Writing, Marketing, And Other Wonderful Things

I mentioned in when I did the 777 Writing Challenge that I would tell you more about my work-in-editing soon. And I believe this is a wonderful time to do that.

But, first, some updates on Paralyzed Dreams!

I want to thank everyone who has reviewed the book! Every review helps, and the more reviews, the more the word gets out. All of you are amazing! 😀 If you’ve written a review in one place (Goodreads, Amazon, your blog, etc.), it’s super easy to put it on other sites, too! Special thanks to everyone who has done that, too. (That means you, writefury and Kathy @ Kathy’s Cottage Books!) If you haven’t reviewed, it only takes a minute to write down a few thoughts, and a couple more to be detailed. Even just rating on Amazon or Goodreads helps. 🙂

And Paralyzed Dreams is now listed on the Homeschooled Authors blog. Go check it out, along with the other homeschooled authors!

If you haven’t already, tell your friends about the book, too. And if you’re interested in an author interview, let me know! I’d definitely be interested.

Oh, and if you have an Instagram, Pintrest, or other social media account… Here are some quotes from the book you can share!

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jeremyquote3

JeremyQuote1

Now that we’ve got that over with, let’s get on to even more fun stuff.

I finished the first book in my new series! It’s in the editing stage now (which I’m procrastinating, of course). I may have mentioned it before, but now it’s time to officially announce the title of the series. Now. Right here.

Drumroll, please.

WISHEQuintet1

The world of Lerali is at the brink of war, and its fate rests in the hands of five teenagers, the group called WISHE. Their task? To find a long-lost portal before it’s too late.

Sound interesting? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re interested in helping to promote my books and join my street team* (Got any cool street team name ideas? Share!), head on over to my contact page. I’d love to hear from you!

And don’t forget that the Super-Duper Fan Fiction Crossover Challenge (the Second) is open for submissions! The deadline is May 1st, which may seem far away, but it’s not… so get started now! (Tell me that it’s not far away the next time I’m moaning about Avengers: Age of Ultron…) I can’t wait to see you guys’ stories! Need ideas? Check here.

I believe that’s all, folks! Got any questions? Got ideas for street names? Like the quotes? Curious to learn more about anything? Comment below! I’d love to hear what you have to say!

*A street team is a group of devoted fans who help promote an authors’ work, through book reviews, social media, and just telling others about the book. In exchange they get exclusive content, bonus fun, and, sometimes, ARCs. Worth it? I’d say so.

Avengers’ Isle: Trail Mix

Well, hello, everyone! If you’ve been keeping up with this series for a while, the title might have surprised you. If it didn’t, you’re either new or you might need a refresher. Either way, I suggest you check out some past episodes here. But Fury’s trail mix is all gone, right? Well…

Steve blinked groggily. He felt like he’d been asleep, like his brain was fuzzy. He was staring down at an almost burt-out fire ,the sun just coming over the horizon. How long have I been out of it?

Everything came flooding back. The memories from after Bucky knocked him out were mixed up and vague. He remembered Thor finding him and offering him food… Thor. He left.

Steve frowned up at the sky. That had been early in the day, the day before. Thor should’ve been back. His spine tingled. What had happened to him?

There was a pail of water sitting next to him, and he used cupped hands to drink some of it. He glanced around, looking for a sign that the Asgardian had come back. He spotted something shiny a few yards away.

Steve stood up and scanned the area carefully. He could only hope it wasn’t a trap. He crept toward it, listening, looking, searching. Finally, he reached it and knelt down.

A frown made its way across his face, and he picked up the object. It was a small package of trail mix.

Steve’s mind whirled. There was no way Thor could have gotten it. Could Bucky have put it there? But where would he have gotten it?

And should he eat it?

He studied the package. It clearly hadn’t been opened. His mind ran through possibilities. Repackaging, resealing, radiation… but none of those were practical. He carefully tore open the package and studied the trail mix. Nothing. He wished he had some of Stark’s fancy scanning equipment.

He took the trail mix back over to the dying fire and began to munch on it. It was overly salty, but it tasted absolutely delicious to him.

And as he munched, an idea began to grow in his mind.

Like to get (virtual) trail mix, comment to eat it with Steve.

 

The 777 Writing Challenge

Hi, everyone! Today I was sort-of tagged for the 777 challenge by Lynette Noni!

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

Since my two main stories that I’m working on are still in the plotting stages, I decided to share from the story I’m currently editing. This worked out perfectly to the first time we see the villain! And don’t worry, you’ll be hearing more about this story soon.


