Wilde's Fire

The exciting first book of the Darkness Falls series!

Wilde's Army

The second installment of Darkness Falls.

Wilde's Meadow

The conclusion of Katriona and Arland's story.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wildest Moments

Wildest Moments Blogfest!

WILDE'S MEADOW comes out next Monday. Can you believe it?

Me either!

You may have to pick me up and smack my face! Three books published within six months of each other . . . I better get back on track here.

So, I have 4 weeks of giveaways and blog tour posts planned for the month of November. (Full tour and contest info is at the bottom of this post.)

Beginning the second week of November--that's the 12-16--I'll be hosting the Wildest Moments Blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in.

All you have to do is blog about a time you did something wild, something life changing. Jumped from a perfectly good airplane? Quit your job to write full time? I'm looking for fun, heart-pumping, or inspirational stories that you have experienced. "Wilde" things you've completed on your quest to grow up or move on.

Anyone who posts their Wildest Moments between November 12th-23rd can enter to win a Kindle FIRE ($199), Kindle Fire Skins, or a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Yes, this means I will visit each blog and read your "wildest" moments.

Don’t blog? Put the cover of WILDE'S MEADOW up on your FB wall, pin it on Pinterest, or change your twitter avatar to the cover. Use the words “Wildest Moments” somewhere to go with the picture and link back to this post. (I will still enter you to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card--or B&N--and all three Darkness Falls books on December 5th)

Sign up for the blogfest in the LinkyTool below (and make sure you grab the Wildest Moments badge to put on your blog).

Full Tour (there are two--A Review and Interview tour through Kismet, and an Interview, Review, Giveaway, Promo tour via ME!) Schedule:


November 5th - Jen
November 6th - Pam
November 7th - Hannah
November 8th - Stacy
November 9th - Shreya
November 12th - Damaris
November 13th - Jessica
November 14th - Susan
November 15th - Benji @ The Non Reluctant Reader
November 16th - Colette at A Buckeye Girl Reads
November 19th - Anagha
November 20th - Terri
November 21st - Tori
November 22nd - Laurie
November 23rd - Ana

November 5 - Mara Valderran
November 5 - Matthew Graybosch - Interview and Giveaway
November 6 - Jamie Ayres - Interview
November 6 - Mandy Anderson - Excerpt and Giveaway
November 7 - Johanna Pitcairn - Giveaway
November 7 - Ayden Morgen - 10 Rules for Surviving Encardia
November 8 - Brinda Berry - Biggest Distractions and Giveaway
November 8 - Jaycee DeLorenzo
November 9 - Jessica Wentz - Interview and Giveaway

November 10 - My Blog - Giveaway (ebook FADE, ebook WILD AT HEART VOL2, Romance Trading Cards, THE TRUTHS ABOUT DATING AND MATING-signed paperback)

November 12 - Susie Levine - Giveaway
November 12 - Thea Gregory
November 13 - Kay Froebel
November 13 - Nicole Zoltack - My Favorite Lines
November 14 - Carlyle Pretorius
November 14 - Charity Bradford - Giveaway
November 15 - Talynn Lynn - Giveaway
November 16 - Amanda Foody - Interview
November 16 - Mike Robinson - Excerpt

November 17 - My Blog - Giveaway (ebook ZOMBIE BEDTIME STORIES 1-3, ebook WOMAN OF HONOR, ebook BROKEN DESTINY)

November 19 - Krystalyn Drown
November 20 - Raine Thomas - Excerpt
November 20 - Jessa Russo - Review
November 21 - Vicki Trask
November 22 - Christina McKnight
November 23 - Carrie Slager - Interview

November 24 - My Blog - Giveaway (THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER, ebook BECOMING, ebook EVER)

November 26 - Farrah Sayyed - Interview
November 26 - Debra Kristi - Interview
November 27 - Felicia Wetzig - Interview and Giveaway
November 27 - James Wymore -
November 28 - Carolyn Brown
November 29 - Dawna Raver - Review
November 29 - Sylvia van Bruggen - Interview
November 30 - Lisa Collicutt - Review

December 1 - My Blog - Giveaway (MINDSCREENS, THE GATHERING DARKNESS and Swag)


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paradise Earth

Another cover reveal? Really?

