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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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26. Friday Feature: Don't Call Me Kit Kat



Junior high is where things really start to happen. Cliques form and break apart. Couples are made and destroyed. And a reputation is solidified that you won’t ever be able to escape. Everything you do and say, and everyone you spend your time with, matters. 

Katie Mills knows that. She gets it. That’s why she tried so hard to get in with the cool girls at school. And why she was so devastated when those efforts found her detained for shoplifting and laughed out of cheer squad tryouts. 

But Katie has more to worry about than just fitting in. Her parents are divorced and always fighting. Her sister never has time for her. And her friends all seem to be drifting apart. Even worse? The boy she has a crush on is dating the mean girl at school. 

Everything is a mess, and Katie doesn’t feel like she has control over any of it. Certainly not over her weight, which has always topped out at slightly pudgier than normal—at least, according to her mother. 

So when she happens to catch one of the popular girls throwing up in the bathroom one day, it sparks an idea. A match that quickly engulfs her life in flames. 

Is there any going back once she gets started down this path? 

And would she even want to if she could?

Find it on Amazon.

Check out this trailer:


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

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27. Writer Wednesday: The Common Thread


A while back, Beth Fred and I were talking about mission statements and the common theme in the books we write. Now, you all know I write across genres and age levels, so you can imagine my reaction when Beth said there must be a common theme in all my books.

Um… Yeah, that was me. I've always said I'm not one to write to trends. I write the stories I feel I need to tell. And that's led me to having a pen name for romance while I write speculative fiction under my own name. But after a while, I realized Beth was right. There IS a common theme in all my books. It's self-discovery.

In my Touch of Death series, Jodi finds out she's a special kind of necromancer descended from the Gorgon Medusa. She struggles with what this means for her and how she'll have to adapt her life now that she's poisonous to humans.

In The Monster Within books, Sam dies of cancer at seventeen and is brought back from the dead as a monster who has to kill to survive. She struggles to figure out where she fits into the world and whether or not she's willing to kill others in order to live.

In Perfect For You (Ashelyn Drake title), Meg is trying to find herself again after having her heart broken in a very public and humiliating way. As much as it's about her finding the right guy, it's about her finding herself.

In A Lion's Song (my most recent picture book), Amara is trying to figure out her place in the pride when she's the only lion who can't roar.

I could keep going with all my books, but I think you can see the common thread. All my MCs are struggling to figure out who they are in this world and what that means for them. So I do have a common theme after all, even if I didn't know I did at the time I wrote these books.

What common theme pops up in your work?

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28. Monday Mishmash 5/25/15


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. Memorial Day  Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I hope you have a fun and safe holiday.
  2. Editing  I've been editing a lot lately, which is nice because I just finished a big writing binge before these edits rolled in.
  3. Secret News  I'm going to have news to share hopefully soon. I'm really excited. :)
  4. The Darkness Within  June 2nd is just around the corner, which means it's almost time for the release of The Darkness Within. I love that Ethan has a bigger part in this book. I've got a release day blast, a blog tour, and a social media takeover planned for release week. Wow!
  5. Feeling Thankful  I've said it before but I have to say it again. I have the best street team. I'm always completely amazed at how my street team members take it upon themselves to find new ways to promote my books. They do a lot on their own, and I couldn't be more grateful. I love Kelly's Coven!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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29. Friday Feature: This Is Sarah



When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin’s world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that could change everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so, how far will he go to bring her back?

Excerpt:
I get up early to run, because it’s easier in the morning. There's no one up yet at five am, and the streets belong to me. I don’t even bring music anymore. I only want to hear the steady thwack of my sneakers on the pavement, the rustle of leaves in the breeze and the huff of air coming out of my lungs. It sets up a rhythm that allows my brain to shut off for a while so my mind stays empty.
Not thinking feels good. It’s one of the few things that still feels good.
            I crest the hill at the top of Cedarhurst and pick up speed going down. My lungs feel clean and clear, and I think about sprinting the last five or six blocks back to my driveway. My energy seems a little low, but I figured I can probably push it.
The sound of my feet hitting the pavement intensifies and I pump my arms hard, small tears forming in my eyes from the wind. I clear my mind. I am no longer Colin. I’m just muscle, tissue and bone; a complex and delicate machine pushing its way against gravity and inertia, covering distance on this rock floating in the darkness of an ever-expanding space.
            When Claire pulls her bike alongside me I nearly jump out of my skin. Where the hell did she come from? She pedals hard, riding off the seat, her blonde hair whipping back. She passes me and looks back and smiles. As the distance between us grows, I’m overcome with loss, and a sort of panic, like I need to catch up to her. I’m not sure what it is, but I watch her move away from me, her blonde hair streaming, her legs working the pedals and every muscle in my body screams to catch her.
Suddenly Claire is everything in the world, everything beautiful, alive, peaceful, and good, and it’s all getting away from me.
The farther she gets from me, the closer she gets to the monsters and all I want in the world is for Claire to always be safe.
Jesus Christ, I just want to be able to save one of them.
She looks back at me once and smiles before pumping the pedals again. In that moment, that small bright moment, her hair and her smile reflecting the early morning sun, she looks just like Sarah. Just like Claire looked that day in the hallway.
Suddenly I feel so hollow and empty, carved out like the husk of some dead cicada. I watch her get away from me and feel more lost than ever before. She rounds the bend and disappears from my line of sight, something inside of me snaps and I stumble forward. My feet now clumsy, my balance thrown off, until I stop, bent, heaving, coughing, spitting foam, my heart wild inside me. In my head, an image forms of Sarah when I made her laugh so hard she nearly choked on her sandwich at the diner.
That was Sarah.
Sarah and me, in a moment we won’t have again. A moment that was once real but now feels like it belonged to another life. Neither of us foresaw it ending this way.
The year before or the week before or the day before. We never saw it coming.
If I knew when she stood on that driveway, staring up at me, with me hanging out of the window looking down at her, if I knew, I would have told her everything.

Find This Is Sarah on Amazon.




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30. Writer Wednesday: Who Am I?


Did my post title confuse you? It confused me a little too if I'm being honest. And here's why. My agent, the very talented and uber intelligent Sarah Negovetich, recently posted about author bios, and I had to smack myself in the forehead after reading her post. Why? Because I did every one of the things she cautions authors NOT to do. ;) Oops! If you haven't read her post, check it out here. It's definitely worth your time.

I realized I had to change my bio because one thing I really pride myself on is being me. I embarrass myself all the time because I refuse to hide who I really am. Yet my bio was doing just that. It was stuffy and boring. My motto is, and has always been, "If you're not weird, you're boring." So why was my author bio boring?

Here's my old bio so you can see for yourself:
Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

It's over, so feel free to stretch and wake yourself up again. Yawnfest, right? So, I'm trying to get my bio to convey who I really am, and while I'm not quite happy with it yet, I think it's getting there. So, I'm going to share it with you today so you can tell me what you think.

Here we go:
Kelly Hashway fully admits to being one of the most accident-prone people on the planet, but that didn’t stop her from jumping out of an airplane at ten thousand feet one Halloween. Maybe it was growing up reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books that instilled a love of all things scary and a desire to live in a world filled with supernatural creatures, but she spends her days writing speculative fiction for young adults and middle graders. Kelly’s also a sucker for first love, which is why she writes YA and NA romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she’s not writing, Kelly works as an editor, and also as Mom, which she believes is a job title that deserves to be capitalized. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

For those of you who have known me for a while, what do you think? Is it more me? Would you change anything, add anything? I'm all ears. :)

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31. Monday Mishmash 5/18/15


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm finishing up a client edit this week. I've already gone through the book once. Now I'm reading it backward.
  2. Secret Project  Last week I got the idea for a new secret project. I've started on this already, but this week I'm hoping to really jump into it. I'm kind of working on it around other things though, so it might take me a little while.
  3. FB Takeover Party  I'm participating in KJ Farham's FB launch party for her new book, and I'll be taking over at 7:00-7:30 CST (8:00-8:30 EST) on Thursday night. I'll be giving away an ARC of The Darkness Within and an ebook of Touch of Death. If you want to join in the fun on Thursday, you can do so here.
  4. Reading  I admit my reading has suffered lately. Sure, I'm constantly reading books when I edit, but I haven't been able to sit down and just read for enjoyment in a while. I'm hoping to fix that this week.
  5. Good News  I just found out that Into the Fire (published as Ashelyn Drake) was picked up nationally by Barnes and Noble. That's pretty darn cool, and means my odds of being on shelves is much greater, so yay!
  6. Beth Fred's Cover Reveal  My friend Beth Fred is having a cover reveal on May 22 for her YA novel Decree of Hope. If you can host her reveal, sign up here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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32. Friday Feature: Extraordinary Sam and the Adventurers' Guild



“This box may seem empty,

But there’s more than meets the eye…”

Sam Miller seems like an ordinary twelve year-old boy, but the discovery of a mysterious box from his missing grandfather changes his life forever. He soon finds himself in a strange world full of adventure and magic where he must battle pirates, giant spiders, and an evil tyrant. To survive, Sam must overcome his fears, solve the riddles, and most of all, be Extraordinary. 

Find it on Amazon.

Kevin A. Springer grew up on a farm in Maryland where his imagination knew no limits. As a husband and father, he reconnected with his creativity while telling bedtime stories to his two young boys. One such story evolved into his debut book, Extraordinary Sam & the Adventurers’ Guild (Bookfish Books LLC.), which tells the tale of an ordinary boy who finds a hatbox and discovers a world of adventure and self-discovery.
Kevin is a self-proclaimed dreamer and a kid at heart. When he’s not writing or reading, he is coaching soccer or helping with homework. He lives outside of Atlanta with his wife, two extraordinary boys, and dogs. He is also a co-founder of the Middle Grade Mafia blog.
 
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

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33. Writer Wednesday: Marketing Highs and Lows

Last week on my Monday Mishmash I mentioned that I've been committing to doing at least one marketing effort per day. I also mentioned that I've seen some positive results from this. So I thought today I'd share a little more about what I'm doing.

I tried something new, which is to use sites to advertise my books. I'm not one to spend a lot of money on advertising though, so I found some sites that are free and others that are under $10. My results were mixed. Some of the promo days wants really well, ranking my book in the 200s on Amazon. One book was ranked there twice in the span of a few weeks and is still going strong. This book is free though. Now you may be thinking, Kelly, why would you pay to advertise a free book? Well, here's why. When you put a book out for free, you're doing it to allow readers to sample your work and hopefully become fans. If you succeed, you'll get readers who then go buy your other books. When you market a free book, you're reaching more potential readers. Will I make that money I spent back with my free book? No. But I hopefully will with the next book in the series.

Now I mentioned mixed results. This happened when I promoted a book that wasn't free. I saw no change in sales. None. Same tactic, different book, very different results. Does that mean I'll never try it again with a paid book? No. I think everything with marketing is hit or miss. It could have been the day of the week, the price of the book, the fact that this followed another promotion that was free and readers didn't have enough time to read my previous book they downloaded, etc. There are so many factors that could have contributed to it.

So what does all this mean? I think the promotions helped get my name out there. Right now it's too soon to tell how many new fans I was able to hook, but hopefully that will become apparent soon. In the meantime, I'll continue with my one marketing effort a day.

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34. Monday Mishmash 5/11/15


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. Mother's Day  I had a great Mother's Day. I love this day because it celebrates my all-time favorite title—Mom.
  2. Field Trip  My daughter's second grade class is going to the Liberty Science Center this Thursday, and I'm a chaperone on the trip. I'm excited—except for the 2-hour bus ride each way. ;)
  3. Completed Draft  Last week, my goal was to finish my MG draft. I haven't had a book fight me this much in a very long time, and I actually altered my goal so I didn't have to finish last week. But…by some miracle I did finish. Yay!
  4. Editing  I have a new client submitting a book this week. It's always fun to edit for someone new.
  5. Pool Time!  We opened our pool over the weekend. Now we just need the water to warm up so we can swim. Hopefully soon!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today? 

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35. Friday Feature: Interview With a Ghost



Chrys Fey here taking over Kelly Hashway’s blog for this Friday Feature and I’m not alone. I have with me the MC of my short story, Ghost of Death. Did I forget to mention she’s a ghost? Yup, she is. Let’s get started, shall we?


Hey, Jolie.

*eyes widen* You can see me?

Of course, I can see you. I’m the one who wrote your story, remember?

Oh, that’s right. I’m sorry. I have ghost-brain. You know, like pregnancy-brain?

I get it. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? Our readers haven’t met a ghost before and they’re dying (no pun intended) to know more about you.

Sure, fire away!


