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1. Writer Wednesday: I'm a Very Thankful Author

Every book has a dedication page and an acknowledgments page so authors can thank all those people who helped make the book. Well, to be honest, I hate writing these. I'm always afraid of leaving someone out (by accident of course), and to be honest, I could gush for pages upon pages thanking people I'm happy to have with me on my writing journey. Still, I try to keep these short, knowing most people don't read them anyway. ;)

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I want to say a general thank you to everyone reading this post. I don't care if you've ever read one of my books. I'm thankful that you found me here and that you allow me to share a little of me and my writing with you each week. I hope everyone has a great holiday filled with good food, family, friends, and a whole lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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2. Monday Mishmash: 11/24/14


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. Editing  I'm working on copy edits for The Darkness Within and then editing for clients this week.
  2. Thanksgiving  I'll be heading to my grandfather's apartment complex for Thanksgiving. It's always good to see him, so I don't even mind the two-hour drive.
  3. November's been a tough month  I've had a rough November. Most recently a friend passed away, but my luck went south before that too. I'm ready to move on to December and hopefully put the bad parts of November behind me.
  4. School Visits  I have two school visits (three presentations) next Monday, December 1st, so I'm getting set for those this week.
  5. Signing The Monster Within at Moravian Book Shop on Saturday  I'm heading back to Moravian Book Shop with Jennifer Murgia for the final stop on my book tour for The Monster Within. It's been a great tour, and I'm sad to see it end. I'll be there from 1-3pm, so if you're in the Bethlehem area, I'd love to see you.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. Friday Feature: Grunge Gods and Graveyards



Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Excerpt

*In this scene Lainey runs into Danny at a party at her best friend's house.*

I headed up the narrow staircase just as Danny descended. We did that weird dance where we moved to the side in order to let the other person go by, except we kept moving to the same side. Danny laughed and made a grand gesture with his hand. “After you, chiquita.” I laughed and shimmied past him. As I slid past, my boobs grazed the buttons on his shirt. I felt embarrassed and tingly. Danny coughed and sputtered. “See you later, right?”
“Right.” I hurried upstairs to Wilder’s bedroom. I didn’t want him to see my blush.
I darted inside Wilder’s messy room, shut the door, and leaned against it. The bras were gone, presumably flung inside her closet. Wilder opened a bag of potato chips and offered me one, but I shook my head. I climbed onto her bed and pressed my face into a pillow. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I groaned.
“I had no freakin’ clue she was throwing a party. She had been all secretive, but I thought it had more to do with this senior soccer player she’s been sweating.”
“No. She likes Danny. Did you see how she looked at me when he helped me with my bag?”
Potato chip crumbs sprinkled Wilder’s chest, and she brushed them off, not even caring if crumbs got inside her bed sheets. “I try to pay as little attention to her as possible. Besides, you’re not her competition. Why would she be jealous?”
“Thanks.”
“You know what I mean. She shouldn’t be threatened by you.”
“Again. Thank you.” I knew I wasn’t pretty enough to compete with Wynter, but having Wilder imply the same sentiment kind of hurt.
“Uh...” She shoved another chip in her mouth.
“Good call.”
Wilder swallowed. “So, how’s your mom?”
“The same. Awful. Liz barely lets me in to see her.”
“How come?”
I shrugged. “I think she wants Mom all to herself while she’s still ali—you know what? Let’s talk about something else.”
Wilder stood up and wiped her greasy hands on her jeans. “I don’t feel like The Real World tonight. How about an X-Files marathon?”
“That sounds awesome.”
Before she could dig out our favorite tape and pop it in the VCR, someone knocked on the door. “Enter.”
Danny poked his head inside. “Are you girls holing up in here the whole night? You should come down.”
Wilder waved him off. “Hell, no. I don’t want to deal with a bunch of drunken douches in my house. No offense.”
“None taken. I don’t often become a drunken douche.” He smiled, and I felt a rush of warmth spread through my body. “Would you be willing to lend us some tunes? Craig’s threatening to play some horrendous country songs, and your sister has an inexhaustible amount of 80s dance music.”
Before Wilder could answer him, I jumped from the bed and opened my duffel bag. “Here.” I handed him a stack of CDs and cassettes.
“Whoa. Just so you know, I’m totally going to judge you by your taste in music.”
I flipped my hair over my shoulder, a move I had seen Wynter do countless times in gym class. “Well, in that case, you’re going to think very highly of me. I have awesome taste in music.”
He laughed as he juggled the music in his hands. “Tori Amos. Green Day. Radiohead.” He lowered his voice. “You pass.” He looked at me, and without meaning to, I bit my bottom lip. “There’s this band you should listen to called—”
“Danny!” Wynter’s shrill voice cut the air. I deflated.
Danny held up the music. “Thanks for this.” He walked backward and stumbled on Wilder’s boots next to the door. His cheeks reddened. “I brought my guitar. Nutley and I are going to play later. At least come down for that.”
I smiled at Wilder. “Sure. Absolutely.”
“Yeah, totally,” said Wilder.
“Great.” He left and closed the door.

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1oSpw8w


Links for Kimberly:
Twitter: @KGGiarratano
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KGGiarratanoAuthor


One winner will be randomly selected from the comment section to receive a signed copy of Grunge Gods and Graveyards. Comment to enter!


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

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4. Writer Wednesday: Author Events

It's no secret I've been doing a lot of author events this fall. I had a book tour for The Monster Within, which wraps up on the 29th with a signing at Moravian Book Shop, and I have two school visits planned for December 1. While I was at an event last month, a fellow writer asked me if I thought doing events was worth it. My answer was absolutely.

Do events promise to sell more books? Not necessarily. Yes, I was fortunate enough to sell well at my events, but let's be honest. Some events wind up being disappointing. But here's the upside. Events are about exposure. If your signing was mentioned in the paper, you've gotten exposure you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. If your author appearance is at a school, there's a huge audience you might not have reached before. I know some authors only book big events that guarantee lots of people and lots of potential sales. Me? I book big events, small events, and even non-selling events. Why? Because it's not always about the in-the-moment sale. Sure, it's great to sell out of the stock the bookstore ordered. Or to have a school district order class sets of your book. But there's more to it than that.

One thing we can't lose sight of after our book is out in the world is that while sales are great, so are connections. In fact, they are more important. Finding a librarian who books you for a school event and then asks if you'd be willing to come back and speak again is priceless. Think of all the students and teachers you'll reach. Booking an event where you can't sell but you can share your love of writing with others is great because there's no pressure AND people are more willing to listen to you if they know they won't have the awkward experience of having to say "not today" to purchasing a signed copy. And what I've found is that those people will then go home and look you up.

So, are author events worth it? Absolutely! For so many different reasons.

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5. Monday Mishmash 11/17/14


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. Horrible Internet Connection  My internet has only been working when it feels like it, so getting online has been sporadic at best. If you are waiting to hear from me, I apologize. I'm trying to get this fixed today, but you know how that goes with phone companies. If I'm delayed in responding to comments or commenting on your blog, you know why.
  2. January Feature on Megan McDade's Blog  The very awesome Megan McDade is going to feature me on her blog in January and is asking people to comment on her post right now with questions you'd like me to answer. So I'd love it if you dropped by Megan's blog to leave me a question. You can find her blog here.
  3. Editing  I finished a revision on my latest Ashelyn Drake manuscript, so I'm back in editing mode and working on client edits this week.
  4. Remodeling  We finally finished painting the addition we put on the house. The countertop people are coming Tuesday (after canceling on us last week). Next up is flooring upstairs. We're getting close!
  5. Catching Up on My Reading  I'm all caught up on reading the books I promised to review. Yay! Most recently, I finished An Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston and Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich. Both were amazing!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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6. Friday Feature: Wicked Path by Eliza Tilton





Wicked Path, by Eliza Tilton

Genre: young-adult, fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: October 6, 2014

Series: Daath Chronicles (#2)

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Sky-Design/1401031006827361?sk=timeline)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22452354-wicked-path?from_search=true

Description:
In Wicked Path: Book Two of the Daath Chronicles brother and sister are forced to opposite sides of Tarrtainya on a fast-paced adventure where the wildlife isn’t the only thing trying to kill them.

Three months have passed since Avikar defeated the Reptilian Prince, and he still can’t remember his battle with Lucino. On the hunt for answers, he returns to the scene of the fight and discovers a strange connection between his family’s dagger and the mysterious kingdom of Daath, and it seems only his distant father can reveal the truth behind it all.

Before Avikar can travel back home, Lucy assaults him in the market and forces him to flee to Nod Mountains—a place few dare to enter, and even less return from. With Raven and her childhood friend by his side, they must survive the treacherous journey through the pass with a vengeful Lucy hunting them. If they don’t, they’ll never see home again.

Jeslyn’s new life in Luna Harbor is the perfect remedy for her confused and broken heart. But when a group of mercenaries kidnap her beloved Grandfather, interrupting her daily routine as his jewelry apprentice, she's forced to join forces with the one person from her past she tried to forget.


And his assistance comes with a price.

About The Author:

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing.

Her YA stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a hot romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

Find Eliza Tilton Online:


Website (http://elizatilton.com/)| Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eliza-Tilton-YA-Author/245765852217133) | Twitter (https://twitter.com/ElizaTilton)| Goodreads(https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047768.Eliza_Tilton)

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

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7. Writer Wednesday: Writing Is...

For me, writing is so many things. I've experienced an array of emotions because of my crazy need to write. So today, I'm sharing what writing is to me.

Writing is:
freeing
an outlet for creativity
demanding and at times all-consuming
fun and totally inspiring
lonely at times
an emotional roller coaster
addicting
maddening
draining
therapuetic
energizing
as natural and necessary to me as breathing
part of who I am

Yes, my list has positives and negatives. There are days when I wonder why I torture myself by being an author. Publishing is crazy and extremely hard. I've cried so many tears over the years, yet I keep writing. As much as writing takes out of me, it continues to give me so much more. I couldn't imagine doing anything else (except for editing, but that's part of writing, too). So I'll continue to take the bad with the good and hope the good wins out in the end, because I've discovered that putting words on paper is something I have to do. It's a part of me.

What is writing to you?

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8. Monday Mishmash: 11/10/14


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. The Attic of Sand and Secrets by Medeia Sharif  I'm reading this right now!
THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS 
by Medeia Sharif

Vendor links will be updated on Medeia’s site.

Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.

Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems - such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

Find Medeia – Multi-published YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Revisions  This week I'm revising one of my manuscripts I put aside for a while. It's always fun to go back and read a first draft I've stepped away from.

3. Some Fine Day by Kat Ross  Kat Ross has a new release and a giveaway for you.
What if everything you've been taught is a lie?

Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist knows that when the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.

She knows that the only species to thrive there is the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.

Most of all, she knows there's no place where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

Turns out Jansin was wrong. On all counts…


Enter here to win a Kindle Paperwhite pre-loaded with Some Fine Day, plus other awesome YA audiobook giveaways!

4.  Reading/Reviewing  I'm reading a bunch of books that I need to review. It's nice to have to find time to read. Usually reading gets pushed aside for other things, but when I promise to review, I can't do that. ;)

5. Promo  My crazy month of events every week (some weeks more than one event) is over, but I do still have a signing set up for this month and two school visits coming up. This week I'll be trying to book another signing for the holidays.

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

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9. Friday DOUBLE Feature: Vanquished and Catch Me When I Fall




I have a treat for you today. I've read this debut YA series and it's great. I'm so happy to welcome Katie Clark to my blog!

The Making of Vanquished

Thank you for having me today! I’m thrilled to introduce your readers to my debut novel, Vanquished. People are always asking me how I got the idea for Vanquished, and since it’s a story I love telling I am happy to share it.

This wasn’t an easy idea. It came to me in bits and pieces over the course of a few years. It started with the main character, Hana. I was always thinking about this girl. This strong but vulnerable girl. She wanted to believe in the life she’d been led to live. She wanted to follow the rules. Except she couldn’t.

At that time, I had no idea what brought about her unhappiness or dissatisfaction, I only knew she needed to work toward something more.

Fast forward a year or two, I was given the idea to write a story set in a world where there was no God. No Bible. No religion. Would this world be better? Worse? And how? I had no idea how to make this story happen, but the idea stuck in my head and percolated.

Finally, the two halves came together to make a whole. One day I was sitting in church (yes, I admit I was daydreaming), and it hit me. These two stories were the same story. Hana was dissatisfied because she suspected there was more than met the eye in her city, and she set out to find it. Her mom was sick, and she needed answers. What she uncovered went way beyond hidden medications and technology—what she found was the truth that the God she’d been told was myth might not be myth at all. The story just flew from there, and it didn’t end for three books!

I hope you all enjoy it, and to celebrate I’m giving away an e-copy of Vanquished! I’ll choose one lucky commenter at random, so leave your name and email address below for a chance to win. Thanks for stopping by!



About Vanquished:
When Hana’s mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she is denied the medication that might save her life.  Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there are people who can help—except Hana’s not sure she can trust him; Fischer is involved in a religious group, and religion has been outlawed for the last hundred years.  Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. When the truth is uncovered does Hana stick to what she knows?  Or does she join the rebellion, taking a stand against an untrustworthy society?


KATIE CLARK writes young adult speculative fiction, including her dystopian Enslaved Series, made up of Vanquished, Deliverance, and Redeemer. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Thank you, Katie!

Make sure you comment below for a chance to win an ebook of Vanquished!

That's not all. My agency sister, Vicki Leigh, is also have a blog tour for her new release, Catch Me When I Fall.



Catch Me When I Fall, by Vicki Leigh

Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: October 23, 2014



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.

Excerpt:
We followed Kayla to her dining hall for lunch. The room was large with white walls and a white, tiled floor. Steel tables and chairs were bolted to the ground. Kayla sat near a window in the far corner of the room with one other boy, a red-haired, freckle-faced kid with glasses that covered the top half of his face. He spoke with a bit of a lisp, and he rocked back and forth as he conversed with Kayla. Still, he appeared to be quite intelligent.
“Did you ever read Charles Darwin’s theory on evolution? Maybe we’re not crazy at all, but instead, we’re fundamentally different from the rest of the universe because we can see things and hear things. Maybe we’re supposed to be part of this super army that protects other people like us when the zombie apocalypse takes over the world and destroys all the people who haven’t mutated like us.”
Okay, maybe he was crazy.
Kayla smiled. “So, we’re going to be like X-Men during a zombie apocalypse?” She listened with intensity, as if she was truly interested in hearing what he had to say, and although his idea was absolutely idiotic, she had replied with a level of kindness I never would have managed. Impressive.
“Exactly! Ooh, I know. You could be Rogue, and I’ll be Cyclops.”
Kayla’s head tipped backward as she exploded with genuine laughter. “Why Rogue? I mean, maybe I want to be Storm. She’s badass, you know.”
“Yeah, but you’re pretty, like Rogue.”
Kayla blushed as if she hadn’t gotten those kinds of comments a million times. “Well, thank you.” She patted his hand.
He smiled and looked down at where her fingertips touched the back of his hand. Then he looked over his shoulder and glared. Kayla’s instant frown made me spring up on the balls of my feet.
“No, you’re wrong!” He yelled at an empty spot in the room.
Kayla grabbed his wrist. “Marcus, calm down.”
He snatched his wrist out of her grasp and turned in his chair toward whatever invisible person he screamed at. “No! I don’t have to listen to you! She’s my friend.” He stood up and marched over to the empty space, swinging like he was backhanding someone.
Kayla jumped from her seat and stood in front of him. She placed her hands on his upper arms. “Marcus, they aren’t going to hurt you.”
“Get off me!” He shoved her away from him, hard. Not weighing much, Kayla flew into the chair behind her. Bolted to the floor, the chair didn’t budge. She yelped in pain and crashed to the ground.
I took a step toward her, every fiber in me wanting to make sure she was okay. But then I remembered what I was and ground my teeth.
Seeing the violence, the nurses rushed in. Two of the bigger men grabbed Marcus as he fought them, eventually having to resort to a tranquilizer to calm him down. Two others jogged to Kayla where she sat on the ground, her eyes wet with tears. She clutched her side where her ribs had hit the metal chair. I balled my hands into fists, angry that I could do nothing but watch as the nurses helped her to her feet and led her out of the cafeteria.



Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:


--


About The Author:
Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Find Vicki Leigh Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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10. Writer Wednesday: Hi, My Name is Kelly and I'm a Writer

One of the hardest things for me is telling people I'm a writer. I know, you're probably thinking that I have a writing blog and an author website and I'm all over the place online. That's true. But when it comes to face-to-face interactions (at non-book events), I have a really tough time telling people what I do.

You can put me at a book signing or a school visit and I'll talk about my career until you beg me to stop. But introduce me to someone outside the industry in a normal everyday setting and I won't mention my job unless I'm specifically asked.

Why is that? I'm not in any way ashamed of what I do. I love my job. I couldn't ask for a better one. Yet I'm always afraid to tell people I write books because of two main reasons. First, I don't want people to assume I'm going to ask them to buy my books. You know that spammy author who can speak of nothing but their new book. Yeah, that's not me. Second, I hate when people ask me how well my books sell. It's like they expect that since I write I must be on the NYT bestseller list. Yeah, doesn't exactly happen that way.

What about you? Do you have a difficult time telling people you're a writer? What are some reactions you've gotten from people when you have told them?


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11. Monday Mishmash 11/3/14


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. Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston  Congrats to Meradeth on the release of her newest book! It's on my Kindle right now!

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever. 



Check it out on Amazon: Barnes and Noble: Evernight TeenGoodreads.

    2. Riven and Prodigal Double Cover Reveal  The very awesome Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley have two gorgeous new covers to reveal. Check out Riven and Prodigal in the Lost Imperials Series.



    Release Date: May 5, 2015
    Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

    What should be a routine mission leaves Ethan with a serious problem. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.

    Forced to face his dark past and a decision he may never forgive himself for, he will be trained unlike any of the others, to become a true guardian for time. If he accepts, it will mean leaving everyone he loves behind. If he refuses, time itself could unravel. After a glimpse of the dark future awaiting them all, he will have to choose between destiny and desire. Will he rise up and take his place as a defender of the natural order, or will he watch as all of time burns at the hands of the girl he loves?

    Welcome to the time war.



    Release Date: May 5, 2015
    Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

    Stein has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.

    During a test to verify her bloodlines, Stein makes a terrible discovery. She is carrying a rare genetic mutation that is slowly killing her. Unsure who to turn to and running out of time, she has no choice but to turn to Tesla—her most hated enemy—for help. But can she trust the man who she’s been fighting against her whole life, or will she end up another piece in his deadly game of cat and mouse with the people who betrayed her so long ago?

    3. Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich  I couldn't be happier for my agent! Her upcoming release looks amazing. Check it out.

    http://www.sarahnegovetich.com/p/author.html

    Releasing December 4th, 2014
    Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
    A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
    But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
    Pre-order Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo &; iTunes
    4. Editing  November is packed with client edits for me. That means no NaNoWriMo yet again. I've never actually participated though I have unofficially joined the fun in the past. Still, I finished a draft in October so I'm okay with missing out. Good luck to all who are fast drafting this month.

    5.  Into the Fire Challenge Winner Announced!  On November 1st, I announced the winner of the #IntotheFireChallenge. Congrats to Sherry Alexander! She will appear as a phoenix in the third and final book in the Birth of the Phoenix series.

    6.  Promo Like a Mad Woman!  I've had a lot of author events lately, and while I'm busy and I got sick, I'm having a blast. Here are some recent photos from my events.
    Family Reading Festival in the Fairlane Village Mall in Pottsville, PA

    Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA with Cyn Balog, Kristi Cook, Molly Cochran, and Jennifer Murgia

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

    *My FREE monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up, you can do so here.*

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    12. Monster Madness Blog Hop


    Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls! Welcome to the Monster Madness Blog Hop hosted by Vicki Leigh and me. Since Vicki and I both released monster books this year (The Monster Within and Catch Me When I Fall), we thought it would be fun to have a blog hop dedicated to the monsters we love so much. So have some candy corn and enjoy this post as Vicki and I interview each other.

    Okay, Vicki, time to fess up. What monster scares you the most?

    I’m pretty hard to scare, to be honest. But there is one monster who gives me the creeps: Freddy Krueger. In a way, he was kind of the inspiration behind the Nightmares in my series, because the thought of someone being able to kill you in your dreams terrifies me. I’ve never actually seen the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but, man, that dude creeps me out.

    I love Freddy! My sister loved the Nightmare on Elm Street movies so I saw them much younger than I should have. ;)

    How about you, Kelly? You have to be afraid of someone or something, too!

    Growing up, I was terrified of the monster under the bed. I even wrote a short story about it called “The Monster of All Monsters.” Anyway, if I had to get up in the middle of the night for water or to use the bathroom, I’d stand on my bed and try to jump to the doorway. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that fear. Now the thing that freaks me out is ghosts. I tried to write a book about a haunting once, and the research totally scared me away from the idea.

    Oh, man. I love ghosts. Like, I legitimately want to spend the night in a true haunted house. I think it’d be awesome. (Yet, a fictional guy creeps me out. I’m weird; I know. J)

    All right, Vicki, you have to create a NEW monster. What does it look like, and what kind of terrifying things can it do?

    Hmm…I think a monster who takes the shape of whatever form you find most attractive would be pretty terrifying—especially when he/she sucks out your soul during a smexy scene and leaves you a comatose patient for the rest of your life. That may have been done before. I don’t know. But I’ve heard freaky stories about what it feels like to be in a coma. I never want that experience. Or being found comatose on my bed in my birthday suit.

    All right. So, my monster sucked. You create one, Kelly. I’m positive you can do better!

    I’m feeling the pressure now. I’m sort of stealing from Harry Potter here, but I think a monster that can transform into whatever it is a person fears the most would be just awful because no one would be safe from it. No wait! Better yet, the monster becomes ALL of your fears rolled into one! So if you are afraid of snakes, ghosts, and realistic looking dolls with eyelids that open and close (not that I’m being that specific because those are my top three fears or anything), the monster would turn into a doll possessed by a ghost who can charm poisonous snakes to attack on command. *shivers*

    Back to you, Vicki. We’ve all been inside haunted houses or mazes at Halloween time, right? What monster got the best of you inside one of those?

    I actually have a good story for this, because I really am super hard to scare. I’ve been in haunted houses and mazes, and usually when things jump out at me, I giggle. So, last year, I went to a haunted cornfield with a few friends. We walked through a LOT of really tall corn, and a trailer that was pitch black. None of the actors really got me, even when I had to feel the walls because it was so dark I couldn’t see. And then we exited the cornfield, and I was like, “well, that was fun,” thinking it was over.

    Then, out of nowhere, came a dude with a chainsaw. Good lord; I jumped out of my skin! I screamed and then tipped my head back and guffawed. That dude got me. It was the chainsaw noise that did it, and his perfect position: I thought the maze was over.

    How about you, Kelly? Do you have a good haunted house story?

    Ooh, sneaky little chainsaw-wielding devil! ;) 

    Okay, well I have to say I startle easily, not scare easily. I went through a haunted dormin college. I give the people who ran it credit because it was pretty good. There was a funeral in one room, and we all thought the dead body was going to get up. It was really a distraction for something that snuck up on us. Still, I wasn’t scared. Nor was I scared when they turned out all the lights and we had to find out way out in complete darkness. Then at the end, there was a guy in a gorilla suit. That made me laugh, but it also distracted me from the hands reaching out from under the stairs I was climbing. I admit I jumped when I looked down and saw what I’m assuming was a zombie gripping my leg.

    Time to change gears. What monster is your all-time favorite, Vicki?

    Am I okay to say Cookie Monster? J For real, though, my favorite is probably Dracula.

    How about you? You have to have a favorite!

    I think I’m going to have to go with a zombie. Something about a reanimated corpse is both disgusting and terrifying, considering it wants to eat your brains. Got to love that! ;)

    Now it's your turn! Choose 3 questions below to answer either in the comments or on your own blog.


    1. What monster terrifies you the most?
    2. Do you have a good haunted house story?
    3. What's your favorite monster?
    4. Is there a monster book that terrified you as a child?
    5. Have any book recommendations for stories that include monsters?
    6. Finally, create your own monster! What does it look like, and what scary things can it do?
    Then tag FIVE of your friends to share in the Monster Madness!
    And be sure to enter our giveaway to win books and SWAG from Vicki and me.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    13. Writer Wednesday: Finding Your Audience

    We've all heard that half the battle—or maybe more—in selling books is finding your audience. But how do you do that? It's something that I've struggled with, so I thought I'd share my story with you. 

    When Touch of Death was originally submitted to editors, it was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me. Now, I should have immediately realized my audience off of that pitch, but I was new to the industry and I admit it went right over my head. Now, nearly two years later, I realized that I have a huge audience I never reached out to. Fans of The Walking Dead!

    So this Sunday, I'm hosting a Twitter Viewing Party during this week's episode of The Walking Dead.

    In addition to the viewing party, my P.A. made this for me, and I love it because it's Daryl and my book! ;)


    I've also been on a book tour for The Monster Within and I've been bringing my bookmarks for the Touch of Death series. After I talk to people about The Monster Within, I mention Touch of Death. But my first question is always "Are you a fan of The Walking Dead?" All but one person I asked answered yes to that question, and the one person who didn't said she wasn't but the woman with her was. It's the perfect way for me to introduce my series and hand out bookmarks. So that's the pitch I'm sticking with for this series.

    Will this connection to The Walking Dead help sales? I guess I'll find out, but I certainly can't see how it could hurt.

    So it may have taken me a while to stumble on this idea, but I found my audience. How have you found your audience?

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    14. Monday Mishmash 10/27/14


    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. Monster Madness Blog Hop Join Vicki Leigh and I on Halloween for the Monster Madness Blog Hop. We'll be talking about what monsters scare us and you can join in. There's a giveaway too. Sign up here
    2. The Monster Within Book Tour  My book tour for The Monster Within is in full swing. I've had book signings the past two weekends and have two more this Saturday and another planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I'm having a blast! I'll be at the Family Reading Festival in Pottsville, PA from 10am-1pm and then I'm heading to Moravian Book Shop from 5pm-7pm. If you are in either area, stop by and see me!
    3. Drafting Again  I have a rare moment between editing jobs, so I'm fast drafting again! This is the fourth book I'm drafting this year, and since three books was my goal, I'm happy.
    4. The Walking Dead Twitter Party  I'm hosting a Twitter Viewing Party during this weekends episode of The Walking Dead. Why? I love the show and my Touch of Death series was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me, so yeah, I kind of love zombies. And maybe Daryl, too. ;) Join me! I'm giving away lots of prizes, including signed books and SWAG!
    5. The Darkness Within Cover Reveal  So there was a glitch with my cover reveal for The Darkness Within and the bloggers never got the info. But I'm so in love with this cover. Check it out. 
    After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 

    Magic. 

    Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

    Add it on Goodreads. Pre-order on Amazon.

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

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    15. Friday Feature: Oliver's Hunger Dragon


    I don't normally feature PBs on this blog, even though I write them, but this one needs to be spotlighted for a few reasons. First, Sherry Alexander dedicates her blog and her books to helping children. I'm amazed at all she does for charities. She even donates part of her proceeds from her book sales to these organizations. She's really an incredible person. Second, how adorable is this book cover?


    Oliver has a Hunger Dragon who rumbles and grumbles. He wants it to go away, but Hunger says he plans to stay. Is Oliver the only one who has a dragon deep inside? 

    Oliver is a story about child hunger and how it overpowers children making them too tired to play or to do well in school. But Oliver discovers hunger can be deterred through the power of friendship and the sharing spirit. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this book will go the Clark County, WA Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland, OR Police Bureau's Sunshine Division to help feed the one in four kids in America who go to bed hungry every night. For a chance to win a book, check out the Goodreads Giveaway here. It ends TODAY so head over and enter now.
     
    Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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    16. Curse of the Granville Fortune Release Day Scavenger Hunt!


    Let the hunt begin!

    Curse of the Granville Fortune officially releases into the world today! This middle grade fantasy adventure involves a race to a treasure, so there's a scavenger hunt to celebrate.

    But first, check out the cover and blurb:



    Find the fortune, break the curse!

    The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.

    To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it's too late.

    Order it on Amazon or B&N.

    Now for the scavenger hunt. Below is a list of bloggers helping out with the hunt. Visit each of their pages and collect a letter that is "hidden" in their post in either a different color or a larger font size. See what I did there? Hmm, is that the first letter clue? ;) If you go through the list in order, the word will spell itself out for you. If you don't go in order, you'll have to unscramble the word. Either way is fine and totally up to you. Then enter the word on the rafflecopter form for bonus entries. You don't have to find the word to enter the giveaway, but the word will earn you the most entries.

    What's up for grabs?

    SWAG from ALL of my books!

    Yes, that's right. There's a drawstring bag, coins, buttons, a mood ring, a heart bracelet, a flame pendant, trading cards, a key, and bookmarks! All this loot could be yours!

    Here are the stops for the scavenger hunt (in order):

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    17. Monday Mishmash 10/20/14


    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. Curse of the Granville Fortune Releases Tomorrow!  I can't believe tomorrow is the big day! My middle grade fantasy will be available 10/21.
    2. Out of the Ashes on Goodreads  You can now add Out of the Ashes, book two in the Birth of the Phoenix Series, on Goodreads.
    3. #IntotheFireChallenge  Halloween will be here before you know it, so get your review of Into the Fire up on Amazon to be entered for a chance to become a phoenix in the third book in the Birth of the Phoenix Series. You could also win signed copies of all three books in the series.
    4. Beth Fred's Writing Class  My friend Beth Fred is teaching another class through Colorado Romance Writer. It's called The Art of Blurb Writing. Sign up here.
    5. Witches Three Tour  I signed at Books-A-Million in Exton, PA last Saturday along with Jennifer Murgia and Molly Cochran. Jen and I will be signing at BAM in the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, PA this Saturday from 1-3pm. Come see us if you're in the area.
    Here are some fun pictures from last Saturday.