Marba wove her way down the hallway between the small groups of people. They didn’t pay any attention to her, and she repaid them with the same treatment. You could tell which trainees were new; they were the ones who stared at her in awe as she walked past. Most of the seasoned trainees, and those who had completed training, had grown used to her commanding stature.

“Marba,” an authoritative voice called from behind her. The very sound of that voice was enough to silence all of the conversation in the hallway.


What a perfect ending! 😀 Now for those people I tag…

icedmocha34

erinkenobi2893

awkwardlyartistic

Ashlee Willis

writefury

Robyn Hoode

And if you’re reading this, I tag YOU as my seventh person! 😀

What did you think of the excerpt? Are you going to do the challenge? Well, are you????

Avengers’ Isle: In A Pickle

You may have noticed that there are two people whose points of view I haven’t written from yet: Loki and Fury. I haven’t written from Loki’s point of view mostly because it hasn’t been necessary. He’s been with Stark and Natasha the whole time.

But Fury’s different. I haven’t written from his point of view because the task is… well, daunting. But it seemed like the best option. So here goes. We’re going to get some answers this time… New? Click here for past posts.

Fury slowly blinked. The world spun around him. He was standing, something solid at his back. Things began to focus – the trees, the forest floor, the ropes tying him to the unusual, almost oak-like tree behind him.

He rotated his head to the side, squinting to help himself focus. Banner was tied to a tree next to him, out cold. At least he still had his eye patch. He could feel the strap on his scalp.

It took a few seconds for him to remember. The natives had knocked him and Banner out, but not before Fury caught a glimpse of the man who had spoken. Fury closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the tree. They were stuck on the island with a monster. And it wasn’t the Hulk.

Banner finally stirred next to him, gradually regaining consciousness. Fury watched him. What had happened back there? Banner couldn’t transform into the Hulk? What was going on here, on this idiotic island? Banner blinked and looked over at Fury before closing his eyes. He grunted as he shifted against his tree. “Well. Seems like we’re in a bit of a pickle.”

Fury looked away and rolled his eye, scanning the surrounding area. “That’s quite the understatement.” He turned his gaze back to his fellow prisoner.

“Well, it’s good to see that you are all finally awake.” The crisp voice with the German accent floated through the trees as the owner stepped into view.

Banner looked shock as he took in the man, but Fury wasn’t. He’d already had time to ponder everything. “For some reason I was thinking that you were dead. I’m pretty sure I heard that from our good captain’s mouth itself.”

Red Skull laughed. “Clearly, he was mistaken.” A few natives stepped into view behind him.

Fury looked at the man doubtfully. “So you’re telling me that the Tesseract teleported you here? To this tiny island?”

“Oh, no, not in the least. The Tesseract deposited me on Vanaheim, one of the Nine Realms.” He paused, watching Fury’s face. “Ah, your Asgardian friend has not mentioned it to you. Ah, well. I’m sure he would explain it better than I could. The Vanirs quickly got fed up with me and therefore worked with the Asgardians to deposit me here.” He motioned around. “It was quite nice of you to stop by here. I never thought I would have company.”

Fury worked to keep his cool appearance. “I’m not surprised those… Vanirs… kicked you off their planet. Seems even aliens can’t stand you.”

Red Skull’s eyes narrowed as best as they could. “They’re as close to human as the Asgardians are. I’m sure your friend could explain it to you, if he were here.”

A form stepped through the trees and approached Red Skull. Fury almost felt like laughing. Now Rogers’ best friend, Bucky Barnes, was alive, too. “The message was sent,” he told Red Skull, who nodded.

A native said something to Red Skull in a language Fury couldn’t understand. It sounded almost like German, but with another language mixed in, too. Red Skull smiled. “Ah, well.” He said something back to the native and turned to Fury. “I guess he’ll be able to tell you himself.”

Four natives dragged an unconscious Thor into view. His head hung limply down, his blond hair dirty and tangled. They leaned him against the tree and quickly tied him to it. Red Skull smiled. “Don’t worry about your other friends. They’ll be joining us soon.”

Fury glanced over at Banner. “I think you’re right.”

Banner frowned in confusion, then nodded slowly. “Yep. We’re in a pickle.”

A like lets you give everyone sandwiches, a comment lets you meet everyone’s favorite Vanir… (Guess who below)

Writing About Writing: Cover Design – Part Two

Hi, everyone! This is my official post for the cover design for Paralyzed Dreams. If you missed my last post with cover design tips, go check it out! This post will give you a sort-of template for designing a cover, using the cover for Paralyzed Dreams as an example. I used Photoshop for my cover, so some parts may be different for you. Note: I am not an expert… and this might not work for every book. This is just a basic outline.

