Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Truths about Dating and Mating by @JayceeDeLorenzo: Interview and Giveaway #blogtour

Hello, loves!

Please help me welcome author Jaycee DeLorenzo to the blog today, everyone.

The fabulous Jaycee

Jaycee DeLorenzo hails from Tucson, Arizona, on the outskirts of the Saguaro National Park – which she believes to be the most beautiful spread of desert in the world.  By day, Jaycee is an English language teacher to elementary students. By night, she’s a wife, mother, writer, cover artist, website designer, and blogger.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, singing (very poorly), catching up on her favorite T.V. shows, and researching.

The Truths about Dating and Mating is Jaycee's debut novel, and the first in a series centering around students of the fictitious Riordan College. The novel released on November 21st.


Spunky Italian coed Ivy Rossini likes to talk and push the boundaries. She gets to do both as she co-hosts Riordan College’s radio program, The Truths about Dating and Mating, alongside her lifelong best friend, Ian Hollister.

Being the only girl who cares to see beyond Ian’s bad boy reputation has its advantages, especially when he’s scaring off the jerks who just want to nail the campus sex-guru. It’s when he’s “protecting” her from the advances she welcomes that she wants to lob him over the head and tell him to butt out. But Ivy’s feels like she’s the one who’s taken a hit when Ian almost kisses her at a party. She knows she should feel relieved when he pulls away, so why is she disappointed instead?

What’s worse, Ivy’s now getting aroused by Ian’s slightest touch and can’t stop entertaining thoughts of a romantic future. But Ian doesn’t do relationships, and she’s not interested in anything casual. In the end, Ivy decides it’s best to keep her growing feelings a secret and hope they’ll pass. However, when Ian begins hinting at wanting to take things to the next level, she’s forced to decide if a chance at something more is worth risking everything they’ve built.

With their friendship and her heart hanging in the balance, can Ivy follow the advice she and Ian give their listeners - to communicate, be honest, and trust in themselves - or will insecurity, stubbornness, and pride ruin any chance of their relationship getting off the ground?

The Truths about Dating and Mating sounds great, doesn't it? Let's see what Jaycee has to say today, and then you can enter the giveaway for your very own copy of the novel! :)


Welcome to the blog, Jaycee! Please tell us about yourself in fifty words or less.

I’m 34 years-old, a wife and a mother to two young children, and it feels like I spend all my time writing, designing covers, and working at the day job.  I’ve been writing for fun since I was about eight, but didn’t really get into creating stories until high school. 

What can readers expect from The Truths about Dating and Mating?

Lots of humor, lots of drama, a little bit of vulgarity, and a happy ending.

Why did you decide to self publish The Truths about Dating and Mating?

I had other options, including agent and publisher interest, but in the end, I decided I wanted to be in control of what happened to my book.  While it’s a lot of work and keeps me on my toes, I really like the freedom that comes with self-publishing, and the fact that it lets me put the story out there that I envision and not have to go through a whole lot of changes to meet market trends and perceived ideas of what sells.

What's been the single most empowering piece of advice you've gotten when it comes to writing?

Write the story you want to tell, and don’t worry about what’s popular or what’s selling. 

What's been your most challenging writing moment to date?

A few years back, I had someone look at my WIP, and it came back so marked up with red that I wanted to cry. I almost quit entirely, but my husband kept telling me not to take it so hard and learn from the experience.  And I’m hoping I did.  I got back on the horse and here I am, having just put out my first (of hopefully many) books. 

What's the worst thing you've ever written? The best?

I wrote a really horrible soap-opera style drama in high school that I would read to my classmates on Friday.  Many of them enjoyed it, and I still have it in a bound journal on my bookshelf, but I can’t even go back and look at it without my eyes rolling like crazy.  As for the best…The Truths about Dating and Mating, I think. 

Do you share any traits or characteristics with your protagonist, Ivy?

When I was in college, I was a lot like Ivy.  I had a big mouth and said a lot of things to get a rise out of people, but it was a defense-mechanism I used to try not to let people know how insecure I really was.

What made you decide to write New Adult?

Because the story I wanted to tell wouldn’t work in YA, but the voice and maturity levels of the characters I wanted to write wasn’t correct for adult audiences. 

What does a perfect day entail for you?

Scuba diving in Mexico with my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and cousins. I love the whole experience of those trips:  being under the water, sitting on the beach gabbing with cheap beer and road-side tacos, and just getting away from the real world and letting all of my stress melt away.
 
In high school you were most likely to ….
Write a best-seller. True story.

You're stuck on an island... what 3 books would you kill to have with you?

The collected works of Shakespeare, The collected works of Jane Austen, and, if it were to ever come out, a humongous edition of the Harry Potter books.  Or is that cheating? *g*

What is it about bad boys like Ian that drive women crazy? Can bad boys be reformed, or is that just a pipe-dream?

