Wednesday, October 31, 2012

COVER REVEAL - To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World


10 Tales of Steampunk Silliness and Spookery.

In the cozy seaside village of Steamville, New Hampshire, an unfaithful zombie, out of control werebots, succubi in corsets, and more wreak havoc in this short story collection. 
Pub Date: December 22, 2012 on all major online retailers ($.99 for ebook/$2.99 for print)
Author: Emily White
Goodreads link: goodreads
Emily's blog: Emily White
Emily at Spencer Hill Press: Emily at SHP
Thanks for stopping by and checking out Emily's cool cover!
Kimmy :)
Triangles, Spencer Hill Press, 2013

Monday, October 29, 2012

What To Do When You Can't Write.

Some people talk about writer's block like it's the plague. Other writers poo-poo the whole notion saying that it doesn't really exist. While I have my opinion on the matter, I'm offering some creative ways to break through that-that-shall-not-be-named instead.

The List of Fun Things to Do When You Can't Write:

1.Take yourself on an artist date. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, highly recommends this. Go someplace new, hop a bus, a train, a plane (if you have any spare cash hanging around). Neurologists agree that, if you go someplace you've never been, it activates your neural pathways, helping you to see the world in a fresh way.

2. Express yourself in a new medium. Last winter, I was having a heck of a time writing so I began to sew. I took out the sewing maching someone had gifted me and bought a pattern for a child's dress. Now, I don't have a daughter or even know a young girl, but I sewed three dresses then gifted them to a friend of a friend. When I was done, I went back to writing.

3. Take a walk. Physical exercise and the resultant input of oxygen to your brain gets the circuits going.

4. Read a book and type the words from that book. The act of writing, even if it's someone else's work, is helpful.

5. Create a playlist of music for your novel in progress. Choose a song for each chapter or the chapter you are struggling with to get you in the mood and give you a sense of the mood of that chapter. While you're at it, dance around the house. You're a writer! No one will quesition your behavior :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

COVER REVEAL - Blood Bound

Blood Bound
   Starting college a year early is hard. Starting fae college and learning to protect the world from the Unseelie is harder.
   Brielle Reed has always been an over-achiever, but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Between her crash course in fae politics, struggles to control her new mind-reading ability, training sessions with the demanding Dr. Schwartz, and discoveries about the father who is still a mystery to her, Brielle finds herself longing for a chance at a normal life.
   But she may not get that chance. Or chance at a life at all, for that matter.

Title: Blood Bound
Author: Keshia Swaim
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-45-1
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book

For the cover reveal, we have two, count 'em, two covers! And we'd like to know which you and your readers prefer. In the spirit of the election season, we'd like to ask for your vote! Here's the link for the poll:

If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship in spring of 2013 (and we'll have them at BEA).

So what do you guys think? Both of these covers are amazing and are done by my very own cover artist, Vic Caswell! Let's help them decide by voting!

Thanks for stopping by!

Kimmy :)

Triangles, Spencer Hill Press, 2013

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Six Conflict Questions To Ask

I'm not a person who likes conflict. Not even the tiniest bit. However, when it comes to my characters I have no choice but to make them face conflict. Why put these characters through something I dislike myself? If I don't, there will be nothing to read, no reason to turn the page and find out what happens in the end.

As I edit my current WIP I am finding there are certain questions I must ask myself. And I ask them for every single chapter. I want to make sure that there is some semblance of conflict in each and every chapter, whether it is external, internal, or romantic. It must be there. It is what fuels the reader on, keeps them on the edge of their seats, and most of all loving the book in the end.

Here are the 6 main conflict questions I ask myself to unlock the best possible plot.

1) What does my main character want and why?

2) How could my main character suffer emotionally?

3) Could my main character sacrifice something to meet his/her goal?

4) What could my secondary characters do to complicate this goal?

5) Could these complications be even worse?

6) What could distract my main character from his/her goal?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm. Stop by their blogs to see what they are giving away. There are hundreds of blogs participating, just check the linky at the bottom of this post to find more contests. (If you don't see the linky use the links above to get to it via the host sites. I had issues setting up this post and the linky didn't want to work.) 

This year we're giving away a copy of the first book in the House of Night series Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast.

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire -- that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

  • The blog hop begins Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at midnight EST and ends Wednesday, October 31st at 12:01am EST. 
  • But, the giveaway begins accepting entries Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at midnight EST and ends Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 12:01am EST. 
  • Winner will be announced Thursday, November 1, 2012. 
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond to the "Congratulations" email. If you have a problem with spam please add me to your email contacts [Simone7304 (at) gmail (dot) com], this has happened in contests before and I never got responses on where to send the book.  
  • US residents only. Sorry!
  • Good luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Writing Career

Career may be a misnomer when you are writer working on getting published. Especially, if you have an actual career that you’re excited about and pays the bills. Still, if you call yourself writer you are in it for the long haul. You write in the wee hours of the morning or complete a page before turning off the lights at night –a process you repeat for years, sometimes tens of years. How do you sustain your writing career? How do you keep the fire (sometimes, it feels like a tiny spark) going through work crises, family emergencies, changing boyfriends and switching apartments?

For me, it’s important to keep the inner child alive. Whether reading a historical biography or taking a nature hike, it’s vital to nourish and enrich my inner life. Having said that, it’s just as important to make sure we don’t isolate ourselves. It’s easy when writing to say that weekdays are for work and weekends are for writing. It’s easy to turn down camping trips and museum visits because your weekend is your time to write. For me, though, tuning out the world works only for a short while. I have to live in it, see it and interact with it to produce work that feels authentic. So I take time out during some weekends so that I can continue to grow the writer in me. It’s amazing how much more focused I am when I return.

Finally, the most important thing I can do for my writing career is remaining a student. I try to hone my craft through workshops, critique groups and craft days. I take time off from my WIP to learn and practice at a weekend workshop or start a new story during NaNoWriMo (beginning in just a few short weeks!).

All of this may mean that it takes me three to four years to finish my manuscript but as long as I enjoy the process and become a better writer it’s time that is worth investing. I look at my writing career as a marathon and not a sprint. I’ve chosen to think long term. Do you feel the same way? What works for you?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jennifer L. Armentrout Blog Tour

Jennifer Armentrout is one of my favorite authors, and today I am showing Jennifer some love!
Here are her amazing books from Spencer Hill Press:

Daimon: A Prequel to Half-Blood
Half-Blood: A Covenant Novel

Pure: The Second Covenant Novel
(April 2012)  
Deity: The Third Covenant Novel
(November 2012)
Elixir: A Covenant Novella (November 2012)
Apollyon: The Fourth Covenant Novel (April 2013)
Sentinel: The Fifth Covenant Novel (late 2013)

(September 2012)
Also check out her Lux series by Entangled Publishing and her upcoming titles from Disney/Hyperion!
Jennifer's bio: USA TODAY BESTSELLING Author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories....which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is the author of the COVENANT Series (Spencer Hill Press), the LUX Series (Entangled Publishing), and the upcoming YA contemporary mystery/thrillers DON'T LOOK BACK (Disney/Hyperion Spring 2014) and yet untitled book (Disney/Hyperion tentative Fall 2014).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Listing To Your Own Voice

I started writing a memoir a few days ago. Yes, a memoir. Even to me, that sounds strange. I've always considered myself a fiction writer, and a fiction writer for children and young adults at that. So the idea of writing something so personal and for adult readers strikes me as odd. Who knows if I will finish it. Who knows if it will be accepted for publication. Who knows, who knows, who knows. The important thing is that I had something to say and I needed to say it. And I'm listening, to my own voice for a change as oppossed to listening to my character's voice. But what is the distinction?

In the case of fiction, voice is how your character expresses him or herself. Voice is their choice of words, their cadence and the patterns of putting sentences together. It's much like the way real people speak and it's identifiable and unique to the person doing the speaking.

In contrast, there is the writer's voice. The writers voice also includes choice of words, syntax and pacing, but it's also about a sense of style. I think we can all readily agree that when you pick up a Jane Austen novel and a Meg Cabot novel, that both women have different author voices that reflect the time period in which that author lived/lives, their sensibilities, values, culture and life experiences.

How do you find your own voice? While it's challenging, I believe it's something that happens with time and the practice of craft. After a day of being away from the memoir, I started working on it this morning. Reading a few passages I'd already written, it was as if I'd come to a cafe, sat down with an old friend, and picked up on the conversation from where we'd last left off. There was an automatic intimacy, as if I knew her, and knew how she/I spoke, and what were her concerns, dreams, values. It's this intimacy that we strive for in our work, that comes through our voices. It's this intimacy that our readers connect with and why they want to spend time with us, and in the worlds that we create.

If you're still seeking your voice, look to other authors whose work you return to over and over. You might be naturally attracted to their voice because it is similar to your own. Notice how they put sentences together. Are they short and clipped or long and flowing? Are chapters action packed and quickly paced or are does the author use long passages and delve deeply into the internal world of their characters? These are clues into your own voice and style. Follow the clues.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

COVER REVEAL: The Dollhouse Asylum, by Mary Gray

The Dollhouse Asylum
   A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when seventeen-year-old Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.
   At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.
   The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.
   If they play it right, then they'll be safe.
   But if they play it wrong, they'll die.

Title: The Dollhouse Asylum
Author: Mary Gray
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-64-2
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book 
If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship in the summer of 2013. 
Yet another amazing cover by Spencer Hill Press! This one looks super creepy!
Kimmy :)
Triangles, Spencer Hill Press, 2013

Saturday, October 13, 2012

COVER REVEAL - Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Deity (The third book in the Covenant Series)
Available in both print and digital version on Nov. 6, 2012
Barnes and Noble
Official Deity Book Trailer
Did you read an ARC of Deity and been dying to get your hands on Elixir, the novella told in Aiden’s POV and picks up right after the end of Deity? Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. The free novella is available now. DO NOT read Elixir if you have not read Deity. It will spoil Deity for you and not to mention, you will have no idea what is going on.
Elixir will be available in print. Kindle, and Nook formats on November 27, 2012.
Click HERE to read Elixir. 

And we’re super excited to share the cover for the 4th book in the Covenant Series, Apollyon, which is due out April 2013. 

Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:
Official Website

Jennifer is one of my favorite YA authors. Her books have an amazing amount of action, romance, and sassiness! If you haven't read anything by her yet, do it. You won't regret it!

Kimmy :)

Triangles, Spencer Hill Press, 2013

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Writer's Bookshelf

I am constantly in search of books to make my writing shine, my plot stand out, and the overall process of my writing life better. I have found over the years that with each new piece of knowledge and understanding the process of writing and editing becomes less burdensome and more enjoyable.

In light of that I thought I would share some of the writing craft books on my bookshelf. And, no this list is in no particular order.

First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Story by Robert McKee

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

On Writing by Stephen King

Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Barbara Puglisi

Query: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed by C.J. Redwine

What writing books do you have on your shelves? Which are your favorites?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Living to Write

There's a Hemingway quote that goes something like, “In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it.”

In the spirit of Hemingway, and with it being Columbus Day, I'm taking time out today to dull my writing instrument a bit. See you next time!

Friday, October 5, 2012

COVER REVEAL - Timothy Miller's Awoken

Fourteen-year-old Michael Stevens has never been ordinary; no orphan who hears music coming from rocks considers himself a typical teenager. But life gets a lot more complicated when two-foot-tall, albino, doll-like men sneak into his room one night, transforming the harmless music into a frightening ability he cannot control.
Soon, strangers in black suits begin to ask unsettling questions while unnatural animals with mismatched eyes haunt the streets. They are hunting, and not just Michael: anyone he cares about is in danger.
With the help of a mysterious drifter, an annoying girl he's accidentally mutated, and one of those creepy doll men, Michael finds himself in the middle of a war that could forever change the world he knows - reconstructing the very definition of humanity.

Title: Awoken
Author: Timothy Miller
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( Please feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-53-6
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book 

If you'd like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website. ARCs will ship in May of 2013.

And here we have another amazing cover from Spencer Hill!

Kimmy :)

TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013  

Thursday, October 4, 2012


A long time ago, I started a file called ‘book ideas’. Pretty unique, huh? But it gets the job done and lets me jot things down as they come to me so I can move onto other things that I’m working on. If you don’t have an idea file for your writing, consider starting one. It can be as easy as a Word doc or an email you send to yourself, or even a notebook. 

My idea file is filled with book ideas. Some are a paragraph or two long; others are just a thought I had or a first sentence that came to me. These ideas might never become books, but then again, they might—just like one did for me!

With my book revisions deep underway, my cover complete, and the publication date creeping closer, I found myself scanning the file recently. One of my ideas was simply this:

BERMUDA TRIANGLE - girl on a cruise, goes through the triangle, something happens 

And Triangles comes out June 2013! So no matter how incomplete the thought is, or how minor it seems at the time, keep a file of those ideas. You never know when one will turn into your next book!

Kimmy :)

TRIANGLES, Kimberly Ann Miller, Spencer Hill Press, June 2013

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Missing Summer Giveaway

Wish it was still summer? So do we. Instead we will just have to settle for reading about summer.

To help you with that goal we are giving away a copy of Sand Dollar Summer by Kimberly K. Jones this week.


Goodreads blurb:

Twelve-year-old Lise watches her safe world fall apart when her strong, self-reliant mom is injured in a car accident. To recuperate, Mom takes Lise and her bright little brother to live in a rattletrap house on the beach in Maine for the summer. Although her mother grew up there, this is Lise's first experience with the ocean. She's terrified by what may be lurking in the cold depths and confused by the ways that Maine is changing her mother. As secrets from the past start spilling out, even the solid earth may not keep Lise safe anymore. Lise will have to learn to go with the flow -- or risk falling apart -- in this tender, funny, and wise novel...the story of one family's unforgettable summer.

The winner will be announced on next Wednesday, October, 10, 2012.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 1, 2012

What A Zombie Taught Me About Writing

I like to watch movies. My son, a filmmaker, and I sit on the couch and we like to discuss the shape of the film as it would be written on the page in the form of a script. It helps I think to visualize how I am laying out my own current WIP. We talk about plot and subplot and about a character's emotional arc. But yesterday, while watching a movie called 28 Days Later, which is a pretty good zombie movie I must say, I noticed something about the main character's emotional arc or rather lack thereof.

28 Days Later is about a zombie invasion that centers around London. The opening scene shows a group of survivors hold up in a country house. The first characters we meet are a couple. As the wife cooks one of the last can of beans left in the pantry, she is overcome by emotion. Her husband lovingly kisses her to console her. A few minutes later the house is overrun by zombies and given a chance to save his wife, the husband wusses out and runs for his own life. "Quick, stop the movie!" I yelled to my son, for this was the optimal moment I thought to discuss a character's emotional arc. "You see how the writer set it up in the audience's mind that this was an upstanding guy, but now he's gone and done the unimaginable and abandoned his wife?" I said. "Now for the rest of the movie he's going to have to face his demons and his own cowardice. At some point he's going to have to redeem himself in order to conclude his own emotional journey." I must say I was rather proud that I could identify from a writer's point of view what the screenwriter was doing. But then I was surprised by what happened next. The main character was not the main character. When his wife is found alive (it appears she possesses a special immunity), she gets her own revenge by kissing him, therefore passing on the virus and turning him into a virus. Dang, I thought. I was wrong. But also intrigued. I loved how the writer took me on a completely different path than I expected.

So what's the point I'm trying to make here? Well, I have a few. For one thing, I think movies are a great way to learn about story. Of course the rules of the screen don't always apply to the rules of writing a novel (for instance scripts are often about action and not much description), but sometimes the chances a screenwriter takes to shuffle a story around could inspire you to write in a different way than you ever conceived before.

Also, as I go along in this process, I see that the most exciting work is the work that breaks the steadfast rules I've worked so hard and long to learn. Not to say that it's not important to learn these rules, but great stuff is about thinking outside the box.

So tell me, have you watched any movies lately that have inspired your writing?