Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - The Paladins (The Artisans, #2) by Julie Reece

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The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece

Publication Date:  May 3, 2016

Publisher:  Month9Books

The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives...or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

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Other Books in the Series:


They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

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 Hi! *waves* I’m so excited to be here today! Thank you so much for inviting me.

When A Book Addict’s Bookshelves asked me to talk about ten things I wish I knew about being an author that I didn’t know before, a list flooded my brain. Then I started to drown under that list, because honestly, I was the greenest person on the planet! And no, I don’t mean I was environmentally aware. I mean there was a crap ton of things I wish I’d known before I started typing a first draft. So, here goes … 

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author that I Didn’t Know Before

1. It isn’t uncommon to write two or three complete novels (sometimes more) before you have something good enough to submit for publication.  

Learning your craft takes a lot of practice, and writing a certain amount of poo precedes graduation, darn it. Most writers think they’re ready before they are. I did. Now I look back on that first novel and cringe. As a general rule, write a couple ‘practice’ books. You will learn so much, and your third novel will very likely be an amazing work!

2. I wish I’d known that it’s okay to ‘trunk’ an early novel and move on.  

It’s not disloyal. And no matter how much you love that first idea, the one we tend to call the book of our hearts, constant editing can actually hold a writer back.  We could spend months or years editing the same novel over and over, when the truth is, that book was good practice, but we just need to (sing with me, now) Let it go .... let it go …

3. A published author’s writing time isn’t the same as an aspiring writer’s time.  

Once an author’s work is accepted by a publisher, (yay!) your writing time is not entirely your own anymore (boo!). You have edits, deadlines, promotion, perhaps more books in a series that you’ve been contracted to write. That sounds wonderful, and it is. But those obligations keep you writing books in the same genre or world, even when you’re not feeling it anymore, or want a break. Sometimes you want to move on, chase a new story idea, open a new word doc, or ten, but you don’t have that freedom anymore. So yes, being published is awesome, but enjoy the stress-free, deadline-free time you have for pre-published writing while you can! 

4. Once a publisher publishes your baby book, not everyone will like it.  

In fact, some readers may strongly dislike it.  Oh sure, intellectually you know this will be true. You tell yourself that you’re a professional. You can handle constructive criticism, of course you can. Then you see that first really harsh review complete with gifs and four letter words like: hate, yuck and ewww! Remember to breathe, and keep your sense of humor. This happens, even to your favorite authors. And since there will be plenty of readers who love your book, grow a thick skin and write for them. 

5. Authors have a responsibility to promote their work. 

Publishing houses can’t do it all. You’ll lose writing time while on social media building a brand and following. You’ll likely spend your own money on giveaways, swag, and travel expenses getting to book signings or conferences. It’s part of an author’s job to help build a fan base and readership, and it’s awesome, but it takes more time than you might think.

6. You probably won’t get rich. 

You might. I hope you do. Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but the reality is many talented authors can’t quit their day jobs. And movie deals? Less than 1% of books published sell movie rights on their novels, and less than 1% of those actually make it to the screen. Bummer, I know!

7. You lose some creative control when you sell your book to a publisher. 

Publishers may or may not ask what you envisioned for your book cover, but they will choose the final image. Your editor may only want to make small changes in your manuscript, but more often, you’ll be asked to cut and rewrite large sections. Publishers decide when and how to release a story. The choose font style and size, even extra embellishing of chapter pages, what price your book will sell for, and when it goes on sale. Remember they’ve been at this a while, and do everything to help improve your story and optimize sales. For the most part, authors seem happy with the arrangement. Leaving those decisions to others gives you more time to write, but writers who enjoy making those decisions and like more control may opt to self-publish their work.

8. You need other writers in your life. 

Many writers are shy or introverts, while others are downright antisocial! Yet, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Join a national writing group where you can interact on line, or find a small group of local writers, and meet at a coffee shop twice a month. Because what we do is so very solitary, we can be too much into our own heads. And let’s face it, things can get pretty dark in there. It’s nice to talk shop with people who truly understand. Find accountability and encouragement through other writers rowing the same boat we are!

9. Don’t compare yourself. 

There may be an insecurity gene naturally sewn into the hearts of writers. Monday you wrote a sentence that seemed so perfect, so ingenious, you’re sure it’s Pulitzer prize material. Tuesday, you slump through the house in your bathrobe binging on ice cream and muttering that you’re not worthy to write the grocery list. Why? Because your critique partner emailed your manuscript back chock-full of red inked corrections. Or you heard about an acquaintance’s book that got picked up by a ninja agent, or sold to a publisher you’ve only dreamed of, or got a starred review from Kirkus, or … Listen, friend, it’s natural to look horizontally at the accomplishments of others, but not helpful to your goals. You are worthy. No one else has your unique voice or perspective. So, put down the donut and get typing. The world is waiting to read your novel.

10. Keep a teachable spirit. 

I belong to two online critique groups that I treasure. It took me a while to find mine. Don’t stop looking for yours. These groups provide a place to swap manuscripts and get feedback on writing. I learned from those who’ve been at this longer. My groups provide advice, encouragement, and writerly wisdom in everything from attending conferences, to finding an agent. Various members are stronger in areas than others. That’s the beauty of these groups—everyone brings their individual gifts together. Grammar, voice, show vs tell, plotting, character motivation, genre, where to cut, how to expand, plot holes, which POV to write from, formatting, covers, acknowledgements, swag, chapter breaks, fleshing out scenes, character development, description, pacing … yeah, all of that. No matter how much you think you know, there’s always more to learn. It’s amazing how small this big industry is. Editors, agents, and publishers are on social media sites, so be kind. Think before you type. Stay open minded. Be gracious when someone spends time helping you. Even if you decide against taking their suggestions, they still tried to help. Always look for honest feedback. Otherwise, your writing may become self indulgent. Nobody wants that.

You may already know about the items I’ve listed. If so, congratulations, and WHERE WERE YOU? I NEEDED YOU! :) If there’s something here you didn’t know or needed to be reminded of, then I’m glad.  We’re in this thing together. Thanks for letting me share. XOXO


About the Author

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!


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