Yes. It's true. Curiosity Quills is pumping out the beautiful covers, and I'm here with the cover of fellow author, Anthony Mathenia's, Paradise Earth.

This novel releases December 21st from Curiosity Quills Press!

When the ground quakes and blazing balls of fire fall from the sky, a religious sect interprets it as the fulfillment of long-held prophecies foretelling the end of the world. The members flee to their religious sanctuary, believing that this global cataclysm is the portent of a new paradise of eternal happiness.

Inside, one cold and starving man struggles to hold onto his hope for the future. He’s sacrificed everything for his faith in the prophecy, including his family. As the tortuous night drags on, he struggles to hold onto his hope for the future and grapples with a lifetime of beliefs, and expectations. If he survives to see the paradise earth, will it be worth it?

Interesting release for the day the world is supposed to end, huh?

Anthony Mathenia is a novelist and freelance writer. He has a weekly romance serial titled Happiness: How to Find It published on curiosityquills.com and a weekly offbeat travel column on Vagobond.com. Paradise Earth: Day Zero is his debut novel. He was raised in a religious cult and sincerely apologizes for waking you up on Saturday morning in order to recruit you.



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Monday, October 22, 2012

Live Interview with Susie

So, as many of you know, Wilde's Meadow releases November 5th!

Last week, I sat down with Susie Levine (from Reviews by Sus), and we had a fun chat about what you should expect from the last book in my Darkness Falls trilogy.

Hopefully you'll enjoy this interview as much as we did!

Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her DraĆ­ochtans.

Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.

Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way. Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?



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Friday, October 19, 2012

Sanity Vacuum #CoverReveal

Hi, guys! I'm taking a break from the Haunted Clinic and Contest to bring you another amazing cover from the team at Curiosity Quills!

Sanity Vacuum (by Thea Gregory) releases December 6th!

Vivian Skye just finished university, and qualified for her first-choice internship. Not many would consider the distant and isolated Extra-Galactic Observatory cushy, but it’s a dream come true for Vivian. Hailing from the low-tech planet of Aurora, she studied hard for this opportunity—and to leave her old life, and planet behind.

Her assignment is simple: perform a routine upgrade for the station’s supercomputer, quIRK. Her reception isn’t a friendly one, and eccentric quIRK becomes her only friend. However, the station’s administrator, Bryce Zimmer is obsessed with quIRK—he suspects that the station’s computer may have achieved sentience, something explicitly prohibited by the ABACUS Protocol. Compounding their issues, Bryce’s traumatic and privileged past makes him distrust Vivian from the beginning. Desperate to keep control, he sabotages quIRK in order to eliminate Vivian. But, his plan threatens to consume the entire station and send them into the unknown void of intergalactic space.

Vivian must struggle to survive not only Bryce’s megalomania, but also the emerging artificial super intelligence that is quIRK. Can Vivian and quIRK learn to trust each other and work together, before it’s too late?

Sounds awesome, right?! I know I can't wait to read it!

Thea Gregory is a farm girl from English Western Quebec, a total nerd, and she loves science fiction, zombies and physics. Between marathon cooking sessions, her clerktastic day job, and part-time studies, she manages to find time to write. Author of the Zombie Bedtime Stories, her debut sci-fi novel, Sanity Vacuum releases December 6. Thea's blog can be found at http://nerdygnome.wordpress.com


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Haunted Clinic and Wilde's Meadow #TEASER!

Welcome back, Minions--see, that was much better than yesterday's intro!

Some of you are here because you're dying to quench your growing thirst for a glimpse into Wilde's Meadow, the third and final book in my Darkness Falls series. And some of you are here because you're part of the Curiosity Quills Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest.

