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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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26. Writer Wednesday: Cover Clones


Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay, who posed the question:

How do you avoid ending up with duplicate covers to other authors? Especially with use of stock photo images? Is digital manipulation enough and is going custom always viable with meager pockets?

Duplicate or similar covers happen more than we'd like. There's even a list on Goodreads called cover clones. And I have books on that list. It happens because of stock images. Those images are bought countless times. In fact, my cover for Touch of Death even appears on a slot machine! So how do you avoid this?

The only way to be absolutely sure your cover image won't appear anywhere else is to have it custom made, either by means of a photo shoot or illustrator (who promises not to sell that image to anyone else). That can be costly though. So if you have to use stock images, you want to make sure that the image is manipulated enough to make it unique. 

Filters, layers, zoom, and rotation can all be used to help. Filters will create a different effect on the photo, playing with lighting and contrast. Layers are wonderful because it means you are using other images and layering them together to create a new image. Zooming in on a photo will remove background and can sometimes make the original image hard to recognize if it's an extreme close-up. Rotation is good, but it doesn't change the image much. Using a combination of all of these would yield the most results.

So if you want a unique cover, you can accomplish that with stock photos as long as you do enough manipulation. But keep in mind that your cover model WILL appear on other covers. It's going to happen if you use stock photos. But you can change that model's hair color, eye color, clothing color, etc to make her slightly different.

Do any of you have books with cover clones?

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

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27. Monday Mishmash 8/1/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. It's August Already?  Where does the time go? My daughter got out of school at the end of May and she's going back at the end of August. I can't believe it's August already. The summer flew by!
  2. After Loving You  My social media manager and I have a lot of awesome things in the works for my upcoming Ashelyn Drake NA romance. I have two really cool giveaways planned. The bigger one will be exclusive to my street team Kelly's Coven, but the good news is you can still join here.
  3. Back-To-School Sales!  Is it just me or does every writer get giddy browsing the back-to-school bins? I bought flash drives in every color available and was practically squealing in Walmart over the price.
  4. Editing  I'm editing for a client this week, so that will keep me busy.
  5. Reading  I've been struggling to find reading time lately. I did just finish one mystery, but I still am working through a thriller and a suspense. I need a day to just read.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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28. Friday Feature: If It Walks Like a Killer


A perfect family living a perfect lie...


IF IT WALKS LIKE A KILLER 
by Kiersten Modglin
Series: The Caroline Killer Files #1
Genres: Thriller | Crime | Suspense 
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designs

SYNOPSIS :
What Caide and Rachael Abbott want you to believe…

They are happily married college sweethearts, parents to two beautiful children, and they lead a perfect, quiet little life.

What you should believe…

Nothing.

Nothing they tell you.

Nothing you hear.

In fact, nothing in the Abbotts’ picture-perfect world is what it seems.

But when their small town of La Rue, North Carolina is rocked by the brutal murder of a beloved member of the community, a manhunt begins, and neither Caide nor Rachael thought they would become prime suspects.

Every belief Caide and Rachael have about their lives is thrown out the window…

With mounting evidence and lives on the line, the Abbotts are forced to uncover what mysteries are hiding behind closed doors. When old wounds are torn open, secrets are revealed, and their sanity is put to the ultimate test, even memories can’t be trusted in their quest to find the truth. And when the community rallies for justice, suspicions of one another rise, leaving one question begging to be answered...

If it walks like a killer, will the small town of La Rue ever know who the real murderer is?

Watch the BOOK TRAILER!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kiersten Modglin lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and their two Boston Terriers, Cedric and Chloe. A psychology fanatic, lover of Netflix, coffee and all things Harry Potter, Kiersten can almost always be found curled up in her favorite writing chair with a good book. Kiersten writes psychological suspense novels that explore the darkest parts of human nature and the inner workings of twisted minds. Writing has always been an important part of Kiersten’s life; for her, this is just the beginning.


