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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!!!!

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

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

 

Author Interview by Debra Kristi

To check out full interview on Debra’s blog, click here.

 

Holly Kammier and Kingston Court

Today we’re celebrating with my friend and talented author, Holly Kammier. Her novel, Kingston Court, just hit the virtual book stores and, if you’re lucky, you might find a copy in a local retailer near you.

To mark this momentous occasion I’m asking Holly a few questions about her story and writing journey. Please join us!

First…Congratulations Holly! What an exciting time for you. I’m thrilled to be here helping you kick off the much-anticipated book release. Let’s jump in, shall we?

Tell us, why should people read your book?  

Because it’s based on real-life women being put into the kind of situations we fear and desire most. Someone recently posted this review of Kingston Court on Amazon and I think it sums up the reasons to read it perfectly, “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.” There was more, but that was my favorite part. Who doesn’t want to laugh out loud, get sad, and get horny?

What was the hardest part about bringing this novel to completion?

Putting it in order! I have a very strange method of writing books. To get started I will work on whatever part of the story I am most inspired to write about each day. As a result, as I get close to the end, I need to go back and put the whole thing in order and then edit out anything no longer necessary and add in any missing pieces. It is NOT a very efficient way to write a novel, but it’s what works for me.

During the writing process, did you have a minor character evolve into a major one? If so, did that change the direction of the novel at all?

Yes. It was really exciting. I introduced the character Elena for a line or two and she was so fun I realized I needed to keep her around. She ended up experiencing a dramatic event in the final chapters that had a major impact on one of my main characters. Samantha’s story would not have been the same without Elena and I had no idea until it happened. That is one of the things that is so cool about writing.

Who is your favorite character and why?

I usually answer this question by saying Cameron. Today, however, I am liking Natalie better. She is someone who started off not believing in herself and found out that when it mattered, she was one tough cookie. I’m really proud of her accomplishments and growth.

If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change?

Writing this book and getting it published was a huge learning process. I’d like to think I will trust myself a little more in my next novel, that when I hit a road block I won’t completely freak out and think the world is coming to an end. In reality, I will probably have the exact same reaction. It’s part of my DNA.

What are you working on now?

I just started working on the next book. It’s a novel about a woman who goes back home after something happens to her mother and she is forced to reevaluate her childhood and her current life. In my head it’s a very funny story about an incredibly quirky family. Hopefully it will turn out that way on paper.

I have complete faith your new project will be magnificent upon its completion, and I can’t wait to read Kingston Court! 

I Believe in Holly by Alyssa Petersel

I Believe in Holly

Nearly nine months ago, I scrolled through the wide and overwhelming Internet to find an editor for my book, Somehow I Am Different. My mouse hovered over Acorn Author Services & Publishing. “We are here to guide you,” said Acorn’s homepage. Caroline Mitchell, best-selling author of Paranormal Intruder, said, “Thank goodness for Holly and Shelly who built up my fragile confidence. My book went straight to No.1 in its category on Amazon!”

I cannot say that Acorn was the only editing service I submitted my manuscript to. That would have been foolish. I must admit, though, a warmth in my heart ignited at the thought of working with women who seemed to change so many lives of fellow writers.

In the mysterious way the universe works, Holly Kammier, one of two content editors at Acorn Author Services & Publishing, replied to my query. After a few back-and-forth emails, we struck a partnership and our work together began.

Holly helped me not only to see the light in my manuscript and mission, but also to see the light in myself and my work.

Beyond her professional capacity to turn manuscripts into best-sellers, Holly is an exceptional person with an exceptional story. Realistically, it is her story that empowers her to transform the stories of others.

Holly is a child from many homes. She was born in San Francisco in the mid-seventies. As many of us imagine San Francisco to be, Holly said, “My parents were hippies and I got to run around naked a whole lot and take yoga classes with my mom.”

She lived her first five years in SF before moving to Atlanta, Georgia. When Holly was ten, she moved again to San Diego. For the next decade, she lived with her family in three distinct neighborhoods in San Diego: Hillcrest, Mira Mesa, and Scripps Ranch.

Holly’s favorite memories are of nature walks with her father. She got lost for countless afternoons with her German Sheppard mix, Farmer, collecting river rocks and searching for the perfect walking stick. She made up stories in her head about being a princess or a member of an ancient Indian tribe.

When it was time for college, Holly moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. “I graduated Cum Laude from UCLA. That’s it,” she said. “I am one of the lease educated members of my family.”

Upon graduation, Holly lived in Washington, D.C., Oregon, Orange County, Basel, Switzerland, and finally back to San Diego where she became pregnant with her first child.

Throughout her professional career, Holly worked a variety of jobs within broadcast news—including photographer, assignment editor, writer, video editor, field producer, weather anchor, morning anchor, and reporter—in stations as varied as CNN in D.C. to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. For many years, she also worked as a publicist for authors and performed celebrity PR in L.A.

“Every job I’ve held since college has involved writing in one way or another,” she said. “That said, what led to me writing books was a desperate need to understand myself.”

In the past, Holly avoided emotional pain by burying it far beneath the surface. “I didn’t even realize it existed,” she said. “I overcame it by doing things to make myself feel valuable, like exercising so I had a better figure, or getting good grades, or pursuing an exciting career that I believed improved society and gave me the appearance of having my shit together.”

When Holly was diagnosed with a twenty-year-old anxiety disorder that caused daily panic attacks and much turmoil in her life, she couldn’t believe she hadn’t self-diagnosed earlier. Then, she turned to writing.

“I wrote about my own life to remember forgotten experiences and understand,” she said. “It wasn’t until I read my first book, a memoir, that I began to connect with and understand my own issues. Even when I was writing Could Have Been Hollywood, I didn’t really get it. I needed to write it, distance myself from it, and then read it from an adult’s perspective rather than from the age at which I had experienced it. It was a very eye-opening experience and I fell in love with long distance writing. Press releases and thirty-second news stories don’t give you that same connection to your deeper self.”

Holly’s new book, Kingston Court, celebrated its official birthday on September 10, 2015. On the surface a fun, gossipy book based on Holly’s feisty friends and neighbors, subconsciously, Holly’s own personal dynamics influenced the book. “I was writing about my own fears at the time,” she said, “and encouraging myself to believe in my own value and strength. Sometimes as mothers and wives we put so much focus on our loved ones, we lose necessary pieces of ourselves. Kingston Court is about finding that 20-year-old girl still kicking around inside of us and making some of her dreams come true, too.”

Holly defines purpose as doing something you feel passionate about that will help others. “I have found that in motherhood,” she said. “I love my children more than I love myself and I truly believe that I am raising them to be a positive influence in our world. Beyond that, if my writing touches people, well, that would make me feel so incredibly accomplished.”

First and foremost, Holly hopes that Kingston Court entertains. “Life is hard for all of us sometimes,” she said. “A fun escape is a wonderful treat.” Moreover, Holly hopes that Kingston Court inspires other women to tap back into their buried dreams for themselves.

These days, Holly overcomes trauma by feeling the pain and fear and forcing herself to keep going in spite of it. She doesn’t know what is next. “I have set myself on an uncharted path,” she said, “and I am not sure where it will lead.”

Her dream is to write books and content edit for a living while working as a full-time mom. So far, I’d say she is doing is a pretty good job at that.

Learn more about Kingston Court or purchase a paper or electronic copy on Amazon here. Reach out to Holly through her website to tell her just how great a job she is doing.

 

Read more stories by Alyssa @  beli3f.tumblr.com

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