Friday, 28 February 2014

Simon Kewin's Hedge Witch Cover Reveal

I'm thrilled to be helping Simon Kewin reveal the cover for Hedge Witch, Book One of the Cloven Land Trilogy. As I'm sure you'll agree, it's a beautiful cover. Congratulations, Simon.



Blurb

Fifteen year-old Cait Weerd has no idea she's being sought by the undain: sorcerous creatures that feed off the spirit of the living. She doesn't know they need her blood to survive. She doesn't even know she's a witch, descended from a long line of witches. Cait Weerd doesn't know a lot, really, but all that's about to change.
At Manchester Central Library she's caught up in sudden violence. In the chaos she's given an old book that's been hidden there. Given it and told to run. Hide the book or destroy it. The book contains all the secrets of the undains' existence. They and their human servants want to find it as much as they want to find her.
Cait learns the fates of two worlds are at stake. Just what she needs. Along with definitely-not-a-boyfriend Danny, she has to decide what the hell to do. Run, fight or hope it all goes away.
It's only then she learns who she really is, along with the terrible truth of what the undain have been doing in our world all this time...

Links: Blog / Facebook / Goodreads

Well I'm hooked. Another book to go on my TBR list! That's it for this week. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

An Interview With Moonlit Author, Jadie Jones



Today I'm thrilled to be interviewing Moonlit author, Jadie Jones. She's a talented writer and also an awesome friend.






Hi Jadie. Can you believe it's nearly a year since you last visited with me? I can't wait to find out how things are going with you and your writing. Sit down and make yourself comfortable. Here we go:

Q: Tea, coffee, or something else?

A: Tea!

Q: Which three words would you use to describe your publishing journey over the last year?

A: Tremendous, humbling, and educational

Q: Last year you said the world of publishing was like an ocean, and that you were finding your rhythm. How would you respond now?

A: In the last year, I’ve better learned how to roll with the hurry-up-and-waits of author life, and I credit a lot of that to building a network with other authors who I can go to with questions. I’ve also set some long-term career goals for myself, which plots a rough map into the big blue. So, yes, it still seems like an ocean, vast and mysterious. But now I feel more confident steering my ship.

Q: Has your writing process changed in any way?

A: My writing process has changed so much. Books 1 and 2 were drafted and revised completely “panster” style, not because I believe in spontaneous drafting above outlining, but because that’s what came naturally. I am currently drafting Moonlit book 3, which is told in multi POVs, and I “forecast” the main objectives for about 3-4 chapters at a time before I begin drafting. I’m also a lot faster to cut. I used to cling to favourite parts and pretty lines. Now, they’re the first to go.

Q: When does the sequel to Moonlit come out?

A: Book 2 – currently dubbed Windswept – is slated for a summer-2014 release. I am waiting on pins and needles for a release date and my cover. I expect to hear soon!

Q: When you first wrote Moonlit, was it always going to be part of a series?

A: Sort of. When revising Moonlit, the true heart of the story came to the surface, and I realized the journey Tanzy would take was more complex than I could sew up in one book. The scope of the journey was wider, and of course more people/creatures would be involved than the original cast of characters. This is an apocalyptic situation, after all.

Q: Which of your characters best fits your philosophy in life?

A: There’s a new character named Jayce who is introduced at the end of Moonlit. She plays Tanzy’s sidekick in book 2. She and I are different in many ways in terms of personality, but our bigger philosophies are similar. She doesn’t tolerate lying or secrets. During conflict, she tries to respond without reacting, if that makes sense, but she still has an impulsive streak. She’s one of my favourite characters to write, probably because I understand her motives on a different level.

Q: You're currently writing book three in the Moonlit series. Are you planning to write any more or will you be starting another project?

A: I hope to wrap up the main series in three books. I’m a little worried about the light-speed pacing in book 3. Every ball I’ve thrown in the air in the first two books is coming down for a landing. My foremost goal with book 3 is to thoroughly satisfy the Moonlit tribe. This third book is truly for them. If my beta readers think the story needs a little more breathing room, then there will be a fourth book to allow the story to unfold in a better way. I’m considering a spin-off series and a prequel, but after the main series wraps, I am going to take a break from these characters and give a couple of new project ideas some attention.

Q: Finally, what is your favourite writing quote?

A: The entire book “Bird by Bird,” by Anne Lamott. But if I had to pick just one of her pearls, it would be this: “E.L. Doctorow said once said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.”


Ellie, thank you so much for all your support. I enjoyed answering these questions and reflecting on the last year. I am blessed to have met you, and I admire you and your work so much. *raises a mug of tea* Here’s to the next year for us both!


Moonlit Summary

Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.

When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.

But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?


