Friday, August 31, 2012

Cover Reveal ~ Tirade

This is the third book in the Heven and Hell series. The book will be released November 30,2012

Betrayal burns. Death hurts and the clock ticks…

Minutes and hours stretch into days. How long can Sam survive being confined in Hell? I have a plan… a plan with a lot of holes. I need someone who can make up for my weaknesses, someone who possesses the power that I lack. Riley is supposed to be off limits. He’s dangerous, he’s mean and he’s not to be trusted. But I do.

Beelzebub is on a tirade, bent on revenge. I took what he wants and sent him into the flames. I will wear the scars of his punishments forever. But scars don’t scare me anymore.

On my way to free Sam I find my true path, a secret place and new allies. But in Hell nothing is easy… and everything is cruel. The only thing left to do is survive.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cover Reveal ~ Bewitched

Working out was for jocks. Homework was for nerds and I wasn’t a jock or a nerd. Yet, here I was, sweating through my favorite Victoria Secret yoga pants and tank with a headache the size of Macy’s. Learning about my powers was hard work. I thought it would come naturally. My brain was hurting from concentrating and my muscles were actually sore from effort. I thought longingly of the potion in the green bottle that Hecate had given me—a little sip would make it that much easier to use my powers, but she took it away. Apparently, I had all the power she wanted me to have. It kind of pissed me off.

   In fact, I was feeling pretty disgruntled all around.

   I was hot, I was sweaty, my head hurt and my hair was frizzy. Not to mention I had been wearing sneakers far too long. Thank goodness Hecate was gone. I actually had been glad not to be alone after the “bone incident,” but now I was ready for some alone time. I felt stronger.

   Feeling strong plus feeling disgruntled equaled somebody was gonna get hurt.

   I was standing in my yard near the lake and I glanced up at the moon before heading inside. It was low and swollen tonight—a haunting moon. It sent a shiver up my spine. I thought briefly about going to Heven’s and treating her to a little of what she deserved. I even looked toward the driveway as I walked, but I wasn’t going anywhere looking like this.

   I went into the house and began climbing the stairs. Halfway up, I heard a noise in the kitchen and I paused. My parents were still out of town. It wasn’t the maid’s day to be here… unless she came early. Another thud in the kitchen had me spinning on the stairs to see what it was.

   “Mary?” I called out. “Is that you?” Maybe she switched her schedule around and I didn’t know about it. Maybe I could get her to make me a latté.

  No one answered, and the noises in the kitchen fell silent. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and listened, wondering if I had heard anything at all. “Hello?” I called again, this time more unsure. This time a fine chill raced up my back.

   Suddenly being alone in this big house was scary.

   Clink, clink, clink.

   Okay, I wasn’t hearing things. Someone was there.

   I stepped off the stairs and walked through the foyer in the direction of the kitchen. I heard the cat hiss and I paused again. Clover was too lazy to hiss at a mouse. Something in my stomach turned cold and hard.

   I looked over my shoulder at the massive front doors to the alarm keypad and the distress button.

    But it was too late for pressing buttons.

    Clover burst around the corner with a hideous screech and barreled into me, hitting me in the knees and causing me to stumble. The cat didn’t even stop. I could hear his claws scraping frantically across the tiles. “What the…” I began as I straightened, but then something lurched around the corner after the cat.

     It was hideous.

     It stood about a foot taller than me with wide shoulders that were uneven looking—one was lower than the other—and a wild mane of bushy orange hair that seemed to create a cloud around its pasty, white face. Its lips were black and it had a nasty row of teeth that had seen a lot of decay. It had large purple circles around its eyes, which seemed to have no color at all.

    It looked like a psychotic clown.

    I screamed and took a step backward, and the thing grinned. I went running but it lunged and caught me around the wrist, pulling me back. I struggled, kicking out, but it was no use, his grip was too strong.

     Without any warning it reached up and snatched my silver pendant right off my neck. “Hey!” I screamed as it shoved me away. I fell onto my butt and stared up at the glittering silver heart as it dangled from the nasty clown’s hands.

    Cole had given that to me. It was the last gift he had given me before we broke up.

    Anger surged into my chest, making me hot. “Give that back.”

    Freaky Clown gave me another frightening grin and ran back into the kitchen, disappearing from sight. I ran after it, running into a solid wall of… offensiveness.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Cambria Hebert Interview and Giveaway

Someone suggested I reach out to Cambria Hebert in reference to my pursuit of writing. I vaguely remember liking her page real quick so I wouldn’t forget. Funny thing I can’t seem to find the email or message that contained this information. Maybe it was just destiny. She and I started corresponding on facebook and before you know it her first book Masquerade was on my Kindle. I read it in less than a week and can’t stop thinking about what Sam and Heven are up to now.

Personally I would love to know more about Cambria and her journey to writing five star novels and novellas.

Aww! Thank you! I didn’t know all of that! I am so glad we could talk and get to know each other! So glad you liked Masquerade!

Was there a particular book or author that inspired you to take the leap to writing your first book?

You know there really wasn’t. Although if I wanted to (and I guess I do, cause I’m still yapping about it, lol) I could say that perhaps my love of storytelling came from when I really started to love to read when I was younger. I credit that to R.L. Stine. His Goosebumps and Fear Street books were so fun for me to read. I loved the imagination behind them. When I wrote my very first book (a middle grade book still unpublished) I remember thinking that I wanted it to be like his books.

How long did it take to write each of your books?

Each book varied. Masquerade took a little longer than the others in the series. I wrote Tirade (book 3) in a month and I remember walking around with a notebook and a pen babbling about God and demons. I would call my husband at work and say outlandish plot points and ask him if they made sense. LOL. That poor guy. Tirade is my next release and I went in to edit it and I changed some stuff and rewrote a lot of the ending though... so I guess it took a little longer than a month.

Do you write in a linear fashion?

No usually. I wrote Masquerade and Charade out of order. I would write the scenes that came to me or the scenes that seemed to be loud in my mind and then I would work backwards or forward to piece the book together, it sort of made me crazy. I made myself write Tirade in order... I was still crazy, lol.

When do you do most of your writing?

Now that both my kids are in school I do it then when they are at school. Sometimes I write a night when they are in bed. I find that most of my ideas flow better in the early morning though before I get involved in other things during the day. 

Do you have any special quirky things you do or need when you sit down to write?

I yoddle. Bark like a dog and wear a toboggan. LOL! No, I don’t do any of that. That would be weird. I don’t really need anything but sometimes some hot tea or coffee is nice to have around. I also keep my notebook and pen nearby to take notes.

Can you tell us a little about your editing process?

Well, I have an editor, Amy Eye. She is really great and she does a fab job of keeping my books plot tight and reminding me of little details. Before I send her my book for editing I sit down and read the book and I correct errors as I go or if something reads funny I rewrite the sentence or two. Also, since I know the ending and everything that happens I can add little things to the beginning to maybe tie it all together more. Then it goes to Amy and she will fix grammar and commas and things. She also makes notes (in the margins) about plot points and details that I then go back in a rewrite or change if needed.

What do you think about the idea of your book on the big or little screen?

I think that is the best idea ever. LOL. I would LOVE to see it as a movie. I hope that happens some day.

Is there a series or trilogy you wish had not ended?

Hmmm, that’s a tough question. I don’t think so. I think it’s always good for great books to come to an end. If they didn’t people would get tired of them and they wouldn’t be so great anymore, you know? I do sometimes wish that Stephanie Meyer would write a spin off of Twilight about Jacob and Renesseme. (I have no clue if I spelled that name right...)

I know that you are a fan of Vampire Diaries as am I. If you could go on a date who would you chose Damon Salvatore or Ian Somerhalder? 

OMG, how can you ask that?! LOL. Aren’t they the same person? NO? Sigh. Actually, I would pick Ian Somerhalder. From what I know about him he is really great. He involved himself in really worthy causes and he seems to really care about the people around him and his fans. He seems really grateful to have the life he does and that makes me really like him.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Just keep writing. No matter what. Oh and “butt in chair” because nothing gets written if you don’t put your butt in the chair and write. 
What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

I like to watch TV, movies, spend time with my kids and my husband. I used to paint a lot but I haven’t done that in a while.

