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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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1. Friday Feature: Lizzie & McKenzie's Fabulous Adventures


Today I'm happy to share a book I've had the pleasure of reading. The story is fun and has a great message. Check out Lizzie & McKenzie's Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid by Dina Tate!


Imagine if all the little girls of the world looked alike. If the Same Glam Goddess gets her way, it can surely happen. McKenzie Rivers, the pint-sized daredevil, and Lizzie Sanders, who loves all things frilly, aren’t afraid of being different. And that’s exactly why Princess Lovina of Exquisite City calls upon them to stop the Same Glam Goddess from making all the little girls of the world look the same. With the aid of their magical lovely lockets and fierce diva weaponry, Lizzie and McKenzie will travel the world to find the Seven Crystals of Sisterhood. Their first stop is the magical city of Madrid. Lizzie and McKenzie will need help to obtain the crystals before the Same Glam Goddess gets her hands on them. If the crystals are not found, little girls all over the world will remain under the spell of the Same Glam Goddess and will lose their identities forever! Will Lizzie and McKenzie be able to find the crystals, break the spell, and stop the Same Glam Goddess?

Amazon
http://amzn.to/2cLG1VR - Soft/Hardcover

Barnes & Noble
http://bit.ly/2d3atWs Soft/ Hardcover

You can also check out Dina's website at lizzieandmckenzie.com to read the 1st chapter!

Dina Cherice Tate spent her childhood reading, writing short stories, climbing stuff with her six older brothers and becoming a cartoon fanatic, which became the perfect groundwork for writing a chapter book series. Today she is an amateur photographer, traveler and has taken her love of Japanese animation and comics to another level. Dina is an Adjunct Instructor at New York University School of Professional Studies. While fine-tuning her writing skills, she won the Andrea Davis Pinkney Chapter Book Writing Scholarship; The Chapter Book Alchemist - Children’s Book Academy.


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

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2. Writer Wednesday: A New Release Every Two Months?


Now that I'm officially going indie, I can do exciting things like set my own production schedule. Why is this so exciting? Because over the years, I've had to either months between releases or releases stacked so close together it was tough to market my books. No more.

I have 2017 and 2018 mapped out and my release schedule looks like this:
January 
April 
July 
October

That's two months between releases. Will it be tough? Yes! But I think the schedule is going to keep readers happy, and I work better on a schedule so I think I'll be happy too.

Right now, my January 2017 release is so close to being completely finished (and it's only September!). My April release is with my editor, and I'll be polishing up my July release to get that ready for my editor as well. Things are looking good so far. :)

Do you like when authors release books a few months apart?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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3. Monday Mishmash: 9/26/16


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. Only One Week Until After Loving You Releases!  I can't believe October 3rd is almost here! 
  2. Editing  I'm finishing up a client edit this week in time for a new one on October 1st.
  3. Two Work Days With Extended Hours  This week my daughter has student council and chorus after school, so thus begins my longer work hours on Tuesdays AND Wednesdays. 
  4. 2017 Publication Schedule  I'm going to be releasing books every two months in 2017. Stay tuned for more information on that this Wednesday.
  5. Fall!  My favorite season is here! I love the smell of fall, specifically the smell of October. October has been my favorite month all my life. There's something special about it.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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4. Friday Feature: Sundials and White Cats


Thanks so much for hosting me, Kelly.  I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and the folks that follow your blog.  Some of whom I know, some who I look forward to getting to know.

Today, I’d like to mention a few brief facts about white cats.



White cats are unique in the fact that they’re prone to deafness, especially if they’re blue-eyed.  They’re also prone to skin cancer.  In some cultures white cats are considered good luck.

But what do white cats have to do with sundials?   In general nothing, in this particular story it’s the pet that leads the protagonist, Sarah Miles, to discover the sundial.   




He came through time to find her.

As Sarah Miles drives down Eighteenth Street a stranger materializes in front of her car. She throws on her brakes, braces for impact and...drives straight through him. For a brief moment, his voice echoes in her head, "Saura." Then he's gone. Later that day, she discovers the SUNDIAL and her incredible journey through time begins.

Excerpt:
“Meghan, don’t try to come through this, you’ll get scratched. I’m getting the pesky cat and coming out.”

When in trouble, Monet was the pesky cat, the damn cat, or the bad cat.

She walkedover and bent down to pick him up. A flash of color blinded her. She blinked then squinted. For the first time, she saw that Monet had plopped down beside an old sundial.

“Meghan, come here. You’ve got to see this,” she called out.

Meghan gave an exaggerated sigh. “You said not to come in.”

“I’ve found an old sundial. Or rather Monet has.”

“A real one? The rustling began again as Meghan started pushing her way through.

Appears so.” She squatted down to study it. “Looks to be a hundred years old. I bet it’s valuable. You should see the intricate detail. This will make a great piece to paint!”

Words embossed the face of the dial. “There’s writing on it. She read aloud, “Fate cannot be...drat, moss has grown over the rest of the words.”

A wave of superstitious terror washed over Meghan. Suddenly, the pieces all fell into place. And as the old woman prophesied, she believed.

“Sarah, don’t. Get out of there now. Please, Sarah, please,” she cried, her teeth chattering.

What’s wrong with you?

“There’s actuallyheat radiating from it. Surprising, it’s not that warm out.”

“Sarah, please, don’t you remember what the old lady said?” She fought her way throughthe overgrowth, barely feeling the scratches a thorny branch left on her face or the warm blood trickling down her cheek. The thicket conspired to keep her out.

Tears streamed down her face as she pushed at the bracken separating herself and her aunt.

She broke through just as Sarah reached down to brush the moss from the sundial.

“No, Sarah, no,” she screamed.

Later her mind would play the scene over again in slow motion: Sarah’s hand as it reachedout; Monet jumping playfully at her fingers,bringing them both in touch with the sundial; the boom; the jagged streak of white; and then nothing. They were gone, leaving Meghan alone in the clearing with the sundial.


Sundial is on sale for .99 September 19-25 at Amazon.
Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. The last animal member of the family, a kitten, came hurtling out of the woods in southern Illinois to land at her feet. He made the trek back to North Carolina, with her and her husband, and wasted no time settling into the household.

Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.


*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: Self-Publishing Costs


With the number of authors moving in the direction of self-publishing, I've decided to share some things you should know before you dive into self-publishing as an option.

First, understand that the costs are all on you. You are the publisher, so you are responsible for editing, cover design, formatting, and promotion. The good news is that you get to make all the decisions and hire the people you want to help you with your book. Let's break down the big costs involved.

Editing:  There are a lot of great editors out there and their rates differ. You have to do your research and find one that's affordable and offering the type of edits you're looking for. Don't skimp on editing though. I'm not just saying that because I'm an editor. I'm saying it because every author (I don't care if you're famous or not) needs an editor.

Cover Design:  Again, there are a ton of designers out there and they all have different prices. Premade covers are also an option, and they are less expensive. The difficult part is finding one that works for your book. Join some Facebook groups for cover design. Designers post covers, sales, and even ask for suggestions for future premades. They're also happy to work with you on custom made covers.

Formatting:  I know a lot of authors who do their own formatting. Print is a pain, but it's not that difficult. You can teach yourself to do it. There are tons of programs to download and convert your file to all the different ebook files, too. Or you can hire a formatter. I hire a formatter for my ebooks and I format my print books myself.

Promotion:  This is the one that makes all our eyes twitch. I have a social media manager, and she's worth way more than her weight in gold. You can hire a publicist or blog tour companies, or you can choose to do the promotional efforts on your own. Just keep in mind they take a lot of time, so plan accordingly. Advertising is available on Facebook, newsletter subscriptions, and book sites. Teaming up with other authors to offer a big giveaway is also great for exposure and it's inexpensive.

Now this is just touching the surface, but I hope it gives you and idea of what to expect when you go into self-publishing. Yes, you will have to put out money, but the good news is that whatever money comes in from sales is all yours. See which efforts work well for you and where you need to focus that money. It took me years, but I taught myself cover design. I'm lucky enough to have a graphic artist for a sister and she bails me out when I can't do something, but you can learn different aspects of this business and lessen costs that way. I've been on both sides of publishing, and I've made it a point to learn every step along the way. The experience has been so valuable.


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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6. Monday Mishmash 9/19/16


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. Motley Education Cover Reveal  I'm so excited to share the cover of SA Larsen's upcoming middle grade title through Leap Books. I fell in love with this book and new I needed to acquire it for Leap Books, Seek. Here's Motley Education: 


  2. Editing  I finished one client edit this weekend and now I'm on to the next.
  3. Picture Day  I'm helping out with picture day at my daughter's school tomorrow.
  4. Longer Work Days  My daughter was elected student council class rep and she joined chorus, so my work days are longer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays now since she'll be staying after school for those clubs. I miss her already, but oh the possibilities for more work to be done!
  5. Two Weeks Until After Loving You 

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

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7. Friday Feature: Timeless Cover Reveal


TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal



Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.



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8. Writer Wednesday: When You Have to Put A Draft On Hold


I used to think there was nothing worse than having to put an unfinished manuscript aside, but I've come to change my mind about this. With my editing schedule, I often have to write in sprints and then put a manuscript away until my next small break between edits. At first I hated this and I'd give up sleep to finish a draft before the next edit landed in my inbox. Not anymore.

I've found that I love returning to an unfinished story. I get fresh ideas about the plot and characters, and knowing I only have half or a quarter of the book left to write is exciting and totally doable on a time restraint. So I'm not stressing anymore. If I have to put a book aside,  I know I'll come back to it.

Do you ever have to put an unfinished draft aside? How do you feel about it?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post. 

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9. Monday Mishmash 9/12/16


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 Boxset Preorder Only $.99!  My publisher has put the Into the Fire trilogy into a boxset. It's set to release September 20th, but if you preorder it, you can get all three books for only $.99! You have to grab it before September 20th though, so grab it now here
  2. Into the Fire FREE on September 13th!  The deals don't stop! If you aren't sure about spending $.99 for the boxset, you can try Into the Fire absolutely FREE on Tuesday, September 13. Grab it here.
  3. Scholastic Book Fair  I'll be working the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school this week. You know what that means. Books!!!
  4. School Visit  I'm visiting my daughter's fourth grade class on Wednesday to talk about writing. Hopefully I don't embarrass her. ;)
  5. Editing  In addition to the book fair and school visit this week, I have a client edit to work on.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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10. Friday Feature: Tangled Lines


Today I'm happy to share a Leap Books, Seek title I had the pleasure of editing. Take a look at Tangled Lines by Bonnie Doerr.



A string of islands, a knot of criminals, and two teens to untie it. 

High school changes everything for Kenzie Ryan and Angelo Sanchez—especially their relationship. After spending all summer cracking crimes against endangered wildlife in Big Pine Key, Florida, now they barely see each other. Angelo hangs out with a Porsche-driving quarterback and a stunning local “Conch princess” and Kenzie struggles with being a newbie among the Key West cliques. 

But high school drama gets overshadowed when horrific numbers of pelicans are found tortured near the islands where they live. Kenzie begs Angelo to help stop the slaughter, but he refuses until a stunning family secret is revealed. 

When a Sanchez Fish House employee falls under suspicion, the list of suspects explodes, and the discovery of illegal activity exposes Angelo and Kenzie to the same deadly risk faced by the pelicans they are trying to save... 

Bonnie J. Doerr, nature lover and gardener, grew up in western Maryland. Since leaving home, she has lived in eight of the United States. Degrees in reading education, combined with a brief post as a science teacher, led her to write ecological adventure/mysteries. Years of teaching and living in the Florida Keys provided irresistible material. Her books celebrate caring, involved, "green" teens who take action with attitude and a touch of romance. Her work has been honored by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) with a grant for its use in environmental education and has been included in Milkweed Editions literary field guides. She now lives in a log cabin in North Carolina. Island Sting, was released in January 2010 by Leap Books,LLC and was EPIC's 2011 eBook Award winner for outstanding children's book. Stakeout, second in her ecological adventure/mystery series, was a 2011 summer release and one of six finalists for the 2012 YA Green Earth award. Tangled Lines, third in the series, was released August of 2016.

