18 Things List for Clara from Champion in the Darkness!!

Hi,  ya’ll! And Happy Over-the-Hump Day! I have a very special treat for you! You may recall my cover reveal for Tyrean Martinson’s Champion In The Darkness a couple of weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure on what blog Tyrean and I first met, but I LOVE her! And today, she’s baaack, with a very creative list of 18 Things. Her tie-in made me smile . . . Enjoy!

*Thanks, Jamie*

Inspired by Jamie’s book 18 Things, I thought it would be fun to create an 18 Things list for my main character, Clara, from Champion In the Darkness. I imagine that these are Clara’s 18 Things from the beginning of her story. Unlike Olga, I think this is Clara’s lifetime list. She doesn’t necessarily get to fulfill all of them in the book, but she gets in a little less than half of them. (I won’t say which ones)

Clara’s 18 Things:

1. Enter the Chamber of Swords, and choose a blade of power, the kind only carried by Sword Masters in the land of Septily.

2. Become a Sword Guard like her mom, or a Sword Scout like her unofficial mentor, Stelia.

3. Sneak into the castle and gather information about the King’s Shadow Guards, a mercenary group he hired to replace his Sword Guards.

4. Spar with her friend Salene nearly every day of her life.

5. Be the best Sword Master she can be.

6. Learn how to play an instrument like her dad.

7. Find out about her mom’s secretive past.

8. Protect her country from any outside attack, especially from the Drinaii army and the Dark Sisterhood led by Kalidess.

9. Travel to all seven districts of Septily to complete her training.

10. Go sailing.

11. Travel to the Far Isles, to Destiny Island, and the Trader’s Cove.

12. Swim in the ocean by the Far Isles.

13. Visit Aerland, the country of the griffins and the griffin riders.

14. Fly on a griffin.

15. Haggle with a Trader from Trader’s Cove.

16. Go on a quest.

17. Play the most memorable prank in Septily, ever, but not something that would get her in trouble or cause any damage.

18. Fall in love.

If you want to know more about Clara and which of these 18 things she gets to do, check out Champion In the Darkness.

And I highly encourage you to read Jamie Ayres’ 18 Things. It’s an inspiring book!

*Awww, thanks girlfriend!! And I highly encourage YOU to read Champion In the Darkness!! Can I just say that my favorites from Clara’s list were: #18, #17, #16, and #10! Thanks for sharing, Clara!*

Champion in the Darkness Cover

The Blurb:

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master’s blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.

*Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy*

Tyrean Martinson

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, encouraged by her multi-talented husband and daughters. She likes to write, read, teach, ski, bicycle, walk, and sometimes she likes to sing and dance in the rain.

Using her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English, Tyrean homeschools her two daughters and teaches writing and literature classes at a homeschool co-op.

Tyrean has been published in e-zines like Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction and Mindflights, and a few print anthologies like The Best of Every Day Poets and Sunday Snaps: The Stories. Champion in the Darkness is her first book, but she plans to write many more.

Champion in the Darkness can be found at these links:

Amazon for paperback and kindle  

Nook

Kobo

Smashwords

Goodreads

Tyrean Martinson can be found at these links:

 Blog  

Twitter

Facebook

Thanks so much, Tyrean! And now, completely off subject . . . I know this video has been going around the web for the past month, but I just got the chance to watch it today and wanted to share the Pep Talk from Kid President (AKA Soulpancake).

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HELP! Our Neumarian Uprising Has Begun!!!

To my regular readers, I must interrupt my 18 Things blog tour to bring you this special message:

Neumarian Uprising

We need your help! Thanks to our spy, Ciara Knight, we are able to communicate with you today via blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

The Neumarian uprising has begun. We are fighting for freedom and equality for all, but we need your help. Ciara informed us that you might want to know more about the uprising and why we ask you to risk your lives for our cause. To answer these questions I’ve agreed to let Ciara tell my sister’s, Raeth’s, story about her captivity. It will be free for you on a site called Amazon until March 1, 2013.

Our spies have told us this will help spread the word and find more recruits for our rebellion against the tyrannical queen. You can help by simply downloading a free copy of Weighted, a prequel to the Neumarian Chronicles. If you are intrigued and wish to follow our uprising, Escapement, book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, will be available for only $2.99 until March 1, 2013.

Escapement is told by Princess Semara. Don’t hold the fact Semara is a princess against her like I did, there is more to her than you can possibly imagine.

Here is a brief explanation of her telling of our uprising:

Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.

What people are saying about Escapement:

“A heady mix of action adventure and steampunk — leavened with a dash of romance — ESCAPEMENT offers up its fair share of thrills, horrors and heart-pounding moments. A strong start to a captivating new series.”

— Jana Oliver, author of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter

“A riveting tale of justice, mercy, honor and love. Take a deep breath and hold on, because you’ll be turning the pages of Escapement quickly. Three unlikely comrades, Princess Semara, Ryder, and his sister Raeth, embark on a journey that will alter their lives forever. The beautiful love story nestled into these action-packed scenes will make you sigh and remember why you love to love. After reading the prequel Weighted, I knew this story would be amazing, and it was. Ciara Knight truly has a gift for creating awesome worlds and characters you won’t forget.”

–Lindi Peterson–Award winning author of Summer’s Song.

“Betrayal, secrets, and a rebellion send readers on a grand adventure, caught in the plight to discover Semara’s gifts and purpose.”

–Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon best sellers CassaStar and CassaFire

“The most unmissable series ever! I couldn’t stop reading, the action and romance too breathtaking to break the spell!”

–ARC review by Sudah on Goodreads

“A courageous heart-stopping journey by young people to save their kind.”

–Hildie McQueen, bestselling author of Where the Four Winds Collide

If you’d like to see a peak into our world, please view this short clip on You Tube.

If you are now ready to join our fight, please add Escapement to your TBR shelf on Goodreads here. Shout out on all your social media sites, and tell everyone you know to stand up and fight.

Be Bold.

Be Brave.

Be Free.

In the name of the rebellion,
Ryder Arteres

Escapement can be found at Amazon.

Escapement_NumerianChronicles_frontcover

Wonderful cover, right?! I know we all have a rebellion to join, but you’ll want to keep querying those agents and editors in the meantime if you’re a writer like me! So stop by Pk Hrezo’s blog today for the tidbits of wisdom I learned from my local RWA writer’s conference this past weekend! Just two more stops of the 18 Things blog tour this week before it’s all finished *phew, wipes forehead*

But tell me before you hop over, are you gonna join the Neumarian Uprising?!

Ninja Captain’s Cover Reveal and the REAL Olga Worontzoff

When our head ninja captain of the IWSG asked his army of minions to reveal his latest cover, of course I jumped at the chance! Alex does sooo much for everyone in the writing community, and I’ll  never be able to do enough to pay it forward! But here is a small token of my appreciation for everything Alex . . . .

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

CassaStorm by Alex J Cavanaugh

Release date: September 17, 2013

Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure

Print ISBN 9781939844002

E-book ISBN 9781939844019

*Isn’t it super cool! I can’t WAIT to get my copy this September:-)

And now,  I have another special Friday treat for you. If you’ve read my bio, you might recall that like my main character in 18 Things, I have grandmothers named Gay and another named Olga Worontzoff. Thankfully, I’m not named after them like my MC, lol! Anywho, my mom visited my GG (A.K.A. Olga Worontzoff) this past week in New Jersey and delivered my signed copy to her!

Olga with my book

She’s a youthful ninety-five year old, and she phoned me to say I added years to her life with this honor & she’s gonna be on the Smuckers Jar at 100 for sure (that’s my daughters’ goal for her, HA!). Isn’t that great?! She’s inspired me so much . . . I’ll have to share her real life romance story on my blog some day, but for now I’m just gonna frame this picture and keep it on my desk:-)

Enjoy your weekend!! Any special plans? I’m off to my annual local Southwest Florida Romance Writers conference. I’ll blog about what I learned on Pk Hrezo’s blog on Monday! In the meantime, if you’re on Facebook this weekend, I’d really appreciate a ‘Like‘ on my Author Page! Thanks peeps<3

Wacky Wednesday’s Miscellaneous Thoughts

I decided to have some more direction on my blog this year. Here’s what I’m thinking:

1st Wednesday of the month: IWSG

2nd Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday, where I post my miscellaneous thoughts (will probably focus more on faith and family, movies and music)

3rd Wednesday: Mash-up of Awesomeness (guest posts, interviews, cover reveals, blogfests announcements, etc . . . )

4th Wednesday: YA/NA Book Club–a review of the books I’ve read in the past month *anyone interested in reading the same book for March and posting about it? I’m thinking of Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans, but I’m open to suggestions!

Of course, I’ll always make an exception for my blogger buddies and post whenever they need me to do a cover reveal, ect . . . when it’s not a Wednesday. For instance, I’m revealing Alex Cavanaugh’s cover on Friday and Ciara Knight’s Escapement cover on Monday, so be sure to check back then. But I figured with this schedule, I’m fitting in a little bit of everything:-)

And just in case you missed it, here are the links for my 18 Things blog tour since the last time I posted:

Michelle Ziegler’s blog, where I shared about the time I almost drowned in a septic tank, and I’m not even shitting you right now!

Lindsey Loucks blog, where she asked me 18 fun questions, and I tried to give equally fun answers!

Jessa Russo’s blog, where I shared a deleted scene *paperback and ebook giveaway still up for grabs here!!*

And now for my random thoughts segment . . . .

On Valentine’s Day, my 9yo daughter gave me a list of “18 Things I Love About You.” She’s wanted her own blog for about a year now, but I told her she has to wait until she’s in middle school like her sister . . . so I thought she’d get a kick out of me publishing her list on here. And let’s face it, I only have 4 more years of her saying nice things about me, so I have to document this while I still can! Here’s her cute list (and I kept her spelling the same):

1. Nice

2. Funny

3. acts like a 9 year old kid *coincidentally, this is often my 12yo biggest complaint about me*

4. FUN

5. cool

6. everydays funier with you

7. good cook (hey, I never said all of this was true)

8. shouting out squril

9. prettey

10. sweet like candy

11. kindhearted

12. good friend

13. awesome

14. brave enough to kill spiders

15. careful, except when driving like Jeff Gordon *hindsight is 20/20–probably not a good idea to have my h.s. boyfriend teach me how to drive*

16. nice, small eyes *both my daughters have their dad’s eyes, which people are forever commenting on how big they are. You can watch this video to see for yourself–my daughters would be forever grateful since they really want to become YouTube sensations since their mean parents won’t let them become child actors*

17. great writer

18. And the last thing I love about you is that it wasn’t even hard to think of 18 Things that I love about you

*Awww! Did you have any sweet surprises this past week? What do you think about joining my YA/NA Monthly Online Book Club? Any book suggestions for me?!?

A Valentine Treat with Marisa Cleveland and the 18 Things Tour Continues to Sweep the Blog Nation;-)

HaPPy*Valentine’s* Eve!!! And oooh boy, do I have the perfect gift for you!!! A book, of course . . . would you expect anything different from me?
 
Today marks the release of the Debut Novella for Marisa Cleveland, a very sweet kindred spirit who I met through my Southwest Florida Romance Writer’s Group. She is now a recovering high school teacher turned writer and agent extraordinaire, and she was kind enough to read my manuscript for 18 Things soooo many times that it made her head spin faster than if she’d starred in The Exorcist.  
 
Here’s the scoop:
 
Marisa Cleveland’s novella, The Valentine Challenge, debuted from Entangled Publishing! Join the celebration by visiting participating blogs and commenting the answer to this question: In your opinion, what’s the sexiest part of a man?
 
Between now and February 28th, Marisa’s super secret judges will browse the blogs and choose up to three winners to receive Valentine goodies!
 
No purchase necessary, but a Like on Amazon is always appreciated!
 
Title: The Valentine Challenge
Author: Marisa Cleveland
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Flirt)
Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella
 
Valentine Challenge
 
Book Description:
When Stacey Bradford’s hot boss convinces his company’s board to close her best friend’s flower shop – days before Valentine’s Day! – Stacey declares war.
 
Intrigued by Stacey’s devotion to her friend, the hearts and flowers holiday, and belief in true love, Marsh issues a challenge – prove love exists or deliver the closing documents to her friend herself.
 
Stacey never could resist a challenge, but when Marsh makes Valentine’s Day the deadline for their deal, Stacey must decide how far she’s willing to go…for love.
 
Author Bio
Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. As a writer, she writes. Every day. Perhaps because she married her best friend, her adult romance novels focus on playfully naughty relationships developed through friendship and family-oriented values. She loves to connect with writers and readers.
 
Author Links
Website and blog: www.marisacleveland.com
 
Super Amazing Participating Blogs:
 
*WHat R U wAItiNG fOR?! What do you find sexiest in a man? *cough cough, please keep it PG-13 since I write for young adults*
 
Oh, and incase you missed it, here’s my guest post on Talynn’s Ink in the Book blog about my sweet first kiss and my inspiration for writing love stories.
 
