My Favorite Reviews for the Akasha Series

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As a self-published author for over five years now, I have started to avoid looking at reviews. Before, I hung on every word. I swelled with pride or sunk into despair–sometimes all in the same day–depending on readers written opinions of my books. Pretty soon, the roller coaster ride of emotion began to interfere with my writing, so I stopped looking at reviews. Surfing the net this morning, I ran across a review. One thing led to the next and before I knew it I was reading them all. To my surprise, it was quite the uplifting ride, and perhaps just what I needed to get over my writing slump I am currently in with my new series. Below are my favorites for The Akasha Series, each linked to the original post on Amazon. If you haven’t finished the series already, I hope these reviews can entice you!

By Iris:
“I loved this series from beginning too end. A magical, ecologically focused adventure with a strong but human heroine and a villain you can actually hate… And then some. Between screwed up love interest, being forced into a life she’s unsure about, and surviving one attack after another, Kaitlin Alder is both relatable and someone to look up to and grow with.”

and

“I’d like to say it’s for everyone, but I don’t think so. I think it’s for women trying to find themselves or learning to be strong and brave. It deals with issues like abuse, and giving birth, and falling in love. But yes it’s all of that is wrapped up in honing magical elemental power, saving the world (from an ecological level and bringing awareness) to war.”

By Carolyn:

“I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Their mix of romance, magic and earthly powers was extremely well woven. Without each of these components, this would be just another romance without the heat and passion in a belief that we owe the Earth for our very survival.”

By Jane:

“For eco-aware folks, Wiccans, and tree huggers alike, this is an environmental aware series wrapped in fantasy and carried by our imagination into the reality of today’s world.”

By Kristi on Book 4, ‘Earth’:

“This book was my most and least favorite of the series…I always feel that way about the end… but it was so DARK! Kaitlyn goes all G.I. Jane in this book. Infiltrate and destroy. I knew the book wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows in the end but would have never expected for it to turn out this way… I had always hoped she would burn out her powers and her and Micah would ride off into the sunset with Bee. Fat chance of that happening I know, but a girl can dream right? Any way all I can say it the very last page brought a tear to my eye.”

As of today, here is my Amazon review breakdown:

The Akasha Series:
Water, Book One: 3.6 Stars, 200 customer review
Air, Book Two: 4.6 Stars, 53 customer reviews
Fire, Book Three: 4.4 Stars, 31 customer reviews
Earth, Book Four: 4.4 Stars, 42 customer reviews
Akasha, The Complete Saga: 4.5 Stars, 32 customer reviews

The Painted Maidens Series:
The Rising, Book One: 4.2 Stars, 72 customer reviews
The Betrayed, Book Two: 4.7 Stars, 9 customer reviews
The Taking, Book Three: 4.8 Stars, 14 customer reviews
The Falling, The Prequel: (no reviews – guess I need to start advertising this one!)

And let’s not forget my vampire indulgence!

The Kindred Curse Anthology: 4.1 Stars, 12 customer reviews

Did you know I have a few other works published in conjunction with fellow authors?

Polaris Awakening, 4.5 Stars, 2 customer reviews
The Lost Locket of Lahari Anthology, 3.5 Stars, 2 customer reviews
Forbidden Future, 3.5 Stars, 10 customer reviews

Happy Reading and please don’t forget to leave your own reviews!

 

Wrapping up the Year

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Weapenry and Patchwork Press are getting ready to make 2016 our best writing year yet, and we want all of you to dream big with us. This week, authors are coming together to start thinking about the coming year and all of the books we’re getting ready to write. If we dream big and write all year round, we can easily make this our best year yet!

What is your favorite writing memory from 2015?

 My favorite writing memory from 2015 come from recent work that won’t be published for several months yet. I am working on a follow on series to The Akasha Saga about a powerful witch who prefers to relinquish control to those who most want it, and it isn’t always the good guys. My favorite passage to explain her feelings (one that I hope to quote again and again) is:

     There was no denying it; I loved it when he gave orders. To me, it felt safe. With Greyson in control, I couldn’t be held accountable for my actions. And with powers capable of destroying everyone and everything around me, freedom from responsibility was the most seductive force around.

 What story are you most looking forward to working on in 2016?

Definitely this first book of the follow on series to The Akasha Saga. I feel like I’m getting back to the basics! The book is tentatively titled, ‘The Forever Witch’.

Are you the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?

 I have made resolutions in the past, but I tend to shy away from them. When I do make a resolution, I always make sure they are not definite goals but rather guidelines that tend to peter off sometime in February.

 What area of your writing/publishing process are you going to work on improving in 2016?

Marketing and outreach! I always say I am going to take a break from writing in order to do more marketing. But I do this for the love of writing, not for the love of marketing and my characters are constantly calling out to me. Writing is my release, my therapy, and my love – marketing can be interesting at times but it is definitely not my passion.

How would you describe a successful publishing year in 2016? What goals are you working toward?

My trend is two books per year, and I plan to keep that going for 2016. Of course I would love to finish out this series in 2016 and publish all three next year. Wish me luck on that!

If you had to guess, what do you think your biggest challenge will be when it comes to publishing and writing next year?

Finding the time! Right now I am waking up about an hour early before the kids, and that is the only time I have to write besides the 2 to 3 hours I might get in on weekends. I just need to pick a schedule, turn of all distractions (like Candy Crush) and get to work.

How far ahead do you plan your writing schedule? Do you prefer to prepare or to see where your muses take you?

I have definitely discovered I am not an outline sort of girl. When I start a chapter, I have no idea where it is going to take me and that is sort of the thrilling aspect about writing for me. It’s still an adventure. If I try to stick to a pre-determined outline, it turns into more of an obligation and I find myself quickly losing steam.

Tell us about something non book related that you’re currently looking forward to for 2016.

My family just took in two foster children that come from extended relatives. While the adjustment period has been difficult at times for all of us, I am looking forward to strengthening my own relationship with these children and watching them bloom. Can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for our family of seven!

If you could offer up one piece of advice to other authors and writers for 2016, what would it be?

Write bold. If you are going to put the time and effort into writing a book, put it all out there! You might just find your niche, and your readers might just find their new favorite author.

* * *

What about you? What goals (bookish and otherwise) are you planning to work toward in 2016? Let us know in the comments! Weapenry will be giving away ebook packs of both Refilling Your Inkwell by Kellie Sheridan, and Surviving First Drafts by Erica Crouch to three randomly selected commenters across the posts going up this week. Be sure to either include your email address or to Tweet at us @patchwork_press along with your goals so we can get in touch if you win!

Akasha Series Book Trailer

Some exciting stuff happening over the next month, and no – I’m not talking about Congress finally passing a budget.  I’m talking about ‘The Rising’, baby!  If you missed the cover reveal and blurb, click here. ARCs are now available via NetGalley (if you request a copy of the book and are denied, just email me and let me know – I’ll make sure you get a copy). The blog tour starts on Oct. 21 and goes through Nov. 9th, where I’ll be giving away several e-copies of ‘The Rising’, plus a grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite. If you haven’t already, sign up to receive my blog posts via email (over on the right), so you don’t miss out on this contest.

Finally – something fun for The Akasha Series fans – a new book trailer!  See below and let me know what you think!  It was put together by Kellie Sheridan of Patchwork Press (thanks, Kellie!) and the vocals are by Emily Gittelman, the narrator that did the entire Akasha Series on audiobook!

New Adult Blogger Interview

navaeh photoTime for another interview with another great book blogger.  I met Navaeh through the New Adult Book Club on Goodreads.  Then…I met her in person. Crazy, right? But yes, in this virtual world of blogs and electronic books and uploads and downloads – we sat down and had coffee and talked face to face.

Neveah runs a New Adult Book Blog, be sure to check it out! Her book reviews are packed with wonderful extras; a sense of humor, songs that remind her of the book, pictures, short samples of text – I love perusing her blog!

Anyway – on with the interview:

Terra: First thing is first – how did you get into book blogging?

Neveah: I read a ridiculous amount of books and found that I needed an outlet to express my feelings about those books, as well as keep track of who’s who and what happened in which book. I also love to discuss books I’ve read and have few friends who enjoy the same type of books I do…now I have tons! Also, I wanted to get into the daily habit of writing so that I might actually get something published someday myself. I have found that it is a double-edge sword though; I am writing every day now, but mostly reviews and find little time for writing anything else. Hopefully, I’ll learn to balance my time better soon.

T: Tell me more about Nevaeh’s New Adult Book Blog.

N: The blog was borne out of my resolutions for the new year, and is one of the few that has made it all the way until March ;o). I realized that most of what I have been reading could be considered “new adult” (NA), and after reading about the rising popularity of books in this genre, I decided to focus my blog reviews here. Not that I don’t read some YA and adult literature, but unless it crosses over and can also be considered NA, I don’t review it on the blog. There are plenty of YA blogs out there, and far fewer NA blogs. Most of what I review is contemporary romance, but I love to throw in a little dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy just to keep it real ;o).

T: White wine or red?

N: Red, definitely. After living in Argentina, I grew to love Malbecs but love a good Cabernet as well.

T: OMG – Malbecs are my favorite!  I think it’s because they remind me of meat, and I am a total carnivore.

N: And that is really funny because I a vegetarian. A native Texan who lived in Argentina, both locales known for their beef, and I decide to go veggie. Go figure.

T: What is your favorite part of the ‘job’?

N: I have really enjoyed “meeting” authors, reading their work (many of which are debut novels), and sharing their work with others, who might not have seen or heard of their books otherwise. It feels good to be a part of getting the word out about those who are deserving of a chance to have their stories be heard.

T: What is your not-so-favorite part?

N: Technology. I am admittedly not tech-savvy and have no desire to be, but obviously that is part of the blogging “business”. I love reading and writing, but it’s definitely a challenge to make myself learn how to actually build a better blog.

T: I think the term is tech-tard. At least, that is how I refer to myself. It’s like we have to be multi-talented when we barely have time to use one talent. How many hours would you say you spend on reading? How many hours on reviews and your blog?

N: Way too many but also not near enough ;o). Between reading and writing the reviews, I probably spend at least five hours a day (most of which is spent reading). I’m a night owl and operate on very little sleep, and have horrendous self-control when it comes to putting down a good book.

T: Tell me about the New Adult Genre.

N: Although some argue it isn’t a genre, and maybe it isn’t yet, I do feel it should be. To me, there is an obvious distinction between NA and YA books. New adult literature tends to have more explicit sex, significantly more swearing (and use of “harsher” swear words), and often deals with extremely mature issues (ie. sexual and/or physical abuse, suicide, illegal drug use and abuse). Characters tend to be in the age range between 18-25, though sometimes one of the main characters is older or younger. In the libraries, these books are often mixed in with YA books (since there isn’t currently a New Adult section), and I hate the thought of 12 and 13 year-olds coming across them, when they really aren’t geared toward them. Fortunately, many authors of new adult books have been responsibly putting a warning at the beginning of their books, warning that the content is more suitable for ages 17+. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that younger kids aren’t picking them up and reading them anyways.

T: I have to say, I wasn’t aware of the NA genre when my books first came out (not sure if it was around then), but I’ve grown to love it. I feel like it’s what I’ve been looking for all along! What kind of book is worthy of five wine bottles?

N: One that I never want to end. One that tugs on my heart strings, makes me laugh and maybe even shed a tear or two. One where I prefer their reality over my own, even if mine is easier. One where I say to myself, “Damn, I wish I would have written that book!”

T: Perfect answer – I agree! Who are some of your all-time favorite authors and series? What about your favorite movies?

N: In the New Adult genre, I love anything written by Colleen Hoover (Hopeless, Slammed, Point of Retreat…all incredibly written). Rebecca Donovan’s “Breathing” series (Reason to Breathe, Barely Breathing, and the yet-to-be-released Out of Breath) is ultra-intense; definitely “five-wine bottle” books. Jennifer Armentrout (also writing under the name J. Lynn) is very good, as well as Jessica Sorenson, Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines, and Tammara Webber.

There have also been some fantastic YA series (some that border on NA). For example, The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, Divergent series by Veronica Roth, the now world-famous Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and of course, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

Let’s see…movies. That one is trickier because I’d pick a good book over a movie any day (and most often I do). Really anything with a good love story and a happily-ever-after ending. I guess if I had to pick a favorite I would choose Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version)….love that Mr. Darcy!

T: What is next for you?

N: I am hoping to concentrate more time on bettering the blog, both in appearance and content. I have focused almost solely on review writing and would like to do more interactive posts, with giveaways, interviews, etc. Outside of the blog, I’m also hoping to write something other than reviews and be published (self or otherwise) by the end of this year; that’s the goal anyway. I’ve been working on a book in the new adult genre and another novelette is begging to see the light of day.

 

Thanks, Navaeh for your time – it was wonderful meeting you in person and I look forward to many more of your blog posts!

Be sure to check out Navaeh’s blog!

Between the Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

One great benefit to being an indie author is other indie authors. In general, the community is very open and friendly. During the Orangeberry Summer Splash Blog Hop, I crossed paths with Christopher Starr, author of ‘Road to Hell‘. He was kind enough to post his review of my book on his blog, then he started asking questions. I answered, then sent a few questions of my own. The exchange went on for more than a month and thus you have ‘Between the Covers’, a candid conversation in how writers write. Below is the first of five posts; be sure to follow Christopher’s blog to catch the next post later this week!

 

Terra: I wrote the first book not exactly planning on turning it into a series. Once it was complete, and especially after that cliffhanger, I kind of had to continue. I also never expected to enjoy writing so much. The first book was a work in progress for 10+ years, and went through many major revisions. The second book took only two months to write. The majority of the third was written in a month (thanks to NaNoWriMo), and I am now writing the fourth and final book of the series. So far, no breaks in between. How about you?

Christopher: It’s funny, our experience is surprisingly similar. It took me over 7 years to write The Road to Hell. And it went through about 4-5 rewrites, a change in main character, a change in POV, about 150 new pages and some pretty merciless cutting. Writing it was more an “I wonder if I can” process than an exercise in series writing. I do have an advantage though: I know which angels are going to live and the Bible gives me some pretty rigid plot points. I’m lucky in that respect.

Terra: Wow – a POV change must have been rough! First novels are always hard. I feel like I wrote a book – and THEN I learned how to write.

Christopher: I know exactly what you mean about writing a novel and then learning to write. The biggest thing is the discipline for me. I like to think that I’m all creative and the inspiration will strike me at some time and I’ll create this magical treatise the world will unite behind.

But that shit doesn’t happen.

So I learned the disciplined portion of it and the value of the rewrite. Get it out. Put words on the page. Advance the story paragraph by excruciating paragraph. Eventually, my right brain takes over and kicks in, finding pieces of the story I didn’t know existed. I’m learning that’s part of the process too.

How do you manage continuity?

Terra: I am laughing out loud right now because I really don’t think there was good continuity. Even after the first and second book were published, I was going back and making changes in order to fit the storyline of the next books. I really like to come full circle, so to speak, in my books, and make sure there are no loose ends. So in writing the fourth and final book (which has been probably the most difficult to write), I am trying to tie everything up. This means revisiting issues that maybe weren’t mentioned since the first book. And you?

Christopher: Continuity is, for me, a bitch. I figure the first book is set in stone—I can’t modify that story at all. What I keep doing is going back to the original, making sure I maintain the events or words. I never wanted to be one of those “spreadsheet authors”—you know the ones who build character sheets and plots through spreadsheets—but I understand the value of it. I guess it beats flipping back into my old book to try and remember what I said or the color of someone’s eyes. I’m currently working on my spreadsheet…

 

 Please post questions of your own!  Christopher and I will both be available to answer them!

One Year Later…

It’s nearing the end of July, with only one month left of summer. Almost a year ago today, I self-published my first short story, ‘Gleaming White, Book One of the Kindred Curse Anthology’. Since then, that short story has turned into five prequels that made up the entire anthology, and I’ve published the first two novels in my Akasha Series, with the third to release in October.

It’s been a whirlwind year, and although sales aren’t quite enough to quit my day job, they are picking up. I’ve learned so much from the community and most importantly, I’m having…FUN!

This summer, I’ve been busy working on the print versions of each book. The formatting is completely different from e-books, and in my opinion more difficult to do. But finally, they are available:

All are on Amazon.com (The Kindred Curse may not appear on their website for another two weeks). So if print is your thing, pass the word along! Don’t forget, ‘Water’ is still free as an e-book.

So, we’ve got one month left, what are you going to do with your remaining summer? For me, it will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, The Orangeberry Summer Splash Tour, and a short trip to the beach!

Indie-Pendence Week Blog Hop

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to winner: Kassandra!  Thanks to all who entered!

I am getting this post up late due to my usual inability to plan, and a pesky derecho that wreaked havoc in the Mid-Atlantic.  I seriously didn’t even know what a derecho was up until now – sounds like a cowboy movie to me. Anyway, on to our July 4th celebration and the Indie-Pendence Week Blog Hop hosted by Grave Tells.  Thanks for stopping by!

Some of the best experiences I’ve had so far as an indie author is the support of the community, and other indie authors specifically. Thus far, they seem eager to share their experiences, their time, their statistics – anything I may have a question about to help boost my own sales.  Some of the great authors I have come across include:

Scott Marlow, author of The Five Elements
Pavarti Tyler, author of Shadow on the Wall
Ashley Barron, author of Ava, a Priya Novel

Follow the links above to check out their books, then enter the contest below. I am giving away one free book of the winner’s choice out of the three above mentioned novels, or one of my own. Please keep in mind ‘The Five Elements’ and ‘Shadow on the Wall’ are physical books that will be mailed to you, and ‘Ava’ is an e-book only.  Be sure to click on the Indie-Pendence banner above to follow the blog hop for more great prizes!

Happy 4th of July!!!

To enter the contest, complete the form below. For extra entries, please complete the following tasks;

1. For 3 extra entries, follow my blog by clicking on ‘Follow via e-mail’ in the right sidebar.
2. For 1 extra entry, ‘like’ me on Facebook.
3. For 1 extra entry, follow me via Twitter.