Monday, August 24, 2009

EBooks are Great!

Since I've now convinced you that reading is fun, it's time to talk about EBooks.

Everyone knows about the conventional paper books - they've been around forever. I'm not bashing paper books - I myself have a collection that overflows from my huge bookshelf - but in this new age, there is also the option of reading an Electronic book. These books hold the same story that a paper book would hold, only they are available for reading on a number of different electronic devices - a computer, palm pilot, any EBook reader...

Electronic books are on the rise. For instance, my publisher, Echelon Press, not only offers a wide selection of paper books, but a huge selection of EBooks as well. The same goes for Barnes and Noble. On their website, you can now buy certain books in the EBook format. That is not to say that the availability of paper books is declining, but rather the availability of EBooks is rapidly skyrocketing.

When looking at Echelon Press' EBooks, one begins to realize that one of the great aspects of EBooks is their flexibility. While a paperbook can vary on their page lengths, I've noticed that a standard book is generally no less than 150 pages. However, novels are not only released in an EBook format, but short stories are also published as EBooks! These stories can be great for a quick read at a reasonable price!

So if you're looking for a great read, why not give an EBook a try?

(For a great article on EBooks, check out Pam Ripling's here.)

Alyssa Montgomery
Author of Where Are You?, Mr. Mysterious, Mysterious No More, and 9:53 PM (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reading is Fun!

Okay, so maybe that headline was a little corny, but I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about reading. I know so many people that hate to read and absolutely despise to pick up a book. I know other people who don't exactly despise reading, but would rather spend their time watching television or surfing the web over picking up a good book. Lastly, I know a sparse few people who love to read and enjoy the new world they have discovered when they begin reading a new book.

These facts interest me. I have always found reading, as cliche as it sounds, like a new adventure the moment that I flip to the first page. So here's the question: why is it that people chose to forgo this adventure? A novel is the same as a movie or as a television. They both tell a story. The only difference is that they are told in different ways - one with moving pictures and sound while the other with countless words that describe the moving pictures and sounds. The stories they tell must be similiar as well. Why else would we be watching a movie on the big screen that is an adaptation of a popular novel?

So that would mean that visual stimulation is preferable to the ages old pastime of reading. Yet, novels and stories contain countless worlds and countless stories for one to become completely enraptured by the words that play across the pages.

Now, for the 1, 2, 3's of reading...

Reading a book...

1. ... As I said earlier, is like a movie. It tells a story, one that can be picked based on your personal preference. Unlike a movie, however, the lack of pictures allows you to create your own moving pictures in your mind. While the words can be extremely descriptive, it does allow for greater creativity asyour mind is free to wander and draw whatever it feels is perfectly describes the actions in the book. The storyline exists, but you are in charge of your own pictures.

2. ... Is mobile! A book is so compact, it can be put in a small purse or bag. This allows for greater convenience, so when you're sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's or dentist's office, driving on a long road trip, or relaxing on the beach, you can whip out your book (whereas the portable DVD player would probably not be so convenient) and keep your mind occupied as you fill the gap waiting for the doctor to come and visit you.

3. ... can be free! When you're reading a paperbook in daylight, there is no electricity required - just find the sun and you're ready to go! Even at night, the electricity of a desk lamp is all that's required to continue reading that book. Furthermore, you can check out the books from your local library, leaving this option of entertainment free or close-to free.

Watching a movie or a television show can be fun, but reading can be just as fun as that! So now, as I finish writing this, a book is waiting for you. It is waiting for you to find it, pick it up, and read it.

So what are you waiting for? Get on out there and read!!

Alyssa Montgomery
Author of Where Are You?, Mr. Mysterious, Mysterious No More, and 9:53 PM (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Old Enough, Already!

Old Enough, Already!
by Pam Ripling

I’m so excited to be blogging with Alyssa Montgomery today. Why? Because this is the perfect place to announce some big news: I finished OLD ENOUGH! And why is this so significant?

OLD ENOUGH is the next in a series of books that began with my middle grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! The latter is the story of junior high student Ben Mitchell, who one day finds a mysterious brown paper bag in his school locker. What’s in the bag and who put it there serve to make Ben the most miserable boy on campus. Worse, his best friends are feuding. Ben’s normally calm, status-quo life is upside down.

My blog host today has always been a big fan of LOCKER SHOCK! and its myriad of middle school characters. When she discovered I was writing the next book in the series, she was supportive, encouraging and overjoyed. However, as weeks, months and even a couple of—well, a few—years passed, her enthusiasm turned to crankiness and her encouragement to down-right nagging. Now I ask you: who wouldn’t want such a supportive fan? [Think Stephen King’s Misery, film starring Kathy Bates and James Caan…]

Well, the book came back to life with a gasp and a prayer, and I finished it. Still in “first draft” form, it’s not quite ready for submission, but it has a beginning, a middle, and end; conflict; pain and suffering, laughter, and dancing. It has diversity, romance, acts of God and challenging friendships. With luck and some good editing, I hope to have OLD ENOUGH released for the Kindle and other ebook readers by next summer. And just maybe a third book in the series in draft format, too—but whatever you do, don’t tell Alyssa!

Pam Ripling is the author of middle-grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake, Fictionwise, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon today! E-book version now available for your Kindle! Visit Pam at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And It's Out!

It's now official - Mysterious No More is now availabe from Echelon Press! It's for sale for $1.50!

Cara now has her Mr. Mysterious, but is he really as mysterious as his old nickname implied?

It's over between Cara and Mitchell. She's seen him out with another girl after he cancelled their plans to supposedly be with his family. Now Cara is left with no boyfriend, a dress, and no date to the Homecoming Dance.

Meanwhile, Allison seems to have her own agenda for the night of Homecoming. Does Cara really want to be a third wheel for the night?

Mysterious No More is the sequel to Mr. Mysterious.


~~Alyssa Montgomery

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mysterious No More Cover!

I have just received the cover for my new EBook, Mysterious No More! (And I must say that it is absolutely amazing!) Mysterious No More is the long-awaited sequel to Mr. Mysterious! It will be coming out SOON from Echelon Press, so check back here for updates!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Betrayed by Sam Morton

Betrayed by Sam Morton


It’s an election year and Senator Ben “Pitchfork” Stevens from Texas made a campaign promise to stop illegal immigration. He virtually has. Problem is, people trying to cross the border keep disappearing. That’s a dilemma for 15-year-old Austin Pierce whose father is a political consultant involved with the senator and whose best friend, Rico Alvarez, happens to be in the United States illegally.

After Rico's family voluntarily deports, Austin discovers that Rico’s beautiful cousin Veronica helps people cross over illegally. He faces a decision: should he help his friends or help the FBI to stop the senator's evil ways?

Exciting. Suspenseful.

Morton's Betrayed is a truly phenomenal novel. Alhtough dealing with the controversial issue of illegal immigration, Morton deftly navigates the issue with grace. It's this grace that allows the novel to move fluidly from scene to scene.

He further reveals his ability to create a realistic story by weaving his own knowledge of unique topics through the pages. It is necessary, yes, for an author to have knowledge concerning his story before he writes, but the vastness of knowledge Morton relays in Betrayed is evident and greatly adds to the overall effect of the novel.

Besides his knowledge playing across the pages, Morton's characterization of his characters, especially the portrayal of Austin, Rico, and Veronica, brought the characters out of a 2D fictional realm and into the higher ranks of 3D characterization. This feat leaves Morton and Betrayed in the lands belonging to the upper-level authors.

Lastly, Morton takes a moment at the end of the novel to reveal the motivation behind the writing of Betrayed and the creation of the lead character, Austin Pierce - who was created in memory of a young boy named Austin Whetsell. His decision to honor Austin's life by writing this novel is a real inspiration.

Betrayed has rightfully earned the spot on my bookshelf next to other well-read and well-written novels. I'll anxiously watch out for more work from Morton in the future.

Listen to Sam Morton's interview on Blog Talk Radio, today from 12:00 Noon - 1:00 Pacific time. The interview will be archieved following it's completion.