Category: Giveaway


Hey all;

The party’s down a Cambria’s FB page here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138?ref=ts

where to celebrate the release of Charade, sequel to Maskerade, much fun is to be had!

Head on down there for all sorts of goss, prizes and no doubt the odd toilet snake…

And here’s hoping it goes with a swing! See you there, perhaps….

JAC

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To celebrate the release of On Dark Shores 2, the ebook of the first novella (ODS: The Lady) is free this week on Amazon.com (UK to follow) Smashers etc

Amazon.com link here: http://ow.ly/aVPn0
Help yourselves!!

If you feel inclined to pass the word onto others, that would be fab – and in the meantime, you should see the cover for the paperback in its lates incarnation! Watch this space….

<excited>
JAC

Dear all;
Today we have a guestpost and giveaway by the lovely Splitter, author of The Reluctant and it’s sequel The Willing. At the end will be a giveaway – a free copy of each and all you need to do to enter is comment with your worst joke or most embarrassing moment!

Alas at the mo my computer is offline & am having to upload this from my phone so apologies if the formatting is all shonky- I’ll sort that out later.

So here are Splitter’s books on Amazon (check out those reviews!) and will leave you with him!
JAC

Splitter’s page on Amazon.co.uk

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And Now for Something Completely Different: The US vs. the U.K.

No, I am not trying to rekindle unpleasantness that was settled more than 200 years ago. This post is about two countries separated by a common language who share completely different cultures.

Living in the US, we are somewhat insulated from the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, our largest export just might be our culture (for good or ill). Our television shows, movies, music, and books, end up all over the world. Most of us don’t take a lot of notice of things made elsewhere.

I guess I am a bit different because I have been a fan of British television since I was a kid. Dr. Who anyone? I, Claudius? I even watched soccer (sorry, I know that is a bad term over there but we have our own version of “football” and we get confused) and became a Manchester fan. We only got these movies and programs through our state’s public television stations and they were sandwiched between really worthless programming. But I loved them even though I did not always understand them.

Now, with the advent of satellites and cable, we are exposed to far more entertainment from around the world. Recently, my wife and I found BBC America on our cable system. They even show some old American shows that I still love like Star Trek the Next Generation.

But the most wonderful thing about BBC America is the programming that comes from Britain. Yes, they blur the naughty bits when there is nudity and bleep language too foul for our American ears (drives me nuts!), but the shows are outstanding!

We have a long history of stealing the best British TV shows and Americanizing them. “All in the Family” was a great old example and these days, we have “Being Human” among others. The thing is, there is nothing like the original.

In the newer British shows, I have been tremendously impressed with the writing and acting. I have favorite American TV shows too, but Hollywood turns out more trash than treasure by a wide margin. Britain seems to hit the nail on the head far more often.

Just some examples:

Luther: Who knew Stringer Bell had that accent? This show is spooky and deep with very conflicted characters. But our question is: Where are all the people? Luther is always running around an empty city. What gives? And maybe you should consider giving your police guns because Luther gets beat up a lot…by criminals with guns.

Torchwood: Ahhhh, a secondary character that should have been killed becomes a star. That’s ok, I like that woman. Great stories, but do you all really have such a problem with aliens? Why have we not heard anything about this? Seems like all of the police over there know about it. Your people are obviously better at keeping secrets than our people.

Bedlam: Now we are talking! All the actresses are super hot. My wife says the main guy is too…but she is married to me so if you question her taste, I understand. Insane Asylum turned condominium complex = win.

Fades: Maybe my favorite. Again, I find it hard to believe that so many people are dying and no one notices, but I am willing to suspend disbelief. I write fiction so I understand the need to play with reality a bit for the story. GREAT characters. I especially like the friend who is obsessed with women and Mork and Mindy. Really, though, my British friends….do all of your young men walk around in the same pink pants every day?

I had to make a stop on my blogtour here on JAC’s (that what I call her) blog because she has been such a supporter and is a talented writer in her own right. I am not sure that there is a large international market for my books because they are rather “American” in setting and language. My writing is also rather American and JAC and I have discussed the differences in styles before. So I am not sure you all will like them, but I did want you to know that some of us do appreciate what you have to offer. Maybe my books can be one of the things we export that the rest of the world might actually appreciate.

