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Archive for February, 2011

Phew, it’s been a month, that’s for sure. Between snowstorms, writing, sick kids, book launch, and well, writing (LOL), things have been absolutely crazy. My first YA book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters has been doing really good.

I even got fan mail (woohoo). It’s nice to hear that people are enjoying it.

On the writing front, I’m still hacking away at my story TFGF (that’s its codename—hehehe). Only a select few actually know what it stands for. Right now, I’m about 10 chapters from saying finished! So that’s ¾ of the way done. As I write a chapter, I post it to my crit group, so edits will be fast. I’m hoping to have it sent out to betas no later than mid-march. The plot has taken some surprising turns, which I’m enjoying. And thanks to the fabulous Rhonda Stapleton’s crit on my first 3 chapters, I think I’ll add another chapter at the beginning, as well as do some more fleshing out of characters. She also gave me a cool idea for another added element that I can’t wait to play with (rubs hands together like a fiend).

I’m odd and actually enjoy edits, so I look forward to going back through and getting it cleaned up.

On the reading front, I finished reading The Hollow by Jessica Verday. It was an okay read. The front half was kind of slow, but once I got further in, I really enjoyed it. This morning, I started reading Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (the last book in the fever series). I’m so excited to finally have this one to read!

Tonight is Vampire Diaries, so I doubt I’ll get anything done other than watching the hotness that is Ian Somerhalder smolder on the screen (LOL). It’s one of my favorite shows, which brings me to the next topic. THE SECRET CIRCLE (OMG). My favorite book series as a teen is coming to TV (squeeeee). CW has already okayed the pilot, and according to EW Britt Robertson is being cast as Cassie (the MC). So excited, I can’t even explain it. I’m VERY eager to see who they’ll cast as Adam and Nick. Here’s hoping that the CW keeps the entire coven of witches. They all had such huge roles to play in the books, and I can’t imagine any of them missing from the cast. But we’ll see how they handle things.

 

I hope everyone else is doing great. And thank you to everyone who purchased/read/won my book! I’ve absolutely LOVED sharing my story with you. Don’t worry, I promise, there will be more to come. Have a book contract in the works (hopefully will receive it any day now) for a different YA series. Then of course, once I finish TFGF and have it back from betas/edits, I’ll be sending that one out to agents. Totally geeked about it.

So that about does it with the updates! Until next time…

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Tell us a little something about your book and what genre it is?
I’ll give you the official blurb in a moment, but as for what genre, it’s a Young Adult fantasy novel.

Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he¹s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn¹t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she¹s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.

When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.
What character(s) do you like the most and why?
In general, I like characters who have a story behind them. Most of the characters I write always appear fine on the surface, but have a lot of layers underneath. They are never consistently one emotion. They all have fears and dreams. I like characters who have a lot of little details all adding up to a wonderful whole. It makes them feel real and relatable. I like feeling what they feel. Some of my favorites: Eddie Dean from Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series, Mark Diamond and Bobby Pendragon from D.J. MacHale’s “Pendragon” series, Cammie Morgan from Ally Carter’s “Gallagher Girl” series, and probably the entire cast of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”. This isn’t even all of them. I’m sure I’m leaving a lot of characters out. These are just the most fresh because they’re from books I’ve read recently.
 

What are your favorite books? And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer?

I can’t say there was one book in particular that made me want to become a writer. It was just something that happened naturally at a young age. I guess because I have a vivid imagination and no other outlet for it. As for some of my favorite books:

Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling

The Stand/The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King

The Last Aprentice Series – Joseph Delaney

The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins

Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norell – Susanna Clarke

The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

Gramercy Park – Paula Cohen

Animorphs Series – K. A. Applegate

and so many more….
What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing?

My writing gloves. They keep my hands warm while I type. I get cold easily. I also have a writing checklist which keeps me organized while I work. I take it with me everywhere, so I can add and take away from it as needed. Otherwise I need a nice quiet space so I can focus. I’m easy to please.

Reality or Fantasy?

Fantasy. I write best in a fantasy world, though I can do some reality. I like the idea of anything being possible.

Your favorite snack?

I’m currently addicted to Caramel Corn.

Lastly, what’s your favorite season?

Anything that isn’t winter? I can’t say I have an all time favorite season. So long as it’s not -10 like it usually is where I’m at, I’m a happy camper!

Make sure to check out J.F. Jenkins blog for a chance to win a copy of her book!

Her book is now available through Astraea Press!

Thanks so much J.F. for stopping by… 


 

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Hey everyone, I’ll be blogging at Totally 4 YA today. Tackling the subject of books turned movies/TV shows. So drop on by and say hi!

