Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cover Reveal - Brave

Happy Saturday! EEP! Today, I have a cover reveal for you from the awesomeness that's Carlyle Labuschagne. I hope you enjoy it!

Brave is a short story prequel to The Broken Novels written from Rion's point of view on the life-altering events that led up to the discovery of The Chosen One. 
Rion must choose between love and his long awaited destiny to fulfill his role in a prophecy that is said to save a dying race and ultimately rescue life as we know it from a dark curse that threatens to eclipse all creation. . 

This story will be free to my readers on whattpad and will release in stages over the next few weeks. You can find my whattpad profile here. 
Brave releases February 28 2015

Connect with me on twitter. facebook . goodreads or youtube. You can find out more about me and my dramatic craziness on my websiteCarlyle is an South African award wining author, with a flair for mixing genres and adding loads of drama to every story she creates. For now she is happy to take over the world and convert non Sci-fi believers.
Her goal as an author is to touch people's lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.

"I love to swim, fight for the trees, and am a food lover who is driven by my passion for life. I dream that one day my stories will change the lives of countless teenagers and have them obsess over the world literacy can offer them instead of worrying about fitting in. Never sacrifice who you are, its in the dark times that the light comes to life."

Carlyle used writing as a healing tool and that is why she started her very own writers support event - SAIR bookfestival. 
 "To be a helping hand for those who strive to become full times writers, editors, bloggers, readers and cover artists - its a crazy world out there you dont have to go it alone!" 

What do you think? Sounds interesting, eh?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous - utopYA Con Book Match Scavenger Hunt Game

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, as with every Friday, I'm bringing you an official utopYA post! This time, it's from Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous. Our giveaway of a prize pack of books by the utopYA con keynote speakers is running hard. Get in there and vote for the synopsis.

From Book Junkie:

Happy Friday everybody! It's the 4th week of the month, which means it's time for my Official #utopYA2015 Blogger Post!

Today, I am excited to bring to you an awesome contest from the utopYA Con official bloggers: We pulled together and are leading you on a scavenger hunt for our panelists' books! Read on for more deatils, but first, let me remind you about the utopYA Con 2015 earlybird ticket prices! They're ending February 28th! Standard admission is $90 right now, and VIP is $115. On the 28th, those prices go up to $110 for standard admission and $135 for VIP. So, go get yours here. For serious. Get 'em now!

Now, let's get to the book hunt! Here's what you have to do to win:
  • Read the synopsis below.
  • Guess which book from my short list the synopsis belongs to.
  • Type your answer in the Rafflecopter entry form.
  • Enter every day throughout the month of February for a shot at the prize!
Each blogger will list one synopsis and five possible titles for you to choose from. It'll be a different title each week (this is week four). This form will stay up on my blog for one week. At the end of the game, (which is one week from today) all incorrect entries will be removed before the winner is chosen.

What's the prize? Well...

You have a shot at winning a pack of three e-books--one from EACH of our keynote speakers:
Denise Grover Swank, Kim Holden, and Lauren Miller

These prizes are being donated by the official bloggers. We wanted to do something awesome for you guys. What's better than books written by awesome women you're going to meet?

Ready to enter? Go here to read the synopsis for this week and enter the rafflecopter giveaway!

Don't forget to visit the other official bloggers this month!
Week 2 – A Book Vacation
Week 3 – The Paisley Reader

What do you think of our little giveaway? Have you entered?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Tiny Comma Trick for Thursday

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I'm bringing you a little trick that'll help you keep your commas straight. I'm not talking about the format; this is about where to put those little boogers in your sentences. So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Commas are a major problem for a lot of authors. Where the heck do they go? Why do they go there?

Here are three common comma issues and how to keep them straight.

A comma to separate two independent clauses joined by and, but, or, so, etc...

If the first part of the segment is a complete sentence, and the second part of the segment is a complete sentence, use a comma. An easy way to check:

Gail went to the store, and she bought everything she needed for dinner.

Separate it:

Gail went to the store. She bought everything she needed for dinner.


Gail went to the store, and bought everything she needed for dinner.

Separate it:

Gail went to the store. Bought everything she needed for dinner.


See how easy that was to check? Now you know.

A comma used to offset a clause.

If you can take the piece out of the sentence and everything still makes sense, surround it with comma love. Example:

I strolled down the boardwalk, my shoelaces slapping at the wood, until I got to the candy shop.

Take out what's inside the commas and see if it makes sense.

I strolled down the boardwalk until I got to the candy shop.


I strolled down the boardwalk, to meet Adam, who'd invited me to dinner.

Take out the commas.

I strolled down the boardwalk who'd invited me to dinner.


Last, but not least, commas for introductory or unneeded words.

If you can remove the word and the sentence still make sense, it gets commas. Last, First, then, too, okay, etc... Example:

Today, I'm bringing you a little trick that'll help you keep your commas straight.

Remove the introductory word.

I'm bringing you a little trick that'll help you keep your commas straight.


I wanted to go to the store, too!

Remove the unneeded word.

I wanted to go to the store!


I hope that helps.

Did you know these quick tips? Do you struggle with commas?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Progress and Pre-Orders

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Yay! It's the middle of the week; that means just two days until the weekend. Hang in there. I didn't get a whole book read this week, so rather than a review for today, you're getting a progress report and, for those of you who are fans, a chance to get some of my paperbacks on special. Grab a cup of coffee and let's get going!

