August 28, 2014

Sign Ups for the Damaged Goods Giveaway Blog Tour

I was unpacking my books at a recent signing and found one with a torn cover. *sad face* But that's okay because I decided to make a giveaway out of it and I'm asking for your help. Along with the slightly damaged copy of KING OF BAD, I'll be giving away some cool swag, too. Signed bookmarks and TRADING CARDS (which are not damaged, btw)! The book will only be available for US addresses, but there will the trading cards available for International addies.

I'm looking for bloggers who can post a book spotlight and the rafflecopter code anytime between September 15 and September 30. All hosts will be able to add either their Twitter or Facebook page to the rafflecopter code to snatch up some new followers.

I'd love to have you participate. Thanks ahead for helping me make a fun and successful giveaway.


August 27, 2014

Three Times A Charm with TC Mckee

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. Today’s guest is YA author, TC Mckee. She's touring the world wide web, talking about her shiny new release. I love introducing my readers to the people who work in children’s publishing.


Thanks for joining us, Tammy. Would you please tell us a little about you?

Author of The Bone Treaty, book one of the Seal of Solomon Series/August 2014. Owner of an elder care/concierge firm located in Virginia, which has nothing whatsoever to do with writing. I’m the Acquisitions Editor and owner of BookFish Books, a small YA publishing house which has everything to do with writing. I’m a chronic reader and writer. Lover of fiction, especially historical. I’m accused of being a Jane of many trades, an accusation I balk at often. I live in Virginia with my husband, one daughter, and one incredibly spoiled Great Dane.

How very ecclectic your life sounds. Elder care, book publishing and a Great Dane. Now, tell us about your book, if you will?

To boast a bit about me. My new book, The Bone Treaty just debuted like two weeks ago. My cheeks are still hurting from all the smiling. There’s just something thrilling about holding your own book in your hands for the first time. Not gonna lie, I teared up a little.

About the book:

A power as old as King Solomon awakens when a seventeen-year-old girl marks the brooding hot abductor ordered to seize her. 

Addie Heaton’s not your average high school student. Orphaned at two, she’s spent most of her life reading the emotions of others. It’s a little trick she likes to call color-vision. But lately, a stranger has been trailing her, putting off shades of black and red—colors Addie hasn’t seen since the night her parents were killed—colors Addie never wanted to see again. 

But when Addie comes face to face with Conal Reed, owner of the terrifying shades, she learns her stranger’s a little different too. He’s brooding hot, mysterious, and all too elusive. Conal loves to materialize, and then vanish at all the wrong times. Nice. 

Not. 

After years of keeping her ability a secret, Addie’s found another person with gifts, someone who may know what she really is. But Conal’s not talking. He’s having more fun showing up uninvited, teasing her senses, and disappearing at all the wrong times. Instead of finding answers, Addie finds herself reconsidering ever being alone and naked again.


Congratulations, Tammy. I agree, holding your real, live book is a supreme thrill. But seeing a reader with it…way better!

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.

Never give up on your dreams. Never depend on others for happines, you have to own and generate your own happy. Recognize beauty in the mirror when it stares back at you every single day. We’re all amazeballs in some way (I only used “amazeballs” cause it makes my daughter cringe). That’s how I generate my own happy.

  • Top 3 favorite places.

The Beach, specifically the Caribbean whenever possible. Charleston South Carolina, somewhere around Magnolia House cause I think I lived there once in a past life. I bet I rocked a corset. Or not. I would have totally boycotted those. And lounging on the couch beside the hubs watching whatever’s on TV. Actually, I like to be wherever he is most of the time.

  • Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt.
Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. -Oscar Wilde.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. -Henry David Thoreau

Where can our tech savvy readers find more about you and your lovely, new book?


Thanks for joining us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Tammy! Best of luck to you and The Bone Treaty.

THANKS!

GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

August 26, 2014

Favorite Authors' Favorites

Welcome to my feature FAVE-A-FAVE, all about author favorites. I love that the internet gives us access to authors. I’m a fangirl and I’m not afraid to admit it, and I LOVE to be able to help readers get to know their favorite authors as well as discover new ones.

Grab a pen and paper, or log onto Goodreads, because more than likely you’ll find a title or two to add to your very own list. Please visit the authors’ websites and browse their work. Be sure to come back weekly to learn more about many awesome authors!


  • First, I asked authors to share with us which book is their favorite book from their childhood.


Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt) because I could see what she wrote in my mind like watching a movie. –Mary Waibel (Mary writes fantasy and fairytale type fiction for teens) 

Where the Wild Things Are  by Maurice Sendak.  I love the monsters and the main character who is able to escape his childhood demons for a short time and realize that maybe things aren’t so bad at home. – ChrisWeigand (Chris writes Christian Fantasy fiction for kids and teens.) 



This is tough. I like so many, but one of my favorites is REPLICATION: THE JASON EXPERIMENT, by Jill Williamson.

Imagine that you’re a clone, created for one thing, to save humanity. This is Martyr, AKA Jason 3:3 Martyr has one wish before he expires: to see the sky. Martyr is such an innocent, hopeful character that I thought of him more as human than as a clone and really hoped he’d find a way to see the sky and also to survive. The author develops each character so that the reader relates to them and wants them to succeed.

  • When I asked Sheri Larsen (who writes about the unseen and the average teen/tween who's not so average.) what her favorite book world was, she did not hesitate.


Life A.D., by Michelle Reed (Speculative Fiction). As unique as the world was, it was as tangible and plausible.

  • Finally, I wanted to know some authors’ favorite author.

Dean Koontz is definitely high on my list. I love how he can make the most weird stuff seem real. I've enjoyed every single book I've read by him from Fear nothing, Odd Thomas, A door away from heaven, to The husband. When I pick a book by him I know I'm in for a good read. -Jo Linsdell (Jo is an author and illustrator of children's picture books and also non-fiction - her main topics are book marketing and Italy). 

Sandra Brown, Thriller, Suspense. She knows how to write broken characters and yet she makes them so likeable. –Angela Smith (Angela writes romance novels in an attempt to solve love’s mystery, where happy-ever-afters are a given and characters seek adventure) 

We’d love to hear your favorites. Share some in the comments, or ask our authors more about theirs.

August 22, 2014

Building Character with Zadie Stonebrook from My Tethered Soul

It’s Friday! Time for my blog feature, Building Character in which you get to meet characters from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 

This week Strands of Thought plays host to Zadie Stonebrook from My Tethered Soul. Great of you to join us, Zadie. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, please?

Hi, I’m Zadie. I’m seventeen years old, which is a bit scary for me, because … well, let’s just say I was safer when I was still sixteen. I have an older sister named Mara, and she’s been through hell. And I mean that almost literally. The problem is I’m afraid I’m going to know exactly how she felt first hand. Hopefully Mara can help me out of this mess.

I remember reading yours and Mara’s story in My Sister’sReaper. It was so intense! What are you up against now?

I feel like I’m being haunted by a Reaper. I hear whispers and see shadows move. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to handle a Reaper. I’ve been training for almost a year for the very purpose of saving my mom. But I can only defeat a Reaper if I know where it’s at.

Besides not knowing where the Reaper is, what other stumbling blocks have you encountered while trying to resolve your conflict?

Well the biggest obstacle is that I cannot control my actions when a Reaper takes hold of me. So I’m going to have to get him before he gets me.

Wow. That’s all very serious stuff. Let’s lighten the mood a bit. Okay? Tell us about your best friend.

Naomi is a wild, loud, and totally extroverted best friend. She keeps me in check so I don’t slip into insanity from all this Reaper drama. And she totally has my back.

What are you three favorite books or movies?

You see, my boyfriend Gavin and I LOVE classic B movies. Our favorite is probably Night of the Living Dead. We’ve also shared popcorn and cuddles over Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and The Blob.

I’m so glad to hear that you get to have some fun, too! So, Zadie, if you could change one thing in this world, what would you change?

To demolish the pact with Reapers. But in order to do that, I’m going to have to go to the source of the original agreement. Or, at least, a descendant. Which basically means I’m going to have to track down a witch.


Oh my gosh! It sounds like you still have a lot of work in front of you. Best of luck and thanks for joining us today. Readers, you can read more about Zadie’s most recent story, My Tethered Soul (Reapers Rite #2)

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

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




And now read about Zadies author!

Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. Born in Angeles City, Philippines, to a Filipino mother and American Father, Dorothy grew up a military brat, living in Massachusetts, South Dakota, Guam, New Jersey, and New York. She now lives in Frankfurt, Germany, with her husband, two teens, and two Siberian huskies. Dorothy not only writes books with some element of magic in them, but has a fondness for reading those kinds of books as well. She also enjoys movies, chocolate, take-out, and spending time with family and friends. She’s known to make a pretty sweet cupcake when she has the time. She also tends to sing sometimes, so keep her away from your Karaoke bars.

Author Website: http://dorothydreyer.com

August 20, 2014

Three Times A Charm with Meradeth Houston

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love introducing my readers to new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.

Today’s guest is author, Meradeth Houston. Thanks for joining us, Meradeth. Please tell us a little about you.

I've never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me:
  • I'm a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use "like" a lot.
  • I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people's DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love.
  • My other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology!
  • If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I'm terrified of heights.

Anthropology does seem really intriguing. I’d love to sit in on your classes! Now, tell us about your book, if you will?

My most recent release is Surrender the Sky, in the Sary Society series (which also includes the stand alone titles Colors Like Memories, and The Chemistry of Fate). A little about my book:

Gabby lives by two unbreakable rules: don’t expose her kind, the Sary, and don’t fall in love—too bad some rules are made to be broken.

When Gabby’s most difficult charge accidently shoots her in front of a class full of students, the event exposes her carefully hidden identity. She shifts from looking like a normal teen to her secret Sary form, revealing her wings and the existence of her kind—immortals who try to keep people from committing suicide. Her incident attracts the attention of the next leader of the Sary, Jassen, who offers her an impossible bargain: she can keep her wings if she makes amends with those who know the truth. Things get more complicated when a rebel Sary, intent on exposing them to the world, starts interfering with Gabby’s work. And there’s no denying her attraction to Jassen, who is torn between his duties and his heart. With threats at every turn and her immortality on the line, Gabby has to find a way to save the Sary or surrender the sky forever.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without. 
My computer (yes, I’m one of those people who refers to their laptop as their baby!), music (all different kinds, depending on what I’m working on), and time (at least a few minutes where I know I won’t be interrupted constantly—this can be really hard to come by!).

  • Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business. 
I’m no expert, but I’d say: read as much as possible, write tons, and stick with it—it’s going to take a whole lot of determination and work to get to the end (but it’s worth it!).

  • Top 3 favorite places.
I’m a beach person, so anywhere near the ocean is tops on my list! Also, I love my family home in Northern California. And, if I could live anywhere, it would probably be Barcelona—I love that city!

Where can our tech savvy readers find more about you and your books?

Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.com
FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and of course her blog!


Thanks for joining us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Meradeth! Best of luck to you and Surrender the Sky (and Colors Like Memories and The Chemistry of Fate). So guess what, readers! Meradeth and I are blog swapping. Leave a comment here to tell Meradeth how great it was to meet her and hear about her amazing sounding books and then hop on over to her blog to read my interview! We know you can’t get enough.

THANKS!


GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

August 19, 2014

Favorite Authors' Favorites

It is time to learn some more author favorites. When I put the call out to authors to answer my ‘Favorites’ questions, I didn’t expect for my to-read list to grow so fast. Grab a pen and paper, or log onto Goodreads, because more than likely you’ll find a title or two to add to your very own list. Please visit the authors’ websites and browse their work. Be sure to come back weekly to learn more about other awesome authors!


I asked authors to share with us which book is their favorite Young Adult Fantasy.

GRACELING by Kristin Cashore
This book has a great fantasy hook with the Graces, a wonderfully complex female lead in Katsa, a rich fantasy world, a totally crush-worthy romantic interest in Prince Po, and a plot that kept me reading for hours on end. Pretty much everything I look for in a book! –Katie L.Carroll (Katie writes fiction for teens and kids) 

Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush Series. I fell in love with Patch and Nora. They are such a great couple with a lot working against them. Besides the romance, the action scenes and the well thought out plot are phenomenal. I couldn’t put the books down. –Kelly Hashway (Kelly also writes fiction for kids and teens.) 

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. These books left me spellbound and truly invested in the characters. And who wouldn’t love to kick some demon bootae? –Erin Albert (Erin writes fiction for the young adult crossover market.) 

I also asked authors which book has their favorite book world.

I don’t know that I have an all time favorite world, but I would really, really love to visit The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. What a fantastical place that circus is, filled with mystery and magic. –Kai Strand (yes, me! I write fiction for kids and teens) 

Middle Earth, of course, as only Tolkien can write it. His world is so rich and full and amazing, with characters who have become my friends over the years. I open his books and feel like I'm coming home. -DianneHartsock (Dianne is the author of m/m erotic romances, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind.) 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I always find myself wishing she’d written more than that one perfect book. -Shel Delisle (Shel writes lighter fiction for teens. She also has a book, Glory, under a pen name M.E. Wynne that could be considered ya, or new adult, or adult. The main character is in his twenties, so go figure.) 

What world would you most like to visit or which young adult fantasy transported you? Please share your own thoughts in the comments, we love to talk books!

August 15, 2014

Building Character with Frost of Ankh from Sweet Sleep

Happy Friday! It’s time for my blog feature, Building Character in which you get to meet a character from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 

This week Strands of Thought plays host to a character from Sweet Sleep. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Why don’t you introduce yourself, please?

Frost of Ankh here.

Nice! A man of few words. It’s great to meet you Frost. Can you tell us more about your story? Like, what conflict are you up against?

I’m a thousand years old. The love of my life had her memory wiped. I finally fall in love again and the chick is already dead. It’s a little bit funny.

Funny. Huh. That’s an interesting way to put it. What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ve encountered trying to resolve your conflict?

Well, it’s not really necrophilia. This prophecy says she’s going to be absorbed into her twin. Two souls becoming one. Her twin sister is in love with someone else…it’s complicated.

Indeed. What have you learned about yourself, friends, or family while trying to work your way through this? 

My moral compass has always been a little bit off.  Pretty much anything goes. I’m not shocked by my behavior. I guarantee the rest of my clan never even flinched. Grey thinks my flexible morals are hilarious.

Tell us about your best friend or a side kick.

That would probably be Grey. He’s Scottish and Australian. It’s a long story. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He’s a good guy. Funny as hell. He’s sleeping with my ex. It’s been a thousand years, if she has to make her way through the guys in the clan. She could do a lot worse than Grey. Grey’s job is to calm down Lexy. Grey is her handler. Lexy is clan Ankhs Dragon. In Clan lingo that means she’s an emotional Dragon and a warrior. She’s not a green scaly dragon.  Grey, Lexy and Arrianna were the last ones to come back out of the testing. That was over forty years ago. 

Tell us more about you. What is your strongest personality trait?

I have certain skills with women. I have the same skill set as Lilarah. I mean Lily, my ex whatever she is. That’s a story for another place and time.

Yes, let’s keep this interview family friendly. Is there anything about you that people are always giving you a hard time about? How do you feel about it?

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. That commercial used to crack me up. It’s how I feel on most days. Girls love me, even some guys. True love is unattainable for me. I’m a little bit bitter about that, but I manage to find ways to occupy my time recreationally.

What are your three favorite leisure activities?

I’m afraid I can’t answer that one with a PG rating. Just kidding, I’m on a personal search for the world’s best burger. Also the world’s best pizza place. I love beaches and women with curves.

I’m addicted to pizza and have the curves to show it, so we should get along just fine. What are your three favorite foods?

Burgers, Pizza and Spaghetti. That was an easy one. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

In control of my own life. I want to be free.

Three favorite books or movies?

Mallrats, Super Troopers, All of the Porky’s and Police Academy movies. We tend to watch a lot of messed up funny shows, Zombie shows and Horrors.  I loved the Harry Potter series, and anything by Stephen King.

If you could change one thing in this world, what would you change?

The second tiers (Ankh, Trinity, and Triad) we change the world every single day, but Mortals (first tiers) never hear about it.

And finally, Frost of Ankh, what words of wisdom would you like to share with our readers?

In the magical lyrical genius of Rascal Flatts, Life is a highway; I’m going to ride it all night long. Joking, that was a joke. I know what I want to say, Stand back up. When life kicks you down. Stand back up.

Thanks for joining us, Frost. Readers, read more about Frost's book, Sweet Sleep here:

The Rules of The Correction   

A Thousand years ago the Correction began.

The creation of new immortals became illegal.

Under third tier law any human with an ability that uses it to alter a life path has committed an offense punishable by Correction.

 Any human sired by a third tier soul (immortal) must also be destroyed.

 They allow you to live until after your 16th birthday.

 You get a chance to fight back.

 They want you to fight back.

      Those are the rules.

      You won't know they're coming.

      Be Brave for these are your final moments. 
     
      Everyone in your genetic line must also be Corrected. Erased from the world like a spiritual virus.
     
     This is your Sweet Sleep.    

     If you survive your Correction and awaken from your Sweet Sleep.

     You must join with the first clan that comes.

     You will not survive on your own.

     Your miracle was not free.
     There was fine print to be read at the bottom of your contract. 

     You have signed up for a second chance at life, as a sacrificial lamb for the greater good.
    You are on your way to the slaughter.


    This is not a fairy tale... This is a nightmare. 

Buy Sweet Sleep on Amazon

Readers, you can learn about Frost's author here:

Kim Cormack worked for 15 years as an Early Childhood educator in preschool, daycare, and as an aid. She has been blessed to live most of her life on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. She currently lives in the gorgeous little town of Port Alberni with her crazy little family. She is a single mom with two awesome kids, Cameron and Jenna. Cameron is eight years old and Jenna just graduated. Jenna wants to be an archaeologist and specialize in ancient languages. 
     She is a lover of shenanigans and pranks and she often pulls off one or two a week, just because she can. She adores all that is wild and hilarious. Her home is full of laughter, and, if each day She can find a way to make just one person laugh so hard they have an accident, it was a day well spent for her. She spends most of her time parenting, creating hijinks, or disappearing into her own mind and journeying through other realms. She hopes when you read her books you laugh, you cry and then you step out of your box for a minute and notice the magic that is absolutely everywhere. 
     On January 28, 2009, She traveled back to her childhood in a miraculous dream. She woke up in the middle of the night and typed a whole children’s book into her cell phone. It was a collection of first moments….being four years old and holding a baby chick. Then running on the beach and playing in the sand. She says she could remember so clearly how it all felt – So clearly she lived it all over again. Another time, she was on the B.C Ferries thinking about her son Cameron and the shark boots he’d been obsessed with for six months and the shenanigans he always blamed on the boots. It was the boots that wanted to roll in the mud or jump in the puddle. (Sharks apparently love the mud. She says she didn't know this little tidbit of information until she had a son.) As a result, she published her first children’s book, Shark Boots, in May of 2010. Her second book, Being Four, followed in 2011. She continued to write many more funny and strange children's books after these first two. Then one night She had another dream, only this time it was a nightmare. From that nightmare came an entire book series, a series that she has been eating, sleeping, and breathing since that very first sleepless night. When she awoke from the nightmare, she had a creepy song continuously playing in her head. She immediately wrote down all of the details of the dream to make the song go away. Yet the song continued to play….
The result of this nightmare is her first YA book, Sweet Sleep, the first in her YA Paranormal Fantasy series, The Children of Ankh, Coming August 7th 2014 from Corvallis Press.  She can't wait to share these characters with the world.



Sweet Sleep


To be a part of the Sweet Sleep blog tour contact http://www.childrenofankh.com


















August 12, 2014

Favorite Authors' Favorites

Welcome to my new feature all about author favorites. One thing I really love about the internet is the access it gives us to authors. Heck, I’m a fangirl and I’m not afraid to admit it, and I LOVE to be able to help readers get to know their favorite authors as well as discover new ones.

When I put the call out to authors to answer my ‘Favorites’ questions, I didn’t expect for my to-read list to grow so fast. Grab a pen and paper, or log onto Goodreads, because more than likely you’ll find a title or two to add to your very own list. Please visit the authors’ websites and browse their work. Be sure to come back weekly to learn more about many awesome authors!


I asked authors to share with us which book inspired them to write.

Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle, because I loved the story and it made me realize that instead of trying to find more books like it, I could create something myself. -Meradeth Houston ( Meradet writes Young Adult and New Adult fantasy and science fiction.)   

NUMBER THE STARS by Lois Lowrey, MG. When I was teaching fifth grade, we read Newbery books together in class. They all were good, but NUMBER THE STARS was my favorite. We had the students research WWII before we started reading so they’d better understand what was happening, and not only did the kids learn a lot, this teacher learned too. I had been writing articles for children’s magazines, but the students’ enthusiasm for reading this book and others started me to thinking about writing novels for children. -BeverlyStowe McClure (Beverly writes fiction for children and teens.) 

There isn’t one. I’ve always written, but The Island of the Blue Dolphins spurred me into the historical genre at the age of 11. In fact, I wrote my first 100 page “fan fiction” based off that book using side characters. It was epic—at least in my eyes. =) –Crystal Collier (Crystal writes fantastic genre mash-ups for teens and young (even if only at heart) women. There may even be cheese involved. Or not. ) 


I also asked authors which book has the most atmosphere.

For me, hands down, the most atmospheric book I’ve read is the contemporary Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Set in the deep Missouri Ozarks, the protagonist, sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly is Shakespearian in her attempts to keep her brother and sister safe. A yarn of true genius, the word ‘atmosphere’ was invented for this book. -Nancy Stewart (Nancy writes fiction for kids and young adults) 

SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman. This book was brilliantly written from start to finish—characters, setting, action, and voice. -SA Larsen (Sheri writes about the unseen and the average teen/tween who's not so average.) 

The Fog, by James Herbert—fog overtakes a town and incites fear in readers. -Angela Smith (Angela writes romance novels in an attempt to solve love’s mystery, where happy-ever-afters are a given and characters seek adventure.)  

Now let’s hear from you! If you’re a writer, which book inspired you to write? If you aren’t a writer, share your story about what a book DID inspire you to do. What book do you feel has the most atmosphere?

Are there any ‘favorites’ questions you’d like me to ask the authors that you haven’t seen yet? I’m putting together the questions for the next round of interviews, so let me know in comments and I’ll get it added.

August 11, 2014

Writer's Bluck

Yes, that is a u instead of an o. Yes, I am suffering from writer’s bluck.

Writer’s bluck is a condition every author suffers from at some point (or many points) in his or her career. It is the point when she questions, “Is this worth it?” “Is anyone listening?” and “I wonder if Shopko is hiring?”

I’ve actually been in this funk for a while now. Hoping and praying it would pass. I have tried to dress up my current wip (work in progress) in spandex and a cape hoping I would be more inspired to add words every day. I have set goals like: When the fifth blogger agrees to read & review your book, you get frozen yogurt. I have even gone so far as to make a mock up of my next Super Villain Academy novel with ME as the cover model.

Look I'm a super hero
or is it villain?!
(Full wrap version)

Nothing has helped to breakthrough the bluck. Sometimes admitting you have the problem is the first step toward recovery. Meanwhile, I'm wondering, do you have any suggestions on any home remedies I might try? The funnier and more outrageous, the better!

August 8, 2014

Building Character with Kacie Ramsey from Tortured Souls

It’s Friday! Time for my blog feature, Building Character in which you get to meet characters from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 

This week Strands of Thought plays host to Kacie Ramsey from Tortured Souls. Great of you to join us, Kacie. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, please?

My name is Kacie Ramsey, and I see dead people. Yep, I'm a physical medium, been told I'm quite powerful. I'm a fifteen-year-old high school sophomore. I love acting, especially musical theater. This semester I'm starring in the school musical Anything Goes. Though I love drama, that love is limited to the stage. My life is so full of drama at times, and it drives me crazy. I'm a member of the Orion Circle, an elite club of paranormal hunters. I have an awesome boyfriend, Logan, who is also a physical medium.

Wow. That sounds like a tough talent to have. Within all of that, can you tell us what conflict you’re up against?

Maybe a better question would be what conflict am I not up against. Homicidal ghost, Mommy issues, crazy innkeepers, out of control powers—yet all that is eclipsed by the souls of those poor, trapped children.

Trapped children? Oh my.

Can you share with us what you’ve learned about yourself or friend or family while trying to resolve your conflict?

I learned that my dad really does love me. I spent so much of the last six years thinking he hated me—no not hate… that he merely tolerated my presence. See Dad’s a skeptic and never believed I could see spirits. He blamed me when my mother walked out on us six years ago. The fact that he’s willing to support me and take a leap of faith means the world to me. I just wish I’d confronted him sooner…

Oh, jeez, Kacie. It sounds like you are hinting at something important there. Maybe we can lighten the mood. Tell us about your best friend.

My best friend is Celia. She and I met in elementary school seven years ago. Our friendship turned into something closer to sisterhood after her brush with a mischievous spirit. Celia is everything I’m not: outgoing, perky, and utterly boy-crazy.

What are your three favorite leisure activities?

I love running, musical theater, and video games.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well, I used to want to be a famous actress, but it occurred to me that I’d hate the paparazzi, not to mention constantly being in the public eye. So, my second love is animals. I want to be a marine biologist or a zoologist, not sure which yet. I still have two more years until college to decide. Whatever I do, I’ll continue to help spirits in need.

I agree that fame seems like a bad deal. Before we say goodbye, do you have any words of wisdom to share with our readers?

You must learn to accept who you are and be true to yourself. When I suppressed my psychic abilities, it ultimately created more problems than it solved. I was miserable pretending to be okay when I wasn’t. It wasn’t fair to me or the people I cared about.

Great advice, Kacie. Thank you for visiting with us today. Readers, here is more information about Kacie’s story: Tortured Souls

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.


And now some information on Kacie’s author:

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.


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