Beauty of Fear-Trailer

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Time does fly...

It had been ages since I last posted even though I committed to doing better, but you know what I found out?  The best laid plans go to hell when you least expect it.

Most of you know that I write books, did you also know that I draw, paint, craft, garden, etc, etc, etc.  My mind is never still and sometimes sitting down and staring at a computer screen or notebook is overwhelming.  Kind of like life sometimes.   But you know what?  The older you get the faster time flies. It's actually kind of scary.  Now it's not that there is so much to do, but more like there aren't enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do.  Isn't that how most of us feel?
The hustle and bustle of our daily lives tend to grind us down instead of wind us up. Last night my honey asked me when was the last time I wrote and I had to stop and think.  It had been over a week. Granted I had been spending time with my grandsons and trying to get my dry eyes situated enough to look at a computer screen but still.  A week.
I promptly opened up the laptop and write about 500 words.

Life tends to kick our asses at times but we toughen up and soldier on. Or do we? 
Today I've decided to try and help others who might be going through the same thing. Not just about the writing but also our daily hustle and bustle.  Take a moment to breathe.  Listen to the birds, the wind, the rain, the water lapping against the shore, your children's laughter or any child's laughter.  

Just feel the joy in life and realize that time flies...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Am I an Author? (with a capital A)

I have been a very bad blogger. There has not been a post since Oct 30, 2015...I deserved to be slapped with a wet noodle...
Okay, enough lamenting, back to the business at hand. This blog started out as a way to highlight my writing and learn the blogging process. Somedays, I feel I've learned it all and other days, like today, I feel like I know absolutely nothing. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in the middle but who knows?

2015 was the year that I decided I was SERIOUS about my writing career. I went to my first conferences, met a lot of awesome people, writers, readers and bloggers alike. I did a couple of writing workshops/presentations at the local library and I even led the charge on an anthology that came out on December 15th called Thrill of the Hunt.

You can check it out here: Thrill of the Hunt on Amazon
Working on the anthology was an amazing experience as an author. I had the privilege of working with authors I had met during Indie Bookfest 2015. Kelly Abell, one of the authors was invaluable. Not just with her story but also, her help with individual story covers and formatting.  Besides being a great sounding board.  And, to top it off, it started a new series for me-The Blade Master Chronicles

What has all this done? Well, I've discovered that I actually can work with a timeline, the squirrels that haunt me exist daily and that sometimes I need to not look directly at things or people, or stories start to write themselves in my head and I'm done.

Case in point, long hallways fascinate me:

This one at the new VA in Orlando has already provided multiple story lines and none of them end well...muahaha!

As for 2016?
Well, I will be attending Indie Bookfest 2016 in October as a Featured Author. I plan on attending the FWA conference, also in October and will finally be entering different writing competitions that become available throughout 2016. What does all this mean?  I have to WRITE!

Now, if you know me, you would think that nothing scares me. Wrong.
Putting myself out there as a writer and author has been one of the most frightening and overwhelming things I have ever done. This idea of selling yourself or your story is difficult and uncomfortable. Are you pretentious, haughty, full of yourself? Are you confident, self-assured, glib?  Guess what? when it come to this, it doesn't matter. The most confident person can become a blubbering mess when they have to pitch to an agent and vice versa. Someone who is reserved, quiet and rarely speaks out of turn can participate in a pitchfest and bring the house down. Go figure (shakes head in between banging it on desk)

We all have strengths and weaknesses, the trick is identifying them and capitalizing on the strengths and strengthening our weaknesses.  Failure is NOT an option.
Suggestion: Join a writer's group or find a writing ally. I've tried to do both and one of the best things I've done is to utilize the services of a place like Writer's Atelier
The mission of Writer's Atelier is to  encourage writers to have the confidence to believe in their writing while they also work to improve it.

Since I am getting better at commitments now related to my writing, I will say this. I will blog at least every other week.  Sometimes it may be writing related, sometimes reading, sometimes motivational. But definitely all times me, Laura E Perez, writing as L.E. Perez-Author.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ready, set, NaNoWriMo!

So much has gone on since my last post that I don't know where to start.

For one, I've learned oh so much since my last post.  I had the opportunity to finally attend a Florida Writer's Conference and I have to say except for a minor glitch here or there, am very happy that I did. While it is one of the pricier conferences out there, you definitely get what you pay for. I already have next year's event on my calendar. October 20-23, 2016

I've had the opportunity since my last post to conduct a writing seminar at the Orlando Central Library called Write that Novel and I've participated in a NaNoWriMo panel hosted by Writer's Atelier.

It's been a busy month. I'm working on a thriller anthology with several authors I met at the Indie Bookfest this past summer and I'm working on finishing up a couple of writing projects.

What does this mean for you?  Well, are you planning to participate in the National Novel Writing Month Madness? If not, why?  This is a wonderful opportunity to apply butt to chair and get your words on paper or computer screen.  Set your target goal on the site and go for it!  It doesn't matter if you are in Florida or anywhere else. There are groups you can touch base with or you can join friends digitally by becoming buddies on the site and prompt each other to meet your goals.  NaNoWriMo is a wonderful opportunity to jumpstart your writing again.  Have you stalled? Are you scared? No time? Nonsense!! Ignore the squirrels that scamper in your line of sight and WRITE THAT NOVEL!

I will attempt a blog post at least once a week during this month, wish me luck!

By the way, I'll be your buddy, my name on NaNoWriMo site is Honorcpt.

See you at the end.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brazen Book Tour

Another Novel Read: Once again I've had the honor of reviewing a book written by an author whose works captured my imagination and I'm sure will capture yours.

Today we’re celebrating the release of BRAZEN by Christina Farley! BRAZEN is the third and final book in the Gilded series about a sixteen-year old girl who must use her martial art skills and wits to save her family, friends, and country from an evil Korean god.

To learn more about this series, visit the Gilded Series websiteWatch GILDED's book trailer here!

Be sure to pick up the letter for this stop at the end of this post to earn extra points in the Kindle Fire or $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! Collect all the letters during the blog tour to spell out the secret message to earn more points.

About the Book:

Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Indie

My Review:

I met Christina Farley during LIBCON in Orlando's Central Library this past year and was intrigued by the premise of her series so, being an avid reader, I just 'had' to buy it. I wasn't disappointed. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not buying the second one so I bought it later that day for kindle and by the end of the weekend (span of two days folks) I was jonesing for the third installment, this installment, Brazen.

I was one of the privileged few who received an ARC in exchange for an honest review which I am more than happy to give. In the words of the little neighbor child in Disney's The Incredibles, "That was totally wicked!!" Yep, there it is, my review.

No really, Ms. Farley has created in Jae not just a character, but a person, with all their doubts, frailties, and strengths.  The decisions are real even as she tries desperately to resolve the myth that she is an integral part of and restore peace. Jae, like the reader, has experienced joy and loss and she takes you with her through her journey. You discover truths as she does and boy does it take you through the ringer. Trust, betrayal, hope, fear, love, all are present in this book. With some series, there is a disconnect in continuity from one book to another but there is no such thing here. If you've read Silvern, the second in the series, you have an idea of where it will pick up but it will still surprise you in a pleasant way. This is one book you definitely want to pick up, but here's a tip, reader to reader. You can read it as a stand alone, but as soon as you start, you're going to go "what?" "Why did that just happen?"  Save yourself the trouble. Buy Brazen, but get Gilded and Silvern too, you won't regret it.

About the Author:

CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea. GILDED was nominated for Korea's 2014 Morning Calm, Ohio's 2015 Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. Christina's adventures sparked her to write stories, infusing the real world with fantasy. Currently she writes from home in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown.

Find Christina Here:

The Giveaway:

Rafflecopter link

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To celebrate the release of BRAZEN, Christina is giving away a Kindle Fire (US only) and a $50 Amazon gift card (international). The letter for this stop is _R__Collect all the letters from the blog tour to earn more points!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Geneva Project: Lies-Book Review and Excerpt...well worth the wait!

Have a look for yourself!
Any one who knows me at all knows that I LOVE to read.  I am voracious and when I find a good series I will tell everyone about it. I will send the info in an email, post it on my blog, tweet it, heck I'll write it on a piece of scrap paper if it will help someone look the book up and join me in the world the author created. The Geneva Project Series is one of 'those' books. I am excited to say that this is definitely a Novel Read and one that everyone will enjoy!

Christina Benjamin, author of The Geneva Project Series has just released the third installment in the series-Lies. The first two, Truth and Secrets set the stage for this continuing saga.

Here is an excerpt from Lies:

After another sleepless night, filled with the same dreams of fire engulfing my friends and Kai standing over their lifeless bodies, I decided to skip breakfast and go to the infirmary. In my restlessness, I must have torn open the cut on my hand and awoke to blood smeared all over my white bed linens. I stripped my bed and put on fresh sheets, before heading to the infirmary. I was disappointed in myself for protesting against stitches initially. If I hadn’t been so terrified of needles, I’d be enjoying a delicious meal instead of another dreadful encounter with the white coats. I pushed open the door to the infirmary and plastered a fake smile on my face.
Good morning.

The white coat woman didn’t look that surprised to see me again.

“I thought you’d be back,” she said. “You want those stitches after all?”
I nodded and fought the urge to run. I could already feel the clammy sweat breaking out on the back of my neck. I swallowed back the bile rising in my throat at the mere thought of a needle sewing together my flesh.
“Come with me.”
“Professor, she’s back.”
“Excellent,” Professor Kobel replied, letting a smug smirk spread across his thin lips.
“Why are you still standing here?” he asked the white coat woman.
“I was wondering if it was safe to continue with our treatment plan. I’ve already given her three doses this week.”
“Yes! Keep giving her the potion. I need to gain access to her mind.”
“Yes, Professor.”
When I left the infirmary, I was white as a ghost and my knees were shaking, but I had seven solid stitches and was assured that my hand would heal properly. At least the injection the white coat woman had given me dulled the pain a bit.
When I pushed my way out into the hall, I was surprised to see Kai waiting for me.
“Geneva! Are you all right? I came as soon as I heard.”
“You heard I was in the infirmary already? Man, the rumor mill works fast here.”
“Well I was worried about you after the way you ran off yesterday.”
“Yeah, sorry about that.”
“It’s fine. Did you get your books? I left them outside your bunkroom.”
“Yes, thank you, Kai. I’m sorry I flaked out yesterday. I haven’t been feeling like myself lately.”
“That’s why I came straight here to find you when I heard you were in the infirmary again. I was in my father’s office when he got the message you were there.”
“What, is he checking up on me or something?” I asked with nervous laughter.
“No, not at all. He was alerted by the Orbiture.” My blank stare prompted him to continue.
“It’s how he’s able to keep track of everything at the Troian Academy. The cuffs we all wear monitor our electrodermal activity and are linked to the Orbiture so he can see where each student is.”
“That’s really creepy,” I said before I could stop myself. “No, it’s not. It’s for your own protection.”
“Protection from what?”
“Say you’re hurt, like you are, it shows up on the Orbiture and someone can come help you in case you’re too injured to help yourself. Or say you were to get lost in the Academy or something, it’ll help you be located.”
This was good. Kai was feeding me information about how these stupid bracelets worked. I took the opportunity to pump him for more.
“Well I guess that is a relief,” I said changing my tune and trying to sound convincing. “So we can be tracked anywhere in the Troian Center, I mean Academy?”
“Yes. As long as you’re wearing your cuff, the Orbiture can see you anywhere within the grounds.”
“What if we leave the grounds?”
“Go beyond the fence?” he asked in shock. “Why would you want to do that?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t. I was just curious. I mean what if someone kidnapped me or something?”
“Are you worried that might happen, Geneva?” he asked with genuine concern.
“Maybe,” I lied. “I met some dangerous people in the forest.”
“We won’t let anything happen to you. My father wants to protect you.”
“He said that?”
“Yes, he even asked me to spend extra time with you and your friends to show you around the Academy and make you feel welcome and safe.”
I continued to look at him skeptically. “Come on. I want to show you something.”
I hurried after Kai. Two Luxors halted us as we entered the courtyard, but upon recognizing Kai, let us pass under the

archway, onto the stone floor baked by the bright midday sun. It felt amazing to have the sun on my skin once more. Even though the Troian Center was now opulent and bright, I still felt claustrophobic spending so much time indoors after having lived among the Betos in the forest for so long. I hadn’t realized it until I was outside, drinking in the sweet aromatic fresh air, like it was the first time I’d actually taken a breath since entering the stone structure.
Two more Luxors stood by the opening in the courtyard that led out to the manicured gardens. I hadn’t been back here since our brutal attack. I shuddered as I looked at the hibiscus blooms. They were the last things I’d seen before the heavy nets were cast over us and my whole world changed.
“Kai, where are we going?” I asked looking at their menacing weapons.
“I want to show you something.”
The Luxors never moved. They held their heavy lances still as we passed them, their gazed fixed forward, like we didn’t even exist.
“Kai,” I whispered.
“Here we are,” he said finally halting.
We were standing in the middle of a beautiful garden. There were stunning hibiscus bushes nestled among tall cypress trees, swaying in the gentle ocean breeze. Kai picked up a pebble from one of the gurgling fountains. He felt the weight of it in his hand for a moment and then took me by surprise by throwing it at the black iron fence that loomed up behind the trees. It sailed high and arced on a path meant to clear the fence, but as soon as it passed over it, a flash of red light exploded and the pebble disappeared.
“See. You have nothing to be afraid of. Nothing can get past the fence, in or out. You’re safe,” he said with a bright smile.
I swallowed hard and tried to choke back my panic. I returned a weak grin, but I felt like a cornered animal, suddenly realizing we’d wandered into a trap. 

Well? Too much?  Not enough?  
I was honored to be able to receive an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review and that's exactly what I did.  

REVIEW: Christina Benjamin's third Geneva Project installment-Lies, picks up immediately where Secrets lets off and boy is it one heck of a ride.  I love to read and am sometimes fearful of starting a series but I feel so vested in the outcome that Lies just helped propel me into Eva's world.  You can feel the pain that the lies cause, the truth, the secrets. You feel for these young people as they try desperately to make sense of their lives and face the frailty of their futures. I don't know where Ms Benjamin will ultimately take us but I have a non-refundable ticket to this series that I definitely want to cash in on. I have taken it upon myself to recommend this series to everyone I come across and hope to make more Geneva Project converts.  Well worth the read and definitely well worth the wait. 

So, what are you waiting for??

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Indie Bookfest 2015 and other assorted oddities...

So this past weekend I attended Indie Bookfest 2015 here in Orlando and I have to say that it was beyond amazing.  It was my first author related conference (probation and victim conferences don't count) and I was privileged to participate on two separate panels, one on Writing Intrigue and another on Diversity in Writing. To say that I was nervous is an understatement.  I spent a significant amount of time in the restroom before each panel thanks to the state of my nerves, but it went well.  I think...

Anyway, the biggest thing about this weekend was getting the opportunity to meet so many talented authors, bloggers, and readers. I was on cloud 9 part of the time and the rest of the time I was just trying to absorb everything around me.  I will never remember the names of everyone I met but I am dead on with faces. I actually got to meet a writer with whom I share a friend. We were introduced on FB and it was great to finally meet her.
The other panels that I attended ran the gamut from what readers want to read, to smexy writing (yes that's smut and sex), how to write for sci-fi or fantasy and the strong female character. In a nutshell, it is a must for any writer going the indie route and even those not since it gives you insight into the other side of publishing. You know, the side that is slowing but surely achieving the heights of traditionally published writers.

I for one will be attending this event next year for sure and hope to be much better prepared. 

The highlight for me though had to be when the Keynote Speaker Jana Oliver sought me out to buy my book, Beauty of Fear. To quote George Takei, "Oh myyy...."

But seriously, this event and the people there have re-energized this humble bard. Not only will I be there next year with two other books, I have started a group called Thrill of the Hunt on Facebook for a few authors who are interested in working on a Thriller Anthology.  Working for a holiday release I expect this experience to be as amazing as Bookfest.

Below is the site if you are interested in perusing.  I for one am looking forward to other conferences that I can participate in or at least attend.  I placed myself behind the 8 ball in my writing endeavors, but no more.  

In the words of Salma Hayek "I will not allow myself to whine about anything I didn't make an effort to change."

By the way, I will be updating, revamping and changing my website shortly so keep an eye out.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Goals and LIBCON 2015

So yesterday was a very full and satisfying day for me.  Yesterday I was privileged to attend the final  Belt test for our Black Belt candidates.

I was happy to see how many students were taking the test and how hard they worked to get there, but I was in for an unexpected surprise. While greeting families and their students at the door I was approached by father who asked if I remembered him.  Now, I'm terrible with names but great with faces, so yes, I recognized him but I couldn't place him.  Turns out, he remembered me as his son Henry's first instructor in Virginia. It suddenly clicked.  I knew who they were and who Henry was.  He proceeded to tell me that Henry never forgot the words I told him and the rest of my white belt class. "A Black Belt is just a White Belt who never quit."
I was blown away to say the least.  When I saw Henry he looked exactly the same just a little taller.  Dad also told me that he had the first board that Henry ever broke with me hanging up in his bar. Now that tickled me.

When the testing was over, they asked if I would take a picture with Henry which of course I agreed to but was then surprised again, when Dad pulled out Henry's first board for him to hold.  There was the picture I had drawn on it to help him focus on his break. Wow...

I sometimes question my decision to become a martial arts instructor, but in that moment it was all so worth it.
So, fast-forward.  This all began at 7:00am  by noon, we were done and I raced downtown to attend LIBCON 2015 OCLS at the Orlando Public Library. 

There were panels and authors and books galore.  As a writer and of course avid reader, I admit, I was drooling. Anyway, I digress. I missed the Keynote talk by Rick Yancey which I was a bit miffed about but I was still at the Black Belt test, sigh... Enough lamenting, I ended up attending 3 panels and learned so much.  A shout out to the YAChicks their presentation was great and I've included a link to their site so that others can benefit from their wisdom and whimsy.

The Writer Panel:So you want to write a book, was quite insightful since on the panel was a writer who also happened to be an agent, with The Knight Agency, Ms Diver was quite gracious and when I met her downstairs to buy her book, Bad Blood, we spoke briefly and I asked if she accepted unsolicited queries. She gave me her card and suggested I check out the website which I was definitely excited to do and then as she is signing my book she asks the question: "So, what is your book about?" I froze, I realized I had worked on my little schpiel for my other works but hadn't done any practicing on this one, so, I stuttered and rambled and left her shaking my head thinking about what an idiot I am. D'oh!

I continued walking around looking at the various books and came upon one of the YAChicks, Christina Farley. She recognized me and we spoke and I told her what had just happened.  She laughed but was very supportive, telling me a story of her own.  Made me feel better.  I bought her first book, GILDED which I was going to purchase anyway (come on, the main character is a black belt) and thanked her.

On to the YA Highway reader panel which was also a good source for writers and readers alike. They spoke about what inspires, moves and motivates a story as well as how important the readers are in comparison to the story's protagonist. These folks were welcoming and knowledgeable.  As a writer just trying to break into the YA market I realized I did need to read a bit more, much more (though my family would say I read to much)

I finally wrapped up my day and headed home to rest (hurt my leg at testing), to read, and to write.  Well, I did the first two but not the last one. I started reading Gilded and couldn't put it down. I finished it a couple of hours later.  I've already started Bad Blood and am enjoying the differences in them. I've now ordered Farley's second title Silvern and can't wait to read that as well.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the day was an inspiration to me as I hope it was to other authors and readers who attended. Your local library will usually have similar events for readers and writers alike, take advantage of them.
As for me, I'm actually presenting a little thing called getting your Black Belt in Writing on July 15th at the Central Library. You can see all of the OCLS Writer Programs for July here: Writer's Corner-July 2015

I will also be a signing author at Indie Bookfest 2015, gulp...If you're in the area, come check it out it should be a wonderful reader and writer event.

As always, thanks for reading.

L.E Perez