Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Writing Update: April Goals


Happy Wednesday!

A while back, I mentioned I was going to the doctor about my wrist. Well, a couple weeks ago, I had a nerve conduction study. It's confirmed I do have carpal tunnel. The good news is it's mild and hasn't caused any permanent nerve damage yet. My day job is working to make my work space more ergonomic. I also discovered I have osteoarthritis, which accounts for my joint/back pain. Because of these problems, there will be times that I'll have to go slower on my writing/editing and have already removed Destined (The Fate Challenges 3) off my 2015 goals list.

As for the progress on my March goals, I've been pushing through the pain to get things done. I finished editing my friend's novel (It was so good, and I think people will enjoy it!). As for Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection, I completed the content edits, line edits, and Kindle proofread. Starting today, I'll be formatting the collection for print. I haven't made much progress in writing "On Day 168," but I'm still hoping to finish it by the end of March or early April.

Here are my April goals:
  • Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection - I have the print proofread, incorporating changes in the print and ebook documents, final formatting, and publishing. This collection will be published in April.
  • Once upon a Nightmare Blog Tour - A few people inquired about promoting the collection. I plan to create a promo post with options for them. Also, I am going ahead with the you-choose-your-horror-ending type blog tour. My goal is to write up the story and find hosts (I have a list of those who have said they'd be interested in helping out). You'll see the blog tour sometime in May.
  • Revamp the Blog - A while ago, I decided my author tagline should be "Feeding your inner bookworm." I've been meaning to change the blog to reflect my tagline, but I haven't quite gotten around to it yet. A lot of the images I want to create involve drawing them too. If I want to get them done at some point, then I have to add them to my to-do list.
  • Marked - If time, I want to get back to writing Marked (The Fate Challenges 1.5).
If you're interested in helping promote Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection (paranormal horror/thriller; approx. 46,000 words) or review it and haven't already told me so, please let me know. I must admit I'm so proud of the progress I've made with this collection and am so happy I decided to create a second edition and republish it. I've added over 8,000 words to it since January and think the stories are now told the way they should've been all along.

What are your goals for April?

2015 Stats (1/1/2015-3/24/2015): 14,131 words written and 811 pages edited

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Falling for #SpecFic: A Date with the Lady from Christine Rains' Of Blood and Sorrow / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 21

THE LADY
“Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.” C. Day Lewis


You'll wake in the morning to the wonderful smell of waffles and coffee. The Lady will greet you with smiles as she sings along with the radio and serve you a breakfast fit for royalty. She's a lovely young woman with a love of life and a 1950s fashion sense.

But don't linger in the kitchen, no matter your appetite. Just before noon, you might notice she has aged ten to twenty years. Run now. You don't want to see The Lady in her midday form. She's at once beautiful and terrifying, radiating golden light. This is when she's most powerful and the least tolerant of those who vex her.

Before the sun sets, she takes on her final form: a white-haired old woman that doesn't always make sense when she speaks. There is wisdom hidden in her words, and maybe you'll spy a plate of brownies left on the kitchen counter. She'll shuffle off to retire for the night and sleep as if she does not exist.

Favorite line from The Lady: “I do like that demon. It’s a pity he won’t come into my house. It’s not like I bite the heads off my mates anymore.”

Tidbit from the author: The Lady was inspired by the Slavic myth of Pscipolnitsa, the Lady Midday. She could be a young girl, a beautiful woman in white, or an old hag. She would bring heatstroke at noon to workers in the field and sometimes madness.

Erin Driscol works the perfect job consoling fellow demons by feeding off their grief at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home.

When fledgling vampire Nicolas Reese comes to Erin for help, she learns the truth behind the legends and hides him from his sire and the vampire hunters who seek him. But when the Putzkammers begin to die one by one, Erin is caught between her act of kindness and the need to save her adopted family. Only by facing her own personal demons can she stop the slaughter and still rescue Nicolas from his dark fate.

Add it to read on Goodreads.

Purchase on Amazon / Kobo / Nook / Smashwords

About the author:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published. Of Blood and Sorrow series is her first urban fantasy novel.

Please visit her website and blog.

You can also find Christine on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Read Chapter Twenty-One here or click here to start from the beginning.


Untethered Realms hosts #SpecFicChat on Third Fridays on Twitter.

Next chat begins March 20, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. GMT/12:00 p.m. EDT
Topic: Build a better hero/heroine.
Use #SpecFicChat to join the conversation any time.
The chat is ongoing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bookworm News


BOOKS READ

The Locksmith by Susan Kaye Quinn
The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn

BOOK REVIEWS

The Locksmith by Susan Kaye Quinn
Zeph's world of mindjackers unlocks in Susan Kaye Quinn's The Locksmith. This short novella grabbed my attention from page one. Having read Open Minds set in the same universe, I loved delving into a new aspect in the world of mindreaders and mindjackers. It's easy to relate to Zeph. He's unique and different and yet he longs to be normal... just like everyone else. The tension ramps up throughout the story, and the ending brought tears to my eyes. I was as choked up as Zeph. I recommend reading Open Minds before this story because of spoilers, although this one is a standalone tale. The Locksmith by Susan Kaye Quinn is a must read and a great addition to her Mindjack universe.

The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn
Elijah Brighton longs to ascend to something better in Susan Kaye Quinn's The Legacy Human. This novel has a glimmer of The Hunger Games to it with a dystopian world, haves (Ascenders) and have nots (regular humans), and a highly competitive and dangerous games (Creative Olympics), but Quinn transcends the story from the familiar to the extraordinary. There is more to Eli, the artist and main character, than even he realizes. He's brave and compassionate, prone to jealousy and anger, and wants more than anything to save his mother from the disease that's killing her--that can be cured with ascenders' gen tech but denied to her because she's human. The friendship and love of family Eli has adds to the tension of the story. The stakes are high. This story is so intense I felt I couldn't get a proper breath. This novel seeps into a person's subconscious. Quinn's futuristic world feels real. The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn will stick with you after you finish reading and leave you pondering the question of technology and what makes up our humanity. I'm looking forward to the next book!

INTERVIEW AND REVIEW

Christine Rains' geeky erotica novella is out. It's the first in the Dice and Debauchery series, and it's a fun, sexy read. I asked Christine, "If you could live in any geekdom, which one would it be and why?"

Christine says, "And if I could live in any geekdom, you know where I'd live: The Harry Potter World! The magic and wonder in every day life as a wizard or witch. To be able to go to school in a castle! A castle that is a character itself. I'd want to get to know every nook and cranny of Hogwarts. (I will refrain from rattling on how much I love that world! *LOL*)"

Who wouldn't want to live in Harry Potter's world after all? I know I would love to, as long as I'm a witch. Muggles are so boring.

I gave Loose Corset five out of five stars. Here's my review: Morgan's online role-playing game life comes to a head against reality in Christine Rains' Loose Corset. The strength in this novella lies with the characters. Morgan is smart and beautiful yet insecure and comes across as very real. Gorgeous Dean is a very sexy match for her, and yet I worried their real life obligations would get in the way of their budding desires. I laughed so many times at the geeky jokes Rains has sprinkled throughout. For erotica, the sex was steamy and inventive, but the plot was really what drew me in. I had to know what would happen to Morgan and Dean. Loose Corset by Christine Rains is a fun, steamy affair that'll titillate the geek in all of us.

Geek girl Morgan Reid has been to many conventions, but none that had her wishing it would never end.

Dressed as their characters from the online game Steampunk Quest, Morgan and her best friend meet the other players for the first time in real life. Morgan's attraction to the gorgeous Dean Bradley is immediate, making it difficult to breathe in her tight corset. Even after a few dice shattering orgasms, she doesn't believe this can be anything more than a con fling. But Dean is making her feel things she's only read about in books. Can Morgan let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall completely for the perfect geek guy?

Purchase links: Amazon / Nook / Ellora's Cave / Kobo

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. Please visit her website and blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
PROMO AND COVER REVEAL


SPOILER ALERT! THE FOLLOWING BOOK DESCRIPTION CONTAINS SPOILERS OF CARBON COPY AND TIN ROOF!

Silver Lining is the much anticipated conclusion to the Carbon Copy trilogy. Silver Lining picks up where Tin Roof, the sequel to Carbon Copy, leaves off. Lilly Allen and Grier Garrison are bound for Scotland and their new lives at Castle Garrison on the Isle of Skye. Lilly and Grier, now the new Marquess of Garrison, plan their lavish wedding which will make Lilly a marchioness! But first, Grier wants to rescue all the clones and bring them to the safety and freedom of his castle and tenant farms.

Silver Lining is full of surprises and new discoveries. Before they can even leave for Scotland, Grier’s father, Dr. Michael Garrison, drops a bomb which could keep Grier and Lilly apart. Before this is resolved, Lilly sneaks in a few passionate kisses with her beloved cameraman, Joe. Lilly is tormented with indecision between the two loves of her life—Grier and Joe. Who will she choose?


The companion book to the Carbon Copy Trilogy from Luke’s point of view
Coming soon from Wild Child Publishing
What if someone cloned you? And then abducted you twenty five years later? In Luke’s Lithium, handsome Luke Allen, a witty, yet shy trust brat, volunteers at the FDNY with his firefighting comrades. Luke has it all, except for love. Abducted by Create Life Technologies, along with 5000 others, Luke learns the shocking truth behind their cloning research and their evil intentions. But the loss of his freedom comes with a silver lining, he falls for beautiful Gretchen, another abducted Create Life Clone. Luke’s Lithium is full of surprises, new romances, rescues and a switcheroo. But will Luke and Gretchen ever be free of Create Life?

Luke’s Lithium is the much anticipated companion book/spin off of my Carbon Copy Trilogy, written from Luke Allen’s point of view. Luke is the twin brother of Lilly Allen, the heroine in the Carbon Copy Trilogy. Luke’s story covers the time frame of all three books in the trilogy, Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, and Silver Lining. 

Terri Talley Venters received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She lives on the water in Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and their two sons.

Carbon Copy is the 1st thrilling novel in the Elements of Mystery Series. The title of each novel will contain an element from the Periodic Table of Elements.  Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, Silver Lining, and Copper Cauldron are available from Wild Child Publishing. And Terri’s romantic/suspense novel, Body of Gold, is available from Freya’s Bower. Luke’s Lithium & Sulfur Springs—The Fountain of Youth are coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. Terri recently finished writing Cobalt Cauldron and Europium Gem Mine and is currently writing Calcium Cauldron.

For more about Terri’s upcoming releases, including purchase links and social media links, please visit her website http://www.elementsofmystery.com/ Terri is the daughter of Leslie S. Talley, author of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone which are also available from Wild Child Publishing.

Terri also posts free short stories on her blog website and blog. Follow her at http://www.territalleyventers.blogspot.com/as she weaves her way through the Periodic Table of Elements.

BOOKS RELEASED IN MARCH

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
In Wilderness by Diane Thomas
Repeat by Neal Pollack
The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly
The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg
Prairie Fire by E.K. Johnston
Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran
Of Blood and Sorrow by Christine Rains
Quest of the Artisan by Donna Hosie
Hunted by Liz Long
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately by Daniel Lubetzky
Love and Other Ways of Dying by Michael Paterniti
Stuffocation by James Wallman
Never Argue with a Dead Person by Thomas John
The Great Divide by Thomas Fleming
Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp
One Hundred Thirty Stars by Shelley Sly
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
Dark Screams: Volume Two by Robert R. McCammon, Richard Matheson
Cost of Life by Joshua Corin
The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff
The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn
The One That Got Away by Simon Wood
Terminal by Kathy Reichs
The Lost Herondale by Cassandra Clare
Red by Alyxandra Harvey
Sacrifice of Greatest Price by Cyndi Tefft
Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone
Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale
#Player by Cambria Hebert
Ugly Young Thing by Jennifer Jaynes
The Night Crew by Brian Haig
Critical Vulnerability by Melissa F. Miller
Skewed by Ann McAneny
Key Witness by Sandra Bolton
Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#IWSG: That Horrible M-word / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 20

IWSG was created by the Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the other participants, click here.
Today I'm talking about that dreaded, horrible M-word: Marketing.

I don't feel like I know what to do about marketing. I'm often afraid to mention my books on social media because I don't want people thinking I'm spamming them. I might put up a post saying I have a new book out, but that's it. Unfortunately, that doesn't really help with sales. In April, I plan to republish my paranormal horror collection Once upon a Nightmare. I want the book to do well, and I think it's really awesome, but when I think of marketing, I freeze. What should I do? How can I market the collection?

Novels are easier to market because people read novels more. Once upon a Nightmare consists of a novelette, a novella, and a short story all featuring the same monster and is around 45,000 words in length. I considered a standard blog tour and do feel like they're useful to get the word out, but I want something different, unique.

A reviews tour? Maybe. Reviews are really hard to find for collections. I've considered creating a MailChimp newsletter for people who would like to read and review my books. Publishers do that, but I haven't come across authors who have them. I have to find some way to garner reviews because without reviews, a book sinks quickly into the abyss. If anyone wants to read and review, let me know. I'd be more than happy to send an e-copy.

Then, I had an idea. What if I wrote a choose your own adventure horror story? Horror is all about the choices characters make. Those choices can kill a character or make the person the lone survivor. So that's what I'm considering doing. Sometime in May or early June, I'd like to have a blog tour of the choose your own adventure horror story featuring the monster from Once upon a Nightmare. The posts will be short (probably 300 words or fewer). The beginning will start on my blog, and then I'll have a blogger for each choice. Their blogs will have two choices that will send people to the next blog for the story. I don't know how many bloggers I'd need yet (got to figure out the story first), but I think it could be fun and different. I don't have signups yet, but I will soon.

Perhaps thinking outside the box a little bit with marketing can help. Maybe. *shrugs*

Do you like marketing? Any tips?

By the way, Sunday, March 8th is my birthday. I'll be turning thirty-three. I like repeating numbers, but I was a little depressed while reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which said, "At that time Frodo was still in his tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three." I don't think I'm ready to get out of my tween years. *laughs*

Read Chapter Twenty here or click here to start from the beginning.