Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Building Character and Release News! I'm ecstatic!

For today's BROKEN BRANCH FALLS blog tour stop, I'm ecstatic to see Kim Van Sickler's review, and I'll be talking to her about character building at Swagger Writers. Kim and the gang are all about books, authors, reviews, and then some. Check them out!

Tomorrow (Thursday), I'm ecstatic for POP TRAVEL to be featured on ereader news today!

And Friday, I'm ecstatic to have Gabe do his first interview where he will discuss being a NERD with C. Lee McKenzie! Lee knows MG, YA, .... And her latest book comes out on Friday too!! Lookie! Seriously intense.

Hutchinson McQueen has a rough life and things get rougher when he is sent to juvie for a crime he had no part of - is there hope in such a place when nothing has worked out right before?

I know it's a lot, but I hope you can stop by for a peek. Thanks!

Now, I'm so ecstatic to share TWO more new releases!

My good friend, Elizabeth Seckman's release of beautiful BELLA'S POINT.

Bella's Point
A historical romance.
Bella has the spirit of Scarlet O'Hara and the heart of Melanie Wilkes. A former debutante surviving in the fallen South....

Isabella Troy Stanley is a divorced, slave freeing pariah surviving in the shattered post Civil War south the only way she knows how. She heads to a Yankee prison and buys herself a husband. 

Jack Byron is the former Troy plantation stable boy and object of young Bella’s affection. He rejected her then, and he’s still not sold on the idea of marrying her now. Sure, she’s pretty, but he remembers too well how even a glance in her direction got a man of his low standing ridden out of town. No, Jack’s more sensible now, not to mention he might still be betrothed to another woman.

It’s complicated.

My Bella's Point Blog Challenge entry:
The year was 1865....
Sweat dripped down her cheek. The lacy fan did no good against the fierce heat that seemed to claw its way up from the depths of hell itself. They'd lost so much in the war, Ermandine was on the verge of selling her body so her family could eat. The only reason she lingered on the sun-drenched porch, was to catch a glimpse of Marcus on his daily ride home from the mill. That stud might be the answer to her prayers.

Erma had no earthly idea why she bothered torturing herself, day after day. Marcus didn't know she was alive. Maybe today would be the day she walked closer to the road and dropped her handkerchief.

She stood, willing herself down the steps. Judging by the sun sinking into the magnolia trees, it had to be almost time. She listened for the steady beat of hooves that usually matched her quickening heart. But all was still. Then she heard a terrible screaming.

Worry gave her a shiver, despite the hundred degree temperature. She rushed to the gate and searched down the road. Her heart stopped as she saw Marcus. The man and his magnificent black horse had crashed with a farmer's hay cart.

Lifting her skirts, Erma ran down the dirt road, not caring about the mud splattering her one fine dress. She knelt down beside him and cradled his head.

The farmer, who stood unhurt, wrung his hat in his hands. "He wasn't watching. I tried to swerve."

Tears streamed down Erma's face. The young man whimpered from under the overturned cart. As he opened his eyes, the strong horse shook his head and rose to his feet, no damage done.

"Erma. Sweet, Erma. I don't think I'm going to make it. Take care of Marcus for me."

She smiled through her tears. "I will. There's always room in our stable for a fine stud."

And finally!
And another good friend, M.J. Fifield's elegant EFFIGY! It's here!

EFFIGY (Epic Fantasy)
Book One in the CoileƔin Chronicles
by M.J. Fifield
Release date: July 22, 2014 (NOW!!)

Now available in paperback atAmazonAmazon UK, andCreateSpace (E-book editions to follow soon!)

Young Queen Haleine Coileain must overthrow the reign of her evil husband, joining forces with the leader of the rebellion. To protect her people, she must lie, steal, and deceive, doing whatever it takes, compromising her beliefs, to lift their plight.

Her journey introduces her to an unbelievable world of monsters and an incredible love - both of which strip her soul bare, as she sacrifices all to save her kingdom.

For what life will exist if evil prevails?

If you all made it to the end of this long post, congratulations! And much thanks!

A summary of my tour stops:
Today - Character Building interview and review with Kim at Swagger!
Thursday - BBF featured on ereader news!
Friday - Gabe the goblin's nerdy interview with C. Lee McKenzie!

And here's your reward! Try this BEASTLY QUIZ to find out what kind of beast you are!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Need some inspiration? Look here!

Tyrean Martinson is an inspiration to me and many others. She climbs mountains, encourages others, and her novels are uplifting stories that inspire courage and strength. I'm fortunate to be visiting her blog today as I continue my Broken Branch Falls Blog Tour! I hope you'll stop by for an Inspiring Interview.

Champion in the Dark      and      Champion in Flight

Then, on Monday, I get to visit another inspiring author, Julie Flanders. She has really come out of her shell. From librarian to published author, she has put herself out there to many a book event - even speaking in front of live audiences! Join me at her place as I turn the tables and interview her about Book Events!

The Ghosts of Aquinnah          and        Polar Night

And one last bit of inspiration... I know many of you have seen Crystal's cover, but take another gander! Very inspiring indeed! Congrats Crystal!!

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend" (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

 COMING October 13, 2014

PREORDER your print copy
Sign up for Crystal Collier's newsletter to receive release news and freebies.

Have a great weekend, you guys!
And don't forget to stop by 
Today for an Inspiring Interview.
Monday for a reverse interview about Book Events!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Divine Providence, Apocalyptic Fantasy, and an Interview

Another crazy weekend survived. Plus a couple more exciting reviews! Woot!

Now, it's time to continue on with my BROKEN BRANCH FALLS Summer Blog Tour!

TODAY: I will be at Elsie Elmore's crib answering questions about my Writing Process. Elsie is another sweetheart author at Curiosity Quills. Here's a little about her.

She's about to publish her first novel, THE UNDEAD, a paranormal romantic story of a 16 year-old’s encounter with the grim reaper. It's due out September 3, 2014! She's also working on a fairy tale retelling called RYDER AND WOLFE, as well as SEREN’S HEART, a magical realism story of a witch burdened with the rescue of her society.

"I love to breathe life into the stories drifting around my head. It’s an obsession, a passion, and an escape." - Elsie

WEDNESDAY: I'll be talking about the current trend of Apocalyptic Fantasy at Rae Quigley's fun site. Rae is a young superstar who is all about the entertainment industry.

Rae blogs about all things pop culture - gossip, music, movies, television and books. Lots of books. She's also a lover of fashion, zombies, and the 90′s. And puppies. And kittens. Who doesn’t love puppies and kittens? Or any animals? Animals are amazing.

Rae is amazing! I hope you'll stop by!

And finally, finally, finally! I need to share Carrie-Anne's latest release, LITTLE RAGDOLL! I'm happy to have her here today to enlighten us about the history behind it.

There’s a concept in Judaism called hashgacha pratit, Divine Providence. I really feel it applies to many of my stories and characters, but one of the most striking examples is my contemporary historical Bildungsroman Little Ragdoll.

I got the inspiration for the story in May of ’93, at thirteen years old, when I first heard the famous story behind The Four Seasons’ song “Rag Doll.” I felt like I had to write an entire novel about the growing-up experience and eventual happy ending of someone who could’ve been that anonymous young girl. Best of all, she would have her happy ever after with a rich boy who loved her just the way she was, a boy who’d defy his parents’ classist attitudes to be with her.

I started work on it that July and worked on it for a year. But then, the first of the two files got some kind of bug and could no longer be opened normally. This devastated me so much I entirely stopped working on it, but I never forgot that story. Finally, sixteen and a half years later, I was compelled back to it. I felt like I’d never forgive myself if I went the rest of my life fruitlessly waiting for that file to be accessed again.

In the weeks leading up to starting over, I had a number of dreams about this long-lost story, in which characters and events came back to me. Most notably, the character of Sarah came back to me in one of these dreams. I thought, “Oh yeah, they did have a German-Jewish live-in nanny! How did I ever forget that!”

It was hard to admit defeat and have to go back from scratch and memory, but given my elephantine memory, and the special wiring of my brain, I remembered the names and approximate starting ages of all nine siblings, as well as the general outline/timeline and most of the events, both planned and already-written. I wished many times I had the original to refer back to, but I recreated the story as best I could. Once I got past the point where I’d gotten cut off all those years ago, it got a lot easier. This was truly one of those times when a book was writing me instead of the other way around. Everything flowed so perfectly, naturally, effortlessly.

A few months after finishing the second first draft (this one complete!), I got the shock of my life when the first of those two old files was miraculously resurrected. (Ironically, now the second file is unable to be opened, since my external disk drive can’t read that particular disk.) I was, and remain, in complete horror of how awful it was. This was a Grimms’ fairytale on acid, awash in extreme purple prose, heavy-handed moralizing, emotionally manipulative prose essentially telling the reader how to think, feel, and react, and all the subtlety of a D.W. Griffith film. Everything was so rigidly black and white. There was no way I could’ve salvaged a halfway decent story by simply writing around that hot mess.

Not only was it too over the top, dark, depressing, and disturbing, but there was no real character development. No real distinct personalities emerge, making it hard to really root for anyone. In the version I wrote as an adult, every character has his or her own personality. I spent more time showing the love between the sisters, their one decent brother, and their friends than writing descriptions of their skid-row existence. That love is what gets them through the hard times and ultimately gets all of them out of poverty.

Every writer should have the experience of starting over from scratch and memory at least once. A lost manuscript might be more awful than you remember, and need so much work it’s not worth it to undertake extensive edits and revisions.


You can find LITTLE RAGDOLL here:

Carrie-Anne did a wonderful job under some tough circumstances. Thanks for your story, girl! I can't imagine starting over from scratch! But I can now see the benefits.
Happy Monday, everyone!