What is Jamie Zakian’s Writing Nemesis? @demoness333

There are many aspects to writing a novel that are extremely difficult. For me, the biggest obstacle to overcome—my true nemesis—is doubt. Writing is an art form and art is subjective. You never know if people will connect with your words, characters, storylines. As a writer, you need to become accustom to rejection. You’re rejected during the querying stage, once published you’re rejected for book reviews, sometimes your own publisher rejects future scripts, and often times there’s no explanation as to why. The uncertainty of whether your writing is to blame creates huge barriers of self-doubt. This doubt often hinders my creative flow, especially when I’m trying to start a new manuscript. Luckily, I have an amazing critique partner who is not only extremely patient when dealing with my many freak-outs, but very supportive and encouraging. If not for being able to share my failures and successes with a fellow writer who totally gets it, I might have fallen victim to the doubt monster.

If you  haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Jamie Zakian, be sure to  check out all the details below.

 
There is a giveaway for a DVD  of Passengers, US Only or the complete eBook set of Fire  In The Woods, International, courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win,  enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
 
Title: PROJECT
EMERGENCE
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 292
An ancient Hopi myth says people arrived on tiny silver pods that fell  from the sky.
But the truth is far more terrifying.
Two-hundred fifty-eight teens are sent from a dying Earth to a  terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind’s last hope before  solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the brave pioneers are  sixteen-year-old Joey Westen and her twin brother, Jesse.
After only minutes in space, something triggers a total ship lock down.
With the help of their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers  and shady secret-keepers), Joey and Jesse stumble onto an extremist plot to  sabotage the Emergence Program.
But Joey and Jesse didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space and leave
their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. They’ll lie, hack,  and even kill to survive the voyage and make it to Mars.


 
About Jamie: 
Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as
equally as oxygen. Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family,  she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not  writing of course. She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every  genre of fiction.

 
Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a DVD of Passengers, US Only.

1 winner will win the complete FIRE IN THE WOODS eBook set,
International.

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Slap on your virtual reality suit! A review of Arena by Holly Jennings

Wow. I really loved this book so much more than I expected to! This book takes place in the future, where virtual reality games have become a sport. 30687917It’s kinda disturbing, but these people have to get in really good shape, because they are their avatars in the virtual world, and they play a game similar to catch the flag, but they kill each other to get to the flags… but if they die, they just wake up and get to play again another day. The overall arc of the story is the protagonist’s team gets beaten pretty badly, and has to win every game after that to make it to the championship. While they are playing, they deal with real-world issues outside the virtual arena, like video game addiction, drugs, relationships, and dealing with the death of someone you care about (all in front of news cameras). I am not really into sports, and the idea of gladiator-like combat, even in the virtual world does not appeal to me, but this story really drew me in. I am looking forward to seeing where the next book takes us, because this first book did end very much like a stand alone. I would definitely look for another Holly Jennings book.


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Secrets of a Reluctant Princess with Casey Griffin

Author Casey Griffin is here with us today! So, Casey, have you ever been a reluctant princes?

In grade eleven, I enrolled in Stagehand class as an elective. I was pretty quiet, insecure, and I didn’t like to get put on the spot in school, so hiding behind the scenes seemed like the perfect place. I didn’t even make it through one class before I realized it wasn’t for me. (I’m not the handiest girl—what was I thinking?)

My teacher, Mrs. Jansen, who also taught Drama class during the same period, encouraged me to simply switch over to acting and give that a try. Ummm… Crawl out from backstage and into the limelight? It didn’t get any worse. I wasn’t just reluctant. I thought she was crazy. Me? In the spotlight? Ha!

PKO_0005301But my teacher wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I humored her and sat in on one class…and then the next. And I’m so happy she pushed me, because soon I was in every production I could be in, performing in front of the entire school, teachers, and parents. I won school awards for drama. Heck, I got the lead roles normally reserved for students in grade twelve. I was even voted “The actress” in the yearbook.

But it was so much more than that. My drama experience for the remainder of high school raised my confidence, brought me out of my shell, gave me the courage to stand up in front of others, and helped me find myself. I might have been reluctant at first, but in the end, I felt like Mrs. Jansen helped me blossom into a princess.

Awwww… Love this story. Thanks Casey!


About Secrets of a Reluctant Princess

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

29939193Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

Shoot me to Goodreads to see where to buy!


About Casey Griffin

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada.

As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.


