Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome to My Haunted House ...

Ah, I see you've arrived. Please, won't you come in ....


                                                                       *CREAK*



I must say, you are looking quite ... healthy. Let's have some dinner, shall we? We'll start with some finger foods ...


Before the main course arrives ...


Nothing like fresh intestines for a nutritional, feel-good meal. Shall we retire to the library for an after-dinner drink and entertainment?


Ah, that was lovely. So glad you enjoyed it. What's that? You're feeling sleepy all of a sudden? Allow me to offer you a room for the night. It would be of no trouble. I'm sure you will be quite ... comfortable.

Fido will show you to your room ...


Good luck ... er, uh, that is ... Goodnight. And Happy Halloween. Muhahahahahaha.....


For more Halloween fun, head over to Denise Covey's blog for a list of participants sharing some spooky spirits with the blogosphere.

Do you  have a favorite tradition or spooky costume? Tell me all about it in the comments. I went to a Halloween ball once where these ladies were the hit of the party:


And it was hilarious when they danced to Thriller on the Wii's Michael Jackson Experience in full costume. Good memories!

Great news for some fellow writer friends! The awesome Julie Musil has revealed her cover this week for her debut:



Santa Ana winds + matches = disaster. You’d think he would've learned that the first time he started a fire.

Learn all about it by clicking HERE to get to GoodReads and adding it to your list. 

You can find Julie on her blog, FaceBook, Twitter

She always shares amazing writer info, so if you're not following her somewhere, you really should be!!

Also today is NA Thursday! 


Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.
She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball-the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite-forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Click HERE to get to the Rafflecopter and sign up to win a copy of WANT. Enter the code STEPHPK in entry # 16. Good luck! And congrats to Stephanie!


So what are your favorite Halloween memories? Don't forget to hop over to Denise's! And have a spook-tastic Halloween! 

By the way, Butterman (Time) Travel is now available for pre-sale on Amazon as an eBook and it's broken into the Top 100 time travel bestsellers! Yay! Thanks to everyone for your support!! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Distractions...

Happy Friday! We made it through another week. I'm currently going through my formatted eBook file and making sure it's ready for launch day. Excited and nervous. But I expect that's normal. If you're looking for the NA Giveaway, please check the bottom of this post for links.

Today I'm talking about distractions. Not like you may be thinking, though. As writers we usually discuss ways to stay focused on our writing, like setting schedules to ensure daily word counts, and how to step away from the Internet. But what about when writing IS the distraction?

If you've been writing long enough, you've already figured out how to stay focused, but what if you're too focused? I have to remind myself of this all the time. Especially when one of my kids asks me to play with them while I'm right in the middle of edits or drafting or whatnot. It's so easy to tell them I'm too busy.

But I should never be too busy to spend time with my kids, among other things. My dog is good about insisting I step away from the laptop to walk him. He paws my leg til I get the message. It's pretty easy to shoo him away, or put him outside so I can stay focused on my stories. But stepping away to walk the dog refreshes me EVERY time.

Then there's exercise in general. Are we getting enough of it as writers? A few years ago when I decided I was going to be a writer no matter what, I had to wake at 4am to draft. My kids weren't in school full time and I had no time to myself. I also gained 20 pounds from focusing too much on writing. This past April, I just lopped off that extra 20 pounds. Finally! Good riddance. Honestly, it hadn't bothered me before then, because I was so focused on my writing.

Til I wanted to wear those cute pants hanging in my closet and they were too tight. :(

I started biking 7 miles every day, paying attention more to what time of day I was eating, and easing up on the determined writer's mentality. It feels great to be healthier again (and to fit in my fave clothes.) Distractions can be a very good thing. And even though we want to dedicate ourselves to our writing--because it's the only way to truly get better--we need to remember that other side of ourself that's NOT a writer. The one that needs a daily dose of nature, or to spend more time with their kids and/or spouse. And the one that must EXERCISE to stay healthy.

It ALWAYS replenishes my creative well when I embrace these distractions. Distractions are life. It's the world happening to us while we've got our nose in a book, or head buried in our computers. The written word may last forever, but our relationships are ever changing, and must be cared for and cultivated at all times. As well as the essence of our very being.

Writing is wonderful. I am a writer, and I love it. But life is happening all around us, and it's okay to be distracted with it now and then. :D

Hey guess who's revealing the cover for their book and having a fantastic giveaway? My friend Lexa! She's having a fun game to celebrate, so look closely at her cover and then hop over to the other blogs featuring her today and find all the cover errors to win a prize.


Can you find the error on this cover?

Check these blogs and compare it:

Alex J Cavanaugh
Father Dragon Writes
Bards and Prophets
The Write Game
Ellie Garrett
Klahanie
Julie Flanders
In High Spirits
Mainewords

And don't forget to hop over to Lexa's blog for the official contest rules, and to wish her congrats on her new release, Soul Cutter, coming December!

If you're here for the Rafflecopter entry for JL Fynn's book, THE LONG GAME, please click HERE and enter the code JLPK in entry # 16. Or click the picture below.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Hero, Released, & Writers for Writers

Today I'm happy to share some new releases and some great writer info with you! You won't want to miss this.

First off, JL Campbell wants to know who my hero is to celebrate her new release. And here she is:

Learn more about Queena by heading over to her site, JOIN QUEENA. She's my hero because she presses on regardless of the obstacles in her way. And let me tell you, there are a lot. Once a vibrant teenager with a promising future, now she's confined to a wheelchair with very little use of her body, including speech. Normal everyday things that you and I take for granted everyday have been stolen from Queena. And I say stolen because she was attacked and left to die when she was eighteen. But she's still here, and she's amazing! I'll tell you more about Queena later, but for now, be sure to stop by her Facebook Page and say hello. She loves having new visitors. 

Here's the deets on JL's new book:


The release of the novel Saving Sam by J.L. Campbell has been timed to coincide with National Heroes’ Day celebrations in Jamaica. Sam, the protagonist finds a hero—or heroine if you like—in his aunt and the mission of this blogfest is to write a maximum of 300 words about someone who has been a source of inspiration. So, Who’s Your Hero?

J.L. Campbell is a proud Jamaican and an award-winning writer, who is always on the lookout for story-making material.
She writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She is the author of Contraband, Christine's Odyssey, Dissolution, Distraction, Don't Get Mad...Get Even, Giving up the Dream, Kicked to the Kerb, Retribution and Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson).
She blogs at http://www.joylcampbell.com Feel free to connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or visit her Amazon author page.

And also today SJ Pajonas is revealing her NA cover:


**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED!
Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyō recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa's eventual rule on Yūsei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired -- at all costs.
Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she's willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?
From Nishikyō to Yūsei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them in the future.
Visit http://www.spajonas.com for more information.
Read the first book in The Nogiku Series, REMOVED:
Amazon (Paperback): http://amzn.com/1940599032

Click HERE for the Rafflecopter to win a copy and an Amazon gift card!

Congrats to JL and SJ!!

Have you heard about Writers for Writers Amazing Race??


Click on the picture above to get to Angela Ackerman's and Becca Puglisi's brand new website Writers Helping Writers (Formerly The Bookshelf Muse.)

Why is this so cool?? In honor of their new writing guides coming out, they're in a race to help as many writers they can this week. All you have to do is go to the site and fill out the form with your request of what would help you. Need other eyes on a query? Or first page? How about some tweets or a blog post for a new release? It's all at your disposal! Writers around the Web will be popping in to offer their help, so head over and sign up NOW!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc.

**** UPDATE **** We interrupt this already scheduled program to share a debut from blogger buddy and fellow NA author, Stina Lindenblatt!

CLICK THE PIC TO ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.


Sounds gripping, right? Love me some tragic heroes! BIG CONGRATS, Stina! 

I think Stina and I have been on a similar writing/pubbing journey over these past years, and it's way cool to debut our books only two months apart. Cheers to that!


