Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Author Blog Hop Part 2

There's still a few days left to New Author Blog Hop co-hosted by Of Thoughts and Words and Oh! For the Love of Books. I figured I'd spread a little more new author love by talking about a couple more new authors I've discovered and loved. And of course, they both have vampires show up. Really, you shouldn't be surprised. Don't forget to check out my other post for the blog hop and enter to win my book and my writing partner's book.

First up is Exiled by M.R. Merrick. I grabbed this book the day it was released and it was not a regret. Since then, I have heard nothing but praise from other readers and writers. This book rocks and I am eagerly waiting for the next book. Hurry up, Matt! Check out his blog for links on where to buy and to read what others are saying. Or read my review where I rant and rave over it.

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened, and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Author Blog Hop

It's tough being a new author and getting our stories into hands of readers. Fortunately, there are others looking to lend a hand to us noobs. The New Author Blog Hop runs from November 23rd to the 30th. It's co-hosted by Of Thoughts and Words and Oh! For the Love of Books. Thanks to both and don't forget to check out the other blogs participating.

Naturally, I am going to pimp my own book a little. You can find Being Human at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords in ebook format for $2.99. It's also available in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Createspace. Even more sites that carries it can be found here. Want to buy later? Add Being Human to your TBR list on GoodReads. There, you can keep track of other books I plan to publish as I add them. (Shameless promo here. If you need a book trailer, I can make you one at a price that won't drain your wallet.)

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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Overcoming NaNoWriMo Obstacles

Guest post by Emily Matthews

You've had a novel brewing inside you for years, but every time you sat down to write you felt the weight of the world -- or, to be more accurate, the weight of your big, fat, inner critic -- on your shoulders. Then you discovered National Novel Writing Month and you were inspired. 10,000 words went by like nothing at all. But inspiration is flagging, and that inner critic has set up residence on your frontal lobe.

Even if reaching the 50,000 word finish line has lost its appeal, don't give up. This isn’t your masters degree thesis you’re writing. This is supposed to be a fun challenge. The first thing to keep in mind is that nearly everyone who participates experiences the exact same deflation at one point or another. Check their website's forums and you'll see you are not alone.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers tips for overcoming anxiety when you sit down to write. Deep breathing, physical exercise, comforting rituals, and stream-of-consciousness "free-writing" may help loosen you up and keep the fun of the competition alive.

The beauty of the contest, however, is that your novel doesn't have to be brilliant or even readable, despite what your inner critic keeps growling at you. If you've written a certain number of words and find yourself not caring about the story you've begun, start a new chapter with a completely different cast of characters, a new setting, and a plot that has nothing to do with the one you started writing. Surprise yourself.

Embrace the Rainbow

I'm a little indecisive about this post. Might be opening up a can of worms with the topic. People have opinions and some state those opinions loudly, and I'm not looking for debate or arguments on this blog. This blog will always be about writing, but sometimes I need to step away and talk about something else. Whether those topics are music, my nephews or something that not everyone may agree on. But I do feel a strong urge to say something, to show my support for friends. I guess I'll keep typing, and see if at the end, I still want to publish this post.

Today is Transgender Remembrance Day. The 13th one to be exact. As you can guess it's a day to remember people who were bullied, hurt, even killed for being different. They didn't neatly fit into the little gender slots and for that they suffered. What instantly comes to mind is a video of a transgender person being beat up in a McDonald and no one doing anything. I can't really ask how no one can step up because we all know now-a-days people are afraid to get involved. They hope someone else will take care of it. Quite sad, eh?

There are two people on my twitter list that I talk to - two men - that are transgender. I'm not going to name names or tell you who they are though. Why? Because, honestly, I don't see them as transgender men and telling you might make you only see that part of them. I know they are, but when I talk to them, I'm talking to a guy. What's in their pants doesn't change that fact. Hell, I even mistook one for a woman when I first met him. What he said seemed too sensitive for a guy to say. Now... well, let's just say he's perverted as every other guy I know. ^_~

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blogversary and Birthday Give Away Winners

This is it. The big 3-0 as well as one year (approximately) with this blog. Did you know I have a website now? Yeah, I'm toying with the idea of moving the blog there. Would you all follow me? Anyways, enough chit chat. You want to know who won what. All winners were chosen by and given up to three chances to win each prize.

Winner of the bookmarks - Marni Mann. Fun fact, Marni was big, big help in making Being Human what it is.

