ICE free until Wednesday

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My debut novella ICE will be free until Wednesday, January 18. Most reviewers agree that it is worth a read.

Download our free copy today to find out:

  1. What is The Minter and why do the people of Minterville hold it so dear?
  2. Which trusted and beloved community member is hiding a dark and deadly secret?
  3. Where are the women who are disappearing from different parts of town being taken?
  4. What will happen if the town doesn’t band together and act in time?
  5. How, in the aftermath of these dreadful events, will another tragedy that had befallen Minterville be resolved?

Here is a sample excerpt:

We passed the Old Recreation Center, which fell into disuse when the New Recreational Center opened. i remember swimming in the Old Rec’s Center large, pristine swimming pool as a kid. After five years of abandonment, the Old Rec Center had the creepy feel that many rundown buildings have. 

With a touch of alarm, I noticed that the door the to Old Rec Center was open. Who was going in there? Certainly no one was using it to work out….

At that moment, I remembered Mom’s comment about Natalia de los Santos, and felt a renewed and intensified sense of unease. I considered saying something to Uncle Andy, but given his mood that morning, I decided to wait until later.

To this day, I wonder how many lives could have been saved if i had said something to Uncle Andy at that moment. 

Please consider downloading your free copy of ICE today. I truly believe you will enjoy it.

Much love and happy Monday,

Jessica

ICE is free July 7-11

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I am humbled and amazed by how well my first novella has been received. With 70+ reviews between Amazon and Goodreads, it has been a great joy to know that most readers have enjoyed ICE. Is it perfect? No, but the vast majority of readers have said that they enjoyed the small-town feel, the suspense, and the sense of community.

ICE tells the story of one fateful November morning when the the fictional town of Minterville, Georgia, is brutalized by vicious thugs. Twenty women are kidnapped and set in a death trap that can quite literally be described as cold. Time is ticking away as the rest of the town scrambles to come up with a viable rescue plan.

Here are what some reviewers have said about ICE:

“This book is a crazy (in a good way) mixture of supernatural, thriller, and mystery.” Emily Woodmansee, who gave it 4 stars.

“The twist this story takes left me caring more about ICE and it’s characters than any book I read recently.” Barbara Chioffi, who gave it 5 stars.

“This was an enjoyable read and the story was good…This being a great beginning to a writing career, there are some things that I personally feel could have made this story far better.” Tom Fallwell, who rated it 3.5 stars.

“A fast paced entertainment that sets the scene frot an uncertain future.” Mmcqu2005, who rated it 5 stars.

“Very interesting storyline…unique writing style.” Amanshay, who rated it 4 stars.

“The plot was excellent, the descriptive a done in a way that made the author’s research excellent.” Amazon Pygmy Reviews, who rated it 5 stars.

“This had an excellent plot that kept m reading to the end but it could have been so much more…[the author] is talented and I would read more…just need more development.” Loki, who rated it three stars.

ICE is also the precursor to my upcoming C.I.N. Dystopian trilogy. If you are interested, check it out free until the 11th. Thank you for your support of indie authors.

https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/product-reviews/B00O1CCAU6/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_2?ie=UTF8&sortBy=recent&formatType=current_format&filterByStar=two_star&pageNumber=1

Plot Holes?

Have you ever read The Hunger Games? If so, consider this: why would Panem, a nation that seems to purposefully keep its populace living in concentration-camp-like conditions, provide what appears to be a marvelous education (complete with extracurricular activities and music lessons)to its youth? Notice the question word: why?

Within a suspiciously short time, I got nearly identical reviews on Ice that asked why was the pool never drained? Why did the drug lord wait so long to act? Why would a person with no history of violence act out such a complex plan of revenge?

I’m not complaining. I’ll take any reviews I can get. I also respect all readers right to their opinions and I think asking why is healthy. But it did get me thinking: where do we draw the line between plot holes and taking fictional liberties?

