Thursday, January 31, 2013

Housekeeping & TOE cover

First, the housekeeping matters, because I hate housekeeping. So let's get them out of the way first...

#1-One last newsletter signup plug! (I know, all you lovelies who've already signed up are going, "UH-gain?")

But if you're just seeing this for the first time, it's only for new release announcements. And for things like when I change the Rouge cover (see over there  --->)

#2-The Truth About Letting Go is on Goodreads (link)! If you would, please add it to your "TBR" pile! Click here.

AND if you sign up for my newsletter, you'll get to see the gorgeous cover designed by my great writer-friend Allie Brennan (link) of B Design (link) before everyone else.

So there's that.

Now for TOE cover! (I know, what???)

Acronyms for book titles can be so hilarious. My great writer-friend Jessica Bell (link) has a wonderful book called Bitter Like Orange Peel.

I absolutely love that title. But that's a lot of letters to type, so when we email about it, it becomes BLOP. (LOL!)

Same with my great writer-friend Magan Vernon (link), who has a hot, fun contemporary romance coming out called The Only Exception. Or TOE.

Here's the description...

Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber-conservative governor son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.

And here's the gorgeous cover...

Add me on Goodreads!

I know! Wha-Whaaat?! Isn't that nice? I love it!

The Only Exception will be out April 9, but you can add it to your Goodreads TBR by clicking here (link).

And catch up with Magan on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

That's it! Have a great weekend, reader- and writer-friends~ <3

Monday, January 28, 2013

Me on Publishing and Some Cover Love

[Note: I've got a short post over on the Indelibles blog (link) today. But it's not about me! It's about my good writer-friend Ali Cross and her new Writer's Dojo! Check it out~]

Now for this post... Because lord knows, we all need another opinion on what's happening in publishing.

Get me!
I stumbled into self-publishing with a little book the traditional guys all rejected (The Truth About Faking, link), and had a shockingly good experience.

Then I followed it up with a book the traditional guys wanted (Rouge, link), and had what I think is the typical self-publishing experience.

So I don't consider myself expert on all this. (If you want an expert, see my good writer-friend Susan Quinn, link). But I listen a lot. And I observe a lot. And I tend to be excessively analytical at times.

Some observers have noted that self-publishing seems to be the new query letter. I think there's validity in that argument.

I disagree with observers who think traditional publishing is going away. When I interviewed Tammara Webber here last summer (link), she made a great point: Traditional publishers haven't been doing this for as long as they have to not know what they're doing. (I paraphrased--she said it better. LOL!)

Gigantic bookstores are probably going away, which is a little scary. But if it means smaller bookstores will begin to thrive, I like it. I just hope they'll be open to indies...

When I was offered my traditional ebook only deal Spring 2012, it was identical to a "nice" traditional print deal. Now, advances and royalty rates coming off of indie sales are way more writer-friendly.

You even have successful indies like Hugh Howey or Coleen Hoover keeping their ebook rights altogether and signing traditional print-only deals. (Which I say is brilliant!)

I do know a ton of writer-friends are embracing self-publishing, and it's lost almost all of its former stigma. Even with once-anti-self-publishing curmudgeons like myself.

When I put TTAF out there, I thought of it like a little paper boat floating down this fast-moving stream, rounding curves, hitting rapids, wobbling, and I was just standing on the bank watching it, holding my breath, waiting to see if it would stay afloat.

That's kind of how I feel about what's going on in publishing right now. We're in a hugely transitional time in the business, and I don't think anybody can predict what will happen next. I think it's good to stay flexible, try different things, do what works for you, and hold on!

And good luck to all my writer-friends, traditional, indie, or some weird hybrid mix like me. I'd love to hear what you guys think!

Now, bring on the covers!

First, my great Indelible writer-friend G.P. Ching (link) has a gorgeous new installment coming in her Soulkeepers series (#4). I agreed to share the word on it--and just look at the cover (below)...

Soul Catcher, Soulkeepers #4 description:

Add me!
Dane Michaels has been to Hell and back and isn't interested in repeating the experience. But as a human caught up in the Soulkeeper's world, his life isn't exactly his own. 

No one can explain why Dane was allowed through the gates of Eden, but it's changed everything. Now, the only one who can make him feel safe is Ethan, the telekinetic Soulkeeper with a dark past and a heart of gold.

