Friday, June 28, 2013

#Review: EMERALD TABLET by Joshua Silverman


3 of 5 stars

THE EMERALD TABLET is a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, adventure and mythology telling the story of Leoros, an Earth boy, who is prophesied to be the one to save the distant planet Potara. From the moment he steps through the Portal of Hermes, Leoros is challenged by his teacher Pythos, an Amun priest, and the other Gifted teenagers as he tries to understand his role in saving Potara. His only friend is a slave girl, Atlantia, and he clings to her in desperation against the loneliness he feels since leaving Earth. Can a 13-year-old Earth boy save Potara against an evil, the likes of which they have never seen in a thousand years?

I was excited to read this book when I read the description, but the beginning introduced too many characters with too much exposition. It definitely bogged down the story. On top of that, the review copy I received was badly formatted with headers appearing in the middle of a page. It made a confusing book even more confusing.  The author clearly did his research into Egyptian mythology, but the story is difficult to get into. It's hard to know who the intended audience is - adult or YA - because of the horrific abuse scenes early on. The action doesn't pick up until the second half of the book when war breaks out. The ending of the book was unsatisfying. I understand that this is the first in a series of multiple books, but I won't be reading any more from this author.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Interview with Shadow Stephens

Wilted Wings 
Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
IT IS PART OF A SERIES. WILTED WINGS IS THE FIRST BOOK TO FOLLOW BROKEN BUTTERFLIES. THE SERIES IS A NEW TAKE ON ANGELS. THERE IS TONS OF ACTION AND ROMANCE IN EACH ONE.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
IN WILTED WINGS DAMON’S SISTER CALIGULA IS MORE PRESENT. SHE IS PART OF THE MAIN PLOT IN THIS BOOK WHERE AS IN THE FIRST ONE SHE WAS IN THE BACKGROUND.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
 I WOULD NEVER RELINQUESH THE RIGHTS TO MY BOOKS. THERE ARE TO MANY HORROR STORIES OUT THERE WHERE PUBLISHING COMPANIES HIRE GHOST WRITERS AND STILL PUBLISH UNDER THE ORIGINAL AUTHORS NAME.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I ALWAYS HIRE MY COVER WORK OUT. I GIVE MY IN PUT ON BASIC PLOT AND WHAT WOULD WORK THEN LET THEM DO THEIR THING.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
A LITTLE, BUT I NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN UNTIL IT HAPPENS. SO IT’S LIKE I’M READING THE BOOK FOR THE FIRST TIME AS WELL.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I DO HAVE AN EDITOR AND SHE IS AWESOME. SHE WILL CATCH ME ON ALL KINDS OF STUFF.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I HAVE FACEBOOK, TWITTER, LITERARY ADDICTS, GOOGLE PLUS, GOODREADS, AND A BLOG/WEBSITE.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
WORK HARD AND LISTEN TO YOUR EDITOR.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER. ANYTHING OLD I LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH.

What’s next for you?
AT THE MOMENT I AM WRITING MY NEXT BOOK RISE OF THE PHOENIX. I WANT TO REALEASE IT BY FALL. 


About Shadow Stephens
 
Avid Cleveland Browns fan, animal lover, and paranormal addict are just a few ways to describe Shadow Stephens. Shadow grew up in Ohio and West Virginia, which gave her a fear of snakes and the ability to fix anything with duct tape. She has been writing since childhood, but wrote her first novel three years ago. She now resides in Utah with a veritable menagerie of pets and a million ideas in her head just waiting to be put on paper. When she isn't ghost hunting, Shadow can be found writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. This will be her first published book, with many more to follow. 




Follow Shadow Stephens: Website | Facebook | Twitter 


Follow the Tour Shadow Stephens is giving away a $50 Amazon Giftcard, open Internationally. Fill out the form below to enter! 

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Tour Blast: Apocalypse Cult by Alex Siegel


Apocalypse Cult
APOCALYPSE CULT is the first book in the Gray Spear Society series. They are God's secret warriors, His henchmen, His assassins cloaked in shadows. When lives and souls are at risk, He sends the Gray Spear Society to save mankind. This time the enemy is the Church of One Soul, a cult that intends to kill thousands of unsuspecting tourists in Chicago. But this is merely the first step in plunging the world into a devastating war. The Society has only a few days to destroy their elusive foe, despite interference by overzealous federal agents.  

