Saturday, December 31, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - New Year's Resolutions

This week's YA Indie Carnival topic is New Year's Resolution. 2011 has been a great year for The Warrior Series.  My hope for 2012 is that The Warrior Series and my new series, Underwater City, will become bestsellers.  In my efforts geared toward that goal, I've formulated my New Year's Resolutions.
╰☆╮ I plan to finish writing Enemies of the Cross (The Warrior Series #3).  In it, Allison La Crosse's world is in a tailspin. After learning she has the power to cure the dying with her touch (a lethal curse when wielded), she is viciously attacked. More unsettling than the violence is the identity of her assailant. Devin turns out to be the first person she ever saved and her mother's killer. When her soul met Devin's an unbreakable bond was formed. Now, Allison must save Devin - again - from his twin brother's control or kill them both. If she fails, she'll lose those closest to her...including the love of her life, Brody, and her best friend forever, Clark. 

╰☆╮ I will begin and finish writing Worth Living For (Underwater City #1).  This is the first of the two books described in Guardians of the Cross written by James Joya.  This book will detail how James and Julia fell in love.  Be prepared for an underwater world unlike any other for this series.

╰☆╮ I will begin writing Worth Dying For (Underwater City #2). This is the second of the two books described in Guardians of the Cross written by James Joya.  It will be the continuation of Worth Living For and will reveal the lengths James will go to save Julia.

╰☆╮ I will not worry about doing the right thing by my characters. Let me clarify. I'm not going to feel guilty about the minimal number of curse words embedded within the series (when the situation absolutely calls for it), AND I will not break out into hives when I think about others reading the passion-filled moments between Allison and Brody. The story is ultimately a romance; they are bound by forces greater than them; and the scenes are required in order to make the story and their craving for each other believable.


1.Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Darby Karchut, author of GRIFFIN RISING
7.Lexus Luke8.Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
9.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 10.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
11.Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series12.Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
13.Dani Snell's Refracted Light Reviews 14.Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
15.M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 16.Abbi Glines, author of Breathe and The Vincent Boys
17.Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind18.Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
19.Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler20.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
21.TG Ayer22.Melissa Pearl, author of Golden Blood
23.Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga


Friday, December 23, 2011

Guardians of the Cross - Now Available

TODAY'S THE DAY!  Like every author ever, I hope and pray my nonstop plotting, planning, writing, editing, and formatting will lead my book,  Guardians of the Cross, straight to every bestseller list known to man.  A book loved by all.  The fact that the day of release has finally come is somewhat surreal.  I'm sure there will be tweaks made over the next few weeks, but for the most part, it's done.  It's ready for public consumption and the inevitable opinions, reviews, and ratings. 
For me, everything loved about Warriors of the Cross becomes deeper embedded and more fully developed within every action-packed page, making Guardians of the Cross an exciting continuation. 

Moving to the next level, relationships evolve...suspense builds...and characters 1) reveal themselves for who they are, 2) love each other unconditionally, and 3) protect their leaders with their lives.

The only thing I can say about Allison and Brody (Allison and Clark) is it gets BETTER & HOTTER so be prepared!

One thing is for sure...Guardians of the Cross is not for the faint of heart. The end will leave you crying right before you beg for Enemies of the Cross to become immediately available. To that I say, 'It won't be ready until mid-to-late 2012'.

ENJOY!

Click below to buy Guardians of the Cross ebook:
Amazon
Click below to buy Guardians of the Cross paperback: 
Amazon

T. R. Graves



YA Indie Carnival - Secret Santa Winners


This week the YA Indie Carnival are announcing the winners of our Secret Santa & Naughty or Nice Giveaways.  Before I go any further, I want to say thanks to all who participated and congratulations to these lucky, lucky winners!

The Grandprize Winner is: Vanessa Eric
*Books included in the Grand Prize Package are listed below. 

In addition to the GRAND PRIZE, I had my own THE NAUGHTY OR NICE PRIZE PACKAGE for the person leaving a naughty or nice post on this website.  The WINNER of three great books (Into the Ruins, Vampires Rule, & Soul Quest) is Kelly Fox.

Finally, the WINNER of the FAN/FOLLOW GIVEAWAY for an ebook of Guardians of the Cross (due to be officially released tomorrow) & Warriors of the Cross is Demetra Giote.

GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE:

 
 

 
1.Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Darby Karchut, author of GRIFFIN RISING
7.Lexus Luke8.Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
9.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 10.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
11.Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series12.Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
13.Dani Snell's Refracted Light Reviews 14.Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
15.M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 16.Abbi Glines, author of Breathe and The Vincent Boys
17.Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind18.Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
19.Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler20.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
21.TG Ayer22.Melissa Pearl, author of Golden Blood
 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Secret Santa Giveaway

Remember when you were in school and someone decorated your locker with wrapping paper and candy canes and big red bows? Today there’s a note taped to the outside of your locker. It reads:
 

Enter the Secret Santa Giveaway from Dec. 16 to Dec. 22, 3PM Pacific and on Friday, Dec. 23, Noon Pacific you could find TONS of books inside!
<3 SECRET SANTA


GRAND PRIZE: A Kindle or Nook copy of the books featured on the Grand Prize List!

To enter the Secret Santa GRAND PRIZE Giveaway just FOLLOW http://yaauthorclub.blogspot.com & comment on a carni’s site telling us why you’ve been naughty or nice this year. Each carni will have individual giveaways too so be sure to visit all the carnis to win as many books as possible!

ALL WINNERS ANNOUNCED 12/23/2011, Noon Pacific.

Below you will find the three wonderful books by phenomenal authors/people that I will be giving away to anyone POSTING a tale on this site about bring NAUGHTY or NICE this year (don't forget to leave an email address).

In addition to the GRAND PRIZE  & THE NAUGHTY OR NICE PRIZES, one person will be entered to win a copy Guardians of the Cross (due to be released December 24th) and Warriors of the Cross if he/she becomes a T. R. Graves FAN on Goodreads (CLICK HERE& he/she LIKE's the T. R. Graves Facebook Fan Page (CLICK HERE).

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Author: Rachel Coles
Author's Bio:
Rachel Coles lives and works in Denver, Colorado with her husband Adam, and young daughter Rosa. An anthropologist by training, Rachel pursued her love of diverse cultures and passion for mythology into writing. She is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, and grew up with a rich background in Semitic and Middle Eastern folklore. Together with her husband and daughter, she enjoys martial arts, science fiction, fantasy, and horror, in all their forms. They are, in fact, the proud parents of one of the youngest Trekkies in the state.
Rachel Coles' other stories include the story Orphans of Lethe in the new anthology What Fears Become from Imajin Books, and Into The Ruins anthology available on Kindle.


Stay tuned for her debut novel, Pazuzu's Girl in the spring!


Visit Rachel Coles at www.rachelcoles.wordpress.com, Rachel Bernstein Coles on Facebook, rcoles66 on Twitter, or zhadum6@yahoo.com
Into The Ruins Description
Why do zombies come back, if it's not a virus or a curse? Is there an organism that could really take over the world with a single bite? What were the plagues of Egypt really like? Could artificial intelligence crop up in places we don't think about? Many humans love the taste of good beer, and love its other effects. What about other animals, and how might it affect their behavior? Into The Ruins is an anthology about world-changing events, small or large, subtle or wide-ranging.



Excerpt from Into The Ruins: An Anthology of New Beginnings:
The first thing I remember after the pain in my chest from the heart attack everyone had been warning me I’d have, was the dark stink of my own coffin. As I screamed and shoved at the lid, weighted down by pounds and pounds of dirt, I wished I’d worked out more, thanked God I hadn’t eaten beans, and prayed I wouldn’t have another heart attack. Someone heard me and came to my rescue. It was a landscaper. After he frantically dug me out, I spent the next twenty minutes chasing him, trying to explain that I wouldn’t eat him and that I wasn't from Hell.

