Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good And Bad All Over...

Hmm. I sort of had a bit of a low point.

As much as I like to say that bad reviews really won't bother me, that they'll just roll like water off a duck's back...

They sort of sting.

No worries, I'm not really letting it get to me. I am looking over what is being said, and taking it all into consideration.

I tried something new in fantasy, and, well, you either love it or you hate it. Experiment done. "Mischief managed". On to the next book.

So while I am sort of sad when people don't like my book, I have a slight confession to make. I've put some of you, yes, you, up on a pedestal. Yes, my author buddies, I've sort of raised you all up in my mind, and had a slight moment of Hero Worship.

*Gasp!*

I still worship you all, don't worry. But, I did go read some of your one- and two-star reviews. Is that mean? Is that like, "Mean Girl-ish"? Catty?

Rawrrr...

No, it really just helped me put things into perspective. Not every reader out there is going to love everything they read. I do book reviews, for pity's sake. I know how hard it is to give those one, two and even three star reviews. I don't like saying I don't like a book. It's no fair to the author, but how else are you going to help the author learn and grow?

For those of you who have more than one book under your belt, I did see how the reviews got better with each book written. So there is hope for me.

Thanks for putting up with my slightly self pity party. This would have been a better post for IWSG, but I couldn't wait.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review: Words of an Angel by Savannah Rayne...

Title: Words of an Angel

Author: Savannah Rayne

Pages: 159 File Size: 1301 KB

ASIN: B00DWFPCI0

Purchase: Amazon

Summary (from Amazon):

After losing her job at the local newspaper, Rayanne Bradley finally had the time to reach for one of her dreams—writing a book. What should have been an easy task end’s up getting off to a slow start, until the day her muse shows up. Now, whenever the masculine scent of musk mysteriously fills the air, her thoughts flow freely as she types them into what will become her book. As the manuscript unfolds, the mystery deepens and becomes entangled with coincidences. Could this be real? Had she met the long haired, sexy, man of her dreams? Could she believe and trust the words of an angel?

My thoughts:

Now, you all know I'm not much of a romance reader. But this was a good, fast read. It kept me up until 4 a.m. one morning, which is good. Books that pull me in and keep me turning the pages are the kind of books I love, no matter the genre. Savannah asked me to take a look at 'Words of an Angel' and I did.

I like Savannah's writing style. It's pretty concise and her characters are usually well developed. This is her first attempt at romance, and I think she did a pretty good job.

The story itself is different, and moves at a good pace. All of the characters are well developed. There isn't anything bad I can say about this story. The rating will say it all.

My rating:

4 and a half skull and crossbones.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guest Post: Hart Johnson...

Hey all, I want you all to say hey to Hart Johnson, also known as our favorite Watery Tart! Give her a warm welcome. Take it away, Hart!

Serial Killers vs. Killer Serials

First, I really want to thank Mel for hosting me! It's fabulous to be here. There are only so many people brave enough for my insanity, so I always appreciate it when someone is, and thank you to all of YOU for indulging me today!!!

Halloween is that odd season when suddenly we all love those serial killers, eh? The silver screen brings to light the Freddie Kruegers, Jasons and Hannibal Lechters. They fascinate and intrigue us and we commit to watching and reading about these sick, twisted people to our heart's palpitating aneurism... erm...

Don't get me wrong. I love a good scare, but I am here to make a point-by-point as to why THIS Halloween you should try KILLER SERIALS instead!

Before I start, a brief on what a Killer Serial IS: It is a FABULOUS STORY told in Serial!!! Just like Dickens and Dumas used to do it... small volumes, 40-100 pages that are a part of a bigger tale...

So there.

 NOW... Why YOU want to give Killer Serials a try this Halloween instead of Serial Killers...
5)  None of those pesky masks!!! (I mean seriously, who can breathe?)

4)  Still a gloriously high body count!!! (I've killed half the US population—take THAT wimpy little Freddie Krueger!)

