Monday, March 26, 2012

Update: What's on My Bookshelf

Just a quick check-in before I spotlight What's On My Bookshelf: I've made good progress on DoG and will be wrapping up the serial within 2-3 chapters. Am strongly contemplating doing more serializations; it seems I can work on them and on a novel at the same time, and they're fantastic discipline.
Working also on the last part of the final book in The Chronicles of Nowhere series. If one ending is hard, two are twice that, of course. I find myself working harder and sometimes outright struggling with two completely different series at the same time. But somehow it's hanging together!
And, because this is such a brief update, here are some things on my bookshelf:
1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo:
Wildly out of my usual comfort zone, this Swedish crime thriller failed to totally pull me in. I was entranced with the main female character, though: Lisbeth Salander is one of the most compelling heroines I've encountered in a long time. Have already started in on the second book.

2. Fairy Struck:
It's always a pleasure to edit excellent books in my favorite genre: YA paranormal. Fairy Struck is the third book in Jeff Bryan's Songs of Magic series, and it's a great read. The whole series is quirky and fun, but with that kick of Bryan's trademark edgy dark side. Plus I just love fairies and music, and the series has lots of both.

3. The Iron Witch:
It's hard to come across a genuinely original cast of enemies these days in YA, but Karen Mahoney manages when she writes of malicious, far from glamorous fairies at war with a cabbal of alchemists. Plenty of action and just plain good writing made this an enjoyable read.

Hope everyone is having an enjoyable week and a pretty beginning of spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Gonna Get Crazy In Here!

Tomorrow kicks of a great event in which dozens of ebooks will be available for free through Amazon. My entire catalog will be available either for FREE, or for 99 cents. For those of you who haven't picked up my newest releases, now is the chance to do so for absolutely nothing! Both Worlds Burn Through and Shadowed Ground are FREE; there are dozens of other great ebooks, too. My publisher alone is giving away a total of seven books from their catalog. It's a really fun event, almost like a blog hop but for Amazon pages, linking free books together so you can download to your heart's content.
It's actually a lot of fun to give away books, especially when a bunch of us authors get together to do it in party form. There will be some partying and craziness on this blog, and on my FB and Twitter stream, because it's just going to be that much fun. Please join me and my fellow authors! Here's an example of just some of the titles:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Update

Update time! And, uh, Daylight Savings? I so forgot all about it and blew my noon cutoff time for coffee. Bad.
1. Word count- after the horrible "pulling teeth" day, things got a little better. Thanks to all who chimed in with encouragement and advice- it helped. I wound up doing a combination of focusing on other things and working on planning stuff for two series- one I'm writing and one I'm planning to write. So actually I wound up kind of juggling three different things this week- finished with a word count of somewhere around 4500, which finished off a difficult chapter in Daughter of Glass and made progress on another in the final Chronicles of Nowhere novella.
2. I'm settling into a nice little editing rhythm of writing first thing and during the day, and editing during the afternoon and at night. Sometimes one takes precedence over the other as I juggle deadlines, but on the whole it's a nice balance. Lots of editing to keep me busy this month, too.
3. Not a lot of time for reading- finished Parallel and bought Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. Everyone raved at me when they found out I bought it, so I'm looking forward to reading it when I get the chance. Part of the not-reading thing has to do with my brain just not feeling up to it for some reason. This happens periodically when I'm writing. I think it must be word overload or something. At other times reading is really relaxing, but not lately. But when I do get my reading brain back, at least I have a book on hold I'll probably enjoy.
Hope everyone is having an excellent week!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Book!

An exciting week for me! The second installment in The Chronicles of Nowhere series launched on the 8th! Shadowed Ground is live, baby! For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is the follow-up to Worlds Burn Through. Limited ARCs are still available, too. Otherwise it's currently available on Amazon. Here's a blurb and a pic of the cover:

Chloe Burke has only two choices left: run or fight.

As she wakes from a poisoned sleep with silver scars across her neck and back, her aunt’s diary may provide the only clues about the creatures of fire that hunt her. Through it, she learns of her own awakening powers, as well as more about Annwyn, the world of her childhood, now burned to ash.

She also learns of the blood sacrifice that will be required of her when she arrives at Gray’s Landing. It’s a sacrifice not everyone survives.
Trapped and hunted, separated from her last living relative and the only home she has ever known, Chloe must rely on the deadly Eliot Gray to guide her through the strange world she suddenly finds herself inhabiting. It’s a world where the Abandoned wear human bodies like cheap suits, where the Landing finds itself threatened by its nearest neighbors, and Chloe and Eliot must watch their every move.

As the world around them becomes increasingly hostile, Chloe and Eliot turn more and more towards each other. As the bonds of trust grow, they must be careful not to tread upon time-honored boundaries: those forbidding Guardians to act on feelings for their Wards. To do so would break the bond, and would leave Chloe unprotected as the pair makes their way to Gray’s Landing, and safety.

Members of the powerful Ravenwood family fall further and further under the Abandoned’s influence until Alexander stands alone. Cass and Miranda must find a way to take legal possession of the Landing amidst corruption and danger in Savannah.

