Art is Subjective: Sharknado 2?!

Everyone says art is subjective. One man’s flung paint is another man’s priceless Jackson Pollack. To a housewife it is the stuff in the lint trap of the dryer. To an artist it is a blue-matted sea under pilings of a dock at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

movie poster with tornado filled with sharksI was thinking of all of this during Sharknado 2 and reading blog posts of the continuing strife between Amazon and Hachette. Or something like that, in between LMAO at Sharknado 1 and 2.

Basically, many authors are upset that Amazon is not treating books as “special”. They believe they are very different from cereal stocked on a supermarket shelf. That got me to thinking. Books themselves aren’t special, they are just things to be stocked on a shelf, virtual or otherwise, especially when they are mass-produced. The experience the reader brings to each book makes it special.  The many readers who found something to relate to in Lord of the Flies or 1984 or A Brave, New World are what made those classics. Word of Mouth spread the knowledge of the great things inside those books; of mob mentality, of government control, and of a utopia that wasn’t. More people bought them until the book’s message became special. Became common knowledge that those who hadn’t read them felt they had missed something. That to not read them is to be missing a universal knowledge. To hear of “Big Brother” and to miss the reference.

Which brings us to Sharknado 1 and 2. No, these movies are not classics, unless they become cult classics, which they bloody well might. These are not Masterpiece Theatre or Citizen Kane. What they are is entertainment. Campy, fun, some blood and gore, movie entertainment.  #sharknado2 was breaking Twitter on Wednesday night. :)

All movies can’t be It’s a Wonderful Life and all books can’t be A Christmas Carol, but we can all aim to be entertaining. If it is for 2 hours of an escapist movie or a few hours in the pages of a romance novel. Art is subjective. It’s a Wonderful Life was thought to be too corny for its time and A Christmas Carol was an instant success. Only the future knows what will be a classic and what will be entertainment. And in this world, you need a little of both.

Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance writer (and hopefully entertainer)

Defend My Love in audiobook

This summer I also had Book 3, Defend My Love, The Lake Willowbee Series done in audiobook, again by the immensely talented Tobi Doyle. This is Megan, Daniel, and Daisy’s story. LOL It is not a ménage, Daisy is their young daughter and it is just as much her story as her parents. This is the story I wrote after saying I would never have a child in a romance novel. hahahaha It is available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

defend my love audiobook cover

Heard any good books lately?

Upfront, let me say, I don’t listen to audiobooks. My brain must be wired differently. If I try to listen to an audiobook my mind starts wandering and I lose my place in the story. But lots of people like them, so I decided to put The Lake Willowbee Series into audiobook format. They are available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!

Divorce Interrupted audio reduced

So, heard any good books lately?

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
Love in the time of Zombies coming soon!!

Brigadoon

Jill James:

Check out the Authors of Main Street blog for kilts, Brigadoon, and true love. Also, a great radio interview by several of our authors.

Originally posted on Authors of Main Street:

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Last Friday, my husband took me and our children to see Lerner & Loewe’s Brigadoon at the Goodman Theater in Chicago as a surprise for our wedding anniversary.

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To truly understand how wonderfully thoughtful this was, you have to understand how Scottish—by choice and clan affiliation—my family is. We were re-married in Scotland for our 20th anniversary, we man the Clan Donald tent at all the Scottish events in Wisconsin as well as the Celtic Canine tent, and just because we don’t get enough of it through the year, we started a Scottish food business.

2014 Macski Logo for Polos

Yes, we make haggis. My husband will tell you it’s the best in the U.S. His vegetarian wife eats our veg haggis.

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What does any of this have to do with Brigadoon? A lot.

In the play a mythical Scottish village goes missing and is protected from the woes of the…

View original 561 more words

I was going to blog…

about Hachette/Amazon, JA Konrath fisking everyone, the usual us vs. them of it all. Then I decided to go edit the zombie book and play Candy Crush Saga! LOL

pile of booksHappy writing to all my writer friends and happy reading to everyone, because in the end that is all that matters; the writers and the readers. Everyone else is just in the way.

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Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance writer and reader of all things romance

The Zombie Book

LoveintheTimeofZombies 200x300Okay, I know many of you think this book will never be done. And I’m right there with you. But (fingers crossed) I am working on it again. The wedding boxed set is up and selling well, so back to the zombies. LOL I’m hoping to finish at the end of July and to put it on pre-order via Smashwords for August so it can be released September 2nd. That is the plan so far!!

So here is a  little excerpt for my friends who are waiting oh-so-patiently–I love you all.

Love in the Time of Zombies excerpt (unedited)

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Brentwood, and the surrounding small towns, was a farmer’s market dream. Orchards for miles and farms galore. With the population down to one or two thousand, there was plenty for everyone.

Food wasn’t a problem. Harvesting and transporting it was. It’s hard to pick a row of corn if you’re afraid the man-eating walkers are in the next row over. I’d never been the growing type. If it needed care and tending, I would probably kill it. Fortunately, I was an excellent shooter. Who knew? I’d never shot a gun in my life. Why would I? San Francisco was the land of anti-gun belief. Maybe if we’d had more gun-toting citizens we might have held the city.

When we got here, they put us through a bunch of tests; agility, strength, skills, and shooting. I’d scored a hundred at all distances. No picking apples for this girl, I was made a member of the undead hunting patrol.

Breakfast out of the way; I cleaned up my section of the roof. Gathering up my dirty clothes, and believe me, you haven’t seen dirty until you try to get zombie guts out of your shirt, I took them to my friend, Michelle, who had laundry duty this month. Michelle Greggs had been on the wild ride with me out of San Francisco. We’d clung to each other all night as the horde of undead tried to get to the fresh meat inside the fortified school bus. We’d been friends ever since. Shit like that is a real bonding moment.

She stopped me with an upraised hand, and then grabbed a pair of surgical gloves before taking my clothes. We’d all told her countless times that she couldn’t get the mutated virus from simple contact; we pretty much all ready had the virus, but she continued to use the gloves. We all have our idiosyncrasies since this all started and we let her have hers.

She curtseyed. “And would madam like these pressed and folded as well?

I played along. “Yes and any spots left will come out of your pay.” I put up my chin and looked down my nose at her.

Michelle laughed. A sound I would play any silly game to get out of her, even if it was a mockery of my pre Z life. Unlike me, she’d loved her husband and had to kill him when he turned. She’d told me about it on the bus with the caveat that she would never mention it again.

“Now, go kill those skinbags,” she ordered.

“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, giving her a snappy salute. We all had our names for the zombies we had to kill. Some used other names to make it easier. Parents in our group used funny names to make it less scary for the children. Way back when, there had been a late-night local show; Creature Features, and the parents had taken to calling the zombies Black Lagooners. But for the life of me, I couldn’t see how anything made what we were going through less scary. Maybe kids had a defense mechanism I was missing. I was scared shitless most days.

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Love in the Time of Zombies – September 2014

Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance

The Passive Voice – Two Different Worlds

The Passive Guy has a great blog post. He was able to attend a debate on the evils of Amazon. I tried to watch the video of the event but the audio was so low that I couldn’t hear it even turned all the way up on my computer. From the comments on the event and at TPG’s blog, I didn’t miss much. Amazon Derangement Syndrome is alive and well in New York City.

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/07/2014/two-different-worlds/

Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance
The Reluctant Bride and Weddings on Main Street now available!
Love in the Time of Zombies coming Autumn 2014

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

My only paranormal romance is on sale at Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.

DangerousShift FB coverDangerous Shift is 75% off for the month of July. Summer here in Northern California and Winter on the other side of the world. :)

Go to: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/210352 and use the promo code SSW75 to get 75% off my normally $4.99 paranormal romance novel.

HE IS MR. BY-THE-BOOK, WITH A SECRET…
Shapeshifters live among us. Lt. Sean Evans is one of them, a member of the Shapeshifter Task Force in San Laura, California. Only the highest echelons of law enforcement, the military, science, and medical fields know they exist—until now, when a fatal virus is killing his kind, and Sean will take all the help he can get.

SHE IS A LOOSE CANNON WITH AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM…
With Shapeshifters dying across the country, reinforcements are called in from around the United States. Lt. Nikki Hill of Missouri is partnered up with Lt. Evans. They quickly butt heads over everything, from proper police procedures to personal beliefs. But one thing is clear; they both want to stop the virus from claiming another shifter.

TOGETHER, THEY JUST MIGHT CATCH A KILLER.
Just as they realize the virus is the work of a serial killer, members of their own families are stricken. With the disease’s deadly circle widening to encompass friends, family, and even themselves, they turn to each other for love and support. Can they survive long enough to stop an Extinction Level Event for Shapeshifters?

*Finalist – 2013 Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award

How important is a title?

What’s in a name? to paraphrase Shakespeare. Maybe everything. Romeo and Juliet did kill themselves over a name. But what about titles? How important is a title for a book? Some people say very, some say a little. So who is right? Well, both of them, of course. A title can get a book noticed in a good way or a bad way.

Divorce, InterruptedMy first Indie book was Divorce, Interrupted. I swear, that title sold more books by title alone, before anyone ever read the back cover blurb. If I had been more promo-savvy I would have given the series books all Interrupted titles and the series would have been The Interrupted Series too. (Hind-sight is always 20-20) One can only go forward.

 

frankenstormI recently read Frankenstorm by Ray Garton. The title caught my eye, the back cover copy saying the story took place in Eureka, California caught my debit card. I loved the story all the way through but I couldn’t forget that funny title. It seemed like it could have been something else. Something less a mash-up, more serious. But, the title had done its job; it caught my attention, it made me pick up the book.

 

What book have you picked up by title alone? Did the story live up to the title?

 

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
Weddings on Main Street boxed set now 99¢ for a limited time!

B&N Shut Audiobook Section?

Are you like me and going huh? I didn’t even know BN.com had an audiobook section. This is no way to do business. I love my Nook. I love visiting my local Barnes & Noble. But we can’t help them if they don’t help themselves.

http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/06/02/barnes-noble-shut-audiobook-section/#.U44BGjhOWM8

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
Weddings on Main Street Boxed Set releases June 9th!!

The Reluctant Bride by Jill James

My newest contemporary romance is now available most places, still waiting on Apple/iTunes via D2D.

TheReluctantBride 200x300The Reluctant Bride is my contribution to the Weddings on Main Street Boxed Set being released June 9th. It is a Lake Willowbee Novella, taking place in Lake Willowbee, California as are Divorce, Interrupted, Dare To Trust, and Defend My Love. The location is the same but has all new characters and you don’t need to read The Lake Willowbee Series to read The Reluctant Bride.

Claire Woods and Jimmy Tyler were high-school sweethearts with a marriage proposal and promise ring given on prom night. A decade later, Claire and Jimmy live together but are no closer to a walk down the aisle. Divorce runs rampant in Claire’s family and she refuses to believe marriage can lead to anything but breakup and heartache. With the help of her family and friends, Jimmy is determined to surprise, ambush, and wed, his reluctant bride.

I hope you will read and enjoy Claire’s and Jimmy’s romantic tale of finding Mr. Right the first time around.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
Love in the Time of Zombies coming Summer 2014

Make MS Word work for you…JW Manus

…instead of against you.

This blog post listed below really struck home. When I first started writing toward getting published I avidly devoured writing magazines to learn the where, who, and what. Once I discovered that agents and editors and writing contests with RWA seemed to all want the same formatting for submissions, I set my WordPerfect to make my manuscript send-ready from the get go. Then I turned to MS Word, unwillingly, and kicking and screaming.

So, in 2011 I was published by The Wild Rose Press. I learned to format for the editor’s preferences. Then I decided to go self-published. Once I took a class and learned how to format, I did all that at the beginning of writing my story so the formatting was much simpler at the end of the story.

But this takes it to a new level. I now have a style guide at the top of MS Word with 3 little boxes; normal, heading 1, and heading 2. Awesomeness!! More details at the JW Manus website.

http://jwmanus.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/indie-writers-make-ms-word-work-for-you-instead-of-against-you/

And the survey says…..

Recently, I replied on an interesting survey. The questions were related to what you read, what you write, and words you use or like in books and the ones you don’t. Here are the results.

http://jillblake.blogspot.com/2014/05/survey-results-how-do-you-say.html?zx=6e17fdd61a455359

Enjoy and come back here to comment if you want or comment on the Jill Blake blog.

Jill James, writer of paranormal and contemporary romance
The Reluctant Bride, coming June 1st.
Weddings on Main Street boxed set, coming June 9th.

How to value your writing by Wise Ink

Great article I found tripping around the Blogoverse. Jill

http://www.wiseinkblog.com/writing-2/how-to-value-your-writing/

I love Jonathan Maberry and his writing. This makes so much sense.

Reminds me a little of when I was starting out to show the family I was taking my writing seriously. I made myself a time sheet and ‘clocked’ in every day when I sat down to write. When they saw the time and pages I was accumulating, they finally appeared to think I might be serious about this writing thing.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
The Reluctant Bride coming soon!

The End!!

To a writer there is just something so satisfying about putting The End at the end of a manuscript. A sense of completion. The thrill of achievement. So, on Friday I put The End on The Reluctant Bride, spent the weekend editing, and it is off to the formatter for the boxed set.

I will release it individually on June 1st and Weddings on Main Street boxed set will release on June 9th. I am so excited to read the other wedding stories from my fellow Authors of Main Street.

TheReluctantBride 200x300The Reluctant Bride by Jill James will be available:
Amazon, BN.com, Smashwords, Kobo, Google Play, All Romance eBooks, and other ebook retailers.

Authorgraph – great author tool

I love Authorgraph (previously Kindlegraph).

For the reader it is now possible to have an author’s autograph for an ebook!

Get your e-book signed by Jill James
*click to have any of my ebooks signed, not just The Christmas Con!

For the author it is now easy to autograph your ebooks for readers!
Just go to www.authorgraph.com and set up your account today.

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
The Reluctant Bride will be available June 9th!!