Friday, January 29, 2016

The Week in Links 1/29/16: #1000BlackGirlBooks, Pottermore, Exorcist TV series


Book Marketing and Branding
Finalists: Top 10 Social Media Blogs 2016
Author Groups to Help You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Books

Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
[GUEST POST] Helen Lowe on Writing Heroines: Malian, Myr, and DAUGHTER OF BLOOD
What It Means To Be a Science Fiction Writer in the Early 21st Century
Understanding the Focus and Recompose Technique

Did you read any interesting articles this week?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

GUEST POST: 8 Self-Publishing Tips from Hadena James



Making the decision to become an indie is not easy. It is not a get rich quick scheme. It is going to cost you time, energy, and money. It is going to require dedication. It is also one of the most rewarding things a person can do, if they want to be a published writer.

I was lucky enough to have a choice; I could be traditionally published or I could be self-published. I choose to be an indie author.

Before making the decision to go with self-publishing, I think everyone should be aware of what they are in for:

  1. You are going to have to pay a cover artist, unless you are a graphic designer, but even then, you’ll have the cost of images. A good artist runs anywhere from $75 - $250 a cover. It depends on your needs. Shop around! Look at portfolios of cover designers. Have they done anything similar to what you want?

    Ask other indie authors who they use if you like their covers. Talk to the cover artists and find out exactly what you are paying for; how many drafts are they going to make, how many revisions can you ask for, how long will the entire process take. Most of all, don’t settle! It will cost you more in the long run (I know because I have done 13 cover replacements!).

  2. You are going to need an editor. This is a person that doesn’t just proof your book, but reads it. They are looking for plot holes, chapters that seem out of place, sentences that just don’t make sense, etc. While they will find errors, that is not their primary job. In the end, you are free to take or leave their advice, but they may find things that you never realized was confusing. For example; one of my books featured a drug called Krokodil.

    It isn’t a really popular drug in the US, but since I knew about it, I sort of figured it was common knowledge. My editor was incredibly confused over why I couldn’t spell crocodile and why crocodiles were causing people’s skin to rot off. Once I realized she had never heard of it, I went back and added an explanation of Krokodil when the word was first used and the entire thing made sense to her.

    It turns out, a huge portion of my readers had never heard of it either, they went and looked it up to see if it was real. But I took for granted that it was just common public knowledge. Again, don’t settle. You can’t expect an editor that solely does romance to do a great job on your intense psychological thriller. Shop around. Find a good fit for your book. 

  3. You should pay a proofreader. Editors will catch a huge amount of mistakes, but proofers are actually there to do a line-by-line proof reading of your book. They are the ones that are going to catch “your” when you meant “you’re” and they will remind you of how to use colons, semi-colons, commas, and everything else you forgot from grammar class. However, like an editor, a proofreader needs to be a good fit. My books contain some very graphic violence. It isn’t gratuitous, but it is necessary (I do write serial killer horror). So, a proofreader with a weak stomach would not be my first choice. 

  4. Notice the upfront costs are starting to pile up? Publishing your book isn’t cheap, even today. Editors, cover artists, proofreaders, they all want to get paid, just like you do. They also charge accordingly, usually by the page for editors and proofreaders. Be specific when talking to them. How many words do they consider a page (it varies between 200 and 250 generally). How much do they charge per page? You need to know how much to budget for these. 

  5. Categorizing your book is a big thing. It might be one of the most important things. If it isn’t in the correct genres, the wrong readers are going to be buying it and there’s a good chance they are not going to like it. This leads to a book with a lot of negatives reviews and almost no opportunity for sales. The best example I have ever seen of this came from a thriller I bought a few years ago. It said nothing about having graphic sex scenes or that it had a romantic plot.

    The detective was chasing a serial killer with the help of the only survivor. My type of book, right up to the part where they were in the middle of a car chase and stopped to have sex for NINE PAGES! Not only was it ridiculous, but it was graphic. I don’t mind some blood and gore, but nine pages of thrusting, sweating, and grunting was too much for me.

    I put it down and wrote a review giving the book only 1 star. I still get comments from other reviewers and it is listed as the #1 most helpful review of the book. It was marketed to the wrong readers, it should have marketed as a romantic suspense, not a psychological thriller. 

  6. Pricing is the another big thing. We would all love to believe our work is worth its weight in gold. It isn’t and with more books being published every day, it’s hard to justify some indie prices. I have seen a lot of authors complain about not making sales. After convincing them to lower their price from $6.99 or $9.99 for the ebook, they were astounded by how well it sold.

    Be reasonable here… If I can get a Liz Schulte romance for $3.99 or some other indie for $7.99 that I’ve never heard of, there’s a great chance that I’m buying Liz’s next book. I consider the magic number to be $4.99 or less for indies. After all, we are keeping most of our money. We don’t have to share with agents and publishing houses. If you are producing high quality books for $4.99 or less, you will see your sells swell. 

  7. Market, market, market. Not just your books, but yourself. Honestly, you aren’t just selling a book, you are selling yourself as an author who can be taken seriously. Run adverts. Be active in social media. Do book tours. Make friends with bloggers. Join clubs with other authors. I spend about half my “work hours” writing and the other half marketing myself and my books. 

  8. Finally, enjoy it. If you don’t love writing, don’t become a self-published author. It’s more work than people think. The returns are low to begin with (I’m getting ready to release my 20th book in March and I’ve been self-published for four years, but last year was the first year I could say I do it full time… no other job required) and it takes a while to build up your brand and your books. If you don’t love it, you won’t put in the effort, and you will do nothing but damage your reputation as an author.


Hadena James began writing at the age of eight. By the time she graduated high school, she had published a couple of short stories in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at seventeen. Hadena began college as an English major, but quickly changed to a history major. However, she continued to write and took several extra classes in creative writing.

College showed her that while she could write short stories, novel writing was truly where her heart lay. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian Studies. During this time, she received a couple of contract offers from publishing houses, but ultimately turned them all down.

In August 2012, she self-published her first novel. In retrospect, she is appreciative of the contracts offers she received when she was younger, but believes she made the right decision with self-publishing.

When she isn’t busy writing, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities to visit are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, with her favorites being classic literature; Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Gaston LeRoux, and Jane Austen; modern favorites include Clive Barker, James Patterson, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Her favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages. Some of her favorite bands are Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Rammstein, U2, Marilyn Manson, Oomph!, and Rob Zombie.

Title: Elysium Dreams
Author: Hadena James
Genre: Horror

He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.

In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.

Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he strikes again.



Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Smashwords | Google Play | Kobo




His cell phone rang as he left the morgue. His wife’s shrill voice came over the line. She was upset because their daughter hadn’t come home yet. He assured her that the girl was probably fine and that he’d check her normal hangouts before hanging up.

He didn’t bother to mention that he already knew where the girl was; he had driven to her location while talking to the harpy he considered his wife. As he sat inside his Cadillac Escalade, he could see her through the large plate glass windows that spilled light into the darkened street. The SUV lights were off, but the engine was running. He lit a cigar. It was one of two places he could smoke; his wife hated the smell of cigar smoke. However, he had bought the Escalade himself, so she allowed him to smoke in it and in the backyard. As long as he picked up the stubs of course, if he let any fall into the yard or left one on the patio, there was hell to pay.

As he smoked, he watched a group of teenage girls inside a pizzeria. The youngest was only fifteen. She was supposed to be home over an hour ago. Her mother was going to be livid. There would be shouting and screaming. After all, there was a serial killer on the loose.

This girl though, wasn’t his target. She wasn’t his type. She was too young, too wild for his tastes. He preferred them to be prim and proper and full grown women. Besides, she was his daughter. No one else in the group fit his purpose either, but their waitress, she was a different story. Her blond hair was pulled back in a very severe ponytail. Her face was hard set as she disapprovingly served the group of unsupervised girls. They were a little unruly in her opinion and it showed on her face.

