The Transgender Manifesto Kindle Giveaway!

TheTransgenderManifesto_ecoverTo celebrate the release of The Transgender Manifesto, I decided to give the Kindle version away for FREE for the first week so that as many people could read the book as possible. Hardcopies just $11

As you can imagine, this book is my most sentimental release. The transgender identity is still very misunderstood by mainstream society. I wanted to write this book to help shed some light on an important topic and to debunk some of the myths propagated by those with nefarious intentions toward the LGBT community.

Please share the book around to help spread the message if you feel so inclined. I also ask that you leave a review, as this is the quickest and easiest way that books get noticed in a crowded market.

I hope you enjoy The Transgender Manifesto as much as I enjoyed writing it. Life is easier when you’re not carrying a burdensome leviathan around on your back. Repression went out of style with the Puritans. Time to usher in the era of a new America. Thank you.

Here is the link!

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Author Spotlight: Jessica Marie Baumgartner

“The Golden Rule” is for Everyone

 

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When a young girl starts to learn about the different ways to say it, she finds that every culture and faith has their own way to express the “Golden Rule”. Celebrate the love of diversity and acceptance in this beautifully illustrated tale.

The reviews are in
“The world is filled with so much harm and hurting right now, and The Golden Rule gives me hope that there may, indeed, be a better tomorrow in store for us.” – Readers’ Favorite

“This is a book that every person should read regardless of age.” – Keep Calm and Novel On

“The Golden Rule by Jessica Marie Baumgartner is a quiet reminder of the instinctive decency of children in interpreting the best that their religions (or life philosophies) can offer.” – The Pirate Learning Tree

Available at
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Rule-Jessica-Marie-Baumgartner/dp/1943755191/
And
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-golden-rule-jessica-marie-baumgartner/1126415594?ean=9781943755196

About the author:

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Jessica’s motto is: Adventure first, then write! When not running around exploring nature and chasing after two smaller versions of herself, she also…feeds the bunny. Somehow in there she has found the time to author the The Golden Rule, Embracing Entropy, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is Different. She also works as a freelance editor and is a current member of the Missouri Writers Guild and SCBWI. Her articles and stories have been featured in a wide variety of publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers, Outposts of Beyond, Circle Magazine, and many more.

Courting Mrs. McCarthy Mother’s Day Sale

CourtingeBookLooking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Courting Mrs. McCarthy is on sale this weekend for .99 cents on kindle. Get mom what she really wants, a scandalous tale of adultery!
Here is the synopsis!
Nathan is terrible at relationships…

Just ask his absent father, his controlling aunt and uncle…or his ex-girlfriend, Sarah. All he wants is to spend the summer before his senior year relaxing in the sun without any conflict or drama. But when he lays eyes on the beautiful, married mother of three at the opening of a yacht club, all bets are off.

Jacqueline McCarthy’s life is nothing but a façade…

Her husband is a disgraced former athlete who prefers to have his ego stroked by other women. Jackie fills her empty days with yacht club events with other bored, wealthy housewives she can’t stand, and she’d give anything to truly connect with someone.

When she meets Nathan and asks him to watch her children, she is captivated by the handsome, charismatic young man with a swimmer’s body.

Jacqueline’s attraction to Nathan doesn’t go unnoticed and one particular vindictive gossip is determined to expose what she considers an unsavory secret.

Her campaign of rumors and innuendo—and eventually physical evidence—draws the attention of friends and strangers alike, and threatens to bring their world crashing down.

However, sometimes those who are quickest to judge are the last ones who should be throwing stones…

Here is the link! Thank you for your support.
 

What is an “Indie” Author?

This a question that I’ve seen countless times over my writing career and wanted to weigh in. If you follow any book blogs or book related accounts on social media, you’ve probably seen the term “indie author” used before. While there are countless memes that say “support indie authors,” there’s also a fair amount of confusion as to what the term really encompasses.

Much of this blame falls on the word itself. People take indie to mean independent and therefore, self-published. That’s a fairly logical train of thought.16021_1543661555857821_4749658774172860935_n

Except for the fact that indie is a term that’s been used in the arts, including literature, for far longer than self-publishing has been a prominent practice. Indie films aren’t necessarily completely funded without studios and indie music isn’t always recorded without labels. To say that indie books must only be self-published takes an unrealistic deviation from the way we’ve used the term for decades.

Indie doesn’t mean independent. It means, independent from a major backer. The film, music, and publishing industries all have similar structural hierarchies in the sense that the top is dominated by a few huge companies, with smaller companies further down the ladder and self-funded artists at the bottom of the ladder.

For publishing, indie encompasses the books outside the big five: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin/Random House, and Simon & Schuster. Vague, right? Well, it’s kind of supposed to be.

All the word “indie” reflects is the lack of a behemoth company producing the book. For those looking for a term than separates self-published and traditionally published books, you’re in luck. There’s an easy way to tell the two apart. Self-published books are self-published and traditionally published books are published through a publisher.

So why the indie label if we have easier terms to tell books apart based on their production history? There’s a simple answer for that too. Aesthetics.

Calling yourself an indie author is a lot more fun to say than telling people you were published at a small press. Say “indie” and “small press” out loud if you don’t believe me. Furthermore, the word “self-published” is still stigmatized by many people. In that regard, indie serves as a euphemism to use to those who may not check out your work otherwise.

Is it useful? Those memes exist for a reason. Some readers do like to feel like they’re supporting the underdog. There is of course, the flipside, the people that may view indie works as of a lesser quality. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer.

There is however, something to be conscious of with labels. I see authors who both traditionally and self-publish call themselves “hybrid authors,” a horrifically clunky term. Calling yourself a hybrid author essentially validates the self-publishing stigma as you admit that there’s a difference between traditionally and self-published work.

Beyond that, it’s a branding nightmare. Do you think an average reader knows what a hybrid author is? Do they care?

As an author, you need to be conscious of the image you project to yisupportbykm-002our readers. I see authors complain that their blog posts aren’t translating into sales when their blogs are basically all writing talk that an average reader wouldn’t find interested. I created ASOBAW to have a place to talk about books, while my general interest articles remain at my author site.

Does the indie label matter? Kind of. I don’t particularly think of it as a big selling point, but the amount of people who fumble to define an intentionally broad term is concerning. Pick your labels wisely and for good reasons.

Me? I’m just a writer. You should read my stuff.

Why I Don’t Do Cross-Promotion

There’s a disclaimer at the top of this site that explains my policy on blog tours. While you’ll see various promotional posts for other authors on ASOBAW, those are all from authors I know. Those posts aren’t cross-promotion as there hasn’t been a single instance where I’ve agreed to host an author here in exchange for promotion of my own work. I do it because they’re my friends and I know this is a tough business. Some of these people have hosted blog posts for my new work (which you should buy), but that’s also because they’re my friends.

I get e-mails and messages from people asking if I’ll post or tweet about their book in exchange for them doing the same for one of my books. Plenty of pe54efb434082d09699edefc8a637a5dfdople do this and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. We have a flooded market and it’s hard for any author to get publicity.

I always refuse these requests, as well as any that say something like “I’ll gladly share anything of yours.” It’s nothing personal. I’m just not interested in telling my fans to buy something because there’s something in it for me.

If I wanted to have my work promoted by people I don’t know, I’d hire somebody or I’d ask bloggers who I know to help. That’s their role in the literary circle of life. Mine is to write and to spread the word about my own books (which again, you should buy). To help my friends promote their own books isn’t a job, but rather something friends do for each other. For strangers, not so much.

This post is not meant to be condemnatory toward the practice. If you’re an author who cross-promotes, go right ahead. You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone, nor do I in choosing to publicly state that I’m not an author who does that.

One of the beauties of publishing in this day and age is that I get to interact with my fans quite frequently. I see their messages and I respond to them. A relationship has been formed. One that does involving one party trying to get the other to buy something from them (plug number three to buy my books). At this in this scenario, I know that what’s being sold is worth buying (because I wrote it).

 

 

Dead Batteries Tell No Tales Is Out!

The exciting day is finally here! Dead Batteries Tell No Tales: A Prequel to Five High School Dialogues is out!

Here is the synopsis: 1257681.jpg

Public transportation is a new experience for Amber. So is not having access to a cell phone. Luckily, a classmate named Jason is there to help. During their travel, Amber quickly learns that her perspectives on life aren’t quite the same as her peers. As they make their way home, they try to break down the foundation of their social structure in this exciting prequel to Five High School Dialogues.

The Dialogues are truly a unique series in today’s market. This book is perfect for high school students and their families. I encourage you to pick up a copy for the low price of $1.99 on kindle!

Thank you for the support!

Here is the buy link for amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Batteries-Tell-Tales-Dialogues-ebook/dp/B01CVTBPG0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1458934346&sr=1-1

And for Five High School Dialogues: http://www.amazon.com/Five-School-Dialogues-Thomas-Malone-ebook/product-reviews/B01BLPTGHU/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#R25EXMKIGX3U6J

 

Blog Tour: Embracing Entropy by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

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Available: March 15th, 2016

Title: Embracing Entropy
Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

As Earth dies, leaving its inhabitants struggling to survive, an alien race offers an unimaginable option: to relocate humans to their own planet on the far end of the universe. The Campbells, one of the last surviving families, quickly realize humanity’s hope for survival may come with a price. Accepting a new way of life, acclimating to a new atmosphere, and trying to fight against a universe that seems set on tearing them apart offers many struggles. Can the Campbell’s make it through, together?
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Excerpt:

I used to have nightmares about this. I would wake up screaming as they forced me to leave. People giving up; abandoning Mother Earth. The thought alone caused my heart to race, my under arms to sweat.

Here I stand clutching my children, one on each side, as we prepare to be torn away from everything that’s tangible. Before me, a gargantuan structure glares from above. This beast, this ship is supposed to save humanity, or at least what’s left of it.

I’ve lived through mass devastation. It’s hardened me enough. But leaving? It still scares me.

We have no idea what’s out there for us.

My husband has faith in the alien colony that is aiding us. They made contact just in time. Said they had revolutionized their space program and stumbled upon our signal.

I don’t know what I believe.

As the line moves forward, I pull my girls along. They stumble ahead with fright, carrying their backpacks strapped to their bodies. Our packs are the only human luggage allowed on the crowded craft. But that’s not what they’re worried about.

It’s not the new race they fear. Or even the new world. It is the missing presence of their father.

He has his duty. He’ll stay with his men until we pilgrims are secure, then meet up with us in a smaller craft. I’m glad for it. They’ve already had to break up some fights. People get pretty riled up in situations like this. It’s good to have someone who remains behind to keep order for a while, and to try and find any last survivors before leaving.

Finally we’re ascending the dock and I’m able to see our temporary home. It’s nothing like I imagined. The smell is what draws my attention first.

“Eww mommy.” My youngest daughter, Gwen, pinches her nose.

The odiferous enclosure is beyond human comprehension. I’ve smelt plague pits, leaking sewage, the rank smell of sea life left to rot on beaches. Although this isn’t as horrendous, it does make my eyes water. Despite the nausea I’m fighting, I grind my teeth. “Gwen, these people are saving our lives. Don’t insult them.”

Win an eCopy of Embracing Entropy.

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JessicaMarieBaumgartner.JPGThe Author:

Jessica is the author of: The Embracing Entropy Series, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is Different. Her stories have been featured in numerous publications such as Everyday Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, Fiction on the Web, The Horror Zine and many others. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and is always weaving new worlds in the webs of her tales.
You can check her out at www.jessicamariebaumgartner.com.

Embracing Entropy is a Printed collection of a series of three novellas.
This printed collection includes the novellas By the Stars, Wish for Survival, and Perfect Chaos.
The novellas are available in electronic format on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0128Z4FLE

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CMU5CRQ

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CMVCQIS

 

Seeking ARC Reviewers for Five High School Dialogues

Calling all book bloggers!

Five High School Dialogues will be released on February 26th! If you are interested in receiving an e-ARC, please fill out this form http://www.eleventhhourliterary.com/five-high-school-dialogues.html or e-mail me at asobaw@gmail.com. FHSD cover social media.jpgNote: sign-ups are for book bloggers and Amazon, B&N, and/or Goodreads reviewers!

Thank you so much for your support. As a reminder, both Five College Dialogues and Five More College Dialogues are still only .99 cents on Kindle. The Dialogues are very unique reads that provide a refreshing change of pace. Enjoy!

 

Why You Should Make Your Children Read

I recently had the opportunity to guest teach my sister’s high school freshman English class, where I discussed poetry. To my perhaps misguided surprise, I stumbled upon the revelation that only three people in her class had even heard of Jane Austen (I didn’t ask if they’d read her). While I don’t think that fourteen year olds in the year 2016 should necessarily read Victorian literature that many adults can’t get through, I didn’t see a majority of hands raised when I asked if they’d read the Harry Potter books either. This lead me to a question I’ve been pondering ever since.

Do children read enough?

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Many possible answers come to mind. There’s the straight no, the naïve yes, and the “no, but their schedules are too structured to allow for that.” Then there’s the “do any of us read enough,” which is a fair point. What is enough?

Whenever parents ask me about the SAT, I always give the same answer. “Get a tutor if you can afford it, but start encouraging your child to read more.” Math is hard, but it can be taught. How does one teach words? Prefixes, suffixes, and all of that are helpful tips to keep in mind, but I see way too many people put stock into the concept of the SAT flash card as if memorizing word meanings isn’t the standardized testing version of the needle in a haystack.

There are a lot of excuses out there for why children don’t read. They’re lazy. They don’t have the attention spans. TV has replaced books. No, no, and no.

Some children might be lazy. Some may have short attention spans. I’m sure many prefer TV to books. Blanket statements are both insulting and ignore the fact that children do work hard and have plenty of dedication toward activities they enjoy.

Think of how many hours it takes to finish a video game or maintain a YouTube channel. We can take technology out of the equation and expand it to building Legos or even putting on makeup. Children understand what effort is.

The real problem lies with desire. Not reading books does not necessarily reflect a hatred of books, but rather the lack of motivation to do so. In order to become invested in a book, one has to seek it out. There’s a book out there for everyone (like my books). Some “force” (noun, not verb) needs to exist to unite the person with the written words that pertain to their area of interest. Doesn’t sound too difficult right?

Which is why you should force your children to read. That’s right, I said force. Make them. Take away the iPhone if you have to. Why?

The fate of the world depends on it. We’re more connected than ever, but what good is that if we can’t communicate? Books help us form vocabularies. Video games don’t.

While the students in my sister’s class didn’t really know who Jane Austen was, they were able to identify the cultural importance of books. You may not need to know who Jane Austen is to do well on a job interview, but you might get some puzzled looks later on in life if you can’t identify a figure of immense cultural significance (I actually provided a similar example in Five High School Dialogues). Culture matters.

There has been a recent push for computer coding to be taught in public schools. I think that’s a great idea that will position American students to be very competitive in the workforce. We can’t however, forget the basics of education. Children need to read to be able to communicate articulately. It doesn’t matter how good of a coder you are if you can’t send grammatically correct e-mail that conveys your thoughts.

So force your kids to read if you have to. It doesn’t really matter what books they’re reading, as long as they’re engaging in something. They may put up a fight at first, but they’ll think of you twenty years down the road when they’re laughing at a poorly worded e-mail sent by a coworker whose parents didn’t force them to read.