Sunday, December 14, 2014

Of Facing the Facts and Forced Vacations

Okay. So. I'm going to preface this by saying that this is a post that I had really hoped to avoid writing.

Like, ever.

But I feel it's something that I finally need to explain, if only because I need to take some of the pressure off of myself where this third book in the Variant Series is concerned. (And also, to an extent, because I feel like I owe you an explanation as to why my projected timelines keep getting stretched further and further into the future.)

Not to worry, book three will still be released in early 2015, come hell or high water (or hospital visits, but we'll get to that part in a moment). It's far enough along that—baring some pretty serious extenuating circumstances that I should be able to avoid—it will be ready for publication relatively soon.

I just need y'all to understand what's happening with me, and I need to finally explain why it takes me so dang long to get my books out to you.

The self-publishing world is pretty fast-paced. At times, the process of traditional publishing seems to move at a snail's pace in comparison.

That's part of the beauty of it. Self-published authors are able to speed things up exponentially, just by virtue of being the sole authority on their writing and publishing process. They can provide their readers with new material almost as fast as they can write and polish it. There are indie authors out there who manage to publish multiple books (sometimes an unbelievable number of them) in a single year.

You guys have probably noticed by now—I am not that kind of indie author.

I just can't write my novels that quickly. And in a market that often expects two or more new titles a year from self-pubs.... Well, it can put a lot of pressure on a writer to live up to that standard.

For the past three years, I have tried and failed to live up to that particular expectation. And it's probably time I explained why.

Like I said at the outset, this is not something I originally wanted to tell you about.

I'm a relatively private person, and this is a topic that I usually avoid talking about whenever possible. It's an issue I deal with daily, but that I try very hard not to let others know about. Mostly because there's very little to be gained by talking about it. It is what it is, and everyday I do my best to deal with it and live my life like it isn't much of an issue.

Most days, I succeed. Some days... not so much.

At times in the past, I've mentioned that my health really isn't the best. If you follow me on Twitter, you've likely noticed a tweet or two referencing this fact.

For the last two years, I've been receiving an IV treatment once every eight weeks to help control an autoimmune disease. (I actually need to receive this treatment at least once every four-to-six weeks, but the insurance company refuses to pay for it to be administered any more often than every eight—and at roughly $2,500 per dose, I'm kind of at their mercy, here. {Really. You gotta love the American health care system.})

For the most part, this treatment program has been successful at keeping me feeling pretty good (if not particularly great) and has kept me out of the hospital for nearly two years.

Unfortunately, the last two treatments I received haven't worked as well as they usually do and it's resulted in a pretty major relapse and the return of some of my worst symptoms. When you add in a run of bad luck and a few personal losses that have caused my anxiety issues to soar to new heights (lows?), and the fact that this particular disease (like most chronic illnesses) is made exponentially worse by heightened stress-levels....

Um... Well... Yeah. I'm kind of in a not-so-good way, at the moment.

I'm currently eight days away from my next treatment and in an attempt to ensure that I make it to that next dose without being admitted to the hospital, I'm going to be taking a short vacation.

A vacation from basically everything, except for sleep, books, and a nonstop marathon of the best movies and TV shows Netflix has to offer.**

I need to take it easy for a bit. And I hope you can understand and forgive me, but that means that all things book-three related are going to be placed on the back burner until I can get my health back in working order.

I could have waited to admit to all this until early next year... And, heck, if everything goes the way I'm hoping it will—and I bounce back from this quickly enough to remain on schedule—I might not have needed to say anything at all.

But the truth is, I needed to finally come to terms with the fact that my health will always be a factor in the speed at which I'm able to publish my novels. And with all the love and support you guys have shown me over the past few years, I felt like I owed you some sort of explanation as to why I keep making you wait such a long time in between books. (Especially after that rather cruel cliffhanger I left you dangling from at the end of Resistance... Seriously, y'all. It's killing me not to just break down and spill my guts here on the blog about what happens next, just so I can put an end to the suspense!)

Thanks again for all the love you've shown me lately. You guys totally rock.

I'll see you all again in the new year!

**And if you have any recommendations of your own Netflix faves, or of books that I absolutely have to read, send them my way! I'll adore you for them. Okay, I'll probably adore you, anyway, but if you help me find some fun distractions during the next few weeks, you're likely to be upgraded to Hero status. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Of Sleep Deprivation and Updates

I don't mean to alarm anyone... but I woke up at 4:30 this morning.

Like, on my own. And by that, I mean without the aid of a window-rattling sonic boom or the smell of coffee. One minute I was sleeping soundly and the next it was all... OHDEARGODWHYAREPEOPLEEVENALIVETHISEARLYINTHEMORNING.

I would have been happy enough to go back to sleep, but the muse had other plans.

She was all like...

Because apparently my muse is Daria Morgendorffer. No surprise there, really.

