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.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Schedule of Release Activities (Pre-Order Links)

It's no secret that I'm releasing two books back to back. On December 1, 2014, Cheating Time (Longevity, #1) will be released. On December 9, 2014, Since Inception (Vanishing, #1) will be released. What most might not realize is the number of interviews, messages, and guest posts that go along with each release. Since I'm releasing two books at the same time, I'm answering lots of questions and analyzing my books, my characters, and myself in ways that aren't normal for me. Regardless, I'm including the schedule and links below for those interested.

For the bloggers/authors who are supporting these releases and for Shane Morgan of Itching for Books who coordinated the activities, I'm eternally grateful. 

Pre-Order Links for Cheating Time (Longevity, #1):
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks

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


Pre-Order Links for Since Inception (Vanishing, #1):
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks

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!

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

FREE - Grave Bound (Secrets, #1) & Left (Still Standing, #1)

For a limited time only, I'm listing two of my books for FREE. Click on the Amazon/B&N link of your choice and download one or both of the books. Consider it a no strings attached gift from me to you and enjoy! 


Grave Bound (Secrets, #1) 

Amazon
B&N 

Book cover Designer: Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art

Genre: New Adult Romance - 18+ and older due to language, sexual situations, and violence

Length: 293 pages


Summary: Emily Riddle has lived her entire nineteen years inside a patriarchal commune led by her father and her stepbrothers. There are more rules than she cares to admit, but the most important one, 'keep it in the commune', is the one most difficult for her to abide by... especially since the only people willing to champion her cause live on the outside.

When Emily learns her father and brothers have promised her to Lorenzo, a man she despises down to her core, she rebels. No matter the consequences, she refuses to marry someone who'd rather beat her than caress her.

A day of hooky that starts out as a tiny act of defiance - sneaking out of the commune for a swim - soon turns into the best day of her life. After spending time with Levi, a man camping near the lake, she finds out what true romance looks like and catches a glimpse into a future that's filled with love and admiration rather than hate and submission.

That tiny peek is enough to change the course of Emily's existence and makes it nearly impossible for her to go back to the commune and pretend she will ever be able to tolerate a life chosen for her rather than the life she longs for. One that includes Levi.

Fighting to escape the commune, its leaders, and her fiancé proves to be more dangerous than Emily ever expected. The secrets she knows, as the commune leader's daughter, will either follow her to the grave or send her - and Levi - there.




Book cover Designer: Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art
Photography: Teresa Yeh of Teresa Yeh Photography
Female Hand model: Shana Leah O'Rourke
Male Hand Model: Calen Burr

Genre: New Adult Romance - 18+ and older due to language, sexual situations, and violence

Length: 315 pages


Summary: Your own two feet are all you have when you've been left.

A naive Baylee loves Colt, her boyfriend of four years, more than she ever thought possible. After a little snooping, she's convinced she's well on her way toward hearing an once-in-a-lifetime proposal and starring in the wedding-of-the-year event. Instead, she's blind-sighted by a very public break-up and the crushing news that Colt is marrying someone else... someone more befitting him and the role his father expects him to take in his law firm.

Baylee may have spent years resenting Ariana, her mother, and her suicide, an intolerable show of weakness in Baylee's opinion, but after Colt leaves her just short of the altar, Baylee sees the world through her mother's eyes. She sympathizes with Ariana's actions and realizes that some things—soul deep aches—can irreparably damage you and make moving on nearly impossible.


At least, that's how she feels until she meets Ryker. With his help, Baylee discovers there is life after Colt, and she prepares to move on by pulling herself up by the bootstraps, holding her head high, and standing on her own two feet. Unfortunately, a new jealous and hateful Colt has his own plans for her, and they are plans no one—especially not Baylee—ever saw coming.





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chasing the Dragon - 2014 NaNoWriMo Project

Chasing the Dragon (Lost Innocence, #1)
Expected Release Date: 3/1/15
Cover: Catriona Crehan
Expected Number of Pages: 300

Summary (draft):

Coming of Age, Holden Caulfield - that is her real name thanks to her drug addict mother - is as confused, lost, and cynical as her namesake, and the events of her life are just as heartbreaking and heart wrenching. Enduring a life overrun with teenage angst, social alienation, and familial controversy, Holden recounts the days leading up to the one that changed her forever.

After the whole school learns her most private secret - courtesy of Robby, her older brother - Holden's life spirals out of control, and she ends up suspended. Unable to take one more minute of hatefulness from Robby or neglect from her parents (two people who are drug dealers and abusers... who are determined to use and abuse their eight children with the same reckless abandon they do their drugs and clients), Holden runs away.

Homeless, she crosses the path of teachers who've failed her, a priest who doesn't believe her, a boyfriend's brother who can't forgive her, a pimp who wants to employ her, and a sister who can't speak to her. With each interaction, her exploration of life vs. death, growing up vs. growing old, and honesty vs. deceit becomes more and more consuming. 

Mentally scarred beyond repair, Holden begins to feel as if her questions have to be addressed. Sooner rather than later.