Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Failing Spectacularly with Books and Turkeys

I am super glad its December. November is always a weird month for me, and NaNoWriMo is a big part of that. It always seems to me a comedy of a great many errors; chalked full of the best intentions and a seven course Turkey dinner.


Or at least it seems like that when you are the only one cooking.

Also, I have five children; therefore I must look at 3,547,369 crayon turkeys made from their hand prints during the month of November alone. So it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about my life that I tend for fail spectacularly at NaNoWriMo every year. Except for ME! It always shocks ME!

As it stands I tend to have no problem finishing novels in any other month of the year (and two in September) heck I will COMPLETE four books in December—complete four because I am wrapping up the three books I started in November.

Yeah, I started three books in November. I always do that to myself. I don’t go into it thinking HEY I am going to totally screw myself over by attempting something that might be mathematically impossible. Yet it happens every time anyway.

I started my book (which is secret btw) three days late, two days after that I decided I had to finish the Hollows Series right now or I am going to DIE. DIE. Which if fairly humorous because the second book in the series hasn’t even been released yet, and since Larry Kollar can’t quit his day job and do nothing but edit my books I am not really in a rush.

But after convincing myself of the need to write that book—which is titled Ice Bridge Forest—it occurred to me that I’d need the second book in the Granted series before the 4th book in the Hollows series.

So damn it all, that was the train of thought that lead to my ultimate destruction.  

Oddly, that is what it’s like in my head every day.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Well it is FINALLY available! Amazon really held that one hostage for a while. I wanted it to be free FREE but the best I could do now was free to borrow for Amazon Prime members and .99 otherwise. Smashwords has been giving me fits and unfortunately they are the easiest way to get a free book out there. Someone suggested I just make the book a google doc and just post it wild on the internets--but I think that is asking for someone to take it and call it their own.


Here is the blurbish!
Drowning might not be the way most adventures start, but it is the only way at Skeleton Lake. When Death is your only companion, darkness is always on the horizon.

In the prequel to SKELETON LAKE, Cassie chooses the wrong brother. That leads to a series of events that take all of her choices away. For in a world of beautiful bones and false flesh, sometimes life after death is killer.

I also decided to delay my giveaway; I was going to do one for Halloween but I looked up and realized EVERYONE was doing one so I thought I start tomorrow.

Check on the book trailer for The Skeleton Song below!

Monday, October 29, 2012

SKELETON LAKE & The Lending Library

Skeleton Lake has been re-released and is currently FREE in the Amazon Lending library so if you have an Amazon device and Amazon Prime you can read it for zilch nada. You can also buy it on Amazon for just $2.99 for the Second Edition. Click the cover for more details. This is the PERFECT Halloween book!

It had been an idea I had been toying with for a long time; and the decision came after Smashwords was being a bugger. It was totally a sign.

THE TOTALLY FREE NOVELLA The Skeleton Song will be made available really soon. No, sooner than that.

Look for a big fat Hollows Series giveaway on Halloween. You will want to win, you will want to tell your friends. If you would like to be a part of the giveaway sign up here. I know it's last minute. You can sign up for any day 10/31-11/2 we can have multiple people on each day.

I apologize in advance to all the nook (etc) readers out there; but as it stands an overwhelming majority of my sales come from Amazon and it isn't forever. Also Amazon has apps for tons of devices. So you don't have to be left out.

Also, I have a request. Please do not buy the paperback version of my book. Some how it has reappeared on Amazon. It is being sold by my old publisher even though it should have been removed months ago. I was given the rights back and I thought everything was go but there seems to be this one hiccup. It is also first edition still.

If you enjoyed Skeleton Lake before, please take a moment to review it on Amazon (and Goodreads if you haven't done it yet). Since the book was removed by my publisher and republished by myself all my reviews were lost.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

WHITE PICKUPS by Larry Kollar Blog Tour/ Week of Awesome #3

When Larry first talked about WHITE PICKUPS I had to no idea what to expect from it. He told me it was paranormal, which would have made it right up my alley but I thought pffftt it doesn't LOOK like a paranormal book--oh but it is. I bought the book myself here, and it is AWESOME. Hence it's inclusion in the week of awesome. I don't even know what to say about it. I felt kind of blind going into it and I think that only added to the experience.

From Goodreads: At summer’s end, mysterious white pickup trucks take to the roads and compel nearly everyone to “drive off.” Some of those who remain gather in a suburban Atlanta subdivision, and struggle to cope with a world whose infrastructure is rapidly crumbling. One of the few who are mentally and emotionally prepared for the end of the world is Cody Sifko, a youth who quickly becomes the inspiration for the others. When a strange homeless woman names him “Father of Nations,” is she seeing his future or her own delusions? As winter and a hate group try to destroy Laurel Hills, can Cody overcome personal tragedy and seize his destiny?

Fans of the various appocolypses will really appreciate Larry's truckapypse!And Larry's women. Some guys, don't get women right at all so I am often weary of main character women from males--but it was awesome. I am going to stop talking now because I keep saying awesome, and instead let Larry answer the most AWESOME interview questions of all time.

    Fess up, do you really drive a white pickup?

No, but there are two at the in-laws' farm. One has a buggered transmission, and the other overheats at the drop of a hat. So I drive them as little as possible.
In the event of a real zombie Apocalypse; which of your author friends do you think would be the slowest runner?

I'm guessing John Wiswell, because of his health. But he's worth saving, if at all possible.
When was the last time you fired a shotgun?

Not too long ago. I have a 12-gauge pump in the gun case next to my laptop desk. (No, I've never been tempted to shoot my laptop. The TV, on the other hand...)
If you were stranded on a deserted island, with no zombies and a cold drink; what Indie book would you wish you had with you?

Something long, especially if I could have only one! I've got a stack of them in my Kindle, waiting for a chance to be read.
What color do you think I should dye my hair next? Shocking blue, Purple Haze, or Wildfire?

Wildfire. I like redheads, even if I married a "dishwater" blonde. (Thus proving that looks aren't everything.)
How many books do you plan on releasing in 2013?

Three: Pickups and Pestilence, a novella that needs a name besides "Chasing a Rainbow," Accidental Sorcerers (a YA classic fantasy novella)
How may books will you release if I pester you to death about it?

Five: the above plus a sequel to Accidental Sorcerers (unnamed), and Wings: Unfurled (first of a YA contemporary fantasy trilogy) if I can get it written. I'd planned to start it about two weeks ago, so I better get crackin'.
Favorite book so far in 2012?

You mean besides mine? ;-) So far, it's the first book I read this year, Bachiyr: 33 A.D. by David McAfee. He mixed vampires and Jesus, and pulled it off. That took some brass.
If they turned your book into a movie, who would you absolutely hate to see cast in it?

Nicholas Cage. I liked most of the films I've seen him act in, but just don't see him fitting in this one.
Anything else we should know about you?

If I get no more ideas, I have enough to keep me writing through the end of 2014. At least. So if you like White Pickups, you can look forward to seeing plenty more!
Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

THE VIOLET FOX Book Tour/ Week of Awesome #2

The Week of Awesome continues on with THE VIOLET FOX by Clare Marshall

I have to say, the Violet Fox is type of heroine I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course, I became a writer, but I can still appreciate a bad ass girl in a cape. Her bravery, and ability to save her own people as well as her own neck are the things legends are made out of; and her fierceness was somehow refreshing and sharp at the same time.

If you want a book that reads like polished A list piece from a top publisher this is your book. Clare is a phenomenal writer and editor and you don't notice at all. Trust me, you will find no better complement than that.

Follow Clare on Twitter:@ClareMarshall13
and Find her writings at: http://www.faeryinkpress.com/


One of my good friends from back home asked me, “How do you write so much?!”

My first thought was, I really don’t write that much.

Okay, let’s back up a bit. I have three novels that are in progress right now, one sitting at 37,000 words, another at 12,000 words, and a children’s chapter book at about 5,000 words. In completed unpublished works, I have six novels or novellas, ranging from 30,000 words to about 110,000 words. They need to be re-written, or divided into smaller novels before they ever see the light of day. I have some plays and short stories I’ve written as well, but I don’t really count those.

I don’t spend all day writing. I think part of the reason people think I have a lot of words under my belt is because I’m young. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer, so write I did. When I’ve been grabbed by a story, I devote time and I try to see it through.

I see it this way. A novel is about 60,000 words (less than that is generally considered a novella. Within is 50,000 words, so it’s a novella!). It takes me about an hour to write 1,000 words. I can write more than than in an hour once I get going. So, if you were extremely diligent, you could write a 60,000 word novel in 60 days.

Of course, it doesn’t always happen that way. Life gets in the way sometimes. Distractions are abundant, especially in the face of a deadline. I find that I tend to put a project down when it’s 90% complete. I don’t know why I do this. It’s like I need the last push, one last ra-ra team before the race ends. I told myself to finish The Violet Fox in December 2011, but it didn’t actually get finished until May 2012. I put it down to focus on building my freelancing clientele, and I was successful in doing that.

Contests and writing initiatives like the 3-Day-Novel Contest (where I first wrote Within) and NaNoWriMo are great opportunities to get words down on paper (or on the screen). For the 3-Day-Novel contest, you have to write 100 pages (about 25,000 words) in three days. For NaNoWriMo, you have to write 50,000 words in a month. I haven’t actually completed NaNoWriMo yet. I started one year but life got in the way. It would be nice to use it unofficially to finish up some of the works I’ve got in progress.

Writing is only part of completing a novel. Research is another part. Even if you’re writing a fantasy novel, you still have to develop a world. I keep a separate document of world-building information for The Violet Fox handy when I write, in case I need to reference something.

I also have an advantage that others may not share. I work from home. I don’t have to waste time sitting in traffic. I’m usually very busy with clients, but I set my own schedule. This allows me to set aside the time I need to work on my writing, or the marketing of said writing.

So how can you improve your word count?

1. Time management

How long will it take you to write 1,000 words? 500 words? Choosing a smaller word count like this will give you a small goal to work towards. Once you figure out your writing speed, you can judge the amount of time per day or per week you have to set aside to complete the novel.

2. To-Do Lists.

Making a to-do list is the first step. Following through on it is another. I find that writing down 3 things I want to do in one day works for me. Three things is manageable. Writing down 10 or 20 things and then trying to accomplish them can make you feel stressed, which will discourage you completely. To tie in with the first point, writing down an estimated time it will take to complete the task next to the task itself also helps me manage my day.

3. Stop talking, start writing.

Stop talking about how you’d like to write a novel and set aside the time to do it. You are only a writer if you write.

Oh. And one more thing. Surrounding myself with positive people who encourage me to write more also boosts my word count. Don’t take your built-in support--your family and your friends--for granted. They are your foundation for continuing your writing journey.

That, and sweet, delicious energy drinks. Mmmm....


Congratulations! You've spotted The Violet Fox. Report her to the authorities for a chance to win!


1. Copy the URL of this blog post
2. Paste it in the appropriate CATCH THE VIOLET FOX Rafflecopter entry option (Catch Me #1 for CATCH THE VIOLET FOX #1, Catch Me #2 for CATCH THE VIOLET FOX #2, etc).
3. Spot the Violet Fox 5 times for more entries into the grand giveaway!

Stay tuned. Those who are vigilant with their spotting of The Violet Fox may be eligible for extra prizes ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week of Awesome #1 JENNY PLAGUE-BRINGER by JLBryan

It's not everyday that I review a book here. As a matter of fact it's been months and months since I have done one and there are some very good reasons for that. The first reasons is, I am an author not a book reviewer. I do read books, rarely do I stop; however, I don't like giving bad reviews because writing is an art form. I could look at a priceless Picasso and think, what a load of absolute crap.

And that helps no one.

Another, more pressing reasons is-- people won't stop asking me to do book reviews. I get an obscure number of people reuqesting on twitter, Goodreads, and even via comments on my blog to accept a FREE copy of their book and write them a review. I never know these people, nor have I heard of them; and if I even took up half their offers I'd never have time to write anything of my own. But I do sometimes write book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads without being asked.

It's not that I don't want to help you, it's just that we should maybe get to know each other first.

Now that I have said all that, are you ready for:

All book reviews, of all awesome books. Well at least three of them.

Today I am reviewing Jenny Plague--Bringer by JLBryan. I bought the book myself here. As soon as I could get my pretty little Skeleton hands on it. I breezed through it in less than 24 hours with 5 kids, and looming deadlines. It wasn't that I couldn't put it down, because I had to; it was that it drove me insane until I picked it back up again.

It's an odd thing, living through two worlds in the same book. There is unraveling nonstop. Even though the book opens with what seems to be a happy ending, Jenny feels as though it is impossible for her to really have one. Dozens of other lifetimes with with horrible ends threaten to consume her, even as her beautiful love story continues on.

Then Jenny finds out she is pregnant, and things go from looming disaster to all out panic.

I love Seth, Jenny's opposite and baby daddy in this book. He is a rock that refuses to crumble as their life together cracks like glass that should have bever been tread on below their feet.

As much as I wish it wasn't the last, JPB was an amazing and artful end to the series I have grown to love. It's hard to believe how long it's been since I first heard of JL from Amanda Hocking. Jenny Pox, the first book in the series, is free on Amazon. I suggest you pick it up and start this amazing paranormal adventure for yourself.

Stalk JL (Jeffery) on Twitter: here
See his blog here: www.jlbryanbooks.com/

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

W.I.P. Hop

Jamie B. tagged me in this W.I.P. Hop, and I figured it was best to play along because she has a manuscript of mine and I kind of wanted it to be edited, not eaten.

Just kidding! I love the chance to talk about the things I am working on because I am excited about them and it's a great way to build buzz for future releases.

Here is what has to be done:

Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.
Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

What is the working title of your book? Bone Deep (A Skeleton Lake Novella for Alex & Lena)

Where did the idea come from for the book? These days I am living in the Skeleton Lake universe a lot. Getting the first book ready for re-release, and the first novella (The Skeleton Song) ready to go with it. I am also editing the next book in the series (Dust of the Dead Sea) and writing, when the mood is miserable, the rest of the series. Sadly we lose track of some of my favorite Skeletons; Alex and Lena in the second book and that made me sad. There is a whole host of new characters to keep you entertained in DotDS but their absence had been bothering me since the books completion. This novella Bone Deep will be released between Dust of the Dead Sea and The Desert of Ash & Waves
so we can catch up with Alex and Lena before we catch up with them. w i n k   w  i n  k

What genre does your book fall under? Dark paranormal romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? She is a bit old but I'd have Jayne Wisener as lovely Lena (she played Joanna in Sweeney Todd) She is exactly what I think Lena looks like. For Alex I'd pick Logan Lerman. (Percy Jackson) He has the look, even if that movie book rendition was IMO awful lol.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? I just finished it this weekend so I haven't really thought about it. Let's go with. Love can live lifetimes, bone deep.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Why are those the only two options? ;)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 2.5 fever induced days. Don't ask.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Would it be cheating to compare it to the other books in the series? I guess so. The series tends, as a whole, to be darker and moodier than most other paranormal romance books out there. It is not a horror book--but if you were to say, let Tim Burton do-over Twilight then perhaps The Hollows Series would be as dark and as whimsical as that. With less scrabooking herpes encrusted vamps and more Corpse Bride.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? You know, there was one person who reviewed Skeleton Lake--and I am sorry I don't recall who off the top of my head; who said they were TEAM ALEX and I got thinking. I am pretty team Alex too.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Sometimes it's nice to read about love when it's not so complicated. This is a book where even though the world is a mess the characters make love look easy.

My people:
Clare Marshall
Larry Kollar
S.M. Reine
Heather Jacob
Patricia Lynne