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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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1. Friday Feature: YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2015



Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to introduce to you the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors! We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamGold! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days. 

If you've never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. During the hunt, I'll be sharing an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of THE DARKNESS WITHIN. 

You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days. And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up.)

Blue Team 1 Pink TeamTeam Gold (2)Team Purple 1Team GreenTeam Red 1Team Teal (2)Team Orange  
I hope you are all as excited as I am!
THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

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2. Writer Wednesday: I'd Rather Buy a Book

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about things people buy on a daily/weekly basis that cost more than a book, and it kind of depressed me. Not that I want to depress you too, but check out this quick list. (This could have gotten really long, but I think you get my point.)

Coffee (lattes, cappuccino, etc.) ~ I make my own coffee, so I save on this daily expense.

Greeting Cards ~ Is anyone else appalled at how expensive these things are? I mean it's like a total of 20-40 words and you're charging me $5! My book is over 80K and it's not that expensive (in ebook format).

Vending Machine Snacks/Drinks ~ These tiny packages are more expensive than their larger counterparts you can buy in a food store.

Register Items ~ You know, those overpriced candy bars and packs of gum they have at the registers in stores. You could buy an entire bag of candy for the price of the one bar, but this is RIGHT HERE! Same with the gum.

Dollar Bin Specials ~ Okay, maybe this isn't a daily or weekly thing for everyone, but you know what I'm talking about. You walk into Target and those dreaded dollar bins stare you in the face. Of course there's something you HAVE to have, right? ;)

Yet all these things are items people purchase without a second thought. So why then, is it so hard to get people to buy a book priced anywhere from $.99-$9.99? Books are hours or days (depending on your reading time/pace) of entertainment. None of these items do the same. And all of the items above are discarded, when a book can be reread or passed on to another person.

Now, if you enjoy spending money on the things I listed above, that's your prerogative, but personally, I'd rather buy a book.

How about you?

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3. Monday Mishmash 3/23/15


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. YA Scavenger Hunt  I'm so excited to announce I'll be on Team Gold for the YA Scavenger Hunt next month! Join us on April 2-5th to win books and get exclusive content from a bunch of awesome authors. (I'll be promoting The Darkness Within—sharing never before scene teasers—and giving away a copy of The Monster Within.
  2. Back to Drafting!  As much as I love editing for my amazing clients, I'm really excited to have time to get back to my WIP this week! I'm halfway through it, and my characters have been hounding me to get back to work! They're very demanding.
  3. Reviewing  I have two books I promised to review, and I need to make process on them both really soon. Like now.
  4. Beta Reading  I also agreed to beta read for a very talented writer friend, so I'll be working on that too this week.
  5. My Embarrassing Video  If you missed my embarrassing video last week, you can view it here: 

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

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4. Friday Feature: Looking For Love


My new adult contemporary romance, Looking For Love, is now available! While this is part of the Campus Crush series, you should know that it's a companion series and the books don't have to be read in order. Each features a different couple and stands completely on its own.


Mike Hannigan is looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe that’s because having his heart torn to shreds by who he thought was the perfect girl left some emotional scarring. But that’s about to change. 



Summer Patterson isn’t like anyone Mike’s dated before, and he can’t help but be intrigued by her. Now if only he could keep his foot out of his mouth long enough to win her over. But when a secret involving Summer brings Mike’s past crashing back to the present, he’ll need some backup from his best friend and wingwoman, Mindy, to sort out the mess.



Will Mike find love before he leaves Timberland College for good?


*This is a New Adult title and is not suitable for younger readers.*

But that's not all. 

I also updated the Campus Crush paperback to include this novella. So if you want to have all the novellas in the series in one place, you can get that from the paperback here

The Campus Crush ebook was not updated and still remains FREE. However, that means Looking For Love is NOT part of the free ebook boxset.

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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5. Writer Wednesday: What Revision Really Looks Like

I've come to the conclusion that I like to embarrass myself. Today I'm sharing a video of what revision really looks like…if you're me. Just an FYI, my daughter watched this and said, "You're putting that on YouTube?" while giving me a "Mom, you're so embarrassing" look. Then she must have had a change of heart because she laughed and said, "Let me know when it's up. I want to watch it again and again so I can laugh at you." She's such a confidence booster!

So, without further ado, here is what revision really looks like when you're me. While the video is short, just envision this repeating on an endless loop until I finish revising a book. ;)



Did this seem familiar to you? What does your revision process look like?

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6. Monday Mishmash 3/16/15


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. Looking For Love Releases Tomorrow!  Wow! That happened quickly! I can't believe tomorrow is the day. This is a new adult romance written under my pen name, Ashelyn Drake. It is book 4 in a series, but it's a series of companion novellas and each story stands on it's own, so you don't have to read the others or read them in order. You can pre-order it or grab it on release day here for only $.99.
  2. Embarrassing Video Coming!  This week's Writer Wednesday post might be a little embarrassing—for me. I made a video for you guys and you don't want to miss it. My street team, Kelly's Coven, has already seen it since they see everything first, but I'll be unveiling it to everyone else this Wednesday. Be sure to stop back then.
  3. Writing Tips  I'm working on some writing tips for the upcoming Writer Wednesday posts. Hopefully you'll find them helpful.
  4. Editing  I'm editing for clients again this week. My editing streak continues.
  5. Revisions  I'm working on revisions based on my agent's comments, and I forgot how much I absolutely love this book! 
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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7. Friday Feature: The Great Timelock Disaster


AMAZON



There's nothing’s more dangerous than a wizard-in-training. And Pete Riley, has just proven it. He's worked a bad time spell--a very bad time spell.

No YouTube, no smoothies, no Manga. Not ever again. Not unless Pete figures out how to reverse his spell and free Weasel and him from Victorian England. 

He has until the next full moon. Only a few days.

Tick. Tock.




Here’s how the story starts, and it only gets worse.


One minute the clock was tick-tocking on the mantel and the next it was a smoldering mess.

“No,”􏰁Harriet shouted. Then she braced one hand on her desk and covered her eyes with the other.

Pete froze, not blinking, not breathing, but waiting to see if Harriet would point one of her long, bony fingers at him and turn him into a turnip or something slimy.



SEQUEL TO ALLIGATORS OVERHEAD
To celebrate the launch of The Great Time Lock Disaster Lee is giving 20 eBooks away. She hopes you'll jump in to the copter and go for a ride!


Usually, C. Lee takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Double Negative (2014) was her third young adult novel. Researching it turned her into a literacy advocate. Her fourth YA, Sudden Secrets came out in December 2014. 



When she really want to have FUN, she writes middle grade books. Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster are now available.

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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8. Writer Wednesday: The Value of Free

Recently I've come across quite a few debates about authors offering books for free. Some authors claim it's killing the book industry because readers won't pay for books when they can get so many for free. So basically, if you're book isn't available for free, readers will pass you by. Others argue that free books are a great way to get your work in the hands of readers who will hopefully love your writing and then buy your other books.

Until last week, I was firmly in the latter group. I have some titles that are perma free. My hope is that people will download those and then look to see what other books I have available for purchase. Does that actually happen? Sometimes. And other times I get emails from readers asking where they can get my other books for free. Now, I say my opinion changed last week and here's why. I got an email through Goodreads from someone I didn't know. They'd read one of my reviews and asked if I knew where to get the book for free. My initial reaction was to scream. This author is a friend of mine. Writing is her job. So, yeah, I got upset. Every day people spend countless dollars at Starbucks (Nothing wrong if that's you. I'm a huge coffee drinker.) for a coffee that will be gone in a matter of minutes. But they won't purchase a book that will entertain them for hours, even days—or in the event that they love it, over and over again for many years to come. That bothers me.

Now I get that money can be tight. I've been there. But here's what I did when I was in that situation. I went to the library. If I wanted to read a book that wasn't on the shelves, I put in a request for it. And guess what? The library will most likely purchase the book for you and others to read. It's a win for everyone.

So where do I stand on free books? I'm glad I have some titles available for free. I have no plans to change that. But if a book you want to read isn't free, please either purchase it or request it from your library. Authors work really hard, and everyone deserves to be paid for their hard work.

