Monday, June 22, 2015

Down the Self-Pubbing Rabbit Hole, Plus a Sneak Peek!

A LOT has happened in my world over the last month, and things are just heating up! I plunged into the sticky webs of Amazon self-publishing and learned the ins and outs. I've also been brushing up on how to format an e-book properly (and trying to decide if I just want to pay someone else to do it!). And I got my first ever book cover done, which was SOOO exciting, like early Christmas.

The next month has even more craziness happening, with me finalizing edits on Black Magic & Mojitos, formatting it, placing ads, going on a trip with my son to Seattle, my birthday... and it'll all culminate in the pre-sale party for Mojitos! So stoked! While I'm not revealing the full cover for Mojitos until the pre-sale party, I figured I'd give everyone a little sneak peek of part of the cover. I just couldn't keep it all to myself anymore. It's gorgeous! Hit up Steven Novak if you want one for yourself.

So, without further ado, here's the teaser! If you guys want, maybe I'll dole of some more teasers over the next few weeks. Let me know in the comments!




Initial thoughts? What's shaking things up in your world these days? Big plans for July? TTFN!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Favorite Summer Vacation Spot!

Hi, writer friends! Today I'm jumping in on the Favorite Summer Vacation Spot Blog Hop. I haven't done a blog hop in probably three years or so, but some of my fave bloggers are hosting it, and I love vacays, so there you are :) See host blogs below for the linky list if you want to visit more and get some wander lust going!

So, disclaimer: I can never choose just ONE of anything. Therefore, I'm gonna cheat and do a past, present, future version. All pics below were taken by me.

Past: Tuscany

It's a really tough decision, and a big toss-up between a Denver trip with my BFF, and Paris, but I'm going with Tuscany on this one. I stayed in Florence, and took a day trip to a winery up in the gorgeous hills outside the city. I'm really big into wine and food, so that's probably why this one wins. I hiked around the quaint country roads around the winery with a delightful guide who picked fresh herbs for us, and later had an amazing four course meal with about a dozen people in the home of a local woman. A sun-soaked, glorious day.






Present(ish): Seattle

In July my son and I are going to Seattle for a week! It has been at the top of my domestic travel list for a very long time, so I am totally stoked to finally be going. Not only does it seem a beautiful, hip city, but it's the setting of my debut novel, Martinis with the Devil, that's coming out this year! It's going to be an epic trip. Photos to come!

Future: Ireland

Ireland has been near the top of my international trip list for a long time. I have Irish heritage, and just really connect with Irish music, and castles, and gorgeous green hills and ocean. I'm hoping to go next year. Fingers crossed!

I truly love to travel, and won't be satisfied until most of the world has passed beneath my feet. Check out my Pinterest board for more of the places I want to go.


To see more vacation blog posts, hop over to any of the host sites below. Try not to get too carried away with wanderlust! TTFN!

"My Favorite Summer Vacation Spot" Blog Hop is sponsored by Summer Reads that Thrill & Chill!



Monday, May 18, 2015

Novelette Finished! Help Me Pick a Title

Hi, friends! In my last post I announced that I'm self-pubbing my second novel, Martinis with the Devil, this November. As part of the ramp-up to the big release day, I'm writing a couple novelettes with the same characters. And yesterday I finished the rough draft of the first one! Huzzah!

I'm pretty pleased with it overall. It needs a ton of editing, but I'm really happy with how it ended up. My muse threw a surprise twist into the climax that I wasn't expecting, as I was in the middle of writing it. Love it when that happens! And the final scene wrapped up nicely too.

So! I need to pick a title so I can get my cover artist going on the design. I was hoping to find something jazzy and fun continuing with my alcohol theme (doesn't have to be a martini, but something). I usually make a list of keywords that represent imagery or themes from the book, and then play with those. And this novelette is set in Rio de Janeiro, so I want to reflect that somehow. These are the three contenders:

Tequila Moonrise
Revenge on the Rocks
Black Magic Tango

**Late entry: Black Magic and Mojitos** New fave I think!


The last one is my favorite. I think it sounds appropriate for the urban fantasy genre, has a Latin flare, and also sounds fun and sassy like Martinis with the Devil. But no cute drink reference or pun.

What do you think? What's your favorite? Any additional contenders to throw into the ring?

TTFN!


Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Official!

Last month I mentioned that I'd decided I was going to self-publish my second book, Martinis with the Devil. I even said I would be doing that this year. At the time I said it, it was a fairly nebulous statement, more of a goal than a reality. But a few days ago I realized it was already April and I was going to need to start some serious planning! And then my Type A personality kicked in and it was off to the races with my marketing plan.

So, I am OFFICIALLY announcing that my urban fantasy, Martinis with the Devil, will be released on November 11, 2015!

That's such an exciting thing to finally put in writing! I'm still actively pursuing an agent for my fourth book, Huntress Found, and several agents have the full manuscript for that as we speak, but I am SO STOKED to be moving forward with my writing career, and Martinis is the perfect book to launch things. I love the heck out of this book.

As part of my debut kick-off, I'm going to be releasing two novelettes with the Martinis characters. I've found a cover artist that I'm super excited to be working with, and I'm busy drafting the first novelette and having a blast with it. The tentative release dates for the novelettes are mid-August and the beginning of October.

If you want to know more about Martinis, check out the new 'My Books' page up top, which includes a link to my Pinterest board for the book and the first chapter. And, if you want to get updates on important release info and/or want to get free ARCs for review purposes and to help me spread the word, shoot me an email (alexiachamberlynn@gmail.com) or submit the signup form on the right. I'm so excited to share my book baby with the world and I would love your help!

So, what's new with you? Have you self-pubbed, and if so, what was your biggest lesson?

TTFN lovely writer friends!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Schism Book Release Tour!

Today I'm super excited to welcome fellow writer Laura Maisano to my blog! Laura is one of my critique partners and a wonderful writer and editor, and I'm super happy to share in her book release tour. I've had the pleasure of reading Schism, so I can attest to the awesomeness of the product :) If you like fantasy and want a fresh, unique story, look no further! Plus, there's a giveaway!

I'll pass the reins to Laura now...



Character Interview

Today I’ve asked the main characters from SCHISM, my debut YA contemporary fantasy, to come share a little about themselves. They’re plucked right from around the beginning of the book. Take it away guys!

Who are you and can you tell me a little about yourselves?

GABE: Hi, I’m Gabe Jones, or at least that’s what the ID card says. Can’t really say much about myself since I only have nine months of memory after the car wreck.

LEA: *Face palm* Ignore him, he’s got a lot more going on than that. I’m Lea Huckley, resident general studies major with an unhealthy number of credits in physics and math.

GABE: You’re an English class from graduating with both degrees.

LEA: Yes, that’s true. But you know why I’ve been lingering in school. I have to finish my research about the fourth-dimension. I have to find proof.


How did you two meet?

GABE: *chuckles* That’s a funny story actually. I was walking back to the dorm from the art building when I saw this lunatic scaling the student union. In the middle of the night, too. She slipped, and I broke her fall with my spine.

LEA: I was scared he’d call the police on me, but instead he helped me get my sprained ankle taken care of. He was really nice, except for the fact he wouldn’t stop badgering me about why I was on the roof.

GABE: There were these weird lights, and I dunno, it made me feel something familiar…like déjà vu. I had to know.

LEA: Long story short, I ended up spilling my guts eventually, and that I wanted his help finding proof of the fourth-dimension. If he helped me, I’d do anything I could to jog his memory.


That’s interesting, so you decided to help each other. How’s that working out?

LEA: It’s certainly interesting. I’ve never worked with anyone on the ED Project before, and Gabe’s brought some really good insights.

GABE: There’s never a dull moment with Lea leading the way. I didn’t really believe her at first, but now I’ve seen enough weird stuff to know she’s right, there is another world out there.

LEA: I couldn’t have gotten this far without his help too. I do promise to help get your memory back, I swear it.


Gabe, have you remembered anything?

GABE: Not really. I’ve had a strange dream, and I get feelings of familiarity, but I don’t know anything concrete.


Lea, how are you so sure this other world really exists?

LEA: When I was eight, beings from this world came and attacked my parents. I didn’t see it, but they were wounded. When they told the authorities about the attacks, they were locked up in a psychiatric facility to protect themselves and others. I know they’re not crazy, that they spoke the truth. I’ve seen enough paranormal oddities that line up with my hypothesis that I’m one-hundred percent sure I’m right.



So, that's all with Gabe and Lea for now, but more deets below, including an excerpt!

SCHISM (Illirin Book One)

By Laura Maisano

Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.
Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.
While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever.


Lea packed light. Other than her phone’s GPS and a flashlight, she kept a small notepad, her lucky pencil, and the thermometer in her cargo pocket. She didn’t need to find data, now she needed proof.
She led the way down the alley where skyscrapers blocked the glowing moon and the lamps from the highway. Yellowed fixtures above each back entrance threw faint cones of light onto the cement, like holes in Swiss cheese.
Lea checked the coordinates on her phone while she walked, and the little red arrow crept closer to the flag icon she placed to mark the interaction point.
Gabe spent his time surveying the area for anything that might be a danger. He kept fidgeting behind her and turning around every few seconds, a twitchy meerkat on patrol.
“We’re only between buildings. It’s not the end of the world.” Lea checked her phone again to make sure they were headed in the right direction.
He glanced over his shoulder. “I still don’t like it. It’s night, people do get mugged, you know.”
“The statistics of that are so low. We’re really not in any danger, considering the population and how many times that sorta thing happens.”
He shifted uneasily behind her. “Whatever, we’re raising the chances by being out here at night.”
Lea rolled her eyes. “I’m not missing this opportunity.”
“I know that. Neither am I.”
“Good.”
They came to a cross section behind two major offices where the loading docks and dumpsters sat for both of them. A stream of water trickled down the concave cement into the large sewer grate. Old garbage left a fume hanging around, and the humidity only made it worse.
Lea double- and triple-checked her coordinates, cross-checking with her notes. “This is it. Within I’d say, a fifteen foot diameter, low to the ground.” She shoved the phone in her cargo pocket. “Perfect.”
“How long?”
“Roughly ten minutes.”
Ten minutes may as well have been six hours. She paced back and forth, her sneakers scuffing the gritty pavement.
Gabe continued to keep a watchful eye out for muggers or vagrants. What a dork.
She snickered quietly. For someone who didn’t know his own experiences, he sure seemed paranoid. She watched him standing straight, darting his eyes to the entrance and even up to the windows above them. Watch out bad guys, Gabe’s on to you. She smiled and turned to see what looked like heat waves rising from the cold cement. Crap. The interaction had already started.
“Gabe…” She waved him over next to the loading dock.
This interaction provided no shining lights or obvious movement. Not much stood out visually, except maybe the air glistening like summer heat waves if she squinted hard enough, but her digital thermometer found the coldest point.
“Here,” she whispered, not wanting anyone or anything on the other side to hear. She stretched her arms forward, and Gabe did likewise.
“On the count of three.” She waited for him to nod. “One…two…three.”
They both reached through the interaction point and grabbed at the thicker air. Nothing. They tried again, pulling, grasping, and making any sort of motion to trigger a rip. Finally, Gabe leaned in and pulled out at just the right angle, because the light tore across like a jagged line. Lea grabbed the edge of it and tugged, opening the tear wider until they both fell through.


About the Author


Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY.


Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at LauraMaisano.blogspot.com.


Twitter: @MaisanoLaura
Google + https://plus.google.com/+LauraMaisano


A big thanks to Laura for stopping by today (with Gabe and Lea)! Congrats on the release of Schism in a few days!


As for the rest of you glorious writer friends, I hope everything is wonderful for you. TTFN!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Body Institute

Today I am super excited to help my long-time writer friend Carol Riggs reveal the cover of her YA sci-fi The Body Institute!! Here's a bit about it:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…


For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…


Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…


Sounds fun, yes? It's coming out on September 1st from Entangled Teen, but you can add it to your Goodreads list now (click!) or pre-order (click!). And NOW for the cover reveal!


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Drumroll!!!!!!







Doesn't it look cool? I'm so stoked for Carol :) Can't wait 'til release day!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Focus

So, my last blog post was about balancing my passions in life, and how over the last year I've reconnected with my passion for horses and have been training my horse Max. Last year my life went through a big transition period, and I haven't written as much as in previous years. Part of that was the big upheaval of my personal life (divorce and move) and part of it was finding balance with other aspects of my life (more time with my horse and doing yoga and other healthy things). And a big part of it that I didn't talk about was that I've had a hard time finding a focus because I wasn't sure what direction my writing was headed. I joined my first critique group and started querying my latest book, and didn't know whether to start a new project, or work on the second book of the series I'm querying, or edit one of my older books.


The optimist in me thought, if I get an agent and pub deal, I'll need to focus on the various rounds of edits that they'll want, and not be distracted by another project. So I waited, and I couldn't decide. And that was fine - I needed the time to mull things over and find my direction. Pretty much the day after I wrote that last post, I made a decision: I will self-publish my second book, Martinis with the Devil, by the end of the year. Even if I get an agent for my latest book, I think this will be a good move. Martinis is urban fantasy, and most publishers aren't touching that genre right now because it's fairly saturated. But people still love reading it (including myself!), and it's such a fun book. When people say to write the book you want to read, Martinis is pretty much the epitome of that for me. It's just fun, sassy urban fantasy with a kickass cast of characters. Nothing dark and serious like a lot of the urban fantasy out there. So, unless I get an agent and they don't want me to self-pub, that's the plan.


With that decision made, I've had a blast the last week or so outlining the sequel to Martinis. The second book is set in Dublin, so I'm tentatively thinking of a title like Whiskey and Angelfire. Whatcha think? And have you made any big decisions lately?


TTFN!