Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Book News

For those who have been wondering what else I'm up to, I have news. This fall my first new adult novel is releasing! It is a fantasy novel set in the same world as The Dragon Empire. This is the story of Torin and his journey to becoming The First Dragonwatcher. Those of you who have read The Dragon Empire may recognize his name from it. He takes front and center in this epic fantasy. This is a step outside of YA for me, one that will not be suitable for some younger readers.

Why the move from YA you may be wondering? Mostly because fantasy (no YA tag attached) is where my roots are and I'm returning to them. But it's also because there are other characters out there who's stories I must tell, and not all of them are teens. While I still love YA and will continue to read and enjoy it, my books are embarking on a new journey. One I hope you'll take with me. To check out my Pinterest inspiration board for this novel click here. To add it to your Goodreads lists click here.

Here is a rough synopsis in progress:

Yacrana dances on the edge of war between dragons and the races of people. But the great dragon empire has a plan to secure peace.

Since his mother's close encounter with a rogue dragon, Torin hasn't had a good night's sleep. When he is approached by the emerald dragon Grendar with a proposal to become the first dragonwatcher, he leaps at the chance. Yet it is no easy path to ensuring the safety of his kind as he had hoped.

Torin must spend time with each race of dragon in their homelands, learning about their customs, beliefs, and fighting styles. Not only is he not welcome by all but there are those that will go to any lengths to ensure he fails.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Great New Middle Grade Sci-Fi Novel

Today I'm excited to feature a new novel by a good friend of mine. I love me some great sci-fi so this one was a sure thing for me.

Jump Boys: SOS
by Alex Banks
MG Science Fiction

A dare gone terribly wrong.

An SOS from another universe.

A threat from right next door.

Thirteen-year-old twin brothers Jayce and Val are about to jump the multi-verses on a dangerous dare, but true danger is closer to home than they realize. The Jupiter Prime colony has been orbiting the stormy gas giant for nineteen years and all anyone wants is to get back to Earth. Sent to preserve the best and brightest of the population, a grievous error in the Prime’s navigation coordinates sent the colony to an alternate dimension with no way to return to the Earth they call home.

In a society where technical expertise is valued above all else, Jayce and Val are among the most privileged—until they uncover their uncle’s plot to claim dominion over space and time. While attempting to rescue a lone girl from a post-apocalyptic earth, Val will come face to face with space pirates and Jayce will lay his life on the line for the sake of his brother and the little girl who holds the key to time itself.

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Smashwords Goodreads

Alex Banks doesn’t live on Planet Earth.Alex lives on the Prime Colony Ship orbiting Jupiter or on a pirate ship off the Nova Scotia coast,or on a world called Insulunda where the land masses shift and move like clouds.Wherever there are dreams to be charted like stars in the sky or fun to be had just down that street . . . that’s where you’ll find Alex Banks.

You see why I love Alex?! Check it out, you won't be sorry!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cover Reveal for author Leight T. Moore

Today I'm pleased to be part of the cover reveal for my friend Leigh Moore's new novel. A companion to The Truth About Faking (not a sequel; the books can be read out of order), The Truth About Letting Go  takes readers back to Shadow Falls, or more specifically Shadow Creek, with Ashley Lockett as she learns about real friendship, love, and letting go.

The Truth About Letting Go by Leigh Talbert Moore

   Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life. Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes. Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side. Jordan wants to follow his heart... but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make. Up until now, Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, and then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly. Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, the rules, faith, and then she meets Jordan. Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, he's a great kisser... but he's also safe. Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

Get it today on Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo Add it on Goodreads

Excerpt: I feel Colt laugh, and he looks down into my face. That’s when he seems to realize what I’ve been acutely aware of for the last several minutes—our bodies are pressed together. “It’s awesome, yeah?” he says. “Adrenaline rush.” “Yeah,” I breathe. “I guess.” I’m not sure if he’s going to kiss me until he does. His mouth covers mine, and energy mixes with the alcohol flooding my body. Our tongues slide together, and I grip his shirt so I don’t collapse.  Every single bit of this is wrong, and there’s no way I’m stopping it. It’s back, that good feeling. The sadness has been pushed out again, and in its place is this rush, this rush of adrenaline like Colt said.  He pulls back and smiles at me. “We’re going to start dating. Now. You’re my partner in crime.”

 About the Author:
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former journalist and editor, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps. -The Truth About Faking is her debut young adult romance (on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo) -Rouge is her first New Adult romantic suspense novel (on Amazon). Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello! Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads * Twitter * Tumblr

Monday, February 18, 2013

Letter From The Editor

As I work through edits on my next project ("Next project!?" you say.  Why yes. You know me, idle hands and all that) I'm thrilled to finally not fear the copy edit process. This last project actually had a notation in regards to his (my editor) fear of becoming obsolete. Of course, he was kidding, in part. I will always need and editor because two sets of eyes are better than one and I'm too close to be objective.

What he meant was, I'm not making the same mistakes I made with prior manuscripts. The things he told me not to do in the edits of the prior books, I have not repeated. Partially it's because I'm a perfectionist and once someone tells me of an error that I'm making, I work hard to correct it and never do it again. Another reason though is that to me the editing process is not just a means to an end, it's an opportunity to learn and improve my writing skills. If a writer goes slow enough, takes the editing notes to heart, and truly listens, they can improve just from the editing process alone.

To take it even further (because the perfectionist in me will not rest) I'm always on the lookout for opportunities to learn. Sometimes it's an excellent book on the craft of writing and sometimes it's a trusted mentor or teacher. The bottom line is, if you always strive to improve, you will. And eventually, there will be nothing standing in your way of success.

This year's (and every year, honestly) must read book on writing is The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. 

How about you? What do you do to keep improving?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's a little tidbit you may not know about the holiday of love:
Valentine's Day began as a celebration of a Christian saint named Valentinus. He was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.  During his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer. Before his execution he wrote a farewell letter to her that was signed, "from your Valentine".

Today, as with every day, I hope you're surrounded by those that you love and who love you.

As my Valentine's Day gift for you: Don't forget to pick up your FREE eBook of The Secret of Spruce Knoll on Amazon! Don't have a Kindle? You can download a FREE Kindle app for your computer at this link

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Free Online Conference for Indie Writers

As you may or may not know, IndieReCon starts in less than 1 week from Feb 19th  - Feb 21st.

The free conference features over 25 guests that will discuss the nuts and bolts of self publishing from the pros/cons all the way through marketing and being a bestselling author.

Here it is - 20 reasons why you should register for IndieRecon. Today!

1. Find out the future of digital publishing with our key note speaker: Bob Mayer.

2. Identify the biggest mistakes indie authors and how to avoid them.

3. Find out all the nitty gritty details on self publishing basics like pricing, distribution, and formatting.

4. Create a business plan and understand your costs.

5. Find out what is in a great book and how to make your book stand out in a pile through editing and covers.

6. Learn the importance of creating a solid business plan and how to measure your success.

7. Discover everything you need to know about reaching your readers including: metatagging, blogging, and audio books.

8. Figure out what you need to know in marketing like building your community, utilizing social media and understanding your brand.

9. Learn how to throw a creative book launch by using events, blogging, and more.

10. Chat with some great bestselling authors and get the 411 you need to success.

11. It's FREE!

12. Since it's online, you can stay in your PJs and we won't laugh at you. :)

13. There are huge giveaways! yeah...HUGE!

14. Learn about awesome organizations that support indie authors including: IndieReader, The Book Designer, Indelibles, World Literary Cafe, Fostering Success, Alliance of Independent Authors, Kindle Fire Department, Goodereader, and Bibliocrunch.

15. Discover some great new authors to read.

16. Walk away knowing what self publishing entails and if it's right for you.

17. Did we mention it's FREE?

18. Find out secrets from bestselling authors like Bob Mayer, Hugh Howey, M. Leighton, CJ Lyons, Barbara Freethy, Colleen Hoover, RaShelle Workman, Darcie Chan, and Addison Moore.

19. Because it will be epic! (At least we think so.)

20. Did we mention it's FREE AND ONLINE?? Why? Because we like YOU :) (Just call us the Mickey Mouse club of indies.)

Every single blog post, chat, vlog will be packed with all the information you need to help you on the self-publishing path.

IndieReCon will help you learn all the dirty secrets about the indie pubbing industry and help you succeed.

February 19th-21st!!!

Tell your friends.

Hang out with us all day. Hourly posts. Outstanding publishing and book related giveaways throughout the conference. Check out the amazeballs schedule.

Register in the sidebar for updates and a drawing for giveaways - so you don’t miss out!

See you there!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why Author's Make eBooks Free

You've probably noticed independent authors setting the price on at least one of their books as free from time to time. And if you're traditionally published, or not yet published, you may wonder why in the world they would do such a thing. An indie author friend of mine recently discussed using Kindle Select with me and she couldn't understand why someone would set their book to free. It's contradictory, she said. And she's right, in a way. However, there is a method to this madness.  

When you download a book from Amazon, B&N or any other online retailer~regardless of whether or not it's free or costs money~that novel goes  up in the sales ranks. With each download, it goes farther up the ranks with the optimum rise occurring when there are many sales in one day (the entire system starts over day by day so if a book sells one a day for a month it won't rise in the ranks nearly as high as it would if it sold thirty in one day of that month. VERY important key to remember!). Sales ranks are what determines the order that a book shows up in searches. Let's say you're looking for a YA fantasy novel. On Amazon's book page you click on Teens. Everything that shows up on the next page, and any more specific pages you click on (sub-genres and such) is determined by sales rank. The books that are on the main pages (getting there with the best sales ranks) get noticed and sell even more. 

For each download of a free book, that book goes up in ranks too, getting it farther up the lists and onto the main pages where it will get noticed. When this happens people see not only the free book and are more likely to download it (helping raise it's rank and supporting the whole process) but they also notice an author's name and are more likely to check out there other books. That's one way a free book can get an author more sales. Another is, of course, if the readers enjoyed the book and come back to buy the author's other titles. So, crazy as it sounds, now you know there is a method to the madness. 
That said, all this week for Valentine's Day week (and to help it's sales ranking ;) the eBook of  The Secret of Spruce Knoll is free on Amazon! I hope you'll download it and spread the word. And a huge thank you to each of you that does. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Better Than Chocolate Blog Hop

Myself and a host of other fabulous best selling, award winning, and professional authors are offering their book(s) on sale for two days for the We LOVE Readers Discount. This hop is organized by the fabulous Nikki Jefford.

The book I'm offering at a discounted price is To Ride a Puca for only .99 cents! You can get my historical fantasy about the last of the druids in ancient Ireland at both B&N and Amazon. You're thinking, "But Heather, it's the 7th." And you would be right, accept that our wonderful hop host lives over seas where today is the 8th. So, in honor of my foreign friends and fans, I'm extending my discount to three days! To see what other fantastic authors are offering, check the list below and click on their names:

Young Adult
Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent
Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton
Sally Singletary's Curiosity by JM Cataffo
Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry
Duplicity (Spellbound #2) * 1st book NOW FREE! * by Nikki Jefford

New Adult/Upper Teen: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Treason (Grimoire Saga #2) * 1st book NOW FREE! * by S. M. Boyce
The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear by M. Pax
ReVamped by Ada Adams
Black Blood by Melissa Pearl
Troll Or Derby, a Fairy Wicked Tale by Red Tash
Neverlove by Angela Brown
Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Vaempires: Revolution and Vaempires: Zombie Rising by Thomas Winship
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

New Adult/Upper Teen: Contemporary Romance
Preservation (Preservation, #1) by Rachael Wade
The Unloved by Jennifer Snyder
Make It Last by Bethany Lopez
My Paper Heart by Magan Vernon

Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Days of Sacrifice Omnibus by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Fall for Me by K. A. Last
The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton
Guardian Of Fate by L.J. Kentowski
Ember's Curse by Gena D. Lutz
FEARLESS by Tawdra Kandle

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion
To Ride a Puca by Heather McCorkle

Contemporary Romance and Chick Lit
The Reunion by Elizabeth Aloe
The Game Changer by Marie Landry
Broken and Mending by J.B. McGee

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Dragon Empire blog tour and Giveaway

My fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire is out in eBook formats and the tour has begun! In celebration I'm doing a giveaway. You can win a signed paperback of your choice of one of the following books:

Winter Wonders (includes a Dragon Empire short story)

There are several ways to enter, from easy clicks to a fun scavenger hunt. Here's how: All over the blogosphere you'll find me answering the following questions:

Why write from a dragon's point of view?
Are the dragons in your book shapeshifters?
What was the hardest part about writing this novel?
The world you created in The Dragon Empire is very elaborate. How did you keep track of everything?
Is this novel the beginning of a new series? And what can we expect next from you?

Find the answers and fill out the form below for a chance to win! Each answer you find will get get you another entry. Don't have time for a scavenger hunt? That's okay, check out the form below for easier ways to enter (the contest is open until the second week of March):

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Here is a bit about it:

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.

While The Dragon Empire is for ages young adult and up, it does contain mild violence and some difficult subject matter. 

Participating blogs (you may have to scroll through posts as not each link goes directly to the tour post and check back throughout the month):

Posts already up:
Geeky Book Gal, Fida, Michelle 4 Laughs, Gwen GardnerFundinmental, Writing The Universe..Wicked ReadsMelissa Ohnoutka, Mark of the StarsB00k r3vi3ws, Paperbook PrincessLaura PaulingLeigh Moore, Morrigan AoifeMy Life in...RaShelle WorkmanThe Book Bag, Judith Graves.

Posts coming:
Bookmarks, Spoilers..., Julie Flanders, Chandara Writes, Chamber of Secrets, Stephanie Parent, Word Diaries, Yelena Casale, Golden Eagle,  Karlene, Petitt, PublishnessWriter's Alley, ArtistaDonna, Readergirls,   From Pen To PaperMagan Vernon, Karen Strong, Cathy McKendry, Michelle Cornwell-Jordan.                

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Sequel to Perception is here!

Book 2 in the dramatic PERCEPTION Series coming April 16!

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody.

They're in love.

Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.

To celebrate Lee Strauss is giving away a $200.00 Amazon, Nook or itunes gift card!

Read on to find out how to enter.

VOLITION is the exciting continuation of Noah and Zoe's story from Perception.

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.
Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t.  He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn.  She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

 Want to read PERCEPTION? It's available on Amazon, Kobo, itunes, and Nook.

About the author:


Lee Strauss writes historical and science fiction/romance for upper YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff under the name Elle Strauss. To find out more about Lee and her books check out her facebook page. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/elle_strauss To find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at www.ellestraussbooks.com

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