Then again, the fifteen year old currently shoving a slice of cheese pizza into her mouth, ensured that the waitress was safe, at least for the night. His wife had been insistent that he go find the girl and bring her home. If he didn’t return with the girl, there would be hell to pay.


Hadena James is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GUEST POST: Exclusive Epilogue and Playlist from Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury


I really wanted to revisit Klaus and Aurelia, and write an epilogue about the two of them.
I have below an exclusive, not-published epilogue involving the two characters. I hope everyone who reads the novel can come back to this and enjoy!

For those who can’t enjoy (or want to wait until they read the novel) I also enclosed my exclusive playlist of all the songs I used in writing “Allerleirauh.”




Without further ado – The Exclusive Epilogue

I was surprised to see Klaus kneeling in front of the fireplace, as I slowly entered his bed chamber. The wedding festivities had long since gone away with the ringing of the soft indication of hours; As Klaus and I parted in our dinner and dances, I escaped to my own bedroom where Mrs. Benson waited for me. She drew a warm bath for me, smiling every so often in my direction. I could not help but echo the same sentiments. Today was a beautiful, new day. As I sat in the large tub, I tried to gather my courage for the rest of the evening. But as my gaze fell upon Klaus’s face, I knew I had nothing to fear. Just as I had known as I walked towards him earlier in the cathedral.

“I had wondered if I should expect you tonight,” Klaus said with a grin and extended his hand out to me. “Or if I would have to seek you out myself.” I let out a shaky laugh and shook my head.
“Indeed not.”
“I had the servants bring some spiced chocolate,” Klaus gestured to the small arrangement on the floor, where I then took notice of blankets and pillows carefully placed to accommodate the both of us.
“Would you join me, my lovely wife?” I could not help the joyful flutter that filled my heart and stomach at his voice;wife.

“I wanted to know if you’d help me do something,” I asked softly, glancing at him for approval. Klaus tilted his head confused and nodded.

“Alright. What do you wish to do?”

It had been some time since I had last worn the cloak, and I knew I was ready to let go of my life in Tränen; all aspects of it. I did not want to live in the past, to remember my Father’s hands or cursed words. I knew I no longer needed to hide myself as ‘Allerleirauh,’ and I would never again need to hide beneath the coat of a thousand furs. I turned back towards the door, where I had servant waiting with the fur cloak in hand. With a grateful nod, I took the garment and dismissed them quietly.

Klaus’s eyes gazed at the cloak and then slowly up at me. “What would you like to do with this?”
“I would like to burn the cloak, Klaus. I don’t need it anymore. I have everything I could ever want with you. You’ve given me a new start, a new life. You...” I paused, biting my bottom lip. “You showed me a love I never thought possible. I know with you I shall never need to hide myself again.” Klaus’s expression softened and he smiled, nodding. His hands carefully took the garment, rising it up carefully between us as he looked at the cloak more closely. I could remember watching the hunters and servants bring in the pieces of fur, by the window with Myriah, fearing my fate. Little did I know the salvation I would find in Saarland der Licht, and the safety and friendship in the arms of the Prince.

“If it’s what you’d truly wish,” he murmured, nodding as he lowered the cloak. “We can do this together.” With a nod of agreement, I followed Klaus to the make-shift bed, and knelt beside the fireplace with him. He slipped the cloak of a thousand furs into my hands and pressed a soft kiss against my forehead. The hotness of the fire warmed my arms as I leaned closer, slowly lifting the heavy fur towards the logs Klaus must have just placed before I entered the room.

