Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy St. George Day





Happy St. George Day!







April 23rd is St. George Day, and for those not in the know, St. George is England's patron saint, most famous for the slaying of a dragon.  In the tales, St. George rode out to battle an evil dragon that had been terrorizing a town by eating their children (or their young women, in some versions).  The valiant St. George killed the monstrous dragon, saved the princess from its claws, and peace reigned once again.

And so the legend lives, but the war between dragons and St. George is far from over.


Now, dragons walk through the world in human form, and the Order of St. George still exists, though in secret, to eradicate their ancient foes and protect humanity.  They've evolved with the times; they've traded swords for guns, horses for helicopters.  They are no longer knights, but soldiers, working together as a unit, quick and lethal.  They come from different walks of life, but their mission remains ever the same.






Destroy all dragons, no matter what the cost.


The final battle between dragonkind and the new Order of St. George begins this October.  Who will emerge victorious?  Who will become extinct?  You'll have to wait for Talon to find out.


Happy St. George Day!
-Julie















Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday + Giveaway: The Forever Song

Hi everyone!




So, the Forever Song is out in the world now.  I think this calls for a giveaway, don't you?  How does a signed copy of The Forever Song sound to everyone?  But first, since its also Tuesday, here is a short teaser from the book.  See if you can guess who said this:


***

"You don't know when to stop.  You continue to rage against the inevitable, beating your wings against the coming darkness, even as it drags you down into its sweet, eternal embrace."


***


And now, the giveaway.  You know what to do. Enter the Rafflecopter thingie on the blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed Forever Song.  Giveaway will run until April 30th and yes, it is international.






a Rafflecopter giveaway





-Julie

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Musings

Hey everyone!


Have I mentioned that I love Twitter?  I can ask any question and get an answer right away, usually multiple answers.  Today, I had nothing planned to post about, so I opened the question up to everyone.  The answers were varied and many.  ^__^ I chose this question for today's post.



"What's the most surprising thing you've learned about yourself through writing?"




One important thing I've learned is this: I CAN finish a book, start to finish, in under a year.  Let me explain that.  The first book I ever truly, one hundred percent completed, took me five years to write.  Five. Years.  Of course, I was working then, and wrote when inspiration struck or when I had the time.  It always amazed me when I heard of authors finishing a book in a year.  I just couldn't fathom it.  Sometimes it worried me. Even if I did get a book published, how could I ever make writing a career if it took me so long to finish a book?

Then came something called NaNo WriMo.






For those of you who don't know, NaNo WriMo, or just Nano as it's called by nearly everyone, stands for National Novel Writing Month.  It is a month long challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, rain or shine, come heck or high water.  50,000 words is reasonably half a book and, broken down, adds up to 1,667 words a day, seven days a week.



I wasn't sure if I could do it.  50,000 words in a month?  My last book had taken me five years.



But, I started.  And you know what?  Those 1,667 words a day REALLY add up.  Not to say it wasn't hard, or that some days I really wanted to do something else, anything else, than trudge up another hundred or so words.  But I made myself write everyday, seven days a week, for a month.  And at the end of the month, I had written 50,000 words.  Another month of this, and I had finished the novel.  In two months.  Two months, compared to five years.  It was a huge revelation for me, as well as a much needed wake up call.  I had finished a whole book in 60 days.  All I had to do, strangely enough, was WRITE.



So, for all you hopeful writers out there.  The only way to write a book is to actually WRITE A BOOK.  Inspiration is great and all, but at some point you're going to have to sit down and put words on paper or the computer screen.  Make yourself do it.  Keep writing everyday.  If you get discouraged, don't stop.  Just remember, every word is another step closer to the end.  And then one day you'll look up, and you'll have a finished book.



Oh, and if anyone tells you that Nano writing will never produce a sell-able book, that its just writers churning out crap, don't get discouraged.  For me, Nano was important because it made me realize I could write a book in a few months, that I didn't need years and years to finish a novel.  And if that isn't inspiring, I'll leave you with one last bit of information.  That novel I wrote for NaNo WriMo?  The one I finished in under two months?


That novel was The Iron King.



-Julie











Friday, April 18, 2014

Dragon Friday: Talon Cover Thoughts


Happy Dragon Friday!


A couple days ago, the cover for Talon was revealed.  If you haven't seen it yet, here it is (with summary):



Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

 Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

 Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.


***


So, my thoughts on the cover.  Back when they were first coming up with the design for Talon, the team at Harlequin Teen showed me four possible cover concepts.  And while the other three were really cool and lovely and dragon-y, the vivid red cover instantly jumped right off the page.  (I immediately emailed my editor and said something along the lines of: "if they don't choose this cover I'm legit going to cry."  She said she would pass that along, lol.)


 Simply put, I adore it.  I love the shifting, metallic red scales, the play of shadows over the muscles, the striking gold title with the dragon in the center of the O.  Its elegant and mysterious and the color is absolutely perfect.  I know some might be disappointed that there isn't a picture of an actual dragon on the front, but I'm quite relieved that there isn't.  I'm rather picky about my dragons; I know exactly what they look like, and a picture could destroy the image I had of them.  With this cover, you're free to imagine them as you choose.

 

So what do you guys think?  And when you think "dragon" what do you picture?  Let me know your thoughts!

-Julie









Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Talon cover reveal + winners

Hey everyone!


So, the cover for Talon was finally revealed yesterday!  Did you all get to see it?  If not, feast your eyes below on the gorgeous pretty.






Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.






What do you guys think?  I adore this cover.  I love the simple elegance, the metallic, rippling red scales, the bold gold title with the dragon in the O.  Its probably my favorite cover to date.  I hope you like it, too.  :)



So, whose guess was the closest to the actual cover?  There were actually several that came really, really close, and a few that were nearly spot on.  I read through all the entries, picked the ones that were the closest, and then chose a random winner from those numbers.


The winners of the Guess the Cover contest are as follows.



For the signed copy of The Forever Song: Minerva Emano.


And the winner of the signed Forever Song and the chibi dragon figurine is: Jess the Cozy Reader!



Congrats to you both!  I will be emailing you shortly.  And thanks to everyone who entered and took a guess on the cover; your ideas were so creative and awesome.  As we get closer to Talon's release, there will be many more fun things to come, so stay tuned!






-Julie









Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings: Ending a series


So, tomorrow The Forever Song is released upon the world.


The last book of the Blood of Eden trilogy.  The End.  The final adventure.  This is only the second series I've completed (the first since the original Iron Fey, if you can believe it), and people always ask me how it feels saying goodbye to a series.  I've worked with these characters for many months, agonized over their actions, been inside their heads for a very long time.  How does it feel, knowing you have to leave them behind and move onto something new?


For me, ending a series makes me both happy and sad.  Sad because, yes, I will miss them.  I've been a part of Allison's life since the beginning.  I've watched her evolve from a jaded, cynical street rat to a fierce, bloodthirsty vampire, to finally the person she is today.  I've watched her with Zeke, Kanin, Jackal and everyone, and I feel like I know them all, inside and out.  And it was tough, ending this series, knowing the outcome of one of their stories.  I cried writing that scene.  I can't say which one.  You'll know it when you get there.






















But all good things must come to end, and I'm happy that I could give Allison and co. the finale they deserve.  I'm also proud that I actually finished a story arc, beginning to end.  Sometimes when writing a series, it feels like you'll never finish, that you'll go on forever with these characters and never have any resolution.  It's a relief to know they got their ending, and that--whether happy, sad, or somewhere in between--you were able to take them through an incredible adventure to those final two words, The End.



And as for Allison and the Blood of Eden series, I'm content with where I left them. I  hope that when readers turn the final page, they'll feel as I do: sad that its over, but content in knowing the story of vampires, rabids, humans and monsters couldn't have ended any other way.






The Forever Song is out tomorrow!  Grab your copy  to read Allie's last adventure for yourself.  =)



-Julie

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dragon Friday

Hey all!


So today for Dragon Friday, I have the pics of the dragons that will be going up in the Etsy store tomorrow, Saturday at noon, EST.  Linkie to Etsy store below.

Etsy shop.


Some of the dragons up tomorrow will be:








This guy was fun to work on.  He makes me laugh now.  That tongue!  I tried several different ways to get it right, before I finally figured it out.  He's very much enjoying his lollipop.  ^__^











Little dragon guarding his treasure chest.  The chest is removable, both pieces are separate from each other. The chest is also made of clay, and has shiny bits of coin and treasure inside.












Fiery magma dragon.  He's actually my favorite of the bunch and turned out even cooler than I thought he would.  Will have to make more like him in the future.










This fuzzy little guy again.  I lamented about the impossible-ness of white clay earlier, so I won't bore you again.  Oh, and for those curious, his name in that book I wrote as a kid was Rune.











All the dragons going up tomorrow.  The little yellow guy isn't done yet; he needs eyeballs and glaze, but I like how he turned out.  He looks like a lemon drop. There's also a Forever Song book dragon in there, too.  

Oh, and don't forget to enter the TALON cover reveal contest in the post before this one!  You can win a signed Forever Song and a little clay dragon if you guess the cover, which will be revealed Tuesday, April 15th!  Exciting stuff!


Which one is your favorite?




Happy Dragon Friday!
-Julie