Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books #bloghop



Do you smell that? School is in the air, and you know what that means. A return of homework and pop quizzes. It's not all bad news though! Back to school also means back to the books. Not the textbooks, but the other books. Your reading lists, and those new favorites tucked away on shelves in the school library, waiting for you to pick them up.

To celebrate the return of reading and the release of  my debut YA novel, Fade, on September 7th from Curiosity Quills Press, I'm giving away two e-book copies of the book and a $5 Amazon Card. Fade's heroine, Arionna Jacobs, can relate to the back to the school blues. Her new year is riddled with confusing and frightening occurrences.


When she loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

You can enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced September 8th.

And remember, I'm not the only one giving away the goods! The Back to the Books Giveaway Hop has 243 other blogs ready to get you back to school the right way: with 243 other chances to win all things book related. What's not to love?! Hop on over to participant blogs via the links below.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You can read #Fade's prologue and help a charity? Say what?!


Only ten days until Fade's release day!  I don't know about all of you, but I am incredibly excited. I can't wait to share the novel with all of you. In the meantime, I have several things to help tide you over.

First up is this week's teaser. The first paragraph of Fade's prologue!

Ready?

The wind howled around me, flinging cold rain this way and that. Frigid drops stung my face and hands. The vinyl awning overhead shook and rattled in time to the thunderclaps echoing from every direction. Energy crackled in the air as lightning splintered trees miles away. The resulting clamor forced Reverend Don to shout just to be heard above the fury of the storm. Even so, I only caught every third or fourth word of the prayer he offered.

Want to read the rest of the prologue a full week before the release date? You can! And you can help a charity at the same time. :)

A couple of months ago, I told you about a tragic accident at Comic-Con that claimed the life of Gisela, and how you could help her friends honor her and her amazing spirit. Over 80 authors have donated stories, poetry, or fanfiction to a fundraiser in her honor, and you can own them all, Fade's prologue included. All you have to do is make a $5 donation to the Alzheimer's Association here, and then forward your confirmation (minus any personal details) to fandom4TwiFanG@gmail.com by August 31st.

In addition to the compilation, you could win one of numerous autographed books or swag items being raffled off to random donors (including an autographed copy of Fade)! Every donor will receive a copy of the compilation, and raffle winners will be selected at random from the donor pool. The compilation will be sent out on August 31st, and raffle winners will be announced on September 1st. For more information on the cause, please visit: http://fandom4twifang.blogspot.com.

Not a bad haul for a $5 donation to charity, is it?

Next up: Fade now has a Facebook fan page! You can check it out here. Don't forget to say hi while you're there, and let Stephanie and Eugene know how much you love the cover and the banner! They did an amazing job. :)

This weekend, I will be at Fandom Fanatic! Don't forget to hop over there and check out everything we have planned for you. Just remember, not all posts on FF are appropriate for under 18s. My posts will be, of course! :)

Also, don't forget to check here on Friday for the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop post! I'll be giving away more presents because, you guessed it, I freaking love giving away presents!

Finally, I just want to remind everyone in Isaac's path to stay safe. We're thinking about all of you. I'm sick and can't drive down to rescue you this week, so please take care of yourselves. If your house blows away, you can borrow my couch, but we can't get a new you!

xoxo,
A.K.M.


 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Six Sentences of Fade #sixsunday

Happy Sunday!

Every Tuesday, my phone buzzes to remind me to sign up for Six Sentence Sunday. And every week, I read the alert, fully intending to hop over and sign up when I get to the computer. And I never seem to remember when I do get there. Oy. Gotta love having no memory. But I remembered this week!

Since Fade releases in eleven days (holy crap!), I thought I'd give you another few sentences from the novel. I hope you enjoy this little teaser. :)


"Fuki."
The cub growled in recognition of his name.
"He's very pretty," I told Buka when she and Kalei halted in front of me.
Buka huffed.
"She says he's very tiring too," Dace translated, a smile in his voice.

The little wolf yapped, sounding outraged. .

Remember, you can check out six sentences from authors all around the web here today (and every Sunday). Not all posts are young adult friendly.

xoxo,
A.K.M

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our First Stop on the #Fade Blog Tour...


I've been a little quiet this week, haven't I?

Let's just say this week has been a riot of ups and downs, but I have some fun news for you. :)

I've been busily planning the Fade blog tour, and our first stop promises to be a lot of fun. I will be on Fandom Fanatic September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to talk about Fade, writing, the world of fanfiction, and more. The ladies at Paint Me Undone, SheWolf Awards and Fandom Fanatic have been completely amazing and made up this banner for the weekend.

I'm excited! And you should be, too. We'll be giving away a copy of Fade!

If you don't already follow, please hop over and do so. And stay tuned for the blog tour schedule and top secret project news. :)

xoxo,
A.K.M.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Stricken #newadult

Congratulations to Siren who won the Fade Cover Reveal Giveaway. Siren is the proud new owner of an Amazon card! :)

I've been a failure with Teaser Tuesday again, haven't I? No worries though, loves. I fully intend to make it up to you today. I have a teaser from Stricken for you, and it's a bit longer than usual! It's also not been through the BEE or pre-readers, so please forgive any errors. They're my fault entirely!

Stricken is Book One of The War Scrolls series. It's about a Hafling (half-Fae, half-human) warrior, and the little human who just might be the key to saving his people. Things are never that easy though, are they? Anya and Kaeden are both haunted by pasts they can't outrun, and a future they might not survive. A new demon war stretches on the horizon, and old alliances will shatter. For the first time in memory, humanity meets evil face to face, and this time, they might be required to face the horror alone.

As with Fade, there is an apocalyptic element to The War Scrolls series. If you're familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls, you probably recognize the name. The War Scroll is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and contained prophecy regarding the final battle of good and evil. Yikes! 

For a more complete summary of Stricken, check out the Cookie Cave.


"You look tired." Anya fought the urge to lift her hand and touch Kaeden's face.

"I am," he said, the corner of his lips turning up in a half-smile.

"Oh."

He stared down at her, his half-smile slipping. He looked at her then like he had earlier, before he kissed her. His eyes swirled with a dizzying parade of emotion. She couldn't read them all, but she understood enough. He felt as torn as she did.

"Will I remember you five years from now?" she whispered, her heart aching with fear that she would forget him like she had so much else, and with fear that she would remember him. That he would haunt her long after she walked away from this nightmare, and from him.

"Do you want to remember me?" He took another step in her direction.

"I don't know." She frowned a little, confused. "You feel safe to me. I don't think I want to forget that."

Kaeden reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. He cupped her cheek gently in one big hand. "You are safe with me," he whispered. "I won't let anything hurt you, Anya."

She stared at him a moment. He'd promised before that he wouldn't hurt her, but even then an unspoken fear stood between them like a wall. A little voice whispered that if she got too close, he would hurt her as badly as the things in her past hurt. That voice stopped whispering when he kissed her today though, and wasn't that odd?

"You hurt me today," she whispered.

He bowed his head, letting his hand fall away from her face. "I'm sorry I hurt you."

Her heart ached a little at the agonized way he said it. As if he cared a little bit more than he should, too. As if he hated himself for turning away from her. "Why did you?" she asked, not accusing, but curious. She wanted to understand him.  She needed to understand him. "You wanted me, didn't you?"

His gaze sought hers again, honesty shining from his Fae-bright eyes. "More than you know," he said.

Anya took a deep breath, letting her lungs fill with air even as her heart filled with his confession. He did care, maybe as much as she did. But . . . "It doesn't change anything, does it?" she whispered.

"Do you want it to?"

Part of her, a large part, wanted the way they felt to change things. In a matter of days, he'd slipped beneath her defenses and made her yearn for something she couldn't even really define. More than safety and security, she ached for home and belonging. For a place that didn't hurt her, and someone to catch her when she fell. But . . . she couldn't have that if it meant facing this world every day for the rest of her life, could she? If it meant watching him die? She wasn't ready for that. She might never be ready for it.  Her shoulders slumped, the breath she'd just taken expelling in a long sigh. "I'm sorry."

Kaeden gave her a sad smile and reached for her again. He swept a finger beneath her eye, collecting the teardrop she hadn't even realized had fallen. "No apologies," he whispered, bringing his finger to his mouth. His tongue darted out and lapped that single bead of moisture from his fingertip. "You owe me nothing."

Then why did this hurt? Why did she feel like crying?

Well, I'm glad I'm not Anya or Kaeden at the moment, aren't you?!
xoxo,
A.K.M.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chasing Dreams, Expectation Free


When I signed my first contract, I didn't tell my boss. It wasn't some top-secret "work must never know" sort of thing. I just didn't tell her.

I work as a volunteer coordinator for one of my favorite charities. My job consists of recruiting, training, and overseeing volunteers and our volunteer programs in between coordinating with the social work department of the hospital to find housing for families in medical crisis, taking care of the families in our House, listening to them when they need to talk, fielding phone calls from all sorts of people, and a myriad of other things that keep our House and our families up and running.

Our families are predominately parents of critical or terminal children, most of them premature infants or children with heart problems/cancer. And, sadly, some of our kids don't make it. We lost one unexpectedly this weekend. That's never easy.

You can probably imagine the stress that comes with the job, but despite that, I absolutely adore what I do. Every day, I get to see the impact one person and one organization can have on people who need it most. That's a big deal to me.

When I walk through the door, I leave my personal life behind. I'm not there to talk about what's going on with me or to vent about how things could be better. I'm there to help our families deal with the frightening things happening to their children and their families. They don't want to hear about how I just signed a contract to publish my first novel or how my husband forgot to take the trash out when they're not sure if their newborn will survive the day. They want someone to listen to them vent, offer them a hug, and pass the tissues.

And that's perfectly fine with me. I don't mind leaving my stuff at the door so I can be there for any of our families that need to vent, to cry, or to pour their hearts out. In fact, my co-workers and I encourage them to do so. After all, the most important part of our jobs is the families who walk through our doors.

Long story short, I didn't tell my boss about the contract. Not because I wasn't thrilled about it, but because I left the giddy excitement at the front door so I could do my job and do it well.

My boss didn't found out until about a month ago, and she found out in a roundabout way. My email alerts were going off one day as the B.E.E and I emailed back and forth, and she asked who I was emailing. I told her it was my editor.

She was shocked that she didn't know. She gave me the what-for about not telling her these things (for those of you who don't speak southern, that means she chewed me out), and immediately called everyone in the office to tell them the news. I think she may be as excited as I am over the entire process.

She's an amazing boss, and I just adore her. I felt bad that I didn't tell her, so when I got the cover for Fade, she was, literally, the first person I showed. We've talked about the publication process a lot since she found out, and a couple of days ago, she confessed that her biggest fear is that I'll make millions and quit.

That conversation struck a cord with me. I know a lot of authors dream of striking it rich, and never being required to go to a day job ever again. But that's not me. My job stresses me out sometimes, but I freaking love what I do way too much to quit. Plus, the odds of striking it rich as an author are low. That's fine with me. I don't write to get famous any more than I work at a charity to get rich.

Anyway, she asked me to suspend my disbelief for just a minute and imagine what I'd do in the event that I did make millions. I already knew the answer though. I think all authors, at some point or another, entertain that idea for just a moment before writing it off as preposterous. But I gave her my answer.

I told her that I'd tell her to stop paying me, and that I'd see her in the morning to start my first day as a full-time volunteer.

That's my dream. To eventually reach a point in my life where I can afford to be a full-time volunteer by day and a writer by night. I don't know if that will ever happen, but if I have one dream for my life, that's it.

She told me that's part of what makes me awesome, and that most people don't feel that way. She's right. Most don't. I don't think I'm as awesome as she gives me credit for, but it makes me a little sad to know I'm in the minority with my big dream. Most of us, writers or not, dream of striking it rich so we can spend our days shopping, jet-setting around the world, doing nothing, or doing one of the thousand things we've never been able to afford to do for ourselves.

I don't think this is because people are inherently selfish, but more because we've become so desensitized and jaded to the things happening around us we simply don't have the energy to look at the bigger picture. Most of us have been led to believe that one person can't make a real difference, so we don't try.

Or we get burned out on trying to do good when it never really seems to make a dent in all of the bad things going on, so we wonder why we bother. How can one person's efforts offset the greed, prejudice or horrible things a thousand others display or do at every turn? We get stuck in that pattern of thought, and we stop trying.

I've been guilty of that very thing, and that's sad to me. There is so much good waiting out there for us, but we get so overwhelmed by the bad, that we stop noticing it, stop striving toward it, and stop believing in it and in our potential to bring it out in ourselves and in others.

In Fade, Arionna asks how she and Dace are supposed to do this great thing when they can't even fix themselves. I think we all feel like that sometimes. How are we supposed to make a difference for the world, when we can't even juggle our own lives without something falling through the cracks? Or when our own problems overwhelm us?

I'd love to say there is an easy answer to that question, but in reality, there just isn't. Sometimes, we get overwhelmed, and we lose faith in ourselves and in others. We're human. No one expects us to be perfect, to have all the answers, or to single-handedly save the world. It would be silly to expect that from any one person. But we expect it of ourselves.

And that's where we fail. We expect too much of ourselves and others. We expect our efforts to change the world. When they don't, we quit because quitting is easier than fighting a battle we don't feel we can win. We get so tangled up in what we want to happen, that we forget the most important part of the dream.

We owe it to ourselves to chase the dream, and to prove ourselves wrong. To see how much good we can do as individuals (whether that means buying dinner for the homeless gentleman on the corner, spending a Saturday teaching new mom's yoga, writing the novel we've been thinking about, or something entirely different), and let that be enough to motivate us to keep going. We get so caught up in the minor details, in the frustrations and cynicism, that we forget that the most important thing we can do . . . is what we can do.

Our actions don't have to change the world. No one can do that alone. But we can change us. We can change the way we view things, and our expectations. We just have to have a little faith in ourselves, and in the power of good. As writers, we challenge our characters to do that every day. We give them these internal and external conflicts, and allow them to grow enough through the course of the story to change their lives, whether that's by letting love in, becoming comfortable with their sexuality, or fighting back in some way.

If our characters can do that, why can't we?   

Maybe that's a pipe dream and it's impossible for a person in the real world to ignore or set aside our expectations long enough to focus on the parts of the dream we can achieve, I don’t know. What I do know is that my discussion with my boss made me realize how fortunate I truly am.

I may never get to the point where I can justify becoming a full-time volunteer, but in the meantime, I have an amazing job that allows me to see how much good I can do, a network of phenomenal people at my side, and I have plenty of spare time to write toward my other goals. Every day, I have the opportunity to challenge my beliefs and perceptions about myself, people, and the world around me. I am already blessed. And I think that's a good start.


xoxo,
A.K.M.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Writing His Story

Silly Losh
"Why don't you write your nephew's story?" someone asked me recently.

"Because he's writing his own," I said.

At first, she thought I meant I was leaving his story for him to write one day. When I explained what I meant, her mouth gaped open and she stared at me, trying to process what I said.  She thought my answer was somehow profound. I didn't see it that way. To me, my answer was simple honesty.

Aloshua doesn't need me to write his story for him because he writes it himself every day, in a thousand different ways. He writes his story when he looks up at complete strangers and smiles, and when complete strangers smile back. He writes it when he hugs his little sister, or tells his momma he loves her. He writes it when he pushes his little wheelchair as hard as he can each year at the March for Babies, and every time he gives one of his doctors a high five in exchange for a sticker. His story is in every bite he eats, every word he speaks, and every step he takes.

Baby sister plays chauffer

One of an author's primary goals is to touch others. Our goal, in some way, is to reach into our readers' lives and leave something behind, whether it's a new thought, a bit of laughter, or a few tears. Our goal is to leave behind a memory for our readers. To entertain, to challenge, or to inspire. We may not always see it quite that way, but in some way, all authors strive toward one of these goals.

But at some point, we have to realize that we can't improve on perfection. There are some things we shouldn't say, because we can't do them justice.

For me, that's Aloshua's story.

Modeling a hat from Adopted Aunte Amy

I don't need to tell it, because he does.

He's learned to speak for himself in a way most of us will never experience. And he does it so powerfully that nothing I could write about him would ever come close to doing him justice.

When the skating rink in his hometown hosted a fundraiser for him in January, a young mother brought her friend and their sons with her. She didn't know our family, and she'd only ever seen Aloshua once, months earlier at a McDonald's play area. He was playing with his brother and sister when she brought her son in to play. Months later, when she heard about the fundraiser, she remembered him, and she came out to see him again. Because in that short time, months earlier, he'd touched her in a way she couldn't forget. She told us she remembered his smile and the way he laughed.

Playing with the Doctor and Mommy

We met another lady who told us about meeting Aloshua, too. She suffers from severe depression, and doesn't leave the house much, but when she was out one day, she ran into Aloshua at the store. She said he said hi to her and his smile just melted her heart. When the paper featured an article on Aloshua, she tracked my sister down on Facebook, and added her. Every day now, she checks my sister's wall for new pictures of Aloshua. Seeing what he's up to is the highlight of her day, she told us, and she is so thankful for every picture my sister posts.

He touches people in little ways like that all the time, and he does it simply by being himself. Not a day goes by when someone doesn't come up to him to say hello, to give him a high-five, or to give him something. They always tell us that his smile just drew them in. That's not an experience I want to take from him, or from anyone else, becasuse nothing I could say would ever come close to capturing the true spirit of this little superhero.

His story is personal, powerful, and full of meaning. And he's doing just fine writing it on his own.

Why would I want to change that?

xoxo,
A.K.M.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy News, Guest Blogging, and More

I have a few pieces of happy for you today, loves! And I'm sleepy, so we're going to keep it short and sweet.

Ready?

1. Winner, Winner, E-Book Dinner! Lexa Cain has officially been declared the winner of an ebook copy of Nina Post's One Ghost Per Serving! Yay! Lexa, please email me so we can deliver your most epic of prizes. Everyone else, head on over to Nina's blog and grab a copy of the book!


Book of Epicness.


2. Fade is now on Goodreads! Yay! You can check it out (and add it to your To Be Read shelf) here. Just remember, as much as I love great reviews, please save them until you've read the book. It's only fair. :)

Yep, still smiling.


3. Guest Blogging! I'm on Fictionista Workshop today with everything you need to know about research. Tips, hints, and resources galore. Check it out!

4. Soon to be complete! Stricken edits are half-way complete. You know what this means, right?! Query fun is right around the corner. Woohoo! (Okay, so querying is more agonizing than awesome, but we're ignoring that in favor of Woohoo today.)

It's bedtime for me, so that's all I have for you this morning. Happy day!

xoxo,
Your very sleepy author
A.K.M.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fade: Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a twenty-something child-at-heart came home from a late afternoon staff meeting to discover her husband had slaved away over the stove, making her frozen pizza for dinner.She kissed him into oblivion for saving her the dreadful task of cooking, and sat down to watch her favorite television show while inhaling her pizza at record speeds. As she nomm'd and muttered at the television, Jensen Ackles' voice rang out from her phone, informing her that she sucked.

"An email," she thought to herself, and dusted off her hands to take a peek.

The sender of this email was one our heroine knew well: the Best Editor Ever.

Our heroine blinked at the subject of this most important email, and then hurried to open it.

After dancing in her seat while her husband and dogs looked at her in varying degrees of WTFness, she dashed to her computer, desperate to see the epic email in wide-screen format.

And this, dear readers, is what she saw:



Fade's official cover!

Our heroine squeed in excitement, which made her husband point and laugh, but she didn't care. Not one little bit. For she was too busy capering around, celebrating the coolest book cover ever! And then...

Ah, forget it! You know how the rest of the story goes. ;)

Fade's official cover is here! And in three weeks (three!), Fade will make its debut! Eeeeeeek!

I'm crazy excited to share my baby with all of you, and I could not be more proud of the fact that the last year of hard work will debut beneath such a beautiful cover. When I first started working on Fade, I envisioned a cover a whole lot like this. My friend Beth attempted to draw it for me, but I don't articulate vision well, so she was never quite sure what I meant. She did manage to figure out my rambling enough to draw me a great wolf though.

Needless to say, when I saw the mock-up for this, I was beyond thrilled. And getting the final today was no different.

I cannot wait to deliver this into your hands, my loves. And you can help me celebrate by leaving a comment on this post. One awesome commenter could possibly win a prize! (Read: Ayden loves giving stuff away, so you should comment because there will be a $10 Amazon giftcard awarded to one lucky winner!)

And don't forget, the Super Huge Announcement giveaway is still going on, too! Click here for your chance to win an autographed copy of Fade, an ebook copy, and a gray wolf adoption in your honor!

What do you think of the cover? Are you as excited as I am?!

xoxo,
A.K.M.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ten Rules For... Surviving the Apocalypse

Welcome to the Ten Rules series! Every other week, an author or reader will provide their Ten Rules on topics far and wide. You can expect humor, seriousness, laughter, and possibly even tears.
 
To kick off the series and because I've been watching disaster movies all week, I've asked readers and authors to provide their ultimate survival rule for the apocalypse. After a couple of survival plan debates, we've come up with Ten Rules (or reflections/pieces of advice) from readers, and Ten Rules from authors. These little pearls may or may not end in apocalypse survival, but you're guaranteed to get a good laugh out of them. And let's just say... I've laughed a lot since putting out the call for rules.
 
 
 
 
Here's what readers had to say that I could repeat in public on the apocalypse, survival, and humanity:
 
  1. When you hear the word "run", haul ass. Don't look back and don't ask questions! -Khourtniey (Arkansas)
  2. It'll either happen or it won't. Either way, I'll be too drunk to notice. -Jayme (Arkansas)
  3. Don't eat the yellow snow. -Jen (United Kingdom)
  4. Grab the cookies and Robin Thicke. If I'm going out, I'm going out with a bang! -Marita (Oklahoma)
  5. I'll die trying to save all the kids. -Beth (Pennsylvania)
  6. Always have a loaded shotgun and a good dog on hand.. two legged or four.. as long as they can hunt. -Jasmin (Arkansas)
  7. Pfft...apocalypse. As long as I've got my best girls, firearms, and a box of cookies, I'm good. -Lisa (Ohio)
  8. Keep a shotgun and a lifetime supply of twinkies. -Amy (Louisiana)
  9. I'll just be grateful my life has been wonderful, and neither my daughter nor I will have to survive without the other. -Chel (United Kingdom)
  10. Find my fourteen year old, because she'll know what to do. Otherwise, I'm probably screwed! -Renae (Massachusetts)
 

You notice that cookies/twinkies and guns are tied as apocalypse survival necessities, right?! This is proof positive that I do, indeed, have the coolest readers in all the land.

Now let's see what our authors had to say:

  1. Don't freak out! -Krystal Wade (Author of the Darkness Falls trilogy)
  2. Make sure one hot guy survives so you'll have someone to repopulate the world with. -Elia St. Anne
  3. Knock over a CVS and snag some Nembutal. -Rod Kierkegaard (Author of The Department of Magic, The God Particle & Family Cursemas)
  4. If it's a zombie apocalypse, befriend a dragon. If there are no nearby friendly dragons, move to another planet. -Ethan Mawyer
  5. Always know where your towel is. -Eugene Teplitsky quoting Douglas Adams.
  6. Um... try to head off the apocalypse before it happens. Also, befriend witches and wizards, and develop a tolerance for caves. -Amy Lynn Spitzley
  7. Befriend someone with a farm and guns. I've already asked my brother if I can come stay with him in case of an apocalypse. -Sharon Bayliss (Author of The Charge)
  8. Find and join a motorcycle gang - they will be the strongest assemblage, and only the strong survive. Better learn to ride! -Lisa Collicut (Author of The Devil's Flower & The Gathering Darkness)
  9. You have to have a good partner! Either one who can help you or one you can trip if zombies are chasing you! ;) -Bella Leone (Author of Downpour)
  10. My biggest survival rule is to find a partner for the end of the world, someone as resourceful as MacGyver, as funny as Rob Delaney, and as good of a cook as Bobby Flay. Make sure you're attracted to them, too, in case you need to repopulate the earth. -J.M. Darhower (Author of Sempre)
My advice is simple: Steal a tank and a flamethrower, and stock up on cookies and vodka. If you don't survive, you'll be too drunk and happy to care. I know I will, at least! Because, let's face it, stealing a tank would be awesome. (Disclaimer: Don't steal a tank. It's bad. Unless it's the apocalypse. In that case, find me. I'll bring the vodka, and help you steal the tank!)
 
Your turn! What's your #1 Rule for surviving the apocalypse?
xoxo,
A.K.M.
Want to guest post on the blog, interview, or write your own Ten Rules for this blog series? Email me! I'm always open to guest posts, interviews, and series participants! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Nina Post

Ms. Nina Post
Last week, I was offered the chance to ask Nina Post, author of One Ghost Per Serving and The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse a few questions about writing, life, and, yes, even her best end-of-the-world advice. If you don't know Nina yet, you should. I mean, this lady knows her insidious world domination plans, you're probably going to want her on your side when the zombies attack, right?

Check out the interview below. :)

What can we expect with One Ghost Per Serving?

One Ghost Per Serving is about a father who embarks on a quest to win an unusual contest in order to pull his family back together. As you can guess from the title, there's a fantasy element to it, but even people who don't read fantasy should find a lot to like in this book. I think pretty much everyone can relate to the sort of struggles that the main character is faced with, and there's a nice supporting cast that brings its own quirks to the story. Although I included a steamy scene, there is practically no swearing in this book and my other published books. Overall, I think One Ghost Per Serving is a lot more mainstream than my first novel, and I hope it helps a wider audience discover and enjoy my writing.

Epic book of epicness

If you were to be possessed by a spirit like your hero, Eric, who would you prefer it to be?

Someone smart and sensible, whom I admire, but also someone I could overpower, like Emily Dickinson or Audrey Hepburn.

An insidious world domination plan is afoot. What's your one piece of  advice to the world?

Fight it! And buy a few of my books. They'll make for a fun diversion while the world crumbles around you.

What does a perfect day entail for you?

Everyone I love (who is still alive) is healthy and content, and I talk to them on the phone. I spend the entire day with my husband. We're in Tofino, on Vancouver Island. I make someone else's day better. I am filled with a sense of wonder. We get good news, we eat good food and drink good wine, we walk on the beach and peer into tide pools, we see a lot of birds. (Hey, maybe Chris Carter is there, surfing, and we grill some salmon on the beach with him). That night, my husband and I watch a strong storm over the ocean from the Wickaninnish Inn.

When did you realize you were a writer? Did you write in other genres first or find your niche quickly?

I started writing when I was seven, and always thought of myself as a writer. However, when I meet people on my travels, I usually keep that to myself and tell them I work as a quality control supervisor or a supply chain manager. I started writing humorous fantasy, but have recently written books outside of that genre. While I may write more fantasy novels, you can expect other genres from me, as well.

What was your most challenging writing moment?

I'm hanging on by my ankles to the Zugspitzbahn cogwheel train while a band of cyborg mercenaries  seize the lone surviving heir to the deposed Hesse throne… Actually, a specific moment doesn't come to mind, but anything I did pre-Scrivener was an organizational torment.

Have you ever had a fictional crush? If so, who was it? Why?

Many of my crushes have been fictional, as it turned out. When I was younger, I had a massive crush on David Bowie as the Goblin King. Make of that what you will.

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

I wrote a novel when I was thirteen. I don't remember much about it aside from working steadily on it, to my relief, but I'm pretty sure that was the worst thing. The stories I wrote when I was seven -- those were probably okay.

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

The Three Musketeers, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island, to help a girl out.

Do you have a character you love to hate? If so, who is it and why?

In One Ghost Per Serving, I would say it's my villain, DZ. All he wants is to make Quantal Organic Yogurt the number one dairy brand in the world, and if that means the whole world is infected with commerce spirits, so be it. He has family money, but wants to be even wealthier -- on his own terms. He loves expensive toys, some of which he uses to make Eric's life a living nightmare. He's someone who thinks nothing of paying a famous Japanese jet-skiier to come train him for six months, or buying to play ping-pong with him. He's still angry that he grew up as the spokesperson for his family's anti-diarrhea product, and that drives a lot of his reckless behavior today.

Where else can we find you?

My website is http://www.ninapost.com. You can also find me on Twitter and Goodreads.

* * *
Thanks so much for playing along, Nina! And for the record, my daughter would love to marry David Bowie as the Goblin King, too. :)

For the rest of you... if you haven't gotten your copy of One Ghost Per Serving yet, what the heck are you waiting for?!

You can grab a copy on Amazon.com: Kindle and paperback, and on Barnes & Noble: Nook and paperback. The novel will soon be available on iBook as well.

And one lucky commenter can win a copy of the novel today, so leave Nina some love, ladies and gentlemen, because you will definitely want to read One Ghost Per Serving! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfests: Reflections of a Booty Lovin' Pirate

Banner by Cody Underwood

I've seriously lacked the energy to do much reflecting recently, but have forced myself to sit down and write this post. I hope it finds all of you in good health. I've been stuffy and coughy and meh with a not-so-lovely summer cold. No fun, no fun a'tall! But enough of that! It's reflection time.

I signed on for the Buccaneer Blogfest with a less than stellar follow-through record.  I was 0 for 2 in completing a blogfest, and was determined to make it all the way through this one. As soon as I hit the Publish button on this post, I will officially have been successful in meeting that goal, though it was touch and go there for a bit.

I realized about midway through the first week that I could either blog or read blogs, but free-time wasn't going to allow me to do both. I wasn't wrong. The blogfest no more started when I got slammed with a massive project at work which required putting in extra hours, a sick nephew, home improvement projects (which are still less than half complete), and more rounds of editing for Fade. And I had about 2 weeks to get it all done before four of my favorite people flew (or drove) in for my first actual vacation (read: staycation) in 2 years. Yikes!

Measuring his Super-Heroness
It's all gravy, baby. If caring for a special kiddo like Losh while juggling college and work teaches you anything, it's that you can, in fact, be Super Woman when the need arises. Aside from the half complete home improvement projects and the cold from hell, I survived the month! And the blogfest!

Go, me!

Sadly, I'm still woefully behind on reading other participant blogs, but I am bound and determined to catch up on as many BB posts as I can in the coming days. I may be slow, but even turtles get there eventually. :)

Participating was a lot of fun, I've met a lot of amazing people, and I learned a few things along the way. Such as:

1. Train robbers wing it. Pirates plan ahead and schedule things in advance.
2. I like pictures. Lots and lots of pictures! I also save them in the most random places...
3. Scheduling posts for 12:00am (or 12:01am) makes me feel accomplished. Seriously. There's nothing like waking up the next morning, knowing that your to-do list is already down one item.
4. A pirates favorite thing to do is argh-you.
5. I like big booty-s and I cannot lie. You should like them too. And enter to win some of my booty here.

That, my loves, is a sound edumacation for a pirate, don't you think? ;)

Thanks Sharon, Courtney, and everyone who participated for a great voyage!

If you haven't had enough of my insanity just yet, never fear! I will be blogging here, there, and everywhere in the next couple of months because Fade will be released on September 7th! You should definitely join in the release festivities for a chance to win more of my booty! :)

xoxo,
A.K.M.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The "Look" Challenge from @bellaleone - Tag @krystalwade @ToiThomas @ninapost @JacquieRogers @sharonbayliss @JessaRusso @Jaleta_Clegg @EliaStAnne @MSmithBooks

I've been tagged. According to the rules, you're supposed to do a search in your work in progress for the word "look" and then paste the surrounding paragraph(s) and tag as many people as possible. Here's my teaser from Fall, the second book in the Ragnarok Prophesies series:



 “Did you get your fill of the snow?” Dad asked as Dace carried me back into the kitchen. He stood at the sink, scrubbing paint from his hands. The roller and paint cans were gone, and so was Ronan.
“Looks good, Dad,” I said, checking out the finished product. Aside from the paper tape around the trim and the new paint smell, you couldn’t even tell the wall had been a ruined mess just a few days ago. Maybe I’d be able to eat dinner without needing a blanket for once. Nice.
Dad winked at me.

“She got cold.” Dace settled me back into my chair at the table before moving into the kitchen proper. He started rifling through cabinets, pulling out mugs, cocoa mix and various other ingredients. “Did you know her eyes actually gleam when she sees snow?”

My tags: Krystal Wade, Toinette Thomas, Nina Post, Sharon Bayliss, Jacquie Rogers, Jessa Russo, Jaleta Clegg, Michelle Smith, Elia St. Anne.

xoxo,
A.K.M.

Don't forget the Fade giveaway here! Autographed copy of Fade, an ebook copy, and a wolf adoption are up for grabs. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Super Huge Announcement Giveaway (Buccaneer Blogfest)

Banner by Cody Underwood

I promised all of you an announcement, didn't I?

Argh you ready?

Fade's official release date is September 7, 2012! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am! We've been working toward this day for almost a year now, and it's finally right around the corner. Eep!

But wait! That's not the only announcement I have for you today!

The official trailer for Fade is finished! Check it out:


Need more? I've donated the official prologue of Fade to a charity compilation in honor of Gisela, who was killed at Comic-Con a few weeks ago. You can get the entire compilation on August 31st for a $5 donation to the Alzheimer Foundation here. That's hundreds of pages of stories (including Fade's prologue and the alternative prologue to Krystal Wade's wildly popular Wilde's Fire!) to tide you over until Fade's release on September 7th. Awesome, right?

Now for the really fun stuff. A giveaway! That's right, loves. I brought prezzies, too!

I'm giving away an autographed copy of Fade, an ebook copy of Fade, as well as adopting a gray wolf from the National Wildlife Federation in the name of one lucky winner*! And all you have to do is follow me on Twitter, like my author page on Facebook, or tweet about the contest! Easy, right?

You can enter below:


Winners will be announced September 2nd, and prizes will be sent out as part of the Fade release extravaganza on the 7th.
Woohoo!

xoxo,
A.K.M.


* Wolf adoption is symbolic. Winner will not receive a wolf. Winner will receive a 6" plush wolf, a 11x14 poster, and a certification of adoption from the NWF. :)

Check out more awesome Buccaneer Blogfest giveaways below!