Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's All About Love

I love to write. It's like I've finally discovered my passion in life... what I was born to do. When I write, time disappears. It's the first time in my life I've actually enjoyed studying a craft and there is no aspect of this writing journey that I do not enjoy... maybe formatting :-)

When I was working on the first draft of Betwixt, I couldn't help thinking about how incredibly lucky I am. Sure, writing takes a huge amount of effort and I pour hours of my time into producing books and then sharing them with the world. But then readers pay me to read them, so not only do I get to do what I love, but I get paid for it as well.

I know not everyone in the world can say that and I never want to take this fact for granted. Writing gives me so much, so for Betwixt, I've decided I want to give a little something back.

For every copy of Betwixt sold, I am donating $1 to a charity organisation - Love146.

These guys are working to try and prevent child exploitation and trafficking. They also work with the children that do get free, to help rehabilitate them and give them a chance at a future filled with hope.

Because Betwixt is all about being rescued and redeemed, I wanted to find a charity that works with helping to restore brokenness. I believe Love146 does an amazing job of this.

To give you a better idea, I asked a member of the American staff - Ryan Day - if I could interview him and give you a bit more insight about how they came to be and what they are doing.

How did Love146 first get started?
Love146 was founded in 2002 when co-founders Rob Morris, Lamont Hiebert, Desirea Rodgers and Caroline Hahm visited Southeast Asia on an exploratory trip to learn what they could do to fight child trafficking and exploitation. They were taken into a brothel with undercover investigators and encountered girls being sold for sex. From that point on, they've said, they had to do something.

How did you come up with the name Love146?
In the brothel, the co-founders said one girl stood out to them. She had had the dignity of a name taken from her and was instead given the number "146" as her only identification. The look in her eyes shook them from any apathy and they went to work immediately, taking her number to represent the millions of children still in situations of slavery.

What is the most impacting story you've experienced since working for Love146?
This is the most impactful story I've ever heard here at Love146: http://www.love146.org/blog/forgiving-their-father

When people hear the name Love146, what do you want them to think?
I want them to think of two things: First, the girl who wore number 146 and the millions of children still enslaved that she represents. Second, I want people to remember that love is powerful -- powerful enough to inspire people to rise up and do something. We've seen love work restoration and healing in the children we've encountered who have been through situations of trafficking and exploitation. We've also seen love motivate people generously so that hundreds, even thousands of children could be protected and defended.

If you'd like to find out more about Love146, you can follow the links below:

Thank you so much to all my supporters. Because of you, I get to do what I love for a living... and I get to give back to those in desperate need of love as well. I feel very privileged to be in this position.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Betwixt - Dale Interviews Nicole

As a reader, I love reading character interviews. I think they are so much fun and give you a great idea of what the characters are like. If you ask the right questions, you can also find out things about the characters that aren't necessarily in the book.

For fun, I thought it'd be cool to have Dale interview Nicole. That way you can get to know them both a little better. Be warned, these two can bicker up a storm. I hope they make you smile as much as they always make me laugh.

So here goes...

Dale: Okay, so first question... what's your favourite food?
Nicole: Really? That's the first question?
Dale: Yeah, what's wrong with it?
Nicole: I don't know, it just feels like a stupid question to start with. I mean, what food I like? Who cares.
Dale: Look, I didn't write the question, would you just answer it.
Nicole: Okay, fine... uh, blueberries. I like blueberries... actually, blueberry anything is good.
Dale: Hmmm - I always picked you for a chocolate girl.
Nicole: What are saying, that I look like I eat a lot of chocolate?
Dale: No! Of course not. Just forget it. Next question. What's your favourite subject?
Nicole: Dance, I guess.
Dale: No it's not.
Nicole: Yes it is... how would you know anyway?
Dale: Nicole, you don't love dance, you only do it because your friends do. Come on, they're not even going to be reading this interview, just tell the truth.
Nicole: Alright. I like graphics and design.
Dale: Why?
Nicole: I'm interested in art. I like creative things... including dancing, by the way.
Dale: I never said you didn't like it, I said it wasn't your favourite.
Nicole: Next question.
Dale: What kind of music do you like?
Nicole: You promise my friends won't be reading this?
Dale: Promise.
Nicole: Okay, well there's this band from the 90s - Granite. They were this heavy metal, glam rock, kinda band. A mix between Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. I love their stuff.
Dale: (grinning) That's my girl.
Nicole: Your girl?
Dale: No, well, I mean... you know, not... it's just an expression. I like Granite too, okay. I was just saying you have good taste.
Nicole: Oh, okay. Cool. (she nods while studying her nail polish).
Dale: How long does it take you to get ready to go out?
Nicole: That is so not one of the questions.
Dale: Yes it is.
Nicole: No it's not.
Dale: Look, does it even matter? It's a good question.
Nicole: It's a pathetic question. Why do you even want to know that?
Dale: I don't know, in case I ever give you a ride somewhere, or something.
Nicole: (bites back a grin) I like to look nice, but I also hate being late, so just make sure you give me plenty of warning.
Dale: How much warning?
Nicole: An hour... maybe two.
Dale: Two? Two hours? What are you doing in that time?
Nicole: Getting ready.
Dale: Why is it so important to you to look perfect?
Nicole: Because people notice me, whether I want them to or not.
Dale: You don't have to do anything extra, you know. You're... well, I mean, you're... you already know you're gorgeous, so just don't worry about... well, you don't have to go the extra mile or anything.
Nicole: (grinning) A little tongue tied, champ?
Dale: You're pretty! With or without make up and nice clothes and stuff. I'm sure you look just as gorgeous getting out of bed in the morning as you do now.
Nicole: You think I'm pretty?
Dale: Everybody thinks your pretty.
Nicole: How long does it take you to get ready to go out?
Dale: Including a shower?
Nicole: (nods)
Dale: Ten minutes.

* * * * *

I hope you enjoyed getting to know these two a little more. I find their relationship adorable. This was a very light hearted snap shot, wait until you get to the good stuff in the book. I feel my insides turning to putty just thinking about it.

If you'd like to enter the draw to win a digital copy of Betwixt, you can do so below.
Thanks for joining the party. It is so cool to have you here.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Spooky, Scary, Eerie

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.
Today is all about the shivers!!

To be perfectly honest with you, when it comes to scary stuff, I am a complete coward. I avoid horror like the plague or I get haunted for weeks with nightmares. I still have images trapped in my head from when I was a kid!

So I'm probably not the best person to talk about this stuff. However, I wanted to send you to the other carni folk, because they will no doubt have some awesome posts on some very spooky and scary stuff.

I hope you enjoy reading them :)

And don't forget to visit our awesome site too :) YA Author Club.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series4.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog6.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter8.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9.Ella James10.Maureen Murrish
11.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings12.A Little Bit of R&R
13.Melissa Pearl14.Seo Company

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Betwixt - Chapter One!!

Welcome to the Betwixt Pre-Release Party. If you're just joining us, you may want to check out the previous posts: Betwixt Book Trailer and Betwixt Giveaway. Although to make life easier, I've also included the giveaway at the bottom of this post too.

Today, I thought I'd share the first chapter of Betwixt with you. Hopefully it will tickle your taste buds...


   My boots make a sharp tapping sound as I clomp my way home. The loose gravel at the edge of the road jumps away from my anger, skirting ahead of me then tumbling down the steep embankment.
   I can't believe I'm in this situation. How could my boyfriend be such a jerk? I cross my arms and shiver, trying to block the last thirty minutes from my mind. What will people think? I blink away tears as I imagine the gossip tree shaking with mirth. How am I going to face everyone tomorrow?
   I should have just given in and done what he wanted me to. I have before.
   I look up at the night sky. It is clear and cold, the stars are brilliant with no streetlights to hinder their glow. I'm guessing it's around midnight. I can't see my watch face in this dim light. I can barely see two steps in front of me.
   A cool wind whistles through my clothing and I wish, yet again, that I hadn't chosen to wear a sleeveless shirt with a plunging V-neck that left nothing to the imagination. Maybe Trent was right. I had dressed for it.
   I look down at my knee-high boots and skinny jeans so tight they'd have to be peeled off. I suddenly feel like a hooker. My lower lip wobbles. I can feel the melt down setting in. I struggle to hold it together.
   I'm stuck in the middle of who knows where. I have no idea how long it's going to take me to walk home... I don't even know which direction home is.
   Trent said it would be romantic, the best vista point he'd ever found, but it wasn't a scenic overlook. It was just a clearing of darkness where mischief could never be discovered.
   Bile swirls in my stomach.
   The metal dog tags clink against my sternum. I can feel them swinging back and forth in time with my march. I grab them through my clothing and squeeze. I'm tempted to take them off and hurl them into the trees beside me, but I can't. I blame them though... well not them exactly, but the person who gave them to me.
   Why had I put them on? They had been hidden in my jewelry box for months. My fingers had brushed over them as I was searching for my hoop earrings and I'd been compelled to slip them over my head and stuff them beneath my shirt. If I hadn't put them on, I wouldn't have thought of him and if he hadn’t been swimming around in the back of my brain, I wouldn't be in this situation.
   Dale Finnigan.
   Dale Finnigan and his "you should know better look" had a lot to answer for tonight. I hitch my bag higher onto my shoulder. My march is getting faster and the need to be out of here burns. I start the long descent down the winding road, my mind playing tricks with me.
   Maybe you should call, Dale.
   I grimace.
   You know he'd come and collect you.
   "No he wouldn't," I say to the air. "He hates me."
   I frown.
   The word sends a shudder through my system and I slam the door on my brain. It can just shut up right now.
   I won't be calling Dale.
   I reach into my bag and fish around for my phone. I stop in my tracks to have a better look, but with no light, the endeavour is hopeless. It looks like I won't be calling anyone. I grit my teeth and keep walking, picking up my pace as I round the corner. The wind whistles through my clothing again and I shiver. I should stop and put my jacket on, but I don't want to. If I just keep walking I won't have to stop and really analyze the crap I'm in.
   My brain doesn't play fair and I analyze it anyway.
   It's Tuesday night. Most normal sixteen year olds would be home in their beds having done their homework, watched a little TV, and said goodnight to their parents, but not me, right? I always have to do things differently.
   I can feel my mouth pinching into a tight line as the simplicity and bliss of that kind of life feels a million miles away.
   I shake my head.
   "What am I talking about? My life rocks." I say the last word way too loud as I continue to convince myself. "I have just been at study group."
   I laugh. Why did we even call it that? We never studied. It was basically Tuesday night party time. Matt's parents were out of town, so we had blasted the music and stood down by the lake goofing around and laughing until our bellies ached.
   I grin as I picture the scene in my head - friends surrounding me, Trent's arm around my shoulders making me feel safe.
   I wish his arms were around me now.
   I cringe.
   The second part of the night had not been so great.
   I wrap my arms around myself and squeeze, trying to eradicate the memories, the look of annoyance scouring his perfect features, the harsh words of disgust and the sound of gravel spray as he drove away from me.
   Stupid jerk!
   Who needs him?
   I ignore the "you do" in the back of my mind and sniff. Lifting my head, I pick up my pace again as I enter a dark patch of road. The trees loom overhead and I try really hard not to think of ghosts and demons as my breath quickens.

   The distant sound of an engine distracts me. The faint glow of headlights appear behind me and I smile. Trent feels guilty. Yes! Man, was I going to give him hell for this.
   I glance behind me and disappointment sears my insides. The headlights are sitting way too low on the car to be Trent's. He drives a Jeep Cherokee, this car looked more like a sedan? Or maybe a sports car?
   I toy with the idea of sticking out my thumb as it draws near. I'm sure it would be safe enough. I'd just ask for a lift to Big Bear Village then walk from there. No big deal. Maybe I could even ask for a ride to L.A.. The idea of running away skirts through my brain as I squeeze my thumb inside my fist.
It fights to break free, but I won't let it. I even start filling my mind with every hitch hiking horror story I can think of. That works like a charm and my thumb relaxes into submission.
   The car is cruising down the hill towards me when a sudden fear rips up my spine. I can see it swerving out of the corner of my eye and turn to watch its erratic movements. I move to the very edge of the road, my boots pushing piles of dirt and stone off the edge of the embankment. My legs hit the guardrail. With eyes the size of dinner plates I watch the car swerve. Hasn't it seen me? Doesn't it know I'm vulnerable on the side of the road here?
   I turn to make an escape, but it's too late.
   The headlights illuminate my body for a second, before the car violently swerves away, but not before clipping me. Pain sears through my body and I scream as I'm thrown over the guardrail.
   It's like being in a tumble drier as I roll down the hill, scratching myself on pinecones and nature's debris. My descent comes to an abrupt end as I crash into a tree trunk. A loud crack rings like a gun shot inside my head, rattling my brain. I roll away from the tree with a groan and reach for my temple then scream as pain radiates up my arm. My stomach jerks and I feel its contents shifting north. I cover my mouth, but it's pointless.
   Out of breath, I try to shift away from my puke, but moving hurts too much. I lay back on the bumpy earth and look up at the sky. The stars are fuzzy and shifting wildly. I blink to bring them into focus, but that just makes it worse. I feel as though the world is falling on top of me. As the stars and treetops come crashing down I hear a young girl scream my name.

If you'd like to add Betwixt to your reading list, here's the link: Betwixt on Goodreads.

Keep an eye out next week for an interview with Nicole and another excerpt from the book. Thanks again for partying with me :)

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Betwixt Pre-Release Giveaway

Only two more weeks to go until Betwixt is online.
So, so uber excited. Can you tell?

Last week I started up the pre-release party by sharing the Betwixt book trailer. If you'd like to check it out, follow this link here.

Today, I would like to offer you the opportunity to enter the Betwixt Pre-Release Giveaway and be in with a chance to win a digital copy of Betwixt. I have five to giveaway so there are plenty of opportunities. Please help me spread the word!

Keep an eye out for posts over the next couple of weeks as I share excerpts from the book as well as character interviews. I'm so excited to have you join me for the countdown.

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thank You Derinda Love!

When I heard this blog tour was taking place, I just had to be a part of it. What an amazing thing to do.

Derinda Love you are an amazing person - so supportive and encouraging. I know I've only had a small amount of time getting to know you, but our few messages back and forth have been enough for me to see you have a big heart overflowing with generosity.

Thank you seems like such an insufficient word sometimes. I hope this tour is giving you an idea of how much we all appreciate you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thank you to all the people who have been following the tour and entering the prize draw. We couldn't do it without you guys. I hope you're having fun visiting all the sites and good luck in the giveaway!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Betwixt Book Trailer and Giveaway

I'm so excited!! Yes I am!

In less than three weeks, Betwixt will be available to the world. This project is very precious to me and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Today begins the start of my pre-release... well heck, let's go ahead and call it a party! Over the next few weeks I'll be posting excerpts from the book, character interviews and running a couple of giveaways.

I love watching book trailers and I adore making them, so I thought I'd start off with a bang and show you the BETWIXT BOOK TRAILER.

I also wanted to let you know about the Betwixt Goodreads Giveaway. You can enter here.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Betwixt by Melissa Pearl


by Melissa Pearl

Giveaway ends November 05, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
The giveaway ends the day the book is released. Yay!

I hope you have fun joining me for this party.

And I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped and supported me so far. There are many amazing readers out there reviewing Betwixt for me and getting ready to help me launch it world wide. Thank you a million times over for all that you are doing. You are much appreciated.

Friday, October 12, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Opportunities

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

Today the carni goers are discussing opportunities that indie publishing has given us. 

Well, where do I start?

My story goes like most authors probably does... I wanted to write, I wanted to share my books with the world. I learned a few lessons along the way and eventually started (correctly) looking for an agent. After a few years of trying and also improving my writing skills, I got to the point where I had to make a decision. Did I keep submitting my work in the hope I might one day get published, or did I take matters into my own hands and check out the indie route?

I took the plunge and jumped into the indie river... and I'm SO glad I did. Sure - I'm not getting the same sales numbers and exposure as a traditionally published author, but I love being in charge of my writing career. I have met so many amazing people, I have been able to write stories that inspire me and some of my readers, my books are getting great reviews and I am on my way to turning this "hobby" into a career :-)

So - what opportunities has the indie road presented to me?

- the chance to share my work with the world
- the chance to meet amazing authors and bloggers, some of which have become great friends
- the chance to learn and improve my skills as a writer and a marketer
- the opportunity to talk to students about writing and hopefully inspire them to follow their dreams
- the opportunity to own a business (I never in a million years would have thought I'd do that, but when you're an indie author, you own your work and therefore are plunged into the business of writing) I actually love keeping accounts and tracking my stats. I must have more geek in me than I realized :-)
- most importantly, it's given me the opportunity to write stories I love, because at the end of the day - why do we really do this? Because writing makes us come alive :-)

Are you an indie writer?
What opportunities has the indie road opened up for you?

To see what the other carni's have to say, check out the links below.