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

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29. Writer Wednesday: Where Writers Ever Just Writers?


Lately I've been wondering if writers were ever just writers. Sure, I guess we could just write books, send them to our agent, who submits to publishers, and let the chips fall where they may while we write the next book. But would we really find success if we ignored all the other jobs writers have?

Today more than ever, writers have to be great at marketing. I'm talking getting your books out there by identifying who your fans are and making sure your book is seen by those fans. Everything from interacting on social media, joining Goodreads and FB groups, setting up book signings, creating teaser images, maintaining a website, blogging, offering free content... The list goes on and on. 

Sometimes I'm left wondering when I'm supposed to write. I'm getting one book ready for production and another ready for my editor, and what I noticed is that some parts of these books are foreign to me. I'm so far removed from when I drafted them that I don't remember writing certain parts. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Distance gives you perspective and can really help during the revision process. But I actually have to schedule writing time. Part of me finds that crazy. I used to just write. Nothing else. Now I'm writing, editing, marketing, and self-publishing. I feel like I wear a thousand hats each day.

So I'm wondering, was it always this way? Or has it gotten worse with time? What do you think?

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

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30. Monday Mishmash 7/25/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Laptop Works Again!  I'm jumping for joy because my laptop is finally working again. I ran a huge update and now everything is good. It took forever, but I'm happy. :)
  2. Proofing After Loving You  I'm doing the final proofing for After Loving You (Ashelyn Drake NA romance) before it goes off to the formatter.
  3. Fun Story! Last week the contractor who put in our new windows told me his wife asked what my first name was and when he told her she realized she recognized my name because she had read one of my books. How cool is that?
  4. Editing  My editing schedule is booked into next year already. Just wow!
  5. Updating My Website  I've been updating my website after a few people asked how to order signed copies of my books. There's now a store! I don't have payment buttons because shipping costs are different depending on where you live, but all my books are there with prices.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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31. Friday Feature: More


Today I'm happy to share More, the latest release by Keren Hughes, who happens to be a great author and a total sweetheart. If you haven't read her books yet, you need to.


Drake Anderson is all the man Annalise Duncan ever wanted… 


Annalise has it all. The perfect husband. The perfect son. The perfect life. After the father of her son Ayden abandoned her to be a single parent, she finally felt like she hit the romance jackpot. Her boss, Drake Anderson, turned out to be more than just a friend. He’s the love of her life, and an amazing stepfather to her son. 

But the picture perfect marriage is merely an illusion… 

After seven wonderful years, Drake leaves. He doesn’t give her a reason, or even the courtesy of a return phone call. Six months go by without even a single acknowledgement. Annalise is devastated. Her heart and soul belonged to Drake, and he was the only father Ayden ever knew. She’d dedicated her life to him and the family they built together, and she isn’t willing to let that dream go easily. 

When Annalise spots Drake out at a café with a woman, her heart shatters all over again. But it’s not what Annalise thinks. He isn’t cheating on her. There are things about leaving that Drake just can’t or won’t explain. Some things should remain a secret. 

He wants his old life back, but Annalise won’t accept anything but the truth… 

Drake has to find a way to convince his wife, his Cariad, to take him back, but it may mean facing a truth he wanted to keep hidden. He must prove to Annalise that despite his past, he wants her… 
More.

Grab it on Amazon.
Keren lives in the UK and is an avid bookworm. She fondly remembers the days where she would lie in her bedroom away from distraction and get lost in the world of make believe. Her first real memory of reading something she fell in love with was The Hobbit. In her teenage years, she became addicted to Point Horror books like RL Stine's The Boyfriend, but she also enjoyed light Summer reads like What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next. 

Over the years she has come to realise that she is a bit of an OCD freak about books. They have to be in perfect condition without the slightest bit of damage. 
She has been a book reviewer for the last few years and a book hoarder for a LOT longer. You can NEVER have too many books! Her shelves are bulging and overflowing but she always wants "just one more book".

