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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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26. Monday Mishmash 8/4/14

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

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

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

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27. Friday Feature: Sasquatch Cover Reveal

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

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

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28. Writer Wednesday: Being Accountable to Cyberspace

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

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

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

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

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29. Monday Mishmash 7/28/14

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

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30. Friday Feature: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late. 

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. 

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. 

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? 

My thoughts:
It's no secret that I love the Hush, Hush series. Becca Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite authors, so when I found out this book was going to be given out at BEA, I had to have it. (Special thanks to Dan Cohen for making sure I got a copy since I missed the actual book drop.) This book is very different from the Hush, Hush series, but I was still sucked in.

Britt is an interesting character. At times she comes across as being very dependent on the men in her life. I didn't like this part of her personality. But there are other times when she's extremely strong and the men in her life depend heavily on her. Showing both sides helped the reader to see how Britt grows as a person throughout the book. I was really glad to see her moments of strength because without them, I would have had a hard time rooting for her.

I did love how Britt put totally set herself up for trouble, first agreeing on a trip with her ex-boyfriend, who happens to be her best friend's older brother, and then by claiming a total stranger is her new boyfriend just to save face and having her ex confirm her story. Luckily that stranger goes along with Britt's lie, and isn't she surprised when her truck gets stranded in a snow storm and she winds up on that very same stranger's doorstep. ;)

From there, trouble begins and Britt isn't sure who to trust, especially since there is a murderer on the loose. I admit, I figured out who the murderer was early on. *Sigh* I'm really cursed when it comes to figuring out plots before I'm supposed to. But anyway, I still really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

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31. Writer Wednesday: Things Happen For A Reason

Sometimes one of the hardest lessons to learn is that things happen for a reason. When my former agency closed, I was devastated, but now I'm with a new agency and I couldn't be happier. Even the disaster going on at my house was for a reason. When the downstairs walls were ruined from the rain, they had to be gutted and we found a bunch of electrical wires that could have caused fires down the line because they weren't run properly at all. So my huge mess definitely happened for a reason, and while it's been crazy, I'm glad these issues were discovered and addressed.

My house/construction situation made me realize that even bad things happen for a reason and can lead to good things. So the next time I get down about something writing related, I'm going to take the time to find the good that will eventually come from it.
  • A writing slump could just be your brain refreshing before a great new idea hits. 
  • A troublesome revision might evolve into a necessary rewrite that is ten times better than the previous draft. 
  • A messy POV might reveal that the wrong character is telling the story.
  • A character who won't listen and do what you want them to might be trying to tell you they have a better way to tell the story.
  • A document crash that erases your work might be the kick in the butt you need to rethink your story.

How do I know this? Because all of those things I just listed have happened to me, and I'm thankful for each and every one.

What's "happened for a reason" lately in your writing?

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32. Monday Mishmash 7/21/14

Happy Monday! Here's my Mishmash of thoughts:
  1. Construction  We had water damage to our house and the downstairs had to be completely gutted and treated for mold. It's a nightmare. I've been out of my house since last Wednesday and will be out all this week too while it's being repaired. I'll do my best to respond to comments during that time.
  2. Revision  I'm still revising my MG sequel. It's been slow going thanks to the disaster going on in my house and having to relocate for a while.
  3. Schedules  I'm a very scheduled person and my schedule has been so off this summer. Adjusting to that has been tough.
  4. Reading  I discovered a bunch of books on my Kindle that I forgot were there. I'm going back and reading those before I purchase more. Right now I'm reading Hereafter by Tara Hudson.
  5. Deal Announcement  The official deal announcement for Into the Fire and Perfect For You is here. It's always exciting to see these. :)
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That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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33. Friday Feature: Souless Cover Reveal

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing 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, three 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 and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

COMING October 13, 2014

PREORDER your print copy
Sign up for Crystal Collier's newsletter to receive release news and freebies.

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34. Writer Wednesday: Switching Age Levels

When I first started writing, I was convinced middle grade was the age level for me. I wrote two MG (middle grade) books and loved it. Then I went to a conference and listened to a panel of authors who primarily wrote picture books and thought maybe I should give that a try since I was constantly reading them to my daughter at the time. After that a YA (young adult) idea came to me. And years later, I got an idea that was clearly NA (new adult). 

As you can see, I love all age groups. Writing across age groups has allowed me to branch out with my creativity, which I love. But it's also tricky. I'm revising one of my MG novels right now and my brain is stuck in YA mode. For a little while I wondered why, but I realized it's because I was reading two YA novels while revising my MG. There was my problem. In order to revise my MG, I need to be reading MG. That grounds me in the voice I need for that age level.

So, I'm scouring my MG books and diving into one this week while I revise. Am I the only one who does this, or do you read the age level you are currently writing?

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35. Monday Mishmash: 7/14/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
  1. I have a roof!  Finally! The addition isn't finished yet but I have a roof, which means no more raining in my house. Yay!
  2. Beth Fred's Blurb Writing Class  Beth Fred is teaching another online blurb writing class in August. Beth is great at writing blurbs so you're going to want to sign up here.
  3. Revisions  I'm working on second round revisions of my MG novel this week. I still have more to trim off my word count.
  4. Kiss of Death  My Touch of Death prequel novella from Alex's POV will be ready soon, and it will be free! I can't wait to share it with you.
  5. Reviewing  I need to catch up on reviews. I have two waiting for me to write them. Hopefully they'll get taken care of this week.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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36. Friday Feature: Losing Track Cover Reveal

I'm happy to share the cover of my fellow YA Bound buddy Trisha Wolfe's upcoming book, Losing Track, book two in her Living Heartwood series.

Sometimes you have to lose your way before finding the right track.

The roar of a bike engine. The vibration between her thighs. The feel of cool darkness kissing her skin as she coasts along twisty back roads at night—Melody Lachlan lives for these things. Ever since Mel and her best friend Darla escaped their small, backwoods town, they’ve traveled the countryside in search of fast rides, tatted bikers, and good times.

A self-proclaimed poet and lover of all things free, Mel views her life as one long bike ride—with pit stops along the way to numb the pain. But she never saw herself as a junkie. Party as hard as you ride. That’s her motto…until a tragic night steals her soul. Then she’s forced to delve below the surface, to where her demons rage.

When she meets recovered drug addict Boone Randall, she’s more likely to deck him than kiss his dimple-adorable face. She doesn’t want his help; doesn’t want to own up to her part in that night. She just wants to do her time and keep her promise to her friend. Yet Boone challenges Mel, and soon she doesn’t mind sharing the road. Only when Boone’s own secret demons threaten their newfound, fragile security, Mel’s course becomes rocky, and she must decide if letting her well-worn track marks fade is worth finding a new path.

Told from Dual point of view from Melody and Boone, this is a New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers seventeen years of age and older.




Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE'S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.She's the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.com for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like herFacebook page for updates.

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37. Writer Wednesday: Ebook and Online Promotion

Last week I talked about booking store signings to promote your books, and several people commented that they have books that are only available in ebook format so booking in-store signing wasn't an option. For that reason, I want to talk about ebook and online promotion today.

First of all, you can book signings for ebooks. You really can. I know authors who bring a laptop to the signings so people can go online and order their book. Since you don't have paperbacks to sign, you sign SWAG instead. Post cards or bookmarks work well for this. If you want to get more people to come, hold a raffle. You can have anyone who comes over to get signed SWAG enter, AND people who order your book online right there can get extra entries. They leave their contact info and you mail the prize to the winner if they aren't present for the drawing. 

Aside from signings, you can host Twitter parties using a specific hashtag for your book. For instance, I'd use #TheMonsterWithin for a Twitter party for my YA witch book The Monster Within. Invite people to come for an hour in the evening (weekdays work best because people are busy on the weekends) and hold giveaways every fifteen minutes. The giveaways can be for anything: chocolate, ebooks, signed paperbacks, SWAG, gift cards, etc. Also, your book title will be mentioned in every hashtag, which might make your book trend on Twitter. Attendees can ask you questions about your book, but be prepared with teasers, videos (your book trailer and/or videos from your book's playlist), and other interesting things people would want to know in case attendees get shy. You don't want a silent Twitter feed.

Facebook parties are also great. You create a page for the event and run it much like the Twitter party. Come prepared with teasers and everything I mentioned for the Twitter party. Hold the giveaways the same way too. You can hold contests where people post pictures of your characters and the one that most closely resembles the character wins a prize. Be creative. 

Book Blitzes are a great way to get your book on multiple blogs in a short period of time, usually one day or one week. When a book pops up all over the place, people notice. You can set up a book blitz yourself or through a touring company.

Blog Tours are similar to book blitzes but they are more in-depth. These include excerpts, interviews, guest posts, trailer reveals, giveaways, etc, in addition to just your cover, blurb, bio, and buy links. Again, you can set these up on your own or through a tour company.

Ads are another way to go if you're up for spending some cash. Goodreads, Facebook, and popular book sites all sell ad space for different size ads and they run for different lengths of time depending on price.

These are just a few ways to promote your ebook. Know any other ways? Please share in the comments.

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38. Monday Mishmash 7/7/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
  1. Leap Books Shine Editor  I joined the team over at Leap Books to be a final proofreader for their Shine YA imprint. I'm excited to work with this publisher and their authors.
  2. Construction is still going on  I had to leave my house on Wednesday when there were waterfalls in my house. I'm talking rushing water down the walls. I went to my parents' house with my daughter, and my husband fought stayed home to save the house. Construction continues and I'll be going back to my parents' house later this week. I just want this to be finished already.
  3. Revisions  I'm revising the second book in the Curse of the Granville Fortune series this week. A lot of changes were made to book one so I have to fix book two to reflect those changes.
  4. Client edits  I have more client edits to do this week, which is always good.
  5. Two upcoming picture books  I just signed artist agreements for two of my upcoming picture books with Guardian Angel Publishing. I'm so excited to see my stories illustrated, and I couldn't be happier with both illustrators the publisher paired with my books.
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 but would like to receive one, click here.*

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39. Friday Feature: Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley

Ask Aria Morse anything, and she must answer with the truth. Yet she rarely understands the cryptic words she‘s compelled to utter. Blessed—or cursed—with the power of an Oracle who cannot decipher her own predictions, she does her best to avoid anyone and everyone. 
But Aria can no longer hide when Jade, one of the few girls at school who ever showed her any kindness, disappears. Any time Aria overhears a question about Jade, she inadvertently reveals something new, a clue or hint as to why Jade vanished. But like stray pieces from different puzzles, her words never present a clear picture.
Then there’s Alex, damaged and dangerous, but the first person other than Jade to stand up for her. And Will, who offers a bond that seems impossible for a girl who’s always been alone. Both were involved with Jade. Aria may be the only one who can find out what happened, but the closer she gets to solving the crime, the more she becomes a target. Not everyone wants the truth to come out.

My thoughts:
First, I love the name Aria, and considering she almost sings her answers in a very prophetic manner, the name really suited this character. Aria has a gift, but she sees it as a curse because it makes her different from everyone else. She can't ignore questions. That means she mutters to herself in class, walking down the hall, and even when watching TV. And what really bothers Aria is that she doesn't always understand her own answers.

So when a girl from her school goes missing, Aria finds herself in a really awful situation. Everyone has questions about Jade, and Aria has answers. She just can't figure out what they mean. And when the two biggest suspects, Jade's boyfriend and the guy she's been seeing on the side, both want to befriend Aria, things get even stranger.

I have to admit I figured out who the killer was, but I still enjoyed the story. Decoding Aria's riddle-like answers was a lot of fun. This is definitely an enjoyable thriller.

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40. Writer Wednesday: Putting Yourself Out There

I recently got an email from one of my publicists asking me what events I had coming up. To be honest, it was an eye opener for me. I planned a lot of events in the spring, but then there was a gap. A big gap. I have a book tour with other authors planned for the fall, but I realized my summer was wide open, which just isn't okay. So, I got my butt in gear and started contacting bookstores.

I reached out to a bookstore owner I met at YA Fest and got a very nice email stating she'd love to have me sign at her store this summer. I also contacted the Books-A-Million by me because they were on my list for the fall witch book tour for The Monster Within. But after I talked to the manager about the tour I also asked if I could come in alone over the summer for my Touch of Death series. And they said they'd order my books right away.

Sometimes we need a reminder to get ourselves out there. I love doing events. Other than writing a new book, it's the most fun part of this career. What I don't like is booking the events because it means I have to step out of my comfort zone and sell myself and my books to people. But that's exactly what I have to do. I'm really glad my publicist emailed me, because now I can go back to her and give her a list of events I have coming up.

What are you doing to put yourself out there?

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41. Monday Mishmash 6/30/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

  1. Construction  *Sigh* I knew this was going to be bad, but ugh. I can't wait until July is over so this construction will be finished. Still no roof, which means lots of rain damage. :(
  2. July  How is it almost July already? I mean seriously? Where did June go?
  3. Editing  Amidst the craziness in my house, I'm editing for clients this week. It's keeping me sane.
  4. Books heading to production  I recently had three titles to proofread and get ready for production. So exciting!
  5. Touch of Death Series  Last week, Stalked by Death became a #1 best seller in Teen & Young Adult Greek and Roman Myths, and Touch of Death was the #3 best seller in the same category! Needless to say, I was thrilled! Thank you to all who bought copies.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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42. Friday Feature: Cold Calls by Charles Benoit

Three high school students—Eric, Shelly, and Fatima-have one thing in common: "I know your secret."

Each one is blackmailed into bullying specifically targeted schoolmates by a mysterious caller who whispers from their cell phones and holds carefully guarded secrets over their heads. But how could anyone have obtained that photo, read those hidden pages, uncovered this buried past? Thrown together, the three teens join forces to find the stranger who threatens them-before time runs out and their shattering secrets are revealed . . .

My thoughts:

The back of this book said it was Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club, and I was sold with that one line. One of my favorite TV series meets one of my favorite movies? Yeah, I'm reading it. I love suspense. The book begins with Eric getting a threatening call from someone who has been inside his house, judging by the photo the caller sends him. It was a great creepy moment to start the story. The caller knows Eric's secret, knows it and has evidence to send to everyone in Eric's phone contact list. That is unless Eric follows a list of tasks targeted at a kid at Eric's school. Eric is bullied into being a bully and winds up getting caught and thrown into a program for bullies.
At the program, Eric meets others who have gotten the same calls. Together they try to figure out who is harassing them and put an end to the sick game before all their secrets are spilled.

I really loved the cast of characters and the variations of their secrets. Finding out who the caller was also kept me turning the pages. And the ending! It was my kind of ending. Perfect for a suspense like this one. I highly recommend this book.

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43. Writer Wednesday: Group Promotion

Promotion is tough. I think we all can agree on that one. But there are ways to make it easier and one of them is to join forces with other authors. First, it's fun to cross promote with authors who write similar books. Second, you reach a bigger audience by merging your promotional efforts. Here's how I'm using group promotion right now:
  • Group Book Tour: I have a book tour in the works with three other authors for this coming fall. Bookstores love to book multiple authors for events because it usually drives in more traffic. More authors means more fans. 
  • Group Blogs: I'm also part of two group blogs, YA Bound and Darkly Delicious YA. YA Bound has been around for a while and runs the very successful Swoon Thursday meme. We get a lot of traffic on a daily basis. DDYA is relatively new and made up of YA authors who write darker books. We promote each other's books and do joint giveaways. In fact, we have one going on right now. We're giving away a ton of our books. That's another plus to joining forces with other authors. You can offer big prizes for very low cost to you and the other authors. 

Enter this giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Blog Hops:  I participate in blog hops, which also allow authors to band together and offer prizes to readers. The more authors, the more prizes, and the more happy readers.
These are just a few ways you can join forces with other authors and promote each other. I'm always looking for more ways, so feel free to share in the comments if you know of others.

Do you use group promotion?

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44. Monday Mishmash: 6/9/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

1. Construction  Major construction is underway and I'll be fleeing to my mom's house for a while. If I'm a little MIA, you know why. I have to drive my daughter back and forth to school each day from NJ, which won't be fun. 

2. Beth Fred's Blurb Writing Class  There are still openings in Beth Fred's online blurb writing course. Sign up here.

3. Drafting  Last week I fast drafted the opening of a new manuscript. I'm hoping to keep moving on it this week, but I'm sure my pace will slow quite a bit thanks to the craziness of this construction. Wish me luck, please!

4. Catch Me When I Fall Cover Reveal and Giveaway  My agency sister, Vicki Leigh, has a cover reveal for her upcoming YA releasing October 23 through Curiosity Quills Press. Check it out. 

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.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway
5. The Monster Within Teaser, Kindle Pre-order Sale, and Trailer!  Lots of good stuff going on for The Monster Within. First the Kindle edition is on sale for only $3.99. This sale won't last so get your copy here now. And here's a new teaser for you:

And…here's the book trailer:

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

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    45. Writer Wednesday: Beth Fred's Tips on Plot

    Please welcome my good friend and fellow author, Beth Fred. In addition to writing, Beth teaches courses on plot and writing book blurbs. She knows her stuff. So, without further ado, here's Beth!

