PROMOTION

I'll be starting a special promotion soon for "Balance", in order to find more of you awesome readers! Keep an eye out and let your reader friends know there's an upcoming offer from MJ Woods Books to #getamped...for free.

CALL ME MAYBE

If you're reading either of my existing titles, or any in the future, tag me or post on social media with #getamped and share with me! I love getting emails, messages and seeing posts from readers. 

It makes an author's day when this happens, trust me. Writing is a lonely business! 

I'll give you an example here. This reader is doing it right. (See the wine?!) Her college-student-daughter snapped this when she had a hard time getting Mom's attention. ;-)



Happy Fall.

xoxo
MJW






Friday, September 1, 2017

Starting Over

Feels like autumn is in the air here in New York!

Our temps dropped to the forties last night. Brr.

I'm taking a last minute trip to Florida in an attempt to hold onto summer, so this blog is overdue as I've been busy preparing for this after my first Barnes & Noble signing last weekend - which I'm told by the store was a success. I've been asked back for the release of Book Three of The Amped Series in November.

I can't wait to release this, the final book of The Amped Series trilogy.

It is long.

It is my first HEA.

And I hope you'll love it as much as I do.

Pencils and crayons and folders in varying colors are strewn about my dining room, so that means back to school next week. What is it about September that brings about the feeling of new beginnings?

Typically, when this time of year comes around, I need a new beginning.

Last year at this time, my Dad and I suffered a devastating loss from a fire that brought down his three-story historical building. Up with it went forty years of history where he practiced law. Before he became a solo practitioner in the late nineties, we'd also worked in that building with my uncle and, before that, they both shared that office with their grandfather.

The circa 1800s building had many lives before this.

We have spent the last year starting over, and reminiscing, and missing the gentleman tenant we lost in that fire. With the help of our community and our family and friends, we recovered. We were lucky enough to rescue some very important client documents along with some random artifacts, like my post office key that dangles from an old Egyptian coin. I never thought I'd find that in a huge pile of rubble.

A year later, I also never could have imagined I would be on the verge of having three full-length novels in print.

I wanted to take a quick moment to shout out to my amazing family and friends for their support and encouragement because, without them, The Amped Series would never exist. My signing last week would have flopped. And my books would not be what they are.

So THANK YOU all. This is turning into quite the ride and I'm forever grateful to have you all with me!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Procrastinations and Excuses

Fiction Can be Fun! Real Life Can Be Funnier.

Ten Reasons I’m Not Writing Right Now
Supported by Instagram Evidence

1.   The dog is scratching at the door to go out, and I’m the only one here with  thumbs to make it happen.

2.    The cat has stolen my pen, or chewed through the cord of my laptop. (Proof.)

3.   The kids are here to let the dog out, but they're also begging for a snack, asking to play a game with me, and wanting to know where they last put the charger for their tablet – or the actual tablet. (How do I know this?! I do not know this.) This happens right next to my ‘office’ – the dining room table.

4.   The dog is scratching to come back in. (And then, within seconds, to go back out. Yes, immediately.) But who can be mad at this face?!

 5.    It’s possible it’s Saturday morning, and I am still sleeping. (Read:
        Yesterday was Fridaya/k/a Too Much Tanqueray)

6.   The Sonos won’t connect, because sometimes the Internet Gods in my house hate me. (Music a must for this girl to write. Silence can be disrupting.)

7.   I’ve fallen into time-sucking twilight zones. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Real estate listings. Another author’s book that’s too good to put down. Yet another episode of Fixer Upper (because that Chip is so damn funny). 

8.   I’m traveling to research an upcoming release. (Or to see someone in my extended family get married. Those parties are freaking nuts. Justified FOMO if you’re the only one not going.)

9.   The internet is still not working = No answers available to my research question on Google. Since my encyclopedias are hiding in some dark corner of my parents’ basement, Happy Hour is an acceptable alternative. If before noon, more COFFEE. (Side Bar: Angered Internet Gods again. Remember to beg ‘IT’ for help, and put out a cold beer for said ‘IT’ as payment.)
10. See numbers one and four. Seriously. This never ends.
Bonus Points if you know the name of the movie "Fiction Can Be Fun!" is quoted from.
Don't bother with the encyclopedia. The movie didn't exist then.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Update (Or, Lost On a Monday)


The Amped Series is a complete trilogy!

The first read with my editor is done, and we'll be in the thick of it for the next couple weeks as we get this baby ready to accompany her sisters, "Balance" and "Sway".

I've never been so happy with a first draft.

I even received a compliment on comma placement this time around. (See? You can teach an old dog new tricks.)

My main characters have been on another crazy ride, and their last stop is (finally) an HEA that could not be more fitting for them.

The cover design came to me during conversation with hubs on Saturday, so of course I left him hanging mid-sentence so I could search stock photos. We collaborated yesterday, and after being sucked into it for a few hours (I'm not sure my kids ever had lunch...), we have a cover (though also in its infancy, with a lot of prep before it's final).

I felt such a weight lifted having the book draft done, and with the cover concept finally showing up on the doorstep of my brain. (Took you long enough. I was definitely sweating.)

Book Three release is anticipated for November, which means I will have released three full length novels in one year's time. Not written, mind you - because "Balance" started its journey onto paper in 2012. It was shoved into a drawer until my infant daughter no longer needed diapers.

It was only then I was ready to listen to myself and stop procrastinating.

I'm still shocked I'm capable of any of this.

I'm proud of all the work, and the amazing people that helped me accomplish my goals.

The Downside

Last night I wandered around my kitchen at ten p.m. with nothing pressing.

There was no urgency.

The story is written. The cover is well on its way. The editing will begin this week.

And without the writing process, I am lost.

I need this to be my work.

I need this because I'm not me without it.

Without the process, I am lost.

I need...

                            ...to write another book.

But not a trilogy. No thanks.

(Not yet, anyway. Because holy shit is that exhausting.)

I just need to listen, and see which set of characters screams the loudest for their story to be heard.

While that's going on, I'll be wrapping Book Three up in a pretty package to head out into the world, and I'll be signing Books One and Two at Barnes and Noble in my home city next week.

With all the madness of reality (especially these days when I cringe every time I see or hear about current events), I'm so thankful for the life I have, and the opportunity to get lost in creating books. I'm so grateful for any of you that have read them, and I hope you take away more than just the story. There are underlying themes that matter to me in there, and one of them is very simple.

The greater good, always.

Play nice out there.

xo
MJ

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Independence and Fear

The Sirius is tuned in to Frank.

It's Sinatra Sunday here.

Windows are open. The music is accompanied by birds singing and the sound of the fountain in our backyard pond.

As Oates would say, nature an' shit.

Skies are overcast after a beautiful sunrise this morning, and I'm taking a break from completing Book Three of The Amped Series to write this, because the scenes I've just written and revised are intense.

The theme of the weekend is Independence and Fear (yes, capitalized!), and for various reasons.

My characters are asserting themselves in this last book - and surprising me, too. This is exactly what I hope for when I sit down to write, because it's worked for me so far. I'm so proud of my independent heroine, and the hero that loves her even though it scares the shit out of him.

Yesterday, I received my first check for book sales. It was a long wait, but what a feeling. The idea that sending my words out into the world might earn me even a single dollar blows my mind.

My oldest daughter is heading off to summer camp for a week without her parents. She's taking lots of excitement, sunblock and bug spray - and maybe just a little fear in her heart. Mom's got a canoe-full of fear, too. My girl is old enough to make herself a bowl of cereal, but not old enough to drive. At the thought of her being without me for this long, I'm still an over-protective mama bear.

What if she doesn't brush her teeth...like, at all

But she'll get to have the experience of writing a letter home and mailing it, and I'll be the lucky recipient. She won't plant her face in front of a screen for five whole days, and I won't have to hear the sibling bickering for that many days, either.

So all in all, worth the separation.

At the end of August, Barnes and Noble has invited me for a book signing for both "Balance" and "Sway".

Of course, I said yes. *blushing*

Oh, hello again Fear.

Thanks for bringing Independence with you.

The keys call. You can follow progress here or here, or sometimes here.

M.J.









Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Amped Series: Book Two - THE RELEASE

It's been pretty crazy over here at MJ Woods Books lately.

While I'm knee deep in finishing Book Three, Book TWO is releasing this week!
I'm so excited, I've decided to give away more digital copies of Balance (Book One). Limited copies available. Just click this link: FREE COPY OF Balance *CLOSES JULY 21ST*

In the meantime, here is a peek at the front (and back!) cover of Sway (The Amped Series: Book Two)
Warning: It's pretty damn sexy.

I hope you enjoy the continuing ride with these characters. From writing to revising (and revising some more), these characters still make me so happy.

Website is under construction to be updated this week, so check back for a whole new look!

Also on the horizon are a double signing at Barnes and Noble for Balance and Sway and, by the end of summer, Book Three will be complete! Then it's on to the next book. There are some characters from this series begging for their own stories. I'm not sure who will win the battle to be written first, but when I know, you'll know.

To keep up with happenings, sign up for the newsletter here! Emails do NOT go out very often because, if you're like me, you hate sifting through your inbox deleting junk mail. But, when there is big news, you'll know first!

I am accepting ARC readers for Book Two for a limited time.
If you are interested, email: mj@mjwoodsbooks.com

Meanwhile it's Sunday, and I've just returned from my cousin's wedding in Virginia surrounded by love and laughter and my crazy-amazing family. It's possible I went to bed at 4am on one night of that road trip, leaving me feeling like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon. "I'm too old for this shit."

Now time to get back to work. The dog is happy I'm home. The cat, not so much.

Thank you for your ongoing love and support.

Ciao,
MJ

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The End Is Near

I am passing off Book Two to the publisher in a matter of days.

So what, right? All two of you reading this are wondering what the big deal is.

The big deal is this: my second book baby is going out into the world, and all I can do is hope he isn't rejected by his peers, shoved around in the hallways until his 'kick me' sign flaps in the wind while he charters a bus home to Mama.

But good, bad or ugly, it's time to be at peace with Book Two and let it go out on it's own, because Book Three is suddenly begging to be completed. When this happens, scenes pour out without my consent, begging to be noticed like cleavage on Dancing With The Stars.

They're in your face so often, you just can't ignore them.

So I'm in the writing zone once again, and it's so good to be back. I missed me. In case you were wondering, I got back here simply by diving back into Book Two for a thorough edit.

I'd put the second book away for months before I went back to it, and I think it was the best thing I could have done.

I have put as much effort into this as I did "Balance", but in less time and with a far more critical eye. There are things in that published manuscript I can't read now without cringing. But I'm hoping I can read the published version of Book Two in all it's hardcover glory without needing a shot or two of brown liquor to get through it.

I can't wait for you to see the cover and learn what the title of Book Two is.
...and see the new playlist.
...and fall in love with these characters all over again.

Once I went back to them, I sure as hell did.

Spoiler Alert: Book Two will end leaving you wanting to know what happens next, the same way "Balance" did. But Book Three is on it's way, I promise - and that might be it for this band of characters.

With the end of this series, I know I will experience my first true heartache as a writer that's actually written something. I hope ending the love affair I have with these made-up people isn't as bad as a real break-up, because boy, those have been known to fuck me up. I may need therapy once this series is complete.

Second Spoiler Alert: Book Two is a lot more heated than the first one.

You know what I mean, right?

*whispers
          *There's a lot more s-e-x.

Hold on to your fuck-me shoes. It's gonna be one hell of a ride.

Ciao,
MJ