Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Launch: OPPRESSION by Jessica Therrien

I'm very excited to be a stop on the Oppression's Book Launch Party. (Throws confetti and releases a hundred brightly colored balloons.) I chose to write a post about fate and whether or not I think things really do happen for a reason. 

I think fate is closely related to things happening for a reason. I always have. For instance, have you ever been having a bad week, maybe you’re feeling blah or nothing has gone right, you stop at the store to pick up milk and someone in line behind you says the nicest thing to you? Or maybe a stranger does a small act of kindness that reminds you things really aren't that bad.

Maybe it was Fate who burnt dinner (she does that sometimes). Now you have to grab fast food where you run into an old friend you haven’t seen in years. You might realize that slightly eccentric co-worker who seemed to have been plopped into your life for a few short months offered the friendship you needed at the time. And maybe the reason you never got a chance to talk to that really cute guy at the party was because the timing wasn’t right. You just have to trust that Fate will make sure you bump into him again if it was meant to be.

One of my personal favorite examples of things happening for a reason is when I’m late for an appointment and end up stuck driving behind the little old lady who insists on driving five miles under the speed limit. Then we pass a cop who has set up a speed trap. If it weren’t for grandma I might have been having a nice long chat with the officer.

IDK, the list of things happening for a reason can get very long. Let me know if you believe in fate.

Don't forget to stop by Jessica's blog to find out how to enter to win some awesome prizes.  



Oppression (Children of the Gods #1)
by Jessica Therrien
Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning - and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

Where to find Jessica

~

Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Tagged

Tagged!!



I have been "Tagged" by DDS @ Book R3vi3ws !!! 

Thanks D.D.S!!

Here are the tag rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create ten new questions to ask the people that you have tagged.
3. Tag ten people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you've tagged them!

Here are D.D.S's Questions:


1.     What is it about Books that you love the most?  I love getting whisked away into new worlds and the escape from the everyday that they provide.
2.     What got you started Blogging & Why? Friends got me started. It's a great way to discovered great books and new authors . Plus I’ve found valuable tips on just about everything. 
3.     What is your favourite Genre & Why? Paranormal. Throw a vampire, witch, fairy (I’m not picky) into the story and there is a very good chance I’ll read it. I like that anything’s possible in these books and enjoy seeing where the story will take the characters.
4.     Which is your favourite Series that you keep going back to? The Grave series by Jeaniene Frost. I love to see what Cat and Bones will do next.
5.     Which book would you like to see converted into a movie? My answer to this will be very similar to DDS’s. Movies just don’t capture the characters’ emotions and tend to miss important details that are in books. Not to mention it’s very disappointing when I have a specific image of a character in my mind and the actor or actress cast for the part is nothing like it.  I’d rather reread the book than be disappointed by the movie.
6.     If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which would you choose & why? As an author I really hate answering this question. I know how much work goes into a novel and my answer happens to be one of my favorite books. Because of this and because I have a lot of respect for the author I’m not going to give the title. The reason this book came to mind is because I felt the author ignored the rules of her world to set up a series. By breaking the rules I didn’t believe the characters would have made the choices they did in the last chapters of book one.
7.     A book/series you love to hate...  I’m still thinking about this one.
8.     A book that made you cry... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow. 
9.     Do you donate your books or do you save them all? I’m 50/50. I’ve donated a lot of books over the years, but I keep my favorites.
10.   One thing about Bloggers that is very common & continues to irritate you.  This isn’t necessarily common, but I’m not a fan of bloggers who sign up for a hop that requires their participation and their participation stops at the sign up link.   

My tags:

My questions:

1.     What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down? 
2.     What got you started Blogging & Why?
3.     What is your favorite Genre & Why?
4.     What series haven’t you started that you would like to dive into?
5.     What is your favorite book to movie adaptation? Least fave?
6.     What are you reading now and what do you think about it?
7.     If you could put yourself into any book, which would it be?  
8.     Name a book that made you cry.
9.     Do you donate your books or do you save them all?
10.   What is one tip you would give to a new book blogger?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cover Reveal: Streamline by Jennifer Lane

I'm very excited to be a part of this cover reveal. Jennifer is one of my pub sisters, so I've been hearing about this book for some time now. I think the cover is beautiful and does a wonderful job of conveying mystery and romance. Streamline's scheduled Release date is March 27, 2012.

Streamline
by Jennifer Lane


Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone. 

Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder. 

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.


More about the author:


Friday, February 24, 2012

Feature & Follow #3


Welcome to Feature & Follow. A big thanks to the hosts Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison. Learn more about this hop and the hosts by clicking on their names.

Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most...

I would have to take a picture of most rooms in my house. I love to read in bed cuddled under the covers with a book and my pillow. I read on the couch in the family room and curled up on the comfy chair in the living room. I also love reading in waiting rooms. Doesn't matter what type, because it helps to pass the time. And in spring and summer I'll sit outside so that I can hear the sounds of the world around me while I get lost in the story.

What about you? Where do you like to read?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Miscellaneous Thursday

It's Thursday, which would normally mean I have the Vampire Diaries to look forward to. Except the next new episode isn't until March 15th. That's four long weeks away. Deep sigh. Any other Vampire Diary fans out there? Which of the handsome Salvatore brothers is your favorite? Stephen with his brooding stare or impulsive Damon. I would have called Damon reckless, but this season Stephen has had his share of reckless moments.
I love this show. The writing is incredible. The actors are amazing. Each episode is full of new twists. If you haven't seen it, you have four  l o n g  weeks to catch up on what's going on. 


So, back to reality. Don't miss my post on Marketing Your Book. Plus I shared my notes on writing a one sentence pitch.

You can find me over at Megg Jensen's where, with the help of her Magic 8 Ball, Megg tells us if spring will make an early appearance this year. Click here to find out the answer.

Then I traveled (virtually, you have to love the Internet) to Banshee, Books and Baseball where I reveal my solution to writer's block and if I'd pick the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Click here to be whisked over to Linda's blog. 

And last but not least, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of Embrace or four other amazing books at See It or Read It by clicking here.

Thursday also means Omnific Publishing is hosting their Author! Author! Blog Bounce. All authors are welcome to join the bounce. Or click here to following the bounce.

Whew, I think that's it. Oh! I didn't answer which Salvatore brother I like. This won't be a surprise to anyone who's been following me awhile. Damon gets my vote. What can I say, I like the bad boys.  


Writing a one sentence pitch

I’d like to think I’ve gotten good at writing a synopsis, not that it doesn’t take me several drafts and advice from my wonderful critique partners. What I find tricky is coming up with a one sentence pitch that explains the premise of my book in a way that makes people say I have to read that book.

I always begin with this basic formula rolling through my thoughts:

My novel is about ________ who must ________ in order to ________.

The idea is to get to the who, what and why of a story.

I was recently cleaning out my desk and came across an article by Gayle C. Krause in a 2008 copy of the SCBWI Bulletin on this very subject. Gayle had some great advice.  She even included a few examples of well known books. Since examples always help kick start my thought process, I’m going to include Gayle’s below: 
  • Harry Potter: Sorcerer’s Stone – An orphan boy is schooled in the art of wizardry.
  • Charlotte’s Webb – The story of one pig’s struggle to stay alive, and the spider who helps him.
  • Magyk – The seventh son of the seventh son in a wizard family finds his true calling.
  • The Golden Compass – Children living in parallel worlds deal with sorcery and shape-shifters.
She makes it look so easy. I wish I had remember her article sooner because just reading the examples helps make the daunting job of summing a novel up in one sentence that much easier.

If you’re still having problems, try writing your synopsis first. (See my blog post on Writing a 1-page synopsis for tips.)  Having your synopsis written will help you cut through the emotional plot and sub plots to get to the main conflict. Once you have the synopsis, try writing the one sentence pitch again.

When you have a pitch you’re happy with, share your synopsis with your critique group or trusted readers and ask them to summarize your book from what they have read. Compare your pitch with their responses. Are they close? If so, you have a great pitch for your book.

Here’s my one sentence pitch for Embrace:

A teen girl discovers unseen forces and needs to embrace these forces to save her friends.

That one sentence took me a long time to come up with and I had some help from my editor. My first pitch was really two or three sentences combined with commas and semi-colons. It was cumbersome. Now when someone asks what my book is about I can tell them quickly and concisely.

Do you have any tips that helped you write your pitch?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Marketing Your Book

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to marketing your book. Do you need an on-line presence? How will you create a buzz about your book? What can you do to get people interested in purchasing it? The whole subject can be a bit daunting.

Do you need an on-line presence? I’d answer this question with a big YES. Social media sites like blogs, Facebook, Google + and Twitter offer authors a great way to network. You’ll not only meet tons of interesting people, you’ll make connections. You’ll be able to watch what others do and decide which of these techniques are right for your book. Not to mention, if you have an on-line presence, you’ll have people who know you and will be interested in participating in your book launch and giveaways.

Do remember that social media is a way to network and meet interesting people. There’s nothing more annoying than accepting a friend request or following someone and suddenly getting hit with a ton of requests asking me to buy something. Build relationships with  your friends and followers by commenting on posts you find interesting and retweeting updates you think others might enjoy.

How will you create a buzz about your book? Well, if you have an on-line presence before your book is released, you can share your journey from idea to publication on your blog. You can tell your friends on Facebook what stage in the process you are at. You can tweet to your followers how revisions are going. You’ll have people who can’t wait to see your cover reveal and are excited about attending your book launch.  They may tell their followers. Your potential reach is limitless.

Sites like GoodReads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer a way for readers to tell others about the books they enjoyed by giving them an option to like, rate and review the books they read.  GoodReads has different groups where readers who enjoy the same genre can chat about the books they've read. If you purchase a YA paranormal romance on Amazon, they will provide a list of other books people who bought the YA paranormal also purchased. Amazon also has tags that provide another way to group books. When someone searches “young adult fantasy” Amazon will pull up a list of all young adult fantasy. The more tags a book has, the higher on the search results it will be. Barnes and Noble also recommends books to their customers.

What can you do to get people interested in purchasing your book? This is the easiest question to answer. Although far from easy to do. Write an amazing book that will pull a reader in and keep them turning the pages.


I don’t pretend to be an expert on marketing a book. I’m new at all this and I’m still learning myself. I recently discovered Plug YourBook! Online Book Marketing for Authors by Steve Weber and decided I’d include it in this post. In his book, Steve covers all the things I already knew and a host of things I didn’t. From the benefits of word of mouth to building your website to finding reviewers for your book, Steve provides valuable tips for everyone.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has questions on on-line marketing a book. 


If you have tips for marketing a book, I'd love to hear them.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feature & Follow #2


Welcome to Feature & Follow. A big thanks to the hosts Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison. Learn more about this hop and the hosts by clicking on their names.

Today's question:


Q: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?


Stop by Alison's blog for her thought-filled answer to this question. She brings up a lot of good points, which I won't repeat here since most people following the hop will have already read it. 

I like unique names too. Harry Potter is a good example of a series filled with unique names that work well. I've read several fantasy novels with names so hard to pronounce I can't even remember them. That's never a good thing. The first name that came to my mind that wasn't in Alison's post was Lend from Paranormalcy. 

So, what name popped in your head?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

And the winners are...

Happy Thursday!

First let me thank everyone who participated in last week’s Follower Love Blog Hop and a big congratulations to the winner of my giveaway, Jennifer Messerschmidt.

I was also running a giveaway on GoodReads and would like to congratulation Colena Watson for winning the GoodReads giveaway.

Onto this week, I posted a few of my favorite swoon scenes from books. You can check out that post and share your favorite scenes by clicking here.

And since it's Thursday, it's time for Omnific Publishing's Author! Author! Blog Bounce. Plus it's their anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Omnific! It’s easy to jump on the bounce. All authors are welcome to join and everyone is welcome to bounce along.

That's it for me today. Thanks for stopping by!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Swoon worthy scenes

Since it's Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite swoon worthy scenes with you, and I'd love to hear yours.

Halfway to the Grave
by Jeaniene Frost

This scene is with Bones and Cat, about halfway through the book...

       "Kitten, look at me," he said flatly.

       I blinked. "I am."

       "No, you're not." He slid closer, his eyes all green now. "You 
       stare straight through me as if I'm not even there... "


Bones goes on a little, and I remember being on the edge of my seat thinking, yes Cat, look at him already!  Because the reader already knows Bones is irresistibly handsome. Cat looks at him, really looks at him. She replies with two words:


"Kiss me."

The words left me without any thought, and I realized I'd secretly wanted to say them for awhile. Bones leaned over and his lips closed over mine softly. Gently. Giving me every opportunity to change my mind and push him away, but I didn't. I slid my arms around his neck and brought him closer.

It gets pretty steamy from there. Sigh. I could read that scene over and over. It’s that good. 



Perfect Chemestry
By Simone Elkeles

This scene is with Nikki (a girls from a wealthy family on the north side of town) and Luis (a guy from the south side). Nikki speaks first.

"Just for tonight, let's see what happens."

"And tomorrow?"

Tomorrow? "I haven't thought that far ahead. I just wanted to make out with you right now. You game?"

"That depends.”

"On what?" I ask.


He leans forward and kisses the sensitive spot right under my ear, then whispers, "If you want to stop at kissing, or go further."

Will they go further? You just have to devour the pages to find out.


Die For Me
by Amy Plum

I just finished Die For Me. Below is the scene that had me swooning.


      I looked up over my shoulder and registered his sincere expression. He turned me slowly to face him. He gazed at me for a full minute with his big dark eyes, as if trying to memorize every inch of my face.

     Then he raised his hand to brush a lock of hair back from my face, tucking it gently behind my ear as he lifted my lips to his.

     Our skin barely touched. He was hesitant, as if he knew what he wanted but was afraid of scaring me away. Our lips brushed, and I felt like a chord had been struck inside me, and my body was humming with a pure musical note. 



And this is one of my favorite scenes between Isaac and Madison in my debut novel, Embrace.

Embrace
by Cherie Colyer

Isaac traced my lips with his thumb before he ran his fingers through my hair, twisting them around its length at the back of my head. His eyes scalded. I sucked in a breath, waiting to see what he’d do next. He leaned closer, his mouth inches from my ear. “That drives me crazy.”

It was hard to think straight with him whispering in my ear. I had to try a couple times before I could ask, “What does?”

“The way your breath catches.”

Oh, he could hear that. My cheeks warmed with embarrassment, but he couldn’t see them, not with his lips against my neck . . .

                [Spoiler deleted (sorry guys, don't want to giveaway the secret if you haven't read the book.)]

Isaac’s lips moved to mine, and he kissed me more passionately than he ever had. His tongue brushed mine and retreated behind his lips, which moved over mine more urgently. . .

I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite swoon worthy scenes. So what are yours? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Follow Friday


I've just discovered this hop and love the idea. A big thanks to the hosts Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison. Learn more about this hop and the hosts by clicking on their names.

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?


This is a difficult question. I do have my favorite books. Ones I could read over and over again and never get tired of them. And as much as I love to revisit my favorite books, I'm going to have to say reading 100s of mediocre books, because in that stack of hundreds of books there is going to be my next favorite book. One I can safely add to my bookshelf and revisit again and again.


What do you think??

Monday, February 6, 2012

Follower Love Giveaway Hop


Welcome to the Follower Love Hop Giveaway! Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Rachael Renee Anderson for hosting the hop!

Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to giveaway an autographed copy of my teen paranormal romance/thriller, EMBRACE, along with an Embrace hemp bracelet and bookmark. Contest open to US residents only.


There are 6 ways to follow and enter to win. Choose one or choose them all. 

Good luck!

(If the wrong form is showing, please click the title of this post and the correct from will load.) 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Donate those book! MG/YA Book Project


Many of you know Julie from A Tale of Many Reviews from her amazing blog. Julie is also an education consultant with her state’s department of education. She works with schools to help increase student academic performance. Julie is collecting middle grade and young adult books to donate to 3 schools in need of updating their books which are sparse. If you are an author or a reader with extra books please consider donating. Julie’s post with all the details can be found by clicking here.

Julie is also looking to connect the students, authors, and the books via skype interviews and by encouraging students to write a review or be a guest reviewer on her blog. This is an amazing opportunity for students to get more involved in reading and hopefully develop a passion for literature. How awesome is that!