Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Gift

As is the norm with me, I want to take the opportunity to celebrate this very special holiday by offering a coupon for a FREE book to mothers... to children who want to give a gift to their mother for Mother's Day... to people who are not mothers and have no intention of becoming a mother. In other words, it's a gift for anyone and everyone in the spirit of the day.


Book: Cheating Time (Longevity, #1) 
Coupon Code: LF77J
Expires: 5/15/15
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia/Sci-Fi
Pages: 400+
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.5

Summary: 

Carles "Carlie" Enoche's world is one that can barely be imagined. In it, babies have micropharmeceutical devices inserted in their hearts within hours of birth. The MicroPharm implant holds code that secretly counts down until the date of that baby's death (as determined by its genetic analysis) and contains drugs that are released in such a way that chemicals and hormones are in perfect balance at all times, making illness almost unheard of.

Theoretically, the known but unexposed date of the babies' deaths and the maintenance drugs geared toward giving the baby a long life have benign consequences. It is the unknown and unbelievable and unexpected way President John Barone gathers data about every child and the way he releases contraceptives from the device in order to control the population and terminate pregnancies when embryos are identified as weak or mutated that makes the device and its technology as dangerous as any malignancy.

For President Barone, seventeen-year-old Carlie isn’t just a MicroPharm first generation; she is the great-granddaughter of the man who discovered the ability to determine life expectancy down to the day and the daughter of the woman who invented the MicroPharm chip. Carlie and her family are important to President Barone's political career and the plans he has of creating a nation of strong, healthy, and superior people, who give more to their country than they take.

Jayden St. Romaine, one of the Facet's most loyal Surrogate Soldiers, is ordered by President Barone himself to find the Enoche family and kidnap Carlie. Through blackmail, he plans to leverage control over the Enoche's scientific research and the ability to develop even more tools that can be used to genetically engineer a superior race.

When President Barone sends Jayden on his mission, he never expected his perfect soldier to develop a conscience… betray his trust… fall in love with Carlie, but he's dispatched a backup Surrogate Soldier just in case. With the ticking of the clock and the second Surrogate chasing them, Jayden's chances at redemption and Carlie's chances of living a life where she is free to make choices about her life and her body are in jeopardy.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rock Chick Series - by Kristen Ashley

It's been a while since I've done a formal review of a book, and I've never reviewed an entire series at one time. With Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick Series, I'm breaking my dry spell... I'm speaking out and begging, pleading, insisting, and (insert here whatever works) for you to stop what you're doing and buy this series ($3.99 each and only a $1.99 if you add the audible version). You heard me right. Don't just buy the first book. Go ahead and buy them all because you're going to buy them eventually anyway. You might as well have them at the ready.
I'm going to be honest with you and admit that I must live with my head in the sand (considering how many phenomenal ratings/reviews Ms. Ashley has on Goodreads) because I'd never heard of this series until Amazon recommended it to me as one it thought I'd like based on my previous purchases. While those recommendations are not always accurate - in my case anyway - this one couldn't have been more perfect.
If you know me at all, you know that I only review books I consider to be excellent. I've certainly read books that weren't 'my cup of tea', but I go out of my way to keep those opinions to myself. In the case of the Rock Chick Series, I don't have to sugar coat anything. The writing is wonderful. The characters are endearing, hilarious, morally and ethically upstanding, sweet, tender, protective, tolerant, committed, vulnerable, passionate, adventurous, family and friend oriented, and periodically lovingly obtuse. The stories are full of ups and downs, and despite the number of pages/words, they go so fast that you mourn each's ending. In case there is any doubt, I whole-heartedly rate each of these with the highest 5 Star possible.
Each book is the love story of a different couple, but the same cast of characters return, grow, and entertain us with each book. It's not about one person, one couple, one story. It's about all of them and all of it. And... even though I love all of them and all of it, I have a favorite couple. It's the Rock Chick vigilante Jules and the Hot Bunch's protective Vance. You won't get to them until book #4, but they're worth the wait. I promise. 

 Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1) - by Kristen Ashley
      • 4.23 of 5 stars — 30,571 ratings 


      • 4.32 of 5 stars — 20,601 ratings 


      • 4.44 of 5 stars — 19,528 ratings 


      • 4.48 of 5 stars — 18,555 ratings 


      • 4.53 of 5 stars — 18,836 ratings 


      • 4.45 of 5 stars — 17,615 ratings


      • 4.57 of 5 stars — 17,270 ratings 



      • 4.47 of 5 stars — 14,501 ratings 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Breaks and Nature Walks



Just in case anyone assumes I live a life full of constant and consistent drama (or why else would I force my books' characters to live through it... right?), I can assure you that my home life is anything but dramatic. I work hard at maintaining a zenlike balance because I have a day job in healthcare where the only constants and consistents are change and need. It makes for hectic days, and when coupled with the commute from hell (trust me... Houston's rush hour traffic is nightmarish enough to warrant it's own horror flick ), I go out of my way to make sure my time away from my healthcare job is not spent hustling, bustling, and/or jockeying for anything anywhere.


