Published Books Update

So … I finally finished thief.con – Thief à la Femme Book 2. I’m ecstatic it’s done and it should be published in the next day or so.

This post is primarily to showcase all of my books to date. So, here they are in order of publication:

 

I have started working on Book 8 in the Requisition For: A Thief Series: 13th Rule of Theft. Here’s the phenomenal cover:

REQTHIEF - 8 - eBook Cover

 

I expect a Spring 2019 publishing date for “Thief” #8.

Stay in touch for updates.

Writer’s Block … It’s Real, Folks!

Writer's Block

I’ve been a writer for a lot of years, and I’ve had moments, days, where I’ve struggled to put together a sentence that I felt good about. But I have to say, after seven books in the Requisition For: A Thief series and one book in the Thief à la Femme series, I’ve never struggled with motivation before–not before now.

I left my readers hanging, big time, at the end of Born to Steal – Thief à la Femme Book 1. My editor strongly urged me to get the second book out as quickly as possible, because people were going to complain. I had a good start on Book 2–because it had been the end of Book 1 at one point. The reason I moved those end parts out and left Book 1 on such a cliffhanger was because tying it up wasn’t the way I felt it should end. I couldn’t see another ending but the one I gave it. So, I got right on Book 2 – thief.con – beginning that book with what had once been the ending of Book 1. But then my editor surprised me … in the best possible way … and edited Born to Steal in one week. I had about six chapters written in thief.con, but when the editing on Born to Steal was completed, the manuscript went directly to my interior formatting guy (who also designs my covers), and he had the formatting done in a day. Everything that happens to get a book published and listed on Amazon in both paperback and eBook then took over … and really took over all of my time. When I finally was able to get back to thief.con, I couldn’t seem to get the flow going again. I muddled along, writing another couple of chapters, but not really feeling good about them.

I’ve never taken ANY time off between books; I have always gone straight into the next book in the series. It was different this time. Jeffrey (cover design artist), created a beautiful cover for Book 2. Having book covers ready and waiting before I’m done writing (shoot, sometimes before I’ve even begun the next book) which had always helped me get in the spirit, somehow didn’t quite do it this time.

Thief à la Femme - 2 - eBook Cover.jpg

Look at that! Isn’t that a fabulous cover?!! Should be MORE than enough to get a writer motivated!

I ended up taking some more time, however. I needed to remember what it felt like to “create” again; I’d been in edit and marketing mode for too long.

My solution was to drop the project and go back through all of my books–reread all seven Requisition For: A Thief books and then finally reread Born to Steal. I hoped by reading my previous works, I’d remember how I write, and rereading Born to Steal would give me a running start back into the second half of that book’s story.

Did it work? I’m not sure yet. I’m ready to resume writing thief.con, picking up where I left off in Chapter 9. Guess we’ll see!

Starting a New Series … The Ups and Downs

Thief à la Femme - 1 - eBook Cover.jpg

I honestly never thought I would … start a new series … or even write one other novel outside of the Requisition For: A Thief Series. Didn’t need to. Didn’t want to. All I ever wanted to write about was slick, hot, phenomenal international jewel thief Gregg Hadyn–the thief who finds redemption in stealing for the U.S. government. Not that he thinks he needs redemption. He’s happy with himself, comfortable in his own skin. That, I believe, is the pull, the draw of the storyline: Gregg learning to become just as comfortable in his new thieving role. And I will continue writing the Requisition For: A Thief Book Series (with Book 8 scheduled for an early 2019 release) until I die. Promise.

Nevertheless, I have branched out. Born to Steal – Thief à la Femme Book 1 has been written and is with my editor, Natalie G. Owens. Credit to Jeffrey Kosh, Jeffrey Kosh Graphics, for the phenomenal book covers–actually, for ALL the covers on ALL the books in the REQTHIEF series and the Thief à la Femme series.

So, what made me do it? What cajoled me into writing a brand new series?

A few of my fans had mentioned an interest in reading something which featured a female thief, after having seen my marketing videos on YouTube where I play a thief carrying out various heists–four of them, to be exact (check out The Heist – Part Four on YouTube). I thought I’d traversed that ground sufficiently in REQTHIEF – Book 4 – Out of the Grey, but it didn’t quite satisfy those fans. I thought long and hard about what they were asking for. Creating a totally different set of characters with no ties to Gregg was the only way I’d branch out with a new series. There was nowhere to go with Niki Grey, once she was tied to Gregg’s story. When this story, Born to Steal, began to evolve, I knew I wanted to give it a go. It’s been seven years since I started a story from scratch. It was compelling and challenging.

Because it had to take a different path, not the old “thief working for the government” concept, I needed to create a character, a thief, who my audience would fall in love with, same as my REQTHIEF audience did with Gregg. She had to have a redeeming quality, as well as be the best thief in the world. I hope I accomplished that.

The tentative publishing date for Born to Steal – Thief à la Femme Book 1 is mid-May 2018.

I had intended to write this first book and then go back to REQTHIEF < 8 > – 13th Rule of Theft, but because of the monumental cliffhanger I felt I had no choice but to leave at the end of Born to Steal, I will be writing the second book in the Thief à la Femme series – thief.com con  – before going back to REQTHIEF. As soon as I have a cover for Thief à la Femme Book 2, I’ll post it here.

 

 

So … It’s written, edited, and published. Now what?

REQTHIEF - 7 - eBook Cover

Marketing. It’s a nine-letter dirty word. At least that’s how I feel about a lot of the marketing that has to be undertaken to put my novel “out there.” Some of the marketing can be fun–such as the promotional video trailers we’ve done for this series. Those were a blast! Check out “The Heist” through “The Heist – Part Four” on YouTube or on my website: jadevereaux.com.

Continually posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are generally not enough marketing to launch a book into the realm of the gazillion other novels out there with enough force to get anyone to look at it. Bottom line: It costs money to market effectively. However, if you choose your marketing venues wisely, it doesn’t have to bankrupt you. I found a good combination strategy just recently while marketing Book 6–and all the books in this series–for Christmas.

Facebook Ads plus a boosted post for an eBook “Special Offer” works well. Facebook will also pull in Instagram for the ad, so you get a twofer. You can set your own budget, which makes marketing with Facebook a more pleasant experience. You can also set up your ad to read or play (as in a video or slideshow) however you want. I find it fun to set up the ads.

Amazon Ads is the other tool I use simultaneously with the Facebook Ad and boosted post. I’ll run a special on the eBooks for a week, taking the prices down to 99¢–or sometimes, running Book 1 for free while the other books in the series are 99¢–all the while advertising this special deal with the boosted FB post, the FB Ad, and the Amazon Ad. Then, every day, I’ll repost to FB, Instagram, Twitter … etc. When I found this combination back in December for Christmas marketing, I gave away and/or sold over 2,000 eBooks. I was enormously happy with that!

I’ll be doing the same on February 12th for the “Welcome Book 7” marketing campaign. For those of you who read this blog, you’re getting the first glimpse of what will happen starting Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, and continuing through Friday, Feb. 16. It’ll look something like this:

!!! EBOOKS SALE !!!

Monday, Feb 12 – Friday, Feb 16.

***WELCOMING***

REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF < 7 >

eBooks 1 and 2 = 99¢

eBooks 3 – 6 = $1.49

eBook 7 debut = $2.99

 

 

 

I’m moving on to continue writing the first book in my new series – Born to Steal – Thief à la Femme Book 1. I’m excited about adding a new series which features a female thief!

Thief à la Femme - 1 - eBook Cover

 

I hope to have “Femme” published in early Summer, after which I will be writing Book 8 in the REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF Series. I don’t have a cover, as yet, but here’s a teaser my phenomenal cover design artist made for me:

REQTHIEF - 8 - Promo Image

I’m just as excited to go on with “Thief!”

Thanks to all who buy, read, and review the books. It really does mean the world to me!

 

The Editing “Struggle” and a Goals Update

REQTHIEF - 7 - eBook Cover

Editing your finished work–a real pain in the a**, right? Not always. In fact, most of the time I enjoy going back through the entire novel, chapter by chapter, and finding ways I can improve it. I naturally edit each chapter as I write, but I probably go through the book two to three times after its completion in “edit mode” before I feel it’s ready for my professional editor, who, of course, finds another gazillion things to make it better. Thank goodness for professional editors!

After six books with the same editor, Patricia Woodside, a woman who, very literally, taught me how to write good, publishable prose, I have moved on–with tears–to a new editor. Though unarguably top-notch in her field, Patricia only plied her editing excellence part-time. The turnover for one pass editing on one book was lengthier than I wanted.  Nevertheless, for those who have the time, I highly recommend Patricia Woodside, Story Dazzle Editorial and Publishing Services. Her excellence is second to none, and her rates are very reasonable.

With the goals I have for this year and the years to come, I felt I had to seek out a full-time editor.

Enter and welcome Natalie G. Owens – Divas at Work Editing Services.

Natalie G. Owens, Editor        Divas at Work Editing Services pic

Book 7 in the REQTHIEF series is now with Natalie, and she’s expecting a quick turnaround (maybe a couple of weeks?). If so, Book 7 could easily be published by the end of January or early February.

That brings me to the update from my last blog.

I started editing The Price of Notoriety, but very quickly realized that editing alone would not cut it. The book needed a complete rewrite and my heart just wasn’t in it. I had all these other plotlines cooking in my head for REQTHIEF and the new series I’ve been tossing around. The new series won out. I was unable to get the concept out of my mind. Thus was born (pun intended) Born to Steal – Thief à la Femme Book 1. It didn’t take long to get my phenomenal cover design artist, Jeffrey Kosh – Jeffrey Kosh Graphics working on a cover. First… here’s Jeffrey:

Jeffrey Kosh - Cover Design Artist              Jeffrey Kosh Graphics

All of the covers for the REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF Series were redone by Jeffrey, and they are exquisite. He’s amazing!

Here’s what he did for the new series:

Thief à la Femme - 1 - eBook Cover

Needless to say, I’m over-the-top excited about this new series (which does not connect in any way to REQTHIEF… well, except with who is the current FBI Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division (CID)… I kept him!). I’ve already written three chapters, including an opening heist. I hope to have it published this summer.

Rest assured, however, REQTHIEF fans, I have no intention of abandoning the REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF Series. In fact, Book 8 – Thirteenth Rule of Theft is already percolating in my devious little brain. Maybe a Christmastime publishing date for “Thief #8?” Guess we’ll see!

Stay tuned for updates!

J.A.

 

A New Year – A Plethora of Goals

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First… Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas!

In 2017 I published two full-length novels in the REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF Series and finished writing one:

<5> Steal Trap – Published January 28th, 2017

<6> Once a Thief – Published July 4th, 2017

<7> Always a Thief – Finished writing the manuscript on December 13th, 2017

Goodbye 2017!

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Hello 2018!

My goals for this coming year are to publish Book 7 – Always a Thief (hopefully by March)…

REQTHIEF - 7 - eBook Cover

 

and to edit and republish the first book I ever wrote: THE PRICE OF NOTORIETY as the first prequel to the REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF Series. “Price” is the story of how the Hadyn thieving legacy began–about the two outlaws, Cayle and Skye Hadyn (circa 1864-1885) and how they became “the best bank robbers west of the Mississippi.” I have not as yet contracted my design artist to create a new cover for “Price” but here’s a picture I was working with [B.J. — Before Jeffrey, lol] that might give you a basic idea…

Prequel 1 - Front Cover Pic

I can’t wait to see what Jeffrey Kosh (Jeffrey Kosh Graphics) does with the cover for “Price!”

I’m in my personal editing  phase for Book 7 right now, so it’s not completely finished. I intend to send it to my editor by the end of the first week of January.

2018 looms before me with exciting possibilities. There’s Book 7 and Prequel 1 to publish, but there’s also Book 8 in the series – <8> Thirteenth Rule of Theft to write, and a possibility to branch out with a new series – Thief à la Femme <1> Born to Steal.

One thing is for certain, as long as I am able, I will not stop writing and publishing. There is nothing I enjoy more!

Happy New Year REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF fans! I love you!!!

J.A.

 

 

The “Aha” Moment

Plot Twist Poster

There’s  at least one in every book. That moment when the plot is cruising along pretty well and I have a fairly decent idea of where it’s going and how it’s all going to turn out…and then suddenly… Aha!

It never occurs while I’m actually writing. Generally, I’m driving somewhere, or standing in the kitchen, or honestly, doing just about anything else, when suddenly my mind fills with a devious thought. What if… What if a character isn’t really the person he or she has been portrayed to this point? What if a circumstance isn’t what it looked like or a character takes an unexpected path? These thoughts light me up like nothing else can.

For those who haven’t yet read all or any of the books, I won’t be giving away any “Ahas” here, but some generalities can’t hurt, right?

Probably the biggest “Aha” moment in the series played out toward the end of Book 3–the last book in the pilot for the series. The moment came earlier than the writing of Book 3, however. It required some setup, and my decision to go forward with it came in Book 2. I literally paced the floor when the concept occurred to me, smiling like the Cheshire Cat and going back and forth with whether I should do it. In the end, I convinced myself it was just too wonderfully devious not to follow through. For further discussion on all that went through my head when this plot twist first poked out its wonderfully roguish head, please email or message me. I’d love to talk to readers about the specifics!

REQTHIEF - 2 - eBook CoverREQTHIEF - 3 - eBook Cover

 

As I said, all the books had at least one major “Aha” moment. Book 4 probably had the most. Book 4 was just one big con after another!

 

REQTHIEF - 4 - eBook Cover

Which brings me to my method of writing. Because I write about a thief who is also a con artist, my writing style is in the “con” mode. Many times the story will go forward only to come back to a certain point where something occurred that the reader wasn’t aware of … yet. Filling in the places where Gregg foresaw complications or actually set up marks always has to be done after what looks like a failure. Otherwise, there’s no buildup, no suspense…and where’s the fun in that? Again, all the books, except maybe the first one, have a point of flashback where the reader finds out how Gregg and/or the SIRU planned for the outcome. This type of writing is prevalent in con-type TV shows such as Leverage.

These “Aha” moments are what make writing so much fun, and hopefully, what makes it fun for the reader as well. A couple of things I can tell you about me, however, might help if you’re tempted to throw a book down because all looks lost.

  1. I like my heroes bigger than life and better at what they do than anyone else in the world. Therefore, THEY WILL NOT FAIL.
  2. I personally want to be entertained when I read or watch a TV show or movie, not crushed. I hate when a writer feels the necessity to “make it realistic.” Why? I don’t want realism when I retreat to my “happy place.” I want everything to come out great, and all my heroes to be phenomenal–not necessarily realistic. You don’t ever have to worry about me crushing your soul because, well…let’s face it, it’s more realistic. Bull crap. If I want realism, I’ll watch the news.

I had a good laugh with one of Gregg’s fans shortly after I published Book 6. She was really ticked, but later, after we talked, she admitted she’d been set up in a previous series where a main character was killed off. She thought I might be doing something similar, so she quit reading the book. Later, she decided before she contacted me–specifically to give me a piece of her mind–she probably should finish reading it. So glad to report, her opinion changed. She gloriously gave me the best review I’ve ever had. There were a couple of wonderful “Aha” moments in Book 6.

REQTHIEF - 6 - eBook Cover

If you’ve read any or all of the books, and would like to talk about my “Aha” moments, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It’s difficult to do here, because it requires you having your own blog, but you can email: judy@jadevereaux.com or message me on FB: facebook.com/devereauxja.

I was starting to think I had dried up, that there wasn’t going to be an “Aha” moment in Book 7. I was wrong!

winking-face emoji

REQTHIEF - 7 - eBook Cover

Keep your eye out for REQUISITION FOR: A THIEF <7> Always a Thief – coming Spring 2018.