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Official blog of Kelly Hashway, young adult and middle grade author.
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1. Friday Feature: Murder on the Mind


I've been reading a lot of mysteries lately, and this one caught my eye because it's about a guy with psychic abilities and my NaNoWriMo book is about a psychic PI! I definitely enjoyed this one, so check out Murder on the Mind by L.L. Bartlett.


After a brutal mugging in Manhattan leaves him with a broken arm and fractured skull, insurance investigator Jeff Resnick reluctantly agrees to recover at the home of his estranged half brother, Richard. At first, Jeff believes his graphic nightmares of a slaughtered buck are just the workings of his traumatized mind. But when a local banker is found in the same condition, Jeff believes the attack has left him with a psychic sixth sense--an ability to witness murder before it happens.Piecing together clues he saw in his visions, Jeff attempts to solve the crime. His brother Richard is skeptical, but unsettling developments begin to forge a tentative bond. Soon, things that couldn't be explained by premonition come to light, and Jeff finds himself probing into dangerous secrets that touch his own traumatic past in wintry Buffalo—and the killer is ready to eliminate Jeff's visions permanently.
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett's pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it's her talent—whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett—that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series, the Tales of Telenia adventure-fantasy saga, and now the Lotus Bay Mysteries, and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s).


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

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2. Writer Wednesday: What 2016 Taught Me


Maybe I should have titled this post, "What I Learned in 2016." It was a tough year, but I did learn a few very important things. Here they are in no particular order:
  • Cover design  ~  I've been designing covers (in secret) for years, but this year I learned a lot about cover design and even did my own cover for Fading Into the Shadows, which I love.
  • ebook formatting  ~  I've been doing paperback formatting for a while, but this year, I learned fancy ebook formatting thanks to some awesome programs.
  • Self-Publishing is the way to go for me  ~  I've been traditionally published, but I'm not interested in that route anymore. I've worked on both sides of publishing for years now, and I'm ready to take my future in my own hands and self-publish from here on out. (I'm very excited about this!)
  • I love writing adult mysteries  ~  For years I swore I wouldn't write adult books, but look at me now. I don't know why I didn't think I'd like it, but I find the 25-30 age group really fun to write about.
  • Balance  ~  I'm particularly proud of this one because I've had the goal of finding balance between editing for clients and working on my own books for the longest time. I just couldn't figure out how to pull it off until I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. Now, I know I can balance the two and get all my work done on time.
Those are my top five writing lessons learned in 2016. What did you learn this year?


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3. Monday Mishmash 12/26/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:

  1. Christmas I had a great Christmas and I hope you did too if you celebrate it.
  2. Proofing  I finished proofing Lies We Tell. I'm very excited to venture into adult mystery/suspense. The book will release in April.
  3. Winter Break  My daughter is home for Christmas break this week, so I'll be spending most of my time with her, which is why this Mishmash is shorter than usual.

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

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4. Friday Feature: Flightpath by Amber Addison



From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and Amber Addison comes an exciting collaboration...

Being married young isn't a thing of the past in Louisiana. And for Madelyn and Seth, it's a way of life. Except, no one prepared them for the road ahead. 

Moving to new places more times than either of them could count with new battles to fight at every stop, their road to happiness is bumpy.

Between Air Force Pararescue school, deployments, a baby, and the strain that military life can put on a family, they've discovered life has to fall apart in order to fall back together again. 

When a terrorist attack puts Maddie's life in grave danger, their lives definitely fall apart, and Seth knows saving her might be the only thing that saves them.

There will be an early release on iBooks on 1/16 - and it will release everywhere else 1/24!

You can preorder now: 
➵#Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hGDv1j
➵#BarnesandNoble: http://bit.ly/FlightpathBN
➵#Kobo: http://bit.ly/FlightpathKobo
➵#iBooks: http://apple.co/2hDmwzN
➵#Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2h1QTMH(Sign up and you could win ARCs of ALL the ebooks!)
Amber Addison is a southern mama who writes about real life love in small town USA. She enjoys writing contemporary romance that has it's ups and downs just like the trials that we face in our day to day. Love isn't perfect and she doesn't pretend that it is. 

Amber writes anything from swoon worthy military guys to sexy soccer players. When she's not writing about hot guys and strong women, she's reading or cleaning up an endless trail of toys left behind by her dogs and daughter or getting tattoos. 



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

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5. Writer Wednesday: Author Websites


Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay, who asked:

What is the best way to create an author's website? How can you do it yourself or affordably without it looking cheap and do expensive looking sites really sell books?

Great question, Sheena-Kay. My answer may seem confusing at first, but I promise I'll explain. First, I don't think websites sell books. However, you need to have one. ;)

Okay, here's what I mean. A reader comes across your book title or name in conversation or on Amazon. You want to make sure that if that reader googles you, they find something. So you need a website that has all the information they might need about you: 
  • your social media links
  • your newsletter
  • information about your books
  • buy links for your books
  • a press kit with your author bio
  • contact information
The danger with having that information on sites that sell your book, like Amazon, is that some retailers (AMAZON!!!!) will check to see who follows you on social media and will not allow that reader to review your book because you're "friends." Don't even get me started on this. Don't link your social media to your Amazon account! Just don't! But do put those links on your website. Also, you don't really want to give out your email to the world, right? Maybe if you have a separate email for fans, but otherwise, I wouldn't. Websites offer contact forms for readers to get in touch with you without giving out your email address. I love this feature. Many will also offer an email address attached to your website to keep it separate from your personal email.

So, how do you set up a website now that you know you need one. (You know that now, right?) I'm a huge proponent for doing it yourself. Yes, this takes more time, but it also takes less money, so it evens out. You should know how to operate your own website though because you don't want to have to run to your website designer every time you need to update the site. Find a website host that seems relatively easy to use. Some people love Wordpress. I hate it! Truly hate it. You have to go with what works for you. So look around and take tours of the sites to see what will work for you. Then take the time to get your site looking professional (with all those things I mentioned above) before you publish it. You want the site you create to be something you're proud of, not something that you're still fiddling with and that looks amateurish. 

Sheena-Kay, I hope that answers your question. If anyone has tips for creating a website or website hosts you can recommend, please feel free to share!

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

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6. Monday Mishmash 12/19/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Sunday is Christmas! It's Practically Here!  Can you tell I'm a fan of the Grinch? I love the original cartoon movie. I'm all ready for Sunday.
  2. Editing  I'll be doing a client edit this week before the holidays.
  3. Publishing  Since Fading Into the Shadows is ready to go for it's January 16, 2017 release, I'm busy getting my April release ready. The digital proof of Lies We Tell has been proofed, and the paperback proof has been ordered!
  4. Taxes  It's getting to be that time again where I need to update my expense and earning logs for taxes. Ick!
  5. Snow  I'm done with snow and winter hasn't even officially begun yet. :(
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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7. Friday Feature: Fall Far From the Tree


If you stopped by last Friday, then you'll recognize this author. I'm featuring her two weeks in a row because she has a lot of great books out. Check out Fall Far From the Tree by Amy McNulty!


Terror. Callousness. Denial. Rebellion. How the four teenage children of leaders in the duchy and the neighboring empire of Hanaobi choose to adapt to their nefarious parents’ whims is a matter of survival.

Rohesia, daughter of the duke, spends her days hunting "outsiders," fugitives who’ve snuck onto her father’s island duchy. That she lives when even children who resemble her are subject to death hardens her heart to tackle the task.

Fastello is the son of the "king" of the raiders who steal from the rich and share with the poor. When aristocrats die in the raids, Fastello questions what his peoples’ increasingly wicked methods of survival have cost them.

An orphan raised by a convent of mothers, Cateline can think of no higher aim in life than to serve her religion, even if it means turning a blind eye to the suffering of other orphans under the mothers’ care.

Kojiro, new heir to the Hanaobi empire, must avenge his people against the "barbarians" who live in the duchy, terrified the empress, his own mother, might rather see him die than succeed.

When the paths of these four young adults cross, they must rely on one another for survival—but the love of even a malevolent guardian is hard to leave behind.

Grab it on Amazon.

