Saturday, 28 March 2015

Cover Reveal - The Black Oracle by Michael Cristiano

THE BLACK ORACLE


Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: May 25, 2015
Cover Art: Alexandria N. Thompson
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, humans are not alone.
Joachim is a hunter. Though generations have passed since the Great Death, something has evolved in the trees beyond the giant glowing mushrooms, mutants that want to see human entrails spread along the jungle floor.
And now they've taken Joachim’s wife.
To get her back, Joachim will have to give the leader of these demons something in return: immortality. A creature knows when he is going to die, after all. Plunged into a world of magic and darkness, Joachim must find the only woman in who knows where the ingredients are. She is a prophetess known as the Black Oracle living in the realm of Zalm, but she’s a little preoccupied at the moment. She leads a rebellion against the ruthless High Council, and when Joachim seeks her out, he too finds himself consumed by her struggle.
In a story of betrayal, prophecy, and bloodshed, Joachim has ten days to retrieve the ingredients and return to Earth all while evading the High Council’s army, one that wants the Black Oracle and her associates killed — Joachim included.
Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads!
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Michael Cristiano is a Canadian writer. His relentless obsession with fiction began long before he could even spell the words 'relentless obsession'. Growing up in endless suburban sprawl, he spent most of his childhood getting lost in fantastical masterpieces and attempting to be published by the age of thirteen.
When he isn’t writing or reading, he can be found planning his next backpacking trip around the world. He is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with studies in Foreign Language and Linguistics. Previously, he attended a Regional Arts high school where he majored in drama. He is fond of all things dramatic.
Michael currently resides in the Greater Toronto Area and he is using his years as a twenty-something to establish what he hopes will be a long career in writing. The Black Oracle, his debut novel, is due for publication on May 11, 2015.


#WIPMarathon: March Update

It's time for another #WIPMarathon update, hosted by the lovely Ifeoma Dennis!

Last report wordcount: I'd finished drafting the final Alliance book!

Current report wordcount:  I did the read-through of the entire Alliance series to see how much needed fixing. I reassembled the jigsaw of Book 3 and managed to get it into the right order without breaking the book (YES!). I fixed some of the major issues in the other books.

WIP issues this month: Lack of focus.  Being done with a series made it difficult to focus on planning something new when I was still emotionally tangled up in the Alliance series.

Four things I learned this month in writing:
  • I will never get everything right the first time. Or the second time. Or the third... well, it takes me 6-10 drafts to have a book I'm happy with, including multiple rounds of feedback. I probably rewrite at least 60% of each draft, because I have a tendency towards telling, filter words, repetition, excessive use of adverbs, and basically everything you're not supposed to do. :P So I have to rewrite every other sentence. (This is why I infinitely prefer editing other people's books to editing my own...)
  • Keep an over-used words list for line editing. Mine's two pages long now, and includes all those useless filler words, unnecessary adverbs, and repetitive phrases that crop up in my writing when I'm power-drafting.
  • Starting a new project is hard. Outlining is hard, but always worth it. (Evidenced by the fact that I just wrote a series in six months! O.O)
  • Some projects need more time than others. Alliance was better-planned from the beginning, so I could draft the series back to back, but I have a few projects from last year that went completely off the rails and need re-planning.
What distracted me this month when writing:  Adamant being published! 

Goal for next month: Finish proofreading Nemesis. Complete another revision round on Alliance 3.

I've also signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I'm planning to revisit the book I wrote a year ago (my YA post-apocalyptic sequel!). I'm hoping to re-plot it as a longer series. :)

Last 200 words:

No new words this month, but there will be teasers from Nemesis coming soon!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

What's Up Wednesday



It's time for What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!

What I'm reading


I read The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. It's a dark, gritty and totally addictive epic fantasy. Recommended!

I'm also beta-ing Jess's manuscript, the sequel to her debut, which she recently signed with Curiosity Quills! :)

What I'm writing

I finished an Alliance short story, one I've been attempting to get done since December! (I struggle with short stories for some reason. I've written two entire novels since starting this one!)

I also got out one of the YA urban fantasy manuscripts I wrote last year, the one I was working on when I got completely derailed by the Alliance series in August. :P The draft's in better shape than I remember, and I completely forgot that I have a series outline, so I'm considering revisiting this one for Camp NaNoWriMo! The problem is, I also revisited my YA post-apocalyptic duology, which is also less of a train wreck than I remember, and realised I could expand it into a longer series. Indecisiveness...


My writing goal this week: Decide which project to work on! :P

What works for me

Writing, writing all the time. I should know by now that I turn into an unbearable grump when not writing, seeing as I've been compulsively putting words on paper since I could hold a pen. I've pretty much concluded that any attempt I make to have a break from writing will end with me in front of the computer again. :P


What else is new

I started watching The 100, to see what all the fuss is about, and I'm hooked!

I'm also busy with freelance work, as I'm running a Spring Sale on my editing and proofreading services. :)

Monday, 23 March 2015

Editorial Services: Spring Sale!

Winter is over at last! So, I've decided to celebrate by temporarily reducing my rates for editing and proofreading services by 25% or more until the end of April. Whether you're looking to hone your work to query agents or need one last pair of eyes on your manuscript before self-publishing, I hope I can help. :)

Here's what I offer:

Proofreading: $0.003 per word (25% off).

This is for typos and grammatical errors, usually the final step before submission or publication.

Copy-Editing: $0.006 per word (25% off).

This includes suggestions about wording, repetition, sentence structure, stylistic issues and inconsistencies. It also includes a thorough proofread.

Structural/Content Editing: $0.009 per word (25% off).

Content editing (also known as developmental or structural editing) covers the big picture areas - plot, character, setting, pacing, dialogue, POV, and voice. I'll summarize the main strengths and weaknesses in an editorial report, and make in-line notes in the manuscript. This also includes checking line-by-line for stylistic errors, flow and consistency.

This is the most intensive style of editing I offer, and is suitable for writers looking for a thorough assessment of their manuscript's strengths and weaknesses on a big-picture scale, with line-by-line edits in the document itself.  I can also do a second read-through, if requested.


Manuscript Appraisal: $100 (33% off).

This is a good starting-point for revisions if you have a first draft or a newly revised manuscript and are unsure where to begin. I will read the manuscript once and write a general editorial report, summarizing the strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement.

The main focus is on the big-picture areas (plot, characters, stakes, voice, POV), but I'll also comment on common writing/grammatical issues.

To request an edit, please fill out the contact form or email me at emmaladams2 (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm happy to edit a sample of up to 5 pages for free to see if my style is what you're looking for. :)

Tweet: Looking for an editor? Book now to save 25% on @ELAdams12's editing services. http://ctt.ec/N44_8+

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

What's Up Wednesday



It's time for What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!

What I'm reading


I read Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch. Loved it! This is one of the best YA fantasies I've read in a long time.

I'm now rereading the Discworld series. I was sad to hear about Terry Pratchett passing away. :/ Discworld is one of my favourite fantasy series.

What I'm writing

I've been tweaking Nemesis. Managed to cut over 300 uses of the word "that" and other such overused words. Also, em-dashes.


I'm trying to emotionally disentangle myself from the Alliance series so I can plan something new. I have two potential ideas - one's YA SF/paranormal and possibly (gasp) a standalone, the other's an epic fantasy idea I'm playing around with. I'm definitely not ready to commit to a long series again for a while, though!

My writing goal this week: More brainstorming! 

What works for me

Brainstorming new ideas! I'm currently playing with two completely different ideas. One's epic fantasy, the other's YA paranormal cyberpunk SF... yeah, my brain's having trouble focusing at the moment. :P Right now, I'm brainstorming, worldbuilding, researching and making lists.


What else is new

Adamant is out and selling, and I'm getting pre-orders of the second book, too! My evil plan is working! *ahem*

I also sorted through old writing stuff from Teenage Emma, which was... enlightening. Amongst other things, I found a story about someone throwing a dead body in a river, some awful poetry, two printed-out copies of the first manuscript I wrote, a morbid and angsty continuation of Lord of the Flies I wrote for GCSE coursework (and got an A*. Ha!), and a monologue from the POV of an angry ghost which earned me my first rejection. Hmm.

Other than that... not much. It's been an odd week. And it's really weird not to be working on a draft. So I'm concentrating on freelance work, playing Skyrim and Lego Hobbit, and generally recovering from the pre-publication panic!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Cover Reveal: The Gateway of Light and Darkness by Heather Marie + Giveaway (U.S. Only)





Hey, everyone! Today I'm hosting a cover reveal for the sequel in the Gateway Series titled THE GATEWAY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS by Heather Marie! LIGHT AND DARKNESS releases April 13th, 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press, and is the follow-up to the YA supernatural thriller THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME, which I proofread for CQ and reviewed last year! Before you jump to the awesome cover below, here’s a note from Heather Marie:

Hi hi! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out the cover reveal! I’m so psyched to share the Light and Darkness cover with you. It went through a lot of changes before the final version was chosen, and watching it develop into what it is now was seriously exciting! If you enjoyed book one, you are in for a treat. I had way too much fun writing book two, admittedly more fun than the first, because Aiden and the gang go through some intense twist and turns throughout the entire story. If there’s one thing I love, it’s definitely hearing from my beta readers just how crazy and exciting the journey was for them. It’s my hope that you feel the same way and I can’t wait for you to read the final installment in the Gateway Series! With that being said, thank you again for reading Aiden’s story, and now let’s get to the creeptastic cover reveal, shall we? Enjoy!



Well, it’s that time, my friends.

Ready… Set… SCROLL!



__



Tadda!



THE GATEWAY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS
by Heather Marie
Release date: April 13th, 2015
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Pre-order on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/Gateway-Light-Darkness-Book-ebook/dp/B00UNDIXWQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426387825&sr=8-2&keywords=the+gateway+of+light+and+darkness)
eBook: 978-1-62007-848-8
Paperback: 978-1-62007-849-5
Hardcover: 978-1-62007-850-1

Synopsis from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25077874-the-gateway-of-light-and-darkness):

The battle of good vs. evil wages on for Aiden Ortiz in this final installment of the Gateway Series: The Gateway of Light and Darkness. With the Dark Priest defeated, and the Brethren of Shadows refusing to forfeit calling upon the Darkness, the Brethren are determined more than ever to discover a way to banish the Men of Light for good. And as the Dark Priest's curse invading Aiden's veins continues to take on a life of its own, he finds himself in a standoff between his own kind, and the Brethren that want to recruit him for all the wrong reasons. Accompanied by fellow Gateway, Julie Martin, and his best friends Trevor and Evan, seventeen-year-old Aiden prepares himself for the battle of his life.

Protecting those he loves, and learning to put aside his differences for his father in order to learn the ways of the Light, Aiden begins to realize that the thing endangering their lives might not be the threat of the Brethren alone, but the thing taking shape inside of him —readying to unleash itself upon them all.

About Heather Marie


Heather Marie lives in Northern California with her husband, and spends the majority of her time at home reading. Before she followed her dreams of becoming a writer, Heather worked as a hairstylist and makeup artist for several years. Although she enjoyed the artistic aspect of it all, nothing quite quenched her creative side like the telling of a good story. When the day had come for her to make a choice, she left behind her promising career to start another, and never looked back. You can find Heather Marie online at: Twitter (twitter.com/heathermarieya), Facebook (facebook.com/heathermariewrites), and HeatherMarieYA.com.

One winner will win a signed paperback of THE GATEWAY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS. Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter! (This giveaway is U.S. only.)

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The Infinite Blog Tour!




Link to full blog tour schedule: http://www.lorimlee.com/the-infinite-blog-tour/

GATES OF THREAD AND STONE Book summary:

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
 

THE INFINITE Book summary:

The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.

Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.


Author bio:

Lori is the author of young adult fantasy novels Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.


Author Links:



GATES OF THREAD AND STONE Purchase Links:



THE INFINITE Purchase Links:



Praise for Gates of Thread and Stone:

“Lori M. Lee excels in building a world of intrigue, oppression, and magic amidst a Labyrinth setting as twisted and winding as the secrets hidden inside her characters’ hearts. Fans of strong heroines who don’t need a boy to hold their hands, action-packed fighting scenes, and whispers of steampunk and mythology, will find themselves wishing they, too, could manipulate the threads of time, if only to stay inside the story a little longer.”
A.G. Howard, New York Times bestselling author of the SPLINTERED series

“A fast-paced, heart-wrenching whirl of a story full of magic, immortals, and a romance that will leave readers gasping for more. I adored the tough, scrappy narrator and fell in love with the boy chasing after her heart. Lori M. Lee introduces us to a fantasy world unlike any other and gives us the first taste of an epic love story in the making. I can’t wait for more!”
Mindee Arnett, THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR series and AVALON series

“Inventive, romantic, and gripping. I was hooked from the first page!”
Amy Tintera, REBOOT and REBEL

“A thrilling adventure in a vivid world, GATES OF THREAD AND STONE is the kind of book you want to read both fast and slow: fast to find out what happens next and slow to savor the journey. I couldn’t put it down.”
Sarah Beth Durst

“Lee has woven a captivating fantasy that will thread its way into your heart and pull you into a world of magic and intrigue.”
Christina Farley, GILDED and SILVERN


My review

I was excited to read the sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Lori M. Lee's debut YA fantasy about a girl who can manipulate the threads of time. It's set in a world post-magical apocalypse, in which the godlike Infinites won a war against their human offspring, the Mahjo.

The worldbuilding in this series is fantastic. I liked that the story moved further afield to a nearby city, which is under attack by monstrous chimera. Kai and her companions face new challenges and have to face the problems that resulted from the events at the end of the first book. There's plenty of action, betrayal, and twists, and the writing lives up to the gorgeous cover. Recommended to YA fantasy fans!

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