Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 2012 Indie Cover Art Poll

Vote for your favourite from the fabulous list below and be put in a draw where you can win 16 e-books! One book from each of the authors who participate and one from me, the host of the poll. From me you can choose either Sundered or my new release, Dark Waters (Neither of which are a part of the actual voting).

You can only choose 1 cover as your favourite and you can only get a single entry, no matter how many times you comment.

The winner will be announced on February 5th and entries will be taken until midnight PST January 31st.

The winning cover art will then be displayed on all the other author’s blogs who have participated this month for a minimum of 1 blog post.

If you’d like to have your cover art involved in the January Indie Cover Art Poll, send the cover, a short blurb and one link to

Don't forget to leave your email address when you vote. Now, let the voting begin!

**If you are going to leave an Anonymous comment you MUST put in your email for the vote to count**

Blood And Guitars #1

When Aurora meets Trey, a famous singer and musician, she’s only hoping to get her fill of human blood for the week. The last thing Aurora expects is for Trey to make her feel alive for the first time since she was, well, alive. It begins with a casual painting lesson at her art studio, The Waking Moon, and quickly turns into a forbidden romance. Aurora is forced to hide her true identity from Trey, while keeping her relationship with the human a secret from other vampires in her Brood.

Aurora can’t deny the unexpected connection she has with Trey, which is fueled by glimpses into his emotions every time they share a kiss. Caught between two worlds, Aurora must attend celebrity award shows and vampire rituals, find time to feed, and protect Trey from the dangers of the night, all while preserving her secrets.

Flame of Surrender #2

A boy who follows death

A girl who could cause the apocalypse

A love that never should have happened

A mistake that changes everything . . .

How far would you go to save everything you ever loved?

The Choice #3

Marcie Hollis meets the "man of her dreams" Dan McKenzie. He lures Marcie into his dark world of lies, greed and drugs. But fate intervenes during Marcie’s illicit trip for Dan to New Orleans, when she’s robbed and accosted in the crowded airport, and loses her memory.

Arriving in a crowded airport in New Orleans and haunted by a past that gives him no peace, DEA Agent Sam Carrehe stops to help an attractive stranger when she falls in front of him. In an act of chivalry, he takes her to his home until the police can identify her.

When her memory returns, this complex case pushes them to explain the unexplainable, brings them face to face with a generations-old evil and leaves Sam with a haunting question. Was Marcie set up or is this a game she’s playing? Sam is forced to make a choice: walk away from the attraction connecting them or risk losing everything.

Blind Veil # 4

How can an unreported crime that occurred forty years in the past,and across the country, affect a New York City Cop today? Can a seemingly innocent boat ride forever change the life of a former Marine? Find out when a Police Officer meets an eccentric scientist who claims to hold secret knowledge that has been hidden from the rest of society.

Is this all truly happening, or is he slowly losing his grip on reality? Unfortunately, neither conclusion between the two worlds is better than the other as the clarifying line between reality and impossibility slowly disintegrates, turning his world upside down. He must dig thirty years into his past; deep beneath the veil and the mesh of murder, lies and deceit to find answers. Follow the trail of events that will forever shape his future… and maybe yours.

Danse Macabre # 5

Spencer Mason has discovered a secret spell that will raise the dead, and as a funeral home director, there is no short supply of bodies. As Spencer builds a legion of undead soldiers, he plans to get revenge for the torment he endured during his childhood years - until Raven Anderson moves into town.

Blind since birth, Raven struggles to adapt with her new surroundings after the death of her mother. She finds a sympathetic shoulder to lean on when she meets Spencer, and the two find out that they have a lot in common.

Raven senses that Spencer is troubled by something that he isn’t sharing, but the thing that tortures Spencer the most is something Raven cannot see

Rook: Allie's War, Book One #6

Twenty-eight-year-old San Francisco native, Allie Taylor, knew she had ssues…but she at least thought she was human.

In her version of modern day Earth, a second race of human-like beings called seers live side-by-side with humans, only as second class citizens. So when Allie meets her first, real, flesh-and-blood seer, she's not exactly thrilled when he tells her that she's a seer like him. Not only that, but according to him, all the other seers believe she's going to end the world.

Worse, no matter what she does, everything that happens after that only seems to prove him right.

At Road's End # 7

He was a warrior from the distant Mexican lands, escorting a group of traders.

He did not want to follow the ancient road into the Southwestern desert; but he had no choice.

