Monday, March 25, 2013

Giveaway Winners and an ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hey you guys! We have some winners for the EDGE OF THE FALLS giveaways!

Michelle Cavanauagh: Tote and prize pack
Renee Davison: Sabah's bracelet
Tawney Bland: Tote and prize pack

And critiques:
Krystal M.--20 page crit
Jessica C--Query crit
Eliza T. Query crit.

Please email me at to claim your prizes!

And the announcement: we'll be running a workshop here on the blog in the next few weeks. So stop by next week for details!!! :)


Friday, March 22, 2013

Cover Reveal! Library Jumpers

Ahhh!! Who doesn't love cover reveals? *raises hand* I freely admit that I judge books by their covers. It's what first attracts me to a book...and even guys now that I think about it...But hey, then you read on and find out if that book or lovely boy toy is right for you!

And here we are, the cover reveal of Brenda Drake's Library Jumpers, which will be published by Month9Books February 2014. Keep an eye out for the blurb in the next coming months!

Not only is today Brenda's cover reveal but her birthday! A big Happy Birthday to Brenda!! :)


Definitely a pretty cover. Always cool when there is a kickass chick with a sword on the cover!

What do you all think?


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Death of the Printed Books?

       Everyone has seen a post or two where someone has made something quiet cool out of a large stack of books. I find them kind of ironic considering how popular ebooks tend to be now. Even more ironic is that the odd are, the person who clicked the like button on these posts is likely to buy primarily ebooks right now.

       So where does that leave us? Will the paper printed book end up becoming an antique and be joked about on facebook questioning if anyone remembers what they are? I don’t think so.

       As popular as ebooks have become, and they are, I really don’t think the printed books will every truly leave us. For one thing, ebooks are primarily read on ereaders like the Nook, Kindle, and iPad, and not everyone can afford one. If they can afford them, can they afford one for everyone in their family? Not very likely. At least not any time soon.

       So in my personal opinion, everyone who loves the way a printed book feels and smells in their hands, I don’t think there is any problem. Your favorite books store should still have plenty of worm infested pages just waiting for someone to pick them up and give them a good home.

      What do you guys think?


Monday, March 18, 2013

In Which N~ gets ranty.

Can we talk for a minute? And be serious?
I don't usually get ranty--I'm all about spreading the love and good books--but I need to say this.
I have had it up to here with the entitled attitudes.
Look, most of you aren't the problem. Most of you get it. But for the few bad apples that are souring the pie for the rest of us? Here we go:
Get over yourself.
No one--not an agent you query, not a contest organizer or a slush reader or ANYONE else--owes you anything. I get it. You worked hard on your book. You wrote a pretty masterpiece and your ready to be published. I so get it.
I've been there. I was there seven times. Seven books, folks. You want a rough guesstimate on how many queries I sent out, overall? 500.
You want to guess how many of those rejections made me send an angry email to the agent? 0. ZERO. NONE.
Same goes for contests. I was a participant. I made it into some, I didn't in others. I DID NOT accuse the organizers of being bigots or assholes or clique. I learned what I could from the critique and I worked hard.
Writing a book doesn't guarantee you a book deal or an agent. Entering a contest doesn't mean you'll win. You want those things, you need to do two things. And because I'm a nice lady, I'm gonna tell you what they are:
1. Write a kickass story and work hard on it. Revise it until you think you can't revise anymore, until you can quote whole chapters, and then you know what? Revise that b*tch again.
2. Play nice with others. This industry? Super small sandbox, folks. So if you are a dick in public, just once, ranting about agents being assholes, or contest organizers being bigots or whatever the hell you feel the need to rant about? Someone will remember. LOTS of someone's. So here's a free tidbit--when you've type up an emotional pissy response to someone? Send it to your CP. Or your MIL. Or, hell, send it to yourself. DO NOT send it to someone you want to work with as a professional.
People. You are not unique and deserving of special treatment. You do not get to skip to the head of the line--you get to work through the same process as the rest of us. And SINCE you do--it might be nice if you didn't leave everyone around you thinking helping you is worse than being dropped in a pit full of snakes and scorpions.
Ok. Ranty rant over. Just needed to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review of Love All Book #1

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan wasn’t very lucky at love. In sophomore year, her idiotic boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker. Ouch! Now a senior, and with a little more self-confidence, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two guys at school. Lucky! Both attend her tennis matches, vie for her attention, and are each gorgeous in their own way. So what’s the problem? Meg has already chosen one of them, and the one waiting in the sidelines will do anything to change her mind. She’s enjoys the attention right up until it’s her heart that’s caught in the middle, and she risks losing both. Can Meg Love All, or will choosing be her undoing?

My Take:

I don't usually read novellas so this was a refreshing and quick read. I found it a tad hard to relate to Meg and her personal situation between boyfriend and old crush but that could have just been a personal thing. Overall, I think Hashway has a really great voice (loved it!) and I'm a sucker for sports movies and books. I think pacing is something one has to be very careful with in a novella. It's so short that we need a sort of climactic moment as well as a resolution. I think Hashway wrapped it up pretty neatly and really followed an interesting plot arc in this small amount of space. Oh and the boys definitely sound swoon worthy!


3.3 out of 5


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Edge of the Falls release party!

Today is the release day of Edge of the Falls *cue flailing* There will be a lot of giveaways going on this week, but I wanted to do something special for y'all here. We have two giveaways--and you can enter both!--with a variety of prizes. Spread the word, tweet, ect, ect. And feel free to stop by my twitter today--I'll be doing spontaneous giveaways all day! :) a Rafflecopter giveaway And for you writers--buying Edge o the Falls is not mandatory, but it will get you twice as many entries. Good luck, everyone! a Rafflecopter giveaway Final note--there will be more tote bags coming later in a reviewer appreciation giveaway! :) So make sure you post reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Simply Smart Writing

            Of all the things about my new job I dislike, it’s the meeting with the higher executives that irks me the most. It’s not their attitude or anything. In fact they’re really nice people. It’s more about how they confuse things all the time. The first meeting I was in, I was introduced to everyone, and my first initial thought as I sat down to begin was that there might really only be one brain amongst them.
            Then one of them decided to speak and prove it.
            He asked me to explain what was going on with the project and where I saw it going, but…and he raised his right index finger to stress this very thing, he wanted me to explain to everyone in a high concept way.
            Ug, groan…yep another idiot who needed everything spoon-fed. It wasn’t a waste of time for me though. It made me realize that a lot of people don’t really understand what High Concept is. Some think it’s about dumbing down our writing so that even a 4th grader can read it. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but that’s not what High Concept is all about. We’re not supposed to dumb anything down. In fact, publishers want great and intelligent writing that they can be proud of.
            So what is High Concept? Simple.
            Was that too easy of an answer? Sorry. High Concept is about the idea behind the story. The simpler it is, the better. It’s also why most publishers want a log line. If they can’t understand the concept in one sentence, it’s too complicated and too risky for publishing (with exceptions of course).  
            Has anyone else ever notice this misunderstanding?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Indie Insights: Support Networks

Oh, my gosh. You guys. Edge of the Falls will be on SALE this time next week.

Which is crazy and terrifying and so many other emotions, I'm just gonna pull a Damon and turn off my emotions for a bit.

So today, I'm gonna talk about support. There are a lot of ways to do self-publishing. Some say HIRE IT ALL OUT. Some say, SCREW THAT, DO IT YOURSELF!

I will admit, I'm in between. I didn't hire a publicist. I didn't hire someone to plan a blog tour. I didn't hire a formatter or web designer.

But I didn't do this alone. I honestly don't think I COULD do it alone. I'm a control freak, and like knowing everything that's going on. But I like having help. With al the things I just listed, I had a good idea on what to do, or I had friends who could help me.


Here's the thing--I have an amazing support network. From the bloggers who took a chance on me and agreed to participate in the blog tour, to my CPs who talked me down from the 'OMG, this was an awful idea' ledge more times than I care to think about, to family who has been spreading the word and coming up with ideas and providing the financial backing to actually make this happen--all of it has been essential.

Writing is a single person thing. No one can hold your hand through the first draft. After you get CP feedback, no one can edit your book but you.

And--if you are an indie author--no one controls your career but you.

But that doesn't mean your alone. Look around at the relationships you've created with beta readers and CPs, or people you interact with on Twitter. These are people who care about you and your success. Should you run to them and be like, "I'm self-publishing, DO THIS!" No. Of course not.

 But if you announce something like that, I think you'd be surprised at the number of people who would be thrilled to support you--in their particular way. Let them. Embrace your tribe, your team, and leave the lonely part for the next draft.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The First Page

Hello Lovelies,

The First Page, or as most agents consider it, the first 250 words are tricky. We as writers usually hear one of two things.

1) Throw us into the action. The story needs to truly begin (not later 50 pages in).

2) Let us get to know the character, don't just throw us into the action willy nilly.

It seems like both of these pieces of advice are at odds with one other. Either we need more action or less, but with this action we can lose our character.

Here's the deal. We need to care about a character before anything else, but that's not to say we can't open with some action. Things need to get moving.

Here's what I believe a first page needs:

1) We need to get to know the character.

2) We need to establish some sort of conflict (doesn't have to be the main one) It can be as small as "Omg I'm going to finally ask my crush out today." But we need something to make the reader want to read on.

3) Somehow we must marry the two.

Here's an example from my own story, IT'S COOP NOT CUPID. It's certainly not perfect, but I think I establish those two things in the opening.

We know that Alex has been into this guy since first grade. We also establish that she has a little brother .
We also know she talks to herself and isn't afraid of loud colors.

Now, in terms of conflict. She's asking out this crush.

I can do this. Sam is just a guy, I told myself, fiercely. A really hot and out of your league guy, a voice in the back of my mind reminded me as I walked down the wet sidewalk. Rain pelted my face. I groaned, trying to angle my hot pink umbrella against the wind. 
The memory of the first time I’d ever laid eyes on Sam entered my mind. Sure, we were six, and he merely shared his animal crackers with me, but in first grade that was a date. Of course, first grade isn’t eleventh grade.
My cell buzzed in my dress pocket. I glanced at the caller ID. Crap. It was Mom.
“Yeah,” I answered.
“Sweetie, I have to work a double-shift tonight and I need you to pick up Cody from that birthday party. Can you do that?”
I swallowed. Great. Now, I had a time limit for asking Sam out.
“Yeah, I’ll do it.” I hung up and felt the urge to vomit.
The butterflies just wouldn’t leave my stomach. Still, they had good reason for taking up residence in my belly. Although, at the moment it felt like they’d made their way up to my throat.
I sighed, and stopped walking. I was here. I gazed into the cafĂ©’s window where Sam worked. Rain slid down the windowpane as I watched him mix a plump woman’s coffee.  He smiled sweetly at her as she tipped him. 

There will always be more things that go into making a first page shine, but I truly believe it's a balancing act between a little  bit of conflict and letting us get to know the character. We need to care, otherwise why read on?

What do you guys think?


Friday, March 1, 2013

Studying Humans

Every morning when I get to work, the first thought in my head is that I need a caffeine iv. Just hook me up and let me say java java repeatedly. Luckily, or not so much depending how you look at it, the corporate tech building I work in has it’s own Starbucks just down the hallway.

There is another interesting little benefit for going on a sugary goodness caffeine run and that’s the fact that while I’m there, I can do what I call ‘studying humans’. Don’t know if any one here knows it, but people do the funniest and strangest things when they think no one is looking. So what I like to do while waiting in line for my coffee is to watch people. I like to see how they interact with one another. See their smile turn to glee after a raunchy joke was just told, or watching a spoiled brat get upset when they’re coffee doesn’t come right away. Most of all I love seeing the employee’s reaction to it all.

This is a benefit that I think all writers could use. It’ll help when writing our character interactions and keep things from feeling forced. The last thing anyone wants to read is a fairly well written book with characters that to react differently then the way they should.

Plus, sometimes when I’m watching people, I’ll meet someone so interesting, I have to create them as a character.

Anyone else ever experience this?