Month: October 2013

Cover Reveal : RELEASED, Nogiku Series Book 2, by S.J. Pajonas – And a giveaway!

If you haven’t read Removed by S.J. Pajonas, your e-reader or bookshelf is missing an impressive piece of work. In December, Book 2 of the Nogiku Series, titled Released, will be available for purchase. I’m pleased that S.J. Pajonas has selected me as one of the few to reveal the cover to you!

Before you get to the breathtaking cover, here is a blurb about the upcoming book. Please be advised that if you have NOT read Removed, it does contain a spoiler!


**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED!

 Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyō recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yūsei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs.

Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?

From Nishikyō to Yūsei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them in the future.

Queue it on Goodreads:

Visit for more information.

Read the first book in The Nogiku Series, REMOVED:

Amazon (Paperback):

Amazon (Kindle):

Barnes & Noble:


….AND THERE’S MORE! S.J. Pajonas is also including a Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC and a copy of REMOVED, Book ONE of the Nogiku Series (Kindle or ePub)!

You can enter after you look at this amazing cover!




Beta Readers: Putting Yourself Out There Before Actually Putting Yourself Out There

In September I sent my work in progress out to beta readers. This was a new experience for me. The book was on the third or fourth draft before I felt confident to send it to other people to read. The group I sent it to consisted of 7 people, made up of 3 readers and 4 fellow writers. I hit the send button, freaked out for a minute and waited.

In the meantime, I started getting antsy not writing, so began a new project. The first response was received during this time. In a word, it was painful. I read the words on my screen, but they didn’t really process. All I saw were critical words that stabbed me. I closed the email and let out a sigh. That was it. My book sucked and I should just give up. In fact, I shouldn’t even write the new one.

A few hours later, I reopened my email and re-read the critique. It wasn’t bad. Reading between the lines, the beta reader actually liked the book. There were questions that she felt were not answered, and point of view changes that did not make sense. Overall, the feeling of the book was good. It just needed work.

Okay. I can deal with that. So I waited for the next reply. It came in from a reader, not a writer. She read the book quickly and overall loved it. Again, some questions. Some of these questions were the same that the previous beta reader noted. I quickly filed this away in my folder for beta replies.

That same day, a third response came in. This reader liked the story, but felt parts were not believable. Two of my characters also needed work to give more depth to them. It’s not that bad, I thought. The readers are liking the story. I am seeing a little bit of consistency with the areas that need work.

I have since received more feedback and am only waiting on feedback from two others. 

I have to admit that there have been many times reading the feedback I simply wanted to say SCREW THIS. I spent a long time writing this book and how DARE someone tell me all these things that are wrong with the book. They have no idea what they are talking about and what gives them the right to do this? Who asked THEM?

Wait. I did. I asked them to. I sent them an email and said TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG.

Beta readers are critical. I have learned that. There are three things that EVERY SINGLE READER has mentioned. Without these readers, this book would have been published with crucial errors and my credibility would have been compromised. As I review my critiques, I have to remember that the overall story is great. People loved the book. And with their help, it can now be BETTER!

Thank you to those 7 people that have read my book. Thank you for making my book better. I can’t wait until you read the final version.

But it will be awhile. You gave me a lot of work 🙂

Prepping for National Novel Writing Month

Ready. Set. WRITE! Wait! Not yet- starting November 1st! If you are not aware, November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50K in 30 days. I love NaNoWriMo and look forward to it every year. I have participated the prior two years (and won!) and two other years as well. I can’t remember the years I participated in.

Why do I love National Novel Writing Month? It FORCES me to turn off my inner editor and just WRITE! My current piece of fiction, which is in the hands of beta readers, was a result of last year’s NaNo. I went into NaNo with a basic concept. I finished JUST over 50K. Then I almost entirely rewrote the book from January to August. The book had some of the same scenes, but the book changed entirely. I removed characters and changed a few. Then from August to September I did more revising and additions. At 70K, I sent to beta readers. Starting in December, I will edit it some more. I am hoping to be finished in February.

This year I am trying something different – outlining. I don’t normally outline. I am a discovery writer. I simply put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, however the mood strikes me, and just write. Sometimes I don’t even have a concept in mind. However, this year for NaNo, ,I want to be as prepared as I can be. I downloaded EverNote and have been doing this on my iPad.

A calendar. I recall last year I would write and then figure out if I was where I should be at that point in the month. I thought this year it would be easier to just have a calendar that listed the TOTAL word count goal for the month for each day. I created a calendar, which you can download here. I will print this out and at the end of each day, I will put my total words for the document (not the day) above the line to see how close I am. I know I need 1667 words a day, but seeing the total picture will help me more.

A support group. I find this on Twitter. I have a small circle of people I have developed friendships with through Twitter, and a few of them are participating this year. We will keep each other motivated and on track for our word count. The NaNo website has writing buddies, but I personally find the website a little confusing and would rather get support this way.

OneNote. Yes, this is my secret to getting my words done. While I can type quickly, I find I have many times that I am away from my laptop and scenes strike me. What do I do? If I had to type on my phone, I’d be typing what would normally take me five minutes for about thirty. I am not a fast touch pad typist! I simply speak my words. When I am done, I email it to myself. I have to edit it (because we all know how reliable talk to text is), but it helps get those words out.

I’m so excited to get started. I have an idea, an outline started. Now I just need the calendar to switch from Halloween to November 1st!