Thursday, February 27, 2014

The February Awesomeness Award

As many of you know, being an author is a very busy, intense job. There is always so much to do and marketing can be a real time suck. That's when those lovely angels in the form of PAs, publicists and die hard fans come into the mix. Swooping down to support us by shouting our names from the rooftops and letting the world know about our work.

This month, I'd like to award the YAlicious Awesomeness Award to Len Phelps. You have been my angel during the release of True Colors and I am so, so grateful for everything you've done.

Do you have any angels you'd like to thank for helping you out this month? Mention them in the comments section and let the world know how grateful you are.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Happens After "Happily Ever After"? A Guest Post from David Meredith + A Giveaway

It's my pleasure to have David Meredith visiting YAlicious today. Here's here to tell us about his book: The Reflections of Queen Snow White and what happens after characters get their happily-ever-after ending.

Welcome to YAlicious, David. It's great to have you!

What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better...except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

The Author's Take...

Faerie tales always end with the phrase “And they lived happily ever after”, but what does that really mean? What does happen after “happily ever after”? This is the question I attempt to answer in The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

The Reflections of Queen Snow White moves you 30+ years into the future after the conclusion of the original Brothers Grimm tale. Charming has died and Snow White just doesn’t know how to cope. It’s a story about dealing with grief and finding purpose and direction after the most important person in your life is no longer a part of it.

Back in 2006 when I originally wrote the source short story, in the space of about three or four months, both of my grandfathers died unexpectedly. During the same period, my wife also lost a grandmother and a grandfather, so there where a lot of funerals going on over a very short amount of time. Now funerals, by their very nature lead to a certain introspection about one’s own mortality, but particularly with the sudden passing of both grandfathers and, as a consequence, how hard my grandmothers took their deaths, it led me to wonder – “So… What now?”

They both had wonderful, loving relationships – many long, happy years together (over 60). In the case of my maternal grandmother and grandfather, they had never loved anyone else, having married straight out of high school. There was no question in my mind, nor indeed anyone who knew them, that theirs had most certainly been a real-life “happily ever after”. Now it was over. It made me wonder, “When your life has been so closely tied up with and centered upon one other person for so long, how do you pick up the pieces and move on?” That was the original kernel of the idea for The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

Now, the question was posed to me: “Why did you choose Snow White – why not Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rose Red or any of a host of other faerie tale princesses you might have chosen to write about? Why kill the prince? Well, First, let me note that I understand upon initial examination, she might seem a little bit vanilla as a choice. After all, she is probably the first faerie tale princess that comes to our minds when we think of the faerie tale genre. She’s been nearly exploited and merchandised to death by the Disney Company. There have already been almost innumerable retellings and riffs on her story in modern media – TV, movies, other novels, short stories, and even an old Rammstein music video. Who doesn’t know Snow White?

However, I felt like this intimate familiarity we all have with her actually works perfectly in helping the reader connect with Snow White’s older self in The Reflections of Queen Snow White. To me, it felt rather like catching up with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years and years. Just like those friends from grade school or university, I still care about her.

Another reason I gravitated toward her was that I felt like this scenario was a very likely and believable turn of events for Snow White’s life. All of us must deal with death and grief to varying degrees throughout our lives. Half of us at least will have to cope with the passing of a partner. Who better to demonstrate the idea that loss and the redefining of a life that necessarily must occur as a result happens to everyone – Even faerie tale princesses?

In addition to that, I also felt like Snow White had a particularly and mostly untapped potential (at least by Disney) for some really interesting darkness. After all, she had a pretty horrible upbringing – the tragic death of both parents, left in the care of an abusive woman who despised her, disassociation from her peers, isolation, loneliness, depression… I think these are all elements that really work to elevate the level of drama and move the story forward in a way that is especially gripping and impactful.

So far, The Reflections of Queen Snow White has gotten really positive reviews. In fact, it received a 5-STAR review from The Seattle PI newspaper and won a 5-Star Medal from Readers’ Favorite! I think you’ll enjoy it. I hope you’ll all check it out! It’s on Amazon available here:

Feel free to check out my Facebook page:

Or my web page!


Rising Shadow Reviews:

Twitter: @DMeredith2013

I’m also on Linked-In!

Thanks so much Melissa for having me! 

It was so great to hear more about your book. Think I might just pop over to Amazon and grab a copy of my own now. I'm totally intrigued!!! :D
If you'd like a chance to win an e-copy of this award winning novel, please enter the giveaway below.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

And the weekly winner of the True Colors Blog Tour is.....

Marcia Woodell!!

Congratulations, Marcia! I've just sent you an email so we can arrange for you to get your gift :)

Due to the massive True Colors Masquerade Ball happening this afternoon...
I'm going to have a one week break from blogging. Preparation for this party has really knocked the stuffing out of me :) It's going to be an awesome event though and I really hope you can make it!

True Colors is now live on AMAZON and SMASHWORDS if you would like to score yourself a copy. 
It's currently 99c for a limited time :)

Thank you so much to all blog tour participants and all the people who checked out the different posts.
You guys rock!!!

Welcome to the world, True Colors, it's so awesome to have you here!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

True Colors Pre-release Blog Tour Schedule!

Hi guys! The Weekly Winner Giveaway is tied into the Blog Tour giveaway this week! Here is the schedule for the upcoming True Colors Pre-release Blog Tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday 10th February
Deborah Bean - Review
Tara Moran - Review
Michelle Dodd - Review
Page Princess - Review & Giveaway 
Ali's Books - Guest Post
Mia Fox Books - Guest Post 
DeeJay Sakata - Review

Tuesday 11th February
Tiffy Fit's Reading Corner - Guest Post & Giveaway - 
Geeky Chiquitas - Review
As You Wish Reviews - Review & Giveaway 
My Book Chatter - Guest Post & Giveaway

Wednesday 12th February
Best Books - Review 
You Had Me At Free Book - Review & Giveaway
Crazy Beautiful Reviews - Guest Post & Giveaway

Thursday 13th February
Dowie's Place - Review & Giveaway
Heather Stanley - Review

Friday 14th February
Becky on Books - Interview & Giveaway

Saturday 15th February
Reviews Unleashed - Review, Interview & Giveaway
Michelle Cable - Review
Rachelle Marie - Review
Kristen Heyl - Review
Linda Terrutty - Review
Jazzy Book Reviews - Review Interview & Giveaway
Brooke Blogs - Guest Post

Cover Designer by Kate Strawbridge of  Dwell Design & Press

Caitlyn Davis always cruised through life, not being the type to ruffle feathers or involve herself in high school drama…until a chance encounter with a strange, homeless man changes everything.

Suddenly, Caitlyn has the ability to see behind people’s masks. She discovers that her life isn’t as simple as she imagined and her high school is filled with secrets…some very sinister ones.

Unable to ignore her new gift, Caitlyn embarks on a mission to learn why one of her friends now appears terrified, but masks her fear behind a bright, smiling veneer. Will Caitlyn’s new ability lead her into hot water? Or is her new found vision a blessing that will expose her friends’ true colors?

Her quest will lead Caitlyn to lose friends, stand up for those in need, and even find love.

At Palisades High School every face tells a story…

True Colors on Goodreads:

Party Info:

The True Colors Masquerade Ball is happening on February 16th to celebrate the release of True Colors. All party-goers will be entitled to purchase a copy of True Colors for only 99c. There will also be competitions, giveaways and guest appearances from other authors who will be unveiling their own secrets. So come and join in the fun and help us welcome True Colors into the world with style.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

And the Weekly Winner for the Julia Crane Giveaway is...

Kat Rellim!!

Congratulations, Kat! I've just sent you an email so we can arrange for you to get your gift :)

This week we have the start of the True Colors Blog Tour and Giveaway. Sweet! I'll be posting the schedule so you can follow along, read excerpts and guest posts about the book, plus a review or two.

And because Valentine's Day is this week too, I'll also be doing a Top 5 post on Thursday...Romantic Movies! Le sigh! Can't wait to find out yours too :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Discussion Time: Spoilers vs. Surprises

Are you the type of person who likes surprises when you read, or do you prefer to know what's coming?

Personally, I don't mind the odd spoiler. It doesn't ruin the story for me if I know what's coming :) I know - I'm totally weird, right? But if I'm reading a book or watching a movie and there's going to be something bad in the works, I want to know it's coming. When my friend read, "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult, she was so devastated by the ending, that she gave me a heads up before I started reading. I'm SO glad I knew. I enjoyed the book so much more, because I was emotionally prepared. I could put the book down totally satisfied rather than completely shocked.

Now - I don't always want to know, especially if it's a who dunnit type book. I like to be surprised then, but if something shockingly tragic is going to occur, I want to know about it! I'm also guilty of skipping to the end to make sure a couple end up together. Even just reading one little sentence to make sure I get me HEA is enough to settle my nerves and then I can go back and enjoy the rest of the book without stressing :)

How about you?
Do you mind spoilers?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spotlight & Interview from Author Julia Crane!

Today we welcome Author Julia Crane on the blog! She is here to let us know a little bit about her IFICS series.

Here is a 10 question interview:
1. What inspired the Freak of Nature series? It came about in a strange way. My daughter started to get into photoshop and I walked by while she was working on a cyborg tutorial, it stopped me in my tracks. I said, I should make a book about a cyborg. I thought about it for a few weeks and then asked her if she would try to make a book cover for me. She said, no way. I kept bugging her until she gave in and agreed to try. Not only did that brief glance at her computer start my series, but it also started my daughter's cover art design business—Eden Crane Design.
2. Did you have to do much research for the books? Yes, more so than usual. I've always been fascinated by the idea of merging technology and humans. I also had to get technical help from my husband with the action scenes. He just happens to be a retired Green Beret. So his tactical knowledge came in handy.
3. Have you planned anymore books for the series? I just released the second book in the series, Fractured Innocence. This one deals with the subject, human trafficking. There's a lot more action and suspense. I'm currently working on the third novel in the series. I'm very excited about the characters and how they are growing with each book.
4. If Freak of Nature was made into a movie, who do you imagine playing the roles of Kaitlyn and Lucas? I think Phoebe Tonkin would make the perfect Kaitlyn. I might as well stick with the cast from The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder would make a great Lucas.
5. What are your writing plans for the rest of 2014? I have so many books I want to write this year. I really wish I was able to write faster. I want to write a couple of books to continue Keegan's Chronicles and I also have an idea for a NA Paranormal Romance series.
6. Do you have any special events coming up? I'll be attending IndieGirl Con in Feb. A book fair in AZ in March and Romance Times in May.
7. What’s your favorite aspect of the writing process? I love getting ideas at random times, like when I'm out on a walk or doing the dishes.
8. What’s the best advice you can give any fellow writer? Write daily, read tons and find a good editor.
9. What’s the best advice you can give any human being? Don't waste time living in the past or the future. Life is short, so be in the moment.
10. What book are you currently reading? I'm currently reading a non-fiction book, Magick of Reiki by Christopher Penczak.

About Julia Crane: 
Julia crane is the author of the Keegan’s Chronicles, IFICS. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination. 

Julia Crane Stalker Links:

Yay! Thank you Julia. It's been so awesome to have you!!

If you'd like a chance to win these two awesome books, please enter the Weekly Winner giveaway below!

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

And the Weekly Winner for the Suzy Turner Giveaway is....

Tiffany Saylor!!

Congratulations, Tiffany! I've just sent you an email so we can arrange for you to get your gift :)

We have another great week planned, starting with a visit from the talented Julia Crane. We are interviewing her about her IFICS series and her books will be part of the Weekly Winner giveaway.

And on Thursday we'll have a discussion post about what types of things you look for on authors' blogs and websites.

Have a great start to your week everybody :)