It was Friday, pizza and movie night with my husband and son, when I got the instant message from my marketing manager ... Did you see the latest Booktrope announcement? I knew before looking, I'd had a feeling that I hadn't taken seriously. I should have.
When my publisher, Booktrope, announced they were closing late last month I was instantly awash with a mesh of emotions that sent me straight to the wine. Once I was sipping some Apothic, the movie forgotten, by me at least, I waded through the confusion, anger, disbelief, and fear among authors and team members that accompanied the announcement in Booktrope forums and teamrooms, I felt my anxiety rise. Some people showed their best colors, others their worst. I tried to show my most reasonable, supportive, and kind face in the midst of widespread panic.
I'd been wanting to try different avenues of publishing for a while. I've read that some of the most successful authors are those that are diverse among platforms and publishers, which I deemed a good way to go about this crazy publishing business. But I'd also planned on publishing with Booktrope for a long time to come, as long as they'd have me anyway, so I wasn't ready for my books to not be available come May 31. I'm in the middle of writing a sequel after all! Booktrope was my first book home, and ice cream soon followed the wine chased down by intense uncertainty. What would I do next?
I could self publish, which seemed to be the avenue the majority of my fellow authors were planning on taking ... I thought about it, agonized, called my sister to whine. But when it was all said and done, I knew I wasn't ready for that. I wanted the support from a publisher, I always had. First and foremost, I knew I had been given one blessing with the news. After having spent eight years writing Fractured Dream, I could barely wait to set my first book baby free back in 2014. Looking back, I see mistakes I made as a new author, ones I've been wanting to fix. I believe so strongly in this story, I spent years building the world, and with the second one getting closer to being done, I knew I really wanted to re-edit Fractured Dream and make it better. So that is what I'm choosing to do. Unfortunately, Fractured Dream is going to disappear for a while. When I'm ready, I'll be looking for its new home along with the second book in the trilogy, Shattered World. And it will be back, I promise!
As for The Reaper's Daughter, I'm happy to announce as of June 1, fantasy publisher Dragon Moon Press will be my second book baby's new home. I'm excited to join this new publishing family and I have a good feeling about it.
Once I'm done editing Fractured Dream, I'll be back at the bit, finishing up Shattered World and continuing to work on a Sci-Fi YA Romance I'm feeling very passionate about.
For now, both titles are available at discounted prices until May 31! The Reaper's Daughter is currently 99 cents and Fractured Dream is $2.00.
Now that the dust has settled, I'm truly thankful for Booktrope. They made me a published author and realized a dream I've had almost since I could read. I got to work with and meet some amazing people, made friends with kindred souls, became a book editor, and was given the opportunity to be immersed in a community of like-minded individuals, those who love to write, read, and breathe words.
It's life and it goes something like this:
"Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”
― Tom Stoppard
I should have blogged about this sooner, but it did go out in my newsletter recently for those that follow it. It is T Minus 16 Hours and 54 Minutes until the Humble Book Bundle The Reaper's Daughter is currently a part of is over. For those that don't know what this is, you can "pay what you want" or donate to a charity of your choice to unlock the first tier of books, which is definitely a bundle. Following that, there are two more tiers that you can unlock by paying an average and you get so much value.
So for those of you who like thrillers, sci-fi, dystopian, and a few books that are lighter with paranormal themes (like mine), you'll want to check it out before the deal is done.
Also, don't miss the latest podcast where I wax poetic about magic in the wind, bad ass heroines, and life in general with author Jayme Beddingfield on her podcast, Too Many Words. She's a cool chica, for sure.
I've always been a voracious reader. I would sit at the dinner table and read as a teenager, lay in bed all day just to read a book, stay up all night so I could finish one. Of course, becoming a mother almost five wonderful years ago slowed how many books I put away a month, which is normal. But then I began to focus on getting published, and then I began to edit books and got so busy working on books I was no longer merely reading for pleasure. Reading for me is an escape, so without that regular outlet I've felt a bit sad, missing the reading me. With the turn of the new year I vowed to return to myself, and it feels like I'm making up for lost time, because I can't stop discovering all that is new, all that I've missed.
As a commitment to never lose that part of myself again, which is essential to my writing self, I'm going to feature the occasional book review from mine and my sister's book review blog, Cellar Lit Rants & Reviews. I'll be featuring a regular Indie title and a traditionally published title that I've enjoyed. This week for my mainstream, I'm going to feature Cinder my Marissa Meyer, because it's brilliant.
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For the last year or so I’ve been hearing people rave about Marissa Meyer and her Lunar Chronicles series. I’m going to admit, I may have been snobby. I just couldn’t imagine cyborgs and Cinderella. As a twister of fairytales myself, I just wasn’t that interested. And then I decided, what the hell, I should just see what the hub-bub is all about. Last weekend I finishedCinder, the first in the series, and I’ve been checking my Amazon tracking ever since. Because I NEED Scarlet (It came today, FYI, just in case you were worried for my sanity). This will probably be the most informal review you’ve ever read from me because I’m fan-girling. Yes, it’s true. I’m a fan … woman.
Cinder is an example of everything done brilliantly in a retelling. It’s not only wholly unique in the twist, it’s fascinating because you actually don’t know what’s going to come next. Cinder is a young woman/cyborg, living in plague-ridden New Beijing, who has earned herself a reputation for being a first-rate mechanic. At the beginning of the story, she’s just saved enough to replace her “foot” so that she can hide the robot parts of herself and pass as human, which comes in handy when the prince comes calling and asks her to fix his favorite droid.
Hated by her “stepmother” and yet beloved by her youngest stepsister, Cinder soon finds herself embroiled in the search for a cure for a plague, which has been sweeping the world. Meanwhile, the Earth world is embroiled in a treaty talk with the Lunar people, who would bring war if New Beijing’s prince doesn’t agree to marry the Lunar queen.
I could go on about this carefully and creatively woven plot, but I won’t go down that road too much more because fantasy and fairytale lovers should just read this. Even though I actually guessed pretty early on an important component of the story, it in no way detracted from my utter and complete enjoyment of this fairytale, romance, dystopian novel. Cinderella as a cyborg now equals BRILLIANCE.
Note: This review was cross-posted from Cellar Door Lit Rants & Reviews.
Please welcome author Jayme Beddingfield, a very kick-ass writer. I even used "very" to describe her and it's a non-essential word. *Free Edit tip!
Anyway, we decided to interview each other for a fun blog post, and when she sent me her questions I realized I had to up my game. Please read on to find out what fictional character she'd want to be best friends with, the color she'd choose if the world could only have one hue, and other similar important issues. You can also find out more about her and her writing, so please read on!
What books have you written?
The Highly Capable, which is the first in my new urban fantasy series The Ruby Dawson Saga.
If you could be best friends with a character from a book you’ve read, who would it be? Why?
I would pick Alice Cullen from the Twilight Saga. She was one of my favorite aspects of that series because she was such an awesome friend to Bella. Alice is so fun and enchanting, loyal, and supremely kick-ass.
If a magic genie said he could turn you into any kind of fantasy creature you wished, what would you be? Why?
I love this question so much. It’s hard to pick one, but assuming it would be a permeant transformation, I would have to go with a fairy.
What’s your favorite paranormal ability?
I’m always amazed by the mind which leaves me torn between telekinesis and clairvoyance.
If the world could only be one color, what would you choose?
I think a world that was entirely turquoise would be rather magnificent.
If you could be Buffy, Willow, or Anya, who would you be?
I love this question. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my one of favorite shows, still holds a spot on the list of shows I’ll always love. I would definitely be Buffy. She’s a totally kick butt, witty and ambitious character.
What are you writing currently?
I am currently finishing up The Immensely Powerful, Book 2 of The Ruby Dawson Saga, and I’m also writing a coming of age young adult book that I’m really excited about.
What books or authors have served as inspirations to your own writing?
There are so many fabulous authors and incredible stories out there, and honestly, I gain so much inspiration from all of it. Everything tends to have a piece of inspiration I can take from it. That being said if I were to call out any one particular, it would be Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia because it was the first book I read that truly turned me onto the world of literature, which has become such a big part of my life—sometimes my entire life.
What’s are some must-reads on your to-be-read list for 2016?
This is the year that I’m tackling all of Maggie Stiefvater's titles for sure. I’m currently reading The Dream Thieves, which is the 2nd in The Raven’s Cycle series. It’s crazy good. This year I have a goal of reading 100 books. I haven't made a point to do this since my sophomore year in college.
What is the best movie you’ve seen based on a book?
That’s easy. The Hunger Games Trilogy lent itself extremely well to the big screen. I love those movies, almost as much as the books.
If you found the fountain of youth, would you drink from it and be young forever?
Yes, I think I would. But, knowing myself I would probably bottle it up and think about it for awhile first, make a pro/con list, and then after some sleepless nights, I would drink it and then convince my loved ones to the same.
Where can we find your books? And what are your links?
My blog jaymethescribbler.com is an awesome place to stay update with my releases, events, and creative work. I’m always putting up short stories and various serials.
We don't fall in line with guidelines or rules, we like the unique as well as the tropes. We're all-genre lovers, but we must admit, fantasy and sci-fi appeal to our whimsical, magical natures, just a bit. We're sisters talking about books, writing, and anything in relation to stories, fables, and myths. We'll yarn some, we'll darn some, we love to try some .... books.
My sister and I just launched a vlog, called the Quirky Book Sirens, in which over drinks, we discuss various themes in books and the industry. In our debut episode we discuss YA horror, throwback style, meaning we reminisced on the likes of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike.
Check it below:
I've hit the book jackpot. Or at least it seems that way as I get underwayredecorating my office. Battered bookcases now gleam new and white, while piles and piles of books are there for the reading. I always dreamed of a huge library someday, featuring every book I ever owned. The truth is, I tried that in my office and it's been a perpetual disaray as bookshelves were doubled up on and books were crammed in as tight as they could go. So I put my foot down in the name of decluttering in this newly brightened space. I forced myself, as painful as it was, to put the R.L. Stine Fear Street books into a box. Yes, I'm really that much of a book hoarder.
I cut it off at putting Babysitter's Club on my shelves — I have all the books still, though, but they're rightfully in boxes — but anything I read from my early double digits and up was fair game and could have been found on my shelves up until the other day. My large V.C. Andrews collection also went into that box along with Stephen King and Anne Rice. I still love them, but I've been over my horror phase for a long while. I will not be re-reading Gerald's Game, which I read when I was around 12 and have been traumatized since. I have to give Stephen King credit, the images are still clear as day in my head. Likewise for Anne Rice, I still shudder at some of the scenes she painted in Taltos and I was a young teenager when I read that as well. Meanwhile, I have a whole series of books in there I have no recollection of ever reading. But that's the fun part! Because I can re-read them and it's as if I've got brand new books to devour. Books that made the shelf cut are my fantasy collections, anything by Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, and Tanya Huff, my chicklit, and any non-fiction (Bill Bryson, you make me laugh so) and literature. And of course any newer YA, House of Night, Harry Potter, Morganville Vampires, etc. And there's more. A lot more.
That brings me to the hardest part, when I made myself put my Christopher Pike books in that box. While most of his earlier stuff was just really good teen horror, I feel to this day that a lot of his later books were brilliant. There was a lot of science-fiction and spirituality threaded through his later works that I remember really connecting with as a teen looking for YA that was a little deeper. It's been a long time since I read them, but I'm thinking when I have some reading time open up that I might do a special series on re-reading Christopher Pike books. Were they as great as I remember them? A friend of mine recently read a couple of the books from his Last Vampire series and said she was disappointed by it because she felt he didn't portray a feminine viewpoint or voice well. So I'm interested to see what I think of these books in my mid-thirties. I consider them a guilty pleasure given I read them when I was an adolescent and again in my twenties and plan to read them now in my thirties. I'll have to Wickipedia that man and see if he's written anything new.
Until next time, happy reading!
Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga) is currently on sale for only 99 cents! But the deal ends on Nov. 5! Here's the synopsis if you're unfamiliar with the title:
Have you ever wondered where fairytales go once they're created?
It's been eight years since Story Sparks last had a dream. Now they're back,
tormenting her as nightmares she can't remember upon waking. The black
waters of Lake Sandeen, where her Uncle Peter disappeared decades
before, may hold the secret to Story's hidden memories, or a truth she'd
rather not know. On a bright summer afternoon, Story and her two best
friends, Elliott and Adam, take a hike to the lake, where they dive into
the cool water and never reemerge. What they find is beyond anything
they've ever imagined could be possible, a world where dangers lurk in
the form of Big Bad Wolves, living Nightmares and meddlesome witches and
Now Story must remember who she really is and somehow stop
two worlds from ultimate annihilation, all while trying not to be too
distracted by the inexplicable pull she feels toward a certain dark-eyed
traveler who seems to have secrets of his own. The fates of the worlds
are counting on her.
Here's what people have been saying recently:
"She has an incredibly vivid writing style that allows you to 'see' what you are reading. The worlds she paints with her words are very imaginative."
"Oh man, this book was a winner for me. I couldn't put it down in between jobs. I even told some of my patients about it. I don't know why but even from the beginning I was hooked."
"I loved the characters, the world building, and especially the back stories. I was really bummed when it ended and I can't wait for the next one."
Get it on Amazon here.
So I'm sitting here from the Rochester Comic-Con. I've sold some books, met met some cool people, creeped on Alaina Huffman (Supernatural's Abbadon) since she's one of the panelists and I love her, and had a podcast interview this morning with TNX Bombsquad here. Since I've finished The Reaper's Daughter and the cover has already been completed I debuted the cover on my table to entice would-be readers. You can't see it too well in this pic, but this is my table at Roc-Con. The lovely lady in the back is my sister getting some work done.
So this is the big announcement of the day, I want to reveal The Reaper's Daughter cover. I'm so excited about it. Author, designer and also my friend, Shari Ryan, is responsible for the awesomeness of this cover. She came up with the concept and went with it and she captured the essence of it. Death is a dark thing, but the pink catches the humor and lightness that also threads through this book. Here's a picture you can really take a look at:
And to accompany the lovely cover, here's the blurb, newly minted:
I’ve always felt like an average girl . . . except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s never going to leave me alone until he can do the same to me as he’s done to my mother.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and along with the Council of Death Deities, took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have heard of her before: they call her the Grim Reaper.
You know what that makes me? The Reaper’s Daughter.
Look for it February 15, 2015 !! You can also add it to your Goodreads list now:
This announcement is long overdue, but I finished the first draft of The Reaper's Daughter at the start of September. I absolutely can't wait to release it, and without totally having confirmed this yet with my
publisher, I'm hoping for a mid-January release. My cover is already complete as well, so that reveal will hopefully be coming soon.
I absolutely love this book, and yet, after spending eight years on writing Fractured Dream and only one on the rough draft of The Reaper's Daughter, is it strange it felt almost anti-climatic? I almost feel as if I cheated. It's more average sized as far as books go, while Fractured Dream is a bit longer. So perhaps that's it. I poured just as much love into this one, but it felt easier to write somehow. The common saying among authors is that the first book is always the hardest and I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps it's the motivation I possessed writing the second one, it was so much more intense after finally finishing one book. I'm an actual author now, my inner self screams in delight, and the urge to continue weaving all the stories crowding my head make my
fingers go crazy on the keyboard as the "beast-creature ideas," as Ray Bradbury put it, demand to be let out.
I also have an urge to return to the world I built in The Dreamer Saga, to continue Story's story (ha ha). It's definitely a different experience soaring through a book in such a short period of time after toiling away for years with people questioning whether you'd ever actually finish the book. Then wondering if anyone would publish it, should I go indie? Traditional? Self-publish? But here I am a year later with a published book and a publisher behind me and a second book almost ready to go, but the beast-creatures in my head haven't had
their stories completed yet and so to the keyboard I return, a mad woman with a mission: to tell stories.
So here's to getting a book blurb for The Reaper's Daughter soon so that I can share with anyone who likes my writing or is intrigued by the title of this book and what it's about. Stay Tuned for more details.
I have been meaning to post my book soundtrack to Fractured Dream for forever. What I like best is that some of these picks were brought about organically through several readers and friends who suggested songs that reminded them of various parts or themes in the book. And then some of the songs I picked myself. My husband even got to have a say. So here's a big thanks to Lara Southgate (who has her own version . . . here), Nicole Munson, Melissa Flickinger, Bethany Root and Ronald Mendolera.
All of My Love | Led Zeppelin
Going Under | Evanescence
Remember | Emilie Autumn
Into the Mystic | Van Morrison
Howl | Florence + the Machine
Transylvanian Concubine | Rasputina
Desert Rose | Sting
This Night | Black Lab
Wicked Games | Chris Isaak
Little Earthquakes | Tori Amos
Without You | Breaking Benjamin
Breathe | Midge Ure
Little House | The Fray
Leave Me in the Dark | Keri Noble
Galileo | Indigo Girls
Shake It Out | Florence + the Machine
No Trace | MS MR
A Sight to Behold | Eisley
Redeemed | Charlotte Martin
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.