What people are saying:
"An original story, with vivid details told in alternating chapters... There was drama, action, intense moments and soul searching and new friendships born." ~Sheri W., Juniper Grove

"Intense and brutal and just a whirlwind of a ride... Watching them slowly come to terms with the fact that their own morals might not actually align with those of the people who raised them makes for a wonderfully compelling story." ~Daiz

"It is so easy to read that this book can be read in one sitting. It's impossible not to like this book after reading it." ~Alex the Shadow Girl
Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. Her YA romantic fantasy debut, Nobody’s Goddess, won The Romance Reviews Summer 2016 Readers’ Choice Award in Young Adult Romance. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.


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

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8. Writer Wednesday: Following Ideas Regardless of Age Level or Genre


Lately, I've noticed more than a few writers switching genres and/or age groups. I've written across both for years, but I've noticed a definite trend in the books I've been drafting over the past year. They're all adult.

My first love was middle grade because I taught middle school. Then I had my daughter and was reading picture books, so I turned to writing those. I never set out to write young adult, but I got an idea one day that suited a young adult novel better than middle grade, so I ran with it. The one thing I swore I'd never write was adult. ;) We all know how that went.

I guess part of growing (both as a person and a writer) is recognizing the stories that you need to tell. I know changing genres and age groups affects readership, but I firmly believe you can't force a story. If I were to continue writing MG because readers wanted it, the writing wouldn't be as good because it's not where my heart is at the moment. That's not to say I'll never write another MG. All of this has proven we can't predict what ideas will come and when.

So, to those of you who are scared of following that new idea because it's out of your comfort genre or age level, I say go for it. Why not try it and see what happens? At the very worst, you can chalk it up to writing for experience, which is never a bad thing.

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

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9. Monday Mishmash 12/12/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm finishing a client edit today, moving on to a proofread after that, and getting ready for another edit later this week.
  2. Lies We Tell Production Files  I'm in the process of getting my April 2017 release ready for production. I really love being indie. After working on both sides of publishing for years, I'm excited to have my future in my own hands. I get to do all sorts of fun stuff with my production files. Plus, I can pick my own editors, which is awesome.
  3. Balance  While I decided NaNoWriMo is not designed for fast drafters, I did learn to balance working for clients and working for myself, and I'm really grateful for that. I'm continuing to do that each day now, and I'm much happier.
  4. Fading Into the Shadows  Only a little over a month until Fading Into the Shadows releases! This was one of my favorite books to write. It just flowed really well, and I fell hard for these characters. I'm a little sad it's a standalone, but I felt like the story was complete at the end.
  5. Deciding What to Write Next  I drafted two books in November, and I have two waiting to be written. They're both scheduled as 2019 releases, so I'm not sure which one to tackle first. Hmm... Maybe I'll do some more plotting on each and see which one takes over my brain.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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10. Friday Feature: The Never Veil Series


Today I have not one but three books to share with you! Check out The Never Veil Series by Amy McNulty.



In a village of masked men, each man is compelled 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. 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’s 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. She is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him.

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman and the magic of man. The stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled lord is willing to lose. 

Winner of The Romance Reviews' Summer 2016 Readers' Choice Award in Young Adult Romance.

Grab it on Amazon.


For the first time in a thousand years, the men in Noll’s village possess the freedom to love whom they will. In order to give each man the chance to fully explore his feelings, the lord of the village decrees all marriages null and void until both spouses declare their love for one another and their desire to wed again. What many women think will be a simple matter becomes a source of village-wide tension as most men decide to leave their families and responsibilities behind.

Rejected by the lord and ashamed of her part in the village’s history, Noll withdraws from her family and lives life as an independent woodcarver. This changes when her sister accuses her of hiding her former husband Jurij from her—and when Jurij eventually does ask to move in. Determined not to make the same mistakes, Noll decides to support her male friends through their new emotional experiences, but she’s soon caught up in a darker plot than she ever dared imagine possible from the men she thought she knew so well. And the lord for whom she still has feelings may be hiding the most frightening truth of them all.

Grab it on Amazon.


Men can love, but they can also hate. Noll knows too well that the men in her village have adjusted poorly to the freedom of their hearts, but she hopes to bring peace back to her community. With the lord’s return, Noll feels confident that together, they can work to settle down the villagers, but in his rebirth, he remembers only one thing about her: that she caused the curse that tortured him for a millennium in the first place.

Determined to start anew, Noll must accept that, romantically, she and the lord are better without one another, but she’ll need his help to uncover what’s really behind all of the suffering in her village. Escorted to a land beyond the mountains, Noll uncovers the truth about her village and the strange occurrences in which she’s had a hand. When someone who loves her discovers the same things and betrays her, Noll feels powerless to stop her village’s fate. By learning to forgive and seek forgiveness, Noll finally understands true love of a free heart—along with true sacrifice.

Grab it on Amazon.

Or get all three books together here.
Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.


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

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11. Writer Wednesday: Life Goes On And So Does Publishing


I've had a rough fall season. If you've been following my blog or any of my social media outlets, you're aware of that. But here's what I've learned. No matter what is happening in your personal life, the world continues to spin. Time keeps flying by. I took some time to myself to regroup and care for my dog, but what I didn't do was allow myself to stop living.

In November, I committed to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but more than that, I promised myself that I'd not only write book one in my adult psychic mystery but that I'd take my Ashelyn Drake adult romance novella and turn it into a full-length novel. When my grandfather passed away, I almost let that second promise go out the window. I didn't write for days and told myself I was allowed to not finish that goal in the month of November. 

But something happened. 

I realized I'm not the type to let a goal go without doing everything in my power to see it through. Yes, between my grandfather passing and my dog getting seriously injured, I had every right to step away from my writing. But I couldn't. I found that stepping away was worse for me. I needed to keep doing the things I love because that's how we get through tough times. Writing became therapeutic. My pace slowed drastically since I couldn't focus for long periods of time and I had to keep constant watch on my dog so she didn't rip out her stitches. But I finished both books.

Why am I sharing this with you today? Because I see writers who get stuck with a bad publisher or bad agent (I've lived through both!) or who experience hard times in their personal lives and feel like giving up all together. To those writers I want to say, live goes on. Even though you might feel like things couldn't get worse, I can assure you they will get better. You can pick yourself up and carry on.

I also want to thank all of you. Thanksgiving was tough for me because I always spent it with my grandfather. This year, I just wanted it to be over. But now that I've had some time, I want to thank those of you who reached out when I needed it. There was one day when I got a comment from a total stranger who found me on another person's blog and made a point to seek me out and offer condolences. That made my day. Seriously. And it reminded me how a small act of kindness can make such a difference in a person's life. So thank you. Writing might feel lonely at times, but this community of authors is nothing short of amazing. I'm thankful to have each and every one of you in my life.


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

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12. Monday Mishmash 12/5/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Chorus Concert  Today is my daughter's chorus concert. I'm excited to see her in her first concert ever.
  2. Dual Signing  Ayla and I signed together on Saturday. She sold out of books! A few of you have contacted me about getting signed copies of her books. I have to put in an order (probably tomorrow because today is a packed day for me), but I'll let you know as soon as I get more copies in.
  3. Holiday Sale  My daughter's school is having a holiday sale this week. I'll be helping out for a little bit today, but I can't leave my dog home alone for a long time yet.
  4. Hadley's Stitches  Hadley is on the mend. Her stitches come out on Wednesday, and her shoulder and mouth wounds are healing pretty well. She'll have quite a few scars, but she's still beautiful inside and out.
  5. Editing  I have three client edits on my plate this week. Not sure how that happened! Wish me luck!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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13. Friday Feature: The Ghost Files Volume 4 Cover Reveal



Title: THE GHOST FILES, VOL.4 PART 1
Author: Apryl Baker
Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design

PRE-ORDER:
AMAZON US ** AMAZON UK ** B&N ** iBOOKS

Sleep, little children, 
all safe in your beds. 
But when the boogeyman knocks, 
if you are up watching… 
he’ll make sure that you wish you were dead! 

Once every one hundred and fifty years he emerges from the darkest depths to feed. With each soul he takes, he grows stronger. There is but one gift he needs in order to gain the power he seeks. One gift that will allow him to walk amongst all the precious little children.

And it’s the one gift Mattie Hathaway possesses…the ability to bring images to life with just a drop of her blood. The demon Silas has warned her to never reveal this ability, not even to her father who shares her power to communicate with the dead. She’s heeded his warning, but hiding it may no longer be an option.

Children are disappearing all over the Charlotte area. When their bodies are recovered, they are always the same—broken, beaten, and bruised. Fear is spiraling out of control in the Queen City as parents glance nervously around each corner, seeing the boogeyman in every shadow.

When one little girl goes missing in Mattie’s neighborhood, it’s up to her and Officer Dan Richards to find the truth. In doing so, she uncovers a far greater evil than she’s ever come up against. The one thing she was bred to defeat.

Deleriel. A fallen angel…one of the first demons. He is powerful, ambitious, and now that Mattie is on his radar, she’s all he needs to complete his arsenal.

Amid of whirlwind of secrets coming to light, Mattie is faced with uncovering the truth about her own heritage. She must come to grips with it before she can begin to prepare for the battle of a lifetime…a battle she never asked for but is caught in the middle of. 

Can she face her own truths before it’s too late?



MEET APRYL BAKER: So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: 
** PUBLISHER ** FACEBOOK ** TWITTER ** 
** BLOG ** GOODREADS **

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14. Writer Wednesday: A Tip For Tenses


Today's topic comes from Lidy, who asked:

"The trouble comes with which tense to use. Simple past or past progressive? But then I end up mixing and switching tenses. Is there a trick or tip to keep your tenses straight/consistent?"

First, for anyone not familiar with the term past progressive, let me explain it. Past progressive can indicate a continuing action or an action that was interrupted or happening when something else occurred. You write this tense by using a form of "to be" and a verb ending in -ing. Here are some examples with the past progressive in italics:

Continuing action:
Tom was being a bad friend.
I was writing all afternoon.

Interrupted/happening when something else occurred:
I was sleeping when my dog suddenly started to bark.
I was leaving the house when the phone rang.

Okay, so here's my advice. Avoid "to be" (helping verbs) at all costs. This is something I learned when I took writing courses. "To be" (in all its forms: is, am, was, were, are) is a sign of weak writing. Let me rewrite the examples above to remove the use of "to be" verbs.

Tom's actions made him a bad friend.
I drafted my book all afternoon.
As I walked out the front door, the phone rang.
My dog's loud bark woke me from a deep sleep.

Now I could've constructed better sentences, but this is just to give you an idea of how to do this so I kept my examples simple. Basically, avoiding "to be" will result in stronger sentences. However, if you are mixing past and past progressive, don't assume you're incorrect in doing so. There is a time and place for past progressive. The real question is, do you want to use past progressive when "to be" verbs are stereotyped as weak writing and can be avoided?

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

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15. Monday Mishmash 11/28/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Nursing Hadley Back To Health  After my dog collided with a rock wall, she needed stitches and has wounds on her mouth, cheek, and shoulder. She wants to scratch all the time, which opens those wounds again. We can't cone her because the cone would lay on the wounds, so we have to watch her every second. Needless to say I'm not sleeping or able to leave the house.
  2. Editing  I have a small break in edits (off until Thursday), which is good considering Hadley is taking most of my time and attention these days.
  3. Cover Design  This weekend I designed the cover for Lies We Tell, my first adult book! It's a suspense and will release in April 2017.
  4. Drafting  With the death of my grandfather and Hadley's injury, I had to stop drafting. I just couldn't. I'm taking a break from writing to get my thoughts together and come to terms with things.
  5. Book Signing  On Saturday, my daughter and I will be signing together at Middle Smithfield Elementary school for their local vendor event.

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

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16. See You Monday

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know I've had an awful week. My grandfather passed away on Sunday, and I had to rush my dog to the vet yesterday after she collided with a stone wall. She's now stitched up like a Frankenstein dog, but she's recovering and will be okay. 

So, I'm taking the rest of the week to myself to regroup. I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend. Be safe, and I'll see you on Monday.

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17. Writer Wednesday: Description in First Person POV


Today's topic comes curtesy of Fiona Phillips, who asked:

"In your opinion, does writing from first person perspective limit the amount of description you can use (of surroundings, characters, etc.)?"

First, that's a great question, so thank you for posing it, Fi. If you're comparing first person to third person, then the answer is yes. Unless you have a main character who is extremely perceptive, you're not going to get the same level of description in first person as you would in third person. However, that doesn't mean you can't have a good level of description in first person POV. It just means you have to tackle it in a different way. 

In third person POV, you can easily set the scene, describing as much as you want. But with first person POV, you have to make sure the description is coming across in a more natural way. If the character is entering a scene that's unfamiliar to him/her, it's natural to take in the scene, thus describing it for the reader. However, a character wouldn't naturally walk into the house they've lived in for the past ten years and comment on all the details of the layout. What you would need to do is describe that layout in terms of where the MC is and what the MC is doing. The MC might toss his/her keys on the mahogany table against the wall as he/she walks in the front door. He/she might trip over the runner in the hallway on his/her way to the living room, where he/she flops down on the brown, leather couch and puts his/her feet up on the glass coffee table. See what I did there? I'm giving details to describe the scene as it pertains to the MC.

So, yes, you can have that description, but you need to tie it to the MC and present it as it makes sense. It's different from third person POV, but it can be done. I hope that answers your question, Fi!

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

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18. Monday Mishmash 11/21/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. NaNoWriMo Winner!  Yesterday, I was finally able to claim my November 7th victory of writing 50K. My word count continues to count against me, but at least I am officially a winner now.
  2. Drafting  I'm working on book two for this month, but it's going very slowly due to client edits.
  3. New Author Banner  I decided to finally splurge and get myself a banner to stand behind my tables at book signings. I opted for the four-foot one since I don't think the six-foot ones are fully seen anyway since the table covers them. Here's the banner I designed:
  4. December 3rd Signing  My banner I just mentioned is arriving December 1st, days before my next signing, which is taking place at Middle Smithfield Elementary School during their local vendor event. My daughter, Ayla, will be signing with me. Her first signing!
  5. Editing  I'm trying to stay on schedule with the holiday and the days off from school. Wish me luck!
  6. Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a safe and happy thanksgiving!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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19. Friday Feature: Life After Dez



Dying is easy; death is hard. Dez is about to learn the difference.

Bleeding to death on the side of a rural highway turns out to be the easiest part of Dez Donnelly’s unexpected Saturday. Swept away to Atman Station, the crossroads of the afterlife, Dez discovers her unprepared soul is trapped between worlds in a limbo existence where she’s given two choices: join the program or face the consequences.

Limbo is no picnic. Her new reality is conduct manuals, propaganda, and unrelenting staff orchestrating a complex program designed to help transitional souls accept death and move on. Resistance is met with swift consequences, not the least of which is an invasive procedure that links Dez’s mind to that of a senior staff member. To make matters worse, the beautiful and enticing Atman City—a stunning but dangerous metropolis that borders the outer boundaries of the station—is strictly off-limits to underage souls. 

Dez has to choose: go along to get along, or fight for the future she believed in. In an afterlife on hold, the only thing harder than getting out is getting through.

You can preorder the Kindle version, which releases November 8th, or grab the paperback version now!
Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.


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

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20. Monday Mishmash 11/7/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. NaNoWriMo  According to NaNo, I'm supposed to finish today. Last week, I wrote way more than I thought I would. Of course, winning NaNo doesn't mean the book is finished, so I'll still be writing after today.
  2. Editing  I have two edits on my plate after finishing one this weekend. One is my backward read, which is the slow read to catch those pesky grammar and punctuation issues. The other is a short story, so I'll be doing a content read and the backward read on that one this week.
  3. See numbers one and two  I don't have time to tackle anything else this week! LOL
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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21. Writer Wednesday: Working With Freelancers


Today's topic comes curtesy of Sheena-Kay. Thanks, Sheena-Kay! She wants to know:

What do you do when a freelancer (cover artist, editor, etc) suddenly up and cancels on you or what advice would you give to someone else in that position?

Okay, this is something you hope never happens to you, but I've seen it a lot. Most freelancers are good because this is how they make their money. They need repeat clients, and so they do their best to meet deadlines and make their clients happy. But...

There are times when freelancers go MIA or cancel on you. The first thing I recommend is trying to figure out why. Life happens. A death in the family can cause a freelancer to go offline. Let's face it. When a loved one passes, the last thing we think about is checking our email, and that's understandable. So if this is a freelancer you really like, try to find out if something like this happened. If you don't know the freelancer and you can't wait for them to respond, do what you have to do. Deadlines are deadlines.

