Blog

On a happy note…

I’m happy to announce that you can now purchase signed copies of both Aster the Spirit Talker and A Night Game on Etsy in the WhistlePigPublishing shop.

books for kidskids books

If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below

Tip Jar

Help support my website and my writing

$1.00

Blog · Sneak Peeks

A Night Game

A Night Game

It’s October and Halloween is on its way! Looking for a fun, creepy halloween read?

My book, A Night Game, is available in both ebook and paperback!

Check out the first chapter…

CHAPTER ONE

Owen Taft flicked on the light switch as he stepped into the bedroom he shared with his twin brother, Hugh. He stopped short when he saw a big mess in front of him. His eyelids flung wide open and his jaw dropped.

“What the—?” His head whipped back when his brother walked right into him. “Hey, watch it.”

“Sorry.” Hugh peered around Owen into the multi-colored building block minefield that carpeted their room. “Immy,” he muttered. 

“What’s going on? I told you to get ready for bed,” Mom said as she walked up the hallway. She shouldered her way between the boys.

“We were, but—” Owen said.

Mom’s mouth pinched in a hard line as she absorbed the scene and crumpled to one side. “Ouch, ouch.” She plucked a yellow block out of the arch of her foot, straightened, and looked at them. Her eyebrows initially pressed into a V shape but smoothed when she took a deep breath. “You boys need to get this cleaned up before you go to bed.”

“We didn’t do it. We’ve hardly been in our room. We’ve been playing Eagle Talon Empire all day.” Owen’s head jutted back and palms flung upward to secure his innocence.

“We actually defeated the Raven Province boss already.” Hugh’s big brown eyes were gleaming.

“I know Imogen did it. She always wants to play with my blocks. I should just get rid of them already.” Owen kicked a few across the carpet. 

“Immy!” Mom called into the hallway. 

Imogen waddled up to the doorway in her high heel princess shoes. A pink, glittery tiara rested atop her honey blonde hair.

“Yes, Mamma.” A smile pushed her rosy cheeks high up on her face.

“Did you make this mess?” Mom asked. 

Immy’s blue eyes drifted from one side of the room to the other, her jaw hanging open as she surveyed the mess. 

“No!” Her voice cut like a dagger, revealing the insult the question brought onto her tiny person. 

“Yes, you did.” Owen bent over at the waist. His hands on his hips and his face nearly pressed against hers. His emerald eyes glared at her from in between the wisps of shaggy brown hair draping his forehead. He resembled a pecking chicken as his head hurled the accusation. 

Hugh stood with his arms crossed, nodding in agreement, one eyebrow raised. 

Imogen stared back at Owen. She didn’t appear to be intimidated by her brother towering over her. She stuck her face right up into his. The tip of her tongue rested between her lips for only him to see. She tucked it back in before she glanced over to her mom, casting her most sincere expression. 

“I didn’t do it. I promise,” Immy said. 

“Liar.” Owen pulled his lip back in disgust and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Owen, she said she didn’t do it. I’m too tired for this. Why don’t the three of you just work together and get these blocks picked up.”

“But—”

“Just get it done. It’s almost bedtime, and the longer you wait to get to work, the longer it’ll take. Got it?”

“You always believe her lies.”

“Geez Owen, are you twelve or two? Now, if you want to keep acting like a toddler I can treat you like one — take away your video games and give you some tinker toys instead. Sound good to you?” She cocked her head to the side and tapped her foot as she waited for his response.

“No, ma’am.”

The three of them plopped down onto the carpet and began to clean. 

“Tomorrow we should set up a trap that will alert us if someone sneaks into our room while we are playing games,” Hugh said. 

The plastic blocks clinked together as they swept them into a pile and shoveled them into the bin. 

“Or someone could just learn not to mess with other people’s things.” Owen shot a sharp look at Imogen.

“I wasn’t even in here at all today,” Imogen said.

“Right,” Owen said. “I don’t know if I want to play tomorrow, Hugh. I played with you most of the day today, and I didn’t have any time to draw.”

“Oh, come on. Just for a little while?” Hugh begged.

“Can I, too?” Imogen asked.

“No!” Hugh and Owen both shouted and went back to scraping the blocks into a pile.

They were nearly finished with a third of the room when Owen spied Imogen sitting and playing with a car made out of the blocks. 

“Immy, you have to help.”

“I am.” She picked up a handful of blocks and chucked them into the bin. One missed the mark and fell over the other side. 

“Just keep cleaning, liar,” Owen said.

“I’m not a liar. I really didn’t do it.”

“Sure, whatever.” Owen turned back to his task. His cheeks grew red and warm with frustration.

Every time one of the boys glanced up at Imogen, she hurriedly scooped up some blocks and tossed them into the bin. Owen suspected she wasn’t doing much cleaning because she wasn’t making any progress on her side. He was unsure if she was lazy or if her four-year-old hands were simply unable to pick up many blocks. 

When they finished on their side, the boys helped her clean up the last bit of remaining mess. When they finished, they called for their mom. 

“I told you it’d get done quickly if you worked together. Goodnight, boys.” Mom took Imogen’s hand and led her out of the room. 

“Night, Mom,” the boys said in unison. They kept their eyes down on the floor until they were sure she was gone and then pulled on their pajamas. 

After crawling into his bed, Owen lie awake and listened to the old clock in the hallway announce the time with its hourly chimes, first ten of them and then eleven. Sleep does not come quickly when one’s mind is brimming with the bitterness of injustice. 

He rolled onto his side and stared at the moonlight streaming through the window. It seemed to float and swirl the way dust does when it’s stirred up in sunlight. It was as though there was some substance to it as it cast a stretched rectangle on the floor. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep a wink until he released some of the anger pressing on his chest. Above him, the mattress shifted and groaned. He wondered if Hugh was still awake, too. 

“You up?” he whispered. 

“Yeah,” his big brother—by sixteen minutes—said.

“Aren’t you sick of Imogen? She never gets in trouble for anything.”

“Yeah. I know.”

“If we make messes, we have to clean it. If she makes messes, we have to clean it up, too. It’s such bull crap. And all she does is lie. I’m surprised she didn’t try to blame Laslow.”

The dog lifted his head from the floor when he heard his name. 

“Mom always believes her and thinks we’re big fat liars. She’s been lying since she first learned to talk,” Owen said. 

They both laughed, and Owen relaxed down into his pillow. After releasing some of the anger that had built inside of him, he hoped sleep would finally take over and transport him to a brand new day. He rolled on his side again and sighed. His blinking eyes slowed until they didn’t open any longer. 

Laslow, who had been fast asleep on the floor, twisted his body upwards, ears alert, and growled. Owen startled out of his brief journey into dreamland. His heart pounded in rhythm with Laslow’s constant pulsing noises. The boys had never heard Laslow growl before. He only ever barked when a stranger approached the house. His aggressive behavior sent alarm bells ringing throughout Owen’s body. Hugh leaned over the rail of the top bunk, his eyes darting between Laslow and the doorway. Owen felt frozen, and his voice released with a squeak when he finally managed to form the words.

“What is it, boy?” 

Laslow’s concentration didn’t break. His eyes remained locked on the hallway outside the door. Ignoring Owen’s voice, his ears turned farther forward like a radar dish tracking a target. A thumping sound echoed from the hall. Laslow lifted himself up onto all fours and crept toward the door, little grumbles spilling out of his bared teeth.

SLAM!

Both boys jumped 

“What was that?” Hugh hurried down from the top bunk. Owen had already scrambled out of bed and followed Laslow as he inched his way to the doorframe. Hugh came up behind Owen and the three of them craned their necks around the wall, peering out into the dark hallway. The long black and white fur on Laslow’s back stood tall like a ridge.

BAM!

“Mom? Dad?” Owen called. 

They stood there a few more moments, listening to complete silence, before Laslow lunged forward like a racehorse bursting through the gate, and flew down the hallway. The boys chased after him.  

“Maybe Immy fell out of bed,” Owen said.

They entered the doorway to their sister’s room, knowing there was no way a fall could have made such a noise. 

“Uh, I don’t think so.” Hugh pulled back the covers of Immy’s bed, only to find the empty indentation of her little body. 

Owen froze and stared as Hugh lifted up the covers from the floor around the bed—no Imogen. 

His skin prickled, and the hair on his neck stood at attention. Owen’s emerald eyes frantically scanned the room for any sign of her. His heart jumped into his throat. 

Something was very wrong.

If you enjoyed this chapter and would like to read more, here is the link to order.

If you’d like to help support my website and my writing you can click below

Tip Jar

Help support my website and my writing

$1.00

Blog · book reviews

Book review – Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum

Book review – Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum

This book quickly became a favorite!!! The writing is beautiful without being overdone. I stopped and read the words, again and again, wondering how the author put them together so magnificently and so seemingly effortlessly! I love Tommy and Aubrey so much. Their friendship felt so authentic and stole my heart away. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
I wish more people knew about his book. SO I’ll shout if from the rooftops!
giphy11
You can buy your copy by clicking here!

If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below

 

Blog

Here I go, yet again

Here I go, yet again

A few things about me before I begin this blog post:

  1. I love to tell stories, always have.
  2. Every day I fight the voice in my head that tells me I’ll always be a failure
  3. I’m awfully stubborn.

1 & 3 are the only way I can fight 2. 2 is always telling me to quit. 1 is the biggest reason I’ll keep pushing, keep failing, keep picking myself up and trying again.

What am I doing to fight the voice that says I’m a failure?

I remind myself of a few things:

There are a lot of people out there who want to write a book, haven’t, and probably never will. I have, over and again.

There are also a lot of writers out there who don’t share their work. I understand that. I’ve been sharing for a few years now. I’ve been trying to put myself out there more and more no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel.

I’ve done things in my past that scared me and made me push myself to succeed. I try to put myself back in the place I was in during those times when the thought of failure gripped me tightest. This helps me remember how helpless and hopeless I felt then, yet, I succeeded in the end.

What’s making me feel like a failure now?

Marketing myself and finding new readers. This seems like mission impossible. I wish I had the budget to do a massive marketing campaign, but I don’t. The writers I see succeeding are those that have lots of dollars behind them (I’m not saying their books are good, but I bet there are a lot of great books that go unnoticed because they can’t pay for the buzz that comes from a great marketing campaign–both indie and traditionally published authors.) I just read an article yesterday about an indie author whose debut novel sold over 10,000 copies. He said the key to his success was spending the money on a intensive marketing campaign.

I’m putting all my extra money into opening another business at the moment and chose to spend my writing budget on editing and cover art. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll have more money to sink into marketing, but I just don’t have those funds available right now.

While I work on the other project and wait to have these funds available, I feel like I’m stuck. There’s only so much I can do on my own with a shoestring budget to try to get the word out about my book. But I don’t think there are a lot of people out there who are willing to take a chance on an unknown author. Maybe this is bad of me to say, but I feel like a lot of people just buy into the buzz that comes from reading something on the NYT bestseller list.

What steps am I taking to push forward until I have a marketing budget?

I’m going to use all my platforms to try to find more readers. Finding even one more reader is better than giving in to my fears and giving up. Someday I may be someone’s favorite author, but that won’t happen if I stop trying to find them.

I’m going to keep sharing my journey on this blog. I’ll keep tweeting. And I’ll keep searching for new avenues to find readers I can connect with.

The newest way I’m doing this is…

I’ve joined Chapterbuzz.

I’m hoping to find more readers via Chapterbuzz. I’d love (and also feel terrified and nauseous) to share my work-in-progress and hear constructive feedback about how I can improve each chapter.

If you’d like to read my 1st draft as I go and help me improve my book, I’d love if you’d come on over and join me. When you become a fan and “buzz” my chapters, it gives me points that will help me to become more discoverable by other readers. Click here to join. (It’s free, btw)

I’ll also be posting on Wattpad.

I’ll also be adding my chapters on Wattpad. You can follow along and read my chapters by clicking here.

 

Maybe these will be flops, some of many failures on my road to finding readers, but perhaps it won’t. I’m always willing to try.

I’m going to keep moving forward, no matter how slowly, or how many times I stumble and fall flat on my face.

Thanks for reading. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it.

 If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below

 

Blog

Free today only – to celebrate a fantastic start

Crushing it so far!

At the end of August, I had 100 followers on this blog. The goal I set to achieve by the end of September was to double that number. I’ve been working hard to reach new followers, and I’m already at 128 subscribers! Woooohoooo! Thanks to everyone who has followed me. I really appreciate it, and I feel like I’m going to reach my goal.

giphy-2

You should set more than one goal, girlie!

Why stop at the number of people who follow your blog, Allie?

Great question! Why am I stopping there when I know that I need to work on my email list and the number of reviews I have on my book? Okay, well, here’s another goal…get more people to sign up for my author email list (which I NEVER give out anyone’s information and I NEVER spam people with.) I just want to keep in touch with my readers should I ever lose access to my blog or social media accounts.

I also need more reviews on my book ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER on Amazon and Goodreads. Indie authors, like me, need reviews to reach new readers. I know I check out reviews before I decide to buy any book and so few people leave them.

giphy
Your reviews helping me 😂

 

So what are you going to do about that, Allie?

I’m so glad you asked! (Wow, I’m a nerd.) 😂 😂

To try to get more readers that I can stay in touch with via my email list (and who will hopefully leave reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 please and thank you) I’m going to gift a Kindle ebook copy of ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER from Amazon to anyone who signs up on this terrific Tuesday (extending this to anyone who stumbles across this post) by clicking here!

