Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dawn of Book Review

About a year ago I met Daniel on twitter. I forgot what had us following each other, but I remember a tweet that seemed to initiate contact. I was trying to be cute and start a hashtag #writersunite. Only I made a typo and had #writersunit. He pointed it out to me. After that, we were constantly chatting and soon we swapped manuscripts to critique. I read his story that afternoon, devoured it actually. All while stopping to make notes. Now, almost a year later, I was reading it again, searching for mistakes he might have missed and any last suggestions. I still loved it too, so when it came for him to have a blog tour for the release of his story, I told him I wanted a day and I was going to do a review.

Dawn of Darkness
Daeva One

Unburdened by the pain of loss and heartbreak, Mikhail is content with his life of solitude. But everything began to change the day he realised he has a psychic ability — the power to alter the emotions of those around him.
Ushered into the Military Academy with others like him — other Daevas — Mikhail does his part to help tip the scales of war against the vampires that destroyed the world and plague what remains of humanity. But after going up against his first vampire, Mikhail starts to question everything he thought to be true.
To discover the truth and expose the lies he once believed, Mikhail will set out on a journey of discovery, and learn some things about himself in the process.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#WhyIWrite: Kaje on M/M Romance

Today I am starting a little guest series I am hoping to call #WhyIWrite. From the hashtag, you can tell it's something that's popped up on twitter. That's not where I got the idea, but I did borrow it for the guest series. Posts will happen every Friday. So, please welcome Kaje Harper as she tells you why she writes. And feel free to share your own why I write stories. (Or contact me to be a guest.)

Hi, my name is Kaje Harper and I write M/M Romance.

That sounds like the opening of an AA meeting, with one big exception. I'm not looking to quit. I love what I do, and I think more people should do it too.

My friend Patricia invited me to take a turn here on her blog to talk about why I love to write. Gotta say – it's not for the money. I have 4 novels and five shorter pieces floating around, and so far I've made...drum-roll please... about $650. Now I admit, that's partly because my first book came out just this April, my publisher pays quarterly, and the second-party vendors pay on the previous quarter. When my next check arrives, it will hopefully be bigger. Oh, and that also doesn't count the $120 from my Amazon short story, which I donated to charity. But it's pretty clear that writing in this genre isn't a get-rich quick scheme.

Which leaves just one answer. Probably the same one you've heard from other writers here. I love it. I would write even if no-one ever read my work. In fact I did that. When I started actually taking the stories out of my head and putting them on paper five years ago, it was just for my own entertainment. I had about seven novels on my hard drive by the time my husband got tired of the keyboard clicking and suggested my obsession would be a lot more understandable if I was actually getting paid for it. So I tried selling one, and lo and behold, people were willing to buy it. The hourly rate is still laughable, but it's now an official occupation.

But the joy is in the creation. People appear under my fingers who had no existence before I breathed life into them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Internet Book Fair BlogFest

I only just heard about M.A. Leslie's Book Fair Blogfest mere hours before it happened. It came across my twitter stream and it brought back fond memories of my childhood and the excitement of Book Fairs at my schools. There were always so many books and I could only get one or two. It was torture! I knew I had to sign up for this and my TBR pile will grow because of it. Hopefully, you will add my book to your TBR pile as well.

Being Human is a story about a vampire named Tommy, who, when he was turned, no longer remembers his human life.

For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Be My Guest (Blogger)

Okay, so you didn't have to watch the whole video to get that I am looking for guest bloggers. It's not that I don't have things to say, because I do. I realized, I never really have a lot of guests. Here and there I've had someone guest for me, but it's really sporadic. So I'd like to invite my friends to be a guest on my blog, I want to hear your stories about why you like to write. Not a writer? What about why you love books and reading? Share your experiences on reading and writing, and why it's important.

To sign up pop me an email at patricialynne07(@)gmail(.)com - minus parenthesis.

Also, if you have a book to pimp, add it at the bottom of your email with a short bio about yourself and I will include it the post. I'll post each guest post on Fridays along with tweeting about it. If you really want, we can do a give away for your book as well. =D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sexiest Book Review Alive

It's time for another book review for Marie's Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge. I'm cheating again, but in a different way. The book I had started to read, well, it's going kind of slow and the end of October is creeping up. So, I'm going to review a book I read a few weeks ago. It's not an indie book either.

I forget exactly how I discovered Kerrelyn Sparks' Love at Stake Series, but I was hooked. Like any woman, I enjoy romances, even more so when there's a paranormal element to it. Kerrelyn's books had the added element of humor. When I read the first one I laughed out loud a few times as I read. Her latest book, Sexiest Vampire Alive had some nice humor to it as well. In fact, I think she went above and beyond by making fun at romance novels and vampire stories.

In terms of story, I was very interested in this installment. If you read Vampire Mine then you'll know things are changing for the vampires in her books and it's up to Gregory to save the day. He has to go to the president of the United States and convince him that vampires are harmless. Which didn't go too well, since part of the secret service's job is to view everything as a threat. So, when Gregory teleported near the president, all hell broke lose.

It also allowed his love interest to discover he was a vampire early on. I found that refreshing. Most vampire romances have the woman ignorant to what her lover is until near the end. When she finds out, that causes problems. She gets scared, conflicted, blah, blah, blah. It's been done, so it was great to read a story that didn't hinge on that to cause conflict between the characters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some truth about being published

Let's gather in a nice little circle around the campfire and have a little truthful discussion. I am going to be brutally honest with you, no holding back or sugarcoating.

I am completely bummed out my books didn't instantly take off.

It's been almost two months since I released Being Human and sales have been... Well, they are happening, but not on a grand scale that has me rolling in money and laughing madly. (Is there any other way to laugh? ^_~) Hubby's paycheck hasn't become play money.

Sure, I knew it wouldn't happen. I wasn't expecting over night success or internet sensation. But it'd be a lie if I said a small part of me really hoped that's what would happen. What author - traditional or indie - wouldn't want that to happen? Just because I'm prepared for something less than spectacular doesn't mean I've given up all hope that maybe, just maybe, something big will happen. If there wasn't that little bit of hope, then there would probably be no motivation to publish. What's the point if I'm not quietly hoping for the impossible while loudly bracing for the inevitable? I could just write my book and share with family and friends.

That little spark of hope for the impossible is what keeps us going. To imagine thousands of people reading our books, loving them and demanding more. It's a dream that can happen. Maybe not to me, or not to you. Maybe only with a lot of persistence or a complete stroke of luck. Maybe by the fifth book I publish (please note, I have no idea how many books I will publish) I'll reach that level of stardom I secretly hoped I'd reach when I first hit publish. I have no idea if or when it will happen. But I'm still hoping.

I'm not going to let reality get me down. I'm not going to snuff out my hope on the pretense of that will never happen to me. That hope keeps me focused on improving. Maybe if I make the next book even better. Maybe if I climb this hill. Get over that bump. If I keep going, maybe someday, something big will happen.

Giving up would mean giving up hope of something - anything - happening.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Blood Book Trailer

As you all know, I decided to start a book trailer service. This weekend, I got my first paid order. Paul Dorset contacted me about his upcoming book, New Blood. Naturally, I was excited. And nervous. My guidelines I set on the site for my trailers were going to be put to the test and I would find out if I missed any important details. There were bumps, but Paul and I emailed back and forth and worked through the bumps. I even learned something new about iMovie. I am very grateful he was understanding and patient with me. Sometimes, I'd email him, and then notice something and feel like a complete airhead.

In the end, I tweaked my guidelines a bit and changed what the $50 fee included. Paul also suggested I give samples of music. Not a bad idea. I think what I'll do is pick two pieces of music and make two trailers for the person to choose from. Changing the music isn't hard. I duplicate the original project and drop new music in. I do wish I had been able to find music that Paul loved, but I really enjoy the music I picked for his. I thought it matched the blurb and the images very well. Hopefully, his potential readers think so as well and the trailer helps drive sales. New Blood sounds like a really interesting read. My TBR pile may be at risk of growing even faster thanks to this service.

I want to give Paul a big thank you for hiring me and I hope his book does well. I know I'm going to buy it. Now, without further ado, please enjoy the trailer for New Blood.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

She Was Allowed to Guest

Today I have a treat and by treat, I mean a guest blogger. Welcome LaviniaThompson, she is going to tell us about her recently release collection of poems, She Wasn't Allowed to Giggle, and why she decided to go the indie route.

1)What got you into writing? Tell us about your journey.
I have been writing since I could put pen to paper so it seems. I don’t remember when I started writing, but I was very young. It has always been my passion. Growing up, I couldn’t think of what else I wanted to do with my life. I went through the motions of trying to figure it out. I got told lots- “Don’t go into writing or journalism. There’s no money there. Go into nursing. Do something with yourself.” As if following my own dreams wasn’t doing anything for myself.

I don’t remember exactly when my mother’s abusive ex came into the picture, either, but I do remember all the dark days and nights that followed. I remember watching my mother get hit and thrown around, screamed at and accused of cheating or not caring for her kids or of being an alcoholic or a drug addict. I remember getting yelled at, for not doing well enough in school or not doing something right or being a bad sister or a lesbian. In a small town, these accusations and verbal abuses got around. I was bullied at school, abused at home and witnessed abuse. Writing back then was my sanctuary. My bedroom was the only place where I could shut the world out, hide away and write away everything only for a little while. My dark fantasy series, “Spellbound” was started around this time. This is also when many of the poems in “She Wasn’t Allowed to Giggle” were written.

Many of those pieces were lost when Mom’s ex burned down the house in 2004. Eight years of abuse and life went up in smoke that July. So did my original draft of “Spellbound by Fire” and so did numerous poems which I never got to salvage. Mom’s ex left town that summer. I guess the healing journey should have begun...or so they say it should. In reality, the healing journey never ends as much as it progresses. I kept writing. I graduated high school and was still trying to figure out what to do with my life. In 2009 I began working seriously on “Spellbound” for the first time since the house fire and was toying with the idea of a poem book about domestic violence. But I wasn’t ready to face those poems then. I went to college and majored in journalism. In my second college year, “Spellbound by Fire” got accepted for publication through Hellfire Publishing. It was just this past summer (2011) when I decided to embark on a self-publishing journey and I knew what my first project would be: I wanted to get that poetry collection about domestic violence done and published. And so here it is. All these years later after the abuse came and went, dominated and defeated; I have the voice and power today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A warm bodied review

I was a little torn. When I signed up for Marie's Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge, I planned to do self published books, help get the word out on self published books that I found that I thought deserved a little bit of time in the spotlight. Then I got a package from Amazon that had three pararnormal books I wanted to read and I wasn't opposed to reading those for the challenge either. But fate has smiled upon me and I discovered one of the books, Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, started out self published. Let the gushing begin!

I love this book. I haven't read a lot of zombie books but I'm glad this was one. It was an interested take on zombies. How a person became a zombie, what drove them to eat people and what happens when they eat the brains. The way the zombies interacted was interesting too. While they did tend to stare at walls for hours, they had some interesting interactions. Like the main character, R, and how he met his girlfriend. They were riding the conveyor in the airport the zombies live at and it stops with them facing each other. How they get married is even more interesting. When R and his wife have kids... well, that was just too damn cute. Can you imagine a little zombie family? Husband, wife and two kids? I kind of wish there were more scenes where R interacted with his kids.

The characters, well, I loved R. He was deep and I felt his frustration when he couldn't articulate what was going through his head. Julie was a fun spitfire. Loved how determined she was to survive in the hell her life had become, but at the same time was flawed enough to feel hopeless and in need of support. M, I wasn't too sure about him at first, but he was interesting. I had no idea a zombie could be such a playboy. Perry was the character that shocked me the most despite being killed by R in the first chapter. The way he was there for R, kind guiding him like a guardian angel.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blog Anniversary and Birthday Extravaganza

I am reaching another milestone. This November it will be a year since I started this blog. A YEAR! Can you believe it? When I started, I had no idea if I'd ever get anyone to read, let along comment. Yet you do. I have to admit, each comment still blows me away. My stats blow me away. YOU blow me away. <3

But not only is November my blog anniversary, it's also my birthday. I will admit it. I'm turning 30. Eep moment....... Okay, now that that's over, let's get down to business. And by business I mean LET'S CELEBRATE! And by let's celebrate I mean I'm going to bug the crap out of you to enter to win stuff. Might as well be honest about it.

I have cool stuff though! Like bookmarks. I have eight bookmarks to give away. Two Vladimir Tod/Joss Mcmillian booksmarks by Heather Brewer, two Afterlife/Feast bookmarks by Merrie Destefano, two Maker's Song bookmarks by Adrian Phoenix, and two SIGNED WitchEyes bookmarks by Scott Tracy.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My first book event.... sorta

This past weekend, I had a craft sale I was a vendor at. Last minute, I decided to bring along my books. I figured I could squeeze them into a small spot and maybe I'd sell a copy or two. Well, I am beyond excited to say I sold six. SIX! And everyone ask me to sign their books. I didn't offer, THEY asked me! The vendor across from me bought one to not only read it but to display the bookmarks she made. So all day my book was on display in two booths.

It was kind of funny. People would pick up the book, read the back and ask my little sister or I who wrote it. When I said me, they were kind of shocked. Then the shock turned into a bit of starstruck. They thought it was cool to be meeting the author.