Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Author Spotlight: Megan Padalecki



Today, I’m thrilled to have Megan Padalecki on my blog.

Megan loves lines - in her job as an architect, she drew a lot of them.

Raised in San Antonio, TX, she honed her writing skills under the watchful eye of her English teacher mother. In school, she was an "art kid" and editor of the literary magazine. She received her degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, then headed west.

Megan once led a mob of fifth graders to sculpt a 20', Sendak-inspired "wild thing" out of sand on a California beach. She is a passionate wanderer and avid sketcher of the natural and built world. She has lived in Copenhagen and has traveled to six of the seven continents. She dreams of seeing Antarctica before it's swallowed by a giant iguana.

Extending beyond her practice in architecture, she applies the same design process to creating children's stories. Her first children's book, Big Mo, was self-published with the approval of her young nieces and nephews.

Megan lives in San Francisco, where she regularly sleeps through earthquakes.

JET: Can you tell us about Big Mo?
Big Mo is my first children’s picture book, which I wrote, illustrated and published after departing from a career in architecture. The plot follows a pet iguana who grows enormous through his consumption run amok, and who learns the importance of environmental responsibility. His name is short for ‘momentum’, which he represents at a global scale.

JET: What drew you to children’s books?
Children’s books can distill incredibly complicated concepts into a story that can be digested in a 5-10 minute sitting. There’s something remarkable about that, or the fact that some of our earliest memories and impressions actually come from books we read as children. There’s a fun challenge to writing a book that must appeal to young and old alike, and I’m a visual person, so picture books in particular have always appealed to me.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
Because I chose to self-publish, there have been many unique challenges. Logistically, I had to form a business entity (with all the associated legal obligations), work out financial, warehousing and distribution plans, and seek out the proper folks to critique my progress objectively. I also went through a lengthy process of finding a printing house to print high-quality copies domestically, and I fully formatted the “look and feel” of the book.

Despite all this, my greatest challenge was revising the text to a point that satisfied me, while also reaching a certain mass appeal. I’ll admit that my original drafts of the story had a much heavier ending, until enough people advised against loose ends in children’s lit.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
The first time that a young reader sent their doodled interpretation of Mo was magical! It was a big moment for me, because I had been killing myself to complete the story on a self-imposed deadline, and even thought it could have gone through much more revision (of course, that is ALWAYS the case). When I received the first fan mail, I thought, “maybe it’s actually okay after all – I mean, this kid loves it!” That was true reward.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
I was an obsessive Dr. Seuss reader, and even based the meter in Big Mo’s rhyme scheme off of a classic Seuss tale. Few, if any, of his books can be taken at face value and he was a true pioneer of the picture book genre. His book, The Lorax, taught me about the perils of capitalism before I knew what the word even meant.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
My mother was an English teacher, so reading and writing were always important in my household. I even edited my high school literary magazine (technically, an annual book) for a couple years. After I completed my undergrad education, and had worked for several years as an architect, I started to notice that “going to the bookstore” meant “sneaking into the children’s section at the bookstore to browse and admire”. I thought of creating picture books as a dream job. After several more years of architecture, my life perspective really changed and I knew that I had to go for it.


JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
Much of my research for Big Mo came from nonfiction books and environmental documentaries. I read two incredibly dense books cover-to-cover over a two week jury duty stint, Paul Ehrlich’s One With Nineveh and Gary Cross’s An All-Consuming Century. I promise I was being an attentive juror, but I was also engaged in some intense storyboarding at the time, inspired by concepts from these two books. Verdict: guilty.

JET: Any advice for the novice writers out there?
I learned the phrase, “throw away your darlings”, in architecture school, and it certainly applies to writing. We often favor certain concepts (or lines of text, or character traits, etc) so much that we force them to fit into the overall story arc. Sometimes, an early idea just doesn’t work, and needs to be thrown out or flagged for another story.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten...starting with Paper or Digital?
For children’s books especially – paper! Though, I admit I use a Kindle for travel.

JET: Steak or Tofu?
Steak, on rare occasions. Pun intended.

JET: Beach or Mountains?
My pale skin tells me ‘mountains’.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
Raised on Rock and Grunge.

JET: Spring or Fall?
Spring, minus the rain.

JET: Cat or Dog?
If my landlord would allow, I’d have the biggest, slobbering dog possible! I tend to love cats only if I am their chosen human.

JET: Salty or Sweet?
Sweet, topped with sea salt.

JET: Comic Books or Anime?
Calvin and Hobbes! Or Option C: graphic novels like Asterios Polyp.

JET: Chocolate bar or Ice Cream?
A Frankenstein combo of both seems doable.

JET: Coffee or Tea?
I somehow managed architectural training sans coffee, so I choose decaf tea.



JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
I am sharing and promoting Big Mo at schools in my native Texas this month, as well as presenting my process at a design event in San Francisco. Because I self-published, the burden of promotion is squarely on my shoulders, but I’m happy to participate! Beyond that, I have a second “Mo” story brewing, though it is still in embryo form. I think he’ll become a great advocate for environmental awareness in future iterations!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Megan Padalecki and her work at the following places:


Until next time,
Ciao,

JET


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Everlasting Affairs - Event planner spotlight and giveaway!


I'm taking a detour from my usual author spotlight or book promotion to highlight my daughter's business.  She recently graduated from Johnson and Wales and had decided to follow her passion. 

Ever since she was a little girl doing fundraisers for school or planning her sweet sixteen party, she excelled at organizing events and negotiating deals to get the things she needed for the events she was involved with.

So, when she asked me for some cross-promotion opportunities, I gladly agreed. After all, paranormal romance and weddings do have a key thing in common... love. So it isn't really a digression to shameless promotion.

However, her business isn’t just limited to weddings. She also does social events, like a book launch parties, as well as corporate events and fundraisers.

As a writer, when you craft the perfect wedding scene in a book, you have the location, the colors, the mood, the wedding theme to consider as you are writing, well, an event planner actually delivers on those perfect ideas.

We've all seen both the perfect weddings alongside the disasters first hand, and while the weddings that go drastically wrong make for good fiction, it really doesn't make for pleasant memories for a bride and groom.

This is where an event planner comes in.  She, or he, can take your vision and make it reality, and they are the ones that deal with last minute changes, adjustments on the fly so the bride and groom can be stress-free and truly enjoy the day.

Everlasting Affairs is raffling off a complimentary (free) full wedding or social/corporate event plan that includes the following:
  • Consultation and continuous communication.
  • Venue and vendor selection (up to three venue site visits together).
  • Month by month task list.
  • Negotiations and finalizing vendor contracts.
  • Event design for all aspects of the gathering.
  • Vendor contact throughout the process, including onsite meetings.
  • Event day timeline, contact list and management of all details from start to finish,  
  • keeping the day on schedule.
  • Event Schedule/Timeline.
  • Conducting wedding rehearsal and ceremony logistics, including altar arrangement.
  • Management of event reception, including directing vendors.
  • Acting as a liaison between clients and vendors.
  • Access to our event day emergency kit.

Contest participants are limited to the continental United States only.  

Limitations will apply to winners that are not within the company’s primary service areas: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Southern New Hampshire, Southern Maine, New York City and the surrounding boroughs, as well as Long Island, New York.

If a contest winner resides outside of the primary service area, the prize will be modified to being restricted to consultation and communications via phone and email only, and this will include all of the above except being onsite for any vendor meeting or the event itself.

The event planners have prior experience planning long distant events, so you can be assured that whether you are in their service area or not, your event plans will be coordinated with the utmost care.

To enter the contest, please go to the Contests and Promotions page on the company website:
and fill out the entry form.

Winners will be chosen at random on June 1, 2015.
Grand prize is the full wedding package.
1st runner up will receive a 50% discount off the plan of their choice.  
All other contest entrants will receive a 10% discount off any service of their choice.

Enjoy and party on!

Until next time,
Ciao.
JET


Friday, May 1, 2015

Secret Worlds - Cursed


Secret Worlds, a limited edition box set includes 21 full-length paranormal romance novel by 21 USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Authors. Don't miss it!

Hello people who don't know me!
My name is Lucy and I write the bestselling 'A Singular Obsession' Romance Erotica Series. I'm a relatively new author, but through some awesome people I've gotten the chance to a part of this amazing box set. Cursed is my first paranormal historical, and is the only regency novel in the box set. It's also the only one with a full three flame flameflameflame EROTIC rating. Hope you enjoy it!


Introducing Cursed, A Spellbound Regency Novel.Cursed_BN
Isobel Sterling is a governess with a lot of secrets—including an uncanny ability she's been hiding her whole life. Until the day arrives when she has to use it to save herself from a madman. But first she has to master it. Fast.
Governess Isobel Sterling feels fortunate to have found a safe haven in the Montgomery household. The children are kind and the Lord and Lady of the house leave her alone. Her life is as good as it can get, until the day mysterious visitors arrive from abroad.
At first Isobel is flattered by the single-minded attention she receives from their handsome young guest, Matteo Garibaldi. At least she is until girls in the village begin to disappear. Isobel has a terrible suspicion that the disappearances are linked to the darkness she can see growing behind Matteo's eyes. Filled with dread she does everything possible to avoid his company—until she is locked in with him for the night.
Read the first chapter on Wattpad or check out my other recent titles on Amazon.
XOXO,
LucyLeroux_Signature
Cursed, A Spellbound regency novel, is part of the Secret Worlds Box Set available for preorder now for only 99¢.
This is a limited time offer, so hurry and reserve your copy today!
And be sure to attend the Facebook release party. More than 70 prizes—including 5 sets of the Singular Obsession ebooks—will be given away!
MaskandRedLips_general

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Secret Worlds - Hunted

Secret Worlds

Limited edition paranormal romance boxed set featuring 21 USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors in one sizzling collection.
With twenty-one stories and over one million enchanting words of fiction, this paranormal romance boxed set will keep you spellbound. Dive into Secret Worlds you never knew existed and into the arms of heroes who will steal your heart and leave you hot.


Available for only $0.99 June 29th - August 31st.


Featuring...
HUNTED (Riley Cray #1)
You thought your ex was a nightmare...
Eight years after the attack that changed her life forever, Riley Cray is confronted with something she never thought she’d have to face again: Samson Reed, the werewolf who nearly killed her, has escaped from prison and is headed to Colorado to finish what he started.


With the help of Special Agent Darius Holbrook, Riley is racing against time to stay one step ahead of the crazed werewolf. But Reed isn’t the only monster with his eyes on Riley and as the bodies are piling up she’s beginning to wonder how long it will be before she’s one of them.


Vampires, werewolves, and serial killers, OH MY!

  
Secret Worlds is available now for preorder through AmazonB&NKobo, and iBooks, and don't forget to check it out on Goodreads. Also, join us online on June 29th and enter for your chance to win one of 70 prizes up for grabs at our Facebook Party, including multiple gift cards ranging from $5-$100 or a Kindle Fire! And the prizes just keep coming! Be sure to join the party for your chance to win and learn more about the additional prizes we have coming down the pipeline!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Secret Worlds - Ruby's Fire


Announcing an exciting new box set that I am a part of!

From twenty-one USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors

Secret Worlds - A Steamy paranormal romance box set
Only 99 cents!
Limited Edition. Sale ends soon.
(Complete full-length books, no frustrating cliffhangers)



SECRET WORLDS
is a best-selling box set of spicy paranormal reads brought to you by USA Today and Amazon Bestselling authors! With twenty-one stories and over a million enchanting words of fiction, this box set will keep you spellbound! Dive through Secret Worlds and into the arms of heroes who will steal your heart and leave you hot.

Whether you love paranormal romance that warms you up or sets you on fire, this box set will have something to entice your preternatural sensibilities. Supernaturally thrilling and engaging, this set has it all: ghosts, vamps, mind-readers, shape-shifters, demons, faeries, beautiful hybrid creatures and more. 

For a limited time you can enjoy all of these stories, including ones slated for the big screen!!! When purchased separately, these books would cost over $50! But they are yours for less than $1. Get yours before this limited time deal ends!

Pre-order Secret Worlds at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks

Summary of Ruby's Fire, my award-winning novel in Secret Worlds:

“Eighteen year-old Ruby and her little brother Thorn, have only known a life blighted by the extremist Fireseed Cult. The night Ruby is set to be claimed by one of its cruelest and oldest leaders, she makes a bid for freedom. With Thorn in tow, she stumbles into the world beyond, and finds an opportunity for a fresh start in Skull’s Wrath under the guidance of Nevada Pilgrim, a woman who may not be all she seems. Ruby's new life could bring her friendship, love, even fortune, but nothing comes without a price. Is Ruby's talent for elixirs keeping the roof over their heads, or do some of her associates have a more sinister and lucrative interest in them? Life outside a strange cult isn't without its dangers, and the experience leaves Ruby transformed and communing with the Fireseed more closely than she ever would have imagined. Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by an exciting cast of characters, and the romance is really well handled.” - YA’s The Word  

***Ruby’s Fire was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Awards*** 


Praise for Ruby's Fire:
“Romance, betrayal, secrets, great world-building!” - Seeing Night Reviews
“Full of creativity, imagination & original concepts” - Fluttereal Flight
“Ruby kicked butt as the resident healer, plus good love triangle!” - Amazon reader
You know when you get a book and it's much better than you thought it was going to be? Ruby's Fire was definitely one of those books! I absolutely loved it. What an amazing plot! Also, there's a fantastic twist I didn't see coming.” - (Mis) Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year-Old Girl
“I can't even begin to tell you how smoothly the writing flows. It's perfect. No joke. I went into this book not knowing what to expect and what I got was an amazing storyline.” - Words Create Scenes

Giveaway announcement!
We have 70+ prizes up for grabs at our Secret Worlds Facebook party, including multiple gift cards ranging from $5 to $100, plus a Kindle Fire!!! And the prizes just keep coming. Be sure to join the party for your chance to win these prizes and more coming down the pipeline! The party is on June 29 but the giveaways have already begun.
70+ Prizes! 

Pre-order our Limited Edition Box set for only 99 cents!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Secret Worlds - The Forever Girl

Secret Worlds Boxed Set
 I'm very excited to be included with 20 other USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Authors in the Secret Worlds Boxed Set. Many of you are probably already familiar with my included title, THE FOREVER GIRL, but for those who aren't, here's the full blurb.

Beautiful blonde with dandelions

The Forever Girl

At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.
***
The Forever Girl has been optioned for film and published internationally by Harlequin in Germany (now HarperCollins of Germany) and IPC Books of Hungary. It has nearly 500 Amazon reviews. Normally you can purchase my book alone for $3.99, however, for this summer only (and the pre-order period leading up to this summer) you can snag a copy of this title WITH 20 OTHER ADDITIONAL TITLES all in 1 Boxed Set for $0.99! That comes out to less than a nickel per book! You can learn more about the boxed set HERE or you can order your copy on AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo, or iBooks. While you're here, though, why not take a moment to learn more about the complete line up! I've included a super short blurb of every title in the collection. Some are not yet available and being introduced exclusively through the boxed set, but ALL of the titles are professionally edited and not a single one ends on a cliffhanger!
 

The Secret Worlds LIMITED EDITION Collection!

***
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***
From USA Today Bestselling Authors
***
Taken by the Beast by Conner Kressley and Rebecca Hamilton: Women are going missing. Women who look a lot like Charisse. And the man this beauty is falling for may be the beast responsible.

The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton: Sophia's ancestor's body went missing during the Salem Witch Trials, and the only one able to help solve the mystery is a shapeshifter Sophia is afraid to trust.

Summoned by Rainy Kaye: Dimitri can't reveal the paranormal bond controlling him, and Syd won't tolerate his secrets.

 Purgatory by Susan Stec: A sex-hungry myth with no name, no flesh, and no identity ...unless it wears one of you.

The Pandora Principle by Noree Cosper: As a descendant of Pandora, Cassi must discover if her lover is one of the evil spirits she hunts before all her friends die.

Heart Song by Samantha LaFantasie: When incredibly handsome Marren frees Relena, there's a catch.

From Amazon Bestselling Authors

Changeling by Debbie Herbert: As a changeling and a witch work together to restore order in Fairy, they discover that love, like magic, casts its own spell of enchantment.

Shiftless by Aimee Easterling: After years of suppressing her inner predator, Terra meets a shifter who forces her to reclaim her wilder side.

The Black Parade by Kyoko M.: Poltergeist Michael is the key to saving Jordan's soul from hell, but can she handle the cost of her salvation?

Haunting Echoes by Caethes Faron: Will Amaia's vampire clan kill her ex-fiance before she learns whether he returned from the grave for love or revenge?

Braving Fate by Linsey Hall: Diana and Cadan fight demonic forces and a deadly passion that has lasted centuries.

Trinity Rising by J.E. Taylor: Damian and Naomi are desperate for victory against the devil, but one wrong step couldtrigger Armageddon.

Moonlight by Katie Salidas: Good girls don't wear fur, fight over men, or run around naked, howling at the moon. But Fallon's not a good girl.

Lash by L.G. Castillo: Lash, a fallen angel, must choose where to place his trust--in a home he fought so hard to regain or in a forbidden love he can't bear to lose.

Between by Lisa Swallow: Alek could kill Rose with a kiss. Finn, with a touch. Pulled into an intense affair with Alek, Rose discovers her connection to Finn threatens them all.

The Devil's Fool by Rachel McClellan: When vampire Boaz gives Eve the one thing she never had--love--she falls into a world of greed and seduction.

Spark Rising by Kate Corcino: A runaway Spark and the agent arresting her ignite a revolution to end their people's enslavement while resisting the electricity between them.


Ruby's Fire by Catherine Stine: On the run from a desert cult, Ruby must choose which handsome stranger to trust with her heart and her darkest secret: Armonk or Blane.

Cursed by Lucy Leroux: Governess Isobel Sterling has been hiding an uncanny ability her whole life--until she has to use it to save herself from a madman.

Hunted by A.J. Colby: With Agent Holbrook's help, Riley races time to stay ahead of a crazed werewolf killer.

Vigilant by Angel Lawson: Ari stumbles into a world of crime and vigilantism while discovering the one man that sets her heart on fire.

$0.99 PreOrder Price Guarantee

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Holy Dark is here...

You've been patient and now it's finally here. 

Cover design by Gunjan Kumar and Chris Cold.  

Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel. Jordan's demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch's plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race. 

  The Holy Dark will hit shelves April 24, 2015
You can get in paperback right now, pre-order it on the Kindle, add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf, like my Facebook page, or sign up with the mailing list to find out more about the series. While you wait, there are two excerpts available to read. 

Please spread the word! Kyoko