Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Should Authors Be Reviewers? On the Query Tracker Blog

Recently I posted my thoughts on authors-as-reviewers over at the QueryTracker Blog. I had been sending out heaps of emails seeking reviews for my second novel and it occured to me-- should I be reviewing other books, too?

Maybe you find yourself wondering the same thing. Stop by the QTB and see if you are of a like mind.

QueryTracker Blog: Should Authors Be Reviewers?

For every story, there is a review. Sometimes, there are many reviews. Sometimes, the reviews remain unwritten.

And that is the tragedy, isn't it? The unwritten review.

Reviews are nature's way of validating an author's efforts. Whenever a review is written, an author is assured, once more, that their work has been read. Has been processed by the mind of another person. Has been mulled about in another's thoughts.

An author is assured that, through their story, they've connected to another human being.

Does that sound melodramatic? It should…and it shouldn't.

Read this article and many others at the QueryTracker Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013

Two Ebooks FREE in all formats!

As a writer, I admit that there's been many times when I sat at the keyboard, waiting for the words to arrive. And they didn't.

I've checked and re-checked my email, waiting to hear back from agents and editors to send me heaps of acceptances. And they didn't.

I've sprawled in bed, staring at a dark ceiling, searching the corners of my brain for ideas, waiting for the muses to whisper their secrets to me. And they didn't.

Thankfully, this is not one of those days weeks months. :)

So much going on...working on pre-launch activities for BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2) including a huge GOODREADS contest...lookee here! I also heard from my lord editor Rose Mambert of Pink Narcissus Press, who let me know my ARCs are on the way. Huzzah! It'll be red pen time soon...

Final edits are underway on a longish short story about soldiers and wizards and gods. (Potent combination.)  I'm thinking about using KDP for this one so that means I'll be formatting and getting a cover done--I've discussed the possibility with Silvia from Dark World Books already. I love her designs...and you will, too.

Best of all, a new story is cooking up in my brain--and on paper. It's a haunting tale of life and death and time as seen by the gods. I'm really excited about this story and am very eager to get to work on it.

All this wonderful going on--so much that I'm unsure what to do first. So, I'll do what I always do when I can't decide...


You can pick up my short story collections for FREE on Smashwords. They are available in all ebook formats so download your choice!

These are my short story collections...a third, RESET BUTTON, is in the works. (More stuff on the TO-DO list)
They are regularly priced at $2.99 each but you can get them for FREE right now!
And, if you are the GOODREADS type, I'd love it if you added them to your bookshelf and dropped a few stars for me. (See DOORWAYS and BLIND ALLEYS)
I'm always eager to see your thoughts and I check GR as ferociously as I check my email these days...
Enjoy and can't wait to get the new stuff out there.

Remember the Stars by Natalie-Nicole Bates

DARK WORLD BOOKS presents...
Be sure to visit the DWB page for a great GIVEAWAY!
Remember the Stars
(A 12,000 words Novella)
For Leah Rhodes, life as she knows it has just changed forever.
Waking in a gutter in the dark surroundings of her distant past, a familiar man stands out in her confusion.
But Remy Moreland has been dead for years.
It soon becomes apparent to Leah that both she and Remy are trapped in a hell of their own making.
Can one night together not only lead to the way out, but to love as well?
Amazon UKAmazon US

Natalie-Nicole Bates
Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author. Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia. She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.

Remember the Stars by Natalie-Nicole Bates is now on tour!Check all the great tour stops and don’t forget to join the International giveaway!
Remember the Stars Tour schedule:
A SPECIAL TREAT...A Guest post from the author herself!

Between Life and Death

By Natalie-Nicole Bates

The subject of life after death has fascinated mankind for as long has he’s walked the earth. Modern religion varies on the topics. Some religions teach that a wondrous land of rest awaits us—if we’re good that is—or we are truly sorry of all the evil we caused during or life time. Other religions believe in reincarnation—we go on and on and hopefully learn all the lessons in life we are supposed to, and then we finally find eternal rest.

But what of those who live between life and death?

Years ago, I worked as a trauma technician for a major hospital. I spent a good deal of time with patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries and were in various states of coma. Coma, by the way, is not like it’s portrayed on television. You don’t lie unconscious and wake up suddenly good as new again. There are various degrees of coma, but that isn’t important to this writing.

For patients in deep coma, I often wondered what they experienced. Were they dreaming, were they on another plane of existence, or were they simply there, but not there.

This thinking is what brought me to write Remember The Stars. I used the thought that perhaps while a person is in this state of coma they travel to another plane of existence. Depending on how you got there determines if it is, loosely put, heaven or hell.

In Remember The Stars, we meet Remy Moreland who through his own fault is languishing in a deep coma. When Leah Rhodes is literally dumped into his existence, he’s not sure if she’s like he is, or if the Fates are having fun with him at his expense.

But you’ll need to read Remember The Stars to fully understand this.

I hope you’ll give Remember The Stars a read and find out my spin on what happens between life and death.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Liebster Award Nominations!

Paul D. Dail nominated the Demimonde for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Paul! His post can be found here...while you are there, have a look around. Great blog! 

This is my first nomination for a Liebster. Never knew what went into wearing a Liebster badge until now, so I thought I'd share the rules.
Here are the requirements:

- 11 random facts about me and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me (obviously notifying said person about this post).

- Nominate 11 other people and come up with 11 new questions. Can’t nominate the person who nominated me.

- Paste the award picture on the blog.

Yay! Another shiny thing for my blog!

How I am defining myself today:

1- I am a Whosian. I go all the way back to Doctor number 4 and I'm really sad when I think about how number 9 said he wouldn't be in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary show. (You can see my brandy-new Pintrest page for my Who stuff.)

2- Speaking of Doctor Who, my favorite video is here . I can watch this over and over. ARE YOU DISRESPECTIN' THE HOUSE OF COOPER!

3-I love talking in different accents. Makes answering the phone at work really interesting sometimes. Lately, I've been using various UK accents. Totally the Doctor's fault.

4- I know how to roller skate. Might come as a shock to you who probably think I'm just on my arse in front of the computer all day. Psyche!

5- My kids know more about computers than I do. I take comfort in knowing I can read an analog clock and I say thing like "half past" and "quarter 'til".

6- I like to eat chocolate pudding and whipped cream stuff all mixed up together. If one is on top of the other, it's too much. *yech* Blend it or forget it.

7- I know the internal body temperature of a Tauntaun.

8- I like writing in pen but editing in pixels. Writing in pixels makes the backspace button so tempting to go backwards instead of forwards.

9- I am a cat person who lives with a dog. Sometimes I call my German Shepherd "kitty". Drives my husband batty.

10- I only watch the first two Harry Potter movies because they have MY Albus in them. I had a crush on Richard Harris since I was a frosh in high school and I still mourn the man. That's why I bought a copy of the Elder Wand when I went to Universal Studios. (I teared up a little, too, when I saw it. My Albus!)

11- My second book's release is coming up and I really could use your support. Pop on over to this blog post so that you can see how you can win glorious prizes when you add my Demimonde books to your Goodreads shelf.

Here are Paul's questions for me:

1- What was one of the first books to have a profound effect on you (interpret as you will)?

The Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien.

There were a lot of words I didn't understand--and a bunch I couldn't pronounce--but, thirty years later, I still think about that damn book. In fact, I just reviewed it on Goodreads because you made me think of it. Thanks a bunch, Paul, for taking me all the way back to that book.

2- More peanut butter or more jelly on your sandwich?

Peanut butter. Even though I made my own jelly, I hate when it globs over the edges. And, while we are talking about peanut butter, it has to be the good kind. Usually Jif or Skippy. Occasionally, it's Planters. But never, ever Peter Pan. *shudder*

3- What’s one of the scariest things you’ve done?

Volunteering to be the first one to attempt a ropes course when I was on a Girl Scout camping trip. It took every ounce of nerve to do that because I was totally a chicken about everything. I was 14 at the time…and sometimes I still draw on that courage to do things I find almost too challenging to attempt.

4- What’s one of the stupidest things you’ve done?

Took my brother's stick shift pickup and drove it up the side of a mountain because I wanted to show off. Had no idea what I was gonna do when I got to the top. Kind of like ninety seconds of NO GOING BACK NOW. Worst was I had to look like I knew what I was doing the whole time so my friends wouldn't call me out.

5- What’s your first choice: beer, wine, hard liquor, soda, other?

Tea. A good Darjeeling, preferably a spring first flush. It should be mellow, with a hint of fruity notes, a taste that lingers on the tongue after you swallow it.

6- For #5, your favorite brand/style/cocktail?

Red Cat wine. Or Boon's Farm. Ha ha…they bring out the silly drunk in me.

7- If you could live anywhere for a year (money and/or reality are no object), where would it be?

Disney World, probably the top floor of the Beach Club resort. I LOVE THAT PLACE!

8- Who is one person who has been a big inspiration to you?

Cristina Scabbia, the female singer of Lacuna Coil. Their music takes me to the place I need to be when writing the emotional dark stuff.

9- If you were given the choice between losing your sight or your hearing, which would it be?

EASY. I'd rather lose my sight. I'd learn to adapt to a sightless world as I've been lucky to know some very inspirational sightless people. Also, I've thought about this for years since my optometrist found a weird freckle on one of my retinas. Might want to be cancer one day. I'd be ok if I lose my sight. I can use JAWS software to use the computer (and I'd get a Braille keyboard. The blinking cursor is the shiznit!

If I became deaf, however, I don't know how I'd manage. A life without hearing music or voices…I can't even consider it. What a terrible, lonely place to be...alone inside my head.

10- Speaking of hearing, who is one of your favorite bands or musicians?

Why, I'm glad you asked. Rush, because I heart Geddy Lee; Blind Guardian, because Hansi crushes EVERYTHING; and Lacuna Coil, who I'm going to actually meet this Friday. WOOTS for meet and greet passes! I am taping my mouth shut so I don't make an ass of myself in front of my muses. J

11- Have you ever done karaoke?

Did back-up for my brother once. Thought it was goofy. Although I sing all the time, I'd never do it on a stage.

Here are my nominees.  Some are blogs I follow, some are blogs who have been gracious enough to host me, and some are bloggers who stopped by the Demimonde for a guest post. At any rate, these are some of my favorite blogs.

Take up the gauntlet if you will!

7- Nikki: Nikki's Book Blog

And here's what I want to know, nominees!

1- What is your favorite line from a movie? (Include stage direction if necessary.

2- Name a guilty pleasure that you'd be too embarrassed to admit to someone in person--but here in the anonymity of the Internet, you're cool talking about it.

3- What does unicorn blood look like?

4- Have you ever pretended to be someone else to get out of talking to person?

5- If you could have any one book in the world--no matter how old, how rare, how bizarre--what would it be?

6- Do you have an illogical fear?

7- What is your favorite color?

8- What's the farthest you've ever been from home?

9- Do you believe in ghosts?

10- Who is your favorite villain?

11- What is the most helpful writer's blog you read?

Okay, class…That's all for today. You have your assignments. Good luck! I'm really looking forward to reading your blogs. I'm hoping someone has a thing for Doctor Who…

Enjoy your shiny Liebster badges!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pre-Launch Event…Bleeding Hearts G!veaway

If you like paranormal love stories or beautiful porcelain jewelry, then this is a giveaway you don't want to miss.

I'm getting ready to review the ARC for BLOOD RUSH--the second book in my Demimonde series. It's scheduled to release in May and I am getting the pre-release jitters already. With the sequel release so close at hand, I thought it would be fun to put this nervous energy to good use and have a little giveaway--open INT, of course.

Shiny things have always captured my attention…and the Franz porcelain bleeding hearts are no exception. I've been stalking them online for some time now. Today, I took the plunge and bought them--and I'm going to share them with YOU if we can reach 500 adds on Goodreads for my upcoming release, Blood Rush (Demimonde #2).

What I have to give you:
  • A signed copy of BLEEDING HEARTS (Demimonde #1)
  • A Franz porcelain bleeding heart pendant, eerily reminiscent of the cover art.
I bought a pair of Franz earrings with the intention to remove the hooks and convert them into pendants. I also have a mind to replace the hanging pearl with a red Swarovski tear drop crystal. All the better to wear my book, right? J
And one of you can, too. I will give away one of the pendants to a lucky reader. The winner may choose the original pearl drop or the red crystal alteration.
  • Demimonde swag: magnets, bookmarks--who knows what I'll find in my swag basket?

BONUS: If we hit 1000 adds for Blood Rush by May 6, I'll add a $50 Amazon GC to the pot!

What you can do to enter:
  • Add Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1) and Blood Rush (Demimonde #2) to your Goodreads shelf
  • Like/tag Bleeding Hearts on Amazon

You can also:
  • Follow me on Facebook (because I am a good time)
  • Follow me on Twitter (because I love to promote other writers and bloggers)
  • Tweet about the giveaway (because sharing the love is a nice thing to do)
  • Join the Demimonde (by following my blog)

 Of course, I made it all so much easier by making a Rafflecopter form :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event will run until Monday, May 6…a week before the big BLOOD RUSH release!

(And then it's time for an entirely new set of giveaways….but you gotta get in them to win them.)

I hope you'll enter the giveaway and lend your support to my books. If you haven't had a chance to read Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1) yet, stop by the Goodreads page to read some of the reviews before visiting the Amazon page.

And be sure to share this event with your friends...look for the Facebook event and invite your social media masses. This is totally a case of bigger equals better, because the prizes get better the bigger we get!
Meet my demivampires…you'll like them as much as they would like you.