Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Events and Goals for 2015


Goal: Get more teeth fixed

My teeth are a mess. I'm hoping to be able to get at least 3 done this year. Getting the 1st one done next week.

Axes of Evil II: Rise of The Metal Gods release!



One of my short stories will be featured in a heavy metal horror anthology! I think it comes out later this month or next month.

Later in the year I'll be able to release it as a freebie, so stay tuned!

Goal: Finish Editing Website

My freelance editing business has started to pick up so I really need to get the website finished so more clients can find me.

Bite at First Sight Releases April 7th!




The third book in my Scandals With Bite series and one we've all been looking forward to because it's Rafael Villar's story! I gotta say, that grumpy Spanish vampire was fun to work with, and Cassandra, the heroine was a blast as well!



It's up for Pre-Order!

Goal: Finish Brides of Prophecy Book 3

After 2014 being almost all edits, I want to focus more on writing this year. My goal is to finish at least 2 full manuscripts, but I'm going to push for 3.

First priority is book 3 in my Brides of Prophecy series... which I also need to come up with a title for. I'll be asking you all for help with that soon!

Event: Power of The Pen Conference



I am pleased to announce that my local RWA chapter will be holding a conference on March 7th at The Red Lion Hotel in Spokane, local writers won't want to miss it!

Registration info is Here!


Event: The Novel Experience



I am excited to announce that I'll be attending  The Novel Experience Convention and book signing in Las Vegas in April!

Aside from writing, READERS will be another major priority this year. This convention will be the perfect opportunity for me to meet and interact with some of you!

There will be parties and dinners and a lot of opportunities to just hang out. I'm planning on bringing some fun swag and hope to take a reader out to lunch.

And a big piece of awesome news for the signing, BITE AT FIRST SIGHT will be available EARLY!!

Registration and Hotel info Here.

Aaaand... the first attendee who emails me after booking their room at The Planet Hollywood  will get a FREE VIP TICKET from me. The link to reserve the hotel room under the convention discount is here.


Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Recap

2014 was an exciting year for me. I figured I'd share some of the highlights

First off, I dipped my toes into the Indie pool and launched the first book in my Urban Fantasy Romance series, BRIDES OF PROPHECY.

These characters have been in my head for FOREVER, but since the traditional publishing houses are reluctant to take on paranormal, especially vampires, I couldn't find a home for these stories there. But since that world is so important to me, I decided to release the series myself.

I present, WRENCHING FATE! 



After that, I also got two new front teeth... okay, two crowns and a filling. After nearly dying from an abcessed tooth in 2013...seriously, I almost DIED. I decided that taking care of my crappy, poor white trash teeth was a priority. I still have a long way to go.  

Umm...I'm not posting pics of that.

In May I got to attend the RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION in the city I've always wanted to visit, NEW ORLEANS!!

Me and author Sarah Humphreys at a Mardi Gras party they threw for the attendees. How cool is that?


It was such an incredible and busy experience that it took 4 blog posts to recap it. Here's part one if you want to read about the awesomesauce.

Unfortunately, just a few days after I got back, a good friend of mine passed away. RIP, Bill Kieffer. You will always be dearly missed. :(

I'll never forget all the times we had fun talking about music, movies, and other quirky things. I'll never forget the time we got drunk on the front porch talking about every topic in the book until the sun came up. I'll never forget that you chose to aid me in a crisis, despite disapproval from some people you'd known longer.

Okay, after the sad stuff...

Over the summer, I was invited by editor, Alex Johnson to submit a short story to a heavy metal horror anthology. 

I ACTUALLY had one gathering dust in my hard drive because I never found a home for such an oddity even though it won 1st place in the 2012 Idaho Writer's League Short Story Competition. 

AND IT WAS ACCEPTED!

I'm pleased to announce that I will be featured in AXES OF EVIL II: RISE OF THE METAL GODS, which will be released soon!

Check out this badass Iron Maiden inspired cover!

And if you're a metalhead, you'll know which album inspired this!


I finally had the opportunity to return to another beloved project. The restoration of my 1980 Datsun 210

Her name is Little Beast. I'd rebuilt the engine, but her body's been a bashed-up mess. But I finally found new body parts for her so hopefully she'll be on the road and pretty by next year.

