Wicked Creatures (The Unnaturals #3) is Now Available!

I am so very excited and nervous about this, guys. Wicked Creatures, book three in The Unnaturals Series, is now available for you to purchase on Amazon for your Kindle or Kindle apps!

This book has literally never been released before (which I honestly can’t say about The Unnaturals and Hellforged). This is the continuation of the first two books, which were originally released in 2015-2016, and it’s where the story starts to get a liiiitle more darker.

So what is Wicked Creatures about? Well, allow me to tell you.

Scott Hunter hadn’t expected to end up in New Orleans.

But that’s where he and his partner, Riley Walker, have found themselves: in the heart of a city known for its connections to the supernatural. That reputation is well earned—and makes itself known when the bodies start to drop around them.

Scott quickly realizes what’s after them this time: werewolves. But they’re not acting alone. There’s a woman, one dressed all in red, one with the ability to command werewolves to her will. And she’s fixated on Scott as her next target.

So where can you get your copy of Wicked Creatures? Why, on Amazon, of course! You can grab your copy of Wicked Creatures for only $4.99 or read it for FREE if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription!

So go check out the book and let me know what you think! If you haven’t read the first two books, you can pick up The Unnaturals and Hellforged at their respective Amazon pages! (There are also paperbacks for those two books coming soon; they’re currently in review with Amazon!)

The PRO Act is a garbage bill that will destroy my livelihood.

I typically don’t get political online. Mainly because I find it distasteful, being in the position that I’m in writing for an audience that includes a wide diversity of thoughts and opinions. I’m sure some of you would disagree with some of my core beliefs, just as I would disagree with some of yours. That doesn’t make either of us bad people. It just means we have different life circumstances that bring us to different belief systems that carry through our lives.

But this particular issue is something that directly impacts me and many other freelancers like me, and I felt compelled to state my piece on it.

Back last year, there was a lot of dust up over California’s AB5 bill, which basically limits the amount of work a freelancer can do in California before being forced into an employment situation they don’t want. This is, ostensibly, to protect the freelancer from being taken advantage of. (The main result of it is a lot of freelance writers losing some of their most lucrative clients or having the amount of work they can do severely curtailed.) But California lawmakers didn’t take into account (or chose not to take into account) that most freelancers don’t work freelance because they have to so much as because they want to. Freelancers typically choose this route—and believe me, it’s not an easy route—because it gives them something they’re looking for that they can’t find at a typical shift job. It might be flexibility. It might be more money. Whatever it is, going into freelancing is typically something you choose to do. And that comes with some trade-offs. You may decide that trading off benefits at a day job for the freedom and flexibility to work when you want and how much you want, to be able to work around whatever your life circumstances happen to be, is something that is more beneficial to you than having a restrictive desk job that gives you those benefits.

But politicians who are supporting this new wave of restrictive freelancing bills don’t seem to see it that way. You see, they are protecting us freelancers from ourselves. We can’t possibly understand what we really want or need, so these politicians who have probably never spoken to legitimate freelancers a day in their lives, on behalf of the AFL-CIO union, have decided they know what’s better for us more than we do. They know our life circumstances. They know what we need. And it’s not the freedom to work how we want.

So instead, they’re doing everything they can to gut the freelancing industry.

This morning, I read an article talking about how in New York, the state Assembly is working on a bill similar to California’s AB5 that will essentially force freelancers to become employees of a company or put themselves out of business. Many of the New York representatives in the House of Representatives (20 out of 27 of them) have cosponsored a similar bill on the federal level that pulls language verbatim from the AB5.

They’re calling it the PRO Act. And this is nothing but an attempt to regulate the freelancing field in the name of “protecting” freelancers from themselves.

Look, I chose to freelance. This is literally my choice. I live in a small area without a lot of job options, and I have no desire to move to a bigger city to find a desk job that pays better than the one I’ve got. I still have a day job, but I make more money with my freelancing now than I do at that. I like living in a small town, and I don’t want to change that because some bozos in Washington have decided they know how I should live my life and spend my time on this Earth better than I do.

I work hard to make the money I make at freelancing, but if this bill passes, it will severely restrict the amount of work I can take on as a freelance editor. This will literally gut the money that I bring in from my freelancing and destroy my financial situation.

I use a lot of my freelancing money to finance my writing and book releases. No more freelancing money means no more books to put out, because I will be spending more time working at a day job that will eat into what time I would have available to write. And I would have to be putting all that money towards bills and other obligations, which means no money to put towards prepping a book for release. So that means no more books for you guys.

The PRO Act is a piece of garbage that unnecessarily interferes with ordinary Americans’ lives and damages their financial livelihoods that they earn in the methods they chose. Please, please call your representatives and tell them not to go forward with the PRO Act. They’re hurting more people than they think they’re helping with this bill.

And if any of you are interested in my freelance editing services, please check out my website at Edits by Jessica. I’m open to taking on more than just manuscript work; if you need a proofreader or copyeditor for your blog or website, get in touch with me, and let’s negotiate a rate that works for you!

It’s Women in Horror Month!

February is Women in Horror Month!

I’ve always enjoyed this month. This is usually the month where I set aside a lot of non-essential reading in order to read primarily horror and post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels written by women, and this February is looking like it’s going to be about the same as usual.

Throughout this month, I’ll be posting book recommendations and introducing you to female authors all across the genre and in all its subgenres! I’m also going to be posting about my favorite horror books penned by female authors, so if you’re looking for some new stuff to read, be sure to check back throughout the month!

Who is Ready for a New Book from Me?

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted over here. I promise I had my reasons. As I mentioned on my social media, my grandmother passed away on January 9, after a long battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s. (Thank you very much to everyone who sent their condolences!) That’s the primary reason I’ve been away from social media for the past ten-ish days.

That doesn’t mean I’ve been idle, though. I’ve been working full steam ahead on quite a few different projects over here, both my own and other peoples’. In between editing projects for other authors (which, if you’re an author interested in those services, you can check out more information on them right here), I’ve been working on drafting The Unnaturals #4, Reapers, while also prepping Wicked Creatures for release, which will be around early- to mid-February. Hopefully I’ll have a better date on that soon! Reapers is coming along fabulously, if not emotionally (due to events of book three), and I’m excited to get it out there quickly. Especially since The Unnaturals Series is looking more and more like it’s going to extend beyond five books if I want everything to be paced properly and not be too rushed.

I’ve also been working on The Becoming: Bloodlines, which I’m sure you’re glad to hear, because you’ve probably been wondering on its status. I’ve been slowly working on the draft, mainly because I’ve been having to go back and re-read the previous books in the series. It’s been so long since I’ve played with these characters that I’m having trouble remembering the finer points of their personalities and flaws and such (not to mention the specifics of the things that have happened to them). So I’m refamiliarizing myself with the characters, particularly Ethan, Kimberly, and Sadie, since Bloodlines focuses mainly on them and some new characters. It’s been a pretty interesting process. Mainly because it’s been so long since I’ve written these books that, truth be told, I don’t remember a lot of them. (I mean, The Becoming was originally written in 2009-2010, and the last book in the series The Becoming: Redemption, was written in late 2014 and early 2015, so…) It’s brought on quite a few interesting moments, mainly of the “Wait, I wrote that?” variety, in two different tones, of course (one: in a tone of wow, this is actually really good!, two: in a tone of, oh dear God, who let me publish this?). It’s been an adventure that’s been slightly masochistic only about forty percent of the time.

In other assorted writing news, I’ve been outlining the first book in a whole new series that is going to be sort of tangentially related to The Unnaturals Series. (Let me tell you, this is turning into a whole universe of books, with offshooting trilogies/series and everything.) I’m really excited to get to write this tentative trilogy that springs off of the main series, because the character I’ve created is just so damaged, and the book is so dark, and it’s turning into something (in outline form) that is just absolutely nuts and borderline horror but also dark urban fantasy and it’s like a mishmash of all of my favorite genres in one. I think you guys are going to love it.

So of all the books that I’ve got in progress and upcoming, what are you looking forward to the most?

Welcome to 2020! I’m Ringing in the New Year by Losing My Mind!

Wow, can you guys believe it’s 2020 already? I’m not going to say I never expected it to get here; I’m just amazed at how fast it got here. And what a busy 2020 it’s going to be. If you guys had any idea of everything I have in the works for this year, you would be amazed (or, more likely, questioning my sanity).

In current news, the sales for The Unnaturals and Hellforged seem to be going pretty well–better than I honestly expected! I’ve been hearing some good things from some readers about it in DM, and I’m glad to hear that you guys have been enjoying them! I will ask if you have read the books, to please consider leaving a review on Amazon! I’d like to apply for an advertising slot in BookBub, but they don’t take books without reviews, so you guys would be doing me a solid by leaving a review on my books that you’ve read!

In other news, I’m currently working on getting Wicked Creatures (the third book in the series) prepped and ready for release. I had hoped to get it out there in late January, but I’m bumping it back to early February, mainly because I have to work around both finances and my cover artist’s availability. This just gives me a little extra time to get a few other things done, including…

Audiobooks. I have been actively auditioning for a narrator for an audiobook for The Unnaturals, and I think I have a lead on a good one! I have my fingers crossed that everything will be worked out to have a release sometime this spring. I’m also working towards…

Paperbacks. I’ve got paperbacks for The Unnaturals Series on my to do list for this year, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m making arrangements with my cover artist to get those done so I can get them released. This may take a little bit, though, because honestly, I can’t remember what all is involved in producing a paperback, and the whole method has changed since I last did one. Hopefully, I’ll have an update on these in the next couple of weeks or so.

In the meantime, I’m currently drafting Reapers, which is the fourth book in The Unnaturals Series, and my word count just broke 27,000, which is not bad considering I’ve only been writing it for two weeks. I’m working to get my drafting speed back up to par where I like it (which was usually at 3,000-4,000 words a day), so I’m hoping to get that sped up and get the book released around April-ish.

I’m also working on Rough Draft 2.0 for The Becoming: Bloodlines. This one has been way harder to write than I thought it would be. I had thrown together a fast marathon draft back in August 2019, trying to just get the ideas I had out of my head and onto the screen, but I’m really (obviously) not happy with it, because I just feel like Ethan, Kimberly, and Sadie are acting a little out of character. This is probably because I haven’t written in this universe with these particular characters since about 2013-2014. That’s a long time to go without writing with them, so I’m having to get reacquainted with these three (which basically means re-reading my own books, which I always have trouble doing because cringe). I currently have the book penciled in for around April to May of this year, but if I finish it sooner, I’ll go ahead and release it a little sooner. I adjust my release schedule monthly, so obviously this is subject to change.

What project are you guys looking forward to the most from me this year? Let me know in the comments!

A Decade of Zombies: A Retrospective of My Past Ten Years (Part Five: 2018-2019)

Welcome to the final part of my retrospective series of blog posts covering the events of my past decade! As you know if you’ve been following the series, I’ve been covering all the ups and downs of the past decade and the events that influenced my writing over the past ten years. This is part five of the series of posts. If you missed the past parts of the series, you can read them here:

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

Click the link below to continue reading the fifth part of this series!

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Excerpt of the Week: The Becoming: Revelations

This week’s Excerpt of the Week is from The Becoming: Revelations, the third book in The Becoming Series!

What is The Becoming: Revelations about?

Brandt Evans is floundering. Leadership of their dysfunctional group wasn’t something he asked for or wanted. Their problems are numerous: Remy Angellette is grief-stricken and suicidal, Gray Carter is distant and reclusive, and Cade Alton is near death. And things only get worse.

While Brandt and Gray are on the hunt for supplies, a still-recovering Cade is kidnapped by a militant group of survivors. On Brandt’s return, he’s told of a conspiracy involving test subjects, pathogens, and CDC doctors.

Brandt’s race to save Cade takes him back to the dangerous streets of Atlanta, where not all is as it seems. And with a horde of infected closing in and the rescue mission in jeopardy, he comes tantalizingly close to a cure that might save what’s left of humanity from the ravages of the Michaluk Virus.

In this week’s excerpt, Brandt and Gray have just returned from a supply run to discover that something is very, very wrong at their safe house. Hit the cut below to read the excerpt!

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