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9. Monday Mishmash 3/9/15


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. Editing  I'm still booked with edits. I've been a busy editor this year.
  2. Taxes  My taxes are finished! Yay! I hate sitting through having them done, so I'm glad this is over for the year.
  3. Looking For Love Blog Tour  This weekend I finished my posts for the Looking For Love blog tour. I can't believe this book is releasing in 8 days!
  4. Good New I Can't Share Yet  I know that's cruel, but I have good news. No, it's not a book deal. This is different, but I'm equally excited about it. I'll share as soon as I can.
  5. The Darkness Within Trailer  Last Friday, Spencer Hill Press released my new trailer for The Darkness Within. Here it is if you missed it:
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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10. Friday Feature: Don't Forget To Breathe



Sixteen-year-old Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s bloody body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind and then everything fades to black.

After a year of retrograde amnesia and battling personal demons, Leo’s dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. More bodies are discovered and they seem to be oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

When Leo allows her friend, Henry to drag her into the haunted Lucien Mansion, misty ghosts appear, ghosts that just might lead to her mother’s murderer.

Will Leo let her memories threaten her into a relapse or, will she fight to find her mother’s killer – only to become his next victim?

Anyone else in love with this cover? I am!

Excerpt:
Moonlight played tricks with my eyes as we circumvented gravestones like an obstacle course, and pluming fog licked our legs as misty ghosts danced on marbleized stones. My breath shuddered as Henry bypassed me, leading the way. “Hurry—” he whispered and nudged my shoulder.
I picked up the pace and cranked my head to the left. Dark moving shapes appeared in the distance and moaning floated past my ears, probably the wind or just my imagination? Goose flesh pebbled my skin as I stumbled over an urn. Henry lugged me up urging me on.
“What are we running from?” I gasped quietly so not to wake the dead. 
“Them—over there.” Henry jerked his chin, the lenses of his glasses captured raining moonbeams. “I think it’s cops.”
His hand reached back, palm up. I latched hold. “Why would police be patrolling the cemetery?”
We whipped around a mammoth tombstone, a squared foundation for a glorious angel. He halted and threw me unceremoniously to solid concrete. My heartbeat migrated up my esophagus. Henry covered my mouth with his hand. “Sh-h...don’t breathe so loud.”
My pumping lungs slowed as I stabilized my swallows of air. Henry squashed his body into mine. A tad too close. His speedy heartbeat harmonizing with my own while cold leached into my back. I cringed at the discomfort of my head pressed between his chest and the stone. 

Buy it on Amazon.


You can find Cathrina here:


Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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11. Writer Wednesday: Wattpad

2015 is the year of branching out for me. I'm trying new ways to reach readers. My latest venture is with Wattpad. I wasn't very familiar with this platform, but I know a lot of readers are there grabbing free samples of books. So I thought why not?

I joined and got permission from the very awesome people at Spencer Hill Press to upload my two FREE Touch of Death series companions, which are also available on the SHP website. 

The first is Curse of Death, which is the myth behind the series. It shows why I love Medusa and feel she was wrongfully cursed. 
The second is Kiss of Death, which is a prequel novella told from Alex's POV, because I just love Alex and his story needed to be told pre-Jodi.

So what does this mean? I'm not entirely sure yet, but I'm hoping to reach new readers and introduce them to my work. I'll keep you posted on how it's going. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Wattpad here and to read my free stories.

Are you on Wattpad? Feel free to leave your link in the comments so I can follow you. If you aren't, what do you think of a site that allows you to sample an author's work?

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12. Monday Mishmash 3/2/15


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. Migraines  Last week I had two awful headaches. One was a migraine that left me unable to do anything and up all night sick from the pain. I'm hoping this week passes without any headaches, because I have work to do.
  2. Editing  More edits on my plate this week. :)
  3. Taxes  My tax forms took a long time getting to me this year. I'm usually finished with this process by now. I need to schedule an appointment soon.
  4. FREE Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
  5. Thunderclap  I still need help reaching my goal off 100 supporters for my Thunderclap campaign for Looking For Love. Click "Join this Thunderclap" on the image below and sign up to allow Thunderclap to post this message for you. Once you're signed up, you don't have to do anything else. It's that simple. I hope you'll consider signing up. If I'm short of my goal, the campaign won't post. :( 

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

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13. Friday Feature: Love, Lattes and Mutants by Sandra Cox



Finding love is hard, even when you aren’t a mutant.


