Friday, September 19, 2014

Sherry Gammon Audiobook Cover Reveal

Welcome my special guest, author Sherry Gammon!

Unlovable is now an audiobook!! If you click here you can get the audiobook for free with a 30 day free trial of Audible on Amazon!! You can't beat free!!

Along with the release of the audiobook, I've redesigned the covers of the first two books in the Port Fare series. ( I'm designing covers now. Click here and check them out!) To celebrate the new look, I am giving away paperback copies of the entire series. 

Here is the new cover for Unlovable. I didn't change it too much because I really loved the original one. (Thank you, Paul Beeley), but another author came out with almost the exact same cover, including the coloring :'(

I kept the girl on the swing because she fits Maggie's story perfectly, though I did add flowers to the swing. The rest has been changed completely. I love the blues and pinks, and I've always wanted a moon on the cover. I also added Maggie's trailer in the background!
                                                       
                                                             Here is the eBook cover:


And this is the Paperback


     This is the audio book cover.


 This is the new cover for Unbelievable! It's a real change. I feel this cover fits the story so much better. Lilah feels trapped by her domineering father and his demands. She desperately wants to break free...can't tell you anymore or I'll spoil the story  I feel this new cover portrays Lilah and what she is going through in a much stronger way, and it seems to fit in better with the other covers. While I loved the old cover, and had a huge say in its design, (Thank you again, Paul) it seemed out of place with book one & three's covers. This one holds the same "feel," if you will.

Here is the Ebook cover:



And this is the paperback



Unbearable's cover didn't really change, only the back was updated.


So, what do you think??



Purchase links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, September 15, 2014

Reality vs Fiction ... And Some Fun

This whole thing is beyond enough. I'm firmly convinced that if I tried to write this as fiction, few would believe it.

I've posted several times about this plagiarism issue. Having been kind of behind the scenes as the story has unfolded, it's been a sad and fascinating journey.

As a further update to the drama, Rachel Nunes (the author who was plagiarized) reported that she had been in contact by Army veteran Chase Weston about the article he wrote that Rushton also plagiarized (you can see details in John Dopp's post here).

The Westons were appalled to discover what had happened. Mrs. Weston wrote an open letter to Tiffanie Rushton and asked Rachel to post it (you can see it here). It's heartbreaking to read.

And if that wasn't bad enough ...

Last week I posted an update that included a list of plagiarist Tiffanie Rushton's sock puppet names. You can find the post here. Someone who appeared to be a parent of one of Rushton's students posted in the comments that the names of the sock puppets were children from Rushton's class!

I notified Rachel, and they were able to check the school's yearbook and, sure enough, they were. At the request of that parent in a subsequent post, I redacted the surnames of the students. John Dopp, when he found out about it, did the same on his post.

I understand that Rushton--finally--has been put on administrative leave by her school district. Once again, a plea to everyone not to attack the woman. It's in the hands of the court now. Others could be taking action against her too.

I hope this raises some discussions at family dinner tables about plagiarism and identity theft.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a happier note, I spent the weekend at the iWriteNetwork writing retreat. Something fun that we did was do the "beats" from Blake Snyder's Save the Cat while we watched the movie Iron Man.

View from the front
Kitchen and One Gathering Area
Hot Tub and Grill - Yum!
Gathering on First Night



Almost the entire group.

What did you do this weekend?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Plagiarism Update

Tiffanie Rushton aka Sam Taylor Mullens
Sam Taylor Mullens, the woman caught plagiarizing author Rachel Nunes, has been identified as a Utah school teacher by the name of Tiffanie Rushton. She's been served with a summons to appear in federal court. Some of the things she's been charged with include:

* Copyright infringement
* Defamation
* False light
* Injurious falsehood
* Harassment
* False advertising
* Deceptive trade practices

Evidently she faces statutory damages in the neighborhood of $150,000.00, if the case if successful. That's in addition to damages for every sale of the infringing work, damages, and attorney’s fees.

It's also my understand that the schools take quite a strong position on plagiarism. She could lose her job.

Through the course of this whole thing unfolding, people kept talking about sock puppets. In case you don't know what that is, it's when someone creates false online identities and uses those to post about products, in this situation, books.

Here's a list of the ones that have been tied to Rushton. You might want to make see if you're friends with any of them on Facebook:

• Lucy [withheld]
• Jennifer [withheld]
• Macey [withheld]
• Abigail [withheld]
• Abby [withheld]
• Abigail Booklover [withheld]
• Jennifer Booklover
• Mecedes Booklover [withheld]
• Emma [withheld]
• Bethany [withheld]
• Moonshine and Books
• Simple Book Reviews
• Elle [withheld]
• Gibby C
• Hailey [withheld]
• Hannah
• Ky [withheld]
• Rylee [withheld]
• Sierra [withheld]
• W [withheld]
• Aubrey [withheld]

It seems Rushton was also soliciting manuscripts under some of these, so she could review them. This is a cautionary tale about authors giving out their manuscripts in the hopes of getting reviews and ending up being plagiarized.
Plea - Rachel has asked that people not attack Tiffanie Rushton. It's in the hands of the court, and we should let it play out there.
John Dopp wrote a great article about the whole situation here.

David Farland also wrote a post here. He has suggested that he might stop buying indie books now because the issue of sock puppets seems to be so prevalent. I think that's a bit of an overreaction. I don't use sock puppets to boost my reviews, and I know a bazillion legitimate indie authors who don't use sock puppets. David Farland is a hybrid author now, as is Rachel Nunes. Should she be punished twice?

What do you think? Are you so put off by this whole situation that you might not buy indie anymore?

ETA: It appears that Rushton has used the names of some of her students for her sock puppets. A parent has requested that I remove the last names to protect the children. I have done so.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jaleta Clegg Guest Post

I've got a special guest today, author Jaletta Clegg. She and I have met at a few writing events, and she's so fun to talk to. I love the premise of her newest book, Dark Dancer

Since I've got both Fantasy and SciFi projects I'm working on, I thought it would be interesting if she talked about how authors create entire worlds for their fiction. Take it away, Jaletta!

Building a World

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Donna. And for posing such an interesting topic. How do authors create whole worlds for their stories? I don't know how other authors do it, but my process is like shooting peas with a shotgun. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

I like to start with a general framework, the basic shape of the world. Then I fill it in as I go and as the story needs it. This sometimes means I get to do a lot of editing if something major changes with the story. But it also means I get to play with my imagination and add in cool little details as I dream them up.

Sometimes I'll start with one idea, one picture in my head, that I really want to write about. Then I build a story around it.

For Dark Dancer, I wanted to do elves with airships and a steampunk vibe. And pirates. I really wanted an elf as a pirate captain, with his airship. I blame this idea on my kids watching too much anime where I could watch, too, and on a friend of mine who wrote some very cool books about fairyland. Not the Tinkerbell variety of fairies, but dark and sinister and self-serving and magical and all kinds of interesting. The fae or fey, depending on which translation you read. My elves are a mash-up between Tolkein, Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream, and legends of the wild hunt and the fae from the Celtic and Irish tradition.

I also love this picture. It sparked the idea of a dancer, a human who can open the door to fairyland. I pulled in some of the myths about fairy rings and dancing and the fairy revels and places of power to fill in the idea.

All of these things went into my head where I turned on my story blender. Out came the world of Dark Dancer. It's a fairy world where magic has been harnessed to run machines. The rulers, the Lords of the Seligh, have even gone so far as to divide the world into the Summerlands and the Winterlands. The land between is a no-man's land, a desolate wasteland dying from a lack of magic. It has airships, and an elf pirate captain who defies the Seligh every chance he gets. It has dancers, Sabrina and her cousin Katie, who just might change the world of the fae. It has hints of other lands, other creatures, other adventures that I haven't written yet.

I may have to re-visit my world again and explore new horizons. Because a world is only limited by your imagination. For now, enjoy Dark Dancer and its magical steampunk airships and elven pirates.

You can find a complete list of all my work at http://www.jaletac.com

Available in ebook and print.
Smashwords (all ebook formats)

To celebrate the release of Dark Dancer, Jaletta's having a giveaway.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 2014 ISWG

Click here to find out more and to see a list of other IWSG blogs.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Wow. I woke up this morning and realized it was the first Wednesday of the month. How did that happen so fast?

This is going to be a crazy month for me. A lot of commitments are coming due, and the most stressful comes in a couple of weeks. I've been invited to be the keynote speaker at a writing retreat. After I found out I was supposed to speak for 45 minutes rather than 15, I picked myself up off the floor and decided on a topic.

Then, last night, I found out a prominent author (and editor) is going to be attending the retreat.

Total freak out!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jo Noelle Blog Hop

I'm moving my usual Friday spotlight/review post from last week to today. I'm excited to spotlight a triple release by debut author Jo Noelle.

First, about Jo Noelle.

Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids.

She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains.

Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.


Yes! A mother/daughter writing team. How fun is that?

To celebrate, there's a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now for the books ...

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile.

 At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.

 Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.


MY TAKE
I've had a chance to read Newbie and loved it. Sophie's inner thoughts are a delight. She just makes me smile. Her journey as a newbie teacher is real and touching. If you've ever thought about being a teacher, this book will give you a feel for what it might be like. And I'm totally Team Liam.

Can't wait to read these other two books.


 Lexi Middleton has been socially invisible to her classmates, but starting her junior year, that’s going to change. First, she’s determined to hook a boyfriend, ensuring dates with flowers and possible kisses on the doorstep. Second, she wants to be a writer for the school paper, even though it freaks her out to think of everyone judging her by her punctuation and metaphors. High school is difficult enough—keeping up her grades, dealing with increasing sibling rivalry, and trying to stay out of the way of her personal nemesis, Amberlee—but when Lexi catches the eye of her long-time crush, she also becomes the focus of mean-girl tactics. Caught between who she was and who she wants to be, Lexi must decide how to confront a bully, and choose who to let into her heart.


Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days.  Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven.

            No sweat.

But when Cassie returns to earth during her three-week, mostly-mortal assignment, her old habits get in the way, (apparently habits don’t die when you do), the partners assigned to help her are anything but helpful, and it turns out the girl she is supposed to help is the only enemy she made on her first day of school.

            Oh, I’m so going to hell.

Things aren’t all bad—it helps to have a hot angel on your side. Mmm-Marc. Even though he’s all about heavenly business, Cassie would like to make it personal.

            Assignment with benefits.


Other Blog Hop Participants

Get the Details
1 winner will receive a $100.00 Amazon.com giftcard.
Blog hop and Rafflecopter registrations Begin 9/1/14 and End 9/7/14 MDT

This drawing is open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Card.  Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Check back on this blog between Sept. 8-10, 2014. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized and sponsored by Canda Mortensen & Deanna Henderson DBA Jo Noelle. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


ETA: The books are now available on Barnes & Noble.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Meandering

My hubby's brother and his wife have been here a couple of weeks now. We're still doing research about future house plans. Because of local zoning laws, we may be looking at two small houses rather than a duplex. When our kids were little, we needed lots of bedrooms. Now that they're grown with families of their own, we want a larger living room/great room to handle family gatherings.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What I've been reading (or listening to):
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
I'm seriously fan girling here. love Love LOVE the premise and execution of this series. I'm a huge SciFi fan, and to put it in a YA series that has a spin on fairytales?



Cinder does a futuristic twist on Cinderella, where our poor heroine is not only a stepsister forced to work for her stepmother but Cinder's also a cyborg. And it doesn't stop there.








Scarlet continues Cinder's story but weaves in another (connected) storyline with Little Red Riding Hood.

And Wolf? Oh, my.








Cress is originally introduced in the first book, but she gets her own tale (Rapunzel) in the third installment. I'm listening to this one right now.







The only thing I'm hating right now is the next book (Fairest which has the evil queen as the main character) isn't out until January and the last book (Winter--Snow White) isn't until November 2015. Nearly the end of 2015!

*sigh*

What have you been reading lately? Any fun stuff? 
What about your dream house? What's important to you?

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