1: Find a picture. If you don’t know what picture you’re going to use, make a list of important items in your story. See Cover Design – Part One for more details on this. For Paralyzed Dreams, the main elements were volleyball, the wheelchair, and Pam. After a lot of searching, I decided on the wheelchair and found this picture:

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Look familiar? 😀

2: Next, find out what size your cover needs to be. Amazon KDP recommends that your cover be about 1000 pixels by 1600 pixels. If you’re going to put your cover on other sites, check to see what size they recommend. You may have to make several different covers, and you’ll have to make a separate cover for print books as well.

3: After you’ve figured out what size your cover needs to be, open a file in your cover-making program that is that size. This should be fairly self-explanatory.

4: Extra tip: Don’t mess with your background layer; leave it as is. This applies to all projects. Now that you’ve got your file, place the photo onto it. Move it around until you like how it looks. You can always move it some more later. (If you’re using more than one picture, this is where you would combine them. Maybe I’ll post on that sometime.) After this step, mine looked like this:

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5: Add effects so your cover doesn’t look just like a plain old picture. I added a black gradient to the top so my white text would stand out and some swirls just for a nice touch. 😉

Gradient

Gradient

Swirls

Swirls

6: Add your text. To make your cover look more professional, try using different fonts within the title if it’s two or more words. Also, change the size around. Always try to use at least two fonts. I used three: Print Clearly for “paralyzed”, Alex Brush for “Dreams”, and Portmanteau for my name. Try to use a font for your name that you can use on all of your books to create an author brand. That way, everyone can recognize your books and name.

The Final Product:

The Final Product!

I’ll probably do more posts on cover design at some point. There’s so much to cover! (Pun not originally intended…) What do you think of the cover? Like this post? Anything you want to know more about? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Avengers’ Isle: Not Alone

Hi, everyone! Did you like how last week’s post ended? Thought so… 😉 This weeks may not seem to end on much of a cliffhanger, but I’m pretty sure you guys will be looking forward to next week’s post…

Also, I metioned to writefury in a comment that I will post extra episodes when I reach certain milestones. There are a few you can help with: 10 reviews on Amazon, 50 sales, and 200 followers on here… New? Read past episodes here.

Tony slowly opened his eyes. It took a second for everything to focus, but when it did…

He yelped and began to scramble backwards. Natasha pulled back, just as surprised and embarrassed. Loki wasn’t even trying to hide his smirk. “What were you doing?” Tony exclaimed.

Natasha pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear, sighing in frustration. “It’s called ‘leaning down to inspect the odd welt on Tony’s neck’.” She made a face. “Loki wouldn’t do it.”

Loki snorted. “Of course not. Look what happened.”

At Natasha’s words, Tony reached up and felt the side of his neck. He shuddered as his fingers found the mosquito-bite-like bump. “What happened?” he asked.

“You and Loki went into the forest, and apparently you got poisoned, by a bug or a dart or something. We don’t know,” Natasha said. “You just collapsed, and then Loki brought you back here.” She smirked. “He carried you in his arms, too.”

Tony shot a look at Loki, who avoided his gaze. “Might I suggest that we don’t talk about any of this?”

Natasha nodded wholeheartedly. “What happens on this island, stays on this island.”

Tony smirked and was about to make a snide Vegas-themed comment when Natasha tensed. She turned towards the forest, listening.

The mood immediately darkened. Loki turned in that direction, too. Tony hadn’t heard anything, but clearly both of his companions had. The noise wasn’t repeated, and Natasha relaxed slightly. She turned back to Tony and opened her mouth to speak. There was a whizzing sound and a thud as an arrow burrowed into the sand next to Tony.

They stared at the arrow in silence for a second. “Clint,” Natasha breathed. She whirled to face Loki, her nose inches from his face. “What–”

“I have no control over him now,” Loki said evenly, not even flinching. “My magic is gone.”

Natasha growled, and Tony thought about how glad he was that he wasn’t on the receiving end of her fury. “How do we know that for sure? You’re a liar.”

Loki shrugged, a smirk crossing his face. “Do you think that I would be on this island if I still had my magic.” Natasha hesitated, then made a grumpy face and stepped back. “Besides,” Loki continued, “it’s most likely not Hawkeye. I believe his plane went down with the helicarrier. And if he was shooting at you, he would have hit his mark.”

Tony looked over at the arrow. “One thing’s for sure. We’re definitely not alone.”

A like lets you keep the arrow, a comment lets you find the archer… (in a couple weeks, of course)

Thank You All So Much!

Thanks so much, everyone! All of you are absolutely amazing!

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I just want to give everyone a hug!!! *virtual group hug* But since that’s the best I can do, here’s a shoutout for everyone who participated!

Erinkenobi2893 posted a character interview with Pam!

Two excerpts from Paralyzed Dreams were posted, one on Lights and Shadows and the other on aspiringwriter22!

So many amazing book reviews! Thank you all! Check them out on A Glimpse of Starlight, Sarah Plain & Average, Kathy’s Cottage Books, and Writefury.

Ness Kingsley at of words and books hosted me for an author interview!

And, finally, on my sister’s amazing blog, Mandie’s World, I revealed who I based Jeremy off of, along with showing off some of his encouraging quotes from the book!

You all were so awesome! I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by all of your encouragement and support! Go check out their posts, both for the book tour and their other ones, and follow them! I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you like.

If you wrote a review, or if you’ve read it and you’re planning on reviewing, make sure to let me know so I can read and comment! And if you’d like, please post your reviews on Amazon, too! Every little bit counts. And *cough* once I get ten reviews on Amazon I’ll be posting an extra Avengers Isle post…

And I leave you with a quote…

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3… 2… 1… Launch!

*static* Houston, we are ready for launch!

*stomach growls*

(Comment if you get that…) We are now launching the Paralyzed Dreams Virtual Book Tour!

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As posts go up throughout the day, I’ll be posting the links here. We’ve got a lot of awesome bloggers participating, putting up really cool posts and book reviews. I’m so excited to get started, and I can’t wait! I know you’re going to enjoy it, too! Keep checking back!

Erinkenobi2893: Interview With Pam

Lights and Shadows: Excerpt #1

A Glimpse of Starlight: Book Review

Sarah, Plain & Average: Book Review [Spoilers!]

Writefury: Book Review

(Kathy’s Cottage Books reblogged this post. Thanks! 😀 )

Kathy’s Cottage Books: Book Review (I was so surprised to see this come up in my reader! I had no idea she was doing a book review… Thank you so much!)

Mandie’s World: Quotes and A Revelation (Wanna find out who Jeremy was based off of??? O.o)

aspiringwriter22: Excerpt #2

of words and books: Author Interview

I’ll be “patrolling” all posts and replying to comments, so keep an eye out for me! 😀

Hours of Men and Monsters

And here is the winner of the first Super-Duper Fan Fiction Crossover Challenge! 🙂 Congrats, Erin!

The Upstairs Archives

And now, it’s here. Two-thousand-plus words of world-saving and humor, for your enjoyment! (Also, I think the Avengers already know that Coulson’s still alive in this one… um, I don’t know why, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Tony’s doing.) Just in time to make the deadline for proverbs31teen’s Super-Duper Fanfiction Crossover Challenge! 😀

Enjoy!


Hours of Men and Monsters

                “Mycroft, you know I always hate you, but today I want to murder you even more than usual.” Sherlock glared through the frosted glass in between the living room and dining room-cum-kitchen at the Avenger sitting uncomfortably on a couch that was not designed for a man his size. Fortunately, the man couldn’t see him. What really got to Sherlock, though, was how much Mrs. Hudson seemed to appreciate the superhero’s manners. No sooner had he walked in the door than he proceeded to charm the landlady.

View original post 2,136 more words

The Results Are In… And Another One!

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I’ve finally finished the judging for the Super-Duper Fan Fiction Crossover Challenge! Don’t worry, the next contest will be easier to say. Hopefully.

As I stated in the original post, all of the contestants get a shoutout and a link. So let me introduce you to both all of our contestants!

Erinkenobi2893 submitted an Avengers/Sherlock crossover: Hours of Men and Monsters

Writefury submitted an Avengers/The Lego Movie crossover: The New World (this is part one, part two has not been posted)

Go check both of them out!

I must say that I had a really hard time with this contest. If there had been three contestants, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but… *sigh*

I’ve spent a long time deliberating over this. Both contestants did a wonderful job, and I loved both of their stories! But, unfortunately, there can only be one winner.

Congratulations, Erin! ❤ I’ll re-blog your post ASAP! 😉

It was super close (only one point separated both of them!). I hope both of you – and everyone reading this *points finger at you* – will enter the next one!

Speaking of which…

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That’s right. We’re doing another one.

Have a crossover idea that you didn’t get to? Have a brilliant idea, but not know about the contest? Here’s your chance! Same rules, same scoring. Same amount of fun! Seriously, go ask the contestants how much fun they had. 🙂

In honor of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the deadline is May 1st!!!

I’d love to see more entries this time, and I’ll be posting soon about the prizes! I don’t want to give away too much, since I want to make sure it’ll work out, but the prizes are going to be awesome… 😉

So go start writing! Remember to come back tomorrow for the Paralyzed Dreams virtual book tour – it’s going to be a blast!