Welcome New Fans

Well so far my dream to be an author has been quite a journey.  While I have been busy with life in general and working on the Women’s Island project, my fan base has been increasing.  I have all of you to thank for your continued support through the project and spreading the word about my pages.  So thank you all so much!  Today I have over 1,800 followers across WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter.  That’s almost 2k fans!  Thank you for those who have stuck around and thank you to the new fans for following me.  I can’t wait to hear what you think about Women’s Island once it comes out ❤

With all the new recent fans, I’ve decided to create this blog post to introduce myself and maybe reintroduce my stories and website to the fans who’ve already been following.

First things first…

artistic-persuasion-april-showers.jpg

My website has a new look 😉  I know, I change the colors and banner a lot but I like to keep it up to date with the theme of the holiday, season, etc…  Hope you like it.

Next, I’ll share with you a little bit about myself.

AshleyNicole Books

My name is AshleyNicole Shelton.  I am a full-time mother and a part-time writer.  So far I have three free companion stories available for download.  This year you can expect to see Women’s Island, a dystopian society novel about love, family, survival, and equality, in both eBook and paperback editions.  On the side I enjoy reading, drawing, and photography.  Places I am in my element for writing are: coffee shops (even though I don’t like to drink coffee), forests, mountains, and beaches.  My favorite colors are purple & green and my favorite foods are salad & chocolate.

Ready to Start Browsing?

You may have noticed that my blog title isn’t AshleyNicole Books.  The name of my blog is actually The Artistic Persuasion while my website is AshleyNicole Books.  Click here to find out about my blog name!

Want to know about my published stories and my publishing plans for the future?  Then check out my Novels page.  And don’t forget to check out my book pages Women’s Island, The Gifted Series, and Deathly Vortex.

Are you interested in being a writer?  Check out my Novel Insanity Challenge for motivation you might find helpful or inspiring.

Looking for other authors to read and support?  I have a page titled Authors of Note that lists some of the authors who have made an impact on my journey in the writing world and also have great publications of their own.  I will be adding more to this page soon so be sure to come back again for more authors.

follows

Follow me on Twitter!   |   Like my Facebook Page

Commission my Cover Artist   |   Ask my Editor for a quote

Thank You!

Thank you everyone for stopping by, your support, and interest in my stories.  It really means a lot to me that you all encourage my writing.  Have a great evening/morning/afternoon!

2013 Hopefuls

2013

Like the original image on DeviantART

2013 Hopefuls
Created by M.S. Fowle
A great idea that I wanted to try too.  Thank you M.S. Fowle for posting this.

“For this New Year I am not making resolutions. I don’t believe I’ve ever made a resolution before. They just feel like promises I won’t keep or will eventually forget. So, for 2013, I will be making Hopefuls for this year. It feels like a lot less pressure, if you ask me. I’m still setting goals for myself, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t achieve one thing or another.” ~ 2013 Hopefuls & The Coffee Quiz

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My Hopefuls for 2013

 1.    Publish Women’s Island.  Obviously I really want this to happen and I am pretty sure it will.  I just have to work really hard, and hope I get enough time to finish it.  Still, a year is quite reasonable, so I’m not too worried about this hopeful not happening.

2.    Reach 600 Downloads.  Last year I reached 583 downloads for The Blind Lily on Smashwords.  So this year, for Women’s Island, I want to reach 600 downloads.  I think with enough social media promoting I can make it.  Plus Women’s Island will be professionally edited and my cover artist did and amazing job!

3.    Finish My Secret Project.  I have a project I am working on for fans of The Blind Lily.  I think you’ll really be excited about it once I share it with you.  I’m hoping to spread the word about it in August.  So keep a look out for news on the surprise.

4.    A Book Signing.  This hopeful is a little far fetched but I’d really love to have a book signing at a local bookstore.  If not this year, I can always move the hopeful to next year, but until January 1, 2014 arrives, I’m going to keep hoping and shooting for that goal.

5.    Have a Successful Blog Tour.  This hopeful is very vague and general.  I just hope that my blog tour for Women’s Island is fun, reaches a lot of readers, and helps build my audience.  If those three things are met, I’ll consider it a success.

6.    Print Women’s Island.  Once Women’s Island is published in eBook, it shouldn’t be too difficult to publish in paperback.  The reason for this hopeful, is because my first attempt to publish a paperback book, did not go well.  It was my crash course into the self-publishing would and I don’t want that to happen again.

 

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I’m sure I’ll come up with more as goals are met and opportunities arise, but for now, I think I’m pretty happy with my Hopefuls.  What are your Hopefuls for 2013?

