Sunday, April 16, 2017

Revenge of the Tiger: COVER REVEAL

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it!

Tyrabbisaurus Rex would like to make several announcements. First, he would like it understood far and wide that he is most emphatically, 100% NOT a cuddly bunny (he's said this before, but no one seems to be listening). He'd also like to point out that contrary to vicious rumors...
Got that? He is NOT the Easter Bunny! That means, NOT cuddly, NOT cute, NOT bringing you baskets full of eggs and chocolate bunnies (in fact, he protests their very existence), NOT hopping to your Easter party anytime soon.

He is a dinosaur, people! A tyrabbisaurus rex, to be exact! And he RRROOOAAARRRS at you with the power of his mind.

Now that he's gotten that out of the way... his second announcement is that he is hosting a Read Along event on Facebook. Activities, question, games, etc. will be posted every day through to the end of the month. So hop on over there to join the fun!



And last, but certainly, not least, DRUM ROLL......

Tyrabbisaurus Rex would like to reveal the cover of his upcoming book Revenge of the Tiger.

Yes, he knows. You're understandably upset about this terrible news. Rest assured, so is he!

Honestly, he can't believe it either, but the terrible truth is...

The tiger is back. 

Rex was certain he had vanquished him for good, but that tiger is wily and clever, and now, yes, HE'S BACK. Even worse, he's out for revenge.

Cover art and design by Jeanine Henning

Good thing the world has Tyrabbisaurus Rex to save it from that dastardly, up-to-no-good, evil tiger-spy!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Power of Choice

Welcome to another stop along the Read Self-Published Blog Tour!

I'm going to take a moment outside my regular, more lighthearted blogging nature, to speak seriously about what it means to self-publish my books.

It all comes down to choice.

There's something truly empowering about choice.

There's a perception that still lingers around authors choosing self-publication. And I say "choosing" deliberately because often the perception is that it wasn't a choice, that instead it was a matter of "settling" – settling for second best maybe. Or not even second best. Maybe just settling for what we could get.

But I know so many authors today who made a deliberate choice to self-publish and I stand proud as one of them. For us, it wasn't about settling. It was about empowerment. It was about taking control of our own careers, of having choice when it came to matters surrounding the art of our souls.

It's no little thing to allow someone else the power to choose the cover of your book, the artist to illustrate it, the marketing it receives (or doesn't), the manner in which it's formatted, even the types of stories you'll write, anything from their length to their plots to their very genres. Having those choices stripped away is like a form of death. To our art. To our visions. To our worlds.

I emailed a traditionally published author, one of my favorites, about eight years ago, asking why she'd chosen to switch sub-genres. I absolutely loved the historical romances she'd been writing for more than a decade, but now she was writing romantic suspense, and I didn't enjoy them anywhere near as much. At the time, I read both genres voraciously and felt that, although this author was exceptionally gifted at creating her historicals, her romantic suspense novels lacked their depth and charm. Her reply to me (and I was thrilled to receive a reply) was that her publisher wanted her writing in the romantic suspense genre because they felt that was where the readership was.

What a tragedy.

I wanted to ask her if it was what she wanted to be writing. Was she happy following this new road? I didn't want to rub salt in the wound, though, in case she wasn't. Maybe she was fine with it, but I was truly disheartened to think that maybe she'd given up her passion to follow the demands of her traditional publisher.

Self-published authors make choices every day that more traditionally published authors don't have to make. Or don't get to make. It depends on your perspective. From my perspective, getting to choose my illustrator is worth everything to me. I have the most amazing illustrator in the world for both my Tyrabbisaurus Rex and Shifter High series. I wouldn't give up Jeanine Henning for the most lucrative, traditional contract in the world. It would be like stripping those books of their life, the characters of their personality. It would be like peeling them down to the barest of bones and leaving them to wither and die.

None of this is to say there's anything wrong with choosing to go the traditional route. After all, that's the point I'm making.

It's our choice. And no matter how we choose, we own it because it's ours. Whether the choice is for a more traditional route, a completely indie one or a hybrid path, we choose.

As for me, I'm thrilled to have made the choice I did. I'm honored to be a part of the self-publishing community. I hold my head high and when people ask about the choice I made, I always tell them it's because I get to make choices that I made the one I did. I choose the length of my books, their subject matter, which taboos I break, which genres I write in, which illustrators I work with, which covers I approve, which book I write next and which book I'm not ready to write (or never want to write).

I choose. There's nothing more empowering than that.

Read self-published works. I guarantee you'll find an amazing array of gifted authors whose choice to break from tradition has meant that their works are anything but traditional. They break all the rules and in the doing, give their readership the gift of unique and varied reading choices.

Thanks for visiting my stop on the Read Self-Published Blog Tour. You can go back to the beginning here or head on to the next stop here. Find out more about events planned during Read Self-Published Month here.

Best wishes and happy reading!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Happy Read Self-Published Month!

April is Read Self-Published Month and as an indie author, this is super important to me. I'm excited to participate in some fantastic activities throughout the month to celebrate and encourage others to read indie authors and works.

I'll be highlighting several indie authors in a number of different genres over the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out for some spotlights there.

In the meantime, here are some things to look forward to in April:

  • Read Self-Published Blog Tour – it all began April 1 (yes, I'm late to the party, as usual) at Zachary Chopchinski's blog. Check back here April 9 for my contribution to the tour.
  • Giveaways – Check out all the exciting giveaways available from April 1 - 14 here and giveaways from April 15 - 28 here (the Audible version of Tyrabbisaurus Rex is only one of many exciting offerings this month!)
  • Facebook Takeover Events – A number of fantastic indie authors will be taking over the Facebook Read Self Published Page throughout the month. Each author has their own events and activities scheduled so be sure to check the page regularly throughout the month of April. My scheduled day is April 22. See you then!
  • Read Alongs – Check out some fantastic indie books here. You can discuss these books with their authors as you read them – what an awesome opportunity! And if you'd like to join me in reading and discussing Tyrabbisaurus Rex (and I hope you will!), please join me on Facebook beginning Easter Sunday, April 16 here
Join the Read Along here
  • Sales, Sales, Sales! Tyrabbisaurus Rex will be on sale during the days leading up to the Read Along event. You can buy it on Kindle for 99 cents from April 10 through April 16. If you don't already have one, grab a copy and join the conversation! Other books of mine will be on sale throughout the month, so be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook page and my twitter feeds @ajculey and @tyrabbisaurus, as I will announce each book as it goes on sale. 

Overall, April's going to be a fantastic month, which honestly, is super good news for me because as a teacher, I can honestly say that April is generally one of the longest and slowest months of the year :) Looking forward to having so much fun to make the month pass by in a breeze!

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Trouble with Tigers (a.k.a. Katrina's Homicidal Urges)


Welcome

to Shifter High

Katrina's story is finally here!

Katrina Tiger battles her predatory instincts. 

It's all her bunny siblings' fault!
If they didn't want her to take a nibble, 
they shouldn't smell so divine!
Besides, there are so many of them, 
surely her parents won't miss one . . . 
or two . . . or ten.

Now available on Amazon

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Trouble with Tigers: COVER REVEAL

I've been sitting on this cover for a while now, as I've struggled to bring Katrina's story to fruition. I think I'm finally there though, so it's time for the big cover reveal.

Katrina's story will come out toward the end of February, but while we're waiting, here's a sneak peak at her cover, created by the fabulously talented Jeanine Henning.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Guest Blogger: J.K. Knauss (An Interview with Doña Lambra from Seven Noble Knights)

I'm super excited to host J.K. Knauss on my blog today.  J.K. is a fellow author and blogger and is here to share an interview with one of her characters from Seven Noble Knights. Welcome, J.K.!
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When Does a Blood-Soaked Cucumber Solve Your Problems? 
J. K. Knauss interviews Doña Lambra, Villainess of SEVEN NOBLE KNIGHTS
The author with Doña Lambra in Barbadillo

As Chapter II of Seven Noble Knights opens, the people of the capital city of Burgos are already celebrating while they prepare for the wedding of Don Ruy Blásquez, one of the Count of Castile’s most loyal knights, to Doña Lambra de Bureba, some twenty years his junior and the most beautiful lady in the land. Today author J. K. Knauss sits down at the long table in the farmhouse in Barbadillo sometime between Chapters VII and VIII to talk with Lambra while the cooks try to prepare supper quietly at the hearth.

JKK: For the record, my lady, where and when were you born?

Lambra: At Busto de Bureba under the sign of Leo in the year of Our Lord 959.

JKK: You recently got married. I don’t think things went as well as you’d hoped.

Lambra: Of course they didn’t. Not only was I forced to marry some minor noble I’d never heard of before, but I also unwillingly became the aunt of the so-called seven noble knights, and they killed my cousin Álvar Sánchez! (Looks at her maid Justa, who has been sitting in the corner so quietly the interviewer didn’t even know she was there until she tried to cover up a sob with a cough.) If you can’t keep quiet, go outside and slop the hogs! (Justa slips out the front door.) Sorry about that. She really doesn’t know her place these days. What right does she have to be sad about Álvar? He was my cousin, not hers.

JKK: Tell me about your cousin Álvar.

Lambra: Oh, I loved him so much! He was the best knight Castile ever had, so strong and brave, and he loved me. He took such good care of me at the wedding, always asking how I was and holding my hand when I was scared. If he hadn’t been so closely related to me… His body was so perfectly formed, he was more beautiful than a sculpture. Tall and blond with icy blue eyes….

JKK: So he looked a lot like you, my lady?

Lambra: Until all his teeth were knocked out! They blame the horse, but I know it was my “nephew” Gonzalo’s fault. And then, what that Gonzalo did to Little Page, my wedding present from the count!

JKK: I am deeply saddened by what happened to Little Page, but do you think Gonzalo was provoked? I mean, it’s not every day your aunt’s servant dips a cucumber in a bucket full of hog’s blood and throws it at you to stain your shirt—and your honor.

Lambra: No, not every day, but it does happen and a man should know how to deal with it. If it had only been because of the cucumber, he might’ve controlled his awful temper. But he hates me. His whole family hates me, and that’s why they keep attacking my household.

JKK: You weren’t trying to say anything with the bloody cucumber? I heard Gonzalo say it could be interpreted as a death threat.

Lambra: What does he know?

JKK: He’s studied the law of your Visigothic ancestors, my lady.

Lambra: Enough! You didn’t say we were going to talk about my so-called nephews.

JKK: I thought all was well between you. I thought you apologized for overreacting and sent your husband, Ruy Blásquez, to make amends with his brother-in-law and nephews.

Lambra: (muttering) Oh, he’s making amends. (Justa drags in the door, even more disheveled than when she left.) Justa, escort this… interviewer… to the road out of Barbadillo, never to return.

JKK: (Takes Justa’s arm and walks out to the road.) I’m happy to leave, Justa. I’m only sorry you have to stay here. (They embrace.) Please forgive me for leaving you here with Lambra, dear girl. But without you, Part Two can’t happen. I promise I’ll make it up to you in the sequel.
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Available on Amazon
Spain, 974. Gonzalo, a brave but hotheaded knight, unwittingly provokes tragedy at his uncle’s wedding to beautiful young noblewoman Lambra: the adored cousin of the bride dead, his teeth scattered across the riverbank. Coveting his family’s wealth and power, Lambra sends Gonzalo’s father into enemy territory to be beheaded, unleashing a revenge that devastates Castile for a generation.

A new hero, Mudarra, rises out of the ashes of Gonzalo’s once great family. Raised as a warrior in the opulence of Muslim Córdoba, Mudarra must make a grueling journey and change his religion, then chooses to take his jeweled sword to the throats of his family’s betrayers. But only when he strays from the path set for him does he find his true purpose in life.

Inspired by a lost medieval epic poem, Seven Noble Knights draws from history and legend to bring a brutal yet beautiful world to life in a gripping story of family, betrayal, and love.

“Let Seven Noble Knights welcome you to historical fiction! …it’s a rich saga populated with characters you will grow to love (and a few you will love to hate). The ancient empires of Spain are a beautiful backdrop to the struggles of humankind across all generations of all lands: romance, revenge, war, and adventure.”
—Pushcart Prize nominee Reneé Bibby, The Writers Studio
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Born and raised in Northern California, J. K. Knauss has wandered all over the United States, Spain, and England. She has worked as a librarian and a Spanish teacher and earned a PhD in medieval Spanish literature before entering the publishing world as an editor. Her acclaimed novella, Tree/House, Kindle Scout–winning paranormal adventure Awash in Talent, and short story collection, Unpredictable Worlds, are currently available.

Her epic of medieval Spain, Seven Noble Knights, is now available on Kindle from Bagwyn Books! The softcover edition comes out on January 16, 2017. Discover all the amazing stops on the Grand Book Launch Blog Tour at JessicaKnauss.com. Feel free to sign up for her mailing list for castles, stories, and magic.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Trouble with Thieves (a.k.a. Those Blasted Bunnies)


Welcome to Shifter High

Paulie's story is finally here!

Paulie Porcupine is determined to catch the thieves who've been stealing his acorns. 
His prime suspects are the bunnies and the human, Amelia.

All Paulie has to do is figure out where they're taking his acorns and steal them back. 
With the help of his best friend, Melvin Moose, 
those acorns should be back where they belong in no time. 
That is, if Paulie can keep Melvin from getting all antlered up
every time he sees Amelia. 
No problem, right?
Available on Amazon now