I came across a pretty darn cool app on my phone called Bloglovin’ – it gathers all sorts of different blogs together into one location. It has an Instagram look and feel to it, but you can actually include links (which is awesome). In my opinion this is one of the most useful apps for finding and following great content providers especially in niche categories. Can you guess which types of blogs I’m following?? 🙂
This app really impressed me because I have spent hours looking through the internet looking specifically for active book blogs and end up coming across so many dead links or abandoned sites.
Even though I’m not setup for full swing consistency yet (I am working on it), I’m adding my blog to the list too – hopefully as I generate more content, a few people will start to follow me through this app too, I think that’d be fun!
I use the app on iPhone and love how it works. It’s also available on Android but I haven’t had chance to test it yet, I’ll have to hi-jack my mom’s phone!
Check it out and let me know what you think about it too.
It’s been just over one year since I first self-published Dreams of Beautiful Whisper as an eBook. It’s been a pretty wonderful year as a few hundred copies of my book has made it’s way into the hands of readers. Certainly not off the charts, but a number I’ve been pleased with as it’s allowed me to kind of dip my toe to test the waters.
Generally speaking, I’m not a timid person. I’m not arrogant, but I don’t have low self-esteem either. I love me, I love my life and I’m proud of my accomplishments. So imagine my surprise when I realized just how incredibly nervous I was about putting my first book out to the public for strangers to love or hate.
This is why I found that the toe dipping approach worked well for me. While I love my friends and family, having them tell me that they loved or enjoyed my book felt biased and at times even challenging to fully believe – well of course they love it, they love me. I feel lucky to have a very wonderful and supportive network of people around me who truly believe in me.
But what made my heart soar even more, was when complete strangers, who don’t know a thing about me, started to give me feedback. The lowest rating I’ve received is 3-stars and even those still talk about how they enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next one.
As a newbie to writing fiction, I’ve spent a ton of time researching the ins and outs of writing and publishing. One thing that has surprised me is the number of authors who say “just get it written and move on to the next one”. The theory is that a writer can get paralyzed by perfectionism. By needing to do just one more read through; one more re-write. From that angle, I get it and it does make sense. However, I’m not a dump and run kind of gal. Even after making my book available publicly, I still kept taking another look and pondering parts of what I’d written and what I hadn’t written. In my heart I knew there were more improvements that could be made.
So I kept reviewing and pondering and working with other people to get more feedback and suggestions. In the end, I’ve decided to go ahead with a pretty substantial re-write. Don’t panic if you’ve read the book! The actual “story” isn’t changing, but I do think that you’ll like the revisions when they’re all done. Plus I am still working hard on Book 2, which I hope to even better from the growth I’ve gone through and the way the Book 1 re-write will spill over into it.
Throughout this journey, I’ve learned that for the moment, I’m not in a position to be pumping out new books every 3-6 months. Perhaps when I’m able to write full-time that can happen, but not right now. And my grandfather always used to tell me that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
I’ve read books that have been published and reached incredible heights of success, only to find that I didn’t really find the writing to be anything spectacular. I don’t claim to be any sort of literary genius, not even close. I’m writing to entertain and hopefully to offer a little bit of light of positive influence to a few people. However, I still want to make sure that I put my absolute best foot forward.
So, for now, the current version of Dreams of Beautiful Whisper will be unpublished and I will also do my best to keep you updated more consistently on the progress.
Thank you for the part you have played so far in this journey – you’re the reason I want to offer my absolute best.
Please join me on Saturday,
September 26th starting at 1pm
at Pharmasave in Black Diamond
If you already have a paperback edition, feel free to bring it by.
If you don’t have a copy yet, there will be copies available for purchase.
Hope to see you all there!
Just a quick one this time to let everyone know that I spent a bit of time on the weekend rounding up the reviews (that I know about) from a few locations and adding them to my review page here on my website. There’s 14 in total so far with about a 4.7 star rating!
If you’ve read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, please consider leaving a review online, they are such a huge help for authors!
Places you can post reviews:
Also, if you have read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, consider joining the closed Facebook group I’ve created where we will start to discuss different aspects of the book and characters – spoilers will be involved! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1474719996171451/
If you haven’t read it yet please consider grabbing a copy through Amazon – eBook and Print editions are both available. If you live around Black Diamond, Pharmasave also has print editions, plus I’ll be at Pharmasave on Saturday, September 26th starting at 1pm to do book signings.
I’ve been doing a bunch of research on various ways of promoting my book(s) and getting the word out there – this is beginning to prove my suspicions of a touch of A.D.D. It’s like I find one idea, work with it for a while, then go “oh look something new and shiny!” Definitely not the best way to approach things. But there are soooo many great ideas and things to do and frankly I just don’t have the time to do them all (at least not consistently and effectively).
This led me to look into the concept of Street Teams. They sound kind of cool, they could probably be a neat idea – but again, they’re very time consuming for the organizer(s). I’d love to organize a Street Team, but I would hate to let them down and end up lacking in sufficient organization, guidance and consistency.
So that put me back to plugging away at as much as I can cram in a day (which will be less and less in the months to come). I need to do something differently!
So I got thinking, I tend to be an out of the box kind of gal, so why not encourage an informal Street Team concept? It’s a place to start and I’ve notice that I’m already kind of ahead of the game to many authors because I actually have a “Media Kit” page already setup and started that I can easily add to and anyone can access.
Ok, here’s the deal. I need people, who have read and enjoyed my book, to help me spread the word about it – that’s a huge part of book marketing. I’m not looking for people who will just spam out links here, there and everywhere. I need people who really have read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, who thoroughly enjoyed it, who want to see it become wildly popular and who want me to focus on finishing book 2 instead of promoting book 1.
I need these people to share out content from my Media Kit within their networks, to their family, to their friends and their friends’ friends.
At this stage of the game, I really have very little to offer in exchange for this help. I can’t hire people and I don’t have a garage full of swag to give away. So ya, I’ve got nothing to offer lol. I’m requesting a labour of love basically. The opportunity to participate in a “Pay-it-forward” campaign in return for the gratification of knowing you were an integral part of bringing Dreams of Beautiful Whisper and The Elves of Eytherfel to the world.
I do want to be able to easily contact and recognize the very special people who choose to help me out with this, therefore I ask that you please signup below so that I have a list of all you wonderful people – yes all 2 of you! 😉
Plus, if you haven’t yet read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, and/or you can’t afford the eBook, know that when you signup with the form below you will receive links to a free copy of the eBook in a couple of different formats. (My apologies to those who already bought it – but know that I do deeply appreciate it!!!)
So – I think, here’s the deal with where this is at….
- Signup with the form below
- Read the book (if you haven’t already)
- Write a review and post it to: amazon.com, GoodReads, my website (reviews are HUGE and golden for any book)
- Pick 1 day per week to select something from my Media Kit (or from one of my social accounts) to share out to your friends, groups, pretty much everywhere and anywhere that you hang out
Another thing that can be done is nominating my book in various Facebook and GoodReads groups for pick as “book of the month” type things – an author can’t nominate their own book. Then of course voting for my book in such groups that my book has been nominated in.
Ideally, to start with, I’d like to round up 7 people – one for each day of the week – willing to do this on a long term basis.
Thanks in advance!! If you’re reading this – YOU are awesome! Your support and encouragement is appreciated more than I’ll ever be able to express.
When you subscribe, you will be sent a confirmation email that you must click to opt-in for this. There is a very good chance that this email will end up in your spam box – please be sure to check there a few minutes after subscribing and mark it as “not spam” to help ensure that future emails from me don’t end up there too.
For those of you who have been patiently waiting… it’s finally here!
Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is now on the shelves at Pharmasave in Black Diamond!
