Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - LOSING IT by Cora Carmack

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading! 

To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
(make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

 Since it's my first time doing this, it felt only appropiate to tease some of my favorite scenes from a book about firsts. LOSING IT, by new Indie Author Cora Carmack comes out October 16th. 

“Shakespeare. No one reads Shakespeare in a bar unless it’s a ploy to pick up girls. All I’m saying is you might have better luck up front.” à Page 9, e-ARC

“You have a cat named Hamlet?”
“I do.” Kill me now. “I definitely, definitely do.”
That was it. I was going to have to get a cat.  à Page 96, e-ARC

“Am I the lust-filled mother in this situation or you?”
His eyes came back to me, dipping and scanning the curves and lines of my body. “Oh, that’s definitely me,” he answered.   à  Page 101, e-ARC

I seriously loved this book. Come back on October 24th to read an exclusive interview with LOSING IT resident hottie, Garrick Taylor. We'll talk about love, theater, pop culture, global warming, economics, pie recipes and more. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reader Appreciation Award

I was nominated for the Reader Appreciation Award by Tamara at her blog One Magic Bean Buyer, which is all kinds of amazing. She was one of the first to disect my pitch at the GUTGAA blog hop, and we've been online friends since. Right, Tamara? Oh, and speaking of GUTGAA, she made it to Round 2 Agent Pitch over there, so be a doll and go congratulate her :D She deserves it because her story, Against the Falling Moons, is really good. Due to a minor technical error, I didn't send my pitch in time for the Agent Round, so she gave me someone to root for.  

Well, now the Rules for this thingy. 

  • Identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the reward logo to your blog
  • Tell your readers seven things about yourself
  • Nominate 5-10 of your favorite bloggers for this award.
  • Inform your nominees you nominated them.

Seven things about me: 


I cannot, for the life of me, play a video game. I think even Mario Bros. hates me. It’s just embarrasing when your 7 year old sister beats you at Mario Cart. And it’s not even like I’m “letting her” win. In fact, it’s the opposite. Sometimes she feels bad for me that loses on purpose.


Speaking of said 7 year-old... I love all of my siblings with my life, but the youngest is special. She’s my soulmate. Or a clone of mine, take your pick. Even thought there are some days that she gets as annoying as kids get, she is and always will be my little sunshine. I named one of my MC after her. I asked her if she was okay with that (she can build up quite a temper if I don’t take her into consideration in things like that) and her very serious answer was: “Sure. But don’t let anybody read that.” I laughed so hard and she didn’t speak to me for a day. Luckily, she didn’t rescind permission.


 The first “adult” book I ever read is Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead. Quite a shocker for me. Until then, I didn’t really consider the possibility of book characters having sex. I’ve read a lot of books like that after (wait a minute... *looks at the camera a-la-Nanny-Fran*)  but Georgina will remain forever in my heart. She’s a perfect example of a flawed character that still is capable of making you love her in spite of the flaws. I picked it up expecting something similar to Vampire Academy, which I recently finished and loved at the time, and it was so funny because the first chapter shocked me senseless. SO not like Vampire Academy.


I’ve been known as “The Girl Who Falls Asleep In Clubs’ Restrooms”. Note the plural. Okay, that sounds very bad. But it’s true. It’s just not my kind of place. Every time my friends dragged me to places like these, I ended up having an intimate acquaintance with the couches that they put at girl’s restroom. I don’t know if they put those in other countries’ clubs’ restrooms, but they do in Paraguay. For which I am profoundly thankful.


My first MS was writen when I was twelve. It wasn’t finished and got lost a lot of years ago, but I do vaguely recall what it was about. It was in spanish, and I was just getting into Harry Potter. Think Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, but instead of a pauper, it was a pirate. And they were two girls, instead of boys. At the time, I didn’t know that my brilliant idea had been done a gazillion times before. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time, but my best friend and I, in all of our innocence, were really excited about it (remember that, Jazmin?) I didn’t pick up the writing bug for almost ten years afterward, but that’s the beginning of my “writing career”.


I share my birthday with my great-grandmother. Except, of course, 70 years apart. My early birthday parties? Not. Fun. I always had to spend them surrounded by old people who didn’t exactly remember that it was my birthday, too. As I grew older, I put my foot down and skipped the family reunion. My great-grandma is generally known as a bitchy old lady, but to me she was always nice. Must be because we share our birthday. She still calls me every year to congratulate me on robbing her of her day. And of course, I go to visit her as often as I can, but I’ve successfully avoided the rest of my relatives for a few years now. She understands, I think.


