Present and accounted for…

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Have you ever had one of those years where Murphy’s Law seemed to be the primary force in existence?  One of those years where you actually found yourself pondering exactly which evil dictator you were in a previous life, just so you could understand what you’re being punished for?  One of those years where you constantly flashed back to Jack Nicholson saying stuff about everyone else being on a boat headed for an island, to have a picnic with noodle salad, and you wondered where the hell your own noodle salad was?  Yeah, it’s been one of those years.

Not that I want to get into (or even recall) any of it.  However, for those of you who have been wondering where I’ve been, please reference the above paragraph.

That said, I’m still alive, I’m not locked in a padded room, and I’ve only collected a couple of grey hairs along the way (screw you, universe).  Things are going so much better right now, so I am tentatively dipping one foot back into the neglected, stagnant waters of my blog.  I’m also getting back to writing, or at least editing (and so is my editor, yay!)  My second Fairytale Evolution book was supposed to be out ages ago (it even says so in the back of the first book), and yet… it’s not.  But it should be soon.  I’ll be posting more news on that in the near future.

And so here’s the part where I issue a big, heartfelt apology to those of you who absolutely hate it when an author you follow disappears for a while.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  And I’m sorry.  I can only tell you that I love writing to the depths of my soul, and I plan to do it for as long as I’m capable of it.  So if I’m not here, if I’m not writing, there’s a reason.

As I transition back into writing, I’m planning on keeping everything low-key so that I can focus my efforts on getting some books done.  You probably won’t see much of me on social media, or even on the blog.  I’m pretty sure that if you’re here and reading this, you’d rather I just shut up and write something, anyway.  So I’ll be doing that, and I’ll see you guys around.  🙂

Rambles + Jason and Lily Teaser #1

posted in: fiction, random, teasers | 6

It’s been such a great week!  The release of Eden went perfectly, without a hitch.  I can’t even begin to describe how much I enjoyed the Facebook party and the chance to hang out with some of you!  We had such a great time talking about E and random stuff.  There were so many laughs, and I really got to know some of you who have been quietly supporting my writing journey.  It’s so incredibly encouraging to hear your thoughts on my books and see how involved you are in the story!  E has grown to be so much more than just *my book*.  It’s become something that you are all a part of, and that is an amazing thing!

Now I suppose it’s time to move the focus from Eden to Jason and Lily.  As much as I love all my books, I have to say that this prequel holds a special place in my heart.  Out of all the books I’ve written, this is the one I’m the most excited about.  I cannot wait for you all to read it!

Jason and Lily tells the story you’ve all been dying to know.  And at the end of Eden, I think you’ll want to know it more than ever.  It’s only just over one month until the release, so we don’t have long to wait (though it seems like forever).  Mark your calendars for July 23rd.

In the meantime, the giveaway for Eden is still running (until June 20th), and you can still enter for a chance to win having a character in Book 4 named after you, and more!

Speaking of giveaways, I have something very, very special planned for the release of Jason and Lily.  It will be fans-only, so you’ll have to prove you’re a fan.  Don’t worry—it will be easy.  I just want to make sure that this prize is going to go to someone who will *love* it.  Because I love it.  So it must go to someone who *gets* it.  🙂  Anyway, more on that coming soon!

For now, here’s the first teaser for Jason and Lily:

 

plant-690077_1280

“I stood staring at it—the thing in my hand.  An orange, as round and fresh and vibrant as the sun.”

Happy Book Birthday, E!

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birthday-cake-380178_640One year ago today, E was sent out into the great big world to find its way.  A lot has happened in the past year.  I’ve learned so much, and I’ve made a lot of great new friends– authors, bloggers, fans– who have been on this book journey with me.  And yeah, my baby is growing up.  So, from it’s first, wobbly, awkward-cover steps a year ago….

dystopian novel

 

…to today, when it’s really starting to get around, but still small, still growing…

Cover of E

I’m proud of you, E.  Happy birthday, with all my love.

Eden Teaser #3 + some rambles

posted in: fiction, random, teasers | 2

whisper

They’ve put flowers and feathers in my hair.  Our faces and bodies are painted.  There’s a trail of scarves and dangling bits and billowy embellishments floating on the wind behind us.

 

Hey everyone!  It’s been a crazily busy week.  Still working hard to get everything ready for the release of EdenIn the meantime, the free promo of has been going great, and we had a lot of fun here celebrating Eden’s (the character, not the book) birthday (because that’s the kind of thing that crazy authors who are totally obsessed with their books do). It went something like this:

Me: It’s Eden’s birthday.  I want cake.

My family:  Um.  You know she’s a fictional character, right?

Me: She’s real to me.

My family: Sure.  Cake.  Yeah, um… cake.  (smiling and nodding as they usually do when I come up with nonsense)

A while later…

Me:  Where’s my cake?

My family:  You weren’t serious, were you?

Me:  It’s Eden’s birthday.  I must have cake.  And whiskey.  Eden likes whiskey.  I want cake and whiskey.

My family: (exchange uneasy glances)

And yet a while later…

cupcakes

Yeah.  Cupcakes, but no whiskey.  What’s up with that?  I guess they don’t really take me seriously.  Anyway, I apologize for not being a food blogger.  The cupcakes aren’t all super-pretty like lots of food photos I see, but omg they were GOOD.  The recipe came from The Lazy Vegan Baker.  We adapted Jenny’s Spring Celebration Cupcakes by putting chocolate pudding (vegan) on top instead of icing.  Because Eden likes chocolate.  :p  And I just have to say, if you like food (and I know you do), check out Jenny’s site and her fabulous cookbook.  Every recipe I’ve ever made from her site/book has come out to die for.

So that’s it for today.  I’m off to do some writing.  Hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday, wherever you are!

Nicola’s Chasing Freedom is #free right now!

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This is just a quick one to let you know about a free book from my author-friend Nicola S. Dorrington.  Chasing Freedom is free right now on Kindle, so grab your copy and enjoy.

Chasing Freedom cover

Chase Finn is being hunted, and if he ever stops running he’s going to end up dead.

It doesn’t matter that he’s only seventeen. It doesn’t matter that just a few weeks ago he was a normal teenager. All that matters is that he is a threat, and the Agents tracking him will stop at nothing to see him neutralised.

With the line between friends and enemies blurring, Chase discovers he is just a pawn in the middle of a war that’s lasted for centuries, but he isn’t going to let himself be used any longer.

Soon both sides of the war are going to learn that the most important thing about Chase Finn isn’t that he’s a werewolf, it’s that he’ll sacrifice everything, even his own freedom, for the people he loves.

I really enjoyed reading this book, which I have dubbed “Teen Wolf meets The X-men”.  Nicola is from the UK and does a fantastic job of bringing this adventure right into the streets of London.  So… werewolves, anyone?

A few little updates… progress, blurbs, reading, scrapbook

posted in: progress updates, random, reviews | 0

Hey everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted about anything other than reviews and interviews, so I thought it would be a good idea to check in and tell you all what I’ve been up to.  It’s just been crazily busy as always.

Progress on TMT

Firstly, I’m still working on editing TMT.  I’m about to start a rewrite of a chapter that I feel really needs to be fleshed out.  I also want to have another look at a new character, because I feel like he got a bit lost in the book, and that just won’t do.  So that’s big on my edit to-do list.

Blurb Hell

The other thing I’ve been working on is my blurb.  I have had all these amazing reviews pouring in, with lots of love for E.  However, a lot of people are saying “I didn’t think I was going to like this book.”  That tells me that I am not making a good first impression with potential readers.  I’ve had a lot of compliments on the cover, so that leads me to the blurb.  My blurb is just not telling people how awesome my story is.

