giveaway

Giveaway winners, a new review, and Manicure Monday

Good evening on this marvelous Monday!

The winners of the giveaway are Hexen, Arella, and Valarie P. Expect an email from me soon, and thanks everyone for participating. If you didn’t win a copy, I hope you’re still intrigued enough to check out A Cut Above the Rest.

BIG NEWS! It’s Review Monday over at Alessandra Ebulu’s blog, so hop over and see what she says about From the Inside Out. (Hint: great things.)

I’ll lead out with a picture of yesterday’s manicure, which was for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Wishing everyone a great week! I’m going to take a wee break from posting for the next day or two. I’ve got another deadline this month and writing up all those entries for the blog hop on top of finishing another story wiped me out. 🙂

The Tour de Foodie continues!

Did you catch yesterday’s Signature Dish post at Armchair Reader?

Today’s entry is Rock stars of the cooking world, over at A.F. Henley’s blog. You may remember A.F. Henley from the author spotlight earlier this month, and the lovely giveaway for a copy of Honour.

Reminder: two days left to sign up for the giveaway for A Cut Above the Rest. Though a lot of you wonderful folks have already purchased a copy, and thank you! ♥

Later this weekend I’m going to have an entry focused on St. Patrick’s Day (it’s inevitable, right?) discussing my Irish roots and, of course, the meal I’ll be cooking.

Let me know what you think of the Tour de Foodie, folks – I spent last week composing the entries, and I want to know if it’s something you enjoy. If so, I’ll be launching a second Tour de Foodie in May, to promote the release of The Competitive Edge!

Your feedback is valued, and desired.

Happy Friday, and Signature Dish challenge!

What a great day, it’s one of my favorite days of the week!

Today for the Tour de Foodie, hop over to the Armchair Reader and check out the Signature Dish – what makes one, and what it means when a chef has one.

Have you picked up your copy of A Cut Above the Rest yet? If not, there’s still a few days left in the giveaway!

In other news, that story I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks is drawing to a close and I’m starting to feel good about it. At this rate I’ll finish on time and under the word count deadline. My pre-readers love it, so this is apparently one of those stories where it fights me every step of the way but that doesn’t show for the readers. More info on that to come.

And, signed contract for The Fall Guide today! So excite!

A Cut Above the Rest Giveaway

Greetings, good evening, and welcome to my giveaway to celebrate the release for A Cut Above the Rest! I’m incredibly proud of this story and so happy to share it with all of you.

01 A Cut Above

Alex always had it easy growing up, indulged by loving, but busy parents as he flitted from one interest to another without settling. Then he discovered the world of fine dining and became determined to be a chef capable of producing such magnificent meals. Despite the doubts of a father who limited his funds, and the difficulties of leaving Germany to live in the United States, Alex stuck to his new goal and graduated the Culinary Institute of America.

Fresh out of school, he is eager to begin work at the restaurant owned by a good friend of his father’s, a restaurant well known for the beautiful, innovative meals its chefs create. He is primed to join the ranks of those masterful chefs—until the day he starts, and learns that he is nothing more than kitchen lackey, lower in rank than even the dishwashers.

Worse, his boss is none other than Nik, the beautiful, infuriating, highly talented classmate that Alex could never best—or resist.

A Cut Above the Rest is available for pre-order for a couple days more at Less Than Three Press here. You can read an excerpt of the story, too.

The Appetite series is near and dear to my heart, not only for all the amazing food but because presiding over the journey that Chef Alex and Chef Nik take over the course of the story is tremendously frustrating, certainly difficult, but ultimately satisfying.

The Giveaway:
I am offering THREE copies of A Cut Above the Rest to three lucky winners, chosen by random numbers selected by random.org from the comments of this entry. This is the e-book version, and I will send a copy in your preferred format; epub, HTML, mobi, PDF.

To enter, drop a comment (you MUST include an email or means of contact or I CANNOT count your entry). Comment between now and next Sunday, March 17th. Winners will be chosen Monday morning.

To win additional chances to enter, you may do the following:

– Promote/share my Facebook post promoting Appetite’s release.
– Post a comment on my/your Facebook about the novel.
– Promote/share my Tumblr post promoting Appetite’s release.
– Like my Tumblr post regarding the release.
– Retweet my author tweet on Twitter regarding the release.
– Become a fan on Goodreads.
– Leave a comment or make a post promoting the novel on your own social venue (any and all – WordPress, LJ, DW, blogspot, just link me so I can verify)

Basically, spread the word in any possible fashion and you can get an additional chance to win your own ebook copy of A Cut Above the Rest!

Many thanks, I appreciate your stopping by, and good luck with the giveaway.

We’ve also got a fun promotional tour this week, so stay tuned for daily updates on where it’s at!

Author Spotlight: A.F. Henley

Greetings from the end of the weekend, hope yours was fabulous! Tonight I have a new author spotlight. If you’re interested in being featured here, drop me a line at talya.andor at gmail.

This month’s feature is A.F. Henley, who can be found at Henley’s site, Goodreads, and Less Than Three Press. A.F. has an intriguing new book coming out this week, so I’m excited to have Henley visit this evening!

Here we have A.F., and thanks for stopping by.

Tell us about yourself, beyond the standard bio: any quirky habits, fun facts, or little-known anecdotes?

That’s a tough question to start with. Let’s see … bad stuff first. I have an unnatural aversion to far too many foods, an intense distrust for most things human, and a fierce desire to delete or hide nearly everything I write once I’ve completed it. As for the good things, I have a partner that I love with every bit of my being; I’m a non-judgemental vegetarian (yes, they do actually exist) who supports all things furry, winged, and scaled; and I’m great with numbers, on both the accounting and speculative level.

None of my habits are quirky, they are all nasty. I smoke. I drink way too much coffee and I have a very fond fascination with good white wine and flavoured vodka.

I love to dance like a complete moron.

Where’s your favourite place to write?

That would be, without doubt, my office. It’s in the far corner of our basement; it is dusty (my dust bunnies are my minions) and chaotic (no right-angles for me, thank you) and perfectly silent.

Music: a must, or a no-go?

That totally depends on what I’m doing. If I’m writing I need absolute silence. A squeaking chair or rattling vent whilst I trek the treacherous paths of literary greatness are the equivalent of Danny Torrance’s little flashing, howling fire engine and likely to get the same reaction. Any other time? Hell, yes. If I’m driving I have the music cranked. I swear you can hear my car approaching from blocks away.

What kind of stories do you like to write?
(Relationship, humor, historical?)

I like to write angst-free, smut-strong, irreverently-witty stories and poetry. I just don’t usually get to. My stories have a life of their own and they refuse to bend to my will. They also don’t seem to have a sub-genre that they’ve agreed to stick to. The one and only concession they’ve made with me is that they will always end well.

Do you prefer to write fiction to a prompt or call specification, or have an open field?

It doesn’t matter actually. The story will either find me or it won’t.

Any advice for writers who are getting started?

A week ago I would have said no. But as I was musing over another question I realised that I actually do have something intelligent to say on this. Pick a publisher that you can work with. Find someone that advertises the same kind of ideals that you have. Be comfortable with them before you ever press “send” for the first time. A new writer might be surprised how much you’re going to need to ask “just one more question” or send back another “whoops, I think I messed something up” email. The support I’ve received from Less Than Three Press has been fantastic. I can honestly say that they were my first choice and that they make the experience far better than what I’ve heard others deal with along the way.

Are there any tropes that you wish authors would retire, or fiction pet peeves?

I have a couple. Hair references as titles (epithets like “the blond”) frustrate me. I find the over-indulgence of sex instead of plot to be just plain lazy. But for the most part I can force myself to skip over things that I don’t like because I figure they have the right to write as they see fit.

What are your methods to relax and take a break from writing?

Honestly? I don’t. Not long-term anyway. Writing is my reprieve and if I couldn’t do it, I would lose my mind. Short of stepping away for a quick cigarette or to fill my glass, I’m good. Although at the end of the day I’m more than happy to pop open Skype and/or Livestream for some casual chatting. Oh … and Tumblr. Lots and lots and lots of Tumblr…

Thanks for spending time with us! What’s a title we should pick up from your catalogue?

