Author Archive

The Big Reveal

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Welcome to the Big Reveal
 

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
have a new question for them.
 

Do you like to re-read books?

 

 
Madeline Mora-Summonte
I’d like to re-read more books than I have but so many new books call to me! So many books, so little time!

 

Rebecca Barrow
I used to re-read books a lot more but now I have so many new books to read that going back doesn’t seem possible. I still make time to re-read things I really loved or old favourites. There are books that I could probably recite from memory, I’ve read them so many times.
.

 
Chad Morris
The only time I reread books is if it’s been years since my last time through and I don’t remember the story very well. I just reread The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. I think the last time I read it was in elementary school. (And it was still fantastic!) The exception to the rule is historical and religious books.

 

Shelly Brown
I seldom reread books. My pick of rereads are usually snappy rhyming picture books (Madeline’s Rescue, Jamberry), East of Eden, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gifts from the Sea, Tess of d’Urbevilles, Shakespeare, or Jane Austen. If you can’t tell, I’m fond of classics.

 

Crystal Collier
The only books I reread are religious ones. If I’ve read a piece of fiction, I’ll never forget it.

 

Jessica Salyer
If a book really resonates with me and I really like it I will reread a book or if I liked the book and the movies coming out I’ll reread the book before watching the movie. The book I’ve read the most is probably the Twilight series.
 

Do you re-read books?

Tell me your secrets

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

I’m helping my friend, Chloe Banks, celebrate the release of her debut novel, The Art of Letting Go. And she is even giving away a signed copy. All you have to do is tell us one little secret. So keep reading to find out about her new novel and how you can win a copy.


The Art of Letting Go tells the story of Rosemary, whose peaceful seclusion is disrupted by the man she was involved in a traumatic relationship with decades earlier; only this time he’s lying in a coma and Rosemary must decide whether to let him live, or let him go. In the midst of her secret dilemma  she meets an abstract artist who is used to manipulating shapes and colours to make people see things differently. But what else is he manipulating? And can he help Rosemary see her own situation in a different light?

The Art of Letting Go is available as a paperback and an e-book here in the UK and here in the US
 

Sssshhhh…

 

Probably my favourite quotation in all of literature is from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” It’s such a beautiful sentiment from a wonderful children’s novel. I blame my love of walled gardens – of secret beauty in all its forms – on this book.

 

Many novels revolve around secrets. Secrets and misunderstandings are the mainstays of creating tension in literature. Whether it’s a wonderful (if tragic) secret such as a walled garden, or something more sinister – a dark past, hidden addictions – the real mystery can sometimes be why somebody is keeping something a secret, rather than the secret itself. And it’s that sort of mystery that my novel, The Art of Letting Go, is built around. Rosemary’s secret doesn’t seem that sinister – a past relationship that didn’t work out – but why is she keeping it a secret at all? If you’re curious, I’ll let you find out for yourselves!

As this is the last stop on my blog tour, I thought you might indulge me in some fun. Let’s share our secrets! Or at least, let’s share our embarrassing pasts or funny misunderstandings. Nothing heavy needed – in fact, it’d probably be simpler for Suzi if you didn’t confess to murder on her blog – tell me something fun or funny. At the end of the month I’ll pop the names of everybody who has left a comment on this post into a hat and draw one person out to receive a signed copy of my novel. If you really can’t think of a secret/misunderstanding to tell us about, and you’d still like a chance to win, how about telling us your favourite line from literature instead?

 

Here are a few quotations about secrets to get you in the mood:

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” George Orwell, 1984

“Secrets have a way of making themselves felt, even before you know there’s a secret.” Jean Ferris, Once Upon a Marigold

And one from The Art of Letting Go for you, “He wasn’t flesh and blood, only colour and shape – a painting that had come to life.  I knew I could tell him everything that had ever happened to me – everything I’d forgotten – and it would be like whispering to the wind. Secrets would never escape him because he wasn’t real; he was an imitation of reality, a child’s sketch of a man.”

So, come on, spill the beans! I’ll start if you like…

When I was a child I spent every day out in our garden in my own little world. Not only that, but I couldn’t go in for the night until I had been all round our (large) garden and said the same words to the same landmarks – the apple tree, the place where I’d buried a dead pigeon, the bush where the robin would sing – every single night. I had to say goodnight to certain bits of the garden or I was worried they’d feel lonely. I had plenty of school friends but my best friend, to whom I told all my secrets, was our old apple tree. And I’ve never told anybody that before! (I also had a similar ritual with parts of my bedroom before I could sleep at night, but I think that’s enough confessions for one day.)

Over to you.

Thanks, Chloe. Congratulations again on your release. Now let’s see if anyone has anything interesting to share!


And here is a little more about Chloe.

Chloe Banks lives in a peaceful corner of the UK with her husband, son and a sense of childish wonder. She started writing for a dare and forgot to stop until it was too late. She is a prize-winning short story writer and a first-time novelist, represented by The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency.
 
 
 

The Big Reveal

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Welcome to the Big Reveal

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
have a new question for them.

What social media do you use?

 

Jessica Salyer
I have a blog and don’t use it much anymore, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and a website. I probably spend the most time on Facebook. I try to stay away from Pinterest because I get sucked in and never come out. Lol.

Madeline Mora-Summonte
I have a blog, and I’m on Goodreads. But I probably use GR way more as a reader than as a writer. :)

 

Rebecca Barrow
I have a blog, which is becoming more and more neglected. I like Twitter but it can feel like I’m always trying to catch up on conversations or that my voice is just another one in millions. I have Goodreads but I don’t really use it properly—I think I have six friends? I just use it to keep track of books I don’t want to forget about, really. Pinterest is just for fun and less for writing purposes. And then I have my tumblr…tumblr is my jam. That’s where it’s all at. I LOVE IT. It can feel like a complete waste of time but in the best possible way. I like how one minute there’s an article about feminism or a beautiful poem and then there’s a cute cat gif. It’s the best.

Chad Morris
I use it all, but my favorites are facebook (https://www.facebook.com/chad.morris.5?ref=tn_tnmn) and twitter (@chadcmorris).

 

Shelly Brown
Social media is a weakness so I limit my usage. (Read between the lines: I talk to much) You can find me here:
FB: Shelly Brown
Twitter: @sbrownwriter
Google+: Shelly Brown

Crystal Collier
Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, blog, pinterest, tumblr, Wattpad, and a few others. I try to be active in all of them, but I really lean toward Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. I keep track of my reading through Goodreads and enter the occasional giveaway. The rest of these platforms get a cursory glance from time to time.
What social media do you use?

The Real Thing

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
My friend Cassie Mae has just released another one of her fantastic books. So make sure you check it out. And here’s Cassie Mae to tell us more about The Real Thing and the special swag she’s giving away.

 
 

Time to party!
The Real Thing releases today (whoop whoop!) and I’m giving away a swag pack full of goodies.

The Real Thing postcards

A froggy loofah

Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

The Real Thing Samsung Galaxy S3 Phone Case

A Cassie Mae pen

A collection of select Cassie Mae/Becca Ann signed books

Rafflecopter right below the excerpt and book details :)

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

“All right, all right,” he says, smiling and holding his palm up to stop me. Tomato juice is dripping from the top of his head down his cheeks, getting caught in the smile lines by his mouth. I can feel it running down my face, too, and I should be gagging, but I’m not.

I open my mouth to tell him how cute he looks even with juice all over him, but a light ploof! hits the center of the tub between our bodies, and I stare down at my froggy loofah, now covered in red.

“Oh no!” I frown, plucking the sponge up by the froggy’s arm, then looking up to the shower caddy over Eric’s head. Our splash war must’ve knocked my poor froggy right off his little perch. “My loofah.”

“That’s what it’s called!” Eric slaps the top of his knee, getting more juice on both of us. “I’ve been staring at that thing since you moved in, trying to remember what the hell people call it.”

A small bubble of laughter escapes through my slight frown. “Why?”

“That thing is creepy.”

I gasp. “It is not. It’s cute.” My lip pokes out as I look at the juice soaking into the blue frog’s face. “And now it’s ruined.”

He takes the loofah from my fingers, an adorable pinched look on his face.

“I don’t know how you can wash yourself with this,” he says, pulling at the leg poking from the big green sponge part.

“It’s soft on my sensitive lady parts.” I laugh as his face goes red again. I expect him to drop the loofah back in my hand—or throw it at me—but he doesn’t. He keeps pulling at it as if it’s the weirdest, yet most fascinating thing in the world.

“Is it really ruined?” he asks, tone suddenly nowhere near his usual playfulness. He actually looks worried about my sponge.

“It’s like a buck, Eric.” I adjust in the tub again as the juice creeps into nooks and crannies of my body I had no idea existed till now. “I can get another one tomorrow. Maybe an even creepier one just for you.”

I try to wink, but I’ve never been good at that. He sort of laughs, but his eyes go back to the froggy. He runs his thumb over the eyeballs, wiping the juice from it. I thought I knew Eric pretty well. But as I watch him stare at my loofah, head slightly cocked to the side, I realize I have no clue what he’s thinking. And that’s totally okay. The anticipation of finding out is better.

“Only a dollar?” His eyes lift to mine.

“Or two. Depending on where you go.”

His lips purse and he nods, then plunges the sponge into the juice. Before I can smack him for that, he pulls it from the bath and wrings it out over my head. My jaw drops to my knees.

“Oh, you are so dead.”

*********************************************************************************
Buy Me!

In this electrifying novel from Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.

Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.

When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.

Advance praise for The Real Thing

“Cassie Mae is awesome! The perfect balance between laugh-out-loud funny and achingly poignant, The Real Thing is the ultimate escapist read. I didn’t want it to end!”—Lauren Layne, author of Isn’t She Lovely

“Watching two best friends figure out how to fall in love makes The Real Thing a summer read of swoon-worthy perfection.”—Jolene Perry, author of The Summer I Found You

“Cassie Mae’s The Real Thing made me want to close out every social media app and electronic device I have, but I couldn’t manage to stop reading!”—Rebecca Yarros, author of Full Measures

About the Author

Cassie Mae (who dawns the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred… okay, maybe not that many… books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.

Since publishing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published and sold books to Random House, Swoon Romance, and Spencer Hill Press. She has a favorite of all her book babies, but no, she won’t tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)

Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.

You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Dylan O’Brien to her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cassiemaeauthor

****************Giveaway!******************

 

Flesh Eating Zombies

Friday, August 15th, 2014

I’ve always like horror movies and books and one day I hope to write some of my own. I just haven’t developed any of my ideas yet. Too many other things to do.


Today, I’ve got my friend’s, Rachel Schieffelbein, cover reveal for her upcoming zombie book. Not only does it have a creeptastic cover and an awesome title, but it has a totally unexpected ending. I loved it. So make sure you check it out.


So make sure you check it out. Now… from Rachel.

It’s cover reveal day for FLESH EATING ZOMBIES AND EVIL EX-GIRLFRIENDS!
I’m so excited to share it with all of you! It’s creepy and dark and just right for the book.
So without further ado, here it is!

Erwin is in hell— Locked in his high school with his ex-girlfriend, her new pain-in-the-ass boyfriend, and a handful of others while zombies claw at the doors trying to fight their way in.

The bright light in the dark is Sylvia, whose strength helps hold Erwin together when everything is falling apart.

When they realize the school is no longer safe, Erwin is determined to keep the group together and get them all to safety.
But he can’t save everyone.


Release day is September 17th. Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list!

 

The Big Reveal

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Welcome to the Big Reveal
 

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
have a new question for them.
 

What’s your process for naming characters?

 

 
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Sometimes the perfect name just strikes me – love when that happens! – and it stays with the character throughout the whole writing process. Other times, I go with a name that feels right at the time, realizing it could change later. I sort of “collect” names. When I come across a name – a person’s name, a street name, etc – I jot it down, keep it for future reference.

 

Rebecca Barrow
I usually pick names randomly—sometimes depending on the personality of a character. If they’re going to be confident and loud, they might have something unusual, but if they are a quieter, shy character, it could be something sweet and short. I use baby name sites and nymbler.com to find names.

 
Chad Morris
It’s all about what feels right for the story. Some names I make up (Ms. Entrese, Mr. and Mrs. Trinhouse), others have been names I’ve heard before and thought “that would be a great name in a story” (Mackleprank), and some are named after famous historical figures (Abby = Abigail Adams, Derick = Frederick Douglass).

 

Shelly Brown
I have a degree in history, so my research nerd shows up when I start naming characters. I like my characters to have names that are both time period and location appropriate. Then the name just has to feel right. That process is harder to explain. Intuition. But we all know that a Jessica is not a Bianca.

 
Crystal Collier
Occasionally their names come with them. More often than not, I’m searching cultural and baby names listings. Usually I start from a symbolic angle. What part does this person play in the story? What is their key defining feature (personality wise)? What were the circumstances of their parents or family that would have influenced their name? For me, it’s a science of getting to know their culture and background.

 

Jessica Salyer
Sometimes I have a really hard time naming characters. I usually just feel what the character names should be. This last book I just stared I new what their names were right away, It was almost like they told me their names. For a short story I wrote I did make up my own name.

 

How do you find your character names?

Something weird happened

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I’m actually excited about editing again.
 
But back up first. My summer plan was to get my ms almost ready for querying, but I lost my motivation and haven’t done too much. I had several critiques from my betas/friends and I needed to make those fixes they suggested.
 
Luckily there wasn’t big structural things, but more character issues to fix. Which is mostly adding to develop characters or cleaning things up. So I was glad about that.
 
Still, there was a lot of stuff to fix. Which is why I lost my motivation.
 
But now I got it back.
 
I was reading a series of blog posts about tightening your writing. Words to cut. Most of those word are in my big edit list, but I found a few new ones to add.
 
And now I’m ready to get back into it. I need to fill in a few things, maybe make some cuts, and then I’ll be ready to start those little things. Cutting filler words. Replacing words like walk with more descriptive ones. Stuff like that.
 
Maybe I’m a little behind schedule, but at least I’m back on track.
 
And that feels good.

The Big Reveal

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Welcome to the Big Reveal
 

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
have a new question for them.
 

Where do you usually write?

 

 

Jessica Sayler
I usually write in my living room in my chair with earbuds and music playing. I can usually write anywhere as long as I have my music to just tune everything else out. As for the dream place to write a cafe in Paris would be awesome. Lol.

 
Madeline Mora-Summonte
I am a creature of habit. I write best in my home office, a cup of hot coffee or an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts at my side. I prefer quiet but sometimes noisy neighbors or rambunctious tortoises get in the way. :)

 

Rebecca Barrow
I write all over the place—mostly in my kitchen during the day or at my desk at night. I used to write with music but now I find it better to work in silence. My ideal location would be next to a beautiful pool with plenty of comfy cushions and a steady stream of tropical drinks. That way I can reward every 100 words with a dip in the pool! Might not get much writing done, though…

 
Chad Morris
I write on the bus ride home from work, in my office at home, at the kitchen table, on the couch, at the park while my kids are playing (and then I get sucked in and play with them). …etc. I can’t listen to music when I write, or I’ll start singing along and lose focus. I love a bowl of cereal while I’m proofreading. And as far as dream settings go, I like Mark Twain’s octagon gazebo at Quarry farm (It’s at Elmira College now).

 

Shelly Brown
I am trying to train myself to write with music in the background but alas I still prefer silence.

I have an office desk and a rolling chair so I am hooked up for ultimate writing comfort. Really comfort and silence are all I need. Oh and a tall glass of ice water. Yeah, I dream big.

 
Crystal Collier
Give me a desk, a keyboard, mouse and window behind my setup with a scenic view. Beyond that, I don’t need anything. Truth, I can write anywhere and in any circumstances, but it takes a little priming in a new setting. Often I’ll write to music, but just as often I won’t. Guess it depends on my mood or if I like the soundtrack currently playing through my head.
 
Where do you usually write?

A happier reader

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Last week I talked about getting novels, collaborations specifically, signed by both authors and how hard that can be. Rebecca Barrow had said this in her comment: I see your problem with author collabs, but I think the solution is easy–win the lottery and fly wherever you want to get them signed! Simple, right?
 
And that got me thinking. I’d love to win the lottery, of course, but would it affect reading habits much?
 
Yes, of course. I would love to buy a huge house and have the perfect library. You know, wall to wall shelves, a fireplace, and several comfy seating options. Fill it with hundreds of books. Thousands, maybe.
 
But…
 
Would I be a happier reader?
 
Right now I have 308 books on my to read list on Goodreads. And I know I’m missing many more I’d like to read. And granted, I’d have a little more time to read if I won the lottery, but not that significant of an increase. And then my stress leves would increase.
 
I’d have all these books on my shelf and no way of ever reading them. Not enough time. And I’d keep buying more books I’d probably never get to read.
 
Wouldn’t that suck? Standing in front of your thousands of books knowing you’ll never get to enjoy them all. Even though they’re right there in front of you.
 
I guess if I were super rich, I could hire an awesome therapist who would help me get through it. But still, every day I’d have too look at all those books I’d never read.
 
Then again, I could share my special books with others, and that would make me feel better.
 
Yes, that’s what I’ll do if I ever win the lottery. And hopefully the happiness of sharing will outweigh the depression of not getting to read all those books.
 
So if you won the lottery and got to build your own personal library, would it stress you out to know you’d never have enough time to read all those books?

The Big Reveal

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Welcome to the Big Reveal
 

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
have a new question for them.
 

Do you have any trunked novels?

 

 

Shelly Brown
By trunked do you mean thrown in the trash? ;) I have the three novels that are on draft #TooManyToCount and still have a shot at making it out of the rubbish receptacle one day.

 
Crystal Collier
I don’t trunk novels. I do set them aside and reboot them later. Currently I have about 30 projects waiting in various stages of completion. Oh that I could freeze time and just write. =)

 

Jessica Sayler
I have two trucked or shelved novels. They both have about twenty thousand words so far and I do plan on finishing both of them when I have more time and when the characters speak to me again.

 
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Ha! I recently cleaned out my office closet and went through boxes of trunked novels, along with tons of rejection letters. I finally tossed the form letters but I did keep a chunk of the personalized ones. Some of those trunked novels will never see the light of the day, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few that definitely have promise.

 

Rebecca Barrow
I have a few trunked novels that really never, ever need to see the light of day. One of those features characters that I’d like to write again, but if I ever do it will be a completely new draft of a completely different story.

 

Chad Morris
Yep! My first novel had a really fun premise, but I couldn’t quite make it work. I’d love to reinvent it sometime

 

Do you have any shelved novels? Permanent or temporary?