Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Get "Into the Spiral" by Erin Danzer for Only 99 Cents!

Readers - looking for the next book you just can't put down? For three days only, Into the Spiral is only 99 cents! You won't be disappointed! Check out a message from the author below.
Hello, everyone! First of all, I want to thank Kristina for having me on her blog today. I realize celebrating a character's birthday is not normally done, but doing something different is usually what gets us noticed. So, thank you for having me here today!
Not only is Ronnie celebrating a birthday, her novel, Into the Spiral, is just 99 cents for these three days, August 27-29 (Tuesday-Thursday). That's a steal compared to the normal price of $3.99! Go here to grab your copy today: http://www.amazon.com/Into-the-Spiral-ebook/dp/B00AA1O63Q/
School hallway

About the Book:

Fifteen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Lambert wants to get out from under her older brother’s shadow. When Ronnie gets a tattoo and then is struck by lightning, she suddenly finds herself able to see and hear things in shadows that don’t appear to others. Then Ronnie meets Gavin Clearwater, the hot new guy in all of her classes and finds out he can see and hear the same things she can.

Gavin tells her about the Spiral Defenders, a group of warriors that travels through space and time to defend the planets of the Spiral. After meeting the Commander of the Spiral Defenders and realizing his intentions might not be pure, Ronnie struggles between following her destiny to become a Spiral Defender and trying to regain the life she had before being struck by lightning.

You can also check out Michelle Nicole's blog during these three days to join in the celebration and enter to win an autographed paperback of Into the Spiral, a bunch of swag, beautiful silver-plated triple spiral earrings, and a tote to carry it all in!

Happy Birthday, Ronnie! Thank you everyone for celebrating such a fun day!

~ Erin Danzer

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Check out "A Date to Die For" by Bonnie Paulson!

A Date to Die for: #1 Speed Dating is out and about!

***This is part of a series - each chunk is an episode (like TV) and should be read with that expectation. Not to be read out of order.***

When dating ends in deaths and threats, Molly might be better off staying single.

During one of Molly’s weekly meet-ups with her girls at their regular bar, Molly succumbs to the duress of her two best friends and begins the aggressive dating they sign her up for online where the pairings are questionable… and dangerous. Under the watchful eye of Brad the bartender, Molly succumbs to the duress of her two best friends. They’ve entered her in an evening of speed dating. But at the end of the evening she finds an item from her past that raises questions… and danger.

When the number of deaths surpass Molly’s goodnight kisses, her past pushes into the present and Molly loses much more than she gains. A stalker has focused on Molly and refuses to let anyone else date her. But she refuses to be single for the rest of her life.

Is Molly doomed to a life of singledom wrapped in fear - or will the stalker turn on her next?
Find A Date to Die for: #1 Speed Dating here!
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every story the genetic strength to survive. Let's kick start this show!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Writer vs. Writer - Enough Already

There's been a lot of negative light shed on the indie community lately, from a range of sources. I'm not going to source them here, because I refuse to give them the attention they crave for being the ones to "speak out." Suffice it to say I've read the blogs, reviews, articles, and I'm disappointed in both parties.

What I am going to do is give my take on this negativity, and provide my own look into the industry. Please know that any use of "you" or "your" is strictly in the general sense, as it's easier to use that rather than "an author" over and over again.

First, let's take the outsider looking in. I've read many a hate post trashing indie authors. We don't take pride in our work. We don't put time or effort into each manuscript. Writing is sloppy, full of mistakes, unoriginal. We are too lazy to get published the "real" way, or, our writing isn't good enough for the Big Six. Anyone could write a book, so what makes indies so special? All we're looking for is a quick buck.

Let's clear up a few things.

Writing in any form, for any publication preference, is hard work. Some authors put more work into their craft than others, yes, but this is true for those on both sides. There are fantastic indie books and incredible traditional books. There are also awful indie books and horrible traditional books. No one book will please every audience and reader. No one book will be free of errors. No one cover will be considered perfect by all. Get over it.
Anyone can write a book. This much is true. But why does this condescending statement only apply to indies? I can think of plenty of traditional novels where I thought that same thing. Anyone can write a book - and you know what? Anyone who does write a book deserves credit for being willing to put their work out there for the entire world to see and judge - traditional or indie.

Authors can't get published the "real" way. True, some can't. And false, some can and turn down representation due to demands to change their work to fit popular demand. Some authors choose to take total control over their work and represent themselves; others are perfectly fine adapting their books to fit demands. And both ways are perfectly fine. But, let's face it. The traditional publishing industry is failing. To dispute this is to be in complete denial. Something needs to change for it to keep up with the way the writing industry as a whole is growing, and instantly snubbing indie authors as sub-par is not the way to succeed.
Source: joyreactor.com 

Second, let's take the insider looking out. The indie author who can't stand another's success. Famous authors are stuck up. Popular indie authors only write fad crap that sells. Traditionally published authors are just in it for the money and don't understand real passion for writing.

Let's clear up a few things.

It's hard to be an indie author. It takes a lot of work, a lot of money, and a lot of frustration. Some "make it" and some don't, or some faster make it than others. Those who find success have found it in one or many ways, and it doesn't matter what those ways are. The authors do not deserve to be torn down simply because another is still on the bottom rung. Coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theories as to that success (because clearly that author doesn't actually have talent) is juvenile and petty.

Fads sell. It's just a fact. If you (general "you") want in on the cashflow generated from those fads, then write books you know will fit with those particular audiences. If you don't want to write what's popular, then just do you - and know that in doing so, you are willingly putting yourself on the outskirts. That is your choice and not anyone else's, so don't get huffy when your book isn't on the best-sellers list.

Big Six authors are just in it for the money. Says who? Does getting a higher paycheck mean that person is less worthy of respect? To anyone who says yes, I say you're in the wrong business. I'm not sure why so many indie authors take another's success as a personal insult, but again, I say - get over it.

Source: Etsy

So where does this leave us?

It doesn’t matter how you’re published. It doesn’t matter if someone makes more money than you or has more fans or gets more exposure or, god forbid, has a longer line of readers at their table for a signing. You do your job and let others do theirs free of your hate, jealousy, and/or bitterness.

Really, why should anyone care if someone publishes independently, selecting their own editors and cover artists and formatters? Who cares if someone publishes traditionally through the Big Six and has more exposure? Their decision doesn't affect you, unless you let them turn you into a bitter, absurd caricature of today's modern writer.
You are not better than another author because you publish traditionally, edit for the Big Six, represent famous or semi-famous writers. You are not better than another author because you publish indie, market yourself, or make more money than a traditional author. So everyone needs to stop with the "my way is best" mantra in some desperate attempt to prove why indie or traditional is, in fact, the only right way to go.
I’m not saying we all have to be in Kumbaya land where everyone holds hands and supports one another unconditionally. Anyone who knows me knows I'm the last one to subscribe to that mentality. I certainly don’t think we, as authors, have to love every single indie book and act like it’s the next Great American Novel or that every indie author is the best thing since sliced bread. I certainly don't think that traditionally published authors owe anything to the indie community or that they should feel less about themselves and their work.
But no matter what side you're on, if you don’t like an author or you don’t think their book is as great as everyone says it is – so what? That’s no reason to write entire blog posts trashing them, or give them a low Amazon rating just because you can,. Show some respect.
Still with me?
So where do I fall in all of this? I've been published with a house, and now I publish both indie and through a small press. I have my reasons, and they are solely my own. I'm not famous and I'm not completely unknown, so I suppose I'm somewhere in the middle. Overall, I'm probably one of the ones on the outskirts since, I'll be honest, my books can be a little dark and weird.
There are things that disappoint me about both industries. Traditional - the lack of respect for indie, the need to conform books to the market, the willingness to mass produce fad books with the same stories and character types. Indie - the lack of concern for editing, the heavy focus on self-marketing, the way some successful indies refuse to name their publisher or agent for fear of someone else *gasp* succeeding.
There are things I love about both industries. Traditional - the availability of books, the fact that they keep bookstores in business so I can browse endless shelves of intriguing titles. Indie - the sense of community, the incredible range of talents and stories that have kept me up far past my bedtime.
I’ve learned a lot since joining the writing industry, and I’ve learned from both authors on both sides of the coin. That’s what I love about writing – there’s always so much to take in and things to learn that help you constantly improve yourself. And along the way, I’ve met some of my favorite people. Authors like Kristi Strong, Carol and Adam Kunz, Tiffany King, Sarah Ross, Rachael Wade, Elizabeth Sharp, M.r. Polish, Dawn Pendleton, Andrea Heltsley…the list goes on and on!
These people have become my friends, my writing confidants. They get me through writer's block, generate great conversation, and, my favorite, love to talk about writing. We're connected by a common passion and it doesn't matter how different we are because when it comes down to it, we're all in the industry together.
I've never exactly been considered a friendly person, but having that community, no matter how large or small, has meant more to me than any sale. So I'd like to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of my writing career, whether you've offered advice, listened to a vent, answered one of my really random or stupids, or simply joined in on a conversation about a character.
I suppose I'll get off my own high horse now. I know nothing will change, and that both sides will continue to be at war with one another. But, hopefully if nothing else is taken away from this, it's one thing - not everyone feels the need to tear others down in order to build their own career. So, find the people who fit you and enjoy what you do.
Don't just read indie. Don't just read traditional. Celebrate books. Be a writer, whatever kind that may be, and be proud of it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Haunting" by B.J. Sheldon Cover Reveal!

"How far would you go to protect the man in your dreams?"

Cover by Eden Crane Design

Buy Your Copy Here!.

After a family tragedy,15-year-old Dusty Vermeer has to start her sophomore year in a new town and a new school. Rural Iowa introduces her to Mark, a charming football player. Dusty can hardly believe her heart. Then, to her surprise Dusty meets another guy.

The chemistry between Dusty and Jack could spark a prairie fire on a rainy day. The only problem? Jack's dead. The handsome soldier comes to Dusty in her dreams and introduces her to the horrors of a foreign battlefield and the enchantments of first love.

While Dusty tries to balance her feelings for the two new guys in her life, Jack steps out of Dusty's dreams and into her reality. And he wants something. Jack has no memory of how he died more than half a century ago. Dusty vows to uncover the mystery, but her quest for justice puts her in the path of evil, a force that won't stop until she's silenced.

B.J. Sheldon's love of writing has developed into a passion for creating exciting characters and storylines that she hopes will enthrall and inspire young readers to pick up a book and use their imaginations. Her novel, "Haunting: The Dusty Chronicles - Book One", is based in her hometown of Hull, Iowa and focuses on a teenage girl adjusting to a new town as well as the ghost that has begun haunting her home...and her dreams.

Born in Sioux City, Iowa in 1972 and adopted thirteen days later, B.J. grew up on a farm just outside of Hull, Iowa.  Later, she moved with her parents to Phoenix, Arizona where her father did various odd jobs before retiring as a freight hauler, and her mother started her own business, professionally cleaning homes. B.J. graduated from a private high school in 1990.  Throughout her junior high and high school career, she could be found writing poems, short stories and novelettes on a daily basis.

B.J. was married at the age of 20 and moved with her husband to Glendale, Arizona. Together they had two beautiful daughters, at which time she put her writing aspirations aside to become a full-time purchasing assistant, wife and mother. In 1999, she decided to add full-time student to her already busy schedule and graduated with a degree in project management from theUniversity of Phoenix. Divorcing in 2001, BJ. moved back to Phoenix and got a job as a program manager.

Then, in 2003, she married Steven Sheldon, her muse, and together they welcomed their daughter in 2004.

In 2009, B.J. lost her job and remained unemployed for nine months. During that time, she once again discovered her love for writing and wrote her first, full-length novel for her daughter's fifteenth birthday called, “Schuyler and the Saga of the Sages”. Unable to find an agent, B.J. started looking for an idea for her next novel. One night, after a conversation with her husband about the paranormal, an idea was born and the rest was history. Over the course of the next eighteen months, B.J. developed the plot and wrote “Haunting”, a story about a teenage girl who discovers that the ghost who is haunting both her farm and her dreams has a mysterious past.

In 2011, B.J. was awarded a silver medal in the Reader’s Favorite Award Contest in the Young Adult/Fantasy category and was the only book in that genre to win an award without being a previously published work. "Haunting" was published on April 29, 2013 by Wandering in the Words Press. Her dream is to one day attend a book signing in her home town in Iowa where she first developed her love of words.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, Steven, who is now a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, along with her three daughters, dog and three cats.  Some of her favorite authors include Richard Russo, Nicholas Sparks, Isaac Marion, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling and Guy De’Maupassant. The sequel to "Haunting: The Dusty Chronicles - Book One" is tentatively set to be released in March 2014.

Twitter: @BJSheldonAuthor
Instagram: @BJSheldon
Pinterest: BJSheldonAuthor

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Indie BookFest 2013!

This past Saturday saw the first-ever Indie BookFest at Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, and let me tell you, it was a smashing success. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect, given that it was the first event of its kind and you never know how those things will go, so I was thrilled to see how great a turnout we saw.

I dragged my lazy butt out of bed around 5 am to make the trek to Orlando. My outfit for the day was comfortable, with a Native American twist. I even put on makeup (see how special ya'll are, my author friends?).

Cut me some slack on the lack of smiling - the sun wasn't even up yet.

The day started off in the Disney loop, so naturally, right away I was in a good mood by getting to see Mickey pictures and the like. Side note - I was super tempted to detour to Magic Kingdom, but I managed to resist. Instead I parked and dragged my truck-full of book stuff to the setup room. That's right, all THIS stuff:

Luckily I had a helper that agreed to be my book event slave for the day. Setup was a great time to meet new authors or those that I only know via Facebook. Sharing my table was Ben Hale, a fantasy author. At the table next to me were Tressa Messenger and Devyn Dawson. At the risk of sounding stalker-ish, there is something pretty fascinating about Tressa and I completely admire her entire look. Throughout the day, I even got to meet some of my editing clients! I don't have those pics yet, but I do have these!

 All set up!

The Room 

Another View 

Keynote Speech - Rachael Wade 

Readers/Guests Starting to Browse

Panel Discussion 

Panel Discussion

A Sweet Message from a Client

The day was full of signings, panels, discussions, and, of course, meeting Isaac Marion, author of Warm Bodies. We (myself and my helper) waited in line during the open signing to get our books signed and to take a picture. Everyone else took nice pics like normal people, but then I came along and asked if he would take a zombie attack picture with me. Isaac was cool enough to agree - three times! Because apparently that's how annoying I am.

Isaac Attacking Me

Me Attacking Isaac with My Aunt (and Apparently I'm about to Grab His Ass)

But to prove I'm not always a weirdo, I did take a normal person picture :). This one is with Isaac and Ben Hale, my table partner.

By the end of the day, I could certainly say that it was all worth the effort, and the early-morning wakeup call :). I'm already looking forward to next year! In fact, I'll be registering in the next few days.

And just for fun - the zombie I bought!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cover Reveal for "Wolf Dream" by M.R. Polish!

Wolf Dream by M.R. Polish
The Reaping Spell has weakened her greatest enemy, but now Esmerelda faces a different threat - one that haunts her dreams. To finally defeat Nicholas and end his madness for good, she must travel back to Spain with the help of her powerful friends. 

What she doesn’t know is that in his weakness, Nicholas made a deal with the Death Keeper – his soul in exchange for Esmerelda’s life. Worse, she soon learns that the ones she trusted most have become part of her nightmares. The only one she can trust is the man who holds her heart, and together they must fight Nicholas to the death.

Fighting to stay awake so Nicholas can’t find her in sleep, Esmerelda prepares for the battle that will finish this war. One of them must die for her nightmares to end - unless the Death Keeper, with plans of his own for Esmerelda’s soul, gets to her first.

Teaser from Wolf Dream:
“Esmerelda, I need your help!” Julie yelled from the front of the plane. 
That worried me even more than dying. She never needed—let alone wanted—my help. I ran as fast as I could, jumping over the dead bodies to get to the cockpit. 
She looked at me with wide eyes. “He won’t wake up. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Jarak was there first, grabbing Julie and pulling her out of the way. “Move, Es, I can’t let this happen, not right now. It’s not right.”
I didn’t understand what he meant but moved anyway. Ian was right behind me. “Camilla and Lauren went to take care of the other three breeds and Ailaina went to find a first aid kit to help Lauren.”
I nodded but it all felt so surreal. Was this really happening? 
“Damn it, Julie, why’d you have to put them to sleep?” Ian asked.
“Don’t yell at me. I did what I had to do.”
Jarak tried every combination to open the cockpit door but nothing worked. Ian pushed past me to Jarak. “Move over, I got this.” He slammed into the door with his shoulder, creating a small but otherwise useless dent. Turbulence jerked the plane as Ian hit it again. 
“Hey, man, I don’t see what you’re trying to do. This door is made to withhold attacks,” Jarak said as he returned to the door. 
“Well, wise one, the plane is going down because smarty pants over there put the pilot to sleep and can’t wake the pilot. We,” he used his finger to point at all of us in a circle, “are the only ones awake. So, we need to get in there.”
Hearing Ian confirm my fear of why the plane was descending so fast scared me even more. “Let him try, Jarak.” 
“Fine, but what are you gonna do once you get in there? None of us know how to fly a plane.”
“I’ll figure that out, right now we just need to open this door.” Ian plowed into the door again. 
“That won’t work,” Camilla said as she neared the cockpit.
Jarak raised his hands in surrender. “I’ve already tried to tell him.”
“Here, let me.” She walked up to the door with a set of keys.
Ian moved back over by me, rubbing his shoulder. “Well, now you show up.”

Other Books in the Series:

Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish
Available Now: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
With a death starts a new beginning...
Eighteen-year-old Esmerelda thinks she’s just a normal girl, but all of that changes the day of her mom’s funeral, when a warlock, intent on using her special powers, kidnaps her. Powers she didn’t know existed. Thrown in the middle of a magical battle, Es struggles to learn her magic while fleeing both vampires and warlocks, at the same time, hunting for the witches that can help defeat her adversary. The only problem is that they are dead.
Thankfully, she has the help of Jarak—her Guardian—who quickly captures her heart, but she wonders if she can win his? Just when she thinks Jarak is the one for her, Ian appears with daggers drawn to save Es from a vampire attack. Ian is cocky and rude, but there is something magnetic about him—something that attracts her to him. With her heart torn between two men, she faces the foes that are out for her blood. Can Es do the unthinkable and awaken them from their graves before time runs out?

Author Bio:
M.R. Polish was born in Idaho, a long, long, long, maybe not that long time ago.... Writing has always been there for her. Growing up, her mind was filled with stories, some she shared and others she filed away to write down later in life. It wasn't until 2011 that she decided to publish her stories for everyone to enjoy. Her first award and when writing became more than just an idea was in the 5th grade. She won the scary story contest for the school newspaper. It is one story she still has tucked away for memories. Her teacher told her she could be anything she wanted and that she had a talant for writing, being creative and drawing people into her stories. M.R. took that to heart and continued to write, although mostly in secret until recent years. 
Now you can find her enjoying life with her family - wrangling her four kids, setting traps in the house with toys for unsuspecting victims (aka, her husband) and writing down all her crazy and fun stories. 

"Life is too short to stand by and watch everyone else live your dreams. The bigger the dream, the bigger the adventure!" ~ M.R. Polish

You can Find her on her Website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Next Stop on Kristi Strong's Hunt!

Welcome! Below you'll find a message from author Kristi Strong as you continue along your scavenger hunt!

Hi everyone, and thanks for having me here, Kristina! My name is Kristi and I am the mind behind the Land of Kaldalangra series, which currently is made up of two books, The Lady of Steinbrekka and Heart of Kylassame. In honor of The Lady of Steinbrekka turning 1, I've put together a party game for you, complete with prizes!

The party game is a classic scavenger hunt with a digital twist. Scattered throughout the online world are little known facts about Kaldalangra. Don't panic, the list of blogs hosting these facts can be found on my website, Strong Novels. After you have collected all of the facts, be sure to head over to the Prizes post of my blog to see what you can win!

~ * ~ * ~
And now...a secret fact from the world of Kaldalangra 

* Rowan and Rhea were not meant to end up with one another. They fell in love against my better judgement and insisted upon trying a relationship.

~ * ~ * ~

Be sure to check out the other great blogs for more facts of Kaldalangra!

Thanks, Kristina!