Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life After Theft Cover Reveal

First I want to give Aprilynne a HUGE THANK YOU for giving fangs, felines, fins, & fun fiction this awesome opportunity. And here it is, folks. Let me give you a moment to savor the beauty of this fabulous cover... Click to image to enlarge.


Okay so as promised I'm hosting an ARC giveaway for Life After Theft. Here are the rules:
1. Post a comment below with an email address where I can get a hold of you should you win.

2. This giveaway is open everyone. (International Folks too) :)

3. Giveaway ends Midnight Nov 3 PST. I will randomly draw a winner then and will announce the name on Sunday Nov 4.

4. Check back on Nov 4 to see if you're the lucky winner and read another exclusive teaser from Life After Theft.

5. If you have won and I have not heard from you by Wednesday Nov 7 by 3pm, I will draw another winner.

6. Once I have you're mailing information, I will pass it to Aprilynne and she'll get you the ARC.

Best of luck to you! Thanks again Aprilynne.

Added: In the meantime be sure to check out the teaser posted on Sunday if you haven't already. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

3rd Sunday Sweet: Well sort of...

Okay, somehow I managed to get my blog schedule ahead by a week. Everything is sort of cockeyed. Sadly, I didn't notice this until now and I apologize for the confusion. There is a perfectly good reason behind this, though, but one I can't share right now because I have something so much bigger to announce.

You all know how I adore Aprilynne Pike and her awesomeness. See here, here, here, & here. A few months ago when she announced Life After Theft, a book she started working on back in 2006, was going to be published next year, I got really excited. Here is an author who has already published a best-selling series, but is finally going to see her "baby" out there on the shelves. If that's not inspiration, I don't know what is. I remember reading about her writing LAT and thinking "Gosh, I really hope she publishes this because it sounds like a fun story." Well, folks the wait is almost over.

Though the book doesn't officially come out til April 2013, Aprilynne has graciously allowed me to share a teaser from Life After Theft with you all exclusively on fangs, felines, fins, & fun fiction. But wait, there is more....

She's also allowed me to do a cover reveal AND wait for it...

wait for it...

wait for it...

You ready for this?

An ARC giveaway. Yes, you read correctly. AN ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Have I mentioned how awesome Aprilynne is??? The cover will be revealed Tuesday October 23 and the ARC giveaway contest rules. Check back in a couple of days and be sure to bring your friends too.

Okay enough blabbing. Here is what you've all been waiting for and without further ado, let me present a snippet from the long awaiting Life After Theft:

When we reached what looked like the face of a mini-cliff she took two running steps and jumped, and basically floated into the cave.
I was stuck ten feet below. “You suck,” I shouted.
“Wimp. There are handholds all the way up. That’s how I did it when I was alive.”
I found a ledge for my foot and stepped up to reach for one with my arms. In a few seconds I had four limbs on little ledges and was sure I looked like a bug clinging to the wall for dear life—all of three feet above a sandy beach. I looked up to Kimberlee for help. She was staring out at the sea. A gust of wind made her skirt flutter suddenly, giving me an eyeful. I froze, lost my balance, and slid down the rock. Or, more accurately, fell sprawling into the sand.
“Perv,” Kimberlee said with a sinister laugh that made me remember that wind couldn’t touch her clothes. Only Kimberlee had any effect on Kimberlee’s clothes.
“Don’t do that again,” I said darkly. At least not while I’m clinging to the side of a cliff. Without looking at Kimberlee I started to climb again, more carefully this time. It took me about three tries and at least ten minutes, but I made it. I peered back down at the beach. The climb looked a lot shorter from up top. “Okay,” I said as I scrambled to my feet. “Where’s the stuff?”
She tilted her head to the back of the cave. I turned and blinked, letting my eyes adjust to the darkness. When they finally did, my jaw dropped.
There must have been a hundred boxes stacked in the back of the cave, which was way deeper than I’d expected. “A few things? A few things! Are you insane?” My voice echoed through the cave, repeating my words back to me.
“Jeff . . .” Her voice was uncharacteristically quiet.
“This is ridiculous. You lied to me.”
“I did not.”
“No one in their right mind would ever classify this as ‘a few things.’ You lied to get me up here and hoped you could just flutter your eyes and it would be all better. Well, it’s not.” I backed away from the massive pile of boxes. “I’m not doing this.”
“Jeff . . .”
“I should call the cops,” I said as I backed away. No way could I return all this stuff on my own, not in any reasonable amount of time. “I’ll bet they could—”
“No!” Kimberlee shouted, running after me. “They’d just confiscate it all. Then I’d be stuck here forever! Jeff, please.”
“No. I’m leaving,” I said, as much to myself as to Kimberlee, “and I am not coming back.” I looked over the edge and tried to find the handholds I had used climbing up. It’s only ten feet. Just jump! I let myself down as far as I could while holding on to the ledge, then tried to fall slowly. My feet hit the sand a moment before my ass did. My tailbone stung, but at least I was out of the klepto cave. I looked over at my car and forced myself to walk calmly instead of running—which would probably make me fall and look like an idiot.
Kimberlee was right beside me. “They’re organized,” she pleaded. “It’ll be easy. A bag for each person. The boxes are sorted by category. A couple of trips and we’ll be done.”
By category? “A couple of trips? A couple of trips? Maybe if I had a semi. That,” I said pointing up at the cave, “is a lot of stuff, Kimberlee. You have a problem.”
She shrugged. “Can’t do it anymore, can I?” She laughed shakily for a few seconds before falling silent.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

3rd Sunday Sweets: Innocent Darkness by Susan Lazear

I met the lovely Suzanne Lazear at RWA last summer and instantly preordered Innocent Darkness for my Kindle. When it arrived, I dove right in.

As the title implies, this YA is pretty dark. Since it's steampunk the story takes place during the Victorian era when many freaky things happened, most people don't talk about.

Noli, the heroine, is sent to a reform school in San Fransisco after being caught flying a car illegally (illegal because she's a girl and she doesn't have a license.) There's some pretty scary things that happen there, like water-boarding and other "treatments" that are considered barbaric this day and age.

However she escapes the hellish prison into the faerie world through a portal where she is trapped by Kevighn, the high faerie queen's huntsman. There's a little love triangle that's formed between Kevighn and Steven, her neighbor from back home in LA. Noli is thrown into all sorts of challenging situations and adventures.

So what did I think?

For being my first steampunk, it wasn't too bad. I think this book is a great intro to the genre for people who have never read before and would like to try it out. The faerie element is much stronger than the steampunk. The old lore is beautifully woven throughout. Reminded me a lot of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, but with a steampunk spin. Yes, the story is dark, but there is a sweet innocent undertone which lightens the book a bit.

The romantic elements are very strong and though the book is PG, there is a scene that is a bit steamy and not the in punk kind of way.

Though I found some of the twists predictable, I enjoyed fun ride. The imagery was stunning and I felt like I took a trip through the Otherworld. Looking forward to reading book two. Hello, I need to know what happens to Noli, Steven, & Kevighn!!! 

You can purchase your own copy here.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2nd Sunday Savor: How my writing has changed.

Courtesy of IFC Portlandia Official Facebook Page

I began my writing adventures almost four years ago when my husband encouraged me to write the stories in my head instead of telling them to him. Poor guy, he just needed to get his crazy wife off his back.
At first, I wrote this crazy dream of a future Portland buried underground to protect the population from the radiation on the surface. (I swear I’m going to write a series about this someday, because it was pretty freaking cool.) Then I started a story about a girl who is given the gift of healing from an angel, but her super religious parents freak out because they think she’s a witch. 

Six months into this whole writing business, I decided I needed to write a vampire story based in my native Romania. Pretty much every story I started was an idea and then I would run off with it until I came to a wall because I’m not a plotter. The vampire story was the first one I actually finished. I had a beginning and ending with a bunch of stuff in the middle.

I never took classes or workshops until a couple of years ago when I attended my first conference put on by Willamette Writers. That’s where I learned stuff like “Inciting Incidence” and the “Black Moment.” 

But it wasn’t until I joined RWA when I realized, I needed help. So I went to workshops and took online classes. Did they help me? Absolutely. I learned about story structure and plotting (even though I’m a fervent panster regardless). Did these resources improve my writing? Yes. A lot.

But it wasn’t until July when I started reading Wired for Story, when my writing truly changed. Now when I go back and read what I’ve written recently I see that there’s a story there rather than a collection of exciting events with interesting characters.

What’s also changed is how I approach my writing. I’m not as hard on myself anymore and I’m not so focused on being published. Yes, getting published is my goal, but I’m learning to enjoy each step of the way. The first step is to make sure I have something I’m proud of. That isn’t to say I’m editing everything to the ninth degree. No, I’m just saying I want to put out quality.

It WILL happen. I’m sure of it as much as I'm sure I need to go to work tomorrow morning in order to keep my job. Today, however, I’m so much closer to realizing my dream than four years ago.