Friday, August 31, 2012

Have a great weekend!

Have a fantastic Labor Day weekend!
I'm excited for September.
Bring on autumn!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Writing Quotes from the Master of Horror

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."
“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” 
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”

“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - most popular paranormal romances

I've been checking out lists with the top paranormal romances. What do these books have that make them so popular? I see big authors like J.R. Ward, L.K. Hamilton, Christine Feehan, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Each of them are different, but they've managed to sell millions.

Here are a few things that I picked out:

1) Every book in the most popular lists is part of a series. There are no stand alone novels. I think it's reasonable to conclude paranormal romance fans love series.

2) A lot of the books feature vampires. Yes, we're told that people are getting tired of vamps, but they still remain the main characters in several best selling paranormal romances. Am I suggesting you write about vampires? No, but if you are, there's still a big fan base for them.

3) Comparing the lists from the last five years, there are more YA books on it now. The YA paranormal romance genre is growing. Readers from all age groups love them.

4) The majority of the books are slow romances. The readers want to experience the build up of tension. Again, this is a change from five years ago where we had more fast romances.

5) The authors have definite formulas. While I enjoy reading books by those big authors, each of their books have similar plots. They've discovered what works for them and they can quickly write new novels.

6) There's still a lot of broad male chests and curvy women on the covers. Not so many couples in an intimate pose, though. I've seen a rise in covers that feature symbols or an object, but the most popular books still have a person or people on them.

What else do you see in popular paranormal romances these days?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Karma Girl

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!
Cheesy and over-the-top, but it's so much fun! Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep tickles the comic book geek within me. It's a paranormal romance about superheroes and ubervillains. You'll laugh out loud when you read it.
Here's your teaser:
I also locked and loaded the tranquilizer dart gun I'd purchased a few months ago and tucked it in the back of my jeans. Despite its name, Good Intentions Lane wasn't in the best part of town. (page 63)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Taking some time

It's going to be a very busy week and then I'm off to visit the in-laws on the long weekend. I won't have much time online at all. I'm going to take a bit of a sit-down away from the blogging world for two weeks. I need some time to find a cool patch of grass and get myself together. Hopefully in September, I'll be able to settle into a routine and find time to actually write. My current projects are getting cold.

I have a few posts scheduled, and I'll pop in to say hi. I hope to be back rested and refreshed. I'll see you guys soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

LOOK! Meme

Thank you very much to Tania Walsh for tagging me in this fun challenge. The rules of the challenge involve me searching my work in progress for the first usage of the word “look,” paste the surrounding paragraph into my blog, and tag as many people as possible. (Actually, that's a lot of tagging. I'll just tag five like Tania did!)

Here's a paragraph in my steampunk short story, WHAT LAY BELOW.

Five steps in and I was by my father's – Captain Foster's - side. I let go of my skirts to take his arm with my hands. Surely he would offer some reassuring words. He glanced at me before turning his gaze to the clear sky. With that one look, my dread deepened. It clutched at my very soul and turned it cold.

I'm tagging:
Cherie Reich
M. Pepper Langlinais
Clare Dugmore
Kyra Lennon
Ciara Knight

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Six for August 25th

1. What a busy week! My son started preschool and it went wonderfully. He walked in like he owned the school at orientation, and then was very eager to return the first official day of school. It just so happened to be my day as teacher's helper (it's a co-op school and so I have to do that once a month), and so I could be there with him his first day. I was pleased he wasn't clingy nor did he protest when I played with other children. I was so proud of him. Isn't he adorable?

2. I rewrote the ending to my steampunk short story and did a bit of tweaking. I submitted it to REAL GIRLS DON'T RUST yesterday. I love the title for that anthology!

3. I received two books in the mail that I won as prizes. The first is from Cherie Reich. I picked Break Out by Nina Croft. I also won Demon Hunting in Dixie by Lexi George in another giveaway. Kensington Publishing sent a bunch of swag with it too! I love free books.

4. Even though I didn't get a chance to attend my local writers' group meeting last Saturday, I critiqued the submissions for it. That took up a little more time than I expected, but I consider critiquing an excellent exercise in improving your craft.

5. FEARLESS has had over 1200 downloads now. It definitely helped that it went free on Amazon for the Kindle. It makes my stomach flutter when I hear how much people love it. I need to get writing and put something new out there for you wonderful readers!

6. No plans for this weekend. Maybe we'll get to the pool one last time before it closes for the season. Next week will be another busy week. I'll have another first: my first parents' meeting at school. Eek!

Have an awesome weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Be Inspired

Thank you very much to the generous L.G. Keltner for passing this on to me. It's a great way to promote your stories. To complete this meme, I must answer the following questions.

1) What is the name of your book? FEARLESS.

2) Where did the idea of your book come from? From my son. He mentioned a monster under his bed, but it was a friendly one. It made me think of all the kids afraid of the monsters under their beds or in their closets. No one ever believes them. But what if they're real? Who would protect the kids? That's where my protagonist Abby White comes in.

3) In what genre would you classify your book? Paranormal romance.

4) If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition who would you choose? Ooh, this is a hard one. I've never been good at casting. Abby is a brunette is more on the cuter side than drop-dead gorgeous. A face that children would trust. An in shape fighting body. Maybe Michelle Monaghan. For Demetirus, he's broad and muscled with dark hair. A younger David Boreanaz built like Alexander Skarsgard. Mmm, if I could combine those two men! It would be cool to have Gina Torres be the voice of Tawa.

5) Give use a one sentence synopsis of your book. Abby White kills monsters spawned by the imaginations of children, but can she be fearless when it comes to love?

6) How long did it take to write your book? Three weeks.

7) What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or readers of which books would enjoy yours? This is on the lighter side of paranormal romance. A bit like Richelle Mead's succubus series.

8) Which authors inspired you to write this book? Joss Whedon was one of the biggest inspirations for this story. It's much like the TV shows Buffy and Angel.

9) Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book. Monsters spawned by children's imaginations. A hot wild fae with a big piece of wood. A snarky stuffed hippo.

I'm tagging YOU! Yes, you! Give us some tidbits on your most recent book or what you're working on now.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

GAME ON Review

After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

My review:
Leah Walker leaves her miserable past behind her to find a new life in the U.S. She lands a fabulous job and gains some even better friends. She happier than she's ever been until the gorgeous Radleigh McCoy propositions her. He might be a big soccer star, but his ego is even bigger. Leah doesn't want any men like that in her life. She's determined to not let him get under her skin, but he manages to get in a lot further. When her happy world crashes down around her, Leah has to find the strength to face the truth within herself or let mistakes from her past come back to defeat her again.

GAME ON is a contemporary romance which isn't a genre I usually read, but Kyra Lennon won me over. It was a fun story that made me laugh out loud. The biggest draw of this novel for me is the characters. There's a cast of vivid personalities, and I feel I now have a new group of good friends in them. Leah is a smart and strong protagonist. She's stubborn and witty, a lot like many other heroines, but she has a past that is full of mistakes that I know several real women make. It was easy to sympathize with her and get pulled into her life. I was caught up in her whirlwind of emotions, feeling every heartache, embarrassment, and joy with her. Radleigh is the egotistical alpha male. And yet there's something about him that draws you to him. It's in the little details that Kyra adds in so well. The secondary characters - Jesse, Freya, Will, Bree, Bryce, Josh, Christina - are just as memorable. I can't wait to see what Kyra has in store for them!

On top of the awesome characterization, there's great writing. Kyra makes it look easy to spin an engrossing tale of romance. Friends, family, and love. You'll find yourself quickly wrapped up in GAME ON, and you won't be able to put it down until you find out which team wins at the end.

You can buy GAME ON on Amazon (ebook), Amazon (paperback), Amazon UK (ebook), Amazon UK (paperback), Smashwords.

Please stop by Kyra Lennon's blog and say hi!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - finding an agent

Though you don't need an agent these days to realize your publishing goals, some writers still want one. The number one obstacle for new writers is that agents have very few spots open for them. An agent can read a several great manuscripts, but in the end, s/he may only have an opening for one or two. You have to stand out amongst the best, and with the popularity of paranormal romance, you really need to wow the agent.

