Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Single Moment in Time


In writing contemporary romantic suspense, like any genre, it's hard enough to sit down and write that first paragraph of a new story. But most of us don’t necessarily have a clear plan plotted out all the way to “the end.” At least I usually don't. Why not?

Because I am a “pantser,” or, I tell a story by the seat of my pants, without knowing from one scene to the next what is going to happen. When I first heard that term, I resented being called it, mostly because I have a hard time defending myself against anybody criticizing me. It’s not in my nature to confront anybody. But after I had a chance to think about it, I figured out that I am not a true pantser. No, I am a cross between a plotter and a pantser. I mean, I can clearly “see” exactly how I want certain pivotal scenes to “look like” and all I need is the time to find the right words to describe those scenes, including the ending. I always know how I want the story to end, even before I know how it begins.   

I’ve been an artist since I was six or seven years old, and I’ve always been able to “see” the piece of work before I start it—I mean actually see it! It’s called visualization. Every pencil stoke, every swipe of colored pastel brings me closer to that finished product. I don’t do anything to that painting that isn’t advancing my project. Why would I? It would be a complete waste of precious time and energy--and it might ruin the project.  

A painting is a single moment caught in time. I think that's why I like writing so much. It takes that moment and makes it move, creating a scene that leads to a whole story. Visualizing each scene as if it were real life is important, but what is more important is having that scene mean something. It needs to work. 

Everything you write needs to push your story forward! 

Would you have your main character stop and smell a pretty rose if it had absolutely nothing to do with the story or her character other than you wanted to have a chance to describe a rose? I don't think so. It would be a waste of your time in writing it, and a waste of time for your reader to read it. But--if she needed to be there so a handsome hero could push her out of the way of a truck with darkened windows intentionally trying to run her down, then you've just driven home that fact that your character is in mortal danger--and advanced your narrative forward. 

Ah, but in the next scene your character clobbers the handsome hero with a solid upper cut to his jaw with a closed fist and tells him she doesn't need or want his help, you've just given us insight to her unappreciative, or even independent nature. This is also moving the narrative forward. As readers, we need to know more than just the action around the characters. We want to know what makes that characters tick, their motives, the desires, their idiosyncrasies. If they are stiff and uninteresting, then we won't care if that truck runs over them, and we most likely won't turn the next page, either. 

Make every word count. Make every scene work optimally.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Janice Sperry's REBEL PRINCESS blog tour


Life can be so stressful for a teenaged fairytale princess living in the real word. Raven Perilous, who is “more evil witch than princess,” has her scowl down to a science.
Thirteen-year-old Raven, prone to losing shoes, Cinderella-like, whose kind words produce sparkling jewels from her lips, but since being nice isn’t on her list of things-to-do, frogs and slugs slide out instead. Ew! The day her nemesis arrives, in the form of the cutest-boy-who-ever-lived, named Eric Charming, strange things happen. Uh, stranger things happen, like her almost-BFF begins to sparkle.  
 
Janice Sperry creatively weaves an entertaining story of what life might be like if a princess grows up in the “real world,” using elements from children’s fairytales we all know and love. I read this adorable story in one sitting, riding the adventure along with Raven and Charming, as well as Edgar, Raven’s sorcerer, flame-throwing twin brother. 

This is a middle-grade fantasy, published by Cedar Fort. I received an advanced readers e-copy in exchange for this review, but that didn't taint my view of Janice's story. I loved it. My guess is, you will too. 

Rebel Princess
(This damsel is NOT in distress!)

"I was born to be evil.
Nice is NOT in my blood.
Besides, nice girls get locked in towers."

Raven Perilous is like any other middle school girl--if middle school girls are usually evil princesses. The daughter of a gentle princess and evil sorcerer, Raven spends most of her time being as wicked as possible to avoid being stuck in a tower.  So when Prince Charming shows up at her school.  Raven knows she has met her nemesis.

In The Rebel Princess, loyalty, heroism, and a pinch of enchantment are perfect for conjuring up an adventure that you'll never forget.

                              
Janice Sperry lives in Utah with her husband and three children and assorted kitties.  She enjoys volunteering at the local elementary school and is exceptionally good at finding missing shoes, unless they are her own. You can follow her blog at www.comeoutwhenyourehappy.blogspot.com.

Buy your copy from Amazon here (The Kindle version is only $5.99)

Buy your copy from Barnes and Noble HERE
Click HERE for a link to her Goodreads author's page. 
Click HERE to go to her author's Facebook page.
Click HERE to go to her Twitter page


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cover reveal: Laura Johnston's REWIND TO YOU


I am very happy to be a part of Laura Johnston's cover reveal for her debut YA novel REWIND TO YOU. 

BOOK BLURB:
One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…





Laura Johnston lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. Growing up in Orem, Utah with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, dancing (deduced to dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner these days), traveling, writing, writing and more writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU, her debut novel, was inspired by the loss of her father as a teenager.

AUTHOR LINKS:

BOOK LINKS:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Publishing, Book Contracts, and Patience.

Nothing in life is ever easy, I can attest to that without hesitation. Ask most woman who have given birth: is it worth it? Besides those few who are probably currently sleep deprived, the answer will be a resounding "Yes!" There are those who spend years in higher learning institutions earning degrees for a specialized career. Is it easy? I wouldn't be the one to tell them that it is and still be within arm's length.


I don't know how many of you know this, but I signed two book contracts with a publisher nearly two years ago. Through some very high ups, and too many extremely depressing lows, I terminated those contracts last year. I crashed smack-dab in the middle of Disappointment Valley knowing that my writing career would be set back by at least two more years. 



I didn't stop writing. In fact, I wrote two more books, honed my skills, took in conferences, and talked to friends who understood the writer in me. I've entered short story competitions, and had them accepted. My name appears in three anthologies, and this winter another one of my short stories will come out in Michael Young's Advent Anthology. So far, I'm a just a little fish daring to swim in a larger bowl. 


It's nearing my predicted loss of time--two years, and today I enthusiastically signed my contract with Hamilton Springs Press/Xchyler Publisher for my full-length Romantic/Suspense novel, RELATIVE EVIL (I sure hope they keep the title!) scheduled to come out this summer. This time, I won't be swimming in dark waters.

And how do I know this, you ask? I did my research on HSP/Xchyler Publishing, and although they're a fairly new company, (Ironically enough, two-years-old) they have a strong staff. Before I signed, I met with Senior Editor McKenna Gardner in person for an hour-long face-to-face conference. Her protectively caring attitude went a long way in my decision. Also, Heidi Birch, the managing partner who sent me the contract, patiently explained clauses I didn't understand clearly. These are just two hallmarks of why I'm besotted with HSP/Xchyler Publishing.  

I'm excited for whatever comes next! 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Julie Coulter Bellon's Cover Release!

Isn't it dramatic? It's beautiful, yet mysterious. Ring Around the Rosie is the forth book in Julie's Hostage Negotiation Series. I've loved her other three books, and I can't wait to read this one. I'll let you know when you can find it--just as soon as I know. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Bonnie Gwyn's ESCAPING SAFETY



I'm participating in Bonnie Gwyn's blog tour of her new book ESCAPING SAFETY, which goes from February 23rd right on through March 1st. I was lucky enough to get an author's interview! That's Bonnie. *points to the left* Isn't she adorable? Now on to my questions! Let's get to know Bonnie a little more. 

Deb: What makes you passionate about writing?

Bonnie: I believe that everyone has a story – fictional or real – and (as is my mantra) that every story deserves to be told. We’re all here in this life for a reason, and sharing our experiences is one of the main ways we can help others. The same goes for sharing the experiences and stories of beloved characters. My characters are like my family – and my family knows that, too. :) I love them. I love writing. That makes writing much easier – and truly a fantastic journey!

Deb: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Bonnie: I’ve realized that, truly, stories can have happy endings. :) When they don’t in real life, they still can in writing, and creating new endings can be rather healing. I think a lot of writers live by that. :) I’ve also finally found a place in the world where I can belong and still be my crazy self. Authors aren’t expected to be normal. It’s fantastic!

Deb: Haha! I have a canvas messenger bag that has a graphic on front that reads "It's okay. Writers should be strange." Where do your ideas come from?  How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Bonnie: They come from dreams/nightmares, random things that catch my attention, people I meet, really anything and everything! They say that writers should always have a net out to catch inspiration. It really is that simple. :) I know it’s good enough when I’d want to read a book about it.

Deb: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Bonnie: I tell my writer’s block the same thing I’ve always told boredom: It doesn’t exist. It’s only a phantom. My mind is strong enough to conquer. Hehe ... Well, most of the time. I have boredom down. It’s really never even been possible for me to shut up my brain. But writer’s block has a way of making appearances. The best way to conquer is to simply sit down and write!

Deb: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Bonnie: God. When trying to create, who better to ask for advice than the greatest creator? :)

Deb: What do you do to relax and unwind?

Bonnie: I write :) Which may or may not come as a surprise! I’ve been keeping a daily journal for years and it helps clear my mind. When I really need a break, I lock myself in a room with a device or notebook of some sort and just write it all down. It really does work miracles! I also love taking walks in my beautiful forest of a backyard.

Deb: I admire anyone who can keep a journal. I've tried a couple of times, but it never worked out. That may sound odd for a writer, but I consider my life kind of … boring. Which is probably why I like to write exciting suspense adventures. Yeah...
  
Here is a synopsis of ESCAPING SAFETY. 
Christina has grown up literally ‘sheltered’ in a sanctuary run by mysterious Officials who offer safety in exchange for captivity. She’s already suspicious of the Officials when she meets Tyler Andrus, commander of the T-Squad: a group of rebels on a quest to destroy the sanctuaries and bring light back into the world. Having yearned for freedom all her life, she joins them in a journey of hope, terror, and self-discovery. 

Buy your copy on Amazon HERE.

Bonnie Gwyn wrote her first book, about a talking grandfather clock, when she was six – and hasn’t stopped writing since. In fact, she can’t “not write,” and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She hasn’t missed a day of writing in her journal for the past four years!
As a winner in this year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge, Bonnie produced her latest dystopian novel, Escaping Safety, and is now working on its sequel. She is also close to completing a fantasy romance series, The Legends of Elldamorae, whose characters have captured her heart and can’t wait to have their stories revealed.    
Bonnie’s mantra is, “I write because I believe every story deserves to be told.”
You can learn more about Bonnie, and read her inspirational blog posts, by clicking on the links below:
Visit Bonnie's Facebook HERE
Follow Bonnie on Twitter HERE
Read Bonnie's Blog HERE 
Follow Bonnie on Pinterest HERE 


Blog Tour:
Sunday – February 23 
            http://tntreviews.weebly.com/
Monday – February 24
            http://sixmixedreviews.blogspot.com
Tuesday – February 25
            www.hererisparadise.blogspot.com
Wednesday – February 26
            Renee Clark
            http://thepleasureofreadingtoday.blogspot.com/
Thursday – February 27
            www.jamesduckett.com
            http://roomwithbooks.com
Friday – February 28
            http://debraerfert.blogspot.com/
            http://thereadersrealm.com
Saturday – March 1
            http://writtenbymikey.blogspot.com
            Elliot - https://www.facebook.com/pages/EllieSewSweet/215666981796455?ref=hl


Friday, January 10, 2014

Andrea Pearson'S THE KEY KILENYA SERIES

Hi, Everyone,

My name is Andrea Pearson and I'm an author of middle grade and young adult fantasy. In celebration of the completion of my Kilenya Series, I'm giving away eBooks! Read on for more details.

The Key of Kilenya, first book in the Kilenya Series (with 50 five-star reviews on Amazon), is available everywhere for free on Amazon HERE. On Nook HERE and on Smashwords HERE But only until January 18th, so hurry!

It's originally $3.99, and is geared to readers 10 and older. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG. No swearing or vulgarity, and very minimal violence.
 

Here's the book description to THE KEY OF KILENYA:

We all have a choice—but we can’t choose the consequences. Jacob Clark is chased down a path that takes him to another world—a world where he is a wanted young man. The Lorkon want to control him and the special powers he possesses. The people of the new world want him to save them from the destruction of the Lorkon. All Jacob wants is to go home, but even that choice has consequences. He doesn’t know what to do and if he waits too long, the new world and the one he came from will be destroyed. As Jacob looks for people he can trust, he finds himself in the center of the fight for freedom—both for himself and the people he’s come to know. Jacob has no idea where the path he chooses will take him, but once the choice has been made—bring on the consequences.

Back to Andrea :) 

I had so much fun writing this book! I came up with the idea for the magical key when I was 10 - the same age as many of my readers - and built on it until I was 22, when I sat down and actually wrote the book. The Kilenya Series has sold really well and I've been so excited to find people just as passionate about the books as I am. :-


The second book, THE EMBER GODS, is available for $0.99 until January 18, but you don't have to buy it if you don't want to, because I'm giving it away for “free.” In fact, I'm giving away three different eBooks. The only thing required on your part is to decide which one you want, mention it on this blog post, then email me the info, and I'll send you the file. :-)

Book description:

Jacob Clark’s new abilities are a blessing and a curse. He’s a hero for
returning the magical Key of Kilenya to its rightful owners, but at school he's starting to get noticed for something other than his basketball skills. And the attention is freaking him out.

Balancing both worlds is tricky enough, but Jacob has tasked himself with saving Aloren who’s trapped in Maivoryl City by the Ember Gods. He doesn't want to wait for the potion that will protect his team from the corrosive influence of the Lorkon, but the desire to prove himself to the high school basketball coach conflicts with his plans to rescue her.

Feeling pulled by both sides, Jacob must walk a tightrope of warring worlds with lives on the line. Lives that will be lost if he doesn’t figure out how to complete his quest and balance his abilities. Fast.

Discounted Until January 18th

Genre and target audience: Fantasy for teens. If this book were a movie, what would it be rated? “PG”

If you don't want it for free (ha ha :-)), you can download the Kindle version from Amazon HERE from Nook HERE



If this book were a movie, what would it be rated? “PG”

 AUGUST FORTRESS, Kilenya Series, Book Three

Price: $3.99 (or free, if you choose this eBook :-))

Genre and target audience: Fantasy for teens
If this book were a movie, what would it be rated?
If you don't want it for free, you can download the Kindle version from Amazon HERE
and the Nook HERE and the Smashwords HERE

Book description of AUGUST FORTRESS:

Since Jacob Clark discovered his abilities, his life has changed for the better—and the worse. The basketball coach won't notice him and high school is much more complicated than before. Jacob finds himself needed more and more in Eklaron where his abilities are saving lives. And then the call comes—he and his friends must rescue the powerful Sheingols from August Fortress where they've been held for fifteen years. The only problem is, Lorkon traps are everywhere and getting past them might be impossible.

The closer he gets to his goal, the harder the traps are to overcome. Can he master more of his powers to fight the traps? Or has Jacob finally met his match?

SAMARA: A Kilenya Romance

Book description:

When Samara Oldroyd meets the most amazing guy ever, she's frustrated their conversation is cut short. Her wishes that they'll run into each other again come true when she meets her sister's new boyfriend. It's him! Eeek!

Inspired by the film “Dan in Real Life”, this novella will tickle you pink as Samara tries—in vain—to undo her crush.

(There is no magic involved in this story. It contains characters you'll meet in the Kilenya Series and can be read separately.)

Original price:$1.99 (or free, if you choose this eBook :-))

Genre and target audience: Clean teen romance
If this book were a movie, what would it be rated? (or a very, very soft PG)

If you don't want it for free, you can download it from Amazon HERE. On Nook HERE and on Smashwords HERE

Now that you've chosen which free eBook you want, here's how you get it:
Comment on this blog, saying which eBook you want. Send me an email to ap@andreapearsonbooks.com
(ap@andreapearsonbooks.com) and tell me:
1. The title of the book
2. The name of the blog that sent you
3. Which format you want the eBook in (Kindle, Nook, etc.)
And that's all!

I can't wait for you to delve into the world of Kilenya and discover the magic, monsters, and people there!


Andrea Pearson, author of the Kilenya Series, Kilenya Romances, and Katon University series, lives with her husband and daughter in a small valley framed with hills. She is Executive Director of the Indie Author Hub group and creator of the writing application, Writer’s Progress Bar. She is an editor for the website Gather.com.


Andrea spends as much time with her husband and daughter as possible. Favorite activities include painting, watching movies, collecting and listening to music, and discussing books and authors.

Her mother says they can't possibly be related because Andrea isn't in love with chocolate and tomatoes, though she’ll eat either. (But not together.) She would much rather snack on toasted English muffins with lots of butter or nearly anything with cheese.