Monday, July 30, 2012

ORACLE Olympic Opening Ceremony

Today would normally be a #writemotivation post.  Actually, I have a bone to pick with myself and will spill all that drama for this Wednesday, first Wednesday of the month.  That means IWSG post - just as a reminder :-)

But today, Olympics-mania is at fever pitch! What better way is there to get into the Olympic spirit than a book set around the London Games? J.C. Martin releases her debut novel, crime thriller Oracle, today! To celebrate, she's holding a month-long Oracle Olympics Blog Tour, with tons of games and prizes, including a possible grand prize of an iPad3 (for more details, visit J.C.'s blog)! And it all kicks off with today's Opening Ceremony! Read on to find out how you could win a signed paperback copy of Oracle right off the bat! So what is Oracle about, anyway? Here's the blurb: Oracle ORACLEWith London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn't need a serial killer stalking the streets, but they've got one anyway. Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police force is no closer to finding the latest psychopath than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter's disability. Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential victims. One of whom could be his own daughter. Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer's only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene


Purchase Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Intrigued?


Here's your chance to win a signed copy of the book! All you have to do is visit all the blogs in the Parade of Nations in order (for a complete list of blogs, visit Olympics HQ here), including this one! Each blog will have a secret letter. Collect them all to decipher the secret message. Then go back to J.C.'s blog and enter your answer in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! Answer some additional bonus questions to multiply your chances of winning! The contest will remain open till midnight EST on Friday 3rd August. The winner will be announced on J.C.'s blog!

So here is my secret letter: T
Click on over to Frederick Lee Brooke's blog for the next letter! Good luck!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Weekend Comes Forth

Just a short note to send a big hug to everyone in the writing community.

Critique partners rock.

Beta readers are the best.

Even Revision City takes a break from being too mean on the streets.  A very short break, but it happens lol!!

Enjoy the weekend everyone :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#Writemotivation and WRiTE CLUB

Oh, Goals.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

Scratch that.  Let me just hope I've made some progress in the midst of Revision City madness :-)

Goals for July 2012:
1: Complete first round revisions of MINGLED. Uh...no.
2: Begin revisions of NEVERLOVE by mid-July. Well, okay, so I didn't plan it but this got finished.  I don't know what happened.  It just did lol!
3: Post 3 blogs a week. Check.
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 a week.  This is where I'm feeling like an epic FAIL!  I'm used to going to so many blogs every day and leaving comments that just barely making this goal in one week really makes me angry with myself.  UGH!!!
5: Plot out basic/skeletal data for MG story idea.  No skeletal outline yet, but I've got a little time to make this happen.  I did sketch some ideas of how to make this a possible series but I'm not sure that counts as a skeletal plot.

To keep myself from delving into some pity party, in which I would invite all of you to join me - BYOW (bring your own whine/wine) style, of course - I've got to give a HUGE shout out for WRiTE CLUB.
Get the deets and sign up!
Get your 500 word samples together and "Let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!!!"

Keeping it short today.  The streets of Revision City rest for no one.  Seriously, like no rest at all lol!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Launching Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge

I'll get to #writemotivatin a little later in the week.  Today, I want you all to join me in celebrating M. Pax's latest release!!!!


The Backworlds Book 2 is Out!

The sequel to The Backworlds is now available. Craze and his friends continue their adventures in Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge. See what role chocolate plays in the galaxy this time.

Add to your TBR list!

The interstellar portal opens, bringing in a ship that should no longer exist. A battleship spoiling for a fight, yet the war with Earth ended two generations ago. The vessel drops off a Water-breather, a type of Backworlder thought to be extinct. She claims one of Craze’s friends is a traitor who summoned the enemy to Pardeep Station. A betrayal worse than his father’s, if Craze lives to worry about it.



Available for all ereaders from:

iTunes and Kobo will be available shortly.

If you haven’t read The Backworlds yet, it’s available as a free read from many outlets. See HERE for links. [http://mpaxauthor.com/the-backworlds-series/backworlds-the/]


Inspiring the words M. Pax writes, Mary spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the husband unit and two loving cats. She writes science fiction mostly and has a slight obsession with Jane Austen. Mary blogs at http://www.mpaxauthor.com/blog/


So what inspires the words flowing from your fingertips?

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Soul Seekers by Amy Saia and the Beauty of Young Romance

I love writing YA.  I love reading it.  And I really enjoy finding out a little backstory for other authors with those same two inclinations.

Okay, you got me.

I love authors period.  Today, I have Amy Saia stopping by to share about her soon-to-be-released novel The Soul Seekers.