Winner of the Marker's Song Prize Pack - Emily Casey

Winner of the Vlad Tod prize pack - Aura Roy

Winner of a signed copy of Being Human - Angel Lopez

Winner of Vampire Knight - Emily Casey

Winner of the Vampire Encyclopedia - Mrlin13 aka Lin Rice

Congrats to all the winners. I will be contacting you later today for your mailing addresses so I can mail you your prizes. Thanks everyone who commented and entered. Now, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my birthday which includes playing with my new kindle that my hubby got me. SQUEE!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last Warm Fuzzie Moment

It's the last week of the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest. I'm kind of sad. It was fun hopping around and discovering new people and their writing. Makes this post bitterswee.

This week, post what makes writing worth it for you and most importantly, post one of your Warm Fuzzy moments. It can be a scene from a WIP, short story, poem, anything that strikes your fancy. Visit one another’s posts and enjoy the writing you find there.

I instantly had a scene come to mind. In my debut novel, Being Human there is a scene at the end between Tommy and Sunlight that is so crystal clear in my head every time I think about it. Each time it plays out like a movie scene and all I can think is how awesome it would be if Being Human was made into a movie and to see that scene come to life. It even has music to go with it. Having a scene come to me so crystal clear is one of the reason I love writing and getting those words to tell that scene is such an amazing experience. Then knowing that people will read it, see the scene I created puts me on cloud nine. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

There was something I needed to do.
Summoning my last bit of energy, I snapped the cuffs and shoved Vampire Forces away. The distance between us felt like millions of miles, Sunlight impossible to reach. I put everything I had into crossing the room, to reaching her. And when I did, I spared a moment for my family.
“I’m sorry.”
Dan locked eyes with me and the color drained from his face. “No.”
Then I turned to Sunlight and everything disappeared. The humans, the courtroom and trial, the scientists and experiments. All I saw was our time together. The details sped by, every moment of every night spent with her crystal clear before me. It made me smile and laugh and want to cry. All those moments combined into one second in time, one moment that was only me and her, and for the first time nothing else mattered. Hunger and need didn’t matter, my own survival was insignificant. As I gazed into her eyes, I finally understood what it meant to be human.
I kissed her.
She kissed me back.

This scene always makes me feel warm and fuzzy, even if what happens next really kills it. Anyways, don't forget to head over to Juliana's blog to check out everyone else's post. I guess we were supposed to keep track of points but I never did. Oh well, I found some cool new blogs, and a few stories I can't wait to learn more about. Thanks Juliana.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Love the Noughties Blogfest

I've been pretty lucky lately. There's been a ton of good blogfest going on the past few months, and I love doing blogfests. When I saw this one hosted by Dave Wrote This, I couldn't pass it up. First, I thought it was pick one thing and talk about it. Which made it very simple. 2004 American Idiot by Green Day was released and I never miss a chance to talk about the wonder that is Green Day. I still am, but the blogfest is about something every year.

Let's get started. Okay, year 2000, that one is easy. I graduated from high school. Of course, much to my dismay, when voting for class song, I will Remember you got picked over Anthem for the Year 2000. I was a bit outraged. I mean, come on! We were graduating in the year 2000, it should have been a no brainer.

2001, let's see, oh yes, I GOT TO SEE GREEN DAY LIVE! OMG, I was in heaven. Lost my shoes in the mosh pit. Fortunately, I found them at the end of the concert. Then everyone was kicked out before I could call my ride to get me. I ended up taking a ride from a complete stranger who had also been at the concert. I gave him ten dollars for gas, and we had a nice conversation on the drive back to my dorm. Always kinda thought I was lucky. I mean, that dude so could have kidnapped and killed me. I also could have not found my shoes and had my coat stolen. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I saw my shoe go flying in the mosh pit and hit Billy Joe in the face. Not 100% sure, but the shoe looked quite familiar.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

#WhyIWrite: Jenna's two cents

Hello, everyone! Patricia has the lovely new guest series called “Why I Write” and was kind enough to let me add my two cents.

I can’t say that I have as much experience as last week’s poster, Kaje Harper, who’s already been published and is making money. Instead, I’ll speak from the point of view of an unpublished writer. There are lots of us out there!

Sure, when I was in 6th grade I wrote a poem about a pig in a typhoon that got published in two books (I can still recite all five stanzas to this day!). Since then, I haven’t won any writing contests (excluding a Christmas carol one about final exams that our principal held). I’ve received fourteen rejection letters from agents. Does this stop me from writing?

Is that a real question?

Words move people. They have the ability to change a decision or a person’s entire life. How can I not write when my prose might someday touch another person in a significant way?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Warm Fuzzies Week 3

This week, take a moment to look at the trouble you get your MC into. How do you kick them while they’re down? Without revealing too many secrets about your WIP- take us through your MC’s arch.
The challenge for this week is to visit as many blogs as you can and based on their exert/summary, come up with a title for their WIP. Your title can be funny or serious, whatever you’d like.

Okay, my MC's arch. Oh jeez, I have never thought about it. When I write, I don't plot at all, so most of the time, I don't know what the arch is until the story is done. Let me pop back over to Juliana's post and reread her post to kick start my brain.

My WIP begins with werewolves howling. In the book before this WIP, Eric thought he had left his life in the pack behind, and was ready to move forward with Ben. But it seems his pack has found him. What do they want? What will the do? According to his sister, Sarah, his dad wants him to come back. After a little angst over what to do, Eric and Ben decide to go. Coming home isn't easier either, and Eric starts to worry how Ben is dealing with life in the pack. But there's something else, or someone else more accurately, that isn't dealing well with Eric's return. Someone who is determined to tear Ben and Eric apart.

Hmm, that sounds a bit more dramatic than it really is. But it's a good start for a blurb. Which reminds me, where did I put the blurb for the story this is a sequel to? Anyways, that's my character's arch (I think.) What do you think a good title will be? Feel free to throw in a serious title suggestion because as of right now, these two books have no titles and it makes Ben and Eric very sad. Also, don't forget to check out the list of participants here.

PS: Shameless book plug. You can get Being Human for 99cents at Smashwords using code RG96L. Code expires on my birthday, November 18th.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vampire Myths

It's almost been a year since I've started this blog, so by now, it should be obvious I like vampires. They are the one creature I write about the most. The thing is, no two story is really alike. I constantly get new ideas for a vampire story, but each one is a twist on the myth. It was something I never really thought much until a writing friend, MaryBeth, pointed out a story she was beta reading for me she found a bit hard to get into because the vampires in that story were so different from the vampires in Being Human.

I started wondering if other people would feel the same. If I published another vampire story would readers be turned off by the change in mythology? Maybe not, but some might find it harder to get into the story after spending time in Tommy's world.

And it's not just vampires either. I have werewolf stories that each have a different twist. Demon and angel stories that are in different worlds. Other stories I mix up my romances. Most authors I know stick with either Female/Male romances or Male/Male romances. I haven't read a series by anyone where they swapped, and I have a four part short stories series where I switch back and forth between M/M and M/F relationships.

Part of it is that is how the stories come to me and the other part is I like coming up with new twists. How can I recreate the myth? What hasn't been done before? The ideas get me excited to write. I need to be cautious though. If I have a story that takes more than one book, then I need to publish those before switching to a telling of the myth.

What this means is, JJ's story, Out of Secrets, has to be put on the back burner until I get Being Human's sequel written and published. I don't have to completely forget JJ. If I do everything right, then I can get Out of Secrets published shortly after Being Vampire. Of course, it would also help if I could get Drew talking to me. He was a little and then Eric, a character from my werewolf short story, decided his sequel needs to be told first. At least I have stories without vampires I can publish while we all wait for Drew to talk to me.

Also, check out Cassie's review of Being Human at Shadow Kisses and enter to win Being Human in book and a signed bookmark. Or, head over to Smashwords and enter XE76H at check out to get Being Human for 99 cents. Code expires November 18th.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group - Silence

I kind of keep forgetting about this. After all, it's once a month, at the beginning of the month, and I had the button near the bottom on my blog. Hence, I didn't see it and forget until the day everyone is posting their story for the group. First time, I got lucky and had a post up that I could use. Second time, I had nothing. This time, I am on it! I have a topic, I have a post ahead of time. I WILL REMEMBER! (Click on the image to see the list of participants.)

Lately, I've been feeling insecure about what I'm doing. It's not for the lack of trying, because I am. No, it's the response I'm getting from trying. Which is silence. I use bitly to track my links to my books on Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N. Usually, the tracking shows something, but lately, there's been nothing. No one is clicking. The other day I got my bookmarks in and excitedly tweeted about it. Only a few friends said anything. Same with my request for guests. Only a few responses or comments.

It had me sitting back and wondering, Why am I bothering? What happened? Then I start to panic. Am I being too pushy? Am I bugging people so they're just ignoring me? We all know writers don't need to panic about stuff like that. It gets in the way of creativity and word count. I started feeling like the world was flying by and all my yelling and arm waving was being ignored. Which is also bad for word count. I'd stare at my work in progress and know how the story needed to go, but the words weren't there. They are missing from my head, replaced by panic and fear.