Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Winner of End of Mae Contest

Sorry everyone I am a bit late on this but there is a winner for End of Mae.

The winner is:  Susan from The Book Bag!!  Way to go!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Derrolyn Anderson

Thanks Derrolyn for allowing me to read your books, they are wonderful!  If you haven't read my reviews you can find them HERE and HERE.  Also there is going to be a giveaway at the end of the interview...so let's get started:

Where did the inspiration  for “Marina’s Tales”  come from?
I lived in the little seaside neighborhood in Aptos where the story takes place for the first ten years of my marriage, and I wrote it very much the way I remember it. I took lots of morning walks down the secret stairs to the deserted fog-shrouded beach, and out onto the cement boat. On my last visit, I was sad to discover that people are no longer allowed to walk onto the ship, for with every big winter storm it’s crumbling into the sea more and more.

What challenges did you come across when writing the book?
Keeping it clean! I’m the mother of three teenage daughters, so I have a vested interest in keeping the romance sweet... 

What was your favorite  part(s) to write?
Probably Lorelei the mermaid. I  imagined her to be wild and animalistic, yet playful, innocent and childlike. I see my mermaids as being feral creatures, much more like dolphins and otters than human beings.

What is next up for you?
I’m currently working on book #3 in the series, “The Fate Of The Muse”. I hope to have it ready to go by the end of August. The beauty of self publishing, and e-books in general, is that the moment I’m satisfied with the cover and the final edit – one click, and it’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  Smashwords etc. Instantly.

Your Favorites: 
I’ve always been partial to warm colors like reds, oranges and golds – not very mermaidy, huh? 

Everything! All kinds of Rock and Roll, from the 60’s to now, with a special love for punk a la Green Day/Ramones. I’ve seen the Stones, AC/DC, the Who and the Clash live and up close, as I like to remind my kids when I can’t hear their high pitched mosquito ring tones. I do have a mix on my i-pod of classical music and softer pop like Sarah McLaughlin/Roxy Music that I like to play while I’m writing. Lately, I’ve been loving Adele and Florence and the Machine. 

Once again, Everything! Historical fiction, Chick-lit, Horror, Romance, Adventure, Mysteries – I can’t pick just one genre, let alone author! 

Narrowing it down to my own, I still can’t pick just one. I have a soft spot for Cruz and Abby, and in the third book I’m having the most fun writing Shayla.

I have a great book titled, “My Last Supper” that interviews 50 of the worlds greatest chefs and foodies, posing the question: If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you want for your last meal on earth? Mine would have to be a multi course extravaganza featuring sushi, pho, and some really spicy Thai food washed down with Champagne. Oh, and chocolate!

Anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I studied art in college, and worked nights as a bartender at an airport hotel. What great training ground for a writer... talk about a cast of characters! 

Any final thoughts you would like to share?
I know it sounds terribly anti-social, but I think I may be the last person on earth that is not on Facebook, seeing it as one more chore in the endless to-do list of life.

And I type with one finger. Truly pathetic.

Thanks again Derrolyn.  Now people Derrolyn has been nice and is giving away 2 sets of the ebooks away..so I will have 2 lucky winners!  All you have to do is fill out the following FORM.   the giveaway ends August 26th. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Moon and the Tide Derrolyn Anderson

Wow this is just as good as the first book!  The whole story line is different than the first book!  Yes there are still mermaids, but the issues are different.  Marina finds out more about who she is, and realizes that the world isn't all rainbows and butterflies.

I love Evie and am glad she has a bit more of a role in this book than the last.  I also like how we get know more about her outside of Marina's view.  Craziness I tell you, but totally in a good way!!

I really enjoyed this book just like I did the first so I give this one my Excellent rating too!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Between The Land and The Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

I got this as an ebook from Derrolyn Anderson to read and review.  I got to say that this was a nice change from some of the young adult books that I have read.  Marina is the main cause, she is extremely independent to a point it can be considered a fault...however she isn't one to lie down and take what is going on.  She is hard headed and determined, yet it isn't overly done.  Marina does what she thinks is best, and while it isn't the right choice she does grow as a character.

The story line is quite different dealing with Mermaids, but these aren't your Disney mermaids either.   These mermaids are a bit child like and yet very wild and powerful.  You can't help but fall in love with them with Marina, as well get her frustration trying to find out things(what exactly you will have to find out for yourself).

There is a love line in it, although it is more of a sweet romance.  It is also a teenage romance, so there isn't anything graphic that happens.  Maybe a few things that aren't considered wholesome but it isn't something that I would stop me from allowing a tween/young teen to read.

Also this is a series book!  So there is more that is going to happen, which I am glad since this was a great read!  I give this my EXCELLENT rating!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jen Wylie

I would like to Thank Jen Wylie for stopping by and doing an interview...before we get to it, here is a bit about her:
Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.  Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel published in 2011 by Echelon Press.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

Now on to our interview!

Where did the inspiration  for Sweet Light  come from?
The story wasn't based on anything in specific really. Things just tend to pop into my head. I suppose a lot of it came from me being such a romantic at heart. I also can't stand stories where everything goes right for the characters-so I like to throw in a number of obstacles. One of my favorite things to do is add in twists the reader never sees coming. So far I've heard a lot of positive comments on the twists in Sweet Light and I hope new readers will find the story to be a great read as well! 
What challenges did you come across when writing the book? The writing of the book was pretty easy- it was the finding of a publisher and then all the edits which followed that were a bit challenging. :) 

What was your favorite  part(s) to write? 
My original draft didn't have Dric in it (gasp!) He came to me in a dream and demanded to be added...so writing him was a lot of fun. He's one of my favorite characters! 

What is next up for you? 
The sequel has been written and is a first draft right now, so next is to get it into shape so everyone can find out what happens next! I've also a number of short story projects on the go and hope to have more of them out soon too. 
Your Favorites: 


 -I've a million favorites- anything that makes me feel.

 Jack Sparrow


How can people contact you? 
My website: www.jenniferwylie.ca
twitter: @jen_wylie

Any final thoughts you would like to share?
Thanks to everyone for their continued support! I love to hear from readers and am always happy to stop by websites or blogs. Happy reading! 

Thanks so much Jen for the interview and for allowing me to read your book it is a great read!  If anyone is interested in buying her book you can find it here:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sweet Light Jen Wylie

This is was a nice light read that I needed.  It does have multiple narrators however it is mostly told through Shara's eyes.  I found Shara a lot like someone just starting their first real job after going through school.  They know what to do but are unsure of themselves.  Shara did gain experience quickly(even more quickly than she realized).  While she has 3 guys that love her, she stayed down to earth and didn't get a big head from it.  Yes she struggled with if she made the right decision, however I felt that she did through most of the book.  The only time I didn't was towards the end, but when it was resolved I felt a little better...but felt the same way she did afterwards.

One thing I have to say is that I was so involved that I started crying at one point in the story...yes I can get emotional when reading, so knowing that I was that involved speaks highly of the story that Wylie created.  I didn't feel disconnected at all.

I will say the ending seemed to leave a lot of unanswered questions, so I do hope that Wylie does revisit this world to allow some of the questions/theories to be answered.

Overall I really enjoyed this read, and giving it my EXCELLENT rating!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Giveaway for End of Mae!

So Angela has been very generous and is giving away 5 ebook copies of End of Mae.  All you have to do is fill out this FORM.  It will run until Midnight on August 15th, and the winners will be announced on August 16th.  Good luck to everyone!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winners for Magical Shades of Blue!

Drumroll Please!!!!

Ok so I am using Random.org and the first number out of 12 entries is: 3
The first book goes to Ems at In which Ems reviews books

The next number chosen is: 9!
The second book goes to Zoe Liew

The next number chosen is: 8!
The third book goes to Darlene from Darlene's Book Nook

The final number is: 11!
The final book goes to Jessica from Peace Love Books

I will be emailing you all shortly!  Congrats everyone and thanks to everyone who participated!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Angela Smith

Angela Smith is the Author of End of Mae, if you haven't read my review it can be found HERE.  Angela has been so nice to do a guest post and an interview So I am going to let Angela take the stage first:

When I came out with my new book, End of Mae, I don’t know what I was more excited by; breaking into fiction or getting to try out my marketing plan.  It’s my belief that there is excellence out there being overlooked due to less than excellent promotion.  Lack of money, knowledge and time tend to be the main enemies of the indie.

I have a soft spot in my heart for the indie cause, be it author, artist or musician.  We stand alone and face the crowd, putting our hearts on our sleeves with voluntary vulnerability.  Over the past two months I have personally asked over a dozen published authors what their marketing plan was, and the response each time was minimal to none.

There are a lot of books out there, and it’s necessary for authors today to make use of every tool available to be noticed.  With the new prevalence of multimedia applications, the modern indie author must be more of a performer than in past years.  The days of the reclusive writer hiding away from society are gone, at least while you are trying to get your work known.

Understanding and utilizing social networking, virtual worlds, machinima and viral marketing methods are tantamount to our success.  Being a staunch supporter of your own work and acting professionally are also key factors.  As John Locke points out in his excellent book How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! ; “How is it that self-publishing is the only business where self-funding is considered undignified?”  If we can’t be enthusiastic about ourselves, who else will be?
The day that End of Mae was officially published I knew that the real work and creativity was about to begin.  It had several strikes against it being a new fiction in a highly competitive market.  Aside from my blog I had been largely away from professional writing for several years.  I was just kind of popping on the scene abruptly, a fact that could work for me or against me.  Despite this, I managed to successfully introduce End of Mae to the literary world, garnering more press than I could have hoped for in its first month alone, and for less than $50. 
I used Second Life as part of my promotional campaign, building a virtual version of the house from my book in that world so that I could have a visual center of operations.  This was excellent for taking photos and hosting social opportunities.  I called it my End of Mae Virtual Visitor Center, and it is closely linked with my blog.  I can host readings there, film videos, pass out updates and visit with fans in a satisfying and friendly way.  This has proved to be a very successful strategy.
Here’s some of the first month statistics;
·         Nearly 500 bloggers, magazine editors and other media specialists were contacted with a virtual press release.  The entire thing cost under $1 and took me a total of about two hours from start to finish.  Press release included promo shirts for girls and guys that could be shared and a replica of the actual book that contained the first chapter among other things.
·         Since the press release 30 to 50 new people have visited the End of Mae Virtual Visitor Center in Second Life daily.  This doesn’t count revisits, the counter I use counts only unique visitors.  As of this post I am nearing the 3,000 visitor mark.
·         As a direct result of the virtual press release, my virtual location became an editor’s pick for Second Life’s Destination Guide, exposing the book information to 150,930 (and growing) Facebook fans alone.
·         Nearly 50 positive reviews were also published in a variety of blogs, along with live Q&A sessions, spotlights and interviews.
Now that I’m in my second month of publication, I am continuing to explore effective and free methods that anyone can use to share their work.  My most recent brainstorm was entering The Goodreads Slideshow Story Contest with my marketing story.  The contest is a fun challenge, but by using my book and its promotion as my subject, I get massive free marketing for both my books.  As I’m writing this, I’m climbing towards 3,000 views for this slideshow.  That is a lot of exposure in exchange for an afternoon of pleasant work.
This article barely scratched the surface of the many overlooked opportunities that we need to start using.  To this end I’m preparing to publish my next book based on all the details and methods I’ve used so successfully.  A weekly broadcast and column, called MarketShare, are also in the works.  I hope that by sharing what I’ve been able to accomplish with End of Mae, I can help indie and traditional artists find the wings to send their creation out into the spotlight.
For more information please feel free to visit me at dandilyonfluff.com , or endofmae.com  
****Article first published as Book Promotion: Breaking On the Scene Without Breaking the Bank on Blogcritics****

Thanks Angela for the info about self publishing!  On to the interview...

 Where did the idea for End of Mae come from?
I lived in the Whitesbog area in New Jersey when I started End of Mae, and area that is famous for having documented Jersey Devil prints found back in the 80's.  The area they were found was about 5 miles from where I lived, so I was definitely immersed in my research.  I was working at the newspaper there, The Community News, and I had just finished a story on the local legend.  That is the same news article I reprinted at the end of the story.  That area has such an air of creepy mystery; right before we moved in a dismembered body was found in a dumpster nearby and a boy had drowned right off shore from our house.  During the day if you asked me if I believe in the Jersey Devil I would smile condescendingly and tell you my Sandhill Crane theory, but after dark I believe all the way.

 What challenges did you come across when writing the book?
My biggest challenge was the genre the story chose.  This was my first fictional book, and I was actually opposed to writing fiction at the time.  I'd had some bad experiences in grade school with a teacher that basically thought of fiction as lies, and we had quite a few negative run ins.  I didn't realize how much she had influenced me until quite recently.  I worked regularly doing nonfiction for a few publications, and had a few fictional short stories out but they always made me feel guilty.  End of Mae was my secret shame for quite a long time, so accepting the fiction in me was definitely a challenge.  That, and the fact that in the beginning Heylel scared me into wanting to quit the story for a few years.

 What was the easiest part to write?
The beginning was the easiest to write because it came out uncensored.  After it clicked that I was "writing fiction" it became a constant argument with myself.  The next book is going much easier though now that I've come to grips with "my lies".  Now I find myself enjoying the process, and excited by it and the next part of the tale has me literally trembling with excitement when I talk about it.

 Do you identify with any of your characters? If so which ones and why?
I identify somewhat with Mae.  We both had the experience of working for a small time newspaper in the pine barrens of mid New Jersey, and we both like to wear Doc Martins.  When I was younger I also found myself in plenty of sticky situations that resulted from my curiosity. 

 What's next up for you?
I'm finishing up a book on marketing at the moment titled All You Need Is Like that discloses the successful methods I used to get End of Mae out there.  In one month it did so much better than I ever dreamed possible, and was exposed to literally multi thousands of people for less than $50 USD.  I'm determined to get that information out there to the other authors, musicians and artists I know before I can relax and let myself get lost in the fun stuff.  The next book is all laid out and ready to get started and the next part of the story has so many connections to archaic lore and paranormal anomalies I just can't wait to dive in.

And a few about your favorites:
I don't have as much time to read now as I'd like, and it's usually research related.  My favorite new indie author is A.F Stewart with herKillers and Demons book.  I know she's getting ready to come out with another soon that I'm eagerly waiting on.  I also love old classic literature.  My favorite 'comfort books' are Little Woman, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and the Little House in the Prairie series.  I love Anne Rice's older work like Lasher.  In YA I of course adore J.K Rowling, The Bartamaous Trilogy, the Septimus Heap books, Neil Gaimon'sStardust and his Sandman graphic novels.  Actually I think there may be too many to mention, so I'll just sum up that I love books.

I have always loved black.  I find non color soothing, and it's like an empty, non distracting palette waiting for your thoughts.

David Bowie, The Cure, Depeche Mode, She Wants Revenge, Tenek, Global Citizen, Marilyn Manson, Eric Sweetwater... I think I'm running into the same problem as with books... I just love music.

Hahaha... right now I'd have to say my favorite book is End of Mae by Me.  I have to love it before anyone else can.
Coffee.  That's a food group isn't?
I like Mark Twain's "Put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket like hell."  and Gandhi's "My life is my message."

Any Final Thoughts?  
I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my book and give me the space to discuss it.  Indie authors are struggling against the wind, and have been for years, but we are finally making headway.  With all the viral opportunities available now, and technology putting a full publishing business into every desktop I see the next few years as the indie revolution.  I can't wait!

Thanks Angela for doing the guest post and interview!


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