Jessica Therrien's Blog

September 25, 2016

Hello blog lovers!

It's my birthday today. YAY!! It's such a great birthday because I have so many exciting things happening in my writerly world.

1. Vegas Valley Book Festival - I'll be signing books in Vegas on October 15th with Acorn Publishing authors, Holly Kammier and Alyssa Petersel. I can't wait. Did somebody say girls night/sleepover?? FUN.

2. Audible Awesomeness - The audio book for OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1) was just released. How cool is that? The narrator is amazing. She's an actress who actually lives in San Francisco (where the book takes place). Meant to be, right?

**If anyone is interested in receiving a free copy for review, email me!

The audio book for UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2) is being recorded right this minute! Hooray!

3. New Books - Some super good news in the writing department. I wrote my first children's book. It's being illustrated right now and will probably be released in 2017! I can't wait to see the drawings.

I've also finished the first draft of a new book. I'm aiming for a 2017 release for that one as well. Keep an eye out for all the juicy details :)

Oh, and REDEMPTION (Children of the Gods #3) is being published in French through AdA. Can't wait to have my whole series in French. Woot!

4. Acorn Publishing - We met with some of the top dogs at the Southern California Writer's Conference in Irvine over the weekend, and our little publishing company will be represented at the San Diego conference. I can't wait! I got my start at the SD SCWC. It will be fun to go back.

We also just signed screenwriter, Joe Gazzam and another of our authors, Alyssa Petersel, just won Kirkus Best Indie book of 2016! Can you believe that? HUGE.
5. Author's Circle - I'm actually most excited about launching a new division of our publishing company called AUTHOR'S CIRCLE | Awards & Reviews. We're always looking for ways to help other authors. If you have a book out, consider entering for one of the awards. It's our first year, so the chances of winning are really high! Check us out:

What are you excited about these days?
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Published on September 25, 2016 23:30
Anybody interested in reviewing the audio book for OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1)? I'd also like the review posted on AMAZON.

Let me know!

Email me at

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Published on September 25, 2016 12:05 • 14 views • Tags: audio-book, free, review

August 1, 2016

Well I'm back. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a binge blogger. I blog-vomit everywhere then forget I have one...I need some kind of blogger therapy, lol.

In my defense, I have been busy. Ready? Life update.

First and foremost--Babies.

Here are my two little guys in all their cuteness! They're time hogs, but come on, who could be mad about that?


My current WIP is at 56,000 words with a goal of about 70,000. It's an adult novel about a young white teenager who moves from the country to LA and gets wrapped up in a world of gangs, guns, and drugs. It draws off of my own life experience and has been a difficult, yet new and interesting, book to write.

I have no clue when it will be done or published, but that's the beauty of publishing my novels through Acorn Publishing. I get to work on my own timeline without feeling the pressure of a deadline. As a super control freak, it feels good to have control of all aspects of my publishing experience.

Speaking of that. The third thing keeping me busy is our growing company, Acorn Publishing. We just launched our new website:

Check it out to see what sets us apart from other publishing companies. I'm an author. I've been traditionally published. This is the best of both worlds. If you have a WIP, check us out :)

I'm so proud of how far we've come and all the beautiful covers we get to flaunt under our Acorn Publishing imprint. Aren't they pretty?!

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Published on August 01, 2016 01:00 • 13 views

July 29, 2016

Congrats to Acorn Author, Bruce Ashkenas, on his latest release, SHADOWS of SHAME!

Harold Apple is a Jewish reporter willing to do anything for a story. When he’s asked to risk his life to infiltrate the Nazi Bund in late 1930’s New York, he jumps at the chance.  Leaving behind his fiancée and the safety of his home, Apple goes undercover in search of the real story. Before the world knew enough to fear them,the hate-filled paramilitary mob called the German American Bund terrorized the Jewish citizens of New York.  After years of rumored reports of these attacks, Harold Apple finally gets his chance to expose them. He witnesses a piece of history unknown to many Americans and experiences the brutal cruelty of the Bund first hand. Becoming the enemy gives him his story. If he’s brave enough to tell it.
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Published on July 29, 2016 22:55 • 4 views

May 10, 2016

OH HAPPY DAY!! Kat Ross released another book! MIDNIGHT SEA is out RIGHT NOW! Woooo! Acorn Publishing got to take a few copies to the LA Times Festival of Books, and it did so well. We described it to readers as a LORD OF THE RINGS set in ancient Persia with a female lead and a great love story. Kat has built an amazing magical world. Get excited for this one, people! :) YAY!

Here's your buy link: GET IT NOW!

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

....AND IT'S NOT JUST ME....Goodreads reviews are pouring in :)

Thoroughly absorbing! Beautiful landscape, bold and brilliant protagonists, engaging plot line, I loved everything about this book. Well, the cliffhanger was a brutal blow, but that's not a complaint. I think? ~>_<~

Visit my stop (FLYLēF) of The Midnight Sea Blog Tour on May 17th for a full review and giveaway!
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Published on May 10, 2016 09:52 • 21 views

April 6, 2016

Hi All! I have a book event this Saturday & Sunday (LA Times Festival of Books). I'm really excited, but also dreading it a bit. My author friend, Holly Kammier, and I did WonderCon a couple of weekends ago and it was so fun, but it was HARD.

In order to sell books you have to put yourself out there, approaching people, asking them to check out your book, handing out bookmarks, etc. It does work. I sold 85 books at the last event, but with that success and effort comes a great deal of rejection. Let's face it, you can't please some people just don't want to buy my book or don't feel interested in it. After a while the "No thank you's" and "Not for me's" do start to sting a bit.

I'm trying to focus on the good stuff. I'll be meeting another of our Acorn Publishing authors, Alyssa Petersel, who is flying in from New York to be with us at the event. We received about 20 copies of Acorn Author, Kat Ross's, book MIDNIGHT SEA (which I'm in love with) to sell and display. So at the very least, I'll be hanging out with my writer buddies. AND my husband is coming to help with the kids (cause he's awesome) so there's that.

Anyway...wish me luck! Bringing the kids is always an added layer of stress. Crossing my fingers for a fun and easy festival.


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Published on April 06, 2016 08:41 • 26 views

March 31, 2016

Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: 

How did your book become a book?


Carol Oates Author of The EMBER Series
The SHADE Series

Hi, Jessica. Thanks for having me on here today to discuss my publishing journey. Since 2010, I have published eight times in novel and short story format. It might surprise you to know I had to look up to my wall and count my framed covers. It can be easy to forget how far I’ve come when I don’t feel I’ve come very far at all. I’m not sure I would say I chose this path. It’s more like I’m walking along a winding path with lots of turn offs. Some are blocked, some have gate-keepers who won’t let me through, and some I took a look at and decided to keep walking. So, let’s get started.

Do you have an agent?
No, I don’t have an agent at this time.
How many queries did you send? I’ll be honest and say not enough. I probably gave up too easy. I guess the figure is a couple of dozen at most. That’s hardly a blip compared to most authors.  
If represented, how long did it take to get your agent? Like I said, I gave up easy. Agents and authors are like puzzle pieces in the industry of publishing. Each has to fit perfectly into the others puzzle to work efficiently. It’s time consuming to find the right fit. I have a disabled son and my time is limited. Finding time to write is difficult and finding time to search for an agent is impossible right now. I would love an agent someday.  

Are you traditionally published or self-published?Traditionally published.

How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
My five novels are published through Omnific Publishing and distributed through Simon and Schuster. Omnific was started by the same people who ran Twilighted in the fandom universe. I was a part of the fandom at the time. I believed in what they were trying to do and their goals as a publisher so I submitted to them. 

How long did it take to find a publisher?
How long is a piece of string? I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I decided to publish and chased up a few agents and then went through some personal upheaval. I backed away from publishing for a few years. When I was ready to get back in the game, Omnific was my first stop. 

What do you like about your publisher?
My publisher has always allowed me lots of artistic input on my books. I picked the cover for four of my five releases. I’ve been lucky with wonderful editors. I have always gotten an almost immediate response to any questions.  Royalty reports and royalties are always delivered promptly.

What do you dislike about your publisher?
I would love to see more of a marketing push for the books. My publisher has some amazing books flying under the radar because readers don’t know they are there. 

Did you or your agent hit any snags along the way, and if so how did you overcome them?
A big snag for me was the changeover to Simon and Schuster. As an unavoidable side effect, all my existing books lost their rankings and never regained them. Links changed so past publicity led to dead pages. Books from other authors didn’t release on time so I was reluctant to do a big push for my last release, Something Wicked. As expected, it wasn’t readily available on the release date. It bombed. I don’t want to blame anyone. It’s very possible it would have bombed anyway. It was just unfortunate timing and not anyone in particulars fault. 

Did traditional publishing get your book(s) in Barnes & Noble or other bookstores?

Did your publisher produce a hardcover of your book or just paperback?

Did your publisher create an audiobook for you?
No, although they have released an audiobook of another of their releases. It’s not out of the question for the future. 

Looking back would you do anything differently?
At the time, the decisions I made were right for me. They were good choices at the time. I don’t believe I would do anything differently.


What made you decide to self pub some of your work?
I’ve always been the sort of person who can’t do a little of something. If I do it, I have to invest fully. I decided it was important to explore self-publishing to get a better idea of exactly what it takes to bring a manuscript from conception to the finished book.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
Apart from editing, I did it all myself. 

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?
My self-published work is through Kindle and Smashwords for other outlets. I have yet to self-pub in print.

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio? I considered print copies of my novella and went as far as formatting for print. I haven’t considered audio.
What do you like about self-publishing? I liked the speed of the process. Self-publishing wouldn’t be my first choice, but never say never. 
What do you dislike about self-publishing? I love to write, but I’m not a huge fan of being a publisher. I found it stressful being responsible for bringing all the aspects of publishing together.  I couldn’t afford a team and I like working within a team. 
Looking back would you do anything differently?I’m glad I tried self-publishing. It gave me a renewed respect for all the work that goes into a book, regardless of if it’s Self or Trade published.


What marketing tactics worked for you?
Early blog tours and blog events with other authors worked to get my name out there to a degree. However, if we are talking effort verses return, I think the only thing that really works is word of mouth.

If you are traditionally published, what did your publisher do to market your book?
My publisher arranged blog tours for my novels and assigned a marketing assistant to act as an intermediate with reviewers. They advertised at book conventions and provided gift baskets, and other prizes for giveaways. They also used social media to promote. I was offered help with early promotional graphics but declined since it was something I could do myself.


What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
Publishing is hard and I think that surprises some people. It’s really hard. Grow a thick skin because no matter how wonderful your work is, you can’t please everyone. Write for yourself first. Don’t try to follow trends because they move too fast. Read a lot. A good reader makes a better writer.


When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

About the Author
Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge.
She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper.

Amazon     Website      Twitter      Facebook     Goodreads 
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Published on March 31, 2016 01:00 • 11 views

March 29, 2016

It was crazy. Or maybe I was crazy...for bringing my 1 year old with me (note said baby in pack n play behind our table). Despite all the madness, I did have fun. It's always a rush, and I love meeting new readers.

For the authors out there wondering about sales and pricing. I sold BOOK 1 for $15 but if the customer bought all three in the series it was 3 for $30. I mentioned it being only $10 a book which is cheaper than on Amazon, and that seemed to help seal the deal. Plus they would be signed copies!! I sold 85 books, which felt pretty good since I was off chasing my little guy most of the time.

Here are some pics...




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Published on March 29, 2016 22:33 • 3 views

March 25, 2016

Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: 

How did your book become a book?


Alyssa Petersel

NOTE: Alyssa Petersel is an Acorn Author. For those of you who don't know, Acorn Publishing is a collective and vetted group of writers self-publishing under the same label, our experienced team of self-published authors guide and prepare new clients as they navigate the self-publishing world. Meanwhile all authors keep their rights, make their own decisions, and retain 100% of their profits. If you're interested in this new avenue, please visit us at

Do you have an agent?No.

How many queries did you send?
Though I likely should have, I did not keep accurate track. I likely sent between 50-100.

If you don't have an agent is it by choice? I inquired at a few agencies, but my book was not a good fit for many agents at this time.
Are you traditionally published or self-published?Self-published under the Acorn Publishing label.
How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
I originally hired my publisher as my developmental editor. I found her through Editors and Predators.

How long did it take to find a publisher? Approximately three months; however, my original publisher eventually dropped my book because his new independent publishing house went under. I then secured my developmental editor’s new publishing house within 48 hours from the news.

What do you like about your publisher? I love the guidance I am offered, the independence and authority I maintain in direction and decision-making, and the insight and wisdom my publisher and her team are able to offer as fellow writers. I also enjoy that eventually the hard work I have put in will turn around as direct profit (if there is profit) for me as the writer.

What do you dislike about your publisher? As my publisher is on a smaller scale and functions more independently, the financial costs and the marketing and publicity work is still on my shoulders. Sometimes I wonder whether someone with more access or experience could do a better job on behalf of my book.
Did you or your agent hit any snags along the way, and if so how did you overcome them? Snags specifically related to publishing? I was experiencing some formatting issues, which my publisher helped me to overcome. I also am experiencing some financial concerns regarding how much to invest in the book in terms of how many to print, how many promotional materials to invest in, how many festivals I can afford to fly to, etc. This simply requires strong money management and unfortunately some sacrifices that I wouldn’t make if I were more financially affluent or if the publishing house or hosting organization had a higher budget.

Did your publishing avenue produce a hardback or just paperback copy of your book?Paperback and e-book.
What made you decide to self-publish?New author, limited access, limited pull.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
I hired out for a cover designer and did the formatting myself with substantial help from my publishing team.

Which platforms do you publish through?
Createspace, KDP, and Draft2Digital

What marketing tactics worked for you?
FACEBOOK, and all social media. Attending networking events, such as a reading by a fellow Jewish author or a Jewish-themed talk at The Jewish Museum, with business cards and courage to approach strangers. Email outreach to like-minded individuals and organizations. Email outreach to peers, colleagues to get them more involved in the editing and promoting processes of the book. Offering rewards for participation like tote bag and signed books.
Looking back would you do anything differently?As of now, no. I am greatly enjoying this experience in all its ups and downs. That said, I don’t believe in regret and believe that in each moment we can only make decisions based on the information we have with us. Looking back, it’s difficult to judge any of the decisions made in earnest at the time.
Next time, I will look into exploring further whether an agent would secure me a contract with a larger scale publishing house for the sake of broadened experience. Then, book three will have the opportunity to have the most informed background and experience to make decisions moving forward.
What lessons have you learned?This process is very time consuming. Pushing the book successfully through markets and networks may require some social or other professional sacrifices. Time management and patience are hugely valuable. Support systems are also hugely valuable. Identify the relationships that bring peace, insight, and joy into your life and feed those relationships as though they are a plant that regularly needs water. Share with those relationships as much as you expect and need those relationships to share with you. Most of all, practice gratitude and celebrate the small victories. Long-term success and change happens through small steps each day.
Can you provide names and/or contacts for the following?Agent: N/APublisher: Acorn Publishing Formatter: Alyssa Petersel and Jessica Therrien Cover Designer: Audiobook: N/AHardcover printer: N/APromotion and/or marketing: Alyssa PeterselBlog Tour Organizer, etc.: Alyssa Petersel

GOODREADSHow do we come to be who we are spiritually? How does our political and social environment influence our development of self? What drives us to commit to our passions and to contribute positively to the world?

A young American author immerses herself in modern Jewish Hungary. The twenty-one stories she shares will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to be your own best self. Somehow I Am Different provides an opportunity to connect in a world that otherwise begs us to stand alone. This book serves as a reminder that in spite of the factors working against us, we have the power to stand up and make a difference.

In their own words, Hungarian participants will tell you about their views on the world, themselves and their city---

“Instead of emphasizing our victimhood, we should really tell another story.” – Tamas Buchler

“I am I. Maybe I am not perfect. Maybe I am not gorgeous, maybe I am not skinny, or fancy, or rich. But I am me. At least I am me.” – Devora Hurwitz

“After a while, you have to realize that you have the power, too. Our work is to put the power in everyone.” – Vera Feniasz

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Published on March 25, 2016 01:00 • 17 views

March 23, 2016

YAY! This is exciting because I'm beta reading this book. If you haven't checked out ILLUSION (book 1) make sure you do before IDENTITY comes out!

IDENTITY is a conspiracy-filled space opera that concludes the story of Daith Tocc, a woman with incredible powers being manipulated by the man who stole her memories.

Daith Tocc has discovered some incredible things about herself: she is smart, charming, and has psionic powers that allow her to sense emotions, melt physical objects, even heal or injure with a thought. The problem is, she doesn't have any memory of who she used to be.Regardless, Daith has made a decision about how to move forward with her life. But someone from her past knows the truth about her---a truth that could shatter her decision---and unleash the hidden depths of her powers on the Eomix Galaxy.
Purchase on Amazon here:
Author links:
Website: http://christayelichkoth.comFacebook:
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Published on March 23, 2016 01:00 • 11 views