Monday, September 24, 2012

SHARING OUR VOICES- JOYCE R. ALTON aka

Clippership, super mod for the AQC Speculative Fiction Group, and a woman who I, and many others, consider a friend has graciously agreed to post about her inspiration for today's SOV.
 
The blog is yours, Joyce. 
 
Once upon a time a little girl went out for recess. Her classmates streamed past her, split up, and rushed to their favorite corners of the school yard. The girl hung back, uncertain. It was the middle of the school year and the start of her third school. Big kids dominated the fields and courts, starting up large games of soccer and basketball. The small kids infested the playground equipment like a swarm. There were groups playing double-dutch or hopscotch along the school walls. The teacher patrolling the scene looked cross and tired. The little girl skittered down the steps and out into the chaos.

Wandering around for several minutes, it wasn't until a strong breeze tossed up the ends of her hair that she smiled. The tight ache in her chest eased a bit. She broke into a run, rushing for the back fields, arms held out against the wind. Schools might come and go but the winds were everywhere. She knew them. She named them. They followed her to the fourth school she attended that year. They stayed with her through the last three years of elementary school, whenever she didn't have human companionship.

To this day, she still knows their names and directions.

From about the age of ten on, she lost the ability to sleep well. Bedtime came. She lay in bed, tossing about, wishing her thoughts would turn off. Then one night, she learned to override the random thoughts. She began to create story adventures. Daring, silly, sentimental, horrifying, fantastical stories! The emotional lift eventually knocked her out each night. But the adventures didn't end there. Her subconscious mind wanted to play too, often picking up where her conscious mind left off. On some nights her conscious and subconscious went back and forth, weaving together a complex tale.

In the morning, the girl woke up, grabbed a notebook, and wrote the best of these adventures down.

In junior high, she learned how to disappear. Her school was overcrowded, with dark brick hallways, dark windows, and teachers teetering on the brink of nervous breakdowns. She avoided attention. Long stretches of time passed between friendly faces. In English class, the girl read A Tale of Two Cities and adopted the brooding Sydney Carton as her next friend. He walked by her between classes, stood behind her during lunch, and with his unique voice challenged her to do better with her class work. She didn't worry as much about the boys gleeking in the hallways after that, or the clusters of girls who moved in a pack, pushing everyone out of their way. When the girl didn't need him, Sydney lived inside one of her necklaces with his wife, the little seamstress.

The girl still has that necklace.
 

Her family liked to go on long drives for vacations. Eight people squeezed into the station wagon or van, the kids empty-handed usually. Her mom always brought music to listen to. They passed mesas, rolling plains, through hilly forests, along the edges of reservoirs, rivers, and canyons. Sometimes the sky filled with flat, gray clouds. Sometimes it was a brilliant blue dome, the clouds formed into shapes with an obvious 3-D effect. The girl leaned on the car window, picturing armies on horseback rushing through the sagebrush, griffins played hide-and-seek in the clouds, tall castles rising from the edges of the plateaus and mountains.

Long drives remain one of her favorite things to do.

In quieter moments, she sat at her desk, turned on some music, and drew. Her people and creatures came out cartoonish--although she did pretty well with fashion design. Then one day, she took a piece of poster board and drew a map of where her stories happened. Ah hah! She loved to study maps. Creating maps of fictional worlds came naturally. It relaxed her.

Today, she can paper the walls of her office with her largest maps.

It doesn't take much to inspire this girl: a phrase, part of a picture, someone's expression, reading of real-life sacrifices and bravery, a song, a color, or a dream. Moving from place to place, meeting many different people, experiencing acceptance and loneliness, and especially discovering herself have shaped her eccentric perspective. She learns from everything. And hopefully, she has something to share to inspire others.

Friday, September 21, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 8, #GUTGAA 1st Round Judge

As many of you are aware, I participated in GEARING UP TO GET AN AGENT as a first round judge this week. I admit this is something that would typically be outside my comfort zone, but in the spirit of breaking free of my shell, I jumped in feet first. Notice I didn't say I dived in?

I didn't know what to expect. So I dipped my toes in the water before fully immersing myself in the GUTGAA experience. I've met some really amazing people. Deana Barnhart, I don't know how you managed to organize this opportunity. Thank you for being such an inspiration. You are truly one of a kind.

I also want to give a shout to my fellow judges and blog hosts for donating their time. To the contestants, thank you for having the courage to participate. I wish you all the best of luck as you query widely and confidently knowing that your query rocks! And if it doesn't quite yet, well, keep revising. 

You can never have too many books. Yeah, right.
Some of you may be wondering how I made my choices. Let me tell you...so hard. Since I was voting for Adult, I had a variety of genres: Dystopian, Women's Fiction, Steam Punk, Paranormal Romance, Mainstream, Mystery, Fantasy, Thriller, Memoir, Historical and Science Fiction.

Luckily, I read all these genres. Don't believe me? Check out my overflowing, needs to be organized bookshelf.

Initially, I read through the 43 entries without looking at any comments. I don't like to be influenced by other people's opinions. I documented my initial impression. Was the query tight/polished? Did it hold my attention? Did I finish reading and want more or was I confused? Then I moved to the first 150, and asked the same questions.

I labeled each entry with a rating of 1-5. By the end, I had 1 (F'ing Awesome 5+++), 6 (5's) and 11 (4's). These were all books I would buy if I read the blurb in the bookstore and had a fat gift card with enough money to indulge myself.

Since I have never bought 18 books at one time (five at the most, maybe one a week if I'm feeling splurgey) I went with my rating system. All the 5's were automatic entries. Then I had to choose three 4's. Since they they were all equal in awesomeness in my eyes, I went with genre as the deciding factor.

I had 4's and 5's in every genre, except two which were 3's. So I made sure my last three picks did not come from genres already represented by my 5's, because I wanted to make sure as many of the genres I enjoy reading would be represented next week. Only 6 of my first pick choices will be going forward, but all of the winning entries fell within my 4's and 5's. I have faith all of these books will be on my overflowing bookshelf someday so I can finally read them And I want to read them so bad, drool.

Well, there you go. Apple's convoluted query picking system. 

Since this is a 40 Weeks post, I still have to share something personal about myself. Given all the contestants were brave enough to share their query babies, I thought I would share one of mine. You've seen the query letter for JUJU'S CHILD which landed my agent. But, nobody except the agents I had the temerity to query saw and rejected my very first horrible query letter (602 words).

Look, laugh, learn what NOT to do.

12/24/09
 
Dear Agent,
 
I am seeking representation for my paranormal romance novel, Psychic Journey.  I have 103,000 words completed from an estimated 120-150,000.    
 
Consulting Archeologist Jurnee Fontaine is a woman dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge to the sublimation of her interpersonal relationships.  She values logic and the crispness of the science inherent to her work.  Because Jurnee tends to avoid engaging in displays of emotional weakness, she finds she is routinely confounded by her fairy loving, tarot card reading mother, who constantly encourages her to cultivate her innate psychic ability. 
 
 
Jurnee’s stance on the matter is that foreknowledge never provided her with the ability to alter the future she saw in her visions and trying just left her with a blinding headache, and another aching hole in her heart. 
 
Despite her efforts to focus her attention on her current contract to excavate the site of a ranch built by Steven Durant, in the hills outside of Folsom, CA. in 1868, Jurnee develops an illogical obsession over the suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of Durant’s wife and young son.  But it is with the discovery of Willa Durant’s diary and subsequent frenetic drive home from the dig site that Jurnee’s life takes an unexpected turn from the norm.   
 
It begins with torrential rain, a bedraggled woman with her daughter standing in the middle of the road, and Jurnee so distracted she fails to see them.  Instead of running them over, Jurnee swerves her truck into an embankment.  The woman’s heartbreaking story of fleeing her abusive husband, added to the guilt of almost pulverizing them, causes Jurnee to take on the responsibility of protecting this woman and child from the danger she senses threatening them. 
 
This triggers a series of uncharacteristic actions by the normally level-headed Jurnee.   She breaks up with her fiancé, falls in lust with a dead man, and is accidently transported by… gasp, magic into the past.  She wakes in the year 1878, tied to the bed of sexy Stephen Durant, who incidentally thinks she’s stark raving mad and hates her with a passion, to discover to her horror that her consciousness has switched bodies with that of his doomed wife, walking Barbie doll, Willa Durant. 
 
Now Jurnee, who despises all things mystical; must figure out a way to survive an unexpected pregnancy by thwarting the bruja trying to steal Willa’s husband, Stephen by murdering her, keep from falling in love with the same husband and return to her own time, all the while, hoping that Willa doesn’t ruin her own life in the future.
 
I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology, specializing in Native American Studies from California State University, Sacramento.  I realized my dream of working for a consulting archeologist after college. 
 
The site I helped excavate was the inspiration for this novel.  I also discovered that due to seasonal allergies, I would not be the next female Indiana Jones. The stories I write are in the genres that I enjoy reading such as, paranormal romance, fantasy and tend to have a supernatural element.  
 
 
My favorite authors are Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Rachel Caine, Kim Harrison, David Eddings, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, and so many others that my bookshelves are overflowing. 
 
 
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.  I look forward to hearing from you. 

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

TO THE BEAUTIFUL YOU


I couldn’t decide which show I wanted to feature today. There are so many dramas playing right now. I’m watching four, ARANG AND THE MAGISTRATE, FAITH (aka The Great Doctor), NICE GUY(which recently started airing), and my favorite, TO THE BEAUTIFUL YOU.

Why is this series my favorite, you ask?

The comedy.

This series is so funny. I literally watch this show, trying not to laugh too loud. It produces gut clutching, tear running, snort-inducing laughter in me. How can I pass up something that makes me feel so happy?

Source
 
Now, don’t get mad at me for my favoritism. The other shows are also amazing, which is why I’m watching them. I don't invest in television shows which I don't find engaging. I usually know by the end of the first episode whether or not I'll continue with a series. And the only series I feature on this blog are ones I feel comfortable recommending because I enjoyed them.

Of course, not every opinion will fall in line with my own. You may hate these shows for the very reasons I like them. We're individuals. We make our own decisions. To quote my 10-year-old son, "How boring would the world be if we all thought the same way?" 

Source
 
Okay, back to why I love this series. Out of the three, I find this to be the funniest. I think Faith is the most mesmerizing (I love the costumes, setting, music, Lee Min Ho in armor…whew, I’ll review this series next week, I promise). But, it’s not as funny. And apparently, funny is what I need in my life right now.

I’m craving the sweet innocence of first love as expressed by these teenage characters. The acute contact embarrassment of watching the love interests flounder in the throes of raging horomones and identity crises without graphic sexual innuendo. 

So adorable. It's a series I can watch with my daughter without feeling like I have to yell, "Cover your eyes" every third scene. Totally refreshing.

Uh, what is the story about?
Geesh, I got so excited I forgot to give you a synopsis so you know what I’m gushing about. 

Source

Goo Jae Hee (Choi Seol Ri, Sulli), a Korean girl who lives in the United States, watches a track and field competition on TV. She is moved by one of the high jump competitors, Kang Tae Joo (Minho). He helps her through emotionally tough times, and she sets him on a pedestal.

Source
When he is injured, Jae Hee decides she has to help him. So she cuts her hair, forges transcripts, and moves to Korea where she poses as a boy at the all-boys Genie High School, where Kang Tae Joon is enrolled.

So, it's not exactly an unfamiliar plot arc. It’s been done to death in K-dramas like You Are Beautiful and Sungkyunkwan Scandal, but it proves that sometimes originality is based not on the overreaching arc but the small details.

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

SHARING OUR VOICES- PAULETTE MAHURIN

UPDATE: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is free today through Monday, October 22nd. In the author's words:

Please feel free to share with anyone you want to for in spreading the word
it raises awareness of the need for tolerance in our
world and also creates a valuable ripple effect to help
get animals out of cages and into their forever homes.

 
It’s been a while since the last, SHARING OUR VOICES post. I missed them, and I hope you did, too.  Today, I would like to introduce you to Paulette Mahurin, an amazing woman who has a strong sense of justice. She is in many ways what SOV is all about, an inspiration. 

Why? For many reasons, which you'll see in a few. But namely because all profit earned by her novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, is being donated to the  Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC), the only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County. 

Paulette Mahurin and Dr. Charlotte Laws
Thank you, Angie Sandro, for inviting me to speak at your beautiful blog site. I’m really grateful for this opportunity. You asked me to go to your site and look at some of the past posts in Sharing our Voices (SOV) and when I did I saw that someone else had written about what I was thinking of writing, write from what I know, my experience.

So, never mind that idea. I’m laughing now because really it seems to defeat the purpose to think of an idea that is inspirational, when for me inspiration comes from a place that doesn’t involved thinking at all. That turned my light bulb on. So, what is it, inspiration, that stirs a stimulation to a high level of feeling or doing? The answer for me is intuition, that inner sense of knowing without rational guidance.

I once wrote that intuition is God speaking to me. This was never truer than when I worked in the second busiest emergency room (ER) in Los Angeles County, with the highest census of child abuse. I’m a Nurse Practitioner, and working in an ER means I operate just like any of the other doctors, independently handling patients, without taking on the serious trauma cases.

I saw things I had never experienced before yet somehow knew what needed to be done, that inner sense that said don’t send this kid home, no matter what the on-duty doctor thought. I learned to hone my intuitive skill and not over think or deny. It served me well and to this day I am grateful beyond description, I never lost a patient in the ER.

While I was writing, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, this inner sense kicked in. At first I ignored it, wanting to show off and write about all the research I had done. I spent hours on one subject and didn’t want to reduce it to a sentence. I wanted the recognition for all the hard work I’d put in, to feel proud. The problem was it didn’t serve the story, didn’t forward the action of the character’s dialogue or narrative. It robbed the story of flow, and I struggled with this.

I had spent days researching the Donner Party debacle, and wanted to use it in the story to show why people migrated south; avoiding the cold life defeating winters the  Donner’s got caught in, resulting in cannibalism—to settle in the Walker Lake area. I included a few pages about this, only to have my editor blast me that the story had switched from that of bigotry and persecution, a chaotic small town’s inhumanity to its fellow citizens, to that of a didactic history lesson.

Boy did I learn my lesson. Now what? What the hell do I cut? The flickering intuitive light that I all but smothered, started to glimmer. This time I paid attention to it, and stepped out of the way of the story, parked my not so intelligent ego, and let the story flow. I ended up with a few sentences. As a result of this type of editing the book is only 202 pages, lol!

Once I got in the groove of letting the story write itself, it was easy to feel the real inspiration that was motivating me to write this story; the injustice of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. All he did was become attracted to another man, love the other man, and make love to him. He could no more help that than a leaf can change its color, or a dog not wag when its owner comes home, the attraction of life forces, whether a man for a man, a leaf for carbon dioxide, a dog for a bone, are inexplicable elements of the mystery of life.

To blame someone for this is like blaming a flame for burning flesh, the rain from falling, and the miracle of all the senses created from beyond comprehension from simply doing what they do. This, my inspiration, made me write, kept me up through the exhaustion I live with (I have Lyme’s Disease), and motivated me, it still does to put this story to paper and spread the word: in the name of tolerance.

Synopsis: The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense.

When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 7, BULLYING

I guess you could describe me as being the epitome of a nerd (still am) as a kid. I rocked the stereotype. I couldn't find a picture where I'm wearing my glasses. I'm probably sitting on them. 

Picture round, coke bottle thick lenses. When I smiled, I had a gap and crooked teeth. I was also so thin my rib bones stuck out (kinda wishing that hadn't changed, shrug). 

I was a tomboy so I wore patched, bell bottoms. Even though in the 80's the Jordache jeans were in style. Oh, no. It was Sears Surplus for me because I was too hard on my clothes. I climbed trees, caught minnows, ran through the woods like a wild child. I still have PTSD symptoms from those hideous pants.

Kidding. I didn't really care until about 5th grade. Up until then my friends were boys. My best friend was my sister, who rocked the same pants. None of them really cared about my appearance. 

Then, I moved to Guam. I was enrolled in the public intermediate school--6th through 8th graders.

Man, were those 8th grade girls huge in comparison. Huge and mean.

I was the shortest girl in my class. I didn't own a Members Only Jacket or parachute pants (I may be mixing up my era's now). I didn't own a Cabbage Patch doll, but I got a generic one from Korea. One of the ginormous eighth graders took a hate on for me. I don't remember why. I only remember how she caught me in the girls locker room and pinched my nipples. All you ladies out there, remember how sensitive you were at that age? She also kept stealing my lunch, so I starved all day. 

Source
When my mom found about, she almost broke the school admin. My mom's scary tough. She also pulled me out of this school and enrolled me into Trinity Christian School. I got to wear a cute little uniform. My parents also refused to sign the form allowing the school to paddle me if I misbehaved. Thank you very much, Mama and Daddy.

They also put me into karate, Shōrin-ryÅ«, and in college, Tai Kwon Do. I also went from being the shortest girl in my class to the tallest by my eighth grade year.

Needless to say, the bullying stopped. I think it's because I wasn't afraid of the bullies any more. I knew if they messed with me, I'd take them down. Hard. Knowing I would fight if pushed, I found I no longer had to fight. I also learned not to care what random people thought or said about me. It's only the people who you respect whose opinions matter.

The times I've had difficulty holding onto this philosophy have been when someone messed with someone who couldn't protect themselves. That's when I couldn't stay quiet. That's when I got in trouble, and I didn't care if it was in defense of someone else. That's who I am. Who I will always be.

On Monday, I'm bring back Sharing Our Voices (SOV). I met a nice author on Facebook, who wrote about injustice. She's the one who inspired this post. You'll get to meet her and learn about her source of inspiration.

Also, if you would like to participate in SOV by sharing your source of inspiration, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

REAPING ME SOFTLY COVER REVEAL- KATE EVANGELISTA



Well, it's a great day. The official cover reveal for my critique partner, Kate Evangelista's REAPING ME SOFTLY, by Omnific Publishing. Expected release is October 30, 2012.

Isn't it gorgeous? I'm so in love, I had to make it supersized. Sorry if it's hard to read the title, but I wanted you to be able to see the details.  Here it is again.

Book description:

Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?
Check out Goodreads: 

www.kateeveangelista.com
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Many thanks got to AToMR Tours for hosting this Cover Reveal. They are also opening sign-ups for the ARC Tour today for those interested in participating. The tour is scheduled for October 29-November 3, 2012.
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

GUTGAA MADNESS


It’s mad, I say. Mad!

Yes, and I’m loving it. Last week, I spent my free time Meeting and Greeting those participating in the awesome Gearing Up To Get AnAgent contest hosted by Deana Barnhart. I had a wonderful time checking out blogs and learning about their owners’ aspirations and inspirations. How about you?

This week is also going to be full of awesome.

The pitch polish entries are up. Nail biting excitement for the 100 participants who have their pitches up and waiting for constructive feedback. So, please hop over there and show them some love by critiquing their pitches.

 For those who would like feedback on their pitches but didn’t get into the contest, sign up your blog on the linky list and post your query/pitch. The more people help out and provide feedback the better each participant will get at knowing how to draft a query letter, what needs to be in a query, and how to make yours stand out from the crowd.

I talked about what I feel is one of the most important things to have in a query in a guest post on Kate Evangelista's blog. It is subjective. I'm sure others will tell you different things. However, voice is the one thing that draws me in. If the voice of the query is blah, good luck keeping me around very long. My attention span is short. You gotta catch me in the very beginning and use your words to wrap me in sticky tape so I can’t break free.
 
Like I said, I'm speaking for myself here. Now it's your turn. What do you think is important to have in a query. Is it voice? Or something else that draws you in and keeps you moving along to something else? What do you think needs to be included in a kick butt query?

 

 

Friday, September 7, 2012

GUTGAA HOP SCROLL DOWN

Or click HERE if you're looking for the meet and greet questions. 

40 WEEKS OF ME- Week 6, Tattoo

I've always loved tattoo's. I love the artistry and beauty of some tattoos. The meanings behind a particular etching on a person's skin can give insight into their life.

My sister bought me a tattoo for my 22nd birthday. I'd been thinking of getting one for years, but if she hadn't talked me into it I probably wouldn't have one now.

I put a lot of thought into what I would get. It had to hold a deeper meaning for me. I knew what it would be almost immediately. The Sunburst Pictograph from Robert Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME series. 

This symbol signifies the Children of Light. I was really into Mr. Jordan's world at the time. I found the Sunburst to be so compelling and unforgettable. I still do eighteen years later.

To see pictures of original chapter icons click HERE


 
Robert Jordan“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”
Robert Jordan

    


 
The decision of where to place the tattoo was fairly simple. I didn't want it someplace I couldn't show off without acute embarrassment, but I also had to hide it from my parents (Sis and I kept the tats secret for many years before confessing to the folks). I went with my outer right ankle. Bad choice.

Ever have a needle stabbing bone? Holy Isis, the excruciating agony is the reason why this is my only tattoo.

My brother wants Sis and I to get family tattoos. I think it's a great idea, but this means three people have to agree on the tattoo. So far nothing has sparked the same desire that the sunburst filled me with. 

I'll post the picture if I ever go under the needle again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FRUITS BASKET

SOURCE

FRUITS BASKET written by Natsuki Takaya starts with orphan, Tohru Honda living in a tent in the woods until she meets Yuki, Shigure, and Kyo Sohma. They invite her to live in their home, and she discovers their clan secret. The members of the Sohma family are cursed, possessed by animals from the Chinese zodiac. Whenever a member of the opposite sex not possessed by the zodiac hugs a Sohma, they change into their animal form.

This is one of my daughter's favorite anime series. So much so that after she watched the series, she read the manga online. The anime series leave you hanging at the end of the 26 episodes, plus the storyline is a bit different.

Wishing for a season 2, but there doesn't appear to be one.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

GIVIN' UP THE GHOST & NEVERLOVE COVER REVEAL

Mystery and mayhem teamed with heartache and overcoming. Follow PIP here.
It's that time folks, the moment Gwen and I have been so excited for.  Well, one of the moments.  This Indie publishing adventure has been one thrilling moment after another.  So here they are, our covers for GIVIN' UP THE GHOST and NEVERLOVE by Gwen Gardner and Angela Brown, respectively.


Corona Zschusschen
Friend or Foe?

Murder victim Bart Bagley is not content to merely roll over in his grave. He wants his murderer caught and he wants teenage ghost whisperer, Indigo Eady, to help him.

It becomes obvious that Bart’s temper lead to more than one disagreement, but is it enough to want him dead? With nothing but a cold trail and a hot list of “friendly” suspects, Indigo and her friends race to find the killer before they become the next victims.

Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute new friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks start to fly in more than one direction...


Heather McCorckle of CP Designs

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?



About the authors:
Haunt me: FB, Blog, Goodreads

Gwen Gardner

Running, writing and reading are my favorite things.

I am also a dreamer.

Have you ever told yourself that "some day" I'm going to travel or write or whatever it is that you are passionate about but can't do right now for whatever reason? You can go for years and years and keep telling yourself that "some day" you'll do it. Too often "some day" never comes. But mine did. I am a former Administrative Manager and Vice President of a successful swimming pool plastering company - until I woke up one day and realized that my "some day" had arrived. I quit my job, moved to the mountains and began to write. Crazy, I know. But even crazier? Is when you get to the end of your life and realize that your "some day" is too late. Life is much too short for that! So the adventure has begun.

GIVIN' UP THE GHOST is a YA paranormYA cozy mystery, the first in the Indigo Eady series, due out October 8, 2012.



Haunt me FB, Blog, Goodreads

Angela Brown

Reading and writing have been lifelong passions. It was around the time I gave birth to my forever-love, nicknamed Chipmunk, that I really took writing seriously. After all, how could I teach my child to follow her dreams if I hadn't tried myself?

As a YA fantasy/sci-fi reader and author, I favor the magical, mysterious, the darker side of life...even harbor a secret fright for things that go bump in the night.

NEVERLOVE is a special project spawned from a blog-challenge-turned-blog-opera, the Abby and Basil affair. It is the first in the Shadow Jumpers series and due out October 8, 2012.

Thank you EVERYONE for sharing in our cover reveal.  Please feel free to share with others as well :-)

Monday, September 3, 2012

QUESTIONS FOR #GUTGAA MEET AND GREET

Deana Barnhart

Hello my fellow Gutgaans. I'm so excited to participate in Deana Barnhart's Gearing Up To Get An Agent as a first round judge. I love meeting new people so please leave a comment saying hello. Click here to continue with the blog hop.

Time for the meet and greet.

-Where do you write?

My writing desk is in the corner in my bedroom.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

I have a window to my left and another to the front. I stare outside when I’m daydreaming or having difficulty with a scene. There is a large oak tree which houses squirrels and pigeons perch on the window ledge. It’s is very relaxing.

-Favorite time to write?

I enjoy writing late at night when the kids are asleep. There is something velvety about the night. Sometimes, I’ll sit on the balcony stare up at the sky. I love when the moon is full overhead. It’s very inspiring and sparks my creativity.

-Drink of choice while writing?

I like a cup of coffee with sugar and hazelnut creamer.

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

I listen to music. I love Pandora. I have several stations set. There is my new Bollywood station (I love Indian music), Pop/RB station, my Within Temptation/Avenge Sevenfold station, and Opera Station.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

My latest manuscript was inspired by a short story I wrote in college. After my daughter was born it evolved into a bedtime story, QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN APPLE. I decided that it needed more attention during NaNoWriMo and QUEST evolved into a full MG. I lovingly call it my Goonies in the Hood fantasy adventure, and the characters are absolutely adorable. I gush about them here and here.

-What's your most valuable writing tip?

I put off writing when I had my children. I thought I didn’t have enough time to devote to learning my craft and raising little ones at the same time. I didn’t realize that by writing a few hours a day, I would be so much further along in reaching my dreams. So, I say to find the time, heck, make the time to write—even if it’s only fifteen minutes a day. Don’t look back at your life in 10 years and regret the time you’ve lost.
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