Monday, April 29, 2013

WritersRoad Chat: Key Elements of a Bestseller

Last week on the writer's road chat on Twitter, our topic was: Key Elements of a Bestseller. Here are the highlights: 

@HeatherMcCorkle Element #1 is a compelling voice, which is easier said than done sometimes. #WritersRoad

HeatherMcCorkle So what makes a character's voice compelling? Someone interesting, unique in their own ways. #WritersRoad

Tina_Moss Needs to be different voices for each character. If they all sound the same, then uniqueness is lost. #writersroad

HeatherMcCorkle Voice is: The sum total of what your characters observe, think, feel, and express in their own unique way. From Writers Digest. #WritersRoad

HeatherMcCorkle A great voice, one people want to read and get to know, is the strongest selling point a novel can have.#WritersRoad

Tina_Moss Don't be afraid to take the character's voice to the edge. Authenticity over "correctness". #writersroad

HeatherMcCorkle One of the best ways to make your character unique and compelling is to really get into them and develop them deeply. #WritersRoad

akabins This is where the fun comes in of having multiple POV chars. (Different scenes though, never head hop)

HeatherMcCorkle Element #2 of a bestseller: Tried and Tested Characters. In other words, put them through the ringer!#WritersRoad

akabins When characters take on a life of their own, then you know they're ready #writersroad

Tina_Moss Do not show mercy because you don't want to hurt your characters. Be ruthless. #writersroad

@aralbereux: Conduct an interview with your characters. They usually tell me their secrets when I do this :)#writersroad

HeatherMcCorkle Something needs to happen to your characters in a novel and they need to react to it, actively. #WritersRoad

HeatherMcCorkle Element #3 to a bestseller: Balance between internal and exterior plot elements. #WritersRoad

@ErinTheAuthor It's tug o war. The solution is the knot in the middle & the internal & external conflicts tug at opposite ends. #writersroad

HeatherMcCorkle Where the scales fall on the balance of internal/external conflict can be effected by the genre you're writing. #WritersRoad

akabins I like to think of Inception. The external forces are at play, but the internal journey of the characters make it fantastic#writersroad

Friday, April 26, 2013

Reading and Reviewing

As an author, I understand the importance of reviews more than I ever did before. They effect reader's decision to buy, which directly effects the success of the book and the author. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly difficult for authors, especially indie authors, to obtain reviews for their books. Many reviewers charge for this service, and even more only review books through organized tours where the organizer is paid by the author or publisher. I do not judge either of these practices. With so many books on the market, and more and more of them indie, it can be hard for reviewers to wade through them.

In the spirit of helping authors, I make a point to review any book that I enjoy. Most of my reviews are place on the Indie Elite blog, but I thought I'd start giving an excerpt from the reviews here as well. This month I've got to shout out about The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton. I downloaded this eBook from B&N when it was free and I have not been paid by anyone for the review, which is my honest opinion.

If I didn't know this book was indie, well, I wouldn't have known. From the first shocking page, I was hooked. I've been bored with YA lately and I've read one too many books about psychics and mind readers so I didn't expect to get past page one. Wow was I surprised. Not only did I get past page one, but I looked forward to getting on my treadmill so I could read more, and stayed up late into the night turning pages. It's rare for a book to captivate me like that. Not only is the writing captivating and clean, the characters are compelling and complex.

For the remainder of this review, I hope you'll drop by the Indie Elite blog.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome Fantasy Author Amy Raby

Today I'm pleased to welcome fantasy author Amy Raby over for an interview. Amy's debut novel, Assassin's Gambit released from Signet books this month! Isn't that cover just beautiful?! No, I didn't design it, but I wish I had! Welcome to my place Amy, it's a pleasure to have you with us.

Heather: Assassin's Gambit sounds like a delicious, multi-layered novel. How did the idea for it come about?

Amy: Thank you! I had written another book in which Lucien (the hero of Gambit) appeared as a supporting character. Lucien was disabled, obsessed with battlefield and Caturanga strategy, and wicked smart. He stole every scene he was in, and I knew I had to write a book featuring him.

The only trouble was pairing him with a suitable heroine. She had to be a strong character, or he would overshadow her. I figured she should be a Caturanga player, like him, since they could bond over that. Then I came up with the idea of making her an assassin sent to seduce and kill him, and I was off to the races.

Heather: Wow! Now I'm dying to see how their chemistry develops. The war-like game of Caturanga sounds fascinating. Can you tell us a bit about it without giving any spoilers away?

Amy: It's essentially a fantasy version of chess, with multiple boards and some different game dynamics, such as the strategy of gaining the influence of each of the three moons, and the use of terrain obstacles to inhibit the opponent's movement. Its significance for Lucien is that since his disability, he's been unable to take to the battlefield in real life, so Caturanga serves as a substitute. For Vitala, Caturanga is a means of gaining access to Lucien.

Heather: I love that, it sounds like a game I'd enjoy. From your website, I see that there is going to be a second book, Spy's Honor. What do you have in the works after that?

Amy: Yes, Spy's Honor comes out in October. It goes back in time a little and tells the story of Lucien's cousin Rhianne, who falls in love with an enemy spy and gets into some serious trouble. The third book in the series takes place several years after Gambit and features Lucien's younger sister Celeste. Vitala and Lucien are also minor players in that novel, dealing with some of the political fallout from the events of Gambit.

Heather: Sounds like they can all be read separate, I love that! Can you tell us what your writing ritual is like?

Amy: I draft relatively quickly, at a rate of 1000 words per day, and then I start revising, which takes a lot longer. I revise heavily and often end up rewriting almost the entire manuscript, maybe more than once. As far as my writing environment, I have kids so I just take what I can get. I'd love a distraction-free environment, but in my house that doesn't happen. So I've learned to write in the presence of distractions.

Thanks for joining us Amy, it was a pleasure! Can you tell my friends where to find you?

And you can find Assassin's Gambit at the following links:

Monday, April 22, 2013

WritersRoad Chat Recap 4/15

Here is an abbreviated recap of the live #WritersRoad chat from last Monday during which we discussed a final checklist to run your novel through before submitting of publishing it:

Wyld_Dandelyon Check that your character names are distinct enough to avoid reader confusion. #writersroad

@HeatherMcCorkle: Ensure that each character is truly necessary to the story. What do they add? How often do they appear? #WritersRoad

HeatherMcCorkle Do a sweep for repetitive phrases or words. Make sure your characters don't appear 'twitchy' unless they're supposed to. #WritersRoad

teetate Do sweeps of phrases as well as sweeping out anything that doesn't advance your plot. Including dialog & backstory#writersroad

Wyld_Dandelyon But then, you can break _any_ rule if you do it well enough! #writersroad

HeatherMcCorkle #1 check: Does something HAPPEN in your novel, does it CHANGE someone, and does it get RESOLVED.#WritersRoad

SelenaBlake I have checklists for every aspect of my writing. Characters, revisions, edits, publishing in general.#writersroad

AllisonDuke So far tonight's chat serves as one of those friendly reminders that writing is seriously hard work. #WritersRoad

HeatherMcCorkle Many writers spend a ton of time rewriting the first page. You should spend just as much time on EVERY page.#WritersRoad

OnlyCassandra I use the nine-grid plan. Great for those that want stability of outlining but like freedom of pantsing! #WritersRoad

Friday, April 19, 2013

Welcome Sci-Fi Author Cassandra Rose Clarke

I hope you'll join me in welcoming sci-fi author Cassandra Rose Clarke to my blog for an interview. When I read about her novel, The Mad Scientist's Daughter, I knew I had to read it.

Heather: A love story between a human and a robot, I love it! How did you come up with such a concept?

Cassandra: I’ve always loved robots and robot stories, so it was only a matter of time before I wrote something robot-centric. Around the time I started the book, I was interested in some of the tropes of Gothic fiction, like a big “haunted” house in the woods, an innocent woman, and an emotionally detached love interest. Somehow or another — my process always gets hazy around this point — the two concepts melded together into Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

Heather: I love that you melded two concepts together, too cool! This novel is set in a collapsing future America. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Cassandra: In the novel’s history, a series of environmental disasters threatened to wipe out the earth’s population. At the point the story takes place, civilization has more or less been rebuilt, but America is no longer a super power — although this fact doesn’t have much effect on the characters’ day-to-day lives. I liked the idea of a world that was old-fashioned and futuristic at the same time, so that’s what I was going for in Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

Heather: Old fashioned and futuristic, sounds challenging. Is this a stand alone novel? And if so, what do you have in the works?

Cassandra: Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a stand alone novel, although I’m currently working on a couple of new science fiction novels. I don’t want to say too much about them, though! I also have a YA series going, an adventure fantasy made up of a pair of duologies. The first book is call The Assassin’s Curse, and it’s out now, with its follow-up coming in June. The second duology, which takes place in the same world but follows different characters, will be released in 2014.

Heather: Fantastic, plenty to keep us readers busy! What is your writing ritual like (music, snacks, drinks, free-hand or on the computer, etc.)?

Cassandra: I set aside time to write every day. I’m usually working on multiple projects at once — a major project and a minor project. For the minor project I just write 500 words a day, first thing in the morning, before moving on to my major project a little later. When working on my major project, I usually write in 30-45 minute chunks of time, mostly because I don’t like sitting for that long. However, my boyfriend bought a bike desk recently, and I’ve found that I get way more work done on it, mostly because the positioning of the desk part makes it extremely awkward to use my computer’s track pad. Which means I don’t get on the Internet — I just write. So I guess the bike desk is part of my writing ritual now, too!

Heather: I've got to get me one of those! Thanks for dropping by and for sharing info about your novel and your writing life with us. I'm looking forward to reading The Mad Scientist's Daughter. For those of my readers who are as well, here are a few links to find out more:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Welcome Fantasy Author Amalia Dillin

Today I'm thrilled to be welcoming my friend and fantasy author, Amalia Dillin over for an interview. Amalia's debut novel, Forged By Fate, just released!

Heather: Welcome to my place Amalia! Forged by Fate has been described as "an artful blend of myth and legend" yet it deals with the biblical Adam and Eve. What inspired you to blend the two different elements together?

Amalia: Well, Myth and Legend, I don't think, are that different -- they're already blended in things like The Iliad and the Odyssey, where we see this mix of gods and men and history. Sometimes it's hard to tell where Legend leaves off and Myth begins. I think this is very much the case in the Bible, as well. The Creation story in Genesis is a myth, the story of Adam and Eve, or Noah and the flood, or Moses, those might be legends, or maybe they're myths too. It's hard to say! If a Myth is defined as something which explains how or why some natural phenomena, and legend is defined as the explanation of something more historical, or grounded in history, I'd guess that MOST foundation stories of MOST religions are both! After all, you can't very well have a world in which OTHER gods are walking around in abundance and variety and at the same time, claim that Christianity, God, the Archangels, Lucifer, and Adam and Eve can't exist!

Heather: Interesting theory, I like it! Can you tell us a bit more about your Adam and Eve and how they differ from the biblical couple?

Amalia: For starters, in Forged by Fate, Adam is kind of a villain. So often, we see Eve cast in this role of ... betrayer. In the Bible, she's seduced by the serpent, and then, knowing full well what she's about, tricks Adam into eating the fruit along with her. But what if she had a reason for eating the fruit beyond "the serpent says so?" What if it was the only way forward that might preserve Creation? What if Eve DID know exactly what she was doing, and it was self-sacrifice, rather than sin? And let's not forget that there are two stories of Creation in the Bible, also -- and in the FIRST, Adam and Eve are made together, as equals, AFTER the rest of Creation had been assembled by God. What does that mean, and why is it so often overlooked in our collective eagerness to place blame in the fall of man? I think these are kind of important questions, and I wanted to explore the answers. I wanted to see what the world might have looked like through Eve's eyes.

The other big important distinction, is that my Adam and Eve are not quite mortal, or human. They're something more, caught in an endless loop of life and death, repeating every 100 years, give or take. So while everyone else around them dies, they're reborn again, and live on, generation after generation.

Heather: To see the world through Eve's eyes, I love that. What do you have in the works for the future?

Amalia: I'm really excited to say that I have a novella coming, titled TEMPTING FATE, set in the Fate of the Gods series world, and after that, book two, A FATE FORGOTTEN! Followed by book three, of course, which I'm in the process of revising! There's a lot of story left for Adam, Eve, and Thor, as well as Athena and Ra, and a few other characters we haven't met yet.

Heather: Wow, Athena and Ra as well? You really mix it up, how exciting! Can you tell us a bit about your writing ritual (if you write by hand, on the computer, if you need something with you, music, etc.)?

