Monday, July 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: Searching for Beautiful, Nyrae Dawn

I'm very excited to be a part of this cover reveal.  I beta read Searching For Beautiful, and it's a gorgeous story.  I can't wait for all of you to have the chance to read it too!

Today Nyrae Dawn and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL, which releases on March 4, 2014. Also enter below for a paperback of the book or an eBook!
On to the reveal!

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.
When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.
But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?


Christian looks at me. I wait for a smart-aleck reply or a smile but get neither. Just his blue eyes sucking me in like a whirlpool. “That’s what I thought you would say. So you just have to keep fighting for it. Keep fighting to get it back.”
    My eyes won’t leave his and his won’t leave mine. And he’s cute. God, he’s so cute, I just want to focus on his cuteness. I want that to be all that matters. When his hand comes up and cups my cheek, I gasp. He brushes his thumb under my eye and licks his lips and I’m frozen and on fire and close to having a heart attack and anxious all at the same time.
    Slowly, he leans forward and I know he’s giving me time. And my heart is leaping and I want to feel his lips. This is Christian. The boy who asked me to dance. The boy I ran to my mom about and told her that I loved. And now he’s my friend. The first person who has made me feel normal since everything happened.
    But I’m so scared. Scared of messing it up. Scared he’ll decide he doesn’t want me. Scared of losing him. Of getting hurt.
    He gets closer and I smell his sweet, sugary scent. See his mouth and wet lips and that hair I want to touch.
    See the one person besides Emery who I have. The one person I can’t lose. “Wait,” I say and Christian stops moving. He’s still close. So very, very close that his lips are only an inch away from mine. “I’m scared,” I admit.
    “I won’t hurt you.”
    And I swear a part of me believes him. Maybe all of me. But how do I know if that’s the right decision or not?
    He runs his hand down my face and touches my hair. Love that he’s not nervous to do it the way I am with him and I watch his fingers, brown against my red hair.
    “Go out with me, Bryntastic. Let’s go do something this weekend. Don’t keep running. I won’t even try to kiss you again unless you tell me to. Or I’ll wait for you to do it. Just let go. Live.”
    His words are what I want. I want them so badly and they sound so perfect that it’s hard not to just scream, “Yes!” right now. “Why?” I ask him. “Why are you so nice to me?”
    I love his strength. Love that he doesn’t even hesitates before saying, “Because you were my first crush. Because I used to watch you conqueror anything and used to listen to you laugh with your friends. You were happy and I loved your smile. Because I had to work up the courage to ask you to dance and I did, and then I left and the one thing I missed was that smile. I watched my sister lose hers and watched my family fall apart and when I came back here? I wanted to see your smile again. Because you’re beautiful when you smile and you’ve lost it now. I want you to conquer this because what the hell is the purpose in it all if the first girl I ever danced with loses her smile?”
    I don’t realize I’m crying until Christian wipes my tears. “You think I’m beautiful?”  

About Nyrae Dawn:
Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. There have been times in her life where she wasn’t able to chase that dream the way she desired, but she always found her way back to telling stories.

One of her loves has always been writing about teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she loves exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing and luckily for her, he doesn’t either.

Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.

She writes for Entangled Publishing, Grand Central Publishing and is self-published.

Nyrae is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrating the Small things once more

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

The main thing I'm celebrating this week is that we all survived the earthquake on Sunday, and I still have a job because the building I work in didn't sustain any damage.

The Film Festival started, so I'm looking forward to seeing some amazing movies over the next 3 weeks.

I had a couple of days off during the week and spent them with my kids who are on vacation at the moment.  It's so rare for me to spend full days with them and I enjoyed it, even if it was exhausting.  Water slides are great fun, but when you have to climb three flight of stairs to get to the top, it becomes a lot less fun after the 35th go....

What small things are you celebrating this week?

Monday, July 22, 2013


I mentioned on Friday that we'd had a 5.8 quake.  Well, that wasn't the end of it.  We had more small quakes through Friday and Saturday, and then yesterday, a really big one hit.  6.6 apparently.

Luckily it wasn't centered under Wellington, but about 80km away.  If it had been right on our fault line, I imagine Wellington would have wound up looking like Christchurch did after their earthquake. Or worse!

My boys and I had been up the coast visiting a friend, and were on our way back.  The train pulled into a station and stopped.  The guard came through and told us there had been a small quake, and that the train would be staying put until they'd had a chance to make sure the tracks were okay.

Then the big one hit.

It was like riding a wave.  The whole train seemed to ripple underneath us, then ripple back the other way.  Interestingly, no one panicked.  We all looked at each other and said various things that basically amounted to 'Shit, that was a big one'.

Once it had passed, I think everyone got on their phones.  I texted my partner first, to make sure he was okay, and once I'd been reassured of that, I texted the two women I had in charge at the cinema.  The cinema I run was originally built in 1917.  It's had a lot of work done on it over the years, changing it from the massive 2500 seat picture palace it once was, to a modern 3-screen complex.  But it's an old building, and well known for not being 100% earthquake safe (like a large number of buildings in this, and probably any other city).

It took a long time for them to get back to me, and both of them were pretty shaken up.  Luckily, there wasn't any significant damage - except a few bottles of wine that fell of shelves and smashed in the storeroom.  And no one was hurt.  Everybody left though, except 3 people who wanted to stay and watch the film that had just started.  Some people....

Overall, I think we got away lightly.  There's been some damage in the center of the city, near the harbor.  That's mainly reclaimed land, so not entirely surprising that a shake like that would send it back into the sea.  No deaths, and no serious injuries.  I think we're lucky it was Sunday and there were so few people in the office buildings and high-rises.

The trains didn't start going again until this afternoon, so my partner ended up having to drive up to collect the kids and me last night.  And this morning the landlord came and inspected the cinema building, and gave it the all clear.  So, we're back to normal.  Apart from the little aftershocks that jolt us from time to time.

Just hoping this means the pressure on the fault has been relieved, and that we won't have to go through this again any time soon.  It's scary!

Have you ever experienced a serious earthquake?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Celebrating the Small Things again...

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

Between the #PitchMas blog contest and the Twitter contest, STUMPED wound up with 6 requests!  So I'm quietly thrilled about that.  Maybe my ugly little baby isn't quite as abhorrent as I thought.

One of the girls who works with me has read my last three books as I wrote them, giving me invaluable feedback on the way.  I gave her the first 8 chapters of my new one to read - the one I think is boring, pointless and basically complete and utter rubbish - and she reckons it's the best thing I've written yet.  So that's given me a boost.

We had a 5.7 earthquake here this morning, and I was at work in a building that has a yellow sticker for being unsafe in earthquakes, but the only damage was a chair falling over.  And I was standing right by the shelf we keep all the glasses on.  Not a single one fell!

What small things are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Every book begins with an idea.  It may be a small one that grows the more you think about it, or it may be a big one that drops the entire story fully formed into your brain.

But where do those ideas come from?  What sparks your imagination to a point you're willing to invest months of time and sweat and blood and emotion into writing an entire book?

For me, ideas come from all over the place.  Books I read, movies I see, newspaper articles and more.  Sometimes in one week, I see or hear or come across two wildly different things that pique my interest, and somehow they become linked in my mind in some weird way that leads me to a story.

The story I'm writing at the moment came from one of those moments.  I read a newspaper article about   two girls on a basketball team and how their romantic relationship was being condemned and considered illegal because one of the girls was older than the other.  This kind of collided with another story idea that I've been toying with for a while, about someone who has been in a juvenile prison since they were just a child, and has now been released under a new name.

Something about the lesbian story bugged me, and I started wondering if maybe it was the younger girl who was driving things, not the older one.  And that's when the two ideas melted together in my mind.  My juvvie prison girl may be older in years, but she's completely lacking in any of the experiences most teens take for granted.  So what might happen if she comes into contact with a girl who is younger, but has already figured out exactly how the world works and how she can get what she wants out of it?

That's what I'm trying to figure out...

How do you get your ideas?  And where from?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cover Reveal! Cloaked In Fur By T.F. Walsh

My friend Tania has a book coming out, and I'm thrilled to be able to reveal the cover here today!  Tania has been in various of my crit groups for over four years, so it's super exciting to be able to share her success with you all!  Congratulations Tania!

Available August 5, 2013

Cloaked in Fur

As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature.  She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

Paranormal Suspense With Strong Romance

Publisher: Crimson Romance 

About The Author

T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

Author Links

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

My 35 word pitch for STUMPED made it into the PitchMas in July contest, and so far I've had 3 requests.  Which is making me all kinds of happy!

I also found out I made it into Write Club.  Which is very exciting! 

I've written just over 13K in my new book.  Most of it is rubbish and will no doubt end up in the trash when I revise, but I'm finding my way into the story and I've found several character voices that I'm super happy with.

We had parent teacher interviews for the kids and they're both doing well.  I'm relieved because I was worried about the younger one.  But I think maybe I'm just comparing him with his brother, and I should stop doing that because they're very, very different.

What about you?  What small things are you celebrating this week?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Progress report

I started this week's writing with just under 10K written.  Which I feel good about.  9K a week is what I'm aiming at.  But I can't help feeling like at least two whole chapters are complete dross.

I started the book in one place, then realized I probably needed to go back a day or so in the story's timeline to make a few things more clear.  So I wrote a new first chapter, that led to a new second chapter that then made a third, transitional chapter necessary.  And while all the information in those chapters in important, I can't help thinking my original starting point got us into the meat of the story quicker.

But this is a first draft.  And maybe when I've finished the whole thing, I'll have more perspective on it. And maybe I will erase those first 3 chapters or smush them up into one or just take key elements and add them to whatever ends up as my new starting place.  Or I may leave them as they are.  Once the rest is written, maybe they won't look as bad as they do to me right now.

Who knows?  I'm resisting the urge to go back and analyze these chapters, to rip them up and play with them now.  I know I'm better off to keep going, to write the rest of the story before I go back.  But sometimes that's hard to do when you feel like what you've already done is wrong or pointless or just plain bad.

Do you edit as you go, or write through the self-doubt and keep going until the end?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things (3)

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I started a new book on Monday, and I'm just under 6K now.  It's pretty dire, but it's a first draft and they're supposed to be awful, right?  I'm sure once I figure out my character voices etc, things will go much more smoothly....

I've had a reasonably peaceful week at work, which is good.  We have a massive number of functions coming up, plus the big film festival in three weeks, so I'll take my quiet moments where I can get them!

And right now, I'm drinking a particularly smooth and tasty red wine and on a Friday evening, that's about all you really need.

What small things are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

And so it begins....

Yep.  I started a new book this week.  So far I'm 4K in, and not feeling TOO bad about it.  But I wrote a prologue.  And I LOATHE and DETEST prologues.  I just felt like this book needed one.  It's a little different to anything else I've written (or at least I think it is).

It's not a mystery, exactly, but there is an element of mystery to it, and I'm going to have to be careful about how I plant the little pieces of information I need to plant along the way.

At the moment I'm still settling into my main character's voice and trying to work out where I'm going with the story.  There are two main elements to it, and I'm not sure how long I should stick with one before introducing the other.

But as I write, I'm sure these things will become clear to me.  If they don't, I'm in trouble!  I don't have a title for this one yet, so I'm just going to call it Lana for now, or #juvvielesbian...

Have you started a new project recently?  How is it going?