Sunday, 17 November 2013

*Book Launch Giveaway* STOLEN by Keren Hughes (me heehee!)

Hi Guys & Girls *waves* I brought you here today for TWO reasons. One: my debut novel just launched and I want to give some cool stuff away. Two: I want to talk to you about my journey as a author getting to to where I am today. 

We're going to start with with reason two first though!

As a teenager, I wrote two books. I don't know if everyone here will remember Point Horror books, but that was mainly what I read back in those days and I wanted to write my own. So I did. My first book was called The Angel of Death. It was about a girl who babysat for the town's children but she also murdered them. A year later at the tender age of 16 I wrote another one, Skye's Secret - to be honest, I don't remember what this one was about. It was my dream to be a published author one day.

It wasn't until I was 29 that I actually sat down with my laptop to write my book. It was October 2012 and I had just had an operation on my spine. I was home all day with nothing much to do because I couldn't move about too well. The only thing I was really doing was reading and reviewing. 
Friends kept encouraging to me to write my book. You see, I'd been playing with an idea about a year previously but as I have suffered with low self-esteem, I hadn't actually done anything about this idea. My friend in Brazil, Kira Saito, kept telling me I could do it and so one day I took the plunge. I started writing long-hand in a notebook. I came up with character profiles and a basic synopsis. 

I had some pretty basic stuff, nothing fleshed out, but I couldn't actually sit and plan where the book should go. I know a lot of authors have Pinterest boards and they have notice boards at home covered in things to help their creative process but for some reason, I just couldn't do that stuff. Once I sat down at my laptop, the words just kept flowing and any time I tried to plan anything, I would find myself stalled and unable to continue. So I just went with it and kept writing  what was in my head. Every author has a different process, no two of us would tell you we do things identically. 
I wrote in October and November, took December off for Christmas then picked up where I left off in January 2013. I wrote some more in February and then finished by the end of the month. That was when I read it all back to myself to see if I liked it. I sort of donned my 'reviewer' cap and picked up on a few things I wanted to change. 
I had a select group of BETA readers who I sent chapters to here and there to see what they thought of what I had so far. But I didn't have an editor. My auntie Julie had always wanted to be an editor, so I asked her if she would do me the honour of editing Stolen. Thankfully, she agreed. She printed off my manuscript, edited it and sent it to me via snail mail. I put it in a ring-binder, got myself some red arrow stickers and went through, sticking one wherever something needed changing. 
At this point, I was intent on self-publishing. I mentioned my low self-esteem before, well it was fear of rejection that made me chicken out of submitting to publishers. However, as you can see, I am published by Limitless Publishing - so something obviously changed, but what? Well, I have a few friends that are published by LP and they convinced me to submit, what was the harm? If the answer was no, I would dust myself off and self-publish, right?! I am so glad I listened to the girls otherwise I wouldn't be where I am today. 

I actually submitted my MS to two publishers and within a day of each other, they BOTH offered me contracts. 

So, in short: I wrote a book, had jitters about publishers - then I submitted and fell lucky in the fact that they both wanted it. I signed with Limitless Publishing on August 10th 2013 and not long after, I met my editor Kathryn Romeo. She's an amazing lady who helped me polish my MS until it gleamed. Then I got an email at the beginning of November, 13 months after I had started my journey, that email said 'we now have a complete manuscript'. Let me tell you, I would have jumped for joy if it wan't for the nerve damage in my leg. I saw the cover not long afterwards and let me say, I love LOVE my cover by 'Wicked By Design'. The last part of my journey came on November 14th in the form of actually being published. It tipped me over the edge and I was absolutely ecstatic. I couldn't stop shaking all day from a rush of adrenaline that came from happiness, but at the same time, fear. That fear was that it wouldn't sell well. 
I never wrote this book with profit in mind. I wrote it to achieve my dream of being a published author by the age of 30. Having turned 30 in August, I can proudly say, that's one dream that has come true. 

