Friday, August 29, 2014

Pre-Order SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE!

Okay, so I am self-publishing another novel! The official release date is September 15, and you can pre-order the book now!

Cover by Erin Summeril Photography
This is my second novel-in-verse, and I loved writing this one as much as my first (Elevated). It's called SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE, and here's what it's about: High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.


As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.


In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart.


I started writing this book way last year, when my husband started taking pictures professionally. I'd help him on his shoots, and listen to the language he used when he edited pictures, and watch a lot of YouTube videos with him on apertures, and light settings, and types of cameras, and exposures.

It was a fascinating thing. While I'm not into that line of creative work, I decided to take some of his life and put it into some of mine: a novel. I finished SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE last winter, and I had my husband read it for me to make sure all the photography stuff was accurate.

So yeah. You can pre-order SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE here and get it delivered to your device on Monday, September 15. 


Help spread the word! Enter to win $15 Paypal cash by doing any or all of the items in the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you're a writer, have you ever taken part of someone else's life and put it in a book?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Am Who I Am

Okay, so I think we're constantly growing and changing. We may think we know who we are, and what we stand for. In a lot of ways, we do. We each have "lines" we won't cross, or things we won't say, or other such things.

But from time to time, we're made aware of some things about ourselves that we thought we were okay with, only to find that we are, in fact, not okay with them.

It's a hard thing to face, especially as an adult--someone who shouldn't worry about what other people think about them.

But -- *whispers* -- we still do to some extent. And over the past several months, I've been wondering about myself.

See, it's pretty hard for me to open up to people. I have this wall up between me and others, and I actually like it. I don't like to hang out with large groups of people -- or even one-on-one is hard for me. It takes years for me to really come to be friends with people.

I care about them (I'm not a sociopath!), and I call them my friends, but I don't share personal information very often. I don't talk about personal things. As I've watched others, I've wondered, "Why don't I want to stay here and talk while my kids play?" or "Why don't I want to go to girl's night?" or "What's wrong with me that I'd rather be at home with my computer rather than hang out with my family?"

I've decided that there isn't anything really wrong with me. I took a personality test as part of my back-to-school activities, and I was labeled an "Achiever." I like to make lists; I like to get a lot of things done in a day; I like to do everything as efficiently as possible.

One of the characteristics of Achievers is that we constantly struggle to "get the next thing done," or "spend time with family and friends."

And it was comforting and eye-opening, because that is so me! I don't want to hang out while my kid plays, because I can get a lot done during that two hours! I can answer two dozen emails, organize a blog tour, format my next book, or write 2000 words in that two hours. I have things TO DO, you know?

So I've decided that it's okay that I like to get things done, but that all things need balance. And I do force myself to attend social situations, and be more friendly and open up more to trusted people. It's hard, but I can do it--I'll just add it to my list. *wink*

Have you ever had an eye-opening realization about who you are? Are you okay with it? We are, after all, who we are.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Keepin' It Real

Okay, so I've blogged about songs before. A lot of songs. Songs and lyrics that influence me as a writer, a person.

This is one of those posts. :)

This time I'm pondering Shaggy (a rapper!) and his song from the Holes movie soundtrack, Keepin' It Real.

I couldn't find an official music video, but the lyrics are the most powerful part anyway. You might want to listen here though. It's a great song! Very motivating to keep going (or as Shaggy says, "Keep on keepin' on), to persevere, and to be happy for everything you have RIGHT NOW, not what you don't have yet.

I love these lines the most:
"Not everything you want is everything you really need,
The standard of society's motivated by greed.
Are you prepared to follow,
Tell me, you prepared to lead?
So persevere and you'll succeed."

I love being reminded to be grateful for what I have, and to keep working hard for what I don't. What do you think? Inspiring lyrics? A song you can get behind?





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WriteOnCon 2014!


Dude, so WriteOnCon is happening again this year! I have been on-board with the planning of this amazing, free, online conference for five years running. We have decided to scale things back quite a bit this year.

We will have Ninja Agents and Editors in the forums, so if you're an aspiring author looking for feedback on your query letters, first five pages, or just want to catch the eye of an agent or editor, post there! I love watching the Ninja's come into the forum, and the excitement of people as they comment and request pages.

We will be doing only live events this year. Twitter pitch chats, live chats, and some twitter chats too. Our agents and editors are awesome with their time. I know we'll be putting up a schedule in the next few days, but mark your calendars now for next Tuesday, August 26, and Wednesday, August 27 for the fifth annual WriteOnCon!

Have you attended WriteOnCon before? I hope you'll join us this year!