When Malini asks Dane to be part of a mission to find the last Soulkeeper, Cheveyo, more than one team member thinks she's tempting Fate. But Malini suspects Fate has had a hand in Dane's life for some time and that he could be the key to unraveling Lucifer's latest plan of attack.

Add it on Goodreads (link)!

Finally, the ebook version of Rouge (link) has a new look. You can see it on the sidebar and below.

Get me!
I'm also highlighting the romantic suspense and coming of age elements of the story more to reader-friends.

What do you think?

[Note: The original cover will remain on the print version of Rouge (link), so don't despair fans of that look.]

My brilliant cover-designer and writer-friend Jolene Perry (link) had the idea for this new one, and since she's my covergirl, we're giving it a go, trying something new for fun!

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends~ <3

Monday, January 21, 2013

Updates & The Forgotten Ones

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr., day, friends!

[NOTE: Please check out my interview and giveaway on Literary Rambles (link)! I forgot to post the link before I left... #d'oh!]

I'm in Chicago today (freezing my buns off) meeting with my great writer friend Jolene Perry (link). Jolene writes the best contemporary romances--check out her website for a great read (link)!

Very exciting.

I'm also hitting the revision cave hard for the next two weeks finishing up final edits on The Truth About Letting Go, the companion to The Truth About Faking (link). It's due out mid-February, so I might be a bit absentee until then.

In the meantime, remember to sign up for my newsletter below to get new release announcements when they happen! (I promise no spam.)


New bloggy friend Laura Howard (link) is spreading the word about her new book. See at the bottom how you can win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Title: The Forgotten Ones
Author: Laura Howard
Genre: NA Paranormal Fantasy Romance
Expected release date: May 15, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Cover Designer: Stephanie Mooney 

Book Description:

Allison O'Malley just graduated from college. Her life's plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn't have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more.

When Allison's long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.

Share on Facebook and/or Twitter and you could win a $50 Amazon (or B&N) Gift card!

Hooray for Laura! And have a great week, reader- and writer-friends~ <3

Friday, January 18, 2013

Get Your FREE Samples Here...

Love a good love story?
Want to get lost in a great fantasy read or historical romp?
Enjoy mindbending futuristic tales?  

We have a sampler for you...

Four amazing samplers! FREE!

Best-selling books. Best-selling authors.

Contemporary - Science-fiction - Historical - Fantasy

But this isn’t all about us. 
This is about you, the reader, finding books you love to read.

Just click on the pictures for your free download!

Thanks! And enjoy! <3

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Introducing... Allie B!!! (and a Tight Knit giveaway)

It's a special-post day, reader-friends featuring my new cover designer, Allie Brennan (link). She's just released her debut novel, Tight Knit (link), and is having a huge giveaway to celebrate.

Tight Knit (link) is a contemporary "new adult" novel I was lucky enough to beta, and it is so, so good--heartbreaking and heartwarming and swoony romance...

But I'll stop hogging the spot and let Allie take over now~

LEIGH! YAY, I’ve never been on your blog before! I mean, I read it, but I’ve never been on this side! I like what you’ve done with the place! SO how have you been? (LTM: Not bad. Kinda busy with the new book as you know...)

Oh wait, I’m here for a reason, aren’t I? (LTM: Yes, you!) Ah, yes. Me. I’m here to talk about me. Well let’s just get at it then!

When I decided to commit to this writing game, everyone thought I was crazy. And I mean everyone... Including me.

But here I am a few years later with a shiny copy of my debut novel, Tight Knit (link). Most people still think I'm crazy, but what I think is crazy is the amazing response I'm getting to a story that is so close to my heart.

To show my appreciation I am traveling the blogs of a few of my biggest supporters, cheerleaders, reality-check-givers and midnight email responders to give away my book!


Talia Gregory relies on her Nan for everything, especially helping her calm the anxiety that controls her life. But Nan gets sick, and it couldn’t be worse timing. Talia’s panic attacks are getting worse, her boyfriend is a jerk, her best friend is distant, her parents are more absent than usual and she’s stuck planning the Cozy Christmas Charity Drive for her knitting group in place of Nan. If that’s not panic inducing enough, enter Lachlan.

Lachlan McCreedy doesn’t rely on anyone. Not after what he’s been through. It’s him and Gram, nothing else matters but keeping his past buried, and his secrets hidden. So when Gram forces him to help with her Christmas sale, Talia is the last thing he expected, and trusting her with his secrets comes as a shock to both of them. But when he unexpectedly falls for her, the question becomes can he trust her with his heart?

~Mature YA~
I pretty much pounced on Leigh the first time I ‘met’ her on Twitter. (LTM: Aww, but I like pouncers. They remind me of Tigger.)

It was right around the time The Truth About Faking was being released and she and Jolene Perry (link) were in whirlwinds of conversations about the book at it’s stunning cover. Well, Jolene knows the best people so we’re now back at the pouncing part! (LTM: It's true. Love that JBP!)

Leigh was oh, so gracious about me weaseling my way into her life and to show how much I <3 that, I’m giving away a copy of one of her books this week along with a copy of Tight Knit (link) to TWO lucky commenters!

All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address, and two people will be chosen at random on Friday, January 18! 

[Note: Kindle only. My most sincere apologies! I'm Canadian, so Barnes and Noble won't let me buy books there... or sell them... I know, right!?] (LTM: B&N seriously needs to catch up.)

Stop by my blog (link) all this week to see behind the scenes of Tight Knit (link). Playlists, inspirations, processes, a couple signed paperbacks up for grabs AND a special surprise!
Allie is seriously a doll, and her book is great. I highly recommend it, reader- and writer-friends! Get your copy and have a super, reading weekend~ <3

Monday, January 14, 2013

Updates and Epicness

Before we get to the EPIC awesomeness, three quick updates!

1-For a limited time, Rouge is only $1.99 (link)!

If you still haven't gotten it, wait no more! If you liked or loved it, please spread the word and consider posting a short review on Amazon (link) and/or Goodreads (link). Those help us so much. Thanks!

2-The Truth About Letting Go is coming in February!

It's in final revisions, and I am so excited to share this one with you, reader-friends! If you'd like to help me with the pistol-shot cover reveal/it's LIVE release announcement, please email me (link) or leave a comment below with your email address!

3-Finally, sign up for my newsletter in the blank below. It's just for new release announcements or special sales. (No spam, I promise!)

Easy peasy!

Now for the EPIC...

Good bloggy friend Heather McCorkle (link) writes the most amazing fantasy books. I'm not a fantasy reader and I read her book To Ride a Puca (link) and I seriously enjoyed it!

She has a new book coming out next month, and I am thrilled to be a part of her cover reveal. If you like knights and ladies fair, dragons, and epic fantasy ... even if you don't (is that possible?), you should give her books a try.

So without further ado...

Add on Goodreads
The Dragon Empire by Heather McCorkle (Feb. 2013, Compass Press)

On Yacrana, dragons stand at the top of the evolutionary ladder instead of humans. Such an advanced species is not without its issues though. 

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist. 

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind. 

It's coming next month, so add it to your Goodreads list (link)!

And here's a little more about Heather and where you can find her:

I am an author of fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Living green, saving endangered species, helping other writers, and supporting fabulous authors are a few of my passions. I am also a volunteer for the IS Foundation which works to make the world a greener place. 
Heather McCorkle

When I'm not volunteering, writing, or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. 

No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me on my blog (link), and Monday nights on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat. Links to Heather:

Have a super week, reader- and writer-friends! I'm heading back into the revisions cave for a bit~ <3

Monday, January 7, 2013

Susie Q., the INTERVIEW!

UPDATE! Susan has just released the book trailer for Open Minds (link), which is 99 cents right now so get it (link)!

Anyway, the trailer was professionally shot at a high school in Manhattan, and it is superkewl. Check it out:

Everybody knows Dr. Susan Kaye Quinn (link), right? I met Sue after reading her young adult romance Life, Liberty, & Pursuit (link), which I loved!

Our heroine, Sue
At the time, we were sort-of secondary bloggy friends, but I asked if I could interview her about LL&P and she said sure!

Fast-forward to today, and Sue is on fire! She's just released Free Souls (link), the third and final book in her Mindjack series. I got to beta read it, and it is fantastic.

So I invited her to come back for a real interview this time. She said sure again! Y'all ready? Here we geaux~

LTM: Everyone knows you're a rocket scientist (because I tell them). In my mind that makes you the female MacGyver. Just how many things can be fixed with a paper clip and a piece of chewing gum wrapper?

The nemesis, MacGyver
SKQ: No idea. I can turn a wrench with the best of them, and sign me up if you’re actually blowing something up, lighting it on fire, or stress testing it until it explodes, but as far as working with found items…

You’d be better off with my 11 year old son (Wormburner), who not only can assemble furniture from IKEA (unassisted) but he can dual-boot your computer into Ubuntu (which sounds like Voodoo but is actually an operating system). He’s the one I want by my side when the lights go out in the apocalypse.

(She's trying to distract us with fake words like Ubuntu, but she really has MacGyver in her basement--locked in a trunk made entirely of rubber bands and gator clips.)

LTM: It's pure, disgusting brilliance how in the Mindjack books, when Kira jacks into people's minds, their brains are like jello and she detects a "mind scent." (Ew! ...and so creative!) I would say your mindscent is a mixture of peppermint, pinot noir, and Beryllium. Am I right? What's my mind scent?

SKQ: Beryllium! How did you know? And it’s merlot, not pinot noir, but I can understand the confusion. And wait… peppermint is the mindscent for the demens, people driven mad by the adolescent change into being a mindreader. What are you saying here?? (Uhh... what? *acts very busy*)

The goods (get me)
I asked jacker-revolutionary-leader Julian to dip into your mind and he says that your mindscent reminds him of Southern Sweet Tea mixed with cut grass. It took him a while to decide, so you might want to check and see if you have a sudden urge to do the monkey dance or kiss random strangers. Julian’s been known to mess with people’s heads.

(I don't cut grass or drink sweet tea, so when I start prancing around, kissing people... well, that just sounds like Mardi Gras!)

LTM: We haven't heard much from your son "Dark Omen" lately. I remember he had a big problem with all the kissing in your books. Has that changed? And if so, how do you feel about this?

SKQ: Dark Omen is now 14 years old, and still thinks that romance is a waste of good words in a novel. For which I am grateful, although I’m a little concerned about the prospect of grandchildren. I may have to rely on my 8 year old son, who already knows the secret to a great novel. “Every good story ends with a kiss, Mom.” He charms every female he meets; I’m in trouble with that one.

(D.O. cracks me up, and that little one is my kinda guy. When he goes missing, do not check my house.)

LTM: It's come to my attention you have a huge crush on Hugh Howey (link), the bestselling science-fiction author... 
POP QUIZ: You're having lunch with Hugh, and he drops a ketchup-laden French fry on the front of his white, button-down shirt. You immediately:
A-Order him to take off his shirt! So you can dip it in your ice water. To prevent staining. Yanno.
B-Order him to take off his shirt! you can keep it.
C-Order him to take off his shirt! Then bat your eyes and say, "Another fry, Hughey?"

SKQ: D-Denounce him as not-the-real-Hugh-Howey. Hugh wouldn’t eat a French fry. Have you seen him without his shirt?? Not that I have. I’ve just heard the rumors. *deletesfilesimmediately*

The love interest, Hughey
(I hunted high and low for that shirtless Hugh Howey pict, reader- and writer-friends. I suspect SKQ used her MacGyver skills to hide it from me... And D was not an option. So pop quiz fail.)

LTM: Try this hypothetical: You're on an airplane with MacGyver, (shirtless) Hugh Howey, and the pope with three parachutes and one backpack. Who do you "accidentally" give the backpack?

SKQ: Easy. I keep the backpack and cling to (shirtless) Hugh Howey for dear life. Poor me.

(I'll give you an A for creativity and for pretending MacGyver has escaped your underground lair.)

LTM: You've become the Steve Jobs of indie authors with your blog--"I have a post for that!" When you started writing your crazy-awesome advice and how-to posts, Jobs was still with us. He's now in hiding on that island in the south Pacific with Jim Morrison and Tupac. How does it feel to wield so much power?

The target, Jobs
SKQ: I think of Steve Jobs as a modern-day Nikola Tesla, without the crazy hair and love of pigeons, so any comparison there turns me into a giggling fangirl. Which is not very intimidating. Clearly, I need to develop an evil laugh so I can wield this power with appropriate style.

(You notice she side-stepped my question... more scientific subterfuge.)

LTM: Finally, you're working on a steampunk novel. Whenever I hear steampunk, I think of Sid Vicious with gas... (Okay, that's a lie. But it's funny.) I saw the Facebook picture of you wearing goggles. Have you also adopted a cockney accent? Do you fetch your groceries in the dirigible, love?

SKQ: Yes. I also throw knives, fight with swords, and tinker with steam-powered technology in my basement that will leave you with a hook for a hand, if you’re not careful. And I keep a corset stashed in my steamer trunk, just in case, but I prefer a good trenchcoat and jackboots. Easier to climb the dirigible with.

Our heroine, plotting...
(Which begs the question, is MacGyver wearing the corset?)

LTM: Seriously, what can we expect in this new book? Is it a series? Do you wear a really short plaid skirt while you write it?

SKQ: I would never wear a really short plaid skirt, unless it was at my husband’s request, in which case, we’re not leaving the house.

Third Daughter is an east-Indian-flavored steampunk fantasy romance. Besides a mouthful of genres, you can expect lots of lush costuming (Indian and steampunk) combined with high stakes adventuring, all twisted around a royal romance. I’ve pitched it as Leviathan goes to Bollywood, but here’s the one-liner:

The Third Daughter of the Queen wants to marry the charming courtesan she loves, but rumors of a new flying weapon force Aniri into accepting a peace-brokering marriage proposal from a barbarian prince—which she uses as a subterfuge to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.

The getaway vehicle (don't
grab the backpack).
I didn’t start out thinking Third Daughter would be a series, but I’m enjoying it enough that I could easily see this being my “romancy and retro tech” series of books. I’ll leave it to the readers to decide: if it’s popular, I’ll be happy to write more steampunk.

(Leviathan goes to Bollywood??? Sue is going to make me read steampunk. And I will love it...)

LTM: Finally (finally), an Analogy: steampunk is to short plaid skirts as Hugh Howey is to itchy sweaters. Discuss.

SKQ: Well, clearly, if they itch he should take them off. It’s only sensible. I’ll avert my eyes, I promise. I’m sorry, what was the question?

(It's okay. Just keep the dirigible in the air.)

Thanks so much for stopping in, Sue! And in case you've missed all the awesome this past year, here's your catch up:

Susan Kaye Quinn (link) is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Series (link), which includes three novels, three novellas, and a trailer. She's currently writing a steampunk fantasy romance, just for kicks. When that's out of her system, she has ambitious plans to embark on a series about the Singularity (the time when computers become more intelligent than humans) that should appeal to fans of the Mindjack novels. Or possibly play on Facebook all day. Could go either way.

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends~ <3

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Newsletters, Chaste & The Haunting Season

Digging out from being away for the holidays--I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, reader- and writer-friends... And I don't think it's a train! (Haha!)

Today, I hope to make it around to see what you guys have been doing. I miss you all very much! And in an effort to streamline some of my announcements, I've decided to do a newsletter.

In that little blank below, you can sign up. I'll send you a brief email if I'm doing a sale or releasing a new book... and trussst me, I don't plan to do it more than once a month, so no worries about tons of ME in your inbox!

Easy peasy, yes?

In other news, I've had TWO great writer friends release books in the last month, and I'm helping them spread the word.

The first is Angela Felstead (link), who many of you know already! Her new young adult romance Chaste (link) is a great story about... well, here's the blurb:

Get me!
When he steps into his physics class on the first day of senior year, Quinn Walker is too exhausted from staying up all night with his three-month-old nephew to deal with moral dilemmas. 

As a devout Mormon who has vowed to wait until marriage for sex, the last thing he needs is a very hot and very sexy Katarina Jackson as his physics partner. Regrettably, he has no choice.

Kat feels invisible in her mansion of a home six months after losing her older brother in a fatal car crash and will do anything to get her parents’ attention. 

Since her pastor father has no love for Quinn’s “fake” religion and her ex-boyfriend refuses to leave her alone, she makes an impulsive bet with her friends to seduce her holier-than-thou lab partner by Christmas.

Yeowza, yes? I've read it, and Chaste (link) is really great. Highly recommend!

Second is The Haunting Season (link) by a new bloggy friend Michelle Muto (link). It's a New Adult/Horror book that's recommended for readers 17+ ... and it looks FAB! Here's the blurb for it:

Get me!
Be careful what you let in…

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. 

Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead. 

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

Wow... I get chills just reading the blurb! In a great way!

Get it Amazon * B&N

And visit Michelle’s Amazon page to read about her other books!

That's it for me, reader- and writer-friends! Have a super weekend, and on Monday, I'll be "interviewing" the amazing Susan Kaye Quinn (link), so be sure and stop by for that!

Til next time~ <3