And thanks to all of you who have been hanging out here lately! Been having fun getting to know you…

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Photo Credit manicmorff at morguefile.com

“Hey, watch it nerd.” Greg Weathers rammed his shoulder into my arm, knocking the books from my hands.

“God, he’s such a jerk.” My narrowed eyes followed him down the hallway.

“Here, let me help you.” Stephen shoved his glasses up his nose and bent to get my textbooks.

“Some days, I just wish everyone would disappear,” I said with a frown.

Stephen tweaked a strand of my blonde hair. “Everyone?”

Behind the oversized glasses, a pair of cobalt blue eyes stared back. His shaggy dark hair needed to be cut, but his perfect smile made my heartbeat slug my chest like a boxer pummeling a punching bag.

“Everyone, but you.”

His hand brushed mine as he gave me back my things, a flare of heat shot up my arm. “Do you mean that, Serena?” he whispered.

My gaze flicked to Greg Weathers, who stood propped against his locker with Lindsay Decker pressed against him. Hard to believe he and I dated over the summer. Now he made my life a living hell, all because I wouldn’t do it in his parents’ boat. I was supposed to be popular. But Greg wrecked me. And every day, I had to come to this crap hole called school, only to endure the stupid rumors he spread.

“Serena?” Stephen said, nudging my shoulder with his.

“Yeah, I mean it. I wish you and I were the only people left on earth.”

*****

With a yawn, I rolled out of bed. The sun streamed through my window like a large Broadway spotlight. It warmed my skin, and I smiled. Quick shower. Breakfast. Then off to hell, or school as Mom and Dad like to call it.

Silence stretched throughout the house, and I glanced at my clock. Almost 10:00 pm. Crap. I whipped the door of my room open. The battery must’ve died. But why hadn’t my parents or little brother got me up?

“Mom. Dad?” I hollered, making my way through the house. When I got to the kitchen, they weren’t there. In fact, last night’s dishes were still in the sink. The coffee pot was off, which made no sense since my parents practically needed IVs of caffeine to get around in the mornings.

This had to be some kind of joke. I hurried to my parents’ bedroom. On top of their bed, rumpled, were their clothes. Laid out like they’d disappeared right out of them.

I backed out of the room then ventured into my brother Caleb’s. He wasn’t there. Only a pair of pajamas lay in his spot, still covered beneath the blankets. Panic clutched tight to my throat, constricting it until I couldn’t breathe.

This wasn’t happening. No. Flipping. Way. I’m dreaming, I repeated several times. My legs trembled beneath me as I made my way to the front of the house. I jerked the outside door open and stepped onto the porch.

Dew clung to the grass like tears as I looked around in horror. There were no cars driving in the street. No kids at bus stops. There weren’t even any birds or animals about.

I stepped from the porch, cool cement kissed the bottoms of my feet. Piles of clothes littered two driveways of my neighbors.

“Hello?” I yelled. No one answered.

God, what happened? Maybe Armageddon? Then why am I still alive?

I turned to go back inside, when I heard someone call my name.

“Serena!”

“Stephen.”

He covered the distance between us in several strides, and clutched me to his chest. Gone were his glasses, his feigned nerdiness. In his place stood a tall, confident guy.

“What’s going on?” My voice squeaked.

“You made the wish, Serena. And I granted it.” He pulled back, his eyes held me in place.

“A wi—wish?”

“You said you wished that we were the only people left on earth. So I granted it for you. My love.”

Thanks for dropping by: Make sure to check out some of my fellow YAFF members’ stories too!

Miranda Buchanan

Traci Kenworth

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First of all, I want to say how awesome it was to have Kim Bowman as a guest yesterday. She’s a FABULOUS lady!!! It was fun getting to see some new faces as well.

I ended up choosing (randomly) 2 winners since we had quite a few commenters for an ebook of My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters.

Ciara Knight

Jennifer Fischetto

I’ll email it over shortly. Thanks again to everyone who stopped in! Great to have you!!

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I had the pleasure of sitting down (er…emailing) with the ever lovely Kim Bowman for an interview. Kim’s first book Wayward Soul has just released with Astraea Press and promises to be an excellent read!

And to celebrate the release of Kim’s book, I’ll give away a copy of my own book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters to one lucky commenter! Make sure to leave your email address in the post. Now, without further adieu, here’s Kim…

1.How does it feel to be a first time author?

I keep pinching my husband to see if I’m dreaming…He assures me I’m NOT dreaming (though I think he just wants me to stop pinching him!)

  

2.Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

  

I live in Indiana with my husband and 2 of our 4 kids (2 are at college). My kids are 23, 21, 19, and 2! Needless to say, the 2 year old was a BIG surprise. I work at home part time as a customer service representative, book editor, and writer (thanks to my wonderful husband who works too much so I can stay home)

Did you always want to be an author?

