Saturday, December 26, 2015

Why it didn't take "balls" for me to pull The Reapers & republish.

I've received a lot of praise for pulling my first novel, when it was realized that my original "editor" had lied about her credentials, and for me to spend several months reediting it before I republished. I will be the first one to admit that I could never self edit. I know my story too well, and when reading it, I don't see the words but the images in my mind. This is why I count on my editor.

I published May 31st 2015, I pulled my book in mid July when the issues became apparent that it wasn't just a simple fix.

This was my first book. I did my best at finding an editor. I failed. It happens to many authors. But I kept going. I looked again, and again, and  again--until I found one. It was painful and stressful. I hated every second of it. 

I was told I was brave, strong, and a bunch of other inspiring type words.

I'm not saying they are wrong, because who am I to tell anyone else what they believe? 
However, I, personally, do not agree.

The reapers is my first published book. I love the story, I think it's so different from anything else out there and that people will love it once they pick it up and read it.

It is this belief in my book, my story, that lead me to the path of pulling it and editing it again. I wanted the story to be what people remembered, not the fact I messed up picking an editor.

I did it for me. Sure there was a small part that did it for the readers, but 99.9% of it was for me. I wanted my story to reflect the story in my head to the best of my/it's ability.
I did it because I have a vision for this book, and the series it is a part of. I won't be satisfied with saying "Oh well! Moving on to the next book." and being done with it. I want it to be finished, then I will move on. The story is worth that time and effort. It is worth the stress, the pain, the tears, and everything else that came along during my journey. I learned a lot from it.

I did it for me, my piece of mind, and my vision. Not to make anyone happy, other than myself. It didn't take "balls" as some have said, it took my belief in my story and my vision.

Thanks to Mae Williams at Ye Olde Ink & Quill Editing Services, for encouraging me as I made my edits, and editing my MS to be amazing. 


Monday, December 21, 2015

DIY Swag - Mini book charms & Ornaments. (Tons of images!)

For my first book, I made these adorable mini books, then I saw the super cute idea to turn them into Christmas ornaments.

I made a TON of these  mini books. I use them for key chains, these ornaments, and charm bracelets. I'm sure there are a slew of other things you can do with them too.

I love to give cute things like this to friends and family, and use them for giveaways, (and have some for me!) but if you're like me, then you can't afford to spend millions of dollars paying someone else to make them for you. 

So here is my tutorial, with a bunch of crappy pictures.

<3 Enjoy!

The pile of mini books. (Excluding all the ones with covers that aren't public yet.)

What you need:

Mod podge
Sculpey III (I used the original Sculpey but it was weird, and a little TOO soft to work with for my tastes.)
Jump rings
Needle nose pliers
Flat pliers
Coaster, or flat object
Self healing mat
1 2in Head pin, (If you want the jump ring through the corner - this is where Sculpey III comes in handy.)

80MM ornament ball
Tinsel /confetti/both/whatever floats your boat.


Print out 1" high covers of your book. With at least 1-3 extra for you to use in creating the "pages" of the book.

I noticed they lasted a lot longer with Sculpey III because it wasn't as oily as the original.

2. Break of little globs of Sculpey, and place on your self healing mat - the lines come in handy. :D

Flatten it to 1/4" I used a coaster.

3. Slice along one side. This will be the spine. Then  wrap the cover around it, and trim.

4.Use the scalpel to lightly score lines around the 3 exposed edges.

This is where you decide where the jump ring will go. If you want it in the top. just insert, and press the edges of the book together until they are straight again.

 if you want it in the corner like I use for most of mine, then you will need your needle nose pliers and that headpin.
(Sorry no photo of it!)

Bend the end of the pin until it's slightly rounded, a bit larger than the jump rings. (Image of it in step 8.)

5. Now, gently peal the cover off, and place thebook insides in a clean pyrex dish.

Bake at 275F for 15 minutes. Let it cool completely before doing anything with them. (It's a good time to finish cutting out your covers, or read a chapter or two in whatever you're reading.)

6. Paint the book with Mod podge.

place the cover over it and position it where you want it. Gently press down on the spine to conform.

Then Paint over the top of the cover.
Probably be a little less messy than I was.

7. Set them to dry so the covers wont get stuck to anything. And let them dry OVERNIGHT. they will be dry to the touch, but you can still mess them up.

(Sneak peak of the spine of one of my covers.)

Don't forget to wash your brush with warm soapy water when you're finished.

8. Okay then. If you chose to do the top mounted jump ring, move along to the ornament bit, or be happy and call it finished.
For those who like the corner. Use the headpin to pierce the cover, spine first, and wiggle it around in there to make sure the way is clear for the jump ring.

The jump ring should slide in easy, if not, wiggle the headpin around. (Don't floss it all the way through, the flat part of the head will be too big)

So that's it. It's pretty easy, and you'll get the hang of it once you make a few.

Ornament instructions!!

1. Dismantle it, take the top off the ornament, and take the metal dohicky out.

I added 6 jump rings to my book to make it hang in the middle.

2. Chop up some sparky things, add glitter, confetti, whatever you picked. some big and little pieces are good.

3. Thread a piece of ribbon through the tiny tiny holes in the top. - Hook the top jump ring through it. - Tighten the ribbon and tie it in a pretty little bow. 

4. Put the metal doohickey back in place.
Then gently stuff the book through the opening, and You're almost done.

Take a hook or another piece of ribbon and tie it in a loop through the doohickey. 

Now you have an custom and wicked awesome ornament to give to fans, family, friends, or keep for your own tree! Enjoy! 

Super blurry photo of my 4 in action, being all Christmassy and whatnot.  And my husband's Bruins light up ornament. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

IABB addicts spotlight: A. M. Leibowitz

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Join us every Thursday for IABB #Confessions

About the Book
Author: A. M. Leibowitz

Title: Passing on Faith

Pages: 276

Genre: General Fiction, LGBT

Date published: November 1, 2015

Following his father’s death, Micah Forbes believes he can finally put the family who rejected him and their religious bigotry behind him. In a cruel twist, his older brother calls to tell him he’s inherited their father’s abandoned vacation home.

Micah discovers the house comes complete with a long list of repairs, boxes full of family secrets, and a handful of quirky neighbors. Despite not wanting to get in too deep, he can’t help the spark of interest stirred when the sexy redhead next door offers his help. Everything about the enigmatic Cat Rowland throws Micah off-balance, from his gender-bending sense of fashion to his handy repair skills to his deep spirituality. Before long, Micah is swept up by Cat and his friends, but Cat himself keeps his heart carefully protected.

When Micah’s past and his present collide in a painful way, his self-destructive coping habits threaten to overwhelm him. To save himself, he needs to open his soul and let someone in. Cat has the key to unlock him, if he can let down his guard and trust his faith enough to catch Micah as he falls.

Micah stared up at the old house. It was nicer than he’d remembered, at least on the outside—other than the overgrown lawn and garden. He wondered if there was a lawn mower in the shed. Then he wondered if there was a shed. Just one more thing to worry about. At least he had the entire summer to figure out what he did and didn’t have available to him.
His mind ran through all the possible scenarios of what could go wrong during his tenure there, from the house falling down around him to his friends having a crisis while he was unavailable. He tried not to imagine that the students renting his own home had merely been putting up a front and were actually throwing a wild party even as Micah stood on the front porch of the lake house. None of that would do; they were his way of finding excuses not to stay in Concordia.
While he was thinking about all of that, a voice behind him said, “Hey, there.”
Micah nearly jumped out of his skin. He turned around slowly and came face-to-face with a gingery-blond young man. He was average height, perhaps an inch or two shorter than Micah, and had a wiry build. There was a dusting of freckles across his pale skin, and he had a row of small hoops down one ear. In the other ear, he wore a dangling earring that looked like some kind of leaf. He had on a trendy pair of black knee-length pants and a fitted white t-shirt with a rock band logo Micah didn’t recognize. His gray-green eyes were wide and held a spark of mischief, and his mouth curled upward in a charming smirk.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

IABB addict - Valarie Savage!

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Join us every Thursday for IABB #Confessions

About the Book

SlitherAuthor: Valarie Savage

Title: Slither

Pages: 217

Genre: Paranormal Horror

Publisher: Twisted Core Press

Date published: July 2, 2015

We're often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She's hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?


Zari clawed at her sister, Gianna, in a desperate attempt to escape. Gianna ran her forked tongue slowly across her upper lip. The slimy, berry-colored muscle dripped hot saliva onto Zari’s face as she turned away from Gianna’s menacing glare. “Please don’t make me watch! I don’t want to see this again!” Zari cried, curling into a ball on the hard, cold floor of the shed.Nan stomped on Zari’s stomach, anger flushing her grizzled features. “Listen, you little bitch. You will sit still and watch, or I will see to it your father beats you senseless…again. Remember the last time?” Zari did remember. She’d not been able to walk for two days after the last beating. The pain in her gut now was so great it knocked the air from her lungs as she wheezed.
Zari whimpered. Pain, shame and disgust clenched her stomach as the young man tied to the pallet in the corner screamed for mercy. Pop straddled the man, laughing as his prisoner frantically thrashed about. Nan and Gianna gripped Zari’s arms and forced her to a sitting position. Roughly grabbing her chin, Nan yanked her head forward. “Watch!” Nan hissed.The man’s body had stilled and dark, thick rivers of blood dripped from his mouth and nose down the side of his face. Pop’s mouth pressed against the lips of the stranger as the serpent fed. When her father finally rose, the snake slid back into his mouth and Pop wiped the blood from his lips with the back of his hand. He met Zari’s gray-green eyes with his own, and grinned. His teeth were stained dark red.
Terror shook Zari’s bones, leaving her shivering as she raised her eyes to the scene in the corner of the shed. Pop ran his thumb over the lips of the man, who cried out once more but was quickly silenced when the snake burst forth from Pop’s mouth and slithered down the throat of the man, a drifter who had stopped by the farmhouse the day before, looking for work.Gianna’s split tongue flicked against Zari’s ear; the feel of the wet, dual points of it against her skin made Zari flinch. “Soon,” Gianna whispered, tracing the outer edge of Zari’s ear with her tongue. “Soon, it will be your turn to feed.” Pop shoved the limp body of the young man onto the pile of human shells stacked along the wall of the shed.Overwhelmed by the stench of blood and decaying flesh, Zari began to vomit. Vile chunks of rancid meat erupted from her mouth and bile burned her throat and nose as she heaved. Grimacing, she dragged the hem of her shirt across her mouth, resolving never to eat meat again.

About the Author

Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. Author of Slither and Just Hold On. Editor and narrator for Dragons of Faith.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The ups and downs of pacing in a series

I just finished a book and went to read some of the reviews on it, wondering if anyone else felt the same about it. (Is it next year yet? Because I REALLY feel the need to know what happens!)

So naturally I go to the lower star ratings first (because they are more entertaining to read--even though this was a 5 star read for me.)

I got to one of the 3-star reviews, and they said that it just "wasn't as fast-paced as the last one." But It left me wondering WHY some people expect every book in a series to contain the same elements in the same amounts as the one(s) before it.
Life has never worked that way for me, there have been fast-paced moments and horribly slow paced moments. But as long as the slow paced moments build on the plot, character development, etc. Why is it seen as a bad thing?

You can't have a 3-10 book series as one solid fight scene ... I mean you could, but that would diminish the effect of the important fight scenes right?

Shouldn't a series be filled with ups and downs?

I think so.

The book was #5. (Where book #4 started off with another character different from the first three books--the next generation--if you will.) The second book (#5) dealt with the consequences of the previous book, and set up the situations for the next book, while developing the new villains, and growing the romantic relationship so it would make sense why the MC would risk everything to save said love interest. Not a whole lot of fight scenes, but to me, it comes across as necessary for the reader to know/learn about the series as a whole to make the most sense.

Back to my main point. Is there a reason some readers expect the exact-same-formula of action and events for each book in a series? I would love to hear your thoughts about your expectations regarding pace, throughout a series.

*Please bear in mind that I also don't agree with the need to know if it's an HEA, trigger warnings, etc. I just read a book that sounds interesting to me and whatever reaction I have to it, is the reaction I have to it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

IABB Addict - S.J. Blackrose

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Join us every Thursday for IABB #Confessions

About the Book

Author: S. J. Blackrose

Title: Eternal Bloodthirst

Series: Blood Moon, #1

Pages: 270

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Date published: August 16, 2015

Every vampire has a soulmate, and once they find them, the clock starts ticking...
Vadym and Elyzaveta both know they are meant to be, but a series of betrayals and misunderstandings prevent them from being together. Even after almost a century, they are both too stubborn to give in. Because of this, Lilith, his queen, gives him a deadline. One he intends to ignore.

The sudden return of their enemy brings them back together in a way they never would have anticipated. A deadly threat forces them to leave their homes to start a new and safer life in a small town on the other side of the planet. Another unexpected tragedy makes her hate him all over again, and this time, she is not the only one.

When the most powerful witch in existence threatens their town and thus their lives, they know they have to find a way to kill her and her warlocks, and together, they just might be able to do so.

Vadym, leader of the Vampiri, now has to recover the love of his life as well as the love of his daughter. Not an easy task. What he doesn´t remember, is that it is only a matter of time until Lilith forces the deadline on them, threatening to kill the only woman meant for him...

Warning: this book will bite! It contains scenes of a graphic nature and is not intended for readers of less than 18 years. Read at your own discretion.

I can’t ignore the order he has just given me. It has not been an explicit order, but I know him. If I ignore it, he will come to me and turn me around himself. I don’t want that. I don’t want him to touch me.
His unique scent is already wreaking havoc in me.
So I turn to face him. I cannot allow myself to react, but I lean against the door because my legs are shaking.
He has matured. He seems older, though Vampiri stop aging as soon as maturity is reached on our 30th birthday. His black hair is shorter than what it used to be and it seems to curl up by his nape. Oh what I’d give to thread my fingers… No! I can’t think like that.
It’s his birthday soon. He might think I won’t remember, but I do. I remember everything.
I don’t look him in the eyes, but the thick mane, the regal nose, those thick lips, that beard; they all make his face more than memorable. I feel my fangs throb; my body comes alive before his very presence.
This was a mistake.
I should have never come.
I'm going to go.
I turn around and try to open the door, which is locked. I hear the rumble of his laughter behind me.
“I do not remember you being such a coward, Ely.”
Furious, I turn back around.
“I'm not a coward; I just decided you do not deserve to be in my presence.”
His gray eyes sparkle with humor and his pursed lips tell me that he’s trying to hold his laughter.
My throat feels suddenly dry when I see he is wearing a sleeveless shirt, which is stuck to his body, outlining every muscle. His sweatpants show a bulge I remember well, and I quickly divert my eyes. Anyone would look ridiculous dressed like that, but Vadym makes it look like he’s modeling. My eyes wander back, unable to ignore the bulge that is growing larger before my very eyes.
Automatically, I look at his shoulder, Where after all these years, I see it again.
There it is.
Proof that we belong together.
The letter E.
My initial.
I feel weak. Fragile. Emotionally exhausted. But that mark reminds me I'm alive. He rolls his shoulders making my initial on his skin move as if it were something real.
I open my mouth. I can’t breathe.
Why do I still feel this?

 About the Author

S.J. Blackrose is the author of the new Paranormal Romance Blood Moon series. An avid reader since she can remember, her love for books eventually led her to make up her own stories and share them with friends.

For over two years she worked on writing paranormal fan fiction, as well as contemporary and erotic stories, until she felt like it was time for more. Now, she's taking it a step further by diving into the Indie world with her debut novel, Eternal Bloodthirst.

Given her love for sexy Alpha male vampires, it's no surprise that S.J. decided to write about these characters. Eternal Bloodthirst will be number one in the Blood Moon series and there is a lot more where that came from since she is already planning several more books in this series. There are also plans for other projects in the future.

S.J currently resides in La Linea, Spain with her boyfriend and their two crazy dogs. If you want to know more about her or her books, make sure to follow her on any of her social media pages. She loves to hear from her readers and you can connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or her website.