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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Author Guest Post & SIGNED “Rogue Oracle” Giveaway w/ Alayna Williams!

62 Lovely Comments!

Rogue Oracle Tour

The Internet Never Sleeps

by Alayna Williams

The internet never sleeps...and by extension, neither do writers.

Well, most of us.

I was at an appearance recently with a couple of other authors and artists to talk about trying to make a living from art. Many folks in the arts, such as musicians and gallery owners, spoke about the importance of having an online presence. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs were essential to booking performances and doing business. I agreed - if you have something to sell, you'd better get hustling online.

It's true that many book buyers (myself included) love to browse bookstores for new titles. I love the feel of wandering through the aisles of a book store, looking at the cover art, reading the backs of books, plucking up something shiny that catches my eye. I can't remember the last time I left a bookstore empty-handed. It's all about discovering a nugget tucked away in the shelves, a scavenger hunt.

But, as the recent news with Borders has shown us, there will be fewer and fewer bookstores for us to browse in the future. That makes me very unhappy...I love the tactile experience of being surrounded by books. For me, it's not the same to go into a store that's not a BOOKSTORE to buy books...mostly, I can expect to see recent bestsellers. But I don't discover many hidden surprises that way...I don't find many debut authors or titles from anyone's backlist. The selection is pretty limited.

Which means I must go online to find books. That's fine if I know exactly what I want...if I'm searching for a very specific title that I'm unable to find in a bookstore. But I lose a lot of that ability to browse.  While recommendation algorithms are getting better and better - and I do find some gems there - it's not the same as petting the books in person.

Still, this is the way of the future. Many, many good things come from the internet - I've received wonderful e-mail from folks who read my books and formed lasting friendships. I've found my last several jobs on the internet. Heck, I even found my husband on an internet dating site. I am a big fan of teh intertubes.

I've been able to "meet" readers from all over the world through the internet through blogs like this one. I'm always excited to get the chance to be invited onto someone's screen for a few minutes, to hear about what people are reading, buying, and what they're up to. 

And there are infinite places for writers to visit online: book blogs, sites that estimate sales down to the hour, Twitter, Facebook, online bookstores, libraries, review sites...it can be wonderful. It's easy to get lost in the forest of Online, chatting  with folks and learning new things. I can blog about what I had for lunch or Tweet about yesterday's airing of Justified. Whenever I logon to Yahoo or MSN, there are always people I love to chat with. And e-mail...let's not discuss the 2,018 unread messages I have in my inbox (the vast majority from purveyors of fine potions promising to enlarge penises or inform me that I have won the Swiss lottery for the fiftieth time).

But there's a drawback...and that's the finite resource of time. Before I know it, I can look up at my window, and the sun's set. I've managed to spend a day glued to my computer screen, typing away...and have not written a word for the manuscript I'm working on.

It's a balance, one that I'm still figuring out. I'm very tempted to stay glued in front of the glowing screen.  But, sooner or later, I have to disable my network card and start writing.

Or else I won't have any books to talk about.


Alayna Wiliams (a.k.a. Laura Bickle) has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She lives in the Midwestern U.S. with her chief muse, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE. More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here: www.salamanderstales.com







The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around - and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards - and Tara's increasingly ominous dreams - suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi's Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…

ROGUE ORACLE is available now from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.


Find Alayna Williams {Laura} Online:

Website | Blog #1 | Blog #2

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Buy Alayna’s Books:

Amazon.com| Barnes & Noble


Check Out My Review of “Dark Oracle” {Oracle Series #1}!

Check Out My Review of “Rogue Oracle” {Oracle Series #2}!


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62 Responses so far.

  1. Ana Lucia says:

    wohoo thank you for the giveaway, great guest post!

  2. Great guest post! This looks like a great book. I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for sharing Alayna!