Website: http://www.bonniedoerrbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbonniejdoerr

*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: Going Indie

I recently made a big decision for my writing career. I've decided to go indie. Why now after I've had many books traditionally published? To be honest, I've been burned too many times in this industry. I know as writers we aren't supposed to talk about this, but I'm going to anyway. I've been burned by both publishers. And it hurts. Really hurts. As writers we put our dreams in the hands of others and sometimes that works out great. I've had some really great experiences. Fantastic support and more than I've ever dreamed possible.

But that isn't always the case. Sometimes your dreams are shattered by the people you thought were going to help you succeed. I will not be naming names because that isn't the point of this post and I choose to focus on those who have helped me succeed and for whom I'm forever grateful. The point of the post is that I finally realized I have to do what's best for me, and right now, that's going indie. I want control over my career. Yes, it's a lot of work. A LOT! But I've worked in this industry long enough that I've been involved in each aspect of publishing, and I believe I'm ready to take on this challenge. And it will be a challenge. I have no doubt about that.

Does this mean I'll never seek a traditional deal again? Of course not. I've learned not to say "never" because it's like tempting the devil. ;) But for now, I'm going indie and I'm really excited about it.

What decision have you made lately that was tough but for the betterment of your career?


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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12. Monday Mishmash 9/5/16


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. The Secret Sister  In case you missed my post last week, my daughter's first book is now available on Smashwords. You can download it FREE on Smashwords or Barnes and Noble. The book is also available on iBooks, but I can't link to it.
  2. Editing  I'm working on a rather large client edit this month. I see lots of hazelnut coffee in my future. :)
  3. Kelly's Coven Giveaway  I'm running another giveaway exclusive to my street team, Kelly's Coven. The prizes are pretty awesome too. If you want to join my street team and get in on this, you can request to join the FB group here.
  4. After Loving You Preorder on B&N  I didn't have the preorder link for B&N during the cover reveal, but I have it now. If you need the book on Nook, you can preorder it here.
  5. e-ARCs for After Loving You  If you signed up to read and post an honest review of After Loving You, you should have your e-ARC by now. If you haven't signed up but want to read and review the book, you can still sign up here.
  6. Announcement Coming Wednesday  I'm making an announcement right here on Wednesday. Make sure you stop back to hear my news.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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13. Friday Feature: Piper Morgan (And Some Great Advice By Stephanie Faris)




When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!



In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?


Stephanie Faris is here to talk to you all about a topic that I think is brilliant and extremely helpful for all writers. So sit back and enjoy!

Why Reading Outside Your Genre Can Make Your Writing Stronger
by Stephanie Faris
I love my blog friends. Among us there are those who write children’s, middle-grade, YA, paranormal, adventure, horror, and romance, just to name a few genres. That means when I read my friends’ books, I often get to take a break from girly children’s fiction and read a wide variety of other things.
When I was younger, I thought that would hurt me but I’ve come to realize it only helps. Fiction, at its very foundation, is made up of similar elements. The conflict in a mystery novel may be different from what you’d find in a fantasy novel, but there are similar emotions, challenges, and resolutions. By reading these other books, you learn more about what you want to write.
What do I mean by this? Let’s take Kelly’s Into the Fire as an example. Her main character, Cara, is on the verge of transforming into a Phoenix. Knowing the end of her time as herself is near, she feels conflicted about the feelings she’s developing for the new guy in town.
I’ve never written a book with a character who is on the verge of becoming a Phoenix. I have, however, written romances where a couple is kept apart through extenuating circumstances. In the type of fiction I write, though, that conflict would likely be in the form of protecting a career or not wanting to hurt a loved one.
Even in the tween books I write, romance is a no-no. However, many of the conflicts I read about in romance novels can translate to the trauma friendships suffer in sixth and seventh grade. The girls in my characters may have crushes, even though they never develop into a real romance. Conflict can exist there, as well.
Reading anything can also help improve your own prose. I love Harlan Coben’s mysteries and even though they’re completely different from the books I write, he makes me want to be a better writer. He has a way of phrasing things that is just so beautiful that you can’t help but want to push yourself to be that good. And that, in my opinion, is what becoming a better writer is all about.

