Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WE’VE GOT MOVIE SIGN! Ninja News, Wednesday Movie Quote, Movie Review, March Movies, and Movie Trivia

And bonus points if you can name the movie/show from that first sentence!

Ninja News

Justine Dell’s All-American Girl hit the shelves on Tuesday. She’s on tour with many opportunities to win free books and stuff. Congratulations, Justine!

Isis Rushdan, awesome person that she is, will be giving away copies of my books today! You rock, Isis.

Don’t forget, Wednesday March 6 is the next posting for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. My awesome co-hosts will be Misha Gericke and Joylene Nowell Butler!

Thanks to those who’ve continued to post my next book’s cover this week. (And to clarify, my publisher did the cover for CassaStorm. Carrie Butler made the three book graphic.)
Michael Di Gesu at In Time posted on Monday with a “Journey into Space” and the series continues all week – check it out!The Ninja Captain and Cadet Michael are traveling the universe.

And since today is all about movies, don’t forget that March 18 is my Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest.

Wednesday Movie Quote

Leave your favorite quote in the comments or play along on your own blog.

Today – romantic comedies.

My quote comes from one of the best romantic comedies ever made, When Harry Met Sally, and it’s a classic:

“I’ll have what she’s having.”

Next week – cell animation movies.

Movie Review

Despite the fact it was directed by Seth MacFarlane, I couldn’t bring myself to see this in the theater, but I caught it last weekend on NetFlix.
A childhood wish brings Ted to life, and many years later, he and Wahlburg’s character are still friends. Yes, it’s crude, and crosses the line more than once. (A lot less than Family Guy does though, which surprised me.) Ted is snarky but not mean-spirited. Their friendship is tested when Wahlburg’s girlfriend suggests Ted moves out on his own.
I liked it more than I thought I would. What surprised me was that at its heart, this is romantic comedy. If you can get past the crude aspects, it’s both funny and sweet.

March Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming movies for March! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

1 -

Jack the Giant Slayer
The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy
If you’ve seen the original (preferably the version slayed by MST3K’s Riff Trax guys) then you know this has to be better!

8 –

Oz the Great and Powerful
A small-time magician with dubious ethics arrives in a magical land and must decide if he will be a good man or a great one.
Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis
The previews are great and Rami as director raises its chances. (And it has Rachel Weisz!)

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey follows the real life rock-n-roll fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from You Tube to become the front man for iconic American rock band, Journey, thereby becoming the latest performer to go from the Internet to real life celebrity. Having already overcome a life full of painful obstacles and now saddled with the immense pressures of leading a world renowned band and replacing a legendary singer, the film follows Arnel on this personal journey.
Director: Ramona S. Diaz
Stars: Arnel Pineda, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory
I won’t catch it in theaters, but the success of Pineda as Journey’s new front man is amazing.

15 –

Upside Down
Adam and Eden fell in love as teens despite the fact that they live on twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions. Ten years after a forced separation, Adam sets out on a dangerous quest to reconnect with his love.
Director: Juan Solanas
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall, Agnieshka Wnorowska
This one has been delayed a while. Never a good sign!

22 –

The Croods
The world's very first prehistoric family goes on a road trip to an uncharted and fantastical world. Directors: Kirk De Micco | Chris Sanders
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener
Can anyone name a Nicolas Cage film in the last ten years that was good? Maybe since he’s just a voice it will be all right.

29 –

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. Director: Jon M. Chu
Stars: Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park, Bruce Willis
This one was delayed from last summer. And it has Dwayne Johnson. This could be road kill.

Movie Trivia!

Quotes from blockbuster movies – name the movie:

1 – "Certainty of death, small chance of success… What are we waiting for?"

2 – "You HAVE the right to remain silent. What you lack is the capacity."

3 – "Sir, I’m gonna have to ask you to exit the donut."

4 – "No, I’m, I’m simply saying that life, uh… finds a way."

5 – "That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, is killed in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards."

Ready for next week’s IWSG? Following the Journey into Space? What’s your favorite romantic movie quote? Excited about any of the March movies? And care to take a stab at the trivia?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Big Thanks, Ninja News, Jewel of Shaylor Cover Reveal, and a Neumarian Uprising!

A huge thanks to everyone who helped with my cover reveal of CassaStorm last Friday – and those who are posting it this week! I was truly overwhelmed. I’d hoped that maybe twenty or thirty people might help, but over a hundred posted for me. Thank you! Yes, I am very excited about the cover – best one yet. Special thanks to Carrie Butler who made the awesome graphic of all three of my books!

Ninja News

Misha Gericke announced the nominations for the Paying it Forward Awards – thanks to whoever nominated me for two categories! Voting is open until February 28. Good to luck to everyone.

Livia gave me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you Livia! I’m supposed to tell you seven things, but since that would be boring, I’ll just tell you one – I hate Brussels Sprouts.

Passing it on to three bloggers who inspire me:
Robin at Your Daily Dose
ML Swift
Mark at Left and Write

Laura Bambrey’s new book, Yes No Maybe, is available now! Congratulations, Laura.

Hildie McQueen’s Street Team, McQueen’s Moonlighters, is up and running! What is a Street Team? “A street team are a group of people that enjoy a specific author’s books and assists in promoting the author by giving out book cover cards, pens, buttons and other promotional items for the author.” Check out her site for details.

Nigel Mitchell just announced that TOONS is now live. He’s released Part 1 (Bad Toon Rising) and Part 2 (Get Lucky) of the series. Congratulations, Nigel!

Roland Yeomans is the talented author behind almost two dozen books – and this month, the proceeds from sales of his books go to the Salvation Army. If you’ve never purchased one of Roland’s books and experienced his rich writing, February is the month to do so!

Cover Reveal!

Jewel of Shaylar by Laura Eno

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.
Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.
David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

Find Laura: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Neumarian Uprising!

We need your help! Thanks to our spy, Ciara Knight, we are able to communicate with you today via blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The Neumarian uprising has begun. We are fighting for freedom and equality for all, but we need your help. Ciara informed us that you might want to know more about the uprising and why we ask you to risk your lives for our cause. To answer these questions I’ve agreed to let Ciara tell my sister’s, Raeth’s, story about her captivity. It will be free for you on a site called Amazon until March 1, 2013.

Our spies have told us this will help spread the word and find more recruits for our rebellion against the tyrannical queen. You can help by simply downloading a free copy of Weighted, a prequel to the Neumarian Chronicles. If you are intrigued and wish to follow our uprising, Escapement, book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, will be available for only $2.99 until March 1, 2013.

Escapement, is told by Princess Semara. Don’t hold the fact Semara is a princess against her like I did, there is more to her than you can possibly imagine.

Here is a brief explanation of her telling of our uprising:
Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.

What people are saying about Escapement:

“A heady mix of action adventure and steampunk -- leavened with a dash of romance -- ESCAPEMENT offers up its fair share of thrills, horrors and heart-pounding moments. A strong start to a captivating new series.” - Jana Oliver, author of The Demon Trapper's Daughter

“A riveting tale of justice, mercy, honor and love. Take a deep breath and hold on, because you'll be turning the pages of Escapement quickly. Three unlikely comrades, Princess Semara, Ryder, and his sister Raeth, embark on a journey that will alter their lives forever. The beautiful love story nestled into these action-packed scenes will make you sigh and remember why you love to love. After reading the prequel Weighted, I knew this story would be amazing, and it was. Ciara Knight truly has a gift for creating awesome worlds and characters you won't forget.” -Lindi Peterson--Award winning author of Summer's Song.

“Betrayal, secrets, and a rebellion send readers on a grand adventure, caught in the plight to discover Semara’s gifts and purpose.” -Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon best sellers CassaStar and CassaFire

“The most unmissable series ever! I couldn't stop reading, the action and romance too breathtaking to break the spell!” -ARC review by Sudah on Goodreads

"A courageous heart-stopping journey by young people to save their kind." -Hildie McQueen, bestselling author of Where the Four Winds Collide

If you’d like to see a peak into our world, please view this short clip on YouTube.

If you are now ready to join our fight, please add Escapement to your TBR shelf on Goodreads. Shout out on all your social media sites, and tell everyone you know to stand up and fight.
Be Bold.
Be Brave.
Be Free.
In the name of the rebellion,
Ryder Arteres

Visit Ciara Knight to enter the giveaway.

Thanks again and hope everyone liked the cover for CassaStorm. Picking up some new books? Voting for Paying it Forward or joining the Street Team? Ready for Laura Eno’s new book? And are you part of the Neumarian uprising?

Friday, February 22, 2013

CassaStorm Cover Reveal! And Ninja News, Cover Reveals and Releases, and Celebrating the Small Things

CassaStorm cover reveal today! But first...

I am visiting Allison at Geek Banter today! Signed up for the A to Z Challenge but don’t have a topic yet? Want a geeky topic? Then head on over to Allison’s site when you finish here.

Ninja News

A to Z Challenge co-hosts, Nicole and Tina, were interviewed over at Curiosity Quills. If you want to learn a little more about the Challenge, check it out – the ladies did a fantastic job.

MJ Joachim had a great post about making it easy to find and follow one’s blog.

There was so much happening on Wednesday, I completely forgot the Wednesday Movie Quote!! Epic Ninja fail. (Thank you Robin for pointing it out.) Third time’s a charm – next Wednesday, romantic comedy quotes for sure. It’s in my calendar.

And found out yesterday that CassatStar is on Goodreads’ top Space Jocks books. If you have the time, would appreciate your vote! And thanks to the person who got it on the list.

Cover Reveals and Releases!

Several today!

A couple break up on a rainy night; a runaway longs to go home; a woman finds comfort from eating lunch as her best friend lies in hospital; a teenager feels oppressed by her father. All of the characters in these stories are trying to find their place in the world, attempting to find connections that matter with the people around them.

This collection brings together prize-winning and published stories from the past twenty years: the ‘greatest hits’.

That Sadie Thing and other stories will be available on
Kindle Monday 25th February 2013.

Annalisa Crawford lives and writes in Cornwall with a good supply of beaches and moorland to keep her inspired. She finds endless possibilities in the relationships between people. As this collection testifies, she has been writing for twenty years - but doesn't feel a day over twenty-one.

Find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

The Truth About Letting Go 
by Leigh Talbert Moore

Purchase here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBookstore.

Find Leigh: Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Unleashing the CassaStorm!

Are you ready?

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

Yes, I am very stoked!!!!! That cover rocks.

Celebrating the Small Things

VikLit’s weekly meme.

Sharing my cover was a big thing, but something else cool is happening today.

Yes, sex and controversy sell. But I have never (nor will ever) put sex, foul language, or anything immoral in my books. I wanted my books to be accessible to everyone, just as I enjoyed reading the genre as a kid.

And I’m really glad I made that decision, because Kimberly Gabriel shared my books with her seventh grade class and they were very excited to read them. Now, not only did they order several copies and received bookmarks, the kids put together some questions for me. And today, Kimberly is sharing my answers with her class, along with the cover for CassaStorm.


Hope the kids enjoyed it, Kimberly.

(And if any of you are teachers, let me know – I’d love to do that again!)

Ready for the A to Z Challenge? Excited about the upcoming books? What small thing are you celebrating? And what do think of CassaStorm’s cover? (It’s been tough to sit on this for a whole week!)

Don’t forget to visit Geek Banter for some geeky A to Z Challenge topic suggestions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ninja News, Secondhand Shoes, Movie Trivia Answers, She Said What Blogfest, and the Level Up! Blogfest

Today I am visiting the The Alliterative Allomorph! Jessica Bell is a super talented author and musician and somehow she talked me into a guest post that compares the two. (Yes, it’s garage-band man meets Joe Satriani.)

Ninja News

Literary Rambles is holding a 3000 followers giveaway with tons of books and a five page critique. They are also looking for young adult and middle grade writers and authors, so stop by.

Mark Koopmans won the “2013 Best Memoir” Award at the Southern California Writers' Conference last weekend. Way to go, Madman Mark!

Misha Gericke’s Paying it Forward Awards are now open for February nominations, and there are twice the prizes available!

Friday is the big reveal for CassaStorm’s cover! Thanks to all who signed up to help HERE. (I’ll be sending the cover and back cover synopsis Thursday.)
And just a sneak peek…

Run-Away-Bride Give-a-way

Secondhand Shoes by Shelly Arkon is available now!

Spread the News and Cheer on the Run-Away-Bride Give-a-way! The eBook is free through February 21. She’s also be giving away two fifteen dollar amazon cards and two autographed copies of Secondhand Shoes, but they must give Lila some helpful advice and promise to spread the news. I mean, it is her wedding day, after all.

Secondhand Shoes is now available on Amazon either in paperback or as an eBook. Paperback is $13.50. Ebook is $4.99. But from February 19 through the 21 the eBook is FREE to everyone.

Movie Trivia Answers

1 – Kurt Russell and James Spader, 1994 - Stargate
2 – Peter Weller and Nancy Allen, 1987 - Robocop
3 – Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, 1995 - Twelve Monkeys
4 – Ron Pearlman and John Hurt, 2004 - Hellboy
5 – Lori Petty and Ice-T, 1995 - Tank Girl
6 – Keanu Reeves and George Carlin, 1989 - Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

She Said What Blogfest

Hosted by Elise Fallson and Michelle at Writer In Transit. Fill in the blank captions.

Michelle: I over-twisted the braids on my head. I'm pretty sure I'm hallucinating.

Elise: You think you got problems. I just barfed up a hairball.

Elise: Oh, for the love of....did you just get tangled in my hairball vomit?

Michelle: Yes, hoist me up before the champagne and LSD start running out my nose.

V-Boy: Pardon me ladies....but do you have any Grey Poupon?

Elise: On my honor...this is the last time I mix Orange Tango with massive amounts of psychotropic drugs.

Michelle: All buzz is starting to wear off.

Elise: Are these breasts or pockets?

Extinct Dino Dude: Kids, drugs are dangerous. Take my advice.....just say no.

Ladies: A message from Mothers Against Cheeky Children Doing Drugs.

Level Up! Blogfest

Hosted by Jamie at Mithril Wisdom and Allison at Geek Banter - name your favorite games.

1. Movie Trivia Games
If you need someone to fill out your movie trivia team, then I am your man. I've watched so many movies that it's either very impressive or really pathetic. I have a knack for remembering actors, directors, plots and titles. I love all sorts of movie trivia from board games to iPad apps. I give my wife fits because when I am dialed in, I can win a game without giving her a turn. However, this happens with less frequency because I've watched so many movies that my brain is turning to tapioca.

2. StarCraft
This is a no brainer (which is helpful for good ol' tapioca brain.) For my money, the greatest RTS game ever made (that's Real Time Strategy for you noobs.) Featuring three distinct races (Terran, Zerg and Protoss), a great tech tree, an engaging campaign, and a pop-culture sense of humor, StarCraft is a rare game that works on every level and has amazing replay ability. Even though the graphics are a bit dated, the game still rocks and deserves a spot on the Mount Rushmore of gaming.

3. Dungeons & Dragons
I know, this just screams nerd in the basement with a 20-sided die and a half-elf named HoHo the Magic Newt. Well, that nerd was me. This game helped me to harness my imagination, develop problem solving, and taught invaluable lessons on how to work as a team. (And the consequences if you don't.) It also played a role in my moral upbringing. The scenarios that we encountered offered so many moral and social dilemmas. It's been a long time since I played but I will always treasure the friendships and the camaraderie.

Whoa! Some awesome news today. Picking up Shelly’s Secondhand Shoes? Get any of the movie trivia right? Participating in Elise and Michelle’s blogfest? What are some of your favorite games? Think I watch too many movies…?

Don’t forget to visit Jessica Bell.

And Friday… prepare for a CassaStorm!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ninja News, 1304-The Harbinger, Blogfest Overload, and Movie Trivia!

Ninja News

The second book in the Vallar series by Cindy Borgne is available now. Congratulations, Cindy!

Purchase the book here at Amazon. And the first book is currently ninety-nine cents at Amazon.

Ali Cross’ latest, a middle grade sci fi adventure titled JUMP BOYS: SOS, is out now. (And I’d like to add that she chose an awesome pen name.)

Don't forget the Wednesday Movie Quote returns with one from a romantic comedy!

Cover Reveal

1304 – The Harbinger (The 13th Floor series, #4)
By Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: March 13th, 2013

Meira Harper loves both her jobs: talking about beautiful shoes and fetching souls for Zeus. But the Thunder God threatens the harpy's loyalty to her job when she receives the call to bring the soul of gorgeous Sam Wright. Meira pleads with her boss to let him live. Zeus agrees, but Sam must fight for his life. If Sam can win three challenges, he can keep his soul.
The gods never play fairly, though, so Meira needs to find ways to help Sam with the challenges. She cannot outwardly cross her master, but she refuses to let the man she loves lose his soul. They haven't even had a chance to start a life together.
Sam's soul is on the line. Meira's will be too if she's caught, but that's a risk she's willing to take.

Find Christine Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blogfest Overload?

There are a lot of upcoming blogfests. Is it overload? Have we saturated the novelty of a blogfest?

I think we’re seeing a lot right now because people are trying to host one before the A to Z Challenge begins. (Blogfests, book tours, etc. are difficult to do during the Challenge since so many are focused on the Challenge itself.)

Too many? Perhaps, but I enjoy the sense of community and involvement. Besides, most are just fun!

And if you’ve missed some of the announcements, here’s a list:

Today and February 20 - Elise Fallson and Michelle at Writer In Transit are hosting the She Said What Blogfest.

February 20 - Jamie at Mithril Wisdom and Allison at Geek Banter are hosting the Level Up! Blogfest.

March 1M Pax, Suze, and Nicki Elson are hosting the Back From the Future Blogfest.

March 1 - Clare Dugmore and Kyra Lennon are hosting the Bloghop of Joy.

March 14 - Stephen Tremp, Laura Eno, LG Smith are hosting the National Wormhole Day Blogfest.

March 15 - Mark Koopmans is hosting his annual Got Green Blog O’ Hop.

March 18 is my Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest.

All of April – the A to Z Challenge.

Ongoing –

First Wednesday of every month - Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Every Friday - Celebrate the Small Things, hosted by VikLit.

Once a month is Writers4Writers

And this Friday only, my CassaStorm Cover Reveal! Big thanks to those who’ve signed up to help with the reveal on February 22.
(I finally saw my cover last Friday afternoon – it rocks!)

Movie Trivia

Name the science fiction (ish) movie featuring these actors:

1 – Kurt Russell and James Spader, 1994

2 – Peter Weller and Nancy Allen, 1987

3 – Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, 1995

4 – Ron Pearlman and John Hurt, 2004

5 – Lori Petty and Ice-T, 1995

6 – Keanu Reeves and George Carlin, 1989

See some cool new books you need to pick up? Think we've hit blogfest overload? How many have you signed up for before the A to Z Challenge begins? (Did I miss any?) And do you know any of the trivia answers?

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Magic Wakes Hop, Ninja News, Small Things, and the Best Way to Support an Author

The Magic Wakes Mini Blog Hop!

Thanks for hosting me today Alex!

So many wonderful people have offered to help me out with my debut book release blog tour that somehow I signed up 6 people for my 5 stop mini blog hop today. Now some people might think this is a sign of poor planning, but I choose to see it as an opportunity and a blessing. What better place to start a blog hop than on the most supportive writer’s blog in the blogosphere?

Today’s blog hop is a series of bite sized posts on my Top 5 Things I Wish I Had Know Before I Started Writing. 5 great bloggers agreed to host me on their blogs:

Cally Jackson--Time
Elizabeth Poole--Publishing Options
Charity--The Process
Mason CanyonCritique Partners
Katy Sozaeva--Platform Building

If you want to learn more about the novel, you can visit my website to read the blurb and view the trailer.
And don’t forget to sign up for my two giveaways on my blog under the giveaways tab. You can win one of two amethyst necklaces that I made to represent my MCs necklace, and/or 1 of 2 signed copies of the printed book on Goodreads.

Charity Bradford
The Magic Wakes February 19th, 2013 from WiDo Publishing
Blog - My Writing Journey

Congratulations, Charity!

Ninja News

Everyone have a good Valentine’s Day? We didn’t do anything really special. But then, I don’t need a special day to tell my wife I love her.

The A to Z Challenge Participant list on Twitter can be found HERE

Terry Lynn Johnson revealed the cover of Ice Dogs, due out February 2014, this week – and it’s amazing. Congratulations, Terry!

Christine Rains’ latest book is now available – 1303: The Dragonslayer.

Mina Burrows revealed the cover and blurb for her upcoming book, Blessed Blood. Congratulations, Mina!

Misha Gericke announced the winners of the Paying Forward Awards:
Most Encouraging Blogger:
1) Alex J. Cavanaugh
2) Julie Luek
Best Reviewer:
1) David Powers King
2) Amy Cockram
Best Writing/Inspirational Blogger:
1) Annalisa Crawford
2) Elizabeth Spann Craig
Beginner/Small Blogger with Most Potential:
1) Livia Peterson
2) Al Diaz
Thanks to everyone who voted for me and congratulations to the other winners!

Clare and Kyra are hosting the Bloghop of Joy on March 1 – see their sites to sign up.

Celebrate the Small Things

For VikLit’s weekly “Celebrate the Small Things,” I’m celebrating that I’m almost done with revisions to CassaStorm and plan to send it back to my publisher on Monday!

Next Friday I’ll be celebrating something big - the CassaStorm Cover Reveal! Thanks again to everyone who has signed up to help.

Best Way to Help an Author

Elizabeth Craig at Mystery Writing is Murder posted this week about author copies, but she stated that the best way to support an author was to buy that author’s book. (I’d also read that on a major book marketing site recently.)

That’s good to know, because I’ve purchased a lot of my author buddies’ books! (And those of you with books in the iBookstore – I and my two dozen iTunes gift cards thank you.)

Of course, I’ll keep doing features and shout-outs here, because I know those help as well.

Following Charity’s tour or plan to pick up her book? (I already have it!) What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Excited about the new books and covers? Celebrating something small this week? And do you support authors by buying their books?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ninaj News, A to Z Minions, Wacky Waddles, Champion in the Darkness, and is Blogging Dying?

Ninja News

Gypsywoman (a.k.a. Jenean C. Gilstrap) just released a new book, Words Unspoken from Yareah Book Publishers. Congratulations, Jenean!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my CassaStorm Cover Reveal on February 22!

The A to Z Challenge list continues to grow – 650 participants now.

Don’t forget my Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest on March 18!

Wednesday Movie Quote is being postponed until next week! Sorry, but I’m taking Wednesday off this week. I’ve finished revisions on CassaStorm and want to go through it once more, so I need some extra time this week. Wednesday Movie Quote will resume on February 20 with a “romantic comedies” quote.

A to Z Minions!

Thanks to all of the volunteers last Friday – I was overwhelmed! I let some of the other hosts select from the list as well. Special thanks to those who are now officially A to Z Ninja Minions:

Al Diaz
Ciara Knight
Elise Fallson
Heather Gardner
JL Campbell
Joylene Nowell Butler

Miranda Hardy’s Picture Book Release!

Wacky Waddles is a rhyming picture book for young readers written by Miranda Hardy and illustrated by Rimi Rasheed. You can find their bios at Quixotic Publishing.

Wacky Waddles is currently available in print and ebook versions on Amazon, as well as an ebook through Barnes and Noble.

Champion in the Darkness by Tyrean Martinson

Available today!!

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master's blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to ov
ercome the darkness.
Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy.

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Northwest, encouraged by her loving husband and daughters, and reminded to exercise by her dogs and cat. Champion in the Darkness is the first book in the Champion Trilogy, and she has previously published short stories and poetry.

Champion in the Darkness can be found at Amazon, Smashwords, and Goodreads

Is Blogging Dying?

I know that question has been bouncing around for a while, but thought it was time I tackled the topic here.

Andrew Leon’s post for the IWSG tackled the topic of blog traffic. I read through the comments later and one caught my attention.

From Brandon and Bryan at A Beer For the Shower -
“I always hear that blogging is dying (especially from agents in the publishing industry) and yet I've seen nothing to support it. Yes, blogging's probably smaller than it was 5 years ago, but the people that say this kind of thing act like you should just stop trying because it's pointless. And yet the two of us sold thousands of books last year, books we would have not sold if all we had was a Facebook fan page and a personal website. So until we get 10 pageviews and 0 comments a day, and until we start getting 0 sales on Amazon, I'm going to keep blogging and I'm also going to keep believing that it's single-handedly the biggest reach we have.”

Not only do I agree with Brandon and Bryan, but that comment could’ve come from me. (Although I don’t think blogging is any smaller or larger than when I began a little over three years ago.) Even my publisher says this blog has made a huge impact on book sales, especially as I am so involved in the community. I’m on Twitter and Goodreads, but I don’t have a Facebook account or a website. I don’t write for a magazine, I don’t post my work elsewhere, and I’m not involved in any forums. This blog is my prime focus.

But as far as the rumor that blogging is dying, I don’t think it’s happening either. There is a natural ebb and flow to all things.

I think over the past year, some bloggers have ceased to follow new blogs. That was a common complaint last year after the A to Z Challenge – participants didn’t gain the following they expected. I haven’t gained a lot of followers in the past year either. (Which is all right – it’s given me time to build friendships with those who follow me now.)

And while many bloggers have chosen to pull back or give up (and after three years, I could give you quite a list of those who no longer blog) just as many new bloggers have taken their place. People like Livia and Father Dragon Al, who’ve jumped into blogging excited and ready to go. I don’t know about you, but their enthusiasm keeps blogging fresh for me.

