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M.J. Stevens – Author and Creative Spirit

A young woman trying to make sense of the world

Month

November 2014

November Update! [Events, Cleaning, NaNoWriMo]

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I realised it’s been a while since I did a blog update about what’s going on! So I thought I’d better get my butt in gear and write something. The main reasons why I’ve been a little MIA are:

1. I’m distracted trying to write LIBERATED. I should have totally entered NaNoWriMo (if you don’t know, you need to Google it) because I’m nearing 47,000 words and the NaNo goal is 50,000.

2. I have Supanova coming up on Friday and I’ve been trying to make sure everything is ready as this is a three-day selling and signing spectacular and my last event for 2014!

3. I don’t like to bore everyone with the little details of every waking moment of my life.

This week I have a blog tour going via Hot Tree Promotions who have done an amazing job getting me some promotion for both my books. I swear, I’ve never had so many people tweet me and the following has gone up … well I don’t have the stats, but a lot. Which is great. My neighbour said it was a shame that more people don’t know about my book, (her granddaughter read and loved it and now she’s getting Divided for Christmas … I hope she’s not reading this, if she is then SURPRISE and SORRY!)

As far as indie work goes though I have been extremely blessed. I thank everyone who has had something nice to say, bought a book, shared my Facebook and so forth. Plus the reviewers who gave me 4 and 5 star reviews …

HAVE SOME MAGICAL BEANS, ON ME!

A lot of people open amazon or Goodreads and go … “What’s the score on this book? Hm.” Especially with indie work, so thank you for being kind and also honest! No one is perfect and this is my first series as an author, and I have learnt so much already.

In the meanwhile it’s getting closer to the end of the year. Which means Christmas, New Year’s and people blaring their car horns because they’ve had over 300 day days of crap and they’re not going to take it any more!!! Not me though, I’d never do that … *shifty-eyes*

My family has been getting into the spring cleaning dealie (and yes, it is spring here in Australia for another five days). Did you know that lifting things in the hot weather sucks? Just in case you didn’t.

For now I think that’s about it! If you’re coming to Supanova I can’t wait to either meet you, or see you again! If you haven’t read BOUND or DIVIDED yet, Hot Tree Promotions are hosting a giveaway of both ebooks! But hurry! There are nearly 200 entries!! https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ea80a6ed21/

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Mellea’s final chapter

As many of you know, I’m working on LIBERATED, the final book in The Guardians Series. Whilst BOUND and DIVIDED both came out this year into the world, Mellea and I have been together much, much longer, since 1999 to be exact. She may have had different names, different homes, different backstories, but she was there. I want this final book to do all of the Mellea’s justice! I know she will be here with me into the future now, but I’m going to miss her courage and quirky scrunched up nose. Melleaprogress

Official Divided Release Day Trailer!

Seeing as how I will be out in the big old world on Divided’s official release day, selling and signing, I’ve decided to release DIVIDED’s official release day trailer now! I hope you enjoy and share with friends.


Cover Reveal: Fight for me

Recently, I signed up to help support Australian indie author K.A Last by posting her cover for Fight for Me (The Tate Chronicles #2). This is the second book in the series, the first installment Fall for Me is out now. If the name is sounding familiar to you, you probably have heard me say, or read on the backs of my books, that she has designed my covers for both BOUND and DIVIDED and hopefully LIBERATED if she’ll have me! 🙂 She has many, many talents so if you like Angels, Vampires, Romance … burning feathers … then go check out her work!

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Fight for Me by K.A. Last

To celebrate K.A. Last is having a competition!

WIN THE PREQUEL and FALL FOR ME ebooks! 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d0425123606/

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“How can I fight for you when I don’t know what I’m fighting for?”

When Grace Tate became one of the fallen to protect a vampire, it got her into more trouble than she’d bargained for. She’s angry at Charlotte for hiding the truth, and with Josh living in the city and Seth missing, life is harder than ever.
It’s about to get a lot harder…
Grace doesn’t want to leave Hopetown Valley, but when Josh ignores her calls she decides to go and search for him. She doesn’t expect to run into Seth as well.
When she reaches the city, Grace learns that Charlotte is the most hunted vampire in Wide Island. The city vamps want her blood, and the angels are after her soul. Grace gets caught in the crossfire of a battle she never wanted, but to win one war, she has to fight another.
Torn between the one she gave up everything for, and the one who sacrificed everything for her, Grace has to face Charlotte, and the past, if she wants to fight for her future. But how can she fight for someone who doesn’t want to fight for her?
Every choice Grace makes becomes a battle, and in every battle someone has to die.

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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. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, a rabbit named Twitch, and a guinea pig called Squeak.
Author Links:

 

I don’t rant, but today I must!

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I have my nickers in a bunch, and so I plan to write a blog with a rare touch of anger.

I read a review today of a traditionally published book. The woman was unhappy with it, fair enough, but used this little quip in her statement: “It reads like something self-published” as a reference the mundane story and style of writing. The novelist is a talented wordsmith and so what it said to me was that “mundane stories” that publishing houses “don’t want” are what indie books are all about. That is total crap. Every indie author has a reason for being indie. Some have tried publishing houses only to receive a bucket load of rejections, some like to be in full control of their projects, some are starting a business … the list is endless. For me, I’m a genre writer in the competitive section: Young Adult.

Genre fiction works on cycles, even if the big houses say that’s not true. Think about it, vampires, speculative fiction, dystopians… there is a reason books come out at the same time. I personally didn’t want to wait for my style to come in, if it ever did.

Everyone has their own opinion, I’ve really disliked a lot of books in my time, which is what spurred me to write one, but as a self published author I feel like I was just punched in the face, and this isn’t even my book she is reviewing.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard such a thing, in fact something similar was said to me in-person by a reader about the quality of self-publishing being lower than traditional publishing etc (meanwhile I was forced to sit there and smile as she touched my book with her non-believer fingers, searching for errors whilst other people waited behind her.)

I don’t think this is very fair to say at all, and using self-publishing as a yardstick to bag out a novel is not cool. Find something else. Phew. Thank you!

M.J.

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The Visitors by Katy Newton Naas

Hello everyone!

Today, something different! Wait no, don’t run away! COME BACK!!

I’m posting a book blitz for another author, Katy Newton Naas. Indie work needs bloggers to help support us, so seeing as how so many have been generous enough to do one for me, I thought I would give back and do something for someone else! I’ve never participated in a blitz before though, so sorry if I do anything out of the norm, but then again: I’m all about that.

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So who is Katy Newton Naas? Well I’m so glad you asked.

“Katy Newton Naas wears many hats: wife; mother to her young son, Aven, and her four-legged sons, Shakespeare and Poe; teacher of middle school reading and high school English; children’s church teacher; and now – her lifelong dream KatyAuthorrealized – author. Her debut novel, THE VISITORS, was released September 16, 2014. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor’s degree in English Education and a master’s degree in Reading and Language Studies. She resides and teaches in a small town in southern Illinois.

From a young age, Katy was always an avid reader and writer with a big imagination. She spent much of her childhood searching for ghosts and UFOs to no avail – but she hasn’t given up her hunt just yet. Though she continues to grow older, her true literature love is and has always been young adult fiction. She loves creating both futuristic and realistic stories about teenagers, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.”

Book & Author Details:

The Visitors by Katy Newton Naas
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Sometimes soul mates find each other in unlikely places. But is love worth it if it risks your life?

Seventeen-year-old Noah is startled when he awakes one day to find that dangerous, irrational, self-serving, and destructive visitors called “humans” are coming to visit his beautiful, perfect society. All citizens are ordered to have limited contact and share minimal information with these visitors.

Sixteen-year-old Jady is thrilled to accompany her father and his crew on a trip to a recently-discovered planet, Verdant. The United States’ crew is hopeful that they can learn from this advanced yet similar species. Despite their greatest efforts to fight it, it doesn’t take long for Jady and Noah to fall in love and begin a secret affair. But when their relationship is revealed, danger is created for everyone involved…

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Interview about The Visitor’s Main Characters written by the author

The Visitors is a young adult science fiction/romance. The first-person viewpoint alternates between the two main characters, Noah and Jady.

  • Who is your main character? Is he/she a fictional or a historic person?

The male main character’s name is Noah. He is a fictional, futuristic teen from a highly intelligent society on a newly-discovered planet called Verdant. The female lead is Jady. She is a fictional teen from the United States who is chosen to be part of the crew that visits Verdant due to an important contribution she made to NASA.

  • When and where is the story set?

This story is set in 2078. The United States has just learned that there is life on a very small planet that had been largely ignored before the discovery. A crew goes to the Verdant in hopes of learning from their very advanced society.

  • What should we know about Noah and Jady?

Noah is bold in a society where boldness is basically unheard of. He is a valued member of his society because of one special secret trait, but he doesn’t hesitate to put all he has – including his own life – on the line when he believes in something strongly enough. In a world of conformity, Noah stands out.

