Nowhere available on B&N

I wanted to let everyone know that “Nowhere” is finally available for purchase on Barnes and Noble’s website. I have been waiting for a long time for this! If you are a Barnes and Noble loyalist now is your chance to get it!

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Here is the link http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nowhere-marysue-hobika/1114843232?ean=2940044371415

Back Cover:

A girl named Mike is transplanted against her will to the middle of Nowhere—a town so small that cow tipping is considered to be a fun pastime for teens on a Saturday night! Sure that life as she knows it is over, she meets a boy named Dooner who’s never lived anywhere else and can’t wait to get out of town on the football scholarship that’s going to be his ticket to a better life, away from his father. Sparks fly between them, but it’s not exactly love at first sight.

Will they find a way into each other’s heart despite the fact that they come from very different backgrounds? Will it change how they both feel about Nowhere?

And will Nowhere become the somewhere they’ve been searching for?

Excerpt:

I walked around the truck and climbed into the driver’s seat. I started the engine and headed in the direction of her grandfather’s farm. The radio was on; I played with the dials, searching for a song.

Mikayla was the first to speak. “When you drop me off, do you have a sec’?”

“Yeah, I have a two hour break before I have to be back at practice.” Maybe my day wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

“Perfect.” She didn’t say anything else, but left me wondering what she had in mind. She leaned her head back and relaxed as the wind from the open window blew her hair all around. I wasn’t prepared for how happy it made me feel to see her riding in my truck. I could get used to having her next to me.

I waited until we were parked in her driveway to apologize. I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry about yesterday. Thanks for giving me a second chance. What can I do to make it up to you?”

“You just did by giving me a ride home. We can call it even.” She smiled. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” She quickly jumped down from the truck and walked toward the house.

Without even being invited, I followed her.

She stopped on the front porch and turned around to face me, “Wait here. And I mean it.” She pointed her finger at my chest.

“Where are you going?” I asked, but she didn’t respond.

She disappeared into the house, returning a minute later. “Here’s your shirt. I washed it for you.” She held it out to me.

I was taken aback. This was not what I had expected. “I said you could keep it.” I pushed it back at her.

“You said a lot of things.” She sounded both angry and hurt.

Finally I understood why she had me drive her home. She wasn’t giving me a second chance; she was paying me back for standing her up. She led me here on false pretenses only to let me down. “So you are mad about yesterday.” She didn’t say anything but the angry look on her face said it all. “I really was helping my dad change a tractor tire. I called. Did Emma tell you?”

“Yeah and she also said that you’d call back.”

“I took a shower and then crashed.” I didn’t tell her that I’d decided she’d be better off without me. “Changing a tractor tire isn’t as easy as it sounds.” I took a deep breath. Lowering my voice and changing my tone, I added, “I’m sorry I didn’t call. Can you give me another chance?”

“No.” She turned to disappear back into the house.

I couldn’t let her go that easy. I had to get her to change her mind about me. I reached out and in one swift move I pulled her against my chest. I could feel her heart beating against mine. I paused one second too long the other night and I wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. I dipped my head down. I couldn’t wait to taste the sweetness of her mouth. I was inches away from touching my lips to hers when she stiffened in my arms.

She pushed against my chest with both hands. I let her go. “It’s time for you to leave, James.” She stormed inside, slamming the door behind her.

I bent over and picked up my fallen shirt. I left it neatly folded on the swing. I wanted her, but I could wait. Forcing her to feel something that she wasn’t ready for was not my style. She’d come around. She wouldn’t have bothered to go to such extremes to get back at me if she didn’t care. I’d give her time to cool down and then I’d be back.

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Tuesday’s Top Ten

Boy & Girl Formal

“The Perfect Prom Date” I self-published, while I chose a traditional route for
Nowhere 3

“Nowhere”, which was published by Muse It Up Publishing.

Currently I am working on another novel, part of a four book series, and although it is only halfway complete, I am beginning to question which avenue to take when it is finished.

Top Five Reasons to Self-Publish

1- You are your own boss. You have no one to answer to except yourself.
2- You have complete control over when you release your book and where.
3- You have complete control over price at all times.
4- You have complete control over cover art.
5- You can easily check how many book you’ve sold by logging into your accounts. You can even obsessively check three or four times a day, if you choose.

Top Five Reason Not to Self-publish

1- You are all on your own without the support of a publisher or fellow authors.
2- You have to format an e-book, which is not as easy as it sounds, and can lead to major headaches and a lot of frustrations, or pay someone to do it.
3- You have to do all of your own editing, which in my experience can be difficult, or pay someone to do it for you.
4- You have to create your own cover, which can take hours to choose the right image, or pay someone to do it.
5- You have to do all of your own marketing.

What has been your experience? Self-publishing or traditional publishing?

First Friday’s Guest Author…Scott R. Caseley

I am happy to have fellow Muse YA author, Scott R. Caseley, appear on my blog. His book “Isosceles” was released in Januaray 2013. His cover and book blurb appear below followed by his answers to a set of interview questions about his writing and his life.

Isosceles 200x300-1

When he finds his best friend Trey Goodsby dead and almost completely submerged in a bathtub filled with bloody water, Sean McIntyre is determined to find out if it was an accident or suicide. If it was suicide, why did he do it? And, did his death accidental or intentional have anything to do with Madeline Edwards, the woman who came between them constantly through their thirteen-year friendship? Isosceles, a coming-of-age mystery romance begins with the death of Trey Goodsby, and explores his relationships with family, friends, his romances, and which of the circumstances he found himself in that led to the tragic event, and the repercussions for those he left behind.

scottrcaseleyauthorphoto

When and why did you begin writing?

In the fall of second grade, my class learned about creative writing and we were told that we could write short stories and have them “published”, basically it was a fabric cover on the front and back and we did the illustrations throughout and the text was handwritten. We even learned about the importance of re-writing. From my very first short story, about a sick elephant and his worried mother, I was hooked on the fun of creating imaginary situations which would blend humor with drama.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Sixth grade was a magic year for learning about novels in school. We were assigned two books in particular that have always stuck with me; Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson and The Outsiders by SE Hinton. Both struck a chord with me as they both dealt with the power of friendship when you feel let down by family, and then how family may just come around on you when tragedy strikes. I think that those two books were the best books to prepare me for crossing the threshold into the dreaded teen angst period, many if not all of us go through.
Later on, I discovered the works of Dennis Lehane and I got drawn into his Kenzie/Gennaro series immediately. He knew how to tell an interesting mystery narrative that was very character based and built up the two main protagonists, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. He didn’t give their traits right away, he drops in details when needed and has them grow exponentially through each tale. They go through a lot of changes over the course of the six books in the series that have been released so far. (Mr. Lehane, if you’re reading this, please write more stories with these two.) It’s inspired me on how to give characteristics of someone through someone else’s eyes particularly someone who knows you like the back of your hand, but can still find you to be mysterious.

What book are you reading now? Or what book is next on your TBR?

I’m actually reading three books at the moment; A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, I love her use of polyphony and the characters are so rich and vivid. My friend Lorrie recommended Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and I like a good mystery, so I’m enjoying that as well. And, lastly, I just picked up Turn of Mind which Bonnie the Book Lady recommended on The Book Club show I was a part of on “The Jordan Rich Show” on WBZ. It had a very intriguing premise, a mystery told through the perspective of a woman with Alzheimer’s.

If Hollywood made your book into a movie who would you cast as the leads?

Joel Courtney from “Super 8” would be an amazing Sean, he has the right look of caring, but deep pain. For Madeline, Sheilene Woodley who was in one of my favorite movies “The Descendants” has the beauty, intelligence and poise to portray the lynchpin of the trio. Lastly, for the enigmatic Trey, there’s only one person that comes to mind for that, Logan Lerman from “Perks of Being a Wallflower”, I saw an interview with him and he had some facial hair and he appeared like he could pull off mischievous yet tragic.

What do you do during your free-time when you’re not writing?

My two biggest non-writing passions would have to be yoga and cooking. Yoga centers me, gives me peace of mind, and enables me to have the strength and flexibility I need to do various other workouts. Cooking is an opportunity for me to be creative, entertain others, and try new dishes from around the world.

Coffee or tea?

Both actually; coffee in the morning, noon, and night, caffeine does wonders for my creativity and, tea is family tradition.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Creative, humorous, driven

If you could choose any vehicle to drive, what would it be, and why?

No question, the flying DeLorean in “Back to the Future Part II” because I could time travel and follow my earliest dream of flying simultaneously. Wait, does simultaneous really work as a concept when time traveling?

Thank you very much for this interview, Marysue. I enjoyed this trip down memory lane that this book brought me on. It made me think of my early childhood and school experiences, which fostered my loves for writing and reading. Plus as a movie buff, I always love making casting choices for my characters. My coffee maker is beeping, so I’ve got to go!

Thank you Scott for a wonderful interview. For more information you can check out “Isosceles” at http://www.museituppublishing.com

Pondering Price Point….

My book Boy & Girl Formal

sells for $.99. I am pondering increasing the price. I have complete control over price point because it is self-published. Currently I only make $.40 on each book I sell. Doing the math, if I sell 25 books a month for 1 year that is only a profit of $120. I certainly can’t live off of that – it wouldn’t even cover a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 5. I was originally hoping selling it at that price would encourage more readers to buy

Nowhere 3

but so far I can’t say that has happened. “Nowhere” sells for $5.50, which was set by the publisher and is based on the number of pages. It is a great value for a book that will provide several hours of entertainment and enjoyment. I’m not sure if “The Perfect prom Date” hasn’t led more readers to “Nowhere” because their prices are within too great a range, or if people who bought “The Perfect Prom Date” for $.99 didn’t love it enough to buy another book by the same author for more money.

Please share your thoughts or comments on price point. I am in need of sage advice.

Tuesday’s Top Ten!

Nowhere 3

Top Ten Reasons to Read “Nowhere”

1 – It’s a sweet YA Romance with alternating POVs.

2 – “Nowhere” has a 4.6 rating on Goodreads. One reviewer said, “I must say, I was instantly hooked with the characters and setting from the first page.”

3 – It doesn’t get any hotter than Dooner, the main male character.

Excerpt:
“The mystery man’s pickup truck was more rugged and older than the other trucks there. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. The hottest guy I’d ever seen hopped out and confidently strutted over to where we were all standing. My gaze moved upward from his dusty cowboy boots to his strikingly handsome face. I gasped, in pleasant surprise. I hadn’t thought it possible for such a combination of good looks and perfect body to exist anywhere, let alone in Nowhere.
He had on faded blue jeans and a long-sleeved button down shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His muscles were taut and natural looking, as if they were a result of hard work and not from pumping iron in the gym. He smiled at me when he realized I was unabashedly checking him out. He had the deepest set of dimples I’d ever seen on a guy. I bet they’d be there even when he wasn’t smiling. I looked directly into his unusual green eyes and wondered—who was this football-playing cowboy?”

4 – Mikayla, or Mike, is a very believable main character who isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

Excerpt:
Mikayla was the first to speak. “When you drop me off, do you have a sec’?”
“Yeah, I have a two hour break before I have to be back at practice.” Maybe my day wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
“Perfect.” She didn’t say anything else, but left me wondering what she had in mind. She leaned her head back and relaxed as the wind from the open window blew her hair all around. I wasn’t prepared for how happy it made me feel to see her riding in my truck. I could get used to having her next to me.
I waited until we were parked in her driveway to apologize. I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry about yesterday. Thanks for giving me a second chance. What can I do to make it up to you?”
“You just did by giving me a ride home. We can call it even.” She smiled. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” She quickly jumped down from the truck and walked toward the house.
Without even being invited, I followed her.
She stopped on the front porch and turned around to face me, “Wait here. And I mean it.” She pointed her finger at my chest.
“Where are you going?” I asked, but she didn’t respond.
She disappeared into the house, returning a minute later. “Here’s your shirt. I washed it for you.” She held it out to me.
I was taken aback. This was not what I had expected. “I said you could keep it.” I pushed it back at her.
“You said a lot of things.” She sounded both angry and hurt.
Finally I understood why she had me drive her home. She wasn’t giving me a second chance; she was paying me back for standing her up. She led me here on false pretenses only to let me down. “So you are mad about yesterday.” She didn’t say anything but the angry look on her face said it all.

5 – It has a fresh country setting.

Excerpt:
“In no mood to join them, I looked around at my new surroundings. Corn in every direction. Unfortunately, I hated corn. It was tasteless and messy. I hated how it got stuck between my teeth.
Interestingly enough, smack dab in the middle of the cornfield across the road was a crumbling cemetery, marked off by a twisted black metal fence. I’d always thought it seemed out of place. Now, I knew how it felt.”

Excerpt:
“I heard the creek bubbling before I could see it. I loved the relaxing sound of water rushing over rocks. It turned out to be a small creek with scraggly trees lining the banks. It appeared to be ankle deep with crystal clear water. I could see rocks and small stones lining the bottom.”

6 – “Nowhere” was published by Muse It Up Publishing, an awesome publishing house.

7 – The cover was designed by the talented cover artist, Charlotte Volnek.

8 – “Nowhere” was edited by Julie Hayes with Val Haley as the line editor.

9 – It is the perfect length at 162 pages. It is neither too long or too short.

10 – It is a great bargain at $5.50 and it available at Muse Up Publishing and through Amazon.

Excerpts From: Marysue G. Hobika. “Nowhere.” MuseItUp Publishing, 2012-06-08. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright

Tuesday’s Top Ten!

What better way to bring in the new year than to recap my top ten accomplishments of 2012, the top ten things I learned, and my top ten goals for 2013.

Top Ten Accomplishments of 2012

1. I self-published “The Perfect Prom Date” in January.

2. My book “Nowhere” was released in June by Muse It Up Publishing.

3. I gave my website and blog a facelift to attract new followers.

4. I have written 48 posts, including this one.

5. My blog has received more than 1,500 visitors.

6. I read 14 books during the summer months.

7. I helped my dear friend, Kelly Mooney, edit her latest book, “Please Don’t Go”.

8. I conducted my first author interview to a group of students.

9. I participated and contributed in my first Indie-read-a-thon.

10. I began writing a new book, “One Complicated Summer”, which is the first book in a four book series.

Top Ten Things I Learned in 2012

1. The importance of Beta-readers (I will be sure to ask several beta-readers to read my next manuscript before I even send out any queries. Beta readers are extremely insightful).

2. I enjoy crafting “Character Bibles.” ( I made character bibles for the main characters in Nowhere and it really helped me get to know them.)

3. I have a difficult time finding my own typos and grammatical errors. (However, I enjoy editing other author’s manuscripts and I am much better at helping them than I am helping myself.)

4. There are advantages and disadvantages to self publishing.

5. There are advantages and disadvantages to publishing with a publishing house.

6. Barnes and Noble does not directly accept non-US publishing houses. They have to go through smashwords. (Hence, I have been patiently awaiting for “Nowhere” to appear on the B&N website for almost seven months.)

7. I am not a fast writer. (Which I am totally okay with.)

8. Some months I have a difficult time making time to write, while other months I can’t seem to stop.

9. I can’t read a book and work on my own at the same time. (Nor can I flip between stations when there is a commercial on.) My brain just doesn’t work that way.

10. Always take constructive criticism, constructively. I used it learn about myself as an author and how I can improve in the future. (Because of course being an author is my future!)

Top Ten Goals for 2013

1. Finish writing “One Complicated Summer.”

2. Receive a contract for “One Complicated Summer.”

3. Continue to blog two to three times a week.

4. Establish more relationships with other authors and readers. (Goodreads is a great forum for accomplishing this.)

5. Obtain more followers on my blog.

6. Spend more time with real teens, so that my writing connects to them even more than it already does.

7. Read at least as many books this summer as I did in 2012.(Nothing is more relaxing than sitting at the beach or by my pool reading a great novel).

8. Take a writing course (I took an on-line course with Anastasia Suen in 2011, and throughly benefitted it.)

9. Visit the YA book fair at Nazareth College. (A truly inspiring experience to be surrounded by fellow authors, such as Melisa de la Cruz and Simone Elkeles, and thousands of wonderful readers!)

10. Sell thousands of copies of “The Perfect Prom Date” and “Nowhere.”

What did you accomplish in 2012? What did you learn? And what are your goals for 2013?

Why I Love YA

Enter to win a library of YA books, by stopping by Beth’s Blog. She is hosting an incredible giveaway.

 

Why do I love YA? I think it’s because there is no better story than a love story. My heart always gets warm and fuzzy when I read about characters experiencing love for the first time. Also teenagers aren’t set in routines like adults, so anything can happen at any time. I find YA to be suspenseful and unpredictable.

I love YA so much that I am now a YA author of two books. “Nowhere” (published by Muse It Up Publishing), and “The Perfect Prom Date” (my first self-published title).

My favorite Indie authors include: Abbi Glines, Jessica Sorenson, Tammara Webber, Jessica Park, Amanda Hocking, and Nyrae Dawn, Heather Hildenbrand, and Kelly Mooney

If you’re a YA lover, click on the icon of books above to enter!

The Next Big Thing Bloghop

I was tagged by the talented writer and blogger: Sara Durham

 

This is the end of the line for this Bloghop. We had many talented Muse It Up Authors participate.

Happy Halloween

1 – What is the working title of your next book?

My next book is part of a four book series, entitled Senior Year. Each book will take place during one of the seasons, highlighting two different main characters. The first book will take place in summer. I may actually hold a voting contest on my blog, asking followers to vote between a few I am considering. ( I have a difficult time deciding titles.)

Summer Heat            Senior Summer          One Complicated Summer

The other titles I am considering for the subsequent books are: Falling for You, Winter Escape, and Spring Fling.

This is all subject to change, since I am in the early planning stages. It is an ambitious project, but I love a good series and I’ve always wanted to write one of my own.

2- Where did the idea come from?

I’m not really sure. I am a character driven writer, and Carly and Gavin came to me first. I wanted to write a story about a girl who is a very talented musician, but is too shy to really let her talents shine. She reminds me of my daughter, who is passionate about singing and performing, but unlike my character, my daughter isn’t shy at all on stage.

3 – What genre does your book fall under?

YA Romance, of course!

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in  a movie rendition?

Maybe Selena Gomez and a young Zac Effron.

5 – What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Summer heats up when Carly attempts to break out of her shell by becoming the newest member of the band Karma. Will joining the band bring her closer to her dark and brooding friend, Gavin? Or will it drive them apart? A lot can change over the course of one summer.

Okay, so I don’t have it down to one sentence yet, but I will continue to work at it.

6 – Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will be submitting my manuscript to Muse It Up Publishing when complete. I have thoughts and comments to share on my next post as to which method of publishing I prefer. (My answer to this question is a hint.)

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Haha. I haven’t written it yet. I am going to be writing it during Nanowrimo. I have outlined the series, and I have written “Character Bibles” for all the main characters. On November 1st, I’ll be saying, “Ready, set, GO!”

8 -What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can’t compare it to anything since I haven’t written it yet.

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?

 I was inspired by all the really great books I read over the summer. I have always wanted to write a series, and I thought what better idea than to write a series about Senior Year. It is such a momentous year in every teenager’s life. So many big decisions are made.

10 – Will there be any scary parts in the book? This is a halloween post, after all. 

I don’t think there will be any scary parts, but there will be conflict. Love isn’t always easy, you know.

 

Perfect Prom Date Update

A revised version of The Perfect Prom Date is now available for purchase. I had received a less than favorable review, and while I don’t expect everyone to love my book, I aim to put my best work out there. It was brought to my attention that I had missed several typos. Ouch! Also a comment was made that my plot was a little too perfect. While I didn’t change the story line, I did add more conflict. To celebrate, The perfect Prom Date is only $.99.

The Perfect Prom Date is self-published, while Nowhere is published by Muse It Up. In a future blog, I am going to share my thoughts and comments on which method I prefer.

Blog Interview

This Friday I would like to thank Helene Prevost for asking me to be a guest on her blog. Click here.

My plan is to host an author on my blog the first Friday of every month. A piece of advice that I did not follow that I wish I had, was I should have started promoting my book long before it came out. I didn’t because I kept waiting for my cover art, which I didn’t get until a couple of days before my book was released. However, that is just an excuse. I wish I had been out there talking about my book and getting people excited out it. I am doing that now, but it would have been beneficial to do it sooner. I even like the count down clock some authors have on their websites or blog, indicating when their latest book is going to be released.

Well, as I said in the beginning this is a journey, and with any journey we learn as we go. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for checking out my first ever blog interview!