Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday's Muse~The Crow

Autumn itself is a huge inspiration to me. I love the rich, golden colors, the crisp feel to the air, the smell of apples, cinnamon, and pumpkin, and of course the taste of candy corn. Pumpkin is probably my favorite food, ever, and Halloween is definitely one of my favorite holidays. It doesn't hurt that I'm a huge scary movie fan. There was plenty of all that around to inspire me last week!

There is one special movie that always comes to mind on Halloween for me, The Crow. The original one with Brandon Lee, son of the legendary Bruce Lee. I was a huge Brandon Lee fan and was devastated when he died filming this movie. During October he is always in my thoughts. 

Speaking of my favorite holiday, I'm off to celebrate. No trick or treating for me, just a bowl of popcorn and the latest scary movie (which I've really been looking forward to! And certainly a time to re-watch The Crow). I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Writing Goals and News

I reached my editing goals for book 2 last week! I'm so close to finishing that I'm getting that surge of energy that always comes to me at this stage, love it! The editing on this one hasn't always been this smooth so I'm thrilled that it is finally flowing and coming together.

Those of you who follow my author page on Facebook have read the hints that I have a big announcement coming and I'm finally ready to announce it. This holiday season I'll be releasing a special edition of The Secret of Spruce Knoll through Compass Press in both paperback and eBook. It will have a prologue that wasn't in the Abbott Press version, a lovely new cover (designed by myself at CP Design), a new lower price, and something special. I'm not breaking from Abbott Press, in fact, it's the only place you'll still be able to get a hardback copy (of the original version) of The Secret of Spruce Knoll.

The something special; a percentage of the proceeds from each sale of the special edition of The Secret of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel (released by Compass Press) will go to my favorite charity that specializes in preserving endangered species. My goal is to raise $10,000 next year for the charity and I hope you'll help me by purchasing this new edition of The Secret of Spruce Knoll for yourself or loved ones this holiday season. It will be available late-November but you can pre-order a signed copy now if you would like and I will ship it as soon as it is available.

I'll also be doing a blog tour to spread the word about the special edition and the campaign to save endangered species. If you'd like to be included in my tour just leave me a comment and I'll be sure to contact you!

Cover by CP Design.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday~What Lurks In Spruce Knoll

This week's teaser is from Chapter 2 of The Secret of Spruce Knoll. My main character Eren is about to discover just what she's facing in Spruce Knoll

A sound came from the forest, disrupting her from her self-pity. Looking up, she went very still. Had it been a twig breaking? It was probably nothing more than a small animal scurrying about the forest~a rabbit or something. But what if it was a bigger animal? Who knew what lived in the woods beyond the deck. She was being a silly city girl, and she knew it. Ignoring her rising fear, she turned her attention back to the stars.

Okay it's your turn! Let me know what you think and/or leave me a teaser from your work in progress or from whatever you're reading! Be sure to come back tomorrow for a big announcement. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's Muse~New Author Blog Hop

Last week my inspiration came from a fellow author, the wonderful Susan Kaye Quinn. And in the spirit of New Author Blog Hop (brought to us by the lovely Saba from Of Thoughts and Words) I wanted to spotlight Susan today. I've been reading Susan's indie debut (she previously published traditionally with Omnific publishing, a sweet novel by the title of Life, Love, And Liberty), a young adult dystopian titled Open Minds. I won't get into the novel too much because I'm doing a review of it over on The Indie Elite blog next week but I will say it was amazing! Here is just a teaser about it:

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can't read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can't be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf's mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she's dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where being forced to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

To say Susan is remarkable seems inadequate. Not only does she write outstanding novels, she has designed aircraft engines and worked for NASA (yes, seriously). On top of all that awesome sauce, she is a sweet, giving person who supports others. Trust me, this is one author you don't want to miss out on reading. I'll be sharing more about Open Minds soon on The Indie Elite and I'll be celebrating Susan's launch by joining in on the Open Minds tour next month. I hope you'll join me! I'll be joining in on the New Author Blog Hop (during the date listed on the button) with another great new author to introduce to you next month!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Genesis Book Launch

Today I'm celebrating the release of Genesis with author Kristie Cook. This novella is a companion to Kristie's popular paranormal novels, Promise and Purpose. Here is a bit about Genesis:

A father who reveals his truth.
Twins who take different paths—one light, one dark.
Angels who have plans for them both
And Demons who do as well.
So the Earthly battle for souls ignites…

A tale that is over 2,000 years old, this is the story of the Amadis beginnings.

Please welcome Kristie to tell us a bit more about Genesis:

Kristie: It’s a bit different from the other Soul Savers books. Although the fantasy world I created is the same, the real world is not. After all, it takes place over 2,000 years ago, around 200 B.C. So it required a lot of research to understand life in Greece during that era. For each stop along the release tour, I’m sharing something I learned and how it ties into the story.

Today we explore marriage customs. Most wedding ceremonies took place in January and began after dark. The bride was carried to the groom’s home with a procession of family and friends carrying torches and playing music. The bride would eat a piece of fruit from the groom, symbolizing that the man would now provide food and basic needs for her.

Fathers arranged marriages for their daughters, who married at about age 15 to men who were 30 or older. Can you imagine?! Ew! Divorce was allowed and common. I wonder why…

In Genesis, marriage is more about the commitment and lifestyle of the man and woman. The main characters don’t participate in ceremonies, but they do know life as husband and wife. There’s a reason for this, but I won’t give it away. I can tell you, though, that the wives were not betrothed, nor were they teens. In fact, the only character raised in the traditional Greek society has something to say about this.

Thank you, Heather, for being a stop along the tour. You’re a most gracious hostess! Lovely readers, you can be entered to win a Soul Savers swag pack simply by commenting below. Your comments also gain you entries to win the Grand Prize at the end of the tour. For more details about the tour, stop schedule and the Grand Prize, visit the tour page.

You're very welcome Kristie, thank you for stopping by! Before you learn more about the tour, here is a bit of background on this fabulous author:

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, with the first two books, Promise and Purpose, available now and the third book, Devotion, coming February 2012. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis, coming October 2011.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:

Author's Website & Blog:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Writing Goal

You know that great feeling you get when you're only a few chapters away from finishing a round of editing? I've got that feeling! *happy dance* Good thing this isn't a vlog, you SO don't want to see my happy dance. I didn't just make my goals last week, I blew past them! When I finish this round I'll be revisiting a special project for a few weeks, then I'll be free for two months to work on my new book. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to return to it. I love working on the channeler series but there's nothing quite like writing fresh words.

Did you make your writing goals for last week? What are your new goals? Do you love writing a new book or are your best times spent with your manuscript during editing?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Writing Tip~Deleting

Cutting sentences, paragraphs, or even chapters from your novel can be a painful process, but it doesn't have to be. I kept hearing the advice that I needed to cut the prologue from my novel because~according to agents and editors dishing out the advice~no one reads prologues anymore. I disagreed, fought against the advice, and probably got more than a few rejections because of it. Finally I caved and deleted it, but I discovered a way to keep it relatively painless. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't delete prologues because I still love them both as a reader and a writer, but the deleting part is easier for me now.

Tip: Keep a file of all the things you delete that you'd rather not, or think might come in handy later. Here's the real gem in the tip; you can use deleted chapters or prologues later as promotional material released on your blog or website.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday's Muse~Beautiful Things

Life can get so difficult and hectic that we get caught up and forget to slow down and appreciate it. I was reading a friend's post on sunsets and realized how long it's been since I saw one. It was July 15th during my vacation. That doesn't seem like that long ago, but the only reason I managed to find time was because I was on vacation. The craziness that is life catches back up quick and steals the beautiful moments away. I'm going to do my best to make sure I try to steal as many back as I can. :)

Those are the moments that help us get through the dark ones writers go through. You know the ones I mean, harsh critiques, agent or editor rejections, scathing reviews, or powers forbid, parting ways with your agent or publisher. Many of my friends~and even myself~are going through some of these, you may be among us. To help keep inspired during such times, remember the things you love most about writing, remember the beautiful moments in life. Let those things fuel you and keep you going to fight another day.

Join us tonight at 6:00pm PT on Twitter for the #WritersRoad chat for our topic on Winning The Battle: Keeping Your Spirits Up. I hope you'll drop in to share on the motivation, learn how others keep going, or give tips of your own.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Writing Goals And New Ventures

It has been far too long since I did a Wednesday Writing Goal post and I'm dying to know how everyone's progress has been going. I'm nearly finished with the latest pass of editing on the second channeler novel. It isn't time to throw confetti yet, but I'm getting closer. It will be to my editor by January easily and that means as long as all goes well, it will be releasing in March!

A few more exciting new ventures have been keeping me crazy busy too, one of which I'm ready to announce, the other~almost. You might have noticed the new button just below my blog header, the one titled CP Design. I began searching for cover designers for the other secret venture a few months ago and was blown away by how few are out there. Sure designers that use basic templates are plentiful, but I didn't want to end up with a cover that was similar to anyone else's. That would be worse than wearing the same dress as your rival to the prom. I found a few good designers but I realized, it wasn't anything I couldn't do myself with the right program. And the idea for CP Design was born.

My goal is to create excellent, professional quality covers (and other services such as bookmarks, business cards, blog headers, etc.) at an affordable price for authors. I've been into design for a long time and honestly I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to do this. I just finished designing my first cover and realized that I love doing it. Don't worry, I won't stop writing~ever~I'm just branching out. So how have you been doing on your goals? What are they for next week?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Changes

Sometimes we writers get so caught up in social media and other things that we forget to make time to write. Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to that recently. As much as I love my social media (okay let's be honest, I'm a bit addicted to Twitter and Blogger), I have to pull myself from the writing time-sucking miasma just a bit and well, write.

To do that I will no longer be posting the re-occurring Twitter Tuesday post. I'm so sorry, I know there are a lot of you who love it and have come to rely on it for links. But it's tremendously labor intensive and took away more of my writing time than I would like to admit. Have no fear though, my good blogger friend and author Elizabeth Craig does a weekly recap of the best tweets on Twitter that puts my post to shame. If you don't follow her already you need to! And every now and then I might still let you know about a few really good tweets that I don't want you to miss.

Tuesdays I'll now be alternating between Teaser Tuesday (teasers from either my own novels or whatever I'm reading at the time. Of course you're encouraged to leave me a teaser of your own!) and Tuesday Writing Tips which will be a short post with one writing tip (and I'd love it if you posted your own tips in the comments on those days!). I hope you'll still join me on Tuesdays for these new re-occurring posts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday's Muse~Kick A** 2011 Debuts

My new blogger friend, Christina Lee, is hosting a blogfest called Kick A** 2011 Debut Author Spotlight that I just had to be part of. Honestly there have been so many great debuts this year that I hate to have to narrow it down so I'm going to break the rules and list a few of my favorites for you.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, a mystery with a dash of paranormal by Denise Grover Swank. Many of you have already heard me sing the praises for this novel. It was touching, daring, and made me laugh so hard I cried. She has a new book out (Chosen) that I can hardly wait to read!

Celestial Seduction, an erotic romance novella by Jessica Subject. Jessica has a wonderful way of blending sensuality with sci-fi that I have rarely read accomplished with such seamless grace.

Born to Be A Dragon, a middle grade fantasy by Eisley Jacobs. This was a touching fantasy that made me wish I had kids to read to. If you have children that love dragons then you'll want to read this to them! Book two will be releasing soon, can't wait!

Unveiled, a young adult fantasy novella by Trisha Wolfe. The author pulled me into a world that intrigued me, one I am looking forward to spending more time in with a future novel that she has in the works. You'll want to read this novella to get background on characters that I have no doubt you'll fall in love with just as much as I did.

Possession, a young adult dystopian by Elana Johnson. I've read a lot of dystopian novels lately, so many that they start to blur together, but Possession is both a cut above and a unique concept that stands out from the others.  A sequel to Possession is scheduled to release next year!

These authors inspire me to write better and that is a gift. To learn more about these outstanding novels, click on the author's names. To see what everyone else picked for the Kick A** 2011 Debuts Blogfest, click on Christina's name. One of the blogfest participants is giving away a signed copy of The Secret of Spruce Knoll (I can't telll you how honored I am :), Portia Sisco, who's link you can find on my right sidebar. Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Phantom Island Pep Rally

This week I'm welcoming a special guest to my blog to help me celebrate the release of my good friend's books. Krissi Dallas started out in self-publishing and her novel was so wonderful that it gained the attention of a traditional press, which has since picked it up, and now it's releasing! One of Krissi's students (did I mention she's a teacher?) is here with us to cheer Krissi on, get us pumped up for her novels, and to give us the inside scoop on one of Krissi's characters.

Welcome to my site Arley, thanks for coming!

Arley: Hi, Heather! It’s so exciting to be a part of the Phantom Island Pep Rally on your blog! My name is Arley Elon and I’m sixteen years old! You met Hannah on Monday at Yelena Casale’s blog, but you have to know that I am Krissi Dallas’s FAVORITE cousin (haha). When Krissi started writing the Phantom Island series, she named characters in the series after all ten of her first cousins, who vary in age from ten to twenty-three years old. My character’s name is Elon – after my middle name – and she is based off a younger version of myself through Krissi’s eyes. Krissi has been a very influential person in my life – especially when I was younger. Without Krissi, I wouldn’t be who I am today. She pretty much hooked me on reading - all starting with the famous Harry Potter series. And now I can’t stop reading! Without books I would be lost. She also inspired me to start writing my own stories!

Arley and Krissi at Pine Cover Family Camp a few years ago about to play a nighttime scavenger hunt:

Arley and Krissi during Krissi's birthday party. 

Arley: Krissi always had a way of making adventures out of the little things in life. For example, getting a snack out of the pantry was a top secret mission for the CIA. Sitting in the hammock together became a hot air balloon ride on a crazy adventure. And when Kelly Clarkson came out with the song, “Miss Independent,” a spontaneous hand puppet show was born. (GIRL POWER!) With Krissi, imagination has no limit. And that’s probably one of the reasons her books are so INCREDIBLY amazing. She has detail to a “T” and you feel like you’re experiencing what the characters are experiencing. As a junior in high school, boys are definitely on my mind and, seriously, the way Krissi describes Gabriel, the Island hottie…ugh! Why can’t he be mine?! The character of Elon is a Geodorian in the book – she’s in the Earth tribe (like Heather McCorkle) and really looks up to the character of Whitnee. But in real life, I see myself as an Aerodorian (Wind) like Whitnee (and like Krissi herself). The Phantom Island books will keep you wanting more every minute! So go on… READ IT. You don’t want to miss out on this adventure. And definitely go read more about my cousin, Krissi Dallas, over at Tee Tate’s blog on Friday!

Thanks for giving us the inside scoop Arley. You're right, I don't want to miss out on any part of this amazing lady's adventure. I hope you'll mark this link to Tee's blog for your must stop places on Friday everyone!

I hope you'll join me in ordering the first of Krissi's novels from her very own The White Island Shoppe. Until December this is the only place you'll be able to find them!

I'm a Geodorian, what tribe are you? Find out here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

It's teaser Tuesday week! Which means it's time for me to share another bit of my work. This teaser is from Chapter 2 of The Secret of Spruce Knoll:

Sanctuary existed on a back deck that overlooked a massive expanse of aspens. Her aunt had called it the Mayan forest and described it as a place belonging solely to her people. Eren didn't really care who it belonged to, only that it smelled refreshing and sweet and that it meant she wouldn't be bothered by anyone.

Your turn! I'd love to hear a teaser from your work, be it published or a work in progress. Or if you don't feel like sharing your work, you can leave us a sentence or two from whatever you're reading.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday's Muse, Contest Winner, Blogfest

On my sidebar you might notice a new button to purchase a signed copy of a paperback of my novel. This is due in part to having to cancel my author appearance that was planned for today in Seattle. To start to make it up to those who were going to attend I'm offering the signed copies for sale for a limited time. My author appearance has been rescheduled (same place) for Saturday December 10th, 3:00pm~4:00pm. On to today's post... My inspiration last week was all the amazing bloggers who turned out to celebrate and support banned books. The massive amount of support for banned books was overwhelming. You peeps rock! Since I know many of you are dying to know who won the Banned Books Week Giveaway here on my blog I'll get right to it. Congratulations to:

Julie Tuovi at Pen To Paper who won her choice of one of the banned books pictured on the left, or any book by one of the authors who has a book pictured above.

In appreciation of everyone who entered, if you didn't win I have a bunch of great Spruce Knoll swag that I'd be more than happy to mail off to anyone who would like to leave me their email address (don't worry I won't publish it).

More chances to win contests are coming up in the very near future. One of which will be right here on my blog during a very special contest next month. Also occurring next month is the I Love Dark YA blogfest, during which there will great posts and contests. Click here to sign up to join in on the fun!