Friday, June 20, 2014

Cover Reveal: Operation Pucker Up by Rachele Alpine

Today I have an exciting cover to reveal. Meet Rachele Alpine:

Rachele and I have the same agent and editor, so I always joke that we must be somehow related. Rachele is the author of Canary, a book that you MUST read if you love life-changing YA. Today, I'm part of Rachele's exciting cover reveal for her first novel with Aladdin M!x. You're going to love it.


Here it is!

Is that cover not pure awesomeness? And, guess what? IceyBooks is giving away a Barnes and Noble gift card and pack of lip smackers, so be sure to check out the giveaway on their site.

Here's the blurb:

Haddie Shaw is thrilled to pieces when she wins the coveted lead role in her school play. That is, until she realizes she’ll have to kiss Prince Charming. On the lips. And not only is Prince Charming—a.k.a James Lowe—the most popular boy in school, but Haddie has never, ever been kissed.

To help, Haddie’s two best friends create Operation Pucker Up—a plan for Haddie to score a kiss before opening night so she doesn’t make total fool of herself in front of a live audience. If that weren’t enough to think about, Haddie’s father, who left six months ago, suddenly walks back into her life. Haddie, her mom and sister have bonded as the “Terrific Three” – and while two of the “Three” welcome Dad back with open arms, Haddie isn’t sure she can forgive and forget.

With Operation Pucker Up spinning out of control, and opening night fast approaching, will Haddie manage to get her happily ever after—both on-stage and off?


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Author Support Blog Hop

Today I'm participating in an exciting blog hop.

Being a writer is tough. You're expected to spend hours in front of a computer, pouring your heart out. You have such passion...such excitement...such utter frustration.

Then, about halfway through, you hit that point where you realize that brilliant idea you had isn't turning out to be so brilliant in novel form.

Finally, you send it out to editors, only to get one of these.

Still, you're expected to keep going. You try telling yourself rejection is a part of the process. Some of the best books ever written were rejected multiple times.

Yet the doubts creep in. How do you silence that voice? keep writing.

Join in on today's blog hop by adding your link to the list below.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Launch: Divine Love by Bethany Averie

Today we have a special guest. Bethany Averie is here to talk about her latest release, Divine Love. Here's the beautiful cover:

Divine Love is the first in a series and it releases today! Click here to add it to your to-read list on Goodreads.

Bethany is also the author of All's Fair in Love & Lion, available from Soul Mate Publishing. Below, Bethany tells us a little about her upcoming release and discusses her writing process.

Q: Tell us a little about the plot of your new book, Divine Love.

A:  Divine Love is Book One in my Immortal Dreams Trilogy.  It’s about a girl named Laney Alberts, who during her 2nd semester of her senior year of high school meets Jason Magnus. Jason just happens to be an Immortal (of the Greek gods and goddesses variety). What the two don’t realize is that this isn’t just about a potential prom date. There’s way more at stake. The Pantheon is entrusting the fate of both human and Immortal worlds in their hands.

Book Two, Astral Love, continues the story and you’ll get more information on Jason Magnus’s past and his character. Astral Love is expected to release some time in the Fall of 2014.

Book Three, Immortal Love, will finish out the trilogy, as well as giving the deciding factor on the fate of the Immortal and human worlds. Immortal Love is expected to release some time in the early part of 2015.

Q: This is your second book. Do you find that your experience with your first book, All’s Fair in Love & Lion, prepared you for what to expect with this second release?

A:  A little bit. All’s Fair In Love & Lion was straight fantasy/fairy-tale Romance. My Immortal Dreams Trilogy is New Adult Paranormal Romance. The two are written in different styles. My Romance is first person present tense, while the Trilogy is third-person/past tense (the way a typical book is written). Also, the ages and what’s important to my characters are different. 

Not to mention, when writing the kind of Trilogy Immortal Dreams is it’s a matter of having the storyline span across three books as opposed to each being a standalone.

All’s Fair In Love & Lion is a standalone. I do hope to return to the Third Realm and write at least one or two more novels covering different characters that are introduced in All’s Fair In Love & Lion, but I can’t give any information on that, right now. Everyone will just have to wait and see. 

Q: What has your experience as a published author been like so far? Did anything surprise you about the publishing process?

A:  All’s Fair In Love & Lion came out last year and a lot has happened since, so my memory is a little fuzzy.  But being published is definitely different than being unpublished.  It’s a bit hard to explain. But I’m not complaining. I’m delighted to have a chance to share my stories with others. It’s the main reason I got into writing and publishing.

I guess what surprises me most is when people make a fuss over my work and what I’ve done. I mean, each of my stories holds a special place in my heart—but to find out that others enjoy them and have fun reading them is truly a fantastic experience. I’m humbled and thrilled when a reader likes what I do. It’s wonderful to know my stories don’t just entertain me, but they also entertain other people. That is a real gift to me, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Q: What is your writing process like? Do you plan your stories out before you write them?

A:  Nowadays I do more planning, but with All’s Fair In Love & Lion, an idea hit me, and I was like “Yes, that’s it! That’s what I want to write!” So I sat down and wrote it. The initial draft took me about a year to finish. 

For the Immortal Dreams Trilogy, it was a different experience. I decided to write in a different style than my Romance.  I still wanted to have romance in my stories, but write in the New Adult or Young Adult genre (This was about 2 years ago, when the New Adult genre was beginning to slowly gain more popularity, it seems to be more established now than it was back then—at least to me, anyway).  I decided to further challenge myself by writing third person past tense.  Since both of these elements were a real change from what I had with my Romance novel, I figured it would be easier for me to fulfill this challenge if I worked off of a story I already started. 

I found the original manuscript pages and worked out ideas of how to rewrite it. Divine Love was born out of that, and I discovered that the story was going to be bigger than one book, so that’s when I decided to write a trilogy.  I approached my publisher with what I was doing, and said that since they publish New Adult and that’s what my story was, they wanted to see it when it was completed. My publisher has been immensely supportive and enthusiastic about my writing, which I’m very grateful for.  I got the novel written and polished up and sent it out to my publisher. Not too long after that I got an email from them offering me a contract. I was told I could either sign it for the one book or for all three. I opted to contract all three and titles were worked out and approved and off we went. (Divine Love took me about 6 months to write, and Book Two, Astral Love took me about 4 or 5 months to write).

Nowadays I like to have some kind of outline. I call myself a “half-in-half” writer—I partially plot and I partially pantser.  It works well for me, because I have a basic outline to guide me, but I still have plenty of room to let my imagination work.

Q: Do you have a favorite writing spot?

A:  Since I don’t have an office, my bed is where I write. No, I’m not joking. I got my laptop set up with a stand and I sit there. Sometimes sit on the couch with my laptop in my lap while I watch TV and work a bit that way, but I don’t work very well in front of the TV, so that doesn’t happen often.

Q: What are you working on now?

A:  I’m working on Book Three of the Immortal Dreams Trilogy, Immortal Love.  Book Two, Astral Love, has already been turned in to my publisher and as I said, is expected to be released in the Fall of 2014. Immortal Love should be coming out sometime in early 2015.

I also have about 4 or 5 books with basic outlines and two other stories partially written. I’m always writing—even if I’m not physically writing, my imagination/brain is usually working on something.

To read more about Bethany, choose one of the links below.

Facebook // Twitter // Blog // Publisher Page // Goodreads // NWHRWA Profile

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Express Yourself: Scary Movies

Today I'm participating in the Express Yourself Meme, hosted by Dani and Jackie.

The challenge? Discuss the scariest movie or book you've read that made you unable to sleep. That's complicated for me, since today's horror movies seem very gory to me. I usually like the concepts, like this one coming out later this summer:

The preview seemed sufficiently terrifying, but the movie itself will undoubtedly involve a lot of blood and disassembling of people.

To me, the scariest horror movies are the ones that stay with you long after you've seen them. No, I'm not talking about the image of Lindsay Lohan's fingers being slowly cut off by some psycho. I'm talking about those movies that don't actually show you what happened. They work on your mind.

Sure, Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling had that ability, but more recent filmmakers have done that, as well. The first one that really got to me was this one... 

When they could hear the sounds of their friends screaming out there...somewhere... Well, I'll just say that was the spookiest thing ever. You never saw anyone dismembered or killed in that movie. Real fear is like that. You have no idea what's out there...waiting for you.

But hope wasn't lost with The Blair Witch Project's inevitable oversaturation of the American consciousness. Later...much later...came Paranormal Activity and its ensuing sequels. While there was a little gore spread throughout, those movies were pretty darn scary. You see, it was what you couldn't see that was scariest of all...

To me, these movies that capture everything on surveillance video or handheld documentary cameras are terrifying. Why? Because the audience feels like we could be on the other side of that. And when someone leaves the room and we hear that scream...what we imagine is far scarier than what a director can show us. In fact, once they show it, it stops being scary and just becomes yucky.

Am I right on that?

What's the scariest movie/book you've ever experienced? Do you know a non-gory horror movie that uses imagination rather than violence to scare people? If so, recommend in the comments. 

If you'd like to join in on the blog hop, post your link below and start writing!

Monday, June 16, 2014

One Space After a Sentence or Two?

Writers can get in the most heated debates over the smallest of things. Try telling a writer she has to use Times New Roman font or 25 lines of text per page. You'll see sheer ugliness.

You can almost count the seconds until someone informs everyone she's written 7,000 best-selling novels in Comic Sans MS font and her publishers have never said a word.

But one argument that always makes me snicker is the one-space/two-space argument. You see, back in the old days, it was customary for there to be two spaces after every typed sentence. We're talking these old days...

Professional editors and typographers say there should be one space after a sentence. It's in both the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style. It was officially changed to one space years ago. 

Yet, as this article pointed out, there are numerous people who will vehemently argue that there should be two spaces after every sentence.

Aside from driving your copy editors crazy once you're published, there's another downfall to using two spaces: it dates you. Since most editors and agents these days have never even touched a typewriter, they were never taught to do things this way. Besides, since many editors and agents are grammarians by nature, you just might be driving them crazy with your extra-spacey manuscript.

On another note, how cute is this cover from fellow Aladdin M!x author Gail Nall's upcoming release? Love it! Click to add it to your Goodreads list.