J.P. McLean – an update on her series

Susan Toy is featuring me on her Reading Recommendations blog today. If you get a chance, check out her featured authors. There is something for everyone on RR.

Reading Recommendations

Thanks for this opportunity to update your readers, Susan. The last time I visited Reading Recommendations was in July of 2015. I had just released The Gift: Penance, the fourth book in the Gift Legacy series. It was the first book I published with WindStorm Press, and since then, I’ve re-released the first three books. The last one came out a few days ago, and now all four books are published under the WindStorm umbrella.

Changing publishers gave me the opportunity to do an editorial review of the books, spruce up their covers and lower their prices. Of course, the Canadian dollar has since tanked, so the price of the paperback is creeping up, but the price of the eBooks is unaffected (whew!)

Here’s a look at the new covers, re-designed by the original artist, Viona Halim.

Legacy Collage for SToy

I also wanted to report an update to one of the…

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Does This Recording Make My Voice Look Fat?

I’m miles outside of my comfort zone, in an entirely different format, as a matter of fact. I’ve decided to try my hand at audio recording. After all, I’m often invited to read from my books. It’s in that light that I decided to record audio editions of the excerpts from all four books in the Gift Legacy series.

How hard could it be?

Let’s just say it’s been an eye-opener.

I now have a much deeper respect for voice actors who are able to switch up their voices in a variety of ways to speak for different characters. I don’t have that knack. Nor, apparently, do I have the ability to read a simple sentence with the same intonation three times in a row over a very short span of time.

But it has been fun, despite stealing time away from my writing. I’ve learned a lot about mics (dynamic is the type you want for voice recordings) and boom stands (rental is much less expensive than you’d imagine) and Audacity, an incredibly easy to use and free software program that I would highly recommend for audio recording.

Awakening for Audible 1563x1563And though I may never do more audio recording than these excerpts, it’s been an incredible experience.

Click here to hear the excerpt for The Gift Awakening. I’m working on The Gift Revelation right now, and the others will following in the coming days. I’ll put up a link on the “excerpts” page when I’m done.

I would love to hear your opinion of the recording. Whether you find it pleasant, are indifferent, or hear nails on chalkboard, leave your comments below.

If you’re more of a “reader” than a “listener,” get your own copy of The Gift: Awakening with one click right here.
Posted in Audio Books, Book Reading, My Writing Journey, The Gift Legacy, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Under the Monster Storm

Bush_honeysuckle_in_bloom

Bush Honeysuckle

A winter weather emergency is blasting the east, and I’m with you in spirit here on the wet, muddy West Coast, buried deep in down comforters and keeping toasty warm.

It hardly seems possible that underneath all that winter white, Spring is stirring, but it is. Days are getting longer and Spring is only eight weeks away. In my neck of the woods, signs of life are popping out and up everywhere, even if they’re only at the contemplation stage. (Except for the dandelion – that one means business.)

Dandelion_bloom

Dastardly Dandelion

It’s enough though.

I feel like I’ve been in limbo for a month, dabbling in bits and bobs of writing, reconnecting with Facebook and Twitter friends, and catching up on publishing news.

It’s been fun. Relaxing. And I’ve enjoyed my wee reprieve immensely. But, as usual, the characters in my head are tapping their pencils on the desk. They’re telling me enough is enough – get back to weaving our worlds!

Hazelnut_Catkins_Open

Hazelnut Catkins

It’s time. The editorial review is finished and the entire Gift Legacy Series is now back in print and online. I’m excited to dig back in where I left off, with Jackson’s version of Awakening.

And just to keep things interesting, I’m learning how to make a voice recording, or the basics anyway, so look for audio excerpts from the books to come to a link near you!

Click here to join my email list and you’ll hear it before anyone else. Is that a sneak listen?

Or click on the covers below to purchase from popular retailers.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_Redemption   Penance for mail chimp cover reveal

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A New Cover for Redemption

WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_RedemptionIt gives me tremendous pleasure, on behalf of WindStorm Press, to reveal the new cover for The Gift: Redemption. The Gift Legacy covers are now complete, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

A big thank you goes to Viona Halim, the digital artist who created the original covers, then patiently tweaked the original artwork, and re-designed the title treatments, spines and back covers. Viona has been part of The Gift Legacy project right from the start.

Early on, she captured the dramatic coastal setting and the ominous mood of the books, and she’s been a joy to work with through all the back and forth that such a detailed project entails.

Redemption will return to print and ebook formats in mid-January.

With the editorial review behind me, and The Gift Legacy fresh in my mind, I thought I’d rummage through my notes and start dreaming up story ideas for the next book in the series. This part of the writing process is such fun! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments below. I have a feeling Sebastian will continue to be a thorn in Em’s side, the Tribunal will face new challenges under Mason’s leadership, and I believe Emelynn had some decisions to make …

If you’d like to find out where it all began, click here to get your copy of The Gift: Awakening, or for another selection, click the covers below.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_Redemption  

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The Gift: Awakening (The Gift Legacy, #1) by J.P. McLean

Can’t think of a better way to close out 2015 than a terrific review of The Gift: Awakening by Karen Oberlaender on her blog, My train of thoughts on …

Source: The Gift: Awakening (The Gift Legacy, #1) by J.P. McLean

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Happy Hot Toddies!

J.P._McLean_&_her_dog_Molly

J.P. McLean & Miss Molly

Another Christmas Eve has arrived. The tree is up, the wreath is hung, and the shopping is done. December 24th is my favourite day of the holidays. For me, it’s the calm before the storm; a quiet day to enjoy with a warm toddy, a soft dog and fluffy blanket in front of the fire.

And as the seasonal gatherings roll on, and we exchange holiday cheer with our friends and family, I’m reminded how very fortunate I am, and for that, I am grateful.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your encouragement, laughter and support over this past year.

From our home to yours, here’s wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas, and a healthy and happy 2016.

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Revelation’s New Cover

Cover_for_RevelationThe house is a mess, laundry is piled up, the Christmas wreath is still not hung, but Revelation has a new cover!

Viona Halim’s artwork remains front and centre. The new title font is Cinzel, which will be the new font for all The Gift Legacy books.

WindStorm Press is pleased to present the new cover for The Gift: Revelation.  It will be back in print and e-book on Christmas Eve! (Maybe even sooner?)

 

Perhaps you’d like to start where it all began. Click here to get Awakening, or for another selection, click the covers below.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   The Gift. Redemption by JPMcLean   Penance for mail chimp cover reveal

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Paying the Couch Surfing Piper

Howling-wind-&-rainThe sideways rain is here again. The wind paints the windows in a revolving display of fir needles, leaves and arbutus bark. Miss Molly and I both prefer the comfort of the couch in weather like this.

But the windy rain is just my latest excuse for sitting on my derrière. When I’ve been inactive for too long, my back protests, which happened a few months ago. It prompted me to re-ignite my cardio routine at the gym. I try to keep it to twenty minutes a day so it doesn’t become a chore. It works like a charm and keeps my back ache at bay.

Miss-Molly-on-the-sofaThen, a couple of days ago, a friend suggested I join her for a different kind of workout. I figured a change in routine would be good. She likes Jillian Michaels’ twenty-minute workouts, which fits my “not a chore” criteria. There are four workout levels on this CD. We chose the first level—the one for beginners. I felt pretty good going in with my twenty-minute cardio down pat.

Ha! Jillian stomped on my sad cardio prep (and I think she was smiling sadistically). I didn’t make it through the measly twenty minutes without rest stops, plural. I tripped over my own feet, lost my balance and couldn’t hold the pike position for more than a few seconds. Afterward, muscles I only pretended to use before that, let me know the truth. Foolish me, I went back for another run at it the next day and before I crawled into bed, my hamstrings, stomach and derriere each made their protests known.

On day three, I had to go shopping off island. Thank god. Laughing hurt, sitting down hurt, getting up was worse, even walking hurt. I had a number of stops to make, and getting in and out of the car hurt. The most memorable stop was Home Depot. I was looking for an oddball piece of hardware and saw something promising on a bottom shelf. Bending down to look was tenuous, squatting proved impossible. I ended up on all fours, and the promising item didn’t even pan out. I had to pull myself up on the shelving, which hurt because I was laughing.

Today is day four and I’m going back for more. I will get through that damn routine if it kills me. You hear that Jillian!

You know what’s not a workout and doesn’t hurt a bit? Awakening. It’s back and it’ll sweep you up effortlessly. Click here to get your own copy, or for another selection, click the covers below.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   The Gift. Revelation by JPMcLean   The Gift. Redemption by JPMcLean   Penance for mail chimp cover reveal

Posted in Health, Humour, My Writing Journey, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The Gift: Awakening has a new cover

Awakening’s new cover is here! We’ve not strayed far from Viona Halim’s winning design, just a little tweak here and there.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_AwakeningFor those who prefer the original design, which is no longer in print, I do have a limited number of first edition copies available.

The book retails for $27.99 Canadian plus taxes. While supplies last, I’m happy to sign and personally inscribe a book, and mail it anywhere in Canada for $35.00 including taxes and shipping.

If this offer interests you, email me at jpmbooks (at*) xplornet.com before December 1st. We’ll arrange payment and you’ll have your book in time for Christmas.

Email me for prices on orders outside Canada.

Have a great day.

 *replace (at) with the @ symbol and remove spaces.
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Susan Toy Turns Two!

Well … maybe not Susan herself, but her Reading Recommendations site is celebrating two fabulous years!

One of a writer’s most difficult jobs comes after the writing is done. It doesn’t seem to matter which publishing path you choose, discoverability is the next step, and it’s a tough slog.

When I was new to the publishing world, I floundered around the Internet looking for information on how to get the word out about my book and find readers. It seemed an insurmountable task, and as a newbie, sorting the wheat from the chaff proved taxing on my time and my sanity.

Susan_Toy

Susan Toy

Happily, I stumbled upon Susan Toy and her Reading Recommendations site. It was such a refreshing change to the naysaying negativity that can run rampant on the Internet. Here I found a woman with a long history in the publishing industry, and a writer herself, making the time and effort to support other writers.

But I am not just a writer, I’m also a reader, as most writers are. Through Reading Recommendations, I’ve discovered many new writers (here and here) and continue to do so. These are books I may never have found if I hadn’t read about them on Susan’s site.

And that is discoverability, the very thing all writers strive for.

Reading Recommendations works, and better still, I’ve met a network of writers who are supportive, approachable, and readily share their knowledge.

November 18th is the second anniversary of Reading Recommendations. I am grateful and proud to be a part of this supportive network of readers and writers. On November 18th, join the celebration on Facebook!

Congratulations, Susan, on your second year anniversary, and thank you for being at the helm.

Susan_Toy_at_home_in_Bequia

At home in Bequia

Posted in book promotion, Gratitude, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments