Tracy Banghart

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    Friday
    Oct112013

    Winners!!!

    Happy Friday! I have some exciting news to share today! The WINNERS of the By Blood Blog Tour Giveaway!!

     

    Grand Prize

    James Coyne

    Second Prize

    Kyla Patton & MaryAlice Tillman

    Third Prize

    Barbara Nolan & Courtney Renee

    ~~

    Congrats, you guys!

    Sad you didn't win a free copy of By Blood or Moon Child? Not to fret! You can pick up an ecopy of either (available on most devices) for only 99c through the weekend! 

    Thank you so, so much to everyone who entered the contest, added the books on Goodreads, and helped spread the word. And to the lovely bloggers who featured a review, guest post, or interview, you guys ROCK. Seriously. My heart = full.

    Take care y'all and have a great weekend! Winners, you'll be hearing from me shortly! 

    SMOOSH!

    Wednesday
    Oct092013

    Bookanista Review: Second Verse

    Hello my lovelies! I hope you're having a good week. Mine's been insane, which I guess is par for the course for a work-from-home mommy with an about-to-walk child and a husband studying for midterms. 

    STILL. I am bringing you a VERY exciting review today!

    From Goodreads:

    Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder.

    Murder Now
    Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.

    Murder Then
    Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.

    Murder Yet to Come
    But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and their own, and how closely the two are connected. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself.

    My Thoughts

    This book is spooky, fast-paced and romantic. I loved the "murder now, murder then" element and was genuinely creeped out as Lange started uncovering details of the murders that had been committed in her home - an old farmhouse that Jennifer did a fantastic job making super spooky. The book is haunting in the ways that the best ghost stories are: you'll want to read with the lights ON...and you'll be left with that tingly, goosebumps feeling on the back of your neck for long after you read the last page.

    Seriously, when I say spooky, I mean SPOOKY. It's absolutely perfect for an October read...it's got a fabulous Halloween vibe and fits well with chill autumn breezes and horror movie season. In fact, I would say Second Verse is like trick-or-treating -- dark, creepy...with sweet rewards to keep you coming back for more. So, basically, if you like Halloween, trick or treating, or Halloween candy YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK. Hee hee. ;-)

    Add it to your Goodreads TBR shelf HERE.

    Buy on Amazon HERE.

    ~~

    Check out what other Bookanistas are raving about this week!

    Wednesday
    Oct022013

    Release Party! QUIET KIDS by Christine Fonseca

    Today I'm helping fellow Bookanista Christine celebrate the release of her newest nonfiction title: QUIET KIDS. As an introverted writer, I can DEFINITELY see the value of this book...and wish it had been around when *I* was a quiet kid! 

    I'm going to turn over this post to Christine, so she can tell you more about the book - and her awesome giveaway! Take it away, Christine!

    ~~

    I am so happy to announce the official release of my book, Quiet Kids. This book, in addition to being the book I wish I had read as a child, speaks to introversion in children, pulling on the latest research in the area and providing parents and educators strategies to help support introverted children. As most of you know, my writing career started with my books related to gifted children, and while not all gifted children are introverted, a quiet temperament does dominate that particular subgroup of children. Quiet Kids looks at what it means to be introverted in today's noisy world. 

    Here is the description of the book:

    Being an introverted child is difficult, especially in an ever-increasingly noisy world. Often viewed as aloof, unmotivated or conceited, introverted children are deeply misunderstood by parents, educators and even their peers. That's where Quiet Kids: Helping Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World comes in. Designed to provide parents with a blueprint for not only understanding the nature of introversion, Quiet Kids provides specific strategies to teach their children how to thrive in a world that may not understand them. Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, the book uses real-world examples and stories from introverts and parents to show parents and educators how to help children develop resiliency and enhance the positive qualities of being an introvert. With specific strategies to address academic performance, bullying, and resiliency, Quiet Kids is a must read for anyone wishing to enhance the lives of introverted children.

    QK - BNPublisher's Weekly was kind enough to call the book "Extremely useful for educators and parents, this thoughtful text emphasizes the many gifts of quiet kids.”

    Quiet Kids can be found in Barnes and Noble stores across the United States, as well as online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and other retailers world wide. 

    As part of the launch of Quiet Kids, I developed a little quiz to help you know if you may have an introvert in the house:

    1. My child prefers to spend time alone or reading after school? T/F
    2. My child is generally quiet? T/F
    3. Teachers often characterize my child as shy? T/F
    4. I often worry that my child has very few friends? T/F
    5. My children struggles when things are not part of a routine or predictable? T/F

    A yes answer to most of these questions may indicate that your child has an introverted temperament. I also have a special giveaway to celebrate the launch:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    THANK YOU for the support of this important book. Be sure to check out the events page on my website to see what other fun things I have planned.

    ~~

    Thanks, Christine! Be sure to check out a copy of QUIET KIDS!

    Tuesday
    Oct012013

    Cover & Title Reveal!!

    So, a while back I gushed to y'all about Susanne Winnacker's intense IMPOSTOR. Don't remember? Check out my review here.

    Good news...IMPOSTOR has a sequel, coming June 2014 from Razorbill!

    Even better? I've got the title AND gorgeous cover to share!

    First, here's a little info about Variants #1: IMPOSTOR

    Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

    Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

    Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

    And IMPOSTOR's beeoootiful cover:

    And now....the title of Variants #2.......

    DEFECTOR by Susanne Winnacker 

    (Variants #2) 

    Published by: Razorbill

    Publication date: June 26, 2014

    Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

    Ooooohhhh....so, we don't have a synopsis of book 2 yet, but that title - and what happens at the end of IMPOSTOR - I've got chills! Who is the "defector"? Tessa? Or someone else at the FEA? Or maybe it's a totally new character! I can't WAIT to read DEFECTOR and find out!

    Without further ado, here is the equally fabulous cover!

     

    Add it on Goodreads! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18045583-untitled?ac=1

    More about the awesome Susanne Winnacker:

    Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog and three bunnies in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. 
    When she isn't writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes. 
    Her YA thriller IMPOSTOR will be published on May 28, 2013. It has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers!

    Website: http://www.susannewinnacker.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanneWinnackerAuthor

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusanneWrites

    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91168.Susanne_Winnacker

    Monday
    Sep232013

    Why I Chose to Self-Publish

    Okay, so the following post is super long and probably rambling. Proceed at your own risk...

    gratuitous picture of my adorable child

    I’ve been thinking about the indie versus traditional debate a lot lately. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and those opinions in many cases are completely different than they were six months, a year, five years ago. I know my opinion on the subject has changed.

    Right off the bat, I’ll say that as a reader, I love both traditionally and self-published books. These days it’s getting harder and harder to even tell the difference. I read both, happily, and am really excited that one of the big results of the rise of self-publishing is MORE. More books in the hands of readers, more new authors to discover. In the case of literature, I’m of the opinion that more is never a bad thing. Especially with all the lovely bloggers, Amazon algorithms, and Goodreads reviews to help connect readers with the kinds of books they like.

    As a writer, my relationship with self-publishing is a bit more complicated. I’ve always wanted to be an author and what that looked like – Tracy E. Banghart, THE AUTHOR – has changed over the years. My day job out of college was editorial – I worked as a proofreader on business manuals. I knew I wanted to be in the publishing biz, but I wasn’t convinced I could make a living as a writer. But I figured it didn’t matter. I loved the industry; I’d get a job working in publishing, and Tracy E. Banghart, THE AUTHOR, would surely follow. At the time, my definition of author was “published by Random House (or similar).” It was 2003 – that was most people’s definition.

    I decided to move to Oxford, England to pursue a master’s degree in Publishing. I’d learn more about the business, and live in the UK for a year! It seemed like a great idea, and it was. I had a wonderful time, met some amazing people, and learned a LOT. This was 2005 and the world was still buzzing from J. K. Rowling’s incredible sales figures for the Harry Potter books. Many of our marketing classes revolved around what that breakout did for the industry, and “long-tail” marketing…the idea that a few books would be bought by EVERYBODY…and many, many, many books would be bought by a few. At the time, self-publishing was barely on the radar. Print-On-Demand was just coming onto the scene with a company called Lightning Source (I saw some of their early products – honestly, not that impressive in terms of production quality). Ereaders were a blip, and most people thought that “fad” wasn’t long for the publishing world.

    Back then, I was still trying to figure out how to combine my interest “behind the desk” as an editor or marketer with my overwhelming desire to be an author. So for my master’s thesis, I decided to create my own publishing company, and publish my own book. I basically did it all. I wrote a novella, edited it, designed the interior pages, hired an illustrator, found a printer, picked out paper, created a website. It was an incredible experience. WHAT THE SEA WANTS, the book I ultimately created, even received a good review from Voya Magazine, necessitating a reprint. Essentially, I self-published. I sold nearly 900 hardcover copies of that book (it wasn't available as an ebook), received an incredibly positive review from Voya, a reputable source, and yet never once considered myself a REAL author. There was no Random House. There were no editors or agents breaking down my door. By my standard, I hadn’t found success.

    Fast forward a few years. I was working as a technical writer, desperately trying to finish my first "real" book, and feeling completely discouraged by the process. My husband, bless him, convinced me to quit my job (QUIT MY JOB!!) and follow my dream. He was willing to support me financially while I wrote, despite the fact that I’d NEVER EVEN FINISHED a full-length novel, and had NO idea if I would find a publisher for one if I DID finish it. Talk about faith. My husband had it in me, before I even did. (Yeah. He’s definitely a keeper.) Even so, I made little progress. Until NaNoWriMo. I wrote my first full novel, start to finish, in three weeks during the month of November. It was the most exciting, fulfilling writerly experience I’d ever had. I proved to myself that I could really, REALLY do it. I could start and finish a novel. That story, a very early version of what became MOON CHILD, went on (after some revision, of course) to garner me three offers of representation from agents. I figured it was only a matter of time. Random House, Tracy E Banghart, THE AUTHOR...it was all about to happen.

    Only…it didn’t. It turned out getting an agent didn’t mean a book deal was a forgone conclusion. I got really close a few times, and received some beautifully, heartbreakingly positive rejections, but, ultimately, there followed three years of NO. Three different books, many, many different editors…and nothing ever connected.

    The experience was simultaneously demoralizing and energizing. Demoralizing because it was ALWAYS no…even after a second read, or a revision request, even after editors were pouring out their love for my writing or my characters or my story…it always ended in rejection. At first I thought it was just a question of writing a better book, doing a better job next time. And then I wrote a book that I KNEW was amazing. Seriously. AMAZING. I wrote it when my husband was deployed and it was full of war and longing and heartbreak, and most of all, a girl who finds her strength, who learns to believe in herself and who ends up kicking some serious ass. It was ABOUT something. I was saying something about our culture, about the war in Iraq, about “don’t ask, don’t tell”, about identity, all in this scifi book set in a completely different world. I KNEW it was going to sell, and sell big.

    And…it didn’t. And that’s when I realized (here comes the energizing part)...Sometimes, when it comes to traditional publishing, it doesn’t matter if you write a good book. More importantly, why let someone ELSE define for you what constitutes a good book? I love editors, and I was desperate to work with one and let them help me make my books really shine. But I had to let go of this notion that I was NOT AN AUTHOR without their validation. By that point, I KNEW my writing was “good enough”. I knew I was creating interesting stories with interesting characters that deserved to be put in the hands of readers. I had an agent, I had editors who WANTED to buy my books, if only the red tape of their publishing houses wasn't quite so sticky. And I LOVED WHAT I WAS WRITING. At the time, some of my writer friends were living through these absolute horror stories – book contracts being cancelled, agents dumping them, etc. And we were all trying to hold on to our faith in ourselves and in our writing.

    Up to that point, I thought I needed someone ELSE to tell me my work was good enough….just to be read. Self-publishing was starting to gain traction. I thought, you know what? Why don’t I decide what I think is good enough to be read…and let the READERS decide if I was right. 

    I started with BY BLOOD because it had gotten the closest to traditional publication. I’d worked with an editor on it, gone through a revise and resubmit…I felt confident that between her feedback and my faith, that book deserved to be published…and more importantly, was ready.

    And here’s what it comes down to for me. Ever since I made that decision…I have felt like Tracy E. Banghart, THE AUTHOR. No Random House necessary. My career, my writing...it’s been on my own terms. I get to be in charge of my self-worth. I get to decide what I want to share with the world. I’m not one of those indie success stories with thousands of sales and a place on bestseller lists – yet – but I am happy. Happier than I ever was pursuing traditional publishing. I have readers – fans, even! Instead of dealing with the endless waiting and lack of control over my own career, instead of bracing myself before reading every email from my agent, instead of feeling completely POWERLESS…I’m doing a little happy dance for every good Goodreads review. I’m celebrating every single sale because that sale represents someone who thinks my book is worth spending money on. I’m EXCITED because I have more stories to share, and I don’t have to wait until someone agrees with me before I can put them out in the world. I can offer them directly to you, readers, and YOU can decide their worth.

    I know not everyone will like my books. And I might never have “break out” success, whatever that is. But I do hope that someday my Army of Turtles (check out this article by Susan Kaye Quinn for the reference, though MAJOR HOTSAUCE insists I have an ARMY of turtles, not a herd) will find readers and make people happy. I hope the books will pay for themselves and maybe a little more.  I love writing them, and I love putting my publishing education to use. I am excited to be writing at a time when YOU, the reader, have so much choice and influence. I hope you’ll give my books a chance, and if you do, I hope you enjoy them. To me, having even one reader who loves your work -- THAT'S success.

    And that “amazing” book about war and heartbreak and strength and identity? Comes out February 2014. Just so you know. ;-)