Saturday, February 28, 2015

Facebook - I'm Iogging out permanently

Facebook. It's something people can't seem to live without. When I first joined up in 2005 (seriously 10 years ago??) it was for the simple purpose of staying in touch with friends overseas. Now I'm struggling to see the point of it.

As an author, my news feed is crammed full of blog posts about book reviews that aren't my book and from boasting indie authors about how many great reviews their erotica (yawn) /YA/romance novel has.

Instead of inspiring me, I discovered that it causes me to feel like sh*t. Seriously if you want to feel bad about yourself and your achievements, all you need to do is go onto Facebook for a healthy dose of egotistical bragging from indie authors and general ass kissing of the same authors by book blogs. I'm not lumping all blogs and indie authors in together on this, but for the vast majority, this is true. Case in point...


I had one goal with my writing and that was to get a book traditionally published. I was thrilled when that actually happened with Momemtum - a division of MacMillan for not one of my books, but three!

If a publisher wanted them, they had to be good, right? I know they're good but can anyone else see that? Of course not. My books don't get a look in over the done-to-death clich├ęd plot lines, cookie-cutter characters (same person, different name) and stilted speech of so called "Amazon Best Sellers".

And don't even get me started on covers and teasers filled with images that need an R rating.

Facebook is less a way to stay in touch with friends than it is one big platform where humility and modesty go to die. You may be wondering where this rant is going. I did too but as I wrote it, I came up with a solution. As much as I'd like to shut down my personal account, I can't. My author page is attached to it and in pretty sure my publisher will kill me for suspending my account.

What I am going to do is delete the app from my phone and delete the bookmark from my PC. I will update my author page with any writing progress or news so my fans (if a have any) can have updates but that's all. I'm going to give my bruised self-esteem time to heal and recover from the toxic platform that is Facebook. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Author Spotlight: Kimberley Clark




The Species Within: Battles in the Dark (book 1)

Kira, a huntress plagued by dreams of fire and pain has worked tirelessly to rid her city of the scourge that has nearly destroyed it…nostvores, mythlend creatures with dark and vast appetites for blood and sex. She does this not only because they had killed so many people in her life, but also because she has an edge that no other human had…she has their abilities. The problem was, these abilities were killing her and she feared time was no longer on her side.

So the moment she found out that Darius, a nostvore leader was threatening to awaken an indestructible species to help him enslave all humans and mythlends, and that she may be the key to his plan, she knew her only choice was to risk her life with the little time that she had left and join her enemy to find out why, and to make sure his plan failed.


If that wasn’t dangerous enough, the more time she spends with the Vanatre nostvore Emmerich, and the mooran Kuron, who she brings with her for protection, the less she wants to kill them. Instead, she feels an unexplainable attraction towards them both, and she fears surrendering to such desire with either is a deadly game to play, for she would not only be risking her life, but quite possibly her heart.


http://www.amazon.com/Species-Within-Battles-Dark-Book-ebook/dp/B00GA638T8/ref=la_B00GALXE6U_1_1


The Ultimate Killer: Battles in the Dark (book 2)

Brought back to life, Kira awoke to a world where she no longer belonged. She was one of them now…a mythlend, the scourge that she’d lived her entire life hunting. What was worse, she had become the species that she and a number of other mythlends had tried desperately to stop from being awoken…the Hunrati. But they had failed.

By the time Kira had opened her eyes, the Hunrati were already living up to their reputation, torturing, massacring, burning cities to the ground like all indestructible killing machines do when they see themselves as gods; any resistance to their actions were therefore deemed futile within days of their first appearance. Kira wanted to stop them, but she had become their prisoner when she attacked their Queen out of rage for what they had done, and as such, she was rendered incapable of using any of her abilities.

Trapped, alone, and not knowing what had happened to those she cared about, her only way out was to earn their trust. That meant getting close to the volatile and extremely attractive Pheres, and doing everything he instructed, regardless of how depraved it was. But how close was she willing to allow such a dangerous creature when he wasn’t the man she loved? Better yet…how far was she willing to go before she lost her humanity completely? 

http://www.amazon.com/Species-Within-Battles-Dark-Book-ebook/dp/B00GA638T8/ref=la_B00GALXE6U_1_1




Kimberley lives by the idea that everyone should have a bucket list of things they want to accomplish in life, but not only to have a list, but attempt to mark off as many items as possible. One goal that was high on hers was writing a novel and having it published. This idea of writing a novel wasn’t new to her, but an inevitability, as her love of reading books and watching movies inspired her to create her own stories. When the day came that she finally did start to write, she realized that this was going to be something that she wanted to do more than once, emphasized by the fact that her first novel was to be book 1 of a trilogy, and that there are many more stories waiting inside her head ready to be created. Her hope is that not only for people to enjoy hers books, but that people are inspired by them as others have inspired her. Kimberley was born in Sydney, Australia, and currently resides in the Gold Coast hinterland.

Connect with Kimberley

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: "Happily Evan After" by Michelle Irwin

Evan is a reluctant cupid.  

Facing an unknown term of servitude to repay his debt to the world, it is his responsibility to guide couples together. Despite initial hesitancy, he has learned to handle every case with care and he now basks in the afterglow of new-found love and relishes in the energy it provides him. But his end goal is still the promise of paradise in return for his penance. 

It's all going according to plan until he receives an assignment that is inconceivable to him. He has to find a mate for Becca, within whom lives the reincarnated soul of his one true love. Bound by his duty to find her a match, he must resist her charm and suppress his own desires. It is his job and he cannot fail, even if his own paradise now seems lost. 

 For a cupid, falling in love is against the rules.

 Isn't it?

Genre: Paranormal Rom Com
Length: 261 pages

What people are saying about "Happily Evan After"

 "What a great story I did not want to put it down! I really enjoyed reading Evan and Becca's story. You could feel there emotional ups and downs as he struggled with his feelings! Must Read light story!!!" 
~ Amazon Review 

 "I enjoy reading this book...it was a great read. I like Evan. He's a sweet, loving guy and I can't just like Drew for any reason. He's a good guy in his own way, but sometimes, a woman deserves to be loved for who she is and not trying desperately to change her into what you want her to be.
Interesting story. If you like romantic comedy, you will like this book. I recommend."
~Amazon Review

Where can I get my copy?



About the Author
 
Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.
 



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: "Through the Fire (Daughter of Fire #1)" by Michelle Irwin

Through the Fire (Daughter of Fire #1)
Evie Meyers’ life is one spent on the run. Every minute of every day, her life is in danger if anyone should suspect the truth about her ancestry. Her father was willing to risk everything to keep the truth hidden, even from her, but the lies he fabricated were exposed when her high school crush, Clay Jacobs, inadvertently stumbled upon her secret. His discovery puts Evie at risk from a secret organization tasked with washing the world clean of nonhumans—and Clay is one of its deadliest soldiers. Forced into a war she doesn’t understand, all because of what she is, Evie is left with no choice but to flee with her father to escape persecution.
When Clay reappears in her life, battle scarred and mysterious, Evie is unprepared and terrified as he forces his way back into her heart. When the battle catches up with her, and a tragic accident tears apart the peace she discovered, she finds herself alone and without the protection of her father, or her lover. Now, she needs to keep her secrets hidden and learn to survive on her own in a world that wants her dead, all while searching for the missing piece of her heart.

I cu
Genre:  NA paranormal romance
Length: 224 pages

What people are saying about "Through the Fire"...

 "The pace and writing were well done for a debut novel. The story met the standards of a YA/Paranormal Romance. Evie's heritage is unique, and fae were recast in a non-traditional way." ~ Amazon Review

"A cross between a tragic love story and a young girls quest to survive. For a first book in a novel series Michelle has done an outstanding job of capturing your attention while having you spellbound as you travel to another dimension. An emotional roller coaster having you laugh, smile, cry and become fueled with anger through the journey you take as you read and live through each chapter of the book." 
~ Amazon Review

Where can I get my copy?



About the Author
 
Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.
 



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guest Post: A w-w-w-word in your ear by Keith Austin



WORDS have always been a big part of my life. They have always fascinated me and, looking back, surely helped to form me even when they were recalcitrant and squirmed and kicked in my mouth, when they refused to be pinned down, or when they just plain and simple refused to come out and play.

Not all of them, of course, just a few such as the number ‘seven’. I wrote in The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jan/09/stammering-the-kings-speech) of the tribulations of being a stutterer and working at a newspaper where the first digit of the phone number was a word I couldn’t say, but I do wonder now just how much the stammering shaped who I am today.

The written word has never been a problem. There didn’t seem to be a time when words didn’t speak to me. It was as if they had just lain hidden in my head, a fully formed alphabet waiting to get out and cause mischief and wonder. But while they played nice on the page they were bully-boys in my mouth.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t stutter. From before primary school to, well, now. Though today it’s more or less gone and, indeed, after the Guardian piece came out even close friends admitted surprise: “I didn’t know you stuttered!”

I wonder now, though, how much the stuttering shaped both me and others of my ilk. Certainly, acting was out. A few early appearances in drama class put paid to that: “W-W-When sssshhall w-w-we three m-m-m-meet again, in thunder, lightning or in r-r-rain?”

Though it didn’t stop Nicole Kidman, James Earl Jones, Emily Blunt, Nicholas Brendon (Xander in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series), Bruce Willis, Sam Neill, or Jimmy Stewart – erstwhile stammerers all

These must be the stammerers who, rather than stick their head in the sand as I used to do, supposedly overcompensate by taking on speech challenges that even most fluent people would avoid.

That suggestion comes from an online stammerer who has also lists what he calls the predictable personality ingredients of stammerers: a strong streak of perfectionism, sensitivity to criticism, an inordinate need to please people, avoidance, procrastination, passivity, fearfulness.

I’m not convinced; this seems to me to be as scientific as predicting personality based on star signs: “Hi, I’m Keith and I’m a Pisces, I’m sensitive, a dreamer and I love f-f-f-fish.”
My stutter followed me through a reporting career on local newspapers in the UK before I wormed my way on to a subbing desk. I’ve never really thought about it before but was this perhaps a way of avoiding speaking? I had always seen it as simply a career move but perhaps I was still running away. I could edit, write headlines, design newspaper pages – just play around with my beloved words, if I’m to be truthful - without ever opening my mouth.

In the ensuing years I learned to deal with the stammer, to word switch, use my hands as distraction pieces, pepper my speech with pauses and conversational tics so any stuttering was hidden under layers of artifice.

Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to be a writer, a proper writer with a proper book on a proper shelf in a proper bookshelf – and I have the discarded manuscripts to prove it. Finally, though, it happened with the publication of Grymm in 2012 and Snow, White, in May last year.

And in Snow, White, at last, I got my own back. The main character, John Creed, is a teenage boy with a stammer who, because of it, is bullied at school. I knew, quite literally, how he felt. This time, though, the outcome was different.

The stammer? It’s still there at times. So if I do pop up in your neck of the woods, please be gentle with me; don’t finish my sentences and be a little patient – I will get there in the end.

Of course if all this goes really well then one day I’m going to have to come out and publicise my s-s-s-sssseventh book. Which is easy for you to say but for me, well …


Keith Austin is the Sydney-based author of Grymm, Snow, White (both published by Random House) and Jago, the 3rd in his loose Fractured Fairytales trilogy (Jago is available at www.keithaustin.org/jago-2  for $15 plus P&P).

Keith will be appearing at the Somerset College Celebration of Literature on the Gold Coast from March 18-20. Visit www.somerset.qld.edu.au/celebration-of-literature for more details.