Monday, November 17, 2014

Farewell (for now!)

Hello my still loyal readers,

Again, I apologize a million times for my silence this past month and a half. As many of you know, I am currently on a year-long stint of teaching English in Japan. Though the work itself is rather lacking, living in and adjusting to another country has kept me much more busy than I'd imagined.

So, it is after careful consideration that I have decided to take a proper hiatus and leave this blog and my book until the first of the new year. It's only a month and a half, so I am sure Devon and crew will keep you company while I'm gone! You can rest assured that I am writing (it is NaNoWriMo, after all!) and experience all sorts of new things that I'm sure will make it into future books. I will have this blog back up and ready for action in 2015!

For now, please feel free to keep up with my travels on my Japan blog: marsjaws.tumblr,com You can also keep in touch with me on my Facebook page: I won't be on the Facebook page that often, but I am doing a bookmark giveaway right now!

This is not a permanent hiatus, I promise you. I just need this time to continue to adapt to my new surroundings and clear my head to return to the writing world with a fresh outlook and even more determination to bring you the best stories that I can. I've got tons of excellent stories in the works, and I promise to bring you the best version of all of them when the time is right!

Until next year, my friends, keep readin' and dreamin'!



Friday, September 26, 2014

First Featured Fans Friday!

Ahoy, my wonderful readers!

Look at me posting twice in a row! Don't get used to this much traffic from me, though I am very happy to start my new installment of Featured Fans Fridays (F^3 for exponential form.) Once a month, I will shine the spotlight on you, my wonderful, lovable, and always loyal fans! Lucid would have never made it to the e-shelves were it not for Devon's champions. I really appreciate all of the support you all have given to me this past year, and it's high time I pay some of that kindness back.

So, today, I have 8 fans who entered a Facebook contest. There is a Facebook trend going on where people list their favorite books or series. My fans were more than happy to oblige, so without further ado, here are the wonderful books my fans recommend. (Oh, and Lucid is understood to be on the top of each list, of course!)

Amanda Combel:
1. Harry Potter (all of them) - J. K. Rowling
2. The Shack - William P. Young
3. The Outsiders- S. E. Hinton
4. The Da Vinci Code- Dan Brown
5. The Dip- Seth Godin
6. The Twilight series- Stephanie Meyer
7. To Kill a Mockinbird- Harper Lee
8. The Shades of London series- Maureen Johnson
9. The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett
10. Little Women- Louisa May Alcott

Lisa Miller:
1. The Giver- Lois Lowry
2. Tuck Everlasting- Natalie Babbitt
3. The Outsiders- S. E. Hinton
4. The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett
5. My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Picoult
6. The Wizard of Oz-  L. Frank Baum
7. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff- Richard Carlson
8. Dicey's Song- Cynthia Voigt
9. The Notebook- Nicholas Sparks
10. The Circle- Dave Eggers

Jenny Doskey
1. The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett
2. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
3. The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling
4 and 5. The Middle Earth series (Hobbit-Return of the King) - J. R. R. Tolkien
6. Ender's Game- Orson Scott Card
7. The Maze Runner- James Dashner
8. Harry Potter series- J. K. Rowling
9. The Mortal Instruments series- Cassandra Clare
10. Incarnations of Immortality- Piers Anthony

Christy Drachenberg
1. All Souls Trilogy- Deborah Harkness
2. The Garden Trilogy- Nora Roberts
3. The Crush- Sandra Brown
4. Modern Witch Series- Deborah Geary

Farrah Ha
1. White Oleander- Janet Fitch
2. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
3. The Nice Girl Syndrome- Beverly Engel
4. The Gingerbread Series- Rachel Cohn
5. Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi
6. Why I Write- George Orwell
7. Ain't I A Woman- Bell Hooks
8. Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
9. MARS- Fuyumi Soryo
10. Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Paulo Freire

Deborah Lansford
1. The Hunger Games series- Suzanne Collins
2. The Chronicles of Narnia series- C. S. Lewis
3. Hyperbole and a Half- Allie Brosch
4. The Giver series- Lois Lowry
5. The Middle Earth series- J. R. R. Tolkien
6. Please Don't Eat the Daisies- Jean Kerr

Michelle Connor 
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- J. K. Rowling
2. Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
3. Dracula- Bram Stoker
4. Frankenstein- Mary Shelley
5. Price and Prejudice- Jane Austen
6. The Time Traveler's Wife- Audrey Niffenegger
7. Othello- William Shakespeare
8. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
9. The Host- Stephanie Meyer
10. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen

Aria LaJune
1. Imajica- Clive Barker
2. American Gods- Neil Gaiman
3. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
4. An Unquiet Mind- Kay Redfield Jamison
5. The Hobbit- J. R. R. Tolkien
6. Ishmael- Daniel Quinn
7. The Feast of All Saints- Ann Rice
8. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
9. Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk
10. Impulse- Ellen Hopkins

And that's what my awesome fans adore reading! Did you add any of these to the list? Looks like we have some popular titles that sparked a trend! Hopefully, you will read some more great books, as per my fans' requests!

The next F^3 will be sometime in October. Stay posted for the contest and the chance to be on my blog!

Til next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Tour with Kai Strand!

Happy Thusday, my lovely readers!

I am honored to participate in Kai Strand's blog tour on this fine evening. Kai Strand is a middle grade and YA author of several titles. But enough of my blabbering, I'll let her do the talking!

Hey everybody, my name is Kai Strand. I was unpacking books at a signing and came across a copy of King of Bad with a torn cover. Bummer. I can’t sell that! But my loss is your gain. Because I can hold a giveaway instead!

Along with a slightly damaged copy of King of Bad, I’m also giving away several sets of character trading cards. These cards have been specially designed for book one in the series. There will be a separate set of cards designed for each book – so be among the first to own a set.

About the book:

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?

Available in print or electronic: Whiskey Creek Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble 


[Pyro] swung the door open with a flourish and indicated for Jeff to go inside. Jeff stepped into the doorway and stopped. They were in some sort of gymnasium. Kids ranging from about 12 to 18 years old were hard at work testing their athleticism in a freak show sort of way. A girl did chin-ups at twice the speed of a top Olympian. A boy ran across a high wire. The most beautiful girl Jeff had ever laid eyes on leaned against the wall across the room. Jeff tore his eyes from her when an oddly shaped ball soared over the heads of the kids. Two boys enjoyed a game of catch. At least Jeff thought the sneers on their faces indicated enjoyment. Suddenly a head popped out of the ball.
“Come on, you wimps, get further apart.”
Jeff’s stomach lurched when he realized the ball was a contorted girl.
In the far corner of the gym a couple of kids were involved in extreme wresting. Jeff watched one kid leap six feet off the ground and pile drive the other kid into the thick stack of mats. He thought they’d have a future in WWE if the super villain thing didn’t pan out for them. Jeff’s gaze wandered back to the beautiful redhead. She smiled at him and his stomach fluttered.
Pyro nudged Jeff into the gym and let the door close. “Each S.V. has at least one prominent ability. Most of us are faster and stronger than the average human, but there are a few that are faster or stronger than the average S.V. There are also those of us who have fire as well as those who have ice. You can usually find an S.V. with a complementary ability to yours.” Pyro pointed at a dark haired girl standing in the center of the room.
The girl had a large bucket in front of her. Her face was contorted with concentration, but Jeff couldn’t see anything happening. Then all at once a geyser of water burst toward the ceiling and it fell back down on the assemblage in a misty rain. The girl’s face broke into an exultant smile as the dripping kids groaned and grumbled around her.
“Wow, that’s really hard to do,” Pyro said, “break an element into so many little particles. She’ll have a headache later.”


I found myself falling in love with all the characters in the book. I loved the different abilities each one of them have. Kai did an outstanding job writing this book. I could not put it down. It is filled with lots of action and even some romance. Everything you want in a book. Victoria for Page Turners Blog

Can't wait for the sequel! – Christopher White for Amazon

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You heard the author! Enter to win some great prizes and find out about great books from a great author!!!

And don't forget, tomorrow is my first Featured Fans Friday! I'll be posting some of my dear fans' favorite books (Lucid clearly tops all of the lists, so they didn't even have to add it!) and celebrating all of the love and support I've gotten for Devon and co's story. So stay tuned for that and for some more opportunities to be a part of my F^3s!

Til next time, keep readin and dreamin!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thrills and Chills: Kathy Bosman's Latest Book Honors Halloween!

Ahoy, trusty readers!

First, I’d like to thank all of you who participated in my Facebook contest! There are still 2 more spots available for my Featured Fans (new monthly installment on this blog.) So, go on ahead and comment on my Facebook fanpage for a chance to have your 10 favorite books featured on the Internet for all the world to see!
What? You mean you aren’t a fan of mine on Facebook? Best go do that now:

I’ll post official winners and the Featured Fans release date next Monday!

But for now, I’ve some holiday cheer for you all! No, not that holiday (give me some credit!) I’m talking about my favorite,  Halloween! Costumes, parties, candy, tricks, and treats: what’s not to love? I’ve always been a huge fan of Halloween, so it’s only right for me to have my first holiday feature be about my ghoulish favorite.
This is also my first time featuring a book that is pure romance and for a non YA crowd. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Kathy Bosman and her book, His Halloween Kisses!

The Book

You’d think a Halloween book would be a bit scary, right? Well, this one has chills of a different kind! It all starts when Ali, our heroine, is house-sitting on a dark Halloween night. Ali’s friend’s brother, Byron, makes things a bit complicated by playing hide-and-kiss with her in the dark. What begins as a spooky evening ends up one full of potential romance and frustration. Can Ali and Byron reconnect in the daylight? You’ll have to find out!
But for now, I’ll play Byron and tease you with this excerpt:

The TV made a fizz, and the light from its screen compressed into a small dot. All the lights in the house went out.
A power failure.
She sat frozen for a moment, unsure what to do next. This wasn’t her own home. Where did they keep candles and torches? At her place, she stored them in the kitchen drawer, and so did her parents in her childhood house. Wouldn’t that be the logical place? Blinking furiously, she hoped to find some light somewhere to guide her to the kitchen without bumping into something. Nothing. She couldn’t see a single thing. There was no moon tonight. Probably as overcast as it had been the whole miserable, rainy, windy afternoon. She spread out her hands in front of her and walked slowly, one awkward, terrifying step at a time.
In the darkness, the sounds were magnified. Wind whined like a strangled prisoner through every window, door crack, and ceiling board. Something tapped at one of the windows from the dining room. Tap…tap…tap. Probably just a branch from a nearby bush. It couldn’t be a ghost or a zombie, could it? Her quickened pulse didn’t believe any logical arguments tonight.
Images streamed through her darkened vision—pictures of real witches, zombies with bared teeth and deathly pale faces, and horrible creatures with horrific wolf-like snouts and sharp fangs. She shivered. For some reason, tonight, Halloween was getting under her skin.
And not in a nice way.
A crash sounded in the kitchen.
Her leg remained poised for the next step, but she couldn’t take it.
She couldn’t go in there.
What was that? Terror strangled her a moment, making it hard to breathe.
Possibly only the Bauman family cat, their little black and white tabby. A smile curled her mouth in response to the calming thought. Black cat—bad luck. Yeah, she sure was overthinking this whole simple inconvenience of a power outage.
Something brushed past her leg, something warm, soft, and silent.
Hot tears sprang to her eyes.
Need more? Here’s a scene-skip excerpt (also, here’s where it gets good!)

She felt his breath upon her face, heard him mumble something, not sure what. His voice was right by her ear, or so it seemed. The wind drowned out what he’d said, but all she wanted to do was feel him, sense him, allow him to take over her senses fully, so she didn’t feel any more fear.
Her heart went crazy. He was kissing her. His mouth pressed on hers, exploring her lips with such courage, such boldness, such impudence. How dare he?
She wanted to slap him, wanted to pull his hair, wanted to shout to him, “Get out! Who do you think you are?” but her body didn’t listen. Her lips sought his with fervor, with need, with joy. They moved up and down, exploring every texture of his mouth, the plumpness in the centre and the way they tapered out thinly to the edges; the moist, softer part just on the inside of his mouth and then horrors, she touched his tongue, just the tip, but it sent a swirl of pleasure through her, causing her heart rate to soar through the roof. She felt like she plunged the depths of mischief, of intrigue—kissing a stranger in the dark.
His hands brushed the back of her neck, and fingers ran through her hair. He stroked her wet cheek, oh so gently, while his mouth still remained on hers, locked in the sweetest kiss of her whole lifetime so far.
Should she pull away first?
She couldn’t. She didn’t want to.
She needed this. Needed to forget everything. The confusion of the last few months. The uncertainty. The fear.
Who Should Buy It?
Haven’t done this section in a while, but I feel like I need to clarify. While this is clean romance, my middle school fans should probably stay away from this book. Boys still have cooties, anyway, right?
Everyone else, however, should definitely go check this out! It’s one of those rare books where you have suspense that doesn’t scare you half to death! If you love a fast-paced, drama-filled romance, I highly recommend His Halloween Kisses!

Intrigued? Go get your copy of His Halloween Kisses at any reputable e-book store!
The Author
Kathy Bosman loves reading and writing even more. She homeschools her three kids, so in between unsuccessfully explaining the difference between subject and predicate or how to divide fractions, she enters an imaginary world of troubled and passionate characters whose stories take over the page. Kathy lives in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, where the summers are hot, the winters cool, and bugs thrive. Her first published novel, Wedding Gown Girl, came out in 2012 with Astraea Press. She belongs to the Romance Writers of South Africa Group (ROSA) which has been her greatest support and inspiration the last few years.
Want to learn more about her other novel or connect with Kathy? You can find her at these sites:
Website and blog:
Facebook author page:
Newsletter Subscription:

That’s it for now, kiddos! Got lots of great things coming your way, so stay tuned!

Til then, keep readin’ and dreamin’!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Romance during Time Trials: Nicole Zoltack Talks about her New Book!

Ahoy, lovely readers!

Hope you didn`t miss me too much this time. It has only been a few days, after all! Told you I`d be posting more frequently, giving you all of the good books YA and beyond.

And what a good book I have for you today! The very-talented Nicole Zoltack is on my blog today to talk about her newest novel, The Test of Time. If you love romance, fast-paced fiction, time travel, 19th century England, and hot guys, then this book is definitely for you!

I mean, just look at that lovely cover? If that alone doesn`t pique your curiosity, then the blurb below will!

The Book

Katia jumps at the chance to go to England with her best friend after Rose ditches her deadbeat boyfriend. While walking through the market, she spies a large mansion and recognizes the guy out front as her high school friend Tony. Just as they start to reconnect, Katia passes through times and lands in the arms of Lord Landon, who looks like Tony but certainly doesn’t act like him.
Soon, Katia learns that this 1815 is different from the one in history books. Trapped in a parallel world, Katia struggles to not fall for Landon but his charm proves too much for her. Just when she is about to confess her love for him, Katia travels through time yet again.
The course of love never did run smooth and if Katia can’t figure out and master the test of time, she’ll never see or friends again, or worse, never be reunited with Landon.

Will Katia travel through time yet again? More importantly, does she end up with Landon from the past or Tony from today? The only way to find out more is by reading The Test of Time available as an e-book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, Overdrive, and Wattpad later today!

Sadly, I am 14 hours ahead of the American publishing time clock, so the links will be live sometime during the middle of the night in Japan. Be on the lookout for this great book, 

The Author

Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic! She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor.
When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, superheroes, and swoony gentlemen, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her favorite current TV show is The Walking Dead.
To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her blog at
You can also check out Zoltack`s other novels and author pages at the links below:
Twitter @nicolezoltack:
That`s all for today, y`all! Stay tuned this month for some holiday festivities! Halloween is my favorite holiday, after all! After that, I`ll be chronicling my NaNoWriMo adventure on this blog and the official site all through November. I may even write a new novel!
Tons of fun things coming your way! Until then, keep readin` and dreamin`!


Friday, September 5, 2014

A Journey to Happiness: A Feature on Adventure and Self-Discovery

Hello, lovely readers!

I bring to you today some inspirational non-fiction. Why you ask? Well, for starters, I want nothing more than to bring each and every one of you a book that moves you in some way. Whether it be my own, one of my colleagues’, or some book I randomly found in my new apartment, if it moves me in some way, I hope it moves you as well.

Also, as a new writer living in a new country, I sort of need a bit of inspiration myself.

So, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Sod’s Law and Silver Linings by a fellow traveller, Gavin Bingë. Not familiar with Sod’s Law? It’s basically the pessimistic notion that if something can go wrong, it will. It’s also known as Murphy’s Law, which is commonly heard back in the good ol’ US of A.

Sound familiar now? Knew it would. I’m sure we have all experienced bouts of Sod’s/Murphy’s Law at one –or several—points in our lives. Gavin writes about his own misfortunes, which will tug at your heartstrings—you have been warned, and how moving to the other side of the world helped him face and overcome all of his setbacks.

Sod’s Law and Silver Linings started as a JET Program (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, where young adults are placed in the Japanese school system as assistant language teachers for a year or more) participant’s account of his journey, which –for obvious reasons—sparked my interest. While the book does have some helpful information for current and aspiring JETs, it touches so much more beneath the surface. The story of falling down, way down, and coming back up through sheer determination and forced optimism is truly a tale that needs to be read over and over again. You will start reading this book and come out on the other side a different person.

But enough of my ramblings! I’ll let Gavin`s synopsis do the talking!

"How did I end up on the JET programme and in this magical land of mystery called Japan? How did I survive a string of robberies, two near-fatal car crashes, two (more) exploding cars and both devilish depression and awful anxiety? 

Quite frankly, I didn't know.

That's why I wrote this book, and I was surprised at what I found.

(And there's some practical information on the JET programme in there too!)"

I had a spot of bad luck over the last few years. Amongst other things, I was robbed at gunpoint, suffered a near-fatal car-crash and was robbed again immediately after. Sadly, I do mean immediately after: my phone was snatched out of my bloody, trembling hand as I was coughing blood and trying to call the ambulance. He grabbed it before I could make the call, of course.

A few months later, I had another really bad car crash, lost my job, ate my savings (quite literally), and had two cars break down on me in a spectacular fashion while driving on the highway at speeds of greater than 100km/h.

I also suffered from debilitating depression and her sinister handmaiden, crippling anxiety.

I wrote this book to try and figure out both how and why I'm not yet dead, and I was surprised at what I found.

You can buy Sod’s Law and Silver Linings on Amazon here:

Well, that’s it for today, folks! Tune in next week for some more exciting spotlights! I have a great month of posts planned, maybe even some Halloween stories to get you in the spirit!

Til next time, keep on readin’ and dreamin’!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Hiatus: Over. Fred is Back!

Ahoy, charming and oh-so-patient readers!

First, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for my month of silence. It was not because I was giving up on writing, blogging, and all things in life that are good. No, no, I have been busy settling in to my new home in Japan. My place is very rural, so it took some time to settle in and get necessities like cell phone service and Internet (which is still in the works.)

What? Don't believe me? Here's a photo of my rural neighborhood atop a hill in the Chugoku mountains:

Pretty, right?

Alas, the wonderful Japanese landscape could not keep me away from you, my dearest readers and fans.

And SO, I will attempt to redeem myself with a book feature!

From Fairies and Creatures of the Night, Guard Me by Emily de Courcy was great company during my flight to Japan. Which is saying something, since I was in the middle of a row for 14 hours!

This collection of short stories takes place in the fantastical realm of The Hinterlands. While each story features different characters, they all maintain this melancholy and almost nostalgic tone. I missed a land that I had never visited with each passing tale. And, honestly, I kind of liked it.

Each story tells a different tale about romance, magic, and mystery. For example, one story tells the life of a woman who can paint other's futures. The futures, naturally, tend to be pretty bleak, and one unexpected visitor changes her perspective on her gift for forever. Another story features the ghost of a king who has fallen in love with a girl who cannot maintain the same shape. Seriously, sometimes she's the wind, sometimes a cat, sometimes she doesn't even know what she is. Ms. de Courcy has a knack for taking this bizarre stories and turning them into fascinating tales that leave your yearning for more.

As a novelist, I tend to stay away from short story collections. Whether it be because I yearn for more substance or get insanely jealous that some authors can successfully write a complete story in only a few pages, I never strayed past the novels section in the book store. Stumbling upon Creatures changed my perspective completely. De Courcy does such a wonderful job writing each small tale as complete works, while slowly transitioning to the next, that I now am actively looking for more short story collections. If you know of any, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments! ;)

You can find De Courcy's short stories on Amazon and Goodreads. I've posted the links below for your convenience:


How's that for a comeback, eh? I wish I could say that my blogging will  be up to its regular times, but alas, living abroad throws me some unexpected curveballs.

HOWEVER, you can keep up with my travels at my other blog! That should be easy to remember, right? ;)

And, I sincerely promise, that Reverie, the sequel to Lucid is well on its way! I hope to gain all sorts of experience and inspiration while I'm abroad to bring you the best story that I can!

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

So, Whatchya Writin'? Fred's Leg of the Writers' Blog Tour!

Ahoy my friends! 

Happy Friday to you all (or Saturday, if you're not on 'Murican time!) 

I've a special little post today. It's my very first blog tour! This current blog tour is all about the wonderful works in progress that I and many other writers are currently working on. 

What is a blog tour, you ask? It's a special blog post that some clever writer starts and continues the theme by tagging more authors to continue. Yes, it is exactly like those social media personality surveys we've all participated in at one point in time. Don't even deny it ;) 

Let's get to business! First, I was tagged by the very talented Valerie Noble, author of The Energy Crusades, to participate in this blog hop. If you're a fan of post-apocalyptic, dystopian stories full of action, suspense, and a little romance, you'd absolutely adore The Energy Crusades. If you'd like a little sample, you can always purchase Lucid and read the first chapter of Ms. Noble's book at the end of Devon's story. Just putting that out there ;) 

Anyway, huge shout out to Valerie tagging a newbie author such as myself, and a very big thank you to those of you taking the time to read my post!

Let me tell all of you following the tour a little bit about myself:

I’m singer/songwriter, novelist, and traveler. My experiences abroad, and most importantly with new people, inspire my stories and propel me to get my written word out there. I write primarily for my middle school students, especially those who are not yet avid readers, hoping to inspire them to delve into the great worlds within books and get lost within the pages. My debut novel, Lucid, was released earlier this summer. It's a YA fiction piece about a young teenager whose dreams whisk him away to a fantasy world where he must learn to survive and become a hero. 

Time for a WIP (work-in-progress) Q&A session!

What am I currently working on? This is a tough question, as I always have several work-in-progress projects at hand. My attention span isn't the largest, so I really need the variety to keep me going. The big project I’m working on currently are the sequel to Lucid (called Reverie) which follows Devon and his friends as they journey deeper into the dream world to defeat the evil villains, Phobio and Leona, and restore the balance between good and evil. 

How does my work differ from others in the genre? I write YA fiction, which is a hugely popular genre right now. One thing that sets Lucid apart from the other modern YA titles is that it’s split into modern day and fantasy settings.  Most other YA titles are either straight fantasy or add an apocalyptic or fantastical element into a modern setting. The schism between the two worlds in Lucid keeps the story flowing on both sides of the looking glass and challenges the characters to adapt and thrive in different situations.

Why do I write what I write? I write a lot of things for myself, but I write my YA titles for my students. Being an adolescent is tough. I remember how awkward I felt in my own skin from 13-17. Reading was a great escape for me. It not only gave me a safe place to hide from the petty teenage drama, but the stories I read also  kept my imagination strong during a time where most imaginations tend to be squashed by makeup and boys. Reading about how a nerdy little character turns into a great hero inspired me to be the best I can be. When I started teaching middle school, I saw that kids these days are just as awkward as I was. Those that read, however, seem to be happier in the classroom and with their peers. I wanted to write another book that inspired a child to continue to believe in magic while finding his or her inner hero. If one kid comes up to me thanking me for my book, it will all be worth it.

How does my writing process work? Oh, don’t I wish I knew the answer to this? Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a huge procrastinator. In order to stay disciplined, I treat my writing sessions like a workout. When I sit at the computer, I remind myself that if I ever want to be on the same level as my author role models, I at least have to put words on a page. Some writing sessions are better than others, but at the end of the day, if I have more words written then yesterday, I’m doing all right.  

Thank you for stopping by! Hope you all enjoyed reading about my writing process and current projects! You  can continue the blog tour by checking out these lovely authors in the next week or so:

Daniel Thomas Quick, fellow fantasy author:

Christina Lorenzen, author of inspirational and sweet romance:

Aria LeJune, writer of fiction and poetry (because poets need love, too!):

Til next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Something Different with E. A. West!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I appears the middle of the week seems to be my new favorite author spotlight day. Not that I'm complaining, because I have another great story for all of you to hear about!

The Book

E. A. West's Different is about a girl, Jezebel, who is not like everyone else. While exploring her favorite cave, she finds an unconscious man who changes her world forever. New strangers come into town, forcing Jezebel to learn more about the outside world and, most importantly, herself. The book, fittingly, is a fresh take on a YA fiction novel. Full of action, romance, and internal conflict, Different is sure to please most readers!

But enough of my rambling. Why don't you read this great excerpt to hook you even more!


The distant drip of water echoed off the rocky walls as Jezebel Smith wandered through her cave. Pungent fumes from her kerosene lantern stung her nose, and she wished for a flashlight. But her family would miss a flashlight. They never noticed when she took the old lantern from the barn.

Turning her face away from the lantern, she caught a whiff of the familiar scent of the rocks around her. She loved the fresh, earthy smell of her cave. Through countless hours of careful practice, her hiking boots barely produced a whisper on the bumpy path leading to her special cavern. If she swung the lantern on its creaky handle, however, she could fill the cave with a creepy echo that reminded her of Halloween.

She passed through an opening in the wall and entered a large cavern with several ledges in one end. As she approached the lowest ledge, the glow from her lantern touched an unfamiliar lump on the floor below the rocky shelf and she froze. She knew every inch of this cavern — every rock, ledge, and bump in the floor. No one ever came here. Nothing ever changed unless she changed it. The cave was the only thing she could count on to always stay the same.

This time, however, there was something new. The cave had broken its own rules, adding a boulder where one didn’t belong. She crept toward it, fighting tears of hurt that the cave would trick her like everyone else, and the golden light of her lantern revealed it wasn’t a boulder after all — it was the still form of a man. Her pulse pounded in her ears, so loud it threatened to drown out her own thoughts. Where had he come from? Why wasn’t he moving? Her heart skipped a beat. Was he dead?

Fear shivered through her that he was sleeping so much. One of her brothers had fallen out of a tree once and hit his head, and the doctor said they had to keep him from falling asleep for a while. Jezebel didn’t know if falling off a ledge and hitting his head made the man have to stay awake or not.

After worrying for a while longer, she finally decided she’d have to risk a beating from her parents and go get the doctor. She didn’t know if he’d come, but she had to try. Daniel was the only person to ever treat her kindly, and he needed help.

She put a couple more sticks on the fire so it would keep burning while she was gone, and then she lit the lantern and headed out of the cavern. As she neared the cave entrance, the flame went out. She slowed her steps and followed the faint glow of daylight. Hopefully the doctor had a flashlight. When she stepped into the woods, she set the lantern by the cave entrance and ran toward town. She practiced saying Daniel’s name while she ran, praying the doctor would come if she told him the injured man’s name.

As she neared the edge of town, she slowed down to catch her breath. She hesitantly stepped onto the main road, terrified at the thought of trying to convince the doctor to go with her. She’d learned a long time ago that no one believed her about anything, and since she couldn’t talk, people didn’t understand what she tried to tell them anyway.

A lot of strange cars and people clogged the main street through town, and Jezebel wondered who they were. Unless Reverend Brown was holding one of his many revivals,  the town rarely had many visitors. As she continued toward the doctor’s office, a woman carrying a stack of papers walked toward her with a smile. Jezebel stopped, her mind whirling with uncertainty, and the woman handed her a paper.

“We’re looking for this man. He went hiking in this area a couple of days ago and didn’t come back.”

Jezebel studied the sheet in her hands, and her heart skipped a beat. A picture of Daniel stared back, and some words had been printed across the bottom in black ink. She pointed to the photo. “D-Dan... Daniel.”

“That’s right, his name is Daniel,” the woman said, her tone changing a little. “Have you seen him?”

Jezebel nodded and looked back the way she’d come. “C-c-cave.”

“You saw him in a cave?”

She nodded again, excitement rushing through her. For the first time in her life, someone understood what she tried to say. She touched the photograph on the paper, indicating where the cut on Daniel’s head was. Before she could see if the woman understood, she heard her older brother spit out her name. She cringed and felt herself shriveling inside.


Sounds great, doesn't it? I'd especially recommend it if you're traveling soon. There's nothing like a fast-paced novel to make the time fly by! 

You can find Different at the links below:

The Author 

E. A. West is an award-winning author of inspirational and sweet romance. A lover of books and writing at a young age, West knew she wanted to be an author in high school. She lives in Indiana with her family and will often swap a pen with her knitting needles. 

You can contact Ms. West at the links below:


Stay tuned for more blogs in the next week! Better get your fill now before my hiatus in August.

Til next time, keep readin' and dreamin'! 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Get 'Spell Struck' with Ariella Moon!

Hello, dear followers and readers!

I know, I know. What am I thinking? Blogging on a Wednesday? I must be losing my mind! 

Well, I am more than eager to break the flow of the work week by celebrating the anniversary of an amazing book! 

Ariella Moon's Spell Struck hit the e-shelves a year ago today! It's the second in the Teen Wytche series, (Spell Check and Spell Fire being the 1st and 3rd in this wonderful series) and a really compelling read! I had the honor of stumbling upon this series last December, and it definitely added some magic to my holidays. 

So, without further ado, let me tell you a little about Spell Struck !

The Book

The best part about the Teen Wytche series is that every story stands on its own, but they are all connected by characters and a pesky, magical grimoire that's set on making these girls' lives even more complicated, wonderful, and magical than they already are. Spell Struck focuses on Salem/Sarah, a goth girl who plays a big role in the first book. She takes center stage in Spell Struck as the grimoire focuses on her life:

What if the one person who saw through your lies but loved you anyway, harbored a secret that could cost you everything?

When goth outcast Salem Miller casts a love spell on Halloween night, she asks for a boy who is handsome, magical, and artistic. She doesn’t count on Fate sending Aidan Cooper.

As a child, Aidan thought he was being rescued, not abducted. Now fifteen and homeless, he realizes he was taken because of his Gypsy blood. His kidnappers believe he’ll lead them to the Grey Grimoire, a valuable gypsy spell book. Madness. The book doesn’t even exist.

Or does it?

Salem is charged with fixing a half-destroyed spell book, her last hope for saving her sister. Amy attempted suicide and the meds aren’t helping. Maybe a powerful Get Well Spell will cure her.

Aidan’s kidnappers will kill to attain the Grey Grimoire. But if he destroys it, Salem will hate him. Either way, he loses. Again. 


Doesn't it sound wonderful? Well, it should! The book switches points of view between Salem and Aidan, so the reader is gets to watch as both teens struggle to solve their problems and find their place in high school and beyond. Though it is a teen series, I would recommend Spell Struck and all of the Teen Wytche books to anyone who loves a little bit of romance and magic. 

You can find Spell Struck at the following links:

About the Author

Ariella Moon is a writer of sweet Young Adult paranormal romance. 

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. She finally gave up on the wardrobe and created her own sweet YA paranormal romance series, Teen Wytche. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman who lives with her daughter, two spoiled dogs, and enormous dragon.

You can contact Ariella at the following links:

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Spotlight Sundays with Kristin Wallace!

Ahoy lovely readers! 

I hope you've all been keeping cool in this summer heat. I highly recommend staying indoors and reading a good book. Perhaps you could even give Lucid another read! 

But if you're looking for another great read in the shade or the A/C, I've another book recommendation for you! 

Kristin Wallace's Imagine That is the perfect summer read for aspiring writers, lovers of sweet romance, and everyone in between! It is the third book in the Covington Falls series, so be sure to read the first two (Marry Me and  Acting up ) as well! 


About the Book

Imagine That:

Children’s author Emily Sinclair was supposed to be the next J.K. Rowling… Until her second book flopped and her imagination went on the fritz. So she sets out on an epic adventure to find inspiration again. Till a dead car lands her in Covington Falls, Georgia. Soon Emily is taking up her quest, looking for inspiration driving a mobile library van, as a companion to a crotchety old woman and her insomniac dog, and as a very ungraceful baker’s assistant. Of course, what really sparks her romantic fantasies is a valiant hero, though he yields a paint roller instead of a sword.

Rugged, blue-collar Nate Cooper has spent most of his life avoiding the printed page. These days he doesn’t have much use for fancy words and certainly not for a slightly off-center writer on the lam. Not when his mother is battling cancer, his little brother has morphed into a teenaged ogre, and God seems to have taken a vacation.

On paper, these two would seem the least likely pairing, and a happily ever after nothing but fantasy. But with faith and imagination Emily and Nate are about to write a new chapter that will lead to unexpected love.

A struggling writer, a too-manly-for-books macho man, and a potential romance between the two opposites? Sounds like the perfect tale!

And if that's not enough of an incentive to read this wonderful book, I bring to you the first chapter! If this doesn't hook you, I don't know what will!


