Friday, March 29, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Cleaning, #Goodreads #Giveaway, and Worldreader

First of all, thanks to everyone who stopped by for the Spring Cleaning Giveaway. The post had 328 views, which I think is a record for me. I sent off most of the books already, but there are still a few people I don't have addresses for. If you asked for a book and haven't sent me your information yet, please do so. I'd like to finish sending out the books by the end of the week.

As if I haven't given enough books away already, I'm also running a giveaway on Goodreads for Twinned Universes. Three paper copies are up for grabs. The giveaway ends April 20. You can enter through the link on the sidebar or by going here.

Lastly, have you heard about Worldreader? They're a charitable organization who help children in developing countries (mostly in Africa) get books. Not just any books; they get eBooks on Kindles and mobile phones. You can help this cause by donating Kindles. I think I finally know what to do with my Kindle Keyboard--though I should deregister it and remove all the books first. Authors can also donate their eBooks to Worldreader; however, it's not clear if indie authors can donate books or if there are any restrictions on the type of book they want.

What do you do with your paper books when you're done reading them. Do you keep them, give them away, or resell them?



Monday, March 25, 2013

Blog Ring of Power--Kate Evangelista

We're in the middle of a BRoP interview with Kate Evangelista. Please see the links below for the other parts of the interview:

About You: Terri
The Writing Life: Theresa
The Creative Process: Emily
Words of Wisdom (posting 3/26): Dean

I get to talk to Kate about her current work.


Tell us about your new book—what is it about—and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?

Til Death is my latest book. It’s about a girl who dreams the future and a boy who is banished to the two she lives in and the hell that breaks lose when they meet. I can’t reveal much because it’ll spoil the plot. *winks* You can actually already pre-order Til Death on Amazon. The release date is June 4. Make sure to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads.

Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?

Til Death is a great combination of funny, sad, scary, exciting, and steamy. The characters can stand on their own, but together they are combustible. I’ve been in love with this story for so long, I just want to share it with everyone already. June can’t come soon enough.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

That I enjoy writing in the perspective of Dillan. I love writing in the perspective of the hero, not just the heroine.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book?

It’s actually funny. I started writing Til Death with a certain storyline in mind. Through the years, the story evolved. Then as I edit it with my amazing editor, I realized the story returned to the original plan. Funny how when the storyline is meant to be it’ll eventually go back to that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Like in the poem Road Not Taken, no matter what road you choose, the outcome in the end will be the same. *wiggles eyebrows*


Author Bio:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Taste Blurb:

At Barinkoff Academy, there’s only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Author Website


Twitter
Facebook


Find Taste on Goodreads
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste

Purchase Links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
The Book Depository


Reaping Me Softly Blurb:

Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?

Find Reaping Me Softly on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon
B&N
Omnific Publishing


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning--A Book Giveaway!

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, so it seems like a great time to be cleaning out the bookshelves. I've therefore participating in the "I Am a Reader, Not a Writer Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop." It runs from March 20th to the 25th; I'm posting early to make sure this is live by 12:01 EST. Here's a list of what I have to give away. These are all paperbacks, and they're organized by genre:

Classics--The House of the Seven Gables

Historical Fiction--Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Pope Joan

Historical Thriller--The Magic Circle

Science Fiction--Stardoc; Endurance; Eternity Row; Shockball (these are all from the Stardoc series by S.L. Viehl)

Fantasy--Moon Called; Thorn Queen; Storm Born; Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart; Through Wolf's Eyes; Heir of Autumn; Mistress of Winter; Storm Front; Giants of the Frost; The Autumn Castle; Hard Magic; Spectra Samplings 2004-2005 (I picked up this anthology from a convention and never got around to reading it)

If you see something you'd like, just ask for it in the comments below, and I'll strike out titles as they're spoken for. Don't forget to leave contact information so I can get your snail-mail address. First come, first served. Since I have so many to ship out, I'm restricting this to U.S. addresses only--I have to save on postage!

To see what other blogs are participating in this giveaway, please check out the linky below:


Back on the Blog Chain--Why I'm a SF Fan

For this round, Michelle wants to know what attracts us to our favorite genres:

What elements in your favorite genre make it your favorite? For instance, if your favorite genre is romance, what elements do you like in a romance story? A tortured hero? A spunky heroine? Steamy love scenes? Sweet romance? If your fave genre is sci-fi, what elements do you love the most (the characters, the science, the possibilities?), etc?

So, what was it that first attracted me to speculative fiction, or science fiction and fantasy? For me, I would say it was the fantastic, out-of-this-world elements, whether those mean magic or sufficiently advanced science. I enjoy the extraordinary and the sense of wonder they inspire. But I'm also a science geek, so I enjoy reading about science in fiction

Kate mentioned in her blog post yesterday that she enjoyed YA because it can be mixed with other genres. The same thing can be said of speculative fiction. The genre mixes well with other genres like romance, mystery, and even Western (Star Trek was pitched as "Wagon Train [a TV Western] to the stars.") Settings can range from our own past (or alternate versions of it) to our future. And even though at first glance, speculative fiction doesn't seem to be linked to the real world, it can provide a different perspective on our world and current events. For example, nonhuman characters like androids and elves can be used to explore what it means to be human. Writers living in oppressive regimes have used speculative fiction as a way to talk about ideas that might otherwise get them into trouble. Speculative fiction can be read on many levels and tell many types of stories. In my opinion, it's an under-appreciated genre, and I hope more people try it. There's bound to be a story you'll enjoy.

Kate was the first to tackle this question, and Christine will address it tomorrow. 


Monday, March 18, 2013

Interview and Giveaway at Lauren Sweet's Blog

We're between BRoP interviews at the moment, so I can tell you about an interview I recently did with my editor, Lauren Sweet. To learn some interesting things about me and Twinned Universes, please follow the link. I'm also giving away an eBook of Twinned Universes, so fill out the Rafflecopter and please help spread the word. Thanks!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Science of the Week 3/15/13

First, thanks to everyone who stopped by for Indie Life and the Wormhole Blog Hop! I checked out some of the Indie Life posts, but I still have to make the wormhole rounds. If only there was a wormhole that would give me more hours in the day--but then I'd only have more work to do, wouldn't I?

If it's the Ides of March--or of any other month--you can find me at Scene 13. Today I attempt to answer the question of whether luck or perseverance is more important for publishing success. Naturally, me being me, I have to bring a third factor into the equation. Stop by the blog to see what it is. Before you go, here are some of the most interesting science news articles I read this week:

Using DNA to archive the past for the future

Flabbergasting quantum refrigerator like "window A/C for Lincoln Memorial" 

"Metasurfaces" to usher in new optical technologies

Astronomers observe planets around another star like never before

Way more Earth-sized planets in habitable zones than thought

Breaking the final barrier: room-temperature electrically powered nanolasers

Biological wires carry electricity thanks to special amino acids

First remote recon of another solar system 

Creating indestructible self-healing circuits

And of course it would be remiss of me not to include a link to the latest news on the Higgs boson, which is looking even more Higgsy these days. However, scientists still don't know if it's the exact Higgs boson they were looking for. I think it would be more exciting if this Higgs boson does turn out to be a little different from what scientists predicted.

Have a good weekend, and see you Monday!














Thursday, March 14, 2013

National Wormhole Day--Bloghop

Today is Einstein's birthday; he would have been 134. In his honor, Stephen Tremp, Laura Eno, and Luanne Smith are hosting a National Wormhole Day bloghop. It started yesterday, and even though I just heard about it and don't normally post on Thursdays anymore, I wanted to join in anyway. After all, if you're familiar with Lyon's Legacy and Twinned Universes, both of them feature wormholes, and both of them do a pretty good job of answering the question listed below:

What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once? One safe round trip passage. Would you go back in time and talk some sense into a younger you? Go five years into the future and bring back the Wall Street Journal? See just how the heck the Great Pyramids of Giza were really built? View what the other side of the universe looks like? Kill Hitler? what you would do if you had a two-way ticket to traverse a wormhole. This is my way of getting people excited about all the amazing stuff on the horizon that we as a race are on the cusp of discovering! 

If I could only pass through a wormhole once, I'd go back to myself at 20 and give myself some advice--and maybe some investment tips. But if I could go somewhere else too, I'd see the Beatles perform at the Cavern in Liverpool. They were the ones who inspired to write and gave me the ideas for Lyon's Legacy and Twinned Universes. Plus I'd also like a chance to warn John about what would happen in 1980. The dream wouldn't end so soon....




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Indie Life: Business Tools

It's time again for another edition of Indie Life. If you're not familiar with this monthly blog meme, hop on over to The Indelibles for more information. The linky list will be at the bottom of this post if you want to read more blog posts on this theme or join the list yourself.

I've had a tough time trying to figure out what topic I want to discuss this month. I was considering time issues, especially for those of us with full-time jobs and families, but I finally decided to talk about business tools.

What do you consider the most important business tools for self-publishing? Obviously, a computer is vital. I personally prefer a laptop over a desktop so I can write at work or elsewhere. Next in importance are your files. I recently starting using Mozy to automatically backup my files twice a day.  Now I no longer have to worry about losing my files.

Programs are also important. I use Word to write, though I know other writers use other programs. Another important tool is a spreadsheet program like Excel. I use it for things like tracking my expenses and monthly sales for each story and planning blog tours. I currently have a spreadsheet set up to list people I want to contact or have contacted, along with when I contacted them, their e-mail address, the subject matter of the guest post or interview, the date I sent the material, and what sort of thank-you I'm giving the person. (Which reminds me I need to follow up with someone....)

I'm sure there's more tools out there that I can't think of right now. What tools do you use for your writing business, and what do you use them for? Are there any tools you think you need but don't know how to use?

I do have one quick announcement: the paper version of Twinned Universes is now available on Amazon.  The eBook will also be available on Kobo shortly.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Blog Ring of Power--Beth Barany

I always enjoy having BroadUniverse members over for a Blog Ring of Power interview. Today I get to start the interview with Beth Barany, author of Henrietta--The Dragon Slayer and Henrietta and the Dragon Stone. The interview continues tomorrow with Dean and The Writing Life, Wednesday with Terri and The Creative Process, Thursday with T.W. and About Your Current Work, and finishes Friday with Emily and Words of Wisdom.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old, stories, poems, and little songs. That’s over 30 years. LOL

When and why did you begin writing?

I got serious about writing fiction, really mastering fiction, about 14 years ago, when, at 30 years old, a rejection from journalism graduate school got me focused on what I really wanted: to be a novelist! Before then I had been working part-time as a journalist. At age 22, I got my first nonfiction article published in the Paris Free Voice, in Paris, France, while I was working in the City of Lights as an au pair.

What genre do you write?

I write fantasy and paranormal romance of teens and adults. All my stories involve magic, adventure with women, some element of the French middle ages, and romance.


What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

I love writing about empowerment for girls and women. How does a young woman find her place in the world as a leader? How does she wield power responsibly? What is power with versus power over for a young woman who wants love and acceptance, and struggles to discover the right from wrong?

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

What a fun question! I've daydreamed about being an urban planner. That’s kind of like a fantasy author that designs worlds! I see vacant lots and daydream about putting in gardens. I see parks and buildings oriented in the wrong direction and want to shift things. I see traffic patterns that sputter and empty downtowns that could be vibrant, if only… Yeah, designing cities could be fun!





Beth's Links


Blog:
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Twitter:
Amazon:
Smashwords:

Is your book in print, ebook or both? Both!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Twinned Universes is Available!

Now that my prescheduled posts are done, I can announce something that happened on Sunday: Twinned Universes, Book Two of the Catalyst Chronicles series, is now available as an eBook! (The print version should be available late next week.) Here's the blurb:

Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first.

In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother’s death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself—and Sean’s time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul’s family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he’s never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he’ll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. “To be or not to be” was a simple question in comparison....

Available for $4.99 on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Back on the Blog Chain: Tempting Tropes

Kate has an intriguing question for us this round:

As a reader and/or a writer what are some of your favorite fiction
tropes? Are you sucker for secretly in love with best friend type
stories, stories set in mysterious boarding school stories, stories
that contain time travel, or something else entirely? As a writer how
do you try to give the tropes you tackle in your own books a fresh
spin?


Here are a few of my favorite tropes:

Mysterious/magical houses
Families with a magical talent (especially interesting if we get to follow several generations of the family)
Historical settings with a magic twist
Unicorns (yes, I know, I know....)
Ensemble stories with several main characters
Stories that take place in a setting I'm familiar with

Just because a story has one or more of these tropes doesn't mean I'll enjoy reading it; it also depends a lot on the story, characters, and writing itself.

How do I keep these tropes fresh when I write them? By combining them or putting them into a new setting. For example, my short story "The Book of Beasts" puts one of the above tropes to a logical but unconventional use. (You'll have to read it to find out which one.) 

Check out Christine's blog tomorrow to learn what her favorite tropes are.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Blog Ring of Power--Kristi Petersen Schoonover

At least there's one good thing to look forward to on Mondays: the Blog Ring of Power! Today, I'm interviewing Kristi Petersen Schoonover about her current book. This is Part Four of her interview; you can find the About You section on Terri's blog, The Writing Life on TW's blog, and The Creative Process on Emily's blog. The interview concludes tomorrow with Dean and Words of Wisdom. In the meantime, let's learn more about Kristi and her book, Bad Apple:

Tell us about your new book—what is it about—and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?

My book is a dark psychological thriller called Bad Apple—it was, in fact, just nominated for a Pushcart Prize, about which I’m totally over the moon. After an unfortunate incident on a Maine apple orchard, precocious teen Scree is left with a father she’s not sure is hers, a never-ending list of chores and her flaky brother’s baby. In a noble move to save the child from an existence like her own, Scree flees to a glitzy resort teeming with young men just ripe for the picking. But even as life with baby becomes all she’d dreamed, Dali-esque visions begin to leach through the gold paint.
Bad Apple deals with many themes—loss, injustice, beauty among them—but it’s really the story of a young woman who is forced to take on a caregiving role when she’s still a child herself, and the kind of damage which results. Since that happened to me, I’m very passionate about this piece. The American Association of Caregiving Youth --http://www.aacy.org --  is an organization that provides support for those 18 and under who put their lives on hold to care for an ill or disabled family member, and so I’m donating half my royalties and $3 from every copy I hand-sell to the organization (you can learn more about this on my website here: http://kristipetersenschoonover.com/buy-bad-apple-take-a-bite-out-of-youth-caregiving/
It’s been published by Vagabondage Press Books and is available everywhere and in all formats.

Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?

There are many nonfiction books about the effects of youth caregiving on an individual, and there are many fiction books in which the main character, or some character, is a caregiver. This explores the impact through the lens of psychological horror in a Shirley Jackson-influenced way. In addition, one of the things I’ve always loved about the Bad Apple story is its structure: although it has a novel’s word count, it’s structured like a long short story. That allowed me to build and build to a surprise at the end. It’s really hard to hoodwink your audience for an entire book if you’re using one of the traditional novel structures.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

That came during the editing process—my editor at Vagabondage Press and I spent hours and hours working on the main characters’ ages to ensure it all made sense; in the end, we eliminated exact ages and went with something more vague: Scree’s grade level.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The opening, because some of the subject matter is not only dark, it walks a fine line, and when I wrote the first draft I wasn’t concerned about that—I just wrote whatever was coming out. I had a ball just being reckless.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book?


No. I’m completely happy with this book and I wouldn’t change a thing (although sometime before June there will be a reissue with quotes from reviews on the back cover and new font lettering on the front).






Kristi Petersen Schoonover's Pushcart-nominated psychological horror novel Bad Apple has been called “deeply disturbing in the best way possible,” by SciFi Saturday Night. Her short fiction has appeared in Carpe Articulum, The Adirondack Review, Barbaric Yawp, The Illuminata, Morpheus Tales, New Witch Magazine, Toasted Cheese, The Smoking Poet, The Battered Suitcase, and a host of others, including several anthologies. She is the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Winter Residencies and is an editor for Read Short Fiction (www.readshortfiction.com). She lives in the Connecticut woods with her housemate, Charles, three cats--Poe, Mikey, and Kali--and her husband, paranormal investigator and occult specialist Nathan Schoonover of The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show (www.ghostanddemon.com). She has a passion for ghost stories, marine life, and Tarot cards and still sleeps with the lights on.




After an unfortunate incident on a Maine apple orchard, precocious teen Scree is left with a father she’s not sure is hers, a never-ending list of chores and her flaky brother’s baby. In a noble move to save the child from an existence like her own, Scree flees to a glitzy resort teeming with young men just ripe for the picking. But even as life with baby becomes all she’d dreamed, Dali-esque visions begin to leach through the gold paint…

Fans of The Haunting of Hill House, The Lovely Bones, and Carrie shouldn't miss Bad Apple--a dark, surreal ride that proves not all things in an orchard are safe to pick.

Website/Blog:
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Amazon:

Bad Apple is available in all formats, both print and e-book, and is available wherever you purchase your books.


Friday, March 01, 2013

Science of the Week, 3/1/13

March is certainly blowing in like a lion for me in some ways. I hope we do get the lamb side by the end of the month.

Here are some of the most interesting articles I found on Science Blog this week:

Scientists find way to image Brain Waste Removal Process

Termite digestion could help biofuels

Pushing scientific boundaries: How far is too far?

Superbugs from E. coli may have a soft spot after all

Light particles illuminate the vacuum

Memristors as a blueprint for an artificial brain

Future evidence for extraterrestrial life might come from dying stars

Taking a new look at high-temperature super-conductors

Trick accelerates protein studies (this was done at my alma mater, UW-Madison)

In addition to the above articles, I also read the March 2013 issue of Scientific American this week. Some of the most interesting articles are about the evolution of creativity, robobees, and a prosthetic tail for a dolphin. The bad news: citrus trees in Florida are being killed by a devastating disease, and it's starting to appear in California too. Some pox viruses are starting to reappear as well.

Enjoy your weekend, and see you Monday!










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