Friday, August 31, 2012

The Modified by C.A. Kunz Cover Reveal

The Modified Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

What would you sacrifice to save the one’s you love? To save the one who holds your heart? To save the world?

Kenley Grayson is all too familiar with these questions.

After Earth is thrust into its first intergalactic war with an unknown race called the Bringers, our military forces begin to suffer heavy losses. Desperate for a solution, the Allied Federation issues a worldwide draft for every able seventeen-year-old to enlist. As Kenley turns seventeen, she finds herself thrown into the very war that took her older brother’s life.
This year’s draft is a little different than in the past though. A new program, known as the Magnus Project, has been introduced, and only the best and brightest qualify. Kenley is amongst a select few whom are chosen to join this elite group of soldiers, and as a part of this project, undergoes a modification procedure that leaves her and her peers endowed with powers beyond their wildest dreams.
As Earth continues in its struggle against the Bringers, Kenley is transported to a high-tech training facility, the Magnus Academy, to prepare for the major battle that lies ahead. It’s here that she meets the California heartthrob, and son of a legendary war hero, Landon Shaw. As unexpected feelings toward Landon begin to develop, Kenley wonders if this is the right time or place for romance to bloom, especially when those feelings start to interfere with her training.
With the weight of the world on her shoulders, Kenley is constantly reminded of how important she and the rest of the Magnus cadets are to the fate of humanity. She is one of the Modified, Earth’s last line of defense against utter destruction.

The Modified releases this Fall!

Like the cover for The Modified? Well then head over to Nathan Szerdy’s website and peruse his amazing collection of works. We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

The mom and son author duo, C.A. Kunz, thoroughly enjoys writing about things that go bump in the night and futuristic action-packed romances while drinking massive amounts of English breakfast tea and Starbucks coffee. To find out more about this duo and their books visit their blog, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Frost by Liz DeJesus Blog Tour Guest Post

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

 Author Liz DeJesus has stopped by today with a guest post for the First Frost Blog Tour!

I love music. I’m pretty sure that if I have been an extrovert instead of an extremely shy, nerdy introvert I’d be in a rock band. And yes, I can actually sing but my throat gets dry and seals itself shut the moment someone asks me to sing for them. So instead of being the next Gwen Stefani, I listen to music while I write. Some of the scenes in First Frost and Glass Frost (the upcoming sequel) were actually inspired by certain songs.

1. For some reason I always start listening to Imogen Heap before I start writing. I love her music, it has such a dream-like quality to it and sometimes I feel as though it takes me to a completely different place in my mind. One of my favorite songs of hers are: Hide and Seek, Let Go, The Moment I Said It, 2 – 1, Can’t Take It In and Glittering Cloud.

2. The song The Cave by Mumford and Sons inspired a scene in First Frost. It was this particular part of the song that made me stop and think:

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again
I could picture Bianca with black ribbons around her neck as Queen Mirabel slowly drained the life out of her. What was amazing to me was how clearly I could imagine this happening to Bianca so it became my goal to get my characters to reach that point in the story. And then I had to ask myself will Bianca survive? Who will come to her rescue? What will happen to Mirabel afterwards?

3. Last year while I was thinking about the sequel to First Frost I was listening to The Catalyst by Linkin Park. I hadn’t written a single word yet, but as I listened to this song I had a clear image of Bianca crawling out of a pit. I was driving at the time (which is a dangerous thing to do if you have my brain because I literally go somewhere else when I’m writing) and I just burst into tears. I wanted to know what happened that made Bianca fall into that dark place. How was she supposed to get out of there? Why wasn’t there someone there to help her? So that was another plot point that I could reach.

Like memories in cold decay
Transmissions echoing away
Far from the world of you and I
Where oceans bleed into the sky

Lift me up, Let me go

It was that particular part of the song that just got to me for some reason. I can’t wait for you all to read that scene in the book. Some of you will cry. I hate torturing my characters, but sometimes that’s the only way they will learn and grow.

4. Another song that inspired a scene in Glass Frost is Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys (yes, my taste in music is ALL OVER THE PLACE). I can’t really tell you about it because it’ll ruin part of the book. But I can say that Bianca learns a very harsh lesson on karma.

5. Enchanted by Taylor Swift. When I first heard that song I could only think of Bianca and Terrance dancing to it. I love the romance that has blossomed between them. Their relationship goes through many trials in the sequel. I really push them to the edge and I test their resolve to stay together. I do everything in my power to see if these two characters really are meant to be together.

6. I also listen to classic music when I write, because sometimes the lyrics get jumbled up in my mind and get in the way of my writing. I’ll sometimes listen to Mozart, Beethoven and Vanessa Mae’s album Storm. I’ve also been listening to Vitamin String Quartet Performs Imogen Heap, all of my favorite songs of hers are played by a four string quartet.

I love music. I think it has the power to transport you to another place in time. It can inspire you to write (even when you think your creative well is dry). It’s one of the few things that can touch your soul. Anyway I hope you enjoyed my post and definitely check out some of the singers and band I mentioned you never know, it might inspire you to write something. ;)

You can find out more about me and my writing at

Liz DeJesus Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007) and The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011). Liz is currently working on a new novel.

 Author's Links:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Willow's Monday Q & A

Happy Monday!!!

In response to your suggestions and a few questions left on the Vlog post, I decided to start a weekly ritual.  Monday mornings will be set aside to address questions and topics you as readers would like to know more about.  If you have any questions you'd like to ask, you may email me at willowsfanmail (at) or you can simply leave it in a blog comment.

Question #1:
Claire asked:  "Willow, were the companions planned, or more subject to demand?"

Great question!!!
The short story companions were not planned.  Many readers, over a period of time, approached me with questions about certain characters in the books.  Each wanting to  know more about their favorite characters.  I toyed with the idea of addressing those questions in Legacy, but doing so would have inundated the book with back story.  I don't mind a little back story.  I actually appreciate having background information.  However, I didn't want a 190,000 word novel.  (That's nearly twice the size of what's considered average for a YA book.)

After a period of time, I decided to write the companions.  By doing so I could give the information readers were interested in without compromising the full-length novels with extras that had nothing to do with the current story line.

Making Afterlife free was an added bonus.  I figured if people read it and liked it, they would already know what they were getting into if they purchased one of my larger books.  (I seriously don't like to hear people paid for something they didn't care for.  I hate doing that and I don't want to put other people in that position.)

Question #2
Aimee asked:  "How many books do you intend to have in The Dark Gifts series?"

Another great question!!!
Originally I'd planned on it being a six book series. (Full length novels.)  There are certain characters that need to have their own book/stories.  Honestly, now I'm not sure.  If readers continue to want the short companions as well as the novels, the number could be much higher. LOL

I am still planning on six novels.  I have two shorts to add to Afterlife and Bloodstone.  The next will be Sacrifice (Birthright companion) and later, For Love of a Child (Inheritance companion).  There may be more shorts after Legacy releases, but that will depend on my readers.  If they ask for it, they will most certainly get it. ;)

Question #3
Nanette asked:  "Looks like you are partial to strong female characters.  Why is that?"

You guys are on a roll with these awesome questions!!!
Without going too much into my personal history I will try to answer this as honestly as possible.  I spent several years of my adult life being a victim.  Simply because I did not believe I had the strength to end that situation.  Hind sight is always 20/20.  Once I slammed that door and locked it, I realized I wasn't a wimpy pile of mush and I wasn't a victim either.  Women can do amazing things if they just have a little faith in themselves.

When I write a female character, I want her to be real.  They have their strengths and many faults and weaknesses.  (Just like the rest of us.)  Regardless of whether there's any truth to my beliefs or not, I feel I have an obligation to give young women role models who will lead them in a better direction.  You don't have to take on a label.  You CAN be whoever you want.  (It does take some work though, there's no denying that. LOL)

Well that is it for today.  If you have more questions, please feel free to send them in.  I hope you have a fangtastic week and remember:  Be good to each other, we're all we've got. ;)

<3 p="p" willow="willow">

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Professionalism in the work place for an author?

I'm going to preface this post with a disclaimer.  This is my opinion.  I'm stating my opinion because we still have freedom of speech around here, and by law I have that right.  I'm not looking for an argument.  In fact, my hope is that some will read this post and rethink their actions.  (Now, on to the actual post.)

It seems like daily I'm seeing yet another instance of an author behaving badly.  I read 3 different blog posts about it yesterday and then lo-and-behold, ran face first into another instance last night.

The relationship between authors and reviewers can be tenuous at times.  Of course we love getting those 5 star reviews.  (Who wouldn't?)  However, when those 1 star reviews come in....they can have a bit of a sting at times.  But what happens when that terrible review comes from another author?

As stated above, this is JUST my opinion.  First and foremost, I don't believe authors should be giving bad reviews.  As an author, you probably have a following of some sort.  Is it fair to persuade your followers to stay away from another author's work simply because you don't like it?  I don't believe it is.  Different strokes for different folks and all that.

When I hear phrases like:  It was a complete waste of time, or worst book I ever read, come out of another author's mouth (or fingers) it makes me cringe.  (Even if they aren't saying it about me.)  Do they have the right to their opinion?  Of course!  However, I do believe that authors have a moral obligation to be professional an act responsibly when leaving a review.

Personally, I live by the "If you don't have something nice to say, keep quiet!" rule.  There are scads of books out there I do not like.  It is easy to find out which books I enjoy because I WILL review them.  As far as I'm concerned it's no one's business which books I detest. LOL

Now, it goes much deeper than just "I don't like your book."  Recently there seems to be a rise in personal attacks from authors against authors. Most of which take place in the numerous online review forums.  Some have gone so far as to create fake accounts to leave particularly nasty reviews, while others just come right out and say it.   The practice of doing this might actually get you some publicity.  If it blows up into an all out fan might actually see a rise in sales.  OR you might be ending your career.

As a reader, I have something to say to those people.  Readers aren't stupid!  They might not catch the first trick, but they'll probably catch on by the second or third time.  (And by the way, some of us see it the first time.)

As an author, I'd like to say this:  If you are granted the good fortune to gain a readership, you have an obligation to those particular people.  You owe them the courtesy of behaving in a manner that will not disappoint or embarrass them.  I'm not talking about writing, I'm talking about your public behavior.

I'm not trying cast stones while living in a glass house.  I'm human and sometimes I fail.  However, I keep trying.  Personally, I don't want to fail my readers.  I know I owe them.

I guess the whole point of this post is simply this:  Wake up authors!!!!  We have books to write and people are waiting.  We don't have time for all the petty nonsense that's been going on.  If you are justifying your actions by saying you have the right to say whatever you want, remember, although you do have that have an obligation to your fans to say it in an appropriate manner.  And if you are just looking to bash someone and bring them down a notch or two, be very careful.  The next time you do so, your fans just might catch on to what you are doing and without them your books are just files on a computer.

This society is only as good as the people living within it.  Stop complaining about the state of things and DO something to change it.  It all starts with one very simple thing.  Be a better person.  If enough of us do that, this world will change.  Idealistic?  Maybe, but the alternative to having hope is having nothing. ;)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raising a book.

I know the idea of 'raising' a book seems ludicrous, but in all honesty, when you're a new writer/author that's about the best way to describe the process.

As most of you know, Birthright (The Dark Gifts series) was my first book.  Boy howdy has it come along way since that day I wrote 'The End' and cried like a baby.  I still have the first draft and the 15 or so that came after.  I don't suppose I'll ever be able to bring myself to delete them.

I still have all the book covers too! LOL  (And I really did mean to say all.)  In total, Birthright has had 3 different covers.

First cover:

This cover was created by one of my closest friends.  I LOVED it with a capital L!!! LOL  But it just didn't gain the interest I'd hoped for.

Second cover:

This cover was created by me.  I loved it too!  Probably more so, because I'm not much of an artsy person, so I was really proud of myself for pulling this off. LOL  

Interest grew and Birthright finally started getting some attention.  After several months, I decided to put it into print.  The interior had a complete overhaul with new additional content and another full edit.  During this process, I discovered that the cover wouldn't work.  There simply weren't enough pixels and every attempt to make it larger ended in complete disaster.  At that point my friend JH Glaze, having great compassion for my almost nonexistent artistic abilities, stepped in to give me a hand.

Third cover:

I can tell you quite honestly that when I opened my email and saw this final result I nearly flipped my wig.  Seriously!!!  I'm still in cover-love with this. ;)

Now beyond the exterior changes, there's been quite a few interior changes as well.  Unfortunately, and to my utter embarrassment, I can't say this book was ready for a market when it was released.  It had some pretty extensive problems, but being 'green' I didn't recognize them at first.  My idea of editing and what editing actually entailed were very different concepts. There were also some small structural issues with the story line that needed to be taken care of.

But like a child, Birthright grew from infancy to late teens over the course of a year or so.  (And so did I.)  Has it grown up completely?  Has Birthright attained adulthood?  Probably not.  We're still growing.  I'm still learning.  But oh my goodness, how far we've come!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Has A Crush by Jaimie Hope Blog Tour Interview

Book Blurb:
From the minute she met him everyone thought Baby Jaimie's first crush was
Derek. Derek even thought so. That's why he asked her first grade teacher,
Mrs. Smith if he could come visit her. The day of the visit didn't go as
planned. While Derek was introducing himself a new student, Jack, entered
the room and stole everyone's attention. Especially Baby Jaimie's. For
that reason Derek took an instant disliking to the new kid. Baby Jaimie is
forced to choose between Derek and Jack and she doesn't know what to do.
Is there a way to combine old friends with new friends? Can't they all
just get along? Find out in The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Has
A Crush.
1. Have you made any mistakes along the way...for example, do you want to share anything be it a publishing company/agency that people should avoid?

I learned all about researching companies through my experiences with lousy ones. Two I'm still stuck with, so I won't put their names in print, but I do when I am at events and if contacted privately I am very candid about. The other company is Helium, they steal your work and they don't pay.
2. What are your habits when you sit down to create? Do you have to be in a certain room? outside?
It depends on what I'm working on. When I write my series I have to pump myself up by listening to 80's music before and during the writing process. When I am working on a novel sometimes I listen to music as well, but I have also written quite a bit while watching movies.
3. Any favorite bands? Do you use music to inspire you as you create your art?
Way too many to list. My current favorite genres are 80's and Country, but I also love Oldies and some Classic Rock. Music is a huge inspiration to me. I title my novels after songs and I listen to music most the time when I am writing to set the mood of my characters.
4. Did your writing come from just a need to express yourself or a particular experience that you had?
When I wrote my first book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie I really wanted to do something to educate able bodied children about what it was like to grow up disabled. I also wanted to give disabled children a role model since there weren't all that many when I was growing up.
5. Do you prefer YA or Adult?

6. Anything exciting coming up in the near future?
I have two more Baby Jaimie books coming out by the end of the year and at least one novel.
7. What has been the hardest thing during the process of writing?
The hardest part of writing, for me, is literally starting to write. I have ideas all the time, but most of them seem to start in the middle or just gives me a theme. Most of the time my beginnings sound awkward to me and I am constantly making changes.
8. Favorite character you have written and why?
Baby Jaimie is my favorite character to write. Even though I modeled her somewhat after myself she's really not that much like I me at all. I have a lot of fun with her because I'm never really sure what she's going to do.
9. Will you ever stop writing? Have you ever had a moment that you felt like quitting and why?
I think about quitting every now and then, but I don't think I ever really will. I sometimes feel like I'm burned out and feel like I need a break, whenever I take one I wind up bored. Writing is nothing like a typical 9 to 5 job. Writing is not just what I do. A writer is what II am and what I'll be for the rest of my life.
10. Where can we find your page/address?

My website can be found at and I can be emailed any time at People can also connect with me on:
Author Bio:
Jaimie Hope was born November 3, 1976 in New York. It wasn't until high
school, where she joined the newspaper staff, that she decided she wanted
to be a writer. After graduation, writing was put aside for a while. The
author went to college and received an Associates degree in 1999. Then she
moved to Florida where she was an active volunteer in the local historical
society and remained active in the arts. It wasn’t until 2005 that Jaimie
wrote her first children's book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie, published
in 2006 and Who Says You Can"t Go Home? in 2008. The Adventures of Baby
Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Goes to School in 2010. Her Autobiography, Roll With
It followed by the third volume in her children's series, The Adventures
of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Gets Stage Fright, and her first Paranormal
Romance, When You Come Back To Me Again were released in 2011. Finally,
The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Has a Crush was released in
2012. What's next for this author? Currently, she has the fifth volume in
the Baby Jaimie series under contract and a couple novels are also in the

Buy Links:
Print Edition:
E-book Edition:

Stalker Links:
Facebook fan page:
Wordpress Blog:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Traveling Vlog Fifth Installment.

Welcome to the fifth installment of the Traveling Vlog!!!  This week it's my turn to step in front of the bus. LOL!!!  I hope you enjoy my insanity and please check the side bar of the blog.  You will find links to not just some of my stuff, but also links to Jennifer Malone Wright, K.B. Miller, and JH Glaze's blogs.  Go check them out!!! :D

Next week JH Glaze takes his turn, so if you have any questions for any of us...please leave a comment and we'll try to answer you. ;)

WARNING: as I am not proficient in the whole video editing thing....the music at the beginning is loud and the speaking is quiet.  I tried to fix it, but I have no clue what I'm doing!!! LOL

Tally Hoe and have a GREAT Friday!!!

(Oh and don't forget to enter the rafflecopter below!!!)

 Featured Books in today's Vlog:

Illumine by Alivia Anders:

Buy it here!!!

Midnight Hunter by Bonnie Bernard:

Buy it here!!!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

My Top 50 Best Movies List

I'm totally stealing this idea from one of my twitter friends. He created a list of movies he considers the top 100 worst movies ever.  It was fun reading his list, and just a bit aggravating because a LOT of those movies I really love.

So for posterity, and to help save face for some of my faves, here is my list of the 50 movies I consider some of the BEST Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror movies of all time.  Although they are ordered 1-50, that's not the order of their importance.  (Just the order I happened to remember them in.)  You will also notice that many are in groupings.  Sometimes it's hard for me to decide which in a series is my fave.  If you do not see a year posted beside remakes, it's because I like both equally.

Hopefully you'll find some on here, you haven't heard of yet.  If so, I hope you'll give them a chance.

1.  What Dreams May Come

2.  Avatar

3.  Practical Magic

4.  Blade

5.  Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

6.  Alien (#2 and #4)

7.  Dreamcatcher (Stephen King)

8.  Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Lightning Thief)

9.  Harry Potter (All of them, and NO I'm not kidding. Although of the group, I have to say that Prisoner of Askaban and Order of the Phoenix are probably my favorites of the entire lot.)

10. Shaun of the Dead

11. Twister (Okay it's not really in the genre, but DUDE!!! I'm still not tired of watching it! LOL)

12. The Lord of the Rings (All of them)

13. Golden Compass

14. The Covenant

15. The Stand (Mini-series)

16. The Fog

17. Lost in Space (1998)

18. Constantine

19. The Prophecy

20. Halloween (2007)

21. Jurassic Park

22. Total Recall

23. Terminator 2

24. The Craft

25. Season of the Witch

26. Pitch Black (And The Chronicles of Riddick)

27. The Omen (New or old, they both creep me out!)

28. Ghost Ship

29. Haunted

30. Poltergeist

31. White Noise

32. Men in Black

33. X-Men (All of them!  Yes I am a geek, thank you very much! LOL)

34. Iron Man

35. Transformers (All of them)

36. Star Trek (2009)

37. The Day After Tomorrow

38. Dante's Peak

39. The Darkest Hour

40. I am Number Four

50. Independence Day

Now I'm sure I've probably missed several.  After I post this, I know I'll think of at least 20 more I should have added!  But for now, this is it.  I hope you'll give a few of these gems a chance. ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cover Reveal!!!!

Today we have quite a treat for you.  LM Preston has graciously allowed me to reveal the new cover for her awesome Sci-fi adventure...The Pack!!!  How cool is that?  

The Pack
Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. But in order to save her brother's life, she is willing to risk it all.
Praise for THE PACK
-  I was most impressed by the author's world building abilities. Mars felt real right from the beginning. I gave it to one of my sons to read. lHe did tell me that "the fighting moves were interesting" and he thought "her sword and weapons were cool.".~By Kristien Howell
- A treasure for scifi readers ~ Midwest Reviews
- This sci-fi for YA jets along, full of action and humor and pathos and even a bit of romance. ~Darby Karchut
            “Well, I guess you can take care of yourself,” Valens said.  “I’m impressed.” He came up behind Shamira while she bent down and removed the truth tick from Lenny’s neck.  She crushed the tick in her hands and placed it in a pouch on her belt.  
            “What do you want?” she asked sharply while she walked past him to Lenny’s flunky.
            “I want what you want—answers.  I’ve been tracking this guy for weeks, trying to find out about my younger sister, who was taken over a month ago,” he said.  She could tell from his voice that he was confident and sincere.  He was also a bit older, and Shamira noticed the newness in the deepness of his voice, as if he was still getting used to his grownup man-voice.
            “Where are your parents?  Why aren’t they doing this for you?” she asked.  Then, she pulled off the hook knives that held the metal web in place, and the victim fell loudly to the ground with a cold thud. “If your sister has gone missing, why aren’t your parents doing something about it instead of just you?”
            “I’m pretty sure they’re dead.  My dad was a member of the Security Force Elite on Sector One.  One day when I came home, I found my mom cut down dead in our living room.  My father and sister were nowhere to be found.  I know he would have killed anyone who harmed either of them.  He and my sister were just gone,” he said and walked cautiously toward her.
            “Back up.  I don’t like people close, so keep your distance.” She squeezed the metal ball, and the web retracted back inside.  Squeezing it locked, she slid it into the pocket of her belt. “Well, look, I have to go.  Just… just stay away from me, okay?” Shamira turned away from him and ran at top speed to her motorcycle.

Barnes & Noble:
Books A Million:
LM Preston