Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Writer Wednesday - A Jacob Sweeny

Today we have author A Jacob Sweeny with a guest post introducing her awesome (and yummy!) heroes of The Pulse Myths series. First, let's get to know more about Ms. Sweeny and her books.

About A Jacob Sweeny

I have been writing and storytelling ever since I was able to hold a pen. When I spent time working as a teacher with children of varying ages I was fascinated by the awesome power of words to excite and inspire the young mind. The art of Storytelling is what makes a good teacher great.

My degree in History with an emphasis on Ancient Near East, and my personal interest in world myths, combined with my fieldwork in archaeology have inspired my research and development of many elements in the story. 

I also remember what it was like to be a girl myself and have often wanted to share my own thoughts, fears and dreams during that age with others. I read many books during my teenage years and some of them were essential in helping me make it through that time, and helping me become the satisfied person that I am today. I want to be able to return that favor to all the readers out there.

About Pulse of Heroes

A suspenseful, passionate, paranormal romance that sweeps through the emotions of first love and heartache as it traverses centuries and continents.

Michelle used to feel like she was behind in everything, especially school and relationships. Her great aunt from the old country says she is like a bland meal, "no salt or pepper". But in junior year, everything changes. Her father takes a position on the Town Council, a popular boy in school becomes interested in her, and most importantly, the Hekademos Learning Center, a private school for 'troubled' students, moves into her quiet neighborhood amidst the protests of the entire town.

After an embarrassing fall over the school wall, Michelle meets Elliot and her ordinary ‘bland’ life changes its course forever.

Elliot is no ordinary human. In fact, no one at the Hekademos Learning Center is. Beautiful and fierce, they have survived throughout the millennia by weaving in and out of human events. Through them, Michelle learns that history and myths from around the world are dotted with references to their kind. Michelle falls madly in love with the ever-striking and mysterious Elliot and, as much as he tries to fight it, he develops strong feelings for her as well. Although Elliot carries numerous painful memories from his many pasts, he disregards his own better judgment and the advice of his friends, and finds himself falling for Michelle‘s offbeat personality. Their feelings grow in intensity, but when History catches up with them, the difference between their life paths threatens to destroy any future that they might have had together.

Michelle learns that there are infinite shades of gray between black and white, and has to deal with the bundle of contradictory emotions called love. She has to trust her intuition in order to face the danger and uncertainty of being drawn into Elliot’s wondrous world. Ultimately, it is up to Michelle to make the split-second, life-altering decision that will either tear them apart forever, or give them another chance.

Guest Post:
In The Pulse Myths series we are introduced to many characters, however it is the introduction to the Heroes of Hekademos that transfers us from the every day life of a teenage girl living in a small town in Northern California and into the extraordinary.

Before even honing the main plot for this trilogy I knew that I wanted more for my readers. I wanted to be able to show them a world that is real and yet amazing as if it was purely fiction. I knew that my heroes would established a doorway to this world.

All too often in stories that deal with heroes or even immortals the characters seemed to be adopted out the classical era of Hellenism/The Greek myths, or the Biblical heroes/archangels and the likes.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with these topics, as we delve into them in my novels too, but there is so much more out there that is just as beautiful and exciting. My readers are introduced to the original stories that inspired the Biblical and Greek Myths. They are also exposed to the time and place where reality and myth cross one another. They are one and the same in many instances.

There are amazing myths from around the world that hardly make it into the Western consciousness, unless one picks up a book that is devoted to a specific culture, or an area of the world. I was determined to change that by introducing my readers to an onslaught of these beautiful, sexy, intelligent, and at times dangerous immortal males from across the globe. My research had taught me so much more than I would have ever imagined, and yet it was difficult to choose only a handful of stories and characters.

The main heroes of Hekademos are introduced in the first installment: Pulse Of Heroes. They are forever young and beautiful as they are complex and multi-layered. We get to meet more heroes in the next two installments.

The beautiful, rapturous, and yet with an air of danger, ***Elliot De Costa (he is from God-Semitic/Sumerian background) from ancient Sumer is the main hero and love interest of the story. He is surrounded by his friends who form a ragtag family of sorts.

*Devin-(From God/Great man in Hindi. Interestingly enough there might be a connection to the name David, where the word divine comes from) A handsome and kind man, Devin is from Harappa, a Indus Valley civilization that predates Hinduism in the area of India/Pakistan

*Haneul-(Heaven/sky in Korean) Fair, fierce, quiet, mysterious. Haneul is from Korea and establishes the first Korean dynasty.

*Rioni/Amirani (The main river that runs from the Caucasus Mt. and through Georgia-Amirani is a variation on an ancient name from the Levant of Hebrew/Arab origin meaning Prince/Commander) Rion is Charismatic, stylish and sharp of tongued. He is an ancient warlord and king many times. He originates in the area of Northern Turkey

*Kahl (Perfection of man-in Arabic/Semitic languages) He is tranquil in character, seductive and secretive. Kahl comes from ancient Yemen and Ethiopia.