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



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    18. Friday Feature: Soul Redemption by Miranda Shanklin


    Last week I featured Soul Journey, and this week I have the sequel, Soul Redemption.


    Just when Annisa and her friends were starting to think maybe the Counsel would leave them alone, two new students arrive at school. In any other town, new students wouldn’t be a sign that something big was about to happen to Annisa, Chase, Landon, and Penelope; but this wasn’t a normal town and they weren’t normal teenagers. They had come into their powers and defeated the most feared assassin in their world, so the appearance of new witches in their small town could only mean one thing.....the Counsel was ready to make another attempt to destroy them.

    After watching the new students alienate them from everyone they know, including their parents, Annisa and her friends break through the spell and things start to calm down for them. It’s not until an old enemy returns with news that will shock them that they realize everything is not as it seems. Now they have to decide whether or not to trust an old enemy claiming to help them, or try and fight against the Counsel’s most trusted Advisors on their own.
    The choice the group makes will change their lives forever.

    EXCERPT FROM SOUL REDEMPTION:

    It started happening slowly at first. It took a few days for me to figure out what was going on. All of a sudden a few of my friends wouldn’t even look at me anymore and they refused to talk to me, so I had no idea what happened to make them treat me like this. I'd known these people my whole life so it really didn’t make sense to me that they were withdrawing from me completely. Landon was noticing the same thing. Penelope and Chase had moved so many times growing up that they really didn’t notice. They didn’t know anyone around here well enough for it to really change for them.

    Landon and I were watching as the people that we'd grown up with slowly turned their backs on us. The more that the new kids showed they had no interest in us, the more others were starting to act the same. I was getting very suspicious of the new kids and what they were doing to the rest of the school.  I had no proof and really no idea what they were doing, so I couldn’t do anything but watch as this all happened.

    After about a week, Chase noticed that we weren’t stopped so much in the hall by people that wanted to talk to me. The girls on the cheerleading squad were no longer trying to give me their ideas for a new routine, and were just going through the routine without engaging either me or Penelope.  After practice he had a strange look on his face and I knew he was starting to put it all together too.

    That night we met with our parents in the secure room in my basement.  This was the only place that we could go and know for sure that the Counsel was not listening in on us. We had spelled the room to not let anyone hear anything from the outside and only us that created the spell are able to enter the room.

    Since Chase was noticing what was going on I felt it was safe to bring it up to the others, “I haven’t said anything because I couldn’t prove what I was suspecting, and I wasn’t sure if I was overreacting. Today, I noticed that Chase was starting to see it too.  I don’t know how they are doing it, but the new kids are alienating us from everyone at school.  Somehow the people that Landon and I have known our whole lives will not talk to us or even look at us unless it is completely necessary. They avoid us as much as they can. Even the cheerleading squad won’t really talk to me.”

    Landon had been nodding the whole time I was talking letting me know that he had noticed all of this too, “The football team will still follow my instructions and play the strategies that I tell them to, but that's it. They won’t talk to me, they won’t make suggestions, and off the field they won’t really talk to me unless they have to.”

    My mom and Landon’s mom exchanged a worried look and then my mom said, “There really is no way for us to know at this point; if this is just from them starting rumors that you just haven’t heard yet, if there is a spell that they cast, or if it is simply a phase the kids at school are going through.  You have to remember that not everything that happens in the world has to do with magick. Sometimes it is just jealous teenagers. It is probably just the other kids trying to make sure that you don’t try and make a move on the new kids. With the way that the situation evolved when Chase and Penelope first moved here, and nobody knowing the real story so nobody understands what happened.  I think you are just overreacting to normal teenage behavior.”

    Chase was the one to voice the concerns that I was feeling, “If you really think that, then why did you both look worried before you started that little speech?”

    My mom did not like the way that he said that but she answered him anyway, after she gave him a stern look to make sure he knew that she was not going to let him get away with talking to her like that again, “The worried look was because we are afraid that you are all so focused on the Counsel and what they are doing, that you are going to see something sinister in every action that anyone takes. We don’t want you to become so paranoid that you accidentally harm an Innocent.  You have to remember that most of the town is not from our world and have no idea magick even exists. High school is never easy, and nobody ever said that it was fair or that teenagers were always rational.”

    I let out a frustrated sigh, “It’s different than the normal teenage drama.  We had to deal with that when Chase and Penelope first got here, and this is not the same.”

    Landon’s mom gave me a sympathetic look,  “Honey, I know that you are used to being liked by everyone and that you have never had to deal with the other side of the table when it comes to popularity, but you have to understand that sometimes these things just happen with no involvement from magick.”


    Seeing that we were just going to keep talking in circles about this subject, because neither side was willing to concede, Penelope changed the subject, “Okay, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this for now.  I am more concerned with how it feels when we are around them.  I can sense them and their magick, but it’s not the same as with other witches.”

    You can grab this book for only $3.99 on Kindle.

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

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    19. Writer Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions Part Two

    Today I have part two of my Frequently Asked Questions that you all submitted.  If you missed part one, you can read or view it here. And once again, you have the option of reading the questions and my responses or watching the video of me answering the questions.


    How did you create such an engaging blog with so many followers, and how long did it take?
    I love my blog and my followers. When I started it, I was interested in meeting other writers and readers like me. I’ve made a lot of great connections over the years. I also like to be very open on my blog. I embarrass myself sometimes because I’m just me, no censoring. I’m okay with that though because I want my readers to know the real me. I’d never pretend to be anyone I’m not.

    I REALLY want to know how you write those 8,000 word days: is the family sequestered for the day? are you on a floating island somewhere?
    I’m held hostage by a bunch of characters who won’t shut up or stop pestering me to write their story. Seriously. My characters are demanding, and they talk so fast I can barely keep up. That’s really the only way I can explain it.

    If you could write anywhere, where you would you pick? The beach? A cabin in the mountains?
    While I love the beach and mountain views, I wouldn’t want to write there because I’d be distracted. Give me my boring old house any day of the week. I can stay focused there and just write.

    You get an incredible amount of writing done. After you fast draft or get your first draft in print, how much editing do you have to do?
    It really depends on the book. Sometimes I read a draft and think it’s really not far off at all. Other times I cringe and roll my eyes at myself.

    Has the editing process gotten easier over time?
    I love editing. Call me weird, but I do. I think the English teacher in me just gets giddy at the thought of reworking something and making it really shine. That’s not to say that edits are easy. They can be tough, but I remind myself how it will all be worth it when I’m finished.

    Does your husband read your books?
    Only my picture books. He’s not a reader at all, so if it’s more than a few pages, he’s not reading it.

    Which five books have moved/inspired you the most?
    This list changes every once in a while when I read a great new book, but here’s what it looks like right now:
    Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curseby Rick Riordan
    Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
    Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
    Delirium by Lauren Oliver
    Divergent by Veronica Roth

    What is an embarrassing moment from your life? Did it help you writing? If so how?
    Oh wow, I have many. Let’s see. On more than one occasion I’ve used the men’s room by accident, and of course I’ve been caught. I actually did use that for a short story that I sold, so I definitely think it helped my writing. Also, I can convey embarrassment on the page with no problem now. ;)

    If you still have questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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    20. Friday Feature: Your Book Here


    I woke up this morning to see my blog didn't post, and for very good reason. I never scheduled a post. Hmm… I had booked a bunch of Friday Feature spots in advance and didn't realize that I'd run out of them. I've been a little busy lately promoting two new books, editing for clients, and drafting a new book, so I guess that's how this slipped through the cracks.

    So today, I'm asking you to let me feature your book. That's right. I want to have you on my Friday Feature. Got a book out? Looking for some exposure? Friday Features are whatever you want them to be—a simple feature with buy links, an excerpt, a giveaway, a guest post, etc. You name it. All you have to do is email me at khashway@hotmail.com and we'll get you scheduled.

    In the meantime, let's talk about what your reading right now. I just finished:
    I got this ARC at BEA and just got around to reading it. Of course I see the cover has changed and is now blue, but this is what mine looks like.

    Next I'll be reading:

    I also got this at BEA and Lisa is a great friend.

    How about you?


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    21. Monday Mishmash: 10/6/14


    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 is a Cybils Awards Nominee!  So, I found out Into the Fire was nominated for the Cybils in the YA Speculative Fiction Category. Yeah, I'm a little excited. :) See the nominees here.
    2. Curse of the Granville Fortune Blog Tour  I can't believe the release of Curse of the Granville Fortune (MG fantasy) is just around the corner. The 21st will be here soon, so I'm finalizing my blog tour posts this week.
    3. Another Book Drafted  Last week I finished drafting a new book and I'm sort of in love with it.
    4. My Husband's Birthday  It's my husband's birthday today!
    5. FREE Monthly Newsletter  My FREE monthly newsletter may have gone out yesterday, a day early. I may have accidentally only set the time to post instead of the day to post. ;) Didn't get one? Stay on top of my giveaways, book news, and writing tips by signing up for my newsletter here.
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    22. Writer Wednesday: The Importance of Having a Website

    I know some authors don't find a need to have a website, but I definitely do. Here's why. When people who don't know me look me up online, they'll find my website first. Google me and you'll see that my website comes up at the top of the search results. Sure my blog is also there in the search results, but if people aren't bloggers, they get a little intimidated by blogs. 

    Most of the people who contact me are teachers, readers, or parents of kids who have read my books. They look for a website, and they look for a contact me page so they can get in touch with me. So I spend a lot of time updating my website, keeping it current with what's going on with my writing. My home page has a News section with whatever is going on right now that I want people to be aware of. It's the first thing they see when they land on my page—well, under my custom banner slideshow that displays my books.

    I also have my bio, press kit, and FAQ for any media personnel who stop by my site. Everything is right there for them to find in one spot. And I recently added a virtual business card that looks like this:
    I know I'm most likely not the first person to use a virtual business card (even if I'd love to take credit for the idea) but I think it's a great idea. You can't hand your business card to everyone in the world, but if it's on your website, anyone can see it.

    When I first created a website, I went with a free site. I quickly learned that having a custom domain is very important. Custom domains are easier to search for, and we want people to find us online. I now have a premium website with a custom domain, and I think it's money well spent. The proof is in the number of emails I get through my contact me form on my website. People are using my site, and that makes me very happy.

    So yeah, I believe in author websites. How about you? Do you think author websites are important?

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    23. Friday Feature: Soul Journey by Miranda Shanklin


    It has been many lifetimes since the cycle began.

    The cycle that still haunts Annisa Lawson.


    A spell cast in desperation to help, which only caused heartache.


    Now, Annisa has found her way out of the varying repeats of her past; only to bring more danger to herself, and those around her. Now she must learn to survive with the help of her friends: Chase, Penelope, and Landon have all gone through each life cycle with Annisa. Sometimes helping, sometimes hindering. Now that Annisa has broken the cycle of their collective punishment, she finds that she needs her friends more than ever to keep their enemies, known, and unknown, at bay. As the group of friends learn of
    their souls' journeys through their many life cycles, they must also learn to control the magick they have discovered within themselves and each other, in order to defeat the most feared assassin in their world.

    EXCERPT FROM SOUL JOURNEY:

    “Annisa everyone in this room, including you, is a witch.” Mom paused to let that sink in, but before I could say anything she continued; “I know that this is hard for you to believe. Most witches wake up on their sixteenth birthday and their power starts to show itself and the memories start to slowly come back. By their eighteenth birthday most witches have all of their memories from every life that they have lived. Everything that you think you know about witches is wrong. Magick is not in the blood, it is not passed down through the family; magick is in the soul. Every witch’s soul goes through a cycle. You live a life and then you transition to The Clouds to rest before you come back to earth for another life cycle. The Clouds is kind of like heaven is for mortals. It's the same concept except we don’t go to The Clouds and stay there, we get to come back. No mortal can go to The Clouds and no witch can go to heaven. Our physical body is made the same way as a mortal’s with one exception. Only one child can be born to each witch couple in any given lifetime.”

    At this time I'm sure my face was showing my line of thought as I immediately looked at Chase and Penelope, but my mom held up her hand to stop me from saying anything.

    “Let me finish, then you can ask all the questions that you want and we will answer them all.” I nodded to let her know that I understood and I was ready for her to continue.

    “I'm sure that you've noticed a few things that I've said don't seem to be the case. But notice that I have said most witches. You, Landon, Chase and Penelope are all exceptions to the rules. There is a reason for that, but it's one that I can't reveal to you yet. It will be revealed in time, but there are a few things that need to transpire first. The events that have to take place have already been set in motion and it won’t be much longer before we are able to reveal all. Penelope is the only one of you four that knows the entire situation but the consequences of her telling you early are more than any of you are willing to pay as has been proven in prior lifetimes.”

    I looked over at Penelope and saw the pain in her eyes that she was not able to divulge this important information and the toll it was taking on her. I decided at that point that I wouldn't even ask her about it and just let her decide when it was the right time to tell me. She was obviously having a hard time with her roll in all of this and I didn’t want to make it any harder on her. I managed a small smile for her to let her know that I didn't blame her for not being able to tell me. She looked very relieved that I wasn't looking at her with anger.

    Mom waited for this all to sink in and then continued. “You've always felt alone and like you didn't quite fit in because you sensed that you were different. You were drawn to Landon because you sensed he was also a witch along with other reasons that will be revealed later. The four of you have had your lives intertwined since the beginning of time. This lifetime is the first time that it looks like everything will work out the way it was meant to in the beginning. I know that Penelope has been giving you advice and trying to guide you to do what needs to be done. Listen to her advice and your own instincts. There are forces that are working against you and who don’t want this to ever be resolved. Quite frankly, we're all ready for it to come to an end and for the four of you to finally find the happiness that you deserve. Please don’t ask about the forces, I cannot tell you about them, it's too dangerous to speak of out in the open. Just remember that every witch has a soul mate who is also a witch and it's up to you to find yours.”

    “I'm sure that you caught the beginning where I said most witches wake up on their sixteenth birthday and their power starts to show itself. Penelope has had her power and her memory since birth. Landon and Chase received some of their power, but not even half of it on their sixteenth birthday. You will not receive any of yours until after the events that have been put in action take place. If you make the same mistakes as before you will get your memories and a portion of your power and Landon and Chase will never get their full powers, but will get their memories. If you make the right choices and the issues are finally resolved you will all receive your full power as well as your memories. There is a reason that the three of you won’t get your memories until after it's too late to use them for your choices. This situation is a punishment and until you all learn and make the right choices it will continue to play out the same in each lifetime. You have to come to the right choices all on your own to show that you have grown as witches and can handle the responsibility.”

    I asked my mom, “Is that everything?”

    “Everything that I'm able to tell you at this time, there is more but that will all have to wait. I'm sure you have a ton of questions. Please ask us anything you want.”  “Just give me a couple of minutes to process all of this.” She nodded to let me know that she understood and would wait as long as I needed her to. I looked around at each face sitting there. The adults were all looking at me with sympathy and understanding. Penelope was guarded and apprehensive about my reaction. Landon and Chase were giving each other glares, but as they turned to face me I saw anger and resentment in Landon’s eyes and hope and longing in Chase’s eyes.

    “So you're telling me that everyone in this room has known that I'm a witch and I'm just now finding out? Every single one of you has been hiding the truth about me, and all of you?” I asked calmly. I wasn’t angry about it but I wanted to hear the reasoning behind not telling me sooner.

    Sound good? You can grab it on Kindle for only $3.99.

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

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    24. Monday Mishmash 10/13/14


    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. #IntotheFireChallenge Extended!  I've decided to extend the #IntotheFireChallenge until Halloweeen. That means you have until midnight on Halloween to post a review of Into the Fire on Amazon for a chance to become a Phoenix in the third and final book. Get your review up!
    2. Monster Madness Blog Hop  Vicki Leigh and I are hosting a fun Monster blog hop on Halloween. We'll be talking about our favorite monsters, and of course there will be a giveaway. Want to join the fun? Sign up below and we'll send you all you need for your Halloween post, plus some fun questions for you to answer on your blog. 
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    4. Signing The Monster Within at Books-A-Million in Exton, PA on Saturday.  As part of the Three Witches Tour, I'll be signing The Monster Within with Jennifer Murgia and Molly Cochran from 1-3pm.
    5. Vitamins and Death Cover Reveal  Check out the cover of Medeia Sharif's upcoming YA, Vitamins and Death. This book will release December 10th through Prizm Books.
       
      Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

      Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

      Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.
    6. The Walking Dead  Who watched the season premier last night? Oh, and my PA made this for me and I love it. Touch of Death was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me.
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    25. Writer Wednesday: Marketing the Second Book in a Series

    A couple weeks back, I was asked (in the comments) how to promote the second book in a series, so that's what I'm going to talk about today. First, I don't claim to be an expert at all. I'm just sharing my experiences and hoping they'll help you. So, here we go.

    Promoting a sequel or second book in a series is tricky because you want to get word out about the new book, but you also want to draw new readers into the series, which actually means promoting book one. You should definitely post about book two, though. Post the cover reveal, post teasers, post links to reviews, but always continue to promote book one. Your current fans won't need much encouragement to buy book two if they loved book one. A simple "it's release day" post will prompt them to run out and get book two. You need to keep trying to broaden your reach and find new readers for the series.

    Even though the entire Touch of Death series is out, I continue to promote book one. My publicist even made this image for me:
    Notice it's book one on the image. That's not to say you can't use images with both covers or all of them if it's a series. Go right ahead, but make sure it's clear which book begins the series because new readers will need to know that.

    Over the summer, Stalked by Death, which is the second book in the Touch of Death series, was the Kindle Daily Deal. It became a #1 Best Seller in Greek Mythology on Amazon. What also happened was Touch of Death becoming #3 in the same category. Why? New readers bought book one when book two went on sale.

    So, when you promote book two, don't forget to promote book one. You want to be loyal to your existing fans and continue to let them know about your new releases, but you also want to reach new readers and draw them in to the start of the series.

    Do you have tips for promoting a second book in a series? Please share in the comments.

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