Maybe that’s why blogging seems to be dying for some people – their circle of blogging friends is shrinking. There are definite spheres of influence in the blogging world as well, and I’ve also been around long enough to watch those circles shift, grow, and fade.

Bottom line for me – blogging is not dying.

What do you think?

Signed up for all of the events? Are you an A to Z Minion? (There are perks!) Picking up Mirands’s or Tyrean’s new books? And do you think blogging is dying?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Author Mistakes with L. Diane Wolfe, Ninja News, A to Z Challenge Needs Minions, and CassaStorm Cover Reveal!

Today I welcome author and professional speaker, L. Diane Wolfe! Her new book, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now has some great tips in it for both unpublished writers and seasoned authors. If you haven’t picked it up, you need to!

Common Writer/Author Mistakes

I’ve been involved in the publishing industry for almost ten years now and given my publishing and promoting seminars for almost six years. I’ve seen many writers and authors make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. But, I’d like to keep YOU from making mistakes.

I have to get an agent!
No, you don’t! If you are aiming at the Big Five or one of the top mid-sized publishers, you need an agent. But there are tens of thousands of publishers who accept direct submissions without an agent. Remember, getting an agent is only part of the process, and 9 out of 10 agented manuscripts never find a home.

Rushing a book
“I just finished writing my book - it will be out next month.”
You’ll miss many key steps that way - professional editing, sending review copies, early promotions, cover and interior design, etc. Once you finish writing your book, allow 4-12 months before public consumption.

No editor
The reason self-publishing has such a bad rap is poor editing. Don’t be part of the problem! If you are self-publishing your work, you MUST hire a professional book editor. It is YOUR reputation on the line. If you skip this step, it will show.

Review bribing
We’ve all seen what happens when an author pays for reviews. But there are other ways to make payments, such as giving five star reviews to other authors in exchange for similar reviews on your book. (Or threatening to turn them into one star reviews if not reciprocated.) Don’t do it. (Or fall for it.)

Double booking blog tour dates
Guest posts are a win-win - the host wins when the guest brings his or her followers to the site and the guest wins with exposure to the host’s followers. When you double-book, that dilutes your followers and shortchanges the hosts. Only one major stop each day.

Comment counts
There are many ways to respond to blog comments. Look carefully at potential hosts and your own. Responding to individual comments with a comment is often viewed as “Padding the Comments.” Thus, a site that appears to have 50 comments might really only have 20-25 unique comments. Responding to comments via email or in batches with one comment is better

Please, avoid the pitfalls. Your book is your dream - give it the best chance!

Find Diane - Blog, Website, Twitter, and Facebook
Find her book - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, and Powell’s
$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0

Ninja News

Thanks to everyone who participated in this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group! So many touching and inspiring posts – you guys amaze me. BIG thanks to my co-hosts, Stephen Tremp and Julie Flanders. The group is over three hundred strong now, and despite my best efforts on Wednesday, I only visited half that number. So I really appreciate my co-hosts for helping me make everyone feel welcome.

March 14 is the National Wormhole Day Blogfest! Hosted by Stephen Tremp, Laura Eno, and LG Smith. What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once?

And… Julie Flanders’ book, Polar Nights, is available now! Congratulations, Julie.

A to Z Challenge is Looking for Minions!!

The thirteen hosts of the Challenge are looking for helpers. Some need help before the Challenge, some during, and some both. For full details and to volunteer, got to the A to Z Blog.

I’ve already asked (or rather called dibs on) Elise Fallson and JL Campbell to help me.

But I need three more people to assist during the Challenge. (It involves visiting approximately twenty blogs during the month – easy!) So if you would like to be a Ninja Minion, just say so in the comments!

CassaStorm Cover Reveal!

The cover for my third book, CassaStorm, is supposed to be ready by the end of next week and I am stoked to see it!

I’d mentioned doing a cover reveal earlier and many of you said you’d like to help. February 22 will be the reveal date, so if you can post it that day for me, I’d be grateful and humbled. Sign up below and I will send you the cover image on February 21. Thanks for everyone’s support – you guys ROCK!

And knowing I’ll get to see the cover soon (and that I have awesome friends who are also excited) definitely fits VikLit’s “Celebrate the Small Things!”

Ever made any of those author mistakes or have questions for Diane? Did you find support and inspiration in this week’s IWSG posts? Ready for Wormhole Day? And how would you like to be an A to Z Ninja Minion? (I might even be able to hook you up with some clones.) And can you help with my cover reveal on February 22?