Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kaldalangra Scavenger Hunt

Are you ready for our first party game? I am! And so are some wonderful authors and bloggers who have agreed to help give you an awesome time.

This party game is a classic scavenger hunt with a digital twist. Scattered throughout the online world are little known facts about Kaldalangra. Don't panic, the list of blogs hosting these facts can be found below  :) After you have collected all of the facts, be sure to head over to the Give-away post of my blog to see what you can win!

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And now...your first previously unknown fact about the Land of Kaldalangra series

* All of the books received their official (aka published) titles after the book was completed. The Lady of Steinbrekka was titled, The Green Lady during the writing process, and Heart of Kylassame was called, "R&R Book"

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A little extra party favor - Wolf Dream

Talk about fortuitous timing! I am so very, very excited to throw another (virtual!) party favor into the LoS Birthday event pool! A special cover reveal! With it's own give-away!!

Wolf Dream by M.R. Polish
The Reaping Spell has weakened her greatest enemy, but now Esmerelda faces a different threat - one that haunts her dreams. To finally defeat Nicholas and end his madness for good, she must travel back to Spain with the help of her powerful friends. 

What she doesn’t know is that in his weakness, Nicholas made a deal with the Death Keeper – his soul in exchange for Esmerelda’s life. Worse, she soon learns that the ones she trusted most have become part of her nightmares. The only one she can trust is the man who holds her heart, and together they must fight Nicholas to the death.

Fighting to stay awake so Nicholas can’t find her in sleep, Esmerelda prepares for the battle that will finish this war. One of them must die for her nightmares to end - unless the Death Keeper, with plans of his own for Esmerelda’s soul, gets to her first.

Teaser from Wolf Dream:
“Esmerelda, I need your help!” Julie yelled from the front of the plane. 
That worried me even more than dying. She never needed—let alone wanted—my help. I ran as fast as I could, jumping over the dead bodies to get to the cockpit. 
She looked at me with wide eyes. “He won’t wake up. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Jarak was there first, grabbing Julie and pulling her out of the way. “Move, Es, I can’t let this happen, not right now. It’s not right.”
I didn’t understand what he meant but moved anyway. Ian was right behind me. “Camilla and Lauren went to take care of the other three breeds and Ailaina went to find a first aid kit to help Lauren.”
I nodded but it all felt so surreal. Was this really happening? 
“Damn it, Julie, why’d you have to put them to sleep?” Ian asked.
“Don’t yell at me. I did what I had to do.”
Jarak tried every combination to open the cockpit door but nothing worked. Ian pushed past me to Jarak. “Move over, I got this.” He slammed into the door with his shoulder, creating a small but otherwise useless dent. Turbulence jerked the plane as Ian hit it again. 
“Hey, man, I don’t see what you’re trying to do. This door is made to withhold attacks,” Jarak said as he returned to the door. 
“Well, wise one, the plane is going down because smarty pants over there put the pilot to sleep and can’t wake the pilot. We,” he used his finger to point at all of us in a circle, “are the only ones awake. So, we need to get in there.”
Hearing Ian confirm my fear of why the plane was descending so fast scared me even more. “Let him try, Jarak.” 
“Fine, but what are you gonna do once you get in there? None of us know how to fly a plane.”
“I’ll figure that out, right now we just need to open this door.” Ian plowed into the door again. 
“That won’t work,” Camilla said as she neared the cockpit.
Jarak raised his hands in surrender. “I’ve already tried to tell him.”
“Here, let me.” She walked up to the door with a set of keys.
Ian moved back over by me, rubbing his shoulder. “Well, now you show up.”

Other Books in the Series:

Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish
Available Now: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
With a death starts a new beginning...
Eighteen-year-old Esmerelda thinks she’s just a normal girl, but all of that changes the day of her mom’s funeral, when a warlock, intent on using her special powers, kidnaps her. Powers she didn’t know existed. Thrown in the middle of a magical battle, Es struggles to learn her magic while fleeing both vampires and warlocks, at the same time, hunting for the witches that can help defeat her adversary. The only problem is that they are dead.
Thankfully, she has the help of Jarak—her Guardian—who quickly captures her heart, but she wonders if she can win his? Just when she thinks Jarak is the one for her, Ian appears with daggers drawn to save Es from a vampire attack. Ian is cocky and rude, but there is something magnetic about him—something that attracts her to him. With her heart torn between two men, she faces the foes that are out for her blood. Can Es do the unthinkable and awaken them from their graves before time runs out?

Author Bio:
M.R. Polish was born in Idaho, a long, long, long, maybe not that long time ago.... Writing has always been there for her. Growing up, her mind was filled with stories, some she shared and others she filed away to write down later in life. It wasn't until 2011 that she decided to publish her stories for everyone to enjoy. Her first award and when writing became more than just an idea was in the 5th grade. She won the scary story contest for the school newspaper. It is one story she still has tucked away for memories. Her teacher told her she could be anything she wanted and that she had a talant for writing, being creative and drawing people into her stories. M.R. took that to heart and continued to write, although mostly in secret until recent years. 
Now you can find her enjoying life with her family - wrangling her four kids, setting traps in the house with toys for unsuspecting victims (aka, her husband) and writing down all her crazy and fun stories. 

"Life is too short to stand by and watch everyone else live your dreams. The bigger the dream, the bigger the adventure!" ~ M.R. Polish

You can Find her on her Website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Birthday give-away

What's  birthday party without favors for our guest? One lucky guest is going to win a goody bag filled with these fabulous prizes.

* 1 Signed copy of The Lady of Steinbrekka
* A ladybug pendant inspired by the necklace given to Rhea
* A limited time edition bookmark for The Lady of Steinbrekka

There are several ways to win, as you can see in the lovely Rafflecopter below. You get one entry for liking my FB page, 1 for following me on Twitter, and a whopping 3 entries if you comment with one of the fun facts you learned by playing the Strong Novels Scavenger Hunt. Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter below to get maximum entry points!

Winners will be notified by August 23rd and must contact me with their name and shipping information within 2 days of the announcement, or we will have a second drawing. The winner will be announced via this blog, twitter and facebook, so be sure to keep a look out between August 22nd and 23rd.

*Please note - This contest is for residents of the US/Canada only. Kristi Strong is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged goods. There will be 1 individual winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond with their contact information. If contact is not made within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 28, 2013

How I ship books

When I first began writing one of the first challenges I faced was how to ship my signed paperback copies to my readers. After several variations, I have found what works best for me, and so far have had only happy customers on the receiving end. 
This is by no means the only way to ship a book, and there may be a better way out there (leave a comment if you have a better way!), but this is what is working best for me right now.

1) Wrap the book in plastic wrap. Yes, you read that correctly. From what I've gathered, media mail is one of the least carefully handled mail types, so I always wrap my book in plastic wrap just in case the box gets wet. It probably won't save it if it gets dunked in a puddle, but it gives it a little protection at least.

If you start with the face/cover of the book on the flat part of the plastic wrap, it lets the crisp image of your cover shine through. Make sure that you overlap so that no parts of the paper are exposed.

When the book arrives, it will be shiny and new, protected in it's plastic wrap.

Note - only do one layer of plastic wrap, two at the most. Any more than that and it gets really hard to unwrap.

Next I cut a piece of cardboard to match the inner dimensions of the box in which I ship the book. I then wrap a single band of regular tape around the book and the cardboard, securing the book to the center of the cardboard.

This is also where the plastic wrap comes in handy, as running tape around a bare cover might result in the beautiful image being damaged. No good!

Put some packing material on the bottom to protect from sharp objects or sudden drops.

Then carefully put your book in. See how the cardboard almost perfectly matches the box interior? This means that even if the box gets jostled, shaken, dropped, or kicked, your book is safely nested away from the edges and should be protected.

Finally I put more packing material on top of the book, and an invoice. Actually, the invoice goes under the packing material so it's a little more protected, but I was distracted while packing this one and so it went on top. It was fixed before shipping though!

I always, always recommend an invoice of some sort. Templates can be found online or through Microsoft programs, or you can just make your own. It's a second way to provide an address, and also let's your customer know what is in the box.

There you have it! Once the box is packed just tape it up, put on a label, and off to the post office you go. If you are just sending a book feel free to use the media mail option, which will safe you a significant chunk of change over time. Just be aware that there are very strict requirements for media mail eligibility, and the post office system does open boxes to inspect!

Last addition - Most of my packing material is actually reused from when I order the books from the printer. I also save all tissue paper from birthdays and Christmas and use that as well. I either reuse the printer's boxes, or just purchase them from a supply store like Staples or Target.