I'm here because . . . ahh, well, I have what everyone's looking for.

So, to keep the rambling short, and to give you all what you desire, I'll shut up and get to pasting!


(Clinic guests, please stay tuned after the first page!)


Chapter One

"You let that greasy pig off too easily," Flanna mumbles, holding a sharp, wooden needle between her lips.

I glance down at the top of her red head. "If it weren't for that greasy pig, you wouldn't be sewing this ridiculous looking costume on me right now."

She removes the torture device from her mouth and glares at me, narrowing her brilliant blue eyes. "This is not a costume, and it is not ridiculous. You already died once. Next time you may not be as lucky."

Three days have passed since Arland and I committed our lives to each other, to these people and world—uniting everyone in the process—and as much as things have changed, a few of my friends still have issues getting over misunderstandings from a long time ago.

"Flanna, I know what happened to your mom, and I know you blame Dufaigh, but he is trying to be good." I jump from the creaking stool she has me standing on like an abused model, then take her hand in mine. "He's brought leather and metal for you to make armor for me, like you so oddly requested. He hasn't threatened to kill anyone, he hasn't argued, he hasn't done anything that should make us think otherwise."

She huffs, blowing hair from her face. "I know. I believe that is my problem. I have never trusted him, but now with him being . . . nice, I trust him even less." Flanna grabs the soft, muddy-brown suede draped over my shoulders and pulls me closer. "Now, hold still so I can finish this."

I roll my eyes and suck in a breath. I don't think I can handle another needle prick; I already have dried blood spots sprinkled over my shoulders.

"Flanna?" I watch her slide the pointed wood dangerously close to my skin.

"Kate?" she says in her usual sarcastic way, the one I've missed since Lann died. Prophecies or no prophecies, most people are still clueless as to their future, the fate of their friends, family, and loved ones. Flanna didn't have time to prepare for Lann's death, and his early end wasn't fair, but her panicky attempt at creating armor for me—when she is clearly not a dresser—makes me wonder what she does know.

"What are you hiding from me?"

Flanna growls.

"You seem so nervous about my safety all of a sudden. I mean with the armor, and never leaving my side, and—"

She shakes her head. "You—"

THE END! :-)

Wouldn't you all kill me if that was it?

Anyhoo, Clinic Guests, what did that first page do for you? Now, you have to remember this is the third in a series. I have a bit more room to move on with the story, but if you read the first page of the first novel in this series, you'll know that moving forward quickly--sucking the reader right in--is the best thing to do. And what better way to end a first page than with a big question?

I want you to get out there and WOW your readers!

<3 Krystal


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Monday, October 15, 2012

First Page Success - Haunted Clinic

Hello, my pretties--err . . . wrong villain! Since Frankenstein didn't do anything other than moan, I'm going to have to channel more "HE'S ALIVE" enthusiasm.


I give up.

So, part of the Writing Clinic is the First Page example. The first page of a novel can turn out to be the most daunting page. This is where you have to capture the attention of your audience. This is where you establish who your main character is, sometimes the problem within the story, and this is where you need action, emotion, excitement!

What you cannot put on your first page is a back story. My name is X, and I live in Y, and Z is what got me to this point in my life.

If that's how your book starts out, you have a lot of revisions ahead of you.

Okay, enough of my rambling. This is the first page of Wilde's Fire, which is also the Prologue!


I'm standing in the middle of a meadow, surrounded by tall wheat grasses. Dotted along the hillside are thousands of purple and yellow wildflowers. Bending down to pick one, I catch sight of him. Tall, strong, with looks piercing straight through me.

Stepping away from the dark shadows of the forest, he crosses into the
meadow, then stops in front of me.

"Katriona." He utters my name as if there's no other name in the world he'd rather speak.


He reaches out to hug me, the way he has so many times before. His workworn
hands warm my skin with their touch. He leans in, closes his eyes—

The sun disappears. The sky turns black. Emerging from the forest, gray
beasts with hollow eyes surround and watch us. Before Arland can turn and fight, a mangled creature rushes forward, then stabs him through the heart with a long, dagger-like claw.

