Pariah Book Review Tour Wraps Up

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The Pariah Book Review Tour comes to an end today. Sad, but true. It’s been a fun experience visiting these tour stops over the past month. I want to thank my readers (old and new) who stopped by to support the tour. You are awesome!

A special “Thank You” goes out to the wonderful Blog Hosts who featured Pariah. Below are the links to their reviews of my book. Check out other authors they feature as well. You might just find your next favorite read.

Stop 1 – Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog (October 15, 2014)

Stop 2 – Unabridged Andra (October 22, 2014)

Stop 3 – MAD Hoydenish (October 29, 2014)

Stop 4 – SBM Book Obsession (November 5, 2014)

This tour was organized by the fantastic folks at Goddess Fish Promotions. I highly recommend their services!

I’ll announce the winners of the Host and Visitor Amazon Gift Cards soon. Don’t forget! You still have a chance to enter through today on SBM Book Obsession.

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Hittin’ the Road

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(Bus Clip art by hasloo.com)

The Tour Stops have been booked. The virtual bus is loaded. All that’s missing is you!

Pariah Review Tour – Oct 15th thru Nov 5th

Follow the Tour for a chance to win a randomly drawn $25 Amazon Gift Card via rafflecopter!

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Tour Stops by Date:

October 15: Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog

October 22: Unabridged Andra’s

October 29: MAD Hoydenish

November 5: SBM Book Obsession

A special THANKS to Goddess Fish Promotions and the four awesome Bloggers who are hosting Pariah during the tour! I’ll be back to posting on DTJ Oct 22nd.

A Look Back A Look Forward

It’s October 1st and I have to wonder where September went!  It was an exciting month on the writing front.

A Look Back

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Colorado Gold – The month started in one of the best ways I could imagine. I joined several of my fellow authors at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference in Westminster, Colorado. Attending gave me the opportunity to get great advice from some well-established authors in my genre. In turn, I hosted a table for new members and was able to spend time helping them to hone their pitches to agents. I was thrilled to see such a large turnout for the Friday Night Book Signing. We took over a huge area in the hotel! There are more of us each year. So good to see!

New Book Baby – Pariah, my newest fantasy novel, was released on Sept 15th. It was an intense experience getting the book ready to go for eBook and Print Copies. I was publishing to Amazon KDP and Createspace for the first time. My 102 fever definitely added a level of challenge I didn’t need. I think my years as a techie helped get me through the process. OR the software is just that user-friendly.

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Dream Come True – During the past week, I had one of my life long dreams realized! I had some exciting news from the wonderful representative of the Arapahoe  (my home county) Library District in Colorado. My books are being added to Arapahoe Library’s Colorado Author Collection! I’m not sure yet if they will be available in eBooks only or if they will carry print copies as well. Trust me. If I see a print copy on the shelf, I’ll be taking pictures!

A Look Forward

Pariah Book Tour – October is going to be an exciting month too. My virtual book review tour begins on Oct 15th. It will run each Wednesday for four weeks. Don’t forget to follow the tour for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Why I have an I Love Me Wall and so should you

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If you’ve ever worked in a cubical jungle, you’ve probably heard the term “I Love Me Wall.” We’ve all had those over achieving co-workers who seem to consistently win employee awards. They proudly display them on the walls of their cubicle. Sometimes they pack their books in boxes and replace them on their book shelves with awards. There are those folks who really don’t deserve the awards they receive, but I digress.

Other employees win just as many awards. Rather than displaying their hard earned achievements, they stick them in a drawer and titter at the various “I Love Me Walls” in the office. I don’t know why we (yep. I was a drawer kind of gal.) don’t crow along with the others about our achievements. Is it modesty? Could it be we feel as though we really don’t deserve the kudos? I can’t speak for everyone, but I am an Introvert. I don’t like to be the center of attention.  Even in my role as Program Manager, I don’t like to be the shining light at center stage. I just want to come in, do what I do and leave. In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you back then I didn’t feel I earned those awards. Just doin’ my job, Ma’am.

My attitude began to change when I published my first book. It was hard work! I’d dreamed about being published my entire life. My book deserved a special place on the book shelf in my home office. I put it in a prominent place and look at it when I’m struggling with a new story. Not going to lie to you, I also look at “My Shelf” when I have bad days on the Program Management gig too.

I had a huge mental shift recently when I released my first Indie Pub book. Talk about high risk/ high stress. It was a turning point in my career. My attitude about my achievements shifted again. What I’d done took talent and a lot of brass balls. The day I released Lost Man’s Parish was the day I truly respected myself as a professional writer. It stopped being an unattainable dream and became my long term professional goal. That was the day I put up an “I Love Me Wall” in my family room.

Sound crazy?! Think about it. If you aren’t your loudest cheerleader, then who will cheer for you? Be proud of publishing that book, earning that masters degree, getting that dream job, [fill in the blank]! Display the sheet music you’ve written or the certificate you earned from technical college. Each day is a battle as we fight self-doubt. Your past achievements are reminders that you can make your dreams come true, because you’ve done it before.

Crow on! I sure plan to crow, because getting that box of brand new shiny books never gets old.

 

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The Many Iterations of Jin

Here’s a peek at the creative process of a book’s becoming…uh, whatever it’s supposed to become.

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I started Pariah during a time when I was still trying to find my voice as a writer. I knew I loved writing Fantasy, but I’d also successfully tried my hand at Romance. During my first draft attempt, I decided to try making the story all about the romance between the two main characters, Jin and Gracie. By the time I reached the end of Act I, I knew the story would be a flop. Nope. It wasn’t a romance novel.

Take Two: Gracie’s character was pretty solid from day one. Jin was the problem. Who was this guy? I knew his mother was English and his father was of Chinese descent living in Hong Kong. I also knew Jin was a bad ass martial artist. Making him a Chinese spy on the run seemed to be the next logical conclusion. I sat down, rolled up my sleeves and began rewriting Act I. Then my mind began to wander. Some of the amazing things I wanted this character to perform would be so much cooler if he could actually do magic. Hmmmm

Take Three: It was time to decide who I was as a writer. Winning a 2014 EPPIE for Best Fantasy for my novel, Phantom Harvest, answered my career question better than anything else could. Pariah would be a fantasy as well. Everything started falling into place for Jin and for the book after I made my decision. I finished the full manuscript in a few months and was ready to start getting critique feedback.

The Tweak: It is essential to get feedback from people you trust at this stage in the writing process. However, don’t underestimate the insight you can glean from strangers in the publishing profession. They don’t know you. They don’t have to worry about hurting your feelings. You’ll get unfiltered honesty. I was fortunate to have a well known author I respect give me some great advice about Jin. She told me his personality was unrealistic. I’m paraphrasing her words, but essentially the gist was she found Jin to be an arrogant unlikable ass. Ha! I was laughing then and I’m still laughing. She was absolutely right. I went back and spent time with Jin to discover his true motivations and heart. I’m happy to report his personality has changed for the better. If you find him to still be an ass, I hope he is a likable ass.

What I hope you get from this post: Don’t be afraid to try several approaches to a story or character. Eventually, you’ll find the true path and hopefully learn some things about yourself.

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Available for Purchase:

Print:

Amazon

Createspace

EBook:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Also available on iBooks

 

The Vegas Connection

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It’s release week! Time for some fun. In honor of my new book baby’s arrival, I’m going to share some fun facts about its creation. All of my story ideas come to me in my dreams. Most of the time, I see a vivid scene that becomes the focal point of my books. Pariah’s inception started with a woman (Gracie) who – through a case of mistaken identity – ended up witnessing a slave auction by human traffickers. She sees a man who is struggling to break free (Jin) from their captors and tries to search him out, hoping he can help her escape.

After I had the set up, I asked myself where two such different people could meet in a bizarre situation like a secret club. My answer? VEGAS BABY! Glitz, glamour and gambling. It was the perfect place with the perfect reputation for naughty behavior. I hopped on a plane and spent a few days in December on the Vegas Strip. If you haven’t experienced Vegas around Christmas time and love to people watch, I highly recommend it.

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The story really started to come together when I attended KillerCon at the Stratosphere a few years ago. Las Vegas writer and friend, C.R. Moss (they call us CR Squared) took me around the real Las Vegas where the inhabitants of the city reside and spend their time Off Strip. A true kindred spirit, she was game to show me good places to hide a body and areas of the city where secret clubs might be found. 😉

I hope you have as much fun reading this book as I had researching and writing it!

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Available for Purchase:

Print:

Amazon

Createspace

EBook:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Also available on iBooks