Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Don't Let Them In ... Death Knocks

As Jay and Miranda explained it, their fanship of the "Black-Eyed Kids" phenomena back in 2011 led them to brainstorming and eventually collaborating on a book. I'm happy to help them celebrate their cover reveal.
Death Knocks is a Young Adult paranormal thriller about the strange global phenomenon known as the Black-Eyed Kids. Take a creepy and exciting ride in a world where myth meets reality.

Death Knocks is scheduled for publication on September 26, 2014 by Quixotic Publishing

Death Knocks Blurb:

Who knew a knock at the door could rupture your entire world? They don’t demand money or possessions…they want much more than that, they want your life.

Maverick is preparing for senior year: he’s no longer stuck in the “friend-zone” with the girl of his dreams, he’s looking forward to choosing the right college and being on his own, and he plans to have a blast along the way.

But a knock on the door changes all of that forever.

Maverick begins a mind-altering, life-changing journey to discover the truth—a truth that certain individuals will do anything to keep hidden.

Death Knocks Book Trailer

Important Links:  

Monday, July 7, 2014

I've Been Blitzed & Ten Things Every Writer Should Do

Thanks to D.L. Hammons, I was blitzed on the IWSG post day, last Wednesday. I've been working down the list of people who were kind enough to visit, but haven't completed that task as yet. 

Meantime, I'd like to thank D.L. for that honour and say thanks also to those who offered encouragement. I took away some important lessons from my fellow writers and have listed them below. These are things we know, but often forget while rubbernecking on the other side of the fence.

  1. Take time out to appreciate where I am on my writing journey. Like the Desiderata says, stop comparing myself with others. Who wants to run the risk of becoming vain and bitter? Not me!
  2. Evaluate how much I've accomplished and celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small. 
  3. Use other people's success as a source of inspiration, but take time to produce quality work at my own pace. Readers like talking about good books. Make each one the best it can be, no matter how long it takes to write and produce. 
  4. Success is measured in different ways. Remember what's important to me - best-seller list or making a lasting impact through a good story. I'd choose the latter. 
  5. Resist the urge to compete or compare myself with other people, since I don't have a clue what another writer is experiencing. One writer shared a great quote - Look in the mirror, there's your competition. 
  6. Since half the year has passed, it's a great time to assess what goals I've accomplished. 
  7. Since writing is not a rush to get books to market, after assessing where I am, I should reassess where I am and set tangible and realistic goals. 
  8. Sometimes I forget that my experience is not unique. I should remember I am not alone on this journey and that I have the support of wonderful writers, who can help in a variety of ways. I only need to ask for assistance. 
  9. Be courageous. Try new and different marketing strategies. That's the wonderful thing about being independent. If one strategy doesn't work, I can try something else. There's nothing wrong with trial and error, many inventions came about through that route. 
  10. Don't give in to insecurity. Send it packing when it comes calling. A pity party (no matter how short) is a waste of time that can be used constructively.

And a bonus. The grass will always look greener on the other side of the fence. If I want mine to be just as green, I should do the work, get to watering. The results will come in due time if I stay true to myself and what I want to accomplish as a writer.

See? Stuff we all know but tend to forget. Thanks for visiting and if I take a little while to get back to you, don't worry. I'll have limited internet access, but I'm on my way. Thanks for your friendship and support.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG and One Writer's Insecurity

Today is the Insecure Writer’s Support Group posting day. It’s time to release our fears to the world or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click here and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Try to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your encouragement will be appreciated.

Alex’s co-hosts for today are Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson. Be sure to drop by their blogs and express your thanks. Now on to my insecurity…

While browsing through books on Amazon a couple of days ago, I thought I'd have a look at what another author was doing because people who read my books also buy hers, so they're listed together on the display pages.

I discovered something curious. Currently, I have about a dozen books on the market. When I had half that number published, the other author had even less. It seems that in a very short time this industrious author has published twice the number of books that I now have on sale. Can you say envious?

After I got over that shock, I wondered, well, what exactly have I been doing? After drawing unkind comparisons—thinking I'm such a waster, I slowed down long enough to realize this person is writing full time. Still, it boggled my mind that this writer was able to produce all of those books in such a short time and guess what? She's doing a lot better than I am in terms of sales and has tons of reviews on some books. Curiouser and Curiouser.

A quick analysis told me that she'd been brave enough to give away some of her books, and it has obviously worked for her. Me? I'm wary of the people who rush to grab free books, any books, and then complain that it wasn't what they expected. I have more than 350 reviews on the book I've made perma-free and let me tell you, if I hadn't stopped reading the cutting and demeaning reviews, I'd have given up writing by now.

After I realized how smart this particular author has been, I stopped raking myself over the coals. I've had a demanding full-time job, which I've left so I can do more writing. The irony is, I'm doing more writing, but not in the fiction department, so I still haven't achieved my goal, but I am grateful that I am able to do what I love.

Am I frustrated that I can't spend more time writing fiction?
Will I continue to go at a pace with which I'm comfortable?
Will I continue to write for the love of it?

The answer to all those questions is yes, but you know what? We're all on a different journey and there's a quote I like that speaks to the pressure we  put on ourselves - Too many people undervalue what they are and overvalue what they're not.

Do you do this?

On another note, the winner of the Rafflecopter giveaway is Michelle Wallace! She won three books in the Island Adventure Series. Congrats, Michelle! I'll be in touch. In celebration of the release of Taming Celeste, I’ve made the books in this series 0.99 each for a limited time. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kidnapping, Murder & Software Piracy

Kidnapping, murder and software piracy … a recipe for disaster with love as the main ingredient.

After the shooting and the hospital stay…

She faced the room. Mark's house reeked of sterility, as if he'd told some craftsman to build a set of furniture to specification and then forgot to stamp his personality on his home.
The place was too neat, as if nobody lived there. She shrugged, thinking that he had just moved in, which could be why the house had the character of an empty fridge.
Mark came in then, carrying a tray that held two cups.
She sniffed the air. "Coffee. Lovely."
"You're having tea," he said.
"You're on medication."
"Fine then, but you know I hate the stuff."
"It won't kill you." He patted the bed. "Here. Sit."
She drank the insipid liquid, and then shoved the cup at him. "All done. Thanks."
He placed the empty cups on the chest-of-drawers and ambled toward the bathroom, pulling his tee-shirt over his head. "Time for your shower."
"So why are you taking your clothes off?"
Shirt dangling from his hand, he said, "You're going to need help. How do you plan to wash your hair with one hand?"
"I'll manage."
Akimbo, he frowned. "Don't be difficult. You need me."
He slung the shirt over his shoulder, leaving his chest bare. Her gaze edged downward to where the hairs curled on his skin and arrowed toward his groin. His black shorts stopped mid-thigh, leaving his sturdy legs exposed. Did he really expect her to get in the shower with him?
Perusal over, she met his eyes.
He grinned, which irritated her.
With a narrow-eyed glare, she warned him to watch his words.
Tipping his head to one side, he laughed. "I know you can't be thinking about taking advantage of me."

Purchase Links:  Amazon US   Amazon UK   Smashwords

Enter the giveaway for the other books in the Island Romance Series. One lucky reader will win three (3) eBooks from the Island Adventure Series. Please feel free to share this post however you like, even if you don't read romance and adventure.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today is the release day for Taming Celeste as well as my birthday. Yup, gave myself a present. Thanks so much for dropping in. Please feel free to enter the giveaway and share about it using the buttons below. Wanna know more about this story and where it takes place? Have a look at the Xantrope Daily Clarion.