Sunday, May 29, 2016

More, A young adult paranormal suspense/ romance by TM Franklin.



In toadys Author Spotlight, T.M. Franklin, the talented author of MORE, a YA Paranormal Suspense/Romance, discusses her novel and her many fabulous works.

What is your book about?

Ava Michaels used to think she was special. As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn't so bad after all. 
Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass Physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core. Because Caleb isn't quite what he seems. In fact, he's not entirely human, and he's not the only one. 
Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she's not actually normal . . . she's not even just special. 
She's a little bit more.

What inspired you to write this book?

Like many kids, when I was young, I was convinced I had secret powers, and if I could just concentrate enough I could fly or move things with my mind. Of course, like we all do, I grew out of it. But then I had the thought – what if it was true? What if someone did have those abilities, but they were locked away for some reason? That was the initial inspiration for MORE.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?

In this book, I'd say Ava is my favorite. She's thrown into a crazy situation—people are watching her, they're after her, and she has no idea why. Then she finds out they have these amazing abilities. The world isn't what she thought it was. And she deals with it as best she can. Yes, she makes mistakes, but she's really trying to do the right thing.
My least favorite? Probably Tiernan. It's funny because in MORE, the first book in the trilogy, he's pretty much a bad guy. He's sent after Ava and he's big and mean and terrifying. But in the later books in the series we get to know him better and he actually becomes my favorite character in the trilogy.

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?

I write what I love to read. I enjoy reading YA and I love stories about things like super powers and alternate realities and time travel—the things that get your imagination rolling. I do write in other genres. I'm working on a pirate adventure that I'm hoping will be out this fall. I write romance without the paranormal aspect. I write humor when the mood hits, and have a fun YA romance out called How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You.  But basically, I write what I like to read.

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?

It is the first in the trilogy, and the trilogy is complete. Although I have had people asking for a follow up story featuring Tiernan, so that may happen at some point. But it will be a standalone story – not part of the actual series.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?

I've always written things—stories and poems and such. I worked as a journalist and it was during that time that I thought that I might try writing a book. I wrote my first novel while staying home with my younger son, and it was pretty awful. But one agent I queried encouraged me to keep writing and try to hone my skills. I discovered fan fiction and decided I'd give that a try. It was a wonderful experience and through the betas (volunteer editors) I worked with as well as through interaction with my readers, I think I became a stronger storyteller. It was through people I met in that community that I connected with my publisher. So in many ways, they changed my life.

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?

Of all time? Oh, that's a tough one. It really depends on my mood. I loved Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is one of my favorite romances. Right now, I'm reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and I'm loving it.

Have you written other books we should know about?

I have three books in the MORE Trilogy, as well as a YA Romance called How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You, about a quirky boy who makes lists for everything he wants to accomplish. Obviously, he wants to get Ainsley to fall in love with him, so he makes a list and sets out to show her he has a lot to offer. That's probably my favorite book that I've written.
I also have three short stories currently out: Window (about a girl who gets visions through the picture window in her living room) A Piece of Cake (about a supernaturally gifted matchmaker who doesn't believe in love) and Unscheduled Departure (about a girl who's thrilled when her boyfriend decides not to move across the country and gets off the plane at the last minute—or does he? Dun dun duuuunn…)


LINKS

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You

Window

A Piece of Cake

Unscheduled Departure

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?

Just keep writing. The biggest hurdle to over come is actually FINISHING something. You can always go back later and make it better. So just keep writing. Get it done!

Where can we find your book?


The complete trilogy is also available as a single volume, at a lower price:
 

Where can we find out more about you?




Thursday, May 26, 2016

2016 Summer Indie Book Awards - Have you nominated your favourite author?



2016 Summer Indie Book Awards!




Unlike Game of Throne's Castle Black, the cold of winter is finally breaking out into spring. We at Metamorph Publishing are already looking forward to a sizzling summer, and we’re here to announce our first annual Indie Book Awards! You heard that right, a summer book awards! The event officially begins on January 1st of each year, and nominations will be accepted through midnight CST on August 31st each year. Voting will begin on September 1st and end on September 10th each year.

“What’s the big deal,” you ask? “There are all kinds of contests out there.” And you’re right, there are hundreds, probably thousands of book awards. But many of them are only for unpublished authors, or authors who only write in certain narrow genres, or for authors who have never published before in a particular genre. Plus, there are plenty of them that charge an entry fee, some of which are prohibitive to authors who publish independently, without the backing of a large and powerful publishing house.

So, we’re hoping to do something different with the Summer Indie Book Awards! Entry is free, and nominations will be accepted from any indie or small-press author, regardless of their current published or non-published state, or what genre they write in. We are accepting donations of print or e-books, author swag or novelty items (bookmarks, pens, keychains, etc.), but donation is not required for nomination. We’re taking nominations from authors as well as from readers, and authors can nominate their own books; we only ask that authors who do so also nominate a fellow indie author. Nominations can be made using this form and donations can be made here.

Feel free to join up with the event on Facebook and like the official Facebook page of the Summer Indie Book Awards. You can also sign up for the newsletter so you can stay up to date with all the latest news! In the pinned post of the Facebook event, you’ll find these links, along with links to a Google Drive folder where you can look and see who’s already been nominated! And any author who is nominated will have access to an official contest nominee badge, that they can use on their book covers or any promotional media, if they so desire.

