October 7, 2015

#IWSG - Doing My Laundry (Instead of Writing)

Visit Alex Cavanaugh to find out more

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Our co-hosts for October are:
Tamara Narayan  http://www.tamaranarayan.com/   
Eva E. Solar   http://lilicasplace.com/  
Shannon Lawrence   http://thewarriormuse.blogspot.com/  
Stephanie Faris  http://stephie5741.blogspot.com/   

After you've left a kernel of wisdom for me in the comment section, please visit the hosts to show your support.

My post:

I recently started writing a new book. I've been mulling the idea over for a while and I'm pretty excited to dive in...except when it's actually time to dive in, then I seem to find a million other things to distract me. 

I wrote a short story to introduce the book and posted it on Lightning Quick Reads, the themed, multi-author short story blog I'm a part of. I've never struggled with a story like I struggled with this one. I'm not really sure I'm even all that happy with it, but I ran out of time and my wonderful critique partner scolded me when I suggested I just resurrect an old story to post instead. Besides, my talented daughter illustrated it - clickable picture in the sidebar - so I was excited to show off her work, at least.

Basically I think all of my writing is crap right now. I feel like I can't say anything I want to say. Can't say it to the depth I want to the reader to visualize it. I know - I KNOW I need to just get that first draft of my novel out of my fingers and into my computer, but there's always Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest. There's recycling to take out and clothes that will benefit from a stern hand washing <--bet you've never used that excuse before!

Maybe if I threaten to participate in NaNoWriMo, it'll get me to focus and dash out some words. Even that cruddy first draft wouldn't be as bad as a NaNo first draft! I told myself I hoped to NEVER need to do NaNo again. Hmmm, I might be onto something. 

What do you do to focus yourself? 

September 17, 2015

Release Day for King of Bad & Super Villain Academy Box Set

The book that hit #7 on the Amazon bestsellers list of superhero fiction just got better! Today's the official launch of the 2nd edition of King of Bad - Super Villain Academy book 1. Not only that, but the series is now also available in a box set.

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

The second edition offers bonus material. Two complete new scenes to add to the super villain fun. 

Buy King of Bad in electronic or print format from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whiskey Creek Press, or add it to Goodreads

Or save when you buy the boxed set: Whiskey CreekPress, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

I have an exclusive giveaway for my email subscribers. If you post a review for any of my books before September 30th, you can enter to win an Amazon gift certificate. Winning would cover the cost of the box set. This is a great time to read the series.

Happy reading.

September 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Fullfillment by Erin Rhew

So excited to help Erin Rhew reveal her gorgeous new cover for The Fullfillment.

About the book: Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality.

Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible. Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves, while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect.

In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide.

Okay, now that you're saying "Ooooo," and "Aaaahhh" over that enticing blurb, let's see the beautiful cover:


Yep. More "ooo's" and "aaah's", huh? It's like Fourth of July around here. Be sure to add the book to your to-read shelf.

TheFulfillment_ErinRhew_AuthorPic  About the author: Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side. Find me online: Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-Rhew-Books/182769448541270 Website: www.erinrhewbooks.com Goodreads The Prophecy: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23265671-the-prophecy https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23302633-the-outlanders Goodreads The Outlanders: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23302633-the-outlanders?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_b

September 14, 2015

September #InkRipples #Giveaway - Fall/School

Hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand 
be sure to visit all the blogs and do a search on #InkRipples

School is back in session. And I guess I can say I've gone back to school, too. I've been in a writing funk all year long and couldn't sit here and stare at my Facebook and Twitter feed any longer. So I got a job with the school district as a lunch lady. It gets me out of the house for a few hours each day. I get to interact with my target audience, as well as some cool adults. It provides a steady supplemental income. And it's good, honest work. And seriously, I can rock that hairnet! So far I really enjoy it. It helps that our school district has a great food program. The food is so good!

Fall happens to be my favorite season. Unless it's April, then spring is my favorite. It's kind of a tie, I guess. I love the crisp night air, the changing leaves, the ultra blue sky and the spicy smell of leaf litter and wood smoke.

I'm celebrating the release of the 2nd edition of King of Bad - with bonus scenes:
buy your own copy here
Hey, since King of Bad takes place in a school - one of our themes this month it's a perfect fit. So, this month's winner will win two books! A signed copy of a shiny new edition of King of Bad (Sorry, but an International winner will win an electronic copy) and a Kindle copy of one of the following books I've enjoyed that also took place in a school setting:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling: In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, an orphan, lives with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.

One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter the first of a sequence of events that end in Harry meeting a giant man named Hagrid. Hagrid explains Harry's history to him: When he was a baby, the Dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, attacked and killed his parents in an attempt to kill Harry; but the only mark on Harry was a mysterious lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Now he has been invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the headmaster is the great wizard Albus Dumbledore. Harry visits Diagon Alley to get his school supplies, especially his very own wand. To get to school, he takes the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross Station. On the train, he meets two fellow students who will become his closest friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Harry is assigned to Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, and soon becomes the youngest-ever Seeker on the House Quidditch team. He also studies Potions with Professor Severus Snape, who displays a deep and abiding dislike for Harry, and Defense Against the Dark Arts with nervous Professor Quirrell; he and his friends defeat a mountain troll, help Hagrid raise a dragon, and explore the wonderful, fascinating world of Hogwarts.

But all events lead irrevocably toward a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who seeks an object of legend known as the Sorcerer's Stone.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Tweet the twitter msgs straight from the rafflecopter, re-pin the linked Pinterest post, add KoB on Goodreads, share the giveaway on Instagram. All easy ways to enter! You have up through the 27th of September to get in as many entries as possible. Good luck!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 8, 2015

Fish Detectives by Kelly Hashway

When Kelly Hashway asked if I could review her latest picture book, Fish Detectives, I said, "Absolutely!" I love both Kelly's writing and K.C. Snider's artwork, so I knew this would be a slam dunk for me. 

Sure enough, Fish Detectives is as much fun as I thought it would be. So much so, that I wanted to include a few interview questions with Kelly and K.C., too. So let's take a moment to talk to the ladies before I share my review of the book.

Kelly, Horatio and Alexander are so cute. What inspired you to create two mystery solving fish?

My mother told me she had two fish named Horatio and Alexander when she was growing up. I loved the names, and for some reason they sounded like detectives to me. From there I imagined what kind of cases they might solve in a fish tank.

K.C., Horatio, Alexander, and Gus are all very beautiful fish and the emotion in their expressions really adds to their character. Do you have fish or did you visit a pet store for inspiration?

First, I’d like to express how much I enjoyed this story.  I like challenges, and getting the view of the room through fish tank glass or getting the fish tails that unique translucent look was a lot of fun to do.

We used to have a tropical fish tank, but one winter, we lost electricity overnight, and it froze solid.

Oh, that's so sad. I'm sorry to hear that. As always, I'm really impressed with the illustrations, K.C. Your work is amazing. (K.C. illustrated the covers of my Weaver Tales books.) The reflection of the surrounding room on the first page, the sense of movement in the water throughout, the lush foliage and adorable tank accessories all really add to the depth of the setting. What kind of research did you do to capture the setting so well?

I looked up images of fish, tanks, toys, and tank plants, etc. on Google.  I research some of the images so I have a deeper knowledge of what goes together best, what makes sense together, and what is a safe environment for goldfish.  Then I decide how to place it, what one might see, as a fish, of the surrounding room they’re in, and how the plants and lighting move around the fish as they explore their environment.

Kelly, what is the most exotic kind of fish you've raised?

I've actually never had a fish, but I love aquariums and fish tanks. They're so full of color and look like magical underwater worlds.

And the final questions are just for fun!

Kelly, if you were a mermaid, what kind of fish would you choose to be bff's with and why?

Ooh, fun! Probably a Blue Tang because I loved Dory in Finding Nemo, and I'm always drawn to Blue Tangs in aquariums. They're beautiful.

K.C., if you could participate in any sort of underwater adventure without risk to yourself, would you rather:
    explore an epic shipwreck (like the Titanic)
    swim with a pod of whales
    or be the first to discover hard proof mermaids really exist

Shipwreck explorations are dangerous.  So is swimming with whales.  Besides that’s been done.  The first person to discover mermaids?  Now that would be an adventure of a lifetime!  I would love to paint a real mermaid! 

Thank you ladies for visiting with us and giving us a little insight to how Fish Detectives came together!

About the book:

When a treasure chest mysteriously shows up in the goldfish tank, it's a case for Horatio and Alexander, Fish Detectives. But a diver is guarding the treasure, and he's not talking. Horatio and Alexander will need all their comet goldfish speed and know how to crack this case.

My Review:

What a fun story. I love the relationship between Horatio and Alexander. I suspect they are very relatable for young readers with Alexander being serious and Horatio being more spontaneous and fun. It’s funny that Alexander seems almost disappointed by the result of their investigation. And young readers should find the ending snort-worthy when Horatio and Alexander realize they might need more fish in the tank before they’ll get more mysteries to solve.

The illustrations are lush. The fish are beautiful and emotive. It isn’t the first time I’ve marveled over how closely KC Snider’s work resembles a photograph, but the details are stunning and there’s so much to look at. It’s like the reader is staring directly into the tank.

Get your copy of Fish Detectives here: Guardian Angel Publishing| Amazon|

About Kelly Hashway:

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein's Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn't writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

About K.C. Snider:

K.C. Snider, an honors graduate from The Eugene School for Art, is a prominent Oregon artist. Her love of the western life and of wildlife has been developed since her youth, with her natural talent for drawing and color exhibited since she was ten years old.
Originally specializing in Western Fine Art, K.C. now has a collection of oil and acrylic paintings, lithographs, and pastel and pencil drawings that include portraits of the All-American Cowboy and Cowgirl and their lifestyles of days gone by. K.C. had planned to become an illustrator when she was in art school, but when circumstances intervened, she turned to fine art as an outlet to express herself. However, K.C. had always considered her work to be a form of illustration because even her paintings "tell a story."

In 2007, K.C. illustrated two children's books, The Christmas Angel, with author Mary Jean Kelso and The Magic Violin, with Mayra Calvani. Both books were published by Guardian Angel Publishing and are also available as an e-Book. Now she is an established and sought-after illustrator for Guardian Angel Publishing with a total of nine children's books published, four more pending publication and 12 more waiting to be illustrated. K.C. works with authors all over the world, including Australia and Belgium.

August 26, 2015

Three Times A Charm with Jennifer Redmile

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome author, Jen Redmile. Jen, can tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up on the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney NSW. After a 2 year stint working in outback NT, I now live in Geraldton WA with my amazing and supportive husband, 23yo son and two gorgeous puppy dogs. I’ve always been an avid fantasy fiction reader, and always worked with children, so when I decided to write a novel, it was a natural progression to combine the two and make it a children's fantasy novel.

In 1997 I wrote a children's musical, entitled Beyond the Stars, for the local Catholic primary school, with a cast of over 300.

I have completed Book 2 in The Children of When series, Valleron, which is awaiting publication, and am currently working on the 3rd book in the series, Dragardia. 

I also have two other YA series in the works, "What Ghost?" and "Morwitch".

Wow, a play for a cast of over 300! That’s impressive. Now, tell us more about your book. The title is intriguing.

The Children of When is the first book in a new MG/YA fantasy series. The story revolves around Leah, Raff, and Belle, who have been raised in separate “foster-homes” until they turn fourteen. On that day, the law states they must leave everything for an unknown future.

When they are magically transported to another world, they discover not only each other, but a prophecy that has waited 1000 years for their arrival.

To fulfill the prophecy, they must find and reunite three missing pieces of an ancient amulet, and in the process learn to control and use their unique Gifts.

Dark forces conspire to prevent the resurrection of the Amulet, and the journey becomes one of survival.

Turning fourteen was NOT supposed to be this hard!

So, you've read the blurb...what else can I tell you? Well there are flying horses, battles with monsters, good guys, bad guys, and some pretty weird but lovable minor characters. And of course, being a story about young teenagers, there might be a slight crush or two going on.

I hope you grow to love these kids half as much as I do, and that you are eager to read more of their adventures in The Children of When - Valleron, the soon to be released 2nd book in the series.
I recommend my book to readers who like:

The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
The Percy Jackson series – Rick Riordan
The Abhorsen series – Garth Nix

Let’s get to know you a little better. Share with us your top three responses to the following questions.

Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer.

Okay, so what I’ve learned about the business of becoming a writer could fill a very large and ridiculously thick book. I’ll try to condense some of it into three important points:

1. Writing a book is really hard work!

So many people, at some stage in their lives, decide they should/could/will write a book. Great idea…why not? How hard can it be, right? WRONG!

Hmmm…I remember thinking all those things too. Although I did have one advantage a lot of other writers don’t have when they first start writing…my husband agreed that I should stop working fulltime and just concentrate on writing for a while. Knowing how lucky I was to be in that position, I dived headlong into learning everything I could about writing fiction. Hundreds of hours later, after downloading and reading everything I could find on the internet (and hardly scratching the surface of the information available) I realized that writing a book was one of those things you needed to just start doing and learn as you go.

Anyway, I could go on forever about the highs and lows I experienced during the actual writing process. Needless to say, I got there…all the blood sweat and tears finally behind me as I blithely typed “The End”. WRONG AGAIN!

2. The Self-publishing vs Traditional publishing decision!

Yep, typing “The End” is actually the beginning of a whole new process. So you’ve written a book! Now what are you going to do with it? Therein lies the $64 million dollar question, and the options and suggestions are endless. I was lucky enough to have a few literary minded friends and family members to help me through the editing process, which I’ve been told saved me a fortune.

After listening to various debates about the pros and cons regarding the different roads to publication, I had decided to save myself the heartache (not to mention the blow to my self-esteem) of being rejected by publishers and/or agents and just self-publish.
Then my Guardian Angel (who I believe is a combination of my mum, dad, grandmother and great aunt) brought me to the attention of the CEO of my publishing company, Catt Dahman. She had been watching me interact in various Facebook groups for a while, and when she found out I had finished a book she suggested I submit it to her publishing company (which of course left me gobsmacked, because I had no idea who she was before that).

So, I was also lucky enough to have my book accepted by the first publisher I submitted it to, J Ellington Ashton Press, which I’ve also been told saved me endless hours, days, weeks and months of anguish.

3. The long road from signing a contract with a traditional publisher to the actual book release.

Okay, once again I know I was one of the lucky ones…it only took seven months. But that seven months felt more like seven years! The hardest part was watching others who’d gone the self-publishing route have their books up and released in a week. So…I waited (impatiently). I wrote two more books, got involved in social media and talking to other writers, and engaged in the publishing process…1st edits, 2nd edits, cover art, formatting, and finally proofreading. I suppose this would be a good time to admit that I was one of those ‘nightmare’ authors, you know, the ones who whine and complain about how long it’s all taking until you want to wring their necks. Fortunately for me, and my book, we all came through relatively unscathed (well I hope so, anyway) and my debut novel is now out in the world for all to see.
Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

1. Cup of tea - preferably in a bottomless cup

2. Chocolate…of course.

3. Anything prepared and brought to me by someone else when writing

Top 3 places you find writing inspiration.

1. Inside my characters’ heads

Yes, I know it sounds weird but it's true.

2. In bed when TRYING to go to sleep!

3. In the shower

Oh my gosh, I completely agree with 2 and 3! Okay, so where can our tech savvy readers find you and your book online?

Twitter: @JenRedmile

It was lovely of you to visit Strands of Thought. Best of luck to you and The Children of When!


August 19, 2015

Stuff You Absolutely Must Know

Happy Hump Day!

I have a couple of things to catch you up on.

First, there is a book blast going on for Super Bad; Super Villain Academy Book 3. It's hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. Seriously, Kathy at I Am A Reader is like a blog goddess. I revere her blog skills. Not only has she recruited a gazillion awesome bloggers to share the book info all over the interwebs between now and the 24th, but there is a $100 gift card up for grabs too. Yep, that's right. You might win $100 to spend on Amazon or via Pay Pal. What would you do with an extra C-note?  Well, find out! You can enter all the way up to September 6th. I'd appreciate if you shared the giveaway post you visit too. Help me get Super Bad in front of all the readers! When you see a post or tweet about the giveaway, please click on it to enter. Or, if you'd rather hop on over now, here's a link to just one of the amazing blogs sharing the giveaway.

And on the topic of giveaways, I have a giveaway going on exclusively for my email subscribers. If you already subscribe, scan the last newsletter I sent out to find out how to enter, or drop me an email asking for the giveaway link. If you don't subscribe, this is a good time to start. You get one entry for each of my books you review. Plus one entry of each place you post the review. Plus-plus, when you subscribe, I send you a copy of Ella's Story (a Worth the Effort novella) for free. How easy can it be? You get the first book for free. Read it. Review it and post the review on Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog and you get 3 entries. Bam. Done. Next book...You have until September 30th to read and review. Now's a great time to get started. Subscribe here:

Lightning Quick Reads is celebrating the #DogDays of summer all month with short stories related (somehow) to the topic. You can help by posting a picture of your pooch on LQR's Facebook page. We'd love to see what melts your heart. Be sure to read my story, Into the Fire, while you're there. Plus the other great contributions.

August 13, 2015

Cover Reveal - Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

So excited to participate in the cover reveal of NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager! This Young Adult Romance releases September 1st!

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. 

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken. 

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.



Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…
Next Door To A Star?


Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

August 10, 2015

August #InkRipples #Giveaway – Things That Drag You Down

What drags you down? I'll tell you what drags me down.

Mean people. People who need to belittle you to feel better about themselves. People who always have to correct you, almost as if they automatically take the counterpoint to feel superior in their opinion. Those who employ name calling, especially when they label everyone in a group by the name (ex: Blondes are dumb ßuh, I know several who aren’t & I know brunettes who are!)

The current temperament online often falls into this description of mean people and it drags me down. The campaigning for the next election has only just begun and I’m worried that I’ll have to abandon the internet altogether long before we go to the polls. So if I suddenly disappear, you’ll know I just had enough. Maybe I’ll return again in 2017.

Okay, so the funny thing is, though I decided that mean people drag me down, the very first thing I thought of when I looked at this topic was the Devil. In the symbolic way that he is down. You know, under us. In hell. So instead of focusing this month’s giveaway on mean people and sort of glorifying them, I've decided to focus on books I’ve read (and one I wrote) that have an aspect of the Underworld. 

One lovely, randomly chosen winner will receive a Kindle copy of the book they enter to win. Read the descriptions. Enter to win any book that intrigues you. Enter as many times as you want. You have until 11:59 pm on August 23rd.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna. 
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Sister’s Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer

(This book doesn't take place in the Underworld, but I generally associate Reapers with that address)

Sixteen-year-old Zadie's first mistake was telling the boy liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it. When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper's Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn't the same anymore--Zadie isn't even sure she's completely human. And to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister's Reaper, intent on claiming both girls, or let Mara die . . . this time for good. This refreshing paranormal love story envokes a deeper lesson about sisterhood, consequence, and facing one's responsibilities.

A cheerier version of the Underworld
Beware of the White by Kai Strand

     As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Nature’s Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.
     The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves. Until Blanco, leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming, at Terra’s hand. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.
      With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn out how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. 

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. 

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. 

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

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Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

August 5, 2015

#IWSG Wednesday!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG. Be sure and visit his blog.
The awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne,Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia!

I almost forgot about IWSG this month, even though I have a reminder set for 24 hours prior. What did I do yesterday when it went off? I said, "Oh yeah!" and then promptly forgot again. *Sigh*

I'm not feeling particularly insecure about anything at the moment, but I remain uninspired. I sit in front of my WIP(s) and struggle to find the words to move the story forward. I've never had this particular difficulty before. But you know what? I know it will pass. Whether it's brought on by the constant change in my life or from shouldering the burdens of loved ones - whatever is causing a dam in my word stream - I feel confidant that it will go away again. Break up. Float downstream. 

What challenge are you currently facing in your writing career?