Monday, March 23, 2015

HOW NOT TO TRAIN A ZOMBIE!!!





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Excerpt from HOW NOT TO TRAIN A ZOMBIE!!! 

An older model, dirty white utility van was parked in the gravel driveway next to a green truck with a blue tarp draped over the cab. The large, bold lettering on the side of the van was easy to read in spite of the thick layer of dirt.

Pratt’s Extermination
We take care of all your ZOMBIE problems!
Day or Night
Call
830-207-DEAD

Max grinned as he read the sign painted on the side of the van. “That’s so cool!” he said in an awe filled voice. Then he saw the sign on the driver’s door.

No ZOMBIE too big,
too small, or too rotten
for us to haul.

“That’s got to be the coolest job anyone can have. If my dad was a zombie exterminator, I would be bragging to everyone,” Max said as he slid off his bicycle and pushed it up the driveway.
Max paused at the back of the van. Standing up on the tips of his toes he tried looking in the back of it, hoping to get a glimpse of something—preferably a zombie. Preoccupied with trying to see something, he didn’t hear the crunch, crunch on the gravel.
“What are you doing?”
Max jumped back away from the van as if it were too hot to touch. “I wasn’t doing anything.”


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Blitz: Hunting Season by Nikki Jefford




Hunting Season 
by Nikki Jefford
(Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #4)
Publication date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult



Synopsis
Better to be a hunter, not prey.

Ever since her partner was kidnapped, Aurora Sky has been on a personal mission to get him back. To do that she needs the vampire responsible for destroying her life.

In order to have a snowball’s chance at success, she’ll have to team up with her most loyal friends—including a certain vampire in black with a provoking talent for distraction.

Old cravings aren’t easily quenched, nor past passions. With knowledge comes danger and Aurora is at risk on all sides.

Where to Buy
 

About Nikki Jefford
Bookaholic, nature girl, and animal lover.

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands (WA) where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada in a town without a single traffic light.

She married the love of her life, Sebastien, while working as a teaching assistant in France. They reside with their Westie, Cosmo in Friday Harbor.

Loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt.

Author Links:



Special!!!


Night of the Living Dante
 (Cover by Najla Qamber Designs)
 

Dante has just been assigned Aurora Sky's mentor. 

Before they meet, he goes on a mission in the Alaska Interior with his old partner and informant, Janine. 

Full of thrills, chills, and... Dante!
 
Bonus story at the back of Hunting Season on all pre-orders and release week sales. 

Ends: March 9. Don’t miss out on Dante’s mission.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cover Reveal: Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis

Today, I have the pleasure to show you the cover for 
Jennifer Anne Davis's new book,  
Cage of Deceit.
This is the first book in her new Reign of Secrets series 
which is a spin-off of her True Reign series.




 
Cage of Deceit 
by Jennifer Anne Davis
 
(Reign of Secrets #1) 
(Spin-off from the True Reign Series)
 
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
 
Publication date: August 25th 2015
 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult





Synopsis
ennifer Anne Davis’ best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.
Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she's beautiful, elegant, and refined. She is the darling of the kingdom and, one day, will be the most powerful ruler in the world. But for her, life at court is like a suffocating cage. During the day, she manages to keep a smile on her face and play the part of the perfect princess. But at night, she sneaks out of the castle and roams the streets with a commoner who doesn't know her true identity. She keeps tabs on the shady under dealings of the city and seeks out ways to help her people firsthand.

When a royal messenger arrives half dead, carrying news that an army from the northern front is amassing to destroy Emperion, Allyssa is forced to entertain an alliance with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom. She needs to marry him in order to secure his country's help to fight their mutual enemy. Prince Odar turns out to be rather charming, well spoken, and cultivated. In other words, he represents everything she despises about court life. To make matters worse, the prince insists that Jarvik— his nosy squire—watch Allyssa's every move, suffocating her even more. Jarvik is infuriating, bossy, and constantly looks down upon her.

When she sneaks out of the castle in disguise one evening, Allyssa comes face-to-face with an assassin who isn't from this part of the world, an assassin who was sent to murder the royal family. Stuck in an impossible bind, she allows Jarvik to help her. Together, the unlikely pair confronts the man sent to kill her so she can discover who's behind the lethal plot. Only, the more she learns, the more she understands that the invading army and the assassin are connected to an enemy she thought was long gone—an enemy with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. The cage she so longs to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she has to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.



About 
Jennifer Anne Davis


Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. 
Afterwards, she married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids' creativity.



How to Contact Ms. Davis
 
 
 
The first book in the True Reign Series is free! 
Read The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis today!

 
 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Excerpt: THE MONSTER'S SCRIBBLER



 The Monster's Scribbler
by Annie Rachel Cole


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Excerpt 


Phoebe closed her eyes and chewed on her bottom lip, torn between the need to be invisible and the need to help the girl. She opened her eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly. 

She put her notebook and some of Madison’s books into stacks on the table. “You don’t need to apologize to her. She’s the one who pushed the bag under your feet,” she said to Madison. 

“I should’ve b-been w-watching where I w-was g-g-going.” Madison’s voice was soft and low. 

 “You did nothing wrong. Jayla shouldn’t be trying to get her kicks at your expense.”  

“Excuse me!” Jayla’s head bounced from side to side. “But you are not a part of this conversation. Besides, you were too busy writing in that notebook to even see what happened. So go away. Drop dead. Or something.” 

