Wednesday, July 27, 2016

City of Secrets





To tourists, Caribou Canyon is an idyllic Colorado mountain town—one made even more enjoyable by the ghost stories told at local inns. But outsiders don’t know about the frequent disappearances and grisly murders. The residents know, and they might care—if these weren’t the things that made them some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. As the children of these wealthy, influential people, the students at Caribou Canyon High have every reason to be happy. However, three girls about to start their senior year find that their lives have been broken by the town’s corruption and decide it’s time to do something about it.


Penny Harper is at the top of her class and sees an Ivy League college in her future, but the death of her brother leaves her family broken. Consumed by grief, Penny struggles to hold onto a dream that feels more and more distant with each passing day. Frankie Moreno is rejected by her stepfather, ignored by her mother, and scorned by the other students for being Latina. She prides herself in not needing anyone, but a painful experience has left her with a problem that even she may not be able to handle on her own. Natasha Jameson had the perfect life in the city of Denver, but when she stumbles across her birth certificate, that perfect life crumbles. She moves to Caribou Canyon in search of answers, but someone doesn’t want her to find them.  


Fate brings the girls together, leading them to discover a deep connection that unites them against the evil that corrupts their town. But will the light created by their friendship be enough to take on the darkness?

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If you're feeling intrigued, read it for free here: bit.ly/2onwkig


Monday, July 25, 2016

It's starting to get like the DMV up here...only much more awesome

Way, way more awesome.

Where is up here, you ask? Well, that would be the inside of my brain, of course. Beckyland. The place where ideas and daydreams are born. It's the place where my characters live while they are awaiting for me to finish their stories. . . . hmm . . . does that mean it's like purgatory? And if it is, what does that say about what happens to the characters when their story is finished? On no! They're not dead after that, are they?

No . . . wait . . . it's the opposite of purgatory. It's the before. It's like the womb. So, when their story is finished, they've been born, and they are out in the world.

Phew. That was scary.

Okay, none of that was actually the point of this post. The point is that my brain is getting to be like the DMV (only much cleaner, prettier--lots of purple--,more things to do while waiting, etc.). A while ago I wrote a post about how I was afraid that my first novel was just a fluke and I'd never have another story idea, but then suddenly the ideas started coming. Last night at 2:00 AM (almost on the nose; it's the magic time), another novel idea came to me. Thankfully, it's a standalone. The idea I had a few months ago was for a trilogy (or maybe a longer series, that has yet to be determined). And this new idea is for a romance novel, which is really weird because I don't do romance as the main genre, but I'm going to write it, because it's a good idea.

Where does the DMV thing come in? Well, while I'm no longer opposed to working on multiple projects, I am not going to start any new projects until at least one of the three I am currently working on is finished. And by that I mean, I am going to try very hard not to start a new project until at least one of the three I'm currently working on is finished. So that means these new ideas have to take a number. Right now, since I'm new to this publishing thing and don't have a lot of money, I just have one of those cheap little machines where the ideas pull a paper number out and a new slip moves forward. In the future, I'd like to upgrade to a fancy computer system where the ideas will see a touch screen and they can type in what kind of idea they are: what genre, memoir, stand-alone, series, novella, short story, etc. That way, they may get a different place in line depending on what kind of attention they need. But that may not need to happen until the ideas start getting backed up into the two-digits.

I don't know how some writers churn out twenty or thirty books. I suppose you get faster over time, but I'm still waiting for that to happen. At least I know the idea train is functioning.

Psst . . . Have you checked out Chapter 1 of my serial, City of Secrets, yet? You totally should:

https://www.jukepop.com/home/read/9558?chapter=1

Friday, July 22, 2016

I don't feel any different . . .

The first chapter of my YA paranormal fantasy "City of Secrets" has been up on JukePop Serials for four days now, which means I can now officially call myself an author. Yay! (Serial publishing is a type of self-publishing in which one chapter at a time is released.) I was really excited about this whole being a published author thing. Sure, it's not as glamorous as being published by the big five or even self-publishing on Amazon, but hey, there's something about being able to say "author" instead of just "writer". Also, when people ask what I do, and I say "I'm a writer" and they inevitably follow up with, "What have you written?" I'll be able to hand them my business card (yep, I have business cards now, and a pretty purple business card holder--the whole purpose behind the business cards) and show them where they can find what I've written. Sure, someone will probably say something along the lines of, "Oh, so you're not a real writer," but whatever.

So, I've been an author for four days and well . . . nothing has happened. Well, sure, my story is up, but nothing else has happened. I thought maybe I might grow an inch taller, or my hair or eyes would change color, or I'd get a phone call from the Super-Secret-Society-of-Super-Cool-Authors offering me my membership. But it hasn't happened. A rainbow has not appeared above my apartment. I don't have magic powers. All that's happened is I now have the ability to hit the refresh button on JukePop eight hundred times a day (yeah, I am) to see if anyone new has read my story.

This reminds me of when I was eighteen and got my eyebrow pierced. All the cool kids were getting things pierced (I even knew a couple people who were getting their things pierced, but I wasn't ready to be that cool). I was really excited. I was positive I was about to join the Super-Secret-Society-of-We're-Better-Than-You-Because-We-Have-Body-Piercings-Club. So, it was great. I got my eyebrow pierced and it looked really good and I got tons of compliments. But other than having to go through the extra trouble of cleaning it every day . . . Nothing Happened. No phone call from the Super-Secret-Society-of-We're-Better-Than-You-Because-We-Have-Body-Piercings-Club about my membership. Could it be that there was no club? Sure, it was the late nineties and everyone was starting to pierce things other than their ears, so maybe it just wasn't a big deal anymore. Maybe I imagined this club.

Now, thinking back to many years ago (not going to say how many), there was another secret club I wanted to join. This was a club I KNEW existed. I just knew it. This would be the club for people who HAVE HAD SEX. Now, before I joined the PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD SEX club, I definitely felt like I was on the outside. All my friends were acting all secretive and whispery and giggly and calling me prude. Guys I had crushes on were calling me prude. At the time there was nothing more humiliating, though in retrospect--ASSHOLES! There was definitely a secret society--there was something going on I didn't know about (in retrospect--duh--sex).

Now, even though I was really eager to join this club, I wasn't just going to rush to get my membership just for the sake of getting my membership. So, by the time I finally did it, it was like, "Yes, yes, yes!" (Yes, men, we women think that too.) I knew something amazing was going to happen. Well, you know, something amazing other than the uh, Event, that was going to get me into the club. Now, first, let me just say, it was definitely worth the picky process of waiting and choosing just who would help me get into this club. Except . . .  again, other than the awesomeness of The Event . . . NOTHING HAPPENED. Seriously. Sure, I jumped up and down with my girlfriends (not the night of The Event, the next day. That would've been really weird). Again, I didn't get any taller, my hair and eyes didn't change color. Although, my belly button did get pierced the next day, but that was because I went out with my friend and pierced it (I guess it was a weekend for getting pierced).

Worst of all, I did not get the phone call from The-Super-Secret-Sexy-Society-of-Super-Sexy-Awesome-People-Who-Are-Having-Sex. Which I later realized was okay, because I got an even more important phone call. That would be the phone call from the guy involved in The Event. And then I of course later realized that he and I had our own Super-Secret-Sexy-Society-Whatever-Whatever and that it was way better than one that would involve lots of people I didn't know. Not my thing.

Years later I got a tattoo and though you would think I would've learned by then . . . I hadn't learned. I waited for my hair to change color . . . to grow taller . . . for magic rainbows to appear . . . for the phone call from the Super-Secret-We're-Super-Cool-We-Love-Pain-Or-Art-or-Symbolism-or-Endorphins-Or-We're-Not-Really-Sure-Why-We're-Getting-All-These-Tattoos-Tattoo-Club . . . nope. Nothing happened.

Sigh.

So, either there are no secret societies anywhere, or there is a GIANT CONSPIRACY in which Becky Munyon is not allowed to join said secret societies.

Either way, it's cool because I'm a writer AND an author and my story is going up for all to see and that's exciting enough. If you haven't read chapter one yet, check it out. New chapters will be posted every Tuesday.

https://www.jukepop.com/home/read/9558?chapter=1

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

City of Secrets--Chapter 1 is finally released!

Yay! It's finally the 19th! It felt like it would never get here. The first chapter of my YA paranormal, City of Secrets is finally released on JukePop Serials. I will be releasing a new chapter every Tuesday, for the most part.

Before I post the link I'm going to explain a bit about how JukePop works. First, it's free to readers, and you don't need to log in to JukePop to read the stories, which is great. So how do I make money? Well, I'm probably not going to. It's more about getting my story and my name out there, getting my feet wet, learning from my mistakes, and having fun. My tentative plan at this point is to hopefully get some feedback from readers on this version, polish it up, and then release it on Amazon, but that won't be for awhile.

