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Showing posts from September, 2013

3 Years Ago Today: A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was preparing to release Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children. I'll never forget it. The nervousness, the excitement, the shock! I launched that book with a twitter chat and an online party. The book sold out in hours and my future as an author had begun.

Fast forward to May, 2011, 7 months later. Life had thrown it's share of curve balls with family illnesses, the loss of my mom, and parting with my agent. I held many book events for Emotional Intensity, queried fiction projects, and had a few nonfiction book proposals rejected. It was a 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids. My publisher had a larger print run with this one. I didn't sell out on the first day, but it was a strong launch. That book confirmed my desire to be an author.
rollercoaster ride. But it also brought the release of my second book,

My next book release wouldn't happen for almost a year, in February 2012. The nine months between represented my most difficult in the business. The loss of my mom…

Friday Fiction: A Snippet of Dominus

Dominus is almost ready to release. Finally. This book was delayed - really, really delayed. It was plotted, replotted, written, deleted, rewritten, replotted, rewritten again, edited and rewritten once more. And now (or rather, early next week), it is ready to be released to the world.

I will admit, I am sort of terrified. Not only because the series is ending, but because I don't want to let my fans down. In this story, we tie up all of the loose ends - the relationships between Nesy, Zane, and Aydan, the war between Mikayel and Aydan, the vengeance of Lilith, the betrayal of Caim...

All of it is addressed in some way in this story. WHEW!

Okay - so some of you saw an early version of the opening. Yes, as you probably guessed, that was trashed during rewrites. Okay, not trashed but significantly changed. 

Here is a new excerpt for you from the beginning of the story. This scene brings Lilith and Azza together in Infernum, and sets a tone that continues throughout the story:

Flames lic…

A Bookanista Review for BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz

Time for another Bookanista review. Today, I am bringing you my thoughts of Lisa Amowitz's BREAKING GLASS. I first told you about the book on my Author Spotlight. And then brough Lisa back for ANOTHER Author Spotlight post.

Now, I get to tell you my thoughts! But first, check out the other Bookanista posts:
Kay Upperman is crazy for FANGIRL by Rainbow RowellChristine Fonseca keeps guessing with BREAKING GLASS by Lisa AmowitzJessica Love connects with THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales Okay, back to Breaking Glass:

Why I liked it: 

Holy WOW!!!! I am a serious Lisa Amowitz fan now. Lisa and I have been online buds for years and talked about being critique buddies. But, it's never happened. That is gonna change. Man oh man is Lisa's debut a FABULOUS read.

Mysterious and intriguing, this YA thriller not only get me turning pages, it kept me guessing. Her main character is a great lesson in character development, as she makes him at once flawed and the person you MUST roo…

Preparing for the Series End: An Excerpt from Libera Me

As we edge closer to the weekend and the release (FINALLY) of Libera Me, I wanted to share another excerpt with all of you, this time from Libera Me.

I shared one scene yesterday on Facebook - one with Aydan (now mortal) in High School being confronted with...demons...the decide.

This scene brings us back to the love affair between Nesy and Aydan. Aydan is hoping the girl, Nessa,  he found in this mortal life, the one that has given him a reason to live again, is Nesy reincarnated. But, there is a chance that she is something else entirely - a demonic presence meant to destroy him. 
In this scene, Nessa, having been scared - terrified - by the presence of angels and demons - has returned to Aydan seeking comfort:

The walls shake as the pounding on my door continues. “Coming,” I yell. “Coming.”  I open the door, startled. Nessa stands in front of me, her eyes half crazed. She looks like she did at the gym—lost in some distant memory.
She throws her arms around my neck an…

Another Author Spotlight Visit from Lisa Amowitz!

As promised, I am bringing back Author Spotlight, a chance for author's to be featured on my blog, talk about their book, and answer some silly questions. I revamped things a little bit to include monthly questions - some related to their books, and some just designed to let us know the author a little better. 

This week, I am featuring Lisa Amowitz. I was fortunate enough to help her celebrate the release of Breaking Glass. Since that time I have had a chance to read the book (come back to read my review on Thursday) and can I just say...LOVE LOVE LOVE it! 

Before I introduce the book, here are the questions I asked Lisa - and her fabulous answers!
Name your favorite comic book hero or villain and why. ~ The Joker, of course. Who doesn't love him? [Seriously! He has been my go-to archetype for villains for years!]Your main character is attending ComicCon. Who does he/she dress up as and why? ~ Jeremy Glass would dress up as Captain Hook. The reasons would be obvious for anyone w…

The Art of Soft Releases...

Happy Monday everyone! I am excited to talk about my back-to-back releases coming up for Dominus, the final book in the Requiem Series, and Quiet Kids, my next parenting book.
These books hold a lot of meaning to me.

First, Dominus is the conclusion of a series that has been really important to me. In some respects I am thrilled to let go of the series and move on to new things. In another way, I am sad to see Nesy and Aydan go. They have been a part of my life for more than three years.

Quiet Kids releases exactly three years after my very first book. It's exciting, and I can't believe everything that has happened over the last three years.

I am doing some promotional activities for both books in October, but for now I am happy with soft releases. You know, when a book releases with little to no fanfare. Both books have had release dates move around and shift, resulting in some issues with my promotional calendar. So, to make sure I didn't have to again switch everything a…

Shiny New Cover...

I am SO excited to bring you news about QUIET KIDS, my nonfiction book coming in the next few weeks. After listening to feedback from early readers and wanting to include the nice words from Publisher's Weekly, my publisher made the decision to give me a BEAUTIFUL new cover and I couldn't be more ecstatic with the results! The cover is everything I could hope for and I am beyond thrilled.

QUIET KIDS is my latest book for parents and educators, and tackles the topic of parenting introverted children. I am so excited for this timely book, and humbled by early reviews calling it "an empowering read for those of us who have learned extroversion the hard way"(Dr.Helen Wright) and "extremely useful for parents and educators" (Publisher's Weekly).

Without further adieu, my new cover:

Barnes and Noble will have the book in it's stores in a few weeks, with promotional displays in various parts of the store now and throughout the upcoming holiday season. I'…

Preparing For Requiem's End With An Excerpt From LACRIMOSA

I can't believe the Requiem Series is coming to an end. Part of me is ready to move on, as too many ideas nip and my toes. Another part will be very sad to see Aydan and Nesy go. As I get ready to celebrate Dominus's release in a week or so, I want to share excerpts from the series (as well as get you ready for some special things coming...)

Today, I am sharing an excerpt from Lacrimosa. In this scene, our heroine, Nesy, is wrestling with her task of killing her beloved Aydan, and her need to protect him:

I stare at the statue, so perfect in its details—the Sword of Truth grasped firmly in Mikayel’s hands, the strong muscles of his shoulders as he battles, and the broad expanse of his wings. Carved images of the planets, scientists and animals wrap themselves around the base of the angel. A perfect union of Celestium and humanity.And a reminder.           
My oath to the Council pounds through my thoughts. My obligation to protect. My role in the forever battle against evil. My d…

What's in a Name?

Hi all! Happy Weds. It's time for another round of the Blog Chain and this week's topic is a GREAT one from  Alyson:

How do you come up with titles for your work? Does it just come to you or do you spend hours stressing about it? Do you use silly working titles? What have you read recently with a great title? An awful title?

Ah yes, titles....the bane of my existence. I am the first to admit I am NOT a good title generator, though I have improved greatly with my fiction. With non-fiction, I just ... well ... I'm horrible at it.

Let's start with fiction. I am a deep thinker, so I tend to find obscure, deep-meaning titles for my word. Lacrimosa is a great example of that. It means "day of weeping" and is from the Requiem mass. It fits the theme of the book perfectly. But for most people, it is not a good title - heck, most can't pronounce it and yea...not the best. (though I LOVE IT). My other fiction titles, both on for unpublished and published works, ar…

The Crossroads Halloween Tour is COMING SOON!!!

I wanted to take a quick moment a let you all know one of my favorite events to participate in - the Crossroads Halloween Tour. Started by the incredible Judith Graves, this is not your ordinary blog tour. This event features 23 authors and 7 bloggers. For a fun-filled week we will be answering wacky questions, touring multiple sites and giving away a kindle loaded with all of our titles. It is EPIC to be certain!
Authors this year range from small, micro-presses to large traditional imprints and everything in between. And our stories - epic!
I will be celebrating BOTH my psychological thriller Transcend, and the end of my Requiem series, Dominus. 

Mark your calendars for Oct 20-26 and be sure to check out the tour. I will post more info in Oct. And BTW, expect some exciting giveaways that week here too - just to celebrate!

In Search of a Partner (and other news).

Many of my frequent readers of this blog know that I will be querying my next novel, hoping to find an agent to partner with as I work to sell my next work. With Dominus coming out in a week or so, and Quiet Kids releasing in two weeks, and nothing else committed it is the perfect time for me to start down a new road. Some of you have asked my why I wanted to find an agent. I mean, clearly I can both publish my own work, as I have with my novels recently, or sell my books to a small publisher on my own, as I have with my recent nonfiction.
The truth is, I want a partner. This is a tough industry. And although it is a great time to be an author, with all of the options and opportunities available right now, I still believe an agent would be an asset to me in reaching my larger publication goals.
Am I nervous about jumping into the query waters again, several of you have asked. YES, of course I am. But I truly believe that there is a partner out there for me, and agent that I can work c…

A Little Apprehension for Fiction Friday

I can't believe it's Friday! What a wonderfully fast week. I'll be spending the weekend locked away in a cave finishing a book. No seriously...that is the plan! I HAVE to finish this rewrite. Like NOW!
Anyway, As I mentioned last week., Friday's are about fiction and writing exercises. For today's prompt, you were supposed to big an emotion from the emotion wheel and write a scene. Easy peasy.

And yes, there are a couple of "Rules:

1) Sit down and write for a minimum of 15 minutes on the weekly topic. [in truth, I only wrote for a few minutes on this one]

2) NO EDITING allowed - this is a creative free-for-all, strictly editor-free. Consider it a lesson in letting go!

3) It would be great if we could visit each other's pieces and show some love - and remember, this is not about critiquing. Only cheering. It's an exercise - a way to get in touch with other aspects of the artist within and bring that to the writing.

Okay - so yea, I am probably the only …

Bookanista Review: This Is W.A.R. by Lisa and Laura Roecker

It's Bookanista Thursday and you know that that time! This week I am talking about THIS IS W.A.R, the latest by Lisa and Laura Roecker. Now, you already know I am a huge Roecker fangirl, but this book....this is AMAZING!!! But more on that in a moment. First, here are the other Bookanista reviews:
Tracey Neithercott is haunted by THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie StiefvaterChristine Fonseca is intrigued by THIS IS W.A.R by Lisa and Laura RoeckerJessica Love is crooning for FANGIRL by Rainbow RowellOn to my Bookanista Review of THIS IS W.A.R. by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Release Date: 07/02/2013

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
This is not a story of forgiveness...
The mystery of their best friend's murder drives four girls to destroy the Gregory family. Emily Thorne would be proud.
Everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club saw Willa Ames-Rowan climb into a boat with James Gregory, the Club’s heir apparent.

And everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club watched him return. Alone.

They all …

Writerly Weds: The Anatomy of a Short Synopsis - Part 1

Welcome to Writing Weds - a semi-monthly post dedicated to the craft of writing. For the next two weeks I am tackling the dreaded Synopsis. This post, originally written in July 2010, has gotten more hits than any post written on that blog of this blog. Something about it just resonates with people...
So, I've decided to repost it here and write the second part (which never actually got posted back in 2010) next week.
**Originally posted here**
~~ After playing around on the interwebz this week I discovered a theme emerge among my writerly buds...lots of angst over the dreaded synopsis. Now, I'm not saying writing a synopsis is a piece of cake - far from it. But, there is a way to do it that s a little less painful. The editors, agents and published authors I've spoken with have all said that shorter is better when it comes to the synopsis.
WHAT? SHORTER...It's hard enough cramming the storyline of a 70 - 80K novel into a few pages single spaced. Now I need to cram it into …

Author Spotlight: PJ Hoover and SOLSTICE

I am excited to bring another Author Spotlight to you. But before I get to that, I wanted you to know that I am changing the Spotlight posts up a little bit, adding some unusual interview questions and maybe a giveaway or two. This is a great chance to get to know different authors and see what they are up to.
If you are an author and would like to be spotlighted, please let me know!

Okay, back to today's post. I am thrilled to be featuring PJ Hoover and SOLSTICE. PJ is a fantastic author and I just can't want to read SOLTICE. Let's start things off with a little bit about PJ:

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving …

Monday Musings: Taking Stock...

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. - Henry David Thoreau
There have been a lot of posts about burnout lately. Writers falling out of love with blogging, feeling overwhelmed by the marketing demands of today's publishing climate, and frustrated by the state of their careers. While I have not been among those that have posted, I have felt every one of these feelings over the last year. So much so, that I nearly walked away from writing all together.
See, I have been struggling with my feelings related to writing fiction. My nonfiction career is good – the books are selling at a consistent rate, people continue to enjoy the message, and more than anything, the books are helping others. I have some great friends in the non-fiction world. We support each other fully in both our professional and writing lives. All of my nonfiction goals are being met.
Fiction has been a rockier road. I continue to be inspired, but the road is harder for me in …

Bringing Back Fiction Friday and a Plea To You Writers...

Happy Friday! Why is it that after a Monday holiday the week truly can't end fast enough. LOL! Anyway, here we are at the end of my week-long roll out of the new look, the new focus, and the new blog schedule.

Friday's are all about fiction. And what better way, then practicing writing skills with a little Friday Fiction challenge. Here's how it will work - I will post a story idea today. Next week, I will post my Friday Fiction entry based on that theme. If you want to join in, you can - just sign leave a comment to let me know, or link back to this post. At the end of each Friday Fiction entry I will post next week's topic. These can be story starters, images or other pieces of inspiration.

For the first Friday Fiction, I thought I'd use one of my favorite exercises I use to explore emotions. Use the following emotions chart and pick ONE emotion as the focus of your Friday Fiction piece. That's it. Easy, right???

Now, the rules:

1) Sit down and write for a mi…

Susan Cain's QUIET - The Introvert's Manifesto

Happy Thursday! I don't know about you guys, but MAN...this week is zooming by at high speed. With the new look and new schedule, Thursday will continue to be dedicated to book reviews - all kinds of book reviews. Fiction, non-fiction. Adult, YA. Self-help, cookbooks...anything is game. Sometimes I will have links to other Bookanista reviews, sometimes not as the group re-organizes. The point is, Thursdays are all about whatever it is I am reading.

This that in mind I wanted to bring you Susan Cain's QUIET. As most of you know, I have a nonfiction book for parents and educators releasing next month entitled Quiet Kids. Part of the research for that book came from reading anything and everything related to introversion. Including this piece of pure mastery - QUIET:

Release Date: 1/24/2012

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
From the Introduction:At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate an…

Help! I am a chronic abandoner...

Hi all! Happy Weds. As I mentioned yesterday, Weds will regularly be dedicated to craft - either through the Blog Chain or through a series of tips. This week is Blog Chain time! And the topic is a good one, brought by Sandra, who asks:

Is there a writing project you've failed to finish? If so, why? Are you planning to return to it at some point? Alternatively, describe a book you started to read but didn't finish and why you didn't finish. You don't have to name the book.

I took a class taught by Amy Koss. She presented the seven deadly sins of writing - including abandonment. I will never forget that class - mostly because I am SO GUILTY on this one. I have no less than four abandoned manuscripts, each with at least 20K written, on my hard drive right now. I do plan on finishing day. I'm not sure why the books were ever abandoned, other than I got fickle. The stories are outlined. The books are good. The pieces I've shared with trusted beta readers…

New Look, New Message, Same 'Ole Me

Happy Tuesday all! I hope my US friends had a fabulous few days off. For me, I spent the time with family remembering what it is to cultivate relationships away from my computer. I know, shocking, right...

Which sort of brings me to the irony that is today.

Today I am bringing you my new "brand" - a new website and refined look that better matches who I am at the moment. As part of the shift, I will have a second FB page in the upcoming weeks, as well as a complete facelift for my other blog, An Intense Life.

I know, nothing ironic yet...

Most of my friends are at odds with blogging and some forms of social media, feeling a level of burnout that I can completely relate to. In all honesty, this is where I was for the past several years. And now, after a lot of soul searching and coming to terms with both my purpose on the planet and my identity as a writer, I feel ready to move forward in a big way!

Today, I bring a new website - - that features all of my…