Monday, April 30, 2012

Reader Interview

Interview with a reader
by Devyn Dawson

Recently I had the opportunity to interview two fabulous readers of young adult books.  It was really fun to read what they have to say.... I will list them with only the first initial of their name.  I'm doing this as a top secret...shhhhhhh type of post.  (I'm flipping the collar up on my long trench and pulling down my hat to cover my eyes)

1.  What is the first thing that attracts you to a book?

J.  (looks around to make sure no one is reading over his/her shoulder) Well to be completely honest, the cover catches my eye first. But the deciding factor is the description.  Then it has to grab me within the first few chapters. I just can’t read a book that doesn’t catch me within the first few chapters. J  Don’t get me wrong the cover isn’t all that important I have read some really good books with really simple covers or no covers at all. (DD -  I admit, the cover sells me too!)
B.  (hides in locked bedroom to answer question)  The cover is the first thing to catch my attention, but the blurb on the back is what leads me to actually buy the book or not.  (DD - I never read the blurb...isn't that horrible?)

2. What type of book do you like to read?9

J.  (grins) Fiction, YA Novels, I do like some Non-Fictions. I love me some Vampires and Werewolves LOL. J My sister and I are constantly telling each other what book we are reading and saying which ones to read.  What I haven’t found to read yet she has and vise-versa. As long as it has a good story line and catches my attention. I love me a GOOD book that I just can’t put down.  (DD - Me too!)

B.  I love all types of fiction books, but I don’t care for nonfiction at all. I prefer Young Adult and Romance but also enjoy a good Mystery or Sci-Fi book as well.

3.  If you wrote yourself into a book, what kind of character would you be?

J.  HMMMMMM.. Well I would want to be a strong character. One that can kick butt and Stand up for herself.  When I read a really good book I throw myself into that character and it makes the book that much better, I feel with the character, I cry with them LOL (I know I’m a J ) I have read about so many characters that would be awesome I can’t really pin-point exactly which one I would want to be.  (DD  I cry during the sad scenes I write.  I'd be strong too!)
B.  (smiles and lifts eyebrow) I would be the nerdy sidekick.  (DD - Batman was nothing without Robin)

4.  In an amusement park, what do you gravitate to first?
J.   U,mmmmm. That’s a toughie.. I don’t go to amusement parks much. I’m not a big roller-coaster person. But at an amusement park I really like to browse all the little shops and booths just to see what they have.

B.  (without hesitation)  Since I hate roller coasters with a passion, I’d have to say the carousel.  (DD - Oh, I'm a roller coaster person!)

5.  Do you like characters that have flaws, or do you like them perfect?

J.   (raises hand to answer question, then remembers it is an email questionnaire)  I think the flaws is what makes us unique. If every character were perfect, the book wouldn’t be all that great. In my opinion it would be pretty boring. In the flaws you can really see who a person is. 

B.  Absolutely, flawed. Perfect characters would be boring and not worth reading.  ( ME - too true, less than perfect, makes one perfect....I'm feeling poetic) 

6.  Male lead or female?  

J.  Ooooohhhhhhh. Well I think a good book has both. But it really depends on the book. Some books are kick A@# with just one or the other.  (DD - I like both)

B.  Either, it really depends on the story.

7.  You go to a cupcake bakery, what kind of cupcake do you get?

J.  Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate. LOL  J If another one catches my eye I’ll try it but Chocolate is the Norm. 

B.  Yellow cake, chocolate frosting. (Oh..... ME TOO!  I need a cupcake now)

8.  What book are you waiting on pins and needles for in 2012?

J.        Quite a few actually. 
            Taken by storm (Raised by wolves #3), The next Intertwined book though I’m not sure when that comes out. The Enchantress (the immortal Nicholas Flamel #6), The next Full Moon series book don’t know when that comes out either. Lol. Out of the Dark (Grey Wolves series #4 DD - oh good one!) The next book in the Brookehaven Vampires series, The next light tamer book, ;) The next in The Legacy of Kilkenny DD - ME TOO!. The next Significance Novel books. LOL There are some more but those are just to name a few. Lol I read a lot of series they are my favorite (DD  I'll check a couple of those out!)

B.  Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick!  

9.  What is your favorite book you’ve read in the last month?  Last year?  All time?

J.  Well to be completely honest. I don’t think I could name just one.. I have read soooooo many good books lately that I have a ton of Faves.. When I was little it was “Stand back the elephants going to sneeze”, the “Bernstein Bears” and the Disney books.  I would have to say of all time… man.. I really don’t know.. there is just too many good books for me to leave out if I named just one..  (DD - Are you a politician?  So diplomatic, but I'm the same!)

B  The Clockwork Three in the last month. Just One Drop from the last year. Ransom by Julie Garwood is my all time favorite.  (DD - I need to read the second in the Clockwork one)

10.  If you’ve read The Light Tamer, what would the playlist be?
J.  I honestly don’t know. When I read I don’t really picture a play list. Well sometimes when I’m reading I can picture what is playing in the background by mood or scene but I couldn’t pin-point what it is. For a movie of the light Tamer (which there totally should be ;)) I think it would have some Mystery, some romance, some pop, well ya know I think a little bit of everything. lol But I really don’t know what the playlist would be to be honest.. lol  

B.  I haven’t read it yet!  (DD - I hope that answer has changed... LOL)

Thank you so much J & B for this fun interview!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Aida Brassington Guest Post and Giveaway!

Ah, the kiss. Unless your character is forced to lay a peck on a grandmother’s wrinkly cheek, there’s bound to be a bit more description than “he kissed her.” Raise your hand if you find writing a lip lock intimidating. Yeah, me too. I always worry I’m going to write something awful in a fit of idiocy, like “his mouth swelled and puckered like an infected belly button” and end up on some Worst Kissing Scene in Fiction list.

It was particularly difficult to write the kissing scenes in Between Seasons, my recently-released paranormal romance. Why? Well, how do you write a smooch between a ghost and a live person that doesn’t sound insane? It’s not like that’s a place where I could write what I know – I may have a ghost in my house, but I don’t make a habit of making out with him. But whether you’re fleshing out a kiss in a paranormal setting or your kissers are run of the mill humans, there are always ways to avoid coming up with a soul-sucking pot of terribleness that leaves your readers snickering.

Aside from avoiding bad metaphors (like the infected belly button thing), I recommend not trying to perfect the kiss. Look, music does not swell behind my head when I make out with my husband, nor do birds sing. And even though we’re really great at smooching now, our first kiss was awkward – there was saliva and teeth knocking and chins and noses in the way. It drives me insane to read a first kiss where everything goes juuuuuuuuuust right. Many writers feel pressured to romanticize that initial kiss, but it just comes off as unbelievable. Rise up against the shackles, people: own the awkwardness of a first kiss and reclaim the reality!

But even worse than a perfect kiss full of bizarre metaphor is the kiss that reads like a technical manual. Insert tab A (the tongue) into slot B (the mouth) just isn’t that enticing to read. And then there are the typical kissing scene clichés, all of which appear to revolve around tongues for some crazy reason. Tongues do not battle for dominance – it’s a terrible picture, like some wretched high school wrestling match gone awry. Tongues dancing is only slightly better. Infusing a kiss with emotion is what makes a scene special. Hell, I’d rather read about a main character worrying that her breath stinks or wondering if she left the stove burner on then read about the counterclockwise motion of her tongue while it probes some dude’s molars.

If I can make a ghostly kiss believable, romantic, and emotional, surely anyone can do it – just make it a point to write more about what a kiss feels like rather than the physical motion of it. And if you sit down to write and find you’re coming up with nothing, go grab your significant other or some hot stranger on the street and plant a big juicy one on his or her mouth . . . and pay attention! It’s for research, after all.

Damn, what a way to suffer for your craft!

Now’s your chance to win a copy of my novel, Between Seasons, and judge my character flaws . . . er, whether I can write a decent kiss. Leave a comment by May 12th giving me your best advice for writing a great kiss. One commenter will win a review copy of the novel in the e-format of your choice (Kindle, Nook, or PDF).

The blurb:
There are things Patrick Boyle will never forget: the sound of his own neck breaking at the moment of his death in the fall of 1970, the sweet taste of his mother’s chocolate cake, and the awful day his parents abandoned him in his childhood house-turned prison.

Nineteen-year-old Patrick wonders for decades if God has forgotten all about him or if he’s being punished for some terrible crime or sin over a lovely forty years trapped in an empty home. But when Sara Oswald, a strange woman with a mysterious past, buys his house, old feeling reawakens, and a new optimism convinces him that she’s the answer to his prayers.

Things are never simple, though, especially when she begins channeling the memories of his life and death in her writing.

What’s your best advice for writing a great kiss?

Buy Between Seasons:
Amazon US link:
Amazon UK link:
BN link:
Smashwords link:

About the Author:
Aida Brassington lives in a haunted house in the suburbs of Pennsylvania with her husband of five years and a Great Dane named Patrick. She loves all things related to Halloween and spooky movies, but not because she shares her house with a ghost (and it should be noted her ghost does nothing more than occasionally appear in the second floor hallway and hide her keys) — she just likes being scared. She is a former political junkie with a deep interest in artisan food, reading, and scuba diving.