    Thanks for having me here to talk about plot today, Kelly.

    What's the big deal about plot? Well, it's the structure of your whole story. Take a hardback fro your bookshelf. If the spine is in tact you can flip through it and not have to worry about what falls out. You can probably even stand it up, and it will stay because it has a backbone. The true backbone of that story is the plot. What really makes it stand up and stand out is the plot. It's true every now and then you come across a phenomenal book that made your faves list for other reasons like theme or characterization. Still it had to have some kind of plot even if that wasn't it's biggest strength. But most modern day bestsellers have a strong plot.

    My favorite device and the plotting technique I teach is the three act structure. It's been around since the Greek plays. The three act structure is commonly used in films because it's all about keeping the tension up to push the story further and further along until it explodes into a climax and evens out in falling action. It's so popular right now because with the action scenes and sequences we are bombarded with in film and television, this is the pacing we are used to. The three act structure is by no means the only way to write a book. But it's perhaps the most common. It's in my view best and it's the one I use. 

    Another likely option is GMC. Goal, Motivation, Conflict. Debra Dixon wrote the book on this, literally, and you can find my review here. I had the opportunity to meet with Debra and she says that if you are using GMC the seven pivotal scenes of the three act structure are already in your story. But GMC works like this. Your MC has a goal for some reason (motivation). Conflict is whatever gets in the way of that goal but your MC will do whatever it takes to overcome the conflict and accomplish goals because well motivated human beings just don't like things getting in their way. This is a logical pattern and the book does a good job of showing how to use this for plotting. I just think it works better for characterization.

    But, Beth, I'm a pantser. Well, so was/am I. That's another thing I love about the three act structure. I start my books with a seven sentence outline. That's it. Anything more is too much.

    Do you plot? How so?

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    46. Friday Feature: Significance by Shelly Crane

    Significance (Significance, #1) Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track, but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating - barely - and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has.
    Then she saves the life of Caleb and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally.
    They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive.
    Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him.

    Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?

    My thoughts:
    The concept of imprinting is what drew me to this book. I actually use that concept in Into the Fire, so I wanted to see how another author handled it. I have to say that Crane didn't disappoint. I was immediately rooting for Maggie and Caleb, and I felt like the connection they had was both genuine and realistic. The imprint kind of throws them into each other's arms, but that's the nature of an imprint. I liked how it was all new to Maggie and she lets the reader feel her draw to Caleb while still finding it odd to care about someone so much when she just met him.

    The book has a nice balance of action and inner reflection. I was never bored and constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed both the characters and the plot. My only complaint was that I found a lot of errors in the book. I'm pretty lenient when it comes to understanding human error. Even after having a team of people proofread a book, an error can slip through. I get that. But there were enough errors for me to really notice and that makes me sad because I would rate this book a five for content and characterization, but I have to deduct a point for grammar/punctuation.

    If you can get passed the errors, this story is well worth the read. Oh, and I really liked how this book sort of bridges the YA/NA age groups. I think it appeals to both.

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    47. Monday Mishmash: 6/16/14

    Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
    1. The Monster Within Release Tomorrow!  Tomorrow is the big day! I wrote The Monster Within the first twelve days of 2012, and I signed with Spencer Hill Press the following September. It's been a long wait, and I'm so excited to share Sam and Ethan's story with you all. 
    2. Face of Death is the Kindle Big Deal  Face of Death is part of the Kindle Big Deal June 13 through June 28th! That means you can grab a copy for only $2.99! Get yours here. Oh, and Touch of Death is now only $2.99 as well since the full series is out. :)
    3. Out on Submission  Today my YA contemporary written under my pen name, Ashelyn Drake, goes out on submission. I'm excited and nervous!
    4. Father's Day  I hope all you dads had a great Father's Day. I didn't get to see my dad, but I we'll celebrate another day. I did have a nice day with my husband, daughter, and my in-laws though.
    5. Revisions  I'm finishing up revisions on a YA title my CPs got back to me last week. My goal is to send it to my agent in the next couple of days.
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    48. Writer Wednesday: Dream Casts

    When we're drafting a new book or are preparing for a book to be published a fun thing to do is scour actors to potentially play the roles of our characters. Yes, it's dreaming big, but like I said it's fun. Since The Monster Within released yesterday, I want to share my dream cast—well, a partial cast at least.

    Samantha Thompson ~ Sam is my MC. She dies of cancer at seventeen and is brought back to life by her longterm boyfriend, Ethan. Sam is strong but falls victim to a monster inside her, one that surfaces after she's brought back to life. She definitely has a dark side, but she's also a survivor. My pick for Sam is Adelaide Kane. You probably recognize her from the TV series Reign.

    Ethan Anderson ~ Ethan is the male lead and Sam's boyfriend. He loves her so much he found a way to bring her back from the dead, but he won't tell her what he did. Ethan is extremely loving and sexy, but he's keeping a big secret. My choice for Ethan is Brandt Daugherty. You might recognize him as Noel Kahn on Pretty Little Liars.

    Mr. Ryan ~ Mr. Ryan is one of Sam's teachers at her new school. He happens to both help Sam get used to a new school and cause problems for her at the same time because he's the hot young teacher every girl in school drools over. This was a no-brainer for me as far as casting Mr. Ryan. He's definitely Jensen Ackles, best known as Dean Winchester on Supernatural.

    Now, there are a lot of other characters in this book, but I'm not going to post them all. Instead I'm going to show you the triquetra necklace that goes along with this book, because it's not just fun to think of dream casts. It's also fun to see objects in the book brought to life. 

    Do you create dream casts for your books? Do you do this before you start drafting, while you're writing, or after the book is finished?

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    49. Friday Feature: Into the Fire

    If you've been following my blog for a while, you've probably noticed a book called Into the Fire in my side bar. You may have also noticed that the cover has changed slightly.
    Yes, that's right. It now has my Ashelyn Drake romance pen name on the book as well. Why you ask? Well, to answer that question, I'd like to share the Dear Reader letter I wrote at the start of the book.

    Dear Reader,

    When I set out to write Into the Fire, I thought I was writing a paranormal novel. But after I witnessed Cara and Logan together, I soon realized I wasn’t just writing a story about a Phoenix trying to save her kind. I was writing a love story. And the further I got into the novel, the more it became obvious that the book was equal parts paranormal and romance. In essence, you could remove the paranormal and have a straightforward romance, or remove the romance and have a full-fledged paranormal novel. Honestly, I prefer the blend of the two, but the tricky part became how to brand this particular series.

    As many of you know, I write under two names. Kelly Hashway is my speculative fiction name, and Ashelyn Drake is my contemporary romance pen name. When it came to deciding which name should be on the cover of Into the Fire, there was really only one answer: both. For a book that is so clearly two genres, I need both my names. I hope that everyone who reads the book will agree and see why I chose to blend the names I write under.

    So for the Kelly Hashway fans, I can promise you will get a Kelly Hashway paranormal novel that you are accustomed to, and Ashelyn Drake fans will get the kind of romance they are used to. It’s the best of both worlds, something for everyone.

    Thank you for picking up Into the Fire. I hope you fall in love with Cara and Logan the way I have, and that you root for Cara and the Phoenixes as they fight for their lives against the Hunters.

    Yours truly,
    Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake 

    The ebook will actually release through Swoon Romance, while the paperback edition will release through Month9Books. We're embracing both genres fully, and I love it. Another change is that it was previously listed on Goodreads as a Kelly Hashway title, but it now appears as an Ashelyn Drake title. If you'd like to add it, you can find it here.

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    50. Monday Mishmash 6/23/14

    Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
    1. Construction  I stayed at my parents' house for four days to avoid the construction here. It was a glorious, stress-free break but I'm home again now. Please tell me this construction can't last forever.
    2. Limited internet access  I will most likely not have internet for most of today and maybe tomorrow because of the construction. I'll have to catch up on responding to comments once it's back on.
    3. Curse of the Granville Fortune  I'm working on final proofreading for my MG fantasy, Curse of the Granville Fortune this week. Let's see if I can get this done with all the craziness over here.
    4. Client edit  I'm also working on a client edit this week. I may have to spend a lot of time outdoors to get this accomplished. The inside of my house is a nightmare.
    5. Swimming  This is how I'm staying sane this summer. I escape to the pool when I get really stressed. I wouldn't survive without it.
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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