Amalia: I don't have much in the way of ritual -- I write on my laptop, and I use Word, because it doesn't have so many distractions as other programs like Scrivener, and because I'm kind of a Pantser, I find that those extra bells and whistles don't really do me that much good, outside of just allowing me to procrastinate endlessly! Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don't. Most of the time I have a glass of water at hand, but that's about it!

Heather: Dedicated, I love that! Thanks for dropping by Amalia! Readers, if you're interested in learning more about FATE OF THE GODS series, and the first book, FORGED BY FATE, check out Amalia's website, or World Weaver Press! And you can also buy the book now, in print and ebook from Amazon, and ebook from Barnes and Noble, as well as for Kobo!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Explosion of Spammers

Those of you who frequent the blogosphere may have noticed an invasion. The explosion of spammers, as I like to call it. Lately they are slipping through the cracks absolutely everywhere on Blogger. I have word verification deactivated on my blog here because quite honestly, it is a pain in the rear and it drives me crazy  personally. However, something has got to give with these spammers spewing all over everyone's blogs.

So, I have reactivated the moderation. I'm not quite ready to reactivate word verification because I know how incredibly frustrating it can be for commentors. As a frequent commentor myself, I hate having to jump through it's hoops on blogs that have it activated. It can sometimes take three tries to figure out what those stupid letters and numbers say. And who has time for that? However, with the latest invasion, I completely understand why more and more blog owners are reactivating this feature.

In fact, if moderation gets flooded with more spam than I can handle, I'm going to have to reactivate word verification to try and stave off the invasion. Have you noticed the invasion? What have you had to do to fight off the hordes?

Update: Thanks to all the great suggestions, I'm attempting blocking anonymous instead of turning moderation back on.

Photo credit: Photos combined, altered and designed by CP Design from photos downloaded at: StockFreeImages:  © Chrisharvey

Monday, April 15, 2013

#WritersRoad Chat Recap: Novel Structure

Last Monday night we had another fantastic chat that ended up trending on Twitter! The topic: Novel Structure That Will Hold up. Here are the highlights:

@Heather McCorkle Novels need structure. Think of them like a spine, with vertebrae connecting it all together. Each part is integral. #WritersRoad

@K_Imani: A good backbone also means specific details thought out when world building. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle The first vertebrae introduces the situation and character. It sets the tone and what is at stake. #WritersRoad

@mayaprasadwrite2h Note that the midpoint in the structure is not always the midpoint length-wise. You can be flexible to an extent. #WritersRoad

@TS Tate (Tee) If u dont outline & dont know where ur going, try shooting for scene goals. "By the end of the scene ___ shld happen" #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ Once that first vertebrae is established, there should be a sense that the character must move forward to resolve something. #WritersRoad

@Tina Moss ‏ How do you feel about loose ends? I like things tied in bows, but sometimes one open subplot will lead to next book in series. #writersroad

@TS Tate (Tee) ‏@teetate And dont be afraid of structure. No one said u have to write in a certain chronology. Play around w/ it, make it interesting. #writersroad

@Krissi Dallas ‏ I find that conflict often drives a plot. How do you get characters to move? Introduce a conflict. Our lives are the same way! #writersroad

@HeatherMcCorkle: The middle of your book should be lean and athletic. No info dumping, keep things moving. #WritersRoad

@Tina Moss ‏ In fact all genres have some type of "formula" or more broadly a journey type. Unique voice is the key. #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle  Always remember that the spine~and your story~leads somewhere. #WritersRoad
@Krissi Dallas ‏ I think good plots have circular value. Like, the beginning is import to the end & the end makes you appreciate the beginning. #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ If your story~or spine~doesn't lead somewhere, it's like a body without a head. If you're writing a zombie novel that may work. #WritersRoad

@Maya Prasad ‏@mayaprasadwrite We shouldn't see the climax coming, but it should make sense given all we've learned about the character and the world #WritersRoad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ Think of subplots and character development like the nerves that come out from the spine. They all connect. #WritersRoad
@TS Tate (Tee) ‏@teetate It's simple really: intro, Inciting Incident, rising action, Crisis Point, climax, falling action, resolution. Boom. #writersroad

@Heather McCorkle ‏ Put simply: If nerve endings, well, just end, they'll die. Tie up all those loose ends! #WritersRoad

Join us tonight for another #WritersRoad chat on Twitter (via Tweetchat) and see what all the fuss is about!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Call For Guest Moderators

Myself and the fabulous editor, TS Tate, moderate a weekly chat for writers on Twitter (most use Tweetchat) every Monday night at 6pm Pacific Time called #WritersRoad. We chat about everything to do with writing and publishing. If you haven't dropped in on one yet, you're missing out! It has become a 'trending' topic on Twitter on Monday nights. 

In fact, it has become so popular and is growing so much, that we'd like to invite guest moderators to step in for Tee or myself from time to time. Life gets busy, things demand our attention, but Tee and I never take a break from #WritersRoad. We're that dedicated to helping our fellow writers. And that's a big part of why, despite our busy lives, we refuse to let the chat go defunct like so many writers' chats have on Twitter. 

If you're interesting in guest moderating, have no fear, either myself or Tee will be there with you. That way you'll have someone who is familiar with the crowd and the way the chat is run, to help you out and keep things moving. You can either choose your own writing or publishing related topic (to be approved by Tee and myself, to make sure we haven't recently covered it), or we can help you choose one. 

Want to give it a shot? Leave me a comment or click on the Contact Me button above and I'll get back to you. The date is something we'll work out once we get in touch. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Welcome Fantasy Author Francis Knight

Today I'm excited to introduce you to fantasy author Francis Knight. Her debut novel, Fade To Black, released this February from Orbit Books and it's one fantasy fans won't want to miss! It released this February from Orbit Books.

Without further delay, please welcome Francis. 

Heather: The concept of Fade To Black is fascinating! I love the idea of a city that builds up, instead of out. How did the idea for this novel come about?

Francis: Embarrassingly, it was originally a far future dystopia where I envisaged cities growing up due to lack of space. However my writers group (quite rightly!) shot down my future tech. So I changed it to fantasy, though I kept the idea of a lack of space forcing the city to grow upwards. I also have a great love for Bladerunner and that ilk of story, and I wanted to capture something of that atmosphere. How better than a dark and dismal towering city with copious amounts of rain?

Heather: How better indeed! The idea of drawing magic from pain is one I've never read of before, I love that! Can you tell us a bit more about pain-mages?

Francis: Well I was toying with the idea of costs to magic. I mean, if it’s all just “say a few words and POOF!, fireball”, everyone would be doing it, surely? So, what if it was a magic you really didn’t want to use unless you had to? So here we have our pain mages, which basically means they use pain to power their magic. Most of them use their own pain, but it has been known for a few of the nastier ones to use other people’s. There’s also the black, which is a major downside to using the magic – it’s like a drug, tempting the user to just give in to oblivion and never come back. Sometimes they don’t give in, but go a bit gaga resisting, which tends to end up in magical fisticuffs and/or portions of the city going up in smoke. One reason for that revolution a few years ago…and now pain mages are illegal. My main character, Rojan, persuades himself that he’s just being sensible not using his magic – I mean, why dislocate your own thumb to cast a spell when you don’t have to? Plus there’s less of a tendency to get arrested that way and in Mahala, being arrested generally means being messily dead sooner or later.

Heather: Sounds like a rough place! From your website it looks like this is going to be a trilogy. As one who is very excited about the first novel, I'm thrilled to see this! I wonder though, what do you have in the works for the future?

Francis: Oh, I’ve got a few things on the boil. Octopus magic, weaving fates and breaking fates, incompetent assassins and magical filing going hideously wrong…nothing is set in stone just yet though, so we shall see.

Heather: Octopus magic, I'm intrigued! Can you tell us what is your writing ritual like?

Francis: Things I need, tea. Copious amounts of tea. Preferably peace and quiet, though I can write with noise. I’ve been known to tell my Old Man to ‘Just go to the pub, dammit!’ so I can write in peace. He rarely complains. Other than that, I write whenever and wherever I can – and I find the act of writing is what inspires me. Things crop up as I write them, and then it’s like they’ve always been there.

Heather: LOL! Too awesome. And you sound like me when it comes to coffee. Thanks for joining us Francis. I'm really looking forward to reading your book. For my readers who want to join me, here are the links:

And you can find Francis at:

Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Debut Adult Fantasy Authors

When I first began blogging I loved to feature debut authors. Now that I'm diving into a new arena (adult fantasy), I wanted to get back to my roots and do that again. If you are an author of adult fantasy, or know of one, I'd love to feature you~whether it's your debut novel or not. Leave me a comment or click on the Contact Me button above and I'll get a hold of you!

Until I have a few interviews lined up for you, here is a list (likely not all inclusive) of adult fantasy authors who are debuting this year:

Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger
Release date: September 2013
Publisher: HQN Books

Gideon's Angel by Clifford Beal
Release Date: March
Publisher: Solaris Books

The Six Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher
Release Date:
Publisher: Tor Books

The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Release Date: January of 2013
Publisher: Angry Robot Books

Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
Release Date: March of 2013
Publisher: Orbit

The Curiosity by Stephen F. Kiernan
Release Date: July of 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins

Fade to Black by Francis Knight
Release Date: February of 2013
Publisher: Orbit

Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri
Release Date: February
Publisher Tor Books

The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez
Release Date: May
Publisher: Night Shade Books

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
Release Date: April
Publisher: Orbit

The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri
Release Date: March
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Firebrand by Gillian Philip
(US debut)
Release Date:

The Kassa Gambit by M. C. Planck
Release Date: January
Publisher: Tor

The Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby
Release Date: April
Publisher: Signet

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
Release Date:
Publisher: Penguin

Between by Kerry Schafer
Release Date: January
Publisher: Ace

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwartz
Release Date: February
Publisher: Del Ray

Forged by Fate by Amalia Dillin
Release Date: March
Publisher: World Weaver Press

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Feed Your Muse Friday: Things Unfinished

I recently came across a great quote for writers that struck a cord with me. It made me think of all the people out there who start a book and never quite finish it. Here it is:

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
—Philip Roth

What does that mean exactly? In my humble opinion, it means there is no greater hell than regrets of things unfinished. And an unfinished novel can be a writer's greatest regret. So commit, discipline yourself to get the words out, and see it through. You'll thank yourself later. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Soul Mates and Twin Flames in The Space Between

Today I'm excited to welcome one of my favorite authors, Kristie Cook, over to celebrate the release of her new adult paranormal novel, The Space Between. This book blew me away. You're going to love it! And, you're going to love Kristie. She's offering a $5 Amazon or B&N gift card to one person who reads this post and tells Kristie she dropped by my blog! To enter all you have to do is click on one of the options below on the Rafflecopter. And, Kristie is doing a MAJOR giveaway on her own site of a $200 gift card so be sure to drop by her site after you've read this and entered here. I hope you'll join me in welcoming Kristie. 

Kristie: Thank you, Heather, so much for participating in the release tour of The Space Between! And thank you, too, for being a beta reader! You asked me about my unique take on soul mates in this book and how I came up with it. I always giggle when people ask me about inspiration for my ideas, because the answer’s never easy. My ideas are usually the result of several things coming together. That’s what happened here.

It started with the desire to make this new series, The Book of Phoenix, as different as possible from my first series, the Soul Savers. They both deal with souls and the ultimate connection between them, but, besides battles between good and evil, the similarities end there. In Soul Savers, the two main characters are soul mates—two souls that were created for each other. In the Book of Phoenix, I wanted a connection that was just as significant, but different.

And I didn’t want to contradict myself either. I didn’t want to diminish the connection between Alexis and Tristan in the Soul Savers with this other series. So as writers do, I researched ideas for a similar connection between souls, and I discovered the concept of Twin Flames or twin souls—one soul that has been split in half. The idea goes back to Plato and more recently became part of the New Age Movement, started in part by Edgar Cayce.

As I always do, however, I wanted to put my own spin on the idea. I also didn’t want to contradict my spiritual beliefs. Although it’s fiction, this remains important to me, so that was taken into account as I created my mythology.

I already had some pieces in place before finding the idea of Twin Flames, but it fit in perfectly. So perfectly that I knew nothing else would work. I’d toyed with the idea of using only the “twin” part, researching twins and Gemini, but I didn’t want readers to get the idea that the love interests were actually twins. Ew! Then I noticed how much fire was already playing a major theme in my characters and the plot. Keeping “Flames” in the term was only natural.

So the relationships between my characters in The Space Between are based on souls that have been split and each piece is constantly searching for its other half. But in my world, once they find each other, life gets a little…weird. And if they don’t find each other? It’s not good. At all.

There’s so much more I could say about this idea and my spin on Twin Flames and soul mates, but I don’t want to give anything away. If it’s okay to say so myself, I think the concept in the book is really cool. I hope you’ll check out The Space Between to see what I mean.

About The Space Between, Part One of The Book of Phoenix:

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


Bestselling author Kristie Cook, with over 200,000 books sold, brings you another New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix


“A completely unique story with a paranormal twist . . . the perfect blend of romance and mystery with a phenomenal plot that will keep you guessing.” ~ Jessica, Confessions of a Bookaholic

“I loved this book! The characters, the romance, the plot, the originality! It had everything to make it an amazing book!” ~ Kendall, Book Crazy


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.


“This is a completely new twist on the idea of a timeless love story with a paranormal twist unlike any other. The connection between the two characters is bone deep and resonates beautifully. I will never forget this novel.” ~ Heather McCorkle, Author of the fantasy Channeler series

“Kristie has done it again! Her Soul Savers series is my favorite by far and yet The Space Between is easily the best book she’s ever written! It's dangerous, suspenseful, and smokin’ hot.” ~ Marissa, Comfortably Read Book Reviews

“The Space Between is an amazing story of life, love and fates. Author Kristie Cook has you hanging on the edge of every page. This book stays in your head well after the last page.” ~ Mindy, Forbidden Reviews

Enter to win a $5 Gift Certificate to either Amazon or B&N!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

About Kristie Cook:
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 200,000 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 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:
The Book of Phoenix Website:
Soul Savers Series Website:

Shadows of the Hidden Contest

Today I'm helping a dear friend and fantastic author, Anne Riley, spread the word about a contest to win a copy of her paranormal YA novel, Shadows of the Hidden. The fun part, at different locations you'll get to read different excerpts! Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter to win. Here is a bit about Shadows:

Natalie Watson doesn’t believe her parents are dead, even though they disappeared five years ago. Discovering the truth about their fate is one of the only things that get her out of bed in the morning. But after moving from her home in Georgia to her aunt’s boarding school in Maine, solving the mystery of her parents’ whereabouts is just one of several challenges she must face. When she’s not fending off attacks from the popular kids, she puzzles over the rumors about a strange boy in her math class–one with fiery red hair who rarely speaks.

Despite suspicions that he murdered his sister a year earlier, Natalie finds it impossible to stay away from Liam Abernathy–especially when he confesses to knowing something about her parents. Soon she’s following him into the forest, where things happen she doesn’t understand…things that shouldn’t be possible.

Natalie soon realizes her connection to Liam is deeper than she ever imagined, and not everyone she counts as a friend can be trusted. When she finds herself at the center of a centuries-old quest for immortality, she must work with Liam to stay alive–even if it means facing a truth about herself and her family that will not only shake her perception of herself, but of the entire world around her.

Shadows of the Hidden:

And now for the excerpt:

     I’ve almost finished a row of stitches when the door bursts open and Michelle—my gum-smacking, Gucci-clad roommate—flounces in. An invisible cloud of J.Lo perfume thickens the air.
     She stops short when she sees me, her blue eyes wide. “Whoa!”
     I frown. “What? Did you forget about me or something?”
     “No,” she says, striding across the room. She tosses her bag on the floor—an orange leather satchel that I’m sure cost as much as a small car—and snorts. “You’re just always asleep when I get home. You know, because you don’t have anything else to do.”
     I look at the digital clock on my nightstand. It’s ten-thirty. She’s right—I’m normally in bed by nine.
     “I’m surprised you’re in for the night,” I say, ignoring the jab about my lack of a social life. At this point—over a month into the school year—I’m pretty much a pro at brushing off Michelle’s constant deluge of snide comments.
     “I’m just dropping off my bag. Ethan’s taking me out to the cliffs.” Her eyes linger on my half-finished scarf. “Why does that look familiar?”
     “It’s the Gryffindor scarf. You’ve probably seen it in one of the Harry Potter mov—”
     “Um, I know you’re not about to imply that I watch Harry Potter. I’m not twelve.”
     I sigh. “As I’ve said before, Michelle, it’s not just twelve-year-olds that like—”
     She throws up a hand, exasperated. “Please don’t try to defend it. I know you have a wand somewhere in this room, and I can’t even deal with it.”
     My eyes flicker instinctively to my nightstand drawer, where I do, in fact, keep the wand I ordered online last year. Fourteen and a half inches, yew with a Phoenix feather core. Surprisingly swishy.

And now for the contest:

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