September 29, 2014

Dare to Dream, Work to Make it True

"One little spark, of inspiration, is at the start of all creation. A dream can be a dream come true, with just a spark from me and you." ~ Journey into the Imagination (Disney World)
Twelve years ago, in college, I came up with an idea... a little spark. I played with it, turned it into a full-blown story, and it took many forms. Originally I thought I could make a graphic novel, but my art skills lack the necessary sophistication, so I turned to writing.

Gabe sketching Heather

I started off in a NANOWRIMO and never finished. Then, in 2012, I was chatting with my friend Amy about books we both liked. I happened to mention my long-forgotten story, and she got very excited about it. Someone wanted to read the type of story I was writing. That little bit of encouragement pushed me to finish drafting #SCHISM.

To make this long story just a bit shorter, I began to research publishing and what it'd take to get this sucker ready to actually market. A good writer friend of mine brought me through the first phases of critique and changes, and I can't thank Jane Lebak enough for all the help she gave me. She's my mentor, my Obi-Wan Kenobi (who kills Darth Vader instead of dying, so the rest of the movie is pointless). She recently released her books in paperback, check out her blog here.

Of course, writing isn't simple. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and swear words to get my book to a publishable level. Then I had to shop it around, query agents, go to conferences and pitch sessions. I got some negative feedback about how they were seeing "too much" of my kind of story, so they wouldn't even give it a second glance. After that, I decided to submit to some small presses myself, without the agent.

MuseItUp Publishing took me on! Now, after all that work I'll see my dream come true. In Spring 2015, #SCHISM #ILLIRIN book 1 will arrive in e-bookstores everywhere.

Look, the book is celebrating!
(In case you're wondering, I'm using the hashtags to start branding the book. For successful books, marketing starts the day you sign the contract, and I intend to do everything I can. Help spread the word.)

September 26, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ Dangerous Love by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford

Dangerous Love banner


by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford

Anaiah Press is proud to present the cover of a romantic suspence novel by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford

Dangerous Love!

Release date: March 3, 2015

About the book:
He’s fighting to forget his past while she struggles to remember hers...  
Doctor Josh Parker lives with guilt about his wife’s death every day. He believes himself incapable of ever loving again, but when a mysterious woman arrives in the Emergency Room, brutally beaten and left for dead, he starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in far too long: hope.  
Alessandra Matthews has no memory of the events that led to her being hospitalized. Worse, she has no idea who hurt her or why. Although she’s uncertain of who she is, she is fully aware of one thing -- she’s falling for her doctor.  
Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you...  
As Josh and Alessa work to solve the mystery surrounding her past, she soon realizes just how much danger she’s really in, but Josh refuses to let her face the darkness of her memories alone. With each of them struggling to put their pasts behind them, theirs is a DANGEROUS LOVE.  

And here's what we've all been waiting for – the cover!

Dangerous Love 1600x2400
Add Dangerous Love on Goodreads!

About the Authors:

Kara Leigh Miller

Kara Leigh Miller

Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she's spending time with her family or attending one of her many writers groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press' Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime!

Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook

Jody Holford

Jody Holford

Jody lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters. She is a fan of Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, and Rainbow Rowell. In reading and writing, she likes characters who are flawed, but driven toward the pursuit of love and happiness. In November 2013, she published A Not So Lonely Christmas with Foreward Literary. In December 2014, she published Forever Christmas through Kindle Direct.

Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook

September 12, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ Hunter, by Renee Donne

Hunter cover reveal banner Anaiah Press is proud to present the cover reveal for YA novel HUNTER by Renee Donne.
Moving across the country isn’t Hunter’s ideal start to her Junior year of high school. She has no friends to hang out with, no beaches to lounge on, and she’s living just a few miles from the secluded hiking trail where her father died when she was a baby.
Living in Wyoming isn’t all bad, though, thanks to Logan, the handsome veterinary assistant at the animal clinic where she lands an after school job. And he seems just as interested in her as she is in him.
As Hunter begins to settle into her new home, she learns more about the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic death, and it may not have been the accident everyone believes. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, and Hunter might be the next victim.
Release Date: November 4, 2014
And now for the cover...
Hunter cover
Add HUNTER to Goodreads!
Renee DonneAbout the Author
Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she's a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she's a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.

September 8, 2014

Trailer Reveal ~ Tess in Boots by Courtney Rice Gager

Tess in Boots banner

Tess in Boots

by Courtney Rice Gager

Anaiah Press is proud to present the book trailer reveal of Courtney Rice Gager's contemporary romantic novel

Tess in Boots

Release date: December 2, 2014

About the book:
Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear. 
Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made. 

And now, for the books trailer…

Add Tess in Boots on Goodreads!

About the Author:
Courtney Rice Gager

Courtney Rice Gager graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. Courtney is also the author of The Buggy List. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Courtney:
Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook

September 5, 2014

Editing Versus Writing - The Showdown!

It's been too long since I've blogged about something, so here ya go!

Since I've become an Editor with Anaiah Press, I've had to partition my time. Although, it's not just about time management, it's a completely different mindset. When I'm in "edit mode," I can't easily switch into "drafting mode" for working on my own book. It's like I have two different brains, which I suppose I do if you count the left half and the right half.

Drafting (Writing)

When I'm in drafting mode, I have to immerse myself in a space. I let the images flow from my head to the keyboard with little interference about what came before, and whether I have too many of the same word, and all that itty-bitty stuff. If I paid attention to every detail, I'd never get a single word on the screen.

Drafting is also like listening to the character's voice in your head and just letting it come straight out. Sure, it's not perfect, but it doesn't have to be. That's exactly why it's difficult to draft when I've put my edit brain on, because editing requires me to make things as perfect as they can be.


When I'm editing, I'm extremely picky. I won't let unnecessary passive voice slip by, and I work to make sure to vary sentence structure, word choice, opening words/phrases, sentence length, and all those little things. Not only that, but I have to pay attention to larger plot points, character emotion/growth, foreshadowing, subtext, and scene strength. There's a lot to hold in your mind when you edit, and if you do all that when you draft, you'll murder all the creativity.

The Winner?

The real deal is that drafting/writing is a right brain activity. It's full of creativity, sunflowers, and rainbows. You can't put rules on it, or it stunts the growth. If you're too restrictive, you won't find a voice which is the most important thing for connecting with the reader.

Editing is a left brain activity, logical, rule-centered, and detail-oriented. You have to be rigorous to catch all the little things, make it shiny and full of polish. Rules win...except when they don't.

This brings me to the important lesson...balance. When editing, it's easy to get so technical that you destroy the very beauty created in art of writing. The real art is balancing how you follow the rules, with how you break them. Because sometimes you've got to use passive voice, and sometimes you've got to tell instead of show, and sometimes that fragment in the middle of a paragraph is needed. It's all about balance.