Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Endless

Today, the blog belongs to author Misha Gerrick, as part of her cover reveal for her upcoming coming release, Endless.

It's soooooo pretty! Check it out...


About The Book

“First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.


AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW!



About The Author

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:



Congrats, Misha! Best of luck to you!!

See y'all on Friday, for Day One of the A to Z Challenge!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Escape From Revision Island

Some of you may have already seen this over the weekend via the social media outlet of your choice, but late Friday night/early Saturday morning, I was able to wrap up this round of revisions on Second Nature.

Cue the Happy Dance(s)...




Though truthfully exhausted, I am relieved to have reached this point. Hence the sincere happy dancing. I wasn't sure I would ever get to the end. This whole project has been weird, and I can't decide how I feel about it. There were about three whole days where I actually felt good, but most of the time, it was like this:




I don't think I can objective anymore. If I ever could.

I can't be objective. I'm too close to it—if for no other reason than I  just spent the last three months questioning every last syllable.

I need a break.

Which is why I shall now spend some time not thinking about it. When that unspecified amount of time has ended, I'll give it a read-through and (maybe) send it off to the betas to get an opinion that is not mine (because those are actually opinions I can trust.).

But until that day arrives, here's what I'll be focusing on instead:

—Watching season 1 of Jessica Jones and season 2 of Daredevil, plus all the crap I've been saving on my DVR for months and months.

—Get caught up on my reading. I have a never-ending To Be Read list, and it's been gathering a frightening amount of dust. I've read one book so far in March. Just one.

—Write my A to Z posts. I've started a few, but I'd really love to have them all complete before the challenge begins.

So that's what's going on with me. Hope everyone had a great Easter—and gets to take advantage of those post-Easter discounts on candy! Or am I the only one looking forward to that?

What's happening in your neck of the woods?


Monday, March 21, 2016

A To Z Theme Reveal


It's that time again, folks, the time where bloggers everywhere gear up for the prestigious A To Z Challenge by announcing to the world what their intended theme will be.


The last time I participated in the Challenge was 2013, so it's been a while. I haven't actually done one of these theme reveal posts before. Of course, I've never actually had a real theme before. My posts have always been written the night before or morning of and consist of whatever happened to pop into my brain that fit the day.

So the fact that I've thought ahead of time about what I might post and actually developed a theme around that is new for me. The fact that I'm planning to start pre-writing and pre-scheduling posts this week is new for me, too.

It's a whole new world!


And without any further ado (It's about time. I know...), allow me to present what I came up with...

SOUNDTRACK SONGS

Now allow me to explain...

Whenever I begin a new book, I build a soundtrack for it. It's actually how I know I'm getting serious about a WIP. I hear a song in passing somewhere, and a lyric really speaks to my characters and/or their situation, and the soundtrack is born.



And over the course of 26 days in April, I shall share some of these songs with you, highlighting those key lyrics, and maybe even sharing a short excerpt or two from the stories/scenes they're meant to accompany.

The challenge will cover all of my projects, from my epic-ish fantasy series to my YA urban fantasy, a romance, a literary fiction novel, and that really weird NaNoWriMo project of mine from 2012

I hope it will lead to a good mix of music that will amaze and delight. Or, at the very least, not bore completely.

Are you taking part in the Challenge this year? Do you have a theme? Started your posts yet?

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Have a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Favorite Things Friday

It's time, once again, for Favorite Things Friday!

If you don't know, Favorite Things Friday is a new segment here on My Pet Blog where I share with you some of my favorite things that I've come across in my recent life travels. Yes, they're pretty much all things like YouTube videos and embedded tweets, which would suggest that my life travels don't often make it off the couch or away from my desk.

Which is what happens when I'm marooned on Revision Island. And most of the rest of the time, too, truth be told, but this post is not about my couch potato tendencies. This post is about my favorite things. At least those things I stumbled across since my last Favorite Things post.

(FYI, the intro to future Favorite Things posts won't be so long and ramble-y. Probably.)

First up is a Tumblr feed (is it called a feed on Tumblr? I have no idea.) called The Setup Wizard. The tagline is "Daily Accounts of the Muggle and Half-Blood IT team at Hogwarts." It's about a muggle IT guy hired by Hogwarts to set up and maintain WiFi and other technology. It's been pretty funny. Here's a sampling for you:


http://thesetupwizard.tumblr.com/post/138504556036/first-day-on-the-job


http://thesetupwizard.tumblr.com/post/139244358403/necessary-equipment


Next up, is a scene from one of (IMHO) the best damn shows on television—Agent Carter. (And really, it's so hard to limit myself to just one scene. I'd share the entire damn show if I could.) This isn't from this week. I sadly neglected to share it after it first aired (bad, bad fan!) but I want to share it now. And apologize to anyone who may follow me on Twitter for that brief but unrelenting #RENEWAGENTCARTER tweeting I did following the season two finale. Sorry, kids, but I really need season three.




And since we're already in a Marvel Mood, here's the most recent Captain America: Civil War trailer:




I'm really looking forward to that movie.

That's going to do it for me today. I'm tantalizingly close to finishing those revisions, and I've got to get back to it. Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ballad

Today, we have a rare Tuesday post as we welcome author Danielle E. Shipley to My Pet Blog. She's here to tell us about and share with us the pretty, pretty cover for her newest release, Ballad

Take it away, Danielle!

***

The Outlaws of Avalon trilogy is my baby, so I knew its faces had to blow me away. For Book One’s cover, there were a couple elements I for sure wanted to highlight: 1, the forest (because SHERWOOD), and 2, the lute (because Allyn-a-Dale). The rest, I mostly left up to my designers—photographer Lars van de Goor, and his son, Milan.

A couple drafts later, this was the gorgeous result. The elegant swirls! The delightful rosette on the spine! Of all the darling touches – a ROBIN perched over “Ballad”s second A! And, of course, the must-have lute sitting sedately amongst the trees.The minstrel blue, the greenwood green, the magical splash of sunlight… This cover doesn’t just say “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”: It sings it.

Check it out:


Welcome to Avalon, a Renaissance Faire where heroes of legend never die. Where the Robin Hood walking the streets is truly the noble outlaw himself. Where the knightly and wizardly players of King Arthur’s court are in fact who they profess to be. Where the sense of enchantment in the air is not mere feeling, but the Fey magic of a paradise hidden in plain sight.

Enter Allyn-a-Dale. The grief of his father’s death still fresh and the doom of his own world looming, swirling realities leave the young minstrel marooned in an immortal Sherwood Forest, where he is recruited as a member of Robin Hood’s infamous outlaw band. But Allyn’s new life may reach its end before it’s scarcely begun. Their existence under threat, the Merry Men are called upon to embark on a journey to the dangerous world Outside – ours – on a quest which must be achieved without delay, or eternity in Avalon will not amount to very long at all.


Available on July 12, 2016

Title: The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale
Series Title, Number: The Outlaws of Avalon, Book One
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/ Young Adult

Add it on Goodreads!

About The Author:

Danielle E. Shipley is the author of the Wilderhark Tales novellas, the novel Inspired, and several other expressions of wishful thinking. She has spent most of her life in the Chicago area and increasing amounts of time in Germany. She hopes to ultimately retire to a private immortal forest. But first, there are stories to make.

Monday, March 14, 2016

And Then There Was One

So, sometime on Sunday I started writing this post for today, right? And it was all about how I had somehow, against all odds, whittled down my Unresolved Shit Deemed Too Much Work To Deal With The First Time Around revision list to one last item.


I went on to tell you, gentle readers, that this one last item was the M.J. Fifield of items (Translation: Difficult, and Needlessly So.). It was something I had been putting off and putting off the entire time I've been marooned here on Revision Island because it was something for which I just didn't have a solution.

See, I had this one character whose arc somehow went all wonky. Seriously, while doing my initial read-through, I was all, "Did I write this? Was I on drugs when I wrote this? This isn't going to work. Why did I ever think this would work?"

So fixing the arc went onto the revision list. Where I proceeded to ignore it because—again—I didn't know how to fix it.



Toward the end of last week, when I started to accept that this item could be put off no longer, I started making pages and pages of notes, and brainstormed solutions with my trusty beta reader/brother (Wait...should I have put 'brother' first?), but nothing felt quite right, so I wrote this post about how my goal for this coming week was to solve this one last problem so I could get the hell off of Revision Island (you know, at least until my entire flotilla of beta readers have a crack at the story and send me back there to fix more things.)

So, I pre-wrote and scheduled this post, right? It was done sometime Sunday afternoon. Anyway, following the writing and scheduling and publishing of this post, I stayed up late last night, making more notes and more plans without actually getting anywhere, and shortly after 1am, I decided to call it a night. Live to fight/write another day, you know?

Then it happened.

I had been in bed for probably about thirty-freaking-seconds when my brain—who, for the past 90-freaking-days has been all, "I don't know, man, that problem seems pretty unfixable. Why don't you think about donuts and cupcakes instead?"—was suddenly all, "Hey, here's the entirely-simple-solution-you'll-be-kicking-yourself-over-for-the-next-week-for-not-thinking-of-it-sooner answer to your problem!"

(My brain is gigantic jerk. It's also way too into hyphenating words to create ridiculous adjectives. But that's another post for another day, maybe.)

Needless to say, I sat up and furiously scribbled down notes in my handy-dandy notebook that I keep on my bedside table at all times.


The Man, by the way, is always thrilled when these late night/early morning epiphanies happen, and I scramble around to find my book light and my pen and the proper page within the handy-dandy notebook (That's a reference to the children's show Blue's Clues, in case you didn't know.) on which to record this brilliant epiphany. It's not disruptive at all. (Translation: it's incredibly disruptive.)

So I thought that would be the end of it—I had the epiphany, it was properly noted in the handy-dandy notebook—I could at last go to sleep.

I didn't. Instead, I got out of bed after my entirely restful 30 seconds of not sleeping, and returned to my office and went to work implementing The Plan.

I'm pleased to report that it's been almost three hours now, and I think that The Plan still holds up.


In fact, it's holding up so well that I felt the need to completely rewrite this post at 4:30 in the morning because I no longer have the big problem I had when I originally wrote this post just twelve hours earlier.

It's not even really feeling like a problem anymore. All I have to do now is go back through a few scenes and do a few touch-ups here and there. Surely, I can accomplish that before the end of the week (and bonus points to anyone who makes an Airplane! reference in the comments!).

I may be getting off this island after all!

I just may need to take a brief nap first.



What's on your agenda this week? Ever have one of those late-night writing epiphanies?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Brothers-In-Arms

Today on My Pet Blog, I'm pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal for Jack Lewis Baillot's latest novel, Brothers-in-Arms.

Check it out...





Synopsis

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler's Germany?

Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first­hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high.

With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they've always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet's heritage a secret.Taking his best friend's safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.

With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can't be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them. 

About The Author

Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers‐in‐Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.

When Jack isn't writing, which doesn't happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies–such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea–which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.

She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn't quite equal to Prince Adam's but will be given enough time and a secret doorway.

Where To Find Jack:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JackLBaillot

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackLBaillot

Goodreads ‐ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5862775.Jack_Lewis_Baillot

Blog – http://www.jacklewisbaillot.com/

Goodreads link ‐ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24703965‐brothers‐in‐arms

Brothers‐in‐Arms Pintrest Page ‐ https://www.pinterest.com/jackbaillot/brothers‐in‐arms/


Congratulations, Jack! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

In Which I Review Books

Hey, everyone. Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty decent. Got my revision list down to FIVE whole items, caught a good chuck of the latest Harry Potter movie marathon on cable, and then went out and got a sunburn.

Woo Hoo!

But anyway, today's post isn't about any of those things. Today I'm reviewing the scant number of books I managed to read last month. I admit, I got a little lazy about reading toward the end of the month, but here's what I did get through:

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock—Matthew Quick—Holy hell, was this an intense read. This is the most intense book I've read in a long time. Seriously, I didn't breathe a lot while reading this book. It's not for the faint of heart. It will unsettle you. It will disturb you. And I couldn't stop reading it because I had to know what would happen next. The end was a slight disappointment, only because I really wanted to know more about what happened to the characters after the story ended (THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE!), but overall, I thought it was an excellent book.

Other Broken Things—C. Desir—I always enjoy Desir's books, and this one was no different. This is the story about Natalie, a 17-year old recovering alcoholic, who also happens to be a boxer. I think it's a mark of a good read if I spend each and every page worrying about the character, and I was on edge (not to the same level as I was with Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, mind you) about the direction the story seemed to be taking. I liked the ending, but I'd love to know where Nat ended up.

Three Truths And A Lie—Lisa Gardner—This is a short story featuring Gardner's character D.D. Warren, a Boston detective who spends this story giving a lecture at a policing convention/seminar for writers. Now, I enjoy Gardner's books, and I really do like D.D. Warren, and I read every full-length novel (the latest novel was just released, and I'm in line for in at the library) in which she appears, but this particular story just didn't do anything for me—and not just because I solved the mystery rather early on. The format in which the story is presented kind of bored me. The vast majority of the story is dialogue, just straight dialogue, as D.D. relates the tale of a odd case to her group of writers. I love dialogue, I really do, but this felt like too much.

We Were Liars—E. Lockhart—So, this book left me rather befuddled. Quite frankly, I had a hard time getting through it, and it's possibly responsible for me not having read another book since. I found the prose style to be odd and a little affected. A lot affected. Okay, so this is a modern-day story (The characters had computers and cell phones and such), right? But for the longest time, because of the prose style and the way the characters spoke, I kept thinking it was set in the past, and I kept going back and forth to see if I had imagined the modern technology thing. I hadn't. I saw one review on Goodreads that only said "We were tedious." And I wholeheartedly concur.


2016 Reading Goal: 60 books
Books read this month: 4
Total books read so far this year: 10
Total books left to go: 50


And that's all she read, folks. Have you read any of these stories? Do you think I'm crazy for liking/not liking any of them? Read anything interesting lately? Tell me in the comments...

(Happy Monday, all!)


Friday, March 4, 2016

Favorite Things Friday

Hello, all. Welcome to my brand-new segment, Favorite Things Friday, in which I will share with you some of the funny/interesting/just plain cool things I've come across during the week.

(Full disclosure: I may forget all about this segment and never revisit it ever again. There's precedent.)

First up is this graphic sent to me by a fellow writer friend:



I can totally relate to this.

Next up, is a segment from Last Week Tonight, featuring John Oliver. It's twenty-one minutes long, so if you don't have time to watch it right now, make a note for later. Because it's all the things.




Finally, today, I'm sharing this video from Jimmy Kimmel's latest After The Oscars special. I may be one of the few people who aren't really all that excited for the Batman Vs. Superman movie coming out this month, but this segment made me laugh. The first three minutes is the over-long and not-entirely funny introduction to the video, but after that, I found it very funny.




And that's all from me today. Be sure to tune in on Monday for my latest book review post.

Have a great weekend, all.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Full-Time Writer (An IWSG Post)

 
Hey everyone! It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the latest edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Click on the above link and/or the graphic to the left for a complete list of participants.

***

I won't lie. I am freaking out a little.

I know it's so rare for me to be freaking out in any amount, but there it is: I am freaking out.

(Take a good look, kids, because you won't see that again. At least not until my next post.)

And this time, the reason I'm freaking out is that about a year ago, I became a full-time writer.

Note: this is not because I make a lot of money from writing. Or, you know, any money from writing. Other circumstances happened to play out in my favor to afford me this opportunity at this time. It could very easily end tomorrow. So, just know that I'm not secretly on a bestsellers list somewhere and just didn't mention it. Because I'm not on any list anywhere. Well, I did see that someone out in the world listed my novel, Effigy, as their Favorite Book Of All Time on a list of their Favorite Things that they publicly posted online for all to see. Which was incredibly sweet and flattering, and sure, I had to spend about 30 minutes afterwards hiding under my desk while breathing into a paper bag, (Yes, I have issues, I know) but I sincerely thank them from the very bottom of my heart for thinking me (or at least my work) worthy of such an honor.

Huh. I seem to have gotten off the topic—which, I know, never happens on this blog—so I'll see if I just can't meander my way back to my point. And then hurry along with the, you know, making of the point. 

(Sorry, gang—my brain's just a big bundle of unorganized oddity.)

The Point:

Being able to be a Full-Time Writer is the thing that writers everywhere dream about, right? Writing full-time—it's this beautiful, amazing promised land that we're all aiming to get to. It's the thing I said I wanted in that one job interview that one time.

Interviewer: If you had your retail dream come true, what would you be doing?

Me: Giving my two week notice, because I'm finally able to become a full-time writer.

So, here I am on Full-Time Writer Mountain at last, and I know I'm a gigantic jerky jerkface for saying/thinking this, but I don't entirely enjoy it. This wondrous, expansive vista on which I'm supposed to be feasting my eyes has been fogged in, and there's one simple reason why: I'm not sure I've ever been more stressed.

I just feel so much pressure to write, to produce, to publish, and every day that I don't publish a book is a day I feel I have failed as a Full-Time Writer. Which is, I know, a ridiculous feeling to have because no one publishes a book a day. 

(And if you do publish a book a day, I'm assuming you made a deal with a crossroads demon, and can I please have their number because that might be something I might interested in pursuing...)

I've been working on my current WIP for the last year. For the last two years. For the last 12,000 years. Okay, that last one may be a slight exaggeration, but the sentiment is accurate. I've been working on it for a long, long time, which makes sense because it's a gigantic, complicated book, and these things take time. I tell myself this every day—multiple times a day, even—keep pushing, keep working, stop worrying.

But it's the last part with which I have the hardest time.

Every day that this book remains unfinished, unpublished, is a day that I worry and stress. This worry and stress is like compound interest that just grows and grows and grows and compounds upon itself over and over again like those dust bunnies under my bed. 

And I don't know what to do about it. The worry and the stress, I mean. Not the dust bunnies.

So I turn to you, fellow writers...

Are you a Full-Time Writer? If so, does it stress you out, too? Do you feel the pressure, too? And if you said yes to either or both of those, what do you do to combat that stress? What do you do to damper that pressure?

What's your secret? Mellow jazz? Bongo drums? Huge bag of weed? (Name! That! Reference!)

TELL ME!! PLEASE!!

All right, after that exceptionally long and rambling post, I'm out of here. Thanks for coming by today and listening to/reading my latest freak-out. I'll try to be less crazy the next time...

Happy Wednesday, all!