Holiday Giveaway Round One Winners!

Welcome back, everyone. And Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic, safe, joyous holiday season. 🙂

Traditionally (because more than one year of doing something makes it a tradition, right?), this would be the week when I detail my writing-related resolutions for 2015, and compare my successes (and/or failures) against the list from 2014. But the truth is, I haven’t made any resolutions yet. Shocking, I know. So we’re going to postpone that for another week and get right down to the thing you’re all waiting with bated breath for — the winners of the holiday giveaway. Well, Round One, anyway.

All total, I received 525 entries, making it by far the most successful one I’ve done to date, thanks in part to the generous donation of a custom cover design from Cardboard Monet’s Ashley Ruggirello, and the fact that this really is a pretty cool prize. If it weren’t my giveaway, and I had something that was actually finished, I would have entered! But, since it is my giveaway, that obviously isn’t allowed. It’s not as much fun as helping someone else if I keep the prize for myself. 😉

So, as I’m sure you recall, there are two rounds to this particular giveaway. The first, which ended last night at midnight, required contestants to enter via a variety of ways listed on the Rafflecopter widget. The second will be different. But, before I tell you exactly what that means, let’s find out who those lucky Round Two participants are.

The Round One Victors

Anne Tilney

Tammy Walsh

Catherine Oliver

Magali Frachette

Tiffany Treichel

Danielle Roy

Susan Nystoriak

Kelly DeVos

Anna Patrick

Amanda Tatman Carney

Teressa Aune Ewing

Mary Ellen Wall

Nicole Tone

Erin Deeds Beaty

Emily Pichardo

Kelsey Simon

Kelly Heinen

Stacie Hanson

Amelia

Crystal Christie

Mary Liles Eicher

Talynn

Katherine Pisana

Priya Kanaparti

Thank you all so much for entering, and congratulations on surviving the first round of cuts! 🙂

The fun’s not over though. Now we get to the real meat of the competition — Round Two. If your name is on that list above, I’ll need you to submit a query and the first five pages of your manuscript (or a synopsis) by January 15th. I’ll review all the entries, looking for the person I think would gain the most benefit from this prize, and the ultimate winner will be announced, here, on January 30th. Best of luck! (And don’t worry, there will be an email detailing this heading out to the winners shortly.)

Happy Holidays!

Winter Afternoon 9 by Eirian-Stock

All right, everyone, the time has come for me to disappear for a couple weeks. It happens every year, so don’t worry, I’ll be back with lots of new content, including more posts on editing, writing, publishing, art, and the martial arts. I even have a few (hopefully awesome) surprises in store, provided I can make them work. But in the meantime, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Your continued support of all my efforts is greatly appreciated. 🙂

To prove it, I’m giving away what is arguably one of my more ambitious prizes — a self-publisher’s dream package. It was announced a few weeks ago, but you still have time to enter. And because I’m never one to make people hunt for information, here’s the rundown one more time:

One lucky person will win the following . . .

  • A comprehensive, top-to-bottom, full manuscript edit (including structural & line edits)
  • A polished, publish-ready eBook cover design (provided by the talented Ashley Ruggirello of Cardboard Monet)
  • Assistance creating the all-important book blurb
  • A final proofread of the type-set, ready-for-print galley (typesetting/formatting itself is not included though)

Doesn’t that sound amazing? Here’s what you have to do to win:

Round One: Currently Happening

Starting right now, you can enter to win via the Rafflecopter form. Simply fill out the various possibilities, and your name will be added to the hat. Enter as many times as you’d like until the form closes at midnight on January 2nd, 2015.  On January 3rd, I will select 100 names at random via Rafflecopter’s handy little service. Those lucky people will move on to round two. (And yes, they will be announced on the blog, so you’ll all know who to congratulate.)

Round Two: Starts Jan. 3rd, 2015

This is where the competition gets a little fierce. The 100 winners will be required to submit a query, along with the first 5 pages of their manuscript, via email. (Specific instructions will be sent to the winners on the appropriate date.) I will review them all, and much like an acquisitions editor, I will select the final winner based both on potential and the quality of your pitch. I’ll be looking for the person I think will gain the most value from our help, so your manuscript definitely doesn’t have to be perfect yet, but it does need to be complete. Also, I will consider novellas, but not short stories.

My final decision will be made by January 30th, 2015, and the lucky winner will be announced. So sharpen those pitches, people. Make it so I absolutely have to pick you.

Good luck, and happy holidays! 🙂

Image by Ashley Ruggirello of Cardboard Monet

 

Announcing the 2014 Holiday Giveaway

 

Image by Ashley Ruggirello of Cardboard Monet

It’s no secret that Christmas is my favorite holiday, and those that have hung around here for awhile know that I tend to celebrate it by doing a giveaway every year. This year’s no exception, though I am starting it earlier than normal due to the fact it’s my birthday today, and I’m feeling especially generous. 😉

What do I have hidden up my sleeve this time? Something I think many of you will be super excited for. See, I’ve teamed up with the design genius behind the REUTS Publications book covers to bring you a self-published author’s dream — a full-fledged, FREE prize that will take your manuscript from draft to publication-ready. Yep, Cardboard Monet’s Ashley Ruggirello and I have combined our freelance prowess to offer one lucky person the following:

  • A comprehensive, top-to-bottom, full manuscript edit (including structural & line edits)
  • A polished, publish-ready eBook cover design
  • Assistance creating the all-important book blurb
  • A final proofread of the type-set, ready-for-print galley (typesetting/formatting itself is not included though)

It might not be all-inclusive, as you will still need to find a formatter and to create your own marketing materials, but I think you’ll agree that’s a pretty significant monetary value being offered up for free. Every author knows that the two most expensive aspects of self-publishing are the editing and the cover design, so why not take advantage of this rare chance to gain both in one fell swoop?

I’ve got your attention now, yes? 😉

Here’s what you have to do:

Round One:

Starting right now, you can enter to win via the Rafflecopter form. Simply fill out the various possibilities, and your name will be added to the hat. Enter as many times as you’d like until the form closes at midnight on January 2nd, 2015.  On January 3rd, I will select 100 names at random via Rafflecopter’s handy little service. Those lucky people will move on to round two. (And yes, they will be announced on the blog, so you’ll all know who to congratulate.)

Round Two:

This is where the competition gets a little fierce. The 100 winners will be required to submit a query, along with the first 5 pages of their manuscript, via email. (Specific instructions will be sent to the winners on the appropriate date.) I will review them all, and much like an acquisitions editor, I will select the final winner based both on potential and the quality of your pitch. I’ll be looking for the person I think will gain the most value from our help, so your manuscript definitely doesn’t have to be perfect yet, but it does need to be complete. Also, I will consider novellas, but not short stories.

My final decision will be made by January 30th, 2015, and the lucky winner will be announced. So sharpen those pitches, people. Make it so I absolutely have to pick you.

Good luck!

Blog Tour Feature: God’s Play by H.D. Lynn

As you read this, I may or may not be slightly hungover from too many shots of Fireball whiskey, striving valiantly to survive a business trip to Vegas (yes, Vegas, baby, and no, it’s not at all as fun as it sounds) for the Day Job of Doom. (Fun fact, though, one of the products we sell at the Day Job of Doom, and the lovely sponsor of said business trip to Vegas, is responsible for the water fountain show at the Bellagio hotel. You’re welcome, World.) But, since I have never missed posting something for your entertainment, I managed to find a few moments to schedule this post.

Today’s offering is an excerpt from a newly released title by Curiosity Quills press. But before we get into that, here’s the scoop on the book itself:

God's Play by H.D. Lynn

Sixteen-year old Toby was trained by a family of hunters to kill shape-shifters—but he has a unique weapon in his arsenal. With a touch of his hand, Toby can lift the magical protection shape-shifters use to disguise themselves as human. It’s an unusual skill for a hunter, and he prefers to kill monsters the old-fashioned way: with a blade.Because of his special skill, Toby suspects he may be a monster himself. His suspicions deepen when William, a jackal-headed shape-shifter, saves him from an ambush where Toby’s the only survivor. And Toby doubts William helped him for purely altruistic reasons. With his list of allies running thin, Toby must reconcile his hatred of shifters and the damning truth that one saved his life. It’ll take both of them to track down the monster who ordered the ambush.

And Toby needs his unlikely alley because he has a vicious enemy—the infamous Circe, who has a vendetta to settle against the hunters. Toby has to unravel the mystery of his dual nature. And he has to do it on the run—before Circe finds him and twists him to her own ends.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? I found the blend of mythology and fantasy to be fascinating. But anyway, on to the excerpt!

 

One of the shifters growls and sprints across the carpet. It pounds down on me like a speeding train. I pivot, duck, and thrust upwards with my hunting knife. I connect with flesh, slitting the stomach when it leaps over me. The canine shifter staggers into a mattress column, howling with rage, splitting my ear drums. Deafened, I can’t hear the other one attack. It flashes by, maybe some type of feline, pinning me underneath it. My mother screams. Claws dig into my chest, but I thrust upwards and kick it off like I’m launching from the gymnastics vault. My vision bursts into a thousand colors. I punch my knife hand into the feline, and the blade glints in the flashlight beam after each strike. The animal wheezes, and in its death spasms, falls down on top of me. I gasp under its weight, avoiding the last snaps of its jaw before it goes limp, but my eyes are still popping. The flashlight rolls, spinning the world in dollar store yellow lighting. I fumble for my Bowie knife, numb hand grasping chunks of cheap carpet. There’s a scuffle, and in the beam of light, on the other side of a stack of off-white mattresses, my mum is crouched. She only has her butterfly knife left, and she’s swinging it at the giant wolf approaching her. Its eyes glow like a hell hound’s. She backs up, and through neon color pops, I watch the wolf jump at her. She thrusts the knife into its throat. Its breath gurgles as it dies, but I can’t see either my mother or the wolf over the mattresses now. The scent of blood floods the air like after a shark attack. It can’t be my mum’s―there’s too much of it. My heart is still beating, and it’s driving the bile up my throat. I’m rocking on one of those cheap county fair rides. The world tilts up and down, whirling me until the little cart breaks and goes flying through the cotton candy stands and into the parking lot. A hand grasps the flashlight, pulling it off the floor, and turning the world dark. Footsteps crunch over the carpet. The soles are heavy, not practiced and light, so it’s not a hunter. I’m hearing through a tunnel now, so maybe I don’t know. The world is all neon lights and animal stench. Someone speaks, and I think it’s a man, but I can’t understand him. The voice is stretched like it’s in slow motion. The footsteps come near me. A man leans down, and I look up into the face of a jackal.

When I lurch awake like a car with no brakes skidding on ice, I see a monster’s face―the jackal. It slips away, turning into the face of all the monsters I’ve hunted. But that’s a hallucination, and I slip back into nothingness. He’s carrying me―it feels like floating. The rain pours over him while he changes back to a man, but it smells like alcohol and the bitter sting of antiseptic.

And lastly, a bit about the author herself:

H.D. LynnH.D. Lynn is like Harry Potter in one way: she’s currently renting an apartment with a bedroom under her building’s stairs. Other than this, she explores fantasy worlds through storytelling like anyone else. She loves books with a mix of humor, adventure, and horror, and especially enjoys the urban fantasy genre. GOD’S PLAY is her first published novel.

When not writing, she enjoys hiking, climbing, and running. She’s a voracious reader, and has found listening to audiobooks while backpacking to be a perfect mix of two of her favorite things. She currently lives in Connecticut, but finds herself on the road often.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

 

Blog Tour Banner

Book Review Wednesday: Wicked Path by Eliza Tilton

Okay, so this isn’t so much a review as a release announcement. Apologies for the misnomer. Some of you may remember my review for book one in The Daath Chronicles, so when I saw book two was becoming available, I jumped at the chance to continue the story. I haven’t had time to read it yet, so unfortunately, my review is still pending. But here’s some more info about it, just to pique your interest. 😉

Wicked Path by Eliza Tilton

In Wicked Path: Book Two of the Daath Chronicles brother and sister are forced to opposite sides of Tarrtainya on a fast-paced adventure where the wildlife isn’t the only thing trying to kill them.

Three months have passed since Avikar defeated the Reptilian Prince, and he still can’t remember his battle with Lucino. On the hunt for answers, he returns to the scene of the fight and discovers a strange connection between his family’s dagger and the mysterious kingdom of Daath, and it seems only his distant father can reveal the truth behind it all.

Before Avikar can travel back home, Lucy assaults him in the market and forces him to flee to Nod Mountains—a place few dare to enter, and even less return from. With Raven and her childhood friend by his side, they must survive the treacherous journey through the pass with a vengeful Lucy hunting them. If they don’t, they’ll never see home again.

Jeslyn’s new life in Luna Harbor is the perfect remedy for her confused and broken heart. But when a group of mercenaries kidnap her beloved Grandfather, interrupting her daily routine as his jewelry apprentice, she’s forced to join forces with the one person from her past she tried to forget.

And his assistance comes with a price.

 

About the Author:

Eliza Tilton

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Twitter / Tumblr / Website / Pinterest / Facebook / Instagram

BUY LINKS:

Amazon / Goodreads /