Hi! So way back in September, I signed up over at 2 Book Lovers Reviews for a neat feature they’ve just begun – the Spread the Word Virtual Book Blog Tours! The first ever winner of the free blog tour is Eva Vanrell, author of The Butterfly Crest, and this is my leg of her tour, in which I’ll be reviewing her debut novel. This also marks the first of (hopefully) many more book reviews I’ll be putting up here, mainly of the indie variety. Now, let’s talk about The Butterfly Crest. (SPOILER FREE!)
First, a quick synopsis/excerpt:
Elena Vicens is an associate at a law firm, leading a pretty regular life. As a child, she lived in Japan until the untimely death of her parents. She was taken in by her mother’s best friend, Cataline, and raised in the states for the rest of her…
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The First Paperback Edition of The Butterfly Crest is officially out today! Just wanted to do a quick update to pass on the link! It is available for purchase on Amazon (or through the Bookshop link on the side-bar menu). If you’re in Europe, it should be available through your regional Amazon links.
Congrats to the 3 winners of the Goodreads Giveaway that ended this morning! I will be mailing out your signed First Editions sometime this week!
Please stay tuned throughout the week for stops on The Butterfly Crest Virtual Book Tour, which includes it’s own giveaway. You can get the details (and enter to win) here. The image above is one of three teasers I prepared for the tour. Please feel free to take a look at all three in the gallery below!
Hi all! Just wanted to stop by and make a few quick announcements. I had planned for this post to be a little more than just updates, but I somehow caught a stomach bug and it has officially won. Thanks to the crazy dizziness, I can’t stare at a screen for too long.
First thing’s first, just a little reminder that the First Edition Paperback of The Butterfly Crest comes out tomorrow online!! Keep an eye out for the link, which I’ll be posting tomorrow morning (or you can sneak a copy now on Amazon)!
I attended my first book fair this past weekend – The New Orleans Book Fair! Had a lot of fun meeting new readers, and sharing the experience with V (my partner in crime in all things literature related) and A (she who forces me to be social and champions my cause). For those of you who purchased the book, I sincerely hope you enjoy Elena’s story and come to love some of the characters as much as I do. It’s a privilege to be able to share them with you. Thank you as well to all the super nice people who signed up for my author newsletter – an email should be going out soon with some fun updates!
If you haven’t signed up for my author newsletter yet, there’s always room for new friends! You can sign up on Eva’s List anytime, to receive exclusive updates on my latest news, sneak peeks and special promotions. Those on the List will be first in line for cover and title reveals, and Book Two excerpts!
The Butterfly Crest Virtual Book Tour starts today! Thank you to Spread The Word Blog Tours and all of the wonderful bloggers who voted for the book. I’m really looking forward to your posts! There will be a giveaway associated with the tour (First Prize – a signed First Edition Paperback; Second Prize – a $15 Amazon gift card). Here’s the schedule, for those of you who would like to take the tour (and/or enter the giveaway!):
November 10th – TWE Indie Reviews
November 11th – Trials and Tribulations of Writing Fiction
November 12th – 2 Book Lovers Reviews
November 15th – Sarah Wathen
November 16th – The Spontaneous Reader
My Goodreads Book Giveaway has been approved and is now accepting entries! Please click on the image below and Enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 **signed** First Edition Paperback copies of The Butterfly Crest. The Giveaway dates are from October 11th through November 11th. Best of Luck! Ganbare!
It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Three years and a Cold War With Drop Caps/Small Caps later, it’s finally in print! Physical. Tangible. Definite. My soul made manifest and laid bare for the world to see.
There are no words to describe the feeling. Relief. Elation. Awe. Satisfaction. Euphoria. Joy. Humility. Accomplishment. Pride. All these words, while true, seem two-dimensional.
This is the stuff of dreams.
So when’s the big day? The First Edition Paperback of The Butterfly Crest will be released on November 11th through Amazon! To celebrate, I’ll be giving away 3 signed copies on Goodreads, so please stay tuned in the next few days for more information on that!
But wait, there’s more! Spread The Word Book Blog Tours will be hosting a Virtual Book Tour for The Butterfly Crest from November 10th through the 18th (which will include another giveaway), and The Twins and I have been working on a Character Interview for your reading pleasure (thanks Moonrise Book Blog for the invitation!).
So if you’re an old friend of the beasties or new, we’d love to have you join the celebration!
Since late August, I’ve been promising to post my photographs of the closing of the Festes Sant Bartomeu. My apologies for the delay, but the photographs are finally here! I sincerely hope you enjoy them.
Just a little bit of background, the festival took place in Soller, Mallorca between August 22nd and 24th. I was told by my relatives that the festivities close every year with an enactment that somehow involves fire. I wasn’t sure what to expect, to be honest, whether it would be actual fire or fireworks. It turned out to be the latter, and it was unlike any fireworks display I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad I was able to see it. If you ever find yourself visiting Soller, Mallorca in late August, I recommend seeing the closing of this festival (make sure to pack an old pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt and something to cover your hair, if you intend to join in the fun!).
A quick note before you dive into the gallery, please stay tuned in the following weeks for more indie reviews, writing updates, an ebook giveaway (October), and a Butterfly Crest Blog Tour (November).
Hello everyone. I’m back state-side. My vacation was perfect, but I came home to a very difficult and unfortunate situation, which is why there was no activity on this site last week. For the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of having a little black cat as my constant shadow. I lost her last Tuesday, and I’ve been trying to find my way ever since. Suffice it to say I haven’t really felt motivated to do much of anything (other than eat ice cream). I promise to post the photographs of the St. Bartholomew Festival soon. Until then, I wanted to leave y’all with my most recent indie review. I read “Run” by Becky Johnson during one of my quiet afternoons in Mallorca.
“Run” by Becky Johnson is a fast-paced, heart-pounding, visceral journey that takes the reader from distant observer to unwilling prey in a harrowing 126 pages. The first thing I should note is that I don’t normally enjoy first-person narrative and my genre preference very rarely leads me outside of the fantasy or paranormal realms, but neither predisposition (usually deal breakers for me) were an issue with this book. The first-person narrative was not only enjoyable but imperative to the experience, and the storyline was so gripping that I quickly lost track of my usual need for something otherworldly.
The book opens with our narrator and main protagonist, Charlotte Marshall, struggling to find her muse. Under contract for her third book, with looming deadlines and only a blank page to show for it, Charlotte suddenly recalls a news story from 20 years before. This seemingly innocent recollection leads Charlotte, and the reader, down the proverbial ‘rabbit hole’, setting off a 26-day chain of events that will change Charlotte’s life forever.
As a reader, I really enjoy being pleasantly surprised. “Run” did that and more. I had no idea what to expect when I began reading, but once I started I couldn’t put it down. The narrative drew me in completely, and I was determined to see it through as fast as I could. What I loved most about the journey was Charlotte’s quick thinking (lord knows that with those odds, I wouldn’t have been able to put two coherent thoughts together) and the book’s ending. As someone who spent several years as a prosecutor, I really appreciated the way Becky Johnson chose to end her story. In fiction as well as real life, we often forget about the scars left behind after a story ends.
Spent all day walking around Palma de Mallorca. I saw a few things I hadn’t seen before, including the Arabian Baths. I went expecting something involving water, but they were actually steam baths. They used burners beneath the floor to create the steam, and the rooms were scented by burning rosemary.
Sunday’s closing of the Saint Bartholomew festival was really great. I got some pretty good shots, but I’ll need some time go through them and a steady internet connection to post – so please stay tuned.
Days in paradise? I think it’s my fifth. I’ve lost track of time!! I can’t remember the last time that happened (although I have a sneaking suspicion it was probably the last time I was here). I haven’t gotten much writing done since the first day, but who’s keeping track? Time spent with family, an evening art festival (there is amazing art here in Mallorca), incredible food, a day at the beach… and so much more to come. This weekend is the Saint Bartholomew festival. I’ve heard about it for years, but never been. I’m told the festivities close on Sunday with an enactment that usually involves fire and participants dressed as demons, so let’s hope I can get a good shot of it to share with y’all!
First day in paradise is a rainy one, but I don’t mind. This is a snapshot of my view as I write. I’ve been daydreaming about it for months, and I’m finally here!
Hello! Sorry for the radio silence of late. Between the day job, writing, promoting, getting things sorted out to go on vacation and reading, I haven’t had a chance to check in as often as I would like. Several posts ago, I reblogged an interview given by Courtney Wells, founder of Fringe Fiction – a Goodreads group dedicated to books published by indie and small press authors. As a member of the group, I have met some really amazing people and have found some of the “hidden gems and diamonds-in-the-rough” the group is devoted to. As I was writing a book review a few nights ago, I thought to myself that it would be great to share those books with you.
A little note before I kick off my adventures in book reviewing – keep your eyes open for some new posts in the next few days. I’m going on vacation to my favorite place on the planet (a small town in Spain where my grandfather is from) and I hope to be able to share a few pictures with y’all when I do (*crossing my fingers that the wifi connection will work*). And now, without further ado…
Rokula (The Rokula Saga, Book 1)
Written by Sarah Roberts and Robert Gartner
4 out of 5 Stars
Sarah Roberts and Robert Gartner’s “Rokula” is a modern fantasy set in a world thirty years after the discovery of monster-kind. Subjugated by the Coven and treated like third-class citizens, monsters struggle to survive in a world where technology and force of numbers has given mankind the upper hand. The story’s reluctant hero, Drake “Roky” Rokmonov, a vampire and once proud warrior General in centuries past, now dances for the masses in the arena at the Coven’s behest. Aloof, proud, but resigned to his circumstances, Drake fights as the Coven’s pet champion to survive, until a storm that’s been brewing for decades breaks and he suddenly finds himself the unlikely hope of all monster-kind.
“Rokula” is an original and entertaining monster mash-up, with a great spin on familiar horror characters and a solid storyline. The writing was well executed, the plot creative and complex (just the way I like it), and the characters well developed. The beginning of the story felt a little choppy to me because of the constant alternating between narrators, but that’s of course just a matter of personal preference; the switching back and forth made it a little difficult for me to really get a good feel for the main characters until I was almost in the middle of the book. I definitely think the beginning would benefit from a little clean up, so that the rhythm/transitions feel a little smoother. That said, “Rokula” was a really entertaining read, with a cast of characters I won’t soon forget (Drake, of course, was fantastic, but I have a soft-spot for Hyde, Merl and Lucy). And I’m happy to say that I won’t look at a kaleidoscope quite the same way again (it’s always a beautiful thing when a story changes the way we see common place things).
You can try a free sample of Rokula on Amazon
Hi all! This is an interview given by Courtney Wells, founder of Fringe Fiction, my favorite group on Goodreads. If you’re a Goodreads member, come on by and say hello, or check out Courtney’s blog, Libra Obscura, for her indie book recommendations!
PS – Sorry for the radio silence of late. A lot going on. I’ll be posting an update soon. Cheers!
It’s never been easier to be a self-published author.
At the same time, indie authors have to tread an extremely tough road to hawk their wares in an overstuffed market.
It’s a bit like looking down the rabbit hole.
Sad fact? Blatant reality you have no hope of overcoming?
Perhaps, but wherever there is despair, people will always find a way to fill the vacuum.
Goodreads (GR), for example, is a great place for authors to hang out with readers, promote their books and develop a community.
Of course, it’s also a place where you can quickly become lost in all the choice and discussion.
How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? And how do you get people to notice your novel amidst all the convos and topic threads?
For starters, you need to find a group you honestly like and make relationships with real people. One such GR group I’m a…
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Hello all! Just a quick status to share some fantastic news. I received word late last night that The Butterfly Crest has been selected as a finalist in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest! It made the cut in three categories (Fiction – Fantasy, Fiction – Paranormal, and Fiction – Supernatural), so please keep your fingers crossed for me and the little beasties!!
Oh, and if you happened to miss yesterday’s interview of the immodest Mr. Muse, you can take a quick look here.
Hi all! Patrick Wong, author of Balancer, invited me to participate in The Writing Process Blog Tour. For those unfamiliar with a blog tour, they are chained posts where authors answer a few questions and then tag other authors to keep up the chain the next week. For those unfamiliar with Patrick, he writes Young Adult fiction with a paranormal twist. His debut novel, Balancer is about a teenager who has the power to balance Life. You can find Balancer on Amazon here.
And with that… here we go.
What am I working on?
I’m currently working on the follow-up to The Butterfly Crest. This will be the second book in The Protogenoi Series. It has a title already, but I’m going to wait a little while longer before revealing it (just in case). I’m three chapters into Book Two (as we’ll affectionately call it for now), and I’m waking up early in the mornings to get a few hours of writing in before I have to go into the office.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
The Butterfly Crest is an epic fantasy set in modern times. Its storyline is heavy on mythology; different world mythologies in particular. What sets it apart from other works in the fantasy genre is its treatment of those mythologies. The story follows Elena, a human woman who suddenly finds herself in the middle of a Greek myth, in a world where human belief can create or alter the divine. It is a world where all faiths (past and present) are real, and their mythologies are weaved into one mythos.
My plan (and I sometimes deviate from plans, so please don’t hold me to this later) is to include at least three major mythologies in each book. In The Butterfly Crest, you meet the yōkai of Japanese myth, post-modern Greek deities, and the Tuatha Dé Danann. The appearance of yōkai in American fiction is pretty sparse, so including them as a major part of the story was one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing the book.
Why do I write what I do?
My characters compel me to.
How does my writing process work?
This one is a loaded question for the obvious reasons, but also because my writing process has changed from Book One to Book Two. I wrote The Butterfly Crest while I was on hiatus from my legal career. After doing the initial research and preparing a pretty detailed outline, I started to write. I would wake up every morning, dress comfortably, prepare my writing nook and make myself a pot of tea. I would then write for at least 8 hours. If I was having trouble, if Mr. Muse abandoned me, I would sit and stare at the screen until it came. I did this every day of the week. I took the weekends off in the beginning, but towards the end the writing started bleeding into my weekends.
Writing Book Two has been completely different. I’m juggling writing with managing my own law practice, so I can’t dedicate 8 hours a day, 5+ days a week to writing. Now, I wake up every morning at 5 a.m. and write until 7:30 a.m. I have an outline, but not nearly as detailed as the one I had for Book One. The process is much looser this time around, since all the groundwork has already been laid, but the allotted time slots bring their own brand of problems (you can read about my disgruntled writing elves here). Being “in the mood” to write wasn’t an issue before because I had the luxury of time, but now, if Mr. Muse acts up and his mood lasts more than two and a half hours, there goes my writing for the day. Stopping mid-scene (because of the allotted time) has taken some getting used to. The process is slow going, but I’m having a ball with it (when the writing elves are happy).
And with that, I’m passing the torch to author Ben Starling, an Oxford grad who is passionate about marine conservation and boxing, both of which are central themes in his upcoming novel. He is currently Writer in Residence for Mirthquake Ltd., a production company that advocates for ocean health and welfare. Check out Ben’s blog next Monday, July 7th!
This week’s image is “Bullfinch on Flowering Plum” by Ohara Koson. Ohara was a Japanese painter and printmaker of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and part of the shin-hanga (“new prints”) movement.