FREE Bestselling YA Dystopian

ttm free promo june 2016

If you haven’t read “The Treemakers,” now’s the time to snatch it up!

FREE through June 3rd

—–> “The Treemakers” on Amazon

Blurb:

Stay on guard. Be aware of your surroundings. Notice the nuances. Cover your tracks. Always be prepared. Question everything. This is how you stay alive, Joy. And this is how you keep the ones you love alive.

Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her.

In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign.

Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret.

With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall.

The Path to Becoming an Author Isn’t Straight- Guest Blog by Sarah Noffke

article pic for Sarah N.

The other day during a routine office visit, my doctor asked me what I was doing these days.

“Writing YA sci fi fantasy novels,” I told her.

I could tell by the blank expression on her face that this was not the answer she was expecting. I was supposed to say, “Working in the accounting department at XYZ” or “Managing a few accounts for XYZ.” Fessing up to being a writer makes people pause I’ve noticed.

My doctor then asked, “So did you study journalism in college?”

“Management,” I informed her.

Another pause. She actually furrowed her brow at me. “How does that happen?” she asked.

The short answer is I got bored. Bored of spreadsheets and meetings about meetings. I loved the people. The mission. The product. But the day-to-day was draining my creative vault more and more each year. I wanted to do something that was creative. Something that gave to our society in a different way. So I took down my diplomas and replaced them with a bulletin board which I quickly filled up with notes and ideas.

However, I still have a real job. One that makes me sound normal. I’m a college professor. Often I have students tell me they have no idea what they want to do with their lives. They’re in college, taking classes towards a degree, and one day they’re going to have to use it…but for what? Some of the college students aren’t young either. They have returned to school after raising kids or retiring from the job they never really liked.

These students must think that because I’m qualified to teach them how to write, that I might know something about advising them on the future. Or maybe like all those searching for answers, they’re just asking anyone who might have an answer.

These lost students of mine are thoroughly afraid that they’re going to earn a degree in something and then not like it. They’re even more afraid that they’ll end up getting a degree in one thing and do something totally different. “That would be a total waste,” they tell me.

A waste? Or is it the path to get you to where you want to be, even if it’s not where you were headed? The thing is that if you’re true to yourself then you’re going to grow up to be “you.” No matter what path you choose, it will take you there. I have a Masters in Management. Without that degree I would never have gotten to that crucial place in my life where I became unbelievably and painfully bored out of my mind. Maybe if I’d gotten my graduate degree in psychology (as I intended) then I would have been content in that profession and never become a writer. Maybe. Hard to know for certain.

So what advice do I actually give to my students when they ask me how to figure out what to do with their life? “Pick a path. Recognize you might not end up where you expected. And until you arrive, enjoy the ride.”  If they don’t like this advice then I follow it up with saying, “Do something that makes people pause.”

Sarah Noffke writes YA and NA sci-fi fantasy and is the author of the Lucidites, Reverians, Ren and Vagabond Circus series. She holds a Masters of Management and teaches college business courses. Most of her students have no idea that she toils away her hours crafting fictional characters. Noffke’s books are top rated and best-sellers on Kindle. Currently, she has eleven novels published. Her books are available in paperback, audio and have been translated into Spanish and Italian. Learn more about Sarah Noffke here: www.sarahnoffke.com

It Began in NaNoWriMo: One Writer’s Debut Journey

As we approach the frothing mouth of the great NaNoWriMo, many of you are gearing up to spew those sexy words like machine gun wielding cheerleaders. Hell yes, game on! Sure, the peanut gallery is across the field bitching about how NaNoWriMo is a waste of time because you’ll have to rewrite everything anyway if you want it to be worth a damn, but get your game on anyway and plug cotton in your ears. Don’t listen to the naysayers. We’ve all got to learn what works best for us, and we can’t spend our lives letting others decide what we should or shouldn’t do. The truth is, YES, you will probably do some rewriting. But that doesn’t mean National Novel Writing Month is a waste of time. My self-publishing journey began in NaNo, and I’m happy to say I now have a novel I’m proud of that bounces around on the Amazon bestseller’s list from time to time, and currently sports 84 reviews and a 4.7 star average. Did I rewrite? Yep. Was NaNo a waste of time? Absolutely not.

I had a blast! I learned who my characters were and what I wanted my story to be, and I also learned a ton about myself as a writer. I learned that there is this frigging amazing community of writers out there, whom I have grown to love and adore tremendously.  But perhaps most important was learning that I can write every day, no matter what, despite the excuses I had let hold me back in the past. NaNoWriMo gave me my very first taste of being a word-slinging BADASS, and I spread my tattered Dystopian Scifi wings and soared into action. NaNo jump-started me there.

If you’d like to watch my journey, you can here:

If you’d like to check out reviews or purchase my NaNoWriMo-spawned debut novel, “The Treemakers,” (Mature YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) you can by clicking on the cover. 
UPDATED EBOOK COVER WITH TAGLINES

So, happy writing NaNoWriMos!! You can do it!! And here’s a nifty little calendar I found for making sure you hit that daily goal. Good luck!!

2015_nano_calendar___tardis_by_margie22-d98fgll

And as always,

Write on ❤

Don’t Water Yourself Down

It’s the home-stretch for publication of “The Treemakers,” my YA Dystopian/Sci-fi, and I’ve been super squirrelly. This is a special kind of limbo. Admittedly, yes, it is a fabulous problem to have, a complex, beautiful conglomeration of fears, hopes, and worst-case-scenarios, replaying in my mind continually. Yes, most of these fears are irrational, but being new at all of this, it’s easy to run with them, not yet having seen the actual outcome of publication. Here are a few:

What if everyone hates it?

What if I’m delusional and it’s not really as good as I think it is?

What if people are just being nice to me when they say [fill in blank]?

How will I handle bad reviews?

What happens when friends, family, and others read this story and it doesn’t meet their expectations?

What if I let everyone down?

What if I am not successful?

There are likely hundreds, if not thousands more fears writers share when faced with putting their work in the hands of the masses. For me, I’m thinking, “I labored over this for a year, scrapped 103K words and started over from scratch. I put my heart and soul, both the dark and light of me, all into this, and if it falls flat, maybe I’ll fall flat, too….”

Truth be told, there are a ton of themes/events in “The Treemakers” that can–and will, probably–make certain people uncomfortable. I’ve doubted myself over the past few days, afraid that people, particularly, ones I know personally, might raise an eyebrow and wonder WTH I was thinking. Also, it has been quite nerve-wracking waiting for word back from my advanced reader/reviewers that may never come. They may hate it. They may not even finish reading it.

BUT.

I saw this meme yesterday and it gave me an “AHA!” moment.

Don't water yourself Down

How on Earth could I ever please EVERYONE? It’s not possible. I told the story that was in me to tell, leaving out nothing, and that’s the best I could ever do. Be true to myself.

Coming from a bleak past into the light where I am today has given me a unique viewpoint from which to tell a story. This is why I enjoy writing and reading fiction that shines a light in the dark, is fearless, honest, makes me feel, provokes thought, and pushes the limits. I pull very few punches, because I believe the punches are where the magic’s at.

It’s when we are faced with life’s toughest trials that we are given the opportunity to rise above and shine brighter, and brighter, and brighter still. Yes, at times things get dark in my fictional worlds—as in reality—but there is always that inherent hope and light, urging, yearning, pushing onward.

So, no. I will not be watering myself down because others can’t handle me. I’ve seen some sh*t, have had experiences in my life others could never imagine, or have only seen in movies. I have been near-death and seen death. I’ve been dangerously close to permanently losing my children, have struggled with psychological malfunction, and addictions of all sorts. And I have overcome. (With help, of course. 😉 )

Though those themes aren’t blatant in “The Treemakers,” the quest for love, strength, freedom from bondage, the yearning to rise above and fly up from the rubble–it’s all there. I can’t help but write that, it’s what I know. It’s me. And I can’t water down or sugar coat me or my fiction out of fear that there are people out there who won’t like it.

The fact is, my life is a miracle. I should not be sitting here writing this to you right now with children watching Sunday morning cartoons in the background, and a toddler continuing to bring me random items from around the house because mommy’s at the computer and that means it’s time to bug her now. 🙂

Most people who experience the bleak past I came from lose their children, end up in prison, or dead. The number of people who actually make it out, heal, grow, get their children back, and THEN go on to be any sort of successful, is so small, it’s super sad.

That being said, of course there will be themes in my fiction that make people uncomfortable. But the gift I have to offer is that on the other side of that there will be hope, discoveries, redemption, justice, and magic. Because on the other side of even the darkest night, there is always the precious, living dawn.

So, as I wait patiently these next ten days, in hopes that my fictional baby will do well, I also have to let go and have faith. And move on to the next project. Letting go is difficult, but it has to be done. I’ve done my part.

I hope that you will not water yourself down, either. If we worry too much about what is “right” or “acceptable,” or what everyone else is doing, we are selling ourselves short. This is why I believe so many writers are unhappy in their craft. Maybe they’re afraid to dig too deep, unearthing the story inherent in their soul that begs to be told. It can be scary. It can be very uncomfortable. It can dredge up all sorts of emotional baggage. But it’s so cathartic, and extremely fulfilling, like scratching an itch that has pleaded for relief, once it is written, it is seen, heard, validated.

Be true to yourselves and your stories. Tell the story that begs to be told. Don’t worry so much about what everyone else will think or what everyone else is doing. Do your own thing. Your readership will find you, and they will love you for this. These are the things I will continue to remind myself over the next few days, as those fears try to creep in and cast shadows on this glorious moment. Because this is no easy feat. Writing and self-publishing a novel that you’ve worked on for a year is something to be proud of and excited about.

So, let’s do that. Focus on the positive.

To thine own self be true.

Until next time,

Write on! ❤

***UPDATE 11/13/15*** The Treemakers is now an Amazon Bestseller! And you can one-click it right here for currently only .99: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015DC4Q5E/

Book 2, “The Soultakers,” will release 12/3/15, and you can check out early reviews on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26206748-the-soultakers

The Treemakers Trilogy Teaser Gallery

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“The Treemakers” Cover Reveal!! (and the story behind it!)

AFront

Doomed to a life of building mechanical trees for the dying world of Bygonne, sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery remains the only one left to care for over thirty orphaned children enslaved by the Superiors in the Tree Factory.

But the iron bonds of friendship and family, the discovery of magic in the dark, and love amidst devastation soon fuel her search for a way out. Aided by an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret, Joy and the Treemakers embark on a quest for freedom, and for the truth about the existence of a forbidden paradise.

About this special cover:

This is a slightly modified version of a masterpiece painted by the hand of my Nana, Mildred Louise Atnip-Howard, born on April 6, 1929.

By age ten, her mother had died and her father dropped her and five younger siblings off at Boles Home Orphanage in Quinlan, Texas. There she sat for days on the front stoop, waiting for him to return . . . but he never did. She was left to figure out how to live life as an orphan, while simultaneously being a mother-figure to her younger siblings.

Young nanaMildred grew to be a pillar in the Boles Home community. Admired by her peers for her faith, beauty, strength, gentle nature, and integrity, she graduated high school, attended college, and then went on to have a family of her own. After raising seven children, she and her husband, my Papa, went back to Boles Home, where they spent five years fostering over one hundred-twenty girls. She was the mother figure and positive role model many of them never had. She was truly a remarkable woman.

 

My Nana died on December 28, 2010, from cancer-related illness. Our family was devastated. For the past few years, we’ve been on the path that leads through pain, to healing. Her life taught me to be strong, to strive for gentleness, forgiveness and integrity, and to never stop believing in myself and expecting great things to come. Navigating the choppy, murky waters of grief after her death gave me a new outlook on everything. How precious life is. How it can be gone in an instant. How this too shall pass, and healing comes. How things don’t always happen the way you think they should or when you think they should, but that ultimately, when you look back, you’ll see the secret inner-workings of it all. And “when the secrets are revealed, you will see the way the magic works.” (The Treemakers)

I can only hope that my story—and the use of her masterpiece as its cover—can honor her life; her true magnum opus.

Many of the aforementioned themes are represented in my upcoming novel, “The Treemakers.” Though it is a Dystopian/Scifi and a story of its own (Joy is not modeled after my Nana), the search for the spark in the dark is there, as well as the discovery of it in the most unlikely place, and in the most magical, unexpected ways. I really hope you enjoy it.

Let me reiterate how grateful I am to have made the decision to become an independent author. If I had not, I may not have had the opportunity to honor a woman who means so much to me, my family, and so many other people. Having the freedom to choose to honor someone amazing who is no longer with us, as opposed to “what will sell my book,” was not much of a choice. (Though, I hope it’ll do both! 😉 )

To be added to my email launch list, you may send me a direct message with your email address or email me at Rozelle . Treemakers @ gmail . com (remove spaces).

You may also visit/follow me at my Fansite: http://christinalrozelle.com/ for information on this upcoming release, as well as future releases, and I’ll also be posting more free stories, blog posts, etc., periodically.

Also, would you mind heading on over to Goodreads and marking “The Treemakers” ‘to-read?’ That would be great! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22036603-the-treemakers

Thanks so much! Fingers crossed for a tentative late-November release! I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I do!

❤ ❤ ❤

Talent will Find a Home

books magic black background light blue 1280x960 wallpaper_www.wall321.com_31“It’s always hard to break in, but talent will find a home.”

This quote from an agent at a New York literary agency was pinned to the wall in my work space forever. I often looked at it with that misty-eyed look of longing, slipping into a daydream about the day that it would happen. I’d get that email–you know the one–saying something like, “We think your story is brilliant and we wish to offer you representation, along with the promise of fortune and fame forevermore.” I remember thinking, “that’s when I’ll know that I have arrived; my writing is good enough (and so am I) . . . .”

It was months after I made the decision to go indie that I read that quote and saw what it was really saying. First off, it was telling me that this thing I love to do–writing, storytelling–has to be a struggle. Second, it was implying that the destination and key to my happiness as a writer is out there somewhere, waiting to be found.

I had an “aha” moment, ripping the paper off the wall and tossing it in the trash. Though this agent meant well, and was trying to bring hope and perseverance to struggling writers, this manner of thinking is from the Old Testament book of writing and publishing. Sure, it can be difficult to land an agent and make it “big time,” but no, the joy in writing is not anywhere but right there, in you, in me, between us and our computer screens. There, the magic is born.

When I was so worried about getting an agent, I fell into the belief that I wasn’t “good enough” until that happened. I became discouraged, disenchanted, and depressed. I cried a lot. I cursed myself with every rejection letter that came. I vowed to never write again on a few occasions. The joy and magic of writing became muted in the quest for being “good enough.”

As soon as I decided to go indie, things changed for me. A weight was lifted. A light turned on somewhere in the background, growing brighter and brighter each day. Once I began doing this for the joy and the magic of storytelling, not only did my writing improve drastically, but my life did as well. I began to see clearly the lies I had once believed; the lies of the Old Testament of writing and publishing that don’t realize they are lies–that I can’t be successful and happy unless I land an agent and get a big publisher.

The year is 2014. There are tons of ways to get my stories into the hands of readers. I don’t have to depend on anyone else to do it for me, or to wave a magic wand and grant my wish of being “good enough.” The truth is, when I am focused on the art of storytelling, telling the story the best way it can be told, and I am committed to constant improvement, and I am okay with me enough to look at my flaws humbly and be willing to make improvements where they need to be made, then I am good enough, and my story–once it is completed–will be good enough as well. Sure, there will always be people that don’t like what I write. They can go read elsewhere. And yes, the possibility of becoming super wealthy as an indie author is there, though not extremely likely. But that doesn’t mean I can’t strive for perfection, and set my sights on a prize.

Many Olympians dream of winning gold medals and never do–if their successors looked at the ratio of gold-medalists to non-gold medalists and used that as an excuse not to try their best and train like gold-medalists, we wouldn’t have any gold-medalists. And being an Olympian–like being a novelist–is a great feat no matter how you look at it. A small percentage of people who start a novel actually finish one. We can’t all be gold-medalists, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t achieved a measure of greatness already.

Don’t ever place your happiness, joy, and the inherent magic of life and storytelling into another’s hands.

Until next time writers and readers whom I love and adore, keep the amazing art of storytelling alive, and stick your middle finger in the air to anyone who tries to hold you back! ❤

UPDATE:

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

The Treemakers (YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) http://amzn.to/1H3tqFw

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure) http://amzn.to/1EoAme8