Monday, December 31, 2012

Not Resolutions

Happy New Year's Eve, guys!

Resolutions? I don't do 'em. Not because I think I'm so great or I don't need to change. And not because I don't think resolutions are good. I think whatever motivates people to change is valuable.

It's just if I identify something in my life that needs to change, or something I need to do, I don't wait. I change it right then.

Okay, sometimes I'll wait for a Monday if it's like an exercise program... or an "eat less chocolate" program. (I need a last hurrah. I'm from the land of Mardi Gras, after all.)

Last January, Sheri Larsen (link) challenged some writer-friends (me included) to make a 2012 "Rebel Writer's Pledge." (It wasn't called a resolution, but, yeah, it was the same thing.)

I pledged to take my writing career more seriously. To treat it like a business.

One year ago, I'd written four books and had three works in progress (WIPs). I had an agent who was sending my book Rouge (link) to publishers, I had The Truth About Faking (link) waiting in the wings to be subbed next.

By outward appearances, I was taking my writing career seriously. Right?

Actually, I was being passive. I was letting other people make the big decisions for me. I wasn't doing my own homework. I wasn't researching how the marketplace was changing or reading the "weather report" of what was coming.

In 2012, Fifty Shades of Grey changed everything. Some argue Hugh Howie really changed everything... From where I'm sitting, I think the two can be rolled into one big change: Traditional publishers lost their domination of the marketplace.

I haven't read FSoG. I know I'm the last person on the planet, and I could give you a whole bunch of reasons why... I'm a slow reader. There are so many books I really want to read. Honestly, I just don't care enough about it.

When my former, Big 6 publisher bought Rouge, however, I kept hearing how "in this post-Fifty Shades of Grey reading environment..." I seriously needed to consider making big changes to my book. As in big, sexy changes. And lots of them.

I disagreed.
Get me

We had a friendly rapport, but we disagreed about several things, and ultimately when I asked to be released from my contract pre-publication, they agreed to let me go.

Several months before, I had parted ways with my agent.

September changed everything for me. I self-published The Truth About Faking not expecting much to happen. Every traditional publisher passed on it. One said it was "too Christian" for their imprint.

I don't write Christian books, but TTAF is a story about characters living in a small town, some of whom have religious beliefs about which they feel strongly... I just think that's reality.

Anyway, in two months, it sold five thousand copies. At this point, it's sold more than 10K.

Rouge is not Christian. It's dark, and terrible stuff happens. It's about survival and being brave and making hard choices. Choices I probably couldn't make. I'd like to think I could make them, but I don't know.

It's sold less than 500 copies. Maybe my old publisher was right, and I should've made it erotica. Sex sells, right? Maybe it's just a slow starter, and the buzz is still building for it.

I don't know.

What I do know is it's mine, and I can take my time with it. Decide what to focus on next, and keep my stories true to the way they come to me.

So here we are, going into 2013, I've got four big things on tap:

#1-I've agreed to work with literary agent Eric Myers on my YA science fiction novel 21 Days. He'll be subbing it starting this month.

#2-I'm finishing up revisions to The Truth About Letting Go and plan to release it in February.

Get me
Letting Go is a companion novel to Faking. I started writing it in 2010 and never finished it. But after several requests for a sequel to Faking, I pulled it out of the drawer. Early feedback is very positive, and I'm excited to share it with you guys!

#3-Amazon has taken over their Breakthrough Novel Award competition. I'm going to enter. Let me know if you're doing the same, and we can cheer each other along!

#4-I'll be finishing the sequel to Rouge. My goal is to have it out in May.

So there you go. Not resolutions, necessarily. More of me taking this writing career seriously.

What are you guys doing? Making resolutions? Pledges? Maybe just planning like me?

Whatever you do, here's wishing you all the best of luck in 2013, reader- and writer-friends! Have a super week and an even better year~ <3

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Destined to be a Hit!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with family and friends! Today's special post is part of the blog tour for writer-friend Ali Cross (link)!

Tour stops
Her new book Destined (link) has just come out, and not only is it gorgeous, it sounds amazing. And at as a special treat, you can enter to win all three books in the trilogy and all kinds of cool swag below.

In the meantime, here's the scoop on Destined:

Get me today!
Choosing is a bad idea, because Desi always makes the wrong choice, and sometimes there are no do-overs. Certainly not this time, when all has been lost and Desi can’t even save herself, let alone her friends. For Desi, the hardest thing is letting someone help her, to accept their sacrifice on her\behalf. But that’s exactly what she’ll have to do in order to save the worlds from Helena’s destruction.

The goddess of Helheimer, long imprisoned by Desi’s father, Loki, is free at last, and she’s bent on reclaiming what once was hers. The nine worlds will be drawn into war, over Hell, over Earth, with innocent humans as meaningless collateral.

While Michael and the Gardians of Asgard, along with the golden-armored Valkyrie, lead the battle for freedom, it’s Desi who holds the destiny of all the worlds in her hands.

Can she set aside her doubts, once and for all, and claim the gifts that are hers to bear? Can she accept the sacrifice that is made for her and Become all that she was created to be?

Her final choice will define not only her future, but the fate of humankind, forever more.

One word: Wow!
the lovely Ali Cross

Get it at Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Ali Cross is the sensei of the Writer's Dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles. <3

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Supa Holiday Event

Merry Christmas Eve! Today is also my mom's birthday, so Happy Birthday, Mom!

Christmas 2012 feels very special to me. 2011 was filled with uncertainty for our little clan. We'd just relocated, we were traveling last year... my writer-life was in flux.

Everything changed this year! And it's crazy and fun and scary, and it feels like 2013 is going to be even more interesting. Here's wishing everyone finishes on a happy note. I mean, we're all still here, after all!

The lovely Michelle Muto (link) has organized a special Supa Holiday Sale featuring 51 books by bestselling authors. It's for everyone unwrapping e-readers, and it runs through Dec. 31!

So without further ado, I'll turn it over to the event. And have a fantastic holiday week, reader- and writer-friends! <3

With the stress of the holidays nearly over, now is a great time to sit back, curl up in your favorite reading chair, and get lost in fabulous new worlds. To help you do just that, some authors have banded together and put all their titles on sale, right NOW!! Some of this season’s most popular e-books have been discounted to just $0.99!!! Don’t miss out!

For all of you who got new Kindles for Christmas, this is the perfect opportunity to start your new library!! Please spread the word and share this post with all your friends – they’ll thank you for it!

Heather Hildenbrand
::Across The Galaxy::
RaShelle Workman
::Blood and Snow Volumes 1-4::
Michelle Muto
::Don’t Fear The Reaper::
Stacey Wallace Benefiel
::Zellie Wells Trilogy::
Christie Rich
::Five - Elmental Book 1(FREE)::
::Dark Matter Book2::
Laura A.H. Elliot
::Transfer Student::
Karen Amanda Hooper
::Grasping At Eternity::
David James
::Light Of The Moon (Legend of the Dreamer, Book 1)::
Leigh Talbert Moore
Helen Boswell
V.J. Chambers
::Trembling (Jason & Azazel #2)::
V.J. Chambers
::Tortured (Jason & Azazel #3)::
Elizabeth Sharp
::Natural Selection::
Leigh Talbert Moore
::The Truth About Faking::
Taryn Browning
::Dark Seeker (Seeker Book 1)::
B&N Link
Heather Self
::The One::
L.P. Dover
::Forever Fae::
Nancy Straight
::Blood Debt (Touched Book 1)::
Nancy Straight
::Meeting Destiny::
Chelsea Fine
::Anew (Archers of Avalon, Book 1)::
Raine Thomas
Alyssa Rose Ivy
::Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1)::
Magan Vernon
::How To Date An Alien::
Janine Caldwell
Courtney Cole
::Soul Kissed::
Karli Rush
::Crescent Bound (Book 1)::
Jennifer Snyder
::Marked (Marked Duology 1)::
Shelly Crane
Bethany Lopez
::xoxoxo (Stories About Melissa, Book 2)
Jill Cooper
::The Dream Slayer (Book 1)::
Jill Cooper
::Demon Royale (The Dream Slayer Book 2)::
A.M. Hargrove
::Determinant (The Guardians of Vesturon #3)::
Bonnie R. Paulson
::Barely Alive (Barely Alive #1)::
Bonnie R. Paulson
::Falling Apart (Barely Alive #2)::
Bonnie R. Paulson
::Mostly Dead (Barely Alive #3)
Addison Moore
::Ephemeral (The Countenance #1)
C.A. Kunz
::The Modified::
Addison Moore
::Ethereal (Celestra Series #1)::
Addison Moore
::Tremble (Celestra Series #2)
Sarah M Ross
::Echo Of An Earth Angel::
Sarah M Ross
Amy Maurer Jones
::Soul Quest (Soul Quest Trilogy #1)::
Amy Maurer Jones
::Wildflower (Wildflower Series #1)::
Thomas Amo
::Forever ME::
Amy Harmon
::Slow Dance In Purgatory::
Cheri Lasota
::Artemis Rising::
G.P. Ching
::The Soulkeepers::
G.P. Ching
Mina J. Moore
::A Vampire’s Touch (Prequel to The Red Velvet Trilogy)::
LK Gardner-Griffie
::Misfit McCabe (Book 1)::
M.R. Polish
::Wolf Spell::