Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October New Releases

Four of our Dauntless authors released brand new novels this month. Check them out!

Aeralis by Kate Avery Ellison

~BOOK 5 IN THE FROST CHRONICLES~

Safety is never certain...

Every family has secrets...

Even your own can turn against you.

Lia Weaver and her ragtag band of fugitives and renegades have finally driven the Farther soldiers from the Frost, but turmoil continues in the wake of the occupation. Lia uncovers a letter that hints at yet another family secret, one that will change everything she's ever known. Ann Mayor and her father have found themselves the target of violence for their fraternization with the Farthers. The villagers are fighting amongst themselves, making accusations and threats. Meanwhile, Jonn’s life hangs in the balance.

When an unexpected enemy surfaces in the Frost and endangers Ivy's life, Lia faces a terrible choice. Defying Thorns orders, she sets out to to save her family and find answers in Aeralis.

Find it here:

Warrior Beautiful by Wendy Knight
~Book One in the Riders of Paradesos series~
Working with the ex you secretly love to save the souls of the innocent is almost as bad as working with a mighty battle unicorn who would be thrilled to watch you plummet to your death.
Scout is used to pain. Her body has been broken, her heart has been broken, and the only thing keeping her together is her relationship with her younger sister. Lil Bit believes in unicorns and terrifying monsters she calls soul stealers. But unicorns and monsters aren’t real…are they?
When Lil Bit falls prey to the mysterious disease sweeping the country, Scout has two options – believe the doctors who say it’s a pandemic or believe Lil Bit, who says it’s the soul stealers. She chooses her sister and goes looking for the unicorns who are supposed to save them. What she finds aren’t the cute pastel mythical creatures she expects. Battle unicorns are big and tough and full of attitude. Who knew?
Unicorns are real and so are the monsters. Soul stealers are reaping the souls of the innocent, and the unicorns are fighting to stop them. But to save the world, they need the help of humans – the enemy they’re dying to protect. And first to sign up for the fight is the ex-boyfriend Scout’s heart won’t stop loving, no matter how determined she is to hate him.

Find it here:

Gravediggers by Cindy M. Hogan
Seventeen-year-old Billy thinks his father s murder will never be solved until he stumbles across an old ammo box while digging a grave in his small-town Tennessee cemetery.
What he finds leads him to question everything he knows, and his search for answers will uncover more than he bargained for: lies, secrets, and conspiracies and behind them all, a dangerous truth.
Reviews:
 "A thrilling mystery with spine-tingling hints and bone-chilling secrets. Hogan has a knack for creating killer scenes that make her books irresistible. Don t miss this one" --Rachelle J. Christensen, reviewer

"Mystery, adventure, danger, and a touch of romance fill the pages of Gravediggers" --Angela Woiwode, reviewer

"Friendships are tested to the limit and secrets and lies are uncovered in this unpredictable mystery" --Susan Tietjen, reviewer

Find it here:

Adrenaline Rush by Cindy M. Hogan
A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it s up to Christy to stop him.
To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it s too late.
If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target with no guarantee that she ll get out alive.

Reviews
"Thrilling, heart pounding, an Adrenaline Rush indeed!" --Konstanz Silverbow, reviewer

"Jeremy and Christy have a chemistry akin to a younger version of Alias' Vaughn and Sydney Bristo" --S.M. Anderson, reviewer

"Hunger Games move over - Adrenaline Rush has arrived" --D.K Holbrook, reviewer

Find it here:

The Perception Trilogy Boxed Set by Lee Strauss
The Perception Trilogy Boxed Set includes Ambition (short story prequel), Perception, Volition and Contrition.

Eternal Life is To Die For

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP--a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.
Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they've created between those who have and those who don't.He doesn't like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe's carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She's in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

The PERCEPTION Series books ( SF/mystery/romance) are Young Adult novels that take place in the not too distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions--both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there's room to fall in love.

Find it here:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Author's Guide to Using Twitter


A Little Bird Told Me: An Author’s Guide to Using Twitter

By: David Powers King

Maybe you’ve heard about this little place called Twitter, a micro-blogging site that allows its users to post small messages on the interest for any and all to see in 140 characters or less? It’s been around for a while, and continues to gain momentum and new accounts every day. Whether you’ve heard of it or not, I wouldn’t put it past most authors to ask at some point, “What can Twitter do for me?” The short answer is nothing—unless you do something for Twitter!

Like other social media sites, Twitter is a useful tool for people to communicate with each other. If you’re an author, game designer, actor, network chef, etc, Twitter can provide a platform for promoting yourself and your work. Those who follow you will have the advantage of staying in touch by reading a short message that won’t suck their time, be it on their desktops or phones.

Also, like other social media sites, there are advantages that you can tap into and many pitfalls that one would find beneficial to avoid. Whether you already have an account or are now setting one up, here are some insider tips and tricks to help you make the best out of the Twitterverse:

1 – Make It Easy for Others to Find You: If you’re an author, whatever name you plan to use for your book covers should match your twitter handle (ex: @davidpowersking). The little @ at the beginning generates the handle. When you tweet about other people, or if you want them to see what you’re tweeting about them, add the handle. You might just start up a cool conversation. If the handle is already in use, you may have to add additional words (ex: @susybrownauthor).

2 – Look Up and Follow Fellow Authors: You can go about this in lots of ways, but I would start with the authors that you know and have read. Read what they tweet. You can learn a lot about what to post (and what not to post) by following the examples of existing users. You can also follow agents, editors, and other publishing world peeps to gain an insight into their world.

3 – Promote Yourself and Others: If you run a blog, you can use Twitter to alert followers of a new post. It’s also a great way to inform others about your next signing, a teaser update on your writing, and occasional factoids that are interesting to you and useful to others. While you’re at it, always, and I mean always, look for opportunities to promote fellow authors. Good Karma.

4 – Engage with Readers and Book Bloggers: These are the peeps that are going to push your work and talk about it with everyone they know. Reply to new follows and their tweets at every opportunity. Retweets are nice, but a personalized retweet will carry the message even further.

5 – Use Hashtags (#): What’s a hashtag? It’s like a group within Twitter. For example, if you like zombies, you can look up “#zombies” and you will see tweets from those who used the hashtag. This is useful for writing conferences (#authorwrites2013), for what you’re doing (#amwriting), and for letting people know if you’re hosting a giveaway (#giveaway). Using a hashtag for your books when you talk about them also adds to the experience and helps to build up a following.

6 – Avoid Rants and Constant Self Promotion: As a rule of thumb, do not post anything on the internet that you may regret later. Unless you have an established fan base who will buy your work no matter what you say, don’t use Twitter as a soapbox. Your goal should be connecting with people. Alienating yourself from potential buyers doesn’t help anyone. And while there’s no harm is a little self promotion, people will get turned off if that’s all you do. People don’t like following robots, and one-track-minded users who post about only one topic can get tedious and annoying. Make your tweets unique and genuine, and avoid auto tweeting like the plague (you will see what I mean if you follow someone who can miraculously tweet every five minutes)!

7 – Don’t Be a Creeper: Nothing will get you blocked and banned faster than behavior that will creep out the people you follow. Say I follow someone, and then they simultaneously “Like” or “Favorite” all the posts I’ve done in the last month. Similarly, what if I replied to every-single-tweet that @awesomeagent posts? Another online rule of thumb, moderation is a valued ally.

8 – Don’t Do It for the Numbers: Don’t stress if you don’t have lots of followers right away. This isn’t a popularity race. Just be yourself. If you build it, users will come. When someone follows you, thank them with a personal tweet. If you do tweet back, or send a personal message, don’t be surprised if they unfollow you because you wrote, “Thanks for following! Check out my book on Amazon!” For me, this translates into, “I don’t care who you are! Just buy my book already!”

9 – Consistency is Key: Find a routine and stick with it. How many tweets are you willing to post in a day? When will you tweet them? This can help others know when to look for you. Also, it’s a lot easier to defend yourself in the event of a hacked account. Who tweets at 3 am, anyway?

10 – Explore and Have Fun: There are countless tutorials and how-to guides on the internet that can further help you in your quest for the Twitterverse, but the best learning is hands on. Log in and give it a spin! You’ll be amazed by the insight you can gain about others with so little info.

This isn’t the rule, just my thoughts on the matter. What works for one user may not work for others. All I can say is how I’ve learned to use this tool, but like most tools, they can have more than one application. See if these tips and tricks work for you. If not, the possibilities are endless.

See you in the Twitterverse!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So You Want to Start a Blog ...

by Donna K. Weaver

The following explains the basics in starting a blog using Google's Blogger.

You need to have a Gmail account in order to create the blog, but you don't have to keep it if you don't want to. Check out this blog post for details.

Go to blogspot.com and sign into your new gmail account.



Click New Blog.



Choose your title and address (Blogger will let you know if it's already taken). If you want this blog to be connected to your author name, choose the address with that in mind. You'll want your readers or target audience to be able to find you.









This is also where you can choose your layout and design.

For our test blog today, I chose Simple. In my opinion, another name for simple could be plain. I'll go into details on how to spice things up in a later post.




Now you're ready to write your first post.


Give your post a title and then in the large box (under Compose), you can start typing what you want to say. You can even add pictures--like I'm doing below. You can change the font type, size, and color. Even upload video from your computer.


When you click the picture image, you get this box.


Choose a file from your computer. Then click Add selected. Click Preview to see if you like what it looks like and then Publish if you do. The picture below is what the actual blog will look like.

I wasn't kidding when I said this was a plain style, but some people like the simplicity. There's nothing to distract readers from what you've written in the blog post. Mess around with formatting and see what you like. Experiment. Have fun!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How YOU Can Influence the Books Writers Write

I am an indie author which gives me one very important advantage ~ there are no middle-men between me and my readers. And that means that my readers have a lot of power over what I write.

I can gauge the success of a story line through reviews. I can course-correct if readers don't seem to like the direction a certain series is going. I can write another story in a series, or cancel plans to write another, based on readers' opinions.

In my world, the reader is my boss!

So how can you, as a reader, influence writers? Well, let me count the ways!



Finally, and perhaps most importantly, reach out to authors. Authors love to hear from readers, so don't ever feel weird or unwelcome when reaching out to a writers ~ and I know this goes for all authors, not just indies. Be kind and courteous, of course, but let authors know what you loved about their book and what you'd love to read next. 
  • Leave a message on an author's Facebook page
  • Send an author an email
  • Visit an author's blog or website and leave a comment.
For example, I wrote a book with a supporting character named James. He was only supposed to act as a character foil for my main character and I really didn't have plans for him beyond book one. However, in review after review, I read that James was awesome! They loved James! They wanted to know what he would do next or what would happen to him and on and on and on.

Well, guess what I did? James didn't go away, that's for sure!

I wrote James into the next two books and even gave him his own novella series that told more of him and his life.

My readers did that. They told me what they wanted, and I listened. I know not all authors can or will respond to their readers in this way, but hey, why not give it a shot!

Make your voice heard, make authors your friends and get the stories you want to read!



Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Big is Your "Brave"?

by Donna K. Weaver

Being part of a creative venture makes us vulnerable. We put a little bit (sometimes more than a little bit) of ourselves in everything we write. So, what do you do after you've finally finished it?

Do you take the Margaret Mitchell approach and hide chapters around your house and under cushions?
Source
Yes, that Margaret Mitchell. The Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gone With The Wind. Imagine a world where one of Margaret's guests didn't accidentally sit on one of those carefully typed chapters and pull it out. And read the pages. What if that amazing book had never seen the light of day?

It's scary. I confess that one of the most frightening things I've ever done was to hand over a piece of my work and let someone read it.



What is it you're afraid to do--but are dying to?

Let's see "how big your brave" is. 




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reading Different Genres...




Before I was a writer I was a reader. I still am. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. The first book I remember reading that left an impact was Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume. I also loved the Hardy Boys series and the Nancy Drew series. In a small way I think these books inspired my love of writing series novels. Another book that was a great inspiration to me was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

I love reading all genres. I can honestly say I don't have a favorite. If there's a great story, I'm in.

Over the years I've heard hundreds of books in all different genres. I've even read some books written by this group like: Watched by Cindy Hogan, Witch Song by Amber Argyle, and The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching.





What about you? Do you like to read different genres or do you prefer to stick to one?

*****


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pinterest for (Author) Dummies

by Amber Argyle

What is it? 

Pinterest is a social sharing site where you post links and pictures. The whole idea is like pinning a virtual picture (called a “pin”) to a corkboard (called a “board”). The site itself is super simple to navigate. See a picture you like? Hoover your mouse over it and a red “Pin it” button will appear on the top left of the picture.   Simple click the picture to add it to your boards.

Want to add a pin of your own? Simply hit the + button on the top right of your screen. A drop down menu will appear. You can either upload a pin from your computer or add one from a website by copying the address and pasting it. Pictures will appear in the search results. Click on the one you want to use.

Keeping it Organized 

Boards are how you keep all your pictures (Pins) organized. As an author, I suggest you have a board with inspiration for each of your series. Add pins of the setting, actors to play your characters, a playlist, cover ideas, research, etc.

You’ll find as you do this that this is a great way to keep all your inspiration for your book in one place (no more drawers full of printouts or “bookmarked pages” that you can’t remember what’s on them). Not only that, but your fans will love seeing all the images that inspired you.

So here’s a list of my author Pinterest boards:
  • Witch Song Series (Insert Series Title) I have one of these for each of my series
  • Cover Inspiration
  • Amber Argyle Books (all of your books)
  • Setting (for future reference)
  • Character Ideas
  • Marketing (for pinning marketing ideas)
  • Writing Research (For all those awesome articles that you can never find when you need them)

Finding Pins

Besides just a regular search, you can either follow a board (I follow many Fantasy art boards) or a person. Those boards then show up on my home page. If you click on an amazing pin, you can see who pinned it and what board they pinned it to. You can either follow the person (I follow friends) or the board (I'm not usually interested in EVERYTHING that pinner pins). 

 Finding Cover Art


No really. I found this piece on Pinterest and went searching for the cover artist for my last two books. I used to use sites like DeviantArt to search for artists, but that involves HOURS of scrolling through thousands of images (many of which aren't relevant or that good). On Pinterest, people have already sifted through the chaff and found the brilliant pieces.  Also, their search is much better and doesn't involve pop ups. 

If you can find a relevant board (one that follows stock images, for instance), you can spend a few minutes going through some of the best art around. It isn’t usually that hard to find an artist's name from there.

I found color combinations, fonts, character poses, clothing, background, etc. All from Pinterest.

 Research

I’ve could spend hours going through pictures of beautiful, exotic places. These images inspire the settings for my fantasy novels. If you don’t write fantasy, it’s a great way to “see” the place (say, Chicago) you want to describe without the price of a plane ticket.

I also Pin helpful posts for future reference. Some examples would be “Natural Treatments for Wounds”, “Character Guides”, “KDP Select Free Promo Resources”, etc. 

Characters

You’d be surprised how many ideas you can get for your characters simply by looking at pictures. For instance, I saw a picture of a girl with white tattoos (something I didn’t even know existed) that I’m totally using in one of my future books. 

Share what you love!

Things that have nothing to do with being an author, but everything to do with being you! I have boards for food (I make recipes from Pinterest at least every two weeks), my dream home, my style, the holidays, kids, hair, storage, cleaners, etc. It's a great way to share common interests (and find a crapload of honeydo projects). 

Handy tricks


Want to take Pinterest to a whole new level? Here's some further reading.

Did you know Dauntless Authors is on Pinterest? Follow us here.
Follow us as individuals here:

Amber Argyle
Megg Jensen
Erica Cameron
Wendy Knight
RaShelle Workman
Jolene Perry
Donna K Weaver
Angela Corbette 
Ali Cross
Elle Strauss

Happy pinning!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pinterest Fun for Writers

by Wendy Knight

Pinterest is one of my favorite things in the world, and one of my husband’s greatest fears—because I find all sorts of uber-fun projects for him to do. And when most people think of Pinterest, that’s what they think-projects, clothes, crafts…but for writers, it’s like the best visual resource EVER.

I create a board for every new story. Sometimes I create a story just so I can create a new board (did I mention I might have a Pinterest addiction? It’s possible).  On this new board, I add my characters, scenes, locations, inspiration…anything that I feel will help me write my story.

Then later, when I’m writing or if I’ve had to take a break for a while and my memory is foggy, I go to Pinterest, try really hard not to get distracted by all the pretty pins, and I open that board. Then, I have everything right in front of me: my character’s eye color or hair color (I always forget those, especially for minor characters), what the house looks like or my unicorn looks like…and being able to see these things helps me connect with my characters even more.


My Pinterest Book Boards. Aren't they pretty?

Plus, my readers have mentioned that it’s super fun for them to go to my boards and see the way I envision things as I’m writing. So it’s a win/win for everyone! Except maybe my husband…




Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Books into Movies-The Great Disaster?


I get so excited every time I hear there is going to be a book I've read turned into a movie.

A ball of fire lights in my stomach and the flames seem to get bigger and bigger the closer I get to the release date. I buy up tickets the second they go on sale and if there is a big party-shoot, I'm there. Ok, I draw the line at dressing up-but still. (Hey, I dress up for Halloween-my favorite holiday)

There’s just something magical I hope and expect to happen as the book comes to life on the big screen.

Maybe I set myself up for the fall...Maybe I simply expect too much out of the movie industry.

Am I asking too much for them to film it like it is in the book?

You'd think they'd somehow understand that the closer to the real story they get, the more we'll love it.

I'd say 90 percent of the time, I'm disappointed. That's such a huge percentage, I know.


I should give up, but then something like The Help comes to the big screen or Harry Potter(sure, there were some things they changed, but boy were they close) Or look at The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

Some books sit in the middle- Hunger Games, for one. I'll go see the next one. It got pretty close.






I just saw City of Bones and it differed from the book more than it stuck to the book.(It wasn't so bad because I didn't adore the book, however) 


Percy Jackson-same thing. Do they do it better in the 2nd one?







And man, did I love The Host-as a book- it stunk in the theater


Why, oh why do they feel they have to change something we all love so much? Some say it's all about the money-well, if that's true, they need to make the movies as close to the real thing as possible.

I'm afraid to go see Divergent-ah...I love that book so much-maybe too much to get excited for the movie. I don't want my heart to break.

You know, the idea for my first series came from a dream that I thought should be turned into a movie-it became a book-actually, three. Would I dare allow the movie industry to make it a movie? Would you let your book be turned into a movie knowing what you know?

What books to movies have you loved?
What ones turned out to be stinkers in your eyes?
What books would you like to see turned into movies?



Newest Releases