Like most seventeen-year-olds, Piper Dunn wants to blend in with the crowd. Having a blowhole is a definite handicap. A product of a lab-engineered mother with dolphin DNA, Piper spends her school days hiding her brilliant ocean-colored eyes and sea siren voice behind baggy clothing and ugly glasses. When Tyler, the new boy in school, zeroes in on her, ignoring every other girl vying for his attention, no one, including Piper, understands why

Then Piper is captured on one of her secret missions rescuing endangered sea creatures and ends up in the same test center where her mother was engineered. There she discovers she isn’t the only one of her kind. Joel is someone she doesn’t have to hide from, and she finds herself drawn to the dolph-boy who shares her secrets. Talking to him is almost as easy as escaping from the lab. Deciding which boy has captured her heart is another story


Buy the book:

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.



Find Sandra online:
Blog

And Sandra has a giveaway with some awesome prizes:
A Piper-approved necklace and $10 Starbuck Card

A Piper-approved bracelet
Enter on the rafflecopter form:


Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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14. Writer Wednesday: Thunderclap


If you're like me, you're always looking for new ways to promote your work and reach more readers. Well, I've taken part in supporting several authors via Thunderclap campaigns before, but I've never done one for a book of my own. Until now.

I decided to try Thunderclap for my upcoming release, Looking For Love (an Ashelyn Drake contemporary romance). If you aren't familiar with Thunderclap, here's how it works. You sign up for an account, which is free. You can upgrade and pay for more services, but I honestly didn't see the need to do so. My free account was approved in under an hour, and it was up and running after that. I was asked to give a short bio—only a sentence or two—name my campaign, give a description of the book I'm promoting, and enter a tweetable message. Simple.

Here's where the tricky part comes in. Thunderclap asks you to find 100 people to support your campaign. In order to support they have to agree to let Thunderclap display your tweetable message on their FB, Twitter, and/or Tumblr account on the date you pick. People can choose to support you on all three platforms and that will actually get you more entries. BUT…and this is a big but, if you don't find 100 people to support you, nothing happens. :( Yup. It's either a success or nothing at all.

The theory is that by sending out this message across 100 platforms at once, you are reaching a much bigger audience than you normally would. In theory it's great. Will it work for me? I have no idea, but I'm hoping so.

Want to help me reach my 100 supporters? Click "Join this Thunderclap" on the image below and sign up to allow Thunderclap to post this message for you. Once you're signed up, you don't have to do anything else. It's that simple. I hope you'll consider signing up.

Have you used Thunderclap? What do you think of this method for sharing information?

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15. Monday Mishmash 2/23/15


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 daughter's birthday  My daughter turns eight on Thursday! I can't believe it. We're having a party on Saturday, and she's really excited. It's Monster High themed, of course. ;)
  2. Editing  I've got a full week with edits again. 2015 has been non-stop editing.
  3. Drafting  I surpassed the 40K mark on my WIP this weekend. I have a feeling I'm going to have to put it aside until I get some of these edits off my plate over the next two weeks.
  4. Less than a month until the release of Looking For Love  I'm getting everything together for the release of Looking For Love. The blog tour is in process, and the teaser quotes are ready to go. :)
  5. Giveaways  I have two giveaways going on right now, but you have to be a member of my street team to enter. If you aren't a member but would like to join, you can do so here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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16. Friday Feature: Super Bad by Kai Strand




It's hard to be good when it's so much fun to be bad

Excerpt from Super Bad:

After sliding the card out of the envelope, she stared at it for so long Lexa finally said, “Well?”
Sandra glanced at her friend before frowning again at the card. Finally she handed it to Lexa and stared at the flowers.

Seeing you last night was as refreshing as the clean smell after a rainstorm.
—Set

Lexi’s lip curled up. “What does this mean?”
“I’m not sure.” Sandra spoke tentatively. “He obviously has a thing for weather.”
“And you,” Lexa said.
“Maybe.”
Lexa rolled her eyes. “What do you mean, maybe? He became a stalker at the party last night, and now he’s sent you your very first flowers.”
Sandra shook her head. “There’s something…I don’t know.”
A thought somewhere deep in her gray matter teased her, but kept getting overridden by images of Set’s beautiful face lowering toward hers in the dark of the hedge cave. She mentally scolded herself to focus, but then she remembered the feel of his power pulsing from him and making her skin thrum when he came within a few inches of her, and her concentration scattered.
She shook her head not wanting to relive those memories. “I don’t know. I don’t really think it’s me he wants.”
Lexa smelled an oversized rose unfurled in full bloom in the middle of a bouquet that somehow looked like a summer storm stuffed into a vase—all whites and lavenders, purples and deep blues. “It sure looks like he’s focused on you, Sand.”

SUPER BAD The unexpected conclusion to the Super Villain Academy series.

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”
***
Super Bad is scheduled for release in June, but there have been whispers of it releasing sooner. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to Kai’s mailing list and be among the first to know.
***
King of Bad - Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?

Polar Opposites - Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?
***
Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ecopy of either King of Bad or Polar Opposites. Plenty of chances to win. Open internationally. Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.
Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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17. Writer Wednesday: Text-to-Speech Proofreading


Two weeks ago I mentioned that you should always read your book aloud during revisions because it allows you to hear errors. Well, today I want to take that a step further, and here's why. It's already been proven that the human brain can read misspelled words as long as the first and last letter are in the correct places. Well, think about this. You've read your own book countless times and know the story so well, that your brain is also filling in missing words. So what do you do?

Some people hire editors. If you are self-publishing, I highly recommend this. And not just because I am an editor. You are too close to your manuscript to find errors. Your brain will fill in what your fingers either didn't type or typed incorrectly. So having an editor is a must for self-publishing. (If you aren't self-publishing, get a few beta readers and/or CPs.) However…editors are human too. Yes, we do our best to make your work as error free as possible, but our brains work like yours. I read every book I edit twice. On the second time through, I know your story. That means my brain may fill in gaps (missing words or letters) just like yours will. Think about how many published books (even by the big five) still have an error or two in them. This is why.

What now? Ereaders have a cool feature that can help. It's the text-to-speech function. Over the past few weeks, this has become my favorite final pass on manuscripts. I send the Word document to my Kindle. (Handy tip: If you email the document to your Kindle with the word "Convert" in the subject line—don't actually use quotes, though—your Kindle will convert the document's formatting to make it look nice on your Kindle.) Then I let my Kindle read the book to me while I'm looking at it on the Kindle and following along. I have the Word document open on my laptop at the same time, so that when I hear a mistake, I can pause my Kindle and fix the error on my document.

While proofing the ARC of Looking For Love, my Kindle let me know I misspelled Harvard. Hearing Havard jumped right out at my ears, but not my eyes or my proofreader's eyes. So this is my new favorite proofreading method.

Have you used the text-to-speech feature to help you proofread?

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18. Monday Mishmash 2/16/15


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. Drafting  I didn't get much drafting in last week because I had so many client edits. I think I wrote about 3,500 words and that was all on Friday. This week I'm hoping to write more.
  2. New Agency Sibling  If you didn't hear the good news, DL Hammons announced that he's signed on with my agent, Sarah Negovetich. I'm so happy for DL, who runs the Blog Blitz I'm part of and Write Club. Congrats again, DL!
  3. Editing  I have more edits on my plate this week. 2015 has really been the year of editing for me so far.
  4. Beware the Little White Rabbit Animated Cover  By now, you probably know I'm an editor for Leap Books. Well, I'm editing this amazing anthology that just got an animated cover. Check it out. (If you don't see the animation, click on the image.)
  5. Looking For Love Cover Reveal  Last Friday, I revealed the cover of the final installment in the Campus Crush Companion Series (written as Ashelyn Drake). In case you missed it, here it is:
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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19. Monday Mishmash 2/2/15


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. Editing  I'm booked with edits again this month. The end of 2014 must have been very busy for a lot of writers because I'm editing book after book. :)
  2. Scholastic Book Fair  It's still going on thanks to all the snow days last week. I was a little sad because books I was looking forward to weren't there. My daughter's school only goes to fifth grade so some of the MG books weren't at our fair. :(
  3. Making Book Trailers  I'm working on the trailer for The Darkness Within. This one is proving to be tough! Wish me luck, please.
  4. Busy Month  With Looking For Love (Ashelyn Drake NA romance title) releasing March 17th, I'm busy getting everything ready. Look for a cover reveal on February 13th.
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out today. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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20. Writer Wednesday: How to Use a Book Trailer


Today's topic came by request from Kai Strand. Kai wanted to know how to use a book trailer for marketing. Now this is just my opinion, but here's how I think you can use a trailer.
  • Host a trailer reveal  Get some bloggers on board to post your trailer on a specific day or week. This will drum up additional interest in your book and get the word out there between the cover reveal and release day.
  • Start a YouTube Channel  Tons of people are on YouTube, and trailers give you material to post to your channel. Why not be a part of this huge platform?
  • Post your trailer to your website, blog, Amazon author page, etc.  Just about every social media outlet online has a place to upload videos, so go nuts! Get that video up everywhere! Plus if you post to FB or Twitter, others can share your video, too.
  • Post a link or embed the video in your author newsletter  Newsletter subscribers love to get sneak peeks at what you're doing, so reward them with an exclusive first look at your trailer.
Now, do I think book trailers help sales? Not really. But they are fun to make, and they are another way to spread the word about your book, so why not utilize this method of getting your book out there?

Have any other ideas for how you can use a book trailer? Please share in the comments.

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21. Friday Feature: Wishing For You Cover Reveal



Check out the cover of book two in the I Wish series by Elizabeth Langston!


Paperback: 320 pages
Expected publication: October 13, 2015 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN13:  9781633920279

With high school graduation only months away, Kimberley Rey is eager to discover what her future holds. The next big decision is rapidly approaching--where to apply to college. But this choice is complicated by a memory disability. How will her struggles to remember affect her once she moves away from home?

Help arrives through an unexpected and supernatural gift. Grant is a “genie” with rules. He can give her thirty wishes (one per day for a month) as long as the tasks are humanly possible. Kimberley knows just what to ask for—lessons in how to live on her own.

But her wishes change when she discovers that a good friend has been diagnosed with a devastating illness. As she joins forces with Grant to help her friend, Kimberley learns that the ability to live in the moment—to forget—may be more valuable than she ever knew.

Through Valentine's Day I Wish (book one) is on sale on AmazonB&N, and iBooks.  


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22. Monday Mishmash 2/9/15


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. Editing  Still working on client edits. My clients are keeping me busy.
  2. Looking For Love Cover Reveal  This Friday is the cover reveal! If you requested an ARC, you'll also receive that on Friday. Want to take part in the reveal and/or sign up for an ARC? Click here.
  3. Reading  With all the editing I'm doing, my reading is taking a hit. Yes, I know I'm technically reading in order to edit, but I have a ton of books staring at me from my shelf wanting to be read.
  4. Castle of Sighs Cover Reveal Countdown  I've seen the cover already and I can tell you it's amazing. I'm helping Jennifer Murgia countdown to reveal day. 
  5. The Darkness Within Trailer Reveal March 6th  Along with Spencer Hill Press, I'll be revealing the trailer for The Darkness Within on March 6th. Want to participate? Sign up on the form here:

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

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23. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

I know I don't normally post on Tuesdays, but today is a very special day. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

That means that today only it's $1.99. The sequel comes out in June, so if you haven't read The Monster Within yet, get it today!

Here's the blurb to remind you what this book is about:
The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong. She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she's tortured by visions--glimpses into her victims would have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches. But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Also, if you'd like to help me spread the word (and I'd totally love you even more for that) you can share this pre-made tweet/FB post:

The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal today! Get your copy for only $1.99!!! ‪#‎yalit‬ ‪#‎KindleDailyDeal‬ ‪#‎witches‬ http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Within-Kelly-Hashway-ebook/dp/B00KE4RL72

The book has already broken into 3 categories on Amazon, so thank you to everyone who has grabbed a copy at the sale price. Let's see if we can get this ranking even lower! :)

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24. Writer Wednesday: Taking Time to Say Thank You

I had a very different post planned for today, but that will have to wait until next week because this is too important for me not to post immediately. I have to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who stops by my blog each week. Thank you to everyone who reads my books. Thank you to everyone who promotes my work. Thank you to everyone I've met along my writing career.

Why am I so thankful today? Because yesterday this happened:
This can't happen without those people—without you. It's not a secret that my goal is to make the NYT bestseller list. Sometimes I get so caught up in that dream that I forget to stop and look at my journey so far. This is my third ribbon on Amazon. Now Stalked by Death, Touch of Death, and The Monster Within have all gotten ribbons (two golds and a bronze). Am I a NYT bestseller? No, but that's okay. I'll keep reaching for that goal, but in the meantime, I'm really happy with what I have accomplished. 

So thank you, because I couldn't be here without you. Without your encouragement and support. If I could wrap you all in a hug right now, I would. Since I can't, I'm sending virtual hugs and an invitation to call on me any time you need. I'm always here to support all of you as well.

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25. Friday Feature: Elemental Series by Elana Johnson



About ELEMENTAL RUSH: Eighteen-year-old Adam Gillman has trained for twelve years to earn a coveted spot on the Supreme Elemental’s elite sentry squad. His brother, Felix, is the commander, but Adam is still thrilled when his official assignment to serve Alexander Pederson comes.

He moves into nicer quarters and can stop getting up at four a.m. to complete his mandated work out time. He still rises early though, because he needs the solitude of early morning to practice his airmaking Element—something that Adam has kept secret from everyone, even Felix, because he can’t be both an Airmaker and a sentry.

When Alex assigns him to kill a group of rogue Elementals, he balks at completing his mission for the first time. See, his only friend is Isaiah Hawking, and he’s the Earthmover on the accused Council. When faced with the prospect of killing him, Adam finds he can’t do it.

He’s well trained in assassination, but he thought he’d be murdering bad guys—not innocents.

When Alex buries the Elemental Academy—and kills over one thousand Elementals—in a fit of rage, Adam’s loyalty cracks. When he discovers that Alex is really a woman, and his brother’s lover, he defects. He hops from city to city, from Elemental school to Elemental school, always escaping only minutes before Felix can embed a knife in his heart or a tsunami can make a classroom his watery grave.

He tries to fight back, but he’s just one Airmaster with exceptional tracking skills. He does his best to warn those in danger, but as the last Elemental school goes up in flames, he knows he needs to get some real firepower on his side.

ELEMENTAL RUSH is a prequel novella to the full-length futuristic fantasy novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER.



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About ELEMENTAL HUNGER: The second installment in the Elemental series, a new futuristic fantasy for young adults and new adults from acclaimed author Elana Johnson, ELEMENTAL HUNGER is a full-length novel that continues the story that began in ELEMENTAL RUSH, an Elemental novella.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Look for the third and final installment, ELEMENTAL RELEASE, the final Elemental novella.


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About ELEMENTAL RELEASE: Two months after returning to the capital city of Tarpulin with a Council of his own, Airmaster Adam Gillman is ready to start repairing the relationships in his life. Up first: his Councilman and the girl he’d like to be more than friends with, Gabriella Kilpatrick.

But first, he has to figure out how to be the Airmaster his Firemaker needs. In order to do that, Adam attends Elemental training and discovers that to truly command the air, he must first be in control of his emotions. And in order to master those, he has to grieve for the loss of Hanai, make amends with his brother, and earn the trust of Gabby.

Amidst all that, Adam must also learn how to grapple with the jet stream, because a dangerous Airmaster is loose in Tarpulin. And Adam will need to find his emotional center in order to work with the atmosphere and defeat the threat.


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About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog and WriteOnCon, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.


Social Media Links:
League of Extraordinary Writers: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.com/

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