Wednesday, April 20, 2022

From Dream to Reality

From the very beginning of my writing career I've wanted my work to be published in audio form. I think it's because I've always loved books on tape, then books on CD. I guess it's time to make the (belated, I know) jump into downloadable books.

There's nothing quite like listening to someone tell a story. Some favorites include the Harry Potter series, narrated by Jim Dale, and Angela's Ashes written and read by Frank McCourt. Now, (drumroll please!) I can add my book to that list of favorites.

Back in December (the 22nd, and it was in the morning lol), I got an email from my publisher, Red Adept Publishing, letting me know Scribd wanted to turn The Existence of Pity into an audiobook. I couldn't believe it, and didn't believe it, until I checked my Amazon page this past Thursday.

It's really happening! As of yesterday, my audiobook is live!! Scribd, founded in San Francisco in 2007, is an audio publishing company and a subscription service. It offers access to millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more at the cost of $11.99 per month. Business Insider says "Scribd is overall the best and most convenient deal for online reading." I've joined and grabbed my book already. 

And to hear my words read by Maria Liatis, WOW! What an incredible feeling! Since she's from Argentina, her Spanish is flawless. Since she studied Theatre and Dramatic Arts at University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), her English is impeccable. All around, she does a fantastic job narrating. It's perfect in every way.

So if you want to sit back and have someone tell you my story, go to Scribd

You can also get it from Audible on Amazon, or listen to a four-minute sample. I'd love to hear what you think! 

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Long Bio

 Here it is, y'all. My long bio. This is my story up to now.  

Jeannie Oliver Zokan, author of the award-winning The Existence of Pity and the recently released Courage Without Grace, both published by Red Adept Publishing, grew up in Colombia, South America as the daughter of missionaries. As a high school senior, she and her brother attended Christiansen Academy, a boarding school in Venezuela, but she also maintains strong ties to Colegio Bolivar, the American school she and her brothers attended in Cali. Her love of books led her to study Library Science, earning her bachelor's degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She then moved to Washington, DC to attend The George Washington University, where she earned her Publication Specialist Certification. Much like Josie, the main character in both of her novels, Zokan became a palm reader in DC, working at the Park Hyatt Hotel, offering private readings, and entertaining at parties, most notably at one of many events hosted by Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn. 

When DC's cold weather finally did her in, she packed up her parka and headed south, taking her motorcycle to Florida's Gulf Coast to write stories for the local paper. She met her husband there, and they co-wrote "Healthy Living," a regular column for The Islander. She also launched Poetry Unbound, a newsletter she edited for over five years. Since then, her poems and stories have appeared in Emerald Coast Review and Hurricane Review. She has been among the winners for both the poetry and short fiction categories in the Walter F. Spara Writing Competition, and she placed in the Awakenings Poetry Contest and the World Congress of Poets Contest. In 2017, The Existence of Pity earned a spot as a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

For over a decade Zokan has participated in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). Both of her novels were created during frenzied Novembers, along with other novels she plans to release. As an undeniable "pantser," she works best without an outline -- but with a firm deadline. Zokan served on the board of directors for the Emerald Coast Writers, where she has spent many hours with fellow writers, critiquing and being critiqued. She swears that the time spent in this sometimes painful process has been among her most rewarding. As they help each other attain their writing goals, many have become lifelong friends. 

As a certified aerial yoga instructor, Zokan has taught yoga and is a Reiki Level II practitioner. She is currently the captain of her Ladies League tennis team, a group of fellow moms who enjoy a little friendly competition with lunch afterwards. One fine day, when Zokan's books become bestsellers, she will be able to write full-time, but for now she has a part-time job as a retail merchandiser for Hallmark. She lives ten minutes from the beach, where she and her husband, photographer and personal trainer Chris, enjoy swimming in the surf, walking along the shore, and absorbing negative ions. Many a rough draft of a chapter has been edited under their beach umbrella, basking in the inspiration of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Zokan hasn't lost her love for libraries. One of her proudest moments occurred when she tracked down a copy of her book in her local library, where she hopes to find many more titles in the years to come. Her happiest days are when she gets a little writing in, visits their two grown daughters, (one in Orlando, the other in Alabama), and gets some exercise om, whether it's a bike ride, a run, tennis, yoga, or a workout in their home gym. Of course, her day isn't complete without cuddling up with their pets, a sweet black cat and a rambunctious "beagador" puppy.

To learn more, go to www.JeannieZokan.com


Her books can be found on 

Amazon HERE 

And Barnes & Noble HERE  

Like her Facebook author page at:  Jeannie Zokan Author

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Wood Between the Worlds

Momentum for Courage Without Grace had slowed to a crawl as we wait for the print copies to arrive... but then THIS happened! 

Erin writes book reviews on her beautiful blog, and here is her 5-tree review for Courage Without Grace! Visit her blog here:  The Wood Between the Worlds. You'll be glad you did! 

Here's a taste of the review: "This vibrant novel is like a colorful tapestry--there are so many threads weaving in and out of each other, going in completely unexpected directions, leading you on to see where they end and what new patterns they'll create, in the end forming a cohesive picture of a young woman's broken but beautiful life."  

You can see why this had me dancing around the house! Have a wonderful weekend, and rest assured you'll hear from me when the books come in!



Friday, April 16, 2021

Welcome, Team Courage!

If you're reading my blog for the first time, chances are good it's because you are a member of Team Courage, and you've accepted my invitation to receive "The Writer's Cup." Welcome! I'm glad you're here! And just in case you didn't get the email, Team Courage is a group of wonderful people who have supported me in one specific, but hugely important, way: writing a review on Amazon for The Existence of Pity. I'll be forever grateful!

 Over the past eleven years, I've posted 106 blogs (it averages out to less than ten per year, so it's not likely I'll flood your mailbox!) and they have covered a range of topics. Most of them are about my writing path to publication, but I've thrown in some general posts, book reviews, and some interviews along the way. There are some guest blogs, too!

Here's a link to one of the most popular blogs: Our Marriage Revisited

You can also check out the series of ten blogs about my trip to Colombia to visit my parents, who moved there because of my mother's Alzheimer's. It starts here: Colombia Part One

I started another series last year, but it was cut short in April because of Covid. Blue Jean Yoga 

Thanks again for visiting my blog! I hope you enjoy it! The big news on the horizon is the release date of Courage Without Grace in paperback. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Little Libraries Everywhere

Gulf Breeze, Florida has a wonderful network of Little Libraries. Here's a list of them put together on a map by Diane Skelton. Very impressive work! local little libraries

My husband and I like to bike around our neighborhood, and we pass two of them each time!

In honor of the release of Courage Without Grace I put five copies of my first book, The Existence of Pity into five Little Libraries. If you happen to pick one of them up, let me know!

Meanwhile, since it's release day, Courage Without Grace is available for $2.99--but only for

today! (Tomorrow, the price goes to $5.99.) 

Grab your copy here! Today! Courage Without Grace




Saturday, March 27, 2021

Five Coffee Beans!

I love their Instagram pic for my cover!
When the first review of Courage Without Grace arrived in my email, I took a deep breath before opening it.

No writer can ever be sure how their words will affect others. Sure, I heard plenty of feedback from readers and editors for this book along the way, but I knew them personally, or at least professionally. Now my book is officially "out there," and I have no control over how it is perceived.

Thankfully, Jessica from "For the Love of Dewey," LOVED it. Whew!
Here's how her review starts:
"We were super excited when author Jeannie Zokan reached out to ask us if we would review her latest novel Courage Without Grace, which is to be released on Marsh 30, 2021. As you can probably tell by my lack of reviews, I haven't been motivated to read as much as I usually am (let's blame it on pandemic life), so I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to finish this novel before the 30th. However, once I started reading it I couldn't stop. This novel turned out to be just what I needed to get me out of my reading (and reviewing) slump.

I'll jump ahead and tell you she gave it FIVE STARS! Or in the case of her blog, 5 coffee beans!
Go here to read the rest of her review: fortheloveofdewey and follow them on Instagram, @fortheloveofdewey!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Futures Market

Me in my gypsy get-up, I hated it, lol!
 One other newspaper article in the Washington Post, this one in the Weekend section, told about my palm reading in the capital. This one, written by Larry Fox and published on January 5, 1990, was called "The Futures Market" and starts like this:

"There I sit, an otherwise normal-looking middle-aged male, as a younger and otherwise normal-looking woman uses a hand-sized roller to spread greasy, black ink over my palms as we sit at a white linen-covered table in an upscale restaurant while the waiter watches nervously, wondering perhaps whether to dial 911 and report the rebirth of the Black Hand Society in his Adams-Morgan bistro.

"Relax, we assure the waiter, no problem here. The woman and I are on a search for information about my past and my future. That's where the inky palms come in. The inked flesh is pressed onto white squares of paper, setting out in fine detail every tiny line, crack and whorl. Some say those minute etchings unlock many of life's mysteries and that if you can read them, you can see the future and understand the past."

If you want to read the complete article, let me know and I'll send you a copy. Meanwhile, pick up Courage Without Grace, here: Courage Without Grace The Kindle version is only $2.99 until March 30, 2021!

In Courage Without Grace, Josie lives in DC and works as a palmreader. She is trying to correct a mistake from her past so that she can move on, but she keeps walking into more problems--or riding motorcycles into them!