Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SWEAR WORDS IN URBAN FANTASY / PARANORMAL ROMANCE BOOKS?

I just checked my reviews today and saw a new one came in addressing swear words. The reader writes,

"I like that you told a great story and you didn't have to use curse words. Thank you for that."

This isn't the first time I've received a comment like this and I love that readers are communicating their thoughts on this issue. However, it wasn't really a goal of mine when I wrote the book to produce a curse word clean story. I'm not pro or con swear words. I'm fine with them when they fit the story. Interestingly, my book actually does contain swear words, but they are rather mild and infrequent.

The Light Who Shines is a cross-genre book that spans Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Mystery. The first two genres are known to be proliferated with swear words. When I first drafted my main character profile for Bluebell Kildare, I decided that she only said soft swear words, as this fit her personality. She says things like, "Holy cow!" "Holy smokes!" and "cripes!" That is just her way. She grew up in an orphanage associated with a Catholic church so hard swears are not comfortable for her.

One of the detectives she works with is Catholic and his expletives are things like, "Jesus Christ!" and "Jesus, Mother Mary, and Joseph!" He doesn't swear a lot because his image is important to him and he likes to be seen as cultured. One of my editors felt that the religious cusses would actually be disliked more than the non-religious hard swear words, but I haven't received any negative feedback on it. I should clarify that this is not in anyway a religious book, even though the various religions of the characters shape their actions and thinking.

The other main character, Jack Tanner, does say more common swear words, but not often and usually not in the presence of ladies. He's a five hundred year old Vampire and a bit old fashioned that way. He has been known to say, "Crap!" "Shit!" and may even say, "Fuck!" in future books, though he hasn't yet.

So, while I didn't set out to create a book purged of swear words, it ended up being fairly clean based on the personality of the main characters. I was pleasantly surprised with all the comments I've gotten from readers who have been hungry for a great action book in these genres that has cleaner language.

How do I feel about swearing in books that I read?
Naturally, I've read a considerable amount of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance to be able to write in those genres. I recall being turned off by a few where the main character cussed all the time and it seemed unnecessarily ugly. But other times characters will belt out the harder curse words during times of danger, pain, or when emotions run high and I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with no swear words.

When I first released my book, one of the negative comments I received was that I had too many exclamation marks. I took this to heart and removed almost all of them during my revision. I left them at only the highest points of emotion in the story. I think all those exclamation marks tired people out.

Similarly, I think hard swear words do the same thing. In my opinion, too many is too many. You risk losing potency.

Still, even though I know that many of my readers don't care for the hard swear words, I think others would be fine with them in any quantity. I think some people feel that if the book doesn't have sufficient hard language it's more of a young adult book, even though the official definition of young adult has nothing to do with swear words.

So, in light of all of these questions, I'd like to take a poll:

Create your own user feedback survey

When you are done taking the poll, you can see the results here: http://svy.mk/1Pe2ljF

I'd love to hear your comments!

Lilo

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Teaser: THE LIGHT WHO SHINES

Dear Readers,

It occurs to me that since so many people loved the excerpt of book 2, I should probably post an excerpt of book 1, THE LIGHT WHO SHINES. (smile)

I do have to give you a bit of warning. This excerpt contains graphic violence and a torturous death. So TURN BACK NOW if you can't handle a taste of dark fantasy. The book in its entirety contains some very steamy sex scenes, though this excerpt does not. The dark scenes of the book are well balanced by magic, whimsy, love, and humor.

This excerpt is the entire Prologue which takes place 2000 years before the rest of the story. It begins in Year 1 of the Red Ages. The age was named thus because it's the year that Vampires were first created and the time that followed was so bloody, it's said the rivers ran crimson and the ground was cloaked in scarlet. This Prologue is the story of Shaina, the wife of the first Vampire.

So here goes!


THE LIGHT WHO SHINES
Book 1 of the Bluebell Kildare Series 
Prologue  
Shaina
Winter, Year 1, Red Ages

I wake to the sound of pounding on the door and Mor’s voice yelling, “Shaina. Shaina.”

Sorcha wakes up crying as I rush to open the door. A bloodcurdling scream tears through the night, destroying any illusions of a peaceful return to slumber. I swing open the door with trembling hands and see anguish in Mor’s eyes. The words that tumble from her mouth bring to the fore all the fears I’d been trying to suppress this winter.


“Shaina, Conor was found dead, killed by the bloodsuckers. Grainne and Aongus are calling you a Witch and gathering the town folks to burn you as one. Quick! We must run.”

I start gathering my things together, but Mor yells, “There is no time. Grab the bairn. We must go now!”

Sorcha is wailing now. Tears streak her little cheeks as she grips her blanket tightly in tiny fists. I grab my plaid and wrap it around us both as I follow Mor outside.

“You must quiet her,” Mor whispers.

I try to comfort Sorcha in a hushed voice. “Shh, Sorcha, you must be quiet. Shhhh.”

Sorcha pays no heed and cries all the louder as she clutches me with her little fingers.

I hear the voices of the villagers coming now, yelling and screaming, “Burn the Witch. It was her husband who brought this upon us.”

Aongus’ voice rises above the rest. “Let her die too. Why should she be spared?”

Mor leads me past the blacksmith’s shop, behind Fergus’ cottage, toward the forest. I see their torches at my cottage now. A voice yells, “They’re gone,” and the villagers continue to chant, “Burn the Witch. Burn the Witch.”

I cast through my mind wildly now, seeking a remembrance of a place to hide. My mind comes up empty, just as it did all winter when I feared a night such as this would come. I should have braved the cold and gone to the sea caves where the dragon tribe dwells despite the perilous winter journey.

Just then, Sorcha lets out a loud bawl, and I hear Grainne yell, “She’s over there.”

Mor and I run around Fergus’ cottage and make for the tree line. The throng is following us quickly with the younger men in the lead. The woods are just up ahead—if only we could lose them in the deep of the trees. If only Sorcha would stop crying.

We reach heavy brush, and I hear the thunder of feet behind me. Just at the edge of the woods, my foot catches on a tree root and I tumble to the ground. As I land on the hard dirt, I twist to protect Sorcha from being crushed by my weight, and pain shoots up my leg. Fear strikes my heart as I realize I’ve a choice to make.

“Mor,” I yell.

Mor glances over her shoulder and sees me on the ground. I try to stand, but my knee gives way. I see the torches through the dark coming swiftly closer.

“Mor, take Sorcha. It is too late. Run. Keep her safe.”

Mor stands there, petrified. She looks at me, she looks at the woods in front of her, and she looks at the torches that are almost upon us. I thrust Sorcha out while warm, wet tears stream down my cheeks and fall unheeded onto the snow. “Take the bairn! It’s me they want.”

Mor grabs Sorcha and my arms, bereft of their lovely burden, fall uselessly at my sides. I stare hungrily after Sorcha for one last moment, and just as Mor and Sorcha disappear in the dark of the woods, the torches are upon me. First the young men arrive, their faces ugly with rage. I know each of them, grew up with them, broke bread with them, bartered with them, sang with them, but it matters not. It’s fear that drives them this night, and no proclamations of innocence or fond memories will help me now.

Niall grabs my arms and drags me into the throng. I try to gain footing, but my right leg will bear no weight. Tadgh holds my other arm, and together they pull me to the center of town. The mob crowds around, cursing me, throwing sticks at me as I’m roughly tied to a large ash tree. The faces of my friends and neighbors swirl around me in angry confusion with rays of moonlight shining on a gaunt cheek here and a slashing brow there. The bindings are pulled tight, cutting into my wrists and ankles as I struggle, but I know it’s useless. It’s been useless since Torloch made his pact with the devil’s handmaiden, Lilith. It’s been useless since Torloch took my wee baby boy and returned home with his blood on his hands. It’s been useless since Torloch became a bloodsucking monster and spread his disease through the village.

I look out at the faces of the crowd, and I see anger and fear. I see despair. It’s a mercy they’ve let me live this long. I curse myself again for not leaving earlier despite the biting cold of winter. I hear one voice among the bloodthirsty yell, “Give her a Witch’s Trial.”

Another voice responds, “We’ll give her a trial of fire. If she’s innocent, let her be saved.”

Bundles of dry oak twigs and sticks are piled at my feet. Oak, the tree of strength. I wonder if the oak will give me strength in my last moments of life. I think of Sorcha, the twin of my poor baby boy. I hope only that Mor got her away safely and at least one of our family will be spared.

Grainne walks right up to me and spits in my face. “You filthy Witch,” she snarls. “Your monster husband and his kind killed my son. Shredded his neck.” Tears run down her dirt-smudged face. “We are going to watch you burn for what you’ve done.”

Una, who lost her husband to Torloch, grabs a torch and sets the wood at my feet on fire. The firelight reflects off her savage face, and I see months of grief and seething anger in the depths of her wild eyes. There is no mercy here.

I feel the heat rising, and it burns. I look at their faces, and even through my fear, I feel their sorrow and rage. I feel it in me as well. That has always been my curse: to feel others as myself. Their rage now feeds mine. The flames lick my ankles, and smoke fills my eyes.

I look up at the night sky and my fury overflows. Months of rage at Torloch, who took the life of our son to try to save himself. But most of all I rage at Lilith, who made him an empty promise and turned him into a monster for the price of our child. Tears stream down my face as I recall my own black pit of grief at losing my lovely little boy. I feel the grief and pain of everyone on this dark night.

I smell the smoke from the ash tree I am tied to mingling with the oak kindling about my body. My childhood learnings flit through my mind even in my last hour. While oak gives strength, ash is the bridge between Earth and other worlds. Good. Let it make a bridge to the Plane of Fire for me so that I might reach Lilith and pay her back in kind.

I shout to the blackness of the sky above. I call to the dark with all the rage of my soul. “Lilith, I call on you to hear me. By my blood, you will be destroyed. A light will come. A light that shines through your evil. A light that calls you to answer for your deeds. A light that binds you as I am bound and burns you as I burn. A light that rips you asunder and destroys your darkness.”

The pain is so great. The flames sear my legs. I can’t help but scream and convulse, though I know there is no escape. I writhe, trying to get away from the fire, but it just grows and grows as my calves blister and melt. A part of my mind wishes the fire were higher so this pain would end more quickly. The only escape now is death, and it fast approaches. The smoke is so heavy I cough as I scream. The fire has reached my waist now, and it envelops me in its excruciating embrace. I see the horrific faces of the mob, distorted and cast in red from the fire that consumes me.

I scream with all the strength I have, willing my voice to carry through the between spaces. “Lilith, hear me. I call to you. By my blood, you will pay for what you have done.” I cough and hack, unable to get a breath of air. I thrash my head as the tongues of fire lick ever higher, melting my flesh, binding me to the holy ash tree as though we are one. The pain is so great now that I know nothing but the feel of it engulfing me. It seems to be all that was before me and all that will ever come after. I’m being eaten alive by the ravenous fire. The agony and the rage are the whole of who I am now.

I think one last thought, unable to even catch enough breath to scream it, unable even to work my mouth to speak it as the flames lick my chin. My dying thought sears into my soul and lifts with me to the Plane of Light. “Lilith, by my blood you will be destroyed!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
AVAILABLE NOW! If you enjoyed that excerpt, you can get entire book, THE LIGHT WHO SHINES on Kindle here: amzn.to/1zdMqub  It's also available on Audible and in print either on Amazon or through your local book stores. 

COMING SOON! Be sure to sign up here to get notified when book 2 of the Bluebell Kildare Series, THE LIGHT WHO BINDS is released.  https://sites.google.com/site/lilojabernathy/home

Please do comment and let me know how you liked it.

Lilo

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Review: Summer Solstice Enchanted (Fantasy, Magic, Greek Mythology, Romance, Fun)

By Author K.K. Allen
Reviewed by Author Lilo Abernathy

Well, I've been in love with this cover for the longest time. Now that my second book is with my beta readers, I finally had a chance to read it. And let me just say that the cover exactly portrays the story. This was such a light fun read, I loved it.

Kat, recently orphaned, moves in with her estranged Grandmother and weird things start happening. Her sight and hearing senses become impossibly accurate. Disturbing and dangerous dreams haunt her sleep. She’s confused about what’s happening and her Grandmother isn’t giving her much. Plus, she’s lonely, and nervous about being the new kid in school. Then along comes the handsome neighbor boy. He gives her some confidence, but the two girls who feel she’s infringing on their territory give her equal measures of trouble.

Author K.K. Allen has filled this story with all the drama of a young girl in this situation. There’s suspense woven in through the enigmatic Grandmother, the unfolding of the family history, and the magic capabilities Kat is learning to control. Unbeknownst to her, danger is creeping up as she comes to the attention of evil forces. But, Allen keeps it light with the beach town setting and the threads of romance.

I recommend this lovely story for YA readers or anyone who enjoys YA and magic. It was quite an enjoyable read.

Let's give a collective sigh for young love. Sighhhh . . .

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Cw7Cet

Lilo

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Teaser: THE LIGHT WHO BINDS

Dear Readers,

One of my readers suggested I post a teaser from The Light Who Binds. I was hesitant to do this, because I didn't want to, well, tease you too much. It seems different if the book is already out and you can go buy it right away. But my reader said she could handle it and she would love to read something from me.  

So I'm going for it. But to be fair, I'm sharing it with everyone. If you can't handle suspense, TURN BACK NOW!

But then again, if you can't handle suspense, you probably shouldn't be reading this series. 

Note: The teaser below is a good portion of the first chapter. It's unedited and uncut. Things could and probably will change, at least a bit.



THE LIGHT WHO BINDS
Book 2 of the Bluebell Kildare Series
Chapter 01 
Three Deaths 
Bluebell Kildare 
July 9, 2022, Red Ages 

Lightning streaks across the twilight sky, casting a brilliant glow on the building before me. The eyes of the gargoyles above me, seem to gleam and blink; their great serpents wings, arched for flight. A slow roll of thunder fills the air, sounding as though the bowels of the earth are opening. I contemplate the formidable oak doors that mark the entrance to the Dragomir Magical Artifact Shop, wondering what secrets lay inside. Ohh, I know there are many spells, charms, and magic secrets held within the artifacts, but those aren’t the secrets I seek tonight. It’s with excitement and trepidation that I anticipate learning secrets about myself. In truth, I’ve been impatiently waiting months for this day, while Dragomira was away on business.

From behind me, I feel the light brush of Jack’s chest against my back and Varg leans against my thigh. A measure of calm returns. Whatever news awaits, I’m at least comforted to have friends at my side. I straighten my back, lift up my chin, and remove the remaining space between me and my future, pushing the heavy oak doors open and boldly striding in. The warmth of the shop immediately fills my senses even as the dust coalesces from the swish of the doors into a mini whirlwind at my feet. It has been just a few months since I was here last, but I feel like an entirely different woman now.