Purchase Apocalypse Cult: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

 

About Alex Siegel

Alex Siegel 

Alex Siegel grew up a math and computer geek. At the age of twenty-five, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell. He continues to make a good living as a software developer in Chicago. In his late twenties, he took up creative writing as a serious pastime with the intention of eventually making it his career. This goal has been elusive, but failure is not an option. In 2001, his wife gave birth to triplet boys. People often ask him how he still finds time to write. In 2009, he began the Gray Spear Society series, and he hopes it will be his key to literary fame.  

Follow the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest  

Join us July 11 9PM - 10 PM EST Twitter HashTag #ApocalypseCultBookTour 

July 19 Pinterest Event 

July 23 Video Chat on Literary Addicts 

July 31 - August 2 for our Social Media Event on Facebook

Come learn More about the author and win prizes Follow the Tour The author will be offering a $50 Amazon Gft Card to the giveaway winner. 

Fill out the form below to enter.  
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BARGAIN Price for #Romance LOVE BY SECRETS

Just in time for your summer reading pleasure, LOVE BY SECRETS, is ON SALE for $.99 (normally $2.99). Are you looking to escape the daily grind? Let yourself get caught up in this world of sweet love, misunderstandings and loyalty.




Book blurb:
 Two men - one wants to love her, the other wants to use her. Which will she choose?

Eighteen-year-old Emily Stanton is excited to attend this Season's balls and begin her search for a husband. She is thrilled when the dashing and handsome Connor Preston begins to court her. After each ball, Emily finds a love note in her drawstring reticule, and she expects a marriage proposal from Connor any day.

When her father objects and forces Emily to accept the proposal from Lady Tisbury's shy nephew, Ethan Richardson instead, her heart is broken. How can she love her new husband when her heart belongs to the man who wrote her such beautiful love letters?

Reviewers Comments: 

"...the heartfelt emotion and troubled thoughts of Emily make her as adorable as Marianne Dashwood was to one and all."

"...Well-written and fast-flowing with interesting characters..."

"Rich with all ranges of emotion, loyalty, heartbreak, and plot twists. An enjoyable, light, yet satisfying romance story."


Buy links:
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-by-secrets-debra-elizabeth/1106798037

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Love-by-Secrets-Regency-Romance/book-huQqnJ4UYkil-CZXlSfa7Q/page1.html?s=-ggYIm7ahEGMXIq80vyDWw&r=1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-by-secrets-historical/id478515839?mt=11

Amazon:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Tour Blast: TANGLED UP IN TROUBLE by Olivia Hardin


tangledupintrouble Tangled Up in Trouble (MAUCs Series Two)

Purchase it Now at a Special Release Price of $0.99:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Lynlee Lincoln isn’t just a witch, she’s also a Neutralizer. Her job is a juggling act to keep magical and undead clients out of trouble. But getting back together with her old flame throws one more ball into the mix and romance with a guy who has two kids can get complicated. When her old mentor asks her to investigate the goings-on of a dark witch, things turn messy. The witch is stalking supernatural creatures to collect ingredients for a potion that Lynlee can’t seem to figure out.

To keep those closest to her from becoming the next victims, she may have to confront the demons within herself.

 

And Trolling for Trouble (MAUCs Series One) is FREE wherever eBooks are available.

trollingfortrouble(smashwords)Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes


A NOVELETTE- MAUCs Series One: Magical and undead creatures can get into plenty of sticky situations. Lynlee Lincoln loves her job as a neutralizer, but she needs a break from the supernatural chaos after an ultra-busy Halloween night. Coming home, she's ready to collapse into her bed and forget the day... until she discovers two children scavenging through her refrigerator. One look at the pair and she feels a tug on her heartstrings, then she learns their father is the man she spent years trying to forget. When Beck pleads with her to help save his daughter, Lynlee gets thrust into a heap of trouble. 


