Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's Muse~Become

Last week my inspiration was a fantastic read. You know the feeling when your heart pounds from the words, you clutch a book tighter, and flip eagerly through the pages? The book I just finished reading elicited such a feeling. It is BECOME, by Ali Cross. At first glance this book appears to be a tale about the daughter of Lucifer, but it is so very much more than that. It is actually about the daughter of Loki and is a beautiful blend of mythology and religion. It surprised and delighted me. Here is my review:

From the depths of Helheim to the lofts of Asgard, this novel propels us on a breathtaking journey of self-sacrifice and redemption. The author takes characters that should be impossible to sympathize with and makes you fall in love with them. I was completely swept away and utterly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. The author has made a fan for life of me.

My review is short, I know, but alas, I’m not a reviewer, I’m a writer. Just trust me and add this to your to read list. I’d recommend it for older YA (or mature) and adults. There is some difficult subject matter.

Become on Amazon and B&N (also available at other retailers).

Be sure to check the post below for a great cover reveal for a sequel that I've really been looking forward to!

Cover Reveal For Susan Kaye Quinn

You guys are in for a treat. Today I'm participating in the cover reveal for Closed Hearts, the much anticipated release of book 2 in Susan Kaye Quinn's MindJacker series. I read the first in the series, Open Minds, a while ago and LOVED it. Seriously, it is one of my favorite books of the year. Without further ado, here is Closed Hearts: 

Coming May 23rd...
Closed Hearts (Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy)

When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

Release Date: May 23rd, 2012

Click Here to sign up for the Virtual Launch Party on May 23rd! There will be prizes, reviews, bonus content, did I mention prizes? Come join the fun!

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)
Being a fan of dystopian and sci-fi in young adult books this was exactly the type of book I was hoping to fall in love with and absolutely did ...YA readers who love authors like Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver and others would be missing out if they failed to pick up Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. Join Kira on her journey to save her fellow mindjackers and potentially change the landscape of her world forever.”
Danielle Smith, book blogger at There’s a Book
Susan plunges readers into a compelling and frightening world where nearly everyone can read minds when they come of age. The very idea makes me shudder. This is easily one of the best books I've read not only this year, but in recent years.”
Heather McCorkle, author of The Secret of Spruce Knoll
"Susan Kaye Quinn's Open Minds is an edge-of-the-seat YA sci-fi, where 16 year-old Kira dodges psychological bullets from all sides."  — Catherine Stine, author of Fireseed One
Open Minds $2.99 on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes

Susan Kaye Quinn, Author
Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle.
Way too often, you can find Susan on her blog, facebook, and twitter.

Susan’s Other Works
Open MindsIn His Eyes Anthology (includes Mind Games, a short prequel to Open Minds), Life, Liberty, and Pursuit (a teen love story), Full Speed Ahead (short afterstory to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Writing Goal~Special Cause

Many of you may recall that my debut novel, The Secret Of Spruce Knoll has a special mission: Spruce Knoll for Endangered Species. For those who don't know, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each copy of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll (in every format) will go toward my favorite charity that helps save endangered species. I've set a campaign goal of $10,000 for the charity, which I hope to reach by 12-12-2012. And, if I do reach it, I'll be able to continue to donate a portion of the proceeds to the charity for another year.

Why this cause, why now? Because I want to leave a better, healthier Earth for future generations. Part of a healthy Earth is a healthy eco-system which includes animals. I want our children's children to be able to study gorillas or tigers in the wild. Sadly, those creatures~and so many more~are less than a decade away from extinction in the wild. Extinction. 

For my reader's sake I'm thrilled that Compass Press has dropped the price of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll, but it makes things tougher for my campaign's sake. This means I'll have to sell even more copies to get near my goal. Which is where all of you come in. I'd like to spread the word about the cause to drum up interest in Spruce Knoll, and awareness of the plight of endangered species. If you'd like to feature myself, The Secret Of Spruce Knoll, do a character interview on the subject, anything you'd like, please leave me a comment with a way to contact you. Together we can make a difference.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Writing Tip~Experience

Art imitates life, especially where writing is concerned. To write something truly compelling and special, we must experience life and then allow that to shine through into our writing.

#WriteTip: Use your experiences in your writing, down to even sensory details. If you haven't experienced something you're writing about, try to. If you can't, interview someone who has experienced it or do the best research you can.

