Category Archives: Sensational Saturday’s

Wolf Enforcer is to be published by Kindle Press-WOOT!

Sensational Saturday

a blog for celebrating!

Woot! We did it!

Thanks to everyone for all your support and nominations on Kindle Scout for WOLF ENFORCER, book one in the Wolf Enforcer series. Because of all your efforts the amazing people at Kindle Press have chosen to publish it and it will be coming out very soon.

Yay! Happy Dancing!

heart thank you

Here’s what I know:

In the next 30 days all the prep work on my end needs to be completed. Then a publishing date will be set. From what I know about Kindle Press, they like to move fast! And since this book is already edited, has a fabulous cover, and is ready to go, I’m assuming we’ll see publication this spring. But that’s totally an assumption on my part, so stay tuned and I’ll let you know when and what’s going on both here on the blog and in my newsletter.

Speaking of my newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet for the newsletter, and you want a taste of the Wolf Enforcer Series, then you’ll love the FREE book, ROGUE ENFORCER, that you get in your very first official email. ūüôā Click HERE to sign up.

Now, on to the rest of the series plan.

I’m still working on release dates, but book 2 BLOOD ENFORCER, is in final edits and will be coming out hot on the heels of WOLF ENFORCER. And I’m also writing PACK ENFORCER, the third book. So, this series will be done and out, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

And, as if that weren’t enough, I am also going to be in a super exciting boxed set, THE ALPHAS OF SUMMER, and I’ve written a super special novella set in the Wolf Enforcer series called LONE ENFORCER.

That boxed set comes out in July, and I’ll be letting newsletter people know, as well as here on the blog, and on Facebook.

OH Yeah! Facebook…

I started a group just for the Kindle Scout adventure¬†https://www.facebook.com/groups/WolfEnforcer/¬†and it’s still live and hopping. I plan to be on there most days and we’ve been sharing fun wolf pictures and other super cool things. I’m going to keep that group open for the rest of the books, so if you haven’t been by yet, come on in and say ‘hi!’

Okay, now I’ve got to get back to work. I now have a ton on my plate, which makes me super happy. I love having plans. ūüôā

To summarize:

  1. If you haven’t yet, join the newsletter and get your FREE copy of Rogue Enforcer.¬†http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj
  2. If you want more info on a daily basis, join the Wolf Enforcer Launch Facebook group and check out the fun wolf pics. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WolfEnforcer/
  3. I’ll be updating on the schedule, but for now it’s. TBD and here’s the order of events: Kindle Publishing will set the date for WOLF ENFORCER, and then I’ll set the dates for BLOOD ENFORCER and PACK ENFORCER.
  4. And look out for the fabulous boxed set ALPHAS OF SUMMER that comes out July 3rd.

That’s all folks!

Once again, thank you!

-Jessica

***** 

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

Leave a comment

Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Werewolves and the Fae, Wolf Enforcer Series, Writer's Journey

ThanksGetting? Really?

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for those of us who love the holidays

It’s been a funny year, full of ups and downs. My family has had some issues that while not impossible to deal with, have definitely impacted how I spend my time and what I worry about. But overall, it’s been a great year and as I look back I am very thankful.

One of the things I love about the holidays is the time I get to spend with my family, especially the extended family that we don’t see all the time. That’s why when I saw the “massive company not to be named” ad campaign about “ThanksGetting” I nearly choked on my turkey. ThanksGetting? Really?

Brown eyed susans 1It’s bad enough they make all those poor sales people work the day after the holiday, on Black Friday. And now so many of the stores are actually open on Thanksgiving itself, it’s sickening. Who is shopping on Thanksgiving? The only shopping we do is running out for emergency butter. You think by now I’d now we need two pounds, not one, but no. Every year someone has to run to the store for the butter. Oh, and more wine. Can’t forget the emergency wine.

But to actually leave my cozy house and all my guests and the disaster that is my kitchen after the big meal and to go shopping? No way.

Now, I have shopped on Black Friday before, but as soon as I saw that ad with GETTING instead of GIVING. I decided no more. Yesterday, Black Friday, I stayed home. And I wasn’t one of those people shopping on the computer either. No, I worked on getting RED, A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, formatted and sent off to Betwitching Book Tours, so that I can get some early reviews. I also finished cleaning the pans that didn’t get done on Thursday night because we were totally exhausted from cooking a meal for eleven people. And I spent quality time with the girls.