Find her at Twitter
her website
or Goodreads

Friday, April 27, 2012

Interview with Samantha Young

 Hey all you reader and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Samantha Young!
Hello back Samantha and welcome to The Writers Voice!
What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book?

When I close the last page and my chest is physically aching for the characters and what they’ve been through.

How did you find your cover?

Most of my covers are non-copyright images I’ve bought and manipulated on Photoshop. But my cover for Slumber and Smokeless Fire are the amazing creations of the extremely talented Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppy Art -

When you are reading which do you prefer: 
paperback, hardcover or e-book 
I used to prefer paperback but my kindle has definitely become my favorite over the last few months. I love it!

Current favorite band:
The Airborne Toxic Event

Best movie you have ever seen:
Ooohh, that’s too difficult. I can’t just choose one. I’ll give you the first one that comes off the top of my head – The Dark Knight.

In the world currently so many people have self esteem issues. Name one thing you like about yourself!

My ability to laugh at myself – I don’t take offense easily and I can admit when I’m wrong about something.

Thank you for joining us Samantha!
To all our readers our there thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

I never liked this question but okay, I'll give it my best shot: Artistic, creative, kind, nurturer, over analyzer, persistent, worrisome, hopeful, goofy, sometimes melancholy, sometimes sanguine, imaginative, grateful—phew!

Can you tell us a little about your book, The Magic Warble?

Because I have a synopsis on my website, which I think is the best way to describe it with out giving to much away, how about I give you the underlying message: Even if you don't fit in, you feel lonely or maybe you've been harassed or bullied, there is always someone out there that will be your friend, and it could be someone you least expected. You may not see yourself as special, but again, there is someone out there who does. Entwined throughout the pgs of The Magic Warble, is a message of hope, perseverance, love, and faith.

How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

My characters are a mixture of personalities I have encountered in my life. I think I draw a lot from people that have crossed my path throughout my life. But I create a character from different character traits of more than 1 person.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

I would say that editing is my biggest challenge. I get so caught up in editing and it ends up taking so much time. And even though I have an editor I still tend to over edit.

What was your greatest creative influences?

I remember I was sitting in the movie theater watching the first Harry Potter movie, when I envisioned my main character Kristina walking down a snowy sidewalk. At the time that’s all the story I had. Somehow inspired, I went home that night and wrote my first page of my story, not knowing where it would go.

What three things do you need in order to write?

My computer is the most important. The next 2 things are more luxuries, but I love having them … A mug full of good coffee and sometimes candy. I have a sweet tooth.

If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

I'll have to say one of my biggest inspiration is C.S Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, especially The Magician's Nephew and The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Read, work out at the YMCA, watch movies, hike, and watch my kids' Celtic/indie band play at gigs.

Check out Victoria's personal blog @  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wildflower by Amy Maurer Jones releases on June 1, 2012!

Wildflower/Book #1 in The Wildflower Series
I decided to take a break from The Soul Quest Trilogy to cater some of my time to a few new characters who had occupied my thoughts recently. I enjoy history and family geneology and last summer I did a little research about my father's side of the family. What blossomed was a love story between a Native American girl and an English boy during the time of Plymouth Colony.

The story flips back and forth between Wildflower and Joshua Bangs in Plymouth Colony, and Laney Stillwater and Joshua Bangs in Plymouth, Mass. It is the story of true love forbidden by prejudice. Wildflower is the daughter of a Shaman who is destined to succeed her father's place as the tribe's spiritual leader. She uses her spiritual abilities to forever bind the love she and Joshua share. The end result finds Laney Stillwater and Joshua Bangs, distant relatives of Wildflower and the previous Joshua Bangs, reincarnated and falling in love all over again in the modern day.

Wildflower will release on on June 1, 2012. I'm really excited for the debut of this new series!

Sneak Peak!

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Fall 2011

Chapter Two

            I shuffled my feet more quickly as the late bell rang for class. The obnoxiously, blaring sound was a rude reminder of my inability to get to class on time. Fortunately, I had Mr. Falls for Calculus this period and he would, no doubt, be attempting to flirt with Ms. Warner, the Algebra teacher, in the hallway just outside the classroom.  As I rounded the corner I confirmed that my suspicions were correct, raced through the door and slid into my seat before Mr. Falls had the slightest clue.  
            “Pushing it a little close again aren’t we Laney?” a heard a friendly voice tease as I settled into my seat.  I only smiled in return, guilty as charged.
            My junior year at Plymouth North High School isn’t panning out so great, not that I’d expected too. No, I’m pretty much ignored by my peers and most of my teachers.  It’s not so much that I’m disliked, I’m just, well, not the norm.  I’m not rich, so I can’t claim any trust fund baby attention. My parents, Shane and Andrea Stillwater, are hard working middle class folk. My mom is an accountant and my dad is the Art teacher here at Plymouth North and, sadly, the only teacher in the school that acknowledges my efforts.  I have no exceptional athletic abilities. In fact, I’m pretty pathetic with any sport which requires the manipulation of a ball, which is pretty much every sport.  I’m just an average student, so you won’t find my name on the Principle’s List.  Not that I’m complaining, I don’t mind being average and blending into the institutionally drab, beige walls of Plymouth North. In fact, I prefer it that way. Unfortunately, I’m not quite average or normal enough. You see, my mom is White but my dad is Native American and apparently, at Plymouth North, the in – crowd prefers a pure pedigree. In their eyes I’m a freak. My people believe physical wellness and spiritual wellness are connected. By alleviating injury or sickness affecting the soul you may restore the physical body to balance and wholeness. If I get sick my dad takes me to see my grandfather, our tribe’s Shaman, and he heals me with his spiritual gifts. Needless to say my peers find my tribe’s beliefs and practices to be a bit odd, so I’ve been labeled as the weird witch of the North, North Plymouth High, that is. I’m not bitter, though… OK, I’m a little bitter but I don’t feel sorry for myself because that’s just pathetic and I am not pathetic. 
            So, what motivates me not to jump off of a cliff, you wonder? Well, first of all, my parents are pretty great. Yeah, I know, this is not exactly normal sentiment for a teenager, but they don’t really bug me that much. Second, I’m pretty good at finding distractions. I love to draw and ride horses.  When I get bored I can draw myself into a world that is much more interesting than my own or head out to my grandfather’s ranch and hit the trails with Bunny, my favorite quarter horse. Third, Carly Higgins, my best friend since kinder – garden. Carly can always makes me laugh, even when I feel like crying. Last, but not least, Jordan Stone, a super hot guy. We have English and Spanish together and he sits right behind me in both classes. We talk and flirt and joke around and it subdues the monotony a little bit. 
            “So, do we have any plans for the weekend yet?” the friendly voice whispered as Mr. Falls entered the classroom three minutes after the bell finished ringing.
            “I don’t know, Carly. I’m still kind of bummed about the last one.” I complained.
            “All the more reason to put yourself back out there!” she encouraged, forever the optimist.
            “Miss Higgins, do you wish to address the class this morning?” Mr. Falls interrupted.
            “No, sir…” Carly frowned.
            Mr. Falls nodded an unspoken warning to Carly and I and began his lesson. I was off the hook for now.

            The day continued in its usual monotonous manner until fourth period English class. Jordan Stone is in this class.
            “How’s it going, Stillwater?” Jordan smiled as he loped into the room and slung his book bag to the side of his painfully uncomfortable metal and wooden desk behind mine.  He was dressed in worn blue jeans and a black tee shirt. His blond hair was tousled on top of his head from the recent sprint from his previous class.  It still looked good. No, more like perfect. His green eyes pierced through me as his dimpled and gleaming, white grin took my breath away. OK, stupid, it’s time to say something. What was it that he just asked me? Crap!
            “Uhm, hey, I didn’t see you at Jessica Jacob’s party last weekend. Did you find something better to do?” I teased awkwardly, at a loss for words.
            Jordan laughed, not missing a beat. I have no doubt he realizes that he drives me crazy.  This can’t be healthy, still, I persist being the masochist to love that I am.
            “Nah, we heard it was gonna’ be lame so we crashed Gracie’s place instead. Her parents were out of town.” he replied nonchalantly.
Great! My favorite person, Gracie Henderson, little Miss Perfect, weaseled her way into Jordan’s weekend effectively canceling me out.  Gracie’s been getting one up on me more often than I care to admit these days.
“Oh, uhm, well, how was that?” I asked tightly, not wanting to show my annoyance and not really wanting to hear his reply.
“Awesome!” he nodded enthusiastically.  “Everyone was there. Why didn’t you come? I missed you.” he said sincerely.
OK, this is an improvement. He noticed that I wasn’t there. Maybe he was looking for me. Maybe he had wished that I had been there. I looked up to see that he was staring at me and it finally dawned on me that he was waiting for my reply.
I straightened up and snapped out of my trance.
“Oh, well, you know, I didn’t want to let Jessica down.  It was her birthday and all.” I explained lamely, not wanting to admit that I had not been invited, would never be invited, to a party being thrown by the one person who seems to hate me more than anyone else in the entire world. 
I’ve often wondered what Gracie has against me. For the life of me I can’t come up with a single reason. I’ve never done anything to her. Actually, that’s a lie. I know exactly why Gracie doesn’t like me, but it would not be politically correct to voice my opinion on this matter. I am, after all, already the under dog here.  My father isn’t white and this fact doesn’t sit well with some people. It really sucks and I wish everyone would just grow up and get over it.  Well, no use crying about it, I guess. It won’t change anything.
Just as the bell was about to ring the devil herself sashayed into the class- room.
“Hi, Jordan!” she squealed. “It was so great that you could make it to my party last Saturday.  It was so much fun, wasn’t it? I mean, everyone who was anyone was there, right?” she droned on.
Don’t think I didn’t catch that last jab either. She eyed me meaningfully when she uttered it so sweetly. 
            “Oh yeah, man! You’re party totally rocked.” Jordan nodded. “Let me know when you decide to play host again.” He winked before he shifted around in his seat to face Laura Rice. “Hey Laura,” he whispered. “…did you finish you’re Calculus homework last night? Can I copy it?” he grinned mischievously. 
            “Sure thing, Jordan.” she agreed easily, pulling her home work from her bag.
I bet Jordan has yet to do a single Calculus assignment this year.  As Jordan smiled at Laura, or her home work, Gracie’s expression fell. Her glance drifted to Laura and conformed into a scowl.  Laura remained oblivious, still entranced by Jordan’s charms.  Dang! Gracie must have it bad for Jordan to be jealous of Snora – Laura. We’re talking major bore – fest personality.  Get a grip Gracie!
OK, I know, that was mean and being mean isn’t usually my style. Maybe Laura isn’t so bad, maybe she’s just shy.  She’s good at Calculus.  There, I said something nice about her so why do I still feel like a total hag? I don’t mean to be cruel; it’s just that Gracie always makes me feel like a loser. She thinks she’s better than me, so much so that sometimes I begin to feel like she might be right.  She really gets under my skin, you know?
“So, Laney, how was Jessica’s party?” Gracie turned her venom on me.
Sure, her voice was friendly enough but her eyes held the paralyzing and hypnotic stare of a cobra ready to strike.
“Oh, it was great!” I smiled cheerfully. I lied.
Gracie rolled her eyes. “Well, I heard it sucked!” she hissed, no longer attempting to hide her malice.
On that note we all shifted uncomfortably in our seats and focused our attention toward the English teacher who was beginning the day’s lecture. Yet again, I was saved by the institution of public education.
After English class Jordan walked with me to our Spanish classroom. During our stroll he remained unusually quiet for about half of the distance.
“So, Laney, do you have plans for this weekend?” Jordan voiced shyly.
OMG! He was asking me out! OK, take deep breaths and don’t pass out.
“Uhm, no?” I responded awkwardly.
I was completely caught off guard by his inquiry.

”Oh, well uhm, how would you feel about going to see a movie with me?” he continued.
“Great! What movie?” I agreed with out hesitation.
Only then did I realize that perhaps I shouldn’t sound so eager. My doubt was immediately remedied, however. As soon as my words were uttered I observed Jordan’s shoulders and gate relax, and return to his normal easy posture. 
“Really?” Jordan breathed with relief and surprise.
“Uhm… yeah, what movie?” I persisted, entirely surprised and thrilled by his reaction.
Surely, he knew I would say yes. What idiot wouldn’t?
“Awe, wow! I totally thought you would say no.” he continued to confound me with his delusional response. “I mean, I’m totally psyched that you want to go out with me. I’m just surprised, I guess.” he jabbered on, finally explaining his uncharacteristic behavior.
“Why?” I wondered.
“Because, you never do.” he shrugged.
I raised another clueless eyebrow at him.
“You never say yes when guys ask you out.” he clarified.
“So, what, is this like an experiment or something?” I worried. 
Get the freaky Indian girl to go out with you! Were they taking bets? Was money exchanged?
“No, I promise it’s not like that at all. I really like you, Laney. The truth is I’ve wanted to ask you out for a long time, but I didn’t because all the guys said you would say no. I was too chicken. You know, afraid of rejection?” he admitted sheepishly. I smiled, both satisfied and flattered by his response. Jordan immediately relaxed again and ran his fingers through his golden locks. “So, why do you always say no… to the other guys, I mean?” he wondered.
“Because, I think they’re a bunch of creeps.” I answered honestly.
Jordan’s shocked expression was so comical I couldn’t help but burst into laughter.  At my knowing reaction he quickly and ever so smoothly collected himself.
“You’re a handful, aren’t you?” he chuckled.
“Maybe…” I said coyly.Wildflower Book Trailer

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Wildflower Blog Tour
Prior to the release of Wildflower I will be hosting a tour on my blog. The tour will run from May 20th to June 1st, 2012. I'm still looking for bloggers to help host the event. If you are interested, please email me at (I'm looking for hosts for the dates of May 20th through the 26th.

or... if you're interested in receiving an ARC for review please contact me at the same email address.

Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy and The Wildflower Series

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Going Under by Georgia Cates

Hello everyone, first I need to apologize that this post is just now coming up. I did this post the other day and saved it and had it set to come up today and when I went to open it, it was blank so I am panicking. We are hearing today from Georgia Cates and her newest release Going Under. She is going to tell us a little bit about why she decided to change genre's for a while. 

Georgia Cates

Changes in my Style of Writing

People will see an entirely different writing style in Going Under than what they saw in my first book, Blood of Anteros. I’ve only published two books, so this is still relatively new to me and I want to explore the different avenues to find what it the best fit for me and my imagination.

In Blood of Anteros, Book One of The Vampire Agápe Series, I was able to explore the paranormal side of my imagination. I loved how the paranormal element gave me the ability to imagine anything and make it happen. Simply put-it was fun.

In Going Under, I was able to explore writing geared more in the teen direction. Where Blood of Anteros has little humor, Going Under is infused with it-especially from Claire’s best friend, Payton. (Gosh, I love that girl.)

I have learned some things about my abilities as a writer while on this journey. I wish I could please everyone, but I can’t. I’ve learned to take criticism. It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but better in pill form than a suppository. (I’m laughing out loud as I type that.) I’m not limited to one basic style of writing. I am an incredibly dynamic person and so is my writing. What does that mean? Expect the unexpected.

I never intended for Going Under to be a series, but readers have asked for Payton’s story. This tells me I did something right, so I’m considering it. I placed a poll on my blog to help measure the demand for it. If you’ve read Going Under and want to hear Payton’s story, I ask you to go my blog at and take a vote.

Synopsis Going Under

Jessie Boone is a self proclaimed bad boy and doesn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum, but his own. Growing up in less than desirable circumstances has made him no stranger to the hard knock life and his determination to leave it behind is fierce. When he finds himself transferred to East Franklin High School, he sees his opportunity to use his athletic ability to snag a college football scholarship, but Forbes Henderson, the player Jessie means to replace isn’t giving up his spot willingly. In fact, Forbes is willing to go to extreme measures to retain his place as first string quarterback. When Forbes’ malicious plan to injure his replacement fails, Jessie is furious and determined to show him he messed with the wrong person; not only is he going to take the position of first string quarterback, he’s going to take his girl, too.

Claire Deveraux is perfection at it’s best. She is beautiful, intelligent and unaware she just became Jessie Boone’s conquest as revenge against her boyfriend, Forbes Henderson. Like her flawless performance as the perfect daughter and student, Claire’s production of being the perfect girlfriend has everyone fooled, except Jessie Boone, and she fears this tattooed bad boy will see her secret desire to explore his crude threats and promises to rock her perfect world. If she decides to give in to one uninhibited moment with Jessie, will she learn too late that it was all an act of vengeance or will Jessie learn the taste of first love is sweeter than that of revenge? 

Georgia Cates Links:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Interview with Megan Miranda

Hey all you reader and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Megan Miranda!
Hello Megan and welcome to The Writers Voice!
Tell us something about your book that we wouldn’t know just by reading the blurb.

Several people have asked me whether I consider certain aspects of Fracture to be science or paranormal. And, honestly, I’m not sure. I think it really walks the line between both. I wrote the book from the science angle, pulling on my science background. But sometimes things don’t react like we predict they will. Sometimes people who are supposed to live, die. And sometimes, people who are supposed to die, live. This is a story about the latter. And there are definitely elements of Fracture that are not quite explainable, so I think that makes it paranormal. It’s a really thin line, though. Technically, paranormal is just something that science can’t explain…yet.

What’s your favorite non-essential item on your desk?

I love sticky-notes. Especially the hot-pink kind. I’ve never revised without them, and I also use them when I’m starting to draft. If I have an idea for something that should happen, like, 8 chapters later, I’ll stick one in the middle of my idea notebook and write something like, “Remember that thing you were thinking about,” followed by some random words that make absolutely no sense when I look back at them a month later. I’m sure there’s a better way, but I’m attached to the sticky-note method.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing a novel?

Rewriting the novel. It was one thing to get the first 60,000 words on paper, to develop characters, create a setting, and discover a premise. It was another thing entirely (for me, at least) to develop a plot with tension and stakes and logic. I wrote the first version of Fracture fairly quickly, but I had to rewrite it from scratch, twice, to find my story. Rewriting took more time, more thought, and more patience.

What's a typical day like for you?

I have 2 small children, so most of my writing takes place at night when they’re sleeping. I try to do writing-related things (e-mail, research, etc.) when they’re awake but occupied (like when they’re eating breakfast or something). I do have a few hours a week when both kids are in school, so I try to maximize those hours by turning off the internet and doing nothing but writing. For the most part, though, my work day begins when the kids go to sleep. My plan for that time is usually to write until I get tired of writing.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Writing is what I do in my free time. Writing was my hobby—that thing I looked forward to doing whenever I had “free time,” and that really hasn’t changed. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that finding free time is difficult—usually, I have to carve out the time. So if there’s ever a gap of time? Just waiting to be filled? Hanging out with friends and family comes first, but after that…I write. And if I’m in a writing rut, I read.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned when creating your book?

That at some point, you are no longer in control. You’re in control of the words, and, to an extent, the overall plot, but the characters can’t just do what you would like them to do. When you give yourself over to your characters, the plot can take some unexpected turns. Ironically, I think it’s actually at this point—when you lose yourself to their decisions—that the book comes together. I have no idea what this all means….but when I stop fighting them, the story suddenly becomes far more interesting.

Thank you for joining us Megan!
To all our readers our there thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Claudia Gray (Signed) April Showers Giveaway!

Let's start off with a big thank you to Claudia Gray and her amazing publicist, along with the bloggers hosting this blog hop: I am a Reader Not A Writer and One A Day YA for making this giveaway possible!

Here are The Writers Voice we have an AMAZING prize for one lucky reader!
Evernight, Stargazer, Hourglass and Fateful SIGNED by Claudia Gray!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Public Speaking for Writers

It's inevitable that if you become a writer, at some point someone will ask you to speak about writing. It's also pretty likely that if you're a writer, you may be an introvert since writing is such a solitary process.

I am a complete introvert. Speaking in front of people takes so much energy and leaves me exhausted, even if it's only for a few minutes. Having to make even a phone call to someone I don't know can make me feel panicked. It's just who I've always been.

When I was working to become a published author, I never thought about the possibility of public speaking. I had heard about it, but always kind of brushed it off. My thought was, "I'm a writer, not a speaker." How wrong I was!

My first public speaking appearance came in February 2008, not long after my first book was released. I was scheduled to speak at the campus bookstore at UNC-Chapel Hill, and being that it was a college campus, my audience wasn't age appropriate readers of my book but college students hoping to become published (although there were two eleven-year-old girls in attendance, the manager's daughter and her friend!). That bumbling, stuttering, sweat-filled, "ten minutes late arriving" appearance began the now four year journey I've been on into public speaking.

At the moment, I'm getting ready for another public speaking event tomorrow. This one is at a middle school in a neighboring county and I'm a guest as part of their career day event. I attended last year and they asked me back this year. I'm not as nervous just because I've already been to this event and so now I know what to expect and where the school is located (I get lost very, very easily). Public speaking has become easier for me, though it's still not something I'm a natural at and it takes a lot of energy out of me. But I have a few tips that I've learned over the past four years that make it easier for me and might help you too.

  • Know your audience. Speaking engagements can vary greatly. I've spoken at large conferences for school librarians and teachers, and I've done school visits for anyone from fourth graders to college students. Find out who your expected audience is ahead of time. My speech and presentation change depending on the age level of my audience.
  • Know what your audience wants to know. Are you there to talk about your books, or are you there to talk about being a writer? There is a difference, and you need to know what your audience wants to hear from you. Ask the person organizing the event what he/she expects.
  • Print out maps of the location. As mentioned, I get lost very, very easily. Maps are my best friend, though I have to warn you that Google and MapQuest are very often WRONG. At least in my area, I've found their directions to be completely wrong more than once. So check, double check, and then pay close attention to the road signs on the way. Don't worry if you're driving at a snail's pace. The people behind you can just deal with it!
  • Wear good deodorant. There is no such thing as too much. Apply liberally. Reapply.
  • Wear clothes that don't pinch or bunch or twist. Because if you're onstage or at the front of the room fidgeting with your clothes, everyone will focus on that rather than on what you're saying.
  • You don't have to write a real speech, but outline notes are a very good thing. Just try not to forget them on your kitchen counter when you leave home. Even if you think you have your talk memorized, bring an outline to prompt you when you're standing in front of everyone and your mind has gone completely blank.
  • If you're speaking to several groups in one day, you'll get tired of hearing yourself say the same things over and over. Try to think of little ways you can change it up to keep from getting bored with yourself.
  • Bring props. A copy of your book (if you have one). A folder full of rejection letters is always a big hit with hopeful writers. An inked up draft of a manuscript to show how much revising you do is good too. Bookmarks, posters, postcards, whatever you have that you can sign because usually at least a few audience members will ask for an autograph.
  • If all else fails and you still stutter or forget what you're saying, go for the crazy writer angle. Creative people are supposed to be eccentric and strange, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The One That Started It All

How many of you own a copy of Maurice Sendak's WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE? I own three. The one my parents got for me, the one I bought for my kids, and the one I bought (in an uninformed moment) for my children, in a French translation.

WILD THINGS was the very first book I ever "bought." That is, I saw the title in the Scholastic SeeSaw flyer and chose it, out of all other books, as the One I Had To Have. I can look at the back cover and see that my parents handed over 95 cents for this acquisition. That was a lot of money when I was in first grade. It would have paid for milk in the cafeteria for a solid month.

But my parents said yes.

I don't remember the moment when my teacher handed the brand new book to me, but I remember the feeling of having a shiny new book all my own delivered to my desk. There was no better feeling. Even Christmas morning paled compared to the day (every month or so) when the Scholastic books arrived at school.

I found my oldest copy yesterday and immediately sank down on the floor to read it. I thought I would only glance at the first page or two, but I was swallowed right in to the story, into its magic, into the marvelous and terrifying pictures. I recalled long hours spent staring at tiny details in the beautifully rendered illustrations. I recalled the the mortification of being sent to one's room and the shattering prospect of No Supper. And the wild rumpus! Oh, the wonder of it all!

Decades have passed and I'm so very, very grateful that my parents kept this little paperback safe through the years. Did they perhaps remember how it held my attention? I'll have to ask sometime. They brought it back to me with a box of Oz books, Nancy Drew mysteries, and Star Trek paperbacks. As much as I was happy to be reunited with all of these old favorites, the one that made my face light up like Christmas was Sendak's--the one that started my personal library oh-so-long-ago.

Do you remember your first book? Do you have it still? (Or did you, like me, repurchase a copy?) I'd love to hear your story!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meet the Characters in DEFY: Book One of the Firstborn Trilogy

The big day is almost here! Defy releases on April 30th, and I can't wait to share Tate and Zachariah's story with the world. I'll start by sharing the cover, since it hadn't yet been revealed when I last posted. *drum roll please*

Isn't it beautiful?? I'm so grateful to Devan Edwards at Nimbi Design for her amazing work. She captured Tate so well that it really blew me away.

Who is Tate, you ask? Well, what a terrific segue to the post's subject: learning more about the main characters in Defy! Let's begin with the main female protagonist, Tate.

The firstborn daughter of Skye and Caleb (the main characters of Foretold: Book Three of the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy), 17-year-old Tate is adventurous, inquisitive, spontaneous and stubborn. Physically, she's a blend of her parents and bears the coloring of the newest Estilorian class, the Kynzesti. With the ability to see the truth in any lie, the ability to command the element of water, and extensive training in the ways of defense, her character has a strong foundation.

She'll need it.

The main male protagonist in Defy is Zachariah...and he's been my favorite character to write so far! He's cranky, solitary, impatient and unwillingly compassionate. With several millennia under his belt, he's seen just about everything. Still, when Tate enters his life after he's exiled himself for more than fifty years, Zachariah doesn't know what to make of her. She'll turn his life upside-down and make him look more closely than he likes at the choices he's made. In short, she's exactly what he needs.

The supporting cast includes Tate's twin brother, Tiege, and her cousins, Sophia and Clara Kate. Other beloved characters from the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy, Quincy and Ini-herit, also continue their stories. And, of course, Amber, Olivia, Skye, Gabriel, James and Caleb return as their firstborn children begin their own adventures.

I can't wait for readers to meet Tate, Zachariah and the others. It's hard to believe we're just a couple of weeks from release day. Now that you've met the main characters, I'll leave you with the blurb for Defy, and I hope you'll check out the book when April 30th arrives!

Defy: Book One of the Firstborn Trilogy

Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.