She's Got Stones: Author Interview - Misty Provencher

Hey gang! Another fabulous interview coming your way today...

Like my previous interviewee, author Misty Provencher is a woman of action. She's a fine example of how your writing dream isn't necessarily waiting for you in the bedroom, smelly-candles burning, and wearing those naughty knickers you bought her for Christmas. No, she may play hard-to-get. You may have to chase that dream down, club in hand, like the cave-people of yore. 

Seriously though, Misty is an absolute pal, and as funny and real as it gets. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

Interview - Misty Provencher 
Author of Keystone & Cornerstone

Gorgeous cover, right?

EJ (ME) - A bit about her latest book, KEYSTONE, first:

"There’s a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it’s called the Cusp.

Struggling to fit into the destiny she’s accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather’s Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua’s rival community, The Fury.

Driven by each individual’s selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.

Until now.

Someone masterminded the Fury’s massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.

As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena’s Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn’t as simple as it seems."

Keystone is book 2 of the Cornerstone series ( YA paranormal romance). Both books have gotten outstanding reviews, and you can learn how to find them at the end of the interview...

ME - Tell everyone why I'm awesome. (Okay, this wasn't a question in the interview, but Misty needlessly heaped some praise on me anyway...)

MISTY PROVENCHER (MP) - I am so honored and grateful and excited to be on your blog today, EJ. Your blog has always had the latest and greatest of the goings-on in the writing world and I’ve long enjoyed your posts. AND, you were one of the first writers to read my blog, back when I first started out, and I’ve always appreciated and remembered that too. You’re an awesome writer friend to have and I’m happy to have your friendship!

ME - This isn't your first rodeo (Keystone being the second book in the Cornerstone series) did the writing process change from book 1 to 2? How? Why?

MP - I opened your questions and almost spit my coffee, EJ. “This isn’t your first rodeo”…I had literally just written something VERY similar to that line in my upcoming stand alone draft and it took me a minute! I love coinkydinks!

Ok, I’m here to answer questions, so I better quit screwing around, right? LOL. You want to know the difference in writing processes and yes, there was a HUGE difference between Cornerstone and Keystone. Cornerstone was a blast from start to finish. I wrote it just to amuse myself and my bff, Laura, so there was no pressure, no expectation. I wrote just to hear Laura shriek or laugh or beg me for the next chapter each night. (I read her each scene/chapter each day, after they were written).

While querying and playing with myriad agents, I was writing Keystone. I got about half way through it when the agent that signed me suggested strongly that I work on other projects, in case Cornerstone didn’t fly. So, I put Keystone to bed for a bit and tiptoed away.

However, after jumping out of the traditional publishing stream and into the Indie one, the requests started pouring in. I was blown away by how many people wanted the next story and wanted it NOW. I went into sophomore shock. I mean, you know what they say about sequels. I struggled with Keystone and worried every step of the way that the voice wasn’t right or there wasn’t enough this or that or whatever else. I rewrote Keystone so many times, lumberjacks had to go on overtime to keep up with my demand. I sticky-noted and plotted and unplotted and rewrote and reworked and re-wallpapered the entire project at least five times over. I changed perspectives and openings and tenses and yikes. It has to be right, you know?

But I’ll tell ya, when I got to the moment of hitting the detonate button to release it to the world, I did it with one hand over my face. I was petrified. I know what went down with The Matrix Reloaded and the Jurassic Park sequels…

Thank God the feedback has been favorable. It taught me to muscle on, buck up and to keep on keepin’ on. It was a horrible and priceless lesson in the career of writing for me.

ME - You're an independent author now, but had some experience with traditional publishing. How did that transition happen? You happy with the results?

MP - The transition wasn’t one I expected or wanted initially. I was as scared of being downed as a ‘worthless’ Indie as most writers are. The Traditional process is often hailed as validation of real writing, but the truth is that there’s a whole lot of Emperor’s New Clothes being sewn out there. There’s excellence and crap in both channels. There are writers who get picked up or spit out for a multitude of reasons that can have little or nothing to do with their caliber of writing.

When my agent and I parted ways, I had to decide if I wanted to continue with Traditional and I decided against it. What I actually decided was to give Cornerstone away, a few chapters a week beginning in October, until Christmas. It was a gift to me, actually. I just wanted to be read.

I jumped into Indie publishing because of threats of piracy. I mean, I wanted readers but I didn’t want them claiming to have written my book. I published like my publishing pants were on fire and that was that.

Happy? Yes, but that’s a funny question. Traditional and Indie publishing each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Right now, I’m enjoying the many freedoms of being an Indie, but it’s not to say that I won’t try Traditional again. I mean, it might be necessary if I’m going for world domination, right? LOL

ME - Speaking of being independent and rodeos... Learning to manage all the aspects of the publishing process (covers, editing, etc.) is a crazy ride! What did you learn from publishing book 1 that helped you with book 2? Any tips you can share with other authors considering the indie leap?

MP - Hmmm, I’ve learned to make ridiculous mistakes and laugh like mad about them and to do what I like. Anyone who’s followed me for any amount of time knows how much I fall on my face and drag along on it sometimes. The saving grace is that I do eventually get back on my feet again. I’m learning that the stumbles come when I don’t trust my gut, so I’m hoping eventually I’ll have just scars to show for my efforts, instead of open wounds. Make your mama proud and GO WITH YOUR GUT, for goodness sake.

ME - The Cornerstone books are YA paranormal romance. We love 'em, but there's a LOT of 'em. What makes Cornerstone and Keystone special? (And they are special folks, read the reviews...)

MP - I guess that at the paranormal romance table, what makes the Cornerstone Series stand out is that you haven’t read this story or explored this world before. I can guarantee it. I thought up this whole new world to escape all the vamps and werewolves and zombies that were flooding the book shelves. Based on the idea that you are never forgotten so long as your memory is shared, the Ianua are a group that keep the intellectual evolution of the human race pumping along. There is a whole spiritual stew going on under the romance (that I think we can all connect to), along with a lot of action bubbling away on top of it. I figure the readers will let me know in their reviews and word of mouth if the books are good enough to earn a spot on their ‘special’ shelves.

ME - Enough chat, tell us where we can get the books!

MP - You can grab the books on-line almost everywhere:


There’s probably a few places you can get it that aren’t even legal, but seriously- it’s only $3.99, guys.  Please help a sister out and help me to keep writing by paying for the book!

Hey, and I’m all about connecting with readers!  If you want to check out my giveaways, breaking news and blog tours, or just share in my general happiness, you can always throw a post on my blog  .  

Or we can tweet each other up with the standard 140 on Twitter – I’m @mistyprovencher

Or we can be friends on FB 

If you prefer, you can ‘like’ my FB Cornerstone Series page where I also run contests and whisper tidbits.

Oh, and I’m on Goodreads sharing thoughts on other books too.

Or, if you just want to blah blah with me, you can always email me at

I mean, guys…I’m kind of everywhere, so feel welcome to say hello!

Thanks so much again, EJ, for a lovely stop and a wonderful last day on the Keystone Tour.  I look forward to hearing good things out of you (and your readers!)!!

A Rocking Interview with Author Lyndsey Dee

Hey gang! If you haven't jumped into the Bury the Hatchet blogfest, and entered for a chance to win the Nook or other prizes I'm giving away, there's still lots of time (runs through October 19--see the stickied post above for details). 

I'm forgoing the 'Good News of the Week' feature this week, because I've got nothing BUT good news to share. Beginning with the first of two author interviews/recent book releases. 

Lyndsey Dee is the author of Flour City Blues. Here's what the book's about:

'Soon-to-be high school senior, Josh LaSalle is forced to move from Pittsburgh to the Rochester, New York suburbs as a tactic his parents have chosen as the only way to salvage their troubled marriage. Distraught with the change, Josh unexpectedly finds two friends who actually have the same idea of starting a band and begin to take over the city with their own brand of rock 'n' roll. While everyone is worried about college applications and making final memories, Josh experiences the gain of local success in the music scene, house parties, neglectful parents and trying to find out if the French foreign exchange student really likes him, likes him.'

Tell me that doesn't sound like a great rock and roll story?! And you all know how much I adore music... 

Lyndsey is truly a dynamic creative talent, and I think you'll find her as fascinating as I did. She's a true entrepreneur, and provides a great lesson for chasing down your dreams. At the very least, you'll leave here hungry, and with a tune in your head. :-)

(Details on where to purchase Flour City are at the bottom of the interview.)

EJ (ME) - So, I've done some snooping, and you are a lady of many hats: You write, you graphic design, you're a professional maker of yummy things. Tell us about your interests, and other business ventures, and how those things factored into you writing Flour City Blues.

Lyndsey Dee (LD) - Haha, I do have quite a few interests! I love baking and writing so I finally turned them into something. I’ve worked on bringing both to fruition for the past five years and finally broke loose this year. I just opened the doors to my tiny little bakery in Rochester called Cakes a Go-Go and finally released Flour City Blues. I released the book under my own publishing name, despite any stigmas that self-published books may have. I just grew tired of dealing with agents. I queried both larger and smaller houses and they told me to try querying the opposite. I took things into my own matters from there. I study the trends in both young adult and new adult literature, follow forums or Twitter chats and I do all of my own promoting. I am the publisher who doesn’t have the middlemen cutting into the royalty pie. I honestly don’t mind the grunt work. I spent the time working on the book, and I make sure it is getting the coverage it deserves. I take the same marketing approach to my bakery, using social media, daily customer service and writing press releases.

