Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anniversaries, the Baltimore Book Festival, and Taking a Break

First, I have to say please enter this giveaway. At the time I'm writing this, there are 666 entries, and that gives me the heebie-jeebies. You have a few more days!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Under the Moon by Natalie J. Damschroder

Under the Moon

by Natalie J. Damschroder

Giveaway ends September 30, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Next up, Baltimore!

On Friday and Sunday I will be participating in the Baltimore Book Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. (See the link in the sidebar to the right -------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>). I don't know what's more exciting: being able to meet SO many readers, or being able to meet SO many authors! :) There are many authors from both of my publishers attending. If you're in the area, stop by!

It's the biggest event I've ever done as an author. I'm going to be at the Maryland Romance Writers tent. There are author panels all weekend long. I'm going to be doing "Trends and Readings in Romantic Suspense" with Joya Fields, Caridad Pineiro and Rebecca York (not too intimidating!!!) on Friday at 5:00 p.m. Then on Sunday, I'm joining Kate Dolan, Stephanie Draven, Laura Kaye, Alethea Kontis and Catherine Asaro for "Making Old Stories New." I'll have a giveaway each day, as well most of the other authors. Can't wait!

After that, Wednesday is...the season premiere of Supernatural! No, wait, that's not it. Wednesday is my 20th wedding anniversary! My husband can't believe it. Alternately, he feels every minute of those 20 years. :) Because of work and stuff, we're going out on Friday. We talked about doing a trip, but with all the overnight visits to colleges and the awesome but not-cheap vacation we took this summer, we're keeping it casual. Dinner and maybe a movie. Whooo, we're party animals! But it will be nice to have some time that's focused on just each other.

Speaking of time...

I've been taking a much-needed break over the past couple of weeks. Not a complete break. I still have my day job and my freelance work and promotional obligations carrying over from last week's release of Under the Moon, but I've actually gone almost all of a weekend without working. Almost! LOL

I'm finding it difficult to get back to work, though. The summer really burned me out, and having no pressure, no "OMGthishastogetdoneNOWeventhoughit'smidnight" feels really good. Too good. I spent a lot of evenings re-watching Doctor Who (only up to middle of season 4) or reading instead of working. It's necessary, but at some point I have to kick myself in the a$$ and get back to it.

After Baltimore! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stereotypes in Sci fi (And How I Tried to Avoid Them) by Guest Blogger Aubrie Dionne

A great big welcome to the fantastic sci-fi author Aubrie Dionne!
Be sure to read all the way through and enter her giveaway at the bottom.

We’ve all seen the gray, scary aliens trying to dissect people, the clunky robots with little or no emotion, and the evil galactic empires ruling the universe with an iron fist. As a sci fi writer, I tried to avoid these common plot lines in my New Dawn series, and go against the associations people have with science fiction in general.

1. Scary/Evil Aliens 
Thanks to movies like The Thing, Alien, Mars Attacks, Predator, and others, aliens are evil power-hungry creatures that eat/dissect/kill people and take over the world.

Without giving too much away, the aliens in Haven 6 actually coexist with people. Called the Guardians, they live much longer than people and are able to keep the society’s long-term goals in mind from generation to generation. They are peaceful, intelligent creatures that often marvel at humanity's ability to feel and express emotion.

2. Robots 

Star Trek broke the mold with this one. Data wasn’t clunky at all, and he endeavored to understand emotions and develop his own. In Star Wars, C-3PO and R2-D2 have personalities and emotions, but they are reserved for comic relief.

In the New Dawn series, I play around with the idea of people connected to machines. They aren’t robots, because they are real living people, but they are not normal once they are connected to the machines. Each colony ship has people in varying stages of connection to the central processor on the ship. In Haven 6, the commander is a brain in a glass aquarium of pinkish liquid. She controls the ship, and the mission objectives. Some people whisper that being connected to the computer for so long without a body has made her crazy.

3. Evil Galactic Empires

This one, perhaps, is the most fun to write. You have instant bad guys. However, if you do create your own evil galactic empire, it has to be original, and very different from the one in Star Wars. Or that’s what people will think of. In the New Dawn series, the colony ships have lost contact with each other, so each ship has its own laws dictated by a book called the Guide. There is no evil ruler of them all, per se. But the commander of each ship does not favor democracy.

Are there some sci fi stereo types that I’ve left out? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much!

Haven 6

A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it's final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that's supposed to be uninhabited.

Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them. When Eri's team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth's colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander's intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.

Available soon on Amazon

Available Soon on Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation-favorite character was Data by far-, and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be "A concert flutist" when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.

Now for the professional bio:

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, which will release in November 2012. When she's not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras. She's a big Star Trek TNG fan, as well as Star Wars and Serenity.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Barbara DeLeo Debuts as a Guest Blogger—from Cyprus!

Please give a hearty welcome to Barbara DeLeo, who has honored me with her first guest blog post! Her book, Contract for Marriage, is burning up the lists! Welcome, Barb!

Hi Natalie!

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog and huge congratulations on the release of Under the Moon. It looks fantastic and is ready on my e-Reader!

I’m lucky enough to have a book out this week, too. Contract for Marriage is my debut novel and I couldn’t be more excited!

This week’s been a bit crazy in other ways too. My family and I have traveled from the Greek Island of Lesvos to the city of Athens, and now we’re on the island of Cyprus! By family, I mean my husband and his parents, my twin girls who are 11 and my twin boys who are 8. And we’re travelling through Greece and Cyprus together for a total of 3 months.

If you think that’s a recipe for insanity, then you’d be right! But it’s also an amazing cultural experience (my husband’s parents are from here), a unique opportunity to have 24/7 time together as a family, oh...and a huge amount of fun.

We started planning the trip pretty much when the girls were born. For us all to go back to the countries where my in-laws were born, and where my husband and I had lived in our twenties, would be incredible. The birth of another set of twins kind of put the brakes on things a little, but we kept the goal in our sights.

There were many things that we compromised on to save enough money to be able to take three months off work, pay airfares for eight people, and have enough for living expenses while we were away. No new car in nine years, no snazzy house renovations, none of the latest gadgets—it was sometimes hard to keep the dream in sight but we all believed in it enough to see it through. And now it’s paying off daily.

Writing with a view to getting published’s a bit like that. You need to keep your eye on your goal and stick with it through all the tough times, the crows of doubt, and the people who can sometimes put obstacles in your way.

If I leave one thing behind from pursuing a career as an author, I hope that my kids learn that if you want something enough, believe in it for all the right reasons, then the sacrifices will be worth it in the long run. They’ve seen the results this week with the release of my first book, and the amazing time they’re having on this trip.

So, what’s the goal that you have for yourself, and how are you putting things in place in your life to meet it and avoid the distractions that could make you stray off your path?

 I’m sitting here with my piece of baklava and a Greek coffee, dying to hear from you!

Contract for Marriage

Pregnant and alone after her ex-lover’s death, magazine editor Ruby Fleming’s not about to give up her home to the man who broke her heart—until she discovers her mother left half of the estate to somebody else, and she realizes she’s trapped.

Property tycoon Christo Mantazis wants the one thing his riches can’t buy—the villa where his mother has lived and worked as housekeeper for forty years. That it’s the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner’s irresistible daughter stirs up old memories and now he wants her more than ever.

When Christo offers a marriage of convenience, Ruby knows it’s the only way for them to get what they want. Ruby needs her baby to have the link to its past, Christo needs his mother to retain her home, and for him to have the child he could never father.

But it’s another need—to have Christo again—that Ruby must resist at all costs.

Learn more about Barbara DeLeo at her website.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hey! I Just Had a New Release!

Under the Moon came out yesterday! Yay!

I was so swamped by my blog tour, social media activity, and deadline (almost to the end of book 3, Sunroper!) that I never got to post. Not like most of you probably didn't see me elsewhere. But still. It feels odd not to celebrate a release day on a release day.


I have a bunch of stuff going on with regard to this release!

First, sadly, my local stores are not carrying Under the Moon. Which means I can't visit it, what with blog tours and deadlines and the day job and the kids that prevent me from driving three hours to bookstores that are carrying it. So I'm giving away magnets to anyone who sees Under the Moon in the wild!

How can you get a magnet of this beautiful cover to hold recipes on your range hood for easy viewing, or to-do lists on the side of your filing cabinet, or the running grocery store list on the front of your refrigerator? Easy! Just let me know you saw the book in the bookstore! It would be great if you post pictures on Twitter (include @NJDamschroder) so I see it, or on Facebook (tag me @NJDamschroder or @nataliedamschroder) or e-mail me at natalie AT nataliedamschroder DOT com and let me know what store, where. I'll get your mailing address from you and put the magnet in the mail immediately!

There are also a BUTTLOAD of places you can try to win a copy of Under the Moon, both e-book and print. Look to the right ------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There's a blog tour with the first chapter broken out into 7 parts. You can enter to win an e-copy of the book at each site, AND enter to win a Goddess Box (it's not a basket because a basket is too problematic for mailing) with a T-shirt, print copy of the book, pampering items, jewelry, and additional swag. See the Rafflecopter below, as well—I think you can enter that once a day.

You can also see that I'm giving away a print copy of UtM at Goodreads, AND a VERY rare print copy of Fight or Flight, as well. Both of those are accepting entries until near the end of the month.

Today I'm at Fade into Fantasy with an interview (giveaways included!) and there are two more upcoming stops with regular guest posts you can check out (also listed to the right).

I'm one of the Featured Contests at Coffee Time Romance this month, too. LOTS of great stuff being given away there, so visit them all!

Finally, tomorrow, 9/13, I'll be participating in The Romance Studio's new release party. Those are always fast, furious fun. :)

Phew. I think that's everything. While you're heading over to your local store or to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, or any other retailer, check out some other 9/11 and upcoming new releases:

The Space Between Us by Megan Hart

Haven 6 by Aubrie Dionne (who will be guest blogging here on 9/25/12)

Captured Heart by Heather McCollum

Playing with Fire by Tamara Morgan

From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Delusion in Death by JD Robb

Beneath the Mountain by Susan Gourley

All He Ever Needed by Shannon Stacey

Sky Riders by Fae Sutherland

Broken Promises by JK Coi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 06, 2012

My Lust Has Been Kindled

So last week I was in Barnes & Noble, and I took advantage of a lurking-CSR-free moment to play with the new nooks. The original one always frustrated me, so I was happy when my loving husband got me a Kindle for Christmas. I liked it better (more intuitive navigation) and he eliminated the "do I want one/I don't need one" debate I couldn't get out of my head.

Obviously, since the 2nd Gen Kindle 3G (pictured left, with the awesome skin my brother gave me; see below for the back side), all e-book readers have gotten progressively better. Well, in theory.

I don't like the Kindle Touch. The screen is darker and has a slightly gold tint compared to the cleaner gray of the previous generation, and the touch sensitivity is unbearable now that I'm used to my iPod. So if I *had* to replace my Kindle with a Kindle, I'd stick with the keyboard.

Anyway, like I was saying, I tried out the nook in B&N. I liked it. The touch screen is nice, the navigation much better, and the Glowlight is cool compared to using an external light that causes a glare or even worse, a backlight. So I was thinking that if I *had* to replace my Kindle, I'd get a nook.

But then I bought a book from B&N for the nook app on my iPod, for comparison purposes to the Kindle app. And I'm back to being supremely annoyed. I can't necessarily blame nook. It's a self-published book, so the formatting problems could be from the author or the formatter they hired. But I get maybe two paragraphs on the screen and then a big empty space. Even for a tiny screen, I have to swipe way too often.

And NOW. *cue angels singing* Amazon announces Kindle Paperwhite.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know I'm a gadget girl. I LOVE gadgets. Electronic ones, simple ones, cool ones that have no practical purpose. But I also love books—and that's still true, even if more than half of my reading is digital nowadays. So wanting an e-book reader has never been simple for me. I never really lusted for one.

Until now. OMG, I want the Kindle Paperwhite so bad I can taste it. The size, the screen, the special lighting. The price is affordable, too. I love the 3G but would do just fine with wireless, and I think I'd like getting special offers on the screensaver. At least it would change. I am so freaking tired of the same fusty old classic authors all the time.

Have you checked out the new Kindle line? What do you think?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Under the Moon Release Month!

Yay, September's here! That means fall-type weather, and FOOTBALL, and TV premieres!

And this year, it means Under the Moon in bookstores!

So I have a lot of promotions going on. As you can see by the image on the left, I'll be doing a blog tour during my release week. There will be an opportunity to win digital copies of the book at every stop, as well as a Goddess Gift Basket at the end. I'll be doing a few additional blog stops after the tour, too, so there will be even MORE chances to win! Stay tuned for details.

As you can see in the sidebar to the right, I'm also giving away a copy of the new print version of Under the Moon through Goodreads. Even BIGGER is that I'm giving away a copy of Fight or Flight, which was never sold in print. There are only about a dozen copies of this mass market paperback that even *exist*, so make sure you head over there and get in the pool.

I ALSO have a contest going on at Coffee Time Romance this month. That prize is a print (or digital, your choice) copy of Under the Moon AND some Dark Goddess Velvet Dream Whipped Sugar Scrub. There's also a sample bar of homemade soap that smells incredible.

But wait, there's more!

UtM in the Wild
If you see Under the Moon on your bookstore shelf, please take a picture and send it to me! You can tag me on Twitter or Facebook or e-mail it to me at natalie AT nataliedamschroder DOT com. I'll send everyone who does so a book cover magnet, while supplies last.

Interviews and Parties!
You'll be able to find me at The Romance Studio new release party on 9/13 and in the Coffee Time Romance new release chat on 10/2 (no new release chat in September). I have interviews at Romance Author Hotspot (9/9) and Fade into Fantasy (9/12) and I'll be participating in the Online Reader Retreat in October.

PLUS You can Meet Me LIVE!
I'm a featured author, guest of the Maryland Romance Writers, at the Baltimore Book Festival the weekend of September 28-30. I'll be part of two discussion panels and hanging out to meet readers and some of the hundreds of other authors who will be there.

So far, I have one booksigning scheduled, on November 17 (time TBA) at the Camp Hill, PA, Barnes & Noble. More to come, so stay tuned!

And everyone have a great holiday weekend! (Or, if you're outside the U.S., just a great weekend. :) )