Hibernation Versus the Cold Burn

Moonday Mania

a blog… just because

What do you do during the winter months? Do you hibernate? I had a friend who always put on ten pounds in the winter and shed it in the summer. That’s not me, I like ice cream too much during the summer months to ever be that consistent losing summer weight. But I do want to hibernate in the winter. I don’t want to go out in the snow to get groceries. I want to write romance. And specifically, this year, I want to write my fantasy romances, the Tales of the Black Court.

Writing seasonally

I also write a lot in the fall, so fall and winter are huge characters in my books. Some people write of the season they are dreaming about, but not me. When I’m looking out at leaves turning, I write fall. This February it’s been cold and dark and snowy and it makes me want to write snow and ice and frigid winter cold. Which is lucky for me, because I’m in the process of working on the fourth (yes, number four!) Tales of the Black Court. It’s just in the ideas stage, but it will be centered on the Winter Court of the White Queen, so snow is paramount.

Book Four: Winter Court.

Why am I shifting over to the White Court? Well, you’ll see when you read Broken Mirror, but the basic reason is my original trilogy about the three MacElvy witches concludes with book three, Broken Mirror. Even though I’m out of MacElvy cousins and I originally I planned for only three books, I had some terrific ideas for at least two more books. In Broken Mirror the hero is Bosco, and he is from the lands of the North and I get the chance to introduce more of the northern queen and the White Court that came up in Prince by Blood and Bone. Bosco has a sister, Siobhan, and I’m so excited to be writing down ideas for her book. It’s going to be a departure from the other books, not only because of the White Court, but the heroine is elvatian (elven) so look out!

Book Five…

Psst! I know what book five is going to be about, but I’m not telling. Not until you’ve had a chance to read Broken Mirror. Because, when you get to the end of the book, you’ll know. And it’s super cool.

No, I’m not telling. You can stop asking. I’m not going to spoil the surprise, no matter how much you beg.

Tee-hee! I’ll give you a hint, thought. Like all of my Tales of the Black Court, it’s going to be based on a fairy tale and this one is…Sleeping Beauty. But there is a huge twist and it’s nothing like the latest Disney movie. I’m so excited!!!

What else is going on this month?

I’m still editing Broken Mirror. And I’m working on getting a cover. Honest! I have the developmental editor all lined up for March, so theoretically, we could be a go for April. Cover willing. I don’t know why these covers are so hard, but they seem to come with trouble built in. Anyway, it will happen. It is written, it’s just not ready for prime time yet.

I also am working on re-branding the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods sexy shifter romance novellas. I have the original three and once Broken Mirror is out the door I’ll be writing three more books. WOOT! I have a cover artist lined up and have some super ideas for changing the branding. Can’t wait for those to come out in the fall of 2015!

What are you doing while it’s snowing outside? Are you being creative? Dreaming about summer? Leave a comment and tell me what your February is like.

 

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Broken Mirror, Fantasy Romance, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Spank! A Post Where I Review the 50 Shades Parody

Moonday Mania

putting on my reviewer hat

Okay, I admit it. I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey yet. The entire world of soccer moms, beauty queens, and accountants (as well as every other romance writer in the world, especially the ones who write spicy romance!) has read this book, at leas the first one. But I’ve been busy. I’ve had other super sexy romances to read. And to write. So when a friend said she was getting a group together to go see the musical parody of the book, well, of course I had to go!

I figured I had time to read it, and I did try to get a copy of the book, but a loaner copy failed to appear and by the time I got on the waitlist at the library I was number 9 on the ebooks and 35 on the 17 print book list. I showed up unprepared and unread. But, it turns out that I had an advantage the rest of the girls in the group didn’t have… (Okay, we’re old enough to be women, but it’s girls night out!) I am a romance writer and I have listened to the hot gossip surrounding the writer of Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as the book itself. And this play was focused on the writer, EB Janet, just as much as it was focused on the plot for the book.

And it was funny!

All the hot gossip about how the book was written, was it Fan-fic or not? Did she base it on Twilight? Was there a bit of the batman story behind the scenes? The actress who played author Janet, Amanda Barker, did a fabulous job camping it up for us. She was interactive with the audience, bringing in lots of local references to the Denver area and making fun of the people who arrived late. She really made the show.

Another thing that I hadn’t expected was that they would use classic music pieces and re-vamp the words to attain a comedy twist. Loved it when Ken Allen, who played sexy, ultra-cool, billionaire Hugh Hanson (which really sounds like handsome when you hear it in the theater) introduced innocent Tasha to the ‘red room’ and sang about domination to the tune from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory song ‘Pure Imagination’, complete with tails, top-hat, and of course, a cane.

Andrea Muller, who played the poor deluded Tasha Woods, also did an excellent job. Her improv was great and really added to the show. Loved when she came out into the audience and involved the poor woman in the front row. And I was super glad, being the introvert that I am, that it wasn’t me answering those questions!

Overall it was a five star presentation.

I highly recommend going, and if you can make sure you see this cast, I would. They did an amazing job. Terrific girls night out and I’m so glad I braved the snow!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania, romance

2.5 Novella for Tales of the Black Court is Finished!

Moonday Mania

a blog for a snowy day

It may not be snowing where you are, but it definitely is white outside my window. I write a lot in the winter. In fact, many of my books end up being set in snowy woods. It will be interesting when the girls no longer are home for summers and I write more in June, July, and August. My romances will be filled with sultry days and sunny skies. Meanwhile I have lots of snow, clouds, and ice.

That’s true with the book I’ve just finished and am inches away from releasing to my hungry Tales of the Black Court fans. This is not a fantasy romance, but it is the backstory behind Prince by Blood and Bone, and I’m doing something fun with it. Once I have a title and a cover I’ll be sending my newsletter subscribers a free version (thanks for subscribing!) and I’ll also be posting it on Wattpad

What is Wattpad?

 

Wattpad is a social media site for writers and readers where anyone can post their writing and anyone can read it. For free! Books are generally serialized, and you follow people so that you get their latest updates. I’ve been thinking about posting something there and this story is perfect. For one thing it is definitely PG 13. This story is the behind the scene’s tale of what happens to Bryanna’s mother and sister, while she’s off falling in love with a beast.

It doesn’t have any romance, and it’s super short.

And…It’s also the back story to Broken Mirror!

If you are waiting for the next book in the series, Broken Mirror, I’m working hard on edits. I still need a cover, as well. So I’m estimating this spring for the book to be released. But, you can get your fix via this 2.5 novella. Cassie, Bryanna’s sister and Trina’s cousin, is the heroine of both the 2.5 book and Broken Mirror. This is her story. How she gets into the next book. Which you have a glimpse of, if you read Prince by Blood and Bone, but this gives the nitty-gritty details.

So, when is it available?

Soon! I promise you, soon. The cover is the last thing that’s keeping me from releasing this book. Sometimes when you are publishing a book the details don’t all come together at the same time. The good news, is the text is ready. The bad news is that I have to have a title and a cover.

What am I doing about it?

I have emails out to my cover artist, and I have a backup plan. It will have a cover. And I am determined to think of a title this week! I have some ideas mulling around in my head. Unfortunetly my brain has also been full of plotting the next Tales of the Black Court book and I’ve had to edit Broken Mirror and jot down notes for the next book all at the same time. Ever wonder what it’s like being in a writer’s head? Try TV watching with a channel surfer who controls the remote. You want to watch Downton Abbey and they keep switching to Sherlock. Brain rebound!

Thanks for your patience.

Seriously, this book has taken longer than I wanted it to, but I’m finally getting my health and schedule back on track and coordinated with working at a real job. I feel like that should be easy, but for me, it’s not. So I appreciate the patience.

What’s next?

Next week I will have a title and a blurb for you for this book, and (fingers crossed) some cover news. Meanwhile, stay warm!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Broken Mirror, Fantasy Romance, Moonday mania, Prince by Blood and Bone

Meet Up with Other Indie Authors

Moonday Mania

a blog for a snowy day

It’s cold outside! And baby, I only want to stay in and eat warm foods and snuggle by the fire. But yesterday I put on my sexy new boots and hauled my car up to the North Metro Area of Denver to participate in my very first Meet-Up. Meet Up is a website where you can find like-minded people and network, for just about anything under the sun. Interested in Primal Cooking? There’s a Meet Up group for you.

This one was set up for Indie Authors, and it turned out to be a nice group of people, of which I knew a heavy third. That’s because it was also posted on my local RWA chapter group, so several of us showed up. It was nice to meet new people and to meet authors in other genres, but one thing I noticed was that most of the romance writers really knew their stuff. Their publishing stuff, that is. ;)

Romance authors are ahead of the curve on marketing, pricing, and just getting our books out there. We were some of the first to jump on the indie bandwagon, but more than that, we’re enthusiastic sharers of information. That was pretty clear at the meeting. (Yes, I have to remind myself to not share so much!).

Are there other authors in other genres who know a lot about publishing? Absolutely, and we had a few of them there. But we also had a lot of new people, and that was nice too. It was interesting to see who’s writing what and how far they are in their writing journey.

The best thing for me from my Meet Up experience?

I always feel so behind in my life and in my writing, but when I started to talk about what I’ve done and where I’m going, I realized that I’m ahead of the curve! I’ve published six books in the last few years, and by the end of this year I’ll have at least four more out. That’s pretty incredible. I also know what I’m talking about. Just a few years ago that would have been me asking all those questions. Or, in reality, sitting there wondering what to say because I didn’t know enough to know what to ask.

Another great thing for me is that I think I’ll be joining a few of those fellow authors and spending Fridays writing. I’ve needed a dedicated day for writing for some time, and Friday’s have become it. But for me, dedicated usually means half the day. But they’re there writing all day!

Can I do that? I don’t know, but I’m going to try.

As I drove to the Meet Up I thought, I should be spending my time writing instead of socializing, but now that I’ve gone I think it was a good way to spend my time. It was a Sunday, and I never write on Sunday’s anyway because it’s a busy weekend day, so I didn’t miss any writing time. And the benefits I received from going and socializing with other like minded writers? Priceless!

Do you socialize with people in your area that have common interests? Have you tried a Meet Up group?

Let me know what your experience has been with networking. Where have you gone? Who did you meet? Was it fun?

the dark huntsman by jessica aspenThanks to everyone who voted for The Dark Huntsman and Tales of the Black Court in the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Awards. The Dark Huntsman came in third in the SciFi/Fantasy category and Tales of the Black Court came in second! 

WOOHOO!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

2 Comments

Filed under Moonday mania, Tales of the Black Court, The Dark Huntsman, Writer's Journey

Winners of my books on the PRG ReVamped FB Party

Just a quick post to say thank you to everyone who dropped by and said “howdy” on the PRG ReVamped Facebook Party yesterday. I had a lot of fun talking about romance and paranormal romance, and I have some new books added to my TBR pile!

The winner of the print version of The Dark Huntsman is Lori Lynn.

The winners of the ebooks are Ashley, Kathy, and Avery.

I’ve messaged you all on facebook, but if you can’t get a hold of me there, leave me a comment here and I’ll email you.

Thanks again to everyone!

And if you haven’t voted yet in the PRG Review Awards I have a book or two that could use your votes! Just sayin’ ;)

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Filed under Writer's Journey

Moving the Balls

Moonday Mania

a blog about the joys of juggling balls

Before I start in on the blog, just a reminder I’m hosting the PRG Re-Vamped Facebook Party from 3-4pm EST (for those of you out here with me in the west it’s 1-2pm). Come on by and win prizes all afternoon and into the evening. And if you read down to the bottom of the post you’ll see the link to vote for the PRG Review Awards. I’m nominated, so please vote!

I’ve discovered a new way to work out. Balls. 

ballsYep, I work out moving heavy balls around the gym. And I love it. Who would have guessed that the fat girl who failed gym would love working out?

Okay, given my previous posts on fun with balls, you might have guessed it. But I had no clue. For years I’ve been using those stupid weight machines. I also tried free weights. And it’s not that each of those isn’t appealing or has it’s joys, but playing with the balls is so much more fun. And I get a better work out.

Working your whole body rocks!

I’ve used the weight machines for several years now, and about four years ago I moved into the free weight section of the gym for a few things, like my triceps and biceps. I was even doing the bench press…with just the bar. The thing I loved about the free weights is that you used more muscles than just one or two when you moved the weights. The machines focus on individual muscles and that means you have to work out each and every one, what a pain, but when you do a free weight, you have to use more of your body to shift the weight. That means, if you are doing a bench press you use your shoulder, back, stomach, arms. For those few reps you get a big payback in a multitude of muscles.

That means you get to work out less time for more payback!

Now I love that. I’m pressed for time, everyone is. So why did I move to the balls?

Natural movement. We are designed to use our entire body when we work. It’s what our bodies do. We bend over and pick up something heavy and we use, not just the upper body, but the entire body. Using the medicine ball I stand up, rotate to the side, rotate to the middle, squat, stand, rotate to the other side—then do it all backwards. That’s using my entire body. Back, shoulders, forearms, legs, stomach—you name it, it’s used. So in just a few reps, just a few minutes, I’ve worked out every muscle in my body.

Work out done!

Now I’m doing in twenty minutes what I used to do in an hour. And there’s no waiting in line. I love it! I do squats on one day and sit ups another. Yes, even the dreaded abs are easier and quicker. Add in some aerobics on the elliptical and some stretches and I’ve had a full work out, Jessica style, in an hour. Now that’s time management!

So, how does this apply to writing romance?

Healthy body, healthy writer. When I’m not working out, I’m sluggish. I don’t think well. I always walk in the mornings, but adding in the weights means that I feel strong. And I love feeling strong. I fall off of the wagon with my gym visits, I only went once in November and not at all in December. Starting up again in Jan was tough, but once I did I felt so much better. Everything works better when I exercise: my brain, my body, my emotions.

And I’m more creative. I think up lots of ideas while I’m working out. Somehow, just letting your mind flow while your body is working is super good for creativity. I’m also out and about, seeing new people and getting new ideas. Love it!

Try something different this year with your body.

Tired of doing the same old, same old? Try moving the balls. I’m now doing sit-ups with a ten pound ball. If you had told me I’d be doing that a few years ago, I’d have walked out of the gym. I’ve always hated sit ups and with two cesarean births I had worse than no stomach muscles, I had damaged ones.

Start small. Use the 6 pound ball and keep your sets down to a few reps. Take breaks. Just like my sprinting started with slow walking, fast walking, I started my sit ups with reps of fifteen. I’d do a few different exercises, then I’d take a break.

Just get moving, a little bit counts

 

I like to do a loop on the track in between my sets. That gives my muscles time to relax and I can then do more than I would if I was trying to aim for a hundred sit ups or squats. I write like this too. I set a timer and do 45 minutes, then I get up and do something physical. It’s how I get my housecleaning done in those fifteen minute breaks, but I could use it to do a few squats or sets of stairs or a quick loop around the block, if I wanted to. This year I had a terrible time sitting down and writing, and I had to tell myself that I only had to do a little bit. Just get started. That helped immensely. Once I sat down I was involved and writing. But the getting started was the hard part. That’s true with exercise too.

How do you like to move? Do you just do little bits or are you an all or nothing person? How does that work for you?

More ball posts to love! Why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls, Revenge of the Dryer BallsHot Balls of Luv, Martha Stewart Has Balls,

Voting closes Wednesday for theParanormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice AwardI’m nominated in two categories, both the Sci-fi/Fantasy book and series. Please go vote!

All the participating books are nominated by reviewers, but after that, it’s up to popular vote as to who wins, so I’m asking all my readers to take a minute and go to the PRG Website and vote!

And it’s for both the dark huntsman by jessica aspenTHE DARK HUNTSMAN and PRINCE BY BLOOD AND BONE!prince by blood and bone by jessica aspen

WOOT!

Unfortunately I think you can only vote for one of them, but pick your favorite. I’m having a tough time deciding which one to get behind myself, but choices must be made. :) Which book did you like the best?

And, TALES OF THE BLACK COURT was nominated in Sci-fi Fantasy series, so that helped. Only one to vote for there!

Voting is open for one week starting today and closing on 1/28/15

PRG 2104 Reviewer's Choice Awards

And, bonus this year! My crit partner, ML Guida has been nominated as well in three other categories, Paranormal Romance Shifters, Paranormal Romance Vampires AND Paranormal Romance Series. Whew! You can vote in each category, so for her’s you don’t need to choose. Lucky Mary!

Thanks to all of my readers for all of the fantastic support this year. You all rock! I’m looking forward to making 2015 a fabulous year and you are a huge part of that motivation.

Thank you!

Jessica

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania

WOOT! I’ve Been Nominated for a PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award!

Whimsical Wednesday

I’m super excited! I was nominated for a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award in the Sci-fi/Fantasy category and now I need your help!

All the participating books are nominated by reviewers, but after that, it’s up to popular vote as to who wins, so I’m asking all my readers to take a minute and go to the PRG Website and vote!

And it’s for both the dark huntsman by jessica aspenTHE DARK HUNTSMAN and PRINCE BY BLOOD AND BONE!prince by blood and bone by jessica aspen

WOOT!

Unfortunately I think you can only vote for one of them, but pick your favorite. I’m having a tough time deciding which one to get behind myself, but choices must be made. :) Which book did you like the best?

And, TALES OF THE BLACK COURT was nominated in Sci-fi Fantasy series, so that helped. Only one to vote for there!

Voting is open for one week starting today and closing on 1/28/15

PRG 2104 Reviewer's Choice Awards

And, bonus this year! My crit partner, ML Guida has been nominated as well in three other categories, Paranormal Romance Shifters, Paranormal Romance Vampires AND Paranormal Romance Series. Whew! You can vote in each category, so for her’s you don’t need to choose. Lucky Mary!

Thanks to all of my readers for all of the fantastic support this year. You all rock! I’m looking forward to making 2015 a fabulous year and you are a huge part of that motivation.

Thank you!

Jessica

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under Fantasy Romance, Prince by Blood and Bone, The Dark Huntsman, Whimsical Wednesdays

Toggl, My Brand New Tool

Moonday Mania

a time stretching blog

I’m now treasurer of my local RWA chapter, Colorado Romance Writers. It’s a crazy thing to do with all the other things I want to do, but someone needs to do it and I’ve avoided board membership for five years now. I’ll put in my time and then be back to normal. Right?

Sure, if you believe that then we have lots of things to sell you!

So, the treasurers job turned out to be much bigger than I thought. I think, like everything, it’s been made much bigger than it has to be by the addition of email. With email, people think you should be able to work non-stop, all the time, for them. They email you and think you should respond. RIGHT AWAY! Because they know you are online and just waiting for them to call. And there is a lot to learn and set up. Accounting programs, Paypal, paying bills. And board duties. It’s not just keeping track of the money, I ended up helping with our retreat too.

timer and laptopI found myself spending way too much time on this and I felt overwhelmed. I need to be taking care of my family, my treasurer’s duties, my health. I need to be writing new words and editing old ones and getting covers ready. And I have a job too. Oh, yeah, I have to work.

The first part of January I estimated I spent 20 hours a week on getting the hang of all this new treasurer stuff. That’s crazy!

But did I really spend that much time doing that? And what else did I spend my time doing? How much time am I devoting to my writing? And will I continue to spend this much time on this job, or will it get better as I settle in and learn all the ins and outs.

I really had no idea. So I’ve adopted a new tool: Toggl.

Toggl is a time keeper. You put in all your projects and clients and it keeps track of your time for you. Now I can divide everything into clients, like CRW, Abracadabra Pubilishing, and ME! I can see where I spend my time and exactly what I was doing. Was I wasting time searching for new YouTube videos? Or was I working non-stop on my latest romance project?

Without knowing exactly where I was putting my time I didn’t know. But now I do! I’ll be able to see how my time is allocated. And once I do, then I can fix the issues. I can start saying no to projects that I just don’t have time for, and make sure I have time for those that really need me. Like getting Broken Mirror edits done. Or making sure I have a great cover.

I plan to keep track of my time for the next month, and then look at it and see where I need to tweak things. By the end of the year I should have a very good idea of whether or not I should continue to be treasurer. I’ll be able to see my exercise time, my personal time, and how much time I spend on social media, blogging, and exactly how much time it takes me to really write a book.

I hope to report back and let you know if this is effective. So far I love it! But then again, I love clear plastic boxes and organizing my books too. Not sure if either of those things is a good way to spend my time. But I’ll find out!

How do you keep track of your time? Do you know how much time each book took you to write? Or how much time you spend cooking healthy food? Is it important to you? Do you exaggerate how you spend your time, or do you underestimate how long everything really took?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

2 Comments

Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, writing organization

Working Up to Working Out

Moonday Mania

a blog for the new year and the new me

Happy New Year!

Yes, we’re into week two? or is it three? But who cares? It’s the New Year until we give up on it being the New Year. Sometime in week four or the first week in February when those New Year resolutions are really sinking in.

For me, that’s today, Thursday. I know you are reading this on Monday, or Tuesday, or maybe even next year, but right now it’s Thursday morning and I’m struggling to wake up because my body wants to stay in bed after working out Tuesday. And Sunday. My stomach muscles are so sore it hurts to sneeze.

Is that confusing? Okay, here’s the story.

I work out. I walk or sprint five days a week and go to the gym two to three times per week.

Sure I do. And if you believe that, then I have a werewolf in my closet I’ll be happy to show you. That schedule is in an ideal world. When I work my way up to it and I’ve been doing all of this on a daily basis, then I really do do all of that, but in reality I get sick and I slack off. Or the weather is bad, so sprinting is out of the question, unless I want to slip on the ice and end up in the hospital. So the real work out schedule tends to be:

Try to walk five days per week—maybe make it four because of work or it being too dark outside. Try to get to the gym two to three days per week—maybe make it once or twice, due to the schedule. Or, (even more likely in winter and fall) get sick and don’t go at all.

So here I sit today, the second week of January with aching stomach muscles because…I haven’t been getting to the gym since the beginning of November. 

Does this sound like you? Do you set goals, but then something happens and you let yourself have a day off? And then another? I’m terrible about that when I don’t feel good or there is a holiday or I’m on vacation. All of which happened in November. And then it was December and I hadn’t been to the gym for a month and I got sick AGAIN! Any normal person would do what I did, put it off until January. December was nearly over, right? Right!

Writing is exactly like this. When I write, and I write on a daily basis, my writing  muscles are in good shape. I can sit down and knock out 2k in no time. Easy peasy. But…when I haven’t been writing my writing muscles are soft and getting them going again is tough. I sit and stare at the computer and struggle for what to write? Even though I love writing it becomes difficult, way more difficult than it needs to be.

And it’s not like I haven’t done all of this before. 

I know you won’t believe it, but I have failed at going to the gym before. Really. I have had to re-start those muscles time and time again. And I keep doing it. The same with the writing. I may need a jumpstart in January. I may complain about my aching muscles and have a tough time getting going in the mornings, wishing I had never slacked off in the first place, but I still end up in this same spot.

And it’s okay. Because I am determined to get those muscles back again.

I may never have that sixpack, (I’m naturally a curvy girl) I may never be that author who can churn out a book a month, but I am determined to get back into shape, both physically and as a writer. How about you?

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Are you writing? Swimming? Working out? How about eating more kale? Leave me a comment and let me know what you resolved to change this year and how it’s going. Are your muscles sore?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

1 Comment

Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Werewolves or Shifters? What’s In Your Romance?

Fantastic Fridays

wolves, bears, and jaguars…oh my

I’m happy to announce that I have the rights back to my first three hot paranormal romance novellas, Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods.

In 2015 I’ll be working at re-vamping and re-branding the series. They’ll still be the hot, twisted fairy-tales they’ve always been, but with new covers, new blurbs, and possibly a new series title. I love these books. They are fun, sexy romps through the wilds of Colorado and they are chock full of romance, intrigue, and hot alpha werewolves.

Or do I mean shifters?

When I first wrote these novellas the paranormal romance readers hadn’t latched onto the shifter label as hard as they have now and I used werewolf to describe my beasts, even though my characters shift into full wolves and not scary Boris Karloff wannabes. Grr!

But, a year or two after my books became published it became clear to me that the romance community had issues with the word werewolf. They saw it as the half-man, half-beast from the horror movies. And, if I were writing a paranormal with a scary half-man, half-beast, it would still work. But I’m not. I’m writing about sexy shifters who become full fledged amazing animals. Wolves and bears, and maybe I’ll be venturing into jaguars. (I’ll have to tell you about the super sexy Latin lover I just met. Mmmm.)

Sorry, got distracted. Back on topic…

Now that I’m re-vamping these books I have to consider several issues.

Are they dated? Do they need new edits? And what sort of changes should I make?

I don’t think they’re dated, but I will definitely read through to make sure I don’t have any glaring issues with technology. One of the things I find funny about watching old movies is how fast we’ve changed in our technology. Just look at how the shape and size of the cell phone has changed. From a bulky thing wired into your car, to a huge rectangle, to something so tiny you could easily hide it in a bra, now back to larger bulky rectangles. Who would have predicted they’d get bigger and not smaller?

As for new edits: I think I had pretty decent editing from my previous publisher, but I know my writing has changed and grown. When I re-read through them I think it will be very hard not to tweak my own words and style. I have to decide if I should or not. Would you? If you had the chance to re-write something like that would you take the time? Or would you let it stand as it is. Many e-books are voraciously re-written, even without republication, but that’s not true of classic print novels. Should we re-write?

Back to the question.

So that leads me to the werewolf vs shifter thing. I think, given the current climate of the paranormal romance world, I’m going to seriously consider changing werewolves to wolf shifters. And werebears to bear shifters. I never liked the word werebear anyway. It’s awkward to say. And those aren’t total re-writes, merely a twitch to a wrinkled skirt.

So…

What’s your opinion? Are you a sexy shifter reader? Do you care if it says sexy werewolves? Or do you think horror movie heroes and scary villains instead of hot, hunky, alpha wolves?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

2 Comments

Filed under Fantastic Fridays, Goldi and the Bear, Little Red Riding Wolf, Snow and the Seventh Wolf, werecreatures