My screams fill the darkness.


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Pranksters Strike!

I love my job. Correction: I love my coworkers, and I don't mind my job.

If you know me personally, you know that I work in politics/elections, and this is the absolute busiest time of the year for me. This is also the most frustrating, overwhelming, tiring . . .  you get the point.

So, in order to unwind, some of us in the office play pranks on each other. What better way to let off some steam?

Last week, while on break, I toilet-papered someone's desk.

Hey! What can I say? She was on vacation. Can you believe that?

Well, she returned from vacation this morning, and look at how she paid me back!

Anyway, the point of this post is this: We work so hard every day, we stress and focus on the necessary and somehow we miss out on the simple things, the things that make us laugh, that bring us together, that make us human.

Wherever you are in the world today, make sure you smile. And if you have nothing to smile about, play a prank on someone. All in good fun, of course!

<3 Krystal


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Better Late than Later

Better late than later is a quote my favorite lawyer created, and today, I have to agree with him.

I'm failing at being BEE for my very own Jamie Ayres. So rather than delay any longer, I'm here to reveal the cover for her book 18 Things!

Can eighteen things save a life?

Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten. Then Conner is killed in a freak accident, and Olga feels responsible.

The sarcastic, nerdy girl who never missed a day of school is suddenly lost and unable to deal with the emotional pain. When she downs an entire bottle of pain pills, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

Olga enlists the help of her friends and becomes a catalyst for healing in their own lives as they eagerly offer suggestions. Alls she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.

Maybe it’s time to put into practice the lessons her list has taught her. Just as she’s finally embracing the joys of YOLO, her therapist reveals a big secret, and
Olga’s world is shaken. In the past year it took eighteen remarkable things to change a life, but nothing she believed about her mission is true. Now she doesn’t just risk losing her true soul-mate forever, she risks losing her very soul. There’s only one thing she knows for certain. Her choice will affect their future for all eternity.

Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a public school teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. 18 Things is her debut novel. Visit her website.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Countdown to #TVD is on!

Dear World,

I, Krystal Wade (aka Mom, Queen of Awesomesauce, BEE, and all that other stuff), am a fangirl (oh, another name!). That's right. Me, person with her head screwed on straight.

And you know what? I'm not afraid to admit it.

I haven't been so in love with a fictional character since . . . since . . . I honestly think the last time I was this in love, my heart was going all pitter patter for Doogie Howser, MD. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

However, I will admit that while I am desperately in love with Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries, I do love everything else about the show too. (In case you missed my post about the show's writing/backstory/awesomeness, visit this post.)

Today marks the premiere of Season 4, and I couldn't be happier. I've set my DVR to record, just in case, and I'm dreaming of which flavor popcorn I'll prepare.

Hope you are all as excited as me, and if you haven't watched the show yet, I highly suggest catching up with Seasons 1-3 on Netflix!

<3 Krystal

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My Successful Query

Welcome back, Mad Scientists. Hopefully you've all been working on your Frankenstein's--aka queries--and you're noticing lots of improvements in your creations.

As promised yesterday, I'm here to provide you with my successful query. This short letter earned me two acceptances . . . on the same day.

Now, I want you all to know I edited this a tad before it went on my actual book. So below this successful query, I'm pasting the final version.


Dear Ms. XXXX,

 “There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most.” – Katriona Wilde

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she’s ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out. When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she’s dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. She’s forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her. What’s worse, she has no control over her new future, and it’s full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made. Will she discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?

Full of love and loss in 95,766 words, Wilde’s Fire is the first of a three-part fantasy written with young adults in mind, but has the potential to span across many age groups. I’ve attached the synopsis, prologue and first three chapters for your review. Your time and consideration are appreciated.

With Respect,

So I've tweaked that little query/blurb to read this way:

"There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most." - Katriona Wilde.

