Of Darkness and Light has release dates

That’s right!  The time is here and you finally have confirmation.  As we begin this new journey into The Vampire Realm let me tell you that it has been one heck of a ride for me.  I’m completely excited to announce this!  Keep checking back at jsriddle.com for up to date information, like a cover reveal, pre-order links, event dates and much more.  If you haven’t done so add me on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, or my new tumblr.

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Reblogging; Social Media…….Why It’s the Bane of My Existance

Before I share this post, I want to just put it out there.  We know I’m not really that versed in social media and I’ve blogged about it sooooooooooo many times I should have had it on repeat.  I try, I get frustrated, I get no interaction even when I put a prompt out there for open discussion.  Waxing and Waning it seems.  I also feel very terrible if I’m always throwing things in people’s face.  As much as I would love to sell my book, I also don’t want to be the author that get’s on people’s nerves by virtually jumping up in the air waving my hands screaming “pick me! pick me!”  It may work for other’s but apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that it’s just not for everyone and I totally feel the pain.

 

I’m leaving snippets but feel free to link over to the article…..one that I have no cross promotion involved in AT ALL (not even a WordPress)

Please shut up: Why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.

Let’s talk about marketing, shall we?

It’s 2012. I’m sitting at a table in the front of the room, a microphone poised to capture my every word. At this local writing conference, I am considered a rock star. Everyone in the audience wants what I have–a three-book contract with a traditional publishing company. Their eyes are hungry, their pens poised over notebooks. We take a question from the crowd.

“How do I build a platform and make money with my blog?” a woman asks.

“Build a time machine and go back to 2005 and start your blog then,” I say.

Because it’s the truth. In this oversaturated market, the only ways to build a following and profit from it are to have been around for 5-10 years already or to already be famous. The woman sits down, unhappy with my answer. But no one else on the panel has a better one. Because there is no easy answer, no secret to building a following.

Scary, right?

It scares me, too.

From the very beginning of my writing career, I’ve been told that publishers want a writer to have a brand, a platform, a blog, a built-in army of fans. But that was 2009, and now it’s 2015, and that doesn’t work anymore. Book blogs become paid services, giveaways become chum pits, conference-goers dump purses full of business cards out in the trash to make room for more free books that they won’t read. It is virtually impossible to get your blog seen or your book discovered. We are glutted with information, and yet our answer to “How do I get people to buy my book?” is social media marketing, which is basically throwing more information out into the void.

Why?

1. Because Twitter doesn’t sell books.

2. Because Facebook hides posts for blackmail purposes.

3. Because people aren’t on Instagram to find new books.

4. Because tumblr is not a spectator sport.

5. Because book reviews are not a place for the author.

6. Because I hate newsletters and hashtag parties too much to inflict them on anyone else.

 

……………………..Would fishing be fun if the fish jumped out of the ocean and smacked you in the face?

Nope.

And that’s what a lot of social media by authors is starting to look like, to feel like: being smacked in the face, repeatedly, by hundreds of fish. Being pushed. Being assaulted and yelled at and chased. Being manipulated and prodded and possibly tricked. ………

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

The humanity in darkness always comes through…

Now that you are all caught up with the “Here’s what you missed” post, darlings, enjoy the latest excerpt and tell us your thoughts. 😉
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The young girl looked down and found a small bird that must have fallen out of the tree. Its tiny hairless squawking body quivering as she picked up the injured babe. She looked at it curiously. “Where’s your mommy?” Ariana spoke gently to the baby bird. It only squawked in response. Ariana looked over at her cousin and noticed that he was too occupied with Rachel to really care about her new find. As she left them to each other she stood, bird in palm as she glanced above her and listened. She heard the sound of other babies in a nest above. Without even thinking about it, she jumped straight up into the tree directly near the nest of baby birds. “Here you go, you can go back to your….”Ariana said to the fallen bird in her hand. She gasped in horror as she realized that her fists were clenched and as she slowly released her fingers, the little hairless body lay still. It was no longer as active as it’s brothers and sisters. In her eagerness to rejoin it with its family she must have suffocated it in her leap. Unexplainable emotion gathered inside of her and she began to cry for the dead bird. Her pain and anguish built up over the emotion and she felt something inside her change. She took in one deep breath and closed her eyes, thinking about the little bird that bellowed to her below. As she exhaled, a small vapor flowed out of her mouth and into the bird’s tiny beak. She opened her eyes when she felt the tiny movement in her hand. She wasn’t sure how she did it but she had brought the little bird back to life. “There you go.” She said as she placed it back with its siblings.

In Case You Missed It

Of Darkness and Light

Over the past month you’ve been given a few little tastes of what’s in store for the next journey into The Vampire Realm.  In Case you missed it check out all the goodies.   Discussion points for all!

Has Tessa changed since becoming Queen of the Leveˊ’s?  What will she face now that the Krones have been defeated?

Watch as Tessa struggles with her conscience of who she was and who she is becoming

Emma has always made a point that she never wanted to be with Tessa.  What will happen when she gets her wish?

Emma escapes the compound to be with her mother, what will she come upon?  What will she learn on her journey?

Jason holds a duty and a position; what happens when things go amiss?  How does Jason handle himself in the new world with his new ward?

Fell it as he frantically searches for the most important thing to the Leveˊ empire, maybe even the human race.

Emma gets the reunion she has been wanting with her mother.

Is the reunion everything Emma has expected?

Once you’ve caught up you will be meet Ariana and let me tell you, writing anything about Ariana gives me goose bumps.  If you liked Tessa, you’ll love Ariana.  Catch up, stay tuned, and if you haven’t read Rise of a Queen or know someone you are dying to have a discussion about it with, Check out the many ways to get your copy on the main page HERE for your Kindle, Nook, Kobo or even a physical copy.

 

Be well and enjoy catching up.

 

What lengths a mother will go to….

We know you’ve read Rise of a Queen, and are drooling for more. Ready for a reunion? So are we. Take a look and let us know what you think!
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I don’t understand,” Emma started, “I thought you were protecting the humans.” Her eyes looking for answers.

I am.” Melinda stood up. “Humans have a right to take our land and our lives back.”

Emma raised her voice. “Not if you destroy it all. Whatever happened to protecting? Defending? Saving? I see none of that.”

Melinda equaled in pitch with her daughter. “We’ve been doing that all these years and look what it has gotten us? Resources are depleted, people are starving, and we have no means to live outside of their territory anymore. This is becoming a wasteland and it is happening all around us.” Melinda raised her hands in the air in frustration. “I think its time for the offensive. We move in and save who we can and eradicate anybody in our path.” Her vengeful tone sounded eerily familiar; she had hear it many a time walking past her aunt’s boardroom.

Emma lowered her voice. “And what about Jason and Isaac?”

Melinda turned away, unable to look her in the eye. “Then they are collateral damage.”

Emma rushed up to her mother and yanked her shoulder to look eye to eye. “You are NOT the woman who gave me life! You are not the one that wanted to save humanity from the vampires. You are someone I know all too well.” She paused, “You have turned into HER.”

Cloaked

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Oh, a little interested in the cloaked figure that seems to keep slipping by? You aren’t the only one…

Jason hurried through the crowd of the marketplace bustling with people as they tried to use what little free time and rations they could. He caught sight of a familiar cloak as it bobbed and weaved through the sea of humans. He got within feet of the cloak then it turned sharply around a corner and disappeared. He stopped, caught his breath then thought for a moment, where she could have gone.

….