Right now her front end is all torn up, but do you see her shiny engine compartment?



I got some requests for the Heavy Metal Romance I wrote back in 2012.


It's called HIS ROADIE for now...and good lord, we need to find a better title. But right now I have 2 publishers looking at it and the first sent me a Revise and Resubmit request and now I'm waiting to hear back. Even if they don't accept it, I got some excellent feedback that helped to make it a better book.

I fell in Love.

It's really hard to nail down the exact time that happened, especially since we were friends for so long, but damn he's wonderful. I call him "Sexy Genius." Our first official "date" ended up with us working on a car together... which is totally my style. And I've never been treated so well.

Huckleberries.

An annual North Idaho tradition. In 2013, I had to sell all of mine. This year I got to keep some to eat! Seriously, if you're ever in the Northwest, you have to try these berries! 



Release of ONE BITE PER NIGHT!!



This was another important book for me.

When I got the offer for Bite Me, Your Grace, I had NO ideas for future books in the series. But it was a 3 book deal so I had to come up with something.

I wanted to put a different spin on the guardian/ward trope, and play with another fun setting in England: Cornwall, namely a castle! Ideas for a heroine came into play, but I was at a loss for a hero. I didn't want to the typical "tall dark and handsome alpha vampire" that I did with the last book. I wanted something different.

So, I had an acquaintance that had really cool hair, striking looks, and was as kind as he was mysterious. I inspired the hero after him.

We ended up getting to know each other and he actually came to my signing!


I now call him "Sexy Genius"



ONE BITE PER NIGHT ended up being well received with reviewers. I was almost too scared to click on the link to Publisher's Weekly's review because they can be mean sometimes. (They were pretty nice to me with BITE ME, YOUR GRACE, though they threw in a bit of snark).
Publisher's Weekly LOVED IT!!!

But there was no rest for the wicked. 

Since I'd decided to go hybrid, I also had my Indie series to deliver.

In October, I released Book 2 in my "Brides of Prophecy" series: Ironic Sacrifice


Before I was published, this book was a favorite of my beta readers. Razvan is definitely the most alpha hero I've ever written and people LOVE him!

He also has a twin brother, but you won't get to know him until book 4.


Thrills and Chills Book Signing

That month I also had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a multi-author Halloween themed book signing with Shelley Martin, Bonnie R. Paulson, Frank Zafiro, and Kaye Thornbrugh.

It was a blast!


Edits, edits, edits

Honestly, I would dub 2014 as "The Year of Edits" for me. I did not write a complete brand new manuscript the entire year. Instead I hacked away at stuff I wrote in 2012 and 2013 and added thousands of better words. 

Not only that, but I also launched my freelance editing business and despite not having gotten around to putting up an official website, word of mouth grew, and I made almost as much money off of editing as I did on book sales. And as a bonus I got to help some awesome authors make their books shine!


Art projects

I was an artist before I was anything else, and it was a joy to finish off the year with my first love.

Here are the pieces I did:


Freddy Krueger: Pumpkin Carving



Pinhead from Hellraiser: Scratchboard

Trippy Zebras: Scratchboard
My aunt's dog: Pencil.

All in all, I had a pretty good year, but I have more goals for the next. Stay tuned! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

New Release: Kissing the Devil by Shannon Eckrich



There are three rules in the small town of Leeds Point, New Jersey:
Never stay out after dark.
Never go into the Pineys.
And, more than anything, never speak of the Jersey Devil.

Serenity Cantwell knows all too well the Jersey devil exists. The recurring nightmares of his glowing green eyes make their way into her dreams, causing her to relive her encounter with the beast every single night. But as people she knows start to disappear, and end up dead, in the middle of the Pine Barrens, she pushes away her fear of the forest in search of answers.
What she finds will change her life forever. Secrets will be revealed, a curse will be set in motion, and friendships will be tested. But most of all, love could prove to be deadly.

Author Bio:
Shannon Eckrich is a YA paranormal author with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. Her novel, Haunting Lia became an Amazon International Bestseller shortly after its release in October 2013. The first installment of her Elemental Short Series, Goddess of Fire: Burn, quickly followed suite when it was released in June 2014.




Check out these other books by Author Shannon Eckrich:
Goddess of Fire: Burn: http://smarturl.it/goddessoffireburn
Goddess of Fire: Smolder: http://smarturl.it/goddessoffiresmolder
Goddess of Fire: Ignite: http://smarturl.it/goddessoffireignite
Goddess of Fire: Inferno: http://smarturl.it/goddessoffireinferno

Goddess of Fire: Fire and Ice: http://smarturl.it/goddessoffirefireice


Thursday, November 20, 2014

On Quoting Song Lyrics in Your Novel (Part 1)



So I'm working on my 3rd Brides of Prophecy novel and it's the point where we get deeper into some of the said Prophecy. It's also where the series veers from Urban Fantasy to straight fantasy, but I'll get into that more another time.

For now, onto the music.

I actually wrote Xochitl's story back in 2001. It SUCKED so bad that I'm glad my old computer died and I was only able to get some of the book off my floppy discs. Yes, you heard me, floppy discs. I was even more poor back then.

However there was a part about it that I liked. Xochitl is the lead singer of a famous metal band. The band had formed back when they were in high school. They learned how to perform an epic rock song so well that their peers finally started taking them seriously and later it helps them get their start in the business.

That song ended up cementing their bond in the end as well as accomplishing something VERY important that I can't say because spoilers.

In my ancient crap draft the song was "November Rain" by Guns & Roses. Which is a great song, don't get me wrong but REALLY would have been a terrible idea in the book.

Sometime around 2005, I heard a song (much older than "November Rain") that gave me chills and accelerated by pulse like no other. The vocals, the instrumental, the LYRICS! For about the 1st 20 listens, I just reveled in the beauty of the song. But as I listened to the words, something eerily familiar about it. OMG, it's a lot like that one part of Xochitl's book! And I could totally imagine Xochitl singing it.

THIS IS THEIR SONG, I decided, and went back to turning wrenches and working on Book 1.

Now that I'm working on book 3 I've learned enough about the world to know that I need permission to use copyrighted song lyrics in my novel. At first I thought I would need to contact the writer of the song's lyrics or his manager/ agent. Since he is deceased, then it would be his widow/ manager/ agent which I'd thought would be easy since she's the same person. I was wrong. There is no contact info to be found.

I couldn't even find contact info for her record company, but I DID find contact info for another record company affiliated with hers.

Thankfully they got back to me right away and directed me to ANOTHER record company... who didn't have the song, then I got directed to ANOTHER, which directed me to BMI, which I should have checked in the first place.

Still, one thing was troubling. You can "Buy" the rights to songs from BMI and major music sites like Warner, Universal, and Sony, but they only sell rights to play or perform the actual song, which doesn't work because A.) you can't print sound and B.) FICTIONAL people will be performing it. They don't offer anything on just the lyrics.

Still, BMI was useful.

....Which I would have known if I'd read Literary Agent, Virginia Lloyd's Blog Post.

Not only does it tell you about sites like BMI to see who owns the publishing rights to a song, it tells you how to ask to use them. I emailed the publisher pretty much asking how to ask BEFORE I stumbled upon Virginia's post.

HOLY WOW, they responded 6 hours later! Even more impressive was that I emailed them in the evening and they responded 1st thing in the morning.

Luckily, they were gracious about my lack of experience with this scenario and outlined their requirements EXACTLY like Virginia said.

Here was what they asked for:

Book title:
Context of lyric use:
Term of license required:
Territory:
Print Run:

After supplying that info, they said they'd provide me with a quote... which I may or may not be able to afford. From further research, the price could be anywhere between 50 and 2000 bucks.

Also, I did not have concrete answers for some of those questions because A.) the book isn't finished yet. I figured I'd check on permissions first so I know how important a role that song is allowed to play in the story. B.) I really don't yet know what a reasonable term to ask for is. I know you have to renew the permission (with more money) when it runs out, so I asked for more clarification.
C.) I just put the territories that my books seem to be selling most in.
D.) This is my Indie series, so I don't have a print run. My Indie series is just getting off the ground, so I went for only 1000 copies with option to renew once I get close to selling that amount.

I highly doubt I'll hear back from them as quickly but cross your fingers for me that they won't quote a price outside of my range.

I'll also keep you all posted on what happens next.


   

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Belated Halloween Recap

Sorry I've been absent. I had the misfortune of getting the worst cold ever for the entire week of Halloween. I'm barely now able to breathe.

Still, that didn't stop me from doing my damnedest to enjoy my favorite holiday.

First, I spent several nights in October with The Halloween Horror club mass screening horror movies and exchanging snark.

Here's a few that I was able to watch:

The Legend of Hell House
Candyman
Dead Alive
Brain Damage
Night of the Demons
Night of the Demons 2
Night of the Living Fred
Phantasm 2
ReAnimator
Funky Forest
Spookies
Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter
FunHouse
Street Trash

I definitely want to do that again next year!

I also had a ton of fun carving my pumpkin. I spent 8 hours creating Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street. Then I roasted pumpkin seeds in butter and Johnny's Seasoning Salt.


I read some spooky Horror novels, including Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and Peter Straub's GHOST STORY.

For the big day, heavily doped up on nyquil, I went to my local pub for a costume party and karaoke. My singing was worse than usual with the cold, but I still had a lot of fun.

What did you do for your Halloween?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Multi-author Book Signing October 25th in CDA!


If you live in the Coeur d'Alene area, you're in for a treat. On October 25th at the Coeur d'Alene Hastings (101 Best ave) I will be participating in a multi-author book signing. The other authors attending are Shelley MartinBonnie R. PaulsonKaye Thornbrugh and Frank Zafiro.

To keep with the Halloween spirit, we've dubbed out signing, "Thrills and Chills" with Shelley, Kaye, and I providing the "thrills" with Vampires, Fae, Gargoyles, and Phoenixes, and Bonnie and Frank supplying "chills" with Zombies, Serial Killers, and apocalyptic thrillers. I think Bonnie's even bringing some cowboys along, so there should be something for everyone.

There are going to be lots of swag and prizes.

I'll be handing out these scrumptious candy bars and raffling off a basket of books.


So if you're in the Spokane/ Coeur d' Alene area, stop by and get your thrills, chills, books, and treats! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

AWESOME NEWS, AWESOME DAY!!

You guys, this is one of the best days I've had in awhile. First off, after over a year of agonized secrecy, the cover for book 3 in my Scandals with Bite series is available to the public.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you BITE AT FIRST SIGHT


As gorgeous as my other covers are, this one is my favorite of the 3. It has been agony to wait so long to show it off. I mean, it's so HOT!!!

Speaking of hot, did I mention that this is Rafe's book? Those of you familiar with the series know what I'm talking about. Mrrrrrrrowww!!!

Even better, the book is up for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and probably other places as well.

Here's the blurb:

"When Rafael Villar, Lord Vampire of London, stumbles upon a woman in the cemetery, he believes he’s found a vampire hunter—not the beautiful, intelligent stranger she proves to be.

Cassandra Burton is enthralled by the scarred, disfigured vampire who took her prisoner. The aspiring physician was robbing graves to pursue her studies—and he might turn out to be her greatest subject yet. So they form a bargain: one kiss for every experiment. As their passion grows and Rafe begins to heal, only one question remains: can Cassandra see the man beyond the monster?"

And for my other bit of good news, which admittedly is not nearly as phenomenal is that I get to host a mass screening of NIGHT OF THE DEMONS on Facebook's Halloween Horror Club. Every night we stream a different movie and exchange snark. 

I am so happy I found this group. Not only am I discovering new horror movies, but I get to have company when I watch them and I get to share my favorites with others.

With my boyfriend and son hating horror movies, I was getting really lonely this Halloween season.


I know I've talked about this movie before on this blog, but I must reiterate that this film is the epitome of 80's Cheezy Goodness.

So tonight, I am prepared with a fitting snack:



The film is up on youtube if anyone cares to check it out: 


And if that's not your thing, be sure to pre-order BITE AT FIRST SIGHT and check out the 1st two books in the series!

Hope everyone's having a great October and enjoying the Halloween season!