Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guess What I'm Reading!

video

Golden Blood is available on Amazon and Create Space eStore. It will also be filtering down to other online distributors over the next few weeks.

E-mail address: melissapearlguyan (at) gmail (dot) com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Have you ever read your stuff aloud... in public?!?!

As you can probably tell from my little ?!?! in the title, I find the idea of reading aloud in public just a touch intimidating.

I mean, I read aloud to my son every night, but he's four and adores me, no matter how stupid I am :)
Besides, I'm not reading my stuff to him!

The reason I am bringing this up, is because I have been visiting local school libraries to see if they would be interested in stocking my books. Most of them have said yes and also asked if I would like to come in and do a reading or speak to a couple of English classes about writing. Wow - such a great opportunity!

... and I'm totally freaking out :)

My first reading is this Friday.

Heart palpitations!!

I know I will be fine. I know that some of the kids who hear my stuff will not like it, while other kids will think it's awesome. Hopefully I'll have more of the latter.

I guess it's the risk we take as writers. We put ourselves out there to entertain or teach others... and we have to believe that what we share is good. We work hard to produce something magical. I guess I just need to trust myself, the reviews I'm getting and on Friday... read my little heart out :)

Have you ever read your work in public before?
How was it?
Any advice?

I hope everyone has a great start to their week. Happy reading and writing everyone :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Name That Tune

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


This week is all about songs that inspire. Now, I know many authors who like to listen to music as they write. I SO can't do that. I find it pulls me out of my writing zone and I get lost in the music.


However, I have been inspired plenty of times by different songs. I'm driving in the car, listening to my music and scenes will be flashing around in my brain. 


Here are a few off the top of my head...


Far Away by Nickleback - I have a fantastic scene played out for this one. Every time I hear it, I imagine my MC going through the emotional turmoil of searching for her lost love and finally finding him. 




Letters From War by Mark Schultz - I've actually planned an entire story around this song. I found the whole concept of a mother writing letters to her soldier son during WW2 totally inspiring. 



Fire Starter by Prodigy - This song is awesome for any fight scenes. When I was first coming up with the character of Gemma for the Time Spirit Trilogy, I would listen to this song and picture her kicking butt in her cool, calm manner. So fantastic!




 (By the way - I don't actually love the video clip for this song, but I just wanted to give you a feel for the music.)


There are many, many more, but of course I can't think of them right now. Typical :)
I'm sure the other carnival goers will have plenty of awesome music to share. Make sure you check them out :)


And don't forget to check out the latest news on the YA Indie Carnival site.





Thursday, February 23, 2012

Golden Blood has a NEW COVER!

As some of you know, I received varied feedback on the original Golden Blood cover. It didn't seem to be hitting the mark with teens. I decided that since I was going to put the Time Spirit Trilogy out in paperback, why not have new covers to go with them. So the graphic designer and I, went back to the drawing board.

It has been a really challenging process, but together - the wonderful Amanda Crane and I - have come up with something awesome. I also have to thank Camilla for being such a beautiful model for us. You've brought Gemma to life.

I hope you like it...



I should also mention that the paperback copy of Golden Blood is being released March 1st and to celebrate this event - A Tale of Many Reviews is hosting a blog tour for me. Julie - you are amazing. Thank you so much for your help.


I hope to see you all there. Please help me spread the word. There are so many wonderful blogs participating in this tour. I've checked them all out and feel very honoured to be featuring on them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's COVER REVEAL Time!!

I was going to show you the new cover for Golden Blood today, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

TODAY I have the privilege of directing you to my other blog YAlicious (co-authored with Brenda Howson).

There you will have the delight of seeing our super cool cover - designed by Brenda - for Forbidden Territory. (I know I'm sounding ridiculously biased here, but I really love this cover... especially the creepy eyes in the background!!)

Forbidden Territory Cover Reveal

Feel free to leave comments. We'd love to know what you think :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Can't Find A Con

I was going to entitle this post - The Pros and Cons of Goodreads, but I realized I can't actually think of any cons.

For those of you who don't know - Goodreads is a website all about books. It is so awesome. Signing up is a breeze. Once you've done that you can rate books, check out a plethora of reviews and ratings and start adding to your reading list.

