Friday, August 19, 2016

The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz - Reader Review

We're all connected. As biological, emotional, and spiritual organisms living on this planet, everything we do creates ripples that reach beyond our perceived borders. The Spawning Grounds, by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, does more than highlight the connection between cultures, legends, and nature: it weaves together all the nuances and struggles of being human within the complicated framework of spirituality.

Raised by their grandfather on land settled by his English ancestors, Hannah and Brandon haven't had the easiest family life. With an absent father, mental illness, and a troublesome history shadowing their childhoods, they strive to find their places in the world, even if it means forging their own paths. Unfortunately, Brandon's life is threatened after nearly drowning in the river. Physically, his body heals, but mentally, he isn't the same boy who fell into the water. Determined to save both her brother and the river, Hannah delves deeper into the past so she can change the outcome of the future.

Anderson-Dargatz delicately entwines First Nations' beliefs with white settler skepticism using her unique brand of story-telling. As the histories of the Shuswap and white settlers unfold through stories told to Hannah, more than "the mystery" of the river is unveiled. We're introduced to the possibilities of a world that can only filter into the consciousness if you're willing to suspend disbelief and simply believe.

I entered a Goodreads Giveaway and was fortunate enough to be gifted with a pre-release copy of The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Shadow Shifts Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Blog tours are tricky little things. There's so much organization that goes into them before and during the event, and that's not including interviews and guest posts that need to be written up. Scheduling posts, creating new content, keeping things consistent, and promoting the tour make for a full-time job. Luckily, I had Priya from Writerly Yours PR to help keep things under control.

I've had a lot of fun travelling the virtual globe and sharing tidbits about writing and Shadow Shifts (Liminal Series, Book Two). Meeting new bloggers and reconnecting with familiar friends makes the tour that much better. On Chantel DaCosta's blog, I  talked about the importance of community, and blog tours help to create that in the virtual writing world.

If I had to choose a favourite post, I'd be stumped. The interview questions from both Jorie Loves a Story and the Bemused Bookworm really made me think about my craft, the Liminal Series, and the message I send to readers. Talking about creating Urban Fantasy on L. Lombard's blog and writing for young adults on Chantel DaCosta's blog had me considering what readers need in comparison to what I want to write. Stepping outside of my comfort zone, I did a little research on fairies around the world for The Big To Do List and was surprised by both the similarities and differences to be found. The Crafty Angels showcased the adorable fairy lanterns I created for the Shadow Shifts launch in April, and even Tissa, a Liminal creature, had a chance to have her say on the Late Night Reveries blog. The posts were rounded off by a stunning review from MADD World that reminded me of why I write.

All in all, I'd say it was a successful tour that reached around the world from Canada to the US to Jamaica to India... maybe someday, I'll get to do a real tour of the world and meet these fabulous bloggers in person!

In case you missed it, here is the blog tour schedule. The giveaway has ended, but the books are always in stock via Amazon and Kobo. If you're looking for print books, Liminal Lights and Shadow Shifts are available through Amazon and various other online outlets.

May 15: Official Tour Launch—Writerly Yours:
May 16: Writing Urban Fantasy—Lisette Lombard:
May 17: Interview/Excerpt—Jorie Loves a Story:
May 18: The Difference Between Writing for Middle Grade and Adults—Chantel DaCosta:
May 19: Interview—Bemused Bookworm—
May 21: Book Review—MADD World—
May 22: Fairies around the world—The Big To Do List:
May 23: Community is vital for writing—Chantel DaCosta:
May 24: Fairy Lantern Tutorial—The Crafty Angels:
May 25: Tissa Has Her Say—Amrita—
May 26: Closing blog—Jennifer Bogart:

Thanks for stopping by... and remember... beware of things that go bump in the night... 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Let's make a little Thunder!

Last week, I set up a Thunderclap promotion to celebrate the release of Shadow Shifts, Book Two in the Liminal Series. It's free, easy, and automated... but it's also difficult to get support.

The problem, I think, is that people don't trust it. It asks supporters to give Thunderclap permission to post on their behalf. You have to log in using Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr - and you can have Thunderclap post to all or one of these outlets. At a specific time and day, everyone who agreed to support the campaign sends out a predetermined message, creating a lot of noise all at once. After that, Thundeclap won't bother you again, unless you sign up for another campaign or create one for yourself.

For me, this is another experiment in marketing, but it won't work if I can't reach the 100 supporters necessary - unless I pay for it. So far, I've discovered that a lot of paid social marketing advertising doesn't yield enough results to pay for the initial investment. Selling a bunch of books that leave me in the negative for an ad campaign is worse than selling only one or two via word of mouth promotion. At least with a free promotion, any results are pure profit.

So... if you'd like to help me out, with no purchase necessary on your part, I really need the support for my Thunderclap promotion. There's no catch, there's no fee, and it's perfectly safe. The bonus is you'll have done something super-fantastic to help out a writer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Shadows are coming!

