Book Trailer for SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS (extended version ;)

Watch the author make a fool out of herself promoting her new book, SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS!

Available for 30% off at Chapters Indigo!!! (Methinks it’s a Mother’s Day promotion?)

The hardcover is also discounted on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble

Also available at fine book retailers everywhere! Order a copy, support a Canadian writer and get a great read in the process.

And if you’re lovely enough to have already bought the book, please leave a review and help keep this author writing!

xoxo

Alisha

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway Links for Summer Constellations

I’m excited to announce the book tour for SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS, which will be taking place over the next two weeks. KCP Loft will be partnering with Rock Star Book Tours to feature author interviews, guest posts and sneak-peak excerpts in advance of the book’s May 1st release date. Join in the fun for the chance to win great prizes and take part in exciting giveaways!

April 23 – Bookhounds – Author Interview  & Giveaway ALISHA SEVIGNY has wonderful words! SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS Ends 5.7

April 24 – Jessica’s Reading Room – Review 
“If Summer Constellations  had been published when I was a teenager, it would have most likely been one of my favorite books! It is a perfect summer read for a teen girl… I am not the target demographic for this novel, but I still enjoyed it! If you have a teen daughter, let her read this novel.”

April 24th – Review & Giveaway from UK site Books and Ladders!
“Overall, this is a great novel. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good beach read and summer romance novel.”

April 25th – This is One for The Books – Review
“The imagery was so well written that I felt like I was sitting on the dock at the cottage—meanwhile it was probably close to -20 degrees Celsius and snowing outside…its target audience is 14-18; however, it can definitely be enjoyable for someone older than that.”

April 26th – The Candid Cover – Review 
“Summer Constellations tells the story of a headstrong girl fighting to save her family’s campsite while also falling for its potential buyer’s son. I always love summery reads, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in which the main character owns a campsite. This book is light yet serious, and it contains a strong bond between siblings bound to make you smile.”

April 27th – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review & Giveaway
“This is such a beautiful and emotional novel, from the inside out… I loved it from the very beginning.  The emotional story that the author has created, with both plenty of focus on the family and yet a summer love interest, really tugs at the heart.  This is the perfect book to enjoy for the summer, whether you are reading it at the lake or beach or curled up on a porch swing with a glass of iced tea on a warm summer night.”

April 29th – Hello Jenny Reviews Review & Author Interview
“This book is such an amazing story. It definitely isn’t your every day summer contemporary.. this is the perfect book to read when you are looking for a summer read with more depth… This book really took me by surprise. I am not HUGE into contemporaries. They all seem like a regurgitation of a previous contemporary with some name changes. But not this book. I found the authors writing to be a breath of fresh air and the story, while ordinary, was still extraordinary. If you are building a Summer reading list then please make sure this book is on it!”

April 30th – Wonder Struck Synopsis and Giveaway

May 1st – Novel Novice – Author Interview and Giveaway

5/2/2018- laura’s bookish corner – Review and Giveaway

5/3/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe – Review and Giveaway

5/4/2018- Pretty Little Library – Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

More Praise for SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS

Sevigny’s (Kissing Frogs, 2014) portrayal of the emotional and financial struggles that can accompany illness in America ring true. Julia is a brave, independent, and competent female character who shows that you don’t need to be a femme fatale to be lovable. A pleasant coming-of-age story for fans of teen romance.
– Kirkus Reviews

This is a fast-paced, humorous and romantic story, with realistic dialogue and a cast of interesting and relatable characters. The relationship dynamics between Nick and Julia are immensely readable, but teens will also be driven to keep reading to discover what happens to Julia and her family’s campground. VERDICT Recommended for collections serving teens, especially where romance is in demand.
– School Library Journal

Readers will enjoy Julia’s droll narration and appreciate her tough situation and conflicted feelings for Nick. Sure, the story evolves into a fairy-tale romance with a miraculous resolution, but who wouldn’t want to daydream about a perfect prince showing up to help save the day?
– Booklist

I devoured this story in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down and found myself captivated by the romance sparking between Nick and Julia. There’s so much bad in their past that it helps them to bond and it’s also very real to others who have dealt with relatives dying or the impending loss of a home. The ending is one of the best I’ve read in a while and I loved how everything came together.
– YA Bookshelf

A coming of age tale with an environmental angle, Summer Constellations, sparkles with humour and sizzles with a dreamy romance, hitting all the right notes, leaving the reader satisfied. An excellent choice for those who enjoy a smart summer romance layered with varied and well developed characters who are as natural and refreshing as a summer breeze off the lake.”
– BR Myers

If you have never been so far into the wilderness that there was no light pollution at all, you are missing out on an incredible experience. Those of us who have been there, will recognize the author’s authenticity. It is impossible to fake a proper description of the vastness of the summer sky at night if you’ve never seen it with your own eyes.  This setting is the perfect place for romance to bloom… This is a feel good tale about overcoming adversity when the odds are stacked against you, with a side of young love that will have teen readers sighing with anticipation and older readers looking back at that time in their lives with nostalgia.
– Amie’s Book Reviews

 

 

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German Cover of Summer Constellations!

Check out the gorgeous German cover of SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS (translated to MY SHOOTING STAR SUMMER) coming May 20th/18 from the fabulous Ravensburger. And below, my beautiful North American cover, which is available now for pre-order from KCP Loft and launches May 1st! (Fun Fact: Pre-orders count towards the first week of sales, helping to make it more likely a book will hit bestselller lists!)

Out May 20/18 with Ravensburger in Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available for pre-order on Amazon, Chapters, B&N and other fine retailers in Hard Cover AND Paperback!

5 Reasons to Pre-Order a Book

Available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, Chapters Indigo and other fine retailers!

Summer Constellations comes out in two months! If you’ve pre-ordered the book, please let me know and I will send a signed postcard of this gorgeous cover designed by the talented Emma Dolan! (It makes a fab bookmark 😉 )

How does pre-ordering help authors? Lots of ways! Here are some below:

1. Lock in discount prices and great giveaways! 

Most publishers will offer discounted rates for pre-orders, so it’s a win-win! In addition, they or the author may throw in fun incentives for readers. For example, see postcard promo mentioned above.

2. Pre-orders help build buzz for launch day.

Giving people the chance to buy the book in advance increases anticipation and allows for buzz to (hopefully!) build. Plus, there’s the added bonus of not having to remember to buy the book – it just shows up on your doorstep. Who doesn’t love seeing the Amazon delivery person pull up with a package that you’ve half-forgotten about ordering? (Or is that just me? 😉 ).

3. Pre-orders increase the odds a book may hit a bestseller list.

This one’s huge! Pre-orders count toward first-week sales, and since many bestseller lists are calculated on a single week’s worth of sales, bundling those early sales into that first week gives authors their best chance of hitting a bestseller list, which in turn, helps the overall life of the book (and the author).

4. Pre-orders encourage retailers to increase the amount of books they order.

When buyers for retailers like Amazon, B&N and Chapters Indigo see strong pre-order numbers, they’ll likely increase their initial order, which brings more books into stores and increase the chance of people coming into contact with the author’s work.

5. Support your Author Friend/Family Member/Person You Used to Go to High School With and Kinda Like Still

Let’s get personal. Writing can be a solitary, intense and extremely tumultuous gig, (there’s a reason Hemingway drank 😉 ). Most authors never make over a few thousand a year (if that!) or sell more than a couple hundred copies of their book. Pre-ordering demonstrates your love and support for the author, who, more often than not, leans heavily on their friends and family to encourage them to keep making their art, even when times are tough. (At least I know I do!)

So there you have it! Five reasons to pre-order from your favourite author person. Of course, ordering the book at any time is still just fine and dandy, and definitely deserving of a profuse amount of hugs and kisses.

xoxo

Alisha

PS. Kirkus reviews Summer Constellations below!

KIRKUS REVIEW

Recent high school graduate Julia Ducharme’s summer is off to a rough start.

Her best friend, Paige, is traveling to Japan to visit relatives, her longtime crush has shown up with a gorgeous girlfriend, and her mom has announced that she is thinking of selling their family campground and home. Julia’s little brother Caleb is recovering from Guillain-Barré syndrome and is old enough to realize—with distress—that their financial troubles are connected to his long illness. After receiving the terrible news that her home may be sold, Julia meets a beautiful black-haired, olive-skinned stranger on the docks and spills her guts to him. She is shocked and angry to discover that the young man is Nick Constantine, son of the property developer who is looking to buy their campground. Julia and Nick are thrown together, and Nick falls in love both with the campground and Julia, deciding to do all that he can to help them keep their place, or at least keep its integrity intact. Sevigny’s (Kissing Frogs, 2014) portrayal of the emotional and financial struggles that can accompany illness in America ring true. Julia is a brave, independent, and competent female character who shows that you don’t need to be a femme fatale to be lovable.

A pleasant coming-of-age story for fans of teen romance. (Fiction. 14-18)

 

Tips and Tricks for those Writing (or thinking about writing) a Book!

Hi, Everyone!

Being a writer is full of ups and downs – aching disappointments like when your lovely indie press closes up shop 🙁 and pee-your-pants happy moments like when someone tells you how much they loved your work! 🙂 (*I may have several more of this type than the average person, having had two children).

I plan to share it all here from the very beginning, from inspiration to publication with a series of posts on everything from writing habits, choosing your setting, developing your characters, plot escapades, editing, editing and more editing, and the arduous road to getting published. Drawing on my experiences from both sides of the coin as a writer AND a former literary agent, my mission is to inspire anyone out there who has ever thought about or wanted to write a book, or who just wants to be entertained!

If there are any particular subjects you’re interested in or would like to learn more about (for example: What are agents really looking for in a query letter?), please leave a comment below and I will do my best to cover them!

I leave you with one of my favourite (and very popular) quotes on writing from Ernest Hemingway.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.”

Let’s bleed together!

Alisha

(PS. That sounds a little creepy, but you get the idea).

An image evoking the world I wanted to create for readers of Kissing Frogs!

 

Giveaway Winner Announced!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered last month’s giveaway! Watch the video to see who won an autographed copy of John Green’s TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN and signed ARC of SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS!

Stay tuned for more fun contests and giveaways as we gear up for launch May 1st! Links to pre-order below!

xoxo

Alisha

Pre-order Summer Constellations in hard cover or paperback on Amazon (US)

Pre-order Summer Constellations in hard cover or paperback on Amazon (Canada)

Pre-order Summer Constellations in hard cover or paperback on Chapters (Canada)

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5 Fun Facts About SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS

Many of you may have seen the bee-you-tiful cover for SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS, (out May 1st, 2018) but here are some fun facts about the book you might find interesting. Or not. (You’re just here for the signed John Green, aren’t you? That’s cool.)

Me & my bro out for a hike back home

1). The setting is loosely based on the campground Lakelse Lake, near my hometown of Kitimat, BC, in the remote wilds of the Pacific Northwest.

What up, Katniss?

2). Summer Constellations is being published by Kids Can Press (Franklin The Turtle, Scaredy Squirrel, etc.) under their new LOFT imprint, helmed by the lovely Kate Egan, editor extraordinaire of THE HUNGER GAMES. It boggles the mind.

3). Talented freelance designer Emma Dolan designed the cover without ever knowing about our family’s Ontario cottage where we spend each summer – and the resemblance is uncanny.

Is that not cray-cray?!

The only major difference is I’m cozying up to my 6-year-old daughter on the right (as opposed to a hunky 20-year-old, but other than that… 😉 )

 

 

4). Emma Dolan also (highly coincidentally) designed the cover for my first novel, KISSING FROGS

5). From start to finish this book will have taken four years to produce, what with the writing, editing, submission process (that’s when it gets sent to editors), acquisitions, more editing, marketing, and finally, waiting (a year!) for the release date.

BONUS: SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Chapters and other fine book retailers in Canada and the US. Pre-ordering is a great way to show an author your support!

xoxo

Alisha

PS. Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win! US and Canada only.

#authorlove – The Grimhunters by Kobi Madsen

Today on #authorlove we have an inspirational young man, Kobi Madsen, chatting about his new book The Grimhunters and his experiences writing and publishing his novel.

Available on Amazon

What genre would you classify The Grimhunters as?

The genre of my book is Horror/Thriller/Mystery if that makes sense. It tells the story of a young boy, named Victor, who moves from Seattle to the fictional town of Roarke Montana with his family. There he meets an eccentric old man on the lakeshore who warns Victor of its perils. Disregarding the man’s advice, Victor investigates and discovers something far more dark than he could possibly imagine.

Where did you get the idea for the book?

When I was nine years old I had a nightmare in which I was the main character of my book. I lived on a lake with my family and we were being stalked by something inhuman. I forgot the nightmare but around seventeen I had a similar one. I was both excited and disappointed when I woke up because I had no idea how it would end. This was when I realized I wanted to write a series of horror books. I immediately sat down and started printing a rough copy that would become my first novel years later. I had a teacher at school, Ana Pires, who was very supportive and encouraged me to continue to write. But once I’d finished I was lost in terms of what to do next. It was only after 3 or 4 years of sitting on it that by chance my aunt, who was in the process of publishing her children’s books, gave me advice and some contacts to get my book published.

Do you have any advice for aspiring young writers?

I guess my advice would be to write if you are driven to do so and if it makes you feel good doing it. Know that the first book is probably the hardest but if you can get through that, the rest is gravy. I made several copies of my book, which started out on scrap paper. Moving forward, I transferred my text onto computer making re-writes easier. At some point there isn’t much more you can do to improve the words so I reached out to others to help me edit.

What did you enjoy the most about the publishing process? Was there anything in particular that you found challenging?

The easiest part of this process for me was the writing itself, as that was something I could do on my own and within my own time frame. I would say the hardest part has been the promoting of my book as this involved personal contact with people in an area where I was very unsure of myself. Part of this was due to the fact that this is my first book and part of it might be due to my autism, which I was diagnosed with at age four and can make things difficult for me in social settings. I’ve faced challenges growing up with this condition but have never let this hold me back from doing the things I’ve wanted to do in my life. I’ve had many wonderful people in my family and life support me, and when it came to writing I think it actually helped me focus and be committed to doing the work. I hope that others look at me as an example of what hard work and commitment can achieve.

Who would you cast in the Netflix series?

We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves but I could see someone like Jack Nicholson playing the role of the hermit Willy and maybe Ryan Gosling as Victor to make the ladies happy. Steven could be played by someone like Mark Whalberg just to throw a total twist into the picture. Wouldn’t it be cool if Johnny Depp played the werewolf in my first book and then took on the role of the demon/monster in every book?

Do you plan to write any more books?

My plan for this book and the future are to write additional books as part of the Grimhunters series. I am currently writing the second book and so far I’ve had no problems coming up with ideas for the book. My main character, Victor, will face a new horror in each book, as he becomes a hunter himself. You’ll have to stay tuned for all the surprises as this book evolves.

Check out Kobi’s Facebook PageInstagram or website and don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Grimhunters available for purchase on Amazon.

 

 

 

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#authorlove – Confessions of a Creative Mind

Ryan’s best Zoolander face.

Today on #authorlove I am so excited to feature Ryan Smith, who is not only a good friend of mine but who also happens to be hilarious, brilliant and really really ridiculously good-looking. Ryan is here to talk about his book, Confessions, which is meant as a guide for writers (and all creatives for that matter), on how they can get out of their own way and become who they’re meant to be: artists. Ry and I went to film school together, as I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from his entertaining book trailers (watch them below, they’re pretty great) and I am incredibly proud to be hosting him here!

Me: So Ry, give us a brief snapshot of what your book is about.

Ryan: This book is about facing your own worst enemy – yourself – head on and overcoming the “Monkey Mind” that can cripple your creativity, your productivity and in some cases your wellbeing. It’s about altering the way you perceive creativity and your relationship to it in order to become a better, happier writer.

That is the serious description. The not so serious description is that I make fun of myself for 180 hundred pages for how ridiculous I have been in creating.

A subject I’m all too familiar with! Why did you write it?

I wrote it as a challenge to myself, primarily. I challenged myself to finish writing a book, and I thought this sort of genre would better lend itself to achieving that because I was so obsessive over my fictional work, fussing over every sentence. I challenged myself to be open and honest because I am the ultimate introvert and I keep so much of myself below the surface. Initially, what I thought I was writing was something to help writers look at creativity and their relationship with it in a revitalizing way, but when I got into it, I realized I was working through my struggle and my attempts to understand and tame it. I hope people get as much out of reading it as I did writing it!

Who is it for?

It is, as the subtitle says, a writer’s guide, but the concepts I talk about are not exclusive to writers, especially the ego struggle, fear and self-doubt. We all, creative or not, suffer from the machinations of our inner demons in varying degrees. The first half of the book doesn’t deal with writing, it’s all about taming that Monkey Mind. After that, my creative writing degree kicks in and I get into new ways of looking at creativity, story structure and dealing with the whole creative process in a way that is more organic.

Are there one or two particularly salient points that you feel can really help creatives get out of their heads and on with their work?

The first point revolves around not making writing harder than it has to be. I think that has a lot to do with ownership. Our egos sink their teeth into our work because we deem it as “ours,” something to be protected and obsessed over. If we look at our creativity and the stories that arise from that as being separate from ourselves, there is a freedom in that separation that opens up creativity and productivity because we’re getting out of the way of the story and unburdening the baggage we tend to put on our work. Think of yourself as being separate from creativity.

The second point is one that was a long, hard lesson for me to learn: focus on intentions rather than expectations. If you are just focused on the end result, then 99 times out of 100 you will be disappointed even if the outcome is successful, because it’s not exactly how you envisioned it to be. If you focus on an intention, then your energy is on achieving that goal, but without any preconceived notion. My writing improved and my productivity went through the roof when I made that shift, but most importantly, I was a lot happier.

Plans for the future?

I’ve already started on a novel that I’m very excited about, and I will be releasing some short films to help promote that when the time comes. I’ve had a lot of fun making the book trailers for Confessions. So much so that the video company my wife and I have, SPIRO Creative is now offering book trailers as a new product. I am dropping shameless plugs left and right!

Speaking of shameless plugs, I will definitely be signing up for that when my next book, Summer Constellations, comes out May 1, 2018 ;). You self-published. How did you find the process? Is it something you would recommend to other writers?

It is a challenging process in that you wear so many hats, but it has been a rewarding learning experience. My weakness is self-promotion – I hate talking about myself – so this was a sink-or-swim position for me to be in that has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’m grateful to be strengthening myself in that regard.

I self-published this book because I didn’t want to spend so much time trying to find an opportunity. I wanted to make one for myself and go after something bigger but with forward momentum. If I get noticed by a publisher great, if not, it was a tremendous learning experience and hopefully I can use it to get my foot in the door for my fictional works. I would recommend it for those who want to make their own “Yes” and aren’t afraid of a lot of work, especially in promotion.

I hear you about the self-promotion, a necessary evil for most authors*. Sigh.  Any other writing hacks or things you like to do personally while “creating”?

Writing hack, I like that! I guess one of my hacks is for problem solving in the writing process – I let my subconscious do the heavy lifting for me. The stuff that comes easy and flows on the page is one thing but once I hit a problem that needs to be solved in order to continue, I write down the question I need answered. If I’m lucky, I can write out several possible answers and choose the one that best fits the story or has the highest stakes. If I’m stuck, I move on to something else, but set the intention of figuring it out. The subconscious goes to work, and sometime later when I’m disengaged, like washing the dishes or something like that, Eureka! I get the answer. I have scrambled out of the shower to write down epiphanies more times than I can remember. So, I’m not pushing myself and I’m clean!

A big congratulations to Ryan, I’m sure will be hearing a lot more from this talented guy in the future. Have a look at his hilarious book trailer and if you’re a writer with a book coming out, well, you’ll know where to go to get one just as good! 

Check out Ryan’s Facebook page for more great videos and a chance to win a free book trailer with a purchase of his new book or find him on Instagram!

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#authorlove: Diadem of Death (A Nefertari Hughes Mystery) by BR Myers

Author BR Myers

Joining us this week for some #authorlove is BR Myers, creator of the Nefertari Hughes Mystery Series. Her second book, DIADEM OF DEATH (I love saying that out loud), recently came out and today we’re talking research! As someone whose first historical adventure novel (also set in Ancient Egypt) is going out on submission very soon (keep your fingers crossed), I am all too familiar with the amount of time and energy solid fact-finding takes. Ms. Myers’s research focused on Cleopatra, one of the most compelling female figures from history. Below she chats about her experiences in writing her second novel.

BR Myers: The first book in the Nefertari Hughes Mystery series, Asp of Ascension, was originally a short story of less than a thousand words, but after prompts from readers on Wattpad, I decided I could take the story further and turn it into a novel. After all, Cleopatra is one of the most iconic figures in history, known best for seducing two powerful men; Caesar and Mark Antony. Her death scene is one that even Hollywood couldn’t have staged better. How could I resist—the well of material at my fingertips was brimming to overflowing.

Practically salivating, I headed to the computer. I had an outline for the novel, but now I needed facts, hose tasty bits of history that would ground the fantasy aspects of the story. Part of the fun of writing a book based on ancient Egypt is the exploration. And by exploration I don’t mean relying on Wikipedia ;). I soon discovered I was about to embark on a journey of epic research proportions. If you Google Ancient Egypt and Cleopatra’ you will get over six hundred thousand results in less than a second. That is a lot of sticky notes, my friends.

After disappearing down the rabbit hole of the internet for hours at a time (Cleopatra is everywhere!) I weeded out the less reliable sites—love potions of the middle east anyone?— and dove into ancient Egypt with the trusted experts from National Geographic. It was then that I realized I would have to rewrite my entire novel. I had planned my plot on preconceived ideas about Cleopatra that were based on pop culture and ignored the most important facts of her life. It was a gruelling decision to change the story, but in the end the payoff was substantial.

So with my head down and into the wind, I left the house and ventured to library, determined to do Cleopatra’s legacy justice. I poured through the numerous hard cover books devoted to the subject. Those published by museums with their sumptuous photographs of artifacts were the most inspirational, and it was in those moments, bent over the library desk that I developed some of my favourite scenes, encouraged by the timeline of Cleopatra’s reign.

It was a grand coincidence that while I was writing Asp of Ascension a friend of mine was reading, Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff. We would talk about my plot and she would intersperse several facts from Ms. Schiff’s book. I remember her telling me the mascara wand designed by Cleopatra was nearly the exact same as you would buy in Sephora today—nearly two thousand years later. That little nuance made it into the book. Research also dispelled a lot of myths for me and I was shocked to discover that there is only one tablet that bears her writing. After her death, all other works had her name obliterated as ordered by Octavian.

I discovered Cleopatra was so much more than the seductress Hollywood would like you to believe. In fact, she was a shrewd planner, meticulous with details who left nothing to chance. She made advancements in medicine, was a contributor to the arts, and invented products that are still in use today. Plus, she was a single mother with her first born from Caesar and twins fathered by Mark Antony who left her to marry Octavian’s sister … but, of course he returned to her and the rest as they say is history.

Check out the book trailer below!

Nefertari “Terry” Hughes is looking forward to spending the school break with her boyfriend, but when her archaeologist father announces he’s working on a project that will take him to Egypt, all hopes of having a romantic summer are buried.

Follow BR Myers on Facebook and Twitter.

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