Thursday, September 29, 2011

YA Indie Carnival!



Welcome to The Shootin' Gallery and the twelth post in the YA Indie Carnival. The carnival is designed for authors, readers and reviewers of YA Indie books. Each Friday this team of YA Indies will post on a common theme.

This week’s post theme is a feature of our dream cast for one of our books. Here is my dream cast for Soul Quest.



OK, so my first reveal for my dream cast obviously must be my MC, Liv Glyn. Liv is the human Oracle of Earth. She's a super sweet girl with a nack for bringing people together and making sense of things AND she can shapeshift into an eagle... soooo cool!

Miranda Cosgrove as Liv Glyn


Liv's companions of Spirit are Laith, Brayan and Meena.

Laith is the human Oracle of fire. He's a smart kid but doesn't believe he is so he doesn't really apply himself academically. His strong suits are his athleticism and friendliness. Everyone LOVES Laith!!! He IS the nicest guy you will ever meet AND he can set himself on fire with out being burned... but sometimes he accidently burns down portions of his backyard.

Alex Pettyfer as Laith Lightfoot


Brayan is the human Oracle of wind. He's the brainniac in the bunch. He can make, fix and figure out nearly anything mechanical. He is the techie geek and a bit of a nerd but extremely lovable (which is why one of the hottest chicks in his school falls for him) AND he can shapeshift into a centaur!

Logan Lerman as Brayan Akin


Meena is the human Oracle of water. She is omnicient! No really, she is. She literally knows everything, at least factually. You can ask her anything and she knows the answer... which really gets on everyone's nerves sometimes AND she can breath under water!

Emma Roberts as Meena Sodden


So, now you've met my human Oracles and their actor look - a - likes. Now allow me to introduce you to some of their human homies!

First up, Brayan's bombshell girlfriend, Amber White. Amber is a beautiful girl with lots of friends and amazing vocal and theatrical ability. She's modest and sweet, with the exception of some of her vocabulary choices. She has major potty mouth but no one is perfect, right?

Selena Gomez as Amber White


Meena's best friend is Druesilla Sommers (Drue). Where Meena is socially challenged and prefers flying solo Drue is the life of the party. Drue's got lots of spunk and Meena, well, Meena... doesn't. Meena loves to live by the rules and Drue loves to break them. I think they even each other out nicely. Drue is also Laith's sweetheart.

Erica Hubbard as Druesilla Sommers


Jedd Bellamy has been Liv's best friend since the third grade only now she finds herself crushing on him, weird right??? ... or maybe not.

Taylor Lautner as Jedd Bellamy


Melissa Small isn't exactly friend material in the crowd but she is thrust into their lives whether they like it or not. She's Laith's gorgeous, popular step - sister and she's always sticking her nose where it doesn't belong.

Diana Agron as Melissa Small


The last in the gang is Ray Mack. Ray is a neighborhood friend of Jedd and Liv. He's an easy going guy who is majorly lacking in fashion sense. Inspite of this his boyish good looks and easy going demeanor has captured the attention of Melissa Small (Laith's step - sister). Unfortunately, Ray has his sights set on Meena and Melissa makes Meena's life miserable because of it.

Sterling Knight as Ray Mack


So, who is left? The Oracles, the Guardian Spirits and the bad guys. Here we go...

The Oracles

Andre - The Oracle of War (a silly satyr who likes to kick butt)
Brandon Jackson as Andre


Anastazja - The Oracle of Death (affectionately referred to as the cat lady... don't let her small frame fool you, she is absolutely lethal)
Ashley Greene as Anastazja


Paul - The Oracle of Guardianship (He looks like Mr. Clean but he wears a dress... and takes himself way too seriously)
Bruce Willis as Paul


The Guardian Spirits

Beau (Liv's Guardian... who develops a serious crush on her)
Robert Patterson as Beau


Kevin (Laith's Guardian... cocky but lovable)
Chord Overstreet as Kevin


Belinda (Brayan's Guardian... a little fire cracker)
Bryce Dallas Howard as Belinda


Naomi (Meena's Guardian... just as omnicient but less annoying than her teen charge)
Anna Kendrick as Naomi


The bad guys (the Daevas and Aengels)

Shyam (pretends to be a human student at Forest Hills High; compels Liv and her companion's friends into betraying them... and sucks the souls out of innocent human beings)
Charlie Bewley as Shyam


Avna (Shyam's lover and partner in crime; soul sucker)
Rachelle Levevre as Avna


Lefu (Shyam's lacky, a mutant Aengel... also sucks the souls from the innocent)
Edi Gathegi as Lefu


Etheline (Avna's lacky, a mutant Aengel... devours souls)
Dakota Fanning as Etheline


Last, but not least, we are left with Hala, The Great Spirit. Hala is a God - like being as old as time but takes the physical age of a seven year old. I couldn't think of anyone for this role. I can see him in my mind but just can't place him among the celebs. Maybe you guys can offer some suggestions. I would love to see/hear your ideas. Here is a hint... he was inspired by my son's beautiful, angelic face.

My Keaton as Hala


Before you head off to the next booth in the carnival please don't forget about...

Soulless is a novella and will be available for free download @ Amazon.com on October 31, 2011!

The Guardians of Souls, Book Two in The Soul Quest Trilogy. It is available on Amazon NOW!

Gwenn Wright's The Von Strassenberg Saga. Our very own Dani Snell just released and designed the official cover for BlueStocking Girl! Here's a link to Gwenn's awesome video:

Laura A. H. Elliott's 13 on Halloween new release! Check out her awesome book trailer and an excerpt.


Carnival of fun!

The Ferris Wheel

Dani Snell: An awesome reviewer.
http://www.refractedlightreviews.com

The Rockin' Roller Coaster

Patti Larsen: Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, and The Diamond City Trilogy.
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com/


The Kissing Booth

Courtney Cole: Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com/

Cotton Candy Corner

Wren Emerson: Author of I Wish and a contributing author in the upcoming anthology that I am participating in (The Glassheart Chronicles).
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com/

The Fun House

Nicole Williams: An indie author of paranormal fiction. Her titles include: Eternal Eden and Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles. Here is the link to my review on Goodreads.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com/

The Dunking Booth

Fisher Amelie: Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/

The Carousel
Laura Elliott: Author of the recently released Winnemucca!
http://www.laurasmagicday.wordpress.com

The Haunted Castle

Rachel Coles: Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
http://rachelcoles.wordpress.com/

Hayrides!

T.R. Graves: Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com/

The Face Painting Booth

Cydni Tefft: Author of Between
http://ctefft.blogspot.com/

The Fortune Teller
P.J. Hoover: Author of Solstice
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com
Congrats to P. J. for her recent
book trailer award for Solstice!

Popcorn and Caramel Apples!
Alicia McCalla: Author of Breaking
http://www.aliciamccalla.com/

Pony Rides!
Heather Cashman: Author of Perception
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read/

The Petting Zoo!
Cheri Schmidt: Author of Fateful and Fractured
http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com


Fire Breather!
Suzy Turner
Author of December Moon and Raven
http://www.suzyturner.com/

Clown Sherif!
K. C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/

Elephant Trainer!
Gwenn Wright
Author of Filter
http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/

Ring-Leader!
Kimberly Kinrade
Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
http://kimberlykinrade.com/

The Giant!
J.L. Bryan
Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death
http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/

Lizard Woman!
Darby Karchut Author of Griffin Rising and the upcoming Griffin's Fire

http://darbykarchut.blogspot.com

Octo - lady!
Madeline Smoot Author of Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls

http://www.madelinesmoot.com/category/ya/

The Fire Breathing Lady!
M. Leighton Author of Blood Like Poison Series, Wiccan, Caterpillar, Madly and Wolfhardt and The Reaping
http://mleightonbooks.blogspot.com/

Don't forget to make a comment and join my followers! I love hearing from my old friends as much as I love making new friends!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

YA Indie Carnival!



Welcome to The Shootin' Gallery and the eleventh post in the YA Indie Carnival. The carnival is designed for authors, readers and reviewers of YA Indie books. Each Friday this team of YA Indies will post on a common theme.

This week’s post theme features a YA Indie author whose work we have especially enjoyed. My list of favorite YA Indie authors is extensive (Addison Moore, Amanda Hocking, Sandy Nathan, Nicole Williams, Matt Xell, Brandon Alston, Wren Emerson, Cheri Schmidt, Courtney Cole, Amelie Fisher, J.L. Bryan, Tiffany King…) but if I am limited to just one I will go with Tess Oliver.

Tess’s list of YA Romance reads includes Camille, Safe Landing, Bitterroot Crossing, Blood Tide, A Little Less Girl, Double or Nothing and Red, Red Rose.

This week’s post features Camille.



Goodreads Synopsis:
At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study. Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. Yet beneath the irresistible exterior, Nathaniel is transforming into a flesh-tearing monster, and as each experiment fails, Camille loses another inch of her soul to him. In a month’s time, she must face the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart.


“Hell won't be so bad, you know. After all, I'll be there to keep you company.”

~ Tess Oliver, Camille

What I thought about Camille…

Camille and scientist Dr. Bennett are trying to find a cure for people who are attacked by werewolves. They must be treated before the next full moon or they will mutate into the monster that infected them. During one of their 'stake' outs, Camille and Dr. Bennett witness a group of grave diggers attacked by the beast they are stalking to kill. All of the grave diggers are killed except one, Nathaniel Strider, who has been infected by the beast. Camille and the Dr. follow and eventually invite Strider to stay with them in hopes that he will prove a worthy experiment to bring them closer to their cure. In time Camille begins to develop feelings for Nathaniel and her quest for a cure becomes even more personal.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I would describe it as a paranormal romance entre with a side dish of forensics. Tess is brilliant at describing the cold factual biology behind the Dr.'s work and the contrasting emotional pull Camille feels toward Nathaniel. Camille is a fun fictional cross between The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink the Bones series by Kathy Reich.

I gave Camille 5 stars!

Before you head off to the next booth in the carnival please don't forget about...

Soulless is a novella and will be available for free download @ Amazon.com on October 31, 2011!

The Guardians of Souls, Book Two in The Soul Quest Trilogy. It is available on Amazon NOW!


Carnival of fun!

The Ferris Wheel

Dani Snell: An awesome reviewer.
http://www.refractedlightreviews.com

The Rockin' Roller Coaster

Patti Larsen: Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, and The Diamond City Trilogy.
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com/


The Kissing Booth

Courtney Cole: Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com/

Cotton Candy Corner

Wren Emerson: Author of I Wish and a contributing author in the upcoming anthology that I am participating in (The Glassheart Chronicles).
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com/

The Fun House

Nicole Williams: An indie author of paranormal fiction. Her titles include: Eternal Eden and Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles. Here is the link to my review on Goodreads.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com/

The Dunking Booth

Fisher Amelie: Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/

The Carousel
Laura Elliott: Author of the recently released Winnemucca!
http://www.laurasmagicday.wordpress.com

The Haunted Castle

Rachel Coles: Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
http://rachelcoles.wordpress.com/

Hayrides!

T.R. Graves: Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com/

The Face Painting Booth

Cydni Tefft: Author of Between
http://ctefft.blogspot.com/

The Fortune Teller
P.J. Hoover: Author of Solstice
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com
Congrats to P. J. for her recent
book trailer award for Solstice!

Popcorn and Caramel Apples!
Alicia McCalla: Author of Breaking
http://www.aliciamccalla.com/

Pony Rides!
Heather Cashman: Author of Perception
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read/

The Petting Zoo!
Cheri Schmidt: Author of Fateful and Fractured
http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com


Fire Breather!
Suzy Turner
Author of December Moon and Raven
http://www.suzyturner.com/

Clown Sherif!
K. C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/

Elephant Trainer!
Gwenn Wright
Author of Filter
http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/

Ring-Leader!
Kimberly Kinrade
Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
http://kimberlykinrade.com/

The Giant!
J.L. Bryan
Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death
http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/

Don't forget to make a comment and join my followers! I love hearing from my old friends as much as I love making new friends!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

YA Indie Carnival!



Welcome to The Shootin' Gallery and the tenth post in the YA Indie Carnival. The carnival is designed for authors, readers and reviewers of YA Indie books. Each Friday this team of YA Indies will post on a common theme.

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for… LAST WEEK’S GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Congratulations to krystallarson! You’ve won an ebook copy of Soul Quest! I will email you soon with instructions.

Thanks so much to Krystal and everyone one else who participated in the YA Carnival Giveaway! I appreciate you’re interest and support here at Amy Jones Young Adult Fantasy Fiction! 


Winning contests is awesome but there is more. This week’s post theme is Back to School. In this post I have published an excerpt from Soul Quest. This selection outlines a typical day at Forest Hills High School for my young demi - Oracles and their human friends. In this scene Liv and her friends are running for student government and their opponent is a super, nasty piece of work!



Chapter Twelve
Liv
Time - September 8 - 11, 2014
Place - Forest Hills High School
Queens, New York


"One of the greatest
discoveries a man makes,
one of his great surprises,
is to find he can do what
he was afraid he couldn't do."

- Henry Ford


We couldn't believe our eyes Tuesday morning when we walked into the commons area to find Shy's banner had been replaced on the wall. Apparently Shy sweet talked the administration into believing that because he was a new student at Forest Hills High he had not understood clearly the rules involving the campaign budget. I suppose it may have been true. I do not recall seeing him at the meeting last week when all of the rules were explained. Shy told our Principal, Mrs. Long, that he was afraid his parents would be disappointed with him if the banner was removed. They had spent a great deal of money on the banner and would be angry to learn about Shy's ignorance and carelessness regarding the campaign's policies. He explained that he was afraid it would prevent his parents from supporting the school in the future no matter what the school might need. I suppose Mrs. Long felt she couldn't risk losing any financial help the Donovan's could offer so she allowed the banner to remain.

After that things got ugly. Shy's camp believed they were one up on us when Mrs. Long allowed the banner to stay but their confidence fell quickly after the student body watched our video during home room. After that the banner was entirely forgotten. It could have been invisible for the lack of attention it received. All day long our class mates complimented and questioned us about the video repeatedly. It was definitely an ego booster for Brayan whose pride had been bruised the day before. Today he was the man on campus. He answered endless questions about his equipment and the software he used to create the video.

"It really isn't complicated at all. I'd be happy to show you how it works." he had said, grateful for the appreciation.

Amber was practically a celebrity. The chorus teacher even approached her and encouraged her to audition for the ensemble. Freshman never made ensemble and Amber was thrilled at the idea.

"Can you believe it?" she squealed. "Mrs. Conner said I should try out for the ensemble. I've got to tell my Mom." she babbled as she fished her cell phone out of her purse at the lunch table.

All of the attention made Shy's camp jealous and angry. Wednesday morning they went to Mrs. Long to insist that our team be disqualified from the campaign on the grounds that we knowingly broke the rules regarding campaign budget. Can you believe the audacity of some people? They were armed with quotes of prices for the equipment that was necessary to make such a video and the cost of the labor we would have been charged. Mrs. Long called both groups into the conference room so she could hear both sides of the story. We explained that no money was spent to create the video beyond the blank DVD it was recorded on. All of the equipment belonged to or was borrowed from members of our campaign committee. Brayan explained what equipment was used, where it came from and how everything was orchestrated. Ms. Sprenkle, the school computer teacher, was present for the meeting and corroborated Brayan's testimony. She assured Mrs. Long that everything Brayan was saying was possible. Mrs. Long decided since it could not be proven that we had gone over budget and because she had allowed Shy's campaign to keep their banner on display she was going to allow the campaign to continue as scheduled. She instructed both groups to focus on the debate that was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. There would be absolutely no new banners or videos created by any team. Once she finished lecturing us she wished all of us luck and sent us back to class.

Mrs. Long made the best decision she could about the campaign. Unfortunately, teenagers are not as reasonable. Tension began to mount among the freshman class during seventh and eighth hour Wednesday afternoon. Word got out that we were still in the race and Shy's followers were not happy. Things escalated Thursday morning. Things were getting out of control all over campus and the students were beginning to take sides. Most of our posters were torn down and destroyed or vandalized with a huge X drawn through them or words scribbled out and replaced by words that would change the meaning of our slogan to something less than flattering. Forest Hills High was turning into a war zone. Students were arguing. Fights broke out. People were being expelled. Someone even set the trash receptacle on fire in the boy’s bathroom. It was ridiculous to think that all of this had been caused by a banner and video created for a high school government campaign. I felt sorry for the upper classmen. Their debates for class office took place this morning amongst all of our shenanigans and were cut short when the fire alarm was set off by the burning, boy’s bathroom. Why was this happening? It seemed as though the less confrontational our team tried to be the more confrontational our class mates became. Even Shy remained calm and diplomatic while his supporters grew enraged. What was it about him that made them so devoted to him? They behaved like a bunch of crazed groupies. It was as if they were under some type of voodoo spell. They were like cult followers. Seriously people, he's running for class president. Get a grip.

"This is getting way out of control." I heard Laith say, echoing my exact thoughts.

"This is not how I intended to start my freshman year at Forest Hills. Nor is it anything close to the way I envisioned becoming involved in the school." I added and Laith, Brayan and Meena all nodded in agreement.

"What do you want to do about it?" Jedd asked with desperation in his voice.

"We can't go on like this." Drue said equally distraught by the situation.

"We are going to do the right thing… which isn't always the easiest thing." I said soberly.

Everyone looked at me with puzzled expressions. That is, everyone except Laith. He looked at me and turned up the corner of his mouth into a tiny, hopeful smile. Maybe we could set things right again.

"You can't always get what you want." he surrendered and everyone understood.

At that precise moment Mr. Stein called Laith and Shy to the podium to begin the freshman class presidential debate. Two podiums were placed at opposite sides of the stage with three chairs placed between them. Mrs. Long sat in the middle seat with Ms. Sprenkle just to her right. Mr. Stein was now taking the seat to Mrs. Long's left. Shy made his way to his podium on stage right, while Laith crossed the stage to whisper something into Mrs. Long's ear. Mrs. Long rose from her chair and accompanied Laith backstage for a few moments. The crowd of students assembled in the school's auditorium grew quieter wondering what was going on. Shy's face remained serene and unaffected but Mr. Stein and Ms. Sprenkle looked as curious as the student body. Finally Mrs. Long and Laith returned to the stage. She spoke into Laith's microphone.

"Students of the class of 2018, your class mate, Laith Lightfoot has something he wishes to say to you."

Shy's face still remained serene but I could have sworn I saw him flinch for just a second. Laith took the microphone as hushed whispers were murmured throughout the auditorium. He stood silent and still for a moment collecting his thoughts before he spoke.

"It was never my intention to upset any of you with this campaign. Nor was it a goal for any of my campaign team. We only wanted to become a part of this school in a way that would be helpful. We wanted to do good things for the school and for the community and for you. So far we haven't done any of that. I'm afraid we've done quite the opposite. We've upset a lot of people, caused a lot of trouble and divided our classmates rather than unite them. We've decided that maybe we are not the right government at this time for Forest Hills High's freshman class." Laith had to pause as shouts of protest and outbursts erupted through out the auditorium.

Our camp was not giving up on us so easily while Shy's camp seemed to be encouraging us to continue our farewell. More arguing and shouting filled the auditorium. Students stood up in the isles as school faculty and staff members attempted to usher them back to their seats. The war zone that had been the hallways this morning seemed to be reforming in this open yet contained space which was not good.

"Stop it!" Laith shouted with all of his might.

He wouldn't have needed the microphone but the added volume added muster to his plea. Everyone fell silent and stared at him. Laith closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. His fists were balled up and every muscle in his body was tensed. He continued to take deep breaths, breaths that seemed to have a calming effect on the entire room as they sounded through the speakers in the walls. Slowly he relaxed muscle by muscle just as the rest of us did. He opened his eyes and looked out into the room.

"This is exactly what I am talking about. We don't want any part of this." he whispered and with his shoulders slumped forward he strode quickly offstage.
The rest of us followed naturally. We made a united front in the beginning so it only seemed appropriate to end the same way.