I am also excited to reveal that my younger brother and I have started Stingray Press and Media. He started The Anderson Stingrays a few years back and developed the music connections that we are using to pave the way with our venture. We are taking the aspects from the punk DIY ethic and creating a company to press and market books from the YA/NA genres and distribute music. We will eventually be launching our website and we’re already working on our first release for the winter—which we are super excited about. Any book-related stuff will probably not go into effect until early 2013. We want to give those bands or writers the chance to get their material out there. We’ll also offer coaching and other services for novice book-promoters who want to get noticed in the world. This is also where the graphic design will be coming in. I do design book covers, flyers, band logos and artwork.

Anyway, for the book, it was all about the music. I am the only one in the family who is not musical performance-challenged. But, don’t try to beat me at “name that tune,” because I’d definitely win. I am the visually-sound and creative one, the writer and artist. The book is an open love letter to the music I grew to love so much as a teenager. I fell in love with punk and rockabilly, and grew up with Elvis, the British Invasion and swing, thanks to my parents and grandparents. My musical exposure is well-rounded, much like my main character, Josh.

ME - You clearly have an entrepreneurial spirit, has that helped you tackle the book business? If so, how?

LD - Sure. Both ventures actually mirror each other in the sense that you constantly have to market yourself to be seen. The only difference is that opening a bakery costs more money! Ha! It may seem weird, but everything that I have to do for the book is my downtime, my therapy or my post-bakery workday wind-down. I catch up on Twitter, post a blog entry and compose a few emails. This takes me from early evening to late at night. I am constantly in promotion mode, always on alert and consider anyone a possible customer or reader.

ME - Flour City is all about the rock, the roll, and the tunes--what are your musical influences, and how have they impacted your writing? Also, the trailer gives a similar vibe as some of my favorite music-themed movies (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, etc.). Any film influences? 

LD - Like I mentioned above, I fell in love with punk music when I was in high school. The fast guitars, the nihilistic views and the simple fashion. I was not too keen on piercings and Mohawks, although I did have my share of different hair colors, I was a Chuck- Taylor-and-leather-jacket-Ramones kind of girl. My parents also turned me on to their influences. My dad was a drummer in a few bands, and continues to really enjoy Grand Funk Railroad, the Doobie Brothers, Elvis and Motown artists. My mom liked the early Beatles, it was the one band her father actually enjoyed and bonded over. The British Invasion and garage rock were high on her list of favorites. Growing up, I spent tons of time with my paternal grandparents, and they each surrounded me around Johnny Cash, Glenn Miller, Louis Prima, Elvis (Grandma was OBSESSED! She saw him twice!) and Middle Eastern music. I think the wide exposure of music has shaped my writing in a sense that it helps create a story and a setting.

It is funny you mention Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, because it is one movie I was thinking about when I was writing. (ME - See! Great film, btw.) I have a communications/film background and plan my book like a movie in my head. The scenes in the book were just based on anecdotes I heard from friends or stupid things I have done.

I have a few outlines of future books lying around and I definitely draw the film inspiration from Federico Fellini or Francis Ford Coppola. I am going to go back in time to mid-century post-war society with a couple ideas I have.

ME - Check the trailer gang! (This is a punk rock jam, so adjust your speakers accordingly--which in my case means crank it to 11!)

ME - Being adept at so many artistically expressive things (baking, design, drawing, etc.), I think most people will want to know: Why a book? What did you need words to convey that you couldn't say with the other mediums?

LD - I feel conventional with the other interests. If I make a cake, I love when the customer tells me they have their trust in me to create a gorgeous conversation piece at their wedding or birthday party, but there are limits. Despite the free creativity, I am making something for someone else, not me. Then there’s the possibility of something happening during the baking process (God, forbid!). Owning a business is great, but there are those constraints that still don’t give you the full control. For example, I rent my space, rather than own. Since I rent, I have to adhere to the conditions of the landlord, the town, the county. Writing is something I can have complete control of and not hold myself back. Writing about teens is something you really should not try to do with a filtered mind. It is such a crucial age period filled with friendships and relationships that may have an expiration date, aka graduation. (ME - YES!)

ME - Okay, the good part: Tell us about Flour City Blues and how we can snag a copy of our very own

LD - Well, Flour City Blues is about Josh LaSalle, a 17 year-old who, along with his sister is uprooted from their home in Pittsburgh to a Rochester, NY suburb after his parents realize their tortured marriage could be salvaged if they move back to their hometown. While the parents are busy reliving their teen years, Josh meets Jeff Kilbourne and they recruit Frank DelVecchio to play drums in their band. They join ranks with the local punk and rock scenes in Rochester and join in on the booze and parties. Josh also falls for the French foreign exchange student, (ME - Ooh La La!) but after living through the hard times with his parents, he’s afraid to express his feelings. There’s a real theme of carpe diem throughout the book, you just have to see if Josh “seizes the day.”


Twitter: @lyndseyisgr8

A Fight Song--And Thanks--For You

Hey gang! Wow, what a weekend it was. Blood Fugue was released into the wild (last seen scaring small children in Arkansas, I believe), I celebrated friend birthdays, talked with relatives I don't get to talk to nearly often enough--basically, it was nuts.

The outpouring of support and well-wishes for the story had me on cloud 9 (and not sleeping) most of the weekend. Then came Monday morning and all of the eMails I hadn't answered...

I figured out how to work a Rafflecopter last week, this week I'm going to learn how to clone myself. If you see a mutant man-fly roaming around, it means I failed. Miserably.

 (Anyone remember that epic Jeff Goldblum movie, The Fly, from the 80s? Still freaks me out, and I haven't seen it in years.)

Anyway, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun chatting with everyone who wished me luck. I'd also be lying if I said I didn't get a little emotional when I had to talk my mother through how to download the Kindle for PC so she could read my story. Might be one of the more weird/special/hilarious conversations I've ever had.

But enough about me, let's talk about you awesome people. Can you love people you've never met? I don't know, but you can sure like the heck out of 'em. YOU GUYS AND GALS ARE AMAZING! I know I dangled prizes like a carrot in front of a turtle, but still.

Most of the blog-buddies who jumped in to say 'Way to go!' I've known for a really long time. And most of them are authors and writers as well. They get the struggle. They appreciate, and in many cases have witnessed, the tornado I've ridden to get this point. Heck, many of them were sucked up right along with me.

I got an eMail from one of those blog-friends asking me for any tips or suggestions on how to get over the publishing hump. My first response was, "I've got both hands firmly glued to the seat of my pants at the moment, I'll let you know when they stop dragging me around long enough to figure out if it's North or South, Spring or Fall."

That's my colorful way of saying I have no clue. I have one story out, and it's like three days old. I'm an infant who spent 4 years in gestation. I have very few answers and lots of questions myself. And I suspect it will be this way after I've published my tenth and twentieth stories.

Of course, I'll reply to that eMail in a more serious fashion, and try to be as helpful as I can. But in the end, there's really only one answer:

KEEP TRYING. If you quit you'll never make it. (Eat your heart out Yogi Berra...)

You're doing the right things. You're working at the craft, you're reading great stories, you're writing all the time. Just keep doing it. And most of all, understand you're not doing it alone.

There's so much support out there. Other bloggers, writers, friends and family--all ready to give you a pat on the back, or a shove, when the time comes. It's very difficult to see that side of it when we spend most of our free time in front of a computer, or with our noses in a book, but it's there.

That's one reason I'm going to run a couple of author interviews this week. Nothing motivates me more as a writer than to hear about how other normal authors climbed the publishing heap. And the two ladies I've got lined up illustrate that very well, I think.

I'd also like to give you a fight song. Something to play when you think your best isn't good enough, when you're only halfway through the marathon and your legs are already numb. You'll do it eventually, and who knows, maybe you're almost there...

I'm An Author! Let's Bury the Hatchet!

Oh my goodness, Gang! The day has finally come! Blood Fugue is officially out in the world, and I want to celebrate with my favorite people, in a BIG way. (Below.) 

You can get the story for a whopping .99 US (that's like half a Starbucks' coffee, incidentally, and if we ever meet in person I'll buy you a real coffee to reimburse the expense :-) at any of the following: SmashwordsAmazon, and Barnes & Noble and most other eBook retailers. 

Now for the fun part!

E.J. Wesley's Bury The Hatchet Blogfest

Jenny, Blood Fugue's leading lady, is a young woman with old heartaches. She really struggles with making peace with her past. All she has truly known about her family is death and detachment. The beginning of Blood Fugue changes all that...

Being a woman of action, Jenny aims to reconcile the bad hand she's been dealt the only way she knows how: By literally burying a hatchet in the thing she is struggling with.

The idea for the blogfest is simple: We all have something, or someone, we'd like to bury the hatchet in (Jenny style). Maybe it's rush-hour traffic, maybe it's Christmas decorations in stores in September, maybe it's the spammer leaving those stupid "My am enjoying your immense blogging pleasure and would like you to look at my site." messages--who, or what, ever works. 

To take part in the blogfest, post (short or long) about it. Then include the following in the post: (THE HTML VERSION IS IN THE RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM. You can also sign up for the blofest in the link-thing below. If you do participate in the blogfest, be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter. You might win!)


Author E.J. Wesley is launching his latest title, BLOOD FUGUE, and wants you to help him celebrate! Check out his blog The Open Vein for details on how to take part, and how to enter for a chance to win some sweet prizes!

What's BLOOD FUGUE about?

Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, Jenny must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it. Blood Fugue, by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the Moonsongs books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes.

