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1. Podcast/Interview on Good Reads Mad Reads Radio

Come listen to my interview on Good Reads Mad Reads Radio about writing, conservation themes, marketing, and publishing. 

Thanks Marina Hume! :)


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2. Top Summer Reads (Summer Reads Scavenger Hunt)

Here are my top reads for the summer!

1) Taking by Kimberly Derting

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.
When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas 'n' Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn't aged a day.
Everything else about Kyra's old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.
Confused and lost, Kyra isn't sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin's annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra's father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

2) Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her. Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.

3) Vengence by Megan Miranda
Falcon Lake will have its vengeance.
When everyone thought Delaney was going to die, Decker made a bargain. Anyone but her. Everyone but her. He never realized someone might actually be listening.
Carson pulled Delaney out of the frozen water of Falcon Lake, and he died on the side of the road with his mouth pressed to hers. Troy tried to recreate Delaney’s accident, and the lake took him instead. All the talk about a curse doesn’t shake Decker, until yet another unthinkable tragedy strikes and there’s just too much coincidence and death for Decker to take . . . and too much anger.
Because Delaney knew it was coming, and she never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can’t forgive Delaney until he knows why.
4) Intuition by CJ Omololu
With every new vision from her past lives, Cole understands more about who she is in this life...and her love for Griffon grows as quickly as her unique Akhet abilities. Able to sense people's innermost emotions, Cole is a much needed asset to the Akhet's worldwide plan. Then she meets a young millionaire named Drew who reveals a startling connection to Cole's life in Elizabethan England. His intense desire to restore their past confuses and excites Cole but his affections complicate her plans with both Griffon and the Akhet. 

When her best friend Rayne is endangered by Cole's carelessness, Cole must find a way to save Rayne and prevent the Akhet's plans from falling into the hands of people out to destroy the world. Only by trusting in herself and her newfound abilities can Cole fight for her friend, her love, and her rightful destiny.

5) Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
At school, nobody sees the scratches or her pain. The only person she connects with is the mysterious Captain Lyric, who writes song lyrics on her fourth-period desk for her to complete. With pencil marks and music, Alexi carves out a comfortable space for herself as she and the Captain finish each other’s songs – words on a desk feel safer than words spoken aloud.

But when Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend who understands her better than anyone. He has secrets of his own and knows all about suffering in silence. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally speak up

Now for the Summer Reads Scavenger Hunt

The Summer Reads Scavenger Hunt will run from TODAY until midnight on SUNDAY (19th July). To enter to win FORTY signed paperbacks by a wide range of authors PLUS $30 worth of Amazon Gift Cards, simply hop around ALL participating stops, collect all of the highlighted numbers (mine is 11!), add them together, and then go enter the requested details along with your calculated answer in the ENTRY FORM

You can find more information on how the stop works HERE. All stops will direct you to the next place to hop across to. And don’t worry if you get lost, because the entire list of participating authors can be found HERE.

Or, if you have all of your numbers and are ready to enter, then hop across to the Summer Reads Scavenger Hunt Entry Form.

In this post, you should have your number (Your number is:  11 I recommend this is displayed in a different colour to the rest of the text in your post, and made bold to make it easier to spot.)

Comment here for a chance to win a set of 3 Sweet Evil trilogy bookmarks from Wendy Higgins

Your next stop is Wendy Beck.

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3. My writing and writing process - blog roll style

Kimberly Derting tagged me in a blog roll to talk about writing and the writing process.

(She talks about hers here...and I loved her answers! :)

1. What am I working on?
Oddly enough, I am working on a couple of picture book projects and a middle grade series. I am also continuing the Untraceable series into Book 4. (Book 3 just released in June)

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I usually write very dark teen thrillers. For some reason, I need a short break from those so I'm veering off my main path to have some fun in different genres. But my heart is in YA thrillers.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I love thrillers in general so I love writing them. It's most of what I read and watch on movies. If someone doesn't die or isn't being chased, it's hard for me to get into it. Though I'm getting better about branching out some :)

4. How does my writing process work?
I used to be a pantser but it would take me much longer to finish a book. So now I have a process that seems to work for me. I create a logline and synopsis. Then I do a strawman outline. I pretty much write from that outline (keeping it open so I can make changes along the way.) The simple process gives me structure yet flexibility to be creative.

5. How does my writing process not work?
It works for me :) Right now....at least I think it does.

Three other tagged authors...

Amy Evans - author of one of my favs, Clicks.

Elle Strauss - author of the awesome Clockwise series (and author of Lee Strauss' Minstrel series)

Karen Hooper - author of the gorgeous Kindrily series.

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4. Friday the 13th - hert are 13 other funny superstitions

Friday the 13th is called  a day of bad luck. 
Friggatriskaidekaphobia is when someone is afraid of Friday the 13th. Evidently this affects almost 20 million Americans. Even though none of them can even say the word. 
Triskaidekaphobia, which is the fear of the number 13. 
I like to at least pronounce the fears I have very clearly.
There is always one Friday the 13th each year and at most, there can be three in one year.
So why worry - it's only 3 days of the year. 
That means you have 362 other good days to worry about  these 13 other funny superstitions we hang onto:
1. Make sure you cover your mouth when you yawn. Um this is just common sense. An open mouth doesn't attract demons, but it is rude AND likely spreads germs.
2. Don't open umbrella in house. Again I think this is just common sense. You'll poke your eye out - or that of someone close by.
3. Get in and out of bed on same side. This is easy when you sleep with someone. But what if your bed is against the wall. I say jump out of bed with a smile and it should offset the omen.
4. Bird poop on your car means you will be rich. Trust me this is not true!
5. Using mirrors makes you soul-less. Gosh we better hope this isn't true! - especially in Hollywood. Well...maybe there it is true :L)
6. Wish on a star. We all do it. Then again, most of us may be silently praying it isn't a huge meteor barreling toward Earth!
7. Don't use new brooms because you can sweep out good luck. I say why not vacuum? It's automated anyway. Then you save yourself the worry.
8 - Crossing fingers was supposed to be in symbol of the cross and bring good luck. Now we just use this to tell a white lie and thin it is OK. :)
9 - Rabbit's foot brings good luck. Yeah, let's ask a rabbit if he thinks this is true. Bet he says no and asks you to let him go.
10 - Knock on wood  because it is thought spirits lived in trees. Since we all knock on our processed wood in our homes, the spirits are either already angry we stole their tree or were killed off anyway. 
11. Break a mirror. Well, you shouldn't be looking in one anyway according to #5 so this may save you.
12. Itchy palms means you are greedy about money? I say if you have any itch for very long, you should go to a Dr.
13. Tossing salt. This just makes a mess and could injure the patrons behind you.
I declare Friday 13th my lucky day - starting today!

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5. Some great indie releases for June!

In addition to Unstoppable, here are a few new June releases to note:

Girls on Fire Box Set 

Come out this week! 10 award-winning, critically acclaimed YA authors have brought together 10 amazing heroines in the GIRLS ON FIRE boxed set.
Oceans Deep - Box set releases today!

