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Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED AND CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER SUZ READS!

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Big news for The Painted Maidens Trilogy coming in the new year, but for now, let’s wrap up 2014 with a giveaway!

I am sending a $10.00 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner.

To enter, all you have to do is sign up on my email list – over there on the right side of your screen. If you already are signed up, just comment on the post so I know. You will receive my blog post updates via email (I post only occasionally, once per week at the most), and can opt out at any time after the blog hop is over. The blog hop closes at midnight on December 31st, 2014 and the winner will be randomly selected and announced within 24 hours.

To earn additional entries, complete the tasks below (one entry earned for each task):

1 – Comment on this post by telling me your favorite winter food/drink!

2 – Tweet this post with: ‘Midwinter’s Eve Blog Hop with @harmonygirlit $10 #amazon #giftcard #giveaway: https://harmonylit.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/midwinters-eve-giveaway-hop/

3 – Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TerraHarmony

Good luck and be sure to check out the rest of the stops on this great blog hop by going to: http://wp.me/p53n6P-2oY

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Call for Help

keep-calm-and-ask-for-helpI’m running a promotion during October where I give the first book of The Painted Maidens Trilogy, The Rising, away for free. This will help boost sales and reviews for the follow on second book, The Betrayed, and will increase visibility for the series as a whole.  Right now, the e-book is free across all platforms except for Amazon. In order for Amazon to list it for free, I need to price match it. When you have a minute, please go to this link:

 

Scroll down to ‘product details’.  Click on ‘tell us about a lower price’.  A window will pop up.  Answer ‘website’ when it asks where you saw the price, then insert one or two of the these URLs (or you can do it twice listing both URLs):

 

 

and/or

 

 

The price and shipping should both be $0.00. Date of the price can be today’s date.

 

I need them to change this by Friday, so the more people that do it the more likely it is to change quickly.

 

Thank you so much for your help! I will be sure to report back when it is free so you can catch up on the series, if you haven’t already!

 

THE RISING-final coverThe Betrayed MOCK UP 2

 

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!

Terra Harmony Joins Patchwork Press

A couple big things happening to The Akasha Series. First, the second e-book ‘Air’ will run at a promotional rate of $0.99 for the next four days (as you know, ‘Water, Book One‘, is always free across all platforms.). Be sure to get ‘Air’ at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, or iTunes and start getting caught up with the series!

PWP TwitterFBSecond, I’ve joined forces with Patchwork Press, a joint American-Canadian publishing venture founded by Kellie Sheridan and Erica Crouch.

Patchwork Press is not a traditional publisher. All authors keep 100% of their rights and royalties, but by joining forces with other skilled independent authors, each book we publish as a team becomes stronger.

I’ve taken the plunge and hope to start building PWP’s First Readers Program, as well as getting my titles up on NetGalley (‘Water’ is there already, for those of you who use it).

Finally, to kick off what I think will be a long-lasting, cohesive relationship, I’m having a giveaway!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

1 Grand Prize: A $25 Amazon gift card.

12 Runners-Up: An e-book of one of four Patchwork Press Titles; The Akasha Saga (the complete series to include bonus content), Mortality, Ignite, or Follow the White Rabbit.

Akasha CoverFollow-the-White-Rabbit-by-Kellie-Sheridan-200x300 mortality_final-200x300 Ignite

Here is how you can enter:

Follow the links below to like and follow for extra entries (all extra entries will be verified). Then, fill out the form at the bottom.

For one extra entry each, like us on Facebook:
Like Patchwork Press on Facebook
Like Terra Harmony on Facebook

For one extra entry each, follow us on Twitter:
Follow Patchwork Press on Twitter
Follow Terra Harmony on Twitter

For three extra entries each, follow us by email:
– Go to Patchwork-Press.com, and scroll down the page.  At the bottom right-hand corner, sign up to receive the Patchwork Press Newsletter via e-mail.
– On the right hand side of this page, follow Terra Harmony by e-mail.

Now complete the form below and good luck!

Contest Rules:

This giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway is open until 11:59 PM EST on July 14th, 2013. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winners are selected at random and will be emailed. Winners will have three days to respond, or new winners will be selected.

‘Water’ Now Available as an Audiobook

Very exciting news!  ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’ is now available as an audio book via Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!  The rest of the series is already in production.  You can purchase or listen to a sample of ‘Water’ right here.

audio water picture

I want to send a special thanks to my narrator, Emily Gittelman, who was patient enough with a newbie to get me through the process, then take on three more books!  I am so impressed, I decided I had to share her with you all! Below is Emily’s interview – and seriously, let me know what you think about the audio book!

gittelman.e.72.2Terra:  Thanks so much for doing the interview with me!  I know you are busy – speaking of, what keeps you busy these days?

Emily: Audiobooks keep me very busy. I started out doing it part time last year, but it’s become my full time job. I’m also an actress, so I sometimes have auditions to go to and projects I’m working on.

T: Which job(s) do you enjoy doing best and why?

E: I’m lucky that I love all my jobs. I can’t think of anything better than making a living doing what I love: acting and narrating audiobooks.

T: As if being a narrator/actress/author doesn’t keep you busy enough, what do you do in your spare time?

E: I’m an avid reader, which is what drew me to audiobooks in the first place. I like to be informed, so I read four newspapers every day. I love to travel, though I haven’t been able to recently. I spent most of 2010 traveling in Europe. I lived in London and Prague each for four months and went on weekend trips to other countries for a total of 23 countries in Europe. I kind of miss it, but traveling that much is exhausting. I also spend time with my wonderful boyfriend, who lives with me in Los Angeles. And I occasionally LARP on weekends (I’m a bit of a nerd).

T: You are finished with narrating ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’ and are gearing up for the rest. Maybe you can tell us a little about why doing audio books, even for Indie authors, is a good idea?

E: Well, I love listening to audiobooks myself. There’s something about having a book read to you that just makes it come alive (with the right narrator). For me, narrating audiobooks is just acting with my voice. I love scenes that are really emotional or dramatic because it allows me to really get into the moment and express the emotions the characters are experiencing with my voice.

T: Any advice to give authors when they are ready to do an audio book – or even what to keep in mind as they are writing their novels?

E: Make sure you find a narrator who brings your imagination to life. This is especially important with a first person narrative, where the narrator’s voice is the character’s voice. Also, if you can, try to put together a budget for your project. Most of the more professional narrators won’t do a royalty share unless the book is selling really well. For the sake of quality, it’s worth raising the money to pay for a decent narrator.

T: Now the fun stuff – tea or coffee, Coke or Pepsi?

E: Er… None of the above. I don’t drink caffeine or soda… sorry!

T: You live in New York (right?)? What is life in the Big Apple like, especially for your line of work?  Give us all the glamour and the down and dirty!

E: I grew up in NY, but I moved out to Los Angeles about a year and a half ago. I very much enjoyed living in NY. It has a certain energy to it that you can’t find anywhere else. And I loved being able to walk almost everywhere. The thing I miss most about NY is public transportation. Traffic in LA is awful.

T: Favorite TV shows/movies/plays?

E: I’m not a big favorites person. I don’t usually have one thing that sticks out above all others. HOWEVER, I do have a favorite TV show: Six Feet Under. It was on HBO from 2001 to 2005 and in my opinion, it’s the best show that has ever been on television. It’s heartfelt and profound, full of substance, while still having moments that make you laugh, and some that make you cry. It asks really important questions that leave you thinking for days afterward.  I wish there were more shows like it! (HBO didn’t pay me for that. Promise. Though they’re welcome to if they see this.)

T: Do you have any funny stories about narrating? Or even in some of your other jobs?

E: … Not that I can think of? Sorry. That’s so boring.

T: Finally, tell us more about your books!

E: Well, this question has two answers depending on what you’re asking.

I’ve narrated dozens of audiobooks. Mostly teen or young adult fiction. I’ve done a lot of books with author Morgan Rice, including books three through eight of The Vampire Journals series, books one and two of The Survival Trilogy, and books one and two of The Vampire Legacy series (which will be released soon!). The other books I’ve done have been mostly fantasy or romance (or a combination). Lots of vampires.

While I was in college, I co-authored a few books with my dad, Steven H. Gittelman. Literally since the month I was born (August 1989), my dad has been volunteering at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, NY. Because of this, I volunteered there from the age of eight until I moved to Los Angeles at twenty-two. Our life-long association with the museum inspired us to write several books about the Vanderbilts. The first two books my dad wrote on his own and I’m credited as chief editor. Those books were Willie K. Vanderbilt II: A Biography and J.P. Morgan and the Transportation Kings: The Titanic and Other Disasters. The former is a biography of the Vanderbilt who owned the mansion at which we volunteered. The latter details a conspiracy between J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilts, and other tycoons to dominate global shipping and transportation circa the turn of the twentieth century. After, that, we wrote two books together. The first was Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt: The Unlikely Hero of the Lusitania. Alfred was Willie K.’s cousin, and his story is one of lust, power, and tragedy. He was basically a playboy who, at the age of 22, inherited a huge amount of money. For sixteen years he behaved like any playboy would, resulting in the tragic suicides of at least three women. Then, he gets on the Lusitania and spends the last eighteen minutes of his life saving women and children. It’s such a great story, I’m currently working on a screenplay version that I’m hoping to get produced. The publisher keeps pushing back the release date, but right now it’s set for June 24th. The other book we wrote together was a historical novel inspired by Willie K. Vanderbilt II’s second circumnavigation of the globe in 1933. That one is being privately published by the museum, and will hopefully come out soon.

The works I’ve authored, edited, and narrated, can all be found by searching my name on amazon.

About Emily:

Emily Gittelman grew up in New York and received her BFA in drama from New York University in 2011. Shortly after graduation, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting under the name Emily Lawrence. More information about her acting career can be found on her website at www.emilylawrence.com. In the last year, Emily has narrated dozens of audiobooks, which can be found on audible and amazon. In addition to this, she’s also a published writer and editor of mostly non-fictional works. She writes creatively in her own time, but hasn’t worked up the nerve to publish any of it yet. Maybe one day!

Earth Day

earth cover hand bigger

Today is the day! ‘Earth, Book Four of The Akasha Series’ is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. $4.99 will get you through the exciting conclusion to the series. Join the already over 200 people who have added ‘Earth’ to their TBR list on Goodreads, now.  Plus, Goodreads already has 4 reviews and 5 ratings – I’d love if you could add yours! Did you know each book is available in print, too? You can find Water, Air, Fire, and Earth on Amazon (just make sure you are purchasing the print version, not the Kindle version).

emily picture2

 

I am also currently in the middle of creating audio books for the entire Akasha series. The ‘Water’ audio version should be out sometime late May, with the rest to follow. Check out the very talented narrator I chose for the series, Emily Lawrence.  I chose her out of 15+ auditions for her great voice, her knowledge about the business, and her reliability and professionalism. Plus – she is an author, herself. What a great match!

 

Akasha Cover bonus contentAlso, by the beginning of May, I will release ‘Akasha, The Complete Saga’. This is a boxed set of all four books (available in electronic formats only), for $9.99. The boxed set will include never before published bonus content; short stories for each of the main characters (including one for Bee – twenty years into the future). I certainly understand that many of you will have already purchased the entire series, and don’t want to spend ten bucks for a few short stories. You can still get them – without spending the money! All you have to do is send me a link to a review of each of the four books (preferably on Amazon or Goodreads), and I will send you the bonus content (just the bonus content – not the boxed set) – for free! Please remember, they have to be a review (one or two sentences is fine), not just a rating.

 

herbs2So – on to the important stuff. How are you celebrating Earth Day? This weekend, we kept our celebration small and planted an herb garden on our outdoor deck area. Thyme, dill, parsley, sage, mint, basil, and some lavender thrown in for scent. Herb gardens are great; they cut down on pollutants, save you money, and green your area. They can be done inside or outside, whether you live in a house or apartment. And trust me – those summer mojitos with fresh mint are totally worth it! We have about ten of these planters, and can’t wait to start cooking with fresh herbs!

Not sure what to do for Earth Day? Go to www.google.com, check out their interactive, animated doodle – then search for evens in your area!

Amazon to Buy Goodreads

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I woke up to this news this morning. (Official press release here.) And I have to say – I’m shocked…and worried. Kudos to Amazon, though. It makes me wonder if their competitors are all:

I know I am, a little bit. The problem is, Amazon tends to roll out incentives to those who publish exclusively to them, and punish those who don’t (KDP program and certain royalty rates). It makes me wonder if I, as a self-published author, will not be able to reap all the benefits  Goodreads has to offer because I am not exclusive to Amazon. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to even think about it, considering the majority of my sales now come from iBooks.

On the plus side, I think Amazon can help bring Goodreads into the digital world. So far, Goodreads hasn’t really been integrated into e-readers, and I am sorely disappointed in their smartphone app.  Heck – Goodreads doesn’t allow ebooks in their giveaway section. It is print books only.

Until now, Goodreads has been a wonderful ‘crowd-sourcing’, review generating outlet. I hope it doesn’t lean too far toward its for-profit owner, but how could it not?

If Shelfari (Amazon’s other review site) is any indication of what’s to come, we can say goodbye to Goodreads and hello to whatever new book review platform Google or Apple might roll out. Maybe – just maybe, Amazon competitors are cheering…

What do you think?

Any Listeners Out There?

ImageWith the completion of The Akasha Series on the horizon, I am taking the plunge into the world of audio books. This is completely new and strange for me – I really never got into the whole audio book thing. I’m going with ACX who will publish the audio book on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. Several narrators have submitted auditions, and I find myself asking – what makes a good narrator? What allows an audio book to stand out from the rest?

Needless to say, I don’t have those answers.  Do you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Orangeberry Favorites

This month I am participating in the Orangeberry Summer Splash Mini Book Tour Marathon; 100 authors, and 100 blogs. Featured genres include fantasy, science fiction, historical romance, romantic suspense, mystery, thrillers and more.

The event is expected to raise awareness about the growing Indie publishing movement and offers readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how imaginary worlds and characters are created. The event includes interviews, book reviews, guest posts, a Kindle Fire giveaway and much more!

I finally got a chance to peruse the book tour myself and was excited over what I saw! Here are some of the highlights that stuck out for me:

Prettiest Participating Blog – Always a Book Lover

Once I clicked on Victoria’s book blogging website, I knew I had to include it on my favorites list.  Website design and the imagery bloggers put across their sites always amazes me, and  Victoria’s is straight out beautiful!

Favorite Participating Book – Two Moons of Sera by Pavarti Tyler

I had the chance to read this one a few months ago, and was instantly captivated by this world Pavarti created! I won’t rehash my review here, but check out the blurb:

In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother’s water-borne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

Would Most Like to Read:

The book tour has a lot of interesting reads to offer; two in particular are at the top of the list for me:

Song of the Fairy Queen by Valerie Douglas and Bactine by Paul Krater

Best Author interview – Lisa Scott, author of 15 Shades of Pink

There are a lot of interviews to go around. Authors answered 20 questions or more from a list of hundreds, and there are also ‘twitterviews’ all throughout August. By far, I thought Lisa’s interview was the best – it had me laughing all the way through!

Best New Feature: Page 99 Test

Okay, not sure if this is exactly new to book tours, but I’d never heard of it before. The Page 99  Test is an excellent way for readers to judge the writing of a book before buying it. See page 99 for my book, ‘Water’, here.

Biggest Thanks

A huge thanks to Pandora Poikilos for organizing the Orangeberry Summer Splash, and for the twitter blasts and twitterviews (see them by following @PandoraPoikilos).

Pandora Poikilos is the international best-selling author of ‘Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out’, along with several other novels and short stories. She is also the founder of Orangeberry Book Tours, and a social media enthusiast (close to 150,000 twitter followers), who is passionate about blogging and finding her way around the virtual world.

Connect with Pandora via e-mail (pandorapoikilos@gmail.com), on Facebook or at Amazon.

 

7 Tips on Writing a Review

I wrote this post a while ago, but have procrastinated in posting it. Truth is – I looooove reviewers. All of them. Book bloggers, wannabe book bloggers, occasional readers…my mother-in-law.  As an Indie author, I am extremely grateful for any review posted of my work, good or bad. Both of which I’ve had my fair share of lately. The fact that someone took the time to read my book is incredible. When they go one step further and share their opinion of my writing with the rest of the world, I am ecstatic.

Just to be clear, a bad review really does sting deep down inside. But after the initial blow, I come to appreciate them. They can provide constructive feedback and they offer a certain authenticity to the book. Besides, any publicity is better than no publicity…right? In fact, reviews I’ve read of other books rant and rave about the decisions a character made. Often, this can mean the reader became emotionally involved, and that is a good thing.

But there are reviews, and then there are good reviews. In my perfect world, this is how reviews would be done:

  1. Be honest, and write the review in your voice.
  2. Don’t start with the books blurb.  On sites such as Goodreads or Amazon, chances are the reader just read the blurb – they don’t need it repeated.  I do see the value in book bloggers including the blurb first on their site, however the review on your site doesn’t need to be a straight cut and paste into Goodreads.
  3. Start with the good.  Many of the reviews on my book start with the bad.  And don’t get me wrong – do include everything you want to say, just say something nice first.  On many sites, just the first few lines of the review is shown unless the reader clicks to expand.  That means when they are just skimming through all the reviews (which is very often what I do), only the first few lines have a chance to make an impression.
  4. Do say something nice.  The book has a pretty cover, the main character’s name is awesome, the author has good use of punctuation.  Pick one.  There has to be something nice you can say – especially if you finished the entire book.  To be honest, a review filled with snide or snarky remarks and nothing at all good to say will often be dismissed by your audience.
  5. Be a grown-up about it.  And this goes both ways – I’m looking at YOU, authors!  Chances are, at some point you are going to write a review that an author or someone else won’t appreciate.  If they choose to respond in a negative way, then they chose poorly.  Be the bigger person – don’t feed the fire.  Let it go; move on.  You have a lot of books on your TBR list anyway.  I have to mention a one-star review I received because of how much the reader hated my antagonist. I just wanted to respond – THAT’S THE POINT . Another reviewer gave me a low rating because the rape scene just wasn’t hard core enough. Wow, just wow, people. To each their own. It took a minute, but I didn’t respond. I moved on.
  6. Give the reader of the review something on which to reference.  Is this book like any you’ve ever read?  Which one?  Does this character remind you of someone?  Who?  If you want the reader to really connect with your reviews, give them something to connect with.
  7. If you are book blogger – get visual! Including the book cover goes without saying. But I love bloggers who take it one step further and include relevant pictures or even action emotions. Make the review fun! It should be as entertaining as the book was.

So there you have it. Bloggers, authors, and reviewers – what do you think? Have anything to add?

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