Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Five for November 30, 2012

1. I'm a NaNoWriMo winner! I didn't finish before Thanksgiving, but a virus attacked me. Knocked me out for two days. I still made the goal with time to spare. I haven't managed to find time to get back to the story and finish it yet, though. It's been such a busy week.

2. Most of my Christmas shopping for the family is done. We're on a tight budget this year. I'm doing a photo theme. We had a family portrait done. It's... um, department store quality. Every family needs at least one cheesy department store photo, right? Everyone's going to be looking at my son anyway. That's what I tell myself. I also made up calendars with pictures of my son on Shutterfly. I love their site. It's easy to use and such prices for products people really love.

3. This past month I've been dealing with a health issue that secretly weighed heavy on me. I have no idea why I was quiet about it and brushed it off even with friends and family. During my recent mammogram, they found a lump. I went in for an ultrasound to confirm it and then had a biopsy done. I told myself and everyone else I wasn't worried. Yet when the results came back that it was benign and truly nothing to be concerned about, I felt so light and relieved. I guess I was more worried than I let on even to myself. I believe it's so important for women to do regular self exams and have mammograms starting at the age of 40. If there's history of breast cancer in the family, they should start younger than that. I also learned that finding a lump is more common than I realized. So many of my friends came out and told me the same thing happened with them. I had no idea. Why do women never talk about this amongst ourselves? There's no shame in it and no woman is alone in it. There may be a month dedicated to breast cancer, but talk still isn't happening as it should.

4. My mom is coming for an early Christmas visit next week. We'll be picking her up at the airport on Sunday afternoon and then going to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Mmmm. There will shopping. A lot of shopping. I'm exhausted already!

5. I've been working on posts for my 1301 blog tour. I'm so excited. I have the schedule locked in and I have fantastic hosts. If you'd still like to be part of any of my blog tours for the 13th Floor series, you can click on the tab above to find the dates for each book.

Here is my 1301 blog tour lineup:
Dec. 13 - Cherie Reich and Livia Peterson
Dec. 14 - Nick Wilford

Dec. 15 - Tania Walsh

Dec. 16 - M. Pepper Langlinais

Dec. 17 - Aubrie Dionne

Dec. 18 - Clare Dugmore

Dec. 19 - Kyra Lennon
  and Jackie Felger
Dec. 20 - Shannon Lawrence

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blindsided Christmas Photo Bloghop

Kyra Lennon wants to see our Christmas photos. All dressed-up or acting silly. It must be a new photo or taken over the last few years. No childhood pictures. Just post your picture between November 26th and December 7th. There's prizes! Click on the badge for details and the linky list to visit other participants. It's going to be so much fun!

Okay, you're not going to see me in these pictures. I don't remember the last time I wore anything festive. Sorry. My son is much, much more photogenic anyway!

Christmas 2010 in Santa pajamas

  Christmas 2011 in a Christmas sweater
and sharing a treat with a friend 

 December 2011 wearing jingle bells

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blindsided Blog Tour - Guest Post on Romance by Kyra Lennon

I'm thrilled to have the lovely Kyra Lennon here with me today.
She's celebrating the release of her new contemporary romance novel,
Take it away, Kyra!

Blindsided is all about a holiday romance. Those words usually bring to mind sun, sand, cocktails, and making out on the beach with an oiled up hunk. But in Blindsided, the holiday isn’t on an exotic island, it’s in dreary old London in December. And it’s Christmas! Even so, there is no shortage of romance, and it is, I think, enhanced by the season.

So what is it about Christmas that brings out the romance in people? Is it the overall message of love that seems to resonate in the air at this time of year? Is it just that everyone seems to be happier once the snow begins to fall, and Christmas music is being blasted from every speaker?

For me, it’s all about the cold. There is something magical when the air turns crisp, and all you really want to do is drink hot chocolate and snuggle up with your special someone. Of course, there are other ways to keep warm when the weather turns cold *wink wink* but it’s not ALL about that. It’s just knowing there is someone beside you to share that special time of year.

For Jesse and Isabelle, well, there are a few things happening there. For Isabelle, it’s the first stirrings of young love, for Jesse, it’s the realization that not all girls want to date him because he’s got money. But the beauty of London in winter, and the excitement of doing festive things like ice skating in Hyde Park add to the magic of their romance.

What do you think makes Christmas so romantic?

Author Bio: Kyra Lennon was born on the South coast of England, and to this day, still lives by the sea. After years spent working in retail, where she met enough versatile characters to write hundreds of books, she finally took the plunge and quit her day job. Kyra's debut novel, Game On, was released in July 2012. While fiction writing has always been her passion, she also has numerous articles on a variety of topics published on prolific websites. 

Blindsided blurb: After a successful first soccer season in L.A, Jesse Shaw heads to London with his best buddy, Hunter, but his world is turned upside down when a dangerous prank threatens his career and his blossoming relationship with Hunter’s cousin, Isabelle.

Isabelle Mills lives in Notting Hill with her parents and her twin sister, Georgia. When she finds out her cousin is coming to stay, along with his famous soccer player friend, her first instinct is to hibernate until they’ve gone. However, once she meets Jesse, everything changes. He’s everything she ever wanted, but with so many obstacles in their path, can she really risk putting her heart on the line?

Buy Links:

Find Kyra online

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with The Wind Through The Keyhole

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!
A new addition to Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I was a little worried about it, but I slipped easily into the world again. It's a story within a story within a story. When you read it, it makes sense!
Here's your teaser:
"The new plug's a lot deeper than the old ones, and everyone knows there are demons in the earth. Mayhap one of the miners struck on one, wakened it, and was done a mischief by it." (page 64)

In NaNoWriMo news:

Monday, November 26, 2012

The end is near!

I'm at 47000 words. So close!

I lost two days because I was sick. Some weird Thanksgiving virus. The turkeys are striking back! I'm going to try to push myself today and make the goal. It might also be the end of the novel. Not a long one this year.

Okay. I'm taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly.


Friday, November 23, 2012

1301 tour, tabs, NaNo update, and reminders

Thank you to everyone who responded about the 13th Floor blog tours. You guys are awesome! I have the second, third, and fourth book tours filled, but I would love to have a few more for next month. If you have a day open between the 13th and 20th, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it. I will also happily do a couple of stops on the same day if you're interested in helping with one of the tours next year.

You might have seen I learned how to create tabs on my blog. (Thank you, Stephen Tremp!) I have one specifically for The 13th Floor series. I have all the dates up there for all the cover reveals, release dates, and blog tours.

I'm doing well with NaNoWriMo. I'm over 45000 words, and I'm writing the final battle. I hope to complete the novel by the end of the weekend. For those of you who've hit 50000, congratulations! And for those who are still typing away, keep going. There's still one week left. You can do it!

Don't forget the Writers4Writers Group has their first monthly event on December 6th. It's a great way writers can help their fellow writers.

Next week, the marvelous Kyra Lennon starts her Blindsided Tour. She'll be stopping by here on Wednesday. Yay!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to
all my American friends and family!
I'm thankful for all of you.
May this season bring you wonder
and awe as if seen through
a two-year old's eyes.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - The Dragonslayer

1303 - The Dragonslayer

Dragons never went extinct. They evolved with human society, taking on mortal forms, and slithered their way into positions of great influence and power. The dragonslayers, too, changed into something new. They became men who live in the shadows and carry guns rather than lances. No longer celebrated heroes, they are the outlaws now. Just as the dragons wish it.

Perching on the rooftop of neighboring building, Xanthus Ehrensvard fires and misses his target, Governor Whittaker. How he missed the shot, he doesn't know, but in fleeing the scene, he picks up an unwanted passenger. Gorgeous reporter Lois King saw Xan's face, and she believes it's the story to make her career. Except he can't let her walk away knowing what he looks like. Xan has to show her the Governor is a bigger threat to the world than he is.

It's no easy chore proving to someone that dragons still exist, and even more so, they're disguised as famous people. Xan must convince Lois or find another way to silence her. An option, as he gets to know her, he likes less and less. Even as he battles Lois' tenacity, he must make a plan to slay the dragon or risk its retribution.

(Blurb subject to change!)

The idea of a modern day dragonslayer has long been in my head. What if some of those infamous assassins we know from history were saving the world from something worse?

