October 31, 2012

My Midweek Mayhem... The Halloween Edition! Boo! #soscary #amblogging


Come a little closer... I don't bite.
Happy Halloween Y'all!! Boo!!
Did my pet vampire scare you? No? Click here then... Whaa?? Doesn't it scream: Bury body here! Bwahaha

Working it out…
  • I'm participating in the YA Mythology Hop and Giveaway!!! I'm giving away a signed copy of Witch Way to Turn. Also an Alex Clare CD (The Lateness of the Hour)...which has the theme song for Witch Way book #2 on it titled: Too Close! Enter here!
  • Where am I? Two interviews! So fun! My editor interviewed me, here! My fellow Lyrical author interviewed me, here!
  • Today is the LAST day of the Scaretober Sale, here! Witch Way to Turn is 50% off all digital formats!! Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?
  • Today is the last day to receive 25% off all book covers and 50% off horror/paranormal covers... Custom designs by Danielle Fine! 
Hearing voices…
  • Some of the constructive crits I received from the contests I've entered Running From Shadows into has said I need a little more setting description... Am editing again! I've actually missed it. Crazy, right? o_O
  • Currently going gangbuster on my work-in-progress (a new adult urban fantasy)! Crossed over 24k words yesterday!  
  • My editor has Witch Way book #2! Will keep you posted on how edits are going :) Excited and nervous. Eep! lol
  • Here's a teaser line from book #2 I'm super happy with (as always, no spoilers to book #1 or #2).
  • (Orin's POV, describing Breena's mom) Like always, she maintained the outside appearance of the eye of a hurricane.  
Waiting game
Cover Art by Danielle Fine
  • On week #21 of waiting to hear back from a lovely agent who is reading Running From Shadows.*continues to keep fingers and toes crossed and keeps querying*
  • On week #13 of waiting to hear back from the editor I pitched to at the RWA conference in July. *also continues to keep all possible body parts crossed*
Reading...
Bonus material...
*Tune back in for SSS on Sunday for more steamy goodness from Running From Shadows! Pax takes Greta back to his cabin in the woods...should she be scared or excited? He did save her from a demon ;)
*Would love to get more Likes for my author page! Click here... Thanks! 
*Add Witch Way to Turn to your to-be-read list here!
*Beautiful Cover Art for Running From Shadows by Danielle Fine... Check her website for more cover art, editing and book trailer services.

Random Alert! Random. Alert. Alert. Alert...
So last year for Halloween the hubby and I went to a corn maze. Omigosh, it was so fun! Here are a few pix...

I looove pumpkins! Bought ALL of these...you believe that, right?  But I did buy a graphic t-shirt that said: Mazed and Cornfused! hahahahaha Get it? So pun-y!!!! ;)

This was the Maze... Yeah, we got lost--several times--and had to dodge lots of mud puddles, but it was super fun!
We had to carry poles with a flag on the end throughout the maze so the staff people could find us if we got uber lost. Of course, I pretended I was a grim reaper, like, the entire time. That may or may not have annoyed the hubby, but heck, that's my job...right? Bwahaha
And for your random action! Me trying to take a picture with Rusty pup yesterday when I got home from work. You can see how well that turned out! :P

October 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Breena!! Find out how she's celebrating! :D #WitchWayToTurn #Giveaway #Interview

Happy Birthday, Breena Cross!!!
 

Today, my girl, Breena turns nineteen! And to celebrate I'm giving away a signed copy of Witch Way to Turn!!

Just stop by and comment on the interview, here... My awesome editor, Danielle Fine, interviewed me!

How cool is that?!

Fantastic questions about the editing process and you may learn a thing or two about me that will surprise you! Tease much? Yup. How I roll! :P 

****
Searching for the YA Mythology Giveaway Blog Hop? Click here!

October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Running From Shadows... Such a Tease! #SSS #YA #PNR

Hooray for Six Sentence Sunday!

Thank you for stopping by. I'm excited to participate with such a fantastic group of writers! 

Today I'm sharing from my (unpublished) young adult paranormal romance Running From Shadows, currently being read by a lovely agent and an editor!! Squee!!

Follow Greta Shore (a 17-year-old, black-haired wiccan beauty) and Paxton "Pax" Craig (an 18-year-old, blond-haired college student with a dark secret) as they discover the fate of their forbidden love. 
 ****
Last week... Pax notices Greta is bleeding and invites her into his cabin to bandage her up. She's nervous about being alone with this boy, despite him saving her from something she thinks doesn't exist. He turns to leave. She asks where he's going and then immediately regrets the question. She isn’t some crazed fangirl that can’t live if the object of her affection walks away. This isn’t her. 

Yeah, sure, she doesn't know where she is. Okay, so she's bleeding. A little. Does she really need this boy? Not the first time she'd been lost in the woods. Probably not the last. She could find her way home again. The problem…

Cover Art by Danielle Fine

I didn’t want to. Wherever he was going, I wanted to follow. And that scared me more than anything that had happened so far.

He kept his back to me. “Inside and I would do the same if I were you, but it’s your choice. Take a chance with me or the shadow demon.”

Will she go in or try to make it out of the woods by herself? And is he for real about the shadow demons? Eventually you'll find out my darlings! Bwahaha Tune in next week for more Greta and Pax!! ;) Thanks again for stopping by! Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated! Get a sneak peek for more awesome authors at SSS.

****
Happy reading!

*(New) Now until the 4th of November I'm participating in -- the YA Mythology Giveaway Hop!! Enter here for your chance to win a signed copy of Witch Way to Turn and Alex Clare's CD (The Lateness of the Hour)!!

*(New) Contact editor and book designer Danielle Fine here for 25% off all book covers and 50% off all horror/paranormal covers! Offer expires midnight on Halloween
 
*Witch Way to Turn is doing so well!!!! It's getting great reviews! I'm just so proud of my baby!!! Can you tell??? ;D Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lyrical Press. Would love for you to add it to your to-be-read list here

*(New) Witch Way to Turn is 50% off until Halloween! Get your digital copy here!!

*If you'd like more information on having a custom book cover designed for your next publication or WIP inspiration, check out Danielle Fine's website! 

October 25, 2012

YA Mythology Giveaway Hop!

From October 26th through November 4th, I'm participating in the YA Mythology Giveaway Hop hosted by For Those About to Read and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. And to one lucky Follower, I'll be giving away a signed copy of my book
Witch Way to Turn, along with a WWTT Bookmark and an  
Alex Clare (The Lateness of the Hour) CD!

Blurb:

Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul? The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It's all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld. Myles, Breena's drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets--one of which is that he's fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence. Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own. Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn't learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister...forever. WARNING: Contains strong language and some graphic content. A Lyrical Press Young/New Adult Paranormal Romance


Details: 
One (1) signed copy of Witch Way to Turn, WWTT Bookmark and a Alex Clare CD of The Lateness of the Hour!
Open to International Entries.
Drawing for the Giveaway will be held on 

November 5, 2012, and the winner will be announced on 
November 5, 2012.  

To be eligible to enter the Giveaway, you must "Follow" this site then enter with the Rafflecopter Form below. One entry per person please. For optional extra chances to win, Like Me on Facebook, Follow me on
Twitter or Friend me on Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here's a list of Sites Participating in the Hop!

October 24, 2012

My Midweek Mayhem, Wonderful Review and Random Picture Goodness! #amblogging


Happy Midweek Y'all!