We found Laith sitting on the steps in front of the school house. We all joined him but said nothing. He needed time to sort through his feelings and pull himself back together. It was quiet inside the school for the moment. I can only assume Shy is giving his acceptance speech as president of the freshman class. Well if everything returns to normal it will be for the best. We stayed with Laith for several minutes more until the bell rang releasing students from the assembly to their eighth hour classes. Finally, we trudged off to our eighth hour classes as well. Eighth hour was very quiet for Jedd and me. No one spoke to us but it didn't feel like we were being punished. It felt more like what we had done for Laith. They were giving us space and respect and I appreciated it.

"Maybe things will be OK after all." I said to Jedd as I collected my books and belongings when the bell rang releasing school for the day.

My hope was quickly snuffed out when Mr. Marshall requested our attention before we walked out of the class room.

"Mr. Bellamy and Ms. Glyn." he said as he gestured with his pointing finger for us to approach him.

"Now what…" I heard Jedd mutter under his breath. "Hasn't this day been awful enough?" he continued as we walked toward Mr. Marshall's desk.

"Relax you two. You aren't in any trouble but Mrs. Long would like to see you before you leave campus today, alright?" he said and we nodded and trudged off toward the main office.

When we arrived in the main office we were greeted by the rest of our campaign team and Amber White. Amber was talking hurriedly while she glanced around the room looking over her shoulder as if she was afraid of being caught doing something she shouldn't. We heard Mrs. Long's office door open and Amber took her cue to split. As she passed me she squeezed my arm and smiled at me and Jedd.

"What is going on?" I whispered to Brayan. I figured he would know the most since it appeared that he and Amber were now ‘together’ like a couple.

"After we walked out of the auditorium the Shy camp went crazy cheering and celebrating. Shy got cocky and took the microphone at his podium to start his ‘thank you’ speech. That was about as much as our camp could take and they started booing him and screaming Laith's name." Brayan started to explain half scowling and half smiling.

"You’re kidding. How did Mr. Perfect handle that?" I asked.

"Yeah, I've been noticing that too. He never seems to break a sweat, does he?"
Brayan agreed and we all nodded with our arms folded and eyebrows arched. "Well, guess what? This time he cracked." Brayan laughed.

"No way…" Jedd said in disbelief.

"Yep, he did. He started saying something about how Laith bailed on them and they ought to wise up and follow a real leader." the way Brayan said this was comical. He tried to mimic Shy's voice quality and gestured style.

"Whoa, I bet that went well." Jedd added sarcastically.

"Yes, well… in the words of my lady, Amber, that is when all hell broke lose." he laughed and we all joined him. Amber is about the sweetest girl you could ever meet but she has quite a potty mouth. "Anyway, long story short, Mrs. Long broke up the squabbling, made Shy sit down and proceeded to renounce him as class president." Brayan said.

"What?" Jedd and I blurted out at the same time.

Everyone broke into laughter again. Brayan looked at Laith.

"Apparently she disagrees with us buddy. She thinks that we are the right government at the right time for the freshman class." Brayan smiled and we all smiled with him.


Friday was mostly uneventful. Elections for class officers were held during home room. Of course there was no real contest for the freshman class as my campaign team's names were the only names on the ballot. Every other contestant had either been disqualified by Mrs. Long or bailed out by there own right. Shy and a few of his cult followers were absent today. Mrs. Long had expelled them for their poor behavior at the debate assembly. They would not return to school until next Wednesday. We would have three whole school days of peace. Maybe that would provide enough time for things to simmer down. I certainly hope so. When the bell rang at the end of Theater class Amber approached me.

"Hi Liv. I'm sorry I ran out on you like that yesterday but I was afraid I was going to get busted by Mrs. Long. She threatened expulsion to any student who breathed a word to you guys about what happened in the assembly after you left. She said she would handle it but you know I had to tell you guys!" she jabbered on in her bubbly way.

"You mean, you had to tell Brayan!" I teased.

"Well yeah, that too." she shrugged knowing she was caught crushing on her new boyfriend.

"What about you and Jedd? Are you guys to - geth - er?" she asked grinning, framing the word together with fingered quotation marks. "Or are you just friends?" she smiled wider using the fingered quotes around the words just friends this time. I rolled my eyes.

"I don't know what Jedd and I are." I admitted frustrated.

What were we now? We had always been friends, best friends in fact. Now it felt to me like we were something more but did it feel that way to him? Amber watched me curiously, assessing my reaction to her line of questioning.

"Do you need some help with that?" she finally added. Her eyebrows raised in suggestion.

"No!" I blurted out.

She raised her palms to me in surrender. "OK, it’s cool." she said as we walked toward the hallway.

She was quiet for moment. She would glance at me from time to time as we headed down the hallway toward our next class. She looked as if she were debating on whether or not she should say something to me.

"What?" I smiled inviting her to embarrass me further.

"Well, I was just wondering if you wanted to go into the city with me this weekend? There is this really cool club that plays indie rock music." she hesitated for just a moment. I just stared at her in confusion and then with pleading eyes she begged me, "Brayan wants to go but my Mom won't let me go by myself with a boy."

"Oh." was all I said.

"You and Jedd could go with us." she said hopefully. "I mean… you are friends." she repeated using her finger quotes around the word friends again. She was getting on my nerves.

"If I say yes will you stop saying friends like that?" I snapped as I gave an annoying impression of her flexing her fingers repeatedly. She laughed at me.

"Yes, I promise." she squealed in delight as she bounced up and down the hallway clapping her hands. "I'll call you after school Liv!" she called to me as she ran down the hallway.

"Great. Falling in love makes you insane." I muttered to myself.



Before you head off to the next booth in the carnival please don't forget about...

Soulless is a novella and will be available for free download @ Amazon.com on October 31, 2011!

The Guardians of Souls, Book Two in The Soul Quest Trilogy. It is available on Amazon NOW!


Carnival of fun!

The Ferris Wheel

Dani Snell: An awesome reviewer.
http://www.refractedlightreviews.com

The Rockin' Roller Coaster

Patti Larsen: Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, and The Diamond City Trilogy.
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com/


The Kissing Booth

Courtney Cole: Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com/

Cotton Candy Corner

Wren Emerson: Author of I Wish and a contributing author in the upcoming anthology that I am participating in (The Glassheart Chronicles).
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com/

The Fun House

Nicole Williams: An indie author of paranormal fiction. Her titles include: Eternal Eden and Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles. Here is the link to my review on Goodreads.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com/

The Dunking Booth

Fisher Amelie: Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/

The Carousel
Laura Elliott: Author of the recently released Winnemucca!
http://www.laurasmagicday.wordpress.com

The Haunted Castle

Rachel Coles: Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
http://rachelcoles.wordpress.com/

Hayrides!

T.R. Graves: Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com/

The Face Painting Booth

Cydni Tefft: Author of Between
http://ctefft.blogspot.com/

The Fortune Teller
P.J. Hoover: Author of Solstice
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com
Congrats to P. J. for her recent
book trailer award for Solstice!

Popcorn and Caramel Apples!
Alicia McCalla: Author of Breaking
http://www.aliciamccalla.com/

Pony Rides!
Heather Cashman: Author of Perception
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read/

The Petting Zoo!
Cheri Schmidt: Author of Fateful and Fractured
http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com


Fire Breather!
Suzy Turner
Author of December Moon and Raven
http://www.suzyturner.com/

Clown Sherif!
K. C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/

Elephant Trainer!
Gwenn Wright
Author of Filter
http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/

Ring-Leader!
Kimberly Kinrade
Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
http://kimberlykinrade.com/

The Giant!
J.L. Bryan
Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death
http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/

Don't forget to make a comment and join my followers! I love hearing from my old friends as much as I love making new friends!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Welcome to the YA Scramble and Giveaway!



Yay! Today I get to announce the lucky winner of Megg Jensen's fabulous ebook copy of Sleepers!

Drum roll please.......

Congratulations to ebaker! Megg will be in touch with you soon with the details. I just know you're going to love Sleepers. Thank you again to everyone who visited my blog for the YA Scramble... and welcome new followers!



Hello and welcome to the YA Scramble Giveaway!
The YA Scramble is a 24-hour scavenger hunt across 14 book bloggers and authors. This special blogging event is guaranteed to be filled with fun guest posts and prize drawings.

How does the giveaway work, you wonder?

Instructions for the YA Scramble:
1) Visit the first blog (based on list below).
2) Read the guest post.
3) Identify the PURPLE (<- pretend this word is purple) word.
4) Pick out the 3rd letter from the purple word.
5) Go to the next blog.
6) Repeat #3, #4, and #5 until you visited all 14 sites.
7) At the end, take all 14 of the 3rd letters from the PURPLE words and figure out the message near and dear to our hearts.
8) You will enter that unscrambled message ONCE into this form as your official entry for a chance to win some great prizes (HUGE GRAND PRIZE) from fantastic authors and bloggers. ***Hint - The phrase is 4 words!

Participating Blogs - all must be visited:
Kaitlin Simpson
PJ Hoover
Cary Cummings
Heather Cashman
Kathleen Tucker
Jennifer Morris
Cyndi Tefft
Irish/Gail
Danielle Bunner
Melissa Layton
T.R. Graves
Megg Jensen
Amy Jones
Laura Elliott

HUGE GRAND PRIZE:
- ARC of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (with signed bookmark)
- Ebook of Soltice by PJ Hoover (with trading cards)
- Ebook of The Space Between by Alexandra Sokoloff
- Paperback copy of Perception by Heather Cashman
- Signed paperback ARC of Anathema by Kathleen Tucker
- Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Gift Set (Trade Paperback of Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad Journal, Minion Bling Buttons and Vlad Tote)
- Signed paperback copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft
- Signed hardcover of Clarity by Kim Harrington
- ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
- Signed ARC of Fury by Elizabeth Miles
- Signed paperback of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
- ARC of Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
- Copy of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
- Winner's choice of 5 ebooks from a list of indie authors
- Signed paperback of Sleepers by Megg Jensen
- Ebooks of Soul Quest and The Guardians of Souls by Amy Jones
- Kindle copy of Winnemucca by Laura Elliott (plus a guest post spot on her blog!)
- Paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

My guest on the blog today is Megg Jensen. She is the bestselling author of Anathema, Oubliette, and Sleepers. Would you like to win an ebook copy of Sleepers (Kindle, Nook, PDF, or Smashwords coupon code - your choice)? I thought you would. Well, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post and you will be entered to win. Megg is giving away a paperback copy of Sleepers in the HUGE GRAND PRIZE too!!!
Without further adieu please allow me to extend a warm welcome to Megg Jensen. I know you will enjoy her post as much as I did!

YA Isn’t Just for Young Adults

I saw her at the movie theater - blonde hair, nails bitten to the quick, and a starry gleam in her eye. She grasped the hand of the girl next to her and while her eyes sparkled she gasped, “Oh my God. I can’t believe opening night is finally here. I wonder how many minutes Jacob will have his shirt off during the movie?”
No, this wasn’t a dreamy fifteen-year-old. This was her mom waiting in line for the movie premiere of New Moon, the second installation in the Twilight series. What is known in pop culture as a Twi Mom, this woman wasn’t afraid to show her love of the Twilight series. Some women her age, let’s say any woman over thirty, carried signs proclaiming their love for either Edward or Jacob.

Why are these teen books turning grown up, perfectly rational, successful women into squealing, insecure girls?

Escapism. It’s a simple answer, really. Today’s Young Adult novels offer up three things we mature, sometimes jaded, women miss: hope, first love, and hot guys.
Yeah, we may be older, but we still remember what it feels like to be a teen, filled with optimism and hope for our future. In most cases, our lives didn’t turn out like we thought. Does that mean they’re bad? Of course not! I, for one, often believed that I’d be a globe-trotting archaeologist, loving and leaving men all over the world, and I’d also quite possibly be a multi-millionaire from the tech stocks I bought.

I think we all know how that turned out. I’m an at-home mom and um, yeah, not exactly rolling in the dough. So when I find some time to read, I prefer diving into a book whose main character is experiencing the wonder of the world all around her. I don’t want to read a depressing adult novel about death, illness, or depression. Yawn. Give me some hot vampires, a WEB (<- pretend this word is purple) of lies, and hormonal teens, and I’m done for the night.

It’s possible today’s teens think we’re nuts. But hey, I have some of the best conversations with my niece when it involves books. It gives us a space where we can relate to each other. I’m not judging her, she’s not judging me, and we both can agree on something....TEAM JACOB!

~ Megg Jensen

Megg Jensen has been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. She co-founded DarkSide Publishing, is a member of SCBWI, and blogs about writing while juggling freelancing, volunteering, and family life. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, two kids, and their miniature schnauzer, Ace.

For more information on Megg please visit her website.

Thanks so much for visiting Amy Jones Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. You can read my Guest Post (Inspiration to become a Young Adult writer…) at Laura's Magic Day. I will be giving away a free ebook of The Glassheart Chronicles on Laura’s blog in addition to the two free ebooks (Soul Quest, The Guardians of Souls) listed in the HUGE GRAND PRIZE.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Covers for The Soul Quest Trilogy!

I've decided to enhance my covers for The Soul Quest Trilogy by adding the image of my MC (as I imagined her). I've been told many times that my covers are beautiful but I wasn't sure if they were speaking to the teen/YA readership. I hope you will let me know what you think!

Soul Quest (previous cover)


Soul Quest (new)


The Guardians of Souls (previous cover)


The Guardians of Souls (new)


Soulless; The Story of Shayan (previous cover)
This book will be released on Halloween 2011!


Soulless; The Story of Shayan (new)
Obviously this image is of Shayan since he is the featured character.



Please give me some feedback by commenting. Do you like the imaging, font???
I'd really like to hear what you think.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

YA Indie Carnival Event: Q & A and Giveaway!


Welcome to The Shootin' Gallery and the ninth post in the YA Indie Carnival. The carnival is designed for authors, readers and reviewers of YA Indie books. Each Friday this team of YA Indies will post on a common theme.


This week’s post theme features Q & A’s from each host of the YA Carnival. Today I feel very fortunate to be hosting Rachel Coles, author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Bees of St. John, Mushrooms, Whistles, and Beergarden. So, without further adieu, please welcome Rachel to the blog!

Amy: What inspired you to become a writer?

Rachel: I like writing a world I can just make up, and getting lost in it. When you can make stuff up in your head, you are never bored, no matter where you are. I forgot about that for a while, while I got sucked into the adult habit of 'getting stuff done' all the time, and completing my 'list of tasks for the day', which often meant stuff that was dreary and tedious. But having a little girl who wanted me to tell her stories, and wanted to make up her own, reminded me not to let imagination die, buried under stacks of grown up 'to do' lists. I may have lost the ability to simply drop everything and run around with friends and just make up play, but I can still play on the pages in front of a computer. If I keep doing that, I'll never completely grow up or get old. When it comes to imagination, old is not the same as wise. My creative kid, Rosa, reminded me of that.

Amy: I know exactly what you mean Rachel. Sadly, I fear most adults lose their inner child forever. We’re a few of the lucky ones. Now, I simply must know what inspired you to write Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie?

Rachel: I wrote Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie because both vampires and zombies have been mined for writing material extensively for the last few years, though it seems that zombies are still picking up momentum. It was never meant to be a serious story. I just felt the desire to throw in my two cents on zombies and have fun writing a parody, and I just wondered what it might be like to be a zombie. They're always the villains or the victims, shambling through the scenes, mindlessly hunting for brains, with the exception of the protagonist in The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Terry Pratchett's Night Watch character Reg Foote. I suppose that subconsciously, I was influenced by Terry Pratchett in this story. But mostly, I just wanted to hear the zombie's point of view before all the zombie stories are told.

Amy: It sounds like a really fun and unique story. I look forward to reading it. Please tell us what you find you are most passionate about in life? Do you bring your passions into your writing?

Rachel: I'm passionate about people being different, I guess. I'm passionate about people being able to have different perspectives and finding common ground to work together. I'm not sure I could define it as passion, but I'm extremely drawn to archetypes and mythology, and the experiences that people had in real life that became myth. I'm an anthropologist by training. So all the things that are happening in the world now, shaped by events of the past, the economic downturn, the various revolutions in the Middle East, the breakthroughs in science, the individual stories of murder, or conversely stories in which the victim of an earthquake finds that a neighbor found and returned a family heirloom to him after months or years apart, are at once fascinating, exciting, depressing, and hopeful. I think that writing, at least when it isn't forced, is at its most basic level, all about emotion and passion, structured loosely by reason and argument, thesis and interplay between characters, and realized in their decisions. And set around those characters are worlds we want to visit...or don't want to visit ever, in the case of horror stories, but feel compelled to explore from a safe place. Writing compartmentalizes what is too close or too overwhelming, and helps sort things out, brings order out of chaos. But basically, passion for anything is why I write.

Amy: I took an anthropology class in college and found it fascinating. I’ve always found different groups of people and their historical origins fascinating as well. I wonder if this is a common interest among writers. It would make a lot of sense. OK, so here is a random question for you… If you could be an animal what type of animal would you like to be and why?

Rachel: I am far too wishy washy to pick a single animal. As someone who sometimes feels compelled to act on too much emotion, I like the cold unquestioning logic for survival of snakes. They are survival machines. They do what they need to do and don't second guess themselves. They move on to the next spot in the sun, or fall asleep, or catch another mouse, whatever. They sure don't over - think anything. I love the dexterity and physical prowess of the big cats, lions, tigers. Who wouldn't! I love the idea of flying, like a bird of prey, the feeling of the wind, and being mostly on top of the food chain, of being solitary and not having to gather in a flock to stay alive. But I have to say that as irritated as I get with humans, especially in packs, I love being a person, with technology, intelligence capable of extreme innovation, the flexibility to act as part of a community or alone depending on the circumstance. I love how smart we are as a species, even when we are being stupid. We have a lot of potential, and this makes us one of the most competitive for survival. So I guess if I had to pick an animal, I would make one up, like in the medieval bestiaries. What's the use of being a writer if you can't make stuff up? I would have wings to fly that I could fold up into my back when I wasn't using them, and then I wouldn't have to pay for airline tickets. I would be superhuman in my physical abilities, like a cat, because that's just plain cool. I'd be like Spock in my logic, and not worry about things, like a snake. And I'd be a super - genius who could invent whatever I needed. With all that power, I'd just have to make sure that my switch wasn't flipped to Evil.

Amy: LOL! You sound like me. I always find it difficult when posed with the question… What is your favorite_______? It’s just too darn unfair to have to choose just ONE of anything! Having said that I’m going to contradict myself and do just that. What single person in your life has inspired you to become the person you are today more than anyone else?

Rachel: I didn't recognize it when I was growing up, and certainly not as a teenager trying to distance myself from my parents, but I'd have to say that my parents were the biggest influence on who I became, whether to become similar, or different than them. My dad has Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. When we were kids, there was no diagnosis to explain why he was the way he was. All we knew was that he didn't seem interested in us. We didn't know that he felt love that he just couldn't communicate, that it was like looking at someone through a locked glass door. You can see each other but you can't touch, or sometimes even hear. But despite those interpersonal deficits, we could tell that he was good-natured. He gave to others without a second thought or agenda, he followed what he believed was right, sometimes to a fault and to the exclusion of any other points of view, and at the cost of more than one job. He was single-minded and dedicated, like no one else could be.

And he didn't grandstand about things that he did that were right. He simply did them. When I was six, we lived in Alabama, one of only a small number of Jewish families in the town at the time. It was still an oppressive and bigoted time in that area. And a family moved next door to us who were African American. I was unaware of what transpired around this, until after we moved away a year later, but a petition had apparently been sent around the neighborhood to keep this new family out, because they were Black. And my father, a be-spectacled, very awkward Jewish man basically told whoever brought that petition to our house exactly what they could do with it, and that he would not sign it, and to take it off of our porch.

This incident and numerous others slowly had the effect of shaping how my sister and I thought and how we acted. When I get a bee in my bonnet about something, anything, when I get drawn into a task or an idea, I'm like a pit bull. I delve into writing or whatever I'm working on, to the exclusion of everything else in the room, including my husband and daughter. In conversation, I'll return, like Rain Man, to a conversation that ended ten minutes previously because my brain isn't done with the thought yet. I can be single-minded and determined. Sometimes that's good and sometimes bad. I'm not good at expressing emotion in person, and so I write. In many ways, my life has been affected both positively and negatively by growing up with someone like my Dad. I see the things that he did well, his basic unwavering conviction that people should people should be treated with decency, the way we want to be treated, and that people are all different. I see the way he was with us and with other people, giving without thought, and I want to do the same with my own kid and the people around me in my community. And I see the things that he didn't do so well, the details of the interpersonal relationships. I try to set timers to remind myself to call my parents and sister on their birthdays, to say Hello to my husband, and ask how his day was before launching into whatever weird string of thought is on my mind at the time, to put down whatever I'm doing and play with Rosa because she's only going to be six once, and whatever I'm doing is still going to be there when we're done playing.

