Tag Archives: E.Latimer

Paper Hearts: Tour Stop

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If you haven’t heard of the Paper Hearts series, today is your lucky day! NYT bestselling author author Beth Revis surprised us all late last year by releasing a trilogy of advice books perfect for those of us working our way into the world of authorhood. This week we’re celebrating Volume One: Some Writing Advice which Beth was originally posting over on Wattpad, where you can still check out some of the awesome entries from the finished product. And while there’s a lot of great content there, the final version of the book has expanded into every possible area of writing you could dream of, with a special focus on YA.

Not only is it easy to see why the Paper Hearts series would be a fantastic series to any writer’s craft library, but if you’re just starting to build up your reference books the Paper Hearts books are a great place to begin as there is so much great advice between the pages of these books covering the entire writing and publication process, right through to marketing your books after they’re out in the world.

And don’t forget to make your way all the way to the bottom of the post as there’s a great giveaway going along with the tour. Enter for your chance to win signed paperback copies of all three books in the series! And as an added bonus, Beth Revis has been sharing some great tips on writing all week, and now it’s my turn to take part. Be sure to check out the earlier tips as well as to keep following the tour for more writing tips, plus insights into both publishing and marketing. Let’s check out tip #4!

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When building the world of your story, make it dirty. Add in history and scars—and then use those to develop the characters and the plot. Those extra world details can give you direction for your plot, or help you make your character have more background. Show scuff marks on the floor, and then later show how they got there. Show trash in the corner, and then show the character who threw it…or the one who cleaned it up after. Make your world lived in, and every aspect of your story will be richer.

Great advice! Every little detail makes the story just a little bit more real. It makes things come to life on the page for your reader.


 

Bird by Bird meets Save the Cat in this new writing advice book by NY Times bestselling author Beth Revis. With more than 100000 reads on Wattpad, this newly expanded and rewritten edition features 350 pages of content, including charts and a detailed appendix.
~~~
paperhearts1Fight the blank page.

When it comes to writing, there’s no wrong way to get words on paper. But it’s not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won’t make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.

Practical Advice Meets Real Experience

With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:

-How to Develop Character, Plot, & World
-What Common Advice You Should Ignore
-What Advice Actually Helps
-How to Develop a Novel
-The Basics of Grammar, Style, & Tone
-Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
-How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
-How to Deal with Failure
…And much more!

BONUS! More than 25 “What to do if…” scenarios to help writers navigate problems in writing from a NY Times Bestselling author who’s written more than 2 million words of fiction.

Learn more at BethRevis.com

Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice on Goodreads

Purchase Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice
AmazonKoboBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Follow along with the rest of the tour at the Paper Hearts Tour Headquarters, or follow Beth Revis on Twitter!

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Self Publishing VS Traditional: Let’s Move On

No seriously, let’s get over this thought that there is only “one true way” and if you “insert way of publishing here” you’re a loser who will never amount to anything. That was SO 2015.

I really thought we were making progress, since I hadn’t seen any scathing articles about traditional or self publishing in a while. I thought, “Gee, maybe people are finally realizing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and every writer is different”.

And then ANOTHER article came out. You may know the one I’m talking about, it’s been doing the rounds lately, circulating. In this article the author basically claims that you’re going to be broke and unhappy if you go the traditional publishing route, but that she would NEVER EVER self publish because that’s for hacks (essentially, I’m summing up here).

Not only is it depressing for writers thinking about going EITHER route (seriously, what a downer) it’s a return to the same backwards thinking that was so prevalent over the past few years.

At first I was all, “Ugh, I give up.”

 

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But then I decided I’d do something better than sulk and angrily eat all the contents of my snack cupboard.

So I put on my ranty pants and made a video. YOU’RE WELCOME.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Query Process in Harry Potter Gifs

When you finish your manuscript and it’s time to email agents!

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When you learn what a query letter actually is and that you have to write one.

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When you first start trying to write one and realize everything you write sucks.

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When revisions have driven you insane but you realize you’re FINALLY ready to send this bitch OUT.

 

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When you hit “send” and then have to wait forever.

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When you get your first partial request…and it turns into a rejection the literal MINUTE you send the pages.

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When the feedback is all rejections and you feel like the agents are all like

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When you get your first actual feedback from an agent

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When your revised manuscript actually starts getting full requests

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When you finally get “the email” asking for “the call”

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And then realize you have to actually talk to a real life agent on the phone

 

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But then the call goes great, and the agent offers!

