Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CreateSpace: A Quick-Start Guide to Publishing

Are you self published? Do you have a novel that's on Kindle or Nook? What happens when your friends or relatives want an autographed copy of your work of literary awesomeness? Or what if you need to get to a book signing right this second with copies of your novel? 
You'll need hardcopies. 
For a lot of people, getting your book printed sounds like a terrifyingly complicated process. It's really not. After some trial and error of my own in the past, I've put together a comprehensive quick-start guide to using CreateSpace to print your novel. 

5 Easy Steps to Printing Your Book
  1. Formatting. Want your novel to look great as a physical book? Better iron out the formatting issues once and for all. When you use CreateSpace, they'll walk you through the process of uploading your book file. Here's a little hint: Upload your book as a PDF file - NOT a Word document - and the text placement and page numbering will be far less likely to get messed up during the transition. 
  2. Interior Review. Right after you upload your file, the CreateSpace editing program will tell you if they found any errors that will mess up the interior of your novel. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP! I say this because skipping it is an option, and doing so can seriously mess up your don't do it! Pay attention to the technical critique.  
  3. Stay Out of the Gutter, People. Your book needs to be aligned in the center of the page, otherwise the text in the novel is going to end up "in the gutter." CreateSpace has a tool in their interior review process that lets you see if your text is stuck in that purgatorial area. Here's a visual to help:

       4. Cover Design. Designing your cover is something most authors tackle well ahead of time, so the question is, "How do I get my design onto the hardcopy of my book?" If you upload a design cold turkey without any editorial work, you'll more than likely end up with a thick white frame around the actual design. What you want is for the cover to stand alone without any awkward white border. Click on 'Cover' under your Member Dashboard settings and you'll see an option: Cover Creator. This allows you to come up with your own templates. The same rule applies here as it did to the interior of the book: stay out of the gutter. Your cover image has to stay inside the dotted lines, otherwise anything outside the lines can get cut out or cut off. 
      5. Proof and Distribute. Before you sell your book, you need to order a hardcopy proof. This option will come up after CreateSpace has reviewed your files. It costs about $5 per copy, plus around $4 in shipping and handling (but you can pay more for faster shipping). You can look through the paperback and make sure everything printed correctly before approving the book for live sale. CreateSpace will also ask you what channels of distribution you want: Obviously you need Amazon and the CreateSpace store. You can pay another $25 for Expanded Distribution, which basically allows you to get your book into more stores - and even libraries, in some cases.  (Hint: Libraries won't accept self-published authors for their catalogues. Unfair? Sure. But work around it. You don't need a library to be successful - all you need is your talent and some hard work)

Extra Tips & Tricks 
CreateSpace Support. CreateSpace has possibly the most helpful, knowledgable publishing staff on planet earth. You can place a call to CreateSpace and get on the phone with a support member immediately. The hotline is available 24/7, and you can ask any question about the publishing process that you're having trouble with. 
Editorial or Illustrative Services. If you have a little cash to spend on professional design or copyediting, CreateSpace offers packages that allow you to work with their designers or editors to brush up the interior and exterior of your novel to make it sparkle. The cheapest package starts at around $150. 

If you have any questions about the CreateSpace process, I'll be more than happy to help! Just let me know in the comments or contact me otherwise. Happy writing, friends!

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Adult Novel: Slumber by Samantha Young

What a beautiful cover!! *grabby hands*
Long story short: Rogan is the handmaiden to the Princezna of a kingdom far, far away. The Princezna falls into a deep slumber brought on by a rare illness that can only be cured with a certain type of herb that is only found in one spot: The Pool of Phaedra. So Rogan decides to set off after the herb that will heal the Princezna, and she does so with the help of the dashing Captain Wolfe Stovia - who just so happens to be the son of the man who killed her family. 

First of all, Rogan is an interesting character. She has a violent backstory that has shaped her outlook on life, and makes her hate Wolfe Stovia with a passion. She sees him as pure evil; like the man who killed her family. They're both snippy with each other and constantly arguing, which of course means that they're really in love. Duh...!  

What I liked: The quest plot line. I like it when characters have to travel far to achieve a goal. I also liked Wolfe - he was a dashing gentleman with a heart of gold. And of course, I love romance. ***grin***
What I didn't like: You'll notice that at the beginning of my review that I said that "Rogan is a handmaiden to the Princezna of a KINGDOM." That's because I can't remember the name of the kingdom. There were too many names of cities, races, magical beings and nobles. I was utterly inundated with information and it was just too much for me on a Sunday afternoon.  I did love this storyline, but Rogan was completely frustrating and annoying. My GOSH. The woman constantly complains, constantly walks all over poor devoted, perfect Wolfe, and her reasoning for him not being good enough for her is because he's a Stovia. I can see this reasoning at first, but after she gets to know Wolfe, she has no excuse for this behavior but plows ahead anyway. Spoiled brat? She certainly acts like it for a huge chunk of the book - even after she's been through some extremely traumatic experiences that should open her eyes! But that's exactly what I'm supposed to do as a reader, right? Yell at the characters in the book. 

Which I possibly (totally) might have (which means I did) done a few times (way more than a few times).

**Slumber is a New Adult novel and contains mature content that may not be suitable for readers under the age of 17. I like to warn my readers about these things before they dive in. :)** 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crazy, Stupid Love - Giveaway Hop

It's the Crazy, Stupid Love New Adult Giveaway Hop! What does this mean? It means New Adult...and free stuff! Epic win right there.
I'm giving away an NA book, right along with some of my Sisters from NA Alley. Both Strength & His Allure, Her Passion aren't even released yet! :) 
Anyway, enjoy all the New Adult awesomeness that you can win below....and have fun! 

Title: Strength 
Author: Carrie Butler 
Expected Publication: March 7th, 2013
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.


Title: The Truths about Dating and Mating
Author: Jaycee DeLorenzo 
Spunky Italian coed Ivy Rossini likes to talk and push the boundaries. She gets to do both as she co-hosts Riordan College’s radio program, The Truths about Dating and Mating, alongside her lifelong best friend, Ian Hollister.

Being the only girl who cares to see beyond Ian’s bad boy reputation has its advantages, especially when he’s scaring off the jerks who just want to nail the campus sex-guru. It’s when he’s “protecting” her from the advances she welcomes that she wants to lob him over the head and tell him to butt out. But Ivy feels like she’s the one who’s taken a hit when Ian almost kisses her at a party. She knows she should feel relieved when he pulls away, so why is she disappointed instead?

What’s worse, Ivy’s now getting aroused by Ian’s slightest touch and can’t stop entertaining thoughts of a romantic future. But Ian doesn’t do relationships, and she’s not interested in anything casual. In the end, Ivy decides it’s best to keep her growing feelings a secret and hope they’ll pass. However, when Ian begins hinting at wanting to take things to the next level, she’s forced to decide if a chance at something more is worth risking everything they’ve built.

With their friendship and her heart hanging in the balance, can Ivy follow the advice she and Ian give their listeners - to communicate, be honest, and trust in themselves - or will insecurity, stubbornness, and pride ruin any chance of their relationship getting off the ground?


Title: His Allure, Her Passion
Author: Juliana Haygert 
Expected Publication: February 25th, 2013
In his father’s eyes, Dylan Deveraux is just a playboy spending the family fortune on prostitutes, alcohol, and fast cars. And it isn't even with the cars his father produces. Because of that, his father forbids his presence at the ball that will mark the launch of the US plant of his company, strategically scheduled on Valentine’s Day.

Hayley Allen is a failing model with the worse luck in the world. She always ends up in the hands of cruel designers and photographers. At least, that’s what she tells herself. Better than admit having a weak nervous system that always reacted during her gigs. Desperate, she would do anything to help her career.

Dylan shows up at her door, wasted as usual. Friends for a long time, Hayley is the only one able to put up with Dylan’s bullshit, and he appreciates that, but not the way her heart wants.

Even though he doesn't believe in Valentine's Day, Dylan has an idea for his father's ball. When he suggests a deal to Hayley, a deal that could finally put her in the spotlight of success and help him impress his father, she doesn't hesitate. Even if it means hurting her heart a little more.

**New Adult Contemporary Romance novella (30k words)**


Title: The Crimson Hunt (The Eldaen Light Chronicles, Book 1)
Author: Victoria H. Smith 
College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.


Title: State of Emergency 
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.

GoodReadsAmazonBarnes & Noble 

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Blitz: Flappers, Flasks & Foul Play

"Boardwalk Empire" meets "The Great Gatsby" in this soft-boiled "Jazz Age" mystery, inspired by actual events.  Prohibition is in full swing in 1920s Galveston, Texas: the "Sin City of the Southwest." Jasmine Cross, a young society reporter, feels caught between two clashing cultures: the seedy speakeasy underworld and the snooty social circles she covers in the Galveston Gazette.  

