Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#OBSummer Guest Post - A Cup of Coffee by Pandora Poikilos plus Kindle Fire G!veaway


A Cup of Coffee?
by Pandora Poikilos

There have been several discussions on the importance of marketing and promotions for self-published authors. How much is too much? If you do not promote your book, will your book still sell? Yes, loads of questions so before we get to that how about you and I sit down for a cup of coffee? But first, let's choose where we get it from shall we?

We have Cafe A. Its windows are dirty, one has a slight crack and the furniture appears old. Its sign is so faded, you have to strain to read it.

Opposite the street, there's Cafe B. It’s the same size as Cafe A but its windows are clean. The signboard is also clean. Not brand new, just clean. Inside, there is a fresh aroma and the assorted furniture appears colourful and comfortable.

This is what any book cover should look like. Easy to read with a clear picture that closely depicts your title or story.
*****

Then, there's the coffee itself. Cafe A serves you lukewarm coffee in a stained mug, the milk appears lumpy and the coffee tastes bitter. No extra sugar is given even when you ask. The staff appear distracted and uninterested.

For the same price, the coffee in Cafe B is creamy. The milk is frothy and extra sugar is provided even before you ask. Plus, each cup of coffee is served with a little cream on top and two thin slices of almond biscotti. The staff are jovial, they ask about your day and appear ready to serve you.

Welcome to the world of editing and formatting. See, just like a coffee machine, almond biscotti and all the other additions that cost extra money, a good editor and a good formatter will cost you more than a few pennies but the difference they make in the long run is money well-spent. It may take you months to break even but do you really want to ruin a reader's experience with your book?
*****

Cafe A appears to have customers so it can’t be all that bad. There is one customer sitting in a corner, sleeping. Another appears engrossed on his laptop. However, neither are drinking or eating anything.

Café B isn’t crowded, there are at least ten or more people. But each customer is having a drink and some are enjoying snacks.

These are your customers. In the publishing world, they are also your reviewers. Whether they purchase a book for $1 or $10, a customer expects to be entertained, touched and connected to the story in some way. Occasionally, you will have a tea drinker who gulps down hot coffee and he/she will be grumpy. These are your 1star reviews which however hard you try to ignore, will sting a little anyway. But if you’ve given it your best - this is your story, your ideas and threads of your life are weaved into it so don’t change it because a handful of people tell you it’s not their cup of tea.
*****

Café A’s menu is limited. There are three types of coffee, two types of tea and a cake of day. All items are made by the café’s staff.

Café B has at least 20 different varieties of coffee and tea. Their snack list varies from biscuits, cakes and even pies. They haven’t made every single item on the menu but the customers enjoy the variety.

This is a writer’s backlist. Yes, a backlist doesn’t magically appear overnight but it must be there to ensure you have return customers (readers). Additionally, if one book doesn’t appeal to a reader, he/she can support you by purchasing another from your list. How do you achieve a backlist? Write, everyday or as much as you can. Some writers churn out a new book once every three months, others take longer. There isn’t a fixed amount of time but in the long run, it is necessary to keep it coming.

You can also work with other writers on anthologies, series and non-fiction titles. You do not have to achieve a backlist all by yourself.
*****

A customer who orders takeaway from Café A receives a white Styrofoam cup.

Café B packs their takeaway in customized thick paper cups which has an imprint of their logo. Customers can choose to include paper napkins and when leaving, each customer is given a small brochure which has details like phone number, address and opening hours.

This is your advertising, marketing and promotions. Again, some of these will cost you money. But you cannot make money without first spending it. Organise a book tour at book stores or an online tour, purchase advertising from relevant sites, do joint ventures with other bloggers. You will need more than one campaign and you will need to ensure you and your book stay in focus at least once every three months. If luck had her way, you can sell tons of books in just one campaign. But don’t depend on luck, she tends to show up unexpectedly so keep going till she pops in for a visit. There are tons of ways you can sell your book without telling people, “please buy my book.” And not all of these methods will cost you an arm and a leg.

*****
I have worked in public relations for more than 15 years. I’ve worked on selling hotel rooms, beauty magazines, gifts and now, books. The one thing any segment of public relations has in common is details. To others, it may come across as pedantic, unnecessary and sometimes expensive but the little chocolate on your hotel pillow, the colourful brochure that makes you want to shop and the book cover that has you wanting to know more makes the difference to the end user. How people feel, not what they say or don’t say, that is the key. As writers, look into as many details as you can. You won’t figure it out in one go but books are forever, and you’ll have the chance to keep improving yourself in your next book, and the next and so on.

When I started working on Orangeberry Book Tours in October 2011, it was challenging to balance what writers needed, bloggers requested and what readers wanted. But after a lot tweaking, we’re almost there and I am pretty sure we’ll grow even more in months to come. Orangeberry is my way of giving back to the writing community. When I first started self-publishing, I was clueless and wished I had more info on what to do and how to do it. I learned the hard way and look forward to sharing my lessons with other writers who are starting their journeys.

Now, how about that cup of coffee?

About the author

International best-selling author, Pandora Poikilos has been writing for more than 10 years for various media which include newspapers, radio, television and various websites.

Diagnosed in 2003 with a rare neurological disorder, Benign Intracrannial Hypertension, she has since undergone brain surgery to have a VP Shunt fitted in her brain. Her debut novel – Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out was written when recovering from this surgery.

She is also the founder of Orangeberry Book Tours, a marketing and public relations site for authors and reaches out to readers of all genres. A social media enthusiast who is passionate about blogging and finding her way around the virtual world, she wills away time in the real world by reading, writing and people watching.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
FREQUENT TRAVELLER
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AND PAPERBACK


Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating - PG
More details about the book

Connect with Pandora Poikilos on Twitter

Giveaway


Grand Prize - Winner wins Kindle Fire and all books
Consolation Prizes - 25 x winners choice of 3 ebooks
Kindle Fire Giveaway is sponsored by 
ALL participating authors in the Orangeberry Summer Splash event.
Check out these awesome peeps HERE

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#OBSummer Guest Post - Remembering a Time Before E-books by M.H. Bonham plus Kindle Fire G!veaway


Remembering a Time Before E-books
by M.H. Bonham

I'm not nostalgic, but sometimes when I'm touching an app on my smartphone, I wonder what the younger generations would think about the world I grew up in. It must seem positively primitive.

I remember a time before cell phones, before cable TV, and yeah, before the Internet. I do remember black and white shows. We didn't have a VCR until I was in high school, let alone CDs or DVDs.

Computers were ridiculously primitive when I was in high school--and way too expensive for ordinary people to own one. Hell, I remember when Pong came out.

GPS was still cold war era technology and you had to use a map. Microwave ovens, while they were around, didn't really catch on until I was in high school.

So, what did we do as kids, you might ask. We played with low tech toys (we didn't have high tech toys), listened to records, read books, watched TV -- 3 or 4 channels--wow! We pretty much made up games and played board games too. Phone calls were made via land lines and phone booths. Oh yeah, and I remember rotary dials.

Now that I've dated myself terribly, I have to admit I was somewhat instrumental in bringing about this technological evolution. I was a software engineer and worked with various technologies that are the backbone of what we work with today. That includes e-books.

I look at the evolution of the book to e-book. Sure, we had e-books in the 90s, but I really didn't think they would take off until the readers hit a price point that everyone could afford. (I was right). I just got a 1/2 terrabyte drive -- and it fits in the palm of my hand. When I look at our technology, I realize that the paper book is going to be just a collector's item for the few folks who really can't stand holding an electronic device.

Look, I'm sure when papyrus or parchment was introduced, people resisted. After all, stone is something that hangs around forever. And when the printing press showed up? I'm sure some Luddite complained that it sent a roomful of monks to the unemployment lines. And when we switch to paper from parchment? Horrors that we were using tree pulp instead of goat hide. And I'm pretty sure that old-fashioned typesetters hate computers.

I still have authors who cling to their treeware books and ask me to print paperbacks. I do, but it's more of a loss than a gain for me. Still, if the book does well, I'll print some copies to make my author happy, but beyond that, it's a waste. In paperback, I make more money off selling author's copies than sales from bookstores. Sad but true.

At some point, we'll see the final shift over to e-books. I've been a bit ambivalent, but I realize the need for it. Paperbacks are too damn expensive, and the large press publishing paradigm is wallowing in the tar pit trap the big publishers built for themselves. Independent publishers, self-publishers, and small press get it. They know that moving with technology, and not trying to stifle it, is a good thing.

Adapting is what will make the smaller presses succeed.

Several scientists theorize that it wasn't just the asteroid hitting the earth that killed all the dinosaurs.

Yes, the asteroid was the death blow, but it wasn't the entire story. You see, dinosaurs became specialized. Specialized to the point where they couldn't adapt any further.