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When you just don’t know who you are anymore… A review of Lost Girls by Merrie Distephano

29939399This book was not what I expected. I thought it was a paranormal from the cover. I kept waiting for the paranormal to happen, and as our main character walked towards “the door” I was biting my nails waiting for “it”.

Well, the “it” was a big disappointment paranormally, but by the time I realized it was a real-life contemporary, I was far too invested to put it down.

Despite the lack of paranormal elements, this is a really great book. This girl wakes up in a ditch with no memory of the past year of her life, but she’s only been missing for two weeks. It’s an awesome concept, and I enjoyed as the character had to re-learn who she was.

I ended up really liking this book a lot, and total kudos to the author for placing a public service message for troubled teens at the back of the book.

I must admit, I am a hard sell for contemporary, but this one won me over anyway.


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Dabbling in Sports Romance – For Women with @JulieCross1980

Sports themed books, movies, and TV shows have always been a love of mine–with or without romance (though a love story is always a plus). Surely I’m not the only female who feels this way? And although Off the Ice features ice hockey, I have written another YA that features a female elite gymnast, another with a ballet dancer, and in my YA novel Whatever Life Throws at You my main character, Annie, is a long distance runner for her high school track team. I really enjoy writing female athletes as well as the boys from Juniper Falls in Off the Ice.

The knowledge of a sport is generally not required to enjoy a fictionalized story that revolves around athletics. In fact, readers with extensive knowledge of a sport can ruin a fictional story featuring the sport of their expertise because authors often take liberties with rules and details to be able to tell the most interesting story.

What attracts me to reading and writing sports themed stories is that they often feature very driven characters who take action without hesitation. Who wants to read about a protagonist that complains all the time but never does anything? Not me. These driven athletes often have very clear, easy to follow goals–win the match, run faster, jump higher, etc…additionally these goals can create intriguing conflict when something (or someone) becomes nearly as important to them as their beloved sport. Another wonderful aspect of sports themed stories is the community often created either within an athlete’s’ team or the town or fans supporting the team. Everyone wants to see the underdog take the win and when they do, the warm fuzzies are plentiful.

Enter to win a Kindle Fire HERE!


About Off the Ice

All is fair in love and hockey…

25538649Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | Indies | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 


About the Author

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.
She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

 Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

 

 

 

This might be the best book I’ve ever read-A Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Ebook, Audiobook, and Hard Cover) I picked up this book because I’ve heard a lot of talk about it, 23395680despite not being fond of one of the book’s authors. I never in a million years expected to like it so much.

I started reading in ebook format, but quickly realized that you really can’t read this in ebook. Well, maybe if you downloaded it on your television so you can make it really big.

Illuminae suffers from the same problem that comics and graphic novels do on ebook… it just does not work for me, because Illuminae is very graphics-intense. There are pictures of the ships, blood splatter on the documents, and graphic representation of madness. It is one thing to know that your character is on level 130 of a ship, with the bad guys on specific floors. It is completely another thing to see the actual picture of the ship the character is looking at, knowing she is the white circle in the engine room, and the bad guys are the stars ALL OVER THE FREAKING SHIP.

Yeah – the pictures are important.

Now, you’ll notice that I list ebook, audiobook, and hard cover as my method of reading Illuminae. At first I didn’t “get” the whole graphics thing, so I switched to audio book. But I found myself referring back to the hard copy daily to help fully 23395680immerse myself in the story. For me, this was wonderful because I could hear the character’s voices. I could hear the beep in the background, counting down the arrival of the ship that was chasing them, I could hear the banter of the fighter pilots in their own voices, and I could hear the screams of the “bad guys” running through the ship. Then, I would go to the text and see how the computer saved this information for later review, which was a treat in itself.

I think reading and listening definitely enhanced my enjoyment, because I’m not sure I would have read every word on the high-graphic pages, and thus I would have missed out on the story. Right now, writing this review in January 2017, this book is in contention for best of the year, and is probably in the top ten books I’ve ever read. If you decide to give this a try, don’t bother with ebook. It does not work. If you read in paperback/hardcover, make sure you read every word on the page, even the little sticky notes. They are there for a reason. And when the nutty computer draws shapes with words… read the words. If you don’t you will miss out. If you listen on audio book, get a copy of the paperback to read along. You really need to see the pictures. And the pictures are also a clue to a HUGE plot twist that I did not see coming, but made sense when I went back and looked at the graphics.

So, yeah, Illuminae… it is a multi-media experience. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this one.


 

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Authors: be real. Your readers (and your characters!) will thank you for it.

I have obstacles to overcome. Just like you, just like everyone.

Author E.M. Fitch

One of my obstacles has a name, though as a teen, I didn’t realize it. I have panic attacks. The reason I’m telling you this is because it’s real. I am a real person and I have panic attacks.

My protagonist in Of The Trees, my forthcoming YA novel, has them, too. That’s important. It’s important because every day millions of people have panic attacks. Millions will also suffer anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, and depression. As an author, it’s important to me to show this. I want my characters to jump off the page. I want them to be authentic. Giving my characters actual issues, mixed in with the fairy lore, fantasy and horror, will ground them and give them a way to connect with an audience.
There’s a better reason to create characters with mental health issues, however. It’s more important than creating a way for the characters to relate to the readers. It’s giving your readers a chance to connect with someone. One of the worst experiences someone can have is feeling alone. One of the hardest parts of managing an invisible illness is feeling like no one understands what you’re going through. I feel like I’m on the other side of what once was an invisible illness for me. Anxiety creeps into my life in variable doses, but overall, it’s manageable. So my characters are my way of extending a hand. It’s a nod that tells my readers: I see you. I’ve been there, too.
Horror is real. Anxiety, depression, hallucinations, fear – that’s all real, too. But so is growth. There’s is such a thing as learning to overcome – and I don’t mean learning to erase all impact of the invisible illness from your life. I mean a way to manage and cope and breathe and live in spite of, or even because of, whatever’s weighing you down.
So, authors: show this. Be real. Tell your tragedies, show your weaknesses, bleed on your pages. Not only will your characters breathe because of it, your readers might find themselves not so alone after experiencing your own wounds lay bare in print.

 

Only she can hear the deadly whisper of the trees.

High school seniors, Cassie and Laney, spend their days on ghost hunts, Laney trying to pull Cassie into belief. Cassie tolerates it for her best friend, but she doesn’t really believe … until the carnival comes to town. The men who work there watch the girls, disturbing Cassie with the intensity of their collective gaze.

It’s not just their age or the unnerving way they stare. There is something else, something in the shifting of their skin, the way their features seem to change fluid in the shadows, that screams danger. Cassie tries to ignore the uneasy feeling that something bad is about to happen, convinced that once the carnival leaves, life will return to normal.


But it doesn’t.


People start dying and bloody warnings appear around town. Cassie enters into a nightmare where the trees whisper “join us” and strange, seemingly familiar, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods of her small, isolated town.


When Laney goes missing, Cassie knows it’s the men of the forest who have taken her. She knows that she’s the only one who can help bring her friend back. But the creatures that taunt and hiss through the trees aren’t ready to give Laney up just yet.


E. M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. Her latest novel, OF THE TREES, is a Young Adult horror/fantasy inspired by haunted cemeteries and the darker musings of W.B. Yeats. She is the author of the Young Adult zombie trilogy: THE BREAK FREE SERIES. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children, or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages with her husband, Marc.

 

Visit www.emfitch.com for more information on her works.

 


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FREE on eBook today only! FIRE IN THE WOODS reads like a contemporary, but packs the punch of an action movie!”

FREE on eBook today only! FIRE IN THE WOODS reads like a contemporary, but packs the punch of an action movie!”  For the first time ever, book one in my FIRE IN THE WOODS series is FREE on ebook!

22674815

Tell your friends there’s never been a better time to start their race through the woods!

Blurb below if you want to check it out.

Get your copy now at:

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Aliens, Armageddon, and Romance

Fire in the Woods is FREE on Ebook

Today only

 

 


Discover the high-action alien adventure that started it all!

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When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally.

But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.

Her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught.

As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs and alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe.

Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

Fire in the Woods is the first book in a high-action contemporary science fiction series great for fans of Starcrossed, The Lux Series and Alienated.

Discover Fire in the Woods and start your race through the woods FREE today!

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Why I finally decided to write about the end of the world. By Christy Sloat

Last  year I decided to take a break from publishing my books.
purple hair mad scientistAfter publishing two  in 2015 I sort of lost my mind somewhere along the way. (By the way I’m not  entirely sure I got it back, yet)
While  waiting to hear from agents for a big project, I had a lot of time on my hands.

And idle hands to an author are no good. We get a little crazy and we write the  books that we always dreamed up; Mad Scientist Doctor PKO_0002493the ones no publisher would ever dare touch.  In this case it was my take on the apocalypse. I decided to kill the world. Fun  stuff.
Now  I know this has been done before, you don’t need to remind me. I did it with  full intentions to post it to my blog or even to self-publish. It was the ‘fun’  book that I would write. My book about the end was a take on the evilness that  I saw spread around this country and in the human race altogether in just a few  short years.

Christy Sloat (No, she’s not a mad scientist)

To  my utter surprise I became close with these three main characters; Emma, Kami  and Lou. Closer than I ever dreamed I would be. My zombies weren’t zombies, but  they were the dead rising from graves. And then the book that was supposed to  be just for fun became my evil little  masterpiece. (Insert maniacal laugh) I proved to myself that I can’t just write  to kill time or to make myself happy. It showed me that my mind was full of  these thoughts and that I had to please my readers and I couldn’t let them down  in any way!

The  book was finished, well my first draft anyway, and a publisher had gotten wind  of the idea of The Survival Pact. They loved it and wanted it.
Say_What
I  was utterly confused. No publishers would want this book. Would they?
This  book was original, sure, but the premise had been done over and over again. But,  they wanted it. And who was I to deny the world this macabre tale of how the  world dies? I surely wouldn’t say no. I wasn’t an idiot.
What  once had been an idea to keep my hands busy, had now become a full story about  three friends who make a pact to survive the end of the world together.
PKO_0004816This  story was born of evil; evil that I had deep inside me. I’m not sure how good  that sounds, really. It makes me look sort of cracked doesn’t it? Well if you  have seen as many horror movies as I have, you’d feel the same. There is something fun about being an author and having the capabilities to kill anyone  you want.
The  end of the world isn’t something to write about lightly, trust me. I didn’t go  into the project thinking it was going to be a piece of cake; after all I’m  supposed to be ruining my characters’ lives here. I think I did the justice to  the proverbial end, and I sure hope those of you who decide to read it will  feel the same.

The  Survival Pact
Three friends.
One promise.
One goal.
Survive.
Kami  thought she’d seen it all as a small time reporter for a New York Paper, but after hearing reports of the dead crawling from graves and attacking humans, she realized the world she once knew would never be the same again. Forced to flee the city, she heads south where her two best friends Emma and Lou reside  in search of answers. As a drunken joke ten years earlier, the three friends made a vow that if the world went to hell they’d survive it together, no matter what. With the pact now a reality, they are forced to face a never ending tidal  wave of the dead, tornadoes, earthquakes, and massive storms with hundreds of miles to go. Along with their new dog, Snack, the girls get closer to their  destination but no closer to answers as to why their world is filled with such  evil. Will their plan of survival keep them alive or will they drown in the sea  of the dead?
 
 
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Wait… Were are the Dragons? A review of Dragon Weather

Dragon Weather by Lawrence Watt-Evans (Hard Cover) This book was published in 2000, and came on my radar because a friend told me it was one of 498139the best books she’d read. Any hey, dragons… I was all over that. Unfortunately, this is a case of “different strokes for different folks.”

This novel is written in the old-style of epic fantasy, which means a long drawn out adventure (Think Lord of the Rings) The long drawn out adventure was not the problem for me… the problem (in my opinion mind you) is that we went on the WRONG adventure.

Problem #1 Look at the cover. Does that look like a nasty dragon to you? I may be off my rocker, but that dragon looks like he’s smiling. The rest of the scene on the cover makes sense. Smiling dragon? Ummm… No. Unless the dragon smiles as he torches the entire village.

That brings us to problem number two. THIS IS NOT A BOOK ABOUT DRAGONS.

Say what? It’s called Dragon Weather. There is a dragon on the cover.

Yes, yes there is. At the beginning of the book, dragons attack this poor boy’s village and destroy it. This is the event that starts the boy on his journey. A few chapters later, though, he is now a man. Yes, he is on an epic journey, but the book then is no longer about dragons. It is about revenge. He wants to kill a bunch of men who looted his village after the dragon attack, and then sold him into slavery. Okay, I get wanting revenge, but this isn’t the story I wanted to read. I found myself skimming 10, 20, 50 pages of (what I felt was senseless) looking for these men, instead of looking for the dragons. Yet I plodded on, waiting for an epic dragon battle. *****SPOILER ALERT**** There isn’t one. You do not get to see the dragons again in this very long, drawn out search for a handful of men, and then challenging them to duals so he can pick them off one by one.

Now, if you like a good revenge story, and you like “journey” novels, this might be the book for you. If you are looking for an epic dragon tale, I’d steer far away. 480 pages is far too long for a journey that ends in disappointment.


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