Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A bit about deadlines...

It's getting around assignment submission time for university and it's funny how students think. They would rather concentrate on the first thing that's due (nah, the group assignment has another two weeks before we need to start panicking about getting anything done on it). Since I'm doing a design course it's mostly a practical subject, which has been very full on. On Monday we had our first lot of presentations to show what we had done on our assessment, and I was surprised I was one of the few with nearly completed assessments. I guess I'm not one to leave things to the last minute.

 Just like university, I've also got a very tight deadline I'm working with for Shinigami, just getting the finishing touches done. Ooh, I can't wait to unveil this shiny new work to you.

Deadlines are a good thing as they make you work harder, as long as you force yourself to get the work done before the deadline is up and not just on time.

What deadlines are you working towards? Do you think you'll get there?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Vision

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting!


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Title: Vision
Author: Lisa Amowitz
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: September 9, 2014

BLURB:
The light is darker than you think… 

High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.

When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.





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WMy young adult novel BREAKING GLASS is available now 

AmazonBNOblong Books 

The light is darker than you think.


Visit me on the web at: lisaamowitz.com

Breaking Glass on GOODREADS 

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Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.
Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at  Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.
Facebook Author page




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Friday, August 22, 2014

Freaky Friday: Kitsune

As many of you know my first YA horror gets released in a couple of months (getting excited), and people always ask me how I come up with my ideas... A simple answer, listening to stories. I absolutely love ghost and ghoul stories from all around the world (especially if they're supposed to be 'true'). So each Friday I've decided to share a different story, a different ghoul, a different legend that I've come across with you. Some of these will seem rather familiar, but I have found some really weird ones that you won't believe are actually legends.

The first one, in honour of Shinigami Eyes, I have chosen is a legend from Japan. The Kitsune!

The word kitsune actually means fox, and they're actually known as messengers as well as the deity of rice, which is why if you walk around the temples of Japan you'll often find statues of foxes guarding the doorways.

Several foxes are considered to have supernatural powers, but one kitsune in particular the Ninko (the demonic man-fox). This fox likes to take the figure of a beautiful woman to deceive its victims. It is said that these foxes are never at a loss for disguise as they can make their victims hear, see, or imagine whatever the fox wants them to.

Kitsune have been popular in TV shows, especially anime, with one of the most popular being the demon spirit within Naruto (the nine-tailed fox). Other manga that kitsune have appeared include Inuyasha and Digimon.

But Kitsune haven't just been popular with Japanese manga and anime. Several US TV shows have decided to use the kitsune (whether an accurate portrayal is still to be decided). Teen Wolf, deciding to move away from the western legends, ventured into the Japanese myth of kitsune when they introduced Kira in season 3. Supernatural is another show that tackled with the kitsune, even though this version of a kitsune just
had claws and fox eyes, nothing else changed to signify they were even related to a fox.

 The one thing I have learnt from looking into the kitsune legend is that you really don't want to piss off a kitsune. Moral to the story: Be kind to foxes because you never know what mystical powers they might hold.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Take-over Wednesday: Gaijin in Japan

Yesterday I promised a visitor would be stopping by my blog and I wasn't lying. My brother, and soon to be co-author with me, Adam Smith is stopping by to share some of his experiences and adventures of a Gaijin (foreigner) living in Japan.

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Hello, My name is Adam Smith and I'm currently living in Iwate, Japan where I teach English to elementary students.
 
Let me start at how I made it over here.
 
Five years ago I made a choice that changed my life. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to prove I could do something. Something difficult. So I chose to learn a language. Learning Japanese has been one of the most difficult, and rewarding, things I've ever done. It was a path that I have never regretted. A path that led inevitably to a life in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The first major hurdle I encountered was finding a suitable job. It was after many hopeful applications and scores of failed interviews before I found one that would have me. A job teaching English to Japanese school children. It wasn't easy. I'd never taught before and I didn't have a clue what to do, but it was my ticket in and I wasn't about to let anything stop me. So I packed my bags, hopped a plane, and set out for a new life in a distant land.

