HELLO My Reader Friends!

Grab your beverage of choice for reading news chronicles and prepare to be awed by my uncharacteristic brevity!  😂

(The weatherman says you have a 10-30% chance of being blessed if you believe that I am capable of brevity today — depending on your definitions of both “brevity” and “blessed.”)

Beverage Decider

I know, I know… It’s been a while since you devoured The Frozen.  So you may have the following perfectly reasonable questions:

A) Why is this newsletter just coming out NOW, and

B) Where’s Book 2 and why is it taking so long?!

I will answer in the form of a one-minute clip from one of my favorite scenes from Shakespeare in Love:

 

“It’s coming…it’s coming.”

But! Let’s redirect our thoughts for a moment to one of the other things people have eagerly asked me for, which is finally here: the audiobook!

🥳🥳🥳

The Audiobook Adventure

Last year, I had simply sublime ideas about how producing my first audiobook would be a fast and easy process.

Me, crossing genres into fantasy

Problem 1: Nope.

Problem 2: Also not cheap.

After far too much time spent researching, querying, and investigating, I was left with the following options:

1. Offers requiring a 🔥soul contract🔥
2. Doing it myself, including learning how to do the mastering
3. Putting it off until…$$$omeday (but I’d already sunk a ton of time into it!)

Problem 3: I also needed someone who could do a smorgasbord of strong female and male voices convincingly and consistently…and I wasn’t it. Neither were 95% of the offers.

THE SOLUTION

Finally, I decided (and/or the Holy Spirit pushed me) to hesitantly reach out to an author friend of an author friend, who turned out to be perfectly voiceful and affordable (/generous): Mike Domeny from 321 Improv.

Mike’s Bio: Mike Domeny is an actor and author (Thrown Off Script) who tells stories that make a difference. He founded Outloud Bible Project to help Christians read the Bible like it makes a difference in their lives, and The Grove: Kingdom Creativity Collective, to equip Christians to do “that thing” God put on their heart to do, even if it doesn’t make sense. He lives in New Hampshire and serves alongside his wife, Kelsey.

In addition to adding some flavor with his many creative accents, Mike adds a little bit of extra-special ToT spice to the reading in so many ways… So, if you’d like an audiobook for your nightly reading binge, 65 or so trips-across-town, your new treadmill commitment, or a last-minute Christmas gift — you should give it a listen (and possibly figure out how to gift-wrap it)!

Perks of being my FTFFs (Favorite The Frozen Fans, of course)(Just go with it, ok):

Just send me an email with something along the lines of “Spotify me,” and I’ll send you a free code to download the audiobook on Spotify! I can send you a 🎁gift-ified🎁 and personalized printout with a code at your request. 🎄

You can also find the audiobook on all of the platforms listed in the graphic above if you prefer, but I don’t have any free codes for those 😢.

However, if your 📚library provides online resources such as Hoopla, Libby, or CloudLibrary, like mine does, you can check out both the ebook and the audiobook for free! 😊)

Monthly Prize Drawing

And no matter where you listen to or read the book, you’re eligible for the monthly prize drawing if you:

1. Post your [HONEST] thoughts about the book on Amazon, Goodreads, Spotify, or the like, and

2.  Email me a screenshot at jen@jenporterauthor.com.

One entry for each place you post a review (copy and paste away)!  Lovely Amazon and Starbucks gift cards have been given out to the happy winners to date.

☕Hold on to your beverage (or maybe get another one; refer back to the spinner as needed) — because this newsletter isn’t going to end here! (surprise!)

The Saga Continues

It’s been over a year and a half…so I have a bit of catching you up to do. Before we fast-forward to the progress-or-lack-thereof meter, let’s take a few moments to review some of the many “insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster” that unfolded here in Porterville since the publication of The Frozen (even though we’re not talking about the ‘theatre business,’ yet)…

Some of the Obstacles

  • my PCS migraine war continued on
  • middle daughter went through an ugly, almost 2 year long divorce
  • middle daughter and grandkids moved in with us
  • my grandchildren were identified with special needs and began a long journey to get services
  • my husband had a heart attack, triple bypass, and hip replacement
  • my brother was struck by lightning and sustained a huge hemorrhagic stroke, blown eardrums, a shattered eye socket, and burns; he is recovering well now, but it will be a long road—and as yet, he is still paralyzed on his right side
  • my youngest daughter was the unwitting victim of an unprovoked attack at school and received a concussion, and the attack was sent by Snapchat to most of her school community
  • one uncle was severely injured in a 10 foot fall to a cement floor and underwent multiple surgeries and complications throughout 2023
  • one uncle passed away in a horrific accident at his workplace
  • a close writer friend of mine passed away unexpectedly
  • my almost 11 year old “soul dog,” Jax, who provided me with a character model for Nash, passed away due to the progression of DM and an aggressive sarcoma in his rear legs

And on and on life goes… My obstacles have not been “insurmountable” because God has walked with me and my family through all of them (but…they have slowed my progress on Book 2 a wee bit).

Every day has been a day I got to spend with God, my family, and friends…and some of them even writing! God continues to bless us and sustain us through it all; He shows His loving presence in so many ways!

Some of the Blessings

  • because of my PCS, I’ve been able to be there for my family the last few years in ways I could not have been as a teacher, and I continue to make small steps forward in healing
  • I completed several multimedia interactive book presentations in Iowa that were very fun and met some really neat people at each event (see pictures below)
  • I made several new supportive and helpful writing and marketing connections
  • my husband was able to fully recover and return to full duty as a firefighter in September of this year
  • I’ve been able to take a more direct and daily role in my grandchildren’s lives
  • my brother was not killed, his sense of humor is reappearing, and there were a series of miracles and God-interventions during his accident and even continuing now during his recovery
  • I know that God will turn my brother’s accident for his good — and I know my brother will find a way to use it to encourage others in the future
  • the divorce is final and my daughter received sole custody
  • my youngest daughter’s school community, as well as her youth group, have been extremely supportive of her following the attack; she also decided she’d like to start taekwondo, and is really enjoying it and gaining confidence
  • we’ve deepened our relationship with some of our family friends and shared great support with family during the tough times
  • we got to travel to Montana (my first time there) by way of Mount Rushmore and the Little Bighorn battle site for our nephew’s wedding
  • I continue to get notes and comments like these…which help motivate me to keep writing:

From a friend of my parents:  “Kathy gave her book to our cousin to read.  She kind of turned her nose up when looking at it as she doesn’t like fantasy or sci-fi but Kathryn talked her into it anyway.  Well my cousin just called and said to tell you to get the next book done…now!!!  She is loving the book.”

From a church family friend:  “So we haven’t been to church in a couple of weeks, got to go today but second service… Since I didn’t see you I have to pass this on — from my dad:  ‘Finished The Frozen.  Tell Jen FANTASTIC!!'”

From my brother:  “I loaned my copy of The Frozen to a friend at work.  He is now also awaiting book 2!”

signing books sold at the Sheldon presentation

a post from an old college friend who came to the Sioux Rapids presentation

my good friend Sarah and her daughter manning the prize table at the launch

Hull library audience participating in the live survey

audience members in Sioux Center participating in the “Who’s Gonna be Frozen Today?” game

my brothers “congratulating” me at the book launch in Cedar Rapids

…This Seems Like a Convenient Place to Mention My Book Recommendations

If you, like me and my family, are “having a year,” you should check out Mike Domeny’s book (and audiobook) Thrown Off Script!   It will inspire you and make you laugh as you face life’s obstacles.

Another really encouraging book, like a mental and spiritual hug for those facing life-changing illness, is Ronda Barney’s Dear SusanAlthough it was written for women, it definitely applies to both genders.  

Both of these books are short and savorable.  I highly recommend them!

And Now…For the Actual Book Progress Updates Section

Yes, I am hard at work, crafting not just one, but two more captivating books for your reading enjoyment. It is my goal to put Books 2 and 3 into your hands in very quick succession, so I’m plotting them at the same time, and will roll from Book 2’s draft right into Book 3’s.

This progress meter can be found on my website, but I’ll send future updates with more details in the newsletter as well.

 

For Next Month: Interactive Book 2-3 Fun

Also: Results of Choose-the-Avatar for Shaan, Alaric, Solin, Nash, Oshi, and Halor from Facebook! (If you’d like to participate, go here.)

Final Fan Freebies

Do you host or attend a book club? Check out the book club resources I’ve put together for The Frozen!

Among the included items is a fairly challenging crossword puzzle, which you can complete on paper or online. See how many nitpicky details you can remember!  There are also some themed coloring pages. Enjoy!

If you, like me, are a writer who is organizationally obsessed and uses Notion as a repository for your entire brain, snag my series bible template for free!

That wraps up this [epic] first edition of the Blessed Bulletin.

Future editions will be somewhat shorter, with some more cool interactive parts — or so the weatherman would like you to believe!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!