AUTHOR BIO:
Born in England, Stina loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She spent a semester in graduate school living in central Finland, and a summer during her undergrad degree working in Helsinki. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiologyand has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina is a photographer, mother of three adorable kids, and devoted wife. She currently lives in Calgary, Canada.

Author links:

Website: http://stinalindenblattauthor.com/

Don't forget EJ Wesley's new MOONSONG release, DRAGON'S GAME (Book 4 in the series) is also out and all the deets are below!

Thanks to all who helped share Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc.'s cover via blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. You guys rock!! I couldn't do it without you! It's a pleasure to be on this writing journey with you, my friends. *wipes tear away*


And a big THANKS going out to my co-hosts, the exquisite and ever charming, Tammy Theriault, Michael Di Gesu, and Sydney Aaliyah.

Without further ado, feast your eyes on my cover: *drumroll, please ......*


                          Designed and crafted by the uber talented Jaycee Delorenzo.

*gasp and swoon* Right?

Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated

We are a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. Family-owned and operated, we offer clients one hundred years of time travel experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend a special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Conference us directly from our Website. Our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.

We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.  

********************************************************************************
So, the question is, if YOU could walk into Butterman Travel, Inc. and book a time trip, where and when would you book it to? Now, in the story, there are rules and regulations--you can't just book a trip anywhere/anytime, which is why you need a certified time-craft pilot and trip guide. There are paradox factors and parallel shifts to consider, and if the government catches you in a violation, you better believe you'll be in some deep doo-doo. 

But for the purpose of this blogfest, I set those rules aside so everyone can be free to have some fun. To learn more about how commercial time travel operates, and how the government wants to have full control of it, pick up your copy of Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. when it launches on 

                            11-12-13
                        (That's November 12 to those friends in other parts of the world)

Here's the list of all those participating in today's theme. Hop around and see where they'd pick their time trip to. Should be very interesting and loads of fun!




I'll be tweeting their posts all day and using the hashtag: #ButtermanTimeTravel
If you'd like to join in on some tweets, I'd love to have you!

Also, I put all of the bloggers above into Random.org to choose one winner for a special time traveler pendant, and it selected, E. Arroyo.


Congrats, Elizabeth!

Okay, and now for MY choice. I've always dreamt of time traveling, and there are a thousand places and times I'd love to visit, but before I fully delved into all the possibilities, I'd have some serious fun with it. I'd spend a month rockin' out at all the great concerts I missed. What can I say, I'm a rocker at heart.

One of my first concert stops is already in my story, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. You'll have to read it to find out more. But there's so many more great performers I missed because of my age. You better believe I'd be hitting the Sunset Strip in '67, '68 to get my mojo rising with a Doors show.... then London to get some Led out with an early Zeppelin performance... but before all that, I'd head back in time to the early '90s, and right to Seattle for the music that kickstarted my new adult years. And I'd start off with this concert right here:


That's my boy, Layne Staley, from Alice in Chains--one of the bands that just kept getting better as I emerged into my twenties. And every time I hear their songs, I'm reminded of that time of my life. I wasn't in Seattle then, but I did get to see them perform once locally at Lollapolooza '93, back when Dirt was THE album always playing in my car.

Here's where I should tell you that Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. is also dedicated to Layne. He passed in 2002, but his fans around the world still remember him as one of the identifying voices of our generation--MY generation,

When I started writing BT, I had no plans of any dedications, but much of the story is centered around music and rock heroes, and while submersing myself in the "new adult" zone for my characters, I pulled out all my old music from that time period in my life. Much of it was Alice in Chains and Mad Season. I relied on their songs throughout the BT story to connect me with my muse. Halfway through the first draft, I realized I just had to dedicate the story to Layne. Inadvertently, his voice had inspired so much of it.

He's survived by his mom and sister, and I wanted to let them know what his music meant to me, and of my plans to dedicate BT to him, so I contacted his mom, and what an incredible woman she is! She told little old insignificant me that it'd be an honor for her and her son if I dedicate my book to him, and that she's sure he's pleased. Trust me, the honor is all MINE.

And even though I won't get to really go back in time to Seattle, to the above concert, I did get to go to Seattle this year, in August, for Layne's birthday tribute, meet his mom in person, and tell her more about my book, of which she's waiting for her own copy of. (so cool, right?)


Here we are at the pub that hosted a group of us remembering Layne on his birthday by singing his songs together. An indescribable experience for me. And there's more on that in the Author Afterword of Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc., so be sure to check it out.

I know, I'm just a modern-day Elvis fanatic, right? LOL. But this girl's no groupie--it'a all about the music.

On a separate note, my blogging and Twitter buddy, EJ Wesley is also revealing his cover today:


Available Monday, October 22nd!

Just in time for Halloween, here's the cover of the latest installment of E.J. Wesley's Moonsongs series, Dragon's Game! (New Adult - speculative <urban fantasy, horror> - Novelette)

You can learn more about Dragon's Game, the Moonsongs books, and E.J. HERE


Be sure to add Dragon's Game to your Goodreads shelf. And for a limited time, you can catch up on the entire Moonsongs series for just .99 cents (regularly $2.99). Moonsongs Anthology 1 (books 1, 2, & 3) is on sale October 15th - 20th at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Congrats, EJ! His books ARE perfect for Halloween! I know you'll love them! 

Don't forget to visit the other bloggers booking time trips! And if you're not participating, tell me in the comments where you'd book YOUR time trip to? Would you come rock out with me? Or is there something more profound on your wish list? Share it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Motivation and Courage!


Happy Monday! It's gonna be a great week, right? I sure think so. And I'm super excited for Wednesday and seeing where all those time trips will be booked to!

There's been lots of talk on book promo around the blogosphere. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, as well as blog tours. Check out my previous post below and weigh in.

Today, I'm featuring Carrie Butler's new release, because she's a fellow NA writer and blogger/Twitter friend. Read on for an excerpt of Courage, then afterwards, I'm talking briefly on character motivation.




Wallace shot me a look. “We’re not barging in; we’re visiting. I wanted to introduce you, anyway.”
“S’bout time,” Cole added out of nowhere, the weight of his arm sinking onto my head as he leaned on me. “You’ve been dating for—”
“You have exactly three seconds to get your arm off of me.”
Cole snickered and mussed my hair. “Easy, killer.”
“One.”
“Cole,” Wallace groaned, rubbing his temples. “Don’t start with her now.”
“Start what?” Cole used that grating, innocent voice he always did when he wanted to wind his brother up. “I’m not starting anything.”
“Two.” 
He clicked his tongue in disapproval, and my eye twitched. One look at his stance told me he'd braced himself for one of my usual attacks. An elbow, a knee, something he could evade without trying. I had to catch him off guard.
“Three.”
And I knew just how to do it.
When Wallace stepped forward, I smoothed a quick hand up Cole’s chest—like I wanted to stop them from fighting. He dismissed the gesture as usual, and I used the distraction to lock on target. Gotcha. A pinch and a twist sent the world’s fastest man crashing to his knees.
“Fu—ow!” he howled, swatting at my hand. “Damn it, Rena! A titty twister?”
A smirk curled my lips as I wrenched my wrist to the side, relishing his torment. “How’s that feel, AssCole?”
“Burns like a son of a—”
Someone cleared their throat behind us, and I froze.
“Am I interrupting something?”
Mechanically, I turned to look over my shoulder. Please don’t let that be who I think it is.
No such luck. A puzzled older gentleman stood on the path leading to the house, his weight resting on a gnarled, wooden cane. "Spirited little thing, aren't you?"
I jerked my hand away from Cole and spun around. “I, uh…”
“Henry, this is my girlfriend Rena.” Wallace edged the words out, caught between laughter and embarrassment. “Rena, this is my great-uncle Henry.”
There wasn’t a shade of red to describe how hot my face felt. I forced a smile and thrust my hand out. “N-Nice to meet you.”
Henry cracked a grin and hobbled forward to accept my handshake. “Same here, my dear. Same here.” He glanced down at Cole. “You all right over there, Nicholas?”
“Peachy.” Cole stood up and rubbed his chest with a sour expression. “Just taking a rest.”