As such, it stands to reason that when the rest of the world is heading - by the thousands - toward crowded beaches for their wild and crazy spring breaks, I head in the direction of a beach that is exactly the opposite. As boring as it sounds, I want - need peace... calm... tranquility, and I need it like a man dying of thirst needs a drink of water.

Because this particular spring break was so wonderfully relaxing, I thought I'd share some of the photos I took while going on nature walks, strolling the quiet beach near my writer's retreat, and/or staring out at the bird sanctuary from my balcony. Let me be the first to warn you that there is nothing scandalous, risque, or salacious. You will only witness evidence of the brief moments in time when I found the peace, the calm, and the tranquility I'd been in desperate search of.

Enjoy!

















Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blue & Black or White & Gold

I'm not sure what makes this 'blue & black' dress a sensation, but it is. Equally puzzling for me is the fact that half of my family/friends see it as black and blue while the other half vehemently argue that it's as white and gold as white and gold can be. Needless to say, the debate (familial and national) has been the tiniest bit frustrating.
 
 The disagreement is unsettling because the people who aren't seeing the dress in the same 'light' as you - in some situations - are people you love and respect, ones you admire and ones you know would never maliciously try to mess with your head. The reality is I've long suspected that everyone sees colors differently. 

The whole discussion made me realize these differences of opinions happen all day every day and no one questions them to this degree. I suspect that has to do with the fact that the interpretation of colors (excluding people who are color blind) should be relatively objective. Black is black. Blue is blue. White is white. Gold is gold. Usually!  When it comes to books, music, movies, paintings, photography, etc., we've long known that the like or dislike of them is completely dependent on our moods, a lifetimes' worth of experiences, our morals/ethics, our training, our preferences, etc.; therefore, disagreements are not only expected but welcomed. 

I've been writing for years now and have come to the realization that everyone is not always going to think my books are the best thing since sliced bread. This acceptance was a critical step in maturing as an artist and my ability to continue writing. Now, I understand that one reviewer might send me a very personal message, one so sweet it leaves me in tears, letting me know just how much she loved my book while another might hate that same book so much that his/her very public condemnation of my work might be gentler coming from Ming the Merciless himself. 

I've said many times that I only read Fifty Shades of Grey because of its horrible reviews. I knew that if it was on the best sellers lists it couldn't possibly be as bad as the reviewers were making it out to be. Now (and not because of the erotica in the book... in fact... despite the erotica in the book), it's one of my favorite go-to stories/characters. 

As with all great national debates, it proves that not everyone sees the world in the same light. One person's black and blue dress is another person's gold and white dress. One person's favorite book is another's 'worst waste of time'. The most important thing to come from this is the acceptance that we all see things differently. As such, reviews of books (and movies, music, etc.) should be taken with a grain of salt. Just because one person hates a book does not mean that you will. In fact, you might be pleasantly surprised when you take a chance on something others despise. 


Saturday, February 14, 2015

❤ Happy Valentine's Day ❤


It's that time of year again... the time when we let those we love know how much they mean to us, how much we love them, and how thankful we are to have them in our lives.

Having my wonderful husband and my sweet children taken care of, I thought I might offer my fans a coupon code to download a FREE copy of Cheating Time (Longevity, #1) for anyone who LIKES (or has already LIKED) my Facebook Fan Page.



Book: Cheating Time (Longevity, #1) 
Coupon Code: LF77J
Expires: 2/15/15
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia/Sci-Fi
Pages: 400+
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.5

Summary: 
Carles "Carlie" Enoche's world is one that can barely be imagined. In it, babies have micropharmeceutical devices inserted in their hearts within hours of birth. The MicroPharm implant holds code that secretly counts down until the date of that baby's death (as determined by its genetic analysis) and contains drugs that are released in such a way that chemicals and hormones are in perfect balance at all times, making illness almost unheard of.

Theoretically, the known but unexposed date of the babies' deaths and the maintenance drugs geared toward giving the baby a long life have benign consequences. It is the unknown and unbelievable and unexpected way President John Barone gathers data about every child and the way he releases contraceptives from the device in order to control the population and terminate pregnancies when embryos are identified as weak or mutated that makes the device and its technology as dangerous as any malignancy.

