Author Interview — Heaven Lyanne Flores

Books, Blogs, & Bits

is proud to present:

HEAVEN LYANNE FLORES!!

10636243_860975823954956_3290758886484938541_nHeaven Lyanne Flores was born in Los Angeles, raised in Las Vegas, and now resides in sunny San Diego with her family.

She is currently going to school to become a nurse but loves to spend her free time reading and writing while also managing the book blog, Indie Authors, Books & More. She also loves anything Disney princess related and has an unhealthy obsession with zombies.

Let’s find out more about this young talent :)

BB & B: Tell us a little more about yourself. I know that in addition to becoming a published author, you are also a blogger with a steady and growing community. That’s an awesome accomplishment. Can you tell us about your blog and why you decided to create it?

Heaven Lyanne: Well, I am eighteen years old and a recent graduate of Chula Vista High School. I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA but lived most of my life in Las Vegas. It wasn’t until I moved to San Diego three years ago that I found my passion for writing but I have always been an avid reader. I am currently attending college to become a nurse. Hopefully one day I can be a full time writer and a volunteer nurse at a free clinic.

My blog is called Indie Authors, Books & More. I created [the blog] when I was fifteen just after I got swept into this indie world. I saw how much it meant for authors to get word of their books out to others and I thought I would try my hand at helping out. Never did I think it would be where it is now. I just love to know I helped someone get their book discovered and for someone else to fall in love with a new book they wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

BB & B: Your love of words is evident. Where does that come from?

Heaven Lyanne: I have always loved to read. It’s something that I have done for as long as I can remember. I was always the girl people could count on to have a book with her. I think it all started when I first moved to Las Vegas when I was around seven or eight. My elementary school library was like my home away from home. Everyone would find me there with a book in hand.

BB & B: What inspires you to write and how did those inspirations lead you to create your first novel, Anastasia?Anastasia Cover

Heaven Lyanne: I have always been a dreamer. Every time I go somewhere I am thinking of the perfect story to go with the setting I am in. I’m not going to lie it usually involves zombies.

When I entered middle school my English teacher had us always write little mini stories. I just loved that assignment and soon found myself writing outside of class whenever I could. My friends always said they enjoyed my stories but I would never write more than two or three pages of one story before I had to start writing something else that popped into my mind, which is why I had to force myself to stay with Anastasia and not start writing something new.

BB & B: What is Anastasia about and why is it special to you?

Heaven Lyanne: Anastasia is a story about a girl named Anastasia (go figure). She and her family are witches. They moved to this planet called Bolton where all supernatural creatures originate from. When she gets there she soon realizes her whole life has been a lie. Now she is the only person alive who can fulfill a prophecy and bring peace back to Bolton, but she isn’t so sure if she has it in her to do what everyone is telling her she has to.

Anastasia’s story has always been with me. I would always be thinking of it and after a while I begun to write it when I would get bored in class. It is so special to me because this is a story I have had roaming around in my head for years. I never thought I would finish it and getting to actually publish it is the best feeling in the world.

BB & B: Without giving away any spoilers, can you give us your favorite scene or quote from Anastasia and why.

Heaven Lyanne:
This quote is spoken by Anastasia to one of my favorite characters, Yelson. This is my favorite because it speaks the truth about life. It tells you that nothing is set in stone. I have read so many books where the good guy always wins and gets his happily ever after. This quote lets you know that anything is possible. It could end with a happily ever after or it could be that the bad guy wins.

“We have to think realistically Yelson. This isn’t some fairytale where you know the good guys will win. This is real life. Life where the bad guys have constantly won. There is always a chance one of us won’t make it.”

~Anastasia

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Heaven Lyanne: Oh I have so many different writings currently in progress! Along with finishing the Bolton series I have planned and begun writing books about aliens, zombies, werewolves, assassins, and more witches. Also I am a part of a paranormal anthology coming out in June so they can be sure to look out for that.

BB & B: Any last words for your fans?

Heaven Lyanne: Just that I cannot wait for everyone to get the chance to read Anastasia. It literally has been in the works for years and to be having the chance for people to read it is unbelievable. I hope everyone enjoys the world I’ve created.

BB & B: Thank you so much for spending time with us Heaven Lyanne! Best wishes to you and all your future success!

CoverwrapHeaven (1)

If you’d like more information on Heaven Lyanne, please go check out her Facebook pages by clicking the links below:

Author Page

Indie Authors, Books, and More

Anastasia is going live OCTOBER 1st! Let’s help spread the word and give this book a good boost!

Release date promo

 

Building a legit biz

businessOkay, so when I first dipped my big toe into self publishing, did anyone tell me that it’s actually a real business?  NO! For me, I was following a dream and all I was thinking of was writing and creating books.

It seems obvious now, but when you’re starting something new, obvious questions don’t come up, cause you don’t know what those questions are, let alone ask ’em.

So, here’s my advice for those of you going into self-publishing… Self-publishing is a legitimate, for real business and you have to treat it like one.

Eventually, hopefully sooner than later you will make money through self-publishing.  When you start making money, now you’re a “paid professional.” It doesn’t matter that behind the scenes, you’re still learning what to do and trying to figure things out.  One thing that you gotta remember is that when the money starts coming in, there is a matter of taxes that have to be accounted for.

So… my advice, make your self-publishing biz, legit from the start, rather than having to clean up later.  Get your business documents in order even if you’re only making a dollar a month.

My advice is going to be specific to the U.S. and more specifically — California residents. But the thing to remember is that no matter where you live, your local government will have rules and regulations as to how they want local businesses to conduct themselves and how they (meaning your local governmental agency) wants to get paid.  It all goes down to paying fees and taxes.

Okay, so for California and even this, may vary from County to County and City to City, so do some homework, but I’ll give you some buzzwords to ask about.

For the County, I live in, which happens to be San Joaquin County, these are the steps, I’ve had to take:

1.  I had to go to the County’s Recorder’s Office to apply for a fictitious business name and pay for the application fee.

2.  Once, I completed the application, I had to publicly post the business name through a local paper distributed in our County for thirty (30) days. I had to pay the local paper to post my business name.

3.  Once the 30 days of posting completed, I had to get a validation from the local paper and submit that to the Recorder’s Office.

4.  Once the Recorder’s Office had the validation, they registered my fictitious business name.

5.  Then, and I didn’t know this part… I got a notice from the local City’s financial department alerting me that it has come to their attention that I am running a business and therefore needed to obtain a license in order to comply with local City ordinance… blah, blah, blah.

6.  So, I go to my City’s (Lodi) financial department and apply for a license.  The license part wasn’t a big deal, but I had to complete an extra set of paperwork because I was running the business out of our home.  I had to sign paperwork that I would not post signs or do anything that would compromise the integrity of our neighborhood… blah, blah, blah. I had to pay extra fees to run the biz out of our home, but it’s good for as long as we live in the house.

7. At this point, I thought I was done.  I got my biz license, got an okay to run it out of the house, and my biz name was registered at the County government.  Oh no. I wasn’t done.

8.  I then got a notice from the County Assessor’s Office asking me to fill out a form that basically asks why I have a business license for my residence.  The form was short and even came with a self addressed/stamped envelope, but it was yet one more step that I wasn’t told about.  So, I went to the Assessor’s Office and turned in my form. No fees for that form, just a quick, “it’s a-ok” from the rep.

9. This is the latest. I have finally worked up enough courage to participate at a local event, where I have the opportunity to show and sell my books.  I had to fill out more forms, okay no big deal. I’m used to forms by now,  but the event organizers were asking for a biz license — okay got that one, but they also wanted a seller’s permit. WHAT?! What’s that? Isn’t that my license?

10. Today, I went online looked up information on seller’s permits and it lead me to the State of California Board of Equalization. Presto! Online registration available for Seller’s Permits. There is a regular seller’s permit and a temporary seller’s permit.  I got the regular one since I don’t want to have to keep re-applying every time I decide to participate in an event and besides, I don’t consider my little publishing biz — temporary. I hope to grow this baby!  The permit is good for one fiscal year and you have to re-register and definitely report taxes/income and all that stuff. The best part was that the Seller’s Permit was no cost and I was able to print up the permit as soon as the application process was done. WOOHOO! That was a bonus since I needed to have the permit to participate with the event!

So… and I’m learning this as I go and something else may come up, but for now 12_Angels_Publishing_2here’s what I’ve learned you’ll need.

1. Fictitious Business Name (registered with your local government).  You may have to do a public posting through a local paper, but this will depend on your local gov’s rules.

2. Business license. You typically have to get this through the City where you have your business located.  I work 12 Angels Publishing out of our kitchen, so I applied through our City.  If, like the City I live in, there are ordinances dictating how what you can or cannot do in a residential area, you might want to check if there’s any extra permits you have to get to work out of your house.

3. Once you have your business license, go ahead and apply for a Seller’s Permit. In California, this is required for any business engaged in selling in California.

If anything else comes up, I’ll definitely update this post. I’m learning by fire and during those times, I get a little too close to the heat, I’ll let you know so you can stay nice and cool!

Again, remember going into self-publishing is a true, bonafide business. You do this right and you’ll be living your dreams.  It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme whatsoever. You will have to work your butt and your heart out and you will have to be careful because there are a lot of gamers out there who will try to scam you out of your hard earned money.  Buyer beware is a good rule of thumb to adopt.

Anyways, take the time to do the research to see what your local government requires. It’s better to have this out of the way and know that your business is following all the rules from day one, rather than to find out the hard way and have to make up years of fees and taxes. Blech! Who wants to deal with that?

Happy publishing and I’m excited for your success!!

Free e-books

12_Angels_Publishing_2One of the things, I love to do on the weekends is to go through Amazon’s free e-books.  It gives me a passive activity that keeps me occupied for a few hours.  If you’ve never done this, I recommend trying it.

Here are the benefits of trolling through the free stuff.

  • FREE e-books!
  • Relaxing activity
  • If you pay attention and if you’re trying to learn about the book biz (like me), you’ll see what types of covers are popular, what types of titles are popular, and what the descriptions look like on those popular titles
  • You’ll learn your own trend and how you shop for e-books. I find that when I shop for free e-books, I don’t care so much about the reviews on a book.  I’m more willing to take a chance even on a low rated e-book.  I figure, what do I have to lose?
  • FREE e-books! I know I’ve already listed this benefit, but seriously being a bookaholic, free satisfies my need to add to my ever growing e-book collection.

I like to use my iPad for this, but you can’t use the Amazon app to search for freeMC900441397[1] e-books.  What happens is that the titles will show up, but you won’t be able to download.  You actually have to get into Amazon via the web.  I just use the Google app, type in Amazon.com and use the link that Google brings up.

Once you’re inside Amazon’s “store” just type in “free kindle e-books” in the search field and as if by magic all the free e-books appear before you. There’s usually 400 pages worth of free e-books.  I’ve never gone through all 400 pages and there is that part of me that wonders what I’m missing, but as much as I love Free, I just don’t have the fortitude to go through 400 pages!

Of course, you can narrow down your search, by adding keywords to your   search like free kindle ebooks “nonfiction” or “…romance”, or “…paranormal”. With specific keywords added to your search criteria, your options become more manageable.

Alrighty, that’s my tip this week. Check out the free stuff. You never know what gem you might find. I’ve discovered some great books/authors by doing this.

Happy searching!

 

 

Create a book trailer for free

12_Angels_Publishing_1One of the best things that I’ve learned how to do since becoming an author is to make my own book trailers.

Granted, my book trailers are not fancy like what  professional productions can create, but my trailers are decent. And best of all, I have a lot of fun creating them!

So, I’ve made about four of them for 12 Angels Publishing. The first trailer I made for Spirit 101, I did spend some money for pictures, but that was before I learned to scour the net for FREE stuff!

With a little patience and some imagination, you can create a book trailer too for very little to zero money.  For those of us creatives that have not yet figured out how to make money from our trade, free is always good!

I’ve listed the resources and tools I use below.  If you’d like to see what 12 Angels Publishing book trailers look like, please go visit my channel on You Tube.  I used my blue logo for this post, since that’s the same pic I’m using for the You Tube channel.

Click here for my channel :)

I have a PC with a Windows based operating system.  My PC came with Windows Movie Maker and this is what I use to put together the trailers. It’s super easy to use.  If I can figure it out, anyone can.  It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but there’s enough effects included to give you variety from project to project.

If you don’t have Windows Movie Maker, here’s a link you can check out. Windows Movie Maker.  Remember read the descriptions first and make sure it’s something that your PC can handle and pay attention to your PC’s security and firewalls before you download. I can’t guarantee safety of any of these downloads, I simply want to show you where you might find them for free.

For free stock pictures:

For free stock video:

For free royalty free music:

This list is not all inclusive and there are more free sites out there. Make sure you read the licensing rights and understand what kind of credits need to be given.  For me, I like to go ahead and include the artist names and/or website names of the sites I used to get my material.  I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due.

Again, I cannot guarantee any of these sites and I have no affiliation with any of them. I just happen to have found them and thankful that there are generous folks out there willing to share their work for free.

Here are the steps I take to create book trailer.  You might develop a different process and that’s ok too! Do what’s fun for you :)

  • I pick which book to create a trailer for. I know, obvious right?
  • Decide what kind of feel you want for the trailer — serious, dark, happy, whimsical.
  • Choose your pictures, images, and videos according to the feel you want to convey. Pick relevant images. I know, obvious — again :)
  • Choose your music according to the feel you want to convey
  • Arrange the order of your images. There’s lots of flexibility with this — you can always move them around in Windows Movie Maker.
  • Draft some text or caption that you want to include in the trailer.
  • Decide where you want those captions to show in the trailer
  • If you’re really savvy, choose SEO rich words to use. I don’t worry so much about this (at least not right now). I just want to have fun creating :)
  • Layer all your content together in Windows Movie Maker and then decide on the transitions and special effects that might smooth out your presentation and give it some “ooh-ahh” moments.
  • Have fun!

 

From a reader’s perspective

19 Jan 2005 --- Row of Old Books --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisI’ve read a lot of great books in my time and though I have a tendency to read a specific genre more than others, I can fairly say, I’ve read a little bit of everything.

I like to keep my options open and often times, my reading is ruled by my moods. Reading has always been a big part of my life and it is where I find solace in the craziness of the world.  When I was younger and had more time, I reveled in these escapes.  For me it was better than watching a movie. I felt more connected to the pages of a book where I could imagine the scenery and the characters and make them exactly as I saw them in my head.  I thought it was better than watching TV.

Now, that I’m pursuing my writing dreams, I don’t have as much time to read. Well not because I’m writing, but because I’m older and have more responsibilities and obligations that often require my full attention and unfortunately reading often takes a back seat to everything else that needs to be done first.

But, here’s the thing, in order to write better, I have to read. Not only to get ideas and inspiration, and learn about style and flow and all that great stuff, but also to remind myself what readers love about reading in the first place– readers read for the pure love and pleasure of the story.

The story is the vehicle that transports the reader to the world that the writer just created. Without a good story, even good writing practices, like perfect grammar can fall flat. The story is the life of the book.

I know, you’re probably saying, “Uh yeah! That’s a no brainer.” Yes, this is something that all writers are aware of, but sometimes, it is the most basic thing that needs to be brought up, so that people can be reminded.

I was recently reminded of this because, I promised to do a review of a book. I figure I have a little bit of free time right now and can read a short book pretty quickly. Well, here’s the thing… as I’m reading this book, I am looking at it strictly from a reader’s perspective and removing that writer side of me from the equation.

How’s it going? Well, reader-me is having an incredibly hard time reading. Why? Because, often times, I can’t tell whose character perspective I’m reading from. I feel like I’m jumping from one head to another and although, I’ve gotten used to it, I’m still struggling, especially when there’s dialogue.

This is really unfortunate because had I not promised to review, I would have probably put down the book chapters ago! But the one thing that is saving my attention from completely wandering is this –there is an interesting story that is building beneath all the head jumping. At this point, I feel committed to seeing it through… and so, I read on.

As a reader, I think there’s a lot of things I can overlook and imperfections I can forgive because for me it is about the story.  Does the author’s tale have the ability to take me away to another place and make me live the lives of his or her characters? If the answer is YES, then I’m captured and I’ll be a fan, and I’ll buy all your books without even reading your blurb :)

Sometimes it’s good to step back and see things from the other side :)

Happy reading, happy writing :)

Author Interview–Claudette Alexander

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

Claudette Alexander

5cc2f0359b3078c005b26086103f8ac6Claudette Alexander was born in St. Lucia and has been living in Toronto for the past 40 years. Retired, her past experiences involve work in accounting and as a union activists.

Ms. Alexander has been battling chronic kidney failure for the last 10 years and currently volunteers, leading workshops on living healthy with chronic health conditions.

Her memoir SUNRISE FROM AN ICY HEART is about her transformational journey into womanhood, her search for a special kind of love, the tears and joys of motherhood, and her fight to remain among the land of the living.

~ ~

BB & B: What inspired you to write your book? CLAUDETTE ALEXANDER ECOVER small

Claudette: My children. I had a strong desire to let them know the life their mother lived. And also a desire to let people who live with a chronic condition to know that they can still live a happy life

BB & B: What was the hardest thing about writing this book? Can you explain why?

Claudette: Trying to remember people, places and names

BB & B: If there is one lesson, one message, or any one thing you can share with your readers, what would that be?

Claudette: When a son is raised by a loving single mother, it is her business to show him how to treat a woman, especially when there is no father around for him to emulate. It is essential that he thinks positively about her so that when a woman gets him as a life partner, she will truly appreciate the work his mother put in making him a loving man.

BB & B: What do you love best about being an author?

Claudette: Having the ability to make my words sparkle on paper.

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Claudette: Currently I lead workshops on living a healthy life with chronic conditions and I intend to continue through workshops and my blog.

BB & B: Do you have any tips for new writers?

Claudette: It is essential to read about the business you are embarking on. There are plenty books and plenty authors writing about their road maps.

Pink RoseIf you’d like to learn more about Claudette, her workshops, and the continuing lessons she lovingly shares with her community; please click on any of the links below:

 

Claudette Alexander’s website

Facebook

Book Trailer

Purchase links for SUNRISE FROM AN ICY HEART

Amazon

Amazon.UK

BN

 

Angels & Legends

12_Angels_Publishing_212 Angels Publishing and Legendseeker Productions are combining efforts to bring you awesomeness in the world of books.  It’s like chocolate and peanut butter; separately each taste is good and delicious, but together, it’s downright sinful and over the top.  That’s what we hope to be! A producer of things so good, you can’t help, but come back over and over again!

Pretty soon, Angels & Legends will be launching a brand new website where welogo_final will keep you up to date on all events and news.  But no worries, 12 Angels Publishing and Legendseeker will continue to maintain our separate blogs, where we will continue to amuse you with random thoughts.

In the meantime, go check out the updated Amazon.com carousel over there to the left.  It now includes Cecily’s books as part of the 12 Angels Publishing collection.

 

 

 

Gathering Storm is coming!

gathering-storm-finalDo you feel the crackle in the air? Do you see the clouds gathering?

Maybe it’s because Cecily’s book is almost out!  Watch out for Gathering Storm, Cecily’s debut novel.

Release Date: May 10, 2014

Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal Fiction

Rating: Adult/R

What’s it about?  Here’s a hint — With one push from his strong legs, he launched himself from the second floor railing and landed without a sound in a crouched position in front of her. He stood up slowly, not wanting to add to her fright. He looked at her soaked clothing, her chattering teeth, and the fear that she was attempting to hide. She was brave, reckless, and stunning, and he felt an instant need to shield her and get her to safety.

 

Ideas

file6831251040142Ideas… I have some ideas about things I’d like to do.  Whether I can do those things or not, well, we’ll have to see.  It’s matter of finding time and energy to commit myself to other projects.

One thing about self-publishing, there seems to be more ideas, projects, works-in-progress, than there is time to do them all.  It keeps things interesting, and at times overwhelming, but always interesting and never boring. I really wish I could do this full time! One day, one day, my dream will come true!

Here’s some ideas percolating through my noggin at the moment:

  • Doing reviews. But doing them a little differently. Most reviews talk about the book and also gives a rating. This is very important and I would definitely keep that element.  I know how valuable this is to the author and I want to help as much as I can. Here’s my twist,  I also want to offer up a valuable lesson in the review.  Like what I took away from the book, a quick tip from the book that I can share as a lesson or maybe even what I’m going to do with the information I’ve just learned… I could be a guinea-pig of sorts :) My focus for this would be non-fiction materials on writing, marketing, and other books that would be helpful in self-publishing.
  • Creating a separate website for 12 Angels Publishing. This one has been bugging me lately.  It’ll be another site to maintain, but it seems like the right thing to do where I can really highlight the books and authors.
  • Creating products or swags for the books, authors, and 12 Angels Publishing.
  • Adding to my non-fiction titles.  I’ve been laggin’ on this and I need to get busy finding a topic that’s meaningful to me and something I hope would be useful to a readership.
  • Creating a list of providers that I’ve found for book covers, art work, etc.  I don’t have too many yet, but the ones I have worked with, have delivered consistent, high quality results.  They’re professional and responsive and always so easy to work with.
  • Offering more free downloads.
  • Creating more book trailers.
  • I want to learn photo editing too.  This will be a future thing, but how cool would it be, if I could create my own graphics?

What do you think?  Would you be interested in any of these things?

Thanks for coming by!

 

Poetry by: Miyaoaxochitl

 Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present;

free flow poetry by the talented:

Miyaoaxochitl or Miya (for short)

Pink RoseSELF-ESTEEM

Look at you, you’re so beautiful—how strange, must be the lighting

I want to love the way your skin shimmers in the sun;

the way your pudgy nose compliments your face exactly

Your brown eyes full of tragedy raise a million questions

The remnants of the oldest of nations rest on your head, out of control always; in perfect harmony with your soul

I want to love your blemishes, your scars, for they show the barriers in the way

Your stretch marks are the stratum which tell of your struggles

I want to love your humble intellect

The flab under your arms… it might give you flight some day

Your very own essence tastes…

It tastes like tobacco

It tastes like coffee, red wine, and marijane

All concocted to make you an addictive substance

Too dangerous to savor

Too tempting not to

~Miyaoaxochitl

IMG_8956Javier

Mi amor por ti es suavecito,

like a gentle caress.

Mi amor por ti es paciente,

te esperaría una eternidad si me dieras el sí.

Your presence is putting on an old coat,

you’re familiar, comfortable.

Llegaste sin prender la alarma,

like a thief in the night.

Y de repente me encontré vulnerable,

without my armor.

Pero de ti no tengo miedo.

Me gusta verte sonreír, pues alegra el día.

Me fascina tu voz, tiene la potencia de derretir mi ropa.

Me intriga tu mente, porque enciende la mía.

Amo tu alma, pues puede cambiar el mundo.

Y así, suavecito, sigue mi amor.

Esperando que por fin aterrices en mi corazón.

~Miyaoaxochitl

Chapel chandelier