OCEANS DEEP - Twelve Young Adult romance novels for the price of ONE! Join us to celebrate sun, sea and love in support of World Oceans Day 2014. All proceeds go the The Ocean Project to support ocean conservation and environmental education. Comprised of young adult romances in a variety of genres including science fiction, fantasy, contemporary and mythology, the books all have one thing in common: they leave readers more in love with the ocean than they were before. 

Novels donated by authors: Lani Wendt Young - Telesa, Elle Strauss - Seaweed, Kristen Day - Forsaken, Karen Amanda Hooper - Tangled Tides, Amber Garr - Promises + Betrayal, Cheri Lasota - Artemis Rising, Heather Allen - Just Breathe, Nikki Godwin - Chasing Forever Down, Leigh Talbert Moore - Dragonfly + Undertow, Amy Evans - Clicks 

A Beauty So Beastly by Rashelle Workman

Preorder Now

What happens if the beauty is also the beast? 

The stunning Beatrice Cavanaugh is considered American royalty. She has everything except the ability to love. Cursed on her eighteenth birthday, she becomes more beastly than ever, having a newfound craving for raw meat, and an undeniable yearning for the night. Bitterness is her only companion. 

After accusing a maid of stealing, a disgustingly kind and exquisitely handsome guy named Adam shows up asking Beatrice to drop the charges against his mother. 

Infuriated by his goodness, Beatrice vows to break him. Destroy him. Make him hurt the way she hurts. So she agrees. On one condition: Adam must take his mother’s place as a servant in the mansion. 

Because Beatrice won’t stop until he’s more beastly than she is. 

The Swift By Ali Cross (middle grade)

How far would you go to save the ones you love? 

The night eleven-year-old Pete planned to shoot the winning goal in the championship hockey game was the same night his dad was lost at sea. Now, eight months later, his mom still cries all the time, his beloved grandfather, stricken with Alzheimer’s, can’t even remember him, and they’re about to lose their crappy old house to the bank. To make matters worse, his twin brother Henry blames Pete for all of it. After all, they were a family of fishermen—if Pete had gone to help on the boat instead of to the game, their dad might still be alive. 

While searching the attic for stuff they can sell, Pete finds a battle-torn ship-in-a-bottle. When he and Henry show the bottle to their grandpa, the three of them are transported back in time—on board the very ship that’s going down. 

Battling pirates and the raging sea, the boys must learn to work together to help their grandpa save his past. If they don’t, they won’t have a future to return to.

Beautiful Stranger by Alicia Kat Vancil

Patrick Connolly is about to get the one thing he has always wanted…kinda.

We all have that one thing—that one thing we wish for on every first star of the night. Wealth. Fame. Love. For geeky artist Patrick Connolly, it is the attention of his beautiful and seemingly unattainable classmate Nualla Galathea. There’s just one problem—he’s got less than a snowball’s chance in hell, and that’s being generous. 

However, when a heated argument erupts in the halls of Bayside Academy forcing Patrick and Nualla’s paths to collide, Nualla surprisingly jumps at the opportunity to be his date. Patrick may think his wish has just come true, but this gentle boy will need more than artistic talent to combat the deadly secrets lurking behind his dream girl’s veil of normality. Like the fact that she isn’t even human. 

For other great indie books, visit The Indelibles.

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6. Unstoppable Official Summer Blog Tour

Unstoppable Official Summer Blog Tour

As you all know, I love bloggers. They have always been so wonderful in supporting me and my books. Here are some great upcoming articles and interviews that you may (or may not :) find interesting. Follow along for some 411 and giveaways!

This week:

June 5th - Dorothy Dreyer, We Do Write, Guest Post: "The rise of powerful female characters in teen fiction." 

June 6th - Shannon O'Donnell, Book Dreaming, Guest Post: "Creating a peaceful writing environment: here's how!" 

June 7th- Huntress (CD Coffelt), Spiritcalled, Guest Post: "Advice for young authors." 

Coming Up:

4. June 9th - Heather Robbins, SupaGurl Books, supagurlbooks.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "Get to know your character- walk in their shoes for a chapter." 

5. June 10th, June 11th (review) - Page Eberhardt, One Book At A Time, http://onebooktime.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "The Rising Realm of Self Publishing." 

6. June 10th, June 17th - Lena Marsteller, The I Love Books Club, http://ilovebooksclub101.blogspot.com, Review and Guest Post: "How to write a gripping YA thriller." 

7. June 10th- Heather D Rosdol, Buried in Books, http://wwwBuriedinBooks.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "New Indie reads and why we love them." 

8. June 10th- Louisa Paarskmart, 23 Diamond Ridge Place, http://writingcrazyme.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "What makes a good YA protagonist." 

9. June 13th- Kai Strand, Strands of Thought, http://kaistrand.blogspot.com/, Character Interview

10. June 16th - Meradeth Houston, Write Stuff, http://meradethhouston.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "Being a literary composer: the perks of using music in writing." 

11. June 17th- Jenna, Avid Reader Musings, http://avidreadermusings.com, Guest Post: "Creating a strong character: what you need to know." 

12. June 18th- Emily Davis, Goodreads, http://goodreads.com/user/show/3142762-emily-heinlen-davis, Review

12. June 19th- Kelly Polark, Kelly Polark, http://kpolark.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "How Marketing and Writing work together." 

13. June 20th- Sheila Deeth, http://sheiladeeth.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "How to prepare for a book release: the ins and outs." 

14. June 21st?- Jamie Johnson, Fantasy Book Chick, http://fantasybookchick.blogspot.com, Guest Post: Cover TBD

15. June 23rd- Elana Johnson, Elana Johnson, http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "Indie blogs and why they're hot." 

16. June 25th- Brooke Bumgardner, Brooke Blogs, http://brookeblogs.com: Guest Post, "An author's walk through the woods: how writing and nature compliment each other." 

17. June 27th or 30th- Britney Wyatt,  Living Fictitiously, http://living-fictitously.blogspot.com, Guest Post: "A hint of Grace- the animals in her life and why they matter. "

18. Date TBD - Liz Ziolkowski, Fictional Candy, http://www.fictionalcandy.com, Review

19. Date TBD (Before Xmas)- Sharen Seiple, Bookend Crossing, http://bookendcrossing.blogspot.com/, Interview

If you would like to join in the summer tour, go here! We would love to add you :)

If you would like a free ebook to review, please fill out form.

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7. Unstoppable Launch Party - Get the word out for new ereader!

Today (June 3) is the official launch party for Unstoppable!

Here are today's events going on all day! (all winners chosen at 10pm EST!)

Unstoppable Twitter party! Share your favorite quotes, ask me a question, or post about series on Twitter using the hashtag using #Unstoppableparty. We will randomly choose winner for a full NOG paperback package including one of a kind series coffee mug! (Domestic only)

Unstoppable Pinterest party. Grace loves animals. Share your favorite images of animals you love on your Pinterest page and send us a link. We will enter you in a drawing for a free ebook of a three NOG ebooks including Unstoppable.  (International)

Unstoppable Facebook Party! Share and comment the post on my facebook page about #Unstoppable and we'll choose a winner for a lot of 5 teen thrillers (Hysteria by Megan Miranda, Taking by Kimberly Derting and others.) (Domestic only)

Untraceable Tumblr takeover! Reblog this post on your Tumblr and send link to be in drawing to win 10$ amazon gift card or other bookstore gift card of 10$ (your choice) (International)

Share the Love - simply share the love below for chance to win the new Kindle paperwhite (or ereader of you choice for equal value 119$.)

9 EST Twitter chat with @SRJohannes on #Unstoppable. Discuss any topic of your choice from the book to writing to indie pubbing. Special giveaway of NOG package PLUS one ebooks from the Indelibles

Get the Word out for a Kindle paperwhite (119$)!

Kirkus reviewed Untraceable as "A thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance.  The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page."

Unstoppable - Book 3 Summary

After everything that has happened, Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee, and hang out with old man Rex, Birdee's "friend with benefits". Grace quickly befriends Dylan, Rex's nephew, and Dylan's girlfriend, Sadie, who is a die-hard teen activist. Sadie spends her time leading protests against the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for animals or the flimsy law.

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. She and Birdee spend time rehabilitating the animal. But when the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a large roadside zoo they all have been protesting. One that is illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. 

Only this time, Grace is the prey. 

During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace and her friends are offered one chance at survival, but only if they reach civilization before being caught. With a small head start and very little supplies, only time and skill stand between the hunter and the hunted. But out in the Everglades, there may be more dangers than Grace realizes.

Against all odds, Grace must make it out alive and win, or everything she holds dear could be lost.

On Sale Now! 

Unstoppable is on sale in ebook. The paperback releases later this month. 

(Note: if you have another ereader device - see these instructions for getting a Kindle ebook converted to your ereader. It's easier than you think.)

If you haven't read Untraceable or Uncontrollable, you can get them in paperback and ebook at all major booksellers including AmazonAppleSmashwords, and B&N.

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8. Unstoppable is out!

Unstoppable is the third book in the award-winning and critically acclaimed "Nature of Grace" series. 

Kirkus reviewed Untraceable as "A thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance.  The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page."
If you like a page turner, you will love this series!

Unstoppable - Book 3 Summary

After everything that has happened, Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee, and hang out with old man Rex, Birdee's "friend with benefits". Grace quickly befriends Dylan, Rex's nephew, and Dylan's girlfriend, Sadie, who is a die-hard teen activist. Sadie spends her time leading protests against the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for animals or the flimsy law.

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. She and Birdee spend time rehabilitating the animal. But when the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a large roadside zoo they all have been protesting. One that is illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. 

Only this time, Grace is the prey. 

During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace and her friends are offered one chance at survival, but only if they reach civilization before being caught. With a small head start and very little supplies, only time and skill stand between the hunter and the hunted. But out in the Everglades, there may be more dangers than Grace realizes.

Against all odds, Grace must make it out alive and win, or everything she holds dear could be lost.

On Sale Now! 

Unstoppable is on sale in ebook. The paperback releases later this month. 

(Note: if you have another ereader device - see these instructions for getting a Kindle ebook converted to your ereader. It's easier than you think.)

If you haven't read Untraceable or Uncontrollable, you can get them in paperback and ebook at all major booksellers including AmazonAppleSmashwords, and B&N.

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9. Paint Me by Sarah Frances Hardy

This is a cute PB and finally out!

Red, blue, and yellow are just the tip of the iceberg when you have a good imagination. In this colorfully illustrated story, a young girl makes her way through the day—first painting a portrait of her dog, and then painting anything and everything she can find. 

With a simple, affectionate plot that teaches colors and embraces the “creative process” for many kids, Paint Me! offers a message of love and discovery.

Featuring a heartwarming story and simple yet striking illustrations from author and illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy, Paint Me! encourages children to explore their creativity and express themselves while learning their primary and secondary colors. For parents who remember reading Harold and the Purple Crayon when they were young, or for those who love more recent books about art such as Beautiful Oops!, this is one sweet story you won’t want to have missing from your library.

Children's book author/illustrator

coming soon . . .

Sky Pony Press
Spring 2015

Sky Pony Press
May 2014

Viking Children's Books 

Spring 2012

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10. May Kindle Fire Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire May
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
  May Kindle Fire Giveaway Sponsors I Am A ReaderFeed Your ReaderAuthor Rachael AndersonAuthor A. WrightonFairiechick's Fantasy Book ReaderKindle and MeAuthor Kimber Leigh WheatonA Bookish GirlThe Bookish BabeLori's Reading CornerLeahSay's ViewsStacy Claflin, AuthorGeneration iKidKelsey KetchLaurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORELaunching Sisters to WitchCampNovel MomentsLia FairchildCrystal's Tiny TreasuresZharmae Publishing PressLuthando CoeurF.W. FifeJabari & JaserLSM BooksBarbara SilkstoneOnce Upon a YA BookAuthor Alecia StoneReviews from a BookwormLiterary SweetAuthor Rae Z. RyansBonnie Blythe's Pure RomanceBella Street's Weird RomanceAuthor Inger IversenBuried Under RomanceAuthor M.A. GeorgeSMIBookClubTressa's Wishful EndingsMother Daughter Book ReviewsHelen Smith (author)Lena SledgeBook Reviews And GiveawaysAuggie TalkKelly's Lucky YouJetpack DragonsGin's Book NotesLife of a WriterExtaordinaryreads News LetterShannon and Elm BooksThe (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old GirlSR JohannesAuthor Steven BrownAuthor Rosanne RiversHeather Gray (Author)The Reporter and The GirlAuthor FA MichaelsFree Bookster  

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups  

  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash. Ends 5/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary.

You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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11. Writing Lessons from the TV Show Dexter

I just got into the TV show, Dexter.

I never had Showtime before so I couldn't watch it and the entire 8 seasons is now free on Netflix. (woot woot! I know what I'll be doing over the summer.)

This is the. best. show. evah!

If I could write books like this - I would be a bestseller for sure!