Eh, Ian’s not really a bad boy, but I think that everyone is attracted to the idea of saving the bad boy and being the one special enough to make him want to reform.  As for if it’s possible?  Well, fantasy and reality are very different things, and while the idea of a sexy bad boy is exciting in literature, I’ve known quite a few bad boys who were just scary.  Some guys are so much trouble that you want to stay far away.

Where else can we find you?

Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook | Goodreads

Thanks so much for stopping by to chat today, Jaycee!

If you haven't picked up a copy of The Truths about Dating and Mating yet, you can pick up a copy at: Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords. Jaycee is also giving a copy of the book away. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xoxo,
Ayden

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stricken (The War Scrolls: Book One) and the #TwitterFiction Festival

Tuesday has come and gone, and I didn't post a teaser. That's because the Twitter Fiction Festival begins today, and I'm particpating! Woohoo!

I will be tweeting the first pages of my young adult novel, Stricken (The War Scrolls: Book One), as part of the Festival. Those of you who've followed me from other writing adventures are familiar with this concept already. The Twitter Fiction Festival is just like Smut Theater... only with a larger audience, and material more suitable for readers of all ages and interests.

Beginning today, writers from all around the world will tweet their stories under the #TwitterFiction hashtag.  Starting at midnight, I will begin tweeting the first page of Stricken. At midnight the next night, I'll tweet page two, and so on and so forth until the Festival ends on Sunday.

Sounds fun, right?

It is! I've done this with my wifey for about two years now (though not on anywhere near as grand a scale), and have had a blast with it. Some of you have asked for me to bring this form of story delivery to my YA writing, and what better way to do than that as part of the Twitter Fiction Festival?

So what the heck is Stricken all about and why am I tweeting this one?

Here's the summary:

Eons ago, the Fae risked everything to save themselves and carve out a future for their people amidst the devastation of the Demon Wars. Now the Fae race and their kin are being cut down by a deadly virus none saw coming.
 
When Hafling warrior Kaeden St. James sets out on a quest to find a cure, he and his blade-brothers discover seventeen-year-old Anya Mathis, a human with a past as dark as it is mysterious, cowering in an abandoned house in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. The corrupted races are chasing her, and Kaeden is determined to find out why.
 
What neither he nor Anya suspect, however, is their attraction to one another, or the frightening truths lurking in the shadows. The painful childhood memories she fights to bury hold answers that threaten to tear the world apart.
 
Only Anya can save the Fae people from their fate, but when they discover her family's part in the creation of the lethal virus, old alliances shatter, and her life hangs in the balance. Kaeden must choose between the future of his people and the human girl he's pledged to protect, and his choice will change everything.
 
Demons are rising, and this time, they plan to win the war for dominion once and for all.
 
If you're familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls, you've probably heard of the War Scroll, which supposedly tells of the final battle between good and evil. Stricken is a retelling of that prophecy, with a few twists and turns along the way.
 
It's a fast-paced story that's taken on several different forms since I first began writing it. Some of you have read a very different, heavily edited version of the story in charity compilations last year. With Fall nearly finished, I'll be returning to Stricken in the coming weeks. I'm excited to share the beginning of this adventure with you as I begin whipping the novel into query-ready shape.
 
You can read the first five pages of Stricken by following me @AKMorgen on Twitter, or by browsing the #TwitterFiction hashtag.
 
Happy reading, fellow Festival goers!
 
xoxo,
Ayden
 

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Friday, November 23, 2012

My New Niece, and a Thanksgiving Giveaway from @dawnaraver and @courtney825

As the title indicates, I have a new niece! Yay!

Miss Rosalie was born on the 20th, and come tomorrow (contrary to anything the Keeper of the Cheerios might say), when I give her an official nickname, I will be her most favorite aunt.

Isn't she a cutie?!

Miss Rosalie

I just had to share the happy with all of you. I'm so excited to finally meet her tomorrow at Thanksgiving Part Deux. I spent my Thanksgiving cooking for 28 families with kiddos in intensive care, so tomorrow, my family is getting together to celebrate pie the holiday and our newest addition. Yay! :)

Now onto the other fun stuff!

The fabulous Dawna Raver and Courtney Worth Young are having a HUGE giveaway! See all the awesomeness below?!


Awesomeness referenced above
Through Sunday, you could win over 20 titles (including these!) from Curiosity Quills Press! You know what's equally as awesome? You have 28 chances to win! You can find the Rafflecopter (to enter) and all the pertinents at Dawna's blog here. Make sure to thank her and Courtney for being so amazing while you're there!

And don't forget that all Curiosity Quills titles, like those above, are currently only $0.99 at all online retailers. The sale ends on Sunday, so make sure you stock your ereader before then! You can find all of the pertinents here.

I'm off to dream of pie!

Your exclamation happy author,
Ayden


Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The @CuriosityQuills Black Friday Book Blowout is Here!


Do you like good .99 cent books? Me too!
 
Everyone loves a good book sale, especially when it means you don't have to elbow your way through crowds of people driving their shopping carts like they're in a bumper car death race. So stay home this Black Friday, and take advantage of the amazing Book Blowout from Curiosity Quills! All CQ titles (including Fade!) are on sale for .99 cents from the 21st through the 25th of November. Woohoo!

Check out the details from CQ below. :)

Curiosity Quills Press has a lot to be thankful for this year. As a way of showing their gratitude, the CQ team is proud to announce a very special Black Friday Book Blowout for this Thanksgiving Day shopping season.

All Curiosity Quills Press electronic titles will be marked down to just $0.99, with the special pricing available across major online retailers from November 21 through the subsequent Sunday of November 25.

Here's the rundown of the awesome titles available!
  • Mike Robinson’s The Green-Eyed Monster combines a detective story untangling a mysterious murder, with creepy, horror-infused storylines demonstrating the victim’s and his killer’s entangled powers over reality.
  • Nina Post’s hilarious Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse, follows the post-apocalyptic bounty-hunter-turned-condo-manager, Kelly Driscoll, as she wheels and deals with angels, demons, and more to keep the last remaining condo building still standing and keep another apocalypse at bay.
  • Randy Attwood’s Blow Up the Roses is a gritty mystery showing how the vilest of evils can infest a seemingly normal cul d’sac, and that every closet has (at least one) skeleton.
  • Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.’s Wet Dream plunges readers into a futuristic detective pulp novel with twists to spare, while staying true as a tongue-in-cheek satire of the porn industry; that is, until things get really wild!
  • K.H. Koehler, author of the popular Mrs.McGillycuddy steampunk vampire novels, strikes back with a brand new quirky urban fantasy series following a its clever, sarcastic hero as he matches wits with angels, colludes with devils, and battles false gods in The Devil You Know (Nick Englebrecht, No. 1).
  • Michael Shean’s new cyberpunk dystopian novel, Bone Wires, follows a jaded detective on the hunt for the elusive and deadly “Spine Thief” in this companion piece to his debut Shadow of a Dead Star.
  • Nathan L. Yocum’s cinematic narrative style makes a comeback in his second CQ novel, the steampunk mystery – Automatic Woman – in which a thief-catcher races to capture a rogue clockwork ballerina and discover its bloody secrets.
  • Jessa Russo’s debut hit, Ever, serves up a very different take on eternal love, with some of the most memorable ghostly characters we’ve ever met in this urban fantasy romance.
  • Krystal Wade completes her Darkness Falls urban fantasy trilogy with the last book of the series, Wilde’s Meadow, seeing the conclusion of Katriona Wilde’s struggle against the God of Darkness, and the high – often tragic – price of peace.
  • A.K. Morgen’s Fade turns the werewolf romance genre on its ear with the intertwining of Norse mythology throughout this urban fantasy romance debut.
  • Michael Panush, author of the outstanding Stein & Candle Detective Agency series, is back with another pulpy franchise – El Mosaico, Vol. 1: Scarred Souls. Follow Clayton Cane, a “patchwork man” put together through dark voodoo and evil science, as he outwits and outguns his way through the Weird West of Civil War times.
  • Lisa Collicutt’s The Gathering Darkness takes a Celtic view of Witchcraft, past lives, and paranormal romance adventures in modern times and beyond.
The Black Friday Blowout will also include all previously published CQ titles as well.

Pretty cool, right? I think so! So roll up your sleeves, loves, break out the Amazon (or B&N) card, and get busy cramming your ereader full of Curiosity Quills goodness.

xoxo,
Ayden

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Your Perfect Paranormal Pitch Winner is...

Hello everyone,

I am very pleased to announce that we officially have a winner for the Perfect Paranormal/Fantasy Pitch Contest! The vote was incredibly close, but after tallying all responses the winner is....




Please join me in congratulating Kristin, who's won some fantast prizes, including the opportunity to have her entry, The Book of John, read by a Submission Editor for Curiosity Quills Press. You can read Kristin's winning entry here.

In addition to the grand prize above, Kristin has won:

*A live plot session with C.L. Parker, author of the Supernova Saga. Plot session will be one hour long, held on GChat during a time mutually agreed upon by author and contest winner. C.L. will help tighten up plot, answer research questions, and more. 

*A first page critique by Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things.

*A query critique by A.K. Morgen, author of Fade. (Yes, me!)

*Collaboration with freelance cover and graphic artist Amber Wilson on a story or author banner or graphic for your website or blog.


Plus Kristin has raked in the loot with:



*An e-copy of T.M. Franklin's MORE (Release Date: 10/4/12).

*An e-copy of Jessa Russo's EVER (Release date: 10/1/12).

*An e-copy of A.K. Morgen's Fade.

Kristin has also won the banner above, designed by the amazing Brandi Whitmer, which can be displayed on her site, and will be displayed on the site here as well. Congratulations, Kristin, on all of your hard work and your success in the contest!