Dragomira stands behind the counter, next to the familiar brass bell and the scourge of a sign that reads, “Please ring bell for service.” She looks up sharply, with a weary expression and a fierce glint in her warm brown eyes. No, she is not Dragomira at this moment. She is The Dragomir. Her movements, as fluid as rippling water across a deep pond, trace a path across the room as she quietly deadbolts the door behind us. 

With a wave of her hand she beckons us into her back room. A small fire flickers in the fireplace casting dancing shadows across the room. Jack and I take two of a trio of wing-backed chairs surrounding the hearth while Dragomira, curiously still silent, pours drinks from a beautiful decanter sitting on a small table amidst the chairs. She places one in my hand in silent command, watching as I taste it. The shock of whiskey burns my throat and slides warmly to my belly. With a nod, she sets a glass in front of Jack and takes one for herself.

As Dragomira takes her place, I notice again how strikingly beautiful she is. Her hair cascades in long tumultuous brown waves against her olive skin and her deep set eyes gleam with life. Finally sitting back in her chair, she directs her gaze to me and offers, “Welcome Illustrissima. I’m sure you have many questions.”

Her harmonious voice rolls through me in a soothing wave. I forget myself for a moment and tilt my ear to enjoy its song. Shortly, I gather myself and reply, “I do. Let’s start with the name Illustrissima. Why do you give it to me?”

Dragomira blinks. Then with a steady gaze she answers, “I no more gave you the name Illustrissima then I gave you your blue eyes. It is a Latin name and has many meanings: The Shining One, The Bright One, The Lustrous One, The Famous One, The Distinguished One.” She waves her hand as though all of that is inconsequential. “You are all of these things. You simply are the Illustrissima.”

I take a slow sip of whiskey. “You can see my light.”

The Dragomir’s eyes briefly flare with a glint of yellow in acknowledgement.

“How?”

She gazes into the fire for a moment before responding. “I am also many things. I have magic . . . Gifts you might call them, that allow me to see things that would normally pass unnoticed. However, what I have been most, as of late, is a scholar.” She looks at me intently again. “Tonight, your time would be better spent allowing me to share what I’ve learned about you.”

“Yes, why don’t you.” I answer abruptly.

The Dragomir raises her eyebrows and Jack gives me a warning glance, but I am not so easily cowed.

She nods and settles back in her chair. “Let’s start at the beginning. I’ve told you the story of Patersuco and how he sacrificed his son and started the Vampire race. It didn’t take long for him to kill in bloodlust and turn Dark, as corrupt as he was, but he had already started creating children. And so the curse spread.”

“What I did not tell you was that Patersuco was survived by his wife. Shaina lived in the village and before the first winter had passed, several of the villagers died at the hands of Patersuco and his Vampire progeny. The villagers turned on Shaina and burned her as a witch.”

I shudder at the thought of that pain, thankful I wasn’t there to feel it.

“Yes. These were rough times Illustrissima. We have very few written accounts of the history of that time, but from what we know, Shaina was gifted. Like you, she was an empath. The villagers, perhaps unwittingly, tied her to an Ash tree and used Oak branches to burn her. Both these trees have a deep old magic. Ash acts as a bridge between worlds and Oak provides strength. Somehow the combination of the rage of the villagers, the rage of Shaina, the strength of the Oak, and the Ash, opened a pathway from Shaina to Lilith. As she burned, Shaina was able to reach across to the Plane of Fire and lay a powerful curse on Lilith. A trusted witness told of the great force that was felt that night as she burned and uttered her curse. She vowed revenge on Lilith.”

“What was the curse?”

Dragomira leans back and her eyes glaze as her mind transports to another place and time. The firelight flickers, and shadows play artfully on the curve of her cheekbone and the waves of her hair. Her husky whisper carries throughout the room.

Lilith, I call on you to hear me.
By my blood, you will be destroyed.
A light will come.
A light that shines through your evil.
A light that calls you to answer for your deeds.
A light that binds you as I am bound and burns you as I burn.
A light that rips you asunder and destroys your
darkness.
Lilith, hear me.
I call to you.
By my blood, you will pay for what you have done.
Lilith, by my blood you will be destroyed.

As the words wash over me, tendrils of fear wrap around me, sinking into my flesh and threading through my soul. The curse grabs something deep and dark inside of me and by body starts to shiver. My mind fights what I feel and I reach out for my drink, taking a burning sip. My voice comes out, breathless, but laden with protest, filled with rejection of the truth I feel. “And you believe I am this light? You’ve proved no connection.”

Dragomira takes another drink of whiskey, a deep pull this time. I’m not sure if it is the fire reflecting off her eyes, but they seem to swirl with yellow in their depths. “Three times Shaina called Lilith’s name that night. Three times she demanded that Lilith listen. Three times she said that retribution would be by her blood. But what you need to know most is that while Patersuco’s son was sacrificed, a twin sister survived. Her name was Sorcha.”

“Still, how does that relate to me?”

She raises one dark eyebrow at me, “When Shaina said ‘by my blood’ she meant her lineage, not the blood that flows in her veins. You are the only remaining direct descendent of Shaina, through Sorcha.”

I stand rapidly and knock into the table holding my drink. The table rocks furiously for a moment, and the whiskey threatens to over tip. The table eventually comes to a rest, but I do not. I fling myself across the room and start pacing as the thoughts roil around in my brain. But one truth keeps popping up, more urgently then the cacophony of questions on the tip of my tongue. 

They think I’m supposed to destroy Lilith!

I spin around to see the both of them watching me with grave concern. 

Dragomira says, “There’s more.”

Jack and Varg growl simultaneously. 

I swipe my drink from the table and knock back the rest. The liquid scorches my throat and traces a fiery path down to my belly, providing a momentary distraction. With a huff I sit down again and cross my arms over my chest. “Just tell me all in one shot please. I’d like to process this once, not five times.”

When Dragomira deliberately refills my glass, I consider it a bad omen. She begins again, this time, her eyes watch me intently.

“Shaina was close with a woman named Mor who had the Gift of Sight. She warned Shaina that the villagers were coming. Still, they could not escape in time. When Shaina saw that she couldn’t out run the villagers, she entrusted Sorcha into her care. Mor watched the burning from the safety of the woods and it is she who documented the events of that night. Afterward, Mor took Sorcha to the Dragon tribe, a clan who lived in the Sea Caves nearby. While she was there, she had a vision, which was recorded by the tribe and is what brings us to you.”

Dragomira lifts her hand and a roll of parchment flies off the mantle to land in her palm. It passes to me and I carefully unroll the aged hide. Then in a hushed voice, I reveal my fate . . .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

COMING SOON! Be sure to sign up here to get notified when The Light Who Binds is released.  https://sites.google.com/site/lilojabernathy/home

If you happened on this blog without having first read The Light Who Shines, you should start with that. It's available here: amzn.to/1zdMqub  

Now, did you enjoy it? Or was that torture?

Lilo

Monday, March 30, 2015

Update: Book 2 of the Bluebell Kildare Series: THE LIGHT WHO BINDS

Dear Friends and Readers,

I just wanted to give you an update on where I stand with The Light Who Binds. The book has been written and I'm in the process of getting it into shape to send to beta readers within a week.

My process will be:
  • Beta Readers
  • Revision
  • Full Edit
  • Revision
  • Light Edit / Cutting / Tightening
  • Revision
  • Proofing
  • Publishing

I have to tell you that I'm so excited about this book I can hardly keep quiet. And if someone were to beg me for info, I would have a hard time not divulging. With that said, it really gave me some trouble there for a while, but after coaxing and cajoling, it is now behaving like a stellar student.

There are three major plot lines in this book. So, the last 20 chapters are practically non-stop thrills and emotional chaos as each plot line has a climax of its own.

MINOR SPOILERS!!!!!
We definitely learn who the heroine, Bluebell Kildare is and what Illustrissima means. Maud and Harry's (Blue's mother figure and her neighbor) relationship progresses, in what direction I won't say. Alexis (Blue's friend) may have a love interest. And Varg (the ever loyal wolf) gets a mini plot of his own. All of this is in addition to the three major plot lines. And yes, we get to dig deeper into the hero, Jack, as well. He's featured a lot in this book.
END MINOR SPOILERS

Ohh, so many mysteries revealed and so many more mysteries yet to unravel. Yes, I'm a big fat tease. If you can imagine a woman sitting by her desk reviewing her work while waving her pointy fingernails in the air and cackling with glee over the angst she is creating, that would be about right.

If you are familiar with my work you know I write each separate scene as an individual chapter, so that means some are long, but some are short. I don't try to artificially tie chapters together or make them longer to be some predefined "typical length." Every scene serves a purpose in the plot, and when the purpose is achieved, I move to the next. Right now it's at 81 chapters and about 105,000 words as it stands. And let me tell you, it is PACKED so much, I can hardly believe all that stuff can fit in one book.

The entire series will be:
  • The Light Who Shines
  • The Light Who Binds
  • The Light Who Burns
  • The Light Who Destroys

For those of you who haven't seen it, here's the trailer for The Light Who Shines.
 
Ohh, one more thing . . . As we're getting closer and closer to release, please be sure to sign up for my news so you get notified of its release right away. https://sites.google.com/site/lilojabernathy/home
 

Best,

Lilo

Friday, January 30, 2015

So, What Stage of Social Tolerance and Acceptance Have You Achieved?

Well, this blog is called Lilo Illuminates and I figure it is high time I do some illuminating. First off, let me say, I am not a licensed psychologist, counselor, or anything relevant for that matter. Like all authors, I'm simply an observer of life, perhaps too observant. Be that as it may, this is my interpretation of the stages of development people go through on their way to tolerance and acceptance. If it is not illuminating, hopefully it will be, at least, thought-provoking.

  1. UNDEFINED VALUES: You understand what values society holds in high esteem, but you don't understand what your personal values are. (For instance, people say "Don't steal" but you aren't entirely sure if all stealing is wrong. What if I'm broke and I really need to snack on these restaurant crackers later or perhaps the buffet cookies would be a perfect midnight snack?)
     
  2. NEGLECTED VALUES: You understand what values society holds in high esteem and you understand how your personal values differ from society, but you act in a way that goes against your personal values. (I cheated on my boyfriend. I feel really bad.) Acting this way is self-harming and you will never feel good after acting outside of your personal values. (I insulted a gay person, even though I'm secretly gay, but my church hates gay people.) In this case you adhered to your micro-societies values but you didn't adhere to your own. This also feels terrible and will never make you happy.
     
  3. ADHERED TO VALUES: You have learned that not listening to your values sucks and causes you pain, so you have finally decided to live up to your values even when they diverge from other people's values. You try this on for a while and it takes a bit of practice. (I went to third base with my boyfriend on the first date. I'm 23, but still, my mom would kill me, but personally, I'm fine with it.) In this case you adhered to your values even when they diverged from societies values (your Mom's). Hey, what Mom doesn't know, won't hurt her.
     
  4. ANGER AND REJECTION OF DIFFERING VALUES: You have now fully owned your own personal values and you are good at keeping to them, but you believe your values are the best and other people with different values suck. You are pissed that they do stupid things that go against your personal values. (I can't believe those people eat meat, that man is homophobic, that woman is pro-life, that man fired someone who has cancer.) In this case you adhere to your own values but your mad at other people who don't adhere to your values.
     
  5. ACCEPTANCE OF THE INFERIORITY OF OTHER PEOPLE'S VALUES: After a while of being pissed, you eventually begin to understand that not everyone can be as great as you and have the perfect set of values. Most people are pretty good and only suck in small ways, but no one has the perfect set of values you do. (He cheated on his wife who is at home with their disabled child all the time, so that makes him a snake, but it was only once and he treats them well and provides for them.) In this case you sadly wish other people's values could be as perfect as yours, but you aren't angry about it anymore.
     
  6. ACCEPTANCE THAT YOUR VALUES ARE NOT PERFECT: Eventually, after you accept weaknesses in others, you will look at yourself more closely and realize that your values are not exactly squeaky clean all the time. (I believe we should annihilate every group who practices genocide. Wait, isn't that genocide too? Maybe we should just kill all the leaders. I'll sit at home and let the guys in the army do it so my conscious is clear. Wait, that kinda sucks too, doesn't it?) This stage can be a bit twisty, but don't worry, you will come out okay.
     
  7. TOLERANCE TOWARD ALL VALUES: At this point you understand that all people's value systems have some weaknesses, yours included, and you understand that everyone is at a certain point of growth in the development of their value system. In fact, whole groups of society are at different points of growth and are developing slowly together. (The pope now acknowledges that child abuse does occur in the church and says it isn't okay. The United States is slowly developing the value of accepting the LGBT community and they are beginning to gain rights. African Americans are still struggling for equal treatment. Women's equality in the workplace is still out of whack.) You may wholly reject certain values, but you have empathy for limited thinking of the person who believes that value system and you try to see how they might have arrived there. (If I walked a mile in their shoes . . . ) At this stage you try to gently guide the people you can toward a more developed value system while at the same time knowing that you have some growing to do yourself. You are also able to honestly evaluate if other value systems have merit over your own. You may switch values at this point. I believe that to achieve this stage, you must have acquired some humility along the way. You understand at some level that you are progressing along with everyone else.
     
  8. STAGES I HAVE NOT ARRIVED AT OR GLIMPSED YET: Anyone want to fill me in?
     
Most of the time you toggle two or more stages at a time. Sometimes people actually go backwards, like an alcoholic might have a fully developed set of values and suddenly may stop adhering to them. Some people will never get far because of various personality, intelligence or social factors, but I believe most people move steadily forward.

The great news is that reading helps you move along these steps as you get to see into the minds of so many characters and try on their value system for the space of a story.

So what stage are you at in your personal development?

Lilo

Saturday, January 17, 2015

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT AND GIVEWAY OF THE LIGHT WHO SHINES

Over the holidays while everyone was busy with their new toys, I was working diligently on book two of the Bluebell Kildare Series, The Light Who Binds, and going back and forth with Author Jane Bled, on an in-depth interview.

The interview is done and done quite well, in my humble opinion. I love Jane's style. She asked one question at a time and waited for my response before moving on to the next. This process took several weeks and was accomplished over a massive family holiday and through a bout of the flu. I hope you are feeling better Jane!

About Jane Bled
If you don't know Jane, I'd best describe her as someone extremely artsy with an exquisite sense of detail. She describes herself as "a fiction writer with the soul of a poet." I have a feeling that everything she completes is done for the joy of the beauty she creates. She only completes one Author Spotlight a month, so I'm extremely honored she chose to spend her time with me.

What the Interview Covers
The interview itself covers a great span of topics, from my marketing methods, my philosophy on labeling people, insights into my characters and what drives them, my own secret mark, my reading habits, and two short excerpts from The Light Who Shines.

If you are interested in reading the interview, you can do so here: http://wp.me/p4P6Db-dh

Giveaway of The Light Who Shines
If you comment on the interview (link above) before the deadline on 1/21, you will automatically be entered to win a copy of The Light Who Shines. Scroll all the way down the page to the very end to comment.

