Tuesday, February 28, 2012

...Casa Fire...Available Where E-Books Are Sold...


CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

Just leave Alex some comment love & you could win a serious prize package.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Evil Genius Blogfest

My blog buddy The Golden Eagle is celebrating her 2 year blogoversary (I've followed her for most of this time), and she's hosting The Evil Genius Blogfest today to celebrate.

Because as usual, truth is scarier than fiction the evil genius of my choice is Adof Hitler.
Best known for his systematic annihilation of six million Jews, Hitler rose to power by making a scapegoat of his own demographic. No doubt, it takes talent to convince a majority one group is to blame for all of our problems and please overlook that I'm part of this group. This evil genius is truly evil and if not a genius fairly close. Hitler doesn't get enough credit. He started the first anti-smoking campaign and waged a war on the world that killed fourteen million civilians. We spend a lot of time talking about the six million Jews, but tend to ignore that he systematically eradicated the disabled, the mentally ill, and anyone else he could find to target. But we got lucky. This evil genius got arrogant and got stupid. He decided to cross Russia in the middle of winter. (Hitler, that was a bad idea). A move that would lead to his eventual defeat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Re-Do Days & The Bookstall Winner

Have you ever had a day you just wanted to do over? I have. And they're becoming more frequent. I'm behind again. I think I should stop saying I'm behind and realize that underachieving is my new norm.

I had such big plans for yesterday. Yesterday could have kept me from being behind. But I woke up with a stabbing pain in the back of my leg. I screamed out, "Ooh, oh oh oh!" My poor husband freaked. He kept asking what hurt and struggled to get around the couch in front of me. (Sleeping in the bed hasn't been comfortable for more than a month). I managed to get myself up into a seated position and with my legs bent the pain subsided enough I was no longer screaming out. He touched my leg and said I had a tight spot he could feel. He rubbed it, which worked until I stood up. Screamed returned. This time he put icy hot down the back of my leg. Yay! I could walk, but it didn't feel good.

In addition to this I just felt exhausted. I couldn't decide between sleeping it off and trying to work it out. I went with the second. A decision that lasted all of ten minutes which is about how long it took me to realize I was too tired to hold myself up. I spent most of the day laying on the couch with a cushion under my knees.

Today, I'm nauseous and dizzy. I've had a good three or four hours, got plenty of day job stuff done. Unfortunately, I haven't touched my story and the submission deadline is coming up. I want to go to B&N and try to write,or even sit up on my couch and write here, but I'm so tired I doubt either happen.
And so behind is my new norm.

On another note, the contest winner is Maggie.

How is life going for you? Are you behind? Ahead of the game?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Born Wicked Book 3

Jessica Spotswood's debut novel Born Wicked  is engaging and enticing. I think the thing I loved the most about this book is that in some ways it's historical fiction though it seems to be an alternative history.

It's the late 1800's. Witches are being hunted, and the U.S. is being ran by a Calvinistic religious group referred to as "The Brotherhood," while the mid-east is liberal and progressive. The thing I love about the alternative history and the world Spotswood built is that most of the things is that in some degree or another most of these things have happened, just not at the same time.

Cate (the MC) promised her dying mother that she would keep her two younger sisters safe. A promise she vows to keep. The only problem is there all witches who sometimes can't control their magic. Their own father doesn't know about it, because mom didn't think he could handle the magic and he's gone a lot. Cate is totally responsible for her sisters. Added to that is a well written love triangle. I enjoyed the triangle too. It's not as angsty as the Twilight triangle, but I think to some degree it's more believable. Cate's a pretty girl though I didn't get the impression that she was glamorous. Her family isn't rich but she's of a certain social class, and expected to act like it. She doesn't. She spent years in farm dresses and likes to climb trees. The boy she's expected to marry is her childhood best friend. She does care about him, but things change. People change, and she's moved on. His four year absence helped that. The boy she loves is a shop keeper's son whose family has been targeted by the brotherhood as potential traitors. A family of witches with too much magic really can't afford the association, not to mention he's now employed as her gardener.

This book was fun. I read the whole thing in half a day, and everytime I told myself one more chapter then I'll unpack it didn't happen until I got to the end. I remember thinking to myself several times "Wow, I'm having fun today." (I know this sounds trivial but really I've been sick for seven months and don't really enjoy living in the tundra, so feeling like the girl that reviewed 52 books and wrote 2.5 in Austin was great). But I have to say some of the choices the characters made seemed to be for the sole purpose of adding conflict. I guess that's okay, but I wish it wasn't so obvious. And I HATED the ending. I just don't find Cate's choice believable. I can't tell you what happened that has me so peeved without lots of spoilers, but I'll try to sum it up the best I can. It has become possible for her to get what she wants. Given the set of circumstances that allow this, I don't think the people she's most worried about by the end of the book can really harm her. The book actually even says this. Then a few pages later she does exactly what they wanted anyhow, leaving the reader jaded and unsatisfied. For me, it took this book from 5 stars to 3. That being said, I will totally read the sequel. Meanwhile, I've read books that got 5 stars, but I'm not that interested in the sequel. LOL. So I hope this helps.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stephen King Says...

Hey, guys if you haven't noticed I'm gone again this week. Last week I tried hard to force myself back into the swing of things w/ writing, blogging, working, critiquing.  Nothing got unpacked. Nothing. Finally this weekend I unpacked the kitchen so we could eat at home again, but I tried so hard to catch up on writing, blogging, critiquing, that I'd got behind on work. I'm really not even sure it's so much that I got behind on it as last week I had twice the work to do in the same amount of time.

So now I'm caught up on work. But behind on everything else and my house is still packed. And my daughter's room is still bare. Well, it should be bare but it has lots of boxes. Poor girl. Good thing she isn't here yet.

I'm overwhelmed and I'm STILL sick three days a week. Finally two days ago, I remembered what Stephen King said in On Writing. Something that really didn't make sense then, but seriously does now. Art is a support system for life. Life is not a support system for art. And things clicked together in my head and I realized my priority had to be getting my house unpacked, because my husband works A LOT, and the best thing I can do for myself and my family right now is put things in order. I haven't written a word this week. I'm behind on critiquing again. I'm in a group and they're probably ready to kick me out. This is my first blog post of the week and it's Wednesday afternoon. I haven't read since before the move, but this week my priority is to unpack. And even that's not getting very far. So I'm about to unpack for an hour. I'll meet with my writing group tonight and instead of writing I'll critique. Then tomorrow I'll hopefully be able to split between unpacking and day job work. (God, I hope tomorrow is one of those days I wake up feeling pre-pregnancy).

And the point of all of this is, I'm aware I'm not around commenting, but I still love you! I'm sorry the blog is so not updated, but it will be one day. And I'm so mad at myself for not writing/critiquing, I don't even know what to say about that one. But for now ttyl.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another Book Stall Contest

Earlier this week, I promised to answer my own questions and then didn't have time. You can find those here.

Time for another Book Stall contest. This time you don't have to be a follower to win. I'm giving away Unearthly, Shadow Cry, and Clarity. To win you must like the bookstall's facebook page and mention I sent you.  You will get 2 entries for doing so, and one entry for putting it on fb, twitter, and any other social media you desire. You can get one entry per media per day.

I'm also giving away Cinder, but you have to be a blogger for that one, and you have to agree to give it away in a contest linking back to me and The Bookstall. People can get entries for following you, but they will need to leave a comment on the Bookstall's fb page saying that you and Beth sent them.

This contest is open for 7 days and, you must have a U.S. shipping address. Sorry guys, next one will be international again. You will need to tell me if your entering for Cinder or the other three or both. (If you're entering for please leave a blog link).

Answering My Own Questions

On Wed. I posted my interview with Nazrea Andrews and promised to answer my own questions, because she and Elizabeth had been so honest. I didn't have time for this yesterday, so here they are.

1. How long have you been writing?

Forever, but I've only been trying to write novels since Dec. of 09.

2. How many full length manuscripts have you written?
Three, but two sucked.

3. How many times have you queried and how many rejections have you received?
I've only queried one project and it received a whopping 105 rejections.

4. Do you have an agent?

5. Do you ever get discouraged with all the rejection we face?
Oh my God yes, so much so that sometimes it's hard to write. Other time it adversely affects my writing. Sometimes it just makes me sad. But then I get over it.

6. How do you stay motivated?
The truth is I don't know. In honesty, I have my slumps where I'm just not motivated for way too long, but then I always find a spark, usually in a book. Also, I have the best husband in the world. When I know I need extra motivation I enlist his help and he's always willing. Recently I asked for $100 when I finish my current WIP. He just said yes with no questions and no explanation.

7. Have you ever consider self publishing and why or why not?
Honestly, yes sometimes very seriously so. I know some very well published people who have had to make decisions for their books based on an editor's demand, that I would not have made. If I self publish, I have the control. I don't so much care about covers or small things, but don't tell me what to do with my characters. There are many other things about the current "traditional" publishing model that I don't like. Although with the success of Amazon, I think lots of things I don't like about publishing may change in the next decade. But for me at this point in my career, I'm not sure self publishing is a good option. To do it and do it right is terribly expensive.

8. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Read A LOT. I think you're goal should be a book a week, if you can read more than that great. If you don't quite make it there, fine. Read until you find what you love. Then read because you love it. You learn as much from reading fiction as you do from writing and critiquing. If you're into YA and want specific recommendations I'd say Shatter Me for both pacing and voice, Twilight for characterization, Shiver for mood and tone (book 1 the others don't carry mood and tone the same way), and as for YA with a really strong example of good plotting I honestly don't know. Maybe you could recommend one for me?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nazarea Andrews & The Insecure Writer's Support Group

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. And I think it fits in perfect this week with my theme of staying motivated for the unpublished writer.  With all the rejection we're bound to get insecure from time to time. So today I have Nazarea Andrews who has been writing for ten years here to tell us how she stays motivated through all the rejection. Yesterday, I talked to Elizabeth Prats about the same thing and you can find that here. Since both of these ladies were so honest and candid with me, I'll be answering my own questions tomorrow. In truth, I haven't been writing as long and sometimes I get really depressed with the rejection, but rejection is hard to talk about. I think if they are so honest I should be too.

And here's Nazarea.

How long have you been writing?
Ten years. I started writing when I was fourteen, and finished my first manuscript when I was in
high school. When I was twenty, I took a two year break because of marriage and small children.
But two years was my limit and I’ve been writing again for four years. So ten total.

2. How many full length manuscripts have you written?
One in high school, and five in the past four years for a grand total of six.

3. How many times have you queried? And how many rejections have you received?
Oh, wow. Um, I when I first came back to writing I knew absolutely nothing. I made the very
newbie mistake of finishing a first draft and querying EVERYONE a week later—which resulted
in a ton of rejections. (I think something like 100 for that manuscript)
I finished a second manuscript and had fortunately learned more. I polished like crazy and worked
with beta readers and critique partners and THEN sent out queries. About 60, some of which even
resulted in partial/full requests (and by some I mean, a dozen-ish)
Then I wrote my current project. I fast-drafted it, then took almost a year to polish, rewrite, and
edit. I’ve sent it to about 25 agents, with a high (about 15) request rate.

4. Do you have an agent?
Not yet, but I’m hopeful. And hard-working. It’ll happen eventually :)

5. Do you ever get discouraged with all the rejection we are faced with?
Well, yeah. It’s impossible not to get discouraged every once in a while, I think.

6. How do you stay motivated?
Chocolate? Sheer-stubborn refusal to stop? My kids? All of the above? Writing is my dream, and
a large part of who I am. I work my ass off to find time for it and to make my dream of being
published a reality. A large part of why is so that one day I can tell my kids, ‘you can make your
dreams come true if you’re willing to work.’ The other part is I have a story. (well, lots of them)
And I want those stories heard.

7. Have you ever considered self publishing and why or why not?
Occasionally. Honestly, I still want the traditional route. It’s been my goal since I was a teenager. It
might seem like a silly reason to keep chasing, but I’m okay with that. I like my silly reason.

8. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Write every day. Read as much as you write. Decide what you want from writing: publishing, self-
publishing, the traditional route, whatever, and then work hard to make it happen. Find critique
partners who are more than just that—who are your friends. And don’t be afraid of a few ‘nos.
Everyone gets them and it only takes one ‘yes.’