Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Scary Times...An Update

I've been debating whether to write this blog post for a while now. It's highly personal and not the most positive news, but I feel as if I owe my readers too much to leave everyone wondering why I've disappeared from my usual social spaces.

As those of you who follow me on Facebook probably know, I'm expecting my second child at the beginning of February, a beautiful little Valentine's sister for my Christmas daughter. My husband and I are ecstatic about our new arrival, especially after all the hardships we've been through over the past five years. But, of course, that also means I have a lot to finish before her arrival, not the least of which is the fourth book in the Æerenden series.  I've been working hard on it and though the deadline was tight, I'd been on track until recently.

In November, my husband received a phone call that changed our lives forever. Our baby had an anomaly on her scan. We were told it was probably nothing, but after a flurry of emergency appointments and a visit to Children's Hospital, we learned the heartbreaking truth. Our daughter will be born with an extremely rare disorder. I won't go into details about it; they're hers to share with whomever she pleases as she gets older, but it means she will not live the easiest of lives. From the start, she'll become well-acquainted with doctors, specialists and therapists. She'll learn the value of patience and she'll have to grit her teeth through the "wait and see" non-committal medical responses that accompany understudied diagnoses. Above all, she'll have to learn to be strong, despite some of life's most cruel adversities. And so will we.

Of course, this means we've been inundated with research as we try to get our daughter's doctors lined up, and we try to absorb and understand her rare condition before she has to face it. It also means I've had to set aside my writer duties for a while so that I can focus on my family ones.

I promise you, I haven't forgotten about my obligation to my readers and to the stories that mean so much to me. I'll still finish the book in 2015, as promised, just not before February.

In the meantime, please keep spreading the word if you enjoy the series. While I'll finish writing book four, despite this trial, finding time to market will be nearly impossible. Your continued word-of-mouth support will make a huge difference in bridging that gap.

Thanks again for reading and for understanding. I may not be online as much as I used to be, but I am around as often as possible, so please keep in touch.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year.

Kristen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Child Returns is an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree!

After a rough morning Friday, I came home to find an email announcing that my YA Epic Fantasy novel The Child Returns has been selected as an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion winner. What an awesome way to turn a day around!




For those of you who aren't aware, this is a big deal in the Indie author arena. The B.R.A.G. (Book Readers Appreciation Guild) Medallion is awarded by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has compiled a large group of readers (individuals and members of book clubs) from eleven countries around the world, including the USA. Their mission is to "discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves." You can learn more about them here.  


The Medallion award is subjected to a rigorous selection process and all books are judged on the following criteria:

·        Plot
·        Writing Style
·        Characters
·        Copy Editing
·        Dialogue
·        Cover/Interior Layout

50% of books do not make this first cut. If they do, they're sent to readers who must answer one important question: Would they recommend the book to their best friend? 

Ultimately, only 10% of submissions are selected for the honor once readers are done.

I can't even begin to express how happy I am to have earned this award. After receiving a Best Kindle Book Award Finalist nod last month, you can bet I'm jumping up and down right now. Hope you're joining me :).




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Updates: A little good, a little bad

Sadly, The Child Returns didn't win the Kindle Best Book Award for Fantasy, though it was a complete honor to be chosen as one of the five Finalists out of so many entries. I plan to enter the second and third books in the series next year, so wish me luck!

In the meantime, be sure to check out this year's fantasy winner, Nefertiti's Heart by A. W. Exley, here. It looks like a great read, so I'll be picking up my own copy soon (as soon as Book 4 is complete). Don't you LOVE that cover? You can also check out all seven winners (one for each major category) by following this link.


Speaking of Book 4 (working title: The Reaper Rises), I've been making great progress so far. Current stats: 249 pages, 63,443 words. Unfortunately, my husband will be out of town for much of October, so my progress will slow soon, but hopefully I can complete the first draft and a few editing rounds by the end of November.

Betas, are you ready to get your hands on it in December?

For those of you who haven't started reading the series yet, I'm running a Read for Review over on Goodreads right now with my Never Too Old for YA & NA group. If you're a member of Goodreads, please head on over and sign up. It's a great group, so you should check it out even if you don't sign up for the R4R. Link here.

And finally, the series has hit a few milestones recently that I wanted to share. On Amazon, The Child Returns received it's 50th review, bringing the book's average to 4.8 out of 5. On Goodreads TCR also received it's 90th rating. My average there is 4.41, which is awesome for a notoriously hard site. Overall, I have 137 ratings for all 3 books on Goodreads with a 4.55 average.

Huge thank yous to everyone who has read and loved the Æerenden books, to those who have rated them, and most importantly to those who keep spreading the word. I really appreciate your support.

Now back to writing!

Kristen


Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Goodreads Not-Reviews

Although reviewing/rating my books is an option for me on sites like Goodreads, and many authors do it, I've never been comfortable reviewing or rating my own books. I figure you already know I love them or I never would have released them. But every time I log into Goodreads, the review box stares back at me, one big unblinking eye that begs for color. So I came up with an idea. Why not share a little bit about each book with you, my lovely readers who have been so kind to me? 

My commentary on each of the books is linked below, along with the topics I addressed. Enjoy! And remember, I also answer questions from readers through the "Ask the Author" section of Goodreads. If you have an account and a burning question, please leave it for me here

Now, back to work on Book 4!


The Child Returns - A little background on how the series came about:

*****

The Gildonae Alliance - On why Meaghan didn't start out on page 1 as a superhero:

*****

The Zeiihbu Master - Why TZM is so special to me: 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Novel Fashion Week 2014

Do you love both fashion and books? If so, then don't miss out on Novel Fashion Week at Kindred Dreamheart, where authors dish on fashion that matters.


My post "Kingdom Couture: Fashion for Villains and Monsters" premiers today. (click on the title to go directly there)

You could WIN a signed paperback of The Child Returns and a set of Limited Edition Bookmarks (same number in all four colors). So cruise on by, and if you plan on dressing the part of your favorite evil being this Halloween (or becoming one; hey, I don't judge), take note of what to wear to stay fashionable. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kindle Book Award Finalist!

So I woke up this morning to the most amazing news!


Yup, you read that right, The Child Returns has been selected as a Finalist in the Best Kindle Book Awards contest under the Science Fiction & Fantasy category. Four other winners have advanced within my category (find the complete list of Finalists here) and we'll find out who the Grand Prize winner is October 1. Fingers crossed! 

In the meantime, pleases swing over the contest website to check out the semi-finalists and finalists in all categories for 2014. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Tour, New Chance to Win!

The Æerenden series has hit the road again, this time with a review tour set up by
CBB Book Promotions.


Stops are below, along with links to the blogger sites (I will post specific review links within parenthesis as they go live).



Follow along for your chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

See you there :).

Kristen


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Writing Path Blog Tour from IC Publishing (part 2)

In case you missed it last week, my part of the blog tour was here.

The tour continues this week at historical romance author Lisa J. Yarde's blog The Brooklyn Scribbler.


Please cruise on over and check out her writing process by clicking on her blog name. I always find it fascinating how every author is completely different when it comes to writing and Lisa does not disappoint with her answers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Writing Path Blog Tour from IC Publishing

I was invited by middle-grade fantasy author June M. Pace to participate in this wonderful author book tag tour. She received her invite from steampunk author Josh Stanton.  Please click on the hyperlinks attached to their names to read their tour question answers. Speaking of the questions, here are my answers....

How do you start your writing projects?
After I come up with a novel idea (which generally starts as a dream), I spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few months forming a loose plot in my head. Some ideas I jot down in a notebook, others I polish in my head until I either reject them or fine-tune them enough to use. Once I've fallen in love with the story and can't stop thinking about it, it's time to write. I generally do a basic outline of where I want the books to start and end, and what major points I need to hit along the way, then I just let creativity flow. I've done thorough outlines in the past, but I've found them to be a waste of time. Generally the story goes in a completely different direction when I get into it, so I find it best to stay out of the characters' way. The Æerenden series is a great example of this. My detailed outline covered Meaghan and Nick's story in one book. Half-way through writing, I realized they had a much bigger story to tell---five books to be exact. If I'd been strict about my outline, I would have missed out on a better adventure.

How do you continue your writing process?
I just keep plugging away at it. It's not easy sometimes. I have a toddler, a job and a marriage to maintain, in addition to my writing career. Life gets in the way and so do I, sometimes. One bad review can derail my creative process, leaving me to doubt my skill and passion. In all cases, it's a matter of remembering what's best for me. Not all weeks are going to allow time for creativity. Not everyone is going to like my novels (though I work hard to write books most people will like). But I've found that I am a more balanced person when I write, so I make time for it. Ultimately, I continue writing because it makes me complete.

  
How do you finish your writing projects?
Honestly, it never feels like I "finish" a book. After the first draft is complete, I go through several rounds of editing on my own, a beta round, a few rounds with my editor, then I do a text-to-speech edit round, to hear the mistakes I've missed while reading. Art work and formatting come last, then it's zipped up and ready to go. The whole process takes me about a year. I want it to be as perfect as possible, but it can never be 100% perfect or 100% done. I will always look at a book and think, "I really should have done that differently..." or "If I knew then what I know now..." but I believe that's just part of the process for most authors. It's kind of like raising a child. You can't keep them sheltered forever. At some point, you have to let them out into the world. Only once they've touched others and have become important to other people's lives have they truly grown up. 

Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.
I think challenges are important for growth, so I'm going that route. For both authors and readers out there, I challenge you to stretch your limits, test your comfort zones. Pick up a book you think you won't like. Try a new genre. Write in a different POV. Explore dusty tomes in old city bookstores. Reach out to people who you're not sure you'll like. Live life through your experiences. When you try new things, not only do you open yourself up to pleasant surprises, but you may discover that these opportunities change you. If I'd chosen to stay where I'm comfortable, I never would have published my books. I would still be piling my manuscripts on a dark shelf instead of making new, wonderful friends with fans and other writers. My world has expanded and I'm better for it. But that's what life is truly about, isn't it? It's about painting the most glorious picture you can, not staying within the lines.

Next Wednesday, please continue the tour with historical romance author Lisa J. Yarde. Lisa is the author of two historical novels set in medieval England and Normandy, On Falcon's Wings, featuring a star-crossed romance between Norman and Saxon lovers before the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and The Burning Candle, based on the life of one of the first countesses of Leicester and Surrey, Isabel de Vermandois. Lisa has also written four novels in a six-part series set in Moorish Spain, Sultana,Sultana’s Legacy, Sultana: Two Sisters, and Sultana: The Bride Price where rivalries and ambitions threaten the fragile bonds between members of the last Muslim dynasty to rule in Europe. Her short story, The Legend Rises, chronicles the Welsh princess Gwenllian of Gwynedd's valiant fight against twelfth-century English invaders and is available now.

Born in Barbados, Lisa currently lives in New York City. She is also an avid blogger and moderates at Unusual Historicals. She is also a contributor at Historical Novel Reviews and History and Women. Her personal blog is The Brooklyn Scribbler.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Congrats to the Winners!

My first official blog tour is officially over!

Thanks to everyone who followed along! I had fun and now it's time to give away the prizes: a $25 Amazon Gift Card (Grand Prize) and 10 copies of The Gildonae Alliance in Audible format.

All 11 winners are listed below. I've already reached out to everyone, but if for some reason you didn't get my email, please let me know at kristen@kristentaber.com.


For those of you who didn't win, there'll be more chances in the near future! Stay tuned :).

All the best,
Kristen

Friday, August 1, 2014

Æerenden Series Inaugural Book Tour

Starting today and going through August 4, all 3 books in the Æerenden series will be part of my first ever Book Blog Tour (hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions).


Feel free to grab and share the banner!
The tour has two legs: Daily stops (Leg 1: April 14-May 2) followed by Weekly stops (Leg 2: May 5-Aug 4). New and exciting interviews, reviews, promos, and PRIZES will be shared on each leg, so be sure to check back regularly for a link to recent stops (they'll be added to the schedule below).

For each leg, I'll also be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and 10 copies of The Gildonae Alliance Audio book through Audible.com (retail value $17.95). With a total of 22 prizes, your odds of winning are high, so definitely participate :). Karen Savage, my voice actor for the series, is brilliant. You won't want to miss your chance of listening to her for free!

Book Tour Schedule
(subject to change)

Leg One
April 14: Kit 'N Kabookle - http://bit.ly/1jnJq3w
April 14: SECOND STOP: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews - http://bit.ly/1qwLYlI
April 15: Room With Books - http://bit.ly/1t4e0XS
April 16: Our Wolves Den - http://bit.ly/1nusFaR
April 17: Lessons from My Reading - http://bit.ly/1nuqjsK
April 18: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love - http://bit.ly/1gGG4YX
April 18: SECOND STOP: Literary Lunes Magazine - http://bit.ly/RwjTPA
April 21: Dana's YA Bookpile - http://bit.ly/1ju40kb
April 22: Margay Leah Justice - http://bit.ly/1f0q60r
April 23: Welcome to My World of Dreams - http://bit.ly/1foLaZx
April 24: Books and Other Spells - http://bit.ly/1l6j8Hw
April 28: Pressed Leaf Publishing - http://bit.ly/1j5IBzW
April 28: SECOND STOP: Straight from the Library - http://bit.ly/1flh4vm
April 29: Multi-Verses of Liza O - http://bit.ly/1hOsS3M
April 30: Books in the Hall - http://bit.ly/1fsiHrd
May 1: Long and Short Reviews - http://bit.ly/1iGGga9
May 2: Deal Sharing Aunt - http://bit.ly/1ml2Qh7

Leg Two
May 5: Booker Like a Hooker - http://bit.ly/1nY8dCe
May 12: Christine Young author - http://bit.ly/1jiSBSq
May 19: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock - http://bit.ly/TlrIIW
May 26: Sexy Adventures Passionate Tales - http://bit.ly/RrLm43
June 2: Long and Short Reviews - http://bit.ly/1kB17BD
June 9: The Write to Read - http://bit.ly/1ifKBCA
June 16: Writers and Authors - http://bit.ly/1lKLO9F
June 23: The Book Cookies - http://bit.ly/1j78pZW
July 7: Book Bunny's Reviews -  http://bit.ly/1pUoJFO
July 14: Goddess Fish Party Pavilion - http://bit.ly/1mObPW1
July 21: MAD Hoydenish - http://bit.ly/1p7hE17
July 28: It's Raining Books - http://bit.ly/1nA34Qm
August 4: Deal Sharing Aunt - http://bit.ly/1or9Ac7

Can't wait to see you all at my stops along the way! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Tour Update



Æerenden's First Blog Tour is almost over!

Only one more week left to enter for a chance to win

a $25 Amazon Gift Card

~or~ 

a copy of The Gildonae Alliance Audible Book
(10 available)

So be sure to check out this week's stop, as well as the other stops along the way (listed here).

Contest ends August 4, 2014 at midnight!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Child Returns Unofficial Soundtrack

Ever wondered what the Soundtrack for The Child Returns would sound like?

Well now's your chance to listen over at MAD Hoydenish!


Big Thanks to reader Trish Hanson for her Lifehouse addition to the list. For the recommendation, she won a complete set of autographed Aerenden bookmarks :).

And if you haven't been following my blog tour, please be sure to check out the stops now. Only three more weeks left for Leg 2 of the tour, which means only three more weeks to enter the drawing (prizes include Audible copies of The Gildonae Alliance and a $25 Amazon Gift Card).

Now get listening :).


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cool Bookstores: Atticus Coffee, Books & Teashop

Bookstores are my addiction. I know, a complete shock, right? Occasionally, as I have the opportunity to travel, I seek out cool new bookstores to enjoy. Going forward, I'll be sharing those with YOU!

The first featured bookstore comes from Park City, Utah, where I visited last week.

View from my hotel balcony
Known for it's gorgeous mountains, world-renowned skiing, and the Sundance Film Festival, this gorgeous town has a lot to offer for a relaxing vacation, including Atticus Coffee, Books & Teashop.


Technically, Atticus is a coffee/teashop, but it's a book lover's paradise at heart. Named after the father from To Kill a Mockingbird, it carries new books and merchandise related to its namesake.....

I was tempted to get the mockingbird cocktail book!
As well as used books at great prices....


And book-themed merchandise.

Who wouldn't want to wear a book cover?
Of course, what bookstore/coffee shop would be complete without comfortable seating areas and cool art?

And an umbrella, in case it rains inside, of course :-D

Those are broken mugs! Recycling at its best.
It's a great place to write, read, or just hang out with friends and enjoy a coffee. I had a Mexican Mocha (think mocha with a bite), but there are other book-themed drinks on hand (of course) and some wonderful food and smoothies to try, too...many of them also book-themed (of course; Wrap of the Mohicans, anyone?).

Be sure to stop by next time you're in Utah. They're at 738 Lower Main St., Park City, Utah.

If you have any cool bookstores you think I'd like to feature, please drop me an email with some shots! Independent stores are preferred :).

Monday, July 14, 2014

International Authors' Day Blog Hop


I've volunteered to be a part of the International Authors' Day Blog Hop, organized by b00kr3vi3ws blog, that celebrates Authors world-wide who've instilled in us a love for reading and who we've gladly allowed to absorb entire days of our lives, while we delve deep into the worlds they created.

I'd hate to think of a world without books, so I'd like to celebrate my top five favorite books of all time (in no particular order).

1. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King - Although probably not considered one of King's best works, it's one of the first fantasy-style books I read and it stuck with me for many years after. It was also a departure for Mr. King, as his work had predominantly been from the horror/suspense genres previous to this book's release, and it helped me realize that authors can branch out from their known genres. Because of that, I feel free to write any story that captures me, whether it's fantasy (what I currently publish) or romance (what I wrote first and may still publish some day). The Eyes of the Dragon opened my eyes both to the creative power of fantasy and the magic of writing for the sake of writing.

2. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien - This is no surprise to anyone who knows me or has followed my blog tours. Although Stephen King introduced me to fantasy, Tolkien made me fall in love with it and directly influenced my desire to write epic fantasies. To this day, I have not found a book that mesmerized me so deeply, and perhaps I never will.

3. The Ruby Knight by David Eddings (later, David and Leigh Eddings) - Sometime during or after college (I've forgotten when exactly), while digging through the bargain bin at my local Barnes & Noble, I found this gem (no pun intended). I don't usually start series with the second book, but I was bored and broke, so I bought it. I couldn't put it down and I've found most of Mr. (and Mrs.) Eddings' work equally enthralling (note: it was not until some time later that David Eddings revealed Leigh, his wife, as a co-writer for his books, so proper credit DOES need to go to her for influencing me, even though my book copy only lists him as the author). As I've mentioned, King gets credit for introducing me to fantasy, Tolkien gets credit for making me fall in love with epic fantasy, but Eddings is the reason my fantasy worlds also have an underlying medieval theme. Sorcerers and sorceresses, knights and kingdoms, legends of defeating monsters and evil kings...I fell in love with these things through him.

4. Works of Edgar Allan Poe (published by Dorset) - A book with "sixty-seven tales, one complete novel, and thirty-one poems" penned by the master of mystery? Yes, please. Poe has mesmerized me from the first moment I laid eyes on "Once upon a midnight dreary", terrified me from the moment I chewed my nails off through The Tell-Tale Heart, and made me understand the true power of imagery from the first verse of "The Raven".  I can't pick one book of his to call my favorite, so I'll pick the entire collection. And I'll return to him year after year to soak up his brilliance.

5. The Pearl by John Steinbeck - Steinbeck's tale of a poor man who discovers the world's greatest pearl is fraught with darkness and moral warnings. Greed, materialism and the true value of human life are addressed in this novella, and ultimately, the main character (along with the reader) learns the cost of what matters most. Although the story is truly heartbreaking, it's message has commanded me since I read it in high school. It's the first book that truly made me think, and the first that made me understand that stories can both be entertaining and teaching tools at the same time.

What are your top 5 books? Comment below to let us know. And while you're at it, please take the time to join us in the blog hop by visiting the other stops along the way. The tour runs between July 14 and July 18. Also, don't miss the rafflecopter below for your chance to an e-book copy of The Child Returns in any format of your choice (five total prizes; ePub or Mobi/Kindle available).



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day, America! Sale



Today in the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day with fireworks, backyard BBQs and, of course, SALES! 
(it wouldn't be a holiday in the US without a sale, would it?)

In honor of the holiday, The Child Returns will be discounted 75% to 99c through Sunday night. The price is good only on Amazon, but should work world-wide, so even if you aren't in the US, you can celebrate with us.

For the .com site, follow this link: http://bit.ly/amzntcr

Have a great weekend, everyone! 




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pictured: Nick & Meaghan

As some of you may already know, I intentionally don't over describe my characters in the Æerenden series because I personally love to paint characters' faces my own way when I read books. That doesn't mean I don't have an image in mind of what they look like while I write (of which I do give clues throughout the books).

Artist Randall Lux was kind enough to paint these awesome portraits for me of Nick and Meaghan, based on how I described them to him.

Meaghan "Meg"
Nick
What do you think? How do YOU picture Nick and Meaghan?


Monday, June 23, 2014

On Karma and Coincidence

This article originally ran on author Gae Polisner's blog "That Wee Bit Heap" as part of a series on Karma and Coincidence that coincided with her release of The Summer of Letting Go. Please check the other interesting stories in this series, as well as her fantastic books by clicking on her blog name above. 

From my earliest days, coincidences have peppered my life—a missed bus allowing me to meet a new friend, a job loss sending my career in a better direction, a chance conversation with a stranger giving me information I would soon need. Although appreciated, many of these moments have been easy to brush off as simple life twists. But others have left me wondering, and questioning my life’s direction.

In 2009, one series of coincidences set me on the path I walk now. I’d been suffering severe headaches and dizzy spells. My blood work came back fine, so my doctor decided I suffered from stress and prescribed anti-depressants to help. The second day I took them, the left side of my body went numb and my coworkers rushed me to the hospital on my doctor’s recommendation. A suspected stroke diagnosis pushed me through the system, but what they found on my MRI surprised everyone. I had two brain aneurysms. My neurologist later told me I would likely have been dead within 10 years if they hadn’t caught them. He told me it was lucky I had a rare side effect to the medication.

Fast forward two months. My lymph nodes felt enlarged and I saw my family doctor again. Because he felt bad about missing the aneurysms, he decided to be overcautious with my newest symptom and sent me for an ultrasound. It showed two suspicious nodes on my thyroid. Although a fine needle biopsy came back negative, the radiologist performing the procedure said it reacted like cancer and would not accept the lab results as accurate. He scheduled me for surgery.

The surgeon told me that most suspicious nodes come back negative and the only time he would worry is if Dr. Smith* had done the biopsy. Apparently Dr. Smith is considered a “cancer savant” by hospital staff and, you guessed it, he was the one who performed my biopsy. The ultrasounds facility had 10 rotating doctors on staff. By slim luck, I got the one doctor who recognized my cancer when the others likely would have sent me home as “safe”. Final lab results confirmed his suspicions. 
My battle scar

My endocrinologist said I was fortunate my family doctor had been overcautious. The odds of beating thyroid cancer are small once it metastasizes.

It’s hard not to believe someone somewhere was looking out for me that year—even if it was just a drug manufacturer, my nervous doctor, the person who scheduled my biopsy, and a rare Radiologist. 

Thanks to them and those few months, I started writing again. The cliché is true. Life is too short not to do what you love. I found my old love again and set my life back on course—a life granted to me by a series of lucky coincidences. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Because Everyone Likes a good SALE!


In honor of my 600th "Like" on FacebookI'm hosting a Flash Sale!

The Child Returns, the highly rated first book in my Æerenden series, is now 60% off on Smashwords in all ebook formats. That makes the price $1.60. 

To get this price, use Code BJ23R at checkout.


Hurry, though! The code expires May 23, 2014 (tomorrow).

Don't forget to be a good friend and share :).






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Contest Reminders

There are still a few outstanding contests where you can WIN fabulous prizes.
Click on the headers below for more information on each giveaway, including links to enter.



Goodreads Giveaway

Autographed Copies of 
The Child Returns (1 available)
The Gildonae Alliance (1 available)
The Zeiihbu Master (1 available)

ENDS TOMORROW! May 22, 2014




"Indie"pendence Day Giveaway

Autographed Copy of The Child Returns (1 available)
eBook Copy of The Child Returns (5 available)
Additional Prizes from 20 Other Independent Authors

Ends July 3, 2014




Book/Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card (1 available)
Audible Copy of The Gildonae Alliance (10 available)

Ends August 4, 2014


More contests and promos will be coming soon, so be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog for additional details as I have them.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

An Open Letter to the Nurse Who Saved My Life


National Nurse's week began on Tuesday, May 6 and ends Monday, May 12 this year. In honor of this event, I'd like to share an open letter to one of my nurses...

To the Nurse Who Saved My Life:

I'm sure you won't remember me. I was probably one of dozens (or even hundreds) of patients you cared for in December 2009. But I can never forget you. How could I? You saved my life.

My story began a few months before I met you, when an ER visit showed that I had a brain aneurysm. Fortunately, the doctors caught it early and I was a candidate for a less-invasive procedure to fix the aneurysm, something I'd never heard of before called coil embolization. Although the idea of someone poking around in my brain scared me, my Interventional Neuroradiologist assured me that I would be well-cared for, particularly since my surgery would be performed at Fairfax Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the area, and follow-up care would take place within the hospital's Neuro Intensive Care Unit. I knew little of what that meant at the time, but I soon learned. It meant you were there.

Once the procedure began, my neurologist discovered another aneurysm that had not shown up on my MRI. This meant two coils and two stents to hold those coils in place, and it also meant a slightly higher risk of something going wrong. Everything looked fine after surgery, but later that night you came to check on me. The doctor had started me on a blood thinner to prevent clots from forming. I had a headache. I felt hazy, a little numb, and I thought it was the pain medication. You knew better. You demanded a head scan and pulled me off the blood thinner until your suspicion could be confirmed. You said I didn't look right. You followed your instincts. You did exactly what you were trained to do and you did so much more.

You see, I had a brain bleed. What caused it, I may never know. I'm told it sometimes happens after that surgery. But I do know if you had not been there when you were, if you had not been my nurse or if you had not reacted the way you did and pulled me off my medication, I might not be here today to write this letter.

I know sometimes nurses are under appreciated. I realize you work more hours than I can probably count in a week, that people sometimes look down on you, and that hospitals often don't pay you enough.  

And I know sometimes people take you for granted. After all, I did. Despite the fact you saved my life, I never found out your name. I spent most of that time asleep or loopy on medication and I didn't even realize what had happened until after I went home. 

Today I want to correct my mistake. I may not know your name, but I know who you are. You are a hero. You are a Guardian Angel. You are the woman who saved my life.

You are a nurse.

For that, for everything I've accomplished after I met you, for my life and the life of my 17-month-old daughter, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sincerely,
Someone who will always look up to you



Monday, May 5, 2014

Goodreads Giveaway!



Between now and May 22, 2014, I'm hosting not 1... not 2... but 3 GIVEAWAYS on Goodreads!

You could win an AUTOGRAPHED paperback of The Child Returns (Æerenden #1), The Gildonae Alliance (Æerenden #2) or The Zeiihbu Master (Æerenden #3) just by entering the free drawings on Goodreads. It's one drawing per book, and you do need an account, but that's all. Just follow the links below for each book and scroll part-way down the page or use the widgets at the bottom of this website.

The Child Returns: http://bit.ly/StbzAP

The Gildonae Alliance: http://bit.ly/RhisnI

The Zeiihbu Master: http://bit.ly/Rlfq1q

Already read the books or don't want autographed copies? Stop by anyway! They make great gifts, and I'd love it if you rated the books while you're there :).

Sorry, but the contest is open to US residents only!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blog Tour Winners!



A big THANK YOU to everyone who followed along with the first leg of my blog tour. I'm so excited to announce that the following people have won the drawing:

$25 Amazon Gift Card

CJ S.

Audible Copy of The Gildonae Alliance (Æerenden #2)

BN100
Kimberly M.
Becki
Stefano S.
Elise-Maria B.
Mary P.
Amy
Shelley S.
Pernille M.
Virginia H.

Winners, you should already have an email from me with information on how to collect your prizes.

For those who did not win, check your email boxes anyway; I've extended a special offer as a thank you for joining me on this adventure. 

Hope to see you all on the second leg of my tour, where 11 more prizes will be up for grabs.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Last Day to Enter!

You could win this Audible Copy!

Today is the last day to enter the drawing for leg #1 of the blog tour.

Prizes up for grabs

A $25 Amazon Gift Card
An Audible copy of The Gildonae Alliance (Æerenden #2; 10 available)

All of the stops are listed in this handy post, so cruise on over and get clicking!

And remember, if you don't win this time, Leg #2 of the tour starts 
Monday, May 5, 2014!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

#WeNeedDiversityInBooks



As many of you may already know, prejudice is an underlying theme in my Æerenden series, and plays a part in why the villain chose to kill the former King and Queen. We like to believe we've surpassed our biases, that we're too educated for race and culture variances to be issues any longer. We've made progress, but we still have so far to go. Too often, we criticize people because they're different, because we don't fully understand their lifestyle, or because we don't agree with the choices they've made. But variety is important for our survival, and it's important for our humanity. That's why I chose to highlight this issue in my books, and why I've chosen to participate in the We Need Diversity in Books campaign.

Too many of our prejudices are learned from childhood. So much of our alienation of others, and the feelings of alienation in ourselves, is propagated by media, by the television and books we read. When we do not allow for diversity in our fiction, we promote diversity as an abnormal occurrence in real life. We spread this injustice, this untruth and by doing so, we create prejudice.

It's time to put a stop to it. This weekend, help me do that. Help me promote diversity through social media. After all, we may be different, but when we share one voice, we can be heard.

We need diversity in books. We need truth in fiction. We need your help.

Kristen

For more information on the diversity campaign, please visit http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/

The quote below is from http://elloellenoh.tumblr.com/post/83943971246/we-need-diverse-books-campaign
Recently, there’s been a groundswell of discontent over the lack of diversity in children’s literature. The issue is being picked up by news outlets like these two pieces in the NYTCNNEW, and many more. But while we individually care about diversity, there is still a disconnect. BEA’s Bookcon recently announced an all-white-male panel of “luminaries of children’s literature,” and when we pointed out the lack of diversity, nothing changed.
Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored. Here’s how:
On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.