BLOOD FUGUE is available now via Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and most other eBook retailers. Check out the author on Goodreads


That's it! Feel free to snag the blogfest button up above, and post it on your blog. The blogfest is open now, and you can participate at any point between September 21 and October 19 (you pick the day/time that fits your blog schedule). And there will be prizes, oh yes. More on that in a sec ...

I'm not encouraging actual carnage, by the way. Think of this as a therapeutic exercise in releasing your frustrations, one imaginary swing of the ax at a time. :-)

The Contest & Prizes

I'm pretty new to Goodreads (as an author) and Facebook. Consequently, I'd really like to connect with all of my blog pals on those sites. Plus, I'd love to have your help spreading the word about the story. That's where the contest comes in.

You can check the Rafflecopter for the various ways you can enter for a chance at the prizes. You get more entries for the more involved things (participating in the blogfest gets you the most, connecting with me on Goodreads second most, then Tweeting, etc.). I think all of them are pretty straightforward. NOTE: You can comeback and Tweet once each day for extra entries.

What can you win? Check it! (Check the Rafflecopter for limitations, rules, etc.)

GRAND PRIZE: Nook Simple Touch eReader with Glow Light

We have four (or so) Simple Touch readers in my extended family, and I will tell you it's one of the best pure readers going. Light, sexy, simple to use. The newest Nook ST with Glow Light improves on the design be incorporating a subtle, built in light for the bedtime readers (like me). If you're interested in a great reading experience, this little device is it. And I'm giving one away!

SECOND PRIZE: Hand-painted USB thumb-drives

In the spirit of Blood Fugue, and Jenny's heritage, I decided to create some custom jump drives with a little Native American flair. And, I'm going to ship them in their very own coffin case. Because, like Jenny learns, we can sometimes find life in death.

I'm still putting the final touches on them (the paint needs to dry in stages for some of the detail), but here's a look at two of the designs, and the case:

I'll be giving away 4 drives in total, each with a unique design. They're 4 GB each, so they'll hold plenty of manuscripts--er, I mean photos. :-) Check back with the blog in the coming weeks, as I'll post pics of the other drives as a I finish them.  

THIRD PRIZE: $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Cards

What it says, I'll give two lucky winners ten bones each to purchase whatever, like ten copies of Blood Fugue. (I kid! Mostly...)

That's the booty! The blogfest, and contest, will remain open for the first half of October, (ends 10/19--4 weeks from today, I think). The winners will be selected at random from the Rafflecopter entries, and notified via this blog and eMail (probably Facebook, too).

In closing, I want to say that a big part of this 'contest' is me saying a big, fat THANKS to all of my long-time blog friends. Yes, I'd love to have help in getting the word out about Blood Fugue, and a  carrot never hurts, but many of you have supported me for years, and I'd love to be able to give back something awesome in return.

Best of luck to all of the entrants, and thank you for all that you do!

Now, wish me (and Blood Fugue) luck! If you do happen to read it, and care to leave an honest review at any of the reviewable sites, I'd appreciate it a ton.

Blogfest sign-up:

The Rafflecopter is below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Look What I Made!

No long update from me today. (Yet another sign of the Apocalypse? I think so!) Just wanted to share something with my favorite blog followers. (All of you!)

May I present the super-secret-sneak-preview of the trailer for my upcoming novelette, Blood Fugue:

What do you think? Now before you rip it apart, understand that I made this with my very own hands, eyes, and ears--so think of me as your five year old child, holding a very delicate, homemade craft in my wee hands. My eyes are begging for your approval, a tear is pooling just underneath the surface...

I'm just joshing! (About taking it easy on me ... I really did do the illustrations and music, though.) I'm a big boy, I can take the heat. And even if it isn't awesome, I had an absolute blast making it. Kind of another thing off my bucket list, you know?

Anyway, it isn't officially listed on YouTube just yet. That comes in a couple of days. I mostly wanted to share it with you all first. You've done so much to support this blog (and me!) over the years, and well, I kind of think of you as my besties. You know, my peeps. My homies. My sisters from another mister. My bro-bunch. My pack...

Oh yeah, did I mention a big freaking contest/blogfest I'm about to launch to celebrate the release of Blood Fugue? That's happening this week. Stay tuned!

Hope you're all doing impossibly great, and talk to you again very soon. :-D


Don't Get Mad, Get Writing

Credit to Cellar_Door_Films WANA Commons
Hey gang! Hope your weekends were fabutastic. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish the winners of my cover contest well! If you missed it, you can check it HERE.

This week, I want to talk about an 18 year old who just signed a six-figure publishing deal (yes, it's a vampire story), but first ...

New Adult Twitter Chat (#NALitChat) Update

Many of you know that I host a weekly Twitter chat, but there are some new folks following this blog so I thought I'd share a quick update...

For the uninitiated, New Adult is a category of literature aimed at the 18-26 year old demographic. The themes and characters tend to fall into that focus as well. Basically, if you're a fan of YA lit, and wondered 'what comes next?', you simply have to come hang with us. We do talk about a range of writing and reading related 'things', not just  New Adult, so I think there's a little bit of something for everyone. (And all are certainly welcome.) 

If you're feeling a bit naughty, this is the month to join in as we're starting our 'Risky Business' series in which we'll be chatting about sex in New Adult lit, taboos in New Adult lit, and much more steamy goodness. All from a writing and reading perspective. To take part in the chat, just jump on the Twitters every Thursday night @ 9 PM EST and use the #NALitChat hashtag in your Tweets.

For more info on the chat, check out the NA Lit Chat blog, complete with fancy calendar, HERE.

This Week's Good News!

Speaking of steamy, check the cover for this fabulous upcoming New Adult release!

I think my author-pal Carrie Butler is going to set the reading world (as well as a few eyeballs...) on fire when Strength debuts next March! Don't believe me? Check this epic blurb:

"When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart."

Epic, right? You'll want to stalk Carrie to stay up on the Strength release shenanigans I'm sure she has planned, and you can find all of the details HERE.

My own good news! 

So, I somewhat stealthily added my book, Blood Fugue, to Goodreads recently. I did so to allow the folks who have received arcs to be able to review it in advance of release (later this month), and planned to officially announce that it was up when I posted about the epic launch blogfest I'm planning (in the coming days).

Well, I got my first review and decided to break out the announcement early. Why? Because the review was awesome! lol Super-duper-awesome author-blogger Eve (aka - The Desert Rocks), and recipient of a Blood Fugue arc, gave it five stars! You can read her full review HERE, and be sure to give her blog a follow. She's an absolute blast, and now on my holiday shopping list. :-)

Also, if you'd like to add Blood Fugue to your Goodreads list (and jockey for position on my holiday shopping list), you can check out the official listing HERE.

Don't Get Mad, Get Writing

An author I follow on Facebook posted this article about an 18 year old girl who recently signed a big book deal with a BIG publisher. She didn't share it as good news ...

The author who shared the story is, like 99.9% of published authors, solidly mid-list. Which is to say she has had to scrap for every ounce of respect, every smidgen of publicity, and every last cent given to her by the book publishing world. She works her tail off, and hopes each book she puts out moves enough copies to get her next story published, much less six-figures. As I said, that's life for most authors. 

I LOVE her books, by the way. They are unique, and beautiful--truly nothing else quite like them. That I've read, at least.

And I'll say this: Indignation over a fledgling adult, much less author, having an agent FIND HER, and getting a big contract for writing ANOTHER Twilight-inspired spinoff is certainly understandable, and probably justified. It's hard to process how one person can bust their ass for years--trying to get an agent, trying to write something good, trying to write something marketable, etc.--and not achieve the success of a first-time teenage author.

However, there is something the young woman in the article got right that I think many established (and otherwise) authors aren't figuring out: she wrote stories, and she shared them. From the age of 15, she was uploading chapters to various social writing sites. She eventually got enough exposure that an agent took notice. 

Now, I don't think I need to write another 'publishing has changed' post today. I think what I need to tell you is this: If people aren't reading your words, it's your fault

Go ahead, get pissed at me. Throw stuff. Quit following me... on second thought, let's not be hasty. You can stomp your foot, maybe even curse me under your breath, but you should keep following. I'll say something you'll like soon enough.

So if it's your fault, how can you fix it? Simple!

- You need an idea for a story. 

- You need to learn how to write. 

- You need to get better at writing. 

- And you need to be willing to put it out there.

These steps apply to EVERYONE. You want to go the traditional route with an agent, etc.? Great! Start getting your work out there. You want to be independent and do your own thing? Great! Start getting your work out there.

The lesson is this: There isn't an established author-process anymore, other than writing something awesome and fighting like hell to get it in front of readers.

A couple of suggestions, if I may. 1) If your goal is to get a novel represented by a literary agent, and one day see your book in a real book store, write other stuff on the side and put it out there. 2) If you aren't sure what publishing direction you want to go in, write a bunch of stuff, and put some of it out there.

Note: This isn't me advocating throwing poop on the wall to see what sticks. Your dry runs are best kept in house, even now. You put out something before it's ready--before you're ready--and the cold Web-world will strike you down with a fiery vengeance. Besides, you owe it to your readers to be the best you can be, at whatever stage.

I'm simply advocating action. As silly as it sounds, the modern writer must write! We are in a content driven age. People want to read about everything, and they want to read about it now. That's truth.  

So the next time you read about some 'instant' publishing success story--or other affront to how you believe things are supposed to work--don't get mad, get writing.



Today is the day! The winners to my Blood Fugue cover reveal party drawing have been selected (using the highly scientific number generator). Details below, but first ...


I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed ... Demons
Ever bump into a kindred spirit? A person you connect with on a deeper level, even though you're only casually acquainted? Spend 5 minutes chatting with author-blogger Jeffery Beesler, and I bet you'll feel that way about him. 

He has a real knack for relating to people with his words, and I think that's why I'm so excited to read his latest book, Speed Demons. Plus, I'm a total Stephen King nut, and the description for Speed Demons has my King-Creepy-Radar pinging:

(From the Amazon product page)

"Chase Weaverson would have preferred moving to the family farm all on his own. Instead, he finds himself alongside his younger brother, Dylan, who’s left behind more girlfriends in Hedon City than Chase can count. It’s bad enough Chase has to watch out for idiots on the road, whose reckless speeding and swerving nearly leads him to crash his pick-up. Concentrating on driving while putting up with his brother’s two-timing antics almost makes him give Dylan the boot.

When Dylan whines about needing to make a pit stop in Helensview, the brothers wind up at the town’s newest gas station. The highway insanity follows them there as people start attacking each other for no apparent reason besides cheap gas. Worse, an argument breaks out between the brothers, leading Dylan to storm out on Chase.

As Chase considers leaving Dylan behind, the people of Helensview start changing into road raging demons. But they don't intend to kill Chase. They’d much rather make him into one of their own, and they start by managing somehow to whisper inside his head.

Can Chase overcome the demons and save both himself and Dylan?"

Sounds fab, right? Anyway, Jeff is hosting a launch contest over on his blog that you should definitely check out. You can do so HERE. And frankly, you'll be missing out if you skip an opportunity to get to know such an outstanding guy.


Yeah, I still love it... :-)
Right off the bat, I want to say how thrilled-blown-away-agogged-stupified I was by all of the support you all gave in sharing the cover. Seriously more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for. I'm humbled and blessed by your support. 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To everyone who entered. You're all winners to me, and that's not pansy-mom-speak to make you feel better for not winning the big prizes. You all freaking rock. 

AND if you didn't win this time around, please stay tuned to my blog. In the coming days I'm going to announce my plans for the actual release of Blood Fugue, and it's going to include a chance to win even bigger 'stuff', as well as participate in a (hopefully) fun-as-heck blogfest. 

If you've won, I'll be in touch directly via eMail to share details and gather the needed contact info.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER ($50 toward a Sketcher Girl Studios product of your choosing) - P.K. Hrezo

$10 AMAZON GIFTCARD - Cherie Reich

$10 AMAZON GIFTCARD - Cassie Mae

BLOOD FUGUE ARCS - Everyone who entered!


Awesome Covers? I Got 'Em!

Mystery and mayhem teamed with heartache and overcoming. Follow PIP here.
It's that time folks, the moment Gwen and I have been so excited for.  Well, one of the moments.  This Indie publishing adventure has been one thrilling moment after another.  So here they are, our covers for GIVIN' UP THE GHOST and NEVERLOVE by Gwen Gardner and Angela Brown, respectively.

Corona Zschusschen
Friend or Foe?

Murder victim Bart Bagley is not content to merely roll over in his grave. He wants his murderer caught and he wants teenage ghost whisperer, Indigo Eady, to help him.

It becomes obvious that Bart’s temper lead to more than one disagreement, but is it enough to want him dead? With nothing but a cold trail and a hot list of “friendly” suspects, Indigo and her friends race to find the killer before they become the next victims.

Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute new friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks start to fly in more than one direction...

Heather McCorckle of CP Designs

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

About the authors:
Haunt me: FB, Blog, Goodreads

Gwen Gardner

Running, writing and reading are my favorite things.

I am also a dreamer.

Have you ever told yourself that "some day" I'm going to travel or write or whatever it is that you are passionate about but can't do right now for whatever reason? You can go for years and years and keep telling yourself that "some day" you'll do it. Too often "some day" never comes. But mine did. I am a former Administrative Manager and Vice President of a successful swimming pool plastering company - until I woke up one day and realized that my "some day" had arrived. I quit my job, moved to the mountains and began to write. Crazy, I know. But even crazier? Is when you get to the end of your life and realize that your "some day" is too late. Life is much too short for that! So the adventure has begun.

GIVIN' UP THE GHOST is a YA paranormYA cozy mystery, the first in the Indigo Eady series, due out October 8, 2012.

Haunt me FB, Blog, Goodreads

Angela Brown

Reading and writing have been lifelong passions. It was around the time I gave birth to my forever-love, nicknamed Chipmunk, that I really took writing seriously. After all, how could I teach my child to follow her dreams if I hadn't tried myself?

As a YA fantasy/sci-fi reader and author, I favor the magical, mysterious, the darker side of life...even harbor a secret fright for things that go bump in the night.

NEVERLOVE is a special project spawned from a blog-challenge-turned-blog-opera, the Abby and Basil affair. It is the first in the Shadow Jumpers series and due out October 8, 2012.


First, let me just say that I adore the covers, but not nearly as much as I do Angela and Gwen. They are seriously dedicated bloggers, and talented writers to boot. Wishing them a TON of success going forward. They've earned it.

Second, tomorrow I'll be announcing the winners of my cover reveal contest. Stay tuned! :-)


Are You Ready To Fly?

Gang, how the heck are y'all? I'll tell you: YOU'RE AWESOME! 

Seriously, you guys are the best. THE BEST. I'd love to thank you all individually (and have done my best to do so on the tweets and blog posts I've read) for all the words of encouragement, the tweets, the spamming of my cover on your blogs--but I think I'd need 4 blog posts to do that. 

So you'll have to settle for me saying you absolutely melted my heart to a puddle of bubbling feel-good-sauce. You swelled my pride to bursting, and you basically left me wondering what I did to deserve you all. 

I mean that 100% sincerely, and if I can ever repay any of you, please just ask, and I'll do all I can. Plus, there's a little musical dedication at the end of this post, Sara Bareilles style. :-)


Yesterday marked the end of the Blood Fugue cover contest. I'll be tallying the entries and randomly selecting the winners over the next week. I'll let everyone know who won what on Friday, September 7th. Good luck to all who entered, and thanks for playing!


If you don't win this time, please keep an eye on my blog in the coming weeks. I'm scheming an epic blogfest to celebrate the actual launch of Blood Fugue, and I'm thinking there's going to be some even bigger prizes to be had... yeah, I want it to be flipping huge!


Every week I'm going to open a blog post with some good news from some of my author-writer-blog friends. Sometimes without even being asked! Like this week...


Fantastic author-blogger, Karen Jones Gowen, is realeasing her latest book, Lighting Candles In The Snow, in September. Be sure to jet over to Goodreads HERE and give it a look... sounds like an awesome read!


So I read an interesting thing from a video game designer this week. Basically, his latest game was set to launch, and he had this to say:

"There’s a moment during game development when you have to let go of your game and release it to the world. You’re sitting in your office, thinking about all of the choices you made, wondering whether people will find it fun, engaging, beautiful, scary, funny. Is your vision going to be realized? And then you take a deep breath and let it go."

 ~You can read the full article HERE if you're into gaming things.~

The universal truth of his statement really hit home. Being creative means taking a risk, plain and simple. There's always going to be an element of uncertainty involved when you take something internal and highly personal--like the idea for story, game, or painting--and subsequently attempt to make it external, something to be considered or consumed by many.

Any writer or artist will tell you that the concept usually isn't the tricky part. It's the translation, the interpretation of that concept, that's hard. It gets especially difficult when you're creating with the intent of sharing. When you go from writer to author, from painter to artist. 

If the guy from the quote above was just making a game for his friends to enjoy, he probably never would have said those things. But he's making a game that he wants strangers to pay him to play. That's an entirely different bunch of bananas, folks.

Personally, I've struggled with nothing more as a writer than trying to figure out when something is "ready". At each step along the way--betas, critiques, queries, etc.--the anxiety of not knowing how 'good' something really is just grows. It never lessens. Sure, you get a feeling that you might really be onto something, but it's just a feeling.

Here's the reality in writing: No one is waiting with a giant rubber stamp that says, "Pass" or "Fail" ... at least no one that really matters is. For every three people that tell you they love what you're doing, you'll find three more that don't get it at all. Each time you write a sentence, paragraph, or chapter that makes you think you're finally on par with the authors you love, you'll read something new that reminds you how much of an amateur you really are.

Well, I'm here to share a little nugget of truth you might not be ready to hear. It is bitter to swallow for anyone who needs affirmation (see - most of us) but it is truth: Whether you're posting fan fiction on your favorite forums, publishing entirely on your own, gunning for that dream agent, or submitting directly to editors--you, AND ONLY YOU, can determine when you're ready.

One "no" or a thousand "yeses" aren't going to change that, so how do you know? No clue, but I can tell you how I did: Faith. 

It took faith in the work I've put in studying the craft. Faith in all the times I've failed, and gotten stronger for it. Faith in the words of the readers who gave me positive and negative feedback. Faith in the skills and guidance of an editor. Faith in my writer friends who are far braver than I. Faith in my writer friends who struggle with confidence as mightily as I do. Faith in my ideas. Faith in my words. Faith in my story. Faith.

At some point, my faith was stronger than my doubts. Eventually, I trusted what I knew, and quit focussing on what I didn't. There's a place where fear gives way to confidence. Very much like riding a bicycle with training wheels, I came to a point when that extra support wasn't necessary, maybe still appreciated, but not needed.

So, at some point in the writing journey, you're going to be perched on the edge of the nest. When that day comes, what's it going to be? A nervous peek at the ground and back to safety, or is it your time to soar? It's your choice.


For you!