November 28, 2013

Can’t get enough of those zombies? Guest post by @J_Ryan author of #DeadNewWorld #Kickstarter

Hello, my darlings! This is an exciting post for me because it is mine and editor Dani Fine's first Kickstarter campaign for our publishing house (Definition House). Dead New World is such an exciting book with a fantastic twist on zombies. Check out this guest post from Dead New World's author Ryan Hill! I've also included more deets about the book and our Kickstarter project below. Now...it's brain time! Bwahaha :P

Can’t Get Enough of Those Zombies
by Ryan Hill


Maybe they’re like the modern-day equivalent of an ‘80s slasher film, but people can’t get enough of zombies, including myself. What’s their appeal? I mean, think about it. Here are the main tenets of zombies:

• They’re dead
• They like brains
• Either they move slow or fast

That’s it. Zombies are like a blank slate; there just isn’t much to them. Yet therein lies their endless appeal. Because of their generality, it leaves artists to mold and manipulate them into anything they see fit. You can’t really do that with vampires or werewolves. Well, you can change vampires by making them sparkly, but we all know how that turned out. Zombies you can do whatever you like with, provided they pretty much remain dead. And since there isn’t one specific way to kill them, at

least apart from massive head trauma, you can kill them just about any way you see fit, making for lots of fun, grotesque deaths. They can also mean anything you want, either as a metaphor for consumerism, Nazis, whatever. Not only that, but their origins change from story to story. In reality, they came from the voodoo religion, but in the land of fiction, it can be a meteor, a virus, God getting sick of people, you name it. Half the fun of creating a zombie book or movie is studying what others have done before you and adding your own wrinkle to the zombie mythos.

You know what would be fun? If someone took a person who was a vegetarian, turned them into a zombie, then waited to see if they’d still be vegetarian. The person would just walk around, eating grass or plants like they were brains. Some food for thought, if you will.

Stalk us here:

Definition House: Facebook | Kickstarter | Twitter | Website
Ryan Hill: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Blurb:

Dead New World by Ryan Hill

Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.

They follow orders. And if Holt and Ambrose want to kill some undead, they’ll do the same. But when a routine mission goes horribly wrong, the best friends’ lives are flayed to the bone.

Now there’s only one light in the darkness of Holt’s life, and when she’s taken, he’ll do anything to get her back. Even if that means defying orders and using his best friend as a weapon. Holt and Ambrose risk all to save her, but what they discover among the hordes threatens to remake humanity. Again.

In the end, will there be anything left to live for in this dead new world?
 

The Campaign:
 

The Kickstarter campaign is live! It’ll run from November 14 to December 14, and we are so excited! We believe that by using crowd-sourcing we will be able to generate buzz and interact with readers even before the book is published. It also brings authors and readers together so that they are both part of the publication journey. And as the publisher, we look forward to strengthening that bond. We’ve chosen Ryan Hill’s Dead New World as our first project and are looking forward to sharing it with you. Thank you for spreading the word. Now let’s make beautiful zombies together! 



The Dead New World trailer
 

November 26, 2013

Comparing Hockey and Writing by best-seller @AuthorLMurphy #DeadMansHand! You'll need three things...

Hello, my darlings! Today I have a very special treat. Author Luke Murphy is sharing his play-by-play from hockey to writing. I really enjoyed his post and am excited to share it with you.

Now, for our guest...

It can almost be said with certainty that I didn’t follow the path of the average writer. As a child, I never dreamed of writing a best-seller, never aspired to write the next classic novel, I wanted to be an NHL superstar…period.

With the death of my mother in 1992, losing a battle to cancer she had fought so hard against for years, I sensed it was time to get serious about reaching my dreams, and moved away to pursue hockey.

From 1992-1995, while playing for the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the Central Junior Hockey League, I noticed a shift in the game of hockey and realized that the odds of making it to the NHL were unfavorable for a kid who stood 5’9’’ and weighed 160 pounds. So, my goals shifted. I accepted a hockey scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. If I couldn’t make a living playing hockey, at least I could achieve an education and open doors for my future.

After four rewarding years at College, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, I wasn’t ready to give up on the game I love.

I attended the Florida Panthers Rookie Camp and played well, playing in four games, as well as scoring the game winning goal against the Ottawa Senators.

Unfortunately, I broke my hand in an awkward hit in my fourth exhibition game that ended my camp, but my hard work paid off. The Panthers offered me a Minor League contract, $500 a week to play the game I love. I spent six years in the minors and retired in 2006 with no regrets.

From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life.

In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.

One day, with an idea in mind, I sat down in front of a computer and began writing. I wrote a little every day, around my intense rehabilitation schedule and before I knew it, I had completed my first manuscript.

I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. Ever the perfectionist, I didn’t see my novel at the level to compete with best-selling authors across the country. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

Then I made a decision – I enjoyed writing so much, I decided I wanted to take my interest one step further – write a story with the intention of being published. I realized that I wanted to be like my favorite authors - entertain readers and allow them, like when I read, to escape reality and for a moment be in another place and time.

I’ve never been one to take things lightly or jump in half way. I took a full year off from writing to study the craft. I constantly read, from novels in my favorite genres to books written by experts in the writing field. I continually researched on the internet, reading up on the industry and process. I attended writing conferences and made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions and learning what it took to become successful.

Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write Dead Man's Hand. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my novel.

I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel to point where I could create the best possible novel.

I sent out hundreds of query letters to agents. After six months of rejections, I pulled my manuscript back and worked on it again. Then in my next round of proposals, I was offered representation by Ms. Jennifer Lyons of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

After months of work with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realized in April 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books.

The term “practice makes perfect” can basically relate to anything you do. Hockey and writing are no different.

Many people might not see a connection between writing and hockey, but there are many similarities in not only your preparation, but “musts” once you’re there.

In both hockey and writing, you need three things: patience, persistence, and thick skin.

My transition from professional hockey player to published author was surprisingly smooth. Hockey and writing have many things in common.

For both, it takes hard work and practice. There are many critics, and you need to be able to take criticism with a grain of salt. Both the hockey and writing worlds are small communities, filled with people who want to help you succeed. In order to find success, in both you need to be persistent and confident.

It’s all about taking a chance, putting yourself out there to be evaluated by your peers. That’s the scariest part.

It takes time to get “good” at something. I started writing when I was young and playing professional hockey. A couple of hours a day on the ice and in the gym and then the day was mine. I also suffered a serious eye injury and couldn`t play, so I had a lot more time on my hands. Now that I`m older, with a family and full time job, makes it a lot harder to find the time to write. Take advantage and chase your dreams while you’re young.

My one piece of advice for all aspiring hockey players and writers…you’ll get a lot of “no’s” along the way and people trying to bring you down. But remember, it only takes one “yes.” Stick with it. Anything is possible. It’s all about “staying the course” and not getting off track. Have no regrets and leave nothing on the table.



Back cover for Dead Man's Hand

What happens when the deck is stacked against you…

From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.

…and the cards don't fall your way?

When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand?

Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

About Luke:

Luke Murphy lives in Shawville, Quebec with his wife, three daughters and pug.

He played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. Since then, he’s held a number of jobs, from sports columnist to radio journalist, before earning his Bachelor of Education degree (Magna Cum Laude).

Murphy`s debut novel, Dead Man`s Hand, was released by Imajin Books on October 20, 2012.



Stalk Luke here: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Review Blurbs:

"You may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out."
—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Lincoln Letter

"Dead Man's Hand is a pleasure, a debut novel that doesn't read like one, but still presents original characters and a fresh new voice."
—Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Flower

"Part police procedural, part crime fiction, Dead Man's Hand is a fast, gritty ride."
—Anne Frasier, USA Today bestselling author of Hush

November 25, 2013

Blog Tour Stop for #TheLastThreeWords by @justbishop #YAPNR #EvernightTeen

Title: The Last Three Words
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: November 15, 2013
Publisher: Evernight Teen

Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Christian Marx never belonged anywhere but with his best friend Maye. Life with her beats the hell out of the dingy apartment he shares with his neglectful mother. Mom may be blood, but Maye and her little sister Rowe are family. Life would be perfect if only Maye loved him the way he loved her.

Last night, she did. Today, she's dead—a tragic accident no one could have predicted.

With Maye gone, it's up to those she left behind to figure out how to move on. Only one person can drag Christian away from the ledge. Only one person can save Maye's little sister from making a huge mistake.

Sometimes the only way to un-break yourself is to fix someone else.
 



Stalk Ashley here: Goodreads | Twitter | Webiste

Ashley's bio

Ashley is a thirty-something perpetual teenager. She (slowly) writes young adult fiction that pulls no punches and rarely conforms to the unspoken rules. Home is upstate South Carolina, where Ashley lives with her daughter, working for a living and striving to better herself and her craft.

Excerpt

“Yeah, 387 Greer Highway,” my voice was flat over the sound of sobbing, begging, in the background. “Overdose…barely…bourbon and something prescription, I’m not sure.”

The dispatcher pledged to stay on the line until the ambulance arrived, but I abandoned her first, setting the receiver on the kitchen counter and grabbing the car keys before walking out the front door, unnoticed. What was one more unforgivable act? Besides, I'd done my part. The rest would have to be on the two of them. I stood in the driveway looking back at for a few moments at this place that used to feel like home, and continued on my way to anywhere but here.

I don’t remember the three point turn, or creeping under the canopy of trees that shaded the long gravel drive from the house to the road. Time was lost and instinct took over steering, the gas pedal, and the brake, though I had no need for it. There was no traffic this time of night, when morning hung only a couple of hours over the horizon. I just drove, the lazy speed of the car moving through the dark echoing the numbness I’d succumbed to after struggling against it for so long. It felt almost nice.

I watched, lost in thought, as the darkened houses and pastures passed. I'd considered the existence of fate many times in my life, but only for the past few weeks with any real seriousness. The mistakes made tonight were no accident, no coincidence. Had any of it ever been?

Without realizing, I pulled the car off to the shoulder and into the grass, at that place on Greer Highway that had haunted me for what seemed like a lifetime. It felt like another life, when we’d been happy. I stared out the windshield, willing myself to see something real, something to anchor me in reality, but there was nothing.

I needed to feel it, this road I'd been avoiding in the weeks since. To touch it, know if there was anything left there. It felt like the natural place to make peace with all that had happened, apologize. There had been a purpose to all of it. Maybe she could forgive me. But would I ever forgive myself?

November 24, 2013

Check your emotions, woman. Arrg, Pax! >.< RUNNING FROM SHADOWS #WeWriWa #8Sunday #YAPNR



Today I'm sharing from my (unpublished) young adult paranormal romance Running From Shadows!

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.
 ****
Set-up (last week)... Greta runs away from her surprise engagement partthrough the woodsPax saves her from a shadow demon. Oh, and he's a unicorn! 
Back at Pax's cabin, Greta and Pax talk. He tells her that the shadow has fed on her emotions. And that it's definitely someone she knows. And she must under no circumstance confront it because it will kill her. And don't get emotional about anything! >.< Oh, but wait, Pax has more to say...

Cover Art by Danielle Fine

“Besides, your biggest problem right now is that you’re marked.”

“Okay.”

I must’ve looked skeptical, because he reached out and took my hands in his. “You have to try.” Blood burned in my cheeks but, for once, it wasn’t anger or embarrassment. “If you can check your emotions, the demon won’t have anything to feed on. It’ll become weak and make mistakes. And when it does, I’ll be ready to destroy it.”


Tune in next week for more angsty spooky goodness!

Thanks again for stopping by! Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated!


****
Extra! Extra!

*Would you like to see some pics of Greta and Pax? Check them out here! Gotta love Pinterest!! Ooo, stalk me there too, please...uh, here! ;) 

*Self-publishing? Need an editor and cover artist? Check out my uber-talented editor, Danielle Fine, she's wonderful to work with and does exceptional work! Click here for more info! 

*Check out the USA Today recommended book trailer for Witch Way to Turn!! here

November 20, 2013

Dragons and confessions and zombies. Oh my! Doin' Midweek Mayhem #likeaboss! #LONGING

Working it out…
  • (I'm confessing bookly things!) Author Avery Olive invited me to her blog, and it gets real, prepare yourselves! There may be mention of the Red Room of Pain...just sayin' :P
  • (My novella...) Starting on the djinn edits this week! Countdown is on to get it turned in by December 1! Excited! The anthology is scheduled to release early next year!
  • (Publishing!) Our Kickstarter campaign for Dead New World by Ryan Hill is officially live via Definition House! Hope you'll check it out and help bring our zombies to life! :D 
************
The Dead New World book trailer!
Zombies aren't mindless anymore...


Hearing voices…
Cover art by Danielle Fine
  • Check out my stunning cover inspiration for my dark and gritty new adult urban fantasy with cursed dragon shifters (right beside this paragraph) designed by the talented Danielle Fine!!!
  • Twitter pitch for BecomingAfter a transplant gives Zoe a dragon shifter’s heart, she learns that her online boyfriend is her donor and...a girl.
************
 Today I'm sharing snippet #22 from the Becoming prequel titled Longing (unedited and in Taylor's POV)! Read snippets here: #1#2#3#4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21. Excited for y'all to get to know my dragons better :) 

Longing - Chapter 1 (snippet #22)... 


Now Zoe’s dark-black hair danced softly across her shoulders when she scanned the room of eager children, hungry for the next chapter. She was a natural storyteller, bringing each character to life with a different tone of voice. Taylor was in no way a spiritual person, but listening to Zoe read had to be the closest she would ever come to heaven.

What Taylor wouldn’t give to just talk to Zoe, but the thought of the angelic being looking at her with those heart-piercing jade eyes, falling for her and then losing her was more than Taylor could bear. Some would argue it was better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Taylor couldn’t disagree more. No, it was safer to pine from a distance.


************

Cover art by Danielle Fine
Waiting game...
  • Running From Shadows is currently with 2 lovely agents!
  • Requests currently out for Becoming are 7 total! Squee!!!  *fingers and toes crossed* 
Reading...
  • (Am reading - woulda been finished by now but got side-tracked with the 50 Shades trilogy. I enjoyed it!) Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter! Book #2 in the White Rabbit Chronicles. Fantastic spin on zombies...they live and feed among us in the spiritual world... Creepy awesomeness!
  • Looking for book recommendations and reviews for your 2013 TBR List? Check out The Perks of Being a Book Nerd

Bonus material... 
*Writers, looking for a talented editor? I highly recommend Danielle FineShe's edited four manuscripts of mine and has taught me so much! I'm a stronger writer because of her guidance. Also, she designed my beautiful inspiration cover art for Becoming and Running From ShadowsAnnnnd she created the book trailer for Witch Way to Turn! 
*For more information on Dani's editing services, cover design, book trailer creation and website design stop by her site!

************
Random Alert! Alert. Alert. Alert...
Nutella... Nuff said :P

The demon pup was sooo sleepy after his friends left on Sunday. Had a blast with my cousin and her two little boys!

Note to self: tea with popcorn in it sounds kinda cool, howeves, not so tasty O_o

Random 'hi' from Banshee...she was happy cos she just finished a tasty soul :P

Just remember... You do!!

November 17, 2013

Erm, demon feeding frenzy? Crap! RUNNING FROM SHADOWS #WeWriWa #8Sunday #YAPNR #unicorns



Today I'm sharing from my (unpublished) young adult paranormal romance Running From Shadows!

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.
 ****
Set-up (last week)... Greta runs away from her surprise engagement partthrough the woodsPax saves her from a shadow demon. Oh, and he's a unicorn! 
Back at Pax's cabin, Greta and Pax talk. He tells her that the shadow has fed on her emotions. And that it's definitely someone she knows. And she must under no circumstance confront it because it will kill her. Oh, and don't get emotional about anything! >.<

Cover Art by Danielle Fine

I tossed my hands up. “You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m in high school, dealing with an ass-load of problems. The biggest at the moment being I’m engaged, against my will, to my stalker!”

Paxton furrowed his brow and something about his eyes seemed to glow. “Case in point. That would send the demon into a feeding frenzy.”



Tune in next week for more angsty spooky goodness!

Thanks again for stopping by! Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated!


****
Extra! Extra!

*Would you like to see some pics of Greta and Pax? Check them out here! Gotta love Pinterest!! Ooo, stalk me there too, please...uh, here! ;) 

*Self-publishing? Need an editor and cover artist? Check out my uber-talented editor, Danielle Fine, she's wonderful to work with and does exceptional work! Click here for more info! 

*Check out the USA Today recommended book trailer for Witch Way to Turn!! here

November 12, 2013

Excited to read this!! Realease day for #ALongTimeComing by @HLVanFleet! #sequel #NewAdult #romance


Hello, darlings. Today I have a guest spotlight featuring my amazingly talented and multi-published friend Heather Van Fleet! Release day for the sequel to When It's Least Expected is here! I loved that book and can't wait to read A Long Time Coming. Buying my copy today! Now, for the sexy deets!

Title: A Long Time Coming
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Novel
Publisher: Sunshine Press

Blurb

Abigail Orson has a problem. A love problem to be precise; and she has absolutely no idea how to go about fixing it.

For years now, she has been chasing her best friend’s brother—demanding things from him that he’s never wanted to give. For one? A real relationship that surpasses well beyond that dreaded ‘just friends’ zone. You see, David Anderson is her idea of perfection to a T. The one and only guy who has ever had the ability to make her heart beat faster; make her toes curl with the simple blink of his long, girly lashes. But David is also a recovering amputee, and the only thing he really wants from Abigail is to be left alone. Abigail is a fighter though, and losing the one guy who has ruined her for every other is no longer an option.

A guy with one leg who has lost his motivation to live—to love—to actually be a man. David believes he’s a waste of space. If only the beautiful girl of his unattainable dreams would get that through her perfect, blonde, stubborn head! He’s not the right guy for Abigail. He’ll never be worthy of what she deserves. However, staying away is almost impossible, especially when he’s just as in love with her as she is with him. But Abigail has a life ahead of her, one that’s definitely livable without a nineteen–year–old gimp like him holding her down. What makes her want to stick around is beyond questionable to David’s mind.

Choices will be made. Lines will be drawn. And together, they will face challenges that nobody saw coming. David and Abigail may have had almost fourteen years to fall in love, but the thing is, timing and love have never exactly worked in their favor.

It has been years in the making, and definitely A Long Time Coming for David and Abigail. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up before they actually have the chance to get it right…

Stalk Heather here

Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter 
Website

Buy links: Smashwords | All Romance Ebooks
Sunshine Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Excerpt

She spun around, nibbling on her lip, grabbing both of his hands as she pulled him slowly along with her. Her eyes were so focused and shiny that he barely remembered his own name, let alone what he was about to say.

“No crutches, David.”

They made it to the edge of the floor, just as the tempo of the music slowed, to that of a seductive, rhythmic beat. She pulled his hands towards her, and he took that non–verbal command, wrapping his arms around her waist. His fingers knew just what to do, settling into the curves of her body right above her perfect ass. Those damn traitorous body parts had a mind of their own.

“I won’t let you fall…” she whispered in his ear, running her fingers through the back of his hair like a vixen who he wanted to steal away forever, only, though, so he could lock her up with him in the backseat of her car again.

Shit …it wasn’t the fear of falling that worried him. Oh no…it was the fear of never wanting to let her go again.



Heather's Bio

Heather Van Fleet currently resides in northern Illinois, with her three daughters, Kelsey, Emma, and Isabella, and her fabulous hubby (and high school sweetheart) Chris, with whom she’s been blissfully married to now for ten plus years. She’s a stay at home mom by day, and an avid and completely obsessive writer and reader by night.


Watch the fab trailer here!


November 10, 2013

It'll kill me. Ah! No pressure, right? RUNNING FROM SHADOWS #WeWriWa #8Sunday #YAPNR



Today I'm sharing from my (unpublished) young adult paranormal romance Running From Shadows!

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.
 ****
Set-up (last week)... Greta runs away from her surprise engagement partthrough the woodsPax saves her from a shadow demon. Oh, and he's a unicorn! 
Back at Pax's cabin, Greta and Pax talk. He tells her that the shadow has fed on her emotions. And that it's definitely someone she knows. And she must under no circumstance confront it because it will kill her. Geez, no pressure, right?

Cover Art by Danielle Fine
“Good...Just act normal. Stick with your routine. With one exception.” He arched a perfect brow.

Seriously? I could barely remember all the information he’d given me up to this point. “Which is?”

“Don’t get emotional about anything.”



Tune in next week for more angsty spooky goodness!

Thanks again for stopping by! Your support and feedback is greatly appreciated!


****
Extra! Extra!

 * Would you like to see some pics of Greta and Pax? Check them out here! Gotta love Pinterest!! Ooo, stalk me there too, please...uh, here! ;) 

*Self-publishing? Need an editor and cover artist? Check out my uber-talented editor, Danielle Fine, she's wonderful to work with and does exceptional work! Click here for more info! 

*Check out the USA Today recommended book trailer for Witch Way to Turn!! here