Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Amazing Things Happen With Amazing Challenges

So, Elana Johnson and I were chatting last Friday night (shocking, I know...we only chat every night!), talking about how overwhelmed we were feeling with our imposed and self-imposed deadlines and wanting to get strong word counts over the weekend. Well, our chat lead to challenging each other to some crazy word count goals, just to see if we could make it. Elana challenged me to write 15472 words, and I challenged her to writing 14935. I know, random numbers - but that was kinda the point.

We took our challenge to twitter and convinced mutual friend Dustin Hansen to join us at 10666 words, and Sarah Nicolas at 13194. Yea, more random numbers.

All totaled, we would hit over 54K for the weekend - or the length of some novels - if we hit our goals.

The weekend progressed as we all reported progress. Some days were 5K days, some were not. But as the weekend came to a close not only did we make our goals, but we all achieved even more successes...

  • Elana typed "the end" on a ms that has been haunting her for a while
  • I figured out the plot to my current monster, and passed to 50% mark with a clear goal for finishing
  • Dustin played around with a FABULOUS new MS I personally can't wait to read
  • And Sarah achieved more than she thought she could.

Yes, it was a weekend made of awesome.

And you know what....I intend to carry the same writing mojo through the week. 

What did you guys do this weekend?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Giveaway

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! To celebrate, I am giving away one copy of LACRIMOSA (Kindle, Nook or PDF) to a random commenter. All you need to do is "like" my Facebook fan page and leave a comment on that page -https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Fonseca-Author/226271671435
I will draw a random name on Monday.
In the meantime, Elana Johnson and I challenged each other to a crazy word count this weekend. Mine is 15, 472. Told ya it was crazy! Hers is 14935. Dustin Hansen decided to get in on the act too, with 10,666. Follow up on twitter for updates and cheer us on. If we all make our goals, that's over 40K this weekend. WOOT!!!

And stay tuned next week for some fabulous contests.

Have a great one!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Bookanista Booyah for Jo Ramsey

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! Welcome to another edition of Bookanista Thursday. I am so EXCITED to host another great interview today. But first, here are what the other Bookanistas are talking about:

LiLa Roecker interviews an Acual Young Adult
Shannon Messenger celebrates SURRENDER – with arc giveaway
Stasia Ward Kehoe unearths “shadowy” YA titles
Jessica Love is all about IN HONOR

And now, my special Bookanista interview with Jo Ramsey. I "met" Jo on the interwebz, watching and learning as she aggressively pursued her career. Always positive and always helpful, I can honestly say I have learned a ton from stalking her various blog posts. And now I get to host her for an interview celebrating the release of a new book, Dolphins in the Mud. WOOT!!! Take it away Jo: 

About the Book:
  • Give me the blurb for the book in 140 characters or less:   Dealing with his mother's abandonment of the family, Chris Talberman leans on his new boyfriend Noah Silver. Then he learns Noah is hiding a secret. 

  • Do you have a fav character and why?   n Dolphins in the Mud, my favorite character is Chris. He's sixteen and has issues with his family, but he's very sure of himself and his sexuality.
  • What do you hope readers will get from your book?  I hope readers will see that they don't have to let their circumstances define them.
About the Author:
  • What inspires you?   A lot of things. I find inspiration for my stories everywhere. I have two teenage daughters, so I know a lot of teenagers, and some of what they've dealt with and come through intact is amazing.
  • Hardest aspect of writing? Best?  I think the hardest part of writing for me is letting people know I've written it. The best part is hearing from readers.
  • Who is your writing hero?   I don't really have one, but I admire any author who can tell a good story, engage their readers, and offer books that can impact teens' lives.
  • Randomness:
o   Sweet or salty? Both. I absolutely love things like chocolate-covered pretzels.
o   Beach or mountains? Beach. 
o   Online or in person? Online. I'm a little less awkward there.
o   Ebook or print? I still prefer holding a print book in my hand, but I'll read an Ebook if it's something that really interests me.
 About the Future:
  • What’s next for you?   I have a few more novels scheduled from Featherweight Press. In August (approximately), Strong Spirit, book 6 in my Reality Shift series, will be out. In November, my novel Fresh Meat will be out, about a 15-year-old boy who's turned into a werewolf during an assault. And in February 2013, Time of Darkness, book 4 in my series The Dark Lines, will be released. All release dates are tentative.
    Also, in September, my first non-YA urban fantasy novel Vengeance Is Sweet, about a demon of vengeance who's just a little too human, will be released by MuseItUp Publishing. 
  • One outrageous goal for the future?   The Dark Lines made into a TV series.
WOO HOO!!! Thanks for coming by Jo! It was a pleasure getting to know you better. To find out more, checkout Jo online on her website.

