Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - Social Media Myths

I'm a day late on my social media post for the Buccaneer Blogfest, sorry about that!

When I started my journey to become a published author I wasn't big on social media. I'm not a very social person and I'm not a fan of sharing every little thought that comes into my head (or listening to other people who do). But I didn't really understand what social media was and how it's useful. Here are some myths I used to believe and what I've learned since:

MYTH - Social media is just a stream of random inane thoughts that no one cares about.
FACT - Social media can be whatever you want it to be. It certainly can be a stream of random inane thoughts that no one cares about, but it can also be a stream of helpful information related to your writing career. Follow other professionals who provide information that you need and provide information that will be useful to your readers.

MYTH - The only person who will read your blog is your mom.
FACT - Not even your mom will read your blog. Just kidding. The truth is that anyone can have a blog that people read. Maybe not thousands of people, but you can get a following simply by providing information that other people would find useful. Remember, you must create posts for your readers, not yourself.

MYTH - Blogs are like an online diary.
FACT - Blogs can be whatever you want them to be. Successful blogs are not gush-fests about the author's every little thought and feeling. They are hubs of expert information.

MYTH - Social media is all about self-promotion.
FACT - Social media IS a great way to promote your books, but it's not your own personal advertisement forum. At least it shouldn't be. There is nothing more annoying that someone who only posts "buy my book" all the time. Being active on social media will get you sales, but you do that by building a platform for yourself, which means interacting with people, making connections, and promoting others.

MYTH - Being on social media will violate my privacy.
FACT - It all depends on what you post. Don't posts things you don't want people to know, simple as that. And be careful about posting anything that might give potential identify thieves useful information. There is some risk to doing anything on the Internet, but if you're careful, it's a small risk compared to what you'll gain. Besides, being an author means you're a public figure (if a minor one) and that means that something should be there when someone Googles your name!

MYTH - People will steal my book idea if I post about it.
FACT - It's certainly possible for someone else to steal a high concept idea, but the risk is minor. For one thing it's hard to write a book and get it published. It's not like someone can copy and paste your query and start sending it out. Or if they did, they'd be stumped if anyone asked for the full. Even if someone used your idea, no one can write your exact same book. And if you think it could be easily copied...that's a bad sign anyway. Just don't post more than short excerpts of your manuscript, not only because it could be stolen, but also because posting the whole thing can sometimes count as publishing it and most agents and publishers want unpublished work. 

At least that's what I think. What about you?

I will also be guest posting on social media for authors on http://strandsofpattern.blogspot.com/ tomorrow!

And now...I have my first treasure hunt question. How many likes does the Curiosity Quills Facebook page have? It changes all the time, so you only have to be in the ballpark. A random commenter with the correct answer will win a free digital copy of Automatic Woman by Nathan L. Yocum, which will be released on Aug. 6. I will award the prize next week so you have plenty of time to comment.

Automatic Woman is the second novel from award winning screenwriter Nathan L. Yocum. A volatile mix of steampunk, noir, historical fiction, and two-fisted action, Automatic Woman takes us to a place that never was yet we all know so well… the London of Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack the Ripper and Bram Stoker with a pneumatic twist.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest Week #4

Welcome to the final week of the Buccaneer Blogfest! Thank you all so much for participating. I am so happy to meet all of you! Here is the rundown of Week 4:

July 30 - Social Media: Share your feelings and opinions about social media and it's relation to writing and reading. Don't forget to share links to your social media pages.

Aug 1 - Host a giveaway using Rafflecopter or a similar tool. If you have a published book or a friend who does, I encourage you to share the love. If you don't have anything you'd like to giveaway (or if you'd like to host more than one giveaway), we invite you to post the CQ sponsored giveaway on your blog.

Here is the HTML code for the shared giveaway:

<a id="rc-2c24175" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2c24175/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script>

Or you can use this link to embed the giveaway into your Facebook page:

If you have problems with Rafflecopter code...

-If you use Blogger, the HTML code should work for you. Contact me if you having troubles. Remember that it will only work if you copy it in "HTML" mode when creating your post.
-You can create a giveaway on Rafflecopter and embed it into your Facebook page if you can't post it on your blog.
-You can do a super simple giveaway by offering a prize to a random commenter. 

Aug 3 - Reflection post: Share your experience from this blogfest. What are the next steps you want to take with your blog?

Courtney and I will also be posting treasure hunt questions on our Buccaneer Blogfest posts this week for an opportunity to win even more prizes!

