Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cheating Death Blog Tour

I recently read Naumann's "The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life," and loved it, so when I heard she was coming out with a new book I got really excited. Sadly I've just started reading this one. So, no review yet, but I promise to in the future. So far I have to say I'm really enjoying it.
Book Description:

Lysandra Brooks remembers everything about the day she almost drowned alongside her grandma, especially the set of mysterious eyes she saw at the bottom of the lake. Ever since then, she's been seeing strange things when she is near water—things that aren't really there. Because of it, Lysandra has the tendency to avoid anything that isn't on dry land. On her last day of high school, however, the biggest party of the year is set to take place at a fellow senior's lakeside mansion. Despite her fears, Lysandra decides to prove to her friends and herself that she can handle it.

But after a horrific night of drinking and drama that leaves Lysandra feeling lonely and confused, she nearly drowns for a second time, only to be saved by the new guy in town. From that moment on, Lysandra's world is turned upside down with the discovery of mind blowing secrets, including a revelation that something sinister is after her soul.

Jen was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about her book and her writing.

Can you tell us a little more about Cheating Death other than what the summary tells us?

The main character (Lysandra) starts out as being pretty shallow and hangs with these three best friends who are the same way. The book follows them from their last day of high school through a big house party and goes on to graduation and college. In addition to things going terribly wrong for Lysandra at the house party, she's secretly battling with this creepy darkness that seems to follow her. You may start out not being a big fan of Lysandra, but she goes through some pretty tough situations and evolves because of it. The story is really about the growth of Lysandra and the shift of her priorities in life.

What inspired you to write Cheating Death?

It all started with one of my first memories of how I once fell off a dock with my mom. I was young at the time and really upset by it. We weren't really in any danger because we were in shallow water, but I still remember the sensation of being propelled backwards and spinning through the water. The rest of the story just somehow grew from that memory.

The last book I read of yours was YA, how do you feel Cheating Death differs as NA story?

Rather than dealing with prom and bad grades, my main character is just getting ready to break free from high school and face the world on her own. There are some gritty issues she has to face that make the whole story more mature and complicated. I generally think of YA as being for teens and older, but this one could get a bit heavy for teens between 13-16.

Who is your favorite character in Cheating Death and why?

Definitely Adiyn. Of course he's hot and charming (this is fiction, people), but he also has a really big heart and puts himself in danger to keep Lysandra safe. And he doesn't expect anything in return. He's a genuinely nice guy.

Without giving away too many spoilers what was your favorite scene in Cheating Death to write?

Without hesitation, I can tell you it was the very last one. My editor was not happy with the first ending I wrote. After she pointed out why, I understood and totally re-wrote it. I was crying and smiling the whole time. It was beautiful, but sad. I've caught a ton of crap for the harsh endings on two of my books (that are each sequels), so I was extra careful to write something that would make people happy and have some closure. I really hope this does the trick.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

I remember in third grade when I wrote a story about My Little Ponies. I think I still have it somewhere. I was so excited that I started writing more stories at home and never stopped. I was kind of anti-social in junior high and high school because I'd rather spend the weekend at my green-screened Apple computer than go outside. I'm still that way.

What’s your favorite book of 2013 so far?

That's a tough one, but it's probably Looking for Alaska by John Green. I finally read Fault in Our Stars at the end of the year and bawled like a baby, so I wanted to get my hands on anything else John wrote. So far he's 2 for 2 in making me cry and keeping me intrigued. He really has a way with words.

Who are your favorite authors?

Isaac Marion, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Lauren Oliver, John Green, Jolene Perry, Alyson Noel…I could go on and on! There seem to be so many talented authors emerging, and a lot of them are taking the self-publishing route.

Do you have any other projects in the works right now?

I just finished the first draft of my fifth book (so far with the title of Mind Benders), so I'm way ahead of schedule as far as getting ready for another release. I may give it a rest for a while and pick up on the sequel to my zombie book. I need to get back to poor Emma and the heart-breaking ending I left her with in the first book. I'm probably 1/4 done with the sequel and so far it's been a total blast because it's filled with my favorite characters. (Yay!)

Do you feel like there are any themes that make their way into all your stories?

Well paranormal, obviously, since all four of them deal with those type of elements. Death also seems to be at the top of the list, although I'm not consciously doing it. It's kind of depressing when you really look at each of my stories and see how much death is involved. One of my cousins is begging me to write about unicorns and rainbows because she hates anything dark and sinister. I may have to give it a shot sometime not only to see if I can make her happy, but to find out if I'm capable of writing all happy thoughts. It could be interesting.

Author bio:

Jen grew up during a magical time in which Ghostbusters, Star Wars, E.T. and The Goonies were the biggest blockbusters. Her love of sci-fi exploded over time, eventually growing into a career of writing YA fiction with a paranormal flair. When not sitting at her Mac, she can be found at concerts and movies, hanging with friends, chilling at her lake home, taking pictures, working on graphic design projects, traveling, or at home with her husband in southern Minnesota and trying to keep up with their four active children.
 Jen Naumann
Author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction

Monday, March 25, 2013

Into the Deep Re-Release Available Today!

When I finished my first draft of Into the Deep and decided to publish it, my biggest goal was to have it out by the summer of 2012. This world of self-publishing that I had entered was new and exciting, but also scary, and so I knew if I was going to continue with it that I needed to just do it, or accept that I would procrastinate for years and possibly never feel like my work was ready, and thus never reach that final stage of publishing. So I just did it. I got my book to a place where I felt like it was “done” and I put it out there for the world to see. I received some words of praise and some harsh criticisms, and I learned from both. I also learned from the experience as a whole. Publishing Into the Deep, was sort of a trial by fire for me, and while I made it out the other side it wasn’t without a few burns.
                 Since I first released Into the Deep, I’ve learned a lot about the self-publishing industry, and I’ve also grown a lot as a writer. Now looking back I can see where I’ve done things right and where I’ve made mistakes. I love Into the Deep, and I don’t regret publishing it when I did, but I feel like the first release of this book was incomplete. It was unfinished, and unrefined. Parts were a little messy and while the storyline itself felt and still feels right to me, my telling of it wasn’t the best it could have been. So, with the re-release of Into the Deep, I seek to take this book the rest of the way there.
                 The rerelease of Into the Deep, has been corrected for grammatical mistakes as well as word choice. The plot remains basically the same with some adjustments for incongruity. There are a few smaller moments which have been added, and one new scene, as well as three bonus chapters told through Brant’s POV and excerpt from the second book Hidden Beneath which will be out summer of 2013.
                 To all of you who have already read Into the Deep and enjoyed it I hope these new additions will add to the overall experience of this story and give you something to read while you wait for the release of Hidden Beneath. And, to those who are just picking up Into the Deep for the first time, I'm glad to say you'll be getting the best version of the story.

Buy on Amazon

Kindle US
Paperback US

Kindle UK
Paperback UK

Buy at Barnes and Noble


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Free e-books for Book Bloggers!

With the Re-release of INTO THE DEEP coming out in only a few days I wanted to get the word out that I'm looking to give out some FREE e-books for either NOOK or KINDLE to any book bloggers who would be willing to write me a review. If you're interested please e-mail me at with a link to your blog, let me know which format you prefer and what e-mail address I should gift your book to.
Book Info:

Ivy Daniels is a high school junior still learning who she is. After an accident, Ivy finds herself with an ability she doesn’t want, an ability to uncover secrets which quickly begins to redefine what she thinks about the people around her as well as herself. Because of this ability, Ivy becomes the one thing that stands between an angry teen and the death of every student on campus. The only problem is she doesn’t know who wants everyone dead. Will she figure out who has this dark secret, or will she fail to find him in time?

Through her search to do the right thing, Ivy discovers that knowing the thoughts and secrets of those around her may just tear her apart.

5 Stars “Well-written and emotionally charged, I found this book to be a total gem.” – Jen Naumann, author of Shymers

5 Stars “This starts off as interesting, and gets more and more so.” – Lucinda Elliot, author of That Scoundrel Emile Dubois

4 Stars “…an interesting storyline, an original spin on the paranormal, and well-written.” – Jen Minkman author of Shadow of Time

Friday, March 15, 2013

Re-release of Into the Deep

I know I had hoped to have the re-release of Into the Deep out by the 1st of March, but I promise I have good reason for not only missing that deadline but also pushing it back. Since there won't be any major changes to the overall plot of Into the Deep, I wanted to make sure that if anyone were buying it for the second time that I had enough new material to make purchasing the book again worthwhile. Originally I had planned to have one bonus chapter from Brant's POV and a teaser from the next book, Hidden Beneath. But I've decided to add two more bonus chapters from Brant's POV and to extend the teaser to be the prologue and first chapter of Hidden Beneath.

Into the Deep will be re-released MONDAY MARCH 25th

But, until then, here's a teaser from one of the bonus chapters told through Brant's point of view.

"I was sitting on a table top on the common. My fingers tapped against its cement surface with restless unease, wishing they had a Marlboro between them. I told myself that I was waiting for Skyler and Jason, but part of me was looking through the crowd for her. We’d broken up weeks ago, if broken up was really the word, but a little part of me still hoped she’d come around.
             I sighed. I was hoping she’d blow off her friends, basically commit social suicide, and come talk to me after I’d ended things with her. It was pathetic, and completely unrealistic. I knew I didn’t have the best reputation, and the stack of pink slips I had from Farrow along with the list of detentions on my record certainly didn’t help. But if she just for one second could decide not to be such a sheep and stand up to Christy Noonan and…I sighed again. The problem wasn’t just that Christy was a selfish, stuck up bitch; the problem was that I had thought Tiana wasn’t."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

April Books has been nominated for “The Very Inspiring Blogger Award,” and I have to say it feels really good to be starting out the year this way, this is the third award I’ve received in total, and the second this year. When I started this project about a year ago I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out. I wondered if anyone would even be interested in what I had to write about, or if they would even be able to find my blog among the thousands that are out there. But, it seems that there are people out there listening to what I have to say – to the stories I have to tell. So, I want to say thank you to all my readers.
Rules for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by pingback.

Seven Things About Lauryn April

1. I have two dogs, a yellow lab and shepherd mix – that, while entertaining, have waaay too much energy for me.
2. I have never owned a smart phone. I use my phone to make calls and text and that’s it.
3. Fall is my favorite season, because I love when the leaves change and some of my favorite outfits include sweaters and cute boots.
4. My favorite thing to do in the summer is to go boating and lay out in the sun.
5. I own a 1980 Camaro Z28, which doesn’t run yet, but my boyfriend and I are planning to get it running this summer.
6. I have a horrible sweet tooth that my boyfriend’s grandma likes to take advantage of when she makes too many cookies.
7. I am a horrible procrastinator. I think it took me like two weeks just to look at these questions.

My Nominees for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award: I wanted to use this award to nominate some of the bloggers who have commented on my blog over the last year. Sometimes the most inspiring thing you can have is just knowing that there are people out there reading what you write, whether it’s your books or your blogs.


Indie Book Goal 2018