In a word – YES! I have books of poems, songs, stories, etc. that I have written since I was in grade school, but I never pursued it until I had my son in 2008.

  

3.How did you find Astraea Press? I’m in a writing critique group with one of the co-owners, Stephanie Taylor (who is awesome by the way). She posted on our group that she was starting Astraea Press and I submitted my book.

  

4.What can the readers expect from your work?

Oh boy! Fun and sarcasm (my hero is VERY sarcastic). Aside from that, my story is original and unique. Yes, I have one of the usual paranormal characters—a werewolf, but I added a totally different paranormal element by having my heroine be a spirit guide. I don’t think that’s been done before. It’s a twist that I think will intrigue and interest readers and, hopefully, make them want more.

  

5.Tell us a little bit about your book.

My heroine, Zanna Seoul, is a spirit guide. A spirit guide is an invisible force who watches over a human, called a charge, while the person lives on Earth. Zanna accidentally causes the death of a fellow spirit guide’s charge while trying to save the life of the man she loves. Because of her actions, she is stripped of her position and banished to Earth to die. With Zanna no longer guiding him and his memory of her erased, Owen Nash is left wide open as the target of the vengeful spirit guide who feels he’s been wronged. A guide who also happens to be a werewolf. Once on Earth, Zanna refuses to stand by and watch Owen die, so she intervenes again, setting off a chain of events that could mean death for all of them if she doesn’t go back and undo the mess she’s made.

6.Would you give us your links so we can find you on the web?

 

Sure! They can visit me at

www.kimbowmanauthor.blogspot.com

7.We’d love to read an excerpt.

He looked at her like she was crazy, mouth agape.

She waved her hand in front of his face. “Owen, the road.”

He jerked his eyes back to the road and began to chuckle. This woman had just told him he should be dead; it was either laugh or cry. Next he started to laugh. A few hours ago, he thought his biggest problem was that he had picked up a crazy at the bar and now she knew where he lived. And yet somehow, he was willingly driving her around town, either chasing after or being chased by a werewolf.

A werewolf. He broke into loud guffaws. If what she said was true, she had been watching over him his whole life, seen everything he had ever done, and she still chose to get romantically involved with him—she was crazy. 

 “What’s so funny?”

He wiped the tears from his eyes. “Spirit guide. That’s a good one. Are we going to chant and cast spells? Maybe dance naked in the moonlight? No wonder it cost so much to call the psychic hotline. You people really are in a different area code. The spirit side.”

  

Tell us how your book came into existence:

:    I knew I wanted to write a paranormal romance, but I wanted it to be original and unique to me. I believe we have unseen forces that guide and protect us. Call them guardian angels, spirit guides, luck, fate…it all amounts to the same thing. I’m a huge Sylvia Browne fan and she has a very special relationship with her spirit guide, so I thought why not use a spirit guide as the basis for my story. I added my own twist and Zanna was born.

  

Tell us about your writing routine:

HAHA! That’s a good one. My routine revolves around my two-year-old, Cage, who has radar when it comes to mommy’s evil computer. Even if he’s in bed, he knows when I set down to write. I generally can get about an hour’s worth of writing done first thing in the morning while he’s getting his Mickey Mouse fix. After that, it’s 5 minutes here, ten minutes there.

  

What inspires you? Not really inspires, but I have to give my husband, Tony, and sister, Michele, their due here – they support me so much!  Now, as far as inspires – my crit group inspires me to challenge myself and make my story better. I HAVE to give a big shout-out to The Sunset Pixies: Stephanie Taylor, Bridget Lashbrook, Morgana Katz, Tedi-Lea DeBruler, Ludvica Boota, Sandra Gonzalez, Renee Silvana, Ashley Christman, Chelle Sandell, Courtney Hilton. It is so awesome to have people who understand this crazy writing world!!

  

How do you get through writer’s block? My imagination runs to wild I never suffer from writer’s block. My biggest issue is description and detail. I could write a whole story in a week, but then adding the detail is the killer.

  

Do you have any themes you write around? What if? That’s my theme. What if this happened, what if that happened…oh the possibilities.

  

What are you working on next? I am working on the sequel to Wayward Soul. I’m really excited about this story. It has a twist you won’t believe!! (LOL – a little quirk of mine – I know how the book is going to end before I write it) I’m also working on a story that is about ½ written which is tentatively titled Phantom Heart. It is about a heart transplant patient who…well, you’ll have to wait and see!

  

What character(s) do you like the most and why?

