Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG~The Art of Not Going NUTS While Learning About Book Marketing

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As I scan over this image, I see words I've never had to pay attention before. Pricing. Target, Market. I guess it hasn't been so much that I haven't paid them attention, but that I've avoided them. 

Thus #IWSG major fear - MARKETING

Now I know most authors have been in my position. Just sold your first book, thinking about edits, book cover, blurbs, etc... Not to mention you're pretty excited to dress, sparkle, and shine your first book baby.

But then your brain shifts. The reality gears between your ears begin to rotate and make an awful squealing noise. (Trust me, it's fingers-on-a-chalkboard worthy.) New questions form and coil into slithering eels of doubt that slink over all your gray matter.  

How will I enhance my website to promote my first release? What sort of games, gifts of services, and swag related to the story should I offer up? And then there's this monthly newsletter thing I can't avoid anymore. What do I include in that? How do I get folks interested enough to sign up to receive it?

What about the color palette for the book cover and image ideas I have? I'll need to prepare my dedication and acknowledgement pages soon - even those will tell people about me, who I am and what's important to me. Then there will be interviews. Promoting myself is as important as promoting my work. But I stink cheese doodles when it comes to talking about me. 

Holy make my head explode! I knew this would be a learning curve, but I fear I'll lose my sanity. Or what's left of it after having four kids.

How did you handle this stress? Any insight to offer?

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. Feel free to JOIN in anytime.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

THE BODY INSTITUTE by Carol Riggs & A Giveaway!

So today Carol Riggs is celebrating her book blitz with us. I think the book's premise is fascinating and really makes the reader think. Instead of following regular book blitz protocol, I've decided to switch things up a bit. But first, let's peek at Carol's fabulous book!


Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: September 1, 2015

Description: Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute. 

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Writers: ever make a list of all the changes made to your manuscript before it hit the shelves? Or after your umpteenth draft? Readers: ever wonder what your favorite character was like on initial creation? It can be intriguing to mull over such a list, especially for the writer. And Carol's decided to share a few changes this manuscript went through before it was finalized.

1. BOYFRIEND NO MORE. The main character, Morgan Dey, used to have a boyfriend named Aaron in the beginning of the novel—until 8 months before the book was published. He got slashed by Carol’s Entangled Teen editor. In the original version, Morgan broke up with him by walloping him in virtual paintball.

2. BEST FRIEND TWEAK. Morgan’s best friend, Blair McClure, was called Bunny in the first drafts. Blair sounds more serious and fits her better, now that she’s Morgan’s science-minded friend.

3. TITLE CHANGE. The previous title of THE BODY INSTITUTE used to be SHAPERS. This was changed by Strange Chemistry when the book was under contract with them, before they went out of business and Entangled Teen picked up the book. ET liked the new title and kept it.

4. EVEN EARLIER TITLES. Back in 1990 when the novel was just an idea, the working title was FARRADAY’S FAT FARM. In 2010 when Carol started the actual writing, this morphed into EMRT. (Electromagnetic Resonance Transfer—the process of downloading one person’s brainmap into another person’s body.)  An editor at an SCBWI conference wisely suggested that Carol change this to SHAPERS. (Now the body-swapping process is more simply called ERT, which is more reader-friendly.)

5. INSTITUTE WORKERS. When the book was called SHAPERS, the weight loss was performed by workers called Shapers, instead of being called Reducers as they are now.  

6. AVATARS NO MORE. In early versions, Morgan had a holographic princess warrior avatar that popped up on her phone; she used this instead of the texts and voice-to-text that appear in the final version of the book. Bunny communicated using a (duh) bunny avatar, and Krista used a slinky clown. Morgan’s ex-boyfriend Aaron was a troll.
Hosted by YA Bound Books Tours

Want more Carol? Connect with her here! Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

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Monday, August 24, 2015

The Duality Bridge ~ Is There More Beyond Here?

Wistful YA is my reoccurring spotlight, giving young adult literature center stage.

Have you heard of Susan Kaye Quinn? Of course some of you have. Well, Susan was probably one of the first ten bloggers I ever met online. She's wife, mom, rocket scientist (no joke), and the brain behind the bestselling young adult science fiction series MINDJACK Trilogy. She also has published young adult steampunk fantasy romances, adult urban fantasies, stories in anthologies, and even a middle grade novel. 

Yeah, she's been busy. 

Today I have THE DUALITY BRIDGE: Singularity 2, the second book in her latest young adult series, to share with you. Plus, if you scroll to the end, you can enter her giveaway!

THE DUALITY BRIDGE by Susan Kaye Quinn

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Released: August 17, 2015
Formats: Paperbook; eBook
Pages: 426

I'd like to thank the author for supplying me with an eCopy in exchange for an unbiased review.

Favorite Lines/Passage: She drops her voice to a whisper. "You didn't choose to be this, Eli."
I nod, but there's a fury on her face that keeps me quiet.
"And if there's anyone I've ever met who I'm certain has a soul... it's you."
I have no idea what to say to that.
She peers into my eyes, and I wonder if she's searching for it--as if she can see my soul through the black of my irises if she looks hard enough. (54%, ebook)

Description: What does it mean to be human?

Elijah Brighton is the face of the Human Resistance Movement. He’s the Olympic-level painter who refused an offer of immortality from the ascenders—the human/machine hybrids who run the world—in solidarity with the legacy humans who will never get a chance to live forever.

Too bad it’s all a complicated web of lies.

Worse, Eli’s not even entirely human. Few know about the ascenders’ genetic experiments that left him… different. Fewer know about the unearthly fugue state that creates his transcendent art—as well as a bridge that lets him speak to the dead. But the Resistance is the one place he can hide from the ascender who knows everything the fugue can do. Because if Marcus finds him, he’ll either use Eli for his own nefarious purposes… or destroy him once and for all.

The Duality Bridge is the second book in the Singularity series and the sequel to The Legacy Human. This thrilling new young adult science fiction series explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world.


My Splats: 
Our first peek into book II is fraught with tension as Elijah and the legacy humans' fight for independence and right to 'life' continues. But it does more than simply continue. This sequel thrusts Eli into his new self, the self he knew nothing about in book I. Family and friends are put in harms way. The Resistance is jeopardized. His 'weirdness' is even called into question and suspected of making him a traitor. All of which forces Eli to come to terms with who he is, how he was created, and decide whether he's man enough to battle against what his true nature was intended for. 

The world created is genuine. There's a tangibility about it that is truly plausible; as you read you can feel it. The characters are so invested in it that nothing else seems to have existed. Unique terminology breaths more life into the world of legacy humans and ascenders - the ascenders who have a unified home or connection base, where all ascenders cognitions link. Think telepathy, but with downloading and storage capabilities. Words and phrases such as holo grid, nanites, bodyforms, and mechanized military sentries color each page. 

Now I'm not a huge sci fi buff, but there was enough emotional material, enough character development that bridged any gap of speculation I had before reading. Action-packed scenarios of internal emotions conflict with outward operations and decisions. Camouflaged convictions twist outward choices. Threatens lives. And as Eli grows more in tune with his purposes, his 'ability' to tap into what some feel is a true connection with God, his already complicated world goes haywire.

One aspect I really enjoyed was how the author didn't necessarily separate science and God. Not religion, but the theme that a higher power has a hand in everything and all, even science. The idea that there is more. A hinged connection is created throughout the story that makes one ponder human existence and what's after. Then again, just like in real life, there are those radicals whose beliefs extend beyond any godly mercy, which begs more questions about a higher creator, what lies beyond these ascenders, and what Eli can really tap into. 

If you're looking for a tale to sweep you into another world all while peeling away layers of its characters' to reveal hopes and dreams, fears and dangers, than this book - and the entire series - is absolutely for you. 

For your own interest, here's the first book in the series:

What would you give to live forever?

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

Giveaway ends 9/6/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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So I know it can be a touchy subject, but what do you think about something beyond ourselves? A guiding hand far beyond our minute human frailty? 
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