Writerly Wednesday #10: A very sad day in publishing

Welcome to another week in Writerly Wednesday.  Unfortunately, today is a very sad day in the publishing world.  I received an email this afternoon from my publisher, Lynn from Otherworld.  The letter said that Otherworld Publications will be closing as of December 31 this year.  I, and all of her other authors are deeply saddened by this because Lynn is absolutely AWESOME!

So, what does this mean for my titles? Well, it means that as of June 25, they will be taken off the market.  However, this won’t be such a bad thing.  Why? Because it will give me the time that I need to re-vamp all my current titles and edit them.  Also, I may already have someone else who I think is interested in re-publishing them.  I have a contact over at Hydra Publications that I’ve “known” for quite a while.  Frank is wonderful, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. In fact, he was the first person I emailed when I heard that OWP was going out of business.  He was just as shocked as I was about it.  I found out that not only is he one of the co-owners of Hydra Publications, but he also owns a used book store down in Indiana, and carries all of OWP’s titles so he already has access to my novel.

When I emailed Frank, he told me that he would be honored to re-publish my books. So, they may not be out of print for a long time. No, I haven’t been offered a contract yet, but between my connection with Hydra Publications, and the awesome recommendation that Lynn gave on my behalf, I’m hoping to be in 🙂

Otherworld wasn’t just my publisher…we were like a family, and I hope that the authors and I will continue to stay that way.

Tour Stop: Charade guest post!

I am EXTREMELY EXCITED to have on the blog today one of my favorite authors (who seem to mention a lot on this blog), Cambria Hebert. For those who may not remember, Cambria is the author of the Heven and Hell series.  I’ve reviewed her book Masquerade, and her novella titled, Before.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to read Charade or Between yet, but it is on my summer to-read list!

Today, Cambria is going to talk to us about writing and naming characters.

Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.

Take it away, Cambria!

Hey everyone!

Great to be here today as part of the Heven and Hell Tour: Charade. As we all know, I am a writer. I also am a scuba diver, a mountain climber and a bus driver. Okay, I’m not but doesn’t that lie – I mean – statement prove how good of a writer I am?? 

Beth Ann has asked me to talk about writing for today’s tour stop so after a lot of thinking and latte sipping I decided to talk about naming characters. Naming a character can be very difficult. To me, there has to be some kind of balance to a name. It can’t be difficult to spell because that would make it difficult to read. And if it’s difficult to read the reader will stumble over it every time they see it and it will disrupt the story. But a writer wants to be unique, and what better way to show that than a name?

Course, the characters always want a say too. When I pick the wrong name the character will let me know – loudly. For this series, the Heven and Hell series, I have a mix of unique and traditional names. There is one character in particular that told me his name – most definitely. This character becomes a big character in the third book, Tirade. I searched for about an hour or so, looking at names on baby name sites to pick something that would fit him. I read name meanings, looked at hundreds of names. Finally, I found one. I went back to the manuscript and I wrote his first scene, his introduction. In this scene he is asked his name… I thought “here we go, I can use the name I picked!” So when asked his name, he responded.

With a completely different name.

Yup. And no matter how hard I tried to write in the name I chose, he wouldn’t have it. He had a name and it wasn’t the one I chose. So that was about an hour of research time right down the toilet…

LOL.

Yes, I could have used the name I chose but when I do something like that I walk around day and night feeling like I have an itch that I can’t scratch. Something feels “off” about the manuscript and it’s a terrible feeling so it’s best for me to just do what the character wants.

Here is a brief list of names that I chose in the Heven and Hell series and the reason I chose the name:

Heven – I actually first heard this name because a friend of mine has a daughter named this. When I started writing Masquerade I thought of the name and I really liked it, it seemed to fit the character and I also think it’s very fitting considering some of the themes in the book.

