Young Adult Faeries and Fantasy Hop!

January 8th, 2014 by Heather Marie Adkins

YA-Hop-january-2014

I used to do these giveaway hops all the time, then life got insane and I let them slip by the wayside. I actually enjoy these, especially the ones given by iamareadernotawriter.com.

I did this one last year when I first released the new version of my own faery novel “Abigail”. Abigail isn’t really YA–it’s more just regular fantasy/romance. I’ll give away an e-copy (Kindle, epub, PDF) of it to anyone who comments on this blog and tells me their favorite witchy read, because I’m doing a witchy reading challange for 2014 and I’d love some suggestions!

But for the actual giveaway, I’m offering a friend of mine’s book, Julia Crane’s “Lauren.” It’s an offshoot of her extremely popular Keegan’s Chronicles series, and a pretty darn good book.

***

LAURENA girl with a second chance. A boy with a terrible secret. When the truth is revealed, Lauren’s world comes crashing down.

For once, seventeen-year old lauren’s life is going right. She’s attending the college of her dreams, has what appears to be the perfect boyfriend, and is surrounded by her childhood friends.

But her boyfriend, Tristan, grows more possessive by the day, and his temper is getting harder to keep in check. When Lauren realizes Tristan is using her for her power, she has to make a choice: Tristan or her world.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on the hop!

 

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Pagan Blog Project #1 – Akasha

January 3rd, 2014 by Heather Marie Adkins

I’ve been obsessed with death for the past few months.

I could say it’s because of the darkening of the year. The more the sun disappears, the more depressed I become. It’s not an uncommon affliction. A vast majority of people are affected by the dark of the year, even if they don’t realize it. The human body is meant to run on air, sun, and water. When the sun only hangs around for a few hours at a time in the dead of winter, it works against us. We are missing one-third of what our body so desperately needs.

But let’s be honest, for the past several years, I’ve been battling some pretty serious depression. It affects almost every aspect of my life. Some days, I am so frozen by anxiety, so hopeless, that I can’t even function. I play silly sitcoms for hours on end just so my mind can blank and I can simply laugh without worrying about my responsibilities or lack of ability in accomplishing anything. Thank the goddess for my extremely understanding and wonderful husband, or I’d be alone and suffering. Depression isn’t uncommon either: In a given year, more than 18 million American adults – nearly 10 percent of the adult population – will suffer from a depressive illness.

Creative people have characteristics that make them more vulnerable. Ernest Hemingway committed suicide in 1961 after a lifetime of battling psychosis and depression. So, too, did Hunter S. Thompson, the most famous person to come out of my high school.  David Foster Wallace, after twenty years of clinical depression, finally gave up and hung himself. . Two of the most brilliant female minds of the twentieth century did themselves in: Sylvia Plath, a personal favorite of mine, and Virginia Woolf.

I’m not going where you think I’m going. As dark and dismal as my mind can get, and as often as I wish I could hit a switch and turn off the voices telling me I’ll never amount to anything, I’ve never entertained thoughts of suicide. Probably because my fear of death is greater than my fear of depression. I’d much rather be alive and struggling to find my light in the dark, then to be, well, permanently dark.

My obsession—or perhaps heart-pounding anxiety—of death stems from my depression, which concurrently likely stems from my creative brain. And all of this has caused me to really assess my beliefs in the afterlife.

Four years ago, when I was at my highest peak of spirituality, I could have told you definitively that I believed in reincarnation and that death was merely a new beginning. Today, after meeting the darkness and still fighting to best it, I’m not so sure. Is death the final dark? Non-existence? Or in death, do we shed this mortal body in favor of the next?

I recently finished listening to an amazing audiobook by author John Green titled Looking for Alaska. It’s about a group of teenagers forced to confront the death of someone they hold dear. It is by far one of the best books I read in 2013, because for the first time in SO LONG, I’m again reaching my long-forgotten beliefs about death.

In the final pages of Green’s book, the main character writes of his new-found understanding of death and the beyond.

But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take (her) genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.

Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if (she) took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.

(Copyright John Green, I assume no credit for these incredible words.)

That brings me to my point. AKASHA. What is it? In Hinduism, it is the very basis of everything. It is “space”, the sum total of all existence. In Buddhism, it is “infinite space” and deeply revered as a real thing. Theosophy uses Akasha in the term “akashic record,” referring to the entire eternal compendium of knowledge of the human race.

And in paganism, it is much the same. Akasha is in everything and everyone. It is the spirit force that alights us all. It is the soul, what makes every human and animal unique to themselves. It is the knowledge behind our gazes, the compassion inside us. Akasha is the primal, important driving aspect of our existence.

I believe Akasha is the part of us that Green writes about in Looking for Alaska, that pure energy: unchangeable, immovable, completely and utterly indestructible. It is the part of us that goes on when our earthly form has shattered for its final time.

Maybe I’m simply Looking for Akasha.

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Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

January 2nd, 2014 by Heather Marie Adkins

2014WitchesampWitchcraftReadingChallenge_zps254cb627Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf is hosting an awesome reading challenge to read books about witches and witchcraft, and I’ve decided to take part. Along with everything else I let slide by the wayside, reading didn’t happen often enough in 2013.

What better way to prompt myself to read than to read the kind of literature I love the most! I have a long list of witchcraft themed novels I want to read. The best part is I can consider it research for my own paranormal novels, and the reviews I would post on my blog would be writing practice. Every bit of writing I do is good for my career!

I’ll be starting with ‘Cold Days’ by Jim Butcher :)

 

 

 

 

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Has it really been since March?

January 1st, 2014 by Heather Marie Adkins

When I hopped on here to write a HEY NEW YEAR catch-up blog, I was, um, flabbergasted to find my last blog was in MARCH.

MARCH.

That’s almost a year ago. It feels like I’ve lived five lifetimes since then.

We bought a house.

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One of my books made it into the first round of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards!

csodabna

I got a new job working for an animal shelter and started fostering kittens.

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I’m volunteering at the zoo in the gorilla habitat.

2013-11-07 10.24.52 copy

I attended my very first writing convention.IMG_9676

(and got an autographed book from Lorraine Heath!!)

I finally saw Disney World at Christmas!!

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For a while, I wasn’t writing because my mind wasn’t in a happy place (who ever heard of a writer unable to channel her depression into writing?), but I’ve slowly gotten back into it. I’m about halfway done with five different books (I’m so ADD).

Last summer, I went to Fandom Fest with my sisters. Three days of geekdom–sci fi and fantasy collectibles, books, STUFF, not to mention celebrity appearances and question panels. I shook hands with ALAN FUCKING TUDYK. My sister Rachel hugged JOHN FUCKING BARROWMAN. It was an awesome time. We even had a hotel room at the fancy Galt House.

But something even more surreal happened at the con. I had my first psychic reading. She was adorable, a fifties-style sex pot type woman from Nashville. I liked her immediately. She laid the Tarot, and we began.

Some things I took away:

  • Someone in my life was headed for a breakdown. She thought it was a sister type, but then ultimately we came to the conclusion it was probably me.
  • My husband loves me more than anything in the world. He would do anything for me, especially when it came to my dreams. (Not anything I didn’t already know. My husband pretty much is the GREATEST GUY TO WALK THE EARTH. Well, maybe second greatest. My daddy is very much my Superman.)
  • My then-descent into depression would not get better for quite some time. Basically, the fall was going to suck worse than ever, and she suggested I might need to seek professional help. (I tried. I called three different therapists in town, and none of them returned my messages. Apparently mental well-being just doesn’t matter in Louisville, Kentucky.)
  • January would be A FREAKING GARGANTUAN AMAZING MONTH.

And here it is. The first day of the new year. January, the month my psychic said would be the time of my life when everything would turn around. Good things are coming, she said. When the ball dropped at midnight last night, and my husband kissed me, I sleepily asked him, “This year has to be better, right?” And all I could think about was what my psychic told me.

I didn’t mean life-wise. Shit, we bought a house, survived our first year of marriage, my books got a little recognition, and I LOVE WORKING WITH THE GORILLAS. That is all some pretty amazing stuff. But in a mental capacity, I am clinging to the idea that 2014 absolutely has to be a better year for me.

2014-01-01 15.50.54

Resolutions are stupid. We make them every year, but then we break them. I’m the queen of procrastination, so I honestly can’t recall a single new year’s resolution I’ve EVER followed through. My take-away from this is that the phrase “new year’s resolution” is cursed. It’s meant to be a thing we do, gung-ho about it for the first two weeks, then letting it slide thereafter. And who honestly needs that?

So instead, I have goals. Honest-to-goddess, going-to-accomplish goals.

  • Find a therapist: One who returns my initial phone call and genuinely wants to help me battle this stupid, life-numbing thing called depression.
  • Write 2k every day on a novel: It really is as simple as that. Maybe it means sacrificing a couple hours of sleep. Maybe it means opening my laptop when I’d really rather turn on Netflix. Maybe it means writing on my breaks at work or on my phone in a waiting room. Whatever it means, I do it. I am a lot of things in this life: Wife, Sister, Daughter, Pet Mother, Hard Worker, Animal Activist. But above all, I AM A WRITER. It is the backbone of my existence. It is the way I breathe, eat, sleep, live. My writing habits have been horrendous. I am changing that.
  • Blog at least once a week: I mean, shit, I blogged almost every day for the first two years of having this blog. And I did it while earning my online degree, working a full time job, AND sneaking in some novel writing. It’s not impossible when I’m not being a procrastinating prat.
  • Participate and complete Nanowrimo this year: I tried in 2013 and accomplished about 15k, which was the most I’d written since the spring. So in a way, it was a win for my own purposes. This year, I finish.
  • Do things I love as often as possible: take a walk in the woods. Volunteer at the zoo. Go to a play or ballet. Take French lessons. Get back into martial arts. I WILL DO SOMETHING FOR ME.
  • Practice magick at least once a week: If anything has utterly and completely fallen by the wayside, it’s my spirituality. Being a witch has always been such a focal part of my being. I could tell you the exact date of every upcoming full moon this time last year. Now? I look up and say, “Huh. Full moon. That snuck up on me.”
  • Learn to say NO: I have a problem with this. I’m always the girl sacrificing her own plans and loves for that of others. This song? It’s about me. In 2014, I will say more “yes” to myself and more “no” to others.
  • Be healthier: Now, I’m not saying give up cookies and frozen yogurt and yummy Starbucks. I’m not that crazy. But I like healthy food, too, and I can make healthy choices and still enjoy my meal. But my depression has played a big part in my current extra weight. I’ll return to the gym, even if only for ten minutes on the elliptical a couple times a week. I’ll choose salad over fried stuff. I’ll care about what I put into my body, because my body is what sustains my life.

And the last and most important goal–

  • Stop being so afraid to fail: In the past eight years, I’ve started nearly thirty novels that I have yet to finish. I make goals and lose sight of them. I back away when things start getting tough. SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA LOSE TILL YOU WIN.

For everyone I know, and those I don’t, here’s wishing you a magickal, wonderful new year. May 2014 be the year that dreams come true.

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Kick-Butt Characters Hop

March 22nd, 2013 by Heather Marie Adkins

kickbutt2nd Annual Kick Butt Characters Hop

Hosted by Good Choice Reading & I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

March 23rd – 28th

 I’m writing a series (who isn’t?). There’s only one book available (now), but the next two will be available within the next few months. Why do I mention this series? Because out of everything I write, this series has a SERIOUSLY kick-butt character.

VALE AVARI isn’t just a kick-butt character.  She’s a strong, female heroine who has craaaazy superpowers.  She’s the daughter of a goddess and can move stuff with her mind, not to mention a few other strange powers she’d rather me not bring up…

For this hop, I’m offering up several ebook copies of THE TEMPLE.  Thanks for hopping, and don’t forget to check out all the other great kick-butt characters at the blogs listed below (or linked here, rather) :)

templewidgetThe Temple

Vale Avari has a mysterious past and a laundry list of super-powers, but that’s nothing compared to what she finds upon moving from small town U.S.A to jolly-good England.

A chance dart throw lands her in Quicksilver, an off-the-map place with a big problem – people are dying, and word is, it’s supernatural.

At her new place of employment, a temple dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess, Vale learns something even more shocking – women guards are disappearing at an alarmingly patterned rate; women who possess special gifts like her own.

Supernatural powers aside, Vale isn’t ready to believe in the Wild Hunt as the culprit, and she’s determined to prove the deaths are acts of human violence.

Plagued by a brute with a history of domestic violence and lusting after a dark-eyed man with a secret, Vale has a limited amount of time to discover the killer before he strikes again. In the process, she’ll learn things aren’t always what they seem and the supernatural might not be so extraordinary after all.

The Hunt could ride for her.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Lunar Love Giveaway Hop!

March 7th, 2013 by Heather Marie Adkins

LUnar love

Lunar Love Giveaway Hop

March 8th to 13th

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookworm Lisa

You just know I had to join in a giveaway hop that had “lunar” in the title. What’s even funnier is while there’s a big ole full moon on the image, we’re actually entering the new moon phase now.

My newest release is actually a re-release of the first book in the Witch Faery trilogy, “Abigail”. The main character is a faery who practices witchcraft and worships a moon goddess!

So the prize for this hop is a signed print copy of “Abigail”, as well as several ebook copies.

Thanks for stopping by!

abigail2X3After the murder of Abigail’s immortal faery mother, the young woman is sold into slavery by her all-too-human father. Purchased by a wealthy landowner named William to care for his baby sister, Abigail is taken to a Grecian island – a mysterious place ruled by a Faery King, that holds a deadly secret linked to Abigail’s past.

On the remote island, William’s family is endangered by the king’s thirst for vengeance, and Abigail and William’s budding romance is threatened by her intimate, unwanted connection with the island’s Prince. To save the people she has come to love, Abigail must embrace the legacy she has long sought to deny.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on this hop!

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Another Hop… Follower Love!

February 5th, 2013 by Heather Marie Adkins

follower love[1]Follower Love Giveaway Hop
February 5th – 11th
Co-hosted by I’m A Reader, Not A Writer &  The Reader’s Antidote

I will be giving away an ebook copy of any of my published novels for this hop :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Dreaming of Books!

January 18th, 2013 by Heather Marie Adkins

dreaming hop[1] 3rd Annual Dreaming of Books

Giveaway Hop!

Co-hosted by Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf

I usually do a Rafflecopter, but I did a couple of hops recently where I posted a question. It was so much fun to see everyone’s answers! I sleep during the day, so I didn’t get to reply to everyone, but now I’m off work this weekend and would love to talk to you guys.

So tell me… What book do you dream of living in? If you could replace the main character in any book, which book would it be?

My choice would be “A Salty Piece of Land” by Jimmy Buffett. Yes – that Jimmy Buffett. Not only is he a long-time, award-winning songwriter and singer, but the man can seriously write some great books. “A Salty Piece of Land” is one of my all-time favorite books, and I’d take Tully’s place any day.

For answering my silly question, you’ll be entered to win an ecopy of my entire collection of published novels:

I’ll choose a winner using Random.org when the hop ends.  If you want to read about the books, please feel free to hop through the links to Goodreads and even add them To-read if you so choose :)

And don’t forget to check out all the other great blogs on this hop!

 

Posted in Lifely Updates | 2 Comments »

Indie Writers Unite New Year’s Blog Hop

January 11th, 2013 by Heather Marie Adkins

new-years-blog-hop-2Welcome to the New Year’s Blog Hop!

This hop runs January 11-14. Check out the main prize – a Kindle Fire, a $100 Amazon gift card, and a collection of ebooks/print books – on the main page at nyhop.blogspot.com

New year equals new goals. It’s so easy to forget to put yourself first, especially when you have lots of responsibilities–if you’re a parent, or an employee, or you run a business, all of those things often take more from you than you want them to. A new year is a good reason to decide to put yourself first more often :)

There’s your thought for the day!

I have six published novels.  To win your choice of one or more of my ebooks, name FOUR of the protagonists (the main character) from those novels :)

Hint: The books are The Temple, Eternal Youth, Heaven Below, The House, Cause & Effect, and Constant State of Disaster.  All protagonists are listed in the blurbs…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The answers have been so great so far! I guess I should have mentioned, I won’t be approving anybody’s comments until the hop is over ;)   Can’t have you guys seeing the answer!

Posted in Lifely Updates | 21 Comments »

Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop

January 8th, 2013 by Heather Marie Adkins

FaeriesFantasy buttonThis hop runs from January 8th to 14th

Hosted by I’m a reader, not a writer, co-hosted by Gabrielle from The Mod Podge Bookshelf

I was so excited when I saw this was an upcoming hop AND had to join in.  The end of this hop will coincide with the RE-RELEASE of the first book in my Witch Faery Trilogy — “Abigail”. I have worked crazy hard on massive edits to this book. The original publication was in July 2011 and was half the size of the book today. I’m so excited to see it published again.

To celebrate the re-release, I’ll be giving away FIVE ebook copies, and one signed print copy :)

Thank you so much for hopping!

abigailAfter the murder of Abigail’s immortal faery mother, her all-too-human father sells her into slavery. Purchased by a wealthy landowner named William to care for his baby sister, Abigail is taken to a Grecian island — a mysterious place ruled by a Faery King, that holds a deadly secret linked to Abigail’s past.

On the remote island, William’s family is endangered by the king’s thirst for vengeance, and Abigail and William’s budding romance is threatened by her intimate, unwanted connection with the island’s Prince.

To save the people she has come to love, Abigail must embrace the legacy she has long sought to deny.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to check out the other great blogs on this hop!



Posted in Lifely Updates | 5 Comments »

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I am ALWAYS willing to give away ebook copies of my novels to anyone willing to read and review, so please don't hesitate to email me and request a book(s) at heather@heathermarieadkins.com

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