New Year A New Series

Happy New Year . I’m sorry for the late post. So what’s happening in my corner of the world? I am continuing with the Runes series and plan to start another YA paranormal series by the middle of the year.

Seeress (book 3) is slated to be released in April. We’ll see.

The next Guardian Legacy series book should be on my editor’s e-mail by next month. Writing it has been tough because everything is upside down in my MC’s world. You know how every villain has plausible reasons for their villainous acts? I have to do that with the evil faction in the series and quite frankly, I am enjoying their view of the Guardians.

Once again, sorry for the late post.

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A Soul Going Once… Going Twice… Sold!

I am reading Donna Brown’s Half Truths. Sentence: The body floated in the shallow end of the murkypool. I Googled pool, and this is what popped up:

A SWIMMING POOL: (I couldn’t get the picture to upload)

My stomach rumbled. Despite being hungry, I didn’t feel like eating. My appetite was going to suffer until I figured out what to do about my family’s finances. Choosing a chair under an umbrella instead of a lounge, I sipped the lukewarm coffee, pulled out the printouts from the envelope and started reading.

Mr. Sinclair hadn’t been kidding about the final cost. Throw in transportation, food and lodging, the final bill was going to be huge. The more I read the more I knew that the procedure was the only solution. I couldn’t put a price on my brother’s life.

I was almost done when the telltale prickling feeling of being watched returned. Lowering the papers, I glanced around and studied the other guests.

The few grownups on the pool deck were busy worshiping the sun, their children splashing in the hotel’s pool. Others walked by on their way to the beach. No one appeared to be paying me any attention, yet the feeling persisted.

I glanced at the hotel. Our room was on the executive floor and faced the pool. Could Sinclair be watching me? Checking on his investment? I shuddered at the thought. If I lacked conscience, I’d quit. Pack up my things and disappear. I had enough money to buy a bus ticket to anywhere, but I couldn’t do that to my brother, the only person who’d ever loved me. Because of me, he’d suffered for two years. Because of me, he was pumped full of pain meds every day and treated like a child when he was once the star QB of my high school. No, Sam needed me now more than ever. As for Mom, I couldn’t thing about her crazy suggestion without cringing. Mothers were supposed to be nice. Loving. Protective of their children. Mine just threw me under the bus. There had to be another way to make a hundred grand without selling my soul to the devil.

Publishers and Authors Beware: FONT PIRACY

First there was/is Book Piracy, which we cannot control. Big publishers, small presses or self-publishers, it doesn’t matter. People will upload and download your baby whether you like it or not

Then there’s Photograph Piracy. We’ve learned not to use photographs without giving the photographers their kudos. These days, I just buy whatever photograph I want to put on my blog. End of stress.

Now there’s Font Piracy.

You CANNOT download fonts online and use them on your books WITHOUT authorization from the publisher. That is stealing, plain and simple.

Today, I got a BIG scare when I was contacted by this very nice, polite gentleman that I’d used his fonts on the covers of my books without his permission. His name is Juan Casco (he gave me permission to use his name and approved this post). His beautiful font is Romance fatal serif. http://www.dafont.com/es/romance-fatal-serif.font

aaa1

He has the right to be angry if his beautiful fonts are being used without compensation After all, he worked really hard to come up with them just like we work hard to write our books. In fact, I stopped by his website and he specifically states that the fonts are for private use not for commercial.

The problem is I didn’t download the fonts. I’m not computer savvy to pull that move. I wouldn’t know how to add them to the list of fonts on my software. When my hero in Runes and Immortals was nominated for YA Crush Tourney, a friend asked me to download certain fonts and use them and I was totally clueless. Happy I didn’t.

Back to fonts and piracy. Since the book in question was my first attempt at self-publishing (Betrayed before Spencer Hill Press)

Betrayed final 03 sharpBETRAYED

I had to explain that I used Adobe Photoshop to create that particular cover but a friend finished the cover for me for free and she is the one who added the title. Now whether my friend got permission to use his fonts is another story.

baaaa

As if that’s not bad enough, my books Runes and Immortals, also has his fonts. My name on both covers is done in his fonts (beautiful, aren’t they?).

Runesgirls hugeimmortalsgirl huge with logo

He’s contacted my talented cover designer about this, but I spent the entire afternoon discussing this situation with Mr. Casco. I took screen shots of the Adobe Photoshop file among other things, but we finally reached a satisfactory arrangement because as much as I hate piracy, I hate to be accused of something I didn’t do. I have never downloaded fonts in my life.

The bottom line: DO NOT DOWNLOAD FONTS and use them WITHOUT FIRST CONTACTING THE PUBLISHER.

Mr. Casco was very polite and understanding, but not all people are like that.

Here are places you can buy fonts:

http://www.fonts.com/

http://www.fontshop.com/

http://www.myfonts.com/

Podcasts: Another medium for book lovers

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I was all stressed out about what I would post about since everyone’s mentioned books, books and more books: audio books, e-books, chapter books, MG books, fantasy books, science-fiction books…  You see where I’m going with this. We love books, we write books, and we read books. We are book people.

So yes, I wasn’t sure what I would contribute to this month’s topic until my college daughter, who’s home for the holidays, asked me to listen to a podcast on her iTunes. Now I have another medium through which I can enjoy books. For the last few weeks, we’ve been listening to Pocasts, when not listening to audio books. My favorite is Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and narrated by Cecil Baldwin (Commonplace Books).  Oh, my, the narrator is amazing. The book is funny, scary, and brilliant.

I’m a serious geek and have watched a lot of sc-fi movies. I finished Eureka a few months ago and Welcome to Night Vale reminds me a lot of Eureka except there’s something seriously sinister going on in Night Vale, from glowing clouds in the sky, angels seen by Old Woman Josie, Pteranodons, hooded figures in Dog Park, a house the scientists are convinced doesn’t exist, books that can’t be read, the Sherrif’s secret police…

Nothing is ever normal in Nigt Vale.

Since we are on the road a lot, we also listen to audio books. This summer we’ve focused on mythology. My kids loooove mythology. And it doesn’t hurt that I’ve a series based on one, lol. We’ve covered Greek, Norse and Egyptian. We threw in a few interesting stories like Sherlock Holmes and Archimedes and the Stargazers. We get these on CDs and the best narrator out there for these kid classics is Jim Weiss. Love his voice.

On a different note, if anyone is interested in having their book narrated into audio and is not sure how to go about it or even to try it, DM me on Facebook. My fourth book has just been turned into an audio book and I’ve never been happier. When not listening to podcasts, I’ve been listening/editing the chapters my narrator upload on ACX.

Anywho, happy reading and listening.

POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, EMBRACE TRANSITION

Sorry for the late post. My summers get a bit crazy but better late then never right?

What can I say about transitions that you guys haven’t discussed. Transition is change, which means it can be either positive or a negative. Negative when it is a ball curve you didn’t see coming and you want to curl up in bed with a bottle of whiskey, or wine in my case, and shut out the world. Give up. Indulge in a paralyzing why-me pity-fest. You know the kind I’m talking about. When the editor working on your book quits and they cancel your contract, or when your publisher closes shop. That’s when your test begins. Do you pick yourself up and keep going? When positive you grab the same bottle of wine, or whiskey, call your best friend and celebrate. Positive or negative, transitions is character building.

I’ve had my shares of transitions as an author. When I parted ways with my first publisher and decided to just write for fun and not submit anything. When I had an agent who didn’t think I should write about the Nephilim (my Guardian Legacy series) and I let her go. When I signed with a new agent who is so supportive. When I got my first contract and I thought I’d made it only to realize success doesn’t end with signing a contract. When I decided to start a small publishing press to publish my adult romance book.

Facing transitions head on isn’t always easy, but I refuse to stop doing what I love just because some faceless person behind a desk at some publishing house thinks my word isn’t good enough. Transitions are like sieves. Those who refuse to face them stop growing as a person.

May Day!!! Never Release Another Book…

Oh Crap!!!!   I was supposed to have my post up last night. I told myself I would the whole day and then pow! Life got in the way and I’m running around like a headless chicken. Believe me, I’ve seen a headless chicken run. I grew up in a farm. It is not a pretty sight and that’s moi right now.

It’s literally May Day at my house right now and I swear before you, my fellow authors, bloggers, reviewers, fans, that I will never EVAH release another book in May.

  1. I had a book out yesterday, Runes, which meant marketing blitz on my part and checking with my marketing guru that everything was going smoothly. When I say talking, I mean e-mailing back and forth, which sucks because she has a day job.  May Day!
  2. My daughter had a play at six and since she was one of the leads, I had to take her by five, which meant getting her something to eat before that. Because of that, I missed my 4:15 zumba class and I’m a grouch when I don’t work out. That would not have been bad if I’d made my last Saturday class, which I missed because my other daughter had an out-of-town dance competition and so I was gone…*deep breath*. May Day… May Day!!
  3. May is also the month everyone does everything in my family. High school daughter’s band performance, middle-school son’s band performance, end of year piano recital for my last two—that was last week and violin/viola recital is coming up.  May Day!!!
  4. Then there are deadlines to fill out and mail paperwork for out-of-town, week-long camps… We live in Hickville and not much goes on around here for teens during summer, so we ship them off for 2 weeks to see the “real world” and meet and mingle with “real people” (hehehe, if you tell Utahns I said that I’ll deny it). My DH looks at me and goes, “you’re going to have a heart attack.” And I’m like that pregnant woman in the movie What to Expect when You’re Expecting and I want to punch…*clears throat*…kiss him and hug him and call him George. I abhor violence
  5. Did I mention I’m also editing book 2 in the Runes series while working on my next Guardian Legacy book? Like I said, I will never ever release another book in May.

Happy reading. I’m actually outside my gym typing this. My zumba class starts in 1 minute. Sorry for the late post.

Spring: A Love and Hate Affair?

I love spring because:

1. I was born and raised in the tropics and get home sick during winter. Spring is a slice of home.

2. I get to sit in my back porch and write while watching my kids chase butterflies and jump on the trampoline

3. The flowers in my backyard start to bloom and nature’s scents bathe the earth

4. I go for walks with my kids without sweating like a pig.

5. I don’t have to drive an hour to take my kids skiiing (the fact that I take my laptop and sit in the lodge is really beside the point. I just hate driving in the snow)

I hate spring because:

6. I spend hours looking up summer activities for my kids and doing all the pesky paperwork (a tiresome job but these summer camps fill up fast)

7. I’m allergic to bees and wasps and we get plenty of them in our neighborhood.

8. I hate cleaning (whoever came up with spring cleaning should have been shot)

9. Every year I plant a garden and every year it is epic failure. Unfortunately, my kids always want a garden, so I do it again…

10. I say goodbye to my favorite characters (I don’t write much during summer)