Water’s Wrath Cover Reveal!

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IT’S HERE!!!!!!!!!

After months of waiting for the next book title and cover we finally get to see it! With each cover reveal I fall in love more and more with the covers of the Air Awakens series. This time is no different! The cover is stunning and I personally would say this cover is my favorite!

**If you have not read Air Awakens, Fire Falling, or Earth’s End please don’t read the summary! Although there are not a lot, it still contains minor spoilers for Earth’s End. If you don’t mind being spoiled, please continue.**

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Title: Water’s Wrath: Book Four of Air Awakens

Author: Elise Kova

Pages Count:350

Publication Date: April 26th, 2016

Summary:

Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

Preorder Links:

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Now that we have seen the stunning new cover, I’m happy to share a special insight behind the covers from the wonderful author herself, Elise Kova! I hope you enjoy what she has to say about them as much as I did!

I also just want to add that the amazing artist behind all the Air Awaken covers is the talented Merilliza Chan. You can find more of her work here: Deviant Art: MerillizaArt or connect with her on Twitter: @zwxArt.

My Thoughts on the Covers’ Symbolism So Far by Elise Kova

Six months ago, almost to the day, Air Awakens came out. It was my debut novel as an independent author, no publisher and no agent behind me, and I had no idea what would come of it. Now, six months later, I can’t believe I’m revealing the cover on the fourth book of the Air Awakens series.

I say every cover is my favorite, because it gets harder and harder to pick. Each of the covers, in their own way, has been perfect for the book they belong with. My cover artist, Merilliza Chan, is amazing at taking direction and incorporating my suggestions.

Part of why each cover is perfect is because there are little hints, teasers, and call-outs to the story within. Without giving too many spoilers, here’s a couple notes on each of the Air Awakens covers so far!

Air Awakens: Book One Of Air Awakens

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You can buy Air Awakens at any of these links:

First off, notice how Vhalla’s sash is black. In the book, the sash that goes with her apprentice robes is cerulean. This, combined with her robes slowly turning black around the back of the cover is indicative of sorcery making a mark on her. But she hasn’t yet committed, she has yet to don all-black robes. The wind in her hair and sense of movement is a call-out to her affinity. The book in her hands, is representative of three things: her work in the library, the book she exchanges notes in, and the book she brings to the garden. Which, speaking of, the roses around her… well, if you’ve read the book you know what, or who, those are meant to symbolize. But I told Meril I wanted something ominous, something wicked about them. And the thorns going through them were perfect!

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Fire Falling: Book Two Of Air Awakens

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You can buy Fire Falling at any of these links:

Here is the first cover we see our dark prince on. Fire Falling is named after three incidents in the book… When Aldrik falls to his knees before Vhalla in the Crossroads, the Rites of the FALLen in the Crossroads for another, and the end of the book. Since two of the three aspects of the title of the book related to Aldrik it was only natural that he had to be on the cover. In Fire Falling, Aldrik is beginning to function as a guiding force for Vhalla and, on the cover, he’s looking over his shoulder at her. He can’t openly admit to their association. Vhalla’s eyes are glowing orange and she’s alight, immersed in flame. This was done to symbolize their Bond and Joining. That not only can his flames not harm her, but that he is connected on a mental and magical level. She is also wearing the armor Aldrik crafted for her.
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Earth’s End: Book Three Of Air Awakens

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You can buy Earth’s End at any of these Links: 

Now, the symbolism is beginning to get heavy. Vhalla is alone again on the cover, venturing into the wilderness. She’s almost facing the camera, symbolizing how she is growing into her own and becoming a more realized person. In the sky above her is a fire bird. We literally see this formed in the book, but it also is symbolic of a phoenix, rising from its own ashes. I think this works for Vhalla and Aldrik in their own ways through Earth’s End. The cloak she’s wearing is the one she receives from Tim with slash marks. The watch in her hand was gifted to her. And, in her other hand, we see a special sort of magic… Finally, one other note… Carved into a tree that’s on the back of printed books is a symbol – that is actually the symbol of Shaldan!
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About the Author:

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Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

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Wait!!! There’s more!!!
You can enter here for a chance to win a ARC of Water’s Wrath!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this cover reveal!

Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of the new cover!

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Musings of Emily Wibberley

eternaldreamers

Take Your Time And Outline
By Emily Wibberley

I’ve noticed a trend among writers when it comes to daily word counts. Increasingly, everywhere I turn, I find writers talking about, writing about and obsessing about the number of words they get on the page each and every day. Like most trends, there is a something very worthwhile in this pursuit. Any technique that helps writers stay motivated and finish projects should be embraced. Every day, writers are expected to sit down and put down words. Those who are self-published are expected to have new releases multiple times a year. It’s an exhausting and punishing work schedule, and any writer who can find a way to write an entire book in a matter of weeks deserves a medal and a boatload of sales.

I’ve fallen into the trend myself. Every day, I task myself with 2,000 words. It’s not easy for me, and I know my 2,000 doesn’t compare to those writing 5,000 or 10,000 a day, but still, it’s a strict work schedule, and it keeps me with a steady level of output. Without my daily goals, it would be all too easy to fall into over-thinking traps and internet distractions. I’m a big proponent of reasonable but strict goals. I wouldn’t have nearly 4 complete novels in just over a year without it.

However, I think the obsession with word counts makes it easy for writers to forget what I believe is the most important part of the writing process: the outline. Word-count goals only mean something—are only useful—if you’re working from a finished outline. I’m not speaking of a general framework of the novel. I’m talking about a fleshed-out rendering of every scene, every reversal, every moment of character growth. Let’s be honest, no one sticks to their outline. But it doesn’t matter. If you’re going to write every day, you need to know what you’re writing before you sit down. Follow inspiration as it comes, but never sit down with a goal of 2,000 words not knowing what is going to happen in the day’s scene. I can tell you from personal experience, writing to a word count without an outline can easily result in a big editing headache later.

Put time into the outline. Don’t rush. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with a monster word count goal. When you’re happy with the outline, then make a goal, join the movement and finish the book.


Emily Wibberley

About Emily

Emily Wibberley grew up in the South Bay where she spent her formative years battling zombies on her Xbox, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and voraciously reading everything from The Hunger Games to Jane Austen, where her love for feisty young heroines was born.

After graduating from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude in 2014, she began writing. Her debut novel, Sacrificed, was named a finalist in the Young Adult category of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, in the Young Author category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and in the 2015 International Book Awards. Since its release, Sacrificed has spent more than four months as a Kindle Top Ten Teen and Young Adult Bestseller.

When she isn’t reading the latest YA book, she enjoys watching kick-butt action movies with her two rescue German Shepherds, Hudson and Bishop, named after characters from James Cameron’s Aliens.

Visit her website at www.emilywibberley.com and sign up for her mailing list to hear about giveaways and news about the more books in The Last Oracle Series as well as other YA books Emily’s working on.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ InstagramGoodreads


Sacrificed (The Last Oracle, #1)

Sacrificed (The Last Oracle #1)

Born to serve the merciless Oracle, Clio wants nothing more than to break free. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king’s adviser, Clio inherits the Oracle’s power, a power she never wanted and doesn’t understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio is forced to flee her home in Sheehan and seek refuge in a foreign city where oracles are forbidden. If she’s found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the undeniable attraction between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won’t hesitate to execute her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, but the Visions she keeps having of Mannix and his barbarian army slaughtering her people torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble


Thank you Emily for sharing your wise words of wisdom! I’m such a pantser that sometimes I forget how important outlining is to a story. However, I’m almost positive that most of my friends are huge outliners! Even a little bit of advice like this can go a very long way. Thank you!

As always, a huge thank you to everyone who has been, will be, and is a part of this feature. You’re helping so many writers achieve their goals every day. We couldn’t be more happy to have you all here to talk with and share advice.

We hope your week is going well!

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Ten Books We Enjoyed Recently That Are Out of Our Comfort Zone

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For this week’s  Top Ten Tuesday we’re talking about books we’ve read recently that are out of our comfort zone. As you may or may not know we are huge fans of fantasy  first and foremost. We *cough Kelly* sometimes have a hard time reading other genres and we’re trying to branch out into other genres *cough Kelly* As always Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

 

Kelly’s Reads


The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

 Like Melissa said before, I am a huge fantasy reader. That being said, I usually never read contemporary novels save for this one.