Chapter One

A stomach-churning thunk. A disaster-laden chug. A scary, threatening gurgle.
Emily Sinclair’s hands clutched the steering wheel as she guided her how-could-you-give-out-on-me-now convertible to the side of the road. With a last ominous blunk and splutter, the car gave up the ghost.
She switched off the engine, waited a few seconds, and then turned the key again. Nothing.
Not surprising. As if anything glug-glugging like an octogenarian trying to cough up a lung was going to restart with so little effort.
A cranky yowl went up from the passenger seat. Emily glanced over at the pet carrier and sent the fat Persian inside a confident smile. “Don’t worry, Wordsworth. This is why modern man invented cell phones.”
She fished her phone out of her purse. A blank screen stared back at her. Pressing more buttons did nothing.
Dead as her car.
With a sound of disgust, Emily tossed the useless phone aside and stared out the windshield at the deserted country road in front of her. The very deserted country road that stretched around a sparkling blue lake and disappeared into the back of beyond. The kind of road featured in all the best horror stories. Emily’s mind conjured up every one, along with the opening line in the newspaper article.
Once-famous children’s author found mangled to death. Quest to locate her lost imagination and revive faded career ends in disaster… as her mother predicted.
Muttering an oath, Emily climbed out of the car and slammed the door as hard as she could. What a fix. And ironic. There were rules about writing. Not grammar rules, like where to put commas or when to use a semicolon. No, the unofficial rules for fiction writing. Chief among them is that an author should never start a novel with the character driving or thinking. No, readers wanted action right off the top, and the car could never break down.
In college, Emily had written a short story where the heroine’s car stalled in a typical these-people-will-murder-you-in-your-sleep town. Emily’s professor had written cliché in bold, red pen across the page. Not satisfied, she’d added boring cliché, underlining the boring with three thick red lines. The critique had stung. The fact that it had come courtesy of Professor Vanessa Sinclair, Emily’s mother, had been like ripping off an old bandage.
Emily was breaking all three cardinal rules of writing at once. Though technically the driving rule didn’t apply. Same for the sitting rule. She was thinking, though. Thinking her entire life had become a cliché, so what did it matter if she broke her mother’s precious writing rules? She was a one-hit writing wonder. A flash in the pan. A big-haired eighties’ rock band that had scored one giant hit and then disappeared into the oblivion of those nostalgic ‘Where are they now?’ music specials.
Emily sighed. If one had to break down somewhere, one could do worse than… what had the sign said back there? Covington something. Covington something, Georgia. Muted afternoon sun shimmered off the surface of the lake. She lifted a hand to ward off the eye-watering glare and focused on the water. In her previous life, the golden flecks of sunlight reflecting off its surface would have transformed into a million different kinds of fantastical creatures. Or maybe something nightmarish would charge out of that bank of oak trees across the lake.
Unfortunately, Emily was stuck in her real life, and her imagination was on the fritz.
Well, at least she wouldn’t die of water deprivation while she waited to be rescued.
Speaking of rescue.
A car had appeared, winding around the curve of the lake. A big ole’ country truck calling to mind hoedowns and hay rides. A big ole’ rusty truck, Emily realized as it drew closer. Burnt red growth spread out across the hood like a marauding band of Vikings overtaking a defenseless village. She imagined rust was the only thing holding the vehicle together.
The truck slowed and Emily tensed, torn between elation at being found and wariness regarding exactly who might be behind the wheel of the ancient rattletrap. The glare off the windshield made it impossible to see inside the cab, however.
The tires veered off to the side of the road and stopped, sending up a cloud of dust. Emily waved her hand, choking on the airborne dirt. Her mouth felt dry as if she had licked the ground. The door opened. Work boots emerged. Brown and roughed-up and covered in… paint. A man stepped out, and Emily steadied her hands against the car to keep from falling over.
Mr. Darcy. No, Heathcliff. Only instead of a cravat and breeches, he was dressed in faded jeans and a black T-shirt, which seemed molded to an impressive chest. Heath stretched up a good six-plus feet, towering over her puny five-foot-two frame. A lock of dark chocolate-brown hair brushed over his forehead. Their eyes met. Since she was already thinking in clichés, Emily’s mind offered up a million of them to describe his eyes. She could start with gray, but no way did such a mundane word do them justice. Slate, storm clouds, a roiling sea, glazed pewter. Devastating, and framed by thick sooty lashes no man had a right to possess.
He stopped a few feet away, and Emily had the fanciful notion he was trying not to frighten her. Like she was a skittish filly about to bolt.
“Hi,” he said. “Car trouble?”
His voice was like his eyes. Smooth and deep, like honey in a cup of hot tea.
Emily nodded. How could she speak when every male literary fantasy she’d ever dreamed about had unfolded from a rusted-out pickup?
“You okay?” he asked. “You didn’t have an accident? Knock your head on anything?”
“No. Just a car that decided to die,” Emily said, finally finding her voice. “Along with my cell. Although that’s my fault since I didn’t charge it last night, even though my mother is always nagging me not to forget, since I’ve taken it into my head to wander the globe on an aimless search for purpose and meaning. Her description anyway, but if you’d lost your imagination wouldn’t you go to the ends of the earth to find it again? She doesn’t understand, though. Although maybe she’s right. I mean, here I am stuck in Covington something, Georgia, with a dead car, a dead cell, and a dead imagination. Although if I had an imagination I know I could come up with something fantastic about your truck.”
Emily slapped a hand over her mouth, horrified by the verbal diarrhea she’d just unleashed on her hapless rescuer.
The stranger stared at her for a moment, and then did the most unexpected thing. He grinned. “What was that?”
Her butt thumped against the hood of the car as her legs gave out. Oh, Heath had a smile on him that could tempt any fair maiden to let down her hair. Or anything else he wanted.


About the Author

Kristin Wallace is a long term lover of books. Her love for the written word stemmed from childhood and developed into her love for writing inspirational romance. Her Covington Falls books are about sweet romance that takes place in a charming Southern town. When she's not writing the next Southern romance, Kristin is working as an advertising copywriter. She's also quite the Renaissance woman who also enjoys singing in her church choir and playing the flute. 

You can buy Imagine That and all of the Covington Falls books at the following links:

         And you can contact Ms. Wallace at the links below:

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!