Markaza - Mystic book 6 (and final)
Word count: 23,000
Projected completion date: Mid-March
Projected publication date: After my editor, the fabulous Tia Silverthorne Bach, fixes all my boo-boos and we get it formatted. Should be near the beginning of May.
Cover: Shown here

Word count: 15,000
Projected completion date: end of April
Projected publication date: end of June
Cover: Done. TBR at utopYA con

Now, on to a little about pre-orders, orders, and feeding your book needs. Because utopYA is coming in June, I'm offering my paperbacks on discount. If you're coming to the con, you can pick them up there. Not coming to the con? I'll ship them for a small fee. Either way, you're totally winning, and you have a shot at the giveaway.

Here's the link to the pre-order form:

Note that if you order books with this form, you'll be entered in a drawing to win copies of two of my novels (Fractured Glass signed by all the authors and M).

Which book are you looking forward to most?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Author Interview - B. Kristin McMichael

Happy, happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! By the luck of the gods, I'm bringing you an awesome interview with author B. Kristin McMichael today! She totally came through for me at the last minute, and I'm so very, very grateful to her. You're gonna love her so much. She's one of those strong, well-educated women I love to feature. Want to meet her in person? Well, you can! She's one of the authors attending utopYA Con in June. Ticket prices go up in FOUR days, so get yours here now. You don't wanna be the only girl left out of the party. Grab a cup of something warm, and let's get going!

Jo: Kristin! Welcome to the blog. I’m so excited to have you here I may drop. You’re such an interesting author to stalk *ahem* research—yes, that’s what we’ll call it—and I’m looking forward to reading your answers. It’s amazing how much I can dig up on a person with the internet. *grin* You ready?

Kristin: Uh oh… I mean yes. :)

Jo: Great! I’m gonna jump right in with both feet here, because my readers like the juicy questions to come first. No, no, don’t poke them. So, I have to know: How hard did you dance when your Blue Eyes trilogy hit #1 in so many Amazon categories?

Kristin: No dancing here- just sitting and staring in shock! I was sure it had to be wrong. Hubby might have been dancing in the background (all the promotional stuff is his hard work) but for me it was more like shock, and maybe a little denial, than anything.

Jo: I can jibe with that. When something so amazing and unexpected happens, how does one react? I see you have a PhD. Man, I do love to see a well-educated woman. May I ask what your field of study was and how long it took you to graduate? What was your most trying assignment? Should I call you Dr. McMichael? Heck, you worked hard to earn it, might as well demand it. *grin* Makes me ten times more excited to meet you at utopYA Con! I’m a total science geek, and love the endless possibilities.

Kristin: I am a molecular biologist in the real world and I worked in a lab until last fall when I had my third child. Now I love being a mom who writes books. It took me four years after my bachelor’s to get my PhD, but it mainly meant I spent a lot of time in the lab doing research for that time. The most trying aspect was writing my thesis. A couple hundred pages of scientific text is more than enough for a lifetime! The worst part of it is writing the background section where you have to cite every source for every fact you want to use. I think my reference list ended up including over two hundred papers I had read and cited!

Oh gosh- no- don’t call me Dr. anything! Then I feel like a shrink. It’s best to just call me by my name (and if you know the secret handshake you might even find out my first name….)

Jo: *widens eyes* Holy crap. If I wasn't starry-eyed before, you can bet your butt I am now. That's awesome. Now I'm really geeking out. You're an inspiring person. Okay, okay, no Dr. But I'll tackle-hug you for that handshake code! Okay, if I were picking through your life and meeting all your friends and family members, which person would say they do the most for you and your writing? Why?

Kristin: Oh by far that would be my hubby. It was really his idea to do the whole publishing thing to begin with. I have been writing for years and had novels just sitting around on my computer collecting computer dust. He was the one that said- let’s do this. I was really in the background going- gosh no. Why would anyone want to read what I write? So almost two years and eight books later we are still at it. He does everything behind the scenes and I wonder if people think he is B. Kristin McMichael at times when he contacts them about promotional stuff (his name also starts with a B). He does the marketing, helps out with all my social media (I can be so dense- hubby how do you do this?… How do you do that?… Thankfully I married a computer geek that can teach me everything- over and over again) He also reads all my books to check for any last typos after the editors get through with them, and sometimes he even leaves me messages in the margins like ‘Andrew did not just do that…..’ It is fun. He is my partner in life and now my partner in the book business also. I don’t think I’d have even half as much done if I had to do it alone.

Jo: That may be the sweetest thing I've ever heard. Isn't it a blessing to have someone share so much of your life? High-five your hubby for me! Tell me about the In D’tail Magazine Cover Contest. Are you the one that entered or did someone else nominate you, and what did you hope would come of it?

Kristin: That was a complete surprise. They chose the cover for The Day Human King out of the books that they were reviewing. They emailed us on a Tuesday morning saying we were part of the contest and sure enough after following the link we saw the book up on it. I actually didn’t have much hope for it as many of my new fans aren’t all indie fans and we were up against some stiff competition. It was just nice to be nominated as I can’t say enough about my cover artist Ravven. She is great to work with, and I love her work. Even if I just give her a slight idea of what I want, she can come up with something great, and then all the little details she puts into a cover makes them complete and unique.