If you've ever owned a bird, you know how fragile they can be. I have chickens, geese, ducks, quail, and turkeys, and I can tell you if one little thing goes wrong with a bird's health, it's pretty much a goner. You work on trying to keep it from killing the rest of the flock. So, for birds to survive the asteroid, I suspect the asteroid impact was far wimpier than we're led to believe. Dinosaurs were so adapted to their environment that when their environment changed, they didn't know what to do. The smaller mammals and birds survived because they probably needed less oxygen and were capable of keeping themselves warm and living underground. Small, fast, and adaptable will win over big and bloated. Small needs less resources, so when the resources become scarce, there's a better chance of survival.

Hmm, see a parallel?

I don't think you need a GPS navigation system to see where the bigger guys are going.


About the Author

M.H. Bonham is a multiple award-winning author of more than 30 books, including Serpent Singer and Other Stories, Amazon bestseller Prophecy of Swords and Howling Dead, and Runestone of Teiwas.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
SERPENT SINGER AND OTHER STORIES
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AND PAPERBACK


Genre - Fantasy
Rating - PG13 - no graphic sex
More details about the book
Connect with MH Bonham on Facebook & Twitter

Giveaway
Grand Prize - Winner wins Kindle Fire and all books
Consolation Prizes - 25 x winners choice of 3 ebooks
Kindle Fire Giveaway is sponsored by 
ALL participating authors in the Orangeberry Summer Splash event.
Check out these awesome peeps HERE

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Monday, July 30, 2012

[Cover Reveal] Options by Abbi Glines


Options
by Abbi Glines
Expected Publication:  February 5th 2013

Synopsis
Two paths.
Two completely different roads.
Each one standing before me.
Each one holding a different destiny.

In life you're just supposed to choose one path.
In life you're not given the chance at choosing one specific future.

Until now.
Until me.

Why am I different? I don't know. But I'm going to see those roads and walk down each one. When it's over I'll know which one to choose because I'll know my - options.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE COVER?

The cover was designed by Stephanie Mooney from Mooney Designs.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
OTHER BOOKS BY ABBI GLINES
AVAILABLE IN KINDLE AND PAPERBACK


CHECK OUT GEIANNE'S REVIEW OF EXISTENCE

[Book Spotlight] Transformative Travel by Kate Benzin + G!veaway


Kathmandu. Nepal. The Himalayas. An exotic area of the world that many people dream about visiting. Kate made that dream come true.

A casual phone call to a friend sparked the fulfillment of Kate’s lifelong dream of traveling to Nepal in order to trek in the Himalayas. She jokingly mentioned to her friend Kay who was planning to start a new exercise routine that they could get fit on a trip to the Himalayas.

Within just a few weeks, Kate and Kay found themselves on a plane on the way to the adventure of a lifetime:

– seeing the gorgeous snow-capped Himalayas in person so close that it seemed that Kate could just reach out her hand to touch them

– trekking for days into areas that only the most adventurous travelers ever reach.

What Kate learned about herself during the challenging and sometimes excrutiating, but always stimulating, adventure of trekking at high altitude over rough terrain truly transformed her in ways that often did not become apparent until many years later.

Follow Kate as she learns more about how to expand her limits so that she can truly fulfill her dream. And maybe you will find yourself motivated to fulfill your dream as well.




Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Travel
Rating - G
More details about the author

Connect with Kate Benzin on Twitter & Facebook
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Giveaway

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

[Review] Entangled by Cat Clarke

Entangled
by Cat Clarke
Published: January 6th 2011
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
Source: Bought
Format: Kindle
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Mystery

Synopsis:

What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
Am I going to die?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper—and no clue how she got there.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she’s tried to forget. There’s falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there’s something missing. As hard as she’s trying to remember, is there something she just can’t see?

Then, in a story full of dangerous revelations, Grace must face the most important question of all: why is she here?
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Review

Mind-boggling. Depressing. This is the kind of book where happiness don't exist. The lead drowned me with her depression and agony. It started with this girl trying to do something major with her life. But you get so intrigued you don't want to stop reading even though it sort of consumes you. 

Grace loves green. I love green too, it's my favorite color. This made me conclude that this girl is very bold, stubborn but brave and she's, well... depressed. She was in denial, her decisions were clouded by angst and by her wanting instant happiness. People may see her as carefree, smart, confined. True. But reading between lines, she was a complete mess! She just wanted to believe what's on the surface, eluded the reality. She may be a good person to others but not to herself, she is incalculable! Self-inflicted pain? Unbearable!

I took the setting literally but at the back of my mind, I thought that maybe it wasn't really happening, that there's some sort of magic or science behind it. Or probably she was in Purgatory, you know, a place where you repent your sins? Lol It wasn't confusing but I was clueless! Or maybe she was confined in a psyche ward because, believe it or not, she did good reflecting about things. Damn, it was like a guessing game!

'Remember, remember, the fifth of November.' What's the answer?

The papers. The pens. Ethan.

Then the truth came out... She was freed… Or should I say, she freed herself from herself? Go figure, read the book.

Ratings

Book Trailer


About the Author



Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.

Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.
Connect with Cat on her: Website | Blog | FacebookTwitter | Goodreads


MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
ENTANGLED AND CAT'S NEWEST NOVEL TORN
AVAILABLE ON PAPERBACK AND KINDLE



Saturday, July 28, 2012

[Guest Post] My Muse Is On Vacation by Shannon Mayer

"My muse is on vacation. I can’t write/draw/create while my muse isn’t with me.”
by Shannon Mayer


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. “My muse is on vacation. I can’t write/draw/create while my muse isn’t with me.”

Simple answer to this. Stop starving you muse. No, really, it is that easy. If you don’t piss your muse off, it won’t leave.

But, because I’m here, taking on Kriss’ blog (*Gulp* Daunting beyond belief to try and fill her shoes even for a moment ) I’m going to share with you a few tips to get the muse moving again, for any type of creative endeavour.

First of all, you have to FEED it and I don’t mean junk food. Let me explain. Your muse is like any other muscle in your body, and if you feed it crap, it’s going to give you poop. Seriously. So sitting on the couch, watching “Married with Children” re-runs is going to make your writing sound like Al and Peggy arguing over the fact that they have no money. Irritating.

So, step 1. Avoid brain food junk. For me this is primarily TV. I avoid it. There are a few channels (History, Biography ) that can actually feed your muse, but even so, in small doses please and thank you. It can also come in the forms of anything that will cause you to procrastinate, things that will tie up your brain power. Another one for me is gaming. *Sigh* I love gaming, but haven’t done much simply because it takes my muse in a direction that makes it weak and slothful. Everyone will have different things that will slow the muse down, you need to figure out yours.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of things you can feed you muse, I mean, after all, this is Kriss’ blog and there’s always a recipe, right? Well, have no fear, there will be a recipe! But before we get there, let’s continue with building up your muse.

You might find your muse hiding on you because you overworked it (this is has been my case more than once) so the best thing is to first give it a rest., Literally. Do something different, out of your comfort zone that has NOTHING to do with your creativity. Need some examples?
*Go evil bunneh hunting ;p
*Try an extreme sport (this may only happen once)
*Skydiving
*Prep for the Iditarod
Okay, so maybe those are a bit much. Go for a walk, read a book by someone you admire, try a new, healthy recipe (like the one at the bottom of the post), engage with people on your social networks, start a group that supports your type of creativity (Writers group, photography club, etc)

But what if you have a hard time getting started with your project, manuscript, or photo shoot right from the beginning. Well, just like training your physical muscles to run or lift weights, you can train your muse too.

Figure out what your muse likes. (For more on this see “Muse Food” by Amber Scott, a must have for any creative person)

Type of music, a particular chair to sit in when you work (I have a zebra striped bean bag chair that has become “THE CHAIR” for when I write), type of lighting (candles, overheads, lamps) and even certain smells. When you have certain things that always pertain to your muse going to work, they become cues.

So even on a day that I don’t feel like writing, if I sit in my zebra bean bag chair, my muse turns on, I’ve cued it to go to work.

Now, that’s a quick course on the Muse. For more, you really should check out “Muse Food” by Amber Scott. It’s a must have for the library of any creatively minded person.

BACON, SOURCREAM, & AVOCADO OMLETTE
2 eggs
milk and/or mayonnaise
half of an avocado
sour cream
bacon, chopped
onions (optional)
salt and pepper
butter
cheese (optional)

In a separate bowl combine 2 eggs with mayonnaise and/or milk.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in separate skillet and cut into pieces.
In a large skillet, stir together butter and eggs, and cook over medium heat.
When the eggs are done, turn off the heat and add the bacon, sour cream, and avocado. Sprinkle on cheese. Mmm, melty cheese!
Fold over the egg carefully to finalize the omelette, let it cool and enjoy!

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
SUNDERED BY SHANNON MAYER
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE


Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy & Horror
Rating - PG13
More details about the author & the book

Connect with Shannon Mayer on Twitter & Facebook

[Book Spotlight] Sundered by Shannon Mayer



A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, no matter how unhealthy it is and yet still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking the drug.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world, a species bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.
The secret forces Mara to make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?


MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT SHANNON'S BOOKS
AVAILABLE ON PAPERBACK AND KINDLE

Nevermore Trilogy
Celtic Legacy
Ingredients of a Cauldron



Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy & Horror
Rating - PG13
More details about the author


Connect with Shannon Mayer on Twitter & Facebook
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Friday, July 27, 2012

[Guest Post] What's In A Name? by Emlyn Chand

What's in a Name? Our Characters' Names Matter. Here's How I Chose Mine
By Emlyn Chand

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
We all know the famous Shakespeare quote, but as writers and readers, do we agree with it? Would a rose really smell quite so sweet were it to be called a stank blossom or a goon-da-dabby? And how does this apply to the characters that populate our favorite fictional worlds? Should an author assign names to her characters willy-nilly, or is more thought required?


If you ask me, thinking is always a good thing. That being said, I spent hours poring over dozens of name options for the characters in Farsighted. Each moniker was carefully chosen and lovingly assigned. Now I’d like to share the meaning behind these names in this long overdue blog post.

Alex Kosmitoras
I changed Alex’s name three times while writing Farsighted, true story! Originally, his name was Connor Roy, and he had no proud Greek heritage to speak of. Connor is the name of my best friend’s fourteen year-old niece. She was the first person to really get excited by Farsighted, and I wanted to honor her by naming the main character after her. Unfortunately, it just didn’t fit. Connor Roy means “of the wolves, red.” Not super meaningful in the scheme of things.

When I changed the character’s name, I still wanted to pay homage, and so Connor Roy became Howie O’Connor. When short for Howell, the name means “seeing clearly.” Cute, huh? When short for Howard, it means “brave.” Both definitions suit the character, but I just couldn’t get over how Howie sounds like someone with a speech impediment trying to pronounce Harry (as in the boy who lived). Seriously, say Howie three times fast. You’ll see.

So I changed the name... again. Finally, I landed on Alex, meaning “defender of the people.” That just screams good guy, doesn’t it? I decided to go Greek instead of Irish to strengthen the connection to Tieresias, the blind Theban prophet who serves as the inspiration for this novel. I wanted a meaningful last name, so I got my Google Translate on and invented the name Kosmitoras. I like how it sounds like cosmic while still being thoroughly Greek. I won’t tell you what it means, though. That’s a secret for another day.


Simran “Simmi” Kaur Shergill
The name Simran is Punjabi, just like the character. It means “meditative chanting.” If you’ve read the story, you should be having a little light bulb moment now. :-D Kaur is the surname given to female Sikhs; whereas, Singh is reserved for men. Kaur is a marker of Simmi’s religion, just like her kara bracelet and long, uncut hair. Shergill is a Punjabi last name. The Hindi word sher means lion or tiger. And what can Simmi’s mother do? Oh, that’s right, she talks to animals.


Shapri Teak
Shapri is an alternate spelling of the name Shepry, meaning “friendly and honest mediator.” That’s a pretty cool name for someone who can talk to ghosts if you ask me. It’s also unique, just like our girl Shapri.


Miss Oleta Teak
Miss Teak, mystique. Get it? Yeah, that was a pretty obvious thing to do and kind of kitchy, but I just couldn’t help myself. Teak is an exotic wood, and both Shapri and her mother are described as smelling like nature. Oleta means “truth,” because sometimes I enjoy a bit of irony.


Dax LaFache
Dax is a super cool, underutilized name. It means “leader,” a point that will become important later in the series (cough, cough, spoiler alert). LaFache is yet again the product of Google Translate and my rampant imagination. It’s spun from the French fâcher, “to make angry.” Dax is from a wealthy blue blood family in Long Island, New York. I totally see him as a sophisticated French guy. And, if you didn’t know already, yes, he has anger issues.


Brady Evans
Brady doesn’t mean anything important, technically it means “descendant Of Bradach.” I’ll be the first to admit, I chose this name simply because it sounded like a popular D-bag’s name--perfect for the school bully. I've never personally known anyone named Brady; I just went off stereotypes and my knee-jerk reaction to the name. Evans was tacked on because the two names sound good together. Evans can mean “son of Evan” or “young warrior.” Take your pick.


Greg Kosmitoras
Alex’s dad’s name is Greg. Greg is a Greek name, meaning “vigilant, watchful.” Think about it.


Susan Kosmitoras
Alex’s mother owns a floral shop. The name Susan means “lily.” It’s a cute tie in without being too overt. I could have just named her Lily or Rose or Bluebell, but I feel like I used my full kitchiness quotient when I came up with Miss Teak. Also Susan is a good, plain name consistent with the character’s upbringing in a homeschooling farm family.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
FARSIGHTED AND OPEN HEART
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AND PAPERBACK

Buy Now @ Amazon 
Genre - Fantasy / Futuristic & Romance
Rating - PG13
More details about the author & the book


Connect with Emlyn Chand on Twitter & Facebook 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

[Cover Reveal] Beyond (Crossroads #3) by Mary Ting


Beyond
by Mary Ting
Expected Publication: September 12th 2012

Synopsis
Torn between the past she can't remember and a future she isn’t ready for, Claudia feels at a loss. With unanswered questions, she is certain there is more to her past than just being a venator. Finding the missing pieces in her life won’t be easy because duty calls. When mysterious dark shadows get released, an apocalypse sets in motion. The venators and the alkins must work together once again. Knowing Claudia would be the key to destroying the demons that were released, a familiar stranger appears to protect her. Drawn to the beautiful angel, Claudia finds she must unravel the mysteries of her past in order to help save the world. Who is the angel assisting her and why does she feel a strong connection to him? Time is running out. Will she discover all the secrets before it’s too late?

Teaser

“Forget what happened today, okay,” Austin suggested. He really wanted to say forget about the guy who saved you today.
“Sure,” Claudia replied, but she only said it to be agreeable.
“I’ll race you to the door.” Austin took off without giving her the chance to reply.
“Hey…”Claudia laughed out loud. She ran just as fast, but her mind was occupied by the angel that smelled like honey suckles. She could still feel herself inside his hold where she felt so small, but safe. The feeling she knew she shouldn’t have that erupted throughout her body from his voice to his tender touch. The way he sang her name like it was a song he knew so well. Like the way he was there for her as if he was her guardian angel. He was her hero today, he was part of her past for sure and she knew there was more to her life than just being a venator. She just had to find a way to remember. 

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
CROSSROADS AND BETWEEN
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AND PAPERBACK


Check out Geianne's Review of

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

[Review] Frost by Kate Avery Ellison + G!veaway

Click for full tour schedule
Frost
by Kate Avery Ellison
Series: The Frost Chronicles #1
Published: April 18th 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Author
Format: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Synopsis:

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Review

Frost is a fun read however it was really short, I finished the novel asking for more.

I was really amused and appalled with this short novel. I never really knew what to expect before reading this one but it left me hanging for more. The story was quite new to me though some part are predictable enough for me to form a conclusion.

Frost and it's premise is a breath of fresh air for me. I have never read anything like it before but like I said some parts are predictable enough. The story starts of with Lia Weaver and her siblings who lost their parents in an early age. With the threat of the monsters that looms around their village and the responsibility of taking care of her siblings and with the threat of the "Farthers" Lia finds herself saving the enemy.

Lia is a very strong character, to have lost both parents and take care of your siblings is a great responsibility to own and I think Lia did a great job with that. As a female character I think she showed that she can be strong and vulnerable enough though with lack of judgement sometimes she follows what she think was right. She decided to save the "Farther" even if he was a threat to them. I find it noble and very stupid though if I have been in her situation I would do the same. Gabe is a one of the "Farthers" and I find his character very trust worthy even if Lia has doubted it at first. I think his character was very essential to the story because it won't really progress with out him. His character made Lia questioned what really happened to her parents, made her doubt if she's doing the right thing of helping Gabe.

The conclusion of the story was very sad but I really feel there's something more to it. For the nth time I was asking for more. I really want to know what happens next, the ending was thrilling and very mysterious. Things has not been explained properly. I think the next novel Thorns would answer it. I really can't wait to read the next.

Coverwise I really like it, it lives up to it's title with it's blue green hue that represents the frost. And the cover model I presume is Lia. I think the way her eyes was not included is very effective for the cover, I think it adds mystery to it.

Overall this book was a great short read, if you are looking for something to read and wants mystery along with a little romance in it this book will never fail. The story was progressive and is very effective for me, I was hanging till the end but left me want for more! I hope that the second book would bring answers and I hope they continue the romance that was cut short.

Ratings

I got this book from the author in participation of the blog tour it has no way affected my review of the book.

About the Author



Kate Avery Ellison loves long walks, late night phone calls, and reading while it rains. She thinks ice cream cake is the perfect combination and she has a love/hate relationship with the sultry climate of her hometown, Atlanta. FROST, her third book, is a YA fantasy/dystopian tale of love, sacrifice, and suspense.
Connect with Kate on her: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads



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FROST AVAILABLE ON PAPERBACK AND KINDLE


Giveaway

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Monday, July 23, 2012

[Cover Reveal] The Unloved by Jennifer Snyder + G!veaway

Here's another Cover Reveal for you guys! I'm revealing the cover of The Unloved by Jennifer Snyder. This one is contemporary it contains violence, mature young adult and sexual situation. I'm sure everyone can relate to this book. Make sure to check it out! This one comes out July 30th. This cover is designed by Stephanie Mooney from Mooney Designs.


The Unloved
by Jennifer Snyder
Expected publication: July 30th 2012

Synopsis
Sometimes the love our heart needs to heal can be found in the familiar eyes of a childhood friend...

Julie Porter learned the hard way that trust is something which must be earned and not something to be given out lightly, those who say they love you are those who hold the power to hurt you most, and best friends can help you survive anything—until they move away.

Nick Owen knows a thing or two about a hard life. At a young age Nick learned how to take a hit and to make lemonade out of the lemons life tossed his way. Returning home after nearly two years of being away, all Nick cares about now is protecting his mom from the abusive hands of his father and catching up with his best friend—the girl who lived across the street, the girl he can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Finally reunited after two years apart, Nick and Julie are about to learn that age does nothing to protect you from life’s trials and tribulations, heartache and loss, but maybe together they’ll find a way to survive.

(Mature Young Adult, contains violence, language, and sexual situations.)
Connect with Jennifer on her: Blog | Goodreads | Twitter

Giveaway

One lucky person can win an ecopy of The Unloved by Jennifer Snyder.
Open International. Just enter the Rafflecopter below.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Playlist Monday with Meagan Spooner plus G!veaway


It's Monday again so here's another edition of Playlist Monday! Today I'm feature a playlist of a debut author. None other than Meagan Spooner; author of Skylark which comes out August 1st. Make sure to mark your calendars and check out Skylark when it hit the shelves!

So without further ado here is Skylark's Playlist!

I’m not one of those writers who gets inspiration from listening to music while they work. I need silence when I write—I even invested in noise-cancelling headphones and white noise tracks so that I can write in noisy environments if I have to. If I try to listen to music while I write, I end up getting utterly distracted by the lyrics and unable to focus on my own words—and if I listen to movie soundtracks, my brain starts replaying the movies in my head, instead of focusing on what I’m doing. Even if I listen to straight-up classical that has no story associations whatsoever, I end up inventing stories to go with them—and they’re never the stories I’m supposed to be working on!

Still, even though I can’t listen to music while I write, I still get huge amounts of inspiration from music. I almost always listen to story-specific playlists when I’m driving home in my car, because my mind is free to wander and brainstorm and come up with new ideas. So I thought that for this Playlist Monday, I’d share some of my go-to songs that I listened to while working on SKYLARK!

Most of these are instrumental, but a few have lyrics and vocals. For this particular project, soundtrack scores worked better for me than more contemporary/popular music. Lark being so alone meant that I wanted songs that evoked that for me, and vocals tend to disrupt that.


Untitled by Interpol

This song has such a dreamy quality, and I love the repetitive nature of the theme. It’s almost hypnotic, which is one thing I look for in music to inspire me. I like music I can get lost in, music I can hear and react to without thinking about the song itself. It makes me think of wandering, and abandoned things, and melancholy.


Lullaby from Pan’s Labyrinth

Again, an absolutely dreamlike song. When I hear it I’m instantly walking through a dark, beautiful forest all alone. I can imagine Lark humming to herself as she crosses the wilderness, not because she’s musically inclined, but simply to break the silence.


Soundtrack from Mononoke Hime
This is one of the few soundtracks I’d listen to in its entirety while thinking about SKYLARK. Because I’ve seen the movie so many times (it’s one of my favorites) it instantly conjures up this ancient, tangled forest filled with monsters and demons and beauty. I don’t think anyone who’s read SKYLARK will be surprised that this movie is a favorite of mine!


Suite from Hush, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 Anyone who knows me knows I’m a Whedonite. So it’s unsurprising that something from one of his projects found its way into mine. I’ve always loved the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called Hush. It’s an almost entirely silent episode, because these creatures steal everyone’s voices so no one can scream when they rip out their hearts. Yeah. YEAH. Anyway, it was watching this episode years and years ago that made me realize how terrifying silence can be. And while Lark always has her voice, when she’s in the wilderness there’s no one there to help her—no one to hear her scream.


Stay With Me Bright Eyes by Something With Numbers

This isn’t actually a song I listened to while writing SKYLARK. I heard it for the first time after I’d already finished it. A friend of mine, who had read the book, heard this song and was reminded so strongly of SKYLARK that he came and found me and made me listen to it. I think if I’d heard it independently, it wouldn’t have appealed to me quite so much… but the association with the book is SO strong now that I love it!

About the Book

Skylark
by Meagan Spooner
Series: Skylark #1
Published: August 1st 2012
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

Synopsis:
Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.

Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she's ever known...or face a fate more unimaginable than death.

About the Author 


Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

She is the author of SKYLARK, coming out August 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books. She is also the co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS, forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in Fall 2013.
Connect with Meagan on her: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Meagan is offering a SKYKARK Swag Pack Giveaway! It includes igned SKYLARK bookmarks, buttons, postcards, bookplates, and custom-designed pixie temporary tattoos! Enter the Rafflecopter: This giveaway is Open International! One person per household please.

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MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER BLOGS INCLUDED ON THE TOUR
YOU CAN ALSO ENTER THE SKY'S THE LIMIT CONTEST
IT'S OPEN INTERNATIONAL

[Guest Post] Ten Tools for Writers

10 Tools for Writers
by Suzanne Anderson




#1 Something to Write With

For years, I used laptops of various sizes. As I aged, I realized that my eyes needed an extra-large screen. And so I switched from laptops to an Apple desktop with a 26 inch screen...I agonized over this purchase for a long time because it was an expensive investment. But, after I crashed three PC's in one year before I switched to this computer two years ago...it was well worth it.


#2 Something to Write On


This summer it was so hot in my office, that I moved my bedroom and writing space downstairs to the walk-out basement where it was at least ten degrees cooler. I bought this 'desk' at our local thrift store for $35 on their 30%-off sale day. Of course, I now love it more than the $200 desk in my office, that I bought at Habitat for Humanity, our other thrift store in town. (I'm big on thrift stores). Which is simply to prove, that you don't need fancy office furniture, just a good sturdy table.


#3 Space to Write

When I moved into our walk-out basement for the summer, I positioned my table and chair and computer in a space that would afford me a nice view of the mountains from the windows in front of me. However, this space is exactly 5 X 6 feet, wedged between a post on the right and a wall on the left. And I love it just as much as my office upstairs. Because this is our basement, it doesn't get a lot of traffic, so I have the solitude that I need to write. The point is, you don't need an 'office', but you do need quiet. And a space to call your own.


#4 Expand Your Horizons


Read. Read. Read. I am a huge fan of our local library. I go there at least once a week to check out books. I read fiction across genres, so that I can learn from other authors. I also read non-fiction, particularly books on marketing, because as an indie-author, I'm in charge of everything!



#5 Grounding


The two things I could not live without are my Bible and my journals. I need to read the Bible for inspiration and encouragement. This year I am working my way through the Daily Walk Bible.


I write in my journal to have a place to flesh out new goals, express my deepest feelings, and vent. I am a huge fan of Morning Pages (Julia Cameron's idea of writing three pages freehand first thing in the morning).


#6 Building Your Community


Whether you choose Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or any other social platform, you need to reach out to other authors and readers to develop a community of support, marketing, and social outlet.

Through these online resources I have met and learned from several other authors and experts in how to reach new readers. Best of all, for new authors, is that many of these resources, in the form of newsletters, are absolutely free.




#7 Inspiration


Reading is a great way to find inspiration. Yet, I have not found a comparable outlet to enjoying the beauty of nature. Whether you live in the city, suburbs, or in the woods, try to find time each week to get out and find visual beauty and inspiration outside your usual 'office' environment. This will do wonders to give your mind a fresh perspective and will help you to see your story from a new angle.



# 8 Exercise


Find something that will get you outside or into a gym and away from sitting at your desk all day. Yes, you need to work consistently at your writing. But for the sake of your health and your wellbeing, you need physical exercise to keep not only your body in shape, but also, your mind. For me, that means taking the dogs to our local off-leash dog park for a mile or two walk.



#9 Consistency


The absolutely best way to improve as a writer (going hand in hand with read. read.read.) is to write. write. write. I will wager that rather than twenty pages in one day, once a month.....one page a day for twenty consecutive days will lead to greater growth as a writer. Think of a toddler learning to walk...they master the mechanics through repetition. The same goes for writing or any other art form.


If you want to write your novel, don't wait for Nanowrimo to crank out 50,000 words in a month. Make time to write starting now, even if it's just a page a day.

http://www.wmich.edu/registrar/calendars/

#10 Encouragement


Find your group of friends or family who will encourage and inspire you to keep moving forward each day. Writing and publishing is sometimes made up of such small incremental steps that it's hard to measure your progress. That's when you need friends and family who will pay you on the back and let you know that you're on your way.







MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT
SUZANNE'S NOVEL
GOD LOVES YOU - CHESTER BLUE
AVAILABLE ON KINDLE AND PAPERBACK COPY!

 

 Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Religious / Historical Fiction
Rating - PG
More details about the author & the book

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