Sunday, June 30, 2013

SWEET RECKONING Teaser #1!!!


As incentive for winning the first round of the 2013 YA Crush Tourney, I promised #TeamKaidan a teaser from book 3!  Now, y'all know I hate spoilers, and I'm pretty skimpy when it comes to teasers, so don't hate me too much for the short snippet.  We've got a long 10 month wait ahead of us, and I'm sure there will be plenty more little teasers to come!  :)  

The next round of the Tourney is going to be hard, guys.  HARD.  Kaidan will be up against one of two book boys that I personally love.  Kaidan's next round will be Friday, July 12th against either Warner (from Shatter Me) or Will (from the Clockwork Angel series).  EEEK, right?!?!  I'm going to have to come up with a huge incentive for that one. . .

As promised, here is your teensy tease.  Thank you all so much for your continued support and SWEET love.  I want to give each of you a big squeezy hug!


*     *     *

I texted Kaidan, who was listed in my contacts under “James,” for James Bond. He’d chosen it. He had me listed as “Hot Chick From Gig.”
Video chat in 30.
His immediate response made me shake my head.
Clothing optional?
It was nice to know he could keep a sense of humor in the face of calamity. Or maybe he wasn’t joking...
“Are you two flirting?” Patti asked, her eyes darting to me from the road.
I blushed and deleted his message. 



*     *     *

Update:  See Me beta readers will be chosen this week as soon as I get a chance (I'm at the beach with my family, yay!)  Be on the lookout for that post in a couple days.  Thanks for your patience!!
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Crush Tourney and SEE ME Update


Hello lovelies!

First off, I have not had a chance to go through all of my comments and choose my beta readers yet.  I'm so very sorry for the delay, but this week has been insane with swim camp and preparing for our travels this weekend.  I promise to have my list of beta readers chosen within the week (I'm not accepting anymore entries, sorry).  I will let you know when the post is up!  :)  The response was so overwhelming that I had to close the comments/entries after two days!!!

Today is Kaidan's first round in the 2013 YA Crush Tourney!  




I'm so excited for this year's tournament!!!  However, it's been brought to my attention that people have found ways to cheat and vote more than once.  Please be honest, guys.  There's no glory in an illegitimate win.  Vote once.  :-)

The tournament limited the number of pics our advocates were allowed to use, so Kayleigh put a post on her site with all the YUMMINESS here!  



* * *   If Kaidan wins today, I will be releasing the very first teaser from Book 3 in The Sweet Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning!

I love you guys!  Thanks for everything!!!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seeking Beta Readers for SEE ME!

UPDATE! June 25:  Due to receiving WAY more entries than expected, I'm going to shut the comments down today - that includes other social medias, so any entries received via other avenues will not be considered either - sorry!   I'll need a few days to sort through and decide (OMGosh - this is going to be so hard!!!)  I will post the chosen beta readers here on Friday.  Thank you so much, everyone!

Original Post:

Let's do this.

I know I said I wasn't going to work this summer, and technically I'm not writing something new...just revising. Plus, I'm expecting another round of edits for book 3 (Sweet Reckoning) soon, so I can't get out of all work 100%. But I promise I'm not working as much as normal. Not even close!  :)

Everything takes longer for me in the summer because I have my precious babies all day, every day, so I can only work at night and during the week of July while they're in camp.  Over the next three weeks I will be reading through my Irish fantasy, See Me, adding the new scene that I have in mind, and doing a general revision. I'm not changing any of the big stuff. I want to wait and see what my new beta readers say first.  To learn more about my new book, See Me, and find out what the heck we're talking about, read my post from yesterday.

The reader response to my last post was outstanding. You guys are so supportive and incredible - you always make me emotional!  Thank you.

I want a well-rounded group of beta readers, teens and adults, experienced critics/reviewers and unexperienced.  I honestly have no idea how I'll chose.  It might have to be a name draw, because the pressure is too much for me, lol.

What would be expected of you as a beta reader?
  • You would be emailed the manuscript/Word doc by July 15th, and you'd have approximately three weeks to provide feedback (I'd need it back the first week of August).  Please only enter if you're available during this timeframe.
  • You would be expected to give me your honest opinion about what you didn't like, what you'd prefer to see changed (if anything), and basically just your overall thoughts. I'm not looking for unwarranted praise. Only your complete honesty can help me improve the story. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. :)
  • You could not, under any circumstances, share the story with anyone else or I would be very sadface.


If you are interested in reading See Me and providing feedback which will help me revise, please answer the following questions in the comment section of this blog post (people reading this on Goodreads will need to visit my actual blog to comment - comments made on Goodreads will not be considered):

1) Your first name
2) Are you a teen or an adult (18+)?
3) Have you ever done a full book critique/beta read for anyone?


I will post my list of beta readers this Friday, June 28th, so check back then!!!  *big, squeezy hugs*





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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Decline of Paranormal and My Predicament


I know I said I wouldn't be blogging much this summer, but something has come up that I want to talk to y'all about...

Starting last year, publishers began picking up less paranormal and more contemporary.  Personally, I believe this is because they're trying to battle the massive amount of reasonably priced self-pubished pieces out there (the vast majority of which are contemporaries).  It could also be because there was so much paranormal written in a few short years that it's becoming harder to keep things new and original.  Whatever the reason, paranormal is on a major decline.  

As many of you know, the 2nd and 3rd books in my Sweet Trilogy almost weren't picked-up last year.  Sales for Sweet Evil had only been "okay."  Now, because of you incredibly dedicated readers, sales for Sweet Peril were up 86% in the first five weeks of sales over Sweet Evil's first five weeks.  You. Guys. Freaking. Rock.  Thank you for making HarperTeen's gamble a win for all!!  

That being said, my agent and I recently submitted another story (an urban fantasy romance set in Ireland) and it was rejected.  I'm actually not at all upset or bitter about this, because I knew it was a very different story and it was a long shot.  And while there were things they loved about it, it might be a bit too far out of the norm for comfort.  Also, I was told once again that paranormal/fantasy YA sales are down.  Publishers are a business, and it's not always good to take risks.

So, now my agent and I are stuck with this wee little story on our hands, wondering what to do.  I have a funny feeling that if we submit it to other publishers, we'll get much of the same response.  There's always self-publishing, yes.  But there are things about this novel that I'm unsure of.  There's one aspect of the plot that made both the publisher and my agent nervous.  Naturally I'm second-guessing this element now.  Do I take it out?  Change it?  Leave it?  I don't know...

I have an idea, but I want to test the waters and see if you guys are game.  I'm considering having a contest in which several "winners" would be chosen to be beta-readers of the book.  Said beta-readers would provide feedback that will help me to decide which direction I'll go with the story.  (It feels really arrogant of me to say that "winners" will get to read my possibly sucky story. Like, "Congratulations! You get to help me for free and you might not even like it!"  Lol, wow.  I apologize for using you in this way.)  All of my personal beta-readers have read it, and the overall feedback from them has been incredible.  But it would be beneficial to have the opinion of "regular readers."

Bad idea?  Or would you be game?

Let me tell you a little about the story, and you can comment below with your thoughts.

It's called See Me.  Let me tell you what this story does NOT have:
  • a mysterious bad boy (Sorry! I already gave you one of those, haha)
  • a main character who was adopted or has dubious parentage
  • a main character whose family is mostly absent
  • two or more boys who are in love with the main character
  • a sequel (it's a stand alone! They really can exist!)
Let me tell you what this story DOES have:
  • a handsome, albeit shy love interest
  • the crazy, cute, and funny best friend of the love interest
  • creepy faeries and sweet leprechauns
  • another girl who's after the love interest! *gasp*
  • a sister who's best friends with the main character and tends to stir up trouble
  • kissing  :)

Here are some fun covers made by some of my beta-readers when the story was up on Inkpop:



(This is how I see McKale)


What say you???  Yay or Nae?

(To enter to be a beta reader for this story, visit the next post!)



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Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Head Is...Empty


Guys. This is weird. For the first time in four years, my head is empty. There is no story banging around. No characters shouting. No plot forking out in obscure directions (or not forking out at all and making me insane). No steamy smooching scenarios.

Nothing. And that is okay. Temporarily.

I am taking the summer off from writing. I will be reading published books, for fun, for the first time in a while. In fact, I have quite a list, and I'm looking forward to it!

But still...it's really strange not to have a story trying to work itself out in my mind. I feel slightly lost and stripped bare or something. 

As far as writing goes I'm not able to devise stories at will. I cannot sit down and brainstorm or write an outline. Either the story comes to me out of nowhere and completely takes over my mind, or it doesn't. My bestie is a very prolific writer. When NA became popular she was like, "Ooh, that sounds fun! I think I want to write an NA!" And within a week she had a solid idea. I have no idea how she does that. I'm in awe. 

Autumn and Cayden (not to be confused with Kaidan)


People ask me all the time to write scenes from Kai's point of view, but I can't force it. The two scenes I did write had flooded my brain long before I agreed to put them on paper. Kai wouldn't shut his sexy mouth. And I love when that happens. I really do. 

The thing is, it's probably good that I don't have a story to tell at this moment. I really, really need to focus on my children this summer. They get shafted when it comes to my time. Half the time when we're together, I'm on the computer, and let's be real. I'm not paying much attention to them, and they know it. I simply do not have enough "child free" time to get all my work done (roughly 10 hours a week), so it leaks into my time with them.

One night a couple months ago, after I'd put my (then 6-year-old) daughter to bed, she came in and asked if I could lay with her a little longer. I was right in the middle of writing. Naturally I tried to tell her no. Tried to tell her I was working. And I can still remember the pained look on her face when she said, "What's more important, Mommy? Work or the people you love?"

Autumn, age 7
She really said that!! And she was serious, not trying to be manipulative as far as I could tell. It was definitely a stab to the heart. So I closed my laptop and snuggled my girl, replaying those words over and over in my head. 

She's seven now. My son is four and a half. They are the only two people in the world who truly NEED me. I don't want to miss their childhood. I want this summer with them. I want to focus on every tiny detail and soak it all in while I can.

I will still be on Twitter and Facebook, answering emails and keeping in touch. I just won't be writing, blogging, or beta reading until school starts back in the fall. At that point it's my hope that a story will bombard me. Something wicked and sexy and daring and delicious. I don't want the storyboard of my mind to be blank forever. Just the next eight to ten weeks. And then Kai, or some equally hott character, can burst to life and have their way with my hands. Because I love writing for you, and I can't wait to give you more.

But for now, this is what I plan to do. Oh, and maybe I'll clean the house a bit more. I'm sure my hardworking husband would love that, lol. I don't know. We'll see.  :-)



To all my "Sweeties" out there, have a wonderful summer. Enjoy your books. Enjoy your families.

Hugs,
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