Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last of the I Love Dark YA Blogfest

To read my entry for the last day of the I Love Dark YA blogfest (which is the dark YA novel I'm most looking forward to) go here!

Spruce Knoll For Endangered Species

To celebrate the release of the special edition of The Secret of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel from Compass Press, I'm doing a special giveaway. Tomorrow the mini-tour for this novel begins and so do your changes for winning a prize.

From December 1st~17th: The Spruce Knoll For Endangered Species tour and giveaway is occurring! Between it's publication date and 12-12-12, a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of each Compass Press edition of this novel (all formats) will go toward my favorite charity that specializes in saving endangered species. My goal is to raise at least $10,000. Together we can make a difference. To see a list of the tour stops, click on the News/Events page.

1st place: *A symbolic adoption of an endangered species ($50 donation by me. Symbolic stuffed animal and adoption papers sent to the winner). You get to choose the species here
*A signed hardback of the Compass Press special edition of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel
*Great swag

2nd place: A signed paperback of the Compass Press special edition of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel
*Great swag

Prizes will be mailed on December 19th (as long as the winners get their addresses to me quickly) so hopefully they'll arrive in time for the holiday! To enter, be a follower and leave a comment on this post.

To earn extra points/entries:
+1 for spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks.
+2 for writing a blog post about the contest and/or for placing a link on your sidebar (leave me a comment and I'd be happy to send you my tour button). 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Book Birthday To Untraceable

Teaser Tuesday is postponed to celebrate the book birthday of my friend Shelli (S.R.) Johannes's Untraceable. This is one book you don't want to miss, trust me (and I LOVE this cover)! Here's a bit about it to show you why:

16 year old Grace was reared in the wilderness. Her first pet was a bear named Simon. Her first potty, an oak tree. And, her first swing, a forest vine. Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her everything he knew about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When Grace's dad goes missing on a routine patrol, unlike everyone in her sleepy mountain town, she refuses to believe he’s dead. After finding a Cheetos bag and stolen government file, Grace is convinced she’s one step closer to proving all the non-believers wrong.

Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to emerge from an epidemic that’s spreading like wild fire, threatening everything and everyone she’s ever loved.

There is much fun to be had on Shelli's tour. Check out this link to learn all the stops on the way and to learn more about Untraceable, then add this one to your holiday shopping list!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Monday's Muse~Supporting Authors

I'm happy to be participating in a great giveaway in support of four debut authors. There are many ways to win so be sure to read through all the details. Here they are:

Support Four Debut Authors and Snag $125! 

On November 28 and/or 29, purchase 1 or all 4 of the debut author’s books listed here. Then forward proof of purchase (the receipt Amazon sends you will do just fine) to: and get up to 4 entries into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card! It’s that easy, no reviews, no hoops to jump through. Just a great .99 book or two. Or three or four. AND, if the person who wins the $100 Amazon Gift Card has purchased all 4 books, an additional $25 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to the winner!

On top of that, 2 random commenter’s picked from 2 of our participating blogs will receive $5 gift Amazon gift cards . So, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, the books, or the authors. Winners will be chosen randomly, one entry per person, per book. All winners will be announced on December 7th on Wringing Out Words.

The books: 

Between by Cyndi Tefft

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile, and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries. 

Until Dawn: Last Light by Jennifer Simas

When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?

For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her of what it is to be human, or will it be too late?

Until Dawn: Last Light is a story of death and despair, love and longing, hope and hopelessness, and the ability to survive and keep going even when it seems impossible – when you want nothing more than to give up.

The Kayson Cycle by Jonathan D. Allen

A stranger enters a dying town and makes a desperate plea…

The Kayson Cycle introduces the Kayson Brothers, a pair of faith healers who once wowed crowds in a traveling show but went their separate ways after a night in which a healing took a dark turn. Jeffrey Kayson disappeared into the wilderness and William Kayson, wracked by guilt, moved to the failing mining town of Calico Hills to build a nice, quiet life – one that has lasted for over ten years.

His quiet, predictable life crumbles when a mysterious stranger walks into his tavern bearing a proposal to find his long-lost brother and do the one thing that William has sworn to never do again - have his brother heal a woman. William soon learns that he can’t escape his family – or his destiny.

Includes an exclusive sample chapter of The Corridors of the Dead. Please note that this is a Kindle Single, and around 6,000 words in length.

Sundered by Shannon Mayer

A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, and still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking Nevermore.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world that is bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.

Now Mara must make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?

Don't forget, you can win by purchasing the books and forwarding proof to or by commenting on this post, so be sure to leave a comment. Best of luck to all of you and happy reading!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday Creature Feature~Selkies & Tangled Tides

Today’s Friday Creature Feature is special because it is in celebration of the release of Tangled Tides, by Karen Hooper. There is a war going on amidst the sea creatures and those of us participating in Karen’s tour are taking sides. Take a look at this amazing cover. Doesn’t it make you just want to pick it up?! Here is a bit about the book:

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. 

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive! Join in the fun and stop by Twitter where Karen is giving away a signed copy along with some fun sea creature giveaways. To enter all you have to do is tweet using the #TangledTides hashtag, choose a side (mermfolk, selkies, gorgons, or sirens) and why. You can learn more about Karen at her Author Website and can find Tangled tides on AmazonB&N, and Goodreads

And I choose selkies! Why, because they're one of my favorite Irish legends. :) I can hardly wait to read about them in Karen's book. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Love Dark YA Blogfest~Life Changing Novel

Today is sadly the last post for the I Love Dark YA blogfest. I've been having so much fun and have met so many amazing people. For today's post we have to choose a dark YA book to feature that has touched our lives. I've chosen the very first dark YA book that I read as a teen. The only reason I read it was because it was required reading, and I'm so glad it was because it opened my eyes and changed something inside me.

Friendship, love, hardship, tragedy, and learning to accept people as they are, The Outsiders has it all. It was a classic then and still holds the title today. What dark YA novel has touched your life?

Scroll down to see my entry for the New Author Blog Hop, and enter the giveaway!

New Author Blog Hop And Giveaway

I'm honored to be participating in Saba's~from Of Thoughts and Words~New Author Blog Hop. I'm to provide details about my book and links where it can be found, and as the special edition from Compass Press has just released, the timing couldn't be better. Here is a bit about my YA urban fantasy, The Secret Of Spruce Knoll:

Following the death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know, the entire population are channelers—magical people who immigrated there when they were driven out of their homelands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world, and as it slowly dies, they are going extinct—and they alone have the power to save the earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though.

As Eren and Aiden’s relationship develops, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets—and many dangers. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger too. Only time will tell if Eren can embrace her unwanted power and protect the only family she has left.

This is a special edition that contains an extra chapter and deleted material not published in the Abbott Press version. But what makes this version special is that a percentage of the proceeds from every copy of the special edition sold~digital and bound book~will go to my favorite charity that specializes in protecting endangered species. I hope you'll join me in trying to raise $10,000 for the charity by December 12th of 2012 by ordering a copy of the special edition for yourself or your loved ones. You can pre-order a signed paperback by clicking on the 'buy link' on the left sidebar. Or, you can purchase the eBook from Amazon or Barnes and Noble now. Look for my tour and another giveaway starting December 1st! Together, we can make a difference.

If you'd like to win a copy of the paperback of this novel, all you have to do is be a follower and leave me a comment. The winner will be announced December 1st! To see the other great authors participating in the blog hop, and to enter even more contests, check out Of Thoughts and Words.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Writing Tip~Most Important Tip

Last week was a rough one for me and my writing for many reasons. My friends helped pull me through it though (yes you!) and I emerged on the other side, perhaps not unscathed, but I emerged! As writers we all go through rough patches where something is challenging us, rejections, editing, outlining, that first draft, or outside forces. This tip~and you wonderful people~got me through it.

The most important writing tip ever: Never give up. The moment you do, that's the moment you fail. But if you never give up, then you can never fail. Friends will be there to pull you through. Don't be afraid to talk about it or even ask for help. 

One of the helping hands that lifted me up and made me smile last week was Christie from The Ficiton Enthusiast who wrote this sweet review of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll and blogged about my upcoming giveaway. How about you, any writing tips of your own to share? 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday's Muse~Helping Hands

This beautiful snowy view out my window with the bald eagle kept me going and inspired me despite the fact that I felt like I was stuck in an eternally burning pit with demons snapping at my heals (formatting will do that to you). It was a rough week to put it lightly. But all is well, and I’m back on track. Whew! For anyone who has every had one of those days (weeks, months, years), I’m raising a glass of wine to you tonight during the #WritersRoad chat on Writing Helping Hands. I hope you’ll join us. It’s a half hour chat followed by a half hour word war (writing sprint). Click here to join us at 6pm PT.

These last few weeks I’ve been reading Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. I had trouble in the beginning. The writing just didn’t pull me in and the striking (and numerous) similarities between this and a friend of mine’s book (Across The Universe by Beth Revis, which I loved by the way) were too hard to ignore. The deeper I got into the book though, the more I realized how different the two novels were, and the more drawn in I became. Soon I couldn’t put it down. Both books are wonderful and unique in their own way and they are a great example of how two similar books can both be successful. I must admit though, the end~or lack thereof~of Glow made me want to throw it against the wall. I don't normally need a nicely wrapped up book, but this is the kind of ending agents normally hate (and reject books for), so it kind of ticks me off to see them allowing it for some and not others.

What inspired you last week? Reading anything good, or have you read either of these books? If so, what did you think?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Love Dark YA Blogfest Casting Call

Today for the I Love Dark YA Blogfest we're picking one of our favorite dark YA novels, casting it, and giving it a soundtrack. There are a ton of YA novels I love, but because I'm strapped for time~and because I thought you might like to know who I'd cast~I'm going to pick The Secret Of Spruce Knoll.

Vanessa Hudgens are Eren Donovan. Her hair is a bit light since Eren has truly black hair, but that can be fixed. Otherwise, she has the same slightly exotic look, and despite some cheesy roles, she can act (no seriously!).

Taylor Kisch as Aiden Moldovan. Need I say why? *sigh* Those hazel eyes are just perfect and his ability to play a lost, slightly sullen teen is unparalleled. Okay, maybe not, but I'm smitten, what can I say? Sure, he'll be too old by the time the movie is ever made, but a girl can dream.

I've always thought Michelle Rodrigues would make the perfect Aunt Sylvia. It's time someone gave the lady a role besides a bada** with a gun. Don't get me wrong, she plays that role fabulously, but I have faith she can do so much more. Besides, Aunt Sylvia is a bit of a bada**.

As for the soundtrack, that's easy. Avril Lavigne in her dark days did music that inspired all throughout writing the channeler series. So what do you think of my case and soundtrack? Is it what you envisioned or not?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Writing Tip Tuesday~Extra Eyes

This week's writing tip is one that I didn't always embrace. It can be hard for us writers to share our babies with others. There is a lot of fear in handing over your work to someone else for their critique. However, it is essential to having a truly polished novel. Your critique partners, beta readers, or editor will catch things you can't.

Tip: Find someone whose opinion you trust and have them read your novel, or at least key chapters of your novel, to help you with it.

If you don't know anyone then it might be time to join a writer's forum, find other writers on Twitter (the weekly #WritersRoad chat on Twitter every Monday night is a great place), blogger, or even on Facebook. Reach out, there are always people who are willing to help.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday's Muse~Special Tour

Last week I was deeply inspired by the amount of friends who wanted to be part of my mini-tour for the release of the special edition of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. Thank you so much to all of you, I'm touched. The tour will be from December 1st through the 17th. This tour is dear to me as it is the launch of the novel that will help save endangered species. Between it's publication date and 12-12-12, a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of each Compass Press edition of this novel (all formats) will go toward my favorite charity that specializes in saving endangered species. My goal is to raise at least $10,000. It's a lofty goal, I know. But I figured why not reach for the stars?

Of course there will be prizes on this tour! Entrants must be followers of this blog. Winners will be drawn December 18th and announced December 19th. An extra point/entry will be given to those who follow the blogs that are stops along the tour (one extra entry/point for each that you follow) so let me know who else you follow that is on the tour. To see a list click on the News/Events tab above. There are a few dates still available if you'd like to be part of the tour!

1st place: *A symbolic adoption of an endangered species ($50 donation by me). You get to choose the species here
*A signed hardback of the Compass Press special edition of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel
2nd place: A signed paperback of the Compass Press special edition of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel

Prizes will be mailed on December 19th (as long as the winners get their addresses to me quickly) so hopefully they'll arrive in time for the holiday! So mark your calendars, and come back in two weeks for the big celebration! What inspired you last week?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dark C.A.R.M.A. Book Birthdays

We're interrupting Friday Creature Feature to bring you the fabulous Dark C.A.R.M.A. tour! Three of my friends are having a book birthday today and you don't won't to miss these amazing books. Be sure to stop by the link above to enter the giveaway. But first, a bit about their books:

Become, by Ali Cross: Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

Bound, by C.K. Bryant: When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.
Exhiled, by Rashelle Workman: Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become a kelvieri, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.
Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate.

Only she doesn't know the first thing about love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Love Dark YA Blogfest Week 2

This week during the I Love Dark YA blogfest we're supposed to write a 500 word short on this photo. Here goes:

The hatch protests with a horrible screech as it opens for the first time in ten years. Pale sunlight pours into the tiny opening to the surface world, blinding even it's softness. But it's beautiful, warm on my skin. I have forgotten how it looked, how it felt. But it isn't the bright, beautiful yellow I remember. It's white and muted, like it used to look on cloudy days.

With limbs that shake from anticipation, I climb the hatch ladder. The natural light hurts my eyes, forcing me to shade them as I take my first steps onto the surface. Peeking through my hands, I see that the world is now washed out shades of gray. Where is all the green? Gone, all gone. My eyes sting with tears.

A twig snaps, a hollow, dead sound. I am not alone.

Now I'm off to visit the other blogfesters! I hope you'll join me. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday And Swag Pack Giveaway

Before we get to Teaser Tuesday, I need to announce the winner of Kristie Cook's Soul Saver swag pack from her Genesis tour giveaway! And the winner is:

(I'm not sure if that's your complete email address so be sure to leave a comment so Kristie can get a hold of you). Congratulations to Christina!

Now for Teaser Tuesday. Today's teaser is from The Secret Of Spruce Knoll page 14:

Eren's knee hurt and her elbow stung, but she forgot about them both in an instant. Above her hovered the most amazing hazel eyes framed by a shock of tousled brown hair streaked through with black highlights. It was a boy, and he was lying on top of her. She fought a flush of embarrassment and lost.

Okay your turn! Leave me a teaser from your work in progress, or from what your reading if you would like!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday's Muse~Snow

Last week the snow was my inspiration. The way it blew in and blanketed the world around me, heralding the arrival of winter, seemed to reflect what is going on in my writing life (for those who are wondering, this view is out my back door. I know, I'm so lucky!). Things are a whirlwind of activity with my special edition of Spruce Knoll coming out at the end of this month, but in a good way. I'm starting to get ready for preparing my mini blog tour in December so if you'd like me to stop by your blog leave me a comment! The focus of the mini tour will be Spruce Knoll For Endangered Species.

I'm reading Glow by Amy Ryan. The writing style reminds me of the way sci-fi used to be written, with a bit of detachment. While tons of people love this style, I'm not one of them so it hasn't exactly pulled me in yet. I'm hoping it will grow on me though. It has kept me reading after 50 pages so I have hope!

What inspired you last week? Reading anything good, or have you read Glow and have a different opinion?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Love Dark YA Blogfest~Favorite Read

Every Wednesday this month I'm joining my co-hosts Christa, Kelly, E.R.YAtopia and many other blogger friends in celebrating my love of dark young adult novels. So you won't see my Wednesday Writing Goal posts for a month. But the timing is great since I know many of you are busy with NaNo. Each week we have a different theme. You don't want to miss all the stops because it will be a ton of fun and we'll be doing a giveaway at the end of the month. To see what the themes are, and who is participating, click here.

This week we're blogging about our favorite dark YA novel (s). There are so many great ones that I had a lot of trouble choosing so I'm featuring three.

The first is Crank by Ellen Hopkins. It is the epitome of dark. In fact, it's a subject most people don't want to touch and Ellen tackled it beautifully. Any and all of Ellen's books fall under this beautifully dark category. She isn't afraid to go where others won't tread and I respect her tremendously for that.

The second is Under My Skin by Judith Graves. Judith takes an overly used theme, breathes exciting new life into it (no pun intended), and makes me want to read about vampires and werewolves again. Her wonderful, edgy novel puts a unique twist on the paranormal and will surely re-kindle your love of the genre.

The third is a series that I have just recently discovered and was blown away by how much I liked it. The Gone series by Michael Grant is all about dark. It has been described as "if Stephen King had written The Lord Of The Flies," and I must say, that is a perfect description. With graphic scenes of violence, it isn't for the faint of heart but it is definitely for those seeking a thrill ride packed with paranormal elements.

If you read dark YA, what's your favorite novel?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open Minds Launch Party

Teaser Tuesday is postponed until next week so I can join in the launch party celebration for Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. This book is just as fantastic as its cover. Check out my review of it on the Indie Elite blog. It's a dystopian YA novel of a different (and fantastic) new flavor.

To celebrate I'm joining several bloggers in sharing a story about keeping open minds. I've always been one to keep an open mind, from birth my mom says. My eyes see the world differently I've been told. To me there is no separation of the races, sexes, lifestyles, or even beliefs. As long as it's legal and doesn't harm anyone, I've never had a problem with diversity in any form. I seem to crave it, in fact, as to me, it spices up life. And I do love my life spicy. Living this way has introduced me to amazing people and has allowed me to grow as a person. I am a black belt twice over, I was a reserve police officer, am a Sergeant in a correctional facility, have been to St. Lucia, Jamaica, Japan, Canada, and to many of the U.S. states including Hawaii. Even more important, I've had friends of nearly every race, creed, lifestyle, and genre (for my writerly friends). Having an open mind has opened my life in wonderful ways.

To join in on Susan's celebration, and win some fantastic prizes, be sure to check out her site, follow the tour, and check out the hashtag #OpenMinds on Twitter. Do you have an 'open mind' story you'd like to share?