 

 

 

Sam–  I went through a whole host of names for Sam, I actually wanted something more unique. A lot of the names I went through did begin with the letter “S” but none of them seemed to fit him. I worried that there were too many “Sam’s” already out there but once I thought the name I knew that was it. And I actually thought that because he is such a unique character, with unique abilities that a more ordinary name was fitting. He told me he wanted something normal about himself and so I gave him something. 

 

 

Kimber Kimber needed a unique and trendy name. I hadn’t read a book with this name in it before so I figured it would be a good fit for her. Of course, I since seen it around but that’s okay. It still fits her.

 

Cole – another semi-ordinary name. To be honest, I just liked the name and thought it fit. His was relatively easy to choose.

 

 

Gemma (She is introduced in Charade)- I thought the name was strong, unique and kind of sparkly. LOL. Just how I pictured the character and I like the way it looks in print so it was a good fit.

So those are some of the names that are in the Heven and Hell series. It was fun picking the names but even more fun getting to know the characters behind the names.

A big thanks to Beth Ann for having me on her wonderful blog today!!!

 

To stalk, er follow Cambria, please visit the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138

Masquerade Read-along Week #4

Well, here it is folks…the final week in the Masquerade Read-along.  *sniff sniff*. I had A LOT of fun on this tour and reading everyone’s answers. It was nice making new blogging friends and I hope to keep in touch with some of them. Next week, Cambria will be hosting the wrap up on her blog/website http://www.cambriahebert.com.  There, she will announce the winners of the read-along.  We are playing for prizes, so be sure to stop by her website and vote for your favorite post!

1. Heven develops a new “supernatural power”. She remarks that it isn’t that exciting of a power. Is this a power you would like to have, if not what kind of supernatural power would you like to have?

Honestly, I think that aura reading would be a great power to have!  It would go along great with empathy/intuition skills in my personal opinion.

2. Which character do you think makes the biggest internal change throughout the course of this book?  Is there a situation in your life that you can reflect back on as an experience that changed your life for the better?

This was honestly a really difficult question to answer, but I think it was Heven.  She’s had so much happen to her from the scars to her mother, I’m surprised she is as stable as she is.  I love that no matter what happens, that Sam is always there for her, and so is Gran.

As for an experience in my life?  This is honestly difficult to answer.  But, after thinking about it, I would have to say meeting my ex bf, Rob.  I know what some of my friends are probably thinking….they probably think I am insane. And, maybe I am, but I have a very good reason for bringing him up.  If I hadn’t met and dated Rob, I wouldn’t know pain…true pain.  I also would never have gone through my rebellious stage and gone away from the Catholic church.  BUT, if I hadn’t gone through all of that, I might not be as close to God as I am now. It’s because of those learning experiences that I realized that I am supposed to be where I am today. I am a better, and stronger person than I used to be, and it’s all because of him. No, I don’t have any pictures of him to share, and even if I did, I don’t feel like digging them up.

Another experience/person that has shaped me to be who I am today, is my mother.  She helped me to be the strong, independent woman that I am today.  I have learning disabilities, and when I’m feeling frustrated because of them, she always knows how to make me feel better.  It doesn’t happen as often anymore, but when it does, I know that I can always count on her.  She is one of the most supportive and encouraging people that I know. She always gives so much, and is someone that I definitely admire.

Another person that has helped me become who I am today, is my best friend and my sister/partner in crime, Robin.  I’ve known this girl since high school, and we are with each other at least twice a week (sometimes more). We always go on crazy adventures (from standing outside in the pouring rain at a Jonas Brothers concert) to going into the City to meet Demi Lovato’s guitar player (who is super sweet btw!). This woman can get me to try “almost” anything at least once. I don’t know what it is about her, but she’s definitely someone that I look up to and admire.

And last, but certainly not least, the love of my life, Kevin.  Without him, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be in love again.  He’s helped me heal, and helped me realize that I deserve to be treated with respect.  He’s a genuinely nice guy, and I couldn’t be happier!

3. Who is your favorite character and why?

My initial response was, of course, Sam, but I am sure that almost EVERYONE is going to mention him. So, MY favorite character is Gran.  Why?  Because she is so loving and accepting of not only Heven, but of Sam as well.  I love how she takes them both in with open arms, no questions asked.

4. When the book ends the reader has an idea of what the next book will involve. Do you think the book ended in the appropriate place?

I think so.  It leaves you with just enough “what if?” and “what the heck?” questions to want to know more.  I can’t wait to read more about Logan and to see what kind of a part he plays and how he will affect Sam and Heven’s relationship. I’m VERY curious to see what happens on their trip to Italy.

5. Do you have any predictions for the next book in the series, Charade?

I have several predictions, but one that I would REALLY like to see happen, is to meet Sam and Logan’s parents.  I would also honestly like to see Kimber “grow up” and realize that Heven is who she is and there is nothing she can do about it. I also want Kimber to stop being so darn selfish and jealous of her “best friend.”  I have a feeling that somehow, one of these mythological creatures is going to get to Kimber and use her jealously against her to get to Heven and this map. But, I could be totally wrong. 

6. Did you enjoy participating in this read along?  Will you join in future read alongs?

Yes!  Considering this was the first read along I’ve ever participated in, I really didn’t know what I was doing, but it was a lot of fun! I enjoyed reading other people’s answers, and was surprised to find that some people had either the same or similar answers that I have.  In terms of participating in future read alongs, it all depends on the book and if I have time to read it or not. BUT, I would definitely be up to participating in future ones 🙂

New Release: Between (Heven & Hell # 1.5) by Cambria Hebert. (and giveaway!)

I’M SO EXCITED AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT! At midnight tonight, Cambria Hebert’s novella, Between releases!  For those of you who don’t know, Between, is the latest release in the Heven and Hell series, a new YA/Fantasy saga that is taking the world by storm!  I am happy to share publishers with this super talented author.  Not only is she talented, but she is super nice too!

At the end of this post is a giveaway of Between, a novella that takes place Between Masquerade (Heven & Hell #1) and Charade (Heven & Hell #2…not released yet).

For those of you who have been following my blog the last few weeks, you may have noticed that I’ve been participating in the Masquerade Read-along.  It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to meet other bloggers and make new friends.

To get to know Cambria and her books, click on the images below to get to her Goodreads page.

Be sure to stop by Cambria’s facebook fanpage tomorrow for up-to-the-minute release info and giveaway info!  She’s giving away lots of fun goodies!  BUT, be sure to read to the very end of this blog post for a very special giveaway 🙂

Now, if you’ve never read any of Cambria’s books Before (hehe, see what I did there? ;)), then hop to it!  Trust me, you won’t regret picking up her books.  What? My telling you to simply buy it isn’t good enough? How about I leave you with some reviews and a couple of trailers then?

My Review of Before (takes you to my other blog)

My Review of Masquerade

Cambria’s trailers:

(she made them herself)

Before:

Masquerade:

Between:

And last, but certainly not least, Charade:

NOW, THE GIVEAWAY:

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Between, please leave me a fun comment along with your email written as follows: youremail(at)gmail(dot)com.  This will keep the spambots away.  And remember, the more creative and interesting the comment, the higher the chance you have at winning a copy of Between. You have until 11:59 eastern standard time on April 20th, 2012 to enter.  A winner will be announced sometime on Saturday.

STALK…er….FOLLOW CAMBRIA:

Her website/blog: http://www.cambriahebert.com

Her facebook fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138

Her Twitter Handle: @cambriahebert

Before I forget, I am also going to be hosting Cambria on her tour for Charade, which is due to release on May 18th. She will be gracing us with her presence on June 10.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to enter Cambria’s giveaway right here on my blog 🙂

Masquerade Read-along week #3

Welcome back to another week of the Masquerade Read-Along, a book by the lovely Cambria Hebert.  This week’s host is Heidi over at Rainy Day Ramblings.  I honestly can’t believe that next week is the final week of the read-along!  Time certainly flies.  Next week’s host is Cambria Hebert herself.  For a complete list of rules and guidelines, you can visit her website/blog http://www.cambriahebert.com or Heidi’s blog.