Good stuff, right?? And the first book in the Nexus series, Strength, is now FREE!

Add Courage to your GoodReads shelf, right HERE
And find Carrie Butler at the links below ...
                                 WEBSITE,  FACEBOOK, TWITTER, BLOG 

BIG CONGRATS, CARRIE!

Well, we've talked about Courage and Strength now ... so how about some Motivation?? But I'm talking about Character Motivation. As I've grown as a writer over these past few years, I've come to know just how important it is to make sure every character has a motivation for their actions--even the bad guys and sidekicks. ESPECIALLY the bad guys and sidekicks. Otherwise, they're merely puppets the author performs with. 
In every scene, EVERY character must have a motivation for their actions, and the reader must be able to identify what that motivation is, or the story will fail.

So are your characters' motivations clear in your story? Are you excited to read Courage? Don't forget to get your free copy of Strength right now! Click on the picture of the cover above. And I'll be looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday and showing you my brand new cover!  


Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog ...

That IS the question.

This post is a spin off from Jessica Bell's, in which she questioned the direction blogging is headed. I agree with her sentiment on many levels.  There was a time a few years ago when bloggers posted interesting topics, and many still do, but we're also inundated with book promos.

I think this happens for two reasons:

1. With the onslaught of self-publishing, there's a ton more authors hoping to have their books highlighted in some way.

2. Since the innovation of actual Blog Tour companies, people are actually making money off of knowing bloggers and soliciting their help.

I have mixed feelings about #2. Don't get me wrong, I see the benefit for the author and the company. Authors are extremely busy, and hiring someone else to arrange the touring is a load off one's mind. And arranging a blog tour IS work, so if you're handling it for someone else, you SHOULD get paid.

I've been blogging for three years, and I've worked hard at it--treated it like a job, and enjoy it immensely. I really VALUE the relationships I've cultivated with other bloggers, and when they need me to post a book promo or cover reveal for me, I'm more than happy to assist them.

That part is lost when I'm posting for authors I don't really know. Authors I barely know ask me to post for them all the time, and while I'm happy to help when I can, most never even stop by my blog to say thank you.

That, I don't understand. The friendship and etiquette has been lost. Same with most blog tours I've participated in with tour companies. I see no benefit to the blogger whatsoever. Why am I taking time to be part of an author's paid blog tour service, when the author doesn't stop by my blog, nor does it add any additional traffic from other bloggers? (not all authors are guilty of this)

This isn't true for every service, but with most I've participated in, this has been my experience. So what's happening to the art of blogging? I wouldn't say it's gone down the drains completely. Many of you who frequently visit and comment on my blog have become true friends to me. I know I can email you anytime with questions, and hopefully you know that about me too. We've established something more than just, "Here look at me and my book."

This is why I continue to blog. Because I want to maintain those friendships that are important to me. I know this won't turn into enormous sales when my book is out, but I'm okay with that. I've done my homework and know I need to be on Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads to effectively promote my book. But I want to SHARE the experience with you, my blogging friends who've been with me on this journey for so long.

With the inundation of book promo and cover reveals on blogs, some of this "bonding" is lost, because these authors who are eager to jump on the blog bandwagon without having put in the time it takes to cultivate friendships with effective blogging, don't understand what's really involved. As with anything, you get back what you put in. So if you're not doing your effort with the bloggers featuring your book, it's really not all that effective of promo anyway.

I get what Jessica Bell is saying. Enough with all the promo--let's get back to being creative and interesting with our blog posts, while sharing some promo here and there. Remember, though, many of us who've been blogging for years and have helped promote so many of our fellow blogger friends, are also eager for our opportunity. We deserve it. It may've taken some of us a little longer to get there, but that doesn't mean our blogger friends should suddenly throw in the towel on promoting us.

And you know what? We should be EXCITED so many of our friends are finally launching books and/or MORE books! This is wonderful! And instead of feeling tired of all the book promo, we should be rejoicing in all the accomplishments! I'm referring to actual blogging FRIENDS here... not the people we don't know who want a prime spot on our blog real estate.

My point being, if you're reading this and you've asked a blogger you don't know to feature you, or you've had them sign up for your blog tour, learn some etiquette. Stop by their blog and say thank you. Offer to return the favor on your own blog. Keep in mind, if you see more than 100 followers on the side of a blog, it's because that blogger worked their butt off to get there.

I hope blogging doesn't go away completely, even though most of us feel the fatigue now and again. But often we can be more considerate with those who take time out to post for us, as well as take the time to read our posts ... and I'm so sorry for this rant ...

Now ... *ahem* I shall step off my soap box.  lol

Today is also NA Thursday (because I chose to be apart of this NA promotional venture)


Remember the NALitChat tonight at 9pm EST on Twitter! And hop over to the NA Alley for everything NA!



The Space Between Blurb:
When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between.
   Leni Drago can't make a smart decision on her own, according to her mother anyway--the few times she's tried resulted in disaster. When her uncle sends her on a dance tour in Italy to find her real self, she returns to an empty home and any evidence of his existence wiped out. Then things get even stranger, like the mysterious appearances of Jeric Winters--inked, pierced and a hit-'em-and-quit-'em type. He's one decision that should be easy for Leni. Or is he?
   Jeric doesn't do girlfriends. Unless they're someone else's. He left the fighting cage and modeling for a reason, and girls who want more than a night of fun are distractions he doesn't need. Especially when they come with as much baggage as Leni carries. But he can't shake the gut feeling that he needs to know her. All of her.
   To discover the truth behind their connection and their ties to a journal from 1989, they must face painful secrets from their pasts. And they must do so quickly because their own existences are falling to pieces.
   This first part of The Book of Phoenix takes you on a heart-wrenching ride as you discover the answers that lie in The Space Between.
Kristie Cook Bio:
  Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance / contemporary fantasy, with Promise, Purpose, Devotion, Power, and the latest release, Wrath, book five, available now. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, which details the compelling history of her Soul Savers mythology. Over 250,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.

Kristie is having a giveaway, so please click here for the RAFFLECOPTER, and enter the code KRISTIEPK in the Blog #20.

Have you read Jessica Bell's post? How do you feel about the state of blogging? Have I gone too far in my rant? Spill it ...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kon-Tiki Writer and More ...

My family and I watched Kon-Tiki the other night, and I couldn't help applying it to the writing life. If you're not familiar with Kon-Tiki, it's the true story of Norwegian explorer, Thor Heyerdahl's quest to prove Peruvians discovered Polynesia.

                                                         (photo credit outsideonline.com)

That's the Kon-Tiki raft Thor sailed across the Pacific on, from Peru to Polynesia. He wrote a book about it back in the late 40s which went on to become a bestseller, and of course, the recent film is based on that. It's an amazing tale, and equally astounding journey of bravery, dedication, and belief in oneself. Thor and his men faced storms and sharks, among other things, but eventually achieved their goal and proved the naysayers wrong.

Before he set sail, Thor sought the support of magazines and publishers to help fund his journey. Not one of them believed in him. They said it couldn't be done. They said he was crazy. Yet, Thor believed in himself, and made it to Peru, where he finally earned the support of the Peruvian government, and had a very primitive raft built of Balsam wood. It wasn't an easy mission, obviously, but Thor's steadfast belief in himself and his goal, earned him a place in history.

Can you see how this applies to the writer's journey? Sure, it may be difficult to earn the support of a major publisher, just as Thor was unable to, but does that mean you give up? Where there's a will, there's a way. We've all heard that plenty of times, but when you really  think about it, it hits you just how much truth is in that statement. Thor Heyerdahl is proof that it's true.

Today, in honor of  Indie Life, I ask you, are you a Kon-Tiki writer? Will you continue to believe in yourself and find a way to see your dream through? Plenty of other writers have become Kon-Tiki writers by going Indie--not necessarily because no one believed in them, but because they believed in themselves most of all. Find lots of them over at The Indelibles blog by clicking the pic below.


All month I'm sharing brief snippets of my life, from childhood to adulthood, as part of the Memoir and Backstory Blog challenge. Since I was twelve, I kept a journal/diary. I still have my very first one. It has a picture of a roller skate with a flower growing out of it on the front. I was adamant about my journal-keeping, and to this day, I've probably got about twenty stored away in my hope chest. Some have fancy covers, others are just plain spiral notebooks, but my life was recorded from age 12-33. And then I stopped. It didn't feel necessary to record my life anymore, but one day, I'll read through those old journals and take a trip down memory lane. I wonder what that will be like. Laughter, tears, cringes ... I can only imagine.

Today's also the Norse Gods Blogfest for Siv Maria's latest release Secrets of the Ash Tree. And it's also her birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIV!!!

 

Siv wants to know who our favorite Norse god is, and coincidentally, since I already mentioned Thor Heyerdahl, I'll continue with the same theme and say Thor, god of thunder. And not just cuz Chris Hemsworth played a mighty fine Thor, lol. 

(photo credit fanpop.com)

Point Break, anyone? Thor keeps those forces of darkness at bay, and I really like the way he slings his hammer. lol

M. Pax has a new book coming out and have you seen the awesome cover?


Some truths are better left unfound.

For two years Craze’s dear friend, Lepsi, has been missing. The murmurings of a haunted spaceship might be a message and may mean his old pal isn’t dead. The possibility spurs Craze and Captain Talos to travel to uncharted worlds, searching. Out there, in an unfamiliar region of the galaxy beyond the Backworlds, they stumble upon a terrible truth.

Meanwhile, Rainly remains on Pardeep Station as acting planetlord, dealing with the discovery of her lover’s dark and brutal past. Alone and questioning her judgment, her introspection unlocks more than heartache. Latent protocols in her cybernetics activate, forcing her to face a sinister secret of her own.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fourth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.


M. Pax-- Inspiring the words she writes, she spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. You can find out more by visiting her at:



And Amy Evans is revealing her cover for Jellybean Kisses. Click on the cover to learn more!
  
Thanks so much for stopping by! Come back tomorrow for NA Thursday! So tell me, are you a Kon-Tiki writer? Who's your fave Norse god? Been over to wish Siv happy birthday? And congratulate M.Pax on her new book? Still time to sign up for my cover reveal for next Wednesday! Be the first to see my cover and share it with the world! (Link on my sidebar)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Moonless and Escalation

Monday, Monday, how you come too soon! After a weekend of camping in fabulous weather, I was reluctant to return. But here I am, and it's going to be a great week! So much happening in the writer world with releases and new resources. It's one busy month!

On the Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge front, I'm sticking with featuring brief memory snippets from various stages of life. This week, the teen years! Back in middle school, the hours were later than the rest of the schools, so I had the house to myself while I got ready for school and waited for the bus. This was MY time. For a thirteen year old girl, privacy is an elusive thing, so having these morning hours was bliss. I'd turn on my music, and at that age, it was all about INXS. They were my fave and the album, Kick, was a hot release. I'd blare it and sing and dance around the house while picking out the perfect outfit and plastering my hair with copious amounts of Aqua-net hairspray. 

Oh yeah. Tween PK was happenin'. LOL. Whatever song was the last to play before catching the bus would stick in my head the rest of the day. I was pretty much always singing to myself in those wonderful early teen years. 

*sigh*

Today's the cover reveal for Crystal Collier's Moonless ...


Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. Click on the cover for purchase links!

Crystal Collier is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

And Stephen Tremp is releasing Escalation:


In Escalation, the final installment to Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Trilogy, a seemingly innocent discovery in Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or wormholes, becomes a Pandora’s Box—opening doors to other unexpected and unpredictable realities such as parallel universes, time/space travel, and an evil hitchhiker from another dimension. 
 
Chase Manhattan has survived attempts on his life from numerous sources in his effort to destroy the technology. But he is far from safe. Now Chase and his comrades must not only break world renowned physicist Professor Nicholas Fischer out of prison a second time, but also smuggle him across hostile borders in Europe and the Middle East to prevent events threatening to spiral into World War III. 
At stake: an end to Western civilization as we know it. The result: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage, vying for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global as the world divides into an East vs. West climactic battle. The action is swift, adrenaline-charged, and non-stop. Unending twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages and wanting more.
Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, and horror.
You can find Stephen Tremp on his blog, where he shares scientific tips that you won't want to miss! He's also on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads

Wow, two fabulous releases from blogger friends! This is so great, right?? Congrats to both! If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Crystal and Stephen yet, head over now!

Thanks to everyone who's signed up for my cover reveal for next week! I love how supportive this community is. I'm super excited to read everyone's entry! 

And also, did you hear? IWSG has its own website and Facebook page now? It's an exciting resource! Here's the link: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

See you back here on Wednseday for Indie Life! Do you have a memory from your tween or teen years that sticks out? Are you excited for Moonless and Escalation? Been to visit the IWSG site yet? Or let me know how your weekend was! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reader Tease and NA Thursday

I attended a writer's group at the local bookstore this past weekend, and the speaker was Joyce Sweeney. She's a published author and writing coach, and I've heard her speak before and appreciated her advice.

Here's what she said this past Saturday about teasing the reader:

"Dance with the reader to lure them in. Don't hand them the conflict, tease them by building the tension and escalating the conflict."

It made me really think about the structure in my novels. Am I too easy and obvious? Or am I trusting the reader will pick up on subtle clues? It's a great thing to think about.

I'll share more of what she said next week. But for now, let's see what's happening for NA Thursday:




Trying to piece together the events surrounding Brody’s death proves to be a daunting task, but Harley can’t give up. Brody won’t let her. He is still in the apartment with her, trapped in limbo until she finds his killer.

But he’s not waiting for revenge.

Harley’s next.
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.


Perfect selection for Halloween, right??  You can enter to win a copy by clicking RIGHT HERE.   (Be sure to enter the code JAPK) 

Next up is the cover reveal for ...


After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she's spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she's betrayed by those she trusts, everything crumbles. Shoving everything she owns into the trunk of her car, Maddie drives south, trying to run from her past.
Eno, North Carolina seems like the perfect place to hide. Working at a local café is light years from Maddie's Manhattan existence and for the first time in a while, she's finding her family. There's Grandma, the café owner; Samantha, the hairstylist next door with plans to make Maddie's life unsuck and Noie, the three year old girl who's stolen Maddie's heart.
And then there’s Gabriel Mendez, Noie’s single dad. He’s intrigued Maddie since the first time she met him, and while he has his own secrets, he wants more from her than just friendship. But the past never stays past, and all too soon, Maddie realizes she can't hide from hers. If she can't put the pieces of her shattered life together this time, she'll have no hope for a future.
A future she desperately wants.

KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. 
She spends way too much time on Twitter, and rambles on occasion over at www.kkhendinwrites.blogspot.com.

Enter to win a copy by clicking RIGHT HERE

Now, for my next childhood memory ...

I grew up on a lake, and sometimes my mom or dad would wake me up at dawn and we'd head out in the canoe to fish. I remember the first time I caught my own fish: Two brim that were big enough to eat. I was with my mom, and when we got back to shore, I held those two brim up on their stringer for my dad to see. I was so proud. He cleaned them and we had fish for dinner! I don't think it was much, but it was my first kill. I had to eat the heart and everything. ;) Just teasing. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, and my son caught his first fish in the same lake. Matter of fact, the other day he caught a nice bass that my dad cleaned and cooked, and the whole family feasted on with hush puppies, baked beans, and grits. Nothing better than freshly caught fish!!

Thanks for stopping by! Is there a memory from your childhood you'd like to share? Do you tease your reader? Do you like to fish? Please share ...