Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome to the 2012 #AtoZChallenge




Welcome to the 2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge--the fastest way to make friends and sharpen your blogging skills! Starts April 1st, sign up with the Linky below. Questions? No problem, go here!

I learned how to write short, snappy, yet interesting posts from last year's challenge! Because there are many, many bloggers out there who are signing up and they don't have too much time to linger with a single blog, so I pushed myself to making it this way. It's really a growing experience and you'll love it!


Welcome the hosts--you may visit any time our blogs for fresh updates or news flashes, or simply click on the badge above for our direct site!

Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Author Elizabeth Mueller (Elizabeth Mueller)
Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)


 Read my survival guide here.


Enter your name if you'd like to join the wild ride! Hope to see you around. ;)



Please help spread the word by simply tweeting, +1, or Facebooking below! Thank you!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Accidental Direction



I talked about the confusing directions we can take our books as debut authors, I'll share with you some of mine.


I'm stumbling along my maze, trying to figure my way around.


Do I accept every request for others to review my book?

Do I accept invitations for group book tours? 


Do I accept every giveaway request for Darkspell?


How do I set up my website? How many social medias should I join, and how do I keep up with them all?



Do I accept every invitation for public appearances?


Do I accept every request for book reviews?


Do I accept every request for critiques?

Do I accept every invitation for promo sights?


How do I handle negative reviews?


How do I handle comments in favor for my book? Is it possible to turn them into a sale, if so, how?

I didn't know that too much self-promotion is annoying to many people until a few months ago! What's a happy medium?


Oh no! It seems like my book isn't selling, what can I do? When is it time for me to decide that I've done my best and emotionally move on without giving up?

How do I go about setting up book signings since my publisher is small enough that I need to arrange them myself?


Since my books aren't in brick & mortar stores, how do I handle potential sales (when someone says they want to buy my book)?


Questions Questions, so many questions!


There are times when I feel so overcome by which direction to take--and since I'm such a newbie at this, I've hardly been turning down any invitation or request! You can imagine my workload--and this doesn't count outside book life! EEEEP!


Then my husband hears how overwhelmed I am and then he started singing this song (keeping in mind that I'm a published author and how many are striving for that goal):





Even though I've had a marketing plan before my book was sold, I wasn't prepared for the entourage of surprises that come after, for how would a debut author know? I wonder if it's more of the same with the second, third, fourth book? Have you whipped up a marketing plan for when your book is sold? If you're published, how has the path been like for you? 




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Choosing a Direction . . .


. . . to take your book.

You'll notice the past several posts have been about my being a debut author.

As a debut author, I feel very  much like a teenager right out of high school. Lucky the ones who have counselors and parents and mentors who care. They knew what to expect, but here comes the great big world and you feel like a kid in a candy store. All this freedom!


Well, I kinda feel like that now. There are so many directions to choose from, yet I don't know which one! If I ask another debut author, it's like a blind man leading another blind man--we are at the same exact starting point!


So I've asked authors who have a few books out and share with them my confusion. I've had some say, "Oh, yeah, I remember doing that!"


Doh!



Even with a career in books, I haven't strayed far from a starting point. Without a mentor, a debut author is sorta alone because not many established authors discuss those early awkward days--not on Facebook, not on Blogger, no where.


So, I'm here to share with you  my successes and woes together.

My advice is to hook up with established authors you feel comfortable with asking away all your greenie questions!

Do you have an action plan? If so, care to share it with us? If you have more than one book, how did you deal with the teenie blues as a debut author?




 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blood and Tears and Joy


I knew that getting my book published would change my life, but I didn't know in what way.

The first thing that hit me was a bad case of vertigo and nausea as soon as TreasureLine wanted Darkspell, my YA paranormal romance novel. I slammed the panic button and requested some more time before I sent it. I'm one lucky gal because my publisher is a real sweetheart. She consented and I deleted about 8,000 words; that's about 6 hours worth of writing gone.

As a writer, you never know when that agent/publisher will say yes. Your manuscript must be ready to the very minute!

I've always wanted to do my own chapter illustrations, but had forgotten all about it after I sent my baby off for editing. I emailed my publisher and asked her what she thought if I illustrated each chapter. She said it was a great idea if I wanted to do that. Over the course of a week and 117 hours worth of time, I completed 39 illustrations.

After a long nail-biting wait, the editor sent a marked up Darkspell for me to work on. When I was done, I had to wait for another long period of time. What to do now? After working day in and day out nonstop for a few months for Darkspell's perfection, this sudden bout of nothingness left me feeling out of place.

Then the thought hit me. Marketing. I could start marketing my book. I hunted down an author pal of mine and asked him how he handled pre-ordering. I tinkered with PayPal and slowly updated my website.

Is your head spinning yet?

There's so much work involved in getting a book published, but one thing's for sure, I couldn't have done all this without the moral support of other writers! Not only that, but I have the joy of knowing that I've finally reached my life's dream.


Would you like for me to share something fun?
From the author's portfolio, never before seen footage:

my 12 year-old son
my 15 year-old daughter

Equals

Chapter 15 illustration


FuN fAcT: the cover model is my 12 year-old son manipulated by moi to look 17!

Elizabeth Mueller Website  (find all 39 chapter illustrations!)
Elizabeth On Twitter 
Elizabeth On Facebook 
Darkspell on Smashwords 
Darkspell on Goodreads 
Amazon Kindle 

Read Darkspell here!





Friday, January 20, 2012

Ready, Get set . . .


 Survive!

A trusted friend comes to you and says, "Well, you're pretty familiar with astronomy, right?"


You nod your head. "Of course I am. I've only been studying the subject for twenty, maybe ten years?" You don't want to sound like a space geek.


Your friend smiles and says, "Welcome to our space expedition program, then!" He hands you the keys to his magnificent spaceship and says, "I'll see you later. Make it count."


Okay, you think, what do I do now?


That's the question. What do I do now? That's how it's like being a debut author. What now? What now . . . I've been told by a good friend that expectations kill. They do, don't they? I expect my book to sell well. It doesn't. I expect everyone to love it. They don't. I expect to become Ms. Popular in my town. I'm still invisible.


I know, this sounds so silly, but it's the misconception I had as an aspiring writer. Being published doesn't change very much unless it's a miracle!


I still don't know what to expect and every author I've spoken to--the nondebut ones--say, "Oh, yeah, I remember going through that. Don't worry, it'll get better [because you'll learn from your mistakes]." Just like real life.


*sigh*


I just thought I'd share my experience with you, so you'd know that I'm not walking the yellow brick road.

I'd love to hear your expectations? Go on, I promise not to snicker or roll my eyes. <3


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Refreshing Honesty, a 3 star Review

You'd think when a book gets a 3 star review, someone's bashing it, right?






Because I know the person who gave Darkspell the review, I had a creeping feeling she'd rate it a 3 star, I don't have an explanation for that, either. So I clicked on her link for my Book Tour and headed over to her website.

Lo and behold! I saw her 3 star at the top. I smiled because I knew I was right! Yay! Not very many people are happy about that, really. But guess what? Anastasia wrote a FaNtAsTiC review! I know that my book is too gushy for her (she loves battling elves), so you can tell how flattered I am with her perception as well as her objectivity.

Even when you don't favor a particular book, it doesn't mean you must bash the poor thing. I read Star Scout Rising, a full-blown science fiction read, and I have to admit it was one of the hardest books I've had to read since my heart is in romance, but I was positive and found joy in the characters and plot and adventures rather than pick it apart. 

How do you review a book that isn't your cup of tea?


Find out what a fantastic review, Anastasia wrote for my debut novel here and why I  LOVE this 3 star review!






Monday, January 16, 2012

My A - Z Blogging Challenge Secret: How I Survived


I must confess that this was truly challenging! Like with any huge project, I planned ahead of time. I thought of a theme I'd stick by through out the entire month and created a list per alphabet letter on a spiral bound notebook, writing as many words that started with each letter.


example:


A: anaphora, alphabet, allegory, artist


so on so forth till I reached Z.

(sneak a peek at my posts here!)


Next, I went down my list and circled one idea per letter to post about it. I wrote my entire alphabet post in two days a month ahead of time. Why? Because I wanted to enjoy visiting everyone's fabulous blogs and leave comments on as many as I could per day! 

Since we aren't posting on Sundays (but for April 1st for 2012) it gives us a fabulous opportunity to catch up on the comment love!


And that's my secret. What's yours?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Expectations Kill

We are all familiar  with disappointment.  Disappointment is born when there is hope or expectation. Yes, we all need hope to keep moving forward, but I believe that expectation is a whole lot steeper than hope.

I've lost my sights on why I've become published. I became obsessed with marketing my book to the point that I was losing my soul to it! I'm with a very small publisher and it's up to us to promote our own books. That has been a struggle with me because I have a family to tend to as well, and then there's real life that comes with it.

It became so bad that I've had to force myself to take a break for a whole week straight. I found that I had SO much more time open wide for reading, being me, and playing with my kids. I really enjoyed it.

It's been two days since I've returned to my writing career. This time, it's different. I've set aside specific times in my day so that I don't let things rule my life again.

As an aspiring author, I had expectations for my book--but that's like saying a little girl expects to live happily ever after once finding her knight in shining armor.

I had no idea what I was really in for--being published is simply the business side of writing.

Being published doesn't mean all your problems melt away and you're set for life--it's like with any other career out there: you still have to work at it but wisely! You don't stay at your current job 17 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, do you? It's so easy to let that happen with your book because you love it, you're home doing it and it slowly cooks you alive if you're not watching the water boil!

Just like with any relationship gone sour, I need to remember why I started writing. So I'm getting back to the basics:  Discovering the pure joy in writing, and remembering the love of sharing my heart's work.

As a rule, authors never talk about the hardships of their careers, and it makes me wonder why because it is there. What struggles are you facing now?

Friday, January 6, 2012

A to Zing!

Do you know your A, B, C's?


My experience with last years A-Z blogging challenge was a total blast! I learned to write concise posts, shrink time, and make tons of friends!


I enjoyed it so much that I'm now part of the A to Z Team, yay!


See what the buzz is about and click on the badge below, follow our shiny new site for updates.




Guess what? I'd love to introduce you to our lovely team for 2012! We will announce occasional A to Z news in stereo so that you don't miss a thing. They are a wonderful group of friends that I know you'd love to follow if you aren't already!


Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Author Elizabeth Mueller (Elizabeth Mueller)
Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)




Interested in signing up yet? Not sure? Okay, if you'd love to see my A to Z Challange, click on this link here and see what the fuzz is about. Go on, you'll love what I've done! But if you're still not sure, That's fine, you have until January 30th to sign up. Think about it!

Here is the link again so you can bookmark it:  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
Don't be shy and drop by our new site every so often for updates and stuff!


What do you think, are you going to join? What are your goals for 2012?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Darkspell Tour, Book Fair and 3 Winners!

post has been updated!

  Alex Stormhold is sworn to protect Winter from the darkness that hunts her, an ordinary girl who believes she's nobody special.


She wrong.


Winter unlocks a horrifying secret and must make a choice that could cost the lives of the ones she loves.

 Darkspell is a YA Paranormal Romance.




Please join my Book Tour this month! 

January 1 Ana at BookSpark
January 27 Sheila at Why Not? Because I Said So!



Read Darkspell here!


Did you find a new Kindle, Nook, or iPad under the Christmas tree? Browse the Indie Book Fair and find a new ebook to break in that reader!
These great new books were released Nov 2011-Feb 2012 by Indie authors, priced right so that taking a chance on a new author doesn’t have to break your wallet. (Check out my previous Internet Book Fair for other great Indie finds.)
[Indie = self-published or small-publisher, for the purposes of this post, because no matter how we’re published, we’re all in this together, trying to get the word out about our books]
Note: Links are given for Amazon, but most authors publish across all e-book formats. Click on the author’s name for additional purchasing options, including paper copies.
For Your Browsing Pleasure
Contemporary (Adult)
Build a Man by Talli Roland (Chick Lit) 
Slave to the rich, rude and deluded, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. Unfortunately, every pitch she sends out disappears like her clients' liposuctioned fat, never to be seen again. Then she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- giving Serenity a story no editor could resist. With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success, even going undercover to gain intimate access to Jeremy's life. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and Serenity is ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, she must decide how far she really will go for her dream job. $0.99 on Amazon
 
The Golden Sky by Elisa Hirsch (Memoir) 
The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way.  Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief.  Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and I kicked him out of the house. That was how I met: Earl (an old man and unlikely best friend), the “big sag” (a middle aged woman who still flashed folks), Todda (the stripper next door), and Chris (a cowboy who fell in love with me). It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance.  But could our marriage recover from the death of our son? $2.99 onAmazon
Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts (Contemporary Romance) 
Jason Vanderholt is the hottest actor under thirty with legions of screaming fans. Chloe Winters is a college student who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. When they meet by chance, he is smitten, but it just isn't her fairytale. In fact, it could be her worst nightmare as her past, attracted by the bright lights of the media, comes back to haunt her. $0.99 on Amazon

Historical Romance (Adult)
The Duke’s Divorce by Anne Gallagher Available late January 2012
A simple trip to the Scottish Highlands finds the Duke of Cantin with a bride he does not want.  With her impeccable beauty and fiery disposition, Fiona takes Society by storm.  As their prearranged divorce proceedings draw near, can Fiona change his mind? Check author's website.


Literary Fiction
String Bridge by Jessica Bell 
Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits ... $6.99 on Amazon ALSO:  Music Sample!
Mystery
Sherwood Ltd. by Anne R. Allen
Sherwood. The name immediately conjures up images of Richard Greene, Michael Praed and Russell Crowe. Or maybe that sly fox in the Disney version. Only, in Anne R. Allen's latest rom-com mystery the fox is a coyote and there's no Robin Hood. Or is there? In her usual inimitable fashion Allen peels back the layers, one hilarious subplot after another, until you just never know what's real and what's not. Rather like the Robin Hood legend. When the Manners Doctor, Camilla Randall, flies into Robin Hood airport with a suitcase in one hand and a book contract in the other she thinks she's leaving all her problems behind and is about to start a new life. If you look very carefully you may just spot the Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marian and even Little John hidden away. But as for Robin Hood himself... You'll just have to read it and find out.  $2.99 on Amazon
 
Short Stories and Anthologies
The Initiate (Cloud Prophet Trilogy) by  Megg Jensen (YA Fantasy)
Over a thousand years ago, the gods left Eloh's people and took their magic with them. To win back their favor, her people sacrifice ten female initiates every ten years. No has ever survived. There has never been a Chosen One. Forced into becoming an initiate, Eloh will try to find a way to beat the odds, stay with her boyfriend, and survive the fires that threaten to consume her. But will her lack of faith in the gods and her disbelief in their magic doom her to a painful death? $0.99 on Amazon
Eight by Karly Kirkpatrick (YA Paranormal Short Story Collection)
Prepare to be thrilled and chilled by Kirkpatrick's eight short tales in EIGHT. These eight stories, while short, pack a big punch. There are demon spirits, zombies, and even some human baddies. Each story comes complete with author's commentary. It also includes the previously unreleased short Grenades. $0.99 on Amazon



{CoverComingSoon} In His Eyes by The Indelibles (YA Anthology) - Available February 14th
Just in time for Valentines Day, The Indelibles bring you a one-of-a-kind young adult anthology! Twenty original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters - some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology. Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – in his eyes. Add to Goodreads TBR
The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors: S.R. Wells, C.K. Bryant, Elle Strauss, Susan Kaye Quinn, Jessie Harrell, Magan Vernon, Lisa Nowak, Heather McCorkle, RaShelle Workman, Ali Cross, Karen Amanda Hooper, Cory Putman Oakes, Laura Pauling, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Sarra Cannon, Katie Klein, Cheri Lasota


Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal by Lani Woodland, Melonie Piper, Rita Webb, Wendy Swore, Melanie Marks, Heather McCubbin and Evan Joseph (YA Anthology)
Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories. Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you. Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction. $0.99 on Amazon

Young Adult
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn (Paranormal/Science Fiction) 
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her. $2.99 on Amazon
Bound by C.K. Bryant (Paranormal Romance) 
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia,has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. $3.99 on Amazon
 
Become by Ali Cross (YA Urban Fantasy)
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she Becomes the evil she despises and the good she always feared. When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her Choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is a reason to want to change—something she’s never had before—a friend. $3.99 on Amazon
 
Exiled by RaShelle Workman (YA SF Romance) 
Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them.
An alien princess exiled to Earth. An arrogant boy. One week to get back to her planet or she'll die. And, her only chance for survival? She must help the boy find his soul mate.
Piece of cake! $0.99 on Kindle


The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle (Urban Fantasy)
Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though. $4.99 on Amazon 
Destined by Jessie Harrell (Retelling) 
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear. As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.  $0.99 on Amazon
Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller (Paranormal Romance) 
Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold. As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her.  Violently thrust into a magickal realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own. Will love prove thicker than magick? $3.99 on Amazon

Untraceable by S. R. Johannes (Thriller) 
Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves. $0.99 on Amazon

