Saturday, May 30, 2015

Here comes June~

June National Novel Writing Month that is! 

I've got my outline mostly ready. (You never quite know about those last few chapters, if the beginning will actually take you to that ending, but it's enough to get started.) I wondered about what I should do for a long time. 

It's been in the back of my mind for months actually...what will I do for JuNoWriMo?? But an idea finally struck me that I like very much and I always try to write what I think will be the most fun for me. It's a return to my old fantasy roots, very much inspired by my Storyteller Series and various short stories I've written over the last few years. 
The working title is Troll Teeth and Other Bedtime Stories
Fun huh?

I always thought this was the best cover. I still love looking at it. :)
Makes me want to read Storyteller again.

Anyway, I may be a little scarce on the blog next month, but I wanted to leave all my #JuNoWriMo peeps with some wise words I recently heard from an orthodontist. Yes, a wise orthodontist. The message applies to those of my peeps who are not writing a novel in June as well. 

Here's the story~

My daughter recently got braces. If you've never had braces, you may not know how important it is to keep your teeth super clean while wearing them. If you don't, you can get lots of cavities and white spots on your teeth that will never go away. My daughter's orthodontist wants to be sure his patients understand the risks of not brushing well so he sits down with each one and has "the talk".

Now this orthodontist isn't like other dentists I've know that just lecture you. He's more of a life lesson kind of guy and this is what he said:

Effort = Success

or more exactly:

The amount of Effort = The amount of Success

It applies not only to brushing your teeth, but to a lot of things in life. The more you persist in your efforts, the more rewarded you will be, even when things get tough or boring or tedious. He called it the "messy middle". You're all excited when you start something new, but then you get to the middle and gets hard to keep going, even when you know you should. He compared it to getting through high school or college, but it made me think of writing books. 

He asked:

Have you ever heard someone say "I wish I never graduated from college"? "I wish I never graduated from high school"? or if you're a writer like me "I wish I never wrote that book and published it"? 

No, because the rewards are awesome once you've achieved your goal. But in the middle, it gets hard.

Don't quit. 
Don't even think about it.
You're a superhero.
You can do it.


Friday, May 22, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal for Serpentine by Cindy Pon with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing the cover for
Serpentine by Cindy Pon
presented byMonth9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.
Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.
When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over--I highly recommend Serpentine.Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels
"Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright's transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it." ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series
"Serpentine's world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you'll want to lose yourself in." ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites
add to goodreadsTitle: Serpentine
Publication date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Cindy Pon
Pre-order Links:
Cindy Pon
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association's Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first title in her next Xia duology, will be published by Month9Books in September 2015. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads

Complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
The book will be sent upon its release.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz – Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel and Predator by Janice Gable Bashman with Giveaway #T4T

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel and
Predator by Janice Gable Bashman!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She’s been putting it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration, Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there’s no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena’s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red Witch.
Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch, she now governs one third of the world’s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be.
But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply will not allow Darlena to quit. She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the Daughter of Chaos.
DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy.
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At the beginning, this novel is reminiscent of other popular fantasy novels like the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, but it quickly takes on a life of its own that will appeal to science fiction, fantasy, and young adult fans alike. Darlena’s struggles mirror issues that many teens face, making her a relate-able and likable main character. This is a title with wide appeal that will fly off the shelves.” – Voya Magazine

“Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel is a refreshing twist to the YA paranormal genre!”Dianne, Tome Tender

“Witches and Greek gods! This seriously couldn't get any better.” – Kelly Hashway, Author
Jen McConnel
Jen McConnel now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The hunt is on! Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.
When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.
Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.
Bree will become the thing she hates, to protect those she loves!
'Predator' gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.

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“Predator is a fast-paced, creepy page-turner! Bashman had me at the opening sentence and she's still got me. I want more!”Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Rules

“Every twist and fascinating revelation fell into place smoothly, with an ending that will leave readers wanting more. With this kind of originality on the page, it is exciting to speculate at the surprises Bashman will unveil next.”Suspense Magazine

“Predator" by Janice Gable Bashman is clean-teen fiction at it's best. It's smart, scary and suspenseful. The main character Bree is a super positive role model for teen girls--no mater what shape she takes” Jennifer, Author
Janice Gable Bashman
Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Wanted Undead or Alive and Predator. She is managing editor of the The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writers’ ezine). Janice lives with her family in the Philadelphia area, where she at work on her next novel. Visit her at

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays: Run for the Roses, Secondary Characters, Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein Book Blitz with Giveaway #ReadSwoonRepeat

Welcome to this week’s
Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays!
This week features Rachel Schieffelbein's titles
Run for the Roses, Secondary Characters, Don't Fall!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Abigail Conrad has spent her whole life training for one goal: to win the roses at the Arabian Youth Nationals. She’s given up friends, a social life, and doesn’t have time to even think about guys -- much less date!

Now that she’s headed off to college in the fall, it’s her last chance to be a Youth National Champion, and she won’t let anything distract her from that dream.

Except maybe Chase, the older brother of Abigail's biggest rival. He’s charming, funny, and possibly Abigail's biggest problem. How can she focus on riding when her mind keeps wandering to Chase’s green eyes and confident smile?

With her dream on the line, Abigail had better learn to fight her growing attraction to Chase, or she might end up losing the roses and the guy.
add to goodreadsRun for the Roses
by Rachel Schieffelbein
Publication Date: November 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance

When Mabel's best friend, Amber, drags her along on a double date she finds herself falling for Lance, the obnoxious class clown whom she swore she'd have no interest in. The only problem is, she's not sure if she's really the girl Lance is into, or if, like every other guy she knows, it's really Amber he's after. One thing is clear, if Mabel wants to be the lead in her own love story, she needs to start acting like it.
add to goodreadsSecondary Characters
by Rachel Schieffelbein
Publication Date: May 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance

In which a teenage girl endures the over-protective love of her adoptive mother until she falls for a boy who has her wanting to spread her wings, pitched as a contemporary retelling of Rapunzel.

Seventeen-year-old Anya leads a very secluded life in a house on the edge of town with her adopted mother. She doesn't go to school, but instead has a private tutor. Her over-protective mom keeps her so sheltered that she doesn't even have a best friend.

But Anya doesn't seem to mind. She has her books, her photography, and her daydreams, and would do anything to please her mom. Until one day at the library, the only place she's allowed to go, she takes a picture of a beautiful boy.

Before long she's lying to her mom, and sneaking out late at night to meet Zander. But Zander wants more than a secret romance. If Anya wants to be with the boy of her dreams, she will have to risk her relationship with the only other person she's ever cared about.
add to goodreadsDon't Fall
by Rachel Schieffelbein
Publication Date: May 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance


Rachel Schieffelbein
Rachel Schieffelbein grew up in a tiny town in Southeast Minnesota reading books, riding horses, and participating in speech and theater. She is now married with four kids and enjoys reading books, riding horses, and coaching speech and theater. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! She enjoys writing characters she can relate to, ones she would want to hangout with, or fall in love with. She hopes her readers will love them, too.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


The Themes in Vessel ~ Where ideas come from

The more I read and write, the more I find myself fascinated with themes. Not the “moral of the story”, but what exactly is it I’m trying to say about the world through my medium – the story. Exploring powerful themes like love, war, slavery, kindness, religion – themes we all have some connection to in our own lives – have brought me all my best stories.

In Vessel, my newest dystopian/scifi novel, many themes surface throughout the pages. I never plan it consciously, but I find that the things on my mind while I’m writing influence my story a lot.

One of the themes that first emerged while writing Vessel was slavery. The main character, Alana, begins the story as a slave. Her belief that no one values her is analogous to how many of us are mentally shackled by our own negative self-image. Through the events of the story, Alana learns to break free of that image, mentally and physically. Beauty is also a prominent theme in Vessel – what it is and what it isn’t. True beauty is inside us, not on our face, as Alana learns.

Vessel also explores the themes of power and control, like any good dystopian novel. When politics and armed conflicts are on the news every night, it’s hard to get away from. Even the news outlets these days make one wonder about the nature of knowledge, who has it and who doesn’t. Who uses fear to control people? What is really the truth?

Probably my favorite theme in Vessel is kindness. Alana’s kindness to Recks, even though he’s a prisoner and a thief, is the action that sets the story events into motion. Their kindness to each other is the shining beacon that lights their way through the dark times and holds them together.
While Vessel is science fiction, many of the themes are perfectly relevant to today. My goal in writing with themes is not to lecture readers on what they should believe. My goal is to make my story relevant to everyday life, even if the story itself is perfectly fantastical, and to make readers think. For readers, seeing ourselves inside a story, feeling what the character feels, that’s what’s important. As a writer, that’s the best way to entertain, which is always my ultimate goal. I hope you enjoy my new dystopian novel, Vessel, now available in print and e-book on Amazon.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May Romance Blogfest

Hi and welcome to my bloggy home on the internet :)
I'm excited to be a part of the Romance Blogfest this month and I have several books to share with you!
Read on down the page to learn about my work
and enter the giveaways for Hush Puppy and for my newest novel, Vessel~

Hush Puppy by Lisa T. Cresswell
Featherweight Press, 2013

Hush Puppy is the story of Corrine Lamb, a seventeen year old black girl, and Jamie Armstrong, a poor white boy, living in a backwater North Carolina town. Intelligent Corrine, abandoned by her mother, and artsy Jamie, forced to play football by a redneck father, both dream of leaving their podunk town and never looking back.

Their shared love of literature and a dream of a better life brings them together and a romance blossoms between them in a secret place of their own in the steamy North Carolina woods. When Jamie is involved in the accidental death of a white girl, he's terrified of his abusive father. Corrine takes the blame to protect Jaime, with dire consequences for herself and her dreams of the future. Her life in danger, Corrine's left wondering if Jamie ever cared about her at all.

The events surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin underscore how prevalent fear and hate still is in our country. Sadly, many of the themes explored in Hush Puppy are extremely relevant to today's youth. It's my hope that Hush Puppy is a story not only about poverty and race, but about hope, friendship, and the power of love. Enjoy~

                           Amazon  Barnes & Noble

~Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive~

Simple and stunning, Hush Puppy is an emotionally powerful story that will stay with readers long after they’ve closed the final page. Crisp, evocative prose and a refreshingly realistic black protagonist make this novel a standout among YA literature. This uncommon YA novel is highly recommended, especially for public and school libraries. The difficult topics the book so deftly addresses are relevant today, and even the day-to-day difficulties of the high school classroom are presented realistically and without dramatic overindulgence.

With a lot of emotion and skill, Cresswell weaves together a story that promotes the power of friendship and the importance of being true to oneself.

Hush Puppy is a sweet, sweet story of conquering prejudices, forgiveness and family, and a reminder that positive perspective, determination, and the support of one special person are enough to overcome whatever trauma life may deal.

To read an excerpt and more about the author, click on over to You can add her books to your 'to be read' list on Good Reads too!

