Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Five

1. I finished my first round of revisions with my WIP. Three chapters deleted and several other pages. One chapter added. I need more words now.

2. I tried to start my second draft yesterday, but I stared at the screen for an hour. I couldn't get out the first line of the new first chapter. I know exactly what I want to do with the chapter, but I can't get over that first line hump. I think I'm worrying too much about it being perfect. I need to forget that and leave it to be changed in the next revision.

3. My son will be two in three weeks. How can I be the mother of a two-year-old? Has he gone off to college yet?

4. I'm all prepared for the A to Z Challenge. I have a fear that Blogger will change everything over to the new look and I'll lose all my pre-scheduled posts for the challenge. Please Blogger, don't mess any of us up.

5. Finally watched the first season of Sherlock. Awesome. The second season will air on PBS starting in May. I still prefer Doctor Who, but Sherlock is pretty dang cool.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review for Rising Book 1: Resistance

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.

Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.

And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.

My review:
Alphonse Redding's relaxing summer vacation is stolen away when he's sent on an urgent errand and suddenly becomes a fugitive. He's nearly captured by two men with strange weapons just after leaving home, but is rescued by a wily young woman who seems to know more of what's going on than he does. Mairwyn's a mechanic with a dark past that's slowly closing in on her. They must deliver vital information to prevent another war from ravaging the land and save a people who only want to be left in peace.

Resistance nabbed me right from the beginning. Alphonse has a funny incident in a field and a warm homecoming, but it quickly turns into something darker and much bigger than a summer spent in a little farming town. Strangers, knights, frightening mecha, and mysteries. I wasn't sure who to trust or what was going to happen next. Alphonse is immediately likable with his awkward and academic ways. He's not your typical hero, but that makes this book stand out all the more. Mairwyn stands in wonderful contrast to him. She's feisty, clever, and out-spoken. Their relationship grows slowly and naturally. The organic nature of it lends to fantastic characterization which doesn't overshadow the plot.

Larua Josephsen's writing is on par with novels printed by the big publishers. It reads with a clean and harmonic flow. This is a fantasy world with technology powered by crystals. It's light on the steampunk aspect, but it's still present for fans of the genre. What's more important is the complex and fascinating plot that Laura has created. She takes you on twists and turns, drawing the reader on to greater heights of awe. It's hard to surprise me, but she managed to do so. I love the political intrigue, the demented king, and the little girl who can sneak better than the most skilled of thieves!

If you're a fan of The Hunger Games, you'll love Resistance. Hold on, it will take you for the ride of your life.

Rising Book 1: Resistance is now available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Author's bio: Laura Josephsen is a wife, mother, author, geek. Beginner student of Taekwondo. Freelance editor. Homeschooler. Likes coffee, chocolate, socks, fantasy stories, rainy days, and sci-fi shows. Lives in Tennessee with her family, two cats, and a black lab.

Please visit Laura's site and follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - A to Z Challenge

There will be no Wicked Wednesdays during the month of April.

Don't panic. I'm not going to abandon you. I have something else in store for paranormal romance fans.

During the month of April, I'll be doing The A to Z Blogging Challenge. This is my first time participating in the challenge. I'm excited and nervous, especially with what I plan to do.

I've written a paranormal romance story that stretches over the entire month. I've had no time to revise it. It will be in its pure unedited form. I apologize if there are any glaring plot holes and grammar nightmares. With limited time and space, not all scenes follow immediately after the other. Yet I hope nothing vital has been left out so you may have the full story experience.

A few people have expressed concern that I might not be able to find a publisher for the story after posting it on my blog. No need to worry. I don't intend to publish it. This is my contribution to the Challenge and to you. Also, if you enjoy this story, you'll be more likely to buy my novels if I finally get them published!

I don't have a title for my A to Z story. Though, I've been playing around with a few taglines to tease you.

Abby White is one of the Fearless, but she's never had to face the longings of her own heart.

Parents, when your kids tell you about the monsters in the closets, believe them.
The beasts will eat them.

A is for Abby.
D is for Demetrius.
L is for love?

I hope that is enough to tantalize you to stick with me through April.

Wicked Wednesdays will be back in May. I'm curious as to what you might like to see on it. Book reviews? Interviews? Should I stick with what I've been doing? More of my own writing and experiences? Anything else you can think of?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with The Snow Queen's Shadow

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
It's taken me a little while to get to this next book in Jim C. Hines fairy tale series. He does a wonderful mash-up of the old fairy tales we know and love, but in a fun and original way. Plus, the princesses are the heroes. Who doesn't love a self rescuing princess?
Here's your teaser:
Snow pointed to the broken shards. Wings of ice twitched, then fluttered to life. Insects of snow and glass, no larger than wasps, swarmed toward the Harbor-master. (page 69)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review for Fighting Gravity

Forced into executing Aresia’s people, Phoebus escapes the Aresian Guard by flying his spaceship through a wormhole.

The only single woman of marrying age, Marissa flees her prospects of becoming Elder McGee’s third wife for a chance at freedom upon the New Atlantic Ocean.

When Phoebus’s spacecraft crashes upon an asteroid-ravaged Earth, he is captured by a rogue Earthling youth and thrown into a cellar. Marissa stumbles upon the spacecraft, but it explodes before she can find any sign of the alien. When she awakens, she discovers the alien’s whereabouts and vows to help him. They plot his escape when they learn Phoebus’s Aresians have landed and are searching for him. Phoebus and Marissa must battle against their despair and their peoples in their quest for freedom and love. And through it all, an Earthling and an Aresian will find it easier to fight gravity than their love for each other.

My review:
Phoebus is tormented by his daimon and forced to execute his fellow Aresians. He attempts to escape through a wormhole, but ends up being captured on a primitive planet called Earth. Marissa hopes to find a new life for herself, but the world outside her tiny community isn't what she expected it to be. Her old friends turned scavengers have nefarious plans for her. Her only chance for help is to free Phoebus and flee with him. They're hunted and must learn to trust one another, finding more than just trust along the way.

This is the second novella in Cherie Reich's Gravity series. She has outdid herself with this dark and action packed science-fiction fantasy romance. She starts you off right in the middle of the action, and I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing. The image Cherie paints of an Earth hit by an asteroid is harsh and dismal, but not without hope. Marissa has the light of hope in her heart. She's sweet and compassionate, and though she's rightfully afraid, she has the courage to do what's necessary when the time comes. Phoebus is from a cold and war-hungry people who make themselves into something more by infusing themselves with daimons. It's fascinating and terrifying at the same time. The Aresians are a complex culture and the daimons a mystery. This aspect really intrigued me because I didn't know what Phoebus' daimon would do next.

This story is light on the romance, so I believe sci-fi and dark fantasy fans will love it.  There's fighting, betrayal, and unexpected twists. Cherie's writing is sharp and her imagery vivid. She makes the story come alive before your eyes. Fighting Gravity captivated me from beginning to end. Even if you haven't read the first book in the series, Defying Gravity, you can still thoroughly enjoy this one.

Fighting Gravity will be available on May 1st. Mark it on your calendars!

Author's bio: Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, and library assistant. She typically writes horror, fantasy, and mysteries, but she enjoys other genres. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her e-books include ONCE UPON A DECEMBER NIGHTMARE published by Wild Child Publishing, THE BEST OF RAVEN AND THE WRITING DESK published by Hazard Publishing, and DEFYING GRAVITY published by Surrounded by Books Publishing. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Valley Writers. She was the third place winner in Roanoke Valley's BIG READ writing contest.

Please visit Cherie's website. Fighting Gravity is already up on Goodreads.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A quick Friday update

It's Friday! Woo-hoo!

I've had a productive week. I edited and submitted my newest short story, "George and the Dragon." My writers' group liked it and my critique partners helped iron out the rough edges.

I only have four chapters left in my first round of revisions of my WIP. I can't wait for the torture to end. Of course, once the first round is done, there's the second and third and fourth to how many it takes to get it right. I'll be rewriting the first chapter again. This was inspired by Les Edgerton's Hooked. It's a fantastic book on beginnings. It's now my top book on the craft that I recommend to other writers. It makes everything so clear.

I'm reading Laura Jospehsen's Rising Book 1: Resistance. Intriguing story. I don't know who to trust or what's coming. And the quality of her writing is phenomenal.

I'm also reading Cherie Reich's Fighting Gravity, the second novella in her Gravity series. This one is packed with action and edge-of-your-seat tension.

I'll be reviewing both books next week.

Just over a week until April and The A to Z Challenge! I hope you're getting a head start on your posts if you're participating. Have you seen the linky list? Over 1100 participants! It's going to be an awesome month.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Auntie Tara's March prompt

Auntie Tara found a call for short stories for a great cause at
My short story was inspired by one of my favorite childhood shows,
I wanted to be the littlest hobo when I was a kid.
Sure, he was a dog, but he was a hero and had an adventurous life.
Here's my story:
The air was ripe with the new smells of spring. Some people sneezed and blew their noses, unable to concentrate solely on the search for the missing toddler. The German Shepard kept his focus and sniffed at the ground. His nose blew out the tang of pollen and found the warm scent of the boy.
No one led him by a leash. No collar jingled around his neck. The dog looked for the child because he was needed. He never questioned his instincts or shied away from danger. He was needed and that was all that mattered.

He wove through the trees, crawled under low hanging pines, and ignored the needles that pricked his paws. The child had went this way and hurt his bare feet. A hint of the coppery smell of blood urged the dog into a trot. A helicopter flew over head and somewhere a woman was crying. The compelling sound let him know time was running out.

Splashing through a series of mud puddles, he almost lost the child's scent. This was a baby, a pup. He couldn't have gone far, and all directions except one led up rocky hills. The boy would take the path of least resistance. The dog loped down into a sinkhole and skidded to a stop.

He cocked his head to the side and twitched his ears.

The faintest sound of a creature sleeping. The dog stuck his head into a hollow log and nudged the child with his warm wet nose. The boy whimpered and curled up.

The German Shepard pulled his head out, not wanting to frighten the poor thing, and called to the other searchers. His barks echoed through the woods.  Three men came running, and he showed them where to find the boy.

There were cheers and tears and much celebrating. The boy would be fine.
Before anyone had a chance to thank the dog, he was gone. Something was pulling him on to the next town. His tail wagged behind him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - make 'em suffer

Writing great paranormal romance isn't all about the longing glances, the sweet kisses, or the fiery passion between the sheets. Oh, we do love those things, but no. That's not what really makes readers turn the pages. It's the suffering we put our characters through that hooks them.

In order to get your readers to empathize with your characters, you need to engage them emotionally. Everyone knows what it's like to have their heart broken. Perhaps we're not as dramatic in our woes as the characters, but sometimes we'd like to be. Describe the pain in vivid and clear language. Be bold. Make the suffering unbearable and explore its most primal roots. Don't try to be subtle about it.

Emotional suffering isn't enough. You need to build in external conflict to torture your characters too. Again, problems need to be clear. Your readers need to know what your characters are fighting against. Having a clear problem doesn't mean to not have any mystery. Simple example: the problem is there's a new serial killer killing werewolves in town and your protagonist has to find out who it is before there's another victim. (The sexy Alpha of the local pack wants in on the hunt too!) Clear problem and intriguing mystery.

Once you've made your characters and readers miserable, it's time for the solution. The solution needs to be as clear as the problem. It must be realistic and satisfying. I'm sure everyone can agree a weak ending ruins a good story. Give your readers the emotional high to make up for the suffering you've put them through.

What hooks you in a story: the happy moments or the suffering?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Tuesdays at the Castle

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I don't remember who posted something about this book on their blog a couple of months ago, but it immediately caught my attention. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George is a children's book, and it has that magic that drew me in like the Harry Potter series. So far, I'm loving it!
Here's your teaser:
"It's a castle... I mean, how much could it really understand?"
"Don't talk like that," Celie warned. "It might throw you out!" (page 48)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Daily Science Fiction

For all the people who love science-fiction and fantasy, you need to visit this site and subscribe. Daily Science Fiction is a great site for readers and writers. Subscribe to get FREE short stories every weekday. Even though they're offering the stories for free, writers are paid eight cents a word. Pretty awesome, eh?