Besides writing books wheat else has your writing led you to?

Good friends. If I hadn’t started writing I never would have met Amy, my editor. But she is also a really good friend of mine. I can’t imagine not talking to her now. I have met a lot of people I am so glad to know bc I started writing. It’s also made me realize I can do a lot more than I thought I could. 

Where can we find you on the internet?

Everywhere! LOL. Here are my links:





Youtube channel: 

Thank you for having me here today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing In The First Person

When I started working on this first novel. (That is going to need a name soon.) I needed to decide whose point of view I would be writing this story from.  

First person means writing from the “I” perspective.  All accounts must come from the main characters point of view. If the main character can not see, smell, taste, hear, or touch it then it can not be written in.

Perhaps this is why so many people are switching back and forth between two main pov’s. There is more to the story besides the experiences of the main character. What happens after he/she leaves the room? What kind of feelings or actions do the other characters have in reaction to the main character? If you don’t change pov or write in third person the reader can only speculate.  

Speculation can be a really good thing to keep the reader motivated to find out what happens next. Not knowing what the antagonist is planning or perhaps not even knowing who the protagonist is, can help create suspense. 

For me, I think the first person narrative will work best with this book. It will allow the reader to create a special level of intimacy with my main character.  Knowing the private thoughts of a character can strengthens the bond in a way that helps the reader feel like they are friends.  

Certainly there are things going on in the story that the main character will not have knowledge of. I can consider writing another pov that will come into play periodically or maybe I can consider writing a novella that can be a parallel experience of one of the other characters. Hmmmm… 

I want my readers to be able to identify with my character, love who she loves and hate who she hates, root for her/him to have the very best, and to win over all adversities.

A lot to think about and I am sure I will be exploring more about what person the narrative is written from and how it might best impact my story.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Review ~ Masquerade by Cambria Hebert

When I decided to read and review Masquerade I never even thought to read the description so I did not know what I was getting myself into. This made for a bit of suspense as far as not knowing what kind of supernatural creatures might be lurking in the dark. Although it takes almost three quarters of the book to really know what creatures might show face in this series they are written with a creative twist on some old mythologies.  

For me, sometimes the characters in YA books can be a little too “annoying” in an immature bubbly kind of way. There were some elements of the whiny teenage drama queen but it does work for the characters in this book. The main character Heven not only grows on you as the reader but she grows into herself. Heven faces her fears both real and imagined but you will need to read Masquerade to find out how for yourself. 

This is a true YA romance with just enough heat to keep us adult readers looking for more. Cambria is able to really bring back the rush and excitement of a new crush or a new boyfriend. And in this book the main young man has just the right amount of bad boy that every girl truly desires, but does he have enough of a good heart and good intentions? Again, you will need to read this one to find out. 

This book is written from multiple points of view. At times I found the sub characters pov’s a little confusing and needed to reread them to clarify who was speaking. In the end they all came together to make fantastic sense. Although I do still have my theories about whom one of them might be. 

As a female I loved reading the perspective of the main male character Sam. He really draws you into his world. Cambria had a skilled hand in knowing when to change pov. There was just enough overlap to give a rounded sense of what was happening without unnecessary filler of just repeating the same scene. 

This ebook is worth well more than what it is currently listed at. Just when you thought the book could be over it just kept giving. There are some twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I wish I could say more, but I wouldn't want to spoil the adventure.

I would give this book as an adult reader 4.5 stars but if I was a teen I would probably give it 5. I truly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I have the prequel short story Before waiting on my kindle now.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Starting to decode the YA category (young adult)

When I started working on my first book I did not really think about the age range of the readers who might be interested in reading my story. I guess I just sat down and began writing what I might want to read. As I have been exploring different book blogger and author websites and Facebook pages I wondered who my audience would or should be. So far I think that my story is appropriate for a younger reader but who knows, I might want it to get a little nasty as it progresses. This led me to investigate the YA (Young Adult) category.

As for my current work-in-progress, I am still not sure if it will be YA but there is a good possibility. I do want it to have a dark and sexy feel but I don’t think I am interested in writing anything graphically violent or erotic, at least not right now. I am sure when I finish this piece there will be plenty of opinions on what category it will belong to. I can always go back and edit it to be whatever I want it to be. 

The age range for the YA group is 12-18 according to the YALSA ( Of course we all know that there are people younger and much older than that loving books in this category.

 I reached out to a few bloggers about their opinion on this topic.

Never too old for Y.A. Books.  Marni Rost Jarman emailed me with this
Hi there! YA...I went through high school 84-88. Teen books of that time were Judy Blume and that style. The books geared for teens were geared to help teens know that what they are feeling and the things they were dealing with were normal.

Flash forward to 2012. YA has evolved as has society. Teens deal with a whole lot more than before. Growing up, most moms did work, I'm a mom of 3 adult/teen daughters and have been working pretty much since they were born. Teens don't want books telling them about things they already know, YA nowadays lets the reader leave reality behind and treats the readers as if they have brain to understand life as it is.  

YA was once just teen reading. It is now a genre read by just as many adults as teens. In fact, I'm usually the one suggesting books to my 18 yo. People like to smirk about Twilight, but that series has gotten more people reading YA than ever. The Uglies series is actually what brought me back to YA. Yes, I tore through the Twilight series and wanted my own Edward, but I started the series to see what the big deal was when the first movie came out. By the time I saw the movie, I had the entire series read. 

What is acceptable? For the teens, light sex and light language. Why? Teens have sex and teens curse. It's also no longer a hush hush subject. While not every teen has had sex, they know that some of their friends have. Cursing may not be allowed in my household, but working in the judicial field, I've heard some coming in saying things that would make a truck driver blush. For the older teens, and actual YA's, there seems to be a new genre being created. I think it's called New Adult. The romance is a little harsher, language a bit more in use, and sex a little more graphic. Again, the targeted reader is dealing with these things in their own life, but don't want something patting them, telling them it's ok, but a story to dive in to.

YA is great for the young and old alike. Different worlds are created for the reader, not twenty pages on how one place looks when someone walks through the door, etc. It goes straight into the story, allows a certain liberty in how the reader visions the characters and surroundings, and just ropes you in.

Coming back into YA. There is one continuing item that I find very annoying. So many series! Trilogies, fine, but so many just keep going and going and going. But I must say, YA is the playground for the self published author. So many Asreaders, who are just looking for a good book, not worried about the authors credentials. I've found myself reading more indie authors than published and the authors are so generous with their time. They love hearing from their readers and return emails, messages, etc. How many can say their favorite published author took the time to respond back to them?

Mera's YA Book List  Mera had this to say:
In my opinion, YA books are YA for a simple reason. They are written for young adults. Young adults are simply just teenagers, and young adult books are books based on what and/or whom they can most relate to and what they most like. They may not be able to relate to the paranormal worlds of the characters in some of their favorite books but there are characters that they identify with going on these insane journeys they fantasize about. And the characters in contemporary fiction fall in love and out of love and finally have that ending all girls wish for. Things like this define the YA category.

There's going to be kissing, because teenagers kiss. There's going to romance because we all want it. In some cases, there is even going to be sexual intercourse. What separates YA from Adult Fiction is this topic. How an author handles the topic of sex is what makes a book suitable or non-suitable for the category. If a scene is too descriptive or too graphic then it shouldn't be in a YA book. There's a delicate balance, and it's the reason why so many YA books that we think are amazing are on banned book lists.

I don't like banned book lists because everyone should be able to decide what they read, and I haven't come across a book that I've thought was too explicit in the YA category (though the Nora/Patch scenes in Hush, Hush made me blush profusely). There's a reason however why YA and Teen books are still sold in many children's aisles. It's because we 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and even 20, and 21 year olds are still transitioning. What is appropriate for those 16 and above may not be appropriate for a younger YA audience, which is why I always call a book lower YA or upper YA in reviews. I specify the difference between children's, YA, and New Adult books because even though they are usually grouped together, how certain topics are handled are completely different in these different categories.

A special thank you to Marni and Mera for getting back to me with your thoughts on this topic and for your time reading and reviewing books to help others make choices on what will fit their reading needs.