Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Feature: The Ghost Files Volume 4 Cover Reveal

Author: Apryl Baker
Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design


Sleep, little children, 
all safe in your beds. 
But when the boogeyman knocks, 
if you are up watching… 
he’ll make sure that you wish you were dead! 

Once every one hundred and fifty years he emerges from the darkest depths to feed. With each soul he takes, he grows stronger. There is but one gift he needs in order to gain the power he seeks. One gift that will allow him to walk amongst all the precious little children.

And it’s the one gift Mattie Hathaway possesses…the ability to bring images to life with just a drop of her blood. The demon Silas has warned her to never reveal this ability, not even to her father who shares her power to communicate with the dead. She’s heeded his warning, but hiding it may no longer be an option.

Children are disappearing all over the Charlotte area. When their bodies are recovered, they are always the same—broken, beaten, and bruised. Fear is spiraling out of control in the Queen City as parents glance nervously around each corner, seeing the boogeyman in every shadow.

When one little girl goes missing in Mattie’s neighborhood, it’s up to her and Officer Dan Richards to find the truth. In doing so, she uncovers a far greater evil than she’s ever come up against. The one thing she was bred to defeat.

Deleriel. A fallen angel…one of the first demons. He is powerful, ambitious, and now that Mattie is on his radar, she’s all he needs to complete his arsenal.

Amid of whirlwind of secrets coming to light, Mattie is faced with uncovering the truth about her own heritage. She must come to grips with it before she can begin to prepare for the battle of a lifetime…a battle she never asked for but is caught in the middle of. 

Can she face her own truths before it’s too late?

MEET APRYL BAKER: So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Writer Wednesday: A Tip For Tenses

Today's topic comes from Lidy, who asked:

"The trouble comes with which tense to use. Simple past or past progressive? But then I end up mixing and switching tenses. Is there a trick or tip to keep your tenses straight/consistent?"

First, for anyone not familiar with the term past progressive, let me explain it. Past progressive can indicate a continuing action or an action that was interrupted or happening when something else occurred. You write this tense by using a form of "to be" and a verb ending in -ing. Here are some examples with the past progressive in italics:

Continuing action:
Tom was being a bad friend.
I was writing all afternoon.

Interrupted/happening when something else occurred:
I was sleeping when my dog suddenly started to bark.
I was leaving the house when the phone rang.

Okay, so here's my advice. Avoid "to be" (helping verbs) at all costs. This is something I learned when I took writing courses. "To be" (in all its forms: is, am, was, were, are) is a sign of weak writing. Let me rewrite the examples above to remove the use of "to be" verbs.

Tom's actions made him a bad friend.
I drafted my book all afternoon.
As I walked out the front door, the phone rang.
My dog's loud bark woke me from a deep sleep.

Now I could've constructed better sentences, but this is just to give you an idea of how to do this so I kept my examples simple. Basically, avoiding "to be" will result in stronger sentences. However, if you are mixing past and past progressive, don't assume you're incorrect in doing so. There is a time and place for past progressive. The real question is, do you want to use past progressive when "to be" verbs are stereotyped as weak writing and can be avoided?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Mishmash 11/28/16

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Nursing Hadley Back To Health  After my dog collided with a rock wall, she needed stitches and has wounds on her mouth, cheek, and shoulder. She wants to scratch all the time, which opens those wounds again. We can't cone her because the cone would lay on the wounds, so we have to watch her every second. Needless to say I'm not sleeping or able to leave the house.
  2. Editing  I have a small break in edits (off until Thursday), which is good considering Hadley is taking most of my time and attention these days.
  3. Cover Design  This weekend I designed the cover for Lies We Tell, my first adult book! It's a suspense and will release in April 2017.
  4. Drafting  With the death of my grandfather and Hadley's injury, I had to stop drafting. I just couldn't. I'm taking a break from writing to get my thoughts together and come to terms with things.
  5. Book Signing  On Saturday, my daughter and I will be signing together at Middle Smithfield Elementary school for their local vendor event.

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, November 25, 2016

See You Monday & A FREE Boxset

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know I've had an awful week. My grandfather passed away on Sunday, and I had to rush my dog to the vet yesterday after she collided with a stone wall. She's now stitched up like a Frankenstein dog, but she's recovering and will be okay. 

So, I'm taking the rest of the week to myself to regroup. I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend. Be safe, and I'll see you on Monday.

*In the meantime, here's a free boxset for you. My Into the Fire trilogy boxset is FREE Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Three books for absolutely FREE. Grab yours here now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Description in First Person POV

Today's topic comes curtesy of Fiona Phillips, who asked:

"In your opinion, does writing from first person perspective limit the amount of description you can use (of surroundings, characters, etc.)?"

First, that's a great question, so thank you for posing it, Fi. If you're comparing first person to third person, then the answer is yes. Unless you have a main character who is extremely perceptive, you're not going to get the same level of description in first person as you would in third person. However, that doesn't mean you can't have a good level of description in first person POV. It just means you have to tackle it in a different way. 

In third person POV, you can easily set the scene, describing as much as you want. But with first person POV, you have to make sure the description is coming across in a more natural way. If the character is entering a scene that's unfamiliar to him/her, it's natural to take in the scene, thus describing it for the reader. However, a character wouldn't naturally walk into the house they've lived in for the past ten years and comment on all the details of the layout. What you would need to do is describe that layout in terms of where the MC is and what the MC is doing. The MC might toss his/her keys on the mahogany table against the wall as he/she walks in the front door. He/she might trip over the runner in the hallway on his/her way to the living room, where he/she flops down on the brown, leather couch and puts his/her feet up on the glass coffee table. See what I did there? I'm giving details to describe the scene as it pertains to the MC.

So, yes, you can have that description, but you need to tie it to the MC and present it as it makes sense. It's different from third person POV, but it can be done. I hope that answers your question, Fi!

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Mishmash 11/21/16

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. NaNoWriMo Winner!  Yesterday, I was finally able to claim my November 7th victory of writing 50K. My word count continues to count against me, but at least I am officially a winner now.
  2. Drafting  I'm working on book two for this month, but it's going very slowly due to client edits.
  3. New Author Banner  I decided to finally splurge and get myself a banner to stand behind my tables at book signings. I opted for the four-foot one since I don't think the six-foot ones are fully seen anyway since the table covers them. Here's the banner I designed:
  4. December 3rd Signing  My banner I just mentioned is arriving December 1st, days before my next signing, which is taking place at Middle Smithfield Elementary School during their local vendor event. My daughter, Ayla, will be signing with me. Her first signing!
  5. Editing  I'm trying to stay on schedule with the holiday and the days off from school. Wish me luck!
  6. Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a safe and happy thanksgiving!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Feature: Fading Into the Shadows Cover Reveal

I'm so excited to share the cover of Fading Into the Shadows because I actually designed it myself and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. Check it out!

When sixteen-year-old Ella Andrews’s best friend, Avery, goes missing, she’ll do anything to get him back—starting with punching the no-brain cop who couldn’t care less about the disappearance. 

Ella’s convinced Avery’s been kidnapped, and she tries everything to find him—even following a strange shadow to another world where the constellations are real-life figures in the sky. But three star groups have fallen and are destroying the world. 

The fallen constellations are not the only enemy. Melanie, the princess of Stellaris, is forcing Ella, Avery, and an army of other kids kidnapped from their world to fight the rogue constellations, even as the land is draining away their life. The longer they stay, the more they fade into substanceless shadows—a fate worse than death.

Can Ella save Stellaris before there’s nothing left of her and Avery?

Preorder your copy here.

I love the full spread too! This cover was so much fun to design, but I admit it was a lot of work.

e-ARCs are also available. If you'd like an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review, click here to sign up.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.