IAM Cover Reveal…Outlanders by Mel Cusick-Jones

OUTLANDERS - Cover

Outlanders by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Due for release in late 2013, Outlanders is the third novel from The Ambrosia Sequence. 

I’m really excited to share – for the VERY FIRST TIME – the cover and synopsis for Outlanders…And to be doing this as the first feature of Indie Author Month 2013 is even better! This book has been coming for a long while, as I’ve written a lot of it alongside The Rainbow Maker’s Tale, and been planning the final two books in the Ambrosia Sequence so that everything fits together.

To be so close to releasing this has been a big step forward for me, and I did commit to 2013 being a ‘writing’ year and less of a ‘reading and blogging’ one – because everything takes time and I needed to focus on the writing if I ever want to be finished!

Well, I’ll let you take a look at the synopsis now – there’s also a brand new book trailer for Outlanders that you might want to check out:

YOUTUBE – http://youtu.be/_BL61bUWng8

And now, I need to get back to writing 🙂
Mel x

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OUTLANDERS 

Life on the Space Station Hope was simple: grow up, fall in love and die — quickly. But life does not always do what you expect.

Escaping to Earth was supposed to be a new beginning for Cassie and Balik, but when their craft is shot-down Cassie finds herself alone in the ruins of the former United Kingdom, known colloquially now as The Island.

Whilst Islanders live by the rules of the government, some people choose to exist outside government control, fending for themselves: Outlanders. Badly injured in the crash, Cassie is taken in and protected by an Outlander group, despite their suspicions about this mysterious stranger. And on The Island, you do need protection, because the government military is not the worse thing out there… Goblins are the outcasts no one wanted: the people with no skills to make them productive Islanders, or the criminals who had once been punished as part of the old society. Now they govern themselves and the only principles they respect are violence and power.

In this harsh new world Cassie realises that her fight for survival on the SS Hope was just the beginning. The choices she has to make now will challenge her ability to weigh survival against humanity, and balance life over love.

Preview samples and more info available at http://cusick-jones.com

Remember…you could win an ARC of  Outlanders in the event giveaway, as well as the first books in the series: Hope’s Daughter and The Rainbow Maker’s Tale, so make sure you’ve entered to win! Follow us on Facebook / Twitter and get vocal on the Indie Author Event comments to earn yourself additional entry points 🙂 

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 Gimme 10 – Author Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? All types of people, books, life, films, family and love.

What is your favourite aspect of The Rainbow Maker’s TaleI love seeing things from Balik’s POV

Who is your favourite character from The Rainbow Maker’s Tale and why? It has to be Balik (this time) it’s his turn

What are you working on now? Finalising the Rainbow Maker’s Tale for the summer release and then working on Outlanders, which is Book 3 in the series.

What do you love about most about writing? Solving character’s problems – the freedom to go wherever you want

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About the Author

Melanie is one of the main bloggers for Aside from Writing, and set up the blog in early 2012.

 After graduating from The University of Sheffield with an English Literature Masters in 2003, Melanie has been writing fiction – time permitting – ever since.

The Ambrosia Sequence (started in 2008) and The Elementals (begun in 2004) are both ongoing, extended projects each containing several novels, aimed primarily at young adults and hover somewhere in the middle of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy genres. Hope’s Daughter, released in December 2011, was her debut novel and the first of The Ambrosia Sequence, with the sequel – Outlanders – due in late 2013.

When she’s not writing Melanie enjoys the wet weather of the north of England with her dog or disappearing into a book for a few hours (no surprise there then). Unfortunately, all too often the ‘day job’ gets in the way of the nicer things in life!

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Find the author:

Website – http://cusick-jones.com

Blog – http://melcj.wordpress.com and Aside from Writing!

Facebook – Hope’s Daughter and Mel Cusick-Jones

Twitter @melabupa

Cover Reveal…In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

One of our favourite YA books in 2012 was Amy Martin’s debut, In Your Dreams. Today it launches with a new cover and we’re revealing it here…now! 

CoverImage - InYour Dreams

Sixteen-year-old Zara “Zip” McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone’s known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip’s life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip’s heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret–he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.

But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran’s parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm’s way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she’s afraid of what might happen.

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Author Biography

Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of ten and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn’t share it with anyone else. Not counting that early experiment in self-publishing, In Your Dreams is Amy Martin’s first Young Adult novel.

A native of St. Charles, MO, Amy currently lives in Lexington, KY with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and, sometimes, doing all three at once). You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAmyMartin.

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You can read our 2012 review of In Your Dreams here and an interview with Amy here

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Twitter: @ThatAmyMartin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6472261.Amy_Martin

Author Spotlight…Dale Ibitz

 

  Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author… Dale Ibitz

Dale Ibitz was born in Oxford, Connecticut, grew up in the state of Washington, and then re-located back to Connecticut as an adult. Always a lover of books, she spent much of her childhood reading, visiting the library (her best friend’s mother was a librarian…how convenient), and writing. She majored in English at Central Connecticut State University, and while Dale holds a full-time day job where she’s immersed in the dry life of writing contracts, she’s been writing young adult fantasy and mid-grade contemporary for seventeen years (on the side, of course).

 

Mini-Interview

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

  1. Chocolate, and lots of it. Maybe like a magical chocolate fountain that never runs out. A girl’s got to eat.
  2. The entire Lords of the Underworld series (because a girl’s got to keep warm at night 🙂
  3. A match, for just about everything else.

 

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

 Ugh. Okay.

5:00 a.m. Up and at ‘em!.

Get ready for work, get the kids ready for school. Sneak in a bit of chocolate, because really, who wants to start their day without it?

6:30 a.m. Rush out the door to catch the bus to work.

On the bus I write on my netbook. Or, if the battery is dead, read on my Nook. Or, if my Nook is dead, stare out the window and hate myself for not charging my batteries.

7:45 a.m. Arrive at work.

Work, work, work all the live-long day. Sneak in bits of chocolate to keep me going throughout the day, because really, who can survive without it?

5:00 – or 5:30 p.m. (timing depends on how miserable my day is) Catch the bus home. See comment for 6:30 a.m. on how I spend the bus ride.

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Arrive home.

Cook, chauffeur, clean, read.

10:00 p.m. Asleep before my head hits the pillow.

 

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

To be invisible. I always thought it would be kind of glamorous to be a spy; I would totally rock at being a spy if I could vanish on a whim.

 

One food you would never eat?

Snails. Ew and ick and everything in between.

 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Haley is a girl that most teens can relate to (a little lost, a little confused, and a little shy), not to mention the little bit of evil, little bit of romance, little bit of mystery, and little bit of action in the entire Last Moon Rising Series.

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Strong Blood (Last Moon Rising # 2)Strong Blood - Cover

The war between nature’s gods continues to rage on Eyidora and Haley, descendant of the Air Eyid, struggles with her own battles. She’s mired in a battle with Ian, the Fire Eyid descendant, over the lost Eyid stones. She needs the stones to stop the war, and he needs the stones to destroy Eyidora. She knows where the Land Eyid stone is hidden, and she races to Tamoor to find it before Ian does.

Haley still doesn’t trust Tuggin, the stone-faced Eyidoran assigned to protect her. As a Menta witch, he’s adept at lying, mind-control, and killing. Even though Haley is starting to believe that Tuggin may be serving more than one master, she continues to battle her feelings for him, never sure which duty he feels most inclined to serve.

But Haley’s biggest battle of all comes when she meets Luke and Telsa, twins with undeniable strength. Haley invites them to join her on her mission to find the Land Eyid stone. Has she put her trust in someone who may be just as dark and dangerous as Ian, the descendant of Fire himself?

 

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/daleibitz

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dale%20ibitz

Blog: http://dalesplace-dale.blogspot.com/

 http://daleibitz.wix.com/daleibitz

Guest Post…MANfiction Dialogue

Is that so, Mister Chumley Warner?

Is that so, Mister Chumley Warner?

At the heart of any good novel is dialogue. Depending on the type of novel you are writing, and the type of reader you want to connect with, this will lead to how much dialogue you place in your novel, and where you place it. For the MANfiction author, you want authentic, masculine dialogue. You don’t need a lot of similes and metaphors. You need a few one-liners, and plenty of zingers, that hit with the force of a Mack truck slamming into a brick wall. Even if you have a neutral name, there should be no question in the reader’s mind that your character is all male.

 Extended scenes of dialogue are okay, as long as they serve a higher purpose, and move the story along. And don’t forget to tell your reader where the characters are, unless you have the character talking to himself, which creates a whole other set of issues. You don’t want to skip on the details of the other character in the scene, even when that character is female.

 Placing your main character in precarious situations and being forced to talk his way out of them is okay. But it needs to be believable. Just as too many scenes with your main character punching his way out, despite the level of his adversary, might seem a bit far-fetched. In MANfiction, your character needs to bleed, even if it’s only temporary. It brings out the human aspect that much more.

 Little idiosyncrasies in speech patterns go a long way to distinguishing your main character from every other in fiction. So don’t overdo it. Spend some time listening to men talk and interact. In the end, you’ll be glad you did, and your story will improve because of it.

Robert Downs is the author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. A sample chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or his main character, can be located at his website http://RobertDowns.net
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Falling Immortality

Falling Immortality

 

Falling Immortality

Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention. So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn’t what it seems to be and he doesn’t have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey’s challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.

 

Guest Post…The MANfiction Bromance

Friends or Bromance?

Friends or Bromance?

MANfiction is all about guys, so the main character will most likely be male. And when you have one, more than likely another one will be waiting in the wings, or will be central to the story, or your main character. In that case, you may have what is called a bromance. Is that such a bad thing?

In pursuit of a good story, I would argue that it’s not. Good stories can have two men working together, arguing together, and getting out of trouble together. In the end, it makes for a more realistic story. Take brothers. I fought with mine constantly, but in the end, I was a better person for being forced to fight my way out of trouble with my fists. And your main character will be as well.

So what do you need for the perfect bromance? You need the perfect complement to your main character. If your main character tends to take a step backward, you need a person that jumps in with both feet. If your main character has a mouth the size of Arkansas, you need a person that has lips sealed tighter than a man in the middle of Antarctica.

What does the bromance do? It gives your story heart, and it adds another dimension between all of the fight scenes. And your reader will certainly thank you.

Robert Downs is the author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. A sample chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or his main character, can be located at his website http://RobertDowns.net
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Falling Immortality

Falling Immortality

 

Falling Immortality

Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention. So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn’t what it seems to be and he doesn’t have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey’s challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.

 

 

Author Spotlight…Robert Downs

  Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author Robert Downs…This is the first of a weekend of features we’re running with Robert – come back tomorrow and Monday to learn more about MANfiction in his guest posts! 

Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise Casey might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, and now resides in New Mexico.

Despite his literary side, numbers are very much a part of his world, to the point that he has a business administration degree from West Virginia University as well as an MBA from Columbia College.

Falling Immortality is his first novel.

Falling Immortality

Falling Immortality

 

Falling Immortality

Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention. So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn’t what it seems to be and he doesn’t have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey’s challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.

 

 

 

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website: http://RobertDowns.net

Author Spotlight…Double Trouble!

 

 This week we have a twist on our author spotlight feature – as we have two authors with us! Christy Hall and Amanda Gerry wrote Phoenix Angel together…Let’s find out if two heads are better than one 😉 

Christy Hall has been addicted to the many realms of fantasy and science fiction all her life. She joined her first peer writers’ group in the sixth grade, joyfully sharing world building at a young age. A graduate of Southern Utah University, she now teaches at a local charter school. When she isn’t busy designing activities for her Mythology class or going on field trips with the Star Wars Club, she is spending time with her sister, A Gerry. C. Hall’s favorite authors include J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Tracy Hickman.

Amanda Gerry developed an interest in fantasy at a young age. In middle school, she fell in love with writing short stories and was thrilled when her sister proposed creating a series of novels together. Her fondness of writing comes from many sources, but the most prominent is her avid devotion to video games.  Some of her favorites include Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls series, and anything that lets her shoot zombies. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Utah University and teaches at a local charter school.

Christy’s Interview

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy? If I won one million dollars the first thing I would buy would be a Bumblebee Camaro that really transformed. Then when I parked it at Wal-Mart, I would have it turn in to a giant robot while I went to buy laundry detergent.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be? If I could jump into any fictional world, I would definitely want to be an elf in Middle Earth. What’s not to love about living forever, wearing pretty dresses, and frolicking around Mirkwood with Legolas?

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Right now we are working on the Shardwell magic series, book four. When complete it will be six novels. Book 2, Guardian of Time, is scheduled to be released in August of this year. After that, my sister and I have this amazing idea for a new series with dragons and prophecy.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Teleportation. Hands down. I hate driving!

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Never give up. There is a story inside you that you want to share. No matter how hard it gets, perseverance is the way to succeed as a writer.

Amanda’s Interview

What is one book everyone should read? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

What inspired you to want to become a writer? I have always loved books and creative writing. But most of all, I wanted to work on a set of books that I would want to read.  Our books contain all the elements of both story and characters that intrigue us.

Who are your favorite authors of all time? Jane Austen, R. A. Salvatore, Tracy Hickman, and Margaret Weis

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Be patient and stick to what you believe. Remember that you are writing the book. Don’t change anything unless it makes sense for your characters.

How do you react to a bad review?  Not everyone likes the same type of book.  I think about what the bad review has to say but I don’t let it affect me or my writing.

What do you do in your free time? Play video games.

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Phoenix Angel

Phoenix Angel

 

What is happening to us?  I’ve asked this question a thousand times, but there is no answer.

I was a normal teenager, trudging my way through senior year with my best friend. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three of us. We’ve developed terrifying abilities—strange powers that separate us from normal people.

Even worse, someone—or something—has taken a deadly interest in us. We never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect ourselves. We don’t even know who they are.

All we know is that they want one of us alive, and we don’t know who. The others they want dead. Which will I be?

Want to know more? Check out their website!