"Dios Mio!" He launched into a litany of prayers in Spanish, all while running for the cemetery entrance.
"Wait! Buddy, the only thing I want to attack is a Big Mac! Besides I don’t believe in Hell!" I yelled, trying to keep up and failing.
"See, 'dis what happen to you!" He shot back over his shoulder as he ran.

"Ok, if I agree to say some Hail Mary's will you stop running and just listen?"


He paused and turned around, keeping a safe distance. "I don’t think it help you now, amigo. But maybe God’ll take a late payment and deport you back to the grave."


I just stood there, hands on my knees. "I…" I raised a finger to ask him to wait and panted some more. I gotta stop smoking, I thought. Never again! I'm off the cigarettes! I gasped, "Ok, you think God buried me alive because I don't believe in Hell? The pack-a-day and fried Snickers bars probably did more than God. By the way, thanks for getting me out!"
He just stared at me for a second. "Uh, amigo. You not alive."


"I'm talking to you, aren't I?"
"Sí, but you're dead." He pointed to my hands.


I looked down. My fingers and palms were torn in deep furrows. I felt nothing, and there was no blood. I opened my shirt to bloodless sutures tracking my chest. I realized that while I was feeling panic, I wasn't experiencing any of the bodily signs of panic, racing heart, dizziness, constricted throat. In fact, the fatigue I'd thought I felt melted away. But not the horror, and it just sat there in my mind with nowhere to go. I sat down hard. "Can you help me?"
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Author: K. C. Blake
An Urban Fantasy, YA author. I write about ghosts, vampires, witches, monsters, and more.
Title: Vampires Rule

Blurb: Lonely for human companionship, Jack returns home every year. He checks on his brother, walks through his childhood home, but he can’t let anyone see him because Jack is a vampire.  Now, ten years after being turned Jack’s wish comes true. He’s mortal again. Now he can live a normal life. Or so he thinks. Destiny has other plans for him. The head
werewolf is teaching English at the high school, the girl Jack is crushing on is a hunter, and his brother can’t make up his mind if he should welcome Jack home or stake him through the heart to be on the safe side.

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
✦  Amazon 
✦  Smashwords 
✦  Author website 
(click above to access)
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Author: Amy Maurer Jones
Title: Soul Quest (The Soul Quest Trilogy Book One)

Blurb:
Do you remember how horrified you were about the idea of attending high school? I remember ticking off those last miserable days of my summer vacation following my eighth grade year. Maybe you don’t, maybe you were one of those people. You know who I’m talking about, people like Melissa Small, the distinguished District Attorney, Larry Small’s daughter, popular, gorgeous and absolutely terrifying to someone like me, Liv Glyn. No, I am far from measuring up to the standards required to make Melissa’s crowd. I’m not even close. I’m just a simple man’s daughter, mostly tolerated by my peers with average looks. If this isn’t depressing enough for you, stay tuned, it gets worse.

I was commanded with Spirit at birth by the Great Spirit, Hala. I know, it sounds crazy but it’s true. If you think it's difficult being a teenager, try being a teenager who was born destined to save the world from soul sucking Daevas and their mutant progeny Aengels.

There are four of us. My companions of Spirit are Laith, Brayan and Meena. Melissa Small is Laith’s step sister and she is always meddling where she doesn’t belong, further complicating our lives. To make matters even worse, my best friend Jedd is apparently aware of things that are typically undetectable to ordinary humans. So, I have to lie to Jedd, the boy who has been my constant standby since the third grade, to shield him from the horrible and very dangerous truth. Did I mention that I think I’m falling in love with him? The term awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it, trust me.

Welcome to the mess that is my life.

✦  Amazon
✦  BN.com 
✦  Other   
✦  Author website 
(click above to link) 
Reviews for Soul Quest:
✦Soul Quest is rich with re-imagined folklore and has a great teen narrative voice... This is one complex world cool enough to lose yourself in.
- Aubrie Dionne, author of Nebula's Music
✦I love the way Ms. Jones captures not only the full high school experience, but masters the young adult voice so perfectly... I highly recommend this author and I cannot wait to read the next in the series!
- Addison Moore, author of the Celestra series
✦This was a fun read and when Amy pulled me into the plot and action, the story moved fast for me...
I really liked the concept of Daevas and Aengels as the villains!
- Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful series
✦The descriptions in Soul Quest are quite beautiful. I especially like the description of Arcadia (and that she chose to call it that). Her interpretations of demonic infection, guardian angels, and soul mirrors are clever and serve the story well.
- Amy Strickland, author of the Olympia Heights series

1. Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self 4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. Darby Karchut, author of GRIFFIN RISING
7. Lexus Luke 8. Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
9. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 10. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
11. Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series 12. Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
13. Dani Snell's Refracted Light Reviews 14. Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
15. M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 16. Abbi Glines, author of Breathe and The Vincent Boys
17. Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind 18. Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
19. Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler 20. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
21. TG Ayer 22. Melissa Pearl, author of Golden Blood

Friday, December 9, 2011

YA Indie Carnival - Designs & Designers


Coming December 16! You let us know why you've been naughty or nice and enter to win books at each carni's booth all week, from 12/16 to 12/23. On Dec. 23, find out what books you've won.  Good luck! 
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Click HERE to discover exciting announcements related to our YA Indie Carnival Authors' books, etc.
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This week's YA Indie Carnival topic is Designs & designers. Early on in my indie author career, the cover was one of the most intimidating aspects of publishing the book myself.  I had no idea how I was going to create the make-or-break, first impression, front for any of my books.  As soon as I began researching my options, I hit pay dirt. 
                                                                                                     
For the rest of my life, I will be grateful for the stars which aligned and led me to Claudia Bartoli-McKinney with Phatpuppy Creations.  She is an awesome partner and a talented artist.  The best-of-the-best.  I'm not sure Claudia knows how many of her book covers have made it to the bestseller lists, but she has 29 listed on her site.  While I suspect there are more, Claudia has 54 jackets showcased.
Above, I've included two admirable works of her art.  They exemplify her ability to create an entire story through stunning designs.  Sometimes, I want to write stories befitting her art just so I can use them.  Months ago, she created a collage.  To the right, I'm including it as a sample of some of her early book covers. ENJOY!
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1.Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Darby Karchut, author of GRIFFIN RISING
7.Lexus Luke8.PJ Hoover, Author of SOLSTICE, Blogging at ROOTS IN MYTH
9.Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy10.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
11.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed12.Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series
13.Courtney Cole, author of The Bloodstone Saga 14.Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
15.Dani Snell's Refracted Light Reviews 16.Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
17.M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 18.Abbi Glines, author of Breathe and The Vincent Boys
19.Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind20.Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
21.Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler22.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
23.TG Ayer24.Melissa Pearl, author of Golden Blood

Friday, December 2, 2011

Breaking Dawn & Real Life Emergencies

My daughter and I took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to see Breaking Dawn. While there, something happened to make me pause and acknowledge The Warrior Series hits closer to home than I previously realized.

We were sitting in the middle of the pitch-black and completely packed theatre and watching Renesmee’s birth, an especially bloody scene.  Suddenly, a voice overpowered the action holding our attention.  The words uttered were those you never want to hear…ones that instantaneously pump adrenaline through your veins.  “SOMEBODY CALL 911!”  Without delay, I popped up, looked back, and saw several people standing.  Before I could move, my daughter said, “Go help, Mom!”
It’s been years since I’ve performed hands-on patient care, but jumping into action was second nature for me because of the time I spent in ICUs.  I rushed to the top of the theatre, squeezing past people still sitting in their chairs like the movie was more important.  “I’m a nurse, please excuse me,” I said passing each movie-goer.  Realizing the critical nature of what was happening, they finally began rising and clearing the area. 
At the end of the row and against the wall, I found a twenty-four-year-old man who was no larger than a very young teenage boy.  He was pale, clammy, and sinking down into his seat and toward the floor.  I grabbed his wrist and – frightening me more than anything – found his pulse so weak and thready it was almost nonexistent. 

Worried about what I had just blindly encountered and mentally preparing for the worst, I heard a woman behind me say, “I’m a pediatrician.  Let’s get his legs elevated.”  I immediately followed her instructions.  We lifted the arms on several of the movie seats and spread him out.  I knelt on a chair and held his legs as high as possible. 
All around, I heard people making the 911 calls, asking questions of the man’s mother, and conveying the information back to the operators.  She told the messengers her son had been known to pass out when the doctor’s office drew his blood.  Everyone instantly assumed the bloody scene had elicited this man’s reaction, one eerily similar to Bella’s in Twilight when she was exposed to bloody finger pricks. 

While waiting for the ambulance, I rubbed the young man’s legs, wordlessly assuring him he would be fine.   After a few minutes, the pediatrician confirmed the boy’s pulse was getting stronger, and he began looking better. Before EMS arrived, my newest friend (one whose name I’ll never know, but a man I’ll never forget), said, “I think I’ve ruined vampire movies for myself.”  Everyone’s anxiety was quickly relieved with his ability to make a joke and poke fun at himself at a time when an entire theatre of people was standing over him and staring him down.
Afterwards, my daughter – joking – looked at me and said, “I’m never going anywhere with you again.  This happens every time.”  I stared at her trying to understand what she meant.  Then, it occurred to me she was not literally right, but she was correct that I had been involved in similiar situations on numerous occasions…and she was present for a few of them.

Last Christmas, she and I were shopping when a woman collapsed to the ground right in front of us.  As soon as she fell, a door slammed onto her ankle.  Checking on her and trying to decide what needed to be done, I found that she was a diabetic who had not eaten after injecting her insulin.  After she was stable, I offered to drive her to the emergency room.  She refused, but we did not leave her side until we knew she had someone to make sure she was safe.
A few months before that, I was driving home from work.  I was on the feeder road – in the middle of Houston – talking to my husband on the phone and letting him know I was on my way. From the corner of my eye I saw something in an abandoned parking lot that was surreal.  A grown man had a small boy on the ground beating him with a belt.  Protecting himself from the very violent lashes, the boy curled in a ball.  When he did, the man began kicking him. 

My instincts took control.  I stopped in the middle of the road, laid down on the horn, rolled the window down, and began screaming for the man to stop beating the boy.  Fortunately, he stopped.  I waited where I was (unable to make it to the parking lot from my location), hung up with my husband, and called 911.  The man made some threats geared toward hurting me, picked the boy up, threw him in the car, and dared me to follow him.  I provided the license plate number to the police, but they called back later and told me they had not located the car, man, or boy.
While I have been involved in many other unexpected emergencies involving coaches, friends, and co-workers, the most memorable incident happened while my family and I were out having dinner.  A hysterical woman rushed into our dining room, “DOES ANYONE KNOW CPR?”  As soon as the words were out of her mouth, I jumped up, handed my son over, and followed her to the next room.  There, I found her husband in cardiac arrest.  One of the restaurant’s workers joined me in performing CPR while the wife knelt by us and begged us not to give up…for us save him.  After several minutes, we were successful in getting his heart beating again.  EMS took over when they arrived, and I was escorted back to my dining room. 

I may never know the exact outcome of most of these situations, but I’ll forever be grateful God embedded a passion in my heart to step up and help those who can’t help themselves.  While I’m in no way glad that these emergencies happened, I realize now that every action, reaction, and emotion encountered during these crisis have become critical parts of my books.  I’ve come to learn, writing about them allows me to process the incident and sort through the powerful emotions which are stirred up afterwards.  Despite my formal training and experience. 
Feel free to share with me some of your own heroic experiences.  Also, let me know if you would mind if I change your version up a bit in order to use it in a future Warrior Series book (if ever a scene arrives where it would fit perfectly).