Wooohoooo! Getting people to sign up for email lists has got to be one of the most difficult things I’ve tried to do as an author. No one wants to do it. LOL! I get it. I’m reluctant to do that as well but I can promise you that I’m not going to bombard you with emails. I’m just a nerdy author, standing before a group of readers, asking them to take a chance on me.

giphy1

Blog

Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway

Click here to enter!

 

woman reading a book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you’d rather not wait and you’d like to buy my book, Aster The Spirit Talker, click here. 

If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below

 

Blog

Ugh, why did I do that?

Ugh, why did I do that?

The first thing I do (after getting ready) in the morning is to check my emails and my book sales.

Yesterday, I got an alert in Createspace asking me if I wanted to move my paperback title over to KDP. I thought, “why not?” because then I’d be able to track everything in one place. Man, am I kicking myself for that decision now.

adult art conceptual dark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The paperback title shows that it has no cover. Ugh, why did I do that? Whhhhhhyyyyyyy!

giphy13

I guess it’s partially because I keep hearing that Createspace is going away. I also thought it would be a smooth transition. And that it would be so nice to track my sales all in one place.

Now I’m worried everything is jacked up. I was so happy with the way my paperback turned out with Createspace. Now there might not be a cover on my paperback. Who knows, the formatting could be all jacked up, too. Or everything could be fine. I hate not knowing. I emailed KPD, and they’re usually extremely helpful, but I’m worried I’m going to have to do everything all over again. And that I’ll have to pay for more proof copies to make sure they are. What about any book sales that come in while I’m experiencing issues while I’m waiting for an answer from KDP?

“What about any books sales that come in?” 😂 😂 😂

giphy7

Oooooh, that’s funny! Okay, I’m working on the marketing portion and someday the book sales rolling in will actually be a concern of mine. 🤣 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 I’m stubborn, and I have no doubt I’ll figure out how to be a productive sales(wo)man one day.

Okay, back to my issue. I’m always doing things where I mentally beat myself up and ask, “Ugh, why did I do that?”

I wish I hadn’t moved my book over to KDP. I’m not even going to dare do a google search on the topic because I’m sure there are numerous blogs saying, “Don’t do it! Stay with Createspace!” and I’m going to feel like an even bigger idiot. But I know that I’ll figure things out. I’ll feel like an idiot for a while, but soon I’ll be wiser. I’ll know how to use KDP and I’ll be happy that I can track my titles in one place. I’ll love the fact that I can create my future titles’ paperback and ebook versions in the same place. There will only be one customer support that I’ll have to contact for help the next time I’m kicking myself and muttering, “Ugh, why did I do that?”

Eh, I’m making mistakes, but I’m learning. By the time I’m dead, I just may be wicked smart.

giphy-downsized

Haha! Someday. Right now is not that time. Oh well. I have to feel like a dumb@$$ for a day or two. Then I’ll move on and maybe feel proud of what I’ve accomplished for a day or two before doing something else I’ve never done before and falling on my face.

But for today, I’m trying to keep in mind that I’m doing, I’m trying, I’m learning, I’m working to accomplish my goals. And while all my failures suck for a while, someday I might find myself winning.

giphy12

**In the time it took me to vent and write this blog post, everything is back to looking the way it should again.** Ahh, I feel so much better.

Anyway, if you’d like to buy my book, ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER, it’s available by clicking here. 😁

 

 If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below

 

Blog

Are book trailers useful? (part one)

Are book trailers useful? (part one)

Hello friends,

When you publish a book and you’re trying make it discoverable by readers, there is so much conflicting advice on what you should do it can be overwhelming. And unfortunately, a lot of the advice offered (to help you become a bestseller) isn’t free. I’m beginning to think there are a lot of authors out there who really make their money by promising to help others sell their books (but it doesn’t work and your money is wasted). They don’t write for the love of writing but to scam aspiring authors out of their dollars and cents.

background-bank-notes-bills-929285.jpg

I want to share everything I do with you–for free! So that you can learn from my mistakes (yes, it’s embarrassing to show my failures) and you can benefit from my successes (if I ever have any 😂 😂 😭 😭 😭).

So here’s question 1 I’m going to explore and I’ll report back on whether it was a big, fat flop in a future post…Are book trailers useful?

I suspect the answer is no. I’d like to point out that I do have a bit of advanced knowledge of this in that I release a book before, paid someone on Fiverr to make a book trailer for me (I think I paid $15), and it brought me no noticeable sales.

This time, I’ve made the book trailer myself, so it only cost me my time. To be honest, it turned out just as well as the one I paid for.