Okay, a short one. I’ve had seven cell phones in four years. Cell phone technology is not my best friend. 

What was next? Oh, yeah. My nominees are: 

Wow. Believe it or not, that was a huge feat for me. I have like, 11 followers. Maybe now I'll get a little bit more?

BTW.. Love you, my Elevens :D


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tag! You're IT!

So, I've seen this tag game in a few blogs. During Pitch week, I commented a few entries and what do I get? Tagged, that's what... Jadzia Brandli thought it would be a nice way of repaying my comments to include me in the games. I don't remember the number of her pitch post on Deana's blog, but her story was amazingly creative. You can visit her blog here.

I'm not entirely sure how exactly this game works (I've never played anything like it), but if I understood correctly,  I have to answer the questions and then tag someone. Here are my answers:

What is the working title of your book?

The Curse of the Seven. It's just a tentative name at the moment. It grew to be about so much more that the name doesn't really fit anymore.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was helping my brother with his homework and I had a chance to re-read about this old myth that I've known since I was a child. It always picked my attention that in the original version, it was the bad guy the one to win the hand of the beautiful maiden. A goddess cursed the pair to have monstrous off-spring. They had seven sons, all of them cursed for something they hadn't even been born when it happened. My story is not a literal transcription of this guarani legend, but it definitively inspired my characters and the background story.

What genre does your book fall under?

Considering that it's set in an alternate world in which parts of land are connected by magical threads, I'd say it's fantasy. Romance plays a part, but not until after the “fantasy land” is well introduced.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Shouldn't I be more concerned in publishing it first? That said, I always thought authors saying they couldn't imagine which actors would be good to play their characters were bullshiting, but apparently it's true. Until this question, I didn't give the issue a thought. Now that I HAVE, here's what google helped me choose (not all characters because I couldn't find actors for all of them) 

Aria is a brunette, so she'd have to be something like Nina Dobrev. Plus, she could be really badass and sweet, and that's important. 

Mara is a redhead, and inmediately I thought of a young Isla Fisher. But to keep closer to Mara's age, I'd go with Willa Holland.

Jael is blonde. He is the only with fair complexion among his brothers, which is a characteristic for his curse. I'd go with this guy, Drew Van Acker. Apparently, he has a part in Pretty Little Liars. I only watched the first season, so I don't know about his acting skills, but he DEFINITIVELY looks like what I had in mind. Only blonder. He's the fourth brother, by the way.

 Liam is the sweetest guy in the world. Really. If he were a real guy, I'd totally date him. Asher Book would work for him, probably with some tanning involved. Liam's the youngest of the seven brothers.

For Emilia, the girl's mother, Marion Cotillard. She is an amazing performer, and I'd love for her to play something I created. I loved her in Nine and La Vie en Rose. 

Aymee is one of my favorite characters. She's a former Sentinel (sort of like a military career) but retired after she married the oldest son, Thomas. Cassidy Freeman would be lovely. 

Tai is the seven's father. A really awesome fellow, if I say so myself. Liam Neeson or someone like him would fit like a glove. 

Aaron is the sixth brother. He is the most obnoxious guy you'll ever meet. Probably the only one of the seven that sees the curse as a blessing. He's good deep inside, though. We see that waaaay into the story. But in the first chapters? Yeah, he was punching-worth. Colton Hayes will be a good choice if his skin were a bit darker. He plays Jackson in Teen Wolf. 

And Katarina, my favorite bitch. She is Jael's... well, I don't want to spoil anything. But she definitivily is a queen-bee. I saw Krysten Ritter's picture during my search and I knew I found my Kat. Probably the only one in this bunch of imaginary cast that fits PERFECTLY. 

Well, that's it. I don't want to imagine how long my cast-choices would have been if I'd actually thought about them before. But these people would be good choices. 

What is the one sentence short synopsis of your book?

“The fate of Aragua depends on two sisters defeating a curse that plagues the former ruler's sons.” Huh. That wasn't vague at all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hopefully, I'll find an agent to believe in my story enough to give it a shot. Probably not in the inmediate future because I'm still revising it, but someday :D

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About three months. The story was clear, but it came at me during a very busy time. I wrote it mostly during the night.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Would it be a cliché to say the tortured hero? Because seriously, Jael's curse is horrible. But I think Liam is a tad more relatable because he is so open with his pain and Jael hides it like there's no tomorrow. Plus, my girls (Aria specially) are kind of control-freaks, and people like that facing the things that they are forced to deal with make for an interesting change from the usual what's-happening-to-me kind of heroine. They take the bull by the horns from day one and I love them for it.

All right, I'm done. Here are my tags: Jessica Foster and T. J.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pimped-up Pitch

Hello, my lovelies! I've taken all your advice on my previous post and this is what came up. Feel free to point out things that still aren't working. Again, thank you all for being so amazingly awesome *virtual hugs* 

TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: The Curse of the Seven

GENRE: YA/Fantasy

WORD COUNT: 80.000

Seventeen year-old Aria’s plans for becoming a Sentinel come to a halt when her twin sister Mara connects with the magical threads of their world, turning into the first Threader out of royal bloodline in the history of Aragua.

But some threads of Aragua are untangling, losing pieces of the world to different dimensions. It all turns out to be part of a curse set upon the former Threader Karena by a vengeful goddess. Aria realizes that not only the Empire is in danger but her only sister’s life as well: Mara’s mission of weaving the threads together is at risk.

To top it off, Aria is supposedly destined to bring the missing pieces back. She cares little about superstitions and myths, but when her sister weakens and falls into uninterrupted sleep, she knows at least she has to try.

Being the last links to the original curse, Karena’s seven sons are essential in solving the issue with the threads. Aria begrudgingly accepts the help of the two most solicitous brothers; arrogant, handsome Jael and sweet, caring Liam. The trio tracks down the missing pieces of land, uncovering in the process a centuries-old plot to break the Threader's bloodline. 

With characters inspired by the old guarani tale of Tau and Kerana, The Curse of the Seven is finished at 80,000 words and has series potential.

First 150 Words

The day the Threader was buried, attendance to the funeral was mandatory for everyone over eighteen at the Capital.

As I made my way through the crowd of silent mourners, I struggled not to let go of Mara. My mother would kill us if we lost each other in the throng of people.

She’d been ridiculously reluctant to let us come to the Capital alone for the Sentinel’s Yearly Recruitment Assembly. Threader Karena dying while we visited had been an unpleasant coincidence.

I conveniently forgot to check in with her this morning because something in my gut told me she would not be pleased to know we smuggled our way into the funeral. Call it instinct.

I wanted to be a part of the procession so bad because I was morbidly curious to see which one of  Karena’s daughters-in-law became now our sole ruler. Mara thought I was crazy, yet she came with me.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Pitch Polish Blog Hop #GUTGAA

Okay, I'll try to tone down the disappointment at not getting my entry within the 100-entries limit at the #GUTGAA... I'm not trying to justify my lateness, but I do live in a different continent. Here where I am I sent it on time, but at Deana's location it was an hour too late. Anyway, now I've learned and hopefully it won't happen again in the coming weeks. 

For those of you hopping to my blog, I've got nothing but thanks. Someday, I just know, I'll be able to give you all huge hug and maybe even some chocolates. I love you from the bottom of my heart for helping me out a little here.

Okay, now that the tears are wiped, let me share the body of my (late) e-mail in case you feel like giving me your thoughts on it. Here it is:


AUTHOR'S NAME: Johana Vera
TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: The Curse of the Seven
GENRE: YA/Paranormal
 WORD COUNT: 70.000
When the former Threader, the ultimate magic wielder who rules the Empire of Aragua, dies with no female heir as her successor, sisters Aria and Mara find themselves caught in the middle of a political power play that cares little about who weaves the magical threads of the world together.

After learning about the curse set upon the seven sons of the the previous Threader by a vengeful goddess and the loss of parts of the world that untangled from the original thread, the girls embarque in a crusade to put their world back in one piece, helped by two of the cursed brothers; arrogant, handsome Jael and sweet, caring Liam. Forced to face dangerous trips to unknown parts of the world, Aria finds that not only the fate of her world depends on the success of their mission, but her only sister’s life as well.

Complete at 70,000 words and with characters inspired on an old guarani tale, the story explores the doubts of sarcastic, quick-witted Aria about coming to terms with what she thought was her true call as a Sentinel, the volatile relationship with her mother and the loyalty she feels toward her sister.

First 150 Words

The day the Threader was buried, attendance to the funeral was mandatory for every citizen of the capital. Although it was supposed to be a bright early summer morning, even the sun dimmed its resplendor in respect to the person who, one way or the other, made sure its light reached the entire empire of Aragua.
As I made my way through the crowd of silent mourners, I had to struggle not to let go of Mara. My mother would kill us if we lost each other in the throng of people. She had been ridiculously reluctant to let us come to the Capital alone in the first place. That the Threader happened to die while we visited had been an unpleasant coincidence. I conveniently forgot to check in with her this morning because something in my gut told me she would not be pleased to know we came to the funeral.

Again, thank you for stopping by. And if I can help you with anything, you just say the word. 



Monday, September 03, 2012

Meet and Greet - GUTGAA :)

Hi! I'm Johana from Paraguay. Yeah, I know. If I didn't live in it, I probably wouldn't know where on the map is either. Here it is:  

Really hot place, but we have beatiful landscapes. Take a look. My country and my background are important to me and my story, The Curse of the Seven, so its relevant to mention them here. I only finished writing my book, and I'm still working hard to get it to the place I want it to be so I haven't really started querying it yet. Hopefully I'll get lucky at GUTGAA. 
I'm 22 years old. Used to be architecture major, but changed last year when I realized my heart wasn't really into it. So now, I'm dividing my time between work, writing and theather. Yes, I'm an actress. 
What else? Nobody in my family speaks english, so I'm kind of a freak in that regard. People have asked me why on earth I don't write in spanish, but for some unfathomable reason, it's easier for me in english. No idea why.
I'll love to connect with writers and really, everyone who wouldn't mind talking books for hours without getting tired of it. Unfortunately, I don't know that many people who are like that in my every day life, so if you're like that, please, PLEASE, leave a message here :)

And my answers to Deanna's questionnaire are here:

-Where do you write?

Lately, at my grandfather’s house. Unlike my own house, it’s so quiet there and I focus more easily when there’s no noise around me. I have a VERY EASILY distracted mind, but when I find my pace at something, not even a tornado could sway my attention. And my younger siblings are like a tornado when they’re all together so I think I can speak with a certain authority in the matter.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

A mirror. I think my aunt went through a fen shui face a while ago. Their house is full of stuff like that.

-Favorite time to write?

My writing hours are not dictated by the movements of the earth. I hear it’s quite common amongst the writing folks to develop nocturnal schedules, and I do, believe me. But if I find a moment of complete solitude and quiet, I can come up with a few usable words, even if the sun is still shining.

-Drink of choice while writing?

Well, it’s my understanding that the first step to become a writer is develop a crave for coffee. Another proof that I was born to be one. I cannot survive without coffee, in its various forms and flavors.

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

Like I said, complete silence. Music is a passion for me, and singing is something I love very much, much to my family’s chagrin. If I hear I music I like, I can’t help but to sign along. The few times I tried to write while listening to it, the dialogue between my characters turned out odd. I swear to God, in my head they were doing a musical. People laugh at that, but it’s my ultimate truth. So, no music while writing. Maybe if someday I get hired by Andrew Lloyd Webber it could work for me.
When I reach a point in which I can’t come up with new ideas, I do listen to music to steal a bit of inspiration, though.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? (Plus a few errant thoughts on the matter)

Oh, dear. This will be a long one.
I have worked in a few different proyects, and while the words made sense most of the time, they didn’t feel mine enough. It’s difficult to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.
There’s this feeling I get on my skin, when something feels right. When I’m on the stage, it’s like an electric current that keeps me wired enough to give a credible perfomance. According to my instructors, it’s a very unusual thing to experience as a novice actor. But that’s the thing, I didn’t start to get those chills, to call them something, after I started acting; I got them a long time before that. I got them when I picked up my first Harry Potter book when I was ten years old, and when I saw Gone with the Wind for the first time, and when I discovered The Rolling Stones... one of my many theories about it is that I get them when I feel the magic. You know, the magic that’s part of the real world. Or maybe I’m just crazy, which is an entirely posible thing.
None of my other proyects gave me that until this one. It’s inspired in the mythological figures that are part of my country’s folklore, so I think that’s why I feel more connected to it than my first stories. In my country, they are big about traditions. I don’t know if it’s like that in every country, but in Paraguay they teach you about these legends literally before you learn to write your name.
When I was younger, I was just like every other child at hearing these stories: I was bored, I didn’t want to listen to them EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.
But as I got older, I landed in a few places in which I was encouraged to think about the “why” of everything. A while ago, while helping my brother with his homework, I stumbled across the Seven Myths Legend once again, and the wheels in my head started to turn. Why do these kids had to suffer such a horrible curse because of their parents' mistakes? And ta-da! The idea for this project was conceived.

-What's your most valuable writing tip?

Keep writing. There’s nothing more to this than that. And while you do that, find time to watch as lot of TV and movies, read a lot of books and see the world around you. I learned a lot about world building and character development by doing that with a critical eye. 

Well, that's it for now. Here, my bunny Ozera (named after Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy character Christian.. Nobody gets the reference where I live, but they do share a lot of personality traits) and I wish you the best of luck at GUTGAA!