Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Five for May 30, 2014


1. I finished my revisions for WIP #1. It went through some major changes, but it's beautiful. Now I need to find the editor that thinks so too. I queried three publishers earlier this week. I already received one rejection. Yup, two days after I queried, I was rejected. Remarkably, I wasn't totally devastated. I'd love to get picked up by a publisher, but if the manuscript doesn't find a home somewhere, I will self-publish it. A few years ago, I wouldn't have been comfortable with that possibility, but I am now.

2. No word on any of the short stories or the novella I submitted. Waiting never gets any easier.

3. My son had his last day of school and now summer vacation begins. Unfortunately for the poor guy, it starts with him feeling sick. Yet he really wanted to go to his last day of school. I'm happy he loves it so much.

4. Did you see Annalisa Crawford's awesome new cover? Check it out.

5. There are two fabulous giveaways happening over on Untethered Realms. Mary Pax is having a Roadtrip Audiobook giveaway, and Cherie Reich is giving away a huge prize pack of several books including a signed print version of her new YA fantasy novel, REBORN.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

An American Girl in Italy release day!

An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants... but the one thing she needs!

Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caff├ęs and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself...

Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum.

Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route...
Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.

But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?

Now available for the Nook and Kindle!

About the Author
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Harper Impulse, Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Inkspell Publishing, and Lyrical Press. When she's not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

Links-

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - beards not sexy?



Today I'm just wondering out loud...
 
Why do so few PNR heroes have beards? Or even facial hair beyond the sexy scruff? And when does scruff become a beard?

I'm seeing more and more men these days with beards. Maybe it's a pirate thing, or even a Hobbit movie dwarf thing. My husband says it's a hipster trend. I see as many men with beards with a lovely woman on their arms as I do clean-shaven men.

I'm not a big fan of facial hair myself, but I could be persuaded.

(Alcide the werewolf from True Blood)

Oh yes. Surely Alcide could convince most women that beards are hot!

What do you think about beards: sexy or not?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WRiTE CLUB

First rule of WRiTE CLUB: talk a lot about it!
Here's DL to tell you about this awesome competition.

 
First off, I’d like to thank Christine for the opportunity to talk to you today about something near and dear to my heart…WRiTE CLUB. My modest writing contest has proven so popular that the DFW Writers Conference is now considering incorporating it into their agenda for 2015. 

For the newbies out there, let me explain what WRiTE CLUB is? It’s a modest writing competition whose inspiration was derived from the movie FIGHT CLUB. There are numerous versions of this concept around the internet, but nothing like we do it. Its essence embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top. 

Over the course of eight weeks I hold twice-weekly bouts in which the winners advance to the play-offs, which will ultimately lead to a single champion. Bouts between who…or what…you ask? Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name by anyone who wishes to take part, that’s who. The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. It’s a way to get your writing in front of a lot of readers, without having to suffer the agony of exposure. 

And the winners are determined by WRiTE CLUB readers!

To find out how to become part of the fun just head on over to DLHammons.com and click on the WRiTE CLUB tab. 

Submissions are open until May 31st. After that date a panel of a dozen judges will read all of the entries we received and pre-select 32 of the best writing samples to climb into the ring. Those 32 participants will then be randomly matched to compete over the next eight weeks, each of them hoping to make it into the play-off rounds and moving towards the ultimate goal – WRiTE CLUB Champion. No one (other than my wife)…not even the judges being used to pre-select the 32 contestants, will see the true identity of any sample. Unless you win, of course.

Again this year, the most exciting part is the winner of the final round will be chosen by a panel of publishing industry professionals! Judges include New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author Jonathan Maberry, Agents Katie Grim of Don Congdon Associates, Margaret Bail of the Andrea Hurst Agency, Sarah Negovetich of the Corvisiero Literary Agency, Brittany Booker of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. Also included is Candace Havens, Editorial Director of Entangled Publishing Covet line, Authors Les Edgerton and Lydia Kang, and previous WRiTE CLUB winners Tiana Smith (2011), Mark Hough (2012) and Tex Thompson (2013).

Are you willing to WRiTE for what you want? Then crack those knuckles and get ready to flex that imagination. And whatever you do, tell your friends!

WRiTE CLUB – The contest where the audience gets clobbered!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Shout Out to Author R. Mac Wheeler

Three cheers for Mac! A fellow writer and blogger-friend, he recently reached a monumental milestone: publishing his 24th novel. I hope you'll visit his blog where he posts his photography and give him a congratulations or visit his home page and peruse his titles, read an excerpt, and help him celebrate. Message him and he’ll send you a mobi copy of book 1 of the series. 


About #24

This volume of the NEW ORDER APOCALYPSE series continues thirty-three years after an engineered plague shredded Earth's population.

Chloe and Ginna Lee must decide whether to continue Jason's dream to unite survivors, or concentrate on surviving. Chloe hasn't the tact to play ambassador, and Ginna Lee is more likely to take heads than spread good will. Promises little hope they can build an alliance, especially if peace hinges on a cure for Jihad. Meanwhile, the landscape they must cross still writhes with roamers and desperate clans.

Mac spins tales around rich, gritty characters with a lot of baggage, and puts them through a bit more grief than they can handle. His tone leans toward the sarcastic, passive aggressive. He writes speculative fiction, fantasy, SF, suspense, and paranormal with a twist.

Please visit Mac at:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reborn is here!

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.


Now Available in Print and Ebook!
Print: Amazon /Barnes and Noble / Createspace
Ebook: Amazon / Google Play / Kobo / Nook / OmniLit / Scribd / Smashwords / Wattpad

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - new PNR couples


I've been hearing a lot of readers getting bored with the kick-butt heroines and Alpha males in paranormal romances. All the characters from various books blur together. The heroine and hero are becoming caricatures of themselves.

I still love a good PNR even when it has these same types of heroes, but I perk up when I find something new. I don't see these characters disappearing any time soon. Many readers still love the fantasy of a super possessive and domineering man and the beautiful warrior woman with a wit sharper than her blade. Yet there's room for different power couples out there.

Here are four trends that I'm seeing.*

1) The Alpha male beneath the surface of the "every day"** guy. You have the nice guy, usually smart and successful. He doesn't stand out in the heroine's eyes until he falls for her. He becomes driven to make her his. He might be smooth and savvy, but he gets arrogant and possessive.

2) The Alpha female and the Beta male. Many say this is the perfect match. Some women do fantasize about being in control. Just remember that the Alpha female isn't necessarily bossy and the Beta male isn't weak.

3) Geeky heroes. The girls who idolized Hermione Granger have grown up, and they prefer brains over brawn. A smart hero is better than one who muscles his way through life.

4) The "every day" woman emerges as the heroine. A woman with a crappy job, bad fashion sense, social anxieties, and/or obnoxious family members. The supernatural hero sees something special in her and falls in love.

Have you seen any new trends lately?

*I'm looking for new stories in PNR with different heroes, and I dig around all over the internet to find them. Are these books going to become the new big thing? I don't know, but I love seeing how romance novels evolve over the decades. (Check out this article on the evolution of the romance novel.)

**We are told these characters are every day folks, but it is fiction. Their lives have to be much more entertaining than ours!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review for What Kills Me

Blurb:
An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?
 
My review:
Axelia wants a summer of fun in beautiful Rome. When a gorgeous boy asks her to sneak out at night, this sweet 17-year-old decides to be daring and have a romance. The perfect night takes a turn for the very worst. Axelia falls into an ancient well filled with vampire blood and emerges a vampire without a sire. The vampire Monarchy wants her dead and places a bounty on her head. Axelia must fight to survive and finds help in a vampire bladesmith, Lucas. But can the two of them take on a whole army of immortals?

The YA paranormal romance drew me in with the beautiful cover, but the amazing story kept me reading, gobbling up every word. It started off slow for me. After Axelia (a.k.a. Zee) becomes a vampire and the Monarchy becomes involved, the plot picks up. I love the vampire history, the lore, the mystery, and the politics. There are several fascinating layers to the world Channing has created, and it holds many possibilities for what might come.

Zee is a chatterbox and a bit annoying in that aspect, but she has a compassionate heart and brave soul. She grows as things snowball into a mountain of trouble and becomes an admirable heroine. Lucas is a great complement to Zee. He's quiet, loyal, and steadfast. He's a modern vampire knight without the shining armor! He's the type of hero I love to see in YA books.

I can't wait to read the next one in Wynne Channing's What Kills Me series.
 
Get the book for FREE here:
 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five for May 16, 2014


1. I've been working hard on more revisions for WIP #1. I might have it done in time to query before the end of the month. My goal day to send out queries is the 28th. It's my son's last day of school. If I don't make the deadline, I'm going to attempt not to be too hard on myself. It's important to send out the best story I can, so if it takes a little more time ... I'll likely scream a bit and pout. Maybe eat chocolate and pout some more. Then I'll get right back to work and finish it.

2. I have a busy weekend ahead. A local writer's group meeting, a 5 year old's birthday party, and a school board end of the year party that involves wine and salad. Neither of which I like. I will go and smile and try not to look too awkward.

3. I've gotten a few great reviews these past few weeks for The 13th Floor Complete Collection and FEARLESS. It's wonderful to hear from my readers, and reviews like those can make a crappy day into a good one. A big thank you to everyone who has left me a review and who reviews other books. You are awesome!

4. Still waiting to hear back on some short stories and my geeky novella submissions. Waiting never gets easier, no matter how many years you've been writing.

5. Finally, here are the winners from my giveaway from the My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered. Have a great weekend!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Shadow Warrior cover reveal

The agony of a failed quest haunts Kanze Zenjiro, but the betrayal by those he once trusted has turned his world upside down. With a heart full of hatred and defeat, Zen is desperate to return home and demand the truth from his father.

Meanwhile, the Iberian Empire sends their soaring airships and steam-powered giants into the Orient. They threaten to upset the balance of power, hoping to exploit the faraway land in their greed for the resources needed to power their machines. Zen and his companions must fight to keep the world from plunging into total destruction.

And at the center of it all is a nine year old boy with the power of a god.

Release date: August 4, 2014


Find Jay on his site or blog!

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

The awesome hosts: Harper A. Brooks & TF Walsh

My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Because boys in books are just better.

They can be hot-headed, dominant, reckless, or damaged—oh, and let’s not forget SEXY. They know all your deepest desires and fantasies. Vampires, shifters, rock stars, ultimate fighters, young billionaires, military men, or business tycoons—they even have the best occupations! You never have to worry about them leaving dirty clothes on the floor or skipping out on date-night to hang out with the guys. A perfect match!
Now if only they were real…
My Book Boyfriend Blog Hop celebrates the relationships we create while reading! We all have our favorite fictional boyfriends. Introduce us to yours and meet your next obsession!

Check out the other participants' posts by clicking on the lists on Harper's and Tania's sites!

My most recent book boyfriend is sexy, adventurous, and has a lot of wood. He does have his own ship being a pirate, after all! Captain Joren Steele is the hero in Decadent Kane's Steele Your Soul, the third book in The Trouble With Elves series. Would I take him home to meet the parents? No way. He'd be my dirty secret, very dirty, and I wouldn't have him any other way.



As part of this blog hop, I'm to offer up something to tantalize readers. Enter for a chance to win one of 3 digital copies of The 13th Floor Complete Collection, one of Night Owl Reviews top picks. Six novellas with several gorgeous men (and werewolves, demons, vampires, and ghosts) that might become your next book boyfriends!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also enter to win a Grand Prize package from Tania and Harper!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 9, 2014

Champion in Flight cover reveal

A year after she won the battle for Septily, Clara feels trapped in Skycliff by the Allied Council. As the last pieces of information about the Healing Caves fall into place, Clara is attacked by an assassin. Covert Drinaii mercenaries and the Council aren’t going to stop Clara from her quest to heal her broken blade. As Champion of Aramatir, she must act.

Meanwhile, in the joint kingdoms of Rrysorria and Wylandria, the youngest and still cursed swan prince despairs of ever being whole again. In a moment of anger and desperation, Liam discovers a blood link between him and a dark sorceress.

Clara won the battle for Septily, but her battle isn’t over.

Champion in Flight is the second book in The Champion Trilogy.

Author Bio:
Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Dragonfold and Other Adventures, and Light Reflections showcase her short stories and poetry. She is currently at work on the third novel of The Champion Trilogy: Champion’s Destiny.
 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Dragon's Lament, Ocean of Dust, Reborn, and Backworlds

Here is some exciting news from four of the talented authors from Untethered Realms!

A DRAGON'S LAMENT is now available!

Magic is real. So is betrayal.

David enters the Fire Kingdom and events shift from bad to worse. He learns a shocking truth about the dragons, a truth destined to block his efforts to retrieve the lost magic of Shaylar from the ruling Council. After a cave-in and injuries force a rescue, David finds himself more isolated than before as personal concerns scatter his trusted advisors and the wizard who led him there abandons him.

The head of the dragon Council negotiates separate deals with both David and his father, sowing further discord between them. David's close friend, Lothan, disappears into the caves and doesn't return. A group of dissidents kidnap Wilks, the child empath David is sworn to protect. With no options left, he accepts the Council's demands to help them in their centuries-old conflict, risking a war which might kill them all.

Even if David manages to win, there's no guarantee the dragons will let him leave the region alive. They don't want the Kingdom of Shaylar to rise again and will stop at nothing to see it remain a pile of dust.



Available here:

**********************


About the author:

River Fairchild is somewhat odd, brandishes a dry sense of humor, owned by several cats. Lives in a fantasy world. A fabricator of magic. Makes stuff up and spins tales about it. Believes in Faerie crossings and never staying in one place for very long. Speculative Fiction wordsmith. The secret to her stories? Spread lies, blend in truths, add a pinch of snark and a dash of tears. Escape into her world. She left the porch light on so you can find your way down the rabbit hole.
Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon


OCEAN OF DUST is now an audiobook!



Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.

Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it's too late.

When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.

Available here: Audiobook: AudibleAmazon
 
Find Graeme Ing on his site here!

REBORN on Wattpad!

Every first and third Wednesday through to December 2015, Cherie Reich will be posting a chapter of her new fantasy novel, REBORN on Wattpad. You can already read the Prologue and a quote from Part I.
 

Backworlds Extras!
Mary Pax has some exciting new extras for fans of her Backworlds series. Visit Pardeep Station and take part in her What Backworlds Character Are You? quiz or find out what your Backworlds name would be.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG for May 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

I'll be querying very soon. As if that isn't terrifying in itself, I've now developed a new worry.

I have a list of publishers I want to query. But what if they aren't the right publishers for me? I've done all my research. These are the ones that I consider the best for this particular manuscript. Yet I could be wrong.

I won't know until it's done. That's the risk we have to take as writers. I've already had one bad experience with a publisher. Maybe old fears are surfacing from that.

I'm curious about those of you who have queried and found a happy home with a press. How did you know they were the right publisher for you? Or how about those bad experiences? Please share those too. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Steele Your Soul review

Blurb: 
Stolen souls, an evil drow elf, a dark eyed beauty named Pepper, and a king who doesn't take kindly to the loss of his goods...Captain Joren Steele has his hands full.

When Pepper set out for the day, the last thing she expected was to come face to face with a pirate. But when she locks eyes with the Captain, she's ready to let him pillage or plunder whatever he wants. At least until his drow shipmate decided to steal her for himself.


Captain Joren Steele has a love for his ship, money, and females, usually in that order. When Pepper steps into his life, he's certain his love 'em and leave 'em status will remain intact. But when he discovers she's a victim of the drow, he has to make a choice: his ship or the elfess.


My review:
Captain Joren Steele loves his life. A magnificent ship, money in his pocket, and a pretty elfess in every port. Usually a couple of them! When he spies the lovely Pepper on the dock one day, he doesn't expect this fiery gal might challenge his way of life. A drow shipmate sets his eyes on Pepper as well and steals her for himself. Will Joren be able to save her or will they both be lost to the darkness of the drows' realm?

This is my favorite in Decadent Kane's The Trouble With Elves series, and it's largely due to Joren Steele. Cocky, lusty, and sexy, there's more to him than just what's on the surface. There is honor amongst some pirates even if he can be easily distracted by a woman. Pepper is sweet and brave, a character easy to sympathize with. The heat between Joren and Pepper is explosive! I also like how the villains in Kane's books are absolutely despicable. The drow had my stomach turning.

I love the world Kane has created. Modern, yet medieval and magical. The little details paint a vivid picture. I can't wait to read more stories in this world.

I'd really like to see more of Captain Joren Steele. A LOT more!

Buy the book here:

About the author: 
If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has infinite meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric.
 
You can find Decadent Kane here:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Broken Branch Falls cover reveal!

Welcome to the Forest!

It's time for the highly anticipated, most spectacular cover reveal of the day!


BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy)
by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. Gabe’s closest friends are goblins like him, but Gabe is tired of being a goblin – he’d like to try other things. And he has his eye on the new ogress at school. It’s against all beastly rules, but there’s just something about her.

When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment – but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for the Book of Ages, which holds the laws of all beastkind and hopefully the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL



Tara Tyler started out as a math teacher. After having a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering and living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!


AND you can get up to five entries in this fun raffle just for commenting on five of the many cover reveal posts (see below) - This week only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal Participants! Thanks you guys!! You the Beast!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Five for May 2, 2014


1. Not a terribly productive week writing-wise. I've started on my synopsis for WIP #1. I'm doing my best not to spend as much time on it as I did writing the novel. My goal for this month is to get WIP #1 query ready.

2. The A to Z Challenge is over. I know many of you are still catching up on your sleep! I thoroughly enjoyed participating as a part of a group. Last year, I barely had enough time to respond to comments on my own blog. This year, I visited several new blogs. I would be happy to do the group thing again next year, but I'll wait until my son's in school full-time before I do it myself.

3. I'm going to settle back into a 3 day a week posting schedule. Lots of new releases and reveals coming from many of my writing friends this month. It's going to be an exciting month!

4. Speaking of reveals, have you seen Elizabeth Seckman's cover for Bella's Point? Absolutely gorgeous.


5. And here's some fun reading for the weekend. River Fairchild has released her awesome collection of Death & Chronos flash fiction, Living the Afterlife. Grab your copy for FREE on Smashwords.

Thirty stories filled with laughter and mishaps as a Harley-riding Death and anachronistic Chronos create havoc in Purgatory and on Earth. A host of Immortals join in the misadventures.

Find out what happens when Death teaches War how to bowl. Can Chronos fix his blunder when he loses a year? What is Gaia going to do when she discovers the invisible sheep? Can you win playing poker with Evil? 
 
Step into their world. The Afterlife will never be the same.