Thank you!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - A Review of Wilde's Army by Krystal Wade

I'm a day late, but I am proud to post my review of Wilde's Army by Krystal Wade. It might be fair to mention that Krystal is a friend of mine, but it's okay to review your friends. :) It's a great way to show your support.

If you liked Wilde's Fire, you are likely to enjoy Wilde's Army even more. Some criticized Wilde's Fire for pacing problems and simply not enough action. Wilde's Army doesn't have this problem. We start off with Kate learning that her true love Arland and her mother and sister have been kidnapped by the demons. 

Kate's heroic goal is clear from page one. It's up to her to save, well, pretty much everybody. On top of that, it will be up to her to lead an army. She is no damsel in distress or just a romantic interest for the real hero. She is the hero, plain and simple. 

Some feel that the romance in the Darkness Falls series is overdone, but I disagree. I enjoyed the sexual tension and the fiery, but also healthy and (reasonably) realistic relationship between Kate and Arland. Their relationship moves quickly, but it feels reasonable due to the dangerous nature of their environment. If you don't know how long you're going to live, naturally you might not drag your feet when you meet "the one." They treat each other with love and respect without wasting our time with childish games. If you truly love someone, there is no uncertainty. Kate and Arland's unwavering commitment makes it feel like the real thing despite the whirlwind romance.

Kate demonstrates how a woman can be deeply in love with her partner, without it being her defining characteristic. Wilde's Army is an enjoyable mix of passionate romance, beautiful supernatural elements, and a strong heroine.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

BookPushalooza - 9 Books for 99 cents

Welcome to the FIRST EVER BookPushalooza!

July 26th ONLY

9 Books, only .99.

With each purchase you get the chance to WIN while Helping Authors reach new heights in Amazon’s ranks.

It’s so easy a CAVEMAN could do it!

Follow the Instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget and for each book you purchase (or Borrow through Amazon Prime for Free) you get an entry in to WIN ---

(1) Grand Prize- $100 Amazon Gift Card

(2) Runners up of $25 Amazon Gift Cards

That’s not all! Purchase all NINE (9) books and get an additional 5 entries!

Don’t delay, this offer is good for JULY 26th ONLY!

Overview of Dark Isle

When evil begets evil, a choice is forced on Quinn, the one person who can see the danger. Does she save the ones she loves, or does she save the world from Chaos?

As the realms of Fae and human collide, Quinn's future has never looked so grim, or so damn impossible.

Genre- Urban Fantasy
Overview of Enemy in Blue

 The streets aren't safe when your enemy wears a blue uniform and a gold badge.
What if the good guys weren't good?
What if a cop went rogue and killed an innocent man?
What if it was all caught on video and the cop would do anything to cover it up?
Chase this lawless cop through the streets and to a scintillating series of showdowns with Cruz Marquez, a young attorney trying to nail down his enemy in blue.
Will justice be served?
Genre- Thriller

Overview of Land of the Noonday Sun

When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams, they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known as Land of the Noonday Sun.

A man with a traumatic past is able to turn his life around and is happy with his chosen career as a whitewater guide. Everything changes though when fate hurls a woman into his path. His carefree life is in turmoil, and his former weaknesses threaten to overtake him. Will he be strong enough when tragedy strikes and is once again in danger of losing everything he loves?
Genre- Contemporary Romance

Overview of This Time Forever

Delaney Brannigan and Blake Morrisson met at the Cedar Cove annual costume dance, known only to each other as the leopard and the cowboy--but, as Delaney soon discovers, the cowboy she'd thought had ridden off into the sunset never to tempt her again, is none other than the man she came from New York to find and discredit. Against her will, Delaney is drawn deeper and deeper into an overwhelming attraction to Blake--an attraction she can't give in to if she wants to keep the one thing she values more than anything else.
Genre- Contemporary Romance

Overview of Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

Fourteen-year-old Cassidy Jones wakes up the morning after a minor accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist to discover that her body has undergone some bizarre physical changes. Her senses, strength, and speed have been radically enhanced.

Lives are put at risk when they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous, action-packed adventure. Soon they are forced to confront a maniacal villain willing to do anything - including murder - to reach his own ambitious goals.

Genre- YA/MG Superhero

Overview of Gray Justice

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim's father sees just two options: accept the judge's decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.

Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it's a rollercoaster ride with an ending you'll never forget!
Genre- Thriller

Overview of Gone at Zero Hundred 00:00

"Their lives are in the hands of two 18-year-olds..."
A Prominent P.I. is gunned down - killed by a sniper - and it’s broadcasted on live TV.
Now, her daughter, along with her childhood pal, are thrust into a complex and riveting thriller forced to take on a secret club whose members call themselves The Privileged Ones.
Murder. Teen abductions and illegal underground parties.
They’re chased by men in ski-masks, nearly gunned down by members of a cartel, and the only way to bring down this criminal enterprise; is to crash a Mardi Gras bash and stop their private cruise ship from sailing off into the sunset.


Overview of Allegiance

Who do YOU pledge allegiance to?

After exposing one of the most notorious rings of police corruption in history, lawyer Cruz Marquez planned on starting a new life south of the border. That plan unraveled when an extremist group of Minutemen captured and tortured him and his wife.

Will Cruz pledge allegiance to do right, or will he do anything to serve up revenge?

Genre- Thriller

Overview of Curbchek Reload

Curbchek-Reload is a dark account of the streets as they were worked by Zach Fortier, a dangerously deranged cop. Welcome back to the inner city and the twisted mentality of Zach Fortier. Patrolling the streets, broken and mentally damaged from years of urban violence, Zach fights a losing battle to maintain a hold on reality. Join him in the passenger seat of a police cruiser for more of the darker and meaner side of life: The inner city. In Curbchek-Reload you get a front row seat to an attempted murder of a cop, suicide attempts, rapes, and DARK cop humor. Curbchek-Reload - Fasten your bullet proof vest and buckle your seatbelt, it is gonna be a wild ride!

Genre- Police Procedural 

All winners will be notified via email July 28th 2012. For a list of winners contact onedaybookpush@yahoo.ca

Monday, July 23, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - What I'm Reading Now

We're in week three of the Buccaneer Blogfest and it's not too late to sign up! Today we're supposed to talk about the last three books we've read. I decided to include five. :)

Right now I'm reading something very special. Wilde's Meadow by Krystal Wade, the third book in the Darkness Falls series. It's special of course because it's not published yet. In the past year, I've done as much beta reading as I've done regular reading and I've enjoyed some great pre-published books such as Giving Up The Ghost by Gwen Gardner, The Ripple Effect by Deana Barnhart, Leap Year by Natalia Jaster, BookEnd by Alexandra Villasante, and Riding The Dam by Dana Edwards. Most of these novels are now agented so I hope to be able to get my hands on the real thing sooner or later!

As for books that can actually be purchased, here are the most recent books I've read. Now, I'm only counting books I've read all the way through (or mostly all the way through). I have a not-finishing-books problem. The way I see it, I read books like they are my own personal slushpile. If I'm not engaged right away, I move on to greener pastures. I have read the first chapter of many, many books. :) But these I really read:

I'm really enjoying the Darkness Falls series. I love how a powerful romance is had by a powerful woman. She loves her man more than anything, but that's not the only focus of the plot. She also has a world to save.
Unless you're an expectant mom (or dad), it's not relevant to you, but I loved this book. My last childbirth experience wasn't what I wanted it to be, so I'm looking forward to being more empowered and prepared this time. This has tons of great suggestions.
Both of these books get a 5 star recommendation from me. I've learned SO much. Sell More Books talks about all the different things you can do to market your book and it's mostly free/low-cost stuff that any author can do if they put in the time. We Are Not Alone is my new bible for social media marketing. It talks about how to maximize your Facebook, Twitter, and more. So, so helpful. I recommend both of these for all authors.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest Week #3 - What You're Reading

Welcome back Buccaneers! It's time for week 3 of our swashbuckling good time. This week we talk about books, you know, the ones written by other people. A writer's education is never over, we must always read. Fortunately, this critical task is pretty enjoyable. So let's talk about it...

July 23rd - What are the last three books you've read? Tell us a little bit about what's currently in your Kindle/Nook/on your bedside table. 

July 25th - Give us your best of the best list. What are your top five favorite books of all time?

July 27th - Review a book! Good reviews are critical to authors, especially independent and mid-list authors. In fact, studies have shown that when consumers visit an Amazon page they rely on customer reviews more than any other factor to decide whether or not to purchase. So get in the habit of reviewing books you like. Pick a recent favorite and tell us what you think:
  • Post your review on your blog
  • Post your review on Amazon.com - if you wish, include a link so we can mark the review as helpful 
  • Post your review on Goodreads.com - if you wish, include a link so we can follow/friend you on Goodreads
P.S. Another nice benefit of being willing to write reviews is you can get free review copies! If you'd like free review copies of Curiosity Quills book go here. All of our other titles are also available for review, so ask me if there is something you'd like that you don't see on Net Galley. If you do review a CQ title, please let me know! I troll the web for these the best I can, but I don't want to miss your review.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stein & Candle Murder Mystery Winners!

Sorry for the delay in announcing the killers! But without further ado.... The fearsome duo that killed Lenny Glow was

DAMIEN created by Ben Chiles
ARIADNE created by Jessa Russo

There were many more fearsome suspects, and author Michael Panush selected some of his favorites:

My favorite: Damien from Story Multiverse. I definitely like the great way this combined the Noir archetype of the loser used car salesman who romances his female customers and gets no pleasure from it (very much in the style of Richard 'Junk' Junkins from Brian Azzarello's graphic Novel Filthy Rich) with a supernatural twist of a down-on-his-luck incubus. Some humorous asides in the interview (and Mort calling Weatherby 'kiddo') made Damien an appealing character. I'm happy to say that he's my favorite out of a great line-up of cool characters.

Most Fitting of the Period: Miss Eva Ray, from Courtney Young. Torch singers fit perfectly into the Noir World of Los Angles in the Fifties. This reminded me of James Ellroy's great short story 'Torch Song.' Also, the Frolic Pad sounds like the perfect post-war nightclub name.

Sleaziest: Ariadne from Jessa Russo. She appears to be a very nasty variant of the femme fatale -- more than willing to use her body to get what she wants and with a distinct lack of morals. She even tries flirting with fourteen-year-old Weatherby! I can easily imagine her as the villain in a Mickey Spillane story, or even as a close cousin to Frank Miller's 'Dame to Kill For' from Sin City. That puts her over the top in this category.

Weirdest: Karlie Spoonfest of Ink the Book. Despite the presence of gods and occult deities, Karlie Spoonfest still wins because she apparently owns a spider farm and she seems to think that's a normal business to own. That alone makes her the weirdest of the suspects.

The winners of the Rafflecopter drawing are:


As a special treat for being so devious, rafflecopter winners can choose from any TWO of the following prizes:

  • A first page critique by author Michael Panush
  • A two-pass query critique by Sharon Bayliss

And because all your villains were so delightfully evil, ALL participants who created a character for this blogfest will be given a free digital copy of Stein & Candle Detective Agency Vol. 1 or Vol. 2 (your choice). 

Everyone - to collect your prize, please comment below with your preferences (and email if I don't have it) or you may email me directly.

Thank you all for playing!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest S.O.S! I need your help

UPDATE: My super amazing co-captain Courtney was able to retrieve the entrants from Davy Jones' locker and entered them back in manually. Thank you Captain Courtney!!!! If you're just now reading this post, you can disregard the rest.

Bad news, mateys. We've run into a sea monster and our ship is in peril!

Yes, exactly like that. What really happened is that I've lost all the entries to the blogfest. It's sort of a long story. I had two Linky Tools accounts and the one with the Buccaneer Blogfest expired, and the nice people at Linky Tools were good enough to move my expired Linky to my new account.  But unfortunately, all the data was lost when this happened.  :(

But pirates don't give up that easily. Please help me out and re-enter the blogfest below. I will also do my best to search out the participants and manually enter as many as I can.

S.O.B. (Save our blogfest...and the other thing)!

Buccaneer Blogfest - Interview with Warren from The Charge

Thank you to Zac Efron for being cute enough to represent Warren.

Today in the Buccaneer Blogfest, we are doing character interviews! I was lucky enough to get the MC from The Charge, Warren King, to sit still long enough for an interview. Since he and I are quite close, he was willing to answer some tough questions.

What do you want more than anything in the world?
I assume you're looking for an answer a little deeper than a cold beer and a pretty girl. 

Well, is that what you want more than anything in the world?
*Smiles* In a way, I guess. I want a simple life. I wish I could just be a normal guy, finish college, get a job, marry a nice girl, coach little league. It's so simple and boring, it feels pretty unfair that I can't have that.

What is your biggest fear?
I guess I just don't want to mess up. I've got all this responsibility and I don't know what to do. My genes are supposed to make me smart, but I still don't know how to run a country. But I'm afraid if I don't, someone even worse will.

What is one thing that most people don't know about you.
Even though I'm not as smart as I ought to be, and not near as smart as the other Wildes I've met, I'm smarter than people think. I like to joke around and I don't take things too seriously, but that's more who I wish I was than who I really am. I know it's just the Blue Energy, but I think dark things and my mind is always working. It kind of sucks.

Thank you for visiting with us Warren!

I want to give a shout-out to Brent Riggs of http://www.linkytools.com/. If you happened to notice, my account had expired. He was nice enough to personally move this linky to my active account so the blogfest wouldn't be disrupted and he did it by the time I finished writing the post! Thanks Brent for the awesome customer service.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - About The Charge

My debut novel THE CHARGE will be published by Curiosity Quills Press this year! It a New Adult science fiction adventure set on an alternate timeline where a dictator took over the Republic of Texas in 1836 and built his own empire in the West.  

Eighteen-year-old Warren King has been protecting his brother, Isaac, from bullies ever since Isaac decided to wear a top hat to the third grade.  So when Isaac is kidnapped, Warren heads out to bust some faces.  But Warren didn’t expect the bully to be the King of the Texas Empire.  Warren’s mother confesses that Warren and his brother are some of the last members of the Texas royal family.  The new King is hunting down his relatives before the true heir decides to say, “Hey man, you’re in my seat.”

Warren must save his brother and avoid capture himself armed with nothing more than a fifteen year old Camry and MapQuest directions to Texas.  He gets help from a spirited Texan named Lena who is first girl that ever made him want to do things like iron creases in his pants.  She’s ready to help him take on the King, but since she’s an anti-monarchy activist dating the son of the President of the United States, he’s not sure if she’s going to kiss him or shoot him.  Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal.  Now he must embark into a West that stayed wild and choose to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

First Paragraph

            Warren’s mother had taped his old Star Wars comforter over the patio door of their apartment.  He didn’t pause too long to wonder why.  His mother suffered from what his brother called, “severe eccentricity,” and blacking out the windows with old sheets for no obvious reason wasn’t out of character.  All in all, she had done better than he had expected in her first year with both of her sons out of the house.  Just in case that didn’t last, Warren always came back home when she asked him too.  But if she had called him because she had forgotten how to use the dishwasher again, he was heading right back to campus to enjoy the day after finals the way it was intended to be enjoyed - drunk and poolside.

Check out the exciting projects of my fellow buccaneers!

Buccaneer Blogfest Week 2 - About your WIP

Welcome back, marauders, plunders, and outlaws! It's week 2 of the Buccaneer Blogfest, and I think week 1 was a swashbuckling success, wouldn't you say? Thank you all for your participation. In week two, the writer pirates will be introducing their novels or WIPs. Reader pirates will be sharing the best of the best of their reads. Here are all the details for this week:

July 16th - Tell us a little bit about your WIP, pre-published, or published novel. If you like you can include:

  • A blurb about the book
  • Your first paragraph
  • If your novel is published or pre-published, you may also want to share cover art, release date, where to buy, etc.
  • If your novel is still in an early phase, you can use this post to solicit critique on your first paragraph, query, and/or one-line pitch. If you want critique, make sure and say so! Please only critique posts when it's requested. :)
  • If you do not have a work you'd like to showcase, here are some other ideas:
    • Book bloggers - Showcase your reviews by posting one of your recent favorites
    • Post the first paragraph from a book you love and share your commentary
    • Post tips or links about how to write a good first paragraph or query

July 18th - Character interview - Interview a character from your WIP, pre-published, or published novel. Feel free to create your own questions, but here are some ideas if you like:
  • What do you want more than anything in the world?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • What is one thing that most people don't know about you.
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • If you found a genie in a magic lamp, what would your three wishes be?
Here are some more ideas:

If you don't have a character you'd like to interview, tell us about your favorite all-time fictional character. Why are you drawn to this character? What makes them so awesome?

July 20th - Share your lightbulb moment with us. What inspired you to write your WIP? How did you formulate your idea? Is any of your "fiction" taken out of your real life?

If you don't have a writing project, tell us about the novel you've read that has impacted you most. How did it impact your life?

Have fun with week two! I look forward to hearing more about your projects.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - About someone else...Talynn from Ink in the Book

Write with ink in the book...
As part of the Buccaneer Blogfest, I am interviewing the honorable next blogger in line, who also happens to be awesome...Talynn from Ink In The Book. Talynn is currently hosting the Curiosity Quills Carnival, and it was all her idea! She hosts incredibly creative blog tours and promotions for authors. My favorite was a post where we had to "predict" the answers to an author's interview questions for a book with an astrology theme. See? So creative.

You have six kids and have home-schooled all of them. How do you find the time to write and blog? 

Late, late nights. Early, early mornings= no sleep + lots and lots of coffee:) I don't have a schedule. But during the school year, we do school like a regular school, same as the public school. We finish around 3:30 and then I write as long as possible. After dinner, baths, and night stories, including one more drink of water, I write some more. In between that time I work on lesson plans, help with homework and make random trips to the library. I also try to squeeze in a couple hours of housework and when there's no clean undies I throw a load or two of clothes in the washer. I will say writing has not been easy. It's been a long road and it has taken me years to research my family history. Yeah, I'm slow:)

Maybe you're actually super fast but take a long time to do things because you have so much to do!

I know the time before you get that "yes" from an agent or publisher can be rough. How do you stay motivated to keep going? 

This is actually the hardest part. Do I keep my chin up? Not all the time. What writer doesn't dream of becoming a published author? It doesn't take very many "No, sorry. This isn't what we are looking for." to bring tears your eyes. But one thing is for sure. I love my stories and I am determined to see it in print. I know I will find someone who is perfect for my books. That's what keeps me motivated. I want to see my books in print. I want to be the one writing my success story on my blog. I want to be the one scheduling book tours for my books instead of hosting others. THAT'S what keeps me motivated. Don't get me wrong. I love my blog and I love hosting tours. Really I do. But I'd be crazy to say I don't dream about my book going on tour...

I would love to be a stop on your tour!

What books have most influenced your life most?

 I've read more books than Books A Million ever dreamed about selling! To name only one would be hard to do and I feel like I am cheating all the wonderful books that I don't mention (close your ears, my little books. I love you all.) If I HAD to pick only one book, I'd say EVIDENCE NOT SEEN by Darlene Diebler Rose.

What are your favorite things to do besides writing and reading? 

I love teaching, but for something relaxing, I enjoy graphic arts, playing the piano, origami, and watching a good movie. I also love writing and reading. I know you said "besides" but how can I leave them out of my favorite things to do?

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? 

I think it would be cool, for me, if I could do things fast. Superfast. I am impossibly slow. Don't ask my husband about that, please!

I think you should also consider the ability to split yourself into multiples so you can write and teach your kids at the same time. :)

Thank you Talynn! Remember to visit her here: http://inkinthebook.blogspot.com/ And I'm not just saying that because she happens to be interviewing me there today. :)

On an unrelated note, my internet is down this weekend, so my commenting for everyone else will suffer. :( If you need blogfest related help and I'm lost in no-internet land, remember you can also talk to Court Young.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One Ghost Per Serving Good Luck Giveaway

One Ghost Per Serving, by Nina Post - Cover

Nervous about Friday the 13th? Want to make sure your luck stays good? I have a solution. Enter the One Ghost Per Serving Good Luck Giveaway. The more entries you have, the more good luck you are guaranteed. The luckiest THIRTEEN entrants will win a free digital copy of One Ghost Per Serving by Nina Post.

Possessed by Rex, a mischievous spirit, Eric Snackerge’s life has careened out of control. Losing his scholarship and getting blacklisted from the legal profession are just the start – now his best-friend-turned-enemy is in danger of stealing away his family, too.
An unusual contest may be his last chance to make his daughter’s dreams come true. But he’ll have to overcome his own self-doubt — not to mention the seemingly impossible odds — in order to achieve that goal.
As Eric and his ghostly companion soon learn, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sweepstakes. When the sponsors begin dispatching spy cameras, attack helicopters, and the kitchen sink – all to make sure that Eric doesn’t get any further – it becomes clear that the contest is only the first phase of a much larger, sinister plan to spread a supernatural pathogen throughout the food supply.
Do Eric and Rex have what it takes to foil the villains’ plan and protect the Snackerge family from becoming the next victims?

For more quirky urban fantasy by Nina Post, check out The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse - temporarily discounted to only $0.99!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - About my blog

My first blog post was on May 24, 2011. And it was this,


Welcome to the Blue Word.  The Blue Word is a blog devoted to books and writing in the genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance, both adult and YA.  If you are an aspiring or published writer of these genres, follow this blog to tap into source of news from the blogosphere.  I started following blogs to find CONTESTS to get feedback on my writing and the eyes of an agent, so I promise to post all contests I find...even though I'm tempted to keep the info for myself...maybe I'm a little bit competitive.  I am of the philosophy that one should only post when they have something to say.  So...my posts will not be daily.  ;)  My goal is to help keep you updated and to make connections in the writing community, and of course pimp my unpublished manuscript, Stormland.  If you want to know why my word is blue, you'll find the answer there.  Please comment and follow."

Not too fascinating, but it's neat for me to get that blast from the not too distant past. I started blogging for 2 reasons only:

1) To enter and find contests, especially those with a bloghop portion
2) To have something agents could find if they Googled me

Basically, I only started a blog to help get my manuscript published. I never expected to find such a goldmine of opportunities, information, and writer friends. If anything surprised me about blogging, it is that it's not just having a public diary no one cares about. It's a critical professional tool for authors. NOW, I blog because it's become a central part of my writer's platform. It's how I stay connected to the writing world and build my brand. As long as I write (which I hope is forever) I can't imagine ever closing down my blog, although I'd love to give it a good upgrade one day.

I also blog at http://unicornbell.blogspot.com/ and do promotion for the blog at http://curiosityquills.com/.

One Ghost Per Serving, by Nina Post - CoverWhile I have you here, I would like to announce that I'm seeking blog tour stops and reviewers for the new release One Ghost Per Serving. If you're interested in participating, let me know! You could do an interview with the author Nina Post, a simple promotional where you talk about the book, a review, giveaway, or anything else that you think would be fun. If you want to post a review, we have free copies available for you on Net Galley.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest - About Me

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Buccaneer Blogfest. I'm so excited that we have so many people on board and I'm looking forward to getting to know you. So now I'll tell you a little bit about me...

I'm Sharon Bayliss, an author/mom/social worker. My debut novel, The Charge, will be published by Curiosity Quills Press this year. In addition to being an author, I work as a tobacco cessation counselor and as social media marketing coordinator for Curiosity Quills. I've got a lot on my plate, but all my jobs are very cool so I'm doing my best to make it work.

My life can get stressful, but overall, I'm deliriously happy. I am married to a sexy, nerdy biology teacher/running coach and have a (mostly) sweet 2 1/2 year old son who loves jumping on the bed and playing chase 24/7. I have another son on the way as well, due August 27th! I've lived in Austin, Texas all of my life and love eating Tex-Mex, drinking margaritas (when I'm not pregnant), and being outdoors.

You can also find me here:

If at any point throughout the fest you have questions about anything, feel free to post them in comments on my blog or use the Contact Me form. I'm happy to help!

Have fun!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest Starts TOMORROW!

Leave your land legs at home, because the Buccaneer Blogfest is about to embark! This blogfest is open to all bloggers and want-to-be-bloggers who post about writing, books, publishing, and everything related. You can jump on board anytime during the duration of the fest. For all of the details, check out the original post here.


July 9th - Post an introduction about yourself. Be as creative as you like, but here are some possible things to include if you're not sure:
  • Tell us about your writing. What genres do you write? Where are you in the process...writing first book, already published, seeking publication...etc? If you're not a writer, tell us about your book/publishing interests.
  • Tell us about you. Where do you live? What sorts of things do you do besides write/read/blog?
  • I encourage you to include links to your other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) so your crew mates can follow you. If there is no easy way to contact you on your blog, include your email so the person interviewing you can send you questions. I recommend having a contact me page anyway, so if you'd rather not post your email address - create a contact me page with a free service such as  http://kontactr.com/Also, make sure it's easy to follow your blog. If you use blogger, add the follow widget (if you're not sure what this is, I can help you).
  • Add the sign up linky at the bottom of this page to your first post. To do this click on "Get the code here...". If you use Blogger, you can insert this code by clicking "HTML" on the upper left hand of the screen when you are done writing you post. Paste the code at the bottom of all the other jibberish. If you use Wordpress, the code may not work so just link to this post or Courtney's post.
P.S. Remember on July 13th, you'll be posting an interview with the person signed up under you. Contact them with questions as soon as possible.

July 11th - Tell us about your blog. This may include:
  • How and when you started blogging
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Have these goals changed since you started?
  • Did anything surprise you about blogging?
  • If you're new to blogging, do you have any fears/concerns?
  • Any questions you might have about blogging that you want your crew mates to answer
  • Do you blog anywhere else? Include links so we can follow.
July 13th - Post an interview with the person signed up on the linky after you.
  • Contact them with questions near the beginning of the week so they have time to respond. If they don't respond to at least say they got your email within a a day or two, skip to the person under them.
  • To avoid confusion, only people who sign up on the linky before midnight on 7/8 will participate in this activity. That way, the last person signed up can contact the first person signed up without it changing if new people are added. UPDATE: If you signed up after the 8th the interview portion is optional. If you want to participate, go ahead and contact the person signed up after you. I'll make sure someone interviews Jessa. :)
  • Use their introduction blog post and other info from their blog to guide you on what kinds of questions to ask. 5-6 questions is usually good for a blog interview. If you want more ideas, here are some links:

Remember, during this week and throughout the fest, try to visit and comment on as many other blogs as you can. And remember to follow!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Blog Spotlight - Ink in the Book

Write with ink in the book...
Today I'd like to introduce you to an emerging blogger, Talynn Lynn from http://inkinthebook.blogspot.com. Although she's been blogging for a while, her blog has recently exploded due to the creative and fun promotions she hosts for authors and publishing companies. If you are shopping for blogs to visit on a book tour, you have to check out Ink in the Book. And if you're not a follower yet, head over there!

1) You are a fairly new blogger. What made you decide to start a blog?

Actually I have been blogging since 2010. I just recently began blogging at Ink in the Book because I wanted a single niche for writing. I enjoy reading blogs based on writing, inspiration, book reviews, and well, anything that has to do with creating the written word. Many times, I would read an inspirational post and an idea would pop in my mind. I wanted a place where I could write the things I thought about, things I found fascinating or interesting.

2) What are your goals for your blog? What would you like it be like in a year?

In one year, I hope to see my blog as a place where other writers can come and learn, find friendships, and not only ask for help or advice, but also offer their wisdom and insights into the writing field. I hope to create a great writing community.

3) Tell us a little bit about the book tours and promotions you've done so far.

My first book tour was with author Linn Halton at Sapphire Star Publishing. She was so fun and we had a great week. I've hosted Michael Panush with Curiosity Quills. Right now I am in the middle of of Sapphire Star Spectacular, and of course, the CQ Carnival. I try and make my book tours unique and creative. I take a scene or a theme from the book and design something based on that scene. For Michael, each day I posted a trivia question about Dinosaur Jazz and with A.L. Jackson's Pulled I went with a fairy tale theme because that book is a modern day fairy tale.

4) What do you have coming up?

Coming up, I have some great tours scheduled! I have JK Hogan and Fire on the Island to be released August 2. I've got some Scottish Folklore and superstitions ready to go next week, and Linn Halton will be back with her newest release, The Restaurant@the Mill . I've got the Curiosity Quills Carnival starting on Monday July 9th. There are so many authors lined up for this month it's unbelievable! Krystal Wade, Michael Panush, Vicki Keire, and many, many more, including some of CQ! You will need to stop by every day because every day there will be a new carnival ride or game!

I also have authors Elana Johnson, Hart Johnson, MaryLu Tyndale, Jody Hedlund and Pixie Lynn Whitfield scheduled. Plus others!

5) If an author or publisher is interested in having a book tour on your blog, how should they contact you?

Anyone who is interested in Ink in the Book hosting a virtual book tour may contact Talynn Lynn at inkinthebook@gmail.com


Thank you for visiting Talynn! Remember, next week the Curiosity Quills carnival will be on Ink in the Book! Right now she's looking for bloggers who might be interested in taking part of the carnival Ferris Wheel Ride. Those interested will need to post an article on their own blog. The article needs to be about WRITING. It can be anything to do with writing such as character development, ideas for creative and inventive settings, plot creation, ANYTHING as long as it is about writing.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Letter to my YA self

Today I'm visiting Krystal Wade's blog as part of the "Letters to my YA self" guest post series and I'm having a serious chat with this person....

Check it out here: http://krystalwade.blogspot.com/2012/07/letter-to-my-ya-self-sharon-bayliss.html

Speaking of Krystal Wade, did you know that her second book, Wilde's Army came out this week? And if you're new to the series, her first book Wilde's Fire is still $0.99 - but the price will go up in a few days so grab it now!