This week's trailer is for To Be Honest by T.C.Booth. An injured hand, new school blues, cyber bullying and a crush on the High School Bad Boy? How bad can things get for Starla? Click on the book cover to watch the trailer and find out.
After a freak accident left Starla Emerson with a deformed hand, her self-esteem dropped and her anxiety rose. She tries desperately to avoid attention at Cedar High. Star relies on her best friend Ally for moral support, along with her crush worthy boyfriend Jared.
Starla’s world is turned upside down when her family moves. She finds herself the new girl at Centerville High School, one hundred and twenty miles away from the only home she has known. Her need to fade into the background at her new high school becomes difficult when a mysterious stranger, aka grizzly-girl 2015, post pictures of her on the internet with captions that stir up trouble and eventually lead to the breakup of her and Jared.
Today I'm delighted to announce that my MG, Witch Angel: The Spectre of Truth is published.
Should Aluna betray her father to save the world?
Aluna’s father is the Master Wizard of the Katalan. On her thirteenth birthday she is initiated into the coven and swears allegiance to her clan. Then she has a vision about the mother she has never known and a gold sceptre with an eagle’s head handle.
She discovers that the mysterious new girl, Raffie, who appeared out of nowhere is looking for the same sceptre. Aluna hopes the sceptre will lead her to her mother so swears an oath of friendship with Raffie, pledging to find it together only to discover that Raffie is Angleyt. They are sworn enemies.
Aluna’s father is looking for the sceptre too, as are the evil Bygnorim. Will Aluna really betray her father? What dreadful secret is he hiding about her mother? Aluna and Raffie face terrible danger in their quest. Are their combined powers strong enough or will Darke Magyck win?
Something caught her eye. A sphere of brilliant light was shooting down through the sky. She stared at it, butterflies of excitement fluttering in her stomach. It must be a shooting star. She could make a wish. Jumbled thoughts of the things she could wish for raced across her mind, but only one stood out. It always did. “I wish I could find my mother,” she whispered.
The glowing star continued plunging, plummeting down towards the bushes just ahead of her. It wasn’t a shooting star. It was a falling star! Aluna ran towards the bushes, eager to get a glimpse of this wonder. What would a star look like? Would she be able to take it back and show the others?
The star disappeared behind the bushes. Panting now, Aluna raced towards it, her feet barely touching the ground beneath her. Thankfully, she had always been nimble-footed. Many a time she had crept softly behind Sariah, the housekeeper, and had made her almost jump out of her skin. Once, Sariah had been so shocked she’d dropped the pie she’d just taken out of the oven.
Be quick but quiet, she told herself as she ran. Could you scare a star?
She was at the bush. She could still see the light glowing behind it, so bright it dazzled her. Using her hands to shield her eyes from the glow she peered around the bush.
The light was fading. Aluna moved her hands from her eyes so she could see better and pushed her hood back. Where was the star? The light flickered, then a shape started to form in it. She watched, transfixed as the shape turned into a girl about Aluna’s age, slim with long hair tumbling over her shoulders. The girl stretched up her arms as if embracing the heavens. Aluna let out a gasp of astonishment and the girl spun around, her eyes widening with shock as they rested on Aluna.
For a moment they both stared at each other. The star girl’s eyes locked with Aluna’s, and a lightness filled her mind. It was as if the girl could read her mind, her soul. In a panic, Aluna tore her eyes away, grabbed her basket and fled, muttering the protection spell under her breath.
If you think your child (age 8-11) would enjoy reading this story you can buy the book here:
My guest author this week is A.B.Funkhauser. She is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada.
Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it. Her debut novel HEUER LOST AND FOUND, released in April 2015 after five years of studious effort, has inspired four other full length works and over a dozen short stories. Her sophomore effort, SCOOTER NATION, is in edits for a 2016 release.
Jürgen Heuer did many things in his lifetime, but murdering another human being was not among them. Of course he considered it at times—having Fuhrer blood in his veins practically demanded it—but logic always trumped emotion and that was what kept him from breaking the law this time. Standing over enough explosives to level a half block, he replaced the matches in the pocket of his pimp suit, leaving Werner to curse and mutter at the 61 Division cops who had better things to do than visit the hermit house a second time.
Irmtraut, understandably, was not impressed when he appeared before her to explain. “Since our first meeting, you have forced an angina attack on your neighbor, preyed on the wits of the only person who loves you, and wreaked havoc at the office juice bar.”