Right off the airplane I was hit by a critical difference. I'd left a land entering winter and emerged in a land at the height of spring. I was tired and boiling, and almost took a $200 cab ride from Narita to Tokyo because I wasn't able to process what the driver was telling me until the last second. This wasn't the first time my language skills failed me and it wouldn't be the last. I'd entered a land where I was an alien, a stranger, a Gaijin. Gaikokujin if you want to be polite.

I've had many adventures in my time here and my sister has asked me to share some of them here. So from time to time I will be sharing my experiences of a life lived in a land not my own, A life as a Gaijin in Japan.
 
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Thank you Adam for sharing your story. Now let me ask everyone out there a question, have you ever had a misunderstanding with someone where something went wrong or you got something you didn't ask for (whether it was a $200 taxi drive or just the wrong meal at a restaurant)?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In Which I Try Not To Panic...

Oh boy, I can't believe it's already mid-August. I really have no idea where my time is going, really. Next month is the cover reveal for Shinigami Eyes and then the special little day when I can send it out into the world will be here and I'll still be panicking over having too many things I need to get done with no time to actually do anything.

Time can be a very fickle thing. Sometimes you can have too much, but other times there's just too much you need to complete and no time to complete everything. And that's where I am now. And I'm not kidding.

Just in two weeks I have to create my own font (needs to be original) on the computer, design a creative map and finish my photography course... then there's my writing. I really need to make sure Shinigami Eyes is all ready and shiny, new for its release date.

Like I said, too much to do. But then, a stressed mind is also not a productive mind (just have to ask me about that, I can procrastinate on Facebook for hours when I'm tired and stressed instead of doing work). My solution for anyone finding themselves in a situation like me: Take time out to re-coup and come back to tackle everything with recharged batteries.

As for me, that's exactly what I'm going to be doing. I'm going to go and have a good night's sleep and come back to everything nice and early in the morning... and tomorrow I've got a special guest dropping by so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Can See You Tour



Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'I Can See You Tour', hosted by Dark World Books. To view other stops on this tour just click on the banner.


I Can See You
“Emma stuck her face to the window to watch the rain. Lightning in the background drew a fiery specter in the sky while her eyes traced the water droplets running down the pane like tears.” Emma Willis is ten years old and has a secret. She not only inherited her grandmother’s power of sight, she can accomplish much more. Like most children without siblings growing up amongst adults, she is precocious yet at times lonely. When a murderer is loose in Newark, a maniac with a thirst for killing little girls, she begins to understand why her Granny Dottie called her sight a curse. She will need all her powers to catch a killer and help the people in her life: Detective Hank Apple, her teacher Christina Tyler, and her little family of three. Only … the madman knows who she is!
Amazon
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Author Interview
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  • 1.    Where did you come up with the inspiration behind the book?
I guess you can say, Cheree that I hold all children in high esteem. I remember what it was like to be a child. I can remember my own childhood as far back as  four and five years old. I was lucky. I had excellent parents with a dad who had a doctorate in psychology. Yet, I’ve seen so much disrespect of other children. And I believe that even with all our technological advances, our way of treating children has not improved. In many cases our handling has worsened. I still see flagrant examples of this today, in the stores, and at the parks. Perhaps our levels of stress have increased making us worse parents than ours were. Whatever the case, I wanted to draw attention to their world with I Can See You.
  • 2.    What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been writing for over ten years now, and my first book has not yet been published. When I do take it out for a spin, there will be a trilogy and it is one of the books I prefer. The inspiration came to me unexpectedly while I was walking my dog in Miami Beach. Characters began to talk out loud and the whole story played itself as If I’d given it a lot of thought. Perhaps it was just time and my crazy imagination had spawned this over the years.
  • 3.    What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I have the utmost respect for John Grisham, Pat Conroy, and PD James. I love literary writing. But there are so many writers that have influenced my pen … screen writers as well. I love, love movies. That’s where I learned to perfect the dialogue in my stories.
  • 4.    What was your favourite scene to write?
So far, I’ve written approximately ten books and published three. So, I’m working on the ones I wrote, as I am writing new ones. So each book has a treasured moment, often one that surprised the hell out of me. In I Can See You the scene happens when Emma propels herself to the hospital to visit her aunt Franka. This is a powerful, tender moment that shows us the power we possess in this great big skull of ours.
  • 5.    What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I think the research was definitely the hardest part of writing this book. For instance, snooping inside police files of known paedophiles and convicted sex offenders. I made sure I did this in a bright sunny room, mid-day and while some calming music played in the background. I am too sensitive sometimes and this can get under my skin and make me sad for a while.
  • 6.    How do you overcome writer's block?
Please don’t hate me, but I don’t get writer’s block. I hesitate saying this because I always get the weird looks when I do. It’s true. When I’m rested and it’s morning, all I need to do is sit down in front of my story, read what I wrote the day before, and the story continues … like taking dictation. Hours later when I am tired of typing and can no longer focus, I’ll get up, do a sport—swim, bike, or go to the gym (downstairs in my house). The story will continue to go on in my head and I’ll talk to my characters out loud. Then I’ll sit down again and write some more. They also make a lot of adjustments on what I’ve just written.
  • 7.    What are your current projects?
I am presently working on the final edits of a Romantic Mystery you could also call women’s fiction. Long Goodbyes is about four goodbyes and a mystery. Four women who learn to love again while our heroine, Candice Newman, also in the throes of a long goodbye, is drawn into a mystery by Simon Bennett, the handsome professor who seems to be the only one still searching for a young medical student who disappeared one cold February night in his shoes and shirtsleeves while going to the library.
  • 8.    What book are you reading now?
Several, actually. I never just read one book at a time. If I do, I can’t put it down until I finish it. I’m a compulsive reader.
  • 9.    If you could have dinner with any fictional character who would it be and why?   

