Friday, September 28, 2012

Holy Freaking Cow, Batman

I do NOT know what is up with me, but I have been sick like you wouldn't believe lately. Actually, I do think I know the problem.

The first week was a cold, but I've actually been feeling pretty crappy for a while. I think my computer screen has finally done me in.

I think I need glasses.

I can't stand looking at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time now before getting a huge headache.


I swear old age is for the birds. It really is. My body is falling apart.

I miss young, spry Emily. She could eat food like a champ and spend hours on the computer with ne'er a problem.

Those days are gone and I think I want to cry. :(

BUT! I am feeling better enough to actually post something with substance on Monday! Not today. Sorry.

Yeah. It's not happening.

So have a great weekend, everyone! And if you can suggest a good place to get glasses with style, that would be greatly appreciated. :)

Oh, and thank you so much to everyone who gave me well wishes!! They really made my day. :D

Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Post with Liesel Hill!

Today I am super excited to have Liesel K. Hill here to talk about nailing down your audience!! Seriously, I'm super excited about this because Liesel has a book coming out and I am ALWAYS trying to help authors spread the word about their books.

Before we get to her post, take a look at this:

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

*New Adult futuristic dystopian fantasy

Sounds pretty amazing doesn't it? Check it out on goodreads.

And now, on to the post!!

Nailing Down Your Audience


Do you ever notice how things are getting more specific and specialized these days? With the growth of technology and the advent of the internet, people are smarter than they’ve ever been.

I can remember watching an episode of Star Trek: TNG back in the day, and there was a young boy—probably twelve—who was complaining to his dad that he didn’t want to take calculus. His father told him it was mandatory and he had to take it. I remember thinking, Yeah right. No one takes calculus at that age! After all, I took one semester of pre-calc in high school, and let’s just say it cured me of any mathematical aspirations.

Yet, now…I think Calculus-at-twelve may happen. Most of our grandparents survived just fine as young married people, as long as they had high school diplomas. Their parents didn’t even need that. In our lifetimes we’ve seen that change to needing college, then to needing graduate school, and now it’s all about marketing to the global community. Specifics and specialization are the ticket to the future.

Defining Your Audience

In the industry of writing, just like any other, specifics and specialization are going to be your ticket.

When I wrote my first book (a historical fiction that won’t be out until late 2013), I tried to be specific about my audience, but I was a greenie and couldn’t figure it out. All writers want to be read by everyone. Of course we do! It’s only natural, but it’s not particularly realistic either.

If you want to succeed as a writer, find your niche, identify your audience, and cater to them. The elusive “others” will trickle toward you naturally if you excel at impressing your niche audience.

Genres and audiences are becoming more and more specific. It’s important to find a balancing point between audience-specific and so-specific-it’s-confusing. In other words, DO specify your book as an adult historical romance. DON’T try to sell it as an adult historical fantasy with elements of steampunk, erotica, and dystopia.

See the difference? You need simple, but specific. (Not at all confusing, is it?)

My debut novel, Persistence of Vision, which will be out later this year (concrete release date still pending) is a futuristic dystopian fantasy. When I originally queried for it, I actually classified it as a scifi. My publisher had no problem with that, but as time went on, I realized that classification was incorrect. Hard-core scifi readers would be horrified. So I started calling it a fantasy (which it is) and not until I started blogging did I realize it was truly a dystopia.

My point is that your book can be classified in many different ways, but you don’t always need to hit on every single one. As long as you know what your book is about and who (audience-wise) would be interested in it, you’ll be successful!

New Adult Classification

One thing I don’t think the industry defines well enough is audience vs. genre. You need both to classify your book but, in my mind, they are two distinct things. Audience is usually age and gender. Genre is the shelf it would be under on Goodreads.

So, Audience = Male or Female, Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children’s, Baby’s.

(You can also be specific in your audience’s demographics, though that usually applies more to non-fiction than fiction, which is our primary subject here.)

Genre = Historical, Scifi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Crime Drama, (there are hundreds so you can fill in your genre of choice, here) etc.

I’m classifying Persistence of Vision as a New Adult dystopian. New Adult is a relatively new classification and is a direct result of the rise in popularity of YA literature. Traditionally, Adult novels have a lot of ‘adult’ (a.k.a. R-rated) content in them. As YA lit has risen, many people gravitate toward it because it’s clean, but they would like to see the same clean reads with older characters.

I am one such individual.

Though I greatly adore many YA novels, as a genre, it’s just not usually my thing.  I get annoyed with teenaged drama VERY quickly. I like to see adults dealing with adult problems. (Welcome to the world!) I think that’s why books like Pushing the Limits (awesome read!) are so popular. It’s about teens, but the teens aren’t dealing with high school drama for the most part. They’re dealing with very adult, real-world problems, and that makes it compelling.

So, basically, New Adult means it reads like a YA (PG-13 or lower) but has adult characters rather than teenaged ones.

Everyone get all that? Clear as mud? Awesome! Remember: God is great, reading is good…and people are crazy! (Which is what makes writing fiction so fun!) :D

 Happy Monday!


Wow, what a great post! Thank you, Liesel! 

For your stalking* convenience, here's where you can find her:

Liesel's Blog

*Please don't stalk in a literal sense. That would just be creepy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Justine Dell is One of the Most Awesome Gals in the World!!!!

And in all her awesomeness, she wrote a book.

*pause for everyone to dance--I suggest the use of thumbs*

In case you've never heard of Justine Dell, I will rectify that situation. But seriously, shame on you. :P

Justine lives in the Midwest, happily catering to her family, which consists of a horse-obsessed teenage daughter and four crazy dogs. She’s never moved from her hometown, but hopes to grow old in a much warmer climate.

During the day she works a normal job with college students who try their best to keep her young. They’ve done a good job thus far.  At night, said teenage daughter and her horse require mounds of love and attention. The weekends belong solely to her and her writing. That’s when she morphs into a sticky bug, unable to leave the confines of her computer chair.
She started writing three years ago after seeing a movie that set off a chain reaction she couldn’t have stopped if she’d wanted. It’s not a hobby for her; it’s an obsession. One she loves and one she loves to share.

Her book:

Ten years, the Atlantic Ocean, and several rungs in society have kept Xavier Cain from having Sophia Montel. Now twenty-seven, he’s spent his entire adult life building a fashion empire that could finally prove his worth to her family. When fate reunites him with Sophia at London’s premiere fashion show, one problem lodges in Xavier’s path: Sophia doesn’t remember him.

The only obstacle that has kept Sophia from Xavier is a horrific car crash that erased her memory at seventeen. She’s spent the last ten years fighting to reclaim a sliver of her past that her mother refuses to help her remember. When Sophia meets Xavier at the London show, however, all her fantasies come to life in one night of passion. Discovering he is the missing link, she is determined to find all the pieces to their love story and her memory.

Xavier wants forever. Sophia wants her memory. If they take this chance, they’ll have to start over. How far are they willing to go get what they want? And when the past catches up to them, can they handle the truths it has hidden?

A taste of the book:

"Xavier had thought he was in paradise before. He’d been wrong. Sophia was more than paradise. She was the very reason he breathed." 

Some info for your pleasure:

Contact Justine by email:

Recaptured Dreams on Goodreads.
Recaptured Dreams on Facebook.
Friend Justine on Facebook
Check out her Blog.
Find her on Twitter.
Find Recaptured Dreams on Goodreads .
Buy the book

And don't forget to check out Omnific Publishing. Romance ... without the rules.

The trailer:

And guess what?? There's a giveaway!!! Just comment below for a chance to win an e-copy of Recaptured Dreams!!

And please spread the word. Sharing the news on Facebook and Twitter is SO important. Let's help make Justine's debut the best ever. :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BEA Book Review #2--The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

It's Wednesday! Wow, week, where did you go?

Well, as promised, this month is all about reviews (and, of course, that amazing GUTGAA event going on, courtesy of Deana Barnhart). And today, I picked a good one. Oooooh, I'm so excited to share this one with you. *shivers in anticipation*

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

*Sigh* What do I say? First off, I'll let you know I waited a long time before picking up this book. It sat there on my bookshelf out of fear. Fear because I loved Shiver and I really didn't want to risk reading a book I might not like by an author I loved. 

And the summary didn't do it for me. At all.

As wonderfully written as all these YA books coming out are, I'm getting a little bored with romance. Not that I don't like romance, it's just things have felt...similar. And I was afraid that a really cool story would eventually morph into chapters upon chapters of two people falling in love instead of two people working together to get through the obstacles the story has presented.

But a fellow SHP author posted about her love for the book on Facebook and I really liked what she had to say, so I decided I needed to give it a go.




Brilliance! So much brilliance.

This is NOT just about two teens finding love and the ensuing chapters of kissy-kissy. Not that many chapters of kissy-kissy is bad, it's just been done and I wanted something new.

In typical Maggie Stiefvater fashion, the story has a very contemporary feel. It's both dark and vivid. And though I'm not usually into stories about mediums/clairvoyants, I really loved Blue's story and her family. Every character came to life and each one was brilliant in a different way.

And is also typical of Stiefvater, each character was so detailed, so fleshed out, any one of them could have been the MC. But Blue is the heroine here and she is amazing. First off, I love the name. And I love how she's kind of the opposite of special. Surrounded by very talented women, she's pretty normal. And she does not want to be normal.

If you love kick-butt female MCs (who show you rather than tell you how kick-butt they are), very real, very sympathetic characters, and unique story lines, you'll like this book.

Though there aren't long, drawn-out kissy-kissy bits, there are very sweet, wonderful moments that should please any romance lover.

Preorder now! Do it. *waves jedi hand*

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

BEA Book Review #1--Crewel, by Gennifer Albin

Hi, everyone! If you're stopping by for the GUTGAA Meet and Greet, my post is here.

As my long-time followers know, I went to BEA last June! And I got a LOT of books. I'm still working through them all, but this was the summer of reading, so I have lots all ready to review. :)

Today, I'm going to talk about this one:

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

I have to admit that I did NOT know Gennifer Albin was going to be at BEA. So when I was walking around, looking for a good book to stand in line for, I did something embarrassing. I asked a very nice girl (who was standing in a very long line) who she was waiting for. When she said Gennifer Albin, the author of Crewel, I squealed. Right in her face. 

And then I ran away to the end of the line. 

*head smack*

Obviously, when my senses came back to me, I was humiliated.

And obviously, you can guess Crewel was one of the first books I read when I got back home. 

Adelice Lewys is an easy protagonist to fall in love with, especially when you find out what happens to her. Gennifer Albin was not afraid to write about tough issues and force her characters to make hard choices. There were moments I actually gasped.

And the writing. Let me talk about the writing.

The insides match the cover, my dear readers: beautiful.

Albin weaved words as wondrously as her characters weaved space and time. I loved all the characters (even the annoying ones) and loved every moment I was stuck in their world.

I HIGHLY recommend you check this book out. Preorder. Now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA Meet and Greet!

Today is the day for the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Meet and Greet! I'll also be participating in this while I do my month of reviews of books from BEA. If you're a visitor, I hope you enjoy your time here. I have tea and crumpets. :)

-Where do you write?

In a little nook off my living room, on a cute white, shabby chic table.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

A framed poem my grandfather bought for me for Christmas many years ago. 

-Favorite time to write?

During my children's nap. It's the only time I can get anything done. LOL!

-Drink of choice while writing?

I LOVE tea. I like to switch it up between my tranquil dream, tiramisu treviso, and hibiscus tea.

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

Music! I have a few different playlists, depending on what I'm writing. For my Auri series, I listen to a LOT of Linkin Park and Rolling in the Deep, by Adele. My songs of choice for my WIP, ALMOST NIGHT are Hurt, by Johnny Cash and Hey Soul Sister, by Train.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?


-What's your most valuable writing tip?

Just keep doing it. No matter what happens, just write.

Have a great GUTGAA, everyone! I can't wait to meet all of you! :)