Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas from Writing Belle! (What's Up in 2015!)

Merry Christmas! It's nearly that magical day, and I'm pausing here at WB Publishing, buried amidst piles of notes and papers and manuscripts, to wish you a happy holiday and a sparkling, dazzling, wonderful new year! There are so many countless inquiries and curious readers who wonder what 2015 will hold for WB Publishing and my series. So I have compiled - as I always do - a comprehensive list that gives you guys the basics. Here is what 2015 has in store for me: 

  • January 30th, 2015. State of Alliance, the fifth installment in my international bestselling Collapse Series, will release! Woohoo! This will be the sixth book in two years - all of which have hit the bestseller lists. So blessed! 
  • March 2015. The sequel to Day Zero will release. This installment is titled Day One, and it continues the novella adventures of Elle and her haphazard companions as they fight their way through post-apocalyptic California. 
  • June 2015. Yes, look forward to another Collapse installment. The sixth novel will release in the summer - crazy, I know! 
  • October 2015. The last installment in The Zero Trilogy, End of Day, will release. In case you haven't noticed, 2015 is going to be insanely busy for this silly writer. I may need large quantities of coffee and Rockstar energy drinks.
The funny thing about planning ahead is that you never know what's going to happen between these very important dates! 2014 was a crazy busy year - and no matter how busy my life is, I am always thankful for the myriad of opportunities that I have been blessed with, and the wonderful fans and readers that are on this journey with me!! 

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart (Gift Card Giveaway & Guest Post)

Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart
(Rebel Wing #2)
Published by: Alloy Entertainment
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will survive.
Aris Haan gave up everything to join the Atalantan Military: her family, her boyfriend, even her identity. In the end, though, it didn’t matter that she was a war hero. When the all-male Military discovered that she was actually a woman, she was sent home and erased from history.
Now she has a chance to go back to the battlefield—as herself. But as hard as it was to be a soldier in disguise, it’s even more difficult now. The men in her unit undermine her at every turn. The Safaran army has spies everywhere, perhaps even on Aris’s stationpoint. And she’s falling for her mysterious superior officer, Milek. But their relationship is forbidden, just stolen moments between training sessions and missions. There’s no room for love in war.
Then Aris discovers that Safara’s leaders have set their sights on her, Atalanta’s hero. And she must find them before they find her . . 


(Compiled and Written by Tracy Banghart)


Normally, I use the same approach to music with every book I write. I begin the process with a long playlist that includes whole albums, and as I’m writing, the songs that stick out and resonate with me get copied into another, shorter playlist, which I then listen to over and over again as I revise.

With STORM FALL, I wrote the manuscript very quickly, so I skipped right to the shorter playlist. The songs on this list aren’t all thematically connected to the book, though some are (the songs from Mulan definitely connect with the themes of the Rebel Wing series). A lot of times, music clicks for me based on its general vibe, rather than lyrics.

Here’s the list of the songs I listened to the most while writing STORM FALL, with a little breakdown on what appealed to me about each one. I hope you enjoy!

1.     Breath of Life – Florence + The Machine
I write to Florence a LOT. Her music makes it onto almost every writing playlist I have because it’s so dramatic. It really gets the creative juices flowing! Breath of Life began every STORM FALL writing session because it was ominous, cinematic, and driving. Perhaps that gives a hint to the type of story STORM FALL is?

“To get a dream of life again / A little vision of the sun in the end”

2.     I’ll Make a Man Out of You – Mulan Soundtrack
The Rebel Wing series is about a girl who infiltrates her country’s all-male military, so this song fits pretty much perfectly. Also, it’s super fun to sing along to. It pumps me up!

“Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?
You're the saddest bunch I ever met
But you can bet before we're through
Mister, I'll make a man out of you”

3.     Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
This song resonated with a lot of the early, ominous scenes.

“I raise my flags, don my clothes / It's a revolution, I suppose”

4.     Devil’s Backbone – The Civil Wars
The eerie, gritty vibe of this song worked well with the darker sections of STORM FALL, though the lyrics don’t really fit with what happens in the story.

“Give me the burden, give me the blame / I’ll shoulder the load, and I’ll swallow the shame”

5.     Best of You – Anastacia
This is from Anastacia’s “It’s A Man’s World” album, where she covers iconic songs by male singers. It’s a badass album, and this song works for all the badass women kicking butt in STORM FALL.

“My head is giving me life or death
But I can't choose
I swear I'll never give in
I refuse”

6.     Demons – Imagine Dragons
This song makes me think of Dysis and her relationship with Lieutenant Daakon. They both have a lot of demons.

“Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can't escape this now
Unless you show me how”

7.     From This Valley – The Civil Wars
This song calls to mind scenes later in the book. That’s all I’ll say. ;-)

“Oh won't you take me from this valley
To that mountain high above
Oh I will pray, pray, pray till I see your smiling face”

8.     Use Somebody – Anastacia
Another one that fits the girls-kicking-butt vibe.

“Off in the night, while you live it up, I'm off to sleep / Waging wars to shape the poet and the beat”

9.     Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
This is Dysis’s jam. Sadly.