Monday, August 18, 2014

End of Summer, End of Hiatus

Okay, so I've been gone for a while! It feels a bit like I've abandoned the blog, but I assure you I haven't! I've just been taking a little hiatus while I "summer" properly.

I decided to make "summer" a verb this year. I've been doing all the summery things that should be done, like writing by the pool, catching up on reality TV, taking the kids to amusement parks, hiking to waterfalls, the whole kit 'n kaboodle. (Do people use that phrase anymore? I feel like I'm eighty years old! Haha.)

But anyway, school starts this week, and I'm back into full swing. I have a few exciting things coming up book-wise, and I'm excited to be back on the blogging train with you all! I have been blogging over at the League this summer, but I'll be back on my own blog now, all rejuvenated and ready for an exciting autumn!

Did you summer properly? I hope you did!

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Release: COLLIDE by Christine Fonseca!


Okay, so yay! My good friend Christine Fonseca has a new book out! It's titled COLLIDE, and it looks really good! (I already have my copy, and I'll be reading and then posting a review this week.)


About COLLIDE: The most dangerous secrets are the ones that kill.

When a surprising mental breakdown draws too much attention from a secret government group call the Order, 17-year-old Dakota discovers that her so-called boring life isn’t so boring after all. Between the lies, secrets and assassins out to kill her family, Dakota discovers there’s more to paranormal activity than ghosts and cheap mind tricks. Now she must uncover the truth before a new breed of terrorism takes everything away – including her life.



Buy!!

About Christine: Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. In fiction, she explores the darker aspects of humanity and delivers gothic thrillers that take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

In addition to writing, Ms. Fonseca is a frequent presenter and trainer on subjects ranging from writing to behavior and understanding the unique needs of gifted children. She blogs regularly on many sites and participates in events throughout the country. See the News/Events page for upcoming events.

When Christine isn’t crafting her next book and working with kids, she can be found sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or exploring the world with her family.

Find her online!
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

There's a fabulous giveaway going on during the release blitz! Be sure to enter below for a chance to win a $25 gift card, fabulous books by Christine and a few other authors, including my new futuristic fantasy, Elemental Hunger!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fireworks in July!

Okay, as we head into the 4th of July weekend, I hope you'll pencil some time on Monday, July 7 for an amazing Facebook event -- Fireworks in July!



A bunch of clean romance authors, yours truly included, are hosting a party where we'll have giveaways all day as each author hosts. You'll get to chat, comment on photos, win books, and enter to win a $100 Lindt chocolate gift basket!! JOIN THE EVENT HERE.

It is going to be awesomesauce. It's "Fireworks in July" because it's romance, and holidays, and fun!

I hope you'll join the event and come chat with me on Monday between 1 - 2 pm eastern time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

EuphorYA Scavenger Hunt + Giveaway!

Okay, so today I'm part of the EuphorYA scavenger hunt! There are five bloggers today, each of us spotlighting another author on the hunt, and each of us providing you with a word you need to build a phrase that will allow you to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a $75 Amazon or Nook gift card! There are three days of fun planned, with a different phrase each day!

I'm hosting Jadie Jones, author of MOONLIT, the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy. Jadie has some exclusive content that goes with her post and book, so keep reading!

We are also running a Facebook event tomorrow, Saturday, June 21 from 10 am - 10 pm Eastern time. I'll be online during the 6 pm hour to chat and answer questions, so be sure to stop by!


-----------

Hi everyone! I'm thrilled to be a part of this event, and even more excited to share a scene I wrote exclusively for the EuphorYA scavenger hunt. I'm currently working on book #3 in the Moonlit trilogy, which is told from multiple points of view. For the scavenger hunt, I rewrote the moment Tanzy meets Lucas for the first time, which appears in Moonlit (book #1 in the trilogy), from Lucas's perspective. Lucas has been keeping watch over Tanzy for years, unbeknownst to our leading lady, but has never approached her before now. It was a little overwhelming to step inside his mind and take a tour... I'm usually focused on his many other attributes... but I digress... (and if you want to digress too, check out the inspiration board for Lucas's character on my Pinterest page - or Tanzy's inspiration board for the fellas.)

Anyways, here you have it - Boy meets Girl, through the opposite pair of eyes.

P.S. Don't forget to read all the way to the bottom for two giveaway opportunities (including PayPal cash) and the full EuphorYA schedule.

Boy meets Girl – from Lucas’s POV
Tanzy’s truck is in the driveway. She’s stayed at Wildwood this late before, typically when the veterinarian’s truck has made an appearance earlier the same day. Still, something's not right. The farm has had more than its fair share of unexpected visitors today. None of them were human, much less a large-animal vet.

Uneasiness makes a home in my chest. I step forward, the toe of my boot skirting the edge of the shadows, and search the air for two primary scents: Tanzy’s, and Asher’s, an Unseen creature who will lead her to grave again the moment he has an opportunity. I will not gift him a single moment to do so; I cannot watch her die a second time.

The faint smell of her rides my breath, a combination of weathered cedar and fresh alfalfa warmed by the sun. She’s in the barn somewhere. Do I dare approach? What if she sees me? I’ve never been so close to her new incarnation before. Then again, neither has Asher. She’s not safe here. Not tonight.

I ignore every hesitation blaring within, and stride across the dark parking lot. The first door on the right is closed – it always is at night – but the light on the other side is still on, illuminating the narrow gap between the door and the concrete floor. There’s a note from Dana stuck to the wood with a tack. She says animal control found something, which they didn’t, and tells Tanzy to ride Hopewell, which she shouldn’t. A surge of protectiveness rolls through me. No, Tanzy shouldn’t ride tonight.

I use a deep breath to steady myself. Her earthy scent is stronger here. My hand is fast on the door handle. The slight pressure sends the door inward, and there she is, sleeping on a beat-up couch. Her small hands are curled to fists beneath her chin. Her eyes are crushed closed, her jaw tensing and shifting with a bad dream. She rolls over, and her dark hair fans across the balled-up sweatshirt she’s using for a pillow. Then she cries out, fear and anger rolled into a single note. I can’t stand the thought of hearing it again. I have to wake her up.

I lean into the doorway a little further and clear my throat. “Pardon me.” It seems like an innocuous thing to say.

Her expression bursts to waking and she gasps an inhale. She sees she’s not alone, and her lips part, a flash of paralysis holding her for a millisecond before she bolts upright and tugs her jacket straight. Her shaking hands shoot to her hair, and she hastily ties it back.

“I’m sorry. Are you with animal control?” she asks, keeping her gaze low. I don’t know how to respond, standing this close to her too overwhelming to strategize through. In her vortex, I’m a compass with no recognition of North. I want to comfort her, to hold her until the trembles reside. At the same time, I want to have never opened that door. Here she is, in the flesh, speaking to me, her voice a familiar melody, even if this new body gives her a different sound. It’s so strange, to know so much and yet so little about this girl, this young woman, whose soul I have loved for a thousand years, but who, in this incarnation, has known of my existence for roughly five seconds.

She looks up, blinking, and I realize I haven’t offered an answer, and that perhaps it’s been a touch longer than five seconds.

Her eyes narrow, and then wander my face, pausing on the two scars claiming most of my cheek. Hope ignites within me. Could some piece of her remember me? Has my voice or the scars or my name triggered an ancient memory? She looks at me, through me, her amber eyes flecked with gold, and in this moment I see the soul of my beloved peering back at me, wholly unaware.

“Can I help you, Lucas?” she asks, hugging her arms across her front.

I realize how far I’ve leaned into the office, how strange I must seem to her, and straighten through my spine. I don’t have a single explanation for being at her farm at this hour, and I can’t lie to her, not when we’re face to face. I can’t tell her the whole truth, either.

“Actually, I was just checking on you,” I offer.

“Why?” she demands, a flush of pink touching her cheeks. Her flash-burn temper makes me smile. Tanzy doesn’t physically resemble her first incarnation much, but clearly some of her personality transcended hundreds of years.

“I understand you’ve had a rather interesting day,” I say, pressing to see how much she’ll tell me… and if she’ll trust me quickly.

She doesn’t. Panic opens her face and yanks her shoulders straight. She fidgets in her low seat, her hands returning to her hair.

“Well, the manager is in the pasture with the other Animal Control officers and she’s probably who you’ll need to see,” she says, and plasters on an awkward smile. She clearly has no idea what time it is or how long she’s slept. I decide against mentioning it. Hopefully once she realizes it on her own, she’ll be unnerved enough to decide
against riding, and see herself home.

“You’re welcome to wait in the lobby by the wash racks. It’s right down the hall. Can’t miss it,” she adds, her eyes moving to the door in suggestion. The distance she wants has the opposite effect. It’s been a thousand years since I held her in my arms and tasted her. She was mine, once. Could she be again? No. She’s safest this way, hidden from the truth, hidden from who I really am, and who she really is. Tanzy can go on working with horses and helping maintain the old farm, and I will continue keeping watch over her from the woods that line the pasture. She has the best chance of surviving if we never see each other again.