It was tea and murder at my house on Black Friday. We watched our favorite Midsomer Murders¬†and had to decide whether we wanted Vanilla Chai or Earl Grey. D1 crocheted and D2 got out a puzzle. And we laughed and we talked and we shivered at the ghosts in the Christmas murder. Because it isn’t Midsomer if there isn’t something spooky.

So, I’m done with being drawn into the shopping frenzy. There is nothing I need badly enough to turn my day of thanks into a day of GIMME, GIMME, GIMME. Thank you ThanksGetting. Thank you to the advertising campaign the big company¬†designed to draw me into their store. I stayed home instead and had a fabulous day with my girls.

What did you do on Black Friday? Is shopping a tradition for you? What about Small Business Saturday? For me, that’s another story.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

2 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Sensational Saturday's

Discovering Also Boughts

Thursdays Bite

a blog of the strange and wonderful

I’m giving away two copies of The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court, and guess what? I’ve included international in this one. Many authors don’t include international, because of the shipping, but I want to make sure everyone has a shot at winning. So, if you live anywhere besides the USA now is your chance to enter to win! (Okay, I included US as well, you guys can enter to win.) ¬†Giveaway ends soon! February 28, 2014.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Dark Huntsman by Jessica Aspen

The Dark Huntsman

by Jessica Aspen

Giveaway ends February 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

When you look at the purchase page on Amazon for The Dark Huntsman, at the bottom, you find the Also Boughts. They change based on the day to day sales and purchasing, but for one moment in time these were the books that were Also Bought by people who purchased The Dark Huntsman. I thought you might enjoy taking a peek!

Magic Academy (A Fantasy New Adult Romance) [Kindle Edition]

Jillian Keep

Entreat Me [Kindle Edition]

Grace Draven

Taunting Destiny (The Fae Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)by Amelia Hutchins,Genevieve Scholl

Lizzy Ford

Charred Tears (#2, Heart of Fire) [Kindle Edition]

What other fantasy romances have you purchased? Do you look at the Also Boughts on Amazon to decide what you read? If not, how do you decide what book to purchase next? What about other websites?

2 Comments

Filed under Fae, fairy tales, Fantasy Romance, Sensational Saturday's, Supernaturals, The Dark Huntsman, Thursdays Bite, witches

So Long to Sensational Saturdays

Sensational Saturday

a blog for whatever

Hello, loyal Jessica Aspen Writes fans. The good news that on Monday you can still tune in here for Monday Mania, and on Thursday’s, you will still find me writing Thursday’s Bite. But the sad news, the¬†unfortunate¬†news, the it-must-happen-for-the-good-of-the-blog news is that I am discontinuing Sensational Saturdays.

That’s not to say I won’t still be writing the¬†occasional¬†irreverent blog that really has nothing to do with the art of writing or paranormal romance. I will still be posting great posts like: TOO FUNNY!¬†and Why Everyone Needs an Extra Set of Balls¬†but you’ll be finding them on either Moonday Mania or Thursday’s Bite.

Why am I dropping a blogging day?

jessica aspen

Good question. I checked out my site stats and Saturday’s are low traffic days, as are Sundays. Looking on the site stats you all are visiting mostly on Monday’s and Thursdays, with some traffic Tues, Wed and Friday. The weekends you must all be out partying it up! Which is great fun, but not so great for blog traffic. And the truth is that I am getting bogged down in blogging.

Yep, I need to focus more on my writing and less on other things, but I am not giving up blogging! I love it and I love each and every one of you.¬†You are terrific commenters, and lurkers, and sometimes-drop-byers. Thank you each and every one. (OK, I don’t love the spammers, you can all go back to where you came from.) This means that funny, extraneous posts may show up when you least expect them, so be prepared!

What have you done recently to slim down your commitments? Do you find that your social media is taking up more time than you thought? Do you look at your site stats and see how your traffic responds to what you post?

8 Comments

Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Writer's Journey

Hot, Hot, and HOTR!

Sensational Saturday

a blog posted in absentia

Today I am off at Nationals, but I still wanted to post a blog for everyone. I’m going to brag about the Heart of the Rockies Contest. Or the HOTR (pronounced Hotter!) as we affectionately call it. Unlike the Golden Heart the HOTR is a contest with feedback. Structured feedback. Judges are given a sheet of criteria and they look at each piece of the manuscript individually, before giving a score. This means that you actually find out what the judge was thinking when they give your darling a less than favorable score. And since you can see how it breaks down, you are able to understand why they didn’t love it. Or what worked for them if they did love it.

