Friday, March 28, 2014

VIOLET STORM Release Day!

Dear friends, family, and fellow writers (who are also friends!), I'm so happy to finally announce the release of my debut YA Sci-Fi novel, VIOLET STORM. Many of you know that this project was several years in the making, and life has finally allowed me to be in a great place to share it with the world. The debut also marks my entry into the Indie realm of publishing, and I couldn't be more excited. 

I hope you'll help me celebrate both of these milestone by purchasing a copy of VIOLET STORM or sharing the release with friends and family. 

VIOLET STORM can be purchased on:

Book Description: 

A brilliant surgeon known for his invention of Modi'sthe only cure for a fatal disease spreading in the City of Light—has gone rogue with his experiments, and the Monarchy is desperate to shut him down. That's where Aeva Storm comes in, a champion athlete with an ego to match. Aeva is the surgeon's secret weapon against the Monarchy. After reconstructing her body to become a Modi unlike any he's ever created, Aeva is forced into a fight against all odds. She'll have to break loyalties, hurt family, and turn her back on newly awakened love. Thousands of lives hang in the balance in a battle that will set forth a new era.
Join Aeva on her quest to see whether she's got what it takes to go up against the most powerful humans ever created.
Recommend VIOLET STORM to a friend: Just tweet, Facebook, or link to this blog post!


Below are some early reviews to help you decide whether it’s worth purchasing. 
“Soliveres’s rich storytelling makes the pages come alive; from the beginning I was captivated by her vivid depiction of our heroine’s surroundings, her struggles, and ultimately her triumph and survival.  Soliveres’s writing evokes such emotion and suspense that I couldn’t put the book down, and I can’t wait for the next installment in the series!” ~Lauren Shostack


“Violet Storm has the elements of a good story to keep you turning the page.” ~Phili Nguyen


“The suspense and plot twists had me continuously telling myself ‘just one more chapter!’” ~Lindsay Dilloway      


“Warning: I missed precious hours of sleep (not good for a father of 2-year old twins). I simply could not put the book down. You all have been warned.” ~Mike Louie
Soliveres gives Aeva a voice that is clever and witty...Aeva is our heroine not only because she puts others before herself; but because, more than this, she is a representation of how far we must be willing to go to save all things precious to us.” ~ Christine Nguyen 
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart Christine, Mike, Lindsay, Lauren, and Phili for your heartwarming reviews!  

Annnnnd...Here's the raffle! 
Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of the book, and an exclusive VS promo card! So help spread the word about VIOLET STORM’s release for a chance to win! 
(Raffle ends Monday evening)

Blog Hop:
I want to give a special thanks to my fellow bloggers and friends for supporting me on my book launch today by letting me stop over on their blogs!
They've got some fun pics and photos of the Violet Storm journey that you should check out!


Jeffrey Hadget
(Leandra is hosting a raffle! Enter for a chance to a $5 Amazon gift card!)






Friday, March 21, 2014

Cover Release of VIOLET STORM! And Cover Lessons Learned.

I had it in my heart to have the cover for VIOLET STORM finished early last week After working with my artist (who is my wonderful boyfriend--lucky me, right?), and my graphic designer, Jason, we were able to bring to life the story that had been imprisoned in my computer for years.

Round 1:
The art was breathtaking to say the least. The amount of hours, careful precision, and meticulousness befitting an experienced artist, brought to life the vision of the world that had been trapped in my head for years. (That makes me sound awfully crazy, but you know what I mean.)

Below is the first round of VIOLET STORM's cover. But something didn't feel right...

Copyright: Cover art by Kyle Van Meurs, Cover Design by Jason Rought

I was hesitant to believe that a random person who stumbled on the book would get a true idea of what sort of story lay within. I was so terrified that I felt as if it were a sign that I was ridiculous for thinking I could publish this book. For thinking that I could actually pursue this dream. And that in fact, I might be a little delusional. The critic in me flared to life. It chewed me up, spit me out, and sneered at me.

And then I told it to shut up. I cocked my arm and gave it a good swing right in the mouth. I broke down with nervous anxiety, cried all my fears out, and soon after, my boyfriend chased the demons away. And I must add that my close friends had a hand in keeping those demons from coming back. I had a long talk with Kyle and Jason, and we all agreed to try again.

Round 2:
Here were the questions we asked and wanted to make sure the new cover answered:
  1. What is the genre of the novel?  
  2. Who is my audience? (Age group, demographic)
  3. What would their taste be? 
  4. How much time did we have before the deadline and what kind of art did we have time for? Illustrations, drawn by hand would simply be too time-consuming. Realistic illustrations, using photographs on the other hand would take much less time.
  5. How detrimental is the release date?
After we brainstormed on those questions, we got back to work. 

