Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book Tour and Progress

Well a lot has happened in the last few weeks.  I've turned thirty-five, one of my daughters turned four, and I've managed to reach fifty thousand words in Blood God.  That's over halfway finished.  Even though I really wanted to be done by now, I think that the book is already going better because I decided to focus on it at a slow and steady pace.

The Blood Rain book tour is over now.  I enjoyed the experience.  I really enjoyed answering all of the questions provided for me.  It made me really think about my inspiration and what I was experiencing at the time I wrote the first novel.  It's interesting to think back about where your ideas come from.  Sometimes it even teaches you a little bit about yourself.

Currently, while I'm working on Blood God, I'm also getting ready for the blog tour of the second book of the series Blood Moon.  Hopefully, by the end of the second blog tour I should be almost finished with Blood God and can start the marketing campaign and begin the tour for it as well.  One thing at a time, though.  I'm hoping at the latest that Blood God will be done by the end of summer.

One of the reasons I want to finish Blood God before fall is both because I want to finish it as soon as possible for those waiting on it.  The second reason, though, is that I've made a very important decision.  I've decided to self publish my mid-grade horror series.  I haven't had much luck finding an agent, and now that I know that I can sell the e-books and sell print copies, I think I might be more successful doing it on my own.  (That, and the fact that my target audience all have ipods for school and might enjoy having an e-book copy.) I think it would be nice to publish the first one around Halloween, and barring a cover design, it's ready.

I also know now that the more novels I get out there, the more exposure I will get and eventually something will catch on.  For those of you who are fans of my series, or of my writing in general, and want to help I would really appreciate it if you would write a review on amazon after you read the book.  The more reviews I have, the better.  Even one sentence and a star count is enough.

Well, I guess that's about it for now.  I'll keep you posted on the Blood Moon blog tour progress and my current word count in Blood God.  Well, back to the writing.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blog Tour and Chimera Hangout

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that the blog tour for Blood Rain has officially started.  I'm very excited about it.  Here is the schedule.  The first post is a blurb about what the novel is about.  If you haven't read the novel yet, please check it out, or pass it along to your friends.

March 15th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

March 16th: Book Excerpt @ Literary Musings

March 17th: Book Excerpt @ Two Heart Beats

March 19th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

March 20th: Promo Post @ Book Journal

March 22nd: Book Review @ Reading for the Stars and Moon

March 22nd: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

March 23rd: Book Excerpt @ Just Books

March 25th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

March 27th: Author Interview @ Books, Dreams, Life

March 30th: Book Review @ The Resistance

April 1st: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

April 3rd: Promo Post @ 50 Book Challenge

April 6th: Book Review and Book Excerpt @ Adventures Thru Wonderland

April 7th: Book Excerpt @ Bookworm for Kids

April 9th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily

April 10th: Book Excerpt @ Bookish Madness

April 12th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

April 15th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

This is going to be a very busy day for me.  Around nine o'clock tonight I'm attending a hangout on the google + group "Chimera Readers."  I'm looking very forward to it.  There should be some interesting questions and discussion about Blood Rain.

I don't mean to seem arrogant, but I love talking about my novels.  I guess that's probably because its something I feel passionate about.  It'll be the first time I've done anything like this for my books. The Dark Crystal podcast is similar, but this time I"ll be discussing my work instead of someone else's.  Wish me luck.

Chimera readers is a good group of people that have a common interest, good books.  If you like reading, they would be a good group to join.

Well, I'm off to do some writing.  Have a great day!  I'll keep you posted on the progress of the tour.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Author Meet and Greet

Hey Everyone,

Well, the Author Meet and Greet went pretty well.  It was my very first author signing.  While the turnout wasn't very high, it was a great opportunity to meet other authors and get better acquainted with those that write specifically in SC. I did manage to sell a few copies of Blood Rain and Blood Moon, and I have ideas for the copies that are left.  I'm planning to donate one copy of each to the Lexington County library, assuming they accept them.  Many thanks to the Lexington County Library for giving me the opportunity.  I appreciate it and it was a good experience.

Now that the Meet and Greet is over, I'm turning my focus to the blog tour. I have the questions I need to answer, so I'll be spending most of this week answering them to the best of my ability.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  I might even do a little more writing on Blood God if time allows. As I said, I'm not going to rush myself so that it is the best book it can be. Rest assured, however, that I'm not putting it off either. I'll finish it as soon as I can.

Well, that's all for now.  I'll keep you posted on anything new. Keep reading and writing!

Friday, March 3, 2017

My First Book Signing!

Hey Everyone,

Well, I have some good news. My first book signing is tomorrow at the Irmo Branch Public Library during the local author meet and greet event from 2:00pm until 5:00pm.  I'm very excited about it and I hope you can be there.  I'll be selling and signing books, and I'll also be giving out free bookmarks and business cards.  This is a big step for me.  For once I'll be one of the people behind the table.

Sorry for the long week of silence.  The bad news is that I'm just now getting over a really nasty case of bronchitis.  I guess I've had it worse before, but the cold that gave it to me drained me of all of my energy for a full week.  All I felt like doing was sleeping, and that's practically all I did.  I should be able to start doing more writing work next week, but I seriously doubt I'll have Blood God written by my birthday.  I think the end of April is more likely, but that's partially due to more good news.

On March the 15th I'll be doing a skype interview with Chimera Books, an awesome reading club on Google +.  Check it out. They're a very cool group of people.  Also, that is the first day of my blog tour, with Enchanted Book Promotions, for my first novel Blood Rain. I'll be answering lots of questions and hopefully news about the book will spread more quickly.  Wish me luck.  I might not have as much time to devote to Blood God, but if I can devote all of my undivided attention to it during a different month, I think in the end it will be a better book for it.

Anyway, that's all for now.  I'll give you my review of Clockwork Princess soon.  Keep reading and writing!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Clockwork Prince

I would like to start off saying that out of this trilogy, Clockwork Prince is my favorite book.  This might end up being a fairly short blog because I really don't have very much bad to say about it at all, but I'll at the very least try to explain why it is a better book and why I like it so much..  I'll also try not to spoil anything for those interested in reading the series.

The problems I had with the previous book, Clockwork Angel, were not problems in this book.  Even though I'm not a fan of books that switch perspectives from one character to the next, it wasn't jarring in Clockwork Prince.  I think this is because most of the chapters stopped in a good place instead of stopping in the middle or beginning of the action.  So, basically, when there was a lull in the action of one chapter another would start. Also, the plot itself was more interesting, so when the perspective was switched to another character in another place it was just as interesting as following the adventure of the main character.

The love story really heats up in this book.  I knew there would be a love triangle, but there was much less focus on it in Clockwork Angel.  Clockwork Angel did a good job of setting up the characters and the world, but this book is where things really take off.  One of the lead characters of this book (he is on the cover) is also my favorite character in the series so that didn't hurt.  The love triangle is a bit much in terms of angst, but I have to admit that I liked it.  Though love triangles are guilty pleasures, this one was pretty good.  

All of the characters were equally endearing in this book.  There were several characters in Clockwork Angel that I didn't really like at the time.  To be honest the "love interest" in the first book seemed pretty repellent at the time, but when you find out his reasoning in this book, he becomes likable.  Therefore, you can't help but be cheering for both of the men in Tessa's life.  (Of course, I have a preference, but I'm purposely keeping this vague so that I don't spoil anything for the reader.)

There was action, intrigue, great characters and character development, and the main character became a lot more interesting than she was in the previous book.  So, long story short, I loved this book and couldn't put it down.  I finished it in about a week, possibly less, reading at odd times because I wanted to know what happened next.  I recommend it to anyone who likes steampunk, urban fantasy, and love stories.  I love all of these things, so this book was the perfect storm for my adult tastes as well as my inner teenager.  (I guess this blog didn't turn out to be short after all...)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My books are in print!

Hey Everyone,

I just thought that I would update you on the status of my novels. Both Blood Rain and Blood Moon are print to order on Amazon!  Hooray!  I have to admit that it's a nice feeling to be physically holding them. Even though I'm not opposed to e-books, I like the feeling of a book in my hand. Also, seeing my novels in print is kind of surreal.

Many thanks again to J.M. Lee for his awesome cover art. We tried to pick the right type of cover to do the pictures justice. At first we went with matte finish, but we ended up choosing glossy because the colors are more pronounced. We also did some work on the margins and we think we're pretty satisfied now. Many thanks also to my husband, Joel, for handling the format changes.

Long story short, both books are available print to order if you would prefer a print copy over an e-book. The e-books have also been updated to include any important changes. (Mostly, I fixed the grammatical issues that my editors found, and I added a few days here and there to travel times. This doesn't change the story, but it makes the world a bit more realistic and it satisfies my perfectionist tendencies.)

I probably won't make my goal of finishing book three by March 22nd, but we'll have to see. Progress is slow, but I feel like the story is going pretty well.  I'm going to take as much time as I need to make sure that the last book is as good as it can be.  I'll keep you updated on the status of Blood God as I write it. Currently, we're at 35,000 words. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Blood Rain and Blood Moon on e-book or in print, whichever you prefer.  Thank you for your time and for reading my rambling. I hope you enjoy the novels!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Clockwork Angel of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

As promised, here is my book review for Clockwork Angel in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. (Sorry this took me so long. Better late than never. I'm currently reading the second novel of the series Clockwork Prince and will try to get the review of it finished in a more timely fashion.)

First of all, I'd like to say I really like the setting. I've always had a soft spot for steampunk, especially set in London. I'm also very impressed with the author's knowledge of Victorian literature and culture. Specifically, the author has a verse from a Victorian story or poem at the beginning of every chapter and it's clear that she knows the geography of London as though she lives there.

Another interesting thing about this series is the fact that it's an urban fantasy story. There are elements of gothic horror and mystery. I really like the combination of steampunk and gothic horror which is something I would like to explore in the future as well.  As with most young adult literature, there is a love story brewing throughout the book. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that the love story itself is a strange one and it keeps you guessing..

The theme in this story is a secret organization of "shadowhunters" with angelic bloodlines hunting demons and keeping "mundanes" safe from the things that go bump in the night. While this theme has been done before, I think the author did a good job making the organization feel real with it's inner politics and the strange almost family-like dynamic created by the individuals within the institute.

The main character "Tessa" is a girl that has the power to use an object to transform into the owner of the object and view their memories. While she is a powerful female lead, there's a certain vulnerability to her that I find endearing. Her power makes her useful, but she is rescued by the other members of the institute frequently. While some might frown upon that sort of thing, I think it makes her transformation into a stronger character more important and being set in Victorian London (even though the character is from America) it makes more sense.

The only real criticism I have for this book is I really don't like changing perspectives. This might be a personal pet peeve of mine, but I've read other books that change perspective such as Stephen King's IT and it didn't bother me. Let me explain why I found it particularly irritating in this book.

I'm pretty sure Tessa is supposed to be the main character, but the book shifts between almost every member of the institute's point of view at least once. This means, that you look through another character's eyes at least seven times throughout the book and Tessa isn't in every scene. There are times that I wonder if Tessa is the main character or if Will and Jem are supposed to be the focus.I think Tessa is supposed to be the character the reader associates the most with, but with all the wavering back and forth it's hard to tell.

Also this shift usually happens during a cliffhanger scene when Tessa was in danger. When the character I care most about is in danger, I don't really care about Charlotte discussing institute politics with one of her contacts, I want to know what happened. It has a way of derailing the action and, about the time I get into the scene with the political discussion, I'm suddenly back to where I left off from the chapter before, or in a different scene entirely. It made the story feel disjointed and it kind of gave me spoilers about what the other characters were thinking.

Despite that one issue, this was a very good book. There is enough intrigue and mystery to keep you guessing at what the antagonist wants, though even at the end you don't really know. The ending seems to tie a few things up, but leaves other elements unsolved to explore in the second book. While that is an issue with some people, I don't think of that as a problem. I'm actually about halfway through Clockwork Prince right now, so clearly it left enough of a hook for me to want to buy the series. I suggest you do too. (Though there is only a hint of a love triangle in the first book, that is played up much more in the second.)

Well, I'm off to read more Clockwork Prince. I hope you find this review helpful, and if you like steampunk, gothic horror, hunters, secret organizations, or romance, Clockwork Angel is probably for you.