Here are some tips to help you attract an agent:
1) Know your genre. With paranormal romance, you're going to need to focus on the romance and have a Happily Ever After ending. Try to stay away from vampires and werewolves. Some agents stop reading a query the second they see either of those words.

2) Have some knowledge of the industry. Agents will look at your website, blog, and Twitter account. Have you been networking? Have you joined writers' groups? How much time have you invested in your writing and yourself?

3) Be professional. Always be polite even when rejected. Conduct yourself as such everywhere. Learn from your rejections and grow as a writer.

4) When writing your query, make sure your genre is clear through your blurb itself. Of course, you'll say it's a paranormal romance when describing your book, but reading the blurb alone should say it too. Make sure it focuses on the romance with both external and internal conflicts.

5) Be original. Even if your story is a traditional Romeo and Juliet type, emphasize what makes yours different. Don't be afraid to go over the top. And if you're able, use a bit of humor. Usually if you can make someone laugh, you've got them hooked.

Karen Fox has an excellent updated list of agents seeking paranormal romances. Always make sure to research the agent you're sending your query to before you send them anything.

Do you have any tips on how a paranormal romance writer can stand out in the crowd?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Weighted Release Day Blitz

Weighted (Prequel Novelette)

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Now available on
and B&N.

Ciara writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her fantasy and paranormal books. Her debut novel, The Curse of Gremdon, was released to acclaimed reviews, securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Also, book I, Rise From Darkness, from her debut young adult Battle For Souls series, secured glowing reviews and won July Book of the Month from Long and Short Reviews.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She's backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Ciara is extremely sociable so please feel free to connect with her at her blog, website, Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook.

Upcoming books in The Neumarian Chronicles:
Escapement (Book I) - Early 2013
Pendulum (Book II) - Mid 2013
Balance (Book III) - Early 2014

Other books by Ciara Knight:
Battle for Souls Series
Rise From Darkness
Fall From Grace
Ascension of Evil
- Coming in October

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm visiting with Elizabeth today

Good morning, folks!
I'm over at Elizabeth Arroyo's site today
with a guest post about writing
romantic horror.
Please pop on over and say hi!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Five for August 17th

1. I wrote a new flash piece, a twist on the myth of Cassandra and Apollo, and submitted it. I'm still keeping up with my goal this year to write one/submit one. Though, it's the only goal I've managed to keep. Time is slipping by so quickly, and I'm far behind on my other projects.

2. My steampunk Cthulhu short story that I wrote earlier this year was the one I really wanted to get accepted. It was short-listed. I was eager to contribute to the Mythos, but alas, my story was cut. I consumed a lot of ice cream and wallowed in the rejection. Now I'm making a few little adjustments and I'm submitting it to the YA steampunk anthology, REAL GIRLS DON'T RUST. The other story I started for that anthology fizzled out. I had a great character and story idea for her, but then I started writing about this huge mound in the desert and the workings of the people living in it. It was more fantasy than steampunk. The two concepts clashed and didn't work. I'll have to separate them and keep them in my idea files for later use.

3. FEARLESS continues to do very well. It makes my head spin to think of so many people reading it. I'm still promoting it, but I realize that I need to work on my other books and get them out there. One of the biggest thing that helps a writer with sales is putting out more books.

4. My husband is away at Gen Con. It's just me and the boy for three days. The boy hasn't been napping much lately. It's going to be a long three days. On Sunday, it's Family Day at Gen Con and we're all going.

5. The boy starts preschool next week. We have orientation on Tuesday and his first official day is Thursday. He'll be attending two mornings a week with five other two-year olds. For the past few weeks, I've been having stress dreams about this. Dreams where I end up being put in the position to teach the class, that I have to run all the parents' committees, and that my son won't let go of me or, if he does happily go, something bad happens. I'm use to dreaming about fighting monsters. I don't know how to fight parent stress dreams!

Have a good weekend, folks!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Game On Blog Tour - Excerpt

I'm excited to have Kyra Lennon here today for her Game On Blog Tour! This is her debut novel and it's full of amazing characters. Please check out her blog for other stops on the tour and go buy yourself a copy of Game On! (Go Team Leah!)

Game On is available at:

After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

Excerpt from Game On
(This short scene occurs after Radleigh McCoy is injured during a soccer match. Leah is asked by her boss to go and check on him, but her presence isn’t entirely welcome!)

McCoy was lying on his bed wearing boxer shorts and a scruffy grey t-shirt. He'd never looked so rough and yet the glimpse of the tribal tattoo on his biceps still made my pulse quicken, and shifted my attention from the grossness of the room.

Such a shame his muscles were his only redeeming quality.

“Morning,” I said, closing the door behind me. “I’m here to mop your brow.”

McCoy glared at me, his blue eyes lacking their usual sparkle. “No thank you."

“What’s up? You think I’d come in here while you’ve got concussion to taunt you?”

“Why else would you be here?”

“Richard wanted me to check on you. He’s coming by later but he got caught up so you’re stuck with me.”

“Next time tell him to send someone different. Hannibal Lecter has a better bedside manner than you.”

He looked murderous as I sat down on the edge of the bed. Something deep within me wanted to torment him a little bit, but no matter how much of an arse he was, I couldn’t be too cruel when I knew he was suffering.

“Come on, McCoy. I’m here now, you may as well talk to me. How are you feeling?”

“Like I got knocked out last night and wasn’t allowed to rest because Bryce woke me every three hours to make sure I was still alive. How do I look?”

Surprisingly good. Even with dark circles under his eyes and stubble on his normally clean shaven face.

“You look like hell,” I told him.

His eyes narrowed. “You love seeing me like this, don’t you?”

“Like what? You’re concussed, not dying.”

“To your great disappointment.”

Any hopes that maybe a bang on the head would result in him not being such an argumentative prick were fast slipping away.

“Believe it or not,” I said, “I’m glad you’re okay.”

“You know what? I don’t believe it.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” I said, standing up. “I’ll tell Richard you’re fine, and next time he can come and check on you himself!”

I began to walk away but as I reached the door, I turned back. I don’t know what made me do it, but I was just in time to see McCoy’s hand fly up to his head and he squeezed his eyes closed.

The change happened in an instant. He’d been his usual, annoying self, then in the split second I’d turned away, something had happened. I ran back over to the bed and sat down, placing my hand on his arm.

“Are you okay?” I asked, unable to disguise my panic.

“Yeah,” he said, though his voice was strained as if concentrating hard to block out the pain. “I’m fine.”

After a moment or two he relaxed. Me? My heart was still thundering.

“I’m okay,” he said. “I slept badly and sometimes my head gets real painful.”

“Is that supposed to happen?”

He shrugged. “I’m seeing the doctor again later, I’ll find out then.”

“Maybe you should get some sleep. Get into bed.”

“Careful, Leah. People will start to think you care.”

The grogginess in his voice made me a little more compassionate than I would usually have been and I laughed at the truth of his words. “Shut up and do as you’re told.”

With great effort he got to his feet, and I pulled back the covers for him.

“Are you always this bossy?” he asked.

“I’m not bossy. Now stop bloody questioning me and get in.”

With a dramatic sigh, he got into bed and I put the covers over him, like a potty-mouthed Florence Nightingale.

“Try to rest, okay?”

He nodded and closed his eyes again. When I was satisfied he wasn’t in any more pain, I stepped out into the corridor to call Richard.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pull of Gravity now available and my review

A space fantasy novella
Now available at

A no-nonsense Earthling corporal, Nike accepts a mission to destroy the winged-people of Cupidis to give her species a new home planet.

A spoiled Cupidian prince, Edonys gets whatever he wants until his dying father tells him he must choose a mate and take his rightful place as king.

Nike and her reconnaissance crew's space cruiser lands upon Cupidis, and they are taken to the royal palace. The king's decline leads her to believe Mission: Conquest will be easy. Edonys refuses his father's last request to fall in love, but Nike isn't anyone. She's bold and different than any Cupidian female. As Nike and Edonys's quests intertwine, an Earthling and a Cupidian will find it easier to ignore the pull of gravity than the pull of love.

