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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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26. Writer Wednesday: Amazon's New Review Policy

I'm sure most of you have seen or heard about how Amazon is removing reviews and not allowing people to review certain books because they believe the reviewer knows the author. If you haven't seen this yet, here is how the notice to the reviewer begins:
“We removed your Customer Reviews because you know the author personally.”
There's another message that says something to the effect of: You are ineligible to review this book...

Authors and reviewers seem to be in an uproar about this. Today, I want to share my feelings on it. As an author, I love reaching out to readers. I have my FB group, Kelly's Coven, and I interact with readers on my FB author page, FB profile page, Twitter, my website, Goodreads, you name it! So does this mean all those people I interact with will no longer be able to post reviews? I highly doubt Amazon will be able to keep track of them all, but I'm sure the number of reviews I have per book will decrease.

So what does this mean? Personally, I don't plan to change anything. Not one thing, because I LOVE talking to readers. Sure, I want reviews because they are important to a book's success. But more than that, I want to have a genuine relationship with my readers. So if I have to sacrifice reviews to keep my readers happy, I will.

I'm not going to stop interacting with anyone who wants to discuss my books with me. I love you all and talking to you is one of my favorite things about being an author.

What do you think about Amazon's new policy?

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27. Monday Mishmash 7/6/15


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. Book Deal! You know that news I've been hinting at? Well, it's that I signed another book deal! Yay!!! OUR LITTLE SECRET, my YA contemporary romance (written as Ashelyn Drake) will be published by Limitless Publishing. Here's the PM announcement:
    Ashelyn Drake's OUR LITTLE SECRET, when a girl falls for her best friend's twin brother, she'll have to decide what she's willing to risk to keep the guy of her dreams, to Jessica Gunhammer at Limitless, by Sarah Negovetich at Corvisiero Literary Agency.
  2. Signing Postponed  I was supposed to have a signing on July 4th for The Monster Within and The Darkness Within at Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, PA, but it had to be postponed. It's now scheduled for July 25th from noon to 3:00 p.m. If you'll be in the area, I hope you'll come see me.
  3. Editing  This is the summer of edits for me. Last week I tackled edits on two of my own books as well as edits for clients. My poor eyes are going to hate me soon—if they don't already.
  4. Free Monthly Newsletter  Today my newsletter goes out. In it is a sneak peek at the cover of the secret project I've been hinting about. The cover has already been revealed in my street team (Kelly's Coven) FB group, and now it's time for my newsletter subscribers to see it. I won't be doing a cover reveal, which means no one else will see the cover until the book is released, which will also be a surprise! If you aren't signed up to receive my newsletter, but would like to, click here.
  5. Slow Response Time  I have funeral services to attend this week because there was a death in my family. So if I'm slow to respond to comments, that's why.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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28. Friday Feature: My Tethered Soul





It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.

When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.

Excerpt:

