Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday



My word count this past week was decent, 9K words. Yea! But the forward progress of my novel is lagging a bit. All 9k words I wrote were for the same chapter.  *insert heavy sigh*

No, it is not the world's longest chapter. Yes, I did spend a week writing the same chapter three times. Each version is different and will take my books in very, very different directions. I just need to figure out which direction will be best for the story and the characters.

Back to the drawing board!



How was your writing week?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Own Mr. Darcy Cover Reveal




After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.






Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.















Excerpt 1
Janessa folded her arms and looked at me for so long I started to squirm. “What?”
“I wish you’d look at yourself. You’re ruining your life with this stupid obsession.”
“I’m not obsessed.” I stood up quickly, nearly tipping my chair over. I rinsed my plate and put it in the dishwasher. I could feel Janessa’s eyes on me the entire time, but I refused to look at her. “And just because I’m not interested in this guy doesn’t mean my life is ruined.”
“Let me guess. Was he blond?”
“Knock it off.”
“Too short?”
“He wasn’t short. I’ve got to go.” I left the kitchen with Janessa on my heels.
“Was he too cheerful?”
“Oh brother. I’m not having this conversation with you.”
Janessa grabbed my arm and turned me toward her. “Yes, you are.”
“I’m going to be late for work.”
“Then we’d better talk fast.”
“I don’t have anything to say,” I said.
“Then I’ll talk. You listen. You have to start giving these guys a chance.”
I folded my arms tightly. “I give them a chance.”
“You give them one date, two at the most. But you’re not really giving them a chance because your mind’s already made up before you even go out.”
I was getting annoyed. “I don’t have time for this conversation again.” Janessa was practically reciting word for word what she’d said after my last date. And the one before that.
“Lizzie. If you don’t want to have the same conversation, do something different. Shake things up a little.” She smiled and did a little shimmy. I refused to smile no matter how silly she looked.
“How do you suggest I do that?”
“If this guy… What’s his name?”
“Chad.”
“If Chad calls you back, go out with him again.”
“I don’t see the point.”
“Did you get a serial killer vibe from him?”
“No, I got a nice-guy-that-doesn’t-deserve-to-be-led-on vibe from him.”
“Nice guys are good. So you’ll say yes, right?”
“If I’m not interested, it wouldn’t be fair to say yes.”
“Oh knock off the baloney. You haven’t been fair to a guy since high school. You’re just afraid if you get to know a guy, you might like him. And wouldn’t that be awful? Was Chad funny?”
“Yes, he was funny.”
“Handsome?”
I sighed. “I don’t know if I’d call him handsome, but he was cute.”
“Cute is good. Especially if he was funny. So go out with him again.”
“You act like it’s all up to me.” I walked to the closet and collected my purse. Like a tiger leaping on her prey, Janessa pounced at the bowl on the entry table and grabbed my car keys. “This isn’t funny, Janessa. I’m going to be late for work.”
“Then let’s make a deal. You agree to go out with him ten times before you toss him aside and I’ll give you your keys.”
“Ten times? No way.”
“That’ll give you time to get to know him.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I’m serious, Lizzie. Ten is a good number. In that amount of time, you can make a real decision. Instead of one based on a stupid movie.”
Now Janessa was skipping through a minefield. “It’s not a stupid movie and I’ve got to go.”
“It’s the stupidest movie in the world if it ruins your life.”
“Nothing’s ruining my life and I’m going to be late. Give me my keys and we’ll talk about this later.” A little tussle ensued as I tried to rescue my keys from her clutches. I almost had them when she darted to the bathroom and shut the door hard and fast, locking it behind her. “This is real mature.”
“I don’t care about mature. You’re my best friend, Lizzie.  I love you and I’m trying to save you from yourself.”
I banged on the door. “Give me the keys. Now.” My voice had become shrieky.
“I’ll give you the keys as soon as you promise you’ll go out with him ten times.”
“I doubt he’ll ask me out again.”
“Why? Were you a jerk?”
“No.”
“Are you sure?”
I hesitated, knowing I hadn’t been very good company. “I’m pretty sure.”
“If he doesn’t ask you out, you have to ask him.”
“No way am I asking out a guy ten times. No way!”
“You just have to ask him out once. If he doesn’t return the favor you can move on. But you have to be nice to him and give him a reason to want to ask you out again.”
“This is the dumbest idea you’ve ever had.”
“Listen Liz, I’m doing this for you. Give a guy a chance before you give him the old heave-ho.”
I leaned my head on the door. “Just give me the keys. Please.” Now I was whining.
“You’re the one keeping yourself from your keys. And probably true love.”
I looked at my watch. Now I’d have to risk a speeding ticket or get to work five minutes late. I wasn’t sure which was worse—a ticket from a police officer or a tongue-lashing from Delia.
“Fine. I’ll go out with him again if he asks me.”
“And?”
“If he doesn’t ask me, I’ll ask him?”
“Right. And how many times will you go out with him?”
“Way too many,” I said under my breath.
“I can’t hear you.”
“Ten times. If he asks me.”
The door cracked open. “And you’ll be nice to him?”
“Whatever you say. Now give me the keys.”
Janessa emerged from the bathroom and triumphantly dropped my keys into my outstretched hand.
“You’re an idiot,” I said.
“An idiot that loves you and wants you to be happy,” she said. She turned and headed down the hall. “Someday you’ll thank me,” she sang.
“If I don’t kill you first.” I slammed the door behind me.



Excerpt 2
It was a busy Monday morning. I was looking out at the line of waiting customers when he walked in. I gasped, shut my thumb in my cash drawer, and then tried not to cry while Mr. Sandoval from a hearing aid store asked me if I was okay.
When I finished Mr. Sandoval’s transaction, I looked at him again. He was taller than anyone in the room. Of course. His hair was dark and a little disheveled. It was hard to see from where I was, but his eyes looked like they were blue. And best of all, he didn’t smile. He looked gorgeously unpleasant and impatient. He looked around the room and his eyes met mine. Still he didn’t smile. My heart was racing. He looked perfect.
I did my best to time it so I’d be his teller. I went a little too fast with one customer and accidentally shorted her a twenty dollar bill. I tried to concentrate as I corrected the transaction. I slowed way down on the next customer, but just when I thought I was finished and would be able to help him next, my customer asked me to break a ten into change. He walked up to Courtney’s window while I counted out nickels and dimes. Furious, I stomped my foot. Not too loudly but enough to release a little of my frustration.
I listened closely as Courtney helped him to see if I could learn anything, but he hardly spoke. He gave a terse nod when Courtney thanked him for coming in and turned on his heel and left. He had excellent posture and a nice, confident stride.
I finished with my customer, and then before anyone else could step forward, I picked up the phone and dialed Courtney’s extension. She glanced at her phone’s display and looked over at me curiously.
            “Who was that?” I whispered when she picked up the receiver.
“Elizabeth, look how many customers there are.”
“I know. Just tell me who that was.” I watched as Courtney picked up her last transaction slip.
“His name is Matt Dawson.”
“Is he married?”
“I have no idea,” Courtney said.
“Was he wearing a ring?”
“I didn’t look. What’s going on, Lizzie?”
“I just need to know about him.”
“Well, I don’t know anything about him and Delia’s watching us. I’ve gotta go.”
Matt Dawson. Matt. Matthew. Like Matthew Macfadyen. Dawson. It was pretty close to Darcy. The only way it could be better is if his name was Fitzwilliam but I’d never met a Fitzwilliam in my life.
Matt Dawson.
This had to be a sign.  




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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Swept Up by the Sea Review

 
Determined to seek his fortune, Percival Taylor leaves behind his sleepy hometown and sets out to become a legendary pirate—only no one at the roguish seaport of Blackshore will allow him anywhere near a ship! Percival must find other means to win the heart of the beautiful Tuppence Magrathia-Paddock, who has mistaken him for a pirate rogue out of one of her romantic tales. She is entirely willing to swoon into his arms if he can prove his buccaneer soul—and she is willing to arrange her own kidnapping to prove it.

Percival eventually finds himself captain of a broken-down ship, complete with a crew of pirates who make their living selling fake treasure maps, a jilted fiancee, a reclusive Master Shipwright, and an old professor with a secret that could kill them all. It’s Pirates of Penzance meets Princess Bride as this motley group of characters sets sail for treasure and romance.



My Review:

Swept Up by the Sea is a swashbuckling story chalk full of (mis)adventures and fun characters. The Hickmans create a charming tale about a town full of people who have a lot of unrealistic expectations for themselves and life. An adventure on the high seas seems the only way for everyone to get what they want. So, as a reluctant crew they set out to each find the treasures they seek. But when danger and love get in the way they all come to realize the greatest treasure can't be found on the sea and that real life can be better than pretend.

Percival wants Tuppence. Tuppence wants her Rodrigan. Vestia wants Percival. The Dragon Bard and Mistress Zoltana both have their own agendas. Add to the mix a shipwright whose heart set sail years before, a professor with a dangerous secret and a band of cheating pirates, and you get an adventure that will leave you Swept Up by the Sea.

About the Authors
Tracy Hickman is a New York Times best-selling fantasy author who has published more than 40 novels, many of the co-authored with Margaret Weis. He published the first of his solo novels in 1995. Laura and her husband, Tracy have been collaborating on fantastic works of fiction since their marriage in 1977. Together, Laura and Tracy have written role-playing games, screenplays, and works of fiction, including their first co-authored novel in 2004.

*Swept Up by the Sea will be in stores July 2013. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Debt Collector Trailer Reveal



A little about the series:
Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn
Series: Debt Collector Serial (currently has 8 released instalments)
Genre: NA Future-Noir

Synopsis:
What's your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He's just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja's sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane... until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn't what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone--a dark pit he's not sure he'll be able to climb out of again.

The first three episodes of the Debt Collector serial are collectively the length of a short novel, or 152 pages. These are the first three of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. Episode 4, Broken, releases 4/17/13. For more about the Debt Collector serial, see DebtCollectorSeries.com



Purchase (Debt Collector episode 1 is currently FREE!):


Drum Roll. Fan Fare. Confetti!
The Trailer:




The Author:
Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she’s met along the way.

She doesn’t have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as she can handle.
Author Links:

Giveaway:
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Another Wednesday has snuck (sneaked?) up on me. I only got two chapters written this past week. *dramatic sigh* I really need to find the secret to faster and prettier manuscript production. Any magic remedies out there? No? Guess I'll have to smear on some more elbow grease and get back to work.

Exciting news, at least for me. I found some awesome pictures for my manuscripts' main characters.

Check them out:

Damon
 And, Reilly


How about your manuscript, still progressing?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer of a Million Gifts!

Deseret Book is looking to give back this summer with its Summer of a Million Gifts. The store’s customers can anticipate random daily in-store gifts and an opportunity to win one of three grand prizes.

In June, one lucky customer will win an 8-day Caribbean Cruise with Alex Boye, British-born LDS singer and songwriter, courtesy of Morris Murdock Travel. In July, another will win a missionary wardrobe courtesy of Mr. Mac. And in August, one couple will win a wedding reception courtesy of Temple Square Hospitality.

The giving will take place online and in person at every store throughout the summer months. Each day on Deseret Book’s official Facebook page and in Deseret Book stores, an associate will give a gift to at least one customer a free pass to Lagoon theme park, double Platinum points, a free book at check-out, an act of service, or some other free prize.

More information about the Summer of a Million Gifts can be found online at DeseretBook.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/deseretbook, or in any of Deseret Book’s retail locations.


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Monday, June 17, 2013

Evertaster Review

Evertaster Tour

The Buttersmiths' Gold
BATTLES. BLUEBERRIES. BOVINES.
TORBJORN AND STORFJELL’S HISTORY UNFOLDS IN AN EPIC EVERTASTER NOVELLA.
Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all.
Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

Purchase on

Amazon


About The Buttersmiths' Gold
The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing.

Excerpt:

Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn of Smordal knew quite well that the tastiest thing in the whole world was butter. Creamy, rich and smooth. Butter was the reason his clan invented blueberry muffins in the first place – they’d needed something to smear it on. Butter was their lifeblood. Butter was the warmth in their hearts, the horns on their helmets, the tips of their mustaches.
            Butter was also their greatest secret.
            Torbjorn hoisted an oversized basket full of steaming hot muffins into his arms and tottered down the gangplank onto the sandy shore of Viksfjord, the merchants’ village. He and his clan had sailed from the open sea into the fjord this morning, where he and his brother Storfjell had helped Father and the bovines row the final twenty miles to the sand.
            He did not mind the work. He was large for only 13 winters old. Smaller than the biggest boulders, but larger than most respectable rocks, Torbjorn was already 8 feet tall. If five sheep stacked themselves on top of each other, he could stare the fourth one straight in the eye. He was from Smordal, and Smordaler were known for their tremendous size – not to mention their good humor.
             “The streets of Viksfjord are filled with much peril,” said Father. He stopped Torbjorn at the bottom of the gangplank and grasped him by both shoulders. “Go to find the money-clutching merchants in the village center. They will trade with you behind closed doors. Make your trade, then leave. Do not be seen. It’s the Buttersmith’s way.”
              It was the first time Torbjorn would bargain for himself, but Father didn’t need to tell Torbjorn what to do. He’d seen the men come and go on trading trips dozens of times. And Torbjorn was a Smordaler through and through – it was in his blood.



Evertaster, Book #1:
A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.
Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.

Purchase on

Amazon

 

My Review
A very palatable middle-grade adventure. This book made my mouth water from the first page to the last! Guster's extreme finickiness with food finally drives his mother to take drastic actions. She drags him into New Orleans just to get something for him to eat. They both don't bargain for a mysterious pastry shop chef who claims to to have the secret not only to create the perfect recipe for Gunter, but for the One Recipe that could bring on World Peace! Gunter is handed the key to it all--an antique eggbeater.
Now, pursued by a diabolical band of chefs and Evertasters, Guster and his family must try to find the One Recipe before the bad guys. Sent on an epic treasure hunt with only the eggbeater, and Guster's sensitive taste-buds to guide them they learn a lot about what is really important in life.
I really enjoyed this book. I love food, so a book entirely dedicated to the subject was definitely a treat for me. My stomach often grumbled at the delicious descriptions and my heart raced as Guster and his family dodged the enemy, including some very large, carnivorous chickens. I really like the character journey Guster goes on through this book in learning. I won't so more in case of spoilers. ;) I would definitely recommend this book for boys and girls ages eight-adult. It is a fast-paced, fun read that the whole family can enjoy over a yummy snack or two.

Excerpt:


Eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville was about to hold the fate of humanity on the end of his spoon. It never would have happened  that way if he hadn’t been such a picky eater, nor would he have left the farmhouse in Louisiana and set out across the world if it weren’t for that wretched Ham Chowder Casserole.
            No one likes to eat this stuff, thought Guster, even though his two brothers and sister didn’t seem to mind. But if Mom ever made that mishmash of pig, peas, and potato again, he would be doomed.
            To think! They called him picky. “You’re a remarkable child,” was all Mom would say to him when he told her that the potatoes in her Chowder were grown so far north, they tasted like gravel. Never mind that he was on the verge of starvation.
             “Not picky! Just careful,” Guster always said. How often he went hungry! How badly he needed something to eat! The way food burned or ached as it passed across his tongue — it was like eating day-old road kill. Hot dogs were like the sweaty vinyl back seat of a station wagon with its windows rolled up in the sun. Frozen burritos were like buttery squirrels infected with the flu.
 

 
Book Trailer
     
Author Adam Sidwell
 In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He’s been eating food since age 7, so feels very qualified to write this book. He once showed a famous movie star where the bathroom was. Adam currently lives in Los Angeles, where he can’t wait to fall into the sea.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/2/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $25 US.  a Rafflecopter giveaway