contest

Laura Kaye Winner Announced

Hi everyone! The winner for Laura Kaye’s contest on Tuesday is… Sophia Rose – sophiarose1816 @ gmail.com! Congratulations!

Thank you all for stopping by and participating!

Bewitching Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop – Winner Announced

Edit: Congrats to the winner of a reader’s choice copy, Nay Nay! Thanks for entering everyone. I hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Hey everyone! It’s close to that time of the year… Halloween! So I’m thrilled to be part of this blog hop.

For the blog hop, I’m giving away a reader’s choice copy of ebook from me. Make sure to leave an email address in your comment so I can reach the winner easily. The contest closes October 31, and the winner will be announced November 1st.

Please click on the button below to check out the other participating blogs. Thank you!

Guest Author Jennifer Harlow

Show Me Your Teeth
by Jennifer Harlow

Everyone loves vampires. Most of you wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t. They have been around in some incarnation since ancient Egypt. I know this because I took “Monsters in Literature” in college and had to write a paper on them. (I also took “Witchcraft.”Go University of Virginia!) Early vampires were demons who drank the blood of babies until medieval times when the vampire morphed into something more akin to a current day zombie. A ghoul who craved human flesh. But as the times change so do our monsters, even the staples. None more so than the vampire. It wasn’t until the early 1800s and the story “The Vampyre” that the seeds of the modern vampire were planted. This vampire was based on the poet Lord Byron. Suave, dressed well, amoral, seduced women, then left them for dead, much like Byron did in real life. Then came Dracula who, despite what the movies might lead you to believe, was not like the Byronic vampire. In the book, Dracula was more akin to the ghoul version in folklore. He was pasty, rat-like, and looked like a well dressed corpse who slept in dirt. It wasn’t until Universal Studios and Bela Lugosi resurrected the suave vampire that our modern incarnation of the vampire really reached the zeitgeist.

Then, some forty years later, came Anne Rice. From Lugosi to Rice, vampires became campy due in most part to the Hammer Horror films, who were the only ones putting out vampire films. The atomic age with their huge bugs attacking desert towns, almost killed off the vampire and other monsters. Hammer was the only studio really keeping the vampire alive. They stayed steady with the sexy Count seducing Victorian virgins. Until Rice took them to a new level. She humanized them, brought them into the third dimension. They had problems, some hated what they were, they had consciousness and a conscious. People sometimes ask me if given the choice would I want to become a vampire. The answer is hell to the no. Watching everyone I love die, living for centuries on blood alone, having to kill people so I could live sounds like a living hell. I’m 28 and I’m getting bored, imagine having to endure that for centuries! I would be a Rice vampire. They were us plus.

Vamps vanished from movies and books a little in the eighties and nineties, at least in terms of mass production. Rice was doing her thing, but with the exception of her and a few good movies (Fright Night, Near Dark, The Lost Boys,) they went underground, replaced with slashers and serial killers. (At least there were no giant ants attacking Pittsburgh, right?) Then came a little show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To this day it is one of my favorite shows of all time. Like most vampire authors I owe a lot to this show. It was smart, scary, funny, and real. It showed the right way to handle this genre, a little tongue and cheek but fused with real life problems, the perfect blend of magic and reality. I never missed an episode and it was the only television show to make me cry. (Buffy killing the newly souled Angel to save the world, such a tearjerker).

My own desire to write about the supernatural stemmed from that show. And a little book called Guilty Pleasures by one of my literary idols Ms Laurell K. Hamilton. I was working at Borders in 2003 and noticed at least once a month someone would come in looking for her books, so one day I decided to see what the fuss was about. The Anita Blake series blew my mind. I loved the tough as nails main character, the blending of magic and reality, the action. They were awesome. I went to college the following summer and decided I wanted to try my hand at writing one. I recognized the market for this type of book would blow up eventually and I wanted in. Of course finding time to write while attending college, volunteering at half a dozen places, then looking for your first job put me off track for a few years so I’m coming in late, but I’m finally getting to go to the ball. So while I was writing and living at the library studying, the urban fantasy genre exploded like I knew it would. Who doesn’t want a little magic and danger in their lives? Vampires became an antihero, helping the main character but still occasionally killing people, as it should be. Because really, if given super powers, few repercussions, and the need for blood, who wouldn’t find themselves being a little bit naughty?

Then came Twilight. I know most of you love it, and I respect that, but I personally have many issues with these books, some from a writing standpoint and others about their influence on teenage girls, but the biggest travesty was that vampires lost their balls. I’m sorry, sparkling? I can understand the vegetarian thing, but not sparkling. I know that vampires evolve but not to this. My concern is that this will continue and all the blood will be drained from them. Vampires are meant to be naughty, evil, a bad boy or girl that tap into our fears about sex and losing control. They are meant to be bad, that’s why we’ve always been drawn to them. (Once again, just my opinion. No hate mail, please.)

