Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Welcome to the Internet

Ahoy readers!

It's been a minute since I've stepped away from my Fiction Features and done some actual blogging about the writing world. I was tasked with the job of corralling 5th graders for the past 5 weeks. Top that off with a whirlwind of personal events, throw in a holiday and a few birthdays, and the rest of March and almost all of April slipped right on by.

I had to put my writing world on hold during all of this, but the break wasn't without a little drama.

I'll go ahead and relay the story, first giving a factual account and then putting my 2 cents in.

The short: 

My publisher, Clean Reads, was recently at a writers convention in Las Vegas. For those of you who don't know, Clean Reads is a small house e-publisher who primarily publish non-erotic romance. The con they went to was for Romance, so they go out every year to promote the vast bulk of their books.

One guy, Rick R. Reed, was at the convention and was intrigued my Clean Reads's manifesto. After going home and doing some research, he stumbled upon an ill-worded clause in the submissions guidelines that discriminated against homosexual characters. Being a LGBT ally, Mr. Reed posted a blog scolding Clean Reads for the discriminatory submissions. You can read his original post here (it's very short)  http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/clean-reads-publishing-house-that-deems.html?zx=8cadf4fb7a356b85

The shit: 

Like most authors, I have neither the funds nor time to attend such conventions. So, the way I found out about this blog post was by going on my publisher's Facebook group on a weekday night. Fellow Clean Reads authors were freaking out over the attack on the company, claiming it to be a homophobic and hateful press. There was talk of people asking for their books' rights back and even a hint or two of the publishing company going under because of this.

Needless to say, I did a little freaking out myself. I'd just published a new novel with this company, and I didn't want to see it go under any more than the other people. I called up my friends in the middle of the night, relaying the information and asking for advice on what my next move should be.

The revelation: 

And then I realized that reacting on the defense was not the thing to do. Had I acted on my original impulse, I would not be in good standing favor with many people right now.

Within days, Rick R. Reed posted an apology to Clean Reads, and my publisher removed the submissions clause stating no homosexuals. I knew they would, as (while worded offensively) that's not something that's kept people from publishing with Clean Reads. What they meant was no erotic homosexual content, which makes sense as it's a non-erotic publishing company.

Lying low and waiting for the initial shock to subside yielded one thing: the Internet is fickle. Even now, I had to dig through Google pages to find Mr. Reed's original post.

Even throughout the issue, I checked my books' pages to make sure everything added up. I'm happy to announce that I'm still a mediocre author making less than $1,000 a year on her life's work. Twitter follower counts still only at 400, and none of my friends or family have un-liked my Facebook page.

There are still some authors who are up in arms over this, as they've gotten more backlash than I have (which as to date my current count is: zero,) but it's all for naught, I'm afraid. The Internet is a crazy place where a keyboard removes all inhibition for people to react and lash out at anything that offends them.

But it also drastically shortens our attention span, and these things blow over like showering off the day or changing into a fresh pair of underwear. (What? I swear I'm a good writer, y'all!) What's a hot topic one day will be a distant memory in a week or so.

However, there is one note to take home after all of this: the power of words is still a force with which to be reckoned. One simple blog post started this ripple in my little publisher's world and sparked a greater sense of awareness with regards to the publisher's morals and standards. Clean Reads isn't a homophobic publishing company, and I'm proud to have published a story with them that has many diverse characters that question and challenge conventional sexuality and gender roles.It was just the words in the submissions guidelines that started this massive drama, which in turn, ended up becoming insignificant with more words written in the form of edited submissions guidelines and an apology letter.

And, at the end of the day, I'm happy to be a part of a community that can shake the weird world of the Internet with a few well-written (or poorly intended) words.

Keep writin' and dreamin' y'all

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fiction Feature goes magical! Welcome back, Ariella Moon!

Ahoy lovely readers!

I hope you're all enjoying this lovely spring weather. Perfect time of year to take your reading addiction outside for some fun in the sun ;)

And I've got another great YA title to add to your Goodreads list! This YA fantasy title comes from my most-featured author. Welcome Ariella Moon back to the Marsjaws scene with her latest title, The Beltane Escape

Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.

But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with a half-Viking/half-Fairy.

Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between two clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm a sucker for anything involving Arthurian legend. I also enjoy a good high fantasy tale, and this is one of the greatest new releases in the YA high fantasy genre! You won't be disappointed by this fast paced, magical adventure that will take you through a world of fairies and self-discovery.

But, as always, I got a little taste to really rope ya in ;)


Trapped within the doeskin pouch, Merlin’s spell book pulsed like an angry heart. Viviane, the young Lady of the Lake, pushed her qualms aside and knotted the stolen treasure to her waist. An eerie quiet settled over the woods. Either the tree spirits sleep, or they watch me in silence, Viviane surmised as she carefully surveyed the canopy. Knees quaking, she deftly concealed the pouch beneath her cloak, then ran. Shallow breaths caught in her throat, and a sharp pain needled her side as she quickened her pace. She pressed her hand against the twinge and kept running. With each pounding stride, the prize slapped vehemently against her hip.

Viviane chanced a glance over her shoulder. Hah! No sign of Merlin. In her arrogance, she stumbled, her heel catching on her long indigo cape. Her heart cartwheeled. With an oath, she righted herself. Ahead, the Enchanted Forest’s dark mantle ended, and gloaming’s early light shone. She bolted towards the dawn.

Dry pine needles crunched beneath her deerskin sandals. The spell book’s muffled rage beat louder, waking a nearby tree spirit whose angry screech roused others. As one, they grabbed at Viviane with their prickly branches. A wizen-faced pine scratched Viviane’s cheek, stirring the creature marked into the skin above her cheekbone. Agitated, the blue sea serpent threaded itself around the crescent moon inked near her eye. Its nostrils flared, assessing the danger. Viviane shoved the impudent branch away. Catching scent of the lake, she broke through the trees. Her lungs heaved as an ache bloomed between her shoulders where the tree spirits’ angry glares thrust against her.

Viviane ran to the coracle moored at the water’s edge. The woven willow boat creaked when she scrambled into its hull and drew in the rope. Her long gown and flowing cape pooled around her as she crouched. Clutching the boat’s wooden sides, she commanded, “Hasten to the isle!”

The water surrounding the boat surged, forming a current that propelled the craft forward. A flock of startled grebes took flight, their wings thrumming.

“Mist, cloak me from Merlin’s sight.” Viviane arced her arm above her head. Her prisoner pummeled against her hip. But the spell book’s blows were futile and inconsequential.


You can find The Beltane Escape at these e-retailers:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beltane-Escape-Book-Realms-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01AKUA0EU/

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beltane-escape-nook-ariella-moon/1123352952?ean=2940158052552    

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-beltane-escape/id1079976497?mt=11

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beltane-Escape-Book-Realms-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01AKUA0EU/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-beltane-esscape

And, since it's been a bit, let's reintroduce our lovely author!

Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students that mistook her for a leaning post marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.

Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at:



And that's it for today! Stay tune for all things Lucid, writing, and YA fiction! Enjoy your week, and until next time, keep readin' and dreamin'!


Monday, April 4, 2016

A Fiction Feature that's Everlasting!

Ahoy lovely readers!

With Reverie out on the e-shelves and spring in the air, I've decided that now's a good time to bring back my Fiction Features!

Currently, I'm teaching 5th grade at a local elementary school, so of course I'm having a poke around to see what the whipper snappers are reading nowadays. It seems that paranormal romance is still a huge hitter for tween girls, so I'm doing a Fiction Feature that's right up my students' alley.

And I'm also hosting a first timer on the MarsJaws blog.

So, everyone, meet L.K. Kuhl and her novel Everlasting!

Seventeen-year-old Sophia Bandell is scared of boys, and her biggest fear is dying. Boys make her uncomfortable and itchy and dying is …well …dying. She is ecstatic when her long lost friend calls her, inviting her to spend the summer with her on the beach at Charleston, South Carolina.

When a plastic saucer hits her in the head as she’s sunbathing, Sophia has no idea it will forever change the course of her life. It is there she comes face to face with the impressive Tate Forester.

She is scared and …itchy, but he’s gorgeous and she can’t shake him from her mind. They begin dating and Sophia soon knows he’s the one.

But things turn dark when she learns Tate isn’t the person she thinks he is, and the real reason her friend has brought her to the beach will teach her about life after death.

This everlasting summer on the beach gives Sophia a sweet taste of first love—the happiness as well as the heartbreak.

Isn't it a great read for a budding tween? I'm definitely pimping out Everlasting to my kiddos tomorrow, but if you need more of an incentive, give this excerpt a read:


We stood there and looked around, an awkward silence playing between us. Then he stepped closer and took my hand in his, sending a bolt of staggering electricity zipping through my chest. “Her hand fits perfectly in mine.” He whispered this, as if confirming it with someone. His gaze locked on it, analyzing, then with a shake of his head, he spoke louder. “Sophia, I’m sorry. I …I lied to you.”

I looked at him—bewilderment crinkling my face—and tried to understand. “Lied?” My voice broke. “I don’t get it.”

“I wasn’t sick that day. Well, in a way I was, I guess. The truth is, I was gut-sick. That guy …he was sitting by you the whole day ...and …and he never left your side. I’d check throughout the day, but he was still there. I couldn’t help it. I was insanely jealous.” He looked down, his tone deepening as he flexed his fingers that were still laced through mine.

“What?” His words astounded me. I swiped my brow with my free hand. “You were jealous …of me?”

He released my hand and paced back and forth, the nervousness seeping through as he wrung his hands. “I know it’s stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I love the way you laugh and …I like you, Sophia …a lot, and it hurt me to see you with someone else.”

He lifted his hair off his forehead, pushing it up. His eyes locked on mine again, captivating me. I couldn’t look away. My self-consciousness took over—heckling me. The way I looked right now—with my hair a matted mess from the mist, and no makeup on—must look ridiculous. I drew away, making myself smaller.

I laughed my nervous laugh and kicked the sand with my shoe. “Who, him? You mean …Brian?” My words wobbled, but I giggled, unable to believe that Brian talking to me could make anyone jealous.


You can find Everlasting at these links below:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BW8WRK4?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everlasting-lk-kuhl/1123437578?ean=2940157684952

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/everlasting-26

iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/everlasting/id1085166596?mt=11

Now, since we have a new author, let's learn a little bit about her!

L.K. Kuhl lives in Nebraska with her husband Gene of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg, their Black Lab dog. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.

You can reach out to L.K. and see her other works at these following sites:

Website: http://kuhlreads.com/

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kuhlreads

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynettehoff1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lynettehofferbe/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28674602-everlasting

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01BXDJGIY

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/l.k.kuhl/

Blogger: http://kuhlreads.blogspot.com/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/lkkuhl1stuff

And that's it for today! Enjoy your week, and until next time keep readin' and dreamin'