Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Look Here! The Look Meme

The talented and intriguing L.G. Smith over at Bards and Prophets tagged me in this Look Meme awhile back.  Her post is here.  It's fabulous.

Apparently I'm supposed to find the first time I use the word look in my WIP and paste in the surrounding paragraph(s).  Then tag some people.  So I am going to go with my actual WIP, Hold Still, rather than my second novel, Aberration since that is in edits right now.  The overused word look actually appears in Hold Still's first chapter but I already posted that bad boy here, so I'm going to with the next place it's found, the second chapter.  FYI, Hold Still is about a female Philadelphia detective who is tasked with solving a bizarre series of sex crimes.  Yeah, I don't have the pitch worked out totally yet.  This chapter is about one of the soon-to-be victims.

Here's the paragraph(s):

Her mother’s footsteps sounded in the hall.  Anita always recognized the sound of her mama’s footsteps—distinct from those of her children.  At ten and fourteen, Anita’s children had heavy feet—they trudged and clomped; her mother’s step was lighter.
            “She’s smoking,” her mother told Sasha.  “Go get in there and do your homework.”
            Sasha plodded off.  Anita’s mother rattled the door knob.  Anita opened the door and confronted her mother.  Lila Grant seemed shorter, smaller than ever.  The skin over her cheeks had hollowed out, making her face look sunken.  The skin was shiny and taut where her collarbones met at the hollow of her throat, two unnaturally large knobs.  The cancer treatments were wasting her down to nothing. 
            “Mama,” Anita said, her voice softening at the sight of her mother.  “I’m thirty four years old.  If I want to smoke, I’ll smoke.”
            Lila raised an eyebrow and sniffed the air, leaning slightly into the bathroom.  “Long as it’s just Newports.”  She took in Anita’s clothes and make up and folded her arms across her middle, her eyebrow a perfect steeple.  “Where you goin?”
            Anita sighed and gathered the cosmetics she’d left on the counter.  She swept them into her purse.  “Out,” she said.  Lila blocked the doorway.  She stared at Anita hard, the look in her eyes popping the cork on Anita’s long-held, bottomless well of guilt.  Lila glanced down the hall where they could both hear Sasha talking to her brother, Terrence. 
            “Nita,” her mother whispered, the word something between a plea and a warning. 
            Anita looked at her feet, swallowed and looked back at her mother, steeling her resolve.  “It’s not what you think, Mama.”

Some other tidbits, my Finding Claire Fletcher launch is just around the corner which means you'll be seeing me and my book everywhere you turn--I apologize in advance for the blitz.  To make up for it, I'll be hosting a giveaway along with the tour.  I'll be giving away 3 prizes:  a $25.00 Amazon gift card; a signed paperback copy of FCF and an ebook version of FCF.  Stay tuned for details.  It kicks off on 12/6! Once again, thank you so much to all my gracious hosts for your kindness, enthusiasm and generosity!

Finally, I am going to tag the following people for the LOOK Meme.  Only two! 

Julie Flanders at What Else is Possible

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cover Reveal for Natasha Hanova's Edge of Truth

Hi guys!  I'm excited to be part of the reveal team for my SSP Pub sister, Natasha Hanova's upcoming novel, Edge of Truth.  The cover is pretty awesome so check it out!  Her and I will have releases on the same day!  June 6, 2013.  Exciting stuff!

Title: Edge of Truth
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing  

Category: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Release Date: June 6, 2013
Book Description:
Long Synopsis

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Edge of Truth

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe, healthy, happy, abundant Thanksgiving, everyone!  If you go shopping, may you not get trampled.

I am grateful for each and everyone of you who stops by my blog and to all of you who have consistently shown me such incredible support along my writing journey!

I'm also grateful for (in no particular order) our troops, health insurance, an amazing family, great friends, the absolutely incomparable doctor who helped our family this year, having a job, sugary treats, readers and that my debut novel is being published this year!  Oh and 5 star reviews!

Here are some creations from my resident artist.  She's 5.

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Finding Claire Fletcher Book Trailer and Other Awesome Stuff

I'd like to thank Carrie A. Butler for her help with this.  I actually made my own trailer and then sent it to her for approval.  She worked her magic and this is the result!  So thank you, Carrie for saving my technologically challenged butt once again!


Some other awesome stuff:

The winner of my Something Amazing Giveaway, who will receive a signed copy of Finding Claire Fletcher is . . . Prosecutor's Discretion!  Yay!  I will be in touch!

If you didn't win, don't be discouraged.  I'm running a Goodreads giveaway and will be giving away more signed copies in the near future!

You should also check out the I Miss You Blogfest going on today, being hosted by super bloggers, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Matthew MacNish, and Andrew Leon!  It looks like a good one!

Also there is a cool new group that's been formed called Writers 4 Writers courtesy of Stephen Tremp, Mary Pax, C.M. Brown, and Christine Rains which is designed to:

• Help writers bring awareness of their book(s) to tens of thousands of new people
• Help writers reach Amazon Top 100 in at least one category (suspense, free, whatever)
• Increase sales of their book(s) after the promo is over
• Drive new traffic to their blog and increase following
• Create verbal and viral buzz.

Every month, one to three spotlighted authors will choose a social media avenue such as Twitter or Facebook (or both).  On the selected day, the authors will post pre-written Tweets on their blogs.  At your convenience, simply copy and paste Tweets into Twitter. Or go to #W4WS on Twitter and Retweet other Tweets.

And for Facebook, the authors will also post an image of their book along with a short blurb and a link to Kindle on their blog. Visitors simply click the Facebook page then share the link with their FB friends and Writers Groups.

That’s an incredibly large new audiences the author could not reach on their own.  Imagine, a hundred bloggers over a few days Tweeting and sharing links for new books and reaching potentially tens of thousands of new people!

And their first featured writer is none other than my bestie, the amazingly talented Nancy S. Thompson!  Woo hoo!  I can't think of a more deserving writer to kick things off!

BTW you can get her book here.  You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Something Amazing

What is THAT?  Is that my dream come true?  Right there in that regular old box?  It IS!!!!!!

I recently received a shipment of my debut novel, Finding Claire Fletcher.  For the first time, I got to hold my own book in my hands.

I'm not even going to try to tone this down.  Besides the birth of my child, this is the best feeling ever.  Best. Feeling. Ever. Seriously.  Here, look at them again from a different angle:

I sat down to write THAT book in 2004.  For eight years, those words and those characters have been bouncing around in my head.  I toiled and labored over every single stinking word in there. My relationship with Claire Fletcher has (for now) outlasted every relationship I've ever had with a man.  (The hubs hopes to change that of course!  LOL).  I started querying for THAT book in 2006.  For six years I've fought hard to see it published. I've been told no so many times, it's a second language.  I've read it so many times I could practically recite it.  And now here it is!  Those are my words in there.  How ridiculously insanely crazy is that?  It's still so surreal I don't really know what to say about it other than if you're still working toward this--don't stop.  It's totally worth it.  I've been working toward this since I was 11 years old.  I've got 4 crappy young adult novels, one opus of a literary novel and countless other unfinished projects under my bed.  Finally, something I've written will now make it into the hands of readers!

If I can do it, you can do it.

If you need some extra umph, read my What if Something Amazing Happens post!  Which, by the way, has surpassed every other one of my blog posts to be the single most-read blog post I've ever written.  Which is kind of cool.  So in honor of my something amazing actually happening, I am going to give away a signed copy of the paperback to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is comment below and I'll pick a winner using and announce that person on 11/16/12 when the FCF trailer is released!

So comment away and tell me something amazing that happened to you recently--finish a draft?  Blazing through your Nano project?  Put yourself out there into the querying fray for the first time?  Receive positive feedback from someone for something you've written?  Get a request from an agent or a publisher?  Sign any contracts?  Publish anything?  Every step is important!!!!

Oh and finally, here's me and my book.  Can't believe it.  (And my husband thought I was joking when I said I was going to sleep with it!  Tee hee hee)

Keep pulling the rope, everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview with Author, Katie Mettner

Today, I'm excited to welcome author Katie Mettner.  Her first novel, Sugar's Dance is available now.  You can get it here.  Her second novel, Sugar's Song was released on 11/9/12 and Katie graciously agreed to answer some of my questions.  Katie is a real sweetheart and she is super supportive of her fellow writers.  I'm very happy to have her here on my blog!

First, let me give you the low down on her new novel:

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  Psalm 56

Love is a many-splendored thing and no one who knows this better than Tula “Sugar” DuBois.  As the New Year breaks over her lodge on the frozen shores of Lake Superior, Sugar is wrapped in the arms of the man she loves, dancing in the New Year with her brother and his new wife. Enter the mysterious Lillie who comes to the lodge for Christmas break seeking safe haven. No one knows her secrets and she’s determined to keep it that way.  Having had secrets to keep Sugar is compelled to love and protect Lillie, determined to give her the strength to reveal what she’s hiding before it’s too late. When Lillie comes face-to-face with her past will she let revenge steal her future? Sugar calls upon all who love Lillie to dance a dangerous samba to save the young girl before she is delivered to the Father by evil... As the tulips sprout through the snow covered ground there is new love, new hope and new life, and together they will share Sugar’s Night...

Get it here.

And here is the interview:

1.      What was your inspiration for writing the first book in your series, Sugar’s Dance?

I was laying awake in my hospital bed on February 17, 2011 and said to myself “First day of the rest of your life what are you going to do with it?” Sugar had been in my mind's eye for many years, but she had no definition and no story yet and suddenly she did. As I laid there I saw her story. My inspiration was laced with my love for ballroom dancing, my feeling of loss when I couldn’t dance anymore and then that journey of learning to walk again and that glimmer of hope on the horizon that I could dance again after so many years. Add to that my love and dedication to organ donation and I knew that had to be a big part of Sugar. When I got done writing it felt like I had put everything I loved in a jar, shook it up and when it spilled out Sugar’s Dance was there.

2.      Had you always conceived of it as a series or did the idea for Sugar’s Song come after you had written the first book?

I love reading series and I really didn’t even plan to publish Sugar’s Dance to be honest, so there was no thought of a second one. I got to the end of Sugar’s Dance and did think, “Is this the end of her story?” I didn’t have an answer because I was already nervous about publishing the first one, but the fans of Sugar did and the answer was a resounding “NO!” So with demands for the rest of her story I knew the second one would be Sugar’s Song, she had her dance and now she would find her voice. When I announced on Twitter that I was writing Sugar’s Song a friend of mine decided to tweet my website, but he ran out of room, so he used “author of The Sugar Series” and with that one tweet the series was born! I was having trouble titling the final in the series (Due out in November 2013) and my youngest son looked at me and said “This is easy mom, Sugar’s Night, because Van is her knight in shining armor just like dad is yours.” And so Sugar’s Night it will be and we will learn the rest of the story about Julie and waltz with Sugar as she does the one thing she never thought she’d ever be able to do again, step out onto the floor as a competitor in ballroom dance.

3.      Did you always want to be a writer?  When did you start writing and why?

I always loved reading and with that writing. I loved how words went together to form sentences and the more of them you wrote the duller your pencil got. But what I loved the most was when I finished I had something that could make people happy or sad or all those other emotions we have as humans. I like to have them laughing one minute and crying the next, but finishing with the thought “yeah, that was worth reading.” I enjoyed writing speeches and short plays in high school for my forensics team and then forayed into writing flash fiction and children’s stories. After I got married and had three children my writing time was nil and I put it on the back burner for many years. It was in February 2011 that I finally felt like I had the time to sit down and really put my thoughts down and define Sugar’s world.

4.      Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

My writing process is pretty ADD! I’m all over the place and I would probably drive a lot of writers crazy. I don’t use a layout or any kind of chapter diagram. I write what is going to be the climatic scene first and build the rest of the book around that scene. In Sugar’s Dance I wrote the scene where she went over the bridge for the first time first in 10 years and then the rest of the story took shape around that. I always have the last line of the book before I have the first! In Sugar’s Song I wrote the scene in the woods with Sugar first (many of you who read it will wonder really?) because there is such a big event that happens in this book, but to me the woods scene was the defining moment that cemented their relationship and changed how they approached life as a new family. I’m sure that my unusual writing style causes me extra work with going back and changing things as I decide to rewrite scenes, but it’s just how it works for me.

5.      Who are your favorite writers or what are your favorite books?

I love any kind of romantic suspense/drama! I love the early works of Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. Janet Evanovich has been a favorite because I am a series writer and I’m hoping her next book due out shortly finally takes Stephanie in a new direction. Brian Freeman is another favorite of mine, he also writes a series that takes place in Duluth Minnesota and one of his books is even mentioned in Sugar’s Dance. Since publishing Sugar’s Dance I have found so many new authors that I love to read! I’m currently reading a new one called Finding Claire Fletcher and it’s got me hooked!

(Awww . . . thanks!  I'm so flattered!)

6.      What advice would you give to other writers?

Just keep writing and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Find a group of other local authors or a writers group that you can join and work with them to improve your writing. Bounce ideas of each other and get opinions from other people of all walks of life. Also, never ever proof your own work it’s a recipe for disaster!

(Hah hah hah . . . yes, sometimes we are too close to our own work to see the errors!)

Fast Five Facts Unrelated to Writing:

Favorite Song: Crazy Love Michael Buble (You’re asking ME this question? LOL)
Favorite Snack: Coffee (yes it can be a snack if you add milk)
Name of your childhood pet: Angel
Guilty Pleasure: Going back to bed after my kids and husband leave for school!
Movie theater—sit in the front or the back?  I hate movie theaters, but when I HAVE to go, back (so I can read a book and no one notices).

Thank you Katie!  

(P.S. Check back on 11/16/12 for the Finding Claire Fletcher book trailer!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cover Reveal: Aberration

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for the I'm Thankful for my Readers bloghop!  I'm thankful that you all stopped by and that you continue to stop by.  So I promised today I'd reveal the cover for my second novel, Aberration, which is due for release from Sapphire Star Publishing on June 6, 2013.


Okay, so I know that if you put it next to the cover for Finding Claire Fletcher, it almost looks like the same cover.  (But look closer, this dude in the hoodie has a knife!)  But in all seriousness, when people think of my work I want them to think:  dark, creepy, haunting.  I think this accomplishes that!  I'm okay with the similarity.  One of my family members said to me, all scrunchy-faced, "I hate to tell you this but it looks the same as your last cover," like they were giving me bad news.  It's all right. That was the idea.

Here is the synopsis to go with it:

FBI analyst Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the “For You” killer’s task force after a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country.

The homicides are both calculated and savage, occurring in different states, but bearing the same signature: the words “for you” scribbled at each crime scene. The case chills Kassidy, bringing back memories of her own encounter with a violent criminal five years earlier.  

Kassidy’s mentor, legendary agent Talia “The Confessor” Crossen knows the task force assignment is Kassidy’s chance to prove to her colleagues that she belongs in the Behavior Analysis Unit. For five years, other FBI agents and profilers scoffed at Kassidy’s appointment to the BAU, believing she was only offered the position in exchange for her silence about the brutal assault that almost killed her. 

The stakes rise when the task force links the killer’s signature to Kassidy. As more and more bodies turn up, Kassidy must delve into her past and the mysterious death of her twin sister, which holds the key to uncovering the killer’s identity. 

The closer Kassidy comes to finding the killer, the closer she comes to a deadly confrontation that could cost her everything—including her own life.

That's it!  Have a great weekend, everybody and thanks for stopping by!  Come again on 11/12/12 to meet author of Sugar's Dance and Sugar's Song, Katie Mettner.  Also, on 11/16/12 I'll be revealing the trailer for Finding Claire Fletcher.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The I'm Thankful For My Readers Bloghop

Today I'm participating in the I'm Thankful for . . . My Readers Bloghop which is hosted by Tara Tyler and Vikki and takes place between 11/5 and 11/8/12.

To find out all the details, go here.

Basically this is my chance to say thank you to some very important people.

But before I do that, although I'm quite late, I want to send a big CONGRATULATIONS out to Julie Flanders at What Else is Possible? whose novel, Polar Night was picked up by Ink Smith Publishing and is due out in 2013.  YAY!  I'd also like to thank Julie for her willingness to receive and review an ARC of my first novel!  Much appreciated.

Also, big CONGRATULATIONS to the ridiculously talented Libby Heily whose novel, Tough Girl will be out in January 14, 2013.  I'd like to thank her as well for receiving and reviewing and ARC of my first novel.  I'd also like to thank her for inspiring the hell out of me.  You'll want to read Tough Girl.  It will blow your mind.

I'd also like to thank J.C. Martin and David Kessler for the wonderful blurbs they provided for my debut novel.

Now I'd like to thank two very talented writers who also happen to be amazing people whose support and encouragement kept me going through the submissions process.  Literally it was their words at critical times that kept me from throwing in the towel altogether.  They were there for me on a daily basis--as fellow writers, critique partners, beta readers and friends.  They picked me up, held me together, lent me their virtual shoulders to cry on and pushed me across the finish line. Also, they are both hugely talented.

Nancy S. Thompson and Michael Infinito, Jr.

Nancy's thriller, The Mistaken is out now.  Michael's first novel, In Blog We Trust comes out in January and his second novel, 12:19 comes out in March.  Support these writers.  They deserve it.

Next I'd like to thank the fabulous Carrie A. Butler over at So You're a Writer.  She too, is amazingly talented and she is my go-to person whenever I have some sort of idea (usually revolving around technical stuff) and can't get from idea to execution.  She helped me with my trailer for Finding Claire Fletcher (will be released on 11/16/12).  She also handles all things that revolve around me venting and ranting.  Carrie's first novel, Strength is due out 3/7/13 and it is crazy good.

I'd also like to thank Jeff O at the Doubting Writer for all of his encouragement and for checking in with me now and then.  When I'm getting totally overwhelmed, a hey-how's-it-going email from another writer goes a long way.  Jeff, I promise to finish my WIP so you can finish critiquing it!  Also Jeff is such an incredible writer, he inspires me and makes me want to get better.

I'd also like to thank my main readers-who-are-not writers, my close friends: Melissia McKittrick, who has read every word I've ever written since I was 11 years old and Laura Aiello who introduced me to my husband.

And while I'm at it . . . finally, I'd like to thank all the wonderful writers/bloggers who have agreed to host me for my Finding Claire Fletcher blog tour.  I've created a separate tab for it here on my blog so you can see all their names.  Thank you so much for volunteering your time and your internet space to help me get my book off the ground!

Also stay tuned . . . on 11/9/12 the cover for my second novel, Aberration will be revealed!