Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big Dreams Blogfest

The Big Dreams Blogfest is hosted by Misha Gericke and myself. Misha's goal is to ear $7500/month in royalties. My goals are to write a million words and make a million dollars (on words).

And it's another depressing update day. This whole year I've added 3000 words and 70 unusable pages to my word count. Impressive right? *hits self in head* And the thing is, I only make deposits to my word count bank once first draft is completed, so those words aren't even in my bank! No closer to the goal.
I got thirty pages of REALLY harsh feedback from my prof at the end of the semester, but I did learn from it. I've stopped editing to write character shorts and I'll continue rewriting later. To get out of this slump I seem to be in, I asked a friend to schedule a girl's night months in advance for the purpose of celebrating subbing Perfect Harmony (a book that has been drafted since October) to my agent. I figured motivation might help.

What about you? How are your goals coming?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Smart Persistence

*There are still a couple of slots left in my blurb writing class/ plotting crash course. You can sign up here.*

We talk about persistence a lot in writing. The Help went through more than 100 rejections before getting an agent. JK Rowling got a dozen rejections before becoming a millionaire. Dr. Seuss was told his books were weird and not marketable. We know the stories. So we write, query, repeat. Or write, publish repeat if you're going the indie circuit. What I think we don't talk about enough is smart persistence. There comes a point when sticking it out and keeping the pace slows you down.

There comes a point when continuing on goes from persistent to plain stupid, and as writers it's easy to get to this place, because we're attached to our work. We've invested so much of ourselves into it. I spent six months stuck there before I got over it a couple of years ago. And I've recently realized I'm here again. What tends to be my problem is failure to step away. I work too hard. (I didn't really think this was possible). But I think the most valuable thing I learned this semester was that I need to lighten it up. Have fun. Take my time. Enjoy the work. So I'm backing off my business plan. I'm learning advanced technique with the next few books and my professor thinks after that I can pick up speed again.
What about you? Are you being persistent? Or are you being too persistent?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monster Give Away

My bff Kelly Hashway has a new book out, so she's giving stuff away. Woo-hoo!!! And congrats Kelly!

Squee! There's one month until the release of The Monster Within! That means it's time to celebrate! And what better way to celebrate than by having a giveaway? But before we get to the giveaway, check out the cover and blurb for The Monster Within.

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN:  978-1-937053-85-7
Release Date: 6/17/2014
Formats: Paper, e-book 

Add it on Goodreads.
Pre-order on B&N or Amazon. 

So, what can you win? 

  • 1 signed copy of The Monster Within
  • The Monster Within bookmarks
  • a mask (winner's choice of purple, green, or gold)
  • a mood ring (winner's choice of small, medium, or large)
  • a triquetra necklace (not shown in picture)
  • a paperback ARC of Cold Calls, a YA thriller by Charles Benoit
  • a hard cover copy of The Magnolia League, a witchy YA by Katie Crouch
  • a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner's choice; gift card not shown in picture)

Sound good? Enter by filling out the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Romance Roundup

Before we get started there are a few slots left in my blurb writing class. This is the method I used to query with a 50% full request rate and snag my agent. Sign up here.

Some things I'm looking forward to this week:


Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?(less)
Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2014 by HarperTeen

ISBN 0062238426 (ISBN13: 9780062238429)

    Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.(less)
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Dial Books for Young Readers

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school--irresistible. When their paths cross again after college--still irresistible. This time, though, Ty feels exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be anybody's husband. As a professional bull rider, he lives on the road and can't bring himself to settle down.

Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the face of the one woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

How much will Ty sacrifice to make Celia's dreams come true, to win her trust, and to prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?(less)
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 2014 by Bethany House Publishers (first published April 29th 2014)
ISBN 0764211080 (ISBN13: 9780764211089)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

What living author or authors would you like to have dinner with? (Try to think beyond JK Rowling)
Simone Elkeles because she could give writing advice and marketing advice, and because she's so frank and down to earth.

Also, my cp Kelly Hashway's book is out so check it out.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Romance Roundup #1

So here is what I'm looking forward to this week. Hopefully next week there will be more.

Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!

Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

I'm looking forward to The Rules For Breaking too, but my computer has decided not to post the cover so here is the blurb.

But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down.

The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he's using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it's time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils.

Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Interrupting Your Normal Schedule...

Just last week I posted Romance Round-Up would be everything I'm looking forward to on the shelves and would take place on Monday. And already it's being pushed to Thursday. Why? Well, because what's new in the world of romance is too big to wait this week.

HARPER COLLINS BOUGHT HARLEQUIN. It happened on Friday. It may be old news now, but it's still huge. Harlequin (at least my imprint) says nothing is going to change. And as an aside, if you want to be a romance writer join RWA. Now. Today. Even if you write YA and are already a member of SCBWI. I heard about the merger from RWA even before my editor. That's how important it is. What are your thoughts on this? How is this going to affect romance? And publishing in general? It's another huge merger after Penguin Random House.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

Share! Tell us about one of your hobbies that is NOT reading.

Wow! Outside of reading and writing, I don't think I have a hobby. Star-Crossed? The new scifi romance. I love it as much as Twilight.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Novel Engagement

Novel Engagement is what's new in the romance world this week. It's RWA's online marketing database that allows you to promote all of your books in one place for a fee. The pros are obvious. All your books in one place and your registration covers up to five pen names. But I'm not jumping on this. Why? Well, because I'm not sold. Amazon's author central accomplishes basically the same thing. Although, the "romance" target is supposed to be a plus to novel engagement, and it may be. Only time will tell. And with some actual results I'm more likely to spend money. But here is another thing. Lots of people connected to RWA aren't writing clean romance or sweet love stories. Many people who write clean romance do so under the umbrella of "women's fiction" which is no longer part of RWA. The inspirational category is becoming broader as the world becomes racier and is beginning to include clean romance, but this is in the beginning stages so many inspirational readers are still looking for the "come to Jesus" meeting which you won't usually find in my books. For now, Beth is going to wait and watch.