Monday, February 25, 2013

Shout It Out Day

You know what I love most about being a part of this awesome blogging community? How we get to get the word out for some very incredible writers. So to help brighten your dreary Monday, I'd like to give a loud shout out to Alex J. Cavanaugh, Laura Eno, and Ciara Knight!

Cover Reveal!!!!

CassaStorm, by Alex J. Cavanaugh


A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…



Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

I'm behind on this series (along with everything else on my TBR pile). Just started reading CassaFire last week. I LOVED CassaStar! If you love good 'ol science fiction the way the gods intended, you need to check out this series.

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Cover Reveal #2!!!!

Jewel of Shaylar, by Laura Eno

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.

Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.

David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.



Laura Eno
Find me on: Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads
I'm a big Laura Eno fan. I find all of her writing so easy to read, filled with everything you could want: action, romance, and imagination. I have no idea what the hell a Dreean warrior is, but I can't wait to find out.

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Neumarian Uprising CONTEST!!!!

Weighted and Escapement by Ciara Knight

We need your help! Thanks to our spy, Ciara Knight, we are able to communicate with you today via blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
The Neumarian uprising has begun. We are fighting for freedom and equality for all, but we need your help. Ciara informed us that you might want to know more about the uprising and why we ask you to risk your lives for our cause. To answer these questions I’ve agreed to let Ciara tell my sister’s, Raeth’s, story about her captivity. It will be free for you on a site called Amazon until March 1, 2013.
Weighted (prequel to the Neumarian Chronicles)
The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.
You can help by simply downloading a free copy of Weighted
If you are intrigued and wish to follow our uprising, Escapement, book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, will be available for only $2.99 until March 1, 2013.
Escapement is told by Princess Semara...
Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.


Be Bold.
Be Brave.
Be Free.
In the name of the rebellion,
Ryder Arteres
And check out the contest below!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And really quick...I have a little update on my own stuff. I finished my first draft on a book I started during NaNoWriMo. It weighs in at 108,000 words. I've got a lot of work to do, so you might start seeing some posts about self-editing from me in the coming weeks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Sky is Falling

Yowza!
What in the hell is going on? It's been a strange couple of weeks.

Meteor hits Russia, and 1200 people are injured. Another fireball streaks over San Francisco. Another giant meteor squeaks right by us. And then the Vatican is struck by lightning after the Pope resigns. Oh, and there was the ex-cop that was on the loose in Los Angeles killing police officers in a revenge plot against the LAPD that only Hollywood could concoct.

Just heard country singer Mindy McCready died at the age of 37.

Life is weird, ain't it?

No word yet on any zombies or anything, but sometimes, it does seem like the end of the world is neigh, doesn't it? In all the ruckus going on in the news, looks like one creepy story got away from us. Literally.

For those with arachnophobia, your worst nightmares came true last week when in the town of Santo Antonio da Platina, Brazil, these huge fat spiders fell from the sky! Could you imagine eight legged creatures the size of bumble bees floating down from overhead?

Freaky.

These social spiders are known to spin webs connecting webs more than 10 feet long, and this huge colony was probably swept up from some wind storm. Upon closer inspection, it looks like these spiders are using the power lines to build a new massive web-nest. Ugh.

Makes my skin crawl.

Check out real video footage of this really strange and rare phenomenon.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Slumping Waddles Teaser

"I need more power!"
Ever hit a writing slump? Man-oh-man, I just got out of a big one. Pretty sure it was the big move during the holidays that dried up all of my creative juices. From November until just last night, I wrote nothing in my current WIP. Absolutely nothing. Even when I had the time to sit down and write, I found myself totally uninspired.

But three months of nothing has taken its toll. I found myself trying to get reaquainted with my own work. This project was right around the 96K word count  point before I stopped. But I forced myself to delve back into this manuscript. It was both exciting and exhausting. My hope is now I've finally struck some oil and I can work to finish this book.

What are some of your techniques for overcoming these slumps? What do you do when life takes over and you find yourself in a real creative dry spell?

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What a cute ducky!
My amazing writing partner, Miranda Hardy, just had a new children's book that just came out, thanks to Quixotic Publishing. Wacky Waddles chronicles the adventures of a cute little duckling exploring his new home at the zoo and learns the value of being yourself. Beautifully illustrated by Rimi Rasheed, Miranda's newest book is sure to delight kids and kids-at-heart! 
So excited for you, Miranda!!!

You can get the Amazon Kindle version HERE.
Paperback version HERE
Barnes & Noble ebook version HERE

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And of course, I had to leave you with yet another tease of the cover art for my upcoming novel, Dragonfly Warrior. It's an Asian-themed Steampunk adventure, and I'm looking forward to telling you more about it in the near future.

That ain't no letter opener


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quick Interview and Another Teaser

I'm being interviewed over at Michael Ignacio's website, Imagination Ignited. The post will be going live on Thursday. Check it out. It's short but sweet, and Michael is a newcomer, so welcome him to the blogging world.

Also, I've got another fun teaser of my cover art for Dragonfly Warrior.


This is fun. I give you guys enough teasers, it'll be like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.

Take care!

Jay

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sports and Writing

Last night, the sport of American football took center stage. The Super Bowl is the most watched single sporting event here in the States, and many people use the game to get together and throw a big party....only to pay for it the following Monday. I myself am dragging ass pretty bad here.

My Twitter feed and Facebook newsfeed were filled with funny updates and peoples' opinions on the commercials. However, I noticed an interesting trend - nearly half of my fellow writers didn't give a damn about the Super Bowl. In fact, many of them were pissed about the electrical blackout that delayed the game by more than thirty minutes, pushing back the starting time of the CBS crime drama, Sherlock.

Many of you know I grew up in a world of athletics. By college, I focused on two sports: tennis (I was forced to, as playing collegiate tennis paid for school), and martial arts, which I actively practiced into my late 20s.

I know many of my writer buddies don't care for sports, but I think writing and sports have a lot in common!

1) Passion. Writers thrive on passion - their love of telling a great story. It's passion that drags you to the computer when you don't feel like it. It's what makes you write you 1000th query letter, knowing the odds are against you. Without passion, you wouldn't be a writer. Sports is the same way - I remember getting up to work out or practice, despite not feeling like it. Passion is the fuel for excellence in both endeavors.

2) Practice makes perfect. Writers go through writing exercises (like flash fiction) in order to hone their skills.  All writers churn out garbage...and if you don't admit that, then you are delusional! Unfortunately, most of what we write needs fixing. Nothing is perfect. But going through the arduous process of editing and perfecting is part of being a writer. Sports is no different. Athletes spend most of their time practicing. Even with natural abilities, they too must hone their skills. Losing is a part of sports - but it also serves as a valuable learning opportunity. Basketball icon, Michael Jordan, was trusted to make the game winning shot and failed 26 times! A loss is practice for your next victory.

3) Creativity. I will exclude all the copycats out there - and there's a lot in the writing world. But when true creativity blossoms, it can create waves. There are too many examples of this to list, but look at the most recent market-shattering works out there: Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades (yes, 50 Shades). Say what you will about the writing or whatever (which I can easily do with Twilight and what I've read of 50 Shades), but they struck a chord with readers. Creativity can overcome weak writing sometimes. Sports is full of revolutionaries. In my sport of tennis, Jimmy Connors changed the game when he used two hands on his backhand and made the return of serve into a weapon - this is a tactic used to this day. In competition, when all else is equal, it's the one that's creative that usually wins. Sometimes, the lesser opponent can upset the favorite by being creative.

On the surface, it might seem that writing and sports have nothing in common - but they have so many shared attributes. The drama, the passion, the drive...it's all there in both worlds!

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The cover art for my upcoming novel, Dragonfly Warrior, is done. I'm not ready for any kind of cover reveal yet, as the typography needs to be completed by my publisher. But I will give you a couple little teasers.

Working with a small press is awesome, as I had the opportunity to give the artist A LOT of input. After describing a particular scene that I thought would make for a great cover, I told the artist that I wanted the cover to scream Asian steampunk with a side of KICK ASS.

My novel is not going to change the world, nor give you some piece of infinite wisdom about your life. But it's a fun ride filled with action, drama, and more steampunk action! So here's a fun teaser:

What's steampunk without an airship?