Thursday, May 31, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Listopia Demystified

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

It's funny that we are talking about Listopia today. I just spent a few minutes yesterday explaining what it was to someone. If you don't know - Listopia is a range of lists created on Goodreads. It helps readers browse for books in a specific genre or style. It's a very cool asset for both readers and writers.

I think Listopia is awesome. It's a great way to stumble across books you've never heard of before. It's also a great way to promote authors or books you think are fantastic.

When I was browsing in prep for this post, I was delighted to find Golden Blood has been added to "Most Eye Catching Cover of 2012"!! Wohoo!!! It totally made my day because I stressed over the cover for HOURS and to have it make a list like that was such a buzz :) All the work and effort we put in has paid off. (It's currently sitting on #91, so if you like my cover and want to vote for me - feel free :))

So - what lists do I look for if I'm browsing and what lists do I want my books on?

To be honest - those answers are probably the same.
I love YA Romance - so anything along those lines is pretty cool. I also look at the yearly release lists so I can keep an eye on what's coming up.

The lists I'm most excited to have my books on are:

Check out what other Indie Carnival goers think about Listopia by clicking the links below.

Also - don't forget to check out the latest news on the YA Indie Carnival Blog.


The Taste Test Blog Tour Winners!!

Hey everyone!!

It is might great pleasure to announce the winners of the Taste Test Blog Tour.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and supported our little tour. It was so cool to have you visiting our blogs and getting to know us a little better.

And without further ado... here are the winners!!

  • Claire Frith won the CJ Duggan Prize Pack
  • Tejasvini Rao won the Michelle A Hansen Prize Pack
  • Demitra Giote won the Nolia McCarty Prize Pack
  • Emma won the Brenda Howson Prize Pack
  • Merisha Henderson-Abbott won the LM Preston Prize Pack
  • Alexandra Louk won my prize pack :)


  • Barbara Kerr won the Grand Prize!!

So excited for all the winners. We really hope you enjoy your prizes :)

Happy reading everyone!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Melissa Pearl, Author of Forbidden Territory

Today is the final day of the tour. I have so enjoyed learning more about these awesome authors and sharing in the fun. I hope you have too.

I am the final author to share my bit, so today I thought I'd give you a little bio then tell you what I love so much about writing.

I have loved writing all my life. My imagination has always been on full alert and I have spent many days in a constant daydream as stories rush in and out of my brain. I never thought writing would be an option though. I'm not sure why, just the idea of becoming an author seemed so farfetched, I never really entertained it. At 23, my best friend, challenged me to write one of my stories. I started and couldn't stop. When I realized how much I loved it, I decided to take things a little more seriously and completed a two-year writing course plus read some excellent books on how to write good fiction. Ten years, and many manuscripts, later, I finally felt I had a story worth publishing.

Joining the indie writing movement and choosing to self-publish was a really hard decision, but I'm so glad I made it. I am loving every second of this ride. Sure, I find marketing really hard, but I am learning new things and meeting amazing people every day. I finally feel as though I'm doing what I was supposed to all along.

As obsessive as writing can be, I am lucky enough to have a very loving family who keeps my head out of the clouds. My gorgeous husband and two precious sons are the joy of my life. I love hanging out with them, playing with them and laughing at their hilarious antics. There is never a dull moment in my house, that's for sure!

I feel very blessed and privileged to be living this life. I know there are many challenges and triumphs ahead of me. Bring it on!

And what do I love about writing?

I love stepping into another world and acting out scenarios and dreaming up situations that I would never experience myself. I love getting emotionally drawn into my character's worlds, feeling what they feel and experiencing their heart ache, their hopes, and the anger and frustration that comes with each conflict.

Being able to create something from scratch is the best feeling in the world. I think reading can be an awesome escape from life's crappiness... and writing is the same for me. It is a break from reality... a chance to live a different life, if only for a short while.

To find out a few more nuggets about me and enter to win one of seven prize packs, please check out the links below.

Happy touring everyone :)

Tomorrow we will be announcing the winners and dishing out some very cool prizes. Wohoo!! Love that part :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

L. M. Preston, Author of The Pack: Retribution

Day five has me introducing L. M. Preston. This is one cool writer. She has been so supportive and pro-active in making things happen and spreading the word about this sampler book. She is the release party queen and I am very happy to have her visiting today.

I have asked her to share something of the first book she ever wrote and also tell us her future plans.

Explorer X-Alpha was the story that started it all for me. Here's an excerpt from it:

Eirena raced quickly across the terrain. Her sphere was turning from white to a soft orange in color, indicating that time was ticking away.  

Eirena raced across the clear sky. She punched her quad into turbo speed and prepared to come to the smooth portion of the track. She came to a tricky jump from the skies of this virtual world to the unforgiving ground below, but she jumped and landed with a bounce.

“Uh uh!” she grunted. She looked around for Jacob to make the handoff. Then, in a burst of fire, Jacob flew past her, and she pushed her quad to catch up. They met at some distance from the others, and his quad robotic arms came out to retrieve the sphere.

“I got it! Cover me and attack Aadi!” yelled Jacob, and he took off over the hard-packed ground.
Aadi watched as Eirena turned her quad in his direction. He gained fast on Jacob, and Eirena was right behind him.

Mitchell pulled up beside Eirena and said, “Use these. No mercy. Remember, you are on our team now!” He rode past her, and she pushed her engine into overdrive and gained on Aadi.

She yelled, “Aadi… heads up!” and threw the fire nails with precision. One nail of fire hit the sphere and caused it to go instantly pale orange. The other hit Aadi’s seat, burning off the back half. The final nail slipped, missing the handlebar, and hitting Aadi’s left arm.

When the fire nail hit his arm, his gaze jerked to meet Eirena’s. In an instant, her look turned from anger to remorse. His heart sunk because he couldn’t believe she would purposely hurt him. He turned away from her in anger and dismissed her as he rode away.

Aadi felt the sharp burning pain of the fire nail when it sliced through his suit and grazed his arm. The pain and smell of burned flesh didn’t hurt half as bad as Eirena’s betrayal. He knew she was competitive, but he never knew she would turn on him in such a brutal way just to win a stupid videogame. If she wants to play that way so be it, he thought, Two can play at that game.

Eirena started to slow down a bit. She glanced to the left, only to see Raiko speed up beside her. Raiko came up beside her and stood on her seat with the poise of a trapeze artist. Raiko glared at Eirena and then placed her hands on the handlebars of her quad, while keeping speed with Eirena. As Raiko balanced on the handlebars, she whipped out a snake-like kick to Eirena’s face. Eirena felt the ache of the blow as her head jerked to the right.

“Raiko, I am sorry! Don’t,” said Eirena. Before Eirena could speak another word, Raiko whipped out another kick to Eirena’s chest and continued her attack. Eirena fought hard to hold on, but the quad was speeding forward.

“I don’t want to fight you!” said Eirena, and Raiko flipped onto her seat, pulled up closer to Eirena’s quad, and punched Eirena’s neck with such force that Eirena began to gag and choke. A tear fell from Eirena’s eyes, but Raiko still didn’t back down. Instead, she kept punching, punching, and punching Eirena in the neck while Eirena tried to hold on to the handlebars. Eirena had stopped fighting, but Raiko wasn’t finished. She squatted on her quad to land a powerful side kick to Eirena’s stomach, sending her over the edge of her quad. Eirena was barely holding on to one handlebar when Raiko jumped onto Eirena’s quad and pounded down with her fist. Eirena tried with all her might to fight through the sharp punches, but her fingers slipped one by one. Then, Raiko raised her hand and looked at Eirena with anger before she punched with all her might on Eirena’s last two fingers.

Eirena was out of the game. Raiko shook her head and smiled as she climbed on her quad and threw a fireball at Eirena’s quad. She watched as Eirena’s quad blew up and pieces of it fell like an umbrella around her.

Eirena fell into the darkness. She shook herself awake, feeling groggy from the transition to the real world.

“What have I done? What have I done!” she said.

Thanks so much for sharing. That was very cool.
And what is next in line for your writing?

This year holds for me some rather large adventures. The release of THE PACK-RETRIBUTION this fall is exciting. It's the second time I've written a second book in a series and I was challenged in keeping it fresh and fast paced. I am releasing my first ever short story, FLUTTER OF LUV, and have decided to do a similar type of release in 2013. Also, a new paranormal series, PURGATORY REIGN, is a first for me since I've always written Science Fiction.

My writing schedule this year has gotten off to a shaky start but I hope to write three novels and one short story this year. Wish me luck since I'll also be participating in Nanowrimo.

If you want to party with me, please join me at my next Facebook Release Party for YA Taste Test, right here.


FLUTTER OF LUV, right here.

Sounds like a full schedule and a ton of fun :)

To learn more about this lovely lady and enter to win one of seven prize packs, please check out the links below.

Happy touring everyone :)

Please join me tomorrow when I tell you about myself and what I love so much about writing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Location, Location, Location

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

I'm taking a break from the Taste Tester Blog Tour to keep my regular YA Indie Carnival slot. I just love doing these too much to give it up for a week :)

This week's topic is super fun too! Location - where do I like to set my stories? I didn't have to think about this for long, when I look through my database of stories and think about the ones I've already written, there is a very common thread... nature.

I love the outdoors, so setting my stories in a beautiful forest or on a sprawling ranch or on a sandy white beach, is something I LOVE to do... particularly forests. 

For me, forests add an entirely new element to a story. They can be dark and scary, light and beautiful, quiet and eerie or filled with bird's song. You are able to do so much in that environment. There are so many pitfalls and things that can go wrong in a forest and that's why I love putting my characters in them.

How about you?
Where do you like your characters to live out their stories?

To find out what the other carni's think, you can check out the links below.

Also - don't forget to check out the latest news on the YA Indie Carnival Blog.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brenda Howson, Author of Forbidden Territory

And we're half way there. The fourth day of the tour highlights my best friend and the amazing co-author of Forbidden Territory. Brenda - it is super cool to have you on my blog :)

Today Brenda is answering four questions provided by Nolia McCarty.

If you could have any psychic power, what would it be? 
I had to research psychic powers as I’ve never thought about this before and decided this was the one for me: Transvection - Bodily levitation or flying – FUN

What is your favorite "mythical" creature? 
Legalos in Lord of the Rings

Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not? 
No not in ghosts, but I do believe in angels and demons

If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you move and why?
Honestly I love living in New Zealand but if I had to leave then perhaps a Greek island, they look gorgeous and my husband would love to own a boat and sail around Europe with us.

The Greek Islands! Count me in. You wouldn't mind a stowaway, would you?

To find out more about Brenda and enter to win one of seven prize packs, please check out the links below.

Happy touring everyone :)

We're having a little break from the tour over the weekend, but please join me on Monday when I introduce you to L. M. Preston. She is going to share with us the first story she ever wrote, plus give us a little taste on what she is working on next. Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nolia McCarty, Author of Wiccan Wars

Welcome to the third day of the Taste Test Blog Tour. It's great to have you join us :) Today I have Nolia McCarty (aka Heather Marie Adkins) with me. It is very cool to have her visiting.

Today she is telling us all about her favourite character and why she loved writing her.

My favorite character is by far Vale Avari. She's the protagonist of my debut novel "The Temple". Why do I love her? Because she's a lot of me. She's snarky, wry, and takes no prisoners, but she's also extremely loyal - sometimes to a fault. The Temple was initially meant to be a stand-alone novel, but after I published in June 2011, I actually had FANS. Can you believe it?? And those fans started the rigamarole of asking if there would be a sequel. I hadn't given it much thought, but I loved Vale so much that it seemed a no-brainer. So her series continues in the next Vale Avari novel, "The Trickster", tentatively coming fall 2012.

Sounds very cool! Love that story :)

To learn more about Nolia and enter to win one of seven prize packs, please check out the links below.

Happy touring everyone :)

Please join me tomorrow when I introduce you to Brenda Howson (my co-author!!). She is going to answer four interesting questions provided by Nolia :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Michelle A. Hansen, Author of Painted Blind

Today is the second round of the Taste Test Blog Tour and is my great pleasure to introduce you to Michelle A. Hansen. This lovely lady has released her debut novel this year - Painted Blind. It has been so fun to get to know her throughout this process and watch her hit the writing scene. Very cool.

Today Michelle is answering 10 quick fire questions. I love this kinda thing. It's amazing what you can find out about people just from 10 simple questions :)

Dogs or Cats? 
Cats. They don’t drool.

MMs or Skittles? 
Skittles, but I have to share them with someone because I’m allergic to red food coloring. I eat the yellow and green ones and leave the red, purple and orange ones.

Favorite TV show?  
I know this sounds crazy, but my family hasn’t had television since 2006. We stream online and watch movies on DVD. When my family watches movies, I sneak away to write.

What books are currently on your nightstand?  
Write it Forward by Bob Mayer, How to Write a Damn Good Thriller by James Frey, A Witness and a Warning by Ezra Taft Benson, The Book of Mormon, and Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz. There’s also a Nancy Drew in there, which I was debating reading to my daughter after we finish our current novel, Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi

Favorite kind of date? 
Husband, no kids. I’m not choosy beyond that.

Guilty Pleasure? 

First book you remember devouring? 
I stayed up all night reading Pride & Prejudice when I was twenty-two. It was the first time I had ever been so captivated by a story that I could not stop reading until the very last page.

Boots, Sneakers or Stilettos? 
Leather Mary Janes. I have two pairs—one with heels, one flat. That covers most days for me.

The last song you sang along to? 
Adelle’s “Set Fire to the Rain”

Where do you like to sit in the movie theater? 
Until I looked at this question, I didn’t realize I had a particular place, but I do. In a stadium theater, my husband and I sit two or three rows above the isle, right in the middle.

Very cool. Thanks for sharing, Michelle :)

To find out more about Michelle and enter to win one of seven prize packs, please check out the links below.

Happy touring everyone :)

Please join me tomorrow when I introduce you to Nolia McCarty. She is going to tell us who her favourite character is!

Monday, May 21, 2012

C.J. Duggan, Author of Boys of Summer

Welcome to the first round of the Taste Test Blog Tour. The author featuring today is C. J. Duggan. I met CJ (via e-mail) when we started working together on this sampler. She is a very cool chick. I love getting her cheery e-mails - they totally make my day.

So, it is my pleasure to be able to share a little about her on my blog today.

This is her answer to the question: When you're not writing, what do you do?

I have my 9-5 full time job that I am fortunate enough to love. When I am not working, writing is my 2nd job (but first love) I am a real night owl, I usually occupy writing hours from 6pm – 2am, especially when working through edits and re writes which involve long grueling hours. So when I step away from it I spend as much time with my husband, who is a self titled book widow, as possible. If I am not writing a book I usually have my head stuck in one. We live in a big Victorian Homestead that we have been renovating for the past 10 years. I love gardening and tinkering around my house brainstorming the next project. There is never a moment in my life that allows me to be bored… EVER!

I know that feeling. There is just never time to be bored!! Thanks for sharing, CJ :)

To find out more about CJ and enter to win one of seven prize packs, please check out the links below.
Happy touring everyone :)

Please join me tomorrow when I introduce you to Michelle A. Hansen and find out her answers to 10 quick fire questions :)