Eh, who am I kidding.

By the way, sorry for that whole “late to WWII” thing. And thanks for the Beatles. We do hope you are enjoying McDonalds, though.

I know…you all might have gotten the better end of the deal with the whole colony thing.

Splitter
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so peeps- to get your free copies of Splitter’s very entertaining books, all you need to do to enter is comment with your worst joke or most embarrassing moment!

We will post the winner over the weekend, and you may have the ebook in whatever format you specify.

Thanks for dropping by, all – now, enter below!
JAC

Hey all:

This week’s guest post is by another alumni of Creative Reviews, no less than Beth Ann Masarik. She has recently brought out Prince of Darkness, part of her trilogy The World Among Us. So all you fantasy  / romance fans, take a look at her interview below and be aware that she’s going to do a giveaway- there will be a couple of great prizes, all to be had for a simple comment below.

I leave you in Beth’s capable hands!

JAC

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Name: Beth Ann Masarik

Author of: The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness

Genre/s: Young Adult/Fantasy (Urban Fantasy)

P- or e-book: All formats…paperback, hardcover, and e-book

Available from:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords & Otherworld Publications

One-sentence summary: The World Among Us is a Young Adult/Fantasy Trilogy that has plenty of Greek Mythology & Vampire lore, and of course, forbidden love.

  One-sentence biog: I love to write, read and    role play.

 Links to your Blog / Twitter / FB / other:

The World Among Us Fanpage,

My Author fanpage

 Twitter accounts:

@theworldamongus &

@literarylunes

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When you write, do you have a routine or habit?

I usually like to write in my bed, with my pajamas on, and the music blasting in the background. I usually listen to something fast beat.  This is going to sound weird, but I like to try to write to the beat of the music. Does anyone else do that?  I also usually have either a glass of Pepsi or mom’s homemade iced tea & a bag of chips with me when I write.

What kicks off the book – a character, a situation, a plot-point? 

Usually a situation is what kicks off my books.

Do you plan the plot or follow it as it unfolds? How much do you know in advance? 

I usually do very little planning.  I like to have set goals or situations that have to happen in each book I write.  Otherwise, I usually just let my characters write the books, and I dictate.  Sometimes, however, my characters tend to sidetrack, and I have to get them back on track and plot a little bit.

Do you write character notes or background information?

Yes!  That is mostly what I plot. It’s how I get to know my characters.

Do you do research and how?

It depends on the topic I am writing about, but yes, I do research.  I usually browse the internet for said topic, and keep looking until I find whatever it is I am looking for.

Do your characters do as you intend or do they tend to run away with the plot? 

My main characters are generally good with doing what I want them to. However, once in a while they tend to get off track.

Do you have clear visuals of places or characters? 

Most of the time, yes I do.  It’s getting that vision into words that’s the problem sometimes.

When you have writer’s block, what do you do? 

When I have writer’s block, I usually put the book down for however long I need to, and read.  I usually read books in the genre I write in, and after a while, something I read or see in real life will spark an idea. I find that going to church is actually a good place to get inspiration from.  I often find myself zoning out of the homily’s after the gospel during mass, and entering the thoughts of my characters.  It’s a nice escape I have to say (especially if the sermon is really boring lol)

What made you decide to write this story? 

I’ve always been into the fantasy world, and love vampires and witches (not so much werewolves).  It was one of those stories that once I got the idea for it, it just HAD to be written.

What element did you start with and how did it develop? 

I started out with knowing the last ¼ of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness, and developed the story around it.  It sounds complicated, and I guess you could say I kind of wrote the book backwards, but it developed nicely (I think).

Did anything change substantially along the way?

Sometimes something that started as a detail suddenly becomes a plot point. Have you had that happen and what was it (if it would not be a spoiler to say)?  I am sure that I have, but to be honest, I can’t remember a specific detail.  (there are just too many).

Do you have a favorite character or place? 

I hate being asked about my favorite character lol. It’s like being asked if you have a favorite child.  I love them all.  In terms of a favorite place, I would have to say Mount Olympus.  You don’t get to visit it much in Prince of Darkness, but you will get to see why it’s my favorite in Stormy Nights.

Are any of your characters / places / situations based on real life? 

Some of the places are loosely based off of places that I frequently visit in real life.  IE, Holly Oak University is based off the college I went to, and Port Washington is a real town in NY.  It’s in Nassau County, Long Island.

What are your views on self-publishing? 

If you have what it takes, go for it!  I self-publish my magazine called Literary Lunes (www.literarylunes.com), so I know that it’s a lot of hard work, and can be very frustrating if you don’t know what you are doing.  BUT if you have the time and patience, then by all means, all the more power to you!

What are your views on e-books?

I think e-books are great and convenient for traveling, but, I still prefer to hold the actual book in my hand.

Do you have / are you considering getting an e-reader?

I actually just received an e-reader for Christmas from my fiancé.  I received the Nook Color J.

Did you have your cover made /  work edited / proofed by someone else?

My cover was designed by someone that Otherworld hired.  James from JE Ellis Design designed it.

What do you do to market your book? 

I talk about it all the time on facebook, twitter etc. I have a fanpage on facebook (www.facebook.com/theworldamongus), and my twitter handle is also the title of my book @theworldamongus.  This way, whenever someone sees the name, they are always thinking or talking about my book (even when they don’t realize it!)

Are you on any social media? Which do you prefer? 

I am on too many social media websites. I am on so many, that I can barely keep up with them all.  I personally prefer facebook & twitter as opposed to myspace, however.

What has proved your most successful marketing method so far? 

Networking sites such as facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.  They are MUST HAVES, especially for new authors.  Blogging is also proving to be successful as well.

Have you read and enjoyed any other indie authors? Who / what book? 

I’m honestly only just starting with reading some Indie authors, and the one that I just read was called Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz.  It’s a new, romantic thriller that has you on the edge of your seat right to the very end.  It was out of my normal genre (YA/Fantasy), so it took me a chapter or two to really get into it. BUT once I got into it, I was hooked.  I will be writing a review for it on www.literarylunespublications.blogspot.com over the next week.

Have you any tips for other authors? 

Be kind to your fans & readers.  If you’re on a pedestal, step down.  No one likes a stuck up author.  Be humble.  If someone takes the time out to review your book, be sure to thank them, or pay it forward. If you received a bad review, take it with a grain of salt.  Remember, a review is ONLY ONE PERSON’S OPINION.

Which book review sites do you read?

I honestly try to avoid reading book review websites BUT I absolutely ADORE everyone that has been participating on my tour.  It’s hard to pick just one.

Which review sites have reviewed your book? 

Too many to list.  If you take a look at the tour list on www.bethannmasarik.com or www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com you will get an idea of who’s reviewed me.

Are there any resources you have found really useful? 

Goodreads is a goldmine for authors, writers, and yes, even readers.  It’s a great way to connect with your fans and the general audience.  There are lots of great books out there, and Goodreads is a great resource to finding them.

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Many thanks to Beth for the interview, and now for the giveaway – Beth has kindly offered prizes for you! There will be the chance to win an ebook, a fanclub Tshirt and possibly a mug, which could be yours! To enter, please leave a comment below…. and if you know other fantasy / romance fans, please let them know as well!

Thanks to Beth for this great opportunity;

JAC

The countdown begins!

In case any of you have escaped notice so far, “On Dark Shores” is currently going free at Smashwords – BUT this deal only lasts till the end of the month.

So if you want to read a copy – or  do fwd the link on if you have friends who like fantasy – go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46488 and input this special code

SSWSF

which is also written at the top of the Smashwords page, and you should be able to simply download all 45k words of it (ish) without having to pay a solitary penny! Bargain, huh?

And if you enjoy the read, please

a) consider leaving a review – Smashwords, Amazon, the Apple story, Goodreads, anywhere the book is, you’ll find other readers who want to know what you thought of it.

b) if you want to know what happens next, sign up to the mailing list using the rather snazzy new “Get the gossip” button to the right. Book 2 (The Mother) is currently in editing but work is going apace – and you KNOW advance review copies will be offered to reviewers of book 1 and to those on the mailing list before it’s advertised anywhere else!

c) if neither of those appeal, but you enjoyed the book, just go tell someone – preferably someone to whom you think the book will appeal rather than your dog, a small child or your religious advisor, maybe (depending on the religious advisor), but word of mouth is an incredibly powerful thing.

Anyway, the count-down continues – and if On Dark Shores isn’t your thing, check out some of the other books available there. Most have a downloadable sample so you can try before you buy in order to check it looks interesting, and there is some really unusual work out there.

Hope at least some of that will be helpful – and as always, have a great day, peeps!

JAC

 

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Morning all:

Well, here’s a thing. There appears to be some bloke in his trollies plastered across my blog – how did that happen?!

How that happened is simple enough, actually;  the lovely Vanessa at Love, Laugh & Read blog is hosting a giveaway to celebrate Canada Day (for the ignorant such as I, they tell me this is the anniversary of the birth of Canada). It’s an international contest and  by simply commenting on each blog participating (there’s a list of them on her site) you can win all sorts of goodies including a wide variety of ebooks (not least “ON DARK SHORES; THE LADY“) and paperbacks and a couple of mystery prizes…. Intrigued yet? I know I am!

So, click on Tarquin pic above (about 2 Boddingtons fans will get this joke) and go to Love, Laugh & Read;  sign in with the linky gadget at the bottom of the page, and then do your blog tour, commenting as you go for extra entries!!

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So:

Only a short blog today, but as some of you will know from my ramblings on Goodreads, I’ve recently moved house and I was unpacking yet another crate of books today when I came across one of my best secondhand bookshop finds; a boxed set of CS Lewis’ Narnia books, the lovely ones with the Pauline Baynes illustrations.

Just finding them there made me smile, as these particular books are really special to me; and it made me think that though I am a big fan of ebooks (and indeed had been just been thinking that if my entire collection was in virtual form I’d have brought it into the house on a memory stick rather than in 25 crates!) there are some things that an ebook cannot do that a paperback can and does do.  For what it’s worth, my take on the whole ebook / p-book debate is that I read ebooks to gatekeep my shelfspace, and buy p-books of the books I was to keep and re-read and admire on my shelves in idle moments and this boxed set is very definitely of that category of books.

In the first place, it’s an author I love whose books transfixed me for hours at a time, as a child (and I still enjoy them today, though you can never quite reclaim the innocence and the novelty of your childhood interpretation); but these books have a claim on me which might be entirely imaginary…. or might not.

Let me explain…

In the area of the country where I grew up, virtually all the kids moved South to find work (and still do) so when I finished Uni and went back home it was a bit of a shock to the system. I’d gone from the mad, glad dash of clubs and musical societies and classes on a campus with fifteen thousand people around my age from all around the world to the slow, gentle, quiet progression of life in the  beautiful countryside, with no public transport locally and none of my good friends in this half of the country. Even the kids I’d gone to school with were mostly living down South somewhere, so it felt a bit forlorn in a lot of ways.

I did do a bit of writing, of course, but having just finished 4 years’ worth of essays, reading for pleasure felt like more  of a luxury and there was a great little secondhand bookshop just down from where I worked so when I wasn’t buying the mis-shapes from the chocolatier, I was usually lurking in the bookshop. One day I happened across a boxed set of the Narnia books, in beautiful condition. All the paperbacks were there, and there wasn’t a bent spine amongst them; they were slightly faded along the spine but otherwise in beautiful condition, and when I asked the price, the shop-owner said that as I was a regular, I could have the lot for £15, which was about the price of a new hardback.

I wasn’t well-off at the time and this was about a month’s book allowance, but  I didn’t hesitate to take him up on this offer and bought them on the spot, dashing back to my temping job with the bag clasped to me as if it was something precious – because it was. I was consumed with glee at finally having not only managed to buy a full matching set of them for myself, but also having managed to ace all my expectations by finding the ones with the Pauline Baynes illustrations that I loved, in the original box, and in such perfect condition! Clearly they’d never even been read, I thought; but I was wrong.

When I got home that night I went straight up to my room, allegedly to change out of my work trousers, but in actual fact to savour the first opening of the books, as if it were some amazing gift that I’d received unexpectedly.

I took them out of the box, marvelling at the jewel-like colours and the absolutely unsullied appearance of the covers; and then I opened ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ carefully. On the inside of the cover was handwriting in a plain, angular script, not easy to decipher. It simply read “To [scribble]” and the date, which was also unreadable.  It was good to have a bit of the book’s history in front of me.

The inscription was only written in the first book, but they were obviously a set; a wonderful present for someone. I wondered if they had been unwanted and how they had ended up in the secondhand shop. However, as I leafed through each book in turn it quickly became clear that these books had not been unwanted but had been treasured by someone just as careful with their books as I am – and more.

Each and every one of the beautiful line drawings that grace the pages of that edition had been painstakingly and very thoughtfully coloured in in pencil crayons; not the usual clumsy scribbles that spoil the picture and mar the book, but with real attention to detail and thought for the colours.

I hate writing in books – I’m the first one to argue that it distracts me and breaks the spell of the tale, and even hesitate over writing my name in the front of my books because it will annoy me every time I open the cover. In the normal way of things I don’t approve of colouring in the pictures either unless you’re a much better artist than am I; but these were different. These were the work of some child who genuinely loved those books, and cared enough to keep them in utterly pristine condition otherwise.

The thing is, that sort of book doesn’t end up in a secondhand shop unless the original owner is no longer  around; we might fall out of love with the stories but we never fall out of love with the memory of the pleasure they have given us. Of course I may be wrong, but it seems likely that the books were given away as part of a house clearance….

I can’t help but wonder what happened to the child who coloured in those pictures with such care and wonder; but wherever she (or he) is now, I think that they’d be pleased that their books have come to someone else who will love and look after them, and sometimes when I sit alone in the quiet and read them, it is almost as if there is someone else there sharing the story, and loving every turn of the page just as much as I do.

I always stop to look at those beautiful pictures; and it doesn’t break the spell of the story; and I always spare a kind thought for that child, who is reading along with me, just as they used to when the books were new…

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Anyway, that’s my story for today. What about you? Is there a book that you loved as a child? Do you still own it now? Leave a comment and let me know!

And of course, don’t forget to go back and enter on the other sites by leaving your comments there as well…. So who’ll start the ball rolling?

JAC

Hey all:

I am pleased to say that Jenn of “Frequent Reader, Infrequent Blogger” has asked me to do an author interview and giveaway on her site

Amongst other things, we discuss the Mother of the Shantar and her daughter Eliset, and I explain a little about the aftermath of the war between the Shantari and the Mardonese and why you hear so little about it for most of the first book, though it will feature heavily in the second.

If you’re interested (or if you want to enter for the chance of a free copy of  “On Dark Shores: The Lady” ) you can read more at

Frequent Reader, Infrequent Blogger

 NB: as an added bonus, if you’re quick you might have a last chance to enter her previous giveaway for a SIGNED copy of “The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. You’ll have to be quick though – that giveaway finishes in the next day or so (the competition for “On Dark Shores” is open till 24th, so you have  a bit more time for that.

Hope you all enjoy the read:

JAC

Hi all:

First things first: I’m delighted to tell you that this week’s guest blogger is none other than Lexi Revellian, silversmith of no small artistry, and author of ‘Remix‘ and ‘Replica‘ which are two of my best indie finds to date.  Come back over the weekend to read what she has to say about writing and ‘Replica’….cool, huh? Watch this space!

Second – if you haven’t read ‘On Dark Shores: The Lady’ and would like to, it’s being featured as part of a giveaway at Misty Baker’s blog ‘Unwritten’ so if you go and comment there, you can claim a copy of this or a  variety of other books free, gratis, and generally for the having! Don’t say I never give you anything….

Lastly: I’ve had another very pleasing review, this time from Craig at CS Fantasy Reviews so do go and have a look (and if you agree or disagree, why not leave him a comment and have the discussion?)

Here’s an excerpt from it (the most flattering bit, obv!):

“Clement’s greatest strength as a writer is her characterization. It is amazing how well she can breathe life into a character, revealing their every nuance in a minimal amount of words. The frequent point of view changes were cleverly used as well to create an even pacing throughout. The world building in this novel was also done well and believable through an almost minimalist approach.”

and he scored it 8/10, which I’m pretty pleased about; so that’s started my Thursday rather nicely. Best be getting on with my editing then…. Hope you lot are all having a good week – and do drop by again over the weekend to see Lexi’s post!

Catch you later;

JAC