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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Dragon Empire Blog Tour

The Dragon Empire is releasing officially in eBook this February (and in paperback in March)! If you'd like to help me celebrate by posting about it, please fill out the form below and I'll send you everything you need. Once I've sent the info to you, feel free to post any time you can, in February would be great, but if you can't post until March or April, that's good too. Sorry for the form but it's SO much easier to keep track of than comments. Feel free to drop me a comment too though. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover Reveal for Magan Vernon's The Only Exception

Today I'm excited to be participating in the cover reveal of The Only Exception by my friend, the fabulous author of sci-fi young adult and new adult novles, Magan Vernon. The Only Exception is releasing April 9th.

Here is a bit about it:
Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.

You can add it to your Goodreads lists at this link.

AUTHOR BIO

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Author Links:
Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Writer's Dojo

The Writer's Dojo is returning to its roots and invites you to join in on the fun! 

When Ali Cross first started the writer's dojo in 2008, she did it as a way to keep the glory of National Novel Writing Month alive all year long. She loved the camaraderie and support she received during the month of November and desired that same feeling of community every month of the year, in every aspect of writing--not just the drafting.

Beginning February 1st, 2013, the writer's dojo returns to its roots and ushers in a new age of ninjawesomeness. Each month we will open three training rooms at the writer's dojo website. A room for drafters (Writing Month, aka WriMo), a room for revisers (Revising Month, aka ReMo) and a room for those querying (Querying Month, aka QuMo).

We invite you to set your own goals, whether it's to write a thousand words a day, revise ten pages a week, or submit twenty queries in a month, and register your goal in the appropriate training room.

Every Monday we'll post the leaderboard for the previous week, and at the end of each month those who met their goal will be able to post the coveted Writing Ninja Warrior badge on their blog or website.



To help you reach your goals, we have a number of ways to support you:

CHATS: At the dojo every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

TWITTER: Anytime, day or night, at #writingninja.

GOOGLE+: Join our community for random write-ins and sprints.

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe to our Ninja News and once a month you'll receive an email with an encouraging note and a list of the top performers for the previous month. There will also be opportunities for giveaways, starting with February's newsletter!

We hope to see you at the dojo as you reach for--and achieve--your goals!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Author Friend Shout Out

Every now and then I like to read something on the adult side of the tracks (Jessica E. Subject, Laurell Hamilton. Yes that kind of adult book. Close your mouth, you'll catch flies, as my Grandma used to say.), but just like with any other book I read, I'm picky. And when it comes to beta reading for new people, especially those that write 'adult' novels, I'm even pickier. So when I was asked by my oldest friend to beta read her 'adult' fantasy novel, I was skeptical and more than a little hesitant.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved it! The concept was refreshing, the writing was excellent, and the characters were compelling. With that said, I am happy to recommend Lilly VanHorn for the adult reader's out there. Her first fantasy novella, Valkyrie Slumbering, is releasing this spring. Get ready for a scorching tale set in the time of the Vikings in a world that isn't often explored in literature any more. Her first novel will follow soon after this fall.

You can find Lilly at the following links (if you're under 18, don't click on the links below or your computer will self-destruct):

Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Muse~Martin Luther King Day

I know it's been a loooonnng time since I've done Monday's Muse and I'm truly sorry. I've missed it, and I've missed sharing our inspirations! I've been up to my eyeballs in editing not one but two novels, and outlining another. The work is fabulous, fun, and exhausting and it has kept me away. I'm still up to my eyeballs in it but honestly, I had to peek out to see something besides red ink for a while.

This is a day for dreams and those who are willing to fight to fulfill theirs. Today I'm inspired by what started my writing dream. This photo of Jason Mamoa as Conan in the new Conan the Barbarian movie by Lionsgate films (which I enjoyed despite a few flaws) and it provided inspiration for a character in an epic fantasy novel I'm working on.

For those who don't know, I've been a huge fan of Conan since the first movie with Arnold in it. I've read the entire series by Robert E. Howard and many of the Conan novels by other authors. Didn't expect that, did yah? ;) What can I say, my roots are fantasy~particularly swords and sorcery~through and through. The Conan books are what stirred the dream of writing in me. 

What has been inspiring you lately? What originally inspired you to write?

Want to see what else has been inspiring me? Check out my Pinterest page. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Evolution of Writing

My writing has changed a lot over the years, all for the better, though I raged against the changes at first. If you are a writer you know what I mean. Change is hard, growth is hard, but they are inevitable. I once loved adjectives and adverbs and fumed against the advice to cut back on them (hangs head in shame). All my favorite old authors did it, why shouldn't I? Old being the key word. Now I understand that there are better ways to phrase things, stronger ways so that excessive adjectives and adverbs aren't needed.

When I first began writing I used to love jumping around to different character's point's of view, not just in the same chapter without a break, but on the same page (cringes). Some of my old favorites did it so I figured, why not me? One of those old favorites wrote the original Dune saga. Yes the very one which you either love or hate and a vast majority of book lovers won't read because they can't follow it. It dawned on me after many years that jumping around POV's is why many readers can't follow Dune. One must be advanced and a little brilliant to jump around POV's in the same page, like Herbert. Lesson learned. Thankfully, I learned that one quicker than the adverbs and adjectives. 

My latest lesson is voice; the cadence, flow, and choice of words (and over-use). This has been perhaps my most sophisticated lesson, the one that took the longest to absorb but that touched my writing the deepest. Writers the world over are taught to find their voice and it is whispered of like some mysterious thing. But that's all it really is; cadence, flow, and choice of words. Part of this is simply in the way you prefer to speak and write, and part of it is in learning a better way to write (varying sentence structure for better flow,~and to suit genre~choosing the right words, and not over-using words. 

How about you? How has your writing evolved over time?

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Dragon Empire Cover Reveal

At last, the cover reveal, hosted by the fabulous Xpresso Tours, for my epic fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire, has arrived! A HUGE thank you to all the fabulous people who are participating in the reveal today. I've been dying to show you this one. Finally, I'm back to my fantasy roots and they are growing deeper with plans for more fantasy novels to come. In the meantime, here is my cover and a bit about the book:


On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized... 

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind.

It will be available in eBook format next month and in paperback shortly after. You can add it to your Goodreads lists here. And as a bonus, here is the trailer:

Make your own slideshow at Animoto.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rebel Writer's Creed of 2013

My lovely blogging friend SA Larsen has come up with a wonderful Writer's Creed that she has invited all writers to join in on and use to motivate themselves. In honor of the new year and narrowly escaped zombie apocalypse (okay Mayan, but zombie sounds so much more fun. That could be because I've become a Walking Dead fanatic.) I am compelled to join. This is going to be a special year for me. I can feel it in my bones (which I'm grateful have not been gnawed on by zombies) and since 13 has always been my lucky number, I'm trusting the feeling and rolling with it! So, here is the creed:

I hope you'll stop by the lovely SA's blog to join in and to see who else has adopted The Creed of 2013. And don't forget to mark your calendars for Monday when my big cover reveal will finally be here!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trailer Reveal for the Mindjack Trilogy

The bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, from author Susan Kaye Quinn, now has a live-action trailer! With the help of over 20 cast and crew members, award-winning director Beth Spitalny brought the concept of Open Minds, the first book in the Mindjack Trilogy, to life on the screen. How cool is that?

To celebrate the launch of the trailer, Open Minds will be on sale for only $0.99 from January 10th (today!)-17th. You might remember me raving about it last year when I first read it. It was one of my favorite books of 2011 and with good reason, it was mind-blowing. Pun partially intended. Seriously though, it is dystopian to die for and should be on your must-read list if you haven't read it already. 

Here is a bit about it the first book, Open Minds:

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 underworld of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

To see the trailer, click here

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writing Lessons of 2012

Last night on the live #WritersRoad chat on Twitter we chatted about writing lessons that we learned last year. It was so much fun hearing what other authors and writers had to say that I thought I'd share some of the chat with you. Here are a few tweets complete with links to the person on Twitter:

 I learned more about 3rd person POV by reading others' works-that I can feel just as close to character.

 Yes, it is! I've definitely learned how to find what fits and hone my voice.

 My lessons learned in 2012? 1. Sometimes faster is not better.

 I learned a lot by writing short stories and flash fiction. Hope to do more of that this year. It helps with novel writing, too

 2012 learned that it's okay to get off the querying wagon and work on craft.

 In 2012 I learned firsthand that there is definitely such a thing as working on too many projects at once!

 The most important lesson I learned in 2012 is not to lose focus.

 Another thing I learned from the industry this year is that POV & tense should be intentionally chosen for type of story...

What about you? If you're a writer, what did you learn in 2012? If you're a reader, what did you like most, or least about books you read last year?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Winner of the B-Day Giveaway

Well we're a full week into what will hopefully be a lucky year for all of you (13 is my lucky number so I have high hopes for this year!). For one in particular, it is already lucky, and that's the winner of my birthday giveaway of a signed paperback of Winter Wonders. Before I announced who it is though I want to thank everyone who entered, helped me spread the word, and wished me a happy birthday. You all helped make it wonderful, thank you. And now for our winner:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to sign up to help reveal the cover for my upcoming fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire. To sign up to post or shout out about it, click this link

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Focus


This year is going to be special, I can feel it. Change is in the air like never before and I'm reaching out with both arms to embrace it. Thank you to each and every one of you who helped make 2012 a good year for me; friends, family, and fans. Thank you for being there and for reading. Here's to a wonderful 2013 for all of you!

My resolution:

Write (and live) from the heart. Write (and live) what I love. Write (and live) without regret. This will be the year I give my energy and focus to my dreams.

What about you, what are your resolutions? Do you make them?

Don't forget to sign up to help out with the cover reveal for my upcoming fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire. You can sign up at this link