Friday, December 28, 2012

Feature & Follow



Q: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?

A: Oh my gosh, there are so many great books out there!  I think everyone should read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  That is one of my favorite books that leads into an awesome series and spin off series.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Guest Post: Brian Rowe

Please welcome one of my favorite indie authors Brian Rowe
to Fantasy Book Chick...

Brian Rowe's Guest Post

So why spend a year of my life writing a YA trilogy about monsters, of all things? My first YA trilogy — the three Happy Birthday to Me books — took my readers into strange and daring places, but still mostly resembled real life, with a strong and tragic romance at the center of it all. My second YA trilogy is a different beast altogether, one that takes a group of film geeks and pits them against every monster known to man. I think my switch in genre for the second trilogy has perplexed some of my readers; the Grisly High books are definitely the evil little stepchildren to Happy Birthday to Me. Both are YA, both have strong, capable teenagers who find themselves in extraordinary situations, but the tone is different in my new trilogy. The Vampire Underground (Book 1), The Zombie Playground (Book 2), and The Monster Apocalypse (Book 3) are meant to be pure entertainment. There is romance in the three books, complete with a romantic finale in Book 3 that I hope will be unexpected. But the real focus I put into these three books was making them scary. Who doesn’t love to be scared?

I grew up on horror, immersing myself in the work of R.L. Stine as early as age eight. While the Goosebumps and Fear Street books are not great literature, they kept me up many a late night, and I was partly inspired by Stine’s books to craft a new trilogy of teen horror novels for the twenty-first century. Another experience that played into the formation of these books was my visit to Bodie Ghost Town back in 2002, when I spent half a day traipsing around a forgotten city of decrepit buildings and eerie silences, and I couldn’t stop thinking that day that I needed to set one of my stories there. When some found out I was writing a “vampire” novel, they told me I was just trying to hop onto the Twilight craze, but that wasn’t the case at all. I had the idea for Book 1, The Vampire Underground, for ten years, and had always imagined vampires living underneath the ghost town. It’s how, from the beginning, I wanted to tell this story. With famous, iconic monsters!

But the biggest influence on the Grisly High trilogy is my love for horror movies. The maincharacters of the trilogy — Brin, Ash, Anaya, and Mr. Barker — love movies, but not even Ash loves movies as much as I do. My dad introduced me to horror movies at a young age, and by the time I was eleven I had seen all the classics, from Frankenstein to Psycho, from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Halloween, from The Evil Dead to A Nightmare on Elm Street, I’d seen them all. While I was finishing writing Happy Birthday to You and planning The Vampire Underground, I was trying to find who my main characters were. Making them film buffs just made perfect sense to me. What’s more ironic than a group of horror film nuts who go to a strange town to make a horror movie, who then come incontact with real deal horror movie villains themselves? I was intrigued bythis idea and decided to run with it.

When I finished The Vampire Underground, I initially outlined six more books in the Grisly High series. The second book, The Zombie Playground, is still what it would’ve been in that seven-book series, but the others were going to revolve around one single creature each. Book 3 was to be demons, Book 4 was to be ghosts, Book 5 was to be werewolves, Book 6 was to be aliens, and Book 7 was going to feature all of these monsters fighting each other in the most epic, giant battle in all of literature history! But when I reached the end of The Zombie Playground, I realized that these books lived or died based on the relationships of the core characters, and that I only needed one more book to say everything I wanted to say about Brin and Ash and Anaya and Mr. Barker, and bring this Grisly Highstory full-circle.

The Zombie Playground was a blast to write because I’d always wanted to blend two things that I’d never seen blended together before, in a book, or a film: the horror genre, with the sport of golf. It was so much fun to devise a story that would bring these two elements together in a way that makes sense, and I loved expanding on the mythology of the Grisly town to bring zombies into the forefront, after focusing on vampires in the first book.

Finally, The Monster Apocalypse, let’s face it, throws in everything but the kitchen sink. I really upped the stakes in Happy Birthday to You, the third and final book of my Birthday trilogy, and such is the case with this third book of the Grisly High trilogy. In this final chapter I set out to craft the most surprising,action-packed book I’ve written yet. All of the subplots are wrapped up, both old and new characters discover their fates, and every monster, from aliens to witches to werewolves, is finally accounted for. The first two books are fun, but they’re mere samples to the chaos and craziness of The Monster Apocalypse!

Connect with Brian: Goodreads  Blog  Twitter  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas


I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  
Hope you all have a wonderful, fun and safe Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

3 

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! 

Last week I Read: 
LS: Deception (LS #2) by Kelvin O' Ralph

Deception (LS, #2) 

This week I'm reading: 
The Monster Apocalypse (Grisly High #3) by Brian Rowe

The Monster Apocalypse (Grisly High #3) 

Next I'm going to read: 
The Sword Guest (Dragon's Pupils #1) by Martin Chu Shui

The Sword Guest (Dragon's Pupils, #1) 

What are you reading?
 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: LS: Deception (LS #2) by Kelvin O' Ralph

Deception (LS, #2)  

Book: LS: Deception (LS #2)
Author: Kelvin O' Ralph
Publisher: Kelvin O' Ralph
Rating: 3 Stars
Level: Young Adult
Source: e-book Review Copy

Summary from Goodreads:
Lisa and Stephen are back together as a new school year kicks off. This time, they're much stronger than they've ever been, plus their love life gears to the next stage. Everything seems perfect as they learn about Lisa's new abilities, until Lisa's father, Ben Morgan is attacked while receiving an award.

In this installment of LS, the two lovers face what seems to be their greatest challenge. As they uncover the mystery behind the attacks on their lives, they are left to make a final decision. It's time to fight back.

My Review:
Deception is a good sequel to this series. It had been a while since I had read the first one so I was trying to remember what had already happened. This one picks up where The Beginning left off.

Stephen and Lisa are back together as a couple. While they are still trying to figure things out with their relationship they are also working on their powers. Lisa has grown really strong in her powers, there is so much more that she can do. Then Stephen gets another house guest, another cousin. There was something about her throughout the book that I just couldn't put my finger on. Some things were answered from the previous book but this one created a lot more questions.

The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that the characters are just so nice. I know this may sound strange but even when they were mad they were still like super nice and friendly. It just seemed a bit fake to me. Otherwise I enjoyed it. I think this is a good, fun series. The author has left us with another cliffhanger ending. It sounds like it's going to get more interesting and hopefully we'll learn more about the characters and their powers. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and see what happens next.

This e-book was provided to me by the author for review. This did not affect my review in any way.

Connect with the author: Goodreads  Blog  Facebook  Twitter  

Purchase the book: Smashwords  Amazon  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In my mailbox

The Monster Apocalypse (Grisly High #3)  

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristy @ The Story Siren

This week I received for review:

*I was happy to get this, I really like this series.
It's true to the series title Grisly, but really fun to read!*

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guest Post: Ron Gavalik ~ Grit City Publications



Achieve Success from Your Creative Talents
Ron Gavalik

Throughout civilized human history, creative minds of every type were comforted by the knowledge that if a publisher, producer, or gallery accepted their work, they’d receive financial support in the form of advanced payments and promotional initiatives. In essence, after years of struggle, rejection, and torment, the creator was chosen by an elite group of tycoons to be idolized above others. In return, he or she wasn’t asked to perform any kind of true marketing efforts, aside from public appearances.

In today’s business world, that’s rarely the case.

The influx of creative small businesses and indie creators has diluted the arts and entertainment markets. That shift in business has forced creative talents to perform their own marketing initiatives to achieve success. Some creative professionals believe this to be an unfair burden. Others herald it as an opportunity to have more control. No matter how you view the circumstances, it’s a reality that must be understood.

It’s astonishing how many talented writers, artists, and performers pour passion and professionalism into their creative endeavors, but then practice marketing initiatives like an amateur. It’s the equivalent of buying a $500 pool stick, but never practicing the game. When it comes time to prove your skills, that shiny pool stick is only as effective as the player who wields it. In other words, it’s simply not enough to have a fantastic creative product. You must know how to market that product to mass audiences to win the game.

That’s why our team developed Financial Success for Creative Professionals. The plan is the first proven set of marketing procedures, guaranteed to achieve long-term success for writers, artists, musicians, and performers of all stripes.

To ensure creative success in today’s market, there are a number of steps that must be completed. Let’s briefly explore each of them.

Understand the truth about marketing artistic creations. So many people believe marketing is subjective, much like abstract painting or poetry. It isn’t. Marketing is really about the science of consumer psychology. You must reach the correct audiences to maximize exposure of your work, draw in potential fans, and then drive revenue. When you truly understand the fundamental theory about generating mass awareness of your creative experiences and know how to shape the perception of your work, it’s hundreds of times easier to get noticed and achieve success.

Most marketing professionals hold advanced degrees. The FSCP marketing plan contains the same resources marketing pros use for success, but developed specifically for creative professionals.

Build your marketing structure. Before an artistic talent can sell work to a base of potential consumers, you must first build your marketing structure. That includes a comprehensive website (not just a simple blog), a strong social media presence, and a uniquely branded market position. You must also use mass communications vehicles (email newsletters, for example) to build relationships with your future fans. No one, and I mean no one will buy a book, portrait, MP3, or any kind of creation without having achieved emotional investment in the creator and your products. The FSCP marketing plan provides you the ability to build your uniquely branded market position, set pricing, and then shows you how to interact with hundreds of thousands of consumers to maximize sales and raise the quality of life for your fans.

Take advantage of media marketing opportunities. The meat of any marketing initiative must include interacting with potential fans. This is referred to as shaking hands and relationship building. Much in the same way a car salesperson walks up to a consumer and extends a hand, the FSCP marketing plan shows you how to use the power of the web to connect with hundreds of thousands of consumers through social media, the news media, and personal print media. Using these techniques provides consumers an easy path to personally identify with your artistic creations and then become emotionally invested. This is sometimes referred to as the “warm fuzzies.”

Once the warm fuzzies are achieved, your potential fans are empowered with the knowledge that purchasing your work will benefit them in some way. Remember, your creative efforts are meant to enhance the lives of others. When a potential fan personally identifies with your creation and they’re given a clear path to enjoy the experience, it’s like taking candy from a baby.

Diversify your income from multiple venues. Success is never achieved by selling one product in one location. That’s one of the biggest mistakes made by indie authors, artists, and performers. Your creations must sell in multiple locations to reach the maximum number of targeted consumers that identify with your style. It’s also paramount that each creator offers several products and accessory items for sale, such as t-shirts or bookmarks.

For example: an indie author with a book released must ensure it’s selling in each possible retail location. Sure, Amazon may have 60% or more of the book buying public, but that doesn’t mean you ignore the other 40% that shops on lesser-known retailers. Furthermore, offering accessories increases revenue and provides depth that large publishers always provide for intellectual property and indies usually lack.

Those are the basic high-level steps that every creative talent must follow to achieve true financial success in each respective field. As stated earlier, the FSCP marketing plan is guaranteed to deliver that success to each creator and it’s why our team is so proud to have published it for your use.

It’s my hope that you’re taking your creative career seriously. It’s not always easy to rise above the chaos, but if you follow the proven plan, it’s an amazing experience to watch consumers around the world swoon over your creations that raise their quality of life. That’s a true gift and your legacy. Be proud of it.

As the tagline goes, “If you pour your passions into each project or performance, you must propel your career to the next level, realize your full potential and achieve financial success.”

Together, we’ll make it happen!

Good hunting.


Ron Gavalik’s Bio:

Ron Gavalik is the author of Financial Success for Creative Professionals and has over 20 years of celebrated experience in corporate and creative marketing. This former Director of Communications has assisted private, nonprofit, and artistic organizations achieve success through grassroots experience marketing initiatives. Gavalik is currently the Publisher for Grit City Publications and creator of the innovative Emotobooks fiction medium. He holds a B.S. in Marketing Communications from Point Park University and an M.A. in Writing from Seton Hill University. His work in the arts has shaped success for countless creative professionals who seek financial independence.

Contact Info:
Website: http://creativesuccess.net
Facebook: http://facebook.com/GritCityPublications
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RonGavalik

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In my mailbox

Guardian  

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristy @ The Story Siren 

This past week I downloaded free on Amazon (promo):
Guardian (The Guardian #1) by Gillian Joy


Friday, December 7, 2012

In my mailbox

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)  

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristy @ The Story Siren

This week I won:
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
by Laini Taylor

What did you get this week?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Kindred (Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy #2) by Michelle Cornwell-Jordan

Kindred (Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy) Novella#2 

Book: Kindred (Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy) Novella#2 (Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy #2)
Author: Michelle Cornwell-Jordan
Publisher: Michelle Cornwell-Jordan
Rating: 4 Stars
Level: Young Adult
Source: E-Book Review Copy

Summary from Goodreads:
The Kindred is the second novella in The Night School Vampire Hunter trilogy.

Angel and her friends at Ame Academy, a boarding school for preternatural and humans are back, and they are preparing for battle against the dark forces that kidnapped Angel’s younger brother Jordan. Angel had recently discovered that she was a Hunter and that she alone has a special weapon against her enemies, her blood, which is discovered to be toxic to her enemies. Angel is prepared to use her training and all that is at her disposal in order to save Jordan, even if that means joining forces with the strange and mysterious Rafael, who at their first meeting, she recognized him as the boy she had dreamed about for weeks prior to his arrival at the school. Angel cannot shake the feeling that she knew Rafael before, and is hopelessly drawn to her extremely handsome fellow hunter.

Rafael frightens her, he hints of a secret; another time and another life lived.

Can love survive two lifetimes?

Events unfold that provides the answers to who Rafael really is and what they mean to one another; and along with these strange and blossoming emotions for Rafael, along with guilt and fear for her brothers safety; Angel discovers that she is more than just a Vampire Hunter, and that she plays a major role in a ancient prophecy, which she must fulfill by facing a force so evil that survival is not promised.

But she will face the Dark One, Angel will sacrifice all, if it means saving all whom she loves.

Many questions are answered, but the drama is just beginning….

My Review: 
Kindred is a great sequel to Night School. I have been waiting to read Kindred, I loved reading the first one. It is set in the same format as the first one, in a blog post style, which I think is really neat.

Dasheen (aka Angel) with the help of her friends is trying to figure out a way to get her brother back from a group of Vampires. But that's not all, there is one that wants to release an ancient evil, a Wasiki that will destroy some of the others. Then there is her mysterious relationship with Rafael and how he fits into her background.

In this one, we are introduced to the Thunderkin, a creature/being I have never read about before. I really enjoyed reading about the Thunderkin and finding out how they fit into this story. Most of the book is told from Dasheen's point of view. Although we do get to read some from her friend Elin and from Rafael. I was a bit shocked by some of the background information we learned and the unique twists and turns that this book throws at you. I would have liked for this to be longer so we could have learned more about Dasheen's other friends backgrounds and just more happening in the present. Most of this novella was packed with the background of Dasheen, Rafael and the Thunderkin. I'm waiting patiently (ok trying to) for the third novella. I would love to see this be made into a longer series, love it that much!

This e-book was provided to me by the author for review. This did not affect my review in any way.

Connect with the author: Website  Blog  Goodreads  Facebook  Twitter  

Purchase the book:  Amazon  Smashwords