I'm learning so many writing lessons from this show that I wanted to share:

Top 10 writing lessons from Dexter:

  1. Character arc - The character arc in each show let alone every season is amazing! Each character changes a little. in each episode.
  2. Dexter. The man perfect for this character - smart, hot, funny. So relatable that the whole serial killer thing is overlooked or accepted and you don't really know why or how it happened. :)
  3. Tension/Pace - Each chapter should have some tension or suspense. Even in books that aren't thrillers, you need to keep the reader turning the page. The suspense is killing me - every show has an amazing cliff hanger and i find myself saying "just one more episode."
  4. Voice - Each character should have his/her own voice. This is what makes each person special and relatable. Every character has their quirks, flaws and lovable moments.
  5. Character Development - Every character should be fully developed with backstory and motive. Each character from Dexter, to his sister Deb, to the "reborn cop" Angel, to the other forensic scientist, Vince. Each is unique.
  6. Villain - Your antagonist should be relatable. Not that Dexter is the antagonist but he should be. he's a serial killer yet somehow you root for him not to be caught.
  7. Setting. Your setting should invoke some emotion. Dexter is set in Miami. Everyone is always hot and sweating which adds anxiety to everything they do.
  8. Romance - Dexter started out awkward and has become more sexy as the shows go on. He's had a couple love interests but they were very purposeful in his character development which I find refreshing. It's not just love on the side. Each plays an important role in his arc.
  9. Reveals/Surprises. The reveals should be well placed and strategic. It all has to make sense in the end. So far they have done a brilliant job of reveals and I find myself going "I did not see that coming."
  10. Hook - You need a great hook as the foundation of any story. The idea of a serial killer killing bad guys is brilliant. 
You need to watch this show, esp if you are a thriller writer. The lessons are endless.

I heard there were Dexter books so I may check that out just to see how it plays out in the writing vs script.

Have you watched Dexter? What do you think? What is your favorite lesson from the show?

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12. Mark your calendars: Unstoppable - June 3rd!

The release date for Unstoppable is June 3rd!

At that time it will only be available in print and at Amazon. 

To catch up on the series - Untraceable is currently free and Uncontrollable is $3.99.

You can add Unstoppable to your Goodreads 

If you would like to be a part of the summer blog tour - sign up here.

After everything that has happened, Grace goes to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee. Even though she is now home-schooled by her bird-obsessed grandmother, the move gives Grace time to relax. She learns to scuba dive and starts boating with old man Rex, Birdee's casual friend/boyfriend. 

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace rescues an abused Florida panther, currently on the endangered list. The more she dives into the animal’s horrific condition, the more she ventures into the underground world of the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for the law. Eventually, she stumbles upon one large roadside zoo filled with a variety of endangered and illegal animals. 

Before she can gather evidence and report her findings to the authorities, she is kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. Only this time, Grace is the prey. 

During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace is offered one chance at survival. With a one-hour head start and very little supplies, time and skill are now all that stands between the hunter and the hunted.

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13. 10 ways to write a page turner!

There are 10 easy ways (in my opinion) to keep up the pace (or suspense/tension) of a novel. This can be for any book to keep the reader clipping along and turning the pages.

10 steps to a page turner

1) Create short chapters - most of mine are 1500 to 2000 words. (It can't be 250 word chapters with 1000 chapters in the book. Thats' just annoying :)

2) End on the conflict, forcing the reader into the next chapter. (I call it the inverted climax curve! I'm smart huh?)

3) Keep your narrative short. At the end, go through and cut back scenes with too much setting or exposition. I say try to cut them in 1/2. (Actually, I should do this in my conversations as well. I'm sure my friends would appreciate it.)

4) Use short sentences when you want reader to feel rushed into reading. Longer sentences help to slow it down and create tension as well as a break before you ramp back up again. (I call this the roller coaster feeling. Make your reader sick :)

5) Add a ticking time bomb. This can be an actual time countdown or a lead in to knowing something is coming soon. (This even works in the ebay auctions I bid on. There's just something about a clock that creates stress.)

6) Create a strong opening line in every chapter that yanks the reader in. (I tend to spend more time on this than I do finding my dangling modifiers. I do not recommend that :)

7) Create strong closing lines that tease the reader to turn the page. (Do not let them put that book down! If you have to drag them on to the next chapter by their bookmarks)

8) Torture your MC - have her make mistake so actions get thrown back in her face. (I talk to my MC. "Oh you think that's bad, wait until I give you this!" I know I'm nutzo)

9) Raise the stakes each time it looks like resolution may be about to happen. (Give your reader the feeling of "oh thank God" and then take them to "WHAT the hell!"

10) Allow room to breathe. (You don't want them to pass out. Not good PR....But not too much room :)

Feel free to ask me questions! :)

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14. Rashelle Workman's Season 2 is coming :)

It's coming. April 19th. Whoot! I'm so excited to share this series with you.

Rashelle is a great friend and her first season has done amazing! You have to get it!

It's so popular - she's doing a whole other season! yay!

The first book in the second season of Blood and Snow is entitled VAMPIRE LIES. I'm releasing the volumes a little differently this time. Instead of 12 smaller volumes and a bunch of short stories, there will be at least three full length novels.

You can pre-order book 1 by clicking HERE.

In Season 2 there will still be plenty of Snow White and her true love, but the story will be told from Jasmine's point of view.

Here's this summary: 

Genre: YA Fractured Fairytale
Blood and Snow Season 2
Book 1 ~ Vampire Lies

*** Eyes like violet sapphires. Wings of smoldering fire. Consume your true love's blood. Become the Eternal Vampire. ***

Once upon a time there lived a vampire with wings and the genie who loved her...

Born of the seven magics, Jasmine is different in every way, including the obnoxious wings on her back courtesy of the original Vampires. She wants to be normal, to be a regular teenaged girl.

When a gorgeous dark-haired boy named Laeddin shows up and promises to sneak her away from all her problems and hide her in the human world, she agrees. 

But an evil lurks in her nightmares, a man with red eyes. It doesn’t take long for Jasmine to realize that no matter how far she tries to run from who she is, he’s only a dream away. He wants her. He needs her. He acts as though he loves her. 

It’s becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between the path that’ll lead to her happily ever after, and the path that’ll lead to her destruction as well as all magic.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be entered into my monthly drawing. Click HERE

Have you read the first season of Blood and Snow? If not, Amazon is running a special right now where you can get all 12 volumes for only $1.99. Get it HERE

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15. Indie Publishing in YA (Special FREE Event offered by ALLi - the Alliance of Independent Authors))

YA and Children's Authors - Live Self-publishing Q&A Session (Hosted by ALLi - a IndieReCon sponsor)

Next Tues 18 March 3pm EST / 7pm GMT   - All Welcome! 

Are you a children's or YA author thinking about self-publishing, or already self-publishing? 

The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is hosting a FREE live Q&A session on YouTube on Tuesday 18 March where ALLi Director, Orna Ross, will be fielding your questions to Shelli Johannes (AKA S.R Johannes) who writes for the YA/New Adult markets, and Karen Inglis who writes for pre-schoolers and up to age 10/11.

Send us your questions

If you'd like to ask Shelli or Karen about any aspect of self-publishing for their markets,please add your question on this form in advance and we'll try to include your question in the schedule.  

You'll also be able to comment during the session using the YouTube chat functionality.

We hope to see you there - just turn up to http://www.youtube.com/user/IndieAuthorALLi at 3pm EST / 1pm PST / 7pm GMT    

Note: You do not have to be a member to attend. But if you are interested in joining ALLI, you can do so through the button on Shelli's web site for a 10$ discount (89$)

Shelli, based in Atlanta, is a YA writer, the award-winning author of Amazon bestselling thrillers, Untraceable and Uncontrollable After earning an MBA and working in corporate America for over 15 years, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She organizes the highly successful indie author online conference, IndieRecon, and is a founder member of author co-operative, The IndeliblesUnstoppable (book 3 in her YA thriller series) is scheduled for May 2014. Shelli is YA advisor to The Alliance of Independent Authors.

Karen, who lives in London, was an early adopter of children's self-publishing in the UK and has successfully placed her three children's books The Secret Lake, Eeek! The Runaway Alien and Ferdinand Fox's Big Sleep in bricks and mortar stores in London and sold over 7,000 books across Kindle and print. She has also recently self-published a children's book app.       

Please tell your friends :)

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16. Author Branding 101 by Louisa Clarkson

Today on the blog we have Louisa Clarkson of Indicated to give the 101 on author branding, an important step in marketing your words. Without any further ado here is Louisa!

No doubt you’re familiar with brands, their advertising slogans and logos (unless you’re a troll living under a rock bridge). Like McDonalds for example, is highly recognizable with the golden arches, the red and yellow and their branding statement “I’m Lovin’ it”.

From a marketing perspective, the colors and branding statements helps customers recognize it and influence them to buy the products. Red means passion and love, it stands out, and is used to stimulate people to make quick decisions. Yellow is bright and sunny, grabs attention and evokes feelings of happiness and joy. “I’m Lovin’ it” implies you will enjoy the food.

Branding is a brilliant and important tool for authors too. Our writing style, book themes/genre, covers, our author website(s), branding statements, and even our personalities, all shape our brand. Let’s look at these things in more detail, and start building a brand that knocks Stephanie Meyer from her perch!

Writing Style

Your writing voice, writing style, tone and even choice of words, is what a reader bonds and fall in love. No one else writes the way you do. These component make your author style unique, and helps your readers recognizes your writing.

Two examples of very distinct writing styles are Doreen Virtue, author of Healing With the Angels, who has a very motivating and inspiring style and tone, which compliments her self-help and spiritual brand. While Eion Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl children’s series, has a very tongue in cheek voice that tickles a child’s funny bone.

Books Themes and Genre

The genre(s) and themes that you write about is what readers will associate with you, and what they’ll expect from you in future. For example, Stephen King is synonymous for horror, supernatural themes, and a few drama novels. Readers would never associate Stephen with comedy. That would be like McDonalds selling pizza!

For those of you published in multiple genres, or if you’re planning to write in more than one genre, it’s recommended to use pen names to separate the brands, unless your books have a common element such as magic or fantasy that filter through them. Start small with one genre and build a fanbase, like Stephen did, then expand into other genres.

Book Covers

A book cover, its artwork, font and colors should reflect the tone, style and genre of the book(s). For example, on Suzanne Collins Hunger Gamesseries, every book features a Mockingjay, which is a distinct symbol for these books, and is even used for the film posters. Each book also uses the same square font for the book title and author name, and a different color to reflect the tone. Book 1 has a black cover representing a bleak society, hopelessness and oppression, typical of the dystopian genre. Book 2 is red which is symbolic of war and fighting back. Blue features on blue to show hope and freedom.

These elements need to be kept consistent when publishing a series to help the reader identify your books and brand. If you self publish, try to use the same cover designer to maintain the style. 

Author Website

The function of the author website is the same as the book covers. It should convey to any visitors the style and tone of your books, reflect aspects of your personality, hobbies or interests, and it can feature a logo to represent your brand. Here’s a cool website by paranormal romance author TF Walsh, which reflects the romantic and supernatural elements of her books, and her love of everything fantasy. The black gives a creepy and dark tone, while red highlights the romance and passion.

Branding Statements

A branding statement defines who you are as an author, the types of books you publish, aspects of your personality, who your target audience is, and helps readers to find you. For example, mine is “crafting whimsical, inspiring fantasy adventures that keeps tweens reading for days.” I could have used John Grisham’s Number 1 Bestselling Author, but it’s boring (zzzzz) and doesn’t tell me anything about his books.

Personality and Perception

Part of an author’s job is to build a public image that reflects their personality and brand. Aussie author Morris Gleitzman has a cheeky, fun brand, which supports his humorous children’s books. This is what draws readers to him and keeps them loyal. But if he were to go and post rude or adult’s only jokes on his social media accounts, there’d be public outrage. Always remember who your target market is and who might be reading.

Branding is such a huge topic, and this is but a small, but important part of it.

I’d love to know what your branding efforts you’ve made. Do you have separate brands for your books? Have you created any distinct features on your covers or logos? C’mon. Share you branding statements, so I don’t feel like such a dork! If you don’t have fun, then make one up. Promise I won’t laugh.

About Louisa Clarkson:

Louisa Clarkson is the author of The Silver Strand, the first in the Mastermind Academy tween fantasy series for 9-12 year olds. Creative endeavors called, and she left her Environmental Engineering career to study a Masters in Creative Writing and pursue her writing dreams. In the months she spent researching how to promote her novel, she found bits of information here and there, but no complete author resource. As such Indicated was born. Indicatedfeatures book promotion guides and a comprehensive database of where to find book promotional opportunities like book review bloggers, free and paid advertising opportunities, guest posts, authors interviews and so much more.

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17. IndieReCon 2014 starts Tues! It's free and online

15 reasons why you should register for IndieReCon Today!

1. Keynote speakers J.A. Konrath and Barry Eisler are hosting a two hour chat to honestly answer any questions you have.

2. Find out how to face your fears and how to focus on your writing, being creative, and writing to your readers with Bob Mayer, Alicia Vancil, RaShelle Workman, Susan Kaye Quinn, Orna Ross, C.S. Lakin, and Rachel Aaron.

3. Find out all the nitty gritty details on self-publishing basics like pricing, distribution, and formatting from top industry professionals like Miral Sattar, Peter Bowerman, Joel Friedlander, and The Passive Guy (David Vandagriff).

4. Build your marketing skills and publicity skills with K.P. Simmons (InkSlinger PR), David Gaughran, Lori Culwell, Michael Alvear, Jim Kukral, Joanna Penn, Angela Ackerman, and Martha Carr.

5. Chat with bestselling authors Chelsea Fine and Chelsea Cameron on how it is to be a hybrid author. In addition, you will hear from Lara Perkins (Andrea Brown Literary agent) on how it is to agent hybrid authors and find out secrets (including information about audio books) from some bestselling indie authors that make up the Indelibles.

6. It's FREE!

7. We have fun contests!

8. Since it's online, you can stay in your PJs and we won't laugh at you. :)

9. There are huge giveaways! Yeah... HUGE! (Hint - Begins with a KO and ends with a BO :)

10. Learn about awesome organizations that support indie authors including: KOBO, IndieReader, Shelf Unbound, Indelibles, Author Marketing Club, AuthorAd Network, Alliance of Independent Authors, Goodreads, and Bibliocrunch.

