Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alex is on fire! Oh, I mean #CatchFire!

I am so very proud of Alex J. Cavanaugh, blog guru of the blogosphere. Something that amazes me is how he manages to balance real life (work, wife, family and more) with his writing career, blogging and keeping up with social networking. I know it is a lot of work, my having four kids and all, so he's my authorly hero!

Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh! The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar. There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. See Alex’s site for details: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available today!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can visit the author’s site at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/
Book trailer available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa6VINRGtyE.

Head on over there and congratulate him. Enter to win, too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Calling all #Teen #Writers!

Welcome to Teen Author Boot Camp where you will interact with rockin' authors, and learn their writerly secrets!

Where? Utah Valley University
When? Saturday, March 10th from 9am-5pm
Who?   Teens ages 13-19, NO ADULTS ALLOWED!
How much? $39 

Here are just a few authors who braved their faces!

I've discovered the best way to author yourself is to come out of that cave--let people know just how loveable you are. ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

reposted: Why are We Neurotic?

I've just proved my point at how crazy it's been. I had accidentally posted twice Wednesday last, and had meant to post this one today. Ugh. I hope you can pat me on the head and say it's okay for having read this again.

The article I posted the other day talked about how many authors are switching to Amazon for the publication of their books and how the publishers feel threatened. Something I read on there has had me thinking. The publishers are a bit smug, saying that Amazon won't know how to deal with neurotic authors calling them at all odd hours of the day.

Neurotic they say? That makes my skin crawl. Does the writing industry realize how authors come to be so neurotic? It's funny, I have to admit, but it's because of the red tape system and all the rejections we face at every angle (from red ink all over our manuscripts, the query/agent/editor/publisher trek, editor and MS fixes, bad reviews, waiting, waiting, waiting--even after being published we still face rejections!), it is no wonder why we are neurotic!

This comes to mind on the matter. I've replaced boldened words to suit my purpose:

*An author is not neurotic, your Highness, and those who are cannot help themselves.

Really! Well then by all means, enlighten us.

If you (agent, publisher--anyone in the writing industry) suffer your authors to be rejected, and their manners strained from infancy stage of writing, and then punish them for those strains by rejections to which their first introduction to publishing disposed them, what else is to be concluded, sire, but that you first make neurotic authors and then punish them?

The main reason I write this post is because of the way it was phrased in Bloomberg's article--it felt smug of them to say that we are neurotic.

What are your thoughts on how writers are forged to be the way they are?

*(borrowed from Ever After: A Cinderella Story quote site)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

#FREE #Darkspell all weekend. How? Read on!

 Growing up in an abusive home wasn't easy for me--I hated myself and wished for darker things. I found hope and became strong when I realized how loved I really am.

Please Share the Aware with Mybeauty-intensified for suicide prevention! All "likers" will get a FREE e-copy of Darkspell ALL weekend long, including President's Day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Striving for Simplicity

I feel frazzled and overworked because I've been thinking: market this, market that, do this, do that, edit, edit, edit, review, review, review, blah...

There's no doubt that I enjoy what I do. I love writing. I love reading. I love being an author, but
I've hit a wall where the balance has tipped and my family and spirituality has suffered--I especially felt that right after my Debutante Ball.

Then I came across this article from the 2012 February Ensign Issue by Jan Pinborough, a magazine put out by the LDS church, and I thought, that's me! Not proud of myself, but I am determined to rewrite my life because I am not happy with the direction I've allowed it to fall into. I want a slower, simpler pace--the way it was before I became published. And it is possible, too...

Monday, February 13, 2012

My LTUE Sitings

I held a panel at LTUE's Paranormal Romance: Injecting Romance into Ghost Stories with moderator Elana Johnson. I worked up a ditsy storm because of my anxiety the entire day up to the time of my appearances, then I crashed hard after my reading, which proceeded the panel. Not a pretty sight because I kept losing things.

 See my mysterious black gown? That's my Wanda dress. Wanda is one of the main characters from Darkspell. She's the guardian of the Stormhold Coven, the necklace is the talisman that she gives to Winter for protection against the Shadoweaver. I dressed in character for my reading and used voices and facial expressions.

It was such a pleasant surprise to see Brenda Sills at LTUE!

Do you like my book signing display and getup?

Lynn and I decided to dress in character for the book signing!

My baby at the UVU bookstore!
My first book signing ever at LTUE. This one was cool because everyone that went was a writer--so easy to strike up conversations when you know you have something in common with a person at a signing.

Paul Genesse is one of the coolest authors I've ever met. 

Donna Weaver and Konstanz Silverbow eating lunch at LTUE's  cafeteria.

It was enjoyable, seeing old friends, making new ones, and chatting with potential authors who share the same obsessive love of writing. I usually go camera crazy, but I didn't this year. I only took what I could when I could--it was really busy.

Have you been to a writers conference? How was it like for you?

Read Darkspell here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Writerly Whirlwinds

Right now, as you comfily read this post on your snuggly couch, I am in a whirlwind of authors, aspiring authors and readers as well as people who just love to learn.

This is my first writers conference ever that I will be a panelist in. Am I scared? Yes. Standing in front of dozens of people makes me feel weak as water! Okay, I know water can be very strong, but I am not there yet!

I am also doing a reading out of Darkspell! I've been reading books out loud for fifteen years--because I'm a mom, and I have read out loud at book readings to very small groups. I've read to a large group a picture book at an elementary school using silly voices, but maybe only four people will show up to my reading here. What do you think? I think a tip is keeping in mind my audience. LOL. We'll see how it goes.

So, where is this writers conference you ask? It's LTUE! I attended this conference when I was only aspiring to be an author a few years ago. Interesting how now it's reversed!

The next wind will sweep me away to my first book signing at the Gateway Barnes & Noble Saturday the 11th! A dear friend of mine was thoughtful enough to invite me as one of the several authors attending. I am so thrilled. Am I scared? Not really. I find presenting the worstest of scaries. But with a powerpoint, the universe is mine.


What is your scary exciting moment?

coming up: how my weekend at the conference and book signing went! Aaa!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My #AtoZChallenge Venture!

 So I started outlining my alphabet for April!

At first, I was going to base my theme around being a writer, but I did that last year! Then I stole the idea from my gorgeous 9 year old who's doing Utah Studies from A to Z! So every night, she and I have been jotting down notes and "copying" each other.

What a fabulous experience and bonding opportunity for us. I am having lots of fun with this!

So what this means for you is a Tour de Utah! I'm trying to stick mostly with nature things, but if the letter persists in stubbornness, I'll just have to break down and do something peoply ...

I need 8 more alphabets to go and then I get to start writing out my posts! I am posting an image along with its source as well as a few links about the subject matter I can get to when I am done "staging" my ABCs.

I've had someone ask me if I plan to capitalize the featured letter with its color. My answer: of course! That was part of the funnest thing I did with my challenge! If you want to steal my idea, I welcome it! 

Here is a cheat sheet reference calender for you, to make it easier:



Hmmm, me thinks it looks like a cypher of sorts! I hope that helps some. I know last year I had accidentally skipped a day (since we don't post on Sunday but for the 1st for this year), and I had to go back through every scheduled post and redo the dates. Ugh. Not fun, let me tell you!

I've tossed the gauntlet, do you think you're up to accepting the challenge? Yes? Sign up here! Please?

Help us reach 1000 at Twitter!
use #AtoZChallenge discussing anything ABCish
Join us on Facebook!
Read our newspaper!

Monday, February 6, 2012

But it's Tradition . . . NOT!

Bloomberg Businessweek sent me my weekly subscription. It had me reeling: "Amazon's hitman, a tale of books, betrayal, and the (alleged) secret plot to destroy literature" which refers to Amazon's Larry Kirshbaum.

Is he really seeking to destroy literature? I think it's a matter of perspective.

Check out amazing graph here.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

" 'Publishers are selling drinks on the Titanic,' says Joe Konrath. 'They are doing so much to protect their paper industry that they are disregarding the needs of customers and are treating authors poorly.' Konrath was once a struggling mystery writer living outside Chicago with hundreds of rejections to his name, nine unpublished novels, and a tempestous relationship with the publisher of two of his books, Hyperion. Then two years ago he started experimenting with uploading those books directly to the Kindle marketplace. Now, under the name of J.A. Konrath, he says he's making about $4,000 a day and collecting a &) percent rolaytly on every book he sells."

Publishers resent the fact that Amazon is *stealing authors from them. 

Publishers v. Amazon, Amazon v. Publishers

On January 11th, I shared some heartache I face as a published author. Something one of my readers posted in the comments struck a chord in me. This is what she said:

"I sometimes think publishers are the pimps and writers are the prostitutes. Publishers have fancy names and fancy promises but it's the writers who bring in the loot, with the publisher getting a lion's share for looking good. My hub's in the corporate world, a minnow in a sea of big fish, so to speak. He says that in the corporate world publishers are the vendors and writers are the clients, with the latter having the power. But this has been turned around, with the latter having to say 'how high' when the publisher says jump. "

Hmmm . . . One might question if this is a passing fad or the sign of the times. It's no wonder more and more authors are turning to self-publishing. Does this mean that those of us who are opting self-publishing are destroyers of literature as the Bloomberg's title states? I think not!  Authors are creators of literature, whether they choose Amazon or the traditional publisher.

Were you aware of all this muck going on in the book world? Where do you stand on this?

*My personal thoughts regarding this article.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My #AtoZChallenge Short Cut

Okay, I've been thinking about all the things that made it easy for me to keep up with this fabulous Challenge last year. I need simplicity because of the shortage of time I have with four demanding kids underfoot. As a mom, I tend to find short cuts and augment my time. Aside from exposing my secret, here's another thing to add to its ease (and I hope it helps you too!)

First, I open my list of A to Z bloggers. Going down the list, and by hovering my mouse over each blogger link with my left button down, I drag it up to the browser tab. Do that for as many bloggers as you plan to visit that day/session. Now, I whip out my timer and set it for fifteen minutes, so that's fifteen blogs for me. Yes, it takes me a minute per blog--I don't frivol away my time because it's precious to me!

Important: Do not hit "publish" for any of your comments until after your timer rings. After it goes off, then go back and publish all your comments.

Note: For the pop-up window comments requiring the anti-spam code--you do not need to hit "publish", rather, just hit enter. (A time saver thing I've learned).

Do you have any blogging short cuts you'd like to share with us?

this post has been updated