Thursday, December 26, 2013

Putting the Rumors to Rest

There are some rumors circulating -- two in particular -- that concern me personally, and I figured the best way to handle them is to address them head on so that way there is no confusion.

Rumor #1: You left Entranced Publishing to go work for a new press

TRUE & FALSE

Truth: I did resign my position as Senior Editor at Entranced Publishing. But I did so for some very personal reasons that have nothing to do with the company itself. I adore the entire staff of Entranced and every single author who is signed with them -- which, for the record, includes me because my book is still published by them. Yes, I have taken a new position with Anaiah Press. And yes, it is a Christian fiction press. I'm the Managing Editor for their Surge Imprint (YA / NA titles).

False: I did not leave Entranced to go to Anaiah. In fact, I knew nothing about Anaiah until well after I'd given my resignation. But for the record, I'm thrilled with my new position and I'm very excited to build a new client list!

Rumor #2: You're no longer writing adult / erotica books

TRUE

From this point forward, I will only be writing young adult books under the name Kara Leigh Miller. As you can see, I'm slowly making the transition and removing all my adult titles from this blog. Only a couple of these adult titles are going to remain in publication after the first of the year, and the only reason for that is because I'm contractually obligated for a bit longer.

(On a side note: I am working to develop a new pseudonym that will allow me to write in the adult / erotica genres again.)

As always, my email (karaleighmiller (at) gmail (dot) com) is open to anyone who'd like to use it. Feel free to send me a message or two about anything you'd like!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SALE! SALE! SALE!

I have some VERY exciting news to share with all of you, so I'll get right to it...

1. Love and Other Games has a sexy new cover! What do y'all think? Doesn't it capture the flavor of the stories so much better?


2. Love and Other Games is now ON SALE for $0.99 for a limited time only. Get your copy now!

 


3. I'm offering -- exclusively on my blog -- a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE sale! If you buy a copy of Love and Other Games (for only $0.99) and email me proof of purchase (karaleighmiller@gmail.com) I will send you a free copy of Death of a Waterfall. Already read Death of a Waterfall? No problems! I'll let you choose any book from my current backlist :-)
** Please note: This is just an offer I'm giving to my readers as something a little extra and to help save some money during the holidays. This is completely optional and is NOT required to gain entry into the contest listed below. **


4. In celebration of our new cover and sale price, we're giving away a Nook Simple Touch & a mini swag pack!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 6, 2013

{BOOK SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW}: John J. Higgins

Author, John J. Higgins stops by today to answer a few questions and tell us about his newest book. Welcome, John. Care to tell us a bit about yourself?

I feel that I have crammed in about five lifetimes into one, this time around. I have been exposed to many things and was fortunate enough to be able to engage and experience such things as: working on farms as a kid; taking flying lessons and building a twenty foot wing-spanned plane for my 8th grade science fair project,  learning skills such as refinishing furniture and gun repair as a teenager; learned to scuba dive; supervised eighty employees and three departments in a complex industrial finishing work environment at nineteen years old; went back and finished college then changed the substance abuse system in my state; went to law school at night while working full-time;  produced anti- drug abuse PSA's for television using rock stars and celebrities; produced an anti-bias crime play using talented inner city high school student actors that we brought to 170 high schools in New Jersey and Toronto;  prosecuted cases in nineteen of New Jersey's twenty-one counties and worked on the prosecutions of New Jersey's most prolific serial killer, nurse Charles Cullen as well as other high profile cases up to and including other complex homicides. I also developed and used many tradesman skills in renovating an 1864 train station that I converted into my house, refinishing the wood walls, rewiring, installing bathrooms, kitchen and even my own heating system. After retiring as a Deputy Attorney General I began writing novels in earnest.

You can find me on my website, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and my Amazon Author Page.

Tell us about your newest release. Feel free to include a short excerpt/blurb.

My most recent release is the third book of my series THE ARCHANGEL JARAHMAEL AND THE WAR TO CONQUER HEAVEN - IN EXILE. The first two books IN THE BEGINNING and IN REBELLION chronicle the creation of the Universe, the nine Orders of Angels, the Seven levels of Heaven, the Garden of Eden and the Earth, all told from the Angels perspective. The Almighty creates 14 Archangels who assist in the Creation and jealousy arises when the first Humans Lillith and Adam are created. Lillith and the fourth born Archangel Jarahmael fall in love all within the growing tensions in the Heavens. I am currently writing the second book of the second trilogy (the first book is in my publisher's hands) which follows the story in the Underworld.  
 
This is an excerpt from Book 3-In Exile

Luciferael walked over close to Lillith and picked her up in his arms, pulling her close. He wanted her after seeing her again, and he could feel the lust filling him from deep inside.
“Would you like to see my new palace?” Luciferael asked her as he pulled his head back slightly from kissing her.
She looked back, her eyes wide and open, barely breathing in her excitement at his touch. He looked into her eyes and could see that she was totally open to him once again. The power I have over these Humans is amazing, he thought to himself. His rebel Angels would follow him anywhere but they were Beings of Light like him. There should be some resistance to me, he thought, but I have not yet encountered any from the Humans. Both Lillith and Eve were easily persuaded by me. As he looked down upon her body, he could see that her flesh was excited, telling him that she was his for the taking. The wings that he had conjured for her made her much more attractive, more like himself, fluttering slightly as the feathers ruffled in small waves, as she stood there waiting on his next move.
He embraced her tightly as he flew down through the caverns to his own palace, at the lowest level of Hell itself. A grander replica of his palace in the Seventh Heaven, Mephistophael had done a great job replicating Luciferael’s own design. Where it was vast and beautiful in white and the intense blues of the Seventh Heaven, here it was designed in the bright colors of Hades and Hell, reds, oranges, violets, and blacks. The walls upon which the colors endlessly churned reflected magnificence and force.
“Look around Lillith, this is a copy of one of my finest creations. You have never been to my palace in the Seventh Heaven, but I have replicated it here. Can't you just feel the energy within the walls?”

 
What inspired you to start writing?

I have always been a writer in one form or another. I have written some short stories in college, scripts for a children's cartoon series to help pre-schoolers learn basic reading skills, numerous governmental committee reports and position papers that have resulted in actual legislation, and countless briefs and motions from my prosecutorial experience. A few years ago I tried to find the books that had formed my recollections about Luciferael's war to take over heaven and the only thing I could remotely find was john Milton's Paradise Lost, which although English professors may love it, is basically unreadable and I could at one point read Freud in the original German. That's was the driving force for me writing this series, and once I started along that path, I had many examples of synchronicity which steered my thinking and writings. If you think about it, almost every good versus evil story is based upon what happens when the Almighty's love gets twisted around with different aims - and this is the primal story that begins it all. What characters are more powerful than the Angel? Everything else is just dust in comparison.
Who is your all-time favorite literary character and why? 

The character I adopted as my role model was as silly as it sounds is Ian Fleming's 007. I had a psychotic stepfather as my dad died when I was three, and it was upon seeing Goldfinger as a ten year old that I saw someone sophisticated, witty, knowledgeable about all sorts of topics, and of course smooth with women. As I was a researcher at heart even then, I proceeded to read all of Ian Fleming's 007 novels. His Bond was flawed and vulnerable despite his outward appearance, he even appears to die at the end of From Russia With Love and gets married in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.   Probably the most important of life's lessons I learned from both Fleming's literary and Sean Connery's cinematic portrayal was: don't be afraid to be captured and outnumbered; never give up; and no matter how dark it may seem, keep your eyes open and be ready to take advantage of the escape route or mechanism that always appears just before you will perish.

How do you choose your character's names?

I tried to come up with some scheme in naming particularly the Archangels. Historically, all of their names end with 'el' meaning 'of God.' The Bible is weak in terms of discussing the Angels in any meaningful way, no offense to those who are extremely religious. I searched through other apocryphal writings and myths as well as the voluminous number of names off Angels that developed during the dark and middle ages. There are thousands upon thousands of names. I made my own decisions and made all the Archangels’ names consistent.  Luciferael, Michael, Sammuael, Jarahmael, Beelzebael, Gabriel, Mephistophael, Raphael, Mammonael, Uriel, Suriel, Ariel, Raziel and Damiel. I developed schemes as well for Angels for the lesser orders such as Cerebriel of the Cherubim, Abrackus of the Potentates, etc.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?

Fly, there is nothing like racing down a runway, engine throttle on full, keeping the plane on the center line as speed builds up faster and faster, smell of AV fuel in your nose, and at rotation speed pulling back on the yoke, aiming the nose of the propeller upwards, that feeling of gravity pulling your stomach downwards as you leave the ground watching the tarmac and ground get smaller and the blue skies above entice you ever higher.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? What is it?

Yes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try a little more dynamite!”

What is one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
 
That I really do have ghosts in my train station, pictures to prove it! But they seem to like me so we all get along.






The Archangel Jarahmael And The War to Conquer Heaven - In The Beginning  - Book I - http://ow.ly/qu7ae

 
The Archangel Jarahmael And The War To Conquer Heaven - In Rebellion - Book II -  http://ow.ly/qu7VS

 
The Archangel Jarahmael And The War To Conquer Heaven - In Exile - Book III  - http://ow.ly/qu7rp



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Official Ass of #PitchWars

Remember that part in Shrek where Donkey jumps up and down screaming, "Pick me! Pick me!"? No? Well, here's a refresher for you:




I feel like poor Donkey. A single ass among thousands jumping up and down, waving my arms, screaming and shouting: PICK ME!

I'm going to guess that won't get me anywhere. *sigh*

When being obnoxious fails, (and it fails often, trust me) I fall back on my ability to reason logically. So, here are the top 5 reasons why YOU should PICK ME to be your mentee.



YOUR PERSONAL BITCH.
5.  I will be your bitch.

Yes, you read that correctly. I will be so damn grateful and excited to be picked that I will be your bitch. You want me to fetch you coffee and scones? Done. You want me to read a dissertation about the reproductive cycle of slugs and write a synopsis of it? Done. You want me to troll Twitter and spy on the other teams? Done. You want me to post embarrassing pictures of myself for your amusement? Done.

You name it. I'll do it.

(Disclaimer: This offer is reserved specifically for the mentor who chooses me.) 



4.  I'm an editing freak.

I mentioned this on my Mentee Bio, but it bears repeating.

I LOVE EDITS!

I love getting them, reading them, doing them. I love having someone else read my work, point out its weaknesses, and then work with me to rebuild it. Sure, edits can be tough sometimes, but I 100%, wholeheartedly believe in the editing process.

If you pick me, I will work my ass off until my manuscript is as great as it can be.



3.  Good Cop. Bad Cop.

Confession time: I suck at talking smack.

Sorry, but I do. However, I'm VERY good at being nice to people. It just comes naturally to me. So, during #PitchWars, I can go about being nice to everyone and then my mentor can sneak up and smack talk the crap out of our competition! They'll never see us coming. It'll be like playing Good Cop, Bad Cop.

(Side note: I'm not implying that my future mentor isn't nice. I know better than that. I'm simply acknowledging that my mentor will have certain skills that I do not possess. Any good partnerships works off of each other's strengths right?)



2.  I'm a ton of fun!

Seriously. I have a fantastic sense of humor. I wouldn't have survived my childhood otherwise.

Example: When I was a teen and I went on my first date -- which was actually just a bunch of us getting together to go to a movie, but a boy I really liked was picking me up at my house therefore it was a real date to me -- my father stood at the front door and watched, like any good father would, as I walked to the van with said boy. Just as we got the side door open, my father yelled: "Bring her back a virgin!"

True story.

It takes a lot to offend me. (Translation: You have carte blanche to say anything to me in jest and I will laugh. Guaranteed!)



1. I'm an ass.
There. I said it.

Yesterday when I was obsessing over perfecting my non-creepy, non-stalkerish personalized mentor queries, I completely forgot to include my email address or any social media links.

So any mentors who get a letter without that information, it was me.

Yup.  #EpicFail

Sure, it's embarrassing, and sure I'm worried that this might affect my chances at getting picked, but, I think this says something important about me: I'm not afraid to admit when I've made a mistake. I can own it. Fix it. Learn from it.

And isn't that what every mentor wants? A mentee who will learn from this process?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pimp My Bio


So, I have decided to participate in #PitchWars this year. If you don't know what that is, hop on over to the wonderful Brenda Drake's Blog to find out.

I must confess, I'm a PitchWars virgin. I hope I'm good enough to get  a call back ;-)

Now, in the spirit of keeping up -- actually, I'm just copying what everyone else is doing because I have no idea what I'm doing -- here is my bio for any potential mentors. Or anyone else who wants to know more about me.

1. I'm a stay-at-home mom to five kids (4 girls and 1 boy) who are all in school so I spend my days writing and talking to these guys.



2.  I'm Kaptain Kara of #Darksideresearch on Twitter. What does this mean? I'm da bomb at posting pics of sexy, half naked men. Does this make me a perv? Probably. Do I care? Nope!

These are the kinds of things I like to post:



3.  I have never been on a plane because I'm terrified of flying. But, I am going to RT2014, so I will have to conquer that fear come May. (I can't convince my travel buddy to drive from NY to NOLA. I've tried.)

4.  I LOVE getting edits on my books. Seriously. I know a lot of author agonize over this, but I LOVE it. There is nothing like getting a fresh perspective on your book and your characters, and then being able to dive back into the world and make it better. Edits are good. While I'm at it, I need to give a shout out to two of the best editors in the entire world: Eden Plantz and Emily Ward!

5.  I have writer's ADD. At this exact moment, I have 7 projects in the works. It's frustrating at times, but it's also nice because when I wake up in the morning I can work on whatever interests me that day.


6.  I hate to exercise and play sports, but I'm super competitive. I like to win! And I never stop fighting until the very, bitter end.

7. I firmly believe in helping my fellow authors and will go out of my way to do so.  All you ever have to do is ask :-) It's because of this desire to help others that I became a Senior Editor at Entranced Publishing. I adore my group of authors and they always make me smile.

8. I have two college degrees -- both in law. Weird, I know. I though I wanted to be a lawyer. Being a writer is SO much more fun.

9. I'm obsessed with The Vampire Diaries simply because of this man:



10. I'm super excited to be participating in #PitchWars. Even if I don't make it past sending my queries, it has been a fun experience and I've made some new friends along the way.