HOLIDAY HULLABALOO GIVEAWAY: Day 5…

On the fifth day of Holiday Hullabaloo, Amber gave to me…A $20 gift card to Amazon/Barnes&Noble.

Welcome back to the Holiday Hullabaloo Giveaway, a massive raffle involving FOURTEEN authors with 155 prizes up for grabs!

HOW IT WORKS:14 different prizes are being given away daily, one by each author

WHEN: EVERY DAY through December 21st, 2012

HOW LONG: All giveaways are open until midnight December 21st

THE GRAND PRIZE: A $200 Amazon/ Barnes&Noble Gift Card giveaway

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  1. Enter the FIRST Rafflecopter for MY giveaway today
  2. Enter the SECOND Rafflecopter to win the FINALE $200 gift card
  3. Click on the linky to find other great prizes (ebooks, paperbooks, swag, gift cards, knit hats, t-shirts… it’s CRAZY all the stuff in this giveaway)

TODAY’S PRIZE: A $20 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes&Noble (winner picks).

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To enter the $20 gift card Rafflecopter,

CLICK HERE

 

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To enter to win the GRAND PRIZE $200 Amazon/ B&N GIFT CARD Rafflecopter,

CLICK HERE

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Now that you’ve done that, be sure you go and check out ALL the other author pages and enter their giveaways as well. ALL raffles can be entered daily until the close at midnight on the 21st, so be sure to keep entering 🙂

Participating Author Link

Go forth and win! Happy holidays 🙂

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HOLIDAY HULLABALOO GIVEAWAY: Day 4…

On the fourth day of Holiday Hullabaloo, Amber gave to me…A SIGNED COPY OF SCARRED!

Welcome back to the Holiday Hullabaloo Giveaway, a massive raffle involving FOURTEEN authors with 155 prizes up for grabs!

HOW IT WORKS:14 different prizes are being given away daily, one by each author

WHEN: EVERY DAY through December 21st, 2012

HOW LONG: All giveaways are open until midnight December 21st

THE GRAND PRIZE: A $200 Amazon/ Barnes&Noble Gift Card giveaway

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  1. Enter the FIRST Rafflecopter for MY giveaway today
  2. Enter the SECOND Rafflecopter to win the FINALE $200 gift card
  3. Click on the linky to find other great prizes (ebooks, paperbooks, swag, gift cards, knit hats, t-shirts… it’s CRAZY all the stuff in this giveaway)

TODAY’S PRIZE: A SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY OF SCARRED, book 4 of the CAGED series

ScarredCover-HighRes“I loathed myself for wishing a death of that nature on anyone, and even more so because I still wanted it to happen. My moral fiber was unraveling quickly, and I wondered how long my humanity could withstand the unending trial of values my life had become. With every choice I made, I felt it slipping away.

And further down the rabbit hole I fell.”

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To enter the SIGNED COPY of SCARRED Rafflecopter,

CLICK HERE

 

********************

To enter to win the GRAND PRIZE $200 Amazon/ B&N GIFT CARD Rafflecopter,

CLICK HERE

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Now that you’ve done that, be sure you go and check out ALL the other author pages and enter their giveaways as well. ALL raffles can be entered daily until the close at midnight on the 21st, so be sure to keep entering 🙂

Participating Author Link

Go forth and win! Happy holidays 🙂

Weathering the Storm…

I have no idea why I named this post “Weathering the Storm”…I think it just sounded cool.

Anyway, in all fairness, that’s what I feel life is like at the moment. I’ve been trying for balance from the second I published Caged, but, nearly ten months later, I still haven’t achieved it. Most of you know that I run a health care office with my husband, and that we also have a toddler. They both consume a lot of my time and energy (in a good way), but that doesn’t leave a lot to channel toward writing, editing, marketing, etc. My friends think I’m superwoman, and, maybe I am, but I don’t feel like it. I feel tired 🙂 I’ve put a lot of thought into how to remedy this situation and I think I may have found a way to help, at least for now.

I have an amazing husband who has always believed in my crazy ideas, like: let’s but a century old home and remodel it ourselves, or I’m going to publish a book, or I’m going to die my blonde hair CRAZY dark before our wedding… He’s a patient soul 🙂 We’ve been trying to come up with ways to free up my time so that I can better balance my two careers without cutting into my family life. The solution we’ve come up with is me taking an afternoon off of the practice. Yes, a WHOLE four hours of uninterrupted writing time! I have yet to implement this change, but it’s going to be put into action soon. Very soon.

Now, what does this mean for you? I have no clue, but it should mean more solid release dates and a better mapped out release schedule in the long run. I’m aiming for 3 novels a year with a novella in there too. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Of course…I’m a type A. I can do ANYTHING if someone tells me I can’t! (Can someone please tell me I can’t lose five pounds? Please?)

So, I look forward to wearing my author hat with more consistency and getting a feel for whether or not it’s something I could don for years to come. I really love writing, but, if I can’t find a way to seamlessly integrate it into my life, I fear I will burn out from the stress. I don’t want that any more than you do. I have stories to tell, crazies to get out of my head, and supernatural worlds to explore.

Let’s hope this half-day off is enough to make this all happen 🙂

Cover Shoots and Agents and Movies…Oh My!

When I was working towards my doctorate, I never once thought that my daily conversations/emails would center around makeup artist schedules, models, agent representation for TV and movies, book releases, editors, literary agents, and foreign publishing rights. They didn’t teach us about that in neuroanatomy 🙂 And yet here I find myself, discussing those very things…what a difference a couple years can make.

I thought I would use this blog to update fans on where things stand for me, my books, and any random things related to both. First, I have a cover shoot this weekend for my YA series (cowritten by Shannon Morton). A terrific photographer in my area has volunteered her expertise (and her daughter), for the project.  We’ll be shooting the first two of the covers Sunday and doing some photoshopping after that. Our wardrobe is ready to go, hair and makeup is taken care of, and the shots have been planned out.  I think it’s going to turn out beautifully and am super excited about the whole thing. A huge thanks to Vella Photography for being so willing to work with us in this eneavor. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

On the movie agent front, I have some uncertain but encouraging news. She got back to me last night regarding my unpublished series, UNBORN. She really liked what I sent her and is waiting for me to finish writing it so that she can look over the full manuscript. She also said she would wait until I was finished…there was no need to rush. Altough this could just be my reading into the situation, I feel a strong sense of interest on her part. She loved Caged, but had to pass because she felt it was too similar to things already on the market or in the works. In that same email, she asked that I please contact her with anything else I do because she would like to see it. That’s when I sent her UNBORN, which she clearly enjoyed enough to want to see the rest. She seems to be a fan of how I write, and was surprised that Caged was my first novel (or ANYTHING written since HS for that matter). So I find myself cautiously optimistic in what may come once UNBORN is finished.  I shall keep you posted.

Lastly, I have sent UNBORN to an American literary agent to see f there’s any interest there for a traditional publishing deal. It may not be the best move financially, but I REALLY would love to see my book on the shelves of a bookstore one day (if they still exist by then). It will likely be weeks before I hear anything back, so I’m chugging along as usual. I’ll keep you posted on any news there as well.

Now, as for release dates, here is my rough schedule for the next few books:

  1. SCARRED (the CAGED series, book 4): release date is September 24, 2012
  2. Tempted by Evil (Light and Shadow Trilogy, book 1): November 2012. We should have a more firm date by September.
  3. FRACTURED (the CAGED series, book 5): early 2013 release date (either January or February)
  4. UNBORN (the UNBORN series, book 1): April or May of 2013

I’ll be updating the tentative release dates as they firm up, and should have many of them listed in the back of SCARRED (where I always list the release for the next book). I will also have summaries for the other two series there as well, so that you can start to get to know them better and prepare to dive into those worlds!

Until then…I need to keep my head down and plug away! I’m off to go write 🙂

Top 10 Heroine Stereotypes…

So I saw an amazing post from another Indie author regarding what makes a male lead sexy.  It was tongue in cheek and fabulous…and it inspired me to want to do my own take on this idea with female lead cliches.  Thanks, Dannika Dark, for the inspiration!

1) The Only-Human-Chick-in-the-Crazy-Ass-World-of-Supernatural Heroine:

Queen of the inside scoop, this leading lady is the only one in creation who gets to be let in on all the finer points about things that go “bump” in the night.  Often smart, but unpopular, this brainy loner easily accepts her newfound reality, if for no other reason than to escape her old one.  She’s driven primarily by external forces, exercising her own will as little as possible, especially if it puts her in mortal danger. Why do we love her still?  She gets the hotties, plain and simple.  And secretly, we kinda want to be her, too (don’t lie, you know you do).

2) The Clueless Wonder/Damsel in Distress Protagonist:

Now, before I start, I should explain that I have an inexplicable soft spot for these girls.  Their “wandering into chaos” M.O. just does it for me even though it should annoy the piss out of me. The Clueless Wonder is the master of never knowing what’s going on, even if it’s blatantly apparent (like the building is on fire and she can’t quite figure out why everyone is running out of it), which then leads to her other namesake: Damsel in Distress.  She’s completely incapable of lifting a finger to save her own ass, but, luckily for her, someone is always willing to do the job for her.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for being rescued.  By a hot guy.  With great abs.  And tousled hair. Who’s undoubtedly well endowed…

3) The Badass Without a Cause Heroine:

Probably my least favorite of all the heroine species, she’s dangerous, but not in a good way. She’s got all the right credentials: immortal/hard to kill, super strength, shady colleagues, looks killer in leather, and is always packing something illegal in her waistband. The problem arises when her lack of judgment leads to more problems than solutions. Throw shotguns and hand grenades into that equation and the death toll rises quickly.  If she were capable of packing as much brain power as she did ammo, she’d truly be a force to be reckoned with.

4) The Help Me, But Don’t Help Me Heroine:

She’s the Fickle Fanny of the bunch who just can’t seem to decide if she wants to bear her burden alone or not.  She’s a glory hog who can’t acknowledge her team of minions (think Martha Stewart), who helped her get to the end of the journey. It’s ALWAYS about her.  This character tends to make me insane because everything has to be on her terms.  She has an undying need to appear self-sufficient, but clearly lacks the tools to be.  She wants/needs the assistance of those more knowledgeable than her…right up until she doesn’t.

Generally, this is the protagonist that I find myself wanting to punch in the face the most, but…when she gives into her moments of breakdown/weakness, I find myself begrudgingly cheering her on.  Until I want to slap her again.

5) The Bed Hopping Heroine:

Really…this one shouldn’t require a whole lot of explanation.  She’s the character that EVERYONE wants to sleep with, including, but not limited to: hot vampires, rugged werewolves, dark mages, sketchy sorcerers, questionable fae. your mailman, the creepy guy you always see at the coffee shop, and your Uncle Franklin.  ALL of them want to sleep with her because she’s apparently the only woman in the world–and lucky for them, she’s more than happy to oblige.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a reason involved as to why she needs to have sex with various sinister immortals.  In fact, the world’s very existence may well be dependent on her ability to so.  We should really send her a fruit basket to thank her.

Maybe a candygram?

6) The Too-Torn-to-Function Heroine:

This girl (and yes, I mean girl), is the one who would get hit by a train as she straddled the track, trying to figure out which amazingly hot guy flanking her she should pick.  Her indecisiveness is all but paralyzing. What I really want to point out to her (being older and far more wise), is that she can’t make a wrong choice.  Both boys are always stunningly beautiful, madly in love with her, AND willing to die for her.  Where’s the problem here?  I’m happy if my guy is willing to unclog the toilet for me.

7) The Cannon Fodder Protagonist:

Unlike her cousin, The Clueless Wonder, Cannon Fodder takes a slightly different path.  Where CW seems to just happen upon chaos (and by happen, I mean land right in the middle of it), CF seems to genuinely try to NOT be what she is.  She often thinks she’s doing everything right, only to find out that she’s once again tightened the noose around her own neck.  I happen to really enjoy CF because her intentions are generally good or helpful, and she (usually) learns from her near death experiences.  The poor girl just can’t catch a break.

8) The Dances With the Dark Protagonist:

Girl gone wild in all the wrong ways.  She’s the one that you find yourself yelling out loud at in public places while you read because her “Warning: This man is likely to eat you” alarm is clearly broken.  She frolics in ominous alleys, willingly sleeps in creepy basements, and frequents nefarious establishments.  Why?  Because she’s thinking with her heart (or not thinking at all).  She always falls for the baddest boy, or demon, in town.  The nice thing about D with the D is that she’s redeemable, though it’s usually a 50/50 split on that outcome.  I’ll give her one thing…she always keeps it interesting.

9 )The Mercenary:

There’s nothing heroine or protagonist about her.  She’s an unbalanced cocktail of psychosis, rage, and vengeance, packaged up into one undoubtedly hot supernatural ticket.  She knows no rules but her own, and we all adore her for it. Willing to win at any cost, she mows down her adversaries without even breaking a sweat. Bad guys and good guys alike need to beware.  If you see the Mercenary coming, do yourself a favor and run.

10) The Girl I Wish I Was Heroine:

The perfect blend of flawed and fabulous, this leading lady knows how to milk emotion out of a reader, good or bad.  She’s by far the most relatable character going, and one of the most interesting to watch grow over a novel or series. Believable, but fallible, she’s the perfect blend of all the other heroines. 

The boys all love her, but don’t want to do dirty things to her like the Bed Hopper. She has moments of Clueless Wonder behavior, but tends to pull it together when the chips are down.  Though equipped with an inner Badass in one way or another, she’s far too aware of her shortcomings and wouldn’t dream of wandering the streets with a sawed off, looking for trouble.  She’d probably shoot herself in the leg anyways.

She knows that she can’t always go it alone, even if she dreams that she can, and though the sea of men that often surround her cause a temporary dilemma, she always manages to pick a team and stick to it.  Unlike D with the D, if her libido drives her to flirt with the dark side, her inner wisdom shines through…eventually.  CF is probably her greatest tendency, which usually reads as more endearing than annoying.  As for her inner mercenary… I think if you push ANY woman far enough, you’ll see that crazy bitch pop out.  And you don’t want none of that 🙂

No matter your favorite, these ladies bring a certain charm and entertainment to the page that keep us all wanting more.  I look forward to a day when my schedule is far more balanced, allowing me to reacquaint myself with the heroines that made me love the genre to start with.

Is it, or isn’t it?

Lately, I’ve been bombarded by comments/questions regarding the cover of Caged.  I thought that maybe I’d take a brief moment to address the issue at hand.

The short answer is, no, that is NOT my eye on the cover.  I know it looks VERY much like my eye (sans fiery red, demon looking thingy in the pupil), but it’s not.  My eye hasn’t been used for any of the covers (thus far), and I don’t really intend to start using it. 

My cover pics have all been selected by myself and my graphic designer, Jamie Rosen.  We’re currently a little stuck on what to do with the covers for books 4 and 5, which is why you won’t find them anywhere on this webpage.  I’m totally open for suggestions though (Scarred and Fractured are the titles, so keep that in mind).

If I do decide to paste my peeps onto any of the future covers, I’ll be sure to let you know.  You can all breathe easier now, I’m sure.  🙂