Cover Reveal for S. A. Starcevic’s Untouchable

Cover Reveal for S. A. Starcevic’s Untouchable

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I am excited to showcase this brilliant cover to you from a member of my literary  magazine The Corner Club Press. Enjoy!
Ethan Elliot is no stranger to secret identities. As an LGBT teen, he’s dealt with secrets all his life. Nevertheless, when his powers kick in and he’s whisked away to join a team of superheroes, he dons a mask of a different kind – one that sees him battling supervillains and testing his limits.

However, there’s more going on behind the scenes than capes and costumes. At the headquarters of the Protectorate, he makes unlikely friends with Gravity Girl and Element Boy. Except Element Boy might turn out to be more than just a friend, and Gravity Girl is battling demons of her own.

Ethan will discover what it means to be a hero, and must learn that even superheroes aren’t untouchable.

Bio: S. A. Starcevic wanted to be a superhero when he was little, but nowadays he settles for the next best thing—writing about them. Untouchable, his superhero YA novella with an LGBT love story, is signed with Forever More Publishing. When he’s not slaving over books two and three in the trilogy, he blogs about writing, publishing and world domination at Bookshelf of Doom.

The book is available for pre-order hereherehereherehere and here as well as on iBooks.

Why Amazon

Why Amazon

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I had a reader ask me why the Amazon…

 

via Why Amazon.

 

 

This article by Shiloh Walker pretty much explains why I press for Amazon reviews in regards to the people I seek out to do potential reviews for my ARC. Have you ever noticed that high star reviews often show up in your book feed? As in, the feed that says if you like this, you’ll like this? That’s where I want my book to be when people look up books similar to it.

Blog reviews are great. Fantastic. They can help loads, if they are high traffic blogs. But having five reviews on Amazon isn’t going to get me as much attention as having 50 reviews on Amazon, especially high-rated reviews–and I’m not begging for high reviews. I’m simply trying to point out the importance of doing reviews on Amazon and not just blogs. You also get deals to receive even more attention. They are a big deal, and I wish people wouldn’t shy away from doing reviews on Amazon. I did a review for Shannon Thompson’s book on here and copied and pasted that same review on Amazon because I know that the star rating matters and can get her more exposure.

Don’t shy away from Amazon. Those reviews matter, especially if your blog doesn’t receive a whole lot of traffic. If your blog receives like 20 views a day and only 5 are unique, that isn’t going to help me much. I will appreciate you to death for choosing to do the review, but I also have this expectation that it will be put on Amazon, where it will likely receive more traffic. Your review on Amazon can help someone’s decision to buy the book. In fact, my review on Amazon for Shannon’s book helped someone decide whether or not they wanted to buy it, and Amazon will let you know. And I felt pretty awesome knowing my review did that for someone.

Plus, I am making an entirely separate list for people who do just reviews on their blogs, and these are generally high traffic blogs. Now this isn’t me talking about people who buy my books. They are under no obligation to rate. This is me talking about all those who will be receiving an ARC. I would love reviews on both Amazon and blogs, really. I would appreciate them to death.

 

 

 

I Am Giving Away Two Books!

I Am Giving Away Two Books!

Come on over and enter to win two books, one by Neil Gaiman and the other by Shannon Thompson! I am giving away The Graveyard Book and Minutes Before Sunset. The drawing will go until this Saturday 9 PM. You must be following me and must leave a comment in the original entry to be considered.

I Am Giving Away Two Books!

I Am Giving Away Two Books!

I am giving away Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard book and Shannon Thompson’s Minutes Before Sunset! This drawing will be held at 9 PM this Saturday. There are only two stipulations: You must be following me and must leave a comment in the original entry. This is my way to thank all of my followers.

51xU07wnw3Lshan-002 (2) You read right! This week will be a double book giveaway, so instead of the winner winning one book, the winner will win two! Each book I choose is either reminiscent of the current book I’m working on, Stolentime, or the one that has been accepted for publication, When Stars Die. The Graveyard Book is reminiscent of Stolentime. When Stars Die isn’t reminiscent of a whole lot because the witches in my book are unlike any you have read about, but anyone who enjoys paranormal romance, or romance, or anything dark will enjoy it as well as Shannon Thompson’s Minutes Before Sunset.

Here is a description from Amazon of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book:

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who…

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I Am Giving Away Two Books!

I Am Giving Away Two Books!

51xU07wnw3Lshan-002 (2) You read right! This week will be a double book giveaway, so instead of the winner winning one book, the winner will win two! Each book I choose is either reminiscent of the current book I’m working on, Stolentime, or the one that has been accepted for publication, When Stars Die. The Graveyard Book is reminiscent of Stolentime. When Stars Die isn’t reminiscent of a whole lot because the witches in my book are unlike any you have read about, but anyone who enjoys paranormal romance, or romance, or anything dark will enjoy it as well as Shannon Thompson’s Minutes Before Sunset.

Here is a description from Amazon of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book:

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. . . .

Next up, a description of Shannon Thompson’s Minutes Before Sunset:

Eric has a life-or-death confrontation planned and waiting for him on his 18th birthday.
Jessica just wants to find out who, or what, her parents were.
Neither of them is ready for the answers they’ll find.

Minutes Before Sunset is Book 1 of the Timely Death series.

“She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.”

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

“He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.”

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

The stipulations are as follows: You must be following this blog. Merely liking this post will not get you into the contest. You must comment to be entered.

The drawing will be held on Saturday at 9 PM!

Winner of Coraline by Neil Gaimain

Winner of Coraline by Neil Gaimain

200px-CoralineCongratulations to Kate Sparkes for winning Coraline by Neil Gaiman! I had a good amount of entrants for this book, and I was very pleased with the turnout. Because the turnout was so good, as you all should know by now, I’m going to do one book giveaway each week. You must be a follower of me to get considered, and there will be different stipulations with each book.

Tomorrow I will reveal what the next book will be, along with its stipulations.

Again, congrats to Kate Sparkes for winning! You can find her at disregard the prologue.

How Many Drafts Do I Write?

How Many Drafts Do I Write?

So I am very sick as I am writing this. Out of nowhere a cold decided to hit me in the face at work, and now I have chills, body aches (which fibro intensifies), a sore throat, and an aching head. But I’m determined to get this post out. I have no idea when I’ll slow down on the blogging. Probably once I run out of ideas or something. Or once I really hunker down with When Stars Die revisions.

In any case, I hate writing first drafts. Because I hate them, I just make the first draft a glorified detailed outline, writing whatever spews forth from my mind. I’ll put major revision notes in the margins, but I’ll just get the skeleton of the story down and reserve the second draft for putting some meat and skin on that skeleton.

Back in my younger years, I would have to do lots and lots of drafts because I was never satisfied with my writing, and for good reason: My gut was trying to tell me I just wasn’t mature enough, but I wanted to plow through to prove you don’t need age to have stellar writing. Well, generally you do. Even teens who become published have immature aspects in their novels, but they’re marketable enough that it doesn’t seem to matter.

When Stars Die took five drafts to get it to this point because I did start it as a fifteen-year-old. I suppose that isn’t a whole lot compared to how many it could have been, but I did shelve it for several years before finally deciding to bring it back out. I am on the seventh read-through of When Stars Die (the last two were proofreading, so no re-writes). Surprisingly I’m not tired of it yet.

When Stars Die is my first, truly complete novel (before AEC Stellar starts hacking it apart). My hope is that with Stolentime, I can revise on the second draft, have someone read it, and have the third draft be strong enough to send out and hopefully get contracted by AEC Stellar. Or another company is fine too. Whatever happens, right?

Truth is, now that I am more mature with my writing, I have no idea how many drafts Stolentime will have to go through. Of course I can improve with my writing; we can always improve with everything. But I’m hoping for three. Seriously. Fingers crossed.

So how many drafts do you average?

The Madness of Romance in Young Adult Novels

The Madness of Romance in Young Adult Novels

While When Stars Die may be a paranormal romance, romance overall isn’t my thing. I had to play up the romance in When Stars Die to elicit the appropriate responses for the ending, but the sequel, I can tell you right now, will not be packaged into a romance genre.

I wanted to do this post because the trend lately for a lot of young adult novels is to have the MC and the love interest fall in love fast. The argument is that it is too fast and therefore unrealistic. The MC and her LI kiss on page 50 and perhaps go all the way on page 100. They weren’t even best friends before. Heck, they were hardly friends.

I want to posit that it accurately reflects not only princess culture but teens in general. I know I fell in love fast as a teen. I’d fall in love with the guy within two weeks–or so what I thought was love. The guy would love me back–or so what he thought was love. I romanticized love because I’d see all these long-term couples and how happy they were, and I wanted to be among them. I wanted to be talked about the way they were talked about–how cute they looked, how strong their relationship was, how inseparable they were. So when I fell in love with the guy, I was really just falling in love with love.

Young adult novels are primarily in the first person perspective. As readers, we have to remember that the unreliable narrator is common in first person. So the MC is going to think she is in love, but she might not be. There are no external forces in first person perspective to step out and say, “She only thinks she is in love, but she is a careless teen just in love with the idea of love.” Sure, some teens may realize this at the end of the book, but most teens do not have relationship experience and an adult’s perspective to step back and say, “I was just in love with the idea of love, not with the person I was with.”

So to say that the teens in these books fall in love too fast is to forget that there are teens in real life who do fall in love too fast. They just don’t have the life experience to be able to see that they’re not really in love. Now some may already be in love at the beginning of the relationship, but often it is with their best friends–so I’m not trying to argue teens don’t know what love is, because some of them surely do.

All I know is I didn’t know what love was until I met my current fiancé.