And today, I’m visiting England on Rebecca Bradley’s blog, where she asks me this question: How Do I Fit It All In? You can comment on either blog through Friday for a chance to win a copy of 18 Things:-)
 
Well, I’m off to help lead Youth Group. Hope you had a very happy Over-the-Hump Day! Mine was full of many firsts: TV interview on The Morning Blend, Library Event, then my first Author School visit with some 8th graders who were one HUGE batch of Awesomesauce. I’ll tell ya allll about it later.
 
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY<3

Champion In The Darkness and 18 Things Blog Tour Continues . . . .

First things first . . . I’d like to give a shout out for my author buddy, Tyrean Martinson, and the first release in her brand new YA Christian fantasy trilogy (how CoOl is that?!), Champion in the Darkness – The Champion Trilogy, now available on Amazon for only $3.99! What a deal!!!
 
Champion in the Darkness Cover 
 
Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master’s blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness!
 
DOESN’T THAT SOUND A*W*E*S*O*M*E?!?!
 
And in other news–my 18 Things blog tour continues. Here are the stops since the last time I posted, in case you missed the links on Twitter or Facebook!
 
Joylene Butler decided to post her own 18 Things despite missing the blogfest. I say, better late than never!
 
Sharon Sant had me answer this question: Why I Love YA
 
The Autumn Review was nice enough to give me a shout-out and  post an excerpt (Have I ever mentioned that book bloggers are my heroes?!)
 
And today I’m kicking back with an interview with my main characters, Olga and Nate, on Nancy S. Thompson’s blog
 
*Only 8 more stops to go! Now, how is this affecting my sales? Hard to tell . . . it’s 188,098 in rank for paperback on Amazon and 59,815 in rank for the Kindle. So, could be loads better, but it also could be worse!
 
Thanks for all your support! I’ll see you around the blogosphere this week, and don’t forget to check out Tyrean’s new release *throws confetti*
 

IWSG–Do I Have the Magician’s Secret?

When my YA debut novel, 18 Things, released to instant best-seller status on Amazon on January 24th, many people emailed me asking what my secret was. Sure, my sales couldn’t rival those of Stephen King or anything, but as an unpublished nobody, the sales were pretty awesome! (Psst . . . here’s an insider tip  you may not know. Have your buds buy your book AND also a bestseller of a similar sort (something huge like Stephen King) to get Amazon to recommend your book alongside theirs. Didn’t know this until after release day. DOH!)

Anyway, the answer is yesss, I do know magic . . . because I know all of YOU! The first important step I took to success? Immersing myself into the blogging community at the start of 2012. Now, I’ve had this blog since August 2010, but I didn’t give it the love and attention it needed until I made it my 2012 New Year’s resolutions (ha! sometimes those things do work!) So, I thought the Alex J. Cavanaugh’s IWSG was the perfect place to share my journey . . .

Buccaneer Blogfest and IWSG

So, first thing’s first: I truly appreciate EVERY reader who bought my book, even the ones who hated it and gave it two stars. I appreciate you taking the time to give me honest feedback, and it’ll make me a better writer. I know I can’t please everyone, and honestly, my book won’t be for everyone. About that same time I took that leap into the blogging community is when I finally embraced that God had given me a gift besides teaching to empower young people. And the good news it, every teenager that I’ve heard from so far *fingers crossed* has absolutely loved it. They are my target audience, so if I’ve inspired them even a little, that’s my success. I could care less about best seller status . . . I only wanted that to push it to a place of influence to reach others. I took profit off the table a long time ago. Not that I wouldn’t like it. I’m a teacher by day, and Lord knows I could use some extra cash. But if that’s truly what I was after, I would’ve gotten a part-time job a long time ago. It would’ve been less work for way more money. But like teaching, writing is my PASSION. I take it very seriously that people are inviting me to entertain them every time they buy a book.

But let me say this to people asking me how I did it and assuming I’m quitting my day job soon because I’m rich: DO NOT assume that once you write a book and it trends in the top 100 on Amazon in a few categories that you will become rich and famous. Amazon is being stingy with my exact figures, and all I have is how many ebooks were bought on release day . . . somewhere between 120-150. So my cut is anywhere between $245-$340. I’ve already given that much away in charitable contributions. So nope, not in it for money! Still, not bad for one day’s sales, if only the trend would continue!!  *BTW, if you didn’t know, which I didn’t, Amazon’s cut is a 30% commission. Here’s what I watched unfold with tears (of joy) on January 24th:

 

overall sales ranking on amazon 

For one night, I was ahead of John Grisham. This blows my mind!

 

beating James Patterson

And I’m under James Patterson–my literary hero! Here’s hoping his success rubs off on my book:-)

 

18ThingsNewRelease

And #3 in Hot Releases for Paranormal-now THAT is beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding.

Now, I was bummed my paperbacks weren’t available release day like they were supposed to be, because I spent a lot of time organizing this Book Bomb event on Facebook. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check it out here. I have no clue how many paperbacks I’ve sold so far . . . hopefully another 150 since 313 had RSVP’d to my Book Bomb Event (the paperbacks became available the next day, Jan. 25th). But turns out, paperbacks are more of an advertising thing, not profit, especially with other physical retailers. So yeah, beginning to see why Amazon is so appealing to authors from a business side of things. Still, my goal is to get my books into the hands of READERS, so I’m not taking it off of B&N.  But just Fyi, my print sales from B&N leaves me with about seventy-five cents per sale. Yes, I did say CENTS. After 3 1/2 years into this writing business, do you see now why I say it’d make more sense to just get a part-time job at the Outback restaurant or something if money is what I was after? (I say Outback b/c when my hubs worked there in 2005, he brought home more money than I did as a teacher that year!!)

But hey, seventy-five cents a copy is still better than the 3 years of rejections I had piling up. Every book bought is validation . . . every 4 or 5 star review is another validation . . . I’m on the right path. This is what God had in mind for me from the beginning:-) So what if I have no money? I’m rich in spirit, faith, love, family, & friends! You all are truly the magic!!!

But my realm of influence only spreads so far, since I’m not rich and famous. So you might be wondering what will I do now to get my sales up? Because of right now as I type this post, I’m #45, 681 in the Kindle store and #74, 434 for paperbacks on Amazon. Yep, not exactly trending in the top 100 anymore! Well, I feel like I’ve done my part. I did a bucket list blogfest the week leading up to release, with a giveaway of 18 donated prizes *thanks again, peeps!!!* That was helpful in spreading the word. Now I’m on a blog tour with 18 stops, which goes until the end of this month. Here are the most recent posts since last Wednesday’s blog, incase you missed the links around Twitter and my Author’s Facebook page:

Stop #6: Gwen Gardner’s blog: My guest post on writing paranormal: Do You Believe What You Write? I share my real-life story about a time I met an angel, so check it out!

Stop #7: Jennifer Eaton’s blog: Where the Little Blue Lady from outer space interrogates interviews me *highly amusing, IMHO*

Stop #8: Marcy Blesy’s blog: Interview focusing on a first time author’s perspective *Marcy interviewed me on HER release day for her new book, Confessions of a Corn Kid. She didn’t even tell me it was her release day until afterward–how’s that for selfless?!

Stop #9: Amy Kennedy’s blog: 18 Things You Should Know About Writing *things I WISH I would’ve known when starting out!*

9 down, 9 more to go! The other thing I did was sent out a press release. I only got 2 responses so far. Here’s an article from the Grand Haven Tribune. Grand Haven is the wonderful community where 18 Things is set. If you’ve never visited this small town during the summer, add it to your bucket list!

And soon I’ll be going on a local news show called The Morning Blend. What else? Hmm . . . my first local library event is next Wednesday, as well as my first school author visit! I’ll be a part of two book festivals coming up–one in March in the Fort Myers area and another in April in Orlando. I’ll be happy to blog my experiences afterward and tell you if I think it was worth the effort. In the meantime, I’m contacting YA book blog reviewers. Three have already agreed to read and review. I love these girls better than coffee and cakepops!! They provide an enormous service to us little authors, for the love of reading! LOVE it!

Sorry this post was longer than usual, but inquiring minds were asking me. Now I’ve probably crossed the line of TMI (as usual).

Do you have any strategies for magic that I left out?!

Have your read 18 Things yet?

One thing I will caution against is don’t read the whole book waiting for the paranormal. It’s only like 10% paranormal, and it has to do with the God aspect. I didn’t choose the categories on Amazon, and have no idea how those appear, but I was still extremely grateful to be trending in them. But if you only love reading purely paranormal books, then 18 Things isn’t for you. I think it’s still a decent book (although, some people would argue that point!), and if you felt cheated, the sequel is 90% paranormal to  make up for it;-)

OH! One more thing before I return to working on my next book . . . my CQ partner in crime totally surprised me with this book trailer. I didn’t even ask anyone to do it, but she did because she is awesome. Seriously, if you look up awe*some in the dictionary, Courtney Worth Young’s picture is next to it, in all her HP Geek Glory:-) Enjoy!!!