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And you realize you HAVE AN OFFER. Time to celebrate!

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And you brag for days to all your friends, who are all like, “that’s great, shut up about it already”.

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And then your awesome new agent says it’s time to go on submission

 

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The end (but not really).

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.-Latimer2E. Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer  and literary intern. She was was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing with the YA Word Nerds, and reads excessively.

For more ramblings, tips on querying and thoughts on writing, sign up for the newsletter by clicking on the “Newsletter” link in the menu. Your email will not be shared, and newsletters will only come out biweekly.

 

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Today I am an “Angry Feminist”

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Y’know what? There’s a reason feminists become “angry”. It’s because you wake up and check your facebook/twitter/news station and get smacked with another steaming hot face-full of sexism.
 
This morning it was some scraggly-bearded, hobo-turd in a tweed jacket saying that women aren’t as ambitious as men. That we aren’t “driven”. The only way we’ll ever be happy is marrying and having children.
 
We aren’t driven. Women. All women. That includes me.
 
This pushes me over into angry feminist territory, because I have spent the last five years of my life FIGHTING to achieve my goals, to not give in to the sucking vortex of hopelessness and stress and shitty jobs, while I struggled to write more and write faster and write better. I have been rejected and rejected and rejected and broken down and picked myself up over and over because I WANT THIS SO BADLY.
 
Lately I’ve been killing myself to meet two deadlines that fell on the same date. My house is in shambles, I’m eating out of Tupperware, I’m on the computer until eleven at night. The other day I edited for seven straight hours.
 
I mean, I am literally working my butt off (yes, literally, I forget to eat occasionally and dropped three pounds over the last three weeks). I look like a wizard trying to dress like a muggle because at this point I’m just putting on whatever is left in my closet.
 
So don’t you dare tell me I’m not driven.
 
I just sent off both projects last night and realized my house looks like a bomb went off, and I am a disgusting, unwashed mess and most of all I realized, I AM FIERCELY HAPPY. I love what I’m doing. For once in my life I don’t stand around and wonder, What the hell am I doing here? I don’t have times where I’m watching Netflix or lying around on my phone thinking, I feel like I should be doing something. Those feelings are gone when I’m fulfilled, when I know I’m right where I should be, doing exactly what I’m meant to do.
 
So don’t tell me I’m not happy.
 

My husband also makes me fiercely happy, he’s an amazing guy (and he puts up with the human disaster that is me) and it’s not like I don’t want to have a kid someday, but to have some dirt-bag yammer on about how women simply aren’t driven after all of this…well, it’s enough to make a gal angry.

And I’m not the only driven writer I know. I know loads of them, all balancing work and family with their writing, squeezing in time to write between feeding everyone and cleaning the house and working a full time job. They do this because they’re driven. Because they have ambition and passion and they’re not going to give up regardless of how much rejection they face, or how difficult the battle becomes.

So basically I have one last thing to say, and it’s not professional or eloquent in any way, but it needs to be said so…

Screw you neck-beard, dude. Screw you.

And that’s about it.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87098609@N00/511361871″>White Panther</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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How I Got My Agent

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There’s been a lot of ups and downs over the last two years. The last four years, really, but that’s something I’ll probably go into more later.

I parted ways with my first literary agent in March of 2014. The book I wrote hadn’t sold, but I still loved the characters and the title, so I scrapped all but the first chapter and started over again. Roughly eight months later I got into Brenda Drake’s “Pitch Wars” contest and actually won the middle grade category for most agent requests.

I was over the moon! I’d sent out over twenty full requests at that point, both through Pitch Wars (and after PW, with just normal querying) so I was sure I would get an offer from someone.

I didn’t. Instead I got rejection, after rejection, after rejection.

The feedback was all the same. No one connected to the character, they couldn’t get into the story, the voice was inaccessible. It all amounted to the same thing. And at the time it was something I didn’t feel ready to try to fix. Mainly because it was such a huge overhaul and I wasn’t even sure where to start.

So I got into a funk. A deep, chocolate-filled misery session that lasted several weeks.

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But I can never stay in a funk for long, because there’s always some new shiny idea to pull me out of it. And The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryrony Gray was it.  The idea of writing a kind of weird, MG retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray was enough to pull me out of my slump and get me to start writing again.

Six months ago I started querying the new manuscript. I was cautiously hopeful, allowing myself some excitement when the full requests started coming in.

And then, again, rejections started trickling in one by one. Some of them specific, most of them vague. And I was caught up in the idea that This is going to be the same as last time.

The thought terrified me. I wasn’t sure if I could take another roller coaster ride like that again, barreling to the tip top of the tracks and then crashing down over and over.

At the time I was sending out queries in batches of ten, and an agent from the second round of queries asked for an R&R. I read over her email and loved everything she’d suggested. So I immediately stopped querying and took about two months to make the changes.

Then, when I thought I might finally be ready, I sent the agent  the new manuscript back, and sent out another couple rounds, confident this new version was so much stronger.

It turned out it was. In the morning on November 24th I woke up to an email from Silvia Molteni of Peters Fraser and Dunlop. She said she loved the manuscript and read it in one day, and she asked if we could speak on the phone.

A call. The call.

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That’s basically what I did.

 

After recovering from my shock I sent her a very excited email back telling her I would love a call, and I was so excited she loved the manuscript. I gave her my phone number and then stared impatiently at my email icon for a several minutes before realizing…It’s 6pm in London, she’s probably home for the day. Crap.

Being a normal, non-mouth frothy type of person for the rest of the day was difficult, but I managed to pull it off for the most part. I went bookstore shopping with my family, and then we got lunch in one of my favorite little cafes.

The YA Word Nerds like to tease me that I’m still one of those people who talks on the phone instead of just texting. So when my phone rang I debated picking it up. It was a long number from Alberta. Telemarketer, I decided. Probably just someone trying to tell me I’ve won an Alaskan cruise. No thanks.

Then my phone rang again, another outrageously long number. I looked at it and hemmed and hawed and both my brother and my mom went, Just answer it! And I did, and it was  Silvia, calling me really, really late her time.

We talked, it was loud inside. I went outside, it was even louder, due to the windstorm going on. But it was slightly better than the loud indie music in the cafe so I braved the weather for a few minutes.

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Now picture me with a cell phone in one hand.

I had to run to the shelter of my car so I could actually hear her. After the call, I emailed all the agents with my full. I also emailed all the agents I had queried in the last two months who hadn’t answered yet, which is something that a lot of writers don’t realize they can do (I recommend it, since quite a few of them asked to see the full so they could read before the deadline).

A few days later, after the initial excitement had died down, I got another email asking for a call. I could barely believe it. It had been shocking that one agent had loved it, to have another ask for a call was something I hadn’t even dreamed of. We talked the day after, and she offered as well. I was completely floored, and spent the next few days in kind of a daze.

And then a third email asking for a call came in. This time the agent wanted to talk to me about an R&R. Changes she and her team wanted me to make before she could offer. Not an offer yet, but still three agents very interested.

I repeatedly pinched myself.

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The day before the deadline I got a fourth email, and one I’d kind of been afraid of. By that time I had ceased walking around bumping into objects, and I was kind of leaning toward one agent in particular. I was fairly sure we were the best match. I felt our visions lined up. That she was enthusiastic and that we had “clicked”. But I knew a dream agent still had my full. An agent who had been on my “top agents” list since I’d started querying four years ago.

And then, the email came. The dream agent wanted a call.

And I knew I had one day to make the biggest decision of my life.

I know for some people it’s not “the biggest decision”. It’s not deciding where to live, it’s not figuring out if you want kids, it’s not taking the red pill or the blue pill. But to me, it might as well have been. Writing is my life, so this…this was big, and scary. A terrifying, life-altering decision that needed to be made in roughly half a day. One in a half if I wanted to stretch the deadline a bit, and I had too many people waiting to feel comfortable doing that.

So I paced back and forth. I agonized. I made pros and cons lists, lists of what was important to me, diagrams, maps…okay maybe not maps, but there was plenty of frenzied chart making.

This decision between the agent I had really clicked with and the agent that had been on the top of my list for years, was brutal. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The thing was, there was no WRONG answer. Both of the agents were awesome for different reasons. A cold, hard business decision would have been dream agent, because her sales are unbelievable and I right now I have NYT best selling books on my shelf that she reps.

But the other agent also had terrific sales, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the call we had. About her sheer passion for the project, her love of Oscar Wilde, the way she talked about the characters like they were real, live people. A choice guided by emotion or “gut instinct” was her.

So how was I supposed to choose?

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But since there was also no wrong choice, since both the agents were with excellent agencies, since both had great sales, at the end of the day I decided I had to follow my heart.

Yes, I know that sounds less like a business decision and more like a Disney movie, but I also know that your agent has to be your partner, your cheerleader, your tireless advocate. That’s not to say that dream agent wouldn’t have been, but the more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that the agent who had originally offered (Silvia) was also a dream agent at this point. The thought of turning her offer down made my stomach turn. The thought seemed…wrong.

I made my decision finally, sent off the emails…and sat there quietly for about ten minutes. Then I burst into tears.

But then I realized how silly I was crying, because I had an agent, so I was laughing at myself. And crying, and laughing and…it was ugly.

We’ll say no more about that.

Days later, having emailed back and forth with more questions and signed the contract, I know I made the right decision for me.

So it’s time to break out the happy dance.

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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/28288882@N08/4548845462″>Still Life (35mm) – Typewriter</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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On Paper Books (and Libraries)

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The other day I had an argument online (you know that’s never going to end well) after I posted what I thought was a fairly innocuous little vlog about how much I love libraries. How, as a child, I always longed after the library in The Beauty and the Beast.

Someone commented on this post on my facebook, stating that no one should read paperbooks anymore, since we’re killing trees for them, and ebooks are the way of the future. Paper books are a fad that needs to die out.

Here’s the thing, it may be true that ebooks are the way of the future. I don’t disagree with that.

They’re lighter, easier to carry from place to place with you, cheaper to buy. There are many reasons that ebooks are better than paper books.

But I’m not going to feel guilty for loving paper books. There are many things that are killing this world and destroying the environment. There are many things that humans should feel guilty for. I should feel guilty for running too much water when I shower too long. I should feel guilty for throwing away too many plastic water bottles. For letting the car run for an extra fifteen minutes that one time. For littering.

Don’t ask me to feel guilty for loving books. I never will.

When I buy a book, it gets loved. I read it and keep it, reserving a spot for it on my shelf. Months later, if I particularly loved the book, I’ll reread it. Twice, maybe three times. I’ll lend it out to friends. I’ll use it to prop my vlogging camera up on. I’ll dip back into it to see what that particular writer did to evoke that particular emotion  I had, or just for inspiration if I’m feeling stuck.

I cannot dream surrounded by ebooks. I cannot bask in the smell of them. I do not feel joy lift my heart and chest when I see the shelves upon shelves of electronic files all around me. So no…to me, ebooks are not better.

I don’t have anything against them, actually. I just bought my first kindle (look at me go, technology!  Wow!) but I’m not going to stop buying paper books. I’m not going to stop enjoying the feeling of cracking the spine for the first time, or running my fingers over a beautiful, embossed cover, or displaying them on my shelves according to color and size. There will never be a day when that happens.

I don’t know what this post was meant to be. It started out a rant, I think, and progressed into a love poem to books. I think I’m okay with that. I think it’s a better note to end on.

 

In case you’re wondering, here’s the (apparently) not so innocuous video that triggered it all:

 

 

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/26037487@N02/2768700279″><untitled> 194</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

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As someone who’s written a book based on Norse mythology—which is something that Marvel has used very freely—I’m used to getting questions like, “Is this a fanfic?” and, “Did you copy Thor?”

The answer is no, and no again. And also, I thought I’d write you a blog post about Norse Mythology and how awesome it is.

Norse Mythology originates from the northernmost parts of Europe. Most of what we know today comes from medieval texts, written in Iceland for the most part. Marvel has taken it and added what they like to it (which is fine, so have I). For example, in most of the texts, Thor is actually a hammer-wielding ginger. Not a blond, as the movies portray him. Creative license can be used with mythology, since there are many interpretations.

If you’re very familiar with Norse Mythology, this will be old hat for you. But for those who are new to it, here’s a brief run-down of the nine words. A beginner’s guide, if you will:

Basically, the nine worlds are hanging out on this massive ash tree called The World Tree (or Yggdrasil, if you want to get fancy).

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  • Vanaheim

The Vanis are gods associated with fertility and nature, as well as predicting the future. Other than that, the ancient texts are pretty quiet about what kind of world Vanaheim was. We do know that they went to war with Asgard though.

 

  • Asgard

Most people have a passing familiarity with the name, thanks to Marvel. Asgard is the home of the gods. It’s where Odin hangs out. It’s also where the Vikings believed Valhalla was located. There are loads of details in the old texts about Asgard. Suffice to say, that a lot of drinking and partying went on there.

  • Alfheim

Alfheim is the home of the light elves. On the World Tree it sits right next to Asgard. Alfheim is actually only mentioned a couple times in the old texts, but we are told the light elves are “fairer to look upon than the sun”.

  • Svartalfheim

Pretty much the opposite of Alfheim. The dark elves are “black as pitch” and hate the sun. It’s unclear whether the texts make the occupants of Svartalfheim out to be actual elves (like in Alfheim) or Dwarves, as there is some reference to both.

  • Nidavellir

Home of the Dwarves. The Dwarves are master craftsman, and have gifted the gods with things like Thor’s hammer, a ship called Skidbladnir that fits in one’s pocket (very handy) and a golden boar that can run through air and water. There is some debate over Nidavellir and Svartalfheim. Some say they are joined, and occupied by two different races who share the lands.

  • Midgard

Midgard is the visible world. The human world. It sits right next to Jotunheim and under Asgard on the World Tree. When they created the world, the gods fenced Midgard off so the Jotun couldn’t get in. During Ragnarok (the end times), Midgard sinks into the sea and then emerges again.

  • Jotunheim

Clearly my favorite world. Jotunheim is also called “Utgard” in Old Norse, which means “Beyond the Fence”.  Jotunheim is described as an eternal winter, a place full of thick forests and towering mountains. It’s a little wild and a little dangerous. The perfect place to set a story!

  • Muspelheim

Realm of the Fire Giants. The loose interpretation of the word Muspelheim is “end of the world through fire”, and some think the Fire Giants are bound to cause Ragnarok, which is why the Queen in FROST has a mad obsession with killing off every Fire Giant in sight. During Ragnarok, the Fire Giant Surt (the black one) shows up with a flaming sword to slay the gods.

  • Helheim

The daughter of Loki, Hel, is the ruler of the underworld. It is under some debate if the goddess Hel is a personification of the underworld. She is said to live in a vast mansion with many rooms, and has the power to resurrect the dead (as she does with the god Baldr).

So Norse mythology is pretty badass. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Er…tree branch. If you haven’t looked into it much, I suggest checking it out. If that seems like a lot of work, you can always read FROST when it comes out.

By Thor’s hammer, that was a subtle pitch!

Frost Front Cover

 

 

Stock Photos:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/12706161@N03/14094740756″>Canon EOS 60D – Harry Potter – Ice Palace</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/98799884@N00/3108827633″>December Moonlight 4</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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FROST: Cover Reveal

Announcing the official unveiling of the cover for FROST! I’m so excited to show this bad boy off! Without further adieu:

FROST cover

Back Cover Description:

Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying.

When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fuelled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ranorak, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her.

Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.

And there was much rejoicing! Also, preorders are up! Those who preorder are also eligible for a wicked awesome contest where you can win a chance to be an “extra” in book 2! More details about the contest are coming soon. But in the meantime, if you preorder, be sure to hold onto your email receipt, or screenshot the little “thank you for ordering” after it comes up!

Preorder here:

AMAZON

AMAZON.CA

KOBO

ITUNES

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FROST Announcement

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Yesterday I hinted to my “secret” FROST facebook group that I would have big news. Then I ran away snickering because I’m cruel like that. But today I finally get to announce it.

FROST has a release date, and a new home. And eventually a new cover.

Pretty much everything is new and exciting, and I’m like some kind of giant magpie over here,  I can hardly contain myself because of all the new, shiny stuff. So without any more ado, or posturing, or flailing, or any of the stuff I love so much…here we go:

FROST will be published by Patchwork Press on September 1st, 2015.

That’s the other big announcement, by the way. I will not be going it alone! Patchwork Press will be launching the FROST series, with at least three books in the series planned.

Here is a bit of an expansion on my statement from the site:

“I`m so excited to make this announcement. And proud. And excited. Okay, mostly excited. I`m so happy to be joining the ladies at Patchwork Press and I look forward to working with them on the launch of the FROST series.

The book started out on Wattpad’s online community, born from a simple question of “What would you like to read next?” propelled by reader`s speculation and suggestions all the while I was writing it. So it only makes sense that it would be championed by a press that is run by readers and writers. By a community.

On Wattpad, the book seemed to explode. I went from 2k readers to 50k in under a year, and the book has racked up over 10 million reads. It’s been years since I’ve updated it, and right now it’s somehow sitting at #15 on the “What’s Hot” list.

As much as it sometimes makes me scratch my head, the answer is always readers. It’s the community. Wattpad readers don’t just love to read, they love to TALK about reading. They get excited. They spread the word about the books they love. I’ve never found a more involved, exciting, encouraging reading and writing community.

And with the upcoming launch, and the support of Patchwork Press, I hope to expand this community even more.”

Check out the rest here.

Frost

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