One step, two steps, five steps, and forward. His brain filled with a thousand words that screamed at him simultaneously. Then he saw it….the cloak. He hurried his step with eyes narrowed in; locked tightly on the figure. He was determined to not lose sight of her. He was determined. Not this time, he thought. His focus was so strong he hardly realized the loud explosion when it happened in front of him until the second blast threw debris and ash in his direction pushing him backwards onto the ground. His ears started to ring and eyes were singeing from the powder. He used all his might to focus on the crowd around him. Screams, cries, and panic ensued. He scrambled to his feet after he realized no real damage to his body had been done except for the awful ringing.

Last thoughts for 2014

New yearsI didn’t want to leave 2014 without a few words to the outside world.  As you know I’ve come in and out of existence this whole year between writing frenzies, hibernation, information regarding the progression regarding Of Darkness and Light, the second book in The Vampire Realm series; just to disappear again off the radar.

As I swim in my many thoughts of how 2014 has played out I cannot help but think of the ebbs and flows that I have had.  I have had personal triumphs and setback.  Joyous occasions and devastating ones.  Every time I think I get back on track, life likes to remind me to slow down.  My last few posts were of such happiness they seem ages ago. The holidays stopped for me. I don’t even recall celebrating them. What I do think about is the deaths of my aunt and then the woman closest to my heart, my grandmother, within a span of 10 days of each other.  The tragedies hit my family very hard and has been making it rather difficult to get back on track.  I spent no less than 32 hours driving in a car back and forth between North Carolina and Tennessee.  Leaving on a Friday to get back home on a Monday only to have enough time to unpack, clean my clothes and prepare for the next journey a week later.  Family gathered, tears were shed, memories shared. I think 2014 will be a year of reflection to say the least.

Coming into 2015 I hope that things will become brighter, with many things changing and coming up.  I hope to connect with all of you once again.  So let’s have great thoughts and cheers to you all as you ring in the New Year soon enough and as you enjoy yourself think positive.  Most of all, be careful because you are each very precious and special.

It’s like Christmas come early

I’m back up in a lot of online stores and it makes me super happy.

Sale price still going strong day 2 of my holiday cheer!

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Barnes & Noble, Apple iStore, Oyster (The Netflix of books!), and Smashwords

of course I’m still at Amazon, so pick your country

Amazon US, CanadaIndia, UK, AustraliaDenmark, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico

The paperback is at Amazon right HERE

Rise of a Queen on Sale!!

happy-holidays

The Holidays are among us and it will be a very busy one.

We’ve got Chanukah, Christmas, Festivus (for the rest of us 🙂 ), HumanLight, Kwanzaa, and Yule/Solstice.

In celebration of them all Rise of a Queen will be at the sale price of $1.99 USD at Amazon.  Of course it’s not just sold in the US store so if you’re in another country check it out.

Other good news, I think, is that my experiment with Amazon KDP Select is finally over and I am putting the book back into circulation on the other online stores, so keep watch on here, my Facebook, or Twitter as the information rolls in.  I’m super excited to be able to grace the online shelves of Barnes & Noble again, the iStore and other such lovely places.  I’ve been asked multiple times and have been saddened to be locked into a contract with Amazon.

I’m doing all this because I am getting rather excited guys!  The holiday season is here with it’s pluses and minuses but also I’ve hit over 73K words on Of Darkness and Light and see an end in sight.  I’m HOPING (hope with me guys, I’ll need the support) to have it out there by the 2 year Anniversary of Rise of a Queen, which is in February.

So friends, if you’ve read my book and love it, please pass this information along to people who you think might enjoy a winter read.  If you haven’t it is a lovely time to get prepared for the next in the series coming soon.

How Interesting Things Get When Nostalgia Takes Over

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Isn’t it interesting the things that bring back vivid, emotional memories?  This has been me with the re-introduction of soccer/futbol through the world cup.  Such a simple thing, soccer.  Maybe I should extend that to all sports.  You see ‘m not a big sports fanatic.  I may be a part of many of fandom but sports is always at the bottom of the list.  For the most part you could find my eyeballs rolled through to the back of my head when I’m bombarded with sports in general.  I live in the southeast USA and you could say football is in their blood.  I’ve seen more heated arguments over which team was equal to divinity than I’d care to have seen.  The years I lived in Alabama where football is so important, it was the next question asked a person after what church they attended and usually THAT question is asked a sentence or two after hello and a handshake.  So why did I get s caught up in the World Cup craziness?  One word; Nostalgia. 

