Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year: And What's Up

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas was great (mine was lovely!), and you got everything you wanted. I can't believe 2012 has already come to a close. Before we say adios to the year of doomsday prophecies (among other things), here's what's coming up for Writing Belle in the next couple of weeks: 

  • January 18th. State of Emergency, my YA/NA Dystopian novel is finally releasing on Kindle, Nook and Apple! 
  • January 7th. Guest Post by the co-authors of XII: Genesis, Brian Palmer and Jason Rowe, a New Adult adventure novel. 
  • January 18th. Launch of State of Emergency website. 
Be sure to enter my Christmas/Blogoversary Giveaway and sign up to have fun for the State of Emergency Release Day Blitz! 
Happy New Year!! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Novel: Cover Reveal & Release Sign-Ups

So you know that I've been writing novels. In fact, it's an annoying habit of mine. 
I am SO excited to reveal the title and cover of my book today. 
Title: State of Emergency 
Genre: Dystopian Adventure/Romance 
Category: New Adult & Young Adult 
Author: Summer Lane 
What would you do if the world as you know it ended in an instant? 
How far would you go to survive? 

Cassidy Hart is your typical High School graduate:  a little shy, a little sarcastic, and a little naive. But when an electromagnetic pulse takes down the United States, she's forced to kick into full survival mode when she gets separated from her father. 
Yeah. Things suck. 
But with the help of a handsome soldier named Chris, she just might find her dad without getting into serious trouble.
Emphasis on might
Oh. And there's the matter of avoiding getting killed in a world that's quickly turned into an active war zone. 
It's going to change Cassidy's life.
It's going to be a major pain in the butt.
State of Emergency will be released on
January 18th

State of Emergency is going to have a release day blitz. I'd love to have you sign up and participate in the fun! Simply use the Google Form to join, and I will be emailing everybody about the release day! Hosts will be automatically entered in my Christmas Giveaway (where I'm giving away autographed goodies & giftcards!) The Christmas Giveaway is below the Google Doc.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chatting with YA Author T.D. Thomas

T.D. Thomas is the author of Hera, Queen of Gods, a YA novel and Book One of the Goddess Unbound Series. T.D. stopped by today to talk about writing, reading...and of course, snacks!

Tell us about your book and introduce yourself!
I'm T.D. Thomas. Canadian. Community-watcher. Dog-owner. Well, dog-wrangler is more like it. And obviously, I'm a writer too.
My debut novel is a contemporary fantasy, "Hera, Queen of Gods." It's an action-adventure (with a bit of romance) narrated, not surprisingly, by Hera, queen of the Greek gods.
When the Fates (goddesses of destiny) go missing, Hera has to find them before existence is thrown into chaos. There's only one place they could be hidden from the gods: the mortal world. So Hera leads the gods on a rescue mission to Earth, even though it means she must temporarily give up almost all of her divine powers and become mortal. But once in the mortal world, Hera learns that she's been drawn into a trap. With the help of an unlikely mortal, she must fend off waves of mythical monsters long enough to track down the Fates and confront whoever was bold (and insane) enough to kidnap them.
How did you get interested in Greek mythology?
Lucy Lawless.
No. Sadly, my obsession with Greek mythology can't be traced to either her or Kevin Sorbo or how fantastic they made leather look.
I’ve actually been interested in Greek mythology for basically my whole life. I don't even know how it started. I do remember poring over my grandparents' old, outdated encyclopedia set though. Amid the woefully obsolete information, Greek mythology was a treasure trove of action and adventure. Heroes. Gods. Monsters. Magic. A child's fantasyland. Everything was bigger than life, surreal and exhilarating.
I guess I never lost that childlike sense of wonder. I hope I never do.
Though Lucy Lawless does get an honourable mention for reinforcing my Greek mythology addiction.
What is it that makes your main character, Hera, so special?
Um, she can control people’s minds? :p Wait. Professor X does that too. Damn you, Stan Lee!
Actually, more than her powers, I think what makes Hera special is the situation she finds herself in. She’s an immensely powerful god, one of the oldest and most important actually. Add to that fact she’s queen of all the gods. That’s a lot of responsibility for someone to shoulder. And if that weren't enough, she’s stuck with a two-timing (more like hundred-or-more-timing) husband. It’s a perfect storm!
So much pressure, such high stakes, and at the heart of it all, someone who’s just trying their best to do the right thing, to do their duty. Hera is a tough chick. To run the Universe, you have to be. But ultimately it all comes from this place of love. It's just that the love is buried way down deep where no one can find it, under layers and layers of rage. :p
I guess, in the end, it’s how much and how often Hera’s willing to sacrifice, without any hesitation at all, that makes her truly special. A hero. In that way, she reminds me of a lot of women out there, especially mothers.
But yeah, also ... she can totally control people's minds.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Be fearless. And tough. Writing isn’t for the weak. It's a bloodsport. You rip out chunks of your soul and serve them up to the world. It’s intimate. It’s revealing. And it’s painful, especially when those pieces of you are rejected. And they will be rejected. Just hopefully not by anyone who matters. :p
But writing is the best thing out there. Hands down. No contest. There’s nothing else like it. And once you've gone there, once you've experienced that high, there's no coming back.
What's your favorite writing snack?
Anything I can tear a chunk out of and chew while I keep typing. :p Nothing that gets my hands sticky either. I learned that lesson the hard way (thanks, buttery popcorn!).
If I had to choose one thing though, peanut butter and crackers, I think. It’s childhood comfort food. Plus they're really filling. And it's horrifying just how many I can stick in my mouth at once.
Thanks for visiting with us, T.D.!

Check out T.D.'s book on Kindle
Add it to your TBR Shelf on GoodReads!
Connect with T.D. on his website!  

Friday, December 14, 2012

1 Year Blogoversary Giveaway: Thank You, Readers!

It's official. I love blogging. I love it more than I love eating M&Ms and rewinding the scene in the Vampire Diaries where Elena and Damon kiss for the first time in season one so I can watch it over and over again. 
In other words, I like it a lot.  
I'm celebrating Writing Belle's one year anniversary, or, to be clever, "Blogoversary," and I wanted to celebrate by thanking every reader and writer that has stopped by Writing Belle and helped make it a success. So of course I'm throwing a giveaway, and this time I tried to get together a choice of fun prizes for the winners to enjoy!

1. One Autographed Copy of Airicka Phoenix's fabulous YA romance Touching Smoke. I'm willing to ship this internationally for this giveaway only

2. One Autographed bookplate from Colleen Houck, the author of the #1 New York Times Bestselling Tiger Saga (and my personal favorite!). I've been saving this one. (International Shipping)

3. My hardback, brand new copy of the first installment of Anna Carey's dystopian/romance series. I love dystopian, but I'll still part with it for you.....! ;) (USA/Canada only Shipping for this one)

4.  Ten Dollar Barnes and Noble Giftcard. Online.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These are four prizes that will ALL be given away, which means there will be four different winners. You can come back every day for a chance to win until the giveaway deadline hits, at which point I'll contact the winners ASAP and get them their fantastical loot. 
Thank you so much for being a Writing Belle reader - I love you all and you let me do what I like most: obsess about storytelling! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Her Heart's Secret Wish: Release!

It's release day, peeps! 
My NA Sister Juliana Haygert released her novelette, Her Heart's Secret Wish today, and you must check it out. I had the fun of reading it beforehand and I'm telling ya...Juliana has a way with writing romance! 
My Review:
Natasha has a seriously tarnished rep. Labeled as a player on campus, she totally shouldn't be crushing on her hot professor - a decent guy with a kind heart. But being alone on Christmas does things to a person - both people. Professor Stone knows that having a relationship with a student is off-limits, but he can't help his attraction to Natasha.
Neither of them can help their attraction to each other.
I really loved the whole idea of a video game professor being a love interest. Who says nerds can't be hot, hmm? It was just really cute - and fun!
In 50 pages, Juliana Haygert gives readers a glimpse into a sweet holiday story with a romantic twist, and in the process shows off her awesome writing. Looking for a quick, satisfying romantic book for this time of year? Look no farther than 'Her Heart's Secret Wish!'

Add Juliana's book to your TBR Shelf on GoodReads and check out the links to buy this baby! 

Decadent Publishing


Barnes & Noble 

Juliana is a Brazilian girl living in Connecticut.
She would love to be Wonder Woman, Cheetara, Elektra, Buffy, Phoebe, She-ra, Rose, Korra, Cornelia, a blood elf shadow priest, and other various kick-ass female from books, comics, TV series, movies, and games, but she settles for—the less exciting but equally gratifying life—a wife, mother, friend and a writer. Her heroines are like the ones cited above and she also writes about the heroes who drive them crazy—and occasionally hot.
Since her first stories, she wrote about 20-something year old protagonists, and today she's part of NA Alley, a blog dedicated to New Adult. 

You can win an ecopy of Her Heart's Secret Wish on the form below, or a 15 Dollar Amazon or Nook Gift Card!
Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 10, 2012

Indie Monday: Letters from a Bipolar Mother: A Memoir

Hello and happy Indie Monday! Today we get to visit with Alyssa Reyans, the author of a memoir titled Letters from a Bipolar Mother. In it, Alyssa talks about what it's like to live with bipolar depression and how she deals with it. Check out her insight: 

Hello, Alyssa! I love non-fiction, so I'm glad you're here to talk about your memoir. Introduce yourself. 

Hi Summer, Thank you for having me. I'm Alyssa. I was born and raised in the South, as redneck as they come. And yes we did have a toilet, a deer head and christmas lights on our front porch year round, but now I live overseas with my husband, inlaws, and 2 crazy cats.

 What is your book about? 

It is about my struggle with bipolar. I was diagnosed with manic depression at 13. Today it's called bipolar. I have the more severe type, rapid cycling bipolar 1. In the book I try to allow those who don't have bipolar a glimpse inside the mind of someone who does. It's always difficult for those around me to understand the irrational decisions I make sometimes so the book is my way of trying to let people, especially my children, understand that what they see on the surface is not always what is going on in the mind of a person with mental illness.

What prompted you to tackle such a personal subject? 

I'd like to say I was trying to make others aware, but it was really a much more selfish reason. I needed to find a way of living with the decisions I'd made and their repercussions. Writing has always been a form of therapy for me and a friend suggested I write it. When I originally wrote it I didn't plan on self publishing but after a few of my friends read it they convinced me to give it a go. I've been amazed at how much support and encouragement I've received from people. It's been a truly humbling experience.  I had no idea how many others out there were going through similar situations so it's been wonderful to connect with people and work our way through this together.

What would you say to encourage other women suffering from bipolar disorder? 

You can still be an amazing mother, woman, and human being even with bipolar. Diagnosis is not a death sentence. It just means we see the world differently and our path has detours in it that others don't.  Surround yourself with caring supportive people. And those who are in the way of you becoming better, don't worry when they walk out of your life. You're most likely better off without them. 

Alyssa Reyans is a first-time author.
Lastly, if there is one thing you want people to take away from your book, what would it be? 

There is no cure for bipolar. There is no magic pill or treatment or anything that can make you or your loved one just "snap out of it". But even though there's no cure, there still is hope and you can have a truly fulfilled wonderful life. It just takes a lot of hard work not only from the person with the disease but from those around the person who is mentally ill. And to know that each person has to find what works for them. Therapy and treatment is truly unique to every person and it takes a lot of trial and error to find what works for you. But once you figure it out, then you can have an amazingly rich life. So don't give up.

Thank you so much for your time, Alyssa! Good luck to you! :)
Thank you again for having me.

Anybody who signs up for Alyssa's mailing list between now and December 31st will receive a free ecopy of any book she publishes in 2013. Visit Alyssa on her websiteFacebook, or on Twitter @AlyssaReyans. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Guest Post by YA Author Sara Hubbard (In Which She Discusses Boys!)

I’m so excited to be a guest on Writing Belle today. When Summer agreed to hosting me I had no clue what to talk about so I went to her blog for inspiration and voila! Chris Hemsworth was on her main page as her Hero of the Month! How could I not be inspired! So I got to thinking about my idea of a swoon-worthy hero, both inside and out, and came up with a list of traits. Some of them very much resemble the hero in my debut novel, Blood, She Read, but some of them also resemble my villain. What can I say? I love the bad guys—in theory, of course. I’ve found from personal experience, relationships with bad boys aren’t always the healthiest. They can be downright toxic, but by geeze, they make you reconsider your stance when they’re standing right in front of you, or hanging out in your head waiting to have their turn to speak in your novels.

So, in my opinion, what makes a great hero?

Personality: he has to have one! There is nothing worse than a hero without a personality or without motivation and goals. Also, he has to be strong and definitely vulnerable. I like it when heros are only vulnerable or capable of change when the RIGHT girl walks into their life. Let’s face it, as much as we don’t want to admit it, who wouldn’t want to be responsible for an about-turn in a bad boy?

My great hero has to be protective. Now, I’m a military girl so I can fend for myself and fire an automatic weapon, but I like it when guys try to be your knight in shining armor. I will tell them to back off and it’s not necessary, but deep down I’ll be smiling.

He has to have flaws. There MUST be a reason for why the hero is the way he is. If he’s emotionally unavailable then I need to know why. I dig into my characters quite a bit. Sometimes I write scene after scene for my minor characters even though I know those scenes will never be published. Getting into a hero’s tortured head and discovering what makes them tick only helps me to fall deeper in love with them and to root for them to overcome their difficulties. The hero in Blood, She Read has his flaws, and so does the villain, but there are reasons why they are the way they are. Writing about Tommy made me root for him so much in this book, although you might not feel the same way. You’ll get to know him much more in the sequel.

Physical Traits: he has to be beautiful. This doesn’t mean he has to be model-pretty, but he has to be big and strong and capable of fending for himself and the girl he loves, if need be. Also, I have zero tattoos but a hot gay with tats can be seriously jaw dropping in a book or a movie. In Blood, She Read, my hero is tall, dark and handsome and stronger than your average guy. Other than Chris Hemsworth as Thor or the Huntsman, one swoon-worthy guy that meets all of my must-haves for a great hero is Eric Northman. Okay, I just sighed as I typed his name. Yes, he affects me this much! In case you don’t recognize the name, Eric is a character in the Sookie Stackhouse Novels and the True Blood series on television. In real life, he’s Alexander Skarsguard and seriously hot. Check him out and you’ll agree!

So now you’ve read all about what I like in a hero, I’m curious to know about your must haves. Leave a comment and tell me all about him.

Book Blurb

Keeping secrets from a psychic can be murder.

Petra Maras lives a charmed life, but only in the magical sense. Her absentee father is a criminal, her mother is emotionally dead, and everyone at her new school knows she comes from a family of witches. All she wants is to be normal, but that’s impossible, given her family. And given that she’s psychic. When the police request help with a murder investigation, Petra reluctantly agrees. Which isn’t such a good idea since the prime suspect wants to date her, and she really wants to say yes. Her gut says he’s innocent, but since she can’t get a read on him, she can’t know for sure. And when she discovers he’s been keeping secrets, she wonders if maybe she’s been following her heart instead of her head…

You can purchase Blood, She Read here:

Sara Hubbard is the author of young adult books. Her debut novel BLOOD, SHE =READ released fall 2012 and is a 2012 NEORWA Cleveland Rocks winner and a 2012 RCRW Duel on the Delta finalist. 

Sara was born in Australia to British parents, but has lived in Nova Scotia for the majority of her life. In addition to being an author, Sara is a wife, a mother, and a registered nurse with the military. 

If you want to find about more about Sara, here are her links:

Thanks so much for reading this! And thank you, Summer, for having me!