Tuesday, 28 August 2012

In My Dreams - A Review

It's time to post a post that hasn't been done on this blog for a long long time. It's time for a book review. Doing one, is like being back at school trying to remember all the key points and factors that we're meant to refer back to, but in reality do we ever do what we were taught in school? I can't remember one factor from the rest, but that doesn't matter. Personal book reviews and reviews for authors don't fall into such strict routines. They don't look for the same thing over and over again. They want honesty.... your honesty. That's all that matters.

So on to the Review. The following is something that is close to my heart. Not only is it paranormal based but it highlights aspects of the real world for many that people dismiss. In My dreams - highlights aspects of our dreams that can help us in reality albeit not based as they are within this book. It also shows an author who is acceptant of the world around them and isn't afraid to approach that bridge and stand comfortably on it. So for me that is extra bonus points for this Indie Author. You see, I've always held a special connection to those that pass before us. It's what keeps me going when I myself am not writing. The afterlife for many is unthinkable, but place it within a book and it's all the rage! Kudos to those that do! It's for this very reason also that the bulk of my work is based within this theme.

In My Dreams by Cameo Renae, is a Young Adult Paranormal Novel.

Elizabeth Hayes, better known as Liz to her friends and family, suffers a fate worse than death. She is held tightly by her dreams, dreams that are visions of foresight. Dreams that reveal events that have yet to happen. She doesn't know that they will when she has them, but from her past experiences she knows not to dismiss them.

When the life of her friends, and herself are endangered, she must remember the way out that her dreams revealed to her. But she doesn't just rely on her dreams. She has Michael to help her. Her friend since childhood, and boyfriend of 4 years would never let harm befall her if he could help it.

But what happens when Liz wakes from a dream so real? When she wakes to her phone ringing, the caller on the other end gives her some bad news that she finds very hard to accept. Another dream of hers has come to pass, and reality breaks before eyes. She now finds herself in danger and must trust her dreams even more.

In My Dreams is a heart-breaking tale bound by love and compassion, wrapped in forgiveness and sorrow. From the moment you turn that first page, you will be left grasping tightly as you yearn to know what will happen. In a world where love is stronger than you can imagine, the lives of those affected will be changed forever - and with it your perception of your own reality.

Cameo Renae has done a wonderful job in creating fluent characters that you could trust and bond with. Characters that you can connect with from the start, is a hard thing for writers to portray but Cameo managed it with apparent ease. Such ease to the reader is hard for the writer. Credit given where credit is due. This is one writer to keep your eyes open for in the future!

In My Dreams keeps you turning through the pages waiting to see what happens next. It has you firmly locked upon its pages as you pray for Liz to survive, but the question is... does she? For that answer you'll need to go and read the book to find out!

I give this one 5 out of 5!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Adding Not Subtracting

Instead of removing scene's, my guest turned it around and added scene's instead. So let's see what Tara Chevrestt has to say on this weeks topic of Deleted scene's as we near the end of our Virtual Tour.

I’ve never done deleted scenes. Really. So when I saw the “deleted scenes” topic, I griped, bellyached, thought real hard, then decided to talk about added scenes. I’ve done quite a few of those. Here’s where I started:
When I penned my first romance novel, I said, “I’m not going to have a sex scene. Nobody needs it. We all know part A goes into part B.” And so I wrote a lovely little story about two people meeting, falling in love, all that, and though I had them “doing it”, it was closed door. They entered room, shut door, kissed, said words of love, end of scene. The next scene was pillow talk.
This book got contracted with a romance publisher. I received my first edits from an editor. To the right of my ms was a little comment box. “We don’t do closed door sex. Tell us what happens here.” And even though there was a little smiley face with it, I gasped. “Noooo! I cannot write sex! My family will disown me!”
I said this to the editor. The editor asked the higher ups. They said, “No sex at all, not even implied OR the scene must be there.”
This being a contemporary romance and the characters being who they were, I needed them to have relations for the story line to reach the satisfying conclusion (yes, that’s a pun) I was aiming for. I felt between a rock and a hard place (another pun). I was deeply embarrassed and frustrated by this turn of events. A consultation with a very important person was in order.
I texted my dad. The conversation went something (not exact) like this:
Me: Dad! So I signed over this romance story I wrote, and they want me to add sex! And it’s already contracted! I’m so upset!
Dad: Why?
Me: Cause it’s SEX! How will you and mom feel about me writing that?
Dad: Sex doesn’t have to be nasty. Make it special between two people that love each other. It will be a beautiful thing then.
And later, my editor said, “It will help show their relationship evolve.”
After two hours of pulling my hair, texting my dad, emailing my editor, and ranting to my pug, I finally sat down at the computer and wrote my first sex scene.
I’ve wrote many more since then. You could say I finally broke a barrier (bad pun!) that night. The book has done decently. It’s well-liked, and readers really love the romance between the characters.
I ran into the same awkward moment when I subbed a f/f story a few months ago. The publisher liked it, said they wanted it, but added a note, “Now’s a good time to add that ménage.”
*sigh* There was a reason that ménage was missing. I didn’t want to write it! LOL
Regardless, I texted my husband, griped at my pug, sat down, and typed. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it. *grins*
You’ll see the results of my labor this October when When Hubby’s Away, the Ladies Play releases from Secret Cravings.
Meanwhile, if you wish to sample another f/f piece, The Submission is available from Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-submission-by-d-f-krieger-and-sonia-hightower/

Blurb: The editor is always right... Katia Lane, a down on her luck writer, finds this out the hard way. When she submits an erotic tale to Daring Desires Publishing, one head strong woman meets another as an author/editor war ensues. There’s no room for a diva in the publishing industry...and Sylvia L. Avers means to demonstrate this to the fledging writer. When you submit a manuscript to Daring Desires, you submit more than a book...you submit yourself.

As a BDSM conference nears, both women prepare to face off. Which one is going to be on top?

Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.
Tara also writes as Sonia Hightower. Sonia writes the racy stuff and argues that she was here first. She just wasn't allowed to be unleashed until the last year.
While Tara and Sonia continue to fight over the laptop and debate who writes the next book, you can find buy links, blurbs, and other fun bits on their website: http://tarachevrestt.weebly.com/index.html or their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Chevrestt-Sonia-Hightower/218383211513877.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Low Down, Show Down.

It is with our pleasure that we welcome back an amazing author, friend and inspiration all rolled into one. Please everyone stand as we introduce this weeks guest.... (drum roll) ... Kim Mutch Emerson aka Author KD Emerson!

Welcome Kim, please make yourself at home as we share some knowledge with the outside world on what it is you actually do. Refreshments will be served in due course, so please state your poison now or forever hold your peace.

So without further adue, let the games begin!... Erm, I mean interview, let the interview begin!

Can you remember the moment when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Kim: I remember it was after I could talk… that’s about as close as I can come. It has always been with me.

You’re not just a writer though, and what you do helps others find their footing. So for those that don’t know, can you tell us more about MasterKoda.com and how it came to be?

Kim: Masterkoda.com is a book marketing and publishing company. It came to be out of my two great passions: writing and assisting others in realizing their dreams.

While we’re on the topic of MasterKoda.com, an amazing place may I add – can you perhaps explain to those that don’t know, where the title came from and what Koda means?

Kim: I got the name for my business from some clients that started calling me Master Koda. They said it was a combination of Kim and Yoda because I have always had the ability to powerfully manifest things into my life. I liked the name, it seemed to resonate with me, so I searched the meaning of the name Koda and found that in the Lakota language it means “friend of the people”. I strive I live up to it while being realistic and know that I will always disappoint some because I am human.

MasterKoda by the way, is not only a well-built website offering fantastic services to all authors, it is also a fast growing community on Facebook. Has the growth of MasterKoda helped you to define your own goals and destination points, whilst at the same time, keeping that level head for those who need help?

Kim: No, the FB group hasn’t defined my goals. My goals and the FB group are really two different things. I created the group for authors and others in the industry to have a safe haven and support group and it is just exactly what I hoped it would be.

Okay, let’s now go back to the writing that you so obviously love. Can you tell us why you have chosen to write in the genre that you do? 

Kim: Our world is filled with many trials and challenges. If the human race is to survive and thrive we must take responsibility for our communities and the earth itself. I have a heart for the future of the world and the future is in the hands of young adults. I write stories that cause the intelligent mind to stop and ponder.

Have any of your characters been inspired by people you know in real life? 

Kim: Of course, my characters all have traits from real people.

How much of your own lively, yet compassionate personality do you inject into that of your characters?

Kim: Bits and pieces show through in each character I suppose. .

Have you ever unwittingly written yourself into one of your own books only for someone to make that connection? 

Kim: There are times I will throw a personal experience in, but the characters themselves are not based on me.

When writing, do you have any rituals or routines that you go through in order to aid the creative flow? Please don’t say you run around with pants on your head like my muse claims I do… which by the way is entirely falsified in order of his amusement.

Kim: I wear a bowler hat when I write. It’s a long story…

Are there any Authors who have positively influenced your own goals, and those that you admire?

Kim: Many authors have influenced me, far too many to mention.

Where do you see yourself being in 10 years’ time?

Kim: In a space ship with Yoda.

What advice do you have for your fellow writers out there; those who wish to write, but don’t know where to begin?

Kim: Pick up a pen and write the first thing that pops into your mind. Don’t worry about editing it; don’t worry about “what if it’s not good enough”.  Set a timer and put the pen on the paper and write without stopping even if you repeat the same word over and over. Just move your pen and it will start to come to you.

Have you ever suffered from Writers block?  If so, how did you break the barrier in order to continue?

Kim: I have gone periods in my life when I didn’t write, but it wasn’t because of writers block. Those were times I chose not to write because of events that were happening in my life.

"Working Cover for Kim's upcoming novel, Digitus 233; a novel of
on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrills and intrigue.
Thank you Kim for your time and your honesty. One day, you'll have to tell us all about that Bowler hat of yours. But we will leave that for another time. It has been a pleasure getting to know you better and to know more about what you do when you are not writing.

You see folks, writers don't write all the time as stereotypes would have us think. They need some down time too or they would burn out, or explode from exhaustion.

Unfortunately, we have run out of time on today's interview but we may see you back here in the near future. To you my readers, the tide has turned. I now give you the floor and ask, If any of you have burning questions for Kim, what would they be? Can you open further the growing can of worms that Kim maintains to keep hidden?

Until next time, here is Kim's Bio.

Author Bio

Author, KD Emerson was born (or is that hatched) several years ago. We won’t go into how long it has been because she has this fantasy that she is still a teenager off to conquer the world. She has a passion for the written word and assisting other writers in becoming the best they can be. She also loves to promote others and cheer them on to victory. Follow her on twitter @MstrKoda or you can find her at www.masterkoda.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson

Monday, 13 August 2012

Swamped Under The Review Pile

Normal posts are the theme of the day, but since when is anything ever normal? How do you define that word? Let's think on that some other time. Right now I want to introduce you to Aurora Martinez, as she blesses us with a guest post this week. 

Stressing Over Reviews.

By Aurora Martinez
Reviews have been an integral part of my blogging. It’s amazing to see all the fabulous writers and then to have them as you for an opinion is just flabbergasting.  I have been a bit remiss on keeping up with them, but I can say in all honesty that it was not without reason. First, I had a bad sort of luck with my “external” technology. I use that term to describe my e-reader and my phone that had an “app” to read.  Well a few weeks ago my e-reader died the deaths of a well-loved electronic that like so many other things its screen cracked.  Then in the space of a week I lost my prized Motorola Cliq 2 that was my “back-up” e-reader with my 32GB SD card inside. I felt like screaming and crying over the loss of my 2000 ebooks, but I didn’t I loaded some new programs on my laptop to assist with what I had left. It is a lot harder to follow but at least I am now reading now. In fact, I just looked at my TBR (To-Be-Read) pile and have found myself some 20 reviews behind.  My heart fell and I know that I must apologize to all my authors awaiting my thoughts.  These days are just passing too quickly and then on top of my loss of technology, real-life is happening. I went from doing absolutely nothing but blogging and reviewing to:
1     1)      Having a successful relationship
2     2)      Starting a business
3     3)      Preparing to move into a new house, that we affectionately call the Tardis (an ode to Doctor Who, it is small on the outside but large on the inside.)
4     4)      Setting a date to release my own book and
5     5)      Working harder to overcome a physical disability, through a series of stretching, pain medicines and minty muscle rubs (it will never be normal, but I am doing what I can to make things more manageable.)
Things are looking up my dear Authors and friends; I will review your books soon. I’m moving my spotlights to a weekly thing in November so that I can get caught up on reviews, as well as adding any new ones.  It has been a wild ride. I hope you can all hold on for just a few more weeks before things become a little stable. I do stress a little; you know how life really likes to throw us curve balls. With that last thought I bid you Adieu and pray that you understand my predicament.

I have always been a writer. When I first learned to write in Kindergarten, I wrote about pigs who "groo" wings and became "butterfys." I knew way back then that I would have a love affair with writing. It over took my life and has been a constant companion. Now over 20 years later, that love flows over into writing blogs, reviews, poetry and fantasy novels.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Summer's Bounty

We are now into the home stretch of our Virtual Blog Tour. The end is nigh but we are not done. This week announces week 11 has arrived and with it we have for you an amazing writer who has very willingly disclosed an excerpt of their book. 

Announcing Penelope Price! 

Summer's Bounty

by Penelope Price

            Greetings friends! This week I'm debuting an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, "Incandescence". The very first section I ever wrote, in fact! It features the teenage mage, Hannah Brighton and- well, better to read it than to read about it.

            Without further ado... "Summer's Bounty":

* * * * * * * * *

            A longer day she had never known.
            Rising from a lumpy nest upon a lumpy futon at an hour just shy of dawn, she had toiled until noon beneath a scorching July sun. She plied rake and hoe upon a brown, withered garden with nothing but a single puny break for lukewarm tea and a sad, dry sandwich of stale wheat bread and cheap bologna. Afterword, she spent several hours more trying to coax life back into rows and rows of picked-over vegetables, tubers and herbs. She had hauled a mismatched pair of five gallon buckets - one that still smelled faintly of the fast food pickles it had once contained, the other bearing patches of white paint upon its sun-faded red surface - from the creek at the bottom edge of the property until her shoulders burned and her legs refused to carry her any further.
            Exhausted, she stood now, surveying the disappointing result of her futile labour, and wiped a dirty forearms across her forehead. Flexing her shoulders, Hannah Brighton closed her eyes - changeling eyes, her mother had called them - and took a long deep breath. She exhaled slowly, lightly, her lips tightly pursed to control the flow of air. Her toes tingled in her boots and she found herself clenching her fists at her sides. With effort, she flattened them against her thighs, still gently blowing.
It seemed to last an hour, that single breath, and she began to feel light-headed. When at last she opened her eyes, Hannah felt her lips curl into a broad grin.
            "Beautiful," she whispered to herself.
            Where moments before there had been only parched, thirsty earth and rows of wilting plants, now stood a verdant garden in full vibrant blossom. Spring peas swelled enticingly in their pods, a web of delicious produce upon narrow stakes, and cucumbers of two varieties dangled in a vaguely obscene manner nearby. She could see the ruffled heads of red lettuce beside the pretty, flowering tops of potato plants. Onions and carrots sprouted with green beans, cabbage, kale, peppers, zucchini and a whole multitude of squashes. Tomatoes ripened temptingly on their vines and the fragrant bouquet of various herbs - she could identify basil and bay and thyme for sure - wafted upon a weak, hot breeze.
            Her eyes drifted in delight toward the briar thatch at the south edge of the garden; raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries and blueberries were juicy, heavy burdens upon their brambled branches. And best of all, a vast patch of crimson, heart-shaped berries that fairly exploded with the colorful little fruits that were her favorite.
            The whole scene made her wax poetic.
            Spring crops mingled with winter ones, summer plants blossoming with those typically reserved for autumn. All were gloriously ripe, a riot of color and scent that assaulted her sense and like a siren's call, beckoned the long absent birds and insects.
            She chuckled to herself, shaking her head in amazement. Hannah bent at the waist reaching down to grab both the pickle bucket, in which she had tossed her handtools and the paint bucket which was empty and thus, blessedly light. As she straighened, a heavy hand fell upon her shoulder. Her heart suddenly leaden, it dropped to her feet as her body turned to ice despite the sweltering head of the evening.
            "Such a waste of effort, my precious jewel," came the sickening, sweet voice. It slid like honey from his tongue to her ear; a taste of nectar tainted with a vile toxin that almost, but not quite, concealed the foul rot within. Her skin crawled beneath his touch.
            Lifting her chin, Hannah spoke softly. "The effort is never wasted, Alexander."
            His grip on her shoulder tightened reflexsively. His annoyance betrayed him for Alexander abhorred being disputed. Pain flared across her chest and down her arm - he had momentarily lost his hard-won control - and she knew when he lifted his hand, the imprint would remain, seared upon her flesh. She reminded herself to wear a sweater over her tank when she returned to the house. It would not do for Luke to see the blisters and be inspired to do something foolish. His temper was short these days and, God love him, he was in serious denial about the realities they were facing.
            " do not like it when you talk back to me, sweet flower." Alexander withdrew his hand. "Your continued insolence is most vexing."
            Good." She straightened her shoulders, refusing to turn and meet his gaze. "Get used to it."
            Heat flared up behind her and she winced, cursing the stubborn streak she had inherited from her father - the trait that forced her tongue.
            "You will give me what I want, pet. In time."
            She hadn't even time to form a snarky reply; he was gone. Hannah knew it before she turned, the burning warmth of him had passed. His fury, so strong as to be tangible when he was present and the tangy, sulferrous odor that accompanied it, had vanished.

* * * * * * * * * *

            And there it is... the very first words I ever put to paper when I began "Incandescence". Okay, granted, they've been through a first edit since then (and a second one is still coming) but I just couldn't wait to share this scene!
            How did I do? Too verbose? Did it leave you wanting to know more about Hannah and Alexander and magic and- well, anything at all? Any suggestions or other comments? Please, let me know in the comments below.
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About Penelope Price

Penelope Price: author, gamer, nerd. Though she has been writing since she learned to read, P.P. did not emerge from her coccoon to join the writing circuit until the year of Tangerine Tango. She is the crazy chick behind this summer's Incandescence and its sequel, Inferno and can usually be found plotting projects with her partner-in-crime, Jack Morgan of PunchJackMorgan.com. Get updates, gossip and geekery by following P.P. on Facebook (http://facebook.com/PP_TheWriter), Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/PP_TheWriter), and at her blog (http://www.penelopeprice.net).

Well, how do you like that? I personally want some more to read! This is one fine young writer and certainly one to be watched as the years go on.