Keren had her first book published by Limitless Publishing in November 2013. It's a YA Paranormal Romance novel called Stolen. Her second book was published with LP in May 2014. This time, an NA Contemporary Romance called Nothing Like The First Time. 
She couldn't have been more surprised when NLTFT appeared on the Amazon Best Seller list. That was a dream come true. 

Keren is currently working on more NA Contemporary Romances for you to fall in love with. 

Keren loves hearing from her readers.

You can reach her by email at kerentshughes@gmail.com 
Visit her author blog here: www.authorkerentshughes.wordpress.com
Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/keren.hughes.92 or 
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kerentshughes



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

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32. Writer Wednesday: A Little Perspective


Since I became a part of this crazy world that is book publishing, my goals and perspective have shifted several times. At first, I dreamed of book deals and best-seller lists. Then I learned that this industry is can be harsh. I'm not talking about bad reviews from readers. I'm talking about the industry itself. It's slow. Publishers go under or don't honor contracts, which leads to rights reversions. Agents can come and go as well.

I've been through a lot, and it's made me change my perspective. I no longer stalk my spreadsheet when my agent has one of my books on submission. It's not that I don't care. I definitely do. But I've come to the conclusion that not every book needs to be published traditionally. So if a good publisher wants my book, that's fantastic. If a book doesn't get picked up, I know it's not the end of the world. I'll hire a great editor and self-publish. If I have too much time between releases, I look at the books I have written, decide which would be better suited for self-publishing, and get that in the works so readers are continuing to get new books from me.

Being a hybrid author is freeing. I don't feel the stress I once did in this industry, and I'm much happier for it. Has your perspective changed after being in this industry for a while?

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

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33. Monday Mishmash 7/18/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Back to Normal  I returned from my blogging break last Friday. Now it's back to my normal blogging schedule. While I missed the blog and all of you, it was nice to disconnect for a little while. I barely checked email or anything. 
  2. Reading  I'm in the middle of three books at the moment. I haven't done that in a while. They all happen to be suspense novels too.
  3. Revising  I'm revising my adult suspense so it's ready for my editor in September. I really love this book, and each time I read it, I get ideas for how to make it better.
  4. After Loving You  I'm so close to having my Ashelyn Drake NA romance After Loving You ready for formatting. This book tugs on my heartstrings every time I read it.
  5. National Ice Cream Day  According to my planner, yesterday was National Ice Cream Day. I may have indulged in some myself. ;)
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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34. Friday Feature: A Family For Leona


I'm back! My blogging break is over. Of course I've missed you all. Today, I'm sharing Beverly Stowe McClure's latest release, A Family For Leona.


Ten-year-old Leona Chapter doesn't understand why her papa left his six children at the Brooklyn Home for Homeless Children after their mother's death in 1921. Each day she prays he'll return and take his children home. God, however, isn't listening. Her brothers and sisters are either adopted or run away, leaving only Leona and Baby Mildred in the orphanage. Leona promises she and Mildred will be together for always. A promise she cannot keep, for Leona, along with her friend Noah, who she defends from the bullies Hiram and Jehu, and several other orphans, are soon on a train headed to Texas, while her sister stays at the orphanage. Leona vows she'll go back to Brooklyn, the first chance she gets. An Orphan Tran tale of the early 1900s.

Grab it on Amazon.

Most days, you'll find Beverly at her computer writing stories young voices whisper in her ear. When she's not writing, she plays the piano. Her cats don't appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories. She's sometimes called the "bug lady." She's not telling why.


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

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35. Writer Wednesday: Encouragement

REMINDER: I'll be on a one-week blogging break beginning Friday, July 8th. I'll see you back here on Friday, July 15th.

Lately, I've seen a lot of writers who are just down in the dumps. They're either discouraged because they are experiencing writer's block or they are in the process of separating from a publisher who isn't right for them or they've been on submission for months with no bites from editors. :(

As you probably know, my daughter has been writing her first book. She was so excited when she first began and the idea just flowed. She wrote every day with no shortage of ideas. Well, she's hit the late-middle slump. She knows the ending of her book, but is stuck at the point leading to the climax. She needs some encouragement, and I'm sure some of us could use some too.

So, today I'm asking you to share your words of wisdom in the comments for how you push through when you're going through the many downs that we experience on this roller coaster we call writing. To start you off, here's my advice:

Freewrite anything and everything that comes to mind. Sometimes the act of writing (no matter what about) will inspire creativity and get you over the hump.

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

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36. Monday Mishmash 7/4/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Happy Independence Day!  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July! 
  2. Blogging Break  Just a reminder that I'll be on a blogging break for one week beginning this Friday. I'll return to blogging on Friday, July 15th.
  3. Computer Issues  I've been putting off adding memory to my laptop, but it's causing serious issues now so I really need to do this soon.
  4. Editing  I'm editing for a new client this week.
  5. New Author Logo  Since I'll be self-publishing my new adult and adult titles, I decided I wanted an author logo to put on the back of the books where a publisher logo would go. Here it is! (I love it!) 
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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37. Friday Feature: Curse of Stone by Jen McConnel



Some curses aren't meant to be broken. 

Julia is depressed. Ever since her mom died, it's been hard for Julia to enjoy life, even when she's spending a year studying in Rome. But when an ancient curse attaches itself to her, Julia realizes that she isn't ready to give up. With the help of Fernando, a too-charming-for-words guy from her art history class (and the heir to a black market antiquities business), Julia feels like she might have a second chance at everything. But time is running out, and the curse makes it a matter of life or death. Can Julia and Nando break the curse, or is it already too late?
Grab it here for only $.99!

And keep an eye out for Curse of Gold coming August 2, 2016!

Some curses aren’t meant to be broken… 

When Riley moved to London to get her graduate degree, she never thought of herself as dangerous. But when a guy she loves drops dead, Riley starts to believe in the family curse. Her eccentric grandmother insists that it’s up to Riley to break the centuries-old curse that has plagued the family, but all Riley has to go on are Gran’s cryptic remarks and a little bit of mostly awful luck. 

Her luck changes for the better when she meets Tom, a scholar with a treasure-hunting hobby who knows more about Riley’s curse than either of them realize. Despite the risks, Riley is drawn to Tom, but her curse prevents her from acting on the growing attraction. Will their combined love of esoteric history be enough to break the curse, or will Riley remain deadly to anyone who falls for her?

Preorder it here.

Jen McConnel is an award winning author. She writes Young Adult and New Adult fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat, teaching, or wandering off on another adventure. She grew up in mid-Michigan, attending Western Michigan University, and now lives with her family in North Carolina. She holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and she is currently working on her MFA in Children’s Literature at Hollins University.

Visit http://www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.

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

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38. Writer Wednesday: Broadening Your Reach


As authors, one thing we are constantly trying to do is broaden our reach. You need people to know you and your books exist. So how do you do that? Here are a few ways you should take advantage of:

  • Interviews ~ Never say no to someone who wants to interview you for their blog, newspaper, podcast, etc. I recently did an interview on Super Teacher Worksheets, and it was great. This gets your name out there to readers you may not have otherwise met. (If you're interested, you can read my interview here.)
  • Guest Blog ~ Again, this gets you a new set of readers if the blog you are appearing on has a different following than your own. So reach out to some blogs that you love and see if you can do a guest post for them.
  • Multi-author Giveaways ~ These are fantastic because readers love giveaways. When authors join forces, they join readerships too. That's a very good thing.
  • Blog Hops ~ There are some big blog hops out there. I mean BIG. Getting involved with those will get your book and your name in front of tons of people.
  • Follow Other People's Followers ~ That was a mouthful! What I mean is check out authors you admire and see who they are following and who is following them. Then start following those people too. This is a great way to meet new readers. (This works for Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Use Different Blog Tour Companies ~ We all have those tour companies we love to work with, but they have a base of bloggers they work with. That means using them repeatedly only gets you in front of the same pool of readers. Try other companies as well to find new readers.
These are just a few ways to broaden your reach. Do you know of others? Please share in the comments so we can learn from each other.


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

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39. Monday Mishmash 6/27/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. After Loving You  Things are coming along quite nicely for my October 3rd release, After Loving You (an Ashelyn Drake NA contemporary romance). I love the cover so much and can't wait to share it later this summer.
  2. Reading  I've been sneaking extra reading time lately and I'm loving it. I'm reading two books right now, a mystery and a thriller. Really enjoying both. :)
  3. New Planner!  My old day planner ran out of pages. The horror! But I've replaced it, and I'm loving the new one. The inside is so pretty. It has pockets, color-coded sections, plenty of space for notes, and each month starts with a list of important dates for me to fill in. 
  4. Blogging Break Coming Soon  I've decided to take a blogging break. One week off, starting July 8th. Why? It's summer and we all need a break every once in a while.
  5. Summer injuries  I was proud of myself for all the exercise I've been getting between running, walking, tennis, and swimming. But I got a terrible calf cramp on my last run and haven't been able to run since. It's a huge knot in the muscle. And…I have tendonitis in my ankle too. *Sigh* So I'm walking and swimming for now since those don't hurt too much.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?


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40. Friday Feature: A Love That Disturbs


A LOVE THAT DISTURBS by Medeia Sharif
Evernight Teen, June 17, 2016
Purchase from Amazon (merchant sites will be updated on the author's site)

Maysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her as Maysa strays from the group because of her attraction to Haydee.

Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily.

Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together.



Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

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

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41. Writer Wednesday: The Line Between MG and YA


Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay, who asked how to keep the line between your MG and YA works separate, especially when it comes to knowing to what extent you can go with MG vs. YA.

Okay, so we all know the age difference for MG vs. YA. YA is targeted at teens and the characters tend to be fifteen to eighteen. MG is targeted at the nine to twelve age group with the characters typically around the age of eleven to fourteen. (Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule, but this is a good rule of thumb to go by.) Voice and content are the other two big distinctions.

One of the biggest differences I see is that middle grade is typically more hopeful with happy endings while young adult tends to have a lot of angst. While it's true that many middle grade readers might be cursing and doing things we ourselves didn't do at that age, you don't typically see that in MG books. The stories focus more on the adventures and the character's immediate surroundings—their relationships with family and friends. YA is more about finding your place in the world. There's a lot more self-reflection by the characters, and profanity and even sex can have a place in the story.

I like to think of middle grade as more innocent. A time when you believe the world consists of you, your friends, and your family. YA, on the other hand, is more realistic. You know there's this big world out there and you are struggling to fit into it.

Sheena-Kay, I hope that answers your question. If anyone has any tips for distinguishing between MG and YA, please feel free to leave them in the comments.  


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

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42. Monday Mishmash 6/20/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. After Loving You  I'm getting my Ashelyn Drake NA contemporary romance ready for it's early October release. I've gone through edits and now I'm proofing. 
  2. Visions of Mockingbird Point  The final installment of the Curse of the Granville Fortune series is now available. Find out if J.B. and the gang find the fortune and break the curse. Grab your copy here
  3. Father's Day  I hope all the dads had a great Father's Day!
  4. Exercise  I've been running, walking, playing tennis, and swimming. I love that I'm getting so much exercise, but my bedtime has gotten out of hand. I can barely stay awake until nine because I'm exhausted!
  5. The Secret Sister  My daughter is hard at work on her book, The Secret Sister. She's on chapter sixteen now and already has a cover! I can't wait to see the finished product.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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43. Friday Feature: Blues Bones Review by Guest Reviewer Ayla Hashway


As I'm sure you all know, I acquired Blues Bones by Rick Starkey so I can't review it. However, my daughter, Ayla Hashway, is here today to review the book since she chose to read it for her summer reading. Just a little bit about Ayla: she's nine years old, going into fourth grade, and is an avid reader. 

