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lacey

I’m moving to http://www.jaowenby.com where I will continue to blog and much more. If you realize your missing posts, just check your subscription. We tried to assure everyone moved over. If you need to sign up again then, just click the blog button and on the right side, you can subscribe again.

Don’t miss the other exciting features including a newsletter, giveaways, and autographed copies of my new novel.

I can’t wait to share the journey! Thank you for all your support and I’ll see you there!

Until Next Time…

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truth1The Truth She Knew is now available on Amazon for pre-order! Just click here while it’s on sale. If you’re interested in reading the early reviews on Goodreads, click here. I have to admit the reviews have been overwhelming and humbling.

Since the book hasn’t been released yet, and a preview isn’t available, I wanted to share the first few pages. I know I always like to preview before ordering. I worked with an amazing editor from HarperCollins, and she will also be editing book 2 in the series which I just finished the rough draft yesterday.

This series is contemporary fiction and new adult. It’s 17+ due to language, sex, and some violence.

Copyright © 2016 by J.A. Owenby

Chapter 1

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me. She reminded me of this on a consistent basis, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t change her mind. Finally, I had to make a choice: her or me.

My heels clicked against the cold tile floor of the hospital and my heart fluttered as I searched the room numbers.

I rubbed my clammy hands against my jeans as I saw the ladies’ restroom and hurried toward it. I needed a minute before I reached her room. I pushed the door open and scanned the bathroom for anyone else. It was empty.

My purse landed with a thud on the bathroom counter. I turned the cold water on, splashed it on my cheeks, and wiped my face with a paper towel.

“Breathe,” I muttered. “She can’t hurt you anymore. You’re grown.”

My pep talk wasn’t working. Fear was gnawing at my stomach.

I reached into my bag, grabbed my powder compact, and touched up my makeup. My green eyes shone brighter against the redness left from my tears. I ran a brush through my long, blond hair and dabbed a hint of gloss on my lips, more out of habit than need.

“Let’s do this, Lacey. Suck it up,” I said to my reflection. I released a slow, deep breath and headed out of the restroom and down the hall toward the ICU.

My hand trembled as I approached her room and reached for the door handle. I didn’t know what to expect. What would it be like, seeing her after all this time?

The door opened and closed behind me without a sound. I pulled the curtain aside and tried to comprehend what was in front of me.

The room was silent except for the rhythmic whoosh of the breathing machine. The ventilator had left its mark on Mama’s face, and her upper lip was swollen and bruised.

As I pulled the chair closer to her and sat down, I half-expected her eyes to flutter open and her lips to whisper what a bitch I was. But she lay still.

My goodbyes had been said years ago, but this was different; this was final. There were no more second chances, or third. None, ever again.

I stood up and paced around the tiny room. I should have been holding her hand and begging her to wake up so we could forgive each other, but I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how many years we’d been apart—every time I thought about her I remembered how she had cost me everything. And not once did she ever utter the words I’m sorry. In her mind, it had all been my fault.

I leaned against the wall and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. In spite of my resistance, tears pooled in my eyes.

“Are you happy now?” My voice quivered and only the sound of the ventilator responded to my question.

It amazed me how I could love her and hate her at the same time. I knew I was supposed to love and honor my parents, but how could I when she had almost cost me my life?

My mind raced with dark memories and then I realized that for the first time in my life I was minutes away from being free. Relief washed over me as the tears flowed down my cheeks. I pushed the memories away. With freedom just around the corner, I needed to say what I felt even if it was locked away deep in my heart.

I approached Mama and brushed her thin, brown hair away from her forehead. I stared at her, her image burning into every part of my mind. Her eyes were closed with no movement and there was no response to my touch. She’d already left—her body only remained breathing due to the machines.

“I’ve missed you, Mama,” I whispered. “As much as I hate you, I love you more. I wish things had been different. I wanted you to love me so badly. Maybe now you finally will.”

I kissed her forehead and stepped back, wondering if death would finish the job quickly. Knowing Mama, she would hold on as long as she could to capture everyone’s attention for her grand finale. The doctor thought it wouldn’t take any longer than a few hours for her body to stop breathing on its own. I hoped it would happen sooner.

I left Mama’s room and walked down the hall to the ICU waiting room. My older sister Krissy, the golden child, was leaning against the wall as she stared out the window.

“Krissy,” I said as I approached her.

She turned toward me, her eyes rimmed with redness. We stared at each other for a few moments, and then I nodded.

“Lacey, are you sure? You don’t need any more time?” Krissy asked.

“I’m sure.”

She pushed herself off the wall, wiped her eyes, and turned away to find the doctor. It was time to disconnect the machine.

With my goodbyes said, I walked toward the exit to the hospital. I burst through the sliding doors and came to a quick stop as the fragrance of the spring rain filled my nose. The walkway was lined with bright green grass and an abundance of red and pink tulips. The last drops of rain slid off the tree leaves as I breathed it all in. It was breathtaking.

I was finally free.

Thank you all for your support!

Until Next Time…

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how_-much_to_chargeI received an article with this information and wanted to share. Although I didn’t use Reedsy for editing and my book cover, I found I fell within most of the pricing ranges.

One thing I didn’t see on this infographic was the Q&A time with the editor. I certainly had questions as I moved through the process and the last thing I wanted was to be left hanging if my editor said, “this doesn’t work in the plot.” I’ve worked with previous editors who would make a comment and instead of being able to ask a few questions you had to make the changes, submit, and pay again. I’m not clear what Reedsy offers, but if you’re looking for an editor, it’s an important topic to ask about.

By Maryann Yin on May. 2, 2016 Reedsy Self-Publishing Infographic (GalleyCat)

Until Next Time…

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save moneyI mentioned in my last post that I stomped around like a little kid when I thought about outlining my upcoming novel (click here to read “How I Saved Hundreds of Dollars On Editing“). In fact, I pretty much threw a fit for several weeks until I went back and visited Larry Brook’s website and printed off the beat sheet.

Now, anyone who follows Larry knows he’s a bit of a hard *ss. His delivery can be almost rude and can easily discourage new writers. But, he knows his stuff, and he’s excellent at what he does.

Here’s the link to the beat sheet so you can easily follow along. And, don’t forget, using this tool saved me hundreds of dollars in the developmental editing stage!  http://storyfix.com/blank-beat-sheet-form

After my temper tantrum, I looked over my freshly printed beat sheet and filled out what I already knew in the story. The ending came to me first, so I filled in what was the 3rd plot point, and then I backed up from there. I then wrote down my opening including my hook and wrote a brief sentence of the scene that happened next, then next, and then next until I reached plot point 1, midpoint, etc. Before I realized it, I had my book planned out. There were times I wasn’t sure what happened next, but reviewing the previous scenes helped me stay on track.

Now, what was amazingly easy was changing my one sentence when a scene changed. This happened several times as I wrote and the story developed, but since I had a strong foundation, I stayed on track with my story.

Do you know the most amazing thing that happened by using this tool? It’s not the money I saved, although that was fantastic. I had the first draft with NO MAJOR REWRITES! The development of the story was strong. By planning out the plot points and just a bit of information that connected my scenes together I had a solid rough draft.

Now, don’t forget that developmental editing is not copyediting. Developmental editing covers the plot, characterization, pacing, and story development. Every novel needs this type of editing as well as copyediting.

Stay tuned for the additional low cost and free resources I used to save hundreds of dollars on developmental edits.

Until Next Time…

 

 

 

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More moneyEveryone loves saving money, but sometimes I don’t want to go the extra effort to do so. This time, however, I did take the extra steps and I saved hundreds of dollars. I was thrilled!

If you’re following my posts on Facebook (facebook https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby/) you know my upcoming novel was sent to my editor January 15th. I sent her 75 pages of my manuscript in order for her to present a scope of work and price. This is what she wrote back:

“I’ve spent some time with chapters of Tears in the Sun, and overall your development and plot are strong. You’re a good writer, and the story is intriguing. You only need light developmental editing.”

editor

I was so excited I didn’t sleep that night! The next day I finally got over myself and looked back at what I did that saved me money, and I laughed. The one thing I dreaded so much ended up being my best friend. And what was it? What did I do that not only saved me money but kept my sanity in tact?

I planned. I won’t say I outlined because that rubs people the wrong way just like it did me. When I began the novel I stomped around like a little kid and refused to outline. How dare it stop my creativity, who says I have to outline? This is MY book and I can break the rules if I want too. But, then I realized, that if someone’s intention is to become a best-selling author they need to act and think like a best-selling author and that means implementing solid strategies that WORK. Best-selling authors did not break the rules with their first several books.

Okay, enough said. We’re all intelligent people. If you dread the thought of outlining then there is another way than writing roman numerals and a. b. and c. under headings. I think so many people had that yucky experience in school that it throws them off when it comes to writing a novel. Give that old thinking a kick in the butt and allow the idea that there is something easier that will produce the same or even better results without losing your creativity! It will actually enhance it.

Over the next few posts, I’ll share the tools I used and also where you can grab them for yourself. These tools boosted my creativity, allowed me to shift gears when my characters demanded I go another direction, and actually KEPT me on track. At the time I was writing the novel I was working a part-time job, running my resume business part-time, selling a home, buying a new home, and moving. There were times I didn’t write for days, but on Sunday, my one day off, I would write 40-60 pages only stopping for pee breaks and snacks. I easily dialed back into the zone even when I had to go three weeks without writing a word! You can do it too.

Until Next Time…

 

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tearTears in the Sun is a love story, but at its heart beats a subject that touches 1 in every 4 people—mental illness.

This novel is about Lacey’s tremendous struggle dealing with mental illness…read more  here .

 

 

 

Until Next Time…

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excitedI am very excited to announce that I will be working with a new editor. She has worked with Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher, both #1 NY Times Best Selling Authors! I will be in great hands. Edits for Tears in the Sun the novel are scheduled for December.

If you’d like to hear more about the novel hop over and like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby. I will also begin working on the cover design within the next few months.

Thanks for everyone’s support as I continue Lacey’s journey!

Until Next Time…

 

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