October 12, 2015

October #InkRipples #Giveaway – Things That Go Bump in the Night

I remember reading Amityville Horror. I think I was about 12 years old and I was home alone a lot. I’d get so wrapped up in the book I wouldn’t notice the sun had set until I look up and found myself completely surrounded by black picture windows. I was terrified that the red pig eyes would appear, so I’d close my eyes and feel my way around the room to draw all the curtains closed – not opening my eyes until I was sure I wouldn’t see any black window surfaces.

It’s hard to scare me like that anymore. I think life experiences jade us enough that we are less prone to fears fueled by imagination, but I still get butterflies if I have to go out into the dark garage alone at night, or if I hear an unexplained noise scratch up against the house. *Shiver*

What scares you? Makes your heart pound so that it’s hard to hear? Freezes you in place?

To celebrate Halloween, I’m giving away two books again this month. YAY! First the winner will receive a copy of Ghost Touch by the super awesome author, LA Dragoni. (Okay, she might be me.) The winner will have his or her choice of an electronic copy - any version - or a dowload code good for one audiobook copy from Audible.

Ghost Touch by LA Dragoni
For fifteen minutes each night a portal opens in Tamar’s barn and a horde of ghosts spills into her yard. She and Dex work together to find a way to help Cal and the thousands of spirits stuck in the void to cross over. When she learns she has the ghost touch—the ability to touch the ghosts as if they were corporeal—and she accidentally helps a little boy cross, she believes it might be possible. But not all the spirits play nice and when they learn they can sip energy from her ghost touch, they become greedy putting her life at risk.

Each time Cal has to pull her from the mass of ghosts, her touch restores him more and more until he is at danger of being stuck on earth—forever, which is very enticing to Tamara the better she knows him. Will she and Dex figure out how to help the spirits cross and if they do, will she be able to let Cal go?

Available from Amazon

And because I like to support other books and authors, the winner will also receive a Kindle copy of one of the following books that I’ve read and enjoyed and find creepy enough for the season:

A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead--keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle is The Replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. He has been raised among us. But he is not one of us. Now, he must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps from which he came and find his rightful place - in our world or theirs.

As usual, there are super easy ways to enter; pin, add to Goodreads or Tweet right from the rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And now that you've entered, visit the other ink ripples.
Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

October 9, 2015

Cover Reveal - The Squire And The Slave Master by Eric Price

This business allows me to meet some really great people. Among them is young adult fantasy author, Eric Price. I'm excited because we are approaching release time for the second book in Eric's Saga of the Wizards series. Today I'm happy to help Eric show off the awesome cover as well as share an excerpt from the book. Eric - take it away!
My favorite cover artist in the world is C. K. Volnek for two reasons. First, her covers are amazing: check them out here. Second, she designed the cover for my first two books with Muse it Up Publishing.


The award winning Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud (CLC’s Best First Novel 2014) chronicled Yara, Owen, and Cedric’s quest to revive King Kendrick from a dark, magical spell. After the adventure to save King Kendrick, for Yara, everyday life has grown monotonous. The dull work of learning her father’s blacksmithing trade, and the pressure from her parents to decide what she plans on doing with her life, has her nerves so stressed she snaps at her father’s slightest teasing.

Lucky for her, a surprise messenger from the castle brings the king’s request for her to join a collaborative mission between the Central and Western Domains of Wittatun to stop a recently discovered slave operation in a land to the west. King Kendrick and Owen want her to accompany the mission as a secret weapon disguised as a squire. 

She has to keep secret not only her magical abilities from any possible traitors, but also her gender. The people of the Western Domain have a superstition prohibiting girls from sailing. But a chill wind carries the distinct odor of sabotage. Can one girl survive to destroy an evil rooted much deeper than mere slavery?


“I don’t know  how long I’ll be gone.” Yara cut the fat from an emmoth rib. “I don’t suppose anyone knows. It will take as long as needed to end the slavery.”

Her mother pushed her mostly untouched meal around her plate. “I’d prefer you didn’t go. It sounds dangerous.”

“Mother, these people are engaging in slavery. Not farm animals forced to work, they’re humans.”

“I understand. I’m not saying we shouldn’t intervene. I’m just not sure why you have to go.”

“King Kendrick and Owen think an undercover magician could give us an advantage. I agree with them. Besides, I want to go. I need to get away from here for a while. Plus, I’m an adult now. You can’t tell me what to do.” Chancing a glance at her father, she hoped she hadn’t upset him again. Their earlier argument had been mostly in jest, but the comment she made about her brother must have stung.