Please also help me congratulate Geoff Wright and Christine Kuehn Kelly, our other two finalists. Their submissions were fantastic, and I personally hope to read more from them both in the near future. :)

If you didn't win, don't fret. This doesn't mean you can't query your entry to Curiosity Quills later. :)

xoxo,
Ayden


Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Guest Post: Why We Fight by @Fandom4Preemies #worldprematurityday


Hello everyone!

Today is World Prematurity Day and we would like to encourage each of you to take a moment today to remember the preemies we have lost, and honor those still fighting by making a donation to the March of Dimes.

The latest update on prematurity across the globe is not pleasant. When we began Fandom for Preemies two years ago, 13 million children were born prematurely each year. In the last two years, that number has risen by 2 million. That's right. This year alone, 15 million children will be born prematurely. 1.2 million (up from 1 million in 2010) of them will not survive. Equally as heartbreaking: pre-term birth is now the second leading cause of death in children under the age of five.

To put this into perspective:

  • More children die simply because they were born early than die from cancer, car accidents, and heart failure.
  • 1.2 million is more than the population of Wyoming, Washington D.C., Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, and Rhode Island.
  • Over 50% of these children (the entire population of Washington D.C. or the state of Wyoming) could have been saved had they had access to adequate healthcare.
Clearly, the fight is not over and we are needed now more than ever before.

$5 is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the costs preemies will incur this year. It's one cup of coffee from Starbucks. Less than the cost of one take-out meal at most fast food restaurants. Less than one gallon of gas in many areas. But that $5 can make a difference. It already is.
Despite the rise in pre-term births across the globe, there is good news.

Just a few short years ago, an infant born at 24 weeks gestation had only a 20% chance of survival. With access to adequate healthcare, that chance of survival is now at an all-time high: 50 to 60% of infants born at 24 weeks gestation survive. The survival rate of a micro-preemie receiving care at a high-level NICU is now 30 to 50% higher than those receiving care in a traditional NICU.

Just last week, Ayden was able to talk with the family of twins born at 22 weeks gestation. That means Mom was only 5 and a half months pregnant when she gave birth. A few short years ago, these little ones would not have survived. In fact, a few short years ago, most doctors would not have even attempted to save their lives. Last week, both twins were six days old and still fighting.

That is amazing, and with your help, the survival rate will continue to increase.

If you haven't already, please make your donation to the March of Dimes (or a similar organization fighting in your nation) today. Once done, forward your confirmation to fandomforpreemies@gmail.com so we can send you a copy of the compilation our authors are putting together to say thanks for your commitment to preemies everywhere.

And authors, if you haven't signed on to contribute a piece yet, there is still time. Please visit: http://fandomforpreemies.blogspot.com to learn how you can submit a story to the compilation. 100% of proceeds go directly to the March of Dimes.

You can make a difference. And we cannot wait to welcome you to the fight.

All the best,
Your Fandom for Preemies Team Captains
(Ayden, Andy, Jen, Leah, Lisa, and Marita)
 
 
The March of Dimes, a 501(c)3 non-profit, works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. The organization carries out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.

 

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo. 10% of proceeds will be donated to the March of Dimes, and 10% to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas through March of 2013.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Story is None of Your Business



It's no secret that the husband and I can't have babies. We both want children, but sometimes things just don't work out the way we might want. Even though we want children, we're content with our lives. We've been blessed with opportunities that many others don't have, and we're able to use those opportunities to help others and care for our families. And anytime we feel a need for childish laughter, snuggles, sneaking into a kid movie, or for any of those fun things parents get to do, my sisters are always willing to let us borrow a kid or two for a while.

People with children always tend to feel a little sorry for us because we don't have what they have. But we don't need pity or sympathy, because our lives are full of amazing people and wonderful experiences.
 
We don't have children, but we've been able to help our family when they need us most. This year, my fourteen year old, pregnant cousin lived with us for several months while she attempted to get her life back on track. She's with her grandmother now, and is doing well.

The Keeper of the Cheerios and her kids lived with us for four years while Aloshua struggled through surgeries, long hospitalizations, and setback after setback. I've been able to be at his bedside with her day in and day out, and to learn everything we needed to know to bring him home so he could be with his family. I get to help care for his older brother and his little sister, and make sure all three have more love than they'll ever know what to do with.

And I get to go to work every day and help other families through the same struggles my family has experienced. I can't tell you how many times someone has come to me for advice or support when their children are going through a medical crisis. And I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to offer a little help when those families need it most. My husband has a friend whose young son is struggling with some serious psychological issues. His friend knows anytime he needs a shoulder to lean on, my husband will be there, and that even though we don't have kids, he can count on my husband to provide truly helpful advice and support.

 
Long story short, we don't have kids, but we do understand what it means to be a parent, and we both cherish being able to help those who are parents keep their families together through the worst life throws at them. Every year, we spend a lot of time educating people on the reality of preterm birth, and of life with a special child like Aloshua. We get to celebrate the successes not only for him, but for kids just like him, and we fight for those children every day.

We are blessed, and we make every effort possible to share our blessings with others. We do so because it's the right thing to do. So imagine my complete and utter fury when, last night, someone said we were "selfish" for not having adopted a child yet. According to them, if someone has the means to provide for a child and doesn't have one or adopt, they're sinful.

I'm very rarely at a loss for words, but last night, I was stunned into silence. And then I was furious. I'm still angry. I didn't respond to her though. I didn't say a word, because my story is none of her business, and telling it to her in a fit of anger wouldn't have served a purpose. Sometimes, my dears, the best thing you can do is walk away from an argument with your head held high, knowing you don't have to justify your life to anyone else.

But I'm telling all of you this story for a reason.

You see, my husband and I aren't childless by choice.

Once upon a time, we were pregnant. And we still remember how awful it is to lose a baby you desperately want. Once upon a time, even after going through that, we decided to begin preparing for IVF. Three months later, my neurosurgeon found another brain lesion, and those plans unfolded without our consent. This hasn't been an easy road for either of us, and it's one that's very personal. We don't talk about it often, and we've both struggled to accept the reality that we may never have kids of our own.

But we have accepted it.

We've talked at length about adopting eventually. We're both ecstatic at the thought of doing so, but we're also smart enough to realize that being able to provide for a child financially doesn't mean you rush out and adopt right away either. We've opted to finish our educations and check a few items off of the bucket list before we adopt.

I don't think that's selfish. I think it's smart. There's more to raising a child than being able to provide financial security. No one understands this better than we do. It's something we've thought about quite a lot.
 
As much as I like to pretend otherwise, I'm sick. I have a neurological problem that may never go away; one that sometimes causes frightening side-effects. My brain is damaged, it keeps sustaining damage, and we don't know why. We're in uncharted territory here, and so are my neurosurgeon and my neurologist. None of us know what to expect, but my husband and I both know that bringing a child home when momma sometimes can't remember entire conversations or has to ask what day it is ten times in a row isn't a good choice.
 

It sucks, some days a lot more than others, but that's the hand we were dealt. As much as we want children, we want to know that our children can depend on us no matter what. Right now, as sad as it is to say, we don't know that. How can we when we don't even know what's causing my lesions, let alone how to stop them?

Maybe this time next year, things will have improved, and we'll finally be ready to adopt. I don't know, and neither does any one else. But I do know that, right now, bringing home a child would be the most selfish thing we could do. So I'm okay with helping other families care for their children and waiting to bring home one of our own.

And if you don't have children, as I know many of you don't, you aren't selfish either. It's your choice to make, not anyone else's. Be proud of yourself for making the best decision for you and your family. That's all anyone can really do, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, no matter what anyone else has to say about it.
 
And people will say something about it. Every where we look, someone is saying something about the choices we make. If you have a kid out of wedlock, you're sinful. If you're married and opt not to have children, you're sinful. If you have children before you're financially ready, you're sinful. The list goes on and on, but at the end of the day... all the chatter boils down to one simple truth.
 
 
Things aren't always black and white, and it's not up to any of us to judge for anyone else whether they're doing the right thing or not. We don't know that, and it's not our place to pretend we do.

I didn't argue with this girl last night, because my choices aren't anyone else's business, and neither are yours.

Let me repeat that:

Your choices aren't anyone else's business.

Whether you have children, don't have children, get married, or stay single your entire life, whether you go to college or start work right out of high school, whether you take that high-paying job or spend your time toiling away on novel, you're the one who has to live with your choices, and you don't have to justify them to anyone else. Do what's right for you or your family, and don't worry what anyone else has to say.

Chances are, they're going to say it anyway and nothing you do will ever completely satisfy them. So stop trying, and remember you don't owe anyone an explanation, a reason, or a response.

This is your life, and how you live it is up to you.


xoxo,
Ayden


Don't forget: 50% of proceeds from Fade will be donated to the Red Cross through tomorrow for Hurricane Sandy relief. An additional 10% will be donated to the March of Dimes, and another 10% to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas through March, 2013. You can purchase the novel (print or ebook) at the links below:

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Friday, November 9, 2012

We're Supporting Hurricane #Sandy Victims, and You Can Help.

Hello, my lovelies!

I have a very special announcement for all of you this evening.

To support victims of Hurricane Sandy and aide in the relief efforts currently ongoing, Curiosity Quills Press will be donating 50% of proceeds from select titles to the American Red Cross. I have signed on to be one of these authors (alongside Krystal Wade, Nathan Yocum, and Michael Shean), which means if you purchase a copy (digital or print) of FADE between now (November 9th) and Friday, November 16th, 50% of proceeds will be donated.

During this period, Curiosity Quills Press and I will continue to donate 10% of proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, and 10% to the March of Dimes, which means the majority of your purchase of FADE will go to charity for the next week.

Those of you who know me know how important giving back is to me, and I hope each of you will embrace this opportunity to join me and Curiosity Quills in helping our friends on the East Coast as they begin to rebuild their lives and their livelihoods, as well as in helping those families whose children are facing a medical crisis.



You can purchase FADE via any of the following links: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo.

Please consider helping my fellow CQ authors as they support the Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy Relief, too. Proceeds from the following titles will also be donated to the American Red Cross:

   







Bone Wires Bone Wires
Average Rating:
17 total customer reviews…

The Zona The Zona
Average Rating:
36 total customer reviews…

Automatic Woman Automatic Woman
Average Rating:
5 total customer reviews…



From the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.





xoxo,
Ayden

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In which SS discovers the oven


A couple of years ago, my in-laws bought me and my husband a new stainless steel microwave for Christmas. We unpacked it when ours died a few months later, and have used it since. Recently, it's become demon possessed. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won't. Sometimes it starts itself in the middle of the night. Luckily, I'm a light sleeper and we haven't died yet. But that's beside the point of this little story.

Last night, I had to work the overnight shift, but as volunteer coordinator, I often get called in randomly during the day. Yesterday was one of those days. I had a group of volunteers coming so I had to go in at noon to help get them all situated. When I got home, I crawled into bed for a nap, knowing I had to be back at 10pm.

An hour after falling asleep, I was jolted awake by a loud, completely random banging.

Bang, bang, bang.

Silence.

Bang.

Silence.

Bang, bang, bang, bang.

I laid there for a few minutes, trying to figure out what in the heck my husband was doing. And then I heard the microwave beep.

The light bulb came on.

I groaned, fished for my phone and blearily dialed his number, unwilling to leave my nice, comfy bed. He didn't pick up. I texted him, threatening bodily harm if he didn't stop trying to kill the microwave.

Now, at this point, most of us would have said 'eff it and put our food in the oven, right? Not him.

A few minutes later, the banging resumed.

Bang, bang, bang.

I crawled from bed, stumbled down the hall and told him if he valued his life, he'd better stop beating on the microwave. I then turned around and went straight back to bed, without waiting for a response.

Naturally, he followed me.

As I was getting back into bed, he opened the bedroom door.

"The microwave is dead!"

He closed the door.

I covered up and closed my eyes.

A few minutes later, the door opened once more.

"It's pissed me off for the last time. I'm taking it apart!"

He closed the door again.

I laid there for a few minutes, not sure if I should laugh or try to talk him down. I mean, taking apart a microwave out of sheer male ire doesn't sound like the smartest plan ever, but I'm a girl, so what do I know?

I eventually decided the microwave was dead anyway, and he couldn't do it much harm by taking it apart. Plus, maybe he'd work off a little of his frustration, or get shocked and learn a valuable lesson about working on appliances he knows nothing about while I sleep. Either outcome was fine by me.

About an hour later, I finally gave up on going back to sleep and crawled from bed to get ready for work. I walked into the kitchen to find tools everywhere. Oddly enough, the microwave was in one piece and SS hadn't called for an ambulance.
 
Was this success?!

I walked into the living room to find him finishing off a breakfast sandwich, a proud grin on his face.

"Fix the microwave?" I asked.

"Nope," he said, still grinning proudly. "It's dead. I used the oven."

 Ay yi yi.
xoxo,
Ayden
(aka Author in need of a new microwave)
 

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ten Rules for Surviving Encardia with @KrystalWade #WildesMeadow

Do you know what happened on Monday?

This happened:



That's right! Wilde's Meadow, the third book in the Krystal Wade's (aka the BEE's) wildly popular Darkness Falls trilogy released!

Summary:
Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her Draíochtans.

Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.

Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way. Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?

Who is Krystal, you ask? What is the BEE, you wonder?

About the Author:

Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers--who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas--sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?

Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.


To summarize: Krystal is my freaking amazing editor and friend. And she has graciously dropped by today to help prepare all of you adventuresome readers to embark on your journey to Encardia with us! Even better, she's come armed and ready with Ten Rules to help you survive!

Ready?!

 
Surviving Encardia

1. Avoid spending too much time around light; it will make spotting daemons more difficult when you go outside.
2. If you feel a gust of wind, run!
3. Do not let a tairb touch you if it's bleeding. You will die.
4. Keep your eyes off Arland; Kate has unrivaled powers.
5. Always be honest, unless you have to trick the Leaders and make them think you're following their rules.
6. Do not trust Dufaigh.
7. If one of your friends acts unusual, he's probably a shifter.
8. That hissing you hear is not from an old steam mill; you'd better run!
9. A blade alone will not kill daemons; you must learn how to conjure fire. Haven't learned to conjure fire yet? RUN!
10. Since you're running so much in Encardia, you should probably remember to bring your Nike's!
 
I'm officially concerned about my chances of survival in Encardia, y'all. That's a whole lot of running. And potentially dying. Two things I've discovered I'd rather not do.
 
The good news is we get to practice what we learned. Are you ready?

You should immediately drop what you're doing and RUN to pick up your copy of Wilde's Meadow on Amazon. Once you've done that, you should pick up your daemon fightin' tools, and follow Krystal's blog, Facebook, and Twitter for all sorts of opportunities to learn the secrets of Encardia.
 
And then (because there's never a dull moment in Encardia and we are practicing, after all), you should make sure you stop by Krystal's blog to participate in the Wilde's Moments contest, beginning on November 16th. You could win a Kindle Fire, and all you have to do is blog about your wildest, life changing moment, whether it was sky-diving into a vat of pudding (if you've done this, I love you), or quitting your job to go on a vision quest in the Death Valley armed with nothing but a stick and a bottle of water. Okay, so it doesn't have to be quite that wild, but you get the point.
 
You can sign up to participate and scope out the competition and rules here.
 
xoxo,
Ayden
 

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teaser Tuesday and #NaNoWriMo: #Fall (The Ragnarok Prophesies)

The first week of NaNoWriMo is winding down, and I've survived! I don't know how, but I have. And I've learned a few things.

1. I suck at locating topography maps when I need them last minute.
2. 1,667 words feels like 10,667 when you're tired.
3. Eat more cookies.

In all seriousness, the first week has more or less gone well. I'm at 16,709 words total, which is a little above where I should be. Don't start the cheers yet though! My FLL, Lisa, will be here on Friday (squee!) and I plan to spend all my time over the next week watching pretty boys, eating cookies, and causing mischief with her.

But there is good news! I'm almost finished with Fall. It's taken a couple of twists I wasn't expecting, but I'm pleasantly surprised at said twists. I need to do some rewriting in spots, but yay for progress!

Now on to your first NaNoWriMo teaser! Disclaimer: It's NaNoWriMo, which means national novel writers' month of not editing.


"You argue with him all the time."

            "So do you."

            "That's different," I protested. I argued because I loved him and he needed someone to stand up to him when he got all bossy and authoritative.

            Ronan arched a brow.

            "He's bossy." I twitched in my seat.

            "So you can stand up to him, but I can't?"

            "I didn't say that."

            Ronan concentrated on the road for a minute before looking at me again. "I argue with him for the same reasons you do. A leader needs to feel challenged, otherwise they get too comfortable. We don't need him comfortable."

            "You could try to make his life a little easier," I said, my tone rife with accusation. "You argue with him over everything."

            "No one else will." Ronan shrugged. "I've seen the way his pack bows down to his every demand. They never question him. Even those wolves of yours never really questioned him. He told them they would either get along with the shifters or leave, and they immediately decided to play nice."

            "And that's a bad thing?"

            "No, but I know they didn't approve of him, and yet they accepted his authority regardless. Do you really think complacency would do him any good?"

            "Of course not." I frowned. "But you argue with him because you like to irritate him, not because you want to help him."

            "At the end of the day, does it really matter why I do it?" Ronan challenged.

            "You could try to get along with him," I pointed out. My request lacked conviction though.

            "Why? He'd still threaten me."

            I huffed, rolling my eyes. "He's not going to kill you. Besides, you're not really afraid of him anyway. You just like to hold that over his head."

            Ronan shot me another genuine smile. "It doesn't suck," he agreed.

Ronan is growing on me, y'all. *shifty eyes*
 
My congratulations to Obama,
xoxo,
Ayden


Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Friday, November 2, 2012

Life Lessons with Ever and Arionna. (EVER Blog Tour with @JessaRusso)

Jessa Russo and I recently had a chance to sit down and chat with Ever (from Jessa's The EVER Trilogy) and Arionna (from the Ragnarok Prophesies) about life, regret, and all the bittersweet things these two young ladies have in common.

I have to tell you, after chatting with them, I have a whole new admiration for the crazy things they're going through right now!

If you haven't read EVER yet, you're missing out. EVER by Jessa Russo released from Curiosity Quills Press last month, and is full of epic love, epic loss, and one hell of an epic ending. You can purchase the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.




FADE, the first book in Arionna's journey is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and  Kobo as well. As always, ten percent of proceeds for sales through March 2013 go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, and another ten percent to the March of Dimes.


And now, for the interview!

Hey ladies, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us for a brief interview.

Ever, meet Arionna.  Arionna, meet Ever.

Arionna: Hi, Ever. It's nice to meet you.

How about a little introduction first?

Ever: Well, as you seem to already know, my name is Ever. Ever Van Ruysdael. Yes, Ever is a nickname, and no, I’m not telling you what it is short for. I live in Orange, California, I’m seventeen, and my birthday is June 4th. I am finishing up my senior year and I work at the animal shelter every chance I get.

Arionna: Well, my name is Arionna Jacobs, but everyone calls me Ari. I live with my dad in Beebe, Arkansas. I'm a freshman at Arkansas State University, but I have no clue what I want to do with my life. Maybe teach like my dad and Dace. I guess we'll see how things turn out.

Did you grow up where you live now? If not, what brought you there?

Ever: Yes. I’ve been in this house my entire life.

Arionna: *speaks quietly* I grew up in Smyrna, Tennessee with my mom, but she died a few months ago, so I moved here to be with my dad while I go to college.

With everything you've both been through, what do you fear most? What do you regret most?

Ever: I think I fear losing Frankie the most. Or losing anyone else that I love, really. But losing Frankie – really losing Frankie for good – would be too much to take. After everything that has happened since the car accident, I can’t imagine not having him here in some way or another to lean on. He’s my rock. I think my biggest regret is giving into Frankie when he wanted to take the mountain road instead of the freeway that night. Things would have been different if I’d just put up a fight like I wanted to.  

Arionna: With everything going on right now, I'm really scared I'm going to lose someone else I love, too. I don't think I can handle more loss right now. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have a choice in the matter anymore either. I feel a little like I'm in a tug-of-war with the Universe. The more I resist the thought of someone else dying, the closer the Universe drags me to that line. More than that though, I'm terrified I'm going to lose Dace before this is over. I just found him, but every day we live with the threat of being ripped apart again.

Arionna: I think my biggest regret is letting Dace leave the day I got hurt. He's really struggling right now, and I kind of feel like that's my fault.

What motivates you?

Ever: I don’t know. I guess hope motivates me. Hope that I’ll find happiness. Hope that everything will work out in the end. It always has, but even more so since meeting Ariadne and Toby. I mean, there’s a clock ticking down as we speak, so it won’t be long before we find out if my hope in the world is actually worth having, right?

Arionna: The desire to see this whole destiny thing through and keep everyone I love safe is my strongest motivator right now. And then there's Dace. Knowing how much we have to lose if we don't win this war . . . well, let's just say I'll do whatever I have to do to make sure he's able to stop Sköll and Hati. Love is a powerful motivator. And so is fear. 

If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

Ever: I’d change my biggest regret: I wouldn’t let Frankie take Ortega Highway to save time that night two years ago. We never even made it to the concert anyway. 

Arionna: I would have spent more time with my dad. I can't bring my mom back, but I think moving after her death would have been easier had I spent more time in Beebe.

If there could be one certainty in your future, what would you want it to be?

Ever:
That the countdown on my soul would be removed. Or turn out to be a big lie, which is probably all it is anyway. I wouldn’t put it past Ariadne to just be messing with me. She’s not the sweetest person I’ve ever met, and I can imagine that scaring me like this would be considered fun in her book.

Arionna: That no matter what happens, Dace and I get to be together in the end. Whether we win this time or lose, when it's over I just want to be with him. That's probably selfish, but it's true.

What three words best describe you?

Ever: I have no idea. Am I supposed to be honest and say what I really feel, or say what people want to hear? I’m going to leave this one to Arionna.

Arionna: Everyone tells me I'm smart, strong and brave, but honestly? I'm impatient, weak, and a little bit of a coward. I'm just too stubborn to give up easily.

What's the worst advice you ever received?

Ever: That’s tough. I mean, I guess I could blame Jessie for trying to get me to go out with Toby and forget about my feelings for Frankie. That’s probably what people would expect me to say, right?  But I can’t really say that in my heart I regret meeting Toby. I can’t really say that at all.

Arionna: *snorts* Dace telling me not to worry when I first met the wolves. For someone so smart, he really is oblivious sometimes.  I was freaking out!

You’ve both lost someone close to you. How do you think loss has changed you?

Ever: Well, losing Frankie rocked my world, and he didn’t even leave me completely. So I think having him stay around as a ghost may have changed me in the sense that I’m a little more open to believe in the strange things we can’t understand. Like paranormal stuff, you know? But I still don’t believe in vampires or werewolves. No way. That’s even too much for me. I also don’t really think his death can be compared to someone else’s because I didn’t have to mourn him completely.

Arionna: I've changed completely over the last months. I think I'm a little stronger and wiser now, but I'm also easier to break and a little bitter, too. Every time I think I start to get the hang of things, someone knocks my feet out from beneath me again. It's very disconcerting to feel like everything around you keeps changing. And it's so confusing to have all those changes drag you along for the ride!  There's this entire other part of me now that wasn't there before, but I'm still trying to figure out what that means for me. I guess we'll just have to see.

Ayden: Thanks so much for sitting down to talk to us, ladies. Arionna, if you could be so kind to convince Ever to send Toby or Frankie my way when she's done with them, I'd very much appreciate it. Either one. No rush. ;)

Don't forget to follow Jessa and Ever through the rest of the EVER Blog Tour for all sorts of fun posts, interviews, and more! And if you haven't already purchased the book, I'm scowling at you. Right now. Scowling!

And if you want more of Ever and Arionna, be sure to check out the Fandom for Preemies Fundraiser. Both Jessa and I will be donating a story to help support the March of Dimes as they work to end prematurity and infant mortality around the world. We'll also be raffling off copies of EVER and FADE!

xoxo,
Ayden

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

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