Rival Demons (Book 5 of the Peachville High Demons Series) by Sarra Cannon (Paranormal Romance) Available January 20th
After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Order of Shadows, Harper finds herself thrust into the strange and beautiful world of the shadow demons. But crossing through the portal doesn't mean she is safe. The Order of Shadows is determined to bring her home and transfer the Prima line to the Harris family. They send their most vicious hunters after Harper. Hunters who will not stop until they have found their prey. Determined to keep her safe, Jackson takes her deep into an underground world filled with dangers of its own. Here, Harper will begin a journey that will teach her more about herself and her own path than she ever imagined possible. Add to Goodreads TBR
The Legend of Victor Standish: Under a Voodoo Moon by Roland D. Yeomans (Urban Fantasy/Romance) 
Can love kill? Yes ... if you love a ghoul who hungers for your flesh only slightly less than she does your heart.  Yet to the lonely street orphan Victor Standish, who has risked his life for a meal, to find love (even for one magical French Quarter night) is worth dying in the morning. $2.99 on Amazon All profits go to the Salvation Army.
Getting Sideways (Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series) by Lisa Nowak (Contemporary) 
Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track—writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers’ license—but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him. A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary status. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing’s safe. Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy. $3.99 on Amazon

Tangled Tides by Karen Hooper (Sea Monster Memoirs) 
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans. $4.99 on Amazon
Here by Denise Grover Swank (SF Romance)
Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before. Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.  $2.99 on Amazon
The Veil by  Cory Putman Oakes (Paranormal Romance)
Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi.  Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be—the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem.  And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her.  Or so he says . . . $7.99 on Amazon
Embrace by Cherie Colyer (Paranormal Romance)
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. $6.99 on Amazon
Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos (Paranormal Romance)
Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. But Alora secretly conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear. Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. Can Julia bargain with fate? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy. $3.99 on Amazon
How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon (Science Fiction) 
High school senior Alex Bianchi's estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn't your typical military base. It's an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can't help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they're on the brink of intergalactic war? $2.99 on Amazon

Fireseed One by  Catherine Stine (Science Fiction/Thriller) 
Fireseed One is a journey into a tricked-out near-future earth where 18 year-old Varik has inherited a vast ocean farm, following the suspicious drowning of his Marine biologist father. When Marisa, a beautiful and devious terrorist, destroys the world's food source, Varik is forced to travel to a lethal hotzone, teeming with dangerous nomads and a strange cult to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. The catch? He must take Marisa along, the only person who seems to know way, way too much key information.  $2.99 on Amazon



The Missing by M.A. Leslie (Paranormal)
Eight-year-old, Ethan Doyle is just a normal kid whose biggest problem in life was to fight for the attention of his busy parents from his older twin siblings. But, after his aunt and uncle tragically die, his family takes in his teenage cousin, Kelsey, and moves to a spooky old, manor house in a new town. At first, everything seems fine, but when he begins to see and speak to a spirit named Lucas, his biggest problem becomes, just staying alive. Lucas was ten years old when the spirits of the house came to him and asked him for help setting their spirits free. Unfortunately, he never made the deadline and as a result the spirits took him and made him a part of the house as well. As he soon finds out, the only way he can save his own soul is to save the souls of the missing boys in the house. With his own deadline in place, Ethan enlists the help of his cousin Kelsey to solve the twenty-year-old mystery of THE MISSING. $0.99 on Amazon


Princess Kandake by Stephanie Jefferson (Fantasy) Available February 1, 2012
In Nubia a woman can be whatever she chooses. At 14, Kandake knows exactly what she chooses...Prime Warrior of Nubia. But her grandmother has said that she will follow her father on the throne. Refusing to abandon her warrior dreams she continues to train. When her brother is kidnapped, Kandake learns she must be both queen and warrior to win his release! See Author's Website 


Middle Grade
Blink of a Dragon by Eisley Jacobs (Fantasy)
Discovering she’s connected to dragons is one thing, but when another dragon is caught hanging out in the fifth grade, Meia thinks things couldn’t get any worse. Is she ever wrong! Trouble is brewing in the cosmos and Deglan believes this new dragon holds the answers, but his hopes are crushed when the leader of the exiled dark dragons ambushes them. The fate of the dragons and possibly the whole world falls to Deglan and Meia as they search for the only creature powerful
enough to send the dark dragons back into the abyss. What they encounter along the way makes the adventure worth fighting for. $6.99 Paperback preorder, Amazon





Now for the WINNERS!




I'd like to thank everyone one who danced with me for my Debutante Ball, you made Darkspell's entrance into society a pleasurable one!

I have two winners: my lovely international and local--Yay!

Are you ready?


CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS, Old Kitty from Ten Lives and Second Chances, you've won Darkspell's e-copy and poster!

*cOnGrAtUlAtIoNs, Ashley, you've won the signed copy of Darkspell and swag!




Congratulations, John Dwyer, you've won Transcendent Tales of the Paranormal!




Thank you and Happy New Year!



*Another winner will be chosen if I don't hear back from Ashley soon!