Guest Post: Carrie Butler, Author of Strength – Cover Dissection


Tour_Header

Today I’m hosting my Sapphire Star Publishing sister, Carrie Butler, on her book blog tour. I’ve read STRENGTH and loved it. One of my favorite lines: “My hopes for pie died on the sidewalk.” Carrie is brilliant at intertwining humor with tension. Find her post on writing a funny MC here, and read my review of her book on GoodReads here.

Take it away, Carrie…

Thank you so much for having me over, Natasha! 🙂 You may remember the Covers & Colors post I did last year, discussing how subtle details give readers expectations—some they may not even be aware of. We listed words associated with different colors and highlighted books that represent their genres well. So, I thought it would be cool to dissect my own cover for everyone…

STRENGTH_Cover_Dissection

Kind of fun, isn’t it? I challenge you guys to scrutinize the cover of a book you’re currently reading, and then see how accurately it represents the work. Or, if you’re up for a challenge, find a book you haven’t read and make guesses about it. Covers may speak a secret language, but their meanings are open to interpretation. Feel free to draw your own conclusions! 🙂

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About The Book

Title: Strength
Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Formats: E-Book & Paperback
Paperback ISBN:
9781938404351
E-book ISBN:
9781938404368

Available at: AmazonKindleBarnes and NobleNook, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Diesel, Baker & Taylor.  Be sure to keep an eye on Carrie’s Pinterest Retailers board. She updates it whenever STRENGTH pops up somewhere. 🙂

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Summary

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace’s powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

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Praise

“Carrie Butler is now on my must read list.” ~Lynn Rush, author of Violet Midnight

“I carried Strength with me everywhere. Grocery shopping, the dinner table, you name it. The storyline was addictive, and the characters were hilarious. I couldn’t put it down.” ~Jessica Therrien, author of Oppression

“…Carrie Butler’s debut novel is brilliant, riveting, imaginative and seamlessly written.” ~Lisa Regan, author of Finding Claire Fletcher

“This is definitely one to buy for the bookshelf.” – All’s Fair with Pen and Paper

“I love that Carrie took so much time in building the relationship between them. Yay for no instalove!” – Read It, Reviewed It

“I freaking loved every last word on every page.” Scelest’s Journal

“I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’s interested in reading a bloody good book. :)” – The Life of a Total Book Nerd

“I devoured this book in two days – staying up until the early hours because I didn’t want to stop reading!” – Kyra Lennon, author of Game On

“I love when a ‘bad guy’ has me feeling unsure about his ‘bad guy’ status. I won’t say more, as to not give anything away, but Butler does a fabulous job walking this line.” – Kelley Lynn, author of Fraction of Stone

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About the Author

CB_Author_Photo

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Where to find Carrie:

WEBSITE  |  BLOG  |  PUBLISHER  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS  |  GOOGLE+

Where to find Strength:

BOOK PAGE  |  GOODREADS  |  PUBLISHER  |  FACEBOOK  |  PINTEREST  |  BOOK TRAILER

Release Day: Strength by Carrie Butler!


Strength

Title: Strength
Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013

Available at: AmazonKindleBarnes and Noble, and Nook. More retailers will be added in the coming weeks, i.e. Sony Reader Store, iBookstore, Kobo, etc. Be sure to keep an eye on Carrie’s Pinterest Retailers board. She updates it whenever STRENGTH pops up somewhere. 🙂

Strength

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Summary

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace’s powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

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The BIG Giveaway!

Did I mention there’s a HUGE giveway, too. There’s a chance to win $25 Visa Gift Card, a signed copy of STRENGTH, a signed poster of STRENGTH,  Two Ghirardelli Dark & Caramel Chocolate Squares, Collectable Pins, Bookmarks, and Tats.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

CB_Author_Photo

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.

Where to find Carrie:

WEBSITE  |  BLOG  |  PUBLISHER  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS  |  GOOGLE+

Where to find Strength:

BOOK PAGE  |  GOODREADS  |  PUBLISHER  |  FACEBOOK  |  PINTEREST BOOK TRAILER

Book Review: Strength by Carrie Butler


StrengthTitle: Strength
Author: Carrie Butler
Genre: 
Paranormal Romance, College Romance
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing (March 7, 2013)
Reading level: New Adult
ISBN-13: 978-1938404351
Find it: Amazon (paperback version available now)

Summary
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation–and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace’s powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do–even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Personal Reaction
I loved this book! I found the main character, Rena, very likable and humorous. She’s a down to earth, yet determined character with a huge heart. And Wallace (*fans self*) YUM! He’s a handsome and mysterious character with a dark secret. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Rena and Wallace grow from friends into something more. Butler did a fantastic job creating a well-rounded cast of supporting characters such as Gabby, Aiden, Cole, and Clara.

Strength by Carrie Butler is a witty, captivating, and engaging read.

Recommended?
Absolutely!

Paranormal Tropes


window_to_another_world_v_by_pyrosikth-d4i459m

Photo Credit: PyroSikTh

Yesterday, one of my critique partners, Dawn Allen, wrote a post on our group blog titled Finding Your Genre. She touched on the basic genres: paranormal, sci-fi, mystery, suspense-thriller, romance, fantasy, historical, and contemporary. To read her post, click here.

Today, I’ll be discussing paranormal and paranormal romance tropes, or certain elements which often appear within these genres. Paranormal stories revolve around supernatural beings such as vampires, zombies, werewolves, angels, ghosts, goblins, dragons shifters, etc. It also encompasses humans who possess otherworldly abilities such as clairvoyants, super-human strength or speed, mind readers, or (excuse the shameless plug for my debut novel 🙂 ) a girl who can trigger earthquakes, etc.

Common themes which appear in paranormal and paranormal romances:

  • Reluctant vampires, or characters who experience difficulty with The Change
  • Possession by demon, alien, ghost, etc.
  • Chill of being watched/stalked by something unknown
  • Character who possess a natural scent which allures the opposite gender, sometimes to distraction
  • Crazy clairvoyants
  • Communication from beyond the grave, through mirrors, phones, TVs, etc.
  • Characters who hate each other when they first meet, but are inseparable by the end of the story
  • Arrogant heroes who meet reality
  • Feeble heroines who discover they possess supernatural powers
  • A journey from this world to another realm

As a paranormal and paranormal romance reader, I enjoy watching characters experience and/or fight to overcome the obstacles and situations above. I love it when I think I know what’s going to happen next, and then BAM! Something unexpected happens.

Can you think of other tropes used in this paranormal/paranormal romance?

Be sure to visit Leatrice McKinney’s blog on Tuesday (1/29) to see what she has to say about sci-fi and fantasy tropes. Dawn Allen will post about horror  and mystery tropes on her blog next Thursday (1/31).

Also, there’s still time to sign up to join the Let’s Get Organized blog hop. I’m planning to add guest post, book reviews, and book tours to my blogging schedule. Find the Linky list at the bottom of this post to join the fun.

Other Resources

Happy Holidays & U Got the Look Meme


Neve_em_folhas_de_Chamaecyparis_pisifera_01Winter break is here just in time for the first snow! My kids woke up bright and early, and were out sledding at 7 a.m. The wind made it colder, so we didn’t stay out long, but we had a blast.

I’m taking a break from social media and will return with a regular post on January 10, 2013.

For today, I’m participating in Elise Fallson’s “U Got The Look” meme in which Melissa Maygrove inadvertently tagged me.

The rules are simple: Track down the word “look” in your current Work-In-Progress (WIP) and post the surrounding paragraphs, and then tag 5 other people with the meme.

WIP titleBlink
Genre: Paranormal
Category: Young Adult
Orientation:  This is the point where Lexi’s world begins to spin out of control. One minute, she’s at a client’s house preparing to walk their dogs; the next, she wakes up in the hospital and something’s different.
###

“I’ve been here for two days?” There went Lexi’s perfect attendance record. Worse, two days were plenty of time for rumors to ruin what little social status she had. “How did I end up here?”

Mom tightened her hold on Lexi’s hand. “Mrs. Anderson said soon after she answered the door you blanched. Before she had a chance to offer you a seat, you passed out. Peanut cushioned your fall.”

“She okay?” If Lexi had hurt the Great Dane, she’d never forgive herself.

“She’s fine, it’s you we’re concerned about.” When Dad gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze, his fingertips curled around to her back.

The touch stung, like a fresh sunburn. She shifted away and the heat subsided. As Dad studied her, his lips twitched to the side the way they did whenever something bothered him, and he was strategizing the best way to broach the topic.

Oh, no. What if she was sick? “Is it skin cancer? A tumor?”

“Carolyn, will you get Lexi a cup of ice?” he asked Mom.

Must be something terminal. Her eyes blurred again.

“Sure. I’ll find the doctor, too.” Mom squeezed her hand before she left.

“What do you remember?” Dad whispered in an urgent tone.

“Peanut and Blue meeting me at the front door.” She balanced the lavender towel on the bedrail.

“What else?” The bed dipped where he sat.

“Why are you whispering?”

“Just answer the question.”

“I had this stabbing pain in my temples.” She touched the left one. “Made me nauseous and dizzy. After a blinding white light, everything turned cold. Freezing cold. Then, I woke up here.” Struggling to recall more brought a rush of pressure to her eyes and made them feel like they were about to pop out of her head. Her heart monitor beeped a fast pace, until Dad clicked mute again. “Am I sick?”

He shook his head. “This can’t be right.”

“What’s going on?”

“I hope I’m wrong. For your sake.”

“You’re freaking me out!”

He glanced at the open door where footsteps clacked up and down the hall. “Let me see your right shoulder.”

The IV catheter pulled when she reached out. She winced and tugged the gown to the side. Dad leaned forward. She knew the exact moment he spotted what he was looking for. His eyes bulged and his face paled.

“What is it?” She angled her head, struggling to see. Her fingertips probed at her shoulder. She jerked her hand back when she brushed an area where it felt like someone had snuffed a cigarette. “What the hell?”

“Oh God, Lexi. This isn’t supposed to happen to you.”

“What’s not supposed to happen to me?”

Footsteps in the hall grew closer.

“Don’t let Mom see.” He straightened the material and stood before he whispered, “I’ll explain everything later.”

“Why can’t you just explain now?”

###

As for the tagging of five people, I’m feeling generous. If you took the time to stop by my blog and want to participate in this meme, please considered yourself tagged!

Are you planning to join the party? Please let me know in the comments below so I can stop by and read a sample of your WiP.

Thanks, once again, for visiting. I wish you all happy holidays!

Cover Reveal: Edge of Truth


I’m beyond excited to reveal the cover of my debut novel, EDGE OF TRUTH. Thank you to Sapphire Star Publishing for believing in me and my work. It’s been amazing working with you! I’d also like to thank my Cover Reveal Team. I’ve added links for them below. Please stop by and visit these wonderful  people.

Now, the reveal…

Title: Edge of Truth
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Release Date: June 6, 2013

 

Summary:

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Where to find me:

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/natashahanova

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NatashaHanova

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorNatashaHanova

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/Hanova.Natasha

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatashaHanova

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/natasha411/

An extra special thanks for my wonderful Cover Reveal Team:

Elizabeth Arroyo @ Chandara Writes
Dana Mason @ Dana Mason
Carrie Butler @ So You’re A Writer
Jennifer McMurrain @ Jennifer McMurrain
Melissa Maygrove  @ Melissa Maygrove 
Nicole McLaughlin @ Nicole McLaughlin
Dawn Allen @ Write On
Leatrice McKinney @ Info Dump a la El
Chris Reynolds (I’ve known this gal since college. :-))
Laura Diamond @ Author Laura Diamond
Nancy S Thompson @ Nancy S. Thompson
Carolyn Marston @ Carolyn Marston on Pinterest (This is my sister!!!)
Sarah Negovetich @ Sarah Nego Writes
Kelly Hashway @ Kelly Hashway
Ednah Walters @ The Guardian Legacy
Nickie Anderson @ Here’s The Story
Lisa Regan @
Lisa Regan
Livia @
Leave It To Livia

Thanks so much to everyone who visits this blog. It wouldn’t be the same without you! 

Connecting With Readers And Cover Reveal Team Sign Up


I recently read a post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog titled Are Writers Too Insulated From Their Readers. It made me re-think how I blog, because I’m guilty on this one. Most of my posts focus on the craft of writing. This is my passion, but I certainly don’t intend to alienate readers. 

To quote Mike Duran, “Writers must wrestle with the technical details of a story while trying to enjoy it. Readers only want to enjoy it.”

I’m not sure how to go about creating a blog that appeals to readers and writers alike. Do you have one blog dedicated to the craft and another just for fans? Do you dedicate a specific number of posts to non-writing topics? Do book reviews count as a non-writing topic?

What are your thoughts? Do you know of a blog(s) that balance the two?

PLUS….

I’m gearing up for a cover reveal (squee!) for EDGE OF TRUTH on November 23 and I’d love your help. You don’t have to have a blog to participate. Facebook, Pinterest (find me here), Tmblr, Twitter, etc. offer options for posting material.

If you’re interested, please fill out this form and I’ll contact you with the information you’ll need. You can also leave a comment below, tweet me, or Facebook me. Thanks!