Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Mermaid Moments - Birth of a Novel Blog Chain

Isn't this just too cute?
This is where I thought I'd be, sitting pretty, ears perky and an adorable smile on my face as a winner of NaNoWriMo 2011.

So here's how things actually turned out:
There is a smile in there somewhere :-)
Not perky, not adorable and yeah, flopped on the ground with gravity doing all kinds of fun stuff.  But if you look just long enough, you'll notice the look of happy-joy-joy-contentment.

It came down to two choices, winning is everything:
being a happy loser:
No frowning for the loser.
I chose being a happy loser.  I am, more than 25k words away from the NaNo goal of 50K.


Mermaid moments.  I got distracted by shiny things.

I received edits for another story and let them marinate in my mind (I'm so excited about these edits I could dance a jig but then I'd have to kill any witnesses lol!!!).  I got into the holiday spirit and even into some football spirit as I watched my fantasy football roster work their magic on Thanksgiving day (go team Super Foo!).  I ate lots of turkey and enjoyed good company in more excess than is normal for me (YAY for the brief social butterfly!).

I did not reach the word count goal, but I've enjoyed the beauty that goes along with the process of birthing a novel.  I flirted with my characters, got to know them pretty well, at least enough to trust them to tell their story through me.  I've met Macie, Thane, Rig and discovered a post-apocalyptic world filled with vampires, wights and devil spawn

I.  Had.  Fun.  A bit of insanity during the early days but fun nonetheless.

I've accepted  my defeat...learned from it as well.  What is your progress?

By the way, be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs to share in encouragement-

Anna M.
Brooke Busse
Charity Bradford
Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Poole
Fida Islaih
Jen McConnel
Lena Hoppe
Mia Hayson
Miranda Hardy
Nyxie Moon
Tessa C
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Persist or Not - A Birth of a Novel Blog Chain Tale

(Photo credit)

That would be me doing my best not to let the beak of life and NaNoWriMo swallow me whole.
It's a struggle, but I'm still persisting.

Title for NaNo project: NO COUNTRY FOR FAE FOLK
Previous goal: 30k
Actual accomplished: 21k
Yeah, big deficit.  As a consolation, the time I missed writing has been time well spent so I'm glad to persist with this challenge.
Next goal, one more realistically including the day of gobble, gobble and giving thanks for the way too many things I take for granted:  27k by Friday evening.

Here is another snippet.  This is taken from an earlier chapter in the book when the main character, Macie, has just gotten in trouble.  She broke the rules by being outside beyond sunset.  She's now in her room.  As with the other snippet, the Inner Critic hasn't tried to fix anything, at least...kind of hard to do that tied up and gagged in some far flung place in my mind.

The tears warming the back of my eyes suddenly bubbled over.
All around me was darkness.  My window was blacked out as usual.  All doors were well sealed so any hall light stayed in the hall.  An ache formed in the deepest part of me.  I felt like everything was closing in around me, the room too small to be in.  I wanted to be outside, under the moon and stars I’d seen for the first time.  Not as holopics in school, but the real thing.
I wanted to be with Thane.

There you have it.  So please visit, congratulate on progress made and encourage other members of the blog chain.  I'm wishing the best of luck to each and every one of you all!!

Birth of a Novel Blog Chain crew:
Angela B.
Anna M.
Brooke Busse
Charity Bradford
Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Poole
Fida Islaih
Jen McConnel
Lena Hoppe
Mia Hayson
Miranda Hardy
Nyxie Moon
Tessa C
Friday, November 18, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Delight in the Sweetness of Friday

NaNo fun times, NaNo stress times.  Family time and work time.  Now it's time for you to have a piece of sweet peace...at least virtually.

Take your pick and enjoy :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Your Second Good Deed of the Day

So you're wondering about that first good deed you accomplished?  You didn't present this face to the world:
Smug and scary much?  (photo credit)
And if you did but didn't realize it, it's okay :-)  You can make up for it with the second good deed.  You can Help Harry Help Others.  This is the fund-raising organization of eleven year old Harry who recently died of his inoperable brain tumor. When his friend Robert, who had a brain tumor too, became very ill, he set up his charity. So far, he’s raised nearly half a million British Pounds that he has donated to Cancer Research UK, to help them find a cure for brain tumors.

***Cue the moment of pause as you realize the second great thing you can do today can be something huge, fantastic and obviously extremely costly to help fight cancer. ***

Here's how to do it:  Purchase your copy of Campaigner Challenges 2011.  I bought mine already.  Let me check how much I paid.

***Cue elevator music***

Okay, scratch what I said about the whole "costly" thing.
I only paid $2.99 for it.  Yeah, I'm a part of the solution for the same price as a breakfast combo.  Unlike the breakfast combo, I won't have to do a thousand jumping jacks to rid myself of the guilt of enjoying this e-book...because there's NO guilt with this good deed.

Purchase details are as follows:

Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Campaigner-Challenges-2011-ebook/dp/B0066UV28C
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0066UV28C
Amazon (Germany): http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0066UV28C
Amazon (France): http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0066UV28C
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/104468

So go get yours today.  While you're out doing that good deed, what's another good deed you did without even realizing it?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Tuesday Blues Turning on an Upswing

Okay, so instead of a Tuesday Snoozeday with no post, I'm participating in something I like.  It's in support of NaNoWriMo writers and it's called Birth of a Novel Blog Chain by Charity Bradford and Elizabeth Poole.

As I write this, I am not in the best place word count wise.  Here's my rap sheet:
NaNoWriMo alias - dragonfang77
NaNo novel - NO COUNTRY FOR FAE FOLK (just a working title that I tossed out as a name because for some reason I was thinking of the movie whose name follows the same vein)
Second week goal: 20,000
Actual word count: 15,800
By the end of Sunday this week, I'd like to be at 30,000

#1 thing:  enjoy the rest of this ride whether I make it to 50,000 words or not.  Life tosses us lemons and I'm learning that I have to make lemonade or sit around like a sour puss all the time.  Non-stop sour puss is just too unattractive.  So let the fun continue.

Here's a snippet of some of the "mind drivel" I came up with from one of the more recent chapters.  This has not been run by the Inner Critic so it has all kinds of grammatically incorrect issues and possibly nonsensical, though it made perfect sense during an energy drink induced writing sprint (lol!!!):

I felt a nudge on my shoulder.  Hadn’t realized I’d dozed off.

Nonie stood over me.  “No time for sleep, Macie.  Now that you’re here, there are a few things you need to understand.”  I groaned and struggled to sit up.  Thane joined us.  I frowned at the sight of him with a shirt on.  I’d grown used to his bare chest look.  Plus I really, really liked it.  Nonie continued, “Central calls you Special.  But some folks don’t see you that way.”

“I don’t either,” I mumbled.

“Are you planning to kill yourself?”

My bottom lip dropped and I all but yelled, “Of course not!”

“But they are.  They’re probably working on something right now.  It’s a faction called UAC, Us Against Central.  We believe there’s a subset of radicals called UAS, Us Against the Specials.  They don’t make demands.  They make Specials disappear.”

Now do yourself a favor and go pick up a pair of pom poms and cheer on some of the other blog chain folks -
Angela B.
Anna M.
Brooke Busse
Charity Bradford
Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Poole
Fida Islaih
Jen McConnel
Lena Hoppe
Mia Hayson
Miranda Hardy
Nyxie Moon
Tessa C

So my reader and writer buddies, what progress have you made on your NaNo or none NaNo project?
Monday, November 14, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

A Telephone Call from Mr. Bell

Ring!  Ring!  Ring!

Mr. Bell called today.  Once I convinced him I was not Mr. Watson, that I most certainly could not "come here" to the year 1876 and that I wasn't sure if I should be flattered or flustered at his confession of "I want you", he told me to share these words with you all and for you to heed them for your writing and reading spirits, hearts and minds:

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
~ Alexander Graham Bell

Friday, November 11, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Trips, Falls and Stumbles

Sometimes, we trip.
Sometimes, we fall.
Oh...now I get it...they meant cat stalk.  My bad.

