Readers’ Choice Awards: The Voting Starts Now

B&P Readers' Choice

Click on the shiny badge to take you to the voting page. It’s SO easy!

Some of you may know this already, but among the world of indie authors, getting a review from BigAl’s Books and Pals is no small accomplishment. According to statistics released by the site, “In the twelve months ending February 28th, 2014, BigAl and the Pals will have received over 1,400 books to consider for review and published 368 book reviews.”

I’m wicked excited that one of those titles was mine: Sliding Past Vertical has been selected as one of the books they felt stood out as an exceptional example of indie writing. (Their words, not mine, and they’re enough to make a girl mix up a pitcher of virtual margaritas and dance. No, not on the pole. Not since the last time.)

SlidingPastVertical300Anyway…B&P divided these books into thirteen categories. Sliding Past Vertical has been nominated for Contemporary/General Fiction. Starting now, you can vote for your favorites in each category. If you think the book is worthy, I hope you’ll swing by and give me your vote; I’d appreciate your support. Thank you! Voting enters you into a drawing for some cool prizes, and I hope you win!

Voting automatically enters you into B&P’s giveaway. You can learn all about that here. Voting ends at midnight, March 12, and final results will be announced the morning of Wednesday, March 15. Winners get a shiner badge and some cool exposure on the B&P website. Exposure (not the kind when you’re swinging around on the pole) for indie authors is a really good thing.

PWC3 - Tapped - small

Some of my friends and colleagues have also been nominated. Lynne Cantwell’s Tapped, the third book in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, has been nominated in the Fantasy category.

BADBOOK
Bad Book, a wickedly funny combo-genre novel written by Stephen Hise, KS Brooks, and JD Mader, has been nominated in the Humor category.

coverJulie Frayn has been nominated in the Women’s Fiction category for her novel, It Isn’t Cheating if He’s Dead.

blind-sight-2Nicole Storey has also been nominated in the Fantasy category for Blind Sight, the first book of her Celadon Circle series.

Cover_YucatanDead

DV Berkom’s wild ride, Yucatan Dead, sixth book in the Kate Jones series, was nominated in the Thrillers category.

Good luck to all the nominees and remember that if you vote, you can win!

[Voting notes: The form doesn’t like Internet Explorer. Once you click on this link that takes you to the site, log in with Facebook or your email address. Click on the downward-facing arrow in each category to see the books nominated. Click the open circle to the left to make your selection and “Enter” to register the vote. Clicking on the title will give you more info about the book.]

One Crazy Week

SlidingPastVerticalCoverOctober is my favorite month—Indian summer, apples, beautiful leaves, that lovely crisp feeling in the air. After a completely insane September culminating with the release of Sliding Past Vertical, I had been looking forward to kicking back a teensy bit. Okay, I know that’s not really possible, since once the book comes out, the work really starts. At least I hoped to get outside once in a while before my schedule heated up again.

Not so, it seems, but it’s all good. I woke on Monday to find that Don’t Tell Anyone had been chosen the category winner for literary fiction in The Kindle Book Review 2013 Best Indie Books Awards.  (see shiny badge to the right). Snoopy dancing! As my entry progressed from semi-finalist to finalist in September, I was happy to see enough editing work and book promotions on my calendar to keep me from thinking about October 1.

One great thing about indies is their generosity and eagerness to support other authors. I entered the contest along with a bunch of talented author friends and did little happy dances when Nicole Storey, DV Berkom, Julie Frayn, Rosanne Dingli, and Carol Wyer made it to the semi-finals, then again when Nickie and I were in the finals (with Hugh Howey in a different category!) When I got the “you’re a winner” email from Jeff Bennington at The Kindle Book Awards, it had also been sent to the other category winners. We immediately began contacting each other with congratulations and requests for Twitter handles.

SPVPrint1After a bit of flutter, I forced myself back to earth, because Husband and I needed to get the print version of Sliding Past Vertical done. And here she is! I was so excited to get the proof in my hands. Four books in, and the feeling of holding the finished copy hasn’t yet gotten old. I hope it never does.