Working it out…
  • Thank you so much to everyone who voted, Mentioned, Retweeted and Shared in the book cover contest! The winner was Aine Massie...check out her fabulous site here! And a big thank you to Danielle Fine for offering such a fantastic giveaway!
  • Starting on Friday, October 26 I'll be participating in the YA Mythology Hop and Giveaway!!! My amazing virtual assistant, Florence Price, is setting that up. Check here for her website. More information to come...
  • Omigosh, iHeart this so much (read full review here for Witch Way to Turn)... Totally wanna eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and stare at my work-in-progress now!! "Karen Y. Bynum is to YA Paranormal what peanut butter is to chocolate--they just fit and create all sorts of lusciousness!" 
Hearing voices…
  • Some of the constructive crits I received from the contests I've entered Running From Shadows into has said I need a little more setting description... I'll be working on that soon.
  • My editor currently has Witch Way book #2! Will keep you posted on how edits are going :) Excited and nervous. Eep! lol
  • Here's a teaser from book #2 I'm super happy with (as always, no spoilers to book #1 or #2).
  • (Myles's POV) Myles let himself feel her emotions. Briefly. He’d been fighting it, not wanting to share any part of this with her. But it might benefit him to know his enemy better. Tucking away his thoughts of Breena, he let the witch’s feelings pulse through his blood. Horny. Angry. Greedy. That was about it. No complexity. Not like his love.  
Waiting game
Cover Art by Danielle Fine
  • On week #20 of waiting to hear back from a lovely agent who is reading Running From Shadows.*continues to keep fingers and toes crossed and keeps querying*
  • On week #12 of waiting to hear back from the editor I pitched to at the RWA conference in July. *also continues to keep all possible body parts crossed*
Reading...
Bonus material...
*Check out my friend Katherine Skye's blog for a Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!! She's giving away a copy of Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr!!
*Tune back in for SSS on Sunday for more steamy goodness from Running From Shadows! Pax takes Greta back to his cabin in the woods...should she be scared or excited? He did save her from a demon ;)
*Would love to get more Likes for my author page! Click here... Thanks! 
*Add Witch Way to Turn to your to-be-read list here!
*Beautiful Cover Art for Running From Shadows by Danielle Fine... Check her website for more cover art, editing and book trailer services.

Random Alert! Random. Alert. Alert. Alert...
The first three pix aren't so much random as they are romantic...that's an 'r' word! ;) Sunday, October 21st was mine and the hubby's SIX year anniversary!! (Been together since the 11th grade when I broke my foot playing volleyball and had to be rushed to the hospital. He got to the game, couldn't find me and was frantically searching for me. It totally scared him into dating me! lol The next day he asked me out.) Soo, back to our anniversary...we went out to brunch at a special little place and had the patio all to ourselves. So nice! Oh, and apparently I'm weird cos I wanted scrambled eggs instead of nasty runny eggs with my steak and eggs...at least that's what the hubby tells me! :P

Me and the hubby. Omigosh, I love hats! Any day that I don't have to wash my hair is a WIN. Just sayin ;)

Had the patio all to ourselves. Chilly day with a nice fire going. Le sigh.

Just another view of the patio. What? You know I'm random :P
And because you require your random-picture-action...here it is :) Me at Target, using the Force to make the hubby take this picture. Bwahaha I have an addiction to graphic t-shirts. Just in case you didn't know that! Uh, and iHeart Star Wars...like super bad!

October 23, 2012

Winner of the Book Cover Contest Extravaganza is @AnyaMillar!!!!

Big thank you to Danielle Fine for offering such an awesome giveaway and to all the authors for allowing us to showcase their gorgeous covers!

Now...
The winner of the Book Cover Contest Extravaganza is...

(announcer voice)


*throws confetti*

(Dani will contact you via email to get started on designing your custom book cover!!)

The winner was chosen by random number--which was the lucky number FIVE--by the author of the cover with the most votes. And the top three covers were...

1st Place (37 votes)

2nd Place (33 votes)

3rd Place (32 votes)
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Bonus Material!
Now that the contest is closed, all covers booked before Halloween will be 25% off and all horror/paranormal covers will be 50% off!
Click here to book your customer designed cover!
Or here to see more of Danielle Fine's work...including book trailers and editorial services.

To stalk--uh, follow--Dani on:

Thanks for stopping by!!  

October 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Running From Shadows AND Book Cover Contest!! #SSS #Giveaway

Hooray for Six Sentence Sunday!

Thank you for stopping by. I'm excited to participate with such a fantastic group of writers! 

Today I'm sharing from my (unpublished) young adult paranormal romance Running From Shadows, currently being read by a lovely agent and an editor!! Squee!!

Follow Greta Shore (a 17-year-old, black-haired wiccan beauty) and Paxton "Pax" Craig (an 18-year-old, blond-haired college student with a dark secret) as they discover the fate of their forbidden love. 
 ****
Last week... We found out Pax is carrying an injured Greta back to his cabin in the forest. She feels safe with him and it scares her. When he sets her down, a sharp rock jabs into the arch of her bare foot. She stumbles and he reachs out to steady her. The touch of his skin against hers sends a blaze of heat through her body...

Cover Art by Danielle Fine

He looked down at his hands, which were red with my blood and said, “You’re injured.”

“Yeah.” Now that the shock had begun to wear off, it was starting to hurt like a motherfreaker.

“Come inside. Let me take a look.” He stared at me, waiting.

Will she go in or try to make it out of the woods by herself? Tune in next week for more Greta and Pax!! ;) Thanks again for stopping by! Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated! Get a sneak peek for more awesome authors at SSS.
 
~ ~ Contest Update ~ ~

Better hurry!! Poll closes tomorrow! 
My lovely friend and talented editor Danielle Fine is giving away a FREE custom book cover to one lucky winner! (Remember to leave your email in the comment section or click here to enter.)
Check out the contest and interview here
All the covers are so beautiful! I can't tell you who to vote for, but a certain Pax and Greta's cover is in the contest!! *winks*
Running From Shadows  

October 17, 2012

My Midweek Mayhem, Book Cover Contest/Giveaway and Random Picture Goodness! #amblogging


Happy Midweek Y'all!

Working it out…
  • My fantastic editor and cover designer, Danielle Fine, is having a book cover contest for the next five days! And my cover for Running From Shadows is up for voting!! Stop by and check it out here...you'll have a chance at winning a fabulous cover designed by Danielle!
  • Found out this week that Witch Way to Turn is now available in the Netherlands! How cool is that!!! Check it here :)
  • Yesterday I mailed off my application to enter Witch Way to Turn into the Romance Writers of America RITA contest!!! For info on how to enter...click here.
  • Starting on Friday, October 26 I'll be participating in the YA Mythology Hop and Giveaway!!! My amazing virtual assistant, Florence Price, is setting that up. Check here for her website. More information to come...
  • I've entered Running From Shadows into my local Chapter of RWA--Chesapeake Romance Writerscontest! *crosses fingers*
Hearing voices…
  • Some of the constructive crits I received from the contests I've entered Running From Shadows into has said I need a little more setting description... I'll be working on that soon.
  • I turned in Witch Way book #2 to my editor on Sunday! Will keep you posted on how edits are going :) Excited and nervous. Eep! lol
  • Here's a teaser from book #2 I'm super happy with (as always, no spoilers to book #1 or #2).
  • (Breena's POV) Her vision blurred. Light became fractured rays. Everything broke apart like shattered ice. She shivered in the space of nothingness. For a beat she was the emptiness and no one could reach her. Nothing mattered because nothing was everything.
Waiting game…
Cover Art by Danielle Fine
  • On week #19 of waiting to hear back from a lovely agent who is reading Running From Shadows.*continues to keep fingers and toes crossed and keeps querying*
  • On week #11 of waiting to hear back from the editor I pitched to at the RWA conference in July. *also continues to keep all possible body parts crossed*
Reading...
  • Finished reading Keir by Pippa Jay over the weekend! Check my 5-Star review here! (romance/science fiction)
Bonus material...
*Tune back in for SSS on Sunday for more steamy goodness from Running From Shadows! Pax takes Greta back to his cabin in the woods...should she be scared or excited? He did save her from a demon ;)
*Would love to get more Likes for my author page! Click here... Thanks!
*Need more Likes for my publisher Lyrical Press... Please click here! Thanks!! 
*Beautiful Cover Art for Running From Shadows by Danielle Fine... Check her website for more cover art, editing and book trailer services.

Random Alert! Random. Alert. Alert. Alert...
Felt sorry for this poor little bent paperclip, so I took its picture and used it to hold together an important document at work. Have you showed a paperclip some love today? Tell that stapler to take a hike!

Me going for the sultry look...totally nailed it! Uh, if the bored-crazy-person look is sexy! LOL o.O

October 15, 2012

Book Cover Contest Extravaganza with Editor and Book Designer Danielle Fine!!

Happy Monday! :) Today I have a special Giveaway treat for you, my pretties! Here to share a little about herself, industry insight and her Custom Book Cover Contest is my lovely friend and talented editor… Danielle Fine!!!
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Karen: Welcome, Dani! It’s a pleasure to have you here today. I'm excited to be able to share all your beautiful book covers in this post! Now, may I offer you some virtual coffee or tea?

Dani: Thanks, Karen. I’m really excited to be here. I know you’re Team Caffeine, but virtual tea for me, please.

Karen: Virtual tea it is! *hands you cup and a biscuit—the cookie kind* Let’s jump right in! Editors are a bit of a mystery to authors…we see comments on our manuscripts but rarely get the chance to learn about the person helping to shape our work of art. So tell us a little about yourself. Where is home for you? If you could take a dream vacation anywhere in the world…where would it be?

Dani: I live in Johannesburg, South Africa on a plot with three horses, five peacocks, hundreds of ducks, chickens and bunnies, and one four-year-old mischief machine. A dream vacation... Hmm. I’m a bit of a thwarted nomad, so ideally I’d like to take a year or two off and travel the world with my daughter. Right now though, if I had to pick one place, I guess I’d go for a couple of months in a villa in Italy, learning how to cook Italian food and writing.

Karen: Months of just food and writing sounds amazing! Writing would have to be done with pen and paper for this next question though… No electricity! You up for the challenge? lol If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island and only had three books to read over and over again, what would they be? And they can’t be any books that you’ve edited, even though I’m sure you’d want to take all of them! *winks*

Dani: Just three? Seriously? That has to count as cruel and unusual punishment. *Sigh* Okay... The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula le Guin (is that cheating?) Weaveworld by Clive Barker. The Wolf’s Hour by Robert McCammon. 


Karen: It is cruel, right? Ha! And yes, that is cheating! :P But, I’ll let it slide if you can find an edition that has all three bound together. Get to work on that! teehee So tell us, why editing and book design? What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Dani: I am absolutely in love with books and everything to do with them. I love writing, and language, and the creation of stories. Plus, I’m a total grammar Nazi, so editing was a natural choice for me. I’m also quite a visual person, dabbling in art and photography, so it’s been amazing to be able to grow that part of myself through design
.

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to help authors shape and polish their books, and getting to be involved in that journey. It’s a fantastic feeling when authors get excited about the changes we’re making and how the book comes out in the end. From a design perspective, it’s a very satisfying thing to find the right images and create something that speaks to the author, something they love. Working at home in my pajamas is also a plus. :)


Karen: Grammar Nazi? *gasps* No, not you! lol :) And, uh, who wouldn’t want to work from home in their pajamas! That is a major plus. But now, the flip-side to that coin… Wait for it…you knew it was coming…What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Dani: The thing I enjoy the least in editing is giving negative feedback. Don’t get me wrong, I do it (right? :P) I just don’t love it. I know how much work authors put into their books, and how hard it is to have your baby picked on, so it isn’t fun. Necessary, but not fun. In design, it can be challenging when the client doesn’t know what they want or how to tell me what they want. We get there in the end, though. :)

 
Karen: Negative feedback is definitely hard to give, but you do it in a very constructive way. :) Switching gears slightly… From an acquiring editor’s perspective, what piece of advice would you offer to writers trying to break into the industry? How can we make our manuscripts better? What grabs your attention?

