Friday, October 31, 2014

CREED by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this upcoming release. I've been a CP (critique partner) for Trisha Leaver for years, and am thrilled at the buzz her debut novel, with co-author Lindsay Currie, is making. See what you think!

Coming November 8th 2014 from Flux 

Three of us went in
Three of us came out
None of us a shadow of who we once were.

When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and Luke’s brother, Mike, seek help in the nearby town of Purity Springs. But as they walk the vacant streets, the teens make some disturbing discoveries. The seemingly deserted homes each contain a sinister book with violent instructions on disciplining children. The graveyard is full of unmarked crosses. Worst of all, there’s no way to contact the outside world.

When Purity Springs’ inhabitants suddenly appear, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of Elijah Hawkins, the town’s charismatic leader who has his own plans for the three of them. Their only hope for survival is Elijah’s enigmatic son, Joseph. And his game may be just as deadly as his father’s . . .

MTV’s Kat Rosenfield (author of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone) said she’d rather “take a year-long gig teaching botany to the “Children of the Corn” then take a gas-and-bathroom break on a sunny day in Purity Springs.”  And Jenn Johansson, author of the Nightwalker Series, called CREED “an intense, eerie, and chilling ride from start to finish. I'll forever have second thoughts about any trip that takes me through a quiet small town or passes an empty gas station."  

So what makes this seemingly harmless town of Purity Springs so terrifying…it’s maniacal leader, Elijah Hawkins, and his 148 devoted followers who would rather spend a weekend locked in the sin shack then ever risk exposing the purity of their souls to the evils of the outside world.

Where to find Creed

Psst...rumor has it that if you pre-order it to your Nook or Kindle, it will magically arrive on your e-reader at midnight on 10/31...that's tonight!!!  Perfect Halloween Read.

Exclusive Excerpt:

I flipped open my cell phone and used the light from my home screen to navigate the edges of the room. Hooks lined the walls, most of them supporting yard tools. Hedge trimmers, weed whacker, leaf blower. Pickaxe. “Pickaxe? What would somebody need a pickaxe for?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe they use it in the winter when people die and the ground is frozen,” Luke offered up.

I turned to glare at him, not even remotely thankful for his insight. Mike ignored us and continued rifling through some large plastic bins lining the wall, cursing as a large cardboard box toppled over onto his feet.

Papers spilled out and Luke bent down, casting the beam of light across the mess. Dozens of names hand-written in pencil lined the sheets. Next to each name was a date. I reached down and picked up the first sheet I touched. It was a newer one, dated November 5th … two days ago.  “James McDonald, age six. Margaret Elizabeth Cunningham, age fifty-four. Sadie Calbert, age twenty-two,” Luke read aloud. He inhaled sharply and began stuffing the papers back into the box. “These are … I think these are death records.”

I can beat that,” Mike chimed in. “Check this out.”

Luke turned his light in Mike’s direction, slowly scanning it upward until a sign came into view: Purity Springs. Population 152. He moved the sign aside; another one, nearly identical, was behind it. “Purity Springs, population 151,” Luke read before shuffling yet another sign aside.

“And looky here,” Mike said. “This one looks pretty new, not a scratch on it. Says ‘population 149.’ That’s messed up.”

Luke shook his head, grumbling something incoherent under his breath. I stepped aside, forcing myself to focus on the search for gas as opposed to the archaic death records scattered across the floor.

My mind flashed back to the grave we’d passed on the way here. It was new, and I couldn’t help but think there was a sign hanging on the side of the road somewhere that read Purity Springs. Population 148.

About the Authors:

Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is the co-author of the YA, Psychological Horror, CREED, releasing November 8th, 2014 with Flux/ Llewellyn. Her solo YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, release April 28, 2015 with FSG/ Macmillan. Find out more at:
Twitter @tleaver

Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids, and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember.Today, Lindsay is an author of young adult and middle grade fiction. She is a proud member of SCBWI, The Horror Writers Association, The YA Scream Queens and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014. Her debut novel, CREED (co-authored with Trisha Leaver), releases from Flux on November 8, 2014.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Authors Write: JQ Rose

Today I'm participating in a blog swap with fellow MuseItUP Author JQ Rose. You can find my post on strong characters and fairytales here (after you learn about JQ and how she writes, of course!) Welcome JQ!

JQ: Thanks so much for swapping blogs. It’s a great opportunity to interact with each other’s readers.

MW: I totally agree. And I'm thankful to get the opportunity to introduce you to my readers as well as meet some new readers over at your site. So, JQ, what types of books do you write? 

JQ: I write mystery/romance

MW: What POV do you write in?

JQ: I write in 3rd person—usually 2 POV’s. My editor at MuseItUp Publishing, Karen McGrath, on my first published book had me pare down the number of POV’s from 5 to just 3. That was very difficult! But it did make for a better story, Sunshine Boulevard, a good read for this time of year. Yes, it’s a bit scary.

MW: I'll have to check that out!. How do you get started with a book?

JQ: I believe it is an idea that I usually get from the news headlines. When I meet an interesting person, I often incorporate some part of his or her personality into a character that drives the story forward.

MW: I'm sure you find lots of inspiration out there. Do you draft quickly or or are you more detailed in your draft? 

JQ: I don’t draft quickly and wish I could. I get caught up in the small details like does the man have a beard or wear glasses. I wish I had drafted quickly, getting down the bones of the story, instead of writing so much and then allowing my crit group to read the draft as I wrote the chapters without an ending for the story. My plot was discombobulated by all their brainstorming ideas of the possibilities for the ending. They are excellent at brainstorming, so there were just too many options!
MW: I can see where that can seem overwhelming. Although, as someone who does draft bare bones, sometimes adding in all that description is harder than it should be :-) 

Almost all stories require some research. Do you do yours before your first draft or during?

JQ: Usually as I write, if I don’t know for sure about the subject, I write a note in CAPS to research the topic.

MW: Great idea. Do you outline? 

JQ: Not a formal outline, but I do write notes about scenes and turning points in the story from the beginning through to the sketchy end. (The ending is never the one I had planned before writing!!)

MW: I almost always know the beginning and the end when I start. It's the middle that's rather hazy. I can't imagine not knowing the end at the start. Very interesting. 

What about names? Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?

JQ:  Definitely leave comments.

MW: Do you work with CP's (Critique Partners)  or Beta's (Beta Readers)? 

JQ: Yes, I have crit partners and I let them see the story as I go, but as I said I don’t plan to do that anymore, but rather get the first draft of the story down first.

MW: I'd be interested in hearing how that change works for you. What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best? 

JQ: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Elements of Style.

MW: Another book to add to my list. And, with the holidays coming up, Elements of Style makes a great stocking stuffer for the author in your life :-) (I had a friend gift it to me for Christmas several years ago.) 

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?

JQ: I wish I had continued to write after my first e-book was published instead of spending time marketing it so heavily. A writer needs more than one book in their list because if a reader likes the writing, she will come back to buy another book.

MW: Very good advice. Finding that balance between promoting and writing can be quite difficult. It's something I'm still working on finding.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? 

JQ: I love having events on the J.Q. Rose blog. This fall I am hosting a series with guest authors: Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing. The authors give tips on writing, on the writing process, marketing, and publishing every Thursday (except holidays) through December. Hosting authors is a wonderful way to meet and get to know them. 

In the winter I will be put all the tips together into an e-book and plan to have a launch party on Facebook. Also I have a page on Pinterest for the event.  

I took a Book Marketing Challenge this summer and got all excited about marketing, so I decided to get proactive about it. As you can see, I took some of the ideas to heart and am trying them out through this event. You’re all invited to join us every Thursday. If you are a writer, you may pick up a gem of an idea to help you with your writing career. Readers will meet their favorite or new authors and discover great reads. Giveaways too!

MW: Thanks so much, JQ. I'll have to swing by and see what I can learn. Be sure to check out JQ's latest mystery/romance: Coda to Murder. 


Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

You Tube Book Trailers:
and other online booksellers

After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Sunshine Boulevard, and Coda to Murder released by Muse It Up Publishing. With her non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed!, she returns to her first love, writing about real people. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She spends winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at

J.Q. Rose blog
Girls Succeed blog
Author website
J. Q. Rose Amazon Author Page

Monday, October 27, 2014

How Authors Write~ Erin Rhew

It's hard to believe that Erin's never participated in the How Authors Write series before now. In fact, when we set up this interview, I had to look back through the archives to make sure I hadn't missed the post somehow. So, welcome, Erin! Tell us a little about what you write.

ER: Right now, my books are only YA fantasy, but I am dabbling in YA sci-fi as well. I also have an adult historical fiction book I wrote a few years ago. I hope to go back and revamp it with all my newfangled knowledge and hopefully get that one out in to the world too.

MW: I've gotten a sneak peek at Erin's YA sci-fi, and all I can say is, "When do I get to read more???" And historical fiction? Why am I just hearing of this now? I love historical fiction :-) What POV do you use in your writing?

ER: I tend to use 3rd person and often utilize multiple POVs. My historical fiction, however, is written in 1st person. I go where the characters take me. If they wish to tell it in 1st person, we do that. 3rd person? I’m open to that too. I don’t think I fall into a “type” or “pattern.”

MW: It's always best to listen to the characters. How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?

ER: Usually the idea forms in my mind and the characters settle right on into the action.

MW: Are you a quick drafter?

ER: By draft, do you mean first draft? I wrote The Fulfillment Series in 3 months, but my historical fiction took 3 years. If I’m creating the world, the writing tends to go quickly, but if I’m researching and basing it on something that actually happened, it takes much longer!

MW: I can see where the research would slow things down. It's so important to get all those details just right. What about research? Do you do a lot of it?

ER: For fantasy, no. Sci-fi, a little. Historical fiction—a lot!

MW: Do you outline?

ER: I don’t tend to outline. I did do a synopsis-like outline for The Fulfillment Series because I wanted to be sure the tale could encompass a whole trilogy and not just two books. I did not want a “filler” second book. 

MW: I totally get that. I'm finding a synopsis outline a good thing to do when I get an idea. It lets me see if there's enough to support the story I'm trying to tell without getting halfway in and realizing I've spent a month writing stuff that will be shelved. Names are important, at least I think they are.  Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?

ER: I name everything. Once the world takes shape in my mind, the names of the places and people just fall into place. It’s not usually something I put much time or effort into.

MW: I love it when names just fall into place. Do you work with CP's or Beta's?

ER: Yes, I work with both. I have an amazing group of critique partners, and my beta readers are called The Dream Team. I let Dream Team member Kim, my timekeeper, see each chapter as it unfolds. She keeps me on task by requiring a chapter a day, so she must confirm I’ve completed my work. The rest of The Dream Team and my critique partners see the piece once I’m finished writing and have done a once-over.

MW: Sounds like a great way to keep on schedule. What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?

ER: I really like The Emotion Thesaurus. Most of what I’ve learned about writing, I’ve learned from the publication process, from editing for BookFish Books, and from my critique partners. 

MW: Oh, that's a great book! And isn't it amazing what you can learn by reading for someoen else? I'm always amazed at what I learn when I critique. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?

ER: I wish I knew how much the publishing world hates adverbs. Poor little lost adverbs. I still love you! LOL!

MW: :-) Now a look at Erin's upcoming release: The Outlanders book 2 in The Fulfillment Series. Be sure to scroll down to read an excerpt and enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card and signed copies of The Prophecy and The Outlanders. 

With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.

Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.

Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side. 

Find me online: 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fallen Son, Darkest Night ~ Melissa Petreshock

When Melissa asked me if I was interested in helping promote her release for Fallen Son, Darkest Night, a prequel short story to Fire of Stars and Dragons, I said sure. When she asked if I wanted to have an ARC of this look into Dante and Theo's past to review, I couldn't say no.

Mel packs a lot into this short read, including some guest appearances of some pretty popular characters from Fire of Stars and Dragons. I was pleased to see that she kept Theo true to himself-devoted to his duties, and loved the new insight into Dante. These moments from his past really help to expand on his character. And, to borrow a phrase from Mel and Jen, it sets up Theo and Dante's bromance beautifully. My rating: 5 well earned stars.

So, head over to WattPad and read Fallen Son, Darkest Night.

FALLEN SON, DARKEST NIGHT by Melissa A. Petreshock

After four millennia of waiting for change, the Mother Goddess sees no other recourse but to summon Theo Pendragon to perform his sacred duty as one of the Dracopraesi, imprison her only son in the Underworld, and save her people.

​Given the​ vast destruction Dante has caused ​in the Earthen Realm, Theo is prepared to fulfill Dana's request​ without hesitation​, but ​when confronted with ​unexpected events and a plea for mercy, will the dragon ​find him worth redemption, or is it too late for this dark soul to seek forgiveness?

FALLEN SON, DARKEST NIGHT is a ​short story companion to FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS (Stars and Souls Book 1). ​Three thousand years before Caitriona Hayden is even born, Dante's actions and Theo's decision impact the destiny that awaits them all.

Available October 21, 2014 on Wattpad

About The Author
Melissa A. Petreshock is a full-time writer and member of the Romance Writers of America with past experience in the medical and educational fields, though she has primarily devoted her adult life to raising a family. Born and raised in Kentucky, Melissa spent a number of years in Massachusetts, living outside Boston and in Springfield before returning to her home state where she now resides on a small farm. She enjoys quiet married life and the silliness of her three children, indulging hobbies of music, Zumba, and a minor television addiction in what little free time she finds. Melissa’s interests include causes demanding social change such as mental health awareness and teen suicide prevention. FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS is her debut NA Fantasy Romance novel.

You can find Melissa on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How Authors Write ~ Paul Smith

It's amazing how life works. A few weeks ago I ran into someone I hadn't seen in close to 13 years. While we were catching up, she mentioned that her husband had published a book recently. I was all, really? Me too! Have him get in touch with me. And he did. And now, I'm happy to introduce Paul Smith and his book, Jason and the Draconauts, to you!

MW: Welcome Paul! So nice to connect with you again after all these years. Tell me a bit about what you write.

PS: Right now, I am writing middle grade/youth/YA urban fantasy. The on-line serial I did a few years ago was in the superhero genre and aimed at adults

MW: Oh, I'm going to have to go look for that serial. LOVE superhero stories. What POV do you use in your writing?

PS: I like to use 3rd person mostly. However, I did a writing workshop and did a fun 1st person short piece. It was fun...I should do something else like that.

MW: It's always fun to try new things. I usually write in 3rd also, but my upcoming release is in 1st, and it was quite fun to explore. How do you get started with your books? Is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?

PS: It starts with an idea, and then I create story arcs connecting different points in the story. It helps be to break up the overall plot.

MW: Nice. Are you a quick drafter?

PS: So far, my drafts/outlines have been short. But as I am writing the sequel to Jason and the Draconauts, I find myself needing to outline the book with more detail to keep my focus.

MW: I'm learning to do more outlining (or at least a 1-2 page plot summary) too. It really cuts down the time on chasing unthought out plots :-)  What about research? Do you do it before your first draft or as you write?

PS: I research as I go. For example, I know in the later chapters my characters will be going to City X in Montana, so when I get to that chapter, I go online and find out what I need about that city.

MW: What about outlines? Do you use one, and if so, what's it like?

PS: I've started using a speadsheet. Someone posted a pic of one of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter outlines on the net and I liked how that looked. My mind breaks things into grids, not unlike a spreadsheet, so I am enjoying this method so far.

MW: I've never seen that. I'm always looking at what other authors do to see what I can adapt into my own style. Thanks for mentioning that.  (Scribbles note to look for JK's outline.) What about names. Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?

PS: I name everything upfront...probably because I would forget to go back and name it :-)

MW: Nice. I create a character chart with name, eye and hair color, and some personality traits for all my WIP's so I don't forget those while I'm writing. 

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? 
PS: I haven't yet, but I would love to have Beta's for the Jason and the Draconauts sequel

MW: Here that, peeps? If you're interested in CP'ing or Beta-ing, get in touch with Paul. I've found that a good CP is worth their weight in gold. (But, remember, be honest (while kind) when CP'ing, 'cause if you think it's broken, but don't say anything as you don't want to hurt feelings, you aren't helping the author improve. IMO, if you don't know it's broken, you can't fix it. While I like seeing all the "oh this is great" comments, I skim over them looking for the "what were you thinking??" comments so I can get it right. OK, end of soapbox rant :-) )

There are tons of writing aids out there. What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?

PS: When I did a lot of fan fiction on-line, I got a lot of helpful feedback from the readers. It was like getting the story edited as it unfolded.

MW: See- excellent use of good CP's and beta's. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?

PS: Self publishing is hard. But the marketing for self-publishing is even harder. It has been discouraging at times.

MW: I think we can all relate to this. Writing often seems like a solitary pursuit, but I've found that by making connections with other authors out there you learn you aren't as alone as you think. I know I couldn't make it without my author friends support. 

What do you have out now, or coming out? And where can we find you on the internet?

PS: Jason and the Draconauts is available at Amazon, and I am working on a sequel titled Jason and the Draconauts: The Council of Ancients

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@PaulDSmith4321) and at my blog, Jason and the Draconauts

Book Blurb
The creature hiding in the barn can’t exist. Fifteen-year-old Jason Hewes knows it’s impossible. A live dinosaur would be more believable; at least dinosaurs once roamed the land which is now the Hewes Montana farm. But this beast from legend? Quite impossible—although it doesn’t seem to be going away just because it shouldn’t exist.

Jason is about to reevaluate what is or isn’t possible. His discovery is very real, leathery wings and all. Nor is his new friend alone. Others of his kind are awakening from a centuries-long slumber. Realizing how traumatic contact between mythological beast and modern life could be, Jason and his impossible new ally devise a plan to integrate the newly awakened creatures into society through teenage interaction. What could possibly go wrong?

As the sound of giant wings becomes a common occurrence on the Hewes family farmstead, a malignant force senses his old enemies are flying again. Determined to end an eons-long war forever, this being turns his attention to a small rural Montana town, a family farm, and Jason Hewes.

About the Author:

Paul Smith lives in upstate New York with his wife and two sons, where he works with emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children. He earned a master’s degree in social sciences from Binghamton University in 1999.

A lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories influences Paul’s writing. His most recent work was a popular weekly online series that generated over 20,000 views. Jason and the Draconauts is his first novel.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another Chance Meeting

Today I have another special character interview. This time, Tex (from Stuart West's Tex. the Witch Boy) meets up with Kaylee. Be sure to hop over to Stuart's blog and see what happens when Arabella and Olivia run into each other. You won't want to miss that!

Tex: What's up, Kaylee? I'm a little nervous. The closest I've ever come to royalty is listening to my girlfriend, Olivia's, Prince CD. So, you're a princess? I mean, a really bonafide, birds on shoulder princess?

Kaylee (cheeks pink): Yes, I'm a real princess. Princess of Palindore. I mean, Princess of Breniera. (she twists a ring on the ring finger of her left hand.) Sorry, I'm still getting used to my new title. I'm really no different than you, though, other than the fact I can speak with animals, so you can relax.

Tex: So, you're like Dr. Doolittle or something? Gah, sorry. I mean it's cool you say you're no different from me, but...well, look at you! I'm just a high school kid trying to survive. And, um, I'm also a witch. While I can't talk to animals, Olivia would like me to turn a couple of high school bullies into toads. Obviously I can't do that, wouldn't even if I could. Goes against bad karma witch stuff. Or something. So you live in Palindore? Where's that?

Ancient Map of Valendria

Kaylee: Palindore is one of the kingdoms in Valendria. But I'm not living there anymore. I've gone to the neighboring kingdom of Breniera to meet Prince Devlin, the man I'm going to marry. (at Tex's puzzled look Kaylee pauses.) I take it you have never heard of either place. Not surprising as they are in a different world from yours. Tell me about your world. You mentioned being a witch. In Valendria those with magic gifts are feared and revered, depending on the way they use their powers. Is it the same where you come from?

Tex: You're right. Being in Kansas, I'm, ah, not too familiar with magical kingdoms. Feared and revered? Yeah, right! I live in a constant state of fear it seems. From bullies, not to mention murderers. It's complicated. Over the last three years, Clearwell High's seen a lot of bad mojo. And I pretty much have to keep my witchiness a secret outside of my closest friends. That's all I need is to have the school find out I'm a witch. Talk about wearing a "kick me" sign on your back. So, um, you look kinda' young to be getting married. What's up with that?

Kaylee: I'm not that young. After all, I am sixteen, even if I don't look it. It's customary for girls to marry between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. Is this not so in your world?

Tex: Yeah, not exactly. Here, at sixteen, we're entitled to drive. So, okay, I get it, you're a princess in, "different" place. Are there fairies, sprites, trolls (I've always wanted to see a troll!). What about dragons? Yeah, that'd be cool. Of course we don't have any dragons. Well, not unless you count our vice-principal. He's a dragon. Practically breathes fire.

Kaylee: How terrifying for you! What kind of dragon is he? Here we have Golden, Silver, Red, and Green dragons. Each lives in a different territory, and they are all quite ferocious, although some are more dangerous than others. I do not ever care to meet any more in real life. Aureal is the only dragon I care to spend time with.

Tex: LOL. Sorry, sorry, he's not a real dragon, but I'll bet his nostrils are as large as your dragons'. So, do I understand correctly you went in search for a potion to wake up your fiancee? Wow. That sounds like something one of the girls I'm friends with might do. Olivia's pulled me out of the fire more than several times, quite the warrior. And Elspeth? Glad she's on my side. Even dead, she can still pack a more powerful punch than a Clearwell football player. Um, football's a sport at my high school. Do you go to high school? Or did you, like, you know, get to bypass it because of your royal standing? If so, are your parents looking to adopt a witch? Kidding (mostly)!

Kaylee: Yes, I went on a quest to save Devlin, and that's how I met Aureal, the Golden Dragon. But as for school, I am not familiar with this term. I had a tutor when I was younger who taught me to read and write and speak in my own language and those of my neighboring kingdoms. As for the use of a witch in the kingdom, it would depend on the type of magic you practice. If you dabble in the dark arts, like Esmerelda, then no, we have no need of your services. However, if you are like Grizzelda, you would be welcome with open arms. The kingdom can only benefit from the services of one handy with healing potions and helpful spells.

Tex: No, no, believe me! My witch mentor, Mickey (who has a mean dope-slap swing!) has drummed it into my head that black magic? Bad! White magic? Good! Speaking of which, I better get back to studying (grumbles). It's been a pleasure talking with you Kaylee! Maybe someday I can come visit.

Read Tex and Kaylee's stories in this special release:

PRODIGIES OF YA I available at iBooks until 10/14!!!

4 YA novels in 1:
Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel...A reverse Sleeping Beauty tale where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince.
Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston...Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.
Tex, the Witch Boy by Stuart R. West...Someone is killing the bullies of Clearwell High...what's your average teenage boy witch to do?
Nightmares by Donna McDunn...Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

White Lady Blog Tour


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell's latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

The first instrument Jessica Bell took serious lessons for was ...
a. the guitar
b. piano
c. the recorder

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.


*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she's rehabilitating herself as a "normal" mother and mathematics teacher, it's time to stop dreaming about slicing people's throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne's leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she's determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover's daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia's back. It isn't long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia's motive?

Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Chance Meeting between Characters

Have you ever wondered what would happen if two characters from different books met up with each other? Well, today see what happens when Edison (from Meradeth Houston's Colors Like Memories) meets up with Princess Kaylee (from my Quest of the Hart). Be sure to stop by Meradeth's blog for an exchange between Arabella (the villain from Quest of the Hart) and Julia (the heroine from Colors Like Memories).