Well, let’s face it:  blurb writing is hard!  Let’s take 100,000 words and boil it down to… oh… maybe 300, tops.  Sound like fun?  Hell no!  On top of that, add the fact that I am one of those people that thinks that stories should be read “blind”.  I think an author should reveal a story artistically, and part of the fun is in the careful, measured revelation of details.  At least, this is my favorite way of reading.  I read Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief  knowing absolutely nothing about it, and it was perfect.  Would knowing something have spoiled the story for me, at least a little bit?  Yeah, I think it would have.  Maybe that’s just me, but I find it hard to get my head out of this way of thinking.  And as far as blurbs go, that translates into difficulty.

So when I’m writing a blurb, everything feels like a spoiler.  When I wrote my first blurb, I was trying really hard not to give away too much, but perhaps that translated to inaccessible.  Ideally, I would have people read the first few paragraphs of my story.  I am almost tempted to just put the first scene as my blurb.  But lo and behold, I am still working on an alternative (much thanks and lots of love to my fellow Rock the Book chicks for all the excellent advice and feedback, and to my other half, for putting up with 500 crappy blurbs).  Hopefully, I will have something soon, and we’ll see how it goes.

Awesome Book

I also just wanted to share with you… I am reading this really awesome book called “The Dark Citadel” by Jane Dougherty.  I don’t have time to be reading, but I am snatching bits of this book whenever I can.  It’s a super-dark dystopian story.  I’m not going to say anything else, except it’s really good, and if you liked my book, you will probably like this one.  I am seriously loving it.  Go check it out on Goodreads.  I’ll be reviewing this book on Rock the Book soon.

Scrapbook Page

Last thing for today….  I have added a “Scrapbook” page to my site.  I thought it would be fun to keep an online scrapbook of my editorial reviews, artist spotlights, and things like that.  I have already posted a number of reviews on the page:  My Scrapbook.  As more reviews, articles, and so on come in, I’ll be asking my fabulous reviewers and authors for permission to include them, and I’ll post as many as I can to the page.  Links to the reviewer sites are built in, so you can go visit them and see what they’re up to.

OK, I think that’s it for today.  I have a ton to do, and never enough time to do it in, so off I go!

Read the first 2 1/2 chapters of E below:

 

How cool is this: A reader poem inspired by E!

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I just had to share this, because I thought it was so super-cool.  No one has ever written a poem inspired by my work before, so this must be a milestone or something, right?

Fellow author and screenwriter Samuel Patrick Jones said:  “I believe you are a very talented writer and have a unique vision. When I read something that sparks my interest, I always write a poem.”

(Which is just cool, anyway!)

Here’s the poem:

STRUCTURE
The blind man’s mark, the fool’s self chosen snare.
Found Fancy’s scum and drums of scattered thought.
Band of all evils and cradle of causeless care.
The webs of will, whose end is never wrought.
Desire, desire I have too dearly bought.
Who should my mind, to higher things prepare.
Yet in vanity, has my ruins sought.
In the maddest, to all things aspire.
In the kindest, all the smoky fire.
For virtue, has this a better lesson taught.
Within myself, to seek my only hire.
Desiring not, but how to kill desire.
In a trance, to our omnipotent God.
I stand near the ultimate consequence.
Before the beginning of years.
There came to the making of man.
Time, with a gift of tears.
Grief, with a glass that ran.
Pleasure, with pain for leaven.
Summer, with flowers that felt.
Remembrance, fallen from heaven.
And madness, risen from hell.
Strength, without hands to smite.
Love, that endures for a breath.
Night, as a shadow of light.
And life, a shadow of death.
He who bends to himself a joy.
Does the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses joy in fleeting.
Lives in eternities sunrise.

by Samuel Patrick Jones

(used with permission from the author)

Dinner conversation in a house of writers…

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So this is the kind of thing that regularly occurs in my family.  You know, between “Please pass the salt,” and “Mmm, tasty.  Is that a hint of oregano?”

Tonight…

Me:  I’m contemplating doing something evil.

My husband:  I say go for it.  The evil-er the better.

(We continue eating.)

A few minutes later…

My husband:  Wait.  In a story or in real life?