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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Look, New Focus

Fantasy novels for adults has always been my thing, even before I was an adult. And finally, after a fun foray into young adult, I am returning to that which I love most, writing adult fantasy. The timing feels right, what with my YA audience that I established with Spruce Knoll now moving into adulthood and all. My writing slowly evolved this direction, getting into deeper, more serious subject matter with To Ride A Puca, The Dragon Empire, and Dragon Seer.

Things will get deeper and darker from here on out. Hence the new look to my blog and website. I figured an updated, older look was over due to go along with the new focus. I hope you'll join me in this new territory, this place that feels like returning home, but I understand that I will lose some of you who only read YA. Thank you for having been with me on my journey so far. And a huge thank you to all those who will take the road forward with me.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: The Waking Engine

Cloud Atlas meets Dune in this unique take on life after death. The world building is on an epic scale, worlds upon worlds, within worlds actually. I haven't read anything this complex and well developed in a long time. It's the kind of book you can read over and over and catch new things each time. I love that about it. The writing is an excellent blend of description and dialogue that keeps it flowing along nicely. 

But, where I loved Cloud Atlas and the Dune series deeply, this one didn't quite hit the love stage for me. The characters failed to pull me in. I just couldn't find sympathy for them. Perhaps it is the oddity of the world, in that they cannot die and have no respect for life, but I think it was more than that. It is tough to put my finger on, just one of those things that didn't hook me as well as I would have liked it to. Unfortunately for me, it's one of those truly important things, which was why it earned three stars instead of five. Regardless, as every reader is different, I would still recommend this book as it is a sweeping epic of a very original idea. 

Find it on:

Monday, January 20, 2014

An Important Book About Stalking

Today's post isn't because an author or a book blogger asked me to participate in a hop or book blast, this is about me supporting an important book that you need to know about written by a talented friend of mine. I've known Stina since before she was represented and before she sold her first book to Carina Press and she has always been a wonderful, supportive person. This amazing book is a direct reflection of that. Here is a bit about it:

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.

Find it on:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: The Vampire Hunter

Nope, not Buffy. But still good in a sexy, grown up book kind of way. Not that grown ups can't enjoy Buffy, I know I did. I'm probably one of her biggest fans. But, this book has a certain heat level that not even Buffy reached.

This is a unique take on the 'all paranormal creatures are real' sort of world. Told from the Hunter's perspective~and he is one yummy, tormented, sympathetic hunter~this tale of love in all the wrong places stole my heart. The characters are rich and deep, their connection~though instantaneous~felt organic and believable. Kaz hunts vampires that harm humans. Zoe concocts a magical substance to help vampires kick a horrible addiction that is running rampant through their race, turning them into mindless, murdering monsters. Their paths intertwine in more ways than one and the heat level between them is off the charts despite some tangles in their developing relationship.

The world is highly developed with some very original ideas that kept me reading and guessing. I'll never look at vampires or fairies the same again, and that is a very good thing. I would recommend this for all fans of adult paranormal novels.

Find it on:

Amazon / B&N 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Motivation By Accountability

Staying motivated to keep writing can be tough for many of us. We have lives that demand our time, jobs, families, exercise, shopping, paying bills, the list goes on and on. It can be easy to lose site of our writing goals and fall by the wayside. We start out a few days behind, then it turns into a week behind, then a month, and can spiral out of control from there until we never finish our novel.

To help myself stay motivated I set small, achievable goals. The size of your goal should reflect your writing time and ability, so that you don't fail continually and lose enthusiasm because of it. Even better than goals though is a counter, a way to record and monitor my progress with a physical thing that I update and see every single day. Watching the line move up toward my goal is a huge motivator.

For a counter of your own follow this simple method. Copy and paste the following HTML code onto your blog or website by adding a gadget, then clicking on Add HTML. Within this code are the numbers that you'll see on the gadget when you save it. Put in your own numbers for the goal. Mine is set at 85,000 so that's the numbers you'll change to reflect the overall goal length of your novel. Then, go into the HTML code and update your numbers at the end of every day (first set of numbers you'll see). Don't change anything else, just the numbers. It will look like the counter on the top left hand bar of my blog. And there you have it, a visual indicator that you can see your progress on.

Here's the code:

<img src="http://www.critiquecircle.com/wordmeter.asp?col=blue&amp;font=georgia&amp;curr=11674&amp;goal=85000&amp;" />

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Resolutions

I love to set resolutions. They are like huge goals, and I love goals. I take them very seriously, stick to them, and check my progress throughout the year. It keeps me focused and motivated. Yep, I'm that kind of crazy. This year's goals are some of my biggest yet.

#1 Focus on fitness. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, and when the blood is flowing, ideas and words flow easier for me. So, I resolve to exercise each day. This one is off to a good start with two seriously hard hikes under my belt already this year, and daily workouts as well, some small, some big.

#2 Write every day. My goal is three pages a day at least to help me reach my goal time of finishing the steampunk novel I'm working on.  I haven't quite hit three pages every day, but I'm close!

#3 Pursue traditional publishing. I'm doing good on my own, but I want to revive my dream of working with a publishing house that shares my vision. Already off to a good start with two fantastic publishing houses considering my latest manuscript. Cross your fingers for me!

#4 Chat with my friends more often. Yep, you read that right, more often. 2013 pulled me away from social media, a lot, and I've lost touch with many of you, and I miss you! This year I plan to find that balance between work and life. On my way to visit blogs right now to work on this one.

#5 Attend a great conference. I've already booked my flight to the RT Book Convention in New Orleans and I'm crazy excited. I get to meet my fantastic friend Tee Tate in person, as well as others I'm hoping!

So what about you, do you set resolutions or goals? Do you post them so you can check back and see how you did?