  3. Karen says:

    Man, I want to read this book now! (:

  4. I haven't had a chance to read Dark Oracle yet, and now there's two in the series for me to read. I'm already behind, darn it. I'm looking forward to getting started, both books sound fantastic.

  5. Great post! I totally agree about wanting to hold the books in my hot little hands, but I have found out about a lot of the series I read now online. Though it really can be a timesuck- some days I swear I'm online reading about books more than actually reading books.

  6. Hi, Ana! Thanks so much!

    Thanks for stopping by, Kristin. I hope you enjoy. :-)

    Hi, Karen! I'm glad that it looks like something that would be up your alley. :-)

    Barbara E., I'm so flattered to be on your list! Thanks!

    Bethany, good point. I did learn about Kaz Mahoney's THE IRON WITCH online, for which I will forever be grateful for. :-) Online time can be a huge time suck, though...my own personal vortex of time is the Cheeseburger Network. Sigh.

  7. Alyssa says:

    These books sound good! Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. Linda says:

    Totally agree with the comment wrt the imp. of an online presence. I get most of my book recommendations online. I actually find surfing online a lot more convenient compared to browsing in a bkshp tho I still prefer a book that i can touch & feel when it comes to reading. Lack of shelf space is making me reconsider migrating to ebooks tho....

  9. Vivien says:

    I love being able to look at books, but I do get most of my recommendations online. Plus I can usually find out more online.

  10. This book looks so good. Really want to read it now

  11. mariska says:

    Can't wait to read the next story of Tara Sheridan !

  12. Looks good! Thanks for doing this!

  13. It might be interesting to have a sort of virtual book store where you could "pick up" books... although that sort of experience is still years away it feels

    Sniffly Kitty
    Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books
    Loving the Reviews Challenge

  14. Meredith says:

    I'll miss my Borders stores...especially the coffee shops! It would be a shame for bookstores to disappear! But I'll admit that I buy books online almost all of the time because I can get a better deal!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  15. donnas says:

    Great post. Looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for sharing!

  16. buddyt says:

    I agree that it is really easy to get addicted to surfing away and losing track of time on the Internet.

    I think that is recognised as a common problem all over the world.

    My solution is to try to stay away from social sites such as Facebook and Twitter as much as possible.

    As to printed books/bookstores, I suncerlt hope they will survive and I think that for the present they will. There are just too many people like us who enjoy wander through them and handling actual printed paper books.

    Lets hope it stays that way.

    Carol T

    budytho {at} gmail DOT com

  17. Birgit says:

    What a great giveaway and thanks for making it international!!

  18. Diana says:

    Great post and thanks you for the giveaway!!!

  19. Great giveaway and excellent books. x

  20. Giada M says:

    I LOVE DARK ORACLE and can't wait to read Rogue Oracle. Thank you for posting and for this awesome giveaway! :D

    Giada M.

  21. Syki says:

    This book looks good :)

  22. Anne says:

    Congratulations on the new release.

    I, too, like walking into a bookstore, being drawn to a cover and picking the book up to read the blurb. It's much more satisfying than scrolling for page after page of books if you're looking for something new to read. For favorite authors, online might be quicker and easier though.

    I just got Dark Oracle last night and am looking forward to reading it this weekend.

  23. Michelle says:

    With my local Borders closing (and the nearest one 20 minutes away), I, too, am thinking of not having the option to wander...browsing, reading blurbs, flipping through pages...and there's a certain sadness...It's been a shadow over me since I heard the news...

  24. Thanks for stopping by, Alyssa!

    Linda, I think that things are changing. I still don't own an eReader, though I work with them a lot in my day job at a library. I think the thing that worries me most is format transience. When I buy a book, I usually keep it FOREVER. And that makes for a lot of dusting and clutter. :-)

    Hi, Vivien! Things are changing...I wonder what they will be like in ten years?

    faefever25, thanks so much. :-)
    mariska, fingers crossed that the publisher will want another installment!

    Thank YOU for coming by, thehiddenbibliotheca!

    Sniffly Kitty, I would love to experience a virtual reality bookstore. Or even one in which a video-game-like avatar could move. Great idea.

    Meredith, I'm missing my local Borders already. But they *were* more expensive, you're right!

  25. Thanks so much, donnas!

    buddyt, you are much more disciplined than I am with respect to social networking. I can fall into a Twitter-stupor for hours!

    I hope that there will be a happy medium in the future of physical bookstores and online ones. Time will tell, I guess.

    Birgit - thanks! Many of my favorite readers are international, and I want to return the favor. :-)

    Diana, SusanKMann - thanks very much!

    GiadaM, I'm so thrilled that you liked DARK ORACLE. You made my day!

    Syki, thank you!

    Anne, thanks so much for picking up DARK ORACLE. I hope that you enjoy it!

    Michelle, I've talked to a lot of people who are also saddened by Borders closing. I wish that there was a bookstore on every corner...and I hate having that choice taken away from me.

    Most of all, I feel bad for the employees of Borders. :-(

  26. Tura Lura says:

    As a former employee of Borders (Waldenbooks), I thank you for your sentiments Miss Alayna. The job market really sucks right now. (I should know. I've been unemployed for over a year now.)

    During the past year and a bit, I've spent way too much time on the internet. It's not unusual for hours to pass without my noticing... I've been getting a little better about that lately, but only because my husband reminds me of the time and all the things I need to do at least twice a day. ^_^

  27. I agree I miss browsing bookstores, every one around me has seemed to just poof around me so I am only able to buy online. I would spend hours in the bookstore in my hometown and not one time did I walk out with out a book .

    I can't wait to read your books too I am always looking for new reads and authors.

  28. Tore says:

    Thanks for the great giveaway. I would love to read your books. Tore923@aol.com

  29. Tura Lura - hugs to you. I hope that you find another job in bookworld soon. I think that we need to remember that the book industry is not just about books - it's about people. Whether those people are behind the cash register or online chatting about books...we're real people and we're all in this industry together.

    BLHmistress, thank you so much. I'm sorry to hear about your local bookstores closing. Sigh. I'm the same way...can't walk into a bookstore without walking out with a new treat.

    Thanks, Tore, for stopping by! :-)

  30. Elin says:

    Thanks for a awesome giveaway :D

  31. Blodeuedd says:

    Great post :)

    I do love bookstores, but my bookstore sucks so I can go in, and look for 5 min. I haven't bought a book from there in years.

  32. -petit says:

    I find mostly of my books online too, but going to a bookstore and being surrounded by lots of differents and amazings books, it's priceless.

  33. this book looks amazing, thanks for the giveaway and making it international :)

  34. Elin, thank YOU for dropping by. :-)

    Hi, Blodeuedd! Where I grew up, the nearest bookstore was about forty-five minutes away, and it wasn't all that great. I'm bummed about the Borders near me closing, but there's a B&N and an independent bookstore not too far away.

    -petit, right! I just love the feeling. I think that books in person give of pheromones or something. ;-)

  35. I would never be able to live without book stores. Sometimes, if I'm having a bad day and just need to calm down and unwind, I go to the nearest book store or library and can just feel all the tension melting away when I'm surrounded by all those books. Organising my bookshelf at home is considered a leisure activity:) I love being surrounded by books and have often fantasised about organising a library lock-in.

    Thanks for the giveaway:)


  36. lingeorge says:

    Rogue Oracle sounds like a great read. I am putting it on my
    TBR list, whether I win it, or buy it.

  37. Angela E says:

    Ohh, I like the cover art. Yet another book to add to my TBR list. This one sounds great.

  38. Star says:

    Thanks for introducing us to another great author. Sheesh my TBR list is humping like rabbits I tell ya. LOL

  39. winnie says:

    Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the giveaway!


  40. Great post! Can't wait to read this book. Thank you for this giveaway and for making it international :D

  41. Rad Hall says:

    Great giveaway. Thanks for making it international :)

  42. Jessica says:

    That's too true, the internet and writers never sleeping! I'm an aspiring writer and I really honestly have trouble sleeping because my characters and potential characters keep me awake with possible ideas!

    Any tips on how to keep them quiet, Alayna?

    Can't wait to read Rogue Oracle. Having trouble finding it at the stores but trying again today!

  43. IdentitySeeker, I'm the same way. There's something very serene about being surrounded by books. And I library lock-in is an AWESOME idea! :-) I work at a library now...that would be a great idea, especially for our teen readers.

    Thanks so much, lingeorge! I'm super-excited about the book, and I hope you like it! :-)

    Angela E, I love the cover, too. The cover artist did a fantastic job...and I'm very envious of the model's hair. ;-)

    Star, I know the feeling...by TBR list grows by leaps and bounds, too!

    Thanks for coming by, Winnie!

    LittleMsBookish and Rad Hall, thank YOU for entering! And I adore my international readers. :-)

    Jessica, I'm thrilled to meet another writer! I'm not very good at keeping my characters quiet. They tend not to shut up until I get whichever scene is bothering them down on the page. But chocolate helps to keep them to a dull murmur. ;-)

  44. Mel says:

    Hi again! *Waves*

    I know exactly what you mean - I love spending time in proper bookstores - there's an atmosphere that comes from a store that specializes in stories... I find the place just calms me down. :-)

    I've also just found out a small book chain in the south-east of England is closing - Sussex Stationers. I used to buy lots from them and now I'm totally distraught! Although I have raided their closing down sale...;-)

  45. l love what the internet offers, l agree its great to meet readers. l love getting to know people who love books as much as me!

  46. Mel! *Hugs* I'm sorry to hear about your bookstore...I had hoped that bookstore closings were limited to the U.S. :-(

    BooksforCompany, the internet is wonderful for making book friends! I've made so many this way. :-)

  47. tks for all and open this int. xoxo

  48. Thanks for stopping by, Dani!

  49. I really can not wait to read this one. I loved Dark Oracle!

  50. Thanks for the awesome post and oh so very true post! I can't wait to read this!

  51. Great post! Thanks so much for the giveaway! :D
    ps. you're awesome!

  52. Thanks so much, jmspettoli!

    tearyeyedstars, you're too sweet! *Hugs* and thank you!

  53. Ina says:

    I haven't read the first book yet, but it is already on my bookshelf waiting for me - thanks for a great interview! I really loved reading it :)
    wish you all the best, Ina

  54. Thank you so much for picking up DARK ORACLE, Ina...and for all the good wishes! :-)

  55. I have to completely agree about browsing the book store. My Borders is closing, and I am so sad. It was my favorite, and I'm just not as into Barnes & Noble. I did go a raid part of the going out of business sale. :)

  56. meggerfly says:

    i love going through the books at different stores but I tend to learn about books on the internet.


  57. this is great thanks!
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  58. Bea says:

    thank you so much for the international giveaway :)

  59. Great post! I love going to bookstores & buying books in person, but I use the internet, too, especially for discovering new books :) Still haven't read Dark Oracle (it's waiting for me on my shelf), but thanks for another great giveaway!

  60. Hi, heatwave16! *waves* I haven't done a raid on my local Border's yet...I'm a bit too bummed about it. I think it'll be pretty depressing to see all the empty shelf space. :-(

    Meggerfly, I know what you mean. I wish that I could have the best of both worlds!

    Thanks for stopping by, TheGirlOnFire!

    Aleksandra, thanks so much for picking up DARK ORACLE! I hope that you enjoy it. :-) I know what you mean, though...my TBR stack is HUUUGE!

  61. Pamk says:

    love the interview and am looking forward to reading this and your other series both.

  62. Thanks, Pamk! I appreciate it. :-)

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