Swinging the door open, I held my breath. A few wire hangers hung on a rod, but otherwise it was empty.
Gavin stood and tapped his foot on the floor. “This floorboard is loose. Maybe there’s something under here. You know, like in The Tell-Tale Heart?”
I glanced at him over my shoulder. “Great, Gavin. That’s just what I need: a little scare to get me motivated.”
He let out a small laugh as he bent down to inspect the floorboard. While he prodded at it, I turned my attention back to the closet. It was deeper than mine was. More square than rectangular. Big enough to fit a large desk in. Stepping into the closet, I found a door to the right. Inside the closet.
That’s a strange place for a door.
This door didn’t have a knob, but a rotating handle. I ran my hand over the smooth metal of the handle, working up the courage to press down on it. The closet lit up as lighting flashed in the sky. I needed to find out what was behind the door, but I couldn’t seem to move my hand.
Just open it, Zadie. Swallowing my fear, I pressed the handle down and pulled on the door.
When my eyes adjusted to the lack of light, a set of stairs stood before me. Up to an attic, I presumed. Dull drywall flanked it, and a window at the top of the stairs let in a small amount of light.
I was about to turn around and get Gavin when another flash of lightning lit up the stairwell. Something glinted in the short blaze of light. A small, thin item halfway up the stairs.
My bracelet.
Was I here? I must have been. Why else would the bracelet be on the floor? What did I do here? Up here in the attic?
“Zadie?” Gavin called.
For a moment, I couldn’t speak. Swallowing hard, I forced sound to break free from my throat. “Just a second.”
“Where are you?”
Instead of answering him, I climbed the first step, focused on the bracelet. Was that what it really was? Or was my mind playing tricks on me again? The second my foot grazed the next step, the door slammed shut behind me.
“Zadie!” Gavin’s voice was muffled, and the handle jiggled. But the door remained closed.
I flew to the door, fighting with the handle and trying not to hyperventilate. Lightning flashed through the window above me. I banged on the door as Gavin called my name. And then, all at once, the temperature dropped.
My breath came out in a frosty mist. I spun and backed up against the door, my eyes searching. But the storm outside played with my senses. My thumb moved over my phone, and I held it up to light the stairwell. But as the next crash of thunder vibrated through the house, I started and dropped my phone.
The light from the window disappeared. Plunged into darkness, I crouched down and searched for my phone. Something moved at the top of the stairs.
It’s here.

Links:

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: When Organization Becomes Clutter

Okay, so I've been keeping a secret from all of you. I've taken on a new job that I can't quite tell you about yet. My contract is signed and delivered, but I'm waiting for the official announcement to tell you all what it is. 

What I can say is that I've become insanely busy! My writing desk looks like a case of Post-It notes threw up on it. Seriously, I'm talking those big Post-It pads with lines on them stuck EVERYWHERE! My desk has three shelves on it, and they are serving as places to stick my notes. Not to mention the notes covering the actual desk portion where I work.

So what I've realized is that my organization has turned into clutter. If you saw my desk (and no, I'm not going to subject you to pictures of my chaos), you'd think I was the messiest writer ever. But…it works for me because I love crossing things off my notes and then ultimately crumpling them up and tossing them when I've accomplished everything on the notes. That's a good feeling.

I guess in a way, the Post-It notes make me feel like I'm somewhat in control and they give me a sense of accomplishment when I can toss them in the trash.

How do you handle being busier than busy? Do you have an avalanche of Post-Its, too?

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30. Monday Mishmash 6/29/15


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. Signing at Books-A-Million  I'll be at Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall (Stroudsburg, PA) this Saturday (July 4th) from noon until 3:00 p.m. signing copies of The Monster Within and The Darkness Within. If you're in the area, come see me.
  2. Fading Into the Shadows Edits  I'm getting edits today for my 2016 title Fading Into the Shadows. I can't wait to dive back into this book.
  3. Fading Into the Shadows Cover  So, my cover is finalized and can I just say WOW? It's awesome guys. The cover reveal probably won't be until September, but I'll keep you posted.
  4. Beth Fred's Blurb Writing Class  Beth is teaching The Art of Blurb Writing again. This time the course will run from July 6 to July 24. For details and to sign up, click here.
  5. Secret Goodness in the Works  I have some things up my sleeve that I'll be sharing soon. Stay tuned.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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31. Friday Feature: Nobody's Goddess




In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.

Buy it on: 


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: Hello, Old Friend

Have you ever put a manuscript aside for a long time—I'm talking months or even years—and then gone back to it? Maybe it's to revise or edit after it was acquired by a publisher, but either way, you've had time away and all the details aren't at the forefront of your mind because you've been writing other things. For me it's like getting to see an old friend again.

This year I finished writing a book I hadn't looked at in a while (because I got busy editing other books), and it made me fall in love with the story again. Next week, I'll be diving into edits on a book that was acquired a while ago. I haven't looked at the manuscript in probably a year, and I'm really excited to go back and visit these characters. I remember having that feeling of "this is the one" when I wrote the book, and I'm hoping I still have that feeling when I get my first round edits from my amazing editor. I'll be sure to let you know. :)

Have you revisited any "old friends" lately? Was it a good experience?

