Short Story Sunday – Preview

One of my goals for 2015 was to blog more often. As part of attaining that goal, I have decided to clean up and post some of the short stories I have written in the past few years. I will post these shorts in serial format, approximately 500 to 750 words at a time, every Sunday evening. These short stories will focus on genres outside of my comfort zone to push boundaries and expand my talents (or lack thereof) and I appreciate any and all feedback.  The first short story will be in the paranormal genre with a little romance to boot. The official first Short Story Sunday post will occur next week on Sunday, January 25th, but I am posting a little teaser to pique your interest. Hope you enjoy!

The Stranger

Nights worried her.

Streetlights and headlights from cars glared off of her eyeglasses, making it hard to see. Shadows lurked around every corner. Sound echoed off of the tall buildings, leaving her unsure which direction it actually came from. She did not even want to think about the mysterious happenings that had been reported in the newspapers recently.

In the past two months, the police reported ten attacks on people in her neighborhood. Four of victims were still in the hospital. The others were not so lucky. The attacks were gruesome, the news reported. The victims appeared to have been attacked by a vicious animal, but there were no animals big enough to cause that kind of damage in Tampa, Florida. The officials ruled out alligators early on, since gators liked to rip apart limbs and eat their prey. The victims were savagely attacked, but all limbs remained intact. And the attacks occurred in areas where alligators were unlikely to frequent.

Angie Sparks was afraid to leave the house at night until the authorities figured out the source of the attacks. It was just her luck that her best friend would have an emergency in the middle of the night and no one else could be reached.

Thanks for reading this teaser! Come back next Sunday for the official first Short Story Sunday post for more.

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WOW Wednesday! Wowing T. M. Novak!

T.M. Novak’s book The Abduction of Lilly Waters is on my to-be-read list!

AUTHOR JENNIFER LOISKE

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This author is not only extremely talented but also one of the kindest person I know…meet T.M. Novak!

T.M.Novak was born in Waterbury, Connecticut eight minutes before her twin brother. She comes from a large family with seven brothers and sisters, and eleven nieces and nephews so far. She grew up in Southern California and currently lives in Prescott, Arizona.
Tammy married her high school sweet heart Gary in 1994 and they have four sons’ together. She received her teaching degree from Northern Arizona University in 2010 and is currently a teacher in Mayer, Arizona.

The Abduction of Lilly Waters is her debut novel and there are several other works in progress; she has a Y.A. series in the works called Butterfly Lake, and a children’s book series called, The Big Green Dinosaur which will be published under Tammy Moore. Her sister Latisha Wood is expected to illustrate them for…

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Cover Reveal…ish…

AUTHOR JENNIFER LOISKE

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The cover of DEMON’S TOUCH has officially been decided. Can’t say if I can really call this a cover reveal as so many has been helping me to decide which cover to use and how to shape it to its best, so the cover has been around in lots of places. But anyhow, here it is, the cover of soon to be released  sequel of McLean Twins series. DEMON’S TOUCH! Thank you so much for everyone who participated on the voting!

If you haven’t read the first part, BLACK DIAMOND, yet, here are some hopefully helpful comments and reviews of it.

Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske is mind candy! (Examiner)

5***** Comments:

“Readers who enjoy a story centered on a determined young lady with a sturdy sense of right and wrong, but is smart enough to listen to the wiser counsel of her brother, would like Black Diamond…

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Writing is for the Birds!

Bird-watching is one of my favorite hobbies – when I’m not writing, reading, or marketing, of course! – which is why my writing includes fun facts about birds and other wildlife.

In my debut novel, A Life Interrupted, the main character, Sophie Martin, discovers a passion for helping injured wildlife after being forced to basically start her life over in Florida. The very first animal that triggered this passion was a Brown Pelican, a very common, yet awesome, seabird in Florida. Helping that juvenile Brown Pelican while it struggled in a tangle of fishing line opened Sophie’s eyes to a whole new world of science and nature that she never bothered to think about in her former life.

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In the as yet untitled sequel, which I am working on now, Sophie will work with a whole new variety of birds that she did not realize came to Florida for the winter. The sequel picks up in November, five months after her family’s big move to Florida from New York City, and the Island Rescue Center is busy caring for numerous migratory birds, including several American White Pelicans. The white pelican is the inspiration behind the second chapter in the sequel since that will be the first time Sophie ever sees one of these magnificent birds. The birds’ injuries are similar to the brown pelican’s from the first book – fishing hook and/or line from some fisherman who cut his line. It’s a common infliction to sea birds in coastal areas, one that Sophie hopes to raise awareness about.

White Pelican

Stay tuned for other wildlife that Sophie encounters in A Life Interrupted and the sequel!

