Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals For The New Year and "Bump" News

First off I want to sincerely apologize to all of Jessie's blog followers (I'm a Wife and Mama Now?) for the delay in posting part two of "The Bump." I finished it last night, and then my laptop decided to be an epic failure  and shut off before I could save, so now I have to go through and re-re-edit/rewrite. It will be up before the end of the first week of January, however, and you can hold me to that.

And now for my goals for the new year. Some are "personal" and some are "business."

1.  Lose 100 pounds.

2. Quit at BP.

3. Sell 500,000 copies of my books (ebook and paperback).

4. Get two new computers (both laptops, one mac, one windows)

5. Donate $5,000 to charity.

6. Get at least one copy of one of my books into the local library system.

7. Do two book signings.

8. Publish 10 books and short stories.

9. Hold four giveaways.

10. Buy all new bedroom furniture since mine is all ruined from water leaks.

PSA: If you're looking for a new apartment, stay the crap away from Georgetown On The River in Fridley, MN. They never actually fix problems, they never answer when you call, but they always know when rent is due. They suck. Do not rent from them.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little Too Much Partying...

Yeah, sorry about that, I meant to post the conclusion to "The Bump" yesterday, but I ended up partying a bit too hard, and I never finished the ending of it, so it will be up within the next 48 hours.  Sorry!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quick quick quick!

Yes, the other half of The Bump will be posted today, but probably not until later tonight. I got sidetracked working on Jessie last night, so I still need to finish the refurb of The Bump, and it's taking just a bit longer than expected. It will be up later tonight, though, as well as some coverart!  :D

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday Excerpts and Why I Love Faygo Cola

Have I got a treat for you! If you like reading stuff, and like reading MY stuff, you'll love the following two excerpts:

Fatima:


1. Nikki


Growing up in an upper-middle-class suburb of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area, I had led a moderately sheltered life. Our class didn’t know what diversity was until a Hispanic girl moved in at the end of the sixth grade, and two colored boys in eighth grade. Even then, everyone was Christian. We learned about other religions through Cable-In-The-Classroom programs and a couple of speakers from the local churches, but there were only a few of us who had ever met anyone who wasn’t Christian.
That was until the first day after Christmas vacation in tenth grade. It was just after first hour that I saw her. It was all I could do to avoid staring at her. Her skin was olive and her eyes were intense. She was about as tall as I was, and I was nearing five feet eight inches. But what caught my attention wasn’t her skin or her eyes, no, it was the way she was dressed.
She wore a long black robe-like thing that was accented with little gold flowers at the wrists and the bottom hem. When she lifted her arms to reach into her locker, I could see that she was wearing a dark purple long-sleeved shirt under it. What struck me dumb was the silky, purple cloth she had wrapped around her head and neck. At once, it was both mesmerizing and terrifying. Wasn’t that what the terrorists wore? The ones that crashed the planes into the towers? My thoughts raced, my heart pounded. A quick glance around proved that I was not the only one who felt this way. Even the Hispanic girl was whispering and pointing at this new girl. I wanted nothing more than to walk over and yank that scarf of the girl’s head.
I was still working up my nerve to go over and tell this new girl, this terrorist wannabe, off when the bell rang, and I had to bolt down the hall to class. I would have to deal with this threat later. Maybe at lunch.
I slid into my seat at the back of my math class just as the teacher, Mr. Warden, walked in. I sighed, relieved that I had avoided being marked tardy. The sigh was cut short, however, when I caught sight of the person walking in just behind him.
“Great,” I growled under my breath. My best friend, Shelly Johnson, shot me a clueless look, and I quickly scribbled a note on the back of an old worksheet and shoved it into her hand.
“Look at her. She’s a terrorist; we have to do something. How could they possibly expect us to accept her?” said the note. I watched her eyes widen in horror. I nodded when she met my gaze again, and then motioned for her to hand it to our other best friend, Kiki Newman. She read the note, looked up at me with an eyebrow raised, and then re-read the note.
“Everyone,” Mr. Warden said, interrupting our little meeting, “This is Fatima Sarraf. Her family’s just moved here from New York.”
“Looking for a new target? Didn’t give your God enough of a thrill when you trashed the twin towers?” Shelly catcalled. I tried hard to stifle a giggle. Mr. Warden shot us both a harsh look, but the girl didn’t waver. Her confidence infuriated me, so I added, “She’s probably here as a spy for the Taliban! I wonder when her beard will come in?” Shelly and Kiki both jerked forward, roaring with laughter. A few others laughed as well, but stopped abruptly as Mr. W spoke next.
“That’s it, you three, down to Mr. LeMay’s office. Now. Fatima, I apologize for their behavior. We aren’t all like that.”
As I gathered my books, a task made much more difficult by the fact that I was laughing uncontrollably, the girl spoke. “It’s all right, Mr. Warden.” Her voice was soft, and I had to look up at her. It was impossible not to see that her confident fa├žade had slipped. I could see tears welling in her eyes. I grinned fiendishly. This is gonna be easy.
Mr. LeMay, the Principal of Cedarcrest Senior High (our school), was a pushover. We weren’t too concerned as we walked from Mr. Warden’s class to the front office.
“Oh my god, Nikki, I seriously thought I was gonna have, like, a heart attack or something when you shouted that!” Kiki said when her giggling finally subsided. I high fived her and laughed.
“I thought she was gonna lose it! Did you see her? I bet if Mr. W hadn’t been such a little girl about it, we could’ve got her to leave the school,” I replied with a smirk. “We’ll get her.”
We stopped just before turning down the hall that led to the main office and huddled together. “So, we go in there and we play it cool. We say that the terrorist was totally buggin’ out on Kiki before class so Shelly and I had to do something. Okay?” I said in a stage whisper. The others nodded in agreement, as we made a pact to back each other up on this.
Fatima Sarraf was going down.

----

What do you think?  Interested in reading the rest of the story? It is currently available for free at smashwords.com if you follow this link. It won't be free forever, so go download your free copy quickly! And reviews are always welcome.  :)


And now, the other excerpt. 

Jessie:

“Bye Mom, Dad!” Jessie called over her shoulder as she slipped her shoes on. She was out the door in a flash, skipping happily down the street toward the bus stop. Up ahead she could see a few of her classmates also approaching the stop, and she wondered if they would talk to her that day. She slowed down so she wouldn’t pass the others, and held her messenger bag tight against her side. Would she finally make a friend?
At the bus stop, Jessie held her distance. She had always been awkward around other kids her own age. In the last two grades, there had been certain people who’d teased her about her shyness. But since those people no longer attended Cedarcrest High, Jessie thought she might stand a chance. After all, it was her senior year, and things were bound to be different. At least that’s what she told herself.
She glanced around, trying her best to look “normal.” The boy closest to her was bouncing a basketball while talking on a cell phone. A group of girls a few feet from her was gossiping about something the cheerleading captain did over summer vacation. Sitting on the curb, furthest from Jessie, was a boy she’d never seen before.
For reasons she didn’t quite understand, the new boy made Jessie nervous. She decided right then and there that she would avoid him as much as possible. She played with her hair, letting it fall in thick brown waves on either side of her face. Nobody seemed to notice her. She couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. A cold wind stirred up the few red and yellow leaves that had already fallen, whisking them quickly through the small group of high school students. Jessie twitched at the sensation of one of the cold, slightly damp leaves smacking her in the side of the head.
Her hands flew to her face, fingers working frantically to get the leaf out of her hair. It was a few moments before she threw the leaf to the ground, shaking her head in an effort to clear her brain of the sensation. She looked down the street to see if she could spot the bus, and that was when she realized the silence that had fallen over the other teens. She froze, heart pounding, as she heard a junior girl, Natasha Hart, ask, “Your name’s Jessie, right?”
Jessie nodded once, trying to determine her course of action. It had been years since anyone had actively sought her out in a crowd for any reason other than to tease her. She was ready to bolt at the first sign of hostility. But when she looked at the other girl’s face, all she saw was sincerity and innocence.
“My name’s Natasha, but everyone calls me Nat. Um, you took gymnastics in middle school, didn’t you?” The girl was enthusiastic, that Jessie could never deny. She stood just shy of five feet tall, appearing almost childlike next to Jessie, who was pushing six feet. Natasha was blonde with beautifully tanned skin, whereas Jessie had a thick tangle of brown-black waves that fell to the middle of her back and her skin was too sensitive to tan.
“Um, yeah,” Jessie said, her voice barely above a whisper. Nat’s smile only seemed to grow wider, showing more of her perfectly white teeth. If Jessie’s memory served her, Natasha came from a rather wealthy family with a large house on the river. Why is she talking to me? I’m not anywhere near her league. Give me a 15 foot ladder and two yardsticks taped to each other and I might be able to prod the bottom of her league, Jessie thought rather bitterly.
“Well, um,” Nat paused, biting her lip and looking back to her friends, most of which were still gossiping about summer vacation. She cleared her throat and continued, “We, uh, the cheer squad that is, were wondering if you would be interested in trying out this year? We’re down a couple girls after that whole pregnancy thing last year, and since you already took gymnastics you’re like way overqualified, so you should totally try out.”
“What?” Jessie blurted, almost cutting Natasha off. She cringed immediately, knowing she just likely blew her chance at whatever the other girl was talking about.
“Try out for cheerleading. Please? We really need more girls, and I really think you’d be a good addition to the team.” Natalia looked over to her friends and motioned for them to come over. “I mean, you’re totally tall, you’ve got that great hair, and your legs go on for miles.”
“You’re gonna try out for the squad?” another blond girl, Felicia, asked as she approached. She held her hand out to shake Jessie’s. “I’m Felicia. You’re Jessie, right? I think we had math together last year.”

----------------


Jessie will be out before the end of 2012. It is going to be YA/Horror. 

Faygo Cola is terrific. It tastes just like Pepsi or Coke but it's 99 cents! Hot damn! Plus, that's 24 oz size. So you get more for 99 cents than you get for almost 2 bucks in any other brand.
/Shameless plug for a brand I enjoy.




Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Boxing Day! and New Spiffy Features

Hope your Christmas was wonderful, assuming you celebrate Christmas. 
Today I guest-blogged for Jessie over at I'm a Wife and Mama Now? so y'all should scoot over, give her some love, and read the first half of "The Bump!" The second half of "The Bump" will be posted here on Wednesday along with a cover art reveal. 
It's Monday, time for a book review, this one is taken from Lulu.com, by Christopher N: 
 4 out of 5 stars: The story is a good read, suitable for a wide variety in ages of readers. Geared primarily towards the teenage crowd, this story touches on one of the more prominent issues facing teens with a feel good fantasy twist. It is well worth the price for the casual reader and leaves off at the right point to peak curiosity towards any sequels.



