Monday, December 30, 2013

BRoP Year in Review: Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys and triumphs of the year. To that end, we bring you the 2013 Blog Ring of Power Year in Review Giveaway Hop! We’ve teamed up with this past years’ BRoP interviewees to bring you 22 days of “year in review” guest posts and 20 fabulous giveaway prizes! Each day we'll share a new guest post on the year in review from a previous BRoP interviewee and you’ll have another opportunity to enter the giveaway—so get hopping! And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

 Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Since publishing Twinned Universes in March, I’ve been working on a variety of projects, including two more stories in the Catalyst Chronicles series, a couple of unrelated short stories, and a prequel to my upcoming fantasy Season Avatars series. I’m currently revising the prequel, and the rest of my projects are in the research/rough draft stage. I’m even working on a year-long poetry project! It’s a lot to juggle, especially with a full-time job and a six-year-old. However, I’ve also started a newsletter and created a new website for my work.
Lyon’s Legacy, the first book in the Catalyst Chronicles series, earned a B.R.A.G. Medallion from the Book Readers Appreciation Group and became an Amazon best-seller in the Time Travel category earlier this year.



Prizes: 
ebook copies of Render (A story of Aligare) by Heidi Vlach (3 copies)
ebook copy of Home World by Bonnie Milani and ebook copy of Trades by Bonnie Milani
ebook copy of Nefertiti’s Heart by A. W. Exley
$25 Amazon Gift Card from T. J. Loveless
paperback copy of Going Thru Hell by T. J. Loveless
ebook copy of Medusa’s Desire by E. B. Black
signed hardcover first edition of In Retrospect by Ellen Larson
paperback copy of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
paperback copy of Skeletons in the Swimming Hole by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
ebook copy of Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg
copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany (print for U.S. or ebook for Int. winner)
$10 Amazon gift card from Terri Bruce
a Rafflecopter giveaway ebook copy of Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
ebook copy of Entwined Courage by Tracy Lane
ebook copy of Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck
signed paperback of Ice Forged by Gail Martin
ebook copies of “Taste” “Reaping Me Softly” & “Unreap My Heart” by Kate Evangelista
ebook copy of “Romancing the Bookworm” by Kate Evangelista

Friday, December 27, 2013

Science of the Week, 12/27/13

It's hard to believe it's the last weekend of the year, isn't it? I'm not even going to attempt summarizing the science of the year, as I'm supposed to be busy revising Seasons' Beginning. So here are the most interesting science news articles I read this week:

Chronic stuffy nose? Could be your microbiome

A micro-muscular break through

Graphene can host exotic new quantum electronic states at its edges

Mouth spray stimulates weight loss in animals

New technique measures mass of exoplanets

Neuron regeneration may help sufferers of brain injury, Alzheimer's disease

Cellulose nanocrystals possible "green" wonder material 

Not just the Koch Brothers: new study shows money behind climate change denial

A new--and reversible--cause of aging


Have a good weekend, everyone, and don't forget to stop by on Monday for another Blog Ring of Power Year in Review post and a chance to enter our Rafflecopter!














Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Simple Holiday Joys...

This is a song I sang in middle school. I still remember the last part:



Wishing you and your family all the joys of the season.

Monday, December 23, 2013

BRoP Year in Review: Kate Evangelista

As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys and triumphs of the year. To that end, we bring you the 2013 Blog Ring of Power Year in Review Giveaway Hop! We’ve teamed up with this past years’ BRoP interviewees to bring you 22 days of “year in review” guest posts and 20 fabulous giveaway prizes! Each day we'll share a new guest post on the year in review from a previous BRoP interviewee and you’ll have another opportunity to enter the giveaway—so get hopping! And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!  

Kate Evangelista
I can safely say that since my interview, I’m busier than ever. Several books are in the pipeline that I’m really excited about. For NaNo, I focused on writing the second book to a new series that’s releasing on Dec. 5. But more on that in a bit. Also, I’m rewriting a novel that’s near and dear to my heart. This project might be my favorite of all and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I have several projects in the process of editing as well. So basically, my life has become a beautiful juggling act of projects. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Keeping busy has gained me fulfillment as a writer. I couldn’t be happier. Now, going back to December 5. Mark your calendars, folks! This is the book birthday of the highly anticipated Savor, the first book of the Vicious Feast series. It takes the characters of my debut novel, Taste, and plunges them in an entirely different world. To prepare for this day, I’ve been putting together a release day blitz and a massive review tour. I’m so excited sometimes I forget what day it is. I’m counting down to Savor’s release into the wild. Please make sure to add it to your holiday reading list.  

Prizes:
ebook copies of Render (A story of Aligare) by Heidi Vlach (3 copies)
 ebook copy of Home World by Bonnie Milani and ebook copy of Trades by Bonnie Milani
 ebook copy of Nefertiti’s Heart by A. W. Exley
$25 Amazon Gift Card from T. J. Loveless
paperback copy of Going Thru Hell by T. J. Loveless
ebook copy of Medusa’s Desire by E. B. Black
signed hardcover first edition of In Retrospect by Ellen Larson
paperback copy of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
paperback copy of Skeletons in the Swimming Hole by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
ebook copy of Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg
copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany (print for U.S. or ebook for Int. winner)
$10 Amazon gift card from Terri Bruce
 ebook copy of Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
ebook copy of Entwined Courage by Tracy Lane
ebook copy of Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck
signed paperback of Ice Forged by Gail Martin
ebook copies of “Taste” “Reaping Me Softly” & “Unreap My Heart” by Kate Evangelista
 ebook copy of “Romancing the Bookworm” by Kate Evangelista

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free Review Copies of Twinned Universes and a GC Giveaway!

I would normally post on Wednesday, but I have a special limited-time deal on Story Cartel that I want to share with you. I would like to have more reviews posted for Twinned Universes, so I'm offering it for free through Story Cartel. It's available in three different formats through January 4, 2014 in exchange for an honest review. Plus, you also get a chance to win one of three $10 gift cards for Amazon! For more details, please check out Story's Cartel's FAQ. (You do have to register on the website.) I'd also appreciate it if you could help spread the word about this giveaway. Thanks!

Monday, December 16, 2013

BRoP Year in Review: Kristi Petersen Schoonover

As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys and triumphs of the year. To that end, we bring you the 2013 Blog Ring of Power Year in Review Giveaway Hop! We’ve teamed up with this past years’ BRoP interviewees to bring you 22 days of “year in review” guest posts and 20 fabulous giveaway prizes! Each day we'll share a new guest post on the year in review from a previous BRoP interviewee and you’ll have another opportunity to enter the giveaway—so get hopping! And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!



Kristi Petersen Schoonover

2013 -- my year of taking a break – turned out to be anything but, and in a good way. A specfic piece I wrote called “To Chance Tomorrow” was picked up by the NEHW Press’ Wicked Seasons anthology in February, and my modern-day mummy story set in Myrtle Beach, “Jarring Lucas,” was accepted for Great Old Ones Publishing’s Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification anthology in the summer (both anthos are available at Amazon if anyone’s interested).  I wrote a short story called “Whispers in the Wood” in March, which was shortlisted for a Tiki Terror anthology, but I haven’t heard from them in a while, so I printed it up as a limited run of 200 chapbooks which is being postal-mailed to friends and family for the Holidays (if anyone wants a copy, reach out to me via my contact page at www.kristipetersenschoonover.com). I produce book trailers on a limited basis, and this year I was honored to produce them for Stacey Longo’s Secret Things collection, the Wicked Seasons and Canopic Jars anthologies, and poet Heather Sullivan’s debut collection, These Onyx Hours. Since I write all the copy and shoot all the video/photos myself (no stock) and in some cases create sound, these take a while. In October, Dark Alley Press bought my long short story “This Poisoned Ground.” That will be published as an ebook in January 2014.

The biggest surprise this year came when WordPress contacted me to participate in a roundtable interview with other writers who use WP and had their previous National Novel Writing Month projects published. They published three separate posts on the subject, and it inspired me to participate in NaNoWriMo again for the first time since 2008. I had a blast—I wrote a book I’ve always wanted to write, and to up the ante, I did a daily TV series chronicling my ups and downs (if you’re curious, you can watch those and see my book trailers on my YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/KristiPSchoonover). What made it even more fun? My husband Nathan—who’s a born storyteller and has had many fantastic ideas for novels over the years—jumped into NaNo too. It was awesome having two Wrimos in the house! There was plenty of healthy competition and lots of beer and wine.

I’ve a great deal to look forward to in 2014. Aside from “This Poisoned Ground”’s debut, I’ve been hired to produce three more book trailers, so I’ll be working on those as soon as the New Year turns. I was invited to submit to a couple of anthologies, so early in the year I’ll be working on writing those short stories. 2013’s NaNoWriMo Project will get its overhaul in March. I’ll co-edit an exciting invite-only anthology project called My Peculiar Family, and continue to revise the pieces in a short story collection, which I hope to have ready to submit to publishers late next year.  My biggest dream is to produce a commentary with photos on the story behind my novel, Bad Apple, but that may take a back seat to some writing courses and workshops, which I try to do each year—continuously improving the craft is priority. And then there’s all the usual—serving as co-editor for Read Short Fiction, as secretary for Broad Universe, as a member of the Pearlman Writing Critique Group, and hopefully again as a competition judge for New York City Midnight, which I really enjoy. While sometimes I get tired just looking at the list of everything I want to do, I feel incredibly fortunate that I have so many opportunities. Bring it on!

Prizes:
ebook copies of Render (A story of Aligare) by Heidi Vlach (3 copies)
ebook copy of Home World by Bonnie Milani and ebook copy of Trades by Bonnie Milani
ebook copy of Nefertiti’s Heart by A. W. Exley
$25 Amazon Gift Card from T. J. Loveless
paperback copy of Going Thru Hell by T. J. Loveless
ebook copy of Medusa’s Desire by E. B. Black
signed hardcover first edition of In Retrospect by Ellen Larson
paperback copy of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
paperback copy of Skeletons in the Swimming Hole by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
ebook copy of Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg
copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany (print for U.S. or ebook for Int. winner)
$10 Amazon gift card from Terri Bruce
ebook copy of Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
ebook copy of Entwined Courage by Tracy Lane
ebook copy of Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck
signed paperback of Ice Forged by Gail Martin
ebook copies of “Taste” “Reaping Me Softly” & “Unreap My Heart” by Kate Evangelista
ebook copy of “Romancing the Bookworm” by Kate Evangelista
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Scene 13--The Twelve Days of Writing

Do you think writers should have their own carols? If so, stop on by the Scene 13 blog today for my version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Now all I need to do is get Straight No Chaser to sing it....




Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for another Year in Review post for the Blog Ring of Power--and more opportunities to enter our Rafflecopter!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Indie Life--The Life/Writing Balance

I sometimes say I have four jobs: my day job; taking care of my son; taking care of cooking, laundry, cleaning, and all the other chores of life; and after all that gets done, writing. My main writing times are on my lunch hour at work and after my son goes to sleep; it's actually harder write on the weekends than it is during the week. You can imagine with that kind of schedule, it may be hard to make any progress with writing. It is slow at times, much slower than I'd like, but it does add up over time. I would love to be able to devote more time for writing, but that's not an option right now.

What is a healthy ratio of writing to the rest of one's life, and how does going indie affect that? Obviously, an indie author does have to add a lot of other writing-related tasks into her schedule that aren't actually writing. But if these tasks give you control, they may not feel so much like work. (Except for formatting for CreateSpace. That's always work.) Also, formatting, editing, and other publishing tasks generally take less time than it does to write a story, and they get easier with practice.

As difficult as it can be sometimes to juggle a lot of different roles, this isn't always bad news for a writer. Doing different tasks can refresh your mind so you can come up with a new approach to a story. Daily life can also serve as inspiration for situations or characters. As much as I sometimes want to spend all day in front of my laptop working on the stories in my head, that's not always healthy. Sometimes different jobs or roles will shift in priority, so being adaptable can help.

Anyway, having spent most of my writing time this evening trying to work on this post, I think it's time to hit publish and go to bed--something that doesn't always get as much of a priority as it should?

What are your priorities in life? How do you maintain a life/writing balance?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Interview at PK's Blog and Read Tuesday!

I have two exciting pieces of news to blog about today. First of all, I'm featured on PK Hrezo's blog. Click here to learn a little more about Twinned Universes and how the Beatles inspired me to write.

Second, today is an especially big day for both readers and writers--it's Read Tuesday! Read Tuesday is a day when lots of books, both eBook and paper, are on sale to encourage the gift of reading. I've put the paper versions of Lyon's Legacy and Twinned Universes on sale this month, and they are listed on this blog. (They're also both listed with Matchbook, so you can give a paper copy and keep the eBook for yourself!) However, there are also many other books in different genres featured in this sale, so you're sure to find something for everyone. Swing on by and take a book--er, look!

 

Monday, December 09, 2013

BRoP Year in Review: Gail Z. Martin


As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys and triumphs of the year. To that end, we bring you the 2013 Blog Ring of Power Year in Review Giveaway Hop! We’ve teamed up with this past years’ BRoP interviewees to bring you 22 days of “year in review” guest posts and 20 fabulous giveaway prizes! Each day we'll share a new guest post on the year in review from a previous BRoP interviewee and you’ll have another opportunity to enter the giveaway—so get hopping! And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

Gail Z. Martin

What a year!  Ice Forged launched in January of 2013, kicking off my new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga.  We also began bringing out a new short story direct to Kindle, Kobo and Nook every month in my Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures series. 

Then Solaris Books asked me to write a new urban fantasy for them based on the “Buttons” story that I wrote for their “Magic” anthology in 2012 (the anthology just won the British Fantasy Award!).  Ice Forged was the Kindle Deal of the Day on October 31, and made it to three #1 spots (Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery) on Kindle in the US and Canada.  I’m working to finish up War of Shadows the third Ascendant Kingdoms book by the end of the year.

In 2014, I’ll continue to bring out the new short stories monthly, perhaps with an additional novella or two.  Reign of Ash, the sequel to Ice Forged, comes out in April from Orbit Books.  My new urban fantasy, Deadly Curiosities, comes out from Solaris Books in July.  I’ll have short stories in at least four anthologies slated for 2014: Unexpected Journeys from the British Fantasy Society, Athena’s Daughters from Silence in the Library Publishing, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens for Zombies Need Brains Publishing, and With Great Power, a superhero anthology.  A huge “thank you” to my readers who make all this possible!

Prizes:
ebook copies of Render (A story of Aligare) by Heidi Vlach (3 copies)
ebook copy of Home World by Bonnie Milani and ebook copy of Trades by Bonnie Milani
ebook copy of Nefertiti’s Heart by A. W. Exley
$25 Amazon Gift Card from T. J. Loveless
paperback copy of Going Thru Hell by T. J. Loveless
ebook copy of Medusa’s Desire by E. B. Black
signed hardcover first edition of In Retrospect by Ellen Larson
paperback copy of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
paperback copy of Skeletons in the Swimming Hole by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
ebook copy of Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg
copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany (print for U.S. or ebook for Int. winner)
$10 Amazon gift card from Terri Bruce
ebook copy of Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
ebook copy of Entwined Courage by Tracy Lane
ebook copy of Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck
signed paperback of Ice Forged by Gail Martin
ebook copies of “Taste” “Reaping Me Softly” & “Unreap My Heart” by Kate Evangelista
ebook copy of “Romancing the Bookworm” by Kate Evangelista
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Back on the Blog Chain: Spelling/Grammar Pet Peeves

For December's round of the Blog Chain, Demitria asked us the following question:

What are your writing/grammar/spelling pet peeves? What are some writing/grammar/spelling mistakes that you have a mental block about or can't seem to shake?

Given that I used to be a copyeditor for a small town newspaper, I can be obsessive about spelling and grammar. If I have a pet peeve, it would be using a homonym of the word that the writer really wants. One common error I see online frequently is using "phase" for "faze." I remember one book in which the heroine used a "bo" instead of a "bow." Mistakes like that illustrate why it's important to have a person copyedit a story instead of relying on spellcheck.

As for my own mistakes, I would say my biggest problem would be spelling mistakes as I type, but I can't think of specific examples right now.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to grammar or spelling? Please list them below, or feel free to write your own blog post about them and link to it in the comments.

Monday, December 02, 2013

BRoP Year in Review: Michelle Hauck

As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys and triumphs of the year. To that end, we bring you the 2013 Blog Ring of Power Year in Review Giveaway Hop! We’ve teamed up with this past years’ BRoP interviewees to bring you 22 days of “year in review” guest posts and 20 fabulous giveaway prizes! Each day we'll share a new guest post on the year in review from a previous BRoP interviewee and you’ll have another opportunity to enter the giveaway—so get hopping! And be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

Michelle Hauck


My epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, came out in July from Divertir Publishing, and I'm anxiously awaiting the first sales numbers. A short story, Frost and Fog, was also published by The Elephants Bookshelf Press for their summer anthology, Summer's Double Edge. In August, my middle grade hamster story snagged an agent. I signed with Sarah Negovetich of the Corvisiero Literary Agency. We did several quick rounds of revisions, and now I find myself on submission, getting viewed by the largest publishers!

While I wait, I've been very busy running query contests with my co-hosts Mike Anthony and SC-Author. You might have seen Nightmare on Query Street tweets floating around twitter. I'm also trying NaNoWriMo for the first time.

I'm excited and hopeful to see what the future brings. Never stop learning and growing is my motto.





Prizes:
ebook copies of Render (A story of Aligare) by Heidi Vlach (3 copies)
ebook copy of Home World by Bonnie Milani and ebook copy of Trades by Bonnie Milani
ebook copy of Nefertiti’s Heart by A. W. Exley
$25 Amazon Gift Card from T. J. Loveless
paperback copy of Going Thru Hell by T. J. Loveless
ebook copy of Medusa’s Desire by E. B. Black
signed hardcover first edition of In Retrospect by Ellen Larson
paperback copy of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
paperback copy of Skeletons in the Swimming Hole by Kristi Petersen Schoonover (2)
ebook copy of Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg
copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany (print for U.S. or ebook for Int. winner)
$10 Amazon gift card from Terri Bruce
ebook copy of Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
ebook copy of Entwined Courage by Tracy Lane
ebook copy of Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck
signed paperback of Ice Forged by Gail Martin
ebook copies of “Taste” “Reaping Me Softly” & “Unreap My Heart” by Kate Evangelista
ebook copy of “Romancing the Bookworm” by Kate Evangelista




a Rafflecopter giveaway

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