All of that being said, there is a potential to make a little bit of money, maybe enough to take my wonderful boyfriend to dinner, or maybe make back the money spent on my beautiful cover. That's where you awesome readers come in. JukePop works on a system of plus voting (similar to likes). Readers vote on the stories they like, and every month the thirty stories with the most votes get (small) cash awards. In order to hit the plus vote button, you have to log in to JukePop. The good news is, you can do it with Facebook. The better news is, they don't inundate you with emails, and I promise I'm not just saying that because I want you to log in and plus vote me. It's actually true. I logged in months before I submitted my story, and I'd actually forgotten that I'd already made an account. The only emails they'll send you are the ones you sign up for, like if you click a story and add it to your bookshelf, you'll get emails every time the author adds a chapter. 

Other than the voting, it would be awesome if readers would give me constructive comments and feedback, because I'm always striving to learn and grow. So, I'd love it if you'd join and vote for me (but only if you like my story), but this is the only time I'm going to ask people to do so. I'm just going to post updates on my chapters, but not drive people up the wall about voting, because I hate it when people do that stuff. If you want to read it, that's awesome, if you don't, that's cool too.

So, here's the linky thing. Yep, that's what they're called now. 




Monday, July 18, 2016

City of Secrets teaser: Natasha



Here is the third and final teaser before I release the first chapter of City of Secrets. This one is through the POV of Natasha, the third main character. Guess what? She is also my favorite.
In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, City of Secrets will be on JukePop serials on July 19th. Don’t forget to check it out (but don’t worry, there’s a chance that I might remind you).

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      Natasha stood, just as the first drops of rain landed on her head. Seconds later pellets of water were striking her in the face. She struggled to weave her way out of the cluster of headstones, but between the wind pushing at her chest and the rain hitting her in the face, it wasn’t easy. Once she was in the clearing that surrounded the graves she picked up speed, but a second later she jumped back, gasping in surprise. 
      A man blocked the path. It was his stillness combined with the brown of his dated suit that made him blend with the trees. Maybe that was why she hadn’t noticed him at first. He didn’t look much older than Natasha, in his twenties maybe. His eyes—the same muddied color of the path he stood on—looked sad. “You should go home.” His voice was so soft that it should’ve been swallowed by the wind, but instead the gust seemed to carry it to Natasha’s ears and place it inside, as if she alone were meant to hear it.
      I—I know. I am. You should t—” She was cut off by a roar of thunder. The sky lit up with several bolts of lightning. Natasha screamed, squeezing her eyes shut.
      When she opened them, the man was gone. She spun around, but he was nowhere to be seen. “Hey!” she shouted.
      The only answer was another blast of thunder. The trees swayed in the wind, sending leaves falling to the ground. There’s a man, he wanders around the cemetery. No one knows who he is, but we’ve all seen him, Maggie at the visitor’s center had said. Natasha jolted, almost as though she herself had been struck by lightning. Without another second’s hesitation, she turned and sprinted down the path.      
      Rain poured down on her, and the wind pushed against her face and chest as if it were trying to force her back. She jumped over a log, but when she landed, her foot slipped in the mud. She grabbed for the nearest branch, but it was too slick to get a hold on. She fell, the heavy books in her bag smacking her on the back. Mud splattered in her face. She tried to wipe it from her eyes, but her hands and arms were soaked, and she only smeared the mud around. She blinked until she could open her eyes and see the ground—fuzzy and brown—in front of her. She tried to stand, but the mud was like quicksand, and it pulled her back down. 
      A hand grabbed her arm.
      Natasha screamed.  
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By the way, the 19th is tomorrow. Yay! So don't forget to check out chapter 1 tomorrow (told you I'd remember you). 

Friday, July 15, 2016

City of Secrets teaser: Frankie

Since it still isn't the 19th, here is the second teaser. This one features Frankie, who is also my favorite.


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      Frankie brought the paper airplane to her lips and planted a kiss next to the word “witch,” leaving an imprint in black—the color of the lipstick she’d reapplied after lunch. Frankie glared at Laurel, aimed, and launched the paper airplane. “Bullseye,” she said when it hit Laurel in the back of the head, ruffling her perfect hair.
      “Hey!” Laurel shrieked, turning around and glaring at Frankie. 
       “Ms. Moreno!” Mr. Rosen called over the gasps. The entire class—except for the heavy sleepers—turned to face Frankie.
      “Sorry, Mr. Rosen. Just giving Laurel the kiss of death. You can go back to whatever it was you were talking about.” Half of the class laughed, while the other half called out “ooh” in a sing-song tone.    
      Mr. Rosen’s face turned red, but he didn’t look surprised. He stepped forward, though this had no effect on Frankie, considering that she was in the last row. “Ms. Moreno, we are not going to start off the year this way.”
      “Wow, you can get your voice to change pitch! You should try that during your lectures. It might keep people awake.” Frankie, shut up, she told herself. You said you were going to do things differently this year. She had said that, but breaking old habits was hard.