Thanks for the great review, Chris!
And now for some new features being added to my blog:


The Links tab above is being continuously updated


There's a nifty new label sphere in the side column, use it to quickly find posts you'd be interested in reading


Up above, there's a new tab specifically for release information and upcoming releases






So how was your Christmas? Did you get everything you wanted and did you see all your family?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope your Christmas is filled with what truly matters and not cluttered and bogged with the things that don't.
There might be another Weekend Recipe later today, but just in case, I wanted to blog for Sunday.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weekend Recipes and Fatima Paperback Release News

I want to say thank you to my followers, there's three of you now (says four on the sidebar but one of those is me so I can track my comments without being on blogger all the time), and thank you to all of the people who view my blog each time I update. I appreciate it!

Gonna start out the weekend with a recipe that I used on Wednesday:  CLAM CHOWDER!

Here's the recipe: 
3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams
1 cup minced onion
1 cup diced celery
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste

Directions
1. Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.
3. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 501 | Total Fat: 32.7g | Cholesterol: 137mgPowered by ESHA Nutrient Database


I really liked the end result, but I have to admit I tweaked it a bit. I didn't use the carrots or the vinegar, and I added just a bit more butter, also used a roux because it did not thicken like I'd hoped. It makes A LOT of soup, so consider sharing with a friend's family when you make it. 



And now for some exciting book-related news: 
Fatima is almost finished being formatted for paperback sales, and once I finish my guest blog post for my cousin Jessie's blog I will begin working on Fatima 2 Electric Boogaloo (actual title: Nikki's choice). The two will be available in the same paperback, but seperate in e-book form, with Fatima being 99 cents and Nikki's Choice being $1.99.

Happy Chanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. I will see you tomorrow with more weekend recipes and more exciting stuff!

Friday, December 23, 2011

And Sunday Comes Afterward

So, I dun goofed yesterday, thinking it was Friday and not Thursday. So, since I got started on Friday Links early, I'll do a Thursday Poll today!
Since I don't know how to actually add a poll yet, I will just ask a question, and then you can (anon or not) reply with your answer. (It's multiple choice.)

Which name do you like more?

Andrew
Terry
Marcus
Robert

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's the Holiday Season...

And man, it sure is weird to go through this holiday season without my Mom. It's weird to wake up and not hear her clicking away on her computer or loving on one of the cats. It's really weird to wake up on my own, not to her hollering, "EMMA, GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED!"
She died on a Saturday morning, November 26th of 2011. Ever since it's been a whirlwind of activity around here, family members pulling me and my dad off to their houses. It's not natural. It's actually rather confusing.
I will be rather glad when the holidays are over and everything can go back to some semblance of normal.
That's my mom on halloween one year. Don't worry, those aren't her real boobies.

Anyway, it's time for Friday Links, so for this Friday's links, I'm updating the "pages" tab on the sidebar, to include a links page. On that page will be all the current links to all of my current books and to my mark. cosmetics e-boutique. 
That's all for now.
Happy Holidays.
Cherish the time you have on this
Earth with your loved ones. You 
never know when they'll be called 
back to God.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flurries and Hot Chocolate

I'm all cozy in bed with my laptop, working on chapter 2 of "Jessie." It's supposed to snow on and of all day and night today, so that's cool. I ended up getting my Christmas shopping done last night. Got my dad a phone card. He's really hard to shop for, so I opted for practical.
I'm going to open this blog up to guest bloggers, so if you're interested, I will post guest blog entries on Fridays, along with the normal Friday entries. Comment if you are interested.
I'm also thinking of doing themed days on this blog, so it doesn't get stale. Like Monday Book Review, Tuesday Excerpts, Wednesday Book Covers, Thursday Polls, Friday Links, and Weekend Recipes. Is there anything you'd like to see on my blog? Let me know!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Layout, New Goals, New Projects, and a Good Cause!

The following three novels will be finished before anything else is published, and then the three will be released at the same time:  My Sister's Keeper, Jessie, and Living Will.  There will be a big facebook event when they are released, and a BIG giveaway, even bigger than the other one (which is still going on, so please, CLICK HERE to enter. There's hardly anything you need to do to enter, so I think you should check it out, dear reader)!
You read that right, the next three releases are all going to be novels, which means they're going to be at least quintuple the length of my current releases. I'm going after this in the most serious way possible. Chasing my dreams. Going big or going home, and I don't want to go home. ;)
But now since I'm doing this, I will need your help!  I am in quite real need of beta readers and editors. For now, until I find a happy medium in book sales, I can't pay the standard editing price (which seems to be like 5cents per word, totally unfair to us broke people!) but I can still pay EDITORS. Beta readers will be paid in paperback copies of my books. If you're interested, CLICK HERE to shoot me an email.
I just changed the layout of this blog for the second time ever, and I'm still getting the hang of the blogger design editor thing, so there will be tweaks (and maybe a banner! Oooo, banners!) over the next few weeks and months.
Also, it is now my goal to post something relevant in this blog each and every day. Whether that be a post with links to giveaways by my favorite self-published or indie authors, a music video from youtube that fits the mood from one of my books, or a post like this talking about all the stuff I am doing for you, my readers, my wonderful readers.
Every paperback that I publish from now on (clearly exlcuding Paper Dolls) will also include three (count them, THREE!) coupon codes for free books on smashwords.com (That is, they're books that cost money on smashwords, but you get them free with the coupon codes). Some will be my books, some will be other Destruction Productions authors' books, and some will be other authors' books.

