Friday, April 24, 2015

Pencil Me In

Here we are in the last full week of April and I'm watching it slip by (slowly, this has been a long week), thinking, holy cow, May is right around the corner and it's going to be a busy one.

We're kick off book promotion next month by occupying BookMarx during Authors at Art Walk. I'll be there with authors Heather Snow, Rosalie Stanton, and Yvonne Irwin starting at 5:30 pm. Of course, I'll have books and FREE candy.

Then on May 3rd from 6 to 8 pm CST, I'm going to be on Authors in the Round. You can listen or watch online here. I'll be Skyping. Must raise computer so I don't look weird on the screen. That's an important note. This should be really exciting, but alas, you must bring your own candy.

On May 16, I'll be sharing table space at Meet the Authors with Lisa Medley at Nature's Treasures in Eureka Springs, AR. We'll be there from 10 am to 2 pm, peddling books and...you guessed it, FREE candy! I'm looking forward to this, because it'll be a nice little getaway to one of my favorite towns.

Also, please bear in mind that today is Day 5 of voting for the Historical: Post Medieval category in the 2015 RONE Awards. Wildwood Spring is waiting for your click. You can vote here.
Read the review!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Feature & Guest Post - Quest For Redemption by Sheri Velarde

Writing is a very solitary profession. It’s usually you and a computer (or pen and paper). That’s it. You and the blank page. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can be discouraging. Sometimes it can make you want to give up and go be “normal”. That is why I think it is important for authors to have a good support system around them. I can tell you that if it weren’t for my support team as I call them I would have stopped writing and would be suffering for it. Writing is part of who I am, but sometimes I need to be reminded of that and to not give up on my dreams. My biggest supporter is my fiancé William. He believes in my like no one else, encourages me when I am down, helps me with ideas and lets me run things by him when I am working. He is even helping make my dream of writing full time slowly become a reality. When I feel like throwing my hands up and giving up, he is there to tell me I am a good writer and to keep going, keep believing in myself. I don’t know what I would do without him. I also happen to know some amazing authors and friends who won’t let me quit. They know the struggle with self-doubt too and they cheer me on through mine, helping me to come out the other side. We are the Musketeers and without them I would not be here today. And I am always here when they need me too. Without my support team I seriously doubt I would be where I am today.

Blurb:
The fate of the realms rests on the hands of an elven princess yet to prove herself and an orphan just learning his powers.

Zanna is an elven warrior princess, who seems to have it all, yet really has nothing. Her fate is not in her own hands. Instead, it is bound to an ancient magic she has no control over. She wants to rule the elves, yet must prove herself worthy before she is accepted. She also wants to find her mate, but after two thousand years, didn't hold much hope. Her existence has become mundane, and she craves something new. A routine assignment suddenly turns into something bigger that could ruin all of them. Is she strong enough to save the world and find her own happiness too? Can she change and help change the fate of the world with her?
Will is an orphan who has always been confused by his strangeness. He keeps himself apart, separate from those around him. A chance meeting with a remarkable woman changes everything. He not only learns about himself, but about a whole other world that he is a part of by birthright. However the father that abandoned him as an infant stands to ruin his future and the future of the world unless he can be stopped.
Will and Zanna must face loved ones who work against them and their past as well as find the strength to fight a bigger enemy and save the realms from evil. Can love, friendship, family, and acceptance defeat evil before it brings the realms crashing down? Can Zanna prove herself worthy to rule the kingdom?

Excerpt:
Zanna stood, stunned into immobility. While with Alana, she would have to travel the human way. The thought slightly annoyed her, yet fascinated her at the same time. "I do not travel by vehicle, so I will be forced to ride in yours." She could still smell and see the fear in Alana, so she tried to lighten the mood. "You know I have never actually ridden in a car before."
"Really?" Alana seemed shocked.
"I have never had the need. I simply come and go in this world when I want. I usually arrive and leave the very spot I wish, and there is never a need for me to travel from place to place while in this realm. Not to mention I find the transportation of humans to be quite slow and cumbersome." Nonetheless, Zanna elegantly bent her long frame into the passenger side, slightly curious to see why many humans loved their cars so much. Sitting inside one, she felt rather cramped and uncomfortable, and while it was a fast means of transportation for a human, she didn't understand what was so special. Maybe one had to be human to fathom why vehicles fascinated them so.
Alana very nervously started her car and began to pull out. "Aren't you going to put your seatbelt on? We don't want to get pulled over."
"Excuse me?" Zanna had no idea what the sprite spoke of.
"The human law enforcement requires all people within a vehicle to wear a seatbelt." She pointed to the belt around herself.
As she pulled the belt and fastened it like Alana's, Zanna asked, "What is it for?"
"Protection in case of an accident. Stops you from flying through the windshield," she explained.
"How curious. You know it is completely unnecessary for me. But if it will keep human law enforcement from interfering, so be it. The less I have to deal with humans, the better."
The drive to Alana's home did not take as long as Zanna expected, especially considering she was used to arriving in places almost instantaneously. She actually found the trip rather interesting, seeing the human world in a way she had never experienced before. The tall metal buildings and the harsh exteriors held a beauty to them in their angles and order that she had never realized before. While she could never give up the open airiness of the magical realm, viewing this realm as a human gave her some insight into humans and their nature. Alana pulled into the parking lot of a very tall and nice-looking apartment building. She turned off her car and Zanna could see that she was once again trembling.
"What are you going to do to me and my mother?" She spoke so quietly that a mere human would have had a hard time hearing her.
"I am going to gather information. The more I hear about how little you know, the less inclined I am to punish you. I would like to know why you and your mother, who have magical blood, cannot enter our world. It is your birthright. If you cannot enter our world and have not been allowed those privileges of being two-natured, then I cannot punish you for not following our laws." Zanna tried to smile and reassure Alana that she meant her no harm. Judging by the look on her face, it worked. Zanna had been told before that when she smiled at humans and stared directly into their eyes they believed whatever she said. It came in handy when questioning them before erasing their memories.
Alana took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. Zanna attempted to follow, but forgot to take off the seatbelt and found herself still restrained. To her surprise, Alana giggled, and after a moment, so did Zanna. That shocked her even more. She rarely laughed, let alone giggled like a young girl. Kalan had been right saying that something was up with her tonight; she definitely was not herself.
As Alana took the lead, she said, "My mom's going to freak out that an elf is coming to our home. She always talks about how strong, powerful, and beautiful elves are. She's going to be so pleased, but mad that I didn't call to warn her that you were coming."
"I told you I mean no harm to your mother. There is no need to warn her."
"No, you misunderstand. She's going to wish she had time to clean and dress nicely for you. To make our home and herself more presentable to you," Alana explained.
Zanna was about to answer that this would not be necessary, but they had just walked inside the apartment building and a young man in the lobby, apparently leaving, walked right toward them. Alana and Zanna both stopped talking, not wanting to be overheard. Zanna also noticed that Alana's posture stiffened, and she could smell a little fear coming off her once more. She could tell that, this time, she was not the one causing the reaction. Zanna glanced and saw that Alana was blushing and peering shyly at the young man coming their way.


Get it at: Three Worlds Press || Amazon ||  ARe || Google Books || Kobo

About the Author:
Sheri Velarde is an author, artist, independent comic creator and jewelry designer out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a creative soul with eclectic taste and style when it comes to her art and writing. Sheri is a multi-publisher romance author who is now branching into fantasy as well with her Defender of the Realms series. When not creating (which her fiancé argues is never), Sheri can be found spending time with her fiancé and their two dogs, reading, watching fantasy movies, attending metal concerts and just taking time to stop and enjoy life. 
You can view Sheri’s work on her website/blog: http://sherivelarde.weebly.com/, on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sheri-VelardeKelly-Ryan/, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sher_V.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wildwood Spring & the Oscars of Indie

Sounds a bit like a children's book. It's not. Voting for the 2015 RONE Awards starts today, and as you know by now, Wildwood Spring is nominated in the Historical: Post Medieval category. If you wanted to tap dance over there and vote for it, I have a magic link.

Remember, though: You must have an account with InD'Tale to vote. It's really painless, I swear, and they have a really lovely magazine that they send you once a month for free with reviews, articles, and all sorts of things to keep you up on the indie and small press world. Painless. You have my word. Just create an account at InD'Tale and then you can click InD'Scribe / RONEs and select 2015 RONE Awards from the drop-down menu, then select Week Two or you can click here and be magically taken there.

Voting goes through April 26, so if you don't have time today, you have all week, but don't put it off until you forget, because...well, you'll have forgotten. Don't say, "Oopsey". Then you're sad, I'm sad, and we'll have to eat ice cream with our tears in it instead of victory ice cream. Think about it--you want victory ice cream. We all want victory ice cream.


Also, very important news. This weekend, I was able to get Wildwood Spring uploaded to Create Space and now it's available on Amazon in paperback form. Ebook form is awesome, paperback is very, very awesome. You can get it here or here.

DID YOU KNOW: RONE stands for Reward of Novel Excellence? Neither did I. Read about the RONE Awards here.

Then go vote, for heaven's sake!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Endings & Beginnings

It's hard to believe we're already halfway through April. I'm not sure what happened. Probably a lot of excitement last week made it go by really fast.

Not to mention my rush to finish Tell, because I was at that way too long. It was hard, there's no denying. I'm going to miss my Heckmasters when the editing is all done. For now, I've got the book and the synopsis written and I plan to let it stew for about another week before I look at it again. Then, barring changes, away it will go. I'm pretty happy with it (actually, I think it's sheer genius). Let's hope my editor likes it too.

Also, final steps are underway to bring Wildwood Spring back to Kindle and (finally) to print. I'll let you know what that happens. Just a reminder, it was nominated for an award under the Historical: Post Medieval category and I need YOUR vote. There are a lot of really good authors in the same category, so I don't expect to win, but I'd love your support, because Wildwood Spring is a special, fun romance. So don't forget on Monday morning to visit this page and vote for Wildwood Spring by Allison Merritt. I made a pretty graphic so you'll be sure to take notice and remember. Your help means the world to me! If you haven't read the excellent review Wildwood Spring got from InD'Tale magazine, it's here.


And I'm really happy with the way my current historical WIP is going. Since I joined the Savvy Author's boot camp, I'm up to 13000 words. I've been trying to do about 800 to 1000 a day, but sometimes that doesn't happen. I was a little stunned when I reached 13k, because I was like, wow, this is going insanely fast.

What with getting Tell finished, I also have to think about a couple of sooper sekrit projects that will come out this fall. Yes, more fantastic goodness from yours truly this fall, which will be here before we know it at the rate the year is flying by. Also hard to believe, but true. I should be ready to start writing on one or the other in the next couple of weeks. They both have due dates in November. I should be well done before then and with a lot of luck, the WIP I've got going now will be done by the end of May.

And another spot of good news: The weekend is almost here. Patience, kids. We'll get there.

UPDATE: Amazon is super fast today and Wildwood Spring is now L-I-V-E! You can check it out here. For a mere $2.99, you can immerse yourself in a Beauty and the Beast-esque tale full of danger, desire, mystery, and a little Wildwood magic.

Monday, April 13, 2015

When Everything Comes Up Allison

Last week was a big, damn, glorious week. As I said on a status update: Everything is coming up Allison.

The lovely shine of two book releases and the Cowboy Up 2 box set going to #1 has yet to wear off. Her Heart's Surrender made the top 100 list on Amazon and got a pretty silver star on ARe. Plus, I got Wildwood Spring formatted in both ebook and print, so you'll want to keep you eyes peeled for that. The proof shipped and I can't wait to hold it.

Also, there was the issue with the car I was worried about--we thought something was wrong with the brakes, the brake guy couldn't find anything, and so my husband and father-in-law took it apart. They thought it might be a wheel bearing, but of course, wheel bearings for this model are impossible to find on short notice. Thank heavens they took it apart first, because it turns out some part of the drum on the back was rubbing something else. It cost $0 to fix, hooray! Seriously, it was a fantastic week.

I'm kicking this week off with a first draft finish. I've also been writing nearly every day. I finally finished the first draft of Tell. It has several rough spots, but I was like, yes, this is crap, but it's better than no crap. Plus, despite my intentions of not wanting to write two books at once, I've been plowing along on a new historical romance. It hit 10k last night. That's 20% finished at a goal of 50,000 words.

Of course, believe it or not, I actually have two sooper sekrit projects I'm semi-sort of plotting right now. One involves cowboys...ooo. And another involved a fairy tale you've probably never heard of. But you will. *evil laughter* Enough blogging. Write. Write. Write.

Oh, and I don't even know how I forgot this, but Wildwood Spring was nominated in the RONE Awards too. Voting for its category starts Monday the 20th. I'll post a link.