Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Revolution

I write this while on the airplane, flying to Phoenix, Arizona, for the Fiesta Bowl. Two of my sons currently go to University of Central Florida and my baby will start there next year, and UCF is playing in the Bowl game. GO KNIGHTS!!! I was born in Phoenix and still have family there, so we'll be seeing them, which is great because I haven't seen my grandparents in years. So it's not a completely insane thing for all five of us to be going across the country to a football game. But it kind of is. And I tell you this for a reason...which I'll get to in a minute.

About this time last year, as I was thinking about what my hopes and dreams were for 2013, I gave myself a personal motto for the year: "LIVE." I hadn't felt like I'd really lived in 2012 because I'd been so tied up with owning two businesses, writing, being the sole income producer for a family of five, and, well, just surviving. So 2013 was the year to LIVE. I felt like I spent so much time working, I didn't get enough time to enjoy life. My motto was a reminder to do more than exist or survive.

I did live, too. We celebrated last New Year's in Cancun. I traveled to the UK, Germany, Prague, and several U.S. cities, too. I spent a lot - a LOT - of time in the writing cave and on marketing and other publishing business, but I also tried to spend more time on the motorcycle, on my house, on hobbies, and with the family. I didn't achieve any kind of balance, but I did experience a lot in 2013. To the point of insanity.

It was a rough year for everyone, it seems, and that probably includes you. It seems like everyone I know, including myself, lost too many loved ones in 2013. For the first few months, not a day went by where I wasn't sending someone my condolences, prayers, healing vibes, and other thoughts. The tragedies and losses seemed to even out for a few months, but then they hit hard again as we wrapped up the year. That's enough to put us all a little off kilter.

To top it all off, the publishing industry has been just as chaotic as the previous few years - if not more.  More authors have self-published and gone indie than ever before. There are more books being produced and anyone who seriously desires a career as an author needs to be more productive than ever. You readers are kind of insatiable! In a good way, of course, but it means we have to write, write, write. We have to get those books out the door before you completely forget about us because so many authors are putting out so many other books, and we love you so much and we want you to love us and our books and our characters just as much and not abaondon us forever. Whew! It's insane, isn't it?

You don't even know the half of it. Unless you're an author. Because we're all feeling the pressure, I think. A lot of us are feeling that our passion, our big love in life, is starting to feel much like work. *shudders* Trust me - you readers don't want us to lose our joy in writing. We get so focused on "what's next," that we forget or are unable to enjoy "what's now." Many of us are at the point of saying, "Time out. I need to breathe." Jennifer L. Armentrout has discussed the "what's next" syndrome with authors, and my author friend Rachael Wade shared her own, somewhat similar epiphany. I know we're not alone.

2013 has been full of its ups and downs. It's been a year of LIVING. But it's also been a year of insanity. So, my motto for 2014 is SANITY. I still want to be sure to actually live life and not simply exist, but I'm hoping to level things out a bit. To not just live, but to enjoy and savor and luxuriate in life. I want - no need - to rediscover my passion and joy in writing. I don't want it to become work. Yuk. I want it to be my escape again so that rather than procrastinate over writing the next scene, I'm procrastinating on other things because I'd always rather be writing.

I try to avoid calling this a New Year's Resolution, because I suck at those. They're just a nice way to set myself up for failure - as if I need any help with that. That's why I call it my motto, but this year I could also call it a New Year's Revolution. I'm revolting against the pressure, the unrealistic expectations that I put on myself, and the constant "what's next" that I'm always looking for. I'm revolting against the insanity.

Of course, as I said, I'm writing this on a plane trip across the country to watch a football game - and my kids aren't even playing. Said game, with its tailgating (and hopefully victory party), is on New Year's Day. See, if I'd called it a resolution, I'd already be failing. But my revolution starts immediately. This trip may be a little insane, a proper way to finish up 2013, but I'm going to do my best to revel in it. To enjoy the time with my family, both immediate and extended. To have fun. To start the year with a mindset of SANITY. Care to join me?

Do you do New Year's Resolutions or do you have a motto for the year? What's been your best and worse of 2013? What do you hope for in 2014?

In the meantime, have a safe and...


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Before we all join in the festivities with family and friends, I just want to wish you the best for these holidays. Take this time to remember the reason for the season, to embrace real life and all of the amazing people in it. Enjoy this special time of year and the meaning behind it and don't forget to stop and smell the pies. And to taste the deliciousness, too, of course. Life is short. We only get a certain number of Christmases. Enjoy every single one of them. I'm off to do just this. But first, I wish you a very...

Much love to you all! Now go! Love that family, as dysfunctional as they may be, and hold on to the memories.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wonder Part 3 Release!

Wonder: A Soul Savers Collection of Short Stories Part 3 - New Year's is LIVE! I hope you enjoy the holiday stories. They were a lot of fun to write, but were by no means easy. I hope they bring a little extra enjoyment to you this holiday season.

This final part of the Wonder collection of short stories brings three New Adult Paranormal tales to ring in the New Year. 

In this time of war, Tristan and Alexis rarely enjoy the luxury of time alone together, but they've made a promise to each other for midnight on New Year's Eve. The Daemoni, however, have their own plans and do everything they can to ruin the couple's celebration. How far will they have to go to share their midnight kiss, or is that really too much to hope for? 

"Being a were-panther is pretty cool … except when you're in love with a werewolf." What do you do when you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t want and can never have? You go to a faerie ball, of course. With a conflict between brain and heart, a dash of faerie mischief, and a masquerade ball like nothing in the earthly realm, this little tale is loosely based on a love story familiar to all little girls. The question is: Will this were-panther find her true Prince Charming or only more trouble behind the mask? 

Four witches, two sides of the line between good and evil, and one party that tests each of their resolutions—and it’s not even the New Year yet. This fun short story pits the wills of each side against the other, challenging their commitments to their causes. But what happens to the human onlookers when untrained mages battle it out? 

Meet new characters and revisit your favorites from the world of the bestselling Soul Savers Series by Kristie Cook. This is the final installment of a three-part collection that includes Part 1: Thanksgiving and Part 2: Christmas, both available now.

Buy Links:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Adult Authors You Should Know: PK Hrezo

Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated

We are a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. Family-owned and operated, we offer clients one hundred years of time travel experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend a special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Conference us directly from our Website. Our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.

We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands. 

  PK Hrezo is a native Floridian whose life could easily be a Jimmy Buffet song. She shares her home with her firefighter husband and their two children. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling, are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss.  
To enter the giveaway, please go to each of the listed blogs and enter the corresponding code into the rafflecopter.
This is Blog #14 and the code is PKKRISTIE
Blog #15: www.jlfynn.com


Thursday, December 12, 2013

#SharetheLuv for The National Domestic Violence Hotline

If you remember, October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I did my second annual Share the <3 (#sharetheluv) campaign to raise money for the The National Domestic Violence Hotline. I pledged to match all donations my readers and followers made if they sent me their donation receipts. I heard through the grapevine, however, to wait until December to make my donation because the Avon Foundation for Women would be matching all donations made this month.

Soooo...I'm going to wait until the end of this month now because I hope more people might be able to donate and I will add that to my total. Know what's really cool if you donate this month through this link? Your donation will be quadrupled! Whatever you donate, Avon will match it, I will match it, and Avon will match my donation, so your $5 could turn into $20:

$5 from you
+ $5 from Avon's match of your donation
+ $5 from me matching your donation
+ $5 from Avon's match of my match
= $20!

Do you know how many more calls can be answered because of your original $5 donation??? How many lives can be saved?! I set my goal at $1,000 because I always shoot high, but if we don't make it, anything and everything helps.

I understand the holiday season means budgets are tight, so no worries if you can't give anything right now. I'll still love you. *grin* But if there is any possible way you can pitch in even $5 to this worthy cause, you could be helping a family that has been living in fear and in physical and emotional pain. You could be giving the gift of life and security. Just something to think about this holiday season as you're snuggling with your own family next to the brightly lit Christmas tree, rather than hiding from the person who's supposed to love you most.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WONDER: A Soul Savers Collection of Short Stories Part 2 - Christmas

So, yeah, know how I was saying life got really crazy? And also I came to the realization that my blog had pretty much become a billboard? Well, in all of that chaos, I guess I sort of forgot to announce my own release. Heh. So guess what? Wonder: A Soul Savers Collection of Short Stories Part 2 - Christmas released! It's been out for a couple of weeks already, actually. How lame am I?

Anyway, here are the details!


This second part of the Wonder collection of short stories brings three New Adult Paranormal tales to read by the fire with the Christmas tree lights twinkling. 

What do you get the woman who needs nothing while staying within her “rules”? Tristan strives to find the perfect present for Alexis, although all she wants is him. Will he unearth just the right gift in time, or is his presence really enough? In response to fans’ high demand, this story comes from the man himself, winner of several book-boyfriend and best-hero contests. Told from Tristan’s point-of-view, Presence contains plenty of steam to keep you warm through the chilly holiday season. 

Miracle: A Vampire’s First Christmas 
Once among the elite of the evil Daemoni, a vampire converted to the good side experiences her first Christmas. She struggles to understand the traditions and expectations of the season and believes she’ll never get it. At least, until she meets someone who needs her help—and will never be able to repay her. Can this newly changed vampire find the true miracle of Christmas in her heart and soul? Or will she stay in the comfort zone of her wicked ways? 

Daemoni warlock Claire always does what everyone else wants her to do, and she can’t help but wonder if this makes her bad at being bad. Wanting to do something for herself for once, she bails on the Random Acts of Evil festivities for anti-Christmas and disappears. When sparks fly between her and a were-bear she runs into, she sees her chance to defy the most controlling people in her life: her family. But…will she have the courage to do it or will she bow down to them once again? 

Meet new characters and revisit your favorites from the world of the bestselling Soul Savers Series by Kristie Cook. This is the second of a three-part collection, with Thanksgiving already released and New Year’s coming early December 2013.

Buy Links:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Adult Authors You Should Know: Tyffani Clark Kemp

LeKrista Scott has killed a vampire, and now his lover wants revenge.

After months of watching her from the shadows, Lucretious, a millennial vampire, finally makes his attack during a party thrown by his maker, Roman - a party where Roman proclaims his protection over LeKrista. Roman steps in and saves her life, but not before she deals Lucretious the true death in front of his lover, Perdita. Now LeKrista is running for her life and Roman is trying to save it, but she’s not sure if he really cares or if he has some underhanded reason for keeping her alive. She seeks help from Mages but they refuse to help her, even though she exhibits high potential as a Mage herself. In a last ditch effort, Roman whisks LeKrista away, but Perdita finds them. LeKrista must eliminate Perdita one way or another.

Tyffani Clark Kemp was born in Florida and raised by her grandparents. She has been writing since she discovered in the sixth grade that it wasn’t enough just to read about fantastic places, but she could create her own. She weaves small bits of herself into everything she writes whether it be a science fiction piece about aliens or a dramatic romance fraught with conflict and love. After graduation she moved to South Carolina where she lives with her family and her fluffy shii tzu-mix dog who things he’s a Saint Bernard. Her available works include Scorned: A LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted novel, Beast Within, and Beast Anew. Kemp opened SideStreet Cookie Publishing LLC in September 2012.

To enter the giveaway, go to each of the listed blogs and enter the corresponding code into the Rafflecopter!

This is Blog #14 and the code is TYFFANIKRISTIE

Blog #2: www.StephanieLawton.com
Blog #3: www.chasingemptypavements.com
Blog #4: http://lisaswallow.net
Blog #5: http://maravalderran.blogspot.com
Blog #6: http://www.lgcastillo.com
Blog #7: http://naughtylittlekisses.blogspot.com
Blog #8: http://danielelanzarotta.blogspot.com/
Blog #9: http://authoryolandaallen.blogspot.com/
Blog #10: http://dawnaraver.com/
Blog #11: http://tawdrakandle.com
Blog #12: http://midtown-underground.com
Blog #13: http://tyffanickemp.com
Blog #14: www.KristieCook.com
Blog #15: www.jlfynn.com
Blog #16: www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.com
Blog #17: www.adriannejames.com
Blog #18: http://jadenwilkes.blogspot.ca/

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Real Post? Say what?

Yeah, I know, it's been a long time since I've done a "real" blog post. I was just scrolling through my blog and cringed when I realized just how long it's been. I've been participating in the New Adult Author Fall promo with a bunch of other amazing authors (don't forget - there's an ereader prize at the end!), which goes up every Tuesday. I also love supporting other authors and sharing them with you so you can find some new reads, so many days the rest of the week have been devoted to cover reveals and new releases for others - with a couple of my own sprinkled in between.