Take it away Amy :-)


First of all, thank you Angela for having me here. It’s a great honor to be a part of your blog for a day! (The pleasure's all mine!) I suppose I should talk about the reason I’m here, and that is because my book The Soul Seekers will be coming out on August 7th. It’s about a girl, seventeen-year-old Emma Shay, who moves into a small town only to become fascinated with a strange young man who never looks or speaks directly at her. It’s a bit of paranormal, a little mysterious. Mostly it’s a love story, and I’ll talk about that.

My mom read a lot when I was growing up, and I fell in step, picking up whatever paperback or magazine she’d tossed onto the coffee table after an evening of complete engrossment while sitting on the couch absentmindedly watching tv shows. She read a lot of romances, and so I read those too, though I cringe now at some of the naughty stuff I was taking in at such a young age. What really confused me was how the man always seemed to hate the female protagonist until the last page, where he’d emphatically claim his love and propose on one knee. It was a lot of cat and mouse activity going on: about to kiss, Lance threw her on the bed and growled, “NOT YET Agatha! You damn vixen, you!” Gosh, that would make my heart race. Were men really that complex? It intrigued me and excited me, so I’d read and read until those last pages, then start another one.

Writing YA romance is a lot different. You can’t have young men throwing girls onto beds with gritted teeth every five seconds. The girl can’t clutch at his manly chest and swoon when he gives her a ‘dark’ look of passion. It has to be tender, romantic. A young reader wants everything to be now, yet eternal. Beautiful. I didn’t realize that what I really loved about romance was the romance itself. I found that while writing The Soul Seekers. I love that Emma and Will aren’t tearing each others’ clothes off. A kiss is like a diamond to them. It’s deep and forever—just the way all love should be.

I hope you pick up a copy of The Soul Seekers when it comes out. Its paramysteromance should be good pool reading on these end-of-summer days. Again, a big thanks to the lovely Angela Brown for allowing to stop by! And thank you for reading! 

Author’s Biography

Amy Saia lives in Kansas where she keeps busy as a writer, artist and musician. She has two very imaginative children, a cat named Grape, and a long-haired dachshund named Henry. You can find her online at: http://thatamysaia.blogspot.com/ and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amy.saia.3.

From Goodreads:  When Emma's father dies, she and her mother move cross country to a small, boring town. Now the only constant in Emma Shay's new life is him. Beautiful, silent, him: the mysterious guy at the library she secretly calls Superman because of his dark, good looks. But Emma is puzzled and intrigued by his behavior. He speaks at her but never to her. He comes up to touch her hair and then suddenly leaves. And then one day an impulsive meeting between them uncovers a strange truth about William Bennett.

Set in Southern Indiana during the summer of 1979, The Soul Seekers is about one girl and the future she tries to deny. Can she save William from his purgatory, or is she doomed to share his fate?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Way of the Diamond

During revisions and edits, words can seem a bit...much.  It's like they're everywhere when you don't want them and nowhere to be found when you need them.  So this Wednesday, I offer up a word of encouragement for the Reviser, the Editor, the Shiny New Idea Holder.  To the Query-er and Deal-Haver-But-Now-Stuck-In-Sit-And-Wait-er:

"A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure."
-Author Unknown

Let your diamond shine :-)
Source

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blogiversary and #Writemotivation

Credit
One year ago - yesterday - I published my first post, I had an idea.  Some things have changed since then.  I have more than one follower of this blog (Thanks to all of you with a BIG HUG to Maria for commenting on my debut foray into the blogosphere).  I post a lot less, mainly MWF, though I get some Tuesdays and Thursdays with guest posts, hosting an author or whatever else I can do so my blog is fun for me and others.

I've shared my writing, which I hope you all have enjoyed.  And I've shared my heart (panics, insecurities, inspirations).  Can one year really make a difference?

Why, yes.  Yes it can :-)

For #Writemotivation, I'd usually be listing my monthly goals and sharing an update.  But in that spirit, I'll share a few highlights of one year:

 - Completed the first draft of two new shiny ideas - one from NaNoWriMo 2011 and the other from the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2012.
 - Completed first round revisions of both works.
 - Participated in several blog tours and book launches for indie, small press and traditionally published writers (No fave publishing route here.  I just love a good story).
 - And I've met some of the most caring, gifted, talented and giving people by becoming part of this writing community.  Where once I felt alone on this journey, I don't anymore.  There are others who share my uncertainty, my doubts, my fears.

In the one year since starting this blog, I can honestly say that I KNOW I've grown in my writing.  And yes, I also KNOW I have a long ways to go.  I suppose there really isn't an end to the learning.  And I'm okay with that.

So how long have you been blogging?  Has it made an impact upon your writing?  Your life?

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 YA /MG DAC - Grave Mercy

Amazon, B&N
From GoodreadsWhy be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

So my thoughts?


Assassins.


Those trained in the art of removing  the life force of another human being, ceasing it to exist.


That drew my attention.  Then it turns out these aren't just assassins, but assassin nuns, well, at least the sisters who taught the recruits how to kill - erm - terminate life.


The cover.


I'm not big on the gowns on the covers because it's been a tad bit overdone.  Yet, there's something about this one that makes me tap my finger to my chin and go hmmm....

I got it!


That crossbow makes a HUGE difference for me, makes it stand apart from the typical, "Look at me!  I'm pretty!"  This says, "Dare to look at me, if you must.  Bear witness to the crossbow.  Know that I will use it."  You just hope she doesn't use it on you.


The story.


You can't help but to pity Ismae from the beginning.  Her life was one of difficulty from before the day she was born...aside from the fact she shouldn't have been born at all.  But she was and her life was the rougher for it.  Cursed.  Then enters the convent: new opportunity, new skills, new life and new dangers.  Lafevers takes the reader on a ride writhe with suspense, some political intrigue and historical beauty.  She led me to a time and place where aristocrats ruled by walking the narrow edge of a razor and everyone beneath suffered for the wrong, or sometimes the right, decisions.  Actually, that's happening a lot these days but for this novel, it was done in much more palatial fashion.


I'm not a big fan of historical novels but this is one I would recommend.  Have you read any historical novels that really grabbed your interest?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Me, Myself and I discuss Possession and Surrender

Amazon, B&N
From GoodreadsToe the line between rule-following and rule-breaking in this tense and twisted start to a smart and sexy dystopian trilogy.Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.     But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous—everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.     This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
Amazon, B&N


From Goodreads: Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

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....


Me, Myself and I on: Possession and Surrender by Elana Johnson.

Very.  Bacon Excellent.  Decision.

I:  Loved these books!
Me:  You know what, I was impressed with the overall story of both novels.
Myself: I was impressed with Jag, in both books.
Me: Do you really get that caught up on the guys?
Myself: Uh, yeah.  What of it?
I: Girls, look, no fighting this time.  Besides, Myself's obsession with Jag made your obsession with Gunner an okay thing. Right?  Right?
***Myself and Me glare at I***
I clears her throat: Um, moving on.  Well, I have to say, the love triangle existed in both books, though it was much more prominent in Possession than it was in Surrender.
Myself: Jag was soooo the bad boy and yeah, I know, bad boys are trouble but come on, can you say HOT?
Me: Could you imagine living in a world where your thoughts are controlled, where some person or establishment has the ability to plug into your mind and tell you how to live every minute of your life?  Just...creepy.
Myself: Which is why I LURVED Jag.  Nobody was going to tell HIM what to do.
I: There's something about dystopian novels that resonate.  The possibilities of the future are countless and yet one of these imagined worlds, created by authors like Elana, could really happen.
Me:  Who here would recommend these books?
***all three raise their hands***
I: Love it when we're in agreement...and no cat fighting has happened.
Myself: Jag is still the hottest.
Me: That would be Gunner.  He rocked Surrender.
I: Let's just enjoy the rest of this frozen yogurt and agree to disagree.

Possession and Surrender, both definite must reads for anyone with a love for sci-fi, dystopian, and a little bit of a rebel.

Have you read any great dystopian or sci-fi novels, whether old or new?

Monday, July 9, 2012

#Writemotivation, Revisions and Winners, Oh My!

Before getting into goals, I want to congratulate

JOY CAMPBELL!

She was chosen as the winner of Angelfall by Susan Ee.

Goals for July 2012:
1: Complete first round revisions of MINGLED. Working on these
2: Begin revisions of NEVERLOVE by mid-July. Have lots of notes gathered to begin these soon.
3: Post 3 blogs a week.  Successful so far.
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 a week.  Been hitting this pretty okay.
5: Plot out basic/skeletal data for MG story idea.  Probably won't get started for a couple more weeks.

You'll notice I have a lot of revisions/edits going on this month.  My mind shifted into a semi-revision mode near the end of June while I happened to be reading the last book to meet my book reading goal for June.  The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.
Amazon
I've had this book since the day it came out...or I think a couple of days after it came out.  Either way, other books called to me, pressed for my attention.  I gave way to a lot of great novels and novellas - Darn all you wonderful writers producing stories that appeal to the various facets of me! - before finally settling down to read this sequel to The Clockwork Angel, the first novel of The Infernal Devices series.

I loved the story.  I really did.  But...

I was stuck, stopped, and jammed out of places.  I wanted to edit, edit and edit some more.  Now, I do NOT consider myself the world's best editor, far from it.  But I wanted to delete unnecessary "had"s, rework sentences so they didn't feel quite as passive, ax entire passages that read like filler.

In a way, it made me feel a bit better about my first drafts for MINGLED and NEVERLOVE.  Both of them need some (okay, a lot of) help :-)  If a Big 6 publisher can edit  a novel, approve it for publication and it still need an editor's light touch, well, perhaps there's hope for my stories yet.

Will this keep me from wanting to read the next book in this series?  No.  I really liked the story.  The romance was tender and tense with the triangle between Tessa, Jem (the calm) and Will (the storm).

Will this cause me to rest on my laurels and expect an agent/editor to look past my misspellings, grammatical errors, fillers and an overuse of adverbs?  Heck no.  I am NOT Cassandra Clare, an established best selling author with a loyal following.  I am Angela B., a humble writer on this funtastic-sometimes-depressing-sometimes-exhilarating-all-the-time-adventure called the road to publication.


Have you experienced a moment reading a Big 6 published novel that made you want to break out your little red pencil?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Short and Sweet

That's today's post, although my week - outside of writing - carried on rather long and winded.

Briefly giving a heads up that next week I'll announce the winner of my contest to receive a paperback edition of Susan Ee's Angelfall and I will touch on a few books for my posts and share my thoughts.  Who knows, maybe Me, Myself and I will make another go at a book discussion...hopefully as long as Me and Myself don't break out into another cat fight :-)

As a note - if you get a chance later - hop on over to Misha Gericke's blog My First Book.  I should be making an appearance :-)

Have a great Friday.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Being a Guest for the Holiday :-)

source
It's the Fourth of July, a day of celebration and remembrance for the risk taken by this country's forefathers back in the day. No matter the different viewpoints we hold for the reasons why they took this chance, it can be agreed that the stakes were high.  Here we are today, a proud young country still working out the kinks, a chef's salad of ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, cultural variances and the freedom to be ourselves.

As with any holiday, it's fun to be a guest as a friend's place.  I have the honor of guest posting today over at High Aspirations.  Giles Hash is a pretty cool blogger who chooses a charity to highlight each month.  Talk about a beautiful heart.  His writing posts are great too.

Please stop by to sit a spell, follow him - if you don't already - then enjoy the rest of your Fourth of July :-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#Writemotivation for July

**If you're visiting for IWSG, catch me next month.  With all the wacky writing projects I have going on in my head, there's sure to be a conundrum or three to post about.  For today, I'm focusing on goals.**

Before I get to the goals for July, let's recap the goals I had for June:
Goals for June 2012:
1: Complete first draft of NEVERLOVE by mid June. DONE!!  YAY!!  WOOT!!

2: Begin revisions of MINGLED. A little slow on the uptick but it's started :-)
3: Post 3 blogs a week, at least 3 to 4 during the month for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. Done and Done!
4: Read 3 books.  Grave Mercy, Monarch and Clockwork Prince
5: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 to 25 a week. I'm surprised but I did it :-)

#writemotivation
And now, for July:
Goals for July 2012:
1: Complete first round revisions of MINGLED.
2: Begin revisions of NEVERLOVE by mid-July.
3: Post 3 blogs a week.
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 a week
5: Plot out basic/skeletal data for MG story idea

A lot of writing to get done this month.  What do you have happening this month?

Monday, July 2, 2012

INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest

In the spirit of making one's own path, I'm happy to participate in the INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest.

For some, it's bucking the establishment, giving "it" to the man, whatever "it" is.  For more authors I've met online, or whose writing I've enjoyed, it's been about following their heart, putting out a book that they love so others - like moi - could enjoy.

One particular book got pointed out to me by Sommer Leigh.  She was/is a definite fan of this novel.  Here's one of her blog posts where she mentioned Angelfall by Susan Ee.
From GoodreadsIt’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

I had a very hard time putting this book down.  Susan did a fantastic job of keeping the stakes escalating, keeping the tension taut and making me wish for Penryn to succeed in her quest.

This novel isn't for those seeking "happy days are here again".  It's post-apocalyptic to the core.  Happy days look far in the past and less than a hope for the near future.  A definite must-read!

Get it in paperback, kindle, and B&N.

To celebrate INDIEpendence, I'm giving away a paperback edition of this novel:

And you can check out what's happening with the others also celebrating INDIEpendence: