In honor of the up coming anniversary of publishing You Are Mine, I am giving away the entire signed paperback series. All you have to do is ask a question, any question about books, the Mine series, Darkening Light series, or writing in general, and you’ll be entered to win. Best of luck to you!
As the last book of the Mine series is published, I find myself both excited and a little sad. It’s exciting to finally be able to share the entire story with you, but it’s also sad to leave the characters behind. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I have. And don’t worry, there will be more books in other series to come! But for now, here is Sacrifice of Mine, Bethany’s story.
It’s time for the cover reveal of Sacrifice of Mine. This one is by far my favorite cover. There’s a lot of fun backstory to it. You see, I wanted a tarnished on the cover, but it’s impossible to find a stock photo of someone that’s tarnished. It just isn’t out there. That means for this cover, I got a personalized photo shoot done by the amazing Teresa Yeh. Her work is incredible and it was an honor to be able to work with her.
The first thing that we did was find a model. I looked through several models pictures, but the moment I saw Alessandra’s, I knew she would make the perfect model. Here’s a picture of her that really caught my attention:
It’s her eyes that really captured me. But if you’ll remember right, tarnished are bald. Look at the amount of gorgeous hair Alessandra has. So much! Not only would they have to use a bald wig on her, but it would take a lot of time, water, gel, and other such things to tame her hair down enough to get it to look good under her bald wig.
The process ended up taking four and a half hours to transform her from this girl with wonderful hair to a bald tarnished. You can follow the process here and here in time laps photograph. It’s really a neat process to watch. Plus, if you’ll notice, at one point she’s reading a book. That makes her extra cool in my mind. And the credits for the picture and time lapse are:
After all that hair and makeup I got to chose the end photograph to use for the cover. And here is that cover:
The Mine Series continues with Waverly’s story in Mine to Fear. I love Waverly so much. She was such a blast to write–when she wasn’t breaking my heart that is. I hope you all enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her. And, for those who’ve been anxious to know, yes, Waverly does show a couple of chapters in Envado. Eeep!
Waverly resents being sent home to Evando just as things are getting intense in Chardonia. She can’t just sit in safety while her friends suffer under oppression and restrictions simply because they are women.
Upon returning to Chardonia, she discovers conditions have degraded faster than she thought possible, and her mere presence puts her loved ones in grave danger. When the Grand Chancellor calls for a change in laws that threatens the lives of her friends, her family, and anyone who doesn’t comply, her only option is to run, with both friend and foe.
As the stakes grow higher with each passing day, Waverly must become the leader she’s never been, or her life, and the lives of all those she cares for, will be lost.
I’m happy to reveal the cover for my next book, Mine to Fear! It’s already up for preorder so feel free to snag your copy now. Without further ado, the cover:
To celebrate the re-release of The Key of Amatahns by Elisabeth Wheatley, Inkspelled Faery is hosting ten days of visiting your favorite authors as they talk about their very first novels, topped off by an all-day Facebook party with fun, games, and giveaways. Check out the full line up of authors and don’t forget to join the Facebook party on the 25th!
Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.
Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.
To start us off, can you sum up your first novel in a tweet, 140 characters or less?
Serena lives in a world where only men have magic and women are sold off for how much magic is in their blood.
What are you most proud of in this title?
I love the development of Serena. Of how strong she becomes through the story.
Do you think your writing has changed since your debut? In what way?
I feel like, and hope it’s gotten better, stronger. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about writing and have tried to implement it in my newer books.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you were writing your first book, what would it be?
I’d tell myself not to stress so much. I worried a lot about different things related to publishing, and I think it would have been good to calm down and take a breath.
Anything you would do different if you could do it over again?
I would write faster! I would have started writing book #2 sooner. I didn’t start it until about six months after I finished You Are Mine, and I’d have started it right away.
If you thought this was fun, drop by the Facebook party going down on the 25th for more interviews with your favorite Fantasy authors as well as games and goodies galore!
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt!
Want to win a paperback of all these books?
One lucky winner will receive one paperback book from each author on the hunt in my team, all of the books above! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!
Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, a teal team, a green team, and a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday April 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Now to the fun stuff!
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Jennifer Comeaux author of Ice Series: CROSSING THE ICE on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing.
Description: Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.
The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though…
The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?
CROSSING THE ICE begins when Courtney and Josh are 21 and 22, but they’ve known each other since they were young teenagers. Here is a bonus scene that takes place six years earlier!
“What do you want to do today to celebrate?” Mom asked as we finished breakfast in the hotel restaurant. “A national championship deserves something very special.”
I smiled and drank the last of my chocolate milk. My partner Mark and I had been skating together for four years, and we’d finally reached the top of the podium, winning the junior title in pairs. It had been the highlight of my fifteen-year life.
“Maybe we can go shopping… and look at iPods?” I gave Mom a hopeful grin.
“We might be able to do that.”
I did a jig in my seat and folded my linen napkin. “I’m gonna get some more fruit.”
I headed over to the buffet but stopped when I saw Josh Tucker, one of my competitors, looking at the fruit selection. He was a year older than me and so freaking cute with his shaggy dark hair and clear blue eyes. But we’d hardly spoken since we’d played Seven Minutes in Heaven (or rather, Seven Minutes in Hell) two years ago. I’d wanted him to be my first kiss so badly, but all we’d shared were seven minutes of near silence. Even though Josh was a super quiet guy, I’d hoped he would make just a little move on me. I’d gotten nothing.
Normally I didn’t go out of my way to talk to him because I still felt weird about that night, but I was feeling especially confident with my new champion status. I grabbed a small plate and hopped up to Josh’s side.
“I’ll fight you for that last piece of cantaloupe.”
He looked startled, and he fumbled the silver tongs and dropped them on the bar, causing a loud clang. “You can umm… you can have it.”
“I was just joking,” I said with a little laugh.
He echoed my laugh but with a nervous edge. “I know, but you… it’s yours.”
He offered me the tongs, keeping his head down. I reached for them, and our fingers brushed, sparking tingles from my scalp to my toes. Josh finally looked up at me, for only a few seconds, but the light in his eyes was enough for the tingles to flush my cheeks.
“Thanks.” I dipped my own head, suddenly not feeling so confident anymore.
“Excuse me.” An older lady tapped the arm of Josh’s Team USA jacket. “Can I get a picture with you and your partner?”
She motioned to me, and Josh and I both stammered while talking over each other.
“I’m not his partner,” I finished.
“Oh, sorry about that. Too many faces to keep straight,” she said.
“We can still take a picture with you,” Josh said.
I raised my eyebrows, but the lady was already handing her camera to the elderly man with her.
Josh and I set down our plates, and I waited for the lady to stand between us, but Josh led her to his opposite side so he was in the middle.
Next to me.
He hesitated a moment and then stretched his arm across my shoulders. It was wiry but solid. I inched closer and curved mine around his waist, slotting perfectly into the nook of his body.
Holy Romeo, he smells good.
The scent of his cologne was slightly sweet and made me light-headed. I barely registered the camera flash firing. I was too busy picturing Josh putting his other arm around me and giving me the kiss he owed me.
“Thank you, kids,” the lady said.
Josh slowly let his arm fall away from my shoulders, and he shuffled backward and shoved his hands in his jean pockets.
“That was hilarious,” he said. “I don’t look anything like Mark.”
“And I sure don’t look like Stephanie,” I said of his partner and sister. I was about to add, Don’t act like her either because she was a first-class snob, but I stopped myself from being rude.Josh’s eyes focused on mine, and it felt as if he was saying something to me he couldn’t say out loud. From the way he was looking at me, it had to be important. My pulse picked up more speed every second he waited to speak.
“Congratulations, by the way,” he said.
That didn’t seem like what he’d wanted to tell me, but I smiled anyway.
“Thanks. I saw you guys had a good comeback.”
He shrugged and looked down at his sneakers. “It wasn’t our best competition.”
“Josh!” Stephanie marched over to us and gave me a sidelong scowl. “What are you doing? We
have to go.”
“Oh… yeah… I forgot.” He turned back to me. “We have a meeting.”
My heart sank that he was leaving just as we’d actually started talking. Should I hint we could talk more later? How am I going to smoothly pull that off? And with Stephanie giving me the stink eye? I chickened out and said quietly, “Have fun.”
They walked away, and Josh glanced quickly at me over his shoulder. Stephanie didn’t give me another look (nor had she congratulated me, but that didn’t shock me). She was so easy to read. Unlike her brother.
I picked up my plate and plopped the slice of cantaloupe onto it. Standing so close to Josh had made me wonder for the millionth time what kissing him would’ve been like. He was so quiet and gentle that I imagined his kiss would be soft and sweet. The perfect first kiss. Not like the one my Homecoming date had given me. He’d practically cracked my teeth he’d crashed his mouth into mine so hard.
Why am I even still thinking about this? It had taken Josh and me two years to say more than five words to each other. At the rate we were going, we’d be thirty by the time we got to first base.
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jennifer Comeaux, and more!
To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 13.
Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Find Melissa Giorgio HERE.
Enter to win ebooks of all my books!
Today, I’m very excited to announce that the audiobook for my young adult fantasy, MINE TO TARNISH is complete and ready to buy. Maria Pendolino, the narrator, has done a marvelous job with it! I love how well she has captured Katherine.
You can listen to a sample here, under the cover.
Or you can buy it here.
The real treat for today is that I had a chance to interview Maria and discover more about what goes on behind the scenes of narrating a book. I’m so happy to welcome Maria to my site today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Maria: My name is Maria Pendolino and I’m an actor living in New York City. I’m originally from Buffalo, NY. I’ve done work in theatre, TV and film as well as voiceover, commercials and audiobooks! Some of my most memorable roles were on Lifetime’s hit show ARMY WIVES, Nat Geo’s LOCKED UP ABROAD and the Bollywood hit movie ENGLISH VINGLISH. You can hear my voice on commercials for American Express, Zipcar, Robert Mondavi Wines and Monistat.
Janeal: Wow! Sounds like you’ve had some really interesting experiences in your life. Which I’m super grateful for since it lead to narratoring MINE TO SPELL.
Can you tell us what it’s like to narrate one hour of a finished audio book?
Maria: To get one hour of finished audio, it probably takes me about an hour and 45 minutes of studio time and then another half hour of editing time. I’m usually pretty good about being able to read a large amount of text without stumbling or making a mistake, but every once in awhile I’ll get into a giggle fit and I have to keep going back to correct mistakes.
Janeal: That’s crazy to think it takes almost twice as long to make it as the finished audio is. I’d probably get into giggle fits too and never get anything done.
Can you tell us about the studio where you work?
Maria: I have a home studio in my apartment. It’s a closet that I have converted into a booth. It’s big enough for me to sit on a stool, have my microphone and a music stand – and that’s about it. It’s not glamorous, but it shuts out the noise of the sirens and the traffic of New York City – so it does the job!
Janeal: I’m impressed that you turned a closet into a booth! That’s so awesome. It may not be glamorous, but it sounds like a great use of space.
How do you decide what to narrate?
Maria: I tend to work on projects that I would enjoy listening to or I would enjoy reading. It makes it a lot easier to narrate a long title when I love the story and the characters. But, I’m always open to trying new genres and I love when authors reach out to me to ask if I might like to be a part of their project.
Do you have a genre you enjoy narrating most? If so, what is it?
Maria: I love young adult, women’s fiction (or “Chick Lit”) and anything that has a snarky or sarcastic tone to it. I also love doing character voices, so any book that has some eccentric characters is a lot of fun to work on.
What’s your favorite part about narrating?
Maria: Bringing stories to life with just my voice and painting a picture that the listener can imagine.
What are some of your favorite books?
Maria: My favorite novel of all time is JEMIMA J by Jane Green. I also love all of Marian Keyes’ books. Other favorite authors are Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner and David Sedaris.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Maria: I’m a theatre nerd and I love going to Broadway shows. I’m in NYC, so gotta take advantage.
Favorite candy bar?
Maria: I actually hate chocolate, which I know is a crime against humanity – but I love Twizzlers.
Janeal: Not like chocolate? That’s crazy! Twizzlers are good though.
Maria: I’m a coffee drinker, through and through. With a shot of caramel and maybe a shot of Bailey’s (if I’m not at work!)
Janeal: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on narrating with us, Maria! We’re so glad you stopped by today!
Things have been really quite around here lately. Too quite! So update time.
What I’ve been writing:
Side Projects: I’ve been working on a YA Fantasy for 2 years now and it’s finally, finally, going to the editors the end of this week. Sa-weeeet! Super excited to be getting so close with this one. Can. Not. Wait. To share it with ya’ll.
What’s more, it has a companion novel that is coming along and will be going to the editor around Novememberish. Best yet, these two books are the only ones in the series. Well, unless I come up with another idea (which could always happen) but they will stand by themselves as a complete story. Wahoo! This should be coming out the first part of next year.
Mine Series: Yes, I know you’re anxious for book three. My most asked question is when it’s coming out. Answer: I don’t know. Sorry! BUT, I am working on it. It’s about 1/3 written & the rest is already outlined. The writing should go smoothly because of that, editing could be another story. It’s all about how much I miss & how much other people catch that I need to fix.
I’m HOPING it will be published sometime the first half of next year, but no promises. I’d rather have a good quality book for ya’ll then rush. So while you’re waiting, just remember I’m doing my best and Waverly’s pulling out a lot of sass.
Mine Series Novellas: I also get asked about these A LOT. Things like: Are you going to write from Serena’s mother’s perspective? What about Lukas? Zade? Phyllis? The Grand Chancellor? Answer: Right now, no.
As you can see from the list above, my writing schedule is pretty full. BUT, I would love to explore some of these characters more. They have depth that isn’t explored when someone else is the main character. Hopefully someday I’ll have a chance. And I love to hear opinions on who you’d like a story from, so feel free to chat, comment, email me any time and let me know who you’d like a story from.
Audiobooks: Mine to Tarnish is currently being worked on. The narration is finished, a few chapters need to be edited, and I need to listen to the entire thing. It should be done soon since it’s a shorter narration. And very excited about this narrator. I’m very impressed with her.
Mine to Spell is currently looking for a narrator. I’ve had auditions for it but am still looking for the right voice for Cynthia. Once I find that narrator, it will be in the works.
Where I’ve been:
Fantasy Con in July. Hello awesome! Met great people, had a hobbit (a.k.a. Billy Boyd) look at my books (seriously wanted to giggle), got to
see the person who said one of my favorite quotes, “I can kill you with my brain” (a.k.a. Summer Glau), and just had an overall good time.
Comic Con in September. Good night there was a ton of people! Never seen so many people in one place. Got to meet some awesome fans and book bloggers (YOU GUYS ROCK MY WORLD!!!) while there. Telling ya, made life awesome! I also got to see Wash (a.k.a. Alan Tudyk) which made me happy to see he’s alive.
If you were at either or both of these, I’d love to hear your experience. Or to say hi again if we met in person!
Pajama-Rama, Oct. 10th @ 8:00 pm: This is a book event for readers (wahoo! PJs & books, can it get any better!?!) I will be there to chat with, to sell books, and to sign stuff. I may even have some swag to give away!
FanX (tenative): This one isn’t announced yet, so I don’t have anything official, but I’m hoping to make it there.
Conduit, May 22nd – 24th: I’ll be at a booth at this Fantasy/Sci-fi convention with Loralie Hall. Should be a fun experience where I’ll have not only the Mine series, but I’ll also be signing my new YA Fantasy series that’s coming out next year.
If you attend any of these, I’d love to see you!
There will be more added to this as time goes on. If you’d like me to come to any of your events (i.e. book clubs, school) email me and we’ll set something up.