“I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me”

10. Reflection  - Mulan Soundtrack
So much of the entire series comes down to identity. How does Aris fit within her world – how do women in general fit within her world?

“Must there be a secret me 
I'm forced to hide?

Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?”

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 

Award-winning author, Army wife, and mom Tracy Banghart has an MA in Publishing and an unhealthy affection for cupcakes. Her quiet childhood led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends. She writes novels featuring strong women, realistic romances, and tight female friendships because she believes in cultivating worlds where women support rather than compete with one another, and first kisses happen en route to new adventures, instead of in lieu of them.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

State of Alliance TOUR SIGN-UPS!

It's almost here! On January 30th, 2015, State of Alliance will officially release. As the fifth installment in The Collapse Series (and the sixth overall), I literally can't believe how fast two years have flown by. Thank you SO MUCH for making my books so successful. I have the most wonderful readers in the world! 

Now. Onto business! 
State of Alliance will have a Book Blitz, which is once again being organized by Giselle Cormier at Xpresso Book Tours (who, by the way, always does an amazing job). There will be a blog-wide grand prize giveaway which includes a grab bag of ebooks and an Amazon gift card. There will be interviews and guest posts available for everyone, too. You can choose to post anytime between January 30th and February 2nd, 2015. I would love it if you participated! Slots fill up fast - last time it took me a full week to keep up with all of the tour hosts! - so snag your spot today!! 


Monday, December 8, 2014

FINAL OUTCOME: Interview with Fresno Author James McPike

Don't let writing fool you: it's an incredibly fun, rewarding career, but it's also incredibly challenging. Authors who have worked in the field of publishing for even a limited period of time know this to be true. Some people even give up. Not James McPike. James is the author of a few books, including the EVVY Award-nominated post-apocalyptic novel, Final Outcome. He's authored several other titles, as well, and calls the Central Valley of California his home (hello, Fresno!). James bases his writing on solid research and promises readers an exciting thrill ride in each of his stories. Here is my interview with this California author. 

Welcome to Writing Belle! Tell me about yourself. 
Hi, thanks for having me! I can’t wait to get started. For those that don’t know I’m a local author. I have two books out so far, and currently I’m working on a third called The Lost Prophet. I really enjoy every aspect of writing, but I also have a day job. I work for a high-class restaurant in Fresno. My background includes paralegal experience and computer development/design. I’m also a paranormal investigator with the IGHS. Anyone interested can find more about me on Amazon or my website

Your book, Final Outcome, is a post-apocalyptic thriller. What's the storyline?
The storyline is essentially about a disgruntled U.S. war veteran who embarks on a life-changing journey to find a long-lost Biblical treasure. It’s a wild 700-page epic. It starts out with the main hero taking out the bad guys in the Middle East. He stumbles upon an ancient relic hidden in a tomb and learns that it’s actually a map to a treasure located on another planet in our solar system. He teams up with NASA, a fellow preacher, and an army general to go there and find it. But once they do, things go haywire, as something starts to pick them off one by one. This book won the Readers Favorite silver medal for best in Christian/Fantasy for a reason.

Tell me about Realm of the Unknown.
This book is much shorter than my first one, only 368 pages! It’s a mystery thriller that’s been compared by some to the Da Vinci Code. It’s about a renowned investigator from Israel who tackles his biggest case yet—to track down a powerful adversary who seems to have ties to the supernatural. He gets to follow clues all the way from Italy to France. I tried to create a real page-turner with this one. Red City Review called it “an intense thriller, laced with mystery and Biblical intrigue, reminiscent of the works of Dan Brown.”

What kind of research went into the book?
I always do a lot of research before starting any of my books. Although they’re fiction I like to have a certain amount of realism to rally behind. To me it makes them that more legit. For Realm of the Unknown I read an old book from 1871 that my grandfather owned. It was almost 900 pages long! I learned so much from it—it talked about the ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, secret societies, King Solomon, and so on. The secrets I learned from those pages I reveal in Realm of the Unknown.

Have you always wanted to be writer? How did your interest in publishing begin? 
Believe it or not, yes, I have always wanted to be a writer. I’ve been doing it since elementary school. For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed the thrill and escape of writing. You get to create your own version of characters, paint your own world, and come up with your own interesting plot—to me it’s the ultimate way of letting your imagination turn into reality. I was fortunate enough to win the Ponderosa Lion’s Club Spelling Bee in 1997 and receive an Honorable Mention for a William Saroyan contest a year later. My friends seemed to like what I wrote so I took that and ran with it. I’ve tried to not look back since.

How do you like living in the Central Valley of California? (Read: Fresno!)
I was born and raised in Fresno. I’ve grown to appreciate it more. Most of my family lives here. There’s so much to do. Now that I think about it, it’s not too bad compared to other cities. But if I got my wish I’d move to Vancouver, Canada in a heartbeat. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but it’s an awesome place!

Does your home inspire your stories? 
I wouldn’t necessarily say my apartment inspires my stories; it’s more of a place where I can just simply hang my hat and get down to the business of writing. Like other authors, I draw inspiration from going to the coast (my friend has a beach house in Morro Bay), being outdoors, life experiences, and so on.

What is your writing process from draft one to publication? 
Good question! It’s always a great feeling to finally complete a novel, that’s for sure. But no matter how good one might think it is, you always have to go back through it again and again. Editing is one main reason, but it also gives you a chance to add or omit things you didn’t think of before. It adds more meat to the bone so to speak. When I’m satisfied it’s the best product I can come up with I submit it for publication.

When did you publish your first novel? 

What's your favorite writing snack? 
Salt & vinegar kettle chips all the way! Or if I have a sweet tooth I grab a Reese’s.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
I’d tell them to look to you, Summer! After all you made it happen and are a phenomenal success story! Then I’d say to them if it’s something they love to do, then yeah, go for it. It’s a crowded field to be sure. I heard somewhere that 2 million books were printed last year alone. It’s hard to get noticed, let alone be famous. But none of that should matter as long as they believe in their work and it’s a joy for them. Like they say, don’t ever give up. Keep grinding and grinding and hope that one day it all pays off!

Thanks so much for your time, James!

It’s been a lot of fun for me. Thanks for giving me this opportunity. I hope we can do this again someday.

About the Author 
McPike's debut novel FINAL OUTCOME was nominated for the 17th EVVY Awards. Only 5% of his publisher's books receive this honor (50 of a 1,000). It also earned the SILVER MEDAL from READERS FAVORITE in the Christian/Fantasy genre. He won the Ponderosa Lion's Club Spelling Bee Championship in 1997. A year later he was an Honorable Mention for a highly-acclaimed William Saroyan writing contest. He enjoys writing action/mystery novels based in Biblical facts. His newest adventure/thriller The Lost Prophet, is a sequel to Realm of the Unknown, and is scheduled to be released in the summer/fall of 2015. Readers can visit his website at

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dead Girl Walking - Re-Release!

Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper) by Ruth Silver
Published: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
Forget everything you know about grim reapers.
Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.
Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.   Now includes the prequel Ashes to Ashes as a bonus story in the Booktrope edition. Available in eBook & Paperback.


  “Listen, kid, I don’t care what you believe in. It’s not for me to say what’s true and untrue, real or unreal. My assignment was you. You get to be one of us, if you want it. Otherwise, you move on, life is over, kaput.” Ophelia backed away from the stranger. For the first time, she realized she didn’t feel cold and wasn’t shivering. Is this what being dead was like? “One of you?” “A grim reaper.” He held out his hand to properly introduce himself. “Edon Montgomery, head reaper and old soul.”

Meet the Characters

Ophelia Dacre
The princess and heir to the throne, Ophelia witnessed her mother’s murder as a young child. Barely seventeen, she is a hopeless romantic at heart. Ophelia has fallen in love with Larkin, a commoner. Although she knew it’s against her fathers wishes, she continues to see her boyfriend in secret. Ophelia is passionate, cunning, and would do anything for her young sister Mara.                  

Leila Bele
Formerly Ophelia Dacre, Leila is the newest reaper and has trouble following the rules. She missed her life as a princess, and has trouble staying away from those she left behind.

Wynter Gael
A grim reaper and constant rule breaker. Wynter enjoys Leila’s company. His roommate and best friend, Jasper, keeps him in line.
Mara Dacre
Princess and younger sister to Ophelia, Mara is just fourteen years old. Full of love toward Ophelia, Mara will stop at nothing to know the truth about how her sister died, and who murdered her.
Larkin Alis
Not of royal blood, unbeknownst to him, Larkin was courting Princess Ophelia up until her murder. He is a suspect in her brutal slaying.
Edon Montgomery
Head reaper and considered an old soul, Edon’s job is to keep the other reapers in line. Tough but fair, Edon is always watching and fixing reaper mistakes. Although, he has a few secrets of his own.
Jasper Ehlers
A fellow reaper and best friend to Wynter, Jasper has been in love with Violetta for decades. He’s a romantic, constantly wooing Violetta through the decades, hoping to one day win over her heart.
Violetta Mercier
A grim reaper and roommate of Emblyn. Violetta is cheeky, dark, and quite often mysterious at first introduction. She loves to tease others and enjoys the thrill of being pursued by Jasper. She prides herself on being a reaper and lets it reflect in her appearance.
Emblyn Vernon
The good girl reaper. Emblyn follows the rules, most of the time. A friend to most reapers, Emblyn has a kind heart and upbeat attitude. She sticks up for those that need support, and is always there to offer a hand when necessary.
Astin Stafford
Of royal blood, Prince Astin and Princess Ophelia have an arranged marriage for the sake of their kingdoms. He’s kind, charming, but a bit of a push over. Ophelia has no romantic feelings toward Astin.

Juliana Stapleton
Once human over a thousand years ago, Juliana was forever marked a dark angel. With black wings and a duty of responsibility, she doesn’t take her job lightly.

About the Author

1 lo res
Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. Her interests also include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and her book blog Write Away Bliss.