Now if a freelancer cancels on you with no explanation, I wouldn't advise working with them again in the future. And to be honest, I'm in several groups where people share info on freelancers—ones who don't meet deadlines, ones who take payment and then don't follow through on the work, etc. They do get blacklisted, so they don't want to be talked about this way.

I think the best way to get involved with a freelancer is by word of mouth. See who others recommend after having used that freelancer. Like anything else, do some research and protect yourself.

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

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22. Friday Feature: Reading...Writing...Loving Life



Today's Friday Feature is a little different because I'm not featuring a book. I'm featuring a blog. My daughter, Ayla, has been wanting to start a blog for a while now, and I finally gave in and let her blog under my blogging umbrella so to speak. ;) Technically, the blog is listed as mine and I'm the administrator, but she's providing the content.

If you want to check her out, the blog is called Reading...Writing...Loving Life.
You can find the blog here. Today she's talking about the new book she's currently writing.


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

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23. Monday Mishmash 11/14/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. NaNoWriMo  So I won NaNo a week ago today, but they won't let me validate and confirm my win. On Wednesday I'll be sharing what I've learned from NaNo and why it's not geared toward writers like me.
  2. Editing  I'm editing for a newish client this week. I did a one-chapter edit over the summer for her, and now I'm editing her full book.
  3. Thank You  I want to thank everyone who visited my daughter's blog. She was so excited to see your comments. Since she has books by several of you, it was even more exciting for her to recognize your names. If you haven't checked out her blog, you can find it here.
  4. Parent-Teacher Conferences  My daughter is home today and tomorrow because it's conference time at her school. My conference is tomorrow morning.
  5. Continuing to Draft  Even though my NaNo book is finished, I'm going to keep this momentum and finish a book I started last year and had to put aside to meet other deadlines.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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24. Writer Wednesday: Why NaNo Isn't Really For Me


My participation in NaNoWriMo this month has taught me something. NaNo isn't designed for people like me. I fast draft—sometimes writing crazy amounts of words in a single day. I finished my 50,000 words on November 7th, but NaNo won't let me verify my word count and ultimately win because I achieved that word count too soon. What?!?!?!? I can't wrap my head around that.

So now, I can't earn all my badges, like writing every day this month. I almost feel like I'm being penalized for writing too quickly. And that's crazy! I wrote the entire book in seven days! Of course I won! But yet, I didn't according to NaNo. So I've decided to cheat. Yup. I'm cheating and working on another novel and adding that to my word count. This book is one I started last year and had to put aside. I'm editing for clients right now and so far I've only been writing about 1,500-2,500 words a day on this book. But still, even if I continue to write until November 30 (though I highly doubt the book will take that long to finish) I won't get my badge for writing every day this month. I guess I should have read up on NaNo before I decided to join in on the fun, because I'm going to have two completed novels by the end of the month and I still don't feel good about it.

I most likely won't participate in NaNo again. It's just not designed for me. It's making me feel like a failure even though I've already won, and let's face it. This industry is hard enough on our egos. I don't need this on top of it.

Anyone else find that NaNo makes you feel bad instead of encouraging you to write more? 

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

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25. Friday Feature: Fading Into the Shadows Cover Reveal


I'm so excited to share the cover of Fading Into the Shadows because I actually designed it myself and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. Check it out!


When sixteen-year-old Ella Andrews’s best friend, Avery, goes missing, she’ll do anything to get him back—starting with punching the no-brain cop who couldn’t care less about the disappearance. 

Ella’s convinced Avery’s been kidnapped, and she tries everything to find him—even following a strange shadow to another world where the constellations are real-life figures in the sky. But three star groups have fallen and are destroying the world. 

The fallen constellations are not the only enemy. Melanie, the princess of Stellaris, is forcing Ella, Avery, and an army of other kids kidnapped from their world to fight the rogue constellations, even as the land is draining away their life. The longer they stay, the more they fade into substanceless shadows—a fate worse than death.

Can Ella save Stellaris before there’s nothing left of her and Avery?

Preorder your copy here.

I love the full spread too! This cover was so much fun to design, but I admit it was a lot of work.



e-ARCs are also available. If you'd like an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review, click here to sign up.




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

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