Apr 21, 2014

Blog Tour & Guest Post: Things Young Writers Should Know by Adrienne Woods author of Firebolt

Firebolt: The Dragonian Series (Book One) by Adrienne Woods

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: GMTA  Publishing – Mythos Press

ISBN: 978-1491244654
Number of pages: 289
Word Count: 95 000
About the Book:

For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Before entering Paegeia Elena was not special, she wasn’t even average until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia.

Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan.

Goran, the darkest sorcerer in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. There, in the shadowy ruins he plots his revenge to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword.

When the sword is stolen without a trace Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home.

  by Adrienne Woods
Things Young Writers Should Know

I'm still considering myself as a young writer. I've recently published Firebolt, book 1 of The Dragonian Series a couple of months ago, but the things I've learned on this short journey will be enough to write a book about it.

I thought getting a publisher was going to be hard, but it wasn't the hardest thing for me. It was to get my novel in front of the market.
So before you even start writing a novel, know your market. 
I used to think that people were insane when they told me to start marketing my novel three years before its release date. I mean, how do you sell a book if it isn't available yet?
What I didn't grasp was marketing and selling were two different things.
Get a fan base for your book. 
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all amazing sites to get people to follow your work and they do help by sharing your posts.

Virtual book tours, such as Bewitching, really works. I've become a freak when it comes to virtual tours and I've only found in my experience that they are the only tool that does help with getting your novel out there. Advertising helps also, but not in the amount you wish for, unless you have a budget that can afford Google Ads. That is the best tool in getting your novel to number one.

PR services is a must. I'm not saying to go and get a PR company on your first novel. Wait till you have a couple of novels out there and then use a PR to promote you with all your novels. 

As a writer you should market your own novel. Not even all the traditional published authors get a good marketing structure and they too have to take out the money and get their novels out there.

Use sites on the internet to help you. 
Goodreads is amazing place to start. Join genre groups you write for and have a conversation with all of them. Get them on your side because you are going to need them when your novel is published. A new website I found for YA authors is one called LitPick. They get your novel in front of young people, the ones you written this novel for. You might think that teenagers can't help getting your novel out there, you are wrong.
When they love something, they share with all their friends and family, you'll end up having mom and dad reading the novel too as they wanted to know what sort of books their children reads.

The internet is filled with websites that can help you with getting your novel out there. Just do your research and use them.
Tip: Marketing should be done on a monthly basis for at least six months if not more.

You need to change your mind set when it comes to handling reviews, otherwise they will get the better of you and in most cases authors question their ability to write novels. 

Don't ever question yourself. You've written a novel, most people can't even do that, so in that way you already won.

As a new author you want everyone to be smitten with your novel, they won't. You always get the kind of person you just can't please. Some of their reviews are plain nasty, but never let it get under your skin, because not everyone will love your novel.

Now I know you probably think but if I get a one or a two my novel will stop selling.

Not in the least. It was proven that even with negative reviews that your novel still sells, as long as it's a good story and the majority of your readers absolutely loved it.

Go look at the big block buster authors. Stephanie that wrote the Twilight Series got so many 1 star review, people actually took the time making cartoons to express how much they hated it. Instead they gave her a bit of marketing. Where did she ended up, with a movie deal. 
If she comment on those bad reviews, do you think that she would ended up with so many fans. 
The one thing she did have was an audience. She new her market and she attacked them with Twilight with everything she had. It led to a lot of reviews and a lot of people loving it. 
Another sample is J.K Rowling. Harry Potter was the most amazing series in this world, yet there were still people that hated every word of it. Just go on goodreads and go see how many one and two star reviews she has.

I would be so happy if I could end up with the amount of reviews she got one star for.

All of the block buster movies got their one and two stars. I would be worried if I didn't get them.

So the faster you make peace with this, the easier your live as an author will be. Believe me, I've been there and there were so many times I wanted to comment back on a one star review, it's human, but instead I started to appreciate their input. They supported your work, bought the book, and that is what you should be aiming for.

Get yourself a professional Editor. If your novel isn't edited it will harm you in ways you never dreamed off. Editors ended up becoming good friends and are the people that can help you on the long run. I'm sure there are many typos in this post, but it shows you that even I need my editor, which I didn't use for this post. hahahahaha.

Cover designers:
A book does get judge by its cover. Don't ever think it's the opposite. You need a professional designed cover in order to make a good impression.
Aim for the next number one seller's cover. A cover that looks cheap will not grab attention and it will just lay on the shelves.
There are pretty amazing cover artist that makes them for next to nothing. Spend time in getting everything perfect.

The last thing, never give up. If you aren't a published author yet, it should become your number one motto. Rejections are more than the acceptance when it comes to the publishing industry, especially if you want to go the agent and the traditional publishing route. Stephen King had so many rejections, I think if he wasn't Stephen King, he would've given up after then tenth rejection letter. He made it and today everyone knows who he is.

I hope all the new writers out there got a bit of insight to what a published author goes through, don't be afraid, I'm loving every moment of it.

Thank you to everyone that spend the time reading this and I truly hope I would see your novel out there.

Kind Wishes,
Adrienne Woods

About the Author
I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. I always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now I can’t stop writing.

In my free time, If I get any because Moms don’t really have free time, I love to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, I’m a very chilled person.
My writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series.

I do write in different Genres, I have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then I have a paranormal series, called the Watercress series. There are about ten novels in that one.

So, plenty of novels to come out, so little time.

I hope you are going to embrace the Dragonian Series as much as I loved writing them.

Find the Author

Twitter: erichb3
Goodreads: Adrienne Woods
Google+: Adrienne Woods

Apr 18, 2014

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway!: Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.



a Rafflecopter giveaway  


In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is an experienced English teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading. She is currently a Library Science student at Sam Houston State University.
Beth is the author of Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014); Courage in Patience (Kunati Books, 2008); and Hope in Patience(WestSide Books, 2010). Hope in Patience was named a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Truth in Patience, which rounds outThe Patience Trilogy, is as yet unpublished. The Patience Trilogy has been revised and is available for acquisition!
Beth has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups. She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope”.

Beth is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope.

Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.
You can find Beth online at http:www.bethfehlbaumbooks.com
on Facebook, and on https://twitter.com/bethfehlbaum

Apr 14, 2014

Blog Blitz w/ Giveaway! & Excerpt -- Arms of Anu by Christina Mercer

Arms of Anu by Christina Mercer 
Series: (Arrow of the Mist #2)
Publication date: March 13th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult 


About the Book
Follows Award-Winning Preteen/Teen Fantasy ARROW OF THE MIST

Blood of body, blood of soul,
Entwined for life, then unfolds;
If blood still runs when magic binds,
Soul is never too far to find.

In ARMS OF ANU, Lia and Kelven battle through a land of tyrants, war and magic.
Can Lia escape the foes who ensnare her?
Will Kelven’s love withstand the darkness taking root inside Lia?
Is freedom too high a crown to reach, or will they forever remain in the hollows?

Arrow of the Mist (Arrow of the Mist #1)
Arrow of the Mist (Arrow of the Mist, #1)  

Blitz-wide giveaway
Prizes - open INTL:
-25$ Amazon gift card
-eBook copy of Arms of Anu

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lia Griene folded birch-white arms against her chest. Wynn stood beside her with his wrists and ankles shackled in chains. Lia winced at the fresh blood seeping from her cousin’s wounds. She might have just enough knitbone sewn in the hem of her cloak to set a poultice on them after they returned to the cart.

If we return.

Royal Sage Conall eyed them, his mouth dripping with jellied pork and wine. “I see your tempers have calmed since leaving Rockberg this morning. Amazing how rebels quiet under lock and key.”

Lia tried to calm the loathing that brewed like bitter nightshade within her. She’d rather fight bog goblins for a thousand years than spend another minute before Nemetona’s nobility. But she held her composure. They still had a fortnight of travel to the royal city of Anu and she’d prefer to face the king with her tongue attached. She met the sage’s glare with silence.

He responded with a snort and continued to stuff his face with greasy meat. His brother, Royal Sage Lorne, cleared his throat and spat in a wrinkled cloth he kept gripped in his hand. He resembled Conall in crimson attire alone. Where Sage Conall was fat like the swine he feasted upon, Sage Lorne was akin to rotting leather over bone. He peered at Lia and Wynn from black hollows set too deep for the candlelight to reach.
About the Author
Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She placed in the Semi-Finals of the Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest, won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, and took Writer's Best in Show at the SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference. She resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, two sons, four dogs and about 100,000 honeybees. For more about her and her writing visit her Web Site.

Find the Author


Apr 13, 2014

Building the Book Pile #86

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

What's Happening?!

I think Spring has finally sprung in Vermont. Which means I spent a good amount of time outside this past week and not a lot of it reading, thus nothing got read. Luckily all the books I am currently reading are ARCs so my ARC April isn't completely shot yet. What are you up to this week?

Some other fun things going on:
ARC April - I am participating (badly so far)
Clean Sweep ARC Challenge in May -  Don't forgot to sign up :)
SOON!!! - ArmChairBEA sign ups will begin, make sure you follow for more details and when the form is open.

Giveaways Going on NOW!   

Click pic/link to be taken to the giveaway!

Others may be linked on the right sidebar :) check them out!


Coming up on the Blog...

Blog Blitz with Giveaway and Excerpt: Arms of Anu (Arrow of the Mist #2) by Christina Mercer (YA)
Blog Blitz with Giveaway and Trailer: Big Fat Disaster by Beth Felhbaum (YA Contemporary) 

Books This Week

Audiobook - For Review


Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple (Zoe & Zak #3)  by Lars Guignard for Blog Tour, I am loving this series the setting is magical and the characters are very funny, great Middle Grade series so far.

  Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything post and I will happily stop by and say hello!

 Happy Reading!

Apr 8, 2014

Story Time Release Day Blitz

Almost a hundred years ago, the Enchanters defeated the Lord of the Underworld in one of the most fearsome wars the world had ever seen. The public thinks that this victory means the people are safe. But they’re wrong. The supernatural beasts the Lord unleashed remain on the earth, multiplying and ravaging what’s left of civilization. As long as these monsters exist, mankind will be in danger. And though the government, ruled by the magic-wielding Enchanters, seeks to protect their people, they are too few in number. They need the Defenders – a special class of non-magical humans – to fight the monsters. The Defenders are an elite force, and mankind’s only hope against the horrors that live beyond their gates. Fourteen-year-old Aurelia “the Firedragon” Sun has been training since she could walk to become a Defender, and her extraordinary combat skills have earned the attention of the powerful government. In fact, she’s been tapped to represent her nation in an international monster-fighting competition, which pits champions from across the globe against creatures of the Underworld in a violent spectacle. If she wins, she will become a full-fledged member of the Defender force. But as Aurelia moves deeper into the competition, she realizes that all is not as it appears. There’s something sinister behind the competition, something that could change the way she sees everything … and the Enchanters, it seems, are not the heroes she thought. Aurelia begins to ask questions. But before she can discover the truth, she is pitted against the most dangerous monster in the competition – one that will take her life if it can .
Fallen Souls- A Realm of the Claimed Novella
Linda Foster, April 8, 2014

Ash never thought going to a party could be dangerous. He certainly never thought it would change his life. But when a man with red eyes begins following him – and his sister – he realizes he was wrong. Soon they’re running, leading the man on a desperate chase over icy roads.
When Ash crashes his car, nearly killing his sister, the red-eyed man offers Ash a choice – save his sister, but pay the highest price possible. Bring Grace back to life, at the cost of his own soul. Suddenly, Ash is facing a choice he never sought. But will he use that choice to save his sister? And if he does … what will it mean for Ash himself?
Soul Bound:  The Realm Of The Claimed #1

Ash laughed -- an evil, hollow sound – and grasped his knife more firmly. Kali blinked slowly, her heart breaking. This wasn’t her Ash, she reminded herself. This wasn’t the boy who’d sold his soul to save his sister, or fought by her side. This wasn’t the boy who had changed everything she thought she knew about life, love, and herself.
“I’ll die before hurting you,” Kali repeated, lifting her chin. He possessed the greater strength now, she knew, and would beat her even if she fought. At least, in the end, she would die at his hand rather than someone else’s. Maybe he would still win his soul back that way. A boy who sold his soul to save his sister’s life. A fallen angel turned demon, seeking her redemption. And a surprising love story that could save them both … or destroy the world. Join Ash and Kali, and a cast of dark characters, as they fight for the fallen angels of the world, the right to choose their own path, and the one thing they never thought they’d find – true love.  

About the Authors

Mary Fan

Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now, she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. And what stories she has! Currently, she has three series in progress: her well-received Jane Colt sci-fi novels (Red Adept Publishing, released 2013), her upcoming Flynn Nightsider YA dystopian fantasies (Glass House Press, 2015), and her recently contracted YA fairytales, Fated Stars (Glass House Press, 2015). Mary would like to think that there are many other novels in her bag, and hopes to prove that to the world as well. And though she's well on her way, she can't help dreaming of more.
Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.
Linda Foster

Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient) husband and four (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has
grown steadily worse with time. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all of her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later. Soul Bound is her first published novel.

Fallen Souls by Linda Foster - http://amzn.to/R0Jdgz
The Firedragon by Mary Fan - http://amzn.to/1gI2VlV

Recent Reads: Pretenders by Lisi Harrison

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison
Series: Pretenders #1
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: October 15, 2013  


Format: ebook/ hardback
Source:Ebook from Netgalley and Poppy in exchange for an honest review/ Hardback won from author contest.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
My picture is on page eighteen of Noble High's Phoenix yearbook. I am one of the Phoenix Five. You nominated me. You thought I was one of the most outstanding students in our freshman class. You were wrong.

Still, I accepted my award. I acted special. But I couldn't help wondering what it was like to be that way for real. So I broke into Ms. Silver's safe in the faculty lounge and stole all five of our journals. I'm not exposing them out of jealousy or anger. I'm doing this because I am tired of the lies. The bar is too high, and cheating is the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, Manti T'eo's girlfriend was a fake...is anything real anymore?

I found the answer in our journals. These are 100 percent real and 100 percent unedited. The proof is in the pages:

We're all pretenders.

I requested this book from Netgalley because the synopsis is intense. I was drawn to this book and interested in what these characters would be like, and they were interesting to say the least. 

There were a lot of lower reviews on Goodreads when I checked them and I was a little disappointed to find out I am one of the few that enjoyed this book. Yes, it ends abruptly without resolution -- which I despise; and yes, the characters are all overly dramatic -- but this is how I remember high school. Full of secrecy and gossip and overly dramatic and angsty, maybe it was just me but this book flashed me back to that time period and I found it fun to read.

Lisi Harrison sets up the book as a series of journal entries from five students, 3 girls, 2 guys, and they are very different and yet the same which is comforting and intriguing. Since we are in journals, we learn deep secrets, family problems, and the like, not just the school day happenings. I found this different from many teen books. Granted there is still gossip and hidden love and angst so it isn't too far off from your normal YA book, but it was funny and I liked it.

Each student has a different writing style: short and sweet, with footnotes, overly dramatic, to the point, and over the top which breaks up the reading very well. I found myself liking one character in the beginning and completely changing my opinions of them when we got to the end (and so much happens right at the end!) 

Sadly, I was upset to learn that this is a series (like way too many YA books now) and the ending was a cliffhanger (again!) and some of the friendships rubbed me the wrong way, so not 5 stars.

Apr 7, 2014

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Rose and the Lost Princess by Holly Webb

Rose and the Lost Princess by Holly Webb
Series:Rose #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  April 1, 2014


Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review


Before you read further, have you read Rose (Rose #1)? If not (or even if you have) go read that review HERE.

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Now an apprentice magician, Rose is asked to help find a very special missing person

Turning the worn pages of her spell book, Rose can't believe how much her life has changed. Once a poor orphan, she is now an apprentice to the king's chief magician. But when the country's beloved princess vanishes, everything changes. As rumors of dark magic fly through the city, the king asks Rose for help. She must find the missing princess, before all is lost.
Rose and the Lost Princess picks up right were Rose (book 1) left us. Rose is discovering herself as a magician with the help of Freddie and Mr. Fountain; but after the terrible event with an evil magician the city is turning on everyone that uses magic.

Now the princess had been abducted once by magic and everyone thinks someone will come for her again, so Mr. Fountain steps in to help, pulling Rose and Freddie in too. This installment of Rose is again a fanciful story of good and evil and of magic. Rose is a strong character with a good head on her shoulders and trying to balance her 'place' as a servant and her abilities which should bump her into a new class all together. I think as an adult reader, I understand this and the turmoil better than many middle grade readers will, but I think again it was a wonderful book. 

The characters all keep you laughing and really -- talking cats, love it. The plot is fun and less disturbing than the first book, but still very deep, this one dealing with politics. I think older MG readers will enjoy and understand this book better than younger ones.

You can read excerpts of Holly Webb's books, including the Rose series at her website.

About the Author
Holly Webb is the author of Dog Magic, Cat Magic, and Lost in the Snow. She has always loved animals and owns two very spoiled cats. They haven't said a word to her yet, but she's always listening, just in case! She lives in England. (from Goodreads)

Prize: 1 Copy of Rose and the Lost Princess by Holly Webb

Rules: must be 13 (with parent permission) or older in the US or Canada (Sorry International peeps)
The winner will be chosen using the Rafflecopter below and the prize will be mailed by the publisher after sharing your mailing address.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 6, 2014

Recent Reads: Rose by Holly Webb

Rose by Holly Webb 
Series:Rose #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  September 3, 2013


Format: paperback
Source: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review- to prepare for the Rose and the Lost Princess blog tour.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Rose isn't like the other orphans at St Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. Instead of dreaming of getting adopted by loving, wealthy parents, Rose wants to get a job and be independent. She doesn't need anyone but herself. She finds her escape working as a maid for Mr. Fountain, an alchemist. Unable to ignore the magic that flows throughout the grand residence, Rose realizes that just maybe; she might have a little bit of magic in her too. This new series featuring magicians, witches, talking cats, mist-monsters, and friendships will have young readers in a trance!

After requesting Rose and the Lost Princess from Netgalley and contacting the publisher about a blog tour for it, I realized that there was a book before it -- and I am normally so good about sleuthing this before requesting titles. The cover for the Lost Princess was adorable so I could not resist. Upon learning there was a book before it, I got Rose (book 1) from the publisher in anticipation for the Lost Princess tour, and I am so glad that I did. Rose and her story are beautifully written, they peaked every emotion a Middle Grade book should, even so far as being terrifying at some points. 

Book one of the Rose series begins with Rose at an orphanage and she realizes that she may have strange powers. As she tries to suppress them, she is adopted as a housemaid at a prominent magician's home and learns more about what magic is and how it can be used. While adjusting to her new home and life, Rose learns that there are children going missing, and upon returning to the orphanage she learn her friends have been mysterious found by their parents. 

The plot continues as Rose and other children learn who is behind the kidnappings and try to rescue them. But what was really fun about this book was all the magic. In Rose's world magic is real and people use it, some are afraid and some are ok with it. The plot is both fanciful but deep in that magic can be used for evil, and very evil at that. The book brought on anxiety, dread, and disgust as you learned the back story of the kidnapper and their purposes. 

I really enjoyed this book very much, I am sad that I may have overlooked it if not for Rose and the Lost Princess appearing in my Netgalley list. I am so happy to have found the series and all of its adorable, playfulness.   

Book 2: Rose and the Lost Princess review and giveaway go live tomorrow!