If you missed my previous read-along posts, you can read week 1’s by going here, and week 2’s by going here.

Now, onto this week’s questions!

1. Heven’s mother has definite ideas about Heven and her scars – what they mean – and their relationship is strained. Do you think their relationship can be saved?

Honestly, this is a really tough question.  As I stated last week’s blog post, Heven’s mom is a religious nut.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I think that it’s great that her mother is close to God and all, but, I seriously think that there is some mind-manipulation going on with the Pastor and her mother.  This might be far-fetched, but I actually think that the mother might be having an affair with the pastor (or one of the priests of the church).  Hey, they’ve been known to molest children…it could happen.  I don’t mean to offend anyone (I am actually quite religious myself), BUT, there is a very fine line between doing God’s work and being a Christian (or whatever religion you are), and thinking your daughter has been marked by Satan.

I think that while it is a long shot, that it is possible for Heven’s relationship with her mother to be saved. BUT, her mother must first come out from under the shadows and realize what she’s doing to Heven.  I understand that her mother’s actions could be the result of losing her husband, but that still doesn’t make them right.

2. Sam tells Heven about how he came to be living on his own, how his parents kicked him out after he became what he is. He doesn’t seem angry though, he seems to accept it. Would you be angry? Do you think he should be?

I think Sam was probably angry and hurt in the beginning, but it never does anyone any good to hold onto that hurt, hate and anger for too long. Otherwise, you become it.  Take a look at China and what all that anger and hate did to her.  I honestly don’t think that Sam should be angry at all.  He has Heven, and now knows that there is more to life than being destructive.

3. During these chapters, Heven and Sam visit the Inbetween and meet Airis (aka The Hope). Were you surprised by this series of events? Do you think a place like the InBetween really exists?

I actually kind of was surprised.  I thought it was honestly very well thought out.  That’s honestly kind of how I picture the “Inbetween.”  Yes, I do think that a place like the InBetween really exists.  Where else are souls supposed to go while they wait for judgement?

4. When Heven’s scars are no longer a part of her and she says “she no longer recognizes herself” – do you think that the absence of her scar will change her once more?

I think they will, but for the better.  She seems to be more aware of her surroundings than she was before, which is good.  I think her not having her scars will help her realize who her true friends are.

5. Gran is very accepting of Heven and of Sam. Do you think that she understands more – knows more than she lets on about Heven’s life or do you think her love is just unconditional?

My answer is yes to both questions.  I think Gran loves Heven unconditionally, but I also think that she knows more than is let on.  Gran strikes me as the type of person to know things that others don’t.  She is older, and wiser.  In most books that I have read, grandparents (especially the grandmothers like in House of Night for example) usually know what’s up, and they have been around long enough to hear urban legends and all that jazz.  I think she suspects there is something unique about Sam, and now Heven, but is waiting patiently for her to come clean.

Masquerade Read-along Week #2

Welcome to the second week of the Masquerade Read-Along, a book by the lovely and talented Cambria Hebert.  For the official rules, guidelines, and tour schedule, please click the picture above, or visit Cambria’s website at http://www.cambriahebert.com.  Now, let me tell you a little bit about the book Masquerade for those of you who missed last weeks post, my answers can be found by clicking here.

About Masquerade (taken from Goodreads)

Before. Everything was so much better Before. I wasn’t haunted by nightmares, my place at school was secure and my face was flawless. Now, I’m a freak and everything has changed. The worst part is that I can’t remember the night I was sentenced to the shadows. The memory has been stolen from me and I just can’t shake the feeling that someone, something is out there -watching. 

Just when I think I have my life handled, Sam, with his intimidating golden stare and shiver inducing voice, makes me realize that I don’t know anything. He makes me see that my scars don’t matter. That they never mattered. I can’t help but fall for him, completely unknowing that he knows exactly how I got this way. Not knowing he was involved. 

*** 

Heven has no idea how closely death stalks her. She has no idea what I have done to keep her alive. I fear the day she learns my secrets, finds out what I really am. But even then I cannot stop, I vow to make things right. Finally her hunter will be hunted, Heaven and Hell, faith and sin will battle, and we will be victorious. But first, Heven must learn to be what she never imagined. I know her strength is there – I feel it. If we are to overcome all odds, she must push past her flaws – her frailties – to become much more.

Now, onto this week’s questions!  This week’s host is Candace, over at http://www.candacesbookblog.com/.  If you want to join in on the fun, pick up a copy of Masquerade (You won’t regret it…TRUST ME!), and hop on over to either Cambria’s site or Candace’s and link up!. Now, onto the questions.

1. Sam is admittedly drawn to Heven before they even meet. Why do think this is?

I had to give this one some thought. OK, A LOT of thought. I think that Sam is initially drawn to Heven, because of the whole soul-mate thing.  After having read the entire book in 3 days, there is definitely something that we do not know about their relationship. BUT, I honestly think that it has something to do with the power of God, and something “Great” that the Universe has in store for them. Yes, I could argue and say that Heven represents all the things that Sam had to leave behind when he first went through The Change, but I don’t think that is entirely it.  I think there is something much, much bigger out there than we are capable of seeing just yet.

2. In an earlier chapter The Hope states that Sam must prove himself. During these chapters Sam does some things – bad things – (covering up murder, fighting, hiding a body, etc.) all to protect Heven and his true identity. Do you think he was right to do these things?

When is it EVER right to cover up murder, etc?  It never, EVER is.  HOWEVER, Sam is a special and unique case.  I’m not saying that it was right, but I understand why he did what he did.  If I was in his case, I probably would have done the same thing.

3. In chapter twelve Kimber says some thing’s to Heven that make the reader wonder about their friendship. Do you think there is any truth Kimber’s drunken confessions? If so where do you think Heven and Kimber’s friendship goes from here?

OK, I’ll be perfectly honest, I wanted to toss my book at Kimber and beat the living CRAP out of her for saying that shit. She knew that Heven couldn’t swim, right? Why on earth would she even think about bringing her out to the dock? I mean, come on! HOW STUPID can one person be? Thank GOD Sam was there!  I have absolutely NO DOUBT that there was truth in Kimber’s confessions.  Alcohol consumption tends to bring out people’s true selves, especially when they are drunk/tipsy.  I can personally attest to this. I tend to be an honest drunk when I’ve had a little too much to drink. I’ve said some things that I regret, but you can’t take them back once you say them.  Knowing what I know about the book (I’m trying not to spoil anything here), I honestly think that Heven should just drop Kimber as a friend. If you ask me, I think Kimber is a selfish bitch who needs to put in her place. But, that’s just my opinion lol.

4. Heven is changing, becoming more confident. Do you think that after something like this (her accident and disfigurement) happens to someone that she can ever go back to the person she was before? Do you think she will want to?

No, and no. I personally like how Heven is changing. As the question stated, she IS becoming more confident, and I like reading about heroines that grow and change. I think in the beginning, maybe Heven will want to go back to how things were, BUT, I think Sam will help her realize that she can’t and shouldn’t.  She has a path, a dangerous path to follow, and I think going back will make things worse.

5. Toward the end of these set of chapters, Heven finds out Sam’s secret, who he really is. She has a strong reaction. Do you think you would react the same way? Why or why not?

Hmm. This is honestly a tough one.  I guess it all depends on the situation and the type of person they are.  I mean, yeah, I would probably freak out at first (who wouldn’t?), but then after coming back down to “reality”, I’d probably be all “Oh, really? You can do xyz? That’s cool.” I’d probably be a little jealous of said person’s special abilities and powers, but I’d want them as an ally (especially if it’s someone like Sam or my Damien from TWAU.). I honestly don’t think there isn’t a person out there who WOULDN’T freak out at first.