What does it mean to be an “author”?

Seriously. Can anyone tell me, because I seem to have mixed ideas.

Okay, it may help if I start from the beginning. See, as you all know, I signed my Entertaining Angels series with Vox Dei Publishing. I’ve been working on edits and proofs these past few days as I get ready to republish Entertaining Angels come April. As I was dealing with deadlines and the like, I thought, Man, this is what it must feel like to be a real author. Did I seriously just think that? I did, and I was disgusted with myself.

Why should there be limits put on how we see ourselves as authors? If you wrote a book and published it, you’re an author. You don’t have to have a publisher, or be traditionally published, for you to be able to label yourself as an “author”. Did you write a book? Yes. Did you have your book edited? I hope so. Did you have it proofread? I really hope so. If you said, yes to all of the above, then you’re an author.

author definition
Google definition


But still, we put ourselves in boxes, much like we do everything else in our lives. We feel like we have to do things a certain way in order to be considered a “real author”. There are people who are going to disagree with me on this, and that’s okay. I just think with the way the publishing industry has changed, we should be able to change our thoughts with it.

When people ask me what it is I do, I always tell them I’m a writer, but why can’t I call myself an author? Why can’t I say “Hey, I authored that book.”? Because I’m scared of the label. I’m afraid that people won’t see me as “real” author.

writer definition
Google Definition


I’ve been writing books since before I published Piercing Through the Darkness in 2011. I guess in 2011, I’ve been “authoring” books. 😉 I’ve put my dreams to good use, and I’ve published them.

I do things to support me financially (proofreading), but being an author is more than a hobby to me. It’s something I can seriously see myself being able to do as a full-time career in the near future. It’s something I’m working towards, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t call myself an “author” now. I wrote books. I published those books, and I’m seeing it through. It’s about time that I started calling myself an author.

It’s here! Before We Say I Do! #EntertainingAngels

It’s HERE!!! The day has finally arrived, and I’m super excited to release Before We Say I Do! And, and, and —- you get an exclusive excerpt! This one is different than on the release day blitz other bloggers are helping me with. This is EXCLUSIVE! Boom. You know I love you! ❤ And that’s not all! There’s a giveaway!! Scroll down to enter one of five digital copies of Before We Say I Do!! But you know, read the excerpt first. 😉



About the Book:

Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story.

Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?

Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.

Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.




Andy had just come back from the decoration crisis as I paced the room; Zach and Andy watched me. I knew they wanted to ask me what was on my mind, but honestly, I didn’t even want to think about it. I was just ready to see Mads walk down the aisle. But there was something else bothering me, and I didn’t want to bring it up. I couldn’t help it, though. My dad was lingering on my mind. Should I have invited him? No. I was right in not, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to blow up.

“Andy, do you think I could talk to Chase for a minute?” Zach asked.

“Yeah. Sure.” Andy stood and gave me a wary glance before he walked out and shut the door behind him. That didn’t help my feelings any.

“Something’s going to happen isn’t it?” I asked, running my hands through my hair. I remembered it wouldn’t be long before I was taking pictures. I looked in the mirror and fixed it; I couldn’t let my nervous habit get the best of me right now. I had to look my best for Mads.

“Chase, I – I wish I could say no.”

Zach looked away from me, and I knew it. Something bad was going to happen.

“Will Mads be alright? Please tell me this isn’t about her.”

“It’s not. This time it’s you.”

Zach’s green eyes bore into me, and I felt like I was two feet tall. This couldn’t be happening. This was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. And I knew that it was my dad who was going to ruin everything because I couldn’t get him off of my mind!

“So that’s why you’re really here?” I asked, pacing the room. I lifted my hands to run them through my hair but stopped short. I balled them into fists and kept pacing.

“Not exactly. I really did come here to witness your union, but it was also to help you deal with your problem.”

“What problem is that?”

“I think you know, Chase.”

Why did anything have to revolve around him today? This was mine and Mads’ day.

“Can you stop it? Please?” I stood in front of him, begging. I even prayed to God to let this stop before it started. I would do anything to keep my dad from ruining our day.

“Things are already in motion, Chase. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

My legs felt weak, and I took a seat in the chair across from Zach. This wasn’t happening. This couldn’t be happening. God, please. Stop this before it starts! Don’t let my dad show up. Please . . .

“What am I going to do?” I asked Zach. Maybe God had given him some kind of information that would be helpful to me.

“Be strong. Madison is going to need you at your best. You know how the enemy can be. Don’t let them ruin this for you two. That’s all they’re trying to do.”

“That’s it? That’s all the advice you can give me?” My voice rose in anger.

I stood and paced the room again, pushing my hands through my hair and then balled my hands into fists. I’d deal with my hair later. Right now, I was too angry. How could this happen to me? To us? This wasn’t right.

“I can’t believe it,” I mumbled.

“Chase, please. I told you so you could prepare. Not to cause you anger.”

“How can I not be angry, Zach? My dad is going to ruin my big day!”

“Not if you don’t let him, Chase. Maybe you can talk to him and mend fences.” He just stared at me like I was a caged animal and like he truly pitied me. Maybe that description wasn’t too far off.

I stopped and gaped at him. “There’s no talking to him.”

“When was the last time you tried?”

Zach crossed his arms across his chest, not actually in anger, but there was something almost like disappointment in his gaze. I felt like a small child being scolded by my mother. Zach knew I was lying because I hadn’t tried talking to him, although Dad had tried. I just wouldn’t give him a second chance. Sure, he left us. He deserted us, but every now and then I would get a missed call from him. Ever since I had asked Mads to marry me, the calls had increased. He must have known.

“It’s been a while,” I answered, sitting down again.

“Chase, this doesn’t have to be hard. Just talk to him like a normal human being. You helped me change Madison’s life once. Surely you can help me change your father’s.”

Tears stung my eyes, but I tried not to cry. Maybe it was pride. Maybe I just didn’t want to shed a tear over my father, but Zach’s words struck a chord within me. Could he change? Would he even want to? I didn’t suppose it would hurt to try and mend fences. What would Mom say, though? Would she want me to mend things with the man who ruined her life?

I nodded because I still didn’t know exactly what to say or do.


Enter to win one of five ebooks of Before We Say I Do!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where can you buy Before We Say I Do?

Amazon / Amazon UK / Nook / Kobo / iBooks

And, in honor of Before We Say I Do’s release, Entertaining Angels, the first book in the series is $0.99!!

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Nook / Kobo /iBooks

Shine On, SUN’S RIVAL!

I unfortunately wasn’t part of this book release like I have been for the others in this series, but here I am reblogging for Danielle! Stop by and check out the goodies, and this – what I know will be – amazing book!

Ever On Word

Ladies and gentlemen, the day of “The Sun’s Rival” has dawned! It’s up in paperback (Amazon, CreateSpace) and/or e-book (Kindle, Nook)! Let the wild rumpus commence!

Sun's Rival Launch Week Tour, Novella

And by “wild rumpus”, I mean this blog tour-wide Rafflecopter giveaway in which there are such goodies to be won as sun and moon heart pendants, selected chapters with author and character commentary, a complete set of signed bookmarks, and an e-copy of the book.

As brought to you by the PendantLabAs brought to you by the PendantLab Etsy shop

“Hold on a moment,” says Laraspur. “Did you say ‘blog tour’?”

That I did! For some jolly good friends of mine, all of whom ROCK, have volunteered to spread the “Sun’s Rival” love on their blogs during Launch Week. ^_^ Watch this space (and my Twitter feed, and quite probably my Facebook author page) for links as the posts go…

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Selling books and other common misconceptions

When I became an author, I was stupid. I really was. I thought it would be easy. Again, I was an idiot, completely misguided and confused.


Being an author is ten – okay, a hundred – times harder than I thought when I first started. Here are some common misconceptions about being an author (that I had).

1. You’ll hit it big with your first book. Although it does, and can, happen, it’s very, very rare. Chances are, you’ll have to publish a good many before your name is even recognized. And although there are some people who know my name, it’s not really because they’ve bought my book. They’ve just seen me around the internet.

don't you like books

2.You sell a book – to someone other than family – and you finally have a verified purchase review! Of course it’s a 5 star glowing review. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? You write a best-selling book. People are bound to give you nothing but 5 stars, right? Right?!

So, you’re nervous, sick, anxious with anticipation, and you finally read it. It’s the dreaded one star. You end up going through denial – ranting at the reviewer. How could you not see what I meant? Are you sure that you read it correctly? Why would you say something like that? So, you try not to think about it, but you can’t help it. You dwell. You get sick. You contemplate talking to them about it, to change their mind. In the end, you spend the night crying and eating ice cream and raw cookie dough and consider quitting all together.

ice cream

3. You’ll be rich in no time! You’ll have so much money that you won’t know what to do with it all! Well, you hope to make enough money to cover costs of expenses, at least. But, you find yourself with credit card debt, saying you needed to spend that extra money for ads. So, now you’re scrounging to buy a sweet tea from McDonald’s for a dollar, but the piggy bank is empty.

piggy bank

4. You’ll end up on the bestseller lists! All of them! Then, you realize there’s no way you’ll grace a list without sales. And you’re back to looking for ways to sell your book, get your name out there, but you’re stuck. You have no idea what you’re doing, and even though you’ve published more than one book, you still have a hard time selling books. BUY MY BOOK!!


5.  Fine. You’ll put out another book and make sure it’s a hundred times better than the other(s). You should have it done in a few months, and then you’ll get recognized and start making more money. And now, it’s two years later, and you’re repeating the process.

angry aladdin

Despite the misconceptions, the hard times, and the ever frustrating moments, being an author is one of the best things you’ll ever be. Well, if you want to be an author, that is.

this is good

Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes (@emeraldbarnes) Blog Tour!

Check out my interview with Chase and Mads! I guarantee you’ll love them as much as I do! 🙂

Belinda Witzenhausen



Entertaining Angels
By: Emerald Barnes
Genre: Young Adult
Released: June 24th, 2014


Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep.

Along comes Zach, the new guy in school.  He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league.  She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.

Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?

Copy of Entertaining Angels Banner (4)


 Copy of Entertaining Angels Banner (5)


Barnes & Noble


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Now what?

I saw a picture while procrastinating researching on Pinterest. (Yeah, you know the truth.) Anyway, this picture was advertising a blog that could help you out after writing a book, it said, “Hurrah! You wrote a book. Now what?”

I agree with her suggestions. I do, but here are mine.

1.) Don’t freak out.

Seriously. Don’t. I know I did, and still am, about my books, including my upcoming release, Entertaining Angels. I sent out ARCs the other day to my reviewers, and I totally flipped out. What if something was wrong? What if people hated it? What if? What if? What if?

Stop thinking. Just breathe…

Whether you’re in the ARC stage of your novel, or you’ve just finished the first draft. Don’t freak out. You have done something that a lot of people never accomplish. You wrote a novel.

2.) Now, as she suggested, let your book sit.

Why would you do this? Because it helps you distance yourself from it. Why do you need to distance yourself? Because you see things differently when you go back to it after letting it sit for a week or two.

You see plot holes, silly sounding sentences (alliteration, yay!), and you see your characters in a new light.

So take a few days before you look at you book again. Even if you’re on your 2nd or 3rd edit, take some time off in between edits and final proofs. It can’t hurt, right?

3.) Edit, edit, and edit!

I cannot emphasis just how important having your book professionally edited is. Sure, you can do it yourself, but there is so much you could miss on your own. Even beta readers aren’t meant to be the “editors.”

4.) Hire a proofreader.

This is essentially the same paragraph as editing but with a proofreader. This is the final step before you pub or search for an agent.

(Shameless, self-promo – I am a proofreader. My services are out for hire. 🙂 )

5.) Get an awesome cover (if you self-pub) or start looking for agents or a publishing house.

This is pretty self-explanatory. But, I’m going to address self-publishers directly for a moment. The cover is important. That saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” doesn’t apply here. We all judge a book by its cover, and it’s important that your cover matches exactly what your book is about. Do research, search for covers in your genre, and tell your cover artist what you want. But, don’t be afraid to let her/him do all the work. They’re cover artists for a reason. They know the work. If you need suggestions, I’ll be happy to direct you to a few awesome ones!

As far as hunting for agents/publishers, there are tons of resources out there that could help you with that. But it’s very important to have an awesome cover letter. Start there first.


What happens after publication? That’s a whole ‘nother story! And maybe we’ll save that for another blog post.

So, those are my five now-whats. I’m pretty sure all authors have different or very similar now-whats. What are some of yours? Agree? Disagree? Sound off below!

The Rise of the Sidhe Book Boost and Giveaway


The de Verdun family have lived and
breathed village life since the raising of their great tower centuries ago.
Their slow pace of life and easy friendship with their neighbours is about to
change as Ireland is thrown into turmoil in 1916. However, it is not the Rising
in Dublin but the rising of an ancient fairy woman that is about to change
their lives forever. When Lord de Verdun is attacked by a Leanan Sidhe he drifts
into a strange stupor. It falls to his daughter Catherine to find a way to wake
her father from this living death. Bran, a war weary veteran of many conflicts,
has always closely guarded a dark secret. Now, as he fights for the survival of
his men in the brutal trenches his past has come back to haunt him. Rioghnach,
a dark fairy woman, has arisen after centuries beneath the ground. She has been
driven mad and power hungry by her imprisonment. Bran must put aside his
loyalties and finally return home. Ireland is a land on the verge of political
and civil unrest. As the Easter Rising draws near a sequence of events will
begin to unravel that could bring about an age of darkness. Bran holds the key
to their salvation, but it could bring about a fate worse than


Christina George is an Irish writer based in Dundalk, Co. Louth.
She mainly writes Fiction with an emphasis on Fantasy. Her academic background
is in the arts. After completing her undergraduate with a BA in Cultural
studies in 2008 she went on to study for an MA in Comparative Literature in
Dublin City University. Her first novel The Rise of the Sidhe has recently been
released for Kindle on Amazon. She is currently working in the Heritage sector
in County Louth and outlining a new writing project.
Visit Christina’s site at http://www.cc-george.com/