Friday, September 16, 2016

Cover Reveal: TIMELESS by Crystal Collier

Here it is, the beautiful cover for 
TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier! 

Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices 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, four 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, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Inspiration for the Soul #IWSG

The question of the month:

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Lately, my internal time clock has been oh so kind to wake me up in the wee hours of the morning. I've decided to go with it and use the time before I have to get ready for work or start my day to write. Since I'm a morning person anyway, this works out well. 

Onto insecurities. Well, I've had so much to juggle this year that insecurities have been shoved in a corner. When they rear the ugly head, I push them back. I just don't have the mental capacity to deal with them right now. The verdict is still out on if that is a good or bad thing. I'll let you know if I figure it out.

I did want to share a bit of inspiration. I was chatting with a friend recently about life and he made a comment that is so very true.

You only fail when you stop trying.

It resonated with me. Maybe because it was said at a time I needed to hear it. And even through we weren't talking about writing, it applies here too. So keep at it! Don't give up! If you do that, you are doing a great job and you should be proud of that.

In other news
Challenging Destiny is available on NetGalley this month. I'd be forever grateful for help spreading the word. I made up a quick tweet for those who'd like to share the news:

#BookBloggers! Challenging Destiny by @CherieColyer is on #NetGalley Get it today! #YAlit #PNR #angels #demons

How have you been? When do you find time to  write? Are you keeping your insecurities at bay?

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going. For those who aren't familiar with Insecure Writer's Support Group, just follow the link. It's a wonderful group. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Oh the places it went... or didn't #IWSG

Hi everyone! 

It's time to share our thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going. For those who aren't familiar with Insecure Writer's Support Group, just follow the link. It's a wonderful group

This month's question:

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

My first piece of writing was a middle grade fantasy titled Book of Shadows. A year or three later, the title changed, the plot shifted, it had a new beginning, and the characters were renamed. The thing I remember most about that time was the positive feedback I received from agents and editors. It didn't land me an agent or a publishing contract. Every few years, I'd dust if off and try polishing it up. But it wasn't quite working. So, this year I tossed the plot and started fresh. It's the novel I'm currently working on. 

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was perfect for an #IWSG post...

When it comes to writing, I'm sailing through quiet waters right now. My agent is looking for a home for a couple of my books, I have two novels I'm working on, and a couple of idea I hope to flush out one day. With work and family, that's all I can handle right now. Although, I do need to make more time for marketing my published books. I keep pushing marketing off, because I'm in a nice flow with that MG fantasy I mentioned above. And, well, let's face it, writing is so much more fun than marketing. 

In other news: 
Last month, I shared tips on writing for a young adult audience.  If you missed that post, you can click here to check it out.

How's your writing coming? Have any cool marketing tips? Are other things keeping you busy? Where's your first piece of writing?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cover Reveal: SPIKED by Jennifer Lane


Check out the sexy cover for SPIKED, third book in the Blocked Series by Jennifer Lane.

jennifer lane spiked cover

Spiked Blurb
They say university is the time to find yourself 
but I don’t need to find myself
Just want to find you

After watching his older siblings find their love matches at Highbanks University, Mateo Ramirez feels unlikely to follow in their footsteps. What girl would want him? Unlike his brother and sister, he battles diabetes and chooses music over sports. But at least he can write songs about his life—and the girl who caught his eye when their parents ran against each other for US President.

Hey, chica! Come conmigo
And baby, why don’t we go down under the bridge to the water
With you it can only get hotter

Jessica Monroe is a talented swimmer who dreams of representing Team USA at the Olympics. When she earns an athletic scholarship to Highbanks, she’s excited to attend the same school as the cute boy she met two years ago: Mateo. Too bad he’s not around when a teammate spikes her drink. Jessica may never trust men again.

Trust is a hard-to-earn thing
Just try to keep listening
Swallow down all of the unjust
Hollow my chest, my heart will bust

College years are the time to shake off the past and find your future. But will that future find Mateo and Jessica together? Dive in and immerse yourself in the eagerly anticipated conclusion to Jennifer Lane’s Blocked trilogy.

Click here to pre-Order your copy today.

Pre-Order Spiked today on Amazon US or Amazon UK 
Add Spiked to Goodreads
Also FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Check out the Blocked series on Amazon and catch up before Spiked releases!

jennifer lane banner
Blocked: Amazon US  | Amazon UK
Aced: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Streamline: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Connect with Jennifer Lane
Amazon | Facebook | 

Click here to Join the Online Release Party

Cover Reveal Hosted by Raven Publicity

Friday, July 15, 2016

Writing for a young adults audience

Photo credit
Teens are passionate readers, many falling in love with their favorite characters and often loving to hate the antagonist. It's these types of emotions that I hope to elicit from my readers, but just how does an adult write realistic stories for teens? We get to know our audience and then create compelling stories with characters they can relate to.

First, let's discuss character. The main character's age of any novel depends on who they are and what conflicts they'll face along the way. Getting to know your protagonist is the first step in developing them as a person. Below are a few writing exercises I've used to bring out my main character's personality and innermost thoughts:
  • Have your character write a letter either to you or to a supporting cast member in the story.
  • Write about your protagonist. This can be anything: a big event in her life, how she spent summer vacation, a typical day. What you write may not end up in the story, but it will help you get to know who she is as a person.
  • Create character sheets that not only includes basic features (age, color of eyes, etc.), but notes fears, allergies, likes and dislikes. Answer questions like “I love my mom, but …” “My dad always…” “I wish…” and “If I could change one thing…” (For more tips on character sheets, click here.

Now that you know your character, you need to focus on voice. Voice is everything in a teen novel, because if your characters don't sound like teenagers, you're going to lose your reader's attention. So what is voice? It's word choice, style, and reflection. It's seeing the world through a teen's eyes. To help bring out your character's voice, bring things back to them. For instance, a character may comment on a poster they have hanging in their bedroom: "I can't believe I still have that unicorn poster on the wall." Or they may notice that a person's eyes are the same green as their grandmothers.

To improve the authenticity of your character's voice, visit places where teens hang out. Observe their actions, body language, and speech. Take a notepad with you and jot down what they do and say. Okay, this may seem a little creepy, but as writers, we watch people all the time anyway. (If you're not, you should be!) Besides, I'm not suggesting you sit across from them with a notepad and pen like you're directing the scene. Blend in. Have a cup of coffee and a book in front of you. Wear headphones with no music. Attend high school sports, plays and other events that are open to the public. Be where teens are and your characters voice will benefit from it.

And when talking about writing for a young adult audience, I can't forget to mention plot. The first thing I'd like to say on this is...

Hook is not plot. Hook is what draws your reader in.
Plot is what carries your reader from page one to the end of the book.

How do I develop plot? I think about what is important to teens the same age as my protagonist. Then, I ask myself if the conflicts make sense to a person this age, and I remind myself of the following:
  • Teens are complex.
  • Include inner monologue in all my scenes.
  • It's okay for things not to be black and white. There can be gray areas in young adult.
  • My character should grow during the course of his or her story.
  • Don't be vague. The story can't be absent of details.
  • Write from the heart, because if I don't my readers will know.
I hope you found some of my tips helpful. If you have any tips you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Checking in


We've reached the halfway point of 2016. I figured this was a good time to check how I'm doing on my goals. I'm happy to say I finished the first draft of one WIP. I'm really excited about this book. It's my baby, and while I say this about my other books, too, the characters in this story are the ones who got me hooked on writing. They've grown and changed over the years, and so has their relationships and the intricate details of the plot. This version is a fresh look into their exciting world. It's all new with lots of fun, magical, and sometimes dark things happening. Next up: polishing the manuscript to smooth out the rough spots and really make it shine.

I've done okay in the patience department. My fingers are still crossed that my agents finds a good home for the novel she has. And I have a few other projects in the works. 

How's your writing coming? Are you on track with your goals? Enjoying the summer?

Thanks for stopping by!

This has been an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. It's where writers share their thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going. If you would like to know more about the group, just follow the link