Monday, September 24, 2012

THE MISTAKEN Book Trailer!

I’m so thrilled to share my book trailer with you today.  I’ve wanted one for ages, but I’m so technologically challenged, I had no idea where to start. 

A few weeks ago, my dear friend, fellow author, and beloved SSP pub sister, Carrie Butler, revealed not only the spectacular book cover for STRENGTH, but the trailer, as well, which, in all honesty, absolutely blew me away!  

Carrie knew I desperately wanted one of my own, so she generously offered to put one together for me.  I gave her the script, the link to the soundtrack I’d found, and an idea of what I was looking for as far as the background video goes.  Carrie mashed it all up, tweaked it here and there, and…viola!  

I love it so much!  And I want to share it everywhere.  If any of my lovely followers has a spare day available on their blog and wouldn’t mind hosting me, I’d love to post it for all to see.  And you know I’ll pay it forward.  Just let me know if you’d like me to host your guest post or anything of the sort, and I’m so there for you.  Email me anytime.  My address is available here or in the Contact Me tab above. 

I hope you enjoy the trailer for THE MISTAKEN and find the story intriguing.  The book will be available 10.18.2012 from Sapphire Star Publishing.  You can add it to your Goodreads TBR list today!

The Mistaken

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Genre Favorites Blogfest

Oh, I love a good blogfest, and today, Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a good one.

One blogfest, four favorites!
List your favorite genre of:
And a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!

This should be easy.  First, in the movie category, my favorite genre is the action thriller!  But it has to be smart.  I’m not interested in dumbed-down macho action flicks.  I want films like Primal Fear, A Perfect Murder, Se7en, and Silence of the Lambs.

Music is a bit tougher as I like so many genres, but alternative rock is absolute my favorite.  This is a hazy category and includes elements of metal and grunge.  Think: Three Days Grace, Alice In Chains, Seether, Staind, and Smile Empty Soul.
Books are probably the easiest for me.  While I do read some YA, my favorite go-to genre is definitely the adult psychological thriller.  Think: Creep by Jennifer Hillier, Iron House by John Hart, Room by Emma Donoghue, and The Shining by Stephen King.
Okay, now for a guilty pleasure from any of these categories.  Hmm, this one is much harder.  I think I’ll go for films and the British romantic comedy.  Think: Sliding Doors, Love Actually, Nothing Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Shakespeare in Love. 
What are your favorites?

Monday, September 10, 2012

STRENGTH Cover Reveal!

Cover design by Carrie Butler
Photograph by Yuri Arcurs

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Where to find Carrie:

Where to find Strength:


I’m so damn proud and happy for my girl, Carrie.  Her book, Strength, is amazing.  I’ve read it, so I know.  Do yourself a big favor and add Strength to your to-be-read list today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

IWSG: Juiced Book Reviews

It's the first Wednesday of the month,

As writers, there’s probably nothing that makes us more insecure than bad reviews.  After all, public humiliation is torture when you’re working hard to cull a following and fan base.  As an author whose book is primed for release in a few short weeks, I worry endlessly, but I also know this business is hyper-subjective. 

As a reader, I’m exceptionally particular and put down far more books than I keep reading.  I know the same thing will happen to my book, that there will likely be many who dislike it for whatever reason.  I can’t exactly say I’m okay with that, yet, when I received my first 3-star rating this week on Goodreads, I was surprised by how little it stung.

Sure, part of it was because it was my first and all the others are 5 stars.  And part of it was because she only rated it.  I would have invested far more stock in her opinion if she, as a Goodreads librarian, had reviewed it, as well.  And although she does read widely, she still reads and rates primarily romance, which my book is not.  But still, I thought it would hurt a lot more than it did.

I’m not one of those authors who will rate my own work.  I find that a little…I don't know...narcissistic perhaps.  I was recently warned by a blogger friend that one of my Goodreads followers was a fellow writer who often slams other authors and their books on Goodreads and Amazon.  When I checked him out though, I deduced that he was probably just a disgruntled writer, jealous of others’ success.  So yeah, the source of the review matters to me.

Now we have this whole controversy of authors juicing their Amazon rankings with less-than-legitimate reviews.  The first I’d ever heard of anything along these lines was just a few weeks ago.  My friend and fellow author, Lisa Regan, asked my advice about an interview she was going to post on August 16th with best-selling British thriller author, David Kessler.  While she was excited to go one-on-one with an author she admires and whose books she enjoys, she was also a bit concerned by the advice he was advocating to other authors: 

Do not let anyone lecture you about ‘ethics’ and the integrity of reviews.  Get all your friends to review your books and if they are too lazy, write the reviews for them and get them to use their ID's to publish them. (Throw in a few four star reviews as well and maybe even a single three star review that is only mildly critical - and get all of them to vote that each others reviews are helpful).

But this was not the last I heard on this topic. On August 25th, NY Times columnist David Streitfeld published this article about Todd Rutherford and how he'd been contracted to write and publish over 4,500 counterfeit book reviews on his website, now defunct.  Then on the 28th, Porter Anderson covered the controversy, as well, on agent Jane Friedman’s blog, exposing the fact that self-pub phenom, John Locke, had actually paid people to buy his books and write reviews.  And then again on Sunday morning, September 2nd, author James Scott Bell posted about what the “Paid For Reviews Scandal Means for the Future” on The Kill Zone website and how “Andrew Shaffer compares these paid-for reviews to the doping scandal in sports.”

This whole debacle has left a bitter taste in my mouth.  While we authors dearly want success and for everyone who reads our books to love them and write glowing reviews, those desperate enough to commission spurious analyses serve only to contaminate and impair the very resource designed to assist them.  It creates mistrustful readers who will be much less likely to purchase based on posted reviews. 

Perhaps this behavior is in reaction to those folks who post equally-illegitimate bad reviews on books they’ve not even read.  But I think those reviews are transparent and that the average reader can see through the malicious nature in which it was composed. 

I, for one, believe my work should stand on its own merits and face whatever valid criticism arises, good or bad.  But even saying this, I can tell you, I rarely buy books based on reviews.  I read the jacket copy and perhaps the first page or chapter and decide from there whether it’s a good fit for me.

What about you…do you buy books based on customer ratings and reviews, and will this baring of the truth affect how you make your future book purchases?  

(Sorry for the atrocious length of this post, but I felt it was an important subject for the IWSG.)

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Next Best Thing

Since this Wednesday is set aside for the IWSG,
I thought I’d post a little light fluff for today.

I was tagged in The Next Best Thing!   How cool…thanks, Amy!  Okay, here goes…

What is the working title of your book?
The Mistaken

Where did the idea come from for the book?
From song lyrics—30 Seconds To Mars’ Hurricane.

What genre does your book fall under?
Adult psychological thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
When I wrote the book, I had Andy Whitfield in mind for my male protag, Tyler Karras.  Alas, Andy has since passed from cancer, but I still can’t picture anyone else.  RIP Andy.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Vengeance tastes sweet the day Tyler Karras pledges his wife's killer to sex-traffickers in San Francisco's Russian Mafia, but when he mistakenly targets the wrong woman and jeopardizes the deal to secure his brother’s freedom, Tyler’s forced to protect them all from the very enemy he's unleashed. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be traditionally published by Sapphire Star Publishing and released on October 18th.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Including the outline, 3 months.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Hurricane’s lyrics—“Tell me, would you kill to save a life?  Would you kill to prove you’re right?” made me wonder what could drive a decent man toward violence.  And from that, The Mistaken was borne.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
From my CP, Lisa Regan:  “The Mistaken’s protagonist goes on a pretty despicable downward spiral, and the reader is with him from high to low to high again.  The book questions how far decent human beings are willing to go in the name of revenge and how to put one’s life back together after horrible tragedy.  It asks questions about forgiveness, for others and ourselves once we’ve crossed the line.  The main characters aren’t police or military or special ops forces.  They’re just regular old people.” 

And tag, you're it!