Jo: That's awesome. Yes, I'm very familiar with Ravven's work. Being a cover design lover, I follow a lot of the news surrounding imagery and design. Now, your Facebook page has 23k+ likes. Wow. How does that make you feel on a daily basis? What’s the next milestone you’d like to hit with it?

Kristin: It is completely amazing if you ask me. Again- that is all my hubby’s hard work. I’ve sold tens of thousands of books in the past year but never had a clue who they went to. We were at first focused just on getting the books done, which has a learning curve of its own. As we got a little more used to the publishing part of it, we decided it was time to work on building the fan base to interact with the people who bought all my books. The retailers don’t tell you who buys your books, so we’ve been trying all sorts of things to reach book lovers and build awareness. Really, my hubby is a miracle worker. The best part is that I can finally connect more with the fans. There are so many people out there that have read my books, but I never knew where to find them. Now I get more interaction with them and it has been exciting to attach real names and faces to my fans.

Jo: He certainly sounds like a marketing guru and someone you're very lucky to have in your corner. Huge kudos to you for figuring out how to make the transition from nameless to interactivity. Rapid fire question time! Would you rather a t-shirt and jeans or a hoodie and sweats?

Kristin: T-shirt and jeans (that’s what most scientists wear to the lab every day- it’s a hard habit to break)

Jo: Me too. haha! Bubbles or Stillness?

Kristin: stillness

Jo: Left or Right?

Kristin: right

Jo: Love those answers. Time travel question! Since utopYA 2015’s theme is Time Travel, I’m asking everyone a question along that vein. Ready? If you could return to the past and change one person’s life forever with a small act, who would it be and why?

Kristin: I don’t know if I’d actually do anything at all. I’m one that feels like everything happens for a reason, and if you changed something, it would affect everything else. You have to take the good and the bad because if you change any aspect, everything else could change also. But if I had to choose something, I’d have to go with my grandparents- I’d try to convince them not to buy the laundromat they had for years in the 1950s. They both ended up getting cancer from the chemicals they used and they both eventually died from it. My grandmother was 49 and never even got to see my mother graduate from college, get married, or even have kids. But at the same time, without that my father would have never been roomies with my grandfather (after my grandmother passed away they lived together) and I would have never had my step-grandma who taught me how to make donuts. My parents live every day like it would be their last, since they lost their own parents at such a young age. So as much as it would be nice to change some parts of the past, I don’t know if I would want the other parts to change.

Jo: That's so sad, but I just love that answer. Sending you virtual hugs. Because I can’t help myself: Tell me about your time-travel series, The Chalcedony Chronicles. What inspired you to write them, and which character is your favorite?

Kristin: I’m a scientist, but in reality I actually was more interested in anthropology when I first was in college. I’ve always had a soft spot for historical times and wondered about the past. What was life really like in all these different times? I especially have always loved ancient Egypt. I have done a lot of reading over the years about various pharaohs and there were some that really intrigued me. When I was brainstorming novel ideas- Ancient Egypt was just one place I couldn’t pass up.

As to the series itself- my favorite character from the series is a toss-up between two of the side characters- Ty and Kye- and no they are not twins! Kye actually appears in the book that is coming out next in the series and he’s a character that sort of pushed his way into the story (no he was not planned, he kind of just showed up in the end of the second book. After writing the last chapter it was just like an ah-ha moment where he became more important than just being an unnamed guard in the palace). And Ty is just a fun, nice character who has a sucky fate.

Jo: Yeah, baby! I totally have a book recommendation for you! Give me a quick rundown of your plotting process for your novels.

Kristin: I plot, and I don’t plot. I kind of do both. I normally go into a book with certain points that need to happen (beginning, middle, end) and maybe a few subplots. But as I write, the characters tend to take things where they want them to go. To write the best characters I can, they tend to have extensive backstories in my mind so that I can picture everything they do perfectly. While I might want things to happen a certain way, sometimes the characters don’t let it. If it doesn’t make sense for them to do something, I just can’t force it to happen. Other times I’ll be writing, and then step away to say, “well darn, don’t know how that happened”. And then I’ll have to change parts of the plotline. I will say that a lot of my inspiration comes from my dreams. They feel so real that I can’t change who the characters are even if I wanted to.

Jo: I know exactly what you mean. My characters surprise me every day. Love your process! We have too much in common. LOL! Tell me, which book of yours would you suggest a new (potential) fan start with? Why?

Kristin: Well I’d say that would depend on what you like. For hardcore paranormal fans or those that prefer third person, I’d recommend The Legend of the Blue Eyes. It’s a paranormal series that follows around a sixteen year old girl that just changes into a vampire-like night human. But for those that prefer first person romance and like their protagonists a bit older, Carnelian would be better for them.

Jo: I'm gonna have to check those out. Not a hardcore paranormal fan, but I do love books. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Is there anything I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

Kristin: Just a thanks for having me. It is always great to do interviews and meet all sort of new people. Can’t wait to see you at UtopYAcon.

Jo: You're more than welcome. Thank you SO much for joining me on the blog, Kristin! I can’t wait to meet you in June.

Now, it’s time to tell you all about the featured book of the week!

Title: Carnelian
Author: B. Kristin McMichael
Genre: College Romance / Time Travel Paranormal
Length (print): 238 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $2.99  ~  Smashwords $2.99  ~   iBooks $2.99  ~   B&N $2.99

Synopsis: Everyone has a past, but for most it isn't so far in the past as Seth Sangre. His past is literally from thousands of years ago. Seth's past led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now, and he just found exactly what he has been looking for. Mari had dreams of college being a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her, that's exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself not fall for the handsome Seth Sangre. But he doesn't plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest.

As the semester progresses, Mari learns that Seth might just have a past of his own that's literally in the past. Suddenly, Mari finds her future along with her past put into question. She's connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be, and maybe he isn't the player who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime-and reveal family secrets she never knew existed.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give this lovely lady a follow on every social media platform I could think of when writing up the template for these interviews (plus some)?

Pinterest: bkmcmichael
Blog: BKristinMcmichael
Facebook: BKristinMcMichael
Twitter: @bkmcmichael
Goodreads: B. Kristin McMichael
Mailing List: BKMcnewsletter
Amazon Author Page: B. Kristin McMichael
Tsu: B. Kristin McMichael

If you have any questions, pop them into the comments below. Kristin will be around to answer and/or respond!

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, February 23, 2015

World of Ink - Radio Show Sponsorship

Happy Monday, everyone! Sorry you aren't getting an author interview today; I had some things fall through. Fingers crossed it'll be here tomorrow! So, for today, I'm gonna talk about something I did last year that I had a blast with. I also got to meet a couple of really amazing ladies that I'll tell you about later in this post. Ready? Grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

The World of Ink Network
Virtual blog tours, book trailers and marketing services; along with radio shows on books, authors, illustrators, the publishing industry, marketing and much more.

That's from their website. You can find them here.

Now, on to my notes from my experience with their radio segment. You can go listen to past interviews and stuff here, and you can check out my interview here.

I saw where one of the hosts posted on Facebook to indicate they were looking for author sponsorships for their WOI radio show. Since I've been a guest with Sandi Tuttle a couple of times, I was familiar with how it worked, and I asked for more information on WOI's sponsorship levels/costs. Their response time was wicked fast, and I was never left out of the loop on anything that was going on.

I was thrilled when I received their package. It wasn't super expensive, and they guaranteed to run my book covers and information about my blog for the whole month of October. Plus, I was getting to spend time talking with women who are successful and strong in their own right.

Everything was well coordinated, and my phone rang right when it was supposed to on the day of the interview.

What took place after that ring was nothing short of awesome. We chatted about books, editors, utopYA Con, writing, strong women in fiction novels, and so much more.

Who did I get to talk with?

Marsha Casper Cook and Willow Cross. Both are super fun to chat with, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Marsha was pleasant and easy to talk to, and Willow is a fellow writer who also features strong women in her novels. We had a lot in common.

It was awesome.

Now for other information (like sales during my sponsorship).

I sold 85 books that month, and had 582 downloads of my free books on Kindle.

So, yeah, I recouped my costs. Both monetarily and in new potential fans of my work.

I don't pay for blog tours, so this sponsorship was something I could really sink my teeth into.

As you all know, I don't get kickbacks for anything I recommend on the blog, and I only suggest things I've tried myself and had success with.

WOI is totally worth every penny I spent.

Now, I wanna hear from you! Have you ever sponsored a radio show? Ever done an interview? Gimmie your links!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Paisley Reader - utopYA Con Book Match Scavenger Hunt Game

Week THREE! Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! As usual, on Friday you get a utopYA post. Today, you'll be heading over to The Paisley Reader to enter the "guess the book" contest. Get your clicking fingers ready, and let's get going!

From The Paisley Reader:

Now, let’s get to the book hunt! Here’s what you have to do to win:
  • Read the synopsis below.
  • Guess which book from my short list the synopsis belongs to.
  • Type your answer in the Rafflecopter entry form.
  • Enter every day throughout the month of February for a shot at the prize!
Each blogger will list one synopsis and five possible titles for you to choose from. It’ll be a different title each week (this is week three).

This form will stay up on my blog for one week. Then, I’ll change the entry form to a link for the new hunt over on Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous. And so on, and so forth. At the end of the game, all incorrect entries will be removed before the winner is chosen.

What’s the prize? Well…
You have a shot at winning a pack of three e-books–one from EACH of our keynote speakers:
Denise Grover Swank, Kim Holden, and Lauren Miller

These prizes are being donated by the official bloggers. We wanted to do something awesome for you guys. What’s better than books written by awesome women you’re going to meet?

Go to The Paisley Reader now to read the synopsis and titles and enter!

Don't forget to visit the other official bloggers this month:
Week 1 – Jo Michaels
Week 2 – A Book Vacation
Week 4 – Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous

Well? Did you enter? What book do you think Maria chose?

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Grammar Quiz for Thursday

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, we're gonna do a little grammar quiz. I hope you enjoy it.

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Did you get them all right?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review - The Underground

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! It's Wednesday and time for another book review. I can tell you're excited by the way you're reading this post. This book came to me under different circumstances than my usual review titles. If you didn't know, I have one of my novels (The Bird) on Amazon with a small press: California Times Publishing. That link will take you to their homepage. Well, back at the end of last year, Jeff, the head guy of CAP, asked a bunch of us if we'd read some CAP books and write reviews. Those of us that agreed were assigned random books from a list (no author swapped reviews with another), and we bought them to add to our TBR lists. This is the first of those titles to be reviewed by me. Yes, it'll go in the 2015 Review Team's pool!

Enough of my yammering! Let's get to information about the book up for review today:

Title: The Underground
Author: P. M. Briede
Genre: Contemporary Thriller/Mystery/Suspense
Length (print): 273 pages
Buy Links: Amazon $5.99

In 1889, most of the city of Seattle burnt to the ground. The residents rebounded by using the ruin remnants to create the foundation for the new and improved city.

In 1965, Bill Spediel struck a deal with the new metropolis to turn a profit on the tragedy from almost a century earlier. Thus, The Underground was born, immediately spawning talk of ghosts.

In recent years, the myths morphed into stories of actual people living among the trash and filth that had built up beneath the city. These mythical people had become mockingly referred to as groundlings by the locals.

As the city is now held in the grips of a serial killer, Oz Seidon can't seem to focus on anything other than the groundlings. Having never put much stock into them before, a recent rash of sightings has piqued his curiosity. Oz intends to disprove the legend, using the research as an excuse to focus on something other than death, that is, until he stumbles upon one and learns how close to this story he really is.

**Due to sexual situations, this book is for readers age 18+**

***Will not appear in review elsewhere. I really like the tone of the cover on this book, but I think the tiny text in the middle is unnecessary and gets lost at small sizes. Meh, just an opinion (and you know what folks say about those).***

Let's move on to the review!

I snagged this book on Amazon back in December, when I got a request from the publisher to review it. I read the sample and was intrigued enough to go on and buy the book. It was added to the review pile, and I picked it back up last week to read on. I devoured the story of The Underground for a number of reasons. Let's get to why, shall we?

From a Reader's Perspective:
This is the first cult book I've read. It was scary, intriguing, and nauseating at the same time. My toes curled at some of the descriptions about Izzy's life underground. I loved the characters. They weren't flat, and I certainly won't be forgetting them anytime soon. Pacing was slow at first, but when it kicked in and the action started, it didn't stop until the end. I'd say it was about halfway through when it really took off. One thing I love about books like this are the surprises you don't see coming. There are zero hints in the text at what happens until you get to the end and look back. That's when the ah-ha! hits you. Pieces of the puzzle so delightfully crafted click into place with a perfect interlock. Just when I thought I knew what was gonna happen, I was thrown for a loop. Loved it.

There are a few sexually explicit scenes in the novel, but they're not there just because. Those scenes are teaching you something about the characters and their growth as the story moves along. I'm not gonna lie; it was so hard to read the descriptions. I went green a time or two. But, the cold truth is often a bitter pill to swallow.

So much is going on in this book, and the author did such a great job of staying on track, working in the surprises, and showing an excellent visual of Seattle, I was drawn right in and held fast.

From an Editor's Perspective:
Errors like this: "Izzy very rarely wore anything other than her anger opening." (not sure, but I think that's supposed to be "openly") and "...responsible for all the floaters, we're going to look like genius'!" (I believe that should be "geniuses"), along with dropped/misplaced commas, and other errant apostrophes leave me without the ability to give a star for editing.

1 Star for world-building
1 Star for surprising me more than once
1 Star for not shying away in descriptions
1 Star for pacing and an amazing plot
-1 Star for editing
Overall: 4 out of 5 Stars. Highly recommended if you love an excellent story with great twists to keep you guessing.

Have you ever read a cult-type book? What did you take away from it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Backmatter

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today, I'm gonna talk a little about what you need to do in your book's backmatter. Yeah, that stuff that comes after the novel ends. So, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Open up that document that contains your book. Pan over until you get to the end. What do you see?

For most authors, you probably see something that looks like this:
About the Author:
K. Littlegross is...

Then maybe social media links.

After that...?

How about we change the way you think about your book's backmatter. Everything that comes after the last page of the story is considered backmatter. If someone just read all the way through your book, chances are they like your writing. If they didn't, they would've quit reading a long time ago (unless they're just one of those people who can't stand not finishing something they started).

Let's use that to your advantage, shall we?

On the FIRST page after your book ends, try adding something like this:
"Thank you for reading my (novel/short story/serial/etc...). I hope you enjoyed it. If you wouldn't mind, would you kindly leave a review? Not only does it help others gauge the book's worth, it also helps me know what I did right and what I might be able to do better. Readers are the reason I write! I love hearing from fans."
Give them a way to subscribe to your newsletter and tell them why they should. Do you do exclusive giveaways in your newsletters? Mention it! Or, ask them to like your amazon author page. Don't forget the LINK!

Now, here are a couple of other things to include before your About the Author page:
  • An excerpt from another work of yours (don't forget the sales page link at the end!).
  • An excerpt from a fellow author in the same genre (don't forget the sales page link at the end!).
  • Acknowledgements (I suggest putting this in the back so it doesn't interfere with the sample percentage).
These are things to include on your About the Author page:
  • Your author photo (resize to small [72dpi], please)
  • Your bio
  • Your bibliography (don't forget to link them to the sales page!)
  • Perhaps a review quote or two
  • One synopsis from a book in a similar genre you've written
  • Awards you've won for writing
  • How to find you on social media
  • Another request for that review
Why should these things be in this order? Because a reader will get bored wading through author "stuff" unless they've become super fans.

You'd be surprised at how much difference these little things make. Remember to update past books when you publish something new. It isn't difficult, and it'll keep your fans coming back for more.

How many of the above do you implement now? Were you aware of what you could do with the back of your book? Tell me about it!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Featured Author - Kristina Circelli - Publication Spotlight

Howdy, everyone! Today I have an amazing roundup of novels for you by my featured author, Kristina Circelli. If you missed the interview, it's a must read, check it out here. So sit back, relax, grab a cup of Jo, and let's get going!

Title: Beyond The Western Sun (The Whisper Legacy Book 1)
Genre: Native American Fiction
Length (print): 290 pages
Amazon Link: FREE

A gripping journey into the heart of Native American legend, Beyond the Western Sun follows the epic struggle of Whisper, a young female Cherokee apprentice, on a harrowing adventure into the Land of the Dead to save the captive son of Ian Diavya. Together they face insurmountable odds, conquer terrible demons, and in the process, find a strength and courage within themselves neither knew possible. What they don’t know is that these early adventures are only tests, for to save Ian’s son, they must also stop the evil-minded Raven-Eater from unleashing his Army of the Dead to destroy the living world. To do that, it will take courage, humility, and extraordinary self-sacrifice.

An epic saga of hope, redemption, and undying love, Beyond the Western Sun is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination. And in this regard, Beyond the Western Sun is a stunning achievement. Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, the third novel of her young career signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller. Creating the indelible character of Whisper, vividly portraying the worlds that she and Ian must traverse to accomplish their goal, and capturing their human frailties, hopes and fears with depth and touching sincerity, Ms. Circelli reminds us with stunning precision the greatness we are all capable of, and the heavy price our actions can rend.

Title: Walk the Red Road (The Whisper Legacy Book 2)
Genre: Native American Fiction
Length (print): 301 pages
Amazon Link$2.99

Deep in the heart of the Land of the Dead, the half-breed struggles to be free.

Eighteen years have passed since she destroyed the Raven-Eater and took her place as the rightful heir of the Fire Tower. Now, Whisper must face her most treacherous enemy yet in Walk the Red Road. Book Two of The Whisper Legacy takes readers on a deep exploration into spirit realms on the brink of self-destruction, where betrayal and death lurk around every shadow.

Guided by Kamama and protected by Hunting Hawk, Whisper embarks on a journey of discovery that will show her the way to the Red Road, and to the child who threatens to end her reign. But when Smoke Speaker breaks his sacred vow and the Great Spirit steals from Whisper what is rightfully hers, she must decide which bloodline she will follow-the gentle heart of her mother, or the spiteful vengeance that once drove the Raven-Eater.

Continuing the realm-crossing saga of Beyond the Western Sun, Walk the Red Road spirals into a journey to the Self, revealing the pains of betrayal and the struggle to accept both halves of one's soul in order to become whole. This sequel by accomplished author Kristina Circelli exposes the deepest, darkest parts of her extraordinary characters while reminding us all of the delicate balance between faith, love, and legacy.

Title: Into the Shadow Realm (The Whisper Legacy Book 3)
Genre: Native American Fiction
Length (print): 251 pages
Amazon Link: $2.99

Destiny. Adventure. Redemption. Legend.

She destroyed the Raven-Eater and declared war on the Great Spirit. Now, Whisper must embrace her dark destiny yet again, traveling deep into the shadow world to right the wrongs committed by her own hand. In a place where strength and hope do not exist, her every power and belief will be tested, reminding her of the lover she left behind – and the child she abandoned.

In her absence, her enemies thrive. Sun Woman seeks revenge on the living realm. Creator's servant seeks to destroy the heir to the Land of the Dead. And the third rises from the dead while luring Whisper closer to her own destruction.

Into the Shadow Realm takes readers on Whisper’s final quest through the shadows to reveal her path – and the sacrifices she must make to save the ones she loves. In Book Three of The Whisper Legacy, author Kristina Circelli weaves figures of Whisper’s past into stories that tell her future, completing her journey of warfare, power, and self-discovery.           

Title: The Never
Genre: Fantasy
Length (print): 278 pages
Amazon Link$2.99

*Due to mature content, The Never is recommended for readers ages 18+*

“Out of nothing, we create something.”

Arianna has spent her entire life being called a dreamer, an artist who created a world no one else can see. And for her entire life, she has taken the medication that keeps that world – and the one who brought her there – at bay.

Now an adult, Arianna reawakens that part of herself kept locked away in the darkest corners of her mind. When she hides her medicine from her fiancĂ©’s ever-watchful eye, he returns – the shadow in the night who collects her for an adventure known only in her fantasies.

But something is different about this world called The Never. It is no longer the cheerful place filled with light and laughter that she knew as a child. Now, the sea creatures drag their visitors into the depths of murky waters. The natives battle to the death against the tribe of children. And the pirates, led by the feared captain called The Hunter, seek out Arianna for their own sinister plans.

As Arianna goes deeper into The Never, she discovers just what her connection to the land means – and must choose between her life rooted in reality, and the world where anything is possible.

