Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Official Release of THE FAERIE PRINCE, the Favorite Fairytale Prince Blog Fest, and a Giveaway!

Happy book birthday to my newest baby, The Faerie Prince! Woohoo! I'm so excited for people to read it (and since I uploaded it a few days ago to make sure it was ready in time, a number of people have already found it!). If you're keen to read it, you can find it at the following places online, plus a few others:

~  ~  ~

In celebration of today's release, there's a blog fest happening where you get to tell people who your favorite faerie tale prince/hero is and why.

There are soooo many choices of awesome princes and heroes, both old and modern, and if I wrote this at a different time, I'd probably pick a different one. But right now, I'm going with ...

Flynn Rider from the animated movie Tangled

Why? I'm a big fan of the flawed character who messes up and then has to somehow redeem himself in order to win the love of the princess/heroine. After all, no one is perfect, right? Flynn Rider (a.k.a. Eugene Fitzherbert) starts out as little more than a thief. He thinks he can play Rapunzel with his infamous Smolder, but Rapunzel knocks him out with a frying pan instead (I'm also a fan of the heroine with guts!). Flynn agrees to take Rapunzel to see the floating lights purely for his own gain. But along the way, something changes ... He becomes a good guy. In typical hero fashion, Flynn/Eugene rescues Rapunzel from the evil enchantress. He and Rapunzel get married and live happily ever after--with much humor along the way.

So who's your favorite fairytale prince/hero? Sign up below and tell us between now and Sunday June 2nd!

In celebration, The Faerie Guardian is on sale for a limited time!


There will be a giveaway running from now until the end of the blog tour (Sun 9 June). A giveaway where FOUR people could win something! The prizes are a signed copy of The Faerie Prince (or The Faerie Guardian, should the winner prefer that), an Amazon gift card, a mini book pendant and necklace, and a Creepy Hollow pin badge. Check out the pic below!
Giveaway is open internationally

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Are You Really Paying Attention When You Read A Book?

Have you ever had this experience? Someone reads your book and they write a review of it. Somewhere in the review they mention something that happened in the book. You read the review and think, But . . . that didn’t happen!

I was reading a review of The Faerie Guardian on Goodreads earlier (yeah, I know. We can have the discussion on whether reading reviews is a good thing or not another time!). It was a positive review (and I’m very grateful to the reviewer for the time she took to read the book and write the review), but somewhere in there she mentioned she'd figured out something that Vi hadn't. It was obvious that Character A and Character B were the same person, and it should have been obvious to Vi too. And I sat there with a big question mark over my head thinking, But . . . Character A and Character B are NOT the same person!

These aren't major characters, so her misunderstanding wasn't a big deal, but I still wondered how she ended up confused. I went back to the book and read the scene where Character A was mentioned to see if there was some ambiguity, but no. Putting the details together, there's no way that Character A could be the same as Character B.

So then I got to thinking . . . how many times have I done this?! I read before I go to sleep at night, which means I'm pretty much always tired when I'm reading. I'm sure my exhausted brain has reached conclusions that authors never meant for me to reach. If I've reviewed any of your books and written something that didn't actually happen, I apologize!

PS - This also happened when I gave my very first novel (not published) to my best friend to read. Her comments were positive, but she added, "I wish your love-interest was dark-haired. I just can’t imagine him as a blond."
And I said, "Um, he's not blond. He has dark hair."
She didn't believe me. I had to search the manuscript for the part where I wrote about his features and show it to her! She didn't know how she'd missed that!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Morgan Media Launch: Morgan Media Does Promotional Extras for Authors

"Quality author services at affordable prices"

Welcome to the fourth and final day of launch week! Today the service being highlighted is ...


Extras are all the extra bits you might need for promotion and marketing of both your books and your author brand. They include blog banners, Facebook fan page cover images, animated "bookmarks" for blog sidebars and websites, blog tour buttons, and artwork for button badges and other swag.
Helping me out today by showing off their animated bookmarks are:

Laura Howard, author of The Forgotten Ones

Charity Bradford, author of The Magic Wakes

Kyra Lennon, author of If I Let You Go

To see more extras, visit the extras page on the Morgan Media website.

And today is the last day to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Morgan Media Launch: Morgan Media Does Book Trailers

"Quality author services at affordable prices"

Welcome to the third day of launch week! Today the service being highlighted is ...

Book Trailers

Helping me out today are Cally Jackson, author of the new adult novel The Big Smoke, and Cherie Reich, who has published a lot of short fiction and recently announced plans to publish her debut novel. Creating videos is something I've enjoyed ever since I discovered the simple Windows Movie Maker on my computer about eight or nine years ago, so book trailers are something I've always been keen to do. Now that I have more sophisticated software, I'm able to start experimenting with more complex video editing. Cally and Cherie were kind enough to let me try out my skills on their books!

Cally Jackson, author of The Big Smoke

Cherie Reich, author of The Nightmare Collection

To see more book trailers, visit the book trailers page on the Morgan Media website.

P.S. The electricity went out at home this morning before I wrote and published this blog post, so I'm now sitting at gym doing it. For some reason the browser here is weird and won't let me type anything in Compose mode, so I'm having to do it all in HTML mode. Not ideal!

Oh, and you can still enter the giveaway until the end of Thursday!
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Morgan Media Launch: Morgan Media Does Animated Book Covers

"Quality author services at affordable prices"

Today the service being highlighted is ...

Animated Book Covers

Helping me out today are Juliana Haygert, a new adult author with several published works, and Melanie Schulz, whose debut novel was released earlier this year. Neither of their covers were designed by me, but both struck me as covers I could do animations for. So I asked them if I could animate their covers, and they said yes! PLEASE click on over to see the cool animations :)

Juliana Haygert, author of Destiny Gift

Melanie Schulz, author of The Newstead Project

To see more animated book covers, visit the animated book covers page on the website.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Morgan Media Launch: Morgan Media Does Custom Book Covers

"Quality author services at affordable prices"

Wooohooooo! I've been planning this business for a long time, and the launch is finally here! So exciting! This week, I'll be highlighting some of Morgan Media's services with the help of several other blogs. Today we're looking at ...

Custom Book Covers

To help me out, Morgan Media is featured today on the blogs of Kittie Howard and Marcio Goncalves. Kittie's novella, Remy Broussard's Christmas, was the very first cover I did, back in 2011. She liked it (yay!), so I then did the cover for her second novella, Rings of Trust, and now for her third, Bayou Princess, which is having its cover reveal TODAY in honor of Morgan Media's launch. Marcio is a fellow South African writer who recently published his first contemporary romance novel, The Venetian Violinist. The cover he's revealing today is a cover redo for the novel.
So PLEASE go and visit their blogs and check out the covers I did for them!

Kittie Howard, author of Bayou Princess

Marcio Goncalves, author of The Venetian Violinist

And have a glass of bubbly on your way out ;-)

To see more book covers,
visit the custom book covers and premade book covers pages.

Oh, and there's a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 17, 2013

Princes and Heroes from Animated Movies

If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you may be aware of the upcoming release of the second novel in the Creepy Hollow series, THE FAERIE PRINCE. Woohoo! Less than two weeks to go! And you may also know that in celebration of this release, there will be a blog fest of sorts, where you get to tell everyone who your fave fairy tale prince/hero is and why (any day between May 30th and June 2nd, although May 30th would be best).

To get you thinking about some of the possible candidates, I've found some pictures of princes and heroes from animated movies.

Prince Charming (Cinderella) | Aladdin (Aladdin),

Mr. Incredible (The Incredibles) | Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid

Woody (Toy Story) | Hercules (Hercules)

 Prince Adam/The Beast (Beauty and the Beast) | Li Shang (Mulan)

And, uh, did you know that many of these princes and
heroes have had "makeovers" as underwear models?! 
Yeah, they're looking pretty hot and hunky!

And what about the less traditional heroes, like Shrek and Sulley?

So many to choose from! 
Please join in and tell us who your favorite is on May 30th!
(or between May 30th and June 2nd, if you can't do May 30th!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Morgan Media Will Be Launching Very Soon!

Oops, it's been almost two weeks since I posted something here! But I do sort of have an excuse ... I've been busy, busy, busy. Not only am I launching a book this month (which means the past couple of weeks have been full of editing, proofreading and formatting), but I'm also

<cue big announcement>

launching my own business!

Yup. Me = business woman. In pajamas! It's the best kind of business woman, in my opinion (although my auditor friend does like to tell me that one of the things she loves about her job is dressing up in smart suits).

Anyway, a few of you know about this business venture; most of you don't. It's called Morgan Media (an author services business), and it's something I've been planning for over a year now. Last year I didn't have enough time to get it going (teaching and writing put enough on my plate), and the past few months this year have been spent slowly organizing things while also writing The Faerie Prince. So now is the time!

Launch week is May 20th to May 23rd

Next week I'll be highlighting different services offered by Morgan Media on different blogs from Monday to Thursday. Book covers, book trailers and more. Please come by next week to check out those blog posts! For now, you can visit the website, "like" the Facebook page, and "follow" on Twitter.
Please, please "like" and "follow"! I promise to follow back ;-)

Find Morgan Media in the following places online: 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Adverbs & Cliches in a Nutshell, by Jessica Bell

Too many adverbs and clichés in your writing? 
Jessica Bell has just the fix for you!

Writers constantly have rules thrown at them left, right, and center. Show, don’t tell! Stop using so many dialogue tags! More sensory detail! More tension! Speed up the pace! Yada yada yada ... it can become overwhelming, yes? I used to feel overwhelmed by it all too. In fact, I still do sometimes. It’s hard enough to get the words on the page, let alone consider how to put them there.

In Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, she says that in order not to be overwhelmed, a writer needs to focus on short assignments. She refers to the one-inch picture frame on her desk and how that little picture frame reminds her to focus on bite-sized pieces of the whole story. Basically, if you focus on one small thing at a time, the story will eventually come together to create a whole. I believe the same applies to learning the craft of writing. If writers focus on one aspect of the craft at a time, the process will seem less daunting and piece by piece it will come together.

My name’s Jessica Bell, and my own struggles with feeling overwhelmed inspired me to write the Writing in a Nutshell Series of pocket-sized writing guides. So you can learn to hone your craft in bite-sized, manageable pieces. In the first book of the series, I focused on demonstrating how to transition “telling” into “showing.” In Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions of Adverbs & Clichés into Gourmet Imagery, I deal with another of the most common criticisms aspiring writers face: to absolutely avoid adverbs and clichés like the plague. But see, right now, I just used one of each. I also used a couple in the first two paragraphs of this post because they come naturally, and we utilize them frequently in everyday speech. But in fiction, too many adverbs and clichés weaken your prose. It’s considered “lazy writing,” because it means we don’t have to show what’s happening.

If your manuscript has too many adverbs and clichés, it most likely means that the emotion you felt while writing it is not going to translate to the reader in the same way. So how exactly can we approach the subversion of adverbs and clichés? For starters, play around with simile and metaphor when you’re trying to convey emotion, and for action, use strong verbs to show it happening in real time.

The key? Think smaller details rather than the bigger picture.

Need some help and inspiration?

In Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions of Adverbs & Clichés into Gourmet Imagery, you will find thirty-four examples of prose which clearly demonstrate how to turn those pesky adverbs and clichés into vivid and unique imagery. Dispersed throughout are blank pages to craft your own unique examples. Extra writing prompts are also provided at the back of the book.
“Jessica Bell's latest pocket guide, Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell, will inspire you to leave bland behind and pursue your creative best. With force and clarity, she demonstrates how adverbs and clichés hobble vibrant writing. She then marks a course toward unique expression and provides workouts that will help writers at every level develop a distinctive voice.” ~Laurel Garver, freelance editor, author of Never Gone and Muddy-Fingered Midnights
Purchase links:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Ca | Kobo

Bio: The Australian-native contemporary fiction author and poet, Jessica Bell, also makes a living as an editor and writer for global ELT publishers (English Language Teaching), such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

She is the co-publishing editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca.

For more information about Jessica please visit:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook