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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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1. Monday Mishmash 9/22/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Murderer on the Loose  The biggest thing on my mind is Eric Frein, a 31-year-old man who shot and killed a police officer in my area. He critically wounded another officer, and now, Frein is armed, dangerous, and hiding somewhere in the woods. I'm scared. I wish they'd catch him soon. It's frightening that Frein is evading 200 police officers searching for him. I don't feel safe in my own home.
  2. Campus Crush is now FREE!  To celebrate the releases of Into the Fire and Perfect For You, I've decided to make Campus Crush permanently free. You can get your free copy on Kindle or Nook.
  3. Into the Fire and Perfect For You Reviews  So far, I've been blown away by the reviews for both of these books. Seriously, some have made me cry because people are relating so much to my characters and the emotions in these books. I couldn't be a happier author right now.
  4. #IntotheFireChallenge  The Into the Fire Challenge is still going on. You have until October 10th to get your review of Into the Fire posted on Amazon and be entered for your chance to appear as a phoenix in the third book in the trilogy. You can also win signed copies of all three books in the series. Go enter now!
  5. YA Scavenger Hunt  I'm happy to announce I'll be participating in the fall YA Scavenger Hunt going on October 2-October 5. I'll be part of the Green Team with my Ashelyn Drake title Into the Fire. I'm so excited!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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2. Friday Feature: Who R U Really? Book Birthday & Elixir Bound Sale and Giveaway


It’s a BOOKBirthday!
The birth of a debut book is often a long labor of love, and Margo Kelly’s Who R U Really? is no exception. Margo finished the first draft of the manuscript in 2010! More than four years later, more than four title changes, and way-more-than four revisions … it has finally arrived! WAHOO!

*.-*.-**throws confetti**.-*.-*
When Thea discovers a new role-playing game online, she breaks her parents’ rules to play. And in the world of the game, Thea falls for an older boy named Kit whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his near-suicidal despair. Soon, he’s texting her, asking her to meet him, and talking in vague ways about how they can be together forever. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit’s allure, and hurtles toward the very fate her parents feared most. Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea’s life spins out of control.

“Kelly has painted a realistic picture of how a smart girl can get caught up in something dangerous online. … Guaranteed to give readers goosebumps.” -- School Library Journal.  (http://www.bookverdict.com)

“Thea’s mistakes, while frustrating to encounter, are frighteningly plausible, and the relationships among characters are well–fleshed out, especially between mother and daughter. Kelly’s first novel is a suspenseful page-turner.” -- Kirkus Reviews (www.kirkusreviews.com)

Who R U Really? published in hardcover and e-book versions by Merit Press (F+W Media) on September 18, 2014.

Buy online:

You can also enter for a chance to win a copy in the Goodreads giveaway here.

*.-*.-**throws confetti**.-*.-*

Margo Kellyis a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margowelcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Follow her online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Scheduled Appearances:
September 26, 2014 – 5pm – Book Signing at Hastings in Meridian, Idaho
September 27, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Hastings on Overland in Boise, Idaho
October 3, 2014 – 7pm – Book Launch Party at Hyde Park Books in Boise, Idaho
October 11, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Boise, Idaho



That's not all! 



My fellow writer friend, Katie Carroll's YA fantasy, Elixir Bound, is on sale (ebook version) for only $.99 until September 27th. And there's a giveaway on Goodreads for a signed paper back. First, here's her book:




Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.




Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:

Prefer paperback? Enter the Goodreads giveaway here.

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3. Writer Wednesday:

I've been tagged by Vicki Leigh in the Meet My Character Blog Hop. Thanks, Vicki! So, today I'll be talking about the MC in Into the Fire. Well, one of them anyway. It's dual POV. Here we go!

1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Cara Tillman is 100% fictional, though she feels completely real in my mind.

2. When and where is the story set?
The story is set in present day in a fictional town called Ashlan Falls.

3. What should we know about him/her?
Cara is a descendent of the mythical phoenix bird, and her first rebirth is only one month away.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
Cara knows that when she's reborn, she's going to forget everyone from her first life. So when she imprints on the new guy in town, Logan, this spells disaster. It also makes her more of a target for Hunters, people who kill Phoenixes and steal their essence so they can live longer.

5. What is the personal goal of the character?
Cara is dying to find a way to hold on to her memories and Logan through her rebirth.

6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Into the Fire is a YA romantic fantasy. Here's the blurb:
In one month, seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman will die. But until then, she plans to enjoy every look, touch and kiss with her boyfriend Logan, the new boy in Ashlan Falls. Cara is a descendant of the mythical Phoenix bird, and her rebirth is nearing. But first, she must die and forget all that she knew before, including Logan's face, his laugh, and the way he says her name. With precious little time left for the two of them, Cara does all she can to savor every moment, unwittingly drawing a Phoenix hunter to her doorstep with every move.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?
Into the Fire was published on September 9th! You can grab your copy today on Amazon or B&N, and take the #IntotheFireChallenge for a chance to become a phoenix in the final book of the series.

Now I'm tagging Stephanie Faris and Medeia Sharif.

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4. Monday Mishmash 9/15/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Scholastic Book Fair  I'm helping out with the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school this week. That's always dangerous because I can't be around books and not spend a lot of money.
  2. Kiss of Death  I have a FREE Touch of Death prequel novella from Alex's POV. It's no secret I love Alex, so I had to tell his story. It's been in my head since I wrote Touch of Death. Check out the cover below, and download it FREE here.
  3. Into the Fire Challenge  Have you seen my #IntotheFire Challenge? If you review the book on Amazon before October 10, you'll be entered to win an awesome prize. You could become a phoenix in the Birth of the Phoenix series and get signed copies of all the books! Check out my video about the challenge here.
  4. FREE!  In celebration of the releases of Perfect For You and Into the Fire, I'm making Campus Crush permanently FREE. It's already free on Nook and I'm trying to get Amazon to price match. Hopefully soon.
  5. Milayna Cover Reveal  Michelle Pickett has a cover reveal today. Milayna releases March 17 through Clean Teen Publishing. Check it out. 
    It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.

    With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who’s sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?

    When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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5. Friday Feature: Into the Fire and Perfect For You Release Week SWAG Pack Giveaway!


I have two young adult novels that released on September 9th! Yes, two! They are both Ashelyn Drake titles. For those who don't know, Ashelyn Drake is my romance pen name. The first is a YA romantic fantasy called Into the Fire.
Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble



The second is a young adult contemporary romance called Perfect For You.
Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker? 

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn't want to be in Meg's shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She's torn between Ash, the boy she's been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible. 

But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn't intend to, could end badly if she isn't careful. 

Goodreads
Amazon



To celebrate the releases Ashelyn is giving away a SWAG pack that includes:
  • A flame pendant from Into the Fire
  • a phoenix button
  • a heart bracelet from Perfect For You
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card
You know you want to enter, so fill out the rafflecopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to be a phoenix in the third and final installment of my Birth of the Phoenix series? Now you can be! Check out my Into the Fire challenge!

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6. It's Release Day Times Two!

Today I have not one but TWO books releasing into the world! First up is my YA contemporary romance, Perfect For You.

Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker? 

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn't want to be in Meg's shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She's torn between Ash, the boy she's been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible. 

But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn't intend to, could end badly if she isn't careful. PERFECT FOR YOU is a teen romance from bestselling author Ashelyn Drake, where one girl will risk everything to find her perfect match.

Check out the opening pages below:



Need to know what happens next? Click here to buy the book for only $2.99 on Amazon.

Up next is Into the Fire, a YA romantic fantasy.
Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

Here's a video of me reading the opening pages:



You can get more of Cara and the other phoenixes for only $3.19 on Amazon or $3.49 on B&N.

Look for a SWAG and gift card giveaway this Friday! 

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7. Monday Mishmash 9/8/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Into the Fire Goodreads Giveaway  Month9Books is offering 2 copies of Into the Fire on Goodreads. Go enter here!
  2. One Day, Two Releases  Tomorrow (September 9th) I have two YA novels releasing—Into the Fire and Perfect For You. Both blog tours begin this week and there will be giveaways associated with the tours and a SWAG giveaway here on Friday.
  3. Editing  Something must be in the air because I got six new editing jobs over the weekend and I was already in the middle of one at the time. This makes me happy. :)
  4. Renovations  My house still isn't completely finished. *sigh* My downstairs is almost back together, and we had the electrical inspection for the upstairs. Now just framing and plumbing inspections and then we can finish the upstairs. This will eventually end, right?
  5. Reading  My reading slowed down this summer so I'm now reading three books at once to try to catch up. Why is it that when I have more time for writing (during the school year) I feel like I have less time in my day as a whole?
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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8. Friday Feature: DDYA Back to School Giveaway


Welcome to the Back to School Giveaway hosted by the authors at Darkly Delicious YA.



Add great YA titles to your to be read list on Goodreads and enter to win an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card so that you can purchase novels from your favorite authors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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9. Writer Wednesday: Back In the Swing of Things


School is back in session, so that means I'm going back to my writing schedule. Summer is always tricky because my daughter and husband are home. This summer was particularly tricky because I had to stay with my parents for two months thanks to water damage and construction. While construction is still going on, I'm getting back to my old schedule and I couldn't be happier about it. There's something about knowing I have five hours to write five days a week that puts a big smile on my face.

Of course I'm not just writing. I'm marketing and editing too. Right now, I have a client edit on my plate, and I'm giving that top priority. But I'm also marketing multiple novels and plotting a new book because I'm a writer and that's what I do. That means I have to manage those five hours each day and break them up in a way that will allow me to accomplish all my tasks. Of course I have my day planner next to me so I can check off all the tasks as I complete them. I'd be lost without that planner. And let me tell you how quickly I can fill up five hours. Sheesh!

Who else is back on schedule now that summer break is over?

*Thank you to everyone who left questions for me last week when I asked for questions for my FAQ page on my website. I'll be sure to share my responses soon.*

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10. Monday Mishmash: 9/1/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Back to School  My daughter starts second grade tomorrow. This summer flew by. I guess being out of my house had something to do with that. We've only been home for two weeks.
  2. Back to My Writing Schedule  Back to school means back to my usual writing schedule. I have two ideas battling it out in my head. I'll get to work on the one that screams the loudest. ;) I'm so excited to draft a new book.
  3. Into the Fire Author Copies!  Look what came in the mail last Friday!
  4. Free Monthly Newsletter  My newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here. My newsletters have information about my releases, giveaways, and writing tips each month.
  5. Perfect For You and Into the Fire Release Giveaway  I'm looking for people to help me spread the word about my two YA releases by posting my giveaway with teaser from both books sometime during the week of September 8th. If you can help me out, sign up below: 
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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11. Friday Feature:


9256414
Summary:
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

My thoughts:
The opening of this book hooked me right away. Amelia doesn't remember her life or her death, yet she keeps almost reliving her death, waking up in the murky water that took her life. She's stuck in between life and death and can't seem to move on. Then when Joshua almost dies in the same river, she tries to summon all her strength to save him, which isn't easy considering she's dead. By some twist of fate, he sees her and she's able to save him. The two form a bond right away, which is understandable since she did save his life. He's even accepting of the fact that she's a ghost.

But as Amelia finds comfort in Joshua, she finds torment in another. Eli is a spirit like Amelia and he knows about her death. Eli tries to manipulate Amelia and get her to become something she isn't willing to be. I loved her struggle with Eli and how Joshua was able to help her just as much as she helped him.

This was a very enjoyable read.

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12. Writer Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions

I've decided to add a Frequently Asked Questions feature on my website and blog as part of my Press Kit. So today, I'm asking for your help. What questions would you like me to answer? It can be anything about my writing or my books.   Things like when I started writing, how I choose my genres, why I span age groups. Whatever you'd like.

Okay, you can ask me some silly questions too. Why not? I have a few quirks I'm willing to share for your amusement. Maybe I'll answer those as part of a vlog for fun. Sound good? 

You're up. Leave me your questions in the comments. I won't answer them there though. I'm compile a list and share all the answers once I've finished. Thanks!

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13. Monday Mishmash: 8/25/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Mom's Birthday!  Today is my mom's birthday! Happy birthday, Mom! You're the best mother, friend, and beta reader I could ever ask for.
  2. Booking Events  I'm booking author events for the fall. I've got at list of signings planned and I will start working on booking school visits soon. :)
  3. Perfect For You Pre-order  Perfect For You is now up for pre-order and it's only $2.99! I'm excited. You can order it here.
  4. Perfect For You Release Day Blitz  In addition to the blog tour, there will be a release day blitz for Perfect For You. Want to sign up? Click here.
  5. Curse of the Granville Fortune Blog Tour Signups  The Curse of the Granville Fortune Blog Tour will run from October 20 to November 2. If you'd like to sign up, click here.

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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14. Friday Feature: Catch Me When I Fall Review


 20826785

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.


My thoughts:
Vicki is my agency sister, so yeah, I was excited to read this book. First, the cover is awesome, and second the blurb let me know this was my kind of read. Daniel is someone I liked from the start. He's very real and so are his feelings. He felt for Kayla just like I did. The poor girl is in a psychiatric ward and being tortured by nightmares. I loved how the nightmares were physical things. Seriously LOVED that. I could almost feel their hands reaching for me while I was reading. Creepy and awesome!

There's a twist with Kayla that I really enjoyed and didn't see coming. I won't give spoilers though, so I'll just say it was a great addition to the plot. The dynamic between Kayla and Daniel felt very genuine to me. They both are dealing with a lot. Daniel wants out of his job as a Protector, and Kayla has a tortured past. I think this really draws them to each other and gives them common ground.

I can't wait to see where the story goes in book two.

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15. Writer Wednesday: Deal Announcement


I had an exciting start to my week. Not only did I finally get to move back home, but I also got this picture from my amazing agent Sarah Negovetich.
If you're having trouble reading that, it's the deal announcement for Fading Into the Shadows, which will be published by Spencer Hill Press in 2016!

I love my editor at SHP. Trisha just gets me and the way my mind works, so I'm thrilled to work on another book with her. And this book was one that grabbed my attention from the start. It's actually the book that gave me the idea for the Touch of Death series. Yes, I drafted it before Touch of Death. I revised it after I completed the series though.

I can't wait to share more info with you, but for now I'll say it's fantasy and it involves a girl who will do anything to save her best friend after he goes missing. Of course she didn't realize "anything" involved another world of shadows and real life constellations trying to kill her.

Anyone else have good writing news to share this week? Tackle a difficult chapter, finish a revision, get a new book idea? Let's celebrate together.

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16. Monday Mishmash 8/18/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. I'm home!  I finally got to go home this weekend. The walls are back up and most are painted. Two more floors have to be installed, and the kitchen still needs to be finished, but we're making progress.
  2. Blog Tour Prep  I'm finishing up blog tour prep for Into the Fire this week. The Perfect For You posts are all sent and ready to go.
  3. Reading I'm making an effort to catch up on my reading, which took a big hit from not being home.
  4. New Meme Buttons  Now that others are joining in on my weekly memes, I made new buttons. Check them out and feel free to participate in any of my memes.

  5. Crow's Rest Cover Reveal  Check out this cover for Crow's Rest by Angelica R. Jackson.

Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.
But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers—and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone—some thing—has taken his place.
Her quest to find the real Daniel—and get him back—plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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17. Friday Feature: Queen of Someday Trailer Reveal


I am super excited to finally reveal the book trailer for

Queen of Someday: A Stolen Empire Novel

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

   

What people are saying about Queen of Someday:

 
"Love, betrayal, adventure and hard decisions that have no "right answer"... Russian Court is an exercise in "survival of the fittest" and Queen of Someday is a beautiful start to the journey of an innocent young girl growing into one of the greatest leaders of all time." ~June Stevens, author

"I was caught hook, line and sinker with this novel about a young girl's battle in a world that seems perfect on the surface, but is sinister and twisted underneath. I think one of the reasons I loved this book so much is because there was no fantasy or paranormal element the book. I would have loved it just as much if there had been, but to see that somewhere seemingly so safe could be so deadly, without a hint of magic or witchcraft, was haunting." ~Bonfire Book Reviews

"Queen of Someday" is a guilty pleasure read. Just like CW shows and Lifetime movies, it's full of drama, scandal and betrayal. And I just couldn't look away. I found myself gasping and grinning maniacally at every turn. Sophie's schemes delighted me in a way that made me question my own sanity. I enjoyed "Queen of Someday" in the same way that one enjoys CW shows; the melodrama is strangely addictive, but I'm embarrassed to admit exactly how much I enjoyed it." ~The Nerdy Journalist reviews

And be sure to enter the giveaway!


Can't wait to see more? Queen of Someday is available for pre-order here, and will be available everywhere October 7th 2014.

*The footage is courtesy of KK Studios, and the layout and transitions are by Courtney Knuckles and Clean Teen Publishing.

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18. Writer Wednesday: Keeping Focus


Today's topic came by request during this week's Monday Mishmash. The question was how do I stay focused, keep my butt in the chair, and work. The answer is actually pretty simple. If you want to be serious about writing, then you have to treat it like any other job. 

Sure, I'd love to relax with a good book all day long. Who wouldn't? But I have a job to do. I have deadlines, whether they are self-imposed or given to me by my editors. Writing is a job like any other. Do I ever call in sick? Sure. I'm human. Things happen on occasion that make it impossible for me to write. But most days, I'm at my computer at set times each day. I know that's my work time, and I clock in just like any other job would require me to.

I would suggest having a set working area too. Right now I don't have an office, but I write in the same place every day. It conditions my brain to know it's time to work. I think that really helps. And if you do have an office, that's great. Use it, and I'll try not to get too jealous as I wait for my construction to finish so I can have an office. ;)

So really that's it. My advice for staying focused is to commit to making writing a job. A really fun job, but a job nonetheless. 

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19. Monday Mishmash 7/28/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
  1. Picture Book Sketches  I got to see sketches for one of the three picture books I have in the works. I love that part. It's so much fun to see how an illustrator views my characters.
  2. Revisions  Revisions on my MG will be finished this week and then I'm sending the book on to my betas. After that I have to revise the third book in the Birth of the Phoenix series.
  3. The Monster Within Book Blitz  Fandom Monthly Magazine Book Tours is hosting a book blitz for The Monster Within. Bloggers who participate will be entered to win an ebook copy of the book. You can sign up here.
  4. Perfect For You Blog Tour  YA Bound Book Tours is hosting the blog tour for Perfect For You. Want to sign up? You can here.
  5. Into the Fire SWAG and Blog Tour  Swag is on its way! I have Phoenix buttons arriving tomorrow and the flame pendants already here. Check out the pendant. I love it.
    Want to participate in the blog tour for Into the Fire? Sign up here
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?


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20. Writer Wednesday: Being Accountable to Cyberspace


Setting goals is a great thing because it gives us something to strive for and holds us accountable. I've seen a lot of writers posting their daily or weekly word count goals online. It's a great tactic because by telling people what you want to achieve, you have someone other than yourself to answer to. It's easy to say you're going to write 5,000 words, but doing it is another story. You know the drill. You sit down, open your document, crack your knuckles a few times, check your email, make that cup of tea or coffee you forgot to get before you sat down, walk the dog who is giving you those sad eyes, come back, down your tea or coffee, take a bathroom break… You see where this is going.

If you post your word count goal online for others to see, you feel obligated to hit that goal or at least come close. The downside to this is that when you don't hit your goal, it hurts more than if you didn't announce to cyberspace that you were going to finish that chapter or reach the 10K mark. And to be honest, there are times when life intervenes for legitimate reasons. So what do you do?

I say you post the goal. Yes, I realize I just said it can backfire, but if you have a real reason for not getting your goal, your followers will understand. On the other hand, if you are making excuses… ;) See, it's a great way to stop making excuses and get to work.

Do you post your goals online for all to see? Does it help you?

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21. Friday Feature: Sasquatch Cover Reveal



Following his parents' ugly divorce, Jake Oliver chooses to move with his father to a remote corner of Connecticut. Bad enough their new home turns out to be a fenced-in dump in the middle of nowhere, but it seems that the previous owner, his dad’s late Uncle Horace, had been the local crackpot ridiculed by the community for his belief that a Bigfoot roamed the vast woodland preserve that lay beyond the property. Not everything about Jake’s new life is bad, though. His job at the local market is okay, and it doesn’t hurt that his coworker is pretty Nell Davis. But when odd things start to happen, like weird calls in the dead of night, stones thrown by an unseen assailant, and lingering foul odors wafting on the breeze, Jake starts to believe that maybe old Horace wasn’t so crazy after all. With Nell’s help, Jake is determined to make a name for himself by proving to the world that the mythical Sasquatch is alive and well and living in the woods just on the other side of that fence.
Title: Sasquatch
Author: SASQUATCH
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.spencerhillpress.com) Please feel free to use any text, images, links, etc. from our website.
Print ISBN: 978-1-939392-47-3
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-939392-54-1
Release Date: March 2015
Formats: Paper, e-book


Andrea Schicke Hirsch has been a bookseller, editor and copywriter, teacher and paralegal.  She studied theatre and English at Fordham University and has a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Bridgeport. A Connecticut native, she lives in Wilton with her family. This is her first YA novel.

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22. Monday Mishmash 8/4/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Into the Fire SWAG  I have awesome swag for Into the Fire! I'm loving the fire pendants and phoenix buttons. Check them out. Watch for a giveaway soon since the book releases on September 9th!

  2. Free Monthly Newsletter  My newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
  3. Blog Tour Posts  I'm getting all my blog tour posts for Into the Fire together this week. Thank you to everyone who signed up for the tour. If you tried to sign up and were told the schedule was full, feel free to contact me. We can still set something up separate from the tour.
  4. Reading  I've been a little LOT stressed lately with the construction on my house. I'm coping by reading.
  5. Leap Books Editor  I'm so excited to be part of the editorial team at Leap Books. I'll be editing for all three of their imprints! I couldn't be happier about it. If you missed the big announcement about the new direction of Leap Books on August 1st, you can read it here. If you're interested in submitting to Leap Books (I'm not the acquisitions editor.), you can find their guidelines here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?


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23. Writer Wednesday: Making a Book Trailer


I've made my share of book trailers so I thought I'd share some tips on how you can make a trailer without spending a fortune. It's also fairly simple, so even if you aren't computer savvy, you can figure it out pretty quickly.

First, your computer comes with programs to create movies. I use iMovie because I have a Mac. PCs usually have Movie Maker. If you don't see an icon on your desktop, search your Applications. I'm willing to bet you'll find a program. The programs are designed to let you drop pictures into the frames and then add text, voiceover, music, etc. You get to set the duration of each clip, which is great for adjusting the length of your trailer to fit your music. There are even transitions to choose from between the slides.

Once you locate your program, you need to find images for your trailer. A very cost efficient way to do this is to create a book trailer for an entire series instead of each book. You can then use your book covers and crop them for images. That's what I did for the Touch of Death series. All the images, with the exception of one, came from the front and back covers of the books.



I did the same thing for my Campus Crush series, written under my pen name. 



If you have a budget that allows you to purchase images for your trailer, I suggest royalty-free stock photos. I use Shutterstock, which allows you to purchase images on demand. I usually opt for the package of five downloads, which isn't expensive at all, and you can almost always find a coupon code online to take about $10 off the price.

For The Monster Within, I opted to purchase images instead of sticking to my cover. I did find some sites (thanks to an article in the SCBWI Bulletin) that offer completely free images as long as you credit them. I found similar sites for the music tracks. Both are great options for keeping costs down. The Monster Within Book Trailer uses paid images and free images along with free music. I made sure to credit my sources on the final slide.



Another option is to film your book trailer yourself and hire some actors to portray your characters. I haven't tried this myself just yet, but maybe one day.

I recommend playing around with whatever movie program your computer has and get used to the different features and how they work. You'll be surprised by how easy it actually is to create a trailer for your book.

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24. Friday Feature: Sassy Summer Book Party


I'm one of the 61 authors participating in the Sassy Summer Book Party. There are 10 prize packs up for grabs with books, SWAG, and gift cards! You don't want to miss this.


Into the Fire is one of the books in prize pack #3, which is a YA prize pack. If you want to try to win a copy along with 7 other books and a gift card, enter here.

That's not all though. You can enter all 10 giveaways and increase your chances of winning. Just click on the links below to enter. (Some books are ebook, while others are print. Click on the giveaway to find out the format.)

Prize Pack #1 YA
Malicious by Alissa T. Hunter
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer
My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer
Darkness Watching by Emma Adams
Lore (YA fantasy anthology)
Eternal Shadows by Kate Martin
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #2
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Of Breakable Things by Lyden Rolland (includes SWAG)
Resisting Fate and Seizing Fate by Heather Van Fleet
Elixir Bound by Katie Carroll
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
Crown of Ice by Vicki Weavil (includes SWAG)
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #3 YA
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane
Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway
Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake (That's me!!!)
Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel
Surrender the Sky by Meradeth Houston
Fatal by T.A. Brock
A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #4 YA
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
The Mystery Prince by Mary Waibel
Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein
Snark and Circumstance by Stephanie Wardrop
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Park #5 NA
Wonderfully Wicked by C.J. Burright
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Because the Night by Kristen Strassel
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Bloodlust by Nicole Zoltack
Double Life by S. Usher Evans
9th Life by Wendy Beck
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #6 NA
Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
$5 Starbucks Gift Card
In the Desert by Dierdre Riordan Hall (includes SWAG)
Up For Grabs by Heather Young Nichols (includes $5 Amazon GC)
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Over the Ocean by Georgia St. Mane
The Darkness of Light by Tammy Farrell
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Goodbye to You by A.J. Matthews
Adorned by Georgeann Swiger
Up For Grabs by Heather Young Nichols
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Crossing the Line by Nicola Marsh
Black Hellebore by Nicola Marsh
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Packs 8-10 are Adult/Erotica, so I won't list them here since this blog doesn't cover adult or erotica. You can access the page for those giveaways here if you are interested.

Good luck to all who enter!

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25. Monday Mishmash 8/11/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Two Blog Tours  Since I have two Ashelyn Drake titles releasing on September 9th (Into the Fire and Perfect For You), I've been busy with blog tour posts. They're almost ready to send to my publicists.
  2. My Dream Office  Even though I won't be able to settle into my new office for a while yet, I'm dreaming of my oversized chair to work and read in, my large desk with bookshelves, and the cheery daisy paint color I picked out. I can also finally frame the giant posters of my book covers my husband had made for me. It's going to be epic. Now I have to work on that pesky thing called patience.
  3. Painting and Flooring  Last week the construction at my house, which had involved gutting the entire first floor, progressed to painting. This week I'm hoping to have the painting finished and flooring going in so I can go home before the summer is over.
  4. Editing  I'm editing for clients this week, and I already have clients booking me for next month too.
  5. The Monster Within Book Blitz  Fandom Monthly Magazine is hosting a book blitz for The Monster Within August 15-18th. I'm looking forward to it. 

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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