Born in Flames Sale!

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Hello once again readers!

To celebrate the release of Embracing the Flames, which is now only one day away (not including today), Born in Flames is now only $2.99 on Amazon!! And to celebrate that, I am holding a giveaway on my Facebook page for a chance to win an Embracing the Flames necklace and signed bookmark.

I know…so awesome right? I can hardly contain myself. I can’t believe the release is only days away!

Any who, that is all for now. Be sure to snag your copy and catch up in time for the release of book two in the Born in Flames trilogy.

Echelon out ♥

12 Writing Tips For 2012

281317_10152376913075601_2032062248_nHo Ho Ho, Readers!!! What!? There’s a baby with a finger stuck in her nose on my blog!? What in the-!? How in the-!?

Yes…that would be my lovely daughter Scarlett with her finger shoved up her nose. She’s cute even when doing that! How am I ever supposed to discipline such cuteness!?

I digress.

In light of the ending year, I figured I would share 12 writing tips I gathered in 2012. This past year has been one crazy ride. I quit my job of five years to stay at home with my kids, I started up an art business with my best friend, and most importantly, my first novel ever written, was published by 48fourteen.

To say that I’ve obtained a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time is an understatement. It’s funny how much we change in a year. A life lesson can be found in every action we make. But a wise person recognizes this and grows because of it.

Any who, let’s get to the tips, shall we? Now, keep in mind that they aren’t anything that will change your life. They are only things that stand out to me as I reflect on this past year.

  1. The only way to see a novel through is to simply write it. Sounds easy right? Well it’s not. Distractions surround us…especially writers who have access to internet and social media. But if I’ve learned one thing from this insight, it’s self-discipline. Only I can make it happen.
  2. Editors are a must! You know that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, our novels are our children. One person simply cannot do it alone. There is no shame in that either. If you are planning on self-publishing, please invest in an editor. I can’t tell you how much my editor has taught and helped me with both of my novels. Sometimes being so close to the project blinds you from the truth.
  3. If you stumble on a scene that doesn’t sit well with you in your novel, trust your gut. Don’t overlook it because it’s the easiest thing to do. Yes it’s hard to delete your work, but if the scene was they way you wanted it, then you wouldn’t have had that feeling in the first place. I experienced this with a couple of scenes in Born in Flames that ended up being pointed out by my editor. I left them because I wasn’t sure, when I should have just went with my gut in the first place and deleted/fixed them.
  4. Criticism is not always a bad thing. Although you do find those who bash just to bash, try to find the good in every remark. Criticism keeps you humble and it gives you insight into what readers are looking for in that particular genre. They might also bring to light something that wasn’t caught in editing.
  5. Marketing is very time-consuming, but necessary. The key to success is to use what’s available. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, ect. Also, Google blogs that read your genre and ask them if they’d be willing to review your copy. Every blog has followers and this is how you will expand your audience. Any exposure is good exposure.
  6. You must give yourself time away from your projects or you will burn out.
  7. Any idea, no matter how anemic it may seem, can be turned into something magnificent if you want it bad enough. All you have to do is believe in yourself.
  8. Publication takes time. Lot’s of time. Editing, cover art, more editing, formatting, more editing…don’t rush it. Let things fall how they are meant to fall. But also, for those who have never published, understand that it does take up to a year. Don’t get discouraged!
  9. Success doesn’t happen over night. It happens with word of mouth and plenty of time. Patience (the one thing I have worked on as my new years resolution last year) is the only thing that will get you through it. And marketing.
  10. Not everyone will like/understand your work. Writing is like coffee. Taste buds vary.
  11. READ! Read as much and as often as you can. Reading is a writer’s food for thought.
  12. Don’t give up. When you feel down, alone, lost, confused, discouraged, worthless, not-good-enough…just take a deep breath. We all go through these emotions. Even the best of them do. It’s human nature to question yourself. It keeps you humble. But no matter how bad the emotion, don’t give up. Keep the fighting fire within you alive.

