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Friday, March 29, 2013

Be Yourself, Or Not

Whether through books, movies, television, friends, parents, or others, we are taught from birth to be ourselves and to embrace our individuality. Diversity is a gift, not always an easy one to open, but a gift nonetheless. So when a few people have asked me why I'm starting to write epic fantasy it really made me think.

I've always loved epic fantasy, seriously, always. It began with Lord of the Rings when I was very young and grew from there. When I first started writing, that's what I wrote. It is who I am. So why wasn't my first published book epic fantasy? Because I wasn't being myself. For many years I worked a career where I could not be myself. Where contact and conversation was kept at a minimum. You didn't tell them about yourself in any way, shape, or form. You had to become a different person at work, a robot without a personality almost. It's incredibly hard and it's a huge part of why so many drop out of the career, or worse. Eventually that can permeate every part of your life until you begin to lose your sense of self.

For years while working that career, I stopped writing altogether. Losing my father and a near death experience of my own is what it took to make me start again. Even then, I had lost so much of who I had been that I wrote something completely different from what I would normally write. I love that book, that series, and I always will. It was my road back to myself, and because of that it will always be special. But it isn't who I am. I am myself again and I will be true to myself from now on.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Absence Makes the Heart Grow...

You may have noticed a serious decline in the number of my posts lately. In fact, you may have noticed a major decline in the posts on a lot of your favorite blogs lately. Never fear, blogging isn't going away, it's simply evolving. There was a time where my reader box was overflowing with posts from the lovely blogs that I follow. So much so that it was impossible to keep up with. Everyone seemed to be writing a new post every day, even weekends. I even followed a few blogs that posted more than once a day.

It became so overwhelming that there was no way I could keep up reading them all. Much as I loved each one of them, if I read them all every day, I would never write books. Something I know the writer's of those blogs likely struggled with themselves. And I'm guilty myself. I wrote posts five days a week once upon a time. It was inevitable that we would slow down and take stock of the importance of our time. I love blogging, I love my readers, and I love helping other writers. I'll never stop blogging and helping other writers, I've simply slowed down and re-organized my time.

How about you? If you've an avid blogger, do you find that you've slowed down over the years? If you're an avid blog reader, do you find that people are putting up fewer posts, and does it make it easier for you?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Frailties of the Bond Book Blitz

My good friend, and fabulous author, Angela Brown has just released her latest novel, Frailties of the Bond and I'm taking part in the book blitz that is celebrating the rest of the month. You'll be seeing Angela and her book all over the blogosphere, along with many different chances to win prizes. In fact, one lucky commentor on this blog, will win an eBook copy of Frailties of the Bond! If you love fresh, unique paranormal then you don't want to miss this.

Before we get to the giveaway though, Angela has dropped by to share a few 'fives' with us.

Hi Angela, welcome to my blog! So tell us, what are the last five books you've read?

Angela:

Souled – Diana Murdock
Magic Burns – Ilona Andrews
The Dragon Empire – Heather McCorkle
Libera Me – Christine Fonseca
Wish – Laura Eno

I made the list! *happy dance*. Now as a movie buff, I'm dying to know what your top five favorite movies are.

Angela:

I LOVE The Matrix and CTHD, the others I'm adding to my to-watch list! Thanks for dropping by, as always, it's a pleasure having you over. Angela was kind enough to give us a blurb from Frailties of the Bond that I get to share with you. After you've read the blurb, don't forget to leave a comment with your email address so you can be entered to win an eBook copy!

Blurb: 
Luca veered into the woods for his normal scenic route home. Broad tree trunks stood tall, a legion of nature’s soldiers deeply rooted and strong. He closed his eyes briefly, skin tingling. He sensed another presence. He’d felt it before, but it felt almost tangible this night.
The setting sun crept from its throne in the sky leaving a trail of golden fingers splayed out over the familiar cliff side in the distance. For a moment, Luca smelled the scent of apricots. His heart skipped a beat. His mind wandered back to the red letter…then further back to that fateful day.
A twig snapped nearby. His ears perked and he paused mid step. Glancing around, he spotted a raccoon shaking itself free of a small heap of fallen leaves. He let go of a breath he hadn’t realized he held. Whoa, maybe I’m thinking about Vivie a little too much.
He turned his mind to other things, like the trouble he’d face when he got home. He forgot to call his mom and tell her he was going to the gym. No telling how pissed she was.
Arriving home, he took the steps two at a time, focused on digging his keys from inside his bag. He reached one hand out, grasping for the door knob.
Instead, nothing but air.
He finally looked up, startled at the sight before him. The door didn’t stand ajar or slightly open.
It. Was. Gone.


NEO – Network of Extraordinaires and Otherworldlies:

Those who answer the call from NEO play their part in maintaining balance in our ever-changing times. With power-hungry malcontents, jealous gods, and even those with misguided good intentions, the fate of our world has oft been held in the hands of unsung heroes such as those that are members of NEO.

But before NEO, these heroes and heroines had lives, loves, issues and interests that didn’t involve saving mankind.


Cover by CP Design

In Frailties of the Bond, it only takes one bite to change a life
After a hiking trip gone wrong, sixteen-year-old Luca should have been dead. Since then, he’s drifted from one school day to the next, annoyed by the looks of suspicion. When a vampire attack claimed his mother and forced his first shift into animal form, Luca set out for Texas, vengeance bound, only to discover so much more when Aimee crossed his path.

Flesh-born of vampire parents sixteen years ago, Aimee shouldn’t exist. Magic, though, made dreams come true for an undead couple desperate for a child all their own. But this magic came with a price, a cost Aimee discovered after one forbidden bite.

You can find Frailties of the Bond at:

You can find Angela at:

Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6476148.Angela_Brown
Angela Brown in the Pursuit of Publishness blog: http://publishness.blogspot.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Angela-Brown/e/B009JJEX60
Partners in ParanormYA (with Gwen Gardner): http://partnersinparanormya.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/neostateofmind PIP Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Partners-in-ParanormYA/462052430493091

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter to win an eBook copy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Debt Collector from Susan Kaye Quinn

Today I'm crazy excited to be celebrating the release of The Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn (one of my favorite authors!) From the author of the bestselling Mindjack series (one of my favorite series!) comes a new future-noir serial for adults, The Debt Collector. People, it is BEYOND amazing. The first episode, Delirium, launches today (3/20).

What’s your life worth on the open market?

A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone—a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.

Contains mature content and themes. For YA-appropriate thrills, see Susan’s Mindjack series.

Delirium is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages and is one of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial (how cool is that?!). This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. You can find out more about the series at the Debt Collector website and facebook page. The Debt Collector newsletter is a special list just for episode releases.
Early Praise
 “The street-smart science of LOOPER meets the cold, just-the-facts voice of DOUBLE INDEMNITY in this edgy, future-noir thriller that will have you holding your breath, looking over your shoulder, and begging for more.” —Leigh Talbert Moore, author of The Truth About Faking, The Truth About Letting Go, and Rouge
“Do you owe more than your life is worth? No worries. A more deserving person than you can benefit from that excess life—and someone else will get paid with it. Enter the Debt Collector.” —Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)
The first three episodes of Debt Collector will be released a week apart, starting Wednesday 3/20. The remaining episodes will release every two weeks. Delirium can be found on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo. Or add it to your TBR on Goodreads.

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Debt Collector is her more grown-up SF. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium happy. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Paddy's Day All!

Being of Irish ancestry, today is a special day for me. Not for religious reasons as the day would suggest, but for cultural reasons. I'm proud of my ancestry, proud of the land my great, great, great's (and probably many more since my family has been in America since 1799) called home. Today I celebrate all things Irish, but most especially, its fantastic and enduring people.

Design by CP Design.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On #WritersRoad: Evolution of Agents

Yesterday on the live #WritersRoad Twitter chat we discussed the evolution of agents. Here are some highlight tweets from the chat:


@HeatherMcCorkle
Having an agent is still the best way to get a pub deal with one of the big 6. We still need agents. #WritersRoad

@Tina_Moss: Two new agent models are emerging w/ authors who dont land traditional or epub deal... #WritersRoad

@Tina_Moss: 1) Agent-assisted self-pub where agent helps author with formatting, cover design, editing, etc. and takes 15%#WritersRoad

@Tina_Moss 2) ePub press where the agency sets up a separate ePub division. See Lori Perkins & Ravenous Romance as a model.#WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle
A must check resource when searching for an agent: http://pred-ed.com/  #WritersRoad

‏@HeatherMcCorkle
Before searching for an agent, know your options, and know what you want out of the working relationship. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle
Definition of a vanity press: Press that charges you for editing, cover, formatting, etc., then pubs you & takes %. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle
With the ease of self-publishing, vanity presses help no one but themselves. Beware of them! #WritersRoad

@Tina_Moss The best part is that authors have more paths now than ever. And that is good news for authors and readers.#WritersRoad

Join us on Monday nights at 6pm Pacific time. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

THe Dragon Empire Tour Winner

Thank you to all who participating in the Dragon Empire tour. I had a lot of fun and truly appreciate all who liked, followed, or otherwise helped me spread the word about The Dragon Empire. The winner is Casie Hartley! Cassie gets to choose a signed paperback of one of my novels listed on the giveaway.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fire With Fire is Finally Coming!

The channeler novella that so many of my fans have been asking for is finally coming! Fire With Fire is the story of Chantica Yaretz, Eren Donovan's grandmother. It has taken me a while because for one it turned out a lot longer than I anticipated, and two, it was emotionally hard to write. For those of you who have read the first channeler novel, The Secret of Spruce Knoll, you know why. For those who haven't, this is a heavy novella, you've been warned.

If you haven't read Spruce Knoll yet, now is the perfect time because it's only .99 cents on Amazon but hurry because I have no idea how much longer it will be discounted!

As for Fire With Fire, you can add it to your Goodreads lists at this link, and it will be out everywhere in eBook format next month!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cover Reveal for Kristie Cook's Latest Novel

Today I'm excited to be participating in the cover reveal for my good friend and fabulous author Kristie Cook's new adult paranormal novel, The Spaces Between. And when I say excited, I mean really excited! I was lucky enough to beta read this one and let me tell you, it's outstanding. Fans of Denise Grover Swank will LOVE this one. Here is a bit about it before we see the lovely cover:

When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between

After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been haunting his dreams day and night.

Jeric’s one to stay away from—a bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it type—but Leni can’t escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men attack, they realize there’s more to the connection between them than physical fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must do it fast—dark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them. Permanently.

**Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

And the fabulous cover by Regina Wamba of Mae I Design

About the 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, a New Adult paranormal romance/contemporary fantasy, with the first four books, Promise, Purpose, Devotion and Power available now and the next book coming in June 2013. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 160,000 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.
The Space Between, which releases April 2013, kicks off her second New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix.
Besides writing, Kristie 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: http://www.KristieCook.com
Soul Savers Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com

Kristie was sweet enough to provide us with an excerpt! Here it is:
An Excerpt

     LENI – The overhead lights fell dark for the last time as I opened the dressing room door. The back exit stood open at the end of the hall, allowing in enough light from the streetlamp outside to show my way. I inhaled slowly, cherishing the musty smell of an old theater mixed with the odor of dancers’ sweat and the fragrance of white roses. I silently said my goodbyes as my feet carried me outside.
     “Thank you, Uncle Theo,” I whispered as I left the theater for the last time. Only because of him did I even have this opportunity. I couldn’t wait to tell him all about it.
     A large, muscular body flew at me, swept me into his arms and twirled me around as though we were still on stage. Laughter bubbled out of my chest.
     “You ready to celebrate, cara mia?” Alberto asked as he set me down.
     “Celebrate that you’re finally getting rid of me?” I teased.
     He clapped his hand over his heart, and his face fell into an exaggerated expression of pain. “Oh, Leni, you do not know how I will miss you and your mane.”
     He swatted playfully at the bottom of my curls. He had no idea how I would miss the way he said my name, drawing out both syllables, “laaaay-kneee,” like only an Italian could do.
     “But you won’t miss my heels on your toes or my arm in your face?” I said in mock disbelief.
     He took my hand and danced me down the cobbled street toward the plaza at the center of town. “You are a stunning dancer, cara mia. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” He spun me under his arm, my duffle bag banging me in the butt the whole time. “Of course, you have become much better since becoming my partner. But everyone does.”
     He winked at me before dropping me into a dip. My bag slid off my shoulder and a hand darted beneath me to catch it. Alberto swung me up and around so that I came face-to-face with the most unbelievably stunning vision I’d seen my whole time in Italy. Which was saying a lot. His eyes—blue, I thought, though the light from the corner post wasn’t enough to be sure—enraptured me. He held my bag out with a small smile that hinted at dimples.
     “Grazie,” I said breathlessly as I wrapped my hand around the strap of my bag. He gave me a nod almost deep enough to be a bow, his shaggy blond hair falling in his face. Then, without a word, he turned and walked away. My mouth fell open. “How rude.”
     “Must be American,” Alberto said. I punched him in the arm.
     “Who goes out of their way to catch a falling object and then can’t even say ‘you’re welcome’?” I asked absent-mindedly as I stared after the retreating body that rivaled Alberto’s. No, scratch that. It totally beat out Alberto’s even on his best day.
     “What an ass,” Alberto muttered.
     “Rude, yes, but I don’t know if I’d go that far.”
     “No, I mean what an ass that man has.” He let out a low whistle.
     I laughed and admired the view as well. “I can agree with that.”
     “He’s going to Alonzo’s. Lucky us.”



Monday, March 4, 2013

Congrats to Angela Brown on her New Release!

Today I'm excited to welcome one of my favorite authors, Angela Brown, over to reveal the cover for her new novella, FRAILTIES OF THE BOND (Add to Goodreads). Now I'll hand the reins of today's post over to Angela!
Here is a bit about it: Frailties of the Bond is about the NEO – Network of Extraordinaires and Otherworldlies:

Those who answer the call from NEO play their part in maintaining balance in our ever-changing times. With power-hungry malcontents, jealous gods, and even those with misguided good intentions, the fate of our world has oft been held in the hands of unsung heroes such as those that are members of NEO.

But before NEO, these heroes and heroines had lives, loves, issues and interests that didn’t involve saving mankind.

In Frailties of the Bond, it only takes one bite to change a life

Cover design by Heather McCorkle of CP Design
After a hiking trip gone wrong, sixteen-year-old Luca should have been dead. Since then, he’s drifted from one school day to the next, annoyed by the looks of suspicion. When a vampire attack claimed his mother and forced his first shift into animal form, Luca set out for Texas, vengeance bound, only to discover so much more when Aimee crossed his path.

Flesh-born of vampire parents sixteen years ago, Aimee shouldn’t exist. Magic, though, made dreams come true for an undead couple desperate for a child all their own. But this magic came with a price, a cost Aimee discovered after one forbidden bite.

And now...to the cover:
Xpresso Book Tours is handling the release blitz set for March 20h through March 31st. If you are interested in participating (YAY! and THANK YOU! if you are), click here to sign up.

Now, as tempting as it is to ask for a sound off of total love for this book cover, I'm curious about a few other things? How much does the book cover matter in choosing a book? Do you prefer symbolic covers, i.e., everything on the cover means something or directly relates to something in the book? Or just something that grabs your attention, no matter how it relates to the content within?

Thanks for dropping by Angela and best of luck to you on your latest release. I can hardly wait to read it! As a cover designer I'm especially interested to hear what everyone has to say about Angela's questions above!