“We are more. We see each other as we are, as we are meant to be seen. Not as what the world wishes us to be…”Klaus’s words from the day in the forest resounded in my mind. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of the first time at the lake with him; his charm and smile. Since the ball with my Father and the reveal of my secret, Klaus had greeted me with love every morning and tended to me with the same, every night. He would indulge me with nights in the library, small private dinners, and much laughter. I knew I would always love him. With a squeeze of my eyes, I tossed the bundle of furs onto the hot logs and watched as the flames licked and enveloped the coat. “You are more than what he’s done to you, love.” My gaze drifted back to Klaus, who watched along beside me; his jaw clenched as if he were deep in thought. After a long moment of watching the coat disappear into piles of ashes, his green eyes met mine again. Klaus lifted my hand, turning my palm upwards where he kissed my skin gently.


Title: Allerleirauh
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Genre: Fantasy Romance / Fairytale Retelling / Young Adult

Once Upon A Time… 

A King makes a promise to his dying wife to marry only someone with her golden hair. The King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her Father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting impossible gifts: Dresses created by the Sun, Moon and Stars and a Coat made of a Thousand furs. When she discovers his success, Aurelia decides to sacrifice her privileged life and escapes the Kingdom disguised in the cloak, and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.” Aurelia enters the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht where she is taken under the wing of the handsome Prince Klaus. Aurelia must face herself, her past and her fears in her journey of self discovery.

“Allerleirauh” is a Retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tale classic.



Chantal Gadoury is a young author who currently lives in Dover, Delaware with her two cats, Theo and Harper and her fiance, Robert. Originally from Muncy, PA, Chantal appreciates the beautiful mountains and enjoys visits back to see her family. She also loves anything Disney and has a reputation of beating anyone at a mean game of Disney trivia. When Chantal is not writing, she enjoys painting, watching British History Documentaries, drinking iced-coffee and spending time with loved ones. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues on with that love of writing today. Graduating from Susquehanna University with a Creative Writing BA, writing novels has become a dream come true.




Chantal Gadoury is giving away an eBook copy (international) and a signed copy (US only) of the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 25, 2016

Blog Hop: Letter to My Younger Self

My writerly pals and I are sharing an open letter to a younger self. I spent days trying to think of what to write. Usually when I talk about my younger self, I mention being bullied and having a self-esteem that couldn't get any lower. This time around I really wanted to write about something not so serious. Turns out the message I would give my younger self is, "there's some light at the end of the tunnel."



Dear Auden Age 15,

Since you're into fantasy, supernatural and sci-fi books, it'll come as no surprise that I'm you 15 years in the future and I have come to you with a message...well, a couple of messages. Technology is taking over. Comic book movies and TV shows are exploding. Being nerdy is actually cool. Who knew?! 


Stop denying your inner nerd. You think you hate video games but you really, really don't. You'll grow up to spend an unholy amount of time catching, training and battling Pokemon on your Nintendo 3DS--Game Boy's big brother. You'll want to do back flips when you finally catch a particularly...difficult Pokemon.

People are being mean to you now but have hope. After the next 2 years, you won't see them again. You'll have adventures you never even dreamed of including living in England for 3 months and backpacking across Italy for 9 days.

I can see you giving this letter your disbelieving face, don't. Why would I lie to me? 

You'll move to New York, yes NY, and you'll find people who, get this, like your skin color. I know! Now, that's unbelievable. Once you go to college, you won't be called ugly. People will actually compliment your style. By the way, your style is not hip hop, it's goth hippie--a unique combination. I know you're feeling self-conscious about your lips now but you'll get over that and start wearing black lipstick. 

There's that face again. I know you. I'm telling the truth. You hit 30 with purple hair and a tattoo. You're still a bit quiet but you're okay with that...most of the time. Gotta be honest. 

And no, you still don't look your age. And yes, it still annoys you. 

Value your true friends not the ones you hang out with just so you won't be alone. If someone treats you like you're nothing, give them a smile and walk away like you just dropped the mic. By the time you hit 30, you'll be working on your second masters.

You know that writing thing you've been running away from? Stop running. It isn't worth it. Those stories are more stubborn than you are. You will become a published author. 



Writing will become a necessity. It'll be a way to unload when you think you have no one to talk to. Keep at it. You publish most of those stories. 

I see the glimmer of hope in your eyes. Don't fight it. The road ahead won't be completely without pain. Life can suck, but you know that already. Some things won't make sense but you'll stop being bullied, you'll be comfortable with yourself, you'll discover fun and your smile in England and your journey will bring you across some amazing, trustworthy,  people.

You may not see daylight now, but it's coming.

Peace from,

Auden

Thanks for stopping by. For more letters to a younger self, visit these #Gr8blogs today. 

How a Forgotten Journal Helped Me Move Beyond a Painful Past
Cat shares excerpts from a journal written by her painfully insecure 15-yo self to OlderDarlin’--- the adult she wished to become and hoped she would do proud.

A Letter to Your Younger Self
Corrina urges her younger self to follow her heart.

Letter to My Younger Self: 
Julie shares ten sage pieces of wisdom with her younger self. She is assured that what she reveals to a teen Julie about her future life will astound her – but in a good way.

Listen To Your Inner Beach Bum, Younger Self!

Carmela Dutra, A Blog for Your Thoughts
Letter to younger self
Who says being stubborn is a bad thing?

Karen Emma Hall, Kid Literature Blogspot
A letter to my younger self and a story 

If you're interested in hopping onto Letter to a Younger Self blog, just link your post back to me or any of these #Gr8Blogs, and we'll give you some blog lovin' in return.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Week in Links 1/22/16 DC Films, Blogging Tips, Design & Colors


Book Marketing and Branding
7 Book Marketing Trends Authors Can’t Afford to Ignore
Five Marketing Models for Self-Publishing Success

Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
First Concept Art for Zack Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE - Reveals Flash, Cyborg, and More
Agent Carter’s excellent season premiere changes more than just the scenery
Understanding Natural Light Part 3: Direction of Light
An Introduction to Street Photography for New Photographers

Did you read any interesting news, tips and tricks this week?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Sixth Domicile by Courtney Ruggles



Title: The Sixth Domicile
Author: Courtney Ruggles
Genre: New Adult Dystopian

In a future ravaged by greed and war, The Domicile has emerged. A new civilization governed by clandestine Elders where citizens are united by white masks and uniform identities. To remove one’s mask, to go outside the Domicile, to show defiance, means being sent to the Meurtre, a horrifying death sentence.

Q437B doesn’t follow the rules. She craves sunlight, dares to love her childhood friend B116A, and – the most forbidden of all – has seen the true face of her beloved beneath the mask.

But when Q becomes an Adulte, The Domicile threatens to take away everything that makes her happy. She is forced to marry an abusive soldier who demands she conform. Whispers spread about the unconventional lessons she teaches her new students. And when Q openly disobeys the Elders, the people become restless, questioning the truth of the world in the wake of such defiance.

Rumblings of discontent stir as others begin to follow the path toward their freedom. The Revolution has begun, and Q is the spark that ignited the flames.


I heard his screams first.

My eyes welled with tears as I ran as fast as I could. I’d never heard him scream before, but I knew it was him. I’d recognize his voice anywhere.

I found him in in one of corridors. There – body bent over, back exposed to the whip that licked at his skin with each swing, hissing as it sliced through the air and carved his back. Blood seeped through the torn black cloth that once fully covered him.

His punisher stood over him, an expressionless enforcer methodically wielding the whip.

“Stop! I’ll take half his punishment! Please, stop!” Tears spilled from my eyes and I rushed forward, trying to beat the next stream of blood oozing from his back.

But a pair of strong arms ripped me away, grabbing me and lifting me off the floor.

“Get off me!” I demanded. “I’ll take half his punishment!” I punched my captor’s chest with my fists, feebly attempting to free myself, but his hold didn’t budge.

“You do not beg for mercy for a betrayer of the Elders and the Domicile!” the man growled at me as he carried me back the way I had come. My body shook at his lies. The bleeding boy was not a betrayer of the Domicile! He hated the Domicile as much as me, but he wasn’t a betrayer.

