J. L. Willow

Author ~ Blogger ~ Storyteller

Now that Missing Her is out in the world, many people (including myself) are asking the same question: what next? All of this time and energy has gone into getting this book off the ground, so what do I do now?

Lucky for you (and also myself) I have many plans! I’ve given myself a little time for a break, but I’d like to update you guys so you know what to expect from J. L. Willow next.

There are definitely more books coming in the future. My ideas right now are from a variety of genres: horror, psychological drama, perhaps even another paranormal. Right now, I’m spending some time with each of them, trying to decipher which one is ready to become fully fleshed-out. Several of them are the start of a series, which would be a change of pace from The Scavenger and Missing Her, both of which are stand-alones! I guess you’ll just have to wait and see . . .

But for now, I have some more exciting news! One of my short stories has been traditionally published by Z Publishing! It’s currently in a collection called Emerging Suspense Writers: East Region. My story is titled “The Lover’s Box.” If you would like to purchase a copy, you can HERE!

As you can see, there’s a lot of exciting stuff in the works!! I’m super excited for what the future has in store 🙂

— Julia

Woohoo! FINALLY it’s May 8th!! For a while, it seemed like this day would never come, but these last few weeks flew by! I’ve been busy doing giveaways, posting YouTube videos, and sharing the news that my second book is almost released. And now it is!

If you need to catch up on the behind-the-scenes videos I’ve been posting about Missing Her, you can check out my YouTube playlist HERE! I also did a special reflection about today, which you can watch HERE!

If you’ve pre-ordered Missing Her — thank you, thank you, thank you! I know you’re going to love it 🙂 I’m happy to send you a signed bookplate so you can turn your pre-ordered copy into an autographed one, so shoot me an email at jlwillowbooks@gmail.com if you’re interested!

Still need to order your copy? You can now!! It’s available in hardcover, paperback and eBook. Click HERE to check it out!

For everyone that’s been sticking by my side through this journey, I am forever in your debt. I’m incredibly honored that you would choose to read my work, and I truly hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Well, that’s a wrap on book two! Onto the next one!!

Just kidding, I’ll probably take a few months off … or days …

Or maybe just a few hours 😉

— Julia

 

You read the title right! Starting right now, you can pre-order your copy of Missing Her! I know, right?? Super exciting!! That means that your copy will show up on your doorstep (or your Kindle, depending on your preference) on May 8th of this year! So if you want to be the first person to read Missing Her, you’re gonna wanna pre-order right now!!

But wait!! There’s more!! If you pre-order Missing Her, you have the opportunity to get entered into the Missing Her pre-order giveaway! Every day in the week leading up to the launch of Missing Her, I’ll be giving away a prize to someone who pre-ordered the book! This could be anything from Barnes & Noble gift-cards to merch bundles to signed hardbacks of Missing Her! So if you want to get in on the action, make sure you pre-order Missing Her!

I talk more about the giveaway in my most recent video, which you can watch HERE!

Pre-Order Missing Her:

Missing Her - 3D

Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/099925264X

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0999252623

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PHLKNQS

ENTER THE MH PREORDER GIVEAWAY: https://goo.gl/forms/eXwZIBafL0iy4Kn43

If you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to contact me at jlwillowbooks@gmail.com.

Alright, you’re released! Now GO PRE-ORDER MISSING HER!

— Julia

Title: Aurora Rising

Image result for aurora rising book

Author: Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Genre: Science Fiction, Action & Adventure

Review: Every time it seems that Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have reached their peak in storytelling, they outdo themselves. Aurora Rising is no exception. A masterpiece in descriptive writing and world-building, this sci-fi drama will win over the heart of anyone who’s ever felt like a misfit in a world full of “Alphas.”

Tyler Jones is the top ranking Alpha of Aurora Academy. He’s trained for years in leadership, flight and combat skills, receiving perfect scores on every one of his assessments. As he’s easily top of his class, he expects to receive a top-not squad from the pool of recruits ripe for the picking. But on the morning of the draft, he takes a joyride that leads him to a girl named Aurora — in the crash scene of an accident that occurred two centuries earlier. Tyler’s choice to save the girl causes him to miss the entire ceremony and lands him with the last choice picks for every member of his squad (not exactly best case scenario). With the mysterious Aurora by their side, the rag-tag bunch of nobodies ends up embarking on a mission that leads them down a path they never expected: one that causes them to unravel everything they thought they know about the galaxy and beyond.

It’s impossible to tell the book is authored by a duo. The story flows seamlessly, each perspective of the squad contrasting and complimenting each other. Each of the seven characters have a very distinct voice, and even if each chapter didn’t announce the perspective of that part, the reader would be able to tell within the first few sentences who was speaking.

The scale of of the world that Kaufman and Kristoff have created is massive. From “modern” technology to character dialect, each invention of Aurora Rising was crafted carefully and purposefully. They’ve included an incredible amount of detail, and it’s impossible not to become instantly lost in the story.

A thrilling science-fiction piece, Aurora Rising is filled with humor, excitement and a whole lot of heart. It’s an age-old story of a group of misfits that find themselves in each other, retold in an incredibly immersive space-setting. The book is perfect for anyone looking for a mix of feel-good friendship and adventure — or who longs to reclaim that reading-under-your-covers-past-bedtime feeling.

Aurora Rising will be released on May 7th, 2019.

Good Choice if You Liked: Illuminae, The Martian, Annihilation

Rating: 10/10

Do you want a way to promote my next book (Missing Her) AND have a chance at winning prizes AND have one-on-one access with me? Then you’re in luck! I’m currently holding sign-ups for the Missing Her street team. Being on the street team means that you would agree to help promote the book in exchange for getting entered into weekly giveaways! I’ll be holding raffles for signed books, bookmark bundles, gift cards — all sorts of fun stuff! If you’re interested, I talked about it in my most recent YouTube video: https://youtu.be/XpL2wtuv8qQ

Here’s the sign-up for the Street Team: https://goo.gl/forms/VECEqjzuPQLw24Ny1

Click HERE if you want more info on Missing Her!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions 🙂

— Julia

Today is the day!! Here is the cover for Missing Her! Missing Her - eBook.jpg

I am beyond excited for this release. This cover was a lot more difficult to create than The Scavenger — I wanted it to be just right. It was a pretty long process, which I plan to talk about more in the future.

One of the many things I love about this cover is all the little details that subtly relate to the book! I gave a little more insight about these Easter eggs in my most recent YouTube video. You can watch that HERE.

Missing Her is right around the corner! The official release day is May 8th, 2019. I have so much in store for you guys, so make sure that you’re following me on all my social media platforms so you don’t miss a single update about Missing Her! There’s gonna be a street team, giveaways, a book trailer, and so much more!!

If you are as excited as I am about this release, be sure to share it! Download or take a screenshot of the cover and post it! Be sure to tag it back to me (@jlwillowbooks)

Thank you for all your support, love and appreciation. I can’t imagine where I’d be without you guys!

— Julia

In case you didn’t hear, Missing Her’s cover is being released one week from today! *insert shocked gasp here* I am SUPER excited to show you guys this cover, and I want to give you the opportunity for you to get in on the action!

For my second book, I’m opening up applications to be on Missing Her’s cover release team! This means that you would get early access to the cover in exchange for sharing it one (or more) platforms of your choice! It’s an easy way to support me and my work while getting an exclusive peek behind the scenes 🙂

If you would be interested in joining the Missing Her cover release team, simply fill out the Google Form below! If you’re chosen, you will be contacted via email with more information.

Check out the form HERE!

I talked about the whole process a little more in-depth on my YouTube channel, so be sure to check that video out HERE.

Thank you for your interest in Missing Her! I’ve got a lot of exciting things planned, so make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and subscribed to my blog so you don’t miss a single update!

— Julia

Title: Romanov

Image result for romanov book nadine

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes is an epic historical fantasy novel that takes an interesting twist on the infamous Romanov monarchy. Pulling inspiration from the magical intrigue cloaking the family’s history and the mysterious circumstances surrounding their deaths, Brandes weaves a never-before-seen retelling that is both gripping and heart-wrenching.

The story follows one of the more intriguing family members, Anastasia (or how she’s referred to by the majority of the characters, Natasya). There have been many theories spun as to the daughter’s history and Brandes makes excellent work of answering long-speculated questions as well as aiding the creation of new ones. The addition of a magic sup-plot brings both an edge and new excitement to the story, as characters become concerned not only for their political standing and well-being but also maintaining the secret of their spellwork. The beauty and wonderment of magic compliments the dark, dismal conditions the family is forced to live in and balances the plot quite nicely.

One of the most striking parts of Romanov is by far Brandes’ gift of words. There’s a fine line between writing that flows effortlessly and something that is overly flowery, and Brandes stays on the correct side of that line throughout the book. She obviously has experience with storytelling, and her descriptive prose is masterful.

Romantic interests can often detract from the impact of the plot and its characters, but this was not the case for Romanov. The inclusion of Zash, instead of hindering the development of Natasya, highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of Natasya as she struggled through her feelings and her family life. It was a risky addition by Brandes that ended up serving the story quite well.

Romantically charged and emotionally driven, Nadine Brandes’ Romanov is sure to delight and inspire readers of all historical backgrounds.

Romanov will be released on May 7, 2019.

Good Choice if You Liked: The Hamilton Affair, Fawkes, The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

Rating: 9/10

Burnout is a very real thing. Once you’ve been working on something for a long period of time (whether it’s a book, an art project, or anything, really) you can hit a point where you just can’t do it anymore. Even the thought of looking at your manuscript makes you exhausted. It’s difficult — but definitely not impossible — to get out of a burnout-rut. I just recently had a bit of burnout for my newest book, Missing Her, and I’m happy to say that I’m out of the worst of it. They say that you learn most from the painful things in our lives, and I’d like to share five tips I’ve learned for making the burnout process a little less difficult.

1. Work on something else

With large processes like writing a book, there’s always something to do to help the progression of your work — even if it’s not writing the actual book. You can be working on promo art, sending emails for booking signings or review-swaps, posting on your social media, or even writing a blog post! Even if you’re burned out with the actual writing of the book,  see if you can find the energy to work on other parts of the project. That way, you’re still being productive and not just sitting in front of your computer getting frustrated with your brain for not doing its thing.

2. Return to what brought you first inspiration

I don’t know about you, but there’s always one thing that gets me pumped to work on my book. For The Scavenger it was one particular song, “Reverie” by The Morning Of, that just fit my book perfectly. For Missing Her, it was reading a passage from a book that inspired the creation of the story (I’ll talk more about that book later). Sometimes, when you’re knee-deep in a project, you can forget the reason you started it. When this happens, it’s important to look back and find the happiness that originally set you working on the project in the first place. That’s sometimes enough to help you pick up your head and keep working.

3. Change scenery

Sometimes, you don’t have time to take a break. The thing that’s burning you out might be an assignment with a deadline quickly approaching, you might need to keep powering through in order to finish it on time. If that’s the case, then you might want to try changing the location of where you’re working. I find that when I work in one place for a long period of time, I can get worn-out of the location. If you have no other choice but to keep working, then try moving around a bit and see what inspiration you can find elsewhere.

4. Set mini-goals for yourself and build-up

Another thing that helps me through a period of burnout is setting goals and rewards for myself. Sometimes, the satisfaction of seeing the word count isn’t enough of an incentive for me to work. Sometimes, I need a little something more. That’s when I break out the cookies or coffee or Netflix. Set realistic goals for yourself (“realistic” is key) and then give yourself a treat. Make the reward equivalent to the goal; for example, say that if you write for thirty minutes, you get an episode of Friends. But don’t set a reward like write for fifteen minutes and then binge an entire season of The Office. Make sure that the amount of reward is akin to the amount of work.

5. Be patient

The most important thing to remember when you hit burnout is that it’s not your fault. Burnout happens to everyone, and you need to be patient with yourself. Sure, it’s frustrating when you want to work on something and you just can’t muster up the strength to do it. But the struggle will pass and you’ll be back to working again in no time. 🙂

Have you ever experienced burnout? Do you have any additional tips on how to deal with it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Just keep writing, just keep writing . . .

— Julia
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