Monday, July 30, 2012

#BookReview ; Falling Under

Kindle Edition Cover

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Dreaded Siggie

The whole 'give away a signed cover of Make Believe' time came.

My initial reaction was excitement - the whole squeeeeeeeeeeing thing. Seeing my name on the cover of a book - not just my name - but my signed name.

My siggie. My X. Woo Hoo! Right??

My second raction - I was horrified. Shame-faced. It's like my own personal stamp, and my signature looks horrible.

I got an email from the marketing director over at JTP instructing me to sign my name on plain white paper, scan it, and send back so she could have the signed covers made up.

Siggie - no problem although it made me cringe.

Scan? Problem. I don't have a scanner. I packed up my 2 little, whining daughters, drove the 15 minutes to the UPS store, and paid 50 cents for a scan & save to my memory stick. The kid at the counter gave me a funny look over scanning an 8x10 white sheet with a scribble across the middle. I pretended not to notice, busying myself with chiding my daughters for getting into their card display.

Got home, downloaded, attached & sent.

I posted in our author's forum that I was thoroughly ashamed of the sig I had to send in. I called it 'U.G.L.Y.'.

Our headlinger (and all-around-lovely-lady) JA Belfield, had this to say:

"LOL, Terri. If it's any consolation, I HATE my signature. But to do a pretty one, I have to concentrate too hard, and it takes too long, and then it won't fit on a bookmark if I sign those, so I went for my signature in its most basic form and that'll have to do. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Nobody is going to analyse it but you."

Her words made me feel a million times better. Is anyone really going to look at that book cover and say, "Good Lord Terri's siggie is awful!"  I don't think so.


Two days later I got an email w/ the digital copy of the signed cover. WOW! I LOVED what I saw. Awful siggie & all! It looked so purdy. I was so proud.

If you missed it, head over HERE for a chance to win a printed, signed copy of Make Believe.

My signature isn't really THAT bad, is it????

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#MakeBelieve Signed Cover #Giveaway !!!

Pretties up for grab!!

Woo Hoo! My siggie on the cover of a book!  Yeeeee Ha!

I'm framing a 5x7 for myself. Want one??? Simply leave a howdy comment & you're entered in the chance to win! I'll draw ONE lucky winner on Wednesday, August 1st! PLEASE leave me your email address or twitter handle so I can contact you!

Yes, yes, I know. The ! are getting annoying. I'll stop now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

#BookReview : Here (On the Otherside #1)

YA / Sci-Fi

Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

My Review: 4 Stars

Rockin' cover, but that's besides the point. This one convinced me of what I didn't think possible - I'm a YA fan. Yup. Me.

I've read a handful, but this book got to me. The emotions of Ms. Swank's writing nabbed my attention & empathy from the get-go & didn't release me till near the end. That's where my less than 5 star review occured.

But, on to the usuals & you'll learn why.

Yummies:  Empathy. Emotions. Hooked. I had no idea a sci-fi element existed till it occurred. A good book suddenly became excellent, IMO.

Typical love triangle, but the fact that *SPOILER ALERT* the 2 guys kinda morphed into 3 ...????? Really stinkin' cool.

Yuckies:  The climactic moment near the end of this book felt off. There is no violence (other than the bullying) till the ending, and suddenly Julia, the MC, *SPOILER ALERT* shoots a dude with a handgun - between the eyes.

Um ... Don't think so. For this scene alone I dropped that stellar 5* rating to a 4*.

Recommend:  Of course. And I can't wait for November's next installment!!!

Click HERE to add Here *insert giggle here* to your Goodreads list!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Neverending Rollercoast Ride

The viscious circle of submission and rejection. And submission. And rejection. And ... wait. Was that an acceptance? Woo Hoo!

*squeeeeeing while topping that ridge*

Another rejection. Blah. The uphill climb - the hope, the waiting. Then bam.

Another rejection. Another low.

Feels never ending, doesn't it???  These authors rode the rollercoaster. Perhaps you've heard of them?

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter was rejected by 5 publishers.

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind (a pulitzer prize winner, mind you) was rejected 18 times.

William Golding's Lord of the flies got a big fat NO 20 times.

Stephen King had dozens of rejections.

John Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by 16 agents & a dozen publishers.

I think my point is obvious. These folks didn't jump off the rollercoaster. They pulled those lap bars tighter and hung on for dear life, determined to ride it out. Did they enjoy every second, hands held high & squeeeeing? Did they hit the 'send' button in fear in trembling? Send out that snail mail package in excitement or depression? I'm sure they did both,BUT they didn't let the NO stop them.

There's an English word for a beginning writer who never gives up. Published.  - J. Konrath

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
- Benjamin Franklin

Those authors didn't give up. Their stories of success, of perseverance (IN SPITE OF DISCOURAGEMENT!!!)  are worth reading. Hang in there. Keep hitting that 'send' button.

Do YOU squeeee? Cry? Smash your head on the table like that muppet character, Don Music, does on his piano? You know the one ...

"Oh, I'll never get it right! Never!" 

Yup. That's me. A LOT. How 'bout you? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

#MeetTheAuthor : Interview With the lovely J.A. Belfield / Eternal #BookReview

Today in celebration of her latest release, Eternal, a Holloway Pack prequel, the lovely J.A. Belfield has agreed to give us a little inside scoop on Jem, Sean, and herself.  

Who is this woman, you ask? Only one of the most awesome paranormal romance authors today. Just over a year ago, her debut novel, Darkness & Light, arrived in my mailbox from and my thoughts on werewolves and this genre changed. I was hooked, and have since gobbled up anything with her name on the cover.

So without further ramblings on my part, let's dive in.

To people unfamiliar with Sean & Jem’s story, tell us about it in a few sentences.

Sean’s & Jem’s story spans across centuries: a tale of werewolves and love, and coming full circle, of fate and destiny, and reincarnation and reunions guided by magic. From Instinct, where they meet for the first time and their relationship forms, to Eternal, where we see the progression of the relationship forged in Instinct as well as the consequences of decisions made/actions taken, to Darkness & Light, where we see a modern-day Sean and Jem, understand how the magical bond that brings them back together works, and see that still, centuries later, there are repercussions for Sean’s actions shown in Instinct.

I love how you’re going back in time w/ Jem & Sean—to their past selves. Was it tough morphing these modern characters into past lives, where thoughts and actions would be very different than today?

Aww, thank you. I always had a very strong idea of where it all began for Jem & Sean, right down to the first sighting between them happening in the marketplace (as depicted in Instinct). To be honest, the hardest part for me was getting the dialogue right and making that sound authentic, which also had to bleed over into the narration as I write 1st person pov. Mostly, though, I just made sure to avoid cuss words, which tend to be pretty rife in some of my stories, and was leery of which contractions I used. ‘Picturing’ them in their outfits from that timeframe was fun, though—I did a fair amount of research for that.

I know you’re not a plotter / planner, so I’m wondering … when you blindly dive in, do the characters start talking to you, or do you control their destinies?

This is a very tough question. Sometimes I dive right in. I certainly did for Darkness & Light, Instinct and Eternal, yet I had as much of a plan as I’ve ever had when I wrote Blue Moon. For those I don’t plan, I usually start with the scene my head comes in at and just let the story take me from there. I love that the story sometimes surprises me, and my head takes twists and turns at certain points in the tale that I might not have ventured down had I been following a pre-plotted route.

Favorite 6 lines from Eternal?

From chapter 8, interaction between Jem & Sean:

“Sean, do you think it will change me at all?”
“Yes.” He drew back slightly, and his eyebrows, black in the dimness, arched up against his paler flesh. “A lot shall change.”
My pulse stumbled at his words, and I lost my breath for a moment until he kissed me hard.
“In less than forty hours,” he said against my lips, “you shall own my name as well as my heart.”

And finally, what is the single best piece of writing advice you have for aspiring authors?

Write. Write. Then write some more.

Buddy up (or join a critique site). Trust me when I say you’ll get as much—possibly more—from this than those you’re critiquing if you spend enough time homing this craft.
And finally: research. By that, I mean research the industry. If you’re serious about being published, you need to have at least an understanding of the system you’re planning to head into otherwise you’ll be going into it unprepared.

My Review:

As with most enjoyable novellas, this one was much too short. Time-period perfect - in setting & dialogue - I was transported from the very beginning.

I'm thrilled that Ms. Belfield took us back to the first Sean & Jem and explained how they were bonded for eternity - how when one died, the other would as well only to be reborn in another lifetime.

Yummies:  As noted above, the time period was spot-on. The language consistend & believable. Ms. B's style of writing whisks your emotions along with Sean & Jem's, in the steamy & fear.

Could just be the time period / word usage, but Eternal at times has a poetic feel to it which I LOVED.

Yuckies: None. Heck, Ms. B even made the villian seem hot. Half of me wished Jem's sister would become his female wolf. Alas, it wasn't to be. Sigh.

Recommend:  As with all Ms. B's works ... YES! The next installment of the Halloway Pack, Blue Moon, releases on December 1st. NOT soon enough IMO.

I don't normally share a fav line, but this one I had to re-read & read again.

'To be denied you would be hell. I would rather die than live without you. I am incomplete without you.'
Now seriously. What woman WOULDN'T melt at that one???

Instinct Avail for el cheap-o this month!!! Like 99 cents cheap-o! UK

Stalk J.A. Belfield :                 Her books:
Facebook                                       Instinct (#0)
Goodreads                                     Darkness & Light (#1)
Twitter                                          Blue Moon (#2)
Pinterest                                       Fated EncounterFormspring
Shelfari                                          Into the Unknown
                                                        Make Believe

Monday, July 9, 2012

#MeetTheAuthor of Honor the Pack, Kaycee Looney

A fantasy novella
by Kaycee Looney
4.5 Stars
Honor the pack without question. It is the only life Eshla has ever known, but her wolf pack is starving and a single hope remains. One of them must leave the forest and bring back easy prey—human prey. Chosen by the pack elders to shed her wolf form, Eshla sets out for the nearest human settlement to walk among them and gain their trust.

Yet when Eshla meets Connell, she can’t decide if she’d rather run from him or be near him. As she struggles to comprehend her feelings, she begins to question her ability to fulfill her duty to the pack. Then Connell reveals that he is the son of an adopted aunt she never knew existed, and everything Eshla thought she knew about her transformation, and honor, dissolves into chaos.

My Review:

A twist on the werewolf story, this comes from the wolf's perspective. Eshla, the MC, must become a human in order to save her pack. She learns the human ways and in doing so becomes attached to them. A choice must be made, and she is forced to put loved ones lives in jeopardy.

Yummies:  While too short IMO, this story is full of emotion - obstacles that made my heart ache for Eshla. The setting descriptions set a slightly dark tone, perfectly fitting the life-threatening choice she must make.

Yuckies:  It was too short. Any novella that nabs me like this one did is always yucky in this way.

Recommend:  Absolutely! A quickie read, you'll be left wanting more.

Let's meet the uber-super-crazy busy Kaycee Looney

Thanks so much to Kaycee for taking time out of her busy schedule to share with us! Be sure to check out Honor the Pack on Goodreads HERE!
I’d like to preface this interview by saying thank you so much (Terri) for the opportunity to be a part of your blog. You were one of the people who helped shape “Honor the Pack” into a publish-worthy piece of writing. I can’t thank you enough for your support over the years we’ve been “cyber friends.”  I wish you much well-deserved success with your upcoming anthology publication – and many more publications to follow!
But of course! Now, on to my picking-of-your-brain!! HtP is totally different from the normal werewolf / changeling stories of today, focusing on the wolf rather than the human aspect. Where did your inspiration come from? 

I was driving home through the mountains from my nephew’s birthday party and when I crested a hill the full moon loomed over the road. It was enormous. My brain immediately went into “what if” mode. I thought, “What would it be like if a wolf turned human during the full moon? How would she react to human customs and emotions?” And in matter of minutes, Eshla was born.

We’ve been ‘cyber friends’ for a bit of time now, so I know how busy your life is right now with school. As writers, we’re dreamers, but know the bills must get paid. You’ve chosen the law route. How do you juggle law school and your love of writing?
It has been tough juggling my first year of law school with my creative writing. I certainly haven’t had as much time to write as often, or as much, as I’d like. One thing that has helped keep me on track is the weekly Word Wars on the Writer’s Digest Forums. It makes me accountable for an hour of uninterrupted writing each week. Some weeks (okay, most weeks), it is the only creative writing time I have but it’s just the break from reality that I need. Writing has always been my way to escape – and I really need an escape these days.
Where is your ideal place to write? That spot you dream of spending hours on end putting to paper (computer) what those voices in your head tell you?

An interesting question, Terri. Since I am a currently victim of apartment living and quiet is in short supply, I’d have to say that my ideal place to write would have to be in a secluded cabin. When I really feel the itch to write for long, uninterrupted periods of time I miss my little hometown in Southeast Alaska. It was never very difficult to find a place where I could be alone with my story ideas growing up. 
You’re currently working on 2 historical fiction stories—don’t ask me HOW. If you could go back in time, where and when would you go? Any special people you’d like to meet?
Do I have to pick just one time period? I’d have to say I’d love to visit the Ancient Roman Empire during the first century. It would be amazing to see the reality of what I’m imagining. I’d just like to meet and talk to everyday people while I was there to see what their lives were like.
If I could travel back to the 17th Century Caribbean, the setting for my other WIP, I’d love to meet Anne Bonny herself since she is the inspiration for that project. It would be incredible to sail on a pirate vessel for a few weeks.
Of course, all of the fun involved in these journeys greatly hinges on my knowledge that I could come back home again whenever I wished. I don’t think I’d want to stay in either of those time periods for long. I’m too spoiled by my 21st century independence, which women in those times did not enjoy.
Can you give us a smidge to whet our appetite for these WIPs?
Of course! Keep in mind, however, that both of these are still in rough draft form. And they are both, as of yet, untitled. J The first excerpt is from my historical fiction set in the 1st Century A.D. Roman Empire. It begins in Greece with Calliope living with her family. She is then sold as a slave by her cousin after she rejects his offer of marriage. The novel ends in Rome, with Calli finding love and learning to accept the new life she was thrust into.
Greece; June A.D. 62

Calliope and her younger sister, Echo, linked arms and hurried down the hall to the dining room. Hunger wasn’t what made them rush, but the fear of being late. Their father ignored his daughters as a habit, but was quick to discipline them.
Theodorus sat at the head of the table. He once had thick, flaxen curls. Now only a small fringe encircled his head, drawing more attention to his ice blue eyes. Deep wrinkles creased his brow and drew lines from the sides of his upturned nose to his full mouth. Calliope touched her own golden curls, wishing she didn’t resemble him so much. 
Calli’s mother and two elder sisters, Melaina and Zoe were already seated in their usual places. Releasing Echo’s arm, Calli took her own seat, avoiding her father’s glare as he said the nightly blessing over their supper.
“Demeter, goddess of the harvest and growing things, I ask your blessing on this meal and on my family.” Theodorus reached out and grabbed the nearest dish, filled with couscous and vegetables, and piled some onto his plate to signal the beginning of the meal.
They ate without speaking. It was improper for a woman to address a man unless he spoke first, and her father was a man of very few words.
“Calliope.” He sprayed pita crumbs and hummus across the table.
She jumped at the sound of his voice. Punishment for being late was certain to follow this direct address. “Yes, Father?”
“How old are you?”
“Fifteen in five weeks time, Father.”
Theodorus rubbed his graying beard. “Already?” He looked at her sisters and then back at her. “Then it appears, I now have three daughters eating my food who should be in the care of a husband with children of their own.”
She looked at her plate and said nothing.
“It is time that you were all matched. I cannot afford to keep you here indefinitely. Melaina and Zoe must be married first. But I will have the three of you out of my house before the end of growing season.”
Calli exchanged a shocked look with her older sisters. The growing season ended in less than four months! Calli looked to her mother for some sign of help, but Mother averted her eyes and piled more food onto her plate.
Calli’s stomach roiled. She slapped a hand over her mouth, got up from the table and ran.
She made it as far as the hall before her supper heaved itself from her stomach.

This second excerpt is from my YA Alternate History set in the 17th Century Caribbean. The main character is the child rumored to have been born in Cuba to Anne Bonny approximately a year before she was captured and tried for piracy. The historical record is unclear on what happened to Anne herself after she was imprisoned, but I like to think she escaped, changed her name, and sailed the seas as a pirate for many more years. J
Cuba, 1736
Shielding my eyes from the sun’s glare, I looked out to sea. The trade ships anchored in the harbor bobbed like birds on the waves. The flags flying from their masts were reduced to colorful ribbons at this distance. I could make out Spain’s white flag with its red and gold crest on many of them.
Evarado was on one of those ships. He was coming home today – my seventeenth birthday. His return was the best present I could have asked for. My elder brother and I were very similar in many ways. It led to a lot of bickering during our younger years. But now that we were grown, well almost grown in my case, our bond was strong. He was my best friend and I had not seen him in two years. I bounced on my toes in anticipation as I saw a longboat being lowered from one of the nearest ships. Evarado could be aboard it. And I prayed that he had been able to find the information I’d asked him to seek out during his travels.
Letters would never do to pass it along if he had. Mamí read everything that came into the house. So I’d kept the secret and counted the days until my brother’s return. How much longer was I expected to wait?
The longboat drew nearer and one of the sailors leapt to his feet, waving his arms like a wild man. I wanted to believe it was him, but he was still too far away to see clearly. Then he shouted something. I tilted my head, straining to make out the words.
There may have been another Clara in the crowd, perhaps three or four. But none of them stood out like I did with my sunset red hair, and I knew it was Evarado even though his voice sounded deeper and more raspy than I recalled it.
“Evarado!” I didn’t care that all the women lining the shore were staring at me as I returned his wave, jumping up and down on the sand. “‘Rado, you’re home!”
I couldn’t wait for the boat to land on the beach and ran into the surf as they neared the shore. My brother, now wearing a beard that covered his dimples, leaped out to meet me smelling of salt and fresh air, not like tobacco and earth as he used to. He picked me up and we nearly tumbled into the ocean as he tried to swing me in a circle. I didn’t care. I was laughing so hard that tears spilled down my cheeks. When at last we sloshed out of the water, he put me down.
 “What has Mamí been feeding you, hermanita? You are as tall as I am.”
I ducked my head to avoid his surprised stare. My height was just one more thing which made me different. I punched his shoulder to disguise my discomfort.  “Obviously better food than the ship’s cook has been giving you, hermano.”
Laughing, Evarado squeezed me into another long hug. “I do not doubt that, ‘Nita. I can’t wait to get home and have some real food.”
 “Well then, hurry up. Mamí’s been watching the harbor for the past five days and cooking for ten.” 

Let me know when you're done with these two puppies - I'd love to beta read! Lastly, what or who has influenced your writing the most? Your reading?
When I was 13, I read “The Masque of the Red Death” for English class and I was hooked. I wanted to be able to write something that would stir people’s emotions like that story did for me. I wrote a lot of horror during my early days as an aspiring author. Since then, I’ve branched out into various genres and found I have a special love for historical fiction and fantasy (including alternate history). My current influences would have to be; Tamora Pierce, Melissa Marr, and Cassandra Clare.
My reading habits have been very much influenced by other aspiring writers who give me recommendations for new authors. I’ve recently become interested in the Steampunk genre and am a big fan of Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris’ Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series.


Friday, July 6, 2012


Welcome to my post for the Summer Reads Giveaway Hop. Thanks to I am a Reader, Not a WriterRex Robot Reviews for organizing & hosting this hop.  Please click on the badge below, which will take you to the page holding the list of all participants. Check them out for a chance to win awesome prizes!

The Giveaway:

I'm giving away a $10 or less book of your choice from! Simply go to THIS LINK and fill out the form. Complete four tasks for four chances to win!

Thanks so much for stopping by & good luck! Don't forget to click on the Blog Hop for a listing of over 100 giveaways!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blog Hopping 101: What is it?

No. No. No. I'm NOT talking about the movie.

What is it? According to Linky Tools:

A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.
When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list. The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.
Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can “HOP” from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!
HUH? A bit confusing IMO. In Terri's terms, you sign up w/ the blog hosting & you're added to a participating bloggers list. Nabbing the cute little badge button & posting it on your own blog creates that link back to the hosting site, thus the list of countless other blogs involved. Still not getting it??? I wasn't sure till I just decided to dive in & learn by doing.

It's a crash course I took at the beginning of June. I stopped by one of my cyber buds & saw she was involved in one hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, who hosts them every two weeks.

'What's this?' I wondered. 'Looks like fun!' I went to Not A Writer's blog to see what it was all about. The next hop coming up was the Debut Author Blog Hop. I just happened to be helping another bud, Rebecca Hart, with the blog tour she was doing for her debut novel, Call of the Sea, at the same time the hop was going on.

Well, I signed up. HERE is what my blog looked like on opening day. And what fun! I learned how to use Rafflecopter - that giveaway widget I'd seen on dozens of blogs. I also learned the joy of hosting a giveaway - AND I gained over 20 blog followers because of it.

Pretty stoked.

Signed up for another where I'll be giving away a $10 or less book of your choice. Check out the Summer Reads widget to the right. It runs from July 6th - 11th. Click on it to learn more.

Never been involved in a blog hop before? Sign up! It's easy, fun, & you'll get to meet a slew of great peeps.

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's #ETERNAL by @JABelfield Release Day!!


Congrats to my cyber bud (can't wait to meet her in real life), J A Belfield, rockin' author of the Holloway Pack Series. Yummy werewolves - wait - yummy MEN who turn into those fuzzy creatures.
Here it is in a nutshell, folks. Look, read, then go nab a copy!!

Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Historical, Paranormal Romance, Werewolf

An unmarried woman living in a house of men breeds heresay and lore. If only the villagers knew the truth.

It’s not Jem Stonehouse’s marital status that brings unwanted strangers to town. Rather, it’s that she is the only female werewolf in existence — a prize to any pack.

Sean Holloway, the love of Jem’s life, has gone to great lengths to protect her. As a new attack becomes imminent, Sean realizes he must take greater measures with Jem’s safety or risk losing her forever.

His first task must be to marry her, but a force greater than the largest werewolf stands in his way.

Go. Nab a copy. Quick!

Not real sure who else is carrying this, so PLEASE head on over to Julie's website & find out more!