Monday, May 26, 2014

Eva Pohler Guest Post

Happy Monday, everyone! Today, I'm proud to bring you a guest post by Eva Pohler! If you missed the interview with this awesome lady, check it out here. Without any ado whatsoever, I give you:

It's a Great Time to be a Book Lover!
by Eva Pohler



Whether you're a reader or a writer or both, it's a great time to be a book lover. Never before in the history of the world has reading and writing been so easy.

You used to have to go to a bookstore or library if you needed a book, and then, there was a chance the book you wanted wasn't in stock. Now you can go on line and have the book delivered to your front door. Even better, you can click a button and have the book immediately downloaded to your reading device. These options are especially nice if you're handicapped and have trouble getting out of the house. If you can't see well, you can choose a larger font on your device. If you're blind, nearly everything can be found in audiobook these days. And if you're a voracious reader, you can download and consume the next book faster than it would have taken to drive to the library or bookstore in the old days.

And let's not knock the bookstore, which provides a better experience for readers than ever before. Not only do you typically find a coffee shop attached with yummy sandwiches and pastries to consume while you read and browse, but you also have more choices in books. New genres, such as steampunk, continually evolve into being, and bookstores have whole shelves dedicated to them. The young adult category is a prime example. A genre that once was lucky to have a single shelf now has an entire section of multiple shelves in most stores.

And don't even get me started on literacy. Suffice it to say that more people can read today than any time in human history. This certainly makes it easier to be a book lover!

books in a stackIf you're a writer, you have a better chance of making a living at it today than any previous decade. First of all, the process of writing has been made easier with technology. Obviously, not having to write out the manuscript by hand in multiple drafts is a plus, not to mention the ability to add, delete, find and replace, and merge formatting, among other perks of using computer software. The research process is a cinch, too, thanks to the internet. It's no longer necessary to travel to learn the intimate details of a specific location. Need to know about a particular date in history? Google it. Need a dictionary, thesaurus, style guide? Google those, too.

In addition to the process of writing, publishing is also easier than ever before. If you are not lucky enough to find an agent and a traditional publishing deal, you have more options than writers as recent as five years ago. Smaller publishing companies empowered by advances in technology can help you, or you can assemble your own team and do it yourself. Professional editors, cover artists, publicists, and other industry professionals can provide you with all the tools you need to succeed. And there's so much free information on line that can tell you what you need to know to make it happen.

Once you produce your book, whether by traditional means or by self-publishing, you can help your readers discover it more easily than you could five or ten years ago. You no longer have to hope bookstore browsers find your books on the shelf or see your ads in a magazine. Social media and email help you reach readers. Services like BookBub and Ereader News alert their hundreds of thousands subscribers to your book, and, just like that, your book is out there, being read.

The fact that more and more people are making a go of it as a writer shouldn't deter you, either. Because more and more books are more easily consumed by readers more quickly than ever before, the market can sustain a higher saturation point. In addition to the ease of consuming books, there's also the cool factor. It's fashionable to be a reader and to have read the book before the movie comes out. So even people who might not be natural readers are jumping on the bandwagon and buying kindles and nooks to keep up with everyone else.

More readers, more writers, more books. How can this not be a great time to be a book lover?
~ Eva

No argument there! *grin*

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Eva! Great to have you on the blog again!

Now for Eva's featured book of the week!

Title: The Purgatorium (The Purgatorium Series #1)
Author: Eva Pohler
Genre: YA Thriller
Length (print): 247 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle FREE

Synopsis:
Seventeen year-old Daphne Janus is floored when her parents agree to let her accompany her best friend to a getaway resort on an island off the coast of California. She doesn't know her parents have sent her to the Purgatorium as a last-ditch effort to save their child.

Her best friend and life-long neighbor takes her to a mostly uninhabited island with a wildlife preserve on one side and Chumash Indian ruins on the “haunted” side. The resort might be beautiful, the beach pristine, and the views from the headland amazing, but strange things begin to happen that soon have Daphne running for her life. At first she finds the therapeutic games thrilling: the ghosts that visit her room, the dropping elevator, and the kayak incident are actually kind of fun once she recovers from them. But when her horse bucks her off during a trail ride and she becomes lost on the haunted side of the island, it’s not fun anymore, and she wonders if her parents have sent her there to help her or to punish her. 

Why not give Eva a follow on the following sites as a thank you for giving you a great book?

Pinterest: Eva Pohler
Goodreads: Eva Pohler

Now, for those of you that forgot, we'll be doing a post on June 1 for Eva's book Gray's Dominion and for Active Minds (a mental health awareness organization). Be sure and come back for that!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Title Teaser

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Well, it's the halfway mark for the week, and Friday is just around the corner. I bet you're all looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend, huh? Today, I'm gonna give you a little bit of reading fun. But first, let me tell you where the idea for this particular story came from! Sit back, relax, grab a cup of something, and let's get going.

I love short stories. There are many that grabbed my interest in college and have left me thinking about them long after I read and wrote a report on them. One is The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. There's even a two part YouTube rendition of that one. You can check out part one here. I was left with a story hangover from that one. If you haven't read it, you should. Another one is Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin. I got so angry when I read it, I wanted to throw the book across the room. This is when I know I've gotten hold of a great short.

I've spent hours thinking about that young woman and her baby, asking myself questions about what could've happened to them, where she came from, and how the story could be expanded upon with a new twist.

I've had the first chapter written for a long while. I know exactly where I want the tale to go, and it's time that will see it come to fruition. So, if you haven't read Desiree's Baby, you need to go check it out. If you have, you'll see where I'm coming from with this story. Not sure yet if it'll be a standalone or a series, but I plan to get it plotted out within the next couple of months. I'm also planning to finish Markaza and M, all three will be out by the end of this year.

Okay, okay, I've led you on you enough. Here's a teaser from my WIP, tentatively titled Desiree's Apocalypse:

I am lost.

When I walked away from everything I knew, I had no idea where I was going. Still don’t. But I’ve been in the woods for days and haven’t eaten anything but a few berries I found on a bush. All I can hope is they aren’t poisonous. As I sit here, shivering in the cold, afraid to use my fire, wearing nothing but my tattered and stained dress, I feel only pain.

My husband cast me aside without asking me questions to first understand the truth. I don’t know where I came from, and I never expected to fall in love with a gentleman like him. I’m clueless about the scar on my neck that’s shaped like an arrow. And I have no idea who the old woman was that showed up on our doorstep that fateful night.

She told him I was evil; the spawn of some demon that came to Earth twenty-two years ago in order to throw chaos at the world. She said, in me, the destruction of the planet could be found. Since I have no recollection of how I ended up wandering the roads before the Scotts picked me up and took me in, I couldn’t refute her claims. After all, I have that damned mark.

I've loved Gregory for a long time. His family farm is adjacent to my family's, and he and I played together in the tree house my father built in the old oak. Its branches spread over the property line so Gregory’s father had to give permission, but we got it done. That tree is a treasure that’s been shared between the two families for nine generations, and when my father asked to build in it, the request caused great distress for everyone. They were concerned for the tree, they said. No one wanted to see it damaged in any way. After my father found a way to make the tree house fully self-supporting, everyone agreed, and no nails were driven into the ancient wood. Gregory and I had enjoyed many days playing there together.

I remember the first time he noticed the mark on my neck. He’d scratched at it and laughed in his quiet style before asking me, “Where’d ya get that from, anyhow?” I felt my cheeks redden, told him I didn’t know, and asked him not to make fun of me. His little face scrunched up, like he was sorry he’d embarrassed me, and he apologized. It amazed me that a ten-year-old boy could have so much empathy, and I began to fall in love with him that day.

My heart is now broken. After all we’d been through together, he threw me away; without even attempting to get to the bottom of the old woman’s story. What was I supposed to do, refuse to leave?

Perhaps.

But I didn’t. I was so injured by his comments, and his ability to think poorly of me, I ran from the house with nothing but the clothes on my back. I can’t return. He told me he’d shoot me if I ever stepped foot on his property again. Our property. I wonder what kind of tale the old lady spun that frightened him so.

It must’ve been horrific.

Yes, strange things have been happening to me lately, but I never thought they’d be related to causing the end of the world. My fingers caught fire without match or spark about three months ago. Added to that, the ground had been rising up to meet me whenever I waved my hand a certain way. A more recent manifestation I discovered while walking through our garden and waving away a bug. It scared me half to death; I thought Mother Earth was rising up to eat me.

~end of teaser

I haven't written a book in first person since Yassa, and I'm looking forward to the insight I can bring to the page by being inside the protagonist. As you can see, this puts a huge spin on the short story by Chopin, but that's where this one comes from.

I hope you all enjoyed that.

What's your favorite short story? What's one that stayed with you long after you finished it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Meta-Data for Books, Videos, and a Chance to Pick My Brain

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm gonna talk to you a little about meta-data for your books, show you a couple of videos, and tell you about a chance you have to ask me a question about writing, editing, self-publishing, or marketing. So grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Meta-Data for Your Books

What is meta-data? Namely, it's data that you can't see but has an impact on web search results. It's part of SEO (search engine optimization), and not something you should be skipping over when creating your novel. We're all familiar with tags and keywords on Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace, etc... But! Did you know you have keyword (description tags) available to you in MS Word? Best of all: There's no limit to how many you can use!

Screenshot time! I bet you're all familiar with this:

Now, that's awesome, right? You put in the document title, click save, and off to the races you go! But look a little closer and pay attention to the arrows:

Each of those is a field you can put meta-data into. Just click on them and they'll open like this:

Best part? If you've used certain tags previously, it suggests them. All you have to do is tick the check-box. Once you're done with the author name (it will auto-populate your user name on your computer), add tags and a title. When you're done, it'll look like this:

Then you can click save and all that beautiful, digital information will be embedded in the book file. How cool is that?

See? You had a tool and most likely weren't using it.

Why does it matter? Well, we all know what tags are and how they function on Amazon, right? Think about how many more you'll get with this function. Roll that around in your mind for a moment.

Ahhhhh, I can see the lights upstairs come on from all the way over here! Now you know.

Moving on...

Videos!

I promised you a couple of videos, so here you go:





Those were fun, huh? Yeah, that's a book trailer for I, Zombie and one for Chasing Shadows.

Okay! On to the next topic!

Your Chance to Pick My Brain

Natasha Hanova is hosting a Q&A session with me on her blog. I've agreed to take five industry related questions from readers. This is your chance to get an answer to a question you have (that you can't find the answer to here).

If you'd like to put a question in the hat, either comment below or DM Natasha on Twitter. You can find her here:
Natasha's Twitter Page

How about that? Did you all have fun?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cover Reveal - Resist (Book 2 of the Harvest Saga)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I have some super exciting fun for you all today! Book two of The Harvest Saga is covered! Grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let's get going!

Untitled

Welcome to the cover reveal of Resist, Book 2 of The Harvest Saga by Casey L. Bond. Let's check out the full cover!!!

1.2 mg resist full wrapcover

RESIST:

Abby Kelley returns home from the Greater city of Olympus to find that things in Orchard Village are bad, very bad. The Olympian Guard has taken over village affairs. The Lessers are being worked to the bone in the coldest winter Orchard has seen. Villagers are being dragged away for the slightest indication of what they call “resistance.” She needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. But, it’s so hard to do when everything within you screams rebellion.

Kyan is coming on strong, trying to convince her to take a chance on him. Shocking news of Crew’s activities in Olympus sweeps through the Villages. When Abby is taken away by the Olympian guard, Kyan sends word to Vesuvius for help. But, no one could have predicted their idea of help or what they might expect in return.

Who will be left to pick up the pieces of Abby’s heart?

Releasing in the Summer of 2014

Reap Ecover 878KB
REAP:
The remnants of the United States of America have been divided. From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers. In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greater’s engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.
Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew? And if she chooses Crew, will she lose her best friend?

REAP Excerpt:

Something was touching my face, caressing my cheek. The skin that brushed mine was rough, hardened by the work we all share. Am I dreaming? I waited, trying to see if this was real or part of a dream. Whichever it was, it was nice, comforting.

Rough fingertips moved over the parts of my back that weren’t split open and packed with gunk. I sucked in a breath and held it. This was real. I moved my head and saw his silhouette against the candlelight flickering in from the kitchen and living room. “Ky?” My voice was raspy and barely sounded like my own. Sleep and exhaustion filled every chord.

“Shh. I’m here.” Suddenly, I was very aware that I was lying shirtless on my bed. Even though, I was on my stomach, that didn’t help me feel any less naked in front of my best friend, who happened to be a member of the male species—a very fine male specimen according to my girlfriends.

I knew he was handsome. I wasn’t blind. But, I didn’t see him like that. He’d dated many of my friends and now was getting ready to marry Paige Winters in just a few weeks, after the harvest was complete and the orchards picked bare. His fingertips trace the in-tact skin between my shoulder blades and I tensed under his touch.

He’d kissed my head and temple and hugged me more times than I can count, but this was somehow different. This was more intimate. His touch was delicate, gentle compared to his normal strength and anything but playful. “Ky?”

He didn’t answer. His fingers explored my back, careful not to stray too close to the wounds that streaked across my skin. “Kyan?”

“Shut up, Abby. Just let me... Just shut up.” He’d never talked to me like this. His voice was raspy and he’d never, ever told me to shut up before. So I did. I wasn’t sure why. He shouldn’t have been touching my skin. Shouldn’t have been caressing the good parts left of me, but sitting with me in the dark, he was doing exactly that and I was allowing it.

Paige would be furious if she saw us now. She’d always had a jealous streak, had always hated any girl who dated or flirted with Ky. Lately, she told anyone and everyone who will listen that Kyan was hers and that she hated me with a passion. She wasn’t lying. She hated me. Rather, she hated my relationship with Ky. He was my best friend. I wasn’t interested in him as anything more or anything else. I’d told her that. He’d told her that a million times. But, she refused to listen, adamant that I wanted him for myself, adamant that he wanted me.

I honestly didn’t have those types of feelings for Kyan. I never have had them. Ever. And up until now, I’d always thought he felt the same. But feeling his fingers exploring my skin made even me question that sentiment. And it scared me to death.

Want to check out the first book?
REAP Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/pht888t
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/kvj83zp
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/p6djny5
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reap-ebook-casey-l-bond/1118930952?ean=2940149395262

REAP BOOK Trailer:
Trailer: http://animoto.com/play/wEjFgIPPVZPTV1ANgQuf4w
or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnuthOAy02s


Contact Casey:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20890250-reap
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorcaseybond
Twitter: @authorcaseybond
Website: http://caseybond.tateauthor.com
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/caseyb007/reap-the-harvest-series/
Other Books by Casey L. Bond: Winter Shadows, Devil Creek, Pariah (Releasing 5/14), Shady Bay and Resist, Book 2 of The Harvest Saga (Late Summer 2014).

I hope you all enjoyed that!

What do you think of the cover?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, May 19, 2014

Author Interview - Eva Pohler


Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! In keeping with my Monday theme through UtopYA Con 2014, I bring you another author interview. So far we’ve had a number of awesome authors give their time and expertise to make us smile. If you missed any of the past interviews or awesome guest posts, I invite you to check them out here. If you don’t have your tickets to the con yet, you may be SOL! See if there are any more available here and get yours today. Let’s get our interview on! Everyone make some noise to welcome the lovely Eva Pohler to the blog!

Jo: *squeeeee* Hiya, Eva! So good to have you here on the blog. I hope you’re ready to be thrown to the wolves that pretend to be readers of my blog. *grin*
Eva: Wolves? I LOVE wolves. Toss me in!

Jo: You asked for it! Haha! You’re one of the most interesting people I’ve ever done a search on, let me tell you. Okay, let’s begin our feeding of the audience! I hear you have a couple of rats as pets (I love rats! SO smart!). Would you care to dispel some common myths surrounding those cute fuzzballs of joy and tell us a little about yours?
Eva: Absolutely. First of all, rats DO NOT carry rabies. My veterinarian assures me of that. They also regularly clean themselves and tend to use the bathroom in one area of their cage, and like cats, can even be litter trained. Like all animals, they aren’t a one-personality-fits-all species. Katniss (who recently died at four years of age—may she rest in peace) was not as social as Prim. When out of her cage, Prim will run right up to you, and she loves to lick your ear and play in your hair. She is so excited to be with you, just like a dog. So I tell people that rats combine the best qualities of cats and dogs to make the perfect pet.

Anyone considering owning rats should make sure they buy two. They get quite lonesome, unlike hamsters (who prefer solitude). It’s best to get sisters. And you want to be sure to let them out of their cage once every other day or so for at least twenty minutes.

We built a rat mansion out of an old chest of drawers. At four feet high and two and a half feet wide with four levels, it has been a great home for them. Here’s a photo, so you can see what I mean.

Jo: I had one named Baby who gave me many years of joy (and screams from women when I took her to the mall). *snort* I heard tell you plan your life six to seven years into the future. Wow. Does that take a lot of time? What’s been your biggest snafu in those plans so far?
Eva: I’m a big dreamer, and I like to think a lot about the future. Writing those dreams and goals down makes them feel more possible to me. So far, I’ve hit all the big ones: earn a Ph.D. in English, find the man of my dreams and marry him, have a few kids, teach on the college level, and become a published novelist. The biggest snafu was not finding an agent. I wasted years looking for one and got close many times only to have things fall through. The revolution in the publishing industry couldn’t have come at a better time. The option to self-publish got me back and track and has even helped me to get further along in my goals than I originally estimated.

Jo: Wow. Sounds like you're on the right track. Admirable, dear! Glad to have you Indie with us! You have a ton of books out. What’s your favorite title so far? Why?

Eva: Gosh, that’s hard. It’s like asking me which of my children is a favorite. Do I really have to answer? I love all of them. I put so much blood, sweat, and tears into writing every one, and they each brought me great joy. It wouldn’t be fair to choose one above another.

Jo: Well, it was kind of rhetorical. *grin* Tell me about the book you’re working on titled Queen of the Bees. What’s it about and where’d the title come from?
Eva: Wow, you really DID do your research! The title is a working title and is a play on William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Since reading Golding’s novel, I have liked to imagine how the story might have turned out had the characters stranded on the island been girls instead of boys. How would things turn out differently? Or WOULD they turn out differently? So I created a cast of modern-day American private school girls who have the chance to be exchange students with another private school for girls in Japan. On the return flight, the American plane goes down, and only nine of the original girls survive. The adults are all dead.

In Lord of Flies, Golding emphasizes the importance of social institutions and their conditioning forces in taming and civilizing the natural beast within each of us. I want my story to show how those same institutions can hold us back (with things like gender stereotypes) from achieving self-actualization. Although the girls go through hell on the island, and conflict and betrayal and other bad stuff happens, my story is ultimately one of liberation and of the human capacity for love and compassion in the darkest of times.

Jo: Isn't the internet an amazing place to find information about people? *wicked laugh* Now that's a book I'd totally sink my teeth into. I love stories about the human condition (zombie books, anyone?). You have some new features on your website you’re in love with. What are they, where did the idea for them come from, and what do you see yourself doing with them in the future?

Eva: I enjoy engaging with my readers through a variety of media, so I launched Monday’s Meme, Two-Minute Talk Show, and Fan Art to make that happen. Monday’s Meme is usually a funny play on Greek mythology—like Hermes (the messenger god, among other things) hitting the beach once the gods get cell phones. Two-Minute talk Show was actually my son’s idea. He’s moved on to other projects, but I’ve left the nine videos he produced available to readers because they are so stinkin’ funny. The fan art idea came from Quinn Loftis. I am totally copying her on that. But I’m asking for Greek mythology-related art. I just can’t get enough of those beloved gods!

Jo: I'm a huge Rick Riordian fan and love tales involving the gods. *high-five* Who’s your biggest supporter in your writing and how have they influenced you over the years?

Eva: That’s a tough question, because I have so many supporters—my friends, my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, and my children. My children have been especially supportive, especially during the days of rejection letters from agents. But I’d have to say that my husband has been my biggest helper. He picks of the slack for me around the house when I’m crunching for time for a deadline. He’s also the one that encouraged me to take the leap and self-publish. When my books broke out and started bringing in a regular income, he told me he always knew it was a matter of time.

Jo: Awwww your husband sounds so much like mine. Isn't it great to have a staunch believer? I know your favorite literary character is Mr. Darcy from P&P. What qualities does he possess that make you like him so much? Is your husband a lot like Mr. Darcy (if yes, how so)?

Eva: Actually, my favorite literary character is Fermin from The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I love Fermin because he is so funny and tragic at the same time. Mr. Darcy is my favorite book boyfriend, though. I love how, in spite of the social expectations of his time, he follows his heart by proposing to Lizzy. I also love how he helps Lizzy’s sister and family and is generous to his own sister. My husband is not wealthy like Darcy, but he is very generous with family and would do anything to help a family member or friend in need. When he married me, I came with a lot of debt, so I know he didn’t marry me for my money!

Jo: I agree. Darcy is the every-man. Loving that you’re a huge Harry Potter fan (I am, too)! What do you think about the new attraction going up at Universal Orlando in July? Do you think your desire to visit Hogwarts will be filled anytime soon because of the HP world?

Eva: I cannot wait to go and am so jealous of my friend and fellow writer, Alison Pensy, who is going this summer! I’m not sure when or how, but I WILL get to Hogwarts!

Jo: OMG no way is she going! She didn't tell me that. *huffs* I wanna go, too! Sounds exciting. Time for the alien question of the interview! Being that you’re from San Antonio, Texas, close to New Mexico, do you guys ever see UFOs? Do you have an alien/weird encounter to share with us?

Eva: I don’t, but my husband’s cousin has a story. She refuses to talk about it but swears that personal experience has led her to believe that aliens exist without a doubt. I visited the UFO Museum in Roswell but wasn’t overly impressed. I believe that life most likely exists on other planets, and I do think it’s possible that they have made contact here. Abductions also seem like a legitimate possibility. I’m just skeptical of the typical image we see in the media—kind of like the white Jesus. Doesn’t seem true to life.

Jo: You now owe me a screen cleaning for that answer! *wink* Rapid fire questions! Napkins or paper towels?

Eva: Paper towels.

Jo: Red or Green?

Eva: Green.

Jo: Believe it or not, a favorite color tells a lot about a person. *smiles innocently* Tell me about being a lecturer at the college. Is it fun? How often do you go? What do you talk about?

Eva: Yes, it is fun. I teach on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. This was my last full-time semester (four courses). In the fall, I will teach only three. The following year I plan to go down to one or two courses, so I have more time to write. In five years, I will retire from teaching and write full time.

But, for now, I love it. My favorite class is an upper-division course called Young Adult Literature. Most of my students are junior and senior English majors who love to read. We read six books and they write two literary analyses. This semester we read Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, The Golden Compass, The Giver, Divergent, and The Hunger Games. Talk about fun!

Grading papers can be time-consuming, though—as can the administrative responsibilities. As much as I enjoy teaching, I’m looking forward to writing full time. My next dream is to buy a house with a lake view where I can write and gaze out for inspiration.

Jo: I love that you've nailed it down to five years from now. You go, girl! You had a Kirkus Review done for one of your books. Did that help your publicity at all? What has your favorite (most effective) marketing tool been?

Eva: I am so glad I was reviewed by Kirkus. One line in particular appears in most of my marketing materials: “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans.” That made me jump for joy!

Jo: I bet. I, Zombie got compared to Warm Bodies. I almost passed out! What influenced your decision to do audio versions of your books? How has that gone?

Eva: My own love for audiobooks prompted me to have them made. I absolutely love my narrators. Debbie Andreen has narrated all my Gatekeeper books and will be producing the last one as soon as I’m finished writing it. Coco Bell has just completed The Purgatorium, which will soon be available, and has agreed to produce the other two books in that trilogy. And Nancy Alexander narrated The Mystery Box with her fabulous, character-filled voice. All three of them have been great to work with, and the audiobooks make me proud.

Jo: I've been considering taking the leap myself; but I want to do the reading. We'll see. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Is there anything you wish I would’ve asked that I didn’t, or parting shots you’d like to leave my readers with?

Eva: I just want to make sure your readers know that they can download the first Gatekeeper book (The Gatekeeper’s Sons) for free where all ebooks are sold [Amazon linky]. Also, The Purgatorium will be free for a limited time (it will go back to full price at the end of June) in celebration of the June release of the second book, Gray’s Domain [Amazon linky for The Purgatorium]. In conjunction with that release, I am raising money for Active Minds, an organization devoted to mental health awareness and suicide prevention in young adults. Your readers can help by opting to donate through the Rafflecopter giveaway. I chose to raise money for this organization because The Purgatorium series deals with teen suicide. It’s about an island off the coast of California where Dr. Hortense Gray and her staff use experimental therapy to terrify their patients into loving life. It’s quite intense, and many of my readers have told me they feel like they got some therapy out of reading it!

Jo: I picked up one (or both) of those! *grin* I can’t wait to meet you at UtopYA Con in just a few short weeks! *squeals* Thank you so much for being my guest, Eva!

Now it’s time to tell you about the featured book of the week!

Title: The Mystery Box (The Mystery Book Collection #1)
Author: Eva Pohler
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Length (print): 404 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $2.99  ~  B&N $2.99  ~  Smashwords $2.99

Synopsis:
Soccer mom Yvette Palmer lives an ordinary life in San Antonio, Texas when a box is delivered to her by mistake, and in taking it to its rightful owner—a crotchety neighbor named Mona who shares her back fence—is drawn into a strange and haunting tale.

Mona’s ratty robe, mood swings, and secretive behavior all raise red flags, and Yvette is sure someone else is living there despite Mona’s claim to live alone, but Yvette is unable to break away as she listens to how Mona transformed from a young college woman about to be married to the odd, reclusive, ghost of a woman she is now.

As Yvette listens to her neighbor's tale, she discovers a shocking connection, but doesn't know whether Mona's come to help or to harm her and her family.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give Ms. Pohler a follow on social media?

Facebook: Eva Pohler
Twitter: @EvaPohler
Blog: http://www.evapohler.com

Be sure and come back June 1 for more information on Gray's Dominion and the Active Minds campaign!

If you have questions for Eva, pop them into the comments section below.

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review - Magic Unfolds

Happy Friday, everyone! Yay! It's time for the weekend once again! Not only do you have one awesome book to read because you picked up a copy of Reap (you did, right?), you'll have two once you snag a copy of the book you're getting a review for today. I've reviewed a couple of N. L. Greene's books here on the blog. The first was Twisted (5/5*), and the second was Illusions Begin (4/5*). Today, I bring you the second installment of the MysticSeeker series, Magic Unfolds. So, strap in, grab something cold to drink (it's blazing hot outside), and let's get going!

First, all about the book up for review today:

Title: Magic Unfolds (Book Two of the MysticSeeker series)
Author: N. L. Greene
Genre: YA Paranormal
Length (print): 190 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $2.99  ~  Paperback $11.10  ~  B&N $2.99

Synopsis:
For the first time in her life, Becky had hopes of fulfilling her own dreams when Blaine Winters inexplicably arrived into her quiet life, teasing her with astounding possibilities she never thought imaginable.  Not only did he reveal that magic was indeed real, but he also stirred feelings in her that she had only read about in clichéd romance novels.  But just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone.  Then Becky’s life was turned upside down by a family emergency.  With the overwhelming demands of running an elite law firm as well as her ex becoming more of a threat each day, she didn’t have time for whimsical thoughts or personal exploration anyway.

Now that Blaine has mysteriously disappeared from her life, she can put her family first and focus on what she needs to do.  If only it were that easy.  Blaine may be gone and all of Becky’s little girl dreams of a world filled with magic with him, but that doesn’t mean all’s forgotten.  Nightmares are plaguing her, someone is watching her, and there are powers within her that she can’t seem to control.

Will Becky finally get her chance at magic after all, even if she doesn’t want it?

Now that you know, let's get on what you came for.

I read the first book in this series and loved it. So, when I found out Greene was publishing book two, I got excited! I was so eager to see what happened next in Becky's life, I ran out and bought a copy on Amazon. What I got was unexpected; so much so that it left me yearning for more. Let me fill you in.

From a Reader's Perspective:
After the first book, I was looking forward to lots of magical situations and usage in the second. While it plays a key part as a manifestation, there wasn't a lot of actual magic use until the end. I had Samantha pegged early on, and the end revealed what I kinda figured was going on there. I adore how in love with Blaine Becky still is. She yearns for him, and I find it an endearing quality of her character. I wanted more magic throughout and was brought to the edge of my seat a time or two in anticipation, but the situations never turned out the way I hoped they would. While that aspect left me wanting, I still rooted for everything Becky was trying to do with her life. I see her struggle with splitting her desire to embrace magic and her desire to do right by her family. It makes the read volley forward, which makes up for the lack of actual use of magic. Saved.

From an Editor's Perspective:
Minor things the casual reader won't notice. It was pretty clean grammar-wise, actually.

Rating:
+1 Star for making me eager to read more
+1 Star for giving me more of Becky and resolving the Lance situation
+1 Star for awesome characters
+1 Star for lack of grammatical errors
-1 Star for potential of punch in the story not being reached
Overall, 4 out of 5 stars. Fans of the series will enjoy the book, and it's a decent middle novel to move things forward.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blog Tour - Magic Unfolds - Excerpt

Happy Thursday, everyone! Yay! Friday is tomorrow! How excited are you? I'm so eager for the weekend to start it's ridiculous. Today, I'm bringing you an excerpt from Magic Unfolds (Book 2 of the MysticSeeker series) by N. L. Greene. Grab your coffee, a comfy chair, and strap in for the ride!



Let's start with a little information about the book.

Title: Magic Unfolds (Book Two of the MysticSeeker series)
Author: N. L. Greene
Genre: YA Paranormal
Length (print): 190 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $2.99  ~  Paperback $11.10  ~  B&N $2.99

Synopsis:
For the first time in her life, Becky had hopes of fulfilling her own dreams when Blaine Winters inexplicably arrived into her quiet life, teasing her with astounding possibilities she never thought imaginable.  Not only did he reveal that magic was indeed real, but he also stirred feelings in her that she had only read about in clichéd romance novels.  But just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone.  Then Becky’s life was turned upside down by a family emergency.  With the overwhelming demands of running an elite law firm as well as her ex becoming more of a threat each day, she didn’t have time for whimsical thoughts or personal exploration anyway.

Now that Blaine has mysteriously disappeared from her life, she can put her family first and focus on what she needs to do.  If only it were that easy.  Blaine may be gone and all of Becky’s little girl dreams of a world filled with magic with him, but that doesn’t mean all’s forgotten.  Nightmares are plaguing her, someone is watching her, and there are powers within her that she can’t seem to control.

Will Becky finally get her chance at magic after all, even if she doesn’t want it?

Excerpt:

“Watch it, would you?” the person sneered.

“Samantha!” Becky yelled. She may have been tipsy, but she’d know that voice anywhere. She whirled around, hands in the air, and threw them around Samantha’s neck.

“Oh for shit’s sake,” she mumbled as she tried to pry Becky’s arms away.

 Becky relented when she felt Ethan pulling her back. But she didn’t go far. “Samantha! It’s so nice to see you. Do you come here often?” Becky asked with a little giggle.

Samantha rolled her eyes but there was a tiny smile at the corner of her lips. “Are you drunk?”

Becky pretended to be aghast. “Of course not!” she said as if she were offended by the accusation.

“Yes, yes she is,” Ethan said from behind her.

Becky turned back to glare at Ethan, who wasn’t even fazed by her dirty look, before turning back to her new best friend. But Samantha was staring at Ethan. Becky tilted her head, having sworn she saw something in the girls’ eyes, but then they snapped back to Becky, and whatever it was she thought she saw was gone. She shook her head and beamed at Samantha. “Wanna hang out with us?”

Samantha rolled her eyes and shook her head. “No,” she said and started to turn her back on them.

Becky quickly grabbed Samantha’s hand to stop her. “Why don’t you like me?” Becky asked, the alcohol making her much braver than normal.

Samantha stuttered for a moment. “I… I don’t not…” she let out a breath. “Look, I just don’t know you, okay?”

“Okay, well then let’s have lunch this week, and we can get to know each other.” Becky really liked the idea the more she thought about it. They lived in the same building, they seemed to be about the same age, and they both liked this bar. Why shouldn’t they be friends?

Samantha glanced at Ethan again quickly. “Fine,” she ground out before stomping off.

Becky turned to Ethan and squealed. “This is going to be so much fun!”

~ End of excerpt

About the author, N. L. Greene!

Author N.L. Greene is a writer of YA and NA Contemporary and Paranormal Romances. She currently lives in Florida with her husband and two beautiful daughters. When she isn't writing or reading, she enjoys traveling around the world with her family, shopping and doing other girly things with her girls, or playing video games with her husband. She is a lover of dogs, chocolate, and anything pink!

Amazon Author Page  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Goodreads  ~  Blog

I hope you all enjoyed reading that. Why not give N. L. Greene a follow on her social media sites while you're here? Links above!

BONUS! A rafflecopter giveaway for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back tomorrow for my review of Magic Unfolds

What did you think?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Review - Reap

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today I bring you yet another book from my Indie Fever 2014 Reading Challenge list. If you haven't heard of Indie Fever, I invite you to sign up and join us here. It's never too late to join the party! We're a group of readers trying to give Indies the love and attention they deserve. So far this year, I've read and reviewed twelve books by authors I've never read before. I've written a number of reviews this year of books by authors I love and follow, but I don't include those on my list. Because I haven't shared it in a while, I'll give it to you again.

Rebecca Trogner The Last Keeper's Daughter Amazon Kindle $7.99
Scott Marlowe The Five Elements Amazon Kindle $2.99 (currently reading)
L.K. Evans Keepers of Arden: The Brothers Volume 1 REVIEW HERE
Sarah Mäkelä The Witch Who Cried Wolf REVIEW HERE
Felicia Tatum Masked Encounters REVIEW HERE
Peprah Boasiako The Hitman Amazon Kindle $0.9
David T Griffith The Bestiarum Vocabulum REVIEW HERE
C. S. Janey Surrender To You Amazon Kindle $2.51
Thaddeus White Sir Edric's Temple REVIEW HERE
Gloria Piper Finnegan's Quest Amazon Kindle $4.99
Elle Todd The Elect Amazon Kindle $2.99
Heather Topham Wood The Memory Witch REVIEW HERE
N. L. Greene Illusions Begin REVIEW HERE
J. A. Huss Tragic REVIEW HERE
Morgan Wylie Silent Orchids Amazon Kindle **FREE**
Laura Howard The Forgotten Ones Amazon Kindle $2.99
Pauline Creeden Sanctuary REVIEW HERE
Casey Bond Reap REVIEW BELOW
Casey Bond Devil Creek REVIEW HERE
Skylar Hamilton Burris The Strange Marriage of Anne de Bourgh Amazon Kindle $2.99
Christina Marie Morales Ambience Amazon Kindle $0.99
Tamar Hela Feast Island Amazon Kindle $2.99
Molly Taggart Off Target Amazon Kindle $2.99
S. G. Daniels The Druid's Doorway REVIEW HERE
Misty Provencher The Fly House Amazon Kindle $0.99

I'm getting there. Slowly but surely!

Now, more about the book to be torn apart reviewed today:

Title: Reap (The Harvest Saga #1)
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length (print): 247 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $0.99

Synopsis:
The remnants of the United States of America have been divided. From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers.

In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greater’s engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.

Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew? And if she chooses Crew, will she lose her best friend? 

***Will not appear in review elsewhere. I have to say, I LOVE the cover for this book.  I want to jump in there and take a big bite out of that apple. I adore the colors, the layout, and the light. One tiny criticism would be to just use two fonts, enlarge the R, and apply a little kerning on some of the text. But, that's my designer eye looking at it.***

Let's move on to the stuff between the pages, shall we?

I snagged a copy of this book on Amazon and I'm so glad I did! It was an amazing little read and I got through it in just two days. You won't look at life the same way after you read this story. It's something you won't be able to quit thinking about when you're done reading (a sign of a great story). When you have to put it down to do something else, you'll be thinking about the story and yearning to pick it up again. But, enough of my rambling, let me tell you why it's awesome.

From a Reader's Perspective:
Holy wow. I couldn't put this book down until I got to the last page (and I still wanted more)! I'm completely intrigued to find out how this is all going to turn out in future books. Fans of the Hunger Games will see vague similarities in the Harvest Saga series, but Bond is taking it in a whole other direction. There's no slaughter in this book in order to reign supreme, rather a struggle to just be human and be allowed to live life. I adored the idea of Greaters and Lessers, and found it amazing that the author could think up something like that. Abby was a character I loved. I was shown her tough, motherly side in the first chapter, and she felt like she fit in with people I'd pal around with because of their virtues. Bad guys in this book are despicably evil, and the good guys are awesome, though the lines get blurry now and then as you read. I got so angry with the behavior of one of the devious characters, I wanted to reach in the book and slap his whole family. That's when you know you've gotten hold of a good read. World building was perfect, and the ending was everything a first book in a series ought to be: Engaging, nerve-racking, and surprising in many ways.

From an Editor's Perspective:
Well, let me just say, there were a ton of run-on sentences, comma splices, and tense jumps; but, oddly, none of it took me out of the story. I kept reading until I was finished. While those things were irritating sometimes, they didn't take away from what I was getting out of the words. Sadly, I can't give a star for editing in this case.

Rating:
+1 Star for keeping me engaged and vested in the story
+1 Star for awesome world-building
+1 Star for the characters and the connection (and, alternately, mad hate) I felt
+1 Star for a wonderful ending that felt like the author didn't rush, but left me on the edge of my seat
- 1 Star for editing
Overall 4 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended read for fans of dystopian novels with a twist of romance.

What do you think? Plan to check it out?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Double Cover Reveal! Raine Thomas's Ascendant Series

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, I'm bringing you an awesome double cover reveal for Raine Thomas's new books. Strap in and get ready! Here we go!

Double Cover Reveal!!!

Titles: Rout of the Dem-Shyr and Rise of the Faire-Amanti
Series: The Ascendant Series, Books 2 and 3
Author: Raine Thomas
Publisher: Iambe Books, LLC
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design
Genre: New Adult Sci-Fi Romance
Recommended Audience: Readers 17+
Projected Release Dates: Rout of the Dem-Shyr (July, 2014) and Rise of the Faire-Amanti (Nov, 2014)
~     ~     ~

On to the big reveals!

Rout of the Dem-Shyr (Ascendant Series, Book 2)

Rise of the Faire-Amanti (Ascendant Series, Book 3)

Check out the covers all together. Don't they look amazing??

Did you miss the first book in the series, Return of the Ascendant? Grab your copy today!

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

~     ~     ~

And now, it's Trailer Reveal Time! Turn those speakers up!!!

Trailer created by Flatline Films


How awesome is that book trailer? I love, love, love, the music!

I hope you all enjoyed looking at the pretty :)

What do you think? Are you gonna check it out?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, May 12, 2014

Clauses, Introductory Phrases, and Commas

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Well, here we are! This is the start of a whole new week. Are you excited yet? I have some awesome things coming for you on the blog this week I just know you're gonna love. Tomorrow, another writing post like the one today. Wednesday, a book review for Reap by Casey L. Bond (you HAVE to check that one out). And Thursday, a post about N. L. Greene's new release Magic Unfolds (there may be a surprise review in that one, too, if I can get done reading it by then). Friday, I'll be bringing you some information about a book I have in the works. Sounds like a lot of fun coming your way, eh? Well, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get into clauses, introductory phrases, and commas!

Let's begin with the clause:
A clause is like a sentence within a sentence. It's something you can remove from the words around it and those words retain their meaning. A clause must be set off with a set (that's two) of commas. Example:

I went to the store, because we needed eggs and milk, and found myself wandering the aisles instead of shopping for what I went after.

Clause: because we needed eggs and milk
Sentence: I went to the store and found myself wandering the aisles instead of shopping for what I went after.

Now, we know it's a clause because we can remove it and the other words still make sense. Be sure you're checking this when you edit. If something can't be removed, you need to figure out if it's an introductory phrase rather than a clause. Comma appropriately.

Introductory Phrases are those that can be moved to the end of the sentence and still have it make sense. These are offset with a single comma, and they can come in handy when beginning too many sentences with the same word (like he, she, or I). Note: That last sentence I wrote didn't have an introductory phrase, it had two whole thoughts joined by a comma and the word and. Completely different things. Example:

To get a better view of the elephants, she walked up to the fence and stuck her face through the bars.

Introductory Phrase: To get a better view of the elephants.
Sentence: She walked up to the fence and stuck her face through the bars.

Why is it an introductory phrase and not two complete thoughts? Because one doesn't make sense without the other. How can you check? Split them up and rearrange them. Example:

She walked up to the fence and stuck her face through the bars to get a better view of the elephants.

Without the second part, we don't know why she walked up to the fence and stuck her face through the bars. These two segments also can't be separated because the introductory phrase isn't a complete sentence in and of itself; it needs the second half to make sense.

You cannot join two independent thoughts with a comma while leaving out the word and. That calls for a semicolon or a period and separation. Example:

I love to look at the elephants roaming around their enclosure, they're my favorite animals.

No, no, no. This must be written:

I love to look at the elephants roaming around their enclosure. They're my favorite animals.
OR
I love to look at the elephants roaming around their enclosure; they're my favorite animals.


Why? Because they're my favorite animals isn't a dependent clause; it's a whole thought/sentence.

Again, check it to be sure it can't be moved to the front and make sense like this:

They're my favorite animals I love to look at the elephants roaming around their enclosure.

You wouldn't stick a comma between those to join them this way. Right? Right. So, you can't do it the other way.

It's an easy thing to check if you're aware of how to check it.

If you want to know more about when to/not to use a comma, check out this post.

How about you? Were you aware of this little trick?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review - Tbinkerknese 101 - Poetic Enrichment for Teens

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! I bet you're all ready for the weekend, huh? Yeah, I am, too! Next week begins the craziness of packing around here, but I've scheduled time in my days to post here on the blog. Let's hope life doesn't kick me around too hard and disable my schedule. So, today, I bring you a review for a book of poetry. I've only reviewed one other poetry book (because the genre isn't my favorite), but I edited this one and I'm behind the message inside one hundred percent. I think all teens should read this book and take the time to consider the words on the pages. Well, heck, let's get going, shall we?

As always, a little about the book up for review:

Title: Tbinkerknese 101 (Book One) Poetic Enrichment for Teens
Author: E. L. Thomas Sr.
Genre: Teen Inspirational Poetry
Length (print): 106 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $7.25  ~  Paperback $13.46  ~  Coil Bound $14.95  ~  Smashwords $7.25  ~ B&N $7.25

Synopsis:
“Okay, teens, let’s go speak some TBINKERKNESE.”

E. L. Thomas Sr. has created this language specifically to break down communication barriers with teens. Quips, like the one above, in this inspiring book of poetry will keep you engaged throughout. Inside, there are 101 tidbits of useful, practical advice for teens, parents, and teachers, all communicated in a fun way while retaining a note of seriousness.

If you’re the parent of a teen, or a young person yourself, you’ll love getting lost in the pages of this book. Hopefully, it’ll open up lines of communication thought to be lost and get you thinking about life. With lines to record your thoughts as you read each poem, it beckons to be used as more than just a casual reading device.

***Will not appear in review elsewhere. I did the edit, cover design, and interior layout for this book, and Tia Silverthorne Bach did the proofread. I love this cover so darn much. It really gives the inside the beautiful face it deserves. We produced a coil bound book so it would feel more like a journal to the teens who read it. More than the poems, the message inside is worth every moment your teen will spend writing their own reactions.***

Let's get on to the review now.

I'm not a giant fan of poetry, but I read it now and again and studied it a lot in college. That being said, if I come across a book of poems, I'll pick them up and give them a look. If I read one or two and find myself intrigued, I'll buy it and cart it home to look at on occasion for pondering of the words inside. I've always found poetry too profound. When E. L. Thomas Sr. contacted me to do the edit, I was intrigued. Once I saw the manuscript, I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to work on something I hope makes a difference. Tbinkerknese 101 isn't your typical poetry book. Let me tell you why!

From a Reader's Perspective:
I found myself laughing out loud at the quips, one-liners, and outright honesty of the poems in this book. Almost wishing I'd had the gumption to write something like this, I found myself relating my own experiences in high school and as a parent as I read. These poems aren't constructed to be profoundly obscure. They're straight to the point and hit you right in the gut when you read them. There are poems in there for parents, teachers, and teens (and the teens will find the poems about their elders to be quite hilarious). I couldn't help but be sucked in by the words, the message, and the honesty of the book. If you've never read poetry, this is a wonderful title to start with. It won't jade you on the whole genre. Plus, it's a quick and painless read!

From an Editor's Perspective:
Like I said above, I did the edit on this book. If you find any gross errors, kindly let us know. There shouldn't be any. Of course, to find an error in poetry is like finding spit in your hamburger: You aren't really sure it wasn't intentional, even if it doesn't seem right.

Rating:
+ 1 Star for making me laugh (I love to laugh)
+ 1 Star for holding back on the obscurity
+ 1 Star for giving me a read I could get behind the message of
+ 1 Star for renewing the idea of poetry for me
+ 1 Star for lack of errors
Overall 5 out of 5 stars! Recommended for teens who see the world as it is, and for teens who need to.

I hope you all enjoyed this review! As a little extra for you, you can enter to win one of two print copies, an e-book, or $25 in Amazon cash here.

What do you think? Do you enjoy poetry?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review - Chasing Shadows

Happy frikkin' Thursday, everyone! Time for another book review here on the blog. With tomorrow being Friday and all, I figured: What better way to prep for the weekend than by snagging a free book and one on sale while hearing the nitty-gritty about the details? If you missed the post from yesterday, go check it out for a couple of chances to win copies of Chasing Shadows. Strap in and let's get going!

As always, a little about the book I'm reviewing today before we get into the fun stuff:

Title: Chasing Shadows (Tala Prophecy - Book Two)
Author: Tia Silverthorne Bach
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Length (print): 312 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $0.99 (for a limited time) Paperback $11.66

Synopsis:
Reagan thought one night changed her life forever, but her fate was written long ago.

Merging creature and white blood,
One of flame, one of night,
At eighteen years it will commence,
Spiritual warrior and power,
Will bring an end to the lawless ones.

A war looms: One that pits brother against brother for werewolf supremacy. Angels and demons will each have a say before a victor is chosen.

With her eighteenth birthday only six months away, time is running out. Reagan must find a way to harness the two powerful, ancient bloodlines coursing through her: Werewolf and Wiccan. Then, she has to figure out her role in the century-old prophecy foretold by her great-grandmother.

However, if Reagan can’t save her family from her most vicious rival, Rafe, the forces of Hell will be unleashed and the war will be over before it starts.

I designed that cover, so I have nothing to say about it except: Isn't it cool? *grin* There are some subtle things on there you may not notice at first glance. They tell a lot about the book inside. Look for them.

So, without lollygagging, I give you my review:

I was the editor from INDIE Books Gone Wild for Chasing Shadows; so, needless to say, I've read it. I wasn't sure what to expect out of this second book in the series, because the first one was unbelievably awesome. Tia still manages to make me gasp with revelations I never see coming (and I see pretty much everything). Anyway, it released yesterday, and I snagged a copy here on Amazon so I'd have it forever in my digital library. Enough about that, let's move on to the meat of the review.

From a Reader's Perspective:
You're gonna get everything you're looking for if you're a fan of teen werewolf stories. There's anger, cool abilities, lots of bacon eating (uh, yum!), and teen crushes run amok. In this book, you're introduced to a prophecy released on humanity by Reagan's great-grandmother. It has to do with the end of the world and two wolves: a red one and a black one (or so we believe from the words - prophecies are shady things). Well, if you read book one in the series, you know Reagan has flaming red hair and shifts into a wolf with a red pelt. You'll also know she has a brother. Both youngsters play key parts in book two. A lot of the dangling questions from book one got answered, while more questions arose in book two that I hope get answered in book three (or four, maybe?).

I'm still a huge fan of Reagan's character. She's tough, but has her emo moments where she breaks down and allows herself a temper-tantrum or two. Those were some of my favorite scenes. Watching a person fall apart after they've been strong for so long makes me root for them harder. Heck, I was even deeply vested in the secondary characters. I can't wait to read more about the other members of the pack in future books. Mom, Susie, redeemed herself in this book, and we see where she was coming from in Chasing Memories.

I adore the love interest (he's a good guy, not a bad boy), and can't wait to see where the tide rolls him and Reagan. There's a big cliffhanger in this book that left me gasping for air and screaming when I couldn't turn the page to read more. It was awesome.

From an Editor's Perspective:
Gosh, I hope we caught all the little errors. If you see something we missed, kindly let us know. There should be very few, if any.

Rating:
+1 Star for answering questions I had about stuff that happened in Chasing Memories
+1 Star for surprising me again and again
+1 Star for showing me so much about werewolf culture and making my jaw drop in the end
+1 Star for giving me likeable characters I could root for
+1 Star for editing. I suppose you could say I'm giving this to myself, but you'll see.
Overall, 5 out of 5 stars. Recommended for fans of YA Paranormal who love twists and turns.

I hope you all enjoyed this review. As a bonus, Chasing Memories is FREE right now over on Amazon in celebration of the release of Chasing Shadows. I do hope you'll all grab one (regularly $2.99!) and see for yourself how amazing this series is.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo