Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of May Book Reviews-Existence, Predestined and Providence

Busy week! Besides the launch of my blog tour with accompanying contest (get details here) I also had my first Kindle Nation Daily sponsorship today. An excerpt of First Visions was mailed to opted in subscribers. Once the promotions are all said and done, I'll post my thoughts on the pros and cons of each. Here are the books I read this past week and my thoughts on each.

Providence by Jamie McGuire-Although I consider myself a new adult author, something McGuire is also known for being, I couldn’t get into her popular Beautiful Disaster novel. I found Travis way too unlikable and couldn’t get past his extreme assholeness. This made me a little skeptical over whether I’d enjoy Providence. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I get the readers who make the Twilight comparisons, but I think there was much more suspense in this book. The college-age characters were realistically drawn and McGuire didn’t get logged down in complicated mythology about the angels and demons. Jared was a little too tortured for my taste, but I think that’s because I always prefer the underdog love interest who doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting the girl (poor Ryan). I give the book four out of five stars.

Existence by Abbi Glines-This book equally had me on the edge of my seat and infuriated me. I must have really gotten into it though because I stayed up late to finish reading it and started the sequel right away. To start, my major dislikes were the NAMES and the lack of character development. Dank and Pagan? Really? Also, I was surprised over how quickly Dank fell in love with her and risked his existence when they seemed to have very few meaningful interactions at the start of the book. Plus, Pagan’s treatment of Leif seemed kind of crappy until the surprised ending kind of made it tolerable. Despite these couple of things, Dank and Pagan were definitely intriguing characters and there were a lot of twists and turns that made it a real page-turner. Four out of five stars.

Predestined by Abbi Glines-This is one of the rare incidences where I actually like the sequel better than the first book. I really enjoyed the alternating point of views and it was captivating to get inside Dank’s head. I think it made him more likable, especially since at times he comes off as a jealous jerk. The love scenes were great and it was another suspenseful novel. I would give it four and a half stars out of five. The only reason I’m taking away 1/2 a star is because the ending was kind of ho-hum. The conflict was resolved very quickly and the twist at the end was sort of predictable.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Writing Inspirations-Blog Tour Stop on Book Lovin' Mamas

Today, I stopped by the fabulous blog Book Lovin' Mamas to talk about writing inspiration, share an excerpt from First Visions and also hold a contest for a free e-copy of the book. Be sure to stop by to check out the entire post and enter the giveaway. Leave a comment to enter a chance for a $30 Amazon gift card. Contest details are here.

Getting in the Mood to Create: My Writing Inspirations

The topic of writing inspiration is really interesting for me to think about. I find inspiration in so many things, it almost seems impossible to narrow it down to a select few. The funny thing is the things that help me create my stories have a huge divide. I can just as easily find inspiration in a marathon of Supernatural on the CW as equally as a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Old Writings

Were you as angsty as I was during your teen years? Besides being dirt poor, I was socially awkward with a penchant for playing the trombone. To say the least, my dance card was far from full. Instead of a social life, I filled notebook after notebook of dreadfully melodramatic stories of characters with the lives I coveted. They were beautiful, rich and had amazing love lives. After my beloved grandmother passed away last year, I retrieved my writings from her home. Although most of the work was crap, I did find a few storylines worth developing. A book of my favorite poems as a teen was also in the collection and helped me tap back into that creativity of my youth.

Getting Away From It All

I LOVE my husband and sons with all of my heart. However, temper tantrums and diaper duty doesn’t lend well to creative inspiration. Going for a solo drive or having a chance to people watch can really give me a chance to work on current stories or find new characters or plot points to fit into future writings. Taking the boys for walks can really help with my inspiration as well. As they play, I can let my mind wander.

Books/TV Shows/Movies

I’m big on escapist shows, movies and books. Even the reality TV shows I watch are not really steeped in reality (The Bachelorette? You get to live in a mansion and travel the world while 20 gorgeous guys vie for your hand in marriage. I would guess not too many people have this kind of life). Watching these crazy scenarios play out on screen or on the page helps me get my mind in the place it needs to be to write about paranormal things. Although I definitely watch and read a lot of paranormal stuff, I try to vary genres and also enjoy romantic comedies, thrillers and real-life mysteries.

Music and art are definitely major inspirations as well and I love to spend the day writing after a trip to the museum or attending a concert. Although I could probably write a novel on the topic, these are the most significant. It’s exceedingly important to identify the things that inspire you since this can be such a huge help in overcoming writer’s block. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today's Interview on Warrior Princess Romance Writer

Hey everyone! Today on my blog tour I made a stop at the Warrior Princess Romance Writer blog to give an interview. Don't forget to leave a comment to enter my giveaway for an Amazon gift card and autographed book. Read this for further details. Here's an excerpt from today's post:

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

When I wrote my first draft of First Visions, I cranked it out in record time. The story just flowed so well and I ended up putting in some late nights just to get certain scenes out of my head. What became difficult was the editing and rewriting that had to be done. You grow attached to certain parts of your novel and it’s hard to hit the delete button and get rid of scenes, even if they’re not working. Sharing my novel was also hard for me. I’m somewhat of a private person and there’s nothing more personal to me than my writings. I have very opinionated family members and I knew if they thought it was complete crap, they’d have no problem telling me.

What other careers have you had?

For the past five years, I’ve done primarily freelance writing for various online and offline publications. Most of my articles have focused on health, fitness, travel and food. Although a few of the topics have been pretty dry to write about, I’ve learned a lot through all of my article research. Before freelance writing, I worked for a travel agency and a doctor’s office.

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

I’m a wife and mom of two boys under the age of five. My life is completely crazy, but I finally realized it’s so important to have a creative outlet. It’s not easy to make time to write my novels between taking care of my sons and doing my freelance writing projects, but I carve out time each day. I’ve been so much happier now and I’m thrilled to share these characters that mean so much to me with readers. Although I deal with paranormal aspects in my book, I’ve tried to keep Kate as accessible and real as possible.

To read the rest of the interview and leave a comment: click here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Top Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are StillReading In 30 Years

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at the Broke and the Bookish is the top books written in the past decade that you feel people should still be reading thirty years from now. I only came up with seven books I feel are modern-day classics. Here are my thoughts:

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Although I’m a book nerd, you’d probably be shocked to learn that I actually never read the series. I did watch all of the movies though =) The series has made such a strong impact that I wouldn’t be surprised that people are reading them a hundred years from now no less thirty.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

An insightful novel about a boy living in war-torn Afghanistan. This seems destined to be added to curriculums around the world.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This book is so much more than simply a teenage boy investigating the death of a neighborhood dog. It’s a rare and insightful character study on how someone with autism views the world.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

This equally tragic and hopeful novel is sure to be read decades from now as individuals try to gain insight into post-9/11 America.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

With beautiful and captivating prose, Gruen completely transports you to another time and place.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Never before has a book sent me into a darker place. This modern-day classic explores how even the end of the world can not destroy all of the good in humanity.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Okay, I don’t know if this will still be read thirty years from now, but it SHOULD. Grahame-Smith’s genius has already spawned a legion of copycats.

Excerpt From First Visions Featured on Beauty and Books

Hope everyone had a stupendous weekend and if you're one of the lucky ones you'll be off today (since I'm self-employed it seems as though I never have a day off). Today is the kickoff to my month long blog tour. On the Beauty and Books blog, an excerpt from First Visions has been highlighted. Check it out and leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card and an autographed copy of First Visions. For more details on the contest and a list of blog stops, read this post.

Jared picks up Kate when she becomes stranded after a disastrous date:

Kate shifted in her seat and wondered how much she should confess about her night with Sebastian. Her inebriated tongue may end up revealing too much to Jared and she could find herself admitting how she couldn’t stand to kiss Sebastian because she was falling for him.

Jared seemed to speculate her discomfort could be over some sort of impropriety on Sebastian’s part. She saw his muscles tense as he said, “Kate, please tell me I don’t have to turn this car around and murder this Sebastian kid.”

She shook her head. “No, it was fine. I guess we were kind of on a date. I just wasn’t comfortable with how much he had to drink and where he wanted to take things.” She gave him a dazzling smile before continuing with her explanation. “See, you saved me in more ways than one tonight. My mother is the queen of thank you notes. So, don’t be surprised to receive one from her that displays her appreciation for keeping her daughter’s body and chastity safeguarded.”

He gave her a long look and she began to guess at how terrible she appeared. She hadn’t checked out a mirror in a long time and Sebastian’s moves on her probably made her resemble someone who recently had a roll in the hay.

“I should get you home,” he said at last. He was pulled out of his reverie and began to drive out of the parking lot.

She sank back into the leather seat and relaxed into the moment. Riding in his personal car in the middle of the night seemed to heighten the intimacy she felt developing between them. She still felt a buzz from the alcohol and his closeness was doing strange things to her. Something was nagging at her and she questioned whether she should disclose anything to him. Her tongue felt loose and she allowed the words to spill out of her mouth. After letting out an exaggerated sigh, she whispered, “I had a vision about you.”

It was silent for a long moment. His voice didn’t reveal much as he inquired, “You did?”

To read more of this excerpt, visit the Beauty and Books blog: here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Virtual Book Tours to Promote Your Novel

Virtual book tours are a new-ish marketing tactic to help gain readership for your novels. On the simplest level, you're going blog to blog to promote your book. The main tactics used to market your book is the author provides guest posts, excerpts from your novel, interviews and giveaways. The blog host can share a review of your book. Each blog stop will typically do a combination of these things on the days they host your book.

Now, one option you have is to request guest posts, interviews, etc. from blogs directly. However, this could be time-consuming and you could have no idea where to start. If you know a lot of fellow bloggers though, this could definitely be a possibility. The simplest option may be to hire a book tour company. For a flat fee, you pay them to act as a middleman and set up your appearances on various blogs. They help work out your guest post topics and provide you with the blog's interview questions. They put together a press kit after you send them a copy of your book, selected excerpts, your bio, etc.

I'm scheduled for two tours using two different companies over the next couple of months. My first tour for First Visions begins May 28 and is through Reading Addiction Blog Tours. My tour will be a month long and stop at 20 different blogs. 10 of the blogs will have review stops and bloggers are asked to cross-post reviews on Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble. I figure this will also be a good way to get more reviews since my book has only been out for three weeks. The pricing packages for both companies started around $25 and went as high as $150. The month long blog tour package ranged from $75 to $100 and both have 20 stops on the tour.

I'll be cross-posting during the month, so check back for giveaway links and more. I'm also sponsoring a giveaway on LibraryThing for free ebook and paperback copies of First Visions. Members can enter here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quick Reviews and What I'm Reading Next

Ugh, so nothing like a stomach bug to knock you on your butt for a few days. The only positive thing about being bedridden was I able to catch up on my DVR shows and some reading. Here's what I thought about the books I finished:

Across the Universe by Beth Revis-I REALLY thought I was going to love this book. The premise sounded interesting and the opening scenes had me on the edge of my seat. The book lost some of its mojo for me by the middle and I found myself losing interest. I think it came from not being overly fond of Elder. The chapters from Amy's POV were much more enjoyable. I would have to give it three out of five stars and I'll probably check out the sequel down the road.

Awake: A Fairytale by Jessica Grey: Do you ever need an escapist novel? This was the perfect antidote to my sick blues. It's fun, silly and I'm definitely a fan of books that portray teenage girls realistically. I also enjoyed how much growth the main character experienced over the course of the novel. Great read overall and I'll be sure to check out the sequels.  Four and a half stars out of five.

Next on my reading list:

Existence by Abbi Glines: Read the Kindle sample and it's really sucked me in. It definitely has a creepy feel and I'm definitely curious to see where things will go.

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine-The last two books in the Morganville Vampires series have been AMAZING. I was shocked to see this is Book 12! It doesn't feel tired to me and I'm excited to check out the latest entry.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare-I've heard way too much about this YA series to not finally check it out. Plus, I've got to find out what this whole Team Jace and Team Simon thing is about.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Getting Your Book Reviewed

One of the challenges new authors face is getting their book reviewed. Reviews can bring new readers to your works and also help people make informed decisions about the books they buy. Here are some helpful tips I compiled to find reviewers of indie and self-published novels:

  • Check out similar books in your genre on Another author shared this tip with me and I think it's a great idea. Check out the profile page of top reviewers of similar books through and contact them via their email or website to see if they would be interested in reviewing your novel.
  • Find a list of indie book reviewers. A few I came across include ones compiled through The Indie View and Step by Step Self-Publishing.
  • Sign up for a virtual book blog tour. Tours will include a certain number of blog stops along with reviews at certain stops. The length of tour and number of stops will determine how much your package will cost.
  • Connect with other readers and bloggers. LibraryThing and Goodreads are great sites to help you find potential book reviewers. Certain groups on Goodreads allow you to send out a request for book reviews and LibraryThing has an Early Reviewers and Member Giveaway programs. If you're a blogger, become friends with other bloggers that are readers and writers and see if they would be interested in reviewing your novel.
In related news, I'm very excited to announce that two fabulous blogs reviewed First Visions this week: The Ink Puddle and Livin' Life Through Books. I am so honored that the blogs took the time to read my book and share their thoughts with readers. Here is a few of their thoughts along with links to the blogs:

The Ink Puddle: "This book was a refreshing change for me, after reading so many books with a multitude of mythical creatures and monsters. It was nice to read a story about a normal girl trying to deal with something paranormal like having a psychic ability. I also really enjoyed that, as the reader, you are able to see things from the main character’s point of view in this book. I like books that do this because it makes it easier for me to step into the character’s shoes, allowing me to relate to that particular character easily. This type of writing makes it really easy to get into the story and First Visions didn't disappoint in this aspect at all. If you’re looking for an engrossing, quick, and interesting read, you should definitely pick up First Visions." Read the rest of the review and check out the blog: here.

Livin' Life Through Books: "It was intriguing to read how Kate's powers worked. The fact that she couldn't control whose mind she slipped into, and what visions came to her, makes the reader understand why she hasn't had too many relationships or friendships as well. And because of her special powers, it also shows that she isn't always perfect, but she tries to do what's right. In general, an entertaining novel, with colorful characters, and I can't wait to read more about Kate and Jared." Read the rest of the review and check out the blog: here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Defining Indie Books

As a newbie to book publishing, a few terms can be pretty confusing. One of those terms I hear tossed around a lot is “indie” books. Now depending on who you speak to you may find a completely different definition of what constitutes an indie novel.

Indie books can be defined as novels that have been published outside of the major publishing houses. It may be small to mid-sized presses or publishers that work exclusively with ebooks. Smaller houses mean smaller budgets which mean it can be challenging building readership.

I also hear the term indie applied to independent authors who decided to self-publish their novels. With the rise of ebooks and print on demand services, more and more independent authors are dusting off their manuscripts and getting their books out there.

Whether the novel is published by the author or a small press, it looks as though more and more readers are giving indie books a shot. Reasons indie novels seem to be succeeding:

  • They are topping bestseller lists. Look at the most popular book out now. Fifty Shades of Grey went from fan fiction to publication though a small Australian indie press to a reported seven figure deal through Vintage Books.

  • Indie books do not have to be edited to appeal to a mainstream audience. Do you get sick of reading about the same typical heroines and heroes? Indie books can explore more taboo areas and feature characters from all walks of life.

  • The price tag! Call me a broke ass if you may, but it sort of kills me to hand over more than ten bucks for a digital copy of a book. For instance, I’ve been dying to read the Mortal Instruments series and was all set to download City of Bones onto my Kindle. Current price for the ebook on Amazon: $10.99! For a book published three years ago? It’s kind of hard to swallow the price when I can probably download five indie books for the same price.

  • Blog love. More and more blogs are accepting review requests for indie novels. There are also high traffic blogs that specifically only review indie books.
How would you define an indie book? Do you buy indie novels? Or do you prefer to stick with the majors when deciding on your reading list?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fabulous New Digital Magazine

I've done a few assignments for digital magazines before and I have to stay that I'm very impressed with the final look of the new Food Loves Beer magazine. I'm happy to have worked with them and food is a passion of mine (along with writing about psychics, 90s music and CW shows). The magazine has really amazing photographs and interesting articles. A few of my favorite articles (besides mine on The Art of Picnicking) include A Beer Dinner Challenge, the Rise of Olive Oil and Sow Smart. Read their summer entertaining magazine online at the Food Loves Beer website.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Top Ten Fictional Crushes

This is a freebie week on the Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday meme. Since I’ve only been doing the posts for a few weeks, I decided to go back and choose one of the older topics. My selection is Fictional Crushes. Although I’m happily married, I can’t help, but swoon a little over these characters from my favorite books:

Ian O'Shea from the Host by Stephenie Meyer-I have such a huge literary crush on Ian. Black hair, sapphire eyes and such a sensitive side (his profession that he would love Wanderer no matter what body she was in had me in tears).

Eric Northman from the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris-Ok, I'll admit this crush may be tied to Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood, but I do tend to be drawn to characters who aren’t the cookie cutter boy next door types. A bad boy vampire who would kill for you and who’s over six feet and blond, definitely swoonworthy.

Henry from the Goddess Test by Aimee Carter-Not only is he a gorgeous and powerful god, but he’s guarded and mysterious. I think his aloofness seems to be a big draw for me. Who wouldn't want to be the girl who he fell in love with after knowing how heartbroken he was for hundreds and hundreds of years after Persephone left him for Adonis?

Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne from the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins-I can honestly empathize with Katniss. How do you choose from these two heartbreakers? Gale is strong and knows her better than anyone. Peeta is the boy who’s loved her from afar (sigh).

Gage Oliver from the Celestra Series by Addison Moore-This wonderful series focuses a lot on Skyla’s choice between cousins (sort-of) Logan and Gage. Gage is tall, dark and sexy and tough with a sensitive side (he writes Skyla poetry). Logan’s never done it for me and I would have to pick Marshall as her second choice if she doesn’t end up with Gage.

Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich-Not only are these books awesome because they are set in my neighboring city of Trenton, but they feature one of my favorite cop characters of all time: Joe Morelli. He’s funny, loyal and sexy­-could he be any more perfect?

Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith-I guess I have a thing for damaged and dangerous vampires. It also doesn’t hurt that Ian Somerhalder plays the TV version of the character.

Leon Grey from Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien-Leon was so perfect in this awesome series from O’Brien. He comes off as arrogant at times, but his many sacrifices for Gaia as well as his strength make him one of my top crushes.

Chaz Pendergast from the Queen of Babble Series by Meg Cabot-I had a tough time selecting my last pick (couldn’t decide if I wanted to include those Twilight boys or not), but my brain kept returning to Chaz. Cabot makes Chaz seem so “real,” it makes you understand Lizzie’s attraction to him. He’s funny, down-to-earth and romantic without the sappiness.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Making Extra Money to Write Your Book

Writing a book is freakin expensive. Ok, the actual writing part isn’t going to cost you anything, but everything else involved with publishing your book will add up. First of all, the time to work on your book (time is money, baby). Then once the novel is finished, you’re going to have to put some money out of pocket. Little things will add up such as the massive amount of ink and paper you end up using to print out your query letters and partials to send to literary agents and publishers. Also, you’ll hear mixed things about this, but many writers hire an editor to go over their manuscripts before submitting them. And if you self-publish, hiring an editor is a must (you can receive bids on Elance after creating an editing job). Once your novel is released, you want people to find out about your book which means you’re going to likely want to designate a marketing budget. So, what are some ways aspiring writers can earn some extra cash to write, edit and market their book?

Freelance Writing

If you’re talented with a pen, put your writing skills to good use and pick up some freelance writing jobs. You can take on as many projects as you can handle and build long-time relationships with clients. Freelance job sites that you can bid on jobs include Elance and oDesk. A few sites I use to find freelance jobs include Freelance Writing Jobs and Online Writing Jobs. Both sites scour the internet and link to freelance jobs listed on Craigslist, Mediabistro and BloggingPro.


Ok, I’m a huge fan of eBay for earning extra cash. Every few months, I’ll go room to room in my house and put together a pile of things to sell. You can earn hundreds with only a couple of hours a work. I’ve sold everything from used clothing, video games, electronics, purses and wallets. It’s a great way to declutter and put some extra money in your bank account. If you got some pain in the butt stuff that’s too heavy to ship, post it in the sales section of Craigslist. Deal with local buyers to avoid the scams that run rampant on the site.

Sell Your Books

You can post your used novels, textbooks, CDs and DVDs on You’re only charged a fee if any of your items are purchased. I made a ton of extra money after I got rid of most of my old books (except the faves close to my heart of course) when I purchased a Kindle. You can sell your books on eBay, but they have a tendency to sell better on Amazon and you're able to list the books for a longer time frame.

Depending on your lifestyle, there’s probably a lot of other ways you can get the extra money needed to write your book. I know people who have picked up waitressing shifts and babysat to get the extra cash they need to invest in their book. It may stink for the time-being, but the end result will be worth it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What I'm Reading Right Now

Quite a hectic week at the Wood household. I've just got hired for a slew of freelance writing projects and I've been working like crazy on marketing the book. As a new author I'm sure that I'm spending way too much time on marketing, but I'm trying to read as many resources as possible to figure out what approaches work best. Anyway, it's amazing that I had enough energy, but I've been able to fit in some late night reading. My recent reads include:

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin-Do you ever start reading a book and think you're going to hate it and end up loving it? This was the case with Griffin's novel. I just couldn't initially connect with Araby and only really picked up the book because Poe's short story is one of my all-time favorites. I am so glad I stuck it out. It was really a page turner that kept me up late to finish it. I love the dark and deadly world Griffin created and none of the characters were clearly good or bad. Ending was a great cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what happens!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis-This is one of those book that are pretty polarizing: people either love it or hate it. I'm only about three chapters in, but seems pretty cool. The beginning scene was pretty intense and definitely creeped me out. I'm hoping it doesn't disappoint since I see there's a sequel available.

Awake: A Fairytale by Jessica Grey-I downloaded this as a loan because apparently I received a free one month Amazon Prime membership when I bought my Kindle Fire. The unfortunate thing was that I realized this after only a week was left of the trial. Anywho, I picked this one out since the sample seemed kind of interesting and it's been promoted as a modern twist on Sleeping Beauty. Although the beginning is a little slow-going, I'm definitely curious to see where it goes . The MC (Alex) is very relateable and I like that she's not a cookie cutter protagonist.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Excerpt from First Visions: Second Sight Book One

So, I'm set up to do a blog tour towards the end of the month, but I thought I would share an excerpt from my novel now. I'll be making stops at a ton of fabulous blogs and participating in guest posts, giveaways, reviews and all sorts of other fun things. In the meantime, the following is the Prologue of  

First Visions: Second Sight Book One:

Kate Edwards Journal

May 8

I always prided myself growing up as being one of a kind. Being fearless and never giving a damn what anyone had to say about it. In high school, I was one of those girls who refused to fit into a mold. I wasn’t with the glue sniffers out back under the bleachers, but I wasn’t sitting with the head cheerleaders either. I felt in charge of my destiny and I was going to pursue my dream of being an artist despite the odds stacked against me. If anyone had told me otherwise, I had no problem telling that person where to shove it.

Little did I know, it sometimes really blows being one of a kind. For starters, I contracted bacterial meningitis in college. What are the chances? Only about 1,500 people in the entire country get it each year. I think there were more kids than that in my graduating class of high school. Once a person has meningitis, she has an eleven percent chance of dying and a twenty percent chance of losing a limb or suffering from brain damage. Nineteen years old and there was a good chance I was either going to be dead or armless.

Lucky for me, I woke up from the coma I fell into. No brain damage, both arms in tact and alive and kicking. Kate was back in business and ready to kick ass and take names. However, fate decided to kick my ass instead. I came back from the dead not the same old Kate. No, I was now Kate with a second sight.

Some people may not understand why I don’t simply bask in the glory of having psychic abilities. Set up a psychic hotline, write a book or maybe open a palm reading shop. My mother and I could move to a mansion and I could rename myself some cool mystical name like Clairvoyant Caterina.

Well, the first reason is— that idea isn’t possible. I have no control over what I see. I’ll go to sleep at night and dream myself unwilling into someone else’s head. It’s unimaginable how truly awful that could be. Do I really care about that special day my mailman spent with his first dog Skippy at the park during the summer he turned eleven? Or do I need to know about the yearlong affair my dentist has been having with his secretary? Worse yet, I haven’t been able to predict anything. I may be able to tell someone what he ate for dinner on a first date ten years ago, but not if he is going to die choking the next night.

Sometimes I think maybe there is some way to control what I see. Or maybe I should be doing something worthwhile instead of destining myself to a life as a shut-in. I just can’t understand why this happened to me. Whose brilliant idea was it to nominate Kate to see inside other people’s heads? And now that I’ve been given this gift, what the hell am I supposed to do with it?    

Top Ten Book Quotes

This week's the Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday topic is your favorite book quotes. Here's mine (by the way I left out who is saying the quote to remain spoiler-free):

"You love me, real or not real?" I tell him, "Real." Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

"It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us." Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

"That's the flip side of freedom; When you're completely free, you're also completely on your own.” Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver

"It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to." Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

"When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end." Twilight, Stephenie Meyer

“I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes everyday, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.” Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” The Road, Cormac McCarthy

“Maybe the truth is, there's a little bit of loser in all of us. Being happy isn't having everything in your life be perfect. Maybe it's about stringing together all the little things.”Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You'll Go!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Social Networking Exhaustion


My dual role as both a fiction author and a freelance writer makes social networking somewhat of a tricky thing for me. Not only do I want to use it to market First Visions, but I’m also expected to promote articles on sites that I’m hired for. However, I like to actually use social networking as a break from work as well and catch up with friends and family.

Where do most writers draw the line? Although I talk about my book and writing on my FB page, I haven’t set up a separate author or book page. Right now, I’m going to relegate Facebook to my interactions with friends and family, especially since it’s my favorite place to post pics of my little guys.

I’m a big fan of Twitter for work, especially since I organized Tweeters into different lists. It makes it so much easier to find out book news, publishing tips, etc. The book links every five seconds can be maddening, but I try to check out a few when I can and retweet important author news. When I’m in the mood for mindless celebrity gossip, it’s easy to switch over to my other list.

Goodreads is a recent addition to my social networking list and I REALLY wish I had more time to spend on this site. If my life wasn’t so hectic, I could probably browse for hours on end and never grow bored. As soon as things settle down, I would really like to write more reviews, enter the giveaways and participate in the book groups.

Pinterest is pretty great for craft/home/kid ideas and for sharing my blog posts. I have been asked by clients to pin articles I’ve written for them, but I now only do it if I find it relevant to my boards.

Stumbleupon, Digg, LinkedIn and Google Plus are other social networks I’ve had clients request that I use. I think I would need a clone in order to actually find the time to manage these additional accounts. I have this feel it’s better for both time management and marketing to stick to only a few.

You also hear mixed things on the effect of social networking. Some people get turned off by the SN overload and don’t see a significant number of hits while others are crafty enough to turn their interactions into sales. You’ll find plenty of online advice on this along with pitches to hire “social networking” experts. I would be curious to hear of any experiences with hiring firms that specialize in this type of marketing and if they noticed a significant increase in hits/followers/sales.

Heather's Twitter, Pinterest Profile and Goodreads Account   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

KDP Select: Will It Save or Ruin Indie Book Sales?

Besides having anxiety attacks from formatting my book and uploading it onto this weekend, I had to make the decision of whether or not to enroll First Visions: Second Sight Book One into the KDP Select program. The gist of the program for those unaware is for giving a 90 day exclusive to on your ebook, you get five promotional days where you can offer your book for free and your book is entered into the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. If your ebook is sold on other sites or large excerpts are printed online, you must remove them to comply with the terms of the program.

When faced with the decision whether or not to opt into KDP Select program, I kept hearing this little voice in the back of my mind that kept telling me I shouldn’t limit the number of platforms my book is sold on. First Visions has only been on sale for a couple of days, but I’ve had a handful of sales through Smashwords. Although my sales have been higher on Amazon, how can I be sure entering KDP Select will be more advantageous than using other retailers?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

RELEASE DAY!!! First Visions: Second Sight Book One Is Now Available!

After months and months of hard work, my novel is finally published! I really hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Kate Edwards is a character that is close to my heart and with any luck you’ll find her as funny, flawed and lovable as I do.

Check back for more news about First Visions including blog tour dates, giveaways and excerpts. Goodreads members can enter my current giveaway running through May 8 by clicking here.

Here’s the Links to Buy the Paperback and Ebook Versions:

Barnes and Noble Nook

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle

Smashwords Edition

Top Ten Books to Be Made Into Movies

The Top Ten Tuesday Topic for this week on the Broke and the Bookish is the top ten books we would love to see made into movies. When I though up my picks, I realized I had quite an eclectic mix. These are my picks in no particular order:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Plenty of action and a tragic love story-what could make for a better movie?

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

I would think this book would work so well as a romantic comedy. A funny actress paired with a handsome actor who could play a CEO type would work great.

Dark Visions by LJ Smith

Since Secret Circle and Vampire Diaries now both have TV series, I think this would work as well for movies or TV. Although some of the plot points may have to be updated, a modern telling about the school for psychics would surely be a hit.

The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter

I’m sort of obsessed with this book and always picture it as a movie. I like the idea of gods and goddesses posing as humans to help find a bride for the ruler of the Underworld.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

I know there are a ton of fans of these books (myself included) and this could be made into a really funny and touching coming of age movie.

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

Although I love the Fallen series, I never really like how angel stories translate to screen. Ambition, blackmail and murder at a ritzy high school make for a fun popcorn movie.

Frenemies by Megan Crane

This could be a Mean Girls for the twenty-something set. Also, would love to be in charge of casting the rich bad boy Henry.

My Sweet Audrina by VC Andrews

Another one of my teen obsessions, me and my childhood BFF felt completely scandalized after reading each one of her books. This standalone novel was one of the few that weren’t too out there (i.e. no incest) to actually be made into a movie.

Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson

An exciting thriller with a main character suffering from short term memory loss (Memento Part 2?).

Any Judy Blume Book

Are you like me and have such a soft spot for the coming of age author? Not sure how well some of her books would translate into film, but it would be interesting to see my childhood faves appear on screen.