A New Era

We Survived the End of the World!

"It's the end of the world..." by scary-teddyDigital Art / Photomanipulation / People

“It’s the end of the world…” by scary-teddy
Digital Art / Photomanipulation / People

Favor this image on deviantART

News of the Mayan Calendar, the I Ching, and even the bible, predicting the end of the world or start of a new era spread like wild fire.  Some went above and beyond to prepare for the apocalypse by building and stocking bunkers with food, water, fire arms, etc… Today is December 21st, 2012 and despite the fact today is the end of the world, I feel fine.

Pending Apocalypse

"TO SEE THE END OF THE WORLD" by RadActPhotoDigital Art / Photomanipulation / Emotional

“TO SEE THE END OF THE WORLD” by RadActPhoto
Digital Art / Photomanipulation / Emotional

 

Favor this image on deviantART

How about you? Any drastic changes? Any apocalyptic news for the day?
I’ve seen some things on the news about snow storms and tornadoes.  Although these can be tragic,  they are acts of nature that happen daily around the world in different forms. I doubt it actually has to do with the end of the world.
One show on the study of the pending Apocalypse says that the Mayan calendar was a little different than the one we have today so the end of the world will actually be Sunday, but I have a feeling Monday is going to come as it always does.

At least there are plenty of fiction books on the subject that are fantastic reads!  They may even give you some survival ideas if something does happen.  I know The Last Survivors series gave me some great ideas.

A New Era

"Brand New Day" by FrozenStarRoDigital Art / Photomanipulation / Fantasy

“Brand New Day” by FrozenStarRo
Digital Art / Photomanipulation / Fantasy

Favor this image on deviantART

If today marks the day of a new era what would you call this new era?  What social, economic, etc… changes do you think will happen in this new era?  This could be a fun writing prompt.  Create your own new world.  Decide how mankind will move forward.  The Dawn of a New Age.  What will it be known for?  Feel free to share your ideas or leave a link to your story if you write one.

Note: I will not get in an argument over religious views of the rapture, scientific evidence that the sun is going to swallow the earth whole, or other such ideas.  Whether things things happen or not, I don’t think they are going to happen in this life time, and if they do, there is no use arguing about them.

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Books I Recommend

Do you want a list of books to read related to the End of the World as We Know it?  Then I suggest The Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  Here are the three books and their descriptions.  I loved them all!  Really great reads.

Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s still would be open.
High school sophomore Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth, the way “one marble hits another.” The result is catastrophic. How can her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earthquakes are rocking the continents, and volcanic ash is blocking out the sun? As August turns dark and wintry in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

get it on Amazon

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The Dead and the Gone
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Dead and the Gone

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event–an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

Get it on Amazon

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This World We Live In
by Susan Beth Pfeffer

this world we live in

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever.

Get it on Amazon

 

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Do you like a paranormal twist to your apocalypse?  Then check out the Oceans of Red volumes by Willow Cross.

Rise of the Demons
Oceans of Red Volume One
by Willow Cross

Rise of the Demons by Willow Cross

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

By 2015 the streets of Los Angeles have been transformed from a thriving metropolis to a hostile world ravaged by demons bent on assimilating the human race. Standing between this total apocalypse of humanity and their chance for survival is 19 year old Remy Martin.

A warrior in her own right, trained to think on her feet and kill if the situation requires, she is flanked by her older brother and younger sister.  Together, they devise a plan to take back the streets.  Against the wishes of their father, who commands the resistance forces, they venture into unknown realms of the supernatural in a race against time with the fate of the entire world in their young hands.

Join them on their mission into darkness where death lies around every corner, it is virtually impossible to distinguish your enemies from your allies, and a single mistake could result in the annihilation of everyone you’ve ever known and loved.

Get it on Amazon

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Demon Evolution
Oceans of Red Volume Two
by Willow Cross

Demon Evolution by Willow Cross

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Remy’s saga continues as the siblings uncover a sinister plot to not only posses the human race, but to replace them entirely. Will she accept her destiny and learn to control the new-found power within her?

GET IT ON AMAZON

Now that you have some more books on your To Be Read List, I’m going to get back to working on Women’s Island.  Thanks for stopping by!

Being of the Mist

Writing Challenge
Inspiration: Fog

Lost in a sea of whiteness I wander, feeling the forest floor, damp and alive, under my feet. Leaves and branches grab at my skin letting blood pool to the surface. It drips slowly toward the earth from wounds that have been marked repeatedly. The rusty metallic liquid disturbs my tongue as I lick my lips. How will I ever get out of this merciless forest with it’s suffocating air?

Something catches my foot and I fall to the ground. Pain spikes up my leg, a sign damage has been done. With much struggle, I manage to roll onto my back and sit up. The slightest movement causes agony. Proof that I will not be able to walk on. Looking up for a hint that the forest is reaching it’s end, I shudder when the branches are still not visible.

Suddenly the whiteness begins to move. Condensing into a form before my eyes. Around the being, the mist is thinning and swirling but still hides the forest. The white misty being begins to walk towards me. Scurrying across the dirt as quickly as I can, away from the being, proves to not be enough. A tree ends the path of my escape.

The darkness as I close my eyes is welcoming, safe, and good. Concentrating on the defined black mass beneath my eyelids, I attempt to push the white mist from my thoughts so I can experience my demise in the peace of darkness.

A cold hand lifts my chin, tilting it up in such a way that the misty being must be looking at my face. Another hand caresses my cheek, sending icy trails across my skin making me cold to the bone. In a second, the hands are no longer touching me only to be replaced by arms lifting me from the ground, pulling me to the being’s chest, carrying me like a dead child in it’s frozen touch.

I shudder as the darkness slips away from me when my eyes are forced open by a strange magic.
  My gaze locks instantly with the being. He has pale grey eyes with white light shining from the center. A friendly smile lightens his strong jaw line and a curl of silver hair hangs loosely over his forehead. Muscles toned and bold, show his strength is great. He is beautiful, in a way darkness never could be. How can something so beautiful be so white and so evil? 

The being laughs in a musical way that entrances me even more. He kisses the tip of my nose, then my cheeks. Whispering into my ear I am startled by his deep, enchanting voice, “I am not evil my love. One day, you will learn that there is good and bad in both the darkness and the light.”


He can read my mind?


“Yes, I can my love. And one day, when you are ready, you will too.”

Sharply, I take in a breath startled by his statement. Surely that cannot be true. Me, read someone’s mind? Impossible.

He leans down and whispers into my ear, “You and I are very similar. Now that I have found you, I will never leave you. When you need me the most I will appear by your side to aid you. It is time to heal you and carry you safely from this forest. Then your heart will lead you to where you must go.”

These words confuse me more. Before I can think about their meaning the being presses his lips to mine. A cool sensation flows over my entire body like water. Pain slowly ebbs away. Wounds close, bones stitch back together, and calm settles over me. The being pulls away breaking the kiss and sets my feet back on the ground.

My legs feel of water, giving out beneath me. The being supports my weight, preventing my fall, pulls me against him into another kiss. This time when the sensation of water crashes over me my muscles seem to find their strength, slowly helping me to stand, but he doesn’t let go. My mind tells me to resist, but my body will not comply.

He smiles against my lips and gives me one more short kiss before releasing me, “You are healed my love. I will only kiss you when you are hurt or if you ask me. Go now.  Continue your journey. I will follow, invisible to all eyes, and show myself when you need me. See you soon my love.”

He vanishes before my eyes and with his exit, the whiteness lifts. I am at the edge of the forest.  I can see the road. He didn’t even give me a name. Taking in a breath, I step forward, and continue on.

Great Writing Tool — Mapping your Story

I started making a digital version of The Kingdom of Carden map. So far I’m pretty happy with it, although I love the original drawing more ❤
Map drawing is a great place to start when writing a novel. You can find mountains, rivers, volcanoes, towns, deserts, oceans, etc… So that you know where your characters are going, how long it will take them to get there, and what cataclysmic events they might experience.
For The Gifted Series I have a map for the ancestral gifted alliances. I used a world map for that and colored in the gifted territories. It's a simple one but it's a lot of help. Then for The Chronicles of Carden it is a totally different world and I had designed it very differently then our world. So it's much more detailed and creative. I love it!
Have you ever created a map of your own? If not you should give it a try. It's a lot of fun and the ideas you have may just surprise you 😉

The Blind Lily (Part Two) update:
Rewriting/editing is going pretty well. I think I'm staying on track and will hopefully have it ready for my beta readers soon ❤

Artistry of Writing – Brilliance of an Idea

You don’t write to make a story…you write to tell a story that already exists…

Camp NaNoWriMo has already begun for some (depending on where you live in the world and if you’re actually participating…) You may find yourself in a little predicament. “I want to write a novel but I have no idea what I’m going to write about!” Where do all those amazing authors that you love come up with all of these amazing ideas?

Well I’m here to give you an answer…

I don’t know. (Hey, I didn’t say it was the answer you were looking for) I’m not one of those authors. But I can give you some ideas to try out. The thing is, everyone is different and the same inspiration technique isn’t going to work for everyone. My books come from several different sources of inspiration. I can always write something, I don’t get Writer’s Block in the sense that I can’t write anything but I can get it on one specific project and then I know it’s time to flip things in a different direction. I cannot write something I’m not passionate about. And my best guess is…you might not be able to either.

Inspiration Tip #1: Dreams and Nightmares

Dreams and Nightmares are often where my stories come from. I start with the actual dream/nightmare and then transform it into a story that I am drawn into. (A great coping mechanism for nightmares. That’s how I became a writer.) The dream state can be a strange experience and difficult to write so sometimes it’s easier to just write the words that best describe it without telling the story (dreams are not always in order) and even draw some things if that is easier for you. After that you have just created a brainstorm. Now go add onto it until you get that awesome story idea!

Inspiration Tip #2: Images, Art, and Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words

This is a saying that is all too true but a writer can make a picture say 50k words or maybe even 100k words. It’s up to you.

Grab a camera and go take some random shots of people walking around at the mall, birds in a tree, trails and flowers in the park, anyplace you think could have some great potential. Then look at the pictures. Does one jump out at you? Use it, look at it, and write words that come to your mind. Can’t think of anything else? Go get something to eat, drink, use the restroom and come back to the photograph and see what else you can think of.

If a camera isn’t really what you had in mind, look at some art. For example my favorite artist is Thomas Kinkade. I’d love to live in one of those beautiful paintings of his and I’m sure I could come up with a whole book someday after studying his paintings ❤

Another great place to look besides your camera or favorite artists is Deviant art. The graphic art is absolutely amazing and has a really great medium for that imaginative quality to place you in the world of writing.

Inspiration Tip #3: Meditate, Walk Around, Take a Shower

This inspiration tip may have thrown you off guard but you’d be surprised what you can come up with by relaxing or even just doing regular daily activities. I’ve been inspired by watching an ant climb a rock, and flower beginning to bud, making tea, sitting in Starbucks (I know, writers love coffee shops), and yes, taking a shower. Let the story come to you. It’s worth a try.

Inspiration Tip #4: You know what you know…

Write about an experience you’ve had, even if it’s just a paragraph. Have you thought about how you wish you could go back in time and do things differently? Change the story to that. Now imagine that it didn’t happen to you, but to fictional characters. Wow, now you have a short story about someone else that you just wrote. Can you turn it into a novel? I dare you 😉

Inspiration Tip #5: I NEED a formula for this…

There isn’t an x+y=50k word novel formula that you can just figure out but I have something that might help you come up with an idea.

1. Pick something you love


2. Find a picture that you love about number 1


3. Write an experience you’ve had with number 1


4. Choose a genre you love to read or is best for you to write


5. Choose something you hate or that scares you. 


6. Choose a place you want to be.


7. Choose a place you don’t want to be

Now you have a sort of formula for coming up with a story idea, the good and evil elements basically.

I need more help: some extra resources to help you come up with a novel idea

If you need a little bit more help after this blog post, I’m not going to discourage you from following your dream of writing a novel. But I need to get some sleep, so instead, I’m going to direct you to some other places (including a video I posted last year) that can hopefully help you reach your goal.

my YouTube Vlog post Idea: How to Write a Fiction Novel

JC Rocks NaNoWriMo Experience

NaNoWriMo Vlogs

Blitson Jay’s NaNo Vlogs

The Write Club channel

Those Writer Girls channel

Good Luck and Happy Writing ❤


Building A World…

Despite my super busy schedule and barely any time for planning I have done pretty well and I still consider myself ahead of the game. Hopefully I’ll still feel that way when June 1st gets here (fingers crossed…wait, that will make typing very difficult…) Do you remember that post? The one about that awesome website I heard about for world building? “I’m goin’ places…figuratively speaking of course” I introduced a bit of the trouble I was having with the sci-fi world. Still I admit I am not a pro, but I definitely think I am getting the hang of it and I can see Women’s Island being a success. I’m getting really excited about the JulNoWriMo challenge for this one, my first sci-fi novel. Planning is pretty much top shape for my June novel, The Stealing Wind. That one is ready to overflow but I’m holding back until June 1st. My August novel, The Unique Imitation has a lot of work still to do. I’m changing it a lot from my previous idea and deciding where I really want it to take place. I’d love for it to take place in Australia but I don’t think I have enough time to do all of that research before June 1st.

Overall though I think I am in a great place for planning. There is just under two weeks for me to finish planning. Also I have to get Part Two of The Blind Lily ready for my beta reader so he/she can look it over while I dive into my Novel Insanity Challenge. So, I have lots to do but today I am taking a day off to just enjoy family time and have a break from all the planning, editing, and writing challenges (although, I might post something for you all later…)

Don’t forget to come check out the new design for The Artistic Persuasion and browse the pages ❤

Have a good night everyone,

~AshleyNicole

Women’s Island Synopsis

I haven’t gotten very far in my planning for Women’s Island and The Unique Imitation.  Life’s just been crazy busy the past few days.  But I have decided on the main characters names and come up with a book description for Women’s Island.  Thankfully there is still time to plan before June Camp NaNoWriMo begins.  Do you want to see my synopsis?  

Here it is:

The United States has changed so much in the past 18 years.  Women have been stripped of their liberties and life will never be the same for Mercy Chamberlin, mother of two and wife to a loving husband.  She has adapted enough to survive in the new order of things but she hates the world her children are growing up in.  When her husband hears rumors of women in revolt and an underground for women and children to escape through, he convinces Mercy to leave him and promises to find her when the time is right.

Are the rumors true?  Can the women make a difference again?  What part will Mercy play in the revolution to come?  Will her and her husband ever reunite?  Find out in Women’s Island.

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I’m really looking forward to writing it.  I’m going to attempt to publish it this October 2012.  I know it seems crazy…okay so maybe it is crazy but I’m going to give it a shot.  It’s a good thing I love writing or all this writing, editing, and revising might seem like 😉

 

I better get back to planning!  Hopefully I’ll be back soon to post some inspiration boards.

Writing Challenge – A Random Object

Writing Challenge Number 3

Inspiration:  A Random Object Lying Around

Ring of Wonder

Life on the island is cut throat.  I don’t know how long I have been here but I do know that it has been over five years.  I eventually stopped counting.  No other people live on the island so I have made friends with some of the lesser animals… the ones who don’t have any interest in eating me.  We live in a home I have built up in the trees and work together to survive.  I do the hunting while my friends do the gathering and keep a look out for predators.  On days like today, when the large beasts are scarce, I have to risk fishing instead.

Secretly I love fishing.  I love how the water feels on my skin, to watch as it rinses away the layers of dirt that cling to me.  The air seems fresher on the water, not tainted by the smells of other creatures or plants.  Calm and quiet, it’s a time where even though I’m alone, I don’t feel lonely.  Fishing out in the open can be a problem however… It leaves me unprotected, unsheltered, and vulnerable in the eyes of the large beasts that hide in the trees and rocks.  But I take the risk, and sometimes I am rewarded with finding something from a far away place, things that do not exist on the island, things that I know come from places where being like me live.

Today… I find one of those things.  It is round, a ring or loop, of fabric like texture.  An item I’ve never seen before.  I almost missed it for it blended in with the rocky shore.  I pull on it and find that it stretches.  Maybe it is a… oh, what was the sling thing called?   Yes, a slingshot!  But, it doesn’t have the handle.  No, it’s too small for that.  Maybe it is one of those jewelry items… a bracelet.  It’s quiet plain for that.  I twist and pull at this elastic ring and force myself to remember my life among humans as a little girl.  Suddenly a long messy curl falls into my face out of my make shift hair holder.  Then I have an epiphany.

This elastic ring of wonder is to tie up one’s hair!  To keep it out of the way!  Yes, I have found myself a hair tie.  A very useful thing indeed.  I will treasure my treasure and use it on important hunts so that my hair will not impede my task.  I look out at the water and smile slightly.  Thank you, whoever dropped this into the ocean that sent it to me.


Writing Challenge – Wild Lilac

Writing Challenge

Inspiration: The Paint Color of Paint in your Room

Wild Lilac

My eyes are closed as I lay there with the sun kissing my skin. I hear the wind whisper to the grass as it tickles my ears. Spring is such a wonderful season. It’s warm and beautiful…the definition of happiness personified. Of course spring isn’t really a person is it?

Nature is living and Spring brings on it’s season. The flowers bloom, the trees grow, the air changes. Animals thrive and share the wonders and delight of Spring. Spring is their friend, their time of content. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold.

I open my eyes and see the beautiful wild lilac amid the grass, enjoying the sun and drinking in it’s warmth as I am. Their color is peaceful, calming, and pure. Their scent is delicious, simple, and sweet. Their petals are like butterfly kisses against my cheeks.

Yes; Spring is very alive, and it is my truest friend.