A dangerous road stretches on before them, and Chloe and Eliot must learn to work as a team against the deadly predators that threaten a whole new world. Determined not to let the only home she remembers suffer Annwyn’s fate, Chloe finds herself in a race to reach Gray’s Landing before it is too late.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Like Pulling Teeth

I think I'll skip the illustration for this week, because it really has been like pulling teeth. It's a mystery to me why sometimes the words flow like water, and sometimes it's like working in a rock quarry.
Oh well. For this update I have 2,858 words to report towards my weekly goal of 4,000. I can't even claim those as polished words- nope, they're still in draft form. Usually when I go back over the draft my word count grows rather than shrinks, but with the way this week has been going who knows?
Still reading Parallel- I can't find the time to read as I would like this week. And also, I've had to find time to do some editing and take over the majority of household chores because my husband's working odd music biz hours. So all in all, a stressful week so far.
Also, a final appeal: for those of you who have days or even a string of them where writing feels really hard, what do you do to get over it? Advice and encouragement welcome!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Late to the ROW

A quickie update today since I realized I completely forgot to post yesterday.
1. Word count clocks in at 3700 for the first part of the week, and probably 700 for the last part. That last bit was handwritten, so the count is a little off maybe, but at least I hit my overall goal of 4000. I have to admit I was feeling a little stuck, working through some key scenes in the third Chronicles book, The Forgotten Fire, and so I just had to roll up my sleeves and go back to basics. Frequently when I'm feeling blocked a little pen to paper helps. I can't say I have the scene entirely ironed out, but I know things are going to go one of two ways, ultimately. I have faith at this point that my characters will show me the way when I finally get there- that's one of the things I love about being a combination pantser/ plotter. I work from an outline, and I do plan things, but sometimes you just have to leave a little wiggle room to let your characters breathe, otherwise they'll never surprise you.
2. I'm a really slow reader lately. I have a lot on my mind, plot-wise, including finishing up a series and a serial that will eventually turn into a book. When I get like this it takes forever to actually read anything, and it's even harder to find something that engages my mind. So I'm working through Claudia LaFeve's Parallel, her time traveler's series, and I have to say it's a good, engaging, well-constructed little book. I'm not done yet and already I'm looking forward to the next one, Paradox.
3. My newsletter is going out in the next day or two with offers of ARCs and general announcements. That's definitely on the top of my to-do list.
Ok, I promised this would be a brief one, and I'm on the verge of rambling about totally pointless things like how my entire household had cupcakes for breakfast or that the new trailers for HBO's Game of Thrones, coming out April 1, totally rock. Hopefully I'll have further interestingness next update.
And remember to be on time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reviews, News, and ARCs

Hi all! I wanted to share a really nice surprise review from Paranormal Opinion- apparently she picked up both Gifts of the Blood books when they were free on Amazon and posted a lovely review over on her blog:
Paranormal Opinion is one of my favorite review blogs, so I've been doing cartwheels all afternoon.
Proverbial cartwheels, that is. Anyone who knows me will tell you shocking Vicki secret #2: I am clumsier than a coma patient trying to walk while still asleep. I was clumsy back before Bella made it cool. Real cartwheels would result in damage to my self and environment on an epic scale.
Other mixed-review type news has to do with my current series, The Chronicles of Nowhere. The first volume has been out for a little while now, and if you follow my blog or just cast a glance at it now and then, you'll know the second volume is out soon.
(Omg my power just went totally out. I mean, wow. Plus I'm low on battery. Just great. Well, I'm going to keep blogging anyway because that's just how I roll.)
So what I'm writing are novellas- you know, not quite as long as a book, but longer than a short story? And the reviews have been positively glowing except for that fact. Which, if you're going to be criticized for something, "I want more" is always a good one. But sheesh- is it not clearly marked novella??? Plus the fact that the second one is due out in a week, and you can already get ARCs either through NetGalley or by asking me directly. So please, if you are one of these people who are all "I want more!" then I have more!!! Just for you! The plan with the series was always to release them pretty much back-to-back. I can't remember exactly, but I think it's been a month since the first one. That's a pretty ambitious release schedule, at least for me, and I have been working hard to get them to you in record time.
Here's my favorite so far, that comes to us via Dead Ink Books:
And the final piece of news is that Shadowed Ground will see its official launch on March 8th!!! Woo hoo! More imaginary cartwheels! And the third one, The Forgotten Fire, will be released roughly a month to six weeks later, so that's not your average between sequels wait.
All in all, though, the reviews have been great, using words like "stunning", which is always good for the muse. So thanks to those of you who've taken the time to write a review of any of my books-  I appreciate it ten thousand fold!
Other news (introduced almost as an aside last update, but which is now becoming a more serious possibility) is that I'm in a position to serialize the third book in the Gifts series, Blood Redemption. I figure this would be the fastest possible way to get the story in the hands of readers, even though it maybe isn't the smartest financial move. I know a lot of you want to know what happens next, and I really relate to that feeling. So the benefits there would be that it would be serialized, with a chunk of the story published every week, for free. Did I mention free? And then published in its entirety when finished serializing.
So I guess what I want to know is, how would you as readers react to something like that? Are you interested in free and immediate gratification via a serial, or would you rather wait for the whole thing?
(Omg the power is still out. This sucks. Royally.)
I appreciate feedback if you get the chance or inclination. I'm going to go fuss at the power company via my dangerously low-battery iphone. Thanks for dropping by, and if you get a chance, be sure to check out this week's installment of Daughter of Glass over at Curiosity Quills: