Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scary Books - A Whisper To A Scream - Romantic Horror

Please join us for a sweet Halloween treat. Author Lauren Hammond shares a spooktackelar reading from her book, A whisper to a scream.

Here's the Amazon Blurb:
Sometimes love....can be deadly.

Ellory Graham detested high school. She relished the fact that she was a rebel. A wild, carefree, type of girl. She basked in the glory of being the type of girl who stood up to authority. Unfortunately for her, her upfront, honest and bitchy nature always managed to land her in some kind of trouble.

Adam Jacobs was everything Ellory was not. Not only was he beautiful, but he was smart, artistic, and sweet. To almost every girl he seemed like the total package- that all around perfect guy. But in a town were nothing particularly interesting happens, and gossip seems like the only fun thing to do, sometimes those perfections become flaws. And it doesn’t take long for Ellory to find out, even Adam has secrets.

But Adam’s secrets, are the kind of secrets people die for...

Buy it for just $1.25 (Wowsa!) Click Here: Amazon and Nook

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LAMENT and BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .


I figured I'd pick this up since it was written by the author of Linger, Maggie Stiefvater. It was a great book. It had a lot of action, and just enough romance. Of course there was drama, mostly romantic drama. The main character Deirdre. There was a mystery. Her love interest was loveable. The book was pretty faced paced, with only a few slow parts - her dreams. I don't really like when they put a lot of dreams in books because they always seem to go off topic. That was the only thing that kind of annoyed me. Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5 wings.

Amazon Blurb:
Nuala is part muse, part psychic vampire. While the freedom to sing or write or create is denied her, her mark across history is unmistakable: a trail of brilliant poets, musicians, and artists who have died tragically young. She has no sympathy for their abbreviated life spans; every thirteen Halloweens she burns in a bonfire and rises from her ashes with no memories of what has come before other than the knowledge of how her end will come.

James is the best bagpiper in the state of Virginia—maybe in the country—plus he's young and good-looking: just Nuala's thing. But James, supremely confident in his own abilities and in love with another girl, becomes the first to ever reject Nuala's offer. He's preoccupied with bigger things than Nuala: an enigmatic horned figure who appears at dusk and the downward spiral of Dee, his girlfriend-who-isn't.

BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater

NYIA quick review: The short and sweet of it is, I give this a 3 out of 5 wings. I really didn't like the prospective of this book and it rather messed up the overall good feelings I got after reading book one. I mainly took off a wing because I didn't like Muella's prospective. There was a lot of drama - to much that distracted from the overall plot. But overall was an okay read.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Expand Your Creative Horizons

We writers have a tendency to stay closed in and write our little hearts our. But way way to get your muse humming is to get out and BE A KID AGAIN. Yep, play, experience and explore. And guess what? You don't have to be a writer to do it.


Museums, hikes, long drives, research wondrously weird places where you live and visit them. Step outside of your comfort zone and go to something wacky with your friends or kids.

These are some things I've done to get wacky this year:
- Visited Renaissance Festival, Comic Con, Faerie Con
- Museum hopping
- Parks and play
- Drive through local areas considered haunted and spooky
- Joined Meetup groups to learn salsa, different places to travel, and about cooking.


Experiencing life by doing something new and meeting new people. I've met some great people that although we may have talked for a moment impacted my stories to come in a big way.

I tried several things that I was too scared to do before. Just to see if I could write about it. Snowboarding was one of them. Oh my goodness was it sooooooo hard at first.


Friday, October 21, 2011

THE THING - Movie Review

Paranoia spreads like an epidemic among a group of researchers as they’re infected, one by one, by a mystery from another planet. Paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has traveled to the desolate region for the expedition of her lifetime. Joining a Norwegian scientific team that has stumbled across an extraterrestrial ship buried in the ice, she discovers an organism that seems to have died in the crash eons ago. But it is about to wake up.
When a simple experiment frees the alien from its frozen prison, Kate must join the crew’s pilot, Carter (Joel Edgerton), to keep it from killing them off one at a time. And in this vast, intense land, a parasite that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish.

Well my teenager wanted to see Paranormal Activity 3 but I wanted to see the THING. Since I was paying...well, you know the rest. It started off slow, but gave a basis for how they found the THING and why it even got exposed to the world in the first place. A scientist is invited to investigate this alien finding in the Artic.She goes with a team to check it out and they do some really stupid things by taking the alien out of the ice, taking a sample then ticking it off. The death toll and special effects were really good. I jumped a few times and my son even woke up once the killing started. It also closed the gap between the original movie The Thing and served as a decent prequel. I give it 3 out of 5 blood cells.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ebook vs Paperback Book Sales by Genre

Chart provided by: Adventures In EPublishing Blog
This Thursday at 9pm EST Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers (MBPA) will have a twitter chat (use hashtag #MBPA)to weigh in on this topic further.


Recently my publisher and I (I am part owner of Phenomenal One Press) reviewed our sales numbers for all of our titles. What we found was a definite trend in changes. Some were pleasantly pleasing. Others were no surprise.


Initially our sales for The Pack were mainly in paperback in 2010. But at the end of 2010 and into 2011 our ebook sales far outshine our paperback sales for both of our YA books, The Pack and Bandits. It caused us to change our release models for 2012. Also, it saves us a ton of money on returns and printing. After the first print run, we now do Print-On-Demand to save cost on printing after the first digital print run.

Paperback Sales: To local bookstores we sold to, a few libraries, amazon purchases. In 2010 that was the major source of our sales.

Ebook Sales: Wowsa has this increased from 2010! We are consistently selling our ebooks monthly in this genre. Almost to the point of outselling our paperbacks. To be honest that's not too surprising since we see a spike in the paperback sales when the book initially comes out, then a slight peak when another title is release or after our marketing boost of cold-calling and visits to stores that carry our paperback books.

Also, now when I do book signings people ask if its in ebook. I now carry ebook postcards and paste download codes on the card for buyers that want an ebook copy of my books.


Paperback Sales: Our Middle Grade (MG) sells much better in Paperback consistently. It sells well at in person book signings, local stores and some libraries. We've seen consistent sales in our paperbacks that increases with each new release.

Ebook Sales: in 2009 when the series first came out there were absolutely 0 ebooks sold in 2009. In 2010 we saw an increase of maybe 2-4 copies a month. In 2011, it only increased to max of 10 copies a few months when one of our other titles came out. Although, we see an increase in numbers we don't believe many kids this age have ereaders. They still like to touch, feel, and read a book in hand. The idea of searching through an ebook catalog of books turns off my now 10yr old so I'm not surprised. However, my 14yr old would love to have her own ereader.


Oh, check out this nifty Pie-Chart on EBOOK SALES by Derek Canyon.

- Romance (YA/Adult/All other kinds)
- YA (definite growth and growing more and more every year)
- Mysteries and Thrillers

HIDDEN GEMS that sell well in EBOOK Market

- Short Stories. Anthologies. (These do exceptionally well in the ebook market. Most people don't mind spending $0.99 for 35K-50K short. Although a 5-7K short I've seen get bad reviews because it was too short for the reader to feel as though it was worth the $0.99-$2.99 I've seen charged for them)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Movie Remakes ... Why do they do it?

I have to do a Monday vent. Since being in the house all weekend on a flu imposed shut in I've been watching my share of commercials.


I sometimes wonder if movie producers read books. There are tons of great stories out there, looking to be created on the big screen. Hello out there in movie world! Ask me about some great new stories.


I wonder how they figure it out. How do the decide which movies to remake because some of the ones they have weren't that great the first time and the second time was even worst. If you know please tell me. I personally think it's just laziness.

HERE's the lineup. NONE of these movies I want to see remade. What about you?

Do you know this must be the year of the remakes.

Here's the lowdown list for 2011/2012:

The Crow
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Spiderman (yep - again)
Warriors (a classic I still love to watch)
The Housemaid
The Mechanic
13 Assassins
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Fright Night
Straw Dogs
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Thing

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Publishing Release Models

Mid Atlantic Book Publishers (use Hashtag #MBPA for twitter chat Thurs 10/13 9pm EST) we'll be chatting about publishing release models. The way to publish different formats for maximum benefits.


Hardcover books usually come first, then about 8 months to 12 months later comes the paperback. Now with ebooks in the mix they usually come a bit after the hardcover and audio formats. They use offset printing of initial print runs of anywhere between 5000 to 10,000.


Well Mid Atlantic Book Publishers support small press (independent publishers) or publishers that publish their own work. We have to be a bit more flexible and creative. Now it's cheaper and sometimes a bit more profitable to release ebooks first. Then 6X9 or perfect paperback (because stores return mass production paperbacks by tearing off the covers which is money down the drain for a small press or independent publishers). For my small press we only release in Perfect Paperback and ebooks. It's the cheapest way. We release only 300 of ARCs then 1500. But now that has changed since we sell more in ebooks then Paperback now. So now we only release 800 for our first print, then we go to Print On Demand (POD).


Please join us THURS, 10/13 9pm EST on MBPA twitter chat using the hashtag #MBPA

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Real Steel Movie Review

A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.

A Family feel good movie. My son saw the previews and been begging to see this movie ever since. Once again Stephen Spielberg has created a movie that captures present day humanistic struggles in futuristic concepts. It's a heart-warming story of a washed con man boxer on his last legs. He tries to make a quick buck off of his child that he never really wanted. With the combination of a young boy trying to find his father and threw the trials and tribulations they're relationship grows stronger and his father becomes the man he was meant to be. I give it a 4 out 5 steal because there was a moment in time in the middle when it got rather dry. A little more action would have been great.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mid Atlantic Book Publishers 1st Twitter Chat

Hiya! Mid Atlantic Book Publishers had it's first ever Twitter Chat this past Thurs, Oct. 6th.

The topic was 'PUBLISHING SUPPORT ASSOCIATIONS' like MBPA, IBPA and multiple others.

Some of the topics discussed were:


First of all it was deemed by MBPA President, Mary Schaffer, that if you

1. Edit, Format, Create a book.
2. Market and disseminate a book for sale.


Definition of publisher:

   [puhb-li-sher] Show IPA

a person or company whose business is the publishing of books, periodicals, engravings, computer software, etc.
the business head of a newspaper organization or publishing house, commonly the owner or the representative of the owner.

SO... if you do any of the above. YOU ARE A PUBLISHER!


If you publish books (even just your own) you are a publisher and need to approach your business of publishing as such. Network, learn the biz, learn to better market...hey and learn your markets and who knows, you just may start taking on authors. Like so many other small press or indie publishers have.




Co-op Marketing opportunities that put you in front of 'Booksellers' like bookstores, libraries, Foreign Rights and so many other markets.

And much much more!
Check out Mid Atlantic Book Publishers:

And other Affiliate IBPA associations near you. Or hey - start your own :-D

Monday, October 3, 2011

Random-ish: The Births of Many Books

Random-ish: The Births of Many Books

Wowsa that's a lot of books!

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. By Judy Blume

I'd like to take a moment to give you the background on why I am reviewing this Oldie but Goodie book. I bought all the Judy Blume books I read for my daughter and she absolutely loved them all just as much as I did.

But my favorite - my first one was "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret."

It was one of the first books I've read that approached all the issues that I as a young girl of 11yrs was facing at that time in relation to my body and my peer image. Now some girls probably didn't have friends or feelings like Margaret - but some did and do.

For you new YA readers, check this one out.

Margaret has a very private relationship with God, and it's only after she moves to New Jersey and hangs out with a new friend that she discovers that it might be weird to talk to God without a priest or a rabbi to mediate. Margaret just wants to fit in! Who is God, and where is He when she needs Him? She begins to look into the cups of her training bra for answers.

JUDY BLUME's website:Click