What’s Next in 2016?

2016 is going to be a big year for me. Aside from writing books, I will also be graduating high school and starting college. I’m looking forward to the next step in my life, and I’m also really looking forward to the books coming out.

Most of my writing will probably be done in the first half of the year, and after some planning, I have three books I plan on releasing next year, one of which I’m already almost done writing.

  • The Long Road Home (Contemporary YA): Brooke never meant to survive. She hoped that the suicide attempt would end all of her suffering. After years of rejection, pain, and heartbreak, she feels as though she’s not good enough for anyone. Now she’s stuck in a hospital, being forced to take antidepressants and is getting therapy for her issues.And she hated it until she met him.Now Brooke must remember the past in order to better her future, while trying to keep her feelings for the new patient in check. In this heartbreaking novel, a young girl will laugh, cry, and fight to find her way home to the one place she’s never really let anyone in–her own heart.

Expected Publication Date: March 2016

  • Fiery Passion (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, #3): This book has a synopsis, but I don’t plan on releasing it until some time next year, after Shadow People (December 14, 2015) is out. What I can say is that this book will be much darker than the first two books and will focus on some on Heather’s personal relationships.

Expected Publication Date: Summer 2016

  • Untitled (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, #4): This book is actually not untitled, but since the title is somewhat spoilery, I will not be revealing the title until after Fiery Passion comes out. This will be the end of story arc 1 in The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles.

Expected Publication Date: Winter 2016

As you can see, 2016 is going to be a good year for books, as well as a good year for my personal life. I have no guarantees that this will stay exactly the same, as things come up and can interfere with my writing life, such as this year. I am not making any promises, just goals, and I think that goals are a very good thing.

I look forward to heading into the new year with you and I hope you all come along with me for the ride. 🙂

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Forbidden Darkness Cover Reveal, Why I Wrote the Book

Today I am very happy to share with you the official cover for my re-release, Forbidden Darkness!

Cover and description.
Cover and description.

I’m very excited to say that this book will be released to the world on June 5th, 2015.  This book is very important to me, as well as the series as a whole.

One thing I know I’m going to get asked is this:  Why did you choose to incorporate things like suicide, self-harm, and depression in a world that’s supposed to for entertainment?  The answer to that question is actually pretty simple.

I do not believe in censorship.  When I wrote my first novel, Before I Break and it made its debut in September of 2014 (which is also re-releasing this July), I was very concerned about the type of response it would get.  Many authors including my very favorite, Ellen Hopkins, get banned from schools and certain places because of the type of things their books cover.

Forbidden Darkness focuses on Heather Hawkins, who just recently almost lost her best friend Kristen to suicide.  The affect effect that it leaves on Heather is sad, because throughout the novel she worries that it’s going to happen again. Heather’s mom worries that Heather will turn out like Kristen.  Philip, who is now Heather’s love interest, plays a role in the things that happened to Kristen.  While Heather is the main protagonist of the book, what happened with Kristen was pretty damaging to everyone around her.

When Heather realizes she’s a Monster Hunter and is being stalked by a guy named Kadin in her dreams, she notices he can wield Darkness.  The idea of the Darkness came to me when I originally named the first book Negative Energy.  I won’t go too much into the story because I still want people to read it, but the Darkness is basically a physical form of all those negative emotions you feel.  And it’s entirely, 100% evil.

I look forward to being able to dig into other issues as this series goes along, and for you to see the true potential of Darkness.  Just like life, we all have a little Darkness inside us, and when everything is going on around us, we need to learn not to give in.  Never give into the Darkness, because it will take over your life in ways that you may never have imagined.

The hidden messages are thrown throughout the novel, and I hope now this will make it easier for people to catch them. Writing this series was a way of controlling my Darkness.  What will you do to control yours?

Forbidden Darkness wrap

Author Interview and ARC Giveaway

I know I haven’t been posting a lot lately.  Mostly that has to do with there not really being many things to talk about.

