Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Are We In Our Own Way?


This popped into my heart tonight as I was praying. How many of us have fallen short in one of these areas? Whether on purpose or on accident, we can all be easily tempted to act out one of these behaviors. It made me wonder, how often do our actions, our own sins, cause turmoil and trouble in our lives and in our relationships? Any one of these behaviors can stand in the way of God's blessing in our life. Our KNOWN sins and even the callused, learned to like sins, all block our prayers from being answered, our breakthroughs from coming, and true deliverance from taking place.

Proverbs 6:16-19
New International Version (NIV)

16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.


Let's review:
1) Haughty eyes = Pride, boasting, self importance. God hates pride. Satan rebelled against God because of pride.


2) A lying tongue = This applies to so many things other than the obvious. Exaggerators, manipulators, dishonesty, conmen, flatterers, etc..

3) Hands that shed innocent blood = Murders, abusers, people who hurt children or babies, wife beaters, those who degrade others and/or hurt another person's reputation, and in a sense, "shed innocent blood" with their gossip and lies.

4) A heart that devises wicked schemes = Those who seek revenge and desire to cause pain or harm to others. Cheaters, planners of evil or those who devise ways to steel, kill or destroy.


5) Feet that are quick to rush into evil = Having the intent to sin, willingly heading right towards ungodly places, movies, crowds, habits, etc.. Not even pausing to consider why it is wrong. No longer caring that they act in sinful or evil ways. Anxious to do the wrongful deed and finding pleasure in it.

 
6) A false witness who pours out lies = Willing to ruin the reputation, name or life of someone by giving what they know to be false witness and/or gossip. Choosing the easy path and going with social expectation rather than the truth.

7) A person who stirs up conflict in the community = Some people find pleasure in the misery and chaos they create. They want there to be strife and contention between people. Someone who stirs up strife in their family and causes rifts between friends because of their own bitterness, jealousy, hatred or pride.

So the question is, are you in your own way? If you know you haven’t been acting rightly, and you know there are things in your heart that are slowly poisoning you, what can you do about it? It’s simple. Pray. Ask God to purify you. Ask him to extract every last piece of unwanted sin from your heart and mind. Confess your sins to him (even the ones you’d rather not say out loud), ask his forgiveness, and accept God’s grace. And this part might be hard, but go ask the person you’ve wronged to forgive you as well. It will bring healing to them and to you.
The reality is, we will never be perfect. God doesn’t expect that from us. But he does expect us to never stop trying to be better, do better, and treat others better. If you fall, he will pick you up. And if you feel weak, he will be your strength. You’re not alone. He’s right there with you.


R.J. Machado De Quevedo

 
Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverSaga
Follow R. J. Machado De Quevedo on Facebook!
You can order book 1, The Deceiver today!  The Deceiver saga begins!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Deceiver is now in Amazon Kindle format!

Good evening everyone! I just wanted you to know that for the Amazon Kindle readers out there, The Deceiver, is now available for download in the Kindle format! Please go to the link below to get your copy! You’re out of excuses now folks. We got all the ebook bases covered. ;o}



And, feel free to preorder Broken Seed for Kindle as well!
 
Broken Seed on Amazon Kindle


Be Blessed and have a great night!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo

 

Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverSaga
Follow R. J. Machado De Quevedo on Facebook!

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Deceiver book trailer!

Be the first to watch The Deceiver book trailer! Please share and don't forget to "like" it! Thanks!

R. J.

The Deceiver book trailer

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Author Website is Up and Running!

Good day everyone! I just wanted you to know that my author website is completed! Whoo-hoo! We are in the process of adding a couple final details, but from now on, this will be the main place to catch all things R.J. including news about the books and updates about the evolution of the saga, appearances, order information (of course), and my blog! We have transferred over my existing blog posts from WordPress and Google’s Blogspot to my author website for the benefit of any new readers out there.  Any new blogs post I write will be added to my new author site as the primary one stop shop. Please add my author page to your list of favorites and be sure to pass it on.


The Deceiver Saga is kicking off tomorrow! The official public release date of book 1, The Deceiver, is just a day away and I am so excited and nervous. We are making some small corrections that will result in a 2nd edition release very very soon. They are shipping the limited 1st editions out upon order.  So if you haven’t had a chance to order your copy, please do it today!  

