Showing posts with label Wendy Russo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wendy Russo. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

JANUARY BLACK on sale now for the Holidays!

I read, loved and reviewed this book when it first came out earlier this year. Read my review HERE and go grab your own ebook copy while they're on sale this week, now through next Tuesday!

About the Book:
Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school's headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty's future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master's diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It's a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty's journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king's bluff.

January Black is the silver medalist in the 2013 Readers' Favorite Book Awards, Young Adult - Coming of Age category.


About the Author:
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she's majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She's a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights. She can be found online in the following places:
Amazon | Authorgraph | Crescent Moon Press | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Twitter

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Guest Blogging and Today's Interview... Are Mermaids Real?

Day Two of my Splash Into Summer tour, and I'm already wishing I'd hired someone to manage all the details for me, lol!

Today I'm guest blogging at Constance Phillips spot. She's the author of the paranormal romance FAIRYPROOF, and the historical paranormal romance about Harry Houdini, RESURRECTING HARRY. We're discussing whether mermaids might actually exist... what do you think? Come read my arguments and tell us your own thoughts!

I'm also being interviewed by Wendy Russo on her blog - Wendy is the author of that great new YA novel JANUARY BLACK. (If you haven't read it yet, you really should! And she's got some cool contests of her own going on right now, so be sure to stick around and check out her website!)

Wendy asks great questions, which evolved organically over the course of a long email conversation. It was a cool way to be interviewed - unique, like her novel!

And don't forget the Rafflecopter giveaway is now open - enter to win your own copy of SON OF A MERMAID and your own mermaid necklace!


AND AND AND... if you're already sold on buying SON OF A MERMAID... why wait? Order today at Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Wendy Russo talks about Marketing Your Book



Hello, all! I’m glad to be here today. Katie and I have been talking recently about book promotion. Somehow she’s gotten the mistaken impression that I know what I’m doing. * wink * In all seriousness, I’m winging it, but I am willing to share with you what I have done to apparently look like I know what I’m doing. Like spaghetti noodles tossed at the cupboard, I am hoping some of this sticks.
 
First though, authors--published and not--please bookmark Anne Mini’s blog “Author! Author!”
Ms. Mini herself
True story. I found this blog in Summer 2011. I had gotten quite a few rejections for January Black at that point, mostly form email and non-response. Anne was posting about standard manuscript format at the time with a focus on how to present numbers. (Spelled out in most cases for numbers under 100, if you’re wondering.) She answered a question I had about whether to use digits or spelling for astronomical coordinates. Anyhow, I completely reformatted my manuscript after finding her blog. I rewrote my query letter, synopsis and blurb. The very first submission I sent after finding her blog got a request for a full manuscript, and later a contract.


Ms. Mini was recently in a car accident and has not been posting. Also, her home page has been replaced with a note that says “It works.” She’s aware of the problem and it might even be fixed by now. Bookmark her blog either way. When Anne comes back, she may be the single best free resource for writing/editing/submitting on the whole Internet. She also has a page on Facebook. Like her!

[Wendy cracks knuckles.]

Okay! Now, onto all the stuff I don’t know. Seriously, I went about marketing back-assward, playing catch up the whole way. And I’ve been learning, the hard way, fast.

       1. Make friends before your release.

I didn’t. My pre-launch marketing involved the Crescent Moon Press author’s group, friends I’ve met on Twitter, and a few more from Six Sentence Sunday. All writers mind you, whose acquaintances are writers. This is not a bad thing, necessarily, but reaching readers is important when you’re trying to sell a book.  Since the release of January Black, I’ve connected with several pages on Facebook.

·       Authors’ Social Media Support Group (asmsg) Books (https://www.facebook.com/asmsg.books)
·       Coffee and A Good Book (https://www.facebook.com/coffeandagoodbook?fref=ts)
·       I Heart Books (https://www.facebook.com/IHeartBooksOfficial)
·       International Girls YA Book Club (https://www.facebook.com/IGYABC)
·       Paranormal Book Club (https://www.facebook.com/ParanormalBookClub)
·       Platinum Book Reviews* (https://www.facebook.com/PlatinumBookReviews?fref=ts
·       Young Adult and Teen Readers (https://www.facebook.com/YaTeenReaders?fref=ts)
    
I’ve starred Platinum Book Reviews because Vicki Rose Stewart is a woman with whom every indie author should be familiar. The next best thing to knowing people is knowing people who know people...and Vicki’s good with people. She’s also a sweet lady who loves authors. (She’s running promotions in between throwing up cancer meds, if that telling you anything about her how much she loves authors.)

These pages are just the ones that I have found and have been interacting with. Contacted prior to a book release, they can post your cover reveals, share your book on release day, and get their fans involved. Posts after a release don’t have the same impact, but now I know.

2. Giveaways.

Some people will say that you should give away swag opposed to books. It the giveaway is the book, it encourages people to wait to buy, just in case they win. I don’t subscribe to that advice. January Black is my first book and readers don’t know who I am! I’m happy to giveaway my book if it means that person might talk about my book to other people.

I’ve given my book away to readers, reviewers, to blog tour hosts to give away to other reviewers, and to people who’ve guessed my favorite color on Facebook. I’ve given two copies away to IGYABC to readers interested in reviewing. I’ve given away copies as part of other writer’s release tours. I’ve given away signed print copies for charity auctions and to a Facebook page just because.  I’ve also donated to my hometown libraries and a Baton Rouge high school. I’m giving a print copy to the USS John C. Stennis, because I’ve heard their library needs fresh ink.

Kristy Barr, schoolteacher from Bar Nunn, WY, won a print copy of 
January Black for finding and commenting on a hidden excerpt

I didn’t publish January Black to make money. I published because I wanted to share it with more readers than just my close friends and family. I wanted to be able to put “published” on my next query letter. I want to walk through an airport or a doctor’s office and see a complete stranger with my book. If giving away copies builds the kind of audience I need to make that last bit happen, then every giveaway is worth it.

3. Swag.


I love free stuff. Who doesn’t love free stuff? I’ve tried to come up with cool free stuff. I created a logo for the tea/book shop in January Black and put it on coffee cups. I’ve also created cover cards and bookmarks that I can sign.

I’m also in the process of setting up a CafePress shop where fans could buy LiberTea and January Black’s logos on T-shirts, coffee mugs, fridge magnets, and ornaments.

I have given coffee cups as prizes and sent several to Texas for a book lovers’ weekend at a bed and breakfast. I’m planning to send some of all of these goodies to Shawna Romkey, who will be attending the RT Conference in St. Louis. If you’re going, find her!

4. Multi-Author Events.
 
There’s strength in numbers. Recently, Crescent Moon Press authors have been teaming up during their book releases, and it’s been very successful. I figured that if it could generate a lot of attention for a release, why not a review effort.  Joanne Brothwell, Toni de Palma, Shawna Romkey, and I have joined to give readers a great deal on our books. All four for the price of one, which averages out to $1.99 a piece. All the reader needs to do is write a review on Amazon of 20 words or more to request the next book. It’s a deal that Joanne, Toni, Shawna and I will think is awesome, and that will generate Amazon reviews quickly. 

That is pretty much what I’ve been doing so far. I’m looking for more ways to let people know about my book and more cool swag. I just keep looking for more opportunities and more time to work on my new story ideas. It’s a day-by-day thing.

About the Author:

Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.

Wendy S. Russo’s Links: Blog |  Facebook |  G+ | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


January Black’s Links: Kindle | Print

About the Book:


Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school's headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty's future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master's diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It's a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty's journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king's bluff.

 Read my Review HERE
 



 




Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: January Black by Wendy Russo

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Pub Date: January 2013

Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.

MY TAKE:

(Okay, first of all I have to say up front that I had a hard time getting into this book. The first chapter threw me for a bit of a loop as I was expecting YA and chapter one is more New Adult, with 18-year-olds in bed together. But then the story steps back two years and really starts. And, okay, the second chapter kept me confused and feeling like I’d missed something, and I thought it was me not understanding all the techie stuff… but then it got better. And then it got way better. So really, keep reading. You don’t want to miss this book.)

The Review:
 
Matty is a sixteen-year-old genius who is somewhat of a contradiction. He thinks in numbers and understands the complex new technology that is a given on this world, but also loves the smell of old books and appreciates the beauty of “old world” items. He bristles at the rules imposed by his strict class-based society and questions all authority, but also has trouble relating to others. Until he meets Iris.

Iris is also sixteen and also full of contradictions. While she works as a gardener on The Hill, where the ruling class and King reside, she wasn’t born into the working class. Her father (now deceased) was a blind tech genius who helped invent much of the people-tracking technology still used in their world. She doesn’t know quite what to think when one of the Regents starts paying attention to her, and then the King himself intercedes to help set up their first date. And then she finds out this boy who seems to be friends with the King is also her boss’s son. A strong personality in her own right, none of this seems to faze Iris too much until Matty gets closer to answering the question posed by the King.

King Hadrian has given Matty a quest of sorts, to answer a single question in order to receive a Master’s diploma. Although it seems simple on the outside, the question is itself something of a riddle that has Matty delving into the very origins of his society and discovering the true meaning of Liberty that seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way.

I enjoyed this story and its perspective on a society losing its ultimate ideals and values in pursuit of peace and safety. So much of the story line is timely for our current, post-911 society. How much of our personal liberties are we willing to sacrifice, and once sacrificed can we ever regain them? What is each of us willing to risk or sacrifice in order to make our world a better place?

To buy this ebook on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/January-Black-ebook/dp/B00B0I176M

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Guest Author Wendy Russo and JANUARY BLACK giveaway!


I'm so excited to welcome author Wendy Russo to my blog today! She's on a virtual tour promoting her new release, JANUARY BLACK, and agreed to stop by for a virtual cup of coffee and a little Q&A time. (and she's gracious enough to ignore the dust as well as the Saint Bernard drool on the back of the sofa...)

 Hi, Wendy! Give a brief bio and tell us what kind of books you like to read and write.

I'm an '80s kid, from Wyoming's Big Horn Basin. My parents struggled during my teen years, so I spent a lot of time with school sports and libraries. I read all of Francine Pascal's "Sweet Valley High" series. When I ran out of those, I read "Sweet Valley Twins." Sometime during high school, I picked up Joan D. Vinge's "The Snow Queen" because I thought the cover was beautiful. It ruined me for the young adult genre at the time.
I read Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum" right out of high school. It took me three years and influenced both how I read books and how I write them. I picked up the Star Wars series "The New Republic," and loved them. I spent a few years not reading, and then reading non-fiction. Dan Brown's books got me back into reading. In 2005, I spent a week in San Diego while my husband was at a design conference. I read all of Dan Brown's books back to back. (I don't recommend doing that, by the way. Brown has a formula, and when read in succession, the plot twists and villains become obvious way before they should.)

Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" defines the perfect book for me. It's part speculative, part fantasy, with colorful and complex characters, tangled sub-arcs, and a fully realized world built in small details. The author's joy in storytelling is apparent on every page. That's what I look for in books...the author's joy. Genre doesn't really matter.

I write science fiction and fantasy. Given my reading resume, I doubt anyone would be surprised.

Wow. I guess I'll need to add The Snow Queen to my TBR pile! So tell me... What's your favorite part of being an author?

Oddly, I think my favorite part is the editing. The words are on the page at that point. When you edit, you can see the whole story at once and play with what's there. I edit on hard copy, so that I can flip between scenes and write directly on the pages. I enjoy the tactile nature of it.

Cool. I like the editing part, too. What’s your approach to writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

These days, I plot a lot more than I used to. Once upon a time, I just to just type out scenes and then stitched together the ones that worked. In 2000, I took Short Novel Writing with Moira Krone. She's an award-winning southern fiction author who teaches creative writing at Louisiana State University. Her criticism is sharp as her eye, and I got an "A" for the novel I wrote in her class. That was a huge boost of confidence for me as a writer, that someone of her talent thought I have talent. Anyhow, that class showed me what I could accomplish with a little plotting, so now I plot.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I'm a wife, a mom, and an IT analyst. If I didn't write, I might be a little better at gardening, cooking, or baking. 

Tell us about your new release, JANUARY BLACK

JANUARY BLACK is a soft science fiction novel for the older YA audience. It features Matty, a 16-year-old genius who gets expelled from school for a very small act of mischief. King Hadrian gives him a second chance at graduating. If Matty can answer one question, the king will have his former school give him a diploma. JANUARY BLACK tells the story of Matty falling in love, getting his heart broken, and finding his place in the world, all while looking for an answer.

Okay, if you’re casting the movie of your book, who would play the main characters?

In my head, Iris has been Taylor Swift. Hadrian has always been Ryan Reynolds. But Matty, I've always kind of settled on Jackson Rathbone.

Where can readers find your books and where can you be found on the web?

You can add January Black to your Goodreads bookshelf (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16692299-january-black), or purchase it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

You can stalk me online in the following locations: Blog |  Facebook |  G+ | Twitter |Goodreads

Thanks for visiting today, Wendy!!! There's an awesome excerpt from her story on her website  - visit http://wendyrusso.com to get hooked!

Wendy is giving away some cool prizes along this blog tour - make sure to visit her website! One lucky reader will win even a signed copy of JANUARY BLACK!

And... Wendy's got a special treat for us! Somewhere on this blog post there's a link to a hidden, password-protected excerpt on her own blog. (Hint: the password is her protagonist's first name.)

Find the link, comment on the hidden excerpt page and you'll be entered to win a signed copy of JANUARY BLACK! But first, be sure to leave a comment here or ask Wendy a question, just to let her know you were here to visit!

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and Cover Reveal for JANUARY BLACK!

Happy New Year to all ! Hope everyone's holidays were happy ones, and your New Year's Eve full of good intentions for the coming year.... or something along those lines, at least!

One of my resolutions is to stick to a more regular blog schedule, but I haven't yet figured it out... I figure for now the idea of a plan will have to suffice. Be that as it may... I had to share a Cover Reveal from one of my fellow Crescent Moon Press authors for her new novel - JANUARY BLACK, by Wendy Russo.
( I love this cover!!!! )

The back cover reads:

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.
More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.
What was January Black?
It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king’s bluff.

Wendy Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she's majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She's a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.

Her book should be available later this month, and she'll be a guest on this blog on January 17th! In the meantime you can stalk her find her on the web in the following places:

Blog <http://wendysrusso.wordpress.com>
Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-S-Russo/134565346603922>
G+ <https://plus.google.com/112814882028410401663>
Twitter<https://twitter.com/#!/wendysrusso>
Goodreads <http://www.goodreads.com/wendysrusso>