Thursday, February 28, 2013

Author Spotlight - Heather McCorkle and The Dragon Empire


Hi everyone! I am still KNEE DEEP in revisions and what not. But I wanted to emerge long enough to turn the author spotlight on to Heather McCorkle and her latest, The Dragon Empire. Here is a little more about the book:

THE DRAGON EMPIRE by Heather McCorkle 

On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized... 

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist. 

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind.

You can get the book:


I'm so excited for the book! 

Here's a little more about Heather McCorkle:

I am an author of fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Living green, saving endangered species, helping other writers, and supporting fabulous authors are a few of my passions. I am also a volunteer for the IS Foundation which works to make the world a greener place. When I'm not volunteering, writing, or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me on my blog and Monday night's on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat.

Go and check out The Dragon Empire for yourself!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Deadlines and a Break

Wow! I can't believe it is the last week of February! Where on earth did the month go? I have major deadlines quickly approaching so I will be taking most of the week off. Please remember to enter the YA Paranormal Actiivity Giveaway Hop. I will be back on Thursday with the Author spotlight, and Friday to announce the winners of the two giveaway hops.

See you then...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Author Spotlight: Kelly Hashway and TOUCH OF DEATH

I am so excited to introduce Kelly Hashway as part of my new Author Spotlight series. Today I am spotlighting Kelly's book, Touch of Death. Here is a little more about the book:

TOUCH OF DEATH by Kelly Hashway -- Jan 15, 2013

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendants of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.


I'm so excited for the book! 

Here's a little more about Kelly Hashway:

Kelly Hashway is the author of the Touch of Death series (Spencer Hill Press) and the Game. Set. Match. Heartbreak series (Swoon Romance), with more titles forthcoming. She's represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. In addition to being an author, she's a freelance editor, mother to a soon-to-be six-year-old, and a runner.

Visit Kelly around the Interwebz and wish her all the best with her latest!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ya Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop


Yep, that's right...it is time for an another giveaway hop! From today through 2/27, I am participating in the Young Adult Paranormal Activity giveaway hop sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. With over 100 blogs participating, there are literally TONS of books and bookish things being given away.

For this giveaway, I thought I'd give one lucky winner a book I am DYING to read -
MIND GAMES by Kiersten White:
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 
Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.
In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.


Entering is easy. Just complete the rafflecopter form below. The contest ends 2/27 and is open to the US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Easy, right??? Check out the rest of the blogs for even more FABULOUS book giveaways!



Guess that story - a conversation about retellings...


Happy Wednesday All! Time for another Blog Chain round. Margie  started today's round with this topic:

Pick a book or story and imagine it in a new genre. For example, what would Oliver Twist be like if it was a sci-fi novel. Would Fagin have been a robot? Do you prefer you new creation or the original?

I love this topic. Rewriting previous stories with a twist is a wonderful exercise. Now, let's see if I can come up with one I would love to see...

How about a futuristic Alice in Wonderland? Or a dystopian Wizard of Oz?

I actually love retellings when they are done well. Once Upon a Time on ABC is a masterful weaving and retelling of fairtytales. And I absolutely loved the modern retelling of Hamlet in Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray. Even my own Transcend, a retelling of sorts inspired by Phantom of the Opera, took the classic story in a slightly different way (though within the same horror genre).

But I digress...

Bottom line, I love any creative take on familiar tales. As long as the new story feels original.

What do you guys think? Do you like re-tellings???

For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where Research and Reality Meet

I've been working my tail off, trying to hit a deadline on my upcoming parenting books, Quiet Kids. This is a book about parenting introverts. The research for it has been exhaustive. I truly feel like I am writing another dissertation.

Most of you that know me, know that I am as introverted as they come. I require quiet time to renew, get antsy in noisy settings or when there is too much kinetic energy streaming "at" me. So, conducting this research and writing this book as been filled with aha moments.

One thing that really hit me as I was researching came while reading Susan Cain's Quiet. If you haven't read this book, you really should. It is AMAZING!

Anyway, I was struck by her statement that collaboration kills creativity. I know from my own research into the creative process, that solitude is a necessary aspect of every creative endeavor. So why then do we foster the need for constant collaboration throughout our educational, business, and creative endeavors?

"If solitude is an important key to creativity," Cain writes, "then we might all want to develop a taste for it. We'd want to teach our kids to work independently, We'd want to give employees plenty of privacy and autonomy. Yet increasingly we do just the opposite."

Cain goes on to site the current, cutting edge, trend in collaboration as "must-do" aspect of problem solving. "None of us are as skilled as all of us" is the mantra by which we live our lives.

And I agree with the sentiment. But I also agree that creativity does not happen in the midst of collaboration. It happens in the wee small moments in between, when we are still and silent.

As artists, writers, we no the value of our solitary moments. We know what happens when we are not permitted the space, the time, the solitude in which to create our art.

But we also know something else - we know that we will be asked to market ourselves and our work. To branch into the uncomfortable and connect with the world. It's an exhausting thing for most artists, as I suspect creativity and introversion to be heavily correlated. But, it is an aspect of what we must do.

Which leads be back to Cain's original statement. While I agree that collaboration is not a catapult for creativity, and creativity is certainly something that is done in solitude, I also recognize that we, as artists, have to connect with the greater world now in order for our work to be seen.

Thank goodness the internet affords us the ability to do so without compromising our needs as introverts.

What do you think? Are you an introvert? Does collaboration kill creativity? What say you???

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop



I am thrilled to be participating in the Random Acts of Kindness giveaway hop sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. From 2/17 through 2/24, more than 100 participating blogs will be sharing a little love with books and other bookish giveaways.

Like last year, I've decided to give one lucky winner ONE copy of a YA title of their choice. Yep, YOUR CHOICE. And, in sticking with the theme, I will donate the SAME title to the library of the winner's choice too. WOO HOO!!!

Entering is easy. Just complete the rafflecopter form and let me know the book you want and the library to donate to. The contest ends 2/24 and is open to the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more giveaway fun, check out the other blogs participating in the hop: 

Now get out there and do a random act of kindness - You know you want to! :D


Thursday, February 14, 2013

INDIE-Kissing Blogfest, Giveaways, And FREE BOOK DOWNLOADS! WOO HOO!!!! It's a Party!



VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!!! 

I am so excited to share so much goodness and LOVE today - and maybe a little bit of hawt kissing too!


First, today it the INDIE-Kissing Blogfest, hosted by the Indelibles. Participating is easy - just blog about something related to kissing (yum) and your in! For my post, I decided to share a never-before-shared kissing scene from Libera Me, book #2 in the Requiem Series.



This scene features the yummy Zane, who is in his angelic form, and the confused Nessa (he calls her Nesy) who is decidedly human. When I wrote the scene, I called it my "ghost" scene - those familiar with the movie "ghost" will likely be able to figure out why:



She threads her fingers through my hair, sending fresh currents of desire through me. “You are so familiar, so safe. I feel like we’ve known each other forever.”
“We have.”
Her eyes grow sad and I regret bringing up that life. I cup her face in my hands, feeling her tremble beneath my touch. Tipping her chin up, I stare into her blue eyes. “You’re everything I need, Nesayiel. Just as you are. You don’t need to remember another life, don’t need to be the person you once were. I love you as you are, today. Everything else will take care of itself.”
The minute the words leave I know I’ve crossed a line I can never undo.
Nesy smiles, pulling me closer. Her lip trembles as she draws a ragged breath. “I think,” she starts, hesitating. “I think I love you, too. Maybe I always have.”
I stiffen. My body quivering from her closeness. This can’t happen. Shouldn’t happen. And I’m powerless to stop it.
She flattens again me, brushing her lips against mine. My heart skips a beat and my legs buckle. Her touch is tentative, searching.
I can stop this now before it goes further. Nothing good will come from these feelings, my actions.
“Please,” she whispers as her fingers thread through my hair. “I need you.”
I let my eyes fall closed as she kisses me again, less tentative this time. My defenses break and I melt under her touch.
All the guilt and shame, gone.
The pain and suffering, gone.
There’s nothing but her touch and our feelings.
I pull back, breathless. My head swims.
Is this real?
She kisses me again. Nothing matters but her in this moment.
“Azryel's Wings,” I whisper, unable, unwilling, to stop.
I kiss her with an endless hunger. Time has no meaning. My wings tighten around us as the ground falls away and we are suspended.
No past or future.
No here or there.
Nothing but me and Nesy, locked in an embrace I want to last forever.
Our lips part and ripples of desire more intense than anything I could imagine shoot through me. I feel her body tremble in response and I pull back.
The separation rips a hole through me, creating an overwhelming loneliness. Nesy smiles, her eyes reflecting the heat, the need, I feel.
“Don’t go,” she whispers. “Please.”
We kiss again and again, lost in an embrace that changes everything.
Nesy is my future now. My only future.
She pulls back, her eyes wet.
“What’s wrong,” I ask.
“You can’t stay, can you? Not really. This is in my mind.”
“I’m here now.”
“But what about tomorrow?”
I pull her back to me. “Tomorrow doesn’t matter.” I pull her into a kiss that fuses use together.
She’s all I want, all I need.
She’s all that matters. For now.


What did you think???

Check out the following blogs for more HAWT kissing!!!

Before you leave though, I have some SPECIAL news for you...


LACRIMOSA is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD...

TODAY ONLY!!!

To celebrate this LAST CHANCE at getting Lacrimosa for free, I am also hosting a very special giveaway with downloads of Libera Me and print copies of Transcend up for grabs...all for downloading a copy of Lacrimosa and spreading the word. Pretty cool, yes???


Just fill DOWNLOAD Lacrimosa (keep it or gift it), and complete the rafflecopter form below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


THE CONTEST IS OPEN TODAY ONLY, SO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY TODAY!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Author Spotlight - LM Preston's Thundering Luv Cover Reveal and Giveaway


Welcome to my Author Spotlight feature - a time when I get to either participate in a blog tour, or cover reveal, or something! Normally, this will a Thursday feature. But, as Thursday is Valentine's day and I have a special "kissing" scene for that day, I moved it to Monday!

Today, I am thrilled to be part of LM Preston's cover reveal for Thundering Luv, book #2 in her "Summer Luv" YA short story series. Here is a little more about the book:

THUNDERING LUV by LM Preston -- June 1st, 2013
Jewel has always been able to get the guy she wanted. The starting jock on the football team, the team captain on the basketball team, and the lead swimmer on the swim team. Problem is, she didn't find them the least bit exciting. Was she cold or a she-wolf for guys? Colin thought so, and he'd do anything to bring her down a peg or two. When these two collide on the sandy beach during their mixed up summer vacation,  sparks fly, making this a summer neither will forget.
Add the book on to your Goodreads TBR list today: www.goodreads.com/author/show/3348681.L_M_Preston
And...Now...

THE COVER:




This looks like a great read! If you haven't had a chance to read the first book in the series, Flutter of Luv, now's your chance to pick it up for $0.99 at all ebook retailers (or check out the giveaway below). Looking for the books in print? You will be able to pick up the entire trilogy of YA romances (Flutter of Luv, Thundering Luv, and Double Trouble Luv) under one cover in Summer 2014.

And now....Some EPIC fun from LM Preston:

First, LM is generously offering a special giveaway to anyone who visits and comments on THIS POST TODAY or TOMORROW (2/11 or 2/12 ONLY)- 
A ebook copy of Flutter of Luv

To get your copy you must do the following:

That's it. I will forward the info to LM on Tuesday. EEP

The fun doesn't end there. LM is also having a little giveaway herself for a Amazon gift card. Just enter the rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, LM is inviting you to participate in her Facebook  Release Party on May 18th. Check it out - https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/371743026256005/ 

Is this fun or what???

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Balance? What balance???


Happy Wednesday All! Time for another Blog Chain round. Lisa started today's round with a topic that made me laugh out loud!

The balancing act. How do you balance your writing time with everything else in your life--including, kids, job, book promotion

This is a great topic for me, and something I have been wrestling with of late. So much so, that I have finally been forced to look at my priorities and make some difficult decisions.

Let me back up a bit, and show you a typical day in my life:
5:00 - wake
5:00 - 6:00 - Blog, read, check day joy email, check personal email, write morning pages (when I can squeeze it in)
6:00 - 6:45 - Get ready for work
6:45 - 7:15 - take kids to school, go to the day job
7:15 - 5:30pm - Day job, filled with a level of stress that is hard to imagine. IF I take a lunch, I'll check email and make sure I've got things to my editors, etc.
5:30 - 7:30 - most days I spend the next few hours taking kids to various activities, running errands, and squeezing in time for research, reading, or anything writing related that I can
7:30 - 8:00 - dinner, tidy house
8:00 - 9:30 - blog, book promo, writing, or anything else I can squeeze in. I often assist the kids regarding homework as needed too
9:30 - 10 - plan out the next day, prep whatever I can
10:00 - hang out with husband watching TV
11:00 - CRASH so I can do it again.

Can you see the BIG problem with this Monday through Friday schedule? Yea, that's right...there is NO WRITING TIME. And very little promo time. And no time for the aspects of healthy living (exercise, meditation, "play-time", sleep) that are so important to me. When I need to get these done, or when the day job spins into an even higher gear, the thing that gives is typically sleep.

BAD PLAN.

After many many weeks of this schedule, and the ensuing stress of missing writing deadlines and not having the "room" to fulfill my goals, I have had to take a long, hard, look at my life. The result of that introspection? Complete clarity on what needs to change AND a plan to change it.

I took time to develop my professional goals - both as they relate to the day job, and to my writing life. I also took time to do some long-range planning, and over the past several weeks have become exceptionally clear on my goals.

This has lead to some exciting things in my life - most of which I can't yet talk about. But, suffice it to say that in the upcoming months, I will have more time to focus on the things that are really important to me.

Enough about me....how do you balance everything? For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.


Monday, February 4, 2013

A Celebration for VOLITION by Lee Strauss (and a giveaway!)


I am so excited to be part of Xpresso Book Tours cover reveal book blast for Volition, the sequel to Lee Strauss's amazing Perception. Here is a little more about the book:

VOLITION by Lee Strauss -- April 16th, 2013
Volition is the exciting continuation of PERCEPTION

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody.
They're in love.

Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.
Add the book on to your Goodreads TBR list today: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17231974-volition
And...Now...

THE COVER:


I'm so excited for the book! 

To celebrate, Lee is hosting a giveaway for a $200.00 gift card! AMAZING!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's a little more about Lee Strauss:


Lee Strauss writes historical and science fiction/romance for upper YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff under the name Elle Strauss. To find out more about Lee and her books check out her facebook page. Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/elle_strauss to find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at www.ellestraussbooks.com

Author Links:

Visit Lee around the Interwebz and wish her all the best with her latest!!!