Laura Howard: 2013

12/16/13

Holiday Wish List Blog Hop





Welcome to the first annual Gliterary Girl Media Holiday Wish List Blog Hop! 

I don't have too many things on my list this year, but I'd love to share them with you...

1. A new laptop!

2. Reese's Peanut Butter Trees!

3. Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks!

4. Oh, and for my second book, Stone of Destiny, to be done soon!


Have fun and remember to Hop!

1. Gliterary Girl   11. The Blog of Jessica Posey  21. Denise Flora  
2. Gliterary Girl Media  12. Amy L. Gale  22. Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews  
3. Author Christy Sloat  13. Patrice Caldwell  23. Garside's Book Bets  
4. Author ER Arroyo  14. Perusing Princesses  24. Summer Lane  
5. Reviews by Crystal  15. Laura Howard  25. Joleene Naylor  
6. Deborah Jay  16. Naj @ Unputdownable Books  26. Author Kirsten Osboure  
7. Debra Parmley  17. Naddy @ Interested in ALL  27. Diary of a Semi-Crazy Author  
8. S. M. Boyce  18. Jess @ Such A Novel Idea  28. Elizabeth @ Stuffed Shelves  
9. Ned's Blog  19. Deal Sharing Aunt USA  29. Author Chris Karlsen  
10. Kat's Craft Corner  20. 3 Partners in Shopping USA  



12/9/13

Immagica by K.A. Last Illustrated Map Reveal


Immagica by K. A. Last
Genre: YA Fantasy/Adventure
Publication: January 31st 2014
Map Illustration: Lawrence Mann LawrenceMann.co.uk  


Synopsis:
Immagica
Where anything is possible.
Enter at your own risk.

The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.
When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their Nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.
The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.







AUTHOR BIO
K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.

Links:


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12/7/13

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop


Blog Hop:  12 Days of Christmas
Event Date:  December 1st  - 12th 2013



 We have several favorites, but this year we kicked off the season a bit early with a batch of Snowball Cookies. They were a huge hit, I don't think they lasted more than an hour between the six of us!




2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar


Heat oven to 325°F. Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 18-25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool.

Enjoy!


              


The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy, Book 1)

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.


Grand Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
First Prize: One (1) eBook from Every Participating Author

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For more Christmas Cookie Recipes & Giveaways - 
Hop along the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!



12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop





Six Questions with Amy Harmon



It's Saturday! You know what that means? SIX QUESTIONS, WOOT!

Today I have my favorite new-to-me author of 2013 Amy Harmon. I'm thrilled she has agreed to answer some questions, since she has written some amazing pieces this year and landed on multiple best-seller lists. You'll find her answers as amazing as her books GUARANTEED.

Stick with us through the end because Amy is giving away one ebook of each of her novels, Making Faces, A Different Blue, and Running Barefoot.


1. What was your inspiration to become a writer?

I have always been a writer, and have used that medium to express myself for as long as I can remember. I've written poetry, song lyrics, short stories, essays. I wrote my first novel just as a challenge to myself. It was before ebooks were available. It was just something I wanted to do and that I believed I COULD do. I don't know if I was inspired to become a writer. I just WAS a writer. Does that make sense?

2. What are your top 3 favorite books and why?

I read a book many years ago by Dean Koontz called From The Corner of His Eye. I thought it was wonderful, brilliant, and exciting. Everything a novel should be. The writing was phenomenal, the characters lovable, the premise very different. But honestly, I have so many favorites that I can't limit it to three. I still love Beverley Cleary, Judy Blume, Lucy Maud Montgomery, the writers I loved as a child. Those authors have it permanent place in my heart. As an adult, I tend to be ultra picky, simply because I like a well-thought out book, something smart and painfully and carefully crafted, and so many books today are carbon copies of each other. But I’m always looking.

3. What made you decide to have your writing published? 

 A few years ago, my oldest son got sick, we were drowning in medical bills, I had a brand new baby and wasn't working so I could stay at home with my four kids, and I knew something had to change. I decided to just go for it. I already had one novel, Running Barefoot, just sitting in my computer. I had an idea for another book, and I pushed myself and got it done in about three months. Then I published both of them at the same time, hoping that having two titles out there would help my credibility as a writer. I knew so little about the business of publishing. I just stuck them out there on kindle and prayed.

4. What is your editing process and have you hired a professional editor?

I do now. In the beginning it was just me, myself and I. I cringe a little when I think about it, but that's what I did. I didn't have two dimes to rub together and I felt such an urgency to get my books out there that I just went for it. But putting them out there without having someone copy edit them was not the smartest idea I've ever had. I hire someone to go through and clean up the manuscript when I'm done. I still don't have an editing process for content. I edit as I go, constantly refining, moving, puzzling things out. Nobody reads my work in progress. In fact, nobody reads anything until I'm done with the book. Then I send it to my mom and she tells me whether or not it's crap. So far, so good.

5. What are the most important things you do to market your books?

This is absolutely hilarious, because I don't do anything. The best advice I ever got and that I in turn give to authors that are just publishing their first book is this: Write more books. If the book is good, and you can get even a few readers, those readers will tell someone else, and so on. My job is to write good books. The books will sell themselves if they are good and if your readers can quickly read more of your work. I think that's the one thing I did right. I published two books at the same time and followed those two up with another within four months. I didn't spend any time building a blog (still don't have a blog) or a twitter following. I didn't even use facebook until I published my first two books. These things are great AND EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, and they can really help an author if she has the books to back it up. I do think more authors should focus on the craft and less on the marketing. But that's just my opinion.

6. What lesson have you learned along the way that you would hope others could avoid? 

Here are four big ones:

Lesson #1: Find someone to edit your book. I had no money. I mean NO money. So I didn't hire a copy editor. Big mistake. If you want to be taken seriously you have to have a professional product.

Lesson 2: Never respond to negative reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or any where else, even if you do so politely and graciously. Amazon has the absolute most scary underworld of trolls and discussion boards you've ever seen. These people live on Amazon and literally make authors' lives miserable if they so much as make a single misstep out of ignorance, enthusiasm, or stupidity, which I did in the beginning because I was truly ignorant, enthusiastic and a little stupid. I learned quickly, to say the least.

Lesson #3: Don't write what everyone else is writing because you think that is the way to success. Write what you feel good about, what turns you on, what you find fascinating, because in the end, you will put out a better book because of it. Be original. Be original. Be original.

Lesson #4: Conduct yourself like a lady (or gentleman). Think before you speak (or post). Be gracious with other authors as well as with readers. Don't degrade or insult in an effort to buoy yourself up. It never works. Bite your tongue, turn the other cheek, be positive. Always.


      


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11/29/13

Black Friday Extravaganza #BlkFriExtrav

The biggest names in Fiction are coming together to help YOU kick off your Holiday Shopping!

Come help us spread the word for a chance to win one of FOUR $50 Giftcards!!!




We'll also be having a HUGE party all day on Facebook to giveaway copies of our ebooks!

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11/23/13

Six Questions with Heather Self


I know, I know! It's been absolutely ages since I've done Six Question Saturday, and I'm sure you're all just ready to come after me with torches and pitchforks. But, before you do anything rash please read this awesome interview with author of The Kin Series,Heather Self. I met Heather this summer at UtopYA which you may not know since I've been a blog slacker! Heather has an awesome surprise at the end, so stay tuned!





1. What inspired you to write your first book?


Basically, I was challenged to do Nanowrimo by Michelle Leighton, Tammara Webber, and Addison Moore. I thought they were crazy, but I did it and The One was the result.

2. What has changed about your editing process since your first book?

I do A LOT of editing as I go now. I have to have the chapter perfectly right before I can go on to the next one.

3. What works best for getting word out about your latest book?

Music with a driving beat! I have playlists called "Word count" Also, for some reason I can really get some writing done to Maroon 5.

4. Do you think it's necessary to have your work professionally edited?

Absolutely! They'll catch things you don't. Plus it's much easier to edit someone else's stuff then your own. 


5. What would you do differently if you could start all over again?

Establish a good writing routine from Day 1 so my output was more consistent.

6.What are your top 3 favorite books and why?

This is an impossible question!! HP series, because it's sheer brilliance. Emma by Jane Austen, I love her word-smithery and the characters, then there are just too many others that I love to narrow it down...maybe the Chronicles of Narnia? They're pretty timeless. Whew. That was a hard one.


          

With my return to Six Question Saturdays, I've decided to stir things up and invite the authors to do a giveaway! Heather has upped the ante and offered TWO ebook sets of her Kin series
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11/21/13

Release Day: So Fell the Sparrow by Katie Jennings

Sparrow Release Day Blog Banner

A skeptic, a ghost hunter, a tech genius, and a medium. Will the spirits win?
Today is release day for the highly anticipated haunted romance from bestselling author Katie Jennings, SO FELL THE SPARROW!
Available in both paperback and eBook on Amazon, HERE!
http://amzn.to/1ixH30U

After the tragic death of her parents, Dr. Grace Sullivan inherits more than she bargained for. An empty house she’s never heard of, a nosy neighbor, and the restless spirits of a violent, century old murder. A hard-nosed skeptic, Grace refuses to believe in ghosts despite hearing sounds and seeing things that can’t be explained. When she unearths antique furniture from the basement, the spirits become agitated and dangerous. Ian Black and Alex Gallagher, a team of ghost hunters, come in to investigate. Still denying the paranormal events in her home, Grace can’t bring herself to take the ghost hunters or the psychic medium who teams up with them seriously. As Grace struggles with her grief and the feelings she’s developing for headstrong Ian, the disturbing mystery of the house deepens. Now she’ll have to face the unbelievable before the spirits claim her for their own.
Watch the teaser trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsobfewN9Q0&w=420&h=315]

Meet Katie Jennings…

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International bestselling Author Katie Jennings is the author of seven full length novels, including the popular fantasy series The Dryad Quartet as well as the bestselling family drama series The Vasser Legacy. She lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and cat, who both think she’s the biggest nerd ever. She’s a firm believer in happy endings and loves nothing more than a great romance novel. You can find out more about Katie on her official website, www.katieajennings.com.

11/13/13

Home for the Holidays Hop!

Its that time of year when we all begin to give thanks. I'm thankful for so many things, some of them being great author friends and wonderful readers!
Grab button for Satin Sheets Romance


November 13th - November 18th

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY BLOG HOP PRIZES!

Grand Prize Shopping Spree: $450+ Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Second Place Grand Prize: (1) E-Book from every participating Author

Be sure to leave a comment on the blog post with your email addy to be entered to win the grand prize! Every stop you visit and comment at will get you another entry toward the grand prize! Be sure to visit ALL the stops for more chances to win!

One thing I'm grateful for is time spent making cookies with the kids. We have several holiday favorites, but this year we kicked off the season a bit early with a batch of Snowball Cookies. They were a huge hit, I don't think they lasted more than an hour between the six of us!




2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar


Heat oven to 325°F. Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 18-25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool.

Enjoy!


              


11/12/13

Are You Ready for Stone of Destiny?


I can't wait to hear what you think... I am completely thrilled
 with what Najla Qamber has created for me!


Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy #2)
Release Date: 12/31/13

Summary from Goodreads:

Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn't entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress's plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison's parents apart forever.

Despite Allison's efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she's ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.

Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it? Are Ethan' s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?













Book One:






7/23/13

Stamford Author Event

I'm going to be hosting my first ever book signing, apart from UtopYA, of course.

The Stamford Author Event

Join 35+ authors of contemporary, new adult, paranormal fiction and more at the Hilton Executive Center in Stamford, Connecticut, on August 10, 2013, from 12pm-4pm. Enjoy an afternoon of books, swag, and more as you get the latest releases from your favorite authors and discover new voices. 



You’ll be eligible to enter a raffle and clinch the Grand Prize: a brand new Kindle Paperwhite, loaded with all our books! Attendees will also qualify to win VIP passes to mix and mingle with authors and book bloggers at the after-event, from 4pm to 6pm. 

Admission is FREE. However, the event is ticketed. Reserve your tickets HERE.

Stamford Authors:


Karice Bolton
Rebecca Rynecki
Beth Michele
Mary Wasowski
Francine LaSala
Stephanie Keyes
T.L. Manning
Rebecca Ethington
Juliana Haygert
W Ferraro
Danielle Torella
Laura Howard
J.M. Gregoire
Megan Smith
Ashley Wilcox
L.D. Davis
R.J. Keller
Alice Tribue
Andrea Randall
Daisy Prescott
Charles Sheehan-Miles
Denise Grover Swank
Christa Cervone
A M Hargrove
Ginny Lurcock
Lynetta Halat
Hannah R Goodman
Liv Morris
Sheryn MacMunn
Martha Bourke
Mela Remington
Melissa Collins
Renee Ericson
Melinda Sutherland
Carey Heywood 
Toni Aleo


7/16/13

The Forgotten Ones is FREE 7/16


by Laura Howard

FREE 7/16!



Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.








What some reviewers are saying:


“This book is so amazing! It’s one of those that speaks so vividly in your mind that you can’t help but get lost in!”


“5 Stars and a fantastically beautiful read. I definitely recommend to all who love fantasy, romance, or are just looking for a book to escape into for a while.”


“Enter another type of world you never knew existed but secretly wished it did. I can’t wait for book 2! Keep em coming out like pure gold Laura


7/4/13

Sizzling Summer Blog Hop hosted by The Romance Troupe

Picture

Welcome to my stop on the Sizzling Summer Blog Hop! I'm so glad you stopped by. We have fabulous prizes at 50+ blogs and some really sweet Grand Prizes!

7/3/13

Authors Blog Hop hosted by Lady Amber's Reviews



Welcome to the First Annual Authors Blog Hop hosted by Lady Amber's Reviews!

       
I'd like to share a little snippet from The Forgotten Ones that I hope you'll love!
                            

6/27/13

COVER REVEAL: Scorched Treachery by Rebecca Ethington

Title: Scorched Treachery (Imdalind #3)

Author: Rebecca Ethington

Expected release date: July 12th 2013

Genre: Paranormal (with action and romance) 

Age Group: Young Adult 

Cover designed by: Okay Creations 





While Joclyn is trapped in the tormenting hell of Cail’s mind, the battle around her only continues to grow and spread. * Edmund has infiltrated the underground hallways of Prague, guiding the massacre that would end the lives of the last of the great magical race. In her attempts to stop him, Wynifred has been captured and her magic restrained. Chained up in the ancient dungeons of Prague, her fate is left in the hands of her father, who has tried to kill her before. With Ryland’s screams and Sain’s fragmented sights as her only company, Wyn must rely on something that has been hidden deep inside of her for centuries to help them break free. * Ilyan’s whole life has been building up to one purpose. Protect the Silnį»³. He knows what he must do, and he has no doubt in his ability to do so. But when his father’s magic removes Joclyn’s mind from her body, he is left protecting the shell of the one person he loves. Desperate to find a way to break her free of her prison, he makes a choice. And that one choice changes everything. Now, Ilyan finds himself bound to Joclyn in a way that he never knew to be possible. 

They say that blood is thicker than water, but Black Water burns, and Ilyan’s heart may not be strong enough to keep the water pumping through his veins and give the girl he loves back into his brother’s care. Even if he can, it may not be safe to do so. Reading order: Kiss of Fire (1), Eyes of Ember (2), Scorched Treachery (3)






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  About the Author Rebecca Ethington is a story teller and author from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. Rebecca’s first stint into the world of literary writing, The Imdalind Series, was released in October 2012 and since its release each book has been found in several top 100 lists on Amazon. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her crazy family.


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