~Meet Corrine~

My name is Corrine Lamb and my tombstone better not read "Born, lived, and died in Carolville, North Carolina". If I don't get outta this redneck town, go to college, and see the world, I'll be a complete failure. I'll join the Peace Corps if I have to. I live with my grandma, who’s about as protective as it gets. I guess she’s trying to make up for my mama running off and leaving me after daddy died. I had my whole life figured out before Jamie showed up, romancing me with his poetry and books. I never met such a crazy white boy. He’s so wicked smart, but he plays like he’s dumb so his redneck daddy won’t know. I never thought I’d fall for a white boy in a million years. He thinks he can’t go to college, but I’m gonna enter him in a writing contest for a scholarship and he’s gonna win. I just know it. He might be kinda mad when he finds out I took some of his writing, but when he wins, he’ll forget about that, right? I can’t sit by and let him waste his life. It’d be a damn shame.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Vessel, By Lisa T. Cresswell
Month9Books, May 26, 2015

The sun exploded on April 18, 2112 in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.
They had exactly nineteen minutes.
Nineteen minutes until a geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, and every satellite in their sky.
Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

Generations after solar storms destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth, humans reverted to a middle ages-like existence, books are burned as heresy, and all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents.
Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs even if it's the last thing she wants.

To celebrate the upcoming release of Vessel, I'm running a month-long giveaway for a prize pack that includes a Month9Books insulated tumbler, a Vessel notebook, a tea blend (like the one Recks makes for Alana in the book), a $25 Amazon gift card, and a $10 Starbucks gift card. Be sure to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Come join me on Goodreads, the best place for readers :)

Pre-order Vessel today!

Friday, May 15, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Book Trailer Reveal for Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti with Giveaways #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are featuring the book trailer for
Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
There are two (2) giveaway opportunities available.
Find out more information at the end of the post!

Enjoy the Trailer!!

Joshua and The Lightning Road

Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

add to goodreads
Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Donna Galanti
Pre-order Links:


Donna Galanti

Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs..., a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at and Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



To enter: Pre-order Joshua and the Lightning Road from your favorite bookseller and email proof of purchase to
First Prize: Apple iPad Mini 16GB
Second Prize: $25 B&N Gift Card
Third Prize: Signed map of the book's world, the Lost Realm
Proof of purchase must be received before May 17th, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST to qualify. Open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be chosen using a random number generator and notified by May 22, 2015.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dear Teen Me

I'm guest blogging over on the Dear Teen Me website today. This is what I wrote~

I wish I knew what to tell you, teen me. You're going through some of the roughest stuff of your life. It may not seem like it, but it will get better one day. I promise you that, so put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

I don't know if you'll listen to any advice because you're kind of hard headed. I know you're going to do it your own way, but if you're inclined to listen, here's a few bits of advice from an older, hopefully wiser you~

1. Don't ever stop writing. I know you aren't very good with criticism of any kind. You're going let that stop you from learning your craft for far too long. You're going to stop writing (or trying to write) for years, and it's a damn shame. I'm here to tell you: Don't stop for nothing.

Don't stop because of the crummy English teacher that makes everyone feel inadequate. Don't stop because your friends don't see the point or aren't interested or someone laughs at you. Don't stop because you can't figure out how to write a novel from beginning to end or you can't think of a decent plot to save your life. DON'T STOP.

2. Write everything. Maybe a novel is too big of a project to start with. Write poems and haikus. Write plays and scripts, short stories, long stories, novellas and one day, novels. Try it all.

3. Let go of jealousy and practice kindness. I know this one is tough for you, but the sooner you stop comparing yourself to everything and everyone, the happier you'll be. Jealousy is a total waste of mental energy. Don't waste one minute more of your life on jealousy. Just DON'T.

I know you'll do all these things eventually, but sooner would be so much better than later. Trust me. I know. Any yes, you will get better at making your hair look less like a mess.

~ About author Lisa T. Cresswell ~

Lisa lives in Idaho, which thinks of itself as a little of the Old West. There's a lot of dust and rocks, which is perfect for her day job as an archaeologist. There's also solitude and quiet, which is good for reading and writing, her favorite pursuits. She writes young adult contemporary/fantasy/scifi with a bit of middle grade tossed in for fun. Her newest YA scifi novel, Vessel, is coming May 26, 2015. She has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate almonds and trying to garden in a desert. You can learn everything you'd possibly want to know about Lisa and her books at .

~Lisa T. Cresswell links~