Or, maybe he was. And maybe I was too, I realized as I continued the fight to save my best friend. Our betrayal was in the hatred we harbored for the Domicile. The Common Law we broke repeatedly. The rules we defied, resulting in horrible beatings like this one. But I didn’t care. The Elders sought to trap us, brainwash us, make us live in blind obedience. And on the rest of them, it had worked. But I refused to submit.

I vehemently stared at the guard. We may be the betrayers of the Domicile, but the Elders were the oppressors of humanity.

I hated them, and I was going to stop them.


Courtney’s love for writing started pretty much when she learned to read, which her mother would tell you was a feat in itself back when she was in the first grade. Once she aced those flashcards with vocabulary words, Courtney’s writing took off. And her love with it. In school, she was always writing short stories on a word processor (What?? Word processor with floppy disks?). Oh yes, she literally had a card filing case full of floppy disks.

Now getting her Doctorate in social work, she’s used this education to help her writing some of the gritty issues entwined in her stories. When Courtney isn’t writing her next book while drinking coffee, you can find her doing homework (drag) with chocolate chip flavored coffee, reading series of books (because school books are only so interesting) while drinking pumpkin flavored coffee, playing with her little boy, or daydreaming of future beach houses while drinking some other scrumptious flavor of coffee.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Photography 101: Resources for Newbies


I mentioned in Special Announcements that Shutterstock accepted two of my photos!! Still, still blown away. They also rejected some saying the shots are poorly lit, out of focus or not composed properly. This started me on a new adventure--researching photography tips and Photoshop fixes. Ideally, I want to take a class, but I don't have the money right now. To Google.

Here are some articles that helped me: 
10 best photography tips for beginners
10 Quick Tips to Fix Your Bad Photos

Since I'm attending NYU, I have access to Lynda.com. For those who don't know:
"lynda.com is a leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the lynda.com video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts." 
I've been going through some photography courses. They are amazing. Lydna.com isn't free. If you can afford it, I highly recommend it. They do offer a 10-day free trial.

I also subscribed to:
YouTube Channel: Phlearn Photoshop and Photography Tutorials
Digital Photography School
Expert Photography
Photography Life
The Shutterstock Blog

I haven't looked into it yet, but there are probably photography meetups.

You can also search "Photography Tips" on Pinterest.

Find my photos on:
Deviantartfree stock photos available
Flickr
Shutterstock


Do you have a go to site or hashtag for photography tips and tricks? Comment below!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Week in Links 1/15/16 Alan Rickman, Cloverfield 2, Google Analytics


Book Marketing and Branding
BookFunnel: Low-Cost Ebook Giveaway Hosting
What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?
Author Newsletters: 6 Tips for Smart Strategies
How to Uncover Critical Content Marketing Insights Using Google Analytics

Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror
The ‘Cloverfield’ Sequel is Already Filmed…and Here’s the Trailer!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cover Reveal Party : The Running Game by L.E. Fitzpatrick

runninggamecoverreveal


712_0.858705001445480899_screen-shot-2015-10-21-at-9.28.40-pmTitle: The Running Game
Author: L.E. Fitzpatrick
Genre: Dystopian

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war-torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John had a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless ganglord only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher – one of their own kind.

James Roxton, a conman and thief, is searching for the man who tried to kill his mother. Suddenly embroiled into the plan to kidnap Rachel, he decides he can turn things to his own advantage.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?


L E Fitzpatrick is a writer of dark adventure stories and thrillers. Under the watchful eye of her beloved rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier, she leaps from trains and climbs down buildings, all from the front room of a tiny cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside.

Inspired by cult film and TV, L E Fitzpatrick’s fiction is a collection of twisted worlds and realities, broken characters, and high action. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of her imagination and creating hugely entertaining stories.

The Running Game, her latest book and the first instalment of her dystopian Reacher series, is due for re-release in October 2015 under the Booktrope label.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Special Announcements!!!


I'm entering my last semester of grad school...again. When the summer hits, I'll hopefully have my Masters in Publishing: Digital and Print from NYU! Need to get through my final grad school project first. The Lost Sciell: Book 3 of The Merging Worlds series is coming out in June. A lot is going on.

Mastermind Blog Hop
Myself and some amazing blog friends are doing a "Letter to My Younger Self" Blog Hop on January 25th. What kind of advice are we going to give our younger selves? I'm still trying to work out mine. It's coming together. Our last blog hop, #BookLuvHop, was amazing. We celebrated Book Lovers Day by talking about why we love books. This hop will be just as awesome. So much fun. Look out for that!!! Follow our hashtag #Gr8blogs to get some awesome content.

A Celebration of Author's Blog Hop Hunt
I'm participating in my first online scavenger hunt in February!
"With a click you will be magically transported on your way to an author's blog or webpage and from there you will look for the A Celebration of Author's post and who knows, if you stay long enough you might have access to exclusive content or a giveaway. Oh, and did I forget to mention the Blog Hop Hunt bundle prize when you finally reach the end.
A Celebration of Author's Hunt will run for a week, showcasing a variety of authors and genres as you take a journey of discovery ." (ACOA Blog Hop Hunt)
Yay, fun. Click the link above to find out more info!!

Virtual FantasyCon 2016
Last year, I participating in the first fantasy con to take place entirely on Facebook and it was awesome!!! It's a free event open to those interested in fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I spoke on a panel, connected with some great authors, sold some books, ran some giveaways.

It's happening again this year!! You can be apart of it.
"Virtual FantasyCon is an online event showcasing those who are part of the Fantasy community. It is exactly like a regular convention, except it is free, you don't have to travel, and you can participate from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you have a wi-fi connection.
It takes place over a span of eight days in Facebook events, allowing members of the Fantasy community to connect with Fantasy fans from around the world."
How does it work? The author's booth is a Facebook post published by the admin on the day of the event. It includes your bio and a link to your Facebook page. You interact with people through the comment section by asking and answering questions, running a giveaway, posting videos, images, book excerpts... anything you want.

Here's the schedule:
Sun, October 9th - Epic/Sword & Sorcery (Includes High Fantasy)
Mon, October 10th - Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy/Time-Travel
Tue, October 11th - Fairytale/Punk (Includes all versions of Punk)
Wed, October 12th - Paranormal/Urban
Thu, October 13th - Series/Short Stories (Includes all subgenres of Fantasy Series & Collections/Anthologies of Short Stories)
Fri, October 14th - Dystopian/Apocalyptic
Sat, October 15th - Dark/GrimDark/Horror
Sun, October 16th - Children/YA Fantasy


The event is so much more than author booths. There's a scavenger hunt, a cosplay booth, lots of giveaways and more.

Last year, I participated on one day-- Dark Tuesday. This year, I signed up for Sci-Fi/Sci-Fantasy/Time-Travel; Dystopian/Apocalyptic; and Dark/GrimDark/Horror.

This is a great networking event.

Sign up now, it's free!

Contributor
I'm now a contributor to Shutterstock, stock photos, and The Book Cover Designer, premade book covers!

What's new with you?

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Week in Links 1/8/16 The Conjuring 2, Daredevil, Vloggers


Book Marketing and Branding
How to Generate Leads With Social Media Quizzes
Top 5 YouTube book vloggers

Did you read any memorable articles this week?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Henchgirl by Rita Stradling




Title: Henchgirl
Author: Rita Stradling
Genre: YA Fantasy

I had never thought my life was ideal, but it had been manageable.

By day I pretended to be a human, going to a 'human's only' high-school, making human friends and trying to get the attention of Keanu Hale, my school’s quarterback. At night, I worked as a henchman, making sure no one got in the way of my grandfather’s hotel-empire which spanned across the Mabiian island chain. I was my grandfather’s most cherished weapon, I stole and manipulated emotions, I would even drain someone of their ability to feel joy if my grandfather ordered me to.

