Monday, August 31, 2015

Aurelious Forty, Book Blitz and Giveaway!

So excited to introduce this cool book from author, Dianna Beirne that I'm taking part in her book blitz and GIVEAWAY!

Don't forget to sign up on the RAFFLECOPTER link BELOW ---->

Summary from Goodreads:
Aurelious Forty has led a lonely, troubled life. He stays disconnected from the world around him with no family and no friends. He lives merely to exist…to survive.

Aurelious’ life changes in an instant when an impulsive decision forces him to abandon everything he has ever known. Choosing to follow strangers into a new world, he discovers he was born with a gift so strong, so unique; it could give him the power to change humanity.

But the shadows of his childhood are long and dark and run through every fiber of his soul. Can Aurelious break the chains of his past and use his gift for good? Or will the nightmare of his tormentors set him on a path of revenge so fierce it could destroy us all?

A Deeper Look at a Main Character: Aurelious Forty
Aurelious is, at times, a bit of an enigma. He is a very emotional character and while he shares his emotional experiences with the reader, he tries desperately to hide them from the characters that he interacts with on the page. He is typically unsuccessful in masking his own emotions from those around him though he’s generally unaware of how unsuccessful he is because he’s fairly self-absorbed, at least in the beginning of the book. Enigma.

There is a lot to love in Aurelious but he makes you work at loving him, he doesn’t give it right away. There are times when you might think it’s easier to dislike him but then he draws you in and you’re reminded of what he endured as a child and you’re proud of how far he’s come.

Although he is the main character and the one telling us his story, he isn’t the hero. He is really more of a sidekick who has to learn from the hero and finds himself fumbling along the way, a lot. He fumbles so much that he makes the hero a little less heroic for a minute. But, when he starts to look outside of himself, when he starts to connect with and care for the people around him, when he shows us how much he changes and overcomes, then he does become a little bit more of a hero himself. Or at least makes us question how a hero could be defined. 

Aurelious Forty struggles. He learns. He grows. He changes. He is an imperfect character, just like the rest of us. And, in his imperfection, he is worthy of being loved, just like the rest of us. As the person who created him, I must confess, I hope people will embrace his flaws and love him.

About the Author
Dianna Beirne lives in a fantasy world. Okay not really, but part of her wishes she did and, since that’s technically impossible, she writes about fantasy worlds instead. Her first Young Adult novel entitled Aurelious Forty; Volume One quickly turned into her first Young Adult series with the addition of Aurelious Forty; Volume Two and, Aurelious Forty; Volume Three.

When not writing, she’s generally daydreaming which morphs into wondering if that last daydream could turn into a book. She has also recently discovered podcasts but doesn’t exactly understand what they are or why they’re different from regular radio shows. So it’s safe to assume that her next book won’t be about a podcast. Instead she’ll just keep listening to the ones that she finds that hilarious because laughing is one of her favorite pastimes and she finds way too many things funny!

Prior to dedicating her time to writing, Dianna taught undergraduate and graduate courses about using literacy in the elementary, middle, and high school classroom. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Literacy and a Doctorate in Education specializing in Curriculum and Teaching.

Dianna lives in New York and is the grateful mother of a son whom she misses terribly when he is away at college.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Writing Helps Series: Podcasts

WELCOME the 2ND installment of a series I'm doing on different types of tools that authors can use to hone their craft, better their writing, ease their frustrations, or are just cool.

The first in the series covered books and you can find it here, Writing Helps: BOOKS

This time I want to highlight podcasts. Not just ones by authors, either.

I have recently really gotten into listening to podcast on my phone while cooking, cleaning, etc. I find the discussions extremely helpful especially since I have been unable to attend a writer's group.

Starting with my favorite, Mythcreantshas an awesome podcast that tackles everything from Best and Worst Endings to Crafting a Climax. Great insight from the participants who are game masters, authors, and roleplay creators. Rife with witty banter and plenty of sci-fi and fantasy movie and television references, this is entertaining as well as informative.

Writing Excuses is a great podcast for the time impaired. At 15 minutes per episode, authors, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler  go in depth on technical issues such as Controlling a Reader's Sense of Progress, Can You TELL Me How To SHOW, as well as listener Q&A's and scholarships to writer's retreats. Short, informative, and often quite funny, I encourage you to check it out.

The Nerdist Writers Panel is also in the chat format, HOWEVER, the site boasts videos, written posts, and links as well. Topics covered are not only books, but television, movies, comics...pretty much any sort of writing you could think of. Check out the episode with author Brad MeltzerBonus that the moderator writes for one of my favorite shows, Supernatural!

Finally, for a podcast that is dramatized and voice acted, the offerings of the dubiously named, Damn Interesting, are a gold mine for research. I personally found the Absolute Zero Is OK episode on criogenic research in the Victorian age to be so helpful. I loved the English accents and laboratory explosion sound effects.

If you have any favorite podcasts or suggestions for my list, please drop a comment and let us all know. 

Until next time...Go Write!
By +Raquel Byrnes

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Blitz: The Thought Readers

The Thought Readers
(Mind Dimensions #1)
Release Date: 3/5/14
Mozaika Publications

Summary from Goodreads:
A new series about mind readers from USA Today bestselling authors... 

Everyone thinks I’m a genius. 

Everyone is wrong. 

Sure, I finished Harvard at eighteen and now make crazy money at a hedge fund. But that’s not because I’m unusually smart or hard-working. 

It’s because I cheat. 

You see, I have a unique ability. I can go outside time into my own personal version of reality—the place I call “the Quiet”—where I can explore my surroundings while the rest of the world stands still. 

I thought I was the only one who could do this—until I met her. 

My name is Darren, and this is how I became entangled with all the Russians and learned that I’m a Reader.

Buy Links:

About the Author
Dima Zales is a full-time science fiction and fantasy author residing in Palm Coast, Florida. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked in the software development industry in New York as both a programmer and an executive. From high-frequency trading software for big banks to mobile apps for popular magazines, Dima has done it all. In 2013, he left the software industry in order to concentrate on his writing career.

Dima holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from NYU and a dual undergraduate degree in Computer Science / Psychology from Brooklyn College. He also has a number of hobbies and interests, the most unusual of which might be professional-level mentalism. He simulates mind-reading on stage and close-up, and has done shows for corporations, wealthy individuals, and friends.

He is also into healthy eating and fitness, so he should live long enough to finish all the book projects he starts. In fact, he very much hopes to catch the technological advancements that might let him live forever (biologically or otherwise). Aside from that, he also enjoys learning about current and future technologies that might enhance our lives, including artificial intelligence, biofeedback, brain-to-computer interfaces, and brain-enhancing implants.

Anna Zaires is the love of his life and a huge inspiration in every aspect of his writing. She definitely adds her magic touch to anything Dima creates, and the books would not be the same without her. Dima’s fans are strongly encouraged to learn more about Anna and her work at

Author Links:
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG, Must I Corset?

Welcome to another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group conceived by illustrious Ninja Captain, Alex J. CavanaughOur Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

I'm not sure I can do this cosplay thing...

As you all may know, I am currently two books deep into a Steampunk trilogy. I LOVED H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as a kid and have always lost myself in this type of story. The what if and elegant inventions. Writing in a genre I have always admired is a DREAM!!

But the other day I was talking with a friend of mine about going to a conference as a vendor to offer my book and maybe connect with other lovers of the genre and she asked me if I was going to dress up.

I was confused... "Like, wear a suit?" I asked her.

No, it turns out that she thought I might go all steampunk'd out to the conference since the GearCon's and Gaslight Gatherings celebrate dressing up and cosplay. I knew that attendants did this, but vendors?

In fact she showed me some blogs of other steampunk authors and they are all dressed in period/world attire.

Panic Cat demonstrating my expression.
Panic set in. I'm not sure I can do a corset and not manage to fall all over myself. 

I want to look an author...not like one of my characters. I mean, I have never seen Stephen King dressed up as Pennywise or Cassandra Clare dressed as a Shadow Hunter.

I write Gothic Mystery also and have never had cause to be all 'ghosty' or whatever.

Not sure what to do. Is this something I should be worried about? Is there a compromise...perhaps some sort of 'nod' to the devices in my book that I can have displayed instead?