Do forget to utilize the experience of your friends and family, especially your writing community friends. You'd be surprised the wealth of knowledge that lies within your own inner circles!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's Muse~Snowy Landscapes

Though I can show you what my inspiration was last week, I can’t tell you why yet, it’s a secret. But an exciting one worth waiting for! But there is some good news I can tell you. Compass Press has dropped the price of paperback and eBook of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. On Both B&N and Amazon, the paperback is now $12.99 and the eBook is $2.99.

To celebrate, I’m doing a giveaway of the paperback of the combination of my novella, Born Of Fire, and Christine Fonseca’s, Dies Irae. Two copies actually. To enter click below:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Born Of Fire & Dies Irae by Heather McCorkle

Born Of Fire & Dies Irae

by Heather McCorkle

Giveaway ends May 13, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Goals~The End

I've changed the title of my Wednesday posts so the focus is no longer just on writing, but encompasses reading as well. It felt like I wasn't giving reading the attention it deserves. After all, it's vital for us writers to read. 

#WriteGoal: Complete the stage of editing that I was in on my current work in progress, and I achieved it! *throws confetti* However, that leads right into the next stage of the editing project. *sigh* Such is writing, oh well. 

#ReadGoal I finished reading Tears of the Broken by A.M. Hudson and I really liked it. It is a very different type of book from those I normally read and the change was refreshing. There wasn't the usual action-packed chapters that I'm used to which keep you on your toes. But that's okay, there was something equally as wonderful. There was a sweet romance that simmered throughout the entire book, deepening like a good cup of tea as it went along. Though it's a YA paranormal, it reads like a contemporary romance and I've got to tell you, the mix of the genres was quite good. The character building and handling of back story in this novel was fantastic. I'd recommend this for anyone who enjoys a novel that builds slowly and loves characters that get their hooks into you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Writing Tip~Improve

To stay on top of our game, and to keep up with the competition, we must always strive to improve our writing skills. Easier said than done in a struggling economy when every penny counts and gas prices are putting the oil-consuming vehicle on the fast track to extinction. Traveling to a workshop completely blows the budget for many of us. So what are we to do? 

#WriteTip: Attend an online workshop instead of driving or flying to one. For writers of children's and YA books there is Write On Con which is completely free (no joke), and it's amazing. I know several of the ladies who host it and they are fantastic. There's also the San Francisco Writer's University (online). I haven't taken classes through them but I hear they're great. And keep an eye on my friend TS Tate who is putting together a list of other workshops. If you know of any great online workshops let me know in the comments! 

Also, don't miss the live chat with myself and author Christine Fonseca tonight at 5:00pm PT. We'll be chatting about our novels, all things writing related and giving away books and swag! To join in click here

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Nook Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered the Nook Simple Touch contest hosted by myself and Christine Fonseca. You’re all fantastic and we appreciate you more than we can say. In fact, if you didn’t win and would like some swag, leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to send some your way. Also, tomorrow you have a chance to win even more books from Christine and myself if you attend our live chat. To check it out click here. Now for the big news… Drum roll please…

Winner #1 of the Nook Simple Touch:

Congrats Debdatta! We know this is particularly special for you since B&N doesn’t sell or ship the Nook to your country. The good news is, she’ll still be able to buy ePub books on her computer (from sites such as Smashwords) and then upload them to her Nook.

Winner #2:

Congrats Nata! You’ve won a signed hardback of Lacrimosa, a signed copy of Channeler’s Choice, a signed paperback of our novella, Born Of Fire & Dies Irae, and some great swag from both Christine and myself.

Winner #3:

Congrats Shana! You’ve won a signed paperback of our novella Born Of Fire & Dies Irae plus some great swag from both Christine and myself.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Writing Goal~New Ending

My writing break has come to an end and I’m moving on to working on the revision of book 3 in the channeler series, which now has a title, Rise of a Rector, whoo hoo!!! Compass Press has set a tentative release date of October for it. *happy dance* So , I’ve been working on a new ending that I’m totally loving. I didn’t finish it but that’s okay, my goal was to start working on it.

I blew my reading goals out of the water and read a few hundred pages of Tears of the Broken last week. The character development is wonderful and it’s really pulling me in. That’s a lot for me, normally I read much slower as I am usually working on writing my own books.

How about you, did you meet you writing goals this week? What about your reading goals?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Writing Tip~Connecting

Connecting with other writers is a fantastic way to stay inspired, keep your writing fresh, learn more about writing, and to build your platform. Gone are the days of the reclusive writer, and I say good riddance! It had romantic appeal back when I was a kid, dreaming of hiding out in a cabin, writing away my days with no one to bother me. But as an adult I look back at that fantasy and realize you can’t learn much all hidden away by yourself. And I love to keep learning!

Writing Tip: Get on Twitter and join in writer chats, or join Goodreads and chat with authors and/or readers. On Twitter Monday nights at 6pm PT there is #WritersRoad, Tuesday at 6pm PT there is the #IndieChat, and you can find other chats nearly every day of the week.

Speaking of chances to connect with authors… A week from today, April 17th at 5:00pm Pacific Time, the Indie Elite is hosting a live chat with author Christine Fonseca (YA novella Dies Irae, YA novel Lacrimosa, as well as acclaimed non-fiction titles) and myself (The Secret Of Spruce Knoll, Channeler’s Choice, and To Ride A Puca). We’ll be talking about our books, writing, reading, and everything in between. And we’ll be doing giveaways during the chat. You can win books and swag. Hope to see you there!

Return To Eden Tour

Return to Eden, the third book in G.P. Ching's The Soulkeepers Series released (officially) April 1st in eBook and Paperback.  To celebrate, G.P. is going on a virtual tour and she has stopped by here for an interview! But first, a bit about Return To Eden:

Dr. Abigail Silva has waited over 10,000 years for redemption and a chance at a real relationship with the angel she loves. But when you're made from evil itself, it's hard to remember if salvation is worth the wait. With Lucifer's plan coming to fruition, she must decide if God's offer of humanity is all it's cracked up to be, or if a deal with the devil is the more promising solution.

Before we get to the great giveaways, G.P. has stopped by to answer a few questions about her new novel, and her series. 

Heather: Jacob and Malini are both front and center in book one and two, but there is no mention of them in the synopsis for book 3. Will they make an appearance in the third installment or are you going a different direction with Abigail?

G.P.:  Yes! Jacob and Malini are a big part of book three but they are not mentioned in the synopsis because the primary conflict revolves around Abigail. If you remember, the synopsis for the first book mentioned Jacob and Abigail, the second Malini, Jacob and Mara, and the third Abigail. This third book finishes the Jacob/Abigail story arc from book one.

Heather: It sounds like Abigail faces some seriously tough decisions in this addition to the Soulkeeper series. Was this one a difficult novel to write and if so, why?

G.P.: This was a very difficult book to write because I've always related to Abigail's character. Growing up, I often felt like I wanted to do the right thing but, no matter how hard I tried, I'd end up hurting someone. My intentions were usually good or neutral but the outcome wasn't. It was like my younger self was made to make mistakes.

Abigail is a fallen angel who wants to do the right thing. She wants so badly to help the Soulkeepers and earn her redemption. But Lucifer won't leave her alone and fighting him ends up hurting the people she loves most. The choices she is forced to make change her forever.

It was so hard to say goodbye to the Abigail I'd created in book one, the character who could solve a problem for the Soulkeepers with a glass of tea or a pass of her hand. But every character changes in this series and she is no exception. Still, I shed a few tears making it happen.

Heather: Will this be the final book in the Soulkeeper's series? And if so, what do you have in store for us next?

G.P.: The Soulkeepers is a series, not a trilogy. However, unlike Twilight, Hunger Games, or Harry Potter the books don't follow one character from start to finish. Instead, each book will have a new point of view and a stand alone story within that point of view. It will all take place within The Soulkeepers world and Jacob, Malini, and Abigail will be back but as supporting characters. So, what's next? Well, we have a school to run, a new relationship between Dane and Ethan to expand upon, and a new Soulkeeper that Malini knows is out there, but no one can seem to find. That's all I can share right now. More to come!

Available now on: 
Amazon , Barnes and Noble , Smashwords

And now for the contest and prizes!

Weekly Prizes
Each week G.P. will award one prize per blog she visits, including:

A $10 customized Visa Debit Card!  G.P. will give away ten of these throughout the tour. Use them anywhere Visa is accepted for anything you desire!  

Or the winner's choice of eBook from either G.P. Ching or any of the Indelible authors along with some signed Soulkeepers bookmarks.

Grand Prize:
A personalized, signed set of paperbacks (The Soulkeepers, Weaving Destiny, and Return to Eden) will be given away to one lucky winner at the end of the tour. (Open to US residents only)

Must be 13 years old or older to enter. International entrants are not eligible for the grand prize.

To enter the giveaway see who else is participating for even more chances to win, drop by G.P.'s blog.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday's Muse~Image

My inspiration last week may seem like an odd one. It was a bad review, no really. It inspired me to be more open and to be clearer about the content of my books. I had no idea that some of the content in my books would be too much for some, and recent reviews have made it clear that this is the case. And I’m okay with that. I don’t fault the reviewer. Not every book is for everyone.

I never would have thought of my books as dark, but then everyone’s opinion is different. It is clear to me now that there are indeed dark elements in my books and that they probably get darker as they go. I’m nowhere even near the same playing field as authors such as Suzanne Collins or Ellen Hopkins when it comes to dark content, but it does exist in my novels to a smaller degree. Rather than shy away from tough subjects and dark content, I’ve decided to embrace it and let my writing be what it is. I understand I may lose some readers who are looking for a lighter read, but that’s okay. I’d rather that than have them read it and be offended.

You may notice a touch of a makeover on the blog. That’s due in part to the inspiration. I’m giving my image an edgy lift to hopefully help make a clearer first impression.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Writing Goal~Break

Last week my writing (#writegoal for my Twitter peeps) was easy; take a much needed break since my edits were complete. Easy, yeah right. I failed. I totally didn't achieve my goal of a break. I edited another project, wrote bits on a new chapter for a project, and worked on a cover. *sigh* I'm going to try again this week. We'll see how that goes.

I've decided to add to Wednesday's post, reading goals. Partially because for an author I think it's just as important as writing, and partially because that way I feel like I met at least one goal. ;) So, last week's reading goal was to start reading a fabulous new author, and I did! I began reading Tears of the Broken, a YA paranormal by Aussie author A.M. Hudson and it's great so far!

How about you, did you achieve your writing goals last week? How about your reading goals?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blog Tour for Protected by Cindy Hogan

Today I'm pleased to welcome author~and good friend~Cindy Hogan to help celebrate the release of her new YA thriller, Protected. 

Thanks for joining us Cindy. I'll dive right in. When you come up with your plots, do they come all at once, or bit by bit?
Cindy: I know the beginning and the end and the middle fills itself in as I go. I actually talk it out while I walk in the mornings and even record my ideas. Then I work it out on the computer after that.

I love that you talk it out, what a fun idea! So why do you like YA literature?
Cindy: Really, I’m just a kid. I’ve never truly grown up. I live with two amazing teenagers and I work with them every day. They keep me young. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love how unpredictable the are-just like most YA literature. I like quick, fun reads that keep me guessing and that I hate to put down. YA literature does that for me most of the time.

Since you mentioned staying young, what are 3 of your dream jobs, the kind of jobs that you know you’d never actually have, but would love anyway.
Cindy: I’d love to work for the CIA or FBI. Maybe that’s why I write about it. Living my dream vicariously. I’d also love to be an archeologist. But just for one day and at a cool dig site. I actually started college with that dream, but the reality set in quick. I’d also love to be a recreation specialist who guides tours in the rugged wide world.

I used to want to be an archeologist too! Okay, so if you could have any super power, what would it be?
Cindy: That’s easy. I’d love to fly. I have this reoccurring dream that I can fly and it is amazing. Imagine the things I’d see…
*high-five* Me too! If I could have any one power, that would be it. And now, a bit about Protected:

She has the guy. The terrorists have been taken care of, and she has a shot at becoming popular. Life is GREAT! Until they find her. Now she must run and leave behind everything she knows, including herself.

For the prior stop in the tour check out Tristi Pinkston's blog and tomorrow don't miss the tour stop at author Cheri Lasota's blog.   

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cover Reveal for To Ride A Púca

I'm so excited to share the cover of my young adult historical fantasy novel, To Ride A Púca, with you. I've been waiting for so long to reveal the news and the cover that it's been driving me crazy! This novel is special to me, as many of you know, because it felt like my heart and soul has gone into it. It isn't a part of the channeler series, though it is a tie-in novel as it's about one of Eren's ancestors. This is a stand alone of a very different flavor and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Here is a bit about it:

Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again.

Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?

This novel is intended for mature teens and adults as it contains some difficult subject matter. 

I had to throw that warning in because I had one person who was disturbed by some of the subject matter in The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. To Ride A Púca is a much darker novel than Spruce Knoll and will certainly not be appropriate for some readers. Slavery, oppression, and violent situations are within this novel. It certainly falls under the dark YA catagory. But it is also about hope, love, and belonging. It releases this May! To add this novel to your Goodreads lists click here. To pre-order a signed hardback (to ship at the end of May), click here.