Kaylee wandered down the dirt path, dappled sunlight shining through the trees, giving a golden-green glow to everything. When she reached the edge of the stream, she stopped and let out a loud sigh.

Edison: It’s far too nice a day for something to be troubling you enough for a sigh like that. Are you doing okay? I’m Edison, by the way.

Kaylee: Hello, Edison. It’s lovely to meet you. I’m Kaylee, Princess of Palindore, soon to be Princess of Breniera. (She gives a small smile.) And that is the source of my worry. I am to marry Prince Devlin in a little over a week, and I have yet to meet him. I’m to leave for his kingdom in the morning, and am quite nervous about it all. Perhaps you could take my mind from my worries by telling me a little about yourself.

Edison: That sounds like something to be rather nervous about. I hope that your Prince is a decent fellow. As for myself, there isn’t much to tell. I’m traveling through the area on business, actually. It seemed like a nice day for a walk. Tell me, what sorts of creatures live in these woods?

Kaylee: Oh, there are squirrels, and birds. Some chipmunks. If you look real close at the base of that tree over there (Kaylee points to a large oak) you’ll see the entrance to a mole home. Further in you can find deer and a few elk. (she studies Edison) Are you here to hunt, then?

Edison: That’s not really my thing. Though I have heard of an amazing Hart in these woods. I wouldn’t mind seeing him, though I’m not fond of hunting for sport. There are much better forms of entertainment. I can see that you like to take walks--what else do you do for fun?

Kaylee: I like to read. I really hope my new home will have a library. The one here is okay, but I’ve read all the books there. A couple more than once! What about you? What do you do- for fun or anything else?  I feel like you’re hiding something from me. Do I need to call for my brother?

Edison (holding up his hands): No, no need for that. Hiding things is part of my job, just something that I can’t help, but I am being honest with you. As much as I can, at the very least. And I enjoy reading, too. I’ve seen some of the libraries of this world. They are impressive. What’s your favorite book?

Kaylee: Oh, I have so many. Mostly ones of the handsome prince rescuing the beautiful princess, or knights on majestic quests. How about you?

Edison: I’m much more for the classics, non-fiction, but if I’m in the mood, a good love story brings back some pleasant memories.

Kaylee: I love a good love story too. So, who is the special girl these stories bring to mind?

Edison: Someone who was really close to me. She passed away quite a while ago, but I like to  be reminded of the good times we spent together. So, what have you learned about this Prince you’re about to marry? Will he live up to the ones you’ve read about?

Kaylee: I’m not sure. I really don’t know much about him, other than he has a twin sister. I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m confused at how it could have happened so long ago as you look scarcely older than my sixteen years. Are you using some kind of magic to alter your appearance?

Edison (laughing): That’s actually a good story for a book, I’d like to think! That’s quite a secret to tell though, one that I’m not at liberty to share. The magic that keeps me looking young can be quite cruel at times. And I’m sure there are other things you’d rather talk about today. Like, what are your wedding plans? Will there be a big festival to celebrate?

Kaylee: I’d rather talk about you (Edison stiffens and Kaylee smiles at him) but I understand your need to keep secrets. (A bird trill fills the air) Oh, goodness! I am truly sorry, but I must leave. My mother is waiting for me. It was nice meeting you, Edison. And, don’t give up on love. Sometimes you find it where you least expect it.

Edison: It was a pleasure to meet you, Kaylee. I hope that your wedding goes well, your groom is a true Prince, and you find a giant library at your new estates!

Read Edison and Kaylee's stories in this special release:

PRODIGIES OF YA I available now at iBooks

4 YA novels in 1:
Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel...A reverse Sleeping Beauty tale where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince.

Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston...Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.

Tex, the Witch Boy by Stuart R. West...Someone is killing the bullies of 
Clearwell High...what's your average teenage boy witch to do?

Nightmares by Donna McDunn...Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.