When he rescues a girl from the ransacked village, he thinks nothing of it. He just wishes the traders would sell their goods in a hurry, so he can return to his homeland.

But the fate had planned differently, for the warrior and for the girl alike."

The Forgotten Spell #8

When Matt's brother and two other children from town disappear, Matt finds himself involved in a primeval struggle to defeat an ageless Warlock. An ancient spell, which could cause the destruction of Earth, is about to be unleashed. Following a dragon and fairy through a hidden portal to another world, Matt and his friends seek to rescue the children who were taken. Told their coming was prophesied over three thousand years ago, they begin their quest to locate a magic sword, which is the only weapon able to conquer the Warlock. Given an encrypted map, the group embarks on a dangerous journey, hoping to reach the Warlock's lair before they are too late to help the others.

Agents of Change # 9

Business manager by day and a matchmaker whenever he can get around to it, Calvin’s dream job falls into his lap when he’s recruited by a secret worldwide organization whose agents use uncanny abilities to empower and influence everyday downtrodden individuals. Disaster strikes, however, when an elaborate scheme leaves Calvin as a prime murder suspect…and his new employer is presumably to blame.

With the authorities on his heels and his life left in ruin, Calvin uses his new powers to blend in until a journey for freedom becomes a quest for peace. As the agency’s rival organization threatens the security of all of earth’s inhabitants, Calvin teams up with unlikely allies and battles startling enemies hellbent on unleashing their power in a twisted version of justice, innocent lives be damned.

Doing Max Vinyl #10

Max Vinyl has risen from nothing to become the businessman he is today. He has even found happiness in the arms of his receptionist, Tris. But when Tris finds out his dirty secret, all hell breaks loose at work and at home. Max refuses to believe his lover could leave him over a thing as insignificant as a little environmental issue. Things go from bad to worse as he discovers her violent side.

Annie Ogden is back home after four years in Iraq. When Max Vinyl threatens her sister, she can't let that slide. Army training is in Annie's DNA. And she finds out how kicking some corporate ass can be an excellent remedy for depression.

Will Max Vinyl hold up under the coordinated attacks of two angry women? Will Annie find her way back to the inner peace she's been looking for?

Secret Magic in Small Places #11

“You had to be there.”

Inside every ordinary life hides a few instances of secret magic. The intuition you can’t explain. The coincidence that can’t possibly be true. Ten stories that capture that incredible moment before the mundane world explains it away as coincidence, technology, or the ever-convenient “gas leak.”

Two moons of Sera # 12

In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother's water-borne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

All the Fun of YA written for Adults

Two Moons of Sera is a Fantasy/Romance and will be released in a serial format. As each new part is added you will be able to update your ebook file for free to enjoy the next instalment! With each section that is published the purchase price will increase.

Larkstorm # 13

In the years following the destructive Long Winter, when half the world’s population perished, the State remains locked in battle against the Sensitives: humans born with extra abilities.

As one of the last descendants of the State’s Founders, seventeen-year-old Lark Greene knows her place: study hard and be a model citizen so she can follow in her family’s footsteps. Her life’s been set since birth, and she’s looking forward to graduating and settling down with Beck, the boy she’s loved longer than she can remember.

However, after Beck is accused of being Sensitive and organizing an attack against Lark, he disappears. Heartbroken and convinced the State made a mistake, Lark sets out to find him and clear his name.

But what she discovers is more dangerous and frightening than Sensitives: She must kill the boy she loves, unless he kills her first.

Lovers and Beloveds # 14

When eighteen-year-old Prince Temmin comes of age and joins his father's court, he's unprepared for its politics, assassins and sexual intrigues--and even more so, the King's immortal advisor Teacher, the holder of the royal family's hidden magic. Teacher becomes Temmin's tutor, his lessons contained in a magic book. Through it, Temmin experiences everything each story's characters do, and he's forced to confront serious mistakes in the kingdom's--and his own--past.
His present is no easier. He's falling for beautiful twins--brother and sister--who are the human hosts of the gods of love and desire called the Lovers. Being with them is more than sex; it's a religious calling. But an ancient prophecy says if Temmin heeds Their call it may spell the end of the monarchy, and the King fights him every step of the way. Temmin must choose: Serve the Lovers and lose his father--and possibly the kingdom--or obey the King and risk the wrath of the Gods.

River in the Sea # 15

At fifteen, Leen De Graaf likes everything she shouldn't: smoking cigarettes, wearing red lipstick, driving illegally, and working in the fields. It seems the only thing she shares with her fellow Dutchmen is a fear of the German soldiers stationed nearby and a frantic wish for the war to end. When a soldier's dog runs in front of Leen's truck, her split-second reaction sets off a storm of events that pitches her family against the German forces when they are most desperate - and fierce. Leen tries to hold her family together, but despite her efforts, bit by bit everything falls apart, and just when Leen experiences a horrific loss, she must make a decision that could forever brand her a traitor, yet finally allow her to live as her heart desires. Inspired by the life of the author's mother, River in the Sea is a powerful and moving account of one girl reaching adulthood when everything she believes about family, friendship, and loyalty is questioned by war.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last call for Reviews!

Okay, you have until January 31st, midnight to get your review of Dark Waters up on Amazon. Why would you do this? Um, for the chance to win a whopping $150 Amazon Gift Card, PLUS the chance at 5 $10 Amazon Gift Cards! Side note, I only have 14 reviews so far (one of them's mine) so that means you have a HUGE shot at this prize. And since Dark Waters is only about 45k words long, it won't take you three days to read it. ;0)

How do you get in on this fabulous contest? There’s no purchase necessary, you can sign up for my NEWSLETTER (Which only goes out once a month) to get 1 entry into this contest. How do you sign up? To the right---> is a NEWSLETTER sign up. Easy Peasy.
Want another free entry? “Like” my Facebook Fan page and I’ll give you an additional entry.

Now, you can get EVEN MORE entries just by purchasing Dark Waters. (Which by the way is only .99) Email me your Proof of Purchase( after you purchase you can forward me your receipt from Amazon) for 10 entries into the contest.

Write me a review on Amazon ( No, it doesn't have to be professional, just a review of 20 words or more), email me the link, and get an additional 20 entries!!

Phew. That’s a lot of chances to win, so good luck, and happy reading.

This contest is open internationally, and will run from December 29th/2011 – January 31th 2012. Winners will be announced February 5th 2012.

*All reviews and purchase links NOT emailed to me will NOT be entered into the contest.*

*Entries through Facebook and the Newsletter sign up need not send any additional emails in order to be entered into the contest*

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why your Novel bites, and Not in a Good way

Okay, if you know me, you know that I don’t pull punches. I don’t like it when people tell me I look nice when I know it looks as though I just crawled out of a sewer pipe. I hate it when people say that my writing is “Just great!” with that falsetto high pitch we all know means they are trying not to offend. It doesn’t help us improve ourselves when people placate us about how we look, or how we write.

So how do you figure out if your novel sucks and how can you fix it? Here are a few pointers I’ve picked up the hard, expensive way. Now pay attention, I’m only going to say this once!

-You have 90% narration, 5% flashbacks and 5% dialogue. Okay, let’s be honest, it takes a freaking MASTER to keep the attention of a reader with this kind of breakdown. MASTER, not NEWBIE. And if you’re reading this, even if you’ve got several books out, you’re a NEWBIE, just like me.

Up your dialogue people! Every time you step into narration and flashbacks, you SLOW your reader down. Way down. Might even put the book down. So try, really, really hard to “up” your dialogue. Turn that narration into a CONVERSATION.

-Your Characters all get along and float through life. Okay, conflict is #1 in a story. Who the hell cares if their lives are perfect? Mine isn’t, I sure don’t want to read about someone who has a better life than me. Readers want a story to show them just how BAD life can get and how the hero deals with it. Look at every chapter, if there isn’t some sort of conflict, put something new in. Maybe the evil stepmother we all thought was dead comes back to life as a zombie. Or maybe the husband who ran off with the sister was really poisoned and now needs to be rescued! The possibilities are endless regardless of the genre, so make your characters SUFFER!

- You are getting complaints in your reviews of TYPOS! Please, please, please get at least one editor to go over your book! If you can’t afford an editor, there are ALWAYS options. Beg another author, do a swap with them and give them an “edit” on their book while they do the same for yours. But dang, there is a reason you can’t get reviews, or that the reviews you do get are 3 stars at best (not including family and friends in this of course because we all make them give us 5 stars ;p).

Typos, dropping plot threads (e.g. A character shows up in chapter 1 but then never again and yet they seemed important, that is a dropped thread), and general issues with your “baby” (that I won’t go into here for sake of space) can be VASTLY improved by having someone in the industry do a pass. Not just your mom or your best friend. Someone who will tell you the truth, even if it makes you CRY!

-Last and final way to improve your book. Learn your strengths and play to them. I write FAST PACED, high octane books that always center on the power of relationships between loved ones. That is MY strength. I can’t write police procedurals, I’ve tried. I can’t write children’s books, the kids get nightmares. Figure out what your STRONG points are. Maybe you have a knack for building tension in scenes to the point of making people grip their books/Kindles in a white knuckle grasp. Build on that. Write emotional scenes so strong you bring tears to people’s eyes? Go for it! Full force on your strengths will make your book stand out from the crowd.

Don’t try to be something you aren’t.

In conclusion, in this shifting world of self publishing going head to head with the traditional publishers, we HAVE to stand out from the rest. Not because we are the best of the worst, but because we are the best of the best.

*Side note* Your chance at $150 in Amazon Gift cards ends Jaunuary 31st( I've extended the deadline)- for more details check out this post here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Some love and ENDORSEMENT for Indie Authors

October Winner

I am looking for a few good Indie authors who want to participate in a FREE promo event.

Maybe that's you eh?

If you haven't noticed, the last few months I've been doing Indie Cover Art Polls. It's very simple. You say you want to be in on the poll, I'll let you know what month you are going to be in.
November Winner

Then I put up your cover art, a blurb and a link along with a bunch of other authors. Then you get your friends, tweeps and complete strangers to vote for your book and its beautiful/interesting/crazy/wild cover.

The winning author gets to be hosted on the other authors blogs for a single post. And 1 winning commenter gets to win a copy of EACH of the authors books. Pretty cool huh?

December Winner

Each Poll has so far gotten over 1000 hits each, plus a TON of comments. Out last poll had over 200 comments, many of which were where the commenters were excited to go and purchase a bunch of the books. Yay!

So, if you're interested in getting you book and its cover in one of the next Cover Art Polls (Indie Authors Only Please) contact me at


Monday, January 16, 2012

Grandma Mary Can't Market your Book

*This post was originally put on the #Amwriting blog.*

If all you want is for Grandma Mary to read your book, don’t bother continuing with this article. You’ve accomplished your goal and you don’t need me to tell you how to market your book.

But, if you one of the growing number of authors who has realized that the sole person responsible for marketing their book is . . .gulp . . themselves, then perhaps you should read on.

While I’m far from an expert, I can share with you what I’ve learned.

Let’s say you’re lucky enough to snag yourself a contract with a publishing house (and this could be a small publishing house or a large one, it doesn’t seem to matter) they really aren’t interested in doing much marketing for you- the author- anymore.

And if you’re like a growing number of writers and are considering (or already have) self published, then you know that the marketing for every book you write falls squarely on your shoulders.

Depressing, ain’t it?

No, no, no! This is an opportunity for you to get creative, to reach out to your readership and draw them into your world of writing and books.

I’ve broken this down into 7ish steps and added a chart for clarification.

1. Acknowledge what problems you might run in to while promoting. For me they’re always one of two things. Not enough time and not enough money. For you they might be that you’re shy, don’t like to network or think that promotional stuff is silly and a waste of time. Whatever it is, write it down. By identifying the problem, you can find ways to work around it within your promotional efforts.

2. Write down your goals; give yourself something to shoot for. Don’t write things like “Sell as many books as John Locke.” Be kind to yourself; give yourself goals that can be reached within reason. It’s good to have long term, high shooting goals, but if you aim for Locke or Hocking status right out of the gate, you may just derail not only your promotional track, but with your writing track too.

3. Next, fill out a budget. This budget should include how much you are willing to spend a month on your marketing and PR plan. Your budget will dictate to a certain extent what venues you’ll be using to get your book out to the masses. Along with a financial budget, also write up how much TIME you’re willing to spend per day on your marketing. This is very important as it is easy to get caught up in marketing and you may find yourself promoting at all hours of the day and night.

4. Make a list of all the things you could possibly do to promote your book. Brainstorm, look up ideas on the internet, see what other authors are doing, ask your friends, ask your network. Include anything and everything, don’t censure, you never know what might spark the fire for you. (See the Actions section of my Chart for a few ideas.)

5. Now you want to make a list of all the people you think might be able to help you promote. This can be friends and family, acquaintances, clients, or other writers you have helped out in the past. This is an important step in order to make your marketing move forward. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Where ever possible, outsource. Your network is a HUGE part of getting the word out to new readers, so take advantage of them, they want to help you!

6. Go through the list of possible Actions; decide what will work for you within your budget and your time frame. Remember that if it’s free, it will likely cost you more time so be ready to put in the hours needed.

7. An important step that I touched on earlier was that you don’t want to sacrifice your writing time for promotional time. Eventually you would end up with nothing to promote. Look at your day, decide when you want to write, when you want to promote and STICK TO IT!

After you fill out your own chart, you’re ready to make a plan for marketing your book. My suggestion would be to have a calendar where you write down your goals. You can check off what you’ve accomplished and can easily see what is next on the list.

As writers our focus should ALWAYS be on writing the next story; improving our craft. But if we want more than Grandma Mary to read our books, we need to take the initiative and start our own marketing plan, even if that means taking a little time away from our writing. In the end, when your books are being read by strangers around the world, you won’t have to promote so much. You can sit back with Grandma Mary and work on your next big novel.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Readers and Reviewers, where are you??

This is a reminder post that the Review drive for Dark Waters is still going until January 25th! You have some great chances to win, even if you aren't a "professional" reviewer! So far there are only six (6) entries!

To celebrate the release of Dark Waters I am going to have a review drive, just like I did for Sundered.

Only this time, the Grand Prize is cold, hard, Amazon Gift Certificates.

$150 to one luck winner, and 5 $10 gift certificates to runners up.

How do you get in on this fabulous contest? There’s no purchase necessary, you can sign up for my NEWSLETTER (Which only goes out once a month) to get 1 entry into this contest. How do you sign up? You can leave a comment below with your email, you can email me at to tell me you want to be a part of my newsletter OR you can sign up off my Facebook Fan Page.
Want another free entry? “Like” my Facebook Fan page and I’ll give you an additional entry.

Now, you can get EVEN MORE entries just by purchasing Dark Waters. (Which by the way is only .99) Email me your Proof of Purchase( after you purchase you can forward me your receipt from Amazon) for 10 entries into the contest.

Write me a review on Amazon ( No, it doesn't have to be professional, just a review of 20 words or more), email me the link, and get an additional 20 entries!!

Phew. That’s a lot of chances to win, so good luck, and happy reading.

This contest is open internationally, and will run from December 29th/2011 – January 25th 2012. Winners
will be announced February 5th 2012.

*All reviews and purchase links NOT emailed to me will NOT be entered into the contest.*

*Entries through Facebook and the Newsletter sign up need not send any additional emails in order to be entered into the contest*

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Write Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Want a review for your book?

I've been lucky enough to work with the Indie Book Collective over the last couple of months. I have been impressed by their organization and dedication to making life as an indie author easier. And of course get seen by more readers. :)

So I offered my services as a volunteer and they asked me to help out with their Sci-Fi and Fantasy division, SciYourFi.

As it is in its infancy, this group is looking to do reviews for authors, get some fabulous guest posts going on their blog and of course, get a few fans on their Facebook Fan page.

If this sub-set of the IBC goes anything like their other divisions, ParaYourNormal and Thrillers Rock Twitter, its going to be HUGE!

Here's the info you need--->>>>

And of course, you want to know about the reviews right? You can go to the SciYourFi Blog and there is a section on reviews and guest posts OR you can email them directly at with the following information if you just want a review.

What SciYourFi wants from an author is :

•A PDF or Smashwords coupon code for their book

•A file with cover art.

•An author photo, if you want it posted with the review.

Okay, so what are you waiting for??? Reviews, likes and follows away!!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

December Indie Cover Art Poll- Wrap up

Wow, this last Indie Cover Art Poll was HUGE! With over 1300 hits on that post and over 200 comments, those authors and their books got a TON of new exposure! Well done to all involved.

The author and book cover with the MOST comments, is Lani Wendt Young with her book, Telesa. Lani has "won" the right to have her book and author info put on each of the other author's blogs. Very exciting!

Our winning commenter was Nicola, commenter #27! Congrats Nicola, you will receive all 15 books from the cover art poll, along with your choice of one of my books!

This is also a reminder that if you would like your Indie Cover Art in the next poll (Late January) I DO still have room. Email me at your cover art, and a short blurb and I'll take care of the rest.