Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catch Fire Blog Party and Oppression Virtual Launch Party

Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by the ninja master himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh! The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar. Alex is also giving away some great prizes: copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks, as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. The blog tour is running from February 27 through March 9. See his blog for details: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

CassaFire by Alex J Cavanaugh.JPG
CassaStar was just the beginning…
The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.
The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 
To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Book trailer available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa6VINRGtyE.

CassaFire is avalable at


Jessica Therrien's book Oppression is being released today. In honor of this Jessica is giving away some prizes: an Oppression poster, an Oppression notebook, and a signed copy of Oppression. For information on how to enter and to find out more about her blog tour please visit her website at http://jessica-therrien.blogspot.com/

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's Going On?

Next week is a busy week in the blogosphere.  Here's some of that news...

Jessica Therrien's book Oppression is released on February 28th. Congratulations Jessica. She is having a blog tour from March 1-15th and on Monday a virtual launch party. If you want to find out more information go HERE.

Alex J. Cavanaugh's book CassaFire is also being released on February 28th. He's having a Catch the Fire Party, go HERE for more info on that or check back here on Tuesday for more information. Congrats to Alex too!

March 1st is the Get Fired Up Blogfest. This is being hosted by Melissa Sugar. This blogfest is all about helping out newer bloggers. If you want more info on this blogfest go HERE.

The Quarter final round of WRiTE CLUB starts next week. So, be sure to head over to DL Hammons Blog and vote!

Also, I just want to thank everyone for their kind comments on my flash fiction piece. I was really nervous about posting it, as it was my first time ever writing one. So, if you really thought it sucked, thank you for not saying anything. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

First Campaigner Challenge

Today is our first campaign challenge. The challenge is to....
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:

  • end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
  • include the word "orange" in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write  
  • make your story 200 words exactly!
Here's my entry, at exactly 200 words...

 Shadows crept across the wall as night overtook day. Inside the cramped cabin, the five mangy occupants raced around the room. Shutters slid across the windows, locking shut. Weapons came out from their hiding places. The fire was extinguished with a hiss. Heartbeats increased along with fear. Could they make it another night? Night was dangerous. It was when They came out.

“Hurry, we don’t have a lot of time,” instructed the orange-haired man, named Serge. He was the oldest of the group at twenty-four and the most knowledgeable.

“Shouldn’t Cody be back by now?” whispered Sarah. She held a gun, almost as big as her, in her arms. Her chocolate brown eyes were wide with fear. Her black hair was matted to her head.

Everyone took their posts. Serge was facing the door. Sarah was next to the door, facing the window. Jack was behind Serge protecting his back. The two little kids were huddled under the bed.

“I hear something,” hissed Sarah. “Cody!” she yelled as she wrenched the door open. It wasn’t Cody, it was Them. One of them slammed into her knocking her to the floor. Her head ricocheted off the dirt ground and everything faded.

If you enjoyed my story, you can give it a thumbs up here. I'm number 49.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


In the past week I've been tagged twice. So, I'm going to combine them. (Can I do that? Is it legal?) Oh well, here goes.

First is from JE Fritz over at Still Writing.

1. What’s your favorite book genre?  I don't really have a favorite. I like mystery, romance, paranormal, YA, and many more. It's more like what I don't like to read... mostly nonfiction.
 2. Are there any beloved books that you don’t really enjoy? Nothing that comes to mind. 
3. What was your favorite class in school? Biology, hence the nursing.
4. Do you write under a pseudonym or use your real name? pseudonym/real name :)
5. Do you prefer reading first person or third person? Either. There are things I like about both.
6. An old question, but e-books or paper? Same answer as above. There are things I like about both.
7. You’re stranded on an island that has plenty of food and water, but no electricity or way to contact the outside world. But you have one object of your choice with you. What is it? My bookshelf with all of my books.
8. Which do you like more, Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
9. Coffee or tea? Both
10. Pick one word to describe yourself with. Caring
11. If you had one wish, what would it be? (PS: no fair wishing for more wishes) To see my Mom again.

 Next set of questions are from Annalisa Crawford.

1. Which book, that you're supposed to love, do you actually hate? The Help. I didn't actually hate it. I just couldn't get in to it. It might of been in the mood I was in.
2. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
3. Name four people (dead or alive) you would like to invite for dinner. My Mother, Adele, Nora Roberts, and William Shakespeare.
4. Can you remember your first teacher? No, but I have a very bad memory.
5. In which order should Star Wars be watched: IV, V, VI, I, II, III or I, II, III, IV, V, VI? Sorry to say I don't know the movies well enough to answer this question.
6. Which fictional character would you like to be for a day?  Bella... Edwards a hunk.
7. Sweet or savoury?  Sweet!
8. Do you have a tattoo? How many? One, but want to get two more.
9. Do you still have your first teddy bear? (I do.) Yes.
10. Oggy, oggy, oggy... Does anyone know what comes next? (hehehe) Is that a chant? It sounds sort of familiar, but no.
11. What are you reading right now? About to start The Paris Wife.

Well, now that you know me a little better; it's time to get to know someone else. I'm tagging...

Here are their questions...

  1. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
  2. Who is your favorite author?
  3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would it be?
  4. What's one addiction you have?
  5. What is your favorite time of day?
  6. Favorite food?
  7. What inspires your writing the most?
  8. What is one pet peeve you have?
  9. If you could have a super power what would it be?
  10.  Do you have a pet?
  11.  If you had to change your name, and pick it, what would you change it to?

Don't forget that tomorrow is the kick off for the campaign!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest

This Blogfest is being hosted by none other than DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0, Alex J. Cavanuagh, Katie Mills at Creepy Query Girl, and Mathew MacNish at QQQE. It's all about the story of your origin. So, here's mine.

Ever since I was a little girl I've been an avid reader. My mom instilled the love of reading in me at a very early age. I loved to read anything that would transport me to a different world, give me a new experience, or take me on a ride. If it made me want to turn the page faster than I could read, make my heart race, tears fall so much that it blurred the page, or scare me into pulling the covers over my head, even better. The problem came in when I didn't like how the story was going. I wanted to change it. I wanted to decide how the story ended. Who fell in love with who. Who lived and who died. It got to the point where when reading Choose Your Own Adventure books I would read both options and decide which one I liked best. So, I started making up my own stories.

Many times over the years I would "start" writing a book. I would get as far as the first chapter, but never getting any farther. I never thought that I would actually write a book. When people asked me, "If you could be anything what would it be?" I always answered a writer. So, once again I started a first chapter, but this time was different. I didn't stop.

One night, I was having a hard time falling asleep. Somewhere in the state between awareness and sleep I began to daydream.  While lying there, I saw this whole scene play out in front of me. As I drifted off to sleep, it played over and over, becoming more and more real. When I woke up the next morning, I remembered the whole thing.

It was a scene in which a normal girl has an incident that changes her whole life. The life that she knew is over and she has to become something completely different. She has to find an inner strength in herself that she never knew she had. This scene completely consumed me for weeks. It was all I could think about. Repeating over and over, expanding and gaining a life of its own. I began to write it down, simply to get it out of my head. That scene became the first chapter of my book. Here I am, twelve chapters later, still going strong. Who would've known?

What's your origin?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's Going On?

Earlier this week I received an award from the lovely Patsy Collins. Thank you so much Patsy.

 I was a little unsure about what the Kreativ Blogger Award was, so I did a little research.

Kreativ Blogger originated in May 2008 in a post by Huldas Verden. (I can't read it though, because it's in Norwegian. ) The Kreativ Blogger award comes with the following requirements:

                                             The Rules

  1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
  2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
  3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
  4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
  5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
  6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated. 
                                                     Random Things About me
  1. I started drinking coffee this past year and now I'm addicted to it.
  2. I'm allergic to sunscreen and unfortunately LOVE the sun.
  3. I can't stand meat on my pizza.
  4. I can understand a lot of Spanish, but can barely speak it.
  5. I have a major coma phobia.
  6. I have to take a really deep breath and tell myself it will be okay before I submit any post.
  7. It really took me too long to come up with these seven things.
  1. Jessica Therrien  
  2. Katie Mills
  3. Blaire Kensley
  4. Melissa Sugar
  5. Elle Strauss
  6. Lucy D. Braind
  7. Jessica O'Neal

Don't forget tomorrow is the Origins blogfest. We all have an origin, what's yours?

I also joined the Platform-Building Campaign. It's a campaign designed by Rachael Harrie. The idea behind it is to link together writers in similar genres and help to build their platforms. If you want to learn more about it please go HERE.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Author Interview Aris Whittier

While browsing for books on iBooks awhile ago, I came upon an author I'd never heard of. Foolish Notions was on the free book top 100, so I downloaded it. I loved it. As soon as I finished it, I downloaded the other two books and read them both. Aris Whittier is a contemporary romance author and a wonderful writer. Her characters speak to you and the emotions are palpable. If you read Across Eternity be sure to have tissues handy. Aris has kindly agreed to be subjected to my questioning. Thank you Aris!

JS: You have self-published four books. Can you tell us a little about them? 

AW: I’ve only self-publish two books. My first two books, Fatal Embrace and Foolish Notions were published by Five Star/ Thorndike Press in a two book deal which my agent landed for me. Fatal Embrace is a romantic suspense which was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Foolish Notions is a sweet cozy mystery. The first book I self-published was Across EternityAcross Eternity is a beautiful love story that tells of love that transcends time. It will pull at your heart. It is set in the small coastal city of Dana Point, in Southern California. I also self-published and was just released SecretsSecrets is a romantic suspense, whose heroine, Ashley Dawson, is a crime writer who has the ability to see spirits. Its hero, Nathaniel Marshall is a hard-nosed architect with a long, dark past. A tight web of doubt, uncertainty, and affection is weaved when Nathaniel’s dead wife comes to Ashley in a vision. Throw a stalker turned serial killer in the mix and a crazy cat named Voodoo and the pages keep turning.

JS: Your first two books were contemporary romances; the last two have a supernatural element to them. What made you decide to go in that direction?

AW:  I didn’t realize that I had written two in a row that had supernatural elements—it just kind of happened that way. Across Eternity was inspired by a dream. I dreamt the entire book one night and when I woke—at about 3 in the morning—I went to my office and immediately began writing—I didn’t want to forget it! So that’s how that story came about. I’m currently working on a romantic suspense that doesn’t contain any supernatural elements. I guess I go wherever the story and characters lead me.

JS: Are you working on anything now? A sequel to Across Eternity perhaps?

AW: I can’t tell you how many readers have emailed me insisting that I write a sequel to Across Eternity. I hadn’t considered continuing on Logan and Amber's story, but you guys have gotten my wheels turning…I’ll let you know if there’s a sequel in the future. I am currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense. Hopefully, it will be out next year.

JS: Why did you decide to go with self-publishing?

AW: I originally self-publish Across Eternity because it was so different from my other books—I didn’t think my publisher would embrace it. Self-publishing Across Eternity was so easy and successful that I self-published Secrets too. I haven’t given up on traditional publishers or anything I’m just trying my hand at both.

JS: Have you sent out query letters?

AW: Yes, I queried dozens of agents before I signed with the agent that sold my first book.

JS: What do you like about self-publishing?

AW: I like the control an author has. With my first two books, I really didn’t have a say over the covers or where the book would be sold and in what format. I had to give up most of my rights for a certain amount of years. I like that I have the power to do what I want with my self-published books.

JS: When did you decide to write your first novel?
AW: When I was in college. I took a creative writing course and I was inspired to write a novel.

JS: What advice would you give to anyone interested in self-publishing?

AW: Do your homework and see if it’s right for you. The biggest drawback is that you are solely responsible for everything…editing, cover art, distribution, marketing, pricing…you get the picture. When you self-publish you have to be more than just a writer. A lot of authors only want to write.

JS: How do you get your ideas?

AW: My inspiration comes from my love of life, my imagination, and the fact that I absolutely love to write.

JS: How long does it take you to write your average book? 

AW: About a year. I’m a mom, with two kids, so they come first.

Random Questions

1. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate dipped in peanut butter or on strawberries!
2. Coffee or tea? Coffee—it is truly my only addiction in life!
3. Beach or mountains? Mountains, I absolutely love to hear the wind blowing through the tall pine trees. I also enjoy the rich piney smell of the forest.
4. Last book read? I’m reading The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. I’m several chapters in a completely engrossed.
5. Favorite author? Hands down Judith McNaught. She is why I write romance. Once and Always is my most favorite romance novel. I’d love to be Victoria because I simply MUST HAVE Jason!
6. Most played song on iPod? Anything by Enrique Iglesias…I’m loving this guy!
7. Favorite movie? Do I have to pick just one?!? Pretty Woman.
8. Outliner or panster? I usually have a basic outline of the plot and characters and then I write-as-it-comes.
9. Heels or flats? Flats…safety first! Heels ONLY on special occasions because I have to concentrate when I walk…who wants to do that!
10. Chapstick or lipstick? Lipstick! A swipe of color on my lips and I feel put together…who cares what my hair or clothes look like…LOL

Aris Whittier is a romance writer. She writes suspense, contemporary, and commercial woman's fiction. Her debut novel, Fatal Embrace is a romantic suspense that was featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine as a Red-Hot Read. Foolish Notions is a contemporary romance that has just a touch a mystery too. Across Eternity is a beautiful love story that transcends time. 

You can find her books on Smashwords and Amazon: Fatal Embrace, Foolish Notions Across Eternity, and Secrets

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

IWSG #6- Is Blogging Sucking the Life out of my Novel?

This is my contribution to the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group. Spearheaded by the multitalented ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. Every month we get to air our dirty little writer insecurities, to find support and others out there who surprisingly feel the exact same way.

I started my blog about five months ago. In that five months I've made some good friends, learned valuable information, and found out I'm not alone in my neurotic little writing world. When I first started my blog, I knew nothing about blogging. I didn't know how to set one up, how to link pages, or even what to blog about. Some how, miraculously each week I find something to blog about and even more amazingly, people actually read it. (and comment. Imagine my surprise.) I love blogging. I love checking my e-mail to find out what people have to say about my posts. I love to go to other people's blogs and see what they have to say. The only problem is... is blogging sucking the life out of my novel?

Since I started blogging, my word count per month has taken a major nose dive. I can now go for weeks without even opening my WIP. When I lay in bed at night instead of my story running through my head like it used to, I wonder what I should blog about. I started my blog to document my journey, all the joys and frustrations that happen along the way of this new adventure I started. I expected it to take up some time, but never did I expect it to consume as much as it does.

Balance. That's what I keep telling myself. I need to find a happy balance. I need to make a more conscious effort to work on my writing. Make a time limit for blogging and then have a set amount of time for my WIP. Today it worked perfectly.

When I finished for today I had exactly 30,000 words. How cool is that. (I know that I said I hit 30,000 last week... I have other scenes written that bring me up to about 32,000.)

How do you balance everything? Do you find your WIP suffering? Any tips?