Have a great week!

The Kindle Book Review Awards: Finals!

Don't-Tell-Anyone_cover1Most of you might know by now that out of the danged amazing writers chosen to be semifinalists in The Kindle Book Review‘s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards (several are friends and three of those friends are fellow Indies Unlimited minions or alums), the final five have been chosen in each of the eight categories.

I’m still in a bit of shock that out of those amazing books, Don’t Tell Anyone is in the top five in the Literary Fiction category. I’m also Snoopy-dancing for Nicole Storey, making the finals with the first book in her Grimsley Hollow series, and Rosanne Dingli, chosen for her  Camera Obscura. Also, once again I’m standing beside Hugh Howey in a final, and once again grateful that we are in different categories.

Hugh Howey!

Hugh Howey!

Cooler still is one of the perks of reaching the finals. The forty finalists have been asked to write two guest posts for a contest sponsor’s blog: one, a dream interview; the other, a dream review. Stephen Woodfin, the gentleman who sent me the email request, set a high bar for entries. Informal “bragging rights” for last year’s finalists went to, yes, Hugh Howey, for his dream interview done by Natalie Portman while giving him a massage.

So I could not resist having a bit of fun with that. Here’s my entry, Good Things Gone Bad. 

Guest Post by Nicole Storey: Making a Difference for Kids with Autism

(Today, author Nicole Storey visits to talk about a cause very dear to her and her family’s hearts. I hope you will consider making a purchase to help support this very worthy organization. Besides, Nicole’s stories are delightfully magical. See my review of her first book, Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One.)

by Nicole Storey

When my son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, I was devastated and lost.  I had no idea who to turn to for help.  Thankfully, a dear friend advised me to go on the web and search for autism support sites.  I did, and found many parents treading the same turbulent waters.  I was no longer alone.

It is charities such as The GreaterGood Network at The Autism Site that help parents to believe their children can do more, be more, than the doctors dictate. This charity helps to fund therapy for children with autism: Speech, Sensory Integration, Cognitive/Behavioral, Diet, and so many more.

For the month of July, a percentage of the sales from my books will be donated to The GreaterGood Network to help provide autistic children with the help they need to thrive.  I would love it if you could give just a few dollars and download an eBook or perhaps buy a paperback.  Together, we can make a difference for children with autism! Thank you so very much!

The GreaterGood Network:  http://bit.ly/N0y9cr
Nicole Storey’s Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/KThYif
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/84094

Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One by Nicole Storey, a review

Meet Gage. He’s eleven years old, helps out in his mother’s tropical fish store, loves everything to do with Halloween, and doesn’t have any friends, mainly because he feels too different. He has autism, and while he understands why autism makes him do the things he does, he doesn’t like it, and retreats into his routines and a fantasy world he creates inside of a homemade fort on his family’s property.

But what he doesn’t know is that he has secret powers beyond his understanding. These are called into action when a mysterious visitor shows up at his fort with a gift and begs for his help to save her world. After wrestling with himself about how or even if he can help with such a daunting task, and why he, of all people, has been chosen, he is drawn into a universe of endearing, magical creatures: a witch in training, a young vampire, a smart aleck pixy, and a teenage werewolf who becomes a good friend.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, because it’s lots of fun, but overall I loved Gage’s wry sense of humor and positive spirit, even as he doubts his abilities. I like the relationship between Gage and his four-year-old sister, Sydney, who is wise beyond her years and adores her brother with every fiber of her being. And I really grew to care about the characters, even the ones who aren’t always so nice.

While adults are present in the story, and lend their influence, support, and encouragement to the kids, the kids are the real heroes, which is one of the best things about the story and about middle grade and young adult fiction in general. After a while, I even found myself forgetting about Gage’s autism as I fell into Nicole Storey’s sweet, funny, scary tale.

For any child who feels different, who feels cast out, this story shows that we are all human underneath, all want to make a difference, all want to have friends.

I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel, so I can spend more time with my new friends.