 


Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

 I haven’t read anything like Rebel Mechanics, which is a historical fiction/ steampunk novel. I really enjoyed this one.


Sweet Madness by Trish Leaver & Lindsey Currie

Historical fictions are way out of my comfort zone, but I did end up enjoying this one.

 

Lauren’s Reads


Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

 This book focused a lot on religion, which is not something I usually read.

 


I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

 I usually don’t read contemporary, which is why this book and Since You’ve Been Gone are out of my comfort zone.

 


Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

 


The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

 I’m not a huge fan of the reality show “The Bachelor”, so originally I didn’t want to read a book based on the same idea.

 

Melissa’s Reads


Something Strange and Deadly series by Susan Dennard

I was never big on zombies. Also after watching The Walking Dead and not liking, I wasn’t sure if I would like the series. Clearly I was in for one helluva ride and adore this series.

 


This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Never ever read a historical fiction/ steampunk book before. However, as it is also a retelling, I was definitely curious. I am so glad picked it up!

 


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yup! I just put this book on this list. Why you ask? Because I am not a huge fan of dystopian books even though I read a select few.  I usually have no interest in post apocalyptic/ fight to the death books. If I do find one I may be interested in, I am SUPER picky. Long story short, this was on my radar for years and I didn’t care for it. But eventually I was worn down by friends and slight curiosity and read THG last year. It was actually pretty good.

 

 Let us know what books you’ve read recently that aren’t typical a genre you read in the comments below!

 

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DOVE EXILED: Character Playlist

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I am so excited to kick off the Dove Exiled blog tour this week!  Dove Exiled is the second book in the Dove Chronicles by Karen Bao.  For this stop, Karen was kind enough to provide us with a playlist that best describes her main character Phaet Theta.

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1. Landscape – Florence and the Machine
This song captures the Moon’s bleak vistas, as well as the bleakness Phaet has felt ever since her father died. Whatever positive emotions Phaet may feel over the course of the books, I have to remember that she’s experienced great loss at a young age, and this colors the way she sees the world.

 

2. Entropy – Grimes + Bleachers
Phaet would appreciate the chemistry pun, as well as the confusion about self-expression in this song. After all, her government is literally controlling what comes out of her mouth.

 

3. When the Ship Goes Down – Jillette Johnson
Although Phaet’s not materialistic, she often dreams of a better life in which she and her family have enough to eat and a nicer place to live.

 

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4. The Writer – Ellie Goulding
This song perfectly illustrates the early relationship between Phaet and the Committee: they tell her how to behave, what to say, how to see the world. It’s such a relief when she starts breaking free.

 

5. Help I’m Alive – Metric
What it might feel like to have a totalitarian Lunar government chasing you across planetary bodies.

 

6. Bird Song – Florence and the Machine
A play on Phaet’s name, which refers to the dove star. Also an ode to regrets, of which she has many.

 

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7. My Best – Vanessa Carlton
Phaet has always assumed she’d spend her life with Umbriel, her childhood friend whom she trusts more than anyone else. But she realizes that her lack of romantic feelings makes this a bad decision. Here’s an ode to a relationship that didn’t work out, but at least the two people stay best friends.

 

8. Harder Better Faster Stronger – Daft Punk
This song is here because Phaet has to train like a crazy person in order to survive Militia, and her can-do attitude stays with her during the series.

 

9. The Hymn of Acxion – Vienna Teng
Because of her withdrawn personality, Phaet has long experienced loneliness. But people like Wes and her Militia friends accept her and never ask her to change.

 

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10. Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson
Sometimes Phaet gets revved up about social justice – and then she gets feisty, just like this song.

 

11. Message From Your Heart – Kina Grannis
Phaet fights for her siblings, and then for the entire Lunar population. Sometimes I want to tell her to take care of her own emotional well-being, as this song does.

 

12. I Wanna Get Better – Bleachers & Tinashe
To me, this song describes how Wes inspires Phaet to be a stronger, better person and vice versa. Plus, it’s darn fun to listen to.

 

13. Mine – Beyoncé & Drake
By the time Wes and Phaet realize they have feelings for each other, they’ve been through deaths of family members and cataclysmic war together. Although they’re still teenagers, their relationship has a mature mindset from the get-go.

 

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14. Ride – Lana Del Rey
Phaet does a lot of traveling…and relinquishing her life to the hands of, well, fate. This song captures her exhaustion and faith.

 

15. Grow Up – Paramore
Yeah, it’s hard to grow up, especially if you’re a sixteen-year-old girl fighting the Lunar Committee every day. But if anyone can do it, it’s Phaet Theta.

 


ABOUT DOVE EXILED

The thrilling follow-up to the groundbreaking debut Dove Arising.

Phaet Theta fled the Moon and has been hiding on Earth with her friend Wes and his family. But Phaet’s past catches up with her when the Lunar Bases attack the community and reveal that Phaet is a fugitive. She’s torn between staying on Earth with Wes—whom she’s just discovered her feelings for—and stowing away on a Moon-bound ship to rescue her siblings from the wrath of the government who killed their mother. But when Phaet makes the agonizing decision to return to the Moon, she finds the rebel movement there has turned her into their “Girl Sage,” a symbol of their struggle. She’s the biggest celebrity on the Moon: half the people worship her, and the other half want her dead.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound


ABOUT KAREN

Karen Bao is a writer, musician, and aspiring scientist. She has a brother three years younger than her and a violin sixty years older than her. Born in California and raised in New Jersey, she currently studies environmental biology at college in New York City. Karen began writing Dove Arising at the age of seventeen.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


 

What do you think about the music chosen for Phaet’s playlist? Have you read Dove Arising yet or plan to? What are you looking forward to reading about in Dove Exiled? Let me know in the comments below!  Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

 

Dove Exiled Blog Tour Schedule:

2/22: Live Love Read–Book Playlist
2/23: Steph In Wonderland–Guest Post
2/24: ButterMyBooks–Top 10 List
2/25: Caught Between The Pages–Interview
2/26: Nicole’s Novel Reads–Guest Post

2/29: Pretty Sassy Cool–Dreamcasting Post
3/1: Addicted Readers–25 Random Things About Me
3/2: Live To Read–Book Playlist
3/3: Fashion By The Book–Interview
3/4: Seeing Double In Neverland–Top 10 List

 

 

Thank you Karen for providing Phaet’s playlist! We’ve learned so much about Phaet’s personality, relationships, and world through the music you chose.  Thank you to Rachel Lodi at Penguin for organizing this blog tour and giving Live Love Read the opportunity to participate!

 

MelissaSig

Review: Earth’s End by Elise Kova

*NOTE*

This is the third book in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova. I do not plan on saying anything that could be major spoilers, but there may be a few minor spoilers if you have not read the other two books. If you would like to know more about Air Awakens you can check out my review here. Check here for my review on Fire Falling.

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Title: Earth’s End: Book Three of Air Awakens
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wings Press
Publication Date: February 11th, 2016
Pages: 350

 

Summary:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.


 

About the Author:

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Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova).

You can also follow Elise on Goodreads and Amazon!


My Review:

*Adds book to favorite read of 2016*

There are those special moments when a reader finds an amazing series that gets better with every book. Reading Air Awakens has been that moment for me!

I loved Air Awakens deeply and then was blown away by Fire Falling. Each book keeps getting better and better! Going into Earth’s End I mainly was just dying to know what happened after the cliff hanger Elise left us with in Fire Falling. I can’t express how happy I am that we didn’t have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next! Thankfully Elise spared us readers by creating an amazing feature called Tales from the Front. She gave us different parts of the story in other characters’ POV. It was so much fun to read as we waited for Earth’s End release.

I devoured this book in one day. Once I started the first page I had plans to stop after a few chapters in so I could actually get some rest. That didn’t happen. I ended up staying awake until almost 5 in the morning to finish! Once again I found myself wrapped up by the magic that is Elise’s writing. My emotions went on a rollercoaster ride as I read, and I was afraid what would happen next but couldn’t stop reading!

There was little doubt I would enjoy Earth’s End, however I have to admit I did not expect to enjoy it more than the others. If I’m going to be honest I would probably say this book is currently in a tie with Air Awakens for my favorite.

Now that I gave a little of my general thoughts, let me go in a little more detail of what I liked and didn’t like.

What I Liked:

  • No Wait! Being left on a cliff hanger at the end of Fire Falling I was ready to find out what happens next! I’m so glad we get the answer right away instead of several chapters later. The beginning was a terrific start!
  • Character growth! I know I mentioned this in my other reviews, but let me just add it once again. Each book has showed the characters in different ways. Especially with Vhalla. When it comes to Vhalla, each book is like getting a new character with her. She begins one way but with her experiences through the stories, both good and bad, her character begins to reach new levels. She is no longer this shy little Library Apprentice, she is a soldier. The other characters have moments of growth as well but Vhalla’s is the most noticeable in my eyes. We also get a better view of the character Eleica which I hated at first but now like.
  • Jax Wendyll! When I heard about Jax at the beginning of Earth’s End I was prepared to meet some strict, always follow the rules, stick-in-the-mud kind of guy. THIS IS NOT JAX! From the first page with him I feel in love with him. He is a bag of crazy, in a good way, and every line he had was pretty much gold. He is that sassy fun character that always brings a bit of humor to a darker story. There is actually an Interview with his character on the wonderful Beyond the Book Review! If you haven’t read Earth’s End and want to know a bit about Jax without getting spoiled just read the interview!
  • The Emotions! Nothing is worse than reading a book and have no feelings while you read it. I can tell you now Earth’s End is not that kind of book. While reading I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh, cry, cheer, yell or a combination of all the feels. There was so much that went on in the book that played at the reader’s emotions. You could be happy and smiling in one sentence but by the end of the chapter be crying and trying to wrap yourself up like a burrito for comfort. My heart still aches a little because of some moments in Earth’s End.
  • Relationships! When I say relationships I’m not just talking about romantic ones. In Earth’s End we get to see a better picture of the Royal family’s relationship. Especially between Baldair and Aldrik. We also get to view a bit of the relationship between the members of the Golden Guard and The Black Legion. Not to mention Vhalla’s relationship with several other characters in the stories. And of course all the Vhaldrik scenes! *swoons*
  • An Ugly War! Many times in books authors try to make the idea of war not as unpleasant as it really is. War is a terrible and heartbreaking thing. Elise writes the scenes about war in a way that captures the picture with all the problems. We see the way deaths affect those around them, and also how even innocent people get caught up in the fighting. There were moments that will tug at your heart in a beautiful yet terrible way.
  • The Magic! So much love for the use of the Elements in this story! I love getting to see new ways the characters use their abilities. Especially how much Vhalla has learned throughout the books.

Now that I gave you most of what I enjoyed about Earth’s End, let me give you some of the bad.

What I didn’t Like:

  • It Stopped! Basically I was heartbroken the story ended before I was ready for it to. I was ready to read so much more!!!!

I honestly have no complaints about this book. I tried to rack my brain for one little something, but other than saying I didn’t like the horrible character meant to be hated, I have nothing. I usually can find at least one or two things I didn’t care for in a story, but for this one my brain is drawing a blank.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series! So much happened in Earth’s End I can’t wait to see what is going to happen now. So many new questions are in my mind and I know the story is just going to get even more exciting. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!

Overall I will give this story 5 out of 5 hearts!

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If you haven’t read the Air Awakens series I highly recommend it! If you have read it and would like to talk about it please stop by my Twitter and chat with me! (@BetweenDPages)

laurensig

Musings of MarcyKate Connolly

eternaldreamers

Advice For Young Writers
by MarcyKate Connolly

The writing bug can bite at any age. For me, it happened first when I was in elementary school (I wrote a ton of terrible poetry) and then again in my late 20s (novels that were substantially better than that poetry). When you’re first beginning to write, there seems to be so many hurdles to finishing that first book, so many ups and downs. It’s easy to feel like you just don’t know where to start, or that you’ll never finish that book, or even if you do that it’s not going to be good enough. The bad news is that doesn’t go away entirely, but there are some ways to prepare for those ups and downs and focus on making your book the very best you can.

1) Write for yourself first and foremost. If you write without passion it will show. But if you write what you’re passionate about, that will shine through.

2) Read books about craft and writing tips…but don’t mistake them for a formula you must follow. There are lots of great resources out there on improving your craft, how to revise, how to draft, and more. But every book is different and every writer is different. Try out the suggestions you read about, but never forget that they are just that: suggestions. There is no gospel truth when it comes to writing. If one approach doesn’t work for you, try something else. It’s your book; you can write it any way you want J. The trick is to find what works best for you.

3) Embrace revision. The blank page is the great equalizer—every writer from pro to beginner has to start there. And most writers do not write pristine first drafts, either. They go through revision after revision after revision. That’s where the magic happens—it’s in taking a messy first draft and making it shine. Basically, writing is rewriting!

4) Keep a journal or folder on your computer where you log any ideas or snippets of interesting stuff. This can be so useful when worldbuilding or looking for a good idea later. You never know when you might find just the right catalyst to ignite a new story.

5) Keep writing. Some days you’re going to feel down about the words you’re putting on the page. You’re going to hate them and want to stop. That’s OK. It happens to everyone at some point. Either push through it in the moment or allow yourself a little space from that book. But whatever you do, keep writing.

6) Don’t give up. If you decide to try to get a manuscript published, you are inevitably going to face rejection. Not everyone is going to love your book. In fact, some people will probably hate it. And this is not something that stops once your book is published; if anything, it gets worse (hello, reviews!).  The key is to not let it get you down for long, and to keep trying.  It’s a subjective business. Remember, there are people out there who hate chocolate, too. There’s no accounting for taste J

7) Don’t forget to refresh your creative well. It’s important to get out of your head for a while and do other things that inspire you. Dance! Sing! Get lost in a museum! Go for a hike! Read everything you can get your hands on! All these things give you a little healthy space from your work, but still keep those creative engines firing in your brain. If you’re feeling stuck it can be just what you need to get back on track.


MarcyKate Connolly

About MarcyKate

MarcyKate Connolly is a writer and nonprofit administrator living in New England with her husband and pugs. She’s a coffee addict and voracious reader. She’s also the author of Monstrous and Ravenous.

Visit MarcyKate:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Tumblr
Instagram ~ Goodreads

 


Ravenous

Ravenous (Monstrous #2)

A witch has come to the city of Bryre. She travels in a hut that has chicken feet, and is ravenous for children. And once she gets what she desires, she never lets it go.

But when the witch captures Hans, Greta’s little brother, Greta refuses to let her have him. The two strike up a bargain. Greta will retrieve something the witch desires in exchange for her brother’s freedom.

To get the prize Greta must travel to Belladoma—a city where she was once held captive—which brings back terrible memories. With the help of a new friend, Dalen, a magical half-boy and half-horse, Greta embarks on the journey and tries to overcome both foes and her own weaknesses.

For fans of Monstrous and new readers alike comes the story of an epic quest and a heroine who will stop at nothing to save the one she loves most.

Look out for PRECIOUS, a prequel novella to both Monstrous and Ravenous, in the final edition!

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indiebound


Monstrous

Monstrous (Monstrous #1)

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indiebound


Thank you to the wonderful MarcyKate for your amazing advice for our young and beginner writers! Your words are not only helpful, but inspirational to those of us who write.

As always, a large thanks to all authors who have participated, will participate, and are participating in this feature. You are so extremely appreciated. We love you!

Have a wonderful rest of your week! If anyone is in Atlanta, stop by the Writer’s Conference with Chuck Sambuchino speaking! I’ll be taking pitches there! Look for me! =)

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Forbidden Wish

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

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Title: The Forbidden Wish

Author: Jessica Khoury

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings

Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016

Summary:

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years — a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

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About the Author:

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Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she’s dreamed of being an author.

When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration.

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, and forthcoming Kalahari.

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TTT: Songs That Inspire Us

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The ladies of The Broke and the Bookish challenged us to think about music & books for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday.  I think this week’s challenge was perfect for Kelly & Lauren as they are aspiring writers and I know music will play a role in their writing. We decided to pick songs that inspire us, which is even more challenging for me since I am not a writer.  I don’t usually think about the story behind a song nor ever been inspired to write, but I think I did alright.

 

Kelly’s Songs

1. Indigo Puff by Sundara Karma (LAYLA Rework)
2. Slip by Elliott Moss
3. Let It Go by James Bay
4. Youth of a Nation by P.O.D.
5. Eyes On Fire by Blue Foundation
6. Midnight City by M83
7. Roses by The Chainsmokers
8. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service
9. Bridges by Broods
10. Runaway by Aurora

youtube-icon-full_color Listen to the playlist

 

Lauren’s Songs

1. Run Boy Run by Woodkid
2. Hello by Adele
3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde
4. Monster by Imagine Dragons
5. Nothing Left to Say by Imagine Dragons
6. Let it Burn by Red
7. Masquerade by Robosoul
8. Dance with the Devil by Breaking Benjimin
9. Angel by Theory of a Deadman
10. Starset by My Demons

youtube-icon-full_color Listen to the playlist

 

Melissa’s Songs

1. Ghost by Halsey
2. Wings by Birdy
3. Lost Boy by Ruth B.
4. Little Do You Know by Alex & Sierra
5. Breaking the Habit by Linkin Park
6. Numb by Linkin Park
7. Fiction by BEAST
8. Wedding Dress by Taeyang
9. You and I by Park Bom
10. Angel with a Shotgun by The Cab

youtube-icon-full_color Listen to the playlist

 

Let us know what you think of our song choices in the comments below. What songs have inspired you? How did you choose to do TTT this week?

 

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Musings of Shannon Grogan *GIVEAWAY*

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Comparing Yourself: The Imagined Journey towards Publication vs. Reality
By Shannon Grogan

I love the movie Grease.

It came out in theaters when I was almost 8 years old, so I wasn’t allowed to see it. But when I first saw it on HBO, or Showtime a year or two later, I was hooked, and in love with Danny Zuko/John Travolta.

In 4th grade, for my birthday, I got a pink satin jacket that I’m pretty sure had a roller skate on the back of it, even though I specifically remember asking Mom to make sure it said ‘Pink Ladies’ in twirly script.

Back then, Happy Days was my favorite TV show, and Grease was my favorite movie. So I imagined, of course, since I was a kid that high school was exactly like high school was in Grease and Happy Days.

How disappointed I was to get older, and my world-schema opened up. I learned that high school wasn’t a fictitious show set in the 1950’s. High school girls didn’t wear bobby socks and saddle shoes, or pink satin ribbons in their hair, or skirts that twirled endlessly.

Sadly and shockingly, boys and girls didn’t break into song and dance in the middle of classes. The guys didn’t wear leather jackets, or slick their hair into oily pompadours (and, eww, if they did). High School wasn’t called Rydell, Danny Zuko was nowhere in sight, and my body would never grow up to look like Olivia Newton-John’s in that skin-tight leather thingy she wore. Worst of all, the end of the high school year didn’t bring love or a carnival. Sigh.

But still, I loved so much of my journey through high school, no matter how difficult things were sometimes.

Just as I’ve loved so much of my journey to publication and beyond, no matter how difficult things are sometimes.

Nothing is ever, at least to me, what I think it will be, or should be. Every single writer’s journey on the road to publication is different, no matter what you imagine. I repeat, so please hear me—everyone’s journey is different! This is something I have to remind myself of daily.

Throughout this long road I’ve battled with cases of ‘I thought it was supposed to be like…’ and serious scuffles with the Comparison Devil (I wish I could remember where I first heard of this creature!) that likes to crouch on my shoulder and breathe hot, toxic nonsense into my ear.

When I was querying agents with my first (now drawer) novel, I was sort of obsessed with everyone else’s query stats. I always compared my stats of pretty much zero action, to their seemingly endless partial and full requests. Sometimes it got super depressing to watch people on the SCBWI/Verla Kay message boards start querying months after me and snag agents soon after. That wasn’t supposed to happen, that wasn’t what I imagined it would be. I wrote a book, dammit, some agent had to want mine too, right? I’ve been querying forever!

I never imagined I’d have to suffer so much agent rejection on the journey, because I had it planned in my mind of how it was all supposed to go. But as it turned out, all that rejection strengthened my writing (and my skin, which is like bark now), until I had multiple offers on my next novel.

So, finally, I had an agent.

Of course, that meant my book would sell quickly, right?

Since I usually imagined just the next step in the journey, I didn’t realize agents faced rejection too, by editors. Hey now, that didn’t go with my imagined journey. It didn’t compare with how quickly other authors I knew sold their books.

But by the end of it I ended up with the editor who loved my story the most and that’s all I needed.

I imagined the book deal would solve everything. I was on the other side. Greener grass, right? I never imagined that Comparison Devil would be driving back to dump a truckload on me. Shiny, brand new ways of comparing myself and making me feel shitty next to other authors. But this is a whole new post for another time.

But the bottom line is that everyone’s journey is different, no matter what you imagine it should be. As I stated before, I have to remind myself of this daily, especially when I go on social media. At every stage of this writing game there is something to knock your confidence and hope down, no matter where you are on this journey. And that’s when you need your support system, just like Sandy had Frenchy in Grease, to wipe her eyes and hold her hand.

Remember why you are doing this. Remember that there are many people who say they will write a novel someday but they haven’t written even the first word yet. It’s natural to compare, and it’s natural to imagine, after all, you are a creative person. It’s natural to get jealous of some other writer you know getting three full requests in one week. Just try not to compare, and make sure you have a bunch of Frenchys a mouse click away who can pick you up when you’ve had three query rejections in a half-hour flat!

Don’t compare! Do keep writing!


Shannon Grogan

About Shannon: 

Shannon Grogan is a second grade teacher who writes at night (and while her kids are at ballet and baseball) in a small logging town east of Seattle. She holds degrees in education, and graphic design/Illustration. When she isn’t writing, she’s baking, reading, watching scary movies, and wishing she were at the beach.

Connect with Shannon:

Website ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Tumblr ~ Facebook


From Where I Watch You

From Where I Watch You

Sixteen-year-old Kara McKinley is about to realize her dream of becoming a professional baker. Beautifully designed and piped, her cookies are masterpieces, but also her ticket out of rainy Seattle—if she wins the upcoming national baking competition and its scholarship prize to culinary school in California. Kara can no longer stand the home where her family lived, laughed, and ultimately imploded after her mean-spirited big sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. Kara’s dad has since fled, and her mom has turned from a high-powered attorney into a nutty holy-rolling Christian fundamentalist peddling “Soul Soup” in the family café. All Kara has left are memories of better times.

But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces a secret terror. Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what’s she’s doing. As they lead her to piece together the events that preceded Kellen’s terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister: an unwelcome ghost in filthy Ugg boots. If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ SohoPress ~ Indiebound


Giveaway!

Shannon is kind enough to be giving away a hardcover copy of From Where I Watch You to one lucky winner! Here are a few rules:

  • This giveaway is international!
  • You must live in a country where Amazon and/or The Book Depository deliver.
  • This giveaway will end on Saturday, February 27th at midnight.
  • We (including Shannon) exercise the right to disqualify anyone who is a “giveaway robot” or who has cheated.
  • Good Luck!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!


Thank you so much to Shannon Grogan for being such a wonderful person and an amazin author! This post is so helpful, as so many young and hopeful writers assume so many things about the realities of being published that aren’t exactly true! Your story is informative for all of us who one day dream of making it big!

A huge thanks to all authors who have participated, are participating, and will participate in this feature. Your words and stories help writers so much more than you could ever imagine.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Shadow Queen

waitingonwednesday

We are excited to say we are not going to have to wait long for this week’s pick! As always, the wonderful Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

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Title: The Shadow Queen

Author: C.J. Redwine

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings

Publication Date: February 16th, 2016

Summary:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

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About The Author:

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C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com

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