Sunday, September 27, 2015


Ahoy lovely readers!

I hope all of you are enjoying this lovely, and hopefully lazy, Sunday! Here in New Orleans, most of the day was a wash-out, but it only inspired me more to stay inside and work on paperwork for Reverie.

Sometimes, with all of the Fiction Features, workweek blues, and studying Japanese, I forget that the next chapter in Dreamworld is due to come out in a few months. I'm sure most of you are eager to get started, so I figured why not?

So, without further ado, here's a little excerpt from the beginning of Reverie! 


Before mankind could speak or think, he could dream. The world was black then, dark shapes moving like monsters in even darker shadows. The earliest of humans were afraid of the world. Everything was a threat; each nightfall brought the unknown, which was scarier than the tangible terrors of the day.

Early humans only had one goal and that was to survive. There was no time for anything other than sleeping, eating, and taking care of the other humans so that they could all live to see another day. The dreaming was not necessary for physical survival, but it sparked the beginning of humans` ascent to higher thinking. These early dreams brought refuge from the troubles of the real world. They brought about wondrous places and magical scenes humans would never experience in their own reality.

Within that world, the humans met new beings, similar to themselves yet somehow more whole and more magical. Since the humans met, or created as some later humans tend to argue, these beings so like them in the dream world, the humans named them Dreamers. This word itself was not a part of human speech, but it later shaped the modern languages of today. The Dreamers were never wary of humans, accepting them as their equals from another world without question. Together, the Dreamers and humans expanded the dream world, making it as vast and far much more interesting than the waking world.

The humans were proud of their creations. Alongside the Dreamers, humans were able to create for pleasure instead of necessity. From those pleasures, dark thoughts began to emerge. The humans, oblivious to everything but building their own pleasures, did not realize the darkness from their own hearts began to rest within and change the hearts of the Dreamers. By the time the oblivious humans caught on, there were now two distinct races born from the dream world: the Dreamers, which were their friends, partners, and equals; and the Nightmares, which were their tormentors, enemies, and corrupters.

For some time, the Dreamers and humans continued working together, their creations resembling less like whimsical architecture and more like protective fortresses as they struggled to fend off thee encroaching Nightmares. The humans began to question why they retreated from their world, with its dangers, to a world that had even more threatening beings?

Some humans, those who still saw the dream world as their own personal playgrounds, decided that the Nightmares were not going to be the enemies of their dreams. Instead, these humans decided that the Nightmares were just like Dreamers, only more capable of creating the pleasures other humans and Dreamers deemed taboo. These humans, in the dead of the night in the Dream world, slipped from their fellow human and Dreamer allies and joined the league of darkness. Thus the Lucids, the humans who build to destroy, were born. From then on, Lucids and Nightmares have become the Dreamers enemies. Oftentimes, the Lucid humans infiltrate the Dreamers` strongholds by use of trickery and kind words, but it will always end in destruction and darkness. Lucid humans are just as dangerous as Nightmares and more deceptive, making them even deadlier. They will infiltrate the Dreamers` great city of Miragean, promising to help build up our lovely land, only to tear it down from the inside out. They are the true enemy of the Dreamers and must never be trusted.


Hopefully that'll satiate y'all. Or at least put a shine on your Sunday.

Til next time, keep readin' and dreamin'


Monday, September 21, 2015

Ready for your close-up? Krysten Lindsay Hager talks about living Next Door to a Star!

Ahoy and happy Monday, lovely readers!

It’s time again for another great Fiction Feature! This one includes a new release from a not-so-new author to my blog. I always love having repeat authors on my blog, especially those who write such great tales about teenage drama. 

Author Krysten Lindsay Hager has master this art by adding a bit of a famous flare into your teen friendship stories. I’m sure you remember her True Colors series about teen models. Well, this time she’s moved on up and wrote a story about teen actors! Read all about Next Door to a Star which is out as an e-book and in paperback now!

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?

Sounds like the perfect recipe for some drama, romance, and some hard lessons learned, right? As with Hager’s other works, Next Door does not disappoint as a page turner that reads like the screenplay to a great teen flick! If you’re looking for a good read for a teenager, or if you wanna escape into the simpler –yet emotional time—of adolescence, this is the one for you! You can get Next Door to a Star at these links below:

Amazon US:
Amazon Paperback:
B&N Paperback:
Books A Million:

As I said before, Krysten Lindsay Hager is no stranger to my fiction features, but just in case some of you are new to my blog, here’s a little bit about our master of teen drama: 

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.

And that's it for now! Glad to bring you another great read to make your week that much more enjoyable! As always, stay tuned for all things Lucid and until next time, keep readin and dreamin!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Ahoy, lovely readers!

Hope the weekend was kind to all of you! Let’s start the workweek off properly with another fiction feature!

Lately, I’ve been doing some older teen fiction features, so I’m happy to take it down a notch –or a few grade levels—to celebrate the Middle Grade genre! As a middle school tutor and substitute teacher, this tricky age group and grade level are near and dear to my heart. Middle school was hard, y’all, and I’m always happy to read a story that addresses some of the troubles middle schoolers face.

One of the bigger issues is bullying, which is what brave Katy Naas tackles from a very interesting point of view in her new novel Operation: Bully Renovation

Jack Sullivan is Blackwell Middle School’s scariest bully. When students and teachers see him coming down the hallway, they run the other way. He has no friends; he doesn’t need them. School is a waste of his time.

But after a car accident with his father leaves him in need of surgery, Jack has to have a tissue donor. Strangely, he then begins having memories from events that never actually happened to him – memories of being bullied by bigger, meaner boys. Jack learns he is experiencing cellular memory, which makes him receive the memories of his tissue donor…who just so happened to be a weak, helpless victim of bullying.

Jack decides he has to make things right. To do that, he offers each of his former victims an apology, along with the chance to choose a way to get even with him. But Jack quickly learns that earning their forgiveness won’t be easy...

I especially love this book, because it doesn’t merely portray the bully as the bad guy. The bully, Jack, actually gets to learn from his past mistakes by –almost literally—jumping into a victim’s skin. While the theme of antagonist’s redemption is a popular one in adult fiction, I am really happy to see Naas use it for a Middle Grade story. Kids are smarter than we think, and this will be a great read for any child who has been bullied or who has bullied.

But enough of my musings, how about I tease you with an excerpt?


Jack shoved the head of the writhing boy further into the toilet, feeling a small glimmer of satisfaction as he listened to the muffled screams. He watched the water bubbles come up from the nameless boy’s mouth as he tried to make noise and fought a useless battle, trying to escape the grip of Jack’s large fingers on his neck. Jack continued to hold the boy’s head under the water, waiting patiently for the boy to stop moving. When he did, Jack quickly pulled his head back out of the water, watching the helpless boy gasp for breath and slap the water off his face while tears filled his eyes.

“If you tell anyone what just happened, I’ll kill you,” Jack growled at the boy, giving him his most convincing glare before he casually walked away, leaving the boy crumpled on the floor, drowning in his own sobs.

Jack walked out of the locker room and rejoined the rest of the members of his gym class just as the dismissal bell rang, signaling the end of his school day. He shoved past several students who were heading for the gym doors, ignoring their grunts and protests as he bumped into them from behind. He knew that as soon as the other students saw who was pushing past them they would quickly shut their mouths in fear. No one wanted to make Jack Sullivan mad. No one even wanted to be on his radar. He was crazy. Unpredictable. No one messed with him; no one even looked at him. The scrawny new boy in gym class had just learned that the hard way. A nice swirly would teach him to ask Jack to pass him the ball.

Jack smiled to himself as he walked down the middle of the hallway, thinking about his own reputation. Every boy and every girl that roamed the halls of Blackwell Middle School was terrified of him. It was obvious at all times, even as he made his way out of the building. The other kids intentionally averted their gazes and deliberately moved to the other side of the hallway to avoid any accidental contact. Even the teachers pretended to be engrossed in something else whenever he came into view. He smirked slightly as Mr. Andrews stared at the file in his hand while he passed, never smiling up at him or even glancing in his direction with so much as a nod, though he’d greeted the group of students a few feet in front of him only moments ago. There was no doubt that he brought terror to the hearts of others, both kids and adults.

That was just the way Jack preferred it. He didn’t need friends; he had no interest in any of the idiots that surrounded him in his classes. He hated school, hated the teachers, hated the classes, and hated the structure of it all. He hated the clubs and the sports and even the stupid cardinal mascot that covered the walls of the building. If everyone were scared of him, no one would try to talk to him. He felt invincible as he pushed through the double doors of the front of the building.

Trudging down the sidewalk toward his home, he never looked back at the building he had come to loathe so much. He couldn’t wait for the day when he’d never have to step foot in that hole of a school again. As an eighth grader, he didn’t have too much longer to wait.

He often considered quitting. He would call it an early retirement, he decided. But then he would remember the state’s dumb law that a person has to be sixteen to quit and be left alone. If he stopped showing up now, the feds would get involved and make his life complicated. Not that he was scared of a bunch of low-life feds; he wasn’t. But he knew they wouldn’t be as easy to avoid as his teachers and the students at school. If he could just hold out for a couple more years, he could quit and no one would bother him about any laws. So for now, he showed up most days, keeping the number of days he skipped strategically low so that they would go unnoticed.

As he approached two girls standing together near the end of the block, giggling incessantly, Jack wrinkled up his nose in disgust. He glared in their general direction, laughing on the inside when their annoying high-pitched laughs ceased at once. It was more than fear that the kids felt toward him, he decided. It was respect. And to Jack, respect was the most important thing in the world.


If the excerpt hooked you, I’m happy to say that Operation: Bully Renovation is out NOW! You can get it on Amazon here:

And, of course, I’m sure you’re eager to learn more about our wonderful author!

From the time she was old enough to talk, Katy Newton Naas has been creating characters and telling stories. As a child, they sometimes got her into trouble. She knew she wanted to write books when she won a Young Author's competition as a second-grader for her short story titled, "The Grape Pie." (Don't let its tasty title fool you - it was actually a sad little tale!)

Katy devoured books as a child and young adult, always doing chores and odd jobs in order to make enough money to buy more of them. Though she continues to age, her true literature love is and has always been children's and young adult fiction.

Katy currently teaches middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in English Education and a master's degree in Reading and Language Studies. She enjoys her life out in the country with her husband, her two sweet and rowdy young sons, and all her other “kids”: four dogs, three cats, and eight ducks.

She loves creating both realistic and futuristic stories about kids, tweens, and teens, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.

Connect with Katy Newton Naas:






And that’s it for today’s fiction feature! As always, stay tuned for more great reads and all things Lucid!

Until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Excellent Update!

Ahoy lovely readers! 

What's this? Two posts in a row? I just can't help it because Reverie, the second installment of Devon & Co's story, is finished, edited, and has been submitted for publishing! Hopefully you will all get to follow Devon and his friends along for the second ride sooner than later! 

For now, I leave you with the synopsis: 

Hunt down a deadly Nightmare enemy spy, locate a hidden and potentially hostile village while convincing them to surrender their sacred talisman, save countless humans trapped in a fortress in another world, and prevent a major war that could destroy life as we all know it.

These are the things that are on teenagers Devon, Kyle, and Mitch’s to-do list as they continue their quest in the Dreamworld to save both Dreamers and humans from the evil Nightmare lord Phobio. With the help of some new and even unlikely friends, the heroes must face the fears of the Dreamworld to reach their goals. The biggest challenge of all will be to face their own fears. Can they do it? What perils await our heroes in the next installment of the Lucid series. 

And, if you need to brush up on your Lucid knowledge, don't forget you can find it at these sites: 


I will most definitely keep you all updated on all things Lucid for the next exciting features!

Until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!