*sigh* I'm happy (if a bit exhausted) to report that I have reached that point in the writing process of this book.

The #NoSleepTillBOOK-lyn part. (*rereads her absolutely terrible pun* *decides that it's excusable since it was written before the sun was awake*) In other words, the brakes are off and we're officially on a crash course with completion. Woo!

I'd be much happier about this if my muse kept normal office hours.

Anyway. Just thought I'd check in real quick and let you guys know we are definitely on track for the mid–February release date. For now, anyway. *knocks on wood*

How are y'all? You good? I hope you're good.

I've got a book to write and coffee to acquire, so I'll end this here. Big, BIG thank-you's to all of you for being so patient and supportive up to this point! I would have cried uncle ages ago, if it weren't for all of you! Thanks for all the love you've sent my way lately!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Of Check-In's and Writing Retreats

*pokes tentatively at wi-fi connection*

*realizes link to the outside world has been restored*

*busts a move*

HEY, GUYS! Long time, no check-in. Sorry about that.

I'm currently on the second leg of my vacation/writing-retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where I have every intention of writing the crap out of this stubborn novel.

To give you an idea of just how stubborn Book 3 has been to write thus far.... I actually began writing it well over a year ago. It's been half-written, then re-written, then remixed, and then sliced and diced until it became the workable, half-finished draft that it is today.

The good news? I've written almost ten thousand new words in the five days since I arrived in the mountains—and they're all (knock on wood) keepers. I'm making progress. And it feels amazing.

The bad news? Even at this rate, it's going to take a flippin' miracle to have the book ready to publish before New Year's.

...Not that I'm giving up on that particular goal. It really just comes down to whether or not I can get the book through edits fast enough to release it on time. And honestly... edits aren't exactly something you want to rush through.

I want this book to be the best it can be. I want it to be something you guys will enjoy reading. And that can take time...

So here's the deal. From now on, we'll be aiming for a mid–February release date.

And if the book happens to be ready a little earlier... Well. Who am I to make y'all wait? :-)

Also, in an effort to keep me on track in the face of my newly reacquired wi-fi connection, I'm bringing back the progress bar. *points to the upper left corner of the blog*

Don't be too worried by the current percentage—there's actually a bit more than that. I'm not counting the scenes I've written, but haven't added in to the manuscript yet, and there are quite a few of those.

For the next week, I ought to be updating that bar daily as I write. With any luck, it will be at 75% or higher before I head back home!

So. Yes. With that in mind, I should probably get back to work, eh?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, y'all!

*wanders off in search of words*

Song of the Week: Arsonist's Lullaby by Hozier (aka the perfect song for the Variant Series' character, Carson Brandt. Fave lyric: "Don't you ever tame your demons, but always keep 'em on a leash." Do you guys have a song that reminds you of a certain character? If so, let me know in the comments!)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Of Book Signings and Grand Openings

Hey, guys!

If you've been following me on Twitter or here on the blog these last few months, you'll have noticed that I've been a bit... distracted lately.

Much of the last 90 days has been spent planning, organizing, and setting up a new gift shop and boutique here in my hometown of Tampa, Florida. (Not so great for the writing schedule, but a wonderful, much needed source of new income, nonetheless. One day I'll make enough to cover all of my expenses through my writing—until then, the day job beckons!)

We finally opened our doors a couple of weeks ago, and now we're gearing up for our official Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, September 13th!

We've been selling my novels here in the store, and I've already promised a handful of our customers that I will be in attendance on the day of our Grand Opening, and that I'll be available to sign books and chat with readers.

Once I realized that the book signing would be one of the features of the event (along with some great giveaways, samples of our gourmet food and teas, and discounts throughout the store), I decided to go ahead and advertise it here on the blog.

SO! For those of you that will be in or around the Tampa Bay area on Saturday, September 13th, I will be at the Willow Veranda gift shop and boutique from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., signing books for anyone that might be interested!

Here's a link to the Willow Veranda Grand Opening event page on Facebook, in case you'd like more details (our address, event hours, etc.).

Hope to see a few of you there! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Of Missing Emails and Embarrassed Authors



After a very confusing hour-long chat with my webhost's tech support yesterday.... I discovered that the settings for my [@] email addresses hadn't been set up correctly.

...Which came as something of a surprise to me, considering they haven't been changed in over two years, and I had been sending and receiving emails—I thought—just fine the entire time.

Except that I wasn't.

Some emails were being slightly delayed, and some of the emails you guys sent me (not many, but at least a few) never made it to me at all.

My initial reaction to the news.

My reaction once I realized my webhost was responsible for the screw up.

So this is just a quick note to say: If you've ever sent me an e-mail, and you didn't hear back from me, you have my apologies! 

I do my absolute best to answer each and every email I receive, and the thought that some of you wrote me and heard nothing back, worries me a lot.

The settings should be correct now, so if you write me and fail to hear back within 1-2 weeks, please let me know here on the blog!!!

I always love hearing from you guys! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Of Birthdays and Expectations

Updates and Musings

I have nearly an entire week off starting today... And I could not be happier about it.


It's been a busy few weeks.

My mom and I finished setting up (and subsequently opened up) a new gift shop & boutique, my health took a spin on the roller-coaster ride from Hades, one of my best friends had her beautiful baby boy, I met a ton of amazing people... and I learned that working 50 or more hours a week and trying to keep on a writing schedule (while also battling extreme anxiety and a chronic disease) is not only impossible, but hazardous to my health and seriously damaging to my sense of calm.


And I turned 30 last weekend.

So, there's that.

I can pretty much guarantee that had I actually had time to mourn the loss of my twenties, I would have been way more upset about that particular development. Instead, I only briefly noticed the transition.

(And anyway, I still struggle to convince people that yes, I am legally old enough to buy that fruity alcoholic beverage at Bahama Breeze, so please stop eyeballing my driver's license like it says "McLovin"...)

When you have the perpetually chubby cheeks and dimples of a little kid, worrying about growing older has less to do with laugh lines and more to do with your utter lack of accomplishments upon reaching those merciless temporal milestones. Something that I was trying very hard not to think about.

Publishing two books counts as some sort of accomplishment, right?

Do I get Grown Up points for that? Because I'm pretty sure the fact that I'm unmarried, am renting an apartment, and have no family of my own is threatening to put me in the negative.

It's made me think, though...

I mean, true, I may be the only one of my friends that hasn't gotten married yet.

And, okay, I'm also probably the only one left without a 401K or a decent retirement plan.

Fact is, I'll probably never have that white picket fence, 3.2 kids and a dog thing that society keeps telling me I should want...

But does that really matter?

For the moment, at least, I'm happy with my choices—which is more than I can say for some of the people I know.

So my life didn't turn out exactly the way society said it would. So what? It's taken me thirty years, but I'm finally beginning to understand...  Those detours I keep taking are what make my life interesting. And what's a good story without a few unexpected twists and turns?

So to my thirties I say, "Bring it. And be sure to keep it interesting." Because as far as I'm concerned—to quote my girl, Alex—normal is terribly overrated.

Giveaways Galore

A few of you have been lamenting the fact that you missed the giveaway here on the blog we did a couple weeks back... Well, to that I say—I've totally got you covered.

The kind, generous, and ever-so-lovely ladies over at the TeamNerd Reviews blog are currently celebrating I HEART YA 2014!! And so in addition to the amazing posts by and about YA authors, they're also hosting five—count 'em, FIVE—giveaways!

Click here to check out the interview I did with them and then scroll on down to the bottom of the post for a link to the I HEART YA giveaways page where a signed copy of Resistance is currently up for grabs!

And if that's not enough, TeamNerd's amazing reviewer Bridget was kind enough to create this fantastic promo image for Resistance!

Perfect promo is perfect. Just sayin'.

Also, be sure to stay tuned, because we'll be doing another giveaway over on the Jena Leigh Facebook page, just as soon as it hits 500 likes!

This Week's Playlist

I've been listening to Alt-J a lot lately, so they've earned two spots on this mini-playlist... Can't get enough of them while I'm working. Pandora introduced me to both of the next two songs and now they've been stuck in my head off and on for ages. And last, but not least, the beautiful harmony that is my current writing song—"Storm Comin'" by The Wailin' Jenny's.  Hope you find a song or two to enjoy!


Alt-J—Left Hand Free

Aranda—Still in the Dark

Eli Young Band—Oklahoma Girl

The Wailin' Jenny's—Storm Comin'

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Of Giveaways and Happy Hearts


Hey guys! In a recent post I mentioned that the Jena Leigh page on Facebook was still slowly gaining likes, and that I hoped to do a giveaway once we hit 500. And we will! As soon as that 500th fan clicks "like," I'll put together something special for my Facebook followers...

In the meantime (to help us get a little closer to that goal of 500 likes), I'll be running a giveaway here on the blog! (And sorry international folks, but this time around it's just for residents of the US and Canada... One day, I'll be able to afford to ship these prizes anywhere in the world! Until then, I just can't swing it. Not to fret, though—I'll be doing another giveaway soon that will be open worldwide! So stay tuned!)

The prize up for grabs this time is a signed paperback copy of Resistance (The Variant Series, #2), along with two Variant Series bookmarks, and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card!

Yep. On August 11th, I'll be giving away a whole bunch of goodies to one lucky reader who enters the Rafflecopter giveaway below! So be sure to enter for your chance to win!

I made sure there are plenty of ways for you to rack up points—and let's face it, since the giveaway will be exclusive to the Jena Leigh blog, in all likelihood there will be roughly five entries all together. Like, total. So if you do enter, the odds will definitely be in your favor. Just sayin'... :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I've written and rewritten this part of the post roughly four times, now.

It's not that I don't have anything to say. I can think of plenty. It's just that all the things I'm inclined to tell you about are coming across as either whiny or depressing. Or both. And that's not the sort of post I wanted to make today. So instead, let's just summarize the bad as quickly as possible so we can move on to some more enjoyable stuff, shall we?

The situation in a nutshell is this: For the next month or so, I haven't a snowflake's hope in Hades of meeting my current writing goals without subjecting myself to a mind-numbing stretch of extreme stress and sleep-deprivation. One that will likely result in my health taking another nosedive.... and/or a full-on nervous breakdown. Whichever comes first.

There are only so many hours in the day and—sadly—I haven't yet figured out how to clone myself.

As soon as we get this store up and running (and have hired enough help), I'll be settling back into my normal writing routine and that shiny purple progress bar for Book 3 will be back on the blog!

Until then, for the sake of my sanity, I'll be writing what I can, when I can, and trying very hard not to feel guilty about it.*

Pins and Posts

So, in case you hadn't noticed, half of my tweets lately have consisted of pins that caught my eye on Pinterest.... The other half, of course, are the exceedingly random posts I found amusing on Tumblr.

Lately the Internet has surpassed both books and TV as my chosen method of work-related detox.  I've noticed that when I finally make it home in the evenings I'm too tired to even watch a 30-minute-long television show, much less compose a pithy collection of words in 140 characters or less. So recently my online presence has taken on a less direct form... Reblogs.

Cause, y'see, making an intelligent comment when you're half dead and longing for sleep is hard. Scrolling through a mind-boggling number of pins and posts, however, is as easy as dragging your thumb across a cell phone. And that, I can totally handle.


Out of all my pins and posts this week I stumbled across a couple of favorites I thought I'd share with you here on the blog.

First up is this little gem Wil Wheaton reblogged on Tumblr...

(It's sadly lacking a source, though the name at the bottom reads "Sweatpants & Coffee". If you know its origin, please send me a link!)

There has been so much talk online and in the news lately about whether or not we should be embarrassed by the genres and age classifications of the books we choose to read. About whether or not adults should be ashamed to read YA fiction.

You know what I say to that? You should feel absolutely no shame at all in reading whatever you like—whatever makes you happy. And if other people don't like it, they can stuff it.**

I can't tell you how many times I've had adults (most of whom are aged mid-40s and above) approach me and tell me how surprised they were that they enjoyed my book.

"I saw the Young Adult label and just assumed it was for kids," they'll say. "I wasn't expecting to enjoy it so much, at my age!"

But that's the thing. 

YA, middle grade, children's stories... It doesn't matter what the age classification is—a good story is a good story.  If the story is enjoyable, meaningful, relatable, or clever, it can easily transcend the limitations of its assigned age level.

So should I, as an almost-30-year-old, be embarrassed to wander the YA aisles at my local bookstore? Should I be ashamed to be seen reading a Harry Potter novel or Maggie Stiefvater's latest book in public?

Of course not. If someone has a problem with it, then that's their problem, not mine.

I appreciate a well-told story. Full stop.

An age classification is a suggestion, not a rule. And thank God for that. I shudder to think what amazing adventures I might never have experienced, and all the extraordinary characters I might never have met, had I followed those so-called "rules."

Anyway. That's my two cents' worth.

...I've shared a Tumblr reblog, so let's wrap this section up with my favorite pin from last week:

 (Love this. Surreal and brimming with possibilities... Oh, the stories I could write...)

Stuck in My Head

Two songs this week, the first is a song from Swedish DJ Avicii, with vocals provided by my favorite voice in bluegrass music today—Dan Tyminski. (You might recognize his voice from the song "Man of Constant Sorrow" off the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.) The song's called "Hey Brother" and is from the Avicii album True.

Avicii - Hey Brother

Next up, it's absolutely the most oddball song I've heard in ages. Over the course of the last few days, it's inspired some glorious off-key shower vocals, as well as some horrendously awkward dancing in my car... And all I can say is, thanks, Pandora. Thank you for always playing the weirdest songs imaginable in my QuickMix. You provide me with so much awesome $#!@.

 Milky Chance - Stolen Dance

What's not to love?

Okay, guys. Time to wrap up this monster of a post!

I'm working on another post about my writing process that I hope to publish here on the blog in the next week or two, but either way, you'll hear from me again next weekend. Hope you all have a fantastic week! :)

*I haven't stopped writing. Far from it. I wrote another 800 words, just this morning. I merely need to give myself some room to breathe and take a break when I require it. The "accountability" method is wonderful and effective, and I'll be returning to it ASAP... Just as soon as my other responsibilities calm down a bit. In the meantime, I'll continue trudging along, even if I'm not talking much about my progress. :)

** Yeeeahhh. What I really wanted to say to that included a lot more cursing and a few obscene gestures. None of which translate well on a blog where the appropriateness rating is traditionally kept at PG-13 or below. But you get the picture.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Quick Update and Some Magic

The Variant Series: Book 3 Progress Bar


I picked a terrible week to be held accountable for my writing progress. Really. Epic miscalculation on my part.

This is the first day off I've had since last Saturday, and I still spent a few hours at work this morning, getting a whole host of things finished so that I could take a day off without worrying too much about being gone. Definitely looking forward to some down time! (And, fingers crossed, some uninterrupted writing time, as well.)

In the end, I hit my goal of 30,000 words, but only barely—and only because I gave myself a few extra days to hit the mark.

New goal for next week: 35,000 words.

If I don't update this progress bar next Friday with a number over 35K, I'll... I'll... I don't know. Subject myself to some form of punishment, I suppose. Going to have to think on that one. Suggestions?

On a completely random note, I'm beginning to think my laptop wants me to finish Book Three as much as you guys do. My desktop image is programmed to change every minute, shuffling through roughly a thousand images that I have saved in my desktops folder... and yet, for some unknown reason, this guy has been popping up every time I minimize Scrivener.

I have to admit. He's flippin' adorable. And a delightful motivator.*

With a tiny potato cheering me on, how could I possibly fail?

Also, it looks like the Jena Leigh page on Facebook is still gaining likes, slowly but surely. I'm thinking about doing some sort of giveaway once we hit 500 (and perhaps a second giveaway, if we ever reach 2,000 followers on Twitter.) Going to have to come up with something fun for a prize!

And stuck in my head this weekend, is the band Magic!—a band that you've almost definitely heard, if you've turned your radio to an alt-rock or pop station at all in the last few months. Their hit song Rude sucked me in, and now their album Don't Kill the Magic is my new obsession. Catchy, beachy and fantastic. The healthy dose of reggae in their songs makes Don't Kill the Magic the perfect summer album. I kind of adore these guys. They're like... like the Police meets Sublime, mixed with a little bit of Bruno Mars and some Bob Marley thrown in for good measure.

Anyway. Enough fangirling. Have a couple songs and a wonderful weekend, my loves! See you next week!

Magic! - Rude (Acoustic)

 Magic! - No Evil

*If you know who created this image, please let me know so I can add the source info! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Of Accountability and Ninjas

Writing is hard at the best of times.

At the worst? It's Mission: Impossible, complete with an exploding tape deck and suspenseful theme music. And ninjas.

Flippin' ninjas whose sole intention is to distract you from your WIPs by assaulting you with the time-consuming distractions of everyday life.

I could explain my own personal ninjas in some detail, but that's a whole 'nother blog post. Suffice it to say that helping your family open up a new gift shop/boutique when your health isn't exactly at 100% can really put a hitch in your writing schedule.

But I fully intend to remedy that.

In spite of all the distractions, there is still one thing that is absolutely guaranteed to keep me writing, even when the ninjas are kicking my butt... Accountability.

Be it writing sprints on Twitter or the updates expected of me by my alpha readers, I write more when someone's holding me accountable for my efforts. So from now until book three in the Variant Series is finished, I'll be posting my progress each week here on the blog as a part of my posts. It will keep me working on book three, and should finally get me blogging again. Win-win!

Also, for the record, I'll be starting this accountability thing off at 26,279 words.*

The Variant Series: Book 3 Progress Bar


If I don't update next week at a number that's over 30,000, feel free to give me grief. I'll totally deserve it.

A couple things to note here... That 75K goal is a guesstimate. More than likely, if I keep heading on this same track, book three ought to come in at something closer to 90K. Also, when I reach the last 1/4 of the book, I tend to write upwards of 5,000 words a day, so don't be discouraged by that low number you see in the bar! I'm still struggling to get into the groove of writing regularly again, but if this accountability thing goes as planned, I should be making steady progress on the draft again soon!

Okay, y'all. My infusion is almost over, so I need to wrap this up before the nurse returns to unchain me from this IV and I head home for a much needed nap.**

I think this week I'll leave you with a few of the tunes that have been stuck in my head lately. Hope you find something here to enjoy!

Have a great rest of the week, guys! :)


*That number could be a bit higher, but I'm not including the scenes I've written that are out of sequence and haven't been added in yet. Just in case they don't get used.

**This has to do with that whole my health is not 100% thing I mentioned earlier. The good thing about being chained to an IV for four and a half hours (besides the six weeks of good health it offers me) is that it forces me to work. Hence this blog post. So freaking yay for that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Michael (Sons of Old Trilogy, #2) by Annabell Cadiz

Hey guys!

I'm incredibly excited to announce that the wonderful and talented Annabell Cadiz, author of Lucifer, has just released book two in her Sons of Old Trilogy!!! Michael, the second book in the trilogy, is out TODAY, so be sure to check it out! 


Michael (Sons of Old Trilogy, #2) 

Now available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon! 
Add on Goodreads!
Genre: YA/NA Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal
Publication: May 28, 2014
Cover Designed by Hot Damn Designs
Synopsis: Zahara Faraday looks like a normal eighteen-year-old and lives in a quiet neighborhood with her overprotective parents. She works at a bookstore and hangs out with her best friend Becca King on a daily basis. But underneath the normal lies a secret life filled with dangerous supernaturals. Zahara belongs to a world made of Light Witches, rogue Imagoes (supernatural creatures with super strength, speed, and silver skin when the moon is out), fallen angels, and Nephilim (hybrid children born half-human, half-angel). Where her father Solomon Faraday is human, her mother Mia and her Aunt Catalina are Light Witches. They help protect the human world by hunting down rogue supernaturals who commit heinous acts against humans. What they never expected was the possibility of having to hunt down the one rogue coven they had befriended and come to trust in their battle against Lucifer. Rekesh Saint-Louis is the leader of the most powerful Imago coven in Florida and now he’s the most suspected. Supernatural bodies are starting to pile up with an ancient ritual long forbade being used to murder them and the symbol, one large cross with four smaller crosses around it—which represents Rekesh’s coven— being left behind. Rekesh and the Elders of his coven set out to find who is behind the murders and clearing his name before a war between the covens begins. To make matters more difficult, Rekesh also has to deal with the return of someone he has been keeping a secret.

Meanwhile, Zahara and Becca are spending more time brushing up on their training, knowing an attack from Lucifer can come at any moment. Between patrolling neighborhoods and hanging at the boarding school created by Charles Stephens—a fallen angel who created the school to protect the children of rogue supernaturals—they are thrown into one battle after another. Zahara begins to develop a closer bond with Jason as they train and chase down clues to clear Rekesh’s name. What she doesn’t know is the very powerful secret Jason is keeping; a secret that will change the course of the fight with Lucifer.

But Rekesh’s coven being set up isn’t the only danger. A new powerful and lethal drug has emerged from the shadows of the supernatural world called Inferi. The drug has two deadly side effects: it leaves the supernatural hungering for blood—both human and supernatural—and grants them the elemental power they had once possessed.

Lucifer is on the move and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on Zahara and complete the first act of his plan. 

A battle is about to begin. 

One that may cost the Faraday family everything they hold dear.

Make sure to get your copy of Lucifer (Sons of Old Trilogy, #1) which is on sale for ONLY 99 CENTS until JUNE 1st!

Add on Goodreads!
Purchase on Barnes & Noble and Amazon!
Synopsis: Have you ever wondered what could be hiding in the shadows?

Well, for eighteen-year-old Zahara Faraday, she doesn’t have to wonder. You see she comes from a lineage of Light Witches, those who have chosen to help protect and serve between the supernatural world and the human world. The only problem is Zahara, like her father Solomon, is as human as a human being can be whereas her mother, Mia, and her Aunt Catalina, were born as Light Witches. As a family they hunt down rogue supernaturals—creatures who harm humans or who have committed an act against their kingdom. 

Zahara’s hunting skills are usually kept dormant since her parents would prefer she live life as a normal human girl without knowledge of the supernatural world. She plans on doing just that—except when she finds a couple being attacked by fairies, she has no choice but to step in. Before she can return to pretending to be blissfully ignorant, Zahara encounters a problem she isn’t the least equip to handle: Bryan Hamilton, the good looking new co-worker she has to help train. In a heartbeat, her best friend, Becca King, has set her up on a double date with herself and her new crush, Rekesh Saint-Louis, who happens to be the most powerful leader of the biggest Imago Coven in South Florida –supernatural creatures with the ability to control water . . . and suck out human souls. 

Zahara has no time to focus on how she’s going to explain her double date with her best friend and the enemy they have a tentative truce with to her parents because soon one of the members of Mia and Catalina’s coven is found murdered with a strange tattoo of a snake with wings carved into his arm.

Zahara is then thrown into a whirlwind battle with an angel determined to have revenge against God, an Imago coven she doesn’t think they should trust, and slew of dream-eating fairies and powerful Nephilims, hybrid children of angels and humans, more than happy to rip her to shreds.

Normal just got a deadlier definition.
About the Author

Born and raised in the sweltering suburbs of South Florida, Annabell Cadiz grew up fine-tuned to the cuisine of various Spanish cultures, learned to master the art of Puerto Rican cooking thanks to her parents, and learned to converse crazy thanks to her band of siblings. She is now working toward attaining a B.A. in Psychology at Trinity International University to better understand how to converse with the weirdoes and crazies of the world. (After all, she is one of them.) A self-proclaimed nerd and a book-a-holic (her room holds dozens of shelves with much evidence to prove that her claims are indeed true), she created TeamNerd Reviews along with her best friend, Bridget Strahin, to showcase their EXTREME love for all things book related.

She published her debut novel, Lucifer (Sons of Old Trilogy #1), in January 2013. The second novel, Michael (Sons of Old Trilogy #2) will be released on May 28, 2014. And the final installment in the Sons of Old Trilogy, Nephilim, will be out in Spring 2015.
Where to Friendly Stalk Annabell: Website/Goodreads/Amazon/Twitter/Facebook


**Must be 13 or older to enter**
**Giveaway begins WEDNESDAY, MAY 28 and ends WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 2014**
**Winner will receive an ecopy of LUCIFER (SONS OF OLD TRILOGY, #1) and an ecopy of MICHAEL (SONS OF OLD TRILOGY, #2) along with a SIGNED bookmark and bow & arrow keychain**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Checking In

I swear I'm still alive.

*presses on wrist*

*searches for pulse*

Yep! Still kicking. Not craving brains or pushing up daisies or anything else that might suggest I've gone and shuffled off this mortal coil.

...So why have I been MIA for so dang long, you ask?

Erm. Well, that question's a little harder to answer....

Truthfully? I've had some personal issues to work out that left me very little time for tweets or blog posts or *gasp!* writing.

I know.

I know.

That last part worries me, too. And it's the reason why I'll be taking the next two weeks as a writing retreat, so that I might focus (almost) entirely on book three in the Variant series.**

I have just that much time left before my day job becomes temporarily all-consuming and I lose an entire month of writing time.***

If I'm going to make my self-imposed deadline for book three's publication (late fall of this year, if all goes well), then I need to buckle down and get this draft ironed out!

So you know the drill, my loves—good vibes and music recs will be greatly appreciated! Let me know what's making your ears happy these days, people. I have a writing playlist to build!


**The primary exceptions being cupcakes, coffee, and the occasional Netflix binge. What can I say? I have my vices, like anyone.

***Yes, I still have a day job. It has gloriously flexible hours and a wonderfully indulgent boss, but I still have bills to pay and groceries to acquire, so I'm afraid I don't have as much time as I'd like to devote to writing... Sorry, my loves! Someday! Someday, I'll be able to devote myself to you and you alone! And trust me, I'm totally looking forward to it!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Where to find the Variant Series books

Hey guys!

Just dropping by the blog today to put up a quick reference post including links to the websites where the Variant Series books are available for purchase. I did a post like this back when Revival was first released, but I realized that I'd yet to do the same for Resistance.

So here it is! The Revival links are listed first, followed by the links for book two in the series, Resistance. Also, if you're looking for paperback copies of the books, you can order them via Amazon, or directly from Createspace, using their website. Hope this helps!

Where to find Revival


Barnes & Noble


Where to find Resistance


Barnes & Noble


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In My Headphones and a Quick Update

So the initial rush of promos for the Resistance release are winding down, and I'm finding myself with more and more writing time during the day... Which is fantastic, although it means you'll be seeing less and less of me on Twitter and here on the blog.

I tend to be one of those writers that needs to shut out the rest of the world any time I want to focus intensely on a project—and right now, Book 3 is calling my name!

For those of you who are still wondering: currently, Book 3's release date remains undecided. As soon as the first draft is with my editor I'll be ready to ballpark a date for publication, but for now it's just too early to say. You'll know as soon as I do, I promise!

In the meantime, here are some of the songs I've been playing on repeat while I work.... More than a few include lyrics that fit almost perfectly with the plot and themes of the third book, but I'll leave it up to you guys to speculate on which songs I'm referring to. :)

Also, at the rate I'm going, I'll need to thank the band KONGOS in Book 3's acknowledgments. (Their album Lunatic has been on repeat in my headphones for days now. I'm kind of in love with it.... You might want to check out the rest of the album, if you like the two songs I included in this list. Just sayin.)


Woodkid - Iron

KONGOS - Come With Me Now

Poe - Hey Pretty

KONGOS - Hey I Don't Know

Emphatic - Do I

Carbon Leaf - Any Given Day

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Resistance Book Blitz, Variant Series FAQ, and a Giveaway!

First thing's first....

Thank you!

Thank you for making Resistance a hit during its first week of sales! I never in a million years expected the book to do this well, especially right at the outset. You guys are amazing. *glomps*

Since the release of Resistance, I've been getting a lot of questions about my plans for the Variant Series and my availability for certain promotions. Because of that, I wanted to go ahead and answer a few of the more common questions here on the blog... Hope this helps!


Is there a release date for Book 3 yet?

Not just yet. I completely jinxed myself with Resistance (Book 2) when I tried to ballpark a release date before I'd finished the first draft. Muses willing, Book 3 will be released much more quickly than the last book, but I'm hesitant to say any more than that. As soon as the completed first draft is with my editor, I'll be ready to set the date! 

How many books will there be in the Variant Series? Are you planning to write any prequels? Spin-offs?

Currently, I'm planning on four books to complete the series, but I won't know for certain until I near the end of writing the fourth book. There's a chance that I won't be able to fit everything that needs to happen into Book 4, and I'll be forced to split it into two books, making it five to complete the series.

As for prequels or spin-offs... Currently, I don't have any plans to expand the series. That's not to say it won't happen—just that it's not currently on the agenda. Maybe after I've had the chance to finish up a few of my other projects, I'll be ready to come back to Alex's world for a few more adventures! :)

I'd like to review your novel(s) for my blog. Can you send me a review copy of Revival/Resistance/both? 

I'd love to work with you! Just send me an e-mail with your information and we'll figure something out. For those of you interested in an interview or guest post—please just send me a request. If I can fit it in, I'd be more than happy to.

Giveaway Details

Today marks the first day of the Resistance Book Blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Participating blogs will be posting excerpts from the novel, interviews and guest posts, as well as offering a host of giveaways. You'll have the opportunity to win an ebook copy of either Revival or Resistance on many of the blogs! There's also a tour-wide giveaway of a $50 Amazon GC which you can enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RESISTANCE Release Day!!

Hello, everyone!

It's here! It's here! Today's the day—Resistance, the second novel in the Variant Series is now available in ebook form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords for just $2.99! For those of you looking for the paperback, it will be available on Amazon early next week.



Alexandra Parker might be the most powerful Variant the world has ever seen—but even that won’t get her out of finishing her junior year of high school.  

The challenge of keeping her abilities under wraps during class is daunting enough, but throw one surly, sandy-haired Jumper into the mix, and things can get downright complicated.  

Declan’s new job? Watch over Alex while she’s at school and do everything in his power to keep her from losing control. But as sparks of every kind begin flying between Alex and her new bodyguard, she's left feeling more unstable than ever.  

When avoiding her abilities results in a surprise visit from her parents’ killer, Alex’s worlds collide with a bang that nearly levels Bay View High.  

With her freedom now squarely in the Agency’s crosshairs, Alex will be faced with the fight of her life… and a decision that could forever alter the course of her destiny.


There will be plenty of giveaways over the next few weeks, so be sure to keep an eye on the Jena Leigh website, or follow me on Twitter (@jenaleighbooks) for more details!

Speaking of giveaways—right now, you can enter to win a paperback copy of the new book on Goodreads. While you're there, be sure to add Resistance to your shelf!

Also, BLOGGERS! Would you like to take part in the Resistance Book Blitz being hosted by Xpresso Book Tours? It's not too late to sign up! Just click this link for the details and the sign-up form! During the Blitz, every participating blog will be able to host a giveaway for one ebook copy of either book in the series and/or share the blitz-wide Rafflecopter giveaway of a $50 Amazon GC. What's not to love?

Thank you all so very much for your support and I hope you enjoy this new installment in the Variant Series! Happy reading!!


P.S. If you're a blogger who is interested in reviewing Revival or Resistance (or both) for your blog and would like a digital review copy, please send me an e-mail with your information!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cover Reveal: RESISTANCE (The Variant Series, #2)

One month from today, Resistance (Book two in the Variant series) will be released!! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to finally put this book out into the world.

To celebrate the start of our countdown, today on the blog we're kicking things off with the official reveal of the cover!

So here it is, guys, the brand new cover for Resistance!



Alexandra Parker might be the most powerful Variant the world has ever seen—but even that won’t get her out of finishing her junior year of high school.

The challenge of keeping her abilities under wraps during class is daunting enough, but throw one surly, sandy-haired Jumper into the mix, and things can get downright complicated.

Declan’s new job? Watch over Alex while she’s at school and do everything in his power to keep her from losing control. But as sparks of every kind begin flying between Alex and her new bodyguard, she's left feeling more unstable than ever.

When avoiding her abilities results in a surprise visit from her parents’ killer, Alex’s worlds collide with a bang that nearly levels Bay View High.

With her freedom now squarely in the Agency’s crosshairs, Alex will be faced with the fight of her life... and a decision that could forever alter the course of her destiny.


So what do you think? Are you guys excited to read the next installment in the Variant series? 

Be sure to check back for more fun things like giveaways, blog tours for both Revival and Resistance, and a whole lot more during this month leading up to the release. And mark your calendars—on February 11th, 2014, Resistance will finally be available for purchase!

Want to add Resistance on Goodreads? Just click the buton below!


P.S. For those of you searching this post for the cover design credit... *nervously raises hand* Erm. It was me. I designed both covers in the Variant series myself. I realize this goes completely against the advice I always give about hiring someone to design your covers, but (in my meager defense) graphic design has been a hobby of mine for over ten years now. So I feel at least slightly qualified to do it myself... But still. This is most definitely a case of do as I say, not as I do! As an author, your book will always be better served by giving it the best cover possible—and if that means hiring a graphic designer instead of putting together a design of your own, then that's exactly what you should do. :)