Sometimes, the whole world watches as we struggle with a stumble.
Sugar Shane's thought: Laying down seems a good idea right about now.
But what matters is what we do AFTER the trips, falls and stumbles.  During my down time, I sort of considered giving up on NaNoWriMo.  It was a brief and fleeting thought, but a real one, I think.  Could have been the muscle relaxer I took for the ache.  Then I figured, whether I win or lose, it's about this story that I breathed a bit of life into.  And so, this is what I chose.
If Jackie Chan were teaching me how to get back up, I'd be one bad  mama!
Getting back up can mean a lot of things.  For me it meant adding a least one more thousand words to my story.  So I started working a bit on Wednesday and a little more on Thursday and have increased from 13k to 15,300 word count.  A modest increase.

This weekend is a wash as I'll be away from the computer for a few days but I'll get back to work NaNoWriMoing as soon as I can because I hope to make my NaNo experience look like I did this:
So what about you, any unexpected obstacles crop up?  How do you normally try to handle them?
Thursday, November 10, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

SHHHHH! What is that I hear?

Oops!  I'm sorry.  I thought I heard the sound of eight-legged creatures scurrying on the floor.  But that's just the sound of fingers clicking on keys, the sound of words appearing on blank pages as writers write, revise, edit or just plain go crazy.

Write on my friends.  Write on.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

The Beautiful Collisions in Art

I am mostly recovered from an unexpected shoulder and neck ache.  Because I didn't get to work on anything Monday...or Tuesday for that matter - two days of NaNoWriMo Fail - I'm going to hold off on reporting something until I've typed up more than "...and then she said he said what?"

Yeah.  No real progress there :-)

Yeah, I'm bad...what about it?  :-)
For a bit of inspiration, I re-read a post by Adam Heine, the brilliant mind behind Author's Echo  He discussed fighting hard for something you want.  I'm sure most ALL of you reading this post know a little something about overcoming obstacles.  He mentioned Hok, a dancer whom I adore, as someone he also admired...and I totally agree that Hok certainly has a fighting spirit.  This led me to searching out a special you tube vid that always leaves me teary-eyed.  I feel the rush of excitement liquefied, coursing through my veins whenever I watch this performance.  I hope you enjoy it
Yes, the tears threatened but I won the cry fight...this time.  What is something outside of writing that inspires you?
Monday, November 7, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

The Jibber Jabber After

You have not received this message in error.  This is the aftermath of me blitzing in NaNoWriMo this weekend:
Yeah, Hiro.  I know how you feel.

Here was my goal for Friday: 2k words
What did I actually accomplish: 0 words (YIKES!!!)
Here was my goal for the weekend:  add 4k more words
With my 6k already done, meeting both of these goals would have brought me to 12k to start the new workweek.  So, with my NaNoWriMo Fail from Friday, did I make it?
Drum roll please.
Here is my total:  13k
YAY!!!!  *throws confetti*

How are you surviving faring in your NaNo<insert your version> endeavor?  If you're not NaNoing, please share a good book that you've read lately.  I heart book recommendations.  Nothing like fattening up my TBR list for the holidays.
Saturday, November 5, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

The Weekend is Here

So the craziness can continue.  So much to do and so little time.  Somehow, 24 hours will have to do.

To Donna Weaver at Weaving a Tale or Two, I want to say Thank you!!

This blog award is much appreciated. I am, however, going to break the rules.  Since I did a bit of sharing of my person yesterday, I'd like to share a bit from a WiP I've been toying with.  It's called Journal of the Damned.

Day 1

I start this journal knowing I’m breaking the first rule an assassin must live by.  Never leave a trace.  But most rules are made to be broken.  So here goes.
My name is Tsuka and by the age of six, I knew how to paralyze a man with a six point touch.  Not my proudest boast, but the first truth I can recall.  Being raised by a grandfather better suited for the era of the samurai explained a few things.  Being a girl made it all the more…awkward.  The fact that I took to the tortuous training better than most men three times my age made me well known in our village.  So of course someone had to be jealous.  Leave it to Omi to fill that position.
On my thirteenth birthday, the way of all women presented itself, during a sparring match of all times.  It was my first loss.  Omi rejoiced in conquering me only to fall to shame when he found out I let him win.  Although I didn’t know exactly what my body was doing, I knew for a fact it was something altogether wrong.  I let him have the win so I could tend to my body.  Angered by this, he sought to bring shame upon me.  And he found it in the form of newspaper clippings grandfather hid away.  Apparently, I’m the bastard child of some black American girl and some mid level yakuza member.  Both were found murdered within days of each other, the girl raped and mutilated before having her life snuffed from her.  Omi walked about our little village showing the clippings to others, calling me a half-breed mutt among other less distinguished names.  The only female friend I had, Kaeko, told me of Omi’s dishonorable behavior.  Of course I confronted grandfather.  He quietly walked me to the backroom of his dojo, bent under his sitting table and slid a panel of wood flooring aside.  He pulled up a small hand basket and a bloodstained sweatshirt with the letters UCLA on it.
“You are my great-grandchild Tsuka.  Your grandfather, now dead these past four years, disowned your father when he discovered he’d fallen in love with a woman not of Asian descent.”
The words entered my mind but did not find a home.
“Do not hate your grandfather.  Though I did not raise him to hate what he didn’t understand, it happened all the same.  All was not lost though.  He disowned your father with his words but rarely with his actions.  It was he who made sure I had enough money at all times to care for you.  When Aisen, your father, was found murdered, it devastated him.  Until the day he passed, he harped upon the local police to find the ones responsible for his death.”
I dared not ask if this benefactor sought the same justice for my mutilated mother.
“Aisen came to me, with you in this little basket, quiet and beautiful, a day after he found your mother murdered in the apartment home he rented for her.  He’d been making plans to flee the country with you both and start a new life across the ocean.  Leaving the yakuza happens in one way.  He found that out a day after he left you with me.  I believe he knew he would die.  He left you this letter.”
I took the stationary and unfolded it.  I read it aloud:

My sweet Tsuka,
Your mother and I love you very much.  There are some who do not understand how two very different people could feel the way we do for each other.  I don’t understand what I ever did to deserve the love your mother gives to me.  But I must apologize that my choice of lifestyle reaped us the loss of her love.  Be good for great-grandfather.  He’s a hard old goat…

Great-grandfather chuckled at this…

But there is no more honorable a man I know to care for you.  If you are reading this letter, then I did not get to make it back.  Know that I left to find the truth of what happened to your mother.  Know that you are not a bastard child.  We wed in secret before we knew you were coming to us.

All my love,
Your papa

These words found purchase in my mind.  But I’d had one figure in my life, my grandfather – I mean – great-grandfather.  So I felt just a bit of sadness at the words.  What I felt more of raged within my heart.  I couldn’t describe the feeling then, a sort of jagged, grinding of gears, anger, all pointed toward Omi.  He’d taken a sad occasion, the terrible murder of two lovers and turned it into something to despise, all for the purpose of making himself look good.  It took a week, but his body was found in a ravine notorious for claiming the lives of people who traveled too closely to the edge.  He was my first “unofficial” take.  And yes, by take I mean kill.  After all, a target doesn’t exactly stand before you and give their lives over.
Friday, November 4, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Where Did All the Good Words Go?

I'm thinking if we check NaNoWriMo, PiBoIdMo or perhaps WNFIN we might find where they went.  I heard there's even NaNoReviMo.  Now those darlings have probably plucked all the good words and are coming back to grab some more.  But then again, words do not belong to any one person.  They may be coined, copyrighted in a group called a story, but we all have access to them.

I want to encourage everyone clacking away at their keyboards, scribbling in a notepad or speedswiping on a touchscreen to enjoy their given challenge.  And even though we get to call ourselves winners if we meet the challenge, the REAL winners will be the readers who will benefit from out bounty.

So write on everyone.  Write on.

On a more tickled-to-be note, I want to thank Angela Orlowski-Peart and Tara Tyler for giving me the fabulous Stylish Blogger Award.  I am humbled by their good words of recognition.

This comes with the giving of seven random facts about moi and giving the award to five other bloggers.  You guys already know I love chocolate and anime so instead I'll point you to  my Friendly Conversation with Reece Hanzon so you can know a little more about the "writer me".

Who to give this award to? That's just too hard.  I heart all my blogs.  So if you're not picked, it's NOT because I don't like you, because I do, I like you, ALL of you :-)
Each one chosen is very unique and doing their stylish blogger thang in their own way:
Alz and Krispy at A Nudge in the Right Direction
Damyanti at Writing on Writing: Amlokiblogs
AveryMarsh at Creative Type
Peggy Eddleman at Will Write for Cookies
Short and Sweet

And finally, did I meet my goal for Thursday night?
Why yes, I did.  I made it to 6K words.
Friday night's goal:  add 2K more
Weekend goal (bearing in mind that the chipmunk will be a bit demanding as usual and other things that just couldn't be changed):  add 4K more

So what is your goal?  It doesn't have to be NaNo-related.  It could be a goal to watch a Battlestar Galactica marathon or to eat as many Twizzlers as you can.
Thursday, November 3, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Angela Who? Angela Brown

I'm so excited to share this.  I've done my first interview.  Cha!!  Someone interviewed me.  Still blows my mind...I'm so humbled and giddy :-)

"Wait...was it Me or Self who did the interview?" you ask.

Good question.  Visit Reece Hanzon's blog to find out.

Na No Na No? NO!!! NaNoWriMo, Silly

Awww...c'mon.  I know it's showing my age (teehee) but I know someone else out there watched this quirky show and thought Mork was the coolest alien ever :-)  As it turns out...Robin Williams is one of the coolest comedy dudes ever.  That's my subjective view anyway.

But notice something else quirky:  Na No Na No anyone?  I mentioned NaNoWriMo to a non-writer coworker, just to give her a heads up in case I showed up to work with my eyes bulging out of my head and a twitch on the corner of my lip.  She laughed and threw Na No Na No at me.  I fell out laughing as well.  I hadn't thought about Mork in forever so I hadn't put the two together.  But there you have it, something to grin about.

Because it is NaNo time, I won't be posting my weekly movie round up.  Seriously, I have a lot of fun doing Movie Thursdays.  I love watching the trailers and all.  So to keep the temptation to a minimum, I'm going to hold off on Movie Thursdays until NaNo is over.  Just four weeks so please stay with me :-)

Now, because it is NaNo, I want to set and work towards some goals.  I had a sick chipmunk for the first night so I was only able to get 1400 words.  Not too shabby but a bit off the mark.  So, this evening is aggressive.  I'm going to muzzle this darned Inner Critic and try to reach a total of 5000 words.  For others, this is probably a piece of cake.  But when your Inner Critic bears down on you like Mommy Dearest after finding a shirt on a wire hanger AND high on crack, it can be pretty difficult.  But I really want to try.

Anyone else doing NaNo?  How are things progressing?  If you are not doing NaNo, please share what's up in your writing world.  I may be NaNoing, but I love keeping up with anyone willing to share.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Feeling Insecure? There ARE Some Remedies

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  My Monday post is pulling double-duty.  You know you love it :-)  It was a great "fear" truth for Halloween (yes, I said truth because that really is how I feel sometimes).  Today, I've joined with the Insecure Writer's Support Group to bring it again for good measure: Fright from Within (cue spooky music)

Here are the first couple of lines from it so you see what goes bump in my mind:

"Who do you think you are?" an owl hoots.
"No one cares about what you write, what you say or what's on your mind.  Why bother blogging or wasting your time with that stupid writing?" shrieks a banshee.

Yeah.  Not cool.  Not in the least.  But I don't dive into a tale of woe only to keep you there.  Read the blog post to see what I mean.  Check out the comments as well.  Others gave their truly-wanted-by-me remedies for dealing with the insecurity self-doubt imposes.

I also want to showcase someone following the "take the damn bull by the horns" remedy.  Meet, if you haven't already had the pleasure, Nadja Notariani.  She is a ROW80 member and I fell in love with her Djinn story for the Rule of 3 blogfest.  I've been a regular follower of hers for a while and can attest that she's a great blogger.  Add her self-published credentials and you've got yourself a femme fatale eager to claim more victims readers with her novel Claiming the Prize.
Hurry and purchase your own ebook at Amazon  or Smashwords!

Here's a description from Amazon:   Walking a solitary, disciplined path in his pursuit to become the light heavyweight champion of the American-Mixed-Martial-Arts-Organization, Drago Zadrovec leaves the security of his homeland to train in the United States.  But once within the exclusive MMA organization, Drago finds himself increasingly drawn to his mentor's daughter, Grace Antolini.  Quiet and gentle, yet thoroughly immersed in the world in which he exists, Grace captures his heart as firmly as his quest for the title, igniting a long buried passion inside the fighter.  Subjecting his body to the brutality of the cage and opening his heart to the woman he desires to share his life with, Drago comes to understand that his journey is comprised of more than want of victory in the ultimate goal of Claiming The Prize.....

Yes people. Love the premise, and she's not stopping there.  Visit this blog post and scroll down to her 12 Days of Christmas idea.  If you'd like to participate, she'd love for you to contact her.

Nadja has jumped into the fray, dealing with her insecurities by wrangling the bull.  What is one way you deal with the fiends that go bump in your mind?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

Grab Your Noise Makers! Launch Party for Open MInds

So, you already have a good idea how I feel about Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn.  If you aren't sure, click here for a reminder.  Yeah.  I like her book.  A lot!  But she is pretty amazing, too.
Rocket Scientist and Author
Susan is a mother, wife, author and yes, what you heard is true.  She can tag her business card with Rocket Scientist.  Now how do you like those apples?  I'm honored to have Susan here to share how the story idea for Open Minds came about.  So, take it away Susan.

Where Ideas Come From: A Mind Reading World
by Susan Kaye Quinn
picture credit
One of my favorite writing quotes goes something like this: "I don't know where ideas (for writing) come from. I only know where they come to: my chair, 9 am, every morning." The attribution for that quote is lost in the swirl of ideas that roam my mind, but the inspiration of it guides what I do every day: sit down and do the creative work that beckons those ideas to my chair.

My new YA novel Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) is set in a world where everyone reads minds. That one aspect of the world changes everything from the architecture of houses to the social interactions of people to the political systems around the world. But I didn't know any of that when I started.

In the beginning I had a simple image in my mind, born of the desire to write a rockin' paragraph for the great Nathan Bransford's 1st paragraph contest.

I knew that none of my current novels had a hooky first paragraph, and for the record, I don't believe novels live and die on their first paragraph. There has to be a whole lot more to a story than those first 100 words. But I wanted to have a good showing in the contest, so I decided to make up a paragraph for a novel that didn't exist.

I had previously toyed with an idea about a boy who was a touch empath - he could feel everything that another person felt or thought by touching them, which led him to become a recluse. His guidance counselor at school had discovered what he could do, and helped him deal with his hidden power. But I hadn't done much with the idea, just a few notes and scribblings. I wasn't even sure it was strong enough to support a novel.

But maybe it could support a first paragraph.

I mulled ways to write that story into a paragraph while drifting off to sleep one night. Then a completely different story popped into my head. It was encapsulated in a single image: a girl in a high school classroom of the future where everyone could read minds but her. Her isolation was utter and complete, as everyone around her learned, talked, and gossiped via mind link. She was trapped in a silent bubble of exclusion.

I jumped out of bed, ran downstairs, and wrote that first paragraph.

I didn't win the contest, but I didn't care. I had a story idea that I loved, and that image haunted me for about a month before I decided I had to write this girl's story.

So, in this case, the idea came to me at bedtime. But all the other ideas for the novel came to my chair every morning as I puzzled through, fabricated, and pounded out this future world where everyone read minds except one girl. The original paragraph (highly modified) is still buried somewhere in chapter one. And that empath boy who could feel everyone else's feelings and thoughts? He became the model for the normal mindreaders in Kira's world - a society where simply touching someone was an intimate act of sharing thoughts and feelings. An act that Kira would never experience.

Where do ideas come from? Everywhere, nowhere, contests, bedtime, and that fertile place we call imagination. I believe creativity is a muscle that gets stronger every time we use it.

Right now I'm writing Closed Hearts, the sequel to Open Minds, and I keep finding more and more ideas springing from that first brain spark. Kira's story has just begun. :)

When 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, also autographed copies available from the author).
Thanks so much to Susan for bringing us Chapter 1 in this Launch Party.  Like any good party, that was just the start.  Check it out...there's more.

YAY for 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/psX1Hh

Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds

3) Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn