Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour

Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour: Scott Nicholson

I’m pleased to be apart of Scott Nicholson’s Kindle blog tour!

Check out his other stops for more chances to enter for the Kindle giveaways.

scottlandsailorTwelve novels published. Five short-story collections. Two screenplays and counting. My first translated self-published e-book. My first novel collaboration. A young-adult series underway.
A busy year. A lot of words.
And plenty more to put out.
The 90-day blog tour has been a lot of fun but a lot of work—the equivalent of a novel in extra writing. So one of the first orders of business is to collect all the posts into a non-fiction book called “90 Days of Nightmares: A Writer’s Journey.” I’ll probably sell it for 99 cents for Kindle and Nook and offer it free at my web site.
I have enough short stories for three more collections and I will be releasing them with a couple of bonus guest stories and other extra material in each, and these will likely be 99-cent specials.
My thriller Liquid Fear, a novel dealing with bioethics, is about 25 percent done, and it’s more in the mold of Disintegration and The Skull Ring. It’s been calling out to me and will probably be the next project, depending upon what else happens with my other books. And PS Publishing is soon releasing the signed, limited-edition hardcover of my paranormal mystery Transparent Lovers.
I’ve started both the next book in the October Girls paranormal-romance AsIDielYing2series and the sequel to As I Die Lying, so they should be good counterbalance to the heavier Liquid Fear. And J.R. Rain and I will likely continue the Cursed! series if readers want more. Of course, I’ll be putting out the rest of my screenplays, and Ted at Dellaster Design is working on formatting comics for Kindle and Nook. And the children’s book If I Were Your Monster is being proofed and should be out in a week or so, and artist Lee Davis and I are already kicking around another book.
The point of all this isn’t to brag, though I do take pride in my work. The point is that you’re determining what I am writing next. Disintegration is my biggest e-book hit, and though I do want to write the third book in the Littlefield series and bring back the sheriff from The Red Church and Drummer Boy, I will let that wait a little while. Mysteries and thrillers fare better than supernatural novels for the most part, and if I have just as much fun writing all of it, why not write the stuff you like best?
On the promotional front, I’ll keep sending out review copies to bloggers, but we all need a break from Scott Nicholson. Check my web site for special combo deals on signed paperbacks, and also, beginning Dec. 1, I am giving a free e-book version with any signed paper book order, so you can have one for the shelf and one for the e-reader of your choice. And I’ll be back in the spring with one big promo blitz and giveaway with whatever book is ready for release.
So consider this an informal poll of what you would like to see next from me. While it may come down to whatever calls to me the loudest, your opinion is important to me, too.
After all, as I’ve said repeatedly, in this new publishing era, you are the boss.

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Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the YA paranormal romance October Girls and the thrillers Disintegration, As I Die Lying, Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, Curtains, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

The Kindle Giveaway is part of Scott’s blog tour. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm. To be eligible for the Kindle DX or Kindle 3, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. He’s also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing!

Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Cinda Williams Chima

I have the honor of posting a guest post from author Cinda Williams Chima! Her newest book, The Exiled Queen, just released this week!

I was fortunate to received both of these books for review, however, I haven’t finished the first book yet! I just wasn’t in the mood for the epic fantasy but I’ll be getting back to it soon.

Demon King, The (A Seven Realms Novel) by Cinda Williams Chima

528 pages, Hyperion Book CH, (2010-08-31)

$9.99 (Amazon.com)

Exiled Queen, The (A Seven Realms Novel) by Cinda Williams Chima

592 pages, Hyperion Book CH, (2010-09-28)

$17.99 (Amazon.com)

The Art of the Crossover Novel

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Cinda Williams Chima”

Posted in Author Guest Post

Author Guest Post: Kimberley Griffiths Little on book trailers

 

The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little

368 pages, Scholastic Press, (2010-07-01)

$17.99 (Amazon.com)

Hi everybody!

SONY DSC                       Jessica invited me to guest blog about book trailers. Which is a good thing because I love/adore/covet good book trailers!

When my agent sold THE HEALING SPELL (part of a three-book deal to Scholastic), I knew that I wanted to create the perfect book trailer for it.

Continue reading “Author Guest Post: Kimberley Griffiths Little on book trailers”

Posted in Author Guest Post

Author Guest Post: Kristie Cook (Promise)

I’m so pleased to present an author guest post by Kristie Cook, author of Promise which debuts this week!tourbutton

How YOU Can Help Your Favorite New Author

When you love a book, you’re overwhelmed with the need to tell all your friends about it. When you see someone inspecting it at the bookstore or library, you feel compelled to tell them how great it is. Who cares if they’re a stranger, right? After all, if they’re considering something you can’t get enough of, they can’t be too bad anyway.

We authors love this, especially the new ones, who don’t get the marketing budget from the publishers like the big-name authors do. We don’t get front-of-store placement, if we get any shelf-space at all. Our books don’t get picked up simply because our name is on the cover. There’s little advertising and publicity, unless we do it ourselves.

We all know that books become popular because readers love them. And readers are the ones who can spread the word best. So what can you do to help your favorite new author? Telling everyone you know – and even those you don’t – is a great start. But here are some other ideas that can make a huge difference and ensure that your new fave can continue writing more books for your enjoyment:

Write reviews on all the big sites – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc. This is one of the most important things you can do as a reader. The more activity and buzz a book gets, the higher the rankings and the more focus the sites put on those books. Also indie and small-press authors aren’t automatically given shelf space at the brick-and-mortar stores. But when the buyers see all the reviews on the sites (they do pay attention!), they take interest and start stocking the book. They read it themselves and make recommendations to their customers.

Ask your local bookstore and library to order the book. This helps to raise awareness by the decision-makers. Again, awareness leads to books on the shelves and makes it easier for the author’s next book to be on the shelves sooner. If you can afford it, buy a book to donate to the library or even to the owner of a local independent bookstore (they’ll read it and then buy new books for the store and personally recommend it).

Pre-order the book, if possible. If you’ve already heard from reviewers that a book is great or you’ve met the author online, pre-order it. Pre-sales indicate interest to booksellers, so they’ll stock more.

Spread the word on social media sites and blogs. If you have your own blog, write a review post. If you see it reviewed on another blog, share a comment with your own thoughts.

If you know any book reviewers – online or for local media – suggest that they read and review it. Or offer to write your own guest review for them. Newspapers, feeling the pain of the economy like any other company, are short-staffed. They want to include this kind of content, but can’t give up the resources for any of their staff writers to do it. If you’re willing to write just for the experience and credit, volunteer.

Host a book club. If you let the author know, they’ll likely provide incentives and may even be able to participate. If they’re not local, they can join in via Skype.

Attend readings and signings. If the author is coming to a store near you, try your best to attend. The bigger the crowd, the happier the bookseller is and the more likely they’ll stock the author’s books (current and future) and invite the author back.

Follow the author’s blog, if they have one. Stay up to date on the author’s next project and if you see an opportunity to help, let the author know.

There are so many ways readers can help. And I’m not just saying this to boost up my own sales and put money in my pocket. These all benefit any author, specifically debuts. And the new ones, especially, aren’t making a ton of money. The average writer can barely make a living writing full time, which means they’re writing on nights and weekends…which means their next books are even further in the future. And if they’re not making enough sales, their publishers may drop them. Which means no future books at all.

Writing novels is a tough, terribly under-paid job (at least until you make it to the status of Rowling, Meyer, King or Patterson). We do it because we love it. We love our characters and our stories and want to share them with the world. We hope you love them just as much as we do. So when you do, you now know how you can help ensure there’s a next book…and a next one…

Thanks so much Kristie!

She is so right too. So if you’ve had any interest in her book Promise, head out right now and order it! 🙂

I’ve read a good portion of it already, but I haven’t finished it yet, I will soon, but it’s pretty good. I can’t wait to see how it progresses from where I left off. Look for my review within the next few weeks. (I just got an eARC of ALPHA by Rachel Vincent so, um, yeah. I’ll be back after I’ve consumed that book! OMG!)

Promise by Kristie Cook366 pages

Ang’dora Productions, LLC, (2010-05-26)

$15.99 (Amazon.com)

When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell. — Amazon

Posted in Author Guest Post

Author Guest Post: Kelly Link

I have the honor of presenting an amazing author guest post from Kelly Link, who’s short story collection, Pretty Monsters, officially releases in paperback on June 10.

Pretty Monsters: Stories by Kelly Link

A big thank you for the lovely post from Kelly!

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I wrote the stories collected in Pretty Monsters over the course of fifteen years, beginning in 1995. Pretty Monsters came out from Viking in October of 2008. Since then, I’ve had a daughter, spent 15 months in
hospitals, given up reading Patrick O’Brian, filled a deep-freezer with breast milk. What I haven’t done is write a single word of fiction. Which is why, I suppose, for at least part of this blog tour I’ll be writing about my daughter, Ursula. (At points I’ll get around writing about the stories in Pretty Monsters, too.) This is the first of a two-part post. The second part will appear on Foreveryalit.com.

Ursula was born on February 23, 2009, at twenty-four weeks, after a complicated pregnancy. I had checked out What To Expect When You’re Expecting from our library early on, but I hadn’t even gotten to the section on labor when I went into labor. We had barely begun to think about names. I liked Fern, because of Charlotte’s Web. My husband and I both liked Gulliver, if it turned out I was having a boy. (The ultrasounds were cloudy. Ask again later.) We both liked Ursula, because it meant little bear, and because we both loved the books of Ursula K. Le Guin.

The first time that we went up to see her in the Neonatal ICU, Ursula was nestled in artificial lambs’ wool inside an incubator, cotton pads over her eyes, under a bank of blue lights. She was attached to various monitors that measured her heart rate, her oxygen saturation, her rate of breathing. She was incubated so that a ventilator could keep her alive. Alarms went off constantly, and nurses would say, “It’s all right” and then adjust things. We had no idea if things were all right or not. We were in a state of terror.

Ursula weighed 1 lb. 9 ounces, and looked like — as the nurses in the NICU liked to say, affectionately — a chicken bone (click for picture, be prepared to see a preemie). She had no body fat; instead she had a fine coating of hair on her shoulders. Her ears were practically vestigial. The nurses pointed out her long fingers and toes, how graceful they were. Her skin was so fragile that in places, it tore. The treatment for this was to cover it with what looked like Scotch tape. That day, or the next, my husband, encouraged by the nurses, slipped his wedding band on to her wrist, and we took a picture.

I could hardly stand being in the NICU at first. We knew that Ursula’s situation was precarious. Almost half of babies born at 24 weeks don’t survive. (Before my pregnancy became high risk, I didn’t know that any babies could be born so early, so small, and go on to thrive.) A majority of those babies that do survive end up with serious complications of one kind or another due to the therapies that keep them alive as well as due, simply, to their extreme prematurity. The gregarious nurse assigned to Ursula that first day told us immediately, well, it’s good that she’s a girl. Girls have a better chance of survival. The next day when we went up, he said, well, she’s still alive. The first twenty-four hours are really crucial. The next day he said, she’s still alive — that’s good. The first 48 hours are crucial. After a week had passed, when a nurse told us that the first week was the period of greatest danger — and so it was a good sign that she had made it through — we weren’t surprised.

For the first six weeks of her life, Ursula wore only knitted hats — donated in bulk by a local church group to the NICU — and the tiniest diapers you can imagine. We got to help change those diapers. I pumped to make breast milk, of which Ursula could take only a few ccs at a time. The rest we froze. We could, at times, put our hands into the incubator, to cup Ursula’s head and feet, but we had to be careful not to over stimulate or stress her. We read two baby books to her, over and over again: Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg, and Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka.

While I was on bed rest, I had been plowing through Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series. They were terrific, but I had to give up reading them because it seemed to me that whenever I got near to the end of a book, something terrible would happen: I began to have contractions; I went into labor; Ursula would have a crisis. We were staying a block away from the hospital, in a Ronald McDonald House, and we dreaded phone calls, particularly at night, when we went home, knowing it was likely to be the hospital, letting us know that Ursula was in crisis again. The problem was her lungs: she wasn’t growing fast enough to grow new lung tissue. She couldn’t get off the ventilator. I’ve read all of the first two O’Brian books, and all but the endings of the next three — I would put them down when Ursula went through rough patches, and be unable, superstitiously, to go any farther. I’d start a new one. Eventually I stopped starting new ones. Someday I’d like to pick them up again.

During the day we sat in the NICU, and read or worked beside Ursula’s incubator. We watched the numbers on her monitors. We went and ate at the cafeteria. Nurses taught us how to change diapers (lay down the new diaper under the old one, before you take it off) and how to watch Ursula — for tremors, for distressed breathing, for signs of when she needed her incubator to be dark and quiet. I pumped every three to four hours. Twice I came back from pumping to find a crowd of doctors and nurses, and a code cart, around Ursula’s incubator. Both times she stabilized. I’ve always cried easily. I cried all the time. We watched new mothers come into the NICU. You could tell who were the new mothers by the way that they walked, or moved. We became connoisseurs of babies (their different kinds of cries; their weights — 3 lbs? Enormous. 7 or 8 lbs? A monster) and their different medical crises (a baby born with its organs on the outside? Not a big deal. Babies who momentarily forgot to breathe when they were asleep? They would grow out of it.)

At least once a week, when I needed a break, I would leave the hospital and drive back to Northampton. I’d buy frozen burritos for our dinners, chocolates for the nurses at Trader Joes. Then I’d go to a local thrift store to buy baby clothes that Ursula would be too small to wear still, for months and months. I pictured future versions of her, healthy, older, dressed in these clothes. There are a lot of firsts for parents that we’ve missed out on. We weren’t there when Ursula first opened her eyes. We didn’t change her first diaper. For about two weeks I wanted, badly, to be there when she pooped. I never was. The first time that she took a bottle, we had gone home to Northampton (a half hour drive) to sleep in our own bed. We missed her first bath. The first time someone dressed her. The first time she left the hospital — to ride in an ambulance to Boston — we followed behind in our car. I didn’t mind missing these things too much. I was always just so grateful that she was alive. (Nurses said: “She’s feisty! That’s good.”) The first time Ursula wore clothes was the day she was taken to Boston for a heart operation. (Not a big idea, we were told. Not much of a procedure. Nothing to worry about.) There was something of the formal occasion
about it, seeing her kitted out in a onesie meant for the smallest of premature babies that was, nevertheless, still ridiculously enormous on her. Ursula2We were given a change of clothes to take along with us. At this point, we had still never even held her, although the night before, her nurse had let us put our hands inside the incubator. She then gently lifted Ursula and laid her across our hands. We could feel her relax against our palms. On the monitor, her numbers — her heart rate, usually around 170 beats per minute, go down; her oxygen saturation, often stuck in the high 80s, go ever so slightly up. We held her for a few minutes, and then her nurse told us it was time to put her back down again. I am not, by nature, an optimist. But I clung to the idea that things would be better one day.

To sum up: I’m a short-story writer. In fall of 2008, my third collection, Pretty Monsters, came out in hardcover, and I got pregnant. I gave birth to a daughter, Ursula, in February 2009 at 24 weeks and 1 lb, 9 oz. She spent the next fifteen months in hospitals.

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Wow, what a story! I of course don’t know what happens next but I’m seriously hoping for a good outcome. I can say since I too am a mother that experiencing something such as the early birth of your child is not a fun experience. I too delivered early (only 4 weeks) but it’s never an easy thing to get through.

Don’t forget to head to Foreveryalit.com to continue reading more about Kelly Link!

I haven’t finished reading Kelly’s short stories yet but I hope to soon. Just know that they are quite amazing so far! 🙂