What is next for the vampire? Not a clue. Two more Twilight movies, another season of True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. All I do know is that in my books the vampires will only sparkle from the moonlight reflecting off their blood drenched body. As it should be.

What about you? Do you have a favorite vampire movie or book? Do you like the gentler vampire or the bloodthirsty kind? What do you think the next stage of evolution will be regarding the vampire?

The Buzz for Mind Over Monsters
“Monstrously fun! Monstrously suspenseful! Monstrously good!” –Victoria Laurie
“A gritty, dramatic police-procedural with a compelling heroine and a fascinating group of sidekicks.”
–Karen Chance
“Harlow offers treats for every paranormal lover to relish, with plenty of action, thrills, and laughter.”
–Leanna Renee Hieber
“Mind Over Monsters is funny, scary, and creepy—and ridiculous amounts of fun!” –Kat Richardson

Jennifer Harlow is the author of Mind Over Monsters, the first of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series. And yes, there is a vampire. You can check out her blog “Tales From the Darkside” at her website www.jenniferharlowbooks.com. Also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at jenharlowbooks.

Mind Over Monsters
A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
By Jennifer Harlow
ISBN-10: 0-7387-2667-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-7387-2667-0
US $14.95 • CAN $16.95
Trade Paperback Original • 53/16 x 8 • 288 pp.
October 2011

Paranormal heroes take on zombies in this funny and thrilling debut.

Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and other monsters threatening humanity.


Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.

Excerpt:

Oliver is oblivious to my plight. He’s busy with the veritable wall of walking dead surrounding us. The moment he knocks one into a tree or tombstone another seems to take its place in the line like a zombie Pez dispenser. Two of them, one a man and the other unidentifiable, grab Oliver but he pushes them away. Another grabs my arm and tries to bite, but I kick it away. My martial arts trainer would be so proud. His buddy behind me grabs the other arm and chomps down on it. I scream. The gun in the other hand reaches her forehead and a second later, her head is nothing but puzzle pieces. Enough of this.

Something I’ve never felt seizes control. My body turns warm then hot in an instant, like someone’s switched on my boiler. My breath becomes ragged and then stops. The breeze stops moving and everything but the dozen soldiers surrounding us turn black. There are no screams, no moans, no Oliver. The air moves toward me, inside me, through every pore of my body. What feels like two hands squeeze either side of my brain, but it doesn’t hurt for once. I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I like it. I close my eyes and feel the blood trickle out of my nose. I release. Power explodes out of me like a fiery gust of wind in a hurricane. It knocks me on my back. Several daggers plunge into my brain. I cry out, clutching my head. Oh God, it hurts! Just stop it! Hands grab my shoulders.

“Trixie!” a familiar voice shouts. I know that voice…who… “Open your eyes!” I do. It’s blurry at first, but I blink until I see Oliver kneeling beside me. God, he’s good looking when he’s worried. “My dear, can you speak?”

“Huh…”

“Never mind. Can you walk?”

“Um…” Without letting me finish he hoists me up by the arms, my injured one throbbing. When I’m up the sight before me draws a gasp. Oh…my…lord. There’s nothing left but the kind of destruction I see on TV after a tornado. Trees lie on their sides, tangled roots above ground. Every headstone within forty feet around rests on its side, a few older ones are now nothing but pebbles and dust. The zombie horde is literally nothing but pieces. Twitching legs, arms, jaws still trying to make their way toward us litter the grass. Every piece bigger than a foot still tries to continue on their mission, but I doubt any of them is a threat to us anymore. A few fresher corpses remain intact but shuffle far in the distance.

“Did I…”

“Remind me never to anger you,” Oliver says, serious as death. I’ve scared a vampire. Holy heck. And we take off running.

Contest:


5 copies of Mind Over Monsters are being given away tour wide. Open to US Shipping.


Click here to enter: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGp1VVJqdGF1Y2RNYkVVQWV5LUliMUE6MQ

Giveaway Winner

Hi everyone! Thank you to everyone who participated and left a comment in the giveaway this week. The winner, chosen by randomizer.org, is C R Ward! Congrats!! Please email me at sarah(at)sarahmakela(dot)com with the title of the book you’d like to receive (Jungle Heat or Techno Crazed).

Aside from the giveaway information, I don’t have too much else to report. I’m off to go type some words on Jungle Fire now. Have a great weekend!

New Interview + Last day for Giveaway

Hey everyone! Just a quick post to give you the heads up that today is the last day for the giveaway. Details are…

I’m doing a giveaway of one (maybe two depending on how many comments I get this week) of your choice of either Techno Crazed or Jungle Heat if you leave a comment. You’ll get one extra entry for each of the following, follow the blog, follow my Twitter @sarahmakela, and Tweet or Retweet. (Please let me know in the comment, if you do the extra entries.) I’ll pick the winner(s) tomorrow!

Also, I talked about the interview I’ll be doing with Marsha A. Moore yesterday, well… it’s now posted! So make sure to hop on over to her blog… http://marshaamoore.blogspot.com/2011/08/great-interview-with-author-sarah.html

So, to leave you guys with something to comment on. How about this… What’s your favorite genre to read?

Revisions

I figured it’s pretty timely for me to talk about revisions since I just finished some for Hacked Investigations 2: Savage Bytes.

Also, don’t forget… In celebration of finishing up Savage Bytes and Jungle Heat’s recent release, I’m going to do a giveaway of one (maybe two depending on how many comments I get this week) of your choice of either Techno Crazed or Jungle Heat if you leave a comment. You’ll get one extra entry for each of the following, follow the blog, follow my Twitter @sarahmakela, and Tweet or Retweet. (Please let me know in the comment, if you do the extra entries.) I’ll pick the winner(s) next Friday!

Anyways, I used to think of revising as going to line one, sentence one and line-editing straight on through. Maybe doing that multiple times, and boom! Done! Not anymore. I’ve actually developed a system. Something, if you follow my blog, know is pretty rare for me. Still, revisions are intense. They tend to take me a little longer to complete (probably also due to the fact that I don’t read at super speed like some people *winks*).

I do have to admit though. I’m beginning to slowly find them easier, especially now that I have a system, which is fairly new since I only started with it at the beginning of this year. Another thing is I’m also less intimidated by the process of going through the book and making it shine. In fact, some days I prefer it to writing, but then again, I think that switches whenever I’m doing one or the other. I’ve had days where I’d prefer to write than edit. Usually when I’m to the point where I’m revising, I don’t have time to let myself go with whims and fancies. 🙂 By that point, I’ve used up those privileges.

Anyways, here’s my revision process. Hopefully it helps!

  1. I print out the entire story and then wince because I’m not a fan of using lots of paper. (Although, it doesn’t work as well for me when reading over the manuscript on screen the first time.) 
  2. I grab some post-it notes, a pen, and my manuscript. 
  3. Read over the manuscript making notes about major things that bug me. (Step away from the typos and grammar! It’s not time for that yet.) 
  4. Once I’m done with that, I implement the changes for the notes I made and kick myself for making so many great catches. 
  5. Next, I do line edits. 
  6. Sending it off to a critique partner is an awesome idea. Although, sometimes it’s not possible due to deadlines and schedules.
  7. Also, if there’s extra time, I’ll either put the story through a text-to-speech program to have it read to me, or I’ll read it work out loud. I’ve tried it and caught errors doing so. Although, after a while my tongue started tripping over words. lol

So, that’s my process! What’s yours? Do you have tips for making it through revisions (somewhat) painlessly?

So far in March…

…I’ve been circulating my urban fantasy with my top list of agents, which has netted two requests (one partial and one full, YAY!) I’ve also finished outlining urban fantasy novel #2 and begun working on it. Now that I’ve finished revising the first one and circulating it, I feel freer to work on a new book, which really is the thing to do when querying agents/editors. I’ve also entered the Guide to Literary Agents “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Will anything amazing come from that? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t hurt to enter. And finally, I queried a short story to a publisher I’ve heard quite a bit about from others.

It’s been pretty active, and there’s been quite a bit of awesomeness so far. I’m hoping for more in the days to come!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

So, how are you spending this romantic holiday? Are you going to be curling up with your significant other or is a steamy romance novel going to be your buddy this year? Do you have plans to go out to dinner?

For me, I’m not sure. I know that I’m going to be exchanging presents with my husband, and that’s about it. We might go out for a nice meal, or we may stay home… Now that I’m thinking about it though… I think a meal out would be better. *grins* Last year we went all out, but this year things are a bit more subdued.

In any case, make sure to stop by The Deadly Vixens today for our special Valentine’s Day giveaway. We’ll be picking three winners for our three prizes!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Okay so some people don’t think of it as a happy day since it’s known to be filled with superstition, but I’ve never really had bad things happen to me on the 13th. If anything, good stuff tends to happen to me! =) Yippee! I can’t wait to see what happens today.

Not too much has been going on recently. I’ve been writing more for the Book in 30 days program, and I’m in the process of sending out proposals for an anthology, so I’ll have to see what happens with that. I’m excited and utilizing my synopsis writing abilities. Yikes! Although, I admit, they’re not as scary as they seem. I’m not sure mine are the best, but… ah well.

There’s something exciting happening today! The Deadly Vixens has a Friday the 13th giveaway today! We’re giving away three ebooks, so come leave a comment for your chance to win!

monthly mailing list drawing winner!

Congratulations to Tinab for winning a Sterling Silver Treble Clef necklace and an autographed bookplate. Please email me at sarah@sarahmakela.com to claim your prize. Tomorrow the mailing list will be going out. Thanks for everyone who signed up.