1. How did you realize you were dead?

I saw my corpse. That’s a pretty big sign, wouldn’t you say? *sighs* I’m sorry. I’m a little testy, right now.

2. I’d be testy, too. What was your first thought upon seeing your body?

I thought it was a dream or hallucination. Or maybe I was having a mental breakdown. I didn’t want to believe it. Who would? After the shock wore off, I was pissed because there’s so much I still want to do. Who wants to be dead when your life is just supposed to be starting?

3. What was your life like before you were a ghost?

I was a college student going for my journalist degree. I had just won an internship to Globe Magazine and had the dream of being the best journalist ever. On Wednesdays, I’d go to a small pizzeria with my friends, and on Fridays, we’d go to Galaxy Bar where I’d drink a few Wormholes and would get sweaty with my boyfriend, Cody, on the dance floor.

4. Do you recall anything about your murder?

Nothing. Yada, Yent. Zilch. I wish I did, though. I hate knowing my killer is out there roaming free. Maybe even planning to kill another college student.

5. I hope not! Can you tell us about the detective on your case?

Detective Avrianna Heavenborn is a real bad ass. No one dares to cross her. Not only is she fierce, but people also fear her because they think she’s a freak. That’s a story for another time, though.

6. What it like to be a ghost?

It sucks! I can’t touch Cody or hug my mom. I can‘t see my reflection in the mirror or talk to my best friend. But there are a few perks. For example, I can stare at people, right in front of their faces, and I don’t have to worry about being rude. I can even walk through doors, which is a neat trick.

7. What do you miss the most?

So much. I think it’s the littlest things that I took for granted that I miss the most, though. Like the smell of Cody’s cologne, my mom’s homemade cookies, and fresh cut grass.


I think I’d miss smells, too. Like the smell of flowers and baking bread.

Mm. And taste. Like the taste of pizza. That’s a big one!

Oh yes, pizza. Our readers are going to have to read Ghost of Death to understand your obsession with pizza.


Definitely! Well, I gotta fly. I need to see if Avrianna has any leads. Chow!


Title: Ghost of Death
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Supernatural/Suspense
Format: eBook Only
Page Count: 41 (short story)
Release Date: April 22nd, 2015
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can...by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.


Book Links:

Available for PRE-ORDER:


Blurb:

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Book Links:


BIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

You can connect with her on Facebook and her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers! 


Author Links: 
Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads 


Thank you all for visiting and hopefully commenting. ;) 

Thanks, Chrys! It was great getting to know Jolie!

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

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36. Writer Wednesday: Write the Book

Okay, so it's no secret that I'm a bit of a dork. ;) So every time I hear Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" I sing the words a little differently. I'm not going to sing for you all because I don't want you to run off screaming. Instead, I'm going to share my version of the song, which I call "Write the Book." Enjoy!

"Write the Book"

I write way too much, got stories in my brain

That's what people say mmm, that's what people say mm
m
I release too many books, but I can't make 'em sell

At least that's what people say mmm, that's what people say mmm

But I keep writing, can't stop, won't stop typing

It's like I got this story in my mind saying it's gonna be alright

'Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read

And the bloggers gonna
 blog, blog, blog, blog, blog
Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write
write the book, write the book

Reviewers gonna rate, rate, rate, rate, rate

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

I never miss a word, I'm lightning on the keys

And that's what they don't see mmm, that's what they don't see mmm 

I'm writing on my own (writing on my own), make the words up as I go (words up as I go)

And that's what they don't know mmm, that's what they don't know mmm

But I keep writing, can't stop, won't stop typing

It's like I got this story in my mind saying it's gonna be alright

'Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read

And the bloggers gonna 
blog, blog, blog, blog, blog
Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

Reviewers gonna rate, rate, rate, rate, rate

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

I, I, write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

Hey, hey, hey, just think while you've been getting down and out about the pirates and dirty, dirty cheats in the biz you could have been getting down to this sick book

My ex-fan brought his new book friend

She's like "oh my God," but I'm just gonna write it

And to the M.C. over there with the hella good hair

Won't you come on over, baby, we can write, write, write

'Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read

And the bloggers gonna blog, blog, blog, blog, blog

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

Reviewers gonna rate, rate, rate, rate, rate

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book
I, I write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book
I’ve got to

I, I write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

And for anyone who doesn't know Taylor's song, here's the video:
I dare you all to sing along but with my version. ;)