If you’re not from Black Diamond, Pharmasave is located on the north side of Centre Avenue (the main road when you come into Black Diamond from Okotoks) – west of the 4-way stop!
Their hours are:
Tuesday: 9:00 – 7:00 Wednesday: 9:00 – 7:00 Friday: 9:00 – 7:00 Saturday: 9:00 – 6:00 But quantities are limited… so you might want to hurry to save any further delays! For those of you who have already read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, or are currently reading it – don’t forget that your review/feedback would be most appreciated – by both myself and other readers. If you’ve previously purchased items through Amazon, then you can leave a review on Amazon, just go to the product page for your country: If you can’t leave a review on Amazon, you can leave one through GoodReads: Finally, reviews can also be left on my website at: You’re welcome to post reviews in any or all of these locations. Thank you once again for your ongoing support and encouragement!
Tuesday: 9:00 – 7:00
Wednesday: 9:00 – 7:00
Friday: 9:00 – 7:00
Saturday: 9:00 – 6:00
But quantities are limited… so you might want to hurry to save any further delays!
For those of you who have already read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, or are currently reading it – don’t forget that your review/feedback would be most appreciated – by both myself and other readers.
If you’ve previously purchased items through Amazon, then you can leave a review on Amazon, just go to the product page for your country:
If you can’t leave a review on Amazon, you can leave one through GoodReads:
Finally, reviews can also be left on my website at:
You’re welcome to post reviews in any or all of these locations.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and encouragement!
I just want to say a big thank you once again. The Online Purchase Party through Facebook on Monday (July 27th) was a fun little event and it was terrific to share it with all of you. Your support and encouragement is incredible and because of all of you I am now able to make the claim of becoming an Amazon bestseller (in three categories!).
For anyone who missed out, please don’t feel that you did actually miss out. Promoting a book and getting it out to the public is an ongoing process that truly never ends. Bestseller lists are also fickle – there’s always new books coming out (the nerve right? lol).
So if you didn’t get your copy of Dreams of Beautiful Whisper yet, it’s never too late. The links to purchase the eBook or the paperback version for various countries are available on this page:
It’s a fun read that is proving to be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.
While the primary target readers are teen/YA girls, it definitely has cross-over appeal to adults, both men and women. It’s great for a fun, escapism style read, but it also deals with a variety of issues and problem solving that teens and even adults face on a day-to-day basis.
If you’d like to know more about the book, the characters and me as an author, please visit this page: http://tanyajones.ca/media-kit
Thank you again! Happy reading!
Well things are really starting to happen now for Dreams of Beautiful Whisper! The print edition will be releasing soon, we’ll let you know the date as soon as the final kinks are worked out.
In the meantime, the eBook edition is on sale from
$5.98 down to $2.99, plus as an added bonus Smashwords users can download the eBook version for FREE using this coupon code: RX48U today and tomorrow!
Oh I LOVE summer!!! So much more time available and I only needed a small motivational nudge!
So, here’s what’s going on…
When most people ask me what Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is about, I tend to say “Elves, Magic and Romance – it’s a YA Fantasy novel”. But when I really stop and think about it, the entire series deals with problem solving – a fundamental skill that all teens (actually everyone) should have a strong grasp of. But teens in particular, with all the many issues they face often for the first time, are so much more equipped to deal with issues as they arise if they have strong problem solving and analytical skills.
There’s the obvious bigger issues addressing sexuality, substance abuse, disorders and bullying, but also in the areas that may not be so obvious yet affect far larger percentages of our teens such as relationships, activities, peer pressure (even when it doesn’t seem negative), personal image, attitude, general behaviour – even the best behaved most well adjusted kids have bad days or make bad choices.
I think it’s great that there are so many books out there that deal with the heavy topics and give certain teens something to relate to and ponder, maybe even learn and grow from. But my focus is more on the ordinary, the teens who aren’t dealing with bigger than life issues, they are dealing with the regular, everyday issues. I think that because they are generally seen as being incredibly lucky, well adjusted, average kids that they often get left to their own devices.
The purpose of The Elves of Eytherfel series wasn’t to teach, it was to entertain and perhaps provide a small escape from the grind of day-to-day life. But I am who I am and without even realizing it or intending it Dreams of Beautiful Whisper ended up with a healthy dose of problem solving mixed in and it depicts teens who are compassionate, considerate, respectful and loving. Armed with this awareness I can say that the second book of the series will build on this.
The result is that besides being YA Fantasy novels, they are also part of a somewhat more rare genre mix that would be identified as “Reality Fiction Fantasy Crossover”. The reason it is rare is due to the oxymoron “Reality Fantasy” – it’s rather contradictory. However, the truth is that the Elven World in this series are hidden areas of our current modern world; there is a tremendous amount of similarity between the Elves and the Humans; there is even a bit of friction between the two “nationalities”; but more noticeable are the parallels in the issues that the characters face throughout the series – parents forcing a teen to move away from the town she grew up in and her boyfriend; questions surrounding matters of the heart; dealing with the introduction of unsettling information; questions of identity; struggling to see themselves for who they are meant to be; struggling to see the strength and beauty of themselves as seen by others; facing the frustration and challenges of learning new skills.
Learning to master a new magical power is really no different than learning to master a musical instrument or a sport – it requires the same amount of effort and dedication. Whether a teen is being moved to a different town, province, country or hidden realm is ultimately redundant – it isn’t any easier regardless of the destination.
The beauty of linking Fantasy with Reality Fiction is that readers are still able to relate to the characters and the challenges they’re facing, but they’re also able to enjoy the escapism and entertainment that fantasy provides. It’s not as heavy and is often more enjoyable to read.
While Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is not overloaded with problem solving activity, it is unquestionably present, we get to see a deeper glimpse into how Amanda handles and deals with everything life has to throw at her. This thread will be expanded upon in the second book.
I hope you choose to buy Dreams of Beautiful Whisper and embark upon the journey with Amanda, her friends and family.
“I was so grateful for at least having the last month, as it gave me more time with Jordan; my best friend, my love, my anchor. He was nearly as devastated as me when I told him that my parents were making me move. But after the initial shock, we set our minds to our own planning. Working out visit, phone and email schedules, I gained confidence that we could get through this! I turn sixteen in May and we agreed that I would finish this school year in my new school. Then in July I would move back here, we would get our own place and finish our last year of school together. Having a plan worked out seemed to make things easier to bear. It allowed me to think of the move more like a long vacation – something temporary. My parents seemed a little uneasy with my sudden calmness about the move, but that’s just me – if I don’t have a plan I’m a complete wreck, but once a plan is in place I can take on the world – bring it on!”
Amanda – Dreams of Beautiful Whisper
Well June was expected to be busy – it’s proving to be insane. I find I haven’t had as much time to sit and write as I would like, but I am definitely still plugging away at it. But even with not much actual writing time happening, my mind is constantly drawn to my characters and the story they want to share and they’re being pretty vocal. Can’t wait for the summer break when I’ll have more writing time available.
As people have been asking me what my books are about, I usually give the standard “Oh you know, it’s a young adult fantasy, with elves and magic.” But this weekend I spent some time pondering this a bit deeper. When I first wrote book one, Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, I had no deeper meaning or message that I was trying to convey. I decided I wanted to write a book, so I wrote it. It really was intended for entertainment purposes, not a life lesson. However, the more I analyze my own work (which by the way is kinda weird to do), I’ve come to realize that though it wasn’t intentional, there is in fact a deeper meaning and message within my book.
In most of my business life I have focused on how I can help the little guy, the small businesses that don’t qualify for any special grants or special treatment and struggle the good ‘ol fashion way to make ends meet. Surprisingly, these average, normal businesses are very large in numbers – in fact, I’d venture an educated-guess to say that they make up a majority of private sector businesses.
Without ever having thought much about it, I’ve come to realize that I’m actually a big fan and supporter of the “average” and the “normal” – our majority. I find that most people, if they’re inclined, look to fight for a cause that they can support and most often that ends up being a cause in support of a minority of some sort. Something that a relatively small percentage of our society is actually affected by directly.
Then you see a lot of comments go around regarding the apathy of Canadians, how so many don’t take up a cause and just keep to themselves. I’ve often considered myself to be in this apathetic group. I’m not an activist and I’m not a fan of anything taken to “extremes”. I’m a Libra, I like balance and I’m pro-choice on pretty much any topic you want to throw at me. Live and let live.
It was in pondering all of this that I had an ‘aha’ moment and it was during that moment that I realized that my philosophy and belief system has most definitely woven its way into my books.
I’ll likely get deeper into this topic over time, but for now, let’s suffice it to say this – my books are about normal, average teens who come from good, loving families, who are overall healthy and well adjusted. They’re comfortable with their lives for the most part and they are learning the skills of coping, managing and problem solving – they represent the majority and in essence pretty much all teens as they have been, are or will be at some point. The books are fiction, they are meant for entertainment, however, my characters are still dealing with issues regarding self-identity, family, relationships… and my characters deal with all of this in their own way – ways that are built on from a place of love, respect, compassion and empathy. There are no religious undertones in my books; there is no focus on minority issues; my books don’t revolve around sexuality, substance abuse, disorders etc. Yes those are all important issues and there are plenty of advocates for them. My books focus on the mainstream average teens, jazzed up via elves and magic, and reflect that teens do not need to be labelled or have some major issue in their lives in order to have real-life, day-to-day issues and problems that they need to cope with and problem solve around. But at the end of the day it’s really not “what” the issue is, it’s “how” the issue is dealt with and reacted to. Will our own teens be faced with learning that they are in fact an eighty-four year old elf with incredible powers? (That would be kinda cool in my opinion lol) No, they won’t, but they could very well be faced with learning that they were adopted or that their parents are getting a divorce or that their best friend is moving half way across the world. While we may not be able to pick and choose our “issues” we most certainly can pick and choose our reactions – it makes no difference at all how big or small the issue is.
With book 1, Dreams of Beautiful Whisper completed and only 9 days left until it’s official release, I’ve been focusing mostly on marketing & research. I’ve been jotting down notes and expanding outlines on book 2, but up until now I hadn’t actually started writing it. Well this weekend Amanae would wait no more! I’m over 6,000 words into book 2. I’m excited about the surprises in store for you. Thank you again for being a part of this journey!
At the moment I’ve probably got about a couple dozen or so free copies of my book out there. Thank you all so much for wanting to be a part of this journey!
As I’ve been working away on things here on my end, I’ve been reading up on reviews and reading reviews on other books. I’ve also been talking to people and learning that, understandably, writing a review can feel like a daunting task.
So I thought it might be appropriate to send out a general post to give readers some ideas. While the more sophisticated, analytical type reviews can be cool to receive too – they don’t all need to be like that. And frankly, most average readers either don’t have the time, the desire or even the know how to write those types of reviews. So here’s a few thoughts about what can help a book and author in various ways.
1) Ratings really do matter. If you’re a member of GoodReads or Amazon or anything similar that provides a “star rating” option – this is a super easy way to show your like or dislike of a book and it makes a difference for that book.
2) You can absolutely keep it simple. “I really enjoyed reading this book.” or “I wasn’t particularly fond of this book.” While these don’t really tell the author very much, they are at least saying “something”.
3) Take #2 a step further and provide a simple “why”. “I really enjoyed reading this book because I was able to relate to the characters.” (or: it was fun to read; I loved [NAME]’s character; it made me laugh or cry… anything that gives other readers (and the author) a bit of insight into “why”. The same for if you didn’t like it. Maybe there were too many typos, or you couldn’t pronounce the character names, or it simply wasn’t your cup of tea (too wishy washy, too much romance, not enough romance, not enough killing, too much killing etc) – again, just a simple glimpse helps.
