Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Release Day: Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

Releasing TODAY from Entangled Teen: Dragons Are People, Too

About the book:

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe. Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in
public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic
Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself. Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Read the first chapter and get more info at Entangled Teen's homepage!

Follow along with the YABound blog tour for excerpts, reviews, and an awesome giveaway!

ADD to Goodreads

BUY here: Amazon  B&N   Kobo
iTunes   Signed Print Copy
Entangled Teen

About the Author:

Sarah is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.She's a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library. She also blogs at YAtopia.

Website: www.sarahnicolas.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarah_nicolas
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorSarahNicolas

Instagram: www.instagram.com/presidentsarah
Tumblr: sarahnicolasya.tumblr.com

Monday, April 27, 2015

Social Media Updates and Book Releases

A few things to catch up on.

I have a few new places I can be found online:

Goodreads author profile: Stephanie Scott on Goodreads.

Here is where you can mark ALTERATIONS To Read, if you are so inclined. Goodreads will automatically notify you when the book is released (how nice of them!)

Facebook author page: Stephanie Scott

Also, fellow friend and writer Catherine Eaton and I are writing weekly chats on Starz's Outlander series for TheStake.org. Check us out!

And in other people's book news:

Today April 27 is the debut release for J. Leigh Bailey's New Adult LGBT romance Nobody's Hero.

Her Facebook Launch party is tonight at 7 CST. 

I'm in a critique group with J. Leigh Bailey, and am so excited for her transition to PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

Tomorrow April 28 is another debut release, this one from a fellow Bradford Lit author Madeline Martin: Deception of a Highlander, a historical romance (fans of Outlander, unite!) 

She also has a Facebook launch party going most of tomorrow with guest authors and prizes. Just check in when you have a moment. In fact, here's a post all about book launch parties on Facebook and how to particapte (hint: it's easy!)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Avengers 'Bros': it's Time For a Chat

YouTube screenshot: Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans, press tour
The Avengers is one of the biggest money-making movie franchises out there, and the new installment, Age of Ultron comes out in the U.S. next week.

The cast is busy with press tours, and by now maybe you've heard it might not be going so well for a few of its stars. (This link here has the interview and quotes if you need to catch up.)

Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner, let's chat.

You've had an "exhausting and tedious" press tour, according to Jeremy. You've answered the same questions about your fictional comic book characters a thousand times plus infinity, and people are probably super nice to you in a fake and adoring way that got old back in the days of The Hurt Locker and The Fantastic Four.

I can't say I'm feeling sorry for you guys per se. You are after all, rich movie stars with envious, almost inhuman physical bodies. You are paid to look good and paid well, though I suppose that has its own tedium.

Regardless. The reason you're in the hot seat now is for joking about Scarlett Johansson's character Black Widow, and that her choice to have a love interest in the movie makes her a slut and a whore.
"I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way."
Oh, you were joking! Thanks for clarifying, Jeremy. Plus, it's not Scarlett you called those names, it's her character. Lighten up, right?

Yes, it's her character. The lone female Avenger. The one who's not known as Tony Stark's assistant* and girlfriend. And yes, us ladies also have Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) so of course Black Widow and Pepper Potts aren't the only females in the franchise. Clearly I've listed THREE WHOLE NAMED WOMEN CHARACTERS, so why make such a fuss over teasingly referring to one of them as a whore? Isn't Black Widow's whole deal seduction and then kicking ass?
*fully realizing Pepper Potts has moved beyond being Tony's assistant

Black Widow doesn't have an official "love interest" in the first Avengers movie. Or in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In Age of Ultron, she does. Naturally, she is a slut and a whore. You know, because she has a boyfriend.
"Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America. We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize."
Thanks, Chris! I appreciate the actual apology. I hope you can learn from this. Though honestly, it's not like it's a shock to hear guys joking about women or female characters being sluts. In fact, women who have opinions on the Internet are called sluts and whores all the time. Just talk about video games like you know something about them and watch the insults fly.

See, the real reason we're upset is we thought you guys were better. We expect 80s action movies and its aging cadre to still make male-focused movies where women don't quite fit (nice try Expendables 2). We expect these things from sports stars who are groomed to be aggressive and are catered to for their masculinity. But you guys are actors. And it's the Avengers, which we all loved and Joss Whedon made so awesome. And we loved Captain America and Peggy and Agent Carter.

We expected more. I did, at least.

Jeremy and Chris. We want to like you. We really do. Reconsider your view of Funny. Punching down rarely is.

We're probably all going to see Age of Ultron anyway. Hopefully by now you've realized that long and exhausting press tours don't excuse joking that makes half your fan base feel devalued.



What do you think? How do you view their comments? Will you see the movie anyway? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cover Reveal: Pixelated by L.S. Murphy

Today, I'm featuring the cover reveal for fellow Bloomsbury Spark author L.S. Murphy! 

Release Date: 06/30/15
Bloomsbury Spark

Summary from Goodreads:

Senior Year. 
Middle of nowhere. 
What's the new girl to do?

For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined to have her photography rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more fields. 

But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it’s one that could destroy any chance they have to be together. 

It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, 'cause Les is about to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color. 

And here's the cover:

Praise for Pixelated:

"In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of secrets and lies with a ‘will they or won’t they’ romance that kept me turning pages and holding my breath!" 
~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux

"Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion and complex characters, Pixelated will tug at all your heartstrings. I easily lost myself in the world L.S. Murphy created and couldn't stop reading because I needed to see how the story ended." ~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella

"L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader with Pixelated: romance, secrets, mystery, and a main character torn between two choices. Murphy's writing is sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers from the first sentence to the last." ~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies 

Make sure to add Pixelated to Goodreads here

About the Author:

L.S. Murphy obsesses about St. Louis Cardinals baseball, fangirls over her favorite authors, and watches every episode of Doctor Who like it's the first time. When she's not doing those time-consuming things, the former farm-girl turned city slicker turned suburbanite writes sweet romances for teens and adults.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Announcement: Book News!

Pausing from watching the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer to share ... I'll be publishing with Bloomsbury Spark!

My Young Adult Contemporary manuscript ALTERATIONS was picked up for the Bloomsbury imprint with an estimated pub date of early 2016!

Here's the announcement from Wednesday's Publisher's Marketplace:
And the link here in Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf (a great free resource with newsletters!)

You can even add the book To Read on Goodreads!
Note: I'm in the process of connecting my author profile to the book and separating from another author named Stephanie Scott (who will be rebranding her books under her romance author name Stephanie Julian: check her out!)

I wrote the first draft of this Sabrina-inspired story in the summer of 2013 during downtime while another manuscript was being edited and shopped. It had a lighter, funnier (I hope) approach than the other manuscript I'd been writing, but it's still surprising how many themes of empowerment and finding oneself can emerge from a "light" book.

And while the Sabrina of the movies (and the original play) is set in upstate New York, mine takes place in sunny, vibrant Miami, and includes lots of tech we use daily in mobile apps and fashion. I had so much fun writing this (well, most of the time), and super happy this story will be out in the world ... soon!

Thank yous go to my agent Sarah LaPolla, my critique group J. Leigh Bailey (her debut releases this month!), K.D. Atkins, and Vanessa Knight (who has a new adult series coming soon) from Windy City RWA, my YARWA chapter, and several beta readers I will for sure thank in the final copy, including Valerie Cole! Many more thank-yous to come. And to my husband for never once doubting I'd get to this day :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Top Ten Debut Lessons from Young Adult Author Lisa Brown Roberts

Happy Monday! Today I'm so glad to host Young Adult author Lisa Brown Roberts who just debuted with Entangled Teen this spring, with the heartfelt contemporary How (Not) To Fall in Love.

Here's Lisa's top lessons she's learned (so far!) as a debut author.

Top Ten Debut Lessons 

1. One day, a box will arrive with copies of your shiny, new, beautiful book. You will squeal. You will cry. You will drink champagne. Your dog will be very excited for you and jump around with you. Your family and friends will be happy, too, but not as happy as you and your dog.

2. You will absolutely do that dorky selfie photo in the bookstore with your book because, come on…why wouldn’t you?

3. Your son will be very proud of you, but will respectfully request that you not write any more romances until he goes away to college. You will respectfully decline this request.

4. You will receive unintentionally hilarious backhanded compliments, such as, “You really are a good writer. I had no idea.” Or “I was surprised that I liked your book. I thought it would be boring.”

5. Lots of people will read your first book because they’re excited to know a “real author.” I mean lots. Your day-job boss. Your parents’ elderly neighbors. Your significant other’s coworkers. Your kids’ teachers. If you write romance, this is particularly….entertaining.

6. You will get bad reviews. Intellectually, you will think you’re prepared for this. All your author pals have warned you, given you sage advice, offered to screen-read for you. But you will shrug this off and dive into the one-star snarky GIF-iness that is the internet and your heart will break…but only for a bit…

7. Because you’ll reach out to your published friends who will talk you off the ledge. You’ll call your agent, who is reasonable and reassuring, and makes you laugh.  And your son will cook you an awesome dinner and your beloved will buy more wine and all will be right in the world.

8. You will also get lovely reviews. People might even squee. They will tell you that you’re now on their auto-buy list and you will be in awe. They will ask about your next book. They will tell you there should have been more kissing in this book, and you will agree.

9. You’ll be very, very glad that you completed more manuscripts after this one, because you’re able to tell readers when your next release is.

10. Your days will become more and more packed with writerly tasks, and there will be days you’ll feel overwhelmed at all you’re juggling. But then you’ll stop for a moment to breathe, to be grateful that your lifelong dream is coming true. You’ll embrace the roller-coaster world that is publishing,
grateful that your stories and your readers are finally finding each other.

Thanks, Lisa!

You can buy How (Not) To Fall In Love now available here: Amazon  B&N Indiebound iBooks

Or add to Goodreads here.

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.\

Find and follow her here: Lisabrownroberts.com  twitter  Facebook  Tumblr 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cover Reveal: Letting Go by Jessica Ruddick

Today, I'm excited to share writer and fellow YARWA member Jessica Ruddick's cover reveal for her debut with Entangled! True story: I read a partial of this Golden Heart-nominated manuscript as part of my home RWA chapter's Four Seasons contest.

Letting Go
by Jessica Ruddick
Release Date: 5/26/15

How long do you hold on? Cori Elliott likes order. Her schedule, her social life...even her GPA is perfect. Then she finds out her high school boyfriend's death wasn't an accident—it was suicide. The devastating revelation is enough to fracture her perfectly structured life, sending Cori in a downward spiral of self-doubt and impulsive decisions.

And right into the arms of Luke Evans.

But Cori's life isn't perfect anymore. In fact, it's all coming apart. The only way she can save herself is to let go of everythingincluding the girl she used to be. Even if it means losing the one guy who might just be perfect for her in the process...

And, here is the cover:

Show your support and add to Goodreads here

Jessica Ruddick is a 2014 Golden Heart finalist for her new adult novel, Letting Go, which was inspired by her own college experiences. She lives in Virginia and is married to her college sweetheart—their first date was a fraternity toga party (and nothing inspires love like a toga, right?). When she doesn’t have her nose in a book or her hands on a keyboard, she can be found wrangling her two rambunctious sons, taming two rowdy but lovable rescue dogs, and battling the herd of dust bunnies that has taken up residence in her home. To learn more about Jessica, please visit her website at www.jessicaruddick.com.

Author Links:

Website  │  Twitter  │  Facebook  │  Goodreads

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) April

Welcome to Insecure Writers Support Group, a monthly blog hop for writers across all genres to encourage one another. Check out the #IWSG tag on twitter, or the Facebook group.

I saw this quote on the IWSG blog today and it struck me:

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. 
– Ernest Hemingway

I attended a writing workshop a few weeks ago with longtime literary agent and writer Donald Maass where he said essentially the same thing. What impacts you as a reader? What books are unforgettable? Which characters resonate with you? Likely they aren't generic stories with bland characters and little emotion. Even a plot-driven thriller novel that doesn't delve into character development still evokes a feeling in the reader. It may not be the character's "gut twisting with anticipation," but YOUR gut twists because the words on the page evoke that terror, or apprehension from you. It's fiction that transports you and leaves a lasting impression.

Image: Goodreads
So um, how do you do that? Writing from a place of truth is a good place to start. What do YOU care about? What makes you angry? What is the greatest injustice you see in the world? How can you translate that into a story, or add that feeling or attitude to your characters? 

What I like about Maass' approach is how he agrees there are many avenues to writing fiction that excels. There is no one formula or magic answer that will sell your books. 

Writing what you care about is a huge start. Even if you're writing a fantasy world on another planet, by bringing universal themes and real-world parallels into your fiction brings writing to another level. Playing on fears, desires, longings, all of these things can shape memorable characters and emotional journeys for the reader.

What makes a book or character memorable to you?

Thanks for stopping by! Please visit a few of the other participating blogs here IWSG List