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be here.

As for recommendations, “Honour” is my new baby so I’m definitely devoting a lot of time to it. It’s a good novel (and I’m repeating myself with this statement but…), with a lot to say about respect and personal freedom, choices and compromise. It’s about recognizing love for what it really is: a hell-ton of work and compromise; but knowing at the end of the day that it’s the reason that you carry on and keep going. Because as hard as it might be to keep making things work true love is worth fighting for.

I’ll even make it easy for one of your readers to check it out. I’d like to offer your readers the opportunity to win a copy of Honour, in the ebook format of their choice. Anyone who leaves a comment is eligible, assuming they are of legal age and able to legally accept the work, and winners will be selected via a random number generator.

If I can be so bold, I’ll include this for those who are interested:

Honour
M/M Historical Romance
45,500 words

Recently docked after a voyage abroad, Emmett wants only to find a warm bed and good food, for himself and the cabin boy he’s taken into his care. Those plans are impeded, however, by an altercation in the streets—with a man he realizes too late is England’s heir to the throne, Prince Andrewe.

When the encounter unexpectedly leads to a position in the royal household attending the prince, Emmett is not certain what to think. On one hand, it’s a reliable income and ensures the safety of his charge. On the other, it’s neither the life Emmett knows, nor an environment that he’s comfortable in. Left to learn his lessons the hard way, Emmett spends his days contending with a spoiled, infuriating prince who leaves him in a constant tangle of emotions.

Then he begins to hear whispers of treason and must make a choice: defend Prince Andrewe, or betray him.

Available at: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=90&products_id=455

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Coming soon; closing soon

Even before it’s out the gate, Appetite: A Cut Above the Rest has been nominated for a Rainbow Award!

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I am so incredibly intimidated, and excited. Don’t forget, there’s still time to pre-order at a discount. My editor loved the story so much she nominated it for the Rainbow Award, and we’re having fun working on volume two.

In the meantime, there’s more immediate gratification in terms of From the Inside Out – hit up the post for a chance to win a free signed copy of my novel.

Sasha Miller’s review of From the Inside Out, shared with her permission:

I loved this story, NEGL. I started reading it one night figuring I could read it over the course of a week or two, and ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t make my eyes focus anymore. ;3

Soren is a sweetheart, and I related to him a lot. He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and he’s sort of coasting along, flying under the radar with his family, his (non-existent) love life, and his future. Then Tru, his online chat partner, suggests they meet up (as the summary says), and Soren’s very careful balance starts to crumble … and he starts to want it to.

I think my very, very favorite thing about this book is that it’s not rushed in the least. With a lot of the M/M romance books that I read (which, uh, isn’t as many as I’d like), the romance is rushed for the sake of the sex, the character development is nonexistent or again, rushed for the sake of the relationship/sex. From the Inside Out is a slow build, and my very favorite kind, that of a first-time relationship.

Soren and Tru build their relationship slowly, in the midst of a dozen plus side characters that have their own lives and personalities. They also fight and miscommunicate and nearly break up and read too much into stuff and not enough into other stuff and just in general are young, inexperienced, and sorting through their relationship and what they want to do with their lives.

Do read this book if you want a nice, long slow build, a character-driven romance that is all about falling in love and making it work.

Don’t read this book if you want a quick read, full of conflict and tension (go check out Andor’s Signal to Noise for that :3).

In other exciting news, I’ve submitted The Fall Guide for publication. Fingers crossed!

My body says no

Check out my giveaway for a FREE ADVANCE PRINT COPY of From the Inside Out, shipped anywhere that accepts U.S. Mail. 🙂

This week I think I’ll make the pumpkin risotto with pine nuts that I was craving on Thursday, so as to use up the leftover pumpkin puree and make use of a lot of ingredients I already have on hand. I’m achy today, so I want something easy that won’t require a ton of prep work like food I’ve been making for the past few weeks.

Yesterday we went to a new restaurant, China Gourmet, across town and they were pretty good! My friend ordered a spring roll appetizer that we started out with, and that was light and crunchy, my girlfriend had a mushroom chicken dish that she just loved, and I had a sesame chicken that was a little weird (the sauce was not what I’m used to from sesame chicken) but still good. We’ll definitely be checking them out again. I’ve reached the last week of the Insanity workout and I’m getting to the point where I’m sore and achy, so I think my body’s ready for a break. Next month I’ll take it easy before I pick up another serious exercise challenge. But I’ll still be finding activities to keep my body active for at least thirty minutes a day.

It’s good to change things up once in a while, after all.

Most triumphantly, I finished “The Fall Guide” on Friday, and I’m excited to finish that off and submit it, and start my next story tomorrow. It’s going to be a huge change of pace; I’m going from contemporary m/m romance to fantasy fairy tale-esque f/f. They’re two very different styles but I’m eager to tackle the project. Like my body, it’s good for my writing style to change it up every so often.

Prose can be different for fantasy. With contemporary, it’s good to keep it clean and simple. With fantasy, you can be a little indulgent, and florid.

The Awesome Thing About Serial Subscriptions

I’ve had a Less Than Three serial subscription since last year, and it’s been a great way to get a look at a lot of different stories at a seriously bargain price.

The first Rocking Hard story made its debut last week, Centrifical by Sol Crafter (you can read the first chapter for free), and I wanted to give the serial subscription a plug for two reasons. My own Rocking Hard story, Courage Wolf Never Sings the Gorram Blues, will start posting in May; and I just love my serial subscription.

There are five stories that LT3 has available through serial right now, and they’re a wide sampling of genres and writers. You’ve got everything from fairy tales to rock stars to politics and arranged marriage. Serials don’t typically get reviewed until they’re complete and available as ebooks, but I’ve got to say, I love what I’m reading now! You can read all the first chapters free on the Serials page, and check out membership rates – for the amount of fiction you end up getting, it’s a darned good deal.

If you end up signing up, you’ll get to read Courage Wolf that much sooner, too. 😉

That’s a good start to a Sunday! I’m off to have some yogurt and get my Core Cardio and Balance workout over with, so I can keep my to-do list down to something manageable.

From the Inside Out giveaway

Greetings and happy Friday Eve! Tonight, I’m opening up a giveaway for an advance print copy of my novel, From the Inside Out.

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I am giving away a print copy of From the Inside Out, signed and personalized with a greeting of your choice. I will ship anywhere that accepts delivery of U.S. mail.

Rules for the Giveaway:

1. Sign up for the giveaway between now and Friday, March 1st.
2. Comment here to sign up and include your name and email so that I can contact you! If you do not include your email or a means to contact you, your entry is disqualified. Optionally, tell me why you’d like a copy, I’m eager to know what brings people here.
3. You can sign up for additional chances to win by:
– Following my blog via WordPress or email. (Let me know what your username is if it’s not obvious.)
– Following my Twitter, @TalyaAndor (again, let me know your username).
– Following my Tumblr, http://talya-andor.tumblr.com/ (just for good measure – yep, you guessed it, tell me your username).
– Follow Talya Andor as a fan on Goodreads!
– Follow Talya Andor on Facebook.

Your name gets counted once for a comment here, and an additional time for each follow. If you’re already following me on all those social media, it counts!

On Saturday after the sign-up closes, I’ll put names in a spreadsheet and give the number range to Random.org which will choose the winner’s number.

Thanks for reading! Check back this weekend for more fun stuff, I’ve got a guest blog and a new author spotlight coming up, and I’m ramping up toward Appetite’s release week.

Why you want The Bestiary Volume One

Hello, good evening, and happy Friday Eve!

If you haven’t yet signed up for my Bestiary Volume One giveaway, make sure to act now! The giveaway closes on Sunday, February 10th. See the post for more details.

Whether you’re on the fence or already signed up and don’t know what you’re getting into, I thought I’d pull together a rundown of all the stories so you can see what the Bestiary Volume One is all about.

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Let me start with some basic info. The Bestiary Volume One is a compilation of five stories, all centered around the theme of magical creatures. Whether the magical creatures are a feature, or involved in the romance, is up to the author. (If it’s romantic, they’re humanoid, of course. There’s a difference between a bestiary and…that other thing. Which isn’t present here.) Each story has a happily ever after, or a happy for now, and has a M/M pairing.

And now, a synopsis of each of the stories in the Bestiary Volume One.


The Kraken Lord and the Eater of the Sun

by E.E. Ottoman

Egrill spends his day cloistered in his mountain home, unable to leave behind memories of the brutal war he fought and the lover he lost in the fight. But his peaceful solitude is interrupted by a strange creature that claims to be a mythical Kraken, and Egrill can’t deny that he is certainly like nothing Egrill has ever encountered …

Excerpt here.

You can read reviews for this story on Goodreads here.

The Staff of Kyade
by James L. Craig

When royal soldiers attack his village in search of a magical relic, Kenji watches in horror as all that he loves is destroyed. Determined that they will not get what they want, he takes the staff they seek and flees, vowing to avenge all those he lost as soon as he can.

Excerpt here.

You can read reviews for this story on Goodreads here.

Fireborn
by Talya Andor

Thaniel has been chosen for the sacrifice that will renew the lands and bring sorely needed rain, and it is a duty he has always accepted. On his last day he ventures out to enjoy those things he loves and finds final resolve in all that he enjoys. But that resolve is tested in the moment when he must say goodbye to his dearest friend …

Excerpt here.

You can read reviews for this story on Goodreads here.

Cleanly Wrong
by Mell Eight

Rung is a half-breed orphan brownie who can’t do anything right, much to the worry of his cleanliness teachers. When he runs away, Rung decides that he can resist the need to clean. Only, there is that one office that so desperately needs help…

Excerpt here.

You can read reviews for this story on Goodreads here.

The Hunt of the Cold Moon
by Beth Wirth

Home for winter break, Terry is reluctantly caught up in an old tradition, a hunt for a forest spirit that he has never understood. When he unexpectedly wins the hunt and finds himself bound to the spirit, he has no idea what to do with it. The advice he is given, however, is dubious at best and if he does not act soon his father will take matters into his own hands …

Excerpt here.

You can read reviews for this story on Goodreads here.

Excerpts courtesy of Less Than Three Press.

It’s a nice solid volume, beautifully printed. When I have some spare cash, I want to pick up the other three volumes in the Bestiary collection. Lovely stories, and the theme that binds them all together is enchanting, and great to see how all these different authors spun their tales around it.

Did I mention if you sign up for the giveaway you get this beauty free, and I’ll ship it anywhere that receives U.S. mail?

Let me know if you have any questions, don’t forget to leave a comment on the giveaway to sign up if you’re interested, and hope you have a great rest of the week.

Coming next: I tackle a plug for From the Inside Out, long overdue.

Bestiary Bundle 1 Giveaway

Good morning! Today on the agenda, we have a giveaway for a copy of the Less Than Three Press anthology, The Bestiary: Bundle 1.

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I am giving away a copy of the Bestiary: Bundle 1, with Fireborn signed and personalized with a greeting of your choice. I will ship anywhere that accepts delivery of U.S. mail.

Rules for the Giveaway:

1. Sign up for the giveaway between now and Sunday, February 10th.
2. Comment here to sign up and include your name and email so that I can contact you!
3. You can sign up for additional chances to win by:
– Following my blog via WordPress or email. (Let me know what your username is if it’s not obvious.)
– Following my Twitter, @TalyaAndor (again, let me know your username).
– Following my Tumblr, http://talya-andor.tumblr.com/ (just for good measure – yep, you guessed it, tell me your username).
– Follow Talya Andor as a fan on Goodreads!
– Follow Talya Andor on Facebook.

Your name gets counted once for a comment here, and an additional time for each follow. If you’re already following me on all those social media, it counts!

On Monday after the sign-up closes, I’ll put names in a spreadsheet and give the number range to Random.org which will choose the winner’s number.

Thanks for reading! Check back this week for more fun stuff, I’ve got an author spotlight of my own coming up, and new things to share.