These are quality stories from new writers to Hugo Award winning authors. I've had a subscription for over half a year now. It's so much fun having a short story to read each morning while eating my Fruit Loops.

I recently learned something even more fantastic about Daily Science Fiction: they are now SFWA approved. Yes! One of my goals this year is to attempt to get a story published with a SFWA approved market and become a SFWA associate member. (Maybe one day, a full active member!) Daily Science Fiction is always seeking submissions.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

My son and I made green Rice Krispie treats yesterday.
He also colored a few holiday themed pictures,
but he was more interested in the alphabet stickers he got from his Great-Nana in the mail!

Wish me luck with my writers' group today.
Are you wearing green?
I'll be wearing my green 1 UP mushroom t-shirt.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Lucky 7 MeMe and the Sunshine Award

I received this cool meme from Tara Tyler and Tania Walsh.
Thank you! This is really neat.

Here are the rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 authors.

Here are my seven lines from Witch's First Rule:
“She didn't say why she wanted it, but I'm going to assume it's because she doesn't want me making the potion.” Magena hurried through the kitchen and down the hall to go up the stairs to the second floor. The vacuum was sitting by the linen closet still plugged into the wall. She smacked the handle as she stormed by and knocked it on its back. “My home has been violated. It'll never feel right again.”

Nathan kept pace with her. “I'm going to have to call Mr. Knox and tell him what happened. I'm sure he can help you cleanse the house if you feel something wrong with it. There's no use--”

(I didn't cheat, but likely the scene will be cut from the manuscript!)

Here are the next lucky seven writers:
7. Julie Dao

I also received this wonderful award from Kathleen at Writing, Reading and Life.
Thank you for a bit of sunshine on a rainy day.

Here are the rules:
1. Thanks the person who gave it to you.
2. Write a blog post with the answers to the questions.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award.

Favorite color: blue
Favorite animal: wolf
Favorite number: 5
Favorite non-alcoholic drink: pink lemonade
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook.
My passions: My son, husband, reading, and, of course, writing. There's also chocolate. Most particularly chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cheesecake. Mmmm.
Getting or giving presents: giving. I love the reactions and they stay with me longer than any material thing a person can give me.
Favorite pattern: whorls
Favorite day of the week: Saturday
Favorite flower: wildflowers. I love seeing a field full of various wildflowers. I'm not a fan of flowers in the house.

I'm giving some sunshine to everyone who wants it. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winners of the Cherie Reich Blog Tour Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented on Cherie's guest post.
I hope you all managed to get a copy of Defying Gravity.
It's a fantastic sci-fi fantasy romance!

Here are the two lucky winners of Cherie's giveaway.
Each of them wins an e-copy of Once Upon a December Nightmare
and The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk.

Congratulations to the winners!
Cherie will be in contact with you shortly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - the fast-paced novel

What is the key to making your readers not want to put down your book? Pacing. Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint what it is about a book that makes you dislike it. The characters might be intriguing and the plot might be fantastic, but most of the time, the culprit is pacing. It comes naturally to some writers, but for most of us, we have to work at it and keep revising until we get it right.

Many paranormal romances are fast-paced novels. They keep hitting you with one thing after another, keeping the reader on a supernatural thrill ride. A fast pace heightens suspense, mystery, and romantic tension. Your story must pose questions. Some are answered lightning fast and bring up new questions while others are answered more slowly to draw out the intrigue. You must always have the reader wondering and wanting more.

As I've mentioned before on Wicked Wednesday, emotion is key to a good paranormal romance. Not only do you need plot questions to propel it forward, you need character questions. You need characters your readers can relate to, but also ones that are different enough to make your readers think. Plot drives the external pace while characters push the internal pace. The trick is to combine the two in a leapfrogging pattern: plot question leads to character question, plot answer leads to character answer bringing up more questions.

Here are a few tips to pick up the pace of your novel:
- Use shorter sentences and paragraphs.
- Incorporate more action.
- Create more conflict.
- Give your characters various goals and motivations.
- Cut back on internal dialogue and backstory.
- Eliminate scenes that don't advance the plot.

Yet always remember a good novel needs fast and slow scenes. Ups and downs. Too much action can diminish a reader's emotional experience. You don't want to exhaust your reader by going too fast. Pacing may seem like a simple thing, but if you can master it, it's a powerful tool.

There's only one more day to enter to win Cherie Reich's giveaway. Just leave a comment on Thursday's guest post. Cherie talks about running a book blog tour and offers some great advice.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Explosive Eighteen

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich are fun and easy reads. A lot of them blend together for me. They make me laugh, though. I like the overall story arc, but Stephanie really needs to make up her dang mind. I'm on Team Ranger.
Here's your teaser:
I dropped my new Glock into my purse, along with the stun gun on steroids. I was wearing the GPS watch, pearly earrings, a Band-Aid where the knife had knicked my neck, and a huge Band-Aid on my skinned knee. I was the All-American Girl. (page 163)

You still have two days to enter to win Cherie Reich's giveaway. Just leave a comment on Thursday's guest post. Cherie talks about running a book blog tour and offers some great advice.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In the groove

You still have three days to enter to win Cherie Reich's giveaway. Just leave a comment on Thursday's guest post. Cherie talks about running a book blog tour and offers some great advice.

It was a slow start to last week, but I found my groove. I wrote my short story for the month. I added a sci-fi twist to the fairy tale version of George and the Dragon. I've already emailed it to my writers' group, and we'll meet this coming Saturday.

I also finished all my posts for The A to Z Challenge. Yippee! I'm ahead of schedule and it feels good. I just couldn't stop writing. It's a fun story. I hope everyone else has as much fun with it as I did. Now I can spend my blogging time in April visiting the other participants.

I came up with a new idea for either a novel or a series of novellas. I haven't decided which would be better. Of course, you know what it's like when a new idea hits you. All you want to do is concentrate on that idea. I want to hold off until November and write it for NaNoWriMo, but we'll see how much power it has over me.

There's three weeks left of March. I want to focus on the revisions for my WIP. I need to stay in this groove and dig down deep. I don't like revising. I used the A to Z posts as a way of avoiding those revisions. I think once I get past the starting hump, I'll be fine. I just need to get back into revision mode.

I finally have my workspace back again. My husband's birthday is at the beginning of April. I already knew I was going to buy him a wireless rotor for his Xbox, but this morning, he saw the price on it had gone down and was going to buy it himself. The only way to stop him was to confess and give him his present early. Now he can play on his Xbox in the living room on the big TV and not squish himself in this little computer room with me. He's very happy. I'm very happy.

Today our Christmas present is arriving too. We ordered a new bed platform with drawers (we seriously need the extra storage space) in December as our mutual Christmas present. It's being delivered today.

I lost an hour of sleep due to Daylight Saving Time, but at least my son adjusted wonderfully. He even asked to go down for his nap at his regular time yesterday.

Have a good week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Review for A Hero Rising


After watching his love leave on a colony ship, James Wilfred must save those left behind from a planetary apocalypse. Their salvation lies in an unfinished ship tucked away in a secret government base, and only James can break in and pilot him and his people to freedom on a nearby space station.

Skye O’Connor’s boyfriend never returns after his gang attempts an assassination of the Governor, and the State Building is destroyed. Worse, crazed moonshiners addicted to the chemical Morpheus have stormed the city, and she must find a safe place for her and her boyfriend’s daughter. When a heroic man saves her, Skye asks to accompany him on his quest to find the last colony ship left on Earth.

As the city falls around them, James and Skye must work together to build a new future, all the while rediscovering their ability to love, before the apocalypse claims them both.

My review:
The Earth is breathing her last few breathes, and everyone must flee or die on the surface. Yet even in the chaos, there is still a glimmer of hope and love. James Wilfred just watched his love fly off into the stars, but he's determined to help those left behind to safety. He begins a mission to find an old colony ship to take his people to a new home on the moon. Fighting his way through the city, he saves Skye and the little girl under her care. With nowhere left to go, they join him on his search. The city is crawling with feral drug addicts called moonshiners and nothing seems to be in their favor. James and Skye refuse to give up. They cannot fail the hundreds of people depending on them nor can they abandon the spark of love growing between them.

A Hero Rising is action from start to finish. Aubrie Dionne paints a vivid picture of a civilization about to collapse in on itself. It's dark, gritty, and frighteningly possible. Humans are fleeing the planet in gigantic colony ships. Those remaining will be left to die in the nuclear aftermath or in the rotting hands of the moonshiners. It's a gripping, fast-paced plot. James is a strong and admirable character. You'll find yourself cheering him on from the beginning. Skye is a survivor. She lived a hard life, but her heart remains pure. Both James and Skye have lost someone, but they somehow find their hearts can still go on with each other. The most fascinating part of the book was the terrifying moonshiners. Monsters and moon myths. The drug, Morpheus, turns addicts into stuff of nightmares. It's great science-fiction romance with a nice dose of horror.

A Hero Rising by Aubrie Dionne is now available on Amazon, B&N, and Entangled Publishing.

Please don't forget to enter to win Cherie Reich's giveaway. Just leave a comment on yesterday's guest post.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cherie Reich on running a book blog tour and giveaway

Welcome Cherie Reich!
I'm honored to be the last stop on her Defying Gravity blog tour.
I'm also excited to have her here on her birthday!

Cherie's going to talk with us about running a book blog tour. Pay attention. She tells us some very important stuff. I'll tell you about the giveaway at the end of the post.

Hello, everyone! Thank you, Christine, for letting me take over your blog today. Christine asked me to talk about book blog tours.

The first thing you need to decide is what type of book blog tour you want. Do you want a big two month blog tour with events every day? Do you want a small one? There are places that you can pay to host a blog tour too.

For me, I decided I wanted a fairly small blog tour for my space fantasy romance novelette Defying Gravity. I wanted it from February 14th to March 8th (my birthday!), and I figured to have a few spots every week would be good. Now how did I find the people to host me?

You can find bloggers and ask them to host you. Most of us are fairly friendly and accommodating. The worst thing that might happen is they say ‘no.’ For me, I decided to place a call out for bloggers and reviewers on my blog and people contacted me saying they would want to host me on their blog.

You’ve decided what you want for your book blog tour. You are starting to get people interested in hosting you, so what do you do now? Everyone, repeat after me: Organization is your friend.

Did you repeat that? Good.

I created a spreadsheet with these categories: name, e-mail address, blog address, what the host wants from me, blog tour date, and what I’ve sent. I highlighted when I’d sent everything. Also, be sure to give them your blog tour kit. What is a blog tour kit? It’s your cover art, author picture, book blog tour badge, book description and links, and author bio and links.

It’s good to offer giveaways also. I’ve given away several copies of Defying Gravity as well as a chapter critique. You want to make sure to thank your blog host and keep visiting them during the tour. Comment on their blog posts and interact with their readers. It’s a busy time, but a great time.

Since today’s my thirtieth birthday and my final touring spot, I’ve decided to have a rather epic giveaway. Defying Gravity is free today. That’s right. You’ve heard it right here. Free. So go out and grab a copy here. And I’m also giving away a copy of Once Upon a December Nightmare and The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk. Christine will give you the details.

Thank you for having me!

You're welcome! It's always lots of fun when you visit. Congratulations on your new release and reaching thirty years.

Did you read it all, folks? Cherie is giving away Defying Gravity for FREE today. Click and grab your copy now!

She's also giving away a copy of her horror novelette Once Upon a December Nightmare AND a great collection of shorts from The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk to two lucky winners. (If you have one or the other and you're a winner, you can choose to only have one.) Just leave a comment with your email address below. The winners will be chosen by in one week.

Defying Gravity by Cherie Reich
Homesick upon the SS Perseid, Linia, a young linguist, thinks she signed up for a mission of peace, but her crew members have another plan: attack the planet Medusa.

Bored with his dying planet, Alezandros, a space cruiser pilot, joins the Medusan Army in his quest for adventure.

When the SS Perseid clashes with the Medusans’ space cruisers, Alezandros and Linia’s lives intertwine. Sucked through a wormhole, they crash upon a post-apocalyptic Earth and are captured by cannibals. In adjacent cells, Alezandros and Linia cast their differences aside for a common bond: escape. But when romantic feelings emerge between them, they might do the unthinkable because for a Medusan and a Persean to fall in love, it would defy gravity.

Author Bio: Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor and library assistant. She enjoys writing horror, fantasy, and mysteries, but she doesn’t let that stop her from trying other genres. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her e-books include Once Upon a December Nightmare, The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, and Defying Gravity. She is a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Valley Writers and placed third in Roanoke Valley’s BIG READ writing contest.
Author Links:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - technology

A lot of paranormal romances take place in our modern world or just a few decades in the future. This means that technology will play a part in the plot. Characters stay connected with the ease of cell phones and blackberries. A lonely protagonist might try to meet her true love online. A couple might have a fight over a status update on Facebook or a misunderstood tweet. Many people are reliant on technology in their normal every day lives.

The most recent Harlequin Romance Report found some interesting tidbits. Here are some of their findings that snagged my attention:

  • Of all the social media networks, Facebook had the highest percentage of users across all age groups. Those who identified themselves as "heavy Facebook users" (10 hours per week or more) place higher importance (61%) on their love life than occasional Facebook users.

  • 89% of women surveyed spend most of their time on Facebook reading about other people's lives.

  • 52% of women surveyed use Facebook as a research tool to find out information about a prospective first date.

  • Surprisingly, 52% of women surveyed aged 25 to 35 have never participated in online dating. 

  • 43% of all respondents admitted to "sexting" – sending a text message containing suggestive and highly explicit sexual language. Though 65% of those women will "sext" only while in a serious relationship, 36% of casual daters polled admit to sending a risqué message after just a few dates. Twenty-seven percent of all respondents had sent nude photos via emails or text messages.

  • Of the top 5 factors women respondents listed as "deal breakers," 3 were technology-related:
    • Too needy (32%)
    • Dependence on a BlackBerry/ iPhone (31%)
    • Having too many Facebook photos with an ex-girlfriend (29%)
    • Grammatically challenged (24%)
    • Married to his work/ still lives with his parents (20%) 
    Though 91% of women believe the dating rules have become more flexible, the majority still want the man to ask them out, to pay for the first date, and to hold the door for them. The majority also feel pressure to be married or in a committed relationship.

    The paranormal element of the story can add twists to the technological. Imps in the machines, gadgets powered by magic, or the dead communicating through email. The possibilities are endless.

    Romance is also greatly changed by technology. There are several new ways to woo a potential lover, to have an argument, or to find out about that mysterious and hot guy.

    How do you think romance has been changed by technology? 

  • Please join me tomorrow when Cherie Reich is stopping by and chatting about how to run a book blog tour.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Teaser Tuesday with Blood Rights

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    I love, love, love this cover. Blood Rights by Kristen Painter is a new take on vampires. It's gotten praise by some of my favorite paranormal romance authors. And did I mention that I love the cover?
    Here's your teaser:
    He was suddenly in front of her, eyes platinum bright and feral with hunger. He inhaled, opening his mouth as if to taste her scent on his tongue. (page 69)

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Once Upon a December Nightmare review


    They were only going out to dinner and a movie.

    But when their plans go astray, friends Cassie, Mary, Denise, and James decide to take a detour down a lonely mountain road. A felled tree blocks their passage and forces them to turn around in a clearing containing a disturbing arrangement of four deer carcasses.

    Their truck breaks down, their cell phones don't work, and they must brave the cold December air, nightfall, and a long hike. Yet this is the least of their troubles. Tension runs high between the four young friends…and they are not alone. Each step brings them closer to safety, but will they make it to the main road alive?

    My review:

    It was suppose to be a fun winter night touring the back roads with old friends, but a tree blocks the trail and the old truck breaks down. There's no light, warmth, or cell phone reception. Cassie, Mary, Denise, and James decide to walk the few miles back to the main road. The cold and darkness adds friction to an already disgruntled group, and Cassie's scary story doesn't help ease the tension. There's also something stalking them in the woods. Perhaps Cassie's story holds more truth than they want to believe.

    Cherie Reich has managed to pack vivid detail and nail-biting suspense in this short horror tale. I can still feel the cold and hear the strange cracks from the woods. It seemed like a normal night for the young folk, but I fast on the edge of my seat, and I couldn't relax even when I reached the end. The most unique part of this story is that the reader is allowed to see through all the characters' eyes. Each of the four characters have their own sections and it's like peeling back layers of an onion. More is revealed about the dynamics of the group and each individual's inner most feelings. Cherie does a marvelous job with characterization. This is the perfect story for a cold, dark night when you're bundled up in bed. You'll need a big blanket when those chilly goose bumps crawl up your arms!

    Once Upon a December Nightmare is available at Amazon, B&N, and Wild Child Publishing.

    Please join me on March 8th when Cherie pops by on her last stop of her blog tour promoting her new book, Defying Gravity. She'll be talking about how to run a book blog tour. There's a giveaway too!  Don't miss it!

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Saturday Snapshot for March 3rd

    Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books
    My son had his first dentist appointment recently.
    The office was so cool!
    Made me wish they took adult patients.

    These little yellow flowers are all over our backyard.
    I have no idea what they are, but they're so pretty.

    The friendly neighborhood hawk in mid-flight.
    The photo is somewhat fuzzy, but I still thought it was neat.

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Aubrie Dionne's A Hero Rising giveaway winner

    Thank you to everyone who commented on my interview with
    It was so much fun having her on my blog.

    Now for the lucky winner of A Hero Rising:
    Josh Hoyt

    Aubrie will be in contact with you shortly.

    In the next few weeks, I'll post my review of A Hero Rising.
    Until then, please follow Aubrie's blog for all the fun and news.

    Join me next week on March 8th
    for Cherie Reich's guest post about
    running a book blog tour.
    There's another giveaway!

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Reminders and Links to Anthologies

    First off, today is the last day to enter to win a copy of Aubrie Dionne's A Hero Rising. Please read Saturday's interview and enter to win!

    Please pop on over to A Twist of Noir and check out my short story. I'd love to hear what you think.

    I'm on track with my short stories this year. I had my noir story accepted, and I just got an acceptance for another of my stories that I submitted last year. It's a scary fish story entitled "A Ticket on the Train," and it's to appear in the anthology, OCEAN STORIES. I submitted my Steampunk Cthulhu story this week. Now I must consider what to write for March.

    BLOODSTONES - 1-time print (Ticonderoga Publications); urban f/h (fic). Pay: AU2¢/word +2 copies. Words: 1k-7½k. RT: after DL. Reprints: no. E-subs: ONLY. Amanda Pillar, Editor. Deadline: May 15.

    EXTREME PLANETS - 1-time print/Kindle (Chaosium Inc.); sf (fic). Pay: 3¢/word +3 copies. Words: 4k-10k (<20k for pros). RT: after DL. Reprints: pros query only. E-subs: ONLY. David Conyers, David Kernot, & Jeff Harris, Editors. Deadline: June 30.

    CHERIE'S CHALLENGE - 1-time print/eAntho (Sleeping Cat Books); all genres (fic). Pay: exposure. Words: <5k. RT: 6-8 weeks. Reprints: query. E-subs: ONLY. Sarah Holroyd, Editor. Deadline: July 1.

    A FISTFUL OF HORRORS: Tales of Terror from the Old West - 1-time POD/eAntho (Cruentus Libri Press); western themed h (fic). Pay: £20. Words: 2½k-7½k. RT: receipt=<7 days; final=DL +<7 days. Reprints: no. E-subs: ONLY. Kevin G. Bufton, Editor. Deadline: May 31. 
         (Oh! I have an older short story I can shorten and send here.)

    On the novel front, my revisions are slowly coming along. I hope to have the first round done by the end of March. I can't believe how much I'm deleting and rewriting. I'm sure it's only my imagination, but revisions physically hurt!