Monday, June 30, 2014

Winners of Giveaways!

Congratulations to the winners of the current giveaways on our blog!

Thanks to all who entered the Book Depository Giveaway.

The winner of a free $13 book from the Book Depository is Mia C. for entering Lance Conrad's giveaway on The Price of Creation.

The winner of the autographed copy of The Price of Creation is Lisa K. for following our blog.

Both ladies have 48 hours to get back to me (, or new winners will be chosen!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Chloe Miles

Today we have with us Chloe Miles of The Faded Trilogy!  She has kindly agreed to an interview, and a giveaway is going on at her blog until June 30th. Don't miss it!
Q1: What inspired you to write The Faded Trilogy?
I wanted to write a paranormal romance that was a little different to everything else that’s already been written. I loved the idea of earthbound spirits protecting the town from evil. And, being a hopeless romantic, I loved the idea of eternal undying love, especially between two characters who are so young but whose love is so rare and beyond their years.

It happened to be storming when I was coming up with the idea for the series, so that’s the inspiration behind the power over the weather that the characters possess and the unpredictable storms terrorising the town.

Q2. What sets Savannah apart from other YA heroines?
Savannah is a little shy and reserved and more at home with her nose buried in her textbooks than confronting a room full of her peers ... let alone coming face to face with The Forces and having to protect her entire town! 

We slowly see her emerge further and further from her shell as the series progresses, guided in the most part by Hunter’s unconditional love and undoubting belief in her. 

She isn’t your typical butt-kicking heroine in the beginning of the series ... but by the end ... well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say that she could give the best of the butt-kicking best a run for their money!

Q3. If you could have just one of Savannah's powers, which would you choose? 
Teleportation. I mean, could you imagine only needing to think of any place in the world and then suddenly appearing there?! You could travel the world without needing to spend a single dollar on plane tickets. (And, as displayed by Madison in Faded, there’s no need to ever wait in line for anything ever again.) 

Q4. Tell us a bit about 'The Forces'
The Forces are a group of three evil half-spirits terrorising Savannah's perfect little town with violent and unpredictable storms. It is their mission to destroy Fort Everwick ... and to tear Savannah and Hunter apart by luring Savannah to the dark side. They know that Savannah has the potential to be powerful, and with her as one of their own, they know they would have complete power on their side.

Q5. Describe The Faded Trilogy in 3 words.
Inspiring, goosebump-inducing, romantic.

Q6. Where do you usually write? 
I usually write at my computer desk in my little home office. Ideas can come to me at any time though, so I always take a little notebook and pen with me wherever I go in case inspiration hits.

Q7. What is the one thing you always have with you while writing?
Coffee, tea or hot chocolate ... depending on what mood I’m in :)

Q8. What has been the most rewarding and most difficult aspect of being an author?
The most rewarding has been seeing the actual finished product of each of the three books in my hands!! The most difficult, I’d have to say, is self-doubt. There’s no assurance of success, which is a little worrying at times. But I’m nothing if not a dreamer, and I have huge plans in mind for the series ... specifically, world domination. That’s not asking for much, is it?!

Below is the giveaway. Thanks for joining us, Chloe!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Bad Query Contest

Sharon Bayless is hosting a wonderful contest for who can create the worst fake query letter. Since breaking all the rules sounded like fun to me, I gave it a shot below. If you want a few laughs, hop around and vote for the worst of the worst!
Even if you're not familiar with what a query letter should entail, it is clear what parts should be left out, especially when dealing with a professional agent who has the choice to represent you in the publishing world.

Dear Mr., Ms., or Mrs. (insert your name here),

(Please imagine the Jeopardy music countdown song that plays during the last round as you read this. It will impress upon you the serious nature of your time running out as other agents bid on this manuscript.)

Hook: Every time freckle nosed WANDA STOLER steps on a dandelion, someone between the ages of 10-56 dies suddenly. Without warning. You cannot imagine all the multiple and various ways these people die. Think Final Destination 4. Wanda, who lives with her head in the clouds (not literally) doesn’t realize what a murderer she really is. Until she goes to a fair once upon a September. There is a lady there who is part of Siamese twins who is a psychic and reads people’s funnel cakes.  Her twin just juggles.

When the powdered sugar on Wanda’s funnel cake spells out the word Murder-er, all bets are off. Wanda enlists the help of her pet donkey, SHERBERT,  and her Little Sister TINA whose really taller than her (their part of the Big Sister-Little Sister program so there not really related) to carry her around so she no longer steps on dandelions. But being careful is a tiresome process. Sometimes she just wants too give up, give in, and Kill. More. People.

WEEDS LEAD TO THE GRAVE, my 19,500 word novel which might technically classify as a novella  is half middle-grade, half new adult, part science fiction, part mystery, and 95% horror. SPOILER ALERT: There are a few romance scenes with “heavy petting.” I think this book would be a hit in health classes everywhere, as there is an explanation of the female reproductive organs in chapter 23. The other thing that makes this novel unique is that all the chapters have a name followed by an inside joke I have with that person. There’s an audience of 30 automatically, since I’ve written to each of these people letting them know they are featured in a book.

Has the Jeopardy music finished yet? Have you realized what an amazing seller this will be? I know I didn’t expound upon the romance, but I had a Nicholas Sparks look-a-like read this and give the following review: “This surprising debut from Carrie Ingram will quite possibly make you swear off dandelions for the rest of your life.” Such a strong emotional reaction from a wide audience is just what your looking for, I know it. My previous experience is N/A, but my writing speaks for itself.

If you don’t contact me (Twitter is the preferable method), I can contact you, no prob. If you want to spread news pre-publication, that’s even better—just use #CarrieIngramrocks so my ex-boyfriend knows all I’ve accomplished.

Counting the minutes till your response,

Carrie Ingram @Author4Keeps, Your most profitable future client

P.S. I am also very humble and can help with advertising when I’m not at work.
P.S.S. On second thought, I can help at work too. My boss never checks my Internet history.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Giveaway: Book Depository Book of Choice!

Who doesn't like getting free stuff? In this case, the free thing happens to be a book of your choice from the Book Depository, which means it ships worldwide. Here are a few of my recent favorite reads, but of course, you can pick anything you want if you're the winner.
 Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Lance Conrad

Today we have with us Lance Conrad, author of The Price of Creation and the soon to be released The Price of Nobility.

Blurb on The Price of Creation:
"The Historian chances upon Surac, a land where people's destinies are defined by powerful pendants they have from birth, called Stones. Those whose Stones give them useful skills call themselves Creators, and isolate themselves from all others with a wall that splits the entire continent. When Aric, a Creator blacksmith, has a son born with a Stone that marks him for violence and destruction, they find themselves in danger from those they called their friends.
When the boy, Sadavir, is ultimately banished, he discovers secrets far darker than the villagers' petty prejudices. On the far side of the wall, he learns the origin of the Stones' magic and a war that dates back centuries. As he uncovers the true power locked in the Stones, he must find a way to unite ancient enemies in order to save his family. To stop a genocide, Sadavir must face his own destiny of violence." - Goodreads

Lance was kind enough to answer the following questions for us, interesting for readers and writers alike.
What inspired this novel?
Believe it or not, The Price of Creation was originally written as an allegory for third world poverty. Nobody got it, they just thought it was a fun story, and I’m ok with that.

Are you a planner or a panster when it comes to plotting your books?
I’m something of a hybrid. I like to have a vague storyline put together before I get started. Then I have a few scenes that I feel define the book. These scenes are vivid in my mind and are planned out in the extreme. Everything else is really fluid. I know I’ve got a good book going when it takes on a life of its own.

Have you ever been surprised by a book you were writing?
Oh bloody heavens, yes! I actually cried at the end of The Price of Loyalty (due out the end of 2014). The characters really took off without me. If I wanted to know what happened next, I had to type faster.

How long did it take you to write this book?
The Price of Creation was my first book and I was writing as a hobby, so it took me about eight years. I think I’m still caught in that loop, I don’t think I’ll ever consider that one truly “done.”

Who designed the covers, and did you have any input?
Noel, a wonderful graphic designer at Dawn Star Press, designed all the covers. On each cover in this series, there is a symbol just below the eyes, and I got to pick that. For The Price of Creation: a hammer and anvil. For The Price of Nobility: a roughed-up crown. For The Price of Loyalty: fire.

The self-publishing market is becoming widely lucrative and now a path that many writers choose. What’s your take on traditional versus self-publishing?
The whole industry is in flux, both traditional and self-publishing. Both formats are currently untenable. Traditional publishing is bulky and adapting too slowly to the digital revolution, both with e-books and the effect the internet has had on their marketing.
Self-publishing has been deluged with low-quality books to the point where it now has a stench to it. Bookstores, libraries, reviewers, and even bloggers don’t want to touch self-published books, which cuts your marketing off at the knees.
There is a third classification that will evolve over the next five to ten years that will take over the industry, but I feel I am already taking too much time on this question. Suffice it to say, it will satisfy the quality requirement for the booksellers and libraries, while still putting a lot more responsibility on the writers themselves for the marketing of their books.

What advice do you have for future writers?
Get out there and live. The glory days of writing, when an author could sit at home writing and the world would eagerly wait for their books, is over. We need to up our game, so to speak. We need to have adventures of our own, so we can make our books personal and powerful. We need to be able to meet new people and make friends so we can network in our industry. We need to be able to speak and present and sell ourselves so people want to buy our books.

Who would you choose to play Sadavir in the movie version of your book?
That’s a hard one, you’d have to take an actor who has proven himself with the deep emotional stuff, then turn them into an action star. Maybe someone like Dev Patel or Aaron Tveit would do well.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
“Believe in your writing. You’re going to waste a lot of time mucking around with a lot of unsatisfying jobs before you give in and give yourself a shot.”

If today was your last day on earth, what would you do?
I would go for a run, so I felt fit and alive. I would write something powerful, so I felt important. I would spend time with family, so I felt loved. Having done those things, feeling alive, important, and loved, I would face death with a smile on my face, because I would feel triumphant.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Absolutely. The Price of Nobility comes out at the very end of June. I will always remember this book as when a supporting character stole the show. The core of the book is two brothers who decide to kidnap their king. They do it to show him what his people are going through under his selfish rule. To pull it off, however, they join up with a dark creature of a man named Asher. He has his own agenda and reasons for getting involved.
While I didn’t mean for it to happen, Asher became one of the most compelling characters in the book. He’s the one all the alpha readers talk about. I actually had to do a full rewrite to try and get a bit more focus on the king.

One lucky reader has the chance to win a printed autographed copy of The Price of Creation. Enter below (U.S. only).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Calling All Writers: Mini Summer Write-a-Thon

Facebook Event: Mini Summer Write-a-Thon hosted by Jenna Klein.

If you are a writer of anything- short stories, flash fiction, novels, songs, poems, blog posts- and would like to focus on your craft for as much as possible in a week, come join us next week, June 9-15.  Even if you've always had an idea in your head, and you just need a time to start.
We will cheer each other on and set word personal word count goals each day. If you can write thirty minutes one day and an hour the next, that's okay! It's all about getting something down each day.

We have some published writers in the group, so it's a great time to get advice as well!

Join our Facebook event! We love meeting new people and encouraging fellow writers.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Tempestuous


Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: Dec. 18, 2012
Page Count: 222
Favorite Quotes:

"'Yo, Einstein, we lost cell reception about two hours ago...The ability for anyone in our generation to self-amuse has sadly been bred out of our species. I blame Bill Gates.'"

"It wasn't as if that moment, shoving a bag of foam peanuts behind my back, suddenly made him the picture of gallantry. He was still as willful and hotheaded as I could be; a tempestuous soul who navigated his life with cynicism and a paucity of words."

I was thrilled when I was offered a free review copy of this book (thank you!), as my students and I had just finished Act I of The Tempest. Before this year, I'd never read The Tempest, I'd only seen the play.

However, if you haven't read the play, you will still get this book! The plot, though the same at its basic level of an outcast who wants revenge, is completely modernized and totally relateable. 

Set in a mall where employees must hunker down for the night because of an impending snow-pocalypse, Tempestuous explores what it's like for a girl on the top of her school's social ladder to drop to the bottom rung because of a poor decision. The other workers know not of Miranda's money-making faux paux that resulted in major punishments for several of the school's jocks, including her once-Ivy League-bound boyfriend, and they have dubbed her Advice Queen. She's made a cozy home away from home for herself at her forced fast food punishment, despite the ugly hat with spinning weiner and primary color striped uniform. Not only does the mall go into lock-down mode when the weather takes an ugly turn, her old group of friends and ex-boyfriend are stuck in it too, slinging insults her way at every opportunity. Miranda decides to take revenge into her own hands by getting back at Rachel, her ex-best friend, and the -Itneys (Whitney and Britney). When employee Mike goes missing and a thief jacks high priced computer items, the mall's temporary residents must also figure out how to catch a criminal.

What I Loved:
1) The frequent but not overdone allusions to Shakespeare's play. If you haven't read or watched the movie of that first and have the time, do it! From character names to descriptions to storm-related words, this modern retelling cleverly weaves references in that will make you grin.

2) Character development. Loved Ariel, Miranda's co-worker (and consequently the fairy in The Tempest). She's small, spritish, and a sheltered home-schooled girl. You'll delight in the shenanigans she participates in to help Miranda get revenge on the -Itneys. Not only do you see Miranda grow and change, but also Caleb (whom Miranda happens to be handcuffed to and is full of his own surprises) and some of the minor characters. Sweet love stories develop with two girls in the book.

3) Revenge plots. They are awesome, but mostly glittery and furry.

4) I couldn't guess the thief!

5) The things the teens do to keep busy. Basically, the mall becomes chaos and every group for itself. From inventing new sports with mop buckets to celebrating Ariel's birthday, the characters have a wild and exhausting night of fun despite looming danger. I just kept thinking, "Are they going to have to pay for using/eating/destroying that?"

6) This puts a spotlight on really positive teen traits: creativity, talented, inventive, and clever.

Things That Bugged Me:
1) My favorite love story sort of ends before it really gets off the ground, BUT it's still sweet.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card from Author Sherry Soule

 “Which Starlight Saga Character Would YOU Most Likely Be?”

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new upper YA / Sci-Fi romance series: the “Starlight Saga” with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014.
To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT” Sherry is doing this promo to share the news with fellow booklovers.
This giveaway is open internationally! So let’s tell the blogging world!
Take this quiz to see which character in the Starlight Saga you’d most likely be similar to, and score a $10 Amazon gift card!
Answer this quiz, and then post your results in the comments. Be sure to check the bottom of the post for the details regarding this random giveaway.

1.   We detest using labels, but what would others call you?

a)   Amateur Fashionista
b)   Jock/ Cheerleader
c)   Goth or Emo inspired
d)   Preppy/ Student Council

2.   Which of the following best describes your personality?

a)   Lighthearted, Diverse, Honest
b)   Stuck-up, Conceited, Cocky
c)   Independent, Witty, Strange
d)   Quiet, Temperamental, Clever

3.   Which genre do you read most often?

a)   Paranormal Romance
b)   Urban Fantasy
c)   Horror / Darker YA
d)   Science Fiction

4.   You are at school and witness a student bullying someone. What do you do?

a)   Run in the opposite direction before they pick on you
b)   Laugh and join in on the fun
c)   Go tell a teacher what’s going on
d)   Stop and tell the bully to knock it off or else!

5.   What type of pet would you like to have or do you own?
a)   Snake
b)   Dog
c)   Cat
d)   Hamster

6.   How often do you shop or hit the mall?
a)   Once or twice a month
b)   Only on sale days
c)   Every week--duh 
d)   Hardly ever

7.   Where would you hang out on a free afternoon?
a)   The library or bookstore
b)   Hit the clothing stores with friends
c)   Go to the movies
d)   Play video games

If you answered...

Mostly a's: You and Viola are a lot alike! You both love to read, prefer to avoid confrontations, and you’re energetic and sassy.
Mostly b's: Popular girls, Emma and Kaitlyn could be your new besties! You each enjoy sports, hanging at the mall, and dogs.
Mostly c's: You are a lot like the heroine, Sloane. You both love to shop, hang at the movies, adore cats, and like the darker side of books and films.
Mostly d's: Sounds like you and Hayden have a lot in common. You each love to play video games, can’t stand bullies, and are into science fiction books, comics, or movies.

Random winner will be picked on June 27th 2014 and contacted by email. All prizes will be electronically delivered. Please review all terms & conditions before entering.  

Mandatory giveaway details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's it! Good luck!

Please mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!
Read the first five chapters for free on wattpad:
VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga
High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.
Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.
They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.
Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....
Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Twitter @SherrySoule:
Please add LOST IN STARLIGHT to your TBR on goodreads:
The awesome book cover was designed by the talented, Kristen Thompson-Oh of KCT Designs at
Eager to read the first five chapters on your Kindle? FREE every Friday from Amazon: