Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Publishing

The Fire Born Novels Update

Hi everyone,

  I wanted to post a quick update regarding The Fire Born Novels, my Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance trilogy.

My publisher, J. Taylor Publishing has closed their doors. All of their titles are being pulled/or have been pulled from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KOBO, and all other venues where books are sold. As of now, and over the coming days, as books are removed, The Fire Born Novels will no longer be available for sale.  

I wish J. Taylor all the best, and we part on good terms.

Please stay tuned for future developments regarding the trilogy, including the re-release and new Cover Reveal of TIED, Book One.

 Thanks 🙂


Write for the Lovers not the Haters. Better yet, write for You. #MondayBlogs #Writing

I wrote this post a few months ago and feel it needs repeating. There are far too many artists out there holding their words and their art in fear of criticism.

April 2015:

It’s been a while since I’ve written about anything on the blog besides cover reveals and book releases, but today I feel the need to say a few words to the writers, creators, and artists.

When I started my writing journey five years ago, the main thing that continued to hold me back from putting my stories out into the world was fear.

The big bad word.

Fear is easy to succumb to. It loves to whisper in your ear. It loves to lie to you and keep you from what you want most.

I let it rule for a long time without even realizing it and it cost me.

And this is what I want to talk about today.

I’ve had fellow writers who are new to this industry ask me how I do it. How do I deal with the negative side of this industry. How do I have a thick skin. When I say negative side, I mean everything from reviews to rejections.

My answer is always the same: I’m not sure that my skin is thicker than anyone else’s, but what I am sure of is I have something to say.

The truth is, everyone has an opinion about every damn thing. Everyone always will. But you get to choose what you allow into your world and what you block out. I don’t read negative reviews. I used to in the beginning, but what purpose do they serve me now? The books are published. I can’t change them. I wouldn’t if I could.

I don’t take offense to rejections. Some of the rejections I’ve received contained bits of gold. I appreciate any agent or publisher who has taken the time to point out why I was rejected.

None of them had to say anything at all.

My writing has become stronger because they did.

I’ve been writing since I was nine years old. It’s as much a part of me as anything else. It’s something I love.

And I think that’s where the thick skin lies … I’m writing for me. I’m proud of me. I did something I’ve dreamed about. And I’m continuing to do it. So the haters can hate. It’s very easy to hate. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. It takes no courage, no heart. Raising someone up … that takes real courage. Those are the people I choose to hear.

In the last two years, I’ve had three novels published, (the third released in September), a short story, another short story will release soon, and a fourth novel, that’s up for review on Net Galley, will release before the end of the year.

I’ve had, and continue to have, people who love my stories ( I LOVE YOU GUYS RIGHT BACK!! xoxoxo) and people who hate them. And I’m okay with that. I knew going into this that I would be setting myself up for better or for worse. I took that risk, faced that fear, and jumped anyway.

It’s the scariest thing in the world, but you have to jump anyway.

So, writers, authors, poets, artists, musicians, dancers, painters … do your thing, say whatever it is you have to say in whatever medium you choose to say it in because no one else can say it the way you can.

Then stand back, take in what you’ve done, and be damn proud.

Paint for you.

Sing for you.

Write for you.

Create for You.

****

“I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don’t hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am.”

~ Paulo Coelho


TRUE (Fire Born 3) Playlist Countdown #YA #UF #PNR

I am currently compiling the playlist for TRUE, the final book in the Fire Born Novels trilogy, which releases in September.

Today I am sharing the first track. The playlist won’t be shared in order until the book releases—can’t give you guys too many hints. 🙂

 

****************

        SEPTEMBER 2015

SEPTEMBER 2015


It’s Official ~ My New #YA Series Has A Home

I am thrilled to finally announce that my new YA Urban Fantasy series,

The Primordial Principles,

has found a home.

 

I am happy to be joining the very talented and community-oriented group of authors at Booktrope.

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CRYSTALLUM,

the first book in the Primordial Principles series,

will release in the fall of 2015.

 Cover Reveal and blurb are coming soon!


COVER REVEAL ~ INSPIRED by Danielle E. Shipley

Today I have the pleasure of revealing Danielle E. Shipley’s cover for her upcoming release,

INSPIRED

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Check out this awesome cover. 😉

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Inspired

by Danielle E. Shipley

Release Date: March 17, 2014

Target Reader: Adult

Keywords: Fiction

Back of the Book

For a muse like Lucianíel, one story’s end is another’s beginning.

In the wake of his author’s sudden death, Luc takes ownership of her surviving creations—four fantastical characters with tales yet to be told—saving them from unwritten lives crumbling around them and giving them a second chance at a literary future.

Luc finds that chance in the unsuspecting mind of Annabelle Iole Gray, a quirky teen with her head in the clouds, nose in a book, and imagination ripe for a brilliant muse’s inspiration.

Or so he hopes.

Neither Luc nor Annabelle, however, realize all they’ve undertaken. Even with a to-write list including accounts of a shape-shifting cat creature, gentle knight-in-training, vigilante skater girl, and a mystery boy smothering in unspoken fear, the most remarkable saga created between author and muse just may turn out to be one stranger than fiction.

Their own.

**********

What do you think? 🙂

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 For more info go to: J TAYLOR PUBLISHING


TIED (Fire Born Novel #1) SNEAK PEEK! #YA

So … I have a special surprise today!

 I finally get to share the first 500 words from TIED,

and you all get a little peek inside Layla and Max’s world. 🙂

Ready?

Coming Sept 9, 2013

Coming Sept 9, 2013

Coming Sept 9, 2013

This excerpt comes from the beginning of the book.

Chapter One.

EXCERPT:

My window opened easily. The same way it had so many times before. Climbing out on the ledge, I found the ground empty and dropped from the second floor—a jump I’d made a hundred times. In another life.
My feet sunk into the sand, and I followed the well-worn pathway through the dunes. Even the strong evening winds hadn’t misshaped the deep gully. The ocean’s breeze lashed at my hair as the moonlight glinted off the water’s surface. Seagulls flew up from their nesting grounds. They should have recognized me, since I’d been wandering at night for so long. Wrapping my arms around my knees to block the slight chill, I settled in the sand, and the birds quieted in a tight huddle, the wind blowing their feathers in awkward angles.
My gaze fell on a figure standing beyond the dunes edge, a shadow hidden within the darkness. My pulse quickened, but I didn’t move. Another trick—an illusion. Weary of the games my mind continued to play, I bit back tears and the catch in my throat. I should have been immune to them—the hallucinations—the way they haunted me and followed me, but I wasn’t.
Forcing myself to blink, I turned my head away. The visions had grown worse as I’d become older. I’d tried to convince myself they were nightmares—or weird dreams. Hoped for years they were, but only people who sleep dream.
Unable, or unwilling to stop myself, I glanced back over my shoulder, thoughts flooding my brain. Memories I knew couldn’t be memories but I cherished all the same. For years I’d tried to shake them away. To make myself forget.
I couldn’t.
#**#**#
A stone raps against my bedroom window. I creep over and peer through the blinds.
“You’re late.” I lean out over the sill, grinning at the boy staring up at me.
“Come on, let’s go before she comes,” he says.
I climb onto the window ledge. “Be nice. She’s my friend.”
“Okay. Jump.” He waves at me to go faster.
“Move, and I will.”
He takes one casual step to the side.
The jump isn’t too high; I make it all the time.
He grabs my hand when I land beside him in the soft sand. “Ready?”
I nod.
“One, two …”
“I’m going to tell!” Benny runs across my yard toward me, her blonde pigtails flapping in the wind. “You’re not allowed to talk to that boy, Layla! Your mom said!”
Max tightens his grip on my hand.
“Shut up, Benny! I’m old enough.”
“You’re only nine. Don’t go! “
“Three!” Max and I leave the ground.
“You’re going to get in so much trouble.” Benny’s yell rings in the distance.
Our feet touch down in the wet grass of the Otherworld, icy sea air whipping at my face.
“Hopefully, she won’t follow us again.” Max lets go of my hand.
“She won’t. I told her not to.” I lead the way down the cliff face to the ocean.
“She never listens to you.”
*************************

You can always add TIED to your Goodreads TBR list 😉

&

For more Information on the Fire Born Novels you can go to: J. Taylor Publishing

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Author Spotlight and Giveaway! — J.A. Belfield Author of Resonance!

This week on the blog, I have a very special treat. Author, J.A. Belfield is stopping by on her RESONANCE Blog Tour!

She’ll be sharing Part 2 of her short story, HEREDITARY, as well a random ‘one liner’ to tease everyone a bit from her newly released novella, RESONANCE, 2.5 of The Holloway Pack Stories!

AND she’s doing a giveaway!

Follow the rest of the RESONANCE BLOG TOUR by clicking the button below:

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Up first, Part Two of HEREDITARY!

{You can read Part I over at Known to Read}

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Gabe’s flesh bubbled beneath my palm. Not like a blister bubbled, but like those irritating bubbles one gets whilst decorating and the wallpaper just won’t go flat.

“Mum?” His head lifted, jaw rigid, eyes screwed to narrow slits.

My mouth opened and closed. What the hell was I supposed to do?

More swellings appeared across his body, a couple even tugging at the skin of his face.

The scrape of his fingers induced my eye twitch as they clawed through the pile of the carpet.

“Shelley?” Mia’s first word held shrill panic.

Gabe pleaded with me, and his gasped, “Mum?” throbbed through my mind.

Mia urged me again, her high-pitched, “Shelley?” screeching through my ear-drums.

Still, I didn’t move, almost frozen—my mind along with my body.

I glanced between the slitted gaze of my son and the startled one of the frightened girl.

Both of them stared back, their desperation for me know what to do evident in the high shine of their eyes.

I needed to think, but it was so hard when my child seemed to be in some kind of danger—impossible to compose rational thought.

“The phone,” I managed.

Mia’s focus didn’t waver.

“Get me the phone,” I said. “Now, Mia!”

She left the room like a bolting animal. On her return she carried the phone.

Taking it from her, my thumb already aimed for the ‘9’. As I hit it for the second time, a strangled cry flew from Gabe’s lips.

His back bowed, his head snapped back—both movements almost too fast to follow.

Before my mind had time to register the change to his condition, he’d collapsed to the floor, arms splayed, his eyes squeezed tight as pants heaved from his chest.

Deep dread slacked every muscle in my body; the phone dropped from my fingers. “Gabe?”

No response. He still breathed, though—the proof whistled past his teeth.

“Gabe, come on, answer me.”

A long, low groan responded, seeming to echo for seconds within his chest.

Mia’s knee nudged mine as she sank to the carpet beside me. Her glossy gaze met mine for a moment, before we both reached out to tap Gabe’s shoulder, gently shake him, murmur his name—as though united in the plea for his wellbeing.

For seconds, I didn’t believe he’d wake up—until he rolled with exaggerated slowness to flop onto his back.

At last, his eyes opened—a little unfocused, but open nonetheless. “Mum?” His voice came out a whisper, a little boy seeking comfort.

“Right here, hon.”

His reprieve lasted no more than a couple of beats. With groans and retches, and clutches to his stomach, he flipped back to all fours and threw up with projectile violence.

“I’m calling an ambulance,” I said, searching for where the phone had landed.

Gabe shook his head, gave a barely whispered, “No.”

I located the phone, pushed the ‘9’ button.

His arm darted out, his sweat-soaked palm covering my hand. As he shook his head, his eyes beseeched, and for reasons I never did fathom, I did as he asked.

~*~*~*~*~

Looking back, I wondered if he had his suspicions, even then—if he somehow knew it to be the prelude to so much more. If his instincts were already present.

Either way, he wouldn’t let me call for help—not then, nor for any of the following attacks through which he suffered.

I thought my son was dying a slow and torturous death and he wouldn’t allow me to do anything. I’d never been so helpless.

~*~*~*~*~

The next occurrence came almost two weeks later, then a week after that, and again after another week—each one seeming to intensify.

His flesh ‘reacted’ more boldly, his pain appeared to be on the increase, and the vomiting lasted longer with harsher effects. In between those, the escalating muscle spasms and cramps refused relief no matter how copious his fluid intake.

The fifth one arrived a mere five days after the fourth—witnessed by my dad.

After Gabe had writhed around on the floor, his body twisting in ways that shouldn’t be possible, and he’d been helped to the sofa to recover from the regurgitation of his dinner, Dad had taken me to one side in the kitchen.

“Close the door, Shelley,” he said.

I nudged it to, pushing harder until I heard the click of connection when he urged me to do so.

“What’s going on?” he asked once I’d turned to him.

“I don’t know.” It was the truth. “It’s been going on for weeks now. Each time is worse.”

“And has he seen someone for it?”

“He won’t let me call anyone. Says he doesn’t need to be seen, just keeps telling me he’ll be all right.”

“He’s a kid.” He pointed at me. “You’re the adult. For goodness sake, take responsibility.”

At five-foot-eight, my dad still managed to be an imposing presence, and I peered up at him like I used to as a reprimanded child.

When I didn’t respond, he spun for the table. “I’m making the call, then.” He took the phone from its cradle. “I’ll book him in to see someone, and I’ll take him myself.”

“Leave it, Granddad,” Gabe called out.

Dad’s head tilted as he frowned. “How the hell can he hear us?”

“He does that a lot.” I shrugged, frowning. “Hears things, smells things.”

Dad returned the phone, glanced to the door. “That’s not normal, Shel. You know that, don’t you?”

The door swung wide and Gabe’s bulk filled the opening. “I’m fine.” His voice bore no room for discussion—even Dad stilled as he stared up at his grandson.

My son no longer resembled a sixteen year boy. Bigger than most blokes, with a tenor deeper than that of most, his eyes carried more wisdom than any man I’d ever dated.

“Please,” Gabe said. “Leave it be.”

We could hardly drag him to the surgery—Gabe could have lifted the pair of us with one hand. With a nod and a mumbled ‘Sure’, we complied.

Again.

To be continued … {the 3rd & final part of Hereditary will be available on Monday 8th over at Diary of a Book Addict}

******************************************

AND now, RESONANCE

#2.5 of The Holloway Pack Stories:

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Release Date: April 2nd 2013

Title: Resonance

Series: Holloway Pack 2.5

Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing

Blurb:

Guilt is a heavy burden for the one carrying it.

Jem Stonehouse is no exception to this rule.

What if she’d acted sooner? What if she’d fully recognised the threat? What if she hadn’t allowed the male pack members to head into the witches’ ambush?

For one, youngest pack member Josh Larsen wouldn’t be trapped in the sleep of the dead.

Now, Jem is convinced it’s her job to bring him back to life no matter what it takes— learning more about her heritage, risking pack exposure, or travelling to places she couldn’t have imagined possible.

Even if the journey endangers her soul.

*****************************************************

Excerpt:

Whiteness reflected back at me from the ceiling above—a blank canvas of nothingness. For two weeks, I’d spent a few hours each day in the lilac bedroom. For two weeks, I’d prayed for a

miracle. For some kind of enlightenment. Or at the very least, for Jess to find a way to wake up Josh.

Some days, the emptiness dulled my senses to a warble of incoherency. Thankfully, on those days, Sean came to my rescue, reminding me life still existed beyond the four, pale purple walls. Somehow managing to convince me that everything would work out.

If Sean believed Josh would awaken, what right did I have to dispute him?

If the rest of the pack believed, who was I to douse their flames of hope?

Yet, no matter how many hours, how many days, how many weeks I spent at Josh’s side in a show of optimism, the ache in my heart belied any positivity I feigned.

Rolling onto my side caused the mattress to dip, but even that jostle didn’t stir Josh. I flicked at an errant, dark blond curl, poked at his cheek. Still, he didn’t move, didn’t flinch, didn’t acknowledge my prodding.

Again.

Poor kid had probably been poked more in the past fortnight than he had his entire life.

As my heavy sigh eased out, footsteps ascended the stairs outside the room. I knew from sound alone who they belonged to, didn’t even need to inhale to confirm. That didn’t stop me, though, and my lids lowered as my mate’s bouquet found home within my olfactory.

Seconds later, Sean’s body filled the doorway and cast a shadow across the carpet. “Hey.”

“Hey,” I whispered without looking up.

“Anything?”

I tapped my fingertip along Josh’s jawline, willing him to react yet knowing he wouldn’t.

Josh hadn’t moved the entire two weeks he’d been under. Heck, we’d barely moved him. No toileting. No sweating. He didn’t seem to feel, hear, taste, see or smell.

All thanks to being in a death sleep, Jess had said.

I slaughtered the witches responsible for putting Josh under—for bewitching him in the worst possible way. At the time, their deaths had seemed fitting. That had been before I realised Josh’s predicament.

With a small head shake, I rubbed my hand along Josh’s arm as if the friction would help a body lacking in heat. “I’ve been thinking.”

“Thought I heard the turning of rusty cogs.”

My gaze skittered to the left and landed on Sean’s lopsided smile. Dark hair stood on end above dark eyes staring back at me. All male, all muscle, all mine, Sean Holloway got me like no other.

“You going to make me pry it out of you, Jem?”

Rolling my eyes at the suggestiveness of his tone, I brushed a kiss across Josh’s cheek and wriggled off the bed. At the door, I grabbed Sean’s hips and steered him backward across the landing and into our room.

His left eyebrow arched up. “You do want me to pry it out of you.”

I breathed out a laugh as I trotted over to the bed and sat crosslegged, tugging him along with me until he mirrored my pose. Nudging his hand up, I placed my palm flat against his, studying

the size difference as male dwarfed female in a way I rarely noticed. “I’ve been thinking about what you said.”

BUY NOW!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

AND

Add to Goodreads

As an added teaser, here’s a random one-liner from the book:

Random

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AND ….. WE’RE NOT DONE!

Here’s J.A. Belfield to tell everyone about

The Big Resonance Giveaway!

April 2nd 2013 marked the official release of Resonance upon the world, and yes, Resonance is available to purchase at all of the usual outlets. However, because I love and appreciate my fans so much, I decided to go on a mission to give something back.

Thanks to my super-duper editor, I’ve been granted permission for the following.

My Mission

I vow to give away a FREE copy of Resonance to everyone who submits a valid entry between April 2nd and May 2nd (inclusive).

On top of that, one main-prize winner will receive a Holloway Pack swag-bundle (see image).

So, what do you have to do to enter?

Simples. Read on.

Resonance is, by no means, intended to be read as a standalone. If you haven’t read at least Blue Moon, then you will have absolutely no idea what is happening in Resonance. Also, if you haven’t read Blue Moon, then you will be hit upside the head with one massive spoiler for how the book ends if you read Resonance first.

Here’s the deal. You can enter in any (or all, if you wish) of the following ways:

1)
Post a picture of you with your precious copy or Blue Moon somewhere on the Internet.
It does not have to be a hard copy (paperback); it can be the cover image on the screen of your Kindle/e-reader/reading tablet. No, pdf’s do not count. If you have a pdf, then it’s most probably an illegal copy, and so will only upset me.
Once said picture is posted, link me up so I can see it. If you stick it on FB, then tag me, but remember, I have a space (for some bizarre reason) between my initials on there. So, make sure you use @J. A. Belfield in your tag. NB: There will be a space in the Rafflecopter form to paste in a link to your pic, also, just in case I miss any or the tagging doesn’t work. If you stick it on Twitter, then be sure to mention: @JABelfield so I can see your entry. And if you happen to stick it anywhere else, then be sure to forward a link to the post to j.a.belfield72 at gmail.com and include ‘The Big Resonance Giveaway’ in the subject line.

2)
Post a review for Blue Moon.
Obviously, I’d prefer amazing ones, but I get that my writing won’t jive for everyone, so any review over 100 words will be accepted, even if it doesn’t rave and include 4/5 stars. However, I will read each review carefully (because I always do), and ascertain that I believe the book has actually been read rather than a review being composed out of a rewrite of the blurb (yes, this does happen on occasion).
Where you post your review is up to you. On Goodreads. Amazon. B&N. On your blog. Completely up to you. But the Rafflecopter form will have separate entry options for each of these places, and each one will be included as an entry toward the main prize.

Make sense?

Excellent!

Off you go, go, goooo!

Link to Rafflecopter Website: Rafflecopter

Link to Rafflecopter on Facebook: Rafflecopter on Facebook

or mobile friendly FB link: Rafflecopter Facebook mobile friendly

Author Bio

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Best known for her Holloway Pack Stories, J.A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy.

Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

~~~~~

 


Tchotchke Time

All of my Tchotchkes are up. 😉

Check them out …

 

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My Music Monday (TIED Countdown) Wk 26

We’re taking up the Tuesday spot this week having showcased Terri Rochenski’s cover reveal for Eye of the Soul yesterday. Check it out if you missed it.

Onto week 26 already–closer and closer to the book release date of TIED. Up next on the playlist, M83.


COVER REVEAL — Eye of the Soul

I have another awesome cover to share with everyone today!

EYE OF THE SOUL

By

Terri Rochenski

Eye of the Soul

BLURB:

Escape.

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Forever.

Releasing October 7, 2013

For more info and books by Terri Rochenski go to J Taylor Publishing


TIED Cover Reveal in ONE DAY!

ONE MORE DAY!

Cover Reveal & Blurb!

TIED

Book One of The Fire Born Novels!

Palace Theatre - Curtain

Palace Theatre – Curtain (Photo credit: johnthurm)


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!! 😉 ***


Cover Reveal CAGED by J A Belfield

Like Werewolves?

J.A. Belfield’s 3rd book in her incredible HOLLOWAY PACK series is coming soon! And here’s the Cover!! 

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CAGED 

A Holloway Pack Story #3

By J.A. Belfield

Genre: Adult, Romantic, Urban Fantasy

Blurb:

If the meek can become deadly, the strongest can be weak.

For Ethan Holloway, his mission to find a missing werewolf should be simple.

Crack a few heads, bust a few chops and the solution always reveals itself.

Always.

Not this time.

Ethan’s reputation precedes him, and because it does, someone is ready. Waiting.

Unbeknownst to Ethan, he’s about to go down. Hard. Against a foe he never suspected and in a world he never imagined could be real.

What awaits Ethan is a fight not only for his reputation, but also his pack, his female, and his life.

If he survives, damage control will become priority number one.

If he survives.

Because even Ethan’s not sure he’s strong enough to take on an entire race all by himself.

Especially one hell bent on exposing who and what he is in the name of sport.

Check out all the HOLLOWAY PACK STORIES here:

The Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing


What’s In Being A Contracted Author?

Our computers

Our computers (Photo credit: aranarth)

Fear.

Yep, I said that.

Getting a publishing contract is everything you’ve wanted, everything you’ve worked your ass off for, and when you sign on the dotted line, everything you’re afraid of.

It’s a truth I think a lot of authors keep under wraps because some days when you sit staring at your story, the one that has a deadline attached to it now, the one that needs to be as close to perfect as you can make it—some days, it can feel like you’ve signed yourself up to fail. The days when nothing makes sense and you wonder who in their right mind, including yourself, ever thought your story could actually sell. The days when fear seeps in and hangs on.

From the legalese of contracts, to the swell of accomplishment in your chest that is almost immediately replaced by the tightening of panic, to the real edits and real deadlines, being a contracted, and soon to be published, author is both thrilling and terrifying.

But, in those split seconds when rays of light shine through the blinds in your mind, it is incredibly gratifying. The times when, for once, there are no blue, red, or green edits marking up your pages and your comments come back with “Great!” instead of “Huh?” or “Powerful.” instead of “Make it clearer.” Those are the days when every drop of doubt and ounce of fear is worth it. The days when you’re proud as hell. Maybe they’re far and few between, but those rays of light keep the writing fire burning bright and remind you that you should feel proud, maybe even excited–even if only for a second. 😉


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. 😉


Writers Who Are Readers and Readers Who Are Writers

Which one are you?

I’m the latter. Definitely.

Although I’ve always written, my love of the written word began before my sentence structure did. My imagination of worlds far and beyond sparked at a very young age. Writing the stories I imagined in my own head, came later.

Books

Books (Photo credit: henry…)

I realized recently, after having a conversation with a fellow writer, just how different the above breeds of writers can be. When I began my novel and truly delved into learning craft, I found reading for my usual enjoyment difficult, and suddenly lacking. Instead of the story I saw sentence structure, grammar use. I would hear myself questioning the decisions the author made and wondering what I would have done differently. I couldn’t see the stories anymore. I’d lost the magical quality that had originally turned me on to writing. I’d lost what I craved most. The story.

Writers who are readers pick stories apart. Readers who are writers, read. For the sheer enjoyment of it. To be transported. To live in someone else’s shoes.

I learned that when you are only looking for errors, they are all you will ever see. And when you are editing your book as a writer, they are all you should see. But when all of that is done–you should see your story.

Now, I have to shut off the writer brain (as hard as that is sometimes) and turn on the reader one. If I don’t, I find myself reading as I would a text book. But if I do… I remember why I love to read. Why I love to write, too. I have worlds I want to share. Characters and  plots. I have to stories to share. That’s the aim, right? To share good stories? And at the end of the day, after all the edits are done and proofreads have been finished, I want to be able to read my book through the eyes of a reader. If I can’t do that — if I can’t still feel the emotion that sat me in front of the laptop for months on end — if I can’t see and feel what I need the reader to see and feel — well, what exactly have I been doing? Remember that readers read because they want to be carried away. You need to see your book not only through your eyes as a writer, but more importantly, through the eyes of your readers. They are the ones who matter. They are the ones who will make or break you as an author. Every single time. And readers, the vast majority of them, are story cravers, not editors, not writers, just readers.

Write the best book you can. Get the best editor you can. Nit pick the crap out every tiny detail in your novel. Then go back and read it. And remember why you wrote it in the first place. The best grammar in the world will not save a crappy story. But…an awesome story will trump a few overlooked grammatical errors. Check out some book on the best sellers list. Readers aren’t looking for perfect. They aren’t looking for the same things writers are. They’re looking for that one story that digs into their soul. The one story they can’t stop thinking about. The one they read over and over again. That’s the book we as writers should be writing.

WRITE ON, WRITERS! And tell your stories.


It’s Always Too Early …

“It’s always too early to quit.”

Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale, Christian preacher and a...

Norman Vincent Peale, Christian preacher and author of The Power of Positive Thinking (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


What’s In An Editor?

Grammar police

Grammar police (Photo credit: the_munificent_sasquatch)

An interesting thing happens when you work with an editor. You are quickly reminded (or I am) that although you may be a good storyteller and okay grammatically, becoming a terrific storyteller and a grammatical whiz, is quite another animal. Patience reigns. Glad my editor has a lot of it. 😉

WRITE ON, WRITERS!

** The homonym police got me…. reins vs. reigns. See what I mean about editing? Thanks, Carol. 😉


It’s Official!

 I can finally talk again and share my big news! Details below:

Laney McMann signs three-book contract with J. Taylor Publishing for her Fire Born trilogy, a dark, Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance series, including TIED, TORN and TRUE.

Apex, NC – October 24, 2012 – With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney McMann developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. By the time she reached her teens, Laney had accumulated notebooks full of poems which led to short stories and finally novels, specifically in the young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology genres.

“A lifelong love of writing fantasy led me to write TIED, ” says Laney. “TORN and TRUE naturally followed.”

That love of writing brought her to J. Taylor Publishing. “The premise of the Fire Borns compelled us to read TIED, the first of the trilogy, ” says J. Taylor Publishing, adding, “and the romantic possibilities, and intrinsic conflict placed up on the main characters won us over. We had absolutely no hesitation contracting this work.”

Figuring out life is a tremendous element in many young adult novels, and TIED is no different as it explores the facets of growing up, discovering oneself and deciding what parts of a future are important to the main characters.

”The tie in to lesser-known mythology truly captured our attention,” says J. Taylor Publishing. “We’re very excited to add another YA novel to our catalog and expect adults and teens alike will enjoy this series.”

TIED is planned for release in September 2013 with, TORN in late 2014 and TRUE to follow one year later.

About the Publisher

J. Taylor Publishing is an Independent Publisher who, thanks to the Internet, has a worldwide reach. Our debut authors are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company produces print and electronic books. For more information about J. Taylor Publishing, please visit www.jtaylorpublishing.com.

 


What Are You Afraid Of?

Judgement.

It’s every new writers nightmare. The reason so many hide their stories away.

What if no one likes my book? What if I only think I can write…but really, I can’t! 

Oh, god, people are going to judge me. 

BUT…..

A quote by Bruce Patrick

WRITE ON, WRITERS.


Publishing Thrill Ride

English: Coca-Cola Thrill Ride This was a ride...

English: Coca-Cola Thrill Ride This was a ride at the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988. This death-defying,loop the loop,rollercoaster trip was not for the faint-hearted! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am elated. Elated!

That’s all I’m going to say. More to come. Soon, I hope. 😉


The Publishing Roller Coaster

A few days ago I received an email. A request for my manuscript in full to be sent to a publishing house I queried. And then I received another one.

YES!

Am I thrilled? Absolutely.

Do I feel terrified and on the verge of throwing up? Definitely.

I remember the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I completed TIED. Edits, beta readers, and all. It was as if a weight lifted off my shoulders. For about an hour. Maybe.

A few weeks later, I queried my first publisher with shaking hands, and terror replaced accomplishment. Still, I sent it anyway. I had to. All of us writers have to. This whole process is well…part of the process. I think we need to go through it. It makes us a little stronger.

Now, after sending off my baby that I’ve loved and coddled for two years, I have a different sense of accomplishment. One that is mixed with the discomfort of judgement. The word all writers hate. But you know what? It’s a great feeling. It is. Because whether or not they decide to take my book on, they believed enough — and saw enough — to give it further than a glance. And although this could be the only elation I feel in a long run of disappointments — I plan to appreciate it for what it is — THE BEST FEELING I’ve had since I jumped on this roller coaster ride of writing.

I love what I do. And I’m thankful to be doing it. Even more thankful, too, that my betas also love my stories and I’ve been given a small pat on the back by yet another interested party. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. Wish me luck. 😉


Make Your World Breathe

 

Just breathe

Just breathe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There is no such thing as too much description.  Okay, maybe later on when you’re a few drafts in some details will need to be scaled down. But in the beginning when you are just writing, just write. Tell your story and every little detail that you see in your mind. First drafts need to be loaded with details. There will be too many but come draft two and three you can pick  and choose what’s important enough to stay and what needs to go. And through those changes your story will start to become alive.

 

Every character in your story needs a voice and I don’t only mean the ones who can talk. I mean EVERY character. The buildings, the car, the woods, the town. The world you’ve created needs to breathe. It needs life. Life in writing is created through details. The edge in someones voice, the creak of a clock tower, the feel of a touch, the sweetness of a flower. The ripped, faded jeans. The wickedly flirtatious smile. The racing blood. The charred forest. The reader needs to see it, taste it, feel it, hear it and know it. They want to walk in the world you create, to feel what the characters feel.

 

I think we all can get caught up in writing dialogue. It is no doubt, extremely important but at the end of the day, if all you have is dialogue, where’s the setting? Why does the reader care if he can’t see your characters sitting on the hillside, or fighting in the alley? The only way to create your world is to give it a personality of its own. Give it an identity and make it come alive in the minds of all who read it.

 

WRITE ON, WRITERS!

 


You’re Actually Writing, Right?

You wrote your first book. Now you’re marketing it on every social media site you can think of. Or maybe you’re on submission and you’ve chewed your fingernails to bits with nervous energy at the thought of rejection. Either way, you’ve started your second book right? Right?

The tale goes that most writers need to have between three and five books in the marketplace before they will take off and be seen. If they do at all. There are exceptions, of course.  So are you writing those three to five books and beyond, or are you putting all your efforts toward promoting your first, and only, book?

I won’t lie and say that I didn’t go into a state of panic when I went on submission, or that I didn’t freeze into a no writing phase for about a week afterwards. I did panic. I did freeze. Then I realized I was wasting both time and energy, and I continued on with TORN, the sequel to my first book, TIED,  now on submission. I realized that regardless of what happens with TIED, I needed to move forward with writing. It was the only thing I could control. And if everything did work out with book one, I would need to have book two in the wings, finished, ready and waiting to go live.

The turnover with e-book technology is simply too quick. What I learned when I continued on with book two was that my anxiety decreased, my reason for writing in the first place resumed, and I fell back in love with my story. For me, that in itself is all I can ever ask for. To love what I’m doing regardless of where it leads.

Now, I won’t lie and say that marketing doesn’t scare me to death, or make me uncomfortable. It does. And I am only doing a fraction of marketing now compared to what I know will be required of me when I do publish. But even then, a balance will need to be struck. Because in order to sell books, you have to continue writing them.  There needs to be something to buy within a reasonable amount of time after you’ve created a buzz with your first masterpiece. So market away, submit away, but remember, this is a writing game we’re in. We need not forget that.

books

books (Photo credit: brody4)

So, what about you? Are you in a terrified state on submission? Marketing your Indie book? How’s it going?