Dani: If we’re talking about querying, the first thing you need to do before submitting is make sure your manuscript is as polished and perfect as you can get it. Make the dreaded query letter and synopsis strong and engaging, showing your voice. Be professional when querying and, if possible, address your query letter to the agent/editor you’re interested in.


Follow submission guidelines. In terms of the novel itself, here are a few things to think about. Make sure you’re always in your character’s perspective, and that doesn’t just mean avoid headhopping (although, you know, avoid headhopping. :) ) Every sentence, every thought and observation should be filtered through your character. The aim of the game is to get the reader into your character’s head, so don’t just report on what’s happening—let the reader experience it with your MC(s). Don’t write on the surface—dive deep into the story, find the emotion, the undercurrent, that goes with the action and let the reader in on it. Don’t overwrite, or let your writing get in the way of the story. Don’t write fearfully—don’t use weakening words like ‘started to’, ‘began to’, ‘almost’, ‘a little’ and so on, don’t over-explain yourself because you’re afraid people won’t understand what you’re trying to say, and don’t try to write like somebody else. Find your own voice and use it boldly. Write with integrity. Write stories that excite you. Write with passion.

What gets my attention... Stories that draw you into a vivid and compelling world and keep you there until they’re done with you. A fresh take on an idea. Interesting and quirky characters. Stories that make you feel. Stories that make you think.


Karen: That is excellent advice. And I can say from experience that your editorial guidance has helped me learn to be dive deeper into my stories and connect with my character’s emotions. Since the majority of your time is spent editing, how do you switch from editor mode to creator mode? As a cover artist, what inspires you? What’s the process like when working on an author’s book cover?

Dani: I’m inspired by so many things, but a strong image is at the top of the list. When I see a beautiful or striking image, my fingers start itching for Photoshop. I like browsing stock image sites. Lame, but true.

When working on a cover, the process depends on whether I’ve read the book or not. I’m lucky in that a lot of the covers I’ve done have been for books I’ve edited as well, so then I’ll generally have ideas to work with. If I haven’t read the book, I’ll send the author a form to complete to give me an idea of what they’re looking for, if there are significant themes or images in the book, the colors they’d like to use etc. Then, in either case, I’ll do a couple of different drafts and send them to the author as a jumping off point. From there we refine (and refine, and refine :) ) the image until the author is happy with it. Then I’ll buy the stock photos, produce the final version and send them a package with a banner and a number of different size options for the image.


Karen: I remember when we refined the process with my Running From Shadows book cover, I loved seeing my characters come to life in picture form! Even though that story isn’t published yet, it’s inspiration for me. And I’ve been told by my blog readers that they enjoy having cover art to look at on my Six Sentence Sunday posts. :) 

On that note… Time for the fantastic contest!! What are you giving away? I see a ton of beautiful covers here! Are all these beauties your designs? Do we get to vote on them? How does this work?  

Dani: The contest is part of my Countdown to Halloween celebration! Yes, these are all covers I’ve created and, with the authors’ permission, I’m opening them to a vote. Simply choose your favorite cover using the poll here or on my website, and send me a message using my contact form and you could win a 100% free cover. The author with the most votes for their cover will select a random number when the contest closes on the 22nd October, which will be used to determine the winner. The winning author will also receive their next cover free. Once the competition has closed, all covers booked before Halloween will be 25% off and all horror/paranormal covers will be 50% off.

Karen will announce both winners here on her blog on Tuesday, 23rd, October


Karen: One final question before the voting begins. Do you have to have a finished manuscript to vote? Who’s eligible to play?

Dani: You don’t have to have a finished manuscript to be eligible and anyone can play. You can redeem your free cover any time within the next six months, or you can even gift your free cover to an author friend, if you’re not a writer. 


Karen: What a cool gift for an author friend! Thank you so much for being here today and sharing this wonderful contest with us!

Dani: Thank you so much for having me, and good luck to everyone in the contest!


                           And now…let the voting… Begin!!! 





                             To stalk—uh, follow—Dani on: 

                     Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Website

    Contact Dani here for a chance to win a Custom Book Cover!