Warm regards and good luck!

Lilo

Friday, December 26, 2014

THE LIGHT WHO SHINES: HOLIDAY SALE! $1.99

Friends!

If you are like me, the holiday season is a time of giving, but it strains the pocketbook. It also often gives you a lot of time off. Time to read that is!

But what to do when you want to read, but you spent so much money on others? As an Amazon Kindle Select member, I can only do a sale every so often. So, I saved my sale for the week between Christmas and New Years just for this situation. I've been broke after Christmas myself often enough that I know exactly how it is.

The Light Who Shines
On Sale: Only $1.99
When: Now through 12/31, Midnight
Regular Low Price: $4.99
Amazon Suggest Retail Price: $5.99!
Link: http://amzn.to/1wM9fGw

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season.

Best,

Lilo

P.S. If you have already read The Light Who Shines don't forget, you have until December 28th to enter the Audio Giveaway! See this blog post for rules and how to enter: http://bit.ly/13EYtoU

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 10 Free Audible Versions of THE LIGHT WHO SHINES for Current Fans!

As you may have heard, I've just released the audio version of The Light Who Shines. Today, I got a great gift from Audible; coupons for free Audible books of The Light Who Shines! So, I'm passing the gift on to current fans of the book who have already reviewed it. I'll do a drawing and select 10 people out of those interested.

The audio book regularly retails for $24.95 and is 14 hours and 25 minutes long.

Here are the rules:

  • You must have already read the book. This is a gift to current fans as a thank you for your support. 
  • You must have already reviewed the book on Amazon (regardless of the rating, so long as it was honest). This is because I want assurance that you really will leave a review of the Audible version on Audible.com. If you've read it, but you haven't reviewed it yet on Amazon, it isn't too late. Go review it on Amazon! 
  • You must agree to listen to and leave the review of the audio version on Audible.com within 2 weeks of receiving the coupon (but sooner is better!) 
  • You must enter the drawing by leaving a comment on this blog post with a link to the review of the book that you already left on Amazon. (Click on the title of your review. Then click on "Permalink". Then copy and paste the URL into the comments.) Entries without the link won't be accepted. 

I'll randomly select 10 people from the comments section (assuming I have that many interested parties.)

I'll accept entries until Sunday, December 28th at 8:00 p.m. EST. I'll announce the winners then.

The purpose of this is naturally to get reviews on the Audible version, so I'd really like your review to contain some focus on the narration as opposed to just a copy/paste of your book review. That way future Audible listeners will know what to expect.

And for all my dear readers who already bought the Audible version, I am so sorry! I didn't know these coupons were coming. Big bummer.

To learn more about the Audible Version, see this blog post.

Listen to the sample here.

Happy Holidays and Best of Luck!

Lilo 

The Giveaway is now closed! Thank you to all who participated. I'll contact each of you individually with you coupon for the free Audio. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BIG NEWS: The audio version of THE LIGHT WHO SHINES is released!

I hope you are as excited about this release as I am. But I'm going to tell you why I'm so excited, just in case you're not there yet. The Light Who Shines is narrated by Elizabeth Klett.

So who is Elizabeth Klett? 
Her resume says: "Elizabeth has a B.A. in Theatre from Drew University (one of the top theatre programs in the U.S.), and has recorded a variety of dramatic projects, performing roles ranging from Lady Macbeth to Antigone to Juliet. She also holds M.A. and doctoral degrees in English literature from the University of Illinois and teaches at a university in Houston, TX."

I say: "She is a master of accents and voices." Truly she is. I literally hunted through hundreds of narrator voices before choosing her. Just wait till you hear it.

Main Characters 
First of all, I asked Elizabeth to read Blue and Jack in a straight voice (no accent). I felt that since so much of the book was them speaking that it would be difficult to listen if they had a strong accent. Jack comes across as a somewhat formal rich man with confidence and power, which I think is appropriate for a vampire who lived 500 years ago in more formal times. Blue sounds like a 23 year old woman in modern times. Their voices do come across as very clear and easy to listen to.

Side Characters 
In contrast to the main characters, I wanted the side characters to have accents to give flavor and style to the story. These are some of the voices you can expect:

Shaina: Sounds like a middle-aged Irish woman. It is so dramatic.

Maud: Sounds like an older southern Caucasian lady with spunk.

Alexis: Sounds like a young adult southern African American lady with a lot of sass.

Ernesto: Sounds like a middle-aged Spanish gentleman, full of respect and dignity.

Rubalia: Sounds like a middle-aged adult southern African American lady who is straight-laced and formal.

Father O'Brennen: Sounds like an older affable Scottish immigrant with a great brogue.

Dragomira: Sounds like a middle-aged Middle Eastern lady, with a very rich and exotic accent. We could not make her sound like 10 people speaking at once without introducing technology into it and most people would hate that. But her voice is fantastic. Trust me.

Chief Mack: Sounds like a slow talking southern African American older gentleman. The voice is very deep and very slow.

Yes! She does all those voices and accents brilliantly. It seems like I had a whole production company involved, but really it was all Elizabeth. It is amazing how she flips from one voice to the next in conversation. This is why I'm so excited. I'm sure you will be in awe of her skills like I am if you listen to it.

My favorite voices are Dragomira, Chief Mack, and Shaina, in that order. To me, their voices are amazing. I want to know who your favorite voices are!

Are you excited now?

Reviews 
Right now I have zero reviews on Audible and could really use your support. If you have already reviewed it on Amazon and you decide to get the Audible version, you can copy your review from Amazon to Audible when you are done, or you can review it separately as an audio, considering the narration as well.

Availability and Pricing 
Unfortunately, is not yet available in Whispersync. Audible tells me they have to process it to see if it is eligible and that will take a few weeks. But it is available on audio through Audible and Amazon.

Update! It is now Whispersync enabled. Yay! It is only $3.47 for those who have purchased the ebook version. This is now the cheapest way to go after free (with a trial membership).

Audible Link: Different prices are offered for members and non-members. You can get it free with a 30 day trial membership.

Amazon Link: Offers a discount on the Audible price.

So in order of price, lowest to highest:

  • Audible (Free with Trial Membership)
  • Audible (with credit considering your monthly membership cost if less than 3 months old) 
  • Amazon Whispersync (with purchased ebook)
  • Audible (with credit considering your monthly membership cost if greater than 3 months old) 
  • Amazon (full price with the Amazon discount)
  • Audible (without credits/full price) 

But I'd really love reviews on both Amazon and Audible regardless of which version you purchase, if it isn't too much trouble.

Happy holidays to you (and to me now!) This is definitely my Christmas present to myself.

Lilo

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chills and Thrills Giveaway!



Happy Chanukah, Winter Solstice, Festivus, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, New Year, and National Fruitcake Day! Or any other holiday that you celebrate this time of year. If you know me, even causally through my Facebook account or other social media, you will know that respect for diversity is important to me.

Personally, the holidays mean family time, great food, and a chance to buy my family what I think they need. Sometimes, I even pay attention to what they want. Sometimes, not so much. (wink) But giving is always more fun for me than receiving. I'm notoriously bad at remembering birthdays, so I try to make up for it this time of year.

This year we are doing casual Mexican fare for Christmas. Though I'm not religious, I consider religious holidays to be a cultural event, and wherever there is good food and fun, I'm happy to show up!

In the spirit of giving, I, along with 11 other authors have joined together to do a Holiday Giveaway. Each author is giving away a book and a side gift. There are some really great books and fun gifts here. It is open to international and if any gifts are out of stock at the time the winners are selected, comparable gifts will be given.

Please share this giveaway with others you think might be interested. The winners will be announced on December 23, 2014.

Happy Holidays!

Lilo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Curiosity Killed The Cat: The Kindle Daily Deal Selection Process

I've been asked several times, "How did you get selected for the Kindle Daily Deal?" So, I thought a blog post would be the most efficient way to share the answer.

The short answer is easy. "I don't know." I must have won a lottery of some sort. I do have some speculation, which I'll share later, but here's how it went down.

The Initial Notification
In September, I received a letter from Amazon asking me to agree to participate in a special they would run sometime before the end of the year. I had to agree to allow them to mark my book down up to 85%. They didn't say exactly what the promotion was, or when it would happen, or even if it would happen for sure. They also warned me that I couldn't place my book on sale a certain number of days before, or after. So naturally, without a date from them, that meant I couldn't put my book on sale at all. 

The Agonizing Wait
And naturally, being completely at the mercy of their massive promotional machinery, I said, "YES!!!!!!" Then I checked my email, and checked my email, check, check, check . . . You get the point. I was on verge of despair as it had been well over 90 days since my last Kindle Countdown Promotion and my numbers were dropping. Alright, it wasn't really despair, but I was less than pleased about the whole "submit and don't ask questions" thing.

And then, glory of glories, I got the response! It's really a blur at this point. I was, perhaps, in a bit of shock that it actually happened. I'm going to copy the dry content of their messages below for authors who are really interested.

So how did I get picked? 
I didn't sign up and they didn't tell me why they picked me. But here are a few key factors that I suspect were involved.
  • For the previous two months, my rank had been floating between 2500 - 5000 on its own, without promotion. If I were Amazon, I wouldn't give this coveted spot out unless there was proof the book was well performing to start with. After all, why promote a book that won't sell?
  • My rating is 4.7 stars and most of my 153 reviews contain explicit requests for the next book. If I were Amazon I wouldn't want to promote a book that was getting bad reviews. So the better the rating the better the chance, I'd think.
  • My book cover looks fabulous! Thank you Ravven for the gorgeous art! And, my heroine is fully clothed. I am certainly no prude, but if I were Amazon I would want great book art on my site and I wouldn't want to send mass emails out with half-clothed people on the cover, out of respect for the variety of tastes of customers.
  • My price is $4.99. I don't think they list lower priced books in Kindle Daily Deal often. This makes sense to me because people wouldn't feel they were getting a great deal otherwise. Plus, they wouldn't make much profit.
I call this intelligent speculation, but it is just speculation.

What do you think?

Lilo

(See dry emails below at your own risk.)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
The First Contact

Hello!

I work with the Kindle Direct Publishing team and from time to time we reach out to our authors and publishers about participating in certain types of promotions.

We are considering including your books

The Light Who Shines (Bluebell Kildare Series Book 1) (B00HYH3ZU4)

in an upcoming promotion in some or all of the WW Amazon Kindle Book Stores. We would offer the books at a discount we determine off of your book’s list price for a period of up to approximately one month. Your list price won’t change, so that customers see your list price and the discount.

If your books are included, your royalty will be calculated based on our discounted price (not your list price), up to a discount of 85% off of your book’s list price. For example, if we sell your book at $1.99, where the 70% royalty option applies, your royalty will be calculated as 70% x ($1.99 – delivery costs and taxes). To be included in this promotion, your book must have a list price between $2.99 and $9.99.

The promotion will begin on a date we determine, which we anticipate to be at some point between October 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

Here are some other terms:

Not all books made available will be included, so we can’t guarantee yours will be, and we may discontinue the promotion at any time.

You must keep your book in the Kindle Store for at least 90 days after the promotion ends; you can’t un-publish it or terminate your participation in KDP during that period.

Due to system latencies, the exact start and end times of promotions are approximate and can take from a few minutes to several hours, but in some cases this period may be longer.

If you agree to participate, this email and the KDP Terms and Conditions will be the entire binding agreement between you and Amazon Digital Services, Inc. with regard to the promotion.

Except as provided in this email, the KDP Terms and Conditions apply to your book and this promotion.

If you represent a Publisher other than yourself, by agreeing to participate you also confirm that you are authorized to agree on behalf of the Publisher.

The list price you provide us with for titles submitted for this promotion must remain the same for the 30 days preceding the start of the promotion, during the promotion and for at least 7 days following the promotion. This means that titles included in Kindle Countdown Deals or Free Promotions in the 30 days preceding the start of the promotion will be ineligible for inclusion. Please also note that you will not be able to schedule a new Kindle Countdown Deal until at least 30 days after the end of the promotion. Any Kindle Countdown Deals scheduled during the promotion or during the 30 days following the end of the promotion will be cancelled and you may not be notified.

If you would like to participate in this promotion and agree to the terms above, please respond to this email stating: “I would like to participate and I agree to these terms.” 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
 The Second Contact (You must really be a dedicated author if you are still reading!)

Hello!

I’m reaching out to let you know that, barring any unforeseen changes, The Light Who Shines is scheduled to run as a Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon.com on 11/20.

It will be discounted to 1.99 for that day.

Thanks! 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
And now you know as much as I do! You have been "Illuminated!"

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Thanks To The Wonderful Book Community For Your Support

Did I make my goal of hitting #1 on Amazon?  Well, I'm not sure yet. Rank usually hits the lowest point (best rank) around 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. EST. Right now I'm sitting at a beautiful #48. Yes, I made it into the Top 100 Best Seller List! I have the following ranks to be proud of as well.

#01 Paranormal Romance > Psychic
#02 Paranormal Romance > Witches and Wizards
#02 Paranormal Romance > Devils and Demons
#02 Paranormal Romance > Vampires
#02 Paranormal Romance > Werewolves and Shifters
#02 Science Fiction/ Fantasy > Paranormal and Urban

There is what I like to call "THE EVIL BOX SET" of 20 books on sale for only 99 cents that is conspiring to keep me out of the #01 slot of all of those categories.

I am definitely a winner because I had such wonderful outpouring of support. It was awe-inspiring to see so many friends and complete strangers saying, "I'll do everything I can!" And all of this on short notice!

(See my final update in the comments section.)

Now I want to do something for you.

I'll be posting a few blogs in the next week to cover some of the most commonly asked questions.
  • What is the Daily Deal selection process?
  • What did you do to prepare?
  • Lessons learned? (This is my own ask!)
Check in on my blog in a week or so to get answers to these questions.

If you do use Facebook and you supported me during the event, please go here on Friday/early Saturday. The "Help Me Get to Amazon #1" event will be transformed into a networking event where supporters will share information that will be helpful to each other. I'll have posts where you can drop your information and others can pick it up.

The rest of this post is aimed specifically at people who don't use Facebook but who supported me during this endeavor. It is my way of reaching out to non-Facebook users.

I'd like to collect the following information from you.
You can send it to my email at lilo.j.abernathy@gmail.com. But I must receive it sometime on Friday/early Saturday for it to be useful. Saturday/Sunday will be an information sharing days.


TWITTER
Do you follow back or reciprocal retweet? (Reciprocal retweeting means you retweet people who retweet you on a consistent basis.) 

If 'yes', then:
  1. Please provide your Twitter profile link. This is not your Twitter handle. This is the url at the top of the page when you are sitting on your profile. 
  2. Please indicate if you follow back or reciprocal retweet or both.
Example
https://twitter.com/Lilo_Abernathy
Reciprocal Retweeter and Follows Back
What I'll Do With This Info
  • I'll assemble a list of all Reciprocal Retweeters and share it with all reciprocal retweeters.
  • Likewise with a list of those who follow back.

BLOGS/WEBSITE POSTS
Did you blog The Light Who Shines during this promotion or post about it on your web site? 

If 'yes', then,
  1. Please provide the following information.
    • your name:
    • blog/website name:
    • blog/website link:
    • direct link to post:
  2. Please select the role that best describes you: author / blogger / book lover (Please select only one.)
What I'll Do With This Info
  • I'll assemble a list of the website links for all bloggers and give them to all the authors and book lovers on Saturday.
  • I'll do a reciprocal link back from my site to all authors / bloggers / book lovers who created a blog post or a website post during this event. I'll do this as soon as possible.

AUTHORS
Are you an Author who did a blog or website post for The Light Who Shines?
If 'yes', then,
  1. In addition to the details above, please send me the following information for one book of your choice.
    • book cover
    • book blurb
    • buy link
What I'll Do With This Info
  • I will share this with the book lovers in the event on Saturday
  • I'll post them to my site with your links as soon as possible.
Thank you all so much for your support.

Be sure to check for further updated on how low my rank goes!

Lilo

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Light Who Shines: Amazon Special Price - One Day Only $1.99


Amazon has awarded The Light Who Shines a super special Kindle Daily Deal. The price has been marked down to $1.99 FOR ONE DAY ONLY. Be sure to grab a copy while you can!
The Light Who Shines 
by Lilo Abernathy 
4.7 ★ 
$4.99  $1.99  - One day only!
Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Mystery (Solid Blend)

Amazon Link: amzn.to/11sqD5Y

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it's obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run; and she vows to catch the killer. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn't enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it's Blue’s growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her sexy Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.


PRIMARY CHARACTER PROFILES 
Bluebell Kildare: Blue is a Supernatural Homicide Detective and a gifted empath who has a pure spirit and a will of steel. She was orphaned at a young age and has had a tough life so far. Yet, she continually picks herself up by the boot straps and fights to do what is right, regardless of the cost. Just how high will the cost be?

Jack Tanner: He's Blue's sexy boss, the head of the Supernatural Homicide Unit in Crimson Hollow. Jack is very old and powerful Daylight Vampire with many layers. He is driven a little crazy by his desire to protect Blue in the face of her independence. Can he keep his cool when Blue needs him most?

Varg: He is a great grey wolf who comes out of nowhere and decides to be Blue's companion. He seems to have some mysterious magical abilities and uses them to guard Blue's life. Can he keep her safe?

Maud: She is Blue's dear friend and mother figure. Maud used to visit Blue in the orphanage and read to her as a child. She can't cook but she makes awesome Southern beverages. What color is her hair today? Is it blue, fuchsia, scarlet, or peach sherbet?

Alexis: She is Blue's comrade and neighbor, as well as the sassy owner of a store called Herbal Enchantments. She is gifted in earth magic and if she isn't busy feeding her friends, she's telling them what to do. Does she have her hands on her hips right now, or is she waving her finger at Blue?

The Villain: Can he get any more evil? No. He is about as evil as they come . . .


ONE OF MY FAVORITE AMAZON REVIEWS 
Brilliant story 
By jazz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can't praise this book highly enough.It was absolutely riveting. I have read thousands of books in my life and this one is one of the best.The only negative comment I can make is that I now have to wait for the next one in what I hope will be a very long series.I wish I could gobble up the whole story immediately.If you like urban fantasy (or even if you don't usually) this is a must read. Blue is up there with Mercy, Kate, and Harry. D. as a wonderful character already along with the rest of the cast in this delightful book.If you are looking for the next big thing in urban fantasy you have just found it. 
Review Link

AUTHOR BIO 
Lilo Abernathy is a somewhat eccentric, deep-thinking, warm-hearted young woman of at least 43 years. She started out as a restaurant chain hostess and worked her way up to the exciting world of global mergers and acquisitions. She has enjoyed an on again/off again relationship with formal education and has been affectionately referred to as information hound. In the evenings, she fills her writing breaks by scanning the internet for answers to provocative questions, such as: "What causes diamonds to be formed in different colors?"

One thing that never changes is Lilo's ongoing love affair with books. A born bibliophile, by age ten she finished all the children's books in the house and started devouring the adult section. By age 15, she was working her way through grocery store book aisles and libraries. Just as Picasso had his blue period, Lilo had her own periods of readership--urban fantasy, paranormal romance, Gothic novels, etc. Now she's planning on creating a bookshelf for you to enjoy.

SOCIAL NETWORKS 
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lilojabernathy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lilo_Abernathy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7789942.Lilo_Abernathy
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/liloabernathy/

SITE AND BLOG 
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/lilojabernathy/home
Blog: http://lilojabernathy.blogspot.com/ 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You're Invited to an Event to Help The Light Who Shines Get to Amazon #1

Authors, book lovers, and book promoters, you are invited to join others of your ilk, in a Facebook event to help The Light Who Shines get to Amazon #1.

Amazon has given me an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by granting The Light Who Shines a Kindle Daily Deal on Thursday, November 20th. I'm using this fantastic opportunity to try to make it all the way to Amazon #1. And I'd love to have you join in on the fun.
 
Yes, it is a stretch goal, but I already have about 100 authors/bloggers who have thrown in their post/blog support. Plus, I have about 150 retweeters so far who are raring to go for the Daily Deal. On top of the Kindle Daily Deal, this is doable, and I just might make it! 
 
Already this event has had a huge response and is filled with authors, book bloggers, and other book loving supporters. After the event, as a thank you to supporters, I'm turning the event into a networking party. I hope you will join the fun.
  • Authors will get a chance to promote a book of their choice, copy book blogger details, and woo my fantastic fans. These are the kind of reader fans you want, because they are also huge supporters.
  • Book Bloggers will get a chance to share their details to gain new audiences and network with other book bloggers.
  • Readers / Book Lovers will get a chance to see the Author's book and be wooed by them. Plus they will find great new book blogs to follow.
 
Facebook Event Link

The Light Who Shines  $1.99 Thursday, November 20th Only!

I hope to see you there!

Lilo


Saturday, November 15, 2014

HUGE NEWS! Amazon selects The Light Who Shines for a Kindle Daily Deal!

In September Amazon emailed me and asked my agreement to do a potential special Kindle promotion any time before the end of the year. The caveat: I couldn't reduce my price until they did. So, no promotions for The Light Who Shines for a while.

Naturally, I've been checking my email three times a day, waiting for their confirmation. Checking, checking, checking . . .

And it came!

They said that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, The Light Who Shines is going to be on a Kindle Daily Deal on Thursday, November 20th, 2014. It will be marked down to $1.99 for one day only.

Another author friend of mine was offered a one day Kindle Daily Deal and he sold like 3000 copies in one day!

HOLY COW!

I read up on this and sometimes a book can get to the Amazon #1 spot with 3500 buys in 1 day. So, I'm going to take advantage of this situation and see how high I can get in rank. Wouldn't it be awesome if The Light Who Shines made it to the #1 spot on Amazon, even if for one day only? I thought about this, and I'm committed to try.

If you want to help me try to get to #1, please mark your calendar and help me promote it on November 20th. I'll do a separate post that day you can share if you like. Some of my author friends and fans have already volunteered to do this and that is what gave me the idea. But any additional help is really appreciated.

Any way you want to share the news will help: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, GooglePlus, telling your work comrades about it . . . I've already signed up for every advertising option I can find that will take me on such short notice.

