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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Jess C Scott

Next up is Jess C Scott!! Enjoy!
~~~


Staying Focused as an Indie Author, by Jess C Scott

Jess C Scott, author of The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy and EyeLeash: A Blog Novel
Independent publishing offers tremendous opportunities to writers everywhere. The indie publishing model is speedy and efficient, and allows a writer to have full creative and business control.

I decided to self-publish my debut book (EyeLeash: A Blog Novel) in June 2009. I published my second book in August 2009. Both these books (and many of my subsequent novellas/novels) aren’t exactly “commercially categorizable.” They don’t fall neatly into a specific category. These types of books can be problematic for mainstream commercial publishers, who have certain expectations with regards to the business of commercial genre fiction.

Some writers write for the money. Others write because they love to write, and want to share their work with the world. I happen to fall somewhere in the middle.

My ultimate goal in life has always been to “making a living from writing” (I’m currently 24, and have one more “basic financial goal” to meet in 2011).

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a lot of focus on how much indie authors earn, and how many copies they sell. There seems to be a lot more emphasis on quantity, instead of quality. Maybe this is because society values money and materialism. I’ve had to question my own values and beliefs, along the way, to decide for myself what I really wanted to do (as an indie author).
At the end of the day, I want the stories I write to be able to stand the test of time. Earning an income from writing is important to me, but I cannot do it at the expense of my vision as an author/artist/non-conformist.

What I’m making money from is just as (if not more) important to me, as how much I’m earning (with regards to writing/publishing).

Indie publishing offers me the opportunity to get stories out in a timely fashion, and create stories that I want to write, not what a conglomerate dictates to me is right for a particular genre/market.

As an artist, I’m very careful to ensure that I do not exploit this opportunity, which traditional commercial publishing is not be able to provide for me. This is why I continue to stay focused on the characters and storyline.

Making money is great. But making money from providing something of meaningful value is even better.

To all the indie authors out there who share a similar perspective: Do what you love. Keep improving. Keep going.
---------------

LINKS:

Website: http://www.jesscscott.com
EyeLeash Page: http://jessink.com/eyeleash.htm
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jesscscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jesscscott

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jess identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on a YA “seven deadly sins” series, an incubus-themed anthology, and The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy. Connect with Jess online at www.jesscscott.com.


~~~


NOW CONTEST TIME!


Just fill out the contest below for a chance to win a signed copy of EYELEASH: A BLOG NOVEL.


Wdebo :)


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Basket Case-Greenday

Title: Basket Case
Artist: Greenday
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: My current favorite Greenday song. Muah. I love Greenday's older songs better ^^

Listen and Love!



Wdebo :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Alex Cavanaugh

Next up is the author of CassaStar [My review HERE], Alex Cavanaugh! Enjoy!

~~~

Challenges of Writing a Sequel


Some writers envision detailed worlds and further adventures for their characters. They plan for more books. Not everyone has that vision, though. I certainly didn’t!

When I wrote CassaStar, it was intended to be a standalone book. I’d carried the idea around for years and even wrote a rough draft when I was younger. I’d envisioned many adventures for Byron and Bassa, but when I wrote CassaStar (spoiler!) I killed off one of the characters. That rather nixed further stories.

I panicked when people began asking about a sequel, even before CassaStar’s release. What the heck was I going to write?

One question continued to come up from fans - why weren’t there any women in the book? I decided to give the fans what they wanted and introduced a female lead into the story. Drawing upon an earlier idea, I created a whole new storyline, one that I hoped would satisfy my readers. That definitely taught me to continue fueling new ideas.

I also continued with the theme from the first book - friendship and trust. After countless rewrites of the outline, I used NaNo last year to complete the first draft of the sequel. I revised the story, ran it by my critique partners and test readers, and submitted it to my publisher in June.

And I am happy to say the sequel will be released next February 28 as CassaFire!

Of course, now everyone expects a trilogy! Back to the drawing board…

Thanks again, WDEBO, for allowing me to be part of your anniversary celebration!


~~~


Now for CONTEST!


Enter to win an ebook copy of Alex's book CassaStar. (Just fill out the form below!)





Wdebo :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Huntress By: Malinda Lo

Title: Huntress
Author: Malinda Lo
HARDBACK
Amount of Pages: 371
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Geared Towards: Teens
From: Publisher (Review)
Extra Info: HUNTRESS is the "prequal" to ASH. It is part of the same land, just many centuries before.


"There was an emptiness inside of her, but she did not think it was due to hunger" (P. 99).

Summary (From Front Flap): Nature is out of balance in the human kingdom. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go forward on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speak of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one Huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

Wdebo's Review: As a giant fan of ASH, I was very excited to begin and read HUNTRESS. When I first started I found it hard for me to get into the story, but after a bit the writing came to become addicting until the very last sentence.

Personally, I always find stories about different lands difficult to take in, read and understand from the very beginning. It always takes me a while to get into stories like this, so when I first started HUNTRESS, I had trouble getting interested, which was disappointing for me, a girl who loved ASH so much. Though once I hit a point towards the middle of the story, I was instantly addicted and could not put down.

The story is written in an omniscient third-person point of view, and it switches between characters throughout the chapter. At first, that caught me off gaurd, I got confused in the beginning, but after a while I got used to the writing and became more comfortable with it and enjoyed it a lot more, it is always nice to see what different characters are thinking about during the same moment.

The most solid element of the novel is the love between Kaede and Taisin, the timidiness between the two in the beginning that grows into a beautiful romance, was a wonderful progression to witness in the story itself. Both girls, though from different walks of life are brought together through love. It was not too overcliche and had a realness to it that made it so great. The chemistry and romance between the other characters was also great too, mostly the one between Con and Shae.

Cafe Cover Chat: I love any cover with an Asian person on the cover, so I love this cover and it looks so pretty and cool. (A-)

All in all, though the story itself had a magical fairy-tale aspect to it that made it enjoyable, the best ingredient to this novel was the romance between the two main characters.

Grade: B-

Wdebo :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BB: Guest Post+Contest: Steve Kluger

Next up is the talented author of books such as MY MOST EXCELLENT YEAR and ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE (Both of which are my personal favorites), Steve Kluger.

Enjoy!

~~~


People are constantly asking me where I get my ideas for the stories and characters I put into my fiction. In fact, I’m not nearly as prolific as I’ve been perceived to be, since virtually all the stories are true and all of the characters are real people. I call it “creative reporting” rather than “creative writing.”

Of all the novels, the one that comes closest to being pure autobiography is ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE. Fundamentally about two boys who fall in love with each other in twelfth grade and then don’t meet again for twenty years, it didn’t really require a hell of a lot of imagination on my part. All I had to do was reconstruct my senior year of high school. Exactly as it happened. Well, okay—maybe with one teensy little tweak. Because if I’d actually written it the way things played out in real life, the novel would have ended on page nine.

How To Fall in Love With Your Straight Best Friend

(If You Absolutely Must)


Anybody who's ever wondered just how long gay kids have been falling for straight kids need only take a closer squint at Mercutio, who somehow managed to glide through all fifteen years of his life without ever ungluing himself from Romeo's side. Furthermore, he had impeccable taste in clothes, a dancer's body, and a passion for Queen Mab–who, to this day, bears a suspicious resemblance to Bette Midler. It's not like you needed a road map to figure out what was going on.

Mercutio, of course, wound up on the wrong end of a rapier before he had a chance to pitch the advantages of same-sex domestic partner benefits to Romeo–and the rest of us have been striking out just as prosaically ever since. So how come we still insist on romancing our straight best friends at least once between Winnie the Pooh and college? Because we thrive on irony? (Yes.) Because it's good practice for the real deal? (Yes.) Because a broken heart is so irresistibly theatrical? (Absolutely. "Oh, my man, I love him so. He'll never know....")

Falling in love with Philip was definitely not on my agenda in October of my senior year. He was a 17-year-old godling from France who'd become the envy of the entire senior class, and I was a 17-year-old dork from Maryland who'd become the poster boy for Queer Bashing 101. (I'm still not sure how they figured out I was gay before I knew it myself, though I suspect the Ethel Merman thing may have had something to do with it.) Neither one of us remembers how we met; one minute he was asking me if he could borrow a dollar, and an instant later we were Phil-and-Steve (I always gave him top billing because he was way too cute not to have it). This unexpected development threw the bashers for a loop: in order to score points with Philip, they suddenly had to go through me first. Which meant acquiring a hasty tolerance for Gypsy, Mameand Funny Girl. Revenge is always sweet, but it takes a gay kid to make it musical.

I had no idea that Cupid had just shot me in the ass until Friday evening, November 14. I was in the midst of plowing through a novel I'd recently discovered (Valley of the Dolls, in case it matters) when I realized I'd read the same paragraph nine times without registering a word–because all that kept spinning through my head were images of Philip's twinkly eyes whenever he'd glance at me across a classroom, and the thermonuclear one-dimple grin that could melt plutonium.

Welcome to Gay Adolescent Hell.

Rules and Regulations
(Note: since this is autobiographical, it's about boys. But the formulas work the same way for girls–all you have to do is switch the pronouns and add Lesbian hair.)


1. Practice typing his name in 46 different fonts (including Japanese).
We didn't have iPads yet, so we did the best we could with ballpoint pens and notebook paper. I was more prolific than most: every one of my essays was originally titled "Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip."

2. If you run into each other in the gym, avoid the showers as though they were radioactive. You really don't need a pulmonary embolism at 17.
As soon as I found out that Philip was a swimmer who wore Speedos, I chose track–which was as geographically far from the pool as I could get. On one occasion I ran a ninety-minute mile in the pouring rain just to make absolutely certain he'd already left the locker room.

3. Don't help him audition for a part in the school play, because you're only going to wind up being cast with him.
This is especially painful when the play in question is A Midsummer Night's Dream and the two of you have to spend six weeks together in tights. "Lysander, yield thy crazed title to my certain right," snarled Philip, poking me with a foil. "If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too," I glowered back, poking him in return. One such rehearsal resulted in an impromptu tickling match–which I needed like a hole in the head.

4. Don't waste your time searching for tiny clues that he's really gay. He isn't. Just because he's heard of Barbra Streisand doesn't mean he secretly wants to kiss you. Fidel Castro's heard of her too.
When we listened to The Grateful Dead and discovered "Uncle John's Band" together, it became "our song." Swiss Miss and chocolate chip cookies in the snow comprised "our menu," and after stumbling across ‘ubiquitous' on the senior English vocabulary list, we adopted it on the spot as "our word." Philip didn't seem to understand that these little landmarks meant he was supposed to ask me to marry him.

5. When he meets a girl he really likes, don't say stinky things about her to change his mind–he'll only get suspicious. Instead, help him plan his romance step-by-step, and when he wins her over (they always do), make yourself absolutely indispensable to her.
Nancy knew inside of nineteen seconds that I was in love with her boyfriend–but since I played my cards right, she kept my secret. This sort of unexpected bonding was nothing new; straight women and gay men have been confiding in each other ever since Guenevere (Julie Andrews in the musical) and Lancelot (Robert Goulet) figured out that they both had the same kind of long-range plans for Richard Burton.

6. Be careful when you buy him birthday presents–you don't want to tip your hand.
The label-maker he's coveted, the new copy of Abbey Road, and the dozen boxes of chocolate chip cookies (half of which he's going to share with you anyway) are relatively benign; the slim volume of poems entitled You're My Friend So I Brought You This Book isn't. Can you spell "dead giveaway"?

7. When the nearby girls’ school asks for boy volunteers to help build the sets for a production of “Brigadoon,” stick cotton in your ears during rehearsals.
Brigadoon was written five years before you were born. Which means that the song “Almost Like Being in Love” was not inspired by you and Philip. Do the math, dude.

8. If you're wondering whether being in love with your best friend means you've finally come out to yourself, the answer is yes.
I had two choices: I could either pretend I was straight and forget about Philip, or keep Philip and admit the obvious. Talk about a no-brainer.

9. When you tell him the truth, don't be pissed off if he guesses it first.
Philip confessed that he'd begun to get the hint about an hour and a half after we'd met–but it didn't make any difference because nobody had ever loved him so unconditionally before. "And I love you too," he said. "It's just in a different category." Somehow I felt cheated out of my big scene.

10. Don't be surprised if you remain best friends for the rest of your lives.
Philip is married, has two kids, and lives in Philadelphia. We still listen to "Uncle John's Band" and we still say ‘ubiquitous' to each other. As a matter of fact, I e-mailed him the first draft of this column and received the following reply: "Lose the Ethel Merman bit. You're dating yourself. And by the way–that was half a lifetime ago. Get a grip already. Love, Phil."

Sure, it was hell–but the memories have always been worth it. And eventually we all outgrow the need to fall in love with our straight friends. Most of the time. I mean, sort of. Well, okay, there was this one occasion when my new dentist turned out to be a relentlessly breathtaking and irredeemably hetero-sexual Japanese American who left me no choice but to fake a pain in an upper left molar just so I could stare up into those big brown eyes during the four visits it took him to complete the root canal I didn't need.

But that's another story.

~~~

Now for the contest, Steve will give a copy of any one of his books (List below).

My Most Excellent Year
Almost Like Being In Love
Last Days Of Summer
Changing Pitches

To join, just fill out THIS form!!

Good luck!

Wdebo :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

BB: Guest Post + Contest: Beth Fantaskey

First up is the awesome Beth Fantaskey, the author of JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE, JEKEL LOVES HYDE and JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE.

Enjoy!

~~~


Happy blogoversary, Electrical Book Café! And thanks for being part of a global network that is keeping the love of reading alive.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that when my first book, JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE, came out in 2009, I was completely ignorant of the book blogosphere. Probably because I am about one hundred years old – at least according to my kids – I had no idea that there was this huge, interconnected community of book lovers out there, reviewing and commenting and bringing authors and readers and stories together.

I look back now and think, “Wow... I was so missing out!” In fact, I feel like I missed out during my whole childhood and youth, simply because the blogosphere didn’t exist. What I wouldn’t have given, as a kid growing up in a tiny town in Pennsylvania, to have had the chance to discuss my obsession with The Lord of the Rings trilogy with an international community of people who felt the same way. As it was, I was lucky to have one like-minded “geeky” friend who could talk Hobbits for hours with me. Of course, we knew the Tolkien books were popular, but we had no idea that there were millions out there who were just as passionate about them as we were. And if we did suspect those people existed, we had no idea how to reach them.

We are so fortunate today to have the chance to connect with each other in cyberspace and share our love of whatever stories grab us and won’t let us go – and to learn about new works that we’ll embrace, too.

The book blogging community impresses me in another way, too. As a YA author who deals mainly with young bloggers, I have to say that every time I hear complaints from my generation about young people being “lazy,” I think about all the time and effort that blog managers put into designing, updating, organizing live chats, running contests... all that goes into having a successful site – work done without expectation of profit or gratitude, even – and I know for a fact that the skeptics are wrong.

So this is sort of my public “thank you” to not only Wdebo and the Electrical Book Café for another year of blogging, but to everybody who does the same. Keep up the great work, on behalf of all of us who didn’t even know we were missing, when we were growing up. Thanks for putting the time and effort into giving us a place to share our common love for reading a good story.

~~~

Now, for the CONTESSTTT!!! Beth will be giving away a paperback copy of JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE.

To join, all you have to do is fill out THIS form!

Good luck!

Wdebo :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blogoversery Contest Announcement!!

[Added Info]

The posts...

Guest Post + Contest: Beth Fantaskey
Guest Post + Contest: Steve Kluger
Guest Post + Contest: Alex Cavanaugh
Guest Post + Contest: Jess C Scott

~~~

Hey everyone. So it's August 21st, which means it is my blogoversery :) This year for my blogoversery bash, I will be posting guest posts from authors with different giveaways on each post.

The minimum requirement is just to be a follower :)

Ready?

The posts will begin on Monday!

See you then =]

Wdebo :)

P.S. All Blogoversery Bash Posts will be marked with a BB.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Prelude 12/21-AFI

Title: Prelude 12/21
Artist: AFI
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I love this way-too-short song. The end.

Listen and Love!



Wdebo :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

MY BIRTHDAYYYYYY!!

Yippee! It's that time of year again....My birthday!!! :D Haha. Which means my blogoversery is next week and I have a GIANT contest planned with guest posts/author interviews etc. =]

Well, yeah, I'm so happy! I'm FINALLY 18.

Off to do awesome just-turned-eighteen stuff.

Ta-ta

Wdebo :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stupid and/or Funny Songs

So, today is the last day that I will be 17 and as a celebration of my last day of childishness, (but I will still probably be childish even after I turn 18) I have decided to post some stupid and/or funny songs from YouTube. [My haven]

Enjoy!

Nom Nom Nom Song



Do You Like Waffles? (I think of GIR evertime I listen to this song)



Happy Song



I Like Your Hair



There are a bunch more out there, but I am too lazy to post all of them up and I also want to daydream about what birthday presents I might get tomorrow ^^

Bye bye my awesome blog readers.

Wdebo :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Aiya-Vanness Wu

-ENGLISH SUBBED-


English Title: Aiya
Chinese Title: 哎呀
Artist: Vanness Wu (吳建豪)
TTS: HERE

Wdebo's Notes: This song is from Vanness' recently released album, C'est La V, which includes one song written/produced by Bruno Mars and one song written/produced by Ryan Tedder. I love both of those songs because, well, I love both Bruno Mars and Ryan Tedder (And I love Vanness Wu of course ^^) but I chose to spotlight this song because it has that Taiwanese love song feel, happy, carefree and cute beyond belief. This song and MV are both so cute. And it has Ady An with him...EEEKKK (That was my "Autumn's Concerto" fangirl scream).

Listen and Love!





Wdebo :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stay By: Allie Larkin

Title: Stay
Author: Allie Larkin
PAPERBACK
Amount of Pages: 308
Release Date: June 10, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Geared Towards: Adults
From: Sparks Agency (Review Copy)


"I tried to reach for the remote, but I couldn't get it wihtout taking my arm away from him, so I just lay there, listening to him breathe until I fell asleep, and for the first time since the wedding, I didn't dream of Peter, sunsets, or Greek gods for Janie" (P. 71).

Summary (From B.O.B): Savannah "Van" Leone has been in love with Peter Clarke since their first day of college. Six years later, Peter is marrying Van's best friend, Janie. Loyal to a fault, Van dons her pumpkin orange, maid of honor gown and stands up for the couple, struggling to hide her true feelings even when she couldn't be more conspicuous. After the wedding, nursing her broken heart with a Rin Tin Tin marathon plus a vodka chaser, Van accidently orders a German shepherd puppy over the Internet. When "Joe" turns out to be a hundred-pound beast who only respons to commands in Slovak. Van is at the end of her rope-until she realizes that sometimes life needs to get more complicaed before it can get better.

Wdebo's Review: As a giant dog lover, I was very excited to start STAY, in truth I only began reading it because the plot sounded somewhat interesting and the dog on the cover was pretty damn adorable. When I began the novel, I was pleasently surpirsed to see how easy it was for me to get into the storyline, to click with the characters, especially with Van. As I read it, I was hooked from the start till the end.

The writing was very wonderful, especially for a debut novel. Allie Larkin's writing was simple and natural which was one of the reasons why it was so enjoyable, it just seemed like something that could happen to anyone, but was still fictionalized in a way that made it into a great story, to be able to just sit down and indulge without having to overthink anything. The thing I most loved about the story; however, was that though it is about a dog coming into a girl's life and changing it, there was still another plot in there, about finding oneself when one gets lost.

Though Van is not the best character ever (She drinks way too much and whines quite a lot), I still enjoyed reading about her life and seeing how it slowly repaired itself from its broken state. All of the other characters were enjoyable too which made reading the book very nice.

Cafe Cover Chat: Seriously, a dog in a cardboard box? My kind of cover. :) (A)

All in all, a great novel for dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike. It's a doggone wonderful story that shows the true meaning of companionship. If I had a tail, it would have been wagging throughout the course of the novel.

Grade: A-

Wdebo :)