Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favourites - TV Series

My husband is away for a few days, so I have total control of what I watch in the evenings. Not that my man's a control freak or anything, but there are certain shows we both like, which we watch together, and then other shows he leaves up to me to enjoy on my own.

I'm watching one of them right now - Prison Break. I know - not really girly, but very watchable. The mystery running through it is addictive and every episode seems to end in a cliff hanger. Thankfully I have the DVD series, so I'm not having to wait a week between each episode. I seriously think I'd go crazy otherwise. 

 Another favourite TV series of mine is Rookie Blue. I LOVE that show! It's got all the elements I love in a good story - action, tension, romance, diverse characters, contradictory characters - the works. In fact - all the things that I look for in a good book.

So what do you look for in a TV series? 
The same thing you look for in books?
What's your favourite TV show?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hollywood Books

I am a huge fan of reading. I am also a huge fan of movies. So when books are made into movies, I am usually very happy about this. I am able to separate the two easily and it's not often I see a movie version of a book and am disappointed. Sometimes I am, but you can't win them all.

Because I am such a HUGE movie fan, the idea of my books being made into movies is the ultimate. I may never get there, but I always think it's good to set your sights high.

When I am constructing a story in my head, I see it as a movie. When I'm writing the first draft, if I can't visualise the characters in the scene as if I'm watching it onscreen, then I usually take it out of the book. My favourite types of books to read are the ones I can see as movies in my head, therefore when I write, I have the same goal in mind.

When you read - do you see the stories play out as movies?
Are the books you love the kind you think should be turned into films?
What books have you read lately that would make amazing movies?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Favourites - Places to Read

There have been many discussions about whether people prefer to read an actual book or an e-reader. I like both and I like the variety of both. There's nothing cooler than the smell of a book, and being able to turn the pages is delicious, but I love the fact I can have a stack of books at my disposal all on one little device. Now I wouldn't be without either. I love seeing my bookshelf stuffed with books and I love having my kindle in the drawer beside my bed or in my bag.

The reason I am starting with an e-reader/book discussion is because depending on where I am, depends on what I like to read.

For example, if I'm lying in bed (one of my favourite places to read), I want my kindle. It's light, easy to hold and I love just being able to press one button and voila! I have a new page.

 However, if I'm anywhere with one of those delicious satellite chairs (we call them nixie chairs) that you just sink into and never, ever want to get out of, then I want a book. I want to hold it in my hand and turn the pages as I half-sit, half-lie in blissful comfort. Oh yeah - and did I mention the chair needs to be in a quiet room that is bright and sunny?

Where's your favourite place to read?
Do you need quiet or can you tune out noise?
Do you prefer snuggling under blankets or basking in the sunshine?

Ahhhh - just talking about it makes me want to hide away and read. Maybe if I tap my heels together and say, "There's no place like nixie." I'll transport myself there.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shadow Slayer by Laura A. H. Elliot

It's very cool to have the chance to support fellow authors as they launch their latest releases. I am very happy to be featuring the lovely, Laura A. H. Elliot and her latest book Shadow Slayer. I have not read the book yet, but I read it's prequel, "13 on Halloween" and enjoyed it, so I'm expecting good things from this book too.

Shadow Slayer releases tomorrow on Amazon.
Here is Laura's Amazon Author Page so you can easily find her work once the book goes live.
Laura A. H. Elliot - Amazon.

 Shadows will do anything to become human.
You see their influence everyday.
You say things you don’t mean or do things that aren’t like you.
You look, different.
Friends you’ve known forever suddenly never call.

As a freshman, Roxie just wants to fit in which is impossible because she barely runs into her friends at her huge high school. Adrianne’s disappearance and Hayden’s attention rock Roxie’s world. But nothing rocks it like the most gorgeous guy at school, Drew. And nothing is more important to Roxie than astral projecting back to Planet Popular to solve the mystery of the map. But that changes when Drew invites Roxie to homecoming. Hayden warns her that something’s wrong. Why would a guy like Drew like Roxie anyway? Drew must want something. Hayden’s right. Drew is…different. Planet Popular was just the beginning. Part of a bigger world, the Shadow World. There’s a war brewing between the world of humans and the world of shadows. When the shadow invasion begins at Roxie’s high school, she’ll not only fight for her life but the lives of her family and friends, when she discovers she’s the Shadow Slayer, the one human who can save Earth from the shadow onslaught. But, Roxie can’t even kill a spider. Oh yeah, there’s an evil English teacher, an enchanted play, a sword of Sandonian steel, a homecoming of horrors, and seven magic words too.

And here's a little excerpt, because who doesn't love reading those :)

    I pull some blush and mascara out of my makeup bag. I’m late, as usual. No one else is in here with me and it’s too quiet, too quiet for opening night. I try extra hard to keep the makeup off my dress, wedging scratchy brown paper towels all along my shoulder strap to protect it.
    I glance over at one of the open, empty lockers. My sword hides in locker number 316, a row away from me. I thought about slaying every one of the shadows that had invaded in dress rehearsal but there was no way for me to ride the bus and sneak my sword in to school without a million eyes on me. Without getting noticed by some teacher who’d confiscate it and expel me for bringing a weapon to school. I had so much stuff to take for the play that Mom offered to give me a ride at the crack of dawn this morning. I hid my sword under my dress. Mom was so scattered because of her big meeting she didn’t notice anything and since it was so early no one was in the halls to give me a second look when I hid my sword in my locker. Note to self: early morning is a good time to hide stuff at school.
    I stroke one cheek and then the other with blush and remember standing with Drew at the bonfire. The last night we went out as boyfriend and girlfriend. The last night he was human.
    On your 13th birthday, you get the call. By your 14th birthday you find out what the call is.  
    Everyone I know is in the audience tonight. Ally, Mom, Dad, Brian, even Mitch because he came home for my birthday. We’re having our family dinner tomorrow night since tonight the cast party’s at Drew’s house, unless I decapitate him first.
    “Roxie five minutes!” Hayden yells into the girl’s locker room. As usual I’m the last one out. I sweep my hair up to the side and try to remember my first line. For some reason it’s the one I always forget.
    All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come
    To answer thy best pleasure...
    I open locker 316, grab my sword and just as I step outside of the locker room Wanda runs up to me and starts talking non-stop about her nerves and how they’re getting worse and worse.
    “What’s that?” she asks. I stop cold in my tracks at the backstage door.
    “There are lots of words for things that don’t exist––the unseen. Like monsters and aliens and dragons and vampires and ghosts,” I say sort of in a trance.
    “Yeah, so?” Wanda says, wringing her hands.
    “If they don’t exist, why are there words for them? All the stuff I thought was crazy really isn’t crazy at all,” I say, finally getting what Drew was trying to tell me at the bonfire at the estate at homecoming. What the human Drew said before I danced with his shadow. My role in the unseen, the shadow world. Still, I don’t know so many things. Like, what happens to a shadow once I slay it? And where do humans go when their shadows invade? How can I save my human friends?
    “Roxie, I caught you! I was so late because Brian’s car got a flat. He fixed it so great, I couldn’t believe it. It’s like he went to bad ass school or something,” Ally says, laughing.
    “Ally. Finally!” We hug. I swallow hard. Brian. Fixed. A. Flat. I mean it’s not brain surgery but believe me, if it doesn’t have an LCD screen Brian doesn’t think it exists. He doesn’t know how to fix a flat. O.M.G. Brian is probably a shadow too. 

If you'd like to add this book to your Goodreads TBR list - here's the link. Shadow Slayer on Goodreads.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favourites - Magic!

As some of you know, I'm trying my hand at a fantasy trilogy. I am still in the research/planning stages, so it's still a little baby waiting to grow.

One thing I'm having to consider is what type of magic I want to use and which characters can use it.

Do I want wands or a staff like Gandalf has in Lord of the Rings?

Do I want the characters to have natural magical ability, kind of like they do in X-Men?

Do I want it to be more witch-like and involve magical potions or special elixirs like in Harry Potter?

What type of magic do you like to read about in books?
What's your favourite book with magic in it and what did you love about it?


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Honest Truth

There has been a lot of discussion lately about some very underhand tactics to get a ton of reviews on Amazon and therefore shoot books into stardom. For example, authors paying for reviews or making up phony aliases so they can write their own reviews. Many whom I have spoken with are appalled and sadden by these methods. I'm sure you feel the same way.

I don't want to harp on about it, but since I am getting ready to e-mail a copy of Betwixt to all the blog tour participants (Betwixt blog tour hosted by A Tale of Many Reviews, Dec 3 - 8), I thought I'd touch on the subject today.

What is an honest review worth?

To me, as a reader and a writer, the answer is simple - gold. An honest review is what I'm looking for. I don't want to give buyers false impressions about my books. I also don't want to buy a book based on false reviews. I want my books to be reviewed by readers and I want to know what they think. I value readers' opinions and I particularly love reading a review that is well thought out and shows the reviewer has really understood the book.

Whenever I review a book, I tend to keep it brief as I never want to give away spoilers. I hardly ever read a book that I think is perfect, but I try to err on the positive when I'm writing a review. If I have a huge issue with something in the book, I will mention it, but on the whole I like to be upbeat. I will never write anything I don't agree with though.

What kind of reviewer are you?

I'd like to finish by saying a huge thank you to anyone who has reviewed or rated my books. I so appreciate the time you have taken to read them and then share your opinion on them. It's people like you that help us indie authors get exposure for our work, so a thousand times thank you :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Favourites - Worlds

I have spent this week planning out a new trilogy that I'm hoping to publish next year. It's a fantasy, which I've never tried before and I can already see that it's going to be a huge challenge for me.

A few days ago I started penciling out a world for these characters to "play" in. It was really fun coming up with names for different places and designing what the world will look like in my head. I had to decide how far I was going to go and I made the decision not to be too extreme. I'm sticking to scenery that we see in the world we live in. I will add a few magical elements here and there, but on the whole when the reader is reading this book, they should have some sense of what the world looks like without me having to go into copious, descriptive details.

My reason for doing this, is that I am a very character based writer. I like my stories to spend a lot of time on the relationship between the characters and the internal struggles they are dealing with. My stories are always dialogue and action heavy. I don't want to spend too much time visually creating a world that the reader has to work extra hard to connect with, because there's nothing they can compare it to.

I was thinking about some of the fantasy or sci-fi movies I love and picturing the worlds they live in. I love Lord of the Rings because I feel as though it's magic in the real world. It's the same with Harry Potter. I know there are creatures in both those movies that don't exist, but the landscape and environments are things we can relate to.

Avatar, on the other hand, is a whole new world with plant life and animals that are completely new to us. It's the same with the Star Wars movies. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Avatar and I have loved Star Wars since I was a kid, but I think I prefer stories that have slightly more realism, yet still a sense of magic.

What do you prefer?
Are there any worlds you have discovered in books or movies that you've fallen in love with?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cover Reveal - Betwixt by Melissa Pearl

It is my total pleasure to share the cover of Betwixt with you today. This story has been one very close to my heart for a while and I can't wait to share it with you in November when the book is released.

For now - I am super excited to show you the cover and book description.Before I do - I'd like to give a huge thank you to Brenda Howson for her awesome graphic design work and Al Ronberg for his legendary photo. You guys are both amazing and I so appreciate what you've done. 

The cover is just how I wanted it.So here you go people... enjoy :)

Beautiful, wild-chid Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

If you would like to add Betwixt to your reading list on Goodreads, you can do that here.