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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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26. Writer Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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27. Monday Mishmash: 8/25/14


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

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

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

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28. Friday Feature: Catch Me When I Fall Review


 20826785

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

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

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


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

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

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

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29. Writer Wednesday: Deal Announcement


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

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

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

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

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30. Monday Mishmash 8/18/14


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

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

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

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

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31. Friday Feature: Queen of Someday Trailer Reveal


I am super excited to finally reveal the book trailer for

Queen of Someday: A Stolen Empire Novel

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

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

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

   

What people are saying about Queen of Someday:

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

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

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

And be sure to enter the giveaway!


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

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

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32. Writer Wednesday: Keeping Focus


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

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

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

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

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33. Monday Mishmash 8/11/14


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

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

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

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34. Friday Feature: Sassy Summer Book Party


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck to all who enter!

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35. Writer Wednesday: Making a Book Trailer


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

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

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



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



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

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



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

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

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36. 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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37. Friday Feature: Sasquatch Cover Reveal



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


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

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38. 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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39. 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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40. Friday Feature: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick


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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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41. 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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42. 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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43. 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
or 
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44. 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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45. 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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46. 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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47. 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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48. 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.




COMING SEPTEMBER 2014!
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.


ADD TO GOODREADS

THE DARKEST PART (Bk #1) AVAILABLE TODAY!


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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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49. 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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50. 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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