First, here's the cover and blurb:


Thirteen-year-old Rodney Becker has found the perfect cure for stage fright. Voodoo!

Armed with the stolen finger bones of a dead blues guitar player and a mishmash of voodoo spells from the Internet, he and his best friend enter a graveyard at midnight to perform their ritual. Now, all that stands in his way of winning a local guitar competition is the power of RETURN – a side effect of the voodoo that spells disaster for Rodney.
His cure has become a curse. How else can he explain jamming his finger so bad he can't hold a guitar pick, his part-time dad stealing his guitar, and his mom getting into an accident that could have taken her life?

How much is Rodney willing to risk to achieve his dream of being a guitar legend?

And now, here's Ayla with her review!

Hi,it's Ayla. I read the book Blues Bones for the first time! I kind of felt bad for Rodney when he froze up on stage at the school talent show, but it was funny at the same time. I think people can relate to Rodney with stage fright and other things. I also think it was cool when he played around with the voodoo spells. There were a lot of funny parts to this book. It was fun to read, especially with my mom. So I'm really glad Rick wrote this book. I hope many people get to read it and have as much fun reading it as I did. Have fun reading! Bye!


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

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44. Writer Wednesday: Summer Reading/Writing


My daughter starts summer break today, so we're selecting books to read together in our own little book club. I love reading with her (we take turns reading aloud to each other) because she has such great insights. It also means I get to read some good middle grade books.

In addition to reading this summer, I need to get my Ashelyn Drake contemporary romance, After Loving You, ready for its September release. This story is very special to me because I'm a firm believer that you don't ever stop loving someone, but you can change the way you love them. If you're not sure what I mean, you'll have to read the book in September to find out. ;)

So my summer will consist of lots of reading and writing, because they go hand in hand. Learning from great authors is my favorite form of research, not to mention the most enjoyable way to improve your craft.

Have you selected your summer reads? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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

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45. Friday Feature: Visions of Mockingbird Point Cover Reveal


I'm excited to share the cover of the final installment in my middle grade fantasy adventure series, Curse of the Granville Fortune. Check out Visions of Mockingbird Point.


Being grounded for a month is nothing compared to the mind-numbing visions thirteen-year-old J.B. has when he’s not with Edward and Noelle. The curse of the Granville fortune is getting worse, and if the three don’t find and return the stolen property soon, Noelle’s parents will die.

In a desperate attempt to break the curse, J.B., Edward, and Noelle sneak off to Mockingbird Point, the latest location in their visions. But the visions are also showing that Morgan Grimault is on his way. It’s a race to locate the final portion of the fortune and defeat Grimault once and for all.

With everything on the line, the visions might not be enough to save J.B. and the others from dying at the hands of this curse.

Huge thanks to True Poison for creating this beautiful cover! Don't all three look so nice lined up?


Look for Visions of Mockingbird Point coming late June!

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

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46. Monday Mishmash 6/6/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Visions of Mockingbird Point Cover  In case you missed the cover of the third and final installment of my Curse of the Granville Fortune series, here's Visions of Mockingbird Point (designed by True Poison): 
  2. Edits  I'm working on final edits for Visions of Mockingbird Point. I'm so lucky to work with one of my favorite editors on this series.
  3. Another Author in the Family  My nine-year-old daughter decided to write a book this summer. She's been working on it every day. I'm really excited for her.
  4. Exercise, Exercise, and More Exercise!  After taking two month off from running due to breathing issues, I'm back to it. My daughter also has me walking for an hour each day and swimming all afternoon. I'm exhausted!
  5. Reading  I'm so happy to be reading for enjoyment again. I read all the time because I edit so much, but reading a book without having to edit it is very relaxing.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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47. Writer Wednesday: Guest Blogger Ayla Hashway Talks About Writing Her First Novel


It gives me great pleasure to introduce my guest blogger today. She's writing her first novel and she happens to be my nine-year-old daughter, Ayla. Please welcome her!

Hi, I'm Ayla and I am proud to say that I am in the middle of writing my first novel! I found out that you should do the book on paper first so it's mostly copying off of the paper. It also helps to write notes so it goes faster. I think picking out a cover once you have most of it planned is easier so you can describe it better. Also, add in a lot of detail to make it more interesting. You also do the cover ahead of time because then it will motivate you to do your best and work on it more. 

I had writers block right in the one part of my book, so my mom and I went on a walk and talked it through. It literally took an hour, so don't rush on the book. It will not do you any good. Writing is a lot of fun if you don't rush, plan it through, and do your best! Another thing is don't always pick out the title first because as I went on I realized that the original name didn't go along any more.

I hope you all have fun writing, so keep calm and write on! I hope you enjoy reading and writing your own books.

Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone, Ayla. I can't wait to see your book once it's finished! <3 span="">


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

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48. Friday Feature: Cover Reveal for At First Blush


Today I'm happy to share the cover of At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer!


Lacey Robbins has one goal for the summer: hit one million subscribers on her YouTube beauty channel. Working as an On Trend magazine video blogger is just the platform she needs to get there, but falling for the cover boy, rock star Tyler Lance, was not part of her plan--especially since his dating history is longer than her Sephora wish list.

She can't avoid him for long though, not when it's her job to film vlogs with him. As Lacey and Tyler grow closer on and off camera, her channel becomes popular for all the wrong reasons, and the two YouTubers she's working with officially hate her. Lacey's only solace is spending time with Kendall Wynn, On Trend'sresident makeup artist. Kendall's scattered, carefree approach to makeup reminds Lacey why she ever picked up a tube of lipstick in the first place.

Nothing about this summer is going according to Lacey's perfect plan, and pretty soon she learns that filming makeup tutorials is easy. It's real life that could use some editing.

Beth Ellyn Summer writes contemporary young adult fiction that somehow always includes the following elements: fame, makeup, and television. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Print and Electronic Journalism. Interning for Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon was the highlight of her college years. When she's not writing, Beth can be found swatching eyeshadows, solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and playing with her adorable cat, Penny Belle. Beth lives on Long Island in a cookie cutter town that, in an ironic twist of fate, doesn't have a single decent bakery.


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

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49. Monday Mishmash 6/13/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Grandfather's 95th Birthday  Today I'm celebrating my grandfather's 95th birthday!
  2. Editing  I'm editing for clients again this week.
  3. Proofing Visions of Mockingbird Point  Book three in the Curse of the Granville Fortune series is almost ready. I'm proofing the ARC right now.
  4. Summer  I'm still getting used to my summer schedule. I'm not getting as much work done as usual, but I'm exercising like crazy.
  5. Orlando  My heart goes out to all those affected by the shooting in Orlando. 
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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50. Writer Wednesday: Revising Through Difficult Times


I've been quieter than usual online for the past few days because my great-uncle passed away. While the death of a loved one is never easy, it came at a peculiar time for me. I've been proofing the print ARC of Visions of Mockingbird Point, and while I was doing this, I realized my uncle is all over this book.

The grandparents' house in the story is actually my uncle's old house in Maryland (though in the book, the location is not Maryland). The details of the long driveway and the house with a sitting room in back that looks out over the sloping backyard leading to the dock… They're all from my memories of visiting my uncle. I have a lot of great memories of him, and I was able to get some comfort in rereading my book that was full of those good times. I had forgotten how many things from my time with him slipped into this story.

It wasn't easy to proofread through tears, but they were tears of joy. Happy memories that I'll allow to help me through this difficult time. He will live on in my heart, my memories, and this book. So thank you, Uncle Jerry. This book wouldn't be what it is without you and neither would I.

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

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