Justice (Deck of Lies, #1)

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The Tower (Deck of Lies, #2)

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Death (Deck of Lies, #3)

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Judgment (Deck of Lies, #4)

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Hope's Rebellion

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Writing 101 Redux: Quotation Punctuation

Every good book has dialogue in it, and that means you're going to have to use quotations. Are you using them right way...or do you just think you are? 

Read this week's Throwback Thursday Writing 101 post to find out, and master quotation punctuation.

Writing 101: Everyday Advertising

In case you haven’t looked at Amazon lately, trust me when I say that there are a lot of books out there. I probably follow at least 5,000 indie authors on Twitter, and I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface. So how will you get people to choose your books over another author’s? Everyday advertising can help you a little bit every day.

Hey, Look at Me!

There are small things that you can do on a regular basis to get your book and your name out there. And maybe you won’t start selling a million books a month, but it’s not going to do you any harm if you sell 5extra books a month will it? So try integrating these everyday advertising tricks into your daily routine, and see what happens.

Writing 101: Juggling Books

Staying focused on a single book is a good way to immerse yourself in that narrative and fully realize the world you’re creating. But as I have proven to myself, it’s not always possible to write under ideal circumstance. Lately I’ve been juggling books, but I think I’ve figured out why sometimes it’s necessary to do so.

Fridays We Wear Pink

Obviously it’s better to stick to one book from the minute you get the idea to the second you publish it on Amazon, and I’ve walked that route before. But sometimes, your creativity doesn’t always cooperate with your publishing plans. I’ve learned that there is a benefit to juggling books. Sometimes, you’ve got to work on the book that suits your mood.

Writing Like Truman Capote

As you can probably tell, I'm fascinated with the process that other writers use. I read their bios and interviews so I can look back at their lives and successes...and see if I have anything in common with them. But if I want to start writing like Truman Capote, I’m going to need to get a whole lot weirder.

Down When I’m Loaded

Truman Capote never started a new writing project on Fridays. And if you think that’s weird, you ain't read nothing yet. To call him eccentric is far better than he deserves. By most standards, the author of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood" acted like a straight-up nutjob. Writing like Truman Capote is possible in the literal sense. To get started, lie down.

Writing 101 Redux: Do You Use That Too Much?

It's quite possible that you're using the word that too much in your books. To find out, read today's throwback Writing 101 tip. 

Find out if it's raining thats all over your books, because you may discover that you're using too word way too much.

Writing 101: Why Your Characters Need a Hobby

When the characters in your book feel more like real people, it’s a lot easier for readers to relate to them. That makes it a lot easier for readers to like your books. It sounds like a simple formula, but it’s not. That’s why it works to use little tricks throughout your books to humanize characters. This is why your characters need a hobby.

Humanizing Your Characters

All of your characters should be three-dimensional. That means they have hopes, dreams, fears, regrets, habits...and yes, hobbies. The more of this kind of everyday stuff you can integrate into your character, the more real they will feel. But you can’t give a character a hobby just for the sake of doing it. Everything you put in your book should be in there for a reason, and that includes the hobby that you humanize your character with.

Writing 101: Setting the Stage

I read about these women in Burma, once. They put these coils around their necks in order to stretch them out, starting from birth. The old women in the village have these long, extended necks with coils wrapped all the way up. I’m not from Burma, so it’s hard for me to comprehend why anyone would do this, but they think that long necks are beautiful. When you’re an author, you have to set the stage for your readers so they can understand your characters. If I’m from New York City, I may not understand what it’s like to be a farmgirl from Kansas or one of those women from Burma. It’s your job to make me understand that. Do it by setting the stage.

Staging the Scene

In the medieval era, the Church officially believed that women did not have souls. Women were not human beings. They were pieces of property, and their worth could be measured against something like a cow or a piece of land. It’s hard for a modern-day woman to understand that world, a world in which women did not often speak their minds and were not welcome to pursue the skills that interested them. Women were not often writers in the medieval era; most of them could not read. So if you’re going to write a book that’s set in that time, you’re going to need to make sure that I as the reader can understand it.

Why Virginia Woolf Walked Away From Life

Virginia Woolf was the product of a broken home, and was raised with her stepfather and several step-siblings. From an early age, she was highly emotional and had trouble coping with the various tragedies that life tossed her way. But Virginia found a way to escape the pain of her mother's untimely death, the tragic shock of her sister's unexpected death and the other sad events that occurred in her life: books. Se was given full access to her father's library, and here she fell in love with the written word. Here, she became Virginia Woolf, the author.

Being Blue

Like lots of authors, Virginia Woolf started publishing her own books. She and her husband purchased a printing press, mostly as a hobby, and pretty soon they turned it into a business. She published several novels using the press.

Virginia Woolf was a prolific writer. She wrote several books in the span of a few short years, and received recognition in her own time as a talented woman of letters.

It sounds like a happy story, doesn't it? Her life was marked by death as a child and young woman, but she discovered a love of words and found her own voice as an adult. She took matters into her own hands, like all the greatest self-published authors, and she made the world notice her. But the story of Virginia Woolf is not a happy one. Like so many others in her family, her story ends in tragedy.

1,000th Post Celebration: 999 Writing Tips, But This Post Ain't One

Jade's Blog has come a long way since we first started in 2011. Together, we've explored punctuation rules and grammar tricks, literary techniques and self promotion. Several guest authors and friends of the blog have stopped by to offer their insights and share their stories. And now, it's time to celebrate all of that -- by giving some free stuff away.


Thanks for visiting the blog, whether this is your first visit or your 1,000th. Jade's blog has always been a place for indie and self-published authors, and hopefully it will be here for another 1,000 posts. But without reading, there would be no writing. So to celebrate today's milestone, let's give lots of books and other stuff away!

The Deck of Lies

                                                    FREE sample                        FREE wallpaper

Hope's Rebellion 

                                                      FREE sample                          FREE wallpaper

Song of the Sea (Saltwater Secrets, #1)

Now with an exclusive sneak peek of Book #2! 

                                                      FREE sample                          FREE wallpaper

$5 Amazon Gift Card

Writing 101 Redux: Further vs. Farther

It's not always easy to remember all the different rules of grammar, and that's why you need this throwback Writing 101 post about further and farther. 

Find out how to tell the difference between them, and you'll always use further and farther the right way.

Writing 101: The Unexpected Outcome

It’s a pretty classic story: the underdog team claws and fights their way into the big competition, only to face off against a much more powerful opponent. Against all odds, the underdogs pull together and carry the day. Unless they don’t. Sometimes, the story ends with the unexpected outcome instead. The hero doesn’t always have to win, but if you don’t write the unexpected outcome the right way you aren’t going to win, either.

When the Hero Loses

Look, good guys don’t always finish first in life. The inspiring underdogs don’t always win, the hero doesn’t always defeat the villain, and sometimes the unexpected outcome is the result. But when the unexpected happens and the hero loses, you've got to be really careful about how you end the story.

Writing 101: Who Should You Trust?

Are you a good writer, or a bad one? I’m pretty sure that every single author and would-be author has asked themselves this question. If only the answer was as simple as that. But you’re still going to want to know the answer, and you’ll find yourself searching for validation everywhere. So when you want to test your own storytelling skills, who should you trust to tell you the truth?

To Tell the Truth

Should you keep on climbing that mountain, or throw in the towel? Are you good with dialogue, bad with your narrative, terrible at descriptions or sloppy in your research? You’re going to want to know all of these things at some point, and maybe you’ll want to know them more than once. So who can you turn to for the answer that’s honest? In the literary world, there are many opinions you may want to trust. Should you?

Writing 101: Being An Author Will Drive You Crazy

For some reason, a certain amount of eccentricity is tolerated in artistic people. It’s weird and gross that Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear, but he was an artist. You know how artists are. Some authors famously did really weird things, and people just accept it. But being an author can potentially drive you crazy...as in, actually insane. After all, I’m pretty sure it’s happened before…

The Crazy Ones
If you believe that you must be mad in order to be a genius, there are some authors who were most certainly geniuses. Were they mad to begin with, or did being authors drive them insane?

Writing 101 Redux: Putting Your Book in Print

The whole world is reading ebooks these days, but plenty of people still love the feel of a print book. It's really easy to turn your self-published books into ebooks, and this week's TBT Writing 101 tip will tell you exactly how to do it...for free. 

Putting your book in print is a bit of a procedure, but it's not difficult. Once you're in print, you can open yourself up to a lot more readers (and convince your family members that yes, you did write a book). Get yourself at least one copy of your own book, and put it on a shelf where you can show it off. Maybe one day, you'll fill the shelf with books.

Writing 101: Writing an Accent

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m from the south. We talk a little bit slower here, because there’s no rush. Maybe we forget a g, every now and then. People in the south speak with an accent, but so do people from Boston -- whom I cannot understand even when I really try. Writing an accent is really an art form, and it’s really easy to do badly.

Like the Way She Talks

“Ow, eez, ye-ooa san, is e? Wal. fewd dan y' d-ooty bawmz a mather should, eed now bettern to spawl a pore gel's flahrzn than ran awy athaht pyin. Will ye-oo py me f'them?”

No, I didn’t just accidentally sit on my keyboard to create that mess. That’s actual text from an actual book. It’s an accent. Cockney, to be specific. Can you tell what it says? Because I can.

Writing 101: Fake Memoirs

One of the best books I ever read was a total lie. I didn't know that for many years. It was called "Go Ask Alice," and it was a diary. The book was full of powerful imagery, and frankly talked about stuff that was really relevant to me: dating boys, worrying about skin care, coming up with new ways to style one’s hair. But mainly, it was a book about drug use. When I first read it, I didn't know there was such a thing as fake memoirs. But there is, and this can be a powerful form of storytelling.

Go Ask a Writer

There is no Alice, at least not as far as this particular book is concerned. It was published anonymously, which always made it even more intriguing, and the actual first name of the diarist is never revealed. Most believe, however, that it was written by Beatrice Sparks. She is the sole copyright holder, and she wrote several other so-called diaries that were supposedly penned by teens. But no matter who wrote it, the book is still good. I still really like it, and I've recommended it to others who liked it. People write fake memoirs because fake memoirs work. It might work for you, too.

To Live Deliberately

If I told you I was leaving everything behind to go live alone in the woods, you might think I have gone insane. And maybe Henry David Thoreau's family and friends thought he was crazy, too, when he went off to the woods. He told the world that he did it so he could live deliberately. ...What do you think that means?

The Mad Writer

Henry David Thoreau decided to step outside the real world, the everyday world that the rest of us are forced to contend with, so he could go live in the woods. But he didn't just live in the woods, he wrote a book about it. And when "Walden Pond" was published, the world understood. Henry David  Thoreau wasn't crazy when he went into the woods. He was doing research.