Fortunately, I did a recent author interview, along with that interview, she’s giving away and ARC of both BEFORE I BREAK and FORBIDDEN DARKNESS.  In case you aren’t aware, these are two books that I self-published and are now being re-published through Booktrope.  I’m really excited about this ARC copy.

If you want to check it out, be sure to click the link below!

Author Interview and Giveaway

Also, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here!

Change is Coming

Change is coming, in case that wasn’t obvious by the title of this post. Why is change coming?, you may ask.  Well, both of my books just recently got accepted for publication by Booktrope.

I know, it’s not one of the Big 6, but it sure is a huge step toward it.  Booktrope allows me to choose my team (editors, book managers, cover designers, etc.) and we work together to reprint the books.  Now, what does this mean?  It means several things.

1.  Editing

One of the big differences you’ll notice is editing.  My first two books were not able to be professionally edited, but now they will, and this is a huge benefit to me.  I want what’s best for my books, and editing is, but I’ve never really had the money for it.  This is going to open the window for me to be able make my books the best they can be.

2.  Different Covers

This is something I can iffy about, but change is sometimes necessary.  I cannot guarantee that I will be able to keep the covers I have, and if I can’t, this means more change will be underway.  Honestly, though, change is sometimes good and for the better.  I’m going to trust that whatever comes from this will be better than I thought.  If you like the old covers and want the versions with those covers, I recommend buying the books while you can.

3.  Minor plot differences

The thing is, with editing comes minor plot changing.  I can 100% there will be at least one thing probably changed in the plots for both books by the time they are reprinted.  This is part of the author world and I am willing to accept whatever advice my editor gives me.  The main, overall plots will remain the same.

4.  Different prices

Booktrope has the right to set the book prices, I believe.  This means that the prices of the books may be different than what they are now, possibly a dollar or two more.  As of right now I don’t have much info but I am pretty sure they are going to change.

5.  Better books

The truth is, I can admit that my books aren’t perfect, which is why I am so willing to do this. I want my books to be the best that they can be, and I believe with Booktrope, I’ll be able to make that happen.  This isn’t about getting rich, because I know I won’t.  This is about doing what’s best for me, my books, and my readers.

I hope that you all stick around for the ride and see what’s to come. In the meantime, it’s time to celebrate that change that is coming. It’s going to be hard because I’ve done both of these books all by myself.  Yes, things will change, but it’s one I’m sure will benefit me in the long run.

Forbidden Darkness Cover1.3

What to Expect When Reading The Next Three Forbidden Darkness Chronicles Books

A lot of you have finished reading Forbidden Darkness and have felt a little betrayed.  I haven’t gotten many complaints, but I do know the book ended on a huge cliffhanger and left lots of things unanswered.  And I really do mean a lot.

The funny part is, that was entirely unintentional.  When I planned the first four books, I knew the first book was going to raise a lot of questions, and because it’s a series, I couldn’t possibly answer everything in one book.  It would have dragged the book out if I did that, which is why the book was as short as it was (which is less than 44,000 words).

Here’s what I can tell you.  Each book, especially the first four, have a designated goal.  Take a look at this.

1.  Forbidden Darkness

This book, I like to call, The Book of Questions.  As I said above, this book raised a lot of questions as to where the series is headed and took a twist at the end.  Even with that, there were a lot of things unresolved.  That was the goal of the first book.

2.  Shadow’s Wings

I like to call this The Book of Answers.  In this book, you’ll get answers very early on, and I mean within the first few chapters.  Some of the things you’ll find out are:

  • What is Kadin?
  • What is Hayden?
  • What was the Shadow that visited Hayden?
  • Where is Kristen’s father?
  • Why was Heather kidnapped as a kid, and what does her birth mom have to do with the story?

All of those things will, in fact, get answered in the second book.  Right away you start getting the truth, and so far it’s playing out in a very real and authentic way.

3.  Fiery Passion

This book is what I liked to call The Book of Romance.  Just in the title alone, you can suspect that this book focuses more on the romantic elements of the series than the first two books did, and this book also has a major twist ending you probably won’t be coming.

4.  Frostbite’s Fury

This is The Book of Climax.  Right from the beginning, this will be the turning point of the series that changes the course of the books, which is why the series will continue for four more books after this point.

That’s all I can say for now, but I can promise you, answers are coming and you won’t regret reading once you do.  Right now I’m working on the first draft of book two, and will definitely have it out some time this year.  Thanks for being such awesome readers, and I hope you stick around for the long run.

Forbidden Darkness E-book Free

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to give you all the heads up that Forbidden Darkness is FREE one last time for a while.  If you don’t already know, The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles is about a girl named Heather Hawkins who finds out that she is a Monster Hunter.  If you’re interested, please go check it out and write a review!

Love you lots!

Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Darkness-The-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00O99L782/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

The Second Coming!

Don’t let this title fool you.  I am not speaking of the second coming of Jesus.  I am talking about the second book in The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles.

I finished the first book in the series all the way back in September, and I have yet to start the second book because school has literally been kicking my butt.  I got so far behind and now trying to catch up means I’ve hardly even had time to think about starting the second book.

My goal here is to let you know that, yes, it is coming!  And it may come sooner than you think, although there is no 100% set date yet.  The second book, or as I like to call, “The Book of Answers”, is titled Shadow’s Wings.  

Yes, you will find out what Kadin is.  Yes, you will learn more about the Perfect World.  Yes, you will find out what Hayden is.  And yes, there will be scenes with The Council.

You may be wondering where the holy heck I am taking this series, and to be honest, I know about 90% of it.  I don’t really think where I’m going with the romance plot yet, but the actual paranormal plot I have all figured out.  The series is going to take a turn pretty soon that you won’t see coming.  It’s going to be shocking, devastating, and you just might cry.  Yeah, it’s going to be pretty big and relevant to the plot.  As of right now I am not telling you when that plot is coming, but it definitely is, and I have to say, lots of readers may throw the book across the room.  The only thing I’ll say is that the plot I am referring to is not in the second book.

I will definitely be keeping you all more updated after I begin writing Shadow’s Wings.  If you haven’t read the first book, Forbidden Darkness, it is available on Amazon.

Forbidden Darkness: #21 in Paranormal and Urban

The last couple of days since the release of the first book in my new series, Forbidden Darkness, so much has happened. Starting on the 11th, I made the e-book free for five days, and it’s still up and running.  The first day I sold nearly 50 free e-books, which is pretty good for an unknown indie author like me.

I’m happy to say that my book made it at #21 in Paranormal and Urban for Young Adult’s.  It’s closer to #1 than my first book ever got, and I have a really good feeling about this new series.  So far #21 is the closest it’s gotten and, while I don’t think it’ll get any closer than that, I am still extremely proud of myself.  Thank you to everyone who purchased the free e-book.  If you are interested in reading it, you can check out the link below.

Free e-book:  http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Darkness-The-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00O99L782/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

Forbidden Darkness Release Day

The first book, Forbidden Darkness, in my all new series The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles has been released.  I’m scared.  I’m nervous.  I’m jumping for joy.  I’m ready to cry.  I’m all of the above, and I couldn’t be any more happy with how this all turned out.

I’m writing this blog post because many of you are actually misled about what the series is actually about, how I got the idea, and where it’s going from here (and how it turned into an 8 book series, which I’ll explain as well).

On the back of Forbidden Darkness there is this following quote, which I really, really like and has probably been the only line that has stayed the same throughout the six rewrites of the book.

Being a sixteen year old Monster Hunter sucks.

That sentence popped into my head when I was in 7th grade, not even near sixteen years old.  I was at Boone Hall Plantation on one of the hayrides and remember not being scared, but being highly amused.  Most scary things when I was a kid didn’t scare me, and I wanted the hayride to make my spine tingle.  I think the most they got out of me was when I laughed at the guy dressed as a zombie getting in my face and I asked, “Hey, wanna go out?”  When the hayride was over I got this idea for a series about Monster Hunters–and soon Forbidden Darkness began to badger me in my own mind.

