Author Archives: Terra Harmony

Sex in Young Adult Books

THE RISING-final coverI am currently writing my third and final novel for ‘The Painted Maidens Trilogy’. The first book ‘The Rising’ is available now on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. The second book ‘The Betrayed’ will be available this fall.

Without giving too much away, in the third book (tentatively named ‘The Taking’) the main character, Serena – who is 18 – makes the decision to share herself with her boyfriend. This is not within the confines of marriage because well, they are mermaids and they don’t get married.

I’ve done my fair share of research on sex in young adult books and am admittedly nervous to include it. I want to do it right. The best article I found so far is by ‘Writing Teen Novels‘. Advice in writing sex in young adult novels includes “how important it is to be honest, to be sober and to be in a committed respectful and loving relationship before you take the leap” and “girls should decide that they are in control of their bodies and of their decision-making”.

Another great article I found is by Amber Skye Forbes. Here the author says “Sexual experiences vary widely among teenagers, which is what is so great about YA literature. It encompasses experiences from a myriad of teenagers from all different walks of life” (like mermaids – LOL) and “sex between two teenagers doesn’t always have negative consequences”.

These are exactly the points that I want to portray in my book. My work up to the scene does include a lot of soul-searching for the main character as mermaid 2to why she is choosing to do this.

My next conundrum is how graphic should I get? I have to keep it PG-13 but I don’t want to completely gloss over the event.

One big benefit I have to this is my oldest son just turned 15 – and he reads this series. I can keep myself in check knowing he will be reading the book, but I can also include everything I want him to know about it wrapped into an entertaining fantasy story.

I would love to hear your advice on the subject – especially coming from avid readers, other YA authors, parents, and even teens. What lessons should I preach (without sounding too preachy, of course)? How graphic can I get? What were some of your favorite YA books that touched this subject?

It’s My Birthday – Let Me Treat You!!!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

I’m having a great day so far, and it is about to get better.  My husband has tickets (don’t know where), he got a babysitter (my oldest son), and told me to dress nice. Needless to say, I’m very excited! So…..

Let’s Have a Giveaway!!!

Okay, this morning started out a little discerning – at 5 am I woke to my 7 year-old standing over me with blood smeared all over his face and hands. He also had the widest grin I’ve ever seen. I pushed myself up, eyes wide.

“Something very exciting just happened!” he said.

My eyes got even wider.

“My wiggly tooth came out!”

* * *

As a good friend pointed out, there could have been much worse endings to that story. But I figure I’m just being prepped for the future.

So, to enter the giveaway, comment below with your BEST birthday story.  Good or bad, awesome or gruesome, it doesn’t matter. Then I will pick one winner to giveaway my entire selection of e-books. There will be  six in all, plus several short stories.

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THE RISING-final coverThe Kindred Curse Cover

So give me your best, and don’t forget to include your email so I can contact you (or email me with your contact info terra(dot)harmony11(at)gmail.com). The giveaway will close Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at midnight EST. Good luck!

Madly, Deeply Blog Tour and Giveaway

Erica Banner

Blog tour time! Check out the latest by very talented PWP author Erica Crouch:

 

Madly, Deeply

 

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea…

Annaleigh Wells and William Calloway had a love even the angels envied. It was as if the universe spun them toward one another, like the stars crafted their souls to fit perfectly together.

With a wedding on the horizon, fate had a change of heart. Whispered warnings from phantoms and morbid nightmares darkened every night—but even visions of the future couldn’t save Annaleigh.

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Annabel Lee, Crouch’s period romance Madly, Deeply tells the tale of love so great, it cannot be contained in just one life.

Sign up for your free copy of Madly, Deeply! Click here: win a free copy now.

And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR list.

 

My 7th Book, and Why it is Different

create book

Catching up on all thing social media, and I realized I haven’t posted since…January. Oops. But I promise I’ve been working! I just finished my 7th full length novel – it is now in the editing stages. ‘The Betrayed, Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ follows ‘The Rising’, my young adult mermaid fantasy series. Catch up now before the release date; you can get The Rising on Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords.

Even though ‘The Betrayed’ falls in the middle of a series, I think the book – or at least the writing process for the book – stands apart from any I’ve ever done, for several reasons:

  1. 100% of this book was written between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am. There were no exceptions. Writing time competed heavily with my brain telling me I need to sleep. When life gets busy, my desire to write is not put on hold – I just have to make a few adjustments, and a few sacrifices.
  2. This book was hard to write! As any author will tell you, significant time and energy go into creating a full length novel. But with my Akasha Series, and to an extent the first book of this mermaid trilogy, the ideas were plentiful. Looking back, I almost feel like the stories flowed straight from my brain out through my fingers and onto my keyboard. They were fun to write and they went quick. ‘The Betrayed’ was slow writing. There was a lot of stopping to research and lots of solid brick walls that sent me tumbling backward. I really had to pull out all the stops to finish this one.
  3. I almost quit. Or at least I told myself I should just quit, which is as close to quitting as I’ve ever come since I started writing. Maybe it was the difficulty level of the book, or maybe it was writing hours, but for the first time, my second job as author became too cumbersome.
  4. “Great work. Certainly your best yet, I would say. I very much enjoyed reading it.” Exact words of my primary editor, who has edited every one of my other six books. Now, the novel still has several editors and beta readers to go, but I am certainly going to ride the high of her words for as long as I can!

Over the next few months, get ready for some fun posts. Guest interviews, cover reveals, writing samples and lots of giveaways. My goal is to reconnect with my readers in the best ways possible. Please sign up to follow my blog via email if you haven’t already, you don’t want to miss out!

Thanks for reading!

World-Building with Werewolves

werewolf skullFollowing my World Building with Mermaids Blog Post about nine months ago, I thought I’d give the wolves their fair share of the spotlight.  I’m currently writing the second book in ‘The Painted Maidens Trilogy’. In this book, tentatively titled ‘The Betrayed’, we rise up from The Deep and explore the world of The Dry a little more. I have to admit, I’ve not done a lot of research on werewolves, possibly because I don’t want my ‘wolf world’ to turn out too cliché.  So here is what I’ve come up with so far, comparing commonly accepted facts about werewolves to the wolf clan in ‘The Betrayed':

  1. A person becomes a werewolf by being bitten or scratched by another werewolf. Not true in ‘The Betrayed’.  I definitely don’t want to give anything away for those that haven’t read ‘The Rising’, but werewolves come from somewhere else entirely.
  2. Silver will kill or slow down a werewolf. Haven’t touched on the subject in ‘The Betrayed’, and I’m not sure if I will. They are, however, extremely afraid of wolfsbane, a small, yellow and poisonous flower.
  3. Werewolves communicate through a form of telepathy. Absolutely not true in ‘The Betrayed’.  I didn’t play that card with mermaids and I certainly won’t do it with the wolves!  Good old fashioned growls, scents, and body gestures will have to work.
  4. Werewolves in the same pack or clan have a link that binds them together. True in ‘The Betrayed’. This is why Liam, the good Werewolf, can’t part from the pack no matter how hard he tries.
  5. Werewolves are afraid of the water. True in ‘The Betrayed’. However, they feel bonded to it, unable to go far from the shores just as they can’t part from the pack.
  6. Werewolves only transform with the full moon. Nope! But their transformation in ‘The Betrayed’ is not always under their control, and it does occur as a response to the energy around them (again – don’t want to give too much away).

So what are some of your favorite werewolf myths or facts? What are some of your favorite werewolf books?  Comment below and help an author with her research!

Audiobook Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

With five sets to giveaway, and six people that entered, I couldn’t just turn one person down!  Congratulations!  You are all winners. I will be contacting you via email…

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. As a way to welcome all of my great new followers, and to thank air audio cover amazonwater audio cover on amazonall of my long-time followers, I am giving away five copies of the first two audio books of the Akasha Series.  To enter to win ‘Water’ and ‘Air’, you must follow my blog by email (if you haven’t already – sign up over there on the right). Then comment below with the best thing that happened to you in 2013, and be sure to include a way to contact you in case you win.

I’ll start!  The best thing that happened to me in 2013 isn’t one specific event, but rather everything falling into place.  I am at a good place in life, with my family, my writing, and my job.  I work hard, but am starting to reap the rewards and for the first time in a long time, I feel like everything is balancing out.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember all the good points in your life over the past year. Because of that, I’ve decided to start my own ‘2014 Good Things’ jar, and have each of my kids do it, too:

 2014_jar

Get started and that way next year when I have this giveaway it will be easy for you to recall the best memories of 2014 – just open up your jar!

Now remember to comment below, sign up to follow via email if you don’t already, and leave a way for me to contact you. You can email me at terra.harmony11@gmail.com to send me your contact info if you like. The contest is open internationally and will close at midnight on Saturday, January 11th.

Good luck!

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

This Giveaway is Now Closed

Thank you to all who participated!

The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is: dnewmananovelgathering. Congratulations!!!


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Giveaway Time!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?  I will be giving a $25 Amazon gift card away to one lucky winner. This is part of the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds and I am a Reader. Enter by filling out the form below, and follow the link below that for more great prizes in the blog hop!

 In order to enter, at least one of the below actions is required. Liking me on Facebook will get you 1 entry, following me on Twitter will get you 1 entry, and following my blog by email will get you 4 entries.

For one entry, like me on Facebook: click here.
For one entry, follow me on Twitter: click here.
For four entries, follow me by email: On the right hand side of this page, follow Terra Harmony by e-mail.

Complete the form below and good luck!

Contest closes on December 31st at midnight. No purchase necessary. The winner will be announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Click here to follow the blog hop and for a chance to win more great prizes!

Akasha Uber-Fans

If you are out there…I have an awesome Christmas present for you!  Check it out:

   ornaments 1 v3ornaments 3 v3

 

Akasha ornaments – they are kinda cool, right? Please say yes because I made them myself. My plan was to post step-by-step instructions with pics that would rival any DIY craft blog, but things got a little messy.  You can probably get all you need to know from this:

ornaments 4 v3

And by the way, the wine in the back was totally involved.

So how can you get your hands on this set of ornaments?  Here’s how: send your answers to the below questions, and one fan who emails correct answers by Dec. 14th will be randomly selected.  I have to give my sincerest apologies – this contest is only open to those in the US. I just shipped a bunch of books overseas and those rates are killer.  So summing up; answer questions by Dec. 14th, US only. Send an email to: terra.harmony11@gmail.com.

Question 1 from ‘Water': How did Shawn manage to overtake Kaitlyn and Susan, ending in Kaitlyn’s fateful trip to the Galapagos? (I’m specifically looking for the element used – you have a 1 in 4 chance!)

Question 2 from ‘Air': What happens to Cato at the end of the book?

Question 3 from ‘Fire': Where (what island) does Kaitlyn choose to hide from the rest of the gang?

Question 4 from ‘Earth': The Akasha Series takes the reader all over the world, but near which city (or for bonus points, the exact location) does the final battle take place?

Hopefully the questions are fairly easy, it’s been a while since some of you have read the series!  Again, just email the answers to me at terra.harmony11@gmail.com, and hopefully I can get these beautiful ornaments to the winner by Christmas!

Good luck and happy holidays!

Killing Your Characters

character deathI am a ruthless author, and if you’ve read all four books in the Akasha Series, you’ll know what I mean. I won’t post any detailed spoilers here, but I can tell you that I have literally received hate mail for killing off certain characters.  I’ve received one star reviews because the reader had become so attached to these characters, and they just didn’t want to accept the ending I wrote.

To these readers, I really want to send a big thank you. Thank you for letting me know (in your own way) that you love my characters!  There is no bigger compliment to a writer. I, of course, apologize for throwing you into an emotional whirlwind, but I hope what you take from the series overall is an awesome story, and maybe you will have picked up some ‘eco’ tips along the way. J

I’m not the only author to tread these waters. Having recently finished ‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth, I have to wonder what kind of hate mail is in her inbox – and I can definitely sympathize with her. Veronica Roth explains her decision on her official blog here. Don’t read it unless you’ve already read the whole series!

My favorite quote from Roth during the explanation is “I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.”

I agree with Roth – as authors we want honest but bold stories. If anything, The Akasha Series is bold, and I wanted an ending that was just as bold. For those of you that have read the series, please be sure to ask about the bonus short story collection. There is one story in there that takes place 20 years into the future, and it may give you some comfort.

Although I have just released ‘The Rising’ and am hard at work on the second book for that series, I have some exciting promotions planned for The Akasha Series in December!  Please stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to follow my blog by email!

 

Forbidden Future Blog Tour

FF Tour ButtonA time travel anthology including a short story from yours truly!  Bloggers – sign up for the tour now. Forbidden Future is now available for $3.99 on Amazon.

What becomes of mankind in the future? Is life better or worse?

Forbidden Future by James Wymore
When a time machine technician working the graveyard shift gets divorce papers from his wife, he decides it’s time to take the machine for a ride—no matter the consequences.

Jump by Jon Bradbury
Jesse Kendall thinks he’s seen it all. He’s about to see more.

Road Trip by Matt Mitrovich
Four friends drive to a college party and take an unexpected detour into the future.

Cacotopia by James Lauren
Kayne Adamson went into suspension to await a cure, but never imagined how long his sleep would last or the world he would awaken into. Is it really the utopia it first appears to be?

Society by Terra Harmony
Take a ride on the Energy of the Future where society gets a fresh, clean start—no matter who they have to leave behind.

The Mountains Haven’t by Kade Anderson
Something is very wrong in the downtrodden town of Dignity and only the town’s Watcher, Julia, can see what it is.

Between Utopias by Michael Trimmer
After being saved from a fatal heart attack by being transported to the future, David must choose from two opposite utopias.

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