“And I’m fine, thanks. Never better,” she adds, her voice shattering my thoughts. I am dazed in the aftermath, and catch myself staring openly at her. I’ve waited so long to find her, wanted nothing more than to make amends for failing her all those years ago.

A feathery, fast sound draws my attention to the barn aisle, and my pulse skyrockets. A large rat scampers from a row of tack trunks into an open stall. I scan the rest of the perimeter to be sure, but nothing else moves.

I return my gaze to Tanzy, and grin at the sight of her studying my boots, which are caked with mud from today’s patrol. She raises an eyebrow, and the corner of her mouth draws up, too. I think I just won some points.

“Be seeing you,” I murmur, our old parting words resurfacing in her presence. And there it is: a spark of recognition, which sets her face aglow. My heart swells, but chilly dread is quick to squeeze it down. Will this foolish encounter alter her chance for survival? Furious with myself, I step back and pull the door shut before I cause any more harm.

Moonlit, Book #1, and Windswept, Book #2, are written from Tanzy's perspective, and are now available for Kindle. Moonlit is available in print where ever books are sold, and Windswept will be released in print on July 8th. Check out covers and blurbs below! Thank you so much for taking part of the EuphorYA scavenger hunt, and good luck!

Moonlit, Book #1 in the Moonlit Trilogy: Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can't be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods. When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn't. But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?

Click here to go to Moonlit's listing on Amazon.


Windswept, Book #2 in the Moonlit Trilogy: Tanzy's journey continues in Windswept, the second installment of the Moonlit Trilogy...

Tanzy Hightower is the key in an ancient prophecy pivotal to the existence of all beings, both Seen and Unseen. Unseen who have waited a millennium for her birth are relentless in their efforts to see the prophecy fulfilled--whether for good or evil, depending on which side of the conflict one stands. Others have sworn an oath to end Tanzy's existence, permanently. Already, Tanzy's body has been compromised by her enemies, her veins now home to the blood of a wild horse whose instincts are becoming impossible to control. While Tanzy's Unseen enemies work to draw her out of a remote safe house, her friends beg her to stay in hiding. Tanzy is torn, wanting to reunite with Lucas, who has loved her since her first incarnation, yet unsure whether fulfilling the ancient prophecy will protect those she loves or destroy them.

Windswept is newly released for Kindle on Amazon, is available at a very special introductory price for a limited time! Click here to go to Windswept's Kindle listing on Amazon.

Georgia native Jadie Jones first began working for a horse farm at twelve years old, her love of horses matched only by her love of books. She went on to acquire a B.A. in equine business management, and worked for competitive horse farms along the east coast. The need to write followed wherever she went.

Jadie Jones currently lives with her family in the foothills of north Georgia. When she's not working on the next installment of the Moonlit trilogy, she is either in the saddle or exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. Learn more on her website: www.JadieJones.com.

Now then - the hunt is continues! Here's the schedule for the EuphorYA Scavenger Hunt. Each blog stop features exclusive content from one of our authors as well as a giveaway. Collect the blue colored words to make the daily secret phrases. Then enter for your chance to win the Grand Prize Giveaway--$75 Amazon / Nook gift card (first prize only), books and swag (first, second and third prizes).

Day One Stops, Friday, June 20 - Blue Phrase
Anna Silver | Chloe Jacob's World | Elana Johnson | Books By Intisar | Ali Cross

Day Two Stops, Saturday, June 21 - Red Phrase

Elisabeth Wheatley | T.L. Shreffler | RaShelle Workman | Kelly Walker | Hannah L. ClarkChristy Dorrity

Day Three Stops, Sunday, June 22 - Pink Phrase

Rhiannon Hart | Natasha Hanova | Tracy E. Banghart | KaitlynDeann | Jadie Jones



Who wants to enter a giveaway or two?! Here's what's up for grabs for my personal giveaway: a Moonlit swag pack, a copy of Moonlit and Windswept (you can choose between an eBook or print copy for both) and $25 in Paypal cash (value in US dollars - contest open internationally).

Enter via Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway


And don't forget to enter for a chance to win the EuphorYA Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize giveaway on Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Interview with Author of TORN CANVAS, Donna K. Weaver


Okay, so I'm here with author and friend Donna K. Weaver for her blog tour of TORN CANVAS! I cornered her and asked her some questions, and I can't wait to share them with you.

1. So TORN CANVAS is a sequel. Or a companion? Tell us about the first book, A CHANGE OF PLANS, and how TORN CANVAS fits into the series.
It's a companion novel since it has different main characters. It actually begins about 80 pages into A CHANGE OF PLANS, the first book in the Safe Harbors Series, when the main characters of the two books part ways (by force, due to those dang modern-day pirates). Lyn and Braedon from ACoP end up missing at sea, while Jori from TORN CANVAS is rescued and returned to American Samoa where their cruise ship had been docked.

Jori, a hot model, receives a wicked face wound during the fight with the pirates. Kind of messes up his life. He's a bit of mess anyway, something his beauty hid. In TORN CANVAS, we follow him through his journey of healing, both physically and emotionally. Toward the end, we get to see Lyn again. TC finishes a few days after the end of A CHANGE OF PLANS.

Some of the challenge with this story is that anyone who's read A CHANGE OF PLANS knows that Jori doesn't actually meet the love interest, Olivia Howard, until nearly the end of the book. Since the two books follow almost the same timeline, Jori's growing relationship with Olivia is a very different kind. And considering his character arc, that distance is important.

There's also a short story/novelette, HOPE'S WATCH, which is set during that week in American Samoa when the Coast Guard is searching for the missing catamaran. The main character is Elle, Lyn's best friend and cabinmate on the cruise. Jori, while he's in the hospital, gets a small role. It's a nice lead in to TORN CANVAS.

2. When did you write TORN CANVAS? What's one scene that you can still remember drafting for the first time?
TORN CANVAS was my NaNoWriMo project in 2012. (Yes! I love NaNo novels that get published!) I like to do my first draft fast, so I love the NaNo experience. Once I have my outline (that first, very rough draft), I can take my time to work through the story some more before I send it to my beta readers. My editor had some great suggestions, so I ended up doing a major rewrite to add Olivia's point of view.

A memorable scene, for me, is one that's actually the basis for the book's cover picture. When Jori loses his looks and has to pursue another career, he decides to try art which he had studied in college. The following scene is when Jori's interviewing with the man who becomes his art agent:

“Did you like modeling?”

“No.” Jori reminded himself this was an interview for a job. “Because it’s fake.”

“How so?” Mr. Schulze raised his brows.

Opening his mouth, Jori paused and snapped it shut, not sure how to put it into words. “That didn’t come out very well. I don’t mean to dis digital artists. I should have said it’s not real.” Jori leaned forward in his seat, clenching his fists. “It was all make believe. They would dress us up and use makeup to enhance us and when that wasn’t enough …,” Jori scowled, “and it was never enough, they would edit the pictures.”

“Not real?” Mr. Schulze shifted in his chair, a hint of disdain in his narrowed eyes. “How is that any different than, say, a Picasso?”

“Picasso knew people recognized his painting as his artistic interpretation, his abstract vision. That’s not what my modeling photos were about.” Jori flicked a finger at the pictures on the desk, unable to keep the anger from his voice. “That’s fine, as long as everyone knows that what they’re looking at is fantasy.”

“But these photographs are to sell a product.”

Rising, Jori riffled through the glossies until he found an especially sexy one of him in a loose bowtie hanging with an open dress shirt. It hung over his tanned and ripped chest and abdomen, his designer slacks riding low on his hips. He remembered the oil on his skin to make it shine—and the waxing to remove every speck of body hair.

Jori stabbed the picture with his finger. “Yes, they’re to sell a product, but they’re also selling a logical fallacy. ‘Buy this shirt and you can be as hot as Jori Virtanen.’ Hell. Even Jori Virtanen could never be that hot.” He pointed to his cheek. “Even before this.” Jori went silent and dropped his hand, his flushed cheeks making the still tender scar burn a little. “Sorry.”

3. How much research have you had to do for the series? Or are you a seawoman at heart?
I do a lot research, though I was a Navy brat growing up, so I've had a lot of opportunities to see places. By the time I was 13, I'd sailed the Pacific three times and lived in Asia nearly five years. I've never been to American Samoa--though I want to visit there very badly now--but I have lived in the Philippines and been to Hawaii many times, including spending the summer I was 16 there. I know the tropics well.

4. When you're looking to decompress by reading, what book do you reach for?
That kind of depends upon my mood at the time. Since I write adventure romance, I find myself picking up more romances lately. (I've also written but not yet published a YA fantasy series and I'm working on a SciFi trilogy--all with heavy romantic elements.) (Publish these, Donna! Stat!)

I've always preferred my romances with a dish of something else; that's why I write adventure romances or romantic suspense. One of my favorites is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The story, set right after the end of WWII, touches on some heavy topics but manages to be uplifting and a delight to read.

If I'm not in the mood for a book with a heavy romantic element, I can pick up anything by Brandon Sanderson and get lost in his stories. The man's writing is amazing and complex.

5. If you could be a contestant on Survivor, what's the one item you'd take with you?
After all the research I had to do for the shipwreck section in A CHANGE OF PLANS, I realized that I would only need one thing in order to survive in a survival situation--my husband. He is Mr. Handy.

Somehow, though, I don't think the producers for Survivor would let me bring him. I'd have to be satisfied with a Swiss Army Knife. Very versatile.

6. A guilty pleasure?
Don't tell my husband. He hates zombie anything--he's so tender hearted. We watched the first episode of WALKING DEAD, and he was ready to turn it off when the main character had to shoot a child zombie while the opening credits were still running. (I'm with your husband. I tried Walking Dead -- didn't make it through the first episode.) I made him watch the rest of the episode, but he was so done. I haven't done it yet, but I think I'm going to go back and watch a few more episodes when he's not around. We left the main character in a terrible situation, after all. :D

7. Bacon or chocolate?
This is easy for me. I know you're a huge bacon fan. Me, not so much. (Oh no! It's okay, we can still be friends!) It's okay sometimes. So chocolate for me. DARK chocolate.

Isn't she the best! She totally is. Here's a bit more about her and her book, TORN CANVAS.


About TORN CANVAS: Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only does the twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Jori struggles to make a new life for himself as an artist while evading the press. They expect a hero, but he knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.

Olivia Howard’s given up a normal life for her job, and the sacrifices are finally paying off. The twenty-six-year-old talk-show host’s ratings are heading to the top of the charts. Her dream is to make a difference in people’s lives, but the studio wants mind fluff—like interviewing hot model Jori Virtanen. When Olivia learns the guy helped rescue passengers on a cruise excursion from kidnappers, she knows this is the story she needs to make her case. The only problem is the hero was injured, and now he’s disappeared.

The more Olivia learns about the man behind the scar, the more intrigued she becomes. But Jori is no girl’s happily ever after. Once she finds him, Olivia has to free his heart and help heal the beast.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLEiTUNESKOBO | GOODREADS


About Donna: Author of the Safe Harbors series and Second Chances 101, Book 5 in the Ripple Effect series. A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, and karate black belt.

Find Donna on:
Blog | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google+

Enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ELEVATED is a Winner!

Okay, so I'm super-excited to announce that the cover of ELEVATED won the Judges' Choice Award during the Indie Author Hub's Indie Rev Awards cover contest! (I know that's a lot of words. Basically, the cover won. *grins*)

The cover of ELEVATED was chosen as the winner from dozens of Indie-published titles, by giants in the Indie cover-creating world Damon Za, Fiona Jade, Covers by Ramona, and Dane Low.

You can see all the winners of the 2014 Indie Rev Award cover contest here.



The genius Erin at Erin Summerill Photography shot and designed the cover.

Monday, June 16, 2014

GIRLS ON FIRE now available!!

Okay, so remember last week when I showed you the cover for the GIRLS ON FIRE boxed set? Well, you can buy it now!


Here's what the boxed set is about: Ten powerful YA heroines kicking butt and fighting for love.

10 novels. 1 buck.

Do it.




Click on each author's name to learn more about them and their individual books.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Announcing: My New Fantasy Series!

Okay, so for the past few months, I have been preparing to release a new fantasy series. It's a futuristic, elemental fantasy series, and it's a little bit unconventional.

See, there's only one novel. I know you're going, "Elana, one novel does not a series make." And you would be right. My Elemental series has three titles, but two of them are longish novellas.

Download free here:
iTunes | Amazon (99 cents)
B&N (coming soon!)
Kobo | Smashwords

Also find on:
Wattpad | Goodreads
The first novella is titled ELEMENTAL RUSH, and it is free everywhere, except Amazon. It's still 99 cents there until I can get Amazon to price match it to be free. 


About the novella: Eighteen-year-old Adam Gillman has trained for twelve years to earn a coveted spot on the Supreme Elemental’s elite sentry squad. His brother, Felix, is the commander, but Adam is still thrilled when his official assignment to serve Alexander Pederson comes.

He moves into nicer quarters and can stop getting up at four a.m. to complete his mandated work out time. He still rises early though, because he needs the solitude of early morning to practice his airmaking Element—something that Adam has kept secret from everyone, even Felix, because he can’t be both an Airmaker and a sentry.

When Alex assigns him to kill a group of rogue Elementals, he balks at completing his mission for the first time. See, his only friend is Isaiah Hawking, and he’s the Earthmover on the accused Council. When faced with the prospect of killing him, Adam finds he can’t do it.

He’s well trained in assassination, but he thought he’d be murdering bad guys—not innocents.

When Alex buries the Elemental Academy—and kills over one thousand Elementals—in a fit of rage, Adam’s loyalty cracks. When he discovers that Alex is really a woman, and his brother’s lover, he defects. He hops from city to city, from Elemental school to Elemental school, always escaping only minutes before Felix can embed a knife in his heart or a tsunami can make a classroom his watery grave.

He tries to fight back, but he’s just one Airmaster with exceptional tracking skills. He does his best to warn those in danger, but as the last Elemental school goes up in flames, he knows he needs to get some real firepower on his side.

ELEMENTAL RUSH is a prequel novella to the full-length futuristic fantasy novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER, which is coming on June 12, 2014.

This technically makes the series new adult, but the novel is narrated by a different character--and she's only 16. So I'm calling it a young adult/new adult crossover fantasy series.

Buy here:
iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords | B&N | Amazon

Also find on Goodreads
Here's what Elemental Hunger is about: The second installment in the Elemental series, a new futuristic fantasy for young adults and new adults, ELEMENTAL HUNGER is a full-length novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Look for the third and final installment, ELEMENTAL RELEASE, an Elemental novella, coming on July 2, 2014.

I don't have a cover for the third installment--another novella which will also be free--but the entire series will be out by July 2. (It is here on Goodreads.) And I'm so excited to share it with you! So I hope you'll add these books to your Goodreads list, or order them, or download the first free novella, or pin the covers, or whatever you'd like!




Monday, June 9, 2014

Cover Reveal: GIRLS ON FIRE boxed set

Okay, so there's an amazing boxed set coming out next Monday, June 16. The reason I know it's amazing? I know all of the other nine authors, and I've read several of their books!

The tenth author and book is mine. A title I've never released before--one I'm announcing tomorrow (so stay tuned for that!).

Here's what the boxed set is about: Ten powerful YA heroines kicking butt and fighting for love.

Today we're revealing the cover for the boxed set. Here it is!!



About the novels in the GIRLS ON FIRE boxed set:
WITCH FALL – Amber Argyle
High Fantasy
Supreme in their dominion over seasons, storms, and sea, the witches have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. And among the weapons men seek are the magical songs of the witches. Born of witches but raised among their enemies, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.


ETERNAL STARLING – Angela Corbett
Paranormal Romance
For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie Starling. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.


AWAKENING – Christy Dorrity
Fantasy
When an ancient curse threatens McKayla McCleery's family, she must decide what in her life is real and what is fantasy. Based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy that is rife with magic, romance, and mystery.


INEVITABLE – Tamara Hart Heiner
Suspense
Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her sister die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne realizes that the next death she sees might be her own.


WATCHED – Cindy M. Hogan
Romantic Suspense
Change. She longed for it.
A murder. She will never be the same.


THE FORGOTTEN ONES – Laura Howard
Fantasy
Allison O'Malley doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his fairy tale about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.


ELEMENTAL HUNGER – Elana Johnson
Futuristic Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.


THE FAERIE GUARDIAN – Rachel Morgan
Fantasy
Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion.


PERCEPTION – Lee Strauss
Dystopian/Romance
Eternal Life is to Die For.
A spoiled genetically altered girl needs the help of a jaded “natural” boy to find her missing brother.


INTRINSICAL – Lani Woodland
Paranormal
The gene that allows the women in Yara’s family to see and communicate with spirits seems to have passed her over. Until the night she rescues a local hottie from an attacking ghost. Her act of heroism attracts the attention of the evil spirit, and she finds herself entrenched in the middle of a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening her own life as well as that of her friends.


Publication date: June 16, 2014
Price: 99 cents for 10 amazing YA novels!

Add the boxed set on Goodreads.

And click on each author's name to learn more about them and their books.


I'm very excited about being included in this amazing boxed set, with these amazing titles and authors! What do you think of the cover?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cover Reveal: A BEAUTY SO BEASTLY by RaShelle Workman

Dude, today I have the coolest cat around here on the blog: RaShelle Workman. If you haven't heard of her, I'd be surprised. She's got a tons of novels out, and she's an Internationally bestselling author.

Her next book is called A BEAUTY SO BEASTLY and today we get to reveal the cover!!

About A BEAUTY SO BEASTLY: “For your vanity, your cruelty, and your cold unfeeling heart, a curse I leave upon you . . .”

What happens if the beauty is also the beast?

The stunning Beatrice Cavanaugh is considered American royalty. She has everything except the ability to love. Cursed on her eighteenth birthday, she becomes more beastly than ever, having a newfound craving for raw meat, and an undeniable yearning for the night. Bitterness is her only companion.

After accusing a maid of stealing, a disgustingly kind and exquisitely handsome guy named Adam shows up asking Beatrice to drop the charges against his mother.

Infuriated by his goodness, Beatrice vows to break him. Destroy him. Make him hurt the way she hurts. So she agrees. On one condition: Adam must take his mother’s place as a servant in the mansion.

Because Beatrice won’t stop until he’s more beastly than she is.

Genre: Fractured Fairy Tale
Book 1 in the Beastly Series
Release date: July 3, 2014

And now for the cover!!


Isn't it gorgeous?! I think it's absolutely stunning, and I can't wait to read it! Find it on Goodreads, and preorder on Amazon.

Special Note: A BEAUTY SO BEASLTY will be available for 99 cents until its release date on July 3rd! Then it'll go up to $2.99. So pre-order now!

About RaShelle: RaShelle Workman is an international bestselling author. She writes fractured fairytales with bite and young adult science fiction that's out of this world. RaShelle likes cherry pie, movies, family adventures, and chocolate. If you want to get on her good side, send chocolate. RaShelle's sold more than 500,000 copies of her books worldwide. Sleeping Roses, Exiled, Beguiled, and Dovetailed have foreign rights contracts with a Turkish publisher.

Her books include:

Sleeping Roses

Exiled
Beguiled
Dovetailed
Blood and Snow (1-12)

The Cindy Chronicles

Vampire Lies (Blood and Snow Season 2)

Short stories:

Rose, Undercover

Cindy Witch

The Hunter's Tale

Gabriel
After the Kiss
Zaren's Travels

Find RaShelle on twitter, Facebook, her blog, or Pinterest.

AND she's giving away $25 Paypal cash to help spread the word about the cover for A BEAUTY SO BEASTLY!! Be sure to follow all the participating bloggers, tweet out the messages, and follow RaShelle over the weekend. The contest ends at midnight Monday! Enter in the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What do you think of the cover?


Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Establish a Great Magic System, Part Seven

Okay, I'm back to talk about the next question to ask yourself when setting up your magic system.


Question 7: What are the limitations of the magic?

The limitations of a magic system are what sets it apart from everything else that has already been done. These limitations will force the characters to have to work for their goals, which makes the writing simply more interesting and the characters more sympathetic.

Limitations in magic give the enemy an advantage, which makes for more tension in your novel. And that makes it exciting!

This is where you can really shine. Force yourself to stretch your imagination and come up with something that is unique in it’s limitation. This is tied closely with cost, and the cost of using magic could lead to a limitation. So spend some time on both of these to truly work out what’s WEAK about your magic, and what’s WEAK about your character, and then have them work and strive to overcome those weaknesses. Because that’s what readers like to read about – regular people who are weak becoming heroes. It’s why Superman is so popular. Or Spiderman. Joe Bloggs who can’t get the girl can suddenly leap off tall buildings and save the world. We want to BE that hero. But not if he’s all-powerful. We want to see in ourselves that we could become that person. So the magic still has to have a limitation, a weakness, that makes it “human.”

When you establish limitations on your magic, it can:

  • Force the MC to work for their goals
  • Makes the MC more sympathetic
  • Increase tension
  • Tie to the nature of your world


So what limitations does your magic have?


I did use Google to aid me in my research. I found three places that provided me with the most insight and useful information: Brandon Sanderson's Laws of Magic (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), WikiHow (don't laugh, it had good stuff!), and The Four Part Land (he has six parts, but they're all linked at the top of this one). My magic series is here: Question 1, Question 2, Question 3, Question 4Question 5, and Question 6.

So I read (ahem, maybe I skimmed a little. Some of the posts are long!) up on magic systems. I thought about what *I* liked in a magic system. I thought about the fantasy novels I'd read (because I don't read high-high fantasy like Sanderson or many of the authors/titles they talk about in these posts). I thought about Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, the TV show Merlin, movies like The Prestige, and other -- in my opinion -- accessible references. (Basically I'm saying I was too lazy to take the time to read those high fantasy novels. I reflected on what I was familiar with. And that's a tip I always give when I'm teaching: Use what you know to draw conclusions and create learning for what you don't.)