Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWSG & A Personal Note


It's the August meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and as usual I have plenty that I'm feeling insecure about.

I finished my novella that is a prequel to Polar Night and I plan to release it myself on Kindle in September or October. The novella is called The Turnagain Arm and it takes place in 1917 during the building of the Alaskan railroad. If you read Polar Night you can guess which character is around and making trouble in this story. I already have a cover from the wonderful Michael Di Gesu and can't wait to share it.

So what am I insecure about? I've never formatted a book myself before and really have no clue how to do it. I also don't know anything about self-publishing on Kindle and I worry that I will make a total mess of it. But I am just hoping that since so many of the great writers I am fortunate to know here in the blogosphere have been able to master self-publishing that I will be able to do the same. Or that at least I will be able to do it without making a fool of myself.

While I always enjoy being part of the IWSG, the main purpose for this post is to share a personal matter that has been the focus of my life for the past month or so. My mom has been diagnosed with lymphoma and it's safe to say I haven't been able to focus on writing or blogging or much of anything at all since receiving that news.

I'm going to be taking a leave of absence from work in order to help with her care and will probably be taking a leave from the blogging world as well. I haven't been posting much this summer anyway but I have tried to keep up with my blog reading as I enjoy touching base with everyone. I doubt I'll be able to do much of that either now so I'll most likely just be on hiatus from the blogosphere.

I hope August is a good month for all of you and, for those in the northern hemisphere, I hope you enjoy the last month of summer. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Death Knocks Cover & BeachBoundBooks Interview

Today I'm sharing the cover and book trailer for Death Knocks, the paranormal thriller by Jay Noel and Miranda Hardy. I think it's so cool that these two collaborated through their blogs to come up with this exciting story!

But first I also want to share that I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Stacie of BeachBoundBooks and I'm really thrilled to be featured on her site. Visit me here

And now on to the Death Knocks cover! 

How creepy is this? I love it!



Death Knocks Blurb:


Who knew a knock at the door could rupture your entire world? They don’t demand money or possessions…they want much more than that, they want your life.
Maverick is preparing for senior year: he’s no longer stuck in the “friend-zone” with the girl of his dreams, he’s looking forward to choosing the right college and being on his own, and he plans to have a blast along the way.
But a knock on the door changes all of that forever.
Maverick begins a mind-altering, life-changing journey to discover the truth—a truth that certain individuals will do anything to keep hidden.

Death Knocks is a Young Adult paranormal thriller about the strange global phenomenon known as the Black-Eyed Kids. Take a creepy and exciting ride in a world where myth meets reality.


Death Knocks is scheduled for publication on September 26, 2014 by Quixotic Publishing.






Huge congratulations and best wishes to Jay and Miranda! 


Monday, July 21, 2014

Broken Branch Falls Author Tara Tyler Stops by to Interview Me!

Look out for Julie Flanders! She may seem like a humble librarian, but underneath her modest cover, she's a book-toting, pen-waving, crowd-pleasing hero! She's so BOSS, I decided to interview her on her own blog about overcoming her leap into the public eye.

1) What events have you attended? and how big were they?

I’ve attended a small group book signing at a coffee shop near where I live, the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and a book signing at a bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard. I also did a presentation at my local library that included a book signing. The Ohioana festival was the only event that could be called “big.” I don’t know how many authors were involved, but I know there were lots of us there and it was a day long event. About 30 people attended the library presentation so that was a great medium sized event. The two book signings were both small but I sold a few books at both so I was happy.

Sounds like they were successful!

2) What did you like most? least?

I think I liked the Ohioana Festival the best because it was so big and I was super nervous about it before I went, but once I was there I had a wonderful time. It was also my first time participating in a panel discussion and I really enjoyed that. As far as which one I liked least, I honestly liked all of them and felt like I learned so much as I went to each one that I can’t pick a least favorite.

Just getting out there and meeting readers is a great feeling!

3) What advice would you give book event virgins?

Just to try not to be nervous about the event! I was so nervous for months ahead of time and I worried for nothing. So I would advise newbies to just relax and enjoy the experience.

I agree. Plan as much as you can, then relax and have fun! Everyone is so nice! Speaking of planning...

4) What should one bring/not bring to an event?

Definitely bring lots of swag related to your book or books. My table mate at Ohioana had bags made up with her book cover on them. She asked each person who walked past if they would like a bag to hold their books and most people took one. So I saw her book cover everywhere that day as I walked around the venue! That was a good lesson for me and I’m going to have bags made myself whenever I go to another event. As far as what not to bring, I would caution people not to “over buy” copies of their books if they will be selling the books themselves at the event. The events are really fun but with so many authors there, it’s probably wise to keep your sales expectations kind of low. I think most of these festivals are probably more about exposure then they are about sales.

I have bags too - love swag! And yes, unfortunately, sales are not the big reason to go. But if you know that in advance, you won't be disappointed.

5) What have you learned about going to these events?

I’ve learned that it is really fun to network with other authors and talk with readers about my books. This was truly a shock for me as I have always hated public speaking and was really nervous about that aspect of each event. But when it came to talking about my writing I found I didn’t hate public speaking after all and I actually enjoyed myself. That was a very pleasant surprise to say the least.

Isn't it awesome, surprising yourself that you can actually do it! And everyone wants to hear you!

6) When are your next appearances?

I’m not sure! I hope to have a few more appearances this year but I am still waiting to hear if I will be accepted for the events.

Julie & Tara
Well, I was so happy to meet Julie at the Ohioana Festival! And I spoke on my first author panel, too. It's really not as scary as you think - and we learned so much from the experience and from other authors. Even though you may not sell many books, it's worth it to get your name out there! I hope Julie and I have encouraged you all to go for it!!

Please share your experiences or fears! We can help each other!

Thanks again, Julie-bo-boolie!
I can't wait to do another event with my Cincy friend!
(And don't forget to enter the giveaway below!)

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

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!

Available at
B&N ~~~ Amazon
Add it to your GOODREADS list!

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


Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL
on sale this month for 99 cents!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SOULLESS Cover Reveal!

I'm still hiding out in my editing/revising cave so I'm happy to be able to turn the blog over to Crystal Collier today. I'm excited to share the gorgeous cover for Crystal's upcoming release, SOULLESS. Yay, Crystal!
Here is all the info on the book, which will be available in October.

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend†(a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.


COMING October 13, 2014



PREORDER your print copy
or 
Sign up for Crystal Collier's newsletter to receive release news and freebies.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Untethered Realms 100 Followers Giveaway



Last week the Untethered Realms blog reached 100 followers when Chemist Ken became follower #100. Thanks, Ken! And thanks to everyone else who has followed our blog since we started it a little more than a year ago in June of 2013.

To celebrate reaching the 100 followers milestone, we are holding a gigantic ebook giveaway with a large assortment of our books up for grabs. The books run the gamut from science-fiction to paranormal to fantasy to paranormal romance and include both adult and young adult titles. The contest is open internationally and one grand prize winner will win the whole set of ebooks.

Just check out the rafflecopter below to see all of the books included in the prize package and to enter the giveaway. The contest is open now and will run through July 31.

Thanks again to everyone who has followed our blog and supported our group through our first year!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: One Last Public Speaking Post



It's the July meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and I am once again going to post about public speaking. But first, if you'd like to join the group or visit other members, go here for the sign-up list.

I first posted about my public speaking phobia/anxiety/insecurity back in March. I was overwhelmed with the encouragement and support I received so now I am thrilled to be able to share that all of that encouragement and great advice really did help! I've completed all of the events I was nervous about back in March and all of them went so well I still have to pinch myself to believe it.

The event I was most nervous about was held last Tuesday, June 24. I did a presentation at my local library about The Ghosts of Aquinnah and my family history on Martha's Vineyard, as well as the Vineyarders who moved to Cincinnati in the early 1800s and helped found the township I live in. I also planned a book signing to go along with the event.

I knew I was going to have to stand up alone and speak for about 30 or 40 minutes so I was trying my best to remain calm and not have a panic attack. I was totally amazed, but once I got there I wasn't even nervous at all! And once I started my presentation I actually enjoyed it and barely even needed to look at my notes. I even managed to make people laugh a few times (intentionally) which was awesome. Here are a few pictures from the presentation:




The librarian told me there were 31 people in attendance so I was thrilled with the turnout, especially since it was a very rainy and stormy evening. Several people asked questions after I was finished and everyone seemed interested throughout. It was so much better than I ever could have imagined. And to top it off, I managed to sell a few books. :)

I feel safe in saying I'm officially over my public speaking phobia. I made it through two book signings, a book festival and panel, and a presentation and with each event my insecurity decreased and my enthusiasm increased. So you can't ask for more than that. Thanks again to everyone who supported me through these past few months!

In other news, my Untethered Realms buddies and I shared some of our geeky belongings over at the UnRealms blog yesterday. If you missed it, check out our nerdy treasures here.

Speaking of Untethered Realms, we are just one follower away from making it to 100 followers on our blog. When follower #100 joins us, we plan to host a fun giveaway with lots of our books. Stay tuned to see when we reach that milestone!

*Edited to add that we reached 100 this morning! Thanks to Chemist Ken for following and getting us over the hump. We will start getting the giveaway together and share the details soon. Thanks to all our followers!*

And speaking of giveaways, my publisher Ink Smith is holding a giveaway to celebrate their two year anniversary. There are lots of prizes available, including a signed copy of my book Polar Night. If you'd like to enter check out the rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Happy July, all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Effigy Cover Reveal & Broken Branch Fall Release!

I'm happy to be helping spread the word about new or upcoming releases from two great bloggers and writers today.

First up is the cover reveal for Effigy, the debut novel by M.J. Fifield. Isn't this a gorgeous cover? I'm so happy for M.J. and excited for her debut!


Effigy will be released on July 22, 2014. Here is the blurb for what is sure to be a great book.

The survival of a once-mighty kingdom rests in the hands of its young queen, Haleine Coileáin, as it slowly succumbs to an ancient evil fueled by her husband’s cruelty.
 A sadistic man with a talent for torture and a taste for murder, he is determined to burn the land and all souls within. Haleine is determined to save her kingdom and, after a chance encounter, joins forces with the leader of the people’s rebellion. She gives him her support, soon followed by her heart.
 Loving him is inadvertent but becomes as natural and necessary as breathing. She lies and steals on his behalf, doing anything she can to further their cause. She compromises beliefs held all her life, for what life will exist if evil prevails?
 Her journey leads to a deceiving world of magic, monsters, and gods she never believed existed outside of myth. The deeper she goes, the more her soul is stripped away, but she continues on, desperate to see her quest complete. If she can bring her husband to ruin and save her people, any sacrifice is worth the price—even if it means her life.

 About M.J.

Armed with a deep and lasting love of chocolate, purple pens, and medieval weaponry, M.J. Fifield is nothing if not a uniquely supplied insomniac. When she isn’t writing, she’s on the hunt for oversized baked goods or shiny new daggers. M.J. lives with a variety of furry creatures—mostly pets—in New Hampshire. Effigy is her first novel.

Links:

Ravven, the cover artist:  www.ravven.com
Add Effigy on Goodreads

Congratulations, M.J.!! 

Also, you may have heard about a book called Broken Branch Falls that has been popping up a lot lately. Today is its official release and Tara Tyler is blitzing the blogosphere to celebrate!

It's Beastly Blitz Day!

Tara is the first (and as of now only) blogger friend I have met in person. We met at the Ohioana Book Festival back in May and I can tell you Tara is as fun and sweet in person as she is online. So happy for you, Tara!

BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy)
by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014 - TODAY!!
B&N ~~~ Amazon ~~~ Kobo
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!


Add it to your GOODREADS list!

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


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