Plot holes are a lack of continuity within a story, either in a novel or between series. Here is an example from one of my favorite writers, Mrs. Isabel Allende. In Daughter of Fortune, one of the characters, Pauline del Valle, was pregnant with her fourth child towards the end of the novel. In its sequel, A Portrait in Sepia, thirty years later Pauline only has three children and it specifically states that she had been pregnant three times. What happened to the fourth child? A plot hole can also occur when a writer slacks off and creates a situation that is completely unbelievable; that is, something that cannot be explained at all. Even though they may not be continuity errors, they smack of lazy writing. To use The Hunger Games again, Cato and Clove, who are both consistently portrayed as ruthless killers who never leave a victim breathing, let not one but two victims get away. Cato gives Peeta a leg wound and then walks away, after he is shown to let his temper cloud his judgment.  Clove (who is literally a back-stabbing bitch) wastes a lot of time taunting Katniss, which led to her own demise. Of course, Mrs. Collins wanted to show that Katniss and Peeta had close encounters with the Careers and lived through it, but my thought was that in these two cases, she took the easy way out. One could argue that cato wanted Peeta to suffer a slow death, but this just does not match the characterization that Collins gives him. And another thing: Thresh lets Katniss live because he feels he “owes” her after the compassion she showed Rue. In the arena, there is no “owing.” You either kill or be killed. Now once again, one could argue that for Thresh, it didn’t matter. Whether he let Katniss live or not, he was eventually going to have to go head-to head with Cato. But Katniss’ explanation that “if he won, he would have to face a district that broke its rules to thank me” doesn’t make sense because Thresh had no way of knowing about the bread gift. Once again, I think Collins could have handled this in a more plausible manner.

(Note: my purpose of this post is not to trash Mrs. Collins or The Hunger Games. I loved the book and devoured the entire series in two days. I’m just using it as an example because nowadays, I only read indie authors-due to time constraints-and The Hunger Games is the only mainstream novel I have read lately. I never, under any circumstances, criticize an indie author in this blog). Moving forward:

Fictional Liberties are “boosts” that an author uses to move the plot along. In the cases in Ice I have given above, these boosts were essential to the plot: if the pool had been drained, there would be no plot, at least not as I described it. As to the other two things, I explained those in the book, so either the reader wasn’t paying attention or deliberately ignored them. Once again, I will use The Hunger Games to clarify the difference between a plot hole and a fictional liberty. There are many examples I can give since the novel is chock-full of wild coincidences. The best way to tell them apart is if you have to ask why? As in: why would President Snow, who was apparently completely aware that Katniss routinely violated the law every Sunday by hunting in the woods, be so hesitant to punish her? In fact, Snow missed a great opportunity to hold her up as an example that even victors aren’t immune from the law. Because without Katniss, the story would be over. Period. She is necessary to the plot.  And why exactly is Katniss’ trick wit the berries an act of rebellion, when in 74 years, people have certainly pulled more desperate stunts to survive the arena. And speaking of this: why did Haymitch’s so-called act of rebellion result in the murder of his family but Katniss’ act did not? The answer to that may seem simple-Prim was Snow’s only leverage to force Katniss into prostitution in the Capitol-but why am I getting the impression that Finnick (and possibly Cashmere) were the only victors who actually served as prostitutes. And it says that clients paid Snow for the pleasure of a one-night stand with Finnick, so why would they owe him anything at all, least of all potentially seditious Capitol secrets?

So are you ready for Jessica’s ever-wise recommendations for both readers and writers? (Disclaimer: my opinion only. Not professional advice)

To writers: it is your story and you are free to write it how you choose. Fictional liberties (kept within the bounds of some believability) are fine. In fact, attempting to explain every single little thing will bog down your story. This is why it is called fiction. By definition, fiction is a product of writers’ imagination and not based on fact.

To readers: You are free to rate a work however you see fit; that is absolutely your right. However, if you are overthinking things, you are probably putting more effort into a review than is required for a work of fiction. I would say that if you hated a work, just get it off your chest and say you hated it (although for the life of me, I can’t figure out why a reader would even finish a book that he/she hated so much). I would much rather a reader tell me “I hate this story, I can’t get into it, and I can’t finish it” than to expect me to explain away anything that might deviate from reality a tad or is not written how they would have written it. I mean it. You have the right to tell me you simply hate my story, with no explanation. You are under no obligation to look for a reason to hate it (although I definitely still welcome and appreciate constructive criticism). I have more respect for a reviewer who simply tells me they didn’t like the story than one who tries to impose his or her version of MY story on me.

To answer the question as to why the pool never got drained? Because no one ever thought, “You know, this pool might be used against us one day in an elaborate revenge plan aimed at our beloved mayor. Let’s buy an expensive pump and get this sucker drained right this second.” Anyone who has read Ice knows that the Mints, spoiled into complacency by their peaceful existence, don’t have the same sense of urgency that most normal people have. For this same reason, they don’t bother to prepare for emergencies (like forest fires or errant gunmen).

Revenge really IS a best served cold…

The way twenty women are brutally punished over one person’s long-ago mistake will leave you chilled to the bone. How many women will survive the vicious attack? Who will survive, and who is receiving secret help? Find out when you read Ice today

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420224775&sr=1-9&keywords=ice

Elenita was kidnapped 17 years ago. What really happened to her?

In the otherwise crime-free town of Minterville, Georgia, little Elenita Velasquez disappeared without a trace in 1994. it was one of only two crimes that had ever occurred in the town’s history. Elenita has not been seen or heard from since, and her diappearance has never been solved.

But what really happened to her? Who took her? The answers to these questions will shock you to the very core. Check out Ice and find out what happened to little Elenita.

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420224775&sr=1-9&keywords=ice

Twenty women become the target of a cruel revenge plot…

…that none of them had a thing to do with. Who started it? Why were the women tortured in such a cold, callous manner? What did the attackers want? How many of them will survive the torturous punishment? Find out when you read Ice.

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420224775&sr=1-9&keywords=ice

The only thing colder than the Ice Queen’s crime is her heart.

Manuela Escribano (The Ice Queen) is a smart, talented, well-educated woman, who chose to channel her talents into the manufacture and distribution of drugs.

She is also VERY slow to let go of a grudge. When something happens to her that she perceives as a betrayal, her fury is still burning decades later, and a small town is about to be the target of her long-nursed anger…

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420768036&sr=1-4&keywords=ice

One man’s secret becomes an entire town’s torment…

Check out Ice. Set in Minterville, Georgia, someone is hiding a dreadful secret. When revealed, this secret will bring unspeakable terror on the entire town. It is up to everyone in Minterville to step up and contain the threat before their beloved community is destroyed.

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420224775&sr=1-9&keywords=ice

NO TROLLS! Anyone who makes ridiculous or inappropriate comments on my blogs will be blocked. I take my work very seriously and i don’t have time for foolishness! Take it elsewhere. Please and thank you.

One person’s secret becomes an entire town’s nightmare…

In the small town of Minterville, Georgia, someone is hiding a deadly secret. One that will tear this tiny, telepathic community apart if not contained. What is this secret and who has it? What are the consequences for Minterville? Find out by checking out my novel Ice:

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420678093&sr=1-4&keywords=ice

Last day to get “Ice” free

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420224775&sr=1-9&keywords=ice

The people of Minterville, Georgia know that something is wrong in their once-idyllic community. The reclusive and mistrustful people of Minterville are uneasy about the presence of two suspicious families, the Quirogas and the de los Santos. Since their arrival six months prior, the people of Minterville have lost The Minter, a form of telepathic communication available only to them. Because The Minter cannot function in the presence of evil, the community concludes that the Quirogas and the de los Santos have sinister motives for settling into the community.
Mayor Tom Watson and Police Chief Andy Thompson have been trying desperately to figure out the reason for the families’ sudden entrance into Minterville. The reason becomes clears one Friday morning: they have been sent by Manuela Escribano (aka the “Ice Queen”), a powerful and vindictive drug lord, to collect an old drug debt. Unfortunately, it is too late; Escribano’s diabolical plan to ensure payment has already been set into motion. Time is of the essence; Tom, Chief Andy, and the rest of Minterville must act quickly before innocent people die and their beloved community is destroyed forever.