Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!!

I've been a bit quiet here on the blog lately, but I promise there's been a very good reason for my absence—I've been hard at work putting the finishing touches on Book Two in the Variant Series! The book is still in edits, but is on track to be released as scheduled on February 11, 2014! 

There will be two different blog tours leading up to the book's release, one in January for Revival (January 13–21) and another in early February, for Book Two (February 10–17). Also, bloggers! If you'd like to take part in the Revival tour, be sure to drop by this page for more information and to sign up!

The official title for Book 2 will be announced within the next two weeks, once I've finally made my decision. (Indecisiveness FTW, y'all.) Even more exciting, Book 2's official cover reveal will take place sometime right after the title announcement, in mid–January! It's looking fabulous and I really can't wait to share it with you all. :)

Here's wishing you all a warm and wonderful holiday season!!

Merry Christmas!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Of Release Dates and Tempting Fate


Guys, guess what!


Wait, no. Hang on… *rereads declaration* Not that kind of a date. That’d be weird. We hardly know each other.

Let’s try this again:


(For anyone reading this site as text only, that's February 11, 2014!!!) 

That’s the day, y’all. That's the day I’ll finally be able to share Revival’s sequel with all of you!

I'd give it to you today, if I could, but events have conspired to push the release date back to February…. You wouldn’t want it today, anyway. Trust me. *cringes* It’s kind of a hot mess of typos and unnecessary ellipses.

But that's what edits are for! By the time February rolls around, the book will officially be the best it can possibly be, thanks to my super amazing editor and the input of my beta readers.

So why February? Why not release the book before New Year's, like I'd planned?

The answer's pretty simple: there's just no way to have it ready for you by then.

Ever wondered what happens to an author when they sit down to write the second book in a series, and then realize that all their best ideas amount to nothing but a dozen or more failed attempts?

I could wax poetic about fickle muses and tempting fate by promising the world a book you've yet to actually write... But Libba Bray (amazing author of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy and, most recently, The Diviners) said it best in this blog post titled "On Writing Despair (Juicebox Mix)," after she ran into stumbling block after stumbling block while trying to write a sequel to The Diviners.

If you want to understand the hell that is a dozen failed attempts at a novel, click that link. Oh. And you might want to grab a juice box and a lovey before you head over. It will help you survive the read. In the words of Mrs. Bray, "Doom goes better with juice."

In addition to my writing woes, real life decided to throw in a few kicks while I was down. It's made the whole process... less than pleasant.

Luckily, I'm nothing if not determined. :)

Also, I come heavily armed with dark roast coffee and an undying love for each of the characters in this series. Which helps.

I'll be making announcements in the coming months regarding Book 2's official title and the cover reveal, so stay tuned!!!!

P.S. If you're a blogger and would like to read and review Book 2 ahead of its release, be sure to send me an e-mail so we can work out the details! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Anti-Bully Project

 The ever so lovely Amy from Lady Reader's Bookstuff has organized a fantastic, month-long project to help raise awareness about an epidemic that hits close to home for so many of us—bullying. In addition to a Facebook discussion taking place on Thursday, October 10th, there will also be a plethora of posts and giveaways from different authors who will be discussing their own experiences with bullying via the Anti-Bully Project website!

Please take a moment to visit the site and find out more about the project!

Join us to discuss the topic of Bullying. We will have a Q&A, fun games and prizes. The discussion will take place on the Anti-Bully Project FB Page: Thursday 10/10 at 7:00pm (EST) - 11:00 (EST)

The discussion is a virtual event/Facebook party. Please come prepared with questions and anything that you'd like to discuss and/or talk about. For any questions or comments, please contact Amy Del Rosso

Anti-Bully Project Links:

FB Page:
FB Event Page:
FB Virtual Discussion:

As a side note—if you're looking for another way to support the project, be sure to check out the fantastic Anti-Bully Project 2013 merchandise available for sale here!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Of Writing Retreats and Missed Deadlines

Ever had so much to do that you just up and decided to flee to another state?

Because that's pretty much what just happened to me.

The only difference here, is that I've fled toward the work in question, and not away from it....

The first draft of Revival's sequel was supposed to be finished today. And, um, well I think it's pretty safe to say I won't be meeting my deadline.


It's my own fault. I allowed myself too much time off in August and then, when the inevitable happened and I ran into problems with Book 2's story arc, I realized I'd made a pretty serious tactical error.

And so (after the inevitable nervous breakdown had come and gone) I decided it was time to shut out the world entirely and get back down to business. I needed a writing retreat, stat.

One of the great things about working from home, is that your office is pretty easy to pack up and relocate.... So I threw two weeks of clothes in the back of my car, packed up everything I needed for writing and work, and I hit the road.

I'm now writing this post from the living room of a cabin in Virginia.

(The view from the front porch. So, basically, I've temporarily relocated to paradise.)

No distractions, no excuses... This book is going to be finished before I leave to head back home.

With a little luck, a lot of work, and a crap-ton of coffee, Book 2 should still be on schedule for a late Fall release! So yay for that.

That said... Break time is officially over for the morning. Time to get back to work!

If you're feeling generous, please send music rec's and positive vibes my way... Something tells me I'm going to need all the help I can get.

And thanks again for all the support, everyone! You guys rock!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Buzz for Free Books, Updates and A New Mailing List!

Hey guys!

So I've returned from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a renewed love for the series, a suntan and these:

And if I need to explain either of those purchases to you, well... *Pats the non-initiated on the head* We still love you. It might be in that red-headed stepchild sort of way... But we do love you.

It was a fantastic way to spend my birthday! A little crowded, a little warm, but still a wonderful trip. 

(If you'd like to see more pictures from my vacation, just check the photos in my Twitter feed!)

Okay, so... UPDATES!

First up:

Buzz for Free Books!!!


Want a chance to earn a free copy of Revival?  Then it's time for you to check out the Newest Slice of Awesome on the Internet...

It's called Libboo, and it's ready to change the way you discover books!

How it works is simple... Authors offer rewards to their most devoted fans—and you can earn these rewards by sharing your favorite books with friends via social media sites.

Want to recommend a book to your friends on Twitter? Just Buzz it! In the process, you'll earn points that will bring you closer toward claiming that week's reward.

And you can always check back in the following weeks to see what new rewards are on offer!

Right now, sharing Revival with your friends will help you to earn a free copy of the eBook, but in the coming weeks, I plan to change up the rewards, so be sure to keep checking!

Ready to start sharing Revival and earning this weeks reward? (And perhaps discover some new favorite novels in the process?)  Then just click the link below and—

Next up...


 The Jena Leigh Mailing List

Looking for a way to keep up to date with giveaways, book releases and announcements related to the Variant Series and other Jena Leigh books? Sign up for the mailing list!

You have my word—no spamming. The most you'll ever receive is two e-mails a month (Unless I have some SUPER AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENTS that need to be made... but I'll try to make those extra posts worth your while by offering something shiny along with the announcement. Like free books. Or cookies... Because who doesn't love cookies?)

Subscribe to the Jena Leigh mailing list!

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That's all for now... Hope you all have a great week!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tune in Tuesday—Vacation Mix!

So my birthday's right around the corner on the 15th and, to celebrate, I'll be taking a quick break from my writing hermitage and heading to Orlando for a few days!

That's right, ladies and gents! I'm FINALLY going to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! (When you live an hour and a half away and still haven't been, it tends to reflect badly on your life decisions. Just sayin'.)

Butterbeer, Hogwarts and rides, oh my!

...I may be a tad overly excited for this trip. My mother keeps reminding me that I'm turning 29, and not 12. But I think that's just because she's failed to fully understand my love for those books!

So, yes.


Yay, vacation.

To celebrate this excellent departure from my work schedule, I've pulled together a few songs that we'll be listening to during the trip....

And by we, I mostly mean me. Mom and I differ a bit in our music taste... But I TOTALLY intend to play the birthday card and veto any dubious music choices during the ride to Orlando. ( It's one of the few perks that comes with entering the last year of my twenties.)

~   *   ~   *   ~

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly music feature that was originally hosted by Ginger at GReads and is now run by the lovely Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands. It's probably obvious by now that I love music almost as much as I love books! When I found out about Tune in Tuesday, I couldn't resist getting in on the action! Be sure to check back every week for new music and if you'd like to join us, just drop by Katelyn's blog and link up your post!

I decided to do things a little differently this week... Instead of linking to videos, I've put together a quick soundcloud playlist of the tracks.

Making the playlist this week are two tracks by the Swedish band NONONO (You might recognize "Pumpin Blood" from that Sparkling Ice commercial they play during nearly every break on HGTV... *clears throat* Not that I'd know anything about that, seeing as how I spend ALL my time lately working on Book 2...), two tracks from the amazing newcomers Sir Sly, as well as the new Ellie Goulding song "Burn" and a track from the Revivalists that I've had on repeat a lot lately...

With any luck, you'll find something new there to enjoy!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! I've got some last-minute packing to do!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pointless Post is Pointless.

Good lord, I need a break.

I think I've fried my brain... Honest. It's nothing more than a smoldering pile of ashes and discarded story ideas at this point. I've spent so much time fighting for the words to Revival's sequel, lately, that I've completely forgotten how to relax and enjoy the process.

...Which is why I decided to drop by the blog today, instead of spending another afternoon crying into my keyboard over that disaster of a chapter I can't quite seem to finish.

You know, back when I started up the blog, I had all these grand plans for it. Music! Movies! Writing advice! Delightful non sequiturs! My little corner of the web was totally going to have it all.

Aaannndd then that horrid promo-machine took over and I gave up on trying to put more me in the blog. I forgot that it was okay to post random links to videos that have nothing to do with anything at all.

Stuff like this...

(Because videos of hillbillies dancing with their pet raccoons should always be shared with your friends. It's an unwritten law of the Internet.)

So today I'm going to put together the sort of random post I'd originally planned at the outset.

Gird yourself. This time around, there will be no flailing of limbs or neon signs pointing toward websites where you can purchase my last book . (Not that there ever was before, really. Although even the smallest bit of self-promotion feels that way to me... Sadly, it's a necessary evil when trying to promote a self-published book.) Instead, I'm going to introduce you to some awesome things that you may or may not find interesting.

First up: In My Headphones

Want to know what I've had on repeat lately?


It's Greg Laswell's delightfully mellow track Comes and Goes.... A little secret about my writing process? I like to find songs that I can play on repeat for hours without it driving me crazy. I have iTunes play counts that are in the hundreds for certain songs.

Music while I write is something of a necessity, but it also helps if it's a song that I can easily tune out when I need to focus... This song is perfect for that.

Next up: On Writing

My writing advice for the day? It's this—If you're a writer and you're not already following Chuck Wendig's blog at, you kind of need to get on that.

...No, seriously. Go follow his blog.

Right now.

It's okay. I'll wait.

*strums fingers on keyboard*


*dances to I Knew You Were Trouble while no one is looking*


Back now? Fantastic.

Wendig's blog is a treasure trove of fantastic writing advice, all of which is imparted with his trademark sense of humor. I guarantee you'll find something useful to your writing process from each post—and odds are you'll also find a lot to laugh at along the way... Which is always the best way to learn something new, if you ask me.

(Also, Wendig has a new novel out this week — Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy, Book #1) in case you're looking for a new YA dystopian to read!)

 Last, but not least: At the Movies

Way, way back in the inaugural post of this blog, I mentioned that I had a penchant for bad sci-fi movies. And, my hand to god, this might just be one of the best bad movies I've ever seen:

("Wherever you go, well... There you are.")

It's The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension... This movie has it all, guys. A superhero that's a rock-star/physicist/neurosurgeon/adventurer, John Lithgow as the evil Dr. Lizardo, Red Lectroids from Planet 10, Jeff Goldblum dressed in furry chaps...

(No, really. He's dressed like Roy Rogers for almost the entire movie.)

What's not to love?

Here... Have a trailer.

'Nuff said.

Before I go, I feel like I ought to leave you with something profound.... But that's so not happening. So here — have this instead. (BA-NA-NAAAA.)

Yeah. That's all I've got right now.

See y'all later! I have a novel to finish...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tune In Tuesday—Checking In

 Tune in Tuesday is a weekly music feature that was originally hosted by Ginger at GReads and is now run by the lovely Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands. It's probably obvious by now that I love music almost as much as I love books! When I found out about Tune in Tuesday, I couldn't resist getting in on the action! Be sure to check back every week for new music and if you'd like to join us, just drop by Katelyn's blog and link up your post!