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she's ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out. When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she's dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate's forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her. What's worse, she has no control over her new future, and it's full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made. Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?

Hope this helps!

<3 Krystal

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Frankenstein's Laboratory - He's Ali...err, Successful

Is your query ALIVE? Do your words create tingles in the fingertips of the editor or agent reading the short-better-make-an-impact-fast synopsis of your book?

God I hope so.

Queries are hard. Submitting your query is harder.

My first piece of advice is this: Make sure you know who you're submitting your manuscript to. If that agent/editor has zero interest in your type story, don't waste your time. Do your RESEARCH (Like any excellent mad scientist!)

My second piece of advice: Know your story. Nothing worse than a query that's all over the place.

Third piece (you know you want it!) and this happens to be the best piece of advice I've ever received: Write 1 sentence for where your MC is at the beginning of your story and 1 sentence where she/he is at the end, then go back and write three sentences that are your main three plot points. Once you have this "outline", go back and write a few transition sentences that get you from each of your 5 sentences. None of this has to be perfect; just get the idea out there. Clean up as required. :-)

That's it for now. Tomorrow I think I'll post my successful query!

Don't forget to say hello to my fellow villains!

James Wymore - Dark Brain, master of hypnosis, seeking Darkling minions

Court Young - The House of Gaunt (pure bloods only)

Dawna Raver - The Mystical Masters

Gerilyn Marin - The Phantom Court

Thea Gregory - The Zombie Culinary Institute

Mike Robinson - The Mighty Minotaurs of Metaphysics

Krystal Wade - Frankenstein's Laboratory

The Criminal Masterminds - Visit the Curiosity Quills blog today for an interview with criminal mastermind contest judge, Andrew Buckley.

This is a Blog Hop!

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Monday, October 8, 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic

Hello fellow writers, minions, super villains.

Thanks for stopping by.  As a former acquisitions editor for Curiosity Quills Press, I saw a lot of queries. Some good. Some bad. Some horrifically ugly, covered in slime and ooze, brandishing knives, and shooting turds. (Okay, I was just doing that to stay in the spirit of Halloween--or something.)

One of the biggest flaws I observed was wordiness. Not spelling--because we ALL spell things wrong. Not because you didn't follow our submission guidelines--which is my second biggest peeve. The biggest flaw is WORDINESS!


Well, acquisitions editors read non-stop! If you want to capture the attention of an editor, you need to do it immediately. Write clear, concise sentences. Punchy lines that build tension are my favorite. I usually tell people to imagine a trailer for a movie. If that movie was about your book, what would it say? Television doesn't allow you to be wordy--that would be too expensive, and viewers would allow their ADD to get the better of them and leave the room. So, treat your acquisitions editor as if she/he has a severe case of ADD.

That's all the advice I have for you today!

This is a blog hop, and you can still participate!

For the Minions: You are hereby commanded to post your query for slaughter on or shortly after 10/8. Then through the course of the week, visit the sites of the other minions to attack their queries (aka give helpful and respectful critique they can use to improve their submission). You are also commanded to visit the sites of the super villains for tips on how to make your query more likely to frighten editors into doing your bidding.

Remember minions, this week is purely to help you improve your query and will not be part of the judging for the contest. You may edit your query based on feedback and re-post throughout the week if you wish.
For the Super villains: The honorable and fiendish super villains will be doing the following on their blogs this week:

-Posting their spooky team name and theme

-Posting tips on how to write a query or anything else they think the minions may find helpful regarding getting published

-Posting their successful query (if applicable)

-Visiting the minions' blogs to critique their query

Sharon Bayliss - The Dark Side (you know you want to come over)

James Wymore - Dark Brain, master of hypnosis, seeking Darkling minions

Court Young - The House of Gaunt (pure bloods only)

Dawna Raver - The Mystical Masters

Gerilyn Marin

Thea Gregory - The Zombie Culinary Institute

Mike Robinson

Krystal Wade - Frankenstein's Laboratory

The Criminal Masterminds

Is this the first you're hearing about the contest? Learn more here. New minions are welcome to join until 10/21.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Politicians and Reviews

Reviews have a way of bringing an author a lot of joy and also a lot of pain. No author likes to hear that our words pissed off a reader. And I definitely know we can't stand when someone rips every fiber of our book to shreds, saying it's worthless, horrible, the worst thing ever.

But this is reality. And if you read what I recently wrote about perception, you'll know that everyone's reality is different.

Here's an analogy for all my author friends, something to help you get a little perspective on why the entire world doesn't love your book, something I like to laugh about because I work in politics!


Look at politicians. They speak at a public event, to a crowd of thousands. Half the crowd cheers and says "HELL YEAH! You ROCK. You're going to save us, bring change, rule the world, end Darkness!"


The other half of the crowd goes, "What the *bleep*? Idiots! You're all idiots! Did you HEAR what he just said? He's going to enslave us, you fools!"


Everyone is at the same event, listening to the same politician, but everyone hears his words a bit differently.


Think about that next time you get a bad review. People are unique, so you can hardly expect everyone to love your book!


Happy Friday!


<3 Krystal



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Thursday, October 4, 2012

#EVER - Blog Tour

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past
two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie,
and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his
ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself
falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence
is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby
comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of
chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more
than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

If that doesn't make you want to read the book, I don't know what will? How about that cover?

I asked the Ever's Author, Jessa Russo, the same question I ask every author who guest posts here: What part of you is in Ever?

This is Jessa's response:

Yikes. This is a tough question to answer – which is probably why you asked it, isn’t it?

Well played, Madam Editor … well played.

Off the top of my head, I can say that a lot of my life experiences are in this book. The most significant being my dad dying when I was 16, which both traumatized me and severely stunted me. I think that a huge chunk of me stopped growing when he died, staying sixteen forever. I joke that I am a sixteen-year-old at heart, but in all seriousness, I truly believe that some of me is still stuck in 1996 – tucked safely away so as not to have to deal with the sudden death of my dad. I hadn’t planned on bringing this tragedy into my writing, but it seemingly wrote itself into EVER. Maybe it was my way of acknowledging something I still can’t believe, these 16 years later. Some of the things relating to Ever’s dad’s death, or that happen in her life because of it, are very real to me, though I don’t feel comfortable airing them on the world wide web. Her mother’s inability to cope, her own brash decisions when it came to jumping into sexual situations with Toby, her one-day-strong-the-next-day-weak feelings, etc. Without going into detail and explaining *why* those things ring true to me, I will just say that for one reason or another – either personal experiences or things I’ve witnessed – they just do. We’ll leave it at that.

The love triangle – ah yes, the love triangle. Aside from the fact that I think every girl/woman secretly loves them because of the simple allure of having two sexy guys vying for your heart, I think the love triangle in EVER exists because of how completely boy crazy I’ve always been. Well, I don’t know if I can really say *always* now that I’ve been with my husband for over ten years, but maybe it still rings true a little bit. I mean, I do have like, 20+ fictional boyfriends after all. I have also always been torn between the types of guys I liked. I was drawn to the tattoos and bad-assery of the bad boys, but remarkably, they never seemed to be very good guys. {Insert confused expression} But the super sweet guys, though charming and kind, always seemed to leave me wanting. Side Note: I got really lucky with my husband – super hot, tattooed and a heart of gold (he’d kill me for saying something so silly, but it’s true. He keeps that heart under lock and key though.) Anyway, back to the subject at hand, I think Frankie and Toby represent the two types of love interests that were always in my story. The brooding, unreachable guy you crave, and the loving, sensitive guy who craves you.

In Book Two, I have added a sorcerer who smooshes Frankie and Toby together, forming the perfect guy.

Oh geez, I’m kidding. Sorry to get your hopes up like that.

