Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summertime and a little excerpt

Hi all! I did it - I survived the last week of "the job" and have started my long break until fall. It's not a break. really, just a chance to do other things. And yes, the re-release of the Requiem series is one of those things.

Earlier in the week I shared a little scene from Lacrimosa. Not I thought I'd share something from Dies Irae, the Requiem novella that is a prequel to the Lacrimosa story:

The walk to our house is silent. The tension between us grows with every step. I steal a glance at Demi, watching the way she fidgets with the soft folds of fabric wrapped around her body. She looks at the landscape, the ground, her feet. “Demi.” My voice cracks on her name. She stops and finally meets my gaze. “I’m sorry. About earlier.”
Demi closes her eyes and releases a shaky breath.
“You were right. I shouldn’t have rushed in and left my form. I put us at risk and jeopardized the safety of my host.”
She opens her eyes, glaring at me. “You both did.”
I take a deep breath, unsure of what to say. The air is filled with the scent of lilac and sunshine. With Demi. Taking a step closer to her, I reach out my hands. She shudders as we touch and I wonder if she can feel the same electricity passing between us. It’s intoxicating – like nothing I’ve ever felt. More than angelic. More than human.
I take another breath to calm my thoughts. And another. But each one only fills me with her scent, unleashing a bitter craving. A need.
Just for her.
She stares into my eyes, her expression changing from frustration, to longing, to fear. She feels the same as I do. She must.
“I am sorry,” I say, my voice barely audible. I take a step closer, leaving a wisp of space between us.  
She steps back, swallowing hard. “We can't.”
I lean in, whispering in her ear. “Can't what?”
“This. Us.” Her voice trembles on the words. “We can’t. It’s against every rule.”

“I don’t care about the rules.” And at this moment, I don’t.


If you haven't read this short, it is included in Lacrimosa and provides a LOT of insight to some of the secondary characters in Lacrimosa.

I am still on track to release Lacrimosa next week, so be on the lookout for it!

What are you all doing this weekend?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Endure Cover Reveal - Check it Out!




I am so excited to be supporting ling time writerly friend, Laura Diamond as she releases the cover of a new series. SO EXCITING!!! 

Here are some of the basics re the book:

Title: ENDURE (Book One of the Endure Series)
Author: Laura Diamond
Publication Date: July 12, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian

And the synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Justin's anemic blood is a blessing. Or a curse. It all depends on who you ask.

To most of the immortal Vie, his blood is a scourge: untouchable and useless. To some Vie, his blood is a drug. To Justin, it’s something that gets him in a lot of trouble. Being poisoned by a Vie is just one example. His sister getting kidnapped is another. Whether it’s being coerced by a deluded cult leader, or negotiating with Alex—an Vie scientist addicted to Anemie blood—Justin struggles to keep every mutated drop of blood he’s got.

His fight for survival gets more complicated when he meets Alex’s slave, Cara. Despite coming from different worlds, they’re both prisoners, at risk of being drained by a hungry Vie any moment. When she risks her own neck to help Justin find his sister, he's left with a terrifying choice.

Saving what's left of humanity.
Saving his sister. Saving the girl he loves.
Or sticking a stake in Alex’s chest. 
Justin can't decide which option will get him killed first.

And now....the cover:




Fabulous, yes???

Please visit ENDURE on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/new/18112776-endure

About Author Laura Diamond:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. Her Young Adult Paranormal Romance novelette, NEW PRIDE, and novel, SHIFTING PRIDE, debuted late 2012 from Etopia Press. A spin off short story based on the lions of Tsavo, TSAVO PRIDE, is now available on Amazon. Forthcoming novels include EVOKE, Book Two in the ENDURE series, from Etopia Press, and a Young Adult Paranormal Romance, ZODIAC COLLECTOR, from Spencer Hill Press. When she's not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.

Find Laura Diamond on the web:




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Requiem Series, Second Edition, is almost here...

Well, I am getting closer to releasing the second edition of the Requiem Series. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing some excerpts from the series, releasing the covers, and preparing for the re-launch.

For this edition, I'm redoing the interiors, revamping the cover, rewriting the blurb, releasing a new trailer....so very exciting. I'm even looking into creating an audio version of the series. (what do you guys think of this?) 

Some of you have asked about the new covers. While I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover for Lacrimosa (thank you Compass Press), I've decided to go in a new direction for the covers and series - something  with a darker Gothic feel. I expect everything to be ready early next week, with the ebook being released about a week or so before the paperback. Be on the look out for some fabulous pricing too! All in preparation for the release of Dominus.

Lacrimosa is also feature the shorts, Dies Irae and Mea Culpa.

In case you haven't read the series - or just want to jump back into their world - I thought I'd share a little steamy kissing scene from Lacrimosa. After all, Lacrimosa is first and foremost a love story:

His touch sears me. I pull away, barely able to speak. “Aydan? You’re here?”
“Be with me,” he says, kissing my jaw, my neck, my shoulder. Every spot his mouth touches closes the empty spaces inside.
A storm of desire gathers in my soul. Not just desire—need. “I shouldn’t…can’t—”
Aydan stops and looks at me, his amber eyes as beautiful now as the day we met in Germany. “Tell me you don’t love me.”
I try to form the words. Try to lie. But every cell, human and angelic, reaches out for him. Every thought, only him. I fall back into him, giving in to everything I desire.
He wraps me in a hungry kiss, erasing the pain, the torment, the anguish. All that remains is my need. My love.
"Let me have you. Love you," he says, his voice trembling.
I open my mouth to respond, the words nothing but dust. A single moan escapes as he draws me into another kiss.
Somehow he reaches every dark corner of my soul, healing the betrayal and pain from so long ago. I want for nothing but him. This moment.

For an eternity.
I just love this series! And I can't wait to see what you think of the changes...

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Beginnings

I've been talking a lot about the state of transition I am in, as well as the many changes happening in my personal life, my professional life, my writing life, etc. This week marks the pinnacle of the change!

I spent the weekend rebuilding my website, working on this blog, making notes for changes on my other blogs and social networking sites, and working on blurbs and covers for my fiction. I watched tutorials, read up on certain computer skills and spent hours, literally, learning a few new skills. I thought about my "brand" and what message I wanted to give, as well as what my previous messages have been. I thought about my fiction books, the underlying theme of the stories and what I wanted the  covers to say. I thought about the blurbs, the reviews, and the feedback I've had from readers.

And let me just say that I enjoyed EVERY moment of the busy weekend.

I am planning to unveil everything next week, but you can see the beginnings of the new look here. The new header, new colors, etc. Most of the pages are unseen, and the website is still offline. But, over the next several days, more and more will be finished and hopefully, with luck, I will be ready to roll next week.

As I work on all of this, I am struck by how good it feels to be moving through this transition, how good it feels to rediscover aspects of myself. And I find myself reflecting on how I managed to get so off track in the first place.

I originally thought it was about the day job, the busyness that edged into my writing time and took over. But as I reflect more and more on the past several years, I realize that the seeds for the feelings I have been working through of late started a long time a go, came to a head with the death of mom in 2010 (which was also the publishing of my first book), and has lead to everything I have been feeling and living over the last year.

I do not want this to sound like things have been bad - NOT AT ALL! They have been fabulous in many ways. But my life has been exceptionally out of balance, resulting in a frustrated and not-so-fun Christine.

Until June, when I started repainting the house, redesigned my workspace, and began the changes to my brand and my life. Now I am finding myself filled with inspiration as I get reacquainted with an old friend -

ME!

How was your weekend???

Friday, June 21, 2013

Excuse the Mess...

As I mentioned earlier this week, things are changing around here. And part of the changes includes complete rebranding. I am not "new" to rebranding. In fact, I probably redo the website, blog, etc once a year. It isn't that I necessarily want to redo everything that frequently. I just haven't found the right look yet. So I am experimenting a bit.

It will take a few weeks to get everything finished, switched over, etc. So, thanks in advance for your patience as I slowly rework the blog(s) and website.

The goal is to have everything ready in early July - new sites, new covers, etc. Be on the look out for the latest news. Oh! And in case you aren't already signed up to receive the latest news on all of the happenings around here, check out my newsletter and sign up. I will be hosting something special for subscribers in July.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bookanista Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

It's Bookanista Thursday and time for a new review. Today, I am gushing over SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi. I've had it forever on my iPad waiting for me and WOW!!!

But, before I tell you my thoughts, here are the other Bookanista reviews this week

On to my Bookanista Review of SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: 11/15/2011


Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)

"You can't touch me," I whisper.
I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.
He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.
But things happen when people touch me.
Strange things.
Bad things.
No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.
But Juliette has plans of her own.
After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.


Why I liked it: 
SHATTER ME had been recommended to me by several of my book blogger friends. And WOW what an amazing read. It has the romance and sweeping emotions I love in a story. It is compelling and intense, gripping you into the story from the early pages. Mafi has a true talent for story telling and weaving in the psychological and emotional into a backdrop of action. FABULOUS read!!! I have the next book waiting on my iPad and I can't wait to jump in!!!


What are you guys reading these days? 

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    The Inspiration of the Visual Arts



    Time for another blog chain round, one that starts with a question from Amparo:
    Confession: I can't draw to save my life. *sigh* If you had some seriously epic drawing skills (or if you already have them) which published book would you have loved to illutsrate? Why does that book--and its characters/premise--strike you as something you'd love to work on as an artist?  

    There are many many creative things that I excel at - fashion merchandising and design, home design, choreography, theatrical production, composing and writing among them. You notice I don't mention painting or drawing. I am not a strong artist in that domain. My mother, was, however. Self-taught and amazing, she took the time to pass those skills down to my two children (it absolutely skipped
    me, though I am learning to do photo manipulation and visual fx). Mom's work was inspiring and beautiful. She often talked of selling her work, and was approached by galleries throughout her lifetime. But, her own fear stopped her. Now her work adorns our walls and inspires my children to pursue their artistic dreams. All of the pictures through this post were completed by mom.

    Now, the question wasn't about my mother's artistic abilities. It was about illustrating books and inspiration. So, I guess I will get back to that question!

    I would love to illustrate my books, actually. Using photo manipulation skills, I would love to create the worlds of Celestium, Aydan and Nesy, as well as the world of Ien and his insanity. See, I am a visual writer in many respects, creating on paper what my mother created with paint. I "see" my stories long before I write them, struggling to put into words the visual impact of their stories. Most days I think I do a good job. But there are some when I wish I could draw what it is my head, study it, then write it.

    That is part of the reason for my summer adventure into visual fx - so I can be able to do this one day.

    What about you?

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

    My Mom the whimsical artist, several years before her death.

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Changes - Part 2

    So...I wanted to share a little more info about the upcoming changes to my writing life. For a variety of reasons, my publisher is unable to continue offering my fiction in print. So, after much consideration, we decided to revert the rights for my books back to me and part ways. I will be forever grateful to Compass Press and what they've done for me. That said, I am thrilled about the future...

    So...what does this mean for all of you, my readers?

    First off, the changes will effect my fiction only. Nothing with my nonfiction will change. You can still get any of those titles through Prufrock Press, in brick and mortar stores and online, in both print and digital formats.

    With my fiction, a few things are changing. With the Requiem series, including the shorts, I am revamping covers, blurbs, and putting the books through a light revision, with the goal of re-releasing "second editions" of them within the next month. There will be new pricing, some included NEW scenes, and yea - this is fun! Print will be available as well, though not hardbacks (only paperback). Dominus will be released in late August as well.

    With Transcend, I am pulling that one within the next week or so. I have some different plans for that that I can't discuss yet.

    So, there you go - A little shift for me, but one that will be good for the series, I hope! Over the next few weeks I am rebranding my website, blog, etc as part of the changes. can't wait to see what you all think.

    Thanks and enjoy the week!

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    I'm Here .... more or less

    Hi everyone! Sorry to disappear but I am knee deep in the last weeks of my current job, a home renovation project that has created a little chaos in my house, and some exciting changes in my writing life (can you say new covers and...)

    Needless to say, blogging hasn't been top of my list of to-dos, and likely won't be for a while. But, I will pop in to say hi, tell you about recent reads, and update you as I can on some exciting things coming down the pike.

    And yes, tease you a little with the upcoming Dominus.

    Happy Summer! What are you guys up to?

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Ch-Ch-Changes....

    change

      [cheynj]  Show IPA verb, changed, chang·ing, noun
    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to make the form, naturecontent, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is orfrom what it would be if left alone: to change one's nameto change one's opinion; to change the courseof history.
    2.
    to transform or convert (usually followed by into  ): The witch changed the prince into a toad.
    3.
    to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind: Shechanged her shoes when she got home from the office.
    4.
    to give and take reciprocally; interchange: to change places with someone.
    5.
    to transfer from one (conveyance) to another: You'll have to change planes in Chicago.

    Yesterday, I woke-up as I always do. I rolled over, clicked on my phone, checked out my social media sites, and read my email. Just like always.
    Until....
    I read an email I knew would change things up in my life.
    It wasn't a long email. It did represent anything overly good, or overly bad. But it was going to mean change. Big change, actually. Unexpected change.

    My life has been about change so far this year. In Feb, I decided to leave my new job and return to the job I had been doing for years previously. There were a lot of reasons for the decision. And while I am THRILLED with it, as I finish up my current job, it is with a touch of mourning that I move forward.

    I made a decision to change directions in my writing career, getting back to writing something new and  seeking the partnership of an agent, at least for my fiction. While that isn't something that has happened yet, that is my future goal.

    And then the email - even more change to my fiction world. At first, my heart stopped, as doubt and a fair dose of fear rocked my core. Then, I moved through the feelings and saw the excitement the news brings - a future that is a bit clearer, plans forming as the moments clicked away. By the end of the night, I realized that this change - like the others I have opened myself up to this year, is GOOD!  things!

    I can't share the details yet, as they have not been worked out, but there are definite interesting things on the horizon...

    How do you handle change?

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    A Bookanista Review of THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting

    It's Bookanista Thursday and time for a new review. I am reviewing another one of Kimberly Derting's books this week - THE PLEDGE. This one was sitting in my bookcase for months, and finally...
    I read the book! And I am glad I did.

    But, before I tell you my thoughts, here are the other Bookanista reviews this week:



    On to my Bookanista Shout out for THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting:


    Release Date: 11/15/2011


    Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
    In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines your class, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. The only reprieve from oppression is within the drug-filled underground club scene. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. As the violent clashes between the totalitarian monarchy and the rebel forces escalate, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible grip of a deadly regime.
         Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder series, writes powerfully and movingly of a girl with dangerous powers in an unusual and expertly crafted setting.


    Why I liked it: 
    The Pledge has all of the familiar elements of a dystopian story. But, as the book progresses, she manages to bring a freshness to the story that I enjoyed. The romantic elements are sweet and believable, the main character is tough and strong, and the world building good. All in all, I enjoyed this new side to Kimberly Dertig's storytelling. I'm glad I finally read the book!

    What are you guys reading these days? 

      Wednesday, June 5, 2013

      Summer Flings and Book Signings! WOOT!!!


      Time for another blog chain round, and this one is summer-inspired with Katrina's question:
      Have you ever written a summer fling? Or are all your fictional relationships the deep, forever kind? If you did write one, how would it begin (the meet cute)? Where would it be set? Give us a few paragraphs sample. 

      What a fun question. I will admit, when I first read it, I read "Have you ever HAD a summer fling?". My answer to that is...um....yes! As the question was actually about WRITING a summer fling, I guess that is the one I should answer;)

      Surprisingly I have no summer flings in my books. That said, I am working on a fun little project that would/could definitely include a fling. Of course, it would involve a beach, a vacation, a chance meeting. And yes, there would be a monstrous twist....I mean, it isn't one of my stories without one, right?!? Hmm....now I am thinking I need to writing this!

      But that is for a different day/time, maybe during the epic road trip this summer. For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.


      Before you go, I wanted to share my fun event last night. It wasn't my first signing, but it was my first LOCAL signing. And despite conflicts with award dinners, finals, and everything else going on in Temecula last night - the turn out was AMAZING!!!! A special shout out to my BFFs Jodi, Cherie, and Marifel that made sure to keep me company, Julie that drove the longest to get there, and my work buds Jill, Kari, Athene, Michelle, Anna, and Roger.

      And to all the girls - you were all SO


      I am hoping this was just the beginning. Here's to more events at our local store.

      Tuesday, June 4, 2013

      HAPPY LAUNCH DAY ELANA!!! ABANDON is out in the Wild!


      Once again I get to wish one of my dear friends "HAPPY LAUNCH DAY!" Few things make me happier then screaming WOO HOO for Elana Johnson and her books.

      Today, Michelle McLean and I decided to get together and applaud her final installment in the Possession Series - ABANDON. Yep, that's right, today is the official launch day for ABANDON. Elana is doing her own celebrating with a scavenger hunt on her blog. Be sure to check it out!

      But the celebrating doesn't end there. Michelle and I have our own giveaway too!

      First, here is a bit about ABANDON:
      seduced by power,broken by control,and consumed by love...
      Vi has made her choice between Jag and Zenn, and the Resistance may have suffered for it. But with the Thinkers as strong as ever, the rebels still have a job to do. Vi knows better than anyone that there's more at stake than a few broken hearts. 
      But there is a traitor among them...and the choices he makes could lead to the total destruction of everything Vi has fought for.
      Vi, Jag, and Zenn must set their problems aside for the Resistance to have any hope of ending the Thinkers' reign. Their success means everything...and their failure means death.
      To celebrate, Michelle and I are giving away the ENTIRE POSSESSION SERIES in paperback! And yes, international entries are allowed. Just complete the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is accepting entries through Sunday. 

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      And be sure to hope on Facebook and Twitter and wish Elana Johnson a fabulous launch day!




      Monday, June 3, 2013

      Weekend Chats gone live

      Hi everyone! What a whirlwind weekend it was. I am still trying to recover. Between parties, book events and lunches with friends, it was a blast.

      One of my highlights was an event with Working Moms Again Guilt (don't you love that name!). I got to chat with the ladies that run the site and their daughter. I wanted to share the event with all of you, so here is the video from the event streamed live on Google +



      Those in the So Cal area, I hope you can come out to Barnes and Noble tomorrow night for my signing at the Temecula Barnes and Noble store! Lots of fun things in store for that!