New Release: Unmasked!

And… we’re live!

I’m thrilled to announce that Jaye Erro’s short story anthology, featuring my short story “Unmasked”, is officially for sale on Amazon!

Who would have thought three months ago, when Jaye first approached me about including my story in her project, that it would have become the amazing experience it has? This project has been such a joy, from providing copy-editing to marketing strategy and even designing the cover. To be honest, I’m kind of going to miss it!

This anthology features eight short stories ranging from contemporary to fantasy and sci-fi, all brought together through common themes of growing up, facing reality, and maintaining hope through struggle.

Even more exciting is the fact that we did it all for charity. We don’t get a penny; all earnings go to Sheaves for Christ, an organization that supports foreign missionaries, houses homeless children, and more.

But we need your help! Kindle is a tough market, and your support can make the difference. We need people willing to share the news. How can you help?

  • Post this link to your social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever you’ve got — spread the word! (Bonus points: If you use the hashtag #Unmaskedandotherstories, we can come thank you personally!)
  • Word of mouth. Enjoyed the stories? Please tell your friends!
  • Leave reviews. After you’ve read the book, please leave a review. We’d love to hear what you thought (positive or negative!), and positive reviews will help us gain more visibility in the vast Kindle world.

We created this project as a fundraiser to help others. But we need you to help us make that a reality. Thank you for all your support, and I hope you enjoy “Unmasked”!
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“Unmasked” update!

It’s October 23! Which, if you’ve been following the news, you’ll realize that today is the launch date for Jaye Erro’s Unmasked and Other Stories.

HOWEVER.

We are still waiting for Amazon to sync the links between the paperback version and the Kindle. And I would rather be able to give you one specific link for your convenience, rather than two different ones that each link to a particular version.

So stay tuned, because in the next 24 hours, the official link to Unmasked and Other Stories is going live!

Character Soul Week: #WIPjoy week 3

Welcome to Character Soul week, the third week of Bethany Jenning’s #WIPjoy month on social media! This week explored, as suggested by the title, deeper into the soul of the main character, or MC. Are you ready for a glimpse into Cassandra Hart’s story?

Day 15: What genre of art, music, or poetry (or all 3!) describes the MC?

Cass is hard to pin down, with a kind introversion reminiscent of classical music but an underlying fierce strength more akin to pop artists like Demi Lovato. It all depends on whether she’s working and what the situation calls for. The closest a musical genre can come is probably the versatility of film scores.

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Day 16: The MC’s happy place

I can’t tell you her true happy place; that would be a spoiler (and it’s something Cass herself still needs to come to terms with). But she would say it’s either curled up in an armchair with a blanket and a good book, or anytime she’s helping people in the world of Story.

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Day 17: A line about grief or longing

Some of the deepest grief is caused by loss — except for the fact that Cass doesn’t do grief. Whether or not that’s healthy… well, that remains to be seen.

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Day 18: Who “gets” the MC best?

There’s several who seem to get Cass to some degree, but the one who gets her best is probably her fellow Guardian Vera. Vera’s kind but common-sense style connects well with Cass’ focused confident personality.

(If you’re curious about the photo below, these are lemons from a garden I visited in Italy, which I picture as Vera’s home country. Plus it just seems to reflect Vera’s warm sunny personality.)

Honorable mention, though, goes to Marcus. Sometimes he seems to understand Cass better than she does herself.

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Day 19: Most misunderstood character

Cass and Marcus tie for “most misunderstood”. Marcus is misunderstood because of a label placed on him by others, while Cass is misunderstood because of a label created and maintained by herself. In both cases, the labels do become them to some degree, but it was not who they were originally. And this can only lead to a split identity. It’s when the two come together that things get really interesting… because they each are the reason the other one has been labeled, and the source of getting misunderstood.

Day 20/21: Characters from other books (or TV/film) that could be best friends with your characters

Cass fits so well with everyone (being a Guardian that she is) but is close friends with no one. To really be best friends, she’d need someone who could keep up with her. I feel like Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon or Stella Bridger and Charlie’s team from The Italian Job (2003) might be a good fit. They’re bold, quick, and see the world through a lens of discovery and innovation.

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Cover Reveal: Unmasked!

I’m thrilled to announce that the cover has been revealed for Jaye Erro‘s short stories anthology! Officially titled Unmasked and Other Stories, this unlikely mix of short stories comes together in themes of growing up, finding yourself, and most of all — hope. Written by young authors, it features:

  • a brokenhearted not-so-superteen
  • a sci-fi retelling of the biblical story of Ruth
  • a girl with a key to two worlds
  • a weary old man in a winter land

And now for the cover!

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Isn’t it beautiful? πŸ˜€

I’m so excited for this anthology to be released! Not only will it contain my first published work, “Unmasked”, but 100% of profits goes toward Sheaves for Christ charity, which supports foreign missionaries, houses homeless children, and more.

Let me hear from you! In the comments, tell me your favorite genre to read, and I’ll tell you which story in Erro’s anthology you may like best. What do you appreciate in a story?

 

Story Power Week: #WIPjoy week 2

Welcome to the second week in Bethany A. Jenning’s and S.D. Grimm’s #WIPjoy month over on social media. This was Story Power week, going deeper into the heart and soul of the novel, and how it connects back to the author. Read on for my week in review!

Day 8: If you could give each reader one thing along with this book, it would be…

Besides a map, it would be art by someone like the talented Laura Hollingsworth. Her work for Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities is amazing. My world and characters are vivid, but I don’t have the artistic ability to make them come to life (outside of words, that is). I would love to be able to have illustrations so others could see them as well.

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Day 9: Your ideal review might say…

I would love to hear that my story meant something to the reader, that my story is more than just “junk food”. As a writer with several alpha readers who critique as each chapter is finished, I’ve seen so many different reviews. The ones like “I FREAKING LOVE IT. I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN” make my author heart overwhelmingly happy, but the reviews that detail how much it meant to the reader (and why) are the ones that keep me going. God gave me this story for a reason, and it’s a true privilege to find out what those reasons are.

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Day 10: A line about effort or triumph

Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about this line from Story-Keeper. That would spoil a great part (in my humble opinion as author… 😜).

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Day 11: Something your MC (main character) sees as a weakness but is really a strength

This one’s a trick question, because Cass doesn’t think she has any weaknesses. She’s always been more than capable of handling things. If she had to answer, she’d probably tell you that her weakness is her inexperience as a Guardian of Story. But if she were really real with herself, her answer would be her past. I can’t tell you how those are her strengths though — that would go spoiling the story.

Day 12: How is your antagonist like you?

My antagonist and I sometimes cling too much to tradition, have a strong sense of duty, and are driven by a desire to to correct injustices.

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Day 13/14: How does writing this WIP make you stronger?

It makes me a stronger Christian, as I watch story details inexplicably click into place, unplanned. God is writing this with me.

It makes me a stronger writer, as my alpha readers help me realize my flaws and strengths. I am learning and growing with every chapter.

It makes me a stronger person, as writing Cass’ character convicts me about my own constant struggle with trust and vulnerability. My past does not define me.

Intro Week: #WIPjoy week 1

This past week began October’s #WIPjoy over on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the first week being “Intro Week”. Read on for an introduction to my work in progress!

Day 1: Your WIP: blurb, genre, visual

For this month, I chose to focus on my young adult (YA) project, Story-Keeper. It’s a modern/portal fantasy with a vibe reminiscent of old books and evergreen forests, featuring twists on classic fantasy beings, Rogue antics, and sibling banter.

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Day 2: Your own backstory and goals

I’m a fantasy/contemporary author in my early twenties. Although I’ve been creating stories nearly my entire life, I first began my journey as a writer in 2011, with One Year Adventure Novel. This curriculum not only shaped my writing, but my life as well. Writing has seen me through struggles and joys. I’ve seen the power of words and stories firsthand, to uplift and destroy. This is why I write.

I write to inspire and encourage, to remind people that hope exists in the midst of struggle. I write to explore worlds that don’t exist. I write to create the books I wish did exist. Words and stories are one of the most subtle yet powerful shapers of the world, and I write to use them to God’s glory. Currently my goals are just that: to keep writing and to reach out to others who love to do the same.

Over time, I’ve found that my passion for championing other writers nearly eclipses my passion for writing itself. To watch someone else’s story develop before your eyes is truly a moment of wonder. There are so many out there with powerful stories bound in uncertainty; all they truly need is someone to help bring out the gem that lies within.

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Day 3: A WIP line about a theme or topic you care strongly about

The truest friends are the ones who won’t give up on you… even when you push them away. Sometimes people can truly need distance, but other times, hidden within is a cry for help. One person who hears can make all the difference.

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Day 4: Book(s) that changed your life

It’s hard to say what books have changed my life, when most of my life-changing influences have been friends or TV/movies. No one book stands out as monumental in my memory, but every book I read changed me, changed the way I write. Some instilled a sense of wonder, others revealed what true loyalty and friendship look like. Still others revealed just how cleverly a plot could be woven, or how complicated people can truly be. These books were my escape and my adventure, even as they shaped the way I viewed the world.

(Head to Twitter to see which ones fell under which categories)

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Day 5: Your tunes for this WIP

My playlist for Story-Keeper is, in essence, a mix of Imagine Dragons and heartfelt emotional songs.

“You’ll Find Your Way” by Andrew Peterson holds a special place as the theme song for Story-Keeper. I’d written 10k+ words before happening across the song on YouTube, yet it fits perfectly. “You’ll Find Your Way” puts into words the elusive undercurrent of the story, helping me to stay centered through the surface events.

Shoutouts also to:

  • Imagine Dragons as my ally Marcus’s jam
  • Danny Gokey’s “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” as my MC Cass’s core song
  • Thomas Bergersen’s “New Life” as tonal writing music

Day 6/7: Link your books or websites!

If you’re here, it means you’ve already found my website! Congratulations! I’ll be featuring Week in Reviews all throughout WIPjoy October, as well as Short Reviews when I finish new reads (and possibly some old favorites).

This is also a great place to get the latest news on Unmasked, my short story featured in an upcoming Kindle anthology. Stay tuned for a cover release sometime in the next few days!

Check out my other social media spots at:

Or simply leave a comment below! Either way, I’d love to meet you!

Question of the day (well, week): What’s a fun fact about you?

It’s that time of year: #WIPjoy!

Happy October! This month I’ll be participating in #WIPjoy, a social media tradition hosted by author Bethany A. Jennings. This month-long event will provide a glimpse into my current Work-in-Progress – music, pictures, characters, snippets, more than I’ve ever shared before.

Wondering how to follow along? Find me daily on Facebook at @jessicacrespinoauthor, or Instagram and Twitter at @jessicacrespino. However, for those of you not yet on social media, don’t worry! I’ll be posting a “Week in Review” every Sunday right here on my News page, with all my posts from the week.

Want to get involved? Please do! You can find more information at Jennings’s About #WIPjoy, or on any of her social media accounts. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know; I’d love to follow and discover your story!

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Upcoming release: Unmasked!

A short story about superpowers in school, my recent work “Unmasked” is being featured in an upcoming Kindle anthology. Stay tuned for the release date!

“When Emery finally gets her powers, they’re nothing like what she was expecting. But sometimes what seems unimportant can be the most important of all…”

Follow me on Facebook for release news and more!