The result: my blog is more like a book blog ... but without the reviews.

Okay, I admit it, it's more like an advertising channel.

UGH! I'm so sorry I've slacked off on "real" stuff. It's been quite the Fall season, however. Here's what I've been up to:

  • Went to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, where we got to visit in person with our Kobo and Apple reps, met some German translators (that news will be coming next year) and I posed for a bunch of pictures and did interviews by my star on the Author Walk of Fame. It was way cooler than I'm making it sound, although the cameras and boom mike were at once intimidating and a bit ridiculous (in my mind - they're here for me, too????).
  • While in Germany, we spent the night in a castle, visited with readers in Cologne, hopped the train to Prague (which was amazeballs), then another train to Berlin, followed by an 11-hour flight home.
  • I was home for less than two weeks (long enough to run my Share the <3 campaign) when I got the call that my dad was in the hospital with complications following brain surgery. And he and my stepmom were in the middle of moving. So the first of November, I braved airport security again, got back on a plane and spent two weeks in Oklahoma City. It was nice to see my family, but I wish it could have been under better circumstances. Like not so stressful.
  • Because the day before I got the call about Dad? I'd just announced to the world that I had three holiday books to be released the end of November. No, they weren't quite written yet. One released while I was still in OKC. Craziness.

I've been home for three weeks now with another new release and Thanksgiving in there, which brought the College Boys home. I think this week is the first one that's feeling somewhat normal. Maybe that's why I can finally come back here and give you something besides an ad to read. Not any more interesting, mind you, but at least it's something different, right?

Of course, the boys return home next week for winter break and there's Christmas, New Year's and maybe a Bowl game, so normal won't last long. Still, I promise to try to make my blog more than a book billboard. Unless, that's what you prefer anyway. Maybe you're good with learning about new books and authors and couldn't care less what's going on in this head of mine? Let me know in the comments, 'kay?

What have you been up to this season? Are you ready for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Adult Authors You Should Know: Lisa Swallow

Ava didn't expect to find terrible secrets about the fate of the souls she takes.

Or fall in love...

Soul-hunter Ava has retrieved hundreds of souls from demons, but has never been assigned the dangerous mission for a Nephilim soul. She must hunt down Keir since she needs his Nephilim soul to trade for her freedom.

When she arrives on campus and meets Keir, she also meets a strange girl, Dahlia, who has an inexplicable hold on him. Unexpectedly Ava discovers Keir holds secrets that are more valuable than his Nephilim soul - secrets she could trade for the life she wants.

When she uncovers the true fate of the souls she takes back to her superiors, Ava's world is turned upside down. She finds herself in the middle of a war where the lines between good and evil are blurred and she only has two choices...

Betray Keir and live or join his battle and risk going to hell.

Lisa was born in the UK and moved around Europe with her military family as a child before moving to Yorkshire and studying English at Leeds University. She lived for a few years in the UK, working as an advertising copywriter, before emigrating to Australia in 2001. She finds the scenery in Perth a lot less suited to writing paranormal fiction than the moors around Yorkshire but the endless days of sunshine make up for this. She lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, children and dog. Lisa is currently working on a series of NA paranormal romance novels, the first book, Soul Ties, is available now. A NA contemporary romance, Because of Lucy, is due for publication in September.

To enter the giveaway, go to each blog and enter the corresponding blog code into the Rafflecopter.

This is Blog #14 and the code is LISAKRISTIE

Blog #2: www.StephanieLawton.com
Blog #3: www.chasingemptypavements.com
Blog #4: http://lisaswallow.net
Blog #5: http://maravalderran.blogspot.com
Blog #6: http://www.lgcastillo.com
Blog #7: http://naughtylittlekisses.blogspot.com
Blog #8: http://danielelanzarotta.blogspot.com/
Blog #9: http://authoryolandaallen.blogspot.com/
Blog #10: http://dawnaraver.com/
Blog #11: http://tawdrakandle.com
Blog #12: http://midtown-underground.com
Blog #13: http://tyffanickemp.com
Blog #14: www.KristieCook.com
Blog #15: www.jlfynn.com
Blog #16: www.lisasanchezromanceauthor.com
Blog #17: www.adriannejames.com
Blog #18: http://jadenwilkes.blogspot.ca/

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