From Imagination To Publication

Monday, December 19, 2016


Seasons Within
Lele Iturrioz
(Acorn Publishing)
Publication date: December 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.
G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.
It’s dangerous not knowing who you are, what you’re capable of, and what future awaits you. Especially when the darkness that slaughtered your entire world, just found you.
DUST. Everything was covered in dust and ashes.

Nádúr Noc, the main city of Terra was once beautiful and full of life. Not like that night, the night the darkness descended from the far land of Ifreann.

Now, the round city of Nádúr Noc was dark, burned, and destroyed.

Trees were no longer big and full of different green and golden, bright colors. The river Enosi, a river that surrounded the city with its peaceful crystalline water was now a rapid of blood and death. As for the sky, once bright and blue, it was now filled with dark smoke so thick, it made it nearly impossible to see the remains of the Zansèt Palace; a magnificent castle in the middle of the city made of pearls, flowers, rocks, and vines.

On that night, there was no music and laughter. The only thing anybody could hear were screams and the desolate pleas of the in-habitants. Fear, pain, and unimaginable loss.

This city wasn’t the ruins of any ordinary war, it was the ruins between the light side of nature and the darkest of evils. Beasts and other horrendous creatures destroyed everything that they came across. Killed everyone in their sight. Soulless creatures who lived to torture. Answering to no one, no one except Him, the one who owned the darkness. The one who hell itself was afraid of.

Author Bio:
Major geek by day, hermit writer by night! Love books, sugar gliders and everything that comes in a delicious taco.
I’m the author of the YA fantasy series, Seasons Within
I spend my time writing, planning on writing, reading, drinking coffee like there was no tomorrow, MMA and chilling with my friends and loved ones.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Complete Children of the Gods Series Available on Audible!

Super excited that my whole series is available on Audible now. Maria Marquis is amazing as...well every character, but mostly as Elyse. I couldn't have dreamed up a better voice for my books. If you get a chance, take a listen :)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Author's Circle Awards - Accepting Submissions for 2016 Awards

We had a very fun and exciting weekend! Acorn Publishing is growing, and I'm so proud of the group of authors we represent. Holly and I made things official on Saturday and even opened our business account....ooooh, super professional!!

This whole thing started with a love for writing, and with that came a love for WRITERS. We live to help out our fellow authors and that's what Acorn Publishing is about. But the two of us are uber over-achievers and weren't satisfied with just ONE way to assist writers on their journey to become published. So....

We came up with the AUTHOR'S CIRCLE AWARDS!! Since our awards program is fairly new, unknown authors have a great chance of winning. Giving our fellow authors bright and beautiful gold seals to slap on their covers helps us and it helps them! Our company grows and the winners get recognition for their work. By announcing these winners, we get to advertise our company but also promote great books. It's a win win all around.

We're so excited that this Sunday Robyn Engel's book, A Woman on the Verge of Paradise, was featured in the LA Times Newspaper. How exciting is that?

If you're an author or know an author, we hope that you check out our Author's Circle Awards. Hey...maybe even never know :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Children of the Gods Box Set $0.99 Nov. 14-19

Today, Xpresso Tours is throwing me a little party! My series will be on tour from Nov. 14-19. During the tour, I'll be hosting a giveaway (enter below) for a signed copy of OPPRESSION and a $10 Amazon gift card. I'll also be lowering the price of my ebook box set from $7.99 to .99 cents. Thanks for all your support and for sharing the news! And thanks to Giselle at Xpresso for being amazing :)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Queen of Chaos COVER REVEAL!

Queen of Chaos
Kat Ross
(The Fourth Element #3)
Publication date: January 18th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Persepolae has fallen. 
Karnopolis has burned. 
As the dark forces of the Undead sweep across what remains of the empire, Nazafareen must obey the summons of a demon queen to save Darius’s father, Victor. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand and can barely control, Nazafareen embarks on a perilous journey through the shadowlands to the House-Behind-the-Veil. But what awaits her there is worse than she ever imagined… 
A thousand leagues away, Tijah leads a group of children on a desperate mission to rescue the prisoners at Gorgon-e Gaz, the stronghold where the oldest daēvas are kept. To get there, they must cross the Great Salt Plain, a parched ruin occupied by the armies of the night. A chance encounter adds a ghost from the past to their number. But will they arrive in time to avert a massacre? 
And in the House-Behind-the-Veil, Balthazar and the Prophet Zarathustra discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. But is it enough to redeem the necromancer’s bloodstained soul and thwart his mistress’s plans?
As a final showdown looms with Queen Neblis, the truth of the daēvas’ origins is revealed and three worlds collide in this thrilling conclusion to the Fourth Element series.
Previous books in the series:
29670787 30228183

Author Bio:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween Cuties & Book News

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Ours was great, and my little guys were SO excited. Here are a few pics of them dressed up :)

In book news....

UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2) is available in audio book!

OPPRESSION (Book 1) came out in September, and REDEMPTION (Book 3) is being recorded right now! Eeeeee! Thank you Maria are the PERFECT Elyse :)

My children's book, THE LONELIEST WHALE, is coming along! I have gotten some color drafts that are still works in progress, but I just LOVE's a little sneak peek!

Hmmm, what else? I finished all of my edits on the new manuscript, so I'm doing a final read-through! YAY! It feels so good :)

Oh...and I released a CHILDREN OF THE GODS box set, which is going on sale for $0.99 from Nov. 13-22! Ta-da! Keep an eye out...

Saturday, October 8, 2016

New Book!! IDENTITY - "A twisty space yarn with lovable anti-heroes, awesome aliens, and a kick-ass heroine..."

First, I want to say congrats to author Christa Yelich-Koth on bringing her fantastic space opera to a conclusion. I know what it feels like to be done with a story, sad but exciting. This is a great read! Check it out :)

IDENTITY is the sequel and conclusion to the story of Daith Tocc by author Christa Yelich-Koth.

Daith has discovered some incredible things about herself: she is smart, charming, and has psionic powers that allow her to sense emotions, melt physical objects, even heal or injure with a thought. The problem is, she doesn't have any memory of who she used to be.

Regardless, Daith made a choice between leaving the ship to learn who she is or staying aboard to help the crew’s mission. But someone from her past knows the truth about her, and if he finds her, that truth could shatter her decision–and leave everyone vulnerable to her powers.


Review snippets: 

"I found myself holding my breath at times..." -- 5-star Goodreads review

"A twisty space yarn with lovable anti-heroes, awesome aliens, and a kick-ass heroine..." -- Kat Ross, author of the Fourth Element series

Where to get the book:

ILLUSION on Amazon:


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My New Children's Book - THE LONELIEST WHALE

Exciting news! I'm publishing my first children's board book. It's called THE LONELIEST WHALE, and it was inspired by a true BBC story about a whale who sings at a level no other whale can hear. It combs the ocean, calling out for companionship that never comes.

My illustrator (and long-time friend) Dorene Uhrich, is working on the initial sketches, and guess what? I have a sneak peek for you!

We're trying to decide on the best font. Of course we have our favorite, but which do you like better?

Thanks for your input. Read the true BBC story here!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Isn't this one of the most beautiful covers you've ever seen?!! Congrats to Acorn author, Lele Iturrioz, on the reveal of her debut novel out on December 15, 2016.

Most teenage girls know their name, where they came from, who they are. Not G, a beautiful redhead with unusual markings on her wrist. She gets her name from a silver locket she keeps around her neck, unaware the engraved letter “G” on its front holds the secret to her past.

G’s life before the age of six has been a mystery to her. Each night for the last twelve years she’s been haunted by the same nightmare—a war. Horrendous beasts, warriors able to wield the four elements, and a boy who saves her by means of blue fire taunt her memory. But on her eighteenth birthday, G’s life begins to unravel. When she meets her new Chemistry professor, a man with an uncanny resemblance to the boy who saves her, she knows there must be more to her dreams.

To learn the truth is a dark and dangerous road. One G will be forced to take. Claiming her place as Mother Nature will bring death to her door. But G's not afraid of dying. Some things are worth dying for.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Me!

Hello blog lovers!

It's my birthday today. YAY!! It's such a great birthday because I have so many exciting things happening in my writerly world.

1. Vegas Valley Book Festival - I'll be signing books in Vegas on October 15th with Acorn Publishing authors, Holly Kammier and Alyssa Petersel. I can't wait. Did somebody say girls night/sleepover?? FUN.

2. Audible Awesomeness - The audio book for OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1) was just released. How cool is that? The narrator is amazing. She's an actress who actually lives in San Francisco (where the book takes place). Meant to be, right?

**If anyone is interested in receiving a free copy for review, email me!

The audio book for UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2) is being recorded right this minute! Hooray!

3. New Books - Some super good news in the writing department. I wrote my first children's book. It's being illustrated right now and will probably be released in 2017! I can't wait to see the drawings.

I've also finished the first draft of a new book. I'm aiming for a 2017 release for that one as well. Keep an eye out for all the juicy details :)

Oh, and REDEMPTION (Children of the Gods #3) is being published in French through AdA. Can't wait to have my whole series in French. Woot!

4. Acorn Publishing - We met with some of the top dogs at the Southern California Writer's Conference in Irvine over the weekend, and our little publishing company will be represented at the San Diego conference. I can't wait! I got my start at the SD SCWC. It will be fun to go back.

