Thursday, August 25, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Week Seven


Well, we’ve made it to week seven of the YA Indie Carnival.  Time flies when you are getting to know individuals as fascinating as the authors/bloggers collaborating with me during this event.  Of all the topics we have discussed, this is the one most intimidating.  At least, I think it is.  This week, we are revealing the first paragraph of a new story.  My nervousness is directly related to the fact that I’m unveiling never-before-seen paragraphs from Guardians of the Cross. 

Unable to decide which to share, I’m going to post TWO first paragraphs.  The initial one will be from Guardians of the Cross's prologue.  The second one will be from Guardians of the Cross's  first chapter.

Without further ado, here goes. 
Prologue

Julia strolled along the beach with James, enjoying the beautiful orange and yellow shades of the sunset.  The way the scene mirrored off the ocean's blue glass horizon made for a spectacular sight.  The serenity of the setting - along with the calming, salt-infused breeze - camouflaged the danger speeding toward her and her unborn baby faster than a just fired bullet.

Chapter One - Beginning to Heal

Lost forever was the wide-eyed innocence I’d embraced with a vengeance the first twenty-four years of my life.  In its place sat a gaping hole of sorrow, the direct result of a lost life, a stolen childhood, and a kidnapped soul.

Disclaimer: Both could change before December's official release. This is simply how they stand today.

Feel free to provide feedback.  Then, join me in visiting my fellow authors'/bloggers' sites and see what wonderful treasures they are sharing with us today.   While you're surfing from site to site, you can find out more about Amy Jones Young's Guardians of Souls Blog Tour.

NEXT, take a ride (by clicking their name) with:
Dani Snell - Book Blogger
Pattie Larsen - Author
Courtney Cole - Author
Wren Emerson - Author
Nicole Williams - Author
Fisher Amelie - Author
P. J. Hoover - Author
Laura Elliott - Author
Amy Jones Young - Author
Rachel Coles - Author and Book Blogger
Tiffany King - Author
Cyndi Tefft - Author
Alicia McCalla - Author  
Heather Cashman - Author
T. R. Graves - Author

(see previous blogs for the authors’ book lists)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Week Six


It is hard to believe we have reached week six of the YA Indie Carnival.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my fellow authors and their followers better.  They are an amazing group of people.  This week’s topic of discussion is ‘How do you get inspiration for the stories you write/read? 

I've said numerous times that my patients and their families’ grief were the inspiration for Allison La Crosse’s powers.  I still contend that healing the dying with nothing more than a touch (and a little soul sharing) would be an awesome ability. 

The inspiration for the Warriors of the Cross characters came straight from life.  It occurred to me the most believable characters would be ones who embodied the characteristics of people who I’ve known and cared about.  At the same time, I thought it would be a good opportunity for my children to remember their Nana and Papaw through lovable cameo characters, ones who exhibited their exact mannerisms.  I worried that pictures (no matter how great) would lead to one-dimensional and visual only memories.  There would be no sustenance to help my children to know that their grandparents loved and were loved.  By incorporating Nana (Lita - Brody’s mom) and Papaw (Daddy - Allie’s dad) into the story, I suddenly had an ingenious path whereby these wonderful people could be embedded into my children’s hearts even though they barely knew them. 

The inspiration for the storyline, its morals, ethics, and love of God was created from a need to communicate with my teen aged daughter without making her feel like I was preaching.  I wanted to create strong and honorable role-models who could lead by example.  I realized that if the story was told the right way, my daughter (or any reader) would walk away knowing and understanding the story’s messages without feeling like she (they) had suffered through an excruciating lecture.  This technique has been successfully utilized by some talented authors.  With The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum  taught us ‘there’s no place like home’.  With Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl convinced us that ‘unspoiled, honest, and trustworthy people’s dreams can come true’.  Now, I’m certainly not insinuating Warriors of the Cross is for children.  In fact, my seven year old son will have to be MUCH older before reading the series.  I’m simply suggesting that some of the most memorable books of all time have had powerful messages.  By design, Warriors of the Cross has a timeless conscience when it comes to love, tolerance, and compassion.

Join me in visiting my fellow author's/blogger's sites and find out what inspires them to write/read books.  Also, CONGRATULATIONS, Rachel Coles, on having your story, Orphans of Lethe, included in the What Fears Become horror anthology!

NEXT, take a ride (by clicking their name) with:

Dani Snell - Book Blogger
Pattie Larsen - Author
Courtney Cole - Author
Wren Emerson - Author
Nicole Williams - Author
Fisher Amelie - Author
P. J. Hoover - Author
Laura Elliott - Author
Amy Jones Young - Author
Rachel Coles - Author and Book Blogger
Tiffany King - Author
Cyndi Tefft - Author
Alicia McCalla - Author  
Heather Cashman - Author
T. R. Graves - Author

(see previous blogs for the authors’ book lists)

Friday, August 12, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Week Five


It’s week five of the YA Indie Carnival. I want to take a few minutes to thank everyone for supporting our endeavor and for returning time and time again. This week’s topic of discussion is ‘What is the most surprising thing about going Indie?’ To this I say, “What about going Indie has not been surprising?”

I started out as a hospital technical assistant (a glorified nurses’ aide), working on weekends while attending college classes during the week. As an assistant and eventually a nurse, I learned critical information about disease processes from the bottom up. Literally and figuratively. I was involved in every aspect of the patient’s care, and no procedure was too small (or gory) to ignore or evade. Every single thing I learned was exciting because I was determined to become a great nurse, my goal and my passion. Surprising to me is the fact that my ground-up education into Indie publishing has been comparable to my nursing path in lots of ways.