I also imagine dragonslayers still hold to a rigid code. No more gleaming suits of armor, but they're still paladins nonetheless. Honorable, chivalrous, and dedicated.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Dark Currents

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!
Jacqueline Carey is one of my favorite authors. If you haven't read her original Kushiel trilogy, you need to get your hands on it now. Incredible dark fantasy romance. Dark Currents is her newest book in a new YA series. Lots of paranormals you usually don't get to see are in it. It's a lot of fun so far.
Here's your teaser:
Ultimately there was always a spark missing, a level of passion I hungered for that went beyond the mere mortal. And yes, there was usually a point where they freaked out on me, and yes, it had a lot to do with the tail. (page 61)

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Marquis release date and 13th Floor blog tours

First, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in my cover reveal. I've gotten such excellent feedback on it. You all made the release a grand success!

I'm still in good shape for releasing The Marquis on December 13th. Just in time to buy as you're doing your holiday shopping! Yes, I'm going to say it's official.


I'm setting up a week long blog tour for it running through December 13th - 20th. If you'd like to be a part of my tour, please email me at christinerains [dot] writer @ gmail [dot] com. Make sure you put "1301 blog tour" in the subject heading. If you want a specific date, please reply soon and let me know. I understand this is short notice. I have a bunch of posts scheduled on my blog into the new year already. I know how fast things build up.

 1301 BLOG TOUR:
DECEMBER 13th - 20th

If you cannot participate in this blog tour, and you still would like to help, have no fear! The 13th Floor series has six novellas. The Marquis is the first one. I'll be doing mini tours for each release, and a big one when I release the whole collection late next summer or autumn.

At the end of the December tour, I'll be revealing the cover for 1302 - The Alpha. The novella is written and I'm aiming to release it on January 13th. (A Sunday, I know, but I'd like to keep my release dates on the 13th of each month.) If you'd like to participate in The Alpha's cover reveal and/or mini tour, please email with "1302 reveal and/or tour" in the subject heading.


JANUARY 13th - 17th

Next we have 1303 - The Dragonslayer. A modern day dragonslayer, and oh by golly, wait until you see this cover! I want to release it on February 13th. Again, if you'd like to participate in The Dragonslayer's cover reveal and/or mini tour, please email with the appropriate subject heading.


FEBRUARY 13th - 17th

I'm not going to set official dates for the rest of the series yet. I would like to have 1304 - The Harbinger out on March 13th. April will be too busy for me in real life, so the next two dates would be May 13th and June 13th. I'm giving myself some wiggle room with the dates, though. You never know what real life is going to throw at you.

Whew. I'm dizzy looking at all those dates, but it feels good to have them settled. I'm really excited about this series. I hope everyone else will love it as much as I do.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Top Commenter Award

A big thank you to Sherry Ellis
for passing on the Top Commenter Award.
You're so sweet!
You're one of my top commenters and
I owe you an even bigger thank you for that.

This award is for those that take the time
to visit and comment on other people's blogs.
I've been so busy lately, I haven't
been as active as I would like, but so
many of you still visit me.
Thank you so much.

I'm passing this award on to my top 5 commenters:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear review

Graduation from community college isn’t the magic elixir Hetty Locklear counts on for becoming an adult. Her parents, who work the Renaissance fair circuit, insist she spend part of the summer with them. Hetty doubts pretending to live in the Middle Ages will help her find her way.
 To make it worse, an entity haunts her at her dead-end job, warning her of a dangerous man she doesn’t know. The ghost leads her to a lover who has a lot of secrets. He pulls her farther into peril and into a strange, hidden world of genetic experimentation.


My review:

It's Hetty Locklear's big day. She's graduating from college and starting her life as an adult. But when her diploma's in her hand, nothing changes. She's still sharing an apartment with her cousins, working at a convenience store, and eating too many sweets. Her only escape is through her fantasy worlds, but that's where the surprises in her life begin. Two new members join Hetty's online role-playing game and a gorgeous man at a bakery offers to help her find a job. Her estranged parents contact her and want her to visit as they work at Renaissance fairs. If that isn't enough to drive a woman to too many donuts, a ghost stalks Hetty at the shop and sends her chilling warnings. Hetty's fantasy worlds begin to look tame compared to her real life, and she can only hope to survive the strange secret life she's being dragged into.


Mary Pax's newest book is a weird and wonderful ride. It begins on a familiar note. Trying to find one's place in the world and start life as an adult is something we can all relate to. From the ordinary, we slowly spin into a tale of the extraordinary. Mysterious men, ghosts, psychics, and then we're hit with a sci-fi twist. I had wondered how everything would fit together, but Mary Pax weaves a clever tale.

The biggest hook for me was Hetty Locklear herself. She's not your typical heroine. She's a real woman with flaws and too many curves. She's creative, geeky, and loyal to her friends, but insecure and way too nice. Sometimes she's far too emotional, but she's brave when she needs to be. I immediately connected to her. It was as if the story could be about me. I love reading about woman who are real. Most urban fantasy heroines I might enjoy reading about, but I can't relate to them. There needs to be more books out there with ordinary woman who rise to great challenges.

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is very different from Mary Pax's other science-fiction stories, but it stands proudly apart. Bravo!


Mary Pax's newest novel is now here!
The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is available at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

This fantastic blogfest is hosted by Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish, and Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's for the bloggers we really miss. Someone not posting as often or gone absent from the blogging world? Or even someone you would really miss if they left their blog? This is your opportunity to show you how much you appreciate them.

This was an easy choice. Years ago, in a faraway blogging network, I was quietly writing about my life and desire to be an author. I didn't network, still too internet shy to do so, and I only had a few friends that followed me. One friend that stuck with me, offered up encouragement and words of advice, was a young man named Dave.

Every morning, his blog was the first thing I read. He'd have something funny from the news, a joke, or a hilarious tale of something that happened to him. He's a talented comedian, and he was just starting to get on the scene. Those years were rough for me, but I managed to smile in the mornings because of him.

His blog became hugely popular. No matter the drama and debates with all those new followers, I still stayed with him, and he still took the time to visit me. Dave's a fantastic guy, loyal to friends and family. One of the true and honest people on the internet.

I eventually left that blogging network to polish my internet self and push ahead to become a writer. I started this blog, and not long after, Dave's life became hectic. His blogging slowed, and we didn't see much of each other any more. We're friends on Facebook, but we only share a few comments now and then.

I miss my morning laughs. I miss his amazing stories, his edgy humor, and his great big heart. Oh, how I miss you, Dave!

Please visit the other participants in this blogfest, and thank you to Andrew, Matthew, and Alex for hosting. You guys are awesome!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Nightmare Collection cover reveal and review

The Nightmare Collection
Genre: horror

A legend is hungry tonight.

A child monster will gets its first taste of blood in NIGHTMARE AT THE FREAK SHOW.

Four friends will enter the forest on December night, but only one can survive in ONCE UPON A DECEMBER NIGHTMARE.

Almost ten years after Cassie's December nightmare, the monster awakens to hunt again in NIGHTMARE EVER AFTER.

My review:
Three chilling tales that will keep you awake on long winter nights.

We begin with a short terrifying piece that gives the reader a peek into how a monster is born. Nightmare at the Freak Show pulls at your heartstrings and leaves you pale and horrified, sitting with your mouth agape. Cherie Reich builds great tension in this opening tidbit. It'll leave you hungry for more.

Once Upon A December Nightmare grips you with its vivid detail and nail-biting suspense. 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.

Nightmare Ever After is my favorite of the stories. It takes place a decade after the last tale, and lets the reader peek into the life of someone who survived one horrible night. Cassie is a fascinating character that must not only deal with living with the trauma of that night, but also with the fact no one believes her. She struggles with her fears, but she's a survivor. Tim is the perfect complement to her character. They're thrown into the chaos of a case that's never been solved. The mystery haunts the reader through the pages, slowly unveiling the horror. The tension builds as the number of murders grow until you're on the edge of your seat waiting to see what's going to happen. The story has a definite X-Files feel. Though Tim is more Scully where as Cassie would be Mulder.

This is an amazing collection of horror stories. An intriguing mystery, masterful characterization, and heart pounding suspense. Oh, you'll see your fair share of horrific things, but there's so much more to these tales.

Author Bio: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies. Her e-books include the horror series Nightmare, a short story collection with authors Aubrie Dionne and Lisa Rusczyk titled The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, the futuristic space fantasy novelette trilogy Gravity, and The Foxwick Chronicles, a series of fantasy stories. She is a member of Valley Writers and the Virginia Writers Club.

Author Links: 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - The Alpha

1302 - The Alpha

One run in the woods wouldn't matter. Stefanie Porter had been cooped up for months in her apartment. The wolf within her needed to stretch her legs and play under the moon. Her wolf obviously didn't have very good instincts, because her pack found her. They almost catch her too, but a mysterious lone wolf jumps in to help Stefanie escape.

The pack continues to hunt her in the city. They're driven by their cruel Alpha, Wyatt. He refuses to give Stefanie her freedom even after she lost the challenge to lead the pack and left their territory. She's strong, an Alpha herself, and he wants her for his mate. There's no one to stop him from doing that through any means necessary either.

Stefanie can hide in her apartment, or she can try to convince the lone wolf to teach her some of his unusual tricks. James Roberts might be a bit geeky, but he's smart and looks hot when the argyle sweater comes off. He has ambitions to be a superhero, and it might be admirable if Wyatt couldn't rip him limb from limb.

With the pack scouring the city for her, Stefanie must learn what James has to teach her before Wyatt finds her, and she has to fight not only for her life, but the lone wolf's as well.

(This blurb will likely be tweaked several times!)

This one has been so much fun to write. It's a twist on the typical paranormal romance where the strong woman falls for an Alpha male. In my story, Stefanie is the Alpha and James is not. I love having her as the aggressive one, taking charge, and making the first move.

This story is also my homage to geeky men. I love geeks! Intelligence, obscure comic book references, and a nice set of dice turn me on more than big muscles and an overbearing attitude.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1301 - The Marquis cover reveal

Title: 1301 - The Marquis
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: December 13th (tentatively)

Life after Hell isn't more exciting than watching football and fixing a busted pipe. Once a powerful demon, Marc enjoys his quiet existence and a good cup of coffee. With big ambitions to gain his master's favor, a trickster demon named Vetis shatters Marc's peace and vows to deliver Marc's head to the fires of Hell. Not before he destroys everything Marc cares about, of course.

Marc's power has diminished over the years. Heaven will never grant him absolution, and he refuses to return to Hell. Running isn't an option. The city of Carmine is his territory. It's also home to his favorite cafe owner, Mae Hopkins. The dame has a lovely smile, but it's her heart and soul that shine bright.

While his city burns and his love is captured, Marc must decide to surrender or let hate and anger fuel him to become the fearsome beast he so loathes: The Marquis. If the Marquis rises, Vetis can be defeated and Mae saved, but Marc would be lost to his demon forever.

Isn't the cover awesome? My stomach still flip-flops when I look at it. Thank you to everyone who participated in the cover reveal. The response has been fantastic. You guys are the best!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear now available

Mary Pax's newest novel is now here!
It's an awesome NA urban fantasy with a sci-fi twist.

The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is available at


Graduation from community college isn’t the magic elixir Hetty Locklear counts on for becoming an adult. Her parents, who work the Renaissance fair circuit, insist she spend part of the summer with them. Hetty doubts pretending to live in the Middle Ages will help her find her way.


 To make it worse, an entity haunts her at her dead-end job, warning her of a dangerous man she doesn’t know. The ghost leads her to a lover who has a lot of secrets. He pulls her farther into peril and into a strange, hidden world of genetic experimentation.


M. Pax is celebrating her latest release with a jousting tournament and contest at Cheer for the knights to help them win the grand prize, and you’ll be put in a drawing to win an ebook copy of The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear. Five will be given away. Huzzah!

Awesome book trailer:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 - day ten update

Word count as of last night: 18453

I just managed to get in my minimum word count yesterday. The boy is sick and barely napped. I might have a touch of what he has. I feel drained, exhausted on every level. Though it could be from the week I had.

I'm still having fun with the story. I'm working more on the romantic plot and the big villain is about to make an appearance.

My favorite bit from yesterday: "Me and Jagger? No. No, no, no." Not enough nos in the world to make that point clear. "We're only friends. What he meant, geez, I shouldn't be telling you this, but Irca likes you. A lot. And Jagger has always had a thing for her. So catching you and I together makes him mad because it would upset her. God, this sounds like some bad high school drama."

I finished my revisions of 1301 and sent it off to my CPs and betas. I did some serious changes at the beginning and added more to the end. The meat of the middle remained solid, but I always worry about beginnings and endings the most because they usually leave the biggest impressions.

I have no plans for the weekend except to nurse my poor sick boy and catch up on sleep. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Announcing the Writers4Writers Group

I'm so excited to announce the Writers4Writers Group (W4WS). I've teamed up with three absolutely amazing writers to host this monthly event: Stephen Tremp, C.M. Brown, and M. Pax.

Our Mission:
1) Help writers bring awareness of their book(s) to tens of thousands new people.
2) Help writers reach Amazon's top 100 in at least one category (i.e. suspense, free, etc.)
3) Increase sales of their book(s) after the promo is over.
4) Drive new traffic to their blog and increase following.
5) Create verbal and viral buzz.

We'll choose one writer a month to promote to start off. As the group takes off, we can choose two or three. With enough people helping in this initiative, it will have an astounding effect. It will be fast and simple to do. Easy as a tweet.

Nancy Thompson, author of the recently released The Mistaken, will be our first recipient. We'll be starting on December 6th. Mark it on your calendars! We'll have more information later in the month. Please feel free to take the badge and display it on your site.

Sign up for W4WS on the linky list below.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - November 2012

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 apologize this is a day late. It's been a hectic month. So much to do! It's also NaNoWriMo. Yay! For all those participating in it, good luck. I'm Kalligenia on the site if you want to add me as your buddy.

I've been dealing a lot of self doubt lately and tons of frustration due to everything I need to get done and lack of time. So I'm offering up some encouraging quotes to hopefully inspire both you and I.

"If you're going through hell, keep going." ~ Winston Churchill

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  ~ Confucius

"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." ~ Thomas Foxwell Buxton  

"Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel." ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - The Marquis

1301 - The Marquis

Life after Hell isn't more exciting than watching football and fixing a busted pipe. Once a powerful demon, Marc enjoys his quiet existence and a good cup of coffee. With big ambitions to gain his master's favor, a trickster demon named Vetis shatters Marc's peace and vows to deliver Marc's head to the fires of Hell. Not before he destroys everything Marc cares about, of course.

Marc's power has diminished over the years. Heaven will never grant him absolution, and he refuses to return to Hell. Running isn't an option. The city of Carmine is his territory. It's also home to his favorite cafe owner, Mae Hopkins. The dame has a lovely smile, but it's her heart and soul that shine bright.

While his city burns and his love is captured, Marc must decide to surrender or let hate and anger fuel him to become the fearsome beast he so loathes: The Marquis. If the Marquis rises, Vetis can be defeated and Mae saved, but Marc would be lost to his demon forever.

This is the story where I thought I was having trouble with the male point of view. It's Marc's story, and he's a male who doesn't use a lot of words. Usually my protagonists chatter away to me. Marc's more of a grunter. Yet my CP's and my critique group all liked it. None said there was any problems with the POV. Whew. One of my CP's likened it to Hellboy. Woot!

The Marquis has a strong noir flavor. More so than the other novellas. It also sets the background with what's happening in the city of Carmine which will affect all the other stories.

Another thing I liked about writing this story was the relationship between Marc and Mae. There's none of the fiery passion of youth. They're older (Marc by a few thousand years), and it's a slow burning romance. One where the two people know actions mean a lot more than pretty words.

If you haven't done so already and would like to take part in the cover reveal for this book, please send me an email with "1301 cover reveal" in the subject heading. I'll be unveiling the cover on November 13th. Email me at christinerains [dot] writer @ gmail [dot] com. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Colonization Blog Tour Stop - My Review

Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.

Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to keep her protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

Can she save the colony and discover her true love?

My review:
Andromeda likes her life just the way it is. Her comfortable world is changing, though. She's now the age where she'll be assigned her role amongst the crew and be matched with her life mate. Not only does that stress weigh down upon her, but the ship will be arriving at their destination, Paradise 21, at the same time. Her hopes crumble as she's assigned a job with her mother working with plants, and she isn't matched with her best friend and secret love, Sirius. Instead she's paired with a young man named Corvus who's nothing like Sirius at all. Paradise 21 turns out not to be so perfect. Something deadly is looming in the lush jungle, and only Andromeda has the clues to figure out what that might be. Caught in an emotional tug-of-war between Sirius and Corvus, can she focus on solving the mystery and save the colony?

Aubrie Dionne has created a science-fiction romance masterpiece. She takes us from the cozy confines of the ship into a world full of vivid colors and great wonder. Paradise 21 looks every bit the Eden the colony had hoped, but things aren't always as they seem. There're mysteries and ghosts lurking about, and Andromeda finds herself in the center of it all. Andromeda is a fabulous protagonist. All her emotional turmoil builds a strong character, and I found myself cheering out loud for her. Usually I'm not a fan of love triangles, but Dionne works in Andromeda's mixed feelings about Corvus and Sirius very well. Her relationships feel pure and natural. Corvus and Sirius are opposites, and both equally likable. I wasn't sure who I wanted to win Andromeda's heart.

This is my favorite book by Dionne to date. She never fails to wow me with the twists and turns in her plots, and her smooth flowing prose. The threat in Colonization is highly original and more frightening than even the biggest of space monsters. Of course, you're going to have to read it to find out for yourself!

You can buy Colonization at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Inkspell Publishing.

About the author: Aubrie Dionne writes science fiction fantasy with romantic elements. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Inkspell Publishing, Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She’s also a professional flutist in New England.

Please visit her website:
Twitter: @authoraubrie 


Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm Thankful For My Readers Bloghop

This fantastic bloghop is hosted by two lovely ladies, Vikki and Tara Tyler. This is a thank you to your readers. Readers can be critique partners, beta readers, blog readers, etc. We can never thank our readers enough.

Here’s the rules:
  1. Sign up on the Linky List on the hosts' sites.
  2. Post thanks to your readers on your blog between Monday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 7 by 1700 UK/1200 noon EST US time.
  3. And if you don’t have a CP and you would like to find one, go ahead and post a ‘personals’ ad. 
  4. Be CREATIVE. Write a letter, a piece of flash fiction, a haiku, a poem, or a vlog. It can take whatever form you like. We’d like it if you kept it under 300 words but won’t be counting. 
  5. Naming your reader(s) is up to you and feel free to link to them. 
  6. Hop around and comment on other people’s!
Vikki and Tara will each pick a winner, and jointly choose another overall winner, to be announced on Thursday November 8 on our blogs. They win:
  • Vikki’s Winner: A Reader’s Report style full MS Critique, chosen for Most Heartfelt Post
  • Tara’s Winner: A Banner for their blog (or other graphic), chosen for Most Creative Post
  • Overall Winner: Both of the above prizes, for Best Overall Post!
Lastly - for anyone on twitter, Vikki thought it would be fun if during the same period we tweeted thanks using the hashtag #thankstomyreaders for additional fun. She is vixatthemovies there.

I am thankful for so many wonderful and supportive people. I never feel like I can properly express my gratitude. I can say thank you a thousand times, and it never seems like enough for what all of you have done for me. You've cheered me up when I was down and encouraged me to get past the rough spots. You've danced with me when I was happy and stood with me when I attempted to be strong. I am humbled by your generosity and compassion.

I don't think I can be as eloquent as other people. So I offer up some quotes that have touched me, and I hope you feel the warmth of the message that I pass on too.

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ~ G.K. Chesterton

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." ~ Oscar Wilde

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy 

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” ~ Author Unknown 

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."  ~ Henry Clay 

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ Melody Beattie 

Thank you so very much.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 update - three days in

My current word count: 7142

I've had a good start. If my son naps for two hours, I can write about 2000 words in that time. I promised myself I wasn't going to pressure myself this time around. If I only make the minimum word count or not quite that much, it'll be okay. So far, so good. No NaNo stress.

I'm writing a superhero story called "Super Famous." A young superhero wants international fame, but when her desire for the spotlight clashes with doing what's right, she has to choose what sort of superhero she really wants to be. My protagonist is turning out to be a very strong character and sort of bossy. Okay, really, really bossy! Good thing she's about to be taken down several notches. BWUHAHAHAHA!

I'm also really happy that I've been able to write in the afternoons, because I've been revising at night. It's like I'm doing NaNoWriMo and NaNoRevMo at the same time! (Except I'm working with a novella instead of a full novel.) I'm revising 1301. I'm nearly halfway done. It's been rough. The first two pages took over an hour to edit. It's very different than the original. Hopefully in a good way. I think if I can get it done by the end of next week, I'll be able to make my tentative December 13th release date.

Busy, busy! The clocks turn back an hour tonight. I don't know if I'll get an extra hour for anything. If I'm real lucky, my son will sleep in and I can use that hour for sleeping!

All my fellow NaNomites, keep on going! So many of you have gotten great starts. And if you haven't, don't worry. There's still 27 more days to go!