Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Army of TEN is recruiting...you!

It has come to my attention that a certain, unnamed, large retail store has decided to NOT sell Gretchen McNeil's upcoming thriller, Ten. We in the Army of Ten are appalled! We will not stand by while this atrocity is committed! We call on you to spread the word about the awesomeness that is Ten! Go forth minions...er...soldiers! Go forth and spread the word.

*cue inspirational music and videos of marching soldiers*

Seriously. This book sounds awesome. And yes, you can join the "Army of Ten", help spread the word and even win some awesome prizes. Who knows, you could be listed in the Acknowledgements in one of her upcoming books. :D Also, lots of cool stuff like signed copies of books, etc. etc.

So what are you waiting for? Join already! Time is running out! Also, we know where you live. You can't escape. We will find you.

Don't know what Ten is about? Check out this blurb:

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, which involve their school's most eligible bachelor, T. J. Fletcher, and look forward to three glorious days of boys, bonding, and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying, and with a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the rest of the world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn't scheduled to return for three days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
Pretty cool. Huh? If you want to join the Army, I've provided several links. Plus a button on the right hand side.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Niteblade Blog Train

If you want to start at the beginning of the train go here

If you want to see the previous stop on the train go here

As some of you may know, I've been a slush-pile reader for Niteblade E-Zine for some time. It's been a lot of fun and I've been introduced to some interesting stories. I've also been subjected to some pretty...um...not so interesting stories.  I'd like to think I've read more good then bad, but reality isn't always what you think it is. :D

What is Niteblade looking for?
Niteblade is looking for fantasy and horror. Within these (soft) genre boundaries, we want the strange and unusual, high quality work that uses language and form to deliver content that will make our hearts miss a beat, will make us forget about getting the next coffee refill. We want something that is true, honest and real, something that is alive, maybe even more alive.

It hasn't always been a bed of roses. Sometimes, I will pull up a story that I really like only to realize that it doesn't qualify because the submitter didn't follow the very easy submission guidelines. I honestly feel horrible when that happens. Their guidelines are pretty simple:

"When submitting prose please single space your work, insert a blank line between paragraphs and do not indent them."

Pretty simple...right?

Here are their guidelines: Niteblade Submission Guidelines. Don't forget to read them.

So, stop by. Give them a whirl and maybe even try your hand at getting published. You never know, I might be reading your story. If it's good enough, I send it on to the Editors.

P.S. No, telling me about your story before you submit will not make it more likely that your story will get published. I read on story content alone.

Next stop on the blog train is here (goes live August 28th)

'Till next time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

ReAwakened Excerpt

Just got this awesome excerpt from Ada Adams' upcoming sequel to ReVamped. If you remember, I did a cover reveal which can be viewed here.

“Meeting Razor” - “ReAwakened”
Ada Adams

     My two-story fall was cushioned by the intruder’s body. He—a vampire, I realized—groaned as I landed on top of him, forcing his body into the muddy ground. I reached for my dagger, but he was quicker. Before I had a chance to pull it out, he slipped out from underneath me, flipping me over so that he was on top. His firm, muscular body pressed tightly against mine as his hands pinned my wrists to either side of my head. His face was covered by shadows, but I could make out a mischievous smirk dancing across perfectly-shaped full lips.

     “You’re quite feisty, aren’t you?” he chuckled, bending forward to examine me. Deep, charcoal eyes overflowed with amusement.

     He was actually enjoying this.

     “I don’t wanna hurt you,” he whispered in a deep, throaty voice. “I’m gonna release you now. Don’t do anything stupid.”

     He lifted his arm, removing his right hand from my left wrist. The moment I felt some freedom, I leaped forward, attempting a left hook at his jaw. He blocked my hand, once again pushing it toward the ground.

     “I said I wasn’t going to hurt you!” he growled, pinning me even further into the soft, wet earth.

     “Yes, but I never said I wouldn’t hurt you,” I snapped.

     He brought his face toward mine. “I’d like to see you try,” he whispered.

     Challenge accepted.

     I raised my head—the only part of my body that wasn't restrained by the stranger’s body—inching my lips closer to his. He tensed for a moment, his eyes searching mine, as if surprised by my sudden change in behavior. Drops of rainwater slid down his chiseled jaw, pausing briefly on his lips before they plummeted onto mine. Then, a slow, smug smile spread across his face. I felt his body relax and he leaned even closer. His breath caressed my skin as his lips drew near.

