Friday, June 29, 2012

Transcend with Christine Fonseca and Discover a Secret About Me


WOO HOO!!!! The day is here! The day celebrating the reveal of Christine Fonseca's Transcend, a YA psychological thriller hitting shelves on September 18, 2012. Here's a little blurb about the story:

All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart. Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

And now...what we've all been waiting for. The cover for Transcend:



As part of the celebration, Christine is asking everyone to tweet, participate in the blogfest and share your own secrets, or otherwise spread the word. Here are a couple of tweets linking to her post that you can use to help spread the word:

  • Celebrate @chrstinef 's cover reveal for TRANSCEND with a special giveaway #YALitChat #Books #YAbookchat #Teen http://tinyurl.com/7c48jeu
  • Love, Vengeance, Madness - what will you reveal? @chrstinef 's cover reveal and giveaway for TRANSCEND. #YALit #Bookshttp://tinyurl.com/7c48jeu

Oh! And be sure to enter the giveaway below while you can. Christine is giving away some epic things, including an annotated unbound galley of Transcend, filled with her notes! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's my secret:  I once considered delving into a rap career.  It's a little funny thinking back on it now but at the time, things were tumultuous.  It was right after my mother passed.  I was a hot-head, angry and looked for an outlet to vent my emotions.  Writing lyrics helped.  So heck, figured me a and few other angry guy buds could work towards being the next Biggie Smalls, Puff Daddy and me as a much classier version of Lil Kim.  I flirted with that idea for a couple of months before life took a few detours and I ended up where I am today, much more happy to pursue a career as a published author.

Check out the other Masquerade Blogfest peeps and see what secrets they are revealing!


Now it's your turn...what secrets will you share?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time: Breaking it down with SURRENDER

**Today, I am Super Trooper, Never Surrender excited to have Elana Johnson stopping by today as part of her SURRENDER blog tour.**
Get to know Elana by blog, Facebook  and Twitter

Elana's work, including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER, is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

Here is the cover of SURRENDER in all it's symbolic beauty:

About SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.
Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque…. 
Purchase your copy here :-)

**Now, I don't know about you guys, but I've always been curious about how long a project takes from concept to publication.  Well, Elana has been kind enough to take pity on my begging to share this very thing with us today.  Make sure to check out the giveaway as well.  Take it away, Elana!**

Okay, so today we’re going to examine the lifespan of SURRENDER, a second book that was never intended. See, Possession was supposed to be a stand-alone. But the conversation about making it a series happened as soon as Possession edits were complete.

July 2010: Possession edits complete. Discussion of SURRENDER begins. Agent wants an outline.

One problem: I don’t outline.

But this time, I do!

Begin outline.

September 2010: Turn in outline. Begin writing book while agent reads the sucktacular outline.

Write SURRENDER in 25 days, after laboring and wrestling with the outline for 3 FREAKING MONTHS.

Note to self: Next time, write the book first, outline second.

October 2010 – January 2011: Edit SURRENDER.

February 2011: Turn in SURRENDER to editor.

Don’t you like how easy this all sounds? “Write the book. Edit it. Turn it in.” I really struggled with certain aspects of SURRENDER, namely who should narrate it. That took a very long time to figure out, and I wrote probably 25,000 words using the wrong character(s). Once I had it figure out though, the drafting went quick.

Edits were also quite extensive, as I often lack in setting, motivation, arc, and well, plot during the first draft.

I abused my betas and asked them to read fast. They did, and I swear I edited day, night, weekend, for months so I could meet the deadline for getting SURRENDER where it needed to go.

I think that’s something every writer has to do at some point. The better you are at working under pressure, with a deadline in mind, the better for publishing a book each year.

So we turned in SURRENDER. Simon & Schuster bought it.

July 2011: SURRENDER edits. (Yes, again.)

September 2011: Edits done! Yay! Cover proof seen.

October 2011: Copy edits.

November 2011: First pass pages. I did these in the car on the way to Denver, where we were going for Thanksgiving. 8 hours of editing? Check.

And that’s it. That’s the last time I read SURRENDER. Eight months later, and the book is on shelves.

Whew. This publishing thing isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

Do you feel like you can adhere to deadlines? Read and edit your book until the breath’s been sucked out of your body? Yeaaah, it’s just like that. Ha!

Participate in this week’s tour and you can enter to win one of two e-books—anything you want! Enter in the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Appreciation

If I have not said it recently, then I want each and every one of you to know I truly appreciate you.  New followers and old - who've been with me since my first anxious post - I am honored you stop by, sit for a spell with me and share a smile from your day.

I'm waxing a bit emotional because I had a little sit-down with Chipmunk.  At age seven, her world is her world and that's all she cares about.  I couldn't help thinking back to when I was her age, getting my first pair of glasses, getting talked about by other kids because I was officially "four eyes", dirt poor, and somehow a straight "A" student.  I showed her what my book stand looked like for me when I was her age.  After I emptied all her books, it was occupied by dust bunnies and swirlie whirls.  That's because I didn't have a book stand at her age.

I mention this because I, sometimes, forget to appreciate what I have.  Staring at that empty book stand made me want to bawl.  Although my mother took notice of my interest in books and eventually started doing things to help keep a book in my hand (accruing books and making sure I had a library card), it was hard for her as a high school educated single mother of three living in a neighborhood where hard work was not always looked upon as the "thing to do".  But she did work hard - and kept her sanity somehow raising us alone, and yes, still "alone" even after she married - and that gave me an appreciation for hard work.

I don't want to take any of you for granted.  I'm so thankful to every commentor, every person who's expressed interest in my Abby and Basil blog opera, every person who's shared a word of encouragement offline.

Everything you do.  Thank you.

*Note: No dust bunnies were injured in the making of this post and all the books are back on the stand, except those Chipmunk wants to give away so another little kid doesn't have to have an empty book stand.

Monday, June 25, 2012

#Writemotivation and Did FD Reach The End?

I thought about who I could blame if I didn't get to The End of the first draft (FD) of NEVERLOVE this weekend.  Then that booming voice of accountability reminded me that there would be no other person to blame but myself.  Only I can make the decision to go out and have a great time, which I did lol!!!  And so, in turn, I made the decision to stay up later than normal and just do it, or hurt something trying :-)

So...
1: Complete first draft of NEVERLOVE by mid June. FD is DONE!  Woot!  A week longer than planned but done and at 47k word count, a little longer than expected, too.
2: Begin revisions of MINGLED. A week late on this, but moving with baby steps right now.
3: Post 3 blogs a week, at least 3 to 4 during the month for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. Published 3 2012 DAC posts and enjoyed the feedback on each.  Been steady with 3 posts a week.
4: Read 3 books. Two down and working on the third.
5: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week.
 Almost didn't make this one.  Got caught up in a few other things but finally did make it happen.
* in addition, I've been critiquing a couple other stories and enjoying the additional challenge.  Also helps me see things in my own MS

What would finishing the first draft be called in the process of Birthing a Novel?  I'm not sure, but it's a euphoric moment.  It was short-lived since I typed the last word and was too sleepy to really dive into the good feelings of the moment lol!!!  At 47k word count, it is a bit longer than I anticipated.  Depending on how revisions go, it may break the 50k mark to fit the novel category.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Smiles for Friday

Writing and critiquing have me in a happy place.

Hoping you're in your happy place, too :-)

Source
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Katana - A 2012 DAC Review

What hasn't been done?  Is there anything original?  These questions bombarded my brain for all of two minutes while I hugged this novel to my chest.  Why, you ask?  Because Cole Gibsen did a fantastic job incorporating a concept in her story that I'd started getting into for a story I was working on.  I suppose there really is nothing new under the sun, just a matter of putting your own spin on things.

See, I won Katana, by Cole Gibsen, from Short and Sweet Reviews.  I love this blog for all their wonderfully honest reviews.  Katana was up for a giveaway.  The blurb included samurais and swords.  That's all I needed to convince me to enter.  The book cover fit.  Though not a big stand-out cover, I kinda like it:
Amazon

About Katana from GoodreadsRileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline had given her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of 15th-century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings.

While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana—a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.
***

If you enjoy samurais, some serious butt-kicking, great displays of friendship and some eternal love thrown into the mix, then you would LOVE this novel.  I really enjoyed it.  As much as I found Rileigh to be a good character, I was totally enamored with her best friend Q.  He was the complete best friend: spunky, snarky, a shoulder to lean on, confidante and always looking out for the hot guy...well, preferably two, one for each of them.

