My Bookweek Appearance at Moorefield Girls High

It was over a month ago, but I’m finally doing the blog post. In my defence, it’s because I was tackled and beaten by Monster Flu followed by its side-kick Sinus Infection. Yes, it all sounds ew, and it was, but I’m back!

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So here’s my news — I was honoured to be asked to speak at Moorefield Girls High during Australian Bookweek, and look, I’m even on their poster! I’ve spoken at a few places, including the Sydney Writers Festival, but this was the first time I’ve spoken to a large group of teenagers. I was a tad nervous beforehand, but I shouldn’t have been — the girls were awesome. I spoke to three groups: Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9.  They were a fantastic audience and made me feel very welcome. After they’d asked me tons of interesting question, I was flattered when many of the girls asked for my autograph — I even autographed someone’s bag! Well, I felt like I had arrived :).

While I was there, I asked why the girls read. And these are two of the thoughtful answers I received, and I can certainly relate:

Christine J wrote: I read to relax myself, easing into a new world that another has created. When I read, I concentrate. Once I start with a new book I won’t stop reading it until I’m done. I usually sleep at 11 pm – 3 am on weekends because of reading. My mum tells me to sleep early but I can’t because reading is like an addiction for me, just like listening to music.

Macia A wrote: I read because I love literature. I love how a good author can make words flow, make you laugh and cry. Sure reading is an escape, but I wouldn’t say I read to escape, rather, the book takes me away to another world, someone else’s brain. Books are food for the soul. I read because I’m a word addict. I don’t remember when I got hooked, but now I can’t stop. I don’t want to.

Thanks girls! Their experience shows how important reading is, and how it can become an addiction (the best kind). When I write, I feel like I’m feeding my soul, and it’s wonderful to think the readers feel the same when they’re reading.

I would like to thank Miss Bell-Whittaker, the librarian who organised the event, and the girls who were attentive and made the experience lots of fun. I hope to get back to see you all soon! Below is a picture of me in front of a blank screen. You can’t see the audience either, but no, I was not talking to myself. Really, I wasn’t….

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Children’s Book Giveaway from Julie Grasso

Today I’m featuring a fellow Aussie author. She’s having a giveaway of both of her books and a $30 gift voucher which ends on the 19th of May. Her first book is Escape From the Forbidden Planet and the next book, Return to Cardamom, which I’m proud to say I edited :). They are great children’s to early teen books. If your kids are looking for something new to read, go to Julie’s website and enter the rafflecopter now!

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Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal.
Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and
control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes
and apple cider.  A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the
elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s
another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe
her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save
the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood.
Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she
makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

Website:  www.julieannegrassobooks.com

Blog: http://www.whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com.au/

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16060026-escape-from-the-forbidden-planet

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Anne-Grasso-books/287496411357122

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jujuberry37

Cover Reveal for K.A. Last’s New Book—Sacrifice

Hi Everyone. When I was speaking at the NSW Writers Centre writers festival, I met a lovely person—K.A. Last. She is an author living in the same city as me and we had lots in common. I’ve read her first book, which is a paranormal romance called Fall for Me, and enjoyed it. I’m pleased to be able to feature the cover reveal for her upcoming novella on my blog today. If you like paranormal romance, you should check it out.

Sacrifice
Sacrifice

Seth’s heart is breaking. He knows his decision will hurt the one person he keeps breathing for, but he can’t take it anymore. He can’t be near Grace knowing she will always be just out of reach.

Grace is oblivious to Seth’s turmoil. She loves him unconditionally, but not in the way he wants. They both know that in Heaven physical love is forbidden, and to break the rules is to defy everything they’ve ever been taught.

When Grace and Seth are sent on a mission to save a young mother and her unborn child, Grace must face the fact that Seth won’t be returning home. She doesn’t understand Seth’s decision and hates him for it. But what neither of them realise is how big a part that single decision will play in shaping their entire future.

What would you sacrifice for the one you love?

KALast_HeadshotFINAL_LRK. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children and a rabbit named Twitch.

 

I Finished Book Two, A Time of Darkness—Yay Me!

He, he, I’m celebrating! I finished my second book, A Time of Darkness, and it is with the editor being beautified. You would think I would be out enjoying myself, but no, I am home with a glass of Baileys and a blog post. I was meant to do grocery shopping later but now I can’t because of the Baileys—I’m an irresponsible writer but a responsible driver—it’s okay to blog when you’ve been drinking; in fact, it’s encouraged.

I’ve enjoyed writing this second book in The Circle of Talia series, although it took longer than I’d hoped (excuses are as follows: work, uni, kids, sun baking, tweeting) and one of my beloved characters had to die :(. Anyway, I finally made it and was nice enough to end on another cliff-hanger—don’t you just love me *batts eyelashes*.

I’m soooooo happy! It feels even better than the first time because I know it wasn’t a fluke. It has certainly helped that some wonderful people out there are actually waiting for it and have kept me going with constant encouragement. So now I’m waiting for the cover, and I’ll have to get stuck into the edits my wonderful editor, Chryse Wymer, did (she’s very good, but shhh don’t tell anyone or they’ll use her to edit their books instead of me).

My cover reveal will be on the 8th (so my cover-boy-extraordinaire, Robert Baird, tells me), and the book will be available by the 15th April. I can’t believe I made it. Woohoo!!! Yay me!! “Waiter, another Baileys.” Oops, that was my husband walking past. Looks like I’ll have to pour it myself. Bye :).

The Circle of Talia Book Two Update—Epic Fantasy

So here we are with three days left of my book sale and I’m happy to report that it was a success! I’m not here to celebrate though; I’m here to give some information about the series :). I’m excited that after a week I’ve had a few enquiries from people wanting to know a) is there a book two? and b) when is it coming? They are questions we writers love, love, love to hear!

How cruel would it be if I only wrote one book in the series? Actually it would be downright evil and I’m not evil, well only when it comes to killing off my characters. So to assuage my readers’ fears I can say I am writing book two in The Circle of Talia series and am one quarter into the first draft. I’m hoping it will be ready for editing in February and released at the end of March. I can’t wait to contact Rob—the talented artist who did the first cover—to discuss my ideas. He blew me away last time and it will be so exciting to see more of my characters come to life on the next cover.

The writing has been emotional as I’ve found out that more than one of my characters will die by the end of the series and I’m mourning them early. If you are saying to yourself “Ok, she’s a total nutter,” I agree, I probably am, but my characters are like family and I know them so well.

I want to say thanks to those readers who have bought the book and especially to the encouraging readers who let me know they’re eagerly awaiting the next book. As soon as book two is out I’ll start writing book three, so never fear, the story will get finished, maybe even by the end of the year, unless there is more to tell and then you’ll have to wait for book four.

I’d better go back to work now, but I’ll leave you with an unedited (forgive me if there are mistakes) snippit from my second epic fantasy novel (which I still haven’t named) —the sequel to Shadows of the Realm.

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Agmunsten stood taller, bracing himself to take the news on the strongest shoulders he could offer. “Tell me the price so we may get on with this blessing.” Blayke wondered what the price would be, and knew, from the Head Realmist’s voice, it would be a big one. He shut his eyes and drew a deep, calming breath.

“Listen carefully, and repeat this to no one. When the price is asked, you will have one chance to act. If you hesitate, the chance will be lost and so will Talia. The two you must sacrifice are….”

All three realmists paled, and Blayke blinked tears back. When Drakon finished speaking, the energy flows to the channels ceased, and as Blayke reached down to gather the quartz in his shaking hands, he wished he were an innocent child once again. He didn’t know how to carry this new burden and thought death would be so much easier. His fingers touched the pendant and he fell to his knees. Agmunsten and Arcese stood in silence as Blayke knelt on the floor and wept.

Agmunsten covered his face with his hands. They had survived the blessing of the quartz; so why did it feel like they had failed?

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour Thingy Majiggy

I’ve been tagged for a bit of a blog hop thingy by good writer friend Tima Lacoba. I’m required to answer the following questions and I promise to do so to the best of my ability (so don’t expect too much). I currently have a fantasy novel out (in case the dragon on my website was not a dead giveaway), a book of suspenseful, and somewhat dark, short stories, Dark Spaces, and I’ve just released a little short story, all on it’s own, called Divine Intervention. The one I’ll be referring to today is Shadows of the Realm—my first, and most loved, baby.

  • What is the title of your latest book? Shadows of the Realm.
  • Where did the idea come from for the book? Not sure. Just wanted to write a fantasy book and that’s the one that was there.
  • What genre does your book fall under? Young adult, epic fantasy, with dragons. I don’t think ‘with dragons’ is a genre, but, if erotica can have tentacle sex as a sub-genre, I can have dragons.
  • What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Oh goodness, gracious, mwah (I just wanted an excuse to blow you all a kiss), OK it’s moi. Hmm, this is a tough one because I don’t watch a lot of movies so I’m not totally up with who is around. I’ll leave it to the casting agent.
  • What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? With their world under threat of invasion, Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, are forced to leave all they’ve known to undertake a dangerous journey to discover the magic of the realms before all they love is destroyed.
  • Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? Bwahahaha. Oh, excuse me *straightens shirt and smooths hair.*  I’m self published.
  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I can’t remember specifics, as it was eight years ago, but I’m thinking it was two or three months.
  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Anything by David Eddings with a hint of Stephen King at times. (Note here that I’m not saying it’s as good as theirs, but they have been my influences and I can only aspire to their great skill. Just wanted to make that clear so there’s no massive expectations when you buy my book. Although, you can have some expectations, just don’t go overboard—it wouldn’t be good for either of us).
  • Who or what inspired you to write this book? I inspired myself (I’m very inspirational you know). I’d always wanted to write a book—I don’t know why—and so I did.
  • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Hmm, the characters are varied and well drawn (I have it on good authority), there’s dragons, a splatter of horror, much adventuring and visiting different realms and of course, my unique brand of humour, which probably isn’t that unique and I’m sure not everyone finds it funny. All I can say is that I enjoyed writing it and reading it the two hundred times I went through it in editing, so I’m sure you can brave it just once, please? (This isn’t begging, I’m just being polite).

Not sure if I’m supposed to tag anyone or if it’s supposed to die a natural death. I’ll keep it going for one more time and tag my podcast partners in crime, Amber Jerome~Norrgard. Take it away Amber :).

Oh and I wouldn’t be doing this properly if I didn’t have a call to action at the end. Go and buy the book, now, quick, before … before … well, before you forget.

OMG, If You’ve Read Shadows of the Realm, You Have a Chance to Win!

Hey Everyone :). As a Christmas ‘thank you’ to all my wonderful readers, I’m running a competition. It’s been so amazing to have people read my book and let me know they’ve enjoyed it, and I wanted to return some of the love. I’m asking you to post your favourite quote from Shadows of the Realm on my Facebook author page or on Twitter (don’t forget to tweet it @DionneLister or I’ll miss it). The quote must come from Chapter 8 onwards. Each person can only enter once, as I don’t want it to turn into some crazy quoting of the whole book lol. There will be two winners—each will receive a $20 (US) Amazon gift voucher. The competition starts on 14th November, 2012 and I will draw the winners on 16th December 2012 (my Grandmother’s birthday), wherein I’ll announce the results on my Facebook Page. So, if you haven’t yet bought your copy, go now. Good luck you Awesome Peeps!