The pros are many.

As a reader...
- when you sign up you only have to rate 20 books you've already read and then you have access to pages and pages of recommendations. I have found plenty of awesome books by searching through the different genre selections
- there is also Listopia - an awesome function that lists books in areas you are interested in. I always go for YA romance type lists and have found a ton of books I'd like to read from
- the ratings and reviews are readily available on each book, making it easy to decide whether or not you'd like to read it
- you can also make friends, see what they are reading and get great ideas from them
- there is the opportunity to become fans of your favourite authors and keep in touch with what they are doing
- authors can add their blog feed into Goodreads, so it can become almost a one stop site in some ways :)
- but my favourite feature is that lovely little 'to read' button. It saves me having ridiculously long sticky notes all over my desk top with books I want to read. I now have it compiled in a nice, neat list on Goodreads.

As a writer...
- the benefits are immense
- you can add your books and ask people to rate and review them on the site. As your ratings increase you get an average score. The more ratings you have, the higher the chances are of your book being noticed
- your books can be added to Listopia - Golden Blood & Black Blood have made it on to Best YA Romance and Best Time-Traveling Romance lists. The more votes you have, the higher your book climbs up the list and your chance of exposure is greater
- as I said earlier, you can link in your blog feed, add quotes from your books, build up an interesting profile, send messages to friends thanking them for good reviews... and many other things
- you can invite people to events eg: the release of your books
- you have the opportunity to get involved with discussion groups or start one of your own
- you can also run giveaways
- and if you want, you can even sell your books through the site

There is plenty more I haven't touched on, but that is a start. If you're not signed up to Goodreads already, I highly recommend that you do.

If you are a member of Goodreads, what are your thoughts? Do you like the site as much as me? Or have you found a con?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Celebrate The Good Times

Being a writer is like living on a roller coaster. You go from highs to lows. Your emotions are twisted and cork screwed until you feel completely wrung out. Some days you live on a high, other days you have to struggle through a low. It can take the smallest thing to swing things too - one great review, one bad review, a small burst of sales, a dry patch. Doubts can jump on you without warning, which is why it is important to celebrate the good times.

I have had a fantastic week. So many good things have happened and I really wanted to tell you about them. Please don't think I am boasting in anyway by sharing this stuff with you. I am simply doing a happy dance and wanted to include you guys... and encourage every writer out there to celebrate the little things. Life is too short to do anything else.

So - why has my week been so great?

1. Pure Blood was released on Thursday. The Time Spirit Trilogy is now complete and it feels so good. I also just received my first review - 5 stars. A good start :)


2. I have had two fantastic interviews on two amazing blogs.

Dragonfly Scrolls

Parchment Place

These girls are great writers and their questions were so much fun to answer.

3. Golden Blood and Black Blood made first and second place on the Best YA Romance list on Goodreads. I've never been 1st on anything before and it was such a buzz to see my books up there.


4. I was invited to join Triberr, which seems like an awesome new initiative that is set up to help bloggers reach a wider audience. It does take a while to get your head around how it works, but there is plenty of help out there. I think the benefits will be worth it.

5. The lovely Natalie Kroll shared a great article from Goodreads about how to reach a wider audience and the best way to get your book added to people's reading lists.

So - what am I really celebrating?

I have a bunch of supportive friends/readers who want to seem me do well and are doing their best to help promote my work.
I have written books that people seem to be enjoying.
I am learning new things everyday and slowly, but surely, I am going to get there.

Do you have anything to celebrate this week?
I'd love to hear your news :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Kiss & Tell

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


This week is all about the kiss and tell. Yes - that's what we writers do. We come up with steamy or sweet or passionate kissing scenes and we tell everyone... in detail.

I love it.

There is nothing better than a well timed, perfectly written kissing scene.

Happy sigh.

Do you have any that pop to mind?

I have a few I can think of.
But just for fun (and because I did a kissing post last Friday), I thought I'd choose a kiss scene that wasn't necessarily romantic.
Here is a little something from Pure Blood, the final book in the Time Spirit Trilogy.

Just to give you some background, Gemma's parents have invited Simeon, an exchange student, into their home. He seems like a nice enough guy, but Harrison is spitting tacs and Gemma is struggling to know whether or not to trust him. It doesn't help that her mother is forcing her to spend every waking minute with the guy.


   It was dark by the time the movie finished. Unsettled and busting for tomorrow to arrive, Gemma rose from the couch and bade Simeon a quick farewell.
   “Hey.” He grabbed her hand and stood. “Thanks for a great weekend. I had a really good time.”
   “No problem.” Gemma tried to pull her hand free, but he dragged her into his arms. Before she could protest his lips were on hers. They felt hot, foreign and so hungry for more Gemma nearly capitulated. If they hadn’t felt so wrong, who knows what she would have done. Pushing him away, she stepped back and wiped her lips with the back of her hand.
   “What are you doing?”
   “What, I can’t give you a good night kiss?” He said with an easy smile.
   “No, you can’t.” Her heart was thundering a mile a minute as she tried to rein in her emotions. Clasping her indignation, she used its force to pull her body tall. “I have a boyfriend.”



Don't forget to check out the latest news on the YA Indie Carnival site.

Also, check out what the other carni kissing scenes...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Trilogy Is Now Complete

Yay - it's done!

Pure Blood is now online!!!!

You can pick it up from Smashwords or Amazon.

Man - this is a really weird feeling. As I said yesterday, this has been a long journey and it feels so awesome to have the final book out there. To be honest, I'm the most nervous about this one. I just really hope people like the way I've ended this trilogy. I guess I'll just have to wait and find out :)

Just a few thank yous before I announce the winners of the Pure Blood Giveaway...
THANK YOU to all the people who have read the books. So many of you have taken the time to tell me how much you enjoyed them and I really appreciate that. And for all the people who have gone the extra mile and reviewed the books for me - double thanks :)
THANK YOU to Amanda Crane who has designed all the covers and is currently working on the new paperback covers. You are so awesome. You have never missed a deadline, you've always tweaked and adjusted until I was satisfied and thank you just doesn't seem sufficient. You've done a great job :)
THANK YOU to my family and bestie. You guys are amazing at putting up with me constantly talking about my writing, encouraging me when I'm going through a slump and just being there. I love you guys so much.
Lastly (before I gush right off the screen :)) THANK YOU to my writing buddies. Inklings rocks. Connie you are awesome too. I have met so many cool people along the way and I'm enjoying working with you and learning as we go. Thanks for all your support and cheerleading.

Okay - now for the winners.

Congratulations....

Natasha (you won two prizes!!)
Kelly
Cassie

I have e-mailed you all with your prize information. I really hope you enjoy the book(s).

In the meantime, I am going to be spreading this news far and wide - feel free to help me do that. Keep an eye out for another giveaway coming up soon and my blog tour in March. I'll share those details next week!

Happy reading everyone :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saying Goodbye

I thought I'd do a little post about what it feels like to say goodbye.
Confused yet?

Well - as most of you know, Pure Blood is being released very, VERY soon. (Eeeekkkk!!)

I am so nervous and excited all at the same time. The trilogy is finally complete. It means if someone hasn't read Golden Blood yet, they can get their hands on all three books without having to wait. One reader told me the other day that's she's desperate for Pure Blood, because she feels like she's halfway through a great book and she needs to know the end.

The end.

That's what I mean about saying goodbye. I have been hanging out with Gemma and Harrison for three years now. Sure - I've had a couple of breaks in the middle, but these guys have occupied a large chunk of my head space and now they are leaving me.

Or are they?

Do we ever really say goodbye to characters we've spent so much time creating? They become a part of who we are. In fact for Gemma and Harrison, I've actually come up with three more stories I could write for them. I'm not sure I ever will, but it's nice to know they have a place in my brain and I can play with their stories from time to time.

I guess that's why I'm not feeling super sad that I won't be working with them for much longer (still have final edits to do on paperbacks. Technically there should be no mistakes, but you never know. I've read plenty of published books that have them :)). I'll also have promotional stuff leading up to the paperback releases, so it's not like I'm putting them on the top shelf yet, but I won't be writing any new scenes involving them. I guess I might feel differently when I sign off the final paperback in May, but for now, I'm actually feeling kind of peaceful.

The truth is, I'm excited about moving forward and hanging out with different characters and stories for a while.

As a writer - have you ever felt sad finishing up a novel or a series?
As a reader - have you ever closed a book and wished it wasn't the end?

If you haven't entered the Pure Blood Giveaway, this is your last chance. I'm so looking forward to seeing Pure Blood online. There are a ton of exciting things cropping up for me over the next few months and it's so great to have you guys along for the ride.

My next post will be announcing the winners for the giveaway and shamelessly plugging the Time Spirit Trilogy. See you real soon!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Meet Harrison Granger

For those of you who have read Golden Blood, you will know all about Harrison Granger. He is one of my favourite characters in the trilogy.

Gemma can really kick some butt, but Harrison is the strength she needs to deal with everything. Without him she would be trapped in a life she never asked for.

So, I thought it would be fun for you to get to know Harrison a little better.

Before I interview him, I'll give you an image. If these books were ever made into movies, Harrison Granger would be played by.... Alex Pettyfer.

This is just how I picture him in my head, the way he moves, the expressions on his face... his gorgeous hair. Love it :)

So let's get this interview started.
(NB: In order to avoid major spoilers, this interview is based around Golden Blood.)

Harrison, thanks for joining us. You've had an interesting start to your year. What's it like dating a time spirit?
You can't miss the blush as he grins and lets out a chuckle.
Meeting Gemma has been a trip. She's amazing. I mean, really amazing. Not just the stuff she can do, but who she is. I know it sounds weird for a 17 year old guy to be totally in love already, but I know she's the one. Man, that sounds pathetic! He chuckles. What can I say, I'm one love sick puppy.

I guess it must be hard caring so much about someone you're not allowed to be with.
Yeah, it really is. I wish her parents would get that we're made for each other, but they are pretty stubborn. I think I could win them over if they'd just give me a chance.

You seem to have wrapped your head around the whole time traveling thing pretty easily. Most people would run screaming, I'm sure.
He chuckles again and shakes his head. When she told me on the beach that day, I knew she wasn't lying. For some reason, it just made sense in my head. I know that sounds bizarre, but it seriously did not freak me out. I thought it was really cool... I still do. Although I'd love it more if she actually enjoyed traveling. She really hates it when her toes start tingling.

I guess being pulled across the line yourself helped you buy into it as well. How was that experience?
Not great, to be honest. I don't regret that it happened, because I got to see what Gem goes through all the time, but I never want to have that happen again. I thought I was going to die. When she disappeared without me, I thought that was it.  And then seeing her... He clears his throat and looks away.


Let's move on. How about a nice easy question... What's your favourite dessert?
I like that question. He grins. I don't think there is anything better than my mom's cookie dough cheesecake. It's the best thing I've ever tasted.


So a bit of a junk food fan?
Totally.

Must be weird dating a health freak then.
He laughs. Yeah, she tells me off a lot. Not always out loud, but I can see her cute little nose wrinkling. She'll kill me for telling you this, but I actually persuaded her to share my chocolate sundae the other night. It wasn't hard, she practically ate the whole thing... then felt bad for the rest of the night. He rolls his eyes and smiles.


I like that story. So what's something we don't know about you yet? You don't secretly eat carrot sticks when she's not watching, do you?
He laughs. No way. Um... I don't really have many secrets. I think honesty is always the best policy. But let me think... how 'bout this? My mom gave me a wooden sword for my 5th birthday and I used to wear that thing everywhere. I found this old belt in her closet and punched holes in it so it would fit me right, then I'd shove the sword in it and strut around thinking I was this gallant knight. I didn't give it up until I was about eight and got beaten up, by my next door neighbour, for being a dork.

You've had quite a few neighbours growing up. How do you find the constant upheaval?
I don't love it. You feel like you're just starting to settle somewhere and the moving van arrives again. Ever since 9th grade I've been hanging out for college. That's a minimum of 4 years in the same location. Mom promised we'd stay here until I graduate, but I'm always wary. I get really nervous when I see that look in her eye, especially now that I have Gemma. There's no way I'm leaving her.

You seem very adamant in your relationship. You two have a very strong bond. What do you think has caused that?
We have been through a lot together, but it's more than that. I can't really explain it. I know people talk about love at first sight and how powerful it can be. I almost feel like even if I didn't want to, I'd be in love with Gemma. It's like we were predestined by a higher power. I don't know. I just feel like whatever life throws at us, we're going to make it. We have to, because we were made to be together.
I'm starting to sound love sick again, aren't I? He shakes his head. But everything I've said is true. He has a tender look in his eye as he smiles. Gemma's obviously never far from his mind.


Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. We look forward to seeing how the rest of your year plays out.


If you'd like to find out some more please enter the chance to win the entire Time Spirit Trilogy...
http://melissapearl.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/pure-blood-giveaway.html

Can't wait to have Pure Blood online for you this Thursday!! Stay tuned :)



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Is One Genre Enough?

I have the awesome opportunity of featuring on Indies Unlimited today.
I was asked to write a post on something that interests me and I chose genre hopping.
I would love to hear what people think about my thoughts :)

Hope to see you there!

Is One Genre Enough? by Melissa Pearl

Friday, February 10, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Some like it hot

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


This week we are looking at steamy excerpts from YA novels.

As a YA writer I am very aware that my audience is young and impressionable. I have certain lines that I believe don't need to be crossed and therefore I don't like to delve into the hot and steamy unless I feel it is absolutely necessary.

I don't have a problem with reading excerpts like that in books and to be honest, I think parents should be vetting what young teens read anyway, so it's kind of up to their discretion.

I don't really want to promote sex in high school. However I am not dumb enough to think that my characters are not typical teenagers who are passionate, emotional beings... and there is nothing wrong with some really great kissing :)

Here's my favourite kiss from Golden Blood (Bk #1 in Time Spirit Trilogy).
Gemma has just told Harrison what she really is...


    Harrison rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand. “You think your power has anything to do with this fire feeling?”
    Gemma shrugged. “Who knows.”
    “It’s definitely a sign though, right?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “A sign we should be together.”
    “Too bad we can’t.” Gemma let go of his hand, trying to ignore the depression that was pressing down on her.
    “Why not?”
     Gemma looked at him. “Haven’t you been listening to anything I just said?” She stood. Wiping the sand from her butt, she walked away from him, fighting for breath.
    “Gemma, I heard every word.”
    She turned to see him rising from the sand, looking confused.
    “Then you know why!”
    A small smile jumped over his lips then faded as he took a step towards her. “I know that you finally trust me enough to tell me the truth.”
    Gemma’s heart skipped as he took another step forward.
    “I know I want to be with you.”
    He took another step.
    “How are you okay with this?” Gemma took a step back. “I can travel through time!”
    Harrison shrugged and closed the distance between them. “Hey, I was cool with alien, this isn’t much different.”
    “I’m a total freak!”
   “Yeah.” He grinned as he thread his fingers through her belt loops and pulled her towards him. “But you’re my freak.” His breath tickled her skin as he leaned towards her and whispered, “Face it, Hart, you’re stuck with me. I knew the second I touched you my life had changed and you knew it too.”
    “And, um… how do you know that?”
    His eyes lit with amusement. “Your birthmark’s showing.”
    Gemma couldn’t swallow down her gasp. It came out all breathy as she reached for her shirt and tried to yank it across her collarbone. He stopped her with quick fingers. She kept her eyes on his face as he moved her shirt aside and gently slid his thumb over her skin. It burned hot.
    His fingers lingered there for a moment as if wondering at the searing sensation then began moving. They danced over her flesh and came to rest on the back of her neck. His thumb gently rubbed the edge of her jaw.
    She could barely breathe as he leaned towards her with a soft smile. Their lips met for a delicate introduction. Gemma had never felt anything like it in her life. A tender flame danced along her soft skin then grew with fervor as Harrison deepened the kiss. His tongue was warm and delicious.
    The world around her became fuzzy as every sense in her body drew itself into the kiss. It was magic… and she knew that one taste was never going to be enough. There was no way she could live without this. The implications of that fact were deadly. 

So what's your take on the hot and steamy in YA novels?

Don't forget to check out the latest news on the YA Indie Carnival site.

Also, check out what the other carni's have to say...