Indie Author Spotlight…Nicole Ciacchella

Indie Authors Spotlight is a weekly meme that will be held on every SATURDAY in the month. It is hosted by Beckie @Bittersweet Enchantment & CYP @A Bookalicious Story.
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This week’s spotlighted author is Nicole Ciacchella

About the Author – Nicole has had a lifelong passion for the written word. As a child, one of her most treasured Christmas gifts was an electric typewriter, which enabled her to crank out her stories even more quickly than she could with a pen. Naturally, the personal computer is one of her favorite inventions. When she isn’t writing, Nicole can usually be found curled up in a chair, whiling away the hours with a good book.One of Nicole’s other great passions is travel, and she has visited Europe, as well as traveling to many of the fifty states. Her favorite trips include visits to Paris, Maui, and various parts of Belgium. She feels fortunate that she is married to a native Belgian, as it gives her plenty of reasons to visit Europe as often as possible. Also, it gives her an excuse to eat Belgian waffles regularly.Born and raised in Michigan, Nicole lives there still with her husband and two beautiful children. She thinks Michigan is the greatest state in the country, and Michigan State University is the greatest university in the world.

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When the imminent collapse of the world’s food system threatens to all but eradicate the human race, it’s up to nineteen-year-old Liang Zhang to determine which of his company’s employees will live and which will die.

Liang and the other Job Creators have only weeks to choose which of their staff and families to move into the domes, the last refuges on the barren planet.  Despite their best efforts, the Job Creators are unable to keep their selection project under wraps, spurring violent protests against the privileged few.

Now, Liang must race: against starvation, against insurrection, and against his own conscience.

 Creators is a novella, the prequel to the forthcoming Contributor trilogy.

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Author Q&A with Nicole

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? I would choose Jane Austen, without a doubt.  I not only love her books, I also think a meeting with her would make for fascinating conversation—she was so insightful and so slyly funny.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. It’s important for everyone to think about and discuss what the future might look like, and to decide how we would like it to look.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? I have always wanted to be a writer.  I thought about becoming a journalist, but my real passion has always been for creating my own worlds.  I can’t express how thrilled I am that indie publishing has made it possible for writers to control their own careers.
If you could jump inside the pages of a book and live in that world, which would it be? It would definitely be the world of Harry Potter.  Truth be told, I’m a wimp and wouldn’t so much like the part about fighting Death Eaters, but I would love to go to a magical boarding school where I could learn how to cast spells.
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had? Honestly, I felt like my idea for Contributor was the craziest idea I’ve ever had.  While I have tried to write in many genres, I never thought I could pull off a dystopia.  Contributor was meant to be a NaNoWriMo challenge, but the more I wrote, the more I thought, “You know, maybe I can actually pull this off.”  I hope I was right!

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Words Escape Me (Nicole’s blog): http://nciacchella.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NCiacchella    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nciacchella

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/npciacchella

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nciacchella


Indie Author Spotlight…Jessica Roberts

Indie Authors Spotlight is a weekly meme that will be held on every SATURDAY in the month. It is hosted by Beckie @Bittersweet Enchantment & CYP @A Bookalicious Story.
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This week’s spotlighted author is Jessica Roberts…
About the Author – JESSICA ROBERTS grew up in the San Francisco, California Bay Area where she spent most of her time playing sports alongside her six siblings.  She was crowned Miss Teen California her senior year of high school, and went on to Brigham Young University where she graduated in Human Development.  Her love of family, church, writing, athletics, and singing and dancing keeps her life busy and fulfilled.  She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three children.
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Synopsis

Was six perfect months with the guy of my dreams, only a dream?

Bright, spunky Heather Robbins has escaped her small hometown and is anxiously beginning her freshman year of college.  Rising above her rocky childhood, she’s found a place where good things are finally starting to happen: her own private apartment, refreshing college classes, and an intense attachment to a mysterious and rugged classmate, Nick Richards.

But when her dreamy college life turns out to be nothing more than a wonderful dream while resting in a coma, questions threaten. Now, Heather must press forward to unlock the real past, and find the answers buried deep in her mind.  What she unlocks instead is a roller coaster ride through flashbacks, embellished memories, and a whirlwind romance…

And when it’s all over and she comes face to face with the truth, will she lose everything she’s fallen in love with?

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Buy the Book! Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords

Guest Post…Everyone Wants to Be a Writer

After taking over our blog this week, lovely author Patricia Lynne leaves us with her final thoughts on ‘being a writer.’

Thanks for spending the week with us – we’ve had lots of fun and loved reading Being Human 🙂

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Everyone wants to be a writer

It’s something I’ve heard a lot. Everyone says they want to be a writer. Everyone! Of course, not everyone actually does it, but 99% of people have probably expressed it at one point in their lives. Want to know a secret?

I didn’t.

I never had any intention of becoming a writer. When I was in third grade, I had tried to write a story, but a passing classmate read what I had written and laughed. I scrapped the story and never tried again. What got me writing was a dream. In it, a girl was being kept from by her vampire love by the cast of True Blood. I woke up and thought it’d be fun to write, minus the True Blood cast. Even then I wasn’t calling myself a writer or had any plans to publish the story. It was just for fun

When I finished the story, I got another. And another! So I kept writing them. It was fun, but I still didn’t consider myself a writer. It wasn’t until I started looking into publishing while writing Being Human that I thought about it. Even then I was hesitant. My college papers in English weren’t As. One I got a D on one and struggled to bring it up to a B (if I knew what I did now, I wouldn’t have gotten any Ds.) But I was confident in Being Human. It was interesting and different and I was so tired of all vampires being the same: whiny wussies. Maybe I could do this. If I could find people to help me edit it, then maybe it would be worth publishing.

Sometimes, I am still wary of saying I’m a writer. I have one book published and a short. But I never intended it to happen! Do I really deserve to say I’m a writer when all this was a giant accident inspired by a dream? I don’t know, but now that I’ve started, it’s really hard to stop writing.

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Indie Author Spotlight…Patricia Lynne

Indie Authors Spotlight is a weekly meme that will be held on every SATURDAY in the month. It is hosted by Beckie @Bittersweet Enchantment & CYP @A Bookalicious Story.
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This week’s spotlighted author is Patricia Lynne…

Author – Patricia Lynne

About the Author: Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer, and in fact, was more of an art and band nerd in high school and college. But some stories are meant to be told and now she can’t stop. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.
You can find out even more in our interview with Patricia from earlier this week! CLICK HERE!
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Hmmmm…yummy yummy for this cover model 😉

Synopsis

For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn’t that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny’s help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He’ll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he’ll learn there’s more to life than simple survival. He’ll discover being human doesn’t mean being a human.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

My website   Goodreads   Twitter   Facebook

Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes and Noble


Interview with…Patricia Lynne

This week we’re welcoming author Patricia Lynne to the blog for a short series of features. Today we’ll be finding out more about her with an interview, on Saturday her book Being Human will be under the spotlight and finally on Sunday, she’ll be sharing some of her thoughts and experiences of writing in a guest post. Phew! With all that to get through, let’s get started with the interview! 

Author – Patricia Lynne

Hi Patricia, welcome to Aside from Writing, we hope you’ll enjoy your time on the blog. Let’s get started with your interview!
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Heather Brewer, Mike Rowe, my mom (because otherwise she’d be miffed I didn’t invite her!)

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

Hmmm, I’d say it’s a toss up between super speed because I hate car rides and being able to fly because Rogue of the X-men was my favorite and she could fly.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mackinaw Island Fudge. It’s vanilla ice cream and fudge and oh so good and is a Michigan specialty.

Wow – that sounds amazingly good – how far is Michigan from Manchester?! 🙂 OK – still thinking of food – what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

I never wake up in time to eat breakfast, because let’s face it, mornings are evil, so let’s count lunch as my breakfast so grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Lastly…a drink to go with your meal…Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. Mountain Dew. I love my elixir of life.

OK – now back to books! Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because if you don’t I’ll send Tommy after you and he has no qualms about getting flesh stuck in his fangs. 😉 Oh, sorry, did you want a serious answer? Being Human is a new take on a myth that’s been done a million times over, but with no sparkling.

You know – that might not be a bad thing for me – on the basis that the cover image is a very gorgeous guy, who is saying ‘please bump me to the top of the tbr pile’ with his sexy stare – I think it is enough to keep refusing. And let’s face it – we like vamps because of the danger 😉 

What are you working on at the moment? Any new books in the works? 

I have a few books that are in various stages of editing and I’m hoping to have at least one ready to get published soon. The one I’m most hopeful to have finished soon(ish) is called Snapshots and it’s about a boy who can see the future in others eyes so he keeps one eye covered earning him the nickname Cyclop.

What’s been your best experience from being published? 

This may seem mean but I highly enjoy hearing my story has made someone cry. Writers all strive to create stories that resonate with readers and make them feel, so hearing my book made someone happy or sad enough to cry is very rewarding. I did a good job.

What was your favorite book to read when you were a child?

I loved all the Clifford the Big Red Dog books. I had them all and I’m pretty sure my mom still has them stashed somewhere.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

At one point I wanted to be a ballerina, but mostly I wanted to be an artist like my grandpa. I even when to college at Grand Valley State for a year in art.

How do you feel when you get a bad review? And how do you deal with it? 

I’ve only had one really bad review so far and I whined to my husband and a few friends privately, and then I got away from my laptop and got slightly (no, really) drunk. Then I didn’t really care about the review. Plus, the people I was with reminded me that every movie, book, TV show get bad reviews.

Take us through a typical day in your life…

Well, I lay in bed thinking about how I need to get up for way longer than I should. Then I finally force myself to jump up and go through the usual things (brush teeth, deodorant, get dressed) I check twitter and my email, comment on blogs or reply to emails. For some reason, I can never motivate myself to write until after I eat lunch. I can spend all afternoon writer/editing while checking twitter too much while having Mythbusters, Criminal Minds or Dirty Jobs playing in the background. I can’t write to music, but the TV is fine. I don’t have a real job (I have a small online handmade jewelry store and deliver a paper on the weekend) so I never have to worry about squeezing writing in between work. I make dinner when my husband gets home. If it’s nice out, we go for a walk and I try not to bore him with writing talk and he tries not to bore me with computer related jabber. Shower and then it’s back to writing, but usually I’m a bit worn out on writing and waste time on twitter talking about how I need to be writing. Around midnight, I trudge to bed and glower at my husband for being able to fall asleep in two seconds while it takes me a half hour.

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Patricia will be going under our author spotlight on Saturday – so come back and find out more about her and Being Human then!

And don’t forget the giveaway to win your own copy of Being Human – just comment in any of the features from Patricia posted this week and you’ll be entered to win an e-copy supplied via Smashwords!

Indie Author Spotlight…Michael Meyer

Indie Authors Spotlight is a weekly meme that will be held on every SATURDAY in the month. It is hosted by Beckie @Bittersweet Enchantment & CYP @A Bookalicious Story.
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This week’s spotlighted author is Michael Meyer…
About the Author: I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, SaudiArabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the island of St. Croix, where DEADLY EYES is set. I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.
I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as DEADLY EYES was born.
As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats.
WHAT MOTIVATES ME AS A WRITER?  

Writing is a lonely avocation, just my trusty computer at my side, as I work hard to create people, places, and plots that other people might enjoy reading. Marketing one’s own writing is an extremely lonely business. Unlike having a traditional publisher and all of its clout behind me, I have only myself, and I am a writer, not a salesperson. I find it difficult to toot my own horn, though I know that it is essential in order to get word of the very existence of my work out to the reading public. So what keeps me going? The writing, of course, gives me a lot of enjoyment. I am actually like a reader as I write. I never quite know how things will turn out in the end, not only of the book itself, but also in specific scenes. I thoroughly enjoy working with words, stringing them together in a creative way. Language has always fascinated me. Can you goose a goose? Does a house burn up or burn down? If you are going to come visit me, are you coming or going? Why would you want to swipe your card at a cash register if you already own the card? There is a huge difference between snap to and snap at. The list can go on and on. I love to play with words as I write, and this can be seen in DEADLY EYES.

Marketing my own work, however, is a completely different ballgame. I am a good writer, but I lack a lot in the area of salesmanship. I do seek out as many reviewers, interviewers, and bloggers as I can, and I am very thankful for all of these people, but every hour I spend tooting my own horn could be spent creating, my real forte. So what keeps me plugging away at my lonely avocation of writing? The answer is found in the wonderful reactions that readers have to my work. Their excitement serves to push me forward. I like people, and it makes me happy to see that they, in turn, like what I have created. Here are a few random lines from posted reviews of DEADLY EYES on my Amazon author’s site as examples of what I mean:

“The ride is fast and furious and the outcome will leave you blindsided….I recommend Deadly Eyes to all readers for its fast paced action coupled with the mesmerizing and intense suspense.” – Marilou George, THE KINDLE BOOK REVIEW

“Michael Meyer has done it again, weaving a fascinating tale of murder and intrigue in the tropical paradise of St. Croix that will keep you turning the page to the very end.” – Nick Russell, author of BIG LAKE

” Michael Meyer has another hit on his hands with ‘Deadly Eyes’…. This is another 5-star book by a 5-star writer….  If you have never read Michael Meyer, do yourself a favor and pick up this book or all of his books, you won’t be disappointed.” – D Everetti, author of PUNISHING A GOOD DEED

I think you can see what I mean. It is pretty heady stuff, the type of thing that helps me keep the faith as an Indie writer, a person who is not very good at tooting his own horn but thrills when it is tooted by his readers.

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Synopsis

James Cuffy, better known as Cuff, is living in paradise with his girlfriend, on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix, where the sky is as blue as Cuff’s eyes, the ocean as pretty as Rosie’s cheeks, where the gentle lapping of the waves is a lullaby, and the swaying of the palm trees is a dance. The sandy beaches are as white as sugar, and the horizon is a world away. St. Croix indeed is paradise, the perfect place for living, laughing, and loving.

But the sandy beaches and the turquoise sea can provide no cover from the deadly eyes of the unknown stalker pursuing Cuff. Murder leads to murder as he attempts to untangle the terrible web in which he has suddenly become entangled. The twists and turns are relentless, the roads of the fast action leading in all directions, but time is running out, and Cuff, his faithful Rosie at his side, knows it.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWLBtVDUdC4

BOOK LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Eyes-ebook/dp/B007IO3O22/ref=lp_B005E7M8CW_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335801699&sr=1-1

Amazon author’s site: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Meyer/e/B005E7M8CW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads author: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/674626.Mike_Meyer

Facebook writers’s site: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife/app_191387770912394

Pinterest writer’s site: http://pinterest.com/temmike/#

 


Indie Author Spotlight…Richard Due

Indie Authors Spotlight is a weekly meme that will be held on every SATURDAY in the month.
It is hosted by Beckie @Bittersweet Enchantment & CYP @A Bookalicious Story.
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This week’s spotlighted author on Aside from Writing is Richard Due…
“Tales, unlike stories, never lie. You see, a tale is an account of things in their due order, often divulged secretly, or as gossip. Would you like to hear one?” —Lord Autumn
Uncle Ebb was so good at telling his tales of the Moon Realm that sometimes it sounded like he’d been there himself. As children, Lily and Jasper listened raptly to his bedtime tales of a place where nine moons swirled around one another, each inhabited by strange and wondrous beings: magical lunamancers; undersea merfolk; wise birds; winged dragons; and Lily’s favorite, the heroic, leonine Rinn.
There was only one rule: don’t tell a soul.
But now, years later, Uncle Ebb is missing. Lily has learned the secret behind the tales, and soon Jasper will too. But there’s one big problem. You see, something terrible has happened in the Moon Realm. . . .
Featuring twenty-two stunning full-color illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio.
Volume One of the fantasy adventure series The Moon Realm.
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Want to know more? Check out the links!
Buying Links:
Amazon (Kindle & Kindle Fire): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005JFMKB8
iTunes iBookstore (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch): http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/richard-due/id462821815?mt=11
Author and Illustrator Bio:
Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife have owned and operated Second Looks Books since 1991. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series. Visit TheMoonRealm.com for more information.
Author Image:
Carolyn Arcabascio hails from Massachusetts, where she lives and works as an illustrator while pursuing her lifelong exploration of words, images, and the magical places where they meet. Visit her website at www.carolynarcabascio.com
Illustrator Image:
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Q&A on The Moon Coin
1. Your book sounds like a genre-bending read – where did your inspiration for it come from?
The Moon Coin is, at its core, traditional epic fantasy, such as The Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings. But each moon in the Moon Realm brings something very different. The first two books in the series center around the moons Barreth and Dain. Barreth is inhabited with the Rinn, which are creatures a little larger than Earth’s draft horses, only the Rinn are more lion-like. Whereas Dain is a moon inhabited by people not unlike us, only with magic, albeit a faded, weak magic. The next two books in the series take place mostly on the Moon Dik Dek, which is a mer-world, covered by ocean, and the moon Mintar, which is encased with an unnatural snow and inhabited by giants.
Having these different moons gives me wonderful challenges. There is always something new coming around the next moon. There’s even one moon, the inhabitant of which are secretive about everything, which is pure steampunk. I can’t wait to get working on that one.
As for the origin of the story, I was racking my brain one night, trying to tell my daughter a new bedtime tale. I was exhausted, physically and mentally, and kept stumbling into that wonderland between dreams and sleep. My daughter kept elbowing me: “Wake up, Daddy, you’re not making any sense!” But I kept drifting off. And then, all in one jolt, I brought back with me The Moon Realm. About nine books worth.
2. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
If you love being immersed in intoxicating new worlds, weaving through story lines full of narrative puzzles, meeting invigorating characters, and enjoy nail-biting reveals, then my book is definitely for you—because it’s got all that and more.
3. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
The Moon Coin is the first book in the Moon Realm Series. Book two, The Dragondain, is written, edited, and currently with the illustrator, Carolyn Arcabascio, for preliminary sketchwork. The eBook will be out the first week of September, and a paperbound version will follow a month or so later. I’m really excited about getting book two out into the world, because I write these books in pairs. The Moon Coin is part one, The Dragondain is part two. Writing the ending to a book two is always going to be easy because book twos will always have a really big finish. I pretty much just have to keep my fingers on the keyboard and hope my head doesn’t explode from the excitement. Writing the endings to part ones is far trickier. I work very, very hard to make sure the reader gets a satisfying end to those. My beta-readers played a significant role in getting the ending of The Moon Coin just right.
4. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I have to write. I’ve found that I’m really only happy, only really at peace, when I’m trying to balance a narrative juggernaut in my brain. If I try and clear my mind, empty my thoughts, relax, let go—that’s when the tension and anxiety builds. I need a health dose of mayhem ricocheting through my head into order to chill out. I always have. Writing is the only salve I’ve found.
5. What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Read the genre you want to write until your eyeballs fall out. Then put them back in and read some more. Repeat.