1 Day Ebook Sale: Witch Song 99 cents

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Did you received a Kindle for Christmas (I did!)? My publisher wants to help load it up with your first book. For 24 hours only, Witch Song will go on sale for 99 cents. The sale goes from midnight to midnight on Thursday Dec 29 2011.

We'll be doing a #twitterview (interview on twitter) throughout the day to draw attention to the event.

Please help share any way you'd like (blogging, facebook, retweets, tell your friends), so everyone who wanted a copy and couldn't afford one can has a chance to purchase at this price. I would also love it if you posted your review somewhere.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can read it on a computer or smartphone. Seriously, you can't even buy a soda pop for 99 cents anymore. So go dig some change out of your couch cushions (or a local fountain), cause this won't be happening again (I have bills too).

It will be available at this price on:
Barnes and Noble

And I don't want anyone else emailing me and begging me for anymore free copies. ;)


Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Everyone, meet my dad. His name is Kent Argyle and he's a bit of a prankster (I inherited the trait). Here he is holding my cute niece. 

I was going to share a story of one of my favorite Christmas memories with him, but my PR friend talked me out of it. Let's just say the events contained therein weren't exactly "legal."

So instead, I'll leave you with a pic of my Christmas tree:

Merry Christmas!

Too Strong for Too Long

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I recently read an article by Mettie Ivie Harrison about "being too strong for too long," and it struck such resonance in me I had to share it here in hopes that it strikes you as much as it did me (and thanks to Mettie for letting me share excerpts).

In the article, Mettie talks about the moment when she realized she couldn't keep her momentum going anymore. "Every minute of every day had to have a purpose. Most of them had to have two purposes. And I was ruthless when I reviewed my attempts."

Sing it to me sister.

I'm a driven person. I have goals and I work hard toward them. Sometimes to the point
where I push myself into emotional exhaustion. Classic overachiever with a long list of accomplishments (I won't bore you with the details). Any failure by myself was treated with self loathing and disappointment.

Pushing myself hard got results, at least results as far as achievements go.

But there was a price for being so unforgiving a taskmaster.

That price didn't come due until college. Trying to balance my new marriage while keeping my GPA up and living on next to nothing completely overwhelmed me and I started having daily anxiety attacks. My life ground to a halt and I couldn't understand what was wrong with me. 

It took a lot of hard work to relearn how to relax. How to love myself. Forgive myself for my shortcomings and failures. I learned that a happy person is a balanced person. A person who nurtures their spiritual and emotional self--not just their physical and academic self. That relaxing wasn't an epic waste of time but time to recharge.

It was a hard lesson to learn, but I learned it well.

I still catch myself pushing too hard (I have three young kids, my husband is gone a lot with work, I exercise an hour 3 times a week, volunteer at my kids' school, write and market for my book, try to do my hair and makeup, housework, and church responsibilities (I teach Sunday School--what were they thinking???) but I've learned to back off before I fall apart.

I could sense myself getting overwhelmed for a couple months around Witch Song's release. Instead of pushing myself to schedule more signings etc, I took a step back. Now my goal is to do one signing/school visit a month. Not a lot, but I enjoy one activity a month. More than that stresses me out and I miss my kidlets too much. Maybe I can do more when they are older.

To read Mettie's article, go here:


What aspect do you struggle more with: Spiritual, physical, emotional, social, or something else entirely?

Also, it's looking like January's event will be a signing in SLC at Sam Weller's. More to come.

Winner of YA Scavenger Hunt!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
You know what's annoying? When you want to see if you've won something, so you click on it. And the post just rambles on and on. We just want to see the results! Stop making us read through all this random garbage and give us the results.

Don't you hate that?

I hate it too.

Especially when the prize is super awesome. Like winning a copy of Witch Song--just before the holidays no less. Just tell me upfront. First line. Save me all this trouble of . . .What?


I'm doing it again. Aren't I?



The winner is . . .


Sheesh. You didn't have to get all huffy on me.

YA Scavenger Hunt with Myra McEntire (Hourglass)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Welcome to Amber Argyle's stop in the Dec. 1st, 2011 YA Scavenger Hunt, hosted by the AMAZING Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse)! I'm the author of Witch Song, a YA high fantasy where witches control nature (seasons, storms, winds) through singing, but all the witches have been captured by an evil witch who plots to use their power to bring mankind to its knees. Only Brusenna, a young, untrained witch stands between the evil witch and the world. (I've hidden the first chapter of book 2 on one of the blogs in the scavenger hunt--go find it!)

On this Hunt, there are tons of prizes. Each blog is giving away a prize, so take a couple hours and go enter them all. At the end, there's BIG grand prize (signed editions of books, signed bookmarks, jewelry, and many more exclusive gifts with at least one gift from EVERY AUTHOR!) for someone who unscrambles all the RED codewords hidden in each post and uses it to fill out this Puzzle Form in order to win said BIG grand prize (puzzle and instructions located at the bottom of this post).

I'm also giving away a signed copy of Witch Song. All you have to do is add Witch Song to your "To Read" list on Goodreads (if you don't have a Goodreads account, you can Tweet or Facebook) and let me know in the comments. How easy is that?