As you know, no book is without error, but the great thing about having an awesome publisher like Tate Publishing and Enterprises, is that they wanted to make sure I got my book as close to perfect as we could. The little letter swaps and extra letters that change the meaning or intent of a word, are being fixed (i.e. ‘tired’ instead of ‘tried’ and ‘gapping’ instead of ‘gaping’). Something so small may seem insignificant, but it will drive you nuts if you were the one to write a book and didn’t “see” the error after multiple passes. Granted, my artzie brain was thinking about bigger things such as story line, character development, plots, and small rewrites during the editing madness overhaul the publishers put us authors through. But it still bugs me. It’d be like you detailing a brand new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, and finding that little tar spots are splattered all over the back bumper and were missed when you were cleaning up all those big squishy bug spots and mud sprays during months of cleaning and detailing. Yup, it feels like that. Great looking car, has amazing features, is fun to drive, but it’s butt is just a bit dirty. Niiice.

Though little errors are always endearing and treasured by collectors and literary enthusiast, being the author, I still want them tidied up. So we’re making it happen. Very soon, when orders are placed only 2nd editions will be shipped, so once the 1st editions are out, they are out. Order yours today if you want a limited 1st edition!


You can click on the link below, or go to my author website above and order directly. Thank you so much for your support and I hope you enjoy the books!

Tate Publishing & Enterprises LLC: The Deceiver, book 1
 
Be Bless!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo 

(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverSaga)
You can order book 1, The Deceiver today!  The Deceiver saga begins!

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Upcoming Book Signing Events! Please stop on by!

·        Saturday, August 10th, 2013  from 3:30 PM- 7:00 PM
Arden Community Library
2443 Marconi Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
 
·        Saturday, August 24th, 2013  from 3:00 PM- 5:30 PM
Arden Community Library
2443 Marconi Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
 
·        Sunday, September 1st, 2013 from 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM
Jamba Juice
4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd
Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
 
Hope to see you there!
 
Please visit my publisher's website for a full listing of their author's events. My book signing events above, are also listed in the below link for the dates referenced. http://www.tatepublishing.com/calendar.php
 
R. J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverBook or @TheDeceiverSaga )
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

What a Party!

This past Saturday dear friends of mine, Sabrina and Seth, hosted my first every Pre-Release book signing party to celebrate the coming public release of book 1 in The Deceiver Saga! It turned out great! So many of my family and friends came out to support me. And they invited their family and friends! It was a packed house but so much fun!

I hadn’t planned on what I was going to say except for thanking my hosts. The rest that popped out of my mouth just seemed right at the time as the questions came one after another. I did what I do sometimes when I write, and just followed my instincts and my heart. I read the dedication (something else I hadn’t planned) and the prologue (which I had planned). And afterwards, we had a little Q&A. It was a blast.

I hope you enjoy this crazy little clip of the party. It’s only about 34 minutes long. And there were a couple times the camera got bumped and parts skipped over – like at the beginning. But the meat of it was there. I have also attached a few pictures of the evening.

Please keep in mind this is my first “live in person” Q&A. So cut me some slack okay guys? :o] Still working on slowing down the speed talking to an easy to understand level and yes, I know I use my hands a lot. Can't help it! Ha!

My fellow Author, Lauren Coziah, threw for me a Facebook interview on her author page a couple months ago. That was fun too! But no one had to look at me so I got to wave my hands all over and no one was the wiser. Well, my cats and husband witnessed it, but they love me anyway.

I can’t wait to do this all again! What a rush. I admit I was nervous for a few days before hand. But once the party started “the professional” kicked in and it was all fun, conversing, and down to business. It’s gonna be a little while before I’m used to the attention being on me. But I guess I’ll just have to get over it and keep having fun and be willing to say what needs to be said.

Thank you God for this opportunity and for giving me favor. And thank you God for blessing me with such supportive friends and family.

Enjoy!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo

(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook or @TheDeceiverSaga)

You can order book 1, The Deceiver today!  The Deceiver saga begins!
 
 
 





 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Deceiver Saga begins!

Whelp, book 1, The Deceiver, is in print and people are already reading it! And my Publisher, Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, is already shipping them! The actual public release date isn’t until September 10th, so this is pretty cool folks. You can read it before marketing actually kicks off and it hits book stores.  

I have to confess, it is absolutely unreal to hold my books, sign them for my friends and family and hear people’s reaction to what they’re reading. A few have already finished (read it over the weekend!) and are asking me when they can get their hands on book 2, Broken Seed. They are excited and hungry for more—what an honor to hear that. It truly is. I am going to look back at these blogs in years to come, and be like, “Wow, that was only the beginning. What a great group of friends and what enthusiastic support.” And I’ll say it now too! My friends and family have been amazing! I feel profoundly blessed. 

