Friday, July 31, 2015

Simulation

Hey all. I'm still in the writing cave (only 8 scenes left to go!), so today the reins to My Pet Blog are in the hands of author Tara Tyler.

Take it away, Tara...


To go with the cover reveal, here's a bit of writerly advice from Tara Tyler...

I'm not a great tweeter like MJ, but I try. One thing I like to do is post a tasty teasing line from my editing and see if I get any bites. It's a quick break and immediate feedback and usually leads to follows. Try it!

Now,
It's finally here!! I give you the taunting cover of SIMULATION!


SIMULATION by Tara Tyler
Release Date: September 14, 2015

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper's latest client has him searching for her boyfriend who she thinks was replaced by a simulation, an illegal clone android. The guy also happens to be a popular new congressman.

To make matters more frustrating, Cooper keeps crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper who is looking for the same guy. As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.






Book One, POP TRAVEL
Re-released July 1, 2015

In 2080, Detective J.L. Cooper thought he could avoid pop, until he stumbles onto a video of a traveler who turns to dust. With help from the neurotic, genius “Creator” and a beautiful Southern charmer, Cooper has to expose the deadly glitch and shut it down or die trying. No problem.

Available now!
Amazon ~~~ B&N ~~~ Goodreads


Tara Tyler has a loud voice, loves to help others, and is ever forgetful. That's why she always writes things down, sings, and teaches. She has no idea how she became a writer, but as long as the characters and stories are flowing, she'll never stop! Tara is also the Lazy Housewife, one of the Really Real Housewives of America - a new blog dedicated to doling out tips and advice on how to economize time and money for a happier life.

Twitter ~~~ Facebook ~~~ Blog ~~~ RRH


Also by Tara Tyler, MG/YA Fantasy series, Beast World,

Only a few days left for the POP TRAVEL giveaway!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The End of a Series

Hello all.

I'm stuck in the trenches attempting to finish up this stubborn WIP of mine. It would probably go easier if I would stop adding scenes, but that's just some crazy theory I have.

Anyway, while I'm making this big push, some of my author/blogger acquaintances are taking over My Pet Blog to help keep it from being totally ignored.


Today, the blog belongs to author Patricia Lynne (aka Patricia Josephine) as she celebrates the release of her latest book...

Take it away, Patricia!

Well, this is it. The last book in the Path of Angels series. It seems like only yesterday I was getting Michael’s cover. Time really has flown. I’m surprised and proud of myself for keeping up with the schedule I set. I had to push Jophiel back a little because of my editor’s schedule, but I found it worked in my favor, so I pushed Gabriel’s release date back a little too.

It feels weird leaving my angels boys’ lives. I have other stories to work on, but I’ve been immersed in archangels, nephilims, and fallen angels for so long. I’m a little lost.

Which story do I work on next?

I’ll figure it out eventually. If I get an idea to being back into PoA’s world, I will totally go back. There’s little scenes and stories that I think would be fun to write. Maybe delving into Charlie’s past to show why she doesn’t speak, or write about Michael and Lake after Michael left his brothers. What about the book Zephyr wrote? Who was the angels in it? I could bring other archangels down to Earth too. Have new plots. There are lots of possibilities for exploring the world. For now, I’m going to celebrate the series ending. I did it! After a bad 2014, I am rocking 2015.


The end is in sight.

To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.

Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.

The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.


About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment.

She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

For more information on either Patricia or her work, check out the following links:

Twitter
Website
Google+
Wattpad
Goodreads
Path of Angels

Friday, July 24, 2015

Postcards From Camp

In the wee hours of the morning, this happened:




That's right. I sailed right over my 50k goal a whopping eight days early. (I would have won sooner, but, you know, Pinterest. And Netflix.)

Someone bring me the finest muffins and bagels
in all the land!


Well, all right—maybe 'sailed' isn't the right word. I barely made it across that 50k mark and just...stopped. It looked kind of like this:


I'm really quite tired. But considering the amount of Pop Tarts and Cherry Dr Pepper I've consumed over the past three week, I'm fortunate I'm not in some crazy sugar coma right now.

But I stopped because the Camp NaNoWriMo goal was to write 50k this month, and I did that.

It went so quickly this time around, largely because I remain unemployed, I know.

The other part of my July goal was to use that 50k to complete this draft of Second Nature. That part is less successful at this point, as the manuscript remains unfinished, and I'm not entirely sure how many more words it's going to take to finish it. Now that this NaNoWriMo session is over for me, I stop focusing so much on word count and focus instead on just getting the scenes done.

On that front, I believe I finally have all the necessary scenes worked out. Some remain in the wrong order (despite my best efforts to keep it straight, the timeline at the end of this book has gone all wonky on me), but that's an easy enough fix. More scenes are unfinished, which is less easy (I finished all the easy scenes already.), but it helps to have a plan. Probably.

Now I'm torn between attempting to finish it in the remaining eight days (seven days? I have no idea what day it is right now) or just crashing for a while and going back to it in September. Either way, I'm essentially taking August off from writing (family is coming to visit). I had hoped to be taking August off having finishing this draft, then having the opportunity to go back to the manuscript with fresher eyes after a month away from it. I'd really love to still be able to do that.

Which means I've probably just answered my conundrum. I need to finish writing this novel in the next seven or eight days.

Which means I should probably get back to work.

But before I go, here's a quick look at Camp by the numbers:


  • Starting word count at the beginning of the month: 252,085
  • Word count now: 302,125
  • Net Gain: 50,040
  • Average number of words per day: 2,085 (seriously, why can't I write like this every month??)
  • Number of songs written: 2 (with a possible third under construction)
  • Number of (named) characters killed: 2. No, 3. No, wait—5.


Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend, all.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Good, The Bad, and The Funny

A recap of my week:

The Good

I am somehow cruising through Camp NaNoWriMo. After two weeks of barely keeping pace, I am now days ahead. Days. As in more than one. Four days, to be exact. Now, of course, that I've announced it to the world I've completely jinxed myself and will spend the next 15 days without a single story-related thought in my head.

But they're there at the moment, and I hope they stick around for the rest of the month. Seriously, I have no idea how this is happening. I have no idea where my 30,000+ words thus far have gone in this manuscript. I'm also starting to suspect that 50,000 words will not be enough to finish this story, but that's a different post for a different day. Let me say this, though:  Second Nature is now over 730 pages long (11 pt font, 1.5 spacing, or roughly 282,000 words, if you were curious).

I never thought I'd look at Effigy and think 'short.' Never. Not once.



Speaking of Effigy, it's been almost a year since that novel was released into the wild. Its official book birthday is next week (Monday or Wednesday, to be as exact as I can in this case.). I'll be putting the e-book edition on sale then, provided I don't forget and I can figure out how. I'm also contemplating doing some Effigy-themed posts during this time. So, if there's an Effigy-themed topic in which you may be interested in reading, please feel free to mention it in the comments.

The Bad

I still live in Florida. I'm still unemployed. I keep checking the want ads every day, but still, no one is hiring a sarcasm specialist. I'm sure it's only a matter of time...before the college kids go back to school and some store is desperate enough to take on both me and my attitude. Fingers crossed!

The Funny

These videos:

(Please note, the second video contains a not-insignificant amount of profanity. That's probably obvious, as it's right in the name. Anyway, it's NSFW. Or suitable for people who don't find profanity as amusing as I do. (Yes, I am incredibly mature like that.))








That's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pop Goes The Travel (Part Two)

Today on My Pet Blog, I'm pleased to welcome author Tara Tyler as she shows off the fantastic new cover for her novel Pop Travel. And I also may be reviewing this book a little later on in this post, but you'll have to keep reading to find out.

So, please, take it away, Tara!

§§§

Thanks for helping me spread the news about my new cover, M.J.!

I'm reading M.J.'s epic fantasy, EFFIGY and I'm thoroughly rapt up in it! Unfortunately, I'm such a snail reader. But as soon as I finish, I'll be writing a rave review! And now I'm excited to hear her thoughts on POP TRAVEL. When she read it, she asked me about the fate of one of the minor characters and I assured her he didn't die (I'm no George R R Martin!) I really appreciate M.J. giving POP TRAVEL a savagely honest review. She knows how to put a humorous spin on truth!

§§§

Oh wait! That's me! (Also, I'm not feeling particularly savage today, so I hope that's all right...)

I read POP TRAVEL the summer when it first came out. It was a departure from my usual reading habits. I mean, unless Joss Whedon tells me otherwise, I generally don't go for the futuristic/sci-fi stories. I picked up this book because of the author.

And while the idea of actually pop-traveling scares the ever-living daylights out of me (among other things), I really enjoyed this story. Which is to say, that I really liked the main character. Cooper is an interesting guy, and when I reached the end of the book, I sincerely wanted to know what he would be doing next. I've said multiple times that I'll read anything if I like the character. Well, I like Cooper and his associates, and I'm looking forward to September when their next adventure is released.

I also have to give Tara a special shout-out because she was kind enough to assuage my worries over that aforementioned minor character. If you wondered, it was a German shepherd. And, I am told, he lived happily ever after.


§§§

Thanks again, M.J. for helping me show off POP TRAVEL's new cover - it's ridiculously good! And the re- release has a sneak peek at the first chapter of SIMULATION which comes out Sept 14th!

POP TRAVEL
by Tara Tyler
Re-released July 1, 2015

In 2080, technology has gone too far for private detective J. L. Cooper. He thinks he can avoid pop travel teleportation, until he stumbles onto a video of a pop traveler who turns to dust.

Sparking a series of murders, attempts on his life, and threats to his brother, Cooper wants to pass off the evidence but knows he’s being watched and can’t trust anyone. And who would believe him?

With help from the neurotic genius “Creator” of pop travel and a beautiful Southern charmer, Cooper must expose the deadly glitch and shut it down or die trying. No problem.

Amazon ~~~ B&N ~~~ Goodreads


Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno- thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have a moral, and a few laughs!



Also by Tara Tyler, MG/YA Fantasy series, Beast World,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 13, 2015

Music of the Night

A while back, I had an idea that in an upcoming scene I wanted to write that a character of mine would be singing a song. Or, maybe not a song exactly. Originally, whatever this brilliant composition would end up being was supposed to be something like a childhood rhyme that girls might recite on the playground while jumping rope, or something that would be accompanied by an intricate hand jive. "Miss Mary Mack"- esque,  if you will, but darker and potentially creepier. You know, something that would fit in the world of my novels.

So I spent some time following that decision brainstorming lyric ideas, but nothing really took. I had an opening line that I was fond of, but nothing to follow it. Then last week (Last Wednesday, to be exact), Camp NaNoWriMo helped me get to the point where I kind of had to start writing that scene in which the song/rhyme was needed. I couldn't put it off any longer.

If you follow my author page on Facebook, or my Twitter feed, you may already be aware that I had spent the majority of Wednesday afternoon working on this song—just the lyrics, mind you—because by then, the concept had fully become a song. If you were curious, me working on a song looks an awful lot like me wandering around the house (and possibly Large Mart and the Dinn Wixie (just try to crack that clever code—go on! I dare you!)) trying to think of words that rhyme. Fortunately, none of those words were 'orange.'



Eventually (thankfully) it clicked, and I successfully wrote the lyrics to a (very short) song.

When I sat down to write those lyrics into my manuscript that night, I started to sing those lyrics to various melodies because that's just how my brain works. Then I broke out the iPad piano (I miss having a proper piano. That is all.). Then I decided that I just had to write down the music to accompany my lyrics.

Back in high school and early on in my college career, I wrote a lot of music. A lot. But I hadn't done it a good long while. So long that I had no idea where any of my blank staff paper might have been. (Some day, I will finish unpacking all of my boxes...but it is not this day.)

So, like a crazy person, I made my own:


A sample draft. I need a better eraser.


It was such a productive way to spend a night.

Especially because after I finished the first song, I went right on ahead and wrote a second song. (Who needs to write words anyway?) The second song is about the loss of innocence and demons and dying. So naturally, it ended up as a jaunty-sh jig-like thing.

Because that's how my brain works.

Anyway, I spend the entire night and most of the next day singing my two brand new songs (That one dog is really glad he's deaf.) because they were stuck in my head and I was kind of excited about them. In endlessly doing so, I slowly realized that my songs bore a striking slight resemblance to songs I had heard before. Only I couldn't figure out which ones.

It took me a while to work it out, but Sunday morning in the shower, it finally came to me:


and




So.....It's possible I won't be winning a Grammy any time ever. The next drafts will be better. Or maybe they'll sound like Bon Jovi. Time will tell.

But the whole song-writing experience left me feeling surprisingly good about my WIP. I'm keeping pace with Camp NaNoWriMo, and while there's definitely some heavy revising in my not-so-distant future, I'm not hating the story as much as I was last month. This is not to suggest that I won't be in the opposite state of mind next week, or even later on today, but at the moment, I'm happy with how things are going.

How unusual.

That's going to do it for me today. I'll try to do better the next time. Until then, all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In Which I Review Books (June 2015 Edition)

Once upon a time, once a month, I would review all the books I had read the previous month. Nothing super long or in depth—well, usually nothing long or in depth (unless a novel really, really irritated me, that is...), but reviews nonetheless.

Then I fell out of the habit. I'm not sure why. Time constraints maybe? Laziness? Who knows. Anyway, my last book review post was back in March 2014.

But whatever the reason I stopped, I thought I might try bringing it back. Since it's been so long since I've done one of these, I will not be reviewing every book I've read since March 2014. Instead, I'll give you the highlights (and maybe a low light or two) from my 2015 reading collection (January through June).

Generally, I'd post any reviews at the beginning of the month, but Camp NaNoWriMo has me all flustered and turned around (proud to report that I am currently on pace to finish my novel...in August.) so I forgot to do this post earlier. I'll do better next month.

Probably.

Anyway, here we go...

Heir of FireSarah J. Maas—The third book in her Throne of Glass series. I've really enjoyed this series overall, and I really do adore the MC. My biggest criticism of this particular novel was that it took me longer than usual to finish it. It's a big novel, and there were parts that dragged. But again, I adore the MC, and I can't wait for the next installment. I want to know what will happen next.

Mr. Kiss and Tell—Rob Thomas—This is the second book in the Veronica Mars novels, which take place after the events of the movie. The books are all right, this one included, but as grateful as I am to know anything about the Veronica Mars universe, I think something is lost in book form. Or maybe I just really want more movies. Again, I will read the next one because I'm a fan of the character. And Logan. I admit it.

One Good CatchHeather M. Gardner—The second book in her Maguire's Corner series. I enjoy these books. Gardner (you occasionally read this blog, Heather, so if it's weird for me to be using your last name like this, I'm sorry.) does not waste time getting to the action, and the story's entertaining. The end surprised me as well. The story didn't go how I thought it would. I mean, there's a happy ending, which I expected, but it didn't play out how I thought it would. It's always nice to be surprised. Anyway, it's really a fantastic summer beach read (I should know...I read it on the beach.) and I'm looking forward to the next installment. Also...I desperately want to go to this town for the pancakes, because they sound amazing.

Robert B, Parker's KickbackAce Atkins—This is the 43rd Spenser novel, and the third or fourth (fourth, I think) written by Atkins. I have pleasantly surprised by the quality of these novels. It's hard, I think, to take over a series loved by so many, and be able to emulate the style set forth in the previous 39 novels. He had big shoes to fill, and I think he's nailed it. My one criticism (you knew there had to be one, right?) is that I occasionally feel as though Atkins is working too hard to cram in as many characters from the Spenser-verse into each novel. Robert B. Parker did have recurring characters, and I do love that about the books, but I think Atkins is using too many at once.

The Darkest Minds—Alexandra Bracken—The first in her The Darkest Minds series. I came across this book while hunting for novels in which mind control is possible. True story. Anyway, the reviews seemed good, so I went into this series feeling excited. That faded. The concept is intriguing, the execution I think fell flat. There were parts I liked, and characters who made me laugh out loud, which is always good. I wasn't a fan of just how often Watership Down was referenced and/or quoted. We get it; stop hitting us over the head with it. So while I wasn't a diehard insta-fan or whatever, I still went out and read the other two books in the series because I wanted to know how it would end.

Never Fade—Alexandra Bracken—(You guessed it...the second in The Darkest Minds series. There was an interaction between two characters that really intrigued the hell out of me. I don't want to be all spoiler-y, but (SPOILER ALERT) at the end of the first book, a character with the ability to manipulate memory (Ruby) uses her abilities to tamper with the mind of the boy with whom she fell in love in the the first book (Liam). She has to make him forget that he knows her. But it's true love, or whatnot, so naturally they're going to encounter one another in the second book. That meeting and what follows it is intriguing. While Ruby could erase the memory of her in Liam's life, the feelings Liam had/have for her are still there, but he doesn't understand why he has them. It was an interesting concept.

In The Afterlight—Alexandra Bracken—The third and final book in the series. This is the book where the limitations of the first person POV are most evident. With the first person POV, the reader is limited to what the narrator sees/knows, and that limitation hurt this book, in my opinion. Major events would happen, but as Ruby wasn't there to witness them, both she and the reader find out about it secondhand. I don't know—it made the story a little duller, I guess. Don't get me wrong—I like the first person POV a lot, and I use it myself from time to time. I just feel that if one is using this POV that the narrator should be where the action is most of the time, and I didn't get that from this story/series. Maybe it's a telling vs. showing kind of thing (or maybe I should just shut up?). I also felt like the story relied entirely too much on coincidence, and that the ending was rushed. Given the world built up in the first two novels, it was a little too "dues ex machina-esque" for my personal taste.


All right—that's going to do it for me today. I'm headed off to Camp to see if I just can't get caught up on my word count. What have you been reading? Tell me in the comments...

Monday, July 6, 2015

42,000

Well, another Fourth of July has come and gone, and we celebrated in the usual way: closing up the house, turning a movie up really, really loud, and working to keep the completely-panicked Belgian Malinois from melting down. (Our other dog is deaf, so he doesn't much care what's going on outside. If he doesn't see it, it doesn't exist.)

As for the rest of the weekend, I went to the beach and got a couple of really stupid tan lines that prove, once again, that I have no idea how to properly apply sunscreen. Perhaps I shall improve in that regard the longer I live here. Or perhaps I'll just look like a freshly-cooked lobster all year round.

I also wrote a little. Very little, really. As of this posting, I am six days into Camp NaNoWriMo and I am a whopping 28 words ahead of par. (Over par? Above par? I know in golf one wants to be under par, but I think in this situation, one strives to be over par. Questions? Comments? Concerns?)

I may or may not have slacked off over the weekend. But I suppose it could be worse. I could be 28 words under par.

The first five days saw a couple of interesting story revelations. It's weird, I know, that I can be writing one thing with a clear path in mind, but then another, completely new, completely unplanned thing shows up on the page. I'm not quite sure where it'll lead yet, or even if these fun new detours will survive past August, but that's a problem for August. Or maybe even September.

But as I need roughly 42,000 words more, they're staying for now. Perhaps forever. Perhaps the remaining 42,000 words will prove that the unexpected detours were the road I needed to be traveling down all along.

Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me.

Which means I need to have some laser-type focus. So allow me, now, to reiterate my rules for a successful NaNoWriMo experience for one and all:

WHEN IT IS OKAY TO INTERRUPT ME WHEN I'M WRITING:

1. The house is on fire.

(This could be expanded to include such natural disaster-type things such as imminent hurricanes and/or tornadoes (rumor has it those are a thing around here. Just another reason to love the Sunshine State.)

2. Joss Whedon is here to see you.

(This is self-explanatory, right?)

WHEN IT IS NOT OKAY TO INTERRUPT ME WHEN I'M WRITING:





EVERYTHING NOT INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE TWO STATEMENTS. I HAVE SWORDS, AND IF I THROW ONE AT YOU, I WON'T HIT THE WALL LIKE BUFFY DID. I, SADLY, DON'T HAVE HER WEAPON-THROWING SKILL SET. OR, REALLY, ANY OF HER SKILL SETS FOR THAT MATTER. BUT STILL...NO INTERRUPTIONS.


Because I have 42,000 words to write and 25 days in which to write them.

That's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Monday!