So that’s it. I know…it’s nothing spectacular or grand. It probably won’t change your life, but they are my lesson’s learned this year. I can only imagine what I will learn in 2013. Maybe my dream of being insanely successful will come true…lol. One can dream, right?

I finished approving my editors edits a week ago, so hopefully the cover art will be next. I am very excited about Embracing the Flames. I built up a whole new world with a bunch of different races, while letting Aurora simply…be. I can’t wait to share it with the world. I am only a quarter of the way through on From the Embers. I kind of slacked off during NaNo and then through the holidays.

That will be a New Years Resolution for me.

Any way, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year!!! Be sure to put a coin on your doorstep before midnight and then pick it up after midnight. It is said to bring you good fortune through the year. You won’t go a day without a dollar in your pocket.

Echelon out ♥

A Tale Of True Love ♥

Hello once again, Readers!!! Check out my chitlins and me. Their so cute, aren’t they? We were enjoying ice cream on a Friday afternoon recently (a treat my son gets when he has a full week with no note in his planner). He is a terror like me, muhahaha.

But I digress.

So only a couple of days left for NaNo and I’m on track. Thank goodness. This has been a trying month. And by trying I mean, a week-long bout of the flu, another art festival done, preparing for another two shows in the next two weeks, writing for NaNo, and continuing the third installment to the Born in Flames Trilogy, From the Embers. Need I go on?

Phew.

So a couple new things before I get to the fun interview. I added a new page to the blog for Embracing the Flames which will be back any day now from the editor. I also added a page titled: Aurora’s Journal. She will be sharing thoughts off and on about the trials and tribulations she goes through and what her take is on it. It’s an experiment. Lastly, I added an art page to the Fae Tis Moor page to showcase all the work Sonya and I are doing.

Baby steps people.

Now let’s see if I can keep up with it all…hahaha. I’m not happy until my plate is overflowing.

Any who…now on to the fun stuff!

I’ve been working around the clock (and by round the clock I mean when I remember), finding blogs to review Born in Flames for me. It’s a great way to market your novel and get exposure. One of the blogs who responded back offered to showcase a character interview for me. I had already planned on doing this on here, so I was really excited for the opportunity. And just because I love you so, my Little Flames, I am posting the interview before it has even hit the other blog.

It’s an interview between Fenn and Aurora. I used some of the same questions I did in the character interview with just Aurora because I wanted to give Fenn’s reactions to the major issues in Born in Flames as well.

So without further adieu:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Aurora: *shifts uncomfortably*. Umm…so talk about myself…I don’t normally talk about myself. I would say I’m just your average girl, but the truth is… *looks away and says quietly* I’m not. Fenn wants us to be normal, but lately, normal has become pretty unavoidable.

Fenn: *Fenn laughs* That’s an understatement.

Aurora: *She rolls her eyes* So anyway, I guess I’m your not so average girl. I just pray that I can keep what’s inside of me…my dragon side…under control.

Fenn: Me too. And you forgot to add that you are incredibly stubborn and cute at the same time. *Looks at Lisa* It’s really not fair.

Aurora: Well, Fenn, why don’t you share your attributes then? We’re all dying to hear how you see yourself.

Fenn: *Flashes charming grin* Drop dead gorgeous, funny, witty…you know…

Aurora: *She coughs to interrupt* Also hardheaded, fiercely protective, and annoyingly funny.

Fenn: *He puts his arm around her* What more could you ask for?

 

Aurora, how did you feel when you found out you were able to shift into a dragon?

Aurora: Well that’s a funny story. You see, I always knew I was different…I mean, if I was angry enough I could set anything on fire, but dragon!? And it all started when this Creepy guy followed me one night to the diner I work at.

Fenn: No, it started at the bus stop when you ticked off the bus driver.

Aurora: *Face reddens* Oh yeah. Well anyway, that night at the diner he foretold a prophecy about a conqueror who was of dragon born. Of course I had no idea what he was talking about, and of course Fenn decided to throw him out before I could get any answers. So it took me quite a while to piece together just exactly how I fit into all of this. But long story short, I actually feel at piece with it. *her face softens* It brings me one step closer to uniting with my parents.

Fenn: *Looks to Lisa and shakes his head* The guy screams crazy stalker. She never listens to me. It’s been like that since we were kids growing up. And as far as Aurora being a dragon…it makes sense. Hot-tempered, egotistical…*he sees her shocked face and laughs* I’m kidding, Rory. You know I think it’s awesome.

 

How did you feel when Mr. Creepy foretold the prophecy?

Aurora: *starts laughing* I’m sorry…Fenn’s right, he’s just…creepy. He doesn’t follow the norm. So when he told me…I was a bit scared. I mean his eyes were glowing bright white and his hands were pulsing with magic. It’s not a sight you see everyday…especially not in my small town. *leans in and whispers* But to be honest with you, I was exhilarated! I mean, I felt like things were beginning. Things that had been laying dormant for so long…like my dragon side. *Looks at Fenn and smirks* But I’m not the only one who learned something that night.

Fenn: Ah yes…here we go. I didn’t admit to her that I have powers of my own. And somehow, this creepy dude knew that and chose that moment to air out my dirty laundry.

Aurora: You only have yourself to blame. Honesty is the best policy.

Fenn: *Looks at Lisa uncomfortably* She’s so cute…isn’t she?

 

Speaking of honesty…what are your true feelings for him, Aurora?

Fenn: *Turns to Aurora and smiles* Yes, Aurora. What are your feelings for me?

Aurora: *blushes* Heh…just had to ask that, didn’t you? *pinches the bridge of her nose* You see, he’s my very best friend. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. And after I thought that I had lost him, well *looks away, voice breaking* well, I won’t make the same mistakes again. *Looks up at him* He knows I love him…wholeheartedly. I would do anything for him, Fates be damned. I just hope he can learn to open up more and trust me. He has this problem with over protection. It’s not his fault really, he was deemed my protector, but still…it can’t work if he can’t trust me.

Fenn: I have this overwhelming need to protect her. *looks at Aurora* It’s not that I don’t trust you; I just try to protect you. *Looks back at Lisa* I was glad to hear that night at the diner that I am her protector. It makes sense now. We are drawn to each other and there isn’t anything we can do to change it. Not that I’d want to. She’s everything I want and more. *Aurora leans in and kisses his cheek*

 

Is your shift uncomfortable, Aurora?

Aurora: *she smiles brightly* The first time I shifted it was, but the fifth Fate ensured that it would be the only time I felt pain. He said I was reborn. And I don’t shift into a dragon like how you may be thinking. I still have a “human shape”. Weird right? It all starts with tiny wisps of smoke that swirl out of my nose. At first it was an annoying quirk, but now I barely pay attention to it. Then my eyes shift to a blood-red color (which freaks Fenn out).

Fenn: Only the first time because I wasn’t expecting it!

Aurora: Ruby red scales that reflect like mirrors race along my skin, covering me from head to toe. *she laughs* You totally need sunglasses around me ’cause I’ll blind you. *leans forward and points to her tailbone* My tail comes from here. But my wings are the best part of shifting. They emerge from the top of my back and stretch out to around 7ft a piece. I know because Fenn insisted on measuring. *shakes her head* But anyway, the Fate told me I was a hybrid; his greatest creation.

Fenn: You are.

 

One last question…Fenn, how do you feel about the connection between Zordon and Aurora?

Fenn: *His jaw clenches* It pisses me off. He is evil and set out for revenge. He’ll kill anyone who tries to get in his way. I can’t say I’m thrilled about him being the one she is tied to by The Fates. If there is something I can do to change that, I will find it and make it happen!

Aurora: It’s not a romantic connection. We share something in common…something that I fear will be the deciding factor in who wins the inevitable war to come between us.

Fenn: He doesn’t stand a chance. We will find a way to defeat him. I won’t let him hurt you or our people.

 

And that is all folks. I know…big post today. If you’re still here reading, I applaud and appreciate you!

Here’s a bit of humor for hanging in there:

Until next time, Echelon out ♥

A Street Team Giveaway!!

photo credit: richcianci via photopin cc

Hello once again, Readers!!! Happy turkey week!! I hope you ate enough to feed an army…I sure did. I’m telling you, this sure has been a crazy month. NaNo has been a constant pull at my attention and I am continuously falling behind and catching back up. It’s a crappy cycle to be stuck in.

It’s all of life’s fault.

But if I combine my NaNo project and the word count in From the Embers, I have surpassed the 50k mark. That wasn’t my goal though. I still have time to finish on time…I hope. My current word count is 33k for Starfall. I have high hopes that I will finish in time. I’m not a quitter.

But you didn’t come here just to hear me whine so I digress…

In the spirit of the holiday season (and black Friday craziness), I wanted to do a Street Team giveaway. I currently only have five followers on my FB page for the Street Team. I’m hoping for more because it is a special page just for inside info on the novels and special giveaways.

So if you’re interested in joining and winning a one-of-a-kind necklace, follow the following link and click like: Street Team Little Flames.

Here is the necklace that is up for grabs:

  1. Follow the link and click ‘like’ to become a “Little Flame”.

Easy right? I know… it’s the season to give. The contest will run until I post again and I will notify the winner either through FB or through the blog. I’m hoping to have another post out by next weekend, but you know how that goes. Life happens and the blog suffers for it.

But anyway, I hope to see you there! As soon as my edits are in for Embracing the Flames, I want to share an excerpt on the page. Hope the crowd is bigger than five lol. I have big plans and little time.

Happy Holidays!!!

Echelon out ♥

 P.S. This is what I would look like if I were a dinosaur. Courtesy of Universal lol. Hmmm… ;)

10 Questions To Get To Know Your Characters

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

Hello once again, Readers!!!So I wanted to blog about something important since NaNo is in a couple of days. I have been going back and forth with myself on whether or not I am going to try it. I’m just not sure I can squeeze both, From the Embers and another WIP, in at the same time. I think what I will do is attempt it, but not hold my breath. If I succeed then more power to me, but if not, then oh well…there is always next year.

But I digress.

Let’s talk characters. It is important to jump into NaNo with a clear idea on who you are going to be writing about. If you aren’t sure yet, don’t fret…you are only a few steps away from figuring it out! There is an easy way to familiarize yourself with your characters so you will be a set for the big month. 10 steps to success!

Below I have compiled a series of questions that I use for my own character development. These are basic questions that will mold your character into a real, believable person that a reader can relate to. So grab a notebook and a pen and lets begin (I’m a poet and didn’t know it…lol)!

  1. What does your character look like? (Try to really envision this person. If you aren’t clear on the appearance, neither is the reader)
  2. Detail you characters appearance down to scars on their body and how they got them. Hair, hygiene, style, ect.
  3. List five personality traits and then detail each one as to why they are that way. (Make sure there are good and bad traits. For the bad, explain why and how it affects others. Do enemies occur from this trait? For the good, how they got that way and what ways they use it in their daily life.)
  4. Greatest strength versus greatest flaw. (They need to have at least one of each to avoid Mary-sue-itis.)
  5. What are their likes and dislikes? (Take time to get to really know them. What do they find attractive in the world and in people. What do they despise in the world and in people? Make them as real as possible down to food choice and movie selection.)
  6. What is their dream/aspiration? What goals have they set?
  7. Where were they born and who raised them? (Get into detail on who raised them and how this molded their POV.)
  8. What is unique about your character? (The reader needs something to root for. Something that sets them apart from every other book out there.)
  9. What is their biggest fear? (Knowing this will help you add this into the plot as a character builder. Something they can overcome by character growth.)
  10. Do they have a love interest? How do they feel about love? (You need to know how they deal with relationships.)

If you take a good day to sit down and answer all of these questions, then you are on the right path to writing a believable character. Keep these notes with you and read them again and again to really familiarize yourself with them. Soon enough, it will be a no brainer. Your character will be as real as you or me.

From there you can begin plotting your story or like me, wait until the last minute and just write. I don’t limit myself with a chapter by chapter outline. It’s too confining. I have an idea where I want the story to go and I try to stick with it.

Now I have three characters that I need to sit down and interview! This is the fun part. The beginning stages to an entirely new world. I hope this has helped you. There are so many different ways to do things out there; it’s nice to share and learn new ways.

That being said, do you have any added questions to share?

Echelon out ♥

What Personality Are You?

Hello once again Readers! “Ehhhhhhhhh, Sexy Lady!” I totally love this song and video…so funny!

So how have you been? Awesome I hope.

Me? Eh…you know…normal. Cleaning, writing, kids, besties, HHN (Halloween Horror Nights). I got my Zombie on and actually got over my fear and looked at the houses this time rather than tucking my face into the back of my husband’s shirt. And it was scare-tastic!

But that is not why we are here today so I must digress.

We are here to take a look at the inside.

Don’t ask…just experience the awesomeness that is discovering yourself. I feel that in order to be a better everything in life, one must regularly look inside. I do this quite often. I always try to re-think how things went and what I could’ve done differently. It’s seriously annoying. I can talk circles…which I will avoid doing in this blog, so let’s move on. When I assess myself, it goes one of two ways:

Jumping for joy!

If it turns out good, I do one of these.

Moping like a Boss.

If it turns out bad, I throw on a crap load of make-up on and an old dress and stare off pitifully until my husband tells me I’m scaring him and the children.

Okay…you got me…I really don’t do that. Only in my mind…sometimes. Huh?

The good news is, I have a way to avoid this sad future. I check my horoscope on a daily basis and apply it to my daily happenings. It’s like an automated fortune-teller that gives you advice on what is most likely to happen in your day due to your date of birth and the current alignment of planets. Sound crazy? Maybe…but I have proof it works. 90% of the time at least.

Any who, I digress from that because I have stumbled upon a personality quiz while trying to figure out what in the BLEEP I was going to blog about. Oh snap! I know right! How could I pass it up? I mean, to have the chance for an automated quiz to tell me my strengths and then slide in my weaknesses? Psh…who needs to work? And why venture into the unknown alone when I could take you along with me? I know, genius right?

So there’s 72 questions on this test and it would be a bore to share every one with you. Here were the one’s that struck me:

  • You often think about humankind and its destiny- This I do. I worry whether or not Aurora will be able to save humankind. I tried to get ahold of Superman so he could give her some lessons, but I haven’t found a lead in contacting him…
  • You usually plan your actions in advance- What can I say…I’m a plotter.
  • A thirst for adventure is close to your heart- And I shall live it through my characters…safe and sound!

“Get to the good stuff!”

Okay…sheesh, you don’t have to yell. So what’s my type? Complicated of course.

I agree with the Introvert. I do tend to become quiet in thought quite often. I don’t know about the Sensing and I agree with Feeling. I follow my thoughts more than my heart. I am practical to a fault. I never thought of myself as a Judger though. I guess I do. Instead of running off intuition, I always try to have a few plans in order and answers for every possible outcome. Daily life is a chess game for me. Maybe that’s why I feel pulled in every direction ALL the time.

The point?

I need to work on this. For my sanity. I need to go straight instead of turning left every day. See where straight takes me. I need to stop expecting the worst and start hoping for the best. So what if I fall? I will always get back up. Always. If I know this, then it should be easy to learn to let go of my introverted judging characteristics. Maybe I would find some peace of mind for once. Lord knows I need it.

How does this help you?

If you’ve read this far, then you obviously care. And if you care, then take a bit of advice from me. Don’t be scared to look into the mirror. Every part of you is beautiful-even the not-so-nice parts. You know why? Because you are alive. You are in this world, in this moment in time, and you are on your path that was always meant to be taken. Every bump and smooth spot was specifically placed to make your journey colorful. Look inside yourself once and awhile. Assess yourself the way Heroine’s and Hero’s do in every great story.

Class adjourned…:)

Echelon out ♥