About the Author

Olivia Hardin realized early on how strange she was to have complete movie-like character dreams as a child. Eventually she began putting those vivid dreams to paper and was rarely without her spiral notebooks full of those mental ramblings. Her forgotten vision of becoming an author was realized when she connected with a group of amazingly talented and fabulous writers who gave her lots of direction and encouragement. With a little extra push from family and friends, she hunkered down to get lost in the words. She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and is sometimes accused of being artistic, though she’s generally too much of a perfectionist to appreciate her own work. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband and their puppy Bonnie. 

Connect with her Online - Blog * Goodreads * Twitter* Facebook * Literary Addicts

 

And do you want a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, a "Tangled" Ring from the Book Swag Shop, a Tangled up in Trouble Keyring, and a signed copy of Trolling for Trouble MAUCs Series One, check out the giveaway.

Share about my release and enter via this Rafflecopter! 

 

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE & SEDUCTION by Beverley Kendall



2 of 5 stars

This is the first story I've read by Ms. Kendall, and I have to say that I was disappointed in it. It is the story of Miss Elizabeth Smith and her encounter with Viscount Derek Creswell. When they are caught in the garden sharing a passionate kiss by the ton's worst gossip, Elizabeth blurts out that they are engaged. It's the only thing she can think of to save her reputation. Thus begins her first lie in the story. I love Regency romances, but this one didn't always seem to follow the rules of the period. I don't believe it would have been proper for a young lady to go for a carriage ride with a gentlemen she's just met without an escort, especially not in a closed carriage, but I could be wrong about this.

I didn't make any connection with Elizabeth's character. She didn't come across as the naive virgin she was supposed to be and Derek's character was downright mean. He goes to extraordinary lengths to embarrass and humiliate her and Elizabeth doesn't take offense. She also seems powerless to control her own lust when she's around him, certainly not the actions of a proper young lady of the period. This was not a sweet romance between two people who start off on the wrong foot, but one of manipulation and deception. I was also disappointed when the book ended at 66% on my Kindle. I thought there would be more and not the convenient quick wrap-up in the epilogue. In the end I didn't like either Elizabeth or Derek. I'm glad I got this book for free because otherwise I would have been sorely disappointed if I had wasted anything more than my time.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Tour Blast: THE WITCHLING SERIES by Lizzy Ford


 

Dark Summer:

A school for Witchlings...
The ultimate choice between Light and Dark...
Where the price of a mistake...is your soul.

Sixteen-year-old Summer doesn’t expect her new boarding school to be any different than the rest: a temporary stay, until her uncontrollable magic gets her thrown out again. In her mind, there’s no point in getting too friendly with anyone. That is, until she notices Decker, the boy who will become the Master of Night and Fire on his eighteenth birthday.

When she learns that this special school has attracted others with magic in their blood, she is hopeful that this time around, things may be different. Besides, she can’t deny her interest in Decker, and when he rescues her one night from the dark forests of the Rocky Mountains, their connection is instant.

Yet a relationship with Decker may prove to be Summer’s downfall, forcing her to choose between Light and Dark, life and death, love – and their souls.

One choice. One soul. One price.

Buy on Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N |Kobo

 

 

Autumn Storm:

A girl with no memory, hidden in plain sight …
A boy with no hope, spiraling into Darkness …
Only one knows the truth, and only one has the power to save them.

Autumn doesn’t know why she remembers a boarding school she’s never visited, or why her reflection is sometimes that of a ghost named Summer. She struggles to recover her memories and understand the warnings conveyed through her magick. Caught between the Turner twins, she isn’t certain who to trust: Decker, the mysterious Master of Dark, who makes her heart catch, or Beck, the cautious Master of Light, whose touch soothes her pain.

Unable to recover from Summer’s death, Decker slowly surrenders to the Dark. The guilt he feels when he falls for Autumn – and betrays Summer’s memory – drives him farther from the Light, until he completely loses control and takes the souls of Light witchlings.

As the protector of Light, Beck is caught between his allegiance to his twin and his vow to protect new witchlings. He must keep the Darkness from consuming his brother, for if Decker fails, he’ll take down the only person who has a chance of saving them all.

 

Buy on Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the author:

Lizzy Ford is the author of over seventeen novels written for young adult and adult paranormal romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling “Rhyn Trilogy,” “Witchling Series” and the “War of Gods” series. Considered a freak of nature by her peers for the ability to write and release a commercial quality novel in under a month, Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring.

Lizzy’s books can be found on every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, three dogs and a cat.

The Author is giving away a Swag bag: autographed copies of Dark Summer, Autumn Storm, Witchling bracelet and necklace, bookmarks and Witchling t-shirts in a custom Lizzy Ford tote, $25 amazon gift card. Approximate value: $75-85 

Open to US only except the GC. Fill out the form below to Enter

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interview with Olivia Hardin

 
Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
All for Hope is my first contemporary romance and it’s the very sweet love story of two friends who haven’t been friends in a long time.  Just because their separated, doesn’t mean they don’t still have feelings for each other so when Hope kidnaps a baby to save her from an abusive family, Brennan steps in to protect her. This isn’t planned as a series, but I have some ideas for spinoff stories about some of the supporting characters.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
In this story one of the characters, Detective Guillory was originally just a mere mention at the end of the book.  Somewhere along the way I realized it would elevate the excitement to get a peek at his investigation.  Before I knew it I really liked his character and I so I made sure I left the end of the story so that he might be able to make an appearance in another story one day.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
For this book we used the Once Upon a Time Covers and I absolutely love the work Stephanie Nelson did.  I came to the realization I had to step out of her way and let her creativity work its magic.  When I tried to get involved it wasn’t nearly as wonderful as what she eventually came up with. 

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t have a formal critique group, but I do have a selection of friends and authors who read my work and help me along the way.  They are invaluable.  The important thing with a critique group/person is that you have to trust their honesty and willingness to tell you like it is… without smashing your ego to bits. 

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I write in silence… or actually, not total silence but without any music.  That said, music is very important for my muse.  I create playlists and I go to them in order to help me mentally flesh out a scene.  When it’s time to put that scene to paper, I turn off the music and just listen to the words in my mind.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely!  I have learned that you can never have too much editing.  Currently I use 2-3 different editors.  Each person’s eye catches something different and you want your manuscript to be as polished as possible before publishing.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned that it’s all a process… hence a journey.  I have to be patient with myself and with the world.   Some things I do will work, some don’t.  But hacking away at it and never giving up are the best lessons.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Facebook is my favorite social media outlet.  I’m trying to learn how to effectively use twitter and I do blog (not nearly enough).  I’m also starting to work with Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Marketing can be tough, especially as you’re trying to experiment to figure out what works.  That said, it is getting easier to streamline things and get information out to people.  It does take time away from writing though, so finding a good system for me has been essential.

What’s next for you?
I have the second in my MAUCs Urban Fantasy Series due out June 21st and then I have a short story appearing in the Eternal Summer Anthology on June 24th.  I’m about to begin work on the first in my For Love of Fae Trilogy, which is a spinoff of my Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#Review: WICKED WAGER by Anya Wylde



4 of 5 stars

This is the second book I've read by Ms. Wylde and it was just as enjoyable as "Pennelope." THE WICKED WAGER centers around a young couple in love who want to marry as soon as possible, but Miss Emma Grey's uncle, the Duke of Arden, opposes the speedy marriage. He wants his niece to think about her choice of marrying Lord Richard Hamilton who has a reputation as a rake. Not to be thwarted by the Duke, Richard devises a plan to pose as the head gardener on the Duke's estate so he'll be able to see Emma every day. What happens next is one that neither Richard or Emma could imagine. Suddenly, a simple plan to deceive the Duke for a month turns into a hunt for a murderer and Richard is the likely suspect.

Ms. Wylde has an engaging writing style reeling the reader in for a delightful light-hearted and fun read. More than once, I was laughing as I read about Richard and Emma's mad-cap adventures. The characters came alive and I was totally invested in the story. Would Richard and Emma ever be allowed to marry? And who was the murderer? No spoilers here. If you're looking for an escape for a few hours, then THE WICKED WAGER will fit that bill nicely. Recommended.


Monday, June 17, 2013

SYMBOLS ARE FOR BABIES by Michelle Snyder



Our modern world is full of symbols; they surround us every day. A compact form of communication, symbols convey a lot of information with a few lines and shapes. One can understand complicated written instructions more easily when accompanied by images. Studies have demonstrated that babies recognize images and symbols of people like “mommy” that are familiar and important to them.  The Human Face, a film by John Cleese, reveals the results of studies that were done with sheep, and images of other sheep - some that were part of, and some that were strangers to the flock – familiar sheep were recognized by the test subject sheep, and strangers ignored. The brain is configured to store and recall familiar images. This is necessary for survival.

Toddlers’ picture-books are the foundation of reading comprehension. Children’s textbooks are filled with colorful images to help them learn.

A good example is a small book, published in German in 1906, and titled Etwas von den Wurzelkindern (The Root Children). The colorful pictures in this little book teach the cycle of plants as they bloom in spring and summer, then die off in autumn, their seeds and roots hibernating underground during winter, until the following spring. Mother Earth cares for the plants, symbolized using cute small children. Their winter home, for they are seeds that sleep all winter, is under the ground where they sit with candles, sleep, and wait for spring. When it arrives the children troop to the surface in beautifully colored dresses to play and grow in summer’s sun and warmth. When autumn arrives they return to Mother Earth down into the soil, their winter home. This sequence of pictures tells the story even if one cannot understand the few German words accompanying each page.

 Although people acknowledge that contemporary symbolism conveys mathematics and science, a scholar of symbolism, de Santillana, states that:

He (the modern reader) does not think of the possibility that equally relevant knowledge might once have been expressed in everyday language. He never suspects such a possibility, although the visible accomplishments of ancient cultures - to mention only the pyramids, or metallurgy - should be a cogent reason for concluding that serious and intelligent men were at work behind the stage, men who were bound to have used a technical terminology. 

Some symbols are so commonplace we have developed automatic associations to them, the brain learning in early childhood to translate meaning. Images, therefore, take on a language all their own. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a very familiar expression, but if we think about it - which words? How many words accurately describe a dog? If two people read or hear the same description, do they imagine the same thing? How often do we attend a movie after reading the book on which it was based, and thought, “That’s not at all what I pictured!”  

Images depict for us visual properties that cannot be accurately verbalized. Symbols depict complex concepts that would take volumes of written language to explain. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a proverb reflecting the idea that complex stories can be described with a single image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. This also applies to the process of visualization where large amounts of data must be absorbed quickly. Fred R. Barnard, in the advertising trade journal Printers' Ink, used this phrase to promote the use of images in advertisements that appeared on the sides of streetcars. The December 8, 1921 issue carries an ad entitled, One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words. Russian writer Ivan Turgenev wrote (in Fathers and Sons, 1862), "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound." The quote is sometimes attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, who said: "Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu'un long discours" (a good sketch is better than a long speech).

This is not to say that images negate the necessity of words; the combination of words and pictures is vital in communication. An enormous amount of history was preserved and passed on through thousands of years using visual symbols and oral tradition. From these traditions many symbol systems have developed, some esoteric, some exoteric in nature. Learning symbolism may start with babies, but it can be a lifetime of adult academic study. It has been my passion for decades to find the context for symbols, decode them, and to share that information with my readers.

 Michelle Snyder, M. Phil, Symbolist

http://whiteknightstudio.blogspot.com/


Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Tour Blast: WILTED WINGS by Shadow Stephens

Wilted Wings 

Wilted Wings

Power, greed, and envy fill Damon and Ilisha’s world. Their hope of settling into a life of peace and family remains out of grasp. Damon is kidnapped and forced to stand trial for the death of his father while a breed of hybrids designed to destroy all angels is set loose. With no choice but to leave her earthly mother and baby behind, Ilisha struggles in a world of high politics and family feuds. She must become an ultimate warrior to save her husband and both the worlds she loves. 

Purchase Wilted Wings now on Amazon.

 

About Shadow Stephens

 
Avid Cleveland Browns fan, animal lover, and paranormal addict are just a few ways to describe Shadow Stephens. Shadow grew up in Ohio and West Virginia, which gave her a fear of snakes and the ability to fix anything with duct tape. She has been writing since childhood, but wrote her first novel three years ago. She now resides in Utah with a veritable menagerie of pets and a million ideas in her head just waiting to be put on paper. When she isn't ghost hunting, Shadow can be found writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. This will be her first published book, with many more to follow. 




Follow Shadow Stephens: Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Watch out Video chat with author Shadow Stephens July 17th at 7PM EST on Literary Addicts 

Take part in our Book Tour event on Facebook July 16 - 18 All Day Long for Amazon Gift Cards and ebooks! 

Follow the Tour Shadow Stephens is giving away a $50 Amazon Giftcard, open Internationally. Fill out the form below to enter! 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Tour Blast: THE GOLDEN APPLE OF DISCORD by Lauren Hodge


The Golden Apple of Discord

Taralie Severin and her three sisters are a powerful coven of modern-day witches who banish mythical creatures in between classes and shifts at the police station. But when Taralie is kidnapped by vampires and converted into the undead, her sisters are ordered to execute her for crimes against the Milunfran order. Refusing, the sisters become fugitives from both their kind and vampires alike. Ignorant and hunted, Taralie becomes entangled with unlikely allies, a band of vampires in hiding from the ruling vamperic government. With this new addition to their coven Taralie must balance duty with desire while learning not everything is as it seems, their enemies are worse than she knows, and she could be on the verge of ending a thousand-year-old civil war.

 

 

Purchase the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

   

Lauren HodgeAbout Author Lauren Hodge

Lauren Hodge is the oldest of seven children and an identical twin. She has three children and lives in Richland, Washington. Not only does she dislike author biographies immensely, she plays piano decently, cello poorly, likes to cook fattening foods, and shoot anything if gun powder is involved. She has an associates degree in general science and works as a chemist/lab monkey in an environmental lab.  

Follow Lauren Hodge: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads    







Follow the Tour Fill out the form below to enter. The author is giving away a Kindle ereader.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

LISTEN UP! The Making of an Audio Book by Rebecca Forster




I have written over 25 novels. Each one starts with voices in my head. By the time a book is done, I know every inflection, tonal change and speech pattern of every character. So, when I had the opportunity to create the audio versions of Hostile Witness and Silent Witness, I was excited. This, I thought, was going to be a breeze.

I thought that just before I became terrified.

I was excited because next to having your book made into a movie, audio is about as cool as you can get. I was terrified because suddenly there were decisions to make that I had never considered when writing these books. How had I really imagined my characters' voices? Did I want an actor or an actress to read my books? How did I produce and publish an audio product? Did I want separate voices for each character or not? Did I want to read my books myself?

The only question I could answer was the last one. No fiction author should ever read their work if I am an example. My one attempt to do so left me ROFL. Thankfully, I was alone in the house when I tried it. Some people are actors; I am not.

Once that decision was made there were still others to tackle. This is my list of the five things I did to bring my books from print to awesome audio.

1)   Listen to popular audio books in your genre. I listened to both male and female thriller authors. I found it disconcerting to hear a man read primary female parts but had no trouble accepting a female reader tackling male characters. It is a personal decision but I was lead by what seems to be accepted wisdom of the best selling authors and that is use the voice of the predominant character. I chose Tara Platt, an award winning voice over artist (www.taraplatt.com). I also chose to have each character voice distinctive and that meant the voiceover had to seamlessly move between character and gender, expository and dialogue.

2)    Choose a neutral voice unless your book has a cultural basis for a different choice. I listened to audio versions of books written by English authors and read by English actors. As much as I love an English accent, I realized choosing a voiceover with a discernible accent was distracting for an American thriller.

3)   If possible, seek professional assistance. I was lucky to know a producer who understood what goes into a successful voiceover. He coached me in what I should be listening for when I received my file for approval, not the least of which was breathing patterns. Like a singer, a voiceover artist should be able to read seamlessly without gasps or gaps in the production as well as communicate the appropriate cadence and genre of your novel.

4)   Provide your talent a ‘cheat sheet’ that includes a short description of the plot, descriptions of all recurring characters, unique setting points, and where the major plot points are. Also provide the talent with a copy of the book.

5)   Speak up and ask questions. There is someone to listen at established, professional sites. I worked with ACX for Audible.com, the most recognizable of all audio sites. They were responsive to all my questions and offered production options from talent buyout to royalty sharing and independent production.

It didn’t take me long to realize that as much time goes into reading a book for audio distribution as writing it for print or digital consumption. I also realized after I heard the first few chapters of my book that I was as lost in listening to the story in the same way I had been lost in writing it. I may have known the ending, but I didn’t know the sound of it would leave me breathless when I heard it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blog Tour: THE JANE AUSTEN COLLECTION


Jane Austen Collection

Cover links to Amazon
Published by Doma Publishing


Monday, June 10, 2013

Interview with Joshua Silverman

 
Do you have a favorite character?
Oh absolutely. When I started writing The Emerald Tablet, I actually hated Dio. But then, as the book and her character developed, I began to love her. Although she’s not the ‘main’ character in my view, she is definitely a secret favorite of mine.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Surprisingly, yes. Originally, Axios was set to be a minor character without a plot changing role. But as I was beta testing the book, so many people (girls) loved him (and I loved him too), that his influence has gradually become more pronounced. By book three (which I’m writing right now), he has just as many scenes as any other character.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I did use the publisher’s designer. In The Emerald Tablet, I was fairly involved. Because the symbol was on Leoros’ forearm, I knew what it had to be. For the most part, my instructions to the designer were: ‘Create a logo that is of a double headed dragon with each head facing the opposite direction, but make it nice enough where it could be a tattoo.’

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I honestly don’t, though I do recommend everyone do it. That is one of those things I would’ve done over if I had a second chance.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
There’s a lot of debate on this one. I used to listen to music when I write. Now I like silence. But, the more I’ve been travelling for the book promotion, the less time I have to find that “perfect writing setting”. I always remind myself that J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter in a hotel room while she was travelling for book promotion. As a professional, I think you have to learn how to write in a busy airport terminal, a café, a hotel room, or in your quiet perfect cave at home. Otherwise, you’ll always have an excuse why you never finished.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
With the Emerald Tablet I had a four paragraph outline of the story. With The Soul of the World (book 2), I had a scene by scene outline. With The Island of Shadows (book 3), I’ve been writing with no outline to see where the story takes me and I’ll cut what is bad. So I’m trying a lot. I think a combination works best, though. Have a beginning, have an end. But everything else in between should be the muse.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have my own blog, where I do book reviews, talk about writing and the shows I go to, I also talk a lot about Egyptian gods and goddesses and mythology/religion. I’m on Facebook all day, I’m on Twitter a lot too but less than Facebook.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Not particularly. Both of them take a lot of time, but I just make a schedule. From 10a.m.-12, I schedule all my marketing posts and respond to emails. From then on writing. Or whatever. Just set boundaries and use Hootsuite or another scheduling service.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena? Take your time. There is no rush. The world doesn’t need another bad self-published novel. Everyone’s looking for the next greatest self-published novel. So breathe, relax, the world isn’t going to come to an end if you don’t get your book out in 6 months. Learn your craft.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I secretly wanted to be a rock star. I play guitar, clarinet, and saxophone and I write songs.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Special Treat for Readers: FEARLESS by Tawdra Kandle

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Tasmyn Vaughn didn't expect much when her dad's job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn's ability to hear others' thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town's secrets aren't just bizarre, they're deadly.    

FEARLESS Book One of The King Series is now permanently FREE on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble! 

 See why reviewers are saying: "Utterly beautiful and bewitching story that I read in one sitting!" 

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". . .it is a delightful read!"  

"Very exciting story and well written!"  

"I am now convinced this is one of the best young adult paranormal series I have read to date." 

Now you can read the first book in this series FREE on both Kindle and Nook. Share with your friends! 

Stalk author Tawdra Kandle here. . . AMAZON Goodreads Facebook Twitter Website Pinterest