Kim's secretive and mysterious nature lured me to him like perfect bait.  Every time Rileigh resisted, I wanted to shake her, but I understood she had good reason for not just throwing herself at him.

Other characters, including the antagonist, were well-written, too.  

So what would you do if you discovered you were the reincarnation of a five hundred year old samurai?   Run to the nearest institution for help?  Deny it?  Or...embrace it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Follow My Lead...

Candilynn Fite is doing something very interesting.  It is the Follow My Lead Flash Fiction Contest.
Doing a contest isn't, in and of itself, the interesting part.  You can get the details of the contest by clicking here.  The prizes caught my attention.  Their supportive nature intrigued me.  And for this first ever Follow My Lead Flash Fiction Contest, she's giving away Roland Yeoman's End of Days.  I couldn't pass up this opportunity so I'm submitting a flash fiction piece.

Here's the prompt: The streets of this restless city never slept...
Here's the picture to go along with the prompt:
Source

And here is my flash fiction piece:

The streets of this restless city never slept.  Drunken tourists shuffled along, not a care in the world, bumping elbows into strangers.  Offered beer breath laughter instead of apologies.  Such lack of courtesy demanded attention, but not from me.  In a flash-vision, I saw the young men seal their fate in the next bar.  A brawl, preventable were it not for hot heads and alcohol-strained livers.  A night in a cell would do them good

From my blue-lit balcony, I watched a couple walk arm-in-arm down the cobblestone lane, a woman who smiled mischievously up at a husband that was not hers.  He leaned down to waiting lips and kissed her.  An iridescent light cast a halo around his wedding band as he slipped it off his finger and into his pocket.  Of the many, I chose the husband.  His choice in the situation turned the tide.  They parted from their kiss, no hint of remorse in his smile.  I closed my eyes to let the consequences of my choice whir before me:  A young brunette, veiled and saddened.  Definitely not the blonde clutched in his arms before me. The widow rested her head upon the shoulder of a man with a straight back and heart pouring forth in pity and love. A little boy, too, fatherless, but not for long…and better off for it.


A smile curled my lips.  He will be mourned but something good would come of his death, especially for my wasting body.  Curse that river woman and her poisons.  Then again, I suppose I shouldn’t have slept with her husband.  Now damned as the mistress of Death, taking life is how I must live.  Though the streets of this restless city never sleep, it will no longer be so for one.

Monday, June 18, 2012

NEVERLOVE Nearing The End

Not there yet, but very close.  I must admit, the writing slipped a bit when the laundry, sink-load of dirty dishes and other chores finally shrieked for attention.
How am I doing with my goals?  Let's see here...
Goals for June 2012:
1: Complete first draft of NEVERLOVE by mid June. Mid June has come and gone but not too far gone.  I'm within about three chapters of The End.  May be off of this goal about a week.

2. Begin revisions of MINGLED.  Started going through some of the notes I've received.  Especially keen on beginning this so NEVERLOVE first draft end will begin revision city for MINGLED.
3: Post 3 blogs a week, at least 3 to 4 during the month for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. Done and done.  I'm so glad everyone enjoyed my little change up, doing a review for a MG read.  The next one will be a YA read.
4: Read 3 books. Two done, one to go...also part of the reason I didn't quite write as much :-)
5: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week. Done.  I hope to visit and comment to more.

As part of the process of birthing this novel, I did a skeletal outline based on the Abby and Basil timeline, with tweaks, then hopped on a pantsing detour.  One other thing I did was draft a query letter.  I'd done this with MINGLED.  It helped quite and bit and has helped this time as well.  Here's that rough, rough draft :-)


Dear Agent/Editor:
Seventeen-year-old Abigail Bishop embraced the Goth girl look.  Perfect mask to hide the bruises and late nights spent in tears after her father’s unwanted visits.  When his twisted display of love went too far, stripping away the last of her innocence, she sought a final end to the pain.  Death was too busy to answer her plea and life had other plans.

Failing to take her life angered Abigail.  The thought of facing her father again?  Unbearable.  Fortune smiled upon her through a priest named Father Quanon, who offered a second chance at life: safely guide lost souls through the Withers so they may reach The Gates and be judged.  Abigail gladly accepted her new role as a Cleanser, an agent of heaven, though it cost her family and a future without attachments.  Love, in particular, was forbidden.  Just fine with Abigail, until Basil Hines entered her favorite haunt.  Their connection transcended the bounds of friendship the moment they drank in the scents of each other’s souls, a frightening thing for Basil, a servant of Drakar, the master of hell.  Basil served as a Harvestor, enemy to all heaven stood for.   Love was not an option for him either.  Secrets became a must.  The fault in their love cracked wide open when both were unmasked doing their duties, one protecting souls, the other stealing them.

The shattering truth could send their love to the pits of hell, irreparable. Or Abigail and Basil, two stars destined never to know love, can battle the fates for the one thing they hold dear in one another.


Yeah.  Very rough lol!!  But have you used a query to help you during your writing process?  Do you prefer writing a query before or after writing the first draft?

Friday, June 15, 2012

UNCOVERED: NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAIRY TALE

Okay, so this is actually a very wonderful deal to me.  I've been following Chantele Sedgwick for some time over at My Writing Bug.  She's a wonderful blogger and writer and I'm thrilled to unCOVER something special for you today.  Her novel, NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAIRY TALE, will be released on August 1st.  That's my little sister's birthday so that makes it a doubly wonderful day :-).  Crescent Moon Press is the publisher and here is the BIG REVEAL:
Look at the pretty! Click here to update your TBR list at Goodreds.
Here's the scoop on what this story is all about: Ash Summerland has it all–good looks, popularity, and the best grades at The Academy of Magical Beings. Ready to complete his last assignment in order to graduate, Ash is confident he will get the apprenticeship he wants. When he opens the letter from the Council, he is shocked to discover he has been assigned to apprentice Lady Shenelle, Keeper of Happy Endings. A.K.A. the head fairy godmother. Ash is forced to grant three wishes to a troubled human girl named Kendall, and ultimately give her a "happy ever after". But Kendall turns out to be more than he bargained for. Still grieving over her father's death, Kendall doesn't want anything to do with him. And worst of all, she doesn't believe in happy endings.


This is wonderful news to share on a TGIF and I'm wishing Chantele the best with this novel.  Any other news to share?  A friend get a deal recently?  Maybe a milestone made in your own reading or writing or blogging?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cabinet of Earths, a review

Check it out!
From Goodreads:  On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Maya's own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes . . . nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya?

With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family tree. And now the shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths, at the heart of all these secrets, has chosen Maya to be its new Keeper. 

As she untangles the ties between the Salamander House, the purple-eyed man, and the Cabinet of Earths, Maya realizes that her own brother may be in terrible danger. To save him, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.

My interest in this novel first started when I read an interview of Anne Nesbet at Literary Rambles.  Natalie and Casey, I just have to interrupt for a moment and scream from the mountaintop how much you both ROCK!  Okay, so I mention this for two purposes.  One, to point out how making an appearance at blogs can work.  I don't read much in the MG level but Anne's interview was fun and the description of this novel intrigued me so much I wanted to give it a try.

The second reason I mention the interview is because of some of the tidbits Anne shared that added to my already-germinating intrigue in the book.  She mentioned the following about her own experience and inspiration for this novel: "When we moved to France for a year, we ended up living in an apartment that had a beautiful glass cabinet in the corner, and in that cabinet were all of these mysterious jars and bottles full of sand. I found out later that our landlady had always had a particular love for deserts, and brought back desert sand as a souvenir from every trip she went on, but of course before I heard that explanation, I had spent many hours staring at those glinting bottles and wondering, wondering, wondering...."

I mean, seriously, how cool is that?  So this got the gears in my brain really tick-tocking and I had to read this book.

I enjoyed it thoroughly!  Maya, James and Valko made a wonderful trio of differing personalities that just fit perfectly together.  The phantas-mically witty elements woven throughout the story kept me turning the pages.  An aunt is introduced in a way that I couldn't begin to describe.  Anne does a phenom job of doing it though, and yes, I'm sounding a tad bit fangirl lol!!

Let's just say I would certainly recommend this novel, especially for MG readers or parents/grandparents looking for something unique and adventurous to share with the kiddos.  It will keep their imagination going, for sure.

So, what would you do if you reached for a salamander shaped door handle and the salamander winked at you?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

Check it out!
Life, itself, is a series of overcoming obstacles that come our way.  But there was one time in particular where I almost surrendered to...

It started as my brave little move.  Divorce finalized.  Job applications out to transfer away from everything that had become the norm for me.  Starting over sounded absolutely AWESOME!

Job search successful, I had three weeks to move me and Chipmunk to sunny San Diego.  Not hard, right?  Thankfully, my brother was stoked to fly in to Texas so we could drive back to California (he was living there already).

We road tripped from Central Texas, through New Mexico and Arizona.  He took over, wisely, before we entered California.  Growing up in Little Rock, AR, I thought I understood a little bit about traffic.  My humble hometown in Texas softened me to smaller town traffic, southern hospitalities.

NEVER had I EVER experienced what we encountered my first few miles into the new state I would soon call home.

People used their cars the way rude people elbowed in a mosh pit.  Horns honked.  We got pulled over and asked, by border patrol agents at a check point, if we had any foreign fruits or vegetables.  I suppose having my car packed to the hilt made us a little suspect.  Five lanes of freeway didn't seem enough to contain the cars, trucks and diesels.  Crotch rockets and Harley bikes zipped between the rest of us stuck standing still.  My brother handled it all with grace.

I wailed my head off!  I can laugh now, but the fear just erupted into some pathetic cry.  I'm thankful Chipmunk was too young to remember mommy's breakdown.

We arrived to our destination where my brother rolled on the floor laughing as I seriously re-considered my decision to move to San Diego.  It was all too much after dealing with so little by comparison.  Small town life cooed at me all that day.  I still had a chance to change my mind, make other arrangements, go back to what I knew.

But I didn't surrender to the fear.  I cried.  Yes, that I did a lot those first 24 hours.  But the next day, I literally grabbed the fear and moved it away.  I could go back.  But I didn't want to.  And I'm glad I didn't.  Had I surrendered to my fear I would never have met Will Greenway in person.  Never got a chance to participate in the best ever writing critique group.

My toes still miss the tingle of warm sand though I've been back in Texas for three years.  Surrendering to fear would have cost me some great times and great friends.  I'm so glad that in that moment, I didn't surrender.

Do you have a time where you didn't surrender?  A task that seemed daunting, an event seemingly beyond your ability to handle?  Maybe those last two pounds you never thought you could shed?

Monday, June 11, 2012

#Writemotivation and Birthing a Novel

Goals are moving along quite nicely.


Goals for June 2012:
1: Complete first draft of NEVERLOVE by mid June. Getting pretty close.  Nearing The End.  Think I might actually sniffle a time or two because this darling has been a joy to write even though I had my panic moment lol!!!

2: Begin revisions of MINGLED. Hope to begin this process this weekend
3: Post 3 blogs a week, at least 3 to 4 during the month for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. Making waves here.  Loved the comments for last week's 2012 DAC review.  So got another one for this week.
4: Read 3 books. One down, two to go.
5: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week. I usually get this done in no time flat but I will have to spread this out during the week and make the most of every moment I can.





NEVERLOVE - What can I say about the process of birthing this novel?  It has been a little fun, a little panicking and lot of learning:
- I can panic but it doesn't have to mean the end of my writing world.
- A good read is good food for thought when you need a short break from writing.
- The voices in my head can be quite distinct sometimes...especially the villain.


Now that I've mentioned the word 'villain', here's a snippet of Basil, freshly dead and transported to hell by soul weavers, having a face to face with our villain, Drakar.



“Soul weavers,” the voice chuckled, now closer to Basil.  “Can’t live with them and can’t die without them.”

Basil forced his gaze up.  He was certain he was wrong…had to be.  Before him stood a wretched creature, pale, translucent skin pulled taut across thin muscles, bluish veins and bones.  The rib cage pushed out prominent above a lower torso void of any life giving organs.  This portion concaved, forming a bowl-shape of skin, muscle and bone connecting to a hip bone that poked out like pointy blades.  Pasty wings stretched wide from its back, the tips sharp as needlepoints, catching the glimmer of firelight.  Tiny veins etched through milky membranes webbing the slender wing bones together.

As Basil stared, the creature flexed its wings then brought them forward, cocooning itself from bald head to long-taloned claws, pressing the wings closer, tighter, until another layer of skin sprang up to course over its being.  This skin crackled as it shaped, molded and transformed the winged beast into a not-so-pale naked human that Basil thought was a friend.  If he had a heart, it would have galloped out of his chest at the sight of Drakar.



So, how's everyone doing with their goals?  What stage are you in if you're birthing a novel?  Perhaps a good book you'd like to mention?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Incarnate, a review

I love the cover!
From Goodreads: New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

So for my review, I have to say that I was back and forth between liking Ana, the MC, and just wanting to shake her.  To know what I mean, this is a novel you'd have to read to experience Ana's history to understand the way she interacts with the world around her.

As for the world around Ana, I loved it.  I think Jodi Meadows did a wonderful job world building with inserted explanations that didn't read like info dumps and with great dialogue.

I adored Sam to bits.  I tend to read books and find a character that I'd like to have all to myself, or at least have an exact replica of the character in my life.  From Incarnate, Sam is that character.

What can I say about the cover?  It is beautiful, colorful and actually does carry meaning in regards to something that happens in the book.

The ending seemed a bit mind-bender to me.  I was able to follow it but have to admit, this is one of the things that made it hard to rate the novel a 5 star novel on Goodreads.  Actually, my first rating was 3, but that's only because I couldn't rate it 3.7, because I can't choose a fraction of a star.  Recently, I changed it to 4 stars because of how much more of the book I really did enjoy.

So would I recommend this book?  Yes.  The writing was well thought out and enjoyable.  The story is quite beautiful, in and of itself.  The times I didn't want to shake Ana, I wanted to hug her and tell her that her situation wasn't of her making.  The ending is set for a sequel, 

My question to you, my wonderful bloggy buddies, is how would you live your life if you knew, 100% sure, that you would come back to this world with all your memories in tact?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Do You Fear Lies Under the Bed?

Confession time:  Visitors for IWSG (bless you, Alex, for starting this group) I had a bit of an early breakdown.  You can check that out here.  You can stick around for this additional confession - as a kid, I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street (I shouldn't have, I know, but I couldn't help myself lol!!!) and would have sworn on a stack of bibles that Freddy Krueger was under my bed.  I know, he attacked in your dream but I refused to let any part of my body dangle from the bed during the night.  Silly now.  Creepy back then.

Call it a thrill on my part to share in the announcement of the release of this new anthology.


Sirens Call Publications has recently released their first Anthology titled

“Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed”

Twelve of the hottest names in Independent Horror have crafted tales that will ensure you leave the lights on the next time you crawl between the sheets. Remember your Childhood Nightmares? Ever wonder if you were the only one with the crushing fear you couldn’t talk about? Peel back the layers of self-imposed silence on forgotten fears and discover if there really was strength in numbers all along…
Those whispered tales of monsters hiding under the bed, or of the demons lurking in the shadowy corner where we dare not glance for fear that seeing them will make them all too real. Oh, how the innocent landscape of a child’s imagination lends fertile soil to horrors ready to be sown on the slightest of sounds; the tales and the terror they wreak on our youthful minds never quite leaves us.
We asked the authors in this collection to reach into the forgotten recesses of their twisted minds and share with us the tales of nightmares that can only thrive in the hidden corners of a child’s imaginings; the bogeyman under the bed, the outlandishly fiendish creature lurking in the dark, the slight murmur of sound coming from the hall… did you close the door completely?
Explore the myriad terrors that only a child can twist from nothing into some ‘thing’ in the span of a single rapid breath. Do you dare delve into your own memories? Perhaps you’ll start sleeping with the lights on again...
Tell us, who is Under the Bed?



Contributing Authors:  Colin F. Barnes, Nina D'Arcangela, Phil Hickes, Amber Keller,
Kim Krodel, Lisamarie Lamb, John McIlveen, Kate Monroe, Brandon Scott,
Joshua Skye, Julianne Snow, and Jack Wallen


Conquer your fears and pick up a copy of Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed from:
                Samshwords.com (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, PDF)
Print:     Amazon.com, CreatSpace.com


Read selected excerpts from what has been keeping us up at night, wondering what is Under the Bed?