I love Owen. Initially, Owen wasn’t supposed to be my hero. He was just going to be a way to create a believable conflict between my heroine (Zanna) and my intended hero-turned villain (Jakub). But sarcastic Owen had other ideas. He’s the whole reason I decided to write a sequel.

  

What are your favorite books? Anything by Judith McNaught. I love them all and have read them all so much I know them by heart. Also, anything by Johanna Lindsey, David Baldacci, Dean Koonz, Jude Devareaux, Brenda Joyce, Stephanie Taylor (yes, that StephanieJ), and last but not least Stephen King.

  

And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer

I always wanted to write, but when I read Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game I made it my mission to write that kind of suspense and emotion. It’s a book that needs to be required in every creative writing class. He basically takes one character and builds this heartfelt story that chills you to the bone. I would LOVE to see a movie made, but I think it would be impossible for any actress to capture Jessie’s emotion on screen.

 

What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing? COKE!!!

  

Reality or Fantasy?

Not to be cheesy, but I’m trying to be honest here. My reality is a fantasy. Perfect – no. Fantasy – yes. I’m married to my best friend, I get to stay home with my son, and I get to write!! Who could ask for more (HUGE GRIN).

  

Your favorite snack? Reece’s white chocolate peanut butter cups.

  

Lastly, what’s your favorite season?

SUMMER (okay, my answer could have something to do with the fact that I’ve been snowed in for THREE days.) Seriously, I love summer. It gets my destructive, busy-body, two-year-old son outside. 
 
 
And Kim has offered another excerpt for you to enjoy:
 
She reached out to pull the door closed and saw a flash of brown. It happened so fast she didn’t have a chance to react. The werewolf sunk its teeth into her arm.

“Owen!” She kicked out at Jakub and tried to pull free, to go back out the driver’s door.

“Let go of her.” Owen grabbed her with one arm, trying to pull her away from the vicious beast, while he rammed his fist repeatedly into the nose and jaw of the lycan.

It was no use. The werewolf sunk its razor sharp teeth in to the bone, pinching a nerve, causing her whole body to convulse and spasm. Her arm felt like someone took a knife and cut it open from her shoulder to her wrist then poured rubbing alcohol in the wound. Stars exploded in front of her eyes. She knew she was screaming, but she could only feel uncomfortable tingling in her ears.

Someone behind her tried to jerk her free of the lycan’s hold. Owen? There was a popping noise and then the smell of burning sulfur. The werewolf yelped, but continued to shake and tug on her arm, pulling it away from her body, nearly jerking it out of the socket.

If the lycan hadn’t dragged her knife out the window she would have used it to cut off her arm to stop the torturous pain. She no longer had control over her convulsing body and just as her mind went blank, she had the fleeting thought; this must be what death feels like.

 
 Thanks so much Kim for dropping by! It was awesome having you! Make sure to check out Kim’s new release Wayward Soul it’s available from Astraea Press
 

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To celebrate the launch of her new book Wayward Soul, Kim Bowman is holding a BLOG SCAVENGER HUNT February 15, 2011.

RULES:

The contest will start at 9 a.m. EST at the Astraea Press blog  (Look in the comments below Kim’s interview for the first location then follow each blog after that). http://www.astraeapress.blogspot.com/. Every half hour (9:30, 10, 10:30, and so forth) Kim will post a comment letting you know which blog to visit next. You will visit a total of 10 different blogs through the day. YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT ON EVERY BLOG IN ORDER TO WIN!

There will be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winner!!

First Place will receive an ebook gift basket that will include a copy of Kim’s new release Wayward Soul as well as two other Astraea Press releases, Rebekah Purdy’s Seeking Shapeshifters and Bri Clark’s Familial Witch, the future Astraea Press release Spartan Heart by Kristine Cheney, Stephanie Taylor’s new release My One True Love, a hard copy of Sylvia Browne’s book Contacting Your Spirit Guide, and a $20 ecoupon to use for future purchases at http://astraeapress.com/!!

Second Place will receive 3 future Astraea Press ebook releases (Sucker for a Hot Rod by Joselyn Vaughn, Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J. F. Jenkins, and Therese Gilardi’s Matching Wits with Venus) , an ecopy of Kim’s book Wayward Soul, and a $10 ecoupon to use for future purchases at http://astraeapress.com/!!

Third Place will receive 3 future Astraea Press ebook releases (Vanessa Barger’s Into the Ether, Elaine Cantrell’s A New Dream, and Kay Springsteen’s Heartsight) and an ecopy of Kim’s book Wayward Soul.

Fourth Place will receive an ecopy of Kim’s new release Wayward Soul.

Check out the Astraea Press Books offered in the contests http://astraeapress.com/.

It’s going to be a ton of fun! I hope to see all of you!

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