Lots going on!

Hello everyone!  I know I’ve been terrible with keeping up this blog, and for that, I am sorry. Things have been so hectic and busy around here lately, that I’m lucky I have any “down time.”  My wedding is just under 72 days away (but who’s counting, right? lol), and so I have been busy with planning.

On top of that, my Muse has been bugging me to finish writing Daughter of Light.  I am happy to say that I just crossed over the 45k word threshold, which is the minimum for a YA book.  I have about another 5k-10k left to write (another 2-3 chapters) I think. 

I also just signed FOUR new contracts to publish my short stories Hell Bound, Hell’s Captive, Murderous Regrets, and Moon Spirit with Hydra Publications!  I am so excited!  So, I have my work cut out for me from now until the end of the year.  My goal is to complete the first draft of Daughter of Light over the next few weeks.  As long as my schedule stays fairly clear, I can certainly do that. 

I will have more details regarding my titles and publishing this wednesday for Writerly Wednesday.  Until then, stay cool!

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Welcome to another week of Tell Me Something Tuesday, a meme that was started by the lovely Cambria Hebert.  This is the meme where she asks us a question, and we answer it.  Pretty simple, right? Well, it all depends on the question!  Sometimes they are super easy to answer, while others can be quite difficult.

This week’s question, is I would have to say, on the more difficult level.  The question of the week is:

How do you feel about negative book reviews? Writing them and reading them…

As an author, I absolutely HATE negative book reviews. Period.  No question about it.  They can hurt sales, and sometimes, depending on the reviewer, can be down right hurtful. I’ve been on the receiving end of negative reviews, and so I can personally say that they stink. BUT it also depends on how they are written. 

I don’t know about you, I HATE reading reviews that have a ton of name calling.  I just don’t get it.  Don’t you guys know that your reviews are PUBLIC, and it can and will ruin your image as a reviewer?  I see this not only for books, but for apps as well.  I once downloaded an Iphone app for the game, Deal or No Deal.  I LOVED that game show, so I thought, why not?  I read the reviews, and they were just terrible. BUT NONE of the reviews stated WHY it was terrible. So, I purchased the app (it was only .99 btw), and decided to see for myself.

Well, it was an awful app, but in my review I made sure to tell the creator of the app what needed to be fixed. I hope that they appreciated my review.

As a reviewer, (I review books for Literary Lunes Publications and Paranormal Poison), I personally HATE writing negative reviews. BUT, as Heidi mentioned in her blog, we are all entitled to our opinions.  Sometimes I just don’t like a book I’ve read, but I usually try to highlight BOTH the positive AND the negative. Unfortunately, in some cases like 50 Shades of Grey, there just aren’t any positive points, and in those cases, I usually just leave the reviews on my blogs.

I absolutely DO NOT condone authors outing reviewers.  I was absolutely disgusted when I heard that last week via twitter. Author Stacia Kane kept going on and on about how awful it was.  It turned out, I was in one of those groups causing the drama on goodreads, and promptly left the group when I realized who it was.  I just don’t get it.  What’s the purpose of outing people?  Reviewers are an author’s best friend and can also be their worst enemy.

Honestly folks, why can’t we all just get along?

Writerly Wednesday #12

Hello, and welcome to another week of Writerly Wednesday.  This is the meme where I discuss all things writerly related, and was started by my good friend, Erin Danzer. 

Some of you are probably wondering where I’ve been. Well, I’ve been around, just super busy with well life.  But I am here today to update you on some of my publishing ventures.

Regarding The World Among Us: I finally received approval from my attorney stating that I can sign the contract with Hydra Publications.  They are a fairly new small press publisher, but they already have a lot of titles out.  I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far, and I am excited to be working with Frank and the team. Not to mention, some of my fellow Otherworld authors have also moved there, so it’s like old times :).

It’s still so surreal to me that I am no longer with Otheroworld, but it was a choice that had to be made.  I had to think about my future as an author, and my future right now is with Hydra Publications.

I would also like to point you all in the direction of another new/old blog of mine on Literary Lunes Publications.  It is ready and waiting for followers.  I moved it from blogger to wordpress/bluehost and I couldn’t be happier.  I am still tinkering with it, but the blog is ready and it is about 95% done :).  So please hop on over to www.literarylunespublications.com and give it a follow. 

I’ll have some wedding updates for you guys soon in another post 🙂

Website Re-launch

Hey everyone! So, as most of you know, I run a magazine called Literary Lunes.  Well, as a result, I formed my own mini-indie publishing company called Literary Lunes Publications.  The magazine has become popular enough, that I needed to split it up into two websites, and form the on-line presence of it’s publishing company.

I originally began the company on blogger or blogspot as some of you know it as.  However, I don’t like the new blogger interface, and decided to move it to the same webserver I use for my other sites.  It makes sense, right?

So, I have been re-constructing the new Literary Lunes Publications website.  It’s still got the same basic menu tabs, only, it’s much better organized. I am no-where near finished, but I thought that I would give it a shout out here, and see if any of you would be kind enough to give it a follow? The website is www.literarylunespublications.com.

The other problem I had with it being on Blogger, was that I couldn’t customize it the way I wanted to.  Blogger doesn’t have nearly as many options as wordpress, and now that I have it on the Bluehost server, I can have unlimited emails and access to some pretty awesome plugins :).

So, please give my new site a follow loves.  I’d really appreciate it! Again, the address is www.literarylunespublications.com I will be having a website re-launch party there in a few days, and will be answering any questions you guys may have for me 🙂

Writerly Wednesday #11: From sad to WOOHOO!

So, as you all know, my former publisher, Otherworld Publications, is closing on December 31 of this year. Last week, I was absolutely devistated by the news, and have since then made a very important choice. I was given the option to stay with OWP until the end of the year, or opt out now.  It was difficult because I like and respect Lynn, but I asked myself the important question; will it pay off in the long run?

After thinking about it myself, discussing it with my publicist, and my family and friends, I realized the answer is no, it won’t pay off. I wasn’t making a lot of money from them to begin with.  So, I opted to get out at the end of the month. The 25th of June is my last day with OWP. 

HOWEVER, I do have some really good news.  I have been speaking with Frank over at Hydra Publications, who is also located in Kentucky and not too far from Lynn.  I have done some extensive research on him and his company, and have found all good things.  Yes, Hydra Publications is another young, and fairly new company, but they have a much bigger following than OWP, and after speaking to their authors, I am overall very impressed with them.

I asked Frank for a sample contract and looked it over.  He sent it to me right away, and at a first glance, I don’t see anything legally wrong with it. Granted, I am not an attorney or paralegal, but it seems legit to me so far. I do plan to have one of my attorney friends take a look at it just to be safe before I sign my life away hehe.

So, Frank and I exchanged a few more emails.  He’s definitely pro-author, and is very easy to work with. He seems to know what he’s doing business-wise, and we just clicked. Before I knew it, I was telling him that I would send him Prince of Darkness as well as my other titles.  He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted him to send me a filled out contract with my name, address etc. I told him YES to send it over 🙂

I haven’t received it yet, but I am sure I will very, very soon!

And when I do, you guys will be the first to hear about it!

HOORAY!

That awesome moment when

So, I just had one of those awesome moments when I realized that I am almost done with book number 2 in The World Among Us trilogy :).  I just started writing chapter 16, and this is the point in the book where all of the action happens.  Well, all of the major climatic action happens anyway.  I have a clear idea of how I want the book to end, which is awesome! 

Presently, I am just under 40,000 words, and have at least 10,000-15,000 more words left to write.  It all depends on how quickly everything happens from here on out.  I am super excited for this, for there was a period of time where I didn’t think that there would ever be an end in sight!

It’s honestly sort of a bitter-sweet feeling I have to admit.

But, I am very excited about this none-the-less.  It means that I will most definitely be finishing writing this novel before the end of the summer like I had hoped!  HOORAY!

Now, keep in mind, this is only the first draft. This book will probably go through at least 2 drafts before I submit it to a publisher. 

But hey, it’s a start, right?

YAY!

Release Day Party and GIVEAWAY!

I am excited to be a part of the release day party and giveaway for author Katie Jennings.  Please be sure to take a look at what she has to say about her books, and enter her giveaway!

About Katie

Katie Jennings is a mid-twenty-something year old girl with an imagination for days and a supportive husband who thinks she’s a colossal nerd. She writes because she loves it, and because breathing life into characters is the greatest escape she’s ever found.  Most of her time is spent puttering around online, editing her latest book, or feeding people food to her cat.  She lives just north of Los Angeles, and enjoys reading fantasy and romance novels, watching Once Upon a Time, playing around on Photoshop, and finding new music to fall in love with.  She believes in, above all else, happy endings.

About her new releases:

A Life Earthbound blurb: (Book Three)
Her name was Rhiannon, and she was Earth. 

She was graceful, intelligent, and undoubtedly a workaholic. She could put a crack in the Earth’s surface a mile wide and grow the loveliest flower ever to have existed right beside it, a contradiction she held with both reverence and pride. For she herself was something of a contradiction: a girl, seemingly free, but silently trapped within her own heart and mind, never to be released.

Or so she thought. She never wasted much time on impractical dreams or wishes she figured could never come true. But all her life one person has been there, a constant reminder of the true girl living behind her mask of cool indifference and solitude.

But the tides of her fate were changing, and her helplessness building as a master plan was in the works that would only bind her wrists further, and destroy everything she never even thought she could have.

Throw in a dash of murder, vicious accusations, and plenty of family drama, and it could very well be a recipe for freedom, or for death.
Of Water and Madness Blurb: (Book Four)
His name was Liam, and he was Water.
His heart was as expansive and deep as the ocean, with emotions that could both rage like storms and soothe like a clear and quiet stream.  He lived for the smell of rain, and thrived in the knowledge that it was he who made it fall.
But while most everything in his life seemed to be going great, there was still this impending doom just over the horizon, threatening to wipe his home completely off the map.  All he had to do was rise to the challenge and fight once the war came.
But there was just one little problem:  he had gone, quite simply, mad.
Not that he knew it, nor did anyone else.  But he wasn’t himself any longer, and the truth behind the lies would eventually come out.  And when it did, Liam would discover the burned bridges and the destroyed hearts he’d left in his wake.
It was a funny thing, madness.  A funny, cruel, and violently destructive thing.
Now for the trailers for all of the books in this series (I have to say, I REALLY want to read this series!)

And now for the giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive signed print copies of books 1-4! How awesome is that? Click the rafflecopter link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where to find Katie:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dryadquartet
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dryadquartet
Blog: http://katieajennings.wordpress.com/
Website: http://www.katieajennings.com/index.htm

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.

Writings From the Heart blog tour schedule changes and updates

Hey everyone! There have been some changes and updates to the blog tour schedule! Please take a look at them. Thanks!

June 13- Erin Danzer www.erindanzer.com/blog

June 14- Me, My Shelf and I www.memyshelfandi.com

June 15- Bilinda Ni Siodacain http://bilindanisiodacain.blogspot.com/

June 16- Beth Ann Masarik www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com

June 17-Nikki http://www.closeencounterswiththenightkind.blogspot.com

June 18-Lizzy Ford http://www.guerrillawordfare.com/

June 19- Tricia Kristufek  http://triciakristufek.com

June 20- Martha http://theshortone08.blogspot.com

June 21-Danica Page

June 22- Cassie from Gathering Leaves http://gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com/

June 23-Misty http://www.the-top-shelf.com/

June 24-Ali http://myguiltyobsession.blogspot.com/

June 25- Sheri www.makingconnectionsgroup.blogspot.com

June 26-Adrienne DeWolfe www.writingnovelsthatsell.com

June 27- Cambria Hebert www.cambriahebert.com

June 28-Audris http://yabookmark.blogspot.com/

June 29- Miriam Pia http://www.uranianfiction.webs.com

July 1-Heidi Permann www.rainydayramblings.typepad.com

June 30- Tiffany http://reviewsalatiffany.blogspot.com/

July 2- Kindlegraph book signing and www.literarylunespublications.com release & new website launch party!

July 3-Vix Parungao http://www.mum-writes.com

July 4- Jenn at www.indiesupporter.com

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