Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cover Reveal: FIGHTING FATE by Shaila Patel

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Guess what? I, and a few others, have the honor of revealing the cover for Shaila Patel's 2nd book in the Joining of Souls series. And here it is!!! Also below is even a little excerpt and rafflecopter. Who doesn't love free things?? Enjoy! Make tons of love on this glorious day (safely and preferably with your...soul mate...see what I did there?)

(Joining of Souls Book 2)

Under the cover of her porch, I returned her bag to her. We moved apart. With the
connection broken, she let out a shuddering sob. The pain of separating from her hit me square in
the chest. I wanted to hold and comfort her, but I was already making a dog’s dinner of this just
by being here. This would set her back—set us both back.
She turned away from me. Her hand shot up to her mouth, and her shoulders shook. I
instinctively stepped forward, but all I could do was curl my fingers into my palms to keep from
touching her.
“I miss you so much, Liam,” she said, the words choked out between hoarse cries. “I’m
sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be weak.” She slapped away her tears and turned to face me.
A bolt of lightning cracked nearby. I couldn’t stay. The tingling was pulling us together like it
was some sort of magnetic current.
“You’re not weak. I miss you too, Lucky.”
Her eyes grew cold in an instant. The fury of the sandstorm I sensed from her made me
gasp, and I stumbled back. “Jaysus, Lucky.” We were crossing interpretations again. I was
reading her emotions as air metaphors instead.
She barreled toward me, her hands balled up, apparently unaware of the effect her anger
had on me. “You have no right to miss me. You left me!” She beat her fists against my chest, and
I had to grab her by the wrists to stop her.
“Are you thinkin’ this has been easy for me?”
She wriggled free from my grip. “Whose fault is that?” she yelled above a roll of thunder.
I didn’t want her to see the pain on my face, so I turned away, holding myself up on the white,
wooden railing. The whirlpool of her anguish surrounded me, making my head ache.
I took a deep breath and lowered my voice. “Lucky, I broke my promises to you. For that,
I’m truly sorry. But I had little enough choice. None of that changes my feelings for you.”
“I’m not The One, so it’s time to move on. Is that it? Regardless of how you feel? Of how
I feel?” Her voice cracked. “You’re a coward.”
I heard her fumbling for her keys. She’d be inside soon, and I’d rather be fighting with
her on the porch than be without her.
“So where next, hmm?” she asked. “North Dakota? Vermont? Ooo, I know. You should
go to India. You could play this game for the rest of your life!”
I turned to face her. Her sarcasm was brutal, but I deserved all that and more.
She tried to unlock her door, but the keys slipped from her grip. She stooped to pick them
up, but her fingers were shaking so badly, she dropped them again.
“Dammit!” She crouched a second time and sucked back another sob.
I swept down and set my hands over hers to steady them. Taking the keys, I unlocked the
door, followed her inside, and bundled her in a blanket from off the sofa. Lucky didn’t protest.
We stood there, dripping water on her mum’s carpet, staring into each other’s eyes. Grabbing
fistfuls of the covering around her neck, I gently rocked her, tugging her closer, fighting the
craving to kiss her. My breaths came out fast and shallow, and only clinging to the material with
both hands kept me from sneaking a touch of her soft skin. If I didn’t leave now, I’d stay because
I didn’t have an ounce of the strength she had. Maybe I was the coward she’d accused me of

PRE-ORDER HERE: http://www.books2read.com/FightingFate

Empath Liam Whelan is determined to protect Laxshmi "Lucky" Kapadia, the girl he loves, at all costs--even if it means breaking her heart to keep her alive. Stopping the joining cold means Liam's life is in danger from the Soul Seekers and the ruthless Minister Gagliardi who now has designs on Lucky. Liam has no choice but to find the strength to fight his desires, fight the joining, and fight fate.
After the unthinkable happened, Lucky's "hallucinations" have been working double-time. Heartbroken and plagued by doubts, she meets a man who gives her a mind-blowing explanation for her predicament. Her apparent savior provides her with an escape from her hell: run away with him or return to her drab existence and watch Liam move on with her heart in his hands. All Lucky ever craved was to be in control of her own fate, but when her only choices fight against her heart, can she find the strength to battle for what she wants?
SOULMATED Summary (Book One)
Irish royal empath Liam Whelan is being forced by his family to search for his empath soul mate, and finds Laxshmi Kapadia instead. The problem? She's not an empath. Now he has to decide just what he'll sacrifice to be with her.

Shaila Patel, a member of RWA and SCBWI, is a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. Her debut #ownvoices novel, SOULMATED, won the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards for Young Adult. The sequel, FIGHTING FATE, releases April 2018.

<a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d4f3fc4510/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="d4f3fc4510" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_cvmkwht9">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

Monday, February 12, 2018

When Your Story Gives You Lemons

You know the phrase when life hands you lemons, make lemonade, right? Well, I have yet to make lemonade. I am more in the process of somehow squirting the juice in my eyes!!

How you ask? If you have been following my writing journey with my YA Vikings book, you would know I'm currently on a 3rd round of edits. (1st round was on my own after drafting, and the other right before Pitch Wars from beta suggestions.)

Right when I was 3/4 done with this round of edits and seeing the end coming near, my CP and I talked about the changes and a suggestion was made to change to only 1POV from 3POV. I really had to sit on that and let it permeate. The next day I tried it for 2 chapters. It was fast, straight talking, gutless writing. The heroine was way fiercer than my heroine now. Romance was already in the story and not coming later in the story. I liked it, she loved it. I started re-plotting on paper and then...another CP read it and said it just wasn't as good as the original. That it was ok in comparison.

Oye vey...

When the chips fall and you can't figure out which ones to pick up and save, what do you do? Who do you listen to? Everyone says yourself, but sometimes you can't even think straight or have faith in your decision that what you choose is saleable.

Oye double vey...

I was told to let the Vikings story sit with my 2nd CP so she can read it through and see what will help, and get it back to me in a couple weeks. But something kept me from doing that. I couldn't stop trying to fix it! In my head. In my brainstorming. Just not on paper anymore. And if you know me, I have no patience whatsoever.

That weekend, I stepped back because I felt literally sick from all the emotions (loads of shameless crying) I had gone through thinking about what to do. I did lots of prayer, tons of service, and I received my answer: THIS story has value. The original held that value and human virtues I wanted teens and tweens to remember and hold true and on to. The "newer, faster" version was just a mock of something I was trying because it proved successful for another - make the heroine balls to the walls. Which is great, but wasn't my initial idea or intentions.

So was I being fake rewriting it that way? Maybe. I don't know.

I decided to write out all my scenes, and began to notice what could be taken away, or what I was noticing didn't quite work, or just fleeting ideas. I mentioned them to my 2nd CP to be aware of while reading it over. Then, I really did let it go.

I stopped squirting my eyes with lemon juices!!

I took her advice, one I couldn't do at the time with my head such a mushy mess, and began thinking about my other MS - ORPHANS OF DARK. (Always try to work on new stuff when others are away at weightloss camp.) ORPHANS OF DARK is a dark fantasy genderswap retelling of Cinderella meets Six of Crows/Suicide Squad. I had actually began storyboarding and 1st chapter drafting this premise during Pitch Wars last September. I was reading through Mentors wants and I kept seeing a common theme. And then it sparked an idea, and I've loved it ever since.

When I get my Vikings novel back, I hope we can make lemonade. Lots and lots of lemonade. And I hope to pass tons of it around to all my friends! In the mean time, I welcome to you the world of Erik Price.

1. Have you ever written a novel only to fixate TOO much on what could be wrong when you should really just step away and let another figure it out?

Reading: SOULMATED by Shaila Patel, CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Read: (I haven't read so much because of all that lemon squirting) A FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao, the evil queen's story in an Asian retelling, THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab, a human and monster take down the bad guy
Movie: SUPERMAN:HOMECOMING, I started it half-way because I was so busy, but I loved what I saw!

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Year in the Making

Last year on January 19th, I began typing the first chapter of my YA Viking Fantasy and called the book THE KING OF DAUGHTERS.  The book was conceptualized from this photo sent to me by my sister, laughing about how this was just like us growing up.

After 3 months of drafting, it was done and edits began, then beta notes and more edits. I geared up for pitchwars, the online writing contest. I wanted to see it's potential. And I was surprised I got a few requests, even though it didn't make it in. It gave me enough to know this was something. Then, I received several requests from agents, but nothing stuck. Then came the writer's retreat where I met Jennifer Nielsen who volunteered to read my query, synopsis, and 1st chapter. She gave me incredible advice when I was at the point of really not knowing what more I could do.

Jennifer's advice forced me to cut cut cut and snip snip snip, and away I went for 2.5 months (sadly because of the holidays I couldn't go any faster). I have redone the beginning a few times. I have redone chapters, cut any purple prose I didn't notice before, tightened my writing, made my villain better, and my POV's stronger. And I couldn't have done it without my new CP who was at the same retreat and offered her help in my new goal. My friend, and ANWA buddy, Ann Acton, has been the marsh to my mallow.

On January 19th of this year, I finished my newest round of edits, and sent the remaining chapters to my CP.The name even changed a few times, ending with DAUGHTERS OF ASH, which is super relevant to the story. And I am excited! I know we have much to do, and possibly even areas to consider deleting, especially once she found out there are Valkyries in the story. Haha! But I don't know what the future will hold for this book. I don't know if it will ever get published, as I'm solely looking for traditional publishing at this time, but I'm going to keep fighting for my words to be out there and keep positive.

READING: THE LAST NAMSARA by Kristen Ciccarelli, SOULMATED by Shaila Patel, and almost done with A FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao

FINISHED READING:  CITY OF SAINTS AND THIEVES by Natalie C. Anderson, a Congo refugee on the hunt for her mother's murderer. I read a lot, I like a lot of books, but there are a select few I will just stay up all night for...this was one of them. READ THIS BOOK!!!

Monday, January 15, 2018

My TBR for 2018

A lot of book bloggers gear up about this time of year with a plethora of new releases/debuts they're anticipating for 2018. I'm just not that person. In fact, I anticipate the ones sitting in my TBR list instead. Yeah, there are a few releasing this year that I'm eager to read ASAP but, again...those other ones I'm just longing to sift through and bask in.

So, with that said, here is a collage of all the books in my TBR I marked while sifting through the online library's catalogue. Mind you some of my TBR's are not in the catalogue, sadly. But, this will have to do for now!

DO YOU have any pertinent reads you hope to finish this year??

READ THIS WEEK: A NIGHT DIVIDED by Jennifer Nielsen, a girl's family is divided when the Berlin Wall erects, LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds, a book in poem verse, if the ghosts of Christmas past met a boy in an elevator about to avenge his brother (loved it too much to even say)


MOVIE WATCHED: LEGO NINJAGO and it was pretty dang funny. There was this emotional part that I thought was okay let's move on, but my kids totally teared up during it.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Characters that Speak, Not the Author

As I've worked on my editing rounds from my YA Viking book, I am in the heads of three of the older sisters, as it is told in 3 points of view. Recently, my CP pointed out something to me that I had not even REALIZED I was doing - not speaking from my character's view.

For instance, there were a few times when I was writing as the author, as if I was in heaven and showing the angels what was happening, rather than them looking at it from the character's
perspective. I wondered then how many times throughout the book I had done this. It's easy not to catch because you will likely get so caught up in the story you don't see it or realize you're even doing it. You really have to proactively search for it. But IT IS THERE! Like a snake in the grass - oh my gosh it is there!!

Maybe this is hard to understand what exactly I mean, but maybe a few "for instances" will be helpful.

The author's head: The land was green and rich, lively and serene with birds flying wildly.
The character's head: Lush and lively land covered the earth for miles, more than Amy could imagine or had ever seen. The birds flew wild, much like the ones in her dreams, making her heart pulse with excitement.

The author's head: He wore a beaded necklace, sneakers, and board shorts like a surfer or a skater.
The character's head: His beaded necklace, sneakers, and board shorts made Amy swoon. There was nothing more than a skater slash surfer look that teased her senses, and blushed her cheeks quick.

The most important part of extracting and re-writing these areas, is to really think like the character. See it from their eyes and emotions. We normally see things and pin it to something else in our past, or judge it in some way. It is human nature, and if your character has any human or humanistic qualities, ensure they do the same! It definitely makes them relatable to the reader!

READS THIS WEEK:  AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White, a series opener with the premise of what Vlad the Impaler would be like if female. The story is very gritty and I enjoyed it! LGBTQ friendly. THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, a standalone turned movie, with the premise of social/racial injustice. Other than the amount of cussing (which is part of the reason I put it down and then later gave it a 2nd chance), it really does speak out and speak up.

READING NOW: A NIGHT DIVIDED by Jennifer Nielsen, LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds. I have a couple library and home books to figure out which to start first as I generally read 2-3 books at a time. It's a toss up between SOULMATED, THE LAST NAMASARA, and CITY OF SAINTS AND THIEVES.

MOVIES WATCHED: KING ARTHUR - it was really good, and I loved how they did the talking while showing it already being done. You will have to see the movie to understand what I mean.THE SHACK - my heart cried a million times over just like when I read the book.