Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1,000 Books Read!

Today, I’m officially one-tenth of the way toward my goal of reading 10,000 books in my lifetime. That’s right, thus far I’ve read 1,000 books…and counting. Needless to say, I’ve got a long, long way to go, but it’s still a milestone nonetheless.

Of course, quality matters over quantity, and I frequently reread my favorite novels every summer. However, thanks to Goodreads, I’ve been able to keep track of all my read books over the years. Now if only they would let me go over that pesky 5,000 friend-limit, then Goodreads would be awesome…but that’s another discussion altogether. But look at the bright side, so long as I read 3-4 books per week for the next four to six decades, I’ve got a shot of hitting my goal, slim though it may seem. 

So what are you reading right now? What books do you hope to tackle this year? 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writers' Days Jobs

I often think about all the writers who have had to manage a day job along with their writing career (in other words virtually all authors). I myself work as a Technical Writer, so whether at home or work I write to earn my bread. What surprised me recently was learning about other authors like me who also worked as Tech Writers by day.

Kurt Vonnegut. Ben Bova. Philip Jose Farmer. Just to name a few. I particularly like Vonnegut’s quote regarding Tech Writers and their oddities. Of course my fiction writing is very different from my writing at work, but it makes me wonder how our own work experiences influence our artistic endeavors.

So how do you balance work and play? How do you make room for art while still keeping a roof over your head? How have your own work experiences influenced your writing?  

Monday, July 14, 2014

SOULLESS, Book 2 Cover Reveal (Crystal Collier)

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend†(a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

COMING October 13, 2014

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Second Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #2)
Assassins, skyships, and royal intrigue... Kindle, Kobo, AllRomance
Second Daughter is the second book in The Dharian Affairs trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, assassins, royal romance and intrigue.

Reviews of the first book, Third Daughter:
"The author fuses carriages, steam trains, airships and clockwork with the rich eastern culture that underlies Bollywood storytelling..." - Cherie Reich
"The political intrigue, the steampunk gadgets, and the beautiful costumes kept me in wonderment." - Tony Benson
“Third Daughter is vividly breathtaking. Quinn delivers royal intrigue, exotic locations, and sweeping romance. Not to be missed!” - Pavarti Tyler, author of Shadow on the Wall

ON SALE - 99cents until 7/21
Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)
Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, AllRomance
(also available in print)

The Third Daughter of the Queen wants her birthday to arrive so she'll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince's proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince's proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.
Both books now have a map!
Speedy Tweets to Share: NEW RELEASE: Second Daughter (Dharian Affairs #2) Assassins, skyships, royal intrigue #steampunk #fantasy #romance http://bit.ly/SDAmazon WIN Gift Card and PAPERBACK Third Daughter (Dharian Affairs #1) #steampunk #fantasy #romance http://www.susankayequinn.com Skyships, saber duels, royal romance: Third Daughter (Dharian Affairs#1) ON SALE 99cents http://bit.ly/ThirdDAmaz

Thank you so much for helping me get this book out in the world! Win paperback copy of Third Daughter  $10 Amazon Gift Card
check out the gorgeous formatting of the print book!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today, I'm pleased to interview Carol Kilgore! You can learn more about her latest releases here. Carol, take it away...

Thanks so much to Mark for hosting me on his great blog. I’m excited to be here.

Mark is a prolific short story writer. Plus, he writes novels. We’re somewhat similar in that regard--when I first began to write fiction, I started by writing short stories.

All my life, characters, premises, beginnings, endings, and sometimes complete stories have lived in my head. I thought everyone was like that. One day, I realized I should try writing them down. I’m a little slow on the uptake about some things at times--don’t judge J

I’ve always read a lot. And I’ve always written a lot, but my writing was totally different from fiction. I wasn’t a technical writer, like Mark, but mostly prepared proposals and marketing-type material.

The stories in my head tumbled over themselves faster than I could write. I wrote this story, that story, bits that fit photos, ideas, what-ifs, until finally a little patch of clutter was cleared.

In my life, I’m happy, upbeat, and optimistic. Imagine my surprise when my stories turned out to feature a dark side I didn’t know I had.

I wrote from the point of view of killers, of people at the end of their ropes, women out for vengeance, and more. There were a few lighter stories, but for the most part, I wrote dark and darker tales. I kept wondering where it all came from.

After I cleared my brain of more clutter, I could take a good look at what remained--and that was my love for novels. So I dug in.

I was pretty much a pantser at this point. I planned to write a dark tale of a female homicide detective on a case involving the rape and murder of a local anchorwoman. That was all I knew.

Imagine my surprise when my detective is on scene where the body is found and who shows up but a handsome on-air reporter who insists on calling her things like cupcake and sugar dumpling. Plus he has a big friendly dog, and she finds herself attracted to both. They share funny banter. I think I was more surprised than the character.

Remember I said I’m sometimes a little slow on the uptake? It took another book or two before I realized I couldn’t stop seeing the humor in most situations. So there it is. I start with the dark, but I can’t stay there for the long haul of a novel. Truth: I don’t really want to stay there for the long haul. Life’s too short not to have a little fun and romance along the way.

And so, I write Crime Fiction with a Kiss. I hope you’ll give one of my novels a try. Except for the one with the homicide detective and the reporter with the dog. That one was practice J


Life was so simple—until she had to save one.

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn
the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

Available September, 2014
Kindle and Paperback


Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notes to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.

She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol here:
Monthly Contest: http://www.carolkilgore.net

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Got Me A Literary Agent!!!

Queue the Rocky music. I’ve waited and worked for this moment a long time. I just inked a contract with a literary agent for my new novel Between Two Fires. Score!

My awesome new agent, Rena Rossner, works for the Deborah Harris Literary Agency, which has over twenty years of experience in the publishing world. Needless to say, the real work is only just beginning, as I’m in midst of final revisions, drafts for the next book, and our marketing strategy going forward. It looks like it’ll be a fun, crazy, and fulfilling ride. You can learn more about Rena and her agency here.

Whew! I’m still a little bit in disbelief that this day has finally come. Thanks so much to all my awesome friends and fellow bloggers who have been such a source of inspiration and support. Rock on!