Sunday, November 30, 2014

Poll time: What should I call my new book?

Good news! Planning has started on the 5th and final Helheim book BUT I'm having trouble coming up with a name for it. These are my options:

I'd love to have your input!


What should the title of the 5th Helheim book be?

Half Broken
Half Beaten
Finale
Omega

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Release Day: Winter Wolf (A New Dawn Novel, #1) by Rachel M. Raithby

winterwolf banner RELEASE DAY


Winter Wolf-ebooklg
Synopsis:

Katalina Winter has been living for eighteen years, with a secret hidden inside of her, a secret not even she knew.

With this secret comes consequences, expectations, one's she's not willing to fulfill; she'll give her heart to whom she wishes, even if he is, a Dark Shadow wolf...

Join Katalina as she navigates her way through this world at war, where the alpha is law, and only the strong survive. You will see the power of true love, and the length's people will go to destroy it.


**Please note this is a YA Stand alone novel, no cliffhangers**

Winter Wolf Promo2


Book Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA




Excerpt:

Chapter 1


Katalina Winter’s favorite night of the week was Sunday.

“Turn up the heat, Dad.”

“Sure Kat.” His hand fumbled for the knob, never taking his eyes of the road.

Katalina snuggled deeper into her white wool coat. Winters in Michigan where brutal, but Katalina had always loved the winter. There was just something about a crisp winter morning; frost and snow covering every surface, turning the landscape to a glittering wilderness. She always thought winters had a peaceful silence to them.

“So how’s it feel to be eighteen, darling?” Katalina’s mom asked.

“I still have no idea what to do when I leave school,” she admitted.

It bothered Katalina, no matter how many times she told herself, she still had time. It seemed to her, everyone knew where they were heading, what job they wanted, which university to go to, but Katalina still couldn’t picture herself in the future. Couldn’t imagine where she’d be, who she’d be.“Don’t fret, Kat. You’ll figure it out.” Her mom smiled, turning back around.

Her dad met her eyes in the rear-view mirror. “It’s all downhill from here, Kat, wrinkles and grey hairs!” He laughed.

“Duncan, don’t be mean!” They both laughed.

“Ha, ha, guys.” Katalina smiled at her silly parents. She knew she was lucky they’d decided to keep her; they’d found her before her first birthday. She’d always wondered whether she’d been left on Mr. and Mrs. Winter’s doorstep as some kind of joke; with eyes of blue-silver, they looked as if carved of ice themselves. Her hair was so light blonde, it was white in the sunlight and with pale skin to match, Katalina was the embodiment of winter.

She’d met the blunt end of many jokes, but after a while, she’d come to embrace her difference. She loved her parents fiercely, and had no desire to know her biological parents. As far as Katalina was concerned, they’d done her a favor, dumping her on her parents’ doorstep. It had been the dead of winter and she’d been left with only a piece of paper pinned to her blanket; a single line saying ‘Her name is Katalina.’

Laughing as her father told more jokes, Katalina looked out the window at the passing trees; she saw a flash of something between them. Leaning forward to rub her gloved hand over the glass, she tried to get a better view.

Wolves?

If only she’d not said a word, she may have gone onto love every Sunday night for the rest of her life…

“Dad…there…there’s a wolf,” she muttered, pressing her face closer to the cold glass.

“What?” her mother answered. “Impossible. I don’t think we’d get them this close to the town.”

“Honestly, look, it’s following the car.”

Her mother sucked in a breath as her father indicated to turn into their drive. “Duncan, look, it is!”

Katalina glanced at her father as he turned his head to look and that’s when it happened. When her life changed forever, irrevocably broken…

Wolves ran out onto the road, shades of black to grey. There were so many that all Katalina could see was a wall of fur. They didn’t move, nor did they attempt to get out the way. They looked on at the vehicle, the glint in their eyes, promising death…

“Dad, watch out!” she screamed.

“Shit!” he shouted, slamming his foot on the break.

The car skidded… Her mother screamed… Time slowed. As the car flipped, Katalina’s body was weightless for one glorious second; she felt nothing, feared nothing, and then time hit fast forward.

Her body tossed like a weightless doll, flipped and smashed, while all around her she was bombarded with noise; smashing glass, groaning metal, terrified screams.

Then there was silence; an endless eerie silence that signaled things were very wrong...

For more, click here



 Giveaway:




About the author:

I've being reading books for as long as I can remember but I never thought about writing until I read Nalini Singh - Slave to sensation which is the first book in her psy-changling series.


At first I just wrote fan fiction until one morning I woke up with a story of my own. Lincoln and Lexia were born! I spent 6 solid months writing and re-writing and now their story is out in the world and I am currently working on the final book Holocaust due 2015.

After the birth of my 3rd child I wrote Winter Wolf a YA Paranormal Novel which is due for Release in November.
I have lived in England, New Zealand and currently live in QLD Australia but to me England will always be home.

I've been a dish washer, Admin assistant, horse groom and now spend my days looking after my 3 children and writing as often as I can.
Author links:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Author Troubleshooting: Successful character development


Today we’re talking character development. I’ve been asked about this a number of times, and my answer will be different from other authors, but this is how I develop my characters…
Once I have my idea for a plot, I kind of just let it sit in my mind and simmer away before I work out all the little details. For other authors, the plot is the next element, but for me, characters are the most important part of the book.

Let’s start with a physical description. Think about everything – does your character have dark/fair/red/multi-hued hair? What color are their eyes? Is there anything unusual about them? How would you describe them? Are they tall/short/fat/thin/muscular/petite/slim/chubby? Do they have any scar/tattoos/piercings/distinguishing features? What kind of clothes do they like to wear? Do they wear make-up religiously? Is their second toe longer than their first? 

I know it seems like a lot of information to think about, but in the end it helps to make your character as believable as possible – and that is the name of the game. You could have a great plot and an amazing writing style, but if your characters are unbelievable, no one will be able to relate to them.

I always find it helpful to scour the Internet in search of the perfect image that represents your character – unless you’ve created a peg-legged pirate with pink hair and soft-spot for kittens…that might be a little difficult to find an image for. 

When you have all your images for your characters, I like print them out and create a mood board filled with the images and their physical descriptions either printed out or hand-written on Post-it notes or index cards. As an alternative, you could simply write your characters information in a notebook, or create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet with all the important information on it.  In my self-published series, I used Excel spreadsheets and hand-written notes in a book to keep track of my characters.

All right, so now you know what they look like. What’s next? Although a physical description isn’t the most important thing to know about your character, I find that knowing what they look like helps me to detail their personality. For each and every character I have in my books, I have an A4 page with the following headings spaced out down the length of the page:

1)      Need/longing
2)      Wound
3)      Belief
4)      Fear
5)      Identity (their face to the world)
6)      Essence (who they really are)

I stumbled across this list about a year ago while cruising the Internet. These headings aren’t mine, but I could kiss the person who developed them because they’ve helped me so much when I’ve been thinking about new characters to add to my books.

As you can see, having these headings to guide you really pays off. My only gripe is that it’s a time consuming process, especially if you have a dozen characters you need to write them for. 

Another component that’s good to have is giving your character a history. If they have a scar, how did they get it? How would they tell the story of how they got it? If your character is untrusting of men, how did they develop this wariness? If your character is afraid of fire, why? What happened to them? Traumatic events/personal experiences are often the best way to develop this, but sometimes it could be second-hand trauma that causes their misgivings. For example, they’re against forming relationships even though they’ve never been in one before BUT their parents or siblings had a bad relationship which left them with a bad impression.

Finally, you should make sure your characters act their age. There are so many books out there that have 20-something characters who act, and talk, like they’re still 16. When this happens, readers get frustrated as the character who is supposed to be a successful lawyer pouts and talks in abbreviations, thus completely losing credibility. If you have a character who is 25, make sure they have the maturity of a 25-year-old.

In order to get your characters’ ages right, think about your target audience. Are you trying to appeal to young children or pre-teens? Or is the young adult market your audience? Or are your books and characters strictly only for adults?

So there you have it, my tips for developing successful characters. I’ve posted the things I’ve discussed below in my ‘pressure points’ list so you can refresh your memory a little more easily if you choose to take on some of my techniques.

If you’d like me to talk about anything else in regards to writing techniques, leave me a comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

“When the characters are really alive before their author, the latter does nothing but follow them in their action, in their words, in the situations which they suggest to him.” 

Pressure points:

  • Think about what they physically look like.
  • Develop a ‘mood board’ with images that inspire you to keep writing.
  • Detail their personality.
  • Give them a history.
  • Make sure your characters act their age. 

Happy writing!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lauren Dawes Street Team

 


I'm looking for new members for my street team!

I've tried having a street team before, which didn't go too well so I'm trying again. 

If you'd like to join, and get exclusive sneak peaks of my current WIPs as well as competitions and giveaways, all you have to do is click here

What do I have to do in the street team?

It's simple, really. All you have to do is be a fan of my books and writing. When I have a new book coming out, tell everyone about it on as many social media platforms as you like. Retweet, like and share images I share on Twitter, Facebook and here on my blog and Google+. If you're creative, make teaser posters or book trailers for my books and share them around.

I'd also love to hear what you have to say. Share your ideas with me, whether it's about a potential plot line, or an idea for a competition. 

And of course, all team members will receive ARCs of my current and future books for review.

Unfortunately members who are inactive, or abuse their privileges  will be removed promptly from the group.

I hope too see you all there!

Character bio - Taer


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Spotlight: "Let down your Hair" by Fiona Price


At 22, Sage Rampion has led a strange and cloistered life. She's been homeschooled, and she's never owned a cell phone, watched TV or spoken to a man on her own. Everything she's seen, read and watched has been vetted by her grandmother Andrea, Professor of Women's Studies and hardline old school feminist.

When Sage and Andrea see Ryan modelling naked below their office window, Andrea marches out to charge him with indecent exposure. But he waves up at Sage, and his grin is the warmest thing she's seen in her lonely existence. She rushes down to warn him, and as they grow close her sheltered world begins to unravel. Sage starts asking questions about the way she was brought up, and the beautiful teenage mother who abandoned her.

But answering those questions means confronting Andrea, and she's not a good enemy to make. Taking her on brings Ryan and Sage more trouble than either of them could have imagined.

A timely re-telling of the Rapunzel fairytale in the era of selfies and smartphones.

About Fiona...

Fiona Price has a lifelong passion for words. She has studied multiple languages, talks too much, and spent her teens exchanging long letters with penfriends all over the world. After declaring she was going to be a writer, aged six, she began work on her first masterpieces: a novel about a wild pony and an incisive satirical song called ‘Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep’. Since then, she has attempted just about every form of writing, from bush verse and screenplays to elegies and academic articles.

When not writing, Fiona uses her storytelling skills as a cross-cultural trainer and public speaker. She runs workshops on cultural diversity issues, is a member of Toastmasters, and was MC at the 2014 Chinese New Year Dinner for the Museum of Chinese-Australian History. Her non-fiction book Success with Asian Names was published in 2007, and she was a co-author for the HarperCollins International Student Survival Guide in 2014.

Fiona is plotting further novels based on fairy tales, and is currently working on a fantasy trilogy for young adults. She has an Australian father and a Chinese mother, and she lives in Melbourne by the sea.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Release day: Sophie Masson's "Trinity" - book 1 in the Koldun Code


Blurb:
 
I am in a world deeply strange and strangely deep, a world as different from my old life as it’s possible to be, and it feels completely natural.


An unexpected encounter with a handsome stranger in a Russian wood changes the life of 22-year-old traveler Helen Clement forever, catapulting her into a high-stakes world of passion, danger, and mystery. Tested in ways she could never have imagined, she must keep her own integrity in a world where dark forces threaten and ruthlessness and betrayal haunt every day.

Set against a rising tide of magic and the paranormal in a modern Russia where the terrifying past continually leaks into the turbulent present, Trinity is a unique and gripping blend of conspiracy thriller, erotically charged romance and urban fantasy, laced with a murderous dose of company politics. With its roots deep in the fertile soil of Russian myth, legend, and history, it is also a fascinating glimpse into an extraordinary, distinctive country and amazingly rich culture.

Buy it here



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Street team....


I've finally decided to give this whole street team idea another shot! 
It's still in its early stages, but hoping to have it up and running with ARCs soon.

If you'd like to join, click here

2 weeks to go!




Saturday, November 8, 2014

"Winter Wolf" by Rachel M. Raithby

winterwolf banner RELEASE DAY

Winter Wolf-ebooklg

Katalina Winter has been living for eighteen years, with a secret hidden inside of her, a secret not even she knew.

With this secret comes consequences, expectations, one's she's not willing to fulfill; she'll give her heart to whom she wishes, even if he is, a Dark Shadow wolf...

Join Katalina as she navigates her way through this world at war, where the alpha is law, and only the strong survive. You will see the power of true love, and the length's people will go to destroy it.

**Please note this is a YA Stand alone novel, no cliffhangers**

 Buy links






Excerpt from "Winter Wolf"

 

 About the author




I've being reading books for as long as I can remember but I never thought about writing until I read Nalini Singh - Slave to sensation which is the first book in her psy-changling series.

At first I just wrote fan fiction until one morning I woke up with a story of my own. Lincoln and Lexia were born!  I spent 6 solid months writing and re-writing and now their story is out in the world and I am currently working on the final book Holocaust due 2015.

After the birth of my 3rd child I wrote Winter Wolf a YA Paranormal Novel which is due for Release in November.

I have lived in England, New Zealand and currently live in QLD Australia but to me England will always be home.

I've been a dish washer, Admin assistant, horse groom and now spend my days looking after my 3 children and writing as often as I can.


Author links