Winners in each genre will receive a prize (hopefully we’ll get enough donations for this), beginning with the 1st place winners. If we get enough prizes donated, we’ll go next to 2nd place winners, and then to 3rd place. Regardless of the prizes, winners will get a high-quality winner badge, stating their place and the genre of the book. These will be of high enough resolution for authors to use on their print books, if they want to!

But it’s not only the winners that will benefit from the Summer Indie Book Awards! All nominated authors will have the potential to reach hundreds, if not more, of new readers (readers often have a preferred genre, and while they’re voting for their favorite author, will come across others they may not have tried yet), and reach a huge new audience through the social media forums! And best of all, it’s meant to have fun, to reach out and network with other authors, potentially forming long-lasting relationships. And readers will benefit from having a wealth of new books in front of them, as well as a vast amount of new stories to immerse themselves in.

Though we’re using Facebook and other social media as a platform to reach more authors and readers, none of these social media outlets are affiliated with the awards. They are hosted strictly by Metamorph Publishing.

For more information, please visit Metamorph Publishing.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jason, Lizzy, and the Ice Dragon, a fantastical middle-grade novel by award winning author, Charity Marie.



In today's Author Spotlight, I had the distinct pleasure to meet the wonderful and fantastical, award winning author Charity Marie. She discusses her new novel, Jason, Lizzy, and the Ice Dragon, a middle grade fantasy

What is your book about?

After losing her parents in a horrible fire, Abigail finds a magical necklace, and is transformed into a powerful ice dragon. Soon, she realizes her new curse.

Jason and Lizzy are called on by Mother Nature to help Abigail. The only way to end the curse is to find the most powerful wizard of all, who vanished ages ago.

What inspired you to write this book?

There were a lot of inspirations for this book but probably the biggest inspiration was my daughter. She was diagnosed in 2015 with Dyslexia and while we always suspected it, the diagnosis was a blow nonetheless. I wanted to write a story that would give her hope and courage while inspiring her and others. She was also struggling to make friends and being very bullied by others.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?

My favorite character is Abigail. She’s an ice dragon - how cool is that? Probably my least favorite character is Merlin the wizard because he’s a little bit sneaky (but I still like him anyway).

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?

I fell into this genre a few years ago. I never expected to write children’s literature, let alone an entire series. Nor did I expect to win my first award for children’s literature. There’s been a lot of firsts which keep me going. But most importantly, the readers keep me writing. The feedback I’ve gotten for my work, and the interest has simply been phenomenal. In addition, there’s something very unique about writing for a younger audience. Knowing that I could be writing a book that may change a child’s life and give them a love of reading is something I’m very passionate about as an author.
I do write in other genres and am currently working on a YA novel called How to Adopt a Dragon. It started as a write-off with my husband but I liked the idea so much I decided to make it a book. I’m also working on the third book in Jason and Lizzy’s Legendary Adventures as well as an adult suspense series called The Angel Deveron Series. I like to branch out, try different things in writing, and am constantly challenging myself to do more with my writing. 

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?


This is part of a series but can be read as a standalone book if you haven’t read the previously published book, Jason, Lizzy, and the Snowman Village. There will be at least four more, the next of which is planned for sometime in 2017. It’s called Jason, Lizzy, and the Luckless Leprechauns. I enjoy coming up with new adventures for Jason and Lizzy and finding new challenges for them to overcome. Who knows, maybe the series will go beyond six books but at this point that’s all I have planned.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?

Believe it or not, writing was simply an evolution for me. I look back on my life and can see how each step built the foundation for my career as a writer. It started with a retired teacher who offered to tutor me one day. I had failed kindergarten and was in danger of being held back again before she stepped in and helped me with the foundational learning I needed. That was a priceless gift that I’m still talking about years later.
When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher assigned us a writing prompt. The assignment was for 1 page but I wrote 14. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Reading also inspired me. Stephen King is probably the first author to make me think I’d like to write a book. Terry Brooks inspired a love of fantasy. Love for my kids inspired me to write for other children.

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?

I have to name just one? Geez, that’s almost impossible. I would have to say Lord of the Rings (but even that’s a trilogy so I’m still kind of cheating).

Have you written other books we should know about?

It won the Reader’s Favorite Award in 2013 for children’s literature, beating 10 other books from around the world. I was utterly stunned that I won (and still am). The book is going to be re-released this winter with an updated cover to match the branding direction the series is going in. I made the tragic mistake of choosing a last name that was too difficult for my young readers to remember or spell and have changed my author name to Charity Marie to make it easier. I had a lot of children asking me how to spell and say my name, which I never considered.

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?

Know that you can’t please everyone with your work. Some people will love it, some will only like it, some will disagree with it, and many will ignore it. But as long as you’re writing for yourself first and are writing truth as you see it, you really can’t go wrong and will produce quality work.

Where can we find your book?

You can also order an autographed copy here: http://www.charitymarie.com/jason-lizzy-and-the-ice-dragon/

Where can we find out more about you?