October 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: Inhuman by Kama Falzoi Post

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of revealing the cover for InHuman, a sci-fi thriller by Kama Falzoi Post! Without further ado, here's the amazing cover!

Author: Kama Falzoi Post
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Release date: December 13, 2016
PublisherBookFish Books
Cover ArtistAnita Carroll at Race-Point

About InHuman

Mira’s mother sizes up bodies at the morgue like she’s rifling through the sales rack: this one’s too big… this one’s too small… ah, here it is. Just right. The perfect vessel for the one they’ll

call Adam.

Since Adam’s survival is the key to drawing out the Conduit—a slippery sort bent on evacuating souls from their human bodies—Mira must help him pass for a typical teenage boy. That means showing him how to talk right, walk right, chew with his mouth open... blend in.

Ironic, because blending in is has always been a challenge for Mira, especially with hair the color of a Dorito. But at their small, secluded prep school, blending in is a matter of life and death.
Because the Conduit is watching.

About Kama Falzoi Post

Kama Falzoi Post is a functioning member of society, a part-time introvert, a pinnacle of contradictions, the mother of a hurricane, a step-mother, and an author. She enjoys drinking red wine and then drinking more red wine, listening to music that moves her, and taking things too far.

She developed a love of books and writing at a very early age. Her stories have appeared in a handful of literary magazines including Inkwell and SmokeLong Quarterly, and most recently in the anthology Outliers of Speculative Fiction. She lives in a small town outside a small city with her husband, son, and too many cats.

October 24, 2016

Monday Stress Relief

It strikes me that we have two things going against us (at least in the U.S.) today. An intense political climate and the fact that it's Monday. So to help you relax a little, here are a few pictures of my cats. They are siblings born almost a year ago on Friday the 13th, making their all black fur extra fun! They've been a part of our family since January when they were old enough to leave their mama.

Whisper (who is actually really loud)

Jett (who we refer to as parkour kitty)

Jett is big with medium length fur. Whisper is small with short sleek fur. 
If a black cat crosses your path - pet it.

Make it a great week!

October 19, 2016

My International Classroom Visit

There are certain decisions that become more important when you know they will be on display. Which travel mug to use? The ceramic Starbucks hot air balloon. Lip color? Nothing too dark. The shadows can make you look like you’re going for the goth look. Pants or skirt? Pajama bottoms – it’s Skype, headshot only.

If you’re on my social media, you know I had the amazing opportunity to visit with a class of tenth grade literature students from Lycée International Nelson Mandela, Académie de Nantes. For those of you who have no working knowledge of French “Académie de Nantes” means school of Nantes. As in Nantes, France. Nantes, France is approximately 5,000 miles from my hometown of Bend, Oregon. Needless to say, I had to get up early that day. But not to travel, just to do my hair and make sure to catch the students before they went home for the day. There's quite a time difference between the west coast of America and France.

Last July the very innovative teacher, Marie-Hélène Fasquel, invited me to participate in a project with her class. Together we chose an excerpt from one of my young adult books. I provided some witty and charming information about myself for a slide show, which included a picture of 13 year old me standing under the Eiffel Tower, and Marie and I agreed on a date in October.

At the time it felt so far away, but I’m pretty sure I blinked and it was 6:00 am Pacific Daylight Time, Thursday, October 13th, and the first student was taking the hot seat in front of the camera.

“What is the hardest thing about writing? What is the easiest thing about writing?”

"Middles are the hardest!"

Each of the students came and sat in the hot seat to ask their question and listen to my answer. I was so grateful to Marie for arranging for me to meet each student like that. Plus my writer brain was exploding from all the fabulous character fodder. These students all had an uncanny confidence and attractiveness. 

One of the students asked if kids in American classrooms study my work like they were. I was a little sad to say that though I’ve done a number of classroom visits none of them have been after they studied a book, but then I remembered there is a class reading one of my books together and I’ll visit when they finish. So it’s happening. Yay!

There were some questions that are always hard for me to answer; favorite author, favorite books. When asked if I’ve ever read a book and realized my own books had influenced the writing, I hated to admit that I suspect I’m too dense to ever recognize that. Seriously, I can totally imagine myself thinking, "This is good. I like this author’s style." But never making a connection. Ha ha.

“Do you have to travel a lot as a writer for inspiration?”

“It isn’t required, but it’s a good excuse!”

I turned the tables a little and asked if they read my excerpt or listened to the audio recording. They all chimed in that they read it. Such smart kids! I mean, I don't write in French. I asked who liked to read and they all raised their hands so we talked books a bit.

The visit was just under an hour and it went way too fast. I’m beyond thrilled to know they spent time studying my work. I hope it resonated in some way like meeting them has within me. I can’t thank Marie enough for opening that door.

Merci beaucoup! À l'année prochaine.

October 14, 2016

Cover Reveal for The Next Best Thing by Wendi Nunnery

Don't forget I've got a fun/easy giveaway running through Sunday. See this post for details and then hop on over to my Facebook and Twitter to share all the messages to enter to win. 

The Next Best Thing Blurb:

Four years ago, Emma Fraser’s first love took his own life. Now, twenty years old and in college, Emma and her best friend, Andy, are still mourning the loss of a friend and brother. Nothing is the same as it once was…and things are about to change even more.

Too heartbroken to even consider falling in love again, Emma stays distracted by school and work. Until she meets Landon and, for the first time ever, finds herself believing she might actually have a future with someone. But when Deegan Burke—the man responsible for all of Emma’s heartache—gets out of prison early, Emma is suddenly confronted by her worst fears. And when faced with choices she never thought she’d have to make, Emma discovers that the only person she really wants by her side is the last person she ever expected.

Pre-Order The Next Best Thing Here and Get 50% Off!

Author Bio:

Wendi Nunnery is the author of The Mayfield Family StoryThe Best Kept Secret, and The Next Best Thing. She is also the founding editor of Lady Literary Magazine and her work has appeared in The Huffington PostThe Simply Beloved, and Introvert, Dear. Wendi is a proud Georgia Southern University alum and believes colorful language is good for the soul. She lives, loves, and mothers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Connect with Wendi:

Learn More About Wendi’s Books:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13621604.Wendi_Nunnery

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wendi-Nunnery/e/B00NI34FUC/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

October 10, 2016

Word of Mouth #Giveaway

Let’s have some fun! Help introduce me and my work to fellow readers and you might win one of two fun big mouth key chains.

Bright and early each morning during the week of October 10 – 16, I’ll put a post on my Facebook page and Twitter that you can share. You’ll know which post because it will include the hashtag #BigMouth. Each time you share them, you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of two fun key chains. The winners will be chosen randomly (week of October 17th) from a pool of all the shares.

Just to be crazy, I’m gonna make this open internationally, so share and share and don’t worry about who’s watching, because everybody can get in on this one. To qualify to win not only must you share my message on Facebook and/or Twitter, you must follow me on the social media outlet where you shared my message. 

On Facebook and Twitter, enter "Kai Strand #BigMouth" in the search field and share and/or retweet each result!

Thanks for your participation! I hope it's fun for you - and GOOD LUCK!

October 5, 2016

Back on Submission Again

Have I ever told you how much I love spreadsheets? Yeah. *Sighs* I’ve got a spreadsheet for everything. Henceforth, I know the last three things I submitted were novels to my current publishers – two years ago. They were all accepted – so yippee for that!

There are points in your career when you stop and re-evaluate the direction you want to go, the opportunities you have, and if your goals have changed. I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of that point right now. It’s like a huge, deserted crossroads. It’s dark. There are tumbleweeds and maybe a scarecrow – or an ax murderer. Like I said, it’s a dark and vast point. I can’t really see where any of the roads lead. They all seem to have similar terrain; things to trip over, rises and valleys, occasional smooth, groomed patches. I’ve traveled along a couple of the paths already and had a mixture of good experiences, mediocre experiences, and lackluster experiences. In other words no path is perfect and sometimes knowing the path makes you hesitant to take it again.