And now for something I feel very strongly about.  Last month, on November 26th, my Mom drew her last breath. She died from complications with a surgery that was meant to undo some of the damage that cancer had done to her body. She just couldn't handle the anesthesia.
Two months before that, in September, complications from cancer (specifically, a stroke) claimed the life of my Grandpa just shortly after his 80th birthday.
Because of the loss of these two people who have had such a huge impact on my life, I have vowed to help make a difference.  So, from now until January 1st of 2012, all of my royalties from all of my book sales will be donated to the Cancer Society of America. There will also be a month of charity for the same cause in June, September, and November of 2012. And if that's not enough incentive to buy for some good? I will match all donations up to $1,000 each of the months that I offer this incentive.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just a quick update

I really should get back into the ol' blogging habit. I was a very diligent blogger back in the early 00's, but then the site I really liked using died and I just lost interest.
Anyway, this is just an update to tell what's coming up. I'm working on Living Will right now, and that will be released when it is finished (could be two days, could be a year). I'm also working on a book about my experiences as a new Muslim, and that will be released as soon as that is done, too.
Elizabeth Hayes is being retooled and I should be starting to work on actually writing it here in January or February.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway, need 9 more entries in order to declare a winner. It's pretty much the coolest giveaway I've ever done for anything, not even gonna lie.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Smallpox-infested Blanket and Worthless Beads day!

Yes, I went there. But then again, anyone who knows even a couple of small bits about me knows that I'm not patriotic, I'm not jingoistic, and I actually plan to move away from this country at the first real opportunity. We did really fuck up when we started taking over the current USA from the natives, and that actually pisses me off. Yes. It pisses off a white woman. Shocker.

Anyway, I'm stuck at work until 10 (supposedly) but that doesn't bother me too much. See paragraph one.

I will be posting a few new book reviews on my review blog, http://1500ebookreviewsbyemma.blogspot.com/ later on tonight. They will likely include Switched, Torn, and Ascend by Amanda Hocking and Jenny Pox by JL Bryan.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shout Out to anyone else who just killed a character they hadn't been intending upon killing!

Actually, three. But I digress.
This blog is just to outline a few things going on and a few things I plan on, based on my current emotions.
My mother has been diagnosed with cancer. My grandfather died in September. Life's kinda taking a depressing turn, but I have to press through if I ever hope to succeed as a writer. I've been kind of blocked lately, so I dropped out of NaNoWriMo, and am just kind of doing word sprints and seeing where an idea takes me.

I plan to publish something before the end of November, and something on Christmas Day. There will also be a big big big Destruction Productions release giveaway from December 25th to January 10th, details to come for that very soon.

Please, please please go enter my giveaway (a couple posts back). There will be bigger and better giveaways in the coming months, and I will try to do one every 2-3 weeks, so TELL YOUR FRIENDS. ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS. AND YOUR ENEMIES. Someone will win something!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Destruction Productions, NaNoWriMo, Jenny Pox, Reviews, and Cancer Awareness

First of all, I want to let everyone know that EVERYTHING CURRENTLY PUBLISHABLE by all Destruction Productions authors is available on the Amazon Kindle store. You can find any of our stuff by searching our author names (Chastity, Jane Quill, and Emmaline Westlund) [Sadly, Delia hasn't given us anything just yet] or by searching "Destruction Productions."

I'm currently working on two separate projects: Nuclear Zombie Wasteland and Living Will (Sketchbooks 3). Nuclear Zombie Wasteland is going to be a stand-alone nuclear zombie apocalypse novel which should be out in late 2012, early 2013. Living Will is going to be released TBD, whenever it's done. Nuclear Zombie Wasteland is my NaNovel (Check out http://nanowrimo.org for more information about NaNoWriMo), But it's stuck at about 3000 words, which sucks. But I'll catch up.

I've been reading a lot of different things lately, but one series that has really caught my attention is a trilogy by JL Bryan. Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, and Alexander Death. I've only read the first two so far, but I'm eager to buy and devour the last one as well. If you haven't heard of the books or the author, I highly recommend them both. I'm not so great at doing reviews (Go find my review blog if you don't believe me), so I won't sit here and try to do the books justice. I will tell you to go read the books, however, because they're all kinds of awesome.

Which brings me to something that really bothers me. I don't know why it should bother me, but honestly, none of Destruction Productions' current releases have any reviews or ratings. We've sold plenty of copies, and there's only been one review even posted on any of our authors' work (Something I published before forming the publishing house). I don't think it's too much to ask that if you put the time in to purchase the ebook, download the ebook, and read the ebook, that you take one more minute of your time and review and rate. Silence doesn't tell me what I'm doing right or wrong.

And finally, it's the holiday season, and I wanted to do something special, so I convinced all of the Destruction Productions authors to agree to donate 100% of our profits to cancer research. It seems every person I talk to these days has a relative or friend who's been diagnosed with cancer recently. With e-books costing less than your daily cup of coffee (Seriously, a Starbucks is about $5, all of our e-books are less than $4) you could be doing a whole lot of good for humanity just by purchasing an e-book. Every penny of our profit off of e-book sales between 11/10/11 and 12/24/11 will be donated to cancer research.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Giveaway!

In just 7 days I will be releasing Sketchbooks #2: Paper Lanterns, so I figured this would be the perfect time to do a giveaway. The rules/how to enter are simple: Comment on this blog post, and then go over to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emmaline-Westlund/162474990490828 and click "like." You are then officially entered. Only one entry per person, and the winner will be chosen at random once there are 10 people who have entered.

But what will you win?
Well, one GRAND PRIZE winner will receive a signed copy of Paper Dolls, a signed copy of Paper Lanterns, both e-books, and an official Destruction Productions hoodie (size will be XL).

Two runners up will each receive signed copies of Paper Dolls. 


Everyone else will receive the ebook of Paper Lanterns.

Tell your friends, tell your family, let everyone know about this giveaway!


EDIT: Giveaway will end on January 31st, 2012, regardless of entrant numbers. Winners will receive their physical prizes by the end of February (hopefully, haven't been able to order the hoodie yet). Re-Edit: This has been slightly modified since I no longer deal through Smashwords.com.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

My dreams

A while ago, I read that book, "The Secret" (The long and short of it: If you want something, think positive thoughts about it, write it down, visualize it, and the universe will give it to you). So some of it has already happened or is about to happen, but most of it is still just a visualization.

I'm going to list them right now:

~Own a big house in Grand Marais, MN
~Have 3 (or more) bestselling books to my name
~Meet Amanda Hocking, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz
~Have a macbook pro and an imac
~Be a millionaire
~Be a household name
~Be comprable to Twilight (in a good way)
~Be interviewed by the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press
~Quit at the gas station
~Run a cat sanctuary
~Live in Canada
~Travel the USA in a big ol' RV with Jimmy (cat)
~Learn to ride a motorcycle
~Sell 1,000 copies of Paper Dolls
~Own all the Sims games
~Be rich and famous
~Write 30 novels by the time I turn 30
~Meet Weird Al and Josh Groban
~Have 1,000 twitter followers
~Own 5,000 books (actual books, not ebooks)
~Write 200 good books and short stories
~Be very well "liked" on facebook

So there it is, the list of things I want. Really bad. I give it up to Allah and the universe, please deliver.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

New and Shiny!

First of all, I want to just give a shout out to my cousin, Jessie, and her blog over at I'm a Wife and Mama Now? She's pretty darn rad.

Anyway, I released a novella called Fatima. It's available at smashwords, accessible through this link: FatimaFatima Fatima Fatima Fatima Fatima Fatima Fatima yes I am spamming my own blog with a link to Fatima.

10 days until the release of Sketchbooks #2: Paper Lanterns.

And 20 days until the release of the Paper Dolls/Paper Lanterns combinovel: Paper Hearts. It will only be available as a paperback and it will be around $10.

A writing tip of the day: Don't listen to Microsoft Word's spell/grammar check when writing character dialogue.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

What's going on right now?

Why haven't I released Elizabeth Hayes yet?

Well, to be honest, I got half of the novel written then redesigned the entire storyline, so it won't be out until 2014 at the absolute earliest.

But but but but VAMPIRES!!!!????

Yes, I know, I know. And I'm sorry. But I have to be firm on this. I can't just drop the other projects I'm working on to work on vampires, even if they're sexy and non-sparkly.

What about Paper Lanterns? You're not postponing THAT are you? ARE YOU?????

Shucks no! Of course Paper Lanterns (The second book in the Sketchbooks series) will be released ON TIME! It will be available for purchase on October 14th of this year from Smashwords, and shortly after that on Amazon and the Nook store. And then about a week later in paperback.

Are you working on anything else right now?

OF COURSE I AM! I can't very well sit around and do NOTHING, can I? (Well, ok, the internet is pretty interesting, and OMFG I HAVE A TUMBLR NAO. YOU NEED TO FOLLOW IT. IT'S EMMALINEWESTLUND.TUMBLR.COM)

What comes out next, then?

First "Fatima," the first story of many in my Cedarcrest Chronicles (More info to come), then Paper Lanterns will be released on my birthday, Thoughts of a Strange Mind (a stream of consciousness memoir) will be released shortly after its completion at the end of November, and then Cigarette Papers (A collection of short stories and poetry) will be released around Christmas.
Somewhere in there "Paper Hearts," the first two books in the Sketchbooks Series, will be released. (It's a combined paperback that will cost around $9.00)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Long Blog is LOOOOOOOOOONG and full of excerpts!

Okay, so it isn't really all that long as far as me talking about stuff, but it is long and filled with excerpts from things that are coming out relatively soon that AREN'T in the Sketchbooks series.

My Sister's Keeper


My story starts with a birth, and will end with a death.  It's not my birth, and it won't be my death.  Though I sometimes wonder if it really wasn't.
On a cold November night, in my family's house- a large, ancient farmhouse that was falling apart- my mother gave birth to a little girl with curly, black hair.  She fell in love with her immediately, and named her Harmony. 
Unfortunately, that was also my name.  My mother seemed to have forgotten about her other daughter.  Me.  The moment I saw that baby for the first time, I knew that it was either her, or me.  There would not be enough love or affection for both of us.  At just shy of five years old, I had discovered that which many children fear at some point in their life:  my parents didn't love me.
For the next three years of my life, our lives, the two girls called Harmony, I would be referred to by my middle name, Anne, while my little sister, my mother's perfect child, would be referred to by our shared first name. 
“But Mama, I'm Harmony, I don't want to be called Anne,” I whined at breakfast one morning.  It was the middle of summer, I had just turned seven years old, and I had my hair in pigtails.  My father intervened on my behalf.
“Yes, Rachel, there must be some other name we can call Harmony Jane,” he called from the breakfast table.  In her high chair, my little sister cooed and made a mess of her baby food.  I scowled at her from across the table.  My mother came out of the kitchen with a displeased look on her face.
“Her name is Harmony Jane,” she replied, serving my father with a heaping plate of bacon and eggs, “and that is what she will be called.”  She disappeared back into the kitchen. 
“You know how I feel about that, Rachel,” my father said, “We already had Harmony Anne, how do you think she feels about having to share her name?”
“Anne should be glad that I didn't send her to live with your sister when Harmony Jane was born, James,” my mother said, giving my father a stern look as she emerged from the kitchen yet again and placed a plate of food in front of me.  She sat down across from me, next to my little sister, and scolded, “eat your food, Anne.” 
“Annannannanna,” said my sister through a full mouth of food, and my mother smiled adoringly down at her. 
“See?  Even your sister knows you're called Anne,” she said in a most patronizing tone.  I shoved my chair back, denting the wall where the chair hit, and ran out of the dining room.  My mother was furious, and spanked my bare bottom so hard I feared I would never be able to sit again. 
Two days after this incident, my aunt, Jeanne, came to claim me. 
My father hugged me and kissed my forehead and gave me his old fedora hat- it smelled exactly like the farm, with hints of his favorite cologne- and a small bouquet of flowers that I had helped to grow. 
My mother gave me a stiff, one-armed hug, sniffing, haughty, keeping Harmony Jane glued to her hip.  My two-and-a-half-year-old sister saw me wearing my father's hat and immediately began fussing, reaching out to grab this one thing that was mine and mine alone.
“I'll take good care of Harmony for you, James,” Jeanne told my father, helping me to load my belongings into the trunk of her car:  Two dolls, one small suitcase full of plain dresses, an extra pair of shoes, a down pillow, a half-finished crocheted scarf.  Before I got in the car, I latched myself to my father's leg, begging not to be sent away.
“Please Daddy, I don't want to go away.  I'll be a good girl, I'll be good.”  My father didn't say anything, but picked me up, all 58 pounds of me, and gently carried me to the passenger door of Auntie Jeanne's car.  He was a big man, tall, and made of all lean muscle.  He had rough, leathery hands from working on this farm for the majority of his life.  But when he held me or my sister, he was amazingly gentle. 
I cried as I rode away from home in that car, and didn't stop crying for nearly a week.


~~~~~~~~

Mortality

The soul makes a terrible sound when ripped from its human body. A scream, a whisper, the last gasp of a good cry, followed by silence: this is the closest approximation I can give you to its exact sound. After life has ended, it is all you ever hear. For all the worry one could give about what happens just after death, it is really quite simple, even if I was an anomaly.
I came upon that which could only be described as “God” shortly after death, as most people are wont to do. I was floating, or maybe simply existing, in a black void for what seemed to be an eternity before I happened to spot a shapeless figure that seemed to be made from light. It came closer, or I floated to it, and I could suddenly understand what had happened to me. However, it seemed confused by my complete lack of memories of a life as it probed deep into my being.
The being consumed me, and I could feel it trying to figure out what to do with me. As I waited for a second, or a millennium, my every sense was overloaded with pain, pleasure, suffering, anger, and just about every other human emotion. Thoughts took on words as hundreds of millions of voices filled me with what I could only describe as prayers. Please bless Mommy and Daddy and Kitty-poo and… No, please, please no, don’t take her, oh God why… Thank You, Lord, for the little girl You’ve blessed us with… God, grant me the serenity…
I didn’t want anything more than for the voices to stop, but would have gladly kept them had I known that I would be reduced to only hearing souls escape their hosts.
I wouldn’t learn my fate until long after I had begun to think that I would go mad for hearing so many people die. The God creature spit me out, and I woke up to see blue skies and countless faces staring back at me. I realized, quite abruptly, that I was no longer floating in a void. Faces veered dangerously close and then veered away from me. The numbness of floating was slowly replaced with pain. The pain became more and more unbearable as I realized that I was human again.
“Hold on, paramedics are on their way,” I heard someone shout. Other voices overlapped it, and for a moment, I remembered the anxiety that had engulfed me when I had been able to hear all that praying. That was when it occurred to me that I could remember the afterlife. It also occurred to me that I didn’t know anything about my life up until this point.
A young woman’s face came into view, very close to mine. “Robert, Rob, can you hear me?” she asked. I realized she was speaking to me. I blinked, unable to control my mouth enough to reply. Her face was familiar and warm, and I knew that her name was Cassandra. “Oh, Robert, please be all right!” I felt a warm hand against my face, and it was stunningly obvious to me that she was my girlfriend. The knowledge that hit me was sudden. My name was Robert Marcus Sanders; I owned a chain of convenience stores that my father had gifted me. I was 27 years old and had been dating Cassandra Vera Carter for more than two years.

~~~~~~~~~~~

 Elizabeth Hayes

Chapter 1 – 1864

She lived on a large tobacco plantation in the Deep South with her parents, older brother, and three sisters. She was, in his opinion, absolutely perfect. He had watched her grow from a small girl with unruly blond curls, into a beautiful, pale young woman. He waited, biding his time, hiding in the shadows, occasionally offering to help as an overseer on her family’s plantation just to get closer to her, using assumed names and taking great care to change his appearance as best he could each time. Her name was Elizabeth, and she had just turned seventeen.
The Civil War raged on, far north from the plantation and the girl. Elizabeth’s father was a firm supporter of the Confederacy, and the stranger knew it was the perfect opportunity. In the beginning of summer, just four short weeks after Elizabeth’s seventeenth birthday, he came wandering up to the main house of the plantation, dressed in standard military fashion.
A house slave greeted him at the door and quickly shuffled off to find the man of the house, Thomas Hayes. “What can I do for you,” Thomas asked as he approached the young man, his voice trailing off, fishing for a name. The young man offered his hand.
“Franklin’s my name, Jonathan Franklin,” he said quickly, shaking Thomas’ hand firmly, “I’m on my way up to join the fight, but I’m weary, and I’ve a long walk ahead of me. Would you be so kind as to allow me to rest here a night?” The younger man, the wolf in soldier’s clothing, was ruggedly handsome, with a nose that had obviously been broken a few times, stubble that could use a good shave, and piercing blue eyes. He was almost as pale as the girl he sought at this plantation, but there was a hint of a tan to his skin.
Thomas looked him over carefully, a plan coming together in his mind. “Jonathan Franklin, hmm?”
“Yes, Sir,” Jonathan replied eagerly.
“How old are you, son?” Thomas asked.
“Eighteen, Sir.”
“Eighteen,” Thomas echoed. He motioned for Jonathan to come into the parlor, and called up the stairs, “Elizabeth, would you come down here, please?”
“Coming, Papa!” Elizabeth replied as she closed her diary. Since turning seventeen, she had kept a very careful record of everything she did, as she felt that to be a very ladylike thing to do. She placed the diary beneath her pillow, and raced out of her bedroom to the main landing above the front entryway of the house. Looking down, she saw her father walking into the parlor, followed by a man she had never seen before. As she watched, he suddenly looked up and made fierce eye contact. She flushed bright red and quickly averted her gaze as she started down the stairs.
Before she followed the men into the parlor, she quickly smoothed her dress and ran her hands over her hair to quickly fix a few tangles. “You called for me, Papa?” she asked from the doorway. She curtsied when both men turned to greet her, and Jonathan Franklin bowed his head.
“Yes, Elizabeth, I would like you to give Mr. Franklin a tour of our home. He will be spending the evening here before continuing north to help defend our rights,” Thomas said, and Elizabeth felt her skin flush again. She took a step forward.
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Franklin,” she said shyly. Jonathan gently took her hand and kissed the back of it.
“The pleasure is all mine, Elizabeth,” he said, looking into her eyes. “You have a lovely daughter, Sir.” He turned his attention back to Thomas.
“Please, call me Thomas.”
There was a short, awkward silence before Elizabeth spoke, “Shall we start our tour?” Thomas nodded encouragingly, and Jonathan smiled warmly.
“Certainly. Lead the way, Miss Elizabeth,” Jonathan said, his voice low and seductive. Thomas watched as Jonathan took Elizabeth’s arm and escorted her out of the room.
“Well, this is the foyer, as you may have guessed,” Elizabeth giggled, “through that door back there,” she pointed behind the staircase, “is the kitchen. Up here,” they began walking up the stairs to the second floor of the three-story house, “is where my sisters and I have our bedrooms.” She led Jonathan along through the hallway to the room at the end, and she opened the door very slightly. “This is my room,” she said, squeezing his arm. His smile turned to a devious smirk. His plan was working; the girl was already showing interest in him, as was her father. It would not take much to get his way.
He peered into the room, wrapping his hand around Elizabeth’s, causing her to blush once more. Her bedroom was painted a pale pink, with linens dyed to match. She had a small writing desk and a simple wooden chair in one corner, and a huge armoire to the side of the door. “Beautiful,” he murmured. They wandered along back to the staircase and ascended to the third floor.
“My parents’ bedroom is up here, as is our attic,” Elizabeth continued to give her little narrative of the tour.
“Has this house been in your family long?” Jonathan asked, feigning interest in the tour. He couldn’t have cared less about the house; it was the girl that he was unable to take his eyes off of.
“My Grandfather built it when my Papa was a little boy,” Elizabeth replied, smiling a shy little smile. She was having a difficult time keeping her focus off the gentleman she was with. “Are you really going off to fight in the war? Aren’t you afraid of getting killed?”
The innocence in her question took Jonathan by surprise. He let go of her arm, gently pulling away from her grip, and turned to face her. Lost for a moment in her big doe eyes, he carefully thought out the next words he would say. He carefully reached forward and brushed a thick tangle of curls out of her face, allowing his hand to linger against her cheek. Elizabeth should have pulled away, this was not very well-mannered behavior for a young man who was alone with a lady, but she couldn’t seem to find the strength to move.
“So innocent,” Jonathan whispered, his voice barely audible. Elizabeth couldn’t look away from his eyes, astounded at how blue they were. They were almost hypnotic. He stepped closer, their faces were only inches apart. “The only thing I fear, right now, is this moment ending, Elizabeth,” he murmured. The girl wanted nothing more than for their lips to meet, and it shocked her to realize this. She found her feet again and inched closer, slowly closing her eyes.
Thomas Hayes came to the third story landing just as the two teenagers kissed, and ripped Elizabeth from the man’s grasp.
“I see you’ve gotten more than just a tour of my home. I suggest you leave, Mr. Franklin.”


~~~~~~

As you can plainly see, I have been a very busy woman. Lots and lots of writing done, lots and lots more to go.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Current Timeline

Good news, everyone!  Sketchbooks #2: Paper Lanterns is about 10000 words from completion, and will be submitted to the editor(s) at the end of August. It is on the right track to being released with no delay on the date I have specified previously, my 23rd birthday, October 14th of 2011. After this release, one Sketchbooks Series book will be released every birthday until the final book is out.
I still plan to release Random Thoughts: a Peek Into My Brain in December, along with an anthology of short stories (not all by me) entitled Cigarette Papers.
Mortality, My Sister's Keeper, and Roma and Julie are my next big projects, to be released in June each year for the next three years, starting, most likely, with Roma and Julie. I am working on so many books right now that I'm not really sure what the next thing to be released will be.
I am working very hard on my writing, and I believe that I am still working within my 30 novels before I turn 30 deadlines.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My life, right now

Hey there, blogoverse. Blogosphere? People of the Internet, uh, hello, is this thing on?
It must be, because I'm doing a post about me (with some mild book-related stuff toward the end).
Today I got a phone call from my best friend, Crysten, saying that she was in town (which is rare because she lives all the way down in Iowa, approximately 10 hours away). She came and we hung out and caught up a bit in the parking lot of my apartment building, and I got to meet her son for the first time, and he's about to turn two. I was so glad to see them, to hug them-
But the hole that it has left in me is killing me now. Her leaving again, with her kid (the last time I had seen her she was only starting to be pregnant (I mean she was like maybe three months), and now her kid's about to turn two, and I don't know when I'll see them again. I want desperately to get in the car and drive down to Iowa and hide in her closet.
I have separation anxiety I think. Every time I've ever had to let go of someone, even for them to just go home from a sleepover at my house or vice versa, I get depressed, I get anxious, and I get bored. It feels as though I'll never be happy again, never complete, never myself. It passes pretty quickly, usually, with the exception of a few people: Crysten, my ex-boyfriend Jon, my ex-roommates in Cali JJ and Jax. The pain from the latter three just finally eased enough for me to breathe again within the last year.
I'm trying to occupy my mind so I don't dwell too much on the fact that my best friend since 1st Grade lives too far away for me to visit, so I've done some work (in my head) on Paper Lanterns (October 14th, 2011) and Sucker (June 2012). I've decided more about MY version of vampires, and that will be revealed slowly as I build to the releases of my vampire-based novels Sucker and Elizabeth Hayes.

I leave you with a request: Search Destruction Productions on Smashwords and check out my work and the work of a few other lovely ladies.
Search Destruction Productions on Facebook and "like" my publisher page.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's 3 AM and I should be doing anything but this

And yet I choose to waste my last few minutes before going to bed on blogging. I've only written about 100 words of fiction today, and that has to at least be up by 40X tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Why? Because I'm behind on just about every writing project I currently have. But then again, having to work double time often produces pretty good results from me, I'm good with pressure.
Bossman comes back from his epic long vacation tomorrow, should be back by Monday. Cannot wait to have him back, working with no real manager? So not fun. I'm a person who needs that leadership structure if I'm gonna be working teh retails.

Aside from that, I only have one thing to say with this blog: Reviews. Now, downloads are nice, books being bought are awesome, but it's all pointless if I get no feedback whatsoever. A "hey, this book rocked!" would be nice, as would, "Oh my god this person can't write worth a shit!!" The fact that I've had 1 (seriously, only ONE) review since I started publishing is kinda disheartening. Please, if  you have read my work, PLEASE REVIEW. I cannot get better if I don't know what I need to improve on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Of Twilight

I have to put it out there. I am a Twilight fan. Not a diehard twitard, but definitely a fan. I enjoyed reading the books, well, not all of the books. Breaking Dawn made about as much sense as taking a course in Spanish when you're about to go to Japan.
My favorite character would have to be Billy Black, even though he literally had no personality.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls is my first novella.  It is around 15000 words, and it is part of the "Sketchbooks" Series, which will be seven books long.

I released Paper Dolls at the end of May.  It is available both in paperback and ebook form (kindle!).  It is $0.99 in the Kindle store, or $2.99 for the ebook through lulu.com.  The paperback is $6.99.

CreateSpace.com version

Lulu.com version

Kindle Version

Welcome!

My name is Emmaline Westlund, I am a writer/disgruntled retail worker who wants to be a full-time writer.  I figured starting a blog would be the best way to start getting my name out there.

A little info:  I was born in October of 1988.  I have lived in the same town for 21 years of my life.  I have three cats.  I have one book published (currently), and four more in the works.  You can find links to my book(s) and information on purchasing them in the "Links" section up top.

All my books will be priced between $0.99 and $5.99 (e-book edition), or $6.99 and $12.99 (paperback through createspace.com).

Periodically, I will sell off signed copies of my books, and every once in a while, I will give away awesome book merch.

I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you, my readers, very, very soon.

Until next time!