Ramblings

Free eBook – Ashes of Glass

Today is the day! My debut novel Ashes of Glass is free on Amazon.ca today and tomorrow. If you have a couple minutes pick it up and add it to your summer to-read list.

Click HERE to find Ashes of Glass on Amazon.ca.

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

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Book Reviews

The Painter by Arleen Jennings

This was an exciting read for me! About half a year ago, Arleen contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to read her novel entitled, “The Painter.” I am so glad I said yes – it has been amazing to be a small part of Arleen’s journey.  

This is a heart-warming story about love, discovery, and forgiveness. The main character, Claire, was a strong and sweet woman who, despite the disbelief of others, pursued the truth. Chase was a kind but broken man and my heart hurt for him. Often, I wanted to give him a hug or give Roger a piece of my mind. In addition, their romance was clean and sweet. Besides Claire and Chase, my favourite character was Maggie. She had such a big heart!

The writing was exceptionally neat and tidy – it is clear that Arleen put a lot of work into it. Arleen’s style was also nice. I found that there was quite a bit of dialogue, but I know that she enjoys dialogue, so I suppose it comes down to personal preference. Further, Arleen clearly communicated emotions. When Claire’s parents didn’t believe that her paintings changed, I felt her frustration and when Chase was belittled by his father, I felt his hurt.

As for the plot… It came together nicely. I liked how Arleen started the story with an exciting but also unsettling scene. It made me wonder, “What is going to happen to Claire?” There were just a few minor things that were a bit bumpy. Claire’s discovery of Zac’s box was more fluid than when I first read “The Painter,” but it still felt a little sudden. Also, Roger’s and Chace’s reconciliation happened rather abruptly. But maybe that’s just me…

Lastly, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the cover. Did you know that Arleen painted the picture on the cover?!? Amazing right? You should take a look at some of her other artwork: http://www.arleenjennings.com/gallery/ 

God has given her many talents!

If you are looking for a clean, mystery/adventure novel, you should give this one a read!

Ramblings

Beta Reading Service

For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing. It is such a joy to weave stories into colourful and complex tapestries. But over the past few months, I have discovered that I also enjoy helping other authors. I suppose much of it has to do with my experience which made me realize how important it is to have others read and critique your work. Sometimes it’s hard to accept what people say, but in the end, your story will shine all the more.

With all of that said, I decided to offer beta reading services. I wish I had lots of time and lots of money but as a student, things are a little tight. So to start out, I am going to ask for a small fee.

$0.0003/per word which works out to be around $27 for 90,000 words. I will read the first 2,000 words for free so you can get a sense of how I work and so I can assess whether or not I will be a good fit for your novel. I use google docs for beta reading which allows me to comment directly on things and which allows you to get my comments as soon as I make them.

Genres that I am interested in: young adult, Christian fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, and children’s literature.   

Genres that I am not interested in: erotica, non-fiction, and horror.

Here is the link to my read shelf on Goodreads so you can see the kind of books I like. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/69093165-e-j-hill?shelf=read

Also, here is the link to a list of book reviews I have written. I encourage you to read one or two of those. https://letterstoyou312.wordpress.com/book-reviews/?frame-nonce=c1e7c6bca8

If I haven’t scared you away yet and you think I would be a good fit for your book, please send me an email: emmajoyhill20@gmail.com  

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Ramblings

Werewolves and my WIP

Werewolves did you say werewolves?

Some of you might know that I’ve been working on my second novel and at draft #3, I thought it was time to push it out into the big wide world. It is a bit different than my first novel – it’s a bit darker I think. And this kind of scares me. What if people hate it? But isn’t this something every writer deals with each time they publish a book? I suppose it is; although, after the first novel there are expectations. Don’t you think?

So anyways, my book is about werewolves. Werewolves?!? You might ask, rather alarmed. Yes, werewolves. I understand your surprise because often when people say “werewolf novel,” you think erotica or horror. (I cringe then gag even as the thought passes my mind) But why does it have to be like that? It doesn’t. I took the idea of shapeshifters, people who transform into wolves, and wove a clean story around it. There are two things I hold to in all of my writing: NO profanity and NO sex. Further, yes, they are werewolves, but they are humans too, and are even believers in God. (although religion does not take foreground.)

But you are probably growing impatient with my ramblings so I will introduce you to my latest project.

* * * * *

Two years ago, Sara Black was nearly killed by her own kind. Werewolves. As an omega, she doesn’t fit into the hierarchy of a pack and if they can’t control her, then they want her dead.   

Sara thinks she is safe in the quiet town of Maybourne, until a hiker claims he was attacked by a wolf. The human authorities write it off as a coyote, but the victim’s description doesn’t match. That’s when werewolf Kieran Warrick shows up in town to investigate. He’s powerful and this makes dangerous. But for some reason, Sara can’t convince herself to leave. Maybe his bizarre claim is true. If it is, that means they are mates and belong together. Forever.    

While they fight and struggle to build love and trust, the wolf attacks continue. But the only wolves Kieran can find are wild ones. Is this just ploy or are there really more werewolves in Maybourne?

* * * * *
Keep your eyes open for the cover reveal!

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Does this intrigue you? Do you have any questions about it? Anything at all? Then pop by the Contact page and send me a note. I’d love to hear from you!

Also, I will be looking for beta readers and reviewers. What is a beta reader? I’m so glad you asked! Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_reader) does a fine job of answering this: A beta reader is a test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author.

If you are interested in beta reading or reviewing an ARC, please send me a note.

 

Have a lovely weekend!

E.J. Hill

Tags

The 10 Question Self-publishing Tag

Happy Monday! Self-publishing was a long journey for me and I thought I would share some of it with you guys through this tag. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

1. What is the title of your debut novel?

Ashes of Glass

Ashes of Glass. It’s a retelling of Cinderella with a few twists.

2. Why did you choose self-publishing?

I think it chose me. I sent queries to a number few agents and heard back from one of them, “While your work has merit, it is not quite a fit for us. With respect and regret, we must decline.” After a while, I wasn’t sure where to go. Do I keep sending out queries? Do I just leave this novel and start writing a new one. During the summer I worked at a u-pick berry farm and met a woman who was a self-published author. She told me about CreateSpace and the royalties a self-published author receives. Prior to this, I didn’t know much about self-publishing so that day I went home and looked into CreateSpace. I was hooked right then and there. I was going to publish my book! Before I did, though, I edited ferociously and laid the foundations so I could begin building a social platform.  Finally in January 2018, I felt it was ready and hit the publish button!

3. What’s your favorite thing about being an indie author?

I can do pretty much whatever I want! I made the cover myself, I designed the inside, I added and removed scenes. But this can also be a pitfall since as the author, it’s sometimes like I’m wearing blinders. Whether the cause is stubbornness or pure ignorance, problems sometimes arise from my desire to be independent.   

4. What’s the hardest thing about being an indie author?

Building a platform and getting reviews. You obviously want people to read your book. That’s why you published it, right? I needed to get myself out there, make a twitter account, get a blog going, review books, join goodreads groups etc. But at the same time, I had to be careful not to spread myself too thin. I couldn’t do everything.   

5. Looking back is there something you would do differently?

Umm maybe get an editor. I would definitely have tried to find some beta readers. Like I said, I love being independent with this all, but it’s really hard. It’s amazing how often I missed things and when I did eventually notice, I was like, “How did I let this happen?”

Image result for how did this happen gif

6. How important is social media (blog, twitter, goodreads)?

Sooo important! I mentioned this already, but you need a social platform, you need to get yourself out there.

7. Did you hire an editor?

No, I didn’t. Maybe I should have, but it’s quite expensive and if I’m careful, I can probably catch the grammatical errors myself. I will be looking for beta readers for my next book, though. (So if you’re interested… 😉 I’ll hopefully be posting something within the next three months.)  

8. What’s your personal editing process?

First draft I just write, no regrets. Second draft and maybe third draft I read through the manuscript and fish out as many hiccups – grammar, plot, characters etc. Then I use the search on microsoft office to look for words that I shouldn’t use; for example, after, before, when, like, suddenly, slightly, hopefully, really, very, stand, turn, etc. My list is pretty long because I’m picky about it and you should be too. It’s a super important step and helps to clean up your writing. Another thing I do with my manuscript, is put it through a text to audio converter and then listen to it. This is a tedious task, but well worth the effort since it especially reveals awkwardly worded sentences and typos. After this, I print the manuscript and go through it with a red pen. This also is a lot of work, but everything looks different when you see it on real paper. Finally, I design the interior and do all the formatting and hopefully by then, it’s ready to go. 🙂   

9. Will you self-publish your next book?Related image

Yes, definitely. Self-publishing was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Right now I’m about 75% done the 2nd draft and things are already falling into place. (Does that mean I’m getting better or that I’m missing a lot???)  

10. What’s your advice to people who want to self-publish?

Start a blog and review as many books as you can. When you’re in the reviewer mindset, you notice the imperfections and if you’re smart, you’ll learn from them. Reviews on your blog will also get you noticed by other readers interested in the same genres. So when you publish, they’ll be like, “Oh hey, this person likes the same books I do. I should give their book a try.”

Are you veering towards self-publishing? How would you answer these questions?

