Saturday, July 28, 2012

GraveTells Reader Choice: Please vote & RT!

Please take a moment to visit the GT poll site and vote for Bleeding Hearts in the July poll.

Every vote truly counts!

Earlier this month, Bleeding Hearts was reviewed at GraveTells Paranormal News and Reviews.

Read the review here...

I danced for days over this review because I knew she *got* me.

You know, this is exactly why I chose to seek the publishing path in the first place...novice writers know what a tough first step it is to allow someone else to read their story.

It's a tremendously vulnerable moment--our hardest work, our most personal effort, laid bare and awaiting judgement.

When it's time to seek reviews, it's the same feeling. The job of the reviewer is to pass a judgement--and tell EVERYONE what they think of your book.

GraveTells reviewer Mandy gave Bleeding Hearts a 4.5--a Silver Award--so the number was squee-worthy...but her words were the true prize, because she got me. It was definitely a risk worth taking.

Please take a moment to visit the GT poll site and vote for Bleeding Hearts in the July poll. Every vote truly counts!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sarah Pinneo: Surviving Book Cover Drama

Sarah Pinneo--author of Julia's Child and host of the Blurb is a Verb blog--is talking book covers: surviving the drama.

She asked me the story behind my debut's cover--the beautiful face of BLEEDING HEARTS. It's no secret I ADORE my cover--and the artist who created the beautiful artwork that graces my novel.

Definitely no trauma in my past--the entire process was fun and exciting...I think that's because I am lucky to be working with an amazing editor and superb publisher who is as passionate about my novels as I am.

Here's something I didn't tell Sarah--Duncan Eagleson, the artist, said the painting of the bleeding hearts flowers is based on a photograph taken by his life partner, Moira Ashleigh.

Read Sarah's post on her blog:
Blurb is a Verb

Check out Sarah's beautiful cover for her book, Julia's Child, and learn more about Julia's Child at Sarah's website.

Do you have a cover story? What was it like putting a face on your book?

Every picture tells a thousand words...let's hear yours!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1) by Ash Krafton

I love the GraveTells Paranormal Romance News and Reviews website. My first appearance was earlier this year when they sponsored my guest post and giveaway.  DaVinciKittie is an extremely gracious host who made me feel right at home on her wonderful site.

Since then, I had the chance to participate in the recent GraveTells IndiePendence Blog Hop--another great opportunity to mingle with the dedicated GT readers. But today is the best playdate of all--my book BLEEDING HEARTS was reviewed on GraveTells. I just had to share my squee with you all.

Follow the link to read the full review...

Review: Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1) by Ash Krafton

Sophie Galen, a magazine advice columnist, has always had the gift of sensing others’ emotions and is hardwired for helping people. The tragedies from her past have left her emotionally closed off and thinking she’d never find true love again. Then she meets Marek, a dark, brooding stranger whose soul cries out for her help and whose heart beckons her to let him in. Marek introduces her to a dark, dangerous world she never knew existed and that her multiple deadbolts won’t deter. Opening her heart to Marek is the least of her worries as Sophie finds herself in a battle waged to save his soul. Bleeding Hearts is a GraveTells Must-Read!

Monday, July 16, 2012

We have a WINNAH!

Two winnahs, in fact, because when it comes to champions, two are always better than one.

While we await the award list from Night Owl Reviews SUMMER FUN WEB HUNT, we can ask Rafflecopter who the winner of my Old Friends and New Followers contest is...


Thank you, Aliia, for entering my contest and for Tweeting about my book to all your friends. I truly appreciate your support and am glad you joined my Demimonde!

Aliaa will receive an autographed print copy of BLEEDING HEARTS: BOOK ONE OF THE DEMIMONDE as well as a gift card to the big B&N. Congrats, Aliaa! I'll email you shortly for your contact info...


Aliaa isn't the only one who goes home with a goody...I also want to extend a special thank you to the ladies who put my Rafflecopter form on their blog and encouraged their friends to learn more about my book.

The winner of the blogger's special raffle for a 25$ Amazon GC goes to...

Lady Vampire!

Thanks, Lady Vampire, for the great post you put up. Best wishes for you and your blog! Watch the email for a note from me...

And thank you to everyone for the countless entries and Tweets in support of my NOR Summer Fun bonus games. I hope you guys win something in the scavenger hunt--one of my prizes is a 50$ Amazon spending spree.

If you subscribed to the blog, you'll never miss out on a single contest or giveaway or news updates about the Semimonde series. I'm anticipating a few more reviews before the end of the summer so I hope I have good news worth sharing!

Thank you all for your support...congrats to the Demimonde's latest winners...and have a great week, everyone. Cheers!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Melinda's Bibliophile Blog: Bleeding Hearts

As a writer, I've come to forsake food as my primary sustenance.

Now, I live off reviews.

Reviews provide me with all the nutrition I need to fuel my writing, to write more and improve my craft and spend just one--more--hour-- doing promo for my debut. Writing is serious work and takes serious energy. Reviews provide it.

Some reviews, however, are more than just fuel. They are octane-boosted high-performance carb-packed total nutrition bars that are soaked in Red Bull. Like this one by Melinda's Bibliophile Blog.

Not only am I stoked to get to my writing today--I'm also dying to read the book again. This review was a terriffic read...don't miss it!

While you're there, leave a domment for her. It's a newer blog so let her know she's got readers out there who want more awesome reviews like this one.


<3 <3 <3

Melinda's Bibliophile Blog: Bleeding Hearts: Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ash Krafton must be a wizard because after eight million books being published about vampires, she's come up with with something so original, so creative, so unique that I was actually stunned by it. Those who would read this purely as a vampire book, you will not only pleased, you'll be thrilled, unless you like your vampires traditional. In that case, go buy Dracula by Bram Stoker. The original is always best. Being a wizard Ms.Krafton does a magnificent job combining love and romance with her new conception of vampires which makes this one helluva book on many levels. Way to go Ash!

Read the entire review and not just this one chunk of brilliance at Melinda's Bibliophile Blog: Bleeding Hearts!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Final Eight Days of the Summer Fun Web Hunt

We are down to the final week of the Summer Fun Web Hunt... Don't miss your chance to win!

Welcome to my Night Owl Reviews Summer Web Hunt post...glad you stopped by! We're down to the last few days of this gigundous giveaway and I wanted to remind everyone there is still time to win!

I'm thrilled to be a part of this awesome event--so many great prizes that are up for grabs. Books, gift cards, swag--talk about booty! I've won books in NOR's web hunts before so I personally know how much fun this is. I also found so many great new authors and books so it was a huge win all around...

If you've come from the NIGHT OWL REVIEWS Summer Web Hunt page, I know you're here to find a special answer. I'm going to totally make it worth your time….'cause I got a BONUS WIN in this post!

The clue lies within the pages of the Demimonde…

BLEEDING HEARTS is the first book in my Demimonde series. Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who has a little secret…one she doesn't even know. Yet.

When she meets Marek, he seems to draw her secrets to the surface. His redemption depends on her. Unfortunately, he's got secrets of his own—dark secrets, terrible truths that are hard to share. He is Demivampire, in danger of losing his treacherous soul.

Sophie is drawn into his world, step by step, tempted by his seduction, enticed by his need, and lured by the promise of a love for which she searched half her life. What is her secret—and is she strong enough to accept her own truths?

Bleeding Hearts was released this March through Pink Narcissus Press. The follow-up, Blood Rush, is on the editor's desk (if her laptop is on her desk, I suppose) and is expected March 2013. I'm going deeper into the Demimonde…and I hope you'll join me.

I've got an extra giveaway for you all. In addition to providing Marek's hint for the Night Owl Summer Fun Web Hunt, I have an extra surprise for followers of the Demimonde. Use the Rafflecopter form below to follow me and the Demimonde and you can win a print copy of Bleeding Hearts and a ten dollar gift card to Barnes & Noble! Earn bonus entries by Tweeting about the giveaway...the more, the merrier, I say!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting my Demimonde…I'm thrilled to share my world with you. Be sure to stop back some time to check out the review links on the side bar to see why Bleeding Hearts is getting great reviews. Readers love Sophie and Marek and the world of the Demivampire. Will you?

I have a great idea for a Bonus Bonus Win! Since I'm trying to spread the word about Bleeding Hearts and the Books of the Demimonde, I can really use your help.

Anyone who puts my Rafflecopter widget on their page to promote my book will be entered in a private raffle…for a $25 dollar Amazon Gift Card! Just leave your name and a link to your page in a comment on this post so that I can verify your entry. You can find the link to the widget here... So far, I've verified three pages (hugs and cheers, ladies!) If you're the next one to help me promote my book, you'd have a one in four chance of snagging that gift card. Damn good odds, I'd say! What do you say?

My thanks for your help in getting the word out about Bleeding Hearts and the Books of the Demimonde. Without enthusiastic readers and helpful friends, our books would remain our secrets…and books are secrets we should never keep from our friends. <3

Hugs and thanks for joining the Demimonde!

Monday, July 2, 2012

GraveTell's INDIEpendence Week Blog H0P

As an indie author, I am thrilled to be a part of GraveTell's Indie-pendence Week Blog Hop!

I'm an indie author who published her first novel through a small press. BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde was released March 2012 through Pink Narcissus Press. I couldn't have asked for a more amazing team—my Lord Editor Rose Mambert, my personal editor Stacy Giufre, my AMAZING copy editor SWEET JOSIE BROWN (capitals are intentional), and the unsurpassed Duncan Eagleson, my cover artist…

Did you notice all the possessiveness there? MY editors, MY artist? That's intentional, too. The folks at Pink Narcissus Press became my book's family from the very start. I am theirs and they are mine.

All those brains and personality and talent crammed into a tidy little publishing house—working with them has completely opened my eyes to the reality and potentials of small press publishing. I am proud to be an Indie-pendant. I'm proud to represent my publisher. I'm even proud to admit I stalked my Lord Editor at a convention and ambushed her in the bathroom so that we'd have a first meeting worth laughing about over cocktails one day. (It's how I roll.)

Anyways, today I wanted to share my origin story. I love origin stories—love them in comic books, love them on True Blood, just flat out love knowing where a body came from. Although I started writing novels right out of the gate—in secret, in snips of time, in Word documents and notebooks and sheets of scrap paper—I didn't become a published novelist right away. Noveling is a long and frustrating and amazing journey. (Writers will smile and nod their heads and know what I mean.)

I often took breaks from noveling to write shorter things like poetry and short stories. Those breaks served so many purposes: by switching gears, I combated writers block. I expressed ideas that didn't fit into my novel WIPs. I expanded on emotions I picked up from the music I love. As a result, I filled even more notebooks.

I couldn't let those words just rot in those notebooks, either. So I figured: might as well see if I can get them published.

We are a long way away from the days when we typed up our submissions, looked up the addresses to magazines and journals, and mailed away our precious work, only to wait weeks—months—before getting any type of response. Uck. That was so...analog. Thank you, Internet, for changing the publishing world as we know it.

Now, those magazines and journals are just a couple of taps on the keyboard away. Many even accept email submissions—and the ones that don't better get on with it before the archaeologists come after them.

One website, however, is deserving of special mention because it became the sharpest tool in my writer's tool chest. This one website became essential in my quest to get my small stuff published.

Duotrope: search for short fiction & poetry

I love Duotrope. If my memory serves, I first heard mention of them in a writer's group I'd joined on MySpace.  (That should tell you how long I've been using them. :D I haven't seen MySpace in years.)

Duotrope is a free resource for writers that primarily offers an extensive, searchable database of current fiction, poetry, and non-fiction markets—over 4250 current markets at the moment. They also offer a calendar of upcoming deadlines, submissions trackers (for registered users), and some nifty reports compiled from the data they've accumulated.

They have been honored as one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers for every year from 2006 through 2012. Also, Preditors & Editors selected them for their Truly Useful Site Award in February 2010.

Duotrope helped me find the folks who actually like my stuff enough to print it. I think I'm closing in on my one hundredth acceptance…I suppose I'll have to go check my submission tracker and get the official count. Some of those markets have since disappeared, some have grown bigger-better-stronger, and some have morphed into different things entirely. One thing for sure— kept a handle on the sea of literary markets so that I can dip in and fish for new acceptances whenever I have a new offering.

I love the Duotroopers, as their team is known. I want to bake them cookies. However, eating cookies made by someone you only know online is a little creepy at best so instead of being creepy, I support them with donations to keep the site running. I need them to keep running. They do all my research for me. If I lost Duotrope, I'd be losing my entire staff. Almost seriously.

Most of all, I love Duotrope because, when I was putting together a list of novel publishers, I decided—what the heck? Might as well look on Duotrope. Up until then, I'd only used it to get my short stuff published. I hadn't even considered looking for a publisher for BLEEDING HEARTS on Duotrope.

I'm glad I did—because that's how I found Pink Narcissus Press.

And we live happily ever after. :D

Duotrope 's amazing web resources helped me to publish my small stuff while I was working on the big stuff—my novels—and, when the time came to finally sign that first novel contract, I'd become a seasoned, savvy Indie author who knew the joys of indie publishing. I like to think my Lord Editor signed a professional author when she got me. I know that I wouldn't have had that confidence without the experiences I got by perfecting my submissions and publishing my short work.

When you play the game of publishing, every bit of practice counts. Duotrope was an essential avenue that allowed me to make the transition from novice writer to professional indie author.And they helped me round out an impressive bio to boot. Editors love that.

Duotrope: search for short fiction & poetry markets

How about YOU? Are you an indie? We indies stick together…so let's get to know each other better. What's your origin story? We want to know...and friends share. :D

Join my Demimonde--follow me here, or on Facebook, or on Twitter--and leave a comment to enter to win a copy of BLEEDING HEARTS, available in Kindle and Nook/epub formats.

(You can also visit THIS POST HERE where I'm hosting a new follower giveaway until July 15—you can win print books, gift cards, and crazy swag!)

Return to the party list by ckicking here: GraveTells INDIEpendence Blog Hop Linky List

Sunday, July 1, 2012

4th of July Blog Hop!


I love 'em. The sounds--the sizzle, the pops, the booms. I love the way you can feel the sound in your lungs, in your feet because the very ground shakes with each explosion.

I love the smell of burned matches and lit fuses and the thick scent of rocket smoke as the heavy clouds linger low in the air.

I love the lights--those flashes of colorful chemical incandescence that lend the brilliance of noon day sun to the smoky twilight. The colors flash off every leaf, every pair of eyes and the flames are, for a moment, a living part of us.

And then...

it's over.

Darkness. Silence. The fireworks are over. We hang on a breath, wondering--is this all there is? Was it over? And a part of us is truly disappointed that the fireworks are done.

Life is like that. Love is like that. Every bright and wonderful thing we've ever known is like that--bursts of light and sound that interrupt sleepy doldrums of uninspired predictability. We live moment to moment, hoping each one will be brighter than the last. And every once in a while we get fireworks--moments that burn so brightly that they leave fiery afterimages burning on our retinas for long seconds afterwards. We don't even notice the dark silence because the sounds of fireworks still echo through our ears.

Driving home from work tonight, I saw fireworks that someone in the neighborhood set off. The moon is near full and, between the lunar luminescence and the intermittent bursts, I could see dark shapes of trees like silhouettes against the sporadic light. I wanted to roll down the car window and take as deep a breath as I could. Seeing them weren't enough.

Then I remembered--these weren't the only fireworks I loved. My husband's lightning strike smile, my kids' bursts of laughter, those flash-and-fade victories and achievements of all shapes and sizes that get us day to day.
See this feeling right here?

There's a trick to making those moments last-- acknowledge them. Appreciate the work it takes to earn them. Savor the fuse and linger after the lights begin to fade.

Don't go though life stuck indoors with the windows closed. Go outside and enjoy the fireworks, living each burst as it blooms.

Fireworks are my favorite part of the Forth of July celebrations...what are yours?

Leave a comment and be entered to win a e-copy of BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde, available for Kindle or Nook/epub formats (winner's choice).

And be sure to visit the other bloggers this week who are setting off fireworks of their own. Good luck and Happy Independence Day!