Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Urban Fantasy Newsletter! And Free Stuff to Bribe You!

With July nearly upon us, and my very first issue of Raven Moon Urban Fantasy Newsletter coming out, I thought I would have a Huzzah Newsletter!/July makes me happy cuz it's my birthday month/200 followers giveaway! Well, I'm sitting at 199 followers at the moment, so hopefully someone will tip me over the scale :)

I've been hard at work planning my newsletter, and having a blast doing it. Why Raven Moon? Well, one of my cats was named Raven Moon (he was black and white), and while staring at the pic of the three ravens in my newsletter header, the obvious hit me. Plus, ravens and moons are classic Urban Fantasy, right?

So, here's a teaser of the kind of stuff that will be in each monthly issue of Raven Moon Urban Fantasy Newsletter:

•Agent, author and publisher profiles
•New releases for the month
•Giveaways and contests
•Cool book trailers
•Must-visit websites and blogs
•Industry news
•Notice of upcoming conferences
•Book reviews
Okay, so here are the prizes. Updated! Two winners will get these two new releases OR a $15.00 Amazon gift card.
Grave Dance and Viper Moon - New Releases 7/5/11 

*I updated the prizes to offer flexibility for my writer friends who do not want the above books. 'Cause I love you guys :)
- The contest starts today and ends on July 10th.
- You must be a follower and sign up for the newsletter to win.
- The two winners will be selected by random draw. You can increase your chance of winning by helping me spread the word (pretty please!). Points (number of times your name is added to the pot) are as follows:
-1 point for being a new follower
-2 points for being an old follower
-2 points for signing up for the newsletter ** so basically you get either 3 or 4 points automatically
-3 points for tweeting
-4 points for mentioning it on your blog
-5 points for putting one of my buttons (see below!) on your sidebar
Click here to go to my newsletter page, to signup (using the email submission form) and/or grab a button! Comment on this post with your point total and your email address! Contest winners will be announced July 13th.

Thank you guys for helping me embark on this exciting new adventure! I would love to have guest contributors for future issues of the newsletter, so if you have something you'd like to share, please let me know.
Oh, and here are my pretty buttons (html grab code located on newsletter page or you can grab them the old fashioned way):

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The MC Blogfest!!

I haven’t entered a blogfest for a while because they are so time consuming, but this one looked too fun to pass up! Also, there’s another irresistible one coming up in July, which is actually a four-part fest, one each week for four weeks! It’s all about literary agents, and I’m tweeting the details, so hop on over to Twitter to get the goods.

Back to this blogfest – it is hosted by Elizabeth Mueller, based on an exercise by The Character Therapist, Jeannie Campbell. Basically, you answer these three questions from your MC’s point of view: What is your greatest fear? What is your biggest accomplishment? What is your biggest regret? So fun! My main character is Evangeline Westvale, of my urban fantasy novel Countless. Here goes:

Question 1: What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is losing control. I’m totally type-A. Since I joined Prince and Barton Marketing right out of Harvard a couple years ago, I’ve been on a fast track up the corporate ladder. As long as I’ve got a handle on things, nothing can really stop me.

Of course, that was before I discovered I’m being stalked by an immortal sorcerer who wants me dead. That’s changed things a bit. I started having crazy dreams about long ago times and magic. And I’ve begun to break things when I get scared or upset. Then I kissed a shapeshifter, which was really awesome and the best kiss of my life. Except I’m engaged to someone else. So, I’ve pretty much lost control of everything. But it’s not as bad as I thought – because my biggest fear now is losing my soul to the one who hunts me.

Question 2: What is your biggest accomplishment?

Well, landing my job and getting promoted several times since then would have been my answer a week ago. But now I rank defensive spells and busting Ambrose out of the rival shapeshifters’ underground lair at the top of the list. Those weretigers are a bitch.

Question 3: What is your biggest regret?

Breaking my fiancĂ©e’s heart is something that will haunt me forever. He’s a good guy. But if I stayed with him, I’d just be dragging him into the line of fire. He already nearly died when Ulric possessed him to try to get to me. We live in different worlds now. He’s a Manhattan attorney, and I’m a witch who’s lived countless lives. It just wouldn’t work out.

That's it! Pop on over to Elizabeth's blog to read the other entries!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Exciting Blog Updates, Present and Future

Ahhh! Woooh! What's happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Okay okay, calm down calm down get a grip now...

For those of you who have seen The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a wonderfully weird and hilarious movie, you'll recognize that quote from the whale. If not, you can click here to watch it. Don't say I didn't warn you about the weird part.

Anyways, what is the purpose to this blog post? Well the purpose of this post is to explain the purpose of my blog. Since I've now been blogging for a smidge over a year, I've had time to get used to this whole blogging thing and wonder, what is the purpose of my blog? What do I really want to do with it?

First, I really want to be more active in helping to promote by published blog friends, whether they've published traditionally or non-traditionally. I've discovered that the writing community is such a supportive place, and to me, supporting each other is what all of this is about, more than just having an online journal. So, I created a new page, called Awesome Books (see link in menu bar at the top of my blog). I've added a few peeps who haunt my blog on a regular basis: Jennifer Hillier, Jai Joshi, Talli Roland and Alex Cavanaugh. They've all published great books (Jennifer's is coming out in a few weeks), and I've included a brief blurb about each of them. If you also blog stalk me and are published and would like to be added, please let me know! Unfortunately with a full-time job and kids and working on my WIPs I don't get to do as much blog hopping as I like, so I've undoubtedly missed news about someone getting published.

As for forthcoming changes to my blog, I'm going to be creating a monthly Urban Fantasy newsletter, and will probably add another page to my blog that's kind of a writing toolbox, with links to my fave resources on editing, querying, publishing and the like. I may also start doing a monthly feature on a non-profit or global issue. I'm not sure exactly when I will roll all of this out, but updates will be coming soon! I may have a contest to come up with a name for the newsletter and ask for feedback and what kinds of things people would like to see (new releases of the month, agent profiles, etc.).

So, that's it! It may not be the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything, but it makes me feel good and I hope you'll enjoy it, too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

100th Blog Post!

I just celebrated my blog birthday a few days ago, and now I've hit my 100th post. What an exciting month!

I figured this would be an excellent time to pass along an award I received a couple months ago from Rachna, the From Me To You Award. Rachna was one of my first blog followers, and has been a faithful blog friend ever since. Her blog posts have never failed to be insightful and thought-provoking and are always about a cool writing topic. I really adore her blog. Go check her out!

Thank you, Rachna!

So, to celebrate 100 blog posts (100 potential times you guys listened to me blab), I pass this award on to all of my followers! Thank you guys for stopping by and being my bloggy friends!

Have a great week, writer friends!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why It's Really Helpful to Read Your Book Aloud

We all (I think I can safely say all) feel silly reading our writing aloud. Especially if one's spouse/child/roommate is sitting there smirking and/or laughing their ass off. However, I completely value the importance of it. And reading really quickly under your breath doesn't count.

So, if you are wise enough to read your book aloud, slowly and carefully as if you were reading in a public setting, you might discover things like glaring errors from when you edited the heck out of your first chapter fifty million times and accidentally removed a reference to an object on the first page that then abruptly and nonsensically appears and makes no sense whatsoever on the second page. It would also help you avoid run-on sentences like that one.

Of course, it's extremely helpful, dandy even, if you read your work aloud and discover this before you submit your manuscript to ten agents, including one that requested a full. Your first request for a full, mind you. However, in the event that you don't discover this before submitting to ten agents including one that requested a full, there are other options involving bullets, rope, cliffs, poison, daggers, mass quantities of alcohol...

*Enormous sigh* So, does anyone else want to share a really embarrassing story?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Preccciousssss....

So it happened last weekend. I sat on my bed. It was mid morning. I was clutching it in my hands. Checking my email, or tweeting, I can't remember. But that's when I realized I was hopelessly addicted to my Droid smart phone.

How did this happen? When did this small electronic device become like crack to me? I have to say, it makes checking my email for agent responses much more efficient. And checking Twitter while I'm sitting in the car pickup line at the kids' school. Sometimes I feel like it's an extension of my body. Maybe I'll turn into a robot. That could be a cool story.

Soooo... don't leave me in an awkward silence. Are you obsessed with your phone, or other electronic toys? How do you use such things as a writer?