Friday, Indie Authors, YA Society

Thanks for Giving Me a Read

contestdescHappy Thanksgiving!

Here in the states we set aside a day each fall to be thankful for all we have been given. This year I’m celebrating at home with a table full of good food and a my lovely family. And while I’m counting my blessings, I’ll be thinking of you, dear reader. I want to say thank you to all of you who have cheered me on and supported me through my first year as an indie author. I’m thrilled to have such loyal fans and dear friends. Thank you!

This Friday, when you begin the hunt for the perfect gifts for your family and friends, please consider supporting an indie author. My gals over at the YA StoryTellers Society are sharing a few suggestions with their readers to help you narrow down the perfect gift for the book lovers in your life. You can even win a $25 Amazon gift card to make shopping easier. Just take a pic of yourself holding one of our books and you could win!

You can check out what the other Society members listed as their favorite indie author deals for the year by clicking HERE. Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites to add to your Kindle this season:

BAITAt sixteen, Bay-Lee is not your typical girl. The last thing she wants is to be popular, to be noticed, so she never raises her hand in class. She doesn’t participate in extra-curricular activities and purposely puts the wrong answers on tests in order to keep her solid C point average. Her classmates have no clue who she really is, Van Helsing’s daughter. They don’t know she’s on the run, hiding from monsters that want to kill her before she can turn into a great hunter. They’re afraid of her… and they should be because she plans to be the best hunter the world has ever seen. As soon as she is finished with her training, she’s going to track and kill the werewolf pack responsible for tearing her mother to shreds, and nothing is going to get in her way.

FREE on Amazon!

Of sun and moon

Teens are disappearing in a small river town in southern Ohio as Keira Ryan begins her freshman year. Kidnappings aside, her worries mount as she crushes on an older guy, her best friend starts dating a spoiled cheerleader, and the parents that abandoned her at birth arrive at her doorstep. And, oh yeah, she’s a tooth fairy destined to kick some butt and bring about the end of a royal line of vicious, blood-sucking tyrants.

Just 99 cents on Amazon!

Lichgates cover

Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict – a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

FREE on Amazon!

New Cover for Open Door

Carin exposes the true reason she was asked to summer on the Mallace Mansion estate.  Will she be strong enough to recognize love and redeem her family legacy?  Or will the temptations of power and control lure her to the same dark places where others lost themselves?

Just 99 cents on Amazon!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00039]

Merrilyn’s life is quiet and predictable. An apprentice to the royal healer, she spends her days helping in the village or up to mischief with her best friend who happens to be the handsome younger son of the king. But when a mysterious archer shows up in the forest and shoots their escort, Merrilyn’s life is forever changed. Caught in a battle between two forgotten gods, she must embrace her destiny and fight the very powers of darkness before it’s too late.

Just 99 cents on Amazon!

Don’t forget to stop by The Society and enter to win.

contestdesc

Share the Love Scavenger Hunt

Inspired to Write

Today I’m sharing one of my secrets to writing fantasy over on my friend Christine Locke’s blog. I thought that would be a great place to hide the answer to the next clue. So, here it is:

Christine asks what inspires me most,
So, I shared what compels me.
It may not be eloquent or worth a boast,
But it’s the power that propels me
To write.

Stop by and say hello. I would love to hear what inspires you, so please leave a comment on her blog and share it with us. Then, come back here to comment with the answer to today’s clue. I would love to give you a bonus entry for sharing the love, so Please share Christine’s blog post with friends on Twitter or Facebook. Then, come back and let me know so we’ll get your name entered for prizes. Happy Hunting!

free book, Free book giveaway, Uncategorized

It’s a Tag Party – And You’re It!

Happy Monday! This week we’re starting off with a fun way to support your favorite authors from the site – A Tag Party. All you have to do is follow the links below to each book. Be sure to sign in with your amazon account before you go any farther. Scroll down to where it says, “Tags Customers Associate with This Product.” Now you have an option to “Agree with all tags” or to add your own. Try to think of all the words or phrases you might use to describe the book or to search for it. This will help others find the book when they are looking for a “teen fantasy” or a book about “teen secret agents.” Even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, you can still hit “Agree with all tags”.

How does this help the authors? It gets their book moved up higher on search lists. This helps them to sell more books. It’s an easy way to make a big difference for an author you love. So, now that you know the game, get busy tagging because YOU’RE IT!

Heather Sutherlin    A Light In The Darkness (Light Series Book 1)

Joshua Unruh          TEEN Agents in The Plundered Parent Protocol 

Jessie Sanders          Into The Flames (Grover Cleveland Academy Book 1)

Keith Robinson       Island of Fog (Book 1)

S.M. Boyce              The Grimoire: Lichgates

Roger Eschbacher    Dragonfriend (Leonard the Great)

Brian Clopper          Graham the Gargoyle (Cascade)

Christine Locke       Open Door (The Legacy Series)

S.R. Johannes          Untraceable (The Nature of Grace, Book 1)

 

And since it’s a party, there must be treats, right? So, to celebrate our first Tag Party, I’m giving away a free ebook! You can choose either A Light In the Darkness or its sequel which is coming soon (I still haven’t released its name!) To win, tag all the books on the list and leave me a comment here letting me know you’re a Tag Party pro. Bonus points if you tweet about it or give us a shout out on facebook. Don’t forget to include the link when you share, that way your friends can find us and I’ll know who to watch for the win!  The more taggers we have playing, the easier it will be for our friends to find these fabulous books on Amazon next time they’re hunting for a great book. I will choose one winner at the end of the week. Let the games begin!

Christine Locke, Indie Authors, inspiration, writing advice

Friday Friends: Christine Locke

Christine Locke, author of Open Door, is our guest today. She shares her tips for making your stories unique and exciting.

All my kids are writers—well, all the ones over the age of 10.  There’s something about being young and exerting your personal power through words that resonates with a bright, creative soul.  Our oldest crafted realistic fiction peopled with her friends & acquaintances; her sister wrote poetry.  Our older boy wrote a fantasy fiction series set in “Dragon World.”  My younger two girls write realistic tales about young people, one in the vein of Christian fiction and the other creating screenplays for videos she acts out using her dolls and stop-motion techniques.  I can’t wait to see what my youngest two will write!

Heather has asked me to describe my own process for young writers seeking inspiration.   I’d love to help, so here are three goals I strive to meet to make a story original and entertaining.

 

 1. Make it different.

There are so many stories out that that you already know and love; how do you make your story different?  You’ve probably heard that all good stories start with the question, What if?  That’s important to ask; just don’t stop with the first twist.  Take your favorite story and give it the “What if?” treatment.  We have a name for this now: fan fiction.  It’s a great thing that sometimes leads to new writing careers.   But I encourage you to take the story born from your first What if? and ask again, What if?  Do this enough times and your favorite story and its characters drop away while an original one with new people moves in.  This story is all yours: your plot, your characters, your setting.

For Open Door, I did this with the twin ideas of power and evil (and, ok, at first my process involved a certain popular vampire storyline…).  How does power become evil?  Is power evil in itself?  Even more interesting, how does something evil get powerful?  I went on to ask, What if evil did not wear a human face?  Voldemort, Darth Vader, and Angelis: these are fantastic fictional examples of evil, but all have a familiar, distorted, almost-human form.  What if evil were just as real, but more a potential than a personification?  What if the physical form that evil wore was NOT human-like in any way?

2. Make it Personal

Only you can decide how to make your tales personal.  For Open Door, I cast a young girl as my heroine.  I’m in the middle of raising 5 of them.  I remember feeling alone, confused and isolated when I was my character’s age.  I also set my story in the 1980’s (my own adolescent years) partly to help myself remember those feelings.

Then, I decided to use a real city as my setting.  I love writing about my native Arkansas, but for Open Door, I wanted a unique location.  It had to be isolated, recently a wilderness, full of natural beauty, and a place respecting individuality and creativity.  It delighted me to “find” Eureka Springs, AR a few years ago.  Since then, I’ve visited as often as I can (you will have seen it if you watch the show “Ghost Hunters”).

The small city of Eureka Springs looks, feels, and smells like a place where magic lives.  I read somewhere that Eureka Springs is the only city in the United States where no two roads meet at right angles.  I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s believable.  When we stood in the parking lot of the hotel and looked at the church next door, we were actually looking at the church’s roof.  That’s how steep the hills are there, and it seems every structure is on the side of another hill.  To get to the church next to our hotel, we walked down steep flights of stairs built into the hill on which both the hotel and the church stand.  It’s beautiful, unique, interesting, and mysterious—and it’s great exercise!

 3. Make it perfect.

When I say to make your story perfect, I mean come as close as you can to a grammatically and visually perfect manuscript.  You want your creation to be a pleasure to read: the reader won’t notice how different & personal your story is if there are too many typos!

 

I hope you have the chance to read Open Door, and I hope you love it.  I want to wish you the very best of future success with your own tales.  Above all, I urge you to keep those pens moving across paper, those cursors blipping across screens, and those stories flowing from your own heart out into the waiting world.  Good luck and happy writing!

book reviews, Christine Locke, Indie Authors, new authors, you gotta read

You Gotta Read: Open Door

Open Door by Christine Locke is a paranormal suspense set in the beautifully historic town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  It follows the story of 16 year old Carin White as she moves to town with her “aunt” to work in the big house aunt Helen has inherited.  But strange things start happening and Carin quickly realizes that things are not what they seem at Mallace Mansion. When she finds a family album in the attic, her mother reveals the mysterious truth: she isn’t Carin White. She’s Carin Mallace.

My Thoughts

I loved this book because it grabbed your attention right from the first page and drew you into the mystery of the house. I could easily envision the setting of the Mallace estate in lovely Eureka Springs. That city has always captured my imagination. It isn’t difficult to become absorbed in this incredible story where the house is as much a character as the people.  You’ll keep reading just to know what happens to Carin as her life becomes increasingly more complicated by the mystery surrounding her. There were surprises from the first chapter until the last page. This book is not meant for very young readers as it deals with some intense drama, but teens and adults alike should enjoy it.

Where to Get It
It’s only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle!

Want More?
Come back on Friday to see what Mrs. Locke has to say about writing. She’s got some fabulous advice for you and explains how she developed her story and The Legacy Series. Until then, you can read what her main character, Carin Mallace, has to say about living at Mallace Mansion by visiting The Legacy of Carin Mallace and reading her diary entries. Don’t forget to grab your copy of the book, too!