Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun…until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their entire survival depends upon their ability to keep a secret.
My Review of Cicada:I loved this story! It is not your usual paranormal fantasy story. Throw in some intriguing sci-fi and it blows you away! It is told from the point of view of Blair Reynolds as she hangs out with her older friends as they enjoy their carefree youthful lives. In the summer, things start happening around them that can’t be explained. Together they must fight for eachother’s lives, accept changes to come and ultimately find each of their fates.It was refreshing not to read about werewolves, vampires and the like. This introduces a more scifi element with aliens. Or is it? Belle throws a spin on the legends of crop circles, lights in the sky and even the tale of twins. I loved the suspense, the realism and the smooth writing that kept me engrossed and turning each page. The story fuses reality and the unknown easily but leaves you with enough mystery that you are attached to the characters and story until the very end. I look forward to the next installment, the end was definitely left wide open for another one. I can’t wait!5 out of 5 stars!I received this book from the author for an honest review for her blog tour.
Today I welcome Belle Whittington to my site for the launch of her new book, Cicada:One of the biggest joys of writing fiction is getting to know the characters as they form themselves into personalities that seem real and almost tangible. Once a writer has gotten to the point that his/her characters are more than fiction on the page, finding an actor or actress who could fill their shoes is like searching for treasure. Wanna see who I’d choose to play the roles of my characters?Drum roll…….
Christmas in our small, inconsequential, southeast Texas town is usually a cold and rainy time of the year. In retrospect, the snow and sleet that covered everything, including the haunted forest, in a blanket of white must have been a harbinger that everything was about to change. However, at the time we thought it was a good omen. At the time we thought that all the sadness of losing our father and brother would finally disappear and we could recall the memories of Christmases past without shedding tears or hiding the pain under a pillow at night when all the rest of the world had fallen asleep, dreaming of sugar-plums and Santa Clause.
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Belle Whittington, author of Cicada, kindly took the time to answer a few questions about her book and writing.
”Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends—until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.” (Summary of Cicada from goodreads.com)
1. Where did the idea for Cicada come from?
My inspiration for Cicada came from many different places/experiences in my day-to-day life. For instance, most of the places I’ve mention in the story actually exist, only most of them have different names than the ones I’ve used in the story. :-)
Growing up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, afforded me summers full of adventure with my friends. I call on those adventures and memories a great deal for my YA stories. Cicada has a lot of the energy of those childhood adventures spun throughout. One of them is something that actually happened to me when I was thirteen years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence. When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in a YA novel, Cicada!
2. Are any of your characters inspired by someone you know personally?
Most of my characters are fictitious. However, Grandpa was definitely inspired and based on my father. He was wonderful and very much like Grandpa. :-)
3. What is a typical writing day for you like?
I usually write in the evenings. But most of my daydreaming is done during the day. :-)
Post by Traci
Thank you to everyone who has entered! I have selected a winner: Congratulations to Katie of Book Bowl Be on the lookout for Belle’s email
Here’s what Katie has won: Cicada Belle Whittington Released July 14th, 2011
Goodreads / PurchaseSummertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends—until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human…something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.
Want to know what I thought of Cicada? If you didn’t win, make sure to head on over to the purchase link to get your very own copy. Only 2.99$ for the Kindle. Click here for my review.
Knowing how to effectively market your e-book can be a challenge if you don’t have any formal education or professional experience in sales and marketing. Plus, these days, the default strategy seems to be “I’ll use social media.” But that’s not a strategy, it’s a tool.
When I teach the basics of marketing communication to e-media majors, we start by discussing the marketing mix, also known as the 4 Ps. Some say this model is outdated, but it’s still a useful way to begin a discussion about marketing a product.
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Here’s a riddle: How do you make your book a best seller on the Kindle?
Answer: Give copies away.
That’s right. More than half of the “best-selling” e-books on the Kindle, Amazon.com’s e-reader, are available at no charge.
Although some of the titles are digital versions of books in the public domain — like Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” — many are by authors still trying to make a living from their work.
Earlier this week, for example, the No. 1 and 2 spots on Kindle’s best-seller list were taken by “Cape Refuge” and “Southern Storm,” both novels by Terri Blackstock, a writer of Christian thrillers. The Kindle price: $0. Until the end of the month, Ms. Blackstock’s publisher, Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, is offering readers the opportunity to download the books free to the Kindle or to the Kindle apps on their iPhone or in Windows.
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By MOTOKO RICH
Often billed as one of the ebook’s marquee attractions, how well do in-book search tools really work?
Not all ebook search monocles are equal. Options range from non-existent (hey, Kobo! if there’s room in the programming budget for virtual reading awards like the Inverted Comma and the BookLover, then it’s time to spring for a search tool, too), to roughly implemented (Nook), and from nicely polished (Kindle, iBooks) to fully instrumented (Inkling).
To help make sense of what works versus what doesn’t consider first why readers search. If the title at hand is a reference or how-to book it’s often to look up a specific ingredient or procedure. But those kinds of books aren’t actually selling that well in eBookLand; publishing are turning those titles into apps. Instead, ebook fans are gobbling up narrative—fiction and non-fiction alike. Those titles all top the charts and so it’s worth refining that earlier question: For narrative-style ebooks, why do readers search?
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Posted by A New Kind of Book
I’ve had a few folks ask me about the nitty gritty details of ebook formatting, so we’ll have a couple of guest posts coming up on that topic (my way of formatting my ebooks is having someone else do it for me, so I figured I’d bow to the expertise of others). We’ll have a post coming along that details the way to get in and tinker with the html and such, but today’s post offers a simpler solution. Thanks, Jeff Dvorak, for writing this up for us…
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Post by Lindsay
Check it out!
"Cicada" at Amazon
The story of how Wild Child, one of my first novels, was published is almost as wild as the story itself.Read the rest of the post here…
The idea for the book came to me in a dream. I started madly writing it down the next morning, and couldn’t stop. In 40 days of frenzied typing at the keyboard, I finished the entire book.
The first literary agent I sent it to was Laura Rennert, at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency in Manhattan. She loved it. Laura sent it out to three of the biggest YA publishers. They loved it, too. I was thrilled—my very first YA book, and I had already found an agent and willing publishers. My baby was about to be read by thousands, and perhaps millions, of people. It was a dream come true.
“But,” she told me on the phone, “there’s one problem with your book.”
I began offering Kindle versions of some of my books when CreateSpace initially offered their Kindle Conversion service for the low price of $69. This service is for books already published using CreateSpace so my lone book with Lightning Source had to be converted by another service. I choose to use eBook Architects for that project and while it cost more, the results were excellent and I received a file for the Nook as part of the purchase.
Kindle sales have grown to the point that I sell more Kindle books per month than POD and the revenue is starting to add up. Despite my fears, and the fears of some authors, offering both POD and Kindle versions does not seem to have hurt sales of the more profitable print versions.
So, as I prepare for the three peak months of the year for sales, I have been considering which of my unconverted back list titles are worth the investment of converting to Kindle. Since I have sold a grand total of one book for the BN Nook, the cost of having a title converted to a Nook friendly format is just not worth the investment at the moment.
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Article by Kevin S.