Friday, September 28, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Audiobooks

This week's YA Indie Carnival is all about audiobooks. Audiobooks are professionally narrated and produced recordings of today's most popular traditionally published books. Of course, any book can be made into an audiobook, but the costs associated with creating the recordings were historically prohibitive for most indie authors. At least, that was the case until Amazon began promoting acx Audiobook Creation Exchange.
acx Audiobook Creation Exchange pairs producers, narrators, and authors together in order to work toward a common goal, the creation of an amazing audiobook. Making this avenue enticing is the fact that authors have the option of splitting their royalties or paying the narrator and producer's negotiated fees, ones determined by the hours spent creating the audiobook. I haven't yet approached the creation of an audiobook, but I have every intention of doing just that before the end of the year. I do know one indie author, Laura A. H. Elliott, who has taken time make an audiobook for 13 on Halloween (The Shadow Series #1), and she recommends the process highly.

There are lots of reasons I'd like to have my books made audible. First, many people are visually impaired and need the audiobook in order to continue enjoying a pastime that gives them the chance to slip into amazing worlds of fiction.  Second, there are people who listen to audiobooks as a matter of convenience. I'm one of those people.  For me, they are the only way a daily two to three hour commute in Houston traffic can even remotely be bearable. I'm usually so lost in the story that I'm irritated when I get to work or home because I have to stop the story playing out in my head. As an added bonus, audiobooks give me the opportunity to 'read' books I would never have had time to read with my already grueling 100-115 hour work/commute weeks.

Join the rest of the YA Indie Carnival sponsors and find out their opinion of audiobooks and acx Audiobook Creation Exchange.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott 2.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.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
7.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed8.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
9.Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga10.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
11.Ella James12.Maureen Murrish
13.Valerie Sloan14.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings
15.A Little Bit of R&R16.Melissa Pearl

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Friday, September 21, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Indie Words of Wisdom

The YA Indie Carnival sponsors are sharing words of indie wisdom this week. Anyone wanting to take the bold step into the self publishing world will be interested in our advice, suggestions, and recommendations.

An indie author could easily be labeled as a jack of all trades because self-publishing turns them into the writer, editor, cover designer, format specialist, publisher, and marketer (depending on the book's phase). These roles have taken me down new and undiscovered roads every single time I've published a book. Some great. Others disappointing. No matter the outcome, the uncharted territory has made me stronger while teaching me valuable lessons that will be with me as long as I continue my self-publishing career.

The most important lesson I could share with future indie authors is to 'know when to ask for help'. If you can't do something yourself, you can't settle for good enough. Network with other indie authors and find someone who can do whatever needs to be done in a professional and timely manner. The more polished and finished your book, the more you will sell. It is important to remember that the expectations of an indie author and his/her self-published book are exactly the same as they are for books published through traditionally published companies. Only, we do (or contract) all the work ourselves.

For me, there are two people that I trust and depend on. The first person that I met and have come to adore is Claudia Lucia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art. She is my book cover designer. I'm not a artist; therefore, it's impossible for me to do any of the wonderful things she does or for me by making my books intriguing through a reader's first glance. As such, I happily turn that role over to her and know she will give me a design better than anything I could have ever imagined. On top of being talented, she's just a great friend.

The second person is a woman who makes the difficult job of editing much easier. Cassie McCown, a freelance editor and blogger (her site gathering leaves) did a phenomenal job editing Guardians of the Cross and Enemies of the Cross. My virtual meeting of Cassie was accidental and at the same time meant to be. I've learned more from her than she will ever know, and I appreciate every ounce of feedback she's provided to me. Having someone like her in my corner makes everything about self-publishing easier.

Don't forget to stop by my fellow author's sites and read their words of wisdom.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott 2.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.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
7.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed8.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
9.Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga10.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
11.Ella James12.Maureen Murrish
13.Valerie Sloan14.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings
15.A Little Bit of R&R16.Melissa Pearl

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shadow Slayer (Shadow #2) by Laura A.H. Elliott - Release

One of the best things about being an indie author is the way we come out in masses to support each other during releases. Today, I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to add my voice to the world of indie authors, bloggers, readers, and fans everywhere who are celebrating the release of  Shadow Slayer (Shadow #2) by

Shadow Slayer (Shadow #2) by

Shadows will do anything to become human.
You see their influence everyday.
You say things you don’t mean or do things that aren’t like you.
You look, different.
Friends you’ve known forever suddenly never call.
As a freshman, Roxie just wants to fit in which is impossible because she barely runs into her friends at her huge high school. Adrianne’s disappearance and Hayden’s attention rock Roxie’s world. But nothing rocks it like the most gorgeous guy at school, Drew. And nothing is more important to Roxie than astral projecting back to Planet Popular to solve the mystery of the map. But that changes when Drew invites Roxie to homecoming. Hayden warns her that something’s wrong. Why would a guy like Drew like Roxie anyway? Drew must want something. Hayden’s right. Drew is…different. Planet Popular was just the beginning. Part of a bigger world, the Shadow World. There’s a war brewing between the world of humans and the world of shadows. When the shadow invasion begins at Roxie’s high school, she’ll not only fight for her life but the lives of her family and friends, when she discovers she’s the Shadow Slayer, the one human who can save Earth from the shadow onslaught. But, Roxie can’t even kill a spider. Oh yeah, there’s an evil English teacher, an enchanted play, a sword of Sandonian steel, a homecoming of horrors, and seven magic words too.

Tempest Teaser:

I pull some blush and mascara out of my makeup bag. I’m late, as usual. No one else is in here with me and it’s too quiet, too quiet for opening night. I try extra hard to keep the makeup off my dress, wedging scratchy brown paper towels all along my shoulder strap to protect it.

I glance over at one of the open, empty lockers. My sword hides in locker number 316, a row away from me. I thought about slaying every one of the shadows that had invaded in dress rehearsal but there was no way for me to ride the bus and sneak my sword in to school without a million eyes on me. Without getting noticed by some teacher who’d confiscate it and expel me for bringing a weapon to school. I had so much stuff to take for the play that Mom offered to give me a ride at the crack of dawn this morning. I hid my sword under my dress. Mom was so scattered because of her big meeting she didn’t notice anything and since it was so early no one was in the halls to give me a second look when I hid my sword in my locker. Note to self: early morning is a good time to hide stuff at school.

I stroke one cheek and then the other with blush and remember standing with Drew at the bonfire. The last night we went out as boyfriend and girlfriend. The last night he was human.

On your 13th birthday, you get the call. By your 14th birthday you find out what the call is.  

Everyone I know is in the audience tonight. Ally, Mom, Dad, Brian, even Mitch because he came home for my birthday. We’re having our family dinner tomorrow night since tonight the cast party’s at Drew’s house, unless I decapitate him first.

“Roxie five minutes!” Hayden yells into the girl’s locker room. As usual I’m the last one out. I sweep my hair up to the side and try to remember my first line. For some reason it’s the one I always forget.

All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come

To answer thy best pleasure...

I open locker 316, grab my sword and just as I step outside of the locker room Wanda runs up to me and starts talking non-stop about her nerves and how they’re getting worse and worse.

“What’s that?” she asks. I stop cold in my tracks at the backstage door.

“There are lots of words for things that don’t exist––the unseen. Like monsters and aliens and dragons and vampires and ghosts,” I say sort of in a trance.

“Yeah, so?” Wanda says, wringing her hands.

“If they don’t exist, why are there words for them? All the stuff I thought was crazy really isn’t crazy at all,” I say, finally getting what Drew was trying to tell me at the bonfire at the estate at homecoming. What the human Drew said before I danced with his shadow. My role in the unseen, the shadow world. Still, I don’t know so many things. Like, what happens to a shadow once I slay it? And where do humans go when their shadows invade? How can I save my human friends?

“Roxie, I caught you! I was so late because Brian’s car got a flat. He fixed it so great, I couldn’t believe it. It’s like he went to bad ass school or something,” Ally says, laughing.

“Ally. Finally!” We hug. I swallow hard. Brian. Fixed. A. Flat. I mean it’s not brain surgery but believe me, if it doesn’t have an LCD screen Brian doesn’t think it exists. He doesn’t know how to fix a flat. O.M.G. Brian is probably a shadow too.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by

YA Indie Carnival - Where We Write

The YA Indie Carnival sponsors share fantasy worlds with our readers constantly.  Today, we are sharing a piece of our real lives. We are  giving you a little insight into the people we are by revealing the spots where we work when we are creating new characters, dreaming up new worlds, and breaking our reader's hearts.

I'm going to start off by reminding everyone about how much I loved my mother-in-law, Lita. After she died and it came time to sell her house, neither my husband nor I could bear the thought of turning over to a stranger the house she'd worked so hard to remodel and decorate.  As such, we bought it for ourselves.  We still have many of her books, pictures, and trinkets on our bookshelves because it reminds us of the wonderful woman who loved her family, adored a great story, and worshiped God enough to collect religious items from Jerusalem and bibles from her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. Nothing will ever bring her back, but somehow these simple belongings make us feel like she is still close to us.

In addition to the bookshelves filled with wonderful memories of Lita, my desk (the first one my husband and I bought after we were married twenty-five years ago) is surrounded by pictures of my children,  pottery made by my daughter, and awards received by my son. The computer shown was a gift from my supportive husband. As evidenced here, I almost never sit down to write without a Diet Dr. Pepper/Mountain Dew near (lots of caffeine is a must given my eighteen-hour days). While I don't always have a stethoscope and pulse oximeter near, my son has been struggling with his asthma this week. As a result, I've been forced to embraced my training and reprise my role as a nurse.

Now, join me in taking a few minutes to visit my fellow sponsor's sites:

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 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. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
7. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed 8. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
9. Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga 10. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
11. Ella James 12. Maureen Murrish
13. Valerie Sloan 14. YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings
15. A Little Bit of R&R 16. Melissa Pearl

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

(5 Stars)
Divergent (Divergent #1) is one of those stories that pulls you in and never lets you go. 's talent is unquestionable. She begins this story with a scrawny and weak girl and ends with a formidable and powerful woman. This is not easily accomplished and must be done masterfully in order for the transition to be believable. I can say without a shadow of doubt that Beatrice Prior's (Tris) growth - both physical and mental - is not just believable... it is enviable.
Making the story even better are the characters taking this journey with Tris. All (especially Four) are so real that I found myself loving and hating many of them. The ability to elicit strong emotions over a fictional character is the true sign of a great author, a phenomenal story, and amazing characters. All of which exists within (Divergent #1).

This is definitely one of those stories that anyone of any age can enjoy and appreciate. I highly recommend (Divergent #1) and look forward to reading Insurgent (Divergent #2) next.