There is no denying that this series is different than it originally was.  When I first got the idea, it was about a guy named Lucas who was a Monster Hunter and was on a hayride one night.  In the first draft, the Monsters would only come out on Halloween, so he found it odd that he noticed a Monster on the hayride.  Of course, like the kickass dude that he was, he jumps off the hayride and goes into the woods to kick some Monster balls without anyone noticing him, and his sister’s best friend Heather shows up. (Keep in mind that the first draft was written in third person, so it was easy to jump from character to character.)  The first draft was actually written in its entirety and at the time I loved it.  I then continued on to make it a trilogy (the second books were titled Abandoned and Blizzard) but still didn’t have a name for the first book.  After writing the three books, I stopped and took one great look at my series for what it was.

A big heaping pile of dog crap.

It was as if someone scooped up the dog crap, took a bunch of paper, and smeared it onto the page, and that was not cool.  The story was great.  The premise was fun.  But the writing was the most god-awful thing I’d ever read; and I was the one who wrote it!  It was embarrassing and I deleted it off my computer.  And writers, before you chew me out for doing that, here’s the thing:

1.  I was thirteen years old.  Keeping my writing back then didn’t seem very important or necessary, and because I didn’t have wonderful little author friends to tell me to always keep my writing, I was naive.

2.  It really was awful!  I honestly have no fear to admit it because every writer’s first draft sucks.  Every writer’s first draft of their first book is even worse and if you say that’s not true, you must really be fooling yourself.  Go back and look at the first book you ever wrote.  You’ll see.

To make a long story short, I wrote the book again…and again…and then again.  It seemed like each time I was writing this book it wasn’t going anywhere.  There was no theme.  No message.  No underlying story.  It was just so flat, and while I liked the paranormal parts, I felt like it needed more.

So I stopped writing it.  I basically put the first book in this series to the side in my mind (at the time there was still no title for the first book or for the series as a whole).  I deleted the manuscripts and pretended the story didn’t exist, but something incredible happened, and I’m not sure if I’m the only person who’s had this happen.  But it was amazing.

For three years the series was pushed to the side of my head and I was struggling with my own personal problems.  My family was having issues, I was depressed and self-harming, and everything about my life was falling apart.  I felt like most of the time I was stuck in a little world of depression and couldn’t break free.  Not to get too far into detail here, but I attempted suicide. Three times in one year.  Finally I was able to get the help I wanted and needed and am able to live a happier life because of it.

But that’s when the amazing thing happened.  I got out of the hospital, and while I had the idea for Before I Break at the time too, the idea for this series came back to me all at one time.  And WHOA, had things changed!  There was literally 8 books worth of plot that sat in my head for three years, and with everything I’d gone through, I finally knew where to take the series.

So I wrote it again.  At the time the working title was Negative Energy, and if you read the book now, you’ll see why that was a considerable title.  After writing it that one time it felt good to get it all out.  I tried to look for agents, all of whom rejected me, and it kinda sucked.  A lot.  So once again, I made the stupid mistake of deleting the manuscript.

I wrote Before I Break and after it came out, I needed to figure out what my next book would be.  Of course, Negative Energy was something I wanted to get back to now that I’d made the decision to self publish, so I sat down one last time to write it.  I named it Forbidden Darkness and named the series The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles.  I knew this was the direction for me to go in–to blend in real problems like suicide and self-harm into a series with paranormal plots.  It seemed almost too perfect.

Now here I am today, with the first book in this series out.  Yes, the series will have 8 books but I can promise you it’ll be worth the ride.  Stick around.  It’ll be worth it in the end.

You can order Forbidden Darkness here.

http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Darkness-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00O99L782/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420764222&sr=8-1&keywords=forbidden+darkness+alec+john+belle

And for those of you who haven’t seen, this is the beautiful cover done my author and editor, Nikki Rae.

Forbidden Darkness Cover