Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Bloggy Awards...Show Some Love!

Book lovers, make yourselves heard--it's the Bloggy Awards!

The purpose of the Bloggy Awards is to spread blogger love and recognize some of the most amazing blogs out there.

Voting has commenced in the 2013 Bloggy Awards...if you haven't already voted, I'd like to share some of my favorite blogs who have been nominated.

GraveTells: nominated in several categories. I love GraveTells because, not only is it a GORGEOUS blog, it's also one of the blogs that really helped to promote my debut urban fantasy, BLEEDING HEARTS. Click here to view their blog and click here to see some of the categories in which they've been nominated.

Mind Reader Blog: Best Design. If you haven't visited the Mind Reader blog, you are missing out on a visual treat. I love the look of the banner and the rest of the blog. The girls behind the blog are rockin' chicks who put a lot of soul into everything they do. Click here to see the blog and click here  to see the category.

Several reviews of Bleeding Hearts made the nominations, too--thanks to my readers who sent in their favorites. Click here to vote in the Best Paranormal Review and pick the BH review that most tickled your heart.

Thanks for dropping by the Bloggy Award page to vote. These and so many other fantastic blogs deserve a little recognition for their devotion to sharing great books with readers like us.

You just might find new blogs to love and follow. I know I did.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bleeding Hearts Available for Read 2 Review on Goodreads

Are you a member of Goodreads? How about the Paranormal and Horror Lovers group?

You are? Awesome! That means that, not only will I commend you on your fine taste, I'll also remind you that Bleeding Hearts is now up for Read 2 Review on Sept 1.

The Read 2 Review program--or R2R--encourages authors and readers to connect and make each other happy. Authors offer 5-10 copies of their book to readers who, in turn, post an honest review.

Readers get free books. Authors get feedback. R2R equals win-win. :)

Need some links?

Goodreads is here.

The Paranormal and Horror Lovers group is here.

The sign-up thread for my book is here.

More about the Goodread group Paranormal and Horror Lovers:
This is a group focused on sharing the passion we all have for the paranormal, horror and fantasy genre. My aim is to have the spotlight on indie Authors and for them to be able to connect with readers. Also you can find us on facebook (here)
If you are a reader there is still lots for you, I promise! There are group contests, book of the month, games, heaps of fun stuff.
Hope to see you all on Goodreads soon...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award Nominations!

This week, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Lynn Thompson.

I've seen a lot of great blogs that are "proudly award free" but I am happy to say I am not one of them. :) Seriously. I am a contest junkie and there is nothing I love more than putting a shiny badge up. See my GraveTells Top Reviewer Pick on the side bar? I LOVE THAT THING. :)

And it's funny because I am not a competitive person. Not one bit. I just love, love, love shiny things and so I pursue them recklessly.

This nomination really floored me--I never expected something like this. It makes me feel like there is a purpose to blogging--not just to make announcements or promote ideas or products. There was a connection made--a connection between writer and reader and that's what validates me. That is all any writer craves.

Thank you again, Lynn, for this honor...I can't wait to put the SHININESS up on the sidebar. Thank you for including me in this wonderful group of bloggers! Tanto amore!

Now, in the great tradition of the Versatile Blogger Award, here are seven things about myself.

Music is my muse. I am inspired by the emotional tones of melodies, by misheard lyrics, by the timber of voices. I'm not just a hard rock girl--although I recently attended the Mayhem Festival (the only non-tattooed person there) I sang a Jackson Browne tune on my way back to the car. I don't think the roadies who were breaking down the second stage really got it.
I practice full-time retail pharmacy and it's my favorite time of the year--FLU SHOT SEASON! I love giving immunizations because I am a very bossy person...I'm not just telling you to stay healthy; I am sticking a needle in you and injecting immunity into you so you don't have a choice but to stay healthy. :)
I write with thick black gel pens and I edit in pixels.
I broke my toe last month when 99% of my body ran through a doorway. My right baby toe is the angry 1% and likes to thump into every object possible. Remember the 1%!
 I am a cat person who betrays myself by living with a German Shepherd.
Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. Not only does it have the KEWLEST Spanish name, it's also the day the Syfy channel runs Ghost Hunters marathons. OMG! Infrared cameras and EVPs! Squee!
 and finally...
I am happy and at home in my skin. Writing has helped me connect to my missing pieces and it's what brings me together as a whole.
Thank you again for this honor...and I'll be spreading the joy of it. Another rule of the Versatile Blogger Award is that we nominate other blogs for the I've got lots of joy to spread!

Take a moment to check out Lynn's blog and the others that have been nominated.

Cheers, all!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Niteblade: The Blooooooog Train

Happy Anniversary, Niteblade!

To celebrate the longevity of this fabulous fantasy and horror mag, I'm taking part in the Niteblade blog train. The last scheduled stop was here.

I remember the first piece I ever had accepted by Niteblade.  I especially remember writing it.

I was a newly published poet who stumbled through a dry spell.

It happens to every writer. Once you get a taste of being accepted, you realize that you want only one thing--to have every last piece immediately welcomed into journals.  It’s as if because we had a few things accepted, the entire publishing world should be witness to the wisdom of those editors and greedily grab up our work.

Ah, the arrogance of a writer.

Anyways. I had that notion kicked out of me pretty early on. Wave after wave of rejections flooded in. Stupid reality, why do you have to burst my bubble?

One day I decided to switch tactics. Instead of writing what I wanted to write and search for the right home for it, I did the exact opposite. I decided to read a few journals to see what they published. I'd then write things that needed to be in there.

In hindsight, there was a certain logic to doing that. Each editor of every journal has a style, a vein of philosophy that is reflected by the pieces they collect for the journals pages.  Just about every set of guidelines I’ve ever read encourages writers to read the journal, see what they like, then submit the same.

I just took things a step further--I'd craft a piece with the unfailing faith that the editor would love it.

Trouble was…and there’s always trouble…my optimism was stained with my sardonic spirit. Basically, my spiteful side was showing when I sat down to write something for Niteblade.

Sitting in the kitchen, I wrote “What’s for Dinner?” and sent it off to Editor Rhonda Parrish.

Five days later, I received her acceptance.

Huh, I thought. So that’s how it works.

She must have really liked it, too, because she picked it as one of her six Pushcart Prize nominations for the year.

To this day, it remains my proudest moment--and a most valuable lesson.  Respect the editor.  Woo them with your words.  Send them what they want most to read.

And if you really like their journal, make something just for them.

Happy Anniversary, Niteblade. Salut!

Go on to the next stop in the Niteblade Blog Train by visiting Marge Simon at when she posts on August 15th.

Read "What's For Dinner?" and other intriguing poetry in Niteblade Issue 18: The Poetry Issue.

Monday, August 13, 2012

QueryTracker Blog: The Zen of Backstory

New on the QueryTracker Blog: The Zen of Backstory:


It's become an almost-taboo word. It's been associated with evil things like info dumps and terrible first chapters and near-dead pacing.

While true, those things are just half the story of backstory.

Backstory is also what gives a novel its emotional value. It explains a character's motivations and deepens conflict. Without backstory, your character is shallow. Her actions and reactions are random and meaningless.

Finding the perfect balance isn't an easy thing to master but you can learn to do it--it's all about relevance, technique, and timing...

Read more on QueryTracker Blog: The Zen of Backstory

Friday, August 10, 2012

Loco Motion: The Niteblade Blog Train

Just wanted to give a shout out to the Niteblade Blog Train event, now in progress!

Niteblade published their first issue in September 2007. As they approach Issue #21, they will mark fifth anniversary.
To celebrate, they are hosting a small blog train that will visit 23 blog entries that all have something to do with Niteblade.

I'll be hosting my own spot next week. C’mon, it’s going to be a crazy trip!
Blog Train Schedule:
August 8th: Niteblade News ~*~ Choo Choo!
August 9th: James Dorr ~*~ The Niteblade Blog Train, What’s That? – Jazzy Vampires
August 10th: J.E. Taylor
August 11th: Aubrie Dionne
August 12th: Beth Cato
August 13th: Joseph Zieja
August 14th: Ash Krafton
August 15th: Marge Simon
August 16th: Stephanie M. Wytovich
August 17th: Alexandra Seidel
August 18th: Brenda Stokes Barron
August 19th: Kaolin Fire
August 20th: Chris Lewis Carter
August 21st: Rhonda Parrish
August 22nd: Alexis A. Hunter
August 23rd: Heather R. Peterson
August 24th: Mark Rigney
August 25th: Sharon K. Reamer
August 26th: Sandi Leibowitz
August 27th: Andrew Patterson
August 28th: John Clewarth
August 29th: Pete Aldin
August 30th: Amber Stults
August 31st: Jonathan Pinnock
September 1st: Niteblade News
 Hope you'll share this article and give Niteblade a little recognition--it's tough keeping an ezine on the right tracks these days and I'm proud to be a supporter of such a great publication. Stop by and say hi!

Monday, August 6, 2012

My So-Called Summer Vacation With Red Tash

Today I am guest posting at Red Tash Books.

She asked me what I did this summer. The real question should have been: What did I NOT do?

Back in May, I had my entire summer plotted out. I compiled a beautiful to-do list that had me on track to have my novel-in-progress at "first draft complete" status by end of July while deftly managing Boy Scout camp, Girl Scout camp, band camp. Gojo-ryu classes, a trip to Niagara Falls, crits on a friend's WIP, blog hopping in three events, laying a cement sidewalk, remembering to Frontline the dog, and keep the house free of dirty laundry. Oh, and go to work at the day job.

That list itself was a slap in the face to my so-called summer vacation. Where are the beach umbrellas, the lazy sounds of lapping waves? Not anywhere close to here.

Thankfully, the majority of the list went off without a hitch. It was the main track that failed.

Oh, well. Good to know that my distractions were all family-related. My family is enjoying their summer vacation, completely unaware of the nervous sweats I endure whenever I think about where I am on my novel WIP.

So, this morning I had some wonderful writing time to myself. Perfect chance to redeem myself, right?

Nah. I'm fooling around with Red Tash.

Enjoy my delinquency and see the post here.

Visit for more info on this saucy broad and for links to her YouTube sensational hit "In Bed With Red".

Check out the ebook The Wizard Takes A Holiday, now infestooned with tales by Ash Krafton and Claudia Lefeve.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

DOORWAYS on Smashwords--Have a Free Read!

Recently, I embarked on a new side quest in my writing adventure: I published a short story collection on Smashwords.

I admit,  it was totally a result of peer pressure. I have a lot of successful indie writer friends and, after hanging out with them so much, I wanted to start bringing my own toys to our play dates. After looking through my fiction catalog, I selected my three favorite shorts and sat my happy behind down to create an ebook out of them.

Ever put together an ebook before? Not me. I hadn't the slightest idea how to even start. (Well, that's not true...I started by opening a Word document and c/p three stories into it.But that's when I said WHAT NEXT?)

Lucky for a noob like me, Mark Coker has a wonderful guide on Smashwords on how to turn a manuscript into an ebook for Smashwords publishing. I pulled up the style guide on my phone and went to work.

My three stories were joined by a linked table of contents...then by two bonus excerpts...and then a fancy cover. (Love that picture, by the way. It's my new wallpaper.) I have to say I'm pretty pleased with my first forray into the wild unknowns of epublishing.

Best of all, my file was 100% formating error-free, according to Smashwords. Thank you, Style Guide, for making me look like I know what I'm doing!

And now I want to share it with everyone's too neat to keep to myself.

using this coupon: YL69Z

Like it? Let me know with a comment or brief review.

Happy reading,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tash, Lefeve, & Krafton: Fiction Fantasy Tag Team

Red Tash has a lot of people living in her head. Lucky for us, she's lets them out to play...and writes down everything they do.

The result is her growing catalog of fiction: This Brilliant Darkness, Troll or Derby, and the fun shorts involving her wizard.

Recently, Tash revamped her version of The Wizard Takes a Holiday by added a couple of surprises: shorts by Claudia Lefeve (author of the TRAVELERS SERIES) and--woots!--myself!

This is my first time working with Lefeve. In case you've never been to her website,  here is Claudia Lefeve's Official Bio:
Claudia Lefeve was born and raised in the Gulf Coast border town of Brownsville, Texas; a curious place where folks see curanderas in lieu of shrinks, tortillas are served at every meal, and even gringos speak Spanish. PARALLEL, the first book in The Travelers series, is her debut YA speculative novel. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and two pugs.

And...her unofficial bio: "I'm a complete TV junkie...some of my favorite shows are Buffy, Fringe, Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, and Bones. When I'm not writing or watching the tube, I teach criminal justice at the local community college. Oh, and I love skulls."

No wonder Tash wants Lefeve and I to get to know each other...we watch tv together! Here's a present for you, Claudia...a shot of the vodka I brought home from Canada. 
Isn't it CUTE!!!

Get to know Red Tash a little better, too, by finding her at or by looking for her on YouTube...she does this set of In Bed With Red vlogs that I love watching. She makes fun of me sometimes. I kinda like it. It makes me write stories in revenge. :P

Just kidding, Red. There are some people I don't dare let out of my head.

Be sure to check out The Wizard Takes A Holiday, fortified by a sprinkle of Lefeve and a dash of Ash Krafton. Awesomeness has never tasted so good.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mind Reader blog New Follower G!veaway

My friend Dark Franny has a splendid book review blog at Mind Reader. She's asked me to spread the word about her lovely digs and help her find new followers.

Of course, I'll oblige. Have you read her review of my book? Swoon!

Please pop on over to her blog, peer through the shadows, breathe in the enticing scent of her marvelous reviews, and follow her blog.

Here's the bonus: if anyone follows her blog, I'll pool you guys together and send one of you a gift card!

You must leave a comment on this post at Mind Reader with your GFC name (and blog name) and the words "recommended by Ash Krafton".

Then let me know in a comment below so I can count you in the raffle.

I'm so confident you guys are going to love her blog. The bonus raffle is just icing on the cake!

Thanks all rock.