Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cover Reveal and Giveaway...Flame

Okay, so it's no secret that I love book covers. I will be the first to admit that I have bought books based on the cover alone. That is why it is my pleasure to share this latest reveal with you. Make sure to see below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

I present to you Flame, by Mari Arden

Isn't it gorgeous!! The cover was designed by the talented Regina Wamba at Mae I Design.

Some secrets change your life forever.
        Have you ever felt invisible? I do. Everyday. I can't get close to anyone, and people can't get close to me. Everytime I feel a friendship beginning, something inevitably happens, and I become invisible again. Unseen. Ignored. It's been a part of me for so long that it's hard to imagine anything different.
 Then the Saguinox arrive, and my life is forever altered. People are fascinated by these beautiful creatures who look and talk like us. They're alluring. Seductive. Intoxicating. And two of them are going to my school. Rhys is everything I shouldn't want, but his eyes are like something from a memory. I can't help but be intrigued. He's the only one who can really see me.
 Some secrets you're better off not knowing.
 I had been found on a cold winter night with nothing but a blanket, and ashes covering my skin. My mother saved me from death, and took me in with love. But she couldn't save herself. I didn't think heroes were real anymore until the day Kaiden saved me. I couldn't believe in miracles until the day he revealed I was the miracle they had all been hoping for. Deep inside I always knew my past mattered.
 I just didn't know my life would depend on it.


My name is Mari Arden (Mari- rhymes with safari). Teacher by day, author by night. I love my double life. You can also catch me at the gym attempting to sweat out all the sweets I eat when I write. Key word: TRY. I adore sushi and Chipotle burritos, and wouldn't it be paradise if they could be combined somehow?.... Well on second thought, maybe not. I'm one class away from my masters in education, and feel so fortunate to do two things I'm passionate about: teaching and writing. Adventurous? Come join my double life!

You can connect with Mari in all the usual places.

In honor of her book release Mari is giving away a $50 gift card to Amazon. 

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Just Finished Reading...The Peculiar

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

My thoughts~ I would like to start of by sharing an interesting fact about the author. Stefan Bachmann penned this creative masterpiece at the young age of sixteen. SIXTEEN! It makes me happy this person was able to showcase his talent at such an early part of his life. He writes as if he is a seasoned pro.

The Peculiar is one of the most imaginative and unique stories I have read in long while. The creative world the author introduces  us to is one of a kind and a joy to visit. This middle grade novel is packed with well developed and interesting characters. I do have to say, I thought it took off rather slow, but in that time we were introduced to the world and setting and in the end it all balanced out.

Over all I can recommend the read. If you do not like cliff hangers I may wait till we are a little closer to book two's release.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Finished Reading...Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
My thoughts~ So last year when Cinder came out, it was plastered all over the bookish part of the internet. I was like, ehh...I don't know. Another Cinderella story. No thanks. For some reason the idea of this book always turned me off. When ever I read the word "cyborg" I kept right on going. Well now that everyone is raving about the soon to be released Scarlet, part two in the Lunar Chronicles, I figured I better jump on the band wagon and see what the fuss is all about. 

I absolutely adored Cinder. It is a dystopian, sci-fi, futuristic retelling of Cinderella. Even though it is a new version of the well known fairy tale  I still found Cinder to be unique and intriguing. What I liked best about this story was the high stakes tension that peppered the entire story. 

Cinder is a fabulous protagonist. I instantly liked her and cared about how she felt. She longs to escape her current life. Cinder has been mistreated by her family, but still has a warm heart and takes care of those who are important to her. She is smart, sassy and makes good decisions.

Then we have Kia, our prince. I just loved him. Not in a super swoon worthy way, but he is just a good person and a well developed character. Through his triumphs and trials, my heart went out to him.

The one thing I would have liked was more description of the city and the characters physical appearance. Cinder takes place in China. The setting was so rarely mentioned that, to me,  it could have been plopped down in any city. I was not sure if we were supposed to assume the characters were Chinese based on the origin of the story, or if the author did not think it was important. Personally, I like to be given a physical description so I know what to picture in my head. Plus, the big reveal was not much of a surprise.  I guessed it the first time it was mentioned. 

Overall, because of the tension and the unique twist of the fairy tale, Cinder is my first favorite of the year. I recommend the read and look forward to Scarlet. A fresh take on Little Red Riding Hood. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Finished Reading...Chase Tinker and the House of Magic

Chase Tinker and the House of Magic by Malia Ann Haberman

In Chase Tinker's world, magic, lies, and secrets can be a lethal combination....
Chase Tinker has the power to move things with his mind. His brother, Andy, can stop time. The thing is, they have no idea where these crazy abilities could have possible come from, and, are totally clueless on how to control them. Chase wants desperately to talk to his dad about it, but Benjamin Tinker has disappeared without a word.
It's a huge shock to Chase and Andy when one day a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He invites them to come spend the summer with him and their cousin Janie on a remote island in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway, and corridor. Chase can't believe his dad has been lying and keeping so many important things from his sons.
Not long after the boys' arrival at Grandfather's house, their aunt, who has been on a mission to find their missing dad, turns up, hurt, sick - and alone. Now three of the biggest questions in their minds are: Where in the world is their dad? And how will they find him? Or, is he...dead?
It doesn't help matters when Chase's despicable cousin James arrives and turns everything upside down, even putting Chase's life in mortal danger. As he spends more time in the house, Chase begins to realize that, not only has their dad been keeping things from them, but Grandfather seems to be keeping several secrets of his own and Chase is bound and determined to find out just what those secrets are.

My thoughts~ Chase Tinker and the House of Magic is a middle grade novel that will appeal to both boys and girls alike.

Chase and his brother Andy are transported from the mundane life in New York and dropped at their secluded family home  in the Puget Sound. There they find themselves exploring an enchanted house and discovering its hidden secrets. Desperate to find his missing father, Chase embraces his new found magical abilities and launches his own investigation. Chase finds himself in not only dire situations but comical ones as well.

This story is not only about the enjoyable characters we follow, but very much about the mysterious house as well. It has a life all its own. Every room offers a different adventure and Malia Haberman's creative mind gives us a vivid and entertaining read as we watch Chase react to everything he has been thrown into.

I enjoyed reading Chase Tinker and the house of Magic and I think young people will enjoy it to.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop

Yes! It is time for another giveaway. This time Words Escape is participating in the YA Faeries & Fantasy giveaway hop. After all, they are my two favorite things to read.

The giveaway is international to any country The Book Depository ships to. If the winner is from the US, the prize will be shipped from Amazon. There will be one winner. You must be thirteen or older. Make sure to check the linky below and visit all the fantastic blogs participating in the hop. Good luck!

Whats the prize? One book of your choice valued up to $15.00 But remember, it must be a fantasy or a faerie book. Need suggestions? Here are are few of my favorites.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

For the Writers...Self Publishing Platform Comparisons

Here is your one stop comparison of the five most popular platforms to self publish your book.  I am getting close to releasing my book into the wild and needed to know what hoops I must jump through first . That brings me to a list of comparisons of the five platforms I was considering.

I needed to know the following:

  1. Do I need an ISBN?
  2. Do I need a tax id number?
  3. How do I get paid?
  4. What are the required formats to upload my story?

This information is accurate as of 1/3/2013. Provided below are links you may follow to see the current policies.

Amazon      ebook

ISBN= you may use your own ISBN provided by Bowker or Amazon will assign you one. (if Amazon provides it they are listed as publisher)
You can use a tax id number or you social security number.
They will need banking information.
Royalties= 70% if book is listed for $2.99 or greater and 35% if less.
Format= Epub, Word docs, HTML, Mobi, PDF, TXT and RTF
Exclusive to Kindle devices or anything with the free Kindle App
Extras- lendable, sample pages and egift.

Apple   ebook

ISBN=you must provide your own*
You must have a tax id number *
They will need banking information
Royalties= 70% of list price
Exclusive to Ibooks
Extras=none (you may be able down a small portion of book, I could not find that listed, but I just downloaded a sample to test it)

*There are ways around this. See Smashwords below

Barnes & Noble NooK (PubIt) ebook

ISBN=you may use your own ISBN provided by Bowker or PubIt will assign you one for free.
You can use a tax id number or your social security number
They will need banking information
Royalties= 65% if book is listed for $2.99 or greater and 40% if less.
Format=Epub, Word docs, HTML, TXT
Exclusive to Nook devices or anything with the free Nook App
Extras=Read in store (a person can take their Nook to a Barnes & Noble store and read any ebook free for and hour a day), lendable, sample pages and egift

Createspace    trade paperback

ISBN= you may use your own ISBN provided by Bowker or Creatspace will assign you one. If you use a Creatspace ISBN you have two options: free, where they will list Createspace as the publisher or for $10.00 you can choose your imprint.

You can use a tax id number or your social security number
They will need banking information
Royalties=vary depending on what price you set
Extras=Createspace enables you to get your book into book stores, online retailers and libraries.

Smashwords  ebook
ISBN=you may use your own ISBN provided by Bowker or Smashwords will assign you one for free.
You can use a tax id number or your social security number
They will need banking information
Royalties=60% of list price on major web sites of 85% of net if purchased from Smashwords
Format=Epub, Word docs. Smashwords prefers Word docs. If you use Epub, readers cannot get a sample. If you want them publish on Apple for you it must me a Word doc.
Extras=Smashwords is DRM free.(digital rights management) That means you can buy the book and download it onto to any device.

Smashwords will put your books on Apple Ibook*, Nook, Sony reader, Kobo, Diesel, Baker & Taylor, Axis 360 and Kindle.

They can get you into libraries that offer ebooks
They offer a free coupon generator 

*remember how Apple requires you to have your own ISBN and tax id? Well you can by pass that by using Smashwords.
What are you going to do Kriston?
Oh why thank you for asking. I am going to publish on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Createspace and Smashwords. 

Why don't you just Smashwords. They seem to put your ebook on every platform on the market?
For a couple reason. The majority of readers are going to come from Amazon. If you let them put it on Amazon for you, you only get 60% of list instead of 70%. Plus, not everyone knows of Smashwords. In fact, outside of my blogging friends, no one in my life has even heard of it. So they don't know to shop from there. I wasn't going to go with Smashwords at all, but I decided I did not have anything to loose if I did. They also can get me into Ibooks without having to get an ISBN number, and that my friends saves  $100-$250. Plus, I don't want all my eggs in one basket.

There you have it folks. I will try and keep this page updated as the industry changes. If you find any of this outdated, leave me a comment with the new information. Thank you and happy publishing.

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