First and as if I were still in nursing school, I’m spending exhaustive nights and weekends meeting self-imposed deadlines and accomplishing unimaginable goals. Fortunately, both nursing and writing are worth the sleep deprivation.

Second, I’m determined to educate myself on the unexpected details associated with writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. I would never have believed there are so many things to do...so many opportunities to grow as an Indie author. For each task, I depend on the same dedication I demonstrated when performing nursing care.

Finally, my nursing career has opened me up to a world of people who are dynamic…phenomenal…awe inspiring. Much to my surprise (and as I've said), Indie publishing has given me the same opportunity. I’ve met great authors, bloggers, followers, fans, and friends who have forever changed my life, and who have helped me without conditions. To find out more about a few of these wonderful people, please visit the sites of the other participants of this carnival.

NEXT, take a ride (by clicking the name) with:

Dani Snell - Book Blogger
Pattie Larsen - Author
Courtney Cole - Author
Wren Emerson - Author
Nicole Williams - Author
Fisher Amelie - Author
P. J. Hoover - Author
Laura Elliott - Author
Tiffany King - Author
Cyndi Tefft - Author
Alicia McCalla - Author
Heather Cashman - Author
T. R. Graves - Author

(see previous blogs for the authors’ book lists)

Friday, August 5, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Week Four


Welcome back!  We have made it to the fourth week of the YA Indie Carnival and what an interesting journey it has become.  The question being answered by the carnival’s participants is What Indie author are you currently reading?’ 

Confession time…I’m so BUSY working, commuting, being a wife and mother, marketing, writing, and sleeping (curse my body’s demands) that I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately.  At least, I haven’t had time to read anything other than the books I’m editing/writing.  Since reading is a passion for me and my love of it the reason I began writing, I plan to rectify this travesty very soon.  In preparation, I’ve been ferociously adding books to my Goodreads ‘To-Read’ list.  The books I’m adding are those of the wonderful authors I’ve met as part of this carnival as well as other aspects of my Indie publishing journey. 

Since I’m not officially in the middle of reading a book, I want to share with you some personal experiences I’ve had with a few unforgettable and talented Indie authors.  The first author that I’d like to highlight is Jayde Scott.  Jayde is the author of A Job From Hell (Volume 1), Doomed (Ancient Legends), The Divorce Club,Alex Gonzo, Royal Spy (Volume 1),  Alex-Gonzo Royal Spy, and BlackWood (A Witch Rising)Jayde reached out to me almost as soon as I released the original version of Warriors of the Cross.  Even though I was a debut author, and she was busy publishing her own books, she read and reviewed Warriors of the Cross.  Jayde is from the UK, but the vast span of ocean doesn’t prevent us from providing truthful feedback OR reaching out to the other in our times of our ‘author-related’ need OR identifying and sharing trends pertinent to the other.    


The second author helping me is Tamara Rose Blodgett, another perfect symbol of the Indie movement.  Like Jayde, Tamara offers unsolicited assistance and proves time and time again that Indie authors can support each other AND be successful.  I may not have time to read her books (right now), but that does not mean I am anything less than thrilled for her and her successes.  She is wonderful and deserves any great thing coming her way.  Tamara’s books include Death Whispers (Volume 1) and the recently released The Pearl Savage (Volume 1).

The third author making her presence known in my new world is M. Leighton.  What an awesome and inspiring person.  Michelle is the author of The Reaping, A Terrifying Young Adult Paranormal Romance (Book 1, The Fahllen Series), Caterpillar, A Paranormal Romance with a Touch of Horror (Book 1, Nine Lives Series), Wiccan, A Witchy Young Adult Paranormal Romance, Blood Like Poison: For the Love of a Vampire (Book 1, Blood Like Poison Series), Blood Like Poison: Destined for a Vampire (Book 2, Blood Like Poison Series), and Madly and Wolfhardt (Book 1 and Book 2 of the Madly Series).  In fact, Michelle is the person who invited me to take part in the YA Indie Carnival.  With that simple invitation, she opened me up to a whole universe of phenomenal Indie authors.  While I’m completely intimidated by the prospect of being compared to any one of these great authors (much less the entire group), I’m thrilled with the opportunity.  I hope that surrounding myself with such great talent will push my writing to heights I’d never accomplish without their camaraderie. 

If you want to know more about other great authors, take a few minutes to visit my fellow Indie author’s sites, read their responses, and leave them a comment.  Then, buy, read, and review their books.  I’m sure you will agree with me these Indie books are as spectacular as anything published traditionally. 

One final note.  Before beginning your carnival ride, join me in congratulating P. J. Hoover for winning the Books in Sync Book Trailer Contest for SOLSTICE. *APPLAUSE*

NEXT, take a ride with: 
Dani Snell - Book Blogger
Pattie Larsen - Author
Courtney Cole - Author
Wren Emerson - Author
Nicole Williams - Author

Fisher Amelie - Author

P. J. Hoover - Author Laura Elliott - Author Amy Jones Young - Author Rachel Coles (Rachel Coles. Geek. Mom. Book Reviews.) - Author and Book Blogger Tiffany King - Author Cyndi Tefft - Author Alicia McCalla - Author Heather Cashman - Author T. R. Graves - Author