Blogger Book Fair: Liss Thomas

July BBF button copy

This week I am on the Blogger Book Fair Tour. For more information on the fair, you can visit their site to learn what it is, who you’ll meet, and the great giveaways and sales on our books. I wrote my introduction for it, so the rest of the week we’re diving in to meet my new friends and authors!

Writing An Online Serial Novel – Don’t Sweat the Screen!

Rain poured in sheets from a heavy sky of smoky gray clouds.  Time cracked by with each lightning strike and shook the panes as thunder clapped.

They weren’t clapping for me.  I sat at my desk, computer screen blank and trying to figure out what to write….. What to write…

As writers, we all face the blank page with a hint of trepidation.  Fingers hovering over keyboards with nothing to say… Oh, look a new email.  A new Facebook like, and a tweet!  They distract like virtual shiny objects for the A.D.D. in all of us.

So when contemplating writing a serial novel, your palms may sweat, shorting out your electronic devices just thinking about the prospect.    Don’t sweat the screen!  Here are some tips to get you started.

Why?

I knew someone was going to ask that question.  Why write an online serial novel?  Why start something you may not know how it’s going to end?  Why, why, why?

Because you can!  And it’s freaking fun to do!

Getting Started.

The hardest part is the first word.  I’ve done it twice an am loving the challenge and the drive to continue.  Here’s my story.

I love writer’s prompts.  I LOVE writer’s prompts.  LOVE THEM!  I found a website to feed my addiction and I wrote cute little flash fiction pieces using the ten random words the prompt provided.  My brain rushed through the ten words and crushed then into a coherent short story.  A few times I would link the stories together.  Sometimes flash is too short, so I would continue the story on the next prompt and the next prompt and so on and so forth.  Someone noticed and said it was the perfect way to create a serial novel.  LIGHTBULB!  So I kept the story going.  I write YA fantasy by the way, so when they threw words at me like ‘thermonuclear’, ‘tank’ or ‘ephemeral’ I’d panic for a few seconds.  Not to fear, the words got shanked!  So here’s the first bit of advice…

1.   Don’t Be Scared!

Find your story, find your motivation, write the first word and let the rest fall into place!

2.   If you want people to continue to read your online serial, leave them wanting more! And by more I mean, cliffhangers!

The end of each chapter should leave your characters in peril, hanging by a thread, clinging to a cliff, watching a beast descending upon them with no escape!  Your readers should first, curse your name for leaving your character  in deep doo.  But then they will come back to make sure it worked out.

3.   Don’t limit your imagination.  Let it guide you like the force, my young Jedi!

Most people like to have the whole story outlined and ready before they begin.  What’s the fun in that?  The fun part about not knowing is what your imagination dreams up along the way.

Example:  My current online serial started as two separate shorts.  The first was about a mermaid returning to the sea.  The second, a time traveling girl who fights gladiators in the coliseum and rescues two lions and brings them to the future to repopulate the species.  Two separate stories.  Or are they?  I smashed those two shorts, creating chapter 1 and chapter 2 of a serial including both mermaids and time travel!

4.   Ok so having a plan doesn’t hurt but you don’t have to start with one.  I wrote at least five short chapters before I had a complete idea of where I wanted my story to go and how I wanted it to end.  Sometimes waiting it out makes for a great adventure in itself.

5.   So the final objection raised is… What if I don’t finish it?

Boy these questions are tricksees!  But so what?  You give it a shot; you don’t know how to finish it.  Let it go!  Remember you are writing it for you.  Sure you post it on your blog and hope for readers but you know what?  There are no Unfinished Serial Novel Police!  Chances are though, you will find your story and you will finish. But you never know unless you try.

The most important part about writing an online serial novel…

Is To Start Writing!

About the Author:

LissThomasLiss Thomas currently lives in sunny Florida when tornados and water spouts are not popping up in her backyard.  She loves Young Adult Fiction and writes fantasy in that genre.  She released her debut novel Finding Monsters in October of 2012 and is planning to release the sequel, Becoming Monsters in October 2013.  She also plans to release a novella from the same universe entitled, Hidden Monsters sometime this year.

Get to know her characters and her style at www.lissthomas.com

LINKS

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/lissthomasauthor

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/Girliegeek3152

WEBSITE  http://lissthomas.com/

AMAZON:  http://amzn.to/122Uzz5

MY ONLINE SERIALS

HIDDEN MONSTERS:  http://lissthomas.com/serial-novels/hidden-monsters/

BEYOND PACIFICA:  http://lissthomas.com/serial-novels/beyond-pacifica/

Blogger Book Fair: Kayla Curry

July BBF button copy

This week I am on the Blogger Book Fair Tour. For more information on the fair, you can visit their site to learn what it is, who you’ll meet, and the great giveaways and sales on our books. I wrote my introduction for it, so the rest of the week we’re diving in to meet my new friends and authors!

Can I just tell you how much I admire Kayla? Not only is she an author with her own books to write and promote, but she put this whole dang fair together! I can’t imagine – I think I’d cry at all the emails alone. I’m so glad to host our fair creator and fellow author, Kayla Curry!

Building the Evil Tom Walker

Hello! I’m Kayla Curry and I’m honored to be hosted by Liz Long on her blog today for the Blogger Book Fair. As some of you may know I am the creator of Blogger Book Fair, but I am also an author. I write mostly paranormal stuff, but dabble in other genres too. My debut novel has been out for almost a year now. Obsidian is the first in my Mystic Stones Series. I’ve self-published a short story to go along with it titled Ruby: A Mystic Stones Jewel. The second novel in the series will release soon and is titled Moonstone. Kayla Curry.JPG

In Obsidian, and its shorter companion, Ruby, you will find the character Tom Walker. Tom was a very difficult character to build and he’s probably the most complicated character I’ve ever made up. He’s hot one minute and ice cold the next. Ava Tanner often doesn’t know what to think of him.

As you will see if you pick up Ruby and/or Obsidian, Tom is psychologically unsound, yet he holds everything together while in the company of others. To do this, I had to dig into his past and his feelings for Ava. What does Tom Walker want? What does he need? What will he do to get those things? The answers to those questions can be found in Obsidian, Ruby and eventually the last book of the series, Bloodstone.

Tom is manipulative, secretive, and above all; power hungry. His manipulation of Ava begins the day he meets her. His charm and his kind words pull her in. His secrets are as old as he is and his need for power drives him.

I take all of this into account when Tom is in a scene. He always has an ulterior motive and everything he does and says has a reason behind it. In the last book of the series, everything will be revealed. His entire plot and how he truly feels about Ava will come to light in a way that will make you love him and hate him at the same time. That’s how I intend for it to be with Tom. I want the reader to love him and hate him. I want you, the reader, to experience Ava’s confusion over him.

Obsidian Final Front Cover SmallerKayla is giving away Ruby: A Mystic Stones Jewel for FREE until July 31st on Smashwords.

Head to this link and enter the coupon code below to get your free copy!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/298469

Coupon Code: ZY74P

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win other short stories from Kayla Curry!

Kayla Curry is the author of:

Obsidian: Mystic Stones Series #1 (0n sale for $3.50 during the BBF)

Ruby: A Mystic Stones Jewel

Vibe: Grey Apathy

Oomph! A Short Story

Journey in an Unknown Land: A Short Story

Falling Leaves: The Complete Three Story Collection

Moonstone: Mystic Stones Series #2 (Coming Soon!)

She also blogs at:

Paranormal Lounge

The Pepper Press

And can be found on:

Twitter

Facebook

Google+

Goodreads

Blogger Book Fair: Lauren Grimley

July BBF button copy

This week I am on the Blogger Book Fair Tour. For more information on the fair, you can visit their site to learn what it is, who you’ll meet, and the great giveaways and sales on our books. I wrote my introduction for it, so the rest of the week we’re diving in to meet my new friends and authors!

Today’s guest is Lauren Grimley and I need to first say how fun it’s been getting to know her. I can’t wait to check out her books, but in the meantime, read her guest post below, learn more about who she is, what she writes, and just why she loves writing vampire books!

Confessions & Explanations of a Vampire Chick

I write vampire books. Now, if you’re already an urban fantasy or paranormal romance fan, that may not sound like such a terrible confession. If, however, you’re a writer who finds herself in a room of other writers, most of whom are twice your age and read and write only literature with a capital “L” or self-absorbed memoirs, it can be a difficult thing to admit. I’ve been in this situation more times than I care to recall, and I’ve always wanted to slap myself afterwards for sounding so apologetic when I’ve shared my genre.

Writers and agents will say vampire stories have been overdone or that their popularity is a fad on its way out. While both of these hold some validity, the real reason other writers and their agents have contempt for vampire books is simple: jealousy. Writers like Stephenie Meyer, J. R. Ward, and Charlaine Harris have made a fortune writing stories that the masses have enjoyed. Like me, most writers at writing conferences haven’t. I’d like to chastise these aspiring best-selling authors for belittling something simply because their own works haven’t sold as well, but (confession #2) I do it as well, as evidenced by my snide remark about memoirs. Instead, I’m here to explain for those who just don’t see (or don’t want to admit) the appeal of vampires which has kept readers coming back since Stoker’s time.

Top Five Reasons Vampire Stories Never Die

1. No two vampires are alike. Some sparkle in the sun, while others meet the true death in just a little UV light. Some feed off each other. Some feed off unsuspecting humans. Some eat chocolate and bacon as a main course and simply suck a little platelets on the side. Point is, saying vampire stories are all the same is like saying all books in any other genre are the same. Sharing similarities is what constitutes a genre; that’s a far cry from saying they’re merely retellings of the same tale.

2. Few readers can resist a story with difficult moral dilemmas. Whether it’s musing over whether to bite your neighbor’s neck, brooding over the issue of immortality, or deciding whether to sleep with the hot guy with unusually large incisors, most books in the genre are surprisingly more focused on characters’ internal struggles than with the external enemies so many contain.

3. Sex sells and fangs are undoubtedly phallic symbols. Sure, you can have a vampire novel without sex or the allusion to it. You can have cake without frosting, or tonic without gin, too, but nobody’s buying either of those by the millions.

4. Violence sells almost as well as sex. Combine the two well and you have an instant best seller! Love without danger, either physical or emotional, isn’t actually all that interesting to read about. Most vampire stories feature bodily risk in addition to the emotional turmoil that makes for great romance stories. Many also contain storylines aside from the romance that are action-packed enough to draw in even non-romance readers.

And the 5th reason vampire stories never die…well, because vampires never die, or more precisely, perhaps, because they don’t age. It’s easy to claim you wouldn’t want immortality, that you’d be satisfied living a long and full life. But no one’s going to buy it if you claim you never wished you could halt the aging process. There is nothing appealing about adult diapers, sagging skin, and aching joints, all problems vampires never have.
So go ahead and be jealous of the vampires who save hundreds of dollars on wrinkle cream and Advil, live dangerous and exciting lives with little fear of actually dying, and who have superb love lives. But don’t hate on their authors who just happen to adore writing about such interesting and varied creatures!

Author Information:

Author website
Blog
Twitter: @legrimley
Facebook
Google+
Goodreads
Pinterest

Bio:

Lauren_GrimleyLauren Grimley lives in central Massachusetts where she grew up, but her heart is on the beaches of Cape Cod where she spends as much of her time as possible. After graduating from Boston University she became a middle school English teacher. She now balances writing, reading, and correcting, all with a cat on her lap and a glass of red wine close by.

Unforeseen, the first novel in the Alex Crocker Seer series, was Lauren’s debut novel, and she’s thrilled to be continuing the series with Unveiled. To learn more about her or her writing or to connect with her online visit her website at http://www.laurengrimley.com.

 
Book Information:

Unforeseen (Alex Crocker series, book 1)
Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Malachite Quills
Website page: http://www.laurengrimley.com/Unforeseen.html
Trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4jIAt-U1iQ
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13624479-unforeseen
paperback cover

Teaser:

Alex was quite sure gifted was a term delusional parents applied to their strictly average children, vampires were gorgeous dead guys in her eighth-grade girls’ novels, and Seers was a middle schooler’s misspelling of a department store known for power tools. Teachers, however, don’t know everything–it’s Alex’s turn to be educated.

Running alone the night before school ends, Alex is violently attacked.  Regaining consciousness, she finds herself in the home of the Rectinatti Regan, the leader of one of two covens of vampires battling nightly on the streets of her city.  If that discovery wasn’t enough to make her think she’d gone insane, she realizes she’s sensing the emotions of another of the vampires as strongly as she feels her own.  Discovering these creatures have the answers to what she is and why she was attacked, she decides she wants to stay, despite knowing it is a dangerous, possibly deadly desire.

Purchase links for Unforeseen, book 1:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Unveiled (Alex Crocker series, book 2)

Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Paramance
Website page: http://www.laurengrimley.com/Unveiled__book_2.html
Trailer link: http://youtu.be/hfz5KLrVC9k

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17969407-unveiled

Unveiled cover
Teaser:

With strength comes vulnerabilities. With love comes loss. With power comes pain. The world Alex now belongs to hinges on such balance. Her every step seems to be lurching her precariously closer to one wrong side or another.
Alex had known her life as a Seer wouldn’t be easy. She knew her gift would be difficult to control and constantly sensing others’ emotions would be overwhelming. She even knew she’d be hunted for the power it would provide whichever coven of vampires controlled her. What she didn’t foresee were the difficulties she’d have with the parts of her life she ought to be able to control: her decisions, her actions, and her relationships.

It isn’t until she’s botched every facet of her new life that the opportunity arises to make things right. Rocky’s lover has been abducted, and Alex’s gift is the best shot at bringing her home alive. But even that will require tipping the scales in a direction no one but Alex can understand.

This sequel to Unforeseen is a darker tale of the battles Alex continues to fight against her enemies, her gift, and even herself. This time victory might cost her sanity, her lover, or her life.

Purchase links for Unveiled, book 2:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

“Unknown” a short story from book 3 of the Alex Crocker series:
Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series, young adult
Available formats: ebook only
Publisher: Malachite Quills
Website page
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15839498-unknown
Purchase link for “Unknown”

%22Unknown%22 cover

Teaser:

Middle school is supposed to bite. Middle schoolers aren’t.

Alex simply wanted to do a favor for a friend while taking a much-needed reprieve from her far-from-average life and returning temporarily to her teaching position. Torie was just trying to trudge through another day of middle school surrounded by naïve peers who had no idea what she was to become. Neither teacher nor student expected to glance across a classroom of normal human teenagers and into the face of their enemy. Neither Seer nor Knower could have understood how their gifts would leave them second-guessing everything they’d been taught to believe about the other side.

Coming Soon:

Unbridled, a collection of connected short stories from the Alex Crocker series
Genres/tags: paranormal romance, vampire series, urban fantasy, short stories
Expected release: September 2013
Available formats: ebook & possibly paperback
Publisher: Grimm Sisters
Website page: http://www.laurengrimley.com/Unbridled.html

unbridled cover 2Unbridled, is a novella-length piece comprised of four connected short stories focusing on the female characters from the Alex Crocker series. It is about unlikely friendships and less likely lovers. Some parts are dark, others steamy, and still others humorous. Even in it’s lighter moments though, it’s meant to honor all women who have fought the good fight, whether they have survived physical or sexual assaults, abuse, deadly illnesses, or the seemingly more mundane, but still intensely painful experiences of love and loss. Alex may be the first female warrior in my fictional world, but she is preceded by scores of real-life everyday women warriors.

I plan to self-publish this one because I’d like to donate a majority of the proceeds to women’s charities. Around the time I was finishing the first draft of this project, my mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. If ever there was a compelling reason to honor women who bravely fight all of life’s battles, this was it. Luckily, Mom kicked cancer’s ass all over again and did it with a sense of humor (epitomized by her “Save Second Base” t-shirt!). Unfortunately, though, everyday more women have to join Alex as warriors to fight their own battles. The over-arching story in this collection focuses on females who were victimized by the Vengatti, but I make it clear that none of these characters are merely victims; they’re fighters and survivors, as are so many of my readers.

Also by Lauren Grimley:

“Apply Liberally” a short romantic comedy/chick lit piece:

http://www.amazon.com/Apply-Liberally-ebook/dp/B00DP3YLK4/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372778578&sr=1-3
apply liberally coverTeaser:

Lissa had decided when she left the stale air of her classroom that afternoon that she was not going to wallow. She would not give Tom, Mr. I’m-just-not-ready-to-commit-right-now, the satisfaction of devastating her summer the way he had destroyed her confidence and sanity the previous four months. No, she decided she would bask in the freedom of her single status. Or at least drown her sorrows in a pitcher of Margaritas, a torrid romance novel, and a package or two of Oreos enjoyed on the nearest vacant stretch of beach.

That’s when it started raining.

Still, a single woman on a mission can not be deterred. And who doesn’t need a little sunscreen even in a thunderstorm?

July BBF button copy

Blogger Book Fair: Beck Sherman

July BBF button copy

This week I am on the Blogger Book Fair Tour. For more information on the fair, you can visit their site to learn what it is, who you’ll meet, and the great giveaways and sales on our books. I wrote my introduction for it, so the rest of the week we’re diving in to meet my new friends and authors!

Goodbye Nothing Pre-Release Excerpt:

***

    The fortune teller directed them to two folding chairs by a small table with nothing on top of it. When they all were seated, Ren got a closer look at the woman. Her face was smooth, but her eyes were old, and when she finally spoke her voice was old too. He expected her to have an Eastern European accent but out came the thickest Boston accent he had ever heard. She must be from the gypsy clan out of Dorchester, Ren thought amusedly.

    “My name is Wanderlight,” the fortune teller said.

    “Laser Beam,” Ren said, extending his hand. “Nice to meet you.”

    “Ren,” Joey said.

    Wanderlight did not take his hand and he took it away.

    “It’s forty dollars for a palm reading. Will that be cash, check, or charge?”

    “Can we pay in crystals?”

    “No.”

    “Cash, then. And it’s only the lady tonight. I already know my future and it’s stunning. Amazing, really.”

    Joey squeezed Ren’s hand. He didn’t usually pick on the elderly, but he believed anyone who took money for this type of thing was a con artist. Joey started for her purse. Ren stopped her and pulled out his wallet. He took two twenties from it and gave them to Wanderlight. As went most transactions for devious deeds, the money was already tucked neatly away before Ren noticed his hand empty.

    “You are blind,” Wanderlight began. Ren shifted noisily in his seat. Joey patted his leg. “Give me your right palm.”

    Joey gave her hand to the woman.

    “I see big things in your future. You are going away soon?”

    “Yes,” Joey answered.

    “Ah, that’s good. You’re young.”

    Ren rolled his eyes. He wasn’t sure how much he could take.

    “You study, yes? Art?”

    “Photography.” The fortune teller gave Joey a look at that, like the con artist had the thought she was the one being conned.

    “You have not been blind forever, only since two years.”

    “Oh my God, yes.”

    Ren leaned into her, “She’s just telling you things you already know.”

    Joey whispered back, “She’s proving herself…then comes the interesting stuff.”

    Wanderlight was staring at them. “May I continue?”

    They both nodded.

    “You steal.”

    “I do what?” Joey asked.

    “You are a thief.”

    Ren laughed. The woman couldn’t have pegged Joey more wrong. His best friend wouldn’t even take a penny from the “Take a penny, leave a penny” tray at convenient stores.

    “You steal,” Wanderlight repeated, with more determination this time.

    “No ─ I’ve never stolen anything. I’m not sure I could…now…but even when I was sighted…oh wait. I did take some candy once without paying when I was six or seven. Is that what you mean?”

    “From Conrad’s Confectionary?” Ren asked.

    “Yes. Two Swedish fish.”

    “I can’t believe it took Wanderstars here for this to come out. What other dirty secrets are you hiding?” Joey giggled.

    “I am not talking about candy fish,” Wanderlight said, raising her voice. “What you have stolen you do not know about. It is not an object that can be seen or touched or eaten.” She said the last word as if she had indeed eaten it and it was very, very sour. “But it has had great consequence, this taking, for you and the other.” Ren and Joey were quiet. Fairgoers passed by outside. A balloon popped somewhere faraway. The fortune teller moved her face, so it was almost touching Joey’s hand. Her eyebrows rose.

    “What else?” Joey asked.

    “You will get a B-plus in French Literature.” Wanderlight released Joey’s hand and stood. “We’re done.”

    “What?” Ren asked.

    “I must go. This is not good energy. I like good energy.” Flame tips followed the woman as she shuffled out of the tent.

    “Um, bye,” Ren said.

***

About the Author:

Beck Sherman was born and raised in Massachusetts. Beck attended Syracuse University undergrad, has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London, and when not writing, enjoys exploring abandoned insane asylums and photo-documenting the things that go bump in the night, when they’re kind enough to pose. Beck’s first novel Revamp is available now on Amazon.

Goodbye Nothing is out on September 3rd! Go on over and check out the BBF cover reveal happening now at DyingToWrite.  

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