New Year's Resolutions

Well, today is the last day of the year! Crazy, huh? I can't believe the year is already over, personally. It's been a year of great firsts for me, the most important one being the birth of my son (aka Little Man).

Not a week after his birth, my debut novel, BRIDGER, came to my door in paperback. Talk about a week to remember. :)

Then in November, my second YA novel, FORBIDDEN, was released. Crazy. Now I'm close to finishing the sequel to BRIDGER (which is TRAITOR), and a new idea for a book has been playing in my brain the past week or so. Busy, busy, busy!

Anyway, those were the big parts of my year. Looking forward, I wanted to post a few resolutions I had for the upcoming year, and we'll see how close I get to them come December 31, 2012:

1.) Sell 10,000 books
2.) Be in the top 10 of my genre for at least one book
3.) Release two more books (TRAITOR is one, and at least one other!)
4.) If I hit 10,000 books, I want to sell *50,000*
5.) Break the top 100 in paid Kindle sales (Big, big goal, I know, but I'm pretty sure I'll pee myself if it happens. ::Breaks out a package of Depends in preparation::)

Those are my goals for the year, what are yours? I'd love to share resolutions, and keep one another accountable! Let's make 2012 the best writing year yet!

Santa Special Give Away WINNERS!!!

First off, thanks for everyone who came and entered this giveaway! It was great to have everyone here! Without further ado, the five winners of BRIDGER and FORBIDDEN are...

1.) Mandy Riddell
2.) Natalie Cleary
3.) Yvonne Leacy
4.) Sarah R.
5.) Jennie

And the winner of all twelve books is...


...and because I'm a dork, got super excited, and accidentally pulled one more person afterward, Cyn209, you will receive both BRIDGER and FORBIDDEN as well!

You all will be notified by email, and your books will be emailed to you by the end of the week!! Thanks to everyone for signing up for this great giveaway! :)

The Santa Special Give Away!

Love to read? You've come to the right blog! :)

As you know, this is a new blog, and I thought we'd end the year with a bang! I've collected some of the most awesomesauce authors I know, and they've generously donated their books to fill up someone's shiny kindle/nook/eReader!

For five readers, you will receive both of my books, BRIDGER and FORBIDDEN...but that's not all I'm giving away...

For one lucky person, you'll get ALL of the following books from all of these AWESOME authors! It's a total of 11 great books to keep you reading late into the night!

All you need to do to enter the is follow my blog and fill out the rafflecopter at the bottom of the post! Easy enough, right?

The winners will be drawn Dec. 27th at midnight EST, and announced on Dec. 28th! So without further ado, let's check out the books!

From Denise Grover Swank:

CHOSEN (The Chosen, #1): 
Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.

Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has.

Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his paycheck and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late.

Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

From Elizabeth Isaacs:

THE LIGHT OF ASTERIA (The Kailmeyra Series):
 If Nora Johnson hadn't been on campus that day she would have never known her true destiny. Helping her friends move into the dorm that she wanted to call home, Nora accidentally collides with mysterious stranger, Gavin Frey. His very first touch sends flames through her heart. The world seems different-something within her has changed. She tries to resume her mundane life, but she is now consumed with the one whose very presence ignited her soul, the one with eyes of emerald. Nora soon learns that an energy buried deep within has been unleashed. She now wields unimaginable power and has become Gavin's source, his strength. Her newfound joy is shaken when she discovers that Gavin is not who he appears to be and she has been thrust in the middle of a war of mythical proportions. Negativity allows all things evil to flourish, the earth is under siege. The fate of creation hinges on the power within her heart. Will she be strong enough to survive? A gripping tale of unbounded love and ancient power, The Light of Asteria will take you on an epic adventure filled with war, treachery, and demons, as well as unimaginable delights.

The Kailmeyra Chronicles: Book Two--

Life for Nora couldn't be better; she has married the man of her dreams and loves living in the pristine land of Kailmeyra.

That is, until the darkness threatens her perfect world.

Now war is upon the land. She and Gavin must strengthen their clan and prepare to fight. But the enemy has an ally—one that not only wields power, but holds knowledge of the ancients' secrets. Secrets that could destroy creation itself.

As the darkness grows, doubt seeps in ... protectiveness hinders progress ... and the unthinkable comes to pass.

Bewildered and alone, Nora shoulders the responsibility of leading an entire race to war. As she struggles with decisions that seem impossible to make, she is haunted by one choice.

"No one has ever doubted that you would die for those you love. The question then becomes ... would you live?"

From Hope Collier:

When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby—the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.

Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is. To run may mean war, but is she strong enough to stay?

From Eisley Jacobs:

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup…

This is what Lord Edric wants you to believe. He will do anything in his power to see that humans never come in contact with dragons again. However, he doesn't plan for Meia, the foster child who dreams of dragons, believing they are real. Or Deglan, the ten-year-old dragon who bears the ancient mark that threatens everything Lord Edric has worked for.

Join these two unlikely friends as they discover the truth behind a legend so extraordinary it will alter each of their lives… forever.

GOLDEN BLOOD (Time Spirit Trilogy):
Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected.

Gemma's parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be "used and abused", as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew... Harrison Granger.

Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can't stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.

BLACK BLOOD (Time Spirit Trilogy, #2):
Gemma's parents have put enough rules around her relationship with Harrison that she feels like she's living on parole. But she wins one battle—a summer job working for Harrison's step-father. It is the perfect chance to spend the steamy, hot Florida days with her boyfriend. It's also a great distraction from the cellphone hiding in her underwear drawer—her only contact with Gabe, the mystery man who's stalking her.

When she confronts Gabe, he tells her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and Harrison has the gall to believe him. Surrounded by conflict, Gemma doesn't know what to believe, and it takes a trip back in time for her to glimpse the sickening truth.

Thanks to her parents, she returns to the present to find the love of her life no longer exists. His family line was broken and now, so is she.

This betrayal forces her to seek out Gabe. Setting aside her fear of the truth, she must trust this man and learn what he can teach her... otherwise, she'll never get her boyfriend back.

From Lorna Suzuki:

A WARRIOR'S TALE (The Imago Chronicles, Book #1):
“Imago Chronicles: Book One, A Warrior’s Tale” begins at the height of the turmoil that shall determine if indeed there will be a Third Age of Peace. Besieged by the enemy from the east and now immersed in war with soldiers of the Dark Army from the west, Nayla Treeborn and her people are about to engage in the next great war that will decide the fate of all mankind and
Elves in Imago.

In a desperate attempt to deliver word to the Elf king of Wyndwood andthose of the alliance for a call to arms, she is the last surviving messenger sent forth by her people. Now, trapped in a storm at the top of the world, she fights to survive the deadly elements in a strange land.

Despised by Elves and shunned by mortals, she must now find the courage to make a place in this world, and the compassion to save those who keep her at arm’s length. This adventure recounts the defining moments in her life that had forged her into a deadly warrior, a great captain and a legend amongst the people of Imago.

And finally, from me:

Ashlyn McVean doesn’t believe in fairy tales. That is, until Ashlyn is thrown into the crosshairs of grudges her grandmother created long ago. After finding out she is one of two people able to cross between faerie realms, Ashlyn is faced with trying to understand her abilities, along with navigating a new relationship with her boyfriend, Liam. As if being on a centuries old hit list and dealing with crazed pixies isn’t enough, her new abilities mean trouble for Liam. Knowing her new life puts everyone she loves in danger, Ashlyn must decide what’s most important in her life between friends, family, love, and ultimately, realms.

FORBIDDEN (The Guardian Chronicles):
Levi's job is to protect his human until it's their time to go. That's what a Guard does. He's done it for years on end, and he'll spend his eternity doing the same, mundane thing, following the same, mundane rules.

...Watch from afar.
...Never share your name.
...And above all, never touch a human.

What Levi doesn't know is that his newest human to protect, Hannah, just might be the catalyst to tipping the scales between good and evil, and he will be forced to decide which side he belongs to. Which friends will he side with, and who will he ultimately protect: his human, or the delicate balance that hangs on stopping the heartbeat of the person he has sworn to protect?

And, when you're already condemned, what's there to lose by breaking the rules?


So as you see, you've got a LOT of awesome books up for grabs here! Plus, since it's all eReader books, this is open internationally! Let the fun begin!

The Inner Workings of Being an Indie Writer: eBooks, Part I

The Inner Workings of Being an Indie Writer: eBooks, Part I

First off, I just want to say I don't claim to be an expert at this book thing. I simply love to write, and I love it even more when people enjoy what I write. THAT, and THAT FIRST AND FOREMOST, is what drives me to write. If I didn't love it, I wouldn't do it.

Personally, I think if you go indie and expect to have results like John Locke or Amanda Hocking, you're fooling yourself. Their results are atypical. Making money and being indie is kind of an oxymoron starting out, at least. :) All I'm saying is don't quit whatever day job you have. You probably will need to pay the electricity bill to keep your computer humming, and you want to do that to write more. :-P Which brings me to my first point in this "Inner Workings" saga I'm going to embark on (save yourselves and run away now!): the ever-constant point of conversation, the .99 cent book.

There is constant controversy over the .99 cent book. Some say it's good, some say it's bad. I'm not trying to say I know anything that anyone else doesn't, but I'll share my opinions, and I'd love to hear yours. :) I have my initial book, BRIDGER, for .99 on Amazon. I've played with different price points for it, but at the end of the day, my hope is that people enjoy BRIDGER and will pick up my other books because of it. Call it a leap of faith. If they like one, that's usually a good indication that they'll like the others, right? Who knows. But that's the reason BRIDGER is .99. The sequel to BRIDGER will be in the $2.99 range. FORBIDDEN is $2.99.

Which brings me to my question: does price indicate the readability or quality of a book? I'd like to think not. I put my books through rounds of beta reading, personal editing, as well as hiring a professional editor. I hire a cover designer and make sure the covers are just as appealing as those books traditionally published. There's a stigma on indie publishers, and we need to do our best to prove that stigma wrong.

But, how do we as indie writers compete with traditionally published books if we don't charge less for our books? That's a quandary I've yet to figure out, myself. Then you have the traditionally published eBooks on Amazon that are selling for $7.99 and $8.99. To me, that seems ridiculous, when you can run to Books a Million or Barnes & Noble and pick that same book up in paperback for nearly the same price. I understand that going the traditional route, there are way more people that need to get paid which results in that higher cost. BUT...for the reader, is it worth it? For other writers, is it possible for us to charge that? In my opinion, no. That higher price cuts the opportunity for reads down as an indie writer, I think. **I THINK**. I could be wrong, but that's just my opinion. So how do we compete, unless it's with a cheaper price?

What's the "right" price for a book? Many people claim the .99 cent books have a stigma of being poorly done, while others hope it's a jumping off point. Some people claim the $2.99 point is the "perfect" spot for indie writers. Personally, I haven't found a sweet spot for my books yet, but BRIDGER has been increasing in sales each month, and I'm hoping that's an indication of what's to come.


I read an article from the Huffington Post that talked about eBooks and indie publishing. The writer made an excellent point. From a writer's standpoint, for the work involved in writing a book, paying for an editor/cover designer, etc., a .99 book hardly makes any of it worth it monetarily. But, from a reader's standpoint, what's a price point that you're willing to take a chance on a writer you haven't heard of before? I'd love to know.

For now, I think BRIDGER will stay .99 and FORBIDDEN $2.99, but that's not to say they'll never change. I want to reach my audience as best possible.

Readers and writers, unite! Let's talk about this. Looking forward to your comments. :)

Everyone loves free stuff!

Oh yeah, we all love free stuff. And, if you're reading this, you love books!

Well, then you're in luck...because now until Dec. 22nd I'm giving away FORBIDDEN for free on Amazon! I hope you'll take a second to go grab your copy, and if you like it, leave some love! :) Don't forget, BRIDGER is only .99, and I'm working hard to finish up the sequel. I'm hoping for an early 2012 release, so get the first book read while you can!

What are you still sitting here, for? Go get your free copy of FORBIDDEN!! :)

Musical Musings

I love, love, love music. It fuels everything I write, it sets the mood, and makes me feel the emotions of my characters. When I'm not writing, I can identify with music all the time. There's few times that I'm in a silent house/car/establishment. Music is just a way of life.

Now ask me if I can sing...the answer? Sure, if you cover your ears and hum really loud to yourself. I promise I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but hey, that's why others sing. I can just appreciate it. :)

Anyway, I don't know about other writers, but music is huge to my writing. There's days I don't feel like writing, but then I'll hear a song on Pandora or Rhapsody that just sets me on fire.

My question for you all is this: writers, do you listen to music or base your books on music? Or, do your books take on music as you go along? Readers, can you listen to a song and think, "Oh, that's so for {insert chracter name/book}"? Do you like affiliating music with books? I'm curious!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far, and hopefully I can come up with semi interesting posts at least once a week. We'll see. :)

Until next time,