“That, I can explain—” he interjected, relishing, somewhat guiltily, all the drama he’d created. “I merely sought to dispatch any papers incriminating to me. Instead, I found a bunch of tawdry shits besmirching my name.” He flapped his arms chicken-like. “They decided I was peculiar and with all these rainbow flags going up over town, they were making allegations.” He was not gay. He was nothing at all. Why did everybody insist on assigning labels? He was dead. It didn’t matter. And he hadn’t meant to set all the juice-o machines to malfunction in tandem, nor had he intended for Miss Samantha to go ass over heel and break an arm.
Irmtraut laughed at his childish protests, suggesting that he busy himself with the World Cup soccer scores. “Germany is leading, and the betting octopus is expected to weigh against the Spaniards.”
He scoffed at the suggestion; a German victory was a foregone conclusion. “Why waste time on a sure thing?”
I had a memento mori, (literally an object signifying death) but in common usage it is more like a hammer to the head or ‘wake up call.’ A friend of mine committed suicide and I needed to open a pressure valve, so I recorded some thoughts in pencil, in cursive, in a loose leaf binder. Both my friend and I had an appreciation for humor, and so it didn’t take long before my musings were hijacked by just that. Very soon, I was making stuff up. This became the fiction.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
All I ever wanted growing up was a pet that didn’t have scales or swam in a tank. I wanted something furry with claws and an appetite. But I couldn’t have this because of terrible allergies. Then one day, in the back half of my life, a mysterious stranger appeared at my back door scratching for admission. He wore a black coat and had the most arresting green eyes. I rebuffed him at first, citing age old health complaints. But he persisted, returning, sometimes daily, to my back door. I had no choice but to let him in. Of course, he belonged to the household six doors up, and after warm introductions, it was agreed that the happy wanderer could visit me as often as he chose. “Kobe” the occasional cat is a common house cat, but he is more than that. He gives me tremendous joy, and he doesn’t give me hives!
What’s your top writing tip for new writers?
Never sit down in front of a blank screen unless you’ve been mulling something for an extended period of time. Write on demand does not work...at least, not for me. I never set out to be a writer. The writing called me. That said, I’ve known writers of every proficiency, and their motives for writing are as varied as the flowers in the field. So do it, by all means, but only do it if it makes you happy.
This Thursday's evocatively haunting trailer is for the award-winning YA Historical romance, Yakimali's Gift by Linda Covella. Click on the book cover to watch the trailer.
It’s 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, of Spanish and Pima Indian ancestry, can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. After a tragic accident, Fernanda and her family join Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California. On the journey, Fernanda will discover not only romance, but truths that will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.
Yakimali’s Gift won a RONE Award (Reward of Novel Excellence) Honorable Mention for Young Adult category.
Marketing is increasing in importance to most authors now so when I heard The Belmont Belles of the RNA (Romantic Novelists’s Association) were running a workshop on 2nd October about ‘Readers How to Find Them and Keep Them’ which included lots of marketing tips I signed up.
It was a really interesting day. The team, Sue Moorcroft, Kim Nash, Katherine Gerbera, Lizzy Lamb, Lucy Felthouse and Sarah Houldcroft led us through starting a Street Team, reaching readers with newsletters, using Carva and Photofunia for graphics, scheduling tweets and Facebook posts using Buffer, using hashtags – especially useful with Instagram- and making use of the Facebook ‘Call to Action’ button on your Author Page to direct people to your latest book or newsletter. All very useful stuff and I came away with lots of notes.
Some of the authors had put together a set of Regency romances into an Amazon Kindle Box Set and were getting pretty good sales for it. I thought this was a really good idea. Like many of you, I already use Amazon Kindle to self-publish out of print books and back copies (actually only one at the moment, Firstborn, pictured below, but I intend to do it with a few more when I can find time). But I'd never thought of compiling some of my books into an e-box set. Have you?
If you’ve written several spooky stories, for example, you could republish them as a Halloween box set. Or you could get together with another author and publish a collection of YA Reads, or School Stories. That way you can share the expense of covers and any marketing and enjoy more exposure. Yes, of course you’ll have to share the profits but that wouldn’t be too complicated.
I’m looking through my back list right now to see what titles I can make into a Kindle box set.