And here's what we came up with. I am so excited to reveal this cover. It undoubtedly represents the essence of the story, and is full of intrigue that is sure to captivate.

Click here to read the book description


Copyright: Cover art by Kyle Van Meurs,  Cover Design by Jason Rought

Copyright: Cover art by Kyle Van Meurs,  Cover Design by Jason Rought


Come back next week and celebrate with me!
VIOLET STORM releases
Friday, March 28th 
Don't miss out on a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book along with an exclusive promotion card of VIOLET STORM!
  
VIOLET STORM will be available in paperback and digital copies (Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iTunes, GooglePlay, Scribd)
Enter your email address to get alerts on the book release (see right column for a text box to enter) or contact me directly by clicking here.


**To my fellow bloggers, because I'm too shy to ask, if you would be interested and available to host me on your blog for the book release, I would be most appreciative. :) To thank you for your generosity and support, I'd love to give you a signed copy of the book along with an exclusive promotion card (please note that it may take up to two weeks after the release for you to receive the copy). Just leave a comment below or send me a message directly here.

Finally, here's a fun teaser to an author interview my talented friend, Anthony Lew is working on:




Like the cover? Like the video? All of the folks I'm working with are currently updating their personal websites. So I'll be sure to alert you as soon as they're ready, so you can reach out directly should you be interested in their services.
*Cover Art by Kyle Van Meurs
*Cover Design by Jason Rought
*Videography and Photography by Anthony Lew





Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thrive on the Power of Teamwork

Just a few of the people who've helped me along the way and to whom I owe a great big THANKS to just for being who they are. 

"[We] thrive on the power of teamwork and win-win dependencies that enable everyone to achieve their goals" ~Guerrilla Marketing for Writers 
I didn't think I would enjoy the journey of self-publishing as much as I do this very moment. It's been a grueling several weeks: researching, editing, writing, marketing, and executing. And it's not over yet. But it isn't so much the the work and the fulfillment of completing each task or reaching another milestone: it is the opportunity to work with so many others. To pave a future where we can continue to support each other, no matter the endeavor.

I've had the chance to meet some amazing people. To force my introverted self come out of its delicate shell and have lunch with people I have never met, have coffee with old acquaintances, be a guinea pig for projects, and work with various types of artists. I've read more blogs than I have in years, networked with fellow writers, and laughed over fond memories with new and old pals.

Having worked in the corporate world, these "meetings" or activities aren't uncommon. But what makes them unique is that it's coming from a very different place. A place much more timid and much more vulnerable.

I have enjoyed every moment of it. Everyone has an amazing story to tell, and it's been so much fun reading them and hearing them all. And I enjoy knowing that these relationships are long-lasting. That there is opportunity to work together again in the future, whether it be my project or theirs. I very much look forward to helping all the people who have supported me, cheered me on, and helped in some form or other to keep me sane,  and feeling loved and secure.

This post is a simple thank you to every single new and old friend I have made along this journey, (which I find to be inadequate because I just can't express my gratitude enough).

To those on the journey to pursuing their dreams, courage is never further than a call away. A friend is waiting to answer.

Happy dreaming,




Monday, March 10, 2014

Self-Publishing Tidbits That Pack a Punch

If there's one thing I've learned in the last two months of preparation for the upcoming release of VIOLET STORM, it's that self-publishing done right is no easy endeavor. But it sure is fun... :) 

I read two brilliant blogs today that really solidified this truth, Anne R. Allen's, "Are you Ignoring This Simple Platform-Building Too? How to Comment on a Blog" and YA Author, Elan Johnson's "Secrets of a Self-Publisher."

I've got a list two pages long on how to launch a self-published book and how to build your platform. The past few weeks, I've been plugging away, making dents here and there on this absurd list, and along the way I'm still learning more. The truth is, there's not enough time in the day to do all that we wish to do. But for what we can do, we should do smartly. To publish independently means one must do all the work a traditional publisher would. I personally want a piece of work to be completed and presentable in a way that my readers would not have guessed it was independently published.

I'd be happy to share my full list of lessons learned post-launch, but so far, here's what stands out:
  1. Edit. Edit. Edit. Think your novel is ready to upload on Amazon for sale? Not just yet, get your novel professionally edited and then get it proof-read. Yep...
  2. Beta Readers: Get your book in the hands of beta readers for early reviews
  3. Book Cover: Hire a cover artist and a designer to do your typography (unless your artist can do both)
  4. Book Description: Get your book description right! (Hire someone or keep revising it until it's perfect) 
  5. Other Tasks: Create your author bio, copyright verbiage, and future novel info (dedication, acknowledgement, and others things) prepped to include in the book
  6. ISBN's: Purchase ISBN's and barcodes. It took me a while to figure it out, but you need an ISBN for different formats of your work (ebook & paperback). You will also need to purchase barcode for your paperback.  
  7. Network: All the while you're getting the above done, work on building your network, your platform, and generating buzz for your upcoming release
  8. Tax: Consider a tax planning strategy
    • If you work full-time doing something else other than writing (like me), you'll want to consider the best ways to file your taxes so that you don't end up with a nice surprise from the IRS. I suggest talking with your tax adviser and know what financial records you'll need to keep track of
Only three weeks until VIOLET STORM is available for purchase in digital format and paperback!

I am so giddy I feel nauseous. Thanks again to everyone for all of your support.

Fellow authors, let me know if there is anything you would add to the list above!

xo,


    Friday, March 7, 2014

    Tahoe Cabin Madness

    Last weekend, Kyle and I, and a couple of Kyle's good friends went to South Lake Tahoe for some relaxation and a little fun in the snow.

    We left early on Friday, the three of us: Kyle, Greg, and I in a tiny all-wheel-drive Subaru, arriving just in time for the snowstorm in the early evening. The drive wasn't too bad up until the last half  mile to the cabin. Cars can be a scary thing especially when one loses control of it. A little too fast on a turn and we found ourselves losing traction on the icy road, holding our breaths, clenching our butts, and going eeeeee. Lucky for us, we hit a fluffy snow bank instead of other more devastating possibilities: like another car, a ditch, or even a tree. Someone was looking out for us, and we couldn't have been more thankful.

    We all made it in one piece. The second we stepped into the cabin, all memories of the scary drive were forgotten and we oooh'd and ahhh'd at the luxury before us. With a pool table, hot tub, expansive great room, four bedrooms, and any other amenity we could have needed, the cabin was a dream.

    We had a great group. With Sarah and Chris' food and snacks galore, Kyle's boardgames, Bryan's snow sculpting skills, Greg's endless music supply, and everyone's meal and alcohol contribution, it was going to be a weekend we would not soon forget.

    I had the misfortune of starting the first night off with a damn good margarita. Margaritas and I...we have a thing. I even live with a Margarita, seriously, she's my cousin. So...I had mixed some tequila and a margarita mix for flavor, threw in some snow for a slushier consistency and next thing you know, I'm drinking them by the cups like a parched camel in the desert. I had three. Three isn't so bad. If you were a normal sized person... By the end of the third, I might as well have drank a tub because I wouldn't have known the difference.

    One massive hangover later, a fitful night's rest, and I never hated margarita's more. Of all the trouble it had gotten me over the years, this was the first time we hadn't seen eye-to-eye. It wasn't until the next day when Chris asked, "Did you know there was alcohol in the margarita mix?"

    ….?

    No.

    I hadn't known. I hadn't known that I'd added an extra double shot of silver tequila into a margarita mix that already had a hefty dose of gold tequila. Who does that? Who makes margarita mix with alcohol already in it?? Damnit Costco!

    I had drank the equivalent of nine tequila shots.

    Oops. I did it. Again. And I found myself crawling into bed at 9:30pm. Well then.

    That was the last of my alcohol intake for the rest of the weekend.

    Sans margaritas, it was such a blast. We spent Saturday playing board games, opting to stay in and enjoy the cabin and the surrounding neighborhood. We got to play Settlers of Catan and Betrayal. All of us playing like we had something to lose. The term "friend" thrown out the window like a heart left to freeze in the snow. Play a strategy game and hidden claws come out, and you find out which one of you in the group (if not all) is Wolverine in disguise. They got me to curse…a lot. But by the end of the game it felt good.

    The boys got to play in the hot tub...us girls didn't join in the fun...because eww boys in the tub...? Duh. JK. I was passed out from the margaritas and Wolverine scratches, so no hot tub for me.

    Here are some photos of the weekend. Too bad I didn't get a photo of the entire group or of the intense yet super fun board games. Maybe next time. :)

    I'd love to spend a few winter weeks in this cabin to write!

    Tall trees, fake reindeer, and fluffy snow. What a winter wonderland.

    Here's me getting some snow for the margaritas of doom...

    Pool anyone?

    Bryan putting the finishing touches on Karl and I'm helping to build Karl's companion, Looksie.

    Everyone, checking out Looksie's backside...

    Tada! Karl and Looksie.



     xoxo,





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