On a deeper level, I think that there is a lot of myself in Ever (the character). Her ability to fall head over heels for a guy before even looking before she leaps … her insecurities … her amazing ability to make bad choices when the good choice is practically snapping its fingers in her face … her awkwardness mingled with a confidence she doesn’t know she has … these are all parts of me (whether me now, or the me I was sixteen years ago). I think that’s what makes it even harder on me when reviewers trash her. She’s me.

On a superficial level, the setting of the book is very much home. Though I am not from Orange, I am from Orange County, so everywhere that’s in the book, I’ve been. I may leave Southern California one day, choosing to raise my daughter somewhere less rat-race-ish, and I may frequently scheme and plan and wish for a way to get back to New Orleans (the city that stole my heart), South County will always be home. So that aspect of the book is also a huge part of me – only, like I said, a very superficial part.


You can find Jessa's book on Amazon, B&N, and many other retailers. You can also learn more about Jessa at her website.

When not consumed by reading or writing young adult fiction, Jessa Russo enjoys spending time with family and friends, painting, and planning her next trip to The Big Easy. Jessa will always call California home.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Only In Her Dreams

Author Christina McKnight is visiting here today. She's offered up an short excerpt from Chapter One of Only In Her Dreams.


~Chapter One

Lucessa stared at her bed. It was time to sleep again, but it was getting harder to succumb to it. She started to think the day would never come when she could abandon herself to sleep without the feeling of being watched. He was always there--haunting her dreams. Her dreams hadn’t been her own in such a long time.

He was always there. Never talking but always watching.Intently. As if he knew her. Security, even in sleep, eluded her.

She’d lost her father and her husband. Her mother was slipping away, battling a memory loss that was progressing daily. Her dreams were the only place she could remember a family, someone who cared. But he insisted on intruding. Every happy memory and every nightmare included his presence. Why did he always show up? How could she get rid of him?

Lucessa tried for the millionth time to find a solution as she climbed under the covers. Who am I kidding? There was nothing she could do. He was a dream! A figment of her imagination. She sighed and resigned herself to another restless night.

Lucessa was a child again. The cold, pine-scented wind tangled her hair as she descended the mountain path in front of her parents. Her family’s annual summer camping trip to Yosemite National Parkwas in its third day, and that meant they’d conquered Half Dome for the third year straight. Ever since her parents deemed her old and skilled enough for the challenge, they hiked it together. As a family.

She looked back at her smiling parents as they held hands and strolled down the path after her. Her mother, Marie, looked casual in her jeans and the blue“Keep Lake Tahoe Blue” shirt that hugged her frame. Her father wore a San Francisco Giants baseball cap, a wisp of salt and pepper hair showing through. They looked like a couple out of the travel magazine that Lucessa had seen in her father’s study weeks ago.

“Dear, watch where you’re going!”

Lucessa turned back to the trail, nearly colliding with a man lounging against a tree just off the path. Dressed in a thigh-hugging pair of dark pants and a billowy tunic that had to be from at least a century ago, he pushed off the tree trunk and tipped his hat. His blue eyes sparkled with mischief in the evening twilight, letting off a faint glow. The man looked eerily recognizable.

She looked back to reassure her mother that she was okay. Lucessa scanned the woods behind her.

But they were gone. Only the familiar stranger remained.~

Too cool, right?!

Want to stalk Christina now?

Here are her details (don't tell her I showed you!):

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

In college, Christina took many courses to help develop and enhance her writing skills. She completed a seventy-page dissertation on the need for community policing in American society. Now, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, two boxers, two cats, and a Beta fish named Marmaduke.  If she’s not behind a computer screen or book, she’s busy leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She is very active in several writing groups and a local book group.

Twitter - Blog - E-Mail

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I'm The Next Big Thing

Or so I hope! For those of you familiar with this little blog meme, does this not make you think of THIS SONG every time you see this post?

What is your working title of your book?