For President Barone, seventeen-year-old Carlie isn’t just a MicroPharm first generation; she is the great-granddaughter of the man who discovered the ability to determine life expectancy down to the day and the daughter of the woman who invented the MicroPharm chip. Carlie and her family are important to President Barone's political career and the plans he has of creating a nation of strong, healthy, and superior people, who give more to their country than they take.

Jayden St. Romaine, one of the Facet's most loyal Surrogate Soldiers, is ordered by President Barone himself to find the Enoche family and kidnap Carlie. Through blackmail, he plans to leverage control over the Enoche's scientific research and the ability to develop even more tools that can be used to genetically engineer a superior race.

When President Barone sends Jayden on his mission, he never expected his perfect soldier to develop a conscience… betray his trust… fall in love with Carlie, but he's dispatched a backup Surrogate Soldier just in case. With the ticking of the clock and the second Surrogate chasing them, Jayden's chances at redemption and Carlie's chances of living a life where she is free to make choices about her life and her body are in jeopardy.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

National Readathon Day

In honor of the first national READATHON day, I'm prepared to offer a single eBook (one written by me) to anyone leaving a comment (email & eBook - Nook or Kindle - preference) here or on my Facebook Fan Page

Grab your latest book and charge your ereaders, ladies and gentlemen. It's time for the first-ever National Readathon Day! On Saturday, January 24, 2015, join readers across the country who will be reading in solidarity for literacy from noon to 4 p.m. (in your own time zone). NationalReadathon Day is partnered with FirstGiving.com, and all money raised will go to the National Book Foundation's efforts to improve literacy and reading proficiency for millions of Americans who lack basic skills. All you need to do to participate is pick a book and read it on January 24. Check here for local readathon events near you. You can also make a donation or create a fund-raising team on FirstGiving.com, or even host your own "reading party."


Tell me what book you'll be reading on January 24... and be sure to share your experiences and photos using the hash tag, #timetoread


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

It's the time of year when you reflect... when you take inventory of where you've been and plan for where you want to go... when you make resolutions geared toward ensuring the next year is one that allows you to live a freer and fuller life. 

While all I really want to do today is live within a quiet bubble and reflect, I can't ignore the author chatter that is lighting up blogs and social media sites. The entire time I've been writing this post, I've been inundated with doom and gloom predictions, ones that say 2015 will not be a good year for authors. For authors new to the business (and some seasoned authors), the chatter can be discouraging. Without a doubt (and possibly on purpose) the negativity will prevent someone - potentially a great new and undiscovered author - from dipping their toes into the writing world. 

As for me, I don't see these types of forecasts as  deterrents. I could no sooner stop writing than I could stop breathing. No matter what 2015 looks like, I can not and will not give up. Instead, I plan to become more committed to the craft and to the book lovers who are going to suffer if authors do turn tail and run... if authors abandons the art that balances them out... if authors ignore the stories and characters bubbling their way to the surface of their creative minds.

Rather than focus on the negative, I'll stay focused on the positive. For me, 2014 has been a great year. I've written and released two books. I'm in the final stages of another, and I've written at least a few chapters on another two books. 2015 is already set to be an equally great year, one full with at least three additional releases (possibly four). Knowing the goals I've set and the targets I've met, I feel like 2015 will be a good year for those who are anxiously awaiting the next book in some of my most popular series. 

What I'm saying is that my new year's resolutions is that I'm committed to releasing Dark Angels of the Cross (Warrior, #4), There (Still Standing, #2), and Chasing the Dragon (Lost Innocence, #1)  in 2014. If I'm able to release a fourth book, it will be Deeper Than Hell (Secrets, #3), keeping in mind that if I do release that book, it will be an absolute stretch goal. Important to mention is the fact that the books being written and released this year have been specially selected based on the feedback that I've received from bloggers, fans, friends, and followers throughout the year.


Speaking of bloggers, fans, friends, and followers. I've met some amazing new people this year. For each and every one of them, I'm eternally thankful. My resolution is to meet more book lovers, make myself available to them as much as possible, and give them the credit they deserve for all of the hard work they put into helping authors with sales and marketing. 


Since none of us have a crystal ball, I have every intention of remaining optimistic. I plan to embrace 2015 as if every prediction says authors will rule the world by 2016.  Stay tuned to see what really happens and how I do... how committed I am to these resolutions... how these books do when they are released. 

My personal prediction is that this year will be especially exciting - and upsetting for the naysayers - if book lovers and authors alike circle the wagons, ignore the negative forecasts, and continue buying, promoting, reviewing books. Now, let's make 2015 the best year ever. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! 







Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Official Release Day for Since Inception (Vanishing, #1)

Order Links for Since Inception (Vanishing, #1):
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
*18 years and older

After discovering she has a problem worse than anything she could have ever imagined, Rainey Billows longs for the past—a time when she thought she was just a sadistic sleepwalker. Worse yet, this problem has been with her since inception.

Rainey, a woman who's suffered an entire lifetime of pain and humiliation because of her sleepwalking, is financially desperate when she takes in Carter Dodson as a boarder. With his presence in her house and her attraction to him, her internal conflicts, ones she's usually able to ignore, swim to the surface and take control. Before she knows it, her sleepwalking moves to a completely new level, and she's doing things she'd never thought possible.

In fear for Carter's life and without options, Rainey sentences herself to a nighttime ritual that would appear barbaric to others. In her mind, it's essential because, unlike anyone else, she knows firsthand the types of atrocities she's capable of in her sleep.

Carter, a man branded as unconditionally loyal by his friends, knows very little about Rainey but decides early on that she's a woman who has no one… a woman who needs someone. He commits himself to being that person for her. As soon as she makes her first request of him—to ignore her and her nighttime rituals no matter what she says or does—he reconsiders his pledge before quickly reminding himself he can't abandon her. She's had enough of that.


Months later, study, research, and theories are not enough, and standing by is no longer an option. Carter suspects what's wrong with her. What she is. With his suspicions in tow, he searches out and enlists the help of Luke, a childhood friend who's fast-tracking his way to priesthood. After a series of unforeseen and life-threatening events, the two men learn that even the Almighty himself may not be able to help Rainey.

Here is what Shane has lined up for Since Inception (Vanishing, #1). Release. Don't forget to support these wonderful bloggers, authors, and - of course - the Since Inception (Vanishing, #1) activities they've arranged.

To my fans/friends/family, 
Enjoy the newest books in my collections and have a wonderful and joyous holiday season!

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Official Release Day for Cheating Time (Longevity, #1)


Order Links for Cheating Time (Longevity, #1):

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks


Carles "Carlie" Enoche's world is one that can barely be imagined. In it, babies have micropharmeceutical devices inserted in their hearts within hours of birth. The MicroPharm implant holds code that secretly counts down until the date of that baby's death (as determined by its genetic analysis) and contains drugs that are released in such a way that chemicals and hormones are in perfect balance at all times, making illness almost unheard of.

Theoretically, the known but unexposed date of the babies' deaths and the maintenance drugs geared toward giving the baby a long life have benign consequences. It is the unknown and unbelievable and unexpected way President John Barone gathers data about every child and the way he releases contraceptives from the device in order to control the population and terminate pregnancies when embryos are identified as weak or mutated that makes the device and its technology as dangerous as any malignancy.

For President Barone, seventeen-year-old Carlie isn’t just a MicroPharm first generation; she is the great-granddaughter of the man who discovered the ability to determine life expectancy down to the day and the daughter of the woman who invented the MicroPharm chip. Carlie and her family are important to President Barone's political career and the plans he has of creating a nation of strong, healthy, and superior people, who give more to their country than they take.

Jayden St. Romaine, one of the Facet's most loyal Surrogate Soldiers, is ordered by President Barone himself to find the Enoche family and kidnap Carlie. Through blackmail, he plans to leverage control over the Enoche's scientific research and the ability to develop even more tools that can be used to genetically engineer a superior race.


When President Barone sends Jayden on his mission, he never expected his perfect soldier to develop a conscience… betray his trust… fall in love with Carlie, but he's dispatched a backup Surrogate Soldier just in case. With the ticking of the clock and the second Surrogate chasing them, Jayden's chances at redemption and Carlie's chances of living a life where she is free to make choices about her life and her body are in jeopardy.

Blog Tour activities:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stephen King's Advice Is Worth Taking

In the form of quick bullets, I've included the best advice on being a great writer that I've read in a long time as summarized by BUSINESS INSIDER:

22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer


1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible.
2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with.
3. Don't waste time trying to please people.
4. Write primarily for yourself.
5. Tackle the things that are hardest to write.
6. When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world.
7. Don't be pretentious.
8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs.
9. Don't get overly caught up in grammar.
10. Master the art of description.
11. Don't give too much background information.
12. Tell stories about what people actually do.
13. Take risks; don't play it safe.
14. Realize that you don't need drugs to be a good writer.
15. Don't try to steal someone else's voice.
16. Understand that writing is a form of telepathy.
17. Take your writing seriously.
19. Finish your first draft in three months. 
20. When you're finished writing, take a long step back.
21. Have the guts to cut.
22. Stay married, be healthy, and live a good life.