 ‘Telling Tales’ - Phil Hickes
“She’s here for yet another visit with her cat, Demdike. None of which sounds too bad, you say? Lots of young boys have stuffy old grandmothers and aunties that they have to put up with. And cats are cute and fluffy.
But Peter’s Aunt Alice scares him. In fact, she frightens him to death. And her cat is just as bad, with fur as black as its soul.
That’s why he’s reluctant to go upstairs; because soon, Aunt Alice will be up to tell him a bedtime story. It’s become something of a custom. Peter was delighted when she first offered to come and tuck him in. Despite feeling a little nervous in her presence, and a tiny bit afraid of her pinched, lined face, white hair and bony limbs, she was a welcome female presence. For the first few minutes it had been enjoyable too. She wrapped the sheets tightly around him, clicked off the overhead light and turned on the lamp. He felt warm and snug…”
But then she began to tell him the stories…”

‘The Confession of a Confirmed Has-Been’ - John McIlveen
“I behaved for the first three months. I simply observed the Hansons’ way of life, as I had with the two previous families. In my condition I witness traits and habits often unnoticed by people in a more physical state, like Scott's insistent nose picking and compulsion to wipe his findings on my fireplace, or Bruce’s fixation with himself. If he spent any more time flexing in front of a mirror, I fear he'd get himself pregnant.
I do grant people the privacy of their bedrooms and the facilities, I’m not immoral - though discovering that Karen roams the house in nature's garb when alone was pleasing. I may be dead, but I’m still a man.
My condition is also what allows me to view Kimberly with utmost anonymity. In my spectral cloak, I track Kimberly about the house, watching as she involved herself in childhood fantasies, oblivious to all else. I walked with her through the garden, rejoiced with her, celebrating each discovery with open-eyed wonder. I wallowed in that beautiful youthfulness that fades as we become involved in the trivialities of adulthood…”

‘Bent Metal’ - Nina D’Arcangela
“I’m now in full blown panic mode racing down the stairs to the echoing sound of the police dispatcher screaming into the phone “stay in the house - don’t go near the corner!”
I hit the front hall and see that the door is wide open… oh, God please, oh please, oh  no… don’t let Alan be out there, please let the door be open for some other reason – maybe mom or dad went out to help, please let that be it.
I’m only three houses from the corner; three houses from the wreckage in the street; three houses from my own sanity shattering…. The second my bare foot leaves the safety of the house and hits the front porch I know something is horribly wrong. Somehow I know its Alan, and he’s in trouble.
The dread that overcomes me is suffocating. I can hardly breathe as I try to run towards the street… but my legs feel like I’m running in quick sand. I’m moving as hard and as fast as I can, but the corner may as well be a mile away in my distorted perception.
Oh God! My head is spinning as fast as my legs are churning, someone is screaming – I think it might be me! Finally I make it to the corner and see what an unholy mess of tangled metal the two vehicles that couldn’t avoid each other have become…”

Please visit the Sirens Call Publications web site for an extended preview available for download.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Calling all Interested!

She participates in a slew of events, plots and plans with Write On Con.  Check out the countdown widget over there.------>

She gives query advice, shares her marketing knowledge and loves bacon.

Yeah, Elana Johnson.

That's who this blog shout out is for.  She's having a Never Surrender blogfest as part of the fun-filled blast for the release of her sophomore novel, SURRENDER.  I've decided to participate because she's cool peeps.  Those interested (bloggers and non-bloggers), click here for details and to sign up.

Source

Friday, June 1, 2012

June #writemotivation


June is here.  A new month of goals.

Ready..
Set...
Goal!

Name: Angela L Brown 
Twitter: @neostateofmind
Goals for June 2012:
1: Complete first draft of NEVERLOVE by mid June.

2. Begin revisions of MINGLED.
3: Post 3 blogs a week, at least 3 to 4 during the month for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.
4: Read 3 books.
5: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week.



Are you participating in a June challenge or goal-setting event?  Please feel free to share in the comments.  Another visitor may see it and be inspired :-)