As part of the tour, I'm hosting the beautiful and talented Myra McEntire, author of Hourglass and Timepiece. Myra McEntire knows the words to every R and B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in the country music capital of America where her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated, she chose to channel her mad word skills into creating sultry Southern timeslip novels.

But if you catch her at a signing, she can probably be convinced to rap with you anyway.
Here's a little about Myra's amazing looking book, Hourlgass:  
 For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?
Here's the cover for her second book in the series, Timepiece. Love it!

You can buy her books at IndieBound, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. I've even been told if you buy one you get a pony free (okay, not really).

AND Myra has been awesome enough to read an excerpt of her new book, Timepiece! Click here! (link goes live at 1 Pacific).

Here's the link for the next stop on your hunt: Gregg Olsen.
If you'd like to see my bonus feature (the never before seen 1st chapter of Witch Song 2) visit Cynthia Hand's blog as well! And don't forget to leave a comment here to win a copy of Witch Song.

Puzzle Rules:
As an extra bonus we’ve put together a puzzle with one keyword found on each website. Complete it and you will be eligible for a fantastic GRAND PRIZE which will include signed editions of books, signed bookmarks, jewelry, and many more exclusive gifts with at least one gift from EVERY AUTHOR!

Directions: Search for the 37 keywords—one on each Scavenger Hunt website—that are highlighted in RED. When you are finished, go here [link] to the puzzle form, where you will find a list of scrambled keywords. Put your keywords in the same order as the scrambled ones—from #1 - #37—and paste that list into the entry form.

Rules: To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed puzzle form before noon on Dec 4th Pacific Time. All the keywords must be included and you must include your full name and address. Entries sent in without name and address will not be considered! The contest is international.

Facebook II Twitter II Goodreads

Gearing Up

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Start getting excited. I have a big event planned starting this Thursday on the blog. I'll be giving away a copy of Witch Song, showing you where you can get a look at the never before seen first chapter of Witch Song 2 AND get a never before seen look at Myra McEntire's new book trailer for Timepiece! I'm so freaking excited!

AND I'll be signing at the Logan Book Table this Friday (Dec 2nd) from 8 until midnight with fellow authors Elana Johnson, Tyler Whitesides, Heather Theurer, Carole Thayne Whalburton, Lori Lewis, Tristi Pinkston, Mary Higgins, Ronda Gib Hendrickson, Wanda Luce, Darren Smith, and Jenni James.

It's going to be a Par-tay!

Turkey's Lament

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Don't Eat Me
By my 9 year old son.
Reasons why not to eat me
I stink
I'm ugly
I'm full of fat (your diet, remember?)
I hate your cat
I'll eat the mouse
In your house
I'll mow the lawn
I'll sweep the floor
I'll vacuum your house
I'll pick up the floor
I'll throw away that banana from days of yore.
Just don't eat me!

Happy Thanksgiving!

WOW: Tangled Tides by Karen Hooper

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

Young Adult fans of Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens and Gorgons will love this tale of the sacrifice one makes for genuine love. Love that could be lost at any moment to the ever-changing tides.

I'm so excited for this book! Isn't the cover gorgeous?
What's your WoW this week?

Witch Song (Witch Song #1)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brusenna is the last. 

All the other witches have been captured, their songs stolen and twisted from harmony and growth into chaos and death. She alone must stand against an evil much older and darker than anything she could ever imagine—an evil every witch before her has failed to vanquish. 

In that, Brusenna must be the first.

Click to read the Reader Guide.
Click to download the Sales Sheet
Click to download the Press Kit

Purchase links:

Witch Song Reviews:

"In WITCH SONG, Amber Argyle makes a riveting debut, creating a fresh new world full of wonder, peril, and splendor. I found WITCH SONG to be positively engrossing from the first page to the last. I'm convinced that this is just the first book in what will be a long and prosperous career!" David Farland, NYT Bestselling 

"Witch Song was a rich and compelling fairytale of magic and dark controlling forces, that gives a unique twist to witchcraft and witches, in general. It was powerful and interesting. Argyle's ability to create a world in which the power of song is used to create magic, is not only masterful but brilliantly clever." ~Suz, Soul Unsung

I can honestly say that I haven't gotten this lost in a fantasy world since the Harry Potter series. Witch Song was so unbelievably outstanding, that I'm having a hard time translating my thoughts and feelings into a sufficient review. Amber Argyle for me, has earned herself a rank equivalent to the best fantasy fiction authors of this decade.” ~Cory, Antidrug Reads 

It is rare to find books that immediately sweep you into their world, plunging you head first through a tale filled with intensity so real you can feel it. These are the books I crave - the stories I seek & find once in a blue moon; such is Witch Song.” ~Author Ashley Knight

“An engrossing story peopled with colorful races and far off places await you in Witch Song, an adventure that will sweep you from the daily grind and deposit you on the other side of your imagination . . . Those readers who love books by Shannon Hale and Aprilynne Pike will enjoy Witch Song.” Christy Dorrity, Syracuse Islander

Witch Song is a debut with an engrossing world full of magic, adventure and romance. It's a story that fascinated me with its unique witch lore and rich world building, and introduced me to some great in-depth characters.” ~Katie, Mundie Moms

“Ms. Argyle’s story of a young witch’s journey through dangerous lands during even more dangerous times held me utterly mesmerized. Witch Song was Bewitchingly Beautiful and the tempo of the story sang to me long after I had finished it.”~Kristi Stern, The Book Faery

First page

Brusenna’s straw-colored hair felt as hot as a sun-baked rock. She was sticky with sweat—sweat that trickled down her spine and made her simple dress cling to her. Her every instinct begged her to run from the glares sticking her like wasp stings. But she’d already put off her trip to the market for too long as it was.

The merchant finished wrapping the spools of thread in crinkling brown paper. “Twelve upice,” Bommer said sourly.

A ridiculous price—no doubt made worse by the drought. Had Brusenna been anyone else, she could’ve bartered it down to half that. But she wasn’t anyone else. And even though the villagers only suspected, it was enough. Careful not to touch her, the man’s hand swallowed the coins she dropped in it. She wondered what marvelous things he ate to flesh out his skin that way. Things like the honey-sweetened cakes she could still smell in her clothes long after she’d left the marketplace.

As Bommer mumbled and counted his money, Brusenna gathered the packages tightly to her chest and hurried away. She hadn’t gone five steps when a heavy hand clamped down on her shoulder. Fear shot through her veins like a thousand nettles.

Here, no one ever touched her.

With a wince, she craned her neck back to see the merchant looming over her. “You tryin’ to cheat me, chanter?”

This close, the smell of his stale body odor hit her hard. She swallowed the urge to gag. Her mind worked furiously. She’d counted twice. It’d been right. “I gave you twelve,” she managed.

He yanked her around, grabbing her other arm and bringing her face next to his. She cringed as his large paunch pressed against her. Somewhere, a baby squalled. “You think I can’t count? That it, huh?”

Brusenna tried to answer, but her mouth locked up. She should’ve been more careful. She should’ve stayed until he’d finished counting her coins. But she’d been too eager to escape. He shook her, his dirty nails digging into her skin. Her packages tumbled from her hands and hit the ground.

Taking shallow breathes and arching away from him, she squirmed, desperate to be free. “Please,” she said, finally finding her voice. “Let me go!”

He laughed, his eyes gleaming with pleasure. “No. I don’t think so. Not this time. You know what the punishment is for stealing?”

The stocks. Brusenna swallowed hard. Trapped for an entire day with the whole village taunting her. They’d throw things. Rotten food. And worse. She looked for help in the crowd that had eagerly gathered around them. Satisfaction shone plain on every face. She was suddenly angry with her mother for letting her face this alone. For refusing to come on the grounds that someone might recognize her.

“I didn’t steal,” she whispered, already knowing no one would listen.

“You callin’ me a liar?” Tobacco and spit splattered her face. He backhanded her. For a moment, her vision flashed white, then black with stars, then red. She tasted blood. Her eyes burned with tears. She clamped her teeth shut against the pain, refusing to cry out.

Bommer half-dragged her toward the center of the square, where two thin blocks of wood were connected with a hinge. Three holes, one for her neck and two for her wrists. Remnants of rotten food, manure, and even rocks littered the base.

The sight of the stocks shocked Brusenna into action. She squirmed and struggled.

His hand on the back of her neck, Bommer shoved her throat into the largest, center hole. She tried to rear back. He pushed harder. The wood cut into her windpipe. She couldn’t breathe.

Book Piracy is Stealing

Monday, November 7, 2011
This year, an author will spend hundreds of hours writing a book that you will download for free.

I've heard all the arguments. Hannah said, "I don't think that a few bites out of the book sales of mega authors are going to make that much of a difference to their profit."

This mistaken belief goes back to the fable that all authors are rich. I see it all the time. My neighbors frequently ask me when I'm moving into my mansion. The truth is that the average American author makes 9k a year. We are not rich. Most of us barely make enough to supplement our income (and believe me, my wallet has felt the thousands of illegal downloads of Witch Song). A few lucky authors make enough to pay their bills without a second job. Only a handful make enough money to move into the upper class.

But let's say you've downloaded some mega author's novel like JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer. Stealing from them doesn't count because they're already rich??? Sorry. Stealing is stealing. You can justify it all you want, it won't change the truth. It's kind of like the argument that stealing from Walmart doesn't hurt anyone other than some nameless corporation. The truth is that every customer pays for theft in the increased prices from security measures and profit losses. Some writer's book will fail to make it and that author's contract won't be renewed. 

I'm familiar with Neil Gaiman's argument that book piracy actually helps sales because it's free marketing and the people who downloaded the book wouldn't have bought it anyway.

I disagree. There's generations of people who believe that content should be free because of the erroneous belief that the content didn't cost anything to create. And in once sense they're right. There are virtually no cost of materials in ebooks.

But what about time? After all, it's the only thing we as humans really have to give anyone. As I said before, authors spend hundreds of hours on their book. That's not to mention editors, cover artists, publisher production costs, etc.

Don't we deserve to be paid for those hundreds of hours?

"Downloading the book is no different from borrowing the book from a friend or the library."

Wrong. The library bought the book. You're friend paid for the book. They can lend it out until the binding falls apart and you can't read past the coffee stains. Though most people don't because they take care of their books.

But that doesn't happen with ebooks. No matter how many times you lend the book, it doesn't age. Meaning you can then lend the book out to infinity. And people do. Lending the book thousands of times, of which the author is paid once or not at all.

With Witch Song, we began to send the book out to book review blogs who requested the book. One of the girls coordinating my book tour contacted me to inform me that someone on the tour had pirated the book. She was appalled and wanted to apologize.

Within a week, the book had thousands of downloads from different file sharing sites. I reported this to my publisher, who went through the laborious process of having those files taken down. The very next day, the same people put the book back up.

I felt betrayed and undermined by the very people I thought wanted to help my book succeed.

So what's the solution?

For people to stop stealing. Seriously, if you can't afford a book, borrow one from the library. If they don't have it, request it. Most libraries are happy to buy books their patrons are interested in.

Book sellers like Amazon need to have the files available in numerous formats to everyone who wants to buy it--this includes all English speaking countries--without any ridiculous fees.

Hosting sites need to be held accountable for the websites they host. If they host a child porn site, they should pay a fine. If they host a site that sells pirated books, they should pay a fine. I understand that they don't have the man hours to patrol all their sites, but after a site has been reported, they should investigate it.

Search engines should block these sites from their searches.

Short story: Piracy hurts authors. Pay for your books.


Review of Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Vanish (Firelight, #2)

I love this series. Love it. Love it. Love it. If you adore paranormal, this is a must have for your library.

Jacinda has returned to her pride of dragons, determined to forget the boy she's fallen for. After all, how can a hunter and his prey fall in love?

And of course there's Cassian, who Jace has been convinced only wants her because she's a coveted fire breather. Or does he? Time after time, Cassian proves himself as he goes out of his way to protect and care for Jace.

No matter what choice Jace makes, she loses something. Being with Will means abandoning her family and her way of life. Staying with Cassian means losing her freedom for the tyrannical rule of her pride.

This is one of the best written love triangles I've ever read--and this coming from the girl who is sick to death of love triangles. In the first book, I was totally a Will fan. Now I'm totally in Cassian's camp.

I can't wait for the final installment!

Solution to Book Piracy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Some techie needs to code ebooks so if they're downloaded over X amount of times, advertisements start to pop up.That way authors still get paid for pirated work. You don't want the ads, don't share the book over X amounts of times. Or pay for the @#%^ book in the first place.

I don't know if this is even possible, but it SHOULD be. Is it? Who's a computer/programming geek? What do you guys think?

Guest Post by David Farland (on YA and Magical Systems)

Friday, October 28, 2011
Amber: Why did you decide to write young adult after all of these years?

David: Actually, I’ve been doing it most of my life. It’s just that no one ever noticed!

My first novel had an older protagonist, but beginning with my second novel, Serpent Catch, my protagonists have almost all been young men and women in their late teens—age 19 or so. The Serpent Catch, Golden Queen, and Runelords series all feature very young protagonists. In fact, with the Runelords I have a couple of children as protagonists. In Wizardborn, I have a girl who is 8 as a protagonist for most of the book, and in Sons of the Oak, my main protagonist is between 11 and 14.

I have also written movie tie-ins using young adult characters. My novel Star Wars: The Rising Force was a big hit for Scholastic, and my Mummy Chronicles novels, four books in all, remained high on the New York Times Bestseller lists for months when they came out from Random House.

To tell the truth, when I first began working on the Runelords series, I strongly considered making it young adult, or perhaps writing a parallel series that was YA.

But it wasn’t until I was teaching a class at BYU in 2002 that I really got thinking seriously. I had one of my students, Stephenie Meyer, come to talk to me one day. She asked, “How do you become the bestselling YA author of our time?” So I we sat and talked about how to approach that. I suggested that she work on a contemporary fantasy with a powerful romantic angle to it, and all the time I was thinking, Of course as a man, I couldn’t write that novel. People would think it was just too weird. But I could write something for young men, with more of an adventure feel that would do much the same.

My existing contracts kept me busy for a long time, but now that I’m about done with the Runelords, I wanted to get a jump on the next series. So I’m hoping that this novel will go big. Whereas Stephenie went straight for the heart of the teen female audience, I wrote something that I think will have a much broader appeal for both men and women, from teens through adults.

Still, I have to worry that Stephenie and I took a similar approach to these novels. I really wasn’t copying her. I’m just trying to follow my own best counsel .

Makes one wonder how fine the line really is between YA and adult. I have a MS that I can't figure out where it belongs--YA or adult. It's kind of a blend of both, and it definitely has some violence (though not as bad as some YA books).

Amber: Tell us about how you came up with your magic system?

David: Years ago, in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I read a book by a doctor who had worked for the CIA, experimenting with drugs that would erase both long- and short-term memories. It was fascinating work, and he eventually won the Nobel Prize for it. So I became interested in memory transfer ages ago. I totally have a dystopian memory eraser book--it's in the editing stage presently. ;)

Later on, one Christmas, I got to thinking about the three “Wise Men” from the bible. Normally, a “wise man” is called a wizard. A “maji” is called a magician. Why was it that the writers of the bible were using double-speak when discussing these guys? Weren’t they astrologers? Doesn’t the Old Testament condemn these folks to death?

So I went back to the Hebrew and found out that indeed these three gentlemen were in the same class of magicians that the Old Testament, the m'khashepah—which originally referred to a class of magicians that hung around royal courts.

So the thought occurred to me, “What if they weren’t just coming to give Jesus gifts? What if they really had come to be . . . advisors. What if they wanted to give him wisdom?”

That started a whole train of thought dealing with memory transfer—transfer of memories, the possibility of training reflexes, transfer of memories on a cellular level, and so on—which led to the creation of my magic system.

The questions arose, what would people do with such power?

And of course from that a novel was born.

Nightingale tells the story of a young man named Bron Jones, who is abandoned at birth. Raised in foster care, he’s shuffled from home to home. At age 16, he’s kind of the ultimate loner, until he’s sent to a new foster home and meets Olivia, a marvelous teacher, who recognizes that Bron is something special, something that her people call a “Nightingale,” a creature that is not quite human.

Suddenly epic forces combine to claim Bron, and he must fight to keep from getting ripped away from the only home, family, and girlfriend that he has ever known. He must risk his life to learn the answers to the mysteries of his birth: “What am I? Where did I come from? Who am I?” I would of course like to take this moment to offer a review for Nightingale. You can send me the novel amberargyle at yahoo dot com ;)

This is a big project, an enhanced novel with illustrations and animations from half a dozen talented illustrators. It has a sound track by the head of the National Composer’s Guild, James Guymon, with a dozen professional musicians and vocalists. We’re releasing the novel in several formats, as an enhanced novel, a normal e-book, an audiobook, and as a hardcover.

But we did one last cool thing. The enhanced book was designed for the iPad, though you will also be able to read it on just about any other pad or smartphone. But we had our programmers create a web app so that you can enjoy the book on your computer—read a few chapters, take it for a test drive, or simply buy it for reading online. You’re free to go check out the results at http://www.nightingalenovel.com/. If you like it, remember to “Like” us on Facebook. Better yet, re-post our site info and tell your friends on Facebook.

Oh, and while you’re there, check out our short-story contest, where you can win $1000. I should totally enter that.

Thanks for stopping by, David. As you all know, David is a hero of mine. He was good enough to write a blurb for Witch Song, for which I will ever be grateful.

Isn't it interesting to learn how authors come up with some of our ideas. We take a concept and spin thoughts around it like a cone dipped in a cotton candy machine. Layers and layers of thought combine to make something magical.

Pics with Tyler Whitesides and Elana Johnson

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
This is the panel with Tyler Whitesides (Janitors), Elana Johnson (Possession), and me at the Logan Library.

 Director Robert Shupe introducing us. The room was packed. Standing room only.
The local paper was there taking pictures.
Of course, I had to buy Elana and Tyler's books. One for my son, the other for me. Perhaps there's a giveaway in my future???

As you can see, I like to laugh. A lot. ;) Plus Elana is hilarious!

Okay, I'll admit I was super nervous. More nervous than when I spoke to an entire assembly of middle schoolers. More nervous than when I presented at a writer's conference. I just felt so . . . inadequate. Elana has a huge publisher. Her blog has like 2k followers. Tyler's publisher has sent him all over the country for weeks on his book tour. I'm sure he'll break into the NYT Bestseller list. And then there's little old me.

Have you ever felt inadequate?

Review of Bloodborne by Gregg Luke

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

If you like Dan Brown or medical/techno thrillers, you'll love Bloodborne by Gregg Luke.
Received from his publicist in return for an honest review.

From Goodreads: One ordinary afternoon, research specialist Dr. Erin Cross steps into a local deli to get some lunch and nearly takes a bullet instead. Thanks to timely intervention from a former Marine, she walks away from the seemingly freak incident. But when she returns to find her lab under security lockdown and her apartment ransacked, she realizes the attack was anything but random. Erin can’t make sense of the threat, given her low profile after a disastrous H1N1 vaccine trial. She doesn’t know that her former colleague has used the virus to develop a potent bioweapon or that her recent research holds a key to his success. And she doesn’t know that his collaborators want her dead before she blows the whistle.

Fleeing for safety with her research in hand, Erin unravels the threats with help from the timely Marine, former Special Ops agent Sean Flannery. But the closer they come to finding answers, the more questionable Sean’s behavior becomes. His erratic moods and suspicious communications are more fitting for an enemy than a friend. And as the crisis comes to a head, Erin can’t be sure who harbors more secrets—the bio terrorists pursuing her or the one man who can give her protection.

My review:

Right from the beginning, the action pulled me in and dragged me along for a fun ride. Super scientist Erin finds herself the target of a hit man. Before long, she's on the run, not sure who she can trust or why they're after her.

After a good deal of luck and a get away in her sports car, she reaches out to the only person she dares trust, the man who saved her from the first hit, but everything is not as it seems. The mystery builds as we're introduced to not one, but two secret societies in a centuries old battle involving current bio weapons distributed by the perfect assassins-mosquitoes.

I really enjoyed this book. That's saying something coming from someone who mostly reads some sort of fantasy. The books is clean in content, style, and grammar.

I struggled a bit with believability in the middle, but it didn't stop me from staying up until midnight to finish the book.

Great job by Gregg Luke!

Cybil Awards

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There are a lot of book awards given out each year. The *Cybils are one of my favorites. It's not judged by "professionals" (people paid to have an opinion) but by readers/book bloggers (people who simply LOVE books). Who picks what books go into the pool?


So if you've read a children's book (picture/MG/YA) this year that blew you away, support the book by nominating it: http://www.wandsandworlds.com/cybils/nominate.php

Personally, I nominated Janitors by Tyler Whitesides.

Who will you nominate (and no, I'm not hinting for you all to go nominate Witch. It's already there!!! Seriously though, go support the authors who blew you away this year)?

*The Cybils awards are given each year by bloggers for the year's best children's and young adult titles. Nominations open to the public on October 1st and close on Oct 15th.

David Farland's author advisory phone call Oct 12th at 9 pm EST. Anyone can call in and ask questions: At the appointed time, dial 1-218-862-7200 (long distance charges may apply, depending on your phone plan). Enter the Conference Code: 245657. To raise your hand and ask a question, dial 5*. To Mute yourself, dial 4*.

October 15th: Logan Library panel and signing with fellow authors Elana Johnson (Possession) and Tyler Whitesides (Janitors).

Appearances & a Question

Monday, October 3, 2011
The next two weeks, I'll have several appearances:
Oct 3rd: Dungeon Crawlers Radio Interview. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dungeoncrawlersradio/2011/10/04/dungeon-crawlers-radio
October 4th: School visits to the Rich Co. Middle and High Schools. Signing and presentation at the Randolph, UT Senior Citizens Center that night.

October 12th: David Farland's author chat phone call (free) 7pm. http://authorsadvisory.blogspot.com/

October 15th: Logan Library panel and signing with fellow authors Elana Johnson (Possession) and Tyler Whitesides (Janitors).

Q4U: I'm considering writing a sequel to Witch Song. What do you guys think?

Pics from my launch party

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
My very first public reading. Apparently, I read way too fast, even though I slowed way down (I read really, really fast).

Answering questions

We borrowed a lot of antique/vintage bottles to go with the witch theme. My friend, JoLynne brought herbal bouquets--they smelled SO good. My SIL Jenni brought the flowers and burlap to go with our Witch theme.
 Some of the crowd who came to support me.
 More peeps who came to support me!

We had apple cider with dry ice to go with the whole potion theme we had going. All the little kids were enthralled.
We had so much fun! Thanks to the library (especially Emily and Ginny!), Stephanie Jensen, JoLynne Lyon, Jenni Argyle, Derek Smith, Shauna Johnson, Andrea Winkler, and Katie Mackleprang.

So, you wanna be an author?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've had a lot of emails lately from people who want to be authors (also from attendees at the writer's conference I attended this weekend, see below for pics). Here's my advice:

  1. Write three manuscripts--if this sounds daunting, it is. But only at the begining. You'll learn so much from those three manuscripts. Plus, now you have three manuscripts to query, and when one of them is accepted, you have two more sitting in the drawer, ready to go. You'll be far enough ahead that you can concentrate on marketing and there won't be so much pressure sitting on your shoulders. Plus, you'll know if this is really something you want to do.
  2. While your writing your manuscripts, learn from professionals: follow at least 1 agent's blog. I recommend Rachelle Gardner. One blog on the business of writing. I recommend Katherine Rusch. Sign up for David Farland's daily kick in the pants to learn about the craft of writing.
  3. Join a critique group.
  4. Read at least 5 books on the art of writing. I'll recommend three: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card, On Writing by Steven King (skip the first part by of both Card and King's books).
  5. Attend a writer's convention or writer's workshop to learn about the craft.
  6. Develop a group of trusted alpha and beta readers.
  7. After all of this work, start querying.
This will probably take you a few years. Getting your work to a point where it's publishable is equivalent to a master's degree. Unless you're a genius. It took me four manuscripts and five years of hard work to get published, and that's a pretty normal situation.

I don't mean this to be discouraging. Being published is totally doable if you're willing to put in the work and you have a little natural talent for it.

Q4U: For those of you who have been at this a while, what's your advice for beginning writers?

*I'll be signing this Saturday the 24th at the Layton Utah Barnes and Noble from 3-5 (thanks to Carrie for setting it up!). Address: Layton Market Center, 1780 North Woodland Park Drive, Layton, UT 84041, 801-773-9973

I hope to see you there!

 Amber and David King

Amber and Lisa Mangum

Ask questions on Librarything

Monday, September 19, 2011
Author chat September 19th--25th at http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=123864

Come ask me questions about anything or just say hi!

My Launch Party is Today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

When I signed my contract, my book release seemed so far away. It didn't feel real. Then little things started adding up. When we finally started working on edits. When my cover was finalized. When it began to appear on book sites like Goodreads and Amazon.

And now Witch Song has actually been released. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real. Like I'm waiting for some line I need to cross that means I'm a real author with a real book that real people can buy.

Today is another one of those moments. My *launch party. A celebration that means all the hard work and worry and frustrations can finally begin to pay off. It feels like a graduation. Something I've held close to myself, nutured, and watched grow. Now, I can open my hands and set it free into the world.

It's a good feeling. :)

*The Launch Party is Monday, Sept 12th from 7-9 at the Hyrum City Library (50 W. Main). There will be a presentation from 7-7:30. There will be treats. YOU CAN BRING YOUR KIDS. I will have a TV set up in another room with a movie playing.

** I just had to tell you all how awesome my launch party was. I had so much support, and the presentation went really really well. It was so much fun!

When everything falls apart, you fix it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011
And if you can't fix it, you let it go.

Many elements combined to create the perfect storm that was bent on destroying my launch party and first three signings.

First, the place I originally ordered my back-up books from fell through. I hurried and ordered them from my publisher. Those books were delayed. Now they will be arriving after my launch party and first signing. The day after.

Not a huge deal, right? The bookstores should have my books.

No. My print run sold out so fast (from preorders and such), there were no books for the bookstores to buy. The bookstore where I'm having my first signing can't get the books in. The bookstore for my second signing can't get the books in. In the last 36 hours, I have spent hours on the phone trying to fix things.

I called my publisher, who called my distributor and printer. I called other bookstores. No one has my books. No one can get my books for another one to three months.

Insert panic attack here.

And then my publisher fixed things (for the most part). *hugs to Rhemalda* Bookstores can now order my books and have them in ~10 days. Much better than 1 to three months. And we won't be having this problem again (they switched our distributor and printer).

I was able to round up 20 books for my first signing (we pulled the newspaper article and will run it later when I do another signing).

At my launch party, people will preorder the books and I will sign them and drop them off at the library for people to pick up.

I have two more shipments of books coming which I will use for the conference and signing the next weekend and the signing the weekend after that.

That's the best I can do, and it will just have to be good enough.

Q4U: Have you ever planned some huge event and had everything fall apart last minute?

Random Acts of Publicity

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The 3rd Annual Random Acts of Publicity, September 6-8, is a week to celebrate your friend’s book, or your favorite book, by doing a Random Act of Publicity: Blog, Link, Like, Review, or Talk about the book . (BLLuRT it Out!)

The event is hosted by Elana Johnson. Go to Elana's blog and enter to win a free copy of Variant by Robison Wells.

So today, I'm talking about my friend Michelle Argyle's Monarch.

Here's my review from Goodreads: Monarch is an intricate blend of the literary and thriller genres. The pacing is relentless. The scenes gritty and real. The characters as intricate as the plot that twists around them.

If you crave literary books with a plot as strong as the writing, you'll love Michelle Argyle's Monarch.

Here's the BLLuRT's for Michelle's book.
What's one of your favorite reads for 2011?

Book Tour links for those following along:

Monday, September 5: (The Interview with Jessica's will be moved to another date and time). Instead, you can read a real life recipe from the book (Honeycakes and Golden Curry Soup) as created by Christy Dorrity at Dearest Dreams. http://www.dearestdreams.com/2011/08/tasty-tuesday-golden-curry-soup-and.html

Tuesday, September 6: Cassandra at CA Marshall (Character Interview) http://www.camarshall.com/2011/09/witch-song-desert-island-edition.html

Wednesday, September 7: Amy at Reading Teen (Review) http://ReadingTeen.net/

Thursday, September 8: Christie at The Fiction Enthusiast (In Her Own Words) http://thefictionenthusiast.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 9: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Tens List)

And another review: http://ayareader.blogspot.com/2011/09/review-witch-song.html

Read the first 5 Chapters of Witch Song +

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
One chapter is posted on each of the following blogs:

Sunday, August 28- Page Turners Witch Song Chapter 1
Monday, Aust 29: Fire and Ice Witch Song Chapter 2
Tuesday, August 30: Once Upon A Twilight Witch Song Chapter 3
Wednesday, August 31: We Fancy Books Witch Song Chapter 4
Thursday, September 1: Mundie Moms Witch Song Chapter 5 

Thanks to Mundie Moms for setting the tour up.

And the Teen Scene Blog Tour links for the week (links will be updated when they're posted):

Monday, August 29: Katie at Mundie Moms (Guest Post)
Tuesday, August 30: Jodie at Jodie's Book Reviews (Character Interview)
Wednesday, August 31: Precious at Fragments of Life (Review)
Thursday, September 1: Melissa at Mel's Books and Info (Into the Past) http://bookgirl-mel.blogspot.com/2011/09/into-past-with-amber-argyle-author-of.html
Friday, September 2: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Character Tens List) http://www.prationality.com/2011/09/pr-special-edition-51-amber-argyle.html
And reviews links:
My Writing Bug
Esther's Ever After

I want to thank all the people who follow my blog. All the bloggers who've been part of one of my three tours (I *heart* Book Lovin' Bitches, The Teen Book Scene, and Mundie Moms!). All the readers who've taken the time to write a review and share a little of Witch Song with the world.

You have a part in Witch Song's success; in the fact that we're going up against books with big marketing budgets and we're holding our own--and in some cases kicking butt.

And if you've gone through all that and you're still here, I commend you. Now I'm going to share some personal stuff. My book's official release date is tomorrow. Reviews are going up EVERYWHERE. This is super awesome. I'm beyond thrilled that people are reading something I spent years writing and then taking their valuable time to write a review. By and large, they're loving it.

But a few people aren't. That's okay. Not every book is for every person. I don't expect everyone to love Witch Song, and I don't want anything other than honest reviews. BUT I've come to the point where I can't read them anymore. I've talked to other authors, and most of them are adamant that you don't read your reviews. I can see why.

The honest truth? I need positivity in my life. I need encouragement and people in my corner rubbing my shoulders and shooting water in my mouth so it can run down the front of my shirt. I need cheerleaders. And part of writing reviews (for some) is about criticising. That's important for many readers in deciding whether or not to buy a book, but it's crippling for writers (kinda like having one too many alpha readers after the fact).

IF you'd like me to read/comment on your review or post a link on my blog, please feel free to send it to me: amberargyle at yahoo dot com But please don't bother if your review is negative. I don't want to hurt any one's feelings here. I'm just trying to preserve a positive aura.

Q4U: If you're an aspiring writer, do you think you'll read your reviews? Do you think reviews should be brutally honest or tactful? Can you really do both?


Read Witch Song Chapter 2 For Free

Monday, August 29, 2011
Witch Song Chapter 2 is now up on Fire and Ice. Click here to read it.

If you missed chapter 1, go to Page Turners.

Chapters 3,4 and 5 will be posted over the next three days.

You can also read another interview of me on Just Another Book Addict as part of the Book Lovin' Bitches tour.

And learn about how I how my upbringing affected my writing on Mundie Moms.

Another great review on Katelyn's blog.

I love book blogs! Thanks to all of you!


Read the first 5 chapters of Witch Song, free

Sunday, August 28, 2011

As part of the Mundie Moms Witch Song Blog Tour, you can read the first 5 chapters of Witch Song free. One chapter will be released for five days in a row. Starting today.

Chapter 1 is up at The Page Turners Blog

All Tour Stops:

8/28th- Page Turners, Witch Song Chapter 1

8/29- Fire & Ice, Witch Song Chapter 2

8/30- Once Upon A Twilight, Witch Song Chapter 3

8/31- We Fancy Books, Witch Song Chapter 4

9/1- Mundie Moms, Witch Song Chapter 5

My Favorite Desert of All Time

Friday, August 26, 2011
Tiramisu made by my hubby every year for my birthday. Want the recipe (the answer is yes, yes you do). Go visit Kari's blog: A good Addiction

Also, Tristi has an excellent review up on her blog.

My Teenage Garage Sale

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Okay, I giggled when I saw how Casey had put together my teenage garage sale, complete with pictures--though she missed one.
<--- *the horse should look familiar, see the crescent moon marking on his forehead? He was my barrel and pole bending horse. His name is Knight, and he's in the book. :)

Also, The Reader Bee just put up a great review.

Character Interview with Joshen

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Today we're chatting with Joshen (who I always pictured as a cowboy) about what it's like to be Senna's Guardian. But not here, you have to go here: Precious at Fragments of Life (Character Interview)

Also, I'm part of another blog tour that will post the first 5 chapters (1 chapter each) on their blogs. The links and dates are below:

8/28th- Page Turners http://www.pageturnersblog.com/

8/29- Fire & Ice http://fireandicephoto.blogspot.com/

8/30- Once Upon A Twilight http://www.onceuponatwilight.com/
8/31- We Fancy Books  http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com/

9/1- Mundie Moms http://www.mundiemoms.blogspot.com/ 
Thanks so much to Katie of Mundie Moms for setting this up!

Teen Scene Book Tour

Monday, August 22, 2011
Today is the official kick off for Witch Song on the Teen Book Scene blog tour.  Kari, Kelsey, and Corrine have been absolutely fantastic to work with. They keep things organized and make things as easy as possible for the author (if you have a book coming out, you should definitely contact them).

Today, I'm over at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing with Ashley. She asked some great questions about everything from how I came up with the singing as the medium for my magic to my cover.

Here's the list of the tour:

Monday, August 22: Ashley at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing (Author Interview w/ Book Line Answers)

Tuesday, August 23: Precious at Fragments of Life (Character Interview)

Wednesday, August 24: Corrine at Lost for Words (Review)

Thursday, August 25: Casey at The Bookish Type (Teenage Garage Sale)

Friday, August 26: Caroline at Words & Whispers (Tens List)

Monday, August 29: Katie at Mundie Moms (Guest Post)

Tuesday, August 30: Jodie at Jodie's Book Reviews (Character Interview)

Wednesday, August 31: Precious at Fragments of Life (Review)

Thursday, September 1: Melissa at Mel's Books and Info (Into the Past)

Friday, September 2: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Character Tens List)

Monday, September 5: Jessica T at Hopeless Bibliophile (Author Interview)

Tuesday, September 6: Cassandra at CA Marshall (Character Interview)

Wednesday, September 7: Amy at Reading Teen (Review)

Thursday, September 8: Christie at The Fiction Enthusiast (In Her Own Words)

Friday, September 9: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Tens List)

Monday, September 12: Amy at Reading Teen (Guest Post)

Tuesday, September 13: Stacy M at Urban Fantasy Investigations (Character Interview)

Wednesday, September 14: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Review)

Thursday, September 15: Kathy at I'm a Reader, Not a Writer (When I’m Not Writing)

Friday, September 16: Corrine at Lost for Words (This or That List)

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