SHADOWS OF UPRISING Release Day!!!

The Ides of March are upon us, and as one does on the Ides of March, one stands before one’s fellow members of humanity and declares that one is introducing a really cool big deal!

Please don’t stab me. I don’t want to ruin my toga.

For those of you who’ve never read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, forget all that and just focus on the below information.

I’m releasing my new book today(!!!), and I’ve been reeling about the dizzying heights of delirium and happiness. Look at the pretty thing! 🙂

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So, down to business. If you haven’t yet read Mark of Four, snag your copy off of Amazon, on sale today for .99! And then, be sure to order Shadows of Uprising, because you’ll want to dive right into that one after you finish Mark of Four.

Second, if you are into giveaways (and I am), I’m holding a giveaway at Goodreads as well as one on Instagram (shoemakertamara). Click on the link and/or follow me on Instagram for a chance to win a free copy of Shadows of Uprising.

Third, tell your friends about these books. Independent authors rely on reviews and word-of-mouth grassroots advertising to make a living. Even a minute of your time and one line on Amazon can make the difference between this book making it onto Amazon’s mysterious “promotion lists” and watching it sink out of sight forever beneath the massive weight of millions of competing books. 😉

Shadows of Uprising

Alayne Worth possesses the Vale, an object of mysterious power coveted by other Elementals. Danger shadows her every step when this secret spreads. As she grieves the sudden death of her boyfriend at the hands of the notorious Shadow-Caster, Simeon Malachi, Alayne unravels the mysteries of the Vale and her past.

When she returns to Clayborne to pursue her Elemental training, Alayne is plagued by disturbing visions that predict a dark future. As an ominous Alliance of pure-blood Elementals spreads intolerance across the Continent, Alayne’s visions show evidence of the truth—and reveal a deadly danger to her loved ones. Alayne must conquer her fears and use her power to muster a secret uprising that will obliterate the only way of life she’s ever known.

Air-Earth-Water-Fire

Four Elements. Four Powers. Four Paths.

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MARK OF FOUR Cover Reveal! Squeeeeee!!!!!

I was entrenched in the life of a mystery writer when the seed of an idea for a young adult fantasy speared me with all its scintillating glitteriness, and I couldn’t help myself. I leaped from the safe platform of the genre with which I was familiar and landed in the murky waters of a genre in which I had no clue what I was doing.

At the time, there was no way of knowing the journey the book would take. When I finished it, I was vaguely dissatisfied. I’d poured my soul into that book–my love of the YA fantasy genre is deep and real, and I felt that the book fell a little short of what I wanted it to be. However, I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I sent it off to my publisher, who agreed that there was some work that needed to be done, so I took it back for another round.

That was only the beginning. I went through round after round after round of editing, throwing in fixes for what I felt was a shaky story structure. The story improved, but it was never strong.

I finally polished enough to try for a larger traditional publisher. So I put the manuscript aside, and drafted query letters. Synopses. Outlines. Bios. Whatever agents wanted, I wrote. I sent queries and sent queries and sent queries. 175 queries and nearly nine months later, I had gotten one request for a partial paper manuscript, and when I went to the post office to mail it, my post-office-demolition-expert children distracted me so greatly, I mailed an empty envelope to the agent.

Obviously, they didn’t request a full manuscript after that ordeal.

I attended a Writer’s Digest conference in New York City last fall where I had the chance to pitch my book to as many agents as I could within an hours’ time. Querying had been spectacularly unsuccessful–I couldn’t imagine that the conference would garner anything more, but I was willing to try. I went, met seven agents, and got six requests for partials of my manuscript.

I was so excited! I came home and immediately sent it off. From those six, I heard back from three, two with detailed explanations of how they loved the story, but felt that they had accepted something similar to it recently, and one that wanted the full manuscript.

I sent the entire manuscript to the agent and settled in to wait. While I waited, I wrote another book, Kindle the Flame (released in June of this last year), and in the months that passed as the agent considered my manuscript (it usually takes about six months), I experienced a massive transition in my worldview regarding publishing.

It used to be that traditional publishing was the only mark of a credible author; self-publishing platforms had at one time only been a place for people to publish things that would otherwise have been skipped over by the larger traditional publishers.

But the market has turned on its head in the last few years. Self-publishing (while still including those who write a story and toss it up for sale without proofreading or editing) now includes names from NYTimes bestselling authors as well. Self-publishing has morphed into a respectable publishing option.

As all the facts, figures, and fancies flooded my head during that six month time period as I waited for the agent to respond to my manuscript, I decided that I didn’t want to go the traditional route. Not with this book.

So, at long, long last, I decided to put the book out under my own name. I sent the book to a fabulous editor, who figured out the intrinsic weaknesses that I never could shake, helped me peel my story apart and put it back together again in a much stronger fashion, and am now finishing up the final edits on it.

MARK OF FOUR releases on NOVEMBER 30, 2015!!! Three months from now! I sincerely hope you’ll take a chance on this book. It’s the first in a trilogy (that’s already written), and will resonate with people of all ages, I think, even if it is geared for the young adult market.

Now I’ve got to show you the brand spankin’ new cover for it! I am beyond excited about it. It’s beautiful, and I absolutely love it. Below that, I’ll post a description of the book so you can start getting as excited as I am.

Hahaha! Or a fraction of how excited I am. 😉

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SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD ALAYNE WORTH is an Elemental Water-Wielder. All she wants is to master her talent and live a normal life, but the sudden escape of a feared criminal leaves her family reeling and threatens to keep her from achieving her dreams, especially when the criminal’s reach pushes too close to home.

Secret pasts, strange powers, and tense relationships weave a tangled net around her. As she leaves home to cultivate her skills at an Elemental training center, she clashes with a disturbing reality: both good and evil forces covet Alayne’s unusual gifts, and each side is willing to do almost anything to obtain them. As Alayne confronts the battle for the power she possesses, she must discover the truth of who she is.

Air-Earth-Water-Fire

Four Elements  Four Powers  Four Paths

MARK OF FOUR