Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fight Camp: Firebird Rising Release!



The wait is over. 
Though admittedly it wasn't a very long wait as far as books go. Just a month after the release of the action-adventure-dystopian-romance follow up to Fight Camp: Firebird Born you get book two, Fight Camp: Firebird Rising.  We pick up where the first left off (with a cliffy // sorry not sorry!) and dive right into a high stakes game of survival of the fittest with Aran in the Cage!




When Aran Fenn goes to summer camp, she doesn't expect days spent training and nights spent fighting, and she certainly doesn't think she'll fall in love with the tough, but irresistible Cal. However, she does all of the above and more. For the last trial, she enters the Cage to clinch her position as a Delta, while he's leveling up to Alpha—meaning he'll move off the base. She can't imagine enduring camp without him, but her goal of going home also means separation, possibly forever.

Aran learns of her link to the legend of the Firebird Born, whom the people hope will unite them and bring change. Seeking answers and desperate to be free, Aran escapes camp. The Regime hunts her in a high stakes game of survival of the fittest. When they capture her, science and story merge: the Regime's leader believes she's the key to developing a serum to bring everlasting life and create an undefeatable army of super soldiers. Now, not only does she have to fight physically, but mentally too.

It’s in Aran's blood to resist and rise, but her family—and Cal—claim her heart, prompting her to choose between what's right: overthrowing the Regime and finding her way home, and what's easy: the tempting offer of a new life on the mainland.

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Will she win her freedom? 
Will she fight for family? 
For love? For the people?

Get your copy and find out!

US // UK // AU


You can also enter to win digital copies of both books:


Enter here 



This marks book 8 of my 10 books in 10 months challenge. I'm kind of spinning, but in a good way. And I'm spinning so fast, I'm not stopping. I'll be back soon with an exciting, 
confetti-worthy special announcement!!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fight Camp: Firebird Rising Cover Reveal



Ready to see the cover for the follow up to book I from the Fight Camp duology

This one is called Fight Camp: Firebird Rising, and it's pretty fierce! Thanks to Nova Book Covers for the designs!

Want to have a look?

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Are you ready?

Are you set?

Go!

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When Aran Fenn goes to summer camp, she doesn't expect days spent training and nights spent fighting, and she certainly doesn't think she'll fall in love with the tough, but irresistible Cal. However, she does all of the above and more. For the last trial, she enters the Cage to clinch her position as a Delta, while he's leveling up to Alpha—meaning he'll move off the base. She can't imagine enduring camp without him, but her goal of going home also means separation, possibly forever.

Aran learns of her link to the legend of the Firebird Born, whom the people hope will unite them and bring change. Seeking answers and desperate to be free, Aran escapes camp. The Regime hunts her in a high stakes game of survival of the fittest. When they capture her, science and story merge: the Regime's leader believes she's the key to developing a serum to bring everlasting life and create an undefeatable army of super soldiers. Now, not only does she have to fight physically, but mentally too.

It’s in Aran's blood to resist and rise, but her family—and Cal—claim her heart, prompting her to choose between what's right: overthrowing the Regime and finding her way home, and what's easy: the tempting offer of a new life on the mainland.

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Pre order your copy here UK // AU

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I'd love if you share the fight-tastic fanfare with your friends. (Sorry, that was really cheesy alliteration, but when it comes to me, I can't resist.)

Copy & Paste to Twitter:
When summer camp meets boot camp, it's time to fight for freedom and for love. Fight Camp: Firebird Rising  #youngadult  #dystopian available 8/15 https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Camp-Deirdre-Riordan-Hall-ebook/dp/B072LXM6C2

Copy & Paste to Facebook:

Growing up in a privileged Domain, sixteen-year-old Aran believes she's going to summer camp for the smart and privileged. Instead, she enters a high stakes game of survival of the fittest. She must choose between what's right and what is easy—along with fighting for freedom and fighting for love—and stop the Regime from creating an undefeatable army.
https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Camp-Deirdre-Riordan-Hall-ebook/dp/B072LXM6C2

I'm not sorry I left Book #1 on a cliffhanger, but thankfully you don't have to wait long to find out what happens! 
Fight Camp: Firebird Rising releases 8/15. 

Woot woot and a whoop whoop!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mega YA Dystopian Giveaway!


Did you attend the YA Dystopian Extravaganza release party last week on Facebook? It was a blast! There were exclusive excerpts, Q&A, games, and prizes. But that wasn't all! The fun continues with another giveaway! 

Enter below to win signed copies of these five books! 

Fight Camp: Firebird Born by me!
Untamed by Madeline Dyer
The Syndicate by Sophie Davis
Configured by Jenetta Penner 
The 13th Continuum by Jennifer Brody


Tell me if you've read Fight Camp and who you'd cast as Aran in the movie! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fight Camp: Firebird Born Release!



You've heard the hype: "Fight Camp is like summer camp on steroids." 

You've pre ordered & checked out the Pinterest aesthetics board.

You've added Fight Camp to your Goodreads TBR & told your friends about it.

At last, release day is here! Fight Camp: Firebird Born, book one in a two part series, is now available. 

ICYMI or have been living under a rock or in the Republic of New Dominia and news like this isn't available... Read on...


When government officials recruit sixteen-year-old Aran Fenn to summer camp, she leaves her idyllic home in Domain AL and crashes into a violent reality of aggressive campers and ultimate fight training. As she struggles to trust her bunkmate—who knocks her out on the first night—and Cal—who helps heal her wounds in secret—, she quickly realizes telling the counselors that she wants to go home isn’t an option.

Weeks pass and Aran prepares for the trials, including a high voltage tug of war, crossing a bed of hot coals, and enduring ten minutes in the Cage. She learns she's supposed to be at a different camp to exploit her intelligence, but fight camp is supposedly the better of the two. She's also told her green eyes are a life-threatening liability and finds out that after the Last War the Regime isolated the people to create a stronger army, rendering her life a science experiment.

Aran doesn't want to fight, but rather get home to her family even if that means letting go of her budding romance with Cal. However, when she learns the reality of her world, she's willing to put her life on the line and do whatever it takes to gain freedom.

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Get your copy of Fight Camp: Firebird Born


US // UK // AU

Add to your Goodreads list.

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YOU'RE INVITED! Join me and five other authors Tuesday 7/18/17 on Facebook for an EPIC release EXTRAVAGANZA! Hang out with authors, chat books, ask questions, and win prizes!

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The cover reveal for book 2, Fight Camp: Firebird Rising, is August 1. Bloggers, please comment below if you'd like to take part! And the book launches August 15th so stick around because there's more action-adventure, dystopian-romance coming your way!






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Why I Chose to Self-publish After Two Successful Traditionally Published Books

Or: Why I'm self-publishing 10 Books in 10 months



I went to my first AA meeting (Alcoholics Anonymous for those unfamiliar) when I was in fourth grade. No, I wasn't an extremely young person with a substance abuse problem. However, my mother didn't have particularly strong boundaries or a sense of what might be appropriate for kids, never mind the fact that the other attendees probably weren't thrilled to share their issues with the ten-year old sitting in the circle eating store brand vanilla cookies and drinking apple juice. But you know… Life.

Prior to this, my mother used to drive a white Thunderbird circa the 80s. She had a red bumper sticker that said, "Shit Happens." Once she drove it off the side of a cliff. It was a small cliff, but still. The thing survived. So did she. Incidentally, the engine exploded outside of Queens and that was that. Anyway, the point is yes, shit does happen. It happens all of the time. Shitty things. Shitty people. Shitty emojis. Shit pickles. For a long time I wholly believed in that phrase—it was printed on a bumper sticker after all!—and that when shit happened, well, it was shitty. Instead of the popular earworm from the Lego movie: "Everything is awesome," my childhood anthem was, "Everything is shitty."

But I've come to understand that although shit happens it isn't so much the shit itself that causes the problem, it's how we react, respond, or run from our shit. Sometimes we flip our shit, fly off the handle, go bonkers. This often results in broken glass, lawsuits, and headaches. We can also run, and just say, "Screw it. I can't handle this shit." This often results in the shit coming back to us in one form or another much like Karma, but only because it's a lesson the Universe still wants us to learn. A third option is we can just wallow in our shit like a pig in mud. "Oh, woe is me, my life is shit."

Alternately, we can respond. This is like the yoga-spa-meditative answer to life. This is digging deep and realizing that the world and the man aren't out to get me, however there is no escape from my problems or my emotions. (For many years, I was under the impression that feeling what we dub negative emotions is bad and should be avoided at all costs. That's not to say I enjoy depression or anxiety, but they're often indicators of a life out of balance and ultimately serve a purpose in our growth as individuals and as part of the community at large. But I digress...)

So responding to life (versus reacting) might look something like this: "Wow, this is a really shitty situation. It makes me feel like shit (or any given variation on feeling shitty). How the heck did I find myself here? Why am I surrounded by so much shit? What did I do to contribute to this shit pickle? Was I shitty to so and so? What is my role in this shit sitch? And then the big leap… What can I do to change this? Or in other words, how can I clean up the shit from my side of the street?

I'm not saying when really, really bad things happen it's our fault. No, what I'm saying is that I've completed 27 manuscripts, totaling well over 1,770,077 words. (Not including projects that I never finished), and when only two of those are traditionally published, one of which hasn't earned out its advance, I might find myself wallowing or pointing fingers or wanting to throw my laptop out of a second story window. This isn't to say I'm not incredibly, extremely, sometimes struck dumb with gratitude about my opportunity in the publishing world. I've met some incredible people, learned getting a book from draft to bookshelf is a collaborative team effort, and being read by readers is a privilege. All of that is true and very much on my heart. What I'm saying is I might once or twice have felt like, well, why don't agents/editors want my next book? (This is the finger pointing) Why aren't readers reading my work? Why, why, why? Why me? Why not me? (This is the wallowing).

But I've realized this isn't shit. This is life and damn, it's grand because I have the opportunity to grow. How? By dialing back all the frustration and whining and using what sometimes feels like overwhelming and shitty emotions as fuel. It's time to get creative. To analyze the situation as objectively as possible and then ask myself, "Okay, now what? What's next?"

It's responding instead of reacting or running.

I've been thinking a lot lately about words like tenacity, persistence, and perseverance. The road of an artist, a creative, and author is traveled one brushstroke, one word, one step at a time. It isn't always easy, but neither is love. And that's why we do it. Right? I write because I have to, because I have stories to tell, because it fills me with a kind of joy I don't find elsewhere. And when I write I'm not thinking about sales or fans or even holding the published book in my hands. Rather, I write for the sake of writing even when it's challenging, even when my character is in a corner, even when sales are lousy. Even when it's shitty for goodness sakes! It can feel severe at times, harsh, but I persevere because with every word I'm a little closer to the love and light in the world and to me that is success.

So if I'm already successful then what do I fear I have to lose? Because that's what feeling shitty is: fear. It's being afraid of daring, failing, succeeding, shining. It's being afraid of living a life where everything is indeed AWESOME. And being able to handle your shit when it isn't.

This brings me to the notion of the shit sandwich. Mark Manson of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck fame and also highlighted in Liz Gilbert's Big Magic posits this: "WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?"

The idea is that in life, "everything sucks, some of the time." To follow the theme of this essay, I'd say, somethings are shitty, some of the time. What this means is that life has its ups and downs, ebbs and flows, highs and lows. Our endeavors, passions, and dreams all take dedicated action, hard work, sweat, diligence…and more. According to Mark, the shit sandwich question becomes, "what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days." And I'll add, even then, not wholly focusing on the shitty stuff because when we focus on shit, chances are we'll see, if not get, more of it.

This resonates with me on a high frequency. This is what writing and publishing and being in it for the long game means. It means I'm going to keep writing. I'm not quitting after 1,770,077 words. Not after hundreds (okay, thousands) of rejections from literary agents—I've lost track. Not when sales average around the $2 range for weeks. And certainly not when life happens.

I'm going to keep writing and growing and getting better at craft and storytelling and doing what I do because it makes me happy. If it connects me with millions or just brings a smile to the faces of a handful of people or tears to the eyes of a girl from Hungary or enters the hearts of a thousand or so people who see themselves in a story I write—, either way it’s a win. It's not quantity, but the quality of the experience

When the dog wakes me up early, and I still find the energy to get in a chapter or three. When I lose track of time and find myself in that magical, expansive place of creation. When I come to a deeper understanding of who I am and who you are and what it means that the universe has our backs because we're all connected I'm living life.

That's my shit sandwich and, I'll gladly eat it with an olive.

Okay, moving on from shit. I got off track. Way off track. I was talking about AA meetings, but now you get a better sense of my childhood and how over the years it's provided me with opportunities to deeply reflect on life.

So have you ever been to an AA meeting? Or a therapy group formatted similar to one? If we were in the mildewed basement of a church somewhere in Massachusetts, I'd start by saying, "My name is Deirdre Riordan Hall. I'm a traditionally and self-published novelist who enjoys eating a particular kind of shit sandwich layered with creative writing, teen fiction, fantasy, and romance. It's lovely to meet you."

What made me come to this meeting?

Remember I mentioned I've written 27 books? I call them my backlist and in order to move what felt like stagnant energy surrounding my writing life (in other words, my shit sandwich had gotten kind of stale), I decided to shift my energy. Just before New Year's, I had what one of my high school besties might have called a "flash of brilliance." One of those light bulb moments. Don't get me wrong, I mulled it over with charts and graphs and a lot of bubbles in my stomach, but in the end I decided to call it, "2017, an epic year in self-publishing." Or "Ten books in ten months." Or "This is my shit sandwich, want a bite?" Okay, no, not that. But ambitious and nutty and awesome, I know! That's me in three words.

I needed to share those older books to make room for the new!

I did this because I write in a variety of genres: contemporary and fantasy, even moving between women's, teen, and middle grade. By self-publishing, I can easily shift between all of these, whereas traditional prefers you pick one and stick to it. Not always, but much of the time.

I also decided to return to my roots as it were: back in 2012, I think, I learned about self-publishing and got up the guts to go for it aka I followed my bliss with the, ahem, Follow your Bliss six book romance series.

Self-publishing gives me a lot of creative freedom, from content to cover design. That also means I also have to do or outsource it, but I enjoy the process, or at least am willing to eat the shittier parts of it (with olives, natch).

Although I can sing the praises of my publishing team at Skyscape all darn day (they're amazing, creative, inspiring, insightful, and really, really awesome). As a writer, it's also nice to have full creative freedom. Lately, I'm all about freedom in time and finances and life in general.

A while back, I contributed to Forever YA with a post about being a hybrid author if you're interested in knowing more about my experience.

Also, here is my editorial schedule, as it were:

1/17: Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told women’s romantic comedy
2/17: How Not to Fall in Love women’s romantic comedy novella
3/17: Chasing Days a young adult novel
4/17: Spent a young adult novel
5/17: Tide a young adult fantasy, Sea & Sand Series
6/17: Anchored a young adult fantasy, Sea & Sand Series 
>I also snuck in My Essential Oils Journal because I'm obsessed with them & needed a way to keep track<
7/17: Fight Camp Book 1: Firebird Born a young adult dystopian
8/17: Fight Camp Book 2: Firebird Rising a young adult dystopian
9/17: An Irish Dancer's Handbook (just what it sounds like)
10/17: Fairy Cakes middle grade magical realism

Previously Published:
Through the Jungle a FREE prequel & sequel to the
To the Sea a new adult novel
Surfaced a new adult novella
In the Desert a new adult novel
Mirrored a new adult novella
On the Mountain a new adult novel
Kindled a new adult novella

Sugar a young adult novel
Pearl a young adult novel

Book Promotion 365: how to reach readers and share your work with the world non-fiction

So this is life. Life happens. Books  happen.

If you'd like to try the shit sandwich I mentioned, if you eat them every day for lunch, or if you enjoy the results of my shit sandwiches (no, don't go there; remember, this is a metaphor), we're in this together. This thing called life. We're in the same community, supported by the same universe. It's hard and it's awesome. It's shitty and it's beautiful.

Life is the kind of paradox that will leaves me wonderstruck on the daily, even if I have a shit sandwich in my hand. You too?

 P.S. If you know anyone who might gain insight from reading this, please share!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fight Camp: Firebird Born Cover Reveal


It's cover reveal day! Yay!🔥

My latest two-book series is a dystopian called 
Fight Camp: Firebird Born. 

And it involves:

Action 

Survival 

And fighting... lots of fighting 

Fighting for freedom

Fighting for love

And for what's right... 
(I almost started singing the Beastie Boys song, 
because believe it or not there is some partying.)

But you came here for the cover, right? 

Don't worry, I won't make you fight for it ;-)

Scroll down...

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When government officials recruit sixteen-year-old Aran Fenn to summer camp, she leaves her idyllic home in Domain AL and crashes into a violent reality of aggressive campers and ultimate fight training. As she struggles to trust her bunkmate—who knocks her out on the first night—and Cal—who helps heal her wounds in secret—, she quickly realizes telling the counselors that she wants to go home isn’t an option.

Weeks pass and Aran prepares for the trials, including a high voltage tug of war, crossing a bed of hot coals, and enduring ten minutes in the Cage. She learns she's supposed to be at a different camp to exploit her intelligence, but fight camp is supposedly the better of the two. She's also told her green eyes are a life-threatening liability and finds out that after the Last War the Regime isolated the people to create a stronger army, rendering her life a science experiment.

Aran doesn't want to fight, but rather get home to her family even if that means letting go of her budding romance with Cal. However, when she learns the reality of her world, she's willing to put her life on the line and do whatever it takes to gain freedom.


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Fight Camp: Firebird Born comes out on July 11th. 

Pre order your copy now! 

And please add to Goodreads!

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Oh, and you don't have to wait long for the sequel, Fight Camp: Firebird Rising. It hits shelves August 15th.


Did you catch the puzzle reveal over on Insta? Let me know what you think of the cover. It's by Cheyanne at the amazing Nova Book Covers. Check out her Etsy.

I'd love to know what some of your favorite dystopian reads are. And if you're wondering just how geeky I get, I went to the opening of Divergent as a dauntless. Just sayin'. 






Monday, June 19, 2017

Epic Sci Fi Summer Loop Giveaway on Instagram

Welcome to the Epic Sci Fi Summer INSTAGRAM Loop Giveaway. There are a total of 8 authors participating, which means you have the chance to win 8+ books, swag, and a $30 Amazon Gift card! If you complete the loop, you'll be entered to win the following prizes:
A signed copy of Deviants by Maureen McGowan
A digital copy of Double Life by S. Usher Evans
A signed copy of Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand
A signed copy of Fight Camp: Firebird Born by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Digital copies of the three-book City of Legends Series by Cheyanne Young
A signed copy of In Between Seasons by Cassandra Giovanni
A digital copy of Blood & Water by Briana Morgan
Plus book SWAG & a $30 Amazon Gift Card
VISIT ME ON INSTAGRAM TO GET STARTED.
Here's how to do the loop aka the rules. (It's kind of like a game of telephone ;-)
1. Follow all of the accounts in the loop. If you tap the photo, the name of the next author for you to visit is tagged.

2. Tell a friend! Comment below with a friend you'd think would like to enter too! Also feel free to comment! We'd love to know what is going to make your summer epic!

3. Remember you must follow ALL Instagram accounts (there are 8) in order for your entry to be valid. We’ll be checking!

4. Once you get back here, you’ve completed the loop!

5. Winners will be announced on July 5, 2017
*This giveaway is not endorsed or sponsored by Instagram.

Hope you have fun & do let me know in the comments below or on Instagram what's going to make your summer epic!