*sneaks out from behind you*

Hi there!

Remember me? Your friendly neighborhood YA/sci-fi author who has a terrible habit of disappearing from her blog for weeks at a time?

Yeah, hi. Wonderful to see you again...

I figured I'd better stop by the blog today and give you lovelies an update on Revival's sequel... And that update is... Well, it's still in the works.

But not to worry! It's still on track for a fall release. And that means that sometime in the next few months the festivities will officially begin—excerpts from the novel, giveaways and the all-important cover reveal!

In the meantime, why not listen to a few tunes that have been stuck in my head while I've been writing Book Two?


365 Days by ZZ Ward

Royals by Lorde

Harlem by New Politics

Well, there you have it. The songs I've been playing on repeat while writing. So crank it loud and shake it like a bad girl up in Harlem, guys... I've got a novel to finish!

And one more thing—be sure to check out the fantastic I HEART Young Adult Month over at TeamNerd Reviews! You could even enter to win a autographed copy of Revival!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Of Writing Advice and Updates

Hey, guys!

I know, I know. I did it again... Really, though, I'd make an excellent magician's assistant. I can disappear at the drop of a hat.

So, where have I been lately? Well, for the most part, I've been working on Revival's sequel... And you'll be happy to hear that it's coming along nicely!

I've also been apartment hunting. The process was basically House Hunters meets The Highlander. In the end, there could only be one—and I think we finally have a winner! If all goes well, I'll be moving across town next week. So things have been a little crazy with all the packing and planning and such... But words are still finding their way onto the page, in spite of the chaos, so don't fret! Everything is still pretty much on schedule.


I saw something earlier I wanted to share here on the blog.

I'm always on the lookout for writing advice that I can pass along to other aspiring writers, and when I saw Gavin Aung Than's illustration of John Green's words, I knew it was something plenty of you would appreciate!

(Click here to see the original post on

 Excellent advice, Mr. Green. Thanks for always being awesome.

...Now. Time for this easily-distracted author to get back to work, before the muse can disappear to Barbados again. Take care everyone! And DFTBA!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tune in Tuesday — In My Headphones

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly music feature that was originally hosted by the fabulous Ginger at GReads. However, for the time being, Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands will be hosting. It's probably obvious by now that I love music almost as much as I love books! When I found out about Tune in Tuesday, I couldn't resist getting in on the action! Be sure to check back every week for new music and if you'd like to join us, just drop by Katelyn's blog and link up your post!

Who's slacking off on writing up a proper post by doing a meme instead?? This girl!

I promise I have a good reason for my slacking—I've been working non-stop on Revival's sequel!

For now, the less you see of me, the better. I'm the sort that needs to unplug from everything in order to get any real work accomplished...

But I'm also the sort that needs a quality soundtrack to listen to while I work. So, for today's edition of Tune in Tuesday, I'll be sharing a few of the songs that have been playing on repeat while I write...

Hope you find something here to enjoy!


First up on the list... Fall Out Boy — Just One Yesterday. I'm just going to come out and say it—Pete Wentz is a flippin' lyrical genius. Loving the new album!

Next it's Pistol Annies — I Feel a Sin Comin' On. Not a big fan of their latest album, but this song has been stuck in my head for a week now.

Some of you might recognize this one from The Walking Dead soundtrack... It's Clutch — The Regulator.

This one's an oldie but a goodie... Erm. Well, it's catchy, anyway... Here's The Downtown Fiction with I Just Wanna Run.

And last but not least... Bruno Mars — Runaway Baby.

So, there you have it. An incredibly random assortment of the music that's been on repeat in my headphones lately!

Now... I should probably get back to work...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Of Apologies and Sequels

Okay, guys. New plan.

Next time I go out of town for a month, I'm going to set up a few posts to be... well, to be posted while I'm gone.

'Cause... Yeah.


I'd like to apologize for the disappearing act. I can assure you that the rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated... I was simply out of town working. (Helping out my family. Not writing... Erm. Well, not writing much, anyway.) While I was there, access to the Internet was a little hard to come by. And when I did have Internet access, I was too busy rocking out at the Beale Street Music Festival (and trying valiantly not to drown in a sea of mud) to do up any proper posts.

But I'm back now!

And since it seemed to be the most popular question while I was out of town...

Yes!! I can promise you that I am still working on the sequel to Revival! I can even go so far as to promise that it will be released before the end of the year! Also, that there will be excerpts for you to read in the months leading up to the release! AND THERE WILL BE CONTESTS! Yay, contests.

I know, guys... I know.

So in the meantime, I'll be working like crazy to make Book Two the best that it can be.

(Me. For the next two months or so. It's gonna be awesome.)

A few people wanted to know what's taking so long...


Funny thing, writing.

Sometimes it doesn't go exactly the way you planned.

You remember when I said that my muse likes to torture me?

Yeeeahhh. About that.

After months of writing and fighting with a non-cooperative plot, I came to a rather painful realization—I was writing the wrong #@^%-ing book.

... That entire time, I'd been writing the third book in the series and not the second. Too much needed to happen between the end of Revival and the onset of that plot-line to fit it all in the first fifty pages... It needed its own book.

The course of my breakdown in the wake of that realization went something like this...

(Stage one: Confusion.)

(Stage two: Denial.)

(Stage three: Oh, crap. Oh, crap. Oh, crap.)

(Stage four: Flee.)

(Stage five: Painful resignation.)

(And last but not least—Stage six: Scheming. Time to get down to work.)

The good news here, is that a great deal of Book Three has already been written. So, with any luck, the wait between the second and the third book shouldn't be quite as long.

*looks back over post* I went a little gif happy on this one, didn't I? Ah, well. It gets the point across. Also, I'm caffeinated. You're lucky this thing wasn't written in ALL CAPS.

...Just sayin'.

Take care, you guys!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tune in Tuesday—Long Live the Catchy

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly music feature that was originally hosted by the fabulous Ginger at GReads. However, for the time being, Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands will be hosting. It's probably obvious by now that I love music almost as much as I love books! When I found out about Tune in Tuesday, I couldn't resist getting in on the action! Be sure to check back every week for new music and if you'd like to join us, just drop by Katelyn's blog and link up your post!

Happy Tuesday!

So I've been a bit lacking in my Tune in Tuesday posts of late, what with all the crazy in my life. And today there really won't be much of a theme. Well... Unless you consider "earworms" a proper theme.  And I'm not talking actual worms, because gross. I mean those songs that you listen to once and then they're straight up stuck in your head until you find something else, equally as addictive, to replace it.

There've been more than a few of those lately, but here are the ones that I tend to start humming out of the blue, at all hours of the day and night. Good luck getting them out of your head! And enjoy! :)

The Band Perry—Better Dig Two

And... yeah. The lyrics to this one are pretty much dripping with melodrama. But the beat and the twangy vocals more than make up for that, in my mind. Seriously. Can't... Stop... Listening...

Miranda Lambert—Mama's Broken Heart


Mark Knopfler—Boom Like That

"I'm goin' to San Bernardino, ring-a-ding-ding..." You know, for a song about McDonald's, this thing is pretty addictive.

And last, but not least....

The Spill Canvas—Good Graces, Bad Influence

I somehow went all these years without listening to the auditory awesomeness that is The Spill Canvas... Needless to say, I've been making up for lost time lately and listening to everything they've ever released, on repeat, for days at a time. It makes for surprisingly good writing music. :)

That's all for today... Hope you found something to enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Next Big Thing Hop!

So the absolutely amazing L.W. Patricks over at has tagged me to participate in the Next Big Thing and I’m excited to be a part of it!

If you’re not familiar with L.W. and his fantastic Sins of the 7 series, I recommend getting acquainted ASAP! His debut novel The Shadow of Wrath is available now on Amazon and I can promise you that it's one heck of a ride. It's YA dystopian at its most brutal. The nonstop action will keep you turning the pages and the ending will leave you craving more! So be sure to check it out!

For those of you wondering what the Next Big Thing blog hop is... Basically, it's a pay-it-forward hop that allows you to discuss your work while linking back to the author who tagged you, and also tagging other authors to participate and keep the ball rolling. This way, readers can work their way forward (and back!) through the tags and learn about other amazing authors and novels of all sorts!

Now, on to the questions...

1) What is the working title of your book?

The first book in the Variant series is titled Revival. (The second book is currently a work-in-progress and its working title is Redemption.)

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for the Variant series came from watching way too much sci-fi and reading a lot of X-Men comics as a kid. I've always loved the idea of teens with mutant abilities... And the possibility of having so much power at such a defining (and oftentimes awkward) point in your life intrigued me. Exploring the lives of my characters and the fantastic world they live in is a fun escape from reality for me.

3) What genre does your book come under?

Essentially it's YA Paranormal. It has action, sci-fi, and fantasy elements as well, but it's most definitely part of the young adult genre.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, how I've been waiting for someone to ask me that question. Hopefully, sometime soon I'll get around to writing up a separate post detailing actors for every character in the series... But until then, here's a quick rundown for a few of the main characters.

The Variant Series has quite a list of characters and I've mentally cast most of them in my head already... All of them, except for Alex.

Which, okay, probably sounds a bit weird, seeing as how she's my main character. Why haven't I cast her, you ask?

Well, the short answer is that I don't want to narrow her down to any one physical description. I realize that—should the impossible happen and Revival be turned into a movie or TV show—she'll be played by someone. But until then, I want to leave her appearance to the minds of my readers. She is whoever you want her to be. :)

As for the other main characters, here's a quick list of the actors and models I tend to think of when I'm writing their characters.

Declan O'Connell—the voice of Garrett Hedlund and the physical appearance of Adam Gallagher, the model and blogger behind (A little Garrett in the appearance too, if I'm honest. So long as he's lookin' scruffy.)

Nathaniel Palladino—Steven Straight. It will always be him in my head.

Kenzie O'Connell—Allison Scagliotti in her early days as Claudia on the show Warehouse 13.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Secrets, superpowers, and a handsome savior—this could be a spring break Alex will never forget... provided she survives.

6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?


7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took nearly two years to complete.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A blogger recently compared Revival to Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I can definitely see that (also, talk about a flattering comparison!). I would also compare it to The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi on account of the teens-with-abilities subject matter.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The inspiration for the Variant Series as a whole came from many different places, but the original spark came in the form of my morning coffee. One day at the coffee shop, the barista had drawn the shape of a phoenix into the foam on my latte. The image set my mind to wandering and I spent the next half hour writing out a scene where a young girl was being chased by a wall of flames through a burning bookstore. That piece would eventually become the opening scene of Chapter Four in Revival.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest.

What fans of Revival seem to enjoy the most about the book is its cast of characters. I had a blast writing each of them and was so happy to see that their unique voices resonated with readers! Alex isn't your typical shrinking YA violet, and between Declan's snark and Kenzie's sass, every character in Revival brings something different to the story.


Now it's time to tag some of my fellow authors to participate in the Next Big Thing! If you haven't checked them out before, you're missing out!

Jen Naumann is the author of multiple YA novels including What I've Done, Shymers, and The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life. Her upcoming novel is titled Cheating Death.

Emma Chase is the author of Tangled, a romance novel set for release in May of 2013.

Go! Read! Enjoy! You can thank me later... :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Of Stubborn Muses and Forcing the Words

I've said it before and I'll say it again: my muse likes to torture me.

For months now, I've been working on Revival's sequel... And for months now, the words have made their way onto the page in a painfully slow trickle.

What's worse is that I want to write. I want the rush that comes with losing minutes, hours, and even entire days to bringing a new story to life on the page. There are very few things in this world I enjoy more than that feeling.

Only this time that wonderful "rush" was coming in fits and starts.

Before this week began, I was getting desperate... I'd started writing things that made absolutely no sense, narrative-wise. Entire pages that I knew would need to be scrapped later, just so I could trick my muse into offering up something worth keeping.

It, uh... Well, it was a bit sketchy there for a while.

I was all like...


...just so that I could put something down.

And my muse was all like...

(Because, apparently, my muse is Misha Collins.)

And I nearly lost it.

(Not me. Although I'm certain I made that face at some point.)

I was doing what I'd been taught. Write everyday, whether the words are there or not—eventually it will get easier and the words will be there.

Only, it wasn't getting easier and I hadn't found the words.

This method had always worked in the past. So why wasn't it working this time?

Clearly I needed a new approach...

So I just stopped.

I went a full four days without even opening Scrivener.

I read half of my TBR pile. I worked on other projects that I'd been putting off. I went to the movies. I went to the park. I had an adventure.

...And I didn't think about Book Two again until Sunday morning.

And you know what?

It helped.

I opened up the file on Sunday, spent half an hour easing my way back into the current chapter... And then I wrote 1,500 useable words before the day was out. Not exactly an earth-shattering amount, but enough so that I was happy.

As was my muse, apparently.

Since then, I've been on a writing high—for the first time in months, this project is back on track, and I couldn't be happier.

And in the process I learned that—sometimes—it's okay (and even helpful) to take a break.

Not to quit... Just to press pause.

Writing can be difficult at times, but it should always be enjoyable. If you aren't enjoying yourself, how can your readers? When it reaches that point, forcing the words may not help. 

So the next time you find yourself unable to force the words, just try pausing for a moment. Take a breath. Live your life.

...And then, when you're ready, try again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway for Revival!

Want to win a paperback copy of Revival? Just drop by Goodreads and enter the giveaway! There are four copies up for grabs!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Revival by Jena Leigh


by Jena Leigh

Giveaway ends March 23, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Of Coffee Thieves and Kenzie O'Connell

So I'm a little distracted these days working on Revival's sequel, but I thought I'd go ahead and share a post that was originally published over at Jenny's amazing book review blog, Supernatural Snark

For those of you who haven't had the chance yet to check out Revival (the first book in The Variant Series) Declan's sister, Kenzie, is here today to introduce you to the story and to give you an insight or two into their world...



Hi! I’m Kenzie O’Connell. I’m a Leo. I like coffee, computers, long walks on the beach and, well, more coffee.

…Aaaannd Jena’s giving me the stink eye.

Right. Sorry, Jena.

Can you blame a girl for trying? I spend most of my days under the obnoxious and ever-vigilant eyes of three brothers and our guardian, John Grayson. That much testosterone (and potential for public embarrassment) doesn’t exactly help a gal’s social life.

I’m supposed to be talking about Jena’s new novel, Revival, in which I have the starring role.

…Wow. Careful, Jena. Your face might stick that way.

Okay, so I’m not exactly the star of the show. That honor goes to my dear friend Alex.

She’s flippin’ adorable, you guys. No, really. You’ll like her. Personally, I love her. But that’s probably because she’s the first chick in ages who not only tolerates my brothers—she also knows our secret… And we know hers.

Y’see, my family’s a little… different.

Oh, who am I kidding? We’re not even human. Not technically. My family and I—we’re Variants. Every one of us has a special ability that we hide from the world. Agency rules. If we draw too much attention to ourselves, we’ll have them to answer to. Let’s just say that shadowy government organizations don’t take too kindly to show offs.

And Alex? Well, she’s got even more to worry about.

Her powers are unlike anything I’ve ever seen—and I’m not just talking about the effect she has on my idiot brothers. Her abilities put her on a whole new level of freaktastic. And if she can’t get them under control, we could all be in trouble.

…Is that good, Jena? Can I have my coffee back now?

What the crap do you mean you “sort of drank it”?

Oh. Oh, it’s so on.

Come back here, author-lady, before I go all Variant on your novel-writing self! I mean it, Jena! You owe me a coffee!


Coffee thief.

Don’t hold it against her, y’all. It was some awesome coffee… And she needs the caffeine more than I do right now. After all, she’s got all those wonderful, Kenzie-filled scenes in Revival’s sequel to finish writing.

I’ll consider it an act of charity.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Where to Find Revival!

Hey guys!

Apologies for the vanishing author act I've pulled lately... I wish I could say I spent all that time hard at work on the second book, but that wouldn't be entirely honest. The second book will be my focus for the next few months, but for the last few weeks I've been incommunicado simply because months of traveling and having adventures resulted in one very tired and rather sickly writer.

I won't get into details. Just know that I'm back now and that I've missed ya!

So, if you'll remember, my grand plan was to have Revival's wide release take place on February 14th. Except... It only sort of happened.

I don't want to bore you with specifics, so to sum up—the book WILL be available everywhere... Eventually. It's just taking a little longer than projected for the book to be approved and added to the various catalogs.

I'll update this list periodically, as the book is made available on different sites... But for now, here are the places where you can find an e-book copy of Revival, the first book in The Variant Series! All e-book copies are priced at just $.99!


Barnes & Noble




Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tune in Tuesday – Revival Playlist

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly music feature that was originally hosted by the fabulous Ginger at GReads. However, for the time being, Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands will be hosting. It's probably obvious by now that I love music almost as much as I love books! When I found out about Tune in Tuesday, I couldn't resist getting in on the action! Be sure to check back every week for new music and if you'd like to join us, just drop by Katelyn's blog and link up your post!

Happy Tuesday!

Today I decided to post a (partial) playlist of the music I listened to while writing Revival. These were the tunes I cranked in my headphones in order to tune out this world and lose myself in theirs... The songs I played when I needed lyrical inspiration, character insights or just a catchy beat that matched the mood of the scene I was writing.

Two things about the list...

First up, it's only a partial playlist. There's a lot more where this came from. The songs I picked for the list were (for the most part) the ones that occasionally wound up on repeat while I wrote.

Second, not all of the lyrics will fit the book. So if you're listening to, say, The Decemberists song Down by the Water and wondering what the heck that has to do with the story... Well, you're right. The lyrics have nothing to do with anything. That song was special to me just because the tone (for whatever reason) made me think of Declan.

Same with the Jay-Z and Kanye song No Church in the Wild and Burn it Down by AWOLNATION. I blasted those songs, on repeat, while writing the end of the parking garage scene and the ensuing car chase—all because the driving beat of both songs perfectly matched the scenes I was writing.

With that out of the way, I present the (partial) Revival playlist! Hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do!

Monday, January 14, 2013

An Update on Revival

A proper post about writing!

I know what you're thinking.

You're saying to yourself, "But... But I thought she only ever posted about music?"

And, okay.


I'm guilty of avoiding proper posts in favor of music memes. But, to be fair, I did warn you at the outset that I've an unhealthy attachment to music. Music and the written word are the glue that holds my crazy life together!

But seeing as how this is—technically—an author blog, and since I am in the process of writing Revival's sequel... Well, it might be good if I at least mentioned what's been happening lately on the writing front.

And that is... A whole lot of nuthin'.

Y'see, what nobody tells you about this self-publishing gig is that (if you want to succeed) you have to spend every waking moment focused on promoting your work.

Oh, they warned me that it was a hard road... And I was prepared for that!

What I wasn't prepared for was the endless hours of correspondence, author interviews, guest posts, research, participation in different Goodreads communities, endless preparation for Revival's wide release on February 14th, and all the time spent monitoring my sales and Amazon ranking.

I think I've forgotten how to take a day off.

But I'll tell you a secret—I'm loving every glorious minute of it.

The muse, however... She's not exactly a fan of my new full-time job.

Finding words for Revival's sequel is like pulling teeth. My muse's teeth. And she's armed and putting up one heck of a fight.

I still have every intention of having the second book ready by late spring of this year, but to make it happen, I'll be going offline for a week in February. From February 6th through the 13th I will be incommunicado.

I've missed writing creatively and I can't wait to get back to it! (I do write creatively on a semi-regular basis, but it's only a few hundred words here and there as I find the time—what I really miss is the day-long writing sprees that fly by with me curled up in my writing chair and end with thousands of new words on the page!)

As for an update on Revival's reception thus far... It's been wonderful! The novel has been in the top 5,000 on Amazon for a few weeks now and is rated at 4.8 out of 5 stars after ten reviews. I still can't believe it. The sales (and the amazing reviews) could drop off tomorrow, but these first couple of months have been absolutely phenomenal. I feel truly blessed to have had such a wonderful introduction to the world of self-publishing! It's been a dream come true!

That said... my work is far from over.

Starting on Valentine's Day of this year (2013) Revival will be made available on a host of other platforms! (Barnes and Noble, the iTunes store, etc.)

I'll be talking more about this closer to the launch day, but mark your calenders! Starting February 14th, you'll be able to read Revival on your Nook and your Sony eReader!

Until then, Revival will still be available as an eBook and in paperback through If you'd like to pick up your own copy of the book, just click the image below! The eBook version is only $2.99! :)

And if you're looking to purchase the book from elsewhere in the world, Revival can also be found on the Amazon sites in other countries. It's currently listed at £1.94 on Amazon UK!

Hope you're all enjoying the new year so far! :)