Pierre Beaupré. He is a metaphysical marvel of eighty some odd years and I would love to sit down with him and talk shop. I love that science. Oh, he is a character in this trilogy I’ve been working on for the last ten years. Soon!

10.Do you have any advice for other writers?

Like the commercial says on television: POWER THROUGH. Never let go of a story. Whether you are plagued with writers’ block or out of the blue, don’t seem to find interest with one of the chapters you wrote … POWER THROUGH. You’ll get there.
About the Author

Joss Landry
With a degree in commerce, Joss has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication. Blessed with four children and five grandchildren, she resides in Montreal with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.
Website – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Goodreads

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Blitz: Redeeming Lainey


Redeeming Lainey
Release Date: 07/18/14

Summary from Goodreads:
When Lainey left the little farming town in Iowa on her eighteenth birthday, she thought she was finally free. She didn’t have to live in fear anymore wondering which day was going to be her last. For those two years, she was able to live in peace. She’d made a new friend, was going to a school she loved, and was setting the path for her future career.

That all changed with one phone call from her mother.

With the push of her best friend, Randi, Lainey goes back into the town she once promised was forever in her rear-view mirror. The dark memories of her past loom around every corner, and Lainey can’t seem to conquer the demons inside of her in order to fully move on.

Bryce, on the other hand, had moved on. During middle school and high school, Lainey was his best friend, and it tore him apart when she left with only a note. A simple note saying good-bye and have a great life.

Without his best friend around, Bryce’s life quickly spiraled out of control. He got into drugs, had some trouble with the law, and found himself partying a little too hard. Sweet Annabeth brought him out of that stage in his life, and ultimately saved his life.

With Lainey back in town, Bryce is at a loss at what do. She wants nothing to do with him or the town, but he is the only person who knows her full history and may be able to help her. Knowing that Lainey’s a flight risk, and with one wrong move, she’d pack everything up and leave again, Bryce steps out to help her find the one thing she doesn’t know she needs.

Redemption.


Available from:
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble * iBooks * Kobo Books * Smashwords


Book Playlist

About the Author
Currently a student at Ball State University, Kaitlyn Hoyt is pursuing her passion for writing while working towards a Wildlife Biology and Conservation degree. Vegetarian. Proud tree-hugger. Lover of comic book movies. Avid Reader. She has an unhealthy obsession for the soothing music of Josh Groban. She discovered her love for writing during the summer of 2012 and hasn’t stopped writing since!
Author Links:
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