Stuff I Like

Win a signed advanced copy of FROZEN by Erin Bowman!

Frozen by Erin Bowman

I’m back from Seattle, and I’ve got an awesome giveaway for you. Why? Because Frozen by Erin Bowman releases in 1 WEEK!!! 4/15 to be exact. I can’t believe a whole year has passed since Taken launched, but I’m also glad because now YOU can read the sequel too!!

So, to celebrate the forthcoming release, I have a signed ADVANCED READER COPY (a.k.a. ARC or galley) of Frozen for you all to win!

 The Heists were only the beginning.

Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.

Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem…

Stolen by Erin BowmanPlus, I’m giving away a copy of the beautiful prequel e-novella Stolen, which is told from Bree’s point of view. Seriously, guys, this story is so lyrical and moving.

 Before Gray Weathersby uncovered the truth about Claysoot and the Laicos Project, a girl named Bree came of age in the coastal settlement of Saltwater—and made her own surprising journey to the world beyond its borders. In Stolen, discover the story of Bree’s life before she was Snatched from her home, before she joined the rebellion, and before she met a boy named Gray…

Finally, I have SIGNED SWAG from Ms. Bowman (which you can actually learn about today on Pub(lishing) Crawl)! Woohoo! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is fill out the Rafflecopter form and help spread the word about Frozen! I’ll pick a winner next week.

Aaaaannnnd, THIS GIVEAWAY IS INTERNATIONAL!! ♥

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New book deals + a newsletter thingy!

I know I was supposed to give you guys the final steps of the Productivity Pyramid this week, but I found out rather suddenly that we were going to announce my new book deal today (instead of later this spring, as planned)…so DUH, new book deals took precedence!!

Of course, learning we were going to announce also led me to dancinglikeacrazyperson around my office (and then almost fainting because I’m so out of shape), before I hunkered down to get a few things wrapped up that I had planned to launch alongside the new series announcement.

But….LET ME ANNOUNCE TRUTHWITCH because if I have to type one more sentence without typing I SOLD A NEW SERIES, then I will probably die.

I sold a new series, guys!

And not just any series, but the one you all have heard me talk about, tweet about, and pin stuff for for the last year. This is my epic fantasy series that currently has more followers on Pinterest than my actually published series, and the same goes for my Spotify playlist! I think there’s just something more universally accessible and appealing to epic fantasy. Maybe it’s the scope and sweeping scale of the stories or the new, enormous worlds…Or maybe it’s just that swords are badass and everyone wishes they had one. 😉 Either way…

Truthwitch is coming out in fall 2015!

tor-books-logo-thumbObviously, I’m be freaking-out-excited about selling a new series, but what makes this SO SPECIAL is that it was acquired by Tor. TOR. As in the most well-known publisher of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror! And guys:  Tor is probably my most favorite publisher of all time. When I glance at my shelves, half the books have the awesome Tor logo on their spines (and what a logo it is! All Mount Doom craggy epicness).

But look, here’s more info on the deal from the print version of Publishers Weekly (or you can read the article online here):

TruthwitchAnnouncement

PLUS, Tor UK also bought Truthwitch in a separate deal, so I’ll finally have a book out in the UK!!!! That may not seem like a huge deal to all of you, but for me, it’s enormous for me. My whole goal is to reach more readers, you know? To connect with more people, so this is already a huge step in that direction! Poor Something Strange & Deadly just didn’t appeal to foreign publishers–it’s such a niche genre and I totally understand that. Just being epic fantasy has served Truthwitch well already.

True story: I might have started sobbing hysterically when I read the press release for Tor UK. I am so proud of Truthwitch and reading what my new editor thought of the series sent my emotions into the most happy, emo tailspin. Also, in case you want a slightly more thorough summary of the book, here’s the copy from the UK announcement:

In Truthwitch, expect intrigue, action and conspiracy, with some wonderfully tense romance woven into the excitement. On a continent where everyone is born with magic, witchcraft is failing as people are corrupted by their own magic. Unrest also grows as a twenty year truce ends between three warring empires, meaning trading treaties cease and war threatens. Only a mythical pair of witches can heal the taint in the land and bring balance. But the two young friends are yet to discover their fate, even as their world heads towards chaos.

Anyways, I won’t bore you with details of my sobbing and dancing and screaming. CLEARLY I am over the moon about selling Truthwitch, and it is all VERY surreal. So go add the book to your Goodreads shelf (if you’re so inclined) and follow me down to the next point of business…

The Misfits & Daydreamers!

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Remember what I said, like, two paragraphs up? About wanting to reach more readers? Well, that’s the purpose of The Misfits & Daydreamers.

Basically, this will be a chatty newsletter PLUS a forum where I can interact with my fellow Misfits and friendly Daydreamers. 🙂 I’m hoping to connect with you all on a more personal level, and this newsletter/forum is the best approach I can find for that.

I love my blog, I try to post as regularly as possible and with as much high quality + helpful content as I can create. But there is a built-in distance here. Even with comments and emails, I don’t feel like I know you all well enough–and I’m not sure you know me. You know about my writing advice, but I rarely delve into other things.

So here’s my goal for 2014 and beyond: I want to know my readers better and I want you to know me. I also want to  be able to give content (free extra scenes, book updates, behind-the-scenes publishing insight, etc.) to you directly–and I also want to know right away if you enjoyed that content or if it missed its mark.

Now, in case you’re wondering about the name–Misfits & Daydreamers–I’ll explain. The Misfits was a name thought up by a fabulous fan for readers of the Something Strange & Deadly series. The Daydreamers are what I’ve decided to call  readers of my blog and fans of my writing advice.

As such, the Misfits forum and part of each email update will be for fans of my stories and books–things like teasers, cut scenes, interview, giveaways, etc. I’m hoping to share Strange & Ever After teasers along with Truthwitch teasers and any other fun stuff I have very soon!

Then the Daydreamers forum and a portion of the emails will be for fellow writers and aspiring authors (or published authors too!). You can see my writing process in action, I’ll answer questions about writing, and I’ll basically offer insights and updates that I don’t offer here, on my blog. One really cool thing I plan to offer (or I think it’s cool) is a behind-the-scenes look at traditional publishing. Since I recently sold Truthwitch, I am in the very early stages of its publication process. That means I can share each step–from finishing a draft to revising with my editor to cover design and beyond–as it happens.

And of course, I’ll want to hear from you guys–either in the forums or via email. 🙂 That way it’s a conversation and I can learn more about YOU over time.

If you’re interested in becoming a Misfit or a Daydreamer (or both!), then subscribe below or in the sidebar. Plus, register for the forum, if you life. 🙂

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Okay, I am heading out now to eat leftover snickerdoodles and celebrate. I hope to see you soon, fellow Misfits and Daydreamers!

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My Favorite Writing Music of 2013

To preface this post, I should apologize for being away so long. My trip to Australia was fabulous, and I’ll eventually put up photos on Facebook…though to be honest, I haven’t even looked at the photos we took yet. My husband tends to go overboard with the camera, and I think we took close to 3000 pictures in 2.5 weeks. Yeah. Not even exaggerating there.

NaNoWriMo was also fabulous for those two weeks that I participated. I was super pleased by what I managed to produce, and since getting back from my vacation, I’ve been hammering out even more words. Yay for recharging creativity!

So yes, drafting a new book has kept me away since I got back. I’ve also been planning/writing a blog series that I hope to put up in January. It was originally going to be just one post, but as I wrote, I found I had a lot to say on the subject. It’s all about embracing fears and not letting them block off your creativity (which has happened to me. Many times.), so it’s a good topic to start of 2014 with.

BUT, to close 2013, I wanted to share my favorite musical releases of the year. These are some of the albums I listened to on repeat while I was drafting all my various projects. Of course there were other albums I listened to as well, but the selections below are the ones that came out in 2013. Note: these aren’t in order of favorite but rather of when I discovered them throughout the year.

I hope you enjoy!

1. Classics, Vol. 1 by Two Steps from Hell

Let’s be honest. These guys (Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergersen) could pretty much scratch their nails on a chalkboard and I’d still be obsessed. (Somehow, they’d make it the most epic, empowering nail/chalkboard combo ever.)

Oh man, do I imagine some insane battle scenes to “Earth Rising”. Interstellar battles, naval, kaiju–whatever. This music is what I’m playing when I write those especially wild fight scenes. Though I usually start flying around my room pretending to fight the monsters myself when it hits the 1:37 mark. Not even joking.

“Birth of a Hero” makes me want to write about exactly what the title says: the rise of a hero. This piece gets especially epic at the 1:22 mark.

2. Pacific Rim Original Movie Score by Ramin Djawadi

So if you read my blog or follow me on Twitter, you know I’m obsessed with Pacific Rim. Sarah J. Maas and I have already planned out an elaborate fanfiction in which we are Jaeger copilots sent out to battle the nastiness from the portal.

There is literally no other piece of music on this planet that makes me want to kick more ass than the main theme to Pacific Rim. Slow-mo walking scene as Sarah and I board our Jaeger (named Heartless Glacier (don’t ask why))? Check. Wind from some unknown source in the shatterdome blowing through our perfect hair? Check. Monster-crushing badassery on the way? Oh hell yeah…

So “The Shatterdome” track is one of my faves because it just feels so sci-fi. I listen to it on repeat when I’m drafting The Starkillers. Well, I listen to this whole album on repeat, but especially “The Shatterdome”. I really like it when the chorus comes in at 1:35. Doesn’t it just sound like the marching music for an interstellar space fleet?

3. The Golden Age by Woodkid

I’ve professed my Woodkid love before. I got hooked after I heard “Iron” on the cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Revalations in 2011. Then, when his full album came out this year, I fell into an abyss in which I listened to NOTHING but Woodkid for about 3 weeks. Yeah, he’s that good.

Also, I should point out this is really the ONLY epic music I listen to that has lyrics.

Doesn’t that music + video make you want to write REALLY COOL FIGHT SCENES? It certainly does for me, and in my project Truthwitch, I have a character who is entirely based off Ezio in that one trailer. Peppery beard and all. 🙂

Okay, I’ve blasted my love for this song before, but it’s worth repeating: “Run Boy Run” is so emotionally moving that your heart will never feel the same again. Seriously. After the 1:13 mark, I become completely overcome by joy and power and awe.

Also, let’s discuss the AMAZINGNESS that is the music video. I literally cry every time I watch it. Just look at the joy on the boy’s face at the 3:12 mark.

4. Lindsey Stirling’s self-titled album

This girl is incredible. Her music, her dancing, her insane devotion to producing more…I am honestly wowed by her skills. And I just love her music. I mean, dubstep. Gah, it’s brilliant.

“Shadows” is one of my favorites to listen to when I write or–more often than not–when I cook dinner. The beat just gets me hopping around.

“Elements” is my definitely my favorite video and song by Lindsey Stirling. It’s just…ungh. LOOK AT THAT GIRL MOVE! And listen to how well everything fits with the music! I literally feel like a failed waste of life whenever I watch this video.

5. Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Original Score by Brian Tyler

As anyone who knows me knows, I am obsessed with the Assassin’s Creed soundtracks. Every darn one is brilliant, and the latest one (IV: Black Flag) might be my most favorite of all (although this one, which hasn’t released yet, might even top Black Flag).

Despite the fact that Black Flag only recently came out, I have listened it to at least a hundred times in it’s entirety. It’s just the most PERFECT music for my story, Truthwitch, since so much of that book takes place at sea.

The theme song, HOLY CRAP. I love how it starts so elegantly, like a fine parlor room in 1715, and then it just goes all high-seas-adventure on you at the 1:05 mark.

This track, “Lay Aboard Lads”, is my second favorite on the entire soundtrack (though I really love the entire thing). I can so vividly imagine the build-up to a wild sword-fight, and then bam! At the 1:14 mark, let the great battle begin!

So there you have it–my favorite to-write-by music that released in 2013. And, just because I’m currently obsessed and can’t wait for the album to release in January, here’s some music to the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game (called Freedom Cry).

Now you tell me: what were your favorite musical releases of 2013?

Oh, and happy holidays!! I’ll see you in 2014! ♥

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NaNoWriMo 2013 Bootcamp and Crits for Water

200x200icritforcleanwaterFirst off: my Crits for Water auction is STILL GOING! It keeps on running until 11:59 PM Eastern time, and you could win a 10 page manuscript + query letter critique from me! Plus, any money you donate goes to charity: water–meaning you’re doing a really good thing by participating in this auction.

So don’t miss the auction before it ends, my friends.

Now, moving on to…

NaNoWriMo

It’s almost that time again. NaNoWriMo time. Okay, so it doesn’t start for another full month, but still! I’m SO EXCITED. Plus, I want to get my eggs in a row BEFORE the race kicks off.

Because here’s the deal: I’ll only be in the good ole US of A for exactly half of this years’s NaNo. Then hubby and I are off to Australia for our first vacation together in 3 years. (Hooray!) Yet, despite being only available for 15 days of 30,I’m still doing this year’s NaNo. I don’t care if I only hit 25,000 words or kill myself trying, but I just LOVE NANO SO MUCH. I can’t miss it, no matter what.

Seriously: NaNoWriMo is my most favoritest holiday-that-isn’t-a-holiday of the year.

And because I love it so much, I thought it would be fun to do something special with others this 2013. And that is:

NaNoWriMo Bootcamp

The name is kind of misleading because there would be no pushups involved (and nary a boot in sight…unless of course, your story involves boots), but the general idea is implied: the bootcamp would be pushing us all to hit the 50,000 word finish line.

Essentially, I’m envisioning a forum where we can set goals, compare daily word counts, share our triumphs and woes, discuss craft, and basically  help each other stay motivated to KEEP ON GOING.

I’d also set up the forum sooner rather than later so that everyone can start preparing for the NaNoWriMo to come and so we can pump ourselves up for the insanity that is November.

But before I go spending many  hours to set all of this up, I thought I’d first check that there was actually interest from my fellow writers and friends.

SO, if you think a NaNoWriMo Bootcamp is something you’d want to do this November of 2013, please fill out the form below! Oh, and spread the word if you can! The more the merrier, me thinks.

Update: The forum IS HAPPENING! Check it out here.

And now, I shall leave you all with my current jam. Have a WONDERFUL weekend! ♥

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Crits for Water, 2013

200x200icritforcleanwaterFor the past two years, my friend (and wonderful writer), Kat Brauer, has been organizing and running an AMAZING charity called Crits for Water. Basically, authors, editors, and agents donate critiques, and in turn, writers can bid on them. All the money raised in the auctions then goes to the fabulous organization charity: water, who helps provide clean water to those without.

Also, did I mention that for every $1 you bid, Kat critiques 250 words? You don’t have to only bid on the industry pro critiques! Just handing over a few bucks will get you some brilliant feedback.

And I do mean brilliant–Kat is an incredible writer. She helped me get Something Strange & Deadly in shape for querying, and my series wouldn’t be where it is today if not for her. Seriously, Kat’s critique skills are beyond awesome, guys.

Also also, I should point out that despite ALL the stuff Kat had going on in her life last year, she still spent months of her time catching up on all the critiques. And she did it to help other writers and, above all, to help those in need of clean water.

In 2011, Kat managed to raise almost $7000, which built this well in Ethiopia. I actually started crying when I saw where my money and critiquing had gone. We really CAN make a difference, guys! Isn’t that an amazing feeling?

Then last year, Kat raised over $15000. Can you IMAGINE how many people that she–and all the rest of us who donated time and money–has helped?

Well, it should come as no surprise that Kat is hosting another year of Crits for Water (even though she is SO CRAZY BUSY that I cannot even begin to comprehend how she has the time). 4 critiques have already passed, but there are still a ton left!

Beginning the morning of 9/26 (Thursday) and ending 9/27, you can win a critique for me. A 10 page + query critique will go to the highest bidder. 🙂

Here are some other awesome people you could win from:

  • 24 September – Jodi Meadows, author of the INCARNATE trilogy, is offering a 1500 word critique for FIVE winners.
  • 26 September – Susan Dennard (ME!)  is offering a fabulous 10 page + query critique.
  • 27 September – Kendra Highley, is offering a critique of the first 50 pages.
  • 08 October – Roni Loren is offering a 10 page + query critique.
  • 10 October – Ashlyn Macnamara is offering a query critique.
  • 04 November – Agent Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong is offering a 1500 word critique
  • 06 November – Sherry Thomas is offering a 1500 word critique
  • 06 November – Michael Martinez is offering a generous 10k + query critique
  • 14 November – The ever-helpful Janice Hardy is offering a first three chapter critique

So please, if you’re in need of some critiquing or just want to help an amazing cause, stop by Crits for Water 2013.

See you at Friday’s auction! 😉

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Current Musical Obessessions

I’m BACK! I got home laaaate Friday night and have spent the weekend unpacking and reminding my dogs that I do love them, even if I abandoned them for 2 weeks. 

Now, while I catch up on emails that I should have caught up on whilst visiting my parents last week (instead, my dad and I marathoned Teen Wolf. Seriously, if a 59-year-old man can get into that show, then it says something about how GOOD it is…and it’s really goooood), I’ll leave you all with my current musical obsessions.

And when I say obsession, I mean I have listened to NOTHING but these songs on repeat for the last week.

First up, we have a “Annie You Save Me” by Grafitti6. I’m not a huge fan of the video, but man, do I love the song. I popped it in our stereo yesterday, and the husband went, “Hey, what’s that? Turn it up.”

Very catchy. And no surprise, I discovered it on Teen Wolf. 😉 (Read more…)

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A Darkness Strange & Lovely, Opening Playlist

First off, if you haven’t yet participated in the Epic Reads discussions, I urge you to! They have lots of awesome conversations going on about Something Strange & Deadly. 🙂

Second, if you missed our FINAL DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (plus the chance to win a signed copy of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas), head here.

As hard as this might be to believe, Chapter 19 happens to be my favorite chapter in A Darkness Strange & Lovely. Yep, that’s right–it’s the EXACT same chapter number as my favorite in Something Strange & Deadly. And it’s not that I don’t love all the other chapters in book 2, but I had a massive case of writer’s block right before Chapter 19 in ADS&L. After days of pulling out my hair, the light finally burst through the clouds…and chapter 19 all the way to the end just poured out of me.

So, if you’ve read A Darkness Strange & Lovely or are reading it now, be sure to remember that when you read chapter 19. 😉

BUT, since I know many of you wonderful readers haven’t yet read A Darkness Strange & Lovely, much less read Chapter 19, I didn’t want to spoil those scenes with a playlist breakdown. Instead, I thought I’d share a playlist that goes with the opening scenes of A Darkness Strange & Lovely.

Nothing to spoilery here. 😉

First, I’ll share the actual playlist so you can listen, and then I’ll break down which piece I associate with which pages. AND, I’ve got the first 85 pages of the book embedded below that so you can listen and read along. 🙂 Enjoy!

(Read more…)

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Something Strange & Deadly Movie Cast…if a movie actually existed

I know I’ve shared my various desired actresses/actors for Something Strange & Deadly, the Movie (coming to a theater near you in the summer of never), but I’m not sure I’ve ever shared my ideal movie cast on my website.

So, as part of the Something Strange & Deadly Book Club, I thought I’d lay out all the faces I see in my one day award-winning film. 😉

Something Strange & Deadly, the Movie

Eleanor Fitt

"I could keep quiet. But that didn't mean I would." (p. 89 in Something Strange & Deadly)

Played by Rachel Hurd-Wood. When she has blond hair, of course. But seriously, I love the way this actress can look so feminine and yet so feisty. (Read more…)

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A Darkness Strange and Lovely Updates & Giveaways!!

This will be brief and to the point because I have a million things going on. 🙂 That said, I promise a Real Post with Real Content on Monday (it’ll be over on Pub Crawl).

Update #1: The blog tour is in full swing! There is a HUGE AND EPIC giveaway going on for 5 hardcovers of A Darkness Strange and Lovely + 5 paperbacks of Something Strange and Deadly + 5 e-novellas of A Dawn Most Wicked.

Here are the various stops we’ve had so far:

There are more to come next week, so stay tuned! Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! 😉 (Read more…)

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A Darkness Strange & Lovely giveaways, playlists, and Pacific Rim

So I saw Pacific Rim last night…

Guys, I have been excited about that film for almost a year now–ever since I first heard about it at San Diego Comic-Con last year. Honestly, it’s rare that I anticipate a film or get even remotely excited about its launch. It’s even more rare that I go see a film as soon as it opens.

But man, Pacific Rim. Pacific Rim, guys.

This movie blew my mind. It was everything I wanted and more. I’m not usually an action movie person–I like characters more than explosions…

But MAN, Pacific Rim!

It had characters that were developed just enough for me to love and action that didn’t make my eyes glaze over. Plus, there was a kickass girl–like, kickass–and it was so refreshing to see her. And refreshing to not have romance.

It was the world, though, that really got me. The details was so insane–from the Shatterdome to the Bone Slums to the inside of the Jaegers. WOW. It was everything my inner tween, who was obsessed with Robotech/Gundam Wing, Blade Runner, and basically mecha & gritty sci-fi of any kind, wanted to see. Hell, it was everything the adult me wanted too, and I hope-hope-hope we see more mecha and more Pacific Rim stuff in the future. (Read more…)

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