Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Have a very happy holiday and please stay safe! One of my early Christmas presents was the offer to be advertised, for free, in a local news magazine. If everything falls into place, the ad will be in the February issue!
Stay tuned for details on when the printed copy will be available from the printer!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My first interview is now up!

Please check out my first interview about Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal on Author Wendy Swore's site here!

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The reviews are trickling in...

So, the reviews of TRANSCENDENT are slowly trickling in and they are good!

--"Looking for your fix of sirens, vampires, angels and things otherworldly? These eight short stories will delight you with touches of humor and a shiver or two. These stories have it all, if you like romance, suspense, and a good old dose of spooky this is the book for you."--Cathy Witbeck
--"This is a compilation of short stories, all with a paranormal twist. What's better than ghosts and hugging? Blood and romance? Vampires and kissing? Nothing! What a fun read. Each story has a little fear and an enticing love interest. Enjoy!"--Canda Mortensen

I'm very excited to see the stories being passed onto people we don't even know. I love seeing comments like this one on one of our reviewers blogs, "I'm reading this now. Fun stuff." Word of e-mouth is a great and powerful tool!

Speaking of "great and powerful tools"--reviews. Reviews are one of those things that authors love and hate, all at once. I came across a wonderfully written blog about how one author, Michelle Davidson Argyle, deals with them. If you have the time, I suggest you take a look at her blog here.

My view on reviews is similar to Argyle's. I appreciate each and every review. Negative, positive, neutral. You have a "write" to post what you want, but I do hope the reviewer takes the time to point out what they liked/didn't like about it. I've read thousands of reviews from my years in the fan-fiction reading and writing world and have seen authors fall into the "flamers" hands and retaliate on a review. A war breaks out and it upsets the author (and probably reviewer) but it does give everyone reading them good fodder for a few minutes. So far, I haven't run into this issue but I have seen it, and it can get ugly very fast!

So, if you read one or all of the short stories, please share which ones and tell us your thoughts. You can do this here on Amazon, on the Facebook page here or even on this blog. Thanks so much!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Introducing...the final copy of the cover of TRANSCENDENT!

Prizes, Contests and Freebies...oh my!

Please take a moment and tour the blogs of the authors who worked hard on the book, Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal. You can find them here:

Also, numerous blogs are going to read and review the book, and you can follow their thoughts here (each blogger will promote the book on a different day):

Now, onto the words in the title! I will be offering a free copy of my book to readers, Wendy has some great gift baskets to readers and the other authors are coming up with some contests of their own! I'm waiting until the printed copy is available then I will unveil my contest on this blog and my facebook page: Author Heather McCubbin.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hmm, where did my followers go? And...a Poll!

I can't see who my followers are...I had 10 of them and now there aren't any? If you still follow this blog, please let me know if you can see who the followers are. Thanks!

On a different note, feel free to take part in a poll if you've read the stories in our anthology. Thanks!
Poll: Favorite Story <--click on the link to take the poll!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Please LIKE Us On Facebook!

The publisher created a Facebook page, so please visit and LIKE us here! Each author also has a Facebook page and most have a Goodreads profile that you can peruse as your leisure as well.

If you happen to read the ebook version, please leave us a review! The printed one is coming soon :-)

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The E-Book Is Here!

You can now buy the ebook of Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal for only $2.99! Printed copies will be coming in the next few weeks :-) Please, if you read, leave a review on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com.
Thanks everyone!

http://www.amazon.com/Transcendent-Tales-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B006JV1NM8

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fairy Tales...

So, my daughter and I have been watching "Once Upon A Time". She is nine years old and I'm...well, a little older. When she was a toddler, she was never into the Disney Movies. She watched Cinderella a few times, but that was it. Even when her best friend was into Snow White, she made no effort to watch the movie. I would try to show her Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians or Little Mermaid but she soon became bored.
I wasn't upset by this at all. Having two older brothers probably helped her become more interested in other shows or to play Rescue Heroes instead.
Fast forward to the show "Once Upon A Time"and while she loves the storyline, she hasn't any idea who "Rumplestiltskin" is, or what the storyline is behind Pinnochio and what Jimney Cricket's job was in the movie. I remember learning about these stories in school, but I guess they don't do that anymore, or they don't pick the ones that I learned about.
Today she came home with a Fairy Tale book and over the next few days, we'll be brushing up on Ol' Rumple, his friends "Little Red Riding Hood", "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and "Sleeping Beauty."
So, add Grimms Fairy Tales to my list of books TBR= book to be read!

Below is a photo of Robert Carlyle who plays "Rumplestiltskin" in the TV Show "Once Upon A Time". He is fantastic!



   

Friday, December 2, 2011

The back of Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal

I took this straight off Goodreads as I was too excited to wait for the PDF file. It was resized a bit to fit on the GR website:

Favorite books as a child?

For two years in a row, I've read in my daughter's classes in her elementary school. I'd go in once a week or so, read a book of my choice and entertain the kids for a half hour. I try to pick books they normally wouldn't choose themselves. No Harry Potter, The Lightning Thief or Andrew Clements books as I know they can get easy access to those. Instead, I've read Chocolate Fever (which a child managed to find in the library and read along with me the last few chapters. That's the greatest gift!), Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Lucy Rose and the latest one Mrs. Piggle Wiggles Treasury. For some reason, when I say the last one, I hear brakes squealing to a stop. "What kind of name is that?" you ask.

It's a book published in the 1940s, so many of the terms are dated like: "davenport", "mush" and one of the character's name is "Dick". When I read the first story to the 3rd grade class last year, they asked for more. I only got through a few stories as it was the last book I read during the school year. I began with it in 4th grade and the day I walked into the school, one of the girls who heard it last year stopped me and asked if I was reading it. She and my daughter were the only ones who had heard any of the stories from their shared 3rd grade class.

It takes 30 minutes to read two stories. Each one teaches a lesson about a common annoying habit children have: not wanting to bathe, not eating much at dinner, not wanting to clean their bedroom, talking back to people etc.

I chose to read this book because my 4th grade teacher read it to me back in 1982. When my oldest child hit 4th grade I found the book on Amazon and immediately bought it...and it's been on our bookshelf ever since. So, what are some books that you read/that were read to you back in elementary school? In addition to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle I distinctly remember (and most of these are in 4th grade, so I must've had a teacher who read to us ALOT): Rivets and Sprockets, Danny Dunn books, Dr. Doolittle, A Wrinkle in Time and in Kindergarten I distinctly remember The Giving Tree.

I will finish Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in the next few weeks and I'm not sure what books I will read next. I may have to dig deep into my memory, or take ideas...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What is a Blog Tour?

You've heard of book tours, concert tours and the like but perhaps you are unfamiliar with a "blog tour"? I know I certainly was up until last year when my friend, Lani Woodland (author of Intrinsical and Indelible and two short stories in Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal) told me about how she was doing one, along with a YA Treasure Hunt (more on that later). She appeared on numerous book reviewers/writers/authors websites as an interviewee. I was told by my publisher that we will be doing the same thing in early 2012. The other authors in my book will be interviewed on my site, but I am also  excited that I will be doing my first book review (and a blog interview) in January with Elizabeth Mueller, authoress of Darkspell.


Once I get a firm release date for Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal I will let everyone know.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Teaser Time!

Guess what appeared in my inbox on Thanksgiving evening? A PDF file of Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal! The authors have been so on top of the edits, 90% of the book is typeset! The publisher is waiting on one author bio and a blurb from a well-known author to help promote the book. I was told that the e-book *may* be available by Christmas. There will be printed copies available and some will be handed out in contests (stay tuned to my blog to win one!), a few will be handed out to other authors to read and review on their blog and others will be available for purchase through the usual sites online. I will definitely keep you updated!

Teasers. We've all seen them either for the movie we are anticipating the most (can anyone say Hunger Games?) or a word from a widely famous book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). I was given permission to put a teaser up from my story on this blog! It took me awhile to find something suspenseful, yet not too revealing about what is going on in Shadows of Promise...


      The undulating light grew stronger and brighter with each passing moment. Dawn's hand slipped off the cursor, wondering how anything so beautiful could be threatening. Within seconds, the light became an almost discernible shape.
     "Oh, come on!" Todd scrambled to his feet, his arm waving in the direction of the lights. "This is so freaking fake. You all can't believe this li—" The wind lifted him off his feet, spun him around in the air like a top, and then tossed him to the floor with a thud like someone dropping a suitcase.
      Liaaaar...
      Stunned silence followed. As Todd groaned and rolled over to get up, everyone except Lauren, Dawn and Sean ran screaming from the circle, shoving one another to get out of the room.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We are on Goodreads!

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal is now on Goodreads, which you can access here. You can mark it "to read" and read the blurb, learn about the other authors and all that fun stuff.

Just in case you don't have an account and don't particularly want one, here is the blurb:

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the d├ęcor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories. 

Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you. 

Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I always said I should write a book based upon comments I hear children say either to each other or in response to a direction question. However, that's been done (the title above was a book that Rosie O'Donnell wrote many years ago) but I thought I'd share a few that I've heard in my classroom, or from their parents:

4 year old girl playing with a TRex and a Triceratops: "Hello, Triceratops, how are you?" "I'm fine, T-Rex, how are you?" "I'm fi--ROOOOOAAARRRR!" and she takes the TRex and pounces on the Triceratops as it pretends to eat the polite dinosaur.

3 year old girl at snack time: "I want more lemonade!" Me: "What is the magic word?" Girl: "Abracadabra!"

3 year old girl in circle time, in the middle of October. "What is the month?" Silence. "It has Halloween in it..." Silence then a little girl shouts, "Hollowember!"

3 year old girl doing the helper chart, "I want to be the windy helper today!" (weather helper)

3 year old girl telling me what she is thankful for in a letter to her parents, "I am thankful for my pants."

3 year old girl comes up to me upset with another 3 year old girl trailing behind her.
"Mrs. McCubbin! She's mean!" points to the girl behind her.
"Why?"
"She is saying I am silly!" hands on her hips, she looks angry.
"Well, [insert her name] are you silly?" I ask.
"Yes."
"Okay then." I respond, wanting to see what she does next.
Girl who complains turns to the one behind her. "Okay. I'm silly. You win." They run off and play tag.

I'm sure I'll have more as they come to me, or as I hear the stories in class. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

...no, not the TV show (which is one of my favorites) but in writing--making it perhaps one of the most popular concoction of four words ever.

Once Upon A Time, I was a teenager. I wrote romance stories and hid them in my file cabinet. I have no idea if my parents ever saw them or not, but they always ended when the boy kissed the girl. I never wrote beyond that part. I would write it out, pen and paper back in the 80s, on the back of the scrap paper my father would bring home from work. I spent days working my way up to the pivotal moment of the kiss. Right after it happened, the papers would be tucked into a file folder until I left for college. Before I left home,  I threw them away. I wish I hadn't because I'd love to try and draw parallels to what I wrote and what was going on in my life at the time...I sure wasn't getting kissed by any boys which is probably why I lived vicariously through my female character!

Fast forward through college, marriage, jobs, children, Harry Potter...when HP hit the stage, a friend introduced me to "fanfiction". She guided me in the direction of some great stories and encouraged me to write some for myself. One such story had Draco becoming such his own character, so far away from JK's representation of the beloved Slytherin, that she suggested making him a character into my own story. Years later, I have a polished manuscript of a YA Romance (what else) with a Draco-like character. I received some interest when peddling it around to agents, but it ended there. That was fine with me as my first attempt (two years earlier) at submitting it was meant with all NO's.

Putting my YA book on the back burner, I concentrated on my new job as a teacher. My lack of writing lasted about four months until I heard through a fellow author about someone wanting to put together a paranormal short story collection and would I want to write something? Of course I did, even though paranormal isn't my first choice of genre to write. I worked on "Shadows of Promise" (titles always come when the book/story is completed for me) for two weeks, submitted it and months later a new and up coming publishing agency said they liked it! One round of edits later--the second one is coming, don't worry--numerous emails, a contract, an online introduction to the other authors and now I can finally say I will be a published author.

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal will be published in the spring of 2012. My name is on the front cover, my story is inside and in "Shadows of Promise"...well, I'm not telling you if the girl gets kissed or not. You'll have to read the book to find out!