Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: Gameboard of the Gods

A new series from the author of one of my favorite series of all time, Vampire Academy. I was psyched and could hardly wait to start reading it. But then...

I've come to expect a certain level of writing from Richelle Mead, one that sucks me in immediately, endears to the characters, and immerses me in her world. That didn't happen as much as I would have liked with this new world of hers.

Without having read the synopsis I wouldn't have guessed there was anything mythological in this book at all until after about a hundred pages in, and even then, it's lightly brushed over for a long time. It's one thing to build mystery, but another entirely to keep the readers utterly in the dark to the point where they start to lose interest. Which is unfortunately what happened for me with this book. This was too slow moving for me as well, too much like a thriller instead of a dystopian fantasy.

 So why three stars? Because Richelle's writing was compelling enough to keep me reading regardless of the issues listed above. I still love her as an author.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WritersRoad Recap 6/24: Humor In Fiction

Here is an abbreviated recap of last Monday's live Writer's Road chat on the topic of Humor in Fiction:

TS Tate (Tee) @teetate
You have to let the narrative voice do much of the heavy lifting #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) @teetate
In five measly lines, Adams does such a masterful job of establishing the irrelevance of humanity, #writersroad

J B Mills @jbeemills
I took a webinar about this from Robin Mellom, author of Ditched. It was great!#writersroad

Charmaine Clancy @charmaineclancy
@teetate My MG novels contain humour 'cause kids like that. And dogs, dogs are funny. #writersroad

@teetate: humor is a lot harder to do than you'd think. Being funny on command? Man, that's tough! #writersroad

B Mills One thing Robin mentioned was "the rule of 3s." 2 ordinary things, followed by an unexpected thing. #writersroad

Charmaine Clancy #writersroad - I draw on real life for humour. Life can be laughed at... or maybe that's just mine.

Krissi Dallas My humorous moments almost always come in the form of awkward, embarrassing teen moments-& the reactions that ensue! :) #writersroad

Heather McCorkle Humor needs to come naturally, it should never be forced. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle If the humor isn't coming naturally I find that I need to dig into my character more, find out why they're funny. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle If the humor isn't coming naturally I find that I need to dig into my character more, find out why they're funny. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee) Steal from Yourself Many claim that they can’t write funny, yet they are incredibly witty when you talk to them #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) If you say something that’s an instant hit with your friends, why not write it down and save it for later? #writersroad

Matthew Wilbur Don't forget about using humor to undercut the tension in a scene. Joss Whedon and crew did this on Buffy and Angel. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee) The Secret to Humor is Surprise Most humor relies on surprise, one way or another. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) if you can make the readers complete the sentence in their head before they finish reading it... #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) , and then pull the carpet from under them, you’ve got a good joke.#writersroad

Miss Fiffy @Fida_Islaih Practice with funnies you like then make your own. #writersroad

J B Mills I also think it's funny when you get insight into the character's mind, but what comes out of their mouth doesn't agree. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) Humor is Subjective No matter how hard you try, you can’t make everyone laugh. Humor is extremely subjective. #writersroad

Charmaine Clancy #writersroad - it's a risky line between being funny about a character and being mean. Laugh 'with' not 'at' -- or make them deserving.

J B Mills So much of humor is rhythm and cadence. If a line isn't working, you might just need a different element or stronger lead line. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) Humor likes danger. If you are cautious by nature, writing humor probably isn't for you. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) Humor works best when you sense that the writer is putting himself in jeopardy.#writersroad

Tina Moss Sitcom writers can reach us so much too. Big Bang, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, etc. #writersroad

Heather McCorkle Think of your favorite funny characters in books and movies, then explore why they were funny to you. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee) Humor is about people. It's impossible to write humor abt a concept or an object. All humor involves how people think and act. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) Remember that your jokes will be dependent upon your audience. No innuendo if ur writing for eight yr olds #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) Exaggerate wisely. If you anchor your story in the familiar, your readers will follow you on a humorous exaggeration. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee) With humor, you never say "pull" when you can say "yank." Some words are simply funnier than others #writersroad

Heather McCorkle @teetate Very true. Part of humor is in the language we choose. #writersroad

Doug Solter  Know ur audience and what they would find funny. YA audience humor diff than MG or Adult humor. Even that can be divided more #writersroad

Heather McCorkle There is a fine line between bullying and humor. Make sure your characters know it. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee) Final thoughts: don't try so hard, let the humor flow naturally & looks to ur favs & RL for inspiration.

Heather McCorkle  And, inspired by the fabulous @teetate, take notes when people laugh in real life, and takes notes on what makes you laugh. #WritersRoad

We chat every Monday at 6pm PT (using either Tweetchat~easier when it works, but it is glitchy~or TweetDeck) and all are invited to participate. We're always open to topic suggestions so long as they involve writing or the publishing industry. Feel free to apply to join our Facebook page as well. We are often trending on Twitter!

Spammers attracted by the trending will be mercilessly blocked. Okay, in truth, spammers attracted for any reason, will be blocked. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Free Book & Cover Reveal from Kristie Cook

Today is the full cover reveal of Kristie Cook's next installment in the Soul Savers Series. But first – Kristie, Tristan (the major HOTTIE!!!! From the Soul Savers Series) and Tristan's advocate Lisa need your help!

Right this very minute Tristan is participating in his first match in the NA Crush Tourney!

Then go threaten everyone you know to vote for him … or ask nicely. Whatever works. If WHEN Tristan wins, Kristie will share "A never-before-seen scene written from Tristan's point-of-view that I promise you will love. And if he wins the whole tourney? You'll get to read about their wedding night from Tristan's POV.".

Okay, now on to the gorgeous cover and title for Soul Savers Book 5:

Isn't it amazing? I can't wait for this book! It comes out later this summer and don't forget to follow Kristie for up-to-date news. Now don't forget to go vote for Tristan! Want to know why you should? Visit Lisa's blog - A Life Bound By Books for her advocate post – you'll LOVE it and while you're there VOTE for Tristan!!!

Voting starts on Monday, June 24th at 11:59 PM EST and closes Tuesday, June 25th 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST)
(Opens Monday at 8:59 PM PST and closes Tuesday at 8:59 PM PST)

Here's the link:

Tweet like crazy! Be sure to include the following hashtags and the link in your tweets so we can find you and others know where they can vote for Tristan too!

#NACrushTourney - #KnightRiders -

And don't forget to grab an eBook copy of the first book Soul Savers Series, Promise! It's FREE!!! On all platforms! Here's the links:

Order the FREE eBook Online here: AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooksKoboSmashwords
In the UK: AmazoniBooks

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cover Teaser For Kristie Cook's Upcoming Novel

I'm thrilled to share with you a teaser of the cover for the fifth book in the Soul Saver Series By: Kristie Cook that I LOVE! Take a look and see what you think, and keep an eye out for the FULL cover reveal coming this Tuesday!

Title: TBA on Tuesday!
Author: Kristie Cook
Publisher: Ang'dora Productions, LLC (Coming SUMMER 2013)
Find Kristie and her books on: Goodreads

Synopsis to follow!

Haven't read the series? How about a FREE eBook copy of Promise? It's FREE on ALL platforms! Yes it is! Here's links where you can get YOUR FREE COPY TODAY!

Order the FREE eBook Online here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords
In the UK: Amazon, iBooks

Okay, Lisa at A Life Bound By Books is still looking for HELP with the #NACrushTourney for none other than Tristan Knight himself! She's created a Street Team called #KnightRiders and would LOVE to have YOU help Tristan make his way to VICTORY!! The first round is coming up quick. Here's all the info you need to know so far.

Oh and EVERYONE who helps with the Tourney by joining the Street Team and doing tasks will be ENTERED TO WIN PRIZES!!! YES! PRIZES!!! More from Lisa about that later.

Now... Lisa can't do this on her own, so this is where you guys come in.