Heads bobbed up and down in agreement at her table. 

“I didn’t have to see it to know what you did. You’ve been pulling stunts like that since kindergarten,” said Phoebe. 

“I know you. You are a scribbler. Right?” Jayla’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “Loser!” She put her fingers in the shape of an “L” up to her forehead. The girls at her table roared with laughter. 

“At least I’m not a—what do you call yourself?” Phoebe paused tapping her finger on her head. “I remember now. At least I’m not a weregerbil. How low on the shifting chain is that?” 

Snickers flickered across the room, but everyone at Jayla’s table suddenly grew quiet, waiting to see what Jayla would do. 

Jayla turned several shades of red. “I don’t need this. There’s too many freaks on the this committee.” She grabbed her gym bag and stomped out of the room, followed closely by her gaggle of friends. 

Phoebe turned her attention to Madison. “Are you okay?” 

The other girl nodded and pushed at an imaginary pair of glasses. Realizing what she was doing, she quickly put down her hand. “Thanks. You didn’t have to do that.” 

Phoebe shrugged. “It wasn’t right what she did.” 

“Way to go, Wilson,” said a black-haired girl with a pierced lip and a silver studded dog collar around her neck. “Weregerbil. That’s a good one.” 

“Yeah, I’ll have to remember that,” said the girl sitting across from her. She was also dressed in black. “Who would have thought—weregerbil.” 

Murmurs of agreement and approval rose from different parts of the room. 

“Can I sit here?” asked Madison. She had collected the rest of her books. She looked at Phoebe with the expectation of being told to go somewhere else. 

Phoebe shrugged. “If you want to.” 

Madison put her books down and slid into the chair next to Phoebe. A huge smile covered her face. 

Phoebe handed her the books she picked up. Madison took them adding them to the stack that loomed in front of her like a wall. 

“I’m Madison Rose.” She held out her hand to Phoebe. 

A little reluctantly, Phoebe shook her hand. “Phoebe Wilson.”
 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Questions About Writing

Over the years, I have taken classes on writing, read books on the subject, and have taught myself how to create outlines that work for me. All of these things have improved my writing style and techniques, and as a result some of the things I used to do have changed too.

Last week, a former student teacher sent me an email with several questions from one of her students. I thought I would share the questions and answers with you.

Egyptian writing. Photo by Annie Cole

How do you come up with character names?

I really don’t have a specific way of coming up with character names. Sometimes a name pops into my head and I start building a character around it. I also have a “running” list of names in my outline book. When I hear interesting names or see unique spellings I like, I jot them down. I also have a book of baby names and meanings. Knowing the meaning of a name is helpful when I’m looking for character names that will identify something about the character. On-line searches are also good for this too.

I just finish working on the outline for book 3 in the Children of Atlantis series. I’ve been searching for names for my Byssolarians (you briefly meet them in book 2). I wanted many of the names to have ties with the ocean or water.

For last names, I often grab the phone book and skim through it until I find something that clicks with my image of the character.

How do you finish/start a chapter?
It took me awhile to figure this out when I started writing. Is there a set formula? No. Here’s what works for me. A chapter is like a smaller story within the bigger story. It needs to have something of a beginning, middle, and closure, but lead into the next scene/incident. It must carry the bigger story forward. When I start a chapter, I try to get the action moving as quickly as possible. At the end of the chapter, I want to wrap up the scene, but leave some questions the character has to answer, or new information/danger the character has to deal with and that will move the story forward.

Resin copy of Rosetta Stone. Photo by Annie Cole
How do you come up with an opening to the story?
Think of the story as a movie. You want to get the story rolling, without doing a huge info dump. With Guardian of Atlantis, I wanted Raven in the awkward situation of being the new girl in the middle of the school year and then immediately give her more problems to deal with.

As for the info dump, spread what you need throughout the story. You will know a lot more about your story and characters than you actually put into the story.

How do you introduce the main character and make them seem interesting?
Have the main character in a typical situation that turns out not to be so typical, but leave the reader wanting to know more or wondering why this is happening to them.
For example:  Ravens bluish-black hair immediately gets her into trouble as soon as she walks into the school building. Why did the girl make the rude comment? Why is the teacher already picking on the new girl?

How do you deliver the main character’s description?
I try to spread the description out. Instead of telling you Raven has bluish-black hair, I have a student making a rude comment and a teacher taking her to the office for dying her hair. I also let you see some of Raven’s defiance in the conversation she has with the teacher. Don’t dump the info, spread it out in the story.

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Movies I Want to See

I have to confess. I didn't watch the Superbowl for the game. I watched it for the commercials, but what's sad is the only commercial I honestly remember is the movie trailer for the new Terminator movie.

Yelp, I caught that one.

It got me to thinking. What other movies are coming out this year that I might like?

Type in a search, and you come up with a list. Everything from fantasy to comedy to action adventure. I tend to go for the fantasy/sci-fi genre.  It has always been a favorite for me.

Two of the movies on my want to see list actually come out today.
  • Jupiter Ascending (fantasy/action)
  • Seventh Son (fantasy/adventure)

The other movies I want to see are:
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (fantasy/action) scheduled release on May 15
  • Jurassic World (fantasy/thriller) scheduled release on June 12
  • Terminator: Genisys (fantasy/action) scheduled release on July 1
  • Star Wars: Episode VII (fantasy/action) scheduled release on December 18
What movies are you looking forward to seeing this year?