Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Supernatural Marathon

We have a group for Supernatural over at Goodreads, and we are going to start watching a season on month.  If you own the DVDs, join us.  Here we are:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/106379-supernatural-the-show-and-the-books

If are a DIEHARD fan and don't have the DVDs but know the show's episodes by heart, join us.
You can still discuss (at length) what you love about Sam and Dean and Castiel, etc.

Here is something I had to share (it made me laugh so hard):

Friday, July 26, 2013

Name a Villain Contest, part 2

Those of you who've been with me from the beginning might remember the first contest.  I needed to name a villain.  After getting several entries I chose the name Isobel.  What did the winner get?  They got to read about the character they named in a published book and got bragging rights.  It worked so well the first time that I have decided to do it again.

While working on Hunter (Order of the Spirit Realm book 2) I have come up against a brick wall in the name department. 

She is a banshee with waves of flaming red hair, flawless skin, sparkling green eyes (because in my books banshees are notorious for their beauty.  Banshees are in love with death so they follow the reaper who reaped them instead of moving on to a better place.  They stalk him, weeping and wailing as he collects the dead.  But reapers are not allowed to look at their banshees.  The banshees hide in the shadows or disappear when the reaper looks their way. 

So, in this book the banshee has come to this world to talk to her reaper when he wakes up.  He doesn't up his eyes because he's curious and he asks her some questions about herself, mainly what is her name.  She won't tell him, suspicious, until he says he just wants to know what to call her.  So I am not looking for her name when he was alive, but the name she prefers to go by now.

Any suggestions?

If I like the name you suggest, I will use it and credit you in the dedication at the front of the book.

You can list as many names as you want.  Just remember I am not looking for a real name. This banshee is jealous, conniving, and suspicious.  Does she give him an ironic name to call her?  A name that means something to him (as a reaper)?  What?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Superman Plus Batman Equals Big Bucks for Hollywood

Did you hear?  They are going to make another Superman movie and add Batman to the mix.  No doubt the brilliant minds behind his saw how much The Avengers made. Putting together superheroes can be entertaining and rewarding in so many ways.  Hearing about this reminded me of a spirited debate going on at Yahoo Answers years ago.  Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?

There were people on both sides, all of them certain they were right.  When I posed the question to my seven-year-old nephew, he shrugged and said, "Superman has powers and Batman is just a guy in  cape."  Out of the mouths of babes.

It was awesome how quickly he answered the question.  I'd given it a lot of thought (I'm embarrassed to say), and here is my conclusion:

Putting my years of experience watching shows and movies on both characters I think this is what would happen.

Superman would beat the snot out of Batman.  Then he would fly around the world and make time go back a few minutes like he did in that one movie to save Lois Lane, and he could beat up Batman again.  Hahaha

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Book Swap

Birthright Bestowed by Erika Szabo

Birthright Bestowed

This is the book I was given to read and review for the swap.

Amazon Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Birthright-Bestowed-Erika-M-Szabo/dp/1939217105

Review:  First of all, I need to warn you I do not read books about time travel.  I don't like Dystopian novels or futuristic books. So I started this books with some prejudices.  I also don't like books written in the First Person Point of View.  If you don't know what that is, it's when the main character (sometimes other characters as well) tell the story from their point of view.  There have been a few books over the years written in first person that I have to admit to enjoying, but they are few and far between.

Also, I can't stand to read books that have diary or journal entries.  Personally I think reading someone else's diary is boring.  Although I enjoyed Vampire Diaries, I hated reading those journal excerpts.

There are a few things I found very interesting about this novel and its creator.  Erika Szabo is a Hungarian born American who admits to being fascinated about the legend of the Huns, and that's where this idea came from.  She says there are holes in the legends so she had to use her imagination to fill in the blanks.  I'm not a history fan either, but I do enjoy hearing about lost civilizations and strange facts from the past.

Things I thought were interesting about this book: 

1.  Learning about he Hun culture.
2.  The fact Hun women are not considered women until they are 29.
3.  Her parents are gone so she didn't have anyone to prepare her for what's going to happen to her.
4.  Mystery, romance, and interesting medical information.

Like I said, I do not like books written with a lot of diary excerpts.  If it doesn't bother you, you may like this book.  The reviews on Amazon seem good.  I didn't hate it.  It just isn't my type of thing.  If it sounds at all interesting to you, give it a try.
 
The YA Author Club is expanding is author presence and bringing on new talent every single week. This week, we are introducing the newest member of our team, Toni Lombardo. She is not an indie author, and she does not plan to become one. She's working hard at establishing herself within the traditionally published world. We wish her the best of luck in her efforts and thought it might be kind of cool to offer our fans/friends/followers a new voice within the club. 
Instead of posting information about indie publishing, Toni will take a few minutes every few weeks to fill us in on her trials and tribulations as she journeys toward the Big Six.

Also... leave us a comment and let know which Big Six pic you like best #1 (first one) or #2 (second one). The one getting the most votes/comments will be the one we use to introduce Toni's posts from this point forward.

Social Media Sites for Toni:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/write_to_live
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IamLifewriter

Without further ado, we are pleased to introduce Toni Lombardo:

Hello there blog readers! Toni here, I am going to talk about myself now.  Hope you don’t mind.
Okay, so first off I am a twenty something (21)  and striving to be a writer!  I am currently(ish)  a student at a community college (although at the moment I am taking a break from school)  and my plan is to major in meteorology.  Of course I’ll have to transfer to a four year.  In some moments I want to major in English, because I am in love with words (a good thing for a writer, right?) .  I would like to teach an elective class in apreppy school to do with the appreciation of old timey writers (Stoker, Melville, Shelley, etc.) and introduce the kids to modern day writers who I think are fantastic such as John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) , Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) , *clears throat* T.R. Graves (not kissing up, she is actually really great, like go read her books now!) .
I have been writing since I can remember.  I wrote short stories or was forced to by teachers, but I always enjoyed it and nine times out of ten exceeded the length required or well wanted (sometimes they weren’t happy) .  My dad also made up stories for me when I was little, I hope to one day publish and anthology of them (I do attribute that to my love of the plot) .  I actually sat down to write a book when by hand when I was fourteen? Maybe? But I gave up on that book (I will one day reapproach that book, but for now the characters and I are not mixing…it’s not my fault blame them)  to write what I wanted to publish as my first.  I started that book when I was fifteen and finished it when I was sixteen and went onto the next.  I am on the third in the series and am currently rewriting the first book.  I was young when I wrote it and afraid of words like sex, so I would dance around the word.  Plus other things I wrote in it are just cringe worthy and embarrassing.  Trust and believe if a writer says their work is cringe worthy it is…we are our biggest critic yes, but if we can make ourselves cringe it is pretty correct to believe that the reader would wonderwhat the heck the writer was thinking.
I spend my days working at a clothing store.  I love it.  I work with kids ranging from size 6-20.  I love working with the girls who aren’t societies standard of ‘beauty’.  It’s great because you can see the kid coming in so self-conscious (because they are a size 16 not 12 like their friends)  and leave smiling because you told them they are beautiful and helped them pick out clothes and raved over how amazing the kid looked and sometimes the kid even hugs you.  I know this sounds like I am saying ‘oh look at me.  I’m so great.  Blah, blah, blah.’  That is not my intention.  Today’s society is so messed up, these kids are so self-conscious at such a young age, and they are gettingbullied.  Their parents telling them they are beautiful is one thing, when a someone else makes a big deal about it the kid feels good.  I think it’s a thing everyone should do.  Encourage people, because one day you will need it.   Okay enough about my job.
I also spend my days plotting up stories and plot twists.  I like listening to music and sometimes it even inspires or curbs scenes. I like going to the gym and reading, it is whereI get most of my reading in.  In one day at work…working on stock in the back room, five new book ideas came flooding in.
I have one dog, a Beta named Platelet in one tank with a snail, eight goldfish all named after characters in my books and a Plecko and a snail in another tank that is huge.  I have the plecko and snails to help keep the tanks clean.
I’d like to write more often and I need to.  It is the best and worst thing in the world, if you are a writer you will understand that sentence; if you are not a writer ask one that you know.
I use Twitter and Instagram and Facebook to interact with writers and friends and share stuff about my books and from time to time excerpts! 
I hope to change the publishing world by introducing them to new styles of writing!  And once you get to know me you know I don’t just dabble in things, I jump in whole heartedly with both feet, and most of the time without a safety net.   I am beginning to blog under the supervision and guidance of Graves (Ijust love her) .  Please come back bi-weekly to join me on my journey of publishing and writing on my blog series called Toni’s Big Six Journey. 
It can be found here: http://yaauthorclub.blogspot.com
Listening to: Wishing Well by Ben Moody: All for This
Quote: “Just know, when you truly want success, you’ll never give up on it. No matter how bad the situation may get.” - Unknown

Spotlight Interview Questions:

1) What is your all-time favorite book and why?
“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (TFIOS) .  It is just perfect.  I cried on every page and went hysterical at Chapter 21.  I re-read the book within two months and re-experienced all that beautiful pain (readers of this book will get it #nerdfighter) .  Also, I bonded with my IBBF (internet best friend forever)  over this book.  We’ve known each other for a little over two months as of 7.12.2013, but it is one of the greatest friendships I have had.  So, beyond being a great book it brought me a great friend.

2) Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book's characters could relate to and why?
Oh gosh, this is a biggie.  I don’t really know.  I have my own style, but some of my darker pieces, like “The Tale-Tale Heart” which is a re-doing of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by E.A. Poe for a final English paper, have been associated to Poe.  I’m actually about to start a second mirroring piece of his, that T.R. Graves is up-to-date about.
As far as characters…People are going to think TFIOS for some of my characters, because I talk about the book ALL the time and it is a book about kids with cancer.  But my book is about a kid or two with cancer but there is more of a story to it than that, just like Green’s.

As far as my characters relating to other characters…oh I don’t know, never thought about that.  I’ve read books with characters that reminded me of mine, but never really thought about it that way.  I think Devon would like Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

3) Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
“If you don’t know, you do not deserve to know!” –Devon
Oh my, how can I explain, Devon?  Okay so in this scene Devon just found out something in his family. Sorry for being vague, don’t want to give away plot points. He is really struggling in his life at the moment and this news was just devastating.  Like a lot of teens Devon struggles with the idea of self-harm and when his brother is talking to him he (Devon)  hints to wanting to hurt himself, and when his brother doesn’t get the hint he says the above quote possibly angrily. 

4) What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
Things that inspire me to write…I don’t know.  Sometimes I just see something, okay I was in a store the other day and saw a beautiful all glass frame, free standing.  I saw it and instantly knew it belonged to a character in one of my W.I.P.s, and when I got home it was already done the character would have it in their house.  So it is just kind of random, if I see something and it attaches to a character, I say it inspired me.

People- My best friend Anne is who I write for along with a few other people.  Anne is my muse and my ‘first reader’.  She keeps me going when I don’t want to write and pushes me to finish projects. So she inspires me as well as Graves, Green, Asher, and others.

Music!!! Ahh, such an inspiration!  Don’t want to say too much here because this topic is going to be a whole blog post for me!

What makes me want to keep writing—my characters.  I get a points where I miss them and I physically feel missing them, I feel pain of sorts.  Sometimes just thinking and plotting and writing notes just does not suffice, so I write to subdue the longing for interacting with them.  And I love writing, so that helps.

5) Describe your typical writing day orweek.
They are random.  I write whenever and wherever.  At one point I was writing (more than this at home)  every Friday night at the bar in Red Robin, where one of my friends works.  I would buy an unsweetened peach tea with EXTRA regular syrup and she kept me in well supply.   It was a great writing environment and the support was great!

6) Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you're writing?
I love,love, love peach tea, but I can’t have too much caffeine otherwise I can’t sleep.  So at one point it was that, but now….yeah, it is still that, I just can’t have it all the time.

7) Can you tell us what you're working onright now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover) ?
Sooooo many things! The book I am working on to get published first is Life’s Not a Fantasy I have a cover idea, but no cover yet!  An excerpt? Sure!  Here is the introduction.  It is written by Devon:

It wasn’t ever supposed to be like this.  Our family was always so torn apart, even before what I’m, about to write.  Dad was out fighting for ‘our safety’ but was never home...he was a ‘lifer’.  Mom chose her favorites and clung tightly to them, and I fell to the bottom of that spectrum.  I was okay with it though.
I was always the ‘untypical typical’ teenager, meaning I was or still am the loner.  I’ve done my fair share of stupid things, but more on that later.
He,Cameron always held us together.  He was our rock.  He could make or break our family and now his name resonates with pain.
How can one name ruin everything?  How can one name bring so much pain?
It’s been days, moments, but his name already feels like a curse. 
Thanks for reading!  Hope this was entertaining.
Keep writing,


Friday, July 12, 2013

SOCIAL MEDIA: What Works for you?

This week at the YA Author Club we are discussing social media and what effect it has on book sales.  Personally, I think it is all subjective.  What works for one person will not necessarily work for others.  I've heard "Twitter has helped me spread the word and my books are flying off the shelves" and "I have found a lot of fans on Facebook."  But when other people try it they don't seem to have the same success.  With that said, what works for me?

1.  Facebook:  I paid for an ad for my free book, Vampires Rule, and it jumped in downloads.  I also have a author page and one for Vampires Rule.  They are both currently growing.  It's nice when someone leaves a question on there for me.  I always try to answer right away.  It's a good way to connect to your readers.

2.  Goodreads:  This has got to be my favorite site.  Not only can I see what my friends are reading, but I can connect to people reading my books.  I also set up a group for people reading Bait (my latest novel).  It's fun to see what they are thinking while they are reading it.

3.  Twitter:  I still don't get it, the fuss about tweeting, but I do try to go in there when possible.  At the very least I can help other writers by retweeting tweets about their books.

4.  Pinterest:  This doesn't actually help my book sales, but it is awesome for inspiration.  I have boards for all my books.  It's a lot of fun.

That's all I can think of.  What about you?  What social media sites do you haunt?
(I turned off the captcha thing so feel free to comment)

Check out these other authors:

1. Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series
2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self
4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
6. Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
7. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
8. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
9. Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series
10. Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
11. Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
12. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
13. Melissa Pearl, Author of The Time Spirit Trilogy
14. Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga
15. Courtney Cole Writes
16. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
17. Ella James
18. Maureen Murrish
19. Valerie Sloan
20. YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings
21. Terah Edun, author of Red Madrassa and An Amlah's Diary

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Release


Now Available:
Danger surrounds the Seekers. Having already faced overwhelming odds, Kyla and Jethro discover it is only the beginning. Now they must face the power of nature itself. 
Each day is a test of faith. 
Two elements remain undiscovered. The light is yet to be resurrected. Dark forces prepare to descend upon the heroes of prophecy and they have one more power they must overcome...their forbidden love for each other. 
Each moment is a test of loyalty and courage. 
In Taramon, Athra faces his own demons as he frets over the safety of his fiancĂ©e while trying to counter a dark evil that is brought to his doorstep. Treachery lurks in the shadows, forcing the future king into an action that could destroy his beloved city. 
Through it all, they must cling to the truths hidden in the unseen. 
"The plotting issublime and the pacing is perfect. I held my breath as I turned the pages, hoping that Kyla and Jethro would return in time to help save their kingdom. What a fabulous addition to this series! I can't wait for the third book!" Taylor Longford, Author of the Greystone Series. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Release by Cindy C. Bennett


Whispersof Razari by Cindy C. Bennett and Jeffrey Moore

Blurb:
Whensixteen year old Olivia Adams wakes from a horrible car accident that killed her parents, she knows she’s something different. Olivia died, and now the soul inhabiting her body needs to find out who - and what - she is. A glimpse of a world called Razari burning is the only clue to her previous existence—a tragic memory, sparking events that endanger the people helping her.

Jacobi McKenzie has lived in Crescent, Montana for more years than he can remember,even though he's only seventeen. He's been waiting, but for what he isn't sure. Jacobi recognizes Olivia for what she is before she's even aware of it herself and the effect she has on him threatens to expose his true identity--a thing he’s worked hard to conceal.

They come together in an explosion of emotion that neither of them is supposed to feel. As Jacobi fights for Olivia's life, protecting her from those who would use her for their own selfish purposes, together they unravel the mystery surrounding the destruction of their race.

Sales links:

Excerpt:

The smell of blood, iodine, peppermint, and ammonia blending with sweat is my first sense of awareness. These are scents I recognize. A dozen other foreign smellsseem to be a mix of different elements. If I could concentrate and study the odors, I’m certain I’d be able to break them down into their base elements, but the noise is too distracting. I’m not as good with sound as I am with smell. I can make out several distinct voices and artificial sounds that are probably machines. If I could open my eyes, I’d be able to connect the noises with the smells. I think my eyes are fastened shut.

Slowly, I begin to explore the body of the host I’m in. I come upon damaged areas that cause intense pain and I quickly retreat from these areas. The body is broken in several places. I sense voices come from those repairing the host body. A name comes to me: Olivia. With effort, I crack open my eyes. Gauzy images ofpeople work on me. A tall man has his hands in Olivia’s body and he speaks softly, as if afraid of startling anyone. I retreat and turn to exploring Olivia’s memories.

Reliving Olivia’s life from her earliest memory is instinctual for me. I think I’veexisted for a long time. Parasite. I find the word while searching through Olivia’s memories—a parasite is what these people would think of me if they knew what I was. But a parasite by definition lives in or on a host and steals everything, giving nothing in return. I’m not really like that. I entered Olivia shortly after her soul departed. Her body’s not the ideal place for me to be, being only sixteen earth years old and badly broken, but I was drawn to her. What made me choose her? I can’t remember. Typically I acquire a host much younger and definitely less broken—at least, that feels like the thing I’d do.

As I’m learning about Olivia, her culture, and the society in which she lives, itsparks the knowledge that I don’t remember where I came from. I know I’m not human, and I know what I need to do to exist in Olivia, but why I’m here eludes me. With that comes the idea that my kind only moves to a different world as a last resort, so I figure something terrible must have happened not only to me—or actually my former host—but the world from which I came.



Bennett is the YA author of several books. She lives in Utah with her husband and two daughters. Both of her sons have married, giving her two more daughters (in-law). She loves gooey cookies, dark chocolate, and cheese popcorn. She hates housework and cooking, and has no plans to become a domestic goddess. She occasionally co-hosts a geek podcast with her son, called Geek Revolution Radio. Her favorite pastime is riding her Harley.

Find more about Cindy at www.cindycbennett.com
Geek Revolution Radio www.geekrevolutionradio.com


Moore was born in Germany. As a military brat, much of his childhood was spent abroad, growing up in Germany on military installations. He subsequently enlisted in the military and served for ten years as an army pilot. While in the military, he lived in Italy and South Korea and deployed to many European countries. He has traveled to Australia, Japan, Singapore and most European countries. His experiences and contact with many different cultures helps form some of the elements in his stories. He currently works for a global IT company and lives in Massachusetts.

Find more about Jeffery and his work at www.jefferyemoore.com