If you have any other questions for me or want some advice, feel free to comment or shoot me an email. Here is the link to my Contact Page.  

Glossary

Beta Reader: A test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing (similar to beta testing in software), giving feedback with the angle of an average reader to the author about remaining issues. A beta-reader is a non-professional reader, so that an uncolored opinion of an average reader can be obtained. Usually, a beta reader will be unpaid. The feedback is used by the writer to iron out remaining overall issues with plot, pacing, and consistency. The beta read also serves as a target audience test to see whether the book has the intended emotional impact and feel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_reader

Self-publishing: The publication of any book, album, or other media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher.

CreateSpace: Through our services, you can sell books, CDs, and DVDs for a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing, while maintaining more control over your materials. We make it simple to distribute your books, music, and video through Internet retail outlets, your own website, and other bookstores, retailers, libraries, and academic institutions. https://www.createspace.com/AboutUs.jsp

 

my writing, Tags, Uncategorized

Author Tag: 10 Questions

Tags are super fun and I stumbled across an author tag so I thought I would give it a go. I did not come up with the tag, it’s from a blog called Fantasy, Mash-Ups, and Mayhem.

I hope you enjoy!

1) WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR BOOK?

Ashes of Glass

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2) WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM FOR YOUR BOOK?

I LOVE Cinderella! It’s one of my favorite fairy tales so when I finally decided that I was going to try my hand at writing an entire novel, I chose to do a retelling of Cinderella. Since then it’s sort of evolved into Cinderella-with-some-major-twists, but hey, the seed was Cinderella.

3) WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?

Inspirational romance or Christian romance works too.

4) WHICH ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY IN YOUR MOVIE RENDITION?

Hmm… Probable Emilie de Ravin as Arella and Henry Cavill as Prince Friederic.

    

What do you think???

5) WHAT IS THE ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?

:O hmm.

Arella is a penniless servant and Friederic is a prince destined to marry a foreign princess, but their lives become intertwined and they find themselves fighting the disapproval of the nobles, mysterious debts, murder, and a cruel lord willing to do anything in his quest for power.

Haha sorry… That’s a long sentence.

6) WILL YOUR BOOK BE SELF-PUBLISHED OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY?

Self-published. Yep, I took a leap of faith and went solo. Crazy right?

7) HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT?

I think around 8 months. At first, I wrote a lot, but then I went through a little dry period. When I picked it up again, I started writing an average of 1,000-2,000 words per day so that made things gallop along at a nice pace.

8) WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU COMPARE THIS STORY TO?

“Captive Maiden” by Melanie Dickerson or “Cinderella and the Colonel” by KM Shea.

9) WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THE BOOK?

My love for stories and writing. I simply enjoy creating stories and I wanted to be able to share one in its entirety.

10) WHAT ELSE ABOUT YOUR BOOK MIGHT PIQUE THE READER’S INTEREST?

Overall, it has a handful of alterations from the traditional Cinderella retelling. However, it is also a clean read. I don’t really agree with profanity or inappropriateness in books so my writing obviously doesn’t contain it – people can read it without having to cringe at certain parts.

 

Are you an author? What would you answer to these questions? Or do you have any questions about my book or myself? I’d be more than happy to answer them. 😀

Also…. find out more about my book here, or oooor read the PROLOGUE.

It’s on Amazon too!!!

Thanks for reading!

my writing, Ramblings

My Little Letter to the Readers

This little letter appears at the beginning of my book and I put it there because I really felt I needed to explain a little and also warn people that it’s not a perfect book – it was my first try so I am sure there are lots of mistakes hiding in the shadows between the front and back cover. But you know, a lot of it comes down to me simply holding a physical copy of my book because that is a dream come true!

 

Dear Readers,

I know few people rarely read these little blurbs from the author (I don’t usually), but I thought that I could not leave it out, there are some things I feel as if I need to say.

First off, thank you for picking up my book, it’s an honor to have ensnared your interest. I hope you like my story. When I began writing it at the end of high school, I only knew that I wanted to write a novel in its entirety, not just the first half. Since then, I have learned many things, how to commit to writing the end, how to cut mercilessly, how to create a cover, how to format a book, and the list could go on. Now with all that said, other than me, no one has read or edited this novel so yes, there are going to be flaws. There will probably be more mistakes than I even care to admit, but hey, I got it done, I published it all by myself. So alongside a cup of embarrassment, there will be a delicious chocolate chip cookie of pride.

I hope my faults do not ruin the story for you, I truly hope you enjoy it.

God bless you,

Emma Hill

 

If you’re interested, you can read the prologue here for free and if you think maybe, possibly, there’s a slight chance you’d like to read the rest of the book…. you can find it on Amazon.com as a paperback or e-book.