So, I decided it was time to dust off the submissions spreadsheet, add a 2016 tab and get my current WIP out there into the world and see if I can attract agent representation. Oh my gosh, am I really doing this? See the thing about this route is the pace – or lack there of. Even if I were to have an agent request a full today, I’d still have to wait for them to read and then assuming they love it and decide to offer representation, and we do the contract signing, etc, then the manuscript will go through another bout of edits before it goes out on submission to publishers. Which is always followed by another hurry up and wait…but let’s assume an editor loves it and we go through the contract process together and then the edits with the publisher and the cover stuff and marketing and …well, best case scenario – this book will publish at the end of 2018.

The expected response.
But it only takes one YES!
Working with small press and self-publishing, I published 12 books in 4 years. Waiting a minimum of 2 years for this one book to see daylight – in a perfect storm of contracts and edits – that has me worrying my bottom lip. But, knowing the unlikelihood of a perfect storm to line up for a speedy two year publication? Now I’m hyperventilating again. I mean, longer than two years? Really? However, I’d really, really like to take the next step in the world of publication and broaden my distribution and I feel my best opportunity is with agent representation. So, I’m going back into submission mode.

Believe it or not, you can help. Like or comment on my Facebook page or Instagram. Post a review on Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Goodreads for the books of mine that you’ve read. Agents get a TON of submissions. They are actually harder to attract than a publisher! If an agent is considering my manuscript and sees that I have an engaged audience of readers, they are more likely to offer me representation. And I'd be grateful for the help.

What will I do in the meantime? Write. I’m working on a fantasy. What better way to distract myself from obsessively checking my email than to escape into a completely made up world? And at least I get to add to my spreadsheet, and color code, and update, and geeky things like that. 

October 3, 2016

October #InkRipples – Masks

I love Andrew Lloyd Weber’s, Phantom of the Opera, and this is one of my favorite moments of the production. Beside the epic choreography, the scene—the lyrics—are so relatable. ♫Look around. There’s another mask behind you♫ We’ve all known people who wear a mask whenever they are in public.

Most people aren’t as obvious as the Mayor from Halloween Town, but if we look really, really close, we might be more aware of when their head spins between a frowny face and a smiling face.

We also know people like the queen bee at school who compliments your skirt – to your face.

But you know what? We all have to wear a mask at one point or another. When you run into an ex co-worker at the pizza shop one night and she asks how it’s going. Are you really going to tell her your husband’s business failed, your oldest kid got busted for shoplifting, and you can’t find a job for more than $13/hour? No. You’re going to paste on the Mayor’s smile and say, “Fine! Everything is fine. You?”

The important thing is to know when to wear a mask and when not to. It can be far too easy to simply wear one constantly. But we need time in our lives without our masks in order to make connections. To live. To learn. To love.

To live: Imagine you talked your way into a job above your skill level by alluding that you had the proper experience. As you settle into your new job at the higher pay, you go out and buy a new car, maybe rent a larger apartment, because you’ve hit the big time. But each day you run into situations you aren’t actually able to handle. Since you wore that mask of experience to get the job, you can’t ask for help. What do you think will happen? You will crash and burn. But if you approached the position with the experience you do have and stated your desire to excel at the job they are offering and asked how you might go about getting experience in order to be qualified for the job…you will have represented yourself honestly and probably earned their respect.

To learn: The problem with a mask is it often limits your perspective. Looking through eye holes can cut off peripheral vision. Have you ever done the teamwork exercise where you place several items on the seat of a chair, have people stand in a circle around it and describe what they see? Not everybody sees everything. But when they share their view, it combines with yours to make a complete picture.

To love: Think about it. If you only ever saw your partner while wearing a figure-hugging girdle under your clothes, what happens when you take that bad boy off? Your partner will feel deceived. Not because you are suddenly lumpy, but because you always have been and you never trusted them enough to share that. Now, let’s re-imagine this relationship where you take off the figure hugging girdle sometime around the second or third date. Or maybe only don it for those truly special occasions when you want to feel extra sexy. Guess what. It’s YOU your partner falls for. Not your lump-less figure. But you can’t know that if you don’t give them the chance.

Masks can be totally acceptable. But chose wisely when to don one.

The mask I feel I have to wear most often is the This situation isn’t annoying me one bit mask. What mask do you feel you put on most frequently? 

#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.