What's in your TBR pile right now?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mega News...

I have so much news to share, I just couldn't wait until Tuesday. Like at all...
So, here we go:


A couple of new developments on the Requiem Series news front:

  • MEA CULPA, the next story in the series is due to release on June 11, 2012  - 1 week early. This story is told from Zane's point of view and is a great bridge between LACRIMOSA, and what you will see in LIBERA ME. And have I mentioned that it is FREE? That is right...FREE! I am so excited for all of you to get to know Zane a little better.

  • Speaking of which, the second novel in the series, LIBERA ME, has been pushed out to a late October release, sometime on or around 10/30/2012. There is a GREAT reason for pushing this out...which I will talk about a little later in this post. Suffice it to say, the story is turning out great, and it will be worth the wait. The final book releases in early Spring 2013, so the wait between those isn't too bad!

  • We've decided to stick with paperbacks for the rest of the series. The hardback for LACRIMOSA will be available until August, when a paperback will be released. This decision is price driven, in an effort to bring the books at a strong price point to readers. Oh, and yes - I have a new cover for the paperback of LACRIMOSA to share:

  • I have a story in the upcoming anthology WINTER WONDERS due out in December. The story, ILLUMINATI, details a story of the Seers - breed of humans readers were introduced to in the Requiem Series. Hmm...is this a new series taking shape??? One never knows! The Anthology is packed with fabulous stories by fabulous authors and benefits a fantastic cause - literacy. Add it to your Goodreads list and be on the look out for some fun contests as the launch gets closer

  • TRANSCEND is a book near and dear to my heart (aren't they all, though?). AND....it is coming out EARLY. Like this year. September 18, 2012. This is a Phantom of the Opera inspired story that chronicles one young man's journey to find himself after a horrific accident. Originally pitched as BLACK SWAN meets HAMLET, this story is very different from the Requiem Series, and is my first delve into YA psychological thrillers. I am planning an EPIC Masquarade launch party for anyone in the Southern California area, so be on the look out for more info in the upcoming months. And as for the cover...well I have some exciting news about that next month.
  • I am madly working on REDEFINING NORMAL, hoping to have it ready to turn in early. 6 months early actually. And you know what that means, right??? YES, It "may" just launch earlier than the Fall 2013 planned launch. It's not too late to help out with this project. Just click here and let me know if you'd like more info on how you can help. More info to follow. And I am working on another idea in the nonfiction realm...so more on that in the months to come as well.
  • And finally, I am excited to tell you all about a panel event I am participating in in San Diego on June 23 at Mysterious Galaxy. I will be joining Tera Lynn Childs, Laurie Stolarz and others in a fabulous panel covering summer YA reads. I am so excited! And yes, I will be selling the paperback edition of LACRIMOSA - EARLY! So exciting. I hope to see you all there. Click here for more info.
I guess that is all for now. What fabulous news do you have to share? Please, lay it on me and spread your joy around.

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bookanista Interview with Sandra Almazan

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! Welcome to another edition of Bookanista Thursday. I am so EXCITED to have Author Sandra Almazan with me today. But before I bring her interview, here's what the rest of the Bookanista's are up to:

Christine Fonseca  interviews author Sandra Almazan
Stasia Ward Kehoe is spellbound by ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD & GIRL OF NIGHTMARES
Jessica Love falls for UNBREAK MY HEART
LiLa Roecker swoons over STORYBOUND
Megan Miranda is giddy for GILT
Debra Driza celebrates STARTERS

And now, my special Bookanista interview with Sandra. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Sandra over the years as blogging buddies - and I am so thrilled to see her successes over the years. Take it away Sandra: 

About the Book:
  • Give me the blurb for the book in 140 characters or less:   A scientist with family issues must travel to another universe and decide if she should clone her great-grandfather, a famous musician.

  • Do you have a fav character and why?  From this book, it would have to be the main character, Joanna. She's a scientist with an attitude.
  • What do you hope readers will get from your book?  I hope they enjoy it, of course, but I also hope they learn to appreciate science and the importance of following your passions.
About the Author:
  • What inspires you?   I can get inspiration from anything--my favorite group (the Beatles), everyday occurances, other stories, even the mail.
  • Hardest aspect of writing? Best?  As a pantser, the hardest part of writing is revising and working with critique. The best part of writing is seeing plotlines coming together at the climax and finishing the story.
  • Who is your writing hero?   Patricia McKillip. I love her poetic style and her ability to write so many unique stories in different worlds.
  • Randomness:
o   Sweet or salty? Sweet!
o   Beach or mountains? Mountains.
o   Online or in person? Online.
o   Ebook or print? Ebook.
 About the Future:
  • What’s next for you?  I'm currently preparing a paper version of Lyon's Legacy, working on the sequel, and finishing the first draft of a fantasy novel.
  • One outrageous goal for the future?  I'd love to own autographs from all four Beatles. 
WOO HOO!!! Thanks Sandra for letting us get to know you better! You can find Sandra online on her blog. Her book, Lyons Legacy, can be found on Amazon.

What's in your TBR pile right now?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If Only - A Tip Tuesday post from Laurie Edwards

Happy Tuesday all. I have a deadline that is completely insane...okay, seriously, INSANE! But, as a CP told me last night, I can do hard things...so that is what I am setting out to do. Hopefully I will be able to report some progress on Friday, because really...I NEED to report progress. Badly!

But back to today. Here is a fabulous Tip Tuesday feature from Laurie Edwards that I am just THRILLED to share.  

After careers as a teacher and children’s librarian, Laurie Edwards moved into editing and writing, where she freelanced for a variety of publishing houses. She writes for both children and adults under several pseudonyms. In addition to more than 1900 magazine and educational articles, some of her most recent publications include Rihanna (People in the News) (Lucent 2009), Summer Lovin’ (Wild Rose Press 2009), Pirates through the Ages (Cengage 2011), and the 5-vol. Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (Gale 2012). “Angels in the Mist,” a YA story A Community of Writers (Sunbury Press), was released in April. Laurie is also ghostwriting a YA historical fiction series. Visit her at her blog; she also blogs at Downtown YA (downtownya.blogspot.com/) on the 14th and 28th of every month.

Today, Laurie shares an inspirational piece. Take it away, Laurie: 

Many people are closet writers. Some could be published authors—if only. If only I had more time. If only I knew the right people. If only I didn’t have to keep my day job. If only I had no kids underfoot. If only I didn’t have to care for my ill parents. If only…

If you have a dream (it doesn’t have to be writing), write an If Only list. Now look closely at each item on that list. I guarantee that for every item on the list, you can find an example of someone with more If Onlys who succeeded at your dream. Paraplegics have climbed mountains and run marathons. A single mother with twelve children wrote a bestseller. A man who worked two jobs and wrote only during his lunch break completed seven novels. If they did it, so can you.

So what’s really stopping you? Most of the time, it’s not your circumstances, it’s fear. Fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of change, fear of what others might say… Spend some time identifying the fear (or fears) holding you back. Those are your REAL If Only’s. Put them on your list.

You can find ways to reach your dreams. But you have to be willing to face your REAL If Only’s first.

For me, keeping my dreams alive while raising five children and holding down a full and a part time job seemed impossible, but I did what I could. I wrote magazine articles after the kids were in bed at night. I’ve now have almost 2000 magazine and educational articles published. It took me close to twenty years to get my first book published, but I held onto that dream and kept working. A few years ago, my first two books from two different publishers debuted on the same day! One was fiction; the other, nonfiction. Since then, I have at least one book come out every year. This week one of my YA stories came out in an anthology for charity, and I have a June nonfiction release. I’m hard at work on several other novels, and recently sent off partials to three editors who requested them. Hope to have some good news to announce soon.

I often wonder what might have happened if I’d given up on my dream. What if I’d let all the If onlys hold me back? I’m so glad I didn’t. If I’d known how long this journey would take, I might have given up. But I held on and weathered rejections and struggled to learn the craft (an ongoing pursuit, no matter how far along you get in your career). So I made it to the first step, but then what?

Those of us who have been published quickly discover that holding a book in our hand is only the start. Suddenly we’re plunged into the world of marketing. For shy authors, that means chattering teeth, knocking knees, and all the rest of the clich├ęs that symbolize terror. It means getting over the fear of public speaking, wading into social media, and learning to answer interview questions on the fly. It means spending tons of money for little return. And it means going without sleep as you drag yourself from city to city, booksigning to booksigning, trying to look happy and friendly and non-terrified and authorlike.

It means establishing your author brand, creating and maintaining a website, doing blog tours, and connecting with as many people as you can—readers, fans, other authors, editors, agents, booksellers, librarians—and getting them interested in your books. But it also means you need to do all this while you’re hard at work writing your next book.

So if you’re struggling to find the time to write your first book, it may help to know that all the skills you learn—whether it’s writing for 10 minutes during your break at work or getting up an hour earlier than the rest of the family or stealing a few hours on the weekends to slip away to write or holing up in hotel room/cabin/closet for hours or days at a time—every one of those strategies is building your published-author muscles. By the time your book comes out, you’ll be ready to run that publishing marathon.

So what If Onlys are holding you back? Where are you overextended? What can you drop to make more room in your life for the things that are important to you? Setting priorities shows what you value. If you say getting published is your dream, what are you doing to get there? If you’re already published, what’s your goal? Winning an award? Being on the New York Times Bestseller List? Put it on your list, then study what other authors did to reach their dreams. Take the first step toward that goal. Then the next. It won’t be long before you arrive at your destination.

Now If Only I could figure out how to add more hours to every day…

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jumping on the Surrender Bandwagon....

It is NO SECRET that I am so excited for Elana Johnson's SURRENDER. Having had the chance to read an early version of the book, I can assure you it is amazing. And having recently read her short story, REGRET, I can tell you that I am SO EXCITED for more of the Goodies and Badies - more Jag, more Vi, more Zenn, and all of the new characters and new stories.

So, to get an early start of the SURRENDER amazingness, I thought I would do a little shout our for Elana's book blogger tour and the amazing giveaways she is doing. Just click here for the complete schedule and a preview of everything she has planned. For a person who was thinking of doing something small for her launch, this has BIG and AMAZING written all over it!


And be sure to pick up a copy of the paperback for POSSESSION, the short REGRET, and pre-order YOUR copy of SURRENDER today!

GO TEAM JAG! (Yes, I sorta love Jag....just don't tell my Aydan. He is prone to jealousy!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Honored to scream for IN HONOR

I am thrilled to be raving for the latest release by Jessi Kirby, IN HONOR. But first, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to - and yes, I know, summer has clearly come early as there are not many reviews this week:

Christine Fonseca  adores IN HONOR
Stasia Ward Kehoe unwraps UNGIFTED
Tracy Banghart basks in SUNSHINE
Debra Driza welcomes HEMLOCK with a vlog and a giveaway
On to my Bookanista Shout out for IN HONOR by fellow Bookanista, Jessi Kirby:

Release Date: 5/08/2012

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn's celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.
Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn's last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn's best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn't seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn. . . and ruggedly good looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
Why I liked it: 
Wow...there is so much to say about this book. Now, those of you who read my reviews KNOW that I LOVE Jessi's writing style. She has an almost lyrical quality to her writing that takes familiar themes, and even familiar stories and makes them somehow new and fresh. This is true with IN HONOR. In this story we have familiar themes of love and loss, discovery and grief. It is a profound story that left me smiling, laughing, loving and crying. Truly an engaging and fantastic read.

And tell me, what are you reading these days?

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    True Grit - Another Tip Tuesday

    Happy Tuesday. I am happy to report that I am back at it, and the writing is flowing nicely. More or less. But I'll talk more about that later this week. In the meantime, I thought I'd bring back Tip Tuesday and the wonderful Yelena for another fabulous post. 

    Yelena Casale writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She was born in Kiev, Ukraine and came to New York at the age of 13, which gave her a great perspective into two very different cultures. Yelena believes that the world of vampires, shifters, angels and demons is a wonderful way to escape and let her imagination run wild. In Yelena’s ideal world, she would be a full time writer and travel as much as possible, experience various cultures.  She’s also a black belt and an instructor in shotokan karate. She is represented by Literary Counsel.

    Today, Yelena is talking True Grit. Take it away, Yelena: 

    As I’m sitting down to write after a 2-hour karate training tonight, my thoughts turn to an article I once read in Women’s Health Magazine. The article’s title is “True Grit or Determination: How to Get What You Want” and you can read it by following this link: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/success-secrets?page=1.

    The advice in the article can be applied to absolutely any area of your life, any goals you have. For me, it also resonates strongly with what my Sensei (karate teacher), also known as my husband, always says: people can be smarter than you, stronger than you, faster than you, more athletic than you, etc.. However, do not let anyone outwork you. Perseverance, hard work and keeping your goals always in front of you is what will put you ahead of others, and will make you successful. Angela Duckworth, Ph.D. defines “grit” in the article as “working strenuously toward challenges and maintaining effort and interest despite failure, adversity, and plateaus."

    This concept makes perfect sense for writers.

    The article also addresses the issue of how to keep going and not lose sight of the goal, even when things get tough and motivation starts failing. When you hit a snag in the road, sometimes it’s seems much easier to just give up. The snag can be anything from being in physical pain and being exhausted from physical workouts to being disappointed by a rejection of a query for the novel you just finished. Even being too busy with other things, and not having the energy to sit down and write some days can be a major downer.

    So how do you keep the goals firmly planted in front of you and keep marching forward to achieve them? There are a number of ways to help with that. Here’s a few:
    • Visualization. Visualizing the end result of your goal is a great motivator. For an athlete, it’ll be visualizing finishing a race or getting that coveted black belt. For a writer, it could be seeing your book on the shelves of a bookstore (or for sale on Nook/Kindle), going on tours or just holding your finished manuscript in your hands.

    • Setting little goals to achieve the big ones. Big goals are often frightening because they seem too far away and well…just big. Setting smaller goals, not only brings us closer to the major ones, but also gives the satisfaction of achievement throughout the whole journey. This feeling of satisfaction with achieving one small goal makes you feel so good that you want to get to the next one just to have that feeling again. So make small word count and/or time spent writing goals every day. Expand them a little every day, and eventually it’ll be hard not to do it!

    • Talk yourself through negative thoughts and plateaus. Cultivate a more positive attitude. And if you have a hard time with that at any point, use the “fake it ‘till you make it” attitude. It’s been proven that if you smile when feeling gloomy, you will eventually start feeling happier. This can be applied to cultivation of positive attitude in all things.

    • Keep visual reminders of your goals. This can include looking at books of your favorite writers and knowing that you can be someone’s favorite writer one day as well. Keep any positive feedback on your work in a folder where you can easily access it anytime you need a little pick-me-up. Post pictures of scenes you want to write or that motivate you in any way.

    Besides working very hard, passion is of the outmost importance to the success of achieving any goals, including writing ones. Do whatever you have to do to make sure that the spark of that passion is always present.


    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    A Bookanista Booyah for TO RIDE A PUCA

    I am thrilled to be raving for the latest release by Heather McCorkle, TO RIDE A PUCA. But first, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:

    Christine Fonseca  revels in TO RIDE A PUCA
    Stasia Ward Kehoe gushes over GILT
    Katy Upperman adores UNDER THE NEVER SKY
    Tracy Banghart delights in THE DISENCHANTMENTS
    Gennifer Albin  celebrates SHADOW AND BONE
    Jessica Love is wowed by YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT
    Shelli Johannes-Wells is crazy for CLOCKWISER

    On to my Bookanista Shout out for TO RIDE A PUCA by Heather McCorkle:

    Release Date: 5/15/2012

    Basic Blurb: (from Goodreads)
    Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again.

    Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

    Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?
    Why I liked it: 
    This is a fabulous YA historical paranormal romance that is as sexy and dark as it is fantastical. Set against the history of the druid clans near the end of its time, this story examines young love, coming of age, and reconciling that which you have learned from your parents vs that which you discover on your own. I enjoyed the characters of the story, as well as the mythology woven intricately throughout the story. And yes, this is definitely a sexy story that stayed with me for days afterwards.

    And tell me, what are you reading these days?

      Tuesday, May 1, 2012