Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cover Reveal: DANGEROUS DEPTHS by Karen Amanda Hooper!!

Today I present you with a *~magical~* cover reveal! DANGEROUS DEPTHS by Karen Amanda Hooper! Karen is, incidentally, a very dear friend of mine. Her books are all beautifully written, filled with romance, adventure, and as you can guess... magic!

DANGEROUS DEPTHS is the sequel to one of my favorite books, TANGLED TIDES, which is all about mermaids, selkies, and undersea awesomeness.

Without further ado, allow me to present the gorgeous cover of DANGEROUS DEPTHS by Karen Amanda Hooper... <3!

~Find out a little more about DANGEROUS DEPTHS below~

Hell hath no fury like a selkie separated from his true love.

The gate to the sea creature realm is finally open. Rownan assumes the worst is behind him when he returns home after years of waiting to be reunited with his wife, Vienna. Only to find out that Vienna didn’t wait for him. She traveled to the evil realm of Harte years ago, hoping the legend of another gateway to Earth’s realm was real, but she was never heard from again. Rownan claimed he’d go through hell to be with Vienna, and now he must prove it.

Yara wanted to bask in the glow of her happily ever after in the magical realm of Rathe. She planned to explore Medusa and Poseidon’s world and dive deeper into her relationship with Treygan, but as the new leader of Rathe, her powers are needed to save more than one member of her own kind. Treygan vowed to always be Yara’s guardian, but long ago he also swore to go any lengths to protect his brother Rownan. Now, he must fulfill his promise to both of them.

Rownan, Yara, and Treygan are about to put their lives and souls at risk by traveling to the most dangerous realm of the worlds. Love should conquer all, but no one has ever conquered Harte.

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY: One winner will receive a signed paperback of Tangled Tides (1st edition, Rhemalda Publishing version) and an ebook of Dangerous Depths on its release day. Open internationally! Contest ends Monday, September 23, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  SEA MONSTER MEMOIRS Rafflecopter DOUBLE Giveaway!
*For those wondering why DANGEROUS DEPTHS won’t be published by Rhemalda Publishing (the publisher of TANGLED TIDES) please see Karen’s blog post about Rhemalda going out of business:
  With gratitude, respect, and well wishes for Rhemalda,
Starry Sky Publishing will be taking over both books.*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Now Have Superpowers: The SECRETS of Pink Hair

It's true. My new pink hair has granted me superhuman abilities. THREE of them, actually! Will I use them for good or for evil? That's yet to be determined, but I'm trying out both Evil Laugh and Solemn Heroic Nod to keep my options open.

I knowwww, superpowers go in and out of style; will I still be happy I have them in forty years when spandex tights reveal more unpleasantness than anyone wants to see? Well, I've already gone ahead and acquired my new powers so I'm just going to embrace it!

To give credit where credit is due: some of you might already know that my little sister is a talented hair stylist and makeup artist. I'm lucky she LOVES using unwitting victims to have fun, and when I asked her about something I've always wanted to do-- pink highlights --she had the best suggestion...

My Sister Might Be Sweeney Todd
Superpower infusion! AKA, pink ombre hair... which, I had never heard of before!

I'm a writer... I don't exactly get out much.

But! I trust her implicitly in all things having to do with style, beauty, and superhuman abilities (she is an EXPERT). Doesn't she look trustworthy? OR LIKE SWEENEY TODD?!!! I love you, Christina! xxooxxoo!

Where was I... that's right, my awesome new hair, avec superpowers!

The first step seemed simple enough. I went through a process called Lightning Attraction Device (LAD) implementation. My hair was BRUSHED OUT WHILE DRY (something no one with curly hair would ever do in their right mind, but AGAIN, I trust my sister... don't I?!!)

From my understanding, the intense static created by brushing out dry hair lends itself well to converting craniums into LADs, which then enables THUNDERBOLT ABILITIES! I could hardly wait to try it out! By the time my sister had finished brushing, my hair was not only audibly and visibly crackling with static electricity, but it was extremely large! Superpowers were headed my way, I just KNEW it.

My Hair Is Large And In Charge
Next came the good part: teasing my hair UP toward my scalp. I became immediately and exponentially poofier. At one point my hair encircled my entire head like a true lion's mane. I remember the worried look I caught in the mirror at my sister's salon, but she immediately assured me that this was all going as intended. "You want beast powers in addition to lightning capabilities, don't you?"

HECK YES I DO! So at this point she advised me to roar, and boom. Lioness powers.

I sheathed my claws and smiled at her with my new fangs (she was very pleased) and waited for her to finalize the LAD process. This was done by separating my hair into sections and applying metal strips to my hair.

My sister guided then guided me outside where I was promptly struck by lighting. I accidentally took on lion-form from the shock, and boy did she laugh. "If I had a nickel for every time that happened..." I blushed so hard, but after a few seconds I morphed back into my human form and we went back to the salon for the last step in my superpower infusion: fire casting abilities.

In order to gain true fire casting skills, I had to be lit on fire (obviously; even I knew that). Some might wonder if I ought to have been worried when my sister approached with a blow torch in hand, but remember, I trust her COMPLETELY and besides, I had already been struck by lightning so I was feeling pretty good about everything.

The heat was surprisingly comfortable. As flames licked away at my hair, my sister had me practice shooting lightning across the room. My aim wasn't the greatest, but my sister is so encouraging. "Awesome! Next time avoid anyone you don't want to kill or injure. You have SO got this, girl!!!"

At last, my sister led me to the fire-dousing containment unit, where she warned me that from now on I would have to use cold water to wash my hair.



She promised that having superpower-infused pink ombre hair would be well worth it, and really, at this point I had already committed so what choice did I have? My head was engulfed in flames. As awesome as that look is short-term, it was bound to be problematic if I didn't get it taken care of.

So, I was rinsed down with icy water. When that cold water hit my scalp I growled--I couldn't help it! I managed not to claw my sister to pieces... that would have been so rude of me, but now that I have this beast-side I don't always remember about manners! My sister is really sweet, and she said most people understand if I apologize and let them know I'm new to morphing.

Anyway, my sister was right! Having superpower-infused pink hair is absolutely worth having to use cold water to wash my hair from now on! Shooting lightning and flames from my palms, AND transforming into a fierce lion? Awesome.

I hope I don't have to commit to this whole using-my-powers-for-good-versus-evil thing anytime soon. I have good friends on both sides... I KNOW whichever side I choose, it's going to start up drama. >.<;;

Huge thanks to my beautiful and amazing sister. She did a *fabulous* job on my hair. I couldn't love it more!! Hearts and hugs, sis! <3


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Changes...

Aw, geez. I hardly know how to begin. Other Rhemalda authors are blogging about this, and Rhemalda Publishing itself has made the announcement so... it's time.

It's with a heavy heart that I sit down to write this post. A very heavy heart. Rhemalda Publishing believed in me and my story with all of the passion and excitement I could have ever hoped for. I had found a home there, and I felt secure that Kaitlyn, Angie, and Julia had found one, too. But in this ever-changing, wild west of the new publishing world, small presses aren't having the easiest time setting up homesteads. Sadly, Rhemalda Publishing announced that they are going out of business.

I am incredibly heartbroken for my Rhemalda family. There is more than just the business-side of things going on, and I know that the unexpected health issues they are facing within their family are as big a part of this decision as anything. My love goes out to them and they will always have my support and friendship.

Rhemalda is run by good people with good hearts, and they were truly in publishing to make writers' dreams come true. They just love books, and love publishing them. I wanted them to succeed not only because it would mean success for my stories, but because they deserve to succeed. Another author and dear friend at Rhemalda told me she wished she had won the lottery and could have gifted Rhemalda with the money so they could just keep doing what they love--publishing books--and not worry about the increasingly broken bookselling industry, profits, or any of the rest.

But unfortunately, there is no winning lottery ticket for Rhemalda. After speaking with the owners, I understand more than ever before how deeply committed they were to making their publishing dreams come true. I completely understand and respect their decision, and I admire them for not filing bankruptcy and not taking the every-man-for-himself route that so many other businesses would have taken. Like I said, they are truly good people.

The fact that they aren't filing for bankruptcy means that Rhemalda authors won't need to worry about our books being held up in legal proceedings. Our rights are all being reverted, and the Rhemalda owners are being phenomenal about giving authors everything we need to move forward with our careers--document files, cover art, formatting help--and they are making themselves available to us and answering all of our questions. Have I mentioned that they are good people? They are great people.

What does this mean for me, though?

Well... I suppose... it means more changes. I already have plenty of change going on in my life. Geez. (Read here for details on this, if you like.) Those changes have been good for me, and maybe in the end, my career changes will be good, too. Either way, I have to face them. The reality is here and my publisher is closing up shop. My books no longer have the safe, secure home they once enjoyed. I have to figure things out on my own now.

I have some big career decisions ahead of me. It feels a little like I'm in survival mode. Like... some great big disaster hit and it's time to take inventory of my resources and see how to forge ahead and come out of everything okay. I'm reminded of The Walking Dead, and how everyone used what skills they had to ensure survival. Except, I'm not dealing with zombies, which is a huge relief. All of these changes and zombies? That would have been way more than I could handle.

Taking stock, I have one book that is published and can be published again. Some Rhemalda authors are choosing to shelve their books, some are self-publishing--some are using new covers, some are leaving everything the same, some are re-editing or releasing a "second edition"--and some are looking for other publishers altogether. I have a lot to think about.

What else... I have a completed sequel that was scheduled to release next year, and is now sitting on my laptop with big, shiny eyes wondering what I'm going to do.

What am I going to do?

I don't feel ready to make any absolute decisions or announcements, yet. I need to think about my resources and abilities, realistically, and figure out what will be best for me and my stories. The only thing I feel certain about is, I won't be shelving Timespell or Timespell the Deuce (as yet, untitled). I don't know how, but, if I found a way to share my work with the world once, I will be able to find a way again.

It isn't in me to lose hope, quit, or walk away. I don't know what I'll do, I admit, but I do now I won't give up on what I love. I'm going to do something. Even if, for now, that "something" is undefined.

Patience is a big part of publishing, and right now I need to get my bearings. I am going to be patient with myself and not force myself into anything I'm not ready for.

My heart goes out to my Rhemalda family. I have treasured every moment of being able to share my stories with the world; it has been a life-changing experience for me. I will be forever grateful to Rhemalda Publishing for everything they have done for me and my story, and I wish them all the very best.