And quietly behind everything, except when we were getting in shouting matches that I instigated, and usually it was me doing all the yelling, was my Mom. In those days, you dealt with whatever came along without running to a lawyer or a counselor, or the state. You married, happily or unhappily, when you were at least in your twenties, preferably early twenties or younger, and started having kids. There were 'Expectations' of young women for how their lives should look, and many, including my mother, internalized those 'Expectations' to a certain degree, if subconsciously. My mother is a very smart, well-educated woman. But despite her independence compared to many women at that time, I still think she had some ideas of what her life should look like at different points that didn't always match up with her reality. Living with all of us, two girls, one of them very angry and reactive, and also a husband who was brilliant but impaired in ways that couldn't be defined yet, couldn't have been easy. It was, in fact, extremely difficult. She tempered my Dad, and me, in our sometimes black-and-white single minded perspectives and reminded us with perpetual 'moderation' conversations, that the world is not at all black and white, good or evil, and that where you end up and how you see things often depends on where you start. She added empathy to the kid-raising equation that turned out to be us.

There is no such thing as an ideal childhood, or life. And neither kids nor life come with a manual, and if it did, it would constantly be in revision. This is what I'm finding, in raising my own, in being part of a family, a community, and further discovering as I write about experiences I have or see, whether distorted through fiction, or straight. All you can do is your best, and especially given the challenges, they both did really well. I just hope that I'm smart enough to keep getting 'the lessons'.

Amy: The beauty of adulthood is the wealth of knowledge you gain from living each day. As you mentioned, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. We ARE human but we can learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. When we do this change occurs and beautiful things happen! Thank you so much Rachel for sharing your thoughts and feelings about your writing and personal life with us here at Amy Jones Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. It has been a pleasure to host you.

Stories currently available by Rachel Coles:

'Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie' is available on Amazon

'Mushrooms' is available on Amazon, and Smashwords

'Bees of St. John' is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

'Whistles' is available on Amazon and Smashwords

'Beergarden'
is available on Amazon

'Plagues' is available on Amazon

Free stories available in e-zines:

'Orphans of Lethe' in The Horror Zine
Orphans of Lethe has also been included in a fantastic new anthology called What Fears Become, available on Amazon and Smashwords. The anthology has been reviewed by Fangoria and Midnight Street.

'The Lonely Miner'
in Death Head Grin e-zine
'Enkidu' in The Horror Zine
'Tribulations of a Jewish Vampire' in Death Head Grin e-zine

You can contact Rachel Coles via:
Rachel Coles' Blog
Twitter
Goodreads

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for… TODAY'S GIVEAWAY (for people over 13, internationally): Winners announced Sept. 16 at the next YA Indie Carnival. Just comment (include your email address) on any Q & A post ALL DAY TODAY and tweet the carnival (#yaindiecarnival) to win ebooks from the carnival authors:

Kindle copy of The Understorey by Fisher Amelie

Kindle digitally-signed edition of Winnemucca by Laura A. H. Elliott and a Winnemucca signed Coffee Mug.

Kindle copy of Breathe by Abbi Glines along with an autographed canvas Breathe tote.

Kindle copy of Solstice by PJ Hoover

Kindle copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft

Kindle copy of PineLight by Jillian Peery

Kindle copy of Filter by Gwenn Wright.

Kindle copy of Eternal Eden by Nicole Williams

Kindle copy of Fallen Eden by Nicole Williams

Kindle copy of Soul Quest by Amy Maurer Jones

Kindle copy of Run and Hide by Patti Larsen (YA thrillers, 1 and 2 in a series of 4)

Kindle copy of Fractured by Cheri Schmidt

Kindle copy of Warriors of the Cross by T.R. Graves

Kindle copy of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Bees of St. John, Mushrooms, Whistles, and Beergarden by Rachel Coles


Before you head off to the next booth in the carnival please don't forget about...

Soulless is a novella and will be available for free download @ Amazon.com on October 31, 2011!

The Guardians of Souls, Book Two in The Soul Quest Trilogy. It is available on Amazon NOW!


Carnival of fun!

The Ferris Wheel

Dani Snell: An awesome reviewer.
http://www.refractedlightreviews.com

The Rockin' Roller Coaster

Patti Larsen: Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, and The Diamond City Trilogy.
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com/


The Kissing Booth

Courtney Cole: Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com/

Cotton Candy Corner

Wren Emerson: Author of I Wish and a contributing author in the upcoming anthology that I am participating in (The Glassheart Chronicles).
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com/

The Fun House

Nicole Williams: An indie author of paranormal fiction. Her titles include: Eternal Eden and Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles. Here is the link to my review on Goodreads.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com/

The Dunking Booth

Fisher Amelie: Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/

The Carousel
Laura Elliott: Author of the recently released Winnemucca!
http://www.laurasmagicday.wordpress.com

The Haunted Castle

Rachel Coles: Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
http://rachelcoles.wordpress.com/

Hayrides!

T.R. Graves: Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com/

The Face Painting Booth

Cydni Tefft: Author of Between
http://ctefft.blogspot.com/

The Fortune Teller
P.J. Hoover: Author of Solstice
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com
Congrats to P. J. for her recent
book trailer award for Solstice!

Popcorn and Caramel Apples!
Alicia McCalla: Author of Breaking
http://www.aliciamccalla.com/

Pony Rides!
Heather Cashman: Author of Perception
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read/

The Petting Zoo!
Cheri Schmidt: Author of Fateful and Fractured
http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com


Don't forget to make a comment and join my followers! I love hearing from from my old friends as much as I love making new friends!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

YA Indie Carnival!


Welcome to The Shootin' Gallery and the eighth post in the YA Indie Carnival. The carnival is designed for authors, readers and reviewers of YA Indie books. Each Friday this team of YA Indies will post on a common theme.


OK, so I've obviously posted on the wrong topic this week (I'm such an idiot, duh!). The post was supposed to be Three suggestions we might have for Indie authors.

Well, after considering this topic I decided that, being new to the Indie publishing world myself, I don't feel terribly qualified to give a lot of advice. So, I've decided to give the standard advice that I find useful and productive in most any new life experience.

Just do it...


Yeah, I know, I sound like a NIKE commercial. Seriously though, don't doubt yourself. Write from your heart. Forget about all the 'potential' competition. Don't worry about whether or not someone won't like your book (and consequently give you a bad review)... and don't second guess yourself.

In the Indie world my competition has been nothing but supportive and helpful. They are my personal cheer leaders, co - conspiriters, editors, blog buddies, friends... you get the idea. What I'm trying to say is that the competition is ready and waiting to accept you with open arms.

Worried someone won't like your book? Yeah, that'll probably happen but so what... It's all subjective, right? Someone won't like it but someone else will and that is who we write for (our fans!)

Don't second guess yourself. Write from your heart and trust what you put on paper. Don't try to be someone your not. Inner monologue, "Gee, maybe I can write a book just like Stephenie Meyer and everyone will love me." NOT! You're story will just plain old suck if it isn't YOURS! ...and that is what your fans (yes, they're out there... somewhere) want to read.

Well, that's my take on things. Sorry for the post theme confusion.
*wink*


You can scroll down to the bottom of this post if you are interested in reading my blunder post theme topic about the process of writing.

Before you head off to the next booth in the carnival please don't forget about...

Soulless is a novella and will be available for free download @ Amazon.com on October 31, 2011!

The Guardians of Souls, Book Two in The Soul Quest Trilogy. It is available on Amazon NOW!


Carnival of fun!

The Ferris Wheel

Dani Snell: An awesome reviewer.
http://www.refractedlightreviews.com

The Rockin' Roller Coaster

Patti Larsen: Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, and The Diamond City Trilogy.
http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com/


The Kissing Booth

Courtney Cole: Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com/

Cotton Candy Corner

Wren Emerson: Author of I Wish and a contributing author in the upcoming anthology that I am participating in (The Glassheart Chronicles).
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com/

The Fun House

Nicole Williams: An indie author of paranormal fiction. Her titles include: Eternal Eden and Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles. Here is the link to my review on Goodreads.
http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com/

The Dunking Booth

Fisher Amelie: Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/

The Carousel
Laura Elliott: Author of the recently released Winnemucca!
http://www.laurasmagicday.wordpress.com

The Haunted Castle

Rachel Coles: Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
http://rachelcoles.wordpress.com/

Hayrides!

T.R. Graves: Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com/

The Face Painting Booth

Cydni Tefft: Author of Between
http://ctefft.blogspot.com/

The Fortune Teller
P.J. Hoover: Author of Solstice
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com
Congrats to P. J. for her recent
book trailer award for Solstice!

Popcorn and Caramel Apples!
Alicia McCalla: Author of Breaking
http://www.aliciamccalla.com/

Pony Rides!
Heather Cashman: Author of Perception
http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read/

The Petting Zoo!
Cheri Schmidt: Author of Fateful and Fractured
http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com


Don't forget to make a comment and join my followers! I love hearing from from my old friends as much as I love making new friends!







Blunder Post Theme

What came first, the chicken or the egg... the character or the plot?

What does the author of a story do first in her writing adventure? Does she draw up the plot or create her characters? Stephanie Meyer once said that her idea for Twilight blossomed from a dream. She dreamt about a beautiful, magical boy who fell in love with a lovely mortal teenage girl. She envisioned the two star crossed lovers in a quiet meadow. In the same interview she mentioned that the famous meadow scene from Twilight was the first scene written even though we all know it didn’t take place until close to the middle of the story. If this is true one could make the argument that Stephanie Meyer created her characters before she whipped up her plot. Personally, I find this very difficult to do. While I do feel strong characterization is the key to a strong story or dramatization I have to know the world and circumstances the characters exit in before I can really develop them. For this reason I begin my writing journey with a loose plot. For example, my loose plot for Soul Quest went something like this.

A God – like being discovers demon - like creatures on Earth. The demons are trying to kill human kind and take over the world. His resolution is to empower four teenagers with supernatural abilities in an effort to save the world from disaster.
This scenario actually evolved from a dream I had. So, it must be a common strategy for authors to literally dream up their stories. From this loose plot I immediately knew I had to create at least six powerful characters. I needed to create a God – like being, four teenagers who possessed supernatural abilities and a demon. Before I could begin to develop these characters I realized I needed to know/decide why the demons were attacking the Earth and why the God – like creature cared about what they were doing. Once I achieved this I was able to flesh out the characters I’ve come to know and love in The Soul Quest Trilogy.

What is my process for developing characters? There is a science to my madness. I start in the magazine isle at the grocery store. I swear to you I am not bluffing. All of the paranormal excitement begins on isle six at Food Lion. Seriously, magazines are a great tool for character development. I use this same technique with my theater arts students in the class room. A snap shot of a woman in a field of flowers could be a character in a play or a book. Who is she? What is she doing? Why is she there? When did she go there? How long has she been there? How does she feel? Why does she feel that way? You can grasp a million ideas from a single picture. You know what they say… a picture is worth a thousand words. Magazines are helpful when you are researching characters of any age but I find them particularly useful when writing about my younger characters. I am a young adult writer so I have to know what types of people my readers will relate to and truly believe to be teenagers in my story. This can only happen if they fit into the current popular culture. I flip through the popular teen magazines to see who young people find cool, handsome and interesting. I want to know why they feel that way about them. I’m especially interested in their appearance and attitude. What do they look like, what do they wear, what is their style and personality? From this I can create my character’s physical appearance, personality strengths and weaknesses, their objective or goal in the story, the obstacles that stand in their way and tactics they may use to resolve their problems (… and you thought I was crazy for doing character research in the grocery store).

Of course, magazines are just a starting place. Most of my character’s emotions and feelings stem from my own experiences and perceptions in life. My main character in Soul Quest is Liv Glyn. Liv is a smart, sweet and outgoing girl with a lot of common sense and good ideas. She is incredibly perceptive and humble and she believes overly impulsive, boastful people are na├»ve and careless. Many of Liv’s feelings and views on life are similar to my own. I named her after my daughter, Olivia and gave her similar physical attributes to define her beauty. The name Olivia is Latin in origin and means olive tree or branch of life. It is from this meaning that I came up with the idea for my teenage Oracles to possess affinities for Earth, fire, wind and water.

Whether an author begins with an idea for a plot or character first doesn’t really matter. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Each person is different creatively and so creativity is going to manifest itself in a unique way in all of us. When I choreograph a dance I rarely start at the beginning, I usually begin somewhere in the middle. I don’t know why exactly, I just know that when the piece starts I like to know the direction its taking and when it completes itself I need to understand where it evolved from. Similarly, when I am directing a play I will not necessarily begin with scene one. Instead, I will analyze the script and determine what scenes prove to be the most difficult. In most cases these scenes are at the heart of the story where the characterization and plot are most complex. If I can effectively direct these scenes the rest of the play should naturally lead up to them and wind down to a resolution. Writing isn’t any different. Begin with a plot or a character. Flesh out your storyline and invent your characters later. Write about your character’s feelings and interactions with one another first and then build a plot to support the scene. It is simply a matter of what process works best for you or your current work in progress.