Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Not sure if you noticed, but we have a week between the turkey-and-stuffing coma and the holiday-sh!t-show this year. 

A whole seven days before December 1st mows us down and screams 'you ONLY have 24 days to get your act together'! (Okay, that's probably just me. I am a procrastinator.)

24 days to buy gifts for everyone from the mailman to my mother-in-law.


That week's half over now, because I've been busy cleaning up after 45 people popped in for dinner on Thanksgiving. 

It was magical as always, despite the fact that my mom came down with the stomach flu at the last minute. (Did I mention she usually does a lot of the cooking?) 

One of the tweens that visited left us with a lovely concoction in their plastic cup of milk that involved ketchup and some form of food that floats, which left the rest of us ready to be sick, too.

But really, it was a good time. There were 20 people drinking and telling stories in my mudroom, a room off the kitchen that my husband built when we bought this house. (The room is decorated with shiplap and everyone raves about it. Thanks, Fixer Upper.)

Anyway, the house is almost back to normal, on December 1st, my third book baby "Fall" will have it's one month release birthday, and now the chaos of the Christmas season descends upon us.

What's going to be thrown at you? 

Forty of your closest relatives? 

Kid going to be the lead in the school 'holiday' play and needs a costume made out of rare bird feathers? 

Dreaded office party listening to Elsie from accounting drone on about her thirty-pound cat Fluffy chasing Christmas ornaments?

Whatever it is, it's okay. 

I'm here to save you.

For very little effort, you can have three full length novels to distract you from holiday stress.

If you win, I will GIFT you ALL THREE books in THE AMPED SERIES!
(Your choice of: Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks or KOBO) 
Nightcap at our local Small Business Saturday Event "Night Market"

Using your favorite e-book provider, you can download The Amped Series to your device and get lost in the world of my characters anytime you need a break from reality this holiday season. (If you can make them last that long - my readers have a hard time stopping once they start!)*


SIGN UP at to subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

That's it.

Add The Amped Series trilogy to your TBR on Goodreads 
...and email to let me know you completed bonus entries!

TWO WINNERS will be drawn at random on Sunday, 12/03/2017!


Not sure about these books?
Here's the latest review for Book 1 in the series, "Balance":

Alexis Greene has lost her husband. She is a widow and still in her twenties. She is bitter and lost, out of balance. Aidan Pierce's life has been an elevator ride, starting out as low as one can be with a meteoric rise to both fame and fortune. He is bored, unsatisfied and troubled with night terrors born of his abused childhood."Life is a big bag of suck," for both of them and when opposite ends of a business deal bring them together it's a slow, sexy sizzle to the finish line. Alexis is no weak and submissive female, and Aidan is well...perfect. MJ Woods writes grown up romance with a real story. Told in alternating chapters in the first person, she captures two distinct voices and manages to develop characters that are not cliché. Balance is what both characters need and it will be interesting to see where the next book takes them in their journey together. - Carole Roman, Award-Winning Author

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Indie Author Goes Rogue on Release Day

Hey everyone.

I'm releasing a new book today, but I'm not going to blah-blah-blah to you about that.

Yep, I'm doing it all wrong as a newbie author. Instead, I'm gonna get real.

Things around here have been a bit chaotic and stressful.

You know that feeling like, "how am I ever gonna get all this sh!t done and not drop the ball on SOMETHING?!"

That's me right about now.

I've been panicking about my book release, that I've forgotten something major. (Too late now. It's live.)

NaNoWriMo starts today. I signed up...I think. Signed up or not, I'm attempting a first draft of my next book by month end.

I barely made it through Halloween with my two littles under age 10, who were hopped up on sugar and fighting about who gets what from their neighborhood begging spree. (We fared okay. Only one skinned knee and two lost costume pieces during trick-or-treat.)

Thanksgiving is coming, when we'll host 50 of our closest family members at our home (we truly LOVE doing it), but it's MADNESS...before, during and after.

Don't even get me started on the chaos of the Christmas season...which Hallmark Channel insists began last week. (My Golden Girls are on hiatus until January. Sigh.)

And as my latest novel is born today, it's also my husband's birthday. He's turning...(nevermind).

I've been stressing about what to do for him, because it is a big one. It ends in a zero, and he's not a spring chicken anymore. I didn't plan a surprise party for him (heart attack risk?), or buy him a big ticket item (I wanted to...but what?)

Truthfully, I think he'd rather let this one slip under the radar, and I get that. I wasn't too happy about my last milestone birthday, either - and he's got a few (okay, 9!) years on me.

But we started celebrating Saturday night, because who wants to do it up if their actual birthday is on a Wednesday?

I planned a surprise day trip to a Classic Car Museum (he loved it), and then a stop at a local brewery we'd never been to (big hit!). The party ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning after too many beers (maybe a couple shots, too). We kicked ass at a karaoke bar with one of our best friends, and she drove us home.

We are just recovering from this outing...and it's Wednesday.

The actual birthday-day.

I'm making a big dinner for the family coming to celebrate, and I hope he knows that even though I didn't get him a fancy gift or throw him a party with a thousand of his close friends, I could not do this life without him.

He designs my covers, and navigates me through technology, and is honest with me when my hair looks bad or I have zits on my face that happen to be symmetrical. (Thank you, stress!) He's also an amazing dad and sings Sinatra like nobody's business.

Happy Birthday, hubs! Thank your lucky stars no one believes you look the age you are, including me. And if all else fails, remember the sign my great-grandfather kept at camp:

Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.


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 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?!


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!


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.


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.


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...

                   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.


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, 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.