Though Jady is only sixteen, she has incredible drive and focus. Her goal in life – becoming an astronaut and exploring new planets, like her father – keeps her motivated. She is beyond thrilled with the opportunity to visit Verdant and never expects to meet someone like Noah, much less let him capture her attention the way he does.

  • What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Noah has been ordered to minimize contact with the human visitors, as they are considered extremely dangerous due to their irrational and selfish behaviors. The conflict arises when he meets Jady and finds himself compulsorily drawn to her.

  • What are the personal goal(s) of the characters?

At first, Noah’s primary goal is to explore his feelings for Jady in secret so as to protect his position in society. As he learns more about the humans and in turn, his own society, his goal becomes bigger and less self-centered.

Jady’s personal goal upon arrival is to learn as much as she can about Verdant and its citizens. When she meets Noah, he shakes up her goal and she finds herself looking for more time to spend with him. However, things aren’t easy for the two of them – especially when Noah’s life is put in danger because of her. She then becomes focused on helping Noah survive.

Want a copy of The Visitors?

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23226119-the-visitors?ac=1

Purchase:

–Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Visitors-Katy-Newton-Naas-ebook/dp/B00NLXQDZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415372286&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Visitors+by+Katy+Newton+Naas

–B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-visitors-katy-newton-naas/1120353838?ean=2940150741430

Or you can just totally win a copy! Simply comment on this blog and you can go into the draw to win an ebook, formatted for device of your choice (epub for apple, Samsung …  or MOBI for kindle …)

“If you liked these books, you will like Bound.”

When you get into the writing world, a big question people ask you is, “So, what other books is it similar to?” Basically, no matter how original your book is you have to draw parallels to work already created. Chances are, it’s going to be similar to something because everything in the world has been done; it’s your spin that makes it unique. Thus even if you hated the following list, you may like BOUND because it’s not the exact same.

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The Jewel, Amy Ewing

This is one of those books that you love it your hate it. The Goodreads scores are like a rollercoaster of 1s and 5s. I really enjoyed this novel. It had moments where I was reading with one eye open because it was cringe worthy as a woman. Bonus point: Love triangle free! (like BOUND!)

“Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197.” The Jewel is a shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing.
Sold for six million diamantes, Violet is now Surrogate of the House of the Lake in the centre of the Lone City, the Jewel. Her sole purpose is to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess – a woman Violet fears and despises. 
Violet is trapped in a living death, her name and body no longer her own. She fights to hold on to her own identity and sanity, uncertain of the fate of her friends, isolated and at the mercy of the Duchess.

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The Selection, Keira Cass

Oh so cheesy, oh so popular! I had to put this on the list. Whilst the story isn’t like BOUND for it’s characters, the unwilling lead is drawn into this new world where she quickly must put her foot in her mark or be lost in a world of beauty.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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These Broken Stars, Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Personally I didn’t like this book. I wanted to punch Lilac in the face. Tarver was enjoyable and sweet and I think Lilac is way too much a polar opposite, and it takes more than half of the book to realise she is not a total cow, kind of. However, people who read and enjoyed this book will probably enjoy BOUND because Leo is outwardly similar to Lilac, only not a sassy little biatch. That’d be a whole other story!

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

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Matched, Allie Condie

This is in the same ballpark as BOUND but is probably way up in the stands looking down. If you’ve read Matched and liked it, you might like my tale. If you read Matched and hated it, you might like my story. Why? Love triangle free-zone! And by now you’re probably getting over them.

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

New trailer for Divided is up!

I couldn’t stop at Bound, I had to make more!

Here is a new trailer for Divided! Hopefully it will make you want to read it if you haven’t.

 

Goodreads Choice Awards 2014

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“You voted for BOUND by M.J. Stevens.” — Yes, yes I did!

Last year, I saw the Goodreads Choice Awards for 2013 and I said: Next year I’m going to have something worthy to enter. Now, it’s 2014 and that day is here! Everyone who has purchased a book or even picked up a flyer at a convention, has been instrumental in helping me get this far. I can’t say thank you enough.

That being said, I’ve entered into the Best Debut Goodreads Author category for 2014 and votes are crucial. The first voting period has already started and ends 8th November 2014.

Granted, it’s a long shot with so many traditionally published books getting prime spot (you can’t even see if any other choices have been selected) which is a little unfair, but we will roll with it and try anyway! Challenges make for the best stories!

To vote: go here and scroll to the bottom where you can write-in a vote. I do have bookmarks to giveaway as a thank you if you would like one for voting.

P.s. You are more than welcome to enter me into any other categories that pertain to my genre, if you so chose, however this is the area I am focussing my energy! Go-team, go!

M.J. x

Thank-You

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