Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Teaser: Embrace

With December 20th fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to do some Tuesday teasers. One of the things I love about paranormal novels is knowing that just about anything can be hiding in the dark...

Kaylee’s fingers tightened like a vise as she took a step closer to me so that our shoulders touched. Kaylee’s eyes were wide and focused on the far end of the parking lot. My gaze followed hers. “What is it?”
The street lamp flickered on and off, creating odd shadows among the cars parked there.
“Who is that?” Kaylee whispered.
            […]
“Kaylee, there’s no one there.”




Don't miss out on the chance to win fun prizes! RSVP up for the Launch Party by clicking here and I'll send you a reminder the week of the party! More details can be found here.



Add EMBRACE to your TBR on GoodReads 




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My debut novel: Embrace

Coming December 20, 2011
a teen paranormal romance
by Cherie Colyer


Sometimes you end up hurting the ones you love. 
You find you can't save them or yourself.

                                                                Embrace 


Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. 

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. 

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. 

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. 




Add EMBRACE to your TBR on GoodReads 

I think my publisher, Omnific Publishing, did an awesome job on the cover. It’s simple, yet captures the emotions of a girl on the verge of discovering something that will change her life forever.



I really loved writing this story. I think it was because I could easily relate to Madison and her hatred of change. Up until recently I had myself convinced that change didn’t bother me, but after reviewing years of evidence I’ll admit that’s just not true. What evidence you ask? Well, there’s the roof on my house. When we had it replaced we went with a different color and as soon as I saw the house with the new roof I hated it. My immediate solution to this dilemma was not to look up when I was outside.

Go ahead and take a moment to laugh, because I know how ridiculous that sounds.

Thankfully, the color grew on me and now I really do like it. Another example would be that I’m generally a very private person, so going to a meeting with a group of strangers to read a few pages of something I wrote was WAY out of my comfort zone. I’m very grateful to my husband who encouraged me to go to that first meeting and then to keep going and I’m also grateful to the writers at the critique group for being supportive and offering not only their advice on ways to improve the story, but for pointing out the good in my writing too. Even blogging was a big change for me (being a private person and all), but here I am sharing a little more about myself. 

If I hadn’t embraced changed, I wouldn’t be where I am today – getting ready to celebrate the release of my debut novel – and I’d still be looking down when I walked outside. To celebrate, I’m throwing a virtual launch party. I hope you’ll join me!


To celebrate the release of Embrace
I'm throwing a Virtual Launch Party and I'm inviting everyone to come!

Will you join me?
When: December 20, 2011
Where: On Your Blog
What: A celebration of the release of EMBRACE
And did I mention there will be prizes?

Here's How to Join the Party (pick one!):
1) Write your own post about embracing change.
Share a story like the ones above about embracing change. It can be something small, like a new hair style that helped you feel like a whole new person to something big like a new job or moving away from home for the first time. I’m hoping these posts will brighten everyone’s day as they get ready for the holidays.

2) Hop around the virtual party and just hang out.





And there's a cool badge:


Photobucket
You can right-click on the badge to download it, 
or copy and paste this HTML code into a widget for your sidebar:

<a href=" http://www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com " target="_blank"><img src=" http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6237/6326675995_b19612c874_m.jpg " border="0" alt="Photobucket" /></a>

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week in review

This has been a productive week for me. I interviewed Laura Crawford, author of the picture book The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving from A to Z, on my blog. And I did my first author interview with Jessica Therrien. You can read it on her blog Imagination to Publication. I've also been getting ready for the release of my debut novel Embrace. Which is a mere 32 days away. I think this calls for a teaser...

His bedroom only added to his mystique. […]Add shackles and bars, and you’d have one hell of a dungeon.

I know it's a short one. I'll be posting more as it gets closer to December 20th. :)

Today's Omnific Publishing's blog bounce. Hop along and find out what others have been working on.

Here's how the bounce works: 

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.


And remember to visit OmnificPublishing.blogspot.com to see this month's 99 cent deals.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z

With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought it would be fun to talk with Laura Crawford, author of one of my favorite Thanksgiving picture books, The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z. Laura isn’t just an amazing author, she’s a good friend and a wonderful person.

The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving from A to Z
by Laura Crawford


From Amazon:
In this alphabet picture book, author Laura Crawford brings the Pilgrims' story to light by balancing classic Thanksgiving themes with clever lessons about the Pilgrims' trials and triumphs. Noting American ideals like "F is for freedom" alongside the realities of Pilgrim life, such as "H is for hardship," as well as teaching geography ("A is for Atlantic Ocean"), cultural facts ("W is for Wampanoag tribe"), and historical names ("M is for Miles Standish"), this book is a wonderful vocabulary builder and a fun way to pass the Pilgrims' story on to another generation.


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I love that Laura has found a way to making learning about the Pilgrims’ journey from England to Massachusetts fun. For instance, did you know there were 102 pilgrims who made the journey on the Mayflower or that the women baked a weekly supply of bread in a large community oven? Thanks to Laura, I do now.

Please help me welcome Laura.


Cherie: Where did you get the idea for your book?

Laura: I was inspired to write The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving From A to Z when I was teaching 2nd grade. We were doing a Thanksgiving unit and I needed to teach the history of the holiday. When I went to the library, I found that the books were all way too easy or way too difficult for 7 year-olds. Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I wrote my own. It was finished by the following year, so I printed it out and had my students illustrate it.

Cherie: I love that you decided to write the book you needed. And what a fun project for your students! The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving From A to Z has a lot of great information about the pilgrims’ voyage to America. What type of research did you do before writing the book?

Laura: It took a long time to research this book. I read Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, one of Pilgrim leaders. It was by far one of the most challenging books I have ever read in my life! Not fun. I also contacted the museums in Massachusetts and they sent me information. Most of my research was done through the internet and by checking books from the library. Since I only need the most basic information, it was not too hard to find…except for K, Q and X. They are officially my LEAST favorite letters of the alphabet. Every time I do an ABC book, they are the most challenging.

Cherie: You know, I hated having to find examples of words with those letters when I was in school, so I can sympathize. Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

Laura: I usually have an idea….and then do nothing about it for a long time! Then I start reading and watching videos. Since I do a lot of history books, I watch the History Channel and the Biography Channel. It seems like an idea percolates in my head for a long time, and when I actually start typing, it goes pretty fast. Then I let it sit for awhile before my writing groups get to see it…several times!

Cherie: Percolating ideas: I love it! What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

Laura: Oh that’s easy…..mashed potatoes!  Haha. 
As far as the book goes, I’d say Squanto.  I foresee a Squanto book in my future.

Cherie: Funny that you could answer that so easily. I’m still trying to figure out my favorite part of the holiday. It might be the turkey, I like nibbling on it for days. Or maybe the yams. Definitely the desserts. Now I’m making myself hungry.

Young children say the darnedest things and I’ve read many of your Facebook posts that reflect this. Have you read your story to children? Can you share with us some of their comments about the book?

Laura: I’ve read the book to many children, but I can’t remember anything funny they’ve said to me, but I always tell them about the mistake in my book. On the page with C is for Clothing, you will read that the Pilgrims did not wear buckles.  When Pelican Publishing sent me the galleys to approve, there was a huge buckle on the page with R is for Plymouth Rock.  Well, I called them and freaked out. They took the giant buckle off the shoe…but nobody else (including me) noticed that there are buckles on 3 other pages.  So spread the word…the Pilgrims did NOT have buckles!  And the moral of the story: take your time and look closely at ALL illustrations before approving them.

Cherie: Oh, that is a great story. I remember reading that the Pilgrims didn’t have buckles, and I didn’t notice that some of the pictures included them. What a great tip for writers.

When I was young, we used to play pilgrim or the Indian? I was always an Indian. How about you, when you were young, were you a Pilgrim or an Indian?

Laura: Not really….I wanted to be Wonder Woman when I was young! Haha

Cherie: Can you imagine Wonder Woman sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner with the Pilgrims and Indians? ** pauses to imagine how that would go ** You have a few picture books out. Which was the most fun to write?  Which was the most difficult to write? 

Laura: Hmmm….that is a hard question!  I think the Postcard series was the most fun to write because the main character is so cute and spunky (and based on my niece).  I did have fun doing In Arctic Waters because I love cumulative tales and animals, although I’m not a very good rhymer.  I think the most challenging was The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving From A to Z because I had to make the alphabet fit the chronological order of events. I bet I rearranged my letters for that book about 20 times (and I’m not exaggerating!)

Thank you so much for interviewing me!!  Happy Thanksgiving to you….

Cherie: Thanks for stopping by! And a Happy Gobble Gobble Day to you too!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Past the panic

Ever have a to-do list that seems to be getting longer and longer even though you are crossing things off of it? That's how the last two weeks have been for me. I'll admit, I had a slight panic attack, but thanks to my amazing publishing team, Kayla to be specific, and to my wonderful Omnific sisters I'm back on track.

That said, this week's post is a bit short and I apologize about that.

If you haven't already, hop over to last week's post for a sneak peek at the cover of EMBRACE and for the first teaser by clicking here (or page down to my last post). More news to come, but in the meantime Omnific Publishing is hosting their blog bounce. I hope you'll bounce along and see what other authors are up to!


For more information on Omnific Publishing's
Author! Author! Blog Bounce click here


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Embrace has a cover! Plus there's a teaser...

My teen novel EMBRACE is on schedule for its release next month. Revisions are done, the book trailer is close to being released, and I've been diligently working on the launch party. Today, I get to share with you the cover...


I was so excited when I saw it, and there under the title is my name. It's a great feeling and I think my publisher did an awesome job on it. To celebrate, I thought I'd post a teaser - a little something to wet your appetite:

          Teaser:

We stepped onto the landing. Wispy white clouds brushed a powder blue sky. The breeze was light, pulling my long hair away from my face. The sunlight sparkled off the water like a sea of silver and white confetti.
Isaac took my hands in his, lacing our fingers together, and backed me up until I was pinned against the windows. His mouth tugged upward into the sly grin of a fox.
“Want to try again?”
[…]
“Sure,” I replied, doing my best to pretend it was no big deal. Something we did all the time with no effort at all. Like normal couples. Only, we weren’t so normal.


I'll be posting more teasers and news on giveaways later this month. Hope you'll stop back by!


Plus today is Omnific Publishing's Author! Author! Blog Bounce. Be sure to stop by their blog to learn about their new sale items, three great books for only .99 cents!

Now onto the bounce...


Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!


This is a Blog Hop!




You are next... Click here to enter This list will close in 18 hrs, 9 min (11/3/2011 11:59 PM CST)

What is a blog hop?
Get the code here...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest post: Please help me welcome Susan Kaye Quinn

I’m pleased today to have Susan on my blog celebrating the launch of her new book. Susan is not only a wonderful writer, but she’s a terrific friend and I’m fortune enough to have her in one of my critique groups. When I found out her novel OPEN MINDS was going to be available this year I was very excited because I’ve been dying to read the entire story.

Susan also has a wonderful blog. I secretly stalk it because she is always sharing invaluable tips and information. You'll see what I mean once you read her guest post.

Without further delay...

Facing Revisions When It Feels Like Being on the Rack
by Susan Kaye Quinn

The great thing about improving your craft and making outlines and sending your manuscript out to round after round of critique partners is that you find lots of ways your story can improve. Unfortunately, this also means having to change actual words in your manuscript, cutting scenes and even rewriting whole character arcs. It's painful and makes you wonder why you signed up for another tour through the meat grinder.

It also makes you want to cheat.

After several early drafts of my new young adult paranormal/SF novel Open Minds, I realized that the setting of my opening was a cliché. Now I'm not one of those writers who thinks that clichés are bad. I think of them more as shorthand. If you need something quick and easy, to send a clear message to the reader about a character (usually) or a setting (on occasion) or a conflict (almost never), you can use a cliché to quickly get the message across and then move on. Clichés are different than tropes, which are well loved story elements that can be used, abused, and turned inside out to GREAT affect in storytelling. Use tropes and use them well! But clichés you have to use with extra special care.

At this point in drafting Open Minds, I had already reworked the opening many, many times, getting it just right. I didn't want to revise the whole thing —again—just because it happened to start in a cliché setting (a high school hallway).

The justifications began.

My cliché wasn't really a cliché because this hallway wasn't any ordinary hallway. It didn't matter if my opening was cliché because everything else in the scene was very NOT cliché. I like breaking the rules; breaking the rules is good; I could break the rules for this one. And so on.

It is certainly possible to use cliché openings. For example, Hunger Games opens with Katniss waking up, the top cliché opening, right after having a dream or finding a dead body. It was absolutely a cliché, but it was done so brilliantly it never occurred to me that was a clichéd open until someone pointed it out to me. Suzanne Collins is an incredible writer. She can pull that kind of thing off and sell millions of books.

Me, not so much.

So, I sucked in a deep breath and resolved to rewrite the opening again, changing the setting so that it wasn't any cliché I had ever heard of. And that revision, without question, made the opening better. I had to stretch and think hard about what would draw the reader immediately into Kira's world.

Only later did I learn a great "rule" about breaking the rules from writing instructor Kathy Steffen at a Write by the Lake retreat: only break the rules when it makes your job as a writer harder, not easier.

As a general rule, anytime you have to work harder as a writer, your reader and story will benefit.

You can judge the result for yourself by checking out the first chapter of Open Minds. And yes, we eventually get to the hallway. But we don't start there. :)


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OpenMinds_cover_100.jpgWhen everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye Quinn is available in e-book (Amazon US(also UKFrance and Germany)Barnes & NobleSmashwordsand print (AmazonCreatespace, alsoautographed copies available from the author).
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The Story of Open Minds (linked posts)

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PRIZES!
Susan Kaye Quinn is giving away an Open Books/Open Minds t-shirt, mug, and some fun wristbands to celebrate the Virtual Launch Party of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)! (Check out the prizes here.)



Three ways to enter (you can have multiple entries):

1)  Leave a comment here or at the Virtual Launch Party post

2)  Tweet (with tag #keepingOPENMINDS)

Example: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. #keepingOPENMINDS @susankayequinn #SF #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds
Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds

3)  Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn)
       Example: Celebrate the launch of paranormal/SF novel OPEN MINDS by 
       @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn for a chance to win Open Books/Open Minds 
       prizes! http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds

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