Saturday, October 31, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Guest Post by J. A. Kerr

The first step in being a writer  is having a story to tell. Now, the next step is telling that story in an interesting and unique way. Whether your book is about farming, finance or romance how you engage your readers is the foundation to your success. First things first. Sit down and write the most important page of your book. The first page, it will be your hookYou will have roughly 250 words at your disposal. Make them count. This is your first and most important task and it will be a challenge. The next piece of advice, make it sexy. How do I make my Finance book sexy? Think Mad Men. Sell it to your readers. It’s a crowded market out there and you need to stand out
Having a good story is important but marketing is vital and an enormous part of  your publishing journey. Social media will become your best friend. Your book is a thumbnail amongst millions on Amazon. Make your book cover as eye-catching as possible. You will need to promote your book and get those all important reviews. Booking a Book Tour is a must.
Present the very best quality manuscript. My publishers adhere to The Chicago Manuel of Style. Editing is the most important part of your book. I edit by Chapter during times when I can't write. I don't call it writer's block but my imaginative rest time (IRT). During these periods, I edit and refresh my mind with the story I've written so far. I often find that after doing this the story flows once more and I'm back writing, but I've cleaned up those earlier chapters. I hate editing, but I make myself do it as I go along as I find it too overwhelming to tackle a full manuscript. Next, do you have a word count in mind? Set yourself a goal eg. 90,000 words. Plan out your Chapters. Each character has their own Point of View and if during your chapter you change character, then you need to change POV, which means adding a scene break. I always stick to 57 Chapters. I start by numbering them and leaving the last 7 -10 Chapters for my ending. I may start my book with my lead character Benedict so I put his name against Chapter 1 and then I follow with another character, Siena, which becomes Chapter 2 and so on. 
I use pro writing aid which is a free online tool that helps with grammar, sticky sentences, and repetitive works. I use Beta readers once I've completed my first twenty chapters. Feedback has often seen me ripping my chapters apart and this is more manageable in sections. I've learned so much since I've published my first book and it's been a steep learning curve but my writing has improved as a result. If I had to give one piece of advice I'd say have patience. Writing is a bit of a waiting game. Building your fan base takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day and so forth. Enjoy it regardless of sales and most of all be proud of what you've achieved.

 About J. A. Kerr

Reading, film and theatre have always been my escape and inspiration. I always had the Braille Club Book Series in my head, it was getting it down on paper that was the tricky bit!

With its publication came the realisation of a very personal dream.

I would just like to mention the story is purely from my imagination and not from personal experience... if only.

I start every book the same way. I write my endings first. I think it's crucial to know how your book ends and if the story will continue.
My head gets so crowded with stories I simply have to write. I can lose myself for hours in the characters I've created.
I live with my husband (who has been very patient and a good sounding board for my ideas) and my two kids who have helped with most of my IT issues as technology is not my first love...
I hope you enjoy my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a free copy of The Braille Club!
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Review of The Braille Club by J.A.Kerr plus GIVEAWAY!!!

Welcome to the Braille Club, where blindfolds are mandatory and members play sensual games of pleasurable endurance. Three couples take part in this exclusive, secret club for very different reasons…with very different results.

Benedict Harrison was a master of detachment…

Benedict’s first experience with the Braille Club changed his life forever when a mysterious woman reawakened his emotions and his passion. He encounters the darkly erotic Siena Waters again, and they begin a tumultuous affair and a business partnership, but what will happen if the true nature of their relationship is discovered?

Gabriella Ballantyne’s marriage is in trouble…

Her husband Max has grown cold, and Gabriella seeks out the Braille Club and its decadent delights in an effort to reawaken their hearts and strengthen their marriage. But when she presents him with his own membership card, she sees only revulsion in his eyes. Gabriella must use everything she’s learned from the club in a last-ditch effort to reconnect with Max and resurrect their love.

Abbey Marshall needs an escape from her cheating husband…

Abbey begins sensory lessons at the Braille Club, hoping it will help her regain control of Steve and prevent his straying. When the unthinkable happens, she is consumed with the need to learn the identity of Steve’s latest mistress. Left reeling and with her sanity in jeopardy, a chance visit from her husband’s former teammate might be her last chance to find the answers she needs.

At the Braille Club, the elite membership walks in the dark in order to find the light…they need to be blind before they can see. They’re ready—are you?



*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

Even though this story isn't one I would normally go for, aka, not sci-fi or fantasy, I was intrigued by the idea of this club and the different characters it seemed to be about.  I'm so glad I gave this book a chance! Not only is it well written, but the story moves forward at a steady pace. The flashbacks are concise and easy to follow and don't take away from the present story but are so well placed they help add to it. 

The tension between Benedict and Siena alone would be enough to move this story. I loved reading their scenes and learning about their history. While this book would be classified as an erotic story it takes it on in a different way than most erotic novels. Sensual arousal was not only the goal of the braille club but the erotic scenes as well. I would still recommend this book for those 18 and older. 

Even if this type of romance novel is not your thing, I would strongly suggest giving this book a try. The characters are well developed and you fill find yourself sucked into this novel before you even realize it. You may even find yourself wondering if a club like the braille club is real....

Amazon  /    Amazon UK  /   Goodreads 








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Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Review of Melophobia by James Morris

Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.

The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished.

Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.








*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

At first I wasn't sure if this book would be to similar to Fahrenheit 451 but with music instead of books. As a lover of all things Ray Bradbury though I had to see for myself. 

I'm a pleased to say that while this is a distopian novel, and yes it is set in an America where music is outlawed, the novel itself stands on its own. Merrin is a great character to follow and the mystery and intrigue of her job and life propel the story forward at a quick pace. 

One thing I loved about this novel is how much creativity went into it. Not just the weaving of the story but the world building. See in Morris' America each genre of music has is own gang. I thought that was a interesting idea since today we seem to align ourselves with certain types of music. 

Also I want to mention that this book was edited well too. The novel had a nice flow to it and was easy to read. I would recommended this book to anyone who enjoys distopian novels but also want to state that there is some sex and violence so age wise I would say sixteen and up. 

Goodreads

Amazon

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Super Book Blast for Pretty When You Cry by Skye Warren with GIVEAWAY!!



Blurb:

I came from a place of dirt floors and holy scriptures. They told me the world outside is full of sin, and the first night I escape, I know it’s true. Ivan saves me, but he does more than that. He takes me. He makes me his own girl.

My conditioning runs too deep. Ivan sees what I am.

That’s the thing about showing a mouse to a cat. He wants to play. And it’s terrifying, even for me. Because the only thing darker than my past is his.

Excerpt:



So far a city looks exactly how I thought it would—gutted buildings and dark alleys.

A den of wickedness.

This morning I woke up on my floor mat in Harmony Hills. Sunlight streamed through the window while dust rose up to meet it. The white walls somehow kept their color despite rough dirt floors.

A desperate trek through the woods and a series of bus rides later, I made it to a city. This city. Tanglewood. It could have been anywhere. They’re all the same, all sinful, all scary—and the only thing that makes this one special is that I ran out of money for bus tickets.

My shoes are made of white canvas, already fraying and black from the grime of the streets. I made these shoes by hand when I turned twelve, and the heel on the left side has never fit quite right. But the bamboo soles lasted four years in the hills. Now they’re cracking against concrete. I can feel every lump in the pavement, every loose rock, every rounded hump as the sidewalk turns to cobblestone and then back again.

That’s not the worst part.

There’s someone following me. Maybe more than one person. I try to listen for the footsteps, but it’s hard to hear over the pounding in my ears, the thud of my heart against my chest. Panic is a tangible force in my head, a gritty quicksand that threatens to pull me down.

I could end up on my knees before this night is over.

But I don’t think I’ll be saying my evening prayers.

Men are standing outside a gate that hangs open on its hinges. They fall silent as I walk close. I tighten my arms where they are folded over my chest and look down. If I can’t see them, they can’t see me. It wasn’t true when I was little, and it’s not true now.

One of them steps in front of me.

My breath catches, and I stop walking. My whole body is trembling by the time I meet his eyes, bloodshot red in a shadowed face. “What’s your name?” he asks in a gravelly voice.

I jerk my head. No.

“Now that’s not very polite, is it?” Another one steps closer, and then I smell him. They couldn’t have showered in the past day or even week.

Cleanliness is a virtue.

Being quiet and obedient and small is a virtue too. “I’m sorry. I just want to—”

I don’t know what comes next. I want to run. I want to hide. I want to pretend the past fifteen years as a disciple of the Harmony Hills never happened. None of that is possible when I’m surrounded by men. I take a step back and bump into another man. Hands close around my arms.

A sound escapes me—fear and protest. It’s more than I would have done this morning, that sound.

I’m turned to face the man behind me. He smiles a broken-toothed smile. “Doesn’t matter what you want, darling.”

My mouth opens, but I can’t scream. I can’t scream because I’ve been taught not to. Because I know no one will come. Because the consequences of crying are worse than what will happen next.

Then the man’s eyes widen in something like fear. It’s a foreign expression on his face. It doesn’t belong. I wouldn’t even believe it except he takes a step back.

My chest squeezes tight. What’s behind me? Who is behind me that could have inspired that kind of fear? The men surrounding me are monsters, but they’re backing off now, stepping away, hands up in surrender. No harm done, that’s what they’re saying without words.

I whirl and almost slip on a loose cobblestone.

The man standing in front of me is completely still. That’s the first thing I notice about him—before I see the fine cut of his black suit or the glint of a silver watch under his cuff. Before I see the expression on his face, devoid of compassion or emotion. Devoid of humanity.

“We didn’t know she worked for you,” one of the men mumbles.

They’re still backing up, forming a circle around us, growing wider. I’m in the middle. I’m the drop, and the men around me form a ripple. Then they fade into the blackness and are gone.

It’s just me and the man in the suit.

He hasn’t spoken. I’m not sure he’s going to. I half expect him to pull out a gun from somewhere underneath that smooth black fabric and shoot me. That’s what happens in the city, isn’t it? That’s what everyone told me about the outside world, how dangerous it is. And even while some part of me had nodded along, had believed them, another part of me had refused.

There had to be beauty outside the white stucco walls. Beauty that wasn’t contained and controlled. Beauty with color. Only apparently I was wrong. I haven’t seen anything beautiful—except him.

He’s beautiful in a strange and sinful way, one that makes me more afraid. Not colorful exactly. His eyes are a gray color I’ve never seen before, both deep and opaque at the same time.

He steps closer, the light from a marquee sign illuminating his face, making him look even more sinister. “What’s your name?”

I couldn’t answer those other men, but I find something inside for him. I find truth. “I’m not allowed to say my name to someone else.”

He studies me for a long moment, taking in my tangled hair and my white dress. “Why not?”

Because God will punish me. “Because I’m running away.”

He nods like this is what he expected. “Do you have money?”

I have fifteen dollars left after bus fare. “Some.”

His lips twist, and I wonder if that’s what a smile looks like on him. It’s terrifying. “No, you don’t,” he says. “The question is, what would you do to earn some?”

Anything.

My voice is just a whisper. “I’m a good girl.”

He laughs, and I see that I was wrong before. That wasn’t a smile. It was a taunt. A challenge. This is a real smile, one with teeth. The sound rolls through me like a coming storm, deep and foreboding.

“I know,” he says gently. “What’s your name?”

“Candace.”

He studies me. “Pretty name.”

His voice is deep with promise and something else I can’t decipher. All I know is he isn’t really talking about my name. And I know it isn’t really a compliment. “Thank you.”

“Now come inside, Candace.”

He turns and walks away before I can answer. I can feel the night closing in on me, the sharks in the water waiting to strike. It’s not really a choice. I think the man knows that. He’s counting on it. Whatever is going to happen inside will be bad, and the only thing worse is what would have happened outside.

I hurry to catch up with him, almost running across the crumbled driveway, under the marquee sign for the Grand, desperate for the dubious safety of the man who could hold the darkness at bay. It’s the same thing that kept me in Harmony Hills for so long—fear and twisted gratitude.

About the Author:

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely romantic.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

ON THE FRINGE 4th Birthday Celebration Blitz with $20 gift card GIVEAWAY!!


On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker
I'm so excited to be taking part in Courtney King Walker's ON THE FRINGE 4th birthday celebration blitz! Check out the book below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!

On the Fringe by Courtney King WalkerA YA ghost story, where your first embrace could be your last…

Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she’s still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn’t helping.

Neither is thinking she sees Daniel’s face in the murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.

As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them must decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.

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On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker
Grab your copy for just 0.99 cents on Amazon, today!

Exciting Announcement!

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King WalkerCourtney King Walker's third novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing... and it's a Cinderella retelling!!goodreads-badge-add-plus
Sixteen-year-old Mackenzie knows life is always better for the lucky ones—the problem is, she’s never been one. But when Mackenzie finally gets her wish, she quickly realizes the royal life isn’t exactly what she had in mind. And her dream prince is nothing close to charming! With running shoes as glass slippers, this modern retelling of Cinderella is an enchanting and entertaining read.

Courtney King WalkerAbout the Author



Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. She is the author of the young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, and middle grade novel MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN. Her next YA novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Tour for Horizon by Keith Stevenson with Giveaway!



Thirty-four light years from Earth, the explorer ship Magellan is nearing its objective - the Iota Persei system. But when ship commander Cait Dyson wakes from deepsleep, she finds her co-pilot dead and the ship's AI unresponsive. Cait works with the rest of her multinational crew to regain control of the ship, until they learn that Earth is facing total environmental collapse and their mission must change if humanity is to survive.

As tensions rise and personal and political agendas play out in the ship's cramped confines, the crew finally reach the planet Horizon, where everything they know will be challenged.

"Crackling science fiction with gorgeous trans-human and cybernetic trimmings. Keith Stevenson's debut novel soars." - Marianne De Pierres, award-winning authors of the Parrish Plessis, Sentients of Orion and Peacemaker series.

Excerpt:


Cait was waiting for Lex when he crossed back to his harness from the showers. Bren was with Harris at the core, and Nadira was still off somewhere, so she had a little time to herself. Her own shower had done nothing to relax her, and her neck felt stiff.

What Bren had told Cait about the package presented a whole raft of new worries. But right now it was Bren that was causing her the most anxiety. There had been a lot of hidden bigotry towards her before lift-off, from the top ranks of Space Admin down, and Cait had pushed hard to get her on the mission. Not just because she was a remarkable talent in the field of systems interfacing, but because Cait knew first hand how hard it was to escape the post-deluge Florida Ghettos. Cait was seven when her father had won the employment lottery and they’d moved to the space-tech conurb in Sub-California, old enough to remember the squalor and hopelessness of the place.

There’d been a bond between the two women; Cait had felt they really trusted one another. Now she wasn’t so sure. She’d put Bren’s behaviour in med lab down to the effects of prolonged deepsleep, but the systems specialist had shown no signs of residual disorientation once she’d gone online to recover the package. She’d been lucid and precise in explaining to Cait what she’d found inside. But when Cait brought up Sharpe’s death, her responses had become vague and hesitant again. To Cait it felt as if she was trying hard not to remember something rather than she just couldn’t.

Lex was still towelling himself dry as he loped towards the harness. He tossed the towel at the webbing and shook his head, droplets of water cascading lazily away in the low-g. ‘What’s up?’ he said.

Cait folded her arms and leaned against the ring wall, looking away as he grabbed at the harness straps to steady himself and bent to open his floor locker.

‘I’ve been thinking about Bren’s link. Did you notice when it came online?’

He shrugged, standing as he pulled on the one-piece and pressed the adhesion surfaces together. ‘I didn’t see any kind of change at all.’

‘What about when you hooked up to her fault-finder?’

‘There was no change,’ he said, eyes narrowing. ‘What are you getting at?’

‘Well, if you didn’t observe a change in her responses, we can’t be sure the link wasn’t functioning before Bren woke up in med lab.’

‘Apart from the fact she said it wasn’t.’ He leaned against the harness and sized Cait up. ‘Has Harris been planting ideas in your head? You know what he’s like about enhanced humans.’

‘I haven’t spoken to anyone else about Bren.’

‘So what’s your motivation for doubting her word? I thought Bren was your friend, or does “things being different” extend to her too?’

Cait straightened. ‘Why are you insisting on making this personal? We had some fun together; it was nice. Now it’s over. But I’m still your commanding officer, and our situation is serious. As medical officer you oversaw Bren’s treatment in med lab. You were monitoring her EEG. You said she was in a coma. How do you explain her suddenly waking if there wasn’t any change in the readings?’

‘I suggest you ask Bren about that — she’s the expert.’

‘I’m asking you.’

‘I don’t know what’s gotten into you, Cait. Maybe I never really knew you at all.’ He picked up the wet towel and balled it in his fists. ‘I’m telling you what I saw. If you think something’s going on, you work it out.’

Cait pursed her lips for an instant. ‘Okay. I will.’ She pushed off the wall. ‘I’ll see you at the meeting.’

She sailed over to the central walkway, twisting in mid-air to rebound and put some distance between her and Lex. She hadn’t thought he’d be the type to act like a jilted lover. Childish and self-centred — there it was again. She should never have become involved. And she certainly didn’t have the mental space to deal with any fallout now. If he was moping over her, he’d have to work that one out on his own.

About the Author:

Keith Stevenson is a speculative fiction writer, editor, reviewer, publisher and podcaster. He was editor of Aurealis Magazine - Australian Fantasy and Science Fiction from 2001 to the end of 2004 and formed the multi-award winning independent press coeur de lion publishing in 2005. In 2014 he launched Dimension6 magazine and became a speculative fiction reviewer for the Newtown Review of Books. He blogs about the ideas and issues behind Horizon at http://www.horizonbooks.com.au and  you can learn more about his work at www.keithstevenson.com.






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