During a night out with her best friend, Jazz witnesses a bar fight at the Oasis--a speakeasy secretly owned by her black-sheep half-brother, Sammy Cook. But when a big-shot banker with a hidden past collapses there and later dies, she suspects foul play. Was it an accident or murder?

Soon new Prohibition Agent James Burton raids the Oasis, threatening to shut it down if Sammy doesn't talk. Suspicious, he pursues Jazz, but she refuses to rat on Sammy. As turf wars escalate between two real-life rival gangs, Sammy is accused of murder. To find the killer, Jazz must risk her life and career, exposing the dark side of Galveston's glittering society.

About the Author

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance writer/editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in several national magazines.She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism, and was active in Women in Communications (W.I.C.I.), serving as president her senior year. FLAPPERS is her debut novel, and she’s currently working on the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, due out this Spring.


A loud bang sounded, a crash, a door cracking. Heavy footsteps pounded down the stairs and three men in dark suits entered the Oasis, holding badges. Their guns raised high, the trio circled the room like Wild West lawmen. We had no place to hide. A stocky man shoved Dino against the wall and for once, he didn’t fight back. Sammy must have warned him to be on his best behavior. Frank crept towards the back like a spy, trying to disappear into the woodwork. I’d never been in a raid before, but I’d seen them on news reels. My heart throbbed in my chest as I braced myself for the worst: What if we all got arrested and thrown in jail?

“Federal Agent James Burton, Treasury Department. Don’t move and no one will get hurt!” yelled the tallest of the trio. Over six feet, he wore a fancy three-piece beige suit and felt hat. I didn’t know flatfoots got paid so well.

Cool as ice, Sammy sauntered out from the kitchen, smiling at the men as if they were regulars. “Welcome! How can I help you gentlemen?”

“You can tell us where you keep your booze,” Burton said, scanning the room.

“Booze? You’re in the wrong place, boys. All we serve here is good food and soda pop.” Sammy wiped his hands on a dirty red apron he’d thrown on for effect. “Hungry? How about today’s special—home-made spaghetti?”    

“We need a drink to quench our thirst,” said Burton. “On the rocks, since we’re on duty.”

Sammy feigned surprise—not a bad job of acting for an amateur. “How about root beer or a Coke? The only cold drinks we serve here are soda pop. We’re bone dry.”

“That’s not what we heard—Mr. Cook, is it? We hear this place is full of hooch.”

I held my breath, trying to quell a bad case of the screaming meemies. How’d he know Sammy’s name? Who mentioned any hooch? Agent Burton and his men slid between the tables, his eyes dancing back and forth, studying each customer, as if memorizing their faces.

A burly cop in glasses pointed to an older bald man cowering in his chair. “You there! What’s that poison you’re drinking?”

“It’s lemonade,” the man stammered. “I swear.”

“Looks like a cocktail to me.” The agent stuck his finger in the glass, tasted it, then threw it down. Glass splintered into tiny slivers as liquid seeped into the wood floor....

Dropping his friendly facade, Sammy marched over to Burton, his boots crunching on broken glass. “I told you it’s a diner, not a bar. Leave him alone. Who do you think you are?”

“Like I said, name’s Burton,” he said, as if talking to a dim-witted child. “I’m the new head of Galveston’s Prohibition enforcement office.” He held up his badge like a shiny trophy. The two men were polar opposites: With his tanned skin and thick honey-blond hair, Burton resembled a golden retriever ready to attack a Doberman. No contest, if you ask me.

“You’re wasting your time here. No need to harass my help or my customers.”

“Seems your customers must like to play rough.” Burton tapped his own cheekbone, indicating Sammy’s black eye.

I nudged Nathan under the table, impressed by Sammy’s bravado. But maybe this wasn’t the best time to question authority. His big mouth could earn him a fat lip.               

“What’s going on?” I whispered to Nathan. My throat was so dry, I could barely speak.

“Who knows? Never been invited to a raid before.”

Burton must have heard us because he strode over to our table, and draped an arm over my chair. “Evening, ma’am. What’s a classy dish like you doing in this crummy gin mill?”

How dare he! “Get your hands off me!” I shrugged off his arm, shoulders stiff. He backed away, surprised. Up close, I noticed how young he was, late twenties, face smooth and tanned.

Nathan stood up, a full head shorter than Burton. “Back off, buster. Leave my date alone.” Obviously Burton’s gun and badge failed to impress Nathan. What he lacked in stature, he made up for with attitude.           

 “Your date?” Agent Burton smiled. “Lucky guy.” He took a sip from my cup, then spit it out.

“If you’d asked nicely, I could’ve told you it was Coca-Cola.” Watch it, Jazz. In school, I’d often gotten in trouble for talking back to my teachers, but they hadn’t carried a badge or a loaded gun.

“Excuse my manners, miss. I can’t resist a pretty face and a smart mouth.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Faster We Burn: New Adult Cover Reveal for Valentine's Day

This is the sequel to the NA Romance, Deeper We Fall:

Faster We Burn by Chelsea M. Cameron (Deeper We Fall #2)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication date: April, 2013
GoodReads Link: Faster We Burn 

Blurb Teaser:

The last thing Katie Hallman needs is another guy in her life, but Stryker Grant is there anyway. What starts out as just an escape from her previous relationship disaster soon turns into something more. Stryker gets under her skin the way no one has before, and soon she realizes she can't shake him, even if she wanted to. But is Katie ready to trust her already-battered heart to the guy who could shatter it into a million pieces?

Chelsea M. Cameron 
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Romancing the Otherworldly Valentine Event

Love New Adult but looking for something with a little bite? Here's an event geared toward the other side of NA. Whether your tastes range toward shifters or men from other dimensions, there's a New Adult title out there for you.

Come by for prizes, games, and fun at the Facebook party between 8-10 est on February 13th.

Want more? Check out excerpts from current and future books by NA authors in the paranormal, Sci Fi, Horror, Dystopian, and Fantasy genres.

There's also an awesome Blog hop happening on 19 blogs, each spotlighting a different New Adult author! 

Participating Blogs: 

In participation, an excerpt from my NA novel, STATE OF EMERGENCY! 

“Not as cute as me.” He winks. He actually winks, and somehow it actually comes across as sexy rather than stupid or creepy. I feel myself blushing, and I am extremely grateful that it’s so dark inside the camper shell.
“Well, you’re not cute,” I say, finishing off my bar.
I’m not cute?” Chris repeats, looking shocked. “Is that why you stare at me all the time?”
“I’m not staring at you!” I retort. “I’m just making sure you’re not trying to kill me or something. Or steal my backpack.”
“Right. I’m just dying to steal a backpack with two energy bars and a plastic poncho.” He smirks. “That’s been my plan all along.”
“Hey, desperation drives people to do crazy things,” I say, taking my jacket off.
“You still don’t think I’m cute?” His smile is playful. Pleasant, even.
I spread my coat out like a blanket over my body, thankful for my thermal black shirt. Warmth is important these days. “No,” I say, and it’s the truth. Chris isn’t cute. He’s way too mature and fit and older to be cute. He’s hot. But he doesn’t need to know that’s what I think.
“You’re a terrible liar,” he says, folding his arms across his chest. “I can see you smiling.”
“I’m not smiling,” I answer. “I’m laughing at you. Vanity is so yesterday.”
“Ah.” He suddenly reaches across the truck and places his arms right over my head. I freeze, surprised – and stunned.
“My brother,” he says, his face way too close, “is very similar to me. But he’s eleven years younger than I am.”
I hold my breath, my eyes flicking down to the fine goatee he has all the way around his mouth, up the sides of his cheeks. He’s got nice skin, a strong jaw, long, thick hair right above the shoulders that’s dark brown with blonde highlights.
“Chris,” I say, afraid to release a breath.
He moves closer. Way too close. I can actually feel him breathing against my skin, and he smells a little bit like the leftover coffee from Walter’s apartment. His eyes search my face for some kind of emotion. His gaze is so intense that it would be a crime to move. To breathe. And if I lean forward just an inch, I could kiss him.
“What…time is it?” I ask, glancing down at the crank radio, dropping my eyes. I can see the time from here: 8:33 p.m. He knows I can see it, too. But instead of pointing that out, he slowly moves his arms from the camper shell and pulls away, making a point of taking his time fingering the strands of hair falling over my shoulder. He looks either extremely smug or disappointed with my reaction. Maybe both.
Definitely both.
I finally exhale and scratch the side of my head, wondering what I should say. Something like, “Why didn’t you kiss me?” or “Why did I ask for the time?” 
Chris says nothing, retreating into frustrating silence. I curl up into my usual ball and try to say warm as Chris flicks off the light.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Drowning in You: Cover Reveal for NA Contemporary Romance

Title: Drowning in You
Author: Rebecca Berto
Expected release date: April 12, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult 
Designer: Okay Creations ; Jacqueline Barkla Photography (
Reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
Book Description

Secretly crushing.

Crushed by a tragedy.

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.
But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter 
the consequences.

About the Author 

Rebecca Berto writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.
Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.