This is a huge stretch goal, but I'm going to work every free minute between now and Thursday to try to make this happen.

Now, for a little additional news. I've done a small make-over of the cover. The art is the same, but I've revamped the typography a bit and I think it makes it look that much sharper. What do you think?

And finally, I think that it is safe to say that The Light Who Binds, Book 2, will move into the revision phase by December 1, 2014. (Smile)

Lilo

Amazon Link: amzn.to/11nuVM5




Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ghoulishly Good Giveaway: Announcing Winners!

I know everyone wanted the awesome lollipops, but in the end, there could be only one. So, without further ado, I'll announce the winners!

Prize 1
Goes to: Stephanie Brumber
Located in: United States

 
Prize 2
Goes to: Arriane Alter
Located in: Argentina

Congrats Arriane and Stephanie! I hope your prizes bring you hours of enjoyment.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to buy myself some of those lollipops. I've included the links to the prizes incase any of you are feeling so bereft you must indulge yourself (wink). Wouldn't it be great to suck on an eyeball lollipop while reading The Light Who Shines? You know it would.

I hope you took the chance to check out some of the great books that were included. There are a lot of talented authors out there waiting for you to discover them.

Thank you all so much for participating. Be sure to follow my blog. There will be plenty more giveaways to come!

Lilo Abernathy



Friday, October 24, 2014

SURPRISED BY THE MYSTERIOUS FEROCIOUS MAGICAL WOLF

I was so surprised to discover that Varg, the mysterious wolf, would end up being the most loved side character in The Light Who Shines. It's quite a feat for a character with absolutely no dialogue. But, when I first published, the comments came pouring in.
  • Varg can come live at our house.
  • Can't wait to find out more about the wolf Varg!
  • Varg is awesome - always showing up when needed.
  • Varg needs to be explained more and I would like to order 2 more wolves for my two grandsons!
  • I of course LOVE Varg.
  • There is something about Varg . . . Who/what is he really?
It goes on and on . . . I wasn't lying when I said he was popular! This really made me question, "Why does everyone love Varg so much?" It certainly isn't his witty discourse. But what Varg misses in conversational skill he makes up for in personality.
 
He makes his first appearance from the shadows when Blue's life is in imminent danger and he saves the day. This heroism is repeated time and again throughout the story. His number one job is to protect Blue and he does so with a single minded devotion.
 
Wouldn't we all love having someone in our lives who has our back no matter what?

And Varg is no dummy; let's just say that. He seems to follow discussion and understand direction as though he's on the same level of intellect as we are. He emits growls when the villain is mentioned in casual conversation; he executes on complex instruction; and, he clearly has all the advanced senses a wolf has. This is a wolf who is on top of things.

Who wouldn't love to be able to communicate with their animal companion?

But something is up with Varg. Things aren't quite normal. He seems to have magic powers that I won't elucidate for fear of giving the plot away. But that is the crux of the matter. I think the number one reason everyone loves Varg so much is they can't quite figure him out. How does he do his magic tricks? What is he? Where did he come from? Why did he appear?

So I have to ask, does mystery inspire us more than answers?

Varg has become such a loved character in this story that I felt it necessary to include him with the main character Blue when planning the redesign of the cover. But before I did, I asked my Varg fans what he should look like. They said:
  • Ferocious and Fangy
  • Intelligent
  • Fluffy and Cuddly
That description may be most telling of all. Everyone sees him as a dangerous and perfectly loveable brainy animal. What a dichotomy!
 
On the cover you see Varg walking next to Blue and that is exactly the way the story goes. Varg and Blue go everywhere together. I used to think my girlish fantasies of walking around my neighborhood with a big vicious pet animal next to me was unique. Now, I highly doubt that. Perhaps we all want someone who will comfort us with their presence and keep us safe.

When I started writing Varg into the story, I doubted him. I wondered if it was self-indulgent to include my girlish fantasy. But now, when I imagine the story without him, it seems a dim shell compared to its current vibrancy.
 
Varg adds intrigue, danger, and fun, and somehow he catches our heart.

In case you are wondering where I came up with his name, Varg is Norse for wolf and wolves play a part in ancient Norse mythology.

Lilo

Amazon Link: The Light Who Shines

GHOULISHLY GOOD GIVEAWAY! (and eyeball lollipops)

You may not know this, but Halloween is my favorite holiday. It isn't expensive, it involves copious amounts of chocolate, and people dress up funny. Plus, I have fond memories of getting caught drunk on Halloween by my parents, at a way too young age. (Don't try that at home kids.) Anyway, what's not to love?

Then there are those horrid one-liner jokes . . .
  • What do you call a ghost with a broken leg? A hoblin goblin of course!
  • What does a skeleton order at a restaurant? Spare ribs, rare.

To prevent me from turning your brain into a spongy mush, without further ado, I'd like to share a Ghoulishly Good Giveaway.


12 authors are giving away two prizes each. One prize is a supernatural / paranormal read and the other is a Halloween themed gift. That means there will be 24 winners! I picked a half-dozen gourmet eyeball lollipops as my gift. I soooo want them myself, but I guess I'll give them to a winner. Aren't you just itching to suck on an eyeball?

My prizes are Global. The rest are US, Canada, and UK

Scroll through the pictures at the top of the Rafflecopter to scope out the goods.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rafflecopter ends at Midnight on Halloween.

Happy Best Holiday Ever!

Lilo

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BIBLIOPHILES REJOICE! ANCIENT BOOK THAT OPENS 6 WAYS?!!! AND MORE!

Ohhh, my dear Bibliophiles, have I got a treat for you. I present you with a book that opens SIX WAYS! It can be read SIX WAYS too! Yes, it is true. And there is more. Ohh, so much more . . .

I read the article on this book and saw a link to Erik Kwakkel's blog. I clicked on it and struck gold. GOLD my friends. Erik is a book historian and his blog covers ancient books, naturally.

He has posts on the biggest books in the world, books with feet, books with ivory carvings, books made of fish skin, books with ancient bookmarks, and hand drawn initial capital letters at the beginning of chapters. If I have not sucked you in by now, you probably don't belong on my feed. That is all I can say.

I'm not going to torture you any longer. Here is the link to his blog. Go forth and devour. Don't miss the GORGEOUS library. http://erikkwakkel.tumblr.com/

I normally don't like to blog this close together, but really, how could I not share this? Thanks to my author friend Lesley Donaldson for sharing the six way book with me which drew me into Erik's blog.

Lilo


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Light Who Shines on Audio (WOOT! HAPPY DANCE!)

So, I submitted The Light Who Shines to ACX, which is a company that acts like a market for authors to find Audible approved narrators for their book. Getting it on audio has been one of my goals for this year.

Then, ACX gave The Light Who Shines a special "stipend" which they only give to books they feel will do really well. (Oh yeah!) It is essentially a bonus that goes from ACX directly to the narrator to try to attract the best talent. Not only did I find a great narrator (Elizabeth Klett), but the offer is now signed, sealed, and delivered!

So The Light Who Shines should be in audio by Christmas! WOOT! WOOT! Doing the HAPPY DANCE!

P.S. Elizabeth did the Prologue in her audition, and I got CHILLS. Serious CHILLS, up and down my arms. It was exquisite. The drama was restrained, but the tension in her voice was breath-taking. My Mom got the chills too. And my sister who is a harsh audio book critic (she listens to audio day-in and day-out) 100% approves of Elizabeth's narration as well. So this is going to be really good. I am so excited.

Ohh, P.P.S. The Elizabeth does a fantastic Irish accent for the Prologue too. (HAPPY DANCE!)

Lilo