Monday, February 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh & some Ziggy Marely

Alex Cavanaugh's CassaStorm cover is A-MAZE-ING, isn't it?  The other covers are just as killer, but this one is a powerful one, huh?  I love it.  Congrats to Alex.  Anyway, here's the book description:
A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Go Alex. The book comes out September 13 of this year so stay tuned for more info on that.

And Ziggy Marley
To celebrate, I know Alex is a musician at heart so I thought I'd post this video of Ziggy Marley and his band jamming at SOBEWFF.  What a great concert. Please forgive the amateur video. I did my best trying to capture one aspect of a great evening.  Enjoy.

Exciting for Alex's CassaStorm?  I am.  Are you a Ziggy Marely fan?
Have a great week.

Mina B.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Retribution by J.L. Campbell

Retribution by J.L. Campbell is finally here!  Whew.  What a great book!  Retribution is Book 2 in Campbell's exciting contemporary romance series.  Before I begin my review you may want to check out my review of Distraction here and also I wanted to post the book description.  See below:
JUSTINE CHARLES is still trying to put the pieces of her life together seven years after a disastrous extra-marital affair. She’s raising a troubled teenage daughter and six-year-old Emile, the result of her indiscretion.

A chance meeting drops the still-scorching Xavier McKellop back on her radar. Her former lover is hurt and furious that Justine has kept his son’s birth a secret. She has little choice when Xavier demands time with Emile.

Though the moments between Justine and Xavier are tense, it’s evident the flame of attraction between them still burns hot. And just as she begins to hope and dream about being with the only man who ever stirred her heart, body and soul, Justine’s life is thrown into chaos. Her daughter discovers Justine’s betrayal and Xavier’s soon-to-be ex-wife wants him back.

This time around, in her quest for love, Justine might not only lose her deepest desire, but everything she holds dear.

My thoughts:  Like most of the readers, I read the first chapter of Retribution back when I read Distraction.  Since then, almost a year later, I've waited for this book.  All I can say is Xavier is back!  The story picks up where the Justine and Xavier's relationship left off some seven years later.  Justine knew the day would come when she'd have to face Xavier and reveal the secret that could ruin everything they had, including the beautiful memories they created.  They meet unexpectedly only now Justine is a widow, cursed with relentless guilt of her past wrong doings.  Xavier steps back into Justine's life, forcing her to make the right choices for her and her son's future.  Xavier was such a rock in the book and I will forever refer to him as the music man.  Both characters made significant mistakes in their lives, but the beauty was their determination to see things through for the good of their family's future.  With the years comes more challenges like raising teenagers and divorce.  What I loved about Retribution, was Campbell didn't write a cookie-cut romance, she wrote a beautifully in-depth story about love, loss, friendship and how wonderful things can be when two people make amends. 

On a side not, I can't get enough of the Proverbs Campbell put before each chapter, giving the reader a hint of what's to come.  I loved this. Here's a sample:  
Proverb: Bush have ears and wall have eyes. 
Meaning: Be careful how you disclose sensitive information that can filter to those you don’t want to know your business.

If you're looking for a different take on romance and you're willing to take a journey with a couple that make their fair share of mistakes, then Retribution is just the book for you!  And wouldn't you know it Campbell's not done yet.  Book 3, Absolution, is in the works and I just can't imagine what she has in store for us.

Have you read Retribution?  What about Distraction?  Are you a fan of the series?

Mina B.        

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

She Said What? Blogoversary

Happy Blog-o-versary to Elise Fallson at Elise Fallson Rocks Blog and Michelle Wallace at Writer in Transit!  To celebrate, they created a comic strip that we had to fill in.  Now before you read mine, I have to tell you I had way too many tech difficulties which is why it took me so long.  What can I say?  Operator error?  That said, I still had a ton of fun.  And they wanted us to try to get the bonus words:  twist, cheek, buzz, honor, grey, champagne, tango, vomit.  As you can see I had Ryan Gosling meme's on the brain.

Mina B.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vampire Bite Hop: Blessed Blood Cover Reveal

Jolie Du Pre is an author, editor, article writer and blogger is hosting today's Vampire Bite Blog Hop. Now before you moan, "Urgh. More vampires?" I have some exciting news for you all.

In 2010, I wrote my YA novel.  I finished it roughly a little over two years ago.  TWO BLOODY YEARS ago!  I'll never understand how authors can bang out books.  Never.  That said, I edited, revised, had it beta read, critiqued and then repeated that process again and again.  I've since had a serious decision to ponder.  Traditional or Self-Pub?  Well, the sad truth is most agents or publishers aren't interested in vamp novels.  There just not and that's okay since I still believe there's still a market for vampire novels.  My goal is to stay true to myself and capture those readers who still love vamp lit.  

That said, I've been working like a fiend on polishing my story.  I've spent a good chunk of time building my online platform too.  *smiles wickedly*  I suppose nothing is ever perfect, but I've decided to give my young adult urban fantasy novel a shot.  I don't exactly have a timeline yet on a book launch, but I'm shooting for Spring 2013.  Keep your fingers crossed all goes well.

Cover Reveal:  Blessed Blood by Mina Burrows 

Backcover:  Emma Rollins is blessed.  Nobody knows how precious her blood is except for Quinn, the vampire, and he’s dying to claim her.

Aside from graduating college and playing soccer, all Emma wants is to be loved by her opportunist father and forget about the boy who broke her heart.  Since accepting her college soccer scholarship, Emma has been betrayed, beaten, bloodied and bitten.  And it’s only the first semester. 

Before it’s over, Emma must uncover and accept her eternal fate, save her bullying teammates from perilous doom and face the alluring vampire that haunts her.  Oh, and win a National title too.  Yeah, being blessed is more like being cursed.  But for Emma, it’s her only saving grace.

About the artist:  Steven Novak is an amazing designer and writer who designed this cover.  He's so talented and I'm incredibly thankful he worked with me.  If you need wonderful cover art, then Steven's your guy.

So what do you think?  Like my cover?  Excited about my upcoming release?

Hope you have a great Valentine's Day!
Mina B.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Publishing Tips

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley posted some great advice steps for self-publishing on Facebook over the weekend.  I honestly have never seen a traditional and successful author provide such extensive insight into the self-publishing process.  I found it refreshing.  Anyway, Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and if you missed it check out my author interview I did with her a few years back.  If you've read any of her Mackenzies novels, then you understand why I have such a obsession for men in kilts.  Don't believe me?  Check my eye candy on Pinterest and know that I owe it all to Jen.    
Jennifer Ashley on Facebook: Here is her post that I copied and pasted below.  

Steps to self-publishing (backlist or new titles): I thought I'd give you a brief explanation as to what I have to do to get out a title on Kindle / Nook / print so you know why it takes a bit of time.

1. Write the book (takes the most time :-))
2. Revise / edit / proofread--both myself and hired editors / proofreaders
3. Cover: Give cover designer information about the book, and work with her for a design and look
4. Write blurb that is succinct and concise, makes the book sound interesting and doesn't give too much away (shorter is better). This is one of the harder tasks!
5. Once book is proofed, format
6. I use html coding in Notepad to format my books. Make one file for Kindle, one for Nook, one for Kobo, one for All Romance Ebooks (each different so Nook books don't have links to Kindle and so forth).
7. Using Callibre, I convert each file to mobi, epub (and whatever is needed).
8. Gather cover files, formatted books, blurb, and whatever other info I need.
9. Upload books, covers, blurbs, reviews, whatever to Nook, then to Kindle, then to Kobo. (Each takes however long to publish from there).
10. Format the original Word file of the book for Smashwords (doc file). Got to Smashwords, upload book, cover, etc.
11. Format original Word file to make a PDF file for All Romance Ebooks.
12. Upload epub, pdf, and mobi files to all romance ebooks along with cover, blurb, excerpt, subject heading, bio etc.
13. As books go "live" update website to include links to book at various vendors.
14. Once all vendors are live, send out newsletter, post to blog, and announce on FB and Twitter.
15. If print: Format original Word file into PDF.
16. Give word count to cover designer and get full back / front / spine cover from her.
17. Upload final cover, book, description, etc to CreateSpace.
18. When notified that proof is ready (usually 1-2) days, download proof or order print proof.
19 Final proofread.
20. Make changes and re-upload, or ok print book as is.
21. Update website, blog, send out newsletter / announce on FB / Twitter
22. Pour large glass of wine, take bubble bath, and sleep for two days.

Great tips, huh?  

Book Feature:  L. Diane Wolfe's How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!

After posting the tips above, I also wanted to feature L. Diane Wolfe's How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!  I loved that Diane did this.  So many authors really need help navigating themselves through this process, including me.  See Diane's book description and get some incredible facts before you take the plunge.

Publishing and promoting made simple! Have you always dreamed of publishing a book but didn't know where to begin? This book walks you through the steps of identifying markets, budgeting, building an online presence, and generating publicity. Get the whole story on: • Traditional publishing • Self-publishing • Print and e-book setup, formatting, and distribution • Finding your target audience • Generating reviews and media interest • Networking and developing an online presence • Promotional materials and appearances Uncover your ideal publishing path and numerous marketing options before you begin. Writing is your dream. Give it the best chance for success! A member of the National Speakers Association, author L. Diane Wolfe offers in-depth seminars on publishing and promoting. Known as "Spunk On A Stick" to her fans, the author resides in North Carolina. "With a positive attitude, any goal can be achieved!"

That's some great advice, huh?  Have you checked out Diane's book yet?  Are you a fan of Jennifer Ashley?  What about men in kilts?

Mina B.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: Losing My Sh**

I can't believe its been a month since our last session of  Insecure Writers Support Group. Before I dump my woes on you, I have to thank  Alex for being probably one of the best support networks a writer can have in the lonely world of publishing.  Thank you, Alex. 

For this month's IWSG I decided to discuss the importance of backing up all your writing files, even the small ones you may overlook.   *Sigh*  I made significant progress with my YA novel over the last month, but unfortunately hit a major hurdle.  Because I'm an idiot, I lost an important file I was compiling over the last month.  I'm so pissed at myself; I could scream.  I knew better and should have never made the rookie mistake by not backing up that particular file.  Damn me!   What type of file?  A stupid sticky note file.  

Go ahead and say it..."Dumb a**."   I'm once again reminded what a jerk I can be at times. *Shakes head*  I've tried everything to restore the file, and I've finally given up.  I've been able to salvage some pieces of data, but that's the extent of it.  *Bangs head on wall.*

Is there a silver lining to losing my sh**?  Yes. This crappy situation has prompted me to change a poor process that I was using.  No more using sticky notes!  They suck, just like I do right about now.  I'm also backing up my work once more to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Has this ever happened to you? Hey, at least it wasn't my novel right? Thank god for small miracles.

What's going on with you this month?  

Mina B.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

The Follower Love Giveaway Hop is here. Woot! Since Valentines Day is around the corner I kinda love this hop. Giving away free sh** is always exciting to me not to mention my Free Sh** Fairy. This hop is hosted by I’m a reader not a writer and The Reader's Antidote.

Since Richelle Mead is on a roll with her YA Bloodlines series, I thought I'd give away one (1) copy of her latest addition to the series, The Indigo Spell.  If you're not familiar with the series, check out my review of Bloodlines and The Golden Lily.

The Indigo Spell back cover: In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

To enter
You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form.

Extra entries
+2 Subscribing via email to my blog
+2 For Becoming my Fan/Like on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 if you Retweet this on Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

Again, the giveaway starts at 12:01 AM EST on Tuesday, February 5th and runs through February 12th midnight. Contest is open to International participants. 

Update! Congrats to  Juhina E.. for winning my Follower Love Giveaway Hop! Winners are selected by the reputable via Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to respond. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Check out who else is participating. Visit and hop on by.

Thanks for participating!

Mina B.