My review:
Being stuck on a ship for so long, Nike wants nothing more than to have her feet on solid ground and breathe in fresh air. She aches for a place to call home, and upon seeing Cupidis, its beauty captures her heart. This is where she wants to be. First, though, she and her crew must prepare the way for her people to eliminate the aliens already living on the planet. The Cupidians haven't known war in centuries. Their king is near death, and their spoiled prince, Edonys must find a mate very soon. The gorgeous prince didn't expect to feel such a pull toward one of his human guests. Nike thought it would be simple to conquer these peaceful people, but she, too, feels something unexpected. Will she make the strike to help win the planet for the humans or will she follow her heart?

This is my favorite book in Cherie's Gravity trilogy. It's not as dark and gritty as the previous two. It's full of wonder and colorful imagery that made me fall in love with Cupidis as Nike did. Cherie's descriptions are beautifully written and left me in awe. Nike is a strong and unique heroine. She's more a tough Sigourney Weaver type than the typical softer romantic lead. Edonys was a surprise to me too. He has every opportunity to be vain and arrogant, but he has so much heart. I love that the relationship grows organically outside of their duties to their peoples.

In the first two installments of the Gravity trilogy, we saw terrifying prisons, deadly chases, and fearsome creatures. Pull of Gravity takes you to a different level of science-fiction intrigue. There's espionage, subterfuge, and treachery. I was holding my breath at parts and didn't realize it. Cherie outdid herself with the final novella in the series. Goodness knows I couldn't resist the pull of her incredible storytelling!

Add Pull of Gravity on Goodreads.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Pegasus

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 Robin McKinley's books. It's been a while since I've ready any of hers, or any fantasy (outside of urban fantasy!). I'm loving it so far. Sylvii and Ebon are spectacular characters. Of course, McKinley writes beautifully and has created a magnificent world to explore.
Here's your teaser:
(Sylvii asks a magician if he minds being short)
"I am a magician, not a princess. A pony costs less to keep than a horse, which means I can buy more books." (page 94)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Release Round-up

Thank you so much to everyone who helped make my release week a success. You guys are awesome!

Here's some things I learned while promoting FEARLESS.

1) Blogs are the most powerful tools for promoting. Arrange a blog tour. Even just a shout-out from a blogger friend makes a big difference. I got a lot of positive comments from my interviews and guest posts. Also, the blogfest was a huge success. I never imagined the response I received. It was simple and fun. Something everyone could participate in. It linked to a theme in my book: monsters! That's attention grabbing in itself.

Speaking of the power of blogs, I have 360 followers. Welcome to all my new friends! I follow back if you provide a link.

2) Twitter was my second most powerful social media tool. I tweeted about my book and the blogfest a lot, but not so much it became spam. Friends retweeted my tweets. Thousands of people might have seen my blurbs for FEARLESS. I have over 600 followers on Twitter now. I'll still continue to promote my book on there at least once a day.

3) People like free things. If your book isn't free, have a couple of giveaways. FEARLESS is free on Smashwords. Here's how many copies I've sold on each site:
Kobo - 0
B&N - 0
CreateSpace (print) -  4

The figures very clearly speak for themselves. I'd love to see it price-matched on Amazon and see what it does to sales on there. Please, if you've a minute, copy the Smashwords link and paste it into the price-matching tool on the FEARLESS Amazon page where you see the link under Product Details. I'd greatly appreciate it.

4) FEARLESS on Smashwords is doing wonderfully. I found the site easy to use, and if you don't want to load your book up to any of the other sites, Smashwords eventually does it for you unless you opt out. I don't know if I would have seen that number if I charged for the book, but it's a fantastic way of getting myself out there and hooking readers in.

What I've heard is that sales should rise if you continue to promote and get more reviews. Also, sales will rise if you have more books out there for people to buy. Right now, series are very popular. They do help sell your books.

5) I sent FEARLESS to a bunch of review sites. I haven't gotten a review yet. I know they're very busy, and so if they do happen to do a review, it might take a while. If you are brave enough to get your book reviewed, send a copy to sites like Bitten By Books or Smexy Books a good couple of months before your release. Some of them do not take self-published books. Make sure to read their submission requirements before you send anything.

I hope what I've learned can help you too. If you have any tips, please comment and share them with us.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dog Days of Summer Blog Fest

Mmm, hotdogs. What a great name for this blogfest. Hotdogs always remind me of summer.

A big thank you to Jeremy Bates for hosting The Dog Days of Summer blogfest. This is a great way to meet some new friends and to find out what everyone's been doing this summer.

The rules are simple. Write a post about one or all three topics below:
1) Describe your favorite summer activity thus far.
2) What activities do you have planned before summer is over?
3) If you could have the ultimate vacation ever, where and what would it be?

My favorite summer activity so far is getting our new air-conditioning unit installed. Yes, we went a month without it. It was horrible. Several times I thought I died. I'm not a hot weather person.

Okay, okay. My real favorite summer activity has been going to the lake for a swim and a picnic. My son loves the water. Just watching him play is a joy.

We don't have any other summer plans. In ten days, my son will be starting preschool. A BIG event, but to me, it feels more like an autumn event. Yet if the weather gives us more opportunities, we'll take a drive to the lake and have some more fun.

As for the ultimate vacation, ooh, a complete summer-long tour of Europe. No rush to see everything. Just taking our time. See the big attractions and hunt out the gems most tourists don't get to see. I want to browse little bookshops and eat chocolate in every country.

Let us know what you've been doing this summer!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Last day of Fearless release week

Hop on over to Tara Tyler's blog today.
Find out how I came up with the idea for Tawa.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support
in releasing FEARLESS.
You guys rock!

Also, a HUGE thank you to all the participants
It was my first time hosting a blogfest,
and because of you, it was a great success!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What was your childhood monster?

First, a reminder that I'm over at Aubrie Dionne's blog today. We had a fun talk! Please stop by and say hello.

My monster came a little later in my childhood. From a really young age, I've always had a fascination with the supernatural. I was never afraid of ghosts or the dark. I never needed a nightlight. I grew up beside a cemetery and it was my favorite playground. When I was a teenager, I'd sleep with my window wide open - even in the winter - with the hope that a vampire would fly in from the graveyard and bite me!

I had a captain's bed growing up, so there was never room for a monster to hide under it. I never thought about closet monsters until I was ten and picked up Stephen King's Cujo. I've always been mature for my age. This was the first King book I picked up, and he nabbed me within the first few pages.

No, it wasn't the dog that scared me. I actually felt sorry for Cujo. It was the monster in Tad's closet that chilled me to the bone. It wasn't the stereotypical growl and drool I'm-going-to-eat monster. It talked, and it was intelligent. That made it super creepy. To top it off, I was home alone after school when I started to read the book. I was sitting in the living room in the big chair, one of my favorite reading spots. As I read about this monster, the basement door slowly creaked open. Logically, I knew it was probably because I didn't shut it properly when I put in the laundry downstairs. But all I could think about was this monster. A smart and evil beast. Dumb ones I might be able to trick, but this was no ordinary creature. I sat in the chair frozen, unable to move, until my father and brother came home about twenty minutes later.

I couldn't sleep that night. My room was tiny, only six by eight. The foot of my captain's bed was very near the closet. I piled my stuffed animals around me and kept the lamp on all night. I swear I could hear the monster chuckling from behind the closed sliding doors of my closet.

Of course, though the monster was smart, I was a clever kid. The next morning, I removed my closet doors. No closet, no monster. The remedy was as simple as that.

I guess my idea inspired other children in the neighborhood as well. My little brother removed his closet doors that week and so did half a dozen other neighbor kids. Closet doors are good for building forts!

Stephen King remains one of my biggest inspirations.

Don't forget to spread the word about FEARLESS! And Tawa wants to know what was your childhood monster?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

FEARLESS is here!

It's here! It's here!
FEARLESS is now available at

It costs $.99 on Amazon and B&N,
but it's free on Smashwords and Kobo.
If you could please do the
price-matching thing on Amazon,
I'd be very grateful.
Spread the word!

Please pop over to Tania Walsh's site today.
I've a guest post about monsters.
So much fun!

Speaking of monsters,
it's the first day of the
I can't wait to read all your posts.
I'll be posting my childhood monster tomorrow.

I finally got everything fixed on CreateSpace.
THIS is the new link.
I'm sorry about the delay.
(Tip for writers publishing their work on CreateSpace: Make sure you get a free CreateSpace ISBN. They will give you a section where you can add your own, and you will likely already have one if you've published the story as an ebook already. CreateSpace wants their own ISBN, but they don't tell you that. Because once you add it in and click that button, you CANNOT change it. And when you get everything approved and accept the proof ready to be sold, you CANNOT delete the project. Customer service didn't help explain the situation either. The only thing you can do at this point is start over by making it a new project. Though the second time I went through it was much much quicker than the first!)

Monday, August 6, 2012

One More Day Until FEARLESS

Tomorrow is the big day!
I'm so excited!

Today I'm making two stops on my FEARLESS tour.
Please stop by both blogs and say hello!
Shelley Sly is interviewing me over at Stories in the Ordinary.
We'll talk about self-publishing and a few other fun things.

I'm also over at Cherie Reich's blog
with a guest post about how to
write fear in a believable way. It's tricky!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Six for August 4th

1. I've been a bit paranoid recently with the scare of bloggers being sued over using other people's pictures on their sites. It's frightening to think that could happen. My new Saturday Six pic is my son's most recent painting. I love the color! My new "anthologies seeking submissions" pic (as seen yesterday) is a photo of my son. My Wicked Wednesday pic has always been my own creation. I've seen other bloggers doing the same thing. Seeing some personal photos has been fun, actually, but not in the mood of the paranoid moment.

2. Our new AC unit is up and running! Woo-hoo! Just in time for one of the hottest nights of the year last night. Is the unit whole? No. The guy still have to put in the kit for the furnace part, but I think we can live without heat for a bit. Heh.

3. I'm excited about the FEARLESS release week next week! Currently, all the sellers seem to have it up and for sale except for CreateSpace. I haven't had time yet to fix what I need to do on there. Hopefully I'll get to it this weekend.

4. Every year in November, I participate in NaNoWriMo. I love it! I plan to do it every year for the rest of my life. This year, though, I've considered using the month to catch up on the writing I missed in July. I'm way behind schedule. Of course, my muse will have none of that talk. A brand new shiny idea hit me hard the other day and came with an amazing first line. It's a superhero story and it made me laugh. If it sticks with me, I think that will be my NaNo story this year and my current project will have to wait that month.

5. Gen Con is coming up in two weeks. Before I had my son, I'd go every year and do a ton of writing seminars. This year, Brandon Sanderson is the author guest of honor. We can't afford to go four days this year, but we'll be going on the Sunday for Family Day. There will be stuff for the boy to do that day, and I can get a chance to visit with some of the writers. I even have new business cards to match my blog's banner.

6. No plans for the weekend except to pick up some groceries and catch up on my networking. Maybe I'll get a minute to write some more of my steampunk short story.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Anthologies seeking submissions - August 2012 edition

I managed to get my short story written for last month. A contemporary flash piece that's unusual for me, but I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I submitted another short story to an ezine. So I'm keeping up with my write 1/submit 1 goal for this year.

I'm going to finish up my YA steampunk story for August. It will be at least 5500 words, so I've got a lot to write on it yet. The anthology is still accepting submissions if you're interested.

REAL GIRLS DON'T RUST. YA steampunk. Pugalicious Press. 5500 to 7500 words. Pay $25 at release and then 10% royalty. Deadline: September 1st.

DEAD NORTH - 1-time print/eAntho (Exile Editions); zombies, any genre (fic), set in CA. Pay: CA2¢/word. Words: <10k. RT: 5-6 months. Reprints: yes. E-subs: ONLY. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Editor. Deadline: September 30th.

INDIANA SCIENCE FICTION - annual print/eAntho (James Ward Kirk Fiction); sf (fic/flash/poem/art). Pay: exposure. Words: fic=1k-5k flash=<1k. RT: <1 week. Reprints: yes. E-subs: ONLY. James Ward Kirk, Editor. Deadline: until filled. 

SAM'S DOT 21st DRABBLE CONTEST - triannual; sf/f/h (fic). Words: 100 exactly. Fee: $0. Prizes: books; pub@1¢/word. Reprints: no. E-subs: ONLY. Contact: Judge: Terrie Leigh Relf. Deadline: August 31st.

ONCE UPON AN APOCALYPSE - 1-time print/eAntho (Chaosium); h (fic). Pay: 3¢/word. Words: 2k-4k. RT: 2-3 months. Reprints: no. E-subs: ONLY. Rachel Kenley & Scott T. Goudsward, Editors. Deadline: September 30th.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Out from under the bed a little early

The official release date for FEARLESS is August 7th, but I couldn't wait any longer. The book is available already! If you've popped by today, please go get yourself a copy and enjoy.

Createspace ($3.99 for a print copy)

I was lucky enough to have a fantastic critique partner who is also an editor. She formatted the manuscript for me for each site. I went over everything again a couple of times before I finally started to upload the novella to each place.

Smashwords: Easy to upload. They were fast to get it up too. I had 3 downloads before I was even finished and satisfied with the profile. I like that I can put my work up for free here, and it will send it out to various other ebook sellers too. It was even more exciting when I started getting my reviews! I already have five 5 star reviews by random people. I want to hug them all! One kind reviewer dubbed my book "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Monsters Inc." What a perfect description!

Amazon and B&N: Tedious. Lots of pages to fill out. They didn't have the book up for days. I didn't get the option of selling for free. At least on Amazon I can get it price-matched, but I've heard that's not permanent either. They are two major forces in the book business. It's important to have my book up there.

Kobo: Not as much to fill out as the previous two, but I didn't like the way it was set up. They also did not have paranormal or paranormal romance listed as a genre. I had to call it contemporary romance. That's not a proper description of it, but they didn't give any other options that were close to my genre.

Createspace: It took the longest to work with, but it was easy enough to do. They have an easy to navigate system set up for reviewing your interior and creating a cover. It'll be very cool to have a print copy of the story. I know what I'm getting everyone for Christmas this year! I'm having a few problems with them that I don't understand about ISBNs, and I hope is just an error on their part. The keep replying to me with the same email over and over. I need to call them, but the book is up and for sale.

A reminder about the "What was your childhood monster?" blogfest. Still lots of time to sign up and share with us what scared you as a kid!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wicked Wednesday + IWSG

Wicked Wednesday is my day of the week to talk about my favorite genre, paranormal romance.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is Alex J. Cavanaugh's brilliant idea for writers to share their insecurities and encourage one another. The IWSG posts the first Wednesday every month. Please visit the other participants and offer up your support.

I'm combining both posts this month because of my fears about paranormal romance being a trend and that it's losing popularity. I'm sure you've heard this from several sources. Vampires and werewolves have been done one too many times. Publishers and agents are less likely to pick up your manuscript if they see it's paranormal romance, especially if it's about vampires.

Right now, the popular trends are dystopias and steampunk. There's been a rise in interest of fantasy and science-fiction too. While I do enjoy those genres, my passion is paranormal romance, and I feel like I'm coming in on the end of the trend. Should I even bother still writing in this genre? Am I hindering my career as a writer by writing a genre that is losing popularity? Am I over-thinking this?!

I know people say write what you love. If it's a brilliant story, no one will care what genre it is. I know these things. I tell say them over and over again in my head. But there's always that little snooty voice in the background talking about trends, what's best for me and my writing, etc. I try to smother that little voice, but it always creeps back.

I'd like to think that with the love readers have for paranormal romance, especially young people, that there is an audience there for life. I still love my first favorite genre as a child which was horror.

Do you think paranormal romance is losing its popularity? Do you think I'm wasting too much time thinking about trends?