Musical Inspiration While Writing

Today was weird day. I slept later than normal, took a nap, and still felt run down. Since I wanted to avoid any type of physical activity after doing too much yesterday, I figured it was the perfect time to do some writing. I scrapped the previous 2,000 words that I wrote during November’s unsuccessful NaNoWriMo attempt and started fresh on the sequel to A Life Interrupted. While I was writing, I started thinking about the music that helped inspire writing some of the scenes in A Life Interrupted and thought I would share a few of the songs on the playlist:

I know there are more, but these were the ones that I made note of, specifically. I generally tend to stay within the alt and hard rock when I listen to music, but when it comes to writing, all musical genres are fair game. To give you a glimpse of the working playlist for the sequel, this song is first in my inspirational list: Palladio – Escala

What kind of music do you listen to while you’re reading, writing, driving to work, etc? What are some of your favorite songs?

New Year Goals

At the turn of every year, millions of people make resolutions for the new year ahead. When I was younger, I joined in with the merry resolution-making, usually vowing to study harder, work out more, eat better, find love, travel… the list went on and on. Several years ago, I decided to cease making resolutions. They were always intangible and so hard to keep. Life (or laziness) always interfered and the resolution would disappear like wisps of smoke in the wind. Instead, I started making goals – specific, measurable goals for the year ahead. I will admit that I was not always able to meet my goals in that specific year, but I’ve been able to cross each off in some way at some point in time, even if it was five years later. And, unlike with resolutions, I never felt that sense of defeat or disappointment if the goal wasn’t met within the specific year it was set.

This year, my goals are simple, but they will still take some work to be achieved. And I’ve made sure to set them in such a way that they are achievable for this year, yet not so easy as to offer no challenge. I’ve tried to write them in red lipstick on the bathroom mirror, but my boyfriend (justifiably) objected. The mirror is pretty small and red just isn’t our color. Instead, I opted to share them here so that all of you can help hold me accountable. In 2015, I will achieve the following:

  • Finish writing the sequel to A Life Interrupted for publication in December 2015.
  • Read and review 75 books, including books by indie authors.
  • Get back into running and train for a half marathon.
  • Drop at least 2 pant sizes through running and eating at least 4 servings of veggies each day.

The best way to achieve goals is to start chipping away at them from the start. Today, January 1, 2015, is the perfect day to start achieving for the rest of the year. My morning was spent finishing an indie book, Shattered Reality by Brenda Perlin, which I started last week. The book was really good and I left her a glowing review on Amazon and Goodreads. At noon, I hit the gym to start running again. I jogged/walked 2.94 miles in 45 minutes and completed Week 1 Day 1 of the Couch to 5k program. Once this post is done, I will get to work on my latest rough draft. By the time the sun sets today, I will feel a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t felt in a few months.

Of course, I can’t do all of this everyday – I have a pretty demanding full-time job that takes up most of my time and a boyfriend and a needy Golden Retriever who like attention now and again. But it’s important to take advantage of days off to accomplish as much as possible. And to give rewards for working toward the goals! My reward today is a few glasses of malbec. Hey, I burned over 300 calories while running, I deserve this! 😉

What are some of your resolutions or goals for the year?

A Life Interrupted

My debut novel, A Life Interrupted, released in Kindle edition a few days before Thanksgiving. It was a life long dream to write a book. Having achieved that dream a few times over, my goals changed to wanting to be a published author. I never thought it would happen, honestly. But on November 23, 2014, it officially happened thanks to the fabulous team at Master Koda Select Publishing.

In the past month, I stumbled my way through the learning curve that is becoming a published author. I am constantly learning what not to do to sell my book. Less often, I learn what to do. Who knew failing could be so fun, though? It has been a great experience so far and I look forward to continuing to be a student of the writing and publishing industry.

The biggest thing I learned this month is that I really need to get back to writing. I spent way too long feeling stressed over the act of becoming published that I neglected to write anything other than marketing stuff. Now it is time to revamp this blog, post a few times a week, and start writing the sequel to A Life Interrupted. After all, the best way to sell a book is to write more books.

If you are interested in checking out A Life Interrupted, it is currently on sale for 99 cents for the holidays. It is a coming of age YA story about a teenage girl, Sophie, from New York City who is forced to start her life over in Florida. She discovers herself with the help of a local boy and an injured pelican. http://www.amazon.com/Life-Interrupted/dp/B00Q3HGPRG/

The sequel will continue to follow Sophie on her road to self discovery. It will pick up a few months into the school year to see how Sophie adapts to her new school and new friends. Old friends will discover how much Sophie has changed. And the wildlife center will face a few obstacles that Sophie and Trent will help fix.

I hope to have the sequel out in late 2015.