Shattered Secrets

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I used Kid #2 for character inspiration (Abigail Nichols get's her spunk, defiance, skepticism, and NAME from my Abby) Where the idea for the story came from? Well, I saw this really cute guy by his flat black Dodge Charger on the side of the road. He was in HANDCUFFS, leaning casually against the guardrail, smug smile on his face. Later that night I got into a conversation about people who take role playing games too seriously and VOILA, bad guy born!

What genre does your book fall under?

Shattered Secrets is a genre bender. I'm writing it for young adults who are interested in thriller/suspense/fantasy/romance. I'm trying to keep the romance to a minimum in this and focus more on the crazy, life-altering action!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Abigail Nichols, I really like Kaya Scodelario. She's cute, girl next door-ish, and has this spark in her eyes that says, "Watch out, people, I will use sarcasm!"

For Derick, I've chosen Chace Crawford. (And if you've read any parts of Shattered Secrets, you'll know that Derick's last name is Crawford. What better way to remember the actor you're using for inspiration?) Anyway, he has this boyish look, but also a handsome, I will get dressed up for a ball and sweep you off your feet look--no, there are no balls in Shattered Secrets . . . not that kind of book!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Abigail Nichols must decide if she trusts the boy she loves, a book that knows more about her than she does, or her instincts, because if she doesn't, her world just might shatter.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Independent Publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?

I've been working on Shattered Secrets off and on since April. I'm halfway through the first draft.

This is from the Prologue:

Derick and I were at The Griffin—a little bookstore in downtown Fredericksburg. He was reading his worn out copy of The Hobbit, and for the life of me, I can't remember what piece of literature I held in my hands. I was too busy staring over my book at him.

Burning tinders popped and sizzled in the fireplace next to us. He sat across from me, on a chocolate, micro-fiber sofa. I loved the way the warm, earthy hues of the furniture made his sky-blue eyes stand out against everything else in our favorite spot in the world.

He caught my eyes in their eternal lock on him, smiled—a nervous smile, but a smile nonetheless—then patted the spot next to him.

My heart fluttered. I closed my book—I wasn't really reading it—took a few trembling steps toward him, then sat as close as possible without touching.

He cast a sideways glance, and the corner of his mouth twisted up just a little when he said, "Since when do you think I bite, Abigail Nichols?"

My insides twisted into knots, and somehow I guessed he knew it.

Derick put his arm around my shoulders, pulled me closer to him, and for the first time in our long friendship, he spoke words we'd never dared bring up: "Are you ever going to let me kiss you?"

The question made my heart jump up and down in my chest, performing an insanely happy dance. I wiped the wide grin off my face then replaced the ridiculous look with a more respectable one. "I'm not sure why you felt you had to ask."

The close proximity of his face to mine, the firelight dancing in his eyes, the smell of coffee and chocolate and musty books—these are the things I will always remember. He approached slowly, closed his eyes, then he drew in a deep breath. Our lips met, and I knew he was what I've always wanted, what I've always needed.

We sat on the lovely little sofa, in the lovely little bookstore, with our fingers laced together, our mouths moving together, and our hearts full of happiness—at least my heart was.

He dropped me off at home a couple hours later and promised to drive me to school the next morning. He never showed up, never called, never—

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Erm. Well, I'm not sure I like comparing myself to anyone or anything. I'll have to get back to you on that!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Told ya already . . . the guy on the side of the road. ;-)

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I'm hoping to release a teaser chapter, from a side-character's POV, at the end of Wilde's Meadow!

Thank you, Lisa Collicutt, for tagging me in this contest.

I'm supposed to tag five people, but I don't have the time to reach out to them first. So, I'm going to tag five people and *hope* they have time to play along!

Rules of The Next Big Thing:

*Use this format for your post

*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

*Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?

What genre does your book fall under?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged. Be sure to line up your five people in advance.


Wilde's Fire            -           Wilde's Army              -            Wilde's Meadow


First, you must listen to my little rant, then you must watch the video to know the horror I'm experiencing today!

My Morning Ride

Is MmmBop stuck in your head now, too?!


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