skip to Main Content

Where It All Began – Guest Post

Where It All Began

Guest Post by: Jessica Therrien

Over the weekend, Holly and I had the pleasure of attending the Southern California Writers Conference. We were excited and nervous, not knowing how our hybrid publishing company would be received by so many writers.

What happened was amazing. Not only were we welcomed with open arms and embraced as writers ourselves, but those who attended our workshop were blown away by the concept of our company. For so long, writers have been forced to choose between the long and difficult path of traditional publishing and the struggles of self-publishing. We offer the in between, and I’m happy to say, that idea excited and motivated everyone in the room.

I couldn’t have imagined a more successful conference, and we are so thrilled to be offering a solution to our fellow writers.

Bottom line, it was such a wonderful experience being around so many creative, inspiring, excited authors, and we had so much fun reliving our first conference…Holly and I have come so far since we met there in that exact hotel at the 2011 Southern California Writers Conference.

 

Happy Launch Day to El Awake!

El Awake coverEl Awake.

In the year 2115, Eleutherius (El) is struggling to find meaning in a city where most are strangely submissive and unquestioning towards the absolute rule of the merciless authorities. But after discovering the dark truth behind the white city, El ventures on a fast paced and thrilling journey to fight for the freedom of a people he once resented.  

Guided by his now-deceased grandfather’s poems, El’s body and mind must be broken and reassembled, in order that he become stronger and accomplish the work his Grandfather began, all the while struggling against questions of morality and discerning who is friend and who is foe.
On behalf of our growing company, Acorn Publishing, we are excited to welcome the supremely talented Jordan Sala Tenna’s debut novel.  This 23 year-old blew our socks off when we first edited his gripping manuscript. 
Jordan Sala Tenna Pic
Here’s what the man behind the story has to say about himself and his work:   
I grew up interested in fast, action packed thrills, and never would have imagined writing a full-length novel. I hated school and longed for the day to graduate and join the military, but life is unexpected.
The military thing never happened (probably for the best), but something else did. One strange day I opened a Bible, and for the next week I was in tears after reading it. Since then I have been far more interested in reading and writing than I ever was before.
I live with my family in a state below the mainland of Australia named Tasmania. It’s often cold, but even more often green and beautiful with rolling hills, snow capped mountains, overgrown forests, and relaxed people. I spend my days working around the house, writing, and caring for a young golden retriever.
Check out this awesome young adult fantasy book here!!

Kick Ass Woman

 

Alyssa P picI formed an instant girl crush on Alyssa Petersel the day I began editing her manuscript, Somehow I Am Different.

In a world where revenge and outrage often reign, Alyssa and her true story serve to remind us that the decisions we make transform the people we become as well as the world in which we live.

For that, she is my kick-ass woman of the month.

Born and raised in New York, Alyssa is a firecracker of energy and optimism. Rather than taking a safe, traditional path when she from graduated from Northwestern three years ago, she organized a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to move to Budapest, a country stricken by economic decay, anti-Semitism, and a shameful past. She had planned to interview some of the fascinating men and women she met there nearly one year before during a college volunteer spring break trip.

 

Alyssa with book

 

Somehow I Am Different documents the lives of twenty-one inspiring Jewish Hungarians as well as Alyssa’s eight-month journey of personal growth.

The men and women she met – one of them a famous rapper, another a renowned pastry chef – grew up in an atmosphere of hate and repression. They came from families where relatives had been murdered by their neighbors, and parents feared telling their own children they were Jewish in order to protect them. Over time, they chose to change their focus. They were able to see past the ugliness and find beauty.

Throughout her journey, Alyssa was inspired by the quote, “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck

You can find your own copy of Somehow I’m Different today here. Read it. Tell your friends. Make the world a better place.

Congrats Alyssa, you kick ASS!!!!

To My Father

Grateful Dead

 

It is 2:32 am and I can not sleep. My father is dead.

His death, which occurred sometime last Sunday morning in his sleep,  has left me disorientated, distracted, angry, sad, and grateful.

My dad and I had a complicated relationship. Therapists have labeled it troubling, and in my younger years, extremely dysfunctional.

My dad taught me how to grow marijuana in our suburban garage when I was a young child. He would take hard drugs and call me a fat bitch or a whore. One time he threatened to kill me.

Dad also danced with me in our living room, dressed up with me in funny outfits, shared his love of art and music, and scouted out our nature walks. He drove with me to Palm Springs just after I graduated from college, and waited in the car while I marched inside to fight for my first on-air reporting job. When I got the gig, he printed out every news story I covered from the KMIR-TV website and saved them in a 3-ring binder.

After my first son was born, Dad came to my apartment three times a week to hold my baby so I could nap. He took my side when anyone hurt my feelings, and made time for me even if it was last minute in the early morning hours.

I spoke to my dad several times a week by phone, saw him each Wednesday afternoon when he would come with me to pick up my boys from school. He irritated Josh with questions about his day and quizzed Alex on his spelling words. Our dog, Darby, loved to jump on my dad’s lap the moment he sat down in our apartment.

We gossiped. He constantly clipped newspaper articles for me. Dad spilled his ever-present coffee on my countertops and in my car. He dressed in layers of clothing like a homeless hippie Santa Claus.

My dad made inappropriate jokes and sported questionable hairstyles. In his mid-sixties, Dad wore corn rows for several months. He could name the dates and details of every major historical event.  He thrived on watching Jerry Springer.

My dad loved animals, his green mini-Cooper, his girlfriend Linda, and most of all, his children.

I miss him dearly.

I’m not ready to say goodbye to my dad, so I won’t.

I will say, I love you. I miss you.  I will carry you in my memories, my stories, and my heart.  You made my life better. Thank you for being my father.

 

Redemption – The final saga

Jess picRedemption is finally here!!! The last book in Jessica Therrien’s best-selling triliogy, Children of the Gods, has arrived. I’m slightly biased, as I adore Jessica and I helped edit the book. But still … it is soooo good and quite possibly my favorite of the three novels in this YA fantasy series about the decedents of Greek gods.

Jess has been working on Children of the Gods for the past FIVE years, so my first question for today’s interview is …

 

How does it feel to be finished???

Like I just ran a marathon and now I can stop to breathe and drink a gallon of Gatorade 😉 It was fun, but wheew, it feels GOOD to be finished!

 

What surprised you while writing this final installment of Children of the Gods?

How easily it came out once I started writing. I didn’t know how the series would end until about halfway through the third book. You can imagine how nerve-racking that was for me.

 

I know that feeling well. It is terrifying!  Speaking of endings, I LOVE your last chapter. It made me cry happy tears. What have your early reviewers been saying?

I’m so happy! I love it, too. Early reviewers agree. I think it makes everyone feel really satisfied. It’s one of my favorite parts of the whole series.

 

What is your favorite scene in the series and why?

Wow. What a great question. The first thing that popped into my head was the waterfall scene with William in UPRISING.

 

For me, I really struggle writing sex scenes. I feel this huge responsibility to make them authentic as well as enjoyable to read. Were there any scenes you dreaded writing?

I think I dreaded writing the end of book 2 and book 3 the most. Like I said, I didn’t know what was going to happen so that was very intimidating.

 

Now that you are finished, do you still carry your main character, Elyse, around with you? Is she still alive and real in your imagination?

Yes. Because she is me in so many ways.

 

Why should readers buy this book?

The whole reason I set out to write this series was to satisfy my own craving for that next page-turning novel you just can’t put down. I hope I have accomplished that.

 

You definitely have. Thank you for sitting down with me, Jess. Next thing on my to-do list is to order the finished book on Amazon today. My bookshelf has waited long enough!

Thanks Holly! It has been so much fun journeying down this road with you. You have been an amazing writing partner and an even better friend.

I feel the same way!!!

Check out the cover and all the details here:

Redemption First Edition Cover Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped. Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat. When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision—war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it. After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive. Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

Learn more at Jessica’s website or go straight to these sights to order your copy:

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE (Links available soon)

 

Thank you for reading! Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The blogger and UCLA honors graduate is the author of the memoir, Could Have Been Holly Wood. Kingston Court, is her debut novel. A California native and mother of two, Holly currently splits her time between San Diego, California and Henderson, Nevada. Co-creator of Acorn Author Services & Publishing, she is available for speaking engagements and content editing. www.hkammier.com
 

Happy Launch Day to Redemption (Children of the Gods #3)!

Redemption First Edition Cover

Redemption (Children of the Gods #3)

Nobody promised freedom would be peaceful.

AVAILABLE TODAY!

Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped.
Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat.
When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision of war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it.
After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive.
Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

 

OPPRESSION (Book #1) ON SALE $0.99

UPRISING (Book #2) ON SALE $0.99

REDEMPTION (Book #3) AVAILABLE NOW $2.99

The Children of the Gods Series

The Descendants have waited long enough for freedom!

About The Author

Jess picJESSICA THERRIEN spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no streetlights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language. Jessica currently lives in Southern California with her husband and their two children.

You can visit her online at

www.jessicatherrien.com

Review Me

Reviews on Amazon are an author’s lifeblood. Word on the street is, when we hit 50 or more of those little treasures, Amazon will begin marketing our book for us. They will do super lovely things like suggest to other readers, if you’re interested in this novel, you may like Kingston Court too!  Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

Sooo …. instead of writing a regular blog today, I’m going to implore you to write a book review on Amazon, if not for me (preferably for me ;)) than for some other deserving author.

Pick me

 

Here’s a few new-ish ones posted on Amazon that totally made my day.

on September 29, 2015
“Kingston Court” is a pleasantly unpredictable yet highly plausible story of two seemingly regular women. I don’t have the chance to read much, but this novel was able to grasp my attention with its various twists and turns so that I finished it in a couple days. Both of the main characters were refreshingly realistic, reacting to situations as any high strung woman might. I thoroughly enjoyed following their lives and every new situation that was thrown their way. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a refreshing read about the common challenges, sorrows, and adventures life brings
on September 13, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase3 of 4 people found this review helpful
You will not want to put this book down! It sucks you in. I savored it like a yummy treat. I laughed out loud, I got sad, i got horny. Juicy plots, genuine relationships, interesting characters. This book has everything that makes a book enjoyable. But seriously, the hook-ups – intensely exciting. I’m a sucker for those, when they’re well written and realistic, which is quite rare. And the storylines are very unpredictable, so I was very anxious to find out what happened next. Speaking of finding out what happens next, Sequel?????????
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Kingston Court (Kindle Edition)
The moment I read the first few pages of Kingston Court, I was hooked! I loved that the book was set in San Diego. Growing up in San Diego, Holly Kammier was able to help me picture my favorite beaches and land marks which was an incredible plus! What grabbed my attention though was Natalie and Samantha and their life. Their daily adult lives were so well written and was so relatable. I felt I knew the Natalie and Samantha and they could easily be my own neighbors.

Their lives take some unexpected turns. Don’t worry, no spoilers! Seeing the changes and their struggles were so beautifully written, I could feel their heartbreak and emotional struggles.

So many books I have read lately follow the same formula/pattern. I have found myself just glossing through them and skipping pages just to get to the good part, but Holly Kammier does such a beautiful job creating scenes and making you feel her characters that this was not necessary. I couldn’t wait to see how the characters would fare with the changes life threw at them and what choices Natalie and Samantha would make. I was not disappointed and was not tempted to skip through scenes.

I’m sad to see this story come to an end. I wish there was more Natalie and Samantha! Holly Kammier’s debut book is a home run!! I can’t wait to see more in the future!

A million and three thank-you’s to everyone who has supported this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The blogger and UCLA honors graduate is the author of the memoir, Could Have Been Holly Wood. Kingston Court, is her debut novel. A California native and mother of two, Holly currently splits her time between San Diego, California and Henderson, Nevada. Co-creator of Acorn Author Services & Publishing, she is available for speaking engagements and content editing. www.hkammier.com

Kick-Ass Woman – August McLaughlin

When it comes to making doors open, it probably doesn’t hurt to have the face of a Parisian runway model.

August

With a resume packed with high-end modeling and acting gigs, August McLaughlin could have kick-backed with her super-modely self and rested on easy street.

She didn’t.

Instead, she chose to use her talent, smarts, and optimistic voice, to dedicate her life to something much deeper. August spends her days speaking out on behalf of others. For that, my friend wins my accolades as a thoroughly lovely, Kiss-Ass Woman.

August, now a nationally recognized health and sexuality writer, with work appearing in DAME Magazine, the Huffington Post (how stinkin’cool is that?!) and more, has a mission in this life.

While recovering from a severe eating disorder, August realized that a lack of sexual empowerment played a significant role in her long-held body image issues. She then began noticing that she was far from a sole case. She had her “ah ha” moment. August made the decision to completely change her career path from one of projecting air-brushed perfectionism, to inspiring women to embrace their real-life bodies, sexuality and selves, and to live passion-infused lives.

A Minnesota native, August told me, “Sex ed is severely limited in our culture and sexuality in general remains taboo—especially for women. All of this contributes to problems that run rampant in women’s lives: depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, high levels of stress, and more.

When I started writing about female sexuality (I say “female” because I include girls; we’re sexual beings from the get-go), there were many terms for male sexual pleasure in my slang dictionary, but zero for women’s. Zilch. Not a one. Yet there are countless demeaning sexual terms related to us (“slut” being one of the worst).”

August book She wrote and published her first novel, In Her Shadow, a psych thriller novel loosely based on her experience with anorexia. Then she started her own radio show and gave it a name that’s hard to ignore.

“I trademarked Girl Boner®, a term and concept I’d been curious about since grade school, because I believe language holds power. But for me, it’s far more than a term, blog and podcast. It’s part of a cultural shift. A movement. When women are empowered sexually, we all benefit—men included.”

girlboner Her show covers all sorts of topics related to women’s sexuality and she often invites guest-experts to come in-studio to share their knowledge. On one of my personal favorite shows, August discussed how the way a man treats you in bed is indicative of how he will treat you in a relationship. It seemed so obvious once she pointed it out, and yet it was such a profound observation for me. Looking back on my own relationships, I could see she was completely right on. What an insightful gift to pass onto our sisters, daughters, and girlfriends.

But here’s what I find most inspiring about August. It’s her supreme belief in the power of goodness and hard work. “I have so much work to do and growth to gain, but I’m incredibly happy. When we do work that fulfills us emotionally (which, for me, has to feel impactful), our whole worlds open up, … we uplift others in countless meaningful ways. I’m savoring the heck out of this ride.”

I love the idea that being a better, happier person, in and of itself, is a positive for everyone around us. That’s a goal worth striving for.

To learn more about August and her mission you can check out her video on YOUTUBEor subscribe to Girl Boner Radio® on iTunes—or Stitcher Radio or her website. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Thank you for reading! Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The blogger and UCLA honors graduate is the author of the memoir, Could Have Been Holly Wood. Kingston Court, is her debut novel. A California native and mother of two, Holly currently splits her time between San Diego, California and Henderson, Nevada. Co-creator of Acorn Author Services & Publishing, she is available for speaking engagements and content editing. www.hkammier.com

A Thick Soup of Beauty and Chaos

Thanks to all of you, and your love and support, a long held dream has come true. I am an honest to goodness published author!!!

What a ride! The last couple of weeks have been crazy. I closed escrow on my Vegas house and began moving in, AND officially released Kingston Court into the atmosphere. The house is gorgeous and the book sold more copies in the past two weeks than many books sell in a lifetime. I could not be more grateful to each and every one you who has made time in your busy lives to make this story an ongoing success. #bookloversrule

Meanwhile, I’m figuring out the living situation. For now, my boys are enrolled in school in San Diego. I travel to Vegas when the kids are with their dad to visit my Superguy  and work on getting our house in order.

Superguys

A face worth traveling for.

 

It’s a lot of back and forth. Josh and Alex are living in-between two apartments while both of their parents have second homes in distant cities. It isn’t ideal and at some point soon, it would be great if we could all settle down into something more traditional.

All of this and the everyday minutia of life marches on. Josh is experiencing the “joy” of middle school where everyone is trying their hardest to be exactly like everyone else. Alex is hitting the third grade where homework has become a REALLY big deal. New math makes as much sense to me as dancing on my fingertips, so big-brother has been stepping in to help.

Darby the dog travels wherever the boys go, and I tried to leave our high-maintenance cat in Vegas but she revolted and went on a scratching and pooping spree at the new digs. She even peed on the kitchen countertop, just to make sure her feelings were fully transparent. Gabby-cat is a SoCal lady. So she too is back here in San Diego, in our cramped apartment, where she manages to keep her feline aggression in check … most of the time.

Gabby escaped her crate on the long drive home. (That fake smile on my face is screaming, “This is not Fu**ing happening!)

 

On the horizon, there are book festivals to attend, TV interviews to tackle, and at least one book club at my place to enjoy. Kingston Court reviews are rolling in from the U.S. and abroad, and so far they’ve been good … fingers crossed.

 

Life in transition is a thick soup of beauty and chaos.

Alex

Alex

Girl Boner – Win a Free Autographed Book!

My good buddy and former Parisian runway model, August McLaughlin, invited me on her podcast Girl Boner. How’s that for an attention grabbing show name?!

August played a fun game called Fact or Fiction and she had several ladies, including myself, tell a story.  The listeners then have to guess if it’s true or not. The game starts at 00:42:5. My story begins at 00:51:26. Leave me your guesses in the comment section and I will throw the names of everyone who guesses all three correct into a hat to win a free autographed copy of Kingston Court! The winner will be announced next week.

August

Click here to listen

 

Thank you for reading! Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The blogger and UCLA honors graduate is the author of the memoir, Could Have Been Holly Wood. Kingston Court, is her debut novel.

A California native and mother of two, Holly currently splits her time between San Diego, California and Henderson, Nevada. Co-creator of Acorn Author Services & Publishing, she is available for speaking engagements and content editing. www.hkammier.com

 

Back To Top