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33. Monday Mishmash 6/22/15


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 still editing like a crazy woman this week. :)
  2. Secret Ashelyn Drake Project  I've been dying to work on my secret project since I got feedback from a beta reader, but I'm so booked with edits I haven't had time. Hopefully soon. Maybe by the end of the week.
  3. Summer Schedule  I've been very scheduled this summer in order to get my work done while my daughter is home. I work every morning right after breakfast. I get a few solid hours in that way. Then I work again in the afternoon for about an hour. And I work at night when I need to as well. I'm tired. lol
  4. Swimming  The hot weather is returning this week. While I'm not a fan of super hot temperatures, I'm excited to get in some good swimming time.
  5. Book Signing  Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall called me and asked me to come in on July 4th from noon to 3:00 p.m. to sign The Monster Within and The Darkness Within. Yay! I'm excited.
  6. Fading Into the Shadows Cover  I got to see the rough design for my upcoming 2016 title Fading Into the Shadows. I'm so excited. It's different than all my other covers, and I can't wait until I can share it. I'll let you know when cover reveal signups are in case you are interested.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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34. Friday Feature: I Heart Robot




Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won't belittle her musical aspirations.


Q-I-99 aka 'Quinn' lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.

Tyri and Quinn's worlds collide when they're accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn's love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?



Praise for I Heart Robot:

"The tension between the groups, the obvious attraction between the main characters, the ticking time bomb of Quinn’s real identity and the secrets surrounding Tyri’s birth makes for compelling reading. The world building was exceptional and the characters well developed."~ The Australia Times Books






Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Find Suzanne Online:


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: Email Marketing

Today I thought I'd share something I learned about marketing recently. I've heard in the past that email marketing is so important. I thought that just meant expanding your mailing list. While that's very important, it's not ALL email marketing is. Think about this. When your book is chosen for the Kindle Daily Deal, Amazon emails LOADS of people to tell them about your book being on sale. And from that, your ranking gets amazingly good. Why? Email marketing.

So I took that theory and started focusing my efforts on sites that have huge email newsletter lists. I'm talking 70,000+ people. You can advertise your sales in their newsletters for very small fees, which I've found are totally worth it. Why? Because so many people are hearing about your book when they open their email. And these are people who sign up for these emails because they are looking for good sales on books. They are your target audience.

So research some sites that have newsletters like this and consider trying this marketing technique. I'd love to hear if your experience is as good as mine.

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36. Monday Mishmash 6/15/15


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. News!  Okay, I know I've been hinting at news, and I'm seriously bursting to share. I did tell my street team, Kelly's Coven, because they get to know everything first. Ah! I'm so hoping to be able to tell you all this week or next at the latest.
  2. Grandfather's 94th Birthday  Over the weekend, I went to see my grandfather to celebrate his 94th birthday. He really is an amazing man, who served in WWII and is a very compassionate person. It was great to be there with him on his birthday.
  3. Editing  I'm editing for clients again this week. :)
  4. Revising a Secret Project  I have a secret project in the works, and I'm finishing up revisions before sending it to a trusted beta reader.
  5. Summer Break!  My daughter finished second grade last Thursday. This is her first full week of summer vacation. We have big plans to swim, play tennis, play baseball, read, and of course play with Monster High dolls.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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37. Friday Feature: Pieces of Revenge by Valia Lind




A weapon. A broken life. A humanity lost.

That is all Anastasia knows, that is all that she is. As an eleven-year-old, she witnessed her family's brutal murder and she's been on the run ever since. She's spent her life training and planning for the day when she can take her revenge.

Kallos Enterprises is a well respected corporation, set on improving the genetic structure of an individual. Or so they say. Anastasia knows, first hand, what kind of monsters lurk behind the pretty walls of those skyscrapers. Armed with combat skills and a beyond perfect memory, she heads to Chicago to uncover the answers to questions that plagued her for years.

After arriving in the city, she meets Logan, a boy from her past who changes all the rules. She doesn't remember him, but he remembers her. His position at Kallos Enterprises is useful, his presence is unnerving, and he makes her question everything she knows about herself to be true. If her perfect memory can't remember Logan, what else about her past is wrong?

Time is running out. Anastasia has nowhere to turn, but to trust the one person who's a memory she should have, but doesn't. With a madman threatening their every step, Anastasia and Logan must uncover the truths behind Kallos experiments and hope that the answers they find won't destroy the world forever.


Buy links:

Teaser - Chapter 1

Blood splatters against my cheek, dripping down my neck.
       I don't bother to wipe at it, swinging my arm as my elbow connects with the other side of his face. My mind is always calculating, like a computer, spitting out information as I duck another punch. The man in front of me is large, almost twice as wide as me, and just as deadly.
       Height: 6’3.
       Weight: 215 pounds.
       Arms like steel.   
      He grabs my hair, yanking my head back as his other arm connects with my left side. I grunt in pain, swallowing the scream that’s about to burst free. I slam my elbow into his stomach, twisting under his arm in the same motion. My knee connects with his manhood, before my fist connects with his jaw once more.
       My moves are precise.
       Practiced.
       Lethal.
      "Son of a—" I round kick him in the face before he can finish. He drops to the ground with a thud, and before he could stumble to his knees, my foot slams into his face, dropping him for good.
      "That's no language to use around a lady." I say, looking down at him, making sure he stays down. When I'm satisfied he's out, I grab my bag and run.
      I should've been more careful sneaking in, but I memorized the schedule and there shouldn't have been anyone here. The warehouse sits against the backdrop of an abandoned neighborhood, so when my feet hit the payment, there is no one to see me escape. I almost stop and go back to finish the job, but I don't. He's not worth the guilt I would carry if I kill him. He's not the one I'm saving the guilt for.
      I got what I came for, even though it took me a few more minutes than I planned on. He didn't see my face, but he sure will have himself a headache tomorrow. Strangely, I feel rejuvenated after the fight, and I grin as I run down the side alley.
      Finally. It’s finally time to make them pay.



About the Author:

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at www.valialind.wordpress.comor follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.


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: Time Management Tricks and Tips for Summer

June is an editing month for me. I have four client edits scheduled. Yes, I'm a crazy woman. On top of that I have critiquing for Rate Your Story and editing for Leap Books. I also know I'm getting edits on my 2016 title with Spencer Hill Press, Fading Into the Shadows soon. So how do I fit it all in, especially when Thursday is my daughter's last day of school before she's home with me for the summer?

I thought I'd share some of my tips and tricks for making extra time in the day. Here's a few ways I try to carve out extra writing and/or editing time:
  • Get Up Early  There's so much to be said for being the only one awake. It's quiet and there are no distractions.
  • Even Ten Stolen Minutes Can Be Devoted to Working  If my daughter decides to play on the iPad for ten minutes, I get my laptop and get as much done as I can in that time. Ten minutes might not seem worth it, but trust me, if you take ten minutes here and there, it adds up.
  • Work During Commercials  At night, I like to watch TV before bed, because I'm usually busy working all day. So I kick my feet up and relax. But…I hate commercials. So, I bring my laptop to the couch and I work during commercial breaks.
  • Work Outside  My daughter loves to be outside, but the second the neighbors come out, I'm old news. She ditches me to play with them. I bring my laptop on my deck so I can keep an eye on her and get my work done.
  • Only Use Social Media for a Few Minutes at a Time and Only on My Phone  We all know that social media is part of what we do. You can't avoid it if you want to build a platform. But…you can make sure you limit your time on it. I use my phone with the speech to text feature, which is quicker than typing responses on blog posts. I can also steal time, like when my daughter is showering, to post to FB and Twitter, which I have linked so posting to one posts to the other. It's a definite time saver.
  • Designate Daily Work Time  I told my daughter that right after we have breakfast, I need to work in my office for about two hours. That will be her time to play in her room, either with her Monster High dolls or on her laptop. Designating specific time like this establishes a routine for my entire household, which helps me a lot.
Do you have tricks for carving out more time in your day when summer rolls around?

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39. Monday Mishmash 6/8/15


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. Good News I Can't Share Yet  I have two bits of good news that I'm dying to share but can't yet. It's killing me. lol I'll be sure to spill as soon as I can.
  2. Editing  Since my month is booked with edits, that's what I'll be up to this week.
  3. Congrats to Beverly Stowe McClure  Beverly was selected as the winner of The Darkness Within Blog Tour Giveaway. I was excited when Rafflecopter picked her name out of all the entries because Beverly is a great person and is very supportive.
  4. Last Week of School  My daughter's last day is Thursday. Then summer officially begins in the Hashway household.
  5. Construction Complete!  I totally forgot to share that on May 27, exactly one year to the day that construction began on my house, we got our final inspection for our CO. We are officially finished! Yay! And I love my new house. I can say new since the entire house was gutted and a new level was added. It's everything I hoped it would be, so I guess all the stress was worth it in the end.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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40. Friday Feature: Decree of Hope



When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna’s garage, she’s not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she’s failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.

The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a “sand nigger” and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn’t told his family about her, she’s heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they’ve worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee’s previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection. And to do that he’ll have to catch a crook… 


Add it on Goodreads.
Buy it on Amazon.

About the Author
I’m a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma’am, make promises they keep, and aren’t afraid to profess their undying love. It’s not breakfast if there aren’t carbs (at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things. Bet you can’t guess where I’m from ;)
Author Links:
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. The Darkness Within is HERE!

It's here!!!! Honestly, I can't believe it's June 2nd already. Where is 2015 going? But I am really excited for this release. I love Sam and Ethan. Actually, I love all the characters in this duology so much. It was tough saying good-bye to them, but I'm happy with how things wrapped up.



To celebrate my release week, Spencer Hill Press has lowered the price of The Monster Within to only $0.99! That's right! From June 1 to June 7, you can grab book one for less than a dollar. The price will go back up after June 7, so don't wait to grab your copy if you haven't already. You can get it here.

For anyone unfamiliar with The Monster Within, here's the blurb:

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.

But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.


My blog tour for The Darkness Within is underway, and here are some things you might be interested in:


After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 

Magic. 

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

Book Links:


Praise:

In this exciting continuation of THE MONSTER WITHIN, a teenage coven deals with the highs and lows of their magic. Within the pages of this suspenseful page-turner is a sweet romance, friendship, and witchy intrigue. Hashway is a master of paranormal tales. ~ Medeia Sharif, author of 52 Likes

Giveaway:
The Darkness Within SWAG pack, including bookmarks, a triquetra charm, and a mask.

Signed copy of any ONE of my books (winner’s choice).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, thank you so much to everyone participating in the blog tour, release day blitz, and social media takeover going on this week. And thank you all for letting me share my release with you. 

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42. Monday Mishmash 6/1/15


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  Tomorrow is release day! Yay! I have a release day launch, a blog tour, and a social media takeover going on this week. Wow, I'm going to be busy. I'm excited!
  2. Editing  I have four client edits booked so I'll be busy for a while with those. I'm most likely going to get edits back on one of my own books too. Eek!
  3. PTO Luncheon  Since I help out with the PTO at my daughter's school I'm invited to the luncheon on Wednesday. Should be fun.
  4. Campus Crush  My NA romance, Campus Crush (written as Ashelyn Drake) had another great day last Friday. This happened:
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out tomorrow. Why tomorrow instead of today when I always send it out on the first Monday of the month? Because tomorrow is release day and I can cover that and my monthly newsletter in one instead of doing two. :) If you aren't signed up but would like to receive a newsletter, click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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43. 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:


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44. 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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45. 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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46. 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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47. 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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48. 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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49. 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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50. 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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