Tuesday, March 26, 2013

FIGHT or FLIGHT by Jamie Canosa - Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I'm very excited to be a part of the FIGHT or FLIGHT blog tour, and I welcome Jamie Canosa to my blog with open arms. She talks about why she can't not write, and how she believes there's no limits to where a book can take you.

When it comes to authors doing guest posts, the most commonly asked question is ‘why do you write?’ I’m going to flip that one on its head for you and explain why it is I can’t not write.

Simply put, if I didn’t write I would lose my ever-loving mind.

I’m a stay at home mom to 3 kids. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great kids, but they’re all young and the most in depth conversation I participate in on any given day is usually about Pokemon and stickers. As thrilling as all of that is, without something else to think about I would lose my Ever. Loving. Mind.

The hubs has work all day. My friends all have jobs they’re busy with all day. So, it’s just me, the beasties (I’m mean kiddos) and the animals. All day. Every day. You see where I’m going with this? My. Ever. Loving. Mind.

Writing is an outlet for me. It gives me a place to channel my energy and emotions. It also gives me a form of human contact I so desperately crave. Now, you’re all thinking that I’ve already lost my ever-loving mind, but I assure you my sanity is still intact. Mostly, anyway. I do know characters are not actually real human beings, but hey, beggars and choosers and all that. It’s better to make up an entire conversation in your head and then write it on paper, than to actually hold it with yourself. Society and mental health institutes tend to frown upon that.

Writing also gets me out of the house. Okay, not really since I do most of my writing from the couch, but it takes my mind so many different places. Anywhere I want to go. Every story is a new adventure. For someone who rarely leaves the house besides to go grocery shopping, this is a necessity. I love my house, I really do. We bought it a couple of years ago and it’s the cutest old farmhouse ever. I love everything about it. But there is a serious limit on how much time you can spend in a confined space before it starts to drive you out of your Ever. Loving. Mind. Thanks to writing I’ve been all over the country, the world, and even other worlds. You can’t beat that. Even if I don’t have the stamps in my passport to prove it. Actually, I don’t even have a passport. But there are no limits to where books can take you.

Book Info:
Be smart.
Keep your head down.
And look out for number one.

These are the rules Jay has lived by for the past two years. The rules of surviving life on the streets. But when Em comes bursting into his life, in all of her disastrous glory, the rules go right out the window.

Flee what’s been left behind.
And never look back.

Em’s plan was simple. Though, it was easier said than done. The city streets are dangerous and unforgiving to a new arrival. Especially, a seventeen year old girl who’s never known anything but life in the suburbs. Sometimes, however, what’s lurking behind those white picket fences can be more frightening than any dark alley.

Both of them made the same decision when life got overwhelming—to run from their demons. Brought together by fate or circumstance, Em and Jay find the kind of love neither of them ever expected. But when those demons come back to haunt them and their love is on the line, which instincts will they choose to follow this time ... Fight or Flight?

*Warning: This story includes mature language and themes, and is intended for mature audiences.

You can purchase Fight or Flight from Amazon

Author Bio:
Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids ... plus the dog, the bird, and the rabbit.

Her debut novel, Dissidence, was published in 2012 along with several novellas, including the first in her Heart and Soul series, Temptation.

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Annual Kick Butt Characters Hop

March 23rd - 28th

This hop features the best Kick-Butt
Characters in Young Adult Books

I love action, and I love a good bad boy.Today I'm featuring one of my favourite kick-butt reads, What Kills Me by Wynne Channing. This is a seriously fast paced thrill ride that will leave you breathless and gasping for more. I especially love Lucas. At first I thought he was a bit on the mean side, but I grew to like him, and even love him, just like Zee did. The ending will blow you away, and this book is not lacking in kick-butt fight scenes. 

One lucky winner will receive
an eBook copy
of What Kills Me

About the book:  
The fight for survival begins.

An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

About the Author:
Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist.

She started writing horror/fantasy tales as a girl. She still has the first novel that she wrote when she was 10. It’s (unintentionally) hilarious.

Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with *True Blood*‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite).

She briefly considered calling her debut novel "Well" so then everyone would say: "Well written by Wynne Channing."

The Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entrants must be over the age of 14. This eBook has been kindly donated by the author.

Make sure you check out the other sites participating in the hop. Good luck!
K x

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rediscovering My Happy - Some Exciting News!

During the Fall For Me blog tour I had little time for anything other than the tour. I desperately wanted to get the first draft of Fight For Me done, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Writing means the world to me. I love getting lost in my stories with my characters, and when it started to get hard, I knew I was going in the wrong direction. I ended up in a place I didn’t want to be, and was having trouble finding my way back. In short, I’d lost my happy.

I decided to take a step back and put Fight For Me to the side. I realised I was being extremely hard on myself and needed to be nicer, so I did some reading for a week or so and I started another project, one that had nothing to do with Grace and her gang.

Once I got that out of my system I knew it was time to turn back to the characters that I love so much. But I decided to approach it from a different angle. Fight For Me wasn’t working, I knew that. There were questions I needed answering before I could progress with the story and turn the mess I had into some form of organised chaos. So…

I decided to write a prequel!

Yep, you heard me. Everyone is going to get to find out what happened to Grace and Seth before they set foot in that castle. For the past three weeks I’ve been working on the first draft, and it’s almost finished!

The details are as follows:

Title: Sacrifice – A Fall For Me Prequel
Cover Reveal: April 23rd 2013
Tentative Release Date: May 27th 2013

Book Blurb:
Seth’s heart is breaking. He knows his decision will hurt the one person he keeps breathing for, but he can’t take it anymore. He can’t be near Grace knowing she will always be just out of reach.

Grace is oblivious to Seth’s turmoil. She loves him unconditionally, but not in the way he wants. They both know that in Heaven physical love is forbidden, and to break the rules is to defy everything they’ve ever been taught.

When Grace and Seth are sent on a mission to save a young mother and her unborn child, Grace must face the fact that Seth won’t be returning home. She doesn’t understand Seth’s decision and hates him for it. But what neither of them realise is how big a part that single decision will play in shaping their entire future.

What would you sacrifice for the one you love?

Sacrifice will be around 20k words. I’m very excited about this, and I can’t wait to have something else out there for my readers. There will also be a blog tour, and when I have the dates set and everything organised I’ll let you know. Now, I’m off to get this first draft finished.

K x

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bunnies, Bunnies, it Must be Bunnies! – The Results of a Twitter Conversation

When I first signed up for twitter I really had no idea what I was doing, or how it would help me with my writing. Now I have a modest following and I’ve made some really great connections, not to mention fantastic friends.

Every week I chat with my twitter friends using the tag #authorchat. This was started by three writers, R.K. Grow, Melissa Lemon and Jo Ann Schneider. We have a topic, and mostly we stay on topic, but sometimes we don’t which just makes it more fun. For a schedule of the topics for the next month or so, go HERE.

This week we were talking about blogging. What we like, what we don’t like, and how we go about it. Some of us were worried our followers wouldn’t find our content interesting. We ended up setting ourselves a challenge. As we are all writers, we decided that we needed to blog about something other than writing.

So… I bring you (drum roll please) the Evil Brown Bunny!

She’s not really evil, but sometimes she does bite. Throughout our twitter conversation the idea came up that I should blog about my bunny’s adventures. Well, she doesn’t really have many. Her name is Twitch, and she lives in a five-star, two-storey hutch with a nice spacious nesting box. She comes inside most afternoons and gets to hop around the house, and nibble on things if I’m not paying attention. But mostly when she’s inside she likes to flop down, stretch out her legs, and watch the world go by. She’s not all that interesting actually.

It’s no secret I’m a huge Buffy fan (and I probably should stop finding ways to incorporate that in my posts!) and when I think of bunnies, I can’t help thinking about Anya. She has an irrational phobia of bunnies, and finds them quite scary. My favourite Anya bunny moment is when she sings her part of I’ve Got a Theory in Once More With Feeling (Buffy series 6, episode 7).

I also did some digging around on YouTube (as you do) and found this hilarious clip. It features Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess getting attacked by a bunny with rather large fangs. Kahlan and Richard from The Sword of Truth (which I have never actually read or seen) also make an appearance.

What scares you the most? Do you have an irrational fear of anything? Mine would be clowns. They just give me the willies, and even more so after reading and watching Stephen King’s It.

K x

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Industry Peeps, Awesome Authors and a Steam Punk Top Hat! - The Speculative Fiction Festival 2013

Over the weekend I attended the Speculative Fiction Festival at the NSW Writers’ Centre. It was a fantastic day, and my very first opportunity to listen to some of Australia’s great industry people. I also got to meet two of my fellow Aussie Owned and Read bloggers, Stacey and Sharon, which was very exciting for me. We’ve become good cyber-space friends over the past few months, and it was great to finally get to speak in person.

We started off with a talk about the International Speculative Fiction Scene. The panel consisted of Dirk Strasser, Ian Irvine and Juliet Marillier. I came away from this opening talk with these quips of information:
  • The eBook has transformed the international publishing industry
  • Self-publishing is making it harder for authors to be seen and heard as there are now more writers in the market
  • Ian Irvine said: It’s hard to get sci-fi published in Australia, and fantasy is a safer bet
  • Juliet Marillier said: Write the book that you feel passionate about and write from the heart
  • Ian Irvine said: If you take time to learn the art of storytelling you will get published

Publishing into the Future was panelled by Russell Farr, Joel Naoum, Zoe Walton and Dionne Lister. The general consensus was: the future of publishing is… we don’t know! I especially enjoyed listening to Dionne and what she had to say about her self-publishing experience. She stated that traditional publishers set a good standard, and I absolutely agree. As an Indie author, I strive to make my work the best it can possibly be before sending it out into the world. These are some statements I enjoyed hearing from this panel:
  • Joel Naoum said: The important thing about writing is that you enjoy it
  • Dionne Lister said: Self-publishers - Don't do things on line you wouldn't do in person

Gothic Tales for Teens was an interesting discussion. There were a few statements I didn’t particularly agree with, but Richard Harland was wearing a steam punk top hat, so he had my attention. There was some discussion about atmosphere and censorship. It seems there is not much limit on darkness and violence, but there is on sex in YA. Some things I enjoyed hearing were:
  • Pretty much anything goes in YA, but it depends who you're writing for
  • Alison Croggon said: The YA category gives you a lot of freedom to cast a story. Richard Harland agreed, stating that YA is less formulaic
  • Don't chase the market because by the time you've finished your book it will be over
  • Write the book that's in you and hope the market comes around to what you want it to be

We broke for lunch and spent some time talking to Dionne Lister. She told us about her self-publishing journey, which I found both interesting and highly inspiring.

Stacey, Sharon and me!

It was then on to Oh the Horror! The Future of Weird Fiction. The speakers I enjoyed during this session were Kirstyn McDermott and Deborah Biancotti. I came away with a few pieces of information and these are the ones that have stayed with me:
  • Writing horror – you can do things that other genres frown upon
  • Horror and the weird lead into a lot of different genres
  • Literature will evolve all the time and nothing has evolved more than the vampire (yes!)
  • Using metaphors can make people face things they don't really want to face

The last session of the day, and the one I was really looking forward to, was Once Upon a Time: Retelling Fairy Tales. I really enjoyed this session as I got to listen to Kate Forsyth talk about her retelling of the traditional Rapunzel tale. The highlight of the day for me was getting to meet Kate, and have her sign my copy of Bitter Greens. Highlights from this session included:
  • Juliet Marillier said: The soup of your story has its own unique spices
  • Sophie Masson said: Being a writer is like having a magic wand
  • Kate Forsyth said: Fairy tales give us hope and a way to metaphorically understand our own life experiences
  • Sophie Masson said: The difficulty in retelling fairy tales is finding a new take on the story 

 My signed copy of Bitter Greens

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear Melina Marchetta speak as she was on the panel for the topics I didn’t attend. But I did come home with a signed copy of Finnikin of the Rock and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I also wasn’t able to stay for the Q&A and the launch of Juliet Marillier’s new book, Prickle Moon, due to other commitments, but I had an absolutely awesome day. I will certainly be attending the festival again next year.

K x

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indie Life - Taking The Good With The Bad

Welcome to my Indie Life post for March. This is a monthly feature posted on the second Wednesday of the month and hosted by the Indelibles. The aim is to promote, encourage, and support indie authors.

My first book has been out for less than two months, and so far I’ve had a pretty good response. Early reviewers have had some great feedback and Fall For Me is currently sitting at a 4.5 star rating on Amazon. Yay!

A few days ago I got my first really bad review. And it wasn’t bad just because it was a 1 star rating; it was bad because it was nasty.

Not everyone will like my work. I accept that humbly because I don’t like everything I read, and there have been books that I’ve wanted to throw across the room in frustration, but I believe there is a right and wrong way to go about writing a review. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there are ways to say you don’t like something without being hurtful, snarky or mean. A bad review can still be tactful.

Fight For Me, the second book in The Tate Chronicles, is still in the drafting phase. I hit a few hurdles with it and got to a point where things were just a mess. I didn’t write anything for almost two weeks, and I felt awful. So, when I saw the bad review my confidence had already taken a leap off the nearest cliff before I’d even read the first line.

I decided not to read the entire review simply because I knew it would damage my confidence further. The small amount of it that I did read had a bad enough effect on me. I had to sit myself down and give myself a talking to, and remind myself that even the likes of Stephen King and J. K. Rowling are not immune to a bad review or nasty comments about their work. I also know I didn’t receive this bad review because I’m an Indie; I received it because that particular person wasn’t a good fit for my book.

After I talked to myself for a while (no, I’m not crazy, I’m a writer) I came up with a way to help me deal with the dent in my confidence. Keep writing. It’s that simple.

Fight For Me is still a mess and I can’t deal with it right now, but I’ve started a new project that I’m hoping will answer some questions for me and lead me back in the right direction. I haven’t announced the title yet, but I have all the details ready to go, and a cover reveal is set for April 23rd. The first draft is almost complete so I’m planning to make my announcement next week.

My readers will have something in their hands by the end of May, and I’m so excited to be able to share my next story with everyone. If I wasn’t an Indie, I wouldn’t be able to do it so soon.

The other thing I’d like to share with you today is that I had a very exciting week last week (before I discovered my bad review) and I was lucky enough to get to meet the wonderful R. K. Grow. We became friends via twitter and stay in touch on a regular basis. We chatted via Skype and she interviewed me for a podcast that went live on her blog last Tuesday. To have a listen to me talk about Fall For Me go HERE.

Until next month…

K x

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Tour is Over, but the Fun is Only Just Beginning

Well, the Fall For Me blog tour is over, but you can still go back and have a look at all my guest blogs, interviews and promo stops. There are some great excerpts to read along the way, too.

Congratulations to the winners of the tour wide giveaway. They have been contacted and their names are listed in the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post.

Thank you to everyone that followed along with the tour, and a huge thank you to all my readers and reviewers so far.

K x

February 1
Guest blog and review – Cocktails and Books
Mix up a cocktail that relates to one of my main characters, then check out the great 4 star review.

February 2
Interview – Roxanne’s Realm
I talk about what inspires me, my work in progress, and share an excerpt from the prologue of Fall For Me.

February 3
Guest blog and review – The Book Maven
Read about my this or that, and see what Maven had to say about the book.

February 3
Promo – Krystal's Enchanting Reads...
Read the entire prologue from Fall For Me.

February 4
Cast of Characters and review – Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books
Teaser Tuesday Post HERE
Check out my, and Michelle's, picks for a dream cast, plus read her stellar 5 star review.

February 5
Spotlight – Melissa Stevens
Book details and the prologue (just in case you haven't read it already).

February 5
Interview – Victoria Danann
I get deep and meaningful, and ask myself the one question no one else has.

February 6
Promo and review – Love YA Books
Read an excerpt from Josh's POV, and find out what Kimberly thought. She only rated Fall For Me with 2 stars, but I commend her for an honest review.

February 7
Promo – Paranormal Book Club
If you want to know a little bit more about Grace, have a look at her character profile.

February 8
Promo and review – Readaholic's Reviews
Read an excerpt from Grace's POV, and find out what Emma thought of Fall For Me.

February 10
Promo and review  – Paranormal Opinion
Find out what makes Seth tick, and read Tishia's 4 star review.

February 11
Promo – Delirious About Books
Watch the book trailer and read an excerpt from Josh's POV.

February 12
Promo – Books, Books, and More Books
Are you team Josh? Check out his character profile.

February 13
Interview and review – Keeping Up With The Rheinlander's
Read about my challenges, what I do when I'm not writing, and what I like to read. Then go and see what Melissa had to say in her 5 star review.

February 14
Guest blog and review – Head Stuck In A Book
See Grace's creation ring and the ring Josh gives her at the end of Fall For Me. Plus find out what Sarah thought of the book.

February 14
Promo – Books & Other Spells
And... read the prologue, just in case you haven't read it, or you want to read it again.

February 15
Guest blog and review – Readers Live A Thousand Lives
Check out my favourite book covers from 2012, and see what Teresa thought of the book.

February 15
Review – A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books
Find out a little more about Archer from his character profile.

February 16
Interview – Books & Tales
Read about what I'd do differently, and what my biggest influences are.

February 17
Guest blog – Fang-tastic Books
My top five vamp bad boys! Who is your number one?

February 18
Interview Promo and review – My Home Away From Home –
Overcoming the voice in my head, what makes a good story and a 4.5 star review from Brittany.

February 19
Promo and review – My Paranormal Book Review
Do you want to know more about Charlotte? Read her character profile. Plus another 5 star review from Shar.

February 20
Guest blog – Reginamayross's Blog
Check out my Fall For Me play list and the songs that inspired the story.

February 21
Guest blog - Christina McKnight
Read about my obsession with sci-fi, the supernatural, and buffy!

February 25
Interview – Simply Infatuated
I talk about my favourite kick-ass heroine, my biggest pet peeve, and who should play me in a movie about my life.

February 25
Review – Bornean Bookworm Reads
Read Vanessa's 5 star review.

February 26
Interview – Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
Get inside Grace's head with this character interview.

February 28
Review – Impressions of a Princess
Read Monica's 4 star review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway