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!

 

Book Photo Shoot

Several months ago my family took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee – and guess what? My latest series came along with me. After we managed to walk away from the intense timeshare pitch and survived two five mile mountain hikes with a 15 year-old, a seven year-old, and a four year-old, the next goal was a book photo shoot. I think The Painted Maidens Trilogy is quite photogenic!
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An old tree trunk, a babbling brook, and the spring forest of the Appalachian Mountains made for a great setting. If you’ve read the final book of the series, ‘The Taking’, the area reminded me of the river the maidens use to heal and wash themselves during their migration. If you haven’t read it it – what are you waiting for?! Here, a few more pics might entice you:

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And of course, it can’t be a complete book photo shoot without the author!

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For those of you anxiously awaiting the next release – you don’t have much longer to wait. I promise! A short story meant as a prequel to the Painted Maidens Trilogy has now turned into a full length novel. Be sure to follow my blog for updates. Over the next month I’ll begin releasing excerpts from the book. You won’t be disappointed!

Jewelry Giveaway

The Painted Maidens Trilogy is a three book, young adult fantasy series. Eco-fantasy, actually. There is plenty of action, some gore, some romance (which gets steamier as the series goes on), and it is definitely unique to anything you’ve read before. A young maiden (the youngest of her species, actually), Serena, is caught going beyond the borders of her kingdom to The Dry. As punishment, she is assigned to be the Werewolf Liaison which puts her in The Dry semi-permanently. She must contend with the hostile werewolf clan that has a long-standing, bloody history with the maidens. There are plenty of twists along the way – I hope each of you give this series a chance!

I have a great giveaway planned for anyone who posts a review for each of the books. In the final book, ‘The Taking’, two pieces of jewelry play a big role. Here are excerpts from the book describing the jewelry:

mermaid necklaceMermaid Necklace:

When Danny extends his hand and opens his palm, a silver-chained necklace with a small charm rests on it. Leaning in for a closer look, Serena and Liam both emit an awed sigh. The charm is a tiny mermaid, her tail curved up so the entire shape makes a small ‘U’. Her upper body is bare but only her back shows. Serena runs the pad of her thumb down the long locks of hair cascading down the mermaid’s shoulders almost to her scales at her waistline.

“You made this?” whispers Serena.

“Out of them poles you let me have.” Danny nods. “Except the hair. That comes from a special stone.”

“What is special about it?” asks Liam.

“It has luminescence.”

“Like our hair?” asks Serena.

“Of sorts,” says Danny. “But this one lights up only when another type of stone is close. The energy of the both of them together creates the light. Look…” Danny motions down the dock and another man with two large boxes comes forward. As he walks closer, the hair of the mermaid in Serena’s hand begins to glow. At first, only subtle glimmers are perceptible, but by the time the man with the boxes is next to them the charm is at full radiance.

Danny reaches into one of the boxes pulling out several more mermaid charms. “These are for your maidens. They won’t glow—that quality is unique to yours, meant to help you find a maiden if she gets lost along the way.”

“Danny,” says Serena. “Thank you. I don’t… I mean…”

“The least I could do,” says Danny. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to the clan, well, since Liam here anyway.”

werewolf braceletWerewolf Bracelet:

“I’ve got somethin’ for Mr. Second Best too,” Danny reaches into the next box.

Liam crosses his arms. “I ain’t wearin’ no necklaces.”

“What about a bracelet?” Danny smiles. He pulls out several silver bracelets. The twisted band ends with a wolf head on either side. “Don’t worry, yours is just as special.” Danny pulls out an envelope, emptying the contents—one of the wolf bracelets—into Liam’s palm. “In yours, the eyes light up when one of your wolves is close.”

Turning his arm, moonlight flashes along the ridges of the bracelet until Liam’s wrist is pointed toward the heavens, and the eyes of each wolf glow red.

“Brilliant,” Serena says the same time as Liam says, “awesome.”

So I am giving away one mermaid necklace and one wolf bracelet. (Unfortunately, my giveaway jewelry does not have any glowing elements.) But they are so awesome I even ordered one of each for myself.

Enter the contest by clicking here to vote for either Team Mermaid or Team Werewolf. Don’t forget there are extra entry options, and five entries if you post a link to your review of any of the books in the series. Remember, the first e-book is free across all platforms – go and get it now! The contest is over in two weeks. Good luck!

 

Painted Maidens Book Trailer and Giveaway

I am so excited to reveal the book trailer for The Painted Maidens Trilogy. I waited until all three books in the series were complete to get started on it, and I am pretty proud of the results! Take a look for yourself:

Please, please comment below and let me know what you think! Although this series is YA, it borders on dark fantasy, and I think the book trailer really helps portray that. The intense musical score, the color scheme, and the descriptions of the book (which really focus on the first book only) all let the viewers know this isn’t your typical mermaid book.

Some details on what it took to pull it together:

Creators: Me, myself, and I

Costs: $80 for royalty-free images, $40 for royalty-free music for a total of $120.

Time: I didn’t track it very well but probably at least sixteen hours, from researching images and music straight through to completion.

Program: Final Cut Pro for Mac (not included in the costs because I already had it, but typically it will run you about $300). I also used Gimp for image manipulation which is a free download.

Putting the video together was a lot of trial and error. At first, I was speaking the lines out loud instead of having them written across the screen. My intent was to hire a narrator, but I quickly found out that expense was out of my range, so I recorded my own voice. Next, I spoke to my piano teacher about using his professional studio to create my own, simple music. I quickly found out that expense was out of my range too. *sigh* So once I found my own music, I realized my voice on top of that was sensory overload. And that is when I learned to use all the cool text features of Final Cut Pro.

But before I even got started downloading images, writing the script, and finding the music, I had to do my own book trailer research. What kind of trailers did I like best? Which style would fit The Painted Maidens Trilogy?

Here are some of my favs:

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater:

https://vimeo.com/11381304

Still Wolf Watching by Maggie Steifvater:

https://youtu.be/QX82ggGCF7c

The stop motion feel (especially in Still Wolf Watching) is sort of what I was shooting for, though a full stop motion video requires a lot of work. Way more than 16 hours. J

Family Magic by Patti Larsen:

https://youtu.be/ZOZwihr9MuU

This has been my top favorite book trailer for a long time now (but honestly I never read the book *sheepish shrug*). This is what I was shooting for when I first wanted to use a narrator and simple music. Although my trailer turned out very different from this one, I think if you compare the two scripts they are similar in nature.

So that is about it! Please be sure to like, share, or comment on the trailer via YouTube.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER, JOSEPH H.!

Now on to the fun stuff – the giveaway! I am giving a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Enter via rafflecopter (click here) there are plenty of opportunities for extra entries. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Tour Time!

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Welcome to The Deep, indeed. With my full series out, I am hitting my advertising stride. Which means giveaways and freebies for you!  Be sure to visit here lots this week to sign up for each of the contests – there will be five altogether, one posted each day!

We are going to start today out with my favorite – the playlist!

I had so much fun throughout the creation of The Painted Maidens Trilogy, and music was a big part of that. I don’t listen to music while I am writing (too distracting), but I love to listen as I am driving or running, which is really my time to brainstorm. There are five songs that really set the mood of either the entire trilogy or a specific scene or character. Take a listen:

Scene/Character: Beginning of the Maiden and Wolf Migration, ‘The Taking, Book Three’
Song: Come with me now
Artist: Kongos
Favorite verse:
“I was born without this fear
Now only this seems clear
I need to move, I need to fight
I need to lose myself tonight.”
Whoa, come with me now
Whoa, come with me now
I’m gonna take you down
Whoa, come with me now.”

 

Scene/Character: The King, ‘The Rising, Book One’
Song: Pompeii
Artist: Bastille
Favorite verse:
“Oh oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?
And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above.”

Scene/Character: Serena (main character)
Song: Darkhorse
Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Verse:
“So you want to play with magic?
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for.
Baby do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you
like a dark horse.
Are you ready for, ready for
A perfect storm, perfect storm
Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine
There’s no going back.”

 

 

Scene/Character: The Wolves
Song: Do I Wanna Know?
Artist: Arctic Monkeys
Favorite Verse:
“Have you got colour in your cheeks?
Do you ever get that fear that you can’t shift
The type that sticks around like something in your teeth?
Are there some aces up your sleeve?
Have you no idea that you’re in deep?
I dreamt about you nearly every night this week
How many secrets can you keep?”

 

Scene/Character: After storm and shipwreck, maidens and wolves recovering together, ‘The Taking, Book Three’
Song: Team
Artist: Lorde
Favorite Verse:
“We live in cities you’ll never see on screen
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things
Living in ruins of a palace within my dreams
And you know, we’re on each other’s team.”

 

I absolutely love Lorde – I imagine a lot of their music is something my Painted Maidens would sing. I hope you enjoy each of these songs as much as I do, and that they motivate you to try out the series!

We have a great giveaway you can enter via rafflecopter below, with plenty of chances for extra entries. Good luck!

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED – CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER, SHELLY H.!

 Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway of the complete Painted Maidens Trilogy in hard copy!

Call for Help

keep-calm-and-ask-for-helpI’m running a promotion during October where I give the first book of The Painted Maidens Trilogy, The Rising, away for free. This will help boost sales and reviews for the follow on second book, The Betrayed, and will increase visibility for the series as a whole.  Right now, the e-book is free across all platforms except for Amazon. In order for Amazon to list it for free, I need to price match it. When you have a minute, please go to this link:

 

Scroll down to ‘product details’.  Click on ‘tell us about a lower price’.  A window will pop up.  Answer ‘website’ when it asks where you saw the price, then insert one or two of the these URLs (or you can do it twice listing both URLs):

 

 

and/or

 

 

The price and shipping should both be $0.00. Date of the price can be today’s date.

 

I need them to change this by Friday, so the more people that do it the more likely it is to change quickly.

 

Thank you so much for your help! I will be sure to report back when it is free so you can catch up on the series, if you haven’t already!

 

THE RISING-final coverThe Betrayed MOCK UP 2

 

‘The Rising’ Now Available

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Finally available across all channels for purchase! ‘The Rising, Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ has been described as a wonderfully unique story. I guarantee this young adult series sets apart from any mermaid story you’ve read, or what you might come to expect.

The ebook is $4.99 on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. For the rest of November, I’m willing to send out a free copy of ‘The Rising’ for anyone who agrees to post a review on either Amazon or Goodreads, or both. Send me an email at terra.harmony11@gmail.com or comment below. And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR List. I encourage you to take the plunge – you might just love what you discover down in the deep!

THE RISING-final cover“It was a great ride. I devoured every page and loved the whole thing through.” by Ariel Avalon, Book Blogger

“This is a wonderfully unique story.” and “I recommend this if you enjoy mermaids or werewolves with some great action, mystery and a bit of romance.” by Darker Passions Book Blog

The book is fast paced filled with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end, add in a little romance and mystery for the perfect balance. The author has written a beautiful story that sparks the imagination. I loved everything about the story and can’t wait for the next one to see what happens to both Serena and Liam as their stories unfold.” by The Reading Diaries Book Blog 

Amazon Smashwords  |  B&N  |  iTunes  |  Goodreads

Official Cover Reveal

I’ve kept this jewel under wraps long enough. You have no idea how much I wanted to just put it out there. Without further ado – the official cover to ‘The Rising, Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’:

THE RISING-final cover

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down.  As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Add ‘The Rising’ to your Goodreads TBR list now.

 

The Rising

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Digital art by Renu Sharma

There will be some very exciting posts to come out in the next few weeks; all centered around my next series.  I’ll have a cover reveal soon, and maybe even a book trailer.  For now, I’ll have to tease you with the title and blurb:

The Rising
Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy

             Sixteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. Increasing acidity in the ocean is destroying their environment, but there are other threats to her species. During the full moon, when the mermaids of the Undine Kingdom surface onto The Dry to breed, werewolves chase them off. The key to the survival of the Undine race lies with Serena, who has just been given the title of Werewolf Liaison. Serena believes it may be a punishment for her secret excursions to The Dry, but then the king himself brings her to trial for meddling, and  for risking the exposure of her entire species. The penalty, should she be found guilty, is death. If the changing environment or the pack of werewolves doesn’t kill her, her own king certainly will.

Sound enticing?  Add it to your Goodreads TBR pile now!

It seems not too long ago I was just beginning the writing process on this book (May 8 to be exact – I went through my old posts), and now the novel is becoming a reality.  The book is with my editor now.  Then it goes out to beta readers.  Barring any major setbacks, the tentative release date is September 19th, 2013.  If you missed previous posts, click here for the first chapter and here for world-building with mermaids.

Stay tuned for the cover reveal – you aren’t going to want to miss this one!

Earth Day

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Today is the day! ‘Earth, Book Four of The Akasha Series’ is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. $4.99 will get you through the exciting conclusion to the series. Join the already over 200 people who have added ‘Earth’ to their TBR list on Goodreads, now.  Plus, Goodreads already has 4 reviews and 5 ratings – I’d love if you could add yours! Did you know each book is available in print, too? You can find Water, Air, Fire, and Earth on Amazon (just make sure you are purchasing the print version, not the Kindle version).

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I am also currently in the middle of creating audio books for the entire Akasha series. The ‘Water’ audio version should be out sometime late May, with the rest to follow. Check out the very talented narrator I chose for the series, Emily Lawrence.  I chose her out of 15+ auditions for her great voice, her knowledge about the business, and her reliability and professionalism. Plus – she is an author, herself. What a great match!

 

Akasha Cover bonus contentAlso, by the beginning of May, I will release ‘Akasha, The Complete Saga’. This is a boxed set of all four books (available in electronic formats only), for $9.99. The boxed set will include never before published bonus content; short stories for each of the main characters (including one for Bee – twenty years into the future). I certainly understand that many of you will have already purchased the entire series, and don’t want to spend ten bucks for a few short stories. You can still get them – without spending the money! All you have to do is send me a link to a review of each of the four books (preferably on Amazon or Goodreads), and I will send you the bonus content (just the bonus content – not the boxed set) – for free! Please remember, they have to be a review (one or two sentences is fine), not just a rating.

 

herbs2So – on to the important stuff. How are you celebrating Earth Day? This weekend, we kept our celebration small and planted an herb garden on our outdoor deck area. Thyme, dill, parsley, sage, mint, basil, and some lavender thrown in for scent. Herb gardens are great; they cut down on pollutants, save you money, and green your area. They can be done inside or outside, whether you live in a house or apartment. And trust me – those summer mojitos with fresh mint are totally worth it! We have about ten of these planters, and can’t wait to start cooking with fresh herbs!

Not sure what to do for Earth Day? Go to www.google.com, check out their interactive, animated doodle – then search for evens in your area!