Monday, March 30, 2015

Are you ready for the YA Scavenger Hunt?

Hello Everyone!
I’m so happy to be one of the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors!
We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamPink! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days. 
If you’ve never been a part of the hunt before, you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. 
Here's your chance to read bonus content from WOMAN OF HONOR as well as secret content from another author. Believe me, it's something you want to see. :) I'll also be giving away 5 ebooks of WOMAN OF HONOR as well. You don’t want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days.
And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)
Pink Team
Blue Team 1 
Team Gold (2)
Team Green
Team Red 1
Team Teal (2)
Team Orange
Team Purple 1

I hope you are all as excited as I am! 
THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Body Institute Cover Reveal


The Body Institute
Release Date: 09/01/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…


About the Author
I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel THE BODY INSTITUTE explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member. 

You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading--mostly young adult novels--as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds. 


Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

Monday, March 2, 2015

DEFYING REASON with Elizabeth Seckman

Ines de Castro and Prince Pedro of Portugal shared a tragic love. Ines was the lady in waiting to the prince's new wife, Princess Contance Castile. The Castile line had connections and power, so Prince Pedro's infatuation with Constance's maid threatened the unity in the kingdom. So, Pedro's father, King Alfonso forbid the couple to be together. Ines was exiled from the kingdom. 

When Constance died, Prince Pedro sought out Ines and brought her back to the kingdom. His father, the king, still forbid them to marry. Undaunted, the couple lived together openly, resulting in four children. This open defiance, and Ines' powerful influence over Pedro, angered the king, so while Pedro was out of the country, he had Ines killed. 

When Pedro returned, in his fury, he launched a war against his father's throne. His mother was able to bring peace to the father and son, but Pedro never forgot. When the king died and Pedro took the throne, he hunted down Ines' killers. He found two of them and both were executed by ripping their hearts from their chests. He also proclaimed Ines was rightfully the queen, and legend has it, he had her body exhumed and forced the court to pledge their allegiance to her dead body. 

Pedro and Ines are interred in a monastery, their coffins side by side with the promise: até ao fim do mundo...until the end of the world. And ironically, Constance and Pedro's son, Ferdinand, was the last of the First Dynasty. The new king to take the throne married the great-granddaughter of Ines and it was their children who reigned during the Age of Discovery when the countries of Europe started looking across the seas to the new world. 

 

The Blurb:

Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long line of trouble-making, white trash stock.
Tanner Coulter comes from a longer line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.
Jo graduated college top of her class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.
Tanner dropped out of college, trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.

A family crisis throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.

 
Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever- after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots. The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but dreams daily of the beach. 

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Biggest Fan Giveaway

BIGFAN


Thanks for stopping by for the Biggest Fan Giveaway! Chances are if you are seeing this page, you consider yourself one of the biggest fans of one our participating authors. This post will introduce you to the other participating authors, and if you think you would like to take a look at their books, too, you'll find a form at the bottom of this page where you can enter to win a book of your choice (there may be some restrictions on some authors) from EVERY author here. All we ask is that, in exchange for the free books, you review them all sometime within the next year. So, without further ado, let's meet the participating authors and learn a little about each of the bestselling titles. Please enter by 3/1/2015 to be considered!

dorianna
Catherine Stine writes YA, New Adult and Middle Grade fiction. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, illustrated by the author won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards. It was also granted a 2013 Bronze Wishing Shelf Book Award and a 2013 Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Catherine says her bestselling title at the moment is Dorianna.
"Internet followers, beauty, power. It all sounded good, until it transformed into a terrifying reality Dorianna couldn’t stop."

Novelist Grae Lily is the incredibly camera shy author of GRIM LOVE (Paranormal Romance Novella) and FOOL'S ERRAND (Romantic Thriller Novella). Finally taking pen to paper after decades of ghostwriting for others, Grae has dozens of titles begging to be released to the world. Her expertise as a ghostwriter has given her the opportunity to write in many genres and she looks forward to releasing titles that span genres in the very near future. Here's a pitch from her bestselling title, Grim Love.
"The afterlife is proving to be far more than Evangeline imagined, now that Lucius as chosen her as one of his Reapers."

Grishma
Kelly Anne Blount is the bestselling author of The Necoh Saga (Grishma and Ayla), Hard Love Series (Impassioned), Shade (Part of the Pandora Paranormal Box Set) and Captured. She loves creating unique and compelling characters with amazing stories and new worlds for readers to explore. We asked her which of her bestselling titles she think you would like most, and she recommended Grishma. Check it out!
"In the world of Necoh, everyone fears Grishma, a hideous murderous beast responsible for ruining or ending the lives of anyone who dare cross her."

Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor's degree in English. She then followed in a Master's program in Creative Writing. Her bestselling title is What Lies Within Us.
"After receiving a letter from an aunt she never knew existed, Kyna Hughes travels to Ireland only to find out that her whole life has been a series of well-orchestrated lies, and suddenly, this poor girl from the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains is thrust into a life of not only the wealthy and affluent, but of dark magic and secret societies."

bloodlust
Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, or regency. She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor. When she's not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. Check out her bestselling title, Bloodlust.
"The gripping forbidden love story between a barbarian princess and a goliath."

USA Today and Amazon top 100 Bestselling Author, Noree Cosper loves writing about magic in the modern world. While growing up in Texas she constantly searched for mystical elements in the mundane. She buried her nose in both fiction and books about Wicca, Religion, and Mythology. Everyday became an adventure as she joined a group of role-players, acting out her fantasies of vampires, demons, and monsters living in the world. Learn more about her bestselling title, A Prescription for Delirium.
"Not even death can save her."

oncebitten
Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing. Phoenix has multiple works in progress, and her favourite writing genres are the same as her reading genres; erotica, romance, paranormal, thriller and a combination of these. Here's a bit about her bestselling title, Once Bitten, Twice Shy.
"A werewolf and his lover, a woman with a disturbing past, fighting to live a normal life in peace."

Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she's not in her writing lair, she's partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel's love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was... You'll love her bestselling title, Unleashed.
"A teenage girl discovers a boy close to her has ingested a stolen drug from a nearby medical research facility, unleashing his dark and evil alter-ego, and he’s determined to make her just like him. Like hell."

summoned
Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at RainyoftheDark and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA. Someone told her she's a USA Today Bestselling author. She thought there would be cake. While there may not be any cake for her to share with us, she would love to share with you her bestselling title, Summoned.
"A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him."

Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages. Her bestselling title to date is The Forever Girl.
"When a spell Sophia casts goes wrong, her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous."

Echoes-of-Memories-v21
A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She's primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others. You won't want to miss out on her bestselling title, Echoes of Memories.
"As if trying to recover fragments of her missing memory wasn't enough, Elsa must clear her name and figure out Alexander's next move."

Susan Stec loves laughing with her daughters, class B scary movies, fine cuisine and hamburgers from Wendy's. She's addicted to electronics, dark chocolate, vintage eyeglass frames, warm socks, and a really good cup of cappuccino. Susan is a wannabe gamer--Zelda is her favorite--and enjoys playing Super Mario with her grandsons. You'll want to check out her bestselling title, They're So Vein.
"They're So Vein is a hilarious and irreverent new twist on the paranormal/vampire romance genre."

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THINK YOU ARE THE BIGGEST FAN OF ONE OF THESE AUTHORS?

Please fill out the form by 3/1/2015 for your chance to win 12 of books of your choice by the above authors!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Deja Vu Blogfest 2014 - How To Write Realistic Dialogue


Deja Vu Blogfest 2014



Everyone, I'm so sorry. For some reason, Blogger didn't post this like it should have. I thought for sure I hit publish and not save, and wasn't able to be on the computer yesterday because of dealing with kids with fevers and didn't realize it never posted until today.

The post I'm reposting is one way back from 2009. And oldie but hopefully a goodie. :)

HOW TO WRITE REALISTIC DIALOGUE

Well written, realistic dialogue is one of the most useful tools at an author’s disposable. Nothing else can pull a reader from a story than unbelievable dialogue. Imagine a character like Mandy Moore’s in A Walk to Remember. Now picture that character cursing. In context, it might work, if given the right situation but most likely, a goody-two-shoes like that would never swear. A bum on the streets won’t use large, obscure words. Neither would a small child unless they are precocious. Here are some tips for including authentic dialogue in your novels:

1. Go to the mall or other places where lots of people go. Sit on a bench and eavesdrop. It’s amazing how much you can learn just by listening. As an added bonus, you might even come up with new story ideas!

2. Create a character sketch. In order for your character’s dialogue to be true to the character, it must reflect the character’s flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and personality. A smoker character will not rant about the evils of the big bad tobacco companies. An animal activist will yell at someone for killing a fly.

3. Large blocks of dialogue, similar to large blocks of description, are boring. Pepper some action throughout dialogue scenes. Maybe your hero and heroine are dancing. Or they’re on a long car trip. People often talk with hand gestures. Include movements and other actions.

4. As I hinted at earlier, use swear words sparingly unless the character demands it. Some people hide behind them or use them for release. Other characters may only use them under highly stressful situations. And if you are writing a historical piece, look up the curse words of that time period. In Woman of Honor, a medieval fantasy romance novel, my characters sometimes yell, “God’s Teeth!” or “God’s Wounds!” It lends an authentic feel to the piece.

5. While using words appropriate to locale (some regions say soda, others pop), try to avoid dating your piece with slang. Unless you are rewriting West Side Story and need gang dialogue.

6. If you are going to use accents, make certain that they are constant throughout the novel but not overbearing. Reread Huckleberry Finn, Twain was the master at this.

7. Once you write a dialogue scene, read it aloud. Have your boyfriend/wife/sibling/someone reading a character and you read another. Does it flow well? Does it make sense? Does it further the story and add details to the plot? If you answered no to any of the questions, your dialogue needs a tune up.

Woman of Honor tells the tale of young Aislinn, who desires to become a knight to take her fallen brother’s place. The king grants her a two year probationary period during which Aislinn proves herself time and again. Once the two years are over, the king says that she may now beginning her training as a first year page. Infuriated, Aislinn has an argument with Prince Caelan in this never shared before excerpt that shows how powerful and emotional dialogue can be:

Aislinn hurried outside the castle. The walls loomed oppressive and overbearing. She quickly strode around the courtyard, letting her long steps eat up the earth. The scent of flowers reached her nose but she couldn’t process the sweet smells. She attempted to calm down but her thoughts ran around at such a lightening quick speed that she couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. Eventually, she forced herself back inside the castle and returned to her room. Regardless of what choice she decided, whether to redo the last two years of her life or not, she would have to return at some point. The whole situation is absurd! To think that at ten years old, when I am at the same level as the other two year pages, that I should be forced to be on the same level as the new pages! Seven year olds! And to think that I was humiliated when I told everyone I was eight.

She opened her door, and stopped short. Her room wasn’t empty. Prince Caelan, heir to the throne, rose from the single chair in the room.

“Caelan,” she managed to say through clenched teeth. She looked at him and saw his father, saw her king, and relived her humiliation all over again in one heartbeat.

“Aislinn, I’m sorry,” he said, swiftly coming out of the seat. He took a step toward her, one hand held out. “I fought for you, I told my father you deserved a chance. You must know that.”

His words mean nothing to me. He means nothing to me!

She said nothing and stomped over to the bureau, yanking the drawers open. She pulled her few possessions and clothing, holding them to her chest as she slammed the drawers shut. Caelan stepped closer, hovering near her shoulder, but he refrained from touching her and said nothing. Her hands shook with rage and the clothes wrinkled. She took them to her narrow bed and refolded them, her movements crisp and precise. When she finished, she returned to the bureau and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. The reflection startled her. She wore an emotionless face but her eyes contained so much hurt and pain that she barely recognized herself.

Caelan spoke again, his voice rougher and deeper.

“I know you would do anything for my father. If he asked you to leave this country and to spy on the Speicans, you would. You would lead a raid into their country if he merely hinted at it. You would lay your life down for him just because he is the leader of this country.” Here, the prince paused. “One day, I shall take his place and I shall be king. Yet I don’t know if you would follow me as willingly as you would my father.”

“Why do you say that, your Highness?” she asked, the formal title more a stinging retort than a sign of respect.

“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. His hand rested in the bend of her arm, but she didn’t turn to face him. “I have done nothing but fight for you.”

“Why?” Aislinn asked. She thought of the three W’s, how the prince had wanted to help her but she had been too proud to ask for it, how he had helped anyhow. Even before that, warning her to learn how to swim. He urged Geoffrey to be her mentor, even though Geoffrey denied that Caelan had made him.

Caelan pulled on her arm enough to make her turn and she faced him, keeping her hands clenched at her side. The prince grinned slowly, a reckless and daring smile that spread to his eyes. Aislinn drew in a breath as sudden heat spread over her. His whole face had lit up with his grin and his eyes glowed, like two dark sapphires.

“Why doesn’t matter,” he eventually answered in a voice so low it barely carried across the space between them and Aislinn realized the truth of his words. It didn’t matter.

But he was wrong to question her. Aislinn served the king because he was king. One day, Caelan would be king, and she would serve him just as fiercely and just as honorably.

“I would obey you like I would any king,” she told him, finally finding enough control to keep the edge from her voice. She swallowed. “I would die to protect you.”

“Good,” Caelan said, his eyes still slightly wild as his grin widened a small degree. “Then you know what you must do, Aislinn.”

Aislinn stared up at him, her heart breaking. She clenched her fists harder. “But I have to redo the last two years of my life all over again. Everything up to this point had been for naught! For nothing!”

“You have two choices.” His voice was calm, a sharp contrast to the anger and frustration waging in Aislinn’s chest. “Either do as my father says and begin again. Or leave and the last two years will truly be for naught.”

“No, there has to be another way.” She shook her head sharply.

Caelan’s hand slid from her elbow to wrap around her fist. Without thinking, she unfurled her fingers and he held her hand in his. “Aislinn, I can’t persuade my father. He shall not bend.”

“But he isn’t being fair!”

“Fair or not, he is king.”

Aislinn frowned. Protests welled in her throat but she refused to voice them and slowly an idea formed. “Perchance…” she started.

“Perchance?” Caelan prompted, taking a step closer to her.

Aislinn shook her head, refusing to say her thoughts. “I gave him my services. I gave him my life for two years. Two years! I can’t forgive him for this.”

He released her hand, taking a step back, his expression hardening. “You must,” he said, his tone now cold and distant.

Aislinn tightened her jaw and stared at the floor. He stepped back from her and walked away. She didn’t bother to look up when the door slammed as the prince left the room.

She slowly whistled her breath out before quickly packing her belongings and leaving the room without a backward glance.