Monthly Archives: August 2012

Promo Galore!

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Today is a bit of an unusual post for me.  I’m not usually one to use this space to blatantly push my books (yes, I do mention them on occasion and the links are there, but more it’s about the writing and publishing process than me saying “Buy! Buy! Buy!”) but the reason I’m doing this is because my stint with Amazon‘s KDP program comes to an end this month.  I had a couple of free days left and I figured I might as well use them all and treat my followers. Therefore, Near Death is *FREE* for the next 2 days (8/30-8/31).  If you’ve got a Kindle and haven’t picked it up yet, now’s the time! Just click the image below. (Come September, Near Death will be available again at Barnes & Noble and Kobo!)

Tears of a Clown is also on sale, for $2.99 (that’s 50% off!) until the end of August for both Kindle and Nook (click on the link for the file that fits your e-reader). If you’re looking for a good romantic comedy to read on the beach during the holiday weekend, pick up your copy before the 31st!

Last, but certainly not least,  I am *SUPER* excited to be featured today over at YA Promo Central! It’s a great place for exposure, advertising and building your platform. Please be sure to stop by (click the name!) and check out my interview with them.

Thanks everyone for all your support and enjoy the end of Summer!

The Next Big Thing…

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Eep! I’ve been tagged by Patricia Lynne to take part in the Next Big Thing, where authors get to talk about their work in progress. I have to answer then questions and then tag another five authors. So here goes!

Questions:

What is the working title of your book? Staying Alive (Life & Death, book 2)

Where did the idea come from for the book? It’s a sequel to my first book, Near Death.  There wasn’t originally going to be a second book, but a friend expressed how she’d love to see more of a certain character and so I got the idea to age them and bring them all back!

What genre does your book fall under? It’s YA, but I tend to dub it contemporary fiction with a paranormal twist

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  oooh this is hard.

Maybe some Alexander Pettyfer for Jackson? (although he might be a bit too old)

How about Carlos Pena for Gabe?

Sterling Knight for Chris(toph).

Victoria Justice for Marisol.

Eri Tokunaga for Aya.

I think Dianna Agron would make a good Sarah.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  GAH! Only one sentence? *sigh*

Depression sucks college student Jackson Moore into a pit of despair, but his Guardian Angel must keep him alive until he completes his purpose in life.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  It will be self published since the first book in the series was as well.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Umm..I’m still writing it? Hah! It’s almost done. The majority of it was written in a month.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Good question! I’m uhh..not sure?

Who or What inspired you to write this book?  My friend who wanted to read more when she was done with Near Death!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s a book about struggling with guilt and insecurity in life, school and relationships. The paranormal twist keeps it interesting and suspenseful as the reader won’t know exactly where it’s heading until it gets there.

Tag, you’re it!:

Your ten questions:

What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Tagging these 5 authors!

Edward McKeown
RG Porter
Samantha Warren
Bobby Mathews
Tiffany Berryman

Books about bullying

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Seeing as the school year is starting up again, I thought I’d take the time to look up and discuss some books that deal with bullies. I am saddened every time I hear a story of a teen who has hurt themselves or even worse, taken their own lives, because others have been mean and cruel to them.  I think bullies have always existed in some form (and yes, there are most definitely the adult versions in life as well) but it seems to have just gotten disgustingly out of control with the help of the internet and social media.

I had the occasion person pick on me growing up (there are always those couple of folks who want to pick on the fat chick…) but I was involved in several things in school and had a fairly large and diverse group of friends. When I started really getting into writing Tears of a Clown*, when I decided it had the “chops” to be more than the joke it started out as, I knew bullying was going to play a major role in the story.  How could this new girl show up to a school looking *SO* different and there not be kids who don’t understand and therefore feel like they have to make fun of her?  I wanted her to be strong though. To stick up for others even though she’s having a hard time. To continue to be herself, even if people made fun. Was it easy for her? No. She does cry often (although when she’s alone) but she keeps on keeping on.  I hope maybe she can be an inspiration to someone who reads the story.

Bullying is serious business and I hope that my book, and others about the topic can help make a difference. Maybe they’ll make readers think twice before making fun of someone else. Maybe it’ll help another have the strength to get through their ordeal. Maybe it will just help to know other people are going through similar situations, even if they are fictional characters.

Here are some books that have bullying themes.  I picked books that I’ve personally read (click the image to get more info on the novel).

Have you read any books on bulling you can share with us?

*Tears of a Clown is currently on sale at 50% off. Pick it up for a teen in your life or for an end of summer beach read!

 

It takes all kinds…

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One thing that’s starting to annoy me in a lot of recent YA literature  is the complete “white bread” cast. It seems like minorities just don’t seem to exist in most of today’s youth lit.  There is a major lacking in African American main characters, as well as Latin/Hispanic,  Asian, American Indian, etc. I’m not sure if it’s because people of those minorities aren’t writing YA novels or because people feel like they don’t know how to represent people of other ethnicities well enough.

It’s not just other minorities that are missing, but people of different religions or with mental and/or physical handicaps. Characters with diseases that don’t end in supernatural powers and characters with differing sexual preferences are next to non-existent as well.

As authors, we want our writing to be realistic (even if it’s fantasy) and that means our casts should be varied with all types of characters. Not only will it add to the story, but it lets you work in aspects of different cultures and love and tolerance towards all.  There’s no reason why the hot “white” jock can’t fall for the stunning African American girl on the dance team. No reason why the cute red headed Irish guy can’t fall for the exotic new Asian boy in school.

Don’t be afraid to make your characters realistic with disorders and disabilities, these are things real teens deal with everyday, whether it’s Diabetes, ADHD, Autism, depression, eating disorders, etc.. Just be sure to research the affliction first so you know some of the symptoms/characteristics and treatments. You can’t be realistic going on hunches and what you “think” you know. Look it up.

I think to diversify our characters allows us the chance to introduce different types of people and cultures to parts of our audience that may not see such things outside of their own communities. I think we have to be careful as well not to make those characters a walking stereotype. I think that is something a good beta reader can help alert you to.

Take a chance and round out your cast. It will make for a better story and appeal to a larger audience.

Have you written characters who are different than you?

Celebrating Community

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When I decided to self-publish, I never imagined I’d find so many great communities (online and off!) of authors, both self and traditionally published.  They are great sources of support, advice and encouragement.

I was recently contacted by my indie author friend, Pavarti K Tyler,  who celebrates Ramadan and wanted to break her fast ( Eid al-Fitr) with her online community. From now (August 16th) until August 19th, many authors (myself included) will be helping her to celebrate via blog hop where we’ll be sharing recipes, discussing our ideas of community and togetherness and talking about how we share happiness.

Also, there’s prizes! Lots of prizes! Free stuff! Yay! (Sadly, Rafflecopter doesn’t work here for me, so PLEASE be sure to stop by HERE to enter and to see who else is participating in the blog hop! Seriously, so maaaany great giveaways! Check it out!)

My participation today is to share one of my favorite recipes.  I picked this specific one because it’s one I’ve share with many people online and I’ve also made it for friends and family.  It’s easy to make, inexpensive, feeds many, is vegetarian and weight watcher friendly but one you can adapt to add your own preferences whether it’s different veggies or  meat for the carnivores.

Without further ado, I present to you all: TACO SOUP

It makes a HUGE amount so be prepared to eat it for a while or to freeze it!

 

Ingredients:
1 can black beans
1 can white beans
1 can pink beans
1 28oz can of crushed tomatos
1 cup water
1 can tomato soup
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup taco sauce
generous shakes over black pepper, onion flakes and garlic powder
1 can kernel corn
2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)

 

Directions:
Mix all items in a big pot and simmer for about 20/30 min.  Top with cheddar or mozz. cheese.
A great crusty bread is nice to dip in it too.

 

(I tend to not use back beans but red kidney beans instead but whichever you prefer is fine 🙂  Adjust the spice level with your choice of salsa and taco sauce and whether you add hot sauce or not. Also you can swap out the corn for things like spinach or kale.)