Author Bio

Georgia native Jadie Jones first began working for a horse farm at twelve years old, her love of horses matched only by her love of books. She went on to acquire a B.A. in equine business management, and worked for competitive horse farms along the east coast. The need to write followed wherever she went.

She currently coaches a hunt seat equitation team that competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and lives with her family in the foothills of north Georgia. When she's not working on the next installment of the Moonlit series, she is either in the saddle or exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. Moonlit, book #1 in the Moonlit trilogy, is her first book. The sequel, Windswept, has been accepted by WiDo Publishing, and is due for release mid-2014.



Thank you, Jadie. I'm raising a mug of coffee (I'm a coffee drinker!) in return. It was so great hearing about your journey over the last year. It sounds as if a lot has changed, but at the same time you still know where you're headed. As you say, steering your ship. An awesome analogy. I'm looking forward to seeing the cover for your next book and reading it. 

I'm back on Friday with a cover reveal from Simon Kewin. I've already seen the cover for Hedge Witch. It's stunning. Until Friday, happy reading and writing. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

An Interview With Hybrid Author, Donna Hosie


This week's interviewee is right at the front of the monumental changes to both traditional and indie publishing. Bestselling YA writer, Donna Hosie, is what is called a hybrid author. She popped by recently to answer a few of my questions.



Hi Donna. Thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule to visit with me. Please pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable. Here we go:

Q: What is your favourite day of the week and why? 

It definitely isn't Monday - Friday, I can tell you that much! Writing is now a full-time job for me (4am starts, anyone?), but I also have a Government 9-5 job too. I'm hoping to be a full-time writer within two years, so ask me that question then!

Q: What punctuation mark best describes you?

Exclamation mark !!! I'm in a perpetual WTF!!! state right now ;)

Q: If I came to your home and looked at your bookshelves, what would I find?

Books! (Sorry, couldn't resist!) First, you would find my fiction books in alphabetical order by author. But they're a real smorgasbord of fantasy, young adult, historical, crime... My husband and I are huge readers. I love most genres. I also have separate bookshelves for Harry Potter novels and books by Tolkien, because I also collect memorabilia for those two fantasy worlds. My study is a shrine to New Zealand and Tolkien, whereas my dining room is all Hogwarts, (I have a very understanding family who are cool with mum being a geek!)

Q: Indie publishing has a new buzzword - Hybrid Author. Can you tell us what that means?

A hybrid author is someone who has an agent/publishing contract for traditional publishing deals, but who also strikes it out alone and project manages other releases independently.

Q: Do you see yourself as a hybrid author?

Absolutely. I am signed to the Bent Agency and am repped by Beth Phelan. My novel, THE DEVIL'S INTERN, the first in a four book series, is going to be published by Holiday House in the Fall 2014, which is uber exciting. However, I also indie publish, and in June 2014, I will publish the first book in my second Camelot time-travel series. Being a hybrid author means you wear two very different publishing hats. It can be exhausting, but it's also extremely empowering.

Q: Which form of social media would you recommend as the best promotion platform for indie/hybrid authors?

Blogger may be waning in popularity, but for cover releases, Blogger can't be beaten. I love Goodreads though, and that is the platform I use the most. Book lovers are the greatest, most passionate people out there.

Q: What is your next big project?

I have two big projects this year. THE RING OF MORGANA release is next up in June. I've just had the cover delivered by my designer and it is BEAUTIFUL! But the release of THE DEVIL'S INTERN is going to be a whole new experience because I will be heading to New York to meet my agent and editor for the first time. I can't wait. 2014 is going to be very special.

Q: What is your year-ending goal for 2015?

Full-time writing. I have tunnel vision for that one goal.


About the Author

Donna Hosie is YA writer and full time geek. Author of SEARCHING FOR ARTHUR, THE FIRE OF MERLIN and THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE. Represented by Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency, NY. Forthcoming releases include THE RING OF MORGANA (June 2014) and THE DEVIL'S INTERN (Holiday House, Fall 2014).


Thank you, Donna. I'm in awe of your work ethic. It takes real dedication to rise that early in the morning before heading out for a full days work. Congratulations on becoming one of the new breed of writers. I believe the future for writers is hybrid, and we have your example to follow.

Today Donna is revealing the cover for her next release, The Ring of Morgana. Make sure you visit her blog - it's a beautiful cover.

Have you heard the term Hybrid Author before today? Do you feel this will be the future for writers - a mix of traditional and indie publishing?

Monday, 17 February 2014

Bet you think this blog post is about you, don't ya?

Actually, it is. Did I fool you? No. Damn. I'll try harder next time.

I subscribe to a monthly writing magazine that runs a 'where I write' feature. It's one of my favouite parts of the magazine, because I'm a nosy kind of gal. I love comparing desks, books, writing tools, and all manner of writing totems. It occurred to me, I'd love to see where some of you write. So, with that in mind, I'm starting my own monthly where I write feature. All I need are some willing volunteers.

I will feature one writer on the last Friday of every month (Starting March 28th). All I need are one or more pictures of where you write and a few words about your writing space and what makes it special. It doesn't even have to be a room or a desk, just somewhere you write.

To kick things off, I thought I'd share mine with you.


My desk, were I do most of my writing. As you can see, I have a thing for elephants.


The lamp was a totally frivolous purchase when I moved into my flat, but I love it. My trusted NaNoWriMo travel mug keeps my coffee hot - when the words are flowing, I have a habit of forgetting I have a hot drink.


Apart from my elephants, Neil Armstrong also keeps me company. He reminds me of my first true love - space.


Finally, a small peek at some of my book collection. I counted my books the other day. Currently, I have 511. If I'd kept every book I'd read, or included the ones on my Kindle, that figure would be many more times higher.

So, would you like to share your writing space with the blogosphere? Are you interested in seeing where some of your writing friends create new worlds? Leave a comment below or email me via my contacts page (Please note: I will give priority to my existing writing and blogging friends).

I'll be back on Wednesday with an interview with bestselling hybrid author, Donna Hosie. Until then, happy reading and writing.

Friday, 14 February 2014

M Pax Cover Reveal - Worlds on Edge

Coming this March is the fifth installment in M. Pax's thrilling science fiction series, The Backworlds. And here's the stunning cover.


War is coming. A horde of merciless aliens poise just beyond the Edge. In a matter of weeks they will devour the worlds.

Racing ahead of the apocalypse, Craze returns to the Backworlds to warn them and plan a defense. Only he can’t go home. Banned from Pardeep Station, he must wage a more urgent battle. His moon is under siege, and his friends are dying.

Bad things come in threes, and the galaxy is no exception. An old enemy returns, attacking moons and defenseless globes, leaving a wake of destruction. Worse than that, they threaten to join forces with the alien horde.

Defeat seems inevitable. Craze may not be able to stop it. Yet home is worth the fight.

You can find out more about The Backworlds series and M. Pax here.


That's it for this week. I'll be back on Monday. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Randy Lindsay - Speculative Fiction Writer



This week I'm delighted to be interviewing author of The Gathering and new writing friend, Randy Lindsay.







Hi Randy. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with me. Are you sitting comfortably? Here we go:

Q: What is your favourite part of the day and why?

A: When my children get home from school. They are all excited to tell me what happened during the day and I love that.

Q: Which three adjectives best describe you?

A: Creative. Creative. Creative. And if that doesn’t work how about shy, creative, and funny.

Q: If I came to your home, would I find a room filled with all the things you might need in an apocalypse?

A: Well, not everything. We have a decently stocked pantry. We have alternate methods for cooking. And we have a smattering of gear that would be helpful in an apocalypse. But we are working on doing better.

Q: Armageddon, Deep Impact, or neither?

A: Armageddon. Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Steve Buscemi really made the movie fun. However, if we are talking about my favourite apocalypse movie of all time then it has to be Mad Max. The most realistic apocalypse movie is probably The Day After. My favourite apocalypse book is Damnation Alley, by Roger Zelazny. I know that’s more than you asked for, but I love stories about the apocalypse.

Q: What is your favourite writing quote?

A: Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. - Gene Fowler

Q: Which of your characters best fits your philosophy in life?

A: I don’t put myself in my stories. The characters that I write about are all smarter, stronger, and more popular than me. That being said, Robert is the character that I spent the least time creating. He flowed out of me without much conscious thought.

Q: Who created your cover art, and how much creative input did you have?


A: I should know that, but I don’t. My publisher, Cedar Fort, handled all of the work with the cover. I’m glad they did because it’s awesome. What you see on the front is the third cover they sent for me to approve. All of them were good.

Q: What is your next big project?

A: I have started the second book in the series and I think it is going to be even better than the first. I also have plans to self-publish the first book I wrote. Even though the publishers have hesitated to pick it up I believe that the readers will find the premise too interesting to resist. 


Book Blurb

Robert Williams didn't expect an early honorable release from his mission, but upon his return home, he sees the reason for the surprise decision. Unemployment, rampant violence, and frequent food shortages have put the United States on the brink of another civil war. As the threads of society unravel, the Williams family must adapt to drastic changes as the long-foretold gathering begins to take place.


Meet the Author


RANDY LINDSAY is a native of Arizona. He lives in Mesa with his wife, five of his nine children, and a hyper-active imagination. His preoccupation with “what if?” has led him to write speculative fiction. Although The Gathering is his first novel, Randy has had short stories published in Penumbra e-zine and several anthologies during 2013. If you want to find out more you can check him out at RandyLindsay.net




Thank you, Randy. I also love apocalyptic films and stories, so I will be checking out The Day After and Damnation Alley. Congratulations on your release and the stunning cover.

That's it for this week. I'll be back on Monday. Until then, happy reading and writing.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Moonless Blogfest, Epic 2000 Follower Giveaway, & February Femmes Fatales Release

It's Monday already. When did that happen? I'm not sad, though. Today I'm helping Crystal Collier celebrate the release of a print edition of Moonless, sharing details of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Epic 2000 Followers Giveaway, and finally celebrating my own launch with February Femmes Fatales.

Do you want to find out who I'd beg my parents to set me up with if arranged marriages were a la Mode? How to win some awesome prizes from Alex J. Cavanugh? Or how to get your hands on some terrifying fiction? Read on.


Moonless Blogfest


In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.


Her nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

As a thank you to all of you, Crystal's publisher is offering a $2.00 coupon until February 14th at this Book LINK, using this COUPON CODE: LQJM3F84.


So here's the question: If you lived in a society where arranged marriages were a la mode, whom would you beg your parents to set you up with? Why? (Literary characters and celebrities welcomed.) 

I didn't have to spend long thinking about this one. I'd beg my parents to arrange a marriage with Professor Brian Cox (He's already happily married. For the purposes of this blogfest, we'll pretend he's not married). Why would I marry him? Apart from being quite nice to look at, he's a physicist working at CERN, is passionate about science, an ex-band member for two groups, has appeared on Dr Who, and travels all over the world. What's not to like?

Who would you want your parents to set you up with? And while you're at it, enter to win one of these great prizes!


Epic 2000 Follower Giveaway


Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog is nearing 2000 GFC followers. To celebrate, he's hosting a giveawayI checked Alex's Army this morning - he currently has 1982 followers. Only 18 more to go! Click on the link to read the rules and how to enter.

Prizes: 

First place – Signed copy of one book, $10 iTunes card, and one book donated to the library (middle school, high school, public) of your choice. 

Grand prize – Signed copy of all three books, $10 iTunes card, t-shirt of your choice from Neat-O-Rama, designed by Retro Jeremy Hawkins, and three books donated to the library of your choice.




February Femmes Fatales

February 8th saw the much anticipated release of February Femmes Fatales, an anthology of dark tales and words. I'm honoured to be among the twenty-three authors.


Edited by Lily Childs - a collection of dark and wicked words from twenty-three women, the FEBRUARY FEMMES FATALES.

From quick sips of short, sharp micro-fiction to full-length stories; from poetry to a novel tease, 'February Femmes Fatales - the book' dishes out fear by the bucketload.

Noir, horror, crime, myths. Travel in time. Be reborn. Take revenge.

Meet demons. Dally with ghosts. Fight gun totin' kick-ass gals with gumption... and dig deeper, where you'll encounter war crimes, murder and foul-play. Not to mention a daily dose of darkest humour.

The writers have offered up a smokin' selection of dark fiction and poetry which will make your skin crawl, have you wiping away tears or laughing out loud. May they terrify and unnerve you.

Sweet dreams...

Kindle - Amazon / Amazon.co.uk
Paperback - Amazon / Amazon.co.uk


Well that was a long post. I'll be back on Wednesday with an interview with the author of The Gathering: End's Beginning, Randy Lindsay.

Monday, 3 February 2014

For the love of all things fictional, get writing!

Do you want to know how many new words I wrote in January? The answer is zero. Yes. You read it right.

I have a long list of excuses. Tiredness. Work pressure. Personal issues. Last year. The weather. The Walking Dead on a mid-season break. The wrong colour post-it notes. I could go on. In all seriousness, only the first four reasons were valid. I won't look back at 2013 with many fond memories, though there were good memories in with the bad. Work has only now quieted down after the Christmas rush and stock take. I have been struggling with personal issues. I have felt exhausted.

Here's the thing - I do want to write. Writing is what calms my soul. It's what I was made to do. On January 31st I thought, 'Why I am not writing? How can I move past all the non-writing stuff and make the time to write?' The answer was simple. I decided to stop spending so long dwelling on all the things stopping me from writing and just write. So, February 1st I wrote 500 words. Yesterday, I wrote another 500. Today I will write more. It is that easy.

If you're struggling to find the time, for the love of all things fictional get writing. Don't waste time on thinking about what's stopping you. Think what you could do with that time instead; the literary masterpieces and exotic worlds you could create.

So, how was your January? Did you achieve what you set out to do? If not, what prevented you? What will you do differently in February?