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Don't forget to check out City of Secrets on JukePop serials July 19th! If you missed the first teasers, here is the link: http://beckymunyon.blogspot.com/2016/07/city-of-secrets-teaser-penny.html

Also, have you seen my Facebook page? It's going to have lots of fun extras on it once I start releasing chapters. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

City of Secrets teaser: Penny

Yesterday I got really exited and anxious just wanted to release the first chapter of City of Secrets already, but thankfully, my friend Elly pulled away from the edge of the cliff. Sure, it's technically ready, but I'd decided to do this professionally, and the release date is the 19th, so the 19th it is. There is a reason I chose the 19th, though in my excitement, I can't completely remember what that reason is.

I'm like a little kid in a candy store. I'm not good with things that require patience. I realize that I'll probably be this way throughout the entire process, since I'm releasing it in the serial format. Meaning, each time I post a chapter, I'm just going to want to post more chapters. But I can rein it in. I want to do this right, whatever that means.

So, while I'm waiting impatiently, here is the first of three teasers. This one features Penny, my favorite. I'm not supposed to say that because I'm a professional, but it's okay, because they're all my favorites.

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     “Penny, how are you doing?” Ms. Miller asked. 
      For a second, Penny was tempted to tell the truth: she was breaking. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could hold on. Her own house was choking the life out of her. Being there, knowing that Richie would never walk through the front door again, was torture. Her parents only made it worse. Her mother barely spoke, and when she did, she made no sense. Her father was always at work. But she said none of these things. If she did, she would cry. If she cried now, she might never stop. She smiled. “I’m fine.”
      It was clear from the expression on Ms. Miller’s face that she wasn’t buying it, but Penny didn’t care. She didn’t want to talk anymore. “Can I go? Eighth period’s already ten minutes in.”
      “Not yet. I didn’t call you here just to talk about Richie. I never got the chance to congratulate you on your summer internship.”
      Penny felt warmth enter her cheeks. “Oh, thanks.” She’d done a six-week science internship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder over the summer.
      “The PRECIP program is nothing to scoff over.”
      The warmth stretched to her ears. “Well, yeah, but they were looking for more girls to give spots to.”
    “Stop playing it down, especially considering everything you’ve been through. Not to mention how you got in. Or should I say, how you didn’t get in?”
      Uh-oh. “What are you talking about?”
      “You used your aunt’s last name and address on the application. I’m assuming you didn’t want your parents’ status to influence the decision.”
      Penny shook her head so hard that her braid flew back and forth. “No, that was just a mix-up. The program doesn’t provide housing, so I needed to stay at my aunt’s house. They got our last names and addresses confused was all. I straightened it out once I got there,” Penny said, feeling the heat creep down her neck. She hated lying, even when it was for a good reason.
      There was the faintest of smiles on Ms. Miller’s face. “Penny, I know you. You’ve always hated getting special privileges because of your mother’s fame and your father’s power.”
            Penny sighed; she knew she was caught. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Updates and Rambling and Stuff

Partially because I feel like I should blog, because it's been a week and I can't neglect the blog. I've been busy writing (or trying to write), to get as many chapters of City of Secrets possible ready before the big release date. July 19th in case you forgot. One week! Yay!

Unfortunately, I won't have nearly as many ready as I thought, but that's always the case with anything involving a self-imposed deadline. I should know this by now. I'm still recovering spoons from the move. That's the thing about not having enough spoons to start with. It takes you much, much longer to get them back. Every time I get a couple back, I use them all up again because I still have so much stuff to do. My apartment's still not fully set up. I have a new desk which is sitting in a box on my office (I feel important saying office) floor. I don't know when it's getting put together, because last week I put together a small cabinet, and it kicked my butt.

But all in all I'm very excited and nervous and neurotic about City of Secrets. I'm not sure this is the right thing to do for my story. I'm putting a glorified second draft (2nd and a half draft?) online. I know that's sort of the point (it gets reviewed/critiqued online, then I self-publish it), but now I'm getting all nervous about it. I could wait until it's done-done, but now I've bought a cover and gotten all excited about it. Sure, there's really no right or wrong way to publish, because there are so many ways, and I would freak out no matter what way I chose because it's what I do.

All right. I've vented. Freak out over. I'm sticking with the current plan.

It's so not over. It's just over on my blog. But I'm still sticking with the current plan, freak out or no.

Funny story time. I had this thing with names going for my first draft. There are a lot of characters in this story, and for some reason I decided to be old-fashioned or clever or I don't even know what, and have every male have the same name as his father. Sure, that stuff happens in real life. But in your novel, if both father and son are going to be in your story, you really shouldn't do that. I'm all for being realistic, but not when it's confusing as hell. Even I was confused. When the author is confused, that's a bad thing. So, I needed to change lots of names for the second draft, and not just father/son names. I also started lots of names with the same later and that got a bit confusing too, in certain contexts.

I had to do a lot of find and replaces. In case you don't know, find and replace is very sensitive. You have to make sure to put in spaces where spaces are needed. I know this. I just forgot. I was replacing all the Toms with Henry, and forgot to put a space after the "m" in Tom. So, word replaced every instance of "tom" with "henry". Think about it. Lots of words have "tom" in it. Tomorrow. Stomach. Bottom. The character whose name I was keeping, Tommy. It was a mess. Picture it: Henryorrow. SHenryomach. BotHenry (which is somehow not getting flagged as a misspelled word). Henrymy. After I figured out what happened, cried (not really, but almost), it actually wasn't that hard to figure out what the words were supposed to be and do a spellcheck and fix it. It wasted a good half an hour though. Now that I fixed it, I can laugh about it. The reason I'm sharing it is so you guys can laugh at me too. Because it's funny.

Luckily, that's done, and I have almost six chapters ready. My super-secret thing is ready, and I just have a couple more non-writing things to do. So, one more week. Don't forget. Teasers are coming in the next day or two. Also, like my Facebook page! Pretty please!
Facebook.com/beckymunyonauthor

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

City of Secrets--Release Date!

Yay!
Drumroll please!
Okay, ready?

July 19th! Yay!

Okay, so it's a little bit later than I'd originally planned, but moving took a lot out of me, and my spoon recovery rate is not what it used to be, that's one of the lovely bonuses of being disabled. Waiting till the 19th will give me time to get several chapters ready, stress out about it, get that super-secret-extra-thing ready, continue organizing my apartment (this includes my writing space, which is bare right now), continue my blog, rest, handle other obnoxious things in my life, and do whatever else it is I need to do. So, I think it's a good choice.

In case anyone forgot (travesty!), City of Secrets is a YA paranormal/dark fantasy. I keep going back and forth between calling it a paranormal fantasy and a dark fantasy. I've started to shy away from the word paranormal, because a lot of people automatically think "romance" when they hear "paranormal", probably due to the sheer volume of paranormal romances that popped up over the past decade. Anyway, the point is, my novel (chapter by chapter) is coming out on JukePop serials on July 19th. I will later post details about where to find it. I will also share three teasers, one for each of the three main characters.
In the meantime, here is my blurby thing again (technical term) and the cover, because it's gorgeous.



To tourists, Caribou Canyon is an idyllic Colorado mountain town—one made even more enjoyable by the ghost stories told at local inns. But outsiders don’t know about the frequent disappearances and grisly murders. The residents know, and they might care—if these weren’t the things that made them some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. As the children of these wealthy, influential people, the students at Caribou Canyon High have every reason to be happy. However, three girls about to start their senior year find that their lives have been broken by the town’s corruption and decide it’s time to do something about it.


Penny Harper is at the top of her class and sees an Ivy League college in her future, but the death of her brother leaves her family broken. Consumed by grief, Penny struggles to hold onto a dream that feels more and more distant with each passing day. Frankie Moreno is rejected by her stepfather, ignored by her mother, and scorned by the other students for being Latina. She prides herself in not needing anyone, but a painful experience has left her with a problem that even she may not be able to handle on her own. Natasha Jameson had the perfect life in the city of Denver, but when she stumbles across her birth certificate, that perfect life crumbles. She moves to Caribou Canyon in search of answers, but someone doesn’t want her to find them.  


Fate brings the girls together, leading them to discover a deep connection that unites them against the evil that corrupts their town. But will the light created by their friendship be enough to take on the darkness?

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Yay! I can't wait!

Hey, don't forget to like my Facebook page!