Another benefit to the HOTR is that everyone gets at least one published author to look at their work. That means that it’s not just a bunch of random judges, or even romance readers. At least one person has been through the editing process themselves. Another benefit is that at least one of your judges gives you a critique. They¬†summarize¬†what the scoring sheet tells you, and it’s their opportunity to share their deeper thinking. All this for only thirty dollars.

Few contests give you this much quality feedback unless you go to the finals, and with the HOTR everyone gets this high quality feedback. So take a chance. If you are an unpublished author, or know someone who is, I’ve posted all the information below. And I’m requesting that everyone of you please forward it.

Thank you!

Jessica

Heart of the Rockies
Unpublished Author Contest RULES

Colorado Romance Writers is pleased to announce the 2012 Heart of the Rockies Contest for unpublished writers. Numerous past Heart of the Rockies entrants have gone on to publication in book-length fiction. This year, there will be nine categories with achievement awards given in each. Entries are limited to the first 215 received. Entries received after the limit is achieved will be returned to the owner.

Every entry will be judged by two experienced judges, at least one of whom will be a published author. Manuscripts that qualify for a final round will be judged by editors or agents. Finalists will be notified no later than September 1, 2012.  First place in each category will receive plaques; all others will receive a certificate. In addition, winners will be announced in the Romance Writers Report.

Entrants will receive one written critique and two comprehensive evaluations of their work based on twenty different potential problem areas. Each category uses an individualized score sheet for its particular genre.

SAVE POSTAGE, PAPER, AND PRINTING COSTS! AN ALL ELECTRONIC CONTEST! NO PAPER SUBMISSIONS!

If paying by PAYPAL, the entry form can be electronic also. If submitting electronically, the person entering the contest understands that submission constitutes a signature.  If paying by check, the entry form must be printed and submitted with a signature by snail mail.

Once we receive your entry and payment, the coordinator will send you an email with a link to which coordinator to send your submission and synopsis.

Names shall not appear anywhere on the submission entry or synopsis.

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

 

♥ Young Adult  ~ Novels with a romantic element aimed at teens and young adult readers.  Word count more than 40,000 (Examples:  TOR, Kensington)

‚ô• Long Contemporary Romance ~ Series romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship with a proposal length of at least 60,000 words. (Examples: Harlequin American, Superromance, Silhouette Special Edition)

‚ô• Short Contemporary Romance ~ Series romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship with a proposal length of less than 60,000 words. (Examples: Harlequin Presents, Romance and Temptation; Silhouette Desire and Romance; Avalon)

‚ô• Single Title Romance ~ Contemporary romantic novels not printed as part of a series. (Examples: Mira; Avon). Projected length of over 70,000 words.

‚ô• Romantic Suspense ~ Novels that contain a strong element of suspense or mystery mixed with romance. This may include gothic-style romances if they are set in modern times.

‚ô• Historical Romance ~ Novels that feature romance in time periods other than the present. Most editors consider historicals as books set in times prior to World War I. Entrants submitting Gothics will have to decide whether their entries fit better here or in the Suspense category. (Examples: Avon, Zebra, Harlequin Historicals and all Regency lines)

‚ô• Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy ~ Novels that mix romance with elements of the paranormal, time travel or fantasy. (Examples: Love Spell; Jove Time Passages, Magical Love)

‚ô• Inspirational Romance ~ Novels featuring an inspirational message of personal religious faith conveyed as a major element of the plot and not used as a plot device or subplot. Examples: Love Inspired; Waterbrook Press; Palisades; Barbour/Heart Songs; Multnomah Publishers)

‚ô• Mainstream with Romantic Elements ~ A work of fiction not belonging in another category that contains a strong romantic element, such that one or more romances contained in the story form an integral part of the story‚Äôs structure, but in which other themes or stories may also be significantly developed. ****Warning‚ÄĒThe synopsis may be critical in judging this category if the Hero/Heroine do not meet in the 1st 30 pgs and if the romance is not introduced yet.

 

  

Permission to forward

Contest extended until August 1, 2012

RULES

CATEGORIES:
‚ô• Achievement awards will be given in the following categories: Spicy, Long Contemporary, Short Contemporary, Contemporary Single Title, Romantic Suspense, Inspirational, Paranormal/Time Travel/ Futuristic/Fantasy, Historical Romance, and Mainstream with Romantic Elements. Please indicate on the submission header the category in which your manuscript is entered. If a minimum of 7 entries are not received in a category, we reserve the right to either combine categories OR that category will be cancelled and the entries and entry fee returned to their owners.

JUDGING:
‚ô• Each entry is judged by two experienced judges, one of whom is a published author. A score sheet focusing on 20 problem areas (with a total of 105 possible points) is used by each. Judges may make comments on the score sheet and may also choose to write on the manuscript.
♥ The entry fee also includes one separate critique discussing the manuscript’s strong and weak points and suggestions for improvement. Please keep in mind that judging is subjective.
♥ Manuscripts that qualify for a final round will be judged by editors or agents. Awards will be announced on October 13, 2012.  First place in each category will receive a plaque; all others will receive a certificate. In addition, winners will be announced in the Romance Writers Report.

AWARDS:
‚ô• To qualify for an award, an entry must receive a total combined score of at least 160 points (out of a possible combined score from both judges of 210 points). If no entry in a category receives 160 points, there will be no award given in that category. Finalists will be notified by e-mail or phone no later than September 14, 2012.

SUBMISSION:
♥ ELECTRONIC ONLY.  Submission consisting of the first two chapters and the complete 1-5 page synopsis, saved in RTF format only, total entry is not to exceed 35 double-spaced pages. There should be no cover page in the attachment. Only one version of each manuscript will be accepted. Do not submit more than once. Do not follow up with a paper entry.
‚ô• Include in the body of the email, your real name, address, telephone number, title of the entry, and category in which the entry should be judged. If your PayPal payment is paid by someone other than you, please include that also so we may cross-reference. Your submission should be an attachment using the rich text font format. It will NOT be accepted unless it is saved as an RTF format.
‚ô• You may enter as many manuscripts as you wish in each category, but each must be accompanied by both an official entry form (photocopies acceptable) and the correct entry fee, either by check or PayPal. If submitting paypal, the entry form may be emailed directly.
‚ô• At the time of submission, you may not have had this work nor any other work in novel-length romantic fiction of yours accepted for publication, including e-published and self-published.
♥ Entries must be submitted in either Courier New 12 or Times New Roman 12.  If submitting an entry form electronically, the person entering the contest understands that submission constitutes a signature on the entry form.
‚ô• Submissions should be e-mailed as an attachment to the appropriate Category Coordinator using RTF (rich text font) format. A link will be sent to you following receipt of payment and electronic entry form. PLEASE WAIT FOR CONFIRMATION before contacting coordinators. Contest entry deadline is midnight Mountain Time on August 1, 2012.
‚ô• If paying by check, the entry form must be printed and submitted with a signature by snail mail, mailed to the appropriate coordinator.
‚ô• Names or personal information shall not appear anywhere on the attachment, submission entry or synopsis. It may only appear in the body (cover) of the email.
‚ô• If there are any questions regarding electronic entries, please contact Coordinator Maya Milhous at HORCoordinator1@coloradoromancewriters.org.

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION:
‚ô• Manuscripts must be suitable for submission in contest format (typed with the acceptable fonts and double-spaced to be easier on the judges‚Äô eyes, with 1‚ÄĚ margins all around, 25-27 manuscript lines per page.) WE ARE AWARE THIS ISN‚ÄôT ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION FORMAT, HOWEVER, IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR JUDGING
‚ô• At the top of each manuscript page in the header, you must print the title of the entry and the category entered. Page numbers will be included at the top of the submission. Your name should appear ONLY on the cover sheet which is the body of the email. If it appears on any of your attached manuscript pages, your entry will be disqualified.
‚ô• Send your entry as ONE attachment in .rtf format, with your 1-5 page synopsis placed at the beginning of your submission, followed by the Prologue/ Chapters 1 & 2, for a total of no more than 35 PAGES.

FEES:¬† CRW Members–$25; Non-CRW Members–$30

‚ô• All fees are NON-REFUNDABLE and must accompany your manuscript. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COLORADO ROMANCE WRITERS. Or use the Paypal buttons on CRW website. A submission will not be considered entered into the contest unless a payment has been received.
‚ô• NOTE For Paypal entries: When you submit your entry and form, please indicate you used Paypal. Entries received without an enclosed payment or prior to payment through Paypal will be returned. If you’re using Paypal, please type your name, book title and category in the empty box located above the PayPal button before clicking on the button to continue your transaction. Thank you!

MAILING: There will be no mailing of paper submissions this year.

DEADLINE: Manuscripts along with payment and entry form must be received no later than June 15, 2012.

QUESTIONS: Coordinator email: Grace Larradle, HORCoordinator1@coloradoromancewriters.org;

♥ Winners for the 2012 contest will be announced at the CRW’s October Anniversary & PAL tea on October 13, 2012.

3 Comments

Filed under Events, Sensational Saturday's

Ten Life Savers for Convention Survival

Sensational Saturday

a blog for the moment

Cal-i-for-n-i-a here I come!

Stock Images - Flight 2
I’m off to Anaheim for RWA’s National Convention on Tuesday and I hope I’m prepared. I’m not sure what to expect. There are so many workshops I want to attend, and there is not enough time to get to all of them. Even with five days, there won’t be enough time. My CRW buddies and I are flying in a day early to take advantage of Anaheim’s number one tourist attraction, Disneyland. I’ve been to Disney World many times, but never to Disneyland. In fact, I’ve only been to California once, so I’m pretty excited.

But the big attraction for me is the RWA convention. Disneyland for romance writers. There are more than one hundred workshops. How am I ever going to choose the paltry two to four per day I’m going to be able to attend? Round tables, book signings, panels. It’s going to be a¬†smorgasbord¬†of craft, career, publishing and life topics that I know I will want to gorge on until I collapse.

That’s why I need a plan.Free Stock Photos - Girl

Not a plan for what workshop I want to go to. No, I can decide on the day if I need to. No, I need a plan for taking care of myself. What am I going to eat? How can I make sure I get enough rest? Do I have down time scheduled? And what about working out?

I managed to make it through Rom Con, but I had a killer migraine. And that was only a few days. This is almost a week. My husband is already rumbling at me about taking care of myself. That is usually one of the things he takes on, not that I’m not a big girl and can’t remind myself to drink enough water or to eat breakfast. But he’s a sweetie and worries.

So instead of worrying about which workshops I want to go to, I’m getting my plan in place.

Number one: I’m looking up online to see if there is a grocery store nearby. I’m planning on stocking my room with a fruitbowl, oatmeal and soy milk, so I can have a healthy breakfast before hitting the RWA¬†sweet rolls¬†and coffee.

Number two: I’m taking a water bottle, the kind that has a filter on the top, so I can refill from the water fountains and not worry about spending ten dollars a day on water.Free Stock Photo - Glass of water

Number three: I’m stocking my personal pharmacy so this time I’m not begging for Tylonal from strangers. Not that I didn’t appreciate every one of you who generously opened your purses to me, but I still should be prepared.

Number four: I’m practicing saying NO. I need to make sure I get sleep and that means leaving the party at a reasonable hour.

Number five: I have a plan for what I’m eating, and I need to stick to it. RWA has made a real effort this year to have healthy lunches, I need to make the same effort to not treat every meal as a vacation. If I do that, I’ll be in bed by Thursday afternoon with a migraine, and that is not any fun. No dessert is worth that!

Number six: I’m going swimsuit shopping. I will bring the workout clothes, who knows, I may even work out. But I will definitely take¬†advantage¬†of the double bonus of working out and relaxing that the pool offers. Summer in CA, I’ll be in the pool for sure!

Stock Photography - Floating mat
Number seven: I’m making a packing list. I am not going to stress out on the day of my flight, in the airport, that I forgot my contact solution or whatever. A list will help, maybe?

Number eight: I am pre-printing everything I need for travel and putting it in one folder that I can fit into my carry on. And then I am emailing myself back ups, so I can print them off if I need to. Plan, and emergency plan. Check!

Number nine: Comfortable shoes. I have heard the experts and this is a must to survive the conference.

Last but not least, Number ten: Getting my ducks in a row at home. I’m pre-posting all my blogs. I’m getting the house clean, so maybe it will be clean when I get back? (No, this is not wishful thinking. Jeff usually cleans the day before I get home and has fresh flowers for me. Yes, I am spoiled.)

Well that’s all folks! Wish me luck. Anything that I’ve missed that you can help me with? Any last minute travel advice like your favorite trip accessory?

4 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Events, Sensational Saturday's

Wowza! Pamela Clare’s Defiant

Sensational Saturday

a blog for whatever

As many of you know, I love book trailers. I’m¬†definitely¬†going to have one for my next release, Snow and the Seventh Wolf,¬†when it comes out in 2013. In the meantime I have become a book trailer junkie, scoping out my friends book trailers and sighing enviously over their gorgeous scenery, lovely music, and all those hot men with six-pack abs.

So it’s no wonder that when I saw that two of my favorite authors had gotten together and put together a book trailer I sashayed right on over to YouTube and got that puppy up and running. But oh, no baby, I was not prepared.

Not prepared for the absolute gorgeousness of the scenery, the sound, the man.

And I really wasn’t prepared for the…da-da-da-da!

 LIVE ACTION!!!!

Yes, you got it right. This is film, baby!

I love Pamela Clare‘s books. Not that I’ve read her¬†historicals, I haven’t. I’ve only read her¬†absolutely¬†amazing suspense series.¬†So I’m unfamiliar with the McKinnon’s Ranger series, but if you read historical I have it on the best authority that these books are just the same high quality as Pamela’s suspense. And of course, they are full of hot Scotsman. What more could a romance reader want?

Well, you might want to see that same hot Scotsman running through the woods in a live action shot. Picture Last of the Mohicans¬†and you’ve got the idea. Pamela got together with Jenn LeBlanc, whose illustrated historicals have made history themselves, and the two of them (and a few other people) got together and WAMMO! a live action book trailer.

Okay, I’ve teased you enough. Enjoy!

And, just for fun here are the covers to the entire MacKinnon series. Check out Pamela’s Books too!

Pamela Clare's Surrender

Defiant by Pamela Clare

6 Comments

Filed under Book Trailers, Sensational Saturday's

George Orwell Meets Barbie

Sensational Saturday

A blog for fun! Fun! fun!

I don’t read too much YA, but when my daughter insisted I read Beauty Queens, I took the plunge. The cover cracked me up, a¬†bandoleer¬†of lipsticks on a bikini clad girl, but I was still a little¬†leery. Luckily she was right. Beauty Queens is a fabulous book. Author Libba Bray has achieved the impossible, a YA that is both serious and fun, and highly satirical.

Beauty Queens by libba braeThe most interesting thing about Beauty Queens for me is that Libba herself is the narrator. I am listening to it on audio as I drive back and forth to work. I fact I missed two exits on my way to Rom Con because of the book. In audio books the narrator makes all the difference.

I’m usually not a big fan of authors narrating their own books, but Libba does a superior job. She does all the girls in different voices, and the sparkle she adds to the footnotes is amazing. Yes there are footnotes. Forty seven I believe. And Libba does them all in a bright and shiny announcer’s voice that the Corporation (TM)¬†would be proud of.

The Corporation. Here’s where the fun starts.

Lovely girls survive a plane crash, that’s an interesting plot. Brings up memories of Lord of the Flies and high school. But you’ll see I’ve mentioned George Orwell, not Golding. This book is a satire, and one of the ways Libba has worked that is to add in, not just overly shiny¬†commercials¬†and footnotes, not just a culture that mimics ours in a¬†satirical¬†way, but she’s brought in the Corporation. The Corporation controls the world, in other words, our compulsive consumerism has put commerce in charge of our lives. What would your life be like if consumerism was the number one motivator?

We’re not that far from it, and Libba makes her point with ease. At the same time she exposes our cultures obsession with beauty, the lack of respect for girls with brains, and she does it all with flair and fun. I was laughing out loud. You will too.

And I highly suggest reading it in audio. I have yet to read the print book, but Libba has cleverly added bonus features to the audio. Every time the disks changed one of the girls came on and announced it. And then there is Libba herself. I can’t imagine how I would have read this book without her voices. Each girl has her own and they are spectacular.

It’s not paranormal, but Beauty Queens is one of the best books I’ve read all year. And I think it may be one of the best audio books ever.

Want to get to know the genius behind the covers? HERE is an interview with Libba.

Have you had a surprise summer read this year? Ever read a book that is better in audio than in the print version? (Not that I’m saying that about this one, I hear the print is pretty good, but you miss out on Libba.) Who else is making a dent in their TBR pile while driving to work? Or are you all sitting in beach chairs lounging with your drinks, hot waiters and your books?

13 Comments

Filed under Sensational Saturday's

Blink, and the Tipping Point- Great Summer Reads

Sensational Saturday

a blog for whatever I want

I love reading in the car. The trouble is, I don’t get to do it very often. Or maybe that’s a good thing. I have a funky work schedule. A few months during the year I work at a temp job scoring papers for standardized tests. You know the ones. It’s very hush, hush, so that’s about all I can say about it. But it keeps me in convention spending money, so I work full time off and on during the year. A month in the fall, a few months in the spring, half of summer. And I have to drive to get there, so I listen to audio books.

The Tipping PointLast year I had a¬†disastrous¬†read with Nora Roberts first book in the Bride series. The narrator was terrible and the book itself turned out to not be Nora’s best. I wasn’t sure I wanted to listen to anything after that. But Kristen Lamb had been talking about¬†Malcolm¬†Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, and it sounded fascinating. So I took the leap.

Love, love, love the book. If you are interested at all in how anything becomes a movement, how smoking is contagious, or even how disease spreads, The Tipping Point is for you. I even love Malcolm reading his own book. His dry voice became a guide to the curious world of how we make decisions.

And when you read The Tipping Point, go back to Kristen’s posts of last fall. She goes into all the selling aspects and how it applies to writers and bloggers and anyone who is interested in any kind of promotion. I figured out that I am a maven. Okay, not a super maven like Malcolm Gladwell features in his book, but I am a know-it-all who people ask for information. I’m the person who strikes up a conversation in a grocery store with complete strangers and shares my information on carpet cleaners, just because I overheard them almost buy a brand I hated and I can’t stand to let them make a mistake.

Blink, by malcolm gladwellThis year I decided to read Blink, another Malcom Gladwell book. This one is about those split second¬†decisions¬†we all make, and we have no idea how. You know the ones. When you meet someone and really dislike them, but can’t put your finger on why. Or the time you just knew not to step off that curb and the bus ran the red light and would have crushed you.

Malcolm’s familiar voice guided me through the world of decisions made in seconds. A darker world of liars, art forgery, and accidental shootings.

Blink is fairly short, and I had to fast forward through a tedious list of facial movements, all numbered and described till I wanted to pull my hair out, but I still enjoyed it. In fact, I’m¬†recommending¬†it. Despite it’s flaws it is an amazing subject. Once you understand how you think about things like marriage and racism, you will never be the same.

Next week on Saturday I’ll let you know about the book I’m reading now: a combo of George Orwell meets Barbie. That should get your attention!

What are your summer reads. Are you an audio reader? Have you read anything by Malcolm Gladwell? Are you a MyWana fan and love Kristen Lamb, like I do?

6 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Sensational Saturday's, writing craft

Editing is the Pits

Sensational Saturday

a blog for whatever…

Stock Images - Four cherries close-up
Whenever I think I have a handle on life my bowl of cherries turns out to have pits. It’s normal and natural and not what I want in my teeth. But there they are. Pits.

Life lessons.

When I was younger I had no clue about life lessons. I didn’t know why things happened to me. I bounced from event to event, not learning what the universe was trying to teach me. Picking seeds out of my life.

But now I know. This is our class room and those pits are there to teach us lessons. And when you learn that one, there is another and another and another. Maybe some of you have achieved perfection, but not me.

Even though I figured out a few years ago that life was like that, I had to extend it to writing. When you edit, you tend to focus on what you’ve just learned, what’s fresh at the time. You are looking for¬†raspberries¬†in your manuscript, so you don’t see the cherries. Till you are happy with it and send it in, then suddenly, those cherries stand out.

<Stock Image - CherrypieLuckily there is usually another chance. And your editor is happy to sit down at the kitchen table with you and get out the hardware and cut out the landmines waiting in the cherries. All the pits will be gone. Or not. Don’t forget, your editor is human too. She has her own issues and might miss a few. So don’t be surprised if you think you have a perfect pie, but when you bite in, there are pits.

It’s just the lessons you have to work on next time and you can take the time to figure them out and apply them to the next manuscript. Or you can be like me and go to the dentist.

Hope you are all having a wonderful¬†beginning¬†to your summer. I’m off to Rom Con in a few weeks, getting excited! Hope to see some of you there!

6 Comments

Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Writer's Journey