Instead of looking angry, he leaned back in his chair and chewed his emmoth meat. When he finished, he grinned. “Don’t get upset, Kamala. At least she told us she planned on leaving this time.”

"When I left in search of Owen and Cedric, I didn’t have time to tell you. This time we have a plan.” Yara chewed her last piece of rib meat. She’d snuck out after her parents had turned in for the night.
She could usually count on her father to have a level head…when he wasn’t provoking her about a woman’s place in the world.

Her mother cleared her uneaten food from the table. “I don’t presume to tell you what to do. I just want to make sure you’ve considered all the aspects of the mission.”

 “To the best of my ability, I have considered all aspects. First, I have to travel as a boy. Aside from my appearance, I shouldn’t have trouble with this. My best friend is a boy, and I’ve never had much interest in girly activities. And why would I? As a child, playing with dolls couldn’t compare to chasing piglets through the muddy stockyards.”

Her mother’s eyes lightened for the first time that evening. “You also don’t care much for washing clothes. If you did, you’d have realized most of the mess you got into in the stockyards wasn’t mud in the truest sense.”

She laughed. “Fair enough. Now my second concern, while traveling as a boy, I’m best to not get caught. Big burly men, out to sea for several days, may have more interest in a helpless girl than just someone to whom they could confide their deepest secrets.” She grinned, raised her hand above her head, and caused a blue flame to burst forth from her palm. “Good thing I’m not a helpless girl.”
As long as they don’t attack me in my sleep.

Her father collected the dirty dishes.

Yara helped him clear the table. “If I can keep my fa├žade, the trip should sail by, so to speak. Once we get to Buisna, we’ll have to find the ruler of the slave operation. I suppose this could present itself as a difficult task, but at least I won’t have to do it alone.”

Of course there’s always the question of what we’ll find in Buisna. Why does a country the size of the Western Domain need our help? How large is this new country? How many people are there to fight? The military of the Central Domain is weakened from the attack by the Wizard Rebellion. Why would King Kendrick decide to send troops at a time like this? Do they know, or suspect, more than Owen told me?

With the table cleared of dishes, Yara stretched and yawned. “Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll retire to bed early tonight. Shoeing that horse wore me out, and I need to get some thorough rest before my training tomorrow.” She hugged her mother. “Everything will work out. King Kendrick and Owen will have a strategy planned for the whole mission.”

A loud, rapid knocking at the front door startled her. Answering it, she found Owen standing with a man about his same size but a few years older, donned in the armor of the King’s Sentry.

Owen glanced around the room, his eyes wide and observant but clear of any panic. “Yara, you have to come to Innes Castle now. The plans have changed. You’re leaving tonight.”

Links for Unveiling the Wizards' Shroud:

Muse It Up
AmazonBarnes & NobelSmashwordsOmniLitApple iTunes


Eric Price lives with his wife and two sons in northwest Iowa. He began publishing in 2008 when he started writing a quarterly column for a local newspaper. Later that same year he published his first work of fiction, a spooky children’s story called Ghost Bed and Ghoul Breakfast. Since then, he has written stories for children, young adults, and adults. Three of his science fiction stories have won honorable mention from the CrossTime Annual Science Fiction Contest. His first YA fantasy novel, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Literary Classics Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Squire and the Slave Master, scheduled for a Fall 2015 release, continues the Saga of the Wizards. He is a member of SCBWI. Find him online at authorericprice.com.

October 7, 2015

#IWSG - Doing My Laundry (Instead of Writing)

Visit Alex Cavanaugh to find out more

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Our co-hosts for October are:
Tamara Narayan   http://www.tamaranarayan.com/  
Eva E. Solar   http://lilicasplace.com/  
Shannon Lawrence    http://thewarriormuse.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Faris  http://stephie5741.blogspot.com/  

After you've left a kernel of wisdom for me in the comment section, please visit the hosts to show your support.

My post:

I recently started writing a new book. I've been mulling the idea over for a while and I'm pretty excited to dive in...except when it's actually time to dive in, then I seem to find a million other things to distract me. 

I wrote a short story to introduce the book and posted it on Lightning Quick Reads, the themed, multi-author short story blog I'm a part of. I've never struggled with a story like I struggled with this one. I'm not really sure I'm even all that happy with it, but I ran out of time and my wonderful critique partner scolded me when I suggested I just resurrect an old story to post instead. Besides, my talented daughter illustrated it - clickable picture in the sidebar - so I was excited to show off her work, at least.

Basically I think all of my writing is crap right now. I feel like I can't say anything I want to say. Can't say it to the depth I want to the reader to visualize it. I know - I KNOW I need to just get that first draft of my novel out of my fingers and into my computer, but there's always Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest. There's recycling to take out and clothes that will benefit from a stern hand washing <--bet you've never used that excuse before!

Maybe if I threaten to participate in NaNoWriMo, it'll get me to focus and dash out some words. Even that cruddy first draft wouldn't be as bad as a NaNo first draft! I told myself I hoped to NEVER need to do NaNo again. Hmmm, I might be onto something. 

What do you do to focus yourself? 

September 17, 2015

Release Day for King of Bad & Super Villain Academy Box Set

The book that hit #7 on the Amazon bestsellers list of superhero fiction just got better! Today's the official launch of the 2nd edition of King of Bad - Super Villain Academy book 1. Not only that, but the series is now also available in a box set.

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

The second edition offers bonus material. Two complete new scenes to add to the super villain fun. 

Buy King of Bad in electronic or print format from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whiskey Creek Press, or add it to Goodreads

Or save when you buy the boxed set: Whiskey CreekPress, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

I have an exclusive giveaway for my email subscribers. If you post a review for any of my books before September 30th, you can enter to win an Amazon gift certificate. Winning would cover the cost of the box set. This is a great time to read the series.

Happy reading.

September 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Fullfillment by Erin Rhew

So excited to help Erin Rhew reveal her gorgeous new cover for The Fullfillment.

About the book: Layla’s world tumbles out of control when she discovers the truth of her parentage and realizes the Prophecy—the one she upended her entire life to defend—is incomplete. When her new friends share the entire Prophecy, the revelations contained within it alter her destiny and challenge everything she and Wil believe in. Now, she must confront the Outlander queen to save the Ethereal kingdom while grappling with this new reality.

Tortured and imprisoned, Nash accepts his fate and offers the First Ones the one thing he has left to give: his life. In a desperate attempt to save the people he loves most, he surrenders himself to the Outlander queen and a destiny darker than he could have ever dreamed possible. Wil, tormented by the consequences of his choices, realizes he may never be able to uphold his end of the Prophecy. His mistake casts a deep, foreboding shadow over his kingdom and those he loves, while its ripples threaten to shatter both the Prophecy and everything he and his family have sworn to protect.

In this epic conclusion, lives are lost, kingdoms clash, friendships are tested, and love and fate collide.

Okay, now that you're saying "Ooooo," and "Aaaahhh" over that enticing blurb, let's see the beautiful cover:


Yep. More "ooo's" and "aaah's", huh? It's like Fourth of July around here. Be sure to add the book to your to-read shelf.

TheFulfillment_ErinRhew_AuthorPic  About the author: Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side. Find me online: Twitter: @ErinRhewBooks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-Rhew-Books/182769448541270 Website: www.erinrhewbooks.com Goodreads The Prophecy: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23265671-the-prophecy https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23302633-the-outlanders Goodreads The Outlanders: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23302633-the-outlanders?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_b

September 14, 2015

September #InkRipples #Giveaway - Fall/School

Hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand 
be sure to visit all the blogs and do a search on #InkRipples

School is back in session. And I guess I can say I've gone back to school, too. I've been in a writing funk all year long and couldn't sit here and stare at my Facebook and Twitter feed any longer. So I got a job with the school district as a lunch lady. It gets me out of the house for a few hours each day. I get to interact with my target audience, as well as some cool adults. It provides a steady supplemental income. And it's good, honest work. And seriously, I can rock that hairnet! So far I really enjoy it. It helps that our school district has a great food program. The food is so good!

Fall happens to be my favorite season. Unless it's April, then spring is my favorite. It's kind of a tie, I guess. I love the crisp night air, the changing leaves, the ultra blue sky and the spicy smell of leaf litter and wood smoke.

I'm celebrating the release of the 2nd edition of King of Bad - with bonus scenes:
buy your own copy here
Hey, since King of Bad takes place in a school - one of our themes this month it's a perfect fit. So, this month's winner will win two books! A signed copy of a shiny new edition of King of Bad (Sorry, but an International winner will win an electronic copy) and a Kindle copy of one of the following books I've enjoyed that also took place in a school setting:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling: In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry, an orphan, lives with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.

One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter the first of a sequence of events that end in Harry meeting a giant man named Hagrid. Hagrid explains Harry's history to him: When he was a baby, the Dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, attacked and killed his parents in an attempt to kill Harry; but the only mark on Harry was a mysterious lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Now he has been invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the headmaster is the great wizard Albus Dumbledore. Harry visits Diagon Alley to get his school supplies, especially his very own wand. To get to school, he takes the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross Station. On the train, he meets two fellow students who will become his closest friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Harry is assigned to Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, and soon becomes the youngest-ever Seeker on the House Quidditch team. He also studies Potions with Professor Severus Snape, who displays a deep and abiding dislike for Harry, and Defense Against the Dark Arts with nervous Professor Quirrell; he and his friends defeat a mountain troll, help Hagrid raise a dragon, and explore the wonderful, fascinating world of Hogwarts.

But all events lead irrevocably toward a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who seeks an object of legend known as the Sorcerer's Stone.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Tweet the twitter msgs straight from the rafflecopter, re-pin the linked Pinterest post, add KoB on Goodreads, share the giveaway on Instagram. All easy ways to enter! You have up through the 27th of September to get in as many entries as possible. Good luck!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 8, 2015

Fish Detectives by Kelly Hashway

When Kelly Hashway asked if I could review her latest picture book, Fish Detectives, I said, "Absolutely!" I love both Kelly's writing and K.C. Snider's artwork, so I knew this would be a slam dunk for me. 

Sure enough, Fish Detectives is as much fun as I thought it would be. So much so, that I wanted to include a few interview questions with Kelly and K.C., too. So let's take a moment to talk to the ladies before I share my review of the book.

Kelly, Horatio and Alexander are so cute. What inspired you to create two mystery solving fish?

My mother told me she had two fish named Horatio and Alexander when she was growing up. I loved the names, and for some reason they sounded like detectives to me. From there I imagined what kind of cases they might solve in a fish tank.

K.C., Horatio, Alexander, and Gus are all very beautiful fish and the emotion in their expressions really adds to their character. Do you have fish or did you visit a pet store for inspiration?

First, I’d like to express how much I enjoyed this story.  I like challenges, and getting the view of the room through fish tank glass or getting the fish tails that unique translucent look was a lot of fun to do.

We used to have a tropical fish tank, but one winter, we lost electricity overnight, and it froze solid.

Oh, that's so sad. I'm sorry to hear that. As always, I'm really impressed with the illustrations, K.C. Your work is amazing. (K.C. illustrated the covers of my Weaver Tales books.) The reflection of the surrounding room on the first page, the sense of movement in the water throughout, the lush foliage and adorable tank accessories all really add to the depth of the setting. What kind of research did you do to capture the setting so well?

I looked up images of fish, tanks, toys, and tank plants, etc. on Google.  I research some of the images so I have a deeper knowledge of what goes together best, what makes sense together, and what is a safe environment for goldfish.  Then I decide how to place it, what one might see, as a fish, of the surrounding room they’re in, and how the plants and lighting move around the fish as they explore their environment.

Kelly, what is the most exotic kind of fish you've raised?

I've actually never had a fish, but I love aquariums and fish tanks. They're so full of color and look like magical underwater worlds.

And the final questions are just for fun!

Kelly, if you were a mermaid, what kind of fish would you choose to be bff's with and why?

Ooh, fun! Probably a Blue Tang because I loved Dory in Finding Nemo, and I'm always drawn to Blue Tangs in aquariums. They're beautiful.

K.C., if you could participate in any sort of underwater adventure without risk to yourself, would you rather:
    explore an epic shipwreck (like the Titanic)
    swim with a pod of whales
    or be the first to discover hard proof mermaids really exist

Shipwreck explorations are dangerous.  So is swimming with whales.  Besides that’s been done.  The first person to discover mermaids?  Now that would be an adventure of a lifetime!  I would love to paint a real mermaid! 

Thank you ladies for visiting with us and giving us a little insight to how Fish Detectives came together!

About the book:

When a treasure chest mysteriously shows up in the goldfish tank, it's a case for Horatio and Alexander, Fish Detectives. But a diver is guarding the treasure, and he's not talking. Horatio and Alexander will need all their comet goldfish speed and know how to crack this case.

My Review:

What a fun story. I love the relationship between Horatio and Alexander. I suspect they are very relatable for young readers with Alexander being serious and Horatio being more spontaneous and fun. It’s funny that Alexander seems almost disappointed by the result of their investigation. And young readers should find the ending snort-worthy when Horatio and Alexander realize they might need more fish in the tank before they’ll get more mysteries to solve.

The illustrations are lush. The fish are beautiful and emotive. It isn’t the first time I’ve marveled over how closely KC Snider’s work resembles a photograph, but the details are stunning and there’s so much to look at. It’s like the reader is staring directly into the tank.

Get your copy of Fish Detectives here: Guardian Angel Publishing| Amazon|

About Kelly Hashway:

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

Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

About K.C. Snider:

K.C. Snider, an honors graduate from The Eugene School for Art, is a prominent Oregon artist. Her love of the western life and of wildlife has been developed since her youth, with her natural talent for drawing and color exhibited since she was ten years old.
Originally specializing in Western Fine Art, K.C. now has a collection of oil and acrylic paintings, lithographs, and pastel and pencil drawings that include portraits of the All-American Cowboy and Cowgirl and their lifestyles of days gone by. K.C. had planned to become an illustrator when she was in art school, but when circumstances intervened, she turned to fine art as an outlet to express herself. However, K.C. had always considered her work to be a form of illustration because even her paintings "tell a story."

In 2007, K.C. illustrated two children's books, The Christmas Angel, with author Mary Jean Kelso and The Magic Violin, with Mayra Calvani. Both books were published by Guardian Angel Publishing and are also available as an e-Book. Now she is an established and sought-after illustrator for Guardian Angel Publishing with a total of nine children's books published, four more pending publication and 12 more waiting to be illustrated. K.C. works with authors all over the world, including Australia and Belgium.

August 26, 2015

Three Times A Charm with Jennifer Redmile

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome author, Jen Redmile. Jen, can tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up on the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney NSW. After a 2 year stint working in outback NT, I now live in Geraldton WA with my amazing and supportive husband, 23yo son and two gorgeous puppy dogs. I’ve always been an avid fantasy fiction reader, and always worked with children, so when I decided to write a novel, it was a natural progression to combine the two and make it a children's fantasy novel.

In 1997 I wrote a children's musical, entitled Beyond the Stars, for the local Catholic primary school, with a cast of over 300.

I have completed Book 2 in The Children of When series, Valleron, which is awaiting publication, and am currently working on the 3rd book in the series, Dragardia. 

I also have two other YA series in the works, "What Ghost?" and "Morwitch".

Wow, a play for a cast of over 300! That’s impressive. Now, tell us more about your book. The title is intriguing.

The Children of When is the first book in a new MG/YA fantasy series. The story revolves around Leah, Raff, and Belle, who have been raised in separate “foster-homes” until they turn fourteen. On that day, the law states they must leave everything for an unknown future.

When they are magically transported to another world, they discover not only each other, but a prophecy that has waited 1000 years for their arrival.

To fulfill the prophecy, they must find and reunite three missing pieces of an ancient amulet, and in the process learn to control and use their unique Gifts.

Dark forces conspire to prevent the resurrection of the Amulet, and the journey becomes one of survival.

Turning fourteen was NOT supposed to be this hard!

So, you've read the blurb...what else can I tell you? Well there are flying horses, battles with monsters, good guys, bad guys, and some pretty weird but lovable minor characters. And of course, being a story about young teenagers, there might be a slight crush or two going on.

I hope you grow to love these kids half as much as I do, and that you are eager to read more of their adventures in The Children of When - Valleron, the soon to be released 2nd book in the series.
I recommend my book to readers who like:

The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
The Percy Jackson series – Rick Riordan
The Abhorsen series – Garth Nix

Let’s get to know you a little better. Share with us your top three responses to the following questions.

Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer.

Okay, so what I’ve learned about the business of becoming a writer could fill a very large and ridiculously thick book. I’ll try to condense some of it into three important points:

1. Writing a book is really hard work!

So many people, at some stage in their lives, decide they should/could/will write a book. Great idea…why not? How hard can it be, right? WRONG!

Hmmm…I remember thinking all those things too. Although I did have one advantage a lot of other writers don’t have when they first start writing…my husband agreed that I should stop working fulltime and just concentrate on writing for a while. Knowing how lucky I was to be in that position, I dived headlong into learning everything I could about writing fiction. Hundreds of hours later, after downloading and reading everything I could find on the internet (and hardly scratching the surface of the information available) I realized that writing a book was one of those things you needed to just start doing and learn as you go.

Anyway, I could go on forever about the highs and lows I experienced during the actual writing process. Needless to say, I got there…all the blood sweat and tears finally behind me as I blithely typed “The End”. WRONG AGAIN!

2. The Self-publishing vs Traditional publishing decision!

Yep, typing “The End” is actually the beginning of a whole new process. So you’ve written a book! Now what are you going to do with it? Therein lies the $64 million dollar question, and the options and suggestions are endless. I was lucky enough to have a few literary minded friends and family members to help me through the editing process, which I’ve been told saved me a fortune.

After listening to various debates about the pros and cons regarding the different roads to publication, I had decided to save myself the heartache (not to mention the blow to my self-esteem) of being rejected by publishers and/or agents and just self-publish.
Then my Guardian Angel (who I believe is a combination of my mum, dad, grandmother and great aunt) brought me to the attention of the CEO of my publishing company, Catt Dahman. She had been watching me interact in various Facebook groups for a while, and when she found out I had finished a book she suggested I submit it to her publishing company (which of course left me gobsmacked, because I had no idea who she was before that).

So, I was also lucky enough to have my book accepted by the first publisher I submitted it to, J Ellington Ashton Press, which I’ve also been told saved me endless hours, days, weeks and months of anguish.

3. The long road from signing a contract with a traditional publisher to the actual book release.

Okay, once again I know I was one of the lucky ones…it only took seven months. But that seven months felt more like seven years! The hardest part was watching others who’d gone the self-publishing route have their books up and released in a week. So…I waited (impatiently). I wrote two more books, got involved in social media and talking to other writers, and engaged in the publishing process…1st edits, 2nd edits, cover art, formatting, and finally proofreading. I suppose this would be a good time to admit that I was one of those ‘nightmare’ authors, you know, the ones who whine and complain about how long it’s all taking until you want to wring their necks. Fortunately for me, and my book, we all came through relatively unscathed (well I hope so, anyway) and my debut novel is now out in the world for all to see.
Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

1. Cup of tea - preferably in a bottomless cup

2. Chocolate…of course.

3. Anything prepared and brought to me by someone else when writing

Top 3 places you find writing inspiration.

1. Inside my characters’ heads

Yes, I know it sounds weird but it's true.

2. In bed when TRYING to go to sleep!

3. In the shower

Oh my gosh, I completely agree with 2 and 3! Okay, so where can our tech savvy readers find you and your book online?

Twitter: @JenRedmile

It was lovely of you to visit Strands of Thought. Best of luck to you and The Children of When!


August 19, 2015

Stuff You Absolutely Must Know

Happy Hump Day!

I have a couple of things to catch you up on.

First, there is a book blast going on for Super Bad; Super Villain Academy Book 3. It's hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. Seriously, Kathy at I Am A Reader is like a blog goddess. I revere her blog skills. Not only has she recruited a gazillion awesome bloggers to share the book info all over the interwebs between now and the 24th, but there is a $100 gift card up for grabs too. Yep, that's right. You might win $100 to spend on Amazon or via Pay Pal. What would you do with an extra C-note?  Well, find out! You can enter all the way up to September 6th. I'd appreciate if you shared the giveaway post you visit too. Help me get Super Bad in front of all the readers! When you see a post or tweet about the giveaway, please click on it to enter. Or, if you'd rather hop on over now, here's a link to just one of the amazing blogs sharing the giveaway.

And on the topic of giveaways, I have a giveaway going on exclusively for my email subscribers. If you already subscribe, scan the last newsletter I sent out to find out how to enter, or drop me an email asking for the giveaway link. If you don't subscribe, this is a good time to start. You get one entry for each of my books you review. Plus one entry of each place you post the review. Plus-plus, when you subscribe, I send you a copy of Ella's Story (a Worth the Effort novella) for free. How easy can it be? You get the first book for free. Read it. Review it and post the review on Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog and you get 3 entries. Bam. Done. Next book...You have until September 30th to read and review. Now's a great time to get started. Subscribe here:

Lightning Quick Reads is celebrating the #DogDays of summer all month with short stories related (somehow) to the topic. You can help by posting a picture of your pooch on LQR's Facebook page. We'd love to see what melts your heart. Be sure to read my story, Into the Fire, while you're there. Plus the other great contributions.

August 13, 2015

Cover Reveal - Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

So excited to participate in the cover reveal of NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager! This Young Adult Romance releases September 1st!

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte. 

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken. 

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.



Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…
Next Door To A Star?


Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.