Darkened Hope

One of my favorite things about being a writer is getting to be in community with other writers and seeing their stories and getting to be involved with them along their journeys.

Today, I am thrilled to share with you the cover reveal for J. L. Mbewe’s upcoming novel, Darkened Hope.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

And now, since you have judged this book by its cover and are dying to know more, let me tell you a little bit about it.

It’s the second in the Hidden Dagger Trilogy, by J. L. Mbewe.


Ayianna is a cursed half-elf betrothed to Desmond, but her heart belongs to another. After discovering the cure for the Sorceress’s curse, she and her companions embark on a dangerous quest to retrieve the ingredients.

When dragons descend upon their party, Ayianna realizes the Sorceress is searching not just for the corrupted dagger, but a human sacrifice that will open a portal to the underworld. Battling deadly creatures and natural disasters, Ayianna is forced more and more to confront her insecurities and conflicted heart.

Now she must decide whether to be true to her family or true to herself. As the nations rally for war, betrayal threatens to destroy them all, and it’s a race against time to return before the curse devastates the plains people.

Coming in May 2016


Doesn’t that sound fantastic? What brilliant mind devised such a thing?

I’m glad you asked. Let me introduce you to J. L. Mbewe!

Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and swords, among other things. Here, between reality and dreams, you will find her busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril. She has two short stories published in The Clockwork Dragon anthology, and four short stories set in the world of Nälu. Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, was nominated for the 2014 Clive Staples Award, and its sequel, Darkened Hope is coming May 2016.

Stay up-to-date with all things Nälu and her journey as a writer mama at JLMbewe.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest.


And guess what!!! FB ad 403x300 SK sale

The first book in the trilogy,  is on sale RIGHT NOW for only $.99!

Hope over to Amazon and get it today!



APNM freePlus, TODAY ONLY, check out the short story, A Princess No More, FREE! Get it here now!

I’ve already gotten my copy of both.



Thanks for stopping by to check out this upcoming book! Enjoy!





How Can I Help You?

So, you’ve written your first story. It may be a complete novel, or it may be the start of a novel, or it may be a shorter work, but you’ve got words on paper.

Maybe you’ve submitted your story to an agent or publisher and received a rejection (or several). Maybe you’ve shared it with a critique group and gotten some feedback, and now you’ve gotten as far as you can and you’re ready to take your writing to the next level.

You’ve looked into professional editing, and realized that this is serious business. And maybe you’ve realized you’re not quite ready to invest that kind of time and money quite yet. Surely there must be some more you can do to polish your own writing before spending thousands on a professional edit, right? Some sort of in-between, a professional eye to point you in the right direction without committing to a full professional edit?

Good news! You’re in the right place!

In my last post, I introduced myself and shared a bit of my writing journey.

Now, I want to officially welcome you to my page and let you know that if any of the above is true for you, I can help!

As the editor of Havok Magazine, I have plenty of experience in taking a good story and making it great. I also have experience in taking an average story and making it great.

We all start somewhere. Several years ago, I was at a place in my writing journey where I knew I needed help, but I didn’t know where to begin. I knew good grammar and how to write a sentence and express myself on paper, but I didn’t know the difference between showing and telling, I didn’t know what a POV slip was, I didn’t know what made for deep POV or any of the other elements that make for good writing craft, or, for that matter, what writing craft even was.

I knew how to write, but I didn’t know how to tell a story. Worse, since I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, I didn’t know how to fix it. What I really needed was someone to take a look at my writing and show me where I needed improvement. I needed a personal touch to point me in the right direction.

If that’s where you are now, I can be that person for you. I will not only catch grammar and spelling mistakes, but I will be able to decipher your intention and help you express your thoughts with clarity and precision. Mentoring new authors is my passion. I love seeing the potential in new authors and helping them achieve it. I love building a relationship and helping authors learn more about writing craft in general, as well as identify their own specific strengths and weaknesses. I love being the teacher and friend who can build someone up and take them to the next level.

I would love to be your mentor and editor. I would love to help you take your writing to the next level. Please check out my Mentoring and Editing Services page and contact me today for a consultation!


About Me

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My name is Avily Jerome. I’m a wife, a mother, a writer, and an editor.

I’ve been writing stories for about as long as I can remember. My favorite course in college was a creative writing elective. I always enjoyed writing stories, and I have a huge folder of stories and pieces of stories that I started dating back to high school. I never really did much with them, though, until about eight years ago when I decided to see if anyone besides my mom was interested in reading my writing.

So, I finished my first full-length manuscript, a historical romance, and submitted it to agents and publishers.

And I got rejected.

And rejected.

And rejected.

The form letters rolled in and kept rolling in.

I can’t tell you how many tears I shed as yet another hope was squashed beneath the heel of some faceless entity with whom I had shared my very soul. And the most frustrating thing was, I had no idea why no one was interested. Why couldn’t I get anyone to look at my work? I knew I was doing something wrong, but I couldn’t fix it when I had no idea what “it” was.

Then, one day, a kind and benevolent agent rejected me in the nicest possible way. With a personal note. He told me I had some elements of good writing craft, but others begged for fine tuning.

And I said to myself, “What in the world is writing craft?”

The rest, as they cliché, was history. I started attending writing groups, finding critique partners, attending conferences, and really studying the art and science of writing craft.

About five years ago, I hired my first editor to do a manuscript review of my novel, and I learned a lot from the process. Then, three years ago, I joined Splickety Publishing Group. At the time, SPG only had one flash fiction magazine imprint, and I ran the blog. A year later, SPG launched two new lines, Havok, a speculative flash fiction magazine, and Splickety Love, a romance flash fiction magazine. I applied (see: begged) for the position of editor of Havok and I got it. Since then, I have had the opportunity to learn how to produce a magazine from start to finish and have interned under some of the finest authors and editors in the business.

I have had multiple short stories published, in various ezines and anthologies, both print and digital. I recently published a short story collection, The Heir, (available on my Books and More page and on Amazon). I regularly judge writing contests, both for short stories and for novels. I teach at writers’ conferences and for writers’ groups.

Which brings us to today, and the official launching of this website. As I pursue my own writing goals, I also want to help others who are where I was eight years ago, wondering “what in the world is writing craft?” Through my work with Havok and my own personal interactions both online and in person, I have developed a love for finding what’s missing in a story and teaching newer authors some of what I’ve learned.Common Homonyms 3

One part of that will be posting regular articles on the basics of writing craft. I’m also developing a series of ebooks about writing craft. My first book, a Handy Handbook of Common Homonyms, will be available on Amazon soon. Or, if you sign up for my newsletter, I’ll send you a copy of Common Homonyms for FREE!

Stay tuned for my next post, in which I’ll tell you all about what I can do for you!