*Ando/Ondottr (Fiery of eyes/great man in Norse mythology) Ando hails from Norway. Attractive strong and frighteningly cold when needs be. He is a viking hero and king many times.

*Mikoto (Divine-being-Shinto/Japanese) is an ancient Japanese warlord turned Samurai. Awe inspiring looks, charming and comically simple when needs be, a maser of weaponry.

Connect with A Jacob Sweeny


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Need to warm up this February afternoon? Maybe this little teaser from Devotion will help...

Tristan and I changed together in the little room that contained only a bench with two piles of clothes on it. I held up a black sports bra and black spandex pants–the only clothes for me–and nearly groaned, until I remembered my new body. Tristan had been given nothing but a pair of loose black pants. With his hair pulled back in a ponytail, he looked as though he belonged in a martial-arts film, ready to fight in a tournament or take on his self-righteous teacher. In other words, he looked delicious.
 "I'm supposed to concentrate with you in that?" Tristan asked, his eyes traveling up and down my body. I couldn't help it. I shivered. 
"Ditto," I muttered and forced myself to tear my eyes from his very bare, very lickable chest.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Foodie Friday: Eating House Miami

Last week I asked you all to tell me where you think CJ (the co-publisher) and I should have dinner in Miami and nobody responded. I'm going to assume that it's not because you don't love me or care if I stuff horrid food in my body, but that, like us, you just couldn't decide which one you would pick. One is known as a favorite stand-by. The other sounded delish, but a little risky.

But no worries! We decided to brave it out and try the brand-spanking-new Eating Place Miami. It's the first pop-up restaurant we've ever been to. Don't know what a pop-up is? Have you heard of a pop-up bookstore? It's like that. No? Well, they come in on a temporary basis, either for some specific purpose (season) or as a test-drive. In this case, it's a test-drive.

I got a picture with a Chopped Champ!!!
Chef/Owner of Eating House Giorgio Rapicavoli.
As far as the service - REMARKABLE.

See, chef and co-owner Giorgio Rapicavoli is a Chopped champion (yes! for real!) and he used his winnings (watch episode) to give this restaurant-ownership-thing a try. And based on our experience and others', I think he and his roommate/business partner are going to do quite well.

Because It.Was.Ahhhh.Maaaaazzzzz.Ing.

Seriously, a total delight for the taste buds. I so wish I could share some with you but, honestly, even if I had some sitting in front of me, I don't think I'd bring myself to share. The best you get is a photo essay.

Roasted Bone Marrow - escargot/black truffle
ragu, marrow toast, grey salt
Homestead Tomatoes - lime, ginger, nuoc cham
(fish sauce), peanuts, frozen coconut milk,
herbs, local flowers

Fried Chicken Thighs - buttermilk waffles,
house smoked maple, candied bacon, hot sauce-ranch
Paccheri [Pasta] - 24 hour braised short rib,
berkshire pork belly, black truffle, crispy sage, bread crumbs
My faves were the fried chicken thighs and the paccheri. Divine. This article called the food an orgasm for the mouth, and I think CJ and I agree the chicken thighs are definitely moan-out-loud good. And then came...

The. Best. Damn. Dessert. EVER.

EVER I tell you!
(and it doesn't even have chocolate in it - whowouldathunk?)

'Breakfast' - Cap'n Crunch mousse, milk panna cotta,
candied Cap'n Crunch, taha's vanilla bean salt
OMG, my mouth is watering. I'm so ready to go back. If just for that dessert. And if you read that article, you'll see that they sometimes also offer a whipped Nutella and banana foster dessert. I don't know what I'd do if both were on the menu at once. I'd be too weak-kneed (and stuffed) to leave on my volition, that's for sure.

If you're ever in Miami (there are lots of bookish events every year!), you must go visit Giorgio, his roomie and his sister, who provided us with fantabulous service. And you must call me because I will definitely meet you there!

Here are the deets:
Facebook: Eating House Miami
Twitter: @eating_house

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Writer Wednesday - Susan Kaye Quinn

Today I bring you Author Susan Kaye Quinn, whose Open Minds YA paranormal has received some awesome reviews. I can't wait to read it!

About Susan Kaye Quinn

Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle.
About Open Minds

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

So let's get to know Susan better!

Tell us about you in 10 words.
Ex-rocket-scientist who loves kids, books, and shiny tech gadgets.

Um, okay, wow. I don't think I've ever had a rocket scientist here before. I suddenly feel like my IQ dropped 20 points. So, uh, what are we doing? Oh yeah, interview. If you tweeted about your latest release, what would it say (140 characters or less)?
What if you had to mind control everyone you loved? Open Minds $2.99 #kindle #paranormal #sciencefiction #yalit

Simon - Yeah, I could stare into those eyes for a while, too.
Lots of punch in so few characters. Nice job! If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
Probably Simon, the mindjacker who helps Kira discover her powers. I’d like to dive into his head, figure out what made him go down the path of joining a nefarious underground group of mindjackers like Molloy’s Clan. Or possibly just gaze into his dark eyes for a while.

Heheh. The truth comes out... So what’s your favorite part of being a writer?
That I get to invent future technology, without having to make it actually work? Or that I get to write aching love stories about really cute fictional men? Hmm... I think my favorite part is creating whole new worlds that readers actually want to read and experience and live with me. #SoCool

Very cool. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Not having enough time to write. I need a 28 hour day.

I feel ya! Completely. What do you wish you would have known before you became a writer?
That it would be so creatively fulfilling. I would have started sooner.

Yes, I imagine you could have used that outlet while doing all that fancy scientific stuff. What made you decide to go indie?
I knew that I wouldn’t shelve Open Minds:  I loved the story and wanted to share it too much for that.  I tried querying agents,  and had lots of positive response, but the process was way too slow. I quickly realized that it would take years to get Open Minds on the shelves. I was dying to write the rest of the trilogy, and with indie publishing I didn’t have to wonder whether it would be published

Plus, indie publishing is a shiny new gadget. I have a hard time resisting those.

From what I've heard about Open Minds, readers are very happy you didn't resist. What do you like most about being indie?
The fact that I control it end-to-end: editing, cover, timetable. Even the launch party, giveaways, and review requests are at a pace and flavor that suits my style, and it’s really nice to be able to bring that kind of cohesion to my work.

If a writer came to you asking advice about going indie, what’s the most important thing you would tell them?
Well, I actually have Seven Questions You Should Ask Before Going Indie. But if I had to pick just one, it would be this: make sure you know what your goals are for this book before you launch it. Is it a business or a hobby for you? Because if you know what you want to get out of it, you’re much more likely to be happy in the end.

Excellent advice. You really can't be in-between or aimless, otherwise you'll get frustrated. So let's talk about your own reading. What’s the last book you read and what’s next?
Just finished A Million Suns by the amazing Beth Revis (So.Good.Buy.It!), and now I’m reading Goliath, the last book of the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld-who is so awesome I really can’t fangirl enough about him. After that I have a bunch of indie titles on my TBR, including The Veil by Cory Putnam and Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper. My indie list is growing fast and is responsible for the groaning sound that comes from my Goodreads TBR list.

Excellent list! What book or author can you read over and over again?
Scott and Beth (above); also Holly Black (I have a crush on Cassel).

Hmm...I started White Cat and couldn't get into it. Maybe I need to give it more of a chance? So what do you think - ebooks or Dead Tree Books? Why?
Depends. Generally ebooks, because they’re cheaper and I love my ereader gadgets. But I’ll spring for hardcovers at author signings, or paperbacks for writing books.

Finally, where can we connect with you?
If you’re interested in what’s going on with my books, you can subscribe to my author newsletter! Or you can find me on Twitter way too often, or Facebook, or my blog, where I talk about all kinds of writerly and tech things, including indie publishing. I love to hear from readers and connect with other writers, so I hope you’ll stop by!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

For those who haven't read Devotion yet, well, uh, why the heck not? Need more enticement? Here's a tease for you:

"I'm the alien but they all treat me like …"
"Royalty?" Tristan finished for me.
I sighed. "Yeah. At this rate, I'll be ready to get back to normal life sooner than I thought. At least in the normal world, I know how to behave, what to do."
He gave me a squeeze. "We'll be leaving soon enough, I'm sure. But first you have a lot to learn. You need to train. Have you been practicing at all, or just gawking?"
"Pretty much just gawking," I admitted and then I frowned. I hated listening to people's thoughts, and it felt especially intrusive when the people close by thought they were in the privacy of their own homes. At least on the main street, people would be thinking fewer intimate thoughts and more about their business at hand. "Let's go back downtown, or whatever you call it, so I can be with more people."
As we walked, I pushed my cloud out to people we passed long enough to hear a brief thought, then quickly pulled the cloud in as soon as I'd succeeded. I kept to only one person at a time, afraid I'd lose control if I tried more. Fortunately, what I heard was mostly mundane, except …
"Can't stop thinking of him as Seth. Look at him, walking around as though he owns the place, his hands all over the real royalty, as though he owns her. He's such a traitor. He'll be the downfall of the Amadis."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Foodie Friday: Miami Restaurant Picks?

We're heading to Miami again next week and one thing CJ, the co-publisher, and I must do on every trip is eat well. We're both foodies and enjoy trying new places and types of food, but also have some favorites.

One of our all-time faves is Michael's Genuine. I've talked about it before and took The Man there for our 20th anniversary last October. It's different and delish.

In December, CJ and I wanted to check out the famous Books & Books store and I fell in love with Coral Gables. We ate at Charlotte Bistro, which was tasty. It was a little extra fun because of our friend Charlotte, whose name I borrowed in Devotion.

This trip, we're debating Michael's Genuine again, since it's been several months for both of us now. Or Eating House. Read this, their story about how they got started and why they don't call their place a "restaurant." It all sounds, well, interesting. I'm not sure if it's the type of place that I'll hate or fall in love with, but I'm game for anything. Especially when the menu can be this ... or whatever they decide for that day. Yeah, it sounds a little risky, but I think it could be kind of fun.

What do you think? Should we give this unique place a try? What would you do?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writer Wednesday - Eisley Jacobs

Today you get to meet a fabulous person and an excellent writer with a heart the size of a, er, dragon. Which must be why she's writing about dragons. That's right - today we have the lovely Eisley Jacobs.

About Eisley

Eisley Jacobs lives in Denver, Colorado with her three children and husband.

Eisley actively writes the characters that stroll through her head. The first YA Novel she completed was in high school, but some how got lost in the shuffle into real life. While studying at college, stories began to plague her mind and she tried her best to keep them at bay while she did more important things like... like... who are we kidding. Her grades suffered because the voices wouldn't stop. So instead of going insane, she wrote.

It wasn't until 2005 that Eisley realized her love of words needed to go somewhere besides the bottom drawer of the file cabinet. She began to write a young adult fantasy series (which is still a work in progress) and continued until she had two complete books and feverishly worked to complete book three.

However in 2010, a blue dragon named Deglan interfered in her attempts to finish the final book in the YA series and thus BORN TO BE A DRAGON was hatched. The novel was written in less than two months and almost a year after completion, has found a home on Amazon and in the hearts of many children.

Now, with the second book in the DRAGONS FOREVER series out, BLINK OF A DRAGON, she is working on a YA urban fantasy called PIECES OF ME all while trying to keep up with the fan base for DRAGONS FOREVER.

About Born to be a Dragon (Dragons Forever #1)

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup…

This is what Lord Edric wants you to believe. He will do anything in his power to see that humans never come in contact with dragons again. However, he doesn't plan for Meia, the foster child who dreams of dragons, believing they are real. Or Deglan, the ten-year-old dragon who bears the ancient mark that threatens everything Lord Edric has worked for.

Join these two unlikely friends as they discover the truth behind a legend so extraordinary it will alter each of their lives… forever.

And now for the interview!

Tell us about you in 10 words. 

Awesome list! If you tweeted about your latest release, what would it say (140 characters or less)?
Rival Dragons. Erupting volcanoes. Just another day in the 5th grade.

Yeah, of course. Just another day here, too. O.o If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
I’d like to spend a day with Sterling, the marvel. He is so quirky that I believe he might be just what I need to laugh the stresses of life away. He is so smart, yet so unbeknownst to things around him at the same moment. It would be the ultimate giggle fest!

Knowing you, wanting to spend the day laughing doesn't surprise me. Sounds like fun! So, besides giving yourself the giggles, what’s your favorite part of being a writer?
I’ve had the privilege of being present when a group of kids finished Born to be a Dragon and their reactions were priceless! Which of course makes the feedback from children my favorite part of being a writer.

Wow, I can only imagine being in the same room when readers finish your book. How cool is that?! Well, unless, you know, they didn't like it. Of course, you wouldn't have that problem! Okay, now, what’s the hardest part of being a writer? 
The discipline. I homeschool my children and sometimes it’s just more fun to spend time with them then it is to sit down and pound on a keyboard.

Yes, sometimes there are many more fun things to do than pound on a keyboard. What do you wish you would have known before you became a writer?
I wish I would have known what an emotional roller coaster it would be. I wouldn’t change the way I’ve done any of it, but I would maybe go in more prepared (or so I tell myself). The emotions of a writer reach such highs and lows, it’s almost hard to fathom going these ranges in a twenty-four hour period.

Ohmigosh, don't I know it. My family thinks I'm insane sometimes. Well, more than usual. And what helps fuel those highs and lows? Being indie. So, what made you decide to go indie?
I was in conversation with a couple agents as I queried Born to be a Dragon (these agents did not represent middle grade books) and was told the publishers were not buying dragon books right now and I could either sit on it for a few years or go indie. When the second agent told me the same thing, I decided to do it and never look back.

So glad you did! What do you like most about being indie?
I love that I can hold true to the vision I had for my book and not have to worry about what someone else is going to disagree with.

Most definitely! But it's not all flowers and unicorns. If a writer came to you asking advice about going indie, what’s the most important thing you would tell them? 
I will be frank with them and let them know that going indie is hard work but very rewarding. I would also tell them to hire a professional editor and cover artist. Don’t skimp on those things. They are expensive, but they make all the difference.

Agreed! Okay, now about your own reading. What’s the last book you read and what’s next?
The last book we read, as a family, was A Wind in the Door. Currently reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle).

Love those books! At least, I did when I was a kid. I tried picking up A Wrinkle in Time about a year or so ago and couldn't get into it. I'm sure it was my mood and not the book. How cool that you get to share it with your kids! Speaking of re-reading books, what book or author can you read over and over again? 
Chronicles of Narnia. The way C.S. Lewis weaved his worlds was amazing. Have you ever noticed how SMALL each book is yet the adventure is so great? That is talent. The worlds are so rich and you feel like nothing was left on the cutting room floor. Perfect.

I never thought about it, but you're so right! Okay, something else I need to re-read. Final question: Ebooks or Dead Tree Books? Why?
In the middle grade publishing industry, physical books are still outselling ebooks. But I believe this will change as more children get their hands on ereaders. For me personally, both the print book and the ebook are equally as appealing to me. I like to have books on my shelves, but I also love that I don’t have clutter. Both versions share the experience that the author hopes you will receive from the story.

Oh, wait, I lied. One more, very important question: Where can we connect with you?

Thank you, Eisley, for joining us today! Readers, I hope you enjoyed the interview and getting to know Eisley better. Please go stalk her - you won't regret it! And if you're in the mood for some fun reading or know any kids who love dragons, check out her books. Have a question for Eisley? Please ask!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

I posted this last year, but I'm posting it again. After all, you need a little tease on this day.

Tristan says:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blog Fest

You may have already noticed it around the blog-o-sphere, but if not - this is pretty cool. Over 200 writers - published and not - are sharing the origins of their writing dreams. It's the Origins Blog Fest hosted by the awesome quartet of Alex J. Cavanaugh, DL Hammons (Cruising Altitude 2.0), Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl) and Matthew MacNish (The Quintessential Questionable Query Experiment). Go check out the loooong list of writers participating and see how they got started in this crazy journey of being a writer.

But wait! Would you care to know my story? ;-)

I've talked about it before, so it may be old news for some, but I first wanted to become a writer when I was 8 years old. I'd started reading at 4 and loved books, but I don't remember writing stories before the 3rd grade. It was spring and I had recently left Denver to live with my mother in Silver Spring, Maryland, because my dad, stepmom and sister were headed to Germany to set up house. I would join them later.

I didn't fit in too well in my new school. I'd always been among the top of my class, but the Montgomery County school district was - and still is - one of the best districts in the country, and I was behind. I was in one of the lowest math groups (first and last time not in the highest), and in the average reading group (first and last time not in the highest). All other subjects were taught as a class and I had a lot of catching up to do. I made a couple of friends but, honestly, it was one of the few times in my life I felt stupid. Now that I look back at it, the experience, though short-lived (we moved to Chicago a few months later), was good for me. Especially because it led to this...

After a couple of months of feeling like a loser and the end of the year quickly approaching, we started studying Tall Tales. I loved the unit and enjoyed all the stories. Then we were charged with telling our own Tall Tale or at least something mythical. I was stuck on ideas, until the weekend, when my mom took me to a cavern for the first time ever. I thought it was incredibly cool! And Mom got to talking about how she wondered if gnomes lived in the cave and only came out at night. My story idea was born. I went home and wrote it all out.

Gnome Cave was my first ever story. And my first ever contemporary fantasy. AND it earned me an A. The only A on the assignment for the entire class. Was I proud? You better believe it! I beamed at all the other students who thought I was the dumb new kid. My teacher told me I had a knack for writing. My mom, grandma, aunt (all strong writers) - they all praised my writing and my story. And I decided then that I loved writing.

I wrote - or I should say, started - several stories over the next 10 or so years. Nothing ever amounted to much, though, except for school assignments. I couldn't come up with a whole story with a beginning, middle and end. But I still loved to write. I wrote for the yearbook and became co-editor my senior year. I wrote poems that were entered into contests and one published in a book. I wrote awesome papers for school. But by the time I had to choose a major for college, I'd decided I just didn't have a novel in me.

I started college for business. I changed my major to English. I dropped out and made a family, then raised the family. To bring in some extra cash, I typed term papers for college students, which led me into resume writing. Then writing and editing other marketing communications (brochures, newsletters, websites). I wrote and edited training programs. I wrote as a reporter and then served as editor for a newspaper. I returned to college and earned a bachelor degree in marketing.

Every once in a while, I thought about writing fiction again, but nothing came to me. Thank goodness because, as a soccer mom/club president, editor/manager, wife/student/etc., I just didn't have the time that would be needed to write a novel. Then I did get an idea. I ordered some craft books from Writers Digest, including how to get published. I immediately grew discouraged and my idea went no further than a chapter or two.

After finishing college, I couldn't wait to return to reading for fun. And boy did I! I devoured books as if I'd been starving - which I had been. I'd been starving for the escape of other worlds. I read and read and read. We moved to Florida. My kids were older, one driving and taking over some of my mom-taxi duties. The boys' interests narrowed and I was no longer spending entire weekends and every weekday night on ball fields or courts or on the road driving to ball fields and courts.

I had free time like I'd never had it before. I got into World of Warcraft for a while, thinking I could play with my boys, but they didn't like playing with me. (I kinda sucked at it.) I read some more. I read Twilight. I got sucked into the series, but it left me wanting. Wanting more, wanting deeper - more of a plot, a true soul-mate connection, real bedroom scenes, better writing and, most of all, deeper characters. I realized I'd become tired of what was out there. I couldn't find the story I really wanted to read, the characters I really wanted to love.

I finally asked myself why I didn't write what I wanted to read. And the idea to start writing fiction again began to flourish. I told myself I'd just play around, do some character sketches, just write for fun for myself. I still didn't expect to have a book in me. But once I started, I couldn't stop. In 6 weeks from the day I decided to give fiction writing another shot, I'd written what is now Promise and Purpose, ending it at 189,000 words! And not only did I have a full book in me, I realized, but an entire series.

I haven't looked back since. And now I have more than just one series idea. In fact, I have so many book ideas with beginnings, middles and ends, that I just hope I'm on this earth long enough to write half of them. Of course, now I hope, too, that there are readers out there who will continue to want to read them.

That's my story. Nothing crazy or surprising, but my story nonetheless. Now go check out some of those others. It's astounding how many different ways we all came to this writer's road.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Virtual Release Party Tonight & You're Invited!

So this window has been open all day and I forgot to post! >dork on board!< I apologize for the late notice of this:

It's Devotion's official release day!

Woot!!! And we're going to party it up!

The Man and the Herd went out of town, so I'm hosting a slumber party! When was the last time you attended a slumber party?!? I know, right? It's time to have some girl fun!

Since most of you are a little far away, we'll be doing it virtual-style. There will be games, giveaways and lots of chatting going on. I'm bringing wine, snacks and chocolate, but feel free to bring your own favorite yummies. Including any candy of the eye kind.

Here's your invite!

Who: Anyone, anywhere! Join in for as long or as short as you can

What: Games, giveaways, chats, good times!
Where: My Facebook author page (and look for some tweets, too)

When: Tonight, 2/10, starting at 8 pm EST until ??? (whenever we fall asleep)

The first 20 people to check in will receive a Soul Savers Swag Pack (including those beautiful new bookmarks!)

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Today I'm meeting with my publisher to go over all kinds of fun stuff. It's going to be a very busy day, so I have just enough time to say this. And, "Oh. Yeah." Oh, and, "You're welcome."

I got this from

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

This week we're casting Owen over on the Facebook page. You should see who your fellow fans have chosen to play the role. While you're there, be sure to cast your own pick and be entered to win a pack of these beautiful, brand-new bookmarks:

Aren't they pretty?

But first, you might want to refresh your memory about Owen with these teases:

"Owen," Tristan and I both said as my protector appeared in the open doorway to the bedroom.
"At your service," he said. "Is everything okay?"
"Do they know anything?" Tristan asked.
Owen shook his head. "Sophia told them Alexis gets all whacked out about the next daughter and she probably needed air." He peered at me and then Tristan. "Well, not those exact words. I think she said, 'especially sensitive.' So … what happened?"

Or maybe this will help:

"Is this it?" Owen asked.
I opened my eyes and almost whooped out loud when I saw the homestead. Bertha sat in front of an old farmhouse, facing a faded red barn. My mind was already inside, drinking a cold glass of water and then standing under a hot shower. But as I looked around more closely, my heart sank to my lap. Siding hung off the dilapidated barn, and the roof was caved in. The fields and stock pens were overgrown and unkempt. Paint peeled off the walls of the house, and grime tinted the windows a yellowish-brown color. A tiny, old airplane sat at the end of what once may have been a dirt runway, but now was littered with overgrown weeds and potholes nearly the size of Bertha. This can't be it.
"Yep, this is it," Tristan said, pushing me forward so he could stand up.
Owen turned in the driver's seat, and his face looked how I felt. "Dude … seriously? I think the owners abandoned this place decades ago. Probably ran away scared."
"Perhaps. I haven't been here in … a lifetime." Tristan hopped out of the truck. "Come on. Let's check it out. There's nothing here you can't fix, Scarecrow."
"True," Owen agreed, sliding out of the driver's seat, "very true."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Because You Asked

Devotion has been out for less than a week (you did see that it came out on ebook, right???), and already questions are popping up. Not that I'm complaining. This is a good problem for an author to have, especially because the two most common questions are by either people who have already read Devotion or those who are dying to read it.

So what are the two most frequently asked questions in the last 5 days?

1. Will there be more books?
This one makes me chuckle. Do you really think I left all those questions open at the end to say, "Haha! You'll never know!" Okay, so I know lots of authors do that. I try not to be so mean. Well, if you've read even just Promise, you know I'm not afraid of a major cliffhanger, but EVENTUALLY questions get answered. At least the big ones. So here's the answer to the question:

YES!!! There will be four (4!!!) more books - seven (7!!!!) books in all - in Alexis's story. PLUS, I expect to share some more side stories, like Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella. Sophia has had a really interesting life. Owen has been on some exciting adventures. Other characters have asked me to share their stories, too.

No, the Soul Savers Series is not a trilogy. No, it's not over or even close to being over. Yes, you'll get lots more of Alexis, Tristan, Owen, Dorian and the rest. They have many more challenges to face.

Oh, and because I know there's another question coming now: Book 4 (yet untitled) is planned for a release in 2012. Yes! This year! Woohoo! I don't exactly know when, so stay tuned for a release date.

2. When will you release Devotion on iBooks? Or out on paperback at BAM and The Book Depository?
My publisher and I have done everything we need to do on our end. The files have been uploaded, approved, authorized, etc. Everything has been provided for distribution. Now we just have to wait for the retailers to receive the information, enter the title into their systems, and build a page for you to access. This can take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks (shorter for ebooks).

I expect (hope!) iBooks to have it available by the end of this week or early next week. Same with Sony, Kobo and any other ebook retailers that don't have it yet. Amazon should have the paperback listed any day. The channels that take the longest are the retailers for the print books - BAM, print on B&N, The Book Depository, IndieBound, etc. There's nothing we can do about it.

This is why ebooks for Kindle, Nook and Smashwords come out so early. The files have to be uploaded before the official release date so they can go through the process and be fed out to the retailers. In the meantime, the book is available immediately on Smashwords. So, we make them available around the same time on Kindle and Nook because we can. ;)

So, all that said ... if you're waiting for Devotion to come out in iBooks, you don't have to wait. You can purchase the ePub file at Smashwords and it's really very easy. I did it with my iPad, so I can say this. Go to the site on your iPad or iPhone (, pay for the book, choose ePub file format and when you click "download," a box pops up asking if you want to open the file in iBooks. Voila! There it is, ready to read!

Those are the two most common questions so far. Do you have more? Feel free to ask!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Foodie Friday: With a Guest

We have a visitor today! Everyone, I'd like you to meet Fin. If you haven't met him yet, he's a super-hot, sweet yet fierce ... um ... don't call him a fish! He's a mer-man. Yes, you read that right. You can thank Author Brenda Pandos for bringing Fin into the world of her Mer Tales series.

I'm so excited to have Fin here today, revealing the fabulous new cover for Evergreen, the next book in the Mer Tales series, and also to talk to us about food. Since he's here on a Friday, I couldn't pass up the chance. After all, how often do you get to ask a mer what they like to eat?

So, well, let's start with that. What do mers eat? Are fish friends or food?

Hey Kristie. Actually, you should ask Brenda this. She’s got chickens. How could she ever eat chicken now that they are her pets? Quite the question… I’d say for the most part, fish are food.

What's your favorite food in Natatoria (or under the sea)?

Fresh Atlantic salmon, hands down.

What's your favorite land food?

My mom is an excellent cook and since we spent a lot of time on land, I’m partial to fish and chips. But she makes everything taste awesome, so I’m not sure what my favorite would be. Fried chicken? haha

What's your least favorite food in Natatoria (or under the sea)?

After a while, raw uncooked unspiced cold food can be boring. I miss garlic too. And there’s only so much seaweed you can eat. Fresh fruit is a delicacy. After you experience all the varieties and tastes on land, our food leaves much to be desired.

What's your least favorite land food? 
I like everything, well, except peas and tomatoes. And I’m not really into shellfish either, like lobster or crab. If you knew what they ate, you wouldn’t want to eat them either. Gross bottom feeders.

If you prepared a romantic dinner for Ash, what would you make? Where would you eat it?
I take her to Fannette Island and set out a table on the sand with roses and candles. We’d have grilled salmon (of course) with garlic mash potatoes, a green salad, and cheesecake for dessert. Man… you’re making me hungry, Kristie.
Oh, Fin, you've made me hungry. I am so drooling. But not for food ...

*ahem* Sorry. Um, thank you, Fin, for stopping by. Now let's show off your girl with the big reveal! I can't wait for this book!

A kingdom on the brink of war.
A king on the fringes of insanity.
A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?

Enter the watery world of treachery, greed, and the binding mer kiss as the story continues with Evergreen, book two of Mer Tales.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Devotion Review Tour

The Devotion Review Tour kicked off yesterday with Author Brenda Pandos, and continues until Friday, February 24. I can't wait to see what all these book bloggers have to say about Devotion! And you'll want to check them out, if anything because many will be hosting giveaways, too.

I'll be doing a "normal" blog tour in March or April, with guest posts, interviews, character interviews, etc. If you're a blogger and want to participate, please email me.

The Devotion Review Tour:

2/1 - Author Brenda Pandos
2/2 - Author Heather McCorkle & The Indie Elite
2/3 - Forbidden Reviews
2/6 - Sassy Book Lovers
2/7 - A Life Bound by Books
2/8 - Confessions of a Bookaholic
2/9 - Zodiac Book Reviews
2/10 - Book Reader Addicts
2/10 - Me and Reading
2/13 - Insane About Books
2/13 - The Bookshelf Sophisticate
2/14 - Book Passion for Life
2/15 - clutter-bug
2/16 - Page Flipperz
2/17 - A Simple Love of Reading
2/18 - Autumn's Bitchin' Book Reviews
2/21 - Living Fictitiously
2/22 - Reading Lark After Dark
2/23 - All Things Books
2/24 - Prospect Book Review at and Peabea

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's Live! (Oh, and we have a tour!)

Did you hear that SQUEE a little after 12 a.m. EST this morning? I was sure you'd hear it around the world. That's when Devotion ebooks went LIVE! Woohoo! A little early release. I'm sure you don't mind. *grin*

Here are the links:

Kindle US: Devotion (Soul Savers)

Kindle UK:


Smashwords (for all other ereaders):

Coming soon to iBooks, Sony, Kobo and Diesel. In the meantime, you can download the epub version at Smashwords to transfer to your iPad, Sony Reader, Kobo or Diesel reader.

For those who pre-ordered signed paperbacks, that shipment should be in soon. I'll sign and get those out to you ASAP.

The Devotion Review Tour has also kicked off with my bestest author friend, Brenda Pandos. Check out her 5-star review! Then follow the tour - details coming soon.

Writer Wednesday - Tanya Contois

Today I introduce you to Tanya Contois who has been publishing her novel Wicked Little Lies in an old-but-new way - as a serial, just as Charles Dickens did. She also has an upcoming new release of short stories that sounds eerie but awesome. So let's get to know Tanya!

About Tanya:

Tanya Contois is the author of the serial novel Wicked Little Lies which has received several 5 and 4 star reviews. Her upcoming release Cloaked in Darkness is a collection of short stories about a variety of paranormal beings who hunt humans under the cloak of darkness. She also has several ideas for future books.

About Cloaked in Darkness:

In New York City there are a variety of paranormal beings that disguise themselves as humans during the day but once darkness falls they drop the disguise and are free to be their true selves. Some of them interact well with humans and have careers but there are also many who despise humans and hunt them freely under the cloak of darkness.

Now on to our interview!

Tell us about you in 10 words.

Book and music lover, against animal cruelty and bullying, author.

If you tweeted about your latest release, what would it say (140 characters or less)?

Love all things paranormal? Then you’ll love Cloaked in Darkness. (It’ll be released sometime in February.)

If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

Aolani and we’d probably go to a concert or go shopping for vintage band t-shirts.

What’s your favorite part of being a writer?

My favorite part of being a writer is getting to know other writers especially those who I am a fan of.

What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

The hardest part of being a writer for me is not letting other people’s negativity get to me.

What do you wish you would have known before you became a writer?

I wish I had known that a lot of writers suffer from depression because depression is something I have struggled with for years. I’m even on medication for it.

What made you decide to go indie (on this blog, indie means independent of the Big 6, which can be small press, self-pubbed or other)?

To be honest, I never even thought about that or getting a publishing contract. Before I signed the contract with Trestle Press I was just writing for myself.

What do you like most about being indie?

The thing I like most about being indie is the constant support and advice I get from my friends and fellow authors.

If a writer came to you asking advice about going indie, what’s the most important thing you would tell them?

I’d tell them that there are lots of authors and readers who will be constantly supportive but there will also be authors and readers who frown upon indie authors.

What’s the last book you read and what’s next?

The last book that I read was In Dreams by J. Sterling and the book I’m reading now is Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.

What book or author can you read over and over again? 
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I love both the book and the movie. It was this book that made me fall in love with the fantasy genre.

Ebooks or Dead Tree Books? Why?

If you had asked me this question 4 or 5 months ago, I would have said dead tree books but since I have purchased my Kindle, I enjoy reading both e-books and dead tree books because there are certain books only available as e-books and there are some only available as dead tree books.

Where can we connect with you?

You can find me on Facebook here:

and on Twitter here: