Beta Readers Wanted

Guess what! Guess what! Guess what!

No. I didn’t get a pony, though that would be pretty cool.

But I did finish the second draft to One Last Wish a few moments ago and now I’m searching for THREE beta readers to read the book (set up like a PDF ebook*) and then email me thoughts, concerns, comments, suggestions, etc. that you may have.

*please excuse the generic About the Author, Acknowledgements, blank pages, etc. Those are going to be filled in when I finalize the book. So please just ignore those and focus on the book.

Why am I doing this?

When I finished writing Shadows last year, I hesitantly made the decision to do this exact thing. In the end, I decided it was the best idea I ever had. I received pages upon pages of useful feedback. I don’t expect pages, but I do hope you won’t hold back for fear of offending me. I’m pretty hard to offend and I’d rather you tell me something sucks before I publish the book.

The reason why I don’t just ask my friends and family for feedback is because I don’t think I’d get unbiased criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family. They’re super supportive of my writing, they’re my biggest fans, but they also see me on a regular basis.

By asking for three perfect strangers to read this is like handing it to my fans and asking them to tell me what they think. Whether you’re a fan of mine or not, I hope you give me honest criticism (be nice about it and I won’t be offended. If you email me saying my plot line sucks, my writing sucks, and there’s nothing that can make it better, then I’ll be upset.) because you’re entitled to your opinion.

If you’re interested, I’m requesting you email me at authornicolebelanger@gmail.com and I will send you a sneak peak of One Last Wish.  I also request you tell me a little about yourself and why you think I should choose you as a beta reader. Once all three have been chosen, I will email the PDF.

I will only be giving 2 weeks to read/email me your feedback. If this is not enough time and you need an extension, please let me know. I might be able to work something out.

Last year I gave my Beta readers an autographed copy of Shadows when it was released. I can only do this for US residents. If you’re outside of the US, we can work something else out.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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I Went Back to High School Today

I went to hand deliver some signed copies of Shadows to former teachers of mine at Sanford High School. I wrote about both of them in the acknowledgements section of the book, and the only one that was there today was Nancy Kane, my junior year creative writing teacher. A lot has changed in the past three years or so, and the English curriculum at the high school is so much different – in a good way, of course.

She told me about the students that I’ve inspired to try to get their work published. It was incredible, and I felt so important. She asked me to come speak with her Creative Writing II class next year, and I happily accepted. Even though I’m awful at public speaking, us writers have to stick together and I’ll be more than happy to tell them about my journey into the author world and answer any questions they have for me.

For those of you who don’t know quite yet, Shadows was published about three weeks early. It was sudden and unexpected, but I spoke with my publisher to get it done early because I may be doing a book signing at a local Books a Million this summer. The book needed to be published so the store could see if they’re able to get the book in stock before they can set up the event. I’ll also be trying for Barnes and Noble, which is an almost two hour drive from me, but will be worth the experience!

I’ve received a 5 star review from Kelly Smith Reviews that stated:

“This is an amazing story of bravery, inner strength and survival.”
“I love this book and I’m sure others will as well”

So you can purchase Shadows on Amazon here:

Paperback:
http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Nicole-Belanger/dp/149915982X/

Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Nicole-Belanger-ebook/dp/B00KCZ7UH4/

Also, if you read, please let me know what you think of it! A few sentences in the review space would be more than enough and greatly appreciated! All reviews and feedback will be used to help me with this next book! I’m (at the time of this post) at #78,516 for my rank on the amazon best sellers (which is the best I’ve been in a long time, I was in the high 600,000s) and I want to see how high up on the rank I can get! (hoping for top 1,000s at the worst, top 100 would be golden)

Lastly, become a fan on Goodreads here:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120883.Nicole_Belanger

and follow me on twitter!

Thank you all for your support! It means the world to me.

 

 

 

 

The Memory Closet Book Review

The Memory Closet by Ninie HammonI recently had the pleasure of getting to read The Memory Closet by Ninie Hammon. I wanted to start off with saying Ninie is an incredibly talented author. I can only hope to someday be half the writer she is.

Anne Mitchell has experienced something terrible. Something so traumatic that her mind has erased all memories from before she was eleven. The first thing she remembers is being hands down in the dirt and she doesn’t know how she got there. Suffering from Amnesia, Anne embarks on a battle with the “Boogie Man” – unknowing how dangerous that may be. Is she willing to risk her sanity to dig up a past so awful that her mind erased all memory of it? Is it time to open the memory closet and reveal the “Boogie Man”?

The Memory Closet is a book that will keep you wondering what happened and each time you think you know the answer, Ninie throws another thing at you that makes you doubt your conclusion. Even when it got towards the end and I thought FOR SURE I was right, I was wrong again and Ninie threw me through another loop.

This book not only kept me on the edge of my seat white knuckling the armrests the entire time I was reading, it also drew emotions. I found myself rooting for Anne the entire time, and pitying her as she got closer to her answers. There were plenty of times where I stiffled a laugh (and a few I burst out laughing from the comfort of the charting room at work at three in the morning – don’t get me started on how embarrassing THAT was.) and even times where my heart broke for the characters.

Ninie is a captivating writer that leaves you wanting more at the end of the chapter. I will certainly be reading more from this author.

Thank you again, Ninie! I’m honored to have had the chance to not only speak with you, but to also read your work.

Buy The Memory Closet here: 
http://www.amazon.com/Memory-Closet-Modern-Contemporary-Fiction/dp/097990353X/

You can find here here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/niniehammon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ninie-Hammon-Novelist/175272219212397
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/656422.Ninie_Hammon
Website: http://www.niniehammon.com

I Saw My Book For the First Time

Displaying WP_001641.jpgI saw Shadows in print for the first time today. It was like having my second child (I’m not a mother, but I can imagine what it’s like). I’m in love with the way it looks and I don’t think I’ll ever get over how weird it feels to not only see my book in print but to also read it. It’s surreal, really. I read the first few words of Lost Voice, which I haven’t done for a long time, before picking up Shadows and reading the first few words. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come as a writer since writing Lost Voice, and I’m even more excited than before to share this book with you all. I’ll be spending the night reading through to make sure it flows correctly and there weren’t any overlooked mistakes (which knowing me a few will slip through anyways). June 7th! I can’t believe how close but far away it is!

10 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

I wasn’t sure what to write about for today’s post, so here’s 10 things you may or may not know about me.

1. I’m a certified nursing assistant. Yup, that means I’m a professional butt-wiper, AND I get paid for it. No, I’m just kidding – sort of. There are many things I do as a CNA; I’m the eyes and ears for both nurses and doctors, take care of patients and families and try – yes, try – not to annoy them when I enter the room every hour of my 12.5 hour overnight shift. During my third shift this week (which I’m currently still working; Shh – don’t tell my boss I’m writing this from the charting room) I had three patients tell me I’ll be a “wonderful”, “fantastic”, “great” nurse someday. I plan to live up to their expectations. They don’t know how much it truly means to hear them say that.

2. I’m an author; which I’m sure you know from my constant ranting about how I wrote another book – we get it, Nicole. At six years old, I started writing. I guess I had a lot of random ideas floating around in my tiny brain that I needed to get out – somehow. A pen and a piece of paper – which turned to a laptop down the road – later, I’ve started my third book. Funny how things work, isn’t it?

3. I love photography, but I’ll be darned if you try to put me on the wrong side of the camera. I’m certainly no model.

4. I have this awesome juggling act where I balance a full-time job, school, babysitting my two godchildren, writing a blog and spending time with friends and family. Did I mention I can balance on one foot at the same time, and rub my head while I pat my belly? Well I can’t do the latter, but I can at least try. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

5. I’m currently learning American Sign Language and am in my fourth level. My uncle – who’s actually my mom’s uncle, but saying “Great Uncle Matt” takes too much time and there’s really no difference – teaches it in California, so I was exposed to the language at a young age. I didn’t start learning it until much later – when I was in my freshman year of college. I have a friend, Carol, one of my regulars from when I worked at McDonald’s, who is deaf. I started to learn ASL so I could communicate with her.

6. I recently visited my great grandmother across the country to surprise her for her 82nd birthday. I hadn’t seen her since I was six and she called me a “nastly little child” for keeping my visit a secret from her by making her think I was too poor to fly out there – which I was and still am. Trust me, my bank account still won’t talk to me after gambling away $89 while I was out there.

7. I’m running my first 5k June 22, 2014 even though running and I go together like tape and water – it just doesn’t work. My lungs are going to hate me for torturing them with the asthma. They’ll probably join my bank account in the rebellion.

8. I got my first job (McDonald’s) at fourteen, had manager privileges at sixteen and worked there for four years before applying to the Hospital. I had to talk my parents into allowing me to even apply for the job. They thought I should wait until I was fifteen. They also said I wouldn’t get to work a lot since I was so young. I was able to get my boss to maximize my hours and was training people after working there for 5 months. I also trained myself since my trainer left half an hour into my first day and no one told me.

9. I chose to work with stroke/cardiac patients because my own mother has had five strokes and has a heart condition.

10. The most important thing in my life is my family. If I had to choose between either having no money, poor health and no home or losing my family, I’d choose the first. I could have everything in the world but still have nothing if I didn’t have my family.

Maine Warrior Salute

Maine Warrior Salute LogoI have a co-worker who’s hosting the second annual Maine Warrior Salute event this summer and she’s spoken with me about finding donations for a massive raffle they’re having at the event. She’s looking for more actual items to raffle off. I’m donating a few autographed copies of both my novels, and I’m asking for other authors in the US to donate an autographed copy (s) of their novels, as well.

Proceeds go to the Wounded Heros Program of Maine. More information can be found here:
http://mainewarriorsalute.com/

To donate, you may either contact me at:
authornicolebelanger@gmail.com

or Kelly at:
warrior.salute@gmail.com

Shadows Update

Last night I finished some final details for Shadows and uploaded the cover design to my publisher. This morning I was approved to move forward, and in less than two weeks I’ll physically be able to see the book for the first time. 

The last step for me is to make sure everything comes out okay with printing and to approve the book for publication. Once I do that, all I need to do is sit back and wait for the release date.

What do I do while I wait? Well get started on the next book, of course! I have a few ideas in mind, and a few openers started. All I need to do is pick the one I like most and roll with it! (of course I need to design a plot first).

I’m so excited for June 7th. Writing this book went a lot faster than I expected. The ideas came to me over and over and I couldn’t stop. I know it’s a shorter novel, but adding any more would make it seem too dragged out, in my opinion. I’m hoping for my next one to be a bit longer than Shadows and Lost Voice are, but time will only tell.

Who else is excited!?

Also, sign up for my newsletter and ask an anonymous question here: nicolebelanger.fanbridge.com