Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Woven by Michael Jensen and David Powers King


I'm very excited to announce that this book is FINALLY available for purchase, after a 2 year delay and a major change of publisher. Please join me in supporting and congratulating these two resilient authors who overcame some very serious stumbling blocks on their publication journey. Guys, I can't wait to read this!

WOVEN by Michael Jensen and David Powers King, published by Scholastic

Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself.

All his life, Nels has wanted to be a knight of the kingdom of Avërand. Tall and strong, and with a knack for helping those in need, the people of his sleepy little village have even taken to calling him the Knight of Cobblestown.

But that was before Nels died, murdered outside his home by a mysterious figure.

Now the young hero has awoken as a ghost, invisible to all around him save one person—his only hope for understanding what happened to him—the kingdom’s heir, Princess Tyra. At first the spoiled royal wants nothing to do with Nels, but as the mystery of his death unravels, the two find themselves linked by a secret, and an enemy who could be hiding behind any face.

Nels and Tyra have no choice but to abscond from the castle, charting a hidden world of tangled magic and forlorn phantoms. They must seek out an ancient needle with the power to mend what has been torn, and they have to move fast. Because soon Nels will disappear forever.

Available now wherever books are sold

iTunes             

About the Authors:

Michael Jensen is a graduate of Brigham Young University’s prestigious music, dance, and theater program. Michael taught voice at BYU before establishing his own vocal instruction studio. In addition to being an imaginative storyteller, Michael is an accomplished composer and vocalist. He lives in Salt Lake City with his husband and their four dogs.

Photo credit: Michael Schoenfeld

Links:


David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film
inspired him to become a writer. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He now lives in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

Photo credit: Katie Pyne Rasmussen

Links:


Praise for Woven:
"It’s not often that you read a fantasy that feels as epic and original as Woven by King and Jensen. Clever, well-paced, and full of intrigue, it’s a superb read. Highly recommended."
— James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner
"WOVEN reads like a lost classic that was somehow just rediscovered. It has the feel of a comfortable, familiar blanket that's somehow been newly-made of the brightest, most original material possible, and it is pure pleasure to read."
 James A. Owen, author & illustrator of Here, There Be Dragons
"The worldbuilding is dynamic, original and intriguing … and the characters, appealing. A sure bet for high-fantasy fans." — Kirkus Reviews
"This brisk adventure from first-time authors Jensen and King is a charming quest tale in classic fantasy tradition." — Publisher’s Weekly

Rafflecopper Giveaway Link (One of 5 copies of Woven – signed by both authors):


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

All The Best Laid Plans, Part II

The good news: in 2014 I did finish BIRTHRIGHT. And believe it or not, I wrote a collaboration with a friend. I also started another collaboration, and have been working feverishly on book 3 in the DESCENDANT series. I prepared WATER SO DEEP for publication. I attended a Utah conference and one in Kansas—and none in Texas. And I no longer live by the beach (boo!) but the mountains instead.

In 2014 I learned two very valuable lessons. 1. I can work through the hard stuff, even if it happens slowly. But equally important, 2. I realized that I don’t always have to.

I am allowed to not write for a month. Or two. I am allowed to catch up on TV shows I’ve missed instead of writing blogs, and to go Christmas shopping instead of finishing a chapter. Because stuff happens, and I am human.

I have high hopes for this year.

1.       The ebook of WATER SO DEEP will release February 2nd. The hardcover may be a week or two later, depending on circumstances beyond my control. And that’s OKAY.
2.       Book 3 in the DESCENDANT series is about half-drafted, even though it should have been to the editor by January 1st. And that is also okay. I will catch up, and it will be published on time. (I HOPE.)
3.       WSD will have a sequel, and I will write it and hope to prepare it for publication sometime this summer. Maybe.
4.       My collaborations and other projects will continue to move forward. I hope to finish at least two of them aside from the above mentioned projects.

But if life happens and things get in the way, I will adapt. No matter what goals or resolutions I reach, I will keep writing, keep trying, so that no matter what, by the end of the year, I will have made progress.

And that, my dear friends, is the whole, entire point.


Progress for the win!       

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

All The Best Laid Plans, Part I

I’ve decided not to make resolutions this year. It’s not that I don’t have goals—I have more goals this year than I think I ever have. It’s more that in the last three years, I’ve learned some pretty massive lessons about how easily all the best laid plans can be derailed.

Sometimes you have to let go of your own plans and ride the waves of circumstance until you can touch the ground once again.

For instance, at the beginning of 2014, I planned to write at least three books, go to several conferences in Texas, some in Utah, and one in Kansas and work toward building my career. I planned to blog every week and spend more time at the beach and read more books.

But stuff happened. 

1.       In January, I made an emergency trip to Utah for a funeral—the loss of a dear friend’s husband, who died too young.
2.       I spent February and March finishing edits on Birthright, and got it finished just barely on time for publication.
3.       In April, I traveled to Utah for a conference, where I spent just under two weeks so I could also deal with some family issues.
4.       In May, my oldest daughter graduated high school and my husband and his officers had a homicide case that blew wide open.
5.       In June, that homicide case took over our lives until the suspect was apprehended, and that same weekend, my husband was offered a fantastic job back in Utah.
6.       By July, we listed our house, packed up everything we own, and moved across the country. Again.
7.       In August, we unloaded into our current house (a temporary rental), my husband started his new job, and I moved my oldest daughter to Orlando, Florida where she is attending school.
8.       In September, I swore my life would calm down so I could finally do some writing, but then… we discovered a leak in our kitchen.
9.       In October, our landlords finally got around to investigating the leak, which led to mold and a full-scale kitchen renovation that was not complete until the week of Thanksgiving, and was distracting enough that my writing concentration was completely shot.
10.   This brings me to December. I put up my tree and hung the garland. I began my shopping. I bought my daughter a plane ticket to come home. I was prepared for full-scale holiday celebrating. And then my father-in-law died, and there was another funeral, estate details to work out, and grief to deal with.

The thing about death and grief, and also stress, is that it changes your priorities. In the cases of several of these events, writing fell way down the priority scale. My family is more important than my deadlines, and so in all of these cases, they have taken the front seat. I didn't read more books, and I sucked at blogging, and I didn't write nearly as much as I wanted. And you know what? That's okay. I could not have planned for last year.

What about you? What in your life is more important than your personal goals and deadlines?

*This blog turned out to be pretty long, so I’ve split it into two. To be continued next week.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays! (A little bit belated)

Okay, it's been way too long since I posted, and I'm very sorry, but this post is going to stay short and sweet. I'm just popping over here to say hi and happy holidays.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks, and I will be sure to catch you all up in the early weeks of 2015. In short, I am SO looking forward to the promise of 2015 and all the amazing things I know are coming.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Water So Deep: THE COVER IS HERE!

Guys. This. This is what I've had to keep to myself for the last month-ish. And let me tell you, IT WAS SO HARD! Like, so seriously hard. I can't even tell you.

But now it's here and I can show you and IAMSOEXCITED!

So...

What do you think?


And in case you haven't seen it yet, check out the cover copy.

Water So Deep


Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.


No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.


And also, guess what else? You can pre-order this book for your kindle already. CLICK HERE to purchase your advance copy of the Water So Deep e-book and get it at the pre-order special price of $2.99.

Guys, thanks for letting me be excited. I can't wait to share this whole book with you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Very Cool Swoony Awards


What Are the Swoony Awards?
The Swoony Awards were created to recognize excellence in clean fiction. There are so many books published every day and it can be hard to find the ones worth reading. We want to help recognize authors who write entertaining books that are wholesome. It’s our hope that each year we will help provide everyone with a great list of books to read and maybe introduce them to new authors.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
-Publication Year: Only books published during the current contest year may be nominated. To be fair to all books, contest dates will run from December 1, 2013 – November 31, 2014.
-Clean romance: No sex or closed door, low/mild innuendo. Only M/F romances.
-Language: None/mild, anything over a handful of profanity (especially the more offensive words) would not be considered clean.
-Violence: None/mild
-Other: Nothing overly dark, depressing or heavy subject matter

Novels, novellas and short stories are all eligible for nomination, no limits on page number. Any (clean) genre is eligible (i.e. contemporary, fantasy, mystery, historical, etc.).

Each voter is able to choose up to 100 books to vote on or nominate each contest year. There is no cap on the overall number of books nominated.

**BIRTHRIGHT is eligible and nominated, so be sure to go vote! 

How Are Winners Selected?
We will be accepting entries throughout the year and the winners announced the first week in January. There are fifteen award categories (i.e. Best Novel of the Year, Best Historical, Best Contemporary, etc.). Winner’s will be announced via our blogs (Bookworm Nation, KJ’s Book Nook and Katie’s Clean Book Reviews) and through Goodreads Swoony Awards Group.

Since this is a reader’s choice award the winners are determined by a combination of the number of votes received and how high the voter rated the book and what rank the voter gave each book they voted for.

Who Are We?

Kathy 
Kathy (Bookworm Nation)
I've been hosting a book review blog, Bookworm Nation, for over five years. I love to read and review books. And of course, I love to discuss books! A few years ago I started the Goodreads group, Happily Ever After Book Club. It's through Goodreads that I met Katie, Kathy Jo and Heidi and while discussing our love of books one day we thought it'd be fun to host our own Reader's Choice award. We're excited to introduce the Swoony's this year, it's going really well and we look forward to hosting it for years to come. 
Contact Info for Kathy:
Twitter: @bookwormnation
Kathy Jo 
Kathy Jo (KJ's Book Nook)
This may come as a shocker but I have NOT always been a little bookworm. In fact growing up I was not the kid you saw jumping at the chance to read. I was the one that just did it to make my teachers happy. That silent reading time during school?! Yeah.. I was the kid napping! ;) About 12 years ago someone loaned me a book and said I just HAD to read it. I took it just to get them off my back and much to my surprise I could NOT put it down! And from then on I would read... but only that one author. I refused to read anything else! It wasn't until 2009 when 2 of my favorite people introduced me to the Twilight Series that I actually started branching out. And ever since then I haven't been able to STOP reading! ;) About 5 months ago I decided to start a book blog and I have been loving it! I get to be another voice for all the amazing authors that I love! How cool is that?! And of course through my adventures in reading I have been able to meet some amazing women who love books just as much as, if not more than, me! I love chatting with them about all the books we read! We have become such great friends that at times I forget that I've never really met them in person! Books just have a way of bringing people together! My reading choices vary... I love a lot of different genres.With that said... I am not ashamed to admit that I am a romantic and I love fluff! As long as it's clean and has a HEA, I'll definitely give it a try! Any book that gives me a break from reality and puts a smile on my face is definitely a book for me!   
Contact Info for Kathy Jo:
Email: kjsbooknook@gmail.com
Blog: kjsbooknook.blogspot.com 
Twitter: @kjincali

Katie Watkins 
Katie (Katie's Clean Book Collection)
I started blogging about a year and a half ago. I've always loved to read and talk about books--it's my obsession. The first book I learned to read on my own was Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham. I love a lot of different genres, but my favorite is clean romance, which is perfect for the Swoony's! I've had a blast meeting new friends who enjoy the same types of books that I do.

Contact Info for Katie:
Email: lilacqueen75@gmail.com
Twitter: @lilacqueen75
Blog: www.katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiescleanbookcollection

Heidi 
Heidi 
I'm a mother of four amazing kids and married to my own Prince Charming. I love to read, kiss my handsome Prince, bake, run (because I love to bake), ride horses, play sports, and spend time with my little family. I first fell in love with reading at a very young age because of my sweet grandmother who always took the time to read me my favorite books over and over again. She could never tell me no. My wonderful mother is also entirely addicted to reading and we love to "talk books" late into the night....and plot how we are going to buy more. :) I adore clean, happily ever after books, and I've loved getting to know so many other women who do as well. Who knew books would be the reason I would meet some of the dearest people in the world?! 
Contact Info for Heidi:
Email: curlyhide9@hotmail.com

Note to Authors:
If you’ve written a book that matches the above criteria fill free to nominate it for a Swoony! Don’t be afraid to promote the award or to let your fans know your book is up and that it needs votes. We are doing some promoting, but sometimes a Facebook, Twitter or blog post directly from the author is the best way to let your fan base know your book has been nominated. Only books with a minimum of THREE votes will be added to the official nomination list found on the Goodreads Swoony Awards group page. Winners will be announced January 2015.

To stay up to date on voting and nominations, please join our Goodreads Swoony Awards group page!

Note to Readers:
If you’ve read a book this year that you think is awesome…VOTE! This is a great way to let authors know you appreciate all that hard work. You can vote for up to 100 books on the list. We’ve also learned that the order you rank the books you vote on does affect the overall score of the book. So take a minute and make sure you have your books in the order you want them. Invite your friends to vote! Voting ends December 31, 2014.

The 2014 Swoony Awards is now accepting nominations and votes for your favorite books of the year. Polls will be open until December 31, 2014. 

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

As a thank you for making the Swoony Awards a success,
we'd like to offer an Amazon gift card! The winner will
have 48 hours to claim the prize. Only valid
where Amazon gift cards may be used. You must
be 13 or older to enter.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Announcement (In Case You Missed It)

Happy December! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week last week. This is going to be a repeat of information for those who subscribe to my newsletter, but since I'm excited, I want to make sure I share it everywhere. 

For those who read this blog or follow me on social media, you might have already guessed that while the Descendant series has been my primary focus for the last two years, it has not been my ONLY focus, or my only project.  

The result of one of my many other projects is a BRAND NEW BOOK, which is totally and completely separate from the Descendant series, including its characters, and world. This book (which is the first of a two-book series) is a young adult romantic fantasy called WATER SO DEEP, and will be released to the public in paperback and e-book on February 2. (Why yes, yes that is Groundhog Day!) 

The cover is not included here because it hasn't been released yet, but for those of you who are excited about helping me spread the word about this very exciting new release, I will be sure to post sign up links on my blog and FB page as soon as they are available.

I have to be honest here. Of all the books I've written so far, this one is my personal favorite, and I can't wait to share it with all of you. 

Here is a little teaser blurb that is extremely rough and nowhere near final. Probably.

WATER SO DEEP

Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have.


When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.