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37. Monday Mishmash 5/4/15


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Drafting  I'm hoping to finish my MG draft this week. I have 15 pages of notes for the book, but for some reason it's been a difficult book to draft. I'm about 8K in at the moment.
  2. Critiques for Rate Your Story  I have three critiques I need to get to this week since I'm a volunteer judge at Rate Your Story.
  3. Class Presentations  I get to visit my daughter's second grade class this Friday to see the kids present the computer projects they've been working on. I'm always amazed at how good kids are with computers so this should be fun.
  4. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
  5. Editing  I have a small gap between editing projects, so if you need anything edited in a hurry, I'm your lady. Feel free to email me at khashway(at)hotmail(dot)com.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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38. Friday Feature: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver



“She’s not who I thought she was, but that doesn’t matter. Maddy is my sister, my twin sister, and I’ll do anything for her, including losing myself.”

Twin sisters. A fatal accident. A devastating lie. Which girl survived?

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves Maddy dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is   Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. And everyone believes her. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options--confess her deception and risk devastating those who loved Maddy, or give up her own dreams and live her sister's life.


*"Leaver's brilliant novel is the high school version of What Happened to Janie? The compelling premise will attract readers and the strong characterization will keep them enthralled." -VOYA, STARRED REVIEW


"Trisha Leaver crafts a powerful and haunting novel that will keep you up long after you read the last page. Full of twists and turns and FEELS, this book questions how far a person will go for her family . . . even if it means losing herself." - Lynne Matson, author of NIL


“THE SECRETS WE KEEP is a book who truly earns the title “gripping,” and refused to be put down until the very last page.” ~ Cuyler Creech, Teen Library Toolbox

Buy Links for THE SECRETS WE KEEP:


About the Author:
TRISHA LEAVER lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life.  
She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. For more details, check out her website at: www.trishaleaver.com


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

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39. Writer Wednesday: The Dreaded M-Word

No, I'm not talking about money—although I'll gladly take some if you're offering. ;) I'm talking about marketing. I'm not one of those authors who loves to market. It's actually my least favorite part of being an author. I'd much rather write more books, which is why I have a backlog of manuscripts in various stages of revision. (Don't tell my agent, who is already handling plenty for me at the moment. I don't want to scare her away.)

Recently I realized I need to step up my marketing game. Yes, even though I don't really enjoy it. Sure, I love in-person events. Give me plenty of those! But the other marketing stuff…not so much. So I promised myself to do at least one thing a day to market my work. And you know what? I've found that one thing usually leads to another and sometimes another. Yes, I've been averaging about three marketing efforts a day. Here comes the really surprising part. The more I market, the more I enjoy marketing.

I know! It's crazy! But here's the thing. I marketed my free book Campus Crush, and I saw results. That's motivating. So now I'm stepping up my game with my other titles and hoping that I'll get results for those too. The tricky thing is that what works as far as marketing one book may not work for the next, so I'm constantly trying new things and keeping track of what works and what doesn't.

How about you? Do you force yourself to market even when you don't feel like it?

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40. Monday Mishmash 4/27/15


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. Campus Crush Reached 360 on Amazon!  Last week this happened and I nearly fainted. lol Totally unexpected and I'm thrilled. This book is perma-free so feel free to grab your copy here if you haven't already.
  2. Editing  I'm editing a book for Leap Books this week. :)
  3. Review of the Touch of Death Series  The entire Touch of Death series was reviewed on Hello Jenny Reviews. Jenn also interviewed me. You can check it out here.
  4. Marketing  I've made a new goal to do at least one thing a day to market my books. So far I've averaged about three things, whether it be contacting someone for a speaking engagement, reaching out to bloggers, or finding sites to promote my books. Hopefully these efforts will pay off.
  5. The Darkness Within ARC Giveaway  My ARCs have arrived! Yay! That means it's giveaway time. Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a signed ARC.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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41. Friday Feature: Prodigal/Raven Blog Tour


Please welcome Tyler Jolley and Sherry Ficklin to the blog today! Tyler and Sherry are amazing people as well as amazing writers, and they have a video for you all today. But first, check out their books.


Two journeys. One inescapable outcome. No time to lose.


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

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

Stein has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that's always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.
During a test to verify her bloodlines, Stein makes a terrible discovery. She is carrying a rare genetic mutation that is slowly killing her. Unsure who to turn to and running out of time, she has no choice but to turn to Tesla—her most hated enemy—for help. But can she trust the man who she's been fighting against her whole life, or will she end up another piece in his deadly game of cat and mouse with the people who betrayed her so long ago?

Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist, periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family.
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full-time writer and internet radio show host with more mouth then good sense. She has a serious book addiction, but continually refuses treatment, much to her husband’s chagrin.
Tyler and Sherry met one fateful day and bonded over their love for books, science fiction, and donuts. Their first co-written novel came shortly after. Now, they still do all those other things, but also go to various steampunk conventions and events under the guise of ‘research’. They can often be found lurking on the Lost Imperials Facebook page or over on the official website, www.thelostimperials.com.

Preorder link B&N exclusive FLIPBOOK: http://bit.ly/1ICxcCI

Tyler and Sherry have some GREAT tips for you about what to bring to writing conferences. Seriously, this is a great list. Check it out:

Thanks Tyler and Sherry! For those of you who have attended conferences, is there anything you'd add to Tyler and Sherry's list?

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

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42. Writer Wednesday: Dos and Don'ts of Author Events

Last Saturday I attended a signing event, and I saw some things that really bothered me as an author. Several of the authors in attendance left early due to poor sales. Now it was a gorgeous Saturday with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. Plus we were competing with Comic Con being held in this area for the first time ever. So yes, attendance at the event wasn't great. However, I don't blame that on why these authors weren't selling. I saw some things I want to warn you all against.
  • Lack of displays  You don't have to be Martha Stewart to make your table of books look nice. But I saw authors literally throw copies of books on the uncovered fold-out tables. I'm talking not even in a pile. Just tossed. Others stacked their books and kept nothing but the side of the white pages facing the people walking into the room. The problem with this is it looks like the author just doesn't care. If you don't have a book stand, you can still prop a book up in front of the stack so people have something to look at other than a spine or white edges. And you can purchase a cheap table cloth to cover the ugly folding table. Mine cost me $1.99. I also like to print out the cover of my upcoming or newest release and display it as a poster or in a picture frame. It's simple, inexpensive, and looks nice. 
  • Not being accessible or open to interaction  Some authors brought their laptops and worked. Now, I get that people are busy. I definitely am too, but nothing says "Don't bother me" like hiding behind a computer or even your phone. You should want to interact with readers and engage them in conversation. Closing yourself off from them isn't going to make you any sales or potential fans.
  • Hiding behind a table  I'm short, so sitting behind a table means I get lost behind my displays. But even if that wasn't the case, I wouldn't sit behind a table. I stand (unless I'm signing a book—I sit then because I can't write legibly while standing). And I'm either on the side of my table or in front of it. Why? Because I want to talk to people as they pass by. I want to be someone that people see as friendly and approachable. And in a crowded room with other people talking, it's too difficult to talk across a table.
Now I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means, but even with low attendance, I sold well at this event. And even if I didn't, I wouldn't have left early because I believe if you commit to an event, you see it through. Yeah, there will be times when you only sell a few copies or even none. But we are professionals, and professionals don't leave when things don't go their way.

So please, if you are going to an event, go with the right attitude. If you show that you want to be there and engage in conversations with others, you'll have a lot more success as far as reaching potential readers and connecting with other authors.

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43. Monday Mishmash 4/20/15


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. Monroe County Book Expo  Thank you to everyone who came out to the Monroe County Book Expo. I had a lot of fun talking to the readers and other authors. 
  2. Mobile Websites  I hate mobile websites, and ALWAYS opt for the web view if it's available. But…Google is changing their SEO and now you pretty much have to have a mobile website, so I made that change over the weekend.
  3. New Adult Scavenger Hunt  The New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins on April 23rd, and I'll be participating as Ashelyn Drake. I'm really excited to be part of Team Blue! I'll be sharing an exclusive scene from Looking For Love, told from a different POV, which is always fun. I'm also giving away a paperback of Campus Crush.

  4. Reviewing  I have two books I agreed to review soon. One book I'm finishing up and another I have yet to start. So it looks like I'll be busy with that this week.
  5. Revisions  I'm working on revisions for one of my manuscripts. It's always fun to pull out a book you haven't looked at in a while. It adds a fresh perspective to the story.
That's it for me. What's on your mind this week?

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44. YA Scavenger Hunt


Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize—one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAMbut don't forget about all of the other teams and the chance to win a whole different set of signed books!
If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number in gold. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GOLD TEAM, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Today, I'm hosting Julie Cross! JULIE CROSS is the author of the international bestselling Tempest series. Julie lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Find out more information by checking out her author website or find more about Julie's book here!

Now time for some EXCLUSIVE CONTENT!

Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with Ford model Mark Perini to pen a poignant and gritty YA novel about love and the dark side of modeling and the fashion industry Eve's time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she's determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex. While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his (secretly) underage co-star, Elana. But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won't let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?

Spotlight Excerpt

And then I see me. The pictures Eve took and pretended to be capturing shots of the view out the window. It’s just my profile and there’s a shadow over my face so you can’t really tell it’s me. I’m also hunched over like I’ve forgotten to stand up straight. Eve catches me staring at myself. She’s now wearing jeans and the pink shirt she yanked from the closet a minute ago. She’s morphed back into College Eve. “Is it weird that I have pictures of you on my wall?”

“You can’t really tell it’s me,” I say, but it is a little surprising. Not weird, just surprising. I don’t have pictures of anyone, including myself, in my room or in my shared apartment at all. 

Eve moves beside me and taps the picture I’m looking at. “I like this one a lot. You look human.”

I laugh. “As opposed to alien?”

“As opposed to supermodel.”

“I get it. You’re against Photoshopped models and all that,” I say. It’s a tired argument—though I’d willingly have it with Eve—but it’s not like I can change the world or anything. It’s not like I have any say in what’s done to my pictures.

She pulls two rubber bands out of her long wavy hair, letting it fall loose from the tight bun. I immediately smell her shampoo. “It’s not Photoshop that makes me hate fashion pictures. I edit too. I’m just not as intrigued by images where the subject knows they’re being photographed. It’s like being on trial. You’re going to hide all your vulnerability, all the raw emotion that you get in a real image.”

“So what you’re saying is, if I were to replicate this pose…” I tap the picture in question. “But this time I knew you were taking a picture, I couldn’t make it look the same?”

She’s still staring at the image. “I don’t know. Maybe I’m too biased to answer that since I’m the one who took the photo. Maybe it would only look different to me.”

Just hearing her say that makes me realize how much of her goes into her pictures, and how little of me is actually in a photo from any professional shoot I’ve ever done.

“I think I get it.” I scan all her photos again. “If you don’t include the entire subject in the picture, then people are free to fill in their own blanks.”

I’m not even sure where that came from. It sounded like a Freudian analysis or something. The air must be different on a college campus than in the rest of New York City, and it’s gone to my head.

Eve turns her eyes from the picture and stares at me. “Maybe.”

Her proximity to me becomes the only thing my mind is able to focus on. I didn’t come on this date just so I could kiss her, and I didn’t come into her room for that reason either. Which is why I know for sure, the second her head turns and her eyes meet mine, that it’s exactly what I should do.

I only have to lean in a few inches before my mouth is on hers and her eyes are closing. And there’s nothing to look at or think about, nobody watching us or taking our picture. It’s as easy and natural as taking my next breath, and I know I’m already addicted to kissing Eve before my tongue has even moved past her lips. My hands are going to insist on living in her hair forever, even if it’s really hard to walk around anywhere. And I’m pretty sure my heart is going to beat at this much faster pace for good.

I should have done this five days ago. And every day since.


And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Kelly Hashway, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 8. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GOLD TEAM and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, LAURISA WHITE REYES!

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45. Monday Mishmash 4/6/15


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. The Darkness Within Blog Tour  Spencer Hill Press and I are looking for people to take part in the blog tour for The Darkness Within. ARCs are available for review too. Interested? Sign up here
  2. Holidays/Spring Break  I hope everyone enjoyed Easter and/or Passover, whichever you celebrate in your family. We are also on spring break here, if you can call it that since most of it was taken back to make up snow days. ;)
  3. YASH  The YA Scavenger Hunt is officially over as of yesterday. As always, it was a lot of fun. :) Congrats to all the winners!
  4. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out today. If you aren't signed up to receive it, but would like to stay up-to-date on my books and writing tips, sign up here.
  5. Perfect For You  This Friday, I'll be sharing more info about my YA contemporary romance Perfect For You. Long story short, I took my rights back from the publisher and I'm relaunching the book this month. It's now available as an ebook AND as a paperback. Yay! And it got a new cover. Check it out. If you're interested in reading the book, you can find it on Amazon or B&N.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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46. Writer Wednesday: Nothing Is One Size Fits All


Something I've discovered in this industry is that there is no such thing as one size fits all. What works while drafting one book, may not work for another. I've written some books completely out of order and had to piece them together. Others I've written linearly. The same goes for revision. Some books make me want to pull my hair out during revisions because I have to track so many things and keep lists to make sure there aren't inconsistencies anywhere. Other books go so smoothly during revisions that I get a little worried because I feel it should have been more difficult.

And even after the writing and revising stage, things still aren't one size fits all. What works for one author while promoting a new book may not work for another. I'm talking about the exact same efforts yielding very different results. So how do we know what to do? Honestly, I think it's all trial and error. We have to try new things and old things to see what will work for that particular book. Time consuming? Absolutely! Frustrating at times? Absolutely! Necessary? Absolutely! Well, unless you don't care if your books sell or not, but let's be honest. We ALL care. ;)

Have you ever experienced very different results from the same strategies?

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47. Friday Feature: Perfect For You Review Quotes Video




Yes, I'm sharing my own book today. Well, actually I'm sharing readers' thoughts of my book. Check out this video where I share some of my favorite lines from reviews of Perfect For You.


Do you have a favorite review quote of one of your books? Feel free to share it in the comments.

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

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48. Monday Mishmash 4/13/15


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. Monroe County Book Expo  I'll be at the Hughes Branch of the Eastern Monroe Public Library this Saturday from 10am-3pm selling copies of ALL my titles (both Kelly Hashway and Ashelyn Drake titles). If you're in the Stroudsburg area, please stop by to see me and a bunch of other local authors.
  2. Scholastic Book Fair  Someone help me. I'll working the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school again this week, and it's a BOGO sale! My poor wallet. I just can't help myself when it comes to buying books.
  3. New Adult Scavenger Hunt  I'll be participating in the New Adult Scavenger Hunt April 23-26 as Ashelyn Drake. I'm Team Blue! I'm promoting Looking For Love and giving away a copy of the Campus Crush paperback, which includes ALL the books in the series—yes, even Looking For Love. Find out more about the hunt here.

  4. The Monster Within in a B&N Ad?  I was on my email last Friday and this was the ad that appeared in my sidebar. That's The Monster Within! No idea how this happened, but woo hoo!!! Totally made my day. I hope others saw this ad in their email sidebars, too. I'm just going to tell myself they did. ;) 
  5. New Picture Book Released  I had a new picture book release through Guardian Angel Publishing. It's titled A Lion's Song and you can purchase a copy on Amazon or the publisher's website. Right now the paperback is available in both places, but the ebook version is currently only up on the publisher's website. Robert Lee Beers did such a great job with the illustrations. Just check out the cover: 
    Amara is the only lion who can't roar. Every time she tries, it comes out like a song.  She doesn't know what her purpose in the pride will be if she can't be ferocious. But when a Nile crocodile threatens her family, Amara's song just might save them.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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49. Writer Wednesday: Writers and Taxes

Happy Tax Day! 

I could hear most of you groaning. Taxes aren't exactly fun for a writer. We don't get the same taxes taken out of our pay, which means we get killed at tax time. I've seen some horror stories from well-known and successful writers who owe thousands at tax time. I don't envy them, but at the same time I do.

Confused? Really the less you make and the more you can write off as losses, the better as far as tax season goes. Of course that means you didn't have the best year. On the other hand, if you sold a ton of books and made great money, you're going to have to give some of that back come April 15. I pay quarterly, and I usually wind up overpaying, which means I get some money back at the end of the year, but it's nothing to celebrate.

So what's a writer to do? As always, write. At least that's my opinion. What do you think about the way writers are taxed. Is there a better system?

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50. Friday Feature: The Prophecy and The Outlanders by Erin Rhew


Today I'm featuring two books by Erin Rhew!

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.


Buy links for THE PROPHECY:  




With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.
Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.


Buy links for THE OUTLANDERS 



  


Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.   

Find me online:

Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks
           




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

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