First and most important, Tristan has his first round coming up, so we all have to act fast! Voting opens for the first round on ****Monday, June 25th at 11:59PM EST (or for us on the west coast, Monday at 8:59PM PST)**** Once the post is up, the voting can begin and will only be open for 24 HOURS! You'll be able to VOTE both at A Life Bound By Books and at the NA ALLY! (During the 24 hour voting period I believe you'll be able to vote from multiple devices so everyone should keep that in mind.)

Wondering what we'll ALL win when Tristan WINS? Straight from Kristie herself -
And here's my reward if he wins Round 1 (please put in both posts): "A never-before-seen scene written from Tristan's point-of-view that I promise you will love. And if he wins the whole tourney? You'll get to read about their wedding night from Tristan's POV."

Looking to sign up for #KnightRiders Street TeamHere's the quick form to fill out. Every thing will happen in a few emails so not to worry about having your inbox bogging down. Also, all info, emails, etc will be deleted at the end of the tournament.

Grab the button below, add it to blogs, Facebook, change your twitter pic, etc! Put it up everywhere you can!!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#WritersRoad ReCap: High Concept

Here is an abbreviated recap of Monday's Writer's Road chat on high concept (highlights only).

Heather McCorkle Think of high concept as something that would be a blockbuster if it were a movie. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle: When you write a novel you shouldn't try a high concept. Either it is, or it isn't. Let the story decide

Krissi Dallas  High concept is a story that when pitched immediately creates an image or interest for the reader based on concept alone. #writersroad

Tina Moss  High concept always feels like something described after the fact i.e. after it becomes a bestseller. #writersroad

Heather McCorkle Think of high concept this way: Something with a deeper meaning, a richer story, possibly a lesson or visceral reaction. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  From #TheShark "High concept means you can explain the book without actually ever talking about the content." #writersroad

Heather McCorkle  to @teetate Yes! Like a Twitter pitch that makes me desperately want to know more because the short description is that good. #WritersRoad

Allison Duke  This is from Rachelle Gardner in 2011: #WritersRoad

Krissi Dallas  In my experience, all HC is, is a word used by agents/pubs to declare it easy to PITCH/SELL. Because it's widely familiar. #writersroad

Matthew Wilbur @Nightveil "Costumed super-hero fights crime dressed as a bat. Doesn't kill. Uses lots of gadgets." #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle   How do you know if you're writing high concept? How much interest is elicited from the short pitch is an indicator. #WritersRoad

Krissi Dallas @Chris_Ledbetter In a way, you're probably right...But it's something that hits on popular trends & tells it uniquely, I think. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee)  From Waxman. They're suggestions for "High Concept"… #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee)  Don't let your desire for success motivate. Stay true to the story first, figure out the marketing/PR later. #writersroad

Lori Prima @Loriprima to @teetate I think writers sometimes look too far ahead, which can trip us up. Also I can't do it all. It's ok to need help #writersroad

Allison Duke  A book does NOT have to be high concept to sell, but high concept will get more attention faster. #WritersRoad

Chris Ledbetter to @HeatherMcCorkle Consider this, everyone says write YOUR book, but when you finish, either the premise is salable or it's not #writersroad

Allison Duke I would suggest that an experienced author does not have to write high concept, but the first thing you pitch should be. #WritersRoad

Ebony McKenna I love trying to work out what High Concept is. Like nailing jelly to the wall. #writersroa

Heather McCorkle In the end, the important thing is that you write the story that's in your heart or your gut, and that you write it well. #WritersRoad

Monday, June 17, 2013

Movie Review: After Earth

There is  lot an author can learn from movies and in the spirit of all that reviewing can do for an artist, I thought I'd throw a movie review out there once in a while, especially when one resonates with me. As someone who cares deeply about the environment and what we're doing to the planet, this movie touched me.

Every now and then a movie comes along that is so powerful it touches me on a deep level, making me want to share it. Sometimes it's a movie that doesn't even hit the radar for others, sometimes it's a blockbuster. This one is an M. Night Shyamalon movie (director of Signs, The Sixth Sense, The Happening), which surprised me considered that Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith star in it. A lot of people say you either love M. Night or you hate him, but I disagree. While I've loved most of his movies, there are a few that haven't resonated with me. But I digress.

After Earth takes place in the distant future after humans have been forced to leave Earth because it has rebelled against the abuse we've dished out to it over the years with floods, earthquakes, and the like. Mankind has colonized a new planet, but not without riling up the locals, which has resulted in a rivalry that created a special ability in some of our soldiers called 'ghosting'. The leaving Earth and alien rivalry parts ares brushed over in an attempt to get to the true plot faster. I would have loved to have seen more time spent on these elements, in fact, one could make two entire movies out of these concepts. I think this may be why some movie goers don't like this movie. However, what follows is a great movie as well, even if it should have been the third in a trilogy.

Kitai Raige and his father, Cypher, crash land on a planet that is so hostile, it is considered uninhabitable. Everything on the planet has evolved to kill humans. Sounds terrible until you realize this happened because the natural order was trying to get rid of the one thing that was killing the planet. And of course, the planet is Earth. There are some breathtakingly beautiful scenic shots of what the Earth looks like unpolluted and unmolested by humans, thriving plant life, abundant animal life. It's mesmerizing and utterly sad.

Kitai must cross this hostile planet to get to the beacon that will alert rescuers of their location, or both he and his father will perish. It's a harrowing adventure where Kitai comes to his own in a way that climaxes violently enough that it will disturb some. Yet another reason some may not like this movie. The dynamics between the father and son are raw and real, to the point where they seem over acted to some movie goers. But, it isn't overacting, it's realism to the extreme because these two actors actually are father and son. With that occurrence the dynamics shift in a way that you just can't duplicate, and I loved it.

This hits the five star rating for me.
* Concept
*Screenplay (though it barely made this one due issues mentioned above)
*Will buy it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: Angela Brown's, ATONE

Today I'm excited to be participating in the cover reveal for Angela Brown's new novella in her NEO Chronicles, ATONE. It was my distinct pleasure to design this cover with Angela so it's special to me in more ways than one! Angela is a stunning writer and her characters will pull you right into the story. Here is the cover and a bit about the fabulous book:

What harm can come from a kiss?

Caine Fordham knows the danger all too well.

As the Kill Circuit’s top lady-killer, business is good. Yet Caine knows the life of an assassin isn’t meant to last forever, just as love is impossible for him. Who could love a man with poison lacing his veins and a kiss that kills?

When Caine decides to take one last job, deal out one last kiss, he discovers there’s more to life than death, and more to love than pain.

Available at:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Watermark from Krissi Dallas Is Coming!

Watermark, the fourth installment of the YA fantasy Phantom Island series by Krissi Dallas is finally releasing this fall! I love this series and Krissi is one of my favorite authors! If you haven’t jumped on board this island adventure full of magic, mystery, and romance, now is your chance. Enter to win an autographed Phantom Island trilogy pack, an autographed copy of Watermark when it releases, a tribal t-shirt, or an autographed copy of The Collector by debut author Victoria Scott! The giveaway will be open for entries until Friday, June 14. See information below.

And now for Watermark… the dramatic conclusion to the first half of the Phantom Island series… Here is a bit about it:

Relationships on the White Island are volatile and Whitnee, Morgan, and Caleb aren’t sure who they can trust—even each other. Politicians are lying, history is being rewritten, and motives are questionable. Whitnee sets out with Gabriel and a band of rebel spies to take back the enemy's biggest weapon—Whitnee's father. However, a shocking turn of events proves once again that the Island's secrets have the power to destroy more than just the truth. Separated from her friends, Whitnee battles her own fears in order to survive and protect the ones she loves. But when Morgan's illness finally comes to light, Whitnee faces a decision that could alter her future—and Morgan’s—forever. And whether she ultimately stays on the Island or leaves might not be her choice, after all.


     I stared at her in frustration. “What is with you?!” I exploded. She was not acting like my best friend. Like my Morgan. “You’ve been so different this summer, and I don’t get it!”
     “Well, you’ve been different too! People change, you know,” she snapped back.
     “If I’ve changed, fine. But at least I’m still honest with you. You, however, have turned into a liar! If we don’t have trust between us, then what do we have, Morgan?”

Even Kirkus, one of the toughest reviewers in the industry, is singing this series praises:

“…[An] earnest tale of magic and romance that deals with the great distance between pain and recovery.” –Kirkus Reviews (Windchaser, Phantom Island Book 1)

Meet the Author:

Krissi Dallas loves pop music, mismatched socks, and fried chicken. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her youth minister husband, Sam, and their two wicked Yorkies, Elphie and Luna. Krissi enjoys hanging out with her quirky middle school students and building the dramatic, magical, and mysterious world that makes up the Phantom Island series. Be sure to check out Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing. Krissi loves connecting with teens, as well as readers and writers of all ages! You can stalk her online at

Proving my point about how fabulous Krissi is, just check out this giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Win a Kindle Touch from author Leigh T. Moore

Today I'm excited to be celebrating the release of Dragonfly by my friend, and fabulous author, Leigh T. Moore! Advanced praise is already coming in on it.

"Dragonfly swept me off my feet! Once I started reading this book it kinda sucked me into the story and I had a hard time putting it down." --Stephanie, My Thoughts... reviews

Five Stars! "Angst, longing, jealousy, mystery, secrets, love triangles, sexy scenes! Could you even ask for more? Well you can because it is also very well-written and fast-paced. Great book to dive into poolside, but I will warn you may get so swept up in it you may end up with some sun burn. So I STRONGLY suggest you invest in some sunscreen as well as a copy of Dragonfly." --Nichole, Goodreads reviewer

"I truly enjoyed this one! I thought the characters were intriguing, the mystery and story were interesting and definitely have ME WANTING MORE!!!!!!!" --Mandy, The Romance Bookie

“Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.” –Magan Vernon, international bestselling author of The Only Exception

Three bad things I learned this year: -People you trust lie, even parents. -That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one. -Things are not always how they appear. Three good things I learned this year: -Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away. -That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one. -Oh, and things are not always how they appear.

Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy. Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced... Until he mysteriously withdrew. Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father. A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

Be watching for Undertow, Book 2 in the Dragonfly series, coming July 18!

Falling in Love Changes Everything…

“C’mon,” Julian said, helping me stand. “Let’s blow off this party and catch a movie or go to Scoops. This isn’t our scene.” I shook my head. “I just really want to go home.” The tears were trying to start again. “Can I just go home now?” “Sure,” he said, holding my cheek. I took a limping step, and he stopped. “Does it hurt to walk?” My leg was throbbing. I nodded, looking down, and before I realized what was happening, he was lifting me in his arms. “Julian, wait,” I held his shoulders. “I’m too heavy!” “It’s okay,” he said, walking on. I sighed and leaned my head against his shoulder. I didn’t feel like fighting. Gentle pressure against my temple, and he’d kissed me. “You’ll get over this,” I heard him say under his breath.

Leigh Talbert Moore is the author of the popular young adult romantic comedy The Truth About Faking, its companion The Truth About Letting Go, and the mature YA/new adult romantic suspense novel Rouge, a Quarter Finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

She is an award-winning journalist and editor, who has also worked in marketing and public relations for many years. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the southeast and Midwest U.S., and she runs the popular writing-craft blog That’s Write.

A southern ex-pat and beach bum, she currently lives with her husband, two young children, and one grumpy cat in the Midwest.

Connect online:
Facebook | Amazon Author page | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

Read excerpts of her books on Wattpad and Figment!
* * *
Enter at this link to #WIN a Kindle Touch loaded with all FOUR of Leigh's books AND an exclusive eARC of Undertow; A signed, print set of Dragonfly and Undertow, or ebook sets of both!