Here it is…

 

Now you may be thinking, “Allie, if a book trailer didn’t bring you any sales before, why are you even bothering?”

Great question! You are smart, dear reader. I’m trying again because I think everything is always worth a few attempts–especially when they don’t cost me anything. I’ve shared the video on Youtube (which I plan to try to start utilizing), Facebook, in this post, Twitter, Google+, my Amazon author page, and I also plan to put a link on Pinterest. I’ve yet to figure out if I can put it on Instagram. (Have I ever mentioned how much I despise using Instagram? I find it so UN-user-friendly)

I’m not sure of any other ways that I can use this book trailer, but I’m going to dig around in some blog posts, seek out other book trailers to learn how they’re used, and try to brainstorm different ways I can use it. My goal is to make my book discoverable in as many places as I can. Whether or not that will convert to book sales, I have no idea but I guess we’ll find out together.

Are you an author who uses book trailers to try to generate sales? If so, would you mind sharing your experiences in the comments below? If you have any suggestions on additional ways to use a book trailer, I’d love to know those as well. I need all the help I can get.

Or maybe you’re a whiz at marketing and you’d like to share your knowledge with someone like me?

giphy6

Writing a book was the easy part for me. Marketing myself and my book–whew, that’s another story–one I’m struggling with.

If you’re interested in buying my book after that amazing book trailer 😉 you can purchase it by clicking here for the ebook or here for the paperback. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free.

See you in part two–which will hopefully be named Are book trailers useful? (part two-success!) 😂 😂 🤞🏻 🤞🏻

 

book reviews

Book Review – Unanchored by Stephanie Eding

Book Review – Unanchored by Stephanie Eding

⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Shiver me timbers! This, my hearties, was an exciting adventure.
I highly recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cecily as she tried to figure out what was going on and plan her escapes. I’ve also developed an enormous character crush on Finn. This book had all the things I love in a book, excitement, adventure, some sexual tension, and a bit of romance. This is one I’ll be reading again and telling my friends about.

unanchored.jpg

Available as an ebook from Amazon. Click here to get your copy!

If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below

 

Blog

Being open to new experiences

Being open to new experiences

I read a blog the other day which discussed self-publishing. The author of the blog said while they understood the reasons that authors would self-publish that they didn’t feel it was worth the risk of reading them. Then she went on to say that she picked up a self-published book and it was full of errors and she couldn’t finish it. I’ve had that happen, too. I’ve also picked up traditionally published books that made it difficult to get through the first paragraph, let alone the first chapter.

cringe

I actually “liked” the blogger’s post because I know there are a lot of self-published works that don’t get the care that the book and the reader deserves. Many times I see poorly made, homemade cover art, no editing (done by a professional), and crap writing. There are even scammers out there stuffing books with crap just to make a quick buck.

The blogger of the article questioned why she should spend money on a book that’s self-published because it might not be worth her money and she’d rather spend her money on books by Random House. That’s fine. But why should self-published authors have to give their work away for free if it’s good just to get you to read it? When I read, I honestly don’t look to see who the publisher is. If a book sounds interesting, I’ll try it. I’ve found a lot of great things to read that way, and I’ve been disappointed in books that were on a list somewhere or published by the big five. But I had no problem with the article. If that’s what she thinks, it’s what she thinks. After all, risking $.99-$2.99 on an ebook might be difficult for some.

scrooge

The disappointing part of the blog post, for me, came when a book blogger commented saying she wouldn’t even consider reviewing self-published books. I mean, if you’re asked to review a book, you’re getting it for free. So what’s the risk? If it sounds interesting, why wouldn’t you want to read it? Why would you ever pass up the chance to give the readers of your blog a fantastic book they might have never heard of? Be open to new experiences, discover new things, step outside your comfort zone.

giphy5

There’s nothing I can do to change opinions like these since these are the type of minds that are entirely closed off to anything “risky” or new. But I can do my best to make my books the best that I can. I always hire a professional editor and professional cover artist and will continue to do so. I will also always encourage other indie authors to do the same.

I’m also going to start a book review tab on my website, and I’m going to stay open to reading and reviewing anything I find interesting. So if you’re an indie author, feel free to send me a review request at kalicecompeau@outlook.com. If I start reading your book and I don’t like it. I just won’t review it. I’ll also share my reviews here, and on Goodreads, for any book I pick up…because it looks interesting.

adult-attractive-beauty-255268 (1)
Hmmm, that’ sounds good. Yes! I’ll read it.

If you’d like to take a chance on my independently published book, ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER, click here. 

If you’d like to support my website and my writing you can click below