Thursday, December 18, 2014

Water So Deep: THE COVER IS HERE!

Guys. This. This is what I've had to keep to myself for the last month-ish. And let me tell you, IT WAS SO HARD! Like, so seriously hard. I can't even tell you.

But now it's here and I can show you and IAMSOEXCITED!

So...

What do you think?


And in case you haven't seen it yet, check out the cover copy.

Water So Deep


Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.


No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.


And also, guess what else? You can pre-order this book for your kindle already. CLICK HERE to purchase your advance copy of the Water So Deep e-book and get it at the pre-order special price of $2.99.

Guys, thanks for letting me be excited. I can't wait to share this whole book with you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Very Cool Swoony Awards


What Are the Swoony Awards?
The Swoony Awards were created to recognize excellence in clean fiction. There are so many books published every day and it can be hard to find the ones worth reading. We want to help recognize authors who write entertaining books that are wholesome. It’s our hope that each year we will help provide everyone with a great list of books to read and maybe introduce them to new authors.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
-Publication Year: Only books published during the current contest year may be nominated. To be fair to all books, contest dates will run from December 1, 2013 – November 31, 2014.
-Clean romance: No sex or closed door, low/mild innuendo. Only M/F romances.
-Language: None/mild, anything over a handful of profanity (especially the more offensive words) would not be considered clean.
-Violence: None/mild
-Other: Nothing overly dark, depressing or heavy subject matter

Novels, novellas and short stories are all eligible for nomination, no limits on page number. Any (clean) genre is eligible (i.e. contemporary, fantasy, mystery, historical, etc.).

Each voter is able to choose up to 100 books to vote on or nominate each contest year. There is no cap on the overall number of books nominated.

**BIRTHRIGHT is eligible and nominated, so be sure to go vote! 

How Are Winners Selected?
We will be accepting entries throughout the year and the winners announced the first week in January. There are fifteen award categories (i.e. Best Novel of the Year, Best Historical, Best Contemporary, etc.). Winner’s will be announced via our blogs (Bookworm Nation, KJ’s Book Nook and Katie’s Clean Book Reviews) and through Goodreads Swoony Awards Group.

Since this is a reader’s choice award the winners are determined by a combination of the number of votes received and how high the voter rated the book and what rank the voter gave each book they voted for.

Who Are We?

Kathy 
Kathy (Bookworm Nation)
I've been hosting a book review blog, Bookworm Nation, for over five years. I love to read and review books. And of course, I love to discuss books! A few years ago I started the Goodreads group, Happily Ever After Book Club. It's through Goodreads that I met Katie, Kathy Jo and Heidi and while discussing our love of books one day we thought it'd be fun to host our own Reader's Choice award. We're excited to introduce the Swoony's this year, it's going really well and we look forward to hosting it for years to come. 
Contact Info for Kathy:
Twitter: @bookwormnation
Kathy Jo 
Kathy Jo (KJ's Book Nook)
This may come as a shocker but I have NOT always been a little bookworm. In fact growing up I was not the kid you saw jumping at the chance to read. I was the one that just did it to make my teachers happy. That silent reading time during school?! Yeah.. I was the kid napping! ;) About 12 years ago someone loaned me a book and said I just HAD to read it. I took it just to get them off my back and much to my surprise I could NOT put it down! And from then on I would read... but only that one author. I refused to read anything else! It wasn't until 2009 when 2 of my favorite people introduced me to the Twilight Series that I actually started branching out. And ever since then I haven't been able to STOP reading! ;) About 5 months ago I decided to start a book blog and I have been loving it! I get to be another voice for all the amazing authors that I love! How cool is that?! And of course through my adventures in reading I have been able to meet some amazing women who love books just as much as, if not more than, me! I love chatting with them about all the books we read! We have become such great friends that at times I forget that I've never really met them in person! Books just have a way of bringing people together! My reading choices vary... I love a lot of different genres.With that said... I am not ashamed to admit that I am a romantic and I love fluff! As long as it's clean and has a HEA, I'll definitely give it a try! Any book that gives me a break from reality and puts a smile on my face is definitely a book for me!   
Contact Info for Kathy Jo:
Email: kjsbooknook@gmail.com
Blog: kjsbooknook.blogspot.com 
Twitter: @kjincali

Katie Watkins 
Katie (Katie's Clean Book Collection)
I started blogging about a year and a half ago. I've always loved to read and talk about books--it's my obsession. The first book I learned to read on my own was Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham. I love a lot of different genres, but my favorite is clean romance, which is perfect for the Swoony's! I've had a blast meeting new friends who enjoy the same types of books that I do.

Contact Info for Katie:
Email: lilacqueen75@gmail.com
Twitter: @lilacqueen75
Blog: www.katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiescleanbookcollection

Heidi 
Heidi 
I'm a mother of four amazing kids and married to my own Prince Charming. I love to read, kiss my handsome Prince, bake, run (because I love to bake), ride horses, play sports, and spend time with my little family. I first fell in love with reading at a very young age because of my sweet grandmother who always took the time to read me my favorite books over and over again. She could never tell me no. My wonderful mother is also entirely addicted to reading and we love to "talk books" late into the night....and plot how we are going to buy more. :) I adore clean, happily ever after books, and I've loved getting to know so many other women who do as well. Who knew books would be the reason I would meet some of the dearest people in the world?! 
Contact Info for Heidi:
Email: curlyhide9@hotmail.com

Note to Authors:
If you’ve written a book that matches the above criteria fill free to nominate it for a Swoony! Don’t be afraid to promote the award or to let your fans know your book is up and that it needs votes. We are doing some promoting, but sometimes a Facebook, Twitter or blog post directly from the author is the best way to let your fan base know your book has been nominated. Only books with a minimum of THREE votes will be added to the official nomination list found on the Goodreads Swoony Awards group page. Winners will be announced January 2015.

To stay up to date on voting and nominations, please join our Goodreads Swoony Awards group page!

Note to Readers:
If you’ve read a book this year that you think is awesome…VOTE! This is a great way to let authors know you appreciate all that hard work. You can vote for up to 100 books on the list. We’ve also learned that the order you rank the books you vote on does affect the overall score of the book. So take a minute and make sure you have your books in the order you want them. Invite your friends to vote! Voting ends December 31, 2014.

The 2014 Swoony Awards is now accepting nominations and votes for your favorite books of the year. Polls will be open until December 31, 2014. 

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

As a thank you for making the Swoony Awards a success,
we'd like to offer an Amazon gift card! The winner will
have 48 hours to claim the prize. Only valid
where Amazon gift cards may be used. You must
be 13 or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Announcement (In Case You Missed It)

Happy December! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week last week. This is going to be a repeat of information for those who subscribe to my newsletter, but since I'm excited, I want to make sure I share it everywhere. 

For those who read this blog or follow me on social media, you might have already guessed that while the Descendant series has been my primary focus for the last two years, it has not been my ONLY focus, or my only project.  

The result of one of my many other projects is a BRAND NEW BOOK, which is totally and completely separate from the Descendant series, including its characters, and world. This book (which is the first of a two-book series) is a young adult romantic fantasy called WATER SO DEEP, and will be released to the public in paperback and e-book on February 2. (Why yes, yes that is Groundhog Day!) 

The cover is not included here because it hasn't been released yet, but for those of you who are excited about helping me spread the word about this very exciting new release, I will be sure to post sign up links on my blog and FB page as soon as they are available.

I have to be honest here. Of all the books I've written so far, this one is my personal favorite, and I can't wait to share it with all of you. 

Here is a little teaser blurb that is extremely rough and nowhere near final. Probably.

WATER SO DEEP

Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have.


When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Word Counts and Inspiration

Yes, it's November, and this year I am once again participating in NaNoWriMo, wherein I write like crazy in hopes of getting in 50,000 words in 30 days. Except, that's not my actual goal, and it's sort of a problem.

Why is it a problem? Well, my NaNo project is actually book 3 in the Descendant series because even though I had big plans of having it done way before now, our big move back to Utah really threw a wrench in things. And we all know that Descendant and Birthright are both much longer than 50,000 words. More like 90,000 and change. So while I may likely win NaNo with the word count, to get to the end of my novel, I'll need another 40,000 or so more.

But don't worry, people. This book is going to be turned in for editing, formatting, cover art, etc. and released in April, as promised. (No, I do not have an exact date, but it will be sometime that month FOR SURE.)

In the meantime, I'm trying super hard to focus on this, the most difficult story of the series.

Also, I am working on several other super fun, secret projects. If you are a newsletter subscriber, you will be seeing some really AWESOME news in the next day or two. If you're not, I'll be sure to post the news here next week.

Good things are happening people!

And on a side note, last weekend was my anniversary. We spent a few days in San Francisco, where we found the most awesome castle turned winery just outside of Napa. I'll talk more about that next week. But for now, look what my husband had made for me!

Brownie points to the person who can tell me why it is significant, and why I am wearing it for inspiration as I work frantically on this project.

What inspires you while you work?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Catch Me When I Fall Blog Tour: An Excerpt




Guys! There are some things I love about being an author, and one of those things is the amazing people I get to interact with who are also authors. This week, I am helping my agency sister, Vicki Leigh, to celebrate the release of her debut book, Catch Me When I Fall.

Don't miss out on the chance to enter Vicki's contest for the My Worst Nightmare blog hop. 

Here is an awesome excerpt: 

“Kayla, I’d like for you to stay a minute.” When the others had filed out of the room, Dr. Malcolm closed the door and sat across from Kayla. “You were pretty shaken up last night, so I didn’t have a chance to get much information from you. I’d like you to tell me what happened.”“It was another dream.”“The same as last time?”Kayla nodded. “I grabbed the gun and tried to shoot him, but I kept missing. Then he burst into flames, just how I… wanted him to.”
Dr. Malcolm paused, calculating her response. “You mean, just how you remember?”Kayla’s eyes fell to the floor.Dr. Malcom sighed. “Kayla, we’ve talked about this. You need to start believing that what you thought you saw was your brain’s way of protecting you during the attack —”“I know what I saw!” Kayla yelled. She gripped the seat of her chair and fought the tears that pooled in the bottom of her eyes.
Dr. Malcolm spoke calmly. “This is why you’re here, Kayla. What you saw was your mind’s reaction to what that man did to you. As soon as you come to terms with this, the dreams will stop feeling so real and you can move past the pain.”The word “attack” brought up memories from my past I’d tried to forget. I’d died saving two women from the brutality of savage men. By the way Kayla’s face looked right now, I was positive I knew where this was going, what happened to her. Having heard enough, I balled my hands into fists, closed my eyes and evaporated to Rome.Tabbi was awake when I arrived, though my sudden appearance startled her. “Jeez, Daniel. You could’ve at least knocked.”“Sorry.” I sat in the chair next to her bed and tried to appear unfazed. “How are you feeling?”“Better. Trishna did a good job healing me, but Bartholomew wants to keep me one more night until he’s certain I can return to work.” She squinted at me. “What’s wrong?”Damn. Can’t hide anything from her. “When you read Kayla’s mind, did you read all of it?”
Tabbi scrunched her small nose. “Well, yeah. It is my job to know my charge.” She spoke like I was stupid to forget. I would’ve smiled if my heart wasn’t already consumed with anger.
“Then you saw what happened to her the night she was attacked.”Tabbi frowned. “Yeah.”“Was she raped?”Tabbi shook her head. “Here. Let me show you what happened.” She held her hand out to me.Since I was Tabbi’s partner in protecting Kayla, I could see what she saw in Kayla’s mind once I linked hands with her. The connection was part of the supernatural bond we’d created with Kayla when we performed our ritual the first day we were assigned to her. I grabbed Tabbi’s hand and closed my eyes. Within seconds, I was in Kayla’s head, seeing through her eyes and feeling her emotions. I had become Kayla.


Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: October 23, 2014

Cover Artist: Conzpiracy Digital Arts


About Catch Me When I Fall:

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:
Goodreads | Amazon  US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

--


About The Author:
Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Month9Books and Curiosity Quills Press, an intern at TriadaUS Literary agency, and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Find Vicki Leigh Online:


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Worst Nightmare: Catch Me When I Fall Blog Hop (and a contest!)


Today, I’m taking part in Vicki Leigh’s “My Worst Nightmare” blog hop, to celebrate the recent release of her young-adult, paranormal-romance/ urban-fantasy, CATCH ME WHEN I FALL, which centres around seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham, a Protector of the Night, who has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears.

Rules:
·         On 11.03.14 post about your worst nightmare, and what form the clawed, red-eyed creatures would take if they fed off your fears.
·         Visit the other participants of the blog hop, and comment on their worst nightmares

At the end of the blog tour, on 11.14.14Vicki Leigh will pick one of the participants at random and award them with [prize].


Okay, I know that participating in blog hops (which are different from blog tours) is not something I typically do on this blog. I have my reasons, but a lot of times it's because I generally don't have time to keep up with everyone's everything, and if I do one, I will feel like I need to do them all.

But with Halloween recently passed, and since I'm participating in this blog tour anyway, they are pretty much interconnected. So. I'm supposed to write about my worst nightmare.

Here's the thing. I don't like writing about nightmares. I am not necessarily a horror writer, at least, not that I have yet discovered. In fact, on my last author panel, someone asked what we like to write about, and my answer was kissing. I write kissing books! And romance. And yes, they all have conflict, some of which is pretty scary stuff. But in my mind, it all revolves around the kissing.

And since I'm in confession mode, it's been a very long time since I had a sleeping nightmare. By that, I mean a really bad dream that occurs while I'm asleep, and that I remember when I wake up. You should understand by now, though, that I am the person who takes precautions to avoid this kind of issue. We simply don't let the stuff of nightmares into our home. Saves me a lot of grief with my kids.

So instead of writing my personal nightmares, which I absolutely can't remember, I have decided to post some pictures of things that might cause anyone a few nightmares. Okay? Okay.

Captain Hook anyone? 

Yeah, this just...yeah. 

This guy is so scary people are afraid to even utter his name. *coughcoughVoldemortcoughcough*

Need I say more? I don't know anyone who is not afraid of clowns.

My Preciousssssssss...


*Insert Jaws theme music here*
*shuddershudder*
Other blog hop Participants:
Sharon Bayliss | Emma Adams at From the Writer's Nest               | The Writer Diaries      
Jennifer Brooks at The Cubicle Escapee | Katja at Cautious                          

Cait Spivey | Lucy Lala at Book-A-Holic                    

Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:


And for all you NaNoWriMo participants, I hope you're killing the word counter with your productivity.

**Also, if you're looking for the announcement I mentioned last week, worry not. You haven't missed it. BUT if you want to hear about it first, and be among the first to enter my most epic contest yet, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter. It's happening soon. Very soon.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Digging Up Creativity (And Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo)

The last couple of years, my home life has taken some seriously major turns. So has my professional life. And since both are connected to my social life, this pretty much rounds things out into feeling a huge ball of oh-my-goodness-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into? Every. Single. Day.

Being that I’m the creative type, this feeling can get a bit overwhelming at times. Overwhelm tends to send me in one of two directions. Either I dive into my creative side and hide there for an endless amount of time (basically shutting out the rest of the world as I write like mad) OR I focus on the more practical side (like my family, home, etc.) and do NOTHING creative for, well, what feels like an endless amount of time. For me, there is really no happy medium.

This is a problem, given my chosen profession, because if I want to keep my readers happy and interested, I still have to produce books. And if I want to keep my family alive and happy, I have to do things like laundry, and making dinner, and homework and doctor/dentist visits, and driving to school and…you know, I should probably shower and stuff sometimes, too.

It’s a dilemma. And yet…through some of the craziest months of life, I managed to get through editing and releasing DESCENDANT, and then re-releasing it, and then somehow a miracle must have occurred, because I also got BIRTHRIGHT done and released as well. I’m not going to lie. They both took everything I had in me at that time, and then some. To this day, I’m still not sure how BIRTHRIGHT actually happened.

I won’t say I forced it, because that’s not true. But I must have managed to dig deep down and find that hidden box of creativity that was cowering inside me. I wish I could tell you how that happened, but it’s still a mystery.  

If you write, at some point, you will hear (probably a million-billion times) people tell you that you should write every day. I’m not going to agree or disagree with that. I think it works for some people, and for others, not as much. I don’t write every day, even though I do try. But for me, there is serious value in having a deadline. A goal. Something to push me forward. Otherwise, I might hang around waiting for life to calm down, which might mean I never write anything new again.

It’s been a few years since I managed to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but this year, I have not one or two, but THREE huge projects (and a couple of smaller ones) to finish, and my creativity has hit a low again. I think November is just the thing I need to kick me in gear. 50,000 words, 30 days, and half a million other writers urging me to keep going. It’s good incentive.

And maybe somehow, I will find my shovel and dig deep again. Because my books are not going to write themselves.

What about you? What motivates you when you’re just not feeling the creative vibe?


**Stay tuned for a possible very exciting announcement, coming soon. If you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, that’s where you should go to be among the first to find out! Also, I may, or may not, be giving away free stuff this holiday season. You can sign up on the sidebar.à