3)  No peeing your pants!!! Seriously—you are afraid to get up and leave those serial killers because a) they might be hiding in your bathroom and b) you will miss something... Killer serials, on the other hand are bite-sized doses so you can pee between episodes!

2)  Serial Killers are only popular at Halloween. Killer SERIALS are fabulous all year long!!!

1)  Serial Killers are so 1970s... Killer Serials are the NEXT. BIG. THING.

If you want to find out MORE about the killer serials out there, a bunch of us are sharing blurbs and why we love this stuff on Thursday... we might even give a bunch of stuff away!!!

I encourage you to come see what we've got. I will be offering my first episode (about 100 pages) free Thursday and Friday.

Author note: I have written a few cozy mysteries under the pen name Alyse Carlson, but this is both my first self-publishing, and my first SERIAL adventure (but MAN, I love the serial!) Find Hart: Blog Facebook Twitter (though it is nearly fraud to claim I tweet)

Monday, October 28, 2013

You Know That Thing, With The Thing?...

So there have been some people sort of waiting for the paperback version of "Adversarius". You know, for that whole like-the-feel-of-a-real-book thing. You know how it goes.

Well, I have good news.

It's done!

The paper back version of "Adversarius" is now available on Amazon.

Took a little while to get to this point, but it is done. I received the proof copy over the weekend and checked it out inside. The formatting, I have to say, is perfect. Spaces between scenes is good and the clip art I used worked so well.

I've heard lots of horror stories out there about how formatting for Kindle and Createspace was so difficult. But I have to say, I found a couple links online and followed the instructions to the letter.

Easy peasy.

One of them was our very own Donna Hosie. The other site was Gregory Mahan.

If you just follow the steps, it isn't so hard. Hell, I'd even be happy to help you out and do it for you.

At any rate, it looks very good inside. My dedication and copyright pages are not the greatest, but that's okay. It's the rest of the book that matters. So I hope, those of you who were wanting a paper back copy, you enjoy it.

Have a great week everyone and be sure to drop by tomorrow when Hart Johnson will be dropping by with a guest post.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Faves & Funnies...

I know, I KNOW! I keep dropping the ball and not posting my Friday Funnies. Please, forgive me.

I'm sort of running out of faves, but I keep getting new ones.

Like this last weekend, I discovered a new favorite movie. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" with Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. I think Ezra's character, Patrick, was my favorite.

It's a very good movie. If you haven't seen it, I would highly suggest it. I got it through my Netflix. I've also been watching the series, "House, M. D.". Love this series. That and "The Vampire Diaries". I know, even after my rant on Wednesday, this is a decent show that I got wrapped up in before I finally hit my wall with the whole monster fiasco. I only have two words in my defense. Ian. Somerhalder.

I also love "Rules of Engagement". Patrick Warburton has been one of my favorite actors for a very long time.

So there are some new faves on the horizon. You'll have to pardon me if I repeat myself.

On to the funnies!

More Halloween inspired funnies just for you:







And on that note, I wish you a happy Halloween as well. What are some of your favorite TV shows, movies, books or music?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Over And Done, And Overdone...

Seems to me that everyone jumped on the vampire/love triangle bandwagon, and now there is just so much of it saturating the market.

How do you pick and choose from so many?

Personally, I'm tired of the whole vampire thing. More importantly, I'm tired of the glorification of these age old monsters.

Vampires, werewolves, zombies, all of it, were not. Meant. To be. Cuddled.

I might lose a few followers here with this, but to be honest, I'm not much of a zombie fan. And now they've become a creature to be loved as well.

Seriously?

When did horror become so... squishy? (Pardon the pun for the undead...)

These days, if I pick up a vampire book, it better have a good story. And please, for-the-love-of-all-that-is-merciful do not let. Them. Sparkle.

These are creatures that started legends and traditions. People feared that which goes bump in the night or can drain you of your blood in a matter of moments. Next thing you know, someone is going to write up a love trilogy over a Frankenstein-type monster and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Even though, technically, the hunchback is not some creature of the night...

Those traditions stemmed from people's fears. Now, what is there to fear? Oh, wait... most everyone's biggest fear these days is that the power will go out.

Meh. Light a candle and write a letter.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be scared if the power went out forever as well. But we'd just have to go back to the old ways of communicating. Not a big deal, just no instant gratification.

But seriously, when did these nightmare monsters become so soft and over done? Why do most people choose to write them this way? What are they truly afraid of? Is this how they cope with their own fear of these creatures?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Cover And News...

Hey everyone!

Just posting up a quickie here to show off the new eBook cover and the paper back cover.

'Adversarius' will be available in paper back very, very soon! As in, probably by next week, soon. Of course, I'll be posting when it is available.

So, without further ado, here are the new covers:

e-book cover!

paper back cover!
::Does the happy dance:: I'm excited. And a very special thank you to Anita Stewart, she did an amazing job and was willing to work with me even after I changed my mind like, three times. Ha! I swear, I wasn't trying to be difficult.

If you like Anita's work, she's very reasonable and flexible. She'll work with you until you're happy. Here's the link to her site.

Thank you, Anita!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Clark Library Authors Meet & Greet...

Happy Monday everyone! Wait, don't throw that cup of coffee at your screen, you're going to need it later.

I was asked to post up some info, and since I have blogger buddies and author friends all over, some of you might find this interesting.

Clark Library, located in Clark, NJ, is having a local authors Meet & Greet.

If you have Facebook, click on the link to get some details.

For the rest of you, here is what you need to know:

Saturday, October 26th from 2-4 p.m., you can meet some local authors.

This relaxed, casual setting will offer readers, fans and book lovers alike time to meet and greet some of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania’s very own authors.

Grab a snack, a drink and chat all things books. Delve into the mind of an author who may just become a new favorite!

Authors range in all genres from YA to Adult.

This event is free to attend and open to the public. The authors will have signed books for sale so be sure to bring cash if you’d like to purchase one. Attendees will have a chance to win prize packs containing books and bookmarks.

Please Register here.

Here is a list of authors that will be attending

Adult Authors

Jill Prand
Melissa Collins
Stephanie Lehmann
S. J. Pajonas
Eric Nierstedt
Steven Donahue & Dawn M. Donahue
Mary A Wasowski
T.H. Snyder
Alice Montalvo-Tribue
Melinda Sutherland
Milly Taiden

Young Adult Authors
Amy Evans
Nad├Ęge Richards
Lisa Amowitz
Charlotte Bennardo
Kim Purcell
Kit Grindstaff
Christy Sloat
BJ Sheldon
Katherine Polillo
Amalie Howard

I hope you all had a good weekend and I will see you all soon! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I Need Your Help!...

I'm a bit overwhelmed. One of my best friends (and also a talented author) A. D. Stewart, is making a book cover for "Adversarius".

Here's the thing...

I can't decide which one I like best. I've discussed some changes with her, we're working on it. But I can't decide if I like it with or without the crown.

So will you vote in the comments below? Cover One or Cover Two:

Cover One

Cover Two
Again, leave your comments below. Help me decide which one to do. Thanks!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lessons Of Publishing...

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I had a blast!

I'm working on a short story for the Ladies and Gentlemen of Fantasy, which, is still looking for submissions. My friend Jenna works on an annual anthology, Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror, which the newest edition will be out around Halloween.

I'll give you the link, much easier that way. Information is on Facebook, if you need me to send you details, by all means, contact me.

But that isn't the purpose of today's topic. I just keep forgetting to mention it and my head hurts enough without the added pain of facepalms...

No, today's topic is more of a reminder to newbie authors out there, just stepping into the publishing world. Before you sign ANY contract with ANY publisher, CHECK. THEM. OUT.

There are lots of small presses out there. Lots of creepy scam artists just waiting to take advantage. No one likes to feel like an idiot after all is said and done, but remember, even the smartest people can still be conned.

There are lots of available resources out there for you to use. One of them being Absolute Write's Water Cooler. They have forums where there are lists of posts of who's good, who's bad. They also link you to Preditors and Editors.

If all else fails, check the Better Business Bureau, or even better, the Bad Business Bureau.

But nothing can beat good old fashioned word of mouth. With Twitter and Facebook and all these other social media places out there, just simply ASK if any authors have heard good or bad about anyone you might be interested in submitting your life's work to.

Sometimes, even after you've done all the digging you can, you still might end up having issues. Just remember that no contract lasts forever and you can always find a better fit somewhere else. But listen to your instincts, see if you're a good fit. Talk to other authors. Don't listen to petty gossip, because sometimes you won't get the full story, so make sure you do your homework.

Research. Research and more research. It's just like writing, you have to look hard when looking for someone to help promote your 'baby'. What are they going to do for you that you can't easily do for yourself?

Good luck!

Have any links to share of places to get info? Post in the comments below and as always, feel free to share your advice.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Today Is My...

BIRTHDAY!

Woot! And to celebrate, I'm giving YOU the gift.

So what are you getting? Well, right now the only thing I can give you is a free copy of "Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose: Book One". I'd love if you could all spread the word. You've helped me before and you know I will reciprocate.


I certainly cannot hand out cake. That would be cool, though, wouldn't it? The best I can do is offer up some virtual cake. Pretend it's your favorite and don't forget the ice cream! Have an awesome Friday and a more awesome weekend!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Guest Post: Misha Gericke...


Hey everyone, give a warm welcome to Misha Gericke, my guest poster for the day and author of "The Vanished Knight"! Take it away, Misha!

 

Thanks for hosting me today, Mel!

Since Mel gave me carte blanche, I thought I’d share the story of a novel’s birth.

Back when I started blogging, I was working on a WiP that I (aptly) named The Beast. Drafting it was a difficult, often painful experience. I hated one of my main characters. Despised him. He was disrespectful, rebellious, self-pitying, smart alec-y and on and on and on.

But I loved my other characters enough that I had to keep going. Because one of my characters needed James, James stayed. And he pretty much fought me the whole way, for my entire first draft. He was by far not my only problem, though.

The other big problem I had was working with multiple plot lines. I’d done multiple perspectives before, but always for simpler stories, where there was basically one plot that everyone contributed to. The Beast was different. Pretty soon in the story, the main characters are split into two groups and they remain apart, seemingly living out their own stories, seemingly having nothing together. And then, there was a third plotline. A silent one. I needed to stay aware of it the whole time, even if it remained behind the scenes. But for the entire story this silent plotline didn’t feel right.

Yet another major problem: I (who always planned everything out) couldn’t plan The Beast. Those plotlines I mentioned were so subtle and convoluted that I couldn’t put them down on paper. And since the silent plot (which didn’t feel right) originated the other two, things got pretty hairy. It felt as if I was trying to untangle a bowl of spaghetti. With some of the strings stuck together. And where unsticking them would make the whole thing fall apart.

So I did the two things I never did: First, I gave up on planning and let the whole thing play out. Second, I trusted my gut and wrote the whole thing without trying to fix anything. It took me five years to finish the rough draft.

It was pretty good, though. But (since I wrote the whole thing by hand) I needed to rewrite it. This time I planned, using the stuff I’d learned and liked and structuring the story around it. During this rewrite, things fell into place. James made sense. And although he’s still all those things I complained about before, I understood him. By understanding him, I… well… “like him” is still a bit of a strong way to put it. But he has grown on me.

During the rewrite, a random conversation about Snape from Harry Potter made my silent plotline fall into place. And with that, the whole thing came right. Suddenly, there weren’t these tangled bits of string. There were lines. And they converged on one point. I also saw that the silent plotline was making all the others resonate. The rewrite became the easiest thing.

I knew what to focus on, I could tolerate James, and I didn’t need to plan, because I could sense when I was veering off as I wrote.

The Beast became Doorways, and Doorways became The Vanished Knight and its sequel The Heir’s Choice.


Blurb:

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

Bio:

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blog

Links: 




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Missed Again...

When people are running a fever and still show up for work, I don't know whether to smack them or praise them. In this instance, I want to smack them.

Hubby was working with a co-worker for a day who was running a fever. Now, I know times are tough, but when you're contagious, please stay home.

The result of this was hubby getting sick and me fighting it off. Slightly unsuccessfully. I managed to not get as sick as hubby was. But where we're staying, no one else can get sick without serious consequence. We spent a few days in "quarantine" and hopefully it worked. We sprayed Lysol everywhere, used masks, you name it.

But again, if you're contagious, stay home! You risk getting other people sick who can't afford it either.

So anyway, I've been offline a couple days and will be back, yet again with stuff. Misha Gericke will be guest posting here on Friday, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

I hope you are all having a fabulous week.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Faves & Funnies...

Better late than never, right? I mean, I did remember I need to post this yesterday, I just forgot to do the post. Ha!

Anyway, yes, it's October. Two things happen this month. My birthday and Halloween. Since I don't want to focus on my birthday, we'll focus on Halloween.

But just so you know, on my birthday, YOU will be getting the gift. On October 11, next Friday, I'll be giving my e-book, "Adversarius" away for one day only! Still trying to spread the word, get some reviews, etc. So please, as a gift to me, help me get the word out.

Okay so Halloween is like, my FAVORITE holiday. It's fun. I'm a horror movie buff, I love reading horror, but it's gotta scare me, not gross me out. I mean... no sparkling stuff, no lovey dovey, squishy zombies... GIVE ME OLD SCHOOL!

My favorite movies this time of year are all the "Scream" movies. They're funny, come on! I like that kind of campy stuff. I also like "Near Dark", "Halloween" and "Pumpkin-head". "Lost Boys" is a great Halloween movie to watch as well.

If I'm going to read, it's going to be "Pet Semetary" or "Salem's Lot".  Things like that. "Pet Semetary" scared the pee outta me when I was a teenager. Love it.

So what are your faves around this time of year? What do you like to do for Halloween, go out or stay home with the lights off?

Now for some Halloween type funnies and some interesting pumpkin carving ideas...






Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pumping Up A Flat Character...

I've been working on revisions and such, preparing to get busy again. It occurred to me, though, that I have a rather dull character without much substance to him.

Everyone knows he's a tyrant. He's downright evil and nasty. Anyone who would try to have their own son murdered, well, he's gotta be a bad guy, right?

But what made him that way?

While working on revisions for book two, I realized: Wow, I don't know much about Mandorak Li'endrin. At least, not like I thought I did. This guy is the epitome of arrogant jackass and I don't even know much of how he got that way.

So I am working on remedying that. I've got a list of questions, and while I'm prepared from some snotty, cynical answers, I'm going to interview the heck out of him and dig deep. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make him cry.

Wish me luck!

What do you do when you discover a flat character?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

Wow! I almost forgot to post today. Actually, I did forget until I got a comment about it.

No, I saw all the reminders, but my poor brain. I swear I have short term memory loss if I don't write it down or repeat it a dozen times.

So what's my insecurity? Getting back into my routine.

The move from Alaska to Washington was supposed to be a fun one. It was supposed to be good for me and hubby, but the drive through Canada, well, to be honest, entering Canada, became a nightmare. Once we got through, we were so stressed, it took away a lot of the fun.

Prior to the move, I wasn't focused much on anything other than moving. We all know how that goes. But I fell out of my routine of reading blogs, commenting, getting on Twitter at least once a day to promo my book.

After the move, right when I was going to get into the swing of things, another bump. My publisher closed her doors. So that was a mad scramble to get things back up online so I wouldn't miss out on any sales.

It's been difficult to get back into this routine. Making a habit is supposed to be easier than breaking one. So, while I am trying to create a "new habit" of my old routine, I'm breaking the "old habit" of getting out of my rut.

My advice? Just keep doing it. So while this post is a little late, better late than never. Good to see you all again!

Insecure Writer's Support Group is brought to you by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Ninja Captain himself. Check out all the other participants here.