11. Discover some great new indie authors to read.

12. Join our live podcast with the guys from Write Publish Repeat (Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, and David Wright)

13. Did we mention it's FREE?

14. Because it will be epic! (At least we think so.)

15. Find out tips in how to maximize your book exposure with leaders from Goodreads, Kobo, Smashwords, IndieReader, and Amazon.

Every single blog post, chat, vlog will be packed with all the information you need to help you on the self-publishing path.

IndieReCon will help you learn all the dirty secrets about the indie pubbing industry and help you succeed.

February 25-27 from 10 am -10pm EST times.

Tell your friends!

Hang out with us all day. Hourly posts. Tons of chats. A few vlogs and webinars. Check out the amazeballs online.

If you want to receive updates on the conference, go to our web site and enter your email up in the left sidebar to register and receive updates so you don’t miss out!

See you there!

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18. Go For Gold by Shannon Delany

Watching the Olympics, I'm struck by the importance competition holds in human culture--and in books. Every day there are several thousand new books published. The fact we can find anything amid such a sea of words never ceases to amaze me. 

So how do any of us get our book noticed and then keeping getting our books noticed? I wish I knew some formula for an author's success, but I don't think there's a foolproof one so I think the best thing we can do--ever--is our best. 

It's what I've tried to do since my first novel, 13 TO LIFE, came out in 2010. I keep pushing myself and I have two very different series to show for it. 

So, if you asked me… 

Write your best book. Love it. Be passionate about every stage of its creation. And most importantly? Write the book you want to read--the book in your heart. 

I believe we all have an amazing story to tell--do it and don't let anyone stop you. 

About the Author:
Find Shannon and her 13 TO LIFE series and WEATHER WITCH series on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Amazon, and at ShannonDelany.com. And this year? Follow her as she builds a picture book with a talented singer-songwriter!

Destiny and Deception:
The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet.

With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. When a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

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19. Street Team Links To Get You Started

If you were wondering what a street team is and how it can help you as an author, we have the answers for you!

Take a look at these great articles and chats and let us know:
What do you think about street teams? Do you have one or want one? Do you not want a street team?

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20. Self Marketing by Mike Hartner

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Congrats! You’re published. In today’s world, in many cases, it won’t matter whether you are self-published, or published by one of the Big Six. You will need marketing.

Marketing. Yes, that ugly word. What, you mean my book doesn’t sell itself? Nope. Sorry to disappoint, but you are one of nearly a million people who have self-published this past year. Finding your book, for any but the most diligent (read: friends and relatives) is going to be a crapshoot. So how do you make your odds better?

1. Blog tours. Orangeberry.com has them. Pumpupyourbook.com has them. And there are others out there. They schedule you on blogs that work with them, and then send you a list of material they want. Some material that they like to use includes: Chapters, for chapter reveals; character interviews, to get a better feel for the characters; author interviews, in which you answer questions about yourself and your book and your publishing journey; top ten lists by you; and a plethora of other information. Blog tours are the 21st century equivalent to book store tours. Except you are doing them in cyber-space. And they can be fun. So go out and enjoy them.

2. Reviews. This falls into several time frames. To do this properly, there are things you need to be setting up PRIOR to the release of the book.

  • Netgalley.com - $350 set up. Six months. It gives newspapers, book sellers, etc... a chance to look at your book before they decide to stock or review it. Sometimes it can lead to reviews.
  • Newspapers - ARCs of the book should be given to media 3-4 months in advance of the release to give them a chance to read it and respond. Remember, they have busy lives too.
  • Internet book reviewers (book bloggers) - There are lists out there. They are genre specific, and will definitely help you contact reviewers who will look at your book. Like newspaper columnists, though, they are VERY busy. Many of them need to be booked four months in advance. Not all. But, if you give them four months, they are guaranteed to appreciate your efforts even more, regardless of whether they agree to help you.
  • Amazon book reviewers - Amazon has lists that include their top ten reviewers. And if you pick through these one at a time, and contact them, then some will help and others will not. But give them a time frame.... the more leeway the better. They, too, are busy.

3. Contests/Awards. You can enter all sorts of contests for your book. Make sure that you’re in the right genre, though.

  • Other independent book contests are out there. Google them.
  • Local book awards - Every state and province has book awards for local authors. You can’t win if you don’t play.

4. Associations. There are many associations, including Independent Book Publishers Association. Membership in them will give you discounts for participation in some of the contests and services like: Netgalley, LightningSource, trade shows, etc... I HIGHLY recommend IBPA. But, look around. If they’re not right for you, some one else will be.

5. Trade Shows. Throughout the year, there are trade shows all over the world:
  • London Book Show -- April
  • BookExpoAmerica (BEA) - May
  • Beijing (usually September)
  • Frankfurt (October)
  • There are others in your state or province.
  • American Library Association (ALA)
  • National Educators Association (NEA)
  • NewYork State Library Association
  • California State Library Association...
  • This list is endless.

Two points about trade shows. 
  • They are OPTIONAL. They get exposure to your book out there, but don’t stress if you can’t afford to go to every one of them. 
  • Pick your conventions wisely. You may decide to go to the ALA without going to the NEA. That’s okay. There’s some member overlap, but not a lot.

6. Free Sites. IF you join Kindle Direct Program (KDP) they will allow you to have free days -- up to five across three months -- as promotion days. There are hundreds of spots around the internet that advertise to kindle users, e-readers, etc.. that will help you to publicize FREE days, provided you give them reasonable notice. By reasonable, I think minimum two weeks.

7. Social media. Put up a Facebook author’s page, a Twitter feed, your own website, Pinterest pictures, etc. Look into badredheadmedia.com to find Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC), a social media guru, who can help you grow your brand.

8. Google Adwords. Theadwordsguy.com and JP help you to use Google Adwords and landing sites to generate interest. You pay per click, but it helps to show you which genres and keywords resonate interest with your book.

9. Reader websites. Goodkindle.net is one example. These are websites dedicated to individuals who read e-books. There are plenty of them, and for a small fee, you can be a part of their book list on their site.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it describes most of the areas that I have delved into to help promote my book. You don’t have to do them all at once. Pick and choose according to your whims. But get out there and try something to improve your exposure to the massive number of readers out there. Now go out there and market!

Also, don’t forget that "FRONTLIST sells backlist." In short, the best way to sell this book... is to write the next one. So don’t get hung up in the promotions area for too long.

And, if you’re getting overwhelmed with it all, ask for help from an author’s assistant like Kate Tilton.

About the Author:
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents. You can visit Mike at his website.

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21. Book Trailers: Should I have one for my book? by Mallory Rock

So the pressing question so many have...Are book trailers worth it?

 The answer is not a simple one, as it is both yes and no. It really depends on numerous factors. Each author needs to think about and examine these factors to determine what type of trailer will work for you and your book. I believe a trailer can work for almost every book, but the trick is knowing what type of trailer to create. Now let’s start with the types of trailers that could be useful for authors.

You have the informational trailer, which can be used quite well for non-fiction books like this:

 Next you have cinematic book trailers, which can be used for a number of fiction genres and are modeled in a movie trailer style, like this:

Then you have the animated trailer, which can be used for childrens, some fantasy, and satire. Like this:

And last is the branding or interview trailer, which is more focused on the author and the message than the individual book and can be used with almost any book. Like this:

So how do you know which type is for you? Well let’s look at some of those factors that can make a difference.

* What genre is your book?
     In general the YA audience tends to be the most accepting of the visual medium, and therefore has a greater potential to yield results in the cinematic trailers. On the other end of the spectrum, non-fiction books tend to yield the best results with an informational trailer. With animation childrens and middle grade are best, but you have to weigh that against how much of your target audience will see your trailer. This does not mean that if you do not have a YA, middle grade or a non-fiction book you should not have a trailer. The branding or interview trailers can work for any book, but need to be catered to their target audience.

* What if I am on a tight budget?
     This can be approached in a number of ways. Starting with using either the informational if it works for you or the branding/interview trailers. These can be produced at a much lower cost generally because it is a much simpler video and process. If you have a book you think HAS TO HAVE the cinematic trailer, it can be done in a wide range of pricing. Now keep in mind you get what you pay for so, finding a great deal is good, but make sure you look at samples before committing to anything.

Once you have pinned down what might work for you and have someone creating your trailer, how do you know what to look for? What makes a good book trailer?
  • Keep it brief. People value their time and generally have a short attention span when browsing the internet through things such as trailers.
  • Be authentic. The tone and feel of your trailer should reflect the content of your book.
  • Music matters. Music sets the tone and flow of a trailer, so be sure it accurately represents your material and is engaging!
  • Make it seamless. All of your imagery, transitions and text should flow together creating one flowing piece. You do not want choppy pieces all pasted together. A good way to see if your content works well and has flow is to watch the trailer while muted. If it still stands up and is engaging without that mood setter you are on your way.
  • Give them information. Be sure to end your trailer with the url to your website for more information and also let them know where your book is available for purchase and/or when.

So now you have your trailer done, but what do you do with it? There are several places that are a must and free for you to place your trailer.
  • Upload to youtube as a starting point. When you do this use your keywords! What terms are people searching to find you or your book and additionally what are potential readers searching? Keywords can make a huge difference in getting that trailer seen on youtube.
  • Using that youtube video, embed the trailer on your author website. Announce and blog about it for its reveal.
  • Authors are able to add videos to their author page on Amazon.
  • You can also add the video to your author page on Goodreads!
  • Find a video book review blogger and try to get your trailer featured. You will have a better impact with a video blogger as their audience is already watching videos. You will get more views and possible sales/reviews this way.
  • Have a way to display and play your trailer at events like author signings, conventions, etc.
Now looking at all of this information what can we deduce? I think it is safe to say there is a very wide variety of  trailer options that range from self made branding videos to professionally produced cinematic and/or animated trailers. Find what works best for you and your book and run with it. Make sure the quality is there and be ready to work at it. Having a trailer does nothing if you dont put it out there and use all the resources available to you. Having a trailer is one more great promotional piece to add to your marketing arsenal and in the end that is what all authors are looking for...another piece to the puzzle leading to success in this flooded business. Ask yourself what you can do to make your work stand out next to the others and then go for it.

About Mallory Rock:
I work with authors to bring their literary works to life through covers, interior graphics, layout & formatting, cinematic book trailers, custom world maps, web graphics, and promotional materials. I am the art director at the author PR firm Novel Publicity, cover artist & print formatter for Evolved Publishing, and also work with Amy Edelman providing custom cover services to Indie Reader clients. I have worked with authors like NY Times Best Seller Bella Andre and recently worked with major Hollywood producers, The Tannenbaum Company, creating a look book for a fantasy novel turned screenplay.

I am an avid reader and enjoy books across many genres. But I have a very fervid love of dystopian anf fantasy novels. I have been known to devour up to a book a day when my busy schedule permits. I enjoy combining my love of literary works with my artistic skills to help authors bring their work to life visually. Find out more about me on my website.

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22. Chelsea Fine's PERFECT KIND OF TROUBLE Cover Reveal

Today we are excited to be sharing the cover for Chelsea Fine's Perfect Kind of Trouble

PERFECT KIND OF TROUBLE (Forever E-Book; June 3, 2014; $4.99)
Daren Ackwood is a bad boy with a mysterious past. He’s the kind of guy who knows he can get any girl he wants. Kayla doesn’t do bad boys—in any sense of the word. They have a tendency to leave scars and dust trails in their wake, and Kayla isn’t running short on either. So when Daren rolls up to her father’s funeral in his shiny sports car, Kayla knows she needs to keep her distance during her brief stay in this tiny God-forsaken town. She’s here to take care of her father’s will, nothing more. The trouble is, Daren doesn’t see it that way. And he usually gets his way. 
Amazon | B&N | iTunes 
About the author
Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She's ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen. 

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23. Why Authors Should Consider Crowdfunding by Justine Schofield of Pubslush

As writers, we know the biggest qualm about self-publishing is the out of pocket expenses and subsequent financial risk and burden on the writer. Many writers have to skimp on must-have publishing services because they don’t have the funds to pay for them. Sadly, it’s true. Most people will judge a book by its cover and as a result, self-published books have developed the stigma of being of a lesser quality.

Good news, though. Self-publishing authors now have the means to raise funds pre-publication in order to lessen the financial burden and to help their book live up to its potential. Crowdfunding is quickly becoming the newest tool in the self-publishers toolbox that can help writers practice more informed and successful publishing.

So, what exactly is crowdfunding? Crowdfunding is a new technology that allows people to collect many small financial pledges from their extended network and audience to fund a creative project or business venture. Let’s break crowdfunding down into real terms.

Say you’re a writer and you’ve just finished writing your very first book. You really put a lot of time and effort into your book and you want to share it with the world. Self-publishing seems to be the way to go. You won’t have to hassle with finding an agent or publisher, you’ll have more creative control, and your book will be published in a timely manner. Plus, you have a pretty large network that you know will buy your book. The only issue is coming up with the funds for all the costly publishing services you’ll need.

You decide to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for your publishing project. You find the platform that’s right for you (a very important first step!) and setup your campaign. Then, when your campaign goes live, you reach out to your network—family, friends, colleagues, your book audience—and ask them to make a financial pledge to your crowdfunding campaign. The pledges add up and by the end of your campaign, you’ll have enough (or at least more than before) funds to publish your book.

Okay, so this is a very simplified version of crowdfunding, but it’s just to give you an idea of how it works. There are a few very important things to keep in mind, though.

First, people are not donating to help publish your book. Crowdfunding is rewards based, which means as the campaign creator you would develop different reward levels to entice your supporters. The reward levels can range anywhere from $1 to $100 to $1,000 and above, and everywhere in between. As the dollar amount increases the rewards get better. No matter what, your supporters are receiving something in return for their financial pledge. Often times, writers will offer a copy of their book as a reward, so they are actually able to collect preorders during their crowdfunding campaign, too.

Second, crowdfunding is a lot of work. Sure, it sounded pretty easy in my simplified version of the process, but in order to be successful the writer must be 100% committed and ready and willing to promote and market their campaign. Having a marketing plan, a pre-established network and knowing your audience are all very important factors to the success of a campaign.

Lastly, you must be willing to ask for support. A majority of the support for your campaign, especially in the beginning while you’re building momentum, will come from your own network. People won’t know about your campaign if you don’t tell them. Just as in the publishing world, you are your own biggest advocate and it’s up to you to make the initial connections and build a buzz around your book.

Crowdfunding requires the same marketing necessary to finding success in the book publishing world, but it allows you to raise funds pre-publication, which can overall ensure more success in the future. As I mentioned, crowdfunding is not a venture to be taken lightly. A lot of hard work and commitment is required, but a lot of hard work and commitment was required to write your book, too. So doesn’t your book deserve to be the best it can be when it’s presented to the world? At Pubslush, we think so.

About the Author:

Justine Schofield is the development director of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform only for books. Authors can raise funds and gauge initial market viability for their book projects. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations and in the past she has worked with growing companies to develop their online presence. Justine has become a prominent industry voice for educating authors and publishers about crowdfunding and her work has been featured on many online publications.

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24. Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

I have several new projects in the works. I'm particularly excited about this year as I'll be both indie publishing and working toward traditional publishing as well. 

2011 - Was an up and down year for me. 

2011/2012 - Was all about indie pubbing.

2013 - Was all about finding the best agent for a new shiny project. (and who was more in alignment with my goals in writing and my career)

2014 - this year, is all about writing and hopefully merging a traditional career with an indie career.

The only thing I can control is how much I write, producing good books, and working on my craft.

Here is what I'm shooting for this year:
  • Unstoppable (bk 3 in Nature of Grace series) - coming Spring 2014. I am currently outlining at least 2 more books in this series that might age Grace up a bit. 
  • Exhale - (#3 in Breathless Novelette series) - Planned for Late Spring 2014. I love this little series so I hope to find time to outline 3 more novelettes in the future.
  • Secret YA cyberthriller series - (with agent) - This series is Lisbeth Sanders meets Katniss for the cyber age. I love this character and have hope she gets a chance to go far.
  • A new YA medical thriller - TBD  (shoot for summer completion)

    • Think Likely - A Gone Girl for New Adult  - TBD. I think NA contemp romance may start to get old and have readers searching for more NA in different genres. Though I've been known to be wrong ;) (shoot for Dec completion)
    I'm not sure what will be published where but that is not important. It's creating them that I need to focus on for now.

    How would I do all this?

    My goal is to write everyday for at least 2 hours straight with a goal of 2500 words x 5 days = about 10-12,000 a week. Technically - this means I should be able to draft a solid book in 2 months (which normally takes me 4-6). This of course is because I outline in advance which helps me write faster.

    BTW, I don't think indie authors have to sacrifice quality to write fast - I just think when we focus - we write faster. This doesn't mean I will skip steps - it just goes into each phase sooner than it did before.

    I have a plan to focus my attention more and protect my writing time. This means scheduling out my social media time in chunks after my daily writing goal is complete.

    I have finally laid out measurable goals, my author mission statement, and outlined a 1 to 5 year business plan of where I want my career to be in 5 years - and it includes both sides of publishing. 

    Why? Because I love both.

    I plan to build my street team and connect to readers more on a personal level, which also includes a better newsletter and more intimate street team.

    I am just getting started and already on a great track. Logging 10,000 words in just 2 weeks (and that's over the holidays!)

    Will I be able to do all this? Who knows....but I am sure going to try. 

    Again this all depends on what happens along the way - this could do a total 180 b/c it factors in no outside sources or things that come up.  

    But you know what They say. "Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you'll land on a star."

    What are your goals for 2014?

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    25. 15 book box set for 1.99$ (2 weeks only)

    Dec 29 - Jan 11th

    FOR TWO WEEKS ONLY the Indelibles has put together an incredible set of fifteen complete best-selling novels by Indelibles authors including me, Addison Moore, Susan Kaye Quinn, RaShelle Workman, Chanda Hahn, Magan Vernon, Laura Pauling, Elle Strauss, LM Preston and more! As if the deal couldn't get any better, the Indelibles is offering this limited-edition for an even-more amazing price - $1.99 

    That's right. For less than a cup of your favorite coffee you can get fifteen full-length YA novels to feed those readers you got for the Holidays. The deal is only good until 1/11/14, so get your copy TODAY! 

    So,Sit back, relax in your favorite reading chair and enjoy 15 Winter Reads from 15 bestselling YA authors. 

    There is something to delight every reader in this box set - paranormal romance, futuristic sci-fi, historical, time travel, and contemporary.

    15 Winter Reads includes:

    The Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn: Escaping an experimental prison, Thalia tries to hide her past and her gifts, from her friends. But her past isn't always easy to escape, especially when it hunts you down.

    Tremble (Celestra Series) by Addison Moore: Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.

    Exiled by RaShelle Workman: Venus wakes to find herself no longer on her home planet of Kelari, but on Earth with a week to get back or she'll die.

    Dragonfly by Leigh Talbert Moore: Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.

    Open Minds and Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

    Untraceable by S.R. Johannes: When Grace's forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he's alive. Torn between a new hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.

    How to Date an Alien and How to Break Up With an Alien by Magan Vernon: Alex Bianchi takes an internship at an alien operations center to pad her college applications but doesn't plan on falling in love with one of its residents. But as Alex's senior year progresses, everything changes and she can't figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.

    Flutter of Luv by L.M. Preston: Dawn, the neighborhood tomboy, is happy to be her best friend's shadow. Acceptance comes from playing football after school with the guys on the block while hiding safely behind her glasses, braces, and boyish ways. But Tony moves in, becomes the star Running Back on her school's football team, and changes her world and her view of herself forever.

    Watched by Cindy M. Hogan: It takes more than a school trip to change Christy's life. It takes murder.

    Clockwise and Clockwiser by Elle Strauss: A follow up to Clockwise, Casey and Nate travel back in time and race against the clock to rescue Casey's rebellious brother Tim from frontline battle in America's civil war.

    Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1) and Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel: While working together to figure out what their shared vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her - if only she wanted him to...

    A Spy Like Me by Laura Pauling: After dodging bullets on a first date, Savvy must decide how far she'll go to protect the ones she loves.

    Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper: An eternal soul mate, a supernatural family who has known her for centuries, and lifetimes of erased memories: this is Maryah Woodsen's life. She just doesn't know it yet.

     by Christine Fonseca: In the world of angels and demons, one thing is clear - some sacrifices should never be made. Even for love.

    The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle: The town of Spruce Knoll hides many secrets--and many dangers, among them are that the untimely death of Eren's parents was no accident and that she is far more than she realizes.

    So pick up this beauty between now and January 11 at these retailers:

    And enjoy all of the wonderful reading you'll be doing as you ring in 2014!

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