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Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

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Road Trip Wednesday — Crazy Love

This week on YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesday Blog Carnival, the theme of love goes on …

YA Highway RTW

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love OR what’s your favorite movie/book moment of someone doing crazy things for love?

That’s a loaded question. Let’s see … First off, I’ve done so many stupid/crazy things for “love” they’d be hard to count.

I could talk about the time I … or about … Nah … I’ll leave that to the imagination and head straight toward my favorite movie moments. Not sure I’d call these crazy, really, but I have A LOT of favorite moments. THESE ARE ALL SPOILERS! DON’T WATCH IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THESE ALREADY. 😉

Here are just a few:

MOVIES:

SAY ANYTHING boom box scene with John Cusak

THE WEDDING SINGER airplane scene

REALITY BITES

LIKE CRAZY

THE ART OF GETTING BY

I am in love with this movie–the realness of it, but finding one good scene to show was impossible, so here are a lot of them: SPOILER!

MOULIN ROUGE

Another incredible favorite of mine, but again–can’t find the end scene by itself … SPOILER!

There are my few for now. You guys? Favorite movie moments?

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Light the fireworks: www.shotsforpassion.com -...

Light the fireworks: http://www.shotsforpassion.com – New domain name for my blog! (Photo credit: Shots For Passion)

Here’s how the THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop works. I get tagged to answer a bunch of question about my current book, (while simulataneously getting more word out), thanks to J.A. Belfield for the tip, and then I tag YOU, and you get to share in the love on your own blog to get the word out about YOUR WIP.

I’m supposed to tag eleven bloggers, but I’m cheating a little and tagging all of you who have WIP’s to play. Why? Because there are a lot of you. Yay me. 

I questioned being involved in the hop considering my current WIP is kind of under wraps, while my current finished book is on its way to publication–but, I thought this would be fun.

SO …. I’m going to pretend that my current finished novel is actually a WIP–even though it’s not. K? K! 😉

Here goes:

What is the working title of your book?

The title of my book is TIED, and it’s the first book in The Fire Born Novels series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is one of those questions that’s hard to answer. Ideas sort of pop into my head and I run with them. Some work, some don’t–The Fire Born worked.

What is the genre of your book?

I write young adult dark/urban fantasy, paranormal romance, with bit of mythology mixed in.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

No clue. If I had to choose, it would probably be from people who aren’t even actors. 😉 I think it’s really hard to peg the right face/personality to a character you’ve dreamed up in your head.

What in one sentence is the synopsis of your book?

Yikes! Honestly, I don’t even think I’m allowed to tell you guys that yet—-under contract and all that. BUT–soon, so very soon.;) So, I’ll leave you with the hook that’s flying around on all my social media pages:

How far would you go … to protect the one you love?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

All of The Fire Born Novels will be published by J. Taylor Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Hm … first draft took three months. All subsequent drafts took — forever. Seriously. A longgg time.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I wouldn’t. Funny–I was just thinking about this. My play off fantasy and paranormal feels a bit different than what I read–and I read a lot. I guess the readers will have to decide ultimately. But, my intention is always to speak from my own voice and let it roll. Whatever comes, comes. I’m not aiming to compare my books to anyone else’s.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Another loaded question that’s difficult to answer. I’m not sure that any one particular thing inspired me, necessarily. A ton of factors led me to continue to write this book and see it through to the end. Not all my novels have made it to completion. TIED spoke to me in a way nothing else has. So I guess you could say, the story itself inspired me.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The blurb will be out very soon, and I can’t spoil that, so I’ll just say that if the hook I mentioned before intrigues you–just wait 😉

*** That’s it for me. Anyone want to jump in and let us know what all your blood, sweat and tears are pouring into? Leave me a link so I can check your book out!! 😉 ***


REAPER is OUT! Author Interview with LS Murphy

Today on the blog, I have a special treat. Author LS Murphy is here to talk about her new Young Adult Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy, REAPER.

Reaper LS Murphy

Hi, Linda. Glad you could visit the blog today!

Tell me about Reaper. What’s the story about?

Reaper is the story of 16 year-old Quincy Amarante who learns she will become a grim reaper. She’s not all that excited about it. 🙂

What inspired you to write the book?

The usual what if question. What if Miss Popular found out her destiny when she was a teen? What if it wasn’t necessarily a good thing?

Who is your favorite character in the story and why?

That’s hard to answer because I have several favorites. 🙂 I’ll go with Ben because he’s the one person who isn’t a jackass at one point or another.

Did you always aspire to be an author?

Yes and no. When I was a kid, I wanted to be on the radio. By the time I hit my teens, I wanted to be a writer, but I also wanted to be a rock star. Sadly the rock star thing didn’t pan out. 🙂 Seriously though, I harbored the desire to be a writer since I was a teenager. It wasn’t until my daughter was born that I realized I couldn’t tell her to follow her own dreams if I couldn’t follow mine.

Any tips you can offer writers aspiring to be published one day?

Don’t give up. If this is truly what you want, keep at it. It will happen. And don’t be afraid of rejection. Yeah, it hurts, but it’s part of the process.

Are you working on any new projects?

In June, I signed with literary agent Julia Weber for a contemporary YA about a girl who plays summer baseball without her father’s knowledge. Chaos ensues. I’m currently rewriting another YA contemporary about a city girl who moves to a small town in Iowa where she meets a quiet country boy with a secret.

What books are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading an ARC of Resonance by J.A. Belfield. I love the Holloway pack.

Winter or Summer?

Winter. One of my favorite things to do is to curl up in my red chair with a book and a cup of coffee.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee. And tea. I like both, but I only drink tea in the winter.

Thanks so much! REAPER sounds like a must read for all of us YA fans! Check out the blurb and excerpt below:

Blurb: There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

Excerpt:

A spitball stops in mid-air less than an inch from my nose.

It hangs there. I assume everyone else notices the wet wad of paper too, but when I turn to my bestie Jordan, her mouth is stuck open with her eyes half closed.

She was just laughing. Now she’s … frozen?

The sudden silence is louder than a room full of gossiping teenagers.

Mini-quakes creep up my spine like a centipede hurrying toward my hair.

I’m not entirely sure my heart is beating. I wave my shaking hand in front of Jordan, hoping this will break her free of whatever happened.

No reaction.

Why am I moving?

So many times, I wished Jordan would stop talking. Now is the one time I need her high-pitched voice to pierce my ears.

Quin, relax. It’s okay. No way this is real. I pinch my arm hard, but it doesn’t change anything.

A loud pop makes me spin around in my seat. A man stands in front of the chalkboard in a bluish-white robe staring at me through blizzard white eyes. He holds a staff in front of him that looks like melting glass.

“Hello, Quincy,” he says in a deep velvet voice. “How would you like to see your future?”

I stand and stumble toward the back of the room. “Who are you supposed to be? Gandalf?” I’m unable to keep the tremor out of my voice.

“One person dresses up like me in a movie, and that’s all I hear.” He leans back on Mr. Spragg’s desk. “I’m far more attractive than him and so much more fun.” He winks and lifts his robe, revealing a pair of yellow and red striped Bermuda shorts and orange flip-flops.

My eyes pop wider at the mismatched mess, but I keep my thoughts about his sense of fashion to myself. “Who are you?”

His sigh echoes off the walls. “I’m Destiny.”

“Who?”

Rolling his eyes, he raises the staff high to his left. Like a swordsman, he stabs and swooshes it down in an arch. The air ripples as a dark slit opens. A man in a deep brown pinstripe suit steps through. His cheap sneakers don’t match the formality of the tan fedora and horn-rimmed glasses.

A pony-sized white German shepherd saunters in behind him, and I take an automatic step back. The dog turns his head, black orbs where its eyes should be.
Pinstripe man glances my way before turning toward the person who calls himself Destiny. His features contort and a maroon tint creeps over his face.

“What the f—”

Destiny flips his finger and the new guy shuts up. After a moment, he does another finger move.

“We said when she was eighteen, Des.”

“I’m aware of that, Forsyth.”

“She’s not eighteen.”

“Really? I never would have guessed.” Sarcasm fills each word as Destiny raises his eyebrows like a flag on the Fourth of July.

Forsyth glares. “Then why am I here?”

“I let you pick the date, but I never agreed to honor it.” Destiny pats the dog on the head with sneer and wipes his hands on his robe. “Now is the time. Teach her.”

LS Murphy Author Photo Bio: L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets. “A Reason to Stay”, a contemporary romance novella, is available as of November 2, 2012. Reaper is her debut young adult novel and will be released on January 7th, 2013.

She is a co-rep for the Southern Illinois region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.

Links:

Blog: http://lsmurphy.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSMurphy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LSMurphyAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5046440.L_S_Murphy

Publisher: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/


Coming Soon: REAPER

Reaper-Blog-Tour-Button

I will be hosting fellow author, LS Murphy, on her blog tour for her just released title, REAPER! A Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. 

Stay tuned!


What The New Year Holds …

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013 (Photo credit: sangak)

Happy 2013, everyone! I’m so excited about the new year.

TIED, the first book in The Fire Born Novels series, will be released September 9! And in preparation of that upcoming event, my blog will be undergoing a few changes.

In January I will be hosting an interview with fellow author, L.S. Murphy about her upcoming release, REAPER, a young adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I will also have a special cover reveal for fellow author, J.A Belfield’s upcoming release, CAGED.

In March I will host fellow author, Aimee Lane, for her SILENT ECHOES blog tour.

In addition, marketing will begin for the release of TIED, which will include the cover release, blurb, excerpts and more!

Hold on tight, the ride’s about to get bumpy!

 


And The Nominees Are …

liebster-award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award! Thank you so much to Jaime Guerard for nominating me for this very unexpected award. 😉 Jaime is a fellow YA fan as well as YA Paranormal Romance Thriller writer and author. Go check her blog out!

The award works like this:

– I list 11 random facts about myself.
– I will answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
– I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.
– If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with your questions. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.

Here are 11 random facts: (Hmm … I’ve gotta think about this.)

1. I’m a Tea fanatic. Yes, really. Hot tea, iced tea, black tea, flavored tea. I could hang out in Teavana.

2. I’ve been dancing since I was a little. Love it. Miss it. Quit after too many injuries. Now I run. (Like that’s better or something … )

3. I’m a chef.

4. I read obsessively. Even when I should be writing and editing my own books. ;P

5. I’m a Tolkien fan to extremes. Love, Love, Love his books. Movies too. I could watch LOR from start to finish without a hitch. All 9 hours.

6. Same goes for Harry Potter. I can recite the books.

7. I have 3 dogs, and if I had more space, I would own way more than that.

8. I love Summertime.

9. I’m an introvert, but a few of my friends would probably argue with me over that.

10. I’m of Irish decent.

Here are my questions from Jaime Guerard:

1. Who is your favorite author?

I have so many, so I’ll name the big ones. Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Oh, and I really enjoy Michael Scott.

2. What is your favorite quote?

“You can’t win or lose if you don’t run the race.” ~ The Psychedelic Furs

3. What type of genre do you like to read? Why?

Fantasy. High fantasy. Paranormal. Mythology and some Sci-Fi. Both YA and Adult. I write what I read. Why? Because these genres are transporting and magical.

4. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to still be writing stories from my heart. The ones that inspire me and speak to me.

5. How long have you been writing?

I started writing poems are a young age. 7 maybe. They were a kind of expression that just flooded out. I still write poetry. Short stories followed, and in my early twenties I tried a few strike out swings at novels. I think my writing has grown considerably since then.

6. Who has inspired you throughout your life?

My mom.

7. What is one word to describe your personality?

Hmm … Sarcastic? Hahaha. Probably depends on which friend you asked.

8. What is your favorite book and why?

That’s almost impossible to answer. Although all of my favorite authors have things in common, their writing styles are vastly different, yet equally brilliant. I could name series’ of books. The Witching Hour series by Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. The Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit by Tolkien. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

9. Life’s too short for …

Regretting the chances you were afraid to take. Better to have tried/spoke your mind/put yourself out there, and failed, than never to have tried at all.

10. What is your desert island food (you only get one choice)?

Coconut!

11. If you could have one celebrity on your speed dial, who would it be and why?

One celebrity? Geesh … idk. Probably Anne Rice. I could bounce some pretty amazing ideas off of her, I think. She’s the queen of dark fantasy.

And … my nominees are:

Short Story Diary  http://shortstoriesdiary.wordpress.com/

My Story To You   http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/

Bottledworder   http://bottledworder.wordpress.com/

Gin and Lemonade  http://ginlemonade.wordpress.com/

Lee Rawn http://www.leerawn.com/

Rich Weatherly   http://richweatherly.wordpress.com/

AK Taylor   http://www.backwoodsauthor.com/

Alison DeLuca http://alisondeluca.blogspot.com/

Ido Lanuel http://idolanuel.com/

Leigh Gembus http://submeg.com/

Whitney Moore  http://writeinlife.wordpress.com/

Nominees,  here are your 11 questions:

  1. What books are you reading?
  2. Who are your favorite authors?
  3. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
  4. Where do you see your writing taking you?
  5. How do stories come to you? (or blog posts, poetry, etc …)
  6. Plotter or Pantster?
  7. What is your favorite genre?
  8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  9. Introvert or Extrovert?
  10. Who inspires you?
  11. What inspires you to keep moving forward in your writing?

Go check out all these great blogs! And Congrats to the nominees!


You’re Not Working Hard Enough.

Via Warriorforum.com

Like many writers, I have spent the last few years trying to ‘do it all.’ Whether I’m drafting another blog post, tinkering with Twitter, shouting out to writers on Triberr, checking my Facebook profile, posting on my Facebook author page, pinning on Pinterest, reading the dozens of emails I receive daily, or finishing my novel revisions, everyday is filled to the rim. In my mind, the most important of these is my novel. It’s the reason for everything else. Yet everything else seems to overwhelm it most of the time.

read all day long, in one form or another. In order to write well, you must read. A lot. Preferably in your genre, although reading in general is the point. I try to stay current with the latest books, all the advice on book marketing, social media reach, blog hits, and on and on. It’s endless.

via pinterest.com

Yesterday I read an article that stated people aren’t reading less in the digital age, instead people are actually reading more. Wanting more. More to download. More, more, more. Readers want books NOW. How are they reading them all? Who knows.

What it means for writers is what concerns me. Many authors are now attempting to hammer out three….four, five books a year to stay in the game.

WHAT?!

The industry standard has forever been…one book per year.

ONE. Maybe.

But with the introduction, and popularity, of ereaders the standard is changing. Rapidly.

For me, and many others, that’s an issue. Besides the fact that I write at turtle speed, and revise at snail, I’ve worked myself to near exhaustion trying to do everything, and be everywhere. How are we supposed to do it all? We can’t. And we shouldn’t try to either.

Balance is the key.

I’ve talked about balance a lot in prior posts, but I didn’t know how to attain it. I’ve had to force myself to step back, and breathe. Step back and realize that NO ONE can do it all, and do it well. Not going to happen. Not for long anyway. I still believe that through all the chatter and advice, all the constant information flying everywhere, that our main goal as writers should be creating good content.

We can market until we are blue in the face and crawling. Put our names out everywhere and brand until everyone knows it. But none of that will matter if our books suck. Writing is hard enough without trying to master social media.

W. Somerset Maugham
Via zazzle.com

I know we as writers are a helpful and supportive group. We want to help each other succeed. We want to feel like someone else gets it, and we aren’t wandering around alone searching for answers in the dark. So we read everything, follow a hundred blogs, and basically overwhelm ourselves with information. Not the best mindset to have when we are trying to write an 80,000 word novel.

Slow down. Really.

I don’t have this thing figured out either, but it occurs to me that a few things are obvious.

**Write your books and write them well. No good book—no reason for social media.

**Write your blog posts, tweet your shout outs, engage. But put a time limit on it.

**Back to writing.

Remember the reason why you are doing all of this. Is it to write stories? To get lost in those worlds? Yeah? Go get lost then, and create the best worlds you can.

The other stuff at the end of the day is secondary. Important, yes, but still secondary.

So tell me, what part of this industry have you found the most difficult?

**first posted in May 2012 before I landed the book contract, so let’s add that once thrown into the mix, things got busier. The difference? Now, I feel like everything else finally matters. 😉


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are some of the best links:

From The Creative Penn, Joanna Penn talks about How To Work On More Than One Book At A Time

Author Michelle Davidson Argyle has a great post up on her blog, The Innocent Flower. You can find it here: When You Can’t Hack It As An Author

Joel Friedlander has great tips on his blog, The Book Designer. Here’s his post: How To Find Out What Readers Want

WRITE ON.


The Website Launch

TheFireBornNovels.com is officially up and running. Small in size and content still, but up and running nonetheless. 😉


Spread Your Wings…and Fly

We all get a little down sometimes when trying to achieve our goals. The road from where you are now, and where you want to be, isn’t always that far. You just need to believe.

**This is a must watch for anyone who is feeling a bit stuck. Actually, it’s a must watch, period.