Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blog Tour: Echoes of Savanna & Raven's Song by Lucinda Moebius


Today I'm happy to host science fiction and fantasy author Lucinda Moebius on the blog. Read on to find out about her background, her writing, and a cool new feature on her website, a section that's like an online critique/writing workshop!

Here's Lucinda.....

Thank you KC for hosting me on your site today.  

Let me introduce myself to your followers.  My name is Lucinda Moebius and I write Science Fiction and Fantasy novels.  In addition I am also a teacher, reader, daughter, sister, mother, wife, aunt, student and everything else that could possibly make anyone’s life interesting and confusing.  I’m sure my life isn’t any more complicated than the next guy’s.  One of my many incarnations is that of an English Teacher.  I write a little bit every day, read a little bit every day and continue to work to perfect my craft.  I’m not an expert in the craft, but I’m always trying to find ways to improve and grow as an artist.  While there is always a sense of fear when I share my work with others, I welcome feedback and take critique as a way to improve.  Being a writer means being part of a community of artists who love to discuss their craft and improve their art.  I constantly talk to other writers and discuss ways to create better stories.  It’s not about competition, it’s about the art.

Even since I can remember I wanted to be a teacher.  I love the idea of working with children and teaching them something that will stay with them forever.  There is an almost magical feeling when a student gets a concept and has that Ah Ha moment.  It is like a light bulb goes off and their eyes light up.  I teach high school and college in addition to writing novels.  My students always ask me if I get rich from my writing would I give up teaching and I tell them no.  One of the reasons I write is to demonstrate literary elements.  Even if I don’t teach in a traditional classroom I will always be a teacher.

I want to introduce your readers to a new feature on my website.  Becoming a better writer means work.  In order to write well I need to study the elements of writing: plot, characterization, dialogue, conflict and many others to numerous to mention here.  I am inviting people to submit their unpublished, original works to the Story Time section of my website.  All work must be appropriate for all audiences.  Work will not be edited for content or grammar and will be posted as is.  The work will be critiqued and the writer will receive feedback from other writers and readers.  I intend to turn this section of the website into a writing workshop.  The hope is the author will take the critique and use it to improve their writing.  In my heart I will always be a teacher in addition to a writer.  I hope to foster a positive learning environment where writers can come to learn and grow their craft.

Echoes of Savanna:
Every generation has its defining moments, events that change history and turn the course of lives. Forever will the children of that generation be defined by those moments.

Savanna Taylor is a medical doctor in 2036, the same year terrorists release a series of plagues and viruses into the world. She is a nineteen year old Brain Trust whose task it is to find a cure for the diseases and develop vaccines to prevent their further spread. The world is thrown in turmoil and Savanna needs to find a way to survive with her sanity and family intact. She needs to find a safe Haven for herself and for those she loves.

Can Savanna cope in a world in constant flux brought on by war and disease? Can she save the world and protect her loved ones or will she make the ultimate sacrifice? How will she be defined?

Raven’s Song:
The next generation has come into its own.  Raven, Savanna’s impulsive, impetuous daughter has begun her own epic journey.

Raven was born in a time of turmoil and war.  She decides her calling in life is to be a soldier.  Sacrificing the shelter and security of Haven, Raven puts herself at risk to save others.  She finds herself in perilous situations and thrust into the role of leadership despite her own misgivings.  The Siren’s Song of Haven is continuously singing to her.  She could be safe, protected, sheltered and warm if she returned to Haven and its stone walls.  But, is it her destiny to live in the walls of Haven, or is there another destiny in store for this child of Haven?

About the author:
Lucinda Moebius grew up in the mountains of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Her mother taught her to read when she was four years old and since that time books have been her constant companions. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Teaching, a Master’s in Educational Leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education. Lucinda supports her writing habit by teaching High School and College. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, stepson and their dog and cat.

Find me on facebook: Lucinda Hawks Moebius
Buy on Amazon:   Echoes of Savanna | Raven’s Song

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SHIFT by M.R. Merrick Up for Grabs!


EXILED, Book 1 in The Protector series by M.R. Merrick has a couple of great kick-butt characters. I'm just about to start reading SHIFT, Book 2, and I fully expect more of the same! I'm giving away a Kindle copy of Book 2, SHIFT (U.S. residents only). Enter below (you may have to click Read More to get to the Rafflecopter form), and then scroll down for more great giveaways!

SHIFT (The Protector, Book 2) by M.R. Merrick:

Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else–a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.

SHIFT is book 2 in The Protector series. If you haven't read Book 1, EXILED, I highly recommend it - lots of action, and very memorable characters.

Enter to win a Kindle copy of SHIFT (U.S. only)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to Get Reviewers to Come to YOU

As an author, you have a product to sell. Not published yet? That's no excuse - you always have something to sell, even if it's just yourself! Before I published Pyxis last November, I had a product I had to sell to a very specific market. I needed to "sell" the ARC of Pyxis to reviewers.

The more reviews written up right when the book released, the better. Reviews are extremely important for buyer confidence, and book bloggers can give a book great exposure when they blog their reviews.

But as a nobody, unpublished, first-time author, how could I get reviewers interested in reading in reviewing my book? Well, I thought about it a lot, and I had a couple of revelations.  

And those revelations led to over 130 reviewer requests 
for an ARC of Pyxis - a debut, unknown book - over 3 weeks. 

Those were REQUESTS - reviewers coming to me. I didn't have to solicit, email, beg, or plead. I actually ended up closing to requests earlier than I'd planned because I didn't want to hand out a bazillion ARCs.

I applied the same principles when I started recruiting bloggers for my blog tour. And I ended up with three or four times as many book bloggers volunteering to host tour stops than I'd planned for. What a nice problem to have! :)

Guess what? Next Wednesday I'm giving away alllll my secrets about how to get reviewers interested in your book and get more blog tour hosts than you know what to do with. And how to do it with minimal effort on your part - by getting THEM to come to YOU.

StoneHouse University is hosting this webinar, and here are the things I'll be talking about:

• How to get bloggers to come to YOU for an ARC of your book
• Where to find blogs for your tour
• How to make your blog tour stand out from all the others
• More book blogger survey results - what book bloggers really want from authors
• What makes bloggers bump a book to the top of their TBR piles
• How to build great relationships with bloggers
• Helpful tools and widgets for promoting your tour and doing giveaways
• Detailed sample timelines for planning through follow-up
• The 1 thing that will make bloggers drop everything to help you (hint: it has nothing to do with your book)
• The 2 philosophies we use that get bloggers excited to work with us (regardless of whether they love the book we’re touring)
 The bookish brunette
Aaaand this webinar will also feature special guest Ashley, aka Bookish Brunette, book blogger extraordinaire!

Here are the details - space is limited, so if you're interested don't wait to sign up!



Book Blog Tours Part 2: Advanced Tips and Tricks

Location: Online - just need an internet connection to attend
Format: Interactive webinar - you can live chat and ask questions during the presentation
Date and Time: Wednesday March 14 10:00 a.m. to noon (Mountain Time, MST)
Cost: US$50 for interactive live class, US$45 for video recording of the class
Topics We Will Cover: See list above
Register Here


If you missed Part 1, 10 Steps to a Successful Book Blog Tour (the webinar above is Part 2), you can purchase a recording of it for $45 - just email Aaron at stonehousepress@hotmail.com. Part 1 is a great foundation for understanding how to plan, structure, and carry out a book blog tour. Here's what one attendee had to say about Part 1:

Feedback from Book Blog Tours Part 1: 10 Steps to a Successful Tour
“Just finished attending the Blog Tour webinar with Aaron Patterson and K.C. Neal presented by StoneHouse University. Sooooo worth the price of the ticket. Check it out at stonehouseink.net and link to their SH University page for future offerings. In this brave new world of digital EVERYthing, authors can’t afford to miss opportunities to learn from those more experienced in cybermarketing. Just plain brilliant.
Thanks, so much.”
—Sally J. Smith, Writer

Learn more about StoneHouse University

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Post: New YA SPIDER BRAINS by Bestselling Author Susan Wingate

Today on the blog I have bestselling author Susan Wingate, whose debut YA novel Spider Brains, will release in May. Read on for the blurb and a teaser!

SUSAN WINGATE, #1 Amazon Bestseller for DROWNING! DROWNING won the 2011 Forward National Literature Award for Drama. Susan is best known for her award-winning Bobby’s Diner Series. BOBBY’S DINER reached bestseller status nabbing the #5 spot on Fictionwise.com in 2008. A vibrant public speaker, Susan often presents inspirational and motivational talks about the craft of writing, marketing, and how to survive in this extremely volatile Publishing industry.


out of 5 stars on Amazon.com “Absorbing” ~ Phyllis Schieber (author of “The Manicurist” and “The Sinner’s Guide to Confession”)
out of 5 stars on Amazon.com “DROWING is Intensely absorbing” ~ Dr. Veronica Esagui (author of the “Veronica’s Diary” series)

out of 5 stars on Amazon.com “Gripping” ~ TC Elliot


out of 5 stars on Amazon.com “A tale about the explosiveness of secrets, and, ultimately, redemption.” ~ Michael Bellomo (Award-winning author)
out of 5 stars on Amazon.com “I loved Drowning by Susan Wingate” ~ RD Larson (author of “Evil Angel”)

Susan Wingate’s Debut YA Novel <> Available May 15, 2012

If you would like to read SPIDER BRAINS on my blog, I’ll be posting this story daily (with the occasional break by some amazing guest author postings) and chapter-by-chapter. Press Here to Read an Installment of SPIDER BRAINS.

A Short Synopsis of SPIDER BRAINS:  If one were to bake the story SPIDER BRAINS into a cake, they should sprinkle in Charlotte’s Web, toss in one Jellicle Cat, then stir in a little Spiderman—but as a girl and not in that goofy latex outfit! A tale of hope, transformation, transition and inspiration.
After her father’s death last year and, now, in the throes of a gnarly teacher’s whim as she thinks ahead to college (or really just dreams of getting into college), a small black arachnid bites fifteen-year-old Susie Speider on the finger. The bite sends her nights into fantastical dreams about taking revenge on a teacher who, ultimately, holds her college aspirations in the palm of her cold calloused hand. But, after Susie figures out the dreams are real, she ups the ante by visiting the teacher regularly… as the spider! And, oh, by the way! Who is that boy spider munching on flies, hiding over there in the corner? A story of loss and forgiveness, tolerance and kindness, Susie Speider deals with the death of her father while Matt Ryder–the new neighbor boy–has just lost his mother. Ultimately, SPIDER BRAINS poses some important questions about how to treat Attention-Deficit-Disorder.

“Simply put, Susan Wingate is a master of the written word.  In SPIDER BRAINS, she weaves a heart-warming tale full of wit and intrigue: a nod to Kafka’s Metamorphosis in a quirky blend with The Princess Diaries.  There are laugh out loud moments with the teenage protagonist, Susie Speider, whose voice was well executed and credible.  But there are also moments that tug at the heartstrings and even bring a tear to the eye, as we see Susie’s angst when she faces pain from the past, as well as redemption through the relationship with her mother. Whether or not you’re a fan of YA literature, you’ll love SPIDER BRAINS.  But don’t expect anything ordinary!” ~Joshua Graham, award-winning, no. 1 Amazon & no. 1 Barnes & Noble bestselling author of “Darkroom” (S&S/Howard Books) and “Beyond Justice”)

“A heartwarming story full of laughs, great friendship, a touch of romance, and lots of fun facts about spiders and more. Every now and then a wonderful book like this one comes along that entertains while it teaches. I look forward to reading SPIDER BRAINS with my kids!” ~Ann Charles, award-winning author of the Deadwood Mystery Series

Pre-Sale Orders Now Being Taken Thru
SPIDER BRAINS

 ONE – Speider: The “E” is Silent
Me?
Super human kid by night, regular high school teenager by day. I’m a junior. Well, next year.
My name is Susie Speider. The E is silent. My name is NOT pronounced speeder. For crying out loud. We are not a family of racers. Sheesh.
My problem? There are two major-stager problems in my life. My meds, for starters. They say I’m ADD. Yeah. Like, so, I concentrate on the moment du jour. What’s wrong with that?
Then, there’s the issue with my grades. They suck. And, my teacher, Ms. Morlson. She hates my guts! She holds my going or not going to the U in the palm of her cold calloused clammy hands.

(This  is a pic of me. The QUEEN of dorks). But, with the new glasses my mom got me and my new meds, maybe I can improve over the next two years enough to bring my grades up to pass with something decent.
The problem? With these new glasses now I look like a short amorphous geeky version of the svelte coolamundo Morticia from the Addam’s Family but not in a good way and certainly not with her way cool clingy clothes. Plus, with my braces, lord, I look like the empress of geeks on planet Nerd-O-1.
As mom says my glasses might allow me grades, “good enough to get you into at least one of the state’s colleges.” She said colleges but I knew she meant universities.
Mom didn’t go to college so she thinks any grade higher than high school senior is college. I suppose she’s right to some extent but there are those, you know, who might argue.
Sooo.
I’m trying out new words right now, new catch-phrases, like “fierce” and “sick,” and like “rad.” Rad is just a shortened word for radical. I’m thinking of shortening the word amazing to “am” or “azin’” but worry that people might mistake me for a Cockney gal talking about small wrinkly fruit. That would be lame.
See, though, and this is pretty astonishing, the editor of the school newspaper, she’s a senior her name is Tanya (not pronounced Tŏnya but Tănya), well, I sort of think she understands me. I think. I mean, ’cause, whenever I see her, I give her an installment of a very unique and unusual, weird word. I find them on this way cool website called, BrownieLocks. Anywho. She treats me okay. She takes my words, anyway, and sometimes they show up in the paper.
Of course, no one will want to use any of the words I make up.
I’m not cool. Only cool kids make up catch-phrases like sick.
I’m a nerd and not even the good kind. My grades suck. So, I guess, that makes me more of a dork.
Pathetic.
I have a pussy, a pussy-cat. And, yes, I say pussy so Get Over It!
Most of my girlfriends have pussies, well, two of them. Anyway, the only two girlfriends I have in the whole entire world who go Ronkonkoma High, Ricki and Jamie. The only bad thing about Ronkonkoma High School, well other than the mascot (the Roc), the pep clubbers ( the Roc-kers), all the popular kids, the loadies, the boys who somehow believe they magically lived in Tombstone during their gestation period and came out cowboys, the principle, and Ms. Morlson. Well, the only bad thing other than those bad things is that Ronkonkoma High sits only a block or so past the cemetery and the cemetery sits a block or so past my house.
I hate the cemetery. I used to walk by it. No prob.
Anymore? Not so much. Now, I go the long way.
Mine is named Delilah. My cat!? My pussy cat!? ‘Member?
Ricki’s is Joe.
Dweeb. Plus, Joe is a girl. Dweeb squared.
Jamie’s is Sasha. A more pussy-like name. If. Ever.
Ricki’s name is really Ricki but Jamie’s is not. Jamie’s real name is Jane because of some freakish love affair Jane’s mother and father have for Tarzan. They have every kind of Tarzan story, poster, old movie playbill, Tarzan dolls (still in their packaging for better return on their dollars! OMG), and Tarzan sidekicks too, like Boy and Cheetah. It’s totally dorky. Although, I must admit, Cheetah is pretty cool.

TO READ MORE CHAPTERS OF “SPIDER BRAINS” CLICK HERE