What would I say to aspiring authors? Go and write your book! Take your idea and run with it. Whether you plan it out meticulously or whether you just let it flow from your fingers - just DO IT! I did and look at where I am now. I am finally a published author. 
If you are an aspiring author who, much like me, is scared of rejection, the only advice I can give to you is: don't do what I did. Yes, I landed lucky but I am not a cat and when thrown, I don't always land on my feet. 
I may make it sound like I had it easy and in some ways, I very much did. But whether it was luck or fate, something out there was shining down on me that day when LP said they wanted to publish my book. But for any of you who are currently writing or even just have an idea for a book, I would say to seek out publication. Go to the publishing houses, have the nerve to dream big and big things happen. I know that now I am over the first hurdle, I will actively seek publication for any more novels I write. I am currently working on Freed (Freedom of Souls #2) which will be published by LP, but who knows what the future holds for my other WIP, Nothing Like The First Time. It may get self-published, it may get published by a house. All I know is, I will never stop writing now because now that I have been bitten by the bug, I intend to keep at it. You should do the same thing. I know that so many people write and never publish. I know that I have achieved something that many may not. But I would actively encourage anyone who has the heart to write to have the courage to submit it to publishers far and wide. You're probably thinking it's easy for me to say. But really, I got lucky. In this business, it's about writing the story your way and then submitting it to publishers and waiting for that all important yes. You might get rejected by 10, 20, maybe even 300 of them, but it only takes that ONE to say yes. You don't have to listen, but that's my advice. 

Now, here's some info about Stolen for you.... the giveaway is coming soon, I promise.... But first, the cover:

Author: Keren Hughes
Publication Date: November 14th 2013

Roshanna O'Dare wakes up in her own home in shock when she discovers part of her memory is missing and her parents are dead…

With no clues of any kind as to what happened to her parents, and no other close family, Roshanna must move to Texas, Austin, to live with her last living relative, Uncle Joe after the funeral. But this means leaving her best friend, Marissa Mason behind.

That’s when she meets Bodhi Vincent, her uncle’s chauffeur, who seems to understand Roshanna in a way no one else has…

Bodhi is her rock after the death of her parents and the longer she stays with her uncle, the closer they become.

But before moving away, Roshanna was confronted with a shocking secret that Marissa had kept from her, a secret that changes how she sees life and the people in it—Marissa is a pure soul and her foster parents are soul drainers who need her pure energy to survive. 

More shockingly, her parents’ souls were stolen by their murderer.

When Roshanna and Bodhi try and track down Marissa’s father, Leith Mason, in order to retrieve her parents’ souls back, they find themselves held hostage at gunpoint. 

Will Roshanna and Bodhi survive? Will she ever find her parents souls? Or will their souls be the next ones to be taken?

Now you've read the synopsis, hopefully you will add it to your TBR on Goodreads (which I made easy by linking the title above). 
And now for the other reason I brought you here, THE GIVEAWAY!! *claps hands*

Here are some pictures of what you stand to win: (click on image to enlarge)

Pack includes: Acrylic Block with signed cover, Mouse Mat with signed cover, Kindle Fire Case (not HD) with signed cover, Character Name/Book Title Bracelets, Replica of Roshanna's Amulet, Replica of Bodhi's Necklace, Stickers, Phone Charms and Metal Bookmarks. You will win 3 phone charms & 3 bookmarks, one in each style. 

(Above: Bodhi's flip-flop phone charm -green)

(Above: Left: Roshanna's owl phone charm -pink & Bodhi's flip-flop phone charm - blue)

(Above: Roshanna's owl phone charm - pink)

(Above: Roshanna & Bodhi ladybird phone charm - black & red)

(Above: Character Name/Book Title bracelets)

(Above: Acrylic Block)

(Above: Mouse Mat)

(Above: Replica of Roshanna's Amulet)

(Above: Kindle Fire Case)

(Above: Bodhi's Necklace)

(Above: unfinished metal bookmarks)
I have to make the bookmarks, I haven't had chance yet - but they WILL be gorgeous and you will win one in each of the 3 styles. 

How do you enter? Easy! Follow instructions on this Rafflecopter widget: (wait a few seconds for it to load if you don't see it.

Terms & Conditions:
  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage to any of the items
  • Giveaway is open internationally but please allow longer for delivery if you are not within the UK
  • Entrants MUST do all of the things mentioned in the widget or face being disqualified

Thank you all for reading about my journey and I wish you all the best of luck with the giveaway!

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