Title: The Helping Hands (Helping Hands #1)
Genre: Action and Adventure
Length (print): 236 pages
Amazon Link$3.95

The kidnappings of seventy-one children began the legend, but five friends with troubled pasts and courageous futures created it. Melanie O’Conner and her friends earned their reputation as rough and tough gang members, but the Hell Hounds were a mere front to their true operation. Fueled by the pain of a past filled with foster homes and cold-hearted guardians, Melanie lives with a deep, undying devotion to saving the lives of children who are victim to child abuse. Bringing them to a secluded island called the Treehouse, Melanie and her gang feeds, schools, and cares for them all, leaving the parents nothing more than a message claiming that their child has been taken. Now, four years into the project dubbed the Helping Hands by the five members of the cover-up gang the Hell Hounds, Melanie has to fight to keep the nosy, self-interested reporter Stephanie Mathews from exposing the truth being her project. And Melanie is willing to do anything to save the lives of innocent children from their abusive parents, even if that means risking her own.

Title: Shadows in the Night (Helping Hands #2)
Genre: Action and Adventure
Length (print): 254 pages
Amazon Link: $3.95
Melanie O’Conner is being released back into society after her arrest seven years ago. Fighting to keep hold over new Helping Hand gangs across the country, she struggles to find the balance between her past and “normal” life. But transitioning into that new, normal life doesn’t come easily. Her friends have gangs of their own, past acquaintances have moved on, and now someone is after her, vowing to kill those she loves so she can watch them die… Melanie is forced to watch the Helping Hands run into traps, thwarted by abusive parents and thugs wanting money, until they lose sight of what O’Connor has taught them. When Tyler turns away from her, a close friend is murdered, and the Helping Hands are threatened by shadows lurking in the night, Melanie must make a decision - give up her project and save her friends, or embrace her past, and fight to the death.

Title: The Iron Fist (Helping Hands #3)
Genre: Action and Adventure
Length (print): 259 pages
Amazon Link: $3.95 

When one of their own was murdered, everyone feared it would be the end to the Helping Hands. But as they are now learning, the real difficulty lies not in mourning the loss of a friend, but in protecting the project that took his life.

Kelly Mitchell is dedicated to just one thing - protecting her little sister from their stepfather’s wrath. When her family moves to San Francisco, she struggles to keep her home life a secret, avoiding the charms of her neighbor, Robbie Anderson. But when her stepfather sets her up and sends her to a juvenile detention camp, Kelly will attain her own protection in the service of Melanie O’Conner.

Forcing herself back into society as a reformed rebel, Melanie finds herself surrounded by a life filled with friends, security, and family. But the illusion of a life without disaster is shattered upon the discovery of a new, unplanned gang of Helping Hands, and two cops threatening to put her back in prison.

When faced with the copycat gang that brings the FBI to her front door, when Kelly and her sister plead for an escape from the iron fist of their abusive stepfather, when Tyler lands in the hospital and faces death, Melanie must decide which is more important - having a normal life away from the burdens of her past, or protecting the project that granted her that life.

Whatever choice she makes, someone must suffer the consequences.

Title: Abandon (Helping Hands #4)
Genre: Action and Adventure
Length (print): 307 pages
Amazon Link$3.95

Melanie O Conner is no stranger to having enemies. But after fifteen years heading the clandestine Helping Hands project, she will soon learn that those enemies come in many forms, including ones she never would have suspected.

Her enemies’ current goal: destroy The Helping Hands and everything they stand for. And so, Project: Abandon is launched. Children are killed just as her Helping Hands gangs prepare to save them. Someone attacks Melanie during a visit to her hometown. And when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, the ones she loves most are kidnapped or even murdered.

Now, Melanie must rely on her strengths, street smarts, and courage to face her tormentors before they tear down the framework she worked so hard to build - and before they take her family away from her one by one. It is up to her to save those still alive - or die trying.

Title: The Sour Orange Derby
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Coming-of-age
Length (print): 210 pages
Amazon Link: $2.99 

One lone tree is all that remains of the cherished Standridge family orange groves, a legacy that goes back as far as the Civil War. But for young Colly Standridge, that solitary tree is at the center of a magical world.

Inspired by real people, The Sour Orange Derby follows the lives of Colly, who dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, and K.B. Standridge, an imaginative old man who spends his days creating stories for his grandchildren to enjoy while searching for a new family legacy – and finds it in his last beloved orange tree.

A story about love and healing steeped in southern traditions, The Sour Orange Derby is a tale of one family joining together to celebrate life and history, and how their last remaining orange tree holds them all together when the young boy’s fight with cancer threatens to tear them apart.

Kristina Circelli, accomplished author of The Helping Hands and The Whisper Legacy series, is proud to take readers on a literary journey into her childhood, offering a glimpse of the magical worlds and imaginative stories created by her beloved grandfather.

Title: A Single Swim
Genre: Non-Fiction/Environmental Science
Length (print): 110 pages
Amazon Link: $1.99 

On August 13th, 2011, sixteen-year-old Courtney Nash passed away after contracting Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba that lurks in warm waters. This is her story.

A Single Swim follows Courtney's life and death, while taking a closer look into an amoebic infection very few people ever hear about - until it's too late. Tracing as far back as 1960s, Naegleria fowleri and the resulting infection of this parasite have taken more than a dozen lives, with a fatality rate of nearly 100%.

Through an examination of Courtney's case along with stories of other victims across the United States, A Single Swim offers a glimpse into our waters' rare silent killer. From ecology to symptoms, hospital care to awareness, find out what can happen ... after a single swim.

Title: Fade into the Woodwork
Genre: Contemporary Suspence
Length (print): 168 pages
Amazon Link: $1.99 

Abducted in broad daylight, locked away in a basement cage, starved for food and light - how would you escape your prison?

Valentina Murdoch finds herself asking that same question after she is attacked and kidnapped one ordinary morning. Brought to a secluded hideaway in the middle of the woods to await her fate at the hands of "the boss," she has but days to survive.

Utilizing her love of action movies to create a plan, Valentina plots her escape while battling a crippling fear of the dark - for the dark is where her childhood nightmare lurks, waiting for her one moment of weakness. But as the clock winds down and her husband's search for her threatens his own life, Valentina realizes that her true fight lies within herself.

Will she have the strength to survive, or will the dark - and all the figures that haunt it - finally win?

Title: Damsel Not
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Length (print): 225 pages
Amazon Link: $2.95 

In the days of old, one knight fought to save the maiden he loved – a battle that ended in a bloody promise for the future.

In the days of the 21st Century, Izz doesn’t believe in prophecies. A recent widow, she struggles to find the passion that once fueled her life – a passion that is reignited the day a knight in disguise cuts into her life in a flash of swordplay and seductive grins.

Izz doesn’t want to love him. The guilt of moving on nearly crushes her, yet she finds herself unable to resist the touch, the feel, the scent of the man who leaves her breathless with just one look. But each day Izz finds herself drawn to Cade, the more danger she finds herself in, for someone believes Izz to be at the center of an ages-old prophecy – and will do anything to stop it.

When threatening messages turn even more dangerous, Izz must rediscover a part of herself she’s never known before and fight to save her knight in shining armor. With only a sword passed down throughout the generations to guide her, Izz must prove to her adversary that unlike maidens of old, she will never be a damsel in distress.

Title: Fragile Creatures
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Length (print): 274 pages
Amazon Link: $2.99 

Seventeen-year-old Evangeline Frost had a great life, until the car accident that killed her father and turned her mother into a bitter alcoholic. Unable to bear the guilt, Evangeline attempts to take her own life, saved only by the memory of her beloved father.

Left with no other options, Evangeline is enrolled in a program for troubled teens at Kindred Hides Wildlife Preserve. There she meets Caster, a keeper as annoying as he is caring; Jett and Lettie, who treat her more like a daughter than troubled teen; and Ruke, a prized giraffe in mourning for his lost mate.

Immersed in the preserve with her new friends, Evangeline finally begins to heal. But the haunting memories of the accident and her mother’s unforgiving words threaten to destroy her progress. Only her new friends and their unconditional support, along with her own special connection with Ruke, can save her.

Evangeline must learn that there is redemption for her father’s death, and that the bonds between human, animal, and life are not as fragile as she once thought.

Title: Dungeon: a short story by Kristina Circelli
Genre: Contemporary short story
Length (print): 40 pages
Amazon Link: $0.99

Locked away from civilization. Starved for a freedom yet to come. Lost in the world they created for themselves.

They were friends once, before they were prisoners. Then they were allies, dependent on one another for daily survival. When they escaped, if they escaped, more than just that bond built on desperation, loneliness, and familiarity would be tested.

Their existence - one small, cramped room with a cracked table in its center. Their reality - secrets and lies and a struggle to balance the present with the past.

They were the four. They were the prisoners of the Dungeon.

How's that for one hell of a bibliography? Which ones look most interesting to you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Release - Crazy Love

Happy Valentine's Day, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm so excited to be sharing this awesome new release from Casey L. Bond with you all. EEK! Grab a cuppa and get comfy. Let's get going!

cl banner blog tour

Crazy Love is a new adult romance with a dystopian vibe.

Shelby Case avoids town and all the people in it. She can't stand the whispers behind covered lips, the judgmental stares. People say she's crazy, that she lost her mind when she lost her husband. The Second U.S. Civil War has left widows and widowers scattered across the land. Shelby's just learned to cope. She's taught herself the fine art of self-preservation along with the skills to survive. When the figment of her imagination, the man who's haunted her days and nights for the past two years, shows up on her doorstep, Shelby wonders if all of the whispers are true.


 Book Trailer

CL Coyote Teaser


Crazy Love isn’t erotica. There’s no mention of a red room of pain anywhere within its pages, but….there’s romance, a lil hotness, a pinch of crazy and a lot of love.

A young couple touching hands at a table

Author Bio
 Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband Elton and their two beautiful daughters, Juliet and Eris. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction. Bond graduated from Hurricane High School in 1999. In 2003, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University in the field of Criminal Justice.


Available or Soon-To-Be Released Books:
Winter Shadows 
Pariah, Book 1 in The New Covenant Series  
Paradox, Book 2, The New Covenant Series
Devil Creek
Shady Bay 
Reap, Book 1 in The Harvest Saga
Resist, Book 2 in The Harvest Saga  
Reclaim, Book 3 in The Harvest Saga
Sin (Serial Series)
Light in the Darkness (YA Anthology)
Fractured Glass (Novel Anthology)
Crazy Love  
Water Witch Dark Bishop (Serial Series)

What do you think? Gonna go grab one?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!