I’m so excited to feature Liz Long on Laurasmagicday. I got to know her at the YA Indie Carnival and really enjoyed Gifted, A Donovan Circus Novel so I know her adult paranormal will ROCK. I’m a big fan of YA authors writing for the adult market (nudge, nudge, wink, wink…) and can’t wait to read Witch Hearts. Release day is around the corner!! So…take it away Liz! Continue reading
I’m so pleased to host Melissa Pearl on Laurasmagicday. I loved her book Forbidden Territory and hope you all go out and grab a copy. I love her voice and get lost in her stories. I know you will too. I think you will find her as magical as I do Check out the awesome excerpt of her new release after the interview! woot!
spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and
Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her
husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband
and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion.
Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this
dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has
produced four more books and has a YA fantasy trilogy coming out this year.
soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be
and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall
Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/melissapearlauthor
Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/melissapearl
What is your all-time favorite book and why?
that is such a tough questions. One? I’m only allowed one? LOL.
series that I have read over and over in my time is the Mark of the Lion series
by Francine Rivers. Those books have it all – awesome romance, excellent action
and tension, amazing descriptions, plus a deep message running through the
books (if you’re into that kinda thing – which I am). They made me laugh, cry
and fall in love. Haha Just my type of story.
Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters
your book’s characters could relate to and why?
- how do you answer that question without coming across as pretentious? My Time
Spirit Trilogy has been compared to Twilight in the sense of an intense love
story. I wouldn’t say my writing is super fancy, but I know how to tell a fast
paced story with lots of emotion and tension.
Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
Welcome to the next in the “Indie Author Series”! So glad you’ve decided to runaway to the carnival with us this week.
Well, what do you think?
I’ve been a big fan of Smashwords. I sell most of my books on Amazon, but Smashwords makes the publication process so easy. It’s a one-stop upload to so many formats. It’s very easy to make your book free there, which helps with marketing. Their coupons are great, so it’s easy to mark books down/give them away in the formats that readers prefer. There are so many formats out there and we all have our favorites. Right now I read everything on my iPhone and there’s a Kindle App for that, but if I didn’t have a way to read a book on my phone, I’d buy a book that did. I know this.
It’s great to track where your book sells in one spot. Granted, their sales spreadsheets are a little wonky in terms of formatting, but it is nice to go to the sales info and see everywhere your book is selling, instead of checking Amazon, B&N, Kobo, et. al. separately. But every sale on Smashwords takes a little more of the pie! Example? If I sell a book for $2.99 on Amazon I make $2.06 royalty, if I sell a $2.99 book on Smashwords I make $1.80. Every cent counts! But, that’s $1.80 I wouldn’t have made if that channel wasn’t available.
And, in the spirit of the Oscars…..THE ENVELOPE PLEASE!!!!
My biggest selling retailer of all time is Amazon. My biggest selling retailer on Smashwords in 2012 was Barnes & Noble, which I think is interesting because I only marketed Shadow Slayer & The Seven Caves & Other Spine-tingling Short Stories through Smashwords very late in the year. I uploaded all my other titles to B&N directly before then. Second place for 2012 goes to Page Foundry My biggest selling retailer on Smashwords this year is a TIE between Page Foundry & Sony!
And who do I think will win for Best Picture? Hmmmmm…. that’s a tough one. I’m still trying to figure it out. What about you? Are you going to an Oscar party this year? Hubby and I will be going to one up in PDX. But you don’t need to go anywhere to have fun, just click here to print out a ballot and pop some popcorn…you KNOW how I LURVE popcorn, and sit back and see how you do!
Check out what my fine author friends have to say:
Welcome to the YA INDIE CARNIVAL! For me, B&N hasn’t done a whole lot for me lately. My sales there are only a fraction of my total sales and I feel like it’s harder to discover titles that I want to read on their web site. But I’m THRILLED….did I say ELATED…..did I say OVERJOYED….that my titles are available for Nook readers!!! #happydance Getting books to every reader no matter what their platform is very important to me for all the reasons I blogged about in our last series topic Amazon/All in or Diversify. Are you a nook reader? I’d love to know your thoughts about it and the B&N buying experience.
Sooooo….who’s the lucky winner of a Bryna Butler ebook? Congratulations to AMANDA RAY! SQuueeeeeEEEEE! Email me elliwrite [at] yahoo [dot] com and let me know which book you want!
Hope you get to curl up with a good book this weekend! To check out my fabulous fellow authors take on B&N click here And thanks for stopping by.
Don’t forget to check out Indie Author Month! Besides giveaways, there’s some awesome excerpts, character interviews, cover reveals and author interviews too:) Click here to go to the main page. Click here to enter my Indie Author Month giveaway!
This week the YA Indie Club members are spotlighting one of our own, Bryna Butler. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying Bryna’s novels and find that she is a dedicated writer with a gift for suspense and intrigue. Once you read a little bit about her, I know you’ll agree. Be sure to check out the fabulous EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Shadows Rising! EEEEEP! I’m all in I’m giving away one of her novels, YOUR CHOICE. Read to the end of the post to find out how to enter to win. Enjoy & Good luck!
Bryna Butler Author Bio
Social Media Sites:
The leader wrenched his dagger out of Brun’s side. Blood dripped from the dagger’s edge. Brun stumbled back, his face a mixture of disbelief and horror.
Want to win one of Bryna’s FABULOUS books? Just tweet or FB share this post & leave me a comment to tell me you entered! Easy. Peasy.
Thanks for running away to the YA Indie Carnival with us this week! Click here to join us every Friday. Next Friday’s topic? Nook/Barnes & Noble.
This is such a fascinating topic. I’m for DIVERSIFY.
Here’s why. Christmas before last, KDP Select was new. I jumped in. I did FABULOUS with my royalties in Dec/Jan and then in February everything tanked. I don’t know why, this was just my experience. I had no other channels to make up the shortfall and all my eggs were in the Amazon basket. This was pretty stressful for me. Amazon has blazed the trail for indie authors, so I was really all about jumping in with them and had no question that what they were proposing would be good for my sales and that KDP Select was going to be the best way to have my books find their audience. But, it didn’t turn out that way for me. Now, I have lots of author friends who worked their KDP select titles AMAZINGLY and had just the opposite experience. They did their free days and promoted them very successfully and shot to the top of their categories and then the momentum led them to carry great ratings in their categories after the free period. But, this was not the case for me. For me, the five day free downloads were big, not huge, but big. By the time the free days were over I shot to the bottom of the paid rankings and then gained a little bit of momentum in my book’s categories but not enough to keep any one of them on top for long. It was thrilling seeing the books go to the top for however short a period of time though.
IMHO, all my eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea. I mean, I wouldn’t just buy one stock for retirement, right? I wouldn’t tell my child to just have one friend. IDK, it’s kind of like that for me. And I came to this realization when I talked to a friend and AMAZING author Chanda Hahn. We were at the 4th Annual Pacific Northwest Book Festival in downtown Portland, OR and in between chats with readers and runs to Starbucks we talked about today’s topic. Chanda told me that her titles took off on iBooks. That it never got the mo’ on Amazon the way they did on iBooks. I thought that was interesting.
After 13 on Halloween & Winnemucca came off the KDP Select period I marketed them on other channels. December 2012, 30% of my sales were from channels other than Amazon. Amazon is where the most free downloads from 13 on Halloween (Shadow Series #1) take place, the second most frequent place readers download 13 on Halloween is Page Foundry, in third place was Sony. Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) sold the most on Smashwords & Apple. Winnemucca sold the most on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble last month. Transfer Student sold the most on Amazon. So, Chanda got me to realize that books have their own sales energy. And while one title might do great on Amazon, another title might take off on a different channel for no particular reason. So, heck, I’m up for my stories finding their readers anyway they can. And even if I only get an occasional reader off of Apple so be it. I’ll take that sale
Every month is different but the trend for me has been that 30% of my sales have been from other channels and I’d hate to marginalize those readers. IMHO, one size doesn’t fit all. So, what’s your take? As a reader, are you happy when you can get your books anyway you want? Or, are you a loyal Amazon Prime Borrower? I’d love to know.
As an author, I do enjoy when a reviewer needs a certain kind of format and I’m able to offer it to them. It’s great to not have to sweat the exclusivity issue!
This is just my IMHO. There’s as many opinions on this as authors So, if you want to find out what the other carnis’ experience has been check them out by clicking here! Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by. I thought I’d share this pic of these salt & pepper shakers. My mom was in the hospital and my sis took dad out for a little lunch at his favorite Thai food place and there, on the table were these cuties. You know how when you’re just spent and could use a little hug. Well, that’s what I was when I saw these guys. I hope they make you feel good if you need a little hug today!
Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor, features editor, magazine editor and has even been the Script Supervisor for a full length feature film. Early in 2010 however, she began writing full time and has since completed a trilogy for young adults, The Raven Saga (the first of which is FREE) and started a brand new series, The Morgan Sisters. The first full length novel in this series, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw is now available, as is a shorter novella, Daisy Madigan’s Paradise which is FREE!
Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. For now, the Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 14 years, Michael.
Spotlight Interview Questions:
1) What is your all-time favorite book and why?
Ooh it’s so tough to just have one book. But I’d probably go with The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I studied the book at college and totally fell in love with it. I guess it was because it was so different to anything I’d ever read. Perhaps the dystopian side of it also appealed. I’m not sure. Strangely though, I’ve never read anything else by Margaret Atwood. Not sure why!
2) Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?
Recently, my newest series (The Morgan Sisters) was described by a book blogger as ‘possibly the next Harry Potter’. Clearly this made my decade and I’d love to be compared to the Great Almighty JK, but I would never compare myself to another writer. I’d like to think my writing is my own… kind of unique, you know?
3) Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
My favourite quote? That’s a toughie, hmmm. How about this…
‘She could hear her heart beating, feel it thudding in her chest. She couldn’t open her mouth; it was too dry. All she wanted to do was scream but she couldn’t even do that. Please God don’t let me die, she thought.
A sudden massive gust of wind took her feet from beneath her and she was forcefully pushed from the top of Carlton Point, falling silently and peacefully to the rocky hills below.’
The reason I like this scene so much is because I have such a vivid image of it in my mind. When you read on to the next chapter, you’ll see that she didn’t actually fall. That image of Lana slowly floating, almost in slow motion, reverberated with me. Almost like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.
4) What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
I am particularly inspired by places. For instance, my first series (The Raven Saga) was inspired by the awesome mountains and forests of Western Canada. My new series (The Morgan Sisters) was inspired by places I’ve been to in London (as well as by a London actor I met last year).
I think the UK is perhaps one of the most inspiring countries I’ve ever been to. Every time I visit (although I’m English, I currently live in Portugal), I am blown away by its capacity to inspire me… with its historical buildings and heritage. I’m actually selling up and moving back to England. One of the reasons why we chose England is because of its hold over me with my writing. I can’t wait! (Anyone wanna buy a villa in the Algarve?)
5) Describe your typical writing day or week.
When I have deadlines, I write every morning until I’ve reached my target (if I’m in the zone, I’ll write a lot more) and then I chill out with my favourite TV show and a nice cup of Rooibos tea
6) Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?
Just Rooibos tea and water.
7) Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?
I’m about to start the second novel in The Morgan Sisters series but it doesn’t have a title yet!
EXCERPT – THE GHOST OF JOSIAH GRIMSHAW
Lightning shattered the darkness. Not even Emma’s thick purple quilt could shut out the light as it filtered through to her closed eyelids. A low echo of rumbling thunder made its way across the North Sea towards Andilyse Island and she shivered. Suddenly something landed on top of her head and she shrieked.
The sounds of laughter emanated from the bed across the room.
‘Lana, you cow,’ shouted Emma as she threw back the covers and tossed the pillow back at her sister who just shook her head and giggled.
‘It’s only a storm. There’s nothing to be scared of.’
‘There is everything to be scared of,’ she replied as she cowered beneath the quilt again.
‘Oh come on, Sis. We’re quite safe in here. This house has been standing for hundreds of years, it’s not like it’s going to collapse is it?’
‘It nearly did the last time,’ Emma croaked.
‘That was like sixty years ago, Em, and none of the houses collapsed. The only thing that took the brunt of the storm was the pier.’
‘And the church.’
‘Exactly. None of the houses. Stop being such a coward. You’re fifteen! It’s a storm, it’s rain, it’s not the end of the world.’
‘It was for all those poor people.’
‘Oh stop being so dramatic. Things were different back in the 50s, Em. We’re safe, now stop worrying.’
The sound of the front door slamming downstairs made both girls jump. Emma glared at Lana before they both hopped out of bed and ran to their bedroom door which they opened, looking down over the banister.
Peering up at them from the bottom of the stairs stood an attractive grey-haired man in his early 50s, taking off his soaking coat.
‘Shhh, we don’t want to wake Greg and Lucy,’ he said as he summoned them downstairs.
‘Oh Patrick, they should be in bed too,’ whispered a voice from the kitchen as the two girls skipped down to find out what was going on.
‘You know what they’re like, Audrey,’ he said as he hung his dripping coat on the stand in the hallway. Tutting, his wife promptly removed it and placed it in the sink in the downstairs cloakroom before going back to give him a kiss.
‘What’s happened, Dad?’ asked Emma as she sat huddled up to her sister on the bottom step. A clap of thunder made her jump and she shivered, her eyes wide open with apprehension. Lana rolled her eyes and put her arm protectively around her sister.
‘Let’s have a cup of cocoa,’ Audrey said, recognising the look on her husband’s face. There was bad news.
While they waited for the milk to heat up on the stove, Lana went into the lounge looking for candles as the lights continued to flicker, constantly threatening to go out for good.
‘I’ve found some,’ she said, setting them down on the kitchen table with a box of matches, ‘just in case,’ she smiled. ‘So what’s going on, Dad? Why did you have to go out so late?’
‘He’s the Chief Constable… it’s his job,’ answered their mother as she poured steaming milk into the four mugs, before stirring them as quietly as she could.
Lana stood beside her, adding a spoonful of sugar to her own mug before passing the calming drinks to her family, who stood sipping the chocolatey goodness silently for a moment.
Rubbing his forehead, Patrick put his cocoa down on the table just as the rain began to clatter loudly on the roof tiles.
‘Oh no,’ whispered Emma as she pulled her feet up towards her bottom and rocked back and forth in her seat.
Patrick put his hand on her shoulder, ‘it’s okay sweetheart. It’s just a storm, it’ll pass. Everything will be all right.’
‘Well then why did you have to go out in it, Dad?’ she asked.
‘I was called out to the old Grimshaw farm… Josiah was seen wandering close to the pier again.’
‘What? In this weather? Does he have a death wish?’ said Lana without thinking as her mother tutted, glancing towards Emma. ‘Did you find him? Is he okay?’
‘I’m afraid he’s nowhere to be seen. And in these conditions, it’s impossible to send out a search party. We can’t send out the lifeboat without risking the lives of everyone else, I’m afraid. He’s a silly old man, he should never have been left alone in this storm. Everyone on the island knows how it affects him.’
Audrey patted her husband’s hand, ‘there’d be no stopping him, love. He’s just looking for her.’
‘Well, maybe he’s finally got his wish.’
‘Daddy?’ said an innocent child’s voice from the stairs.
‘Oh we’ve woken the kids,’ said Audrey as she stood up and went to check on her two younger children.
‘Hey sweetheart. Sorry we woke you. Come on, let’s go back to bed,’ she said to her family. ‘There’s nothing we can do now. We should all try and get some sleep.’
Blog: http://suzyturner.blogspot.com Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Suzy-Turner/e/B0050BSH1I
Raven (FREE) click here to go to Amazon to download your version now!
After the inexplicable disappearance of Lilly Taylor’s parents, she has no choice but to move to Canada where she unravels some frightening yet intriguing family secrets… Her whole life had been based on a lie. Lilly had grown up in a loveless home with a father who she had barely ever seen and a mother who was… well, not very motherly. After they mysteriously disappear without a trace, Lilly is sent to Canada where she finds a whole new way of life. A life filled with love and people who care for her. But that’s not all she discovers, Lilly also finds out that she isn’t who, or what, she thinks she is. Lilly has a very special ability and it’s just a matter of time before her true self starts to shine. And when it does, her life will never be the same again.
On her 15th birthday, December Moon discovers she is the descendant of a family of witches, kept in the dark her entire life in an effort to protect her. But when Lilly, her best friend, finds herself in danger from one of the world’s most evil vampires, December will do everything in her power to stop him.
December and Lilly have got their work cut out for them. Not only are they desperately trying to figure out the identity of the Lost Soul, and track him down, they’ve also got to investigate why Powell River’s newest resident has got all of their men falling at her feet.
The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw
A Morgan Sisters novel
Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange ‘tattoo’ suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realize there’s more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined.
Sent off to London for two weeks of ‘work experience’, the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.
At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won’t leave them alone.
Daisy Madigan’s Paradise (FREE)
A Morgan Sisters novella
When tragedy falls upon 15 year old Daisy Madigan, she escapes to the only place she feels safe, the cemetery of Abney Park. There, in the company of the dearly departed, she realizes she is changing, growing stronger and faster by the day. But in the darkness lurks a terror even she can’t imagine facing.
Daisy Madigan’s Paradise is a Morgan Sisters novella. Check out The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, the full length first novel in the series.
Click here to check out the fun new format of the YA Indie Carnival! We are alternating between highlighting Indie Authors in our spotlight feature with a series on indie author topics. Should be a great year. Thanks for stopping by!
I usually post regularly until recently. Lots going on in RL. I’d love to share some good news though, it looks like after surgery my mom is going to be cancer free and that she won’t need chemo! Woot! She sure is a strong woman, especially for her mid-eighties. I admire her strength and courage so much. If your mom is still around, give her an extra hug today for me, OK?
And with RL in overdrive, I’ve had a rare bout of no writing. It’s like anything, I guess. (not like a “real job” certainly where you have to get things done no matter what’s going on) Certain things have to get done and those things have, but what disappears pretty quickly is the ability/desire for/time for/focus for writing. And when there is time and I’m trying there is the ever scary, every intimidating blank page! Que scary music: Dah-dah-dah-dah! EEEEEEEP! (scream) I rarely have this problem. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I could write any time, any where, no matter what. Well, that’s just not true this time around. I even avoided ever saying the words writer’s block, because I thought they had some kind of magical powers…like saying Valdemort in HP, ya know?
So…what to do? Phone a friend. Or Facebook them. Ask for some help. When I put the word out to my Lady Army (sorry Adam and those few guys that are actually a part of this amazing group of supportive authors and thus I need to find another name for these fabulous friends/writers/authors/book reviewers/editors, but like I said….I got nothin’) they had a few suggestions and I wanted to share them with you.
K. A. Tucker, author of the casual enchantment series and Ten Tiny Breaths (have you read this? buy it! you will love it , was one of the first to respond. She said to buy a bottle of wine and get a good book and don’t leave your chair until one of them is finished. Excellent idea K. A.! You are amazing. Can’t wait to try this one. (I did have a glass of wine on the flight over to Florida while reading–not the same thing–but I never drink and fly and this was just fun because it was different for me. Got a lot of reading done too!)
Carol Kunz the “C” part of fabulous mother/son author team CA Kunz kicked my butt and gave me a deadline. This ALWAYS works with me. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this one, but it is sort of hard to give yourself a deadline, isn’t it? Anyhoo, she said by the time she sees me today she wants 3K more words typed out on my WIP. YES MA’AM! Anything for Carol. So I have a few hours left and I’m 2K short. We’ll see if I get there But I because of this deadline that Carol gave me I typed out 1K more than I have in a VERY long time, what feels like an eternity, in fact. Thank you Carol! Up until that flight a good day was 100 words, and believe me I’ll take them. 100 words is great! But 1000 is better Right? (too bad I can’t count the words on this post…LOL!)
So excited to be going out to lunch with the fabulous authors TIffany King, author of Wishing for Someday Soon, The Saving Angel Series, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not. Carol and Adam Kunz of CA Kunz authors of The Childe series, and the trilogy The Modified—-SO GOOD. Pick up any of these and find out why I love their writing so much! Squeeee!!! Nice to be out of the hospital today to enjoy this beautiful Florida sunshine with friends.
Thanks for all your love and support!
At the carnival this week we are all blogging about resolutions. I talk a little bit about my personal focus for 2013 in my post about beginnings, click here if you want to read more. But as a writer, I feel I need to boost my reading this year. I try to read a lot on my own but kind of miss the experience of sharing what I’ve read with others. So, I’ve joined a couple of reading challenges this year. One is 52 books in 52 weeks. *knees knock* I was invited by the author of this article on the Huffington Post and decided to take her up on the challenge, click here to read the article. I’ve got Gone Girl downloaded and it will keep me company on my flight to Florida tomorrow. I’ve also joined a group on goodreads that will have a monthly challenge specifically in the YA genre. So my goal is to read widely and hopefully this will make my writing better and better.
So….what resolutions do you have this year?
See what my fellow writers in the carnival are resolving to accomplish this year. They are an amazing group of authors, so I’m sure you will be inspired! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Have you decided what you’ll be doing this 12/21/12?? I’ll be with my girls and my hubby in Santa Cruz going to an end of the world dinner.
Just in case the Mayan Apocalypse doesn’t come true and the world doesn’t end, why don’t you enter this incredibly awesome giveaway? One winner will receive 17 ebooks? So, What’s up for grabs?
Giveaway Package Includes:
Red Madrassa (Algardis #1) by Terah Edun
Pazuzu’s Girl by Rachel Cole