Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finding Claire Fletcher T-Shirt Fundraiser


So, Claire Fletcher, who is the protagonist of my first novel has a birthday today!

In honor of her birthday, I'm holding a t-shirt fundraiser. Buy a Finding Claire Fletcher t-shirt and all profits will go to Operation Underground Railroad or O.U.R., a non-profit organization founded by a former CIA/Homeland Security agent. They use cutting-edge technology to locate and track child pornographers and human traffickers. They use their findings to assist law enforcement all over the world to stop these monsters and rescue kidnapped children.

You can read about them here:

http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/26/tech-startup-operation-underground-railroad-is-saving-kids-from-human-traffickers/

And check out their website here:


Since this is my first stab at fundraising, I've set my goal at selling 30 t-shirts.

IF I DON'T REACH MY GOAL, THE T-SHIRTS WILL NOT BE PRINTED AND YOUR MONEY WILL BE REFUNDED.

YOU HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER 12, 2014 TO PURCHASE A SHIRT.

YOU CAN PURCHASE ONE HERE:

http://teespring.com/findclaire

Monday, October 6, 2014

So Many Things!

I've been away so long! I apologize. This summer kicked my behind. I had a wee bit of a health scare which involved me having to get an MRI of my brain (everything is fine) and then a minor surgery (again, everything is also fine).

Seriously, waiting for appointments to begin is an awesome time to write!
I think I got 3K done waiting for this MRI. 

The school year came so quickly, I've barely had time to process things, let alone blog about them. There are so many things I wanted to comment on that I couldn't decide which to do a post on first . . . so I'm going to try to cover it all in one post.

First, many of my lovely and amazing friends won awards in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2014! I'm happy to tell you the following books won awards (and if you haven't checked out these books yet, I don't know what you're waiting for!)


NANCY S. THOMPSON'S THE MISTAKEN




- WINNER, Best Audiobook
- WINNER, Best Thriller

MICHAEL INFINITO, JR.'s 12:19



- RUNNER UP, Best Horror

MICHAEL INFINITO, JR.'s IN BLOG WE TRUST



- WINNER, I've Been Shamylaned Award (i.e. best twist)
(FYI, Michael and I actually tied for the winner of this award! My second novel, Aberration was a finalist. Also, Michael's contract with his publisher was up and In Blog We Trust has since been picked up by new publisher who will re-release it in the future. I will keep you posted as this is one of my favorite books and has the best twist of any book I've ever read!)

CARRIE BUTLER'S MARK OF NEXUS SERIES



- WINNER, Best New Adult (Strength)
- WINNER, Best Series

DANA MASON'S DANGEROUS EMBRACE & PRECIOUS EMBRACE




- WINNER, Best Mystery/Suspense
- RUNNER UP, Best Romance

ALEX CAVANAUGH, CASSASTORM


WINNER, Best Science Fiction

Hopefully, I haven't forgotten anyone! CONGRATS to all these extremely talented authors.

****



I was way excited in September to find out that FINDING CLAIRE FLETCHER was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review's Best Kindle Book Awards of 2014 in the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense category. I checked out my competition, which was pretty darn stiff, and never expected to win, so I wasn't surprised when I didn't! I am totally psyched to have been a finalist though and I'd like to extend my congratulations to Nancy DeMarco, whose Saving Gracie won in my category. I don't know Nancy but her book looks awesome and hopefully she will pick up a lot of new readers with this wonderful award. You can check out all the 2014 winners right here.

***

In July, the lovely and incomparable Jennifer Hillier released her third novel, a stand-alone called THE BUTCHER. I was lucky enough to win a free ARC which I devoured in less than 48 hours. Truly one of the best books I've ever read. You should check it out. You should check all her books out! Not just because I think that Jenny is an amazing person but because she is rapidly becoming one of my writing idols. Mark my words, she is going to be sitting atop the New York Times Bestseller list one of these days, selling as many books as James Patterson or Karin Slaughter.



One of the coolest things about her most recent book is that from page one, you know the identity of the killer. Think about that for a moment. Page one. Killer's identity. You might think, "what's the point of reading the book?" Well, if you want to learn something about how to craft a suspense novel, read this book. I think it's truly amazing what Jennifer has done here. You can read my review here.

***

I'd like to extend a big, fat CONGRATULATIONS to Libby Heily, whose play, THE LAST DAY is going to be produced and performed at Raleigh's Owl Tree Theater next year! You can read about her big announcement here. If ever I was tempted to make a trip to Raleigh . . .

***

I really haven't been reading many blogs--or much of anything--lately because I've been so busy, but I did manage to stumble upon this blog post by an author named Rachel Aaron outlining how she went from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000 words a day. I'm always looking for ways to write faster or at least to squeeze more writing into my day. Now keep in mind, this author is fortunate enough to be able to write full-time, so getting up there to 10,000 words a day is a feasible goal for her and probably for most full-time writers. I do work full-time, so 10K a day is never going to happen for me. But I still found this blog post immensely helpful and I've taken it to heart.

My then 6 year old daughter left this note for me in one of my notebooks this summer after she borrowed my pen.

Over the summer I was working on OVER THE EDGE, the sequel to FINDING CLAIRE FLETCHER and a book called COLD-BLOODED, the sequel to HOLD STILL. I was moving along quite nicely with both of them but even so, I didn't feel like I was getting very far. Between the two of them, I had about 50,000 words written, which I guess isn't too bad given how little time I've had to devote to writing. Still, I really wanted to do more. So I took Ms. Aaron's advice and with COLD-BLOODED, I spent 2 weeks doing nothing but plotting the entire book out. I'm not a plotter.  I'm more of a plantster--one quarter plotter, three quarters panster. I have always just gone where the writing took me and figured out all the particulars later. It's a massively inefficient way to write. And yeah, it took me 2 weeks instead of the few days that she suggests because I'm not a natural plotter. But I did it! First time ever, by the way, that I've been able to plot out the entire book in great detail before writing it.

I got my daughter to draw this, which is what popped into my head when I thought of "Plantster"
25% Plotter, 75% Pantster

Starting this week, I am going to return to writing it. I'm very interested to see how quickly I can finish the first draft of the book now that I know what happens in every chapter. I am really hoping this will transform the way I write books. It is an experiment for me. Kind of like the 100 Day Challenge idea I got from Jamie Todd Rubin and the Writing Blitz idea I got from Libby Heily. I heart other writers!

Anyway, I'll check in for sure in one month to let you know what kind of progress I've made in COLD-BLOODED.

***

In more news, HOLD STILL is set to be re-released by Amazon on November 11, 2014. I'm way, super-duper excited! And nervous as hell. I sure don't want to tank! I'm so very grateful to Amazon for this opportunity to reach more readers and I can't wait to see where the journey takes me next. Until about a week before the release, my self-published, first edition of it will remain on Amazon. I've already removed it from other platforms since it wasn't really selling many books anywhere except Amazon anyway.


Also, and this is pretty flipping exciting, I'm thrilled to announce my first foreign translation! HOLD STILL is being translated into German!

Finally, the last of the HOLD STILL news, the audio book is available now! This was produced via ACX before I was approached by Amazon. It is available now wherever audiobooks are sold.

I've got a bunch of promo codes for free downloads of it from AUDIBLE. Apparently, you can't give these away. So if you're interested in getting a free audio copy of the book (via download, not CD) just comment below or email me at lisareganauthor@hotmail.com and I'll send you a code.

***

The wonderful Michael Infinito, Jr. has an upcoming release called THE SECRETS OF HALLOW which I was privileged to read a few years ago. It is a young adult book and a fascinating re-imagining of the origins of Halloween. It comes out on October 10th. You can pre-order it here. You should check it out! It is truly an awesome book.


***

Finally, this issue has come up lately, mostly on Facebook and it seems to be a hotbed of contention among writers . . . and also some non-writers: using Kickstarter to ask for donations to raise money to write and/or self-publish a book. I know there are only about two of you who still read my blog and so I probably already know your thoughts, but I am interested to know what people think of this concept. Some are adamantly opposed to it and others think it's perfectly natural. Publishers Weekly actually did a piece on it which you can read here. What say you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get Your Vote On at the 2014 eFestival of Words Awards!


So I did a post earlier this year about all the amazing authors I know who had been nominated in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2014. In an awesome turn of events, all the authors I was rooting for made it to the finals this year in one or more of the categories they were nominated in, so I'm going to ask you to help an author out and go vote for these authors. I've read their books and loved them. I am very passionate about them so please, please, PLEASE take a few minutes to vote for these very deserving writers.

The eFestival of Words login/registration thingy is a lot more simple this year so it should take even less time to vote than it did last year when all of you lovely, wonderful people made my first novel a winner in the Best Heroine category.

I urge you to go vote now because as I understand it, voting closes on or about 8/22/14. Winners will be announced on 8/24/14.

So I'm going to make this short and simple for you.

You're going to go to THIS LINK.

And look for the names of these authors:

NANCY S. THOMPSON (The Mistaken) in Best Audiobook, Best Thriller and Best Hero (For Tyler Karras)

CARRIE BUTLER (Strength; The Mark of Nexus series) in Best New Adult and Best Series

MICHAEL INFINITO (In Blog We Trust & 12:19) in Best Horror and I've Been Shamylaned (i.e. Best Twist)

DANA MASON (The Embrace Series) for Best Romance, Best Mystery/Suspense and Best Hero (Johnny Rhay Bennett)

ALEX CAVANAUGH (CassaStorm) for Best Science Fiction

KATIE METTNER for Best Sweet Romance

Hopefully I did not forget anyone!

Carrie has some excellent instructions on how to register and vote which you can see HERE.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Post-Release Post #8: Fear of Disappointing Readers

Two of my most favorite, I-would-probably-pass-out-if-I-got-within-2-feet-of-them-and-sort-of-almost-did -when-I-met-one-of-them authors are Karin Slaughter and Dennis Lehane. This is well-documented.  I discovered Lehane in the last year, but I've been reading Karin Slaughter's books for over a decade. Both writers have a series based on a specific set of characters. I'm a dedicated, passionate fan of their work.




And yet, they've both written one book I felt disappointed by.

I won't say which because plenty of their other fans had the exact opposite reaction (the books I didn't like were considered their best work by others). Plus, although I was personally disappointed when comparing it to the rest of their work, I was aware that the writing was still excellent, the characters still well-drawn and premises still quite gripping. They were still good books. Finally, just because there is one book in each series that I feel wasn't as good as the others doesn't mean I would stop reading their books.

There was one author whose work I read voraciously in my 20s whose books I gave up on because his newer stuff was so far removed from the things that made me fall in love with his work in the first place. It was very sad for me as a reader. I had invested a decade of reading time into this author--and yes, there were some of his titles that disappointed me, but I kept reading his work because on the whole, he delivered.  Until he got too far away from where he started--at least for me. He became mega, super-duper, ridiculous successful so losing one or one million readers probably wouldn't even make a dent in his sales so I didn't feel too guilty.



But as an author on my third book, I find myself worrying about this very scenario--that readers I picked up along the way with my first book will be disappointed by my second book or my third book or any books to come in the future. There actually was a reader who read my first two books and absolutely loved them, but was very disappointed in the last one. I don't know this person. I only know the above is true because of reviews she left. Yet, most people have told me the third one is the best yet--and that third book is the one that finally got me a contract with a large publisher.

This whole business is terribly subjective to begin with. Although bad reviews sting, I don't concern myself much with them because not everyone will like my books and I've been fine with that for some time now. But now at work on my fourth novel, I find myself more and more concerned that I will disappoint readers who were awesome enough to give me a chance three times. Of course, as a writer, I have absolutely no control over this. I always set out to write the best book I can write. I know that in spite of writing the best book I can write that not everyone will like it. Even people who loved my work up until then. All I can do is try to make my fourth book even better than all three before it and hope for the best.

As a writer, you are always trying to get better, to improve, to try new things with your work, but I think the other important aspect of producing good work is to figure out what about your work has kept people coming back and to keep doing it.

*****

Also, as a follow up to my last post about the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2014, the finalists were announced July 1st and I'm thrilled to say that all my favorite writers made it through in at least one or two categories. I'll have more on this later. I just wanted to do a post that was less promo-sounding and more about writing since I hadn't done one in ages.

Stay tuned!

Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 eFestival of Words Nominations

I'm way late to the party but better late than never, I suppose. In May, the eFestival of Words Best of Independent eBook nominations for 2014 were announced. I was super thrilled to see so many talented and deserving authors on the list this year who also happen to be friends or acquaintances.



As you may or may not know, the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards is a "peer-nominated awards program designed to highlight the best of the independent community from both indie authors and small, independent presses." They are part of the eFestival of Words Virtual Book Fair which takes place each August and is sponsored by Bards and Sages Publishing.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout-out to the following amazing authors who were nominated this year. Finalists will be announced July 1st!

NANCY S. THOMPSON'S THE MISTAKEN



- Best Audiobook
- Best Thriller
- Best Hero (Tyler Karras)
- Harvey Award (Book we most want to see made into a movie)

MICHAEL INFINITO, JR.'s 12:19



- Best Horror

MICHAEL INFINITO, JR.'s IN BLOG WE TRUST



- I've Been Shamylaned Award (i.e. best twist)

CARRIE BUTLER'S MARK OF NEXUS SERIES



- Best New Adult (Strength)
- Best Series

DANA MASON'S DANGEROUS EMBRACE & PRECIOUS EMBRACE




- Best Mystery/Suspense
- Best Romance
- Best Hero (Johnny Rhay Bennett from Precious Embrace)

CASSIE MAE'S REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND


- Best Young Adult

Also nominated is Michelle Brownlow's In Too Deep for Best New Adult & Best Villain (Noah); Katie Mettner's Sugar's Song for Best Romance and Nicky Wells's Sophie's Turn for Best Cover Art and Best Heroine (Sophie).




I am also thrilled to announce that my second novel, Aberration was nominated this year as well in the following categories:



- Best Thriller
- Best Novel
- Best Villain
- I've Been Shamylaned

Good luck to everyone nominated! I hope to see all my brilliant friends in the finals!!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Another One of My Favorite Books Is OUT NOW!

I promise this blog is not turning into a promo site. The problem is that I know so many amazing writers who keep churning out these amazing books. It's a heavy cross to bear (*winks, smiles*). So the lovely, kind, funny, crazy-talented Dana Mason has just released the third and final book in her Embrace Series. Now look, by now you guys should know I don't really do romance. I do give a lot of romance books a chance each year but usually don't make it through any of them. Dana Mason's books are romance but they also have thrills, chills and suspense for readers like me who need just a little something extra with their romance!



Now here is something important: You can read any one of these books as a stand-alone. They do not need to be read in order. They're all excellent and although characters in each one overlap, you can still read BROKEN EMBRACE today and not be confused at all. I personally love when a series is able to do this. I remember that when I first discovered Karin Slaughter and Dennis Lehane, I chose the book that looked most interesting to me in each of their series and read that one first. In Slaughter's series it was #2 and in Lehane's it was #5. Those were the ones that hooked me and I went back and read every single one of the others. May this happen to you with Dana's Embrace Series! What I'm saying is that if you read what's below and say, "Well that sounds interesting, but I don't have time to read a whole series right now and catch up to this third one", you don't have to worry about that! Get BROKEN EMBRACE now, read it and be totally blown away!

So here's the skinny:


The Past...

As childhood sweethearts, Brian and Melissa's plans were simple: finish school, get married, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, life didn't go as planned. Melissa went away to college, and Brian married her best friend.

The Present...

Seventeen years have passed and Brian's stable family life has come crashing down around him. His wife's a cheater, his teenage daughter is hiding things from him and Melissa is back in town to remind him of what he lost all those years ago.
Melissa's returned home, ready to forgive and focus on her future, but that all changes the day she gets a desperate phone call from Brian's daughter, Erin. Thrown back into Brian's tumultuous life, Melissa struggles to move beyond the pain of his broken promise.

The Future...

While working together to save Erin from the evil web she's caught in, Melissa and Brian fight to fix the past or face losing each other all over again.

Here is my review:

I've read and loved both the previous books in this series, Dangerous Embrace and Precious Embrace and I think that this one is the best one. Mason plunges the readers immediately into the action with some pretty shocking twists really early on in the book. From that point on, it is just addicting. As always, the writing is smooth, elegant and engaging. The characters are wonderfully complex, the "good guys" both flawed and lovable and the "bad guys" so subtly chilling they will make your skin crawl. Then there are a couple of characters who fall somewhere in between--characters who I thought would be really hard for an author to pull off believably and Mason just nails it. There is plenty of suspense to keep you turning pages. There is also what I cannot live without in any book and that's emotional depth. I was rooting so hard for Brian and Melissa. Mason really teases you with this one and just when you think that things are wrapping up, there is more excitement and more twists to come. As always there are wonderfully written steamy sex scenes as well. Mason's got it all and she absolutely delivers! This book was awesome. Don't waste anymore time, get it! And while you're at it, grab her other two in this series--you won't be disappointed.


Get BROKEN EMBRACE here.

You can also get the first one, DANGEROUS EMBRACE here. ONLY 99 CENTS NOW!


And the second one, PRECIOUS EMBRACE hereONLY 99 CENTS NOW!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Otherborn Has a New Cover!



You guys might remember my post on the Otherborn series earlier this year. I was blown away by both books. Anyway, Otherborn has a brand new cover which I'll be sharing with you here. Please check out these books. They are totally awesome!

  



   

Author Bio:

Anna Silver is an author and artist living in the greater Houston area with her family, pets, and overactive imagination. Her art has been featured in the Houston gallery Las Manos Magicas. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. She's freelanced for private clients and small publications like the Hill Country Current. OTHERBORN, her first published novel, has been featured on 2 of Amazon's "Bestsellers" lists. ASTRAL TIDE is her second published novel.



Author Links:


Otherborn

London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

Book Links:


Otherborn book trailer on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fiWzY-jTRg


Cov

Otherborn first five chapters on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/12024518-otherborn

Author Blurbs:

"Anna Silver weaves a dark new world full of taut suspense and characters that leap off the page." –Sophie Jordan, NYT bestselling author of the Firelight trilogy

"Travel to a world where dreaming is a radical act that can save the world… Anna Silver’s post-apocalyptic vision is rich with imagery and metaphysical ideas, grounded by vivid, three-dimensional characters. A truly fresh take on dystopian." –Nina Berry, author of the OTHERKIN series

“Silver built the right amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world, and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.” –Natasha Hanova, author of Edge of Truth

***

There is also a short prequel called DREAM BRAVE and the second book in the series, ASTRAL TIDE.

Check them out!