Somewhere, between imagination and reality, lurk shadows and magic and things that go bump in the night. They're waiting for the perfect moment to leach energy and essence from unsuspecting humans. Luckily, the Liminals have protected humans since the beginning of time.

Until now...

Changes are in the wind, magic isn't so plentiful, and the shadows are shifting--gaining strength while Liminals fade from the light. Time is running out, and everyone is at risk as the Shadow-monsters gain strength in their bid for domination.

Shadow Shifts is the long awaited second book in the Liminal Series. Book One, Liminal Lights, is available on Amazon, Kobo, and in print through Morning Rain Publishing. Book Two will be available on April 14, 2016 on Amazon and Kobo, with the print coming shortly after.

Shadow Shifts

When Bean fails to secure Nadia’s human magic, she puts her entire race at risk. Liminals fade as fast as Shadow-monsters emerge, creating a disturbing imbalance between light and dark.

Liminals aren’t the only creatures affected by things that go bump in the night—humans are equally at risk. Knowing the ravenous appetites of the Shadow-monsters will grow out of control, Bean, Tissa, Pritt, and Ping are forced to deal directly with the dire situation. Armed with the ancient secrets of their people, they band together to destroy their enemies and return balance to their magical realm.

The existence of all things Liminal depends on their success.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Ticket - Editor's Review

A few months ago I had the pleasure and privilege of editing The Ticket for Heather Grace Stewart. Every time I open a book by her, I know I'm in for a hilarious adventure with engaging characters. The Ticket delivered this and more.

On the first read-through, I could hardly put the book down. During the actual edit, there were true laugh-out-loud moments.

The idea of the novel is loosely based on a broadly televised social media event: The Ticket follows the story of a man who has two tickets for a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. Unfortunately, he splits with his girlfriend before the trip. Rather than letting the second ticket go to waste, he advertises his need to find a woman who shares his ex's name. After a expedited interview process, he selects a lucky "winner", and they take the trip together. 

This is where Heather's story begins and all similarities to the original one ends. 

The Ticket is the perfect romantic romp for anyone looking for an escape from their everyday lives. There's humour, adventure, travel, emotion, and a definite coming-of-age of two characters who are well-past the age of needing to grow up. 

I think that's what I enjoyed most about this book. The characters are perfectly imperfect. Both have flaws, and both have a lot of growing up to do, but their personalities are so engaging that I couldn't help but cheer them on throughout their journey. They aren't just-out-college hopefuls, nor is one rich while the other poor. They are equals in every sense of the word, established in their careers, and a little bit damaged from previous relationships. Mostly, they are so believable and realistic, I felt like I was making life-long friends. 

Interested in knowing more? The Ticket is available through Amazon, in both digital and print. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

You know. That one drawer.: Reflections of a Piece of Stardust

I'm reblogging this with permission from my writer friend, Shelley. The death of David Bowie hit me hard... harder than I expected, but I couldn't figure out why. His music has been the soundtrack to my writing, and more often than not, my life.

Follow the link below... read her words... Shelley knows what she's talking about.

You know. That one drawer.: Reflections of a Piece of Stardust: Ok, so a good writer friend of mine and I were discussing how we can't quite put our finger on why David Bowie's passing is affectin...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Do-cember... can that be a thing?

With Newvember over... and me behind on blog posts, I need to get my act together and get to work! I spent most of last month working on "Snakes & Snails & Alien Tales" for NaNoWriMo, and that meant a lot of other things fell by the wayside. The story isn't finished; I probably have another 5000 words or so to write, but life can't remain on pause forever. If you're interested in the raw, unedited, messy manuscript, go ahead and follow the link. It's posted on Wattpad for all the world to read for free.

In more important news - the blog tour for Newvember came to an end... and I have rafflecopter winners to announce! I've emailed all winners, and I'm just waiting to hear back from the recipients so I can send out their loot. It would be a good idea to check your email, including your junk mail, to see if you won one of the three prizes.

The Indiegogo campaign for Newvember has also come to a close, and because I didn't reach the fundraising goal, books cannot be ordered through that venue. Print books will still be available, but I'll have to figure out another way to allow orders for signed copies - or, you'll just have to come find me when I set up events at various bookstores. In the meantime, you can order Newvember directly from the CreateSpace eStore, but it won't be signed. I've already received and approved the print proof - and it's gorgeous!

I've decided to embark on a little experiment regarding printing and distribution... as the details become available, I'll be sharing them here. In a nutshell, I'm trying to make it easy for independent bookstores to stock copies of my books, while keeping them easily available on Amazon (US, UK, and Canada). Once the book is live on the Amazon sites, I'll share the links. 

I'm going to need December to catch up on all the things that didn't happen during November, but that's okay, because being busy is far better than being bored. So, in the spirit of Newvember, I'm turning December into Do-cember and am going to focus on getting stuff done!