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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Blog Hop, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 102
1. First #UKYA Easter Egg hunt starts today!

by Teri Terry Have you seen this banner here, there and everywhere today? It is the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt: and this is what it is, how it came about, who is involved, and what we hope to achieve. A few months ago I was reading an article published in the UK about YA books that seemed to focus rather hard on books published in other countries.Well...one other country in particular: the US.

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2. A Twisty Path to Publication–with Dragons

This is a reblog from www.writersrumpus.com Post #5: Morris Award Finalist Blog Tour Week YALSA’s Morris Award honors the year’s best young adult novel by a debut author. The Morris Award winner for 2014 will be announced at the upcoming ALA 2015 Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Writers’ Rumpus is honored to host a week of […]

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3. Shifter and Were Event (#WeresEVENT) (#WereloveSeries)

This event is sponsored by Paranormal Cravings. There are two giveaways for this event. The main giveaways by the sponsor and my giveaway. Feel free to enter both and make sure you visit the other Participants.

Make sure you check out Laylah's character profile with some extras ;) on December 14 at Paranormal Cravings.

My Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsor Giveaway #1
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsor Giveaway #2
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4. Hippity Hop on the Children's Author Blog Hop

This week I am excited to be participating in the Children's Author Blog Hop! For the hop, participating authors answer four identical questions and then invite three more authors to join in the hop. I was thrilled to be invited to participate in the hop by children's book author, Laura Sassi.

Laura’s poems, stories, articles and crafts have appeared in many publications including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider, Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr., FamilyFun, and Pack-O-Fun. She has a passion for playing with words and rhyming. Her first (awesome!) picture book, GOODNIGHT, ARK,  is now published by Zonderkidz, a HarperCollins Company. And Laura has a second book, GOODNIGHT, MANGER, slated for publication soon. Laura is represented by Lara Perkins of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Laura writes from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her awesome husband, two adorable kids, and a black cockapoo named Sophie.

Thanks so very much, Laura, for inviting me to join in the hop!  And now for my answers to those four questions:


Right now, I am busy drafting and revising several picture book manuscripts. I tend to hop between manuscripts as I work until my excitement for one really catches fire. Then I work on it in every spare moment I can possibly find, trying to make every word and idea as perfect as I possibly can. Most recently I experienced this intense passion with a manuscript I was drafting about outer space.


I love it when I can give a new twist to a familiar topic. An editor referred to it as a thematic mash up, and I love that description. But I don't want to reveal what the mash up is just yet... :o)


I have wanted to write children's books since I was a child. But initially I imagined that I would write chapter books. I think I was one of the few beginning children's writers who thought that picture books would be too hard. In the beginning I wrote many, many manuscripts (short stories, magazine articles, poems and chapter books). And my first picture book efforts were pretty rough, I think. But somehow more and more picture books kept coming out of me and somehow I've turned into a (mainly) picture book writer. (which I love!)


Sometimes I think the hardest part about writing is staring at a blank page. Or getting to the end. It is so much fun to start revising once I get a rough draft down. But each round of revisions presents its own challenges. Especially when I have a revision request from my agent or my editor and I am trying to get it just right.

And now for the three amazing children's book authors I get to share with you on this hop:

MIKE BOLDT: Mike is one amazing author/illustrator! If you haven't checked out his picture books, 123 VERSUS ABC and COLORS VERSUS SHAPES, then do! They are awesome! Mike has also illustrated several books for children's book author, Helaine Becker. Be sure to check out their latest, ODE TO UNDERWEAR. Yes, Mike is funny, which is why I am so very, very excited that he is illustrating... TIARA SAURUS REX, our upcoming picture book with Bloomsbury. Can't wait till you all get a chance to see Mike's amazing dino beauties! You can visit Mike on the web at http://mikeboldt.ca/ or follow him on Twitter @MikeBoldt.

ROBIN CONSTANTINE: Robin writes YA novels and her debut novel, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING from Balzer + Bray is now available. And her next book, THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION, is coming soon! Let me tell you, Robin's writing really truly is amazing! I was lucky enough to be in a critique group with Robin when we both lived in New Jersey. At the first meeting I attended, some of Robin's chapters were up for critique. From the moment I started reading, I knew that I was going to be reading Robin's work in print one day. And now that day is here and you can all read her wonderful stories too. Hooray! You can visit Robin on the web at www.robinconstantine.com and you can follow her on Twitter @RConstantine14.

DORINE WHITE: Dorine is a children's author and book reviewer. The first book in her Cleopatra's Legacy series, THE EMERALD RING, was published by Cedar Fort Books. It is an exciting middle fantasy novel that involves ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, and a magic emerald ring. I had the pleasure of meeting Dorine at an SCBWI conference and my son and I had so much fun attending her wonderful book launch for THE EMERALD RING. THE EMERALD RING was a great read-aloud for my then 6-year-old and I to share together and we enjoyed Dorine's sequel, THE RUBY PENDANT equally as much. Both books had so much excitement and suspense (which he and I both love)! My son and I are both looking forward to the next book in the series! You can visit Dorine on the web at www.dorinewhite.com or follow her on Twitter @DorineWhite.

Hope you enjoy checking out all these wonderful authors! Happy Hopping!

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5. Monster Madness Blog Hop

Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls! Welcome to the Monster Madness Blog Hop hosted by Vicki Leigh and me. Since Vicki and I both released monster books this year (The Monster Within and Catch Me When I Fall), we thought it would be fun to have a blog hop dedicated to the monsters we love so much. So have some candy corn and enjoy this post as Vicki and I interview each other.

Okay, Vicki, time to fess up. What monster scares you the most?

I’m pretty hard to scare, to be honest. But there is one monster who gives me the creeps: Freddy Krueger. In a way, he was kind of the inspiration behind the Nightmares in my series, because the thought of someone being able to kill you in your dreams terrifies me. I’ve never actually seen the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but, man, that dude creeps me out.

I love Freddy! My sister loved the Nightmare on Elm Street movies so I saw them much younger than I should have. ;)

How about you, Kelly? You have to be afraid of someone or something, too!

Growing up, I was terrified of the monster under the bed. I even wrote a short story about it called “The Monster of All Monsters.” Anyway, if I had to get up in the middle of the night for water or to use the bathroom, I’d stand on my bed and try to jump to the doorway. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that fear. Now the thing that freaks me out is ghosts. I tried to write a book about a haunting once, and the research totally scared me away from the idea.

Oh, man. I love ghosts. Like, I legitimately want to spend the night in a true haunted house. I think it’d be awesome. (Yet, a fictional guy creeps me out. I’m weird; I know. J)

All right, Vicki, you have to create a NEW monster. What does it look like, and what kind of terrifying things can it do?

Hmm…I think a monster who takes the shape of whatever form you find most attractive would be pretty terrifying—especially when he/she sucks out your soul during a smexy scene and leaves you a comatose patient for the rest of your life. That may have been done before. I don’t know. But I’ve heard freaky stories about what it feels like to be in a coma. I never want that experience. Or being found comatose on my bed in my birthday suit.

All right. So, my monster sucked. You create one, Kelly. I’m positive you can do better!

I’m feeling the pressure now. I’m sort of stealing from Harry Potter here, but I think a monster that can transform into whatever it is a person fears the most would be just awful because no one would be safe from it. No wait! Better yet, the monster becomes ALL of your fears rolled into one! So if you are afraid of snakes, ghosts, and realistic looking dolls with eyelids that open and close (not that I’m being that specific because those are my top three fears or anything), the monster would turn into a doll possessed by a ghost who can charm poisonous snakes to attack on command. *shivers*

Back to you, Vicki. We’ve all been inside haunted houses or mazes at Halloween time, right? What monster got the best of you inside one of those?

I actually have a good story for this, because I really am super hard to scare. I’ve been in haunted houses and mazes, and usually when things jump out at me, I giggle. So, last year, I went to a haunted cornfield with a few friends. We walked through a LOT of really tall corn, and a trailer that was pitch black. None of the actors really got me, even when I had to feel the walls because it was so dark I couldn’t see. And then we exited the cornfield, and I was like, “well, that was fun,” thinking it was over.

Then, out of nowhere, came a dude with a chainsaw. Good lord; I jumped out of my skin! I screamed and then tipped my head back and guffawed. That dude got me. It was the chainsaw noise that did it, and his perfect position: I thought the maze was over.

How about you, Kelly? Do you have a good haunted house story?

Ooh, sneaky little chainsaw-wielding devil! ;) 

Okay, well I have to say I startle easily, not scare easily. I went through a haunted dormin college. I give the people who ran it credit because it was pretty good. There was a funeral in one room, and we all thought the dead body was going to get up. It was really a distraction for something that snuck up on us. Still, I wasn’t scared. Nor was I scared when they turned out all the lights and we had to find out way out in complete darkness. Then at the end, there was a guy in a gorilla suit. That made me laugh, but it also distracted me from the hands reaching out from under the stairs I was climbing. I admit I jumped when I looked down and saw what I’m assuming was a zombie gripping my leg.

Time to change gears. What monster is your all-time favorite, Vicki?

Am I okay to say Cookie Monster? J For real, though, my favorite is probably Dracula.

How about you? You have to have a favorite!

I think I’m going to have to go with a zombie. Something about a reanimated corpse is both disgusting and terrifying, considering it wants to eat your brains. Got to love that! ;)

Now it's your turn! Choose 3 questions below to answer either in the comments or on your own blog.

1. What monster terrifies you the most?
2. Do you have a good haunted house story?
3. What's your favorite monster?
4. Is there a monster book that terrified you as a child?
5. Have any book recommendations for stories that include monsters?
6. Finally, create your own monster! What does it look like, and what scary things can it do?
Then tag FIVE of your friends to share in the Monster Madness!
And be sure to enter our giveaway to win books and SWAG from Vicki and me.

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6. Monday Mishmash 10/27/14

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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Monster Madness Blog Hop Join Vicki Leigh and I on Halloween for the Monster Madness Blog Hop. We'll be talking about what monsters scare us and you can join in. There's a giveaway too. Sign up here
  2. The Monster Within Book Tour  My book tour for The Monster Within is in full swing. I've had book signings the past two weekends and have two more this Saturday and another planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I'm having a blast! I'll be at the Family Reading Festival in Pottsville, PA from 10am-1pm and then I'm heading to Moravian Book Shop from 5pm-7pm. If you are in either area, stop by and see me!
  3. Drafting Again  I have a rare moment between editing jobs, so I'm fast drafting again! This is the fourth book I'm drafting this year, and since three books was my goal, I'm happy.
  4. The Walking Dead Twitter Party  I'm hosting a Twitter Viewing Party during this weekends episode of The Walking Dead. Why? I love the show and my Touch of Death series was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me, so yeah, I kind of love zombies. And maybe Daryl, too. ;) Join me! I'm giving away lots of prizes, including signed books and SWAG!
  5. The Darkness Within Cover Reveal  So there was a glitch with my cover reveal for The Darkness Within and the bloggers never got the info. But I'm so in love with this cover. Check it out. 
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? 


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?

Add it on Goodreads. Pre-order on Amazon.

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

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7. Curse of the Granville Fortune Release Day Scavenger Hunt!

Let the hunt begin!

Curse of the Granville Fortune officially releases into the world today! This middle grade fantasy adventure involves a race to a treasure, so there's a scavenger hunt to celebrate.

But first, check out the cover and blurb:

Find the fortune, break the curse!

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.

To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it's too late.

Order it on Amazon or B&N.

Now for the scavenger hunt. Below is a list of bloggers helping out with the hunt. Visit each of their pages and collect a letter that is "hidden" in their post in either a different color or a larger font size. See what I did there? Hmm, is that the first letter clue? ;) If you go through the list in order, the word will spell itself out for you. If you don't go in order, you'll have to unscramble the word. Either way is fine and totally up to you. Then enter the word on the rafflecopter form for bonus entries. You don't have to find the word to enter the giveaway, but the word will earn you the most entries.

What's up for grabs?

SWAG from ALL of my books!

Yes, that's right. There's a drawstring bag, coins, buttons, a mood ring, a heart bracelet, a flame pendant, trading cards, a key, and bookmarks! All this loot could be yours!

Here are the stops for the scavenger hunt (in order):

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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8. 5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Oct 15-31)

I don't do as many blog hops as I used to but I love doing this one. Don't forget to check out the other participants. This giveaway is international. Autographed copy is US & Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please visit the other participating blogs

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9. Blog Hop: International Author Day

Any excuse that allows me to celebrate my fellow authors is a good one. Come join us in this hop as we say thanks to the readers who read our work.

The Prizes

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10. My writing and writing process - blog roll style

Kimberly Derting tagged me in a blog roll to talk about writing and the writing process.

(She talks about hers here...and I loved her answers! :)

1. What am I working on?
Oddly enough, I am working on a couple of picture book projects and a middle grade series. I am also continuing the Untraceable series into Book 4. (Book 3 just released in June)

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I usually write very dark teen thrillers. For some reason, I need a short break from those so I'm veering off my main path to have some fun in different genres. But my heart is in YA thrillers.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I love thrillers in general so I love writing them. It's most of what I read and watch on movies. If someone doesn't die or isn't being chased, it's hard for me to get into it. Though I'm getting better about branching out some :)

4. How does my writing process work?
I used to be a pantser but it would take me much longer to finish a book. So now I have a process that seems to work for me. I create a logline and synopsis. Then I do a strawman outline. I pretty much write from that outline (keeping it open so I can make changes along the way.) The simple process gives me structure yet flexibility to be creative.

5. How does my writing process not work?
It works for me :) Right now....at least I think it does.

Three other tagged authors...

Amy Evans - author of one of my favs, Clicks.

Elle Strauss - author of the awesome Clockwise series (and author of Lee Strauss' Minstrel series)

Karen Hooper - author of the gorgeous Kindrily series.

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11. Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop


We have joined the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews again this year to celebrate children’s book week and give away some awesome prizes.  This year we are giving away two great prize packs containing four children’s paperbacks and a $10 Amazon gift card to each winner.



You can enter by going to our Facebook page and entering during May 12-18.  There are over 80 other bloggers participating with lots of other prizes that include children/teen’s books, gift cards, cash and other prizes so check out the list and get your entries in.

ENTER NOW -a Rafflecopter giveaway

Powered by Linky Tools Click here to view the complete list of participating bloggers and authors…

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12. Writer Wednesday: My Writing Process Blog Tour

I've been tagged by the lovely Fiona Phillips to talk about my writing process. So, here I go!

I primarily write young adult speculative fiction, but I also write middle grade and picture books because I love children's books in general. I'm the author of the Touch of Death series through Spencer Hill Press, which can be found here.

What am I working on?
Lots of stuff, as always. I'm revising three sequels right now, all set to come out in 2015. I'm also writing a new book that is so top secret I can't talk about it yet. ;) And I'm getting ready for the release of The Monster Within in June.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I love to find ways to twist plots so they aren't just more of what's already been done. So far I've written about descendants of Medusa, psychic vampires, and Phoenixes. I love anything out of the ordinary and that helps as far as making sure my work is unique.

Why do I write what I do?
I've always felt that paranormal and fantasy are like the real world only better. I find writing this genre is a great way to escape from life for a little while and step into something a little more interesting.

How does my writing process work?
I spend a lot of time plotting books before I start drafting, but then I typically let my characters take over and throw out my original planning because my characters are much smarter than I am. I also like to fast draft, writing as much as 18K in one day. I find the story flows better when I write that quickly.

Here's who's up next week for the My Writing Process Blog Hop:

Beth Fred: Beth Fred is the author of Fate of a Marlowe Girl, The Other Marlowe Girl, and A Missing Peace.

Kym BrunnerKym Brunner dreams entire books in her head, but then needs about a year to write the whole thing down. She wishes there was an app for this. When she's not writing, she's teaching 7th grade or watching movies, reality TV, or scoping out the social media scene. Friend her at Author Kym Brunner or find her on Goodreads.

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13. Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by the Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop hosted by Heather Lyons and Kelly Hashway! 

Door Prize: Your door prize for joining us is the short story prequel to the Touch of Death series titled Curse of Death. It's the myth about Medusa and how she was cursed by the goddess Athena. Claim your free gift by clicking here.

Heather and Kelly are teaming up to show you a very different side of Medusa. Forget the monster you might think she was, and check out these excerpts from The Deep End of the Sea and Touch of Death. You just might change your mind about Medusa.

The Deep End of the Sea excerpt:
The Deep End of the SeaBut there’s no way around it. I am, in fact, a monster. A hideous one, to be precise, but as I don’t have any mirrors on Gorgóna, I can’t verify that one for certain. I rely on the fact that every single person I’ve frozen over the ages boasts abject fear on their face, which makes me believe they find me pretty horrifying. And it sucks. It genuinely, truly, absolutely, unequivocally sucks. I hate stealing lives.

Thus, not only am I a monster, I’m a really lousy one. A lonely, classic Five Stages of Grief following, insecure, shut-in of a pathetic beast who talks to the snakes on her head and the statues on her island.

Find Heather online: 

Purchase The Deep End of the Sea on Amazon or B&N.

Touch of Death excerpt:
My hair blew up, flying wildly all around me. My blood bubbled in my veins like boiling water, but it didn't hurt. It was the feeling of power. Too much power. My body felt like it was going to burst. Still I held on. My eyes closed, and I threw my head back. An imaged filled my mind. Medusa. Her snakes wriggled their bodies at me, flicking their tongues. Chills ran down the backs of my legs, but I forced my eyes away from the snakes. Lower. To Medusa's face. She smiled at me. Her face and eyes filled with warmth. She looked like…Mom.

"Do not fear me, Jodi. My blood lies in your veins and in your heart. you are one of mine. My children."

Find Kelly online:

Purchase the Touch of Death series on Amazon or B&N.

If you want more Medusa, be sure to check out The Deep End of the Sea and the Touch of Death series. And…Heather and Kelly have a giveaway for you. Enter on the rafflecopter form for your chance to win a $20 gift card to either Amazon or B&N, Medusa Makeup lipgloss, signed bookmarks from both authors, buttons for each book, and Touch of Death stickers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14. Monday Mishmash 3/3/14

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

1. Finishing the draft of Up in Flames  Yesterday I finished the first draft of the third book in the Birth of the Phoenix series. It felt so good to be drafting, and reaching the end is bittersweet.

2. Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop March 15th-30th  Heather Lyons and I are hosting a blog hop to show you Medusa as we see her in our YA and NA books: The Touch of Death series and The Deep End of the Sea. There will be door prizes and a giveaway for two gift cards and tons of awesome SWAG. Want to participate? Sign up in the form below.


3. Reading  My reward for finishing the draft of Up in Flames is to finish reading Divergent. Yes, I know I'm behind in my TBR pile. I want to read it before I see the movie though.

4. The "S" word. I'm so over winter. Who's with me?

5. Pot of Gold Giveaway Darkly Delicious YA and Book Nerd Tours  As a member of the Darkly Delicious YA blog, I'm part of this awesome giveaway. 3 winners get Amazon gift cards and one grand prize winner gets a Kindle Fire preloaded with great YA and NA books!

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To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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15. Monday Mishmash 12/23/13

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts.
  1. Christmas  I'm hosting Christmas on Wednesday, so my Wednesday blog post will be nothing more than a Merry Christmas wish to those who celebrate. See you Friday.
  2. Editing  I'm booked through January with client edits. One of my New Year's Resolutions will definitely be to make more time to write while I'm working on edits. I need to balance the two better instead of doing one or the other.
  3. The Labyrinth Wall Challenge:  
    Welcome to The Labyrinth Challenge! This is a cover reveal event celebrating Young Adult Author Emilyann Girdner’s upcoming book, The Labyrinth Wall. What’s the big challenge? It’s to hop around to all sites participating in the event (site links are listed at the bottom of this post) and count how many character quotes are from the main character, Araina. Circle back to Anything Imagined and comment saying how many Araina quotes were posted during the hop. Emilyann will wait to randomly select a winner from the comments on December 23rd at noon (Eastern Standard time). The winner will receive a $15 electronic Starbucks giftcard (just in time for the holidays).

    The Labyrinth Wall Character Quote:
    “Reality worked its way into my dreams where it wasn’t welcome.” ~Saige

    Without further delay, let’s kick off the book cover reveal and learn more about The Labyrinth Wall…

    The tale of a young woman who discovers that although labyrinth walls confine her and her enemies try to repress her, the power of hope can set her free…

    Araina’s isolated teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man emerge through a rippling wall into the dark labyrinth she calls home. As a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s Creators have unleashed a series of magical attacks using the labyrinth against its inhabitants. Now Araina must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to reach safety on the other side of the labyrinth wall.

    Release Date:
    Ebook: January 2nd 2014 - Amazon (Free download Jan 2nd - 6th2014)
    Paperback: January through Barnes & Noble and Amazon

    (Find a different excerpt at each blog participating in this event)

    Abruptly, a piercing sound fills the air. Our hands swarm to cover our ears and muffle it. Paralyzed and dizzy, I drop to the ground fearfully. The ringing is coming from the direction of the castle. The sound diminishes as quickly as it came.
    The ground shakes, causing the walls to seem as if they waver. Grinding and hissing noises unexplainably overcome the labyrinth. I shrink cowardly to the wall, bracing myself defensively against it for support.
    As I turn to check on Korun and Rase who were a few feet behind me, the sounds subside. Before my eyes settle on them, sudden pain engulfs me. Horrible anguish consumes me. It feels like a thousand swords submerge into my back and under my legs all at once. That’s the last thing I remember or feel.

    The Labyrinth Wall Arcade Game: can you help Araina escape the labyrinth?


To subscribe for more updates, play games, and grab goodies (some are FREE), visit www.thelabyrinthwall.com!

Don’t forget to hop around to all the participating sites, count Araina’s quotes and comment how many you found on Anything Imagined (Emilyann’s website) for a chance to win that $15 Starbucks giftcard J

The Labyrinth Challenge Sites:

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16. Monday Mishmash 12/9/13

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

1. Blog Blitz  Last Friday, my blog was blitzed by the amazing group DL Hammons set up. The group heard that my agency closed and that I'm in the query trenches again, and they decided to stop by and cheer me up as well as wish me luck. I was truly touched by the amount of comments. All 200+ of them. You all made my day.

2. My Birthday  Yesterday was my birthday. I didn't like the getting older part, but I did enjoy the day with my husband and daughter. I also got some great gifts, including an awesome new purse. And my daughter had a birthday party to attend for one of her friends, so I helped out with that as well.

3. Spencer Hill Press Holiday Giveaway  The very awesome Judy Spelbring is hosting the Spencer Hill Press Holiday Giveaway again this year. There are tons of prizes to win. I've donated money to a gift card and I'm giving away a signed copy of Stalked by Death. Make sure you enter.
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4. Querying  I didn't do this last time I queried, but I'm going to share my progress this time around. I have a few fulls and partials out right now, so I've got all my fingers crossed that I might get the best Christmas present ever this year. The top item on my list is an offer for representation.

5. Meant For You by Faith Sullivan  Faith newest release comes out tomorrow. It's NA and it's HOT! Here's my review:

I had the pleasure of reading an ARC and let me say it is one HOT book! Seriously hot! I'm talking the hottest book I've ever read. The book opens with a very steamy scene and there are plenty more to follow throughout the book. Ivy and Eric are the couple you can't help but root for. Eric's past left him pretty much broken before he met Ivy, and now she's his second chance at happiness. Ivy's had plenty of struggles too, especially recently. So to see these two connect on such an emotional and intimate level is amazing.

But even though they are expecting a child together and are unable to keep their hands off each other, they have more than their share of problems. Ivy has been forced into a situation where she has to help her enemy, Lauren, from book one. I hate Lauren even more in this installment. She preys on Ivy's delicate situation and forces Ivy to write a script that will possibly destroy Eric and the relationship Ivy has with him.
And it wouldn't be a Faith Sullivan novel if there wasn't a big twist at the end. As usual, I didn't see it coming but as soon as it happened, I thought, I should've guessed! Sullivan is so good at keeping me guessing and making me eagerly anticipate her next book. Looking forward to book three to see what's in store for Ivy and Eric.

And I loved the book so much, I'm giving a copy away! Just fill out the rafflecopter below.
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That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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17. Blog Hop Part One: Sarah Albee

Credit: Bruno Ratensperger

Credit: Bruno Ratensperger

Blog hops are a thing, apparently. (Since I am just realizing this, perhaps “were a thing” is more accurate? I’m usually a bit behind on social media trends.) Here, gone, no matter. Blog hops are fun, and I’m going to play along …

Back in March, Kathy Erskine tagged me for a hop in which I got to share a bit about my Spring 2014 book, Handle With Care. (Here’s that post, if you missed it.) Last week, Sarah Albee tagged me in a similar blog hope meme. (Here’s her post.) Here’s the deal this time around: first, I tell you a little bit about Sarah, then I tell you a little bit about my next book.

See? Kinda fun. Especially if you are into children’s nonfiction. And guess what? Today is Nonfiction Monday! (Maybe I am actually a social media guru? Ha.)

So, what can I tell you about Sarah?

  • For starters, she sometimes goes by the names Constance Allen, Sarah Willson, Catherine Samuel, or Catherine Lukas. And she has written a lot of children’s books. (Four hundred thousand or so, as far as I can tell. Click here to see a partial list.)
  • She’s good with voices. If you run into her, ask her to talk like a pirate for you. Trust me.

Get to know Sarah for yourself through her books, by visiting her website or her blog, by following her on Twitter, or by friending her on Facebook.

Thanks for the blog hop tag, Miss Sarah!

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18. Blog Hop!

I was recently tagged by my dear friend, Renee Kurilla, for this author/illustrator blog hop!

What are you working on right now?

I'm working on playing more while I wait for sketch revisions on a work project. I've been creating lots of new art for the past two years for my portfolio, but I'm never satisfied. Recently, I realized that I had stopped doing some of the things I love to do, like collage and smearing paint around a canvas. I returned to that for my recently completed Tomie dePaola Award contest. Now I want more of this style in my portfolio, so it's back to the drawing board.

How does this differ from other works in this genre?

I'm exploring how I do collage. Lots of other artists are doing it, but I am working on my own unique voice. I strive to keep it as simple as possible.

Why do you write what you write?

I love drawing adorable animals. In my writing, I give them a home and a story. I love funny books that seem straightforward but are anything but. I like to throw in a little subversive twist. I'm currently writing a story for these two. I'm also participating in #PiBoIdMo and loving it. That's what got me started writing in the first place. 

The hardest thing about writing, is, well, the writing! These pigs have an amazing story. They have too much story! What started as a simple idea took off in so many directions that I just had to step away to clear my head. I'm almost ready to try to rein them in again, but so far, they have resisted all of my efforts to contain them. They are irrepressible and unapologetic.

Now to spread the fun and tag some more lovely author/illustrators:

4 Comments on Blog Hop!, last added: 11/14/2013
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19. Writer Wednesday: Zombie Blogfest

Here's how it works:
Post about your favorite zombie movie, zombie book, zombie TV series, or share some cool zombie pics. As long as it's zombies, you're good. 

What's in it for you?
How about a FREE story. Plus, US residents can also be entered for a chance to win some zombie limb candy and a signed copy of Touch of Death. (Sorry but international mailing is expensive and mailing candy internationally isn't always allowed.)

Everyone will get a copy of my FREE short story prequel to the Touch of Death series, Curse of Death.

In fact, go grab it now by clicking here.

And if you want a chance to win a signed copy of Touch of Death and some zombie candy to satisfy your after Halloween sugar craving, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below.

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And now here's a zombie scene from Stalked by Death:

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20. Monday Mishmash 10/28/13

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

1. Cover Reveal for Nothing To Tell by Ashelyn Drake  Ashelyn Drake's final installment of the Campus Crush series releases October 29. This is actually a FREE prequel to the series. Here's the cover and blurb:

Some guys have the art of hooking up down to a science.

They know all the right words to say and all the right games to play.

Except...for guys like Mike Hannigan.

The dude has got no game, his pick-up lines never work, and to make matters worse, his wing-man is his female best friend, Mindy.

Until one day, a mysterious raven-haired beauty catches Mike's eye and he's determined to have her. He doesn't care what lengths he has to go to. He'll do whatever it takes to perfect his game and figure out what to say without sounding like a sleaze.


There's always something strange about mysterious girls.
They're usually mysterious for a reason and this girl in particular might be more than Mike bargained for.

Add it on Goodreads. And here's the trailer for the Campus Crush series:

2. Editing October is always a busy editing month for me. Last week I got four client edits, two of which are full novels. Guess how I've been spending my days. ;) Have I mentioned I love my jobs?

3. Touch of Death Series SWAG  Spencer Hill Press sent me some amazing bookmarks for Curse of Death, my FREE Touch of Death companion short story. The back has all the covers for the series and a QR code to download Curse of Death.

4.  The Monster Within  The Monster Within is up for pre-order on Amazon. I'm so excited because I fell hard for Sam and Ethan when I wrote this book. If you want to pre-order it, you can do it here.

5. Zombie Blogfest  Beth Fred and I are hosting a zombie blogfest. Post about your favorite zombie movie, zombie book, zombie TV series, or share some cool zombie pics. As long as it's zombies, you're good. What's in it for you? How about a FREE story. Plus, US residents can also be entered for a chance to win some zombie limb candy and a signed copy of Touch of Death. (Sorry but international mailing is expensive and mailing candy internationally isn't always allowed.) Want to join us? Sign up in the Linky below.

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

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21. Monday Mishmash 10/14/13

Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:

  1. Columbus Day  My daughter is off from school today, so we are heading to my parents' house for the day. Looking forward to it.
  2. Free Horror Short Story  I'm working on another free horror short story for you all. I'm hoping to get it up on Amazon soon. I love being able to give something back to fans like this to show my appreciation. :)
  3. Pumpkin Picking  We went to a birthday party at a farm and got to pick pumpkins, take a hayride, and go on carnival rides. It was so much fun. Oh, and there were animals to pet and a hay maze. I love this time of year.
  4. Books, books, books  I've read a lot of books lately and I realized I'm terrible at keeping up with Goodreads. I always forget to update the books I'm reading. *sigh* 
  5. Zombie Blogfest  Beth Fred and I are hosting a zombie blogfest. Post about your favorite zombie movie, zombie book, zombie TV series, or share some cool zombie pics. As long as it's zombies, you're good. What's in it for you? How about a FREE story. Plus, US residents can also be entered for a chance to win some zombie limb candy and a signed copy of Touch of Death. (Sorry but international mailing is expensive and mailing candy internationally isn't always allowed.) Want to join us? Sign up in the Linky below.

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

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22. Blog Hop

I’ve been asked by my friend, Brenda Sturgis, to join a blog hop with other incredibly talented writers. I was asked by several other folks… but she was quicker on the draw! Brenda has been a great friend for many years (and crit partner). One day, we’re going to meet somewhere between NC and Maine. […]

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23. Children’s Author Blog Hop

Hippity, hoppity…


Come meet some new kidlit authors with the Children’s Author Blog Hop!

I was invited to participate by Darlene Beck-Jacobson, an author I know from NJ-SCBWI whose historical middle grade novel WHEELS OF CHANGE releases next year. It’s set in 1909 Washington D.C. and follows a young girl who attempts to save the family carriage business during the proliferation of the automobile. (Really cool premise I cannot wait to read!)

To participate in this hop, you don a pair of your fluffiest Hello Kitty socks and…wait a minute! This isn’t the Children’s Author SOCK HOP? Oh darn. And I was itching to do the mashed potato, too.

Darlene and me at a NJ-SCBWI book signing’

To participate in the BLOG hop, you answer four questions, then pass the torch onto three other authors. One of the great privileges of writing this blog is to promote other talented kidlit professionals. I’m so pleased to introduce you to PiBoIdMo participants and authors you may not know yet—Elaine, Angie & Jacque—but you will!

And now the four questions…

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Whoops. Sorry. That’s the first of the Passover four questions. Maybe my Jewish friends had a chuckle. The rest of you are going HUH?!

1. What are you currently working on?

As you may know, I host Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) every November. It’s the picture book writer’s alternative to NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to create one new picture book idea daily.

I caution PiBoIdMo participants NOT to post their ideas anywhere online. Concept is primarily what sells a picture book, and you don’t want someone to snatch your hook-y concept.

So I’m going to follow my own advice and be a little cryptic about what I’m working on. It’s a magical story about someone who’s not happy with magic.

My usual M.O. is to begin with a title, and that’s what I’m doing yet again. It’s got a snazzy, catchy title, something that will make people wanna snag it right off the shelf. The bad news is that I’ve already written this story once before—and revised it at least a dozen times. But it just didn’t work. In fact, I set aside this story for an entire year before I re-read my final draft again just last week.


In my zealous quest to perfect the manuscript, I darted further and further away from my original intentions. The story didn’t resemble anything I’d like to call my work. And so, it got filed in the circular file.

This week I began again with nothing but the title. I’ve got the opening down and I can already see it’s going far better than it did last year, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

I’m also putting final edits on LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD, a punny skating adventure coming from Penguin Random House Children’s in October 2015. All your favorite fairytale characters will be along for the glide—Humpty Dumpty, Old MacDonald, even Jack Sprat and his wife.

2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?

The magical story will feature an adult. In fact, it opens with an adult. I know this is typically a no-no, but the adult is not an ordinary grown-up. You’ll see. Know the rules, but know when to break them, too.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I have always had a love affair with the short story. I prefer the brilliance in their brevity. And with picture books, I adore the juxtaposition of words and images. It’s like playing for a living.

4. What is the hardest part about writing?

Not letting the words get away from you. Sometimes the words have a way of writing themselves, pulling you in a direction you didn’t want to go. You have to learn to tame your words, and that’s no easy feat.


And now, ladies and gentleman and children of all ages, I’m pleased to present the three authors I’ve chosen to hop to: Elaine Kiely Kearns, Angie Karcher and Jacque Duffy!

E. Kiely Kearns is an elementary school teacher and a member of the SCBWI. She earned her Masters in Education from Fordham University. She dreams up wild and wonderful stories in New York State where she lives with her husband, two children, and menagerie of animals. She lives on coffee, chocolate and humor. Mostly humor. Get your “Book Smarts” fix at EKielyKearns.com.

Angie Karcher’s first book, WHERE THE RIVER GRINS: THE HISTORY OF EVANSVILLE, ILLINOIS came out in November 2012. It was part of the city’s Bicentennial celebration and is a resource book for local history in all third grade classrooms in Evansville. Her current project, THE LEGENDARY COWBOY JONES, about a 70-year-old jockey who’s still racing, comes out after the first of the year. She is a former Kindergarten teacher and professional storyteller. Read more of her story at AngieKarcher.wordpress.com.

Born in Brisbane, Australia, Jacque Duffy has always been creative and entrepreneurial. She has written, illustrated and self-published seven children’s books in a series. These books were sought and purchased by the Queensland State Government and placed into schools and libraries. In 2014 her first picture book THE BEAR SAID PLEASE will be released by Wombat books. Follow her down under at JacquesArtandBooks.com.

Happy hopping!

1 Comments on Children’s Author Blog Hop, last added: 9/19/2013
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24. Off to Oz Giveaway: Choice of any retelling, time travel, or classic fairy tale book!

Welcome to my stop on the Off to Oz Giveaway Hop hosted by Angela's Anxious Life and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer!

This hop features books about time travel, classic fairy tales, and retellings!

Here are two books that I have recently read and LOVED that (I feel) fit with the theme of this hop:
Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.
On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.
Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.
In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

Note: Across a Star-Swept Sea is the sequel/companion novel to For Darkness Shows the Stars, which was equally amazing. If you haven't read For Darkness yet, I would suggest you read it first.

13514612"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 
Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. 
All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

So what am I giving away? 
The two books above are just my suggestions, but I will allow the winner to choose any retelling, time travel, or classic fairy tale. (It must fit one of the three genres.)
The book you choose has to be under $20 and will ship from The Book Depository. It is okay if you choose a book that has not been released yet, and I will do a pre-order for you.
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1 Comments on Off to Oz Giveaway: Choice of any retelling, time travel, or classic fairy tale book!, last added: 9/11/2013
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25. Meet Some Blog Hop Authors

This week I am participating in the Children’s Author Blog Hop.  I was invited by Holly Schindler – a wonderful writer of such YA titles as PLAYING HURT, and A BLUE SO DARK.   Her MG is due out early next year and is titled THE JUNCTION BETWEEN SUNSHINE AND LUCKY.  http://www.hollyschindler.com   I do a monthly post on her middle grade blog SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE, along with many other amazing and talented writers. www.smack-dab-in-the-middle.blogspot.com.

To participate, each author answers four questions and then invites three other children’s authors to participate. Blog hops are a great way for authors and readers to connect.

See more about the authors I invited below.

Here are my answers to the questions:

  1. What are you currently working on?        I am working on a contemporary Middle Grade titled THE ART OF IMPERFECTION.  It’s about a fourteen year old boy determined to re-invent himself and win over the most popular girl in eighth grade before he enters his freshman year.  He takes on a summer job painting his great-aunts house and meets a whole cast of characters – including a fourteen year old girl – who shake up those plans, his values and his definition of family.
  2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?       It allows the main character to interact with each person he meets  – from adults to teens and younger kids – and has him take away something of value from each of those encounters.   Even when he was convinced they had nothing to offer. And, there are NO vampires or werewolves. Although there is a character who believes she was once a cat.
  3. Why do you write what you do?        Middle Grade fiction seems to have chosen me.  I’ve tried writing picture books and novels for Young Adults but never seem to be able to get the “voice” right.  My characters, and the way they tell their story, turns me into a twelve year old, no matter how much I try to resist.
  4. What is the hardest part about writing?      For me the hardest part of writing is the middle.  I have no problem starting a story, and I usually know where and how  I want it to end.  I hit the wall about two thirds of the way through and am convinced I’ll never get over the wall to the finish line.

 Now here are three fellow writers with some amazing talents and credentials.

TARA LAZAR’S blog WRITING FOR KIDS (WHILE RAISING THEM) is filled with information for children’s book writers.  Her post “500 Things Kids Like” is a must if you’re trying to develop authentic characters that ring true.  She also hosts the annual  PiBoIdMo, an event that challenges picture book writers to come up with an idea, story or character everyday for a month, so that at the end, there may be some gems to turn into books.  Tara Lazar recently published her first PB titled THE MONSTORE with Simon and Schuster.  Another PB titled I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK is due out in 2014.  Learn more about Tara at: http://taralazar.wordpress.com

 ROBIN NEWMAN writes a blog, “LET’S TALK BOOKS,” www.robinnewmanbooks.wordpress.com, covering kid lit, where she interviews authors and illustrators of books for all ages.  She recently sold THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE, the first book in the WILCOX AND GRISWOLD MYSTERY SERIES to CRESTON BOOKS (release date TBD), www.crestonbooks.com.  She writes picture books, chapter books and more!  She would love to have coffee with the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs!  You can follow Robin on Twitter @robinnewmanbooks and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/RobinNewmanBooks/339179099505049


KATHY TEMEAN ran the New Jersey Chapter of the SCBWI for ten years as Regional Advisor. She is the author/ illustrator of Horseplay and many magazine articles and artwork. She also runs her own web design company   www.temeanconsulting.com   Her blog WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING offers valuable tips on everything you need to know about writing for children.  She also conducts interviews with agents, editors, authors and illustrators in the field and twice a year conducts writing workshops.  When she finds the time, she is busy working on her own MG and YA novels and illustrating children’s books. She just finished a project illustrating a book about Yogi Berra that will be out later this year. Check out her blog at: www.kathytemean.wordpress.com

4 Comments on Meet Some Blog Hop Authors, last added: 9/12/2013
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