Now, as I mentioned in my last blog, book 2, Broken Seed was in the review/proof stage. I meet my deadline and sent my final review back to my book project manager at 1:14 AM in Thursday, June 20th. Right on time! Though my eyes were crossed and my butt was numb, I made it! Whoo-hoo! I was pushing the limits on this one folks. I had less time than before, and the book is longer by about 50 pages! But they wanted to keep it on track for a quick released turnaround after The Deceiver. Good thing too since I am already getting asked for that one by people who have read it and want more!  

Don’t you hate having to wait a year before you get to read the next book in a series you are really enjoying? The wait feels sooo long! I am really glad my readers will only have to wait about three months to get their hands on book 2. Guess I better get at it on finishing up book 3 so I can get that on the production schedule with my publisher. Yikes! I am only about a third of the way done because I had to put it on hold to finalize the first two books! I can’t wait to finish! I’m excited to see how it turns out too! Oh, and did I mention, I am calling book 3, Sanctuary of Fire.  

One of my readers told me today that she can’t wait to read Broken Seed and I better hurry up on book 3 too so she won’t have to wait too long. It was encouraging to hear! But I was also like, “Oh crap. Better get a more on!”  

Has anyone seen those commercials lately with the little girl being interviewed with other kids who keeps saying, “But I want more, I want more.” Cracks me up! I’ve been hearing that a lot lately in random conversations. Seems to be the theme right now…”I want more.” Anyway, sorry, got side tracked. That happens to writers you know… 

So, back to the point…Yes, there was a point. My editor and designer have my notes and the last little change requests back on Broken Seed and are going through them to get them all fixed and locked in. Then, as they did before on The Deceiver, they will send it back to me all finished and pretty like, and I get to double check to make sure everything was done that I wanted or needed done, and if it is, sigh off so we can go to print!  

OMG…what a trip! That means I will have two books published this year! Holy kitty snot. That’s crazy. I am still pinching myself over here. Let me just say, GOD IS GOOD and has been amazing me with his love and favor.  

My hope is that anyone who reads these books will enjoy them immensely, but also take something away more than just entertainment. I hope they find a piece of truth or revelation that only they need to hear. Something that only God and they know they need. After all, what is in our hearts, who we really are, and what we have to fight the hardest against in our thoughts, is only known to you and to God.  

Until next time, enjoy The Deceiver saga! It’s already begun!
 

R.J. Machado De Quevedo

(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )
You can order book 1, The Deceiver today!  The Deceiver Saga Begins!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Be one of the First to read The Deceiver today!

Good day everyone! It’s been a little while since I’ve had time to write a blog but truth be told, I’ve been swamped! My publisher, Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, and I have finalized the last and final proof of book one in The Deceiver series and we have gone to print! Oooooh, yes!! I am so thrilled!

And at the same time, I am completing an extensive marketing questionnaire for my Tate marketing rep and publicist and am also currently in the process of reviewing the proof to book two in the series called Broken Seed. I have until June 20th to return my notes and any final change or correction requests on Broken Seed to my book project manager. I am working hard at that too. I have to look for any weirdo spelling errors or work swamps. Hey, it happens. After reading my own book so many times, it is easy for the brain to infer what it knows should be there instead of what is really there so I have to read slow and be careful. It seems like my life is all work and not much play these days but it is still an enjoyable process to be caught up in the dream and it’s worth it!
Great news on book 1! Since we locked in the final proof, my publisher has transitioned The Deceiver from pre-order to purchase! If you’d like to be one of the first to read The Deceiver before the official “public release date”, please click here to place your order: The Deceiver- By RJ Machado De Quevedo

The “public release date” simply means that this is the date in which books have arrived at the distributor’s warehouse and is ready for orders, my book appears for sale on websites like Amazon, my publisher has my author website and author Facebook page up and running, and marketing will begin (press releases, TV Commercials, e-Commercials, etc).
The cool think is, my publisher is taking orders now and they will ship it now too before the public release date. This is sort of a special treat for those who have been following me on my blogs, twitter and for my friends and family. And of course, anyone else who might be interested in reading it, so please pass on the info!

Thank you for your support! I hope you enjoy it!
R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )
 
If you have any problems with the link above, paste the following into your browser:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Book One Update & Sneak Peek on Book two!

Good evening everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fabulous couple of weeks! I’ve been slammed! Day job has been super busy and my moonlighting job as an author has been the more of the same. And I am thankful and blessed for both!
 
I had to take a week off from my day job to get my big edit overhaul review and additions done for book two of The Deceiver series called Broken Seed. I am soooo excited about it! But, so as not to confuse anyone out there, don’t worry… Book one is coming soon! My publisher is nearing the end of their final corrections on the proof and soon they will be going to print! Whoo-hooie!
 
I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the progress. You can pre-order your copy if you’d like from my publisher’s website down below. They will post the release date once they lock that in. (Rubbing hands together with gleeful anticipation)
 
As a treat for your patience, below is the book cover we just finished up for book two. It will be released about three months after book one is out. I’m so happy that my readers won’t have to wait very long got get their paws on more of this thriller. I just hate having to wait a year to get the next book. I am still chugging away at writing book three and it’s coming along fantastically. So as soon as I get that done, I’ll be sending them that as well to get scheduled for production.
 
I get all excited when I know I have time to write and get more of the story from my head to the computer page. Feels so good to get it out!

Okay, hope you enjoy the book teaser and book cover below of book two! Stayed tuned for more info!


Broken Seed
By R. J. Machado De Quevedo 

In this supernatural mystery thriller, Broken Seed, college student Melanie Bishop is engaged in the battle of her life and her ongoing mission to protect a celestial artifact from falling into enemy hands. Her destiny leaves no room for complacency as the enemy’s deceitful tactics are exposed. 

The hindrances against her are relentless. A ring of sadistic felons are hunting Melanie for revenge. The mysterious man who pursued her across the streets of Italy finds her and escalates his efforts to ensnare her and the artifact with seductive enticements. But there is one who threatens all she has fought so hard to rebuild and to become. One who tormented her throughout her childhood with his unbreakable hatred and indulged himself with such ravenousness violence that he truly is the thing of nightmares: her masochistic father.
 
Melanie must not allow these possessed tormentors to obstruct her search for truth and find the answers that will equip her in fulfilling her purpose. She must swiftly learn to fortify her mind from the endless demonic assaults and vivid flashbacks that plague her. She must become as cunning at guarding her mind as she is with her body—through unwavering resistance and surrendering entirely to her destiny. Her success is as imperative to the fate of humankind as it is to her own.

Broken Seed ~ Coming Summer 2013

R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )
Copyright 2013
 
Preorder your copy of The Deceiver today!

 
 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Check Out Today's Chat!

If you didn’t have a chance to join the Q&A today on Facebook, hosted by my friend and Author, Lauren Coziah, please go check it out. Lauren opened the discussion and I was peppered with questions! It was so fun! My little fingers were typing as fast as they could to try and keep up! You’ll be able see my many many typos.

I even gave them all a sneak peek of the cover of book 2 in The Deceiver series called Broken Seed. It is coming out later this summer!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo

(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

 

Preorder your copy of The Deceiver today!


 

 

 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Q & A with Author R.J. Machado De Quevedo

Hello out there! Come have a chat with me live on Facebook. This Sunday, April 14th at 3:00 PM PT / 4:00 MDT. Hosted by Author Lauren Coziah on her Facebook page!

Lauren Coziah will be giving away a free hoody from her new book, The Warburton Conspiracy.


See you then!


R.J. Machado De Quevedo

(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )



Preorder your copy of The Deceiver today!


 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You Can Preorder The Deceiver today!

Preorder The Deceiver Today!



Hello out there! I’m excited to announce that it’s almost here! In about 3 months you can have your own copy of The Deceiver!
For updates and release information follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverBook
Preorder today from my publisher, Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC

R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ignore the Naysayers and Dream BIG

For the struggling writer full of self-doubt, the person feeling defeated and nearly ready to give up on their dreams, let me share part of my personal experience with you. Hopefully it will help you stand up for what you feel called to do and not to fear the magnitude of your dreams. Do not give into the lie that you shouldn’t even try because of the risk of looking like a failure. I’d rather risk failure then not knowing if I could have succeeded and always wondering what could have been...

As you may or may not already know, I have two books being traditionally published and due to come out soon. Before I made my dream to be an author public however, I kept it a secret from almost everyone I knew. I didn’t even tell my parents I was writing a book until after I had been writing for over a year and was nearly done.