We also just signed screenwriter, Joe Gazzam and another of our authors, Alyssa Petersel, just won Kirkus Best Indie book of 2016! Can you believe that? HUGE.

5. Author's Circle - I'm actually most excited about launching a new division of our publishing company called AUTHOR'S CIRCLE | Awards & Reviews. We're always looking for ways to help other authors. If you have a book out, consider entering for one of the awards. It's our first year, so the chances of winning are really high! Check us out:

What are you excited about these days?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Binge Blogging

Well I'm back. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a binge blogger. I blog-vomit everywhere then forget I have one...I need some kind of blogger therapy, lol.

In my defense, I have been busy. Ready? Life update.

First and foremost--Babies.

Here are my two little guys in all their cuteness! They're time hogs, but come on, who could be mad about that?


My current WIP is at 56,000 words with a goal of about 70,000. It's an adult novel about a young white teenager who moves from the country to LA and gets wrapped up in a world of gangs, guns, and drugs. It draws off of my own life experience and has been a difficult, yet new and interesting, book to write.

I have no clue when it will be done or published, but that's the beauty of publishing my novels through Acorn Publishing. I get to work on my own timeline without feeling the pressure of a deadline. As a super control freak, it feels good to have control of all aspects of my publishing experience.

Speaking of that. The third thing keeping me busy is our growing company, Acorn Publishing. We just launched our new website:

Check it out to see what sets us apart from other publishing companies. I'm an author. I've been traditionally published. This is the best of both worlds. If you have a WIP, check us out :)

I'm so proud of how far we've come and all the beautiful covers we get to flaunt under our Acorn Publishing imprint. Aren't they pretty?!

Friday, July 29, 2016

SHADOWS of SHAME Cover Reveal!

Congrats to Acorn Author, Bruce Ashkenas, on his latest release, SHADOWS of SHAME!

Harold Apple is a Jewish reporter willing to do anything for a story. When he’s asked to risk his life to infiltrate the Nazi Bund in late 1930’s New York, he jumps at the chance.  Leaving behind his fiancée and the safety of his home, Apple goes undercover in search of the real story. Before the world knew enough to fear them,the hate-filled paramilitary mob called the German American Bund terrorized the Jewish citizens of New York.  After years of rumored reports of these attacks, Harold Apple finally gets his chance to expose them. He witnesses a piece of history unknown to many Americans and experiences the brutal cruelty of the Bund first hand. Becoming the enemy gives him his story. If he’s brave enough to tell it.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MIDNIGHT SEA release day!!

OH HAPPY DAY!! Kat Ross released another book! MIDNIGHT SEA is out RIGHT NOW! Woooo! Acorn Publishing got to take a few copies to the LA Times Festival of Books, and it did so well. We described it to readers as a LORD OF THE RINGS set in ancient Persia with a female lead and a great love story. Kat has built an amazing magical world. Get excited for this one, people! :) YAY!

Here's your buy link: GET IT NOW!

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

....AND IT'S NOT JUST ME....Goodreads reviews are pouring in :)

Thoroughly absorbing! Beautiful landscape, bold and brilliant protagonists, engaging plot line, I loved everything about this book. Well, the cliffhanger was a brutal blow, but that's not a complaint. I think? ~>_<~

Visit my stop (FLYLēF) of The Midnight Sea Blog Tour on May 17th for a full review and giveaway!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG - Events

Hi All! I have a book event this Saturday & Sunday (LA Times Festival of Books). I'm really excited, but also dreading it a bit. My author friend, Holly Kammier, and I did WonderCon a couple of weekends ago and it was so fun, but it was HARD.

In order to sell books you have to put yourself out there, approaching people, asking them to check out your book, handing out bookmarks, etc. It does work. I sold 85 books at the last event, but with that success and effort comes a great deal of rejection. Let's face it, you can't please some people just don't want to buy my book or don't feel interested in it. After a while the "No thank you's" and "Not for me's" do start to sting a bit.

I'm trying to focus on the good stuff. I'll be meeting another of our Acorn Publishing authors, Alyssa Petersel, who is flying in from New York to be with us at the event. We received about 20 copies of Acorn Author, Kat Ross's, book MIDNIGHT SEA (which I'm in love with) to sell and display. So at the very least, I'll be hanging out with my writer buddies. AND my husband is coming to help with the kids (cause he's awesome) so there's that.

Anyway...wish me luck! Bringing the kids is always an added layer of stress. Crossing my fingers for a fun and easy festival.


Thursday, March 31, 2016


Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: 

How did your book become a book?


Carol Oates
Author of 
The EMBER Series
The SHADE Series

Hi, Jessica. Thanks for having me on here today to discuss my publishing journey. Since 2010, I have published eight times in novel and short story format. It might surprise you to know I had to look up to my wall and count my framed covers. It can be easy to forget how far I’ve come when I don’t feel I’ve come very far at all. I’m not sure I would say I chose this path. It’s more like I’m walking along a winding path with lots of turn offs. Some are blocked, some have gate-keepers who won’t let me through, and some I took a look at and decided to keep walking. So, let’s get started.


Do you have an agent?
No, I don’t have an agent at this time.

How many queries did you send?
I’ll be honest and say not enough. I probably gave up too easy. I guess the figure is a couple of dozen at most. That’s hardly a blip compared to most authors.  

If represented, how long did it take to get your agent?
Like I said, I gave up easy. Agents and authors are like puzzle pieces in the industry of publishing. Each has to fit perfectly into the others puzzle to work efficiently. It’s time consuming to find the right fit. I have a disabled son and my time is limited. Finding time to write is difficult and finding time to search for an agent is impossible right now. I would love an agent someday.  


Are you traditionally published or self-published?
Traditionally published.

How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
My five novels are published through Omnific Publishing and distributed through Simon and Schuster. Omnific was started by the same people who ran Twilighted in the fandom universe. I was a part of the fandom at the time. I believed in what they were trying to do and their goals as a publisher so I submitted to them. 

How long did it take to find a publisher?
How long is a piece of string? I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I decided to publish and chased up a few agents and then went through some personal upheaval. I backed away from publishing for a few years. When I was ready to get back in the game, Omnific was my first stop. 

What do you like about your publisher?
My publisher has always allowed me lots of artistic input on my books. I picked the cover for four of my five releases. I’ve been lucky with wonderful editors. I have always gotten an almost immediate response to any questions.  Royalty reports and royalties are always delivered promptly.

What do you dislike about your publisher?
I would love to see more of a marketing push for the books. My publisher has some amazing books flying under the radar because readers don’t know they are there. 

Did you or your agent hit any snags along the way, and if so how did you overcome them?
A big snag for me was the changeover to Simon and Schuster. As an unavoidable side effect, all my existing books lost their rankings and never regained them. Links changed so past publicity led to dead pages. Books from other authors didn’t release on time so I was reluctant to do a big push for my last release, Something Wicked. As expected, it wasn’t readily available on the release date. It bombed. I don’t want to blame anyone. It’s very possible it would have bombed anyway. It was just unfortunate timing and not anyone in particulars fault. 

Did traditional publishing get your book(s) in Barnes & Noble or other bookstores?

Did your publisher produce a hardcover of your book or just paperback?

Did your publisher create an audiobook for you?
No, although they have released an audiobook of another of their releases. It’s not out of the question for the future. 

Looking back would you do anything differently?
At the time, the decisions I made were right for me. They were good choices at the time. I don’t believe I would do anything differently.


What made you decide to self pub some of your work?
I’ve always been the sort of person who can’t do a little of something. If I do it, I have to invest fully. I decided it was important to explore self-publishing to get a better idea of exactly what it takes to bring a manuscript from conception to the finished book.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
Apart from editing, I did it all myself. 

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?
My self-published work is through Kindle and Smashwords for other outlets. I have yet to self-pub in print.

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio?
I considered print copies of my novella and went as far as formatting for print. I haven’t considered audio.

What do you like about self-publishing?
I liked the speed of the process. Self-publishing wouldn’t be my first choice, but never say never. 

What do you dislike about self-publishing?
I love to write, but I’m not a huge fan of being a publisher. I found it stressful being responsible for bringing all the aspects of publishing together.  I couldn’t afford a team and I like working within a team. 

Looking back would you do anything differently?
I’m glad I tried self-publishing. It gave me a renewed respect for all the work that goes into a book, regardless of if it’s Self or Trade published.


What marketing tactics worked for you?
Early blog tours and blog events with other authors worked to get my name out there to a degree. However, if we are talking effort verses return, I think the only thing that really works is word of mouth.

If you are traditionally published, what did your publisher do to market your book?
My publisher arranged blog tours for my novels and assigned a marketing assistant to act as an intermediate with reviewers. They advertised at book conventions and provided gift baskets, and other prizes for giveaways. They also used social media to promote. I was offered help with early promotional graphics but declined since it was something I could do myself.


What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
Publishing is hard and I think that surprises some people. It’s really hard. Grow a thick skin because no matter how wonderful your work is, you can’t please everyone. Write for yourself first. Don’t try to follow trends because they move too fast. Read a lot. A good reader makes a better writer.


When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

About the Author

Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge.

She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper.

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