 You see, I grew up with both parents in the military.  Moving around was a fact of life and in 1989 that move took me to Germany (West Germany at the time).  I was a young seventh grader embarking on my junior high journey, just in another country.  No, I did not go to German school.  We had bases/posts for that.  When people say junior high was their life changing time in life I can seriously say that you can multiply that by ten for me.  Lots of things happened between 89-92 for me and quite a few on a worldly level.  For me it was making new friends, the crushes I endured, and finding myself.  Somehow all that seemed just as important as what was going on all around me.Do you remember thing thing called The Berlin Wall?  I do.  It’s kind of hard not to.  I even have a piece of it siting in my dad’s curio cabinet.  It was happening a few hours from my doorstep.  I remember pre-teen conversations of music, boys, and The Wall.  It was every day for us.  There wasn’t a day when it wasn’t injected into the conversation.

 So what does any of this have to do with soccer?  Nothing yet everything.  I’m going a very long route to get to the meaning of this post and I guess I’m sorry for that.  I just figured I would share with you a view of my world for just a moment.  Let’s go to 1990 shall we?  With The Wall down and East and West Germany meshing together, times were tough for them.  It was a very difficult and stressful time for both the ones coming from the east side and those receiving them on the west.  There was also a war brewing in the middle east, starting out as Desert Shield for us, that directly effected my father and the parents of most of my friends.  McHammer was on the radio and Spike Lee ruled the box office.  I lived on the German “economy”, which meant that we rented a house that was not on a military base.  I was immersed in all things German from the pools, the parks, the village style atmosphere, the neighbors, and the candy shops.  Oh do I miss the candy shops.  I rose the bus to the Army post that I went to school at, but not before it was checked for bombs.  I arrived at a heavily guarded school and then the rest of my day just seemed to be “normal”.  My television?  AFN (Armed Forces Network).  One channel.  Okay so there were more channels but I had to understand German to be able to understand them.  Nothing was funnier than the Golden Girls dubbed in German, especially with a man doing the voice over for Dorothy.  This was where I got intrigued by soccer.  I couldn’t understand why my little village of Weiterstadt went completely crazy over a sport so I watched the television and I observed the people. It was so easy to get caught up in the momentum that was team West Germany as they moved up the ladder to the finals.  I didn’t understand the rules all too well but I enjoyed it and I got swept away.  For 90 plus minutes at a time none of the chaos that was going on in the world mattered.  All that mattered was a little round ball going back and forth on the field uniting so many people.  Do you know the best thing?  The Germans knew how to celebrate a win.  We’re talking parties and fireworks that made it seem like Independence Day (American style) every win.  The night Germany won the World Cup (against Argentina, of all things) it was a sleepless night with people celebrating throughout, damn the noise laws.  It was a complete rush and a part of history for me.

 When I moved back to the states soccer went away.  My family didn’t like it and if it wasn’t American football it didn’t seem to count (In the South that is).  So 24 years later I get a wild hair.  I want to watch the World Cup and I chose my teams.  I was going for England because it was my home country, but they didn’t get very far so I was worried maybe I was cursed.  Of course there was the USA team because I am patriotic and got blown away by the likes of how far they’ve come in the sport.  Then came Germany.  I was bombarded with feels.  The memories and the nostalgia made me feel young and full of life and passion it was like I was a whole other person.  So of course you could see my excitement over all things FIFA on my twitter feed and a few on Instagram.  It was more than just a game for me, it was a glimpse into my past and I’m very proud of that.  

 Now that soccer is over I’m back to…um…close to normal I think. We’ll see.  I’m still running from the high of watching Germany beat Argentina again.

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