Saturday, March 31, 2012

Random I know...


I had to escape the puppy


He’s bigger now and he casts. I have ‘hairy throat’. Gags. 


So just kicking back today, jotting down some book ideas (no need to panic I’m still hard at work on Borrowed Ember… OK, not today, but usually!), checking emails etc.  Haunting Goodreads :-p
I have an addiction to Goodreads and I had one of those domino moments, like, oh hell - an hour and a half ago! I’ve been trolling for an hour and a half?

OK, I’ll explain what happened. I went onto Goodreads and saw on my home page that a Goodreads friend had given a book that’s releasing soon (and one I had greatly been looking forward to) a one star. *Wince*. Curious to see what could possibly be so bad about this book that it warranted a one star I checked out the review. From there I discovered ‘BAD AUTHOR BEHAVIOUR’. *Gobsmacked* seriously… this spiraled (dominoed) into discovering one YA author after another who has acted like… well, yeah, I’m just gonna say it, acted like a dick. It was like each link led me to a new one. And not just indies. No, no. The majority were traditionally published :-\
You know how this makes me feel?



Yup. Blue. I feel blue.

I wished I hadn’t read the articles but you know it was kind of like a car crash… I couldn’t look away. I was reading screenshots of authors calling reviewers bitches and other nasty words and publicly asking people to click on the ‘don’t like’ buttons on reviews from amazon and Goodreads. What the effing efferson?
I’ve deleted the books of those authors from my reading piles on principle alone. And no, it’s not just because I love bloggers (truly, I don’t know where I’d be without them) and respect their opinion whether it’s positive or constructive, but because I love the writer’s community and this dickish behavior just makes all authors look bad.
You know what makes it worse? The reviews that were attacked weren’t even that snarky or anything. Okay, a couple of them had snark but they were fair and they were constructive. Even if they’d been really mean and unnecessarily nasty, I still wouldn’t agree with an author or agent publicly reacting to the review. It’s so unprofessional. I’ve had bad reviews. I’ve even had some personal comments made against me but I either take the constructive bad reviews and use them to make my work better or I roll my eyes at the person who made an assumption about me without even knowing me. I don’t try to turn Goodreads and Twitter and Facebook into a battleground.
My question is… who exactly are these authors writing for then if they quite openly turn their noses up at YA bloggers? Don’t they know that’s who they purport to write for, who they say they want to entertain? My bullshit meter is going off… their attitude tells me they have no care for their actual readers and just want to be the next big thing.

Insert snort of derision. Uh, try getting to the big time without your YA readers, Numbnut.

*clears throat* Okay, I got a little carried away there. Sorry, I’m just still in the moment. Still shocked. Still P O’ed.

Breathe.

There are lots of awesome authors out there who are professional. I follow a lot of them - check out my sidebar. I think I can speak for them when I say we appreciate our readers, we appreciate social sites like Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook that allow us to communicate with our readers, to have fun with them and still maintain a professionalism that makes the reader feel secure in the knowledge that they’re dealing with a writer who truly takes them seriously.


OK. Moment over.



Get me a ladder, I'm coming down.







I scratched my new car today. Boo. Stupid bag with little metal corners I didn’t notice. It’s Okay… kind of. It’s a shallow scratch so I can fix it. I had a donut and it helped.

Maybe that’s how reviewers should end negative reviews:
“I didn’t enjoy your book but I’d be happy to give you a donut. It’ll help.”

It really will.

Sam x

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Borrowed Ember (Fire Spirits #3)


As you can see from the poll on my sidebar, Borrowed Ember (Fire Spirits #3) won by 73%. So, I will be releasing Borrowed Ember next! Woohoo!

OK, OK, all you really want to know is when though right? :-p

Well, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to check out my new page ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ but on there I talk a little about release dates. In the past I’ve announced release dates and then struggled more and more to hit those deadlines. Lots of stress and trying not to stress other people out. Although I don’t want to be an author who only publishes one book a year, I can see why this is the protocol for most traditionally published books. There are other people involved in the process of publishing a novel and because I publish so frequently it’s becoming impossible to pinpoint exact dates and still give those people the time they need to do their part thoroughly. Don’t worry, I’ll be publishing more than once a year, and more than even twice a year, but I will also no longer be providing exact release dates. I’ll obviously give you guys a rough idea of my own target for release -say the month I’m gunning for. But I have a photographer and cover artist, beta readers, editor and copyeditor now involved in my publishing process and each of their steps takes time :-)

That being said, my target is to release Borrowed Ember by the end of May/beginning of June. I also would like to release Sneak Thievery (The Fade #2) by the end of July.
From there, things might slow down just a little because I have a very busy summer planned. I’m going on vacation in July for the first time in six years (yay!) and then I have one of my best friend’s wedding in August and I’m the Maid of Honor so there’s lots of planning to do (did someone say Bachelorette Party? :-p).
Target then for Darkness, Kindled (Fire Spirits #4) is early October and book five and six for 2013.

Now I’ve got the news on release dates out of the way, I want to talk about Borrowed Ember. I’m so excited about this book for many reasons but the biggest at the moment is because of the cover! I know I surprised a few of you by mentioning in my acknowledgments that it was Charlie on the cover of Scorched Skies (I really thought I’d mentioned it before, sorry :-\) so you’ll be happy to know that Jai is gracing the cover of Borrowed Ember.
Most of you know my cover artist is Claudia - Phatpuppy Art - because I rave about her. Well, Claudia is striving to create exclusive artwork for authors so that they don’t stumble across another book with the same stock image as their own. So, collaborating with some amazing photographers, Claudia can arrange custom photoshoots for your cover art! I knew it was going to be difficult to find me a ‘Jai’ so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I’m like a little kid - the whole process is so exciting. Working with the incredible photographer, Teresa Yeh, I’ve picked the model for the shoot (*fans self*… he’s hot, ladies :-p) and things are moving along nicely. I’m hoping to have a cover reveal by the end of May (maybe sooner, we’ll see!).  If you’re an author, and this sounds just what you’d like, you can contact Claudia via her website - Phatpuppy Art - to discuss quotes etc. It’s something I think for me at this point in my career is worth it. I’m big on my cover art and feel like it’s an extension of the story. Ultimately, I think it’s one of the biggest factors in drawing a reader in, and so I don’t want to have a cover image that someone else also has… you know. Especially on Fire Spirits - the premise itself is different and I want the covers to stand out as one of a kind.

Anyhoo, I’m hard at work on Borrowed Ember and can’t wait to start teasing you guys in the weeks to come :-)

Sam x

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crazy Book Lady...

... seriously. I need more hours in the day if I'm ever to get through my book/kindle pile. I should stop buying books. I should.

Uh...

Yeah.

Not gonna happen.


Paperbacks I bought this week


A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta


OK, so at least I managed to curb my 'print edition' book buys. I saw 'A Witch in Winter' in a bookstore and thought it looked pretty so I bought it (yes, I am that much of a cover whore). And 'Finnikin of the Rock' was actually mentioned to me by a reader (thank you, Maria!) who recommended Marchetta's contemporary read to me 'Jellicoe Road'. Still haven't read that one either but I trust that it's going to be an awesome read, as is Finnikin. Sounds great.

Kindle Books bought recently


Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi 
(this book sounds amazing and check out that cover. It rocks!)
Nocturnal by Chelsea M. Cameron
(Chelsea is a fellow indie writer and she's just awesome. Nocturnal is her debut novel and sounds brilliant. Plus, how gorgeous is that cover?)
Darkness Falls by Jessica Sorensen
(Aah, I'm so excited about this book. Click on the link and check out that blurb! This is a new series from bestselling indie author Jessica Sorensen. I have Jessica's Fallen Stars series on my kindle too and I can't wait to get started on both of these)
Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams
(the premise of this one just sounds so refreshing and kind of kickass. I admit to picking up this book because back in the first babysteps of Blood Past (WOA #2) I used the same stock image of the girl on the cover so this caught my eye :-p)


Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
(I came across this one on Facebook and it's got great reviews. Sounds like my kind of contemporary)
Boyfriend from Hell by E. Van Lowe
(The cover of book two in this series caught my eye in the kindle store so I thought I'd give the series a go. Sounds really cool!)
Awakening by Karice Bolton
(I saw this on my cover artist Phatpuppy Art's website and was happily surprised to discover it was free on kindle - I think it still is.)
Almost by Anne Eliot
(I can't wait to read this contemporary book. I came across it on Facebook and the reviews for it are amazing.)
Going Under by Georgia Cates
(Another contemporary that sounds so much fun and has awesome reviews)




Books I've preordered this week


Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
(So far I love everything about this novel. Love the cover. Love the premise. Love the anticipation :-p)
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
(My most anticipated read of 2012! No joke! I am desperate to get my hands on this book. The premise sounds like the best thing since sliced bread [where did that saying come from? Surely better things have been 'invented' a goodly while back than slice bread. Say... toilets. Yeah, gross, but true] and as a lover of all things Kagawa [Fey! Dear gods, those awesome Fey!!], I have a feeling this might be one of my favourite reads EVER. Fingers crossed).
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
(I was interested when I saw this book but not really antsy for it. The cover didn't seem to match the blurb and I was worried that it wouldn't deliver what it said on the tin. However, just read an amazing review of it on one of my favourite blogs, Fiktshun, so I preordered it and now I can't wait to read it!).



I wonder if you guys did any better than me and actually managed to rein in the spending on the book pile this month. 

Seriously.

I have a problem, right?

Guess what?

I don't want the cure! Keep it. :-p



Sam x

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fantasy Cast Picks : Fire Spirits

I have to say rummaging around online trying to find actors that I think best fit the three heroes of Fire Spirits was pretty difficult, and I'm still not one hundred percent on my pick for Jai.


Ari Johnson-



I'm really happy with this pick for Ari. I saw Naomi Scott on the sci-fi show 'Terra Nova' and she immediately reminded me of Ari.



Charlie Creagh - 


Lol, Alex Pettyfer must be on a million fantasy cast lists for YA books but there's something about him that is so Charlie. And I loved finding images where his hair was longer like Charlie's in Smokeless Fire and then short for when he cuts it in Scorched Skies. Alex has that boy next door/bad boy quality that is perfect for Charlie.


Jai Bitar -

 Jesse Williams from Grey's Anatomy. I'm still not 100% happy with this choice for Jai because Jesse's a little too soft-featured but I'm finding it so difficult to find a fantasy cast member for Jai's character. Suggestions are welcome :-p


OK, I've taken down the Jesse Williams option for Jai because... it's just not right. Is there someone you have in mind when you think of Jai?

Thank you to 'Bookworm' who suggested Abdel Rahman El Balaa. He is as close to a Jai as I've ever seen. Yum! 

 

Sam x

Monday, March 19, 2012

FREE EBOOK: Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits #1)



To celebrate the release of Scorched Skies (Fire Spirits #2) I'm making Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits #1) FREE on kindle for the next five days!




Also, don't forget to vote in the poll on my sidebar to decide which book will be my next release - Borrowed Ember (Fire Spirits #3) or Sneak Thievery (The Fade #2).


Sam x

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Winners and Favourites! The Tale of Lunarmorte Giveaway.


Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway to win signed paperback copies of The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy in the new reformatted covers. Without further ado, the winner is:

STACEY READ!

Congrats Stacey! I've emailed you. winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.


I want to thank everyone for taking the time to answer my question: From any novel, who is your favourite werewolf, vampire, and witch/warlock?

My favourite answer was: "I have to say I like them all." - awesome! It made me laugh a lot, because as I was going through your answers (it took me hours because hundreds of you responded! yay!) I found myself mutating into BOOK GEEK GIRL EXTRAORDINAIRE! One, I was surprised by how many characters I know and love (I read a fricking lot!) and two I was getting so giddy, like I was sitting down with you all having a geeky book discussion, all excited to be sharing book love with you guys. We share a lot of love for the same books and characters :-)

So who did you guys choose? Well, you <3 a lot of characters so I've chosen the winners and three runners up for each species, plus the winning male of the supernatural species and winning female.

FAVOURITE VAMPIRE:

1st place 


No surprises here lol! You guys chose Edward Cullen by a mile!
It's that smoulder (smolder) isn't it :-p

2nd place - Reuben from The Tale of Lunarmorte (YAY!)
3rd place - Adrian Ivashkov from Vampire Academy & Bloodlines (gotta say I don't disagree :-p)
4th place - Damon Salvator from the Vampire Diaries (if his character is anything like it is the VD tv series then uh... ye-UH!)

Obviously the male winner for Vampires was beautiful Edward Cullen and the winning female was half-vampire (dhampir) Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. LURVE that choice :-)


 A close second was Reuben from TOL and Alice Cullen from Twilight!


FAVOURITE WEREWOLF:

1st place 

 
AWESOME! Lucien Lider from The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy (pic above is Taylor Kitsch from my fantasy cast list). Not only did he win favourite werewolf he's also your favourite character over all! He's definitely feeling the love and is actually pretty stoked about it (although he's typically pretending that's he's above all this 'nonsense' - I see you smiling smugly Lucien! You love it, really :-p).

2nd place - Caia Ribeiro from The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. How happy am I?! Although Caia is a bit bemused... she's just spent months chipping the arrogance out of Lucien and now his ego's all bloated again. She suggests you should have given her first place... she would have been way more humble about it :-p

3rd place - Ryder Alexander from The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Woohoo! Although Ryder loves the attention, he's getting more out of the fact that you chose Lucien as Numero Uno. It's enough amunition for teasing the Alpha and mocking him to last months. He's buying Lucien a sparkly princess crown as we speak.

4th Place - Jacob Black from Twilight. Just one point away from Ryder, he's super popular with you guys too, which is no surprise! He's the probably the most well-liked and famous werewolf in the world :-D

So Lucien and Caia were the winners of the most popular male and female werewolves. A close second was Ryder Alexander from TOL and Jaeden Rodriguez from TOL. Woot woot!


FAVOURITE WITCH/WARLOCK:

1st place 


Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare! I love that you guys chose Magnus. He was the winning warlock by a huge mile!

2nd place - Rachel Morgan from The Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. I have this series on my kindle but haven't read it yet. Looks like I need to soon!

3rd place - In joint 3rd place Harry Potter and Hermione Granger! Ah LOVE this! 

4th Place - Sophie Mercer from the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins.

The winning warlock was of course Magnus Bane and the winning Witch Rachel Morgan


Second favourite warlock was Harry Potter and second favourite witch Hermione Granger.



So there you have it folks! Thanks so much for sharing, I had a lot of fun reading your answers :- )
A few of you asked me who my favourites were...

well...

my favourite vampire is a tie. Dimitri from Vampire Academy/Eric Northman from Sookie Stackhouse/Ethan from Chicagoland Vampires.

my favourite werewolf is a tie. Calla & Ren from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer/Derek from The Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong/Clay from Bitten by Kelley Armstrong/Scout from Timber wolves by Tammy Blackwell

my favourite witch/warlock is a tie. Harry Potter and Professor Snape. And Magnus Bane from TMI.



Cheers guys!
Sam x



Friday, March 16, 2012

Scorched Skies - Today's the Official Release Date!

I know many of you have already downloaded your copy of Scorched Skies on kindle and some of you have already read and enjoyed it (yay!) but today is the official release date! Woohoo!

For those of you who have been waiting on the paperback edition you can now buy it from amazon.com HERE 

For Kindle readers you can download from the US
HERE

and from the UK HERE


Also I'll be letting you know of upcoming giveaways to win signed copies of SK plus swag.

Today you can also check out the awesome blog Tsk Tsk What to Read for a fun interview with Ari, Jai and Charlie! HERE



Oh and remember to vote in the poll on my sidebar for which book you'd like to see released first - Borrowed Ember (Fire Spirits #3) or Sneak Thievery (The Fade #2).

Sam x

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: the new Sneak Thievery look!

The original cover art for Sneak Thievery is beautiful and I will be using it for a possible companion novella I have in the works for the Fade world. However, my wonderfully talented cover artist, Claudia a.k.a Phatpuppy Art unveiled a stunning exclusive masterpiece - a collaboration between her and the awesomesauce photographer Teresa Yeh. As soon as I saw it I literally started babbling to myself excitedly about how perfect this would be as a representation of 'L' from the Fade. I immediately bought it from Claudia :-)

So without further ado... here's the new cover for Sneak Thievery...




Sam x

Monday, March 12, 2012

Readers Choice: What will be my next release? That's up to you!

OK this is where there is particular beauty in being a self-published writer. I don't have agents and publishers breathing down my neck for deadlines... the only people I have to answer to is you guys - my wonderful readers. So, I'm on the fence folks. I'm getting the feeling many of you would like to see Borrowed Ember (Fire Spirits #3) released earlier than the scheduled and vague date of 'late summer 2012' but I know many of you have also been waiting for the second part in the Fade story to continue for a while now.

Sneak Thievery is scheduled for release  May 11th 2012. HOWEVER, I've set up a poll on my sidebar asking you guys which novel you'd prefer to see released first. I'm giving the poll until March 27th. Whichever book has the most votes will get released first. READERS CHOICE BABY! :-)

So, spread the word guys and get voting! 

Much love,
Sam x

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scorched Skies - OUT NOW!

It's true! I have released Scorched Skies (Fire Spirits #2) on to Kindle early! The paperback edition is still scheduled for release March 16th but for those of you who enjoyed Smokeless Fire, the wait to discover how Ari, Jai and Charlie's story continues is now over!

You can download your copy...

US Readers HERE 
UK readers HERE 
German readers HERE 




I hope you guys enjoy!!









Sam x

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Another Scorched Skies Teaser

This teaser is from a particularly heated scene from Book Two... but just who is Ari arguing with? 

:-p

" Eyes blazing Ari shoved him and he stumbled back, taking it. “Are you deliberately being crass?!”
“I’m trying to show you who I am!”
Chest heaving with unexploded rage and hurt Ari shook her hands out to stop them from whacking him. “Did you care about her at all?”
“What would upset you more, Ari? That I did or I didn’t?”
“Just answer the question!” "





In 12 and a half days you can find out exactly who Ari is arguing with and what his answer is! 
Scorched Skies (Fire Spirits #2) releasing March 16th 2012.



Sam x