Because Stephanie is so awesome, she is hosting a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and autographed copies of her books. Enter here:



Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


*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. Introducing Author Ayla Hashway

I couldn't be happier to post today. My daughter, Ayla, received her paperback proof of her first book, The Secret Sister, yesterday and it's gorgeous! I'm so proud of all the hard work she put into this book. She spent her summer writing and reading as much as she could, and she really learned a lot—including how to overcome writer's block.

Together, we decided that she's going to keep her amateur status and make the ebook free. Print copies will be made for family and friends, but she won't make any money from them. This experience is about learning to write well, sharing her love of stories, and being proud of the accomplishment of writing a book. And that's a HUGE accomplishment. Did I mention she's only nine?


And yes, she's my new favorite author.

So without further ado, check out the gorgeous cover of The Secret Sister!


And here are some pictures of the paperback.




The ebook is already up on Smashwords and ready for download. And once again, it's FREE, so grab your copy here.

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15. Monday Mishmash 8/29/16


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. First Day of School :(  I'm one of those mothers who cries on the ride home from dropping my daughter off at school on the first day every year. It doesn't matter how old she gets or that I know she has a ton of friends. She's my best bud and I miss her like crazy.
  2. After Loving You Cover Reveal  If you missed the cover reveal for After Loving You this past weekend, here it is! You can preorder your copy today here
  3. Back to My Usual Schedule  Now that school is back in session, my writing/editing schedule is too. The days always feel so long this time of year because I'm not used to working for five and a half hours straight after breaking up my time during the summer.
  4. Editing  My editing schedule is packed from now through January. That's good though because I need to make money, right?
  5. WIP Put on Hold  I've written quite a bit this year, so I don't feel bad that I have to put my current WIP on hold in order to edit for clients. I might work on it slowly (a few thousand words a day), but we'll see.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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16. After Loving You Cover Reveal!

It's finally here! Cover reveal day for After Loving You, my Ashelyn Drake new adult romance. Check it out!


When Mia Thompson and Jared Grande break up before college, they think that’s the end for them. 

But two years later, Mia is stalking Jared’s Facebook page and he’s contacting her every chance he gets. Even though they’re both seeing other people, they can’t seem to say good-bye to the past they shared. 

One way or another, they’ll have to figure out how to love again. Is it time to get back together or time to move on? 

This title will release on October 3, 2016, but you can preorder your copy today here.

I'm going to be hosting some really awesome giveaways coming up soon, but you must be subscribed to my newsletter for one and a member of my street team, Kelly's Coven, for the other. If you're interested, you can sign up for my newsletter here. I only send out newsletters when I have something new to share with you and they almost always include a free book or giveaway for you. If you'd like to be part of my street team, Kelly's Coven, and help me spread the word about my books (as well as get exclusive giveaways, sneak peeks at my upcoming books, and talk to me whenever you'd like), you can join the Facebook group here.

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17. Writer Wednesday: Where It All Begins


It's my daughter's last week of summer break, and we've been busy formatting her first book and reading. She read three books in two days! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see her love of the written word. She's even writing news articles--okay, so they're about Monster High dolls, but she's nine. ;) I'm amazed at how well she puts her thoughts to paper and/or screen.

She reminds me of someone--a little girl who always had a book in her face (hence my awful eyesight). A little girl who wrote poems and short stories and thought they made the best gifts for her family members.

For some of us, writing is something we've done since we could hold a pencil. But I know that's not the case for everyone, so today I want to hear how you came to be a lover of the written word (as a reader and/or writer).

How did it begin for you?

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18. Monday Mishmash 8/22/16


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 had no intentions of drafting a new book right now, but you know how it is when you get an idea. This book will be very different for me. Different POV and genre. Eek!
  2. Last Week of Summer Vacation  :( No! My baby is starting fourth grade next Monday. Say it isn't so! She got the teacher she wanted but is sad that her best friends are not in her class. I'm preparing now to hold it together next Monday morning until I'm driving away from her school after drop-off. Send tissues please.
  3. After Loving You Cover Reveal   Friday is my cover reveal. Woo-hoo! Not that I'm excited or anything. ;)
  4. My Mom's Birthday!  Thursday is my mom's birthday. She reads these posts, so feel free to wish her a great day. Love you, Mom!
  5. Reading  With my daughter home, I read a lot of middle grade books over the summer. I do have some adult suspense books waiting for me though, and I'm looking forward to diving into those soon.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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19. Friday Feature: Her Black Heart Cover Reveal


HER BLACK HEART by A.J. Norris
The Dark Amulet Series, Book #2
Genre: Paranormal
Tagline: “Redemption is worth the fight. Even if it means risking her heart.”

Cover Designer: DERANGED DOCTOR DESIGNS
—— SYNOPSIS ——

Julia Dunham is a monster. Her heart has been consumed by an amulet meant to create terror…

As a young girl, Julia received an amulet tainted by Abaddon, the Supreme Demon of the Netherworld, and the sigil slowly corrupts her heart. The power of the deceptive pendant gains the attention of her former employer, Maurice. He sends thugs to murder Julia and steal the amulet.

Immediately upon her death, Abaddon traps her on Earth, leaving her obsessed with retrieving the amulet. Julia must find a way to overcome her deadly obsession or be responsible for unleashing thousands of demons on humanity.

Ra’zael the Guardian fell for the wrong girl and lost his wings. He isn’t about to let it happen again…

Ra’zael is tasked with the mission of helping Julia overcome her compulsion to locate the amulet, though he’s reluctant to get involved. But as a fallen angel, he doesn’t have much choice—it’s the only way to earn back his wings. His fall from grace is still fresh in his mind, but despite his best effort, his passion for Julia can’t be ignored. He has to save her from herself.

Julia must make her own choices. Redeem herself or condemn Earth and her soul forever…

Despite Ra’zael’s warnings, Julia tracks Maurice and the amulet to Chicago. She has every reason to kill Maurice. He murdered her. He stole from her. Spending eternity in the Netherworld might be worth watching him die.

Ra’zael knows she still has goodness left inside her…he’s seen it. Julia just has to find it and fight the evil of…
Her Black Heart.


—— MEET THE AUTHOR ——
A.J. Norris is a lover of all books but her loyalty remains with her first crush; romance. She graduated from a mid-western college with a degree in absolutely nothing to do with writing whatsoever. It wasn’t until well after college when the build-up of voices inside her head became too overwhelming and needed to be let out, that she began to write. She isn’t following a family legacy of writers, only a need to put words on a piece of paper.

A.J. is a movie buff, especially book adaptations, loves watching her son play baseball and communing with other writers. She lives with her family who are extremely tolerant (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer, clack clacking away.


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20. Monday Mishmash 8/8/16


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. After Loving You Cover Reveal Sign-Ups  Inkslinger PR is hosting a Social Media Cover Reveal for my upcoming Ashelyn Drake NA romance, After Loving You. The cover reveal will take place on any social media site (August 26-28), so you don't need a blog to sign up. If you're interested, sign up here.
  2. Touch of Death Series FREE Novella and Short Story  Some of you may know that Spencer Hill Press was bought out. As a result, they've updated the website and are no longer hosting our free novellas and short stories. But don't worry! Kiss of Death (a prequel novella from Alex's POV) and Curse of Death (the myth behind the Medusa legend) are now available as free downloads on my website here, along with my other free titles. 
  3. Kelly's Coven Perks  I have a giveaway going on right now in my street team and another coming up very soon. I do a lot of giveaways exclusive to my street team because I believe in rewarding those who support me. If you're interested in joining and getting in on these perks, click here
  4. Editing  No surprise I'm editing this week. :)
  5. Revising  Now that After Loving You is off to be formatted for e-ARCs, I'm revising another book and it might be my all-time favorite. Stay tuned for more info on this book.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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21. Writer Wednesday: Self-doubt


Right now I'm revising a book that might be my favorite book I've written to date. I haven't revised it in a while, and that distance made me fall in love with the story and characters all over again. Great, right?

Yes and no. If you're like me, when you read a manuscript you truly love, you get that "Oh no! What if I never write another book as good as this one?" feeling. Self-doubt is awful, but we all experience it. After I got my first book deal, I felt unable to write another book. I thought that was it. One book and my career is finished. Of course it wasn't, but that fear can be crippling.

As I revise, I keep trying to tell myself that it's a good thing that I love this book so much and that I should ride this writer's high and work on the next one immediately. Still, doubt keeps creeping in. It's sort of like being on a roller coaster—feeling great one minute and like a failure the next.

How do you deal with self-doubt? Do you push through and hope the next manuscript surprises you?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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22. Friday Feature: Flashpoint by Adam Quinn


Today I'm happy to share Adam Quinn's new release Flashpoint!


What is the cost of peace?


Guilt-ridden over her role in the cataclysmic Order War, Taylor Ghatzi


decided to retire from galactic politics and dedicate her life to the


Emergency Service---until a deadly terror attack strikes her home world,

and she may be the only one able to unravel the mystery behind it. 
Meanwhile, Cherran DeGuavra, the son of the most important statesman in 
the past century, gave up on trying to reunite the galaxy frayed by his late 
father's greatest mistake, but now must call upon all of his diplomatic 
powers to prevent it from tearing itself even further apart. 
With the galaxy's powers on a war footing and their own government
obstructing them, Taylor and Cherran may need to start a fight to prevent one. 

Grab it on Amazon.

Sign up for Adam's newsletter here and win a free story in the Drive Maker universe.
Adam Quinn is a Chicago-based author of science fiction and space opera. When he’s not writing about the technology of the future, he’s studying engineering so that one day he can help create it.


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

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23. Monday Mishmash 8/15/16


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. After Loving You Cover Reveal Sign-up  In case you missed it last week and would like to participate, sign-ups are still open for the cover reveal of After Loving You, my Ashelyn Drake NA romance. This is a social media cover reveal, so you don't need a blog to participate. Just post to any social media outlet between August 26-28. It's that easy! Sign up here.
  2. Revising  I'm revising a book I haven't looked at in well over a year. Now that's what I call fresh eyes after time away! I love having multiple drafts on my flash drive that I can return to much later like this.
  3. Getting Organized  I'm trying to get organized for my upcoming releases, which means I'm breaking out the cork board and Post-it notes. :) Yes, this makes me happy.
  4. Humidity  The humidity where I live has been well over 90%, so you can imagine how awful and unproductive it's made me feel. I can't wait for the weather to break. I'm a fall/spring girl at heart. 
  5. Back-to-School Countdown  I'm one of those parents who dreads the first day of school. My daughter has two weeks of summer break left, and I miss her already. :(
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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24. Writer Wednesday: Setbacks


I feel like this industry has been quite grim lately. Writers are experiencing setbacks all over the place. I'm sure this has always been the case, but it's being publicized more now than ever, and maybe that's a good thing because it shows others that a writer's life isn't all fun and games. It's tough!

But here's the thing. Setbacks are just that. They set you back a bit, but they aren't the end. I firmly believe that when things come too easily, we take them for granted. But when we have to work hard, we are more likely to appreciate the success we find. 

So to you writers out there who are feeling down because of setbacks, I challenge you to do this. Push forward and show the industry and the world that you're meant to do this. You are a writer and you WILL write. And remember that you have others like you to lean on. Let's all lift each other up and do what we're meant to do: write books!

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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25. Friday Feature: Sign of the Green Dragon




Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam's finally fitting in. He's the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam's guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure.

Just as some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb. 

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you'll love this story. As one reader says, this book, "has more twists than a dragon's tail."

Buy now to jump into the adventure.

Grab it on Amazon.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets.


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

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