4) Take #3 a step further and provide more than one “why”. Maybe there were things that you both liked and disliked – say what they were. Again, this doesn’t need to be fancy or long-winded – just say what’s on your mind, exactly the way you would if you were talking to your best friend about it. Keep it real and constructive – if the book needs work, explain (the best you can) why it needs work and what you feel would make it better.
No matter what angle you take, the only real suggestion I have is to stay away from extremes. “I loved this book, it was the best thing ever written in the entire universe!!!!!!!” or worse… “I absolutely hated this book from the depths of my soul. It was the biggest abomination to ever exist.” These are in no way helpful – the extreme on the positive comes across completely fake and frankly, is in no way likely true; the extreme on the negative is just plain mean – a real, live, breathing human being wrote this book. It’s a part of them, who they are and took a tremendous amount of effort and courage to get it into your hands – there is no reason to insult anyone like that, ever.
I hope this helps a few people to provide some feedback – whether it’s on my book or someone else’s.
So I have to admit that this type of blogging is a new thing for me. I don’t like talking about “me” lol. Don’t get me wrong, I can go on for hours and hours about a project or idea or something I’m “working on” – but “me” nah, I’m good thanks lol. But at some point I have to acknowledge that I’ve crossed over into a whole new world and one that – if I should happen to succeed – will be looking a whole lot at “me”. Not to mention that by the very nature of “writing” it is a piece of “me”. So here goes, my first bragging rights, (and frankly rather exciting) a real live review, from a real live (non-related) stranger all the way over in Australia!
Here’s the link just to prove it’s authentic lol: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1252696475?book_show_action=true&page=1
There’s four days left on the free coupons I’ve been sending out to get a pre-release copy of my book for free. While I’ve not been making reviews a “condition” of getting a free copy, not going to lie, I would greatly appreciate people providing me with reviews, it’s a big part of the publishing industry.
At the moment there’s a few options for providing a review:
GoodReads (if you have an account): http://goodreads.com
My website: http://tanyajones.ca/dreams-of-beautiful-whisper/ (just scroll to the bottom of this page and leave it in the comments)
Amazon reviews won’t be available until April 29th when the book officially releases.
If you haven’t got a copy yet and would like one (especially so that you can provide a review) let me know! Leave a comment, send an email – you can try smoke signals but no guarantee I’ll receive them! 🙂
And this is where it all comes together! We’ve picked our release date…
April 30, 2015
Man it’s so close, yet so far! I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.
Plus, the pre-release copy is also ready! Woohoo!
I’m stream-lining the process of getting the book into the hands of early readers, so we have setup an order cart on the Morgan Books website with coupon codes available to suit a range of people. http://morganbooks.ca/product/dreams-of-beautiful-whisper/
The eBook is retailing for $5.98. Through the Morgan Books website, if you enter the code: TJ50 you will get 50% off the list price or if you enter the code: TJ100 you will get 100% off, getting it for free. This is an exclusive opportunity to read a copy of my book before it is released to the public. Right now my biggest desire is to get copies out to as many readers as I can to raise awareness and to start acquiring reviews.
I would be honoured if you would be interested in downloading and reading my book and please do not hesitate to use the TJ100 coupon to get it for free. I do not want anyone to feel even the slightest of obligations to pay for the book, especially at this time. If you really like it, then maybe you can purchase an autographed paperback down the road when they are available! 🙂
If you do enjoy the book, I would so much appreciate it if you would provide a brief review on my website at the bottom of this page: http://tanyajones.ca/dreams-of-beautiful-whisper/
And/or at the bottom of the product page on the Morgan Books website:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email and for helping me to share out this information if you are moved to do so!
Ok honestly, this was so much fun! Please let me know what you think! We’ll be starting the countdown to release day soon!
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