Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! Fiction Feature with a little holiday flair from JB Michaels!

JB Michaels Spotlight

Ahoy wonderful readers!

I hope life is treating you kindly! To those of you who are on Thanksgiving break, enjoy! To everyone else working until Turkey Day, try to be thankful for the things in your life while you count down to your own holiday!

Speaking of holidays, I’ve a little early Christmas cheer for you all! This is a first for me featuring a Christmas tale, so I’m happy to give you JB Michaels The Tannenbaum Tailors and the Secret Snowball!

They are the Tannenbaum Tailors: elves charged with maintaining Christmas trees in homes around the world. Without the Tailors’ efforts, families might lose their Christmas spirit. And this year, one team of Tailors will be tested like never before.

With the North Pole itself under attack, newly promoted Captain Brendan is assigned a special mission: conceal the source of Santa’s power within a Christmas tree in Chicago. On Christmas Eve, Santa will pick it up.

The job would be simple, but the Tailors find themselves facing a serious threat—the thieving Spiritless elves, already responsible for sabotaging the North Pole Home Tree, will do anything to gain control of the very thing that makes Christmas possible.

Equally bad, Christmas spirit is at an all-time low in the Chicago home where Brendan’s assigned. The family’s mother even wants to take the tree down before Christmas Eve! To save Christmas, Captain Brendan and his Tailors will have to use every spirit-raising trick they know—and possibly even bend a few rules to pull it off.

Combining holiday cheer with action and thrills, The Tannenbaum Tailors and the Secret Snowballreads like Raiders of the Lost Ark in a Christmas tree.

Sounds like a great read to pick up for the little ones during this special time of year, eh? The holidays can be a pretty hectic time, and this will be the perfect break in your busy schedule to remember the magic and special moments the end of the year can bring!

You can find JB Michael's debut novel here! 

Well, that’s it for now! Short and sweet, I know. Still cranking out my last few thousand words for NaNoWriMo, and most of it is about the final installment of Devon & Co’s journey. Things are picking up, and you only have a few more months to wait for Reverie!

Until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’ and Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Throwback Monday? K.S. Jones takes us back with her historical fiction!

Ahoy, lovely readers, and welcome to another wonderful Fiction Feature! 

I’m happy to give you yet another read outside of my standard YA fantasy/sci-fi realm. Got any history buffs reading this blog? If so, then you’re in luck! This week’s Fiction Feature is about the infamous Great Depression Era. Have a look at K.S. Jones's award-winning novel, Shadow of the Hawk!

It is May 1932 and life in the timbered rise and fall of Western Arkansas has just gotten harder for sixteen-year-old Sooze Williams. With debt mounting and both friends and family fleeing, Sooze is determined to "do the right thing." She promises her heart to a well-to-do man believing true love is just another loss along the way. But when her uncle is murdered and family is accused of the crime, Sooze faces a different kind of battle. One too important to lose.

Debt, murder, and marriage during the Great Depression? And a teenager has to deal with them? I hope you’re all just as eager as I am to find out how Sooze overcomes her obstacles! Shadow of the Hawk has been on the e-shelves for some time, but I’m happy to say that it recently became available in print! You can check it out and order at the links below:







And if you’re still not convinced that its just as great as those Depression works of fiction you read in school, check out these glowing reviews by many authors and literary magazines! Many compare Jones’s work to Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath!

"The realism of John Steinbeck meets the thrill of John Grisham in this tale of love, sacrifice and betrayal." ~ Reader's Entertainment Magazine

"This is one of those young adult novels that every adult will want to read. It's filled with wonderful characters and a heartwarming story set in the midst of America's darkest days, the Great Depression. Jones' voice is reminiscent of Steinbeck's at his best." ~ W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors of People of the Thunder

"With a clarity reminiscent of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, K.S. Jones gently draws the reader into a masterful description of the grit and hard times of one farm family's struggles during the Great Depression." ~ Alethea Williams, author of orphan train novel Walls for the Wind

"The story is so realistic the reader may very well find themselves within pages emotionally, caught up in the drama. Hands down it is equal to, if not better than Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath." ~ InD'Tale Magazine

“Author K.S. Jones exhibits great skill as a writer in her book Shadow of the Hawk. Jones vividly portrays the story of the tight-knit Williams clan with roots planted firmly in their faith, family, and the land which they hold so dear. This work of fiction, which maintains its historical accuracy throughout, is a compelling tale and offers a glorious glimpse into the tenacity of one family as they demonstrate the unconditionality of love beneath the shadow of adversity.” ~Literary Classics Book Reviews

And if you need even more of an incentive to buy Shadow of the Hawk, here’s a little excerpt:


The town of Coaldale wound through the timbered valley like a black snake in the dark hole of an outhouse. Folks knew it was there by the grim feeling it posed, but the need to stay overpowered the urge to run.

I had lived my whole life in the low-lying basin between the Arkansas Western Railroad and the Poteau River — the only river in the state which flowed north. Fitting, I suppose. It seemed everything had turned around backwards and was running the wrong way. I wasn't blaming God though. A lot of trouble we caused ourselves.

Take my older brother, Henry, for instance. Making good decisions was out of his reach. But with my best friend, Leona, bound for California, he'd moved up a notch on my short list of friends. After school, I went looking for him and found him pitching pennies behind Doc's office. When he saw the sorrowful look on my face, he'd gathered up his winnings and come without me having to ask.

As we stood beneath the lopsided shadow of the Chinquapin tree between the jailhouse and the store, I killed time talking about the school lesson he had missed.

"Miss Stewart says the Panhandle folks can't even eat a meal of beans without the grit and dust wearin' their teeth away. Beans and mud. I don't think I could live like that."

But some days a bad attitude just popped out of Henry. Mama said it's because he is itching to be a man. I think it's because he is tired of being nobody.

"Sooze, what makes you think we're any better off than those folks?" This being his last year of school, Henry talked like he knew something about everything. "We ain't got any dirt in our beans, and our lungs ain't filled with dust, but we ain't got much else neither."

Henry wore Daddy's hand-me-down overalls, and even though he'd rolled the hems twice, they still dragged the ground. He'd spent a lifetime telling me he was “only short for now,” but he'd never grown much taller than my 5' 5" height, and that was a far-shot shorter than Daddy. Using his fingers, he combed his reddish-brown hair back from his face, and with eyes as rich as pure honey, he stared at me.

"I'd suffer through a little dirt in my food if I could get me a T-bone and some potato pone, wouldn't you?" He pulled his “lucky piece” out of his hip pocket. It was nothing more than an old stag-handled knife handed down to him from our granddaddy, but he called it his good luck charm. Like an ear of corn, he held it up to his mouth, and with a chomp, chomp, chomp, he pretended to eat it. "Heck, Sooze, anything's better than poke salad and corn."

Henry always looked at the dark side of things, and I didn't want to encourage him, so I thought it best to ignore him altogether. I circled the tree, kicking up dust off the bone-dry ground. Keeping one hand on the pine, I pushed my other inside my dress pocket finding a new hole. It had worn clean through the pink, flowery patch I'd sewn onto my green dress trying to hide a stain. Even though I'd mended it many times over, Mama said the dress still looked pretty on me. She said it matched my green eyes and rosy cheeks and made my blond hair “look like an angel's.”

But it didn't matter to Henry whether I was paying attention to him or not, he just kept talking anyway.

"Shoot! At least those folks got automobiles, and here we are still with a horse and wagon! We're about as backward and poor as you get, Sooze."

"Life ain't all hard biscuits, Henry!" I said with a stomp of my foot. "We got other things."

Our family still owned two cows, six prize hogs, almost three dozen chickens, and a field planted full of corn. And every night at supper, Daddy still bowed his head to thank the good Lord that hard times hadn't stripped us clean. I always listened to the tone of Daddy's voice, too, because Mama said you could hear defeat in a man's voice long before it settled in his brain, and I knew I hadn't heard it yet.

Before you rush off to buy it, let me tell you where you can reach our award-winning author! Did I mention KS Jones recently won a GOLD medal at the 2015 Literary Classics Book Awards? Give her a pat on the back and learn more about her other works here:

And that’s it for now! I’m still hammering away at NaNoWriMo 2015. Got to 20k words yesterday, woot woot! Good luck to all my fellow writers taking on November, and of course stay tuned here for all things YA fiction and Lucid!

Until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Fiction Feature gets freaky with Katy Naas's newest release!

Ahoy readers!

Here we are at another lovely Monday Fiction Feature! I know Halloween just passed, but I figured I’d keep the spooky spirit going by giving you a ghost tale to start off your week. Katy Naas is no stranger on my blog, and it’s with great pleasure that I feature her newest release, The Deep End!

When shy sophomore Kaci Lynn Richards moves to a small town, she is nervous about the change. That is, until she befriends the outgoing Jo and meets popular senior James Mitchell. Kaci quickly learns to love her new life…until she begins to see the ghost of a teen girl in her new home. The mystery girl haunts her, giving her visions that leave clues as to who she was and how she met her violent fate. But the more she learns about the girl, the more she finds that life in this sleepy town may not be what it seems.

Not your average new girl in town story, eh? I can only imagine the problems Kaci will face as she copes with being the newbie and speaking to a ghost! Of course, I know you are, too, so enjoy this excerpt to really get you into a ghost-like mood!


As soon as I close the cabinet door, my whole body is chilled. I shiver, turning toward the microwave to find myself face-to-face with her. Her dark eyes gaze into mine, her cold breath so close I can feel it on my cheeks. My heart racing, I jump back, colliding with the counter behind me.

What happens next is a blur. I feel a sharp pain in the back of my head and I am on the floor. She stands over me, her tangled hair hanging down, covering parts of her face while she stares down at me, her eyes wide and intense. I am unable to look away from her, unable to scream or move or even breathe.

Suddenly, she is gone and the room spins. I can finally blink, and I try to steady myself as the room finally settles. I am still on the floor, still in my kitchen, except it looks…different. Mom’s mixer that sits on the counter is gone. Instead, a wine rack sits in its place, and I count nine glass bottles resting inside of it. The walls are a dark brown color, and the lights seem dimmer. “Aven?” I call out weakly, but the voice I hear is not my own. I try to use my hands to push myself up off the floor, but I can’t; they are behind my back, stuck on something.

I twist my neck around, trying to look at them so that I can figure out how to get them loose. That’s when I feel the shooting pain go up through my arms, and I realize it’s because my wrists are bound together with rope and it’s cutting off the circulation from my hands to the rest of my body. Desperately I try to pull them apart, but the fibers of the rope dig deeper into my wrists and the pain is unbearable, so I let them go limp behind me, giving up that fight.

Calm down, I order myself. Breathe. Don’t panic. I ignore the throbbing pain in my arms as I squirm, inch by inch until I am in a sitting position. Looking down, I see that the red long-sleeve shirt and jeans I had on have been replaced by a white nightgown. The blood stains around the collar and down my sides make my heart race faster – even more so when I realize that they’re mine.

“Help!” I cry out, again surprised when the voice I hear is a little deeper than mine. “Somebody please help me!”

“You’re wasting your breath,” a deep, masculine voice says from somewhere behind me. There is a hint of laughter in his words when he says, “There’s no one here but you and me.”

The voice is vaguely familiar, but I don’t have time to analyze it as a cold, pressing fear weighs down my body. It is then that I realize that he’s right; there’s no one here to help me and I am going to die.


Chilling, no? You can find The Deep End on Amazon as an e-book today!

And just in case you forgot about our lovely author, let’s reintroduce ourselves to Katy Newton Naas!

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.

You can reach out to Katy at her website and social media links:







And that’s it for now! If you need me, I’ll be writing away as the National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is upon us! For all my fellow writers, good luck! And for my fellow readers, this is the month where future great stories are born! They’re always worth the sleepless nights, copious amounts of caffeine, and relentless typing!

As always, stay tuned for more YA fiction features and all things Lucid!

Until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’!