I won’t apologize for what I did, it kept my sisters fed and my grandfather from finding out that my mother squandered our monthly allowance on shopping and throwing extravagant parties. It kept my family alive. But more importantly, my job kept me from being trained to be a wife and married off to some rich and powerful dracon, a human-dragon hybrid, as all girls with one-eighth dragon blood are.

As I said, my life was just manageable, until Wyvern Manderson vacationed to my island. Wyvern Manderson, the rich, powerful, and famous for something or other, half-dragon jerk, just kept showing up, sabotaging my missions and ordering me around. On top of that, for some reason he was always angry at me.

Pretty soon I was suspended from further missions, facing eminent financial ruin and still had to see the jerk everywhere I went. When my friend Amanda from my human-high-school vanished, Amanda turned out to be Wyvern’s human half-sister he was keeping secret and protecting.

Taking on the mission to find Amanda might have been what I needed to save my family from losing everything, but to do it I would have to spend all day everyday with the jerk. To top that all off, Amanda was not the only girl who disappeared, and when girls started being discovered dead I realized that my sanity wasn’t the biggest thing I would be risking in this investigation; I might very well be the next to die.


Wyvern dodged a head on collision with a quick turn of the wheel, almost side swiping the car beside us.

"You purchased rental car insurance, right?" I asked when I could unclench my jaw.

"Why?" he asked.

"I’m just thinking that you will probably survive when we go off the cliff but I have some serious doubts about whether I or the car will."

"I doubt the car has insurance," he said, not slowing down, "Whoever rented this spared every expense."

If his voice was not so serious I’d be suspicious that he just made a joke. Then the meaning of his words sunk in. "This isn't your rental car?" I asked.

He leveled a look on me like he thought I could count my IQ points on my fingers and toes. “My car was blocked in,” he said as if it was the most logical thing in the world.

I opened the glove-compartment to find the rental contract; but within the compartment was a solid wall of candy wrappers and fast food bags, as if someone tried to clean the car but had not discovered the wonders of a trash receptacle yet. I pealed the contract off the very bottom of the trash brick, it was covered in ketchup. "Figures. It's my aunt Milda's car,” I said. “And yeah, she did not get insurance. Ok, so, let me make sure I’m getting this right...you stole this car from my aunt Milda because you did not want to wait for the valet to get yours out?"

He did not answer.

“I wonder if they make drake-serpent-leather straitjackets,” I mumbled.


Rita Stradling lives with her husband and son in Northern California. Her six year old son wants to be a train when he grows up. She has a BA in Art History and a particular interest in modern and medieval art.

Rita has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.






Monday, January 4, 2016

Using Hashtags in Your Twitter Profile

You can't just use social media. You have to examine it. Watch for any new trends.

I'm noticing more people are putting hashtags in their Twitter bio. Some articles about Twitter profiles say don't do this while others say it's okay. I think the profile looks more attractive without the hashtags.

In the past, if someone followed me and they had hashtags in their bio, I wouldn't follow them back. The practice screamed Twitter Newb. Now, most people who follow me have hashtags in their bio. Some of these accounts have more followers than I do. I lightened up. Now, it depends on the way they use hashtags. I'll follow back if the bio isn't packed with hashtags just for the sake of it.

Who knows, maybe if I throw in a few hashtags, my rate of followers per day will increase. People seem to use the practice to increase search engine optimization (SEO). If you're going to use hashtag in your profile, please don't include more than three, and three is pushing it.

I think this is a matter of personal preference.

Side note: If your Twitter profile doesn't have a header image, please add one. The header function has been around long enough for it to become standard practice now.

What do you think about hashtags in a Twitter bio?

11 Twitter Bio Ideas To Get More Followers And Engagement
The 7 Key Ingredients of a Powerful Twitter Bio
8 Reasons Why Every Business Needs Custom Twitter Hashtags
How to Write a Rockstar Twitter Bio

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year! Have a safe day. Wishing you awesomeness this year.