I learned early on to guard this dream close to my heart and to only share it with a precious few. I told a lifelong friend I was thinking about writing a book and about the actual dream I had that had inspired the entire idea. This person literally laughed in my face and said derisively, “Oh really? Oh, well, I’m going to write a book too.” And laughed again. That person’s words and attitude kicked my dream in the face and with it rushed a title wave of doubt and the fear of failure.

The internal wound only lasted for about 5 minutes when I recognized it for what it was; the voice of the enemy trying to discourage me and push me off the course I felt God was putting me on. I literally prayed for the power of those words and the word curses that might follow, to be rejected and their influence extracted from my heart so that I could focus on the story that was welling up within my heart and mind to share. I couldn’t let it contaminate my motivation or my confidence. I had to make a conscious decision to reject this person’s discouragement and not let it feed the self-doubts I was already battling against. It’s hard enough to try and muster up the courage to try something you’ve never attempted before. Having someone you trust and love treat it like the joke of the century was simply painful.
 
I started writing book 1 of The Deceiver series only a few days later. I did not tell that person or anyone else except a very small pool of people, that I was even writing the book until I had a traditional publishing contract in my hand and signed. I guarded the dream, kept it close to my heart, and didn’t cast my pearls before the swine.

As a point of advice, let me encourage you to find someone you can fully trust to share chapters to as you write them for opinions and to get an honest perspective from a reader. My sister and best friend were that for me. They both have very different tastes in books and personalities. Their feedback and encouragement was invaluable to me as a first time author and dreamer. They really helped to build me up and see the potential even I doubted in myself before and during writing book 1 and 2.
 
When you do what you feel called to do, and ignore the naysayers, and don’t announce to the wind the sacrifices you are making for the call, God will vindicate you. God will open the doors. God will put things into motion. You just have to be willing, listen for his leading, and do it. If it is his will, he will bring it to pass.
Sometimes we have to surrender our dreams to let God’s dream for us unfold. I had other dreams. Dreams that were so close I could reach out and touch them, but they were swept away and I was powerless to stop it. But I surrendered it to God. And look at what he’s doing now. Him. Not me. He did this.

What fear of failure should we bother to entertain when God wants something accomplished? If you feel called to do something and it doesn’t come about, then it just isn’t God’s timing yet. It is not your failure if you did all you could and applied yourself 110%. It just means to be patient, to trust God and to give God back the responsibility that is his. If he wants the words to be heard or read, he will open the doors. That’s his business. Ours is to just stay willing and ready.
And if you have a dream for your life but it's not God’s dream for your life, try surrendering it to him and asking what he has for you. His will be even bigger, better and bring more joy then fulfilling your own dreams. If the creator of the universe feels like creating a dream for you, step on in and take claim to it. There won’t be anything better that you could possibly create on your own.

R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

Monday, March 4, 2013

How Did They Come Up with the Cover?

Got asked a good question today: How did they come up with book cover?
 
Here is how it got put together in a tiny little nut shell:
Okay, well, the cover first came about when I filled out a detailed questionnaire they sent me with a variety of questions about my vision, goals and ideas for the cover. I told them the impression and emotion I wanted portrayed when someone is to look at it, told them what imagery or symbolism that is carried throughout the book/series, and gave them about 4 different ideas for covers that I envisioned could work.

Their incredible artist sent me a cover draft back, I critiqued it and he worked on some more options. He sent back two completely different options and this was the one I fell in love with right away! The images are things I described to him and are described in the book. The street in the back ground about blew my mind because it is nearly identical to the one in my dream that started this crazy goodness.
For this particular cover, he took almost everything I had envisioned in one of the book cover ideas I sent them and made some slight changes and fashioned this amazing result. From what I gather, the images are those the publisher has copyright license to use from various sources, like an inventory of images. If they don't have what they need, they can create it artistically or go get new ones. The artist has reformatted and altered their original image designs such that combined they are preserved as completely their own in this amazing work of art. I cannot say as to the how or what tools he used to fashion it, but I LOVED it!

I wish I knew who the woman is because she does look very close to the main character I envisioned!! And NO, the woman is NOT me. Neither is the character I write, so please don't think her experiences mirror my own. Those who truly know me will recognize elements of my personality or exaggerated and fictionalized events that have a very small basis in reality as with most authors and writers. But other than that, she is not me, and I am not her. Thank GOD! Once you all read it, you’ll be happy it wasn’t me too. Honest!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Official Book Cover to: The Deceiver by R. J. Machado De Quevedo

 
And in case you missed it, below is the book teaser (what will appear on the back of the book):
 
In this supernatural mystery thriller, The Deceiver, college student Melanie Bishop finds herself stranded across the globe and thrust into the middle of an otherworldly battle that’s been raging since the dawn of time. Melanie makes a decision that will change her life forever. But choosing to accept her role and her destiny doesn’t mean the battles are over. It means the war has just begun.
After returning home, demonic sergeants seek to unravel Melanie’s life by bombarding her with psychological and physical attacks. The enemy is desperate to stop Melanie from fulfilling her destiny and impede her ongoing mission of protecting a mysterious artifact. Not only must Melanie endure their attacks but she is forced to confront her anguishing past through vivid flashbacks. She must resist the advances of a master seducer. And she struggles with her long denied feelings for a handsome kindhearted coworker.  
Melanie must rely on her faith, angelic warriors, and the wisdom of her fiercely loyal friend Elisabeth to help get her through. Feeling inadequate and humbled, Melanie attempts to piece together her full purpose in this call of destiny and embrace the demands it comes with. Her success is as imperative to the fate of humankind as it is to her own. Her journey has only just begun.
R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )
© 2012

Thursday, February 28, 2013

On the Brink

Hello everyone! Have I mentioned how ON IT my publisher is? In case I haven’t mentioned it enough, let me say it now…again…THEY ARE ON IT!
 
The day after they sent me the final book cover, they sent me the revised and edited manuscript in electronic format all laid out in the expected print design. This included the inside cover page, dedication, table of contents, and subsequent chapters (of course). I can basically see what it will look like as a book. They will also be sending me a fully printed version, cover and all, to have in my anxious little hands so I can paw through it and feast my eyes upon it!
 
The goal here is simple. Give this baby of mine one last detailed read through and make sure it is exactly as I want it, catch any freaky little errors that us humans tend to make (especially my spelling, if you haven’t noticed), and make sure I like how it “looks” as well as feel fully satisfied with the way they laid it out in physical print.
 
I will have up to 30 days to return the digital version back to them with all my highlights and notes so they can lock in any final changes. Having the physical book in hand will help me to see things I might otherwise miss when reading it on the computer screen. I don’t know about you, but after a while, my beady little eyesies start to dry out and cross.
 
Once this last step is done, and I send them my final approval, it goes to print! And the public release date starts getting scheduled. Ooooohhhh, Yes!
 
Since I am also already in the book production process for book 2 in The Deceiver series, I should be getting the first edited draft back from my senior editor within the next week! So there will be some important overlap work to do between book 1 and 2. But I am happy to do it! I will need to do what I did for book 1 at this stage for book 2. A full slow reread, detailed review, make necessary changes and consider any suggested decisions along with reading all their notes thoroughly. I can’t wait!!

So a lot is happening right now and it is all fine by me. I feel very blessed and very fortunate!

Now, if I could just carve out some time to write more on book 3 I’d really be doing well! Auuh! I miss book 3! I left off in a really juicy spot and can’t wait to wrap up that chapter! I just finished chapter 6 too when I hit pause to handle all these other wonderful things. I’m itching to get back to it! Oooh, maybe this weekend! Now we’re talking…
 
Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful night!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let’s Get This Party Started


Good evening everyone! Great news! The cover is finished and I looove it!
My project manager sent me a working version of the book cover about a week ago for me to check out and give them some feedback on. They were on the right track, but it wasn’t quite right. I sent back my honest feedback and what they sent back a week later—Blew. My. Mind. The artist really out did himself. He unmistakably nailed it and captured the “atmosphere” of this supernatural mystery thriller.

I was so shocked to see that part of it looks like a snapshot straight out of the dream I had that gave me the idea for the book in the first place. It was like seeing into my dream once again, but a fully awake, and looking upon a physical representation of it. Amazing!
The artist took into consideration the answers from the questionnaire my publisher sent me a few weeks before, read my honest feedback on his first draft, and he demonstrated that he comprehended what I had tried to express as my vision for the cover. He took all those things and made it even better than I had imagined. I am absolutely thrilled!

I had so much adrenaline surging through me and goose bumps up and down my arms that I could barely sleep that night. I found my mind wandering into day dreams, trying to come up with ideas for the cover of the second book coming out this summer. And I was feeling an increased sense of excitement at starting that project as well.
Once you see the cover of book one and once you have a chance to read it, I think you will agree that it perfectly portrays with precise impact the imagery woven throughout the book.

It is a strange and surreal experience to see the cover to a book I wrote suddenly come into physical existence. There are so many emotions wrapped up together it’s hard to focus on one and just feet it alone. I am swirling with absolute delight, a sense of rightness, a knowing that we are almost there and that soon, very soon my publisher will schedule the public release date. Then there is the adrenaline rush of excitement and a deeply pure pleasure at finally feeling that I have found the “it” that was missing in my search for a meaningful and fulfilling career.
We are almost there folks…almost…there.

Dream well,
R.J. Machado De Quevedo

(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tighten that Saddle and Hang on for the Ride

I confess, I’ve been lagging on the blog thing the last few weeks, but boy have I been busy! My day job has exploded—which is a good thing. Having security with a solid day job is a blessing! I know the bills will be paid, thank God. But I’ve been busy with the dream stuff too and loving every crazy moment of it!

On my last blog, I told you all about the big edit deadline I had on book 1 of The Deceiver series. If you haven’t had a chance to read that last blog, take a second after you read this one and catch on up. ;o] Anyway, that editing assignment was a lot of good, hard, time consuming, wonderful, delightful, enjoyable, exhilarating work. Auhhh…can you feel the love? Yes, well, I rather enjoyed my week of madness surrounding writing and editing my book. I was living my dream.
Since I accomplished that first big editing deadline, I’ve been contacted by my publisher’s layout and design department. They sent me a questionnaire about my ideas and vision for the book cover and will be working on some options for me to look over by the end of February. Of course they will have their own intuition and experience to make my ideas even better and I can’t wait to see what they come up with! Also they are getting started on formatting book one into a printing layout design for me to review as well. This will also be sent to me for review by the end of February. I have a lot to look forward to near month end!

In the meantime, I’ve been spending my lunch breaks at work and an hour or more each evening reviewing the final edits we made that they sent back to me on book one. This way I can just double check it for any last minute errors or typos. We are all human after all. Ever see a period floating off on the side by its lonesome? Like this  .   I have. Looks kind of funny, right? I want to avoid those. Once they have the print layout done, I’ll get the official copy to look over and they’ll make any final changes that need to be done. So all this evening obsessing is just giving me a leg up on that last minute dash coming.
Once the book cover and layout is complete, my publisher’s marketing department will be start working on getting my author website and Series Facebook page up and start creating the TV commercials and e-commercials. I’m quivering with anticipation here…
I have another piece of great news to share. I was just notified this past Friday that we are also starting the first phase of editing on book 2! This month will be quiet for me as far as any assignments related to the editing. They will take the month to clean up any grammatical errors, punctuation foul-ups, and make notes about anything that just doesn’t make sense or is too “wordy.” By month end I will have a new deadline given to me to review and make my own edits on book 2. Can’t wait!
The end of February and the beginning of March are going to be insane since I have two books overlapping in production and both will have deadlines and things I must do. But you know, I wouldn’t trade a moment of it. It’s what I prayed for, what I dreamed about, and what I longed to experience. Praise God!
I can’t help but feel excited and full of anticipation! Feelings of “stress” haven’t really come. Yes it’s a lot of work, but it’s a joy filled busy. Oh, did I mention I’m still working on book 3 too? Yep. Just a little bit busy…
Well, that’s that latest on what’s going on with the books. It’s exciting being a new author and experiencing all of this for the first time. Really is surreal and such a blessing.
Have a great night everyone! Remember, dreams really do come true. Just keep pressing one and stay determined! Oh, and please feel free to read my other blogs if you have a chance.
 
R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Editing- Not my Foe but my Friend


Good evening everyone! Here’s a little insight into my first official professional editing experience with my publisher! Yay!
For any aspiring authors out there, please don’t let the idea of having your book edited become an intimidating thought or a cause of nibbling your nails down to the nubs. The Editor is your friend not your foe. And the editing processing itself is like getting a good scrub in the tub and finally getting to see the pink behind your ears again. Might take patience, cringing up the eyes afraid to touch the particularly gnarly parts, but it feels good, looks loads better, and you’ll smell better too after it’s over. Trust me. Go with it.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand…
So…My book production manager (BPM as I’ll refer to her) contacted me on the 3rd of January with a preliminary deadline to complete my part of the editing process on book one. Yay! My task was to include reading every single word to ensure accuracy, make any other editorial changes I came across, make minor structural decisions and finish some rewording or re-writes to tone down some of the graphic content. I also needed to read all their notes and suggestions and take them into consideration when reviewing the manuscript.

Needless to say I was thrilled and excited to get started but I was also slightly panicked. One week? Really? I had a one week deadline to edit a 125K word book? Auuuuh!!! (Remember, folks, I have a fulltime day job too)
My editor had already cleaned 99.999% of the misspellings, typos, punctuation mistakes and other grammatical errors. Now it was my turn to read over their corrections, read all their notes and professional suggestions and help cut back the word count so that my future reader doesn’t dislocate an arm when they go to pick it up off the shelf. A challenge and yet…slightly overwhelming idea – at first.

I called my book BPM and asked her if I wasn’t able to get the edits done by the 10th, how bad would that be and would she be able to give me a couple more days if I got stuck. Being my first book and all, I wanted to make sure I did it right. She was so cool and reassuring. She said if I needed more time, then it wouldn’t be a problem. It was a relief to my nerves, but I assured her I still wanted to make the deadline anyway if at all possible.
My bosses at my day job are also awesome, wonderful, understanding and supportive guys. (Hard to find in a job now-a-days right?) Anyway, they had no problem with letting me take a couple of my PTO days to meet the deadline. That was a big relief too.

For five days I got to live the dream of working all day in my home office and I felt like a real fulltime author. Let me just say, I felt deeply satisfied and full of joy. Yes, it was a lot of work, but it was worth it – every single computer-dry-eyed, finger cramping, moment.  
I started editing the night I got my BPM’s email that we were starting the second phase of editing. She sent my manuscript back to me with her notes and my editors notes attached. They have a keen eye and I can see why they’re the professionals. They had very good advice and insights as I had hoped they would.

One, which I appreciate, was their suggestion to tone down some of the graphic content. They originally rated it a 10 (0 being none). And my BPM even said my book scared her. Good sign of a thriller I guess! But without being too specific as to not spoil certain heart pounding moments, there was some pretty intense violence that they thought might be too graphic for the average reader. Yes the book is a mystery thriller in nature, but I also want a wide audience to be able to read it. And honestly, if it was a movie, it would have been rated ‘R’. Now it is probably a strong PG-13. Don’t get me wrong, when you read it you’ll still cringe, get mad at the bad guys, and probably even feel anxious.
I don’t feel the edits they suggested took anything important away, as I didn’t actually cut the scenes out, just toned them down a tad. So if you’re someone with a more delicate taste and aren’t thrilled about reading a lot of violence, blood and gore, then you can relax. You won’t throw up—well, now you won’t anyway.

I discovered for me, the key to making clean edits, cutting sentences that are redundant, and taking out double adjectives or “data dumps” is to remain unemotional and try to detach from it. Yes, some moments were cause for a little sadness as I saw my baby evolving, but it was short lived. The outcome was better than the first draft (or the 5th draft since I had self-edited my book about a thousand times before I even sent it to the publisher to begin with).
To make the edits, I read the book as if I was the first time reader. What added to the story? What wasn’t necessary and just slowing down or cluttering up a scene? What was already said that didn’t need to be repeated? What was out of place? These are just some of the things they helped me to look for. Also, I had no idea that as an English speakers, we tend to over use the words very, just, that, and really. Most of the time those words can be cut because they don’t actually add much to the sentence in the way of importance. Sometimes they do, but most of the time, they don’t.

I am by no means an expert now just because I went through my first major draft of editing on my first book. But I learned a lot. And I met my deadline! Yippee!
The next steps will be for my BPM and editor to review my revisions, they will implement them and give my manuscript another once over. If it is clean and ready for the next phase, then they will send it back for final approval. If there is still some work to be done, they will make the appropriate notes and I’ll be back at it.

Once editing is done the book will be formatted for printing. My publisher is awesome in that they have a whole department full of artist and designers who will create my book cover options (taking into consideration my ideas) which I will get to approve. Then their marketing department will create my Author website, TV commercials and e-commercials. Sometime during the marketing phase, they will zero in on the public release date for the book. I can’t wait to have that date to share with all of you. It is so exciting!
They are still estimating spring 2013! Oh, by the way, we start editing book two February 1st and the estimated release time for book two is summer 2013. I am currently writing book three and having a blast.

Thank you all for reading. I appreciate it! Have a blessed day!

R.J. Machado De Quevedo
(Follow me on Twitter under @TheDeceiverBook )