Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Double Cover Reveal!

Happy Halloween!! Halloween is by far my holiday; I love everything about it! Today is even more exciting than the usual All Hallow's Eve because Reaper is finally released!! This book has been in the works for a long time. As soon as I finished Unbound, I immediately began Reaper. Then I had a dream about mermaids and just had to write down the story that was in my head. Then I dreamed about zombies and had to write Contagious...and then Deathly Contagious.

When I finally got back into writing Reaper, I fell in love with the story and the characters in The Guardian Legacies all over again. I am so happy with how Reaper turned out, and I hope you guys like it too!!


What do you think about the cover? I LOVE it!! It was  made my Mel at Mahdesigns.deviantart.com. She was a pleasure to work with and (obviously!) is very talented! The cover represents the novel so well. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say too much. The background was inspired by a scene from the book. I think Anora's stance shows her apprehension yet willingness to face what lies ahead.

And...here is Unbound's new cover!



Anyway, to celebrate the happy release day of Reaper, Unbound is FREE on amazon today and tomorrow! And I will be having giveaways on the book's FB page (link). I am giving away print books, ebooks, and signed bookmarks! And a HUGE thank you to Lori Parker over at Contagious Reads for putting together a cover reveal blog tour and for managing the FB page tomorrow while I'm stuck at the hospital for clinicals. Stop by her awesome blog and show her some love!! 



Thursday, October 18, 2012

(Wo)man's best friend

   "Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace."
- Milan Kundera


Back in 1999, my younger sister and I schemed on how to convince our mom to let us get a dog. We had conned her into going to the animal shelter a few times 'just to look' at the dogs. At that time, dog adoption fees were only $45. I saved my birthday money and waited, plotting out the best time to follow through with our plan. 

Knowing that I wanted a dog, my mom told me I wasn't allowed to bring my money to the shelter. So, being the crafty child I was, I gave my money to my sister. With our master plan in the works, we went to the shelter after a half day of school. We walked through the rows of dogs. Something about Chrissy caught my eye. She was a year old and had thick, long, glossy black fur. (We decided her birthday would be a year before the day we got her) In my mind, she was sitting patiently in her kennel just waiting for the perfect family, though realistically, she was jumping and barking like the other dogs.

The only information written on Chrissy's ID card was 'Housebroken. Loves to play ball.' We had shelter volunteers take her into a run, and we got to throw a tennis ball for her. It didn't take long for my sister and I to fall in love. At that point, I had made up my mind. I turned to my mom with a huge guilty grin.

"Mom," I started. "I know you said that I couldn't bring any money..."

"So I did!" my sister blurted and pulled the money from her pocket. My mom didn't quiet know what to say. Luckily for her, we had to go and pick up our older sister from school. On the way, I called my grandma to get her help in convincing my mom to let us get a dog.

"All kids should have a dog," my grandma told me. Of course, I had her repeat that to my mother. After more convincing, another phone call to our dad, and some begging and promising that I'd take care of the dog, we went back to the shelter.

Chrissy was previously named Allyah and was abandoned by her previous owners. The shelter was pretty sure she had been abused (later on we would discover she was terrified of newspapers, esp if they were rolled up, and would cower when you raised your arms). I spent the rest of my birthday money on food, toys, collars, leashes and other dog supplies. 

I showed Chrissy in the 4H dog program. (We always did horrible!) I slept in her crate with her a few times so she wouldn't have to be alone. I took her to the barn with me. She was a great family dog, got along with my older sister's (nasty) Chihuahua that she got the next year and pretty much left our cats alone.  

Chrissy bonded with my dad the most. When I got married, we decided it would be best for Chrissy to stay in the home she was used to (and my dad didn't want to give her up!) and I got my current puppy, Vader. Chrissy never liked other big dogs, but she tolerated Vader and he, even still, respects her.

Chrissy is 14 years old. She is a Border Collie/Lab mix. Yes, that is old for a big dog. Still, this doesn't make it any easier. Chrissy hasn't been in good health the last year. She has hip dysplasia and pretty much has no muscle mass left. She can barely walk and needs to be carried. She hasn't eaten for about a week and barfs after just drinking water. 

She is being put down tomorrow. I hate it. I hate that I question if it's 100% right. Our vet thinks it is, and she said that she doesn't want Chrissy to suffer like she is right now. I know very well that her body is shutting down. In the back of my mind, I'm still hoping she will wake up tomorrow with improvement; just anything to give us a good reason to give her more time. And I knew this day would come. I just didn't expect it to be so hard.

As Hayden says in DC, "Losing someone isn't easy. They say time heals everything but I think all it does is fill the wound with scar tissue; it will never heal but it won’t be the painful gaping hole it once was." Losing Chrissy isn't going to be easy. Being able to be there with her will be hard as well, but I want to be there with her until the very end. 

I cherish every moment I have with Vader, and I know someday we will go through this with him...with all my animals. It almost makes me not want another animal so I won't have to go through the loss again. But the time spent together before then is wonderful. 

One of my favorite things about animals is that they don't judge you. People say that someone is 'acting like an animal' like it's a bad thing. In some ways, we should act more like animals. Enjoy the little things. Take people for who they are. Love unconditionally. 


I will always love you, Chrissy Lou
11/12/1998- 10/19-2012



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let the voting begin!

I made two book trailers for Contagious. I didn't know how to add moving film at first (shameful...I know lol) but then I figured it out. So, I don't know which trailer is better. Since you guys are so awesome, I'll let you vote on which one you like better! The one with the most votes wins! (The beginnings are the same, FYI)

Option One:


And Option Two: 



If there are any suggestions, let me know! I can still change things. Thanks in advance for helping me choose!

Also, my blog has surpassed 10,000 views by a couple hundred. I don't check my views that often so it was a happy surprise to see those numbers this morning! :)  




Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mistakes

I was talking to someone today, who recently made a pretty big mistake. They acted out of anger and were facing some pretty serious consequences because of it. We got to talking about making mistakes in life in general, and how it's easy to get mad at yourself for something you've done (or didn't do...that can be just as bad if not worse). I'm sure everyone has at least one thing they wish they could undo. I know there have been time when I wished I had a rewind button on my life.

Of course, that will never happen. I told that person that instead of dwelling on our mistakes, we should learn from them. Learn how it made you feel and how not to do it again. It's such simple (and a bit cliche) advice. But it's so true.

You might be wondering how this relates to my blog right now. Now, I don't really feel like I've done things wrong when it comes to being an Indie author or anything, but there were things I definitely could have done better. Way better. My biggest mistake is putting too much on my plate. I set release dates and had to rush to get things done. I don't think my story line suffered, but the editing did. With trying to stick with the set dates, I cut my editing time in half. Yes, that is a big mistake. One I will not make again.

I also try to edit one book while working on another, which doesn't work out as well as I'd like. If I wasn't in school, it would probably be no problem. But I need to face reality and admit that my school work takes up a lot of time and I need to slow down.

So, I will no longer be setting release dates until the book is almost complete. I had hoped to have TIC done by the end of the year. While I might be done writing the book by then, I do not see it being edited and ready for publication in only 2 months. And for that, I'm truly sorry. I feel like I'm letting you guys down. I'd rather take the extra time and write a really good book with better editing than rush through it. I don't know why I set two release dates within two months of each other to begin with...(Reaper is 10/31 and TIC was supposed to be 12/21)

 I'm having everything previously published re-edited/content revised too. Unbound is 100% done (professionally-yay!) and has a new cover. I think about 4,000 words got taken out of it, cleaning it up and making the story just better. Reaper is in the works now too, and will be ready for it's original release date of Halloween.

To celebrate the uh, better-ing?? of my books., I am having giveaways! I love giveaways but I never really knew good ways to go about doing them or what to give away. The awesome, amazing, Loir from Contagious Reads is helping me with everything (did I say she's awesome!) I'll post about it here, but check the FB pages for details. So far I have signed books, ebooks, book marks, and charm bracelets.

So, yes, I've made mistakes. I've learned the hard way. I've learned that I have limits, even though I don't want to believe it. And I want to take a second to thank all my readers. I appreciate the hell out of you guys. :)