     It was exactly what I needed. Summoning all my strength, I twisted my hips to the side, shooting them up and out, then launching my legs from the ground. Thrown off-balance, my captor groaned and released one of my arms to brace for the fall, giving me the perfect opportunity to reach for my dagger. In one smooth move I darted behind him, placing him in a secure headlock—the blade of my weapon aimed directly at his heart.

     “Who are you?” I demanded when I was certain he couldn’t escape my grip.

     “I’m a twenty-four-year-old Taurus who enjoys long walks on the beach.” Even though I couldn’t see his face, I could feel his arrogant grin.

     “You have ten seconds to explain yourself,” I ordered. “And then I’m really going to hurt you.”

     “Oh, come on! Can’t we get back to kissing? You can’t tease a guy like that.”

     “Ten, nine…” I pressed the dagger deeper into him, nicking the leather of his jacket.

     “Hey! Watch it!”


     “Oh, alright. You’re no fun,” he sighed. “My name is Razor.”

     “What kind of a name is that?”

     “It’s a nickname.”

     “What kind of a nickname is that?”

     “Spike, Blade, Fang—all the good, pointy objects were already taken by fictional characters. It was the best I could do.”

What do all think? Pretty cool, huh?

'Till next time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Uprising (Children of the Gods #2) Cover Reveal

Here it is! The new cover for Jessica Therrien's Children of the Gods series. Titled "Uprising".  Isn't it pretty? I loved the first book and can't wait for this one to come out. :D  Congrats, Jessica!

Release Date: February19, 2013
Publisher: ZOVA Books
Available in paperback and ebook formats

Author Links:

Book Links:


     We left everything but the weapons. Clothes, food, toothpaste. There wasn’t time for things that weren’t essential to escape. The five of us went on foot in a direction that was meaningless to me. I had never seen what was outside of the edges of the safe haven, not since I’d been here.

     When Mac stopped abruptly after our fifteen-minute trek into the woods, we all froze at once, bodies poised and ready to attack, eyes searching for threats.

     “We’re here,” Mac announced. “What should we expect Marcus?”

     I had never heard Dr. Nickel called by his first name, and it made me realize he wasn’t as untouchable as I had imagined. Just because he was here, didn’t mean we were safe.

     “I don’t know,” he answered. “Maybe an army, maybe nothing. Depends on where they are.”

     “Everyone best get down on the ground just in case,” Mac decided with a nod. “Weapons ready.”

     As I lay belly down in the dirt, I noticed Dr. Nickel pull a gun from his belt, and my stomach gave a heave.

     “When I remove the haven walls, there will be a van. Everyone get in back. If anything goes wrong…” Mac paused, uncomfortable at the thought. “It’s been nice knowin’ ya.”


Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, was published by ZOVA Books in February of 2012 and became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. The second book in the series, Uprising, will be available in February of 2013.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011.Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Chula Vista with her husband and is working on book three in her Children of the Gods series.


Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

First Draft Lessons

Keep an eye out on my blog for the cover reveal of Uprising (Children of the Gods #2) on Wednesday August 22nd. It's awesome!
/end pimp

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog post already in progress.

Ok, I need to get this out of my head so I can continue writing my current WIP. I've learned a lot writing my the first draft of Stone of Unity. Not surprising considering the act of writing is practice for future writing. 

Very zen and circular, I know. Deal with it.

Anyway, I wanted to impart some of the things I have learned about the process and the story as it unfolded through the first draft. For those of you crazy enough to follow me on twitter, you may have seen me talking about possibly rewriting the entire thing. For those of you who have finished your novel, you may know what I'm talking about.

Some of my betas are freaking right now, and I can assure them, that Stone of Unity may change significantly, but the characters you have come to know and love will still be in there. The plot should stay mostly the same, but I have decided to shift the focus a little (or a lot depending on how you look at it).

Here is what happened. Partway through the first draft, one of my side characters decided that she was one of the main characters. This caused some shifting, but I was jumping POV from chapter to chapter, so it wasn't a huge deal. Then I considered moving chapter 2 to chapter 1 and vice versa. Ultimately, this didn't do much, but it did cause my brain to start really altering the story mid-way through.

This started more thinking.

Then I decided to post said new Chapter 1 on the WriteOnCon forum/online conference. It was fascinating and I got some feedback. This is the feedback I got that really got the ball rolling in my head.
The idea that there's a grumbling mentor figure who will undoubtedly become lovable in our eyes, and a smart young girl about to embark on a journey with this man.
Then I started thinking...and thinking...and thinking...and I realized that my focus was completely wrong on this story. I needed to narrow my focus a bit and write the story that people wanted to see. So, I have my chainsaw ready to hack my story to bits. Hopefully the sound of the engine will drown out the screams of my betas.

But none of this will happen until I get done with the first draft of my current WIP...which is much better focused and has a lot more intensity.

So the lesson?

Oh yeah, I did promise that...

  1. In the first draft, nothing is sacred
  2. Sometimes secondary characters are more interesting than primary characters. Don't hesitate to swap them.
  3. Don't feel bad if you need to hack off chunks of your novel. This doesn't mean you are a failure, it just means that it isn't working. I've seen several authors on Twitter talk about chopping 20K or more from a story because it wasn't working. Their stories will be better for it (even if they lose a little more of their sanity in the process).
  4. Do not delete any of your work. Start a new project file/folder and start from there. You never know when you'll want to refer back to it.
'Till next time.

P.S. September sign-ups for #writemotivation are going on right now. Click here to sign up. It's awesome and very helpful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lame blog post and #writemotivation update

Ok. This is a lame blog post that is just filling space because really, I'm too focused on destroy the life of my new Main Character to really put any thought into a blog post. I keep thinking about it, but all I can focus on is one particularly angsty teen and his rotten life. :D


That and kittens.
Daddy? Can I help?
And 8-inch floppy disks
They used these in the Space Shuttle!

 And cute puppies...because who doesn't like Corgis?
They're not mine, but they did follow me everywhere after I met them
Anyway, this month isn't a goal month in the #writemotivation movement, but I'm still have goals. My goal for this month (in addition to being weird, cheering on my fellow writers, and practicing my stalker skills with my friends on twitter) is to write 15,000 words on my new WIP. As it stands I'm about to hit 10K for the whole thing so far. A couple thousand were written at the end of July, so they don't count, but 7K is still very attainable.

That's all for now.
'Till next time.

P.S. the human legs belong to the most awesome KT Hanna who was nice enough to invite a bunch of us weirdos to her house to hang out for several hours and talk writing on August 11th. We all had a great time and now we ALL know where she lives...it's a gorgeous house with a wonderful view (very jealous!).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monsters In My Head

When I think about the scariest monsters, I don't think about something from Alien or some other horror flick. I think of Jack from The Shining. What makes him scarier than any other unstoppable alien/mutated horror, is that he is human. Humans have an amazing capacity for committing horrifying acts. Think about people like Hitler, Dahmer, even Hannibal Lector. What is more horrific than those boogymen? Think about the mythos surround people like Vlad the Impaler and Rasputin? Hundreds of years after their death and we are still talking about them. Hell, our whole mythos on Vampires was practically spawned from Vlad. Of course, the scariest of them don't look scary (Jeffrey Dahmer). They look like normal people. People you would never think of being demented or evil.

So, why am I talking all this gloom and doom? Well, these are the monsters I think of. Not the monster hiding under the bed, he's a softy compared to the monsters in my head.
Anyway, all of this build up is to introduce you to my new WIP, Hate Jacket. I approached this one differently than my first WIP, Stone of Unity. Their different stories. SoU is a Fantasy story with Fantasy tropes. The focus is on the world and the struggle. Characters are important, but they are struggling against an archetypal evil enemy. However, HJ is contemporary fiction. It's about real events with real people who have real feelings. The enemy they face is themselves.

So, when I approached the story, I had to create real, feeling, believable characters. Instead of world building, I did character building. Julius (my main character) was the first. I wrote up about a page in my notebook on him. One of the things I did was make sure that every character has a secret. People have secrets, so should they. Some of the secrets are big, some are not so big. Big or small, these secrets affect how the characters act towards each other.

Anyway, the scariest character was Julius' father. I'm not going into details (because I'm still writing the story), but he's definitely a dark person and does some very scary things. However, I do need to find something good to put in him (nobody is 100% evil). One of the people I follow on Twitter said that she puts good things into bad characters and bad things into good characters to make them more realistic. Started doing that with the secrets, but need to do that for all my characters. It'll be interesting and fun, I think.

Another friend asked me if this story was my personal demons or purely fictional. I will go on record right now and say fictional, however, I have a lot of source material from which to draw. The main character is not me, his father is not my father, the characters in the story in no way represent real people that I know. If you ask any author, this is the case. So, if Hate Jacket ever gets out into the world, you heard it here first.

As a teaser, here is an early concept scene that I posted early on in my blog writing. The story was called "Rage" back then and I wasn't ready to tackle it. Now, I am. Characters have different names, but this scene will probably end up in HJ somewhere.

What monsters scare you?

'Till next time.