Thursday, February 28, 2013

Discussion Time: Clear Picture vs. Impression

I am in the throes of writing the second book of my new Elements Trilogy - Unseen, plus editing the first book - Unknown.

As I work my way through the text, I have been thinking about descriptions. Because this is a fantasy series, I am having to spend more time describing things than I would in a contemporary novel.

I have never been one for much description. I always prefer to get an impression of what's going on and draw my own picture in my head. I don't need to know characters' hair or eye colour, I'd rather know about the way these characters wear their hair or the habitual expressions on their faces. That will tell me more about them than the specific details.

Same goes with the environments. I like a vague picture, something that gives away the mood of the scene. Is it a dark, spooky alley or a wide open field. Is there sunlight or is the space filled with shadows. Things like that. I don't need to know the shape of a house or how many bay windows it has.

But that's just me, everybody's different.

There is an art form to painting a good picture that's not overloaded with details, but also gives enough description to place the reader in the scene. I still have a long way to go in mastering this skill, but for now, I err on the side of less is more.

What's your opinion?

As a reader, what do you prefer?
As a writer, how much description do you think is necessary?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Special Post - TWO Cover Reveals by J. A. Huss

 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss
I Am Not Junco, Book 4
by J. A. Huss 
 Release date: April 1, 2013
 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss
Two years have passed since Inanna stole Junco away from Lucan. Two years of unimaginable pain. Two years of isolation, mutilation and torture. Two years of fear and loneliness in a morph tank. And that’s not something you just get over, even if you are psycho-assassin, Junco Coot.
Now Junco has to learn to live with the consequences. Her Siblings are suspicious and angry, half her team is dead, Tier is wreaking death and destruction, Lucan is holding his secrets close, and she is spiraling out of control.
There is only one partnership that matters anymore – only one person she will trust and take direction from – and only one way out of the Hell she’s been sentenced to.
Junco is tired of fighting and death. She’s had enough and this time she means to end it – once and for all.
 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss
 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss
 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss

 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss
The Magpie Bridge
A Tier Novella
I Am Not Junco Book 4.5 by J. A. Huss
 Release date: April 1, 2013
Raubtier Aves, 039-1, a.k.a TIER
Son of Lucan
Ranking Officer of the Avian military
And devoted to Junco, no matter what
Tier was left with one specific order and he’s not about to screw it up. He might lose all his allies, his brothers, his shot at defeating the High Order, and his own Eternal Salvation - but he’s willing to risk it all to keep one small girl alive.
Tier reveals his part in the epic tale of The Seven Siblings, spilling secrets and motivations that will leave you breathless and wanting more.  The Magpie Bridge paves the way for the final installment in the new adult Series, I Am Just Junco.  The final book in the Junco Epic, RETURN, will be released on December 2, 2013.
 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss
 I am Not Junco - Range by J. A. Huss

 photo author_photo_JA_Huss_zpsc00208fe.jpg
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).
She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cover Love - February Edition

Yay - one of my favourite posts of the month.... cover love. I love looking at book covers, being inspired by the images, wanting to rip open a book, just to find out what it all means.

Here are some of the covers I have spotted this month, that I really love...

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard - due for release May 15th, 2013. There is something very wistful and romantic about this cover. I want to know what the girl in this image is thinking.

The Game by Shane Scollins - due for release March 2013. I love the haunting eyes and the maze beneath. It's a very intriguing cover. (Another one by Eden Crane - man that girl rocks!!)

Inhale, Exhale by Sarah M. Ross - due for release April 2013. Yet another wistful cover that makes me want to read the book.

Drowning in You by Rebecca Berto - due for release April 12th, 2013. I'm such a sucker for kissy covers. I love the expression on the girl's face. It draws me in, makes me want to read.

And, of course, I can't end this post without sharing my latest cover. Unknown is due for release June 2013. Thank you so much to my beautiful designer, Brenda Howson, for putting this together for me. You managed to capture the essence of the story perfectly :) And thank you to my model, Ruth Little, your gorgeous face was exactly what I needed to make this cover work.

Have you seen any stunning covers lately?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winners Announced and Book Highlight - Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae

Before I introduce you to our lovely guest, I'd like to take a moment and congratulate our two Valentine's Giveaway winners.

Congratulations Lindsey Coolidge and Danael McGuire. The authors will be getting in touch with you shortly with e-copies of their books :)

And now for today's guest....

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the lovely, Cameo Renae and her latest book, Hidden Wings. This little darling is getting amazing reviews and remains in the top 10 of multiple categories on Amazon. I have bought myself a copy and can't wait to get into it :)

Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.

As her family's sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.

Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn't even know who or what she is.

A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday... things will change.

I asked Cameo if she would be willing to tell us a little bit about her writing and she has generously obliged. It's so lovely to have you with us today. Welcome to YAlicious, Cameo :)

A lot of people ask me if I plot my stories. The answer is both yes and no.

When I get an idea for a story, I write out the main things that I think would make it a great story.

Who? What? When? Where and Why?

But usually that’s about the extent of my plot. I’ve never written more than one page of plot.

Why…you ask?

Well. In my writing world, I have found that plotting does not help me. I am what they call a “Seat of the Pants Writer” or a “Pantster”.  As I write, the story just takes on a life of its own. Ideas, scenes, new characters, and then the storyline all seem to fall into place.  Most of the time I am totally taken by surprise at the twists and turns the story can take.

One scene I was writing for the upcoming novel ~ Broken Wings had be BAWLING…like literally sobbing because someone’s death took me by surprise. As I was writing it I was like… NO!!!

It seems like my characters dictate the direction of the story, and I’m just along for the ride. But, I must say… it is quite an adventure to get lost in my mind, and my world. I hope you’ll pick up one of my stories and join me there.

If you happen to…THANK YOU!!! 

Thanks so much for sharing your style with us, Cameo.

If you'd like to connect with Cameo online, you can find her on the links below:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Don't you just love love :)

I know, I know, I'm a total sap, but I can't get enough of romance. It warms my spirit.

So, to celebrate love, I asked a few author friends of mine if they'd like to help me spread a little.

Welcome to the Happy Valentine's Day Giveaway.

Thank you so much Taylor Longford, CJ Duggan, Angela Orlowski-Peart and Cameo Renae for your generosity.

We have two prize packs of multiple e-books for you to win. The giveaway will run for a week. Good luck! We hope you all have a super special Valentine's Day :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Chat with Michelle from Book Briefs

As you know, I have been really enjoying interviewing different book reviewers. As a writer, I think it is so important to get to know them. They are such an amazing resource for us. Finding out their likes and dislikes is a great way to target our writing. Not only that, they are the BEST at promoting our work and it's important that we honour them for that.

Today, I am so excited to have Michelle, from Book Briefs, join us. This lady writes amazing reviews and has been a huge supporter of my work.

Welcome to YAlicious, Michelle :)

 What were your favourite types of books as a kid?
I always loved reading. I used to have my parents read to me all the time when I was a kid and I would have them put on books on tape while I would sleep at night. I would listen to the same 5-10 books on tape over and over and over again. When I got a few years older I loved to read books like Ella Enchanted and anything by Dr. Seuss.

What is your favourite genre now and why do you like it?
It used to read pretty much just magic and paranormal ya books, but now I am on a real contemporary kick. I am also loving Fey books, and New Adult books.

What do you like most about reviewing books for authors?
I love finding new authors and books that I normally would not have found before. I read and review a lot of indie and self published books for my blog and I have discovered some truly awesome authors this way. Authors that I just would not have known about if I had not started my blog.

Do you find it easy to picture characters and settings in your head? How descriptive do you like an author to be?
I love description. The more detailed the better. The best kind of details are when the author can weave them into the story. Description should feel like a natural addition to the character or story.

Where's your favourite place to read?
I love to be snuggled up in my bed or curled up in a comfy chair with a blanket.

Are you a fast or slow reader?
I’m a pretty fast reader. People always ask how I read so many books when I am in law school. It’s because I can normally knock out an average sized book in 3-4 hours. If only I could read my law books as fast. haha

A traditionally published author you love: Meg Cabot, Abbi Glines (She used to be self published!) JK Rowling, Rick Riordan
An indie author you love: Alyssa Rose Ivy, Melissa Pearl (I swear I’m not sucking up! Haha) Heather Hildenbrand, Julia Crane
One of your favourite YA books: The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Vincent Boys, While It Lasts
One of your favourite Adult books: The Heather Wells series by Meg Cabot
A book you've read more than once: The Harry Potter series. I have read it at least 10 times. 

Thanks so much for you answers and recommendations. I must check out Meg Cabot sometime. If you like her this much, I'm sure to as well :)

If you'd like to connect with Michelle online, you can follow the links below:

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Hunger Games - Book and Movie Review

The Hunger Games (THG) by Suzanne Collins 

{May contain spoilers}

I was on a camping holiday and didn’t realise how addictive The Hunger Games would be and how fast I’d get through it, so because I only brought one book to read, I read it twice in three days.

I was unsure when I started, how I was going to enjoy a book that had kids killing kids and how the author would handle that. I was pleasantly surprised at how the world Collins created wasn’t as awful as I’d imagined and I found myself imagining what it would be like to live in such a place feeling a huge amount of pity for the fictional characters.

The main character Katniss is really likeable even though she has got quite an abrasive personality. And immediately you wonder what’s going to happen with her and Gale. Sadly that part of the book is a bit disappointing to me. I do prefer books with more romance.

The actual Hunger Games don’t start til well over half the book, but you don’t notice as it’s such an interesting read, finding out about this new world that you have stepped into. Once Katniss is in the games, the book is unputdownable (is that a word?) I just had to keep going until it was finished.

Personally I was disappointed in the climax. It seemed a little rushed or convenient or something, which did detract from the book a bit for me.

Overall I would give the Hunger Games a 4 out of 5 stars.

The Hunger Games THE MOVIE

I saw the movie, after reading the book, TWICE, so I completely understood the story, therefore I didn’t have to make sense of anything, like a complete HG virgin would.

I thought the movie interpreted the book beautifully and kept in all the important bits. There are always storylines that get left out of a movie, but none of the missing ones disappointed me.

What I found interesting was seeing life from the gamekeepers point of view and how the people running the games made the rules and messed with the arena. It makes me appreciate the free world I live in, because the Hunger Games is scarily what used to happen in arena’s in Rome in front of an audience. People killing each other for the audience’s enjoyment; it seems so sick to me, but it used to be normal.

I’d give the movie 4 out of 5.

[I’m not sure how easy to understand this movie is for a person who has not read the book. My husband might add his input from that point of view later today.]

Thanks for stopping by, let me know what you thought of the movie and/or book, the Hunger Games! 
Zealous Girl

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Work In Progress Update – Forbidden Waters by Melissa Pearl & Brenda Howson

Forbidden Waters is the second book in the Mica and Lexy Series (Forbidden Territory is the first). The beauty of this series is, you don’t have to read book 1 to be able to read book 2 and so on, we are making each book a complete stand alone story just with the same characters.

Melissa and I are half way through writing our first draft and having such a fun time. For me writing about Mica and Lexy is like hanging out with your bestie. And the trouble those two get into… you’ll just have to read it to find out ☺

In book 2 Mica and Lexy find themselves up a creek without a paddle but have an annoying friend/school mate along for the ride. This new character brings a new element to Mica and Lexy’s friendship as they struggle with aspects of her personality.

Forbidden Waters also lets you see in Eli and Tom’s heads, which is super fun, as a few chapters are written by them.